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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  December 14, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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this sunday, the senate torture report. >> we have failed to live by the precepts that make our nation a great one. >> the report concludes the cia misled the public, the congress and the bush white house over the use of controversial interrogation tactics. >> it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities. >> there's no shortage of cia critics. but former vice president dick cheney is unapologetic. he insists the program saved american lives. >> we did exactly what needed to be done in order to catch those who were guilty on 9/11 and to prevent a further attack. >> i'll be joined by dick cheney for an exclusive network tv
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interview. plus the drone program, killing suspected terrorists. could we view drones years from now the same way some of us are viewing interrogation tactics today? >> in fact, most of the individuals who we kill, we have much less information about than the individuals, the 119 captured. also, thousands gather in cities across the country to protest police treatment of black men. >> as a young black man, you're profiled constantly. >> why is there so much distrust between police and african-americans? >> i think those fight-or-fight instincts won't be present in police officers is to deny humanity. >> i'm chuck todd. joining us are former senior adviser to president obama, david axelrod, nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell, helene cooper of the new york times and former chief spokesman for the coalitioner provisional authority in iraq, dan senor. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the
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press with chuck todd." good morning. some late news, last night the senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill. it will fund the government through next september. bottom line, no government shutdown this year or perhaps next as well. let's get to our big story, the senate report on what some call torture, what others call enhanced interrogation techniques. the report put together by senate democrats on the intelligence committee. it's a detailed and in some cases shocking indictment of the methods used to interrogate detainees. there's no shortage of critics of what the cia did. former vice president dick cheney. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, chuck. it's good to be back. >> let me start with quoting
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you. you said earlier this week torture was something that was very carefully avoided. it implies that you have a definition of what torture is. what is it? >> well, torture to me, chuck, is an american citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the trade center in new york city. on 9/11. there's this notion that somehow there's moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that's absolutely not true. we were very careful to stop short of torture. the senate has seen fit to label the report torture, but we worked hard to stay short of that definition. >> what is that definition? >> the definition is the one that was provided by the office of legal counsel. we went specifically to them because we did not want to cross that line into where we were violating some international agreement that we had signed up to. they specifically authorized and okayed, for example, exactly what we did. all of the techniques that were authorized by the president were, in effect, blessed by the justice department opinion that we could go forward with those without, in fact, committing
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torture. >> let me go through some of those techniques used. khan, was then subjected to involuntary rectal feeding and hydration. it included two bottles of ensure. later in the day his lunch tray consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was pureed and rectally infused. does that meet the definition of torture? >> that does not meet the definition of what was used in the program. >> i understand, but does that meet the definition of torture in your mind? >> no my mind, i've told you what meets the definition of torture. it's 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters did to 3,000 americans on 9/11. what was done here apparently certainly was not one of the techniques that was approved. i believe it was done for medical reasons. >> well, there is no -- the medical community has said there is no -- >> if you look, for example, at jose rodriguez's book, and he was the guy running the program, he's got a very clear description of how, in fact, the
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program operated. with respect to that, i think the agency has answered it in its response to the committee report. >> but you acknowledge this was over and above. >> that was not something that was done as part of the interrogation program. >> but you won't call it torture? >> i'm -- it wasn't torture in terms of it wasn't part of the program. >> let me ask you this. we've got al najar, had he handcuffing of one or both of his wrists to an overhead bar, would not allow him to lower his arms 22 hours a day for 22 days in order to break his resistance. he was also wearing a diaper and had no access to toilet facilities. was that acknowledged? was that part of the program that you approved? >> i can't tell from that specifically whether it was or not. >> page 53 of the report. >> the report is seriously flawed. i didn't talk to anybody who knew anything about the program. they didn't talk to anybody that was in the program. the best guide for what, in fact, happened is the one that's the report that was produced by the three cia directors and deputy directors of the cia when
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this program was undertaken. and in fact, it lays out in very clear terms what we did and how we did it. and with respect to trying to define that as torture, i come back to the proposition torture was what the al qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 americans on 9/11. there's no comparison between that and what we did with the respect to enhanced interrogation. >> but some of these tactics went above and beyond what was approved. here's another one. let me read you another one here. over a 20-day period, aggressive interrogation, spent a total of 266 hours, 11 days, two hours in a large coffin-size containment box, 29 hours in a small confinement box, width of 21 inches, says depth of 2.5 feet, height of 2.5 feet. that's on page 42, is that going to meet the standard and definition of torture? >> i think that was, in fact,
