Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  April 4, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

10:00 pm
10:01 pm
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> michael morrell is here. he was the deputy director of the cia from 2010-2013. twice he served as acting director.
10:02 pm
he was president george w. bush's briefer in the 9/11 attacks. yesterday, he testified before the house intelligence committee about his role in creating the cia talking points following the benghazi consulate attacks. >> i believe the facts in my written statement that neither i nor anyone else at the cia worked to alter the analysis or the talking points in a way that compromised our responsibility to the american people. we did not deliberate downplay the role of terrorists in the benghazi attack in our analysis or in the talking points. and neither i nor anyone at the
10:03 pm
agency downplayed any aspect of the tragedy of the attack at benghazi. mr. chairman, none of what i just said should be interpreted to mean that we at the cia did no organization ever does. >> i am pleased to have michael morrell at the table for the first time. i also take note of the fact that he is a contributing analyst at cbs where i work.
10:04 pm
i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time. welcome. >> it is great to be here. >> we want to talk about what you testified and what you hope to accomplish by that testimony. let me begin from the beginning. what was your job when you first heard about benghazi? >> i was the number two at the central intelligence agency. i was dave petraeus' number two at the time. they woke me up the first time to tell me about the attack on the state department complex and by the time they woke me up, they told me about the attack. they told us that our officers on the base in benghazi had gone to the state department facility to help rescue the state department folks and that they had brought them back to our
10:05 pm
compound, where there was a second attack that our officers repulsed. then they told me everything was quiet. at that point, i went back to bed only to be woken up a few hours later by my staff to be told that our facility was under attack for a second time, this time with much heavier weapons that included mortars. >> what did you do? >> what i did was -- we have an instant messaging capability on our computer system. i chatted with air chief of station in tripoli for about two hours. i wanted to make sure that he had everything he needed. there was nothing i could do to help him that was not being done, and i wanted him to know i was thinking about him and his officers. i chatted with him for almost two hours. >> at that time, did you believe this was simply a protest that
10:06 pm
morphed into something? a plan to attack? where did you know -- or did you know? >> at that point, we had no idea who the attackers were or what happened. one of the things that happened that night is that there were three attacks. each one got progressively more sophisticated. the first one was really a group of guys who broke into the state department facility. some of them were armed, some of them not. clearly no command in control. clearly no military tactics. many of them running by buildings, in buildings, many of them going into buildings and running out with things. they are stealing an xbox in one case, a man's suit in another. trying to break down doors and almost a comical way. they are unable to. the first attack seems to be a group of guys, extremists, no doubt about it. some associated with al qaeda. just putting together an ad hoc attack.
10:07 pm
they light some fires that end up killing the ambassador and a state department vindicator. the first attack at the cia facility, which occurs as soon as our officers and state department officers come back to that facility from the state department facility. that first attack is with small arms and rpg's. it goes on for about half an hour. it is definitely military-style. they are definitely trying to kill americans. we drive them away. about three and a half or four hours later, there is the third attack and this time they come back and again, very military style, very organized, and this time they bring mortars. the mortars -- they fire five mortars. there are a couple of direct hits on the roof of where our officers are in fighting positions and that is where the two additional deaths occurred. >> what do you believe now, in terms of the attack?
