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tv   Parker Spitzer  CNN  November 20, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST

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>> larry: russell brand, the book "bookie wook 2." barbara bush will be here monday, dolly parton tuesday, jack hannah and my son wednesday night. thanksgiving eve. >> happy birthday! >> larry: thank you! why are we yelling? good evening, i'm kathleen parker. happy friday, y'all. >> another great program. going to have a conversation, kathleen, with john yu, the controversial lawyer in the bush administration in the justice department saying torture was okay. >> going to hear from a major success story, the mayor of lancing, michigan is going to tell us how his city is reborn since gm came back to life. >> the opening argument. the trial, the conviction of ghalani. one count out of 285, but it was a big, big win.
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this terrorist is going to spend, i predict, the rest of his life behind bars exactly where he should go. and you know what? yes, there wasn't all of the evidence before that jury that maybe there should have been. you know why? you can't put evidence in a court when that evidence is produced by torture. we all know that, we all agree with that. the system works. terrorist goes to jail, justice was done. >> remember what that really looked like. those buildings were two embassies in kenya and tanzania in 1998, lost live, 284 people dead, including a dozen americans. and essentially, ghalani got off on the murder charges. that's the conversation that they have tonight and get to the bottom of some of the conflicting feelings we have. >> get to the arena and have the conversation. >> the author of the controversial torture memos under president bush. attorney general john yu. >> welcome, mr. yu. president bush was asked about
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torture and water boarding. he said, look, the lawyers told me it's legal. >> why is waterboarding legal in your opinion? >> the lawyer said it was legal. he said it did not fall within the anti-torture act. i'm not a lawyer. you have to trust the judgment of people around you and i do. >> you say it's legal and the lawyers told me. >> and i guess he was probably pointing to you in that case. i wonder if you feel he's walked away from you. >> i know part of the job from being the lawyer is defending sometimes unpopular decisions that your clients make. i'm willing to do that part of the job. but i also think that there's no escaping responsibility if people who make the policy decision. just because a law says you can drive 65 miles per hour doesn't mean you have to drive 65 miles per hour. there's still a lot of discretion and choice that the leaders of our government had to make.
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and i'm prepared and confident in seeing that i think my legal judgment then was right under the circumstances. but that doesn't mean that you had to -- that president bush had to choose the policy that they did either. >> so you still stand by your definition of waterboarding as not torture? >> well, i think that torture as used by congress and the criminal law was undefined. it's never been used in any court decision. never been in use by the justice department until that time. and so we have this hard job of trying to figure out, do the impressive interrogation methods that the cia wanted to use at that time, right, a few months after 9/11 violate the criminal statute against torture. i didn't think then or now that the ci a's methods do. >> john, would you agree that waterboarding would constitute harsh interrogation rather than plain vanilla interrogation? >> of course.
