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tv   Smerconish  CNN  November 15, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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like to talk to us about these allegations. guys, appreciate your time, as always. thank you so much for joining us. i'll be back at 7:00 p.m. eastern with more news. "smerconish" begins right now. hello and welcome to the program. i'm michael smerconish. great show planned today. we're digging down on important stories with terrific guests. bill cosby accused of rape and sexual assault, and an alleged victim joins me. while cosby denies the charges. i'm an attorney, i intend to get answers. ferguson, missouri, nerves are raw, the town holding its breath. we talked about what could happen if there is no indictment. but what happens if there is one? i'll ask the cops. and political war in the nation's capital. the president versus the republicans over immigration. my take, there's got to be a better way and i think i have one. and the mayor of london is here on his new book about my favorite historical figure.
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winston churchill. i say he defeated the nazis. now i wonder if he's partly to blame for the implosion in the middle east. all that and more. i hope you'll stick around. we begin with america's favorite dad, bill cosby and the women who say he has a darker side. one of them, barbara bowman, was a teenage actress, when she says he raped her. my take, i'm a lawyer, i'm sympathetic to victims. but i've got some questions on specifics. the details of her story. all in all, it's been a bad week for cosby. on monday, he tweeted a photo of himself inviting folks to meme or caption him. he got a lot more than he bargained for. the man known as cliff hugs tabl was bombarded with posts about rape and sexual assault. the whole thing was eventually deleteded. but not before lots of people had taken their shots. and now one of his alleged victims, barbara bowman, is
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speaking out. she'll join me in a moment. in an op-ed in the "washington post" this week, she wonders why she has had a hard time getting anyone to listen to her story. for years, cosby has denied the allegations through his attorneys. but this morning for the first time, he addressed the charges. he appeared on national public radio with his wife, camille. >> this question gives me no pleasure, mr. cosby. but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days. you're shaking your head no. i'm in the news business. i have to ask the question. do you have any response to those charges? shaking your head no. there are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. i want to give you the chance. all right. >> barbara bowman has heard bill cosby deny these charges before but she says she'll continue to tell her story and joins me now.
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it's the most serious of allegations that you could ever lay at someone's feet. bill cosby raped me. let me ask you some particular questions. you said in the "washington post," i'm certain now that he drugged and raped me. were you less certain then? >> when i was 17, 18, 19 years old, and i was experiencing what i was going through, there were times that i really did not know, and i was not certain at all. due to mental manipulation, mind control, the controllinging circumstances that i was in. but i am very certain. and there were times that it was convoluted and certain times that it was quite direct. >> you certainly couldn't control the first time if you were drugged. but you could control the second. why return to close proximity to bill cosby if you believed or suspected that he had raped you? >> i can't say that it went in that succession. but what i can say is that i was in a position where i was in new york city. my agent had brought me here.
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and my agent and bill cosby were subsidizing my apartment and my acting classes. and i was in a very, very controlled environment. i had no outside connection to the world. i had no friends. it was a very, very slow, very methodical, very calculated situation of very slowly breaking me down. i was terrified of my agent. and i was terrified of bill. and i was being groomed to tolerate and deal with what was coming my way. now when i did speak to my agent and tell her, she did nothing about it. and i felt very unsafe and if i had told her his allegations of me that i was making up things and i was not acting appropriately, accusing me of being drunk, if there were times that i questioned him, like why am i in this shirt.
