tv Book Discussion CSPAN September 20, 2014 2:26pm-3:01pm EDT
started doing this and we sat down. it was not at all what i expected and from that point on this is what got us through the day. they sat there and they were more worried about me and whether i was getting enough sleep than they were about what had happened to him. asmac sand i and gin dealt with these families and victims over the years they were all that way. in the darkest days when you expect it, they will be pretty upset, they would be sitting down with you and saying you got to make sure you stay focused and stay rested and i know we have confidence in use of it is hard to convey how you feel, but i tell you i know how i think everybody feels to date that is looking at the world and responsible for being on the frontlines of counterterrorism, you worry a lot, you work long hours, it is very difficult to put it down because we used to say and i know they still say
that if you are a baseball player and that 500, just about the greatest in the world. the fbi and the cia, we cannot afford to bat 500 and we can't afford to that 900. one person out of a hundred getting through can be not just a tragedy but going forward could literally affect the sovereignty of our country. that is how serious the problem of terrorism became and how we took this. >> june of 1995 the unabomber sent out his manifesto. it did not go out to the new york times and washington post but scientific american and penthouse. i did not know that. tell us your reaction when you learned about the manifesto. was it a major break can you
lead to complications? >> have the difficulty to catch any criminal that is not communicating makes it very difficult. you have opportunity to develop. the unabomber had been quiet for seven years up until he started bombing again in 1993. in 1994 it continued and he started writing letters. that is good. he wrote a letter to the new york times, an editor at the new york times to begin with and leading up to -- suddenly he comes forward gushing 35,000 word manifesto and this is the right direction but he also attached to that the demand, the threat to the newspapers and preceded it, follow that very closely with i am going to blow up, he was claiming to have a terrorist group behind him which we didn't believe that all, we are going to blow up an airliner out of lax if you don't publish the manifesto.
that sweet the pot and a few days later he had another letter that said i was kidding about that which we didn't think was funny at all, nor did anybody flying out of california or anywhere for a while. the manifesto came -- of course we read it in tensely and looking for any clues, we had experts we sent copies to, people that were linguistics experts, everything. terry turchie will address how we brought that to a conclusion where we made use of the manifesto to bring public attention to it. >> when we got the manifesto, all 35,000 words, there were a number of people on the task force who thought it would be a great project to go back and try to sort what time frame was this person educated in, what could we tell about phrases, what
could we tell about the books that were referenced in the manifesto. all of these things. that took us on this journey to a number of college campuses and i take you back to 1995, one thing that happened in 1985 in november was a professor in michigan, university of michigan got a bomb in the mail, professor mcconnell, a bond that was built in a three ring binder and there was a letter with it that said this is my thesis statement on the history of science and i would like you to take a look at this and tell me what you think. kind of sponsor my thesis. professor mcconnell and his assistant -- it was actually a bomb that went off. so we were really fascinated in 1994. a couple poster inspectors were fascinated by the project to focus in on this history of science. what does it mean? we did a little work on fat and gone to a lot of university
campuses and talk to a lot of professors and by the time the manifesto came a lot of the information that came from knowing all the professors enable us to go back to them and start drooling down and bring more details together about the books that were referenced in the manifesto, the language and how it might relate to the history of science which was our first clue from this guy when he wrote that letter. we spent months trying to know and understanding and reading the manifesto and by the time we had someone step forward that could help us bring it together we have already been done those trails and we were able to pull a lot of pieces together. >> there was debate whether to publish the manifesto, the washington post ultimately did. tell us -- i believe there was a meeting, you could describe -- don't publish it but change your mind quickly. tell us about that. >> the task force in san
francisco. the knee-jerk reaction was there is national policy against doing business with a terrorist, acceding to terrorist demands that we had an extortion demand against newspapers and we should keep that in mind and recommends to the director of the fbi that they should not published. it took an hour to turn that decision around, to say we really should look at this from a law-enforcement operational perspective and let washington deal with the national policy issues. if it will move the investigation forward and give us the opportunity to make an arrest doesn't fast outweigh a national policy, brought national policy? so we changed -- task force chambers made the recommendation to me and terry turchie and i came back to washington and met
with the attorney-general janet reno, and the next day i was amazed but when the attorney-general called in, these people made themselves available and we had the publishers of the new york times and washington post along with their editorial staff which was very interesting. >> you want to comment? >> we are sitting on opposite sides of the table and we fought the tension would have to do with talking about unabomber's publication but it came down to the -- i happened to mention that we had this scenario where we think if you published it one of the things we would do is be serve failing news stands in san francisco and other cities because our profilers tell us perhaps the unabomber will show up at one of these newsstands and get a trophy copy of the paper. i am telling this story and they're listening and finally, i
said we think if the post or the times published this, we would set up on your newsstands and we found in san francisco there are only a couple places where the same day washington post is actually published or sold, we think that would be the perfect way because the new york times is everywhere, perfect way to publish it in the post and we can stand on those two places and there was some quiet and someone, i don't remember if it was from the post or the times, said by the way, who sells more papers in san francisco, the post or the times? i had no answer, did know what i should do. so louis says go ahead, tell them. i said actually we all kind of laugh because the washington post sells nothing in san francisco and he said i wouldn't have been surprised at that.
