Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on The Story  CSPAN  December 28, 2015 8:30pm-9:31pm EST

8:30 pm
royalty data but i think that was really one of the biggest takeaways from our report which is there is a tremendous challenge of the lack of technological backing of the service. going back to my comment earlier about everything that is trackable these days i think there really needs to be a bigger movement to one of the recommendations in the report to implement better technology to track that payment from the time the music is listed on spotify in the u.s. or wherever they are using the streaming service to the writer or musician. >> host: the music industry is in transition in this digital era. this is something library of congress the department of justice and the u.s. copyright office in the u.s. congress are all involved in. allen bargfrede is the executive director of rethink music and they have come out with a new report on transparency and
8:31 pm
payment flows in the music industry. thanks for being our guest on "the communicators." >> guest: thanks so much for having me.
8:32 pm
>> the first and i think primary reason we have business is to punish people for antisocial median to remove that threat from society. to keep us safe whether they are going to rehabilitate it a prisoner or deter future crimes i think those are really secondary concerns. the primary purpose of the prison system is for people who are not interested to keep society safe from the threat posed by those folks. >> they get the jobs and they go and do their job saying i'm protecting the public. the idea of the public are those
8:33 pm
who gave them their margin for it. you need to look at all that silly talk about transparency we need to look at those rules that they have and start using to engage themselves with our community. >> it leaves people feeling to stand into solutions. as a child i couldn't wait to experience it. when we grow up we forget to notice the honking and worry about whether we can afford -- tomorrow.
8:34 pm
>> but may say our guest this evening is a journalist. as a general rule i have an aversion for coming to -- they preferred to keep the focus on the stories that they are covering. that certainly has been judy miller's preference as a veteran journalist but a decade ago judy ended up the subject of not one but two big controversies one involving the question of iraq's alleged pursuit of weapons of
8:35 pm
mass distraction and the other involving a disclosure of valerie plame as a cia operative. she is here this evening to discuss those issues and much more all chronicled in her new memoir "the story" a reporter's journey. the book covers the whole span of judy's long accomplished career in journalism and three decades of which was on the list at "the new york times." she joined the washington bureau 1977 and spent the 1980s brought in chiron pearson turning -- return to washington to serve as a deterrence special correspondent. stories about osama bin laden and al qaeda asean a small team of others in 2001 before and immediately after the 9/11 attacks won a pulitzer prize. during the run-up to the iraq war in the months after the 2003 invasion judy wrote a number of
8:36 pm
high-profile articles, articles that turned out to be based on wrong information. she came under fire by many critics both outside and inside the times. in 2004 and 2005 she ended up in further controversy this time over at plame case and was jailed for nearly three months defending reporters write to tap sources and refusing to testify before a grand jury. in 2005 judy left the times. in 2008 she joined "fox news" as a commentator and she's now an adjunct fellow at the manhattan institute contributed an editor of the institute magazine journal and a theater reporter for tablet magazine. >> theater critic. everybody is a critic. >> the story is this book.
8:37 pm
others have dealt with biological weapons or the holocaust. she picks such lighthearted subjects. judy's story or stories raise important questions about the practice of journalism, relationships between reporters and sources, between reporters and editors especially when classified or highly sensitive information is involved in the decisions about whether to take a nation to war. there's certainly a lot to discuss this evening. we will be in conversation with an old friend of mine and was a talented foreign correspondent and foreign editor during his 20
8:38 pm
years with the "washington post." he went on to lead the transatlantic center of the german marshall fund for the american council on germany. recently he became a senior fellow at brookings and serves as a senior adviser for europe. ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming judy miller and bill joseph. [applause] >> thank you very much brad for that kind introduction. the pleasure to be in the company of good friends and on the occasion of judy's latest book. i thought we would start out with just some softball questions about how you got into journalism because i'm sure we will have plenty of time to go to the audience and talk about some of the more controversial aspects of your career. i suppose everybody behind every journalist there is a series of
8:39 pm
mentors or inspirational people. i understand he started in journalism as a progressive publication at the height of the protests against vietnam. larry stern was a close friend and editor. tell me a little bit about that phase of your career. >> well that then i was a graduate student who had decided that i was never going to be an economist because it was too boring even for me and since i hated the sight of blood that couldn't be at doctor and i thought journalism was an interesting way. i had no idea. i started doing freelance at princeton's woodrow wilson school. i was a graduate student studying the middle east for a summer which many universities did back then.