10:08 pm
>> what i believe is that there was little to no preplanning. i don't believe that this was planned weeks or months in advance. i think that extremists, definitely with an al qaeda ideology, saw what happened in cairo -- >> there had been a protest about the film. >> several hours earlier that day where they had gotten into the embassy compound and did some damage. i think these guys in benghazi, extremist, al qaeda ideology, saw that and said they could do the same thing here. they got on the phone and try to rally people -- >> to take a protest that they could take advantage of? >> to attack the state department facility. let's get inside and cause trouble like our brothers and cairo. i would be careful here. i would say they are definitely
10:09 pm
extremists, they are definitely al qaeda ideology. we know from intelligence that some of them were al qaeda affiliates. not the whole group. that is the first attack. i think that is how the first attack happens. the second attack happens with these extremists following back to our base the people who leave the state department facility. they pick up heavier weapons and some of the more hard-core guys do the following. that is why it is a more military-style assault. you have a gap in time where i think they were driven away by our officers at our facility the first time and i think they said to themselves, let's go get some heavier weapons. it could make a difference and they came back with mortars. they made a difference. i think it played out that way. >> there is with the chief of
10:10 pm
station in tripoli said. what did he say? >> the me walk you through the timeline. it is very important. on the 12th of september, which is the day after the night of the attack, we collect some information. it includes press reports and some intelligence that says there was a protest ongoing outside the state department facility at the time of the attack. there was not a single piece of information that our analysts had in their hands at that time that said there was not a protest. when they wrote their piece on the 12th that was published the morning of the 13th for senior policymakers, they concluded that it was a protest that evolved into an attack. >> important to say, based on newspaper accounts they read primarily? >> based on press reports coming out of libya and intelligence. >> they said they believe it is
10:11 pm
a protest in the beginning? >> the analyst said, and there is an interesting piece of this, the analyst said, they wrote, we think that this was a protest that spontaneously evolved into an attack. what they really thought, which makes it sound, charlie, as if the analysts thought the protesters became the attackers, right? that is not what they believed. they were not as precise as they should have been. what they actually believed is that the extremists that i talked about took advantage of the protest and used it as cover to conduct the attack. the proper words would have been, the extremists opportunistically used the protest to conduct the assault. that is what they really thought when they wrote that piece on the morning of the 13.
10:12 pm
>> did they say these things, our analysis could change? >> absolutely. at a something they always say in those situations. these things happen and the information flow changes constantly. they wrote that on the 12th. it was published on the 13th. on the 13th, more information comes in reinforcing the judgment that there was a protest. >> from? >> from press reports and intelligence. including a piece of intelligence from our own station. in tripoli. sent in a piece of intelligence that said there was a protest. the first time the analysts at langley hear there was not a protest is a piece that our station sent in on the 14th.
10:13 pm
what that piece said was our officers in benghazi -- when they went to assist their state department colleagues at the state department facility, they did not see a protest. that is the first time our analysts heard that. >> which means there was either not a protest or the protesters had gone somewhere else. >> the analysts concluded our guys did not get there until about an hour after the attack started. the analysts concluded that there could have been a protest, but it could have easily dissipated by that time. they did not see that piece of intelligence on the 14th saying there was no protest, at all compelling. >> the role of the chief of station is to report to analysts
10:14 pm
so they can make a judgment at langley, or is the role of the chief of station in the cia to provide the best analysis he can, because he is on the ground and perhaps his sources and observational point is better? >> that is an important question. two sides of the central intelligence agency. an operational side whose primary job is to collect intelligence for policymakers to use and for analysts to use. the other side of the agency is the analytic side, the side i grew up on. job of the analytic side of the agency is to make the analytic calls. a chief of station's information flows into that. a chief of station's views flow into that. it is the analysts that make the call. even the director and deputy director do not make the call. >> what does that mean? >> make the judgment about what happened. there were plenty of times mike erwin the analyst said to my here's what we think, and i disagree. but my job as deputy director or acting director was to represent the analysts' view to the
10:15 pm
president and senior policymakers. occasionally i would say, here is what the analyst think, but here is what i think as well. sometimes i would say, here's what the analysts think, mr. president, but you also need to know that the chief of station has a different view. the chief of station, whose primary job is to collect intelligence, is allowed to have a view. one of the important things we do with the agency is we allow chiefs of station to write their own analysis and disseminated to policymakers as their own view. >> but you side with the analysts as opposed to the chief of station? >> one of the confusing things at the hearing yesterday was somehow that i was the decision-maker. the analysts are saying one thing and the chief of station was saying another and i was the guy to make the call. no.
10:16 pm
the analysts get to make the call. i happen to agree with them. >> when they made the call they were looking at the chief of station, what he said. they had seen that and it was incorporated into his final decision? >> again, to be precise, when they wrote their analysis that was published on the 13th, they did not have anything from the chief of station saying there was no protest. >> he only delivered on the 14th. >> his officers on the $.15 that one piece in and he sent in another piece on the 15th to me and another set of officers that said, i don't know why you guys are calling this a protest because i don't think it was. i paid attention to that. one of the narratives on fox is that i ignored this. >> this is why i'm going through it moment by moment.
