tv James Mitchell Discusses Enhanced Interrogation CSPAN December 10, 2016 4:00pm-5:31pm EST
>> and the mastermind of 9/11, khalid sheikh mohammed. and these captured terrorists gave us information that allowed the cia to round up virtually all the key members of that network and dismantle them and stop the attack they had planned. and today we are honored to have with us the man who interrogated those hot value terrorists and got them to provide that information that saved, saved so many american lives, that's james mitchell. in the 15 years since 9/11, no one has heard from ksm. he's been isolated from the world first in cia custody, then at guantanamo bay. but dr. mitchell has looked directly into the face of evil,
and in doing so he came to understand the terrorist mind, what drives and motivates them better than almost anyone in america, because the terrorists told him what drives them and what they believe. and now for the first time, dr. mitchell is sharing what ksm told him, including his opinions on u.s. counterterrorism policy, the bush administration's response to 9/11, his plans for new attacks and why ksm believes that, ultimately, they're going to prevail in their war against new york. dr. mitchell's new book, "enhanced interrogation," offers his first person account of the cia's terrorist interrogation plan, his personal interaction with the men who executed the worst terror attack this history and people who would do it again gladly if they had the chance. this is the first time that dr. mitchell, i believe, is speaking in public about this, and so we're very honored that you chose to join us at aei. thank you. >> well, thanks for having me.
>> the details of enhanced interrogation have been widely discussed and debated, and i'm sure we can get into some of those questions. but i'd like to focus primarily on what you've learned from these terrorists in talking to them. just so people understand that the conversations you're describing weren't happening while he was strapped to a waterboard. >> oh, no. >> do can you explain the difference between enhanced interrogation, debriefing and what you do in business. walk us through that. >> okay. these enhanced interrogations that i was part of really only dealt with about 14 of the top folks. i didn't have anything to do with the mid-level of low-level folks at all. and most of these interrogations took place over a period of time of about two weeks ksm's took about three week weeks. and then after that, there was no enhanced interrogation for ksm. none at all.
so our goal in doing enhanced interdivisions was to get -- interrogations was to get them to make some movement, to be willing to engage in questions instead of rocking and chanting and the other sorts of things they had previously been doing. and once they started doing that, we switched to social influence stuff because we know that the real way that you get the cooperation that you want is not by trying to coerce it out of 'em, it's by getting them to provide the information in a way that they don't feel particularly pressured to do it. and we had to be very, very careful when we were doing enhanced interrogations not to ask leading questions. we weren't interested in confessions, you know? i don't ever know, in fact, i don't know -- i've dealt with 13 or 14 of the worst ones who i -- ksm, zubaydah, al-nasri, and
none of them refused to identify what they had done. so it wasn't -- we weren't looking for confessions, because confessions won't stop attacks. what stops attacks is actionable intelligence. and the way that you could get the actionable intelligence dealt with is by getting through these enhanced interrogations, get them working with you so that you can use social influence after that to get the information that you want. because, so what we did was we moved very quickly to debriefing. and the way that worked is for the cia, interrogation was questioning a person who was deliberately trying to withhold information and was hostile about providing it. and it usually involved at least the possibility of some eits, although we didn't -- you might be authorized to do eits for 15 days, but we wouldn't do eits for 15 days. as soon as they started working
with us, we moved away from it. and then after that we would gradually bring the subjects matter experts in because i'm not the guy to be asking the questions. the guy you want asking the question is the expert on whatever the question is that they have. so we would bring in, in one case, the person who wrote the president's prbs -- president's daily briefs, because he had questions that he wanted to ask. so we'd bring in other people, and we would sit in there with them and help them without any kind of coercion at all to ask the questions that they were hoping to get. and then once the person was completely able to -- meaning the detainee -- was willing to engage with the debriefer, we got out of it, you know? we stepped back. we might still monitor, we might still go in in the beginning to see how things were doing, but you need your wmd experts asking about wmd. you know, jim mitchell's not the guy to be making up intelligence requirements. that's done by huge numbers of
experts who are experts in the field. what i, what i think is almost irrelevant. they would give me briefings on who these people were, intensive briefings on what was expected before we did it. so we had interrogations which usually took about two weeks. and then the entire rest of the time they were with the cia they were never subjected to eits again. never, all right? so ksm had three weeks of eits and then never again. not even when they were trying to find out the location of bin ladin. not even when they were trying to get information to identify the courier. and we knew he was lying to us. we did not use eits on him. if it wasn't an attack, jim wasn't interested in doing it. you know in and since i worked for them, they weren't interested in doing it either. they don't want to beat people to find out where somebody's hiding, all right?
so there were interrogations, which were short, then there were debriefings when you dealt specifically with intelligence requirements. then there were variety of other meetings we had with the detainees. in my book i call them maintenance visits because that's what the cia called them, but we had great concerns about these guys once they started working with us getting sour because they were in isolation. so we would just stop by and play board games with them or go to the basketball court and play basketball, go the to the gym and lift weights, watch a movie with hem. you wouldn't think that listening to what people say on tv about what we did. but, in fact, we did a lot of that. and ksm is one of those guys, he's like yoda. he likes to sit there and talk. so you might go play basketball with one, but you wouldn't do that with ksm. he wants to tell you things. and he had two kinds of things that he did. he had a dry erase board, and he
looed to lecture. and so he would -- we would go and listen to him lecture so he'd have something to do when he wasn't servicing intelligence requirements, and occasionally something useful came out of that. the other thing he liked to do when we came around and said how you going things, he'd like to sit and talk to you about whatever was on his mind. and he thought he was a sufi. i guess he still thinks he's a sufi, and so he'd like to tell you about his religion. and what i do in my book is i take all of the things they've told me over the six, seven, eight years, whatever it was from the beginning, and i bring them all together in one place and talk about it in one setting. but those things that i write about in the book, those things that i write about in the book are not one session where we sit down and we have somebody on a water with board asking them to -- water board asking them to tell us about their religion. that wouldn't have worked, and that's not what we did. >> so eits took people to a
state of resistance to cooperation primarily. >> well, not -- they never fully cooperated, or did they? i mean, they always had secrets that they were going to protect. there was nothing that we could have done to ksm to get him to tell us bin laden's location. but he told us, inadvertently by lying -- >> tell that story. because there's been a lot of story who have said cia interrogation program had nothing to do with the operation to get bin laden, they lied to you, they resisted, they misled you, you got nothing of value, it was actually other means that got us to bin laden. >> right. >> tell that -- >> it is true that ksm lied to us. what's not true is that we didn't know what that meant. it is true that abdul farage lied to us, but it isn't true that we didn't know what that
meant. ksm's nephew, after eits were done, all right, we're now in the debriefing stage, the tells us that, well, you know, ksm told me that ahmedal kuwaiti delivered a letter to farage appointing him the chief of external operations. so now we're interested, right? because if he delivered a letter from ubl to farage, we believe that they don't know where he is because in 2002 ubl went underground. there was just a few people. but here we've got a guy who's saying there was a courier using his abu name who delivered a letter from ubl to farage.
