tv Charlie Rose PBS September 12, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the news that north korea's conducted another nuclear test. woe talked to richard haass, president of the council on foreign relations. >> this is the most closed, most militarized society on the face of the earth. it's committed in some ways a slow-motion genocide against its own people. pose add conventional military threat for decades, as you know. still has the old post-world war ii borders on the peninsula, division at the 38th parallel and on top of it all, you've got a fast-growing nuclear program, not just the nuclear material, but as you said in your introduction, ballistic missiles that can be launched from a number of platforms on land and
submarines. >> rose: am barts chris hill, former u.s. ambassador to north korea from 2005 to 2009. >> if i stack up all the problems whether i.s.i.s. or whatever, i think north korea should be at the top of those issues, and i think we need a policy commensurate with the emerging threat. by the way, it's not just a threat against us, it's against our partners and allies in the region, some of whom would be interested in going nuclear if they see the threat unattended to. >> rose: also this evening, senators cory booker and tim scott, two african-american senators, the first time two elected african-american senators have served in this united states senate in u.s. history. they talk about the african-american museum of history and culture which opens in september in washington. >> i hope that one of the beauties of this -- of being here will be an understanding and appreciation of the depth of the pain, agony and tragedy of
slavery. i hope that the suffering from decade to decade to decade to decade will be understood in a very real and tangible way. i hope that the weight of the past will slow your gait and bow your head, and as you walk out of here, i hope that the sense of freedom and a sense of expectation will overwhelm you and that you will feel individually responsible for making america the most amazing country for every single citizen in our land. >> rose: we conclude this evening with sully sullenberger. there's a new film out called "sully" in which tom hanks plays him. he is, as you know, the american hero who landed his commercial jet in the hudson river. >> there was no room for any
extraneous thoughts. i never once thought about my family. i never once thought about anything other than controlling my body's huge physiological response to this sudden event, about flying the airplane and flying it well, about solving each problem in turn until finally we'd solved them all. i was confident that even know we'd never trained for this event, even though in our flight similarities you can't practice water landing -- the only training we got for water landing was a theoretical classroom discussion, i was confident i could find a way to do that. >> rose: the threat from north korea, the new african-american museum of history and culture and >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin with north korea, that country conducted its fifth underground nuclear test on friday. the government confirmed the test after a magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit near the country's nuclear site. its explosive power was the greatest to date, suggesting the country is moving closer to building a functional nuclear warhead and the missiles to carry the warhead. international leaders have condemned pyongyang's actions which occurred days after the g-20 summit in china. president obama called for serious consequences. joining me is richard haass, president of the council on foreign relations. once again, i am pleased to have
him back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: how serious is this? this is arguably the number one national security threat d possibly facing the nextrs president of the united states. >> rose: why? s the the most closed, most militarized society on the face of the earth. it's committed in some ways a slow motion genocide against its own people. it posed a conventional military threat for decades, as you know. still have the old world war ii, if you will, borders on thecine peninsula, the division at the 38th parallel and, now, on top of it all, you've got a fast-growing nuclear program, not just a nuclear material but as you said in your introduction ballistic missiles that can belawnched from a number of platforms from land and su submarines and they're working hard on shrinking the size of the warheads, so i think it's a question or when and not if we wake up and the director of national intelligence waltzes into the oval office and says madam president, mr. president,
we face the eminence or the actuality of a north korea that launch a missile that could hit, say, strains. >> rose: what can we do? we focused on sanctions against the north koreans. it's hard to sanction a society so without. secondly, negotiations over the years off and on, that hasn't worked. one thing we can do is we're building defensive systems to guard against it. but i think there is two big issues. one is whether you can persuade chinese. through china two-thirds of north korea's trade goes in and out. could you put pressure on the chinese to put pressure on the north koreans? they don't like them much. they would rath -- can we change chinese calculations through certain assurances? that's one issue. the other is, if we can't, what further pressure can we put on north korea, not just through
sanction bus cyber and conceivably in concern son digs but military force. >> rose: are we likely to do that? >> i would hope we would have the exploratory conversations with the chinese. what's the down side? the real question is what are we and the south koreans and the japanese ready to put on the table? what would we say of the terms under wish a unified korea would live? would it still be an american ally? i would say yes but maybe we would have far fewer forces moved away from the 38t 38th parallel. maybe we would guarantee, i hope, there would be no nuclear weapons. so there might be some things in it for china and whether it would be enough. we can have that dialogue with them. the other is why wouldn't we do things to pressure the regime with cyber. the regime is fragile. why wouldn't we say regime change. if they have nuclear weapons, if we're not content with