10:17 pm
>> i did not ignore it. i read what he said. i recognized immediately the discrepancy between what he was saying and what the analysts were saying. he provided, at that moment, he provided two data points. the first is, there are press reports saying there was no protest. i thought, there are other reports saying there were a protest. that did not make a lot of sense to me. the second thing he said was that our officers in benghazi, when they got to the state department did not see a protest. again, that was not compelling for the reason i explained the earlier. so i went back to him. my executive assistant communicated with him, and said, can you provide more evidence, more reasoning, more logic as to why you think there was not a protest? this is important. >> what is the day of this? >> saturday. the day i edited the talking
10:18 pm
points. that is why it is so important. he takes 24 hours, which is a very short period of time. he sent in a much longer piece explaining why he did not think there was a protest. >> it goes to you? >> it went to me, it went to the analysts, and i sent it today to petraeus. i wanted him to know what was going on. immediately, on sunday morning when i got his longer analysis of why he did not think there was a protest, i immediately turned to the analysts and said, here. does this change your view in any way? now what do you think?
10:19 pm
i was basically saying to them, the guy on the ground has a view. what do you think? i was pushing them a little bit. realizing it was ultimately their call. they took the rest of that sunday to write a response to the director and to me, saying that we hear what the chief of station is saying, but we still believe there is a protest. >> and that out of that protest, it became an attack? or there was a protest, and then there was an attack that happened to occur simultaneously? >> they were standing by their original language, which implied the protesters became the attackers. which is not what they really believed. >> it was a bad choice of language? >> bad choice of words. which i said yesterday in my written statement. they totally agree. they come back sunday night and say, we looked at all of this. we're sticking with the protest
10:20 pm
judgment. then on the 18th -- >> this is sunday night. >> this is sunday night. susan has already been on the shows on sunday. that is sunday night. that is the 16th. the 17th is monday. the 18th is tuesday. on the 18th, the libyans come to us and say, hey. we got the video from the state department security cameras at the state department facility and we looked at it. we did not see any protests. the station reported that immediately to washington. when the analysts saw that, they said to themselves, we have to rethink this. >> did they rethink it and say, yes? >> cia analysts immediately said, i think we are wrong. let's fix it. one of the things that it's important to know here is that original judgment that the protest evolved spontaneously into the attack, was not only cia's judgment. that was coordinated across the intelligence community. >> the entire national security community in washington?
10:21 pm
>> the intelligence community. the national counterterrorism center. the dia. it was an intelligence community judgment, not just the cia. when our analysts on the 18th, charlie, said, we don't think there is a protest anymore because the libyans have told us what they saw on the video, they had a hard time convincing the rest of their intelligence community colleagues because the rest of the colleagues wanted to see the video before they changed the judgment. that is why it took four days. >> there was a strong opinion that there was a demonstration? >> yes. >> what were you hearing from the cia, but from sources in libya? what were they saying? was it only after they saw the video where they reporting what they thought, or were they early on saying to you and to the cia, this was an attack, not a demonstration?
10:22 pm
>> there are a couple of things that are important. in those first couple of days, all of the information is about a protest. >> 12, 13, 14. >> the 12th and 13th primarily. the information comes in that there is a protest. the 14th has the piece of information on the guys on the ground. the 16th, again chief of station. what was missing? this is important. i think folks yesterday got confused a little by this. what is missing were the observations of the guys who are actually on the ground, the state department guys. the guys who were at the state department facility when the attack for started. their observations were missing. by this point, they were out of the country and they were in germany.
10:23 pm
they were going to be interviewed by the fbi. why were they going to be interviewed by the fbi? because the fbi opened an investigation into the deaths of four americans. one of the critiques of cia is, why did you not pick up the phone and call the state department guys and asked them, was there a protest? the answer to that question is twofold. number one, we don't allow our analysts to be investigators. i don't want my analysts to be picking up the phone and calling people around the world and asking them questions. number two, and even more important, is the fbi would not have been happy if the cia were interviewing witnesses to a crime before the fbi could interview them. >> but this is national security at stake here. are you viewing this as a crime?