so we go to ksm, and ksm says, no, no, no, no. that guy used to work for me, he's a protege of mine, he's an associate of mine, but he retired in 2000. he doesn't know what he's talking about. we go back to his neff i few, and he said -- nephew, and he says, he's lying! i don't know what that little guy's doing, but he's lying to you. so we think, wonder why ksm's lying? could this guy be important? what most people don't know is we had, they had established a secret way to communicate with each other, the detainees had. so ksm cold get messages -- could get messages out to the troops. what he didn't know was that we knew it, and we left it there because we wanted to say what he was saying to the dub we wanted to know what he was saying to the troops. so we asked him about al-kuwaiti, and he said, you know, he's quit. then he puts in a secret mentioner whatever you do, don't
tell them about the courier. so what we are thinking is, that guy has to be important. because here is a relatively cooperative guy who some people would say probably experienced the worst that you could experience in terms of eit who was willing to risk going back to that to protect the identity of this one corier. courier. so originally they god abu farage, the guy who got the letter, and he said, i never heard of that guy. i don't even know who you're talking about. there was never a guy like that. but we had been asking all of these other detainees about him. and so we had hassan ghoul, for example -- >> [inaudible] >> a facilitator that worked with ksm, high level, you know? >> okay. >> he goes there could be two,
three, maybe more people working with bin laden, you know, he's disappeared, he's got a small group of people. it could be him, it could be him. after ei ts it's him, he does this, he moves letter, he moves people, he works for him. it made it clear that this other stuff was just a smoke screen and that this was the case. also we had a detainee who said, well, one of bin laden's wives -- not his youngest one who bin laden had with him -- one of bin laden's wives gave farage a letter to deliver to bin laden. so you've got to be thinking, i wouldn't be giving him a letter delivered by my wife if i didn't have some sense that he could actually get to her. and so all these little clues kind of fell into place. and then the brilliant men and women at the cia who are analysts and targetters were able to put it together. there was a partial-true name
for the courier that was already in the database out there. but we didn't know how important that was or how to find him. but i interrogated -- the shortest interrogation that ever tooking place, less than ten minutes, a guy by the name of abu whereaser, and after that when he moved to almost immediately into debriefing, he said guy that you're interested has a peach impediment. -- speech impediment. when he talks, he talks in arabic and pashtun. the agency was then able, through means, to find out where that guy who spoke hike that lived. -- like that lived. and then the question is, how do we -- because we knew he was living, we'd been told he was likely to be living with bin laden, staying with bin laden. because, essentially, he had no outside contact. and so then what they did was
try to figure out whether or not bin laden was staying with this guy. and that's the process that happened. so it wasn't the case that, you know, somebody's hands were taped to a steering wheel and somebody's cutting their fingers off with -- it was hard work that was done on the part of the cia analysts to piece together this matrix of stuff, some of the actionable intelligence. some of the actionable intelligence becomes actionable only when it's placed in the greater context of what you know from everybody. >> senator mccain and other people say we already had the name of the guy, we got it from somebody who wasn't in the program, and we would have gotten this information without eits and without this program anyway. >> yeah. the problem with that is when you roll up a detainee in the beginning, they would say tell us everyone that you think usama bin laden knows, and they would run off a hundred names. and there's nothing about a
single name that highlights their importance. so it's like picking up a phonebook and saying to call somebody's name in the phonebook, we should have known he's the guy that was going to rob the gas station. that's just not the way it works. you need something, some cue to take you to that piece of information, to highlight that guy's importance. and another thing, unless i'm confusing this -- it's clear in my book, but unless i'm confusing it up here on the stage, the guy who gave them his name thought he was dead. right? they thought he was dead. and it was the smart, clever work by the cia analysts who was able to determine that, no, this guy us confusing him with his brother or something like that, and the guy he actually identified was still alive. so in hindsight, it's easy to -- it's like doing one of those little labyrinth puzzles, you know, backwards. in hindsight, it's easy to
put -- because you know where they're at, you know where the cues are. but the people who put this thing together -- not the interrogators, but analysts who put this thing together -- were brilliant. to be able to get back into that intelligence database and hunt hard and piece together this matrix that led to him was amazing. >> the analogy, mike hayden, former cia director, uses is it's like putting together a puzzle with tens of thousands of pieces, but you don't are the picture -- you don't have the picture on cover of the box. and the detainees provided the picture on the cover of the box. is that a fair -- >> the only two detainees were denying that al-kuwaiti was probably ubl's cure yore were -- courier were ksm and farage. >> so most of us -- nobody's heard from ksm since the 9/11 attacks. most we've seen of him -- we've
never seen an interview with him -- the most we've seen is that disheveled picture of him after he was picked up. >> that was his actual capture photo. what was ksm like? >> well, in the book i call him a devil and a diva. you know, in the beginning he was belligerent, you know? he was really belligerent. he -- i did -- here's what you need to know about ksm. ksm, for two or three days, was held in pakistan, and he was questioned or tried to be debriefed by cia officers. and in a standard, non-coercive -- like you would debrief an asset, right? and they tried tea and respectful conversation. one of them dressed up in pakistani dress and spoke, you know, perfect -- and so, and that guy, ksm described to me later, was a clown.