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one of the approved techniques. in terms of torture, i guess what i was struck, for example, by the statements by bud day and leo thorsness and admiral denton, these are three folks who were captured by the north vietnamese, held for years, subject to extreme torture and all of whom said that waterboarding was not torture. now, you can look for various definitions. we did what was, in fact, required to make certain that going forward we were not violating the law. and the law, as interpreted by the justice department, the office of legal counsel, was very clear. and the techniques that we did, in fact, use that the president authorized that produced results, that gave us the information we needed to be able to safeguard the nation against further attacks and to be able to track down those guilty for 9/11 did, in fact, work. now, the senate committee, partisan operation, no republicans involved, no interviews of anybody involved itself -- >> all cia documentation. >> chuck, if you'll look at it and if you'll look at the people running the agency said and what
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jose rodriguez said who ran the program, who is a good man, that, as i said the other day, i won't use the word on your show, it's a crock. it's not true. >> have you read more of the report? >> i've read parts of it. not the whole thing. it hasn't been released. >> the summary. >> the summary. go read what the directors of the agency said about the report. they were extremely critical of it, as were the republicans who served on the committee. it's a flawed report. it didn't begin to approach what's required by way of response of oversight. >> does it plant any seed of doubt in you, though? >> no absolutely not. >> all of this information in here, no seed of doubt whether this worked or not? >> it worked. it absolutely did work. >> let me ask you, what do you say to rahman? what do you say to suleman abdalla, khalid al masri? all three of these folks were detained. they had these interrogation
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techniques used on them. they eventually were found to be innocent. they were released, no apologies, nothing. what do we owe them? what -- does this -- i mean, let me go to -- let me go to rahman, chained to his cell, froze with -- to death in cia custody. it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity. >> right. but the problem i have is with all the folks that we did release that ended up back on the battlefield, the 600 and some people who were released out of guantanamo, 30% roughly ended up back on the battlefield. today we're very concerned about isis, terrible organization. it is headed by a man named baghdadi. baghdadi was in custody of the u.s. military in iraq in camp bucca. he was let out and now on the attack against the united states. i'm more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than i am with a few that in fact, were innocent. >> 25% of the detainees, though. 25% turned out not to be innocent. >> where are you going to draw the line, chuck?
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how are you going to know? >> i'm asking you. you're okay with that margin for error? >> i have no problem as long as we achieve our objective. and our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and to avoid another attack against the united states. i was prepared and we did, we got the authorization from the president and authorization from the justice department to go forward with the program. it worked. it worked now for 13 years. we've avoided another mass casualty attack against the united states. we did capture bin laden. we did capture an awful lot of the senior guys of al qaeda who were responsible for that attack on 9/11. i'd do it again in a minute. >> when you say waterboarding is not torture, then why did we prosecute japanese soldiers? >> for a lot of stuff -- not for waterboarding. they did an awful lot of other stuff, to draw some kind of moral equivalent between waterboarding, judged by our
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justice department not to be torture, and what the japanese did with the slaughter of thousands of americans with the rape of man king and all of the other crimes they committed. that's an outrage. it's a really cheap shot, chuck, to even try to draw a parallel between the japanese who were prosecuted for war crimes after world war ii and what we did with waterboarding, three individuals, all of whom were guilty and participated in the 9/11 attacks. >> is there a reason these interrogations didn't happen on u.s. soil? was there concern that maybe they would be -- folks would get legal protections from the united states and that's why it was done at black sites? >> we didn't read them their miranda rights either. these are not american citizens. they are unlawful combatants, terrorists. they are people who have committed unlawful acts of war against the american people. and we put them in places where we could proceed with the interrogation program and find out what they knew. so we could protect the country against further attacks, and it worked. >> let me ask you to respond to john mccain and david petraeus. general petraeus said this to his troops. some may argue that we would be
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more effective if we sanctioned torture or other methods to obtain information from the enemy. that would be wrong. here's what senator mccain said this week. >> i know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies. our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights which are protected by international conventions, the united states not only joined, but for the most part authored. >> your reaction. >> my reaction is the same as leo thorsness who was on the air this week, captured, the pilot shot down over vietnam, held in captivity for many years, subjected to torture. this week said waterboarding is