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certainly there is questioning of the kind that we use every day in the united states and police stations all over. obviously water boarding goes well beyond what the police officers do in the police stations. >> now, i want to go one step beyond that. your objection, i gather, tell me if i'm wrong, to the way the department of justice and the obama administration handle the ghalani case is they tried it in the civilian court and certain evidence as a consequence of that is ruled inadmissible. in a military tribunal, it would have been admissible. >> i have a broader objection to the use of civilian trials that goes beyond whether the military courts would be superior. i think the military courts give the judge discretion to allow the certain kinds of evidence that the civilian court wouldn't. but what worries me is they were conducting the trials right in the middle of warfare. and we ought to wait or at least use proceedings that the
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decisions that courts make are going to have the harmful effect on the way that men and women in the field carry out their missions. i hope you agree. i don't want the men and women in afghanistan to be collecting evidence on the pa'tell field and interviewing witnesses. that's the harmful effect that these kinds of decisions to try them in the first place the civilian court is going to have. >> i disagree with you that's in any way, shape, or form the consequence of handling it in a military court. a statute was passed. i'm glad you agree waterboarding would be better than interrogation. it was passed barring the use of evidence obtained by military interrogation even in military tribunals, isn't that correct? >> i believe -- i haven't looked at the rules in the last few days, i do believe the military commissions still allow the judge to make a finding if it's in the interest of justice and the evidence is not prejudicial than probative to allow it in,
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if it's torture. >> there's a bar on evidence from harsh interrogations. so the point i'm making is i don't think there would have been any difference whatsoever in the outcome here based upon the rules of evidence that have been created for either the military tribunal or the civilian court. and that is exactly the -- the decision or the point of view that judge caplan and the southern district -- the federal judge that presided over this came to this footnote in his opinion. so it seems to me the outcome here would not have been different even in a military tribunal. >> i don't know if that's true. i don't know if judge caplan is correct. that the rules clearly prohibit the introduction of this kind of evidence. >> but -- >> i really don't think -- >> you don't have any reason to believe -- >> just saying --
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>> so you don't understand the question. you don't have any reason to believe that evidence would have been admitted. >> oh, no, i think that would be a contested issue that would have to be litigate in the military court system and maybe all the way to the supreme court, but in my view it's not clearly foreclosed the way it is -- i agree with you on this -- on the way it's clearly foreclosed on civilian court. >> all of the screaming and shouting against the decision to put it in a civilian court presumes this evidence would have been admissible and everything we looked at suggests it wouldn't have been admissible based on the statute and the decision of judge caplan. it's a misguided statement of anger and outcome people aren't happy with. >> well, i disagree. i'm not angry that this should have been a military commission rather than civilians. i think it's a mistake to put these guys on trial now no matter what the system is. i think we ought to wait longer until the war is almost over or is over. because i think having a trial in the middle of a war like this is going to create difficult security versus openness conflicts and can risk the revelation intelligence and affect the activity of the soldiers on the field.
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that's putting aside whoever convicts them or not. >> mr. yoo, i can certainly see how this can be potential conflicts. i want to talk about the human aspect of this in your case. you certainly have been through a lot when your name is attached to forever more the torture memos. and i know people have given you a pretty hard time out there, especially at berkeley. but i wonder if you look back on that, period, and would like to redo anything. how do you think history will look back on your -- at your memo. is there something you would like to change about it? >> well, look, i knew when i was in the government and we had to face these questions which nobody wanted to answer -- i mean, they're thrust on us by the circumstances of the 9/11 attacks. but when that happened, obviously it's a controversial issues. people are going to be angry no matter what you do -- which choice you make. and, so, i'd be happy -- not happy, but i'm willing to do the same things again and i don't think i would change my mind. i think i would reach the
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same conclusions that i did then. i mean, ill thought very hard about it back then. now, it doesn't mean, you know, it would be better if everyone got together in a big group hug and said, okay, it's great that you reached the decision. it's not the nature of the hard national security decisions. i wish they were otherwise. but that's the kind of conflict that the 9/11 attacks thrust on us. >> i'm intrigued by your issue of timing as though somehow we should wait until the war on terrorism is over to initiate or bring the prosecutor this case. it seems to me the events in the ghalani case transpired, if i'm right, in 19d 98 98. this is a decade of after the events. the cases have a tight time frame. since the war on terror goes another 20, 30 years. never try people. hold them indefinitely? oh. >> that's the view of the obama administration too, right? if he had been acquitted, they
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would have detained him until the war is over. >> but for different reasons. >> there's the reasons for the military trial and the military trial. it's the same authority. you, a nation at war are allowed to hold members of the enemy they capture until hostilities have ended. yes, it could be a long war. but detention is not punishment in the military system; it's to prevent them from going back to fight, which, according to the pent gone, about pentagon -- 20% of the people we let go from guantanamo bay have done. so i think it's better to wait, to detain them as we are allowed to and try them when there's no collateral costs to our military intelligence agencies from holding the trial. >> all right, john yoo, thank you so much for your time. >> thanks -- thanks for having me. >> our pleasure. >> we'll be right back. john yoo, respectfully, is a widely december pitzed figure in
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the legal profession because of that torture memo. because he said anything that isn't tantamount to organ failure is not torture. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare,
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now to legal scholars to talk about how so-called torture evidence can be used or not use in terror trials invoking al qaeda. joining us now, noah feldman, law school professor and the author of "sporp corpions" and jeffrey toobin. we spoke with john yoo, the justice official in the george w. bush administration saying this evidence would have been admissible even if it was torture, derived from torture, or even if it was admissible in military tribunals. let me pose to you, professor, the evidence in the ghalani case suppressed in judge caplan, the trial just ended leading to a conviction on one count and an acquittal in 284 counts. would that be admit in a military tribunal.