10:24 pm
>> the u.s. government is viewing this as a crime. >> it doesn't have to be an analyst. when you or someone say, look. going to david petraeus' office and say, we don't know what these guys who were there are saying. we have to find out. you pick up the phone and say, we need to know. we are not trying to get on their turf, but this is very important. credibility is at stake here. great question. >> you are absolutely right. when i was acting director the second time. after dave left and before john came, i asked that we do two lessons learned on this. one on the talking points and
10:25 pm
one lesson learned on the analysis. one of the conclusions of the lessons learned on analysis, which i agree 100% width, is the analysts should have pushed for more information. >> you're asking them to major -- to make a judgment and they do not have the information they need. people were on the ground and sought with their eyes. >> the fbi is waiting to interview them or have interviewed them and has not put out a report yet. we should push them. >> how did the talking points originate? did they originate from cia director dave petraeus deciding you wanted a summary? >> no. on friday the 14th, dave went to the house intelligence committee to give them a briefing on benghazi. that is friday. >> he goes to give a briefing to the house. >> at the end of the briefing, the committee asks for unclassified talking points that they could use in case they are asked questions about benghazi over the weekend.
10:26 pm
as they go home. dave said, yes. i will provide you with that. that is how the talking points started. >> what was on the talking points? >> they went through a tortured life. the first thing that happened was the talented director of terrorist analysis was with them at the briefing. she came back to the building and around noon, she personally wrote the document. the first draft of the talking points are pretty good. she then coordinated the talking points -- >> talking points for the members of the house intelligence committee to speak from when they go back to their constituents? >> correct. or to local media. we did not know at that point that susan was going to use them. we did not know that susan was
10:27 pm
going to be on the sunday shows. >> you did not know that susan rice is going to appear on the sunday shows until after she had appeared? >> correct. correct. >> she is obviously going to be questioned about this. somebody should have alerted somebody. isn't this a failure of communication? if she is going to be talking and asking questions on television, someone should have said, let's check in with the cia and make sure. you guys therefore say, why are we getting this? because susan rice will be appearing on television. >> we would not normally, routinely do this. >> you have never written talking points from a national security standpoint from the
10:28 pm
-- to write their own talking points? >> no. if they do that, they coordinate with us. that is my bottom line. cia should not be in the business of talking points. >> what does coordinate mean? >> i think the proper response to the committee's request should have been, you guys write the talking points. we will look at them for two things. one is to make sure you are not saying something classified, and to make sure you what you are saying is accurate. that is what we normally do. >> david petraeus goes back and writes the points, which is a -- are good. a reflection of what the thinking was. this was a consensus of what the
10:29 pm
company and was -- of the opinion was of the ca -- >> and the broader intelligence committee. the first sentence is, the protest evolved spontaneously into an attack. that same language is in there. and that original death -- original draft -- >> this was a cia document they gets to susan rice without you knowing about it. >> lemmie go through some of the history because that is the only way you can answer the question. the senior analyst writes the talking points. she sends them to our office of congressional affairs thinking that she is done, that it is over. thinking that -- >> our office of congressional affairs, meeting -- >> cia's office of congressional affairs. she said that their thinking they will send it to us. oh, we are done. what our office of congressional affairs does is get together with our office of public affairs and they sit down together and edit the talking points. they make some significant changes to the talking points
10:30 pm
without any substantive experts in the room. >> why did they do that? >> it was a mistake. >> what did they change? >> they took out the world al qaeda. >> why did they do that? >> they say it is a couple of things. they say they did not want to prejudge who actually conducted the attack as the fbi was just beginning its investigation. they also said it is the only way we know this because of classified sources. so it is technically classified to say al qaeda. they made other changes, but i don't quite remember. i don't remember there were any significant changes. they then coordinated it with the rest of the national security committee. they sent it to the state department, to the department of justice, the department of state, and the white house national security staff. there were a number of changes made.