and most of the time, i don't believe he was, but ksm thought he was. most of the time ksm rocked and prayed and quoted the quran and acted belligerently. and that's the lesson here for today. i'll interrupt this thought. some people are saying you can get more out of these high-level detainees with food and a little bit of drink, but that didn't work with ksm. he wasn't -- he told me i'm not going to give up my god. i'm not going to turn on my god for a handful of dates, you know? what are you thinking? because that's when he was describing the other person. then after that he went to a place that in science reports you call cobalt, and he was treated badly there. then he came to us. but in each case, he had an opportunity before eits to
answer the question with no coercion at all, just provide some information with no coercion. so i did -- the way it works with us, me and dr. jesup, is we would do something we called a neutral assessment in the beginning. and that was i would just come in and talk to you and say this is the kind of information we want. so with ksm i said we need information to stop operations. we know you don't have all of it, but we think you have some of it. we have reasons to suspect you have people on the ground in the united states, we have reason to suspect that you have other operations in the works. he looked at me and told me, you might hear from me when i get to washington d.c. midnight cowboy, george bush and talk the my lawyer. and i said, well, that's not going to happen, you know? i asked several different ways, and then he looked at me and says, soon you will know. i'm asking him about these other guys. soon you will know. and then i go into this in great
detail in the book because i don't want to waste your time going into it now. but basically, i had this little spiel that we used which is i'd say in every man's life there are moments of opportunity. there are times when the decision you make forever changes your future. and you can't go back. i want to be sure that you understand that this is one of those times. you have until i walk out of this room to work with us. we know you don't know everything. we know that there are people out there that are doing things in your name, and you may not know precisely where they are, but you know something. and we're interested in that something. and so the next time you see one of us, things will get rougher. but before that happens, you're going to be given the opportunity to answer this question. and so we asked him the question. and then the next time he comes out before eits start, they asked him that question. i mean, just asked him that question. it's called a bridging question, and the whole point of the thing
is to give him a chance to think about it. does that answer that -- >> sure. so once he went through, he was belligerent and resistant, and then once he went to a state of cooperation, what was he like? >> convincingly charming. he reminded me of yoda. it was like visiting a sufi master, you know? everybody thinks he's pure evil, and he is pure evil. but what i used to tell the folks who would come after eits were over, right? i would tell them sometimes you rub the devil's belly, sometimes you poke him in the eye. we're in the belly-rubbing stage with ksm. we won't be doing any eye-poking. people would come in and think they needed to be perry mason or that they needed to be some kind of tough debriefer or almost an interrogator. none of that was necessary unless you got sideways with him. if you got sideways with him, heaven help you, you know? because he -- i haven't seen this much raw brain power in one
place since the last time i sat in his cell with just him. he is probably the brightest person i have ever seen in my life, and i have seen some pretty bright people. and so he was very charming, convincingly charming. but that is often how evil looks, right? if evil looks too evil, you can push back against it. be it's charming -- if it's charming, then you bring people into the fold, right? you get them to act. he thinks he's, he thinks he's a jedi master, to use an analogy. and that these people out there who he's recruiting are jedi warriors. zubaydah told me i'm a mujahideen in a long line of knew ya mujahideens. what you don't understand is you have already lost. in all this timeline, the world is already under strict sharia law, and i am just the warrior who is standing in my place, and when i fall, another one will
come up. so you have already lost, you just don't know it. fascinating, the way they think about that stuff. >> tell us about the time you were in his cell and he said go get the lady who writes the notes, i want to tell you something. >> i'm going to be careful about this, because i don't want to upset daniel pearl's parents. i won't tell you the full story. we had a wmd expert in there, and they were trying to figure out if al-qaeda had any nuclear material. and the reason for that, and this is really the reason that in the beginning it was as rough as it was. we had credible intelligence that ubl had met with the pakistanis that were distributing nuclear technology around the world to these rogue states that were outsourcing terror, he had met with those pakistanis, and the pakistanis said the hardest part is to get the nuclear material. the hardest part is to get the
fissionable material, and ubl said, what if we already have it. and so the wmd expert -- not jim and bruce. jim and bruce were sitting in with him, he's probably been out of eits for about a month, month and a half. and we're sitting in there with her, and she's asking her questions, and she's done, and she leaves. and we do this thing i call a fireside chat which is just sometimes when you take people out of one situation and you put them with a new situation, the dynamics of the situation will pull them to act in certain ways. so we go in and we with say, the interrogation's over. we're still sitting there. but talk about how that went for you, all right? and bruce, who's incredibly empathetic and who ksm liked a little bit better because he had sons is and ksm had sons and i don't, bruce says i noticed that
you were uncomfortable at times, that sometimes when the lady would ask you questions, you would seem almost like you were going to say something, but then you would hold back and you wouldn't say it. and we had a couple of those sorts of things like what were you thinking about that? he goes, go get the lady who takes the notes, which is what he insultingly called every female person who was actually asking the questions, three times smarter than we were. but, you know, they're jihadi islamists who don't think very much of women. go get the lady who takes the notes. and we bring her back, and he describes killing daniel pearl. he describes cutting his head off and dismembering him and burying him in a hole. and i don't recall whether it was me or bruce, but one of us asking was that difficult for you to do, thinking emotionally, this had to be to do. he said, oh, no, i had sharp
knives. the toughest part was getting through the neck bone, just like that. and then he started sort of mugging and sort of happy. it was creepy. that was when -- you asked me what was he like -- >> sometimes yoda, but then the evil -- >> yeah, the evil kind of shines through because he referred to daniel pearl as daniel, in just that tone of voice, daniel, you know? what you have to understand about ksm is ksm thought that what he was doing to taan yell pearl -- daniel pearl showed his god, ksm's god, right? not the god of islam, but the god of islamists. it showed his god how much he loved his god. because for ksm taking the life of someone who is helpless to prevent it, like you see isis doing when they burn people in cages or crucify children,
taking someone's life who is helpless to prevent it shows his glory, shows how much his influence is. it's almost like an act of worship to him. not hostile act. so he's talking ab about daniel pearl as if they had some intimate moment. and it's just creepy. and after it's over, we're walking back to the cell, one of the guards goes, you know -- there are lots of guards there -- says to me that guy needs to die. and he didn't mean that we should, that we should kill him, he meant that the world would be a better place if that particular monster was gone. >> so let's talk a little bit about his boss. we often hear that terrorist attacks, that islam -- terrorism has nothing to do with islam. and ksm told you a lot about his views of islam. islam is a religion of peace. >> i'm going to answer that
question, but i want to make one point first. ksm is an islamist, and in my mind an islamist is a person who wants to impose sharia law on the whole world. so if you're a muslim and you're not an islamist, i'm not talking about you, all right? i'm just not. when people talk about the ku klux klan, i don't get insulted because i'm not a member in spite of what some media people would probably have you believe. i just don't get insulted about that. so, please, don't take what i'm saying out of context. i'm not attacking all of islam. what i'm saying is these islamists who want to destroy our way of life have a set of beliefs that make them incredibly dangerous. so your question was -- >> what did he tell you about his set of beliefs. describe what he told you about what they believe. he said that islam is a religion of peace. >> oh, that was an interesting thing. one of the conversations i had with him that is significant, i said you guys are telling us that us ham's a religion of peace.