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>> possible. exactly what he did to ghalani to find out the information that led to evidence against him. if it constituted torture, it would be excluded in the military tribunal under the rules that are presently in place. if it were pushy, coercive without being torture, it's possible it might have been admitted. >> the reason we don't know what they did is that the federal government did not know what they did is because it was from coercivend. right? oh. >> what they did was outside of the bounds. they didn't do what they did do exactly for understandable reasons. >> i'm confused. as i understand it -- so torture is not allowed. confessions derived from torture are not allow in court. >> period. >> and yet mr. yoo came up with the definition of torture -- or
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a new definition that said this is not torture. so why wouldn't it be allowed if the confession was something that wasn't legally torture based on the definition. >> john yoo, respectfully, is a widely despised figure in the legal profession because of that torture memo. because he said anything that isn't tantamount to organ failure is not torture. so, for example, waterboarding to mr. yoo is not torture. that view has been repudiated by every legitimate law expert in the world, not just the country. so his view on what constitutes torture, i would say, is somewhat unique. >> how did he come up with the definition? what's the difference between, for example, enhanced interrogation techniques and torture. you say the organ failure thing. but based on what? what was the definition he used. >> got the definition out of a treaty we signd where we promised we wouldn't torture people and congress passed a law with language exactly to the language of the treaty. it said cruel and inhumane
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treatments counted as torture. you can find that for yourself. he didn't have an exact analog anywhere. he looked to a health care statute and said that was a basis for figuring out what counted as prolonged pain and suffering. >> it pertained to what? >> oh compensation of hospitals under certain conditions of emergency room treatment. nothing to do -- bottom line, nothing to do with torture. >> fair to say that john yoo's interpretation of both what torture is and the place in the legal structure has been abandoned universally by other than a small fringe of the legal community? >> including, by the bush administration. this is not like the radical crazy liberals in the obama administration. these are his successors in the justice department under alberto gonzales and under michael mukasey mukasey. >> back to the trial. a lot of screaming and shouting. was this a victory or defeat for
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the judicial system. >> it might be a huge win for the judicial system and the american jury. the jury was sensible. by finding him guilty on one single count, they assured that he will get 20 to life and very possibly life. and at the same time, they sent a message that this kind of treatment is un-american and the ordinary criminal justice system should not tolerate evidence that is based on outrageous things. so that's the perfection of the jury that they can do something that pulls off the commitment to our values and keeping us safe. >> does seem like a deal in the jury room. one juror held out for a long time and caved on the one -- the conspiracy to destroy buildings. and let the other 284 go. >> juries are often compromises among 12 people with a disagreement. that does not in any way argue against the outcome here. the more theoretical question, jeff, love your views on this, is whether or not the evidence that was given to the jury. did the jury do the right thing or did the judge do the right thing or did the judge do the right thing taking it to the civilian court.