10:31 pm
>> to you and david petraeus? >> they send them to dave, but not to me. >> so you never saw them? >> not at that time. they're being coordinated in the inner agency. changes are being suggested. the only substantive changes are being suggested by the fbi and state department. the white house suggest two changes, both of them editorial. when the director saw them, he asked that they add two things. he asked that they add language reflecting the significant warnings that we have provided in the months leading up to the attack and benghazi. we had been writing for months that the security situation in eastern libya in general and in benghazi in particular was deteriorating. he also asked that we add the fact that we sent a cable to cairo just hours before the mob attack in cairo, warning cairo embassy that it was coming.
10:32 pm
he wanted that added to the talking points as well. at this point, i still don't even know they exist, i don't know they have been asked for. >> the director has added to the talking points. >> i don't know that he is done this, right? >> so about 5:00 on a friday night, his chief of staff comes to me -- >> 5:00 on the night of -- >> friday night, the night before i edit the talking points. his chief of staff comes to me and says, i want to make sure that you have seen these. i want to make sure that you know about these. >> this is chief of staff to david petraeus. >> michael, i don't think you are in the loop on this. i think you need to be. he handed me the current version of the talking points. >> which included the additions by david petraeus. >> i looked at the talking
10:33 pm
points, read them, and immediately said to him, the warning language has to come out. why did i say that? because i sought as the cia beating its chest. >> a kind of, i tried to tell you. >> i saw it as the cia saying, we did our job. >> is that all that you changed? >> no. >> what else did you change? >> i took the word islamic out. it said that there were indications that islamic extremists participated in the attack. i took that out. two reasons. we were in the midst of violent demonstrations against the united states across the muslim world. because of this film. the last thing i wanted to do is say anything and talking points that might make that situation
10:34 pm
worse. that is why i took out the world -- word islamic. the second is a silly reason. i said to myself, what other kind of extremists are there in libya? certainly not catholic extremist. only islamic extremist. >> it is said that you took up about 50% of the memo. that is a lot. >> it is a lot. >> the warnings don't seem to sound -- you said, look, we try to warn them in cairo and in benghazi. >> i think it is probably a little over half of what i took out was the warning language. there was other stuff that i took out that if we had in front of us, i could walk you through each one. i will say this -- the talking points were not very good at the end. they were not very rich, they
10:35 pm
were not very robust. they were not great talking points. when dave petraeus saw them, he was the last one to put eyes on them. when he saw them, he said, these are not very good. >> did petraeus try to pull it back? >> no. >> he said, these are not very good. >> this is with his warnings taken out? did he ask you to justify that? >> was interesting is that when the chief of staff gave me the document and i reacted to the warning language, he never told me that the warning language is in there because the director had put it in there. then we went home and i.
10:36 pm
i did not know i was changing the director's work. the next morning, i come to work, saturday morning, and i hear that the state department is not happy about the warning language either. that morning, i do tell the director that the state department is not happy with the warning language in the talking points and i tell the director that i agree with him and i explain to him why. the chief of staff is standing right there. i don't remember exactly what he said, but he did not push back on keeping the warning language in. >> from what you just described to me and what susan rice reads before she goes on the show. is the white house and all involved? >> the final piece of the story is when i came in on saturday morning and was told, the state department is not happy with the talking points because of the warning light which.
10:37 pm
because of that, at this morning's deputies committee meeting, because of the state department's concerned, denis mcdonough said that he wanted to talk about the talking points at the deputies' meeting. it turns out that he never raised the talking points and so at the end of the meeting, i raised them. i said, i want to take a minute to talk about the talking points. i know that there are some concerns in the interagency about the talking points. i have my own concerns. i'm going to edit them and send them around to the deputies for one more look before we send them to the hill. that is how they got into the hands of senior officials at all of these agencies. at the deputies meeting. >> this brings up the idea that somehow these talking points were changed because the white house was in the midst of a campaign. >> correct.
10:38 pm
>> it did want to look like it was aware of the terrorism -- >> in the entire process i just talked about, the white house suggested three changes. three changes are all of them -- three changes. all of them were editorial. none of them were substantive. there have been allegations that the white house wrote the talking points. there've been allegations -- >> cooking the books? >> cooking the books. there have been allegations that the white house made significant changes to the talking points. not true. even that they told me to make changes. not true. none of that is true. none of it.