what's that about? he said, it is a religion of peace. the world will be at peace when sharia law is imposed on the whole world. so we're a religion of peace because we're trying to impose sharia law on the whole world. right now it's not at peace because you have all these different groups who believe that they can influence how things are going. he told me that western democracy and true sharia law could not coexist because we foolishly believe that we get to vote in how we live. that we can decide what our fashions are. that we can decide the laws that need to be enforced, that we can change those laws. well, not true. in his mind how we're supposed to live was established 1400 years ago in the quran and in the perfect words and deeds of the prophet. there's no question about how we do that. i asked abu zubaydah one time, i said how can you say that there's freedom of choice in
your version of islam? how can you say that? freedom? he goes, well, i am free. the perfect words of the prophet muhammad, indeed, and the quran tells me everything i need to do in my life so i have to make any choices. i don't have any choices to make, so i'm free to do whatever is allowed. it was, it's the exact be opposite of the way that i think, right? it's the exact opposite of what i think. he told us that americans didn't have the moral courage to do what would be necessary in order to prevent them from prevailing, that we were -- he told me that, and bruce, he told us -- and this is one of these conversations, not when he's being interrogated and not when we're trying to get intel out of him. he told us that our civil liberties, our willingness to be tolerant of other people, our
openness, those were all flaws that allah had put into our character to insure that islamists could win. because they're just going to continue to do what they do while we make excuses for 'em. this obsessive political correctness, i asked him about this, but i'm certain if i sat down, he would say, hey -- [inaudible] you know, and tell me that, essentially, what happens is it's a cloaking device so they can operate in the open without being confronted. and that has a big deal. he said to me that al-qaeda -- now, remember, when he did 9/11, he wasn't a member of al-qaeda. he had not sworn by al-qaeda. so he's basically a free agent at that particular point. and he said that al-qaeda dreams of bringing down america with catastrophic takes. but that's not particularly practical. he said the real way to bring
down america was with low-tech, lone wolf attacks. because the target is not our military capabilities, it's not our buildings, it's not our roads, it's the lives of the americans. he said we don't have to defeat you, we only have to persist long enough for you to defeat yourself. we only have to persist long enough -- and i talked to a military commander for them and did a lot of attacks against americans, and i was asking him about how he stages ambushes, why they didn't stay longer and try to kill more people. and he said we only have to kill one or two americans because it's not the americans over this that we're trying to kill. we know we can't defeat them. but if we kill enough of them, the american people will want you to turn tail and run. and when you do, then we're going to be able to take over. that's the way they think. they think that our, they think
that they've been given a potential position by their god -- a special position by their god and a right to begin onover the world. dominion over the world. i'm talking about the islamists. not islam in general, just the islamists. they think that they've been appointed by their god to determine what your child's future is. you know? and if they don't do that, this is the piece that's so hard for people to understand. if they don't do that, then they will suffer the torments in the grave. you know? they're going to be judged. and whether or not they participate in the jihad and whether or not they continue to do that in spite of all of the difficulties will be part of what happens when at the end of their lives there's this accountability. the piece that, the piece that i come away knowing that i didn't know then was that they, first off, the depth of their belief.
i don't think most americans understand that they, no kidding, believe what they believe. they really do believe that there's a paradise. they really do believe they're going to end up with 72 spiritual beings that become virgins every time you have sex with them. they really do believe they're going to be treated like rock stars up there, you know, and never have to want for everything. they believe that stuff. it sounds ridiculous to me, but they believe it. and a point that i would make is to those people who say 9/11 had nothing to do with islam, nothing to do with islam, i would say i bet you in the world trade center there were people who thought the attack on the cole had nothing to do with islam, nothing at all to do with islam. but that's not what the little guy that drove that plane into the building thought. it had everything to do with islam. and what we're doing that's
incorrect -- because i'm the guy that's interested in finding them and killing them. because i can't imagine a situation in which someone who has crucified a child or set someone on pyre in a cage -- on fire in a cage or threw gay people off of buildings or nailed people to trees, i can't imagine a situation in which i'd say to this person, well, here's how it really is, we'd like you to like us. and he goes, oh, i didn't i didk of it that way. now that you put it like that, i'm going to quit doing these horrible things. they don't think like that. when i say to them really we want to get along, we would like to get along with you, there's no reason for us to fight, the first thing ksm thinks is, that's a weakness. that's something that god put in your head so that i can manipulate you. that's what he thinks. so we have to start thinking about terrorists the way they think about themselves and not how the victims think. you know? and in another life before i get caught up in these cia interrogation things, i used to
do forensic evaluations for horrible people; rapists, murderers, child molesters. and what the victim thought about why the perpetrator was attacking them had nothing to do -- it mattered what the perpetrator thought, you know? it matters what they think. it doesn't matter what i think. so whether i think it has anything to do with islam or not is completely irrelevant. it matters what they think. >> ksm told you that it doesn't matter if we think we're in a religious war with him, he's in a religious -- >> yeah. he said what you clowns don't realize is that we're in a battle of civilizations. our civilization's going to defeat your civilization in part because you don't have the moral fortitude to recognize this for what it is. you may not be in a religious war with me, but i'm in a
religious war with you. and we're going to win because you don't acknowledge that. that's what he thinks. and if you think that, if you're ksm and you think that, it doesn't matter that we would like to live with them and get along with them and all that sort of stuff. makes no difference at all. because he's going to continue to press forward. and they're going to continue to press forward. >> so we've heard a lot of voices on both the left is and the right in recent, as the rise of isis has come up saying that, you know, the reason al-qaeda attacks us on 9/11 was they wanted to draw us into a quagmire in afghanistan, and that's what isis is trying to do in iraq and syria. they want to draw us in and get us bogged down so they can kill us there. and ksm told you something very different about what he thought would be the response to the 9/11 attacks. >> yeah. we were asking him -- this was long after eits were over. this was years after eits were over. bruce and i are there, and we go
in and say -- >> [inaudible] >> muhtar means the brain, right? so we go in, and that's what he liked to be called. so we're sitting with him, and we go, what were you thinking? what did you think we were going to do when you guys knocked down those buildings and attacked the pentagon and you wanted to take out the capitol building? what did you think americans were going to do? and he said, first off, they were surprised that the world trade center fell. when the world trade center fell, he said i thought it was a sign from allah that it was time to rise up. it was a beacon drawing other jihadists to us and that the muslims around the world who shared the same jihadi mindset would rise up and attack america. and then he goes, but then i was lucky to survive the night. and he said i thought you would do what you always to. i thought you would turn tail and run. in 1983 the marine barracks in
beirut is blown up. reagan turned tail and ran. in 2000 the cole was blown up. they make it an fbi issue, you guys turned tail and run. 1998, two embassies blown up, right? two u.s. embassies? turn it over to the fbi, nothing happened. he said, so what i thought was you'd turn it over to the fbi, there'd be this long investigation, you would ask the taliban to extradite us, and we would have time to pull off another attack. and then he looks down and he goes, how was i to know that cowboy, george bush, would say he wanted us dead or alive and invade afghanistan to get us? and he said it just about like that, like he was befuddled. like he couldn't imagine it, you know? this ought to be a law enforcement issue, you know? what's he doing, you know? apparently, he was the only one that didn't know you don't mess with texas, and it's not because of the terrain, it's because of the attitude of people that live