deterrence and defense, the idea of having a deterrent relationship with this leader doesn't fill me with comfort, then we have to ask questions. imagine we got intelligence north korea was putting missiles on alert. would we told rate that or consider launching a preemptive strike. >> rose: would bit a preeverrive strike against their missile sites or something else? >> i would say against their missile sites. we know there is -- if we know there is a possibility of imminent launch, i would say for an american president that would be a real decision whether we are prepared to tolerate the risk at that point or act. if we do acts there is a decent chance there could be a war. >> rose: if they had a warhead that's on a missile that is ready to go, if they -- would they have enough early detection of what we're doing to be able to launch if they feared their own destruction? >> not clear to me. if you're talking a question of minutes, you're talking about relative intelligence
capabilities. the alternative is we don't let things get that far. rather than preemptive strikes, you will have conversations about preventative military strikes. we thought about this hard the united states in the early '90s during the early clinton years. these cooling ponds, thesefuel rods, and moving it. there were a lot of people at the time, including myself, who said we ought not to let the north koreans take the next step. french argued the same thing. argued not to let them take the next step toward nuclear weapons. they were worried about a conventional war on the korean peninsula that would be damaging, i granted that, but because we haven't acted in the past we now face a very real possibility. quite honestly, i don't believe there is any chance we can negotiate ourselves out of this. so for a future president, you would have to say are you willing to give by some mixture of deterrence and defense or if
that's too risky then you have to hope that negotiations with china somehow will solve this problem for you or then you have to contemplate some cyber, maybe more sanctions and conceivably military actions. we're into a really dangerous place either way here. >> rose: it is now the number one, as you said, foreign policy dilemma for the united states and for the next president. >> and i believe vital national interests are at stake. this is big. >> rose: all right. so let's take the chinese, for example. clearly, they have been resistant. they understand the damage with north korea collapses the flood of refugees coming across the border. they understandt that. they're very much concerned about the balance of how we are in the -- about the balance of power in the region. you spoke to this in part. that's reason they have been resistant. but they have been joining the world in condemning this. >> they voted for sanctions as recently as food. they issued some sort of
statement. and privately chinese diplomats hate the disdain they have for the north koreans is hard to exaggerate. so what can we do to influence them? >> rose: right. the question is incentivizing them to basically say, look, i know you're scared about instability, we know you're worried about, if you will -- combined korea, almost like a combined vietnam. how can we reassure them of the orientation of that country in terms of that it could be better for the chinese in some ways. also, the chinese have been complaining the last few months, charlie, about our missile defenses there, the thad system. the chinese have no know their failure to sop the north korean program is directly responsible for what the united states and south koreans might do. if you don't deal with the north korean threat, we will be forced to take defensive
measures you're not going to like because it might havism equations for china's own ability to carry out nuclear deterrents or conventional force. so we have to push the chinese on both side, reassure but make sure there are consequence they won't like if north korea goes down this path. there is a lot of people in china who see north korea as far more of a liability than asset and that's a change over the last, say, ten years. >> rose: so there is internal debate within the chinese government or within the standing committee about what it is -- what ought to be the nature of our relationship with north korea and how do we reelf bait it? -- how do we reevaluate it. >> absolutely, that's something we ought to engage. >> rose: thank you for coming. richard haass, president of the council on foreign relations. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: we continue our conversation about the challenge
from north korea with christopher hill, dean of the joseph corbil school of international studies at the university of denver and serves as the ambassador of iraq from 2009 to 2010. in 2005 headed the u.s. delegation to the six-party talks aimed at resolving the north korea nuclear crisis. i'm pleased to have him on this program this evening. welcome, chris. >> thank you very much. >> rose: tell me how you size up or size up for us the threat of north korea's nuclear capabilities. >> the threat is very real, and their nuclear capabilities are developing really by the day. i think, in the past, people talked about this as more of a stunt to get attention, whether there was an international event going on and they would fire off a missile or something. but i think what we're seeing now is a pretty integrated military program designed to