8:40 pm
i went to start out in israel and then i got really hooked and the arab-israeli conflict. in those days people forget we had to go to cypress because there was no direct connection between israel and any arab country so i flew to cypress and i went to each of you people told me there was going to be a war and i thought i wasn't reading that in the american papers. they went to jordan met king hussein for the first time that i try to interview him with a tape recorder and i did know how worked so he had to start it for me. that became the beginning of a long-standing friendship and i admired him anonymously. beirut and syria. i came back to princeton and decided i really didn't want to do economics that i wanted to be a journalist and woodward and bernstein were still the heroes of the day that i came to washington to try to get a job.
8:41 pm
i found the progressive and an early mentor of mine was izzy and is the was nothing if not skeptical. he was everyday when i go to him with some problem or national security challenge the government -- he would say just remember they all lie. it doesn't matter republicans and a attended smacker democratics all lie and they always will pray the only thing you can depend on is what they put in their document sometimes. he was a great source of inspiration. so when i got to the times i was hired by "the new york times" because of affirmative action. the women of "the new york times" three years earlier had sued the paper for sexual discrimination but i have to tell you their case was rocksolid. there were no women columnists.
8:42 pm
on and on, there were no women. three women out of 35 people and all of a sudden people like me began. it was my good fortune to come along at the right time. alex wanted to go back and write about the middle east and in 1982 abe rosenthal sent me there another inspiration along with bill safire, conservative columnist with whom i adamantly disagreed. we agreed on only one thing which was the importance of journalism in keeping americans informed. >> that is something you can share. since that was your first big assignment how did that change your perspective as a person on your views about the middle east
8:43 pm
and the way to cover it as a journalist? >> what i had discovered when i was a student was that the story oftentimes wasn't the major story that everybody was writing about. it was about israel, this group, the first group of people to form illegal settlements and yet i think i wrote one of the first early pieces for the progressive before i joined the times about the importance of health of the land was more important than the rule of law. i saw a great peril in the approach. then when i got to each of the full-time the first big story i had was in beirut. in 1983 when the marine compound compound -- and that's when i
8:44 pm
encountered terrorism for the first time in my life. and they retain beirut rather than have a nice hotel with an area that had been up on site wrote off it was utter chaos. i had flown to israel and lebanon was closed. they close all the porters in the airport. i flew to israel and persuaded the lebanese -- to take me back and forthwith them. i got there at don just as they were taking out americans bodies that was the first time that we were up against -- we all heard the story of the shiite driver in the yellow mercedes who had smiled as he drove through the town. we didn't understand what that was all about. it would be a long time before we understood what jihadists
8:45 pm
means about the afterlife and how it became important. from there, that's where my interest in militants began. that directed me to exit my reporting for a few years. >> as i recall the suicide bomber was from tehran. that was the early days of hezbollah. >> has balao was just being formed and there was a lot of information and a lot of rogue stories that turned out to be not true. it was very hard to figure out what was going on in that chaotic period but i knew as i was standing there that day in the rubble.