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not torture. he also holds the medal of honor, as did bud day who was also captured and tortured and subsequently made it clear that he did not believe waterboarding was torture. >> so if an american citizen is waterboarded by isis, are we going to try to prosecute isis for war crimes? >> he's not likely to be waterboarded. he's likely to have his head cut off. it's not a close call. >> if another country captures a u.s. soldier. >> you're trying to come up now with hypothetical situations. the waterboarding, the way we did it, was, in fact, not torture. now, when you're dealing with terrorists, the likes of al qaeda or isis, i haven't seen them waterboard anybody. what they do is cut their heads off. what they did to 3,000 americans on 9/11, that was brutal, bloody murder. it absolutely can't be compared with what we did with respect to our enhanced interrogation program. >> in particular, it has to do with jose padilla. a memo that was prepared by the cia, use has enabled us to disrupt terrorist plots. operative plot, padilla and
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mohammed planned to build and detonate a dirty bomb. this is what the senate democrats found. a review of cia cables and other cia records found that the use of the cia's enhanced interrogation techniques played no role in the jose padilla are on the thwarting of the dirty bomb or the tall buildings plot. do you feel as if they were telling you what you wanted to hear? >> no. >> what's the implication? >> well, the implication is just wrong. again, the cia directors make it very clear that they got it wrong time after time after time. a notion that we were not notified at the white house about what was going on. i, too. i sat through a lengthy session in '04 with the inspector general of the cia as he reviewed the state of the
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program at that time. the suggestion, for example, of the president didn't approve it, wrong. that's a lie. that's not true. we were, in fact -- >> how was he briefed? how was the president briefed? >> he was briefed -- >> by cia or by you? >> i was heavily involved as was the national security council, condi. the president writes about it in his own book. >> three pages into the book he talks about it. you were briefed directly. he was briefed indirectly most of the time. is that fair to say? >> that's not fair to say. what happened was he and i met every single morning with the director of the cia, with the national security adviser six days a week and reviewed everything, basically, in the intelligence arena. that's where we got most of our information. that and the written pdb. there would be special meetings from time to time on various subjects that he would be directly involved in. this man knew what we were doing. he authorized it. he approved it. a statement by the senate democrats, with partisan purposes, that the president didn't know what was going on. it's just a flat-out lie. it's a cheap shot piece of political business that was not bipartisan, nor did it involve any discussion with the people involved in the program. why would you even give that credence? >> well, let me ask you this.
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why do you not have some doubt in the cia? this is the same intelligence community that didn't get it right on wmds in iraq. why are you so confident that they're telling you the truth in these memos? >> well, because i know the people involved because i've worked five out of the six former directors and deputy directors, they're men i've known for years and trust. intimately with the difficult problems they've dealt with. jose rodriguez is one of the outstanding officers in the agency. i know what they were asked to do, and i know what they did. and i'm perfectly comfortable that they deserve our praise. they deserve to be decorated. they don't deserve to be harassed. can you imagine what it's going to be like if you were out there now as an officer in the agency and you were undertaking a complicated, difficult, dangerous task and you have the view that ten years from now, even though the president approved it, even though the justice department signed off on it, some politician on capitol hill's going to come back and want a piece of your fanny? it's an outrageous proposition
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that we're going through here that is even being discussed. >> it's interesting you bring that up because there's a united nations -- this is ben emerson, special envoy in human rights and counterterrorism, and he wants a criminal probe here. this is what he said. it's now time to take action. individuals responsible, what he calls a criminal conspiracy revealed in the report must be brought to justice, must face criminal penalties, and then he ends with the u.s. legally is obliged to bring those responsible to justice. i know how you feel on that. do you think the president -- do you think the president should issue a blanket -- >> i have little respect for the united nations, or for this individual who doesn't have a clue and had absolutely no responsibility for safeguarding this nation and going after the bastards that killed 3,000 americans on 9/11. >> do you think the president should issue a blanket -- >> no crime was committed.
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no crime -- who wants to sanction or satisfy some executive at the united nations who doesn't have any say or responsibility on a claim that some kind of pardon is required, chuck? this is -- again, i come back to the proposition. one of the things i'm really worried about is what this is doing long term. we're still at war. the terrorists out there today are as bad as it was on 9/11. we've got isis talking about the united states having created a caliphate. we're in a situation at least as bad as we had on 9/11, when after the attack we had word that al qaeda was trying to acquire nuclear weapons. now we're sitting here today, we are castigating the cia for doing what the president ordered them to do and the justice department said was legal. we're doing enormous damage to our relationship overseas with our friends and allies who have supported us and worked with us. we're making it very, very difficult to be able to go recruit foreign agents to work with us because they're likely to be hung out to dry by politicians on capitol hill who have some kind of political ax to grind.