10:39 pm
>> there is also mccain and graham suggesting you're lying. >> yes. here's what happened. i am really sorry that they came away with this impression. i have many faults, but one of them is not lying. here is what happened. here's what happened. he white house asked me to join susan with a meeting with john mccain and senator graham. >> at what point? >> this is in november. this is sometime later. this is in november when she is being criticized by them and others for the way she handled herself on the sunday shows. the white house asked me to go -- she wanted to go talk to the three of them and hear their concerns and be responsive to them. >> she was under a lot of criticism at that time. there are also rumors that she would be nominated for secretary of state. >> she wanted to go up and have
10:40 pm
a conversation with them and try to deal with their concerns. the white house asked me to go with her to do one thing -- to simply say that what she said about the attacks of evolving spontaneously from a protest -- are consistent with the talking points, and the talking points are consistent with a classified analysis at the time. that is my job. i took them the talking points, and this is what the talking point said, and i took them a classified analysis, and i said here is the classified analysis said. it is almost word for word exactly the same. i wanted to show them there was no difference between the talking points she used in the classified analysis of what the analysts thought. >> that is a very important point, them. at that time, several days after
10:41 pm
her testimony, after being on the shows, then the question comes up with respect to her and to the committee is -- what did the cia -- the cia had not changed its opinion at the time or come to a correct judgment at that time about whether this was spontaneous or an organized attack. you are going to talk to graham and mccain -- >> that was later. that was in november. >> i see. >> that conversation was later. that was after we had changed the judgment. i took a lot of heat at that meeting for why the analysts would ever think there is a protest in the first place. one of the things that happen in a meeting was one of the senators, and i forget which one, asked who took al qaeda out
10:42 pm
of the talking points. i said, the fbi. that is what i thought at the time. i did not lie. i was wrong. why was i wrong? the fbi had made a significant change to the talking points, where they did not want to be too definitive about who did this. i just got them mixed up. i was wrong. when i got in the car to go from capitol hill back to langley, my head of office of congressional affairs said to me, i think you made a mistake. i said, if i made a mistake, let's fix it. we got back, we huddled in my office and thought i made a mistake. i told the director and he corrected the record within three hours.
10:43 pm
>> communicating that to -- >> to the staff members who work this. some people said that it took me 24 hours. not true. it took about three. some people said that i only did after the fbi called me and was angry about what i said. the fbi never called. the fbi was never angry with me about what i said. i corrected the record as soon as i knew i had made a mistake. there are not too many people in washington, charlie, who do that. ♪
10:44 pm
10:45 pm
>> the intelligence community seems to be a bit at odds with the senate committee on intelligence. the senate committee on intelligence decided today to release a report. the report is about conduct of the cia following 9/11. what can you tell us? >> it is a great question. this is a really important issue. i have read the senate intelligence committee's 6300 page report and i have read the agency's hundred or so page rebuttal.
10:46 pm
they are still classified, so i can't talk about them. i also made a commitment to chairman feinstein that we would not litigate this publicly. i want to live by that commitment, even though some are not doing that today. let me not talk about them, but give you my own personal views, charlie. it starts with -- it is very, very important for americans to understand the context in which the decision was made to subject detainees to these harsh interrogation tactics. that context was 9/11 had just happened. 3000 people had died. the threat reporting about another possible attack was sky-high. there were reports of attacks using possible nuclear weapons in the united states. we were concerned about the use of a nuclear weapon in new york city. the other part of the context at
10:47 pm
the time was that we had captured some senior al qaeda leaders, and they were proving very, very difficult to interrogate because they were so ideologically committed and they had counter-interrogation training. we were not getting anything out of them. we knew that they would know about these attacks. that context is very, very important. >> did you believe that if you tortured them they would tell you? >> i will get to that in a second. the second piece is that the cia did not do this on its own. this was done with significant policy oversight and approval. the president and the united states, as he talks about in his book, approved this program. >> president bush. >> president bush approved this
10:48 pm
program. there were also briefings to congress, to the leadership of the intelligence committees, about this program. what of the interesting things is that some of the very people who work resizing this program today are the ones who were briefed on a previously and did not oppose a. >> members of congress? >> members of congress. the third point people should understand is that the department of justice deemed that these techniques were legal. deemed that they were not a violation of domestic u.s. law and were not a violation of u.s. treaty obligations. they deemed that these techniques were not torture. it actually drives me crazy when people call it torture. >> you are saying we had legal justification to do what we did and not cross the line at all? >> whenever we crossed the line, and we did on several occasions, the cia voluntarily reported that to the department of justice. the department of justice investigated.