in texas, right? so he was startled by it. and, in fact, they had made steps to insure that the taliban wouldn't allow them to be turned over. they had helped the taliban kill the afghan northern alliance leader in an agreement that if they helped him kill that guy, they wouldn't allow them to be extradited. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. and he, he told us that he had been funding to tune of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars a network that already had people lined up -- and i don't remember whether they were already in flight school or they were on their way to flight school -- and that if we had handled it as a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch that attack. and there would be big, smoking holes in los angeles, seattle
and chicago. because those were the targets that he had. what he said was the ferocity and the swiftness of george bush's response -- initially they were just fleeing for their life, you know? they were just trying to stay alive. and it got them off balance and off kilter, and they could never quite -- they couldn't pop up on the radio, they couldn't communicate with people overseas like they were. they were just incredibly frightened to do anything. they were just fleeing. and then when they started being able to get that thing back on track again because it was disrupted initially by -- or delayed initially by the ferocity and swiftness of george bush's response, we had captured people and through the use of eits, the very brief times that we used them, they were falling like dominoes. and so what ended up happening was the people involved ended up
being captured, and the whole thing was disrupted. i don't know about you guys, but i'm actually grateful that president bush did what he did, you know? >> what else did he say about bush? did he -- what was his view of george bush? >> well, he, i mean, every time he referred to him, he called him that cowboy, you know? that cowboy. in that tone of voice, that cowboy, you know? he just couldn't get his -- he thought bush was playing unfair. that's the thing that was so weird, is he thought it was unfair that we didn't follow the them mate that we had followed -- template that we had followed before. and there's a lesson to be learned here. this is the lesson for going forward. they based how vulnerable we are and what they could get away with by what we had done in the past few years. look at what we've done in the
last eight years and ask yourself, what is isis and al-qaeda thinking now? and i'm not, you know, i'm not -- i just don't think we can treat -- i'm going to make a little comment here that's going to anger some people. we're seeing increased attacks because we've been trying to manage it like a problem. we've quit trying to find and kill those people who are going to destroy us, and we're trying to figure out some way to live with them in our midst. that's not going to work for these guys. it might work for 99% of every other, i mean, if you're an islamist and you think that you want to take over the united states by voting or by, you know, outbreeding us, i don't have an issue with you. i really don't. good luck. i don't think you can do it. but if you're an islamist who thinks the way to do it is to crash a plane into the capitol building and kill all our
legislators, i have a problem with it. i don't want to see it happen. and that's the problem. >> so he told you a lot of ideas he had for plots that could easily be carried out, and i don't want you to say anything that would endanger us, but can you give us a flavor of his kind of thinking and also what would -- how dangerous would it be if he was able to regularly communicate with the outside world? >> it would be horrific. i mean, it would just be absolutely horrific. he said, again, al-qaeda dreams of these large scale attacks. he said, but he got fascinated by the beltway sniper. remember when that was going on, malvo or whatever -- and the other guy, mohamed? they were hiding in the trunks of cars and shooting people. i think they killed 17 people in and around here. he was fascinated by that. he would spend hours talking to me about that, and then he would talk about the economy of scale and what that actually means for planning attacks because that's
what he's always doing. he gets up every day and tries to figure out how to kill more americans, you know? and what he said is al-qaeda's dreaming about these large scale, catastrophic be attacks. and that would be great, but that's not all that practical. it's too slow. because the target isn't our buildings or our tanks or our military. the target is our minds, right? it's not going to be won with blood and bullets, it's going to be won in our heads. and so what he said is we need lots of lone wolf -- he didn't call them that, he called them single martyrs who would go into the american culture and pull off low-tech takes. he said with enough of those low-tech attacks like happened with the beltway shooter, it would cripple america, you know? it would -- and i can't really go into the attacks because they were incredibly easy and
horrific, you know? but he said what we can expect is that we're going to see more of that because like-minded brothers are going to emigrate to the united states. he's not saying al-qaeda is going to deliberately send people over, although they've done that in the past. what he's saying is that other islamists like himself are going to migrate to the united states, immigrate to the united states, wrap themselves in our civil rights to protect themselves, live off our welfare system to feed themselves, spread their jihadly message, and then when the time is right, rise up and overthrow us from within. and he, you know, he was pretty good at predicting the future. he said that to me in 2004. he said that about lone wolf stuff and be about immigration in 2004. and he was justify losstizing,
you know? just philosophizing. he was just sitting around talking about that stuff. this is what's coming next be, get ready for it. >> he had a lot of ideas for these attacks. president obama wanted to put these guys in federal prison. how dangerous would it be to put someone like ksm in a federal prison? you know that mob bosses run networks from prison. if ksm was able to communicate with the outside world from a federal prison, what would that mean for our security? >> well, it would be, i mean, hopefully nobody was even considering giving him access to the outside world. i mean, that would be crazy, you know? i have mixed feelings, i have to tell you. i don't want ksm on u.s. soil, but i've seen a maximum security prison. he would be a lot worse off there than he is here. i wish we could build one on guantanamo, outside of the country. at least 23 hours a day in
isolation and one hour out in the yard, and he's not allowed anybody else, that would be, you know, some form of justice for him. but i don't think it would happen that way. i'm for leaving him at guantanamo or doing what we should have done in the first place. let me tell you my reaction to his, to having his confession set aside. can ksm told me he was ready to be a martyr, right? that he was ready to the martyr himself, meaning he was ready for the u.s. to execute him. and when he got to guantanamo, he made out this long list of things that he had done, 28 of them. and he pled guilty in front of the military commission. and then the obama administration set that aside because they wanted to try him in new york. let me tell you what that little monster thought. he thought, this is a sign from god that i'm not supposed to
martyr myself now, that instead i'm to continue the jihad inside of the court system. and as soon as i saw them do that, i thought that little guy is going to be the most obstructionist defendant probably in the history of the military commissions. and if you look at all the things that he's done to disrupt that, you'll see what i'm talking about. he is a master at that sort of stuff, and he thinks that his god has now commanded him to drag this out as long as he can because he believes it will pull more like-minded jihadists to the cause. >> he would get offended -- so some of the plots that he had conceived came out like, for example, poisoning a reservoir. and people kind of pooh-poohed them over here and said, well, that'sly dicking louse, how much poison would you need, and when you told him this, he was actually offended. >> i went back to him and said what's this business about
poisoning reservoirs? folks in the united states are saying that sounds crazy. and he said, of course, it's crazy. i have an engineering degree from a north carolina university, and i was the chief engineer at the water treatment plant, and i don't want to say the country, but he was the chief engineer. he said i wouldn't try to poison the reservoir. that's a crazy thing to do. he said what i -- i would do this, and then he described what he would do to the water as it left the reservoir. he said i don't have to kill people, i just have to make a lot of people sick. and if i do that, you won't trust the system. again, the point is to get into our heads, not necessarily to kill us all. and he said the same thing with the gas -- >> talk about that -- >> i'll talk about the gas station one. that little guy bought a gas station in pakistan so he could figure out how to build a bomb that they could slide down into the gas tanks and gas stations all up and down the east coast.