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we're in big trouble partly because of the irresponsible content is the way i would describe it with respect to this act. and that the senate would go forward, the senate democrats would go forward, not with a bipartisan approach, not with an approach that takes into account the views of the people that were involved, goes forward for some political reason, trashing a very, very good program that worked, that saved lives, that kept us from another attack. >> all right. let me ask you a couple quick questions. i want to play for you an interesting clip of you 20 years ago about iraq and saddam hussein. take a look. >> that's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government in iraq, you can easily end up seeing pieces of iraq fly off, part of it -- the syrians would like to have to the west, part of eastern iraq, the iranians would like to claim, fought over for eight years. in the north you've got the kurds. the kurds spin loose and join with the kurds and turkey, then you've threatened the
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territorial integrity of turkey. it's a quagmire if you go that far. >> by the way, you look good there. >> thank you, sir. how old were you 20 years ago? >> i was -- what was i? i think i was 22 at the time. let me ask you this. you could arguably somebody hearing that today says boy, that's what iraq looks like today. >> mm-hmm. >> right now it looks like it might split up. it looks ungovernable. it looks like pieces of syria and iraq -- i mean, everything you described is happening today. >> so what's your question? >> well, i guess i ask you, do you regret pushing saddam hussein out? >> no. no. a lot has happened -- a lot has happened since between that time, 9/11, for example, happened. we got to the point where we were very concerned about the possible linkage between terrorists on the one hand and weapons of mass destruction on the other. saddam hussein had previously had twice nuclear programs going. he produced and used weapons of mass destruction, and he had a ten-year relationship with al qaeda. all of those things ply and play -- >> by the way, some of the al qaeda stuff is questioned in here.
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>> when it was time to get into the business of deciding the importance to go after iraq. we did the right thing. i believe that it was, in fact, the right action then, and i believe it now. >> last question. rand paul or hillary clinton? whose foreign policy are you more comfortable with? >> well, i don't think either one of them's going to be president. >> okay. but you didn't answer the question. whose foreign policy would you be more comfortable with? >> i'm comfortable with my own views. and i've been very forthright about them. and frankly, i don't support either hillary clinton or rand paul. >> how's your health? >> great. i got a new heart almost three years ago. i tell my wife my hair's even growing back. >> well, fair enough. former vice president dick cheney. >> good to see you, chuck. you bet. there you go. we'll be back in one member with a key member of the senate intelligence, senator ron wyden. in fact, i think vice president dick cheney brought up a few questions that he would like to see senator wyden answer. he's been one of the most outspoken critics of the cia. he'll be here after the break. relations >> announcer: "meet the press" is brought to you by boeing. where the drive to do something better inspires us every day. is here,
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and welcome back. more on the story that has dominated the news this week. the senate, what the democrats call the torture report. i'm joined by senator ron wyden, democrat from oregon, member of the senate intelligence committee and somebody who frankly was pushing your leader, senator dianne feinstein, to get this report done and be made public. senator wyden, welcome back to
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"meet the press." >> thank you. >> first let me get your reaction to vice president cheney who obviously has not a lot of respect for this report. >> well, first of all, with respect to waterboarding and the vice president is obviously comfortable with it, i consider it to be torture. and just to correct the record when the japanese were prosecuted for using against our guys in world war ii, it was at the tokyo trials. i think it's important to set the record straight. >> well, let me ask you, though, he says this thing is partisan. that has been some of the criticism even from folks who
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agree with some of the conclusions who say you know what, though? you have no real chance to see reform at the cia because the cia can now easily dismiss this as a partisan report. >> facts aren't part ran, chuck. we reviewed 6 million pages of documents. the full report has 38,000 footnotes. and what we sought to do was very careful. and that is to take the statements, the cia made to the american people, made to the congress, made to the justice department, made to the president, and we compared it to their own internal communications in realtime. there are a mountain of contradictions. >> i understand that you used nothing but cia material, cia-provided material, but no interviews. the cia says, director brennan said that he would have been pleased to talk to senate investigators, that plenty of cia agents were even talking to the justice department. why didn't you take up the cia -- i know for a while they weren't giving you access, but eventually they said they were going to give you, and you guys decided not to take them up on it. why? >> it's a little more complicated than that. the report and the justice department inquiry went on at the same time. so we weren't able to interview
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the cia. so we thought that it was important to get materials that could be verified and documented. so we looked at the communications that cia officers were making in realtime about torture. now, during that period, everybody knew that we were having this inquiry, and certainly none of the people writing op-eds have come forward and said oh, we would have liked to be interviewed at that time, suffice it to say i'll speak for myself and my colleagues, we would be happy to have talked to them. >> do you think there should be criminal prosecutions? >> the justice department has been clear with respect to that that there are not going to be. i hope they'll review the new facts. but -- >> you want them to change their mind? >> i want them to review the new facts. but what i'm especially troubled by is john brennan, on thursday, really opened the door to the possibility of torture being used again. and that's why it's so important that our report come out. and what i intend to do with my
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colleagues right when we come back is i intend to introduce legislation to make it clear, for example, that if torture is used in the future, there would be a basis to prosecute. >> director brennan fit to serve the cia? >> director brennan particularly on thursday said some important things and also left out some things that were important. for example, he indicated that he would no longer be using the terms with respect to torture that the information would be otherwise unavailable. that's a real vindication of the committee because we showed that we were able to find bin laden, find ksm without torture. so that was good. what i was troubled also about was that he undercut the panetta review. the panetta review really agreed with what the committee found. >> but i go back, director brennan, you're comfortable with him running the cia? >> not at this point. >> you think the president should fire him? >> i want to give him the chance to end this culture of denial, to deal with the misrepresentations, if he doesn't do that, we're going to have to get somebody who will. >> is there photographs in your report that you guys redacted?