take nuclear -- make a nuclear warhead to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile. it's pretty clear there is a military testing program. they have their failures and they don't seem to be afraid anymore of having failures, but then they will learn from failures and have another test and do it until it works out. so i think the time is approaching where, you know, we can't just kind of give the junior college try here. we're going to have to sit down and figure out what we're going to do about this very serious threat. >> rose: a couple of questions before we ask that very question, what are we going to do. how far are they from having a deliverable nuclear warhead that can reach the united states? >> well, the honest answer is no one really knows, but what we know is they have been successful with multi-stage rockets. what we know is they seem to have experimented with different designs. you will notice in their statement they didn't talk about a nuclear device, they talked
about an actual weapon. so i think they're getting closer. that said, you know, there are a whole host of complexities to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile and, you know, there's a lot of stuff that needs to be done. so i don't think this is going to happen all by next tuesday, but it's pretty clear that it's coming and it's probably moving faster than our policy apparatus has moved in terms of trying to come up with something to really deal with this. >> rose: okay. then what is our response if, in fact, they become successful not only within the context of after they become successful, but what should our response be before they become successful? >> i suppose it depends on what the definition of unacceptable is because we have talked for years about the idea that it is unacceptable to allow north korea to make a nuclear weapon that is deliverable and that can threaten its neighbors and frankly even potentially
threaten us. so here's what we know -- they don't care what we say, they don't care what the united states thinks, what china thinks, what the security council does, they don't seem to be dissuaded by sanctions, albeit those are sanctions we can work hard to strengthen, but they are already one of the most sanctioned countries in the world, they don't seem to be moved by this. at the same time, the military options are pretty awful. i mean, the idea of going in an overt way to take out their missiles, either take out launch pad, things like this, these are fraught decisions, especially when you look at a map and you see that some 20 million south koreans live within a stone's throw, almost, of the border. so the military option is not very good. the question is whether there might be some other options, options that probably shouldn't be discussed on television, but options, nonetheless, that could in some way through some sort of
process retard their program and create circumstances where they can't move as fast as they clearly are moving today. and those intelligence -- those items are in an intelligence area, and things that probably the u.s. and china need to really have a deep dive to discuss. this idea that we can outsource this problem to china, to say that the chinese need to solve it and, at the same time, the chinese, you know, are saying somehow the u.s. needs to solve it. neither of us can solve it on our own. we need to work far more, i think, comprehensively with the chinese and others on the range of capabilities that we have and how to apply those capabilities to retarding this program. >> rose: could china shut it down if they wanted to? >> china could probably do more, but i think the problem in china is the lack of csensus on what it would mean if north korea
went away. there are many chinese especially in the security services who would think of the demise of north korea as somehow a victory for the united states and a defeat for china. that mindset still exists in china and, so, that has to change. it is changing. there are a lot more chinese who are really getting quite angry and fed up with the north koreans, but for now they don't have the kind of consensus on what to do about north korea that they need in order to take the draconian measures that are necessary to do something about this nuclear threat. probably this fifth nuclear test will convince some chinese who previously thought, oh, the americans are exaggerating, they're just trying to, you know, steal the march on us, they're just trying to pressure us, probably some chinese are going to come over from that argument, but, still, china has a problem making these moves.
>> rose: is there greater national security threat than north korea? >> you know, my own view being sort of an old fashioned guy, i worry about nuclear weapons, i worry about the proliferation of them, but i also worry about countries like north korea for whom a sense of responsibility is a completely illusive concept. so if i stack up all the problems in the world, whether it's i.s.i.s. or whatever, i really think north korea should be right at the very top of those issues, and i think we need a policy commensurate with the emerging threat. by the way, it's not just a threat against us, it's against our partners and allies in the region, some of whom would be interested in going nuclear if they see the threat unattended to. so i think we need to look at the whole issue of what north korea's emergence as a nuclear power could mean to the
whole international or global system of nonproliferation. it really makes a mockery of it. so i think we've got a huge problem, and i think we need to, in terms of our relationship with china, really get that problem up at the top. obviously, there are a lot of issues with china. the south china sea is a serious issue. the east china sea is also a serious issue vie vis-a-vis chia and japan, but i don't think there is more of a problem than north korea's hell-bent desire for nuclear weapons. >> rose: and not only what they could do if they had them to the region but also selling those weapons to non-state actors who would have zero sense of responsibility about using them. >> that's right. that's right. i mean, the good news is, if you sell a nuclear weapon to someone and they use it, you can find out where that weapon came from.