8:46 pm
lo and behold two months later i was standing in another rubble at the american embassy in kuwait. fortunately nobody was killed because the area that was bombed the suicide bomber had come through and it was a place of the chancellery where people have stopped working. we were hugely lucky that more americans were killed there. i began to see it again and again, different groups that we tended to lump together. i knew they were all different and they were motivated by some of the same things that all politics are local, so i had to go to each country to figure out what motivated that particular group. >> in your reporting you found that this suicidal maniacal jihad. >> the goal was the same, to establish caliphate or
8:47 pm
restoration of islamic law. the methods, the grievances and the method of organization and the way the ammo was set up everywhere. for example people i said that israel was a really important factor. it was if you were in the west bank of gaza in a refugee camp in immediate areas but if i went to morocco and algeria or tunis they really didn't care about israel. it was just not a factor in what they wanted to do. and so i began to be enormously wary about these broad generalizations. that led to my book. i always loved that about islam. there are exit 100 that only 99 and one noble only to god. there was one thing that people
8:48 pm
are worried about it, this will not be confined to the middle east. >> it must have been particularly difficult as a woman reporter. were there hidden advantages? >> there were many hidden advantages. not only did i get my job or affirmative action but in those days when you are at risk not only because you are tall but women were kidnapped and we were killed. a wish islamic chivalry. they didn't do to us what they did to some of you. there was also what i called the saudi usc syndrome where he would go to saudi arabia where women couldn't drive, had to sit
8:49 pm
in the back of the bus. the back of the bus isn't air-conditioned and 120 degrees, can't really work with men. we all know the confusion now but i was an honorary man man at the time that i was there. the saudi trained, american trained saudi officials would bend over backwards to show how enlightened and western they were and i had extraordinary access because of her was a woman. the gender thing played both ways. >> what interested you in weapons of mass distraction and german biological warfare? >> is a happy subject. >> you seem to be drawn to grisly ways of dying. >> is so crazy because i have
8:50 pm
been so blessed. my life was really lucky. i had a wealthy talented father and a brother who is a great -- a corrupt comfortable but i grew up her the time and must they guess in my father ran nightclubs. i didn't realize until i got to las vegas after 2001 to look at what we were using anti-rightist series of articles there. i didn't realize and that's when i remembered this. i had actually grown up during the period for about four years and i remembered seeing one of the tests. las vegas to remember was only 60 miles away from the place that we did most of our
8:51 pm
aboveground testing in most of our underground testing. i remember the bomb very much being a part of my childhood. i read about this in the book. my mother -- i begged my mother to take us to jc penny's which had just donated a set of clothing that would the used and it -- the pentagon wanted to see what would happen to mannequins who were dressed up in regular clothing which you can still see today. they have tours which i highly recommend. they detonated a bomb and they had pictures of what was left and was an absolutely horrific scene. the atomic testing museum in las vegas actually lets you sit on
8:52 pm
the bench the way our soldiers did and feel the rumble of the earth and they created that and all of a sudden he came back to me. i realized where they come from nevermind the fact that we are systematically lied to. i think part of the reason i wanted to write about it was because i knew a lot of what we are being told was not true. the early pieces were skeptical from the weapons we were developing from the neutron bomb >> you connected in those days too -- and started asking yourself what would happen if a suicidal religious fanatic,
8:53 pm
weapons of mass distraction. hack that's when it occurred to me and then in 1991 when i got to the chapter on saudi arabia wasn't chosen to be part of the team but i was interviewing when the war broke out in the saudis space that i was trapped there for three months. the men send all of their wives to mecca which saddam would never bomb they thought and i got sang out with them. i finally had a chance to kind of really talk to saudi's in an unguarded moment where they felt vulnerable. they knew that if saddam one they were in big trouble. he it gave me an insight into saudi arabia that i have never had before but i remember one of them telling me about this mad saudi man named osama bin laden
8:54 pm
from a wealthy family who was running it around showing how we didn't -- we didn't need these people, get them out of here. they are soiling our holy land and we can fight this for ourselves. buying countered him by reputation in afghanistan. i went to see what life in the taliban was like. it was 1991 was the war and then i went to taliban afghanistan in 2000, before 2001. >> it was afghanistan that bin laden and others have been trained by american soldiers. >> i don't know if we trained his group but we trained mujahideen and i remembered having an argument with a great
8:55 pm
friend of mine. she wanted to be here but she's traveling today. she's a diplomat. she had been given a tour of the taliban, i'm sorry the mujahideen that the cia was training and she said boy, these are my kind of holy warriors. i remember saying to her you know i'm just really nervous about the notion of any holy war they tend to forget that although virtue and wisdom are not on their side. this could be problematic for us and also i encountered them in egypt because they were blowing up government industries and government officials there so i knew and was always worried about it. i badgered the times into letting me do a series on this guy and my former colleague to the first piece for "the new york times".