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>> i'm not going to get into what was redacted. i lost some battles with respect to redactions, but i think the report does tell an important story, tells it accurately, and it is a particularly timely report now, given the fact that john brennan really opened the door to the possibility of torture. again, when he was asked, in effect, what he thought, he said that's for future time. >> is there more of this report that you think should be release? >> i would like to see the entire report declassified. >> senator wyden, thank you. >> thank you. let's get reaction from the panel. david axelrod, andrea mitchell, helene cooper and dan senor. obviously the debate isn't going
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to end any time soon, but this is a pretty tough report. the facts in it are cia based. the conclusions, i understand, what vice president cheney was against, but the facts are pretty damning, and at least plant some seeds of doubt, does it not? >> well, look. i think the actual program, the integrity of the program, the report does not actually produce anything that undermines it. most of what is criticized in the report is what happened outside the program. these rogue operators. now, reasonable people can disagree on, you know, what happened in those rogue operations, but the actual integrity of the program, the actual totality of the program, it's indisputable that it pulls al qaeda operatives off the battlefield. >> if it's indisputable, john brennan said it's unknowable. even john brennan who i think supports the program could not come to the conclusion that it's indisputable. >> well, what brennan said was unknowable, he says look, we got information. what's unknowable is if we could have gotten the same information had we not used these techniques.
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>> right. >> that's an experiment. how long do you want to try that experiment? ksm wasn't talking. they used the techniques, suddenly he was talking. maybe he had a change of heart or maybe the techniques worked. how long are you going to wait to see if he actually is going to talk? >> director brennan's view of this report, andrea. he obviously doesn't like how it was done. thinks, as he said, over the top when it comes to transparency. does he disagree with the facts? >> yes. at this lengthy, you know, hour that we spent with him, and he disputes the fact that information on bin laden was obtained by other sources, by other foreign intelligence agencies, before any of the torture which he would not call torture took place on abu zubaydah. other confirming sources indicate that he was lying. the question is, could they have gotten it from other ways? and he says that it was unknowable whether or not that
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information, that train of evidence. what he also disputes is whether this analysis, based on memos, can lead to the proper conclusions. what analysts do is look at lots of different pieces of information and that the senate investigators looked at it too linearly. but let me just say, the former director, i think many would say, as the vice president said, should have been interviewed, they were not worried about prosecution. they were willing to come forward. i think there are other issues here, for instance, jose rodriguez. this report would not have happened had jose rodriguez not, in contradiction to what the white house lawyer, the justice department, and the cia was ordering to do, had he not destroyed the videotapes of those interrogations, that is what tipped it over, and there was a 14-1 vote -- >> at the time they started the investigation, no doubt. >> and there was a lot of pushback and resistance to getting the facts that they needed from the republicans.