and one of his operatives that he had in the united states at the time that he was doing this had a gas route, driving gas trucks up and down the east coast of the united states filling up gas stations. and if we had done anything other than treat it like an act of war, he would have been able to finish developing that fusing system. i used to be bomb squad guy. first six years of my life i worked in explosive weapons disposal. i know that one of the problems is you've got a lot of liquid down there, and so you don't get quite the burst that you would like to have if that's what your intention is. he's working on that. he's got people working on that. they've got a gas station where they're practicing, you know? and then what we're going to do is say, oh, that's probably not really possible. brooklyn bridge was the same thing. had a guy trying to figure out how to cut down the brooklyn bridge. again, i was a bomb disposal
guy. we knew how to cut engine blocks in half. there are devices for cutting those great big cables on bridgings. there are explosive devices that use shape charges to blow it. he didn't get to do it because the president and the cia and the brave men and women mt. military and the intelligence community did what was necessary to disrupt those attacks. >> after 9/11 when he thought the going to be law enforcement, his plan was to do a lot of small scale attacks to disrupt, disorient us and send us chasing those things while he was planning for the library tower attack. >> right. well, here's what they think. if i use up your resources, then that's jihad. so if i plan great big take and you're sending the fbi after me and i've got multiple small takes all over your country, you have fewer resources to send my way. so is that gives me some comfort
to do that. brilliant man. >> so during the campaign, donald trump said we're going to bring back waterboarding and worse. >> yeah. >> and then after meeting with general mattis, he said, well, general mattis told me that's never really worked for him, and we're going to use cigarettes and beer to convince -- >> i don't know that that wasn't taken out of context. i have a lot of respect for joe mattis, and you know how things get taken out of context when somebody says something that's a good sound bite. so, personally, i want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but i'm perfectly willing to address that. >> yeah. >> well, we know that didn't work for ksm because he had two days of conversation and tea. and all he did was rock and pray and, you know, taunt the interrogators. so there was plenty of opportunity for the tea and sympathy to work with ksm. it wasn't moving him at all.
but this is the real question that i would ask joe mattis, well, i would ask you. would you give up pertinent information that would get americans killed if you were captured by isis or al-qaeda for a michelob and a pack of one stomps? i don't think so. -- win stomps? i don't think so. ksm wouldn't do that either. somewhere between waterboarding and worse and what's in the army field manual, i think there needs to be some form of legal, let me emphasize that, legal coercion to move them along so that you can start using social influence to get them talking again. ..
when they were likely to give up information wasn't when we were waterboarding them or whatever we were doing. it's before the next session started. remember what i told you, we would ask them a bridging question. i might ask him where he got his tie. he doesn't want to tell me, we do a enhanced interrogation, go back to your cell and think about it. it doesn't have to happen this way. if you tell us where you got the
tie, it doesn't happen again. it doesn't have to happen, and the next time and pull the hood off, first thing we ask him, where did you get the tie and if he tells us, it's like a dental phobia. where they started working with us -- there was never a case where we were water-boarding and said tell us about the next attack. that's not what we told them was we know you have something that could help us. we know you don't have everything, but as you're laying there, you're thinking of something. something just flashed through your mind. that's what we want to know and at some point when you took the hood off and ask them the bridging questioning and they asked you a snipped of something.
we could move them relatively rapid to the briefing. there's a phenomena called the violation effect, it's a psychological phenomena, my brother would call this book poisoning. but what it is is most of us have experienced it and that is we make a commitment to ourselves to never ever again have a hostess ding-dong. i eat the first ding-dong. once you get passed this thing, the system collapses. it's the same way the people that are hard-core without withholding information. somebody asked me how would you
use social influence in the setting. there's a phenomena calling the anchoring effect. if i want you to think that a price that i'm asking you is super -- is reasonable, i can't even think about a number that's a lot higher than that because when i give you the reasonable price, right, you'll go, that doesn't seem like all that much because your mind has already been focused on this higher number and it doesn't even have to be related to the dollars or whatever you're talking about. you can ask them the temperature of the sun and tell them you wanted $1,500 and the $1,500 wouldn't sound like grapevine. they resist different questions to different levels. they don't have the same level of resistance to every intelligence requirement so we must ask them an intelligence requirement they didn't want to
talk about so they put up some resistance and get apreensive about -- apprehensive about it and then we ask them a real intelligence requirement that we do want something about and they experience relief when they get a chance to talk about it because we are off the other topic. all we are doing is tricking their learning system so they begin to experience relief for providing answers. it's much more sophisticated than what the prez thought. hurt them some more to see if they change their story and i'm not saying that that didn't happen, right, some people who weren't trained or did things they weren't supposed to do did those kinds of things, but the cia did what they were supposed to do, when the leaders found about them, they referred them to the justice department, they asked for ig and did what they were supposed to do, they did what responsible organizations
should do. every time official detainee program, they were not interested. in my book, i talk about the preacher and the preacher didn't want to do that because if you did that sort of stuff you get spurts. i might be able to get me to tell me where you bought the tie one time by did the sort of thing you described but i don't want you to tell me where you bought the tie and i want you to help me interpret the letter, i want you to tell me who gave him $500,000. i want you to tell me the simple question. one of the weird questions that we noticed happen early on. i feel like i'm rambling. i will share this with you, once they start -- it's a sin in their religion and the virgin of islam that they have to help your enemy. it's a sin as i said before, i think -- >> tell that story.
