tv American History TV CSPAN August 17, 2014 8:00pm-9:06pm EDT
former maryland governor robert ehrlich. on friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, in depth with writer and religious scholar. >> a look at the overland campaign. the only battle in washington, d.c., the battle of fort stevens. the battle of the crater. the capture of atlanta and herman's march the city. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. atl us or e-mail us c-span.org. join the conversation and like us on twitter. melvin goodman describes the
history and relationship between the white house and the cia through the truman years to today. he describes how the intelligence arm he came a source of covert operations. by thent was hosted national archives and is about an hour. >> thank you. good evening. thank you for the invitation to come out here and all of the wonderful hospitality. it was a chance to get to the world war i museum. remarkable. it has been a pleasant couple of days. this is a great topic because it is controversial. no matter what i say, it will be controversial. let me start with controversial remarks of others. i would like to start with frank church from idaho. he was the chairman of the church commission.
started,investigation he made a remark that was unfortunate and called the cia a rogue elephant. that is entirely wrong. if they were a rogue elephant, it would be easy. controld get it under and the president should be able to do that. the president has given all of the missions and a few of them that dcaattable carried out. they are obedient to authority and responsive to what a president wants. i will be discussing some of the covert actions from the years. these were orchestrated and endorsed by presidents of the united states. controversy of
the cia and i think it is important to understand that the presidents fall in love with camp david and the cia. when they fall in love with the cia, it is the clandestine aspect of the cia. it is clandestine operations and covert actions that they fall in love with. harry truman was the exception to this and i will discuss that. when the president's get in trouble with the cia, it is over intelligence analysis. the remarks of a couple of whatdents will demonstrate i mean. one of my favorites is richard nixon. richard nixon sent celeste and head ofbecome the cia and made it clear that
he was going to clean up the place. i was on the other end. thatrd nixon said to him the cia is nothing but a sanctuary of ivy league intellectuals who do not like me very much. a typical nixon observation. he referred to them as a bunch of clowns and he wanted to know what the clowns do out there. to solve theb problem and one the first thing she did was bring together all s and said,et analyst i want this agency to stop screwing richard nixon. we knew this was going to be difficult. we did not have an impact. beennk there have fascinating remarks about everything. to explainson liked
to people who came to the white house, particularly, what it is that intelligence analysts do in the cia. an understanding of that. he compared it to being on the farm and having a favorite cal. and get pull up a stool a pale of milk from bessie. it would often happen that she would take her tail and run it through the milk. that is what intelligence analysts do. i have a great program or policy and they come along. for nixon and johnson, what they were talking about was cia criticism of what we were doing in vietnam. it was not a winnable war. harry truman did not fall in love with the cia.
he may have created the cia. he did not fall in love with it wrote an963, he op-ed describing the problems of the cia that are relevant to the situation. it was clearar ii, that we would have a central intelligence agency for good reasons. one was pearl harbor. we had broken military code. we knew the japanese were going to war and that they were going to break relations. we knew that the embassy had been instructed to destroy all sensitive information in washington. the information did not get to the right people. if it had, with a short list of targets, we would have averted pearl harbor. this tragedy did not have to
happen in the way that it did. after the war ended, he sat down intelligence agents from the office of strategic services and talked about the need for intelligence agencies and never discussed the clandestine operations. he put the emphasis on intelligence analysis and collection of intelligence, which he thought was a legitimate action for intelligence agency. you get a national security act that still governs the national security architecture of the united states. you could argue that it is time to re-examine it. he created the national security council and the department of defense. they created the united states air force as a several -- separate service and created the central intelligence agency. the director of the cia was the
director of intelligence and this was a flaw in the piece of legislation. the director of the cia was supposed to be the director of all of the intelligence agencies and had no authorization for personnel and budgets. even the central intelligence figure of the united states. the president of the united states. it is a problem that has not been corrected since 2004. 16 years later, when truman was , he wrote a piece for the washington post that was highly critical of what the cia was and what it had become. the i want to deal with is and have a look at
the presidents that followed these two presidents. , which arencerns highly relevant today, where --h what the cia had become not part of his original concept. cia,he was thinking of the he referred to it as a quiet intelligence arm of the president of united states and he wanted a place that he could go outside of the policy arena and the state department, outside of the pentagon and joint chiefs of staff, where he could get intelligence analysis that was not grinding a policy ax.e it was supposed to be objective. what the cia had become was subversive. he said it had become too noisy,
in terms of all of the news that the cia was unfortunately creating. and, it was putting too much attention into covert action. they did not want the cia to become the pentagon. saidook i wrote on the cia that the cia had become a para-military organization. that is not what truman had in mind. the one thing that truman presidentswas tha after did not concern themselves with was covert action. directlytion comes from the white house and in support of a very specific
policy. what happened during that 16 years? eisenhower is an interesting study. we think of eisenhower and all of the warnings today about over usage of the military. they are valid warnings and remain valid warnings to this day. you are familiar with the military industrial crock -- complex. warning in a speech that he wrote himself that bloated defense budget that would not allow the united states to do what it needed to do, in terms of infrastructure, domestic economy, and educating our children. he said, when we are overspending on defense, we are and the our scientists hopes of our children.