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or what happened here? i would get reprimanded and berateded and told you were just drunk, maybe don't drink so much. >> you were 17. >> 18 by now. and knowing that he was going to say that and accuse me of that and tell my agent that, it was devastating to me. and i was not drinking and i was not doing anything other than what i was supposed to be doing, and that was being a straight, clean-cut kid, going to acting classes and coming straight home. >> help me understand something else that i can't get over. you wake up on a particular morning or series of mornings. you believe you've been raped. why not call the police? >> who was going to believe me? i went to a lawyer. he laughed me right out of the office. after telling two trusted individuals that i was being mole evidenceded, violated and raped by a trusted individual who made it very clear that he was very safe, i must be vulnerable. he was teaching me how to tear
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down my insecurities and my vulnerability, telling me i had to give him 100%. i had to trust him like my own father. and if i didn't, that i was somehow not fulfilling my end of the bargain. that i'm not going to be a successful actress, because i've got walls up. and it was kicking in my head. and i told my agent. she did nothing about it. i trusted her. she was all i could tell. when i went to the lawyer, he laughed at me. at that point, i am so broken down and so viciously attacked mentally, physically and spiritually that i said, this is never going to go anywhere. nobody is going to believe me that dr. hugstabl is molesting me. >> did you ever have, barbara, consensual sex with him? >> absolutely not. never. >> and pardon the salacious nature of the question. but if it's your word against his word, is there some salacious aspect to bill cosby, some defining characteristic that you could say, hey, i can
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tell you this about him, and that's how you'll know it really happened. >> absolutely. and if he would like to take a polygraph, i'll take one too. >> what is it? what is the detail? >> nothing that we can talk about right here at the desk. >> okay. for many years, people haven't you say taken you seriously. they are now. >> they are. >> why has it taken -- what is it that people now want to hear what you have to say and are giving you more credibility than in the past? >> well, it gained momentum quite a lot since the "daily mail" article that came out that was beautifully written by lisa naff and she was fantastic and got to the details. and that opened a lot of doors, a lot of curiosity began. h hanable burris, really courageous. >> is it because he spoke up and a man was finally saying this?
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>> i would say yes. >> something sexist about this? >> i would say yes. and in a way, you say, why did it take a man to wake people up? now, is it because he's a man? is it because he's also a comedian and they're peers in the comedic circles? and that's like wow, if he's going to say it, i need to be listening. up to that point, i went from 1986 to 2004-2005 when a -- when a woman did file a lawsuit and i was called to testify in court. those years didn't exist. in other people's eyes. in the public's eyes. it was only from 2004 forward that just little bits were coming to. it would -- something would bring it up into the media. it would be listened to. there -- "people" magazine would do an article and "newsweek" different news outlets would pick it up and then it would go away and be pushed under the rug. >> final aspect of this. for people watching cynically at home, there is no payday for
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you, there is no book, nothing. >> nothing. >> you're here because you want people to know. >> that is exactly right. my agenda was never to get any money. i never took money, i never asked for money. i had no monetary incentive whatsoever. my statute of limitations had run out. after i got laughed out of the lawyer's office, it was over and done. i needed to get on with my life. and in that time, the statute of limitations ran out. i came out to help other victims. i was hoping that the other ten jane does listed as witnesses in our case would say, my goodness. it's safe to come out. i don't have to hide anymore. my lawyer had said, do you want to stay jane doe. and i absolutely refused. i said no. i have been a jane doe for 17 years. if i continue to stay hiding, what good am i doing somebody else? i believe her, and i believe the next person, and now -- and as in back then, my agenda is to speak out publicly through action and education, through my advocacy group, p.a.v.e. and to
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help maybe change some legislation. >> final question. nbc is about to get another show. should they give it to him? >> i think it would be irresponsible. >> thanks so much for being here, barbara bowman. >> thank you very much. of i appreciate being here. >> we're going to take a short break. and when we come back, ferguson on edge. people are buying guns and planning boycotting, waiting on the grand jury. the police, they're waiting as well. and i will talk to a veteran cop about getting ready and why an indictment would make them very nervous. and it looks like fireworks in the nation's capital. the president says he's going it alone on immigration reform. that has republicans mad as hell. but can they agree on what to do about it?