>> so had gone eit and went from state of resistance to coop cooperation. we didn't like doing the -- we didn't like doing eit. in fact, you should never have anybody doing anything like that who looks forward to it because it's just a horrific thing. when we did eit's we had doctors, psychologists, all the guards, anyone can stop the interrogations any time they wanted to, at least the ones that were involved in. and so i was ready to move out of eit's and i can tell you who it is because i say in the book. i go in the rendition.
we do the neutral assessment at the place and we come back and we know that we are going to have to use ei, the's -- we are not there to get a confession. i wasn't sent there to be a law enforcement officer. i wasn't sent there to be a mental health worker. i was sent there to use what i know about psychology as a weapon against those people who were trying to destroy us to get them to talk to us, right? so we go and say we don't want to do this, we don't want to use eit's. you don't have to tell us, tell us how we can get around this. you have to do all of this for all the brothers. i'm thinking, literally i'm thinking, what. if they help you, it is a sin and they will suffer the torment of the grave so you have to do for all the brothers and either me or bruce said, you have to
use more of this, no, not more, just enough because if you use more than is required allah will know that and he will punish you. if you less than required and the brother gives up the information, he will punish him. allah doesn't expect me to cover mountains because he doesn't expect me to. when i get tired i will set that down. so the brother has to be pushed to the point that he's right with his god so he can say face with his god and not suffer the torment of the grave. are you saying we need this to everybody, because i'm starting to not like it and he said, oh, no, some brothers can't stand any pain. the only reason i'm saying pain is because i'm saying pain not because i think it was
necessarily pain. some brothers can't stand any pain. they already know they can't hold out and it would be a sin and allah would punish you if you do bad things to you. other brothers, there was nothing that you could do to get them to talk. there was no way that you can do something physical to get them to talk. allah knows that and they know that and if you try and you hurt those people, then allah will punish you. but in the middle, there are all these people who need to resist to the best of their ability and when their burden is too great they can set it down and freely talk to you without worrying about the torment of the grave and that profoundly changed the way that i think about it because what it did for me was it helped me switch my perspective from what jim mitchell, the white guy who grew
up in rural florida and it got me focusing on what's in their head, you know, how are they interpreted in what they are doing. this burden that's too great to bear, at the worst of time when we were still in the middle of eit's with ksm, i wanted in a way to suggest to him that he could work with us, that he didn't have to continue to do what he was doing so i used and this would be another social influence thing, i used -- i said, i'm walling him and i stopped and said, i don't know what your god but my god doesn't expect me to carry a burden that i can't carry. he knows it that at some point i'm going to put it down and my god feels the same way, right? i'm not telling him what islam
thinks, you know, although i'm using that as a way to get him, planting the idea that he doesn't have to continue to resist, you know. did i answer your question? >> you did. why don't we take some questions from the audience. do we have a microphone? it's coming. >> i could almost hear me. >> can you hear me now. >> i just we wanted to bring you back to the point you were making earlier. you said, i think, there needs to be legal correction, can you describe what that perhaps would actually look like and also while i have the motorcycle phone, i would like to get the
reaction from the condemnation from the american psychological association who lambasted you and your partner after the senate report came out in torture, thank you. >> okay, so first let me respond to the american psychological association thick. those people are not part of my life. i don't care what they think. that report is full of mischaracterizations. the suggestion that the cia somehow colluded with the american psychological association to justify enhancing inging -- interrogation is crap. second point, what it should look like. i don't know.
what mitchell thinks is irrelevant. the american public needs to have a debate about how they want to protect themselves. i think they need to ask themselves what -- and i would ask president-elect trump this, what are you going to do when you have credible evidence like the cia did of another pending catastrophic attack that could -- we didn't know any better, we didn't know that it had been disrupted that could potentially involve nuclear weapons and the person that you're interrogating or questioning isn't responding to the fuel manual. what are you going to do? there are people in our government who says, well, what we expect in those cases is that the cia interrogators would do the right thing, they would use whatever means necessary to get the information out of them and then at trial, at their trial,
we would -- we would take that into consideration. >> that's john mccain's line. >> if they saveed lives. when it don't happen, the people that it doesn't happen to think maybe it wasn't going to happen. all right. as a guy that has been under the bus more than one time about this particular issue, i would say those people who say that want to live under the protection of the men and women who are willing to sacrifice their life to protect them but they're unwilling to provide the protection of law as cover and i don't want to be a part of that. i've said before to people and what i've said is that at some point that this obsessive political correctness continues, we are going to be standing on the moral high-ground looking into a smoking hole that used to be several blocks in los angeles. at some point, somebody has to
make some hard decisions because what did we do in the past. in the past we turned them over to other countries who really did torture them. the same thing has happened to the word torture that's happened to the word racist. it's been used so often that it's lost its meaning. i had a reporter ask me one time, i'm not going to say that just because of the audience, i don't want to say my response, maybe i will. he asked me -- he said, was this thing that you did torture, i said, no. if it was torture they wouldn't have passed them. of course, torture is illegal. the highest justice department in the land wouldn't have opined five times that it wasn't torture. one time after i personally water-board an an assistant attorney general before he made
the decisions three to four days later. the time the attorney general got off of the waterboard, that would have been a great time to tell me. i would have been listening. that's not what he said. what he said, i felt like i was going to drown but i don't think it's torture. he didn't actually say that at the time. he said that in his opinion. the other thing -- >> and you underwent it? >> yeah, it sucks. there's no way -- i waterboarded as many lawyers and i put this out there to any lawyers in the group -- [laughter] >> i waterboarded as many lawyers as i did terrorist. i'm one down. i just need one. and i could get that off of my bucket list. although i'd be willing to do more than wasn't. anyway, it sucks but if it's done properly and properly --
and i'm not advocating waterboarding. i don't want to be the poster boy for waterboarding. it was the interrogators that wanted to stop it. there were people in the building who wanted to continue it and they wanted to use it more often. we just said -- the person is working with us, there's no point to it. so you had asked -- i had two thoughts and i went off to a rant. give me the questions again. >> going forward what should we be doing. >> it's not my future they're coming from. i'm a white guy who is heavily armed, i have shot thousands of shots. my entire military career was spent learning how to defend myself, how my wife is a better
shot i am. it's not the future they're coming for, it's the future of their kids they're coming for. the american public has to decide what they want. what are they going to do when they get credible intelligence that there's catastrophic attack because i will tell you it won't work on ksm. if they had been willing to talk, the cia doesn't give a rats hinny where they get the intelligence. they're happy with that. i would never have been there. if law enforcement techniques had been working, they would have been happy with that. i would have never been there. the fact is on the worst of the worst, those people who know the most about those folks who are trying to kill us, there needs to be some sort of a strategy. we have to think it through. >> questions? the gentleman right there. >> thank you. i'm a fullbright fellow.