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>> i don't have a problem with the judge tore jury. i think there's a political problem here. these cases are going to be very difficult to do in civilian courts. and each case is going to be different based on the particular circumstance of how the evidence was gathered in that case. but i think the message here -- and i'm not talking about the unfair criticism of the obama administration administration, but i think it's going to be very difficult under our rules of evidence in american district courts, the same place where john gotti and every other criminal is prosecuted to bring cases against the people of guantanamo, it will be hard. >> what if he had been acquitted. what would have happened to him? would he be released. >> in a statement he made, the judge said the administration would hold him indefinitely as a prisoner of war or against al qaeda. that's possible. but it depend on whether he did anything to support al qaeda after september 11. he was charged here with crimes before september 11. we wouldn't be able to hold him
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as a prisoner of war on those crimes. >> jeff, your concerns here relate to whether this evidence can be admit in the civilian court. and therefore you kind of presume that the evidence would be admit in the military tribunal. >> absolutely. >> judge caplan in a footnote in the end of his opinion said don't be so quick to jump to that conclusion. >> well, there is -- there are differences in evidence between the two. certainly evidence can be admitted in the military tribunals. looser rules about hearsay, classified information. but, it is true that torture is out in either place, as well it should be. we shouldn't be benefitting from torture in our legal system in any way. >> that was the evidence here derived from torture.
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this wasn't a hearsay issue. this was evidence that came to torture. it's not so clear to me that the outcomes would have been different at all. >> do we know it was definitively derived from torture. >> this is a distinction that only lawyers could lob. it's coercive but not torture. like only -- like removing some fingernails? not all of them. >> what should the dividing line be if you're an attorney general order or the president of the united states and you're trying to determine whether a terrorist is caught -- an al qaeda terrorist is caught overseas. what are the bay cisse of that determination? >> well, i think if there is admissible evidence in the federal district court in the united states, you should do it there. that is the most legitimate, most respected form of american justice that we have. if you can't do it there, the evidence just won't support it and you have limits on the evidence, you should go to the military tribunal. >> thank you so much for a very fascinating conversation.
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later in the program, how did wall street gamble away your money and avoid any criminal charges? a question i'll never stop asking -- stay with us. >> anyone who believes, who accepts that mexico and china can do any of our manufacturing for us, i think, is mistaken. i think that's dangerous. that's head in the wrong direction. we have to have a vibrant, advanced manufacturing sector.
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general motors stocks traded again yesterday for the first time since the $50 million bailout. since the company filed for bankruptcy, gm created or restored nearly 8,000 jobs. >> great news for the next guest. the mayor of lancing, michigan, home to two gm plants. he's joining us from art's bar and grill in lansing. thanks for joining us, mayor. >> my pleasure, thanks for having me. thanks for stopping in lansing. >> we'd like to come and join you right now. hope you're having a great time. >> we're gearing up for a holiday celebration, silver bells. and we feel great to have the wonderful news to have the incredible world record i po general motors.
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we're still first and foremost a gm town. we're an auto town. we always have been. we're diversifying and adding to our economy, but we're in no way we're giving up on autos. our cadillac plant is expanding and we're buoyed by great news by gm's revival. >> i don't even have to ask you a question. you fought long and hard about the bailout in washington. you call your efforts it most important mission in your time as mayor. you feel validated about your push for the bailout? >> i appreciate you remembering that here. scary days here. any mayor and a citizen for a town like this when gm was facing bankruptcy, we were scared to death. but we weren't content to be scared. i organized mayor and went to washington and fought, praise god, we had not one but two presidents that stepped up and rescued the plants and give gm and chrysler a new lease on life. that's paying off. this is a vindication, a validation, an affirmation that
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we need to make things, you know what, we're good -- we're great workers here. we have the most talented, productive workforce in the world in places like lansing, michigan, detroit, flint. the manufacturing backbone of this country. it's important that we make things. >> mr. mayor, let me jump in and say congratulations. it's a huge win for you and for lansing. i have to ask you, you're adding 600 jobs. you haven't given the number yet, 600 jobs gm is going to bring back to the town. going to bring up 6,000 employee there is in lansing. on the other side, at one point, it's 30,000. how do we get back to 30,000. what are the policies that you want to do to get us back so gm brings us back the 25,000, 24,000 where you used to be. >> i appreciate the question that part of it is the reality we're more automated. these plants are state-of will