who is the washington post? we had a good moment there but ultimately ease they shared the class of publication on september 19th, the washington post published a special insert, the unabomber manifesto. we implemented our plan and again max and i were going home, had it already, all kinds of people coming in to set up these newsstands and we figured we needed so many agents to watch four or five locations because we didn't figure we would have 150 people show up. at 3:00 in the morning we got a call before we ever started and they told us we have already gone lines around the block at these places. we have hundreds of people waiting to buy the post. we needed more agents so that is what we had to do. >> as far as the information that was there, the help of the
media by publishing it and i did numerous press conferences talking about remember what we know about the unabomber, we know the geographical areas he has worked in, urging the public to come forward and there was a million-dollar reward that existed for a few years. the telephone line people were calling in, potential suspects, ex wives were reporting their husbands, 52 or 54 brothers reported their brothers were the unabomber and of course we were looking for that one tips that would be the one that made good and that is what happened. >> tell us about that. >> i want to talk about this. we got a call from an attorney who was brokering, trying to broker a deal about a client
that he had and he was a washington d.c. attorney and fingers still happen like they appear to have happened this that tourney had good working relationship with an fbi agent in washington d.c.. was in south carolina. contacted him in south carolina. he said i am not there, i will give you agent in d.c. to contact, so he did and this young lady, molly flynn, met with him and got a 20 page document to beat and it was typed on an antique typewriter. we had one forensic piece of evidence we were always searching for comment antique smith corona 1935 typewriter with 2.54 spacing, the one thing that can nick italy's cases together over the years. molly got it, took it to the laboratory, they examined it and said no, it is not that typewriter so they sent it back
to molly. molly was a good agent. she knew how massive this case was. this case was not a normal case. ask about the unabomber file, it was 59,000 volumes of information. that translates to 11,800,000 pages of documents and she knew that and so she called out to another supervisor on the unabomber case, told him she had this document she was sending but she didn't wanted to get lost in all of that stuff that was coming in. he said pay attention to it because even though the typewriter isn't the same one, the ideas here are exactly the ideas in the manifesto. so joel got it and read it and got excited and took it to terry turchie and our psychologist on the task force and they got excited. terry turchie and jim freeman were going to lunch and they took it to terry turchie and he said we need to talk about this
so he canceled his meeting with jim, gave a lame excuse he couldn't go with him and we went to lunch together with that document. as we were having lunch and reading the document, who walks in but jim freeman? oh no, you know. everyone got real excited about it. our task force you have to understand relates to a question you asked before. we had come off of the compelling suspect that jim had determined could not be the unabomber. the task force members, a lot of them believed sincerely that it was. they worked hard, long, exhausting hours and we said we need to give them a break before we start on this again. we do a little reconnaissance, talk to jim's secretary, jim is gone for the afternoon. won't be back. cheese said perfect.