it's sort of like fingerprints. so that's the good news. the bad news is it's totally irresponsible and the use of one of these weapons is just hard to imagine in today's world. and when you see the north koreans with a test of a weapon that is some two-thirds the size of hiroshima, i mean, this is a serious, serious problem, and it's not going to go away by saying, well, the north koreans, they have a lot of problems in their testing programs, they haven't actually married it up yet -- married up the weapon to a ballistic missile. i mean, that's all true, but i think what you've to look at is the intent of north korea, which is quite clearly aimed at getting a deliverable nuclear weapon. >> rose: and finally this question -- suppose north korea has nuclear weapons and can deliver them with their own intercontinental ballistic missiles, how fast would it take for japan and south korea to have nuclear weapons that they could deliver in the region as
well? >> i think those are two of the world's most technologically advanced countries. if they wanted to go nuclear, they could do it, but they also pay a great deal of respect to the international system, to their obligations in the international system. so it would be a very heavy step for them to take. currently, i don't think you could find public support for that type of thing. but from a technical point of view, they could do it very quickly. from a political and, frankly, civilizational point of view, i think it would take a lot longer. that said, we need to make sure that they understand that our nuclear weapon -- i'm sorry -- our nuclear emblah would cover -- our nuclear umbrella would cover them, that is, if they were hit with a nuclear weapon, we are duty bound,
treaty bound to retaliate. so we need to make sure they really believe in that nuclear umbrella that we have provided them because we have said you don't need nuclear weapons because we have nuclear weapons such that you don't need them. so they'd need to be absolutely sure that our commitment would be followed. >> rose: chris hill, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> rose: chris hill, dean of the joser korbel school of international studies at the university of denver in the great state of colorado. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: we've had other conversations about the threat from north korea on this program. i spoke with president obama and joe biden and mike morell. here's an excerpt from those conversations. >> north korea is a massive challenge. our first priority is to protect the american people and our allies, the republican of kree
ia japan that are vulnerable to the provocative actions that north korea is engaging in. they have been thus far resistant to international pressure because their economy is so insulated and so rudimentary that trying to squeeze them harder oftentimes -- >> rose: has limited gains. has limited gains. and i am concerned about the fact that they continue to invest heavily in not just nuclear weapons but also delivery systems. having said that, this is an example where maintaining a constructive relationship with china can make a difference, because if there is one country that could help us amplify the costs of bad behavior and could offer also the benefits of better behavior by the north koreans, china would be a critical partner in that process. >> rose: my question is basically china helping you make
the point you have to stop them, but every time they try and fail, they learn something. >> that's exactly right. >> rose: and how close are they to having both the missile delivery system as well as the warhead? >> well, look, obviously, they're not as far along as some of the other nuclear states. >> rose: but -- due they are erratic enough, their leader is personally irresponsible enough that we don't want them getting close, and we're going to have to continue to apply pressure, and this is going to be an issue that i inherited from the previous president, and unlike the iran nuclear deal, i'm not going to be able to say to the next president, this one i can wrap up in a bow and say has been resolved for a while. this is something that is continually going to vex, i think, the region and the
international community, and u.s. leadership is going to be required, but it's not something that lends itself to an easy solution. we could, obviously, destroy north korea with our arsenals, but aside from the humanitarian costs of that, they are right next door to our vital ally republic of korea. so that creates vulnerabilities for our allies and higher costs to deterrents. so we have to make sure we work with our allies and put pressure on them but do it in a responsible and cogent way. we have been spending more time positioning our missile defense systems so that, even as we try to resolve the underlying problem of nuclear development
in north korea, we're also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threat that they're posing right now. >> china has the single greatest ability to influence north korea by cutting off a, b, c, d, whole range of things, but it also could cause the implosion of north korea, and china worried about what the hell happens then. >> rose: on their border. on their border. but the flip of that is when i till president xi, you have to understand, we've got a guy up there in north korea who is talking about building nuclear weapons that could strike the united states and not only hawaii and alaska but the mainland of the united states, and i say, so we're going to move up our defense system. and he says, no, no, no, wait a minute, my military thinks you're going to try to encircle us. i said, what would you do?