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of the art. this is not your father's or my father's -- who retired from general motors, god love him jewel you. we're never going to get back to 30,000. we need to be making -- anybody who believes or accepts that mexico and china can do all of our manufacturing for us i think is mistaken, that's dangerous. that's head in the wrong direction. we have to have a vibrant, advanced, manufacturing sector. that's what i'm fighting for. this administration, the obama administration has a manufacturing framework that they have issued. they understand the importance. we need to make sure congress understands and all of our elected officials and americans understand. this is a great day not just for lansing but americans everywhere. manufacturing matters. >> with you 100%. first, i want to nominate you to be secretary of commerce. you have the passion and the
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energy. i can't imagine if we sent you to korea that we wouldn't get the trade treaty we need. we need you out there fighting for us. here's the question. when it comes to trade, clearly we're running a huge deficit with china. what do we do? are they manipulating the currency. are they not being fair in terms of what they do in the environment? where do you want to see us do in the trade policy so we have the level playing field that you talked about. >> you noel they're manipulating their currency. they do a lot of other things. they subsidize their industries. they provide free utilities to the industry. here we see -- we adopt this rigid stance that government should be on one side and business on the other. and that would be fine if we're isolated. we're not. it's a global economy. and we're asking our people to compete on an unlevel playing field. so when our businesses can go to china, india, mexico, and get away with things with the environment that we would never get away with here. they can pay workers dirt and expose them to toxins that we wouldn't here, it's not a level playing field. we allow countries to put
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tariffs in our goods. we don't. we should treat their goods as we treat ours. i'm asking for a little reciprocity. >> you're gearing up for a celebration tonight. tell us what that's about. >> this is silver bells. i get to wear my christmas vest that my wife has tried to give away several times. so thank you for helping me to get it out there. >> we want one. >> it's silver bells, the lighting of the state tree where the city and the state work together and light the official state christmas tree. it's a great celebration. a kickoff to the holiday season in lansing. thousands upon thousands of people will converge on downtown lansing. it's a great day for all of our community. most of the activities are free, but the merchants downtown make out pretty good as well. come down to lansing, michigan and join us, the home of the cadillac cts and the buick enclave and great vehicles that are made by our great workers here. >> we're coming to lansing
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tonight. stand by. thank you so much for joining us. still ahead, the freshman class, why the newest members of congress may not want to get too comfortable in their new digs. that's coming up. stay with us. >> i'm always amazed with the difference between ethical wrongdoing and what could be criminally prosecuted. just because something strikes us as shockingly wrong doesn't mean there's a prosecution in there. that never fails to amaze me.
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now time for a new segment called "the exchange" where we examine the world of business. when historians look back to the roots of financial crisis, they'll reference my next guest's book. it recounts how wall street found new ways to gamble away the global economy. to discuss those innovative claims. all of the devils are here, the hidden history of the financial crisis. thanks for joining us. >> thngs s thanks for having us. >> you said this is not an accident. one of the revelations to you is what you thought might have begun as sheer failure of judgment was not an accident. who are the culprits, the villains, who should go to jail?
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>> one of the things is the number of times where different paths could have been taken and one moment that jumped out to me that consumer advocates were looking at the kinds of loans people were getting and they couldn't pay them back. the federal reserve did not take the power they had to crack down on sub prime lending and you have to broaden that out to congress as well. >> i want to drill down on that. that point is soe nowhere mousely important. the federal reserve had the power to stop this. >> everybody thought of alan greenspan as someone who worried about monetary policy. and he did. the fed has this other job. it's a regulator. it's an over seer. and it has absolute power if it thinks there's abuses in the system to do something about it. but alan greenspan was id logically opposed to regulation as he says in his own memoirs. so he actively turned his back on that part of his job.