isis or al-qaeda are more idea than organization and even though you differentiate between islamist and muslims, they have very common-sharing thoughts which always, i mean, offer a wide area to recruit people. so how do you think can be -- to counter the narrative and among muslims even inside islamic countries or inside islamic countries to mitigate the number that have been recruited to these, i mean, groups? >> okay. that's a complex question that has about eight different phases to it. let me give you the answer for what -- how i think we should go about finding out the problem and the answer, not what the answer is. we used to have a thing called
terrorist think tank. we had them all relatively close to each other so when we got a threat or we picked up a piece of intel or we captured somebody and we got their pocket letter, we could go to each one of them, one after the ore and i could show surveillance photo and ask him who is this guy and he would say, well, this is so and so, right. i would go to ksm and they said, same guy, don't tell him. he's so and so, the guy in the back, that's a sniper. we have been training him in in the united states to kill presidents. so i think the thing that we lost, i know we had to do it. the thing that we lost when they were transferred to guantanamo is that think tank when we could ask terrorists if if we are going to disrupt, how would we
go about doing that? we have to be clever, obviously. that's how we should have been able to answer the question, but it's not how we can because we know longer have a terrorist think tank. what we have is a bunch of back -- academics telling us what we need to do instead of most knowledgeable telling us what we need to do. questions. >> this gentleman. >> sir. i like your hat. >> thank you for coming. can you tell me the process your company was selected. what were the important parts of your background that your company could be selected? >> well, that company existed in 2005, so the period that we are talking about, it didn't exist.
by 2005i had a tremendous amount of experience. it was an open bid and we bid on it using the same government contracting laws when he bid, the multimillion dollar company. the cia decided it was a bid, i don't know what their discussion-making process was, i wasn't part of that. we fully expected it to be an open bid for all the companies. they decided if you want to know what the decision-making process was, you need to ask the cia, not me because i wasn't in the front. >> questions? the gentleman right here. >> and the other thing i don't know if the ceo of the company needs to speak the language if everybody else does. the most brilliant interrogator that i have ever seen is the man who wrote the op-ed in the
weekly standard, jason biel, never worked for me, that's a pseudonym. he speaks fluent arabic. sometimes they say thing to the linguist that they wouldn't say to the good guy. keep an open mind about why people do what they do. >> my name is sam, following up on your first question you said it was really my generation's problem but not yours, which is true, but i think just from my perspective and criticism of both the bush administration and then the obama administration way of dealing with terrorism and islamist but it signed of ceems like it's more of an issue of prevention and management than just winning because --
>> it's like a virus. you have to treat the vectors and you have to treat the source, you know. we make it look sexy for them because we allow them to operate in the open. that's one of the things that pull young people into it. we make it -- instead of confronting them, we try to get them to like us enough that they want to attack us and all that does is convey to them that we are weak. that allah has put in our minds this thing that makes us vulnerable because we cure more -- somebody said isis and al-qaeda do not represent threat to the united states. let me tell you what that means. i'm a guy that's been right at the point of the sphere.
when scb says that, they cannot cel enough americans to bring down the government, but our government doesn't exist so you can stack americans like wood. it's the opposite. it makes us look weak. he predicted that the country would turn on you. can you tell us about that? >> sure, this was 2004. i understand what you do what you do, i would do this myself to protect our country and protect our ideology, but he said your country is going to turn on you, your leaders will turn on you, the american people will turn on you, the american press will turn on you, your leaders will turn on you to save themselves. the press will tush on you -- turn on you and they will
portray the war and that's his words, not my words, the war against islam is too difficult to win and too cruel, right, and not appropriate and the american people will turn on you and all that will do is stiffen and bring joy to the hearts of like-minded jihadists because they are going to see who is weak and divided and that will bring them to our cause, he said, so expect it. and he was pretty much right. the same people who criticized the cia for being too forward-leaning were the same ones who brought them into the senate chambers and dressed them down for missing the first attack, as soon as they felt safe again, they crawled back from under the rock and we were told to do everything that was
legal to right up to the line, right on the line and we depended on the department of justice to tell us what that was. they had four, maybe five chances and each time they told us the same thing. some things happen inside of the cia that weren't part of that program that were wrong. jim mitchell who is tough about these things thought it was torture but it wasn't, it wasn't part of the official program and when the leaders of the cia found those things out, they took the appropriate action. >> i will close simply by saying the american people never turned on you. >> 2015 washington poll, 76% of americans wouldn't do it again if it was necessary to protect the country. looking forward should we look techniques and 17% said often,
only 20% said never justified. >> let me just say this, i'm not for legally tor -- torturing anybody. if it's illegal, don't do it. if our government believes that the death of 3,000 people because you want to use the army field manual is the way to go, then we can live with those losses because it's not an existential threat for people who live in the area, right, then i would expect the american people wouldn't put up with that crap, you know. i'm not advocating that we torture people, i'm advocating that we have a civil debate about whether there are forms -- because one of the underlying assumptions, i know we are on time here, one of the assumptions is they have the right to remain silent, this
person who has taken up arms voluntarily against us who are not american citizens have the right to protect the information so that they can kill us. the other thing about it is you do eit's and they couldn't do anything to stop them, well, it was an easy thing to stop them, they could stop it in the instant that they said, i will answer that question. they would have gone away and they did as quick as we could. so -- >> jim, i've got four kids and because of what you did and your colleagues did, we were not hit again so on behalf of millions of american who is are grateful to you, thank you for keeping our country safe and thank you for joining us here today. >> well, you know, i wasn't -- [applause] >> i just want to say the book is about me but i wasn't the only one there and by no means deserve the bulk of the credit, the men and women of the cia and military can keep us safe from
enemies but they can't keep us safe from ourselves. >> this is book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here is our prime time line-up, tonight starting at 6:45 p.m. eastern sports illustrated reports on working-class pennsylvania town through the lens of high school football. at 7:45 courtney martin on how americans are reinventing the american dream. megan kelly recalls life and career. at 10:00 p.m. eastern, harvard business school professor eugene examines white collar crime and we wrap up our saturday prime time line-up at 11:00 with blanch who takes a close look at eleanor roosevelt from 1839 to 1962. tonight at