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welcome back to the program. white knuckle time in ferguson, missouri. both black and white citizens on edge. will a grand jury indict white police officer darren wilson for killing unarmed black teenager michael brown? people are so nervous, many are
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buying guns. one gun dealer says his sales are up 300%. and that has many of us worried. in my case, also a bit bewildered. here's my take. even with all the news coverage, at the end of the day, we don't have all of the facts. i've made lists on my legal pads. we know that michael brown was unarmed. we know that his friend says he was trying to surrender. on the other hand, the official autopsy and other witnesses afraid to come forward publicly seem to support wilson's story. in other words, that which the public knows is outweighed by what we don't know. so how can so many be making plans on what they'll do when the indictment decision is announced? one group wants to send a loud message to the governor and the business community asking folks to keep their wallets closed on black friday, the big shopping day after thanksgiving. we're joined by akbar mohamed, international representative for the nation of islam and member of the justice for michael brown leadership coalition. mr. mohamed, whether someone is pro indictment or pro police
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officer, wouldn't you agree, we just don't know enough, and that we won't know enough until we see the evidence that was presented to the grand jury to recognize whether there was an injustice here? >> well, i would disagree with that. we do know enough. we know that michael brown laid on that ground for four and a half hours. we know that he was unarmed. and we know that his hands were up. we do know enough. and the world knows. and what it is, it's a case of trying to cover the misconduct of a police officer who murdered this young man in cold blood. so they want to know why the community is upset. they are upset because we are sick and tired of seeing this happen throughout the country. >> but we live in this country by a rule of law. wouldn't it be better in this circumstance to have a cooling off period, to let all the information, the evidence that was presented to the grand jury be put forth, let people digest it. let people understand exactly what those grand jurors were
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weighing before any plans were made as to whether there should be a protest. wouldn't that be a more prudent course? >> well, we live in a country of laws, but there were laws in this country that put my forefathers in slavery. there were laws in this country that kept us from voting. there were laws in this country where we had to ride in the back of the bus. so don't say to me about why don't we let law. the law in missouri, no policeman will be convicted and go to jail for killing a black man. this is the law that we know in missouri, and law is a word, but the behavior speaks for itself. >> will you be calling for the protesting of both black and white businesses on that day that is known as black friday, the day after thanksgiving? >> the coalition is calling for it. the coalition is calling for a boycott of the business establishment. not the black businesses. because the black businesses, they are with us in this process.
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99.5% of the black businesses want to see justice in the case of michael brown. so the businesses have to know that we want to hear their voice for justice in the case of mike brown. and we want to also see them push the law enforcement. that this is not a war. it's like we're going to war. and even those who are interviewed in the law enforcement department say we're going to protect businesses. >> mr. mohamed -- >> we're going to bring the national guard in. >> mr. mohamed, we have only a minute left together. i worry you're about to further the racial divide by protesting only white businesses, frankly businesses of any kind without knowing all of the facts. but only white businesses in the aftermath of this decision. you get the final word. >> because the -- the final word is that the white businesses have the power. they are the ones that pay the tax that keeps the state running. and they should demand that justice be done in the case of michael brown jr. >> okay. thank you akbar mohamed.
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we appreciate your having been here. no matter what happens, what the grand jury decides, there will be lots of police on the street. the officials are hoping for the best, but they have spent a ton of money preparing for the worst. and some officers have another worry. what happens if darren wilson is indicted. are other officers going to feel that puts them in the cross hairs. gabe crocker is the president of the st. louis police association, the union that represents police officers and he joins us now from ferguson, missouri. mr. crocker, so much of the attention has been on what if there's no indictment. it occurs to me, there could be a police morale issue if there is an indictment. what concerns you from a police officer's perspective? >> that's right, mike. it is something that we have thought about. know, that would send a tremendous message to our officers that are faced with these life and death situations across our country and especially here in st. louis, where i'm most concerned about
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deadly force involving a police officer and someone from the public. so what could that cause an officer to hesitate? could that cause an officer to not react as fast as they normally would because of the hesitations involved possibly from an indictment of officer wilson? sure, that's on our mind. and that's something we try to engage in a dialogue with our officers about. >> the associated press is reporting that st. louis county has spent $100,000 on riot gear. do you worry that the militarization of the police, meaning this effort to keep them safe, actually has the opposite effect and brings out the worst from potential protesters? >> no, i don't think that at all, mike. i've never been a fan of the term "militarization of police," although i do understand there are some concerns and we've worked to address those concerns. i don't think the term "militarization of police" is a fair term when you put a helmet