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>> reading his memoirs. you have to be kidding, the guy heading the fed is a libertarian. you can't be a libertarian and run the fed. i want to throw another game out there. tim geithner. he was not there in the new york fed in the entirety of the '90s, but he was there in the worst of the bubble explosion. and he testified before congress when he was affirmed as treasury secretary, he said i've never been a regulator. did he misunderstand his job? >> you know, some people said one of the reasons that the guidance on nontraditional mortgages came so late in the game, came in 2006, the regulators cracking down. one of the reasons it was delayed was the new york fed. their belief in the power in the market. the market is making the loans. who was whispering in their ear -- the market was allowing the loans. >> the consumer advocates were screaming from the tops of the hill tops saying these loans will not be repaid. the fed, the occ did not do nothing. did the banks know these loans were bad? when they securityized them and
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stuffed them to the pipeline then they exploded. >> i don't see how they could not have known. the banks were suppose do due diligence. how could short sellers, the people who made fortunes by shorting these dig into the details of these mortgages, say, they're going to go bad, and wall street firms did the same thing and said, these are great. i don't understand. >> the banks weren't just securityizing the mortgages. they were extending the credit to new century, to ameriquest, to countrywide. they had information that the rest of us didn't have. >> they were on every side of these transactions. >> absolutely. >> there's a due diligence firm whose documents have tumbled into the marketplace, clayton, they said these documents said that the banks were told 30%, perhaps, of these loans were not conforming and the banks that were then packaging these loans
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did nothing about it. does this give us and regulators today the foundation to go after them with a hammer and really recoup money and send people to jail? >> i think you understand the legal subtleties better than we do. i'm amazed at the difference between ethical wrongdoing and what could be criminally prosecuted. just because it strikes us all as being shockingly wrong doesn't mean there's a prosecution in there. that never fails to amaze me. >> you're right. i spent a couple of years playing that role. the thing that's disturbing is the fact they had this was not revealed, not disclosed to the marketplace. no one was told they, in fact, had recognition putting them on notice that the loans would blow up. >> a lot of reason for that is because a machine had been created and they couldn't -- there was no incentive to shut it down. by anybody, the sub prime companies, wall street, and by the regulators for that matter.
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so the thing just takes on a life of its own. and then -- >> then it -- >> that's when it blows up. >> it comes back to chuck prince's famous comment. as lon as the music is playing, we'll dance. nobody was going to turn off the jukebox because everybody was making money and the regulators who were libertarians saying, oh, if the music is playing, it must be good. >> in our book, the example we use is not citibank but merrill-lynch. they can't sell them. they put them on their own balance sheet. that's the only way they can get rid of them and keep the machine going. >> you pointed out goldman was smart of that. they sold them, shorted the stock. how does a bank do that. is this a problem? >> you have to give goldman credit for being smarter than the rest of wall street and understanding the two little words, risk management that everybody said but didn't
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practice. so start there. but, you know, goldman's always had this loan that our clients' interests come first. and it's hard to look at what happen in the crisis and say, now, wait a minute, goldman's bottom line comes first. and i think the issue is hypocrisy. that's the way they operate, that's fine. but let's tell the world that's the way they operate. >> looking back now to the supposedly structural reform we put in place, we didn't change fundamental structures, we did not rip apart the tensions and the conflicts of interest that are at the core of this. one of the favorite quotes of the last decade said what used to be used as conflict of interest is synergy. people rationalized it and said this makes sense. and -- >> or any of the banks that plays both sides against the consumer. that's what we've got. one of the things that's mystifying to me is that so many of the same ceos and the regulators are still in place. we're halfway through the football season. teams aren't doing well, coaches are kicked out. maybe justifiable, maybe not. somebody's head is on the block. they're gone. the regulators are still there. the same people who created this. how do you justify that? >> part of the reason is nobody can figure out who else to put in there. >> i got a bunch of names. nobody called me. i've got a bunch of names.