8:56 pm
osama bin ladin becoming more than a financier. >> that blowback was very much reported. >> a wonderful book. >> for examples of don there was a series -- saddam and you covering him in those days. donald rumsfeld went to baghdad and ask how we could help against the fighting in our brand and saddam was touted as a socialist ball work against fundamentalism. what did you think in those days
8:57 pm
>> my first trip to iraq was a think 1976 or 1977 when saddam was there. he was consolidating power and is much as i was -- i really didn't like saddam because every writer was under pressure or in jail and a dissident artist. even people who had come in and take what they wanted. it was a nightmare from the beginning and each time i went back, i went about 20 times as i had the misfortune of covering the iran/iraq war. it just got worse and worse and sanctions were on the children began to starve. one of the first series of
8:58 pm
articles i worked on by a great scientist for the "times" who wrote with me on my next book, germs. that was the program that he hid the longest. it wasn't the news. we didn't realize he destroyed them after israel had launched this reactor but they never were able to really -- but their biology was very important to him. bill and i got to work with the national inspectors that i come back from iraq and they were telling us about the program and the interesting investigation. after watching saddam for so many years, it was a monster
8:59 pm
just on human rights grounds alone. >> you must have tracked his efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. iran and covering the iran-iraq work it was already in chemical weapons abandoned eventually on his own people but he would be using insecticides against domestics who work coming across the marshes in the south and then finally gets his own people , the kurds in the north. >> that's another thing that i covered. >> tell us about that. >> a great great man for helping to get these iraqi officials
9:00 pm
government documents of that massacre because the iraqi's take exquisite records. ..
9:01 pm
this woman who had been taken in and she was still frozen holding her baby. the sky beyond the pale and that was resolution after resolution after resolution. saddam thought he could buy off the west, brought the russians, seduce the germans and the europeans and by and large he was right. >> about ten or 15ten or 15 minutes. i want to open it up to questions from the audience. in the interest of time will try to group two or three. >> well, we can start opening up. so please ask a question.
9:02 pm
who would like to start? right here. >> i actually came here expecting to hear more about your problems with the deceit and the pressures that you felt when you are trying to report on weapons of mass distraction. in other words, it is as important for us to understand ourselves and our own deceit, and that is what i really was hoping you would talk about. one other part of that i just ask, if there is ever going to be any sense of proper operation and governing anywhere at any time there has to be some higher level of openness and light and what is going on because we are fed stuff and cannot make good decisions
9:03 pm
if we don't see what is going on in these offices and that these lunches and so forth. and anytime i governing person is dealing with governing matters, that should be accessible to us, and it is not. far from it. >> you touched on one of the big challenges. penetrate from trying to cover it up to protect their own record are just simply live. >> one of the reasons i wrote this book is a wonder look at this. so many americans still believe. it fits on a bumper bumper sticker. we know now from exhaustive reports, the committee on intelligence, bipartisan in this case pretty
9:04 pm
nonpartisan, rob sullivan reports from the exhaustive examination that it was worse. the intelligence agencies to pay billions of dollars year and got it wrong, and they got it wrong for understandable reasons, for the same reason that we journalists got it wrong. and that is because this area, working in this area and understanding foreign countries weapons program, one of the hardest things. because you have real-life human beings often times in the sources and methods, people overseas putting there lives at risk. and they assemble this information and combine it
9:05 pm
with what satellites able to collect and photographs in the air able to find and protection of various kinds. programs, a follower someone there watching. and it is so hard to do. and they get it wrong. and i think part of what happened in part of what i write about in the book is that there was pressure on these analysts,analysts, but not the kind of people think. noah was telling them the saddam had wmds and they didn't believe it. one of the reasons was not only what i have been talking to you about here, the new saddam in the program in the history. beyond that they believed it because the last time they have been asked to do it they had underestimated. and saddam turned out to be
9:06 pm
closerthe closer to a nuclear bomb and they had been. now these were people who i have dealt with since i 1st started writing about wmds. you're right about bin laden's program very early but they were there. they were right about biological chemicals. there were ultimately right about the soviet union and the fact that the cia had pretty much missed a program which was 60,000 people and dozens of institutions throughout russia. they had not really understood the depth of the program until the sector came out from the program and said this is really bad. if you are that analyst and
9:07 pm
governments and so much depends on you and because these people have been so right for so long, because there were often times some of the few people who said no bin laden guy, he's a real problem, i believe. they did not live. it is so hard to figure this out. >> next question. >> i guess they are lining up. >> the question is about independence of journalists.
