tv Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson ABC September 24, 2017 10:00am-10:30am EDT
sharyl: we're invited to board military fast boats. it's the safest way to see the worst areas. was the fighting yesterday related to the kidnappings or something different? gen. sobejana: yes, it's part of our rescue effort. sharyl: fighting abu sayyaf? gen. sobejana: fighting abu sayyaf. sharyl: islamic separatists have been using violence to try to break away and establish an islamic state. gene yu: these guys are battle-hardened fighters or terrorists that have survived essentially the war going head to head with western military and special operations. scott: rome, one of the oldest cities in europe. but in this current global war
unscathed. so why so safe, so far? giampiero massolo was head of italian intelligence. to fight today's terrorists, they're using lessons learned combating another group -- the mafia. giampiero massolo: and this is something we learned eute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] sharyl: welcome to "full measure." i'm sharyl attkisson. it's hard to believe, but we are now 16 years into the global war on terror. today, there are some signs of success in the middle east against the islamic extremists known as isis. u.s. and coalition forces have retaken iraq's capital, mosul, from isis hands. and the terrorists are losing ground in syria.
but knocking down isis in one spot means their battled-hardened fighters are turning up in new places you probably haven't heard much about. that happened this summer, when isis-linked insurgents joined established islamic extremists in the philippines. we went to southeast asia and the islands of the southern philippines region of mindanao, where kidnappings, firefights, and the threat of terrorism is growing. these tropical islands and pristine beaches disguise a dangerous reality. after our nighttime arrival in a province called mindanao in the southern philippines, we're riding in a caravan guarded by armed security forces. mindanao is the target of u.s. state department travel warnings due to terrorist fighting and kidnappings. this is zamboanga city, which is under martial law as the country attempts to contain islamic extremist violence, which has been bubbling up recently.
we were invited to board military fast boats accompanied by heavily armed commandos. it's the safest way to see the worst areas. our guide is a hero in this longstanding war against islamic extremist terrorists, general lito sobejana. he heads up a joint task force of the philippine military. today, the general and his men are actively working to save more than a dozen kidnap victims held by islamic extremists. the day before, one of the general's men was shot and six terrorists killed. was the fighting yesterday related to the kidnappings or something different? gen. sobejana: yes, it's part of our rescue effort. sharyl: the battle actually goes back decades. gen. sobejana: that island is the island province of basilan. i was stationed there in the 1990's, and i was even wounded in that island. seriously wounded, because i had five gunshot wounds all over my body.
sharyl: fighting abu sayyaf? gen. sobejana: fighting abu sayyaf. sharyl: abu sayyaf is considered one of the most violent islamic jihadist groups, responsible for the philippines' worst terrorist attack, the 2004 bombing of a ferry that murdered 116 people. sobejana received the philippine medal of honor for his heroics in fighting abu sayyaf in the 1990's. two decades later, abu sayyaf is now said to be lining up with isis, prompting some to make the argument that islamic extremism in the philippines deserves more of the world's attention. gen. sobejana: we are now in the middle of the two islands of santa cruz. these islands are part of zamboanga. sharyl: earlier, we spoke with general sobejana at camp navarro, headquarters of the western mindanao command. could you explain in just a sentence or two to the american audience what the fighting is about? gen. sobejana: well, initially, we followed the ideology of
establishing islamic independence in mindanao. sharyl: islamic separatists here in the southern philippines, he says, have been using violence to try to break away and establish an islamic state. we're there when the general takes a call from the frantic wife of a hostage. if she doesn't pay ransom, the terrorists say they'll behead him. but there's a strict no ransom policy. isis didn't pioneer the notion of violently establishing an international islamic state, or caliphate. muslim extremists in mindanao have been conducting a terrorist campaign for an independent islamic state since the 1970's. gene yu: we've had reports and information coming in that there's been foreign fighters from saudi, from yemen, et cetera, down in mindanao for four years now. sharyl: gene yu is a former green beret with u.s. special forces, supporting philippine troops fighting the terrorists. he now helps run a private security firm here. he says with isis losing its footing in iraq and syria,