i can't withhold it from him so i will take it in and lay it on his desk with a little yellow flynn on it and say we need to talk about this monday morning and we go downstairs to the cafeteria at have a cup of coffee and relax and we haven't been there 15 minutes and this is the day of the pager and his pager is going off like crazy with the signal no. it that the boss wants to see you. he didn't go home. he came back and the minute he read it he got excited and we went back up and carry talked to him and jim said this is the man. this is the unabomber. we are turning of the ship, 2417 actual suspects, not just people of interest but actual suspect so he was very perceptive. >> the document was 1973? >> 1971. >> there was a treatise ted kaczynski had given to his brother and his brother had kept that and when you read those pages from and said many years
before and compared it to a reading of the manifesto i came to the conclusion the same person wrote it and others did as well. you can't take that to the bank. that does not get you a federal search warrant. a lot more work to be done but the gut feeling was there and we started a linguistic study and started developing common phrases as well as fox common to both documents as well as letters being written by the unabomber so the no writings, suspect writings of ted kaczynski and comparing them as we did all potential suspects with the timeline we prepared we knew the unabomber had been in sacramento when he placed -- dropped a package in the mailbox or mailed a letter from here postmarked from there. fortunately ted kaczynski saved all his letters, saved the outside envelops with postmarks which gave us candidates where
the unabomber had to be in the cities at that time so the unabomber time line, we had the ted kaczynski time line and a job very well. we never found a conflict between the two. >> once we got the document from the attorney he did tell us to his client was but he instituted an investigation all over the country and agents were sent to interface with him and meet with his client and broker the deal and in turn david kaczynski and his wife agreed to meet with the agents and talking at the intern do take the agents to chicago and talk with the mother and get all these other letters and documents over the years and the other investigations going on. i was fortunate or unfortunate enough to be sent to short time later by a these guys to montana in february to head the investigation there when they were in the wharf and comfort of northern california. there were a lot of things going and. these interval parts that were
going on all over the country being pulled to get there. >> i want to make sure we get the audience in the conversation, with a microphone. if you have a question raise your hand and she will come to you. in the first row but i want to maybe jump forward a little bit because once you have identified ted kaczynski and knew where he was there another race against the clock, the media, which was cbs. tell us what they had and the negotiations with them about not releasing it. >> that was an interesting time because we were under very serious time constraints. once we have focused in on the conclusion that ted kaczynski is our man, there is a lot of work to be done.
investigations into stages, you identify the perpetrator and put together all the evidence that can stand up in court and prove it. when we looked at ted kaczynski and max saw him first in montana here it is this hermit living in a 10 x 12 capt. that had no running water, no electricity, no means of heating and other than a potbellied stove and our laboratories told us he puts components in these bombs where he is melting aluminum so he has to have something -- electric power to run that. we found out later he was doing it on the potbellied stove. their web many aspects looking at ted kaczynski as a suspected didn't fit. how does this man travel, all these places, to carry bombs and place them one of the hat was a little bicycle? in winter months he is snow in. to see him in his clothes falling off of him an absolute
hermit, how did this man target university professors and heads of corporations? it didn't fit and not every one of our staff believed he was a viable suspect. max was a holdout until the week before we arrested him. you want to take that question? >> i wonder if he felt the manifesto was released, a feeling from ted kaczynski that he was in competition with the terrorists who bombed the trade center? or the federal building? >> we thought that might be the case. you, in particular looked at that. >> one of the first problems we made to our profile, the bombing of the oklahoma city federal building, she played out very quickly to as that this was something done by somebody who wants to be a mass killer as opposed to the unabomber who
kills individual the from afar. those distinctions while at that time, didn't seem to be something we could make a firm conclusion on were enough to convince most people these separate bombings. theodore kaczynski put his plan in motion as mcveigh was plotting his plan in motion. it was totally coincidental. that is an important question because if you think back to after 9/11 and the terrible tragedy of the twin towers, a week later down the east coast you had the anthrax attack. there was a huge outcry and a lot of people wanted certain specific actions to take place which would have unleashed a lot of significant weapons and issues because they thought the anthrax was connected to 9/11 was all connected to saddam hussein and iraq. we found other reasons to go into iraq. these are the things that go on and if you look at the history of terrorism you see a lot of