9:08 pm
the distinct statement of the question will be how does the journalist avoid partisan bias and there is no messing, it seems timely now, some question. the notion of independence, obsolete and naïve and to what extent do you think that is the case. and it seems to me it is probably a bigger problem over time command you are gradually assumed to be bias, even gently so they're may be some tendency for that to accelerate. any comments on the problem? and on the assumption is obsolete assumptions? >> it is getting to be.
9:09 pm
american press: the european press? you know you're reading a left of center publication. there is a broad diversity. but i might reporters there is. that your notyou are not -- let's get to your question. the standard of objectivity is that of course we all have our biases and our prejudices and our beliefs,
9:10 pm
with the new york times model of journalism the "washington post" model and the journalism which was taught in our schools for a long time was that he tried compensate for whatever personal bias you may have and be driven by the facts and your reporting. as of the explosion of social media the mix between opinion journalism and fact-based journalism has pretty much blended together and is disappearing. people, you are entitled to your opinion. and then you just get a highly polarized society, politicize journalism another reason i wrote the book as i wanted to explore
9:11 pm
the problem. editors ask you. the same question will drive you toward the facts. it's always going back to the story. my 1st story on almost anything almost always contains errors of some kind. have to keep going back and looking, what can you in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd time. especially in the intelligence world find out there is little to and then you find out that the cia diverted this aluminum tube from jordan and that they
9:12 pm
are now examining this to a laboratory. there is high confidence of this to being used there is a debate. stories unfold. the real crime is not getting something wrong and that is happening more and more. that is another reason upset the three reports no pressure on analysts my americans want to believe they were deliberately.
9:13 pm
>> i don't see them as being better informed today. >> i don't really have a question. i don't know what to do. go like that? >> soupy sales. does that work? in fact, there was enormous pressure. i was on 60 minutes. there was enormous pressure. >> to do what? >> to confirm that there were weapons of mass
9:14 pm
distraction, particularly the mobile biological weapons labs. i was the person leading the no there isn't. and to have feet of paper proving and it has been reported in classified that there was a lot of pressure. i'm not going to -- not going to let you get away with the intelligence agencies were wrong. people were they figured out how to validate. they went to oak ridge. >> can you identify yourself? >> margaret hadlock. i was there. >> the commission report. >> unclassified.
9:15 pm
>> urge you to read the declassified enjoy your own conclusions. there were always people who disagreed about intelligence. >> some were not convinced. i guess the question ii would ask you is the question that: powell asks. the question that: powell asks in his book. you would not talk to me for my book. there were a number of people who wouldn't talk to me that many claim to have been doubters. i didn't write about the mobile labs. people i did try to talk to what i do not talk or would not confirm.
9:16 pm
powell in his book, leadership said, and i found it moving and disturbing. she said he gets furious when he hears now about people who doubted the intelligence that he and the president were given. priorities people are going to war? where were these people when the dissent would've mattered? and that is his account. >> right. >> well, chief of staff.
9:17 pm
>> well, and other countries as well there were debates about the veracity. >> they all came to the same conclusion. english intelligence congress intelligence and israeli intelligence. whether orother other countries policy workers want to go to war they were not deeply divided.
9:18 pm
people of goodwill can disagree about the 2nd part. >> a lot of about what americans were told. a very good article americans knew. five days after michael and i wrote the story we learned about the and put it in the new york times. i would have liked it to been on the front page but it wasn't. so i think it's -- i know if
9:19 pm
you are involved in the debate of the time you feel strongly and might've felt pressure but all people like me had to go on over to get at that moment and then subsequently the finding these different panels. >> like the famous case involving curveball. the german intelligence were saying don't trust the sky. >> that's my case. i'm not going to drag all the rest of you. >> once again people have different memories. >> man.