seasoned fighters fleeing the mideast are now showing up in the philippines, where there are many sympathizers. gene yu: these guys are battle-hardened fighters or terrorists that have survived essentially the war going head to head with western military and special operations. these people are not dumb. okay, they're not incompetent fighters, right? to survive that long, only the best guys have survived that long. sharyl: in may, fighting escalated when hundreds of terrorists attacked the philippine army in the region's island city of marawi, population 200,000. civilians were taken hostage, thousands fled, nearly the entire city was later evacuated. after months of fighting, 400 terrorists were dead. so were more than 100 civilians and philippine troops. after the latest siege in marawi, the philippines has requested additional support from america in its ongoing fight against islami
at a recent hearing in the u.s., joints chiefs of staff vice chairman general paul selva suggested that with isis now moving into the philippines, it might be time for a new commitment. or else, he said, there would be a possible long-term catastrophe. gen. selva: in every case where we see that the resurgence of terror networks, particularly in the fragile areas of the southern philippines, i think it's worth considering whether or not we reinstate a named operation. sharyl: the ongoing battle is what prompted philippine president rodrigo duterte to declare emergency martial law in may in the muslim-majority region. it allows the military to act as the police and to make arrests without warrants. the declaration of martial law has sparked some criticism, both in the philippines and internationally. we were there in july when their congress voted overwhelmingly to extend martial law through the end of the year.
martial law on the streets of zamboanga from people actually living under the terrorist threat. do you support the martial law? >> yes, for the peace and order in this country, especially mindanao. sharyl: do most people support martial law, do you think, most people who live here? >> yes. sharyl: this man sells pork at a local market and worries about terrorists coming from the mideast and connecting with local groups like abu sayyaf. >> this martial law here in the philippines, in mindanao, is favorable for us. sharyl: here in the southern philippines, there are places where tourists and locals can't move freely without fear of being snatched off the street by muslim terrorist thugs who raise money demanding ransom. the beheading of this canadian tourist last year sparked international outrage. four more victims were captured right before our visit. gen. sobejana: well, right now, in my area of responsibility, that is the whole province of basilan, there are 20. it used to be
sharyl: kidnapped? gen. sobejana: kidnap victims, yes, and we are trying our best effort to rescue them safely. we have the policy of no ransom, so we do not allow ransom money to get into the hands of the abductors. sharyl: he knows where the terrorists are, he says, but can't simply blow them up because they hide among their wives, children, and community. meantime, general sobejana continues in his third decade of fighting a familiar and brutal enemy. we've talked to some observers sharyl: we've talked to some observers who really want this to get under control because they fear people like the islamic state and other extremists could see this as an opening, this region, to come in and spread more ideologically-based violence here. do you worry about that happening?
gen. sobejana: well, i think there are indicators that they are here already. sharyl: should we be worried about that? gen. sobejana: well, i think we should do something about this, so that their number will not become large. sharyl: they're working to keep a migrating threat in the war on terror from establishing a new beachhead in southeast asia. as for the battleground in the city of marawi, after three months of fighting, philippine troops have retaken control. the government estimates it will cost over a billion dollars to rebuild what the islamic terrorists destroyed. ahead on "full measure" -- so far, there's one country in europe that's largely escaped attacks by islamic terrorists. scott thuman takes us there and explains the unusual reason why.
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sharyl: terror attacks in western europe have seen a huge surge over the past two years. since 2015, there have been 53 attacks, way up from just two in 2014. horrific tragedies in france, britain, and belgium come to mind. but one country, to date, has been largely spared. our scott thuman traveled to italy and found some remarkable reasons why. scott: rome, one of the oldest cities in europe, called the eternal city, it has survived the rise and fall of empires. but in this current global war on terror, it has remained unscathed.