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on that protects you from being hit in the head with a brick or frozen water bottle or you have a shield that stops bottles of urine being thrown at you. officer safety is certainly a huge priority, so i don't think there's much concern about us being accused of -- or the appearance of militarization of our officers out there who are working with a lot of peaceful protesters, and, of course, embedded within them are, unfortunately, some very violent protesters. >> you know what the argument is. the argument is that equipment, machinery intended for a battlefield in iraq or afghanistan, and now because the military no longer needs it, and they offer it to police departments across the country, that when individuals see those armaments roll out on main street usa, it has the unintended consequence from the protesters or from those who are reacting to the police. but you don't buy it in a case like this. >> you know, sure, i can understand that point. but when it comes to officer safety and when it comes to utilizing those vehicles in a
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manner that protects the public and protects officers, for me, it's a no-brainer. >> final question, mr. crocker. do you worry about the ability to keep businesses safe where now there's this discussion of a protest against businesses? >> well, you know, i've heard about the protests against businesses, and certainly we don't -- we're going to do everything within our power. we have a unified command. our chief, john belmar, has assured a lot of local businesses and business leaders and community leaders we're going to do everything within our power to protect those businesses. you know, we understand that this is a very high level of frustration for people out there. but we need to protect our businesses, and we need to protect the public. and also, protesters. i mean, it's a very dynamic situation that we're in out there. and it's a tough job. and our officers are ready to do the best they can. >> gabe crocker, thank you and good luck to you. >> thanks, michael. just ahead, immigration
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reform is heating up. the president says he's going to do it, with or without republicans. they're fighting back, but not everyone in the gop is on the same page. some of them are talking about a government is shutdown, even impeachment. i'll talk to a leading republican about the right way to fight back. [prof. burke] it's easy to buy insurance and forget about it.
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welcome back to the program. it looks like war on capitol
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hill. the president is reportedly going to order mainly immigration reform in a matter of days, by passing the congress. republicans are furious. they want congress to do it. but the president says he's been waiting for congress to act for years. my take? why can't the president issue the executive order, and then give the gop 90 days to pass their own bill. i want to dig down on this with congressman charlie dent, a republican from the great state of pennsylvania. good to have you back. on your website, it says i oppose any amnesty program that overlooks or downplays illegal activity. if the president creates a path for 5 million folks where they're protected from deportation, because he's given them work permits, does that factor into what you're concerned about? >> well, let me first say, i would object to the president taking some type of an administrative action with respect to 5 million people. now that said, i do believe congress should deal with the issue.
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the american public, you know, they -- i don't want to take this executive action and tie it into the spending bill. i think we need to have a debate independent of the appropriations process, and debate this. and i believe we should address ledge latively immigration. agricultural workers, s.t.e.m. workers and have a responsible conversation about those individuals who are in our country unlawfully. i think we all recognize, it's not practical or feasible to deport 11 million people. that's nearly the population of the entire commonwealth of pennsylvania. so i'm prepared to have that debate. i believe that the administrative action would likely muddy the water in terms of moving legislation forward in a new congress. how about. >> how about the solution i've proposed. i'm not taking original credit for it. warr warren warrensteen discussed together. what he tosses the ball to the
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hands of the now republican-controlled senate, republican-controlled house and you've got time on the clock when the congress reconvenes in january to put something better on his desk. >> well, i probably would not pursue that tack. between now and the time congress adjourns in december, i believe we should do a few things very quickly. pass the appropriations bill to fund the government for the year. we don't want to talk about shutdowns. pass a tax extender bill, provide some certainty to the tax code. deal with the sustainable growth rate, the medicare payments to our doctors. we should deal with this now. and finally, terrorism risk insurance. clear the decks of these issues so we can start with a clean slate in january. and i believe that immigration should be one of the issues we discuss, along with trade, transportation and tax reform. the issues so we can start fresh on these policy issues. i think that's the best way to proceed. and look, i've urged our leaders we should take up immigration on