you think we should stand back? and what happens? what happens if we don't work out something together on north korea? what happens if japan who could, tomorrow, go nuclear tomorrow? they have the capacity to do it virtually overnight. >> rose: that's okay with donald trump? >> that's okay with donald trump, but it's not okay for us to continue to see the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. so china is trying to work its way through its own serious dilemma internally. >> i would put north korea on the list of threats because north korea has the capability today to launch a ballistic missile with a nuclear 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 could shoot it down or what? >> because i think, a, he's rationale and he understands that if he did that that that would be the end of his country.
two, we have significant missile defense capabilities, so he could --, so you know, one could be fired in confusion, one could be fired in 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 worry about are, one, there could be a 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. north korea sank a south korean submarine 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 of north korean operatives came across the border, planted mines. a 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 grow into something bigger, snowball into something bigger. so that's 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 already demonstrated it is willing to sell ballistic missile technology and actually sell ballistic missiles and they've shown they're willing to
sell nuclear technology which they did to the syrians and the syrians were in the process of building a nuclear reactor to produce weapons-grade uranium. >> rose: is this what was destroyed by the israelis? >> the israelis destroyed it. so my main concern is at some point the north koreans decide it isn't in their interest to sell fissile material for a nuclear weapon, a nuclear weapon itself. so that's why it's on my list of threats. >> rose: we depend on the chinese to do more don't we? >> yeah, but 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 has been a major change in how the chinese look at north korea in the last five years. five years ago, the chinese looked at thecine peninsula and said the biggest threat to stability on this peninsula is the united states of america.
that's what the chinese thought five years ago. now they think the biggest threat to stability on the korean peninsula is their guy kim jong un because to have the crazy stuff he does. >> rose: the new museum of african-american history and culture opens on september 24. i talked to tim scott and cory booker, they are in the united states senate representing the first time in history that two african-american elected senators have served at the same time. we talked about race and we talked about the significance of african-american history and about the conversation that's necessary today. here is part of our conversation. >> i'll tell you, when i walked in here looking at the bronze on the outside, the distinction in capitol hill, i first thought of my grandfather who passed away
in january of this year. i thought about taking him to vote for the first african-american president, a day that he never thought would come. walking in here, understanding the weight of history, the gravity of the circumstances we face as a nation encouraged me, saddened me and made me understand the important role that we can play in making this country better together. >> rose: as senators? yes, sir. we share not only experiences of being a young african-american growing up, we're about the same age, but more powerful than that, having parents and grandparents who have been telling us stories, who have been hoping for america, who have been loving for america, who have been praying for america, and this is a building that i wish my grandparents could have seen opened. i know it would have given them a sense of legitimacy, a sense
that they belong, that america is embracing the african-american community in a really -- not a symbolic way, but in a deeply substantive way, and i thought about it. i kind of joked as it was coming in, but to cross the threshold of the building, that moment of walking into this building, i almost felt as though my ancestors were rejoicing in that moment. >> validation. this building, in many ways, i have phone calls for folks who come visit this location. for the first time you hear this lean-in concept. you sense people leaning in to wanting to be a part of this historic building, as if walking in here makes them a part of history because they know that their ancestors are a part of the history. so it validates a reality that we've all known, but for the first time in the nation's capitol, we know that african-american history is
american history, and what a beautiful thing. >> rose: and they're part of american history. >> what a beautiful thing. >> rose: and their history is part of american history. >> so important to have that. >> rose: it's interesting, too, because so many young people don't have a sense of history, of their own history, whether african-american or not, but especially african-american history. >> but people have to understand that black history isn't for black people. black history is for americans. it's for all of us to feel pride, all of us to feel that this history is so much a part of them, no matter what your background or race is. and i agree, it hurts me how little folks often know about the contributions that african-american leaders, what folks endured. >> rose: we're sitting in this magnificent museum, in this magnificent mall. there is the washingtoument right there, a man who had slaves, the first president of the united states. what do you hope? >> i hope that one of the
beauties of this museum being here will be an understanding and a appreciation of the depth of pain, agony and tragedy of slavery. i hope that the suffering from decade to decade to decade to decade will be understood in a very real and tangible way. i hope that the weight of the past will slow your gait and bow your head. and as you walk out of here, i hope that the sense of freedom and a sense of expectations will overwhelm you and that you will feel individually responsible for making america the most amazing country for every single citizen in our land. >> rose: on monday, a rare