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>> now, david, you were in the white house when the president essentially decided despite where so many in your base wanted you guys to go prosecute somebody, hold somebody criminally responsible. even some saying you've got to go get the vice president. do you think president obama did the right thing in not allowing the justice department to investigate, to see if we have rogue agents, perhaps, that went above and beyond? >> the justice department did look into it, chuck, but i think he did the right thing in rejecting what was the major call, which was for a commission that would go back and essentially accentuate the roles of every player. we've had a big national airing of this. his view, as he expressed the other day, is is that we have to move forward and learn from this. let me just comment on brennan because i watched that press conference that you were at, andrea, very, very closely. what i heard, the vice president invited us to talk to the former directors. he said abhorrent things were done and the cia was unprepared to run such a program. he said at the end of the press conference that he strongly leaved that this was on balance, not a good program for the
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country because it violated our relationships. it spoiled our relationships overseas with our allies, and the efficacy of the data of the intelligence we got was in question. in fact, one of the points that we apparently derived from some of these coerced was that the war in iraq, that there was a link between saddam hussein and al qaeda, which was one of the pretexts for going into this war. there's not -- he did not back up the vice president's points here. >> helene, obviously there are a lot of people, the vice president brought it up. i've even had some democrats who are in support of the report brought it up said releasing this has put american's intelligence capabilities has shackled us a little bit. are you getting the sense from people you talk to? >> not so much. that is much more of sort of
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when you look -- i mean, david touched on this just now. you talk about the reaction around the world. there's a lot of chatter right now about, you know, the united states trying to have things both ways. and there's this belief that we're at the same time that you saw former vice president cheney sitting here saying again and again that this wasn't torture, you know, just because, you know, so we're going, for instance, in china, there's a whole -- this has been a huge case, a huge -- the reporting in china has been huge all week looking at the united states, talking to us about human rights and lecturing us on this, that and the other and looking at what they're doing within the united states, you know. the idea that we don't -- yeah. >> but we're the only country. >> that would release it. >> this is what makes america america. >> it really is. >> for better or for worse, it's what we do. >> once they released the report, it's another thing to release those graphic details, those very vivid descriptions which i do think will have implications for americans fighting men and women overseas on the battlefields to provide
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that fodder for our enemies, you know. >> here's the question, dan. is it the release of that information that endangers those troops, or was it the practices that endanger them? i mean, what the vice president seems to be saying is we did bad things in dark places, but what's wrong is that we told people about it. >> and we did things in dark places that resulted in us disrupting mass casualties, terror attacks. that part is disputable. all that brennan said is we're not sure other things would have worked. >> pause there. last word. >> we've not had these tactics for six years. so we haven't had a major attack in six years. >> you know what we have been doing? we've been using drones to blow up terror operatives. >> by the way -- >> so you're not going to answer that question. >> okay. >> i'm answering the question. >> david and dan, the good news is, you guys provided a segue to our next segment which has to do with drones. we'll take a pause here. we will be right back. zero heartburn! prilosec otc. the number 1 doctor-recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 9 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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as promised, we'll be getting to the drone war in a
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in recent weebks, the failue of grand juries to induty ploorchs for killing unarmed african-american men in ferguson, in recent weeks, the failure of grand juries to indict polic officers for killing unarmed african-american men in ferguson, missouri, and new york city, has provoked outrage and dismay. yesterday tens of thousands gathered in cities across the u.s. to protest those killings and the treatment of black pen by law enforcement. in new york, protesters shut down the brooklyn bridge for about an hour, and two police officers were assaulted and sent to the hospital. to help us understand why there's so much distrust between african-american men and police officers, we brought together three people with firsthand knowledge of the situation. l.a.p.d. police chief charles beck, civil rights attorney constance rice, and aquil, an african-american man who has been on the right side of the law but the wrong side of some cops.
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>> as a young black man, it's -- you're pulled over constantly. a couple times, three, four times a week, you know. for no reason whatsoever. >> we recruit from the human race. you know, because of that, we have all the foibles that humanity suffers. >> the cops are totally many under fear. ms. rice, can i tell you, i'm scared of black people. i'm afraid of black men. what do i do? >> when a police officer approaches a black man, he comes into that situation with these prejudices that has been implanted into his mind for many years. >> we have spent, you know, 500,000 years developing these fight-or-flight instincts to protect us. and to think that those fight-and-flight instincts aren't going to be present in police officers is to deny humanity.
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>> put your hands on the hood. and lights on you and everyone driving past can see you. humiliation at another level. >> the community had great fear of the cops. and the cops had great fear of the community. >> they asked us the question, have we ever been arrested for n.i.p.? i said, well, what's n.i.p.? it's the "n" word in public. just for being black. >> my job was to break down the fear and build the trust. >> one of the police officers actually, with his flashlight, commenced to hit me in the head. so i asked him, what was he doing? and he told me to shut up and just take it. >> what they were saying to me was that my actions may not look right to you because you don't understand, i'm scared. when people are scared, they have a hyper-reaction. they overreact.