coincidences when something is happening on another track. one more example, looking at bombs on an airplane coming across the pacific at the same time theodore kaczynski was spreading to the obama plan out of lax so the world is a significant, complicated and yet a place you have to tread caution when dealing with terrorism. >> ted kaczynski was on a bus on his way to second when the oklahoma city occurred. that was a popular theory at the time but he had no knowledge of the oklahoma city. >> i said did you feel kaczynski was in competition in that he felt he wasn't being noticed like the others who were receiving the media coverage? >> we did feel that way at a certain point in time even going back to 1993 and going back to the first world trade center bombing we did feel that way. >> he didn't even know about oklahoma city so that wasn't the competition for him. he was setting his own plan in
motion. >> second question right there. >> in a case like this with all the bombings how many bombings did it take before they connected that they were all from the same bomber and 100% of your work in the task force that work or do you do anything else? >> the task force was formed, we were 100% and we had anywhere from 40 fbi agents in similar amounts of agents and inspectors working together full time, 24 hours a day seven days week, few nights, few vacations, long days and so forth. the other part of your question? >> how many bombs? >> law enforcement in the early 70s, laid 70s didn't even know about the existence of a serial bomber until the fourth bombing. they concluded about the third bombing and if you follow this case at all you know some of these early bombs, the unabomber
started putting little metal tags stamped with the letters fc and the reason it appears he did that was law enforcement wasn't connecting the bombs that he had left and you wanted credit for them so rather than depend upon law-enforcement to connect them he started putting his little calling card in there so we would know so he would get his credit for what he was doing. >> i am retired custom's agent, worked with the fbi on many occasions especially south florida, an amazing organization, investigative capability. i would like to ask a question related to mentions of sovereignty and national policy sometimes takes precedent over law-enforcement investigative priorities. we had a recurring theme in american history, the lone bomber, the lone assassin. you did an amazing job and was a lone bomber. the arby oswald, lone assassin, osama bin laden, the sole person who guided 9/11, we have learned on 9/11 world trade center number 7 which hasn't been
discussed in the media, a 47 story building collapsed in 7 seconds at 5:20 in the afternoon, the third tower that the land that they. how did osama bin laden do that? are you confident there weren't explosive devices used in world trade center 7 as well as the other towers and also as we approach the 50th anniversary of the warren commission, howard hunt, former cia watergate convict confessed to being part of the plot and identified other cia personnel as involved in the kennedy assassination before he died in 2007. mainstream media won't reported. final question would you believe the harvey oswald was the lone assassin in that matter and should that investigation be reopened? >> if you want to take that? >> you asked a lot. i thank you kind of put your fingers on a lot of cases where many people have many questions.
i would not even pretend to try to answer or give some sort of comfort to any particular position. i think i read the warren commission report and felt pretty good about it. it looked to me like they covered a lot but there are a lot of people who don't think that. i think everybody who is interested in this and interested in terrorism should go back and look at the things you mentioned and look at the cases you mentioned and they can make up their mind. i think bottom line for us as far as things like the world trade center, we have an indictment on a number of people because of the world trade center, indictments going back to the uss cole bombing and embassy bombings and the reason i bring those up and the reason they are important you can read all of those and see a lot of interconnections between the cast of characters that led from year to year into what became 9/11. we could go all day but that is what i would suggest and should certainly appreciate your assessment. >> a question up there to the unabomber. tell us about that first moment,
the first of the three of you to actually see him and once you were surrounding the cabin, what was the board to get out? >> i saw him on month before we took him into custody. i developed a good source of information, the property around him, we were trying to to get a physical description of the cabinet for the search warrant affidavit or arrest warrant affidavit and the specificity of what the captain looked like exactly where it was located. don't go to a port and say i was a search warrant or arrest warrant in montana? that was when the jobs that jim asked me to do, i walked up along with one of his neighbors a base skid road, a number of trees o the forest above him. then he stuck his head out and my first response is he is will we have been looking for all
these years. he was a wild looking person, he had on an orange nick cap, you contraband image of the you are looking for, all these people telling us about power tools and all this stuff and here is a guy living in this little cabin, just amazed me. with that perspective in mind, when jimmy did decision we had to take him out of the cabin another job he had given me was to develop an arrest plan for safely getting ted kaczynski out of a cannon. one thing we promised his family was we would arrest him humanely if they cooperated with us and we wouldn't have a waco standoff in which he would be killed. we had to develop a plan. in my estimation the plan was