television opportunity, my colleagues at "cbs this morning" and i will be broadcasting live from the museum. we'll talk to some of the people that paid this museum possible, leading african-american figures who will help us understand why it is so important to appreciate the culture and the contributions made by african-americans to american history. that's monday morning on "cbs this morning." >> rose: on january 15, 2009, u.s. airways pilot captain chesley "sully" sullenberger was forced to land a plain on the hudson river after a flock of geese flew into the engines. sully was heralded as a national hero after saving the lives of 155 passenger and crew on board. sully, the film starring tom hanks, depicts the events of january 15 and the investigation that followed. i recently spoke with captain
sullenberger about the new film but more importantly about that day. the obvious first question for you as we sit down is, when you think of the hudson river, where we're sitting on it and we can see the georg george washington bridge, what do you think? >> glad to have it. i chose the least bad option and i was very glad to have it. that was door number three. it was the only thing i knew would work. >> rose: so your name will forever be linked to the hudson river now. >> certainly this experience, this event will forever be linked to it. >> rose: the film itself opens with a nightmare scenario. >> what could have, what miffed. >> rose: but it's a nightmare scenario. >> yes. >> rose: was that in your mind? were you so focused on not what could have been or what might have been worse or disastrous and catastrophic, but simply what do i do for the next
nanosecond? >> there was no room nor any extraneous thoughts. i never once thought about my family. i never once thought about anything other than controlling my body's huge fizz logical response to this sudden event, about flying the airplane and flying it well, about solving each problem in turn until finally we'd solved them all. i was confident that, even though we'd never trained for this event, even though in our flight similarities you can't practice -- simulators you can't practice water landing, it was only a theoretical classroom discussion, i was confident i could find a way to do that. >> rose: confident. confident. >> rose: that comes from experience. >> it comes from having done the hard work, having developed the skills, obtained the knowledge, having developed the judgment to being able to solve essentially any airplane problem, even one you never imagined. >> rose: and watt is amazing is how quick it happens between the time the birds hit and you hit the water.
>> it had to. we had -- as it turned out -- 208 seconds -- just under three and a half minutes, from the time we hit birds, lost thrust and landed. that's all the time we had. i knew our flight path in just a few minutes was going to intersect the surface of the earth, i had to choose the best possible place for that to occur. >> rose: a lot of the movie is about that choice. let me talk about the book. is the movie close to the book? >> actually, the movie is based upon the book. >> rose: i know. but it covers a story that no one knows. everyone knows that we landed, that everyone survived and we celebrated that. >> rose: that heroic moment. but they don't know what happened after that, that part of how we learn in aviation, part of the formal lessons we learn with the national aviation transportation board to make
aviation safer is to leave no stone unturned, to follow the leads, and even if reputations get in the way they are set aside to find the truth. >> rose: even though there was not a mistake here. normally if you know there is a crash, you need an investigation. nothing went wrong and you still had an investigation. >> it's their job to see if that's the case and to find out what went wrong and do it better and to make safety improvement recommendations going forward to make is all safer. one of the biggest frustrations for me and the n.t.s.b. board members to whom i've spoken about this is, like in accident investigations, the nshts made about three dozen safety recommendations going forward coming out of this flight, but the n.t.s.b. cannot mandate they be adopted by the industry, that's up to the f.a.a., the regulatory body to do, and sad
lid only two or three of the 35 recommendations have been adopted by industry and mandated by the f.a.a. >> rose: why not? a lot of reasons but the bottom line ultimately is that the airlines, in a very cost competitive industry, are reluctant to take on additional safety measures that they view as a burden or an additional cost. >> rose: isn't that avoidance of public responsibility? >> yes, yes. >> rose: if you simply say we're not going to do this safety measure because its cost too much -- >> yes, when i talk the audiences of aviators and when i talk about when each of us chose to enter this noble profession of piloting that i consider a calling, we essentially make a tacet promise to all of our future passengers that we will do the very best for them that we can figure out thousand to do, and every airline executive, every lawmaker, every regulator should feel and act on that obligation. >> rose: not just epi lots, airplane manufacturers, airlines
and regulators, everybody who is involved with air travel? >> we should do the best we know how to do. and right now in some important ways, we are not. >> rose: so there is this movie out there and you're played by tom hanks. if you can't get jimmy stewart, tom hanks will be good. >> and tom is our generation's every man. he's played a lot of real people still living, like a friend of mine, the captain of the apollo 13er and captain phillips and others. this film may be about me but it is not my film. it is clint's film and he has creative control. but i think, from what i gather, tom was clearly at the top of nearly everyone's list. >> rose: all he needed was a mustache and white hair and there he was. >> it's striking. my life laurie and i had a chance to visit the set on a couple of occasions. one light in manhattan, lorrie was able to watch the film where