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a step by step basis. >> why not pass a bill? why not in the lame duck session of congress, why don't the house pass its own immigration bill now and take control of this issue from the president? >> well, i believe we could pass a couple bills in the lame duck. specifically the border security bill is ready to go. the visas for the s.t.e.m. workers, science, technology, engineering, math. agricultural workers. i don't know if we can get to the children just yet. we have to change the wilbur force law, as well. we a lot of work to do. i don't believe we can do just one bill. i think we have to do this in a series of bills. i'll call it a comprehensive process but not a comprehensive bill. but we get to i think -- get us to a better result. >> congressman, the friday "washington post" in the front page lead story quoted you as saying that you can't listen to the loudest, shrillest voices
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within the party. i interpreted that to be a reference to senator ted cruz. was i correct in that? >> well, he would be among a few who i believe want to take whatever administrative action the president might take. and in fairness, i have not yet seen the president's executive action. we don't know what it is. we were hearing about it. but if he does -- takes executive action in the next few days, the president, there are going to be some in my party who will want to try to defund the executive action as part of the appropriations bill. i don't think that would be a particularly good tactic. it would ultimately if taken to the nth agree, led to a shutdown. many people do not agree with the president's policy or in this administrative action, but at the same time, the american people don't want us to shut the government down. and so i think we would see a replay of september 2013 or october 2013 where we got ourselves into a shutdown situation. it's a tactic that just will not
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succeed in the lame duck. harry reid, at least through the end of the year, still controls the senate. and so i think we have to separate the appropriations process at this point from whatever administrative action the president will take. but we should deal with whatever the president does, legislati legislatively. >> final question, congressman, and thank you again for being gracious with your time. charles krauthammer, conservative commentator, says this is an impeachable offense by the president if he moves forward. i take it you don't agree with that. >> well, i disagree very much with the president's proposed administrative action, as i understand it. at the same time, i don't believe impeachment is on the table. it hasn't been. i don't believe it is. and i believe as we move into this new congress, we -- on the republican side are going to put -- want to put forward a constructive agenda. if i amgation -- if impeachment is the issue, i think that will essentially suck all of the oxygen out of the capital and we would be doing nothing but that. i believe we'll be moving forward on issues from
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transportation to some kind of tax reform, probably on the business side. trade issues and even perhaps some immigration reform. i believe that's where we'll go forward. i don't think immigration is -- impeachment by any means is on the table. >> congressman charlie dent, thank you for your time. >> thanks, mike. goly high. up next, parenting isn't easy. i've got four of my own. you would think in this day and age, a black parent, an african-american parent, wouldn't have to parent differently than anybody else. my next guest explains no matter how affluent you are, it just isn't the same.
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go to you know, i'm the father of four. i have never had to do what my next guest is forced to do to keep his children safe. and i think it's because white parents don't understand what african-american parents have to do every day to protect their children. lawrence otis graham is a new york attorney, the author of books, including "our kind of people." graham describes the devastation both he and his 15-year-old son felt this summer when his son was called the "n" word. graham was unable to prevent that, despite raising his children to be respectful and well-spoken. and he writes about the rules that he's instilled in them, from never running while in view of a police officer to never leaving a store without a receipt. so that his kids can't be unfairly accused of theft. lawrence otis graham joins me
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now. it was completely unprovoked. your son was where he should have been, doing what he should have been doing. and someone hurls or a group of individuals in a car hurled that insult at him. >> right. basically called him over to their car, in fact when he was walking along campus. and that was the most disturbing part, because he was minding his own business and he thought they were calling to ask for directions. he got within two or three feet of these men, and they asked him, are you the only "n" word at this school. and what's troubling for us, michael, like many black professional parents, we try to protect our children, give them suggestions on how to dress, how to behave in public so we thought we could insulate them from discrimination, but we failed. >> in the end, the fact that he was at some leafy connecticut boarding school didn't make a difference. in other words, an elite environment was no protection. >> we often think that's the armor that will protect our children, particularly when they have grown up my wife and i both
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went to princeton and presumed we could give our kids some advice that allowed -- that would allow them to avoid that kind of abuse or attack on them. but we find out that it's really hard. we give them a lot of rules. >> how typical -- right, the rules. i want to talk about the rules. are you the outlier or is this typical of what african-american parents have to do? for example, even if you're going to buy a stick of gum, get a receipt. because you might beled challenged. >> absolutely. we tell them that, because we don't want our children to end up like a trayvon martin or michael brown, because we recognize the reality of it. my kids know they are not to be walking after sundown in any residential neighborhood, not even ours in suburban new york or outside our apartment on the upper east side of new york. because they know they can be mistaken for someone who is casing the area, and it's unfortunate, but my kids know the very same thing is they're not going to be able to get a taxicab. so at the end of the day if they're with their white friends, their white friends get them the taxicab so my kids