so why so safe, so far? how much of it, you would say, is good work and intelligence, and how much of it is good luck? giampiero massolo: well, in life, you always need luck, so it's an inevitable combination actually. scott: giampiero massolo was italy's director of intelligence from 2012 to 2016. he says the way current terrorist organizations operate is similar in some respects to another group they've been fighting for decades -- the mafia. and that experience is paying off. italy monitors suspects closely, has constant and open communication with police at the local level and, a key tool, wire and phone taps can be approved at lightning speed. giampiero: all the process is fairly quick, and this is something that we learned exactly from domestic terrorists, and from mafia, we developed these kinds of things. scott: and without some of the
strictures of other european nations, like germany or belgium, highly sensitive to people's privacy and often reluctant to surveil or tap citizens. after they find potential targets, or threats, the italians employ another fast tactic -- deportation. giampiero: we conduct a very severe policy of expulsions. that is, we kick off people from this country in a very early stage. we don't wait. better sooner than later. scott: and when you decide to deport someone, to kick them out, you can do it pretty quickly, can't you? giampiero: yep. scott: italy, and specifically the vatican, has long been under threat. and isis has made no secret of its desire to hit the country. in fact, just last year, the terror group renamed its online magazine "rumiyah." translation -- rome. the police and military presence in rome seems overwhelming, from the coliseum
fountain, tourists are blatantly reminded of the threat, and would-be attackers, reminded of the forces they would face, between serious-minded soldiers and a serious array of security cameras. and ironically, there is another mafia factor at play, nicola pedde of the institute for global studies says, that is protecting the country. nicola pedde: italy has a very strict regulation with respect to firearms. and so, if you don't have a legal capacity to buy and to hold firearms, the only chance is to resort to the organized criminality. scott: so, if a jihadist or a sympathizer, someone radicalized, wanted to get their hands on weapons illegally, they might have to go to organized crime families or the mafia to get them, and that family may say no. nicola pedde: yes. 90%, they will have to refer to them.
scott: the muslim community, as a whole, also has a peculiar position in italy. despite more than a million followers living here, islam is not recognized as an official religion, which makes opening schools or community centers more difficult. the minaret at the grand mosque is the only symbol of muslim faith you'll see in the roman skyline. but one leader says that's all the more reason for muslims to be peaceful, with hopes of winning over government skeptics. so to be a good muslim, you said, you also have to be a good italian? salah ramadan elsayed: yes, according to the koran. scott: imam salah ramadan elsayed says efforts to maintain a peaceful reputation for muslims in italy is critical work. and sometimes that work takes him behind bars, where radicalization can occur. salah ramadan elsayed: it's very important to the imam to visit prisoners, to reach them. you are eating here and you are drinking the water of italy, so you must be loyal to italy. sc
going to prisons, by speaking to people and teaching them not only to love islam, but also to love italy. salah ramadan elsayed: yeah, to be integrated. scott: it prevents radicalization, it prevents attacks? salah ramadan elsayed: yes, it helps very much. scott: the lack of attacks against italy may also be partially due to its reduced combat role in the anti-islamic state coalition. and maybe, by avoiding the accusations and labels that might make them a target. are you saying that italy doesn't make as many enemies? nicola pedde: if you look, for example, the case of, italy with respect to groups like hezbollah. hezbollah is not recognized as a terrorist entity in italy, or the muslim brotherhood. so our position is quite different from most of the others. scott: are you surprised that you've been so successful so far? nicola pedde: you know, we live day by day, and so we are sober enough to think that sooner or later, but until now it didn't happen.
sharyl: but italy is targeted by isis, right? scott: giamperro massolo, the former head of intelligence, tells me not only would italians be very surprised if they had any clue how many plots have been foiled, he says they'd also be quite proud of what the intelligence agencies have done, but never made public. sharyl: interesting. great piece, scott. thank you. coming up on "full measure" -- it's a critical week for the effort to repeal and replace obamacare. we'll hear from senator lindsey graham, an architect of the plan.