9:20 pm
you should write an article or something about the classified part. he said there is only an unclassified report. where's your article of the classified? i did not report on mobile biological labs. the group which i was embedded came across one of those labs. they were convinced i was there reporting on them. they were convinced that these labs were for
9:21 pm
biological production. the 1st story about that than the cia issued a white paper saying that. and then i went back in june, tf whom is now dead. he was still in britain. one of the people who told me the cia has got it wrong. read the weapons hunt and synthesis of biological lab, got it wrong. agent not live. he got it wrong. it into the 3rd article. these labs actually appear to be for weather balloons. the stuff, look, i, look, i
9:22 pm
wrote this book so i could talk about mistakes i made. it's important to look at mistakes we make so we can understand how to not make them again. but when you stop doing that , when you stop going back and asking questions that is when you fall into convenient patterns of thoughts that fits your ideological preference or something you want to believe. it is important every now and then for all of us to get out of our comfort zone. i showed you how the estimates are put together: back and talk to some of the people who were presumably doubters. you talk to me.
9:23 pm
and i try to go back and look at the stories and really hope that with your article and others ten years from now someone else would go back and take a different look at it and have a greater understanding. the only thing we can agree on this the war as it was spot on what are not it was justified. that's why it's so important >> we only have a few minutes left. take three more questioners. it will come back to judy. >> i just wanted to ship the controversy. >> yes. >> do you also have a related question?
9:24 pm
>> i tell you what i didn't do, i never wrotei never wrote about valerie plane. i never wrote a story about her. i don't believe my job as a journalist to zoning. other people can do that. i didn't think that was my job. i was so consumed about how we got this wrong. i have been out there covering their search day after day, hundreds of places. we dug up everything from fighter jets. the iraqis said everything. i came back with a list of questions. that is what i was focused
9:25 pm
on. i came across a record," tell you how it happened. her husband had written story, an op-ed article saying that is where that they live people died begin saying that he had gone to niger to look at some of the intelligence. and so i began investigating whether or not that was true. i thought i have learned about it was talking to scooter libby about the failed intelligence. it was only years later that i discovered that my testimony have been because i have misinterpreted is very brief notes. i felt horrible,, absolutely
9:26 pm
consumed with guilt. i had testified against scooter libby. but when i began researching what room number and what we don't want one of the most common and was part of the dissent. and they testified against him differences between with these people told the grand jury and the fbi. i was very open about my views. once it was determined by the cia, determined long before the indictment there was no damage to hair, no damage to national security
9:27 pm
or any source at home or abroad. there was a special prosecutor. it went on and on and on. consumed aa huge amount of newsprint, more than that time. i subsequently learned through interviews scooter libby very early on was one of the few people issue strategy. >> a really interesting colleges, manually turning not once but several times, look at the conversation. that's quite a story.
9:28 pm
this is not a casual reference. you have to ask. another one of the people who would not talk to along with fitzgerald. >> we promised to wrap up at 8:00 o'clock. with close out the questioning. >> four people event. >> it? >> there was no one ever charged with leaking. >> speak in the microphone. >> the judge said your going to have to testify yourself.
9:29 pm
whether you would not testify in his own defense. your testimony teeseven you met with them on june 23 discussing 2nd string and at that point mr. wilson's wife worked at the cia. that was not correct. >> he did not tell you that. >> no. i had -- those references were incorrect. a's parentheses two purposes , to reverend that someone was interviewing a question but if missionary heard in the 2nd was to take note of something that was interesting that the interviewee have been saying
9:30 pm
so when i saw -- let me put it this way, the 1st reference my wife works in bureau. if scooter libby had leaked the name to me he would never have said she works for the bureau. state department which was recover after us. person shall it's always she worked at the state department/say. i remember that only after learning what are cover was. never

18 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on