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don't get left strappended. >> the whole thing is sad to me and maybe the reason i'm out of touch, white male privilege. what is it? >> basically a privilege white males take for granted. it's not their fault, but they have this benefit. the presumption is when they come into a store, no one is following them and expecting them to shoplift, which is why my kids know always get a receipt, always get a bag, no matter how small the item might be. there is always this presumption if they get on an elevator with a white woman they're not going to grab her purse. my 15-year-old son has seen enough women who sort of pull their purses back when he gets in the elevator, he knows not to get on. and my other children, even within their own neighborhood, they're not to walk late at night or carry objects mistaken for a weapon. because the accidental person -- the security officer, police officer that presumes then -- because unfortunately, even as african-americans, we recognize that in this society people look at skin color as a cultural shorthand to tell what's dangerous. >> how is your 15-year-old son
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doing? >> he's doing better now. he doesn't make the same eye contact with people in the street anymore, because he is a little nervous about doing that. lawrence otis graham, thank you so much for being here and sharing your story. a high-ranking general is speaking out, saying we lost the wars in iraq and afghanistan. but were these wars ever winnable? if they were, who screwed up? and should we have gotten involved in the first place? how would one of the world's greatest leaders, winston churchill, deal with the rise of isis? we have the mayor of london, the author of a new book on the british prime minister, and we'll ask him. what would churchill do?
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and visit our website to learn how you may be able to get every month free. the long wars in iraq and afghanistan and now the battle against isis. in my view, they're wars without end, they're unwinnable wars without end. my next guest is someone who knows a lot more about the subject matter than i do. he's a military hero, and calls the situation in iraq and afghanistan an epical struggle. lieutenant daniel bulger is author of a new book "why we lost: a general's inside account of the iraq and afghanistan wars." general, you have written maybe an incomplete and imperfect
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effort to contain the islamic state is as good as it gets. does that mean in your view it's an unwinnable situation? >> well, michael, i wouldn't say necessarily unwinnable. what i would say, it's long-term. the nature of this enemy, these guys hide among the population. and when you go in there with major force like air strikes or if we were to put a lot of american troops on the ground like we did in both afghanistan and iraq, they'll just spread out and go back to ground and wait for us to leave and then group back up and do their insurgent activities. >> how would we define winning? what would victory look like in iraq or afghanistan? >> great question. and in fact, i think it's the question we were never able to answer in the afghan war just wrapping up and in the iraq war that started in '03 and then we pull our combat force out in '11. what does victory look like? to me, the key part of the victory, you've got to protect the american homeland.
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prevent terrorist threat that emanates from afghanistan, iraq, whatever we're talking about, from causing another 9/11 type of american homeland. in that aspect, we have done okay. but you know there was a famous statement made by the old irish republican army terrorist, british prime minister maggi thatcher. they said you have to be right all of the time. we only have got to be right once. so it's a long-term struggle with these guys. >> general, i thought it very interesting that you have recommended that there be a 9/11 commission like look, at the conduct of these two wars. i can't imagine that would be a pleasant experience for you, it probably means generals such as yourself would get hauled in front of congressional committees. why do you think we need that kind of review? >> i think the american people are hungry to find out what happened in this war. why it happened. and most important, what are we going to do to fix it so that as isis and other threats crop up in the future, what are we going to do about that? if all we can do is the same old stuff because we haven't looked hard enough at it, then we really have truly done ourselves
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a disservice, and moreover, as a military, done a disservice to the american people we serve. and we don't want to do that. we have to take that hard look. and it's more military, michael. we're going to have to bring in the intel folks, law enforcement, the treasury people who look at terrorist money. all of those people need to come in and explain what happened, why, and then we need to get to fixing it. >> you lost 80 soldiers under your command. and i would think what i'm getting to now is the hardest question of all. you also regard these as two failed wars. to a parent of one of those 80, what would you say to one of them whose daughter or son died in vain. >> i would say be proud of your loved one. he or she gave their ultimate sacrifice, fought with bravery, and that sacrifice was made on the part of all americans to keep us safe. and they have kept americans safe. the conduct of the missions over in iraq and afghanistan, flawed, failed, that goes on guys like me, the commanders.