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>> i was rooting for paul voeker to be secretary of the treasury. he's old and couldn't do it for eight years, but he's one guy who doesn't care what wall street thinks. the biggest problem for a lot of these guys is that they -- they want wall street -- they want -- >> they want to be -- >> they want to be as sophisticated, by god, as wall street. it's a terrible problem. >> when all else fails, state a.g.s will step in. i couldn't miss that opportunity. all right. thank you for a fascinating conversation. if you'd like to read an excerpt from their book, go to our website, cnn.com/parkerspitter. then you have to buy the book. you'll be right back. every two years, they photographed the incoming freshmen on the steps of the capitol capitol. >> is this one this morning? >> 2008. 40% of the first-year congressmen out looking for jobs. biggest dropout rate in history. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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sign me up. call the number on your screen now... and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan. you'll get this free information kit... and guide to understanding medicare, to help you choose the plan that's right for you. as with all medicare supplement plans, you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. time for the culture of politics. you've seen the class picture, haven't you, kathleen. every two years they photograph the incoming freshmen on the steps of the capitol. >> that's the one they took this morning?
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>> no, 2008. 40% of the first-year congressmen or women in this picture out looking for jobs. biggest dropout rate in history. a lot of good people gone from this picture. one, glenn nye, a democrat from virginia graduated from georgetown. he'll serve one term no more. he lost to scott ridgel. he's signed the tea party pledge. plenty of new faces. red state, blue state, take a look at that. >> the largest freshman class since the 1930s. 60 new republicans. don't despair, for every glenn nye who got a pink slip, there's terry sewell, alabama's first african-american representative. and she spent some time in places you might recognize, princeton, harvard, and oxford. >> turnover is not a bad thing if it means new ideas and energy. at least, that's what i keep telling myself.
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>> look at the smiling faces, eliot, just like the first day in congress when they said look to the left, look to the right, in four years, one of you won't be here. >> keep in mind, rent, don't buy. you may not be there very long. >> the political parisi ty is next. stay with us. >> best-trained military that grew up on video games. predator drones and these guys are good at it simply because they -- they know how to use these controls and specifically if we -- if they're using stuff like this, i think that we're very lucky.
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welcome to our political party. it's a chance for our guests to speak their minds in a whole range of subjects. meet our guests. you go first. >> the op-ed columnist for "the new york times" who stresses using design and graphic techniques in his pieces. editor of the water cooler blog for conservative media company, "the washington times." a previous life, carrie produced new segments for robin quivers of the howard stern show. that's quite a jump. >> quite an eclectic background. >> seeking diversity and resume. we have over here elizabeth spiers, the media consultant and writer. she's the writer of pop culture blog, and harry lewis is new york one's popular roundup of new york's politics.
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welcome, everybody. a new cbs poll says four out of five americans are perfectly comfortable with the body scans, that would not be me. the x-rays that make you look as though you're naked. but there's a ground swell of protests as you well know. so are you feeling -- let's take a quick look here. we've got a video from -- who are we looking at? not sure we want to see this video. >> oh, dear. so does the tsa make you feel safer or more uncomfortable. >> i'd have to say, i just went through one of the machines today. i was coming in from memphis. here's the thing is that you're watching someone get groped and the guy getting groped, he seemed like he was enjoying it.
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i'm feeling sort of uncomfortable. >> you're not comfortable with voyeurism. >> exactly. come on. >> i'm on the wrong side of this debate because at some point, you have to make certain concessions. and if you -- >> no, you don't. >> where do you stop making concessions? >> if you're not going to go through and take the picture, then they have to figure out some way to search you. and i don't understand -- i've seen -- i've seen these x-ray things. what is the problem? it's an x-ray. they flush it as soon as they take it. >> oh, no they don't. >> yes, they do. >> they're supposed to. some of these things can be stored and saved. you don't know what happens to them what do you mean they won't be. >> the thing about all of this is how bad the experience is. nothing makes me feel more unsafe that a notion of a bunch of people with poor training, bad procedures, and low morale and low pay, frankly, are in charge of security. nothing makes me feel more unsafe than that. the stuff we put up with in the airports so far past reasonable. this is just the straw that breaks the camel's back.