10:49 pm
>> cia also burned some of the video. >> calling it torture is saying that some of my officers tortured people. when my officers conducted these techniques, the department of justice said it was not torture. >> in their mind, it was not torture. >> exactly. the next point i want to make involves effectiveness. >> does this involve waterboarding? >> it does, and i will come back to. the next point is effectiveness. the effectiveness of this program has been questioned in generating unique intelligence. i believe the program was effective. i believe that having the senior
10:50 pm
al qaeda members in our detention was important. when we questioned one of them about the career that took us to bin laden, when we questioned him, he he denied knowing him. when he went back to his cell, we were monitoring him. we heard him tell other detainees, don't say anything about the courier. nobody say anything about the courier. that is important information. you get that information when you have these people in your detention. secondly, the techniques themselves -- >> you didn't get it from torturing him. you got it from the fact that you are monitoring his cell. >> correct. then we get to the techniques themselves. i really studied this. i believe the techniques were effective. i have looked at the information provided by the detainees prior to the techniques and the information provided after the use of techniques. >> there is an argument made by some that the detainees gave this information before they were tortured, the information that you now say was, in fact, important in finding connections and connecting dots that led you
10:51 pm
to both plots and osama bin laden. >> i will tell you that the information they provided prior to the techniques was limited, vague, nonspecific. after the techniques, volumes of information, specific, actionable. there is a big difference. this is why this is not easy. the people who say it was not effective want this to be easy. legal and effective. then you get to the morality question. you get to the question of, is it ok to do these kinds of things to other human beings? reasonable people can differ on that. there is a reasonable debate to be had. it is very important, i think, for the american people to understand that when you have that debate, about whether it is ok to do this to other human beings, you have to also have the debate about the flip side of the coin, which is if you do not use these techniques, americans are going to die.
10:52 pm
what is the morality of that question? i think it is important to note that the people that made the decision to do this, in order to collect intelligence, that they thought they needed to save lives, american lives, which turned out to be true. they had all these conversations, charlie. they had conversations about is this the right thing to do, conversations about morality, about the impact on employees. they had conversations about how this is going to come back to haunt us someday. they had all those. this is not easy. i'm glad i was not put in the situation where i would have to make the decision. if i was put in that situation, i don't know what i would do. on "60 minutes" i said that these techniques were inconsistent with american values. i was specifically talking about waterboarding.
10:53 pm
you need to have a moral discussion about each technique. i would have drawn the line at waterboarding. >> you would not have waterboarded? >> i would not have waterboarded. >> i have known people in the cia that said to me, i promise you, it give us information. >> that is why it is a debatable proposition. one of the techniques was to simply grab someone by the jacket when they were not paying attention to you. is that torture? i don't think so. >> who says that is torture? >> the people who call all techniques torture. if that is torture, then torture happens on every football field in america. you have to have conversations about each technique. it is important for people to know that this is not an easy decision. the people who made it thought about these things. >> is important to know that there seems to be some difference of opinion and perhaps it is because we don't know, that raising questions of
10:54 pm
whether the information that was garnered from this saved a life, led to being able to connect the dots. you and other cia officials we talked to said yes, it did. dick cheney, at this table, said yes it did. you were saying because of what we did, using legal techniques, we believe we got information that we would not have otherwise gotten from these detainees. >> that led to the capture of other senior al qaeda officials and save lives, yes. >> to be continued. >> is great being with you, charlie. ♪
10:55 pm
10:56 pm
10:57 pm
10:58 pm
10:59 pm
11:00 pm
>> live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west" where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i am cory johnson. ipo pipeline is in full bloom. the latest 2 companies are grubhub and opower. they take aim. let's check in with top headlines. the so-called twitter of china, a price range of its ipo. the company will sell 20 million shares.

15 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on