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the military says the commander is responsible for everything the unit does or failed to do. we failed in our two missions, but the soldiers did not fail. they did everything they were asked. i just didn't ask them to do the right stuff. >> well said. retired three-star general, daniel dull bulger, thank you for your service. >> thank you. i've always admired winston churchill. but is the great british prime minister in part to blame for the mess that we see today in the middle east? he drew a lot of the boundary lines. i'll put that question to the mayor of london, who will join me next. he's got a new book on winston churchill. down.
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i've always regarded winston churchill as one of the most towering figures, truly the man of the 20th century. i now find myself wondering, does he bear any responsibility for the disaster we're seeing unfold in the middle east, given the role he played in drawing so many borders? one man who can offer unique insight is boris johnson, the mayor of london. and he's the author of a terrific new book, "the churchill factor: how one man made history." mayor, great to see you. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> winston churchill you wrote was one of the matters of the middle east. >> he was. >> what about the middle east? >> he deserves the credit also of being one of the founding fathers of modern israel.
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he has to make that happen. and he does. and you real estate his stuff about israel, how he sees it developing, it's full of idealism, admiration for what the jewish people might be able to do in that area. and you have got to respect that vision. okay. iraq. syria. it didn't turn out to brilliant. and let's be clear -- but there was a long period in the '40s, you know, after the british got out, when it was very stable. and, yeah, maybe you could argue now, with hindsight, that to put together mosul and baghdad and basra, and -- that was overoptimistic and we're now seeing real strains. it's never been easy. the roman empire was more -- came to grief in the same place. >> how would winston churchill fight the islamic state today.
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>> remember what he says about iraq, it's like an ungrateful volcano. >> i thought george w. bush said that. >> no, no, no. >> they can both say that. >> they both said that. many people who have gone there feel that way. so i think he would have been very hesitant about committing western forces to that area. again, on the ground. air power. now there he might have been different. there he might have been with modern strategic teachers, because you remember, michael, he was a great pioneer and believer in aerial bombardments. >> we have all heard the story about bessie braddock, if you can tell the story. >> it's die bollicly rude. this rather large proportioned socialist sees him coming out of the treasury, slightly the worse for wear. and she says, "winston, you're drunk." and he says, "madam, you're ugly, but i'll be sober in the
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morning." we couldn't say that, it's too rude. but he was generally very funny and very -- >> but he would be too politically incorrect to be elected today. >> yes. >> and what a loss. are there winston churchills among us that could never be elected for office? >> there are. there are plenty of people whose views are being posturized and homogenized by the terror of the twitty form of fate when they say something incorrect. and why some people are turned off politics. they feel people aren't speaking from the heart. >> you know, mayor, here in the united states, we live in such polarized times. people are way to the left, way to the right. the centrists don't speak up enough. one of the things you said in the churchill factor, he's hard to peg i'd logically. >> absolutely. churchill believed it was his
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destiny to straddle the political divide and saw himself with two feet over the entrance to the harbor. he wanted to incarnate the will of the nation in his person. and that meant having elements that were quite -- unemployment insurance, you know, protection for people on low incomes. the tea break for the workers, but also a great belief in it empire. >> i was a skeptic when i received your book. i love winston churchill and his memory and his role. and i said what could even boris johnson add to this dynamic, but you are such a character and i say that with affinity and entertaining personality, i think you understand him better than most ever could. certainly better than the academics. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> mayor boris johnson. we'll be right back. re driving having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there and the next second... boom!
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we're out of time. thank you for joining me. don't forget, you can follow me on twitter, so long as you can spell smerconish. i'll see you next week. good evening, everyone. you're in the "cnn newsroom." i'm poppy harlow. thank you for joining me. for the first time we are hearing the conversations between police and dispatch around the shooting of michael brown in ferguson, missouri. this is august 9th, not long after darren wilson shot and killed michael brown. a st. louis newspaper has released the sound of the police dispatcher sending wilson to that neighborhood, telling him there is a report of a shoplifting. >> 25, it's going to be a black male in a white t-shirt. he's running toward quick trip. he took a whole box of swisher cigars. >> black male, white t-shirt.