tom was running from time square. you saw the back of his white hair and said that looks just like sully. >> rose: what did you talk about? did he say, sully, what do i need to be you? >> well, tom came to our home and spent almost half a day there. one of the first things we talked about was the responsibility he felt about playing a real person still living that, for some period of time while this film is in the public's eye, that we will be conflated, but after the film has run its course, i will have to go back to living my life and he wanted to be sure he didn't screw it up for me. >> rose: he wanted the public to admire the man as he was not because he was portrayed badly by tom hanks which could not possibly happen. your life essentially today, post-heroic fixture, is motivational, consulting, giving people the benefit of your own
experience about leadership, about the world you know. >> and about the need for that and the fact that so much of what i spent my whole life perfecting and that i proved in the most dramatic way possible really works in real life under the most extreme conditions is something that can be made applicable to most every domain, every industry, whether medicine or power or financial risk management. >> rose: what are those things? >> leadership according to core values. you know, building an effective culture. doing things for the right reasons, not for your own enrichment, but for the greater good. you know, having moral courage to act against your immediate self-interest for the long term because, in the long term it will pay off. >> rose: are those things you can learn? >> i sure hope so. i think i did. i got it from my grandparents, my parents, people i admired and
respected throughout my life. just like you, i've seen the good, bad and ugly. i've seen what worked and didn't and i tried to learn from it and emulate those who made own the most difficult things look easy. >> rose: speaking of that, someone once defined courage as grace under pressure. may have been hemingway. define what you did as courageous or simply duty? >> can it be both? >> rose: it can. why is it courageous? >> my favorite definition of courage is not the absence of fear by it's doing what you need to do in spite of it. it's controlling it and it's doing your best even though it's startling and disturbing and difficult. >> rose: and that's what you meant by, in a sense, at the moment that the birds hit, you
lost your thrust, i mean, you had to be in control of yourself. >> yes, first i had to force order on myself, then we had to portion order on what might have been chaos by quickly synthesizing a lifetime of training experience and imposing that paradigm on this situation to then make it one i could solve, to set clear priorities in an unanticipated event for which we never specifically trained. >> rose: but in a sense you had trained because it is about leadership, it is about being able to react to danger, it is about all those things that a good pilot has to prepare and you not only were a commercial pilot, you were an air force pilot. >> well, if you do what i think the best have always done, the pilots with whom i have flown, that i thought were the best, were the ones who did two things -- they cared a lot, and they paid attention. in other words, they had a deeply internalized sense of professional responsibility, and
they knew that they needed to make each flight a learning opportunity and make the next flight better than the previous one. >> rose: in the moment, you can't be thinking about them, can you? you have to think about what you have to do. >> i had to already have thought about that. i had to have brought in the values of everyone i had ever flown with, every person who had ever shaped me and not think about those in terms of conscious thoughts, but have it immediately accessible in the back of my mind so even in those 208 seconds, i could use those experiences to help frame this problem, to frame this decision-making process. >> rose: what did clint eastwood easter want to know or want to tell you? >> i think, when he came to our home and met lorrie and me in our natural environment, he was trying to get the measure of us and see what makes us tick. i think he also wanted to reassure us. >> rose: that he would --
take good care of us. >> rose: tell a true story. yeah. i mean, when someone gives the right to tell their live story to someone else, you're handing them the keys and you're watching them drive away with it. it's a huge leap of faith. but i think, in this case, it was rewarded. when i see that portrayal on the screen, it not only looks real and sounds real, it feels real. >> rose: when you watch the film for the first time, the first time you saw it -- >> well, the first time i saw it, i saw it privately with my family, my wife and two adult daughters at the studio in burbank at the end of july and it was a very emotional, very moving experience for us, that we really couldn't put into word immediately. >> rose: so east wood and hanks got it, as far as you see, as good as hollywood can do to reneglect the moment -- to
reflect the moment and personality, they captured it? >> and the emotion. what i really wanted this film to have was a real undercurrent of the importance of our common humanity, and i think it's there. >> rose: how so? this is about a group of people at a time in the world's history when it seemed as if everything was going wrong, during the 2008-2009 financial meltdown, seemed no one could do anything right. i think some had begun to doubt human nature, wondering if it was about self and greed, and this group of people came together at this place in time to make it their mission in life to make sure every life was saved. when we work together, there is little we cannot accomplish. >> rose: that's the larger story. >> for me it is.