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>> there needs to be systems in place so that the police officers have to conduct themselves in a way no matter who they're policing. >> it was very important to change that attitude. we have made tremendous progress. i think you have to build trust every day. policing can't just be about an absence of crime. it's got to be about a presence of justice. >> these things that happens to black men is something no one should go through. >> all in their own words. it's a tough conversation. but you know what? maybe we need to have uncomfortable conversations like that. when we return, back to the war against terrorists. and the u.s. drone program that many see as being every bit as wrong as the controversial interrogation tactics that we're debating today. rescued. protected. given new hope. during the subaru "share the love" event, subaru owners feel it, too. because when you take home a new subaru,
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and welcome and welcome back. taking on the threat posed by terrorism is now one of the top priorities of any american president. and president obama has adopted a different approach from his predecessor, george w. bush. while he has gradually withdrawn u.s. troops from iraq and afghanistan, he has rapidly escalated america's drone war. it's a highly controversial tactic aimed at taking out terrorist targets without
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military casualties. but critics argue it's killed thousands of innocent civilians in yemen and pakistan. here's our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel. >> reporter: it's become the weapon of choice in the war against islamic terrorists. a u.s. drone flies over a target thousands of miles away. the cia tracks the location, receives authorization, pushes a button, and a small missile is fired. but some are asking whether years from now we'll debate drones the way we're debating torture. >> the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles that you refer to as drones in the counterterrorism effort has done tremendous work to keep this country safe. >> reporter: the cia's clandestine fleet of armed drones has become central to its counterterrorism mission. the secretive nature of the program means no one can tell for sure how many of the estimated 3500 people killed
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mostly in pakistan and yemen were insurgents and how many were innocent civilians. >> in u.s. public opinion, there is greater support for killing people than torturing them. >> reporter: why? >> it's hard to know why. i think we believe that individuals we can see with this high technology precise discriminate weapons platform is better at identifying who they are. but in fact, most of the individuals who we kill, we have much less information about than the individuals -- the 119 captured. >> reporter: mike azenco has been following and criticizing the drone program for years. >> one of the reasons the cia became so active in drone strikes was out of concern that they would be prosecuted for torture. >> reporter: so they were worried about holding them and torturing them and decided, eh, it's better just to kill them instead? >> this is what the cia's response to the torture report makes very clear. >> reporter: in the past 12 years, the u.s. has launched hundreds of drone missions. about 50 under president bush,
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an estimated 400 under president obama. >> the use of drones is heavily constrained. america does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists. our preference is always to detain, interrogate and prosecute. >> reporter: polls show about 70% of americans support the drone program. why? why is it more acceptable and more popular to kill people than to hold them and torture them? >> antiseptic drone strikes, which is the video image you see from the pentagon, torture is something we feel directly and personally and we think is morally wrong. >> reporter: but there is nothing antiseptic about a missile that hits a village. so as officials do the rounds to admonish the previous administration for condoning the secret torture program, they will do well to keep in mind that old saying about glass houses and stones.
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>> richard engel is in studio with me now. richard, first of, it's good to have you stateside. >> good to be here. >> december visit here. what's creating more terrorists? the bush interrogation program or obama's drone program? >> creating more terrorists? >> yeah. >> it's very hard to know. people are radicalized -- >> there's worry that both do that. that both can radicalize people. >> there's a whole history of why people are being radicalized. it goes back to u.s. support for israel, what's considered to be a war against islam. but the drone war is certainly part of it. the torture program is certainly part of it. i don't know if you can say one is more influential and creating more of a problem than the other. >> now, you were telling me before, and you didn't bring it up in the piece, that there is -- there's obviously various ways that the drone program is used, you know, going after a known terrorist. there's no other way to get them and they kill that terrorist. but then there's something you say that are called signature strikes. tell me about them. >> these are probably the most morally problematic.