pretty simple. he had to come out of that cap and some time and all the time i was up there was coming out. he was staying in close proximity to the cab and physically. the plan had been to wait for him to go to town to get provisions, supplies or what have you as he pedaled his bicycle into town on a gravel road, we zoom in and pounce on him and taken into custody. we couldn't do that because of the demands of some people in the media who threatened to take it to a program in the near future. we didn't know if he had capability of monitoring that program or not. we knew he didn't have electricity. the header radio, a battery operated radio using to monitor news programs. to develop a plan to get him out of the cabin safely and in developing this force we discuss that possibility and i was confident we could trick him into coming out of the cabin without him knowing who we were
and why we were tear. if he got close enough to one of the three of us who approached the cabin we grabbed him and we used a ruse, we went a three of us, four service police officer in full police uniform who patrol that area, kaczynski noon and who knew kaczynski, my partner who was our senior resident agent in helena, montana, john mcdaniel who looks like a big cowboy and myself. we let jerry burns of the 4 service do all the talking and when you go on someone's private property in the mountains in particular, you are trespassing. you just don't walk on their property without permission. so jerry started hailing him as we left the trail and went onto his property and there was no response from inside the cabin and the plan had been for jerry to do the talking because they knew one another and he would introduce us as people who were from a mining company,
surrounding property owner had leased the mining exploratory rights for the coming summer to that company. he had told ted kaczynski that he had done that in december and ted was not happy but he had assured tit he would see to it this mining company stay off of ted's property when they came up. of course he didn't know the reason ted kaczynski didn't want people around was he was experimenting with bombs and explosives and so forth. as we got to the cabin he opened the door and jerry burns, for service police officer said hi, mr. kaczynski, u.s. forest service, i am here with these gentlemen from the mining company and we need to see where your corner posts are so they will ensure their employees don't trespass on your land this summer when it come up here. he said my corner posts are adequately mark and jerry said they are under four feet of snow. we could go out and did around but we thought would be easier if you helped us and he said ok
and he opened the door and took one step toward jerry and jerry is a sizable guy, that was his big mistake, jerry grabbed him. not very dramatic. tom mcdaniel, a big man, wrapped him up and they struggled and i got to walk around and had the privilege every fbi agent in joys which was taking my credentials out and saying mr. kaczynski, fbi. he looked at my weapons staring him in the nose from six inches and completely complied. it was very not dramatic. it was very easy and simple and like we planned it, thank god. >> time for one more question. >> i wonder if you could comment more on the manifesto itself. i haven't read the full document but my and standing as it focuses a lot on the socialization and political theory and psychology behind it. i was wondering, what was the
importance of the manifesto to ted kaczynski and how it relates to the bombing itself. >> was the white philosophy against technology. it wasn't -- the philosophy itself was not unique to ted kaczynski by any means but the way he expressed it was what was unique and that helps us out in the investigation and made it recognizable. >> it was called industrial society in the future and was like a return to living the luddite type of life with very little technology and ted kaczynski, a lot of people ask, ted kaczynski was a anger, revenge motivated. we did huge studies on trying to connect the victims in this, what was the commonality. there was no commonality. ted kaczynski selected his victims who were representational of things he didn't like. cheap didn't like university professors. he didn't like graduate students. he didn't like airlines.
he didn't like computers and technology. he didn't like psychologists. i always call him the equal opportunity hater. he hated anything and everything that wasn't him. he would act on it. we took 22,000 pages of journals out of his cabinet. we knew exactly why he did what he did. there is no question about it. eroded down and he says very specifically i have a lot of hatred in me and i am doing this for no particular purpose other than revenge and a anger. >> we actually inserted him in our book, each chapter has a quotation in ted's though words describing his motivations and his reaction to people he killed or that he didn't kill, the bonds malfunction, he expressed regret that he didn't kill them. it adds an interesting flavor to the description of the investigation. >> definitely his lifelong
passion, his words. when we had him as a suspect and had him arrested we went back and found he had written editorials to the chicago tribune and other papers in '68, '69, '70, had we been able to go back or thought about going back and checking papers and been lucky enough to find these it looked like a manifesto. ..