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in 2009, 29 million pieces of baggage went missing, 28 pieces every hour, hour after hour -- holidays, work days, weekends. and we just put up with it. in fact, we pay for it. all they do is compete on price. nobody competes on -- let's make this a reasonable, smart, effective security system. >> a couple of airlines do. >> who is a gawker. >> i found the poll results really surprising. you know, 80% of the people are really okay with this. you wonder about sampling problems. >> i don't think they knew -- >> 78%. >> i wonder if 78% of people polled knew this. >> it seems we're going to such extremes for every person. half of the bags don't get searched, the cargo doesn't get searched. look at the people working on the airplanes, the security system is so por rouls. i'm not offended by this as a personal matter, it just doesn't work terribly well. >> you might. it doesn't mean you take steps to be less porous even if the
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baggage doesn't get stretched. if people are strapping bombs in their tighty whiteys, we have to take some pictures. >> the new video game is called "call of duty black ops"; $650 million in sales in the week. here's the trailer. this nice passive thing. take a look at this thing. >> you've got one of these games? >> i wish i did, actually. it's career to me what's going on right down to the music, frankly, this is the '70s all over again. this is the '60s, and the '70s as a shoot them up kind of experience, it's the perfect villain. >> have you bought one? >> no. no.
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i don't -- how could you justify it. how could you justify it? >> fess up. >> i think what the phenomenon is, though, is the cold war is the last time you had the official enemy. >> most of this relates to the cold war. >> of course, as a guilty pleasure, it's ideal. >> we have some of the pest trained military right now that grew up on video games and the predator drones and these guys are very good at this simply because they know how to use these controls and specifically if we -- if they're using stuff like this, i think we're very lucky in a certain sense. >> never heard it. so we want video games because it's training our future military officers. >> it's not -- >> absolutely. >> oh, my goodness. >> military. >> perfect american conversation. we're queasy about it and in the next room our kids are blowing each others brains out on a screen. perfect american conversation. >> this is secret nostalgia for the '80s and we all miss air supply and this is manifesting itself in some way. >> i know the demographic for
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these games is a little younger. but the baby-boomer generation entering retirement, a lot of guys with a lot of unfinished business with the cold war, fidel castro, vietnam vets haven't been able to play the rambo to the finish line. why not? >> oh, my goodness. check our our blog. follow us on facebook and twitter. we'll be right back with another quick question. hello, i'm joe johns, more of "parker spitzer" in a moment. first the latest. a seven-year legal battle has ended. ground zero workers exposed to toxic materials agreed to a settlement that will pay them $625 million. >> oh, my goodness. check our our blog. follow us on facebook and twitter. we'll be right back with another quick question.
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hello, i'm joe johns, more of "parker spitzer" in a moment.
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first the latest. a seven-year legal battle has ended. ground zero workers exposed to toxic materials agreed to a settlement that will pay them $625 million. the lawyers said the money passed by a narrow margin. the money will go to 10,000. the tsa says it's streamlining screening for pilots. pilots in uniform with proper i.d. get to skip the intrudive patdowns and still be subject to searches. tonight, what scientists are learning from lee murs' powerful brains. yes, lemurs. welcome back to our political party. let's do one more quick question. this week, you linked to a threat that talked about what makes me feel old. just reading that makes me feel old. what makes y'all feel old these days as they say. >> for me, newly born fruit fries and -- i don't know any --
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>> i get the feeling every time i go to a store or restaurant and get horrible, horrible service from a young person. you try to explain to them, you're not supposed to do that. you're not supposed to touch me if you're the waiter. you're not supposed to tell me your first name and all your business. you realize you try to explain a country they never visited. you're talking to them in a language they're never going to understand for 20 or 30 years. >> i have the son who had the same sized clothes. and i'm like, there's another man in my house. that's weird. >> i tell you what makes me feel weird. we interviewed the mayor of

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