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and there's a desire right now to criticize the previous administration for its morally questionable practices. this administration is carrying out some morally questionable practices. >> signature strikes. >> signature strikes are those. so there's two ways to carry out a drone strike. the -- you follow the target. you know who that person is. you know more or less what they've done or what they're accused of doing. you watch them for weeks, months. you find the right location, where they are. you order the drone strike. and they're killed. or they get away. signature strike is very different. signature strike, you follow a target, but you don't exactly know who that person is. you just know their signature, their profile. and if they have the profile of a terrorist, that's good enough. so if a vehicle, a pickup has four or five people in it, they're driving from a known al qaeda headquarters, they look like terrorists. but we don't know exactly who they are. >> this is where we're going to
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find out -- ten years from now, we could find out we killed innocents. >> and i know people who are involved in these kinds of programs, and they're worried about that saying well, we're being asked to do this. we're being told it's legal. are we going to face some sort of persecution and prosecution down the road? >> richard engel, chief foreign correspondent, as i said, good to have you here for your december visit. stay safe, my friend. be back in less than a minute. big battle in washington over the weekend. and it may wind up playing a big role in the 2016 presidential race. we'll be right back. cleans so mr it meets even the highest standards of clean. with a soft duraclean texture, charmin ultra strong is 4 times stronger. and you can use up to 4x less. charmin ultra strong. don't settle for 4g lte coverage that's smaller or less reliable when only one network is america's largest and most reliable 4g lte network: verizon. with xlte, our 4g lte bandwidth has doubled in over 400 cities. and now, save without settling. get 2 lines with 10gb of data for just $110... ...or 4 lines for just $140. and get a $150 bill credit for each smartphone you switch.
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pieces. >> welcome back. the panel is here. cruz and warren, by the way, they both voted no. we had bipartisan support for this deal, andrea, bipartisan opposition. strange bedfellows. we just painted them there. both could run in 2016. >> indeed. it was so interesting that i was watching c-span on a saturday night, ridiculous. >> we all probably were. >> 40 votes against this, 20 and 20. the two party wings. and you've got afterwards people are not being very -- you know, vocal with democrats against elizabeth warren. there's a lot of angst about that. this was a deal negotiated by harry reid and barbara mikulski, and she went against it. let's just talk about ted cruz for a second. bob corker, orrin hatch, lindsey graham, putting out statements criticizing ted cruz because, they say, he kept the senate in and gave the democrats, gave the white house, confirmation votes on nominations that they wouldn't have had if they had gone home a couple of days ago.
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>> it's interesting, both cruz and warren went about their opposition in different ways. david axelrod, i want you to respond to this. an anonymous aide saying this. if this party can't accommodate its clinton era folks and its warrenites, we're headed for trouble. do you think this party can unite those two wings of the party? >> i do if secretary clinton comes out. >> move towards elizabeth warren. >> and i think she will. let me say one thing about ted cruz. i think he was delighted to be attacked by washington. >> sure. >> he got everything he wanted out of that. >> by the way, two years ago when ted cruz shut down the government, everybody said cruz is finished. his career is finished. he's overshot. and republicans were saying this is going to be damaging to our prospects in 2014. well, we did just fine in 2014. >> look at the 2016 primary. >> ted cruise, i think, will be very competitive in the republican primaries. i'm not saying i'm for cruz. i'm simply saying it's difficult to say that this has set him back. and it's also difficult to argue
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that it set the party back. >> what if clinton becomes elizabeth warren -- >> she doesn't have to become warren, but she has to have a more popular economic forum. >> helene, what does this mean for how washington will work in 2016? is this just a preview of crazy things to come? >> of course, it's going to be even crazier. i'm really looking forward to the security battle. yeah. i wouldn't want to work there, but i also wouldn't want to see how -- >> you're not the only one. >> -- they shut down this agency that's going to end up being enforcing all of our border controls which i think is going to be very interesting to see how the republicans tie themselves up in that. >> by the way, if you're president obama this morning, you're getting most of your budget, and they're sort of doing a happy dance over there at the white house. >> they're pretty happy. >> i think they got more than what they expected. >> yes. but i think even more interesting is why is andrea spending her saturday nights on c-span? the second time in a row that you've told me this. >> but this program set me up for "homeland" tonight. >> david, go ahead. >> let me just point out, dan, i think 2016's much different than 2014. if ted cruz makes a stand on immigration, i think he's going to doom his party for one more
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presidential cycle. >> look, i agree. i'm not saying cruz is our ticket. it could be barry goldwater before it's all over. i'm simply saying the politics for him in the republican primary poll -- >> i totally agree on that. >> right. >> very quickly, speaking of republican party, this morning jeb bush does an interview with an old miami staple, grown up in miami, michael putney was the tim russert of miami politics and all this stuff. he's retiring. congratulations, by the way, to michael. he gets this interview and jeb announces he's going to release all these e-mails, write a book. that's a guy running for president, no? >> i think he's going to run. and by the way -- >> six weeks ago, now i do. >> this is fascinating -- republicans have not had a primary like this in decades. it's wide open. a lot of 800-pound gorillas in the race. >> look at the jim baker quote. he's running. >> that's all for today. quite a show. we'll be back next week, because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
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