during the second world war at pearl harbor, the pacific, when we were not doing well against the japanese early on, there was a group of rag-tag bunch including the band from the u.s.s. california who had been damaged and they no longer had a function and their job was to break the japanese code. the commander said we can accomplish anything if no one cares who gets the credit. >> rose: and you had that across the board including your co-pilot. >> yes, jeff, i cannot have had a better colleague. and i think aaron eckhart does a great job bringing forth his personality and sense of humor and i love how tom an arorn on screen bring to life this wonderful professional relationship between sully and jeff. >> rose: and immediately after, what's it like on day two after something like this happens to your life? >> i think i felt some of the
things on day two that i felt in the first second. i remember vividly my first three conscious thoughts in the first seconds after the bird strike and the thrust loss. first, this can't be happening. a very typical response i'd read about reading about other accidents, rooted in disbelief, followed immediately by this doesn't happen to me. in other words, i had been flying 42 years and in all that time i had never been so challenged by anything in an airplane i doubted the outcome. my third thought was more of a realization, like unlike every other flight this probably would not end on a runway with the aircraft undamaged. i was okay with that as long as i could solve the underlying problem. >> rose: ten pilots faced the same decision, decided to iome into the hudson, to land this on the hudson, how many would have done it? >> no way to know but i'm convinced a lot of my
professional colleagues would have found a way to do something similar and would find a way to save the lives of their passengers and crew. >> rose: what could have gone wrong on the hudson? >> if we had touched with one wing too low, if he hadn't had the wings exactly level, it would have spun us around and the aircraft might have broken apart. if we had landed with too great a rate of descent, the airplane could have broken apart and not floated enough for the rescue. if we misjudged the height to begin the landing even by a fraction of a second because we were coming down to rapidly, the equivalent of an elevator coming down two floors per second. >> rose: in terms of the time -- >> in terms of the vertical rate of descent. so i had to look at the water at the rain where depth perception is inherently difficult and judge the height to begin exercising the only control i had over the vertical flight path, beginning raising and trading forward velocity for
reduced greater descent, if i misjudged it and did it too high, we would be too slow and drop in. too late, we would touch nose too low and go down too fast. so i had to time it just so. >> rose: that experience -- that experience, seeing the world rushing up at u us and knowing now is the time to begin pulling. if i was off by a fraction or a quarter of a second, we wouldn't have been able to touch at the proper place with the proper attitude with the proper rate of descent. >> rose: and the nose that to be a little up. >> 10 degrees, i was shooting for. we got to 9.8. i was shooting for zero degrees level, my right wing was down one-half of one degree. >> rose: you did everything right then. >> working with jeff skiles, we worked together as a team to manage the workload, to not get
distracted, to pair this exercise down to doing a few things but doing them very, very well. >> rose: did you make any mistakes? >> of course, it wasn't perfect, but it worked, and i was confident i could find something that would work. >> rose: any nightmares after? for a few dates, yes, where i couldn't sleep, especially late at night when the what-ifing and second-guessing would come. >> rose: and changed your life fore? >> instantly and completely forever. >> rose: thank you. good talking to you, charlie. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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