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sharyl: after a humiliating defeat for republicans last july, a potential vote on capitol hill this week may be their last best chance to repeal and replace obamacare this year. senator lindsey graham is leading the effort. we asked him to break it down for us. sen. graham: obamacare is collapsing and it'll never work. the more government control over your healthcare, the less voice you'll have. 70% of the counties have no provider under obamacare. i want to take the money we would have spent on obamace,
block grant it to the states. under obamacare, four states get 40% of the money. new york, california, maryland, and massachusetts, they're 20% of the population. under our bill, every state, by 2026 will get the same contribution from the federal government, no matter what state you live in. that's called parity. sharyl: will that save money? critics might say you're still spending the money, you're just administering it differently. sen. graham: well, obamacare is growing about 8% a year, which is unsustainable. so what we do is we block grant the money. we leave in place the taxes on the wealthy. we eliminate the medical device tax. we'll eliminate the individual mandate and the employer mandate. that's $250 billion over a decade we save. we take the rest of the money, put it in a formula as i described, to achieve parity by 2020. that's the block grant, can't go up, can't go down. we put a cap on spending for the first time ever. you got three choices left -- prop up obamacare, which is gonna fail, go down the berniecare road, which is
full-blown single-payer healthcare, or the block grant approach, getting the money and power to the state where you live. those are the three choices left to the republican party. what do we believe? the democrats know where they're going. the question for us, do we know where we are going? >> the patient protection and affordable care act is passed. [applause] sen. graham: they voted to pass obamacare on christmas eve. barack obama moved heaven and earth to pass his bill. harry reid pulled every trick out of the book. have we, has mitch mcconnell, has donald trump, shown the same zeal to repeal obamacare? sharyl: if this were to fail, is it over? what happens? sen. graham: here's my view. if we don't pass this, if we don't fight for the block grant approach, you're on the road to single-payer healthcare, because obamacare's gonna collapse. and if i were president trump, i would not prop up the system that can never work. so this is the last best chance
to repeal and replace obamacare. i want to send the money and power back home. i thought, as republicans, we believed in local control. i thought we believe that government closest to the people is the best government. i believe that. why not healthcare closest to the patient? under obamacare, if you don't like it, who do you complain to, sharyl? i mean, who do i complain to if i don't like my obamacare? you can complain to me, but i don't run obamacare, it's some bureaucrat you'll never meet. if this a state-run program, then you can complain to your state house representative, to your governor, and they will listen to you, because they care about your vote. sharyl: what is wrong, taking a critic's viewpoint, with single-payer healthcare? something that would cover everybody. why isn't that a viable option? sen. graham: well, look at the v.a. what happens when you have a monopoly in the private sector or the public sector? what happens when there's no competition, there's only one game in town? people get lazy, people get indifferent, innovation's taken out of the system. the thing about the block grant is that 50 states will experiment with what works best for them.
california's different than south carolina. somebody will figure out efficient healthcare and the other states will begin to copy. under obamacare, there's no innovation required because you just keep printing money. sharyl: the graham-cassidy repeal bill does have some support. president trump said he'd sign it. house majority leader paul ryan he'll bring it to a vote and thinks it will pass. but the democrats' senate minority leader chuck schumer says not so fast. sen. schumer: millions will lose coverage. no guarantee of pre-existing condition. and an end to medicaid as we know it. tens of millions of people could well lose coverage. people who desperately need essential services would lose it. our republican colleagues don't seem to care about how this affects the average american. sharyl: the deadline for the vote is september 30th, this saturday.
sharyl: an update now to our investigation "a sprinkle of doubt," that examined whether talc in baby powder can cause cancer. a los angeles jury has awarded a 63-year-old woman with terminal ovarian cancer a record $417 million. our story a few months back looked at a different case, deane berg, the first patient to sue johnson & johnson and win. she used talcum powder almost every
age 49. deane: they took my pathology report and my slides with my tissue and did further research on it, and it came back definitely showing talcum in my ovaries. sharyl: not all alleged victims have won their lawsuits. but three others were recently awarded $197 million after arguing johnson & johnson knew about "30 years of studies showing an increased risk of ovarian cancer," yet failed to warn the public. johnson & johnson plans to appeal the latest verdict and says its products are safe and supported by decades of scientific evidence and that studies linking talc to cancer are flawed. thousands of lawsuits are pending. next week on "full measure" -- republican ken buck is speaking out of school about the shocking, transactional nature of washington politics. rep. buck: it surprised me when i got here. this place is really shocking. to see the influence that money has in politics. sharyl:
>> from washington d.c. and around the world, this is "government matters" with francis rose. >> thanks for watching the weekend edition of matters." the only show covering the latest news, trends, and topics that matter to the business of government. >> i'm your host, francis rose. >> i'm your host francis rose. >> modernizationing technology act appears to be heading to president donald trump for signature in one form or another, it passed the house in may, and it made to the senate. it is likely that the cio's will have new tools to