any era of global would limitnent war personal liberty. you can argue that that is what has happened. nonetheless, eisenhower was the president who started the cia down the trail of covert activity. when you run down the list of covert activity that he endorsed and came out of the white house, in every case, it left the united states in a weaker position then existed before the covert actions were conducted. overthrow of the democratically elected of a ron -- iran.\ ourssue that remains in bilateral relationship with iran
today. guatemala and what the cia did in creating a unit that was responsible for horrors and nightmares in guatemala against the indigenous population. assassinate ao leader in the congo. it was carried out by a belgian-sponsored group. think of the successor, the worst tyrant in modern history. cuba. even though eisenhower did not bay of a of takes -- pigs, it was brought to him by nixon and eisenhower considered it to be madness. attempts to overthrow castro began in the last year of the eisenhower administration.
finally, the great crimes against the indonesian civilian population. american interests, particularly economic interests. only covertot actions that were strategic nightmares. they were supported by a committee that eisenhower appointed in 1954 under general doolittle all stop it endorsed this kind of activity. that is exactly what doolittle called it. he said that the soviet union was seeking world combination. a tremendous exaggeration. report thatote a said that the ends would justify the means. if you fast-forward to a current
time, you think about the dick cheney remarks about conceptualization and thinking that we saw in doolittle. to office, heame had none of the experience of eisenhower and he was uncertain about the plants given to him. they included the bay of pigs. saying or eisenhower giving a sense of hesitation advisedy of pigs, he kennedy that there was an exile force in training. use,ey do not going to they would all come into harm. the united states could ultimately be embarrassed. kennedy went ahead with the bay of pigs even though he had been misled by the cia.
statermer secretary of and arthur, they warned against the bay of pigs and what the cia called in the inspector general a perfect failure. more than 50 years later, there is a federal court of appeals. as his last month in may. theirpheld the cia in efforts to hold onto documentation with bay of pigs that we still do not know about. living in great fear of cuba and castro. we are still unwilling. kennedy was responsible for that nightmare and it could have undercut the kennedy
administration from the very start. kennedy was responsible for the overthrow of the government. why -- movedasons out of the way was the collective -- the cia reports collected. we were not in favor of it. process, you ended a possibility of having a legitimate government in vietnam that we could work with. as a warat vietnam that is not winnable, which it was. this is something that we knew from the outset. when you march through the presidents after eisenhower and kennedy, the model of covert action and clandestine operation , political assassinations,
regime changes, had been set. when you get to richard nixon and the operation against chile, again, like the guatemalan authorizedwhich was by the largest landholder in get miningyou interests that were in favor of overthrowing the leftist , inrnment of menendez and response, you get a dictatorship that brought horrors to chile. when richard helms left the white house with the mission he was given by kissinger, he was stunned by the authority that he operationsuct covert in chile. a -- fined by
he was somewhat shocked by the authority that he had. ford and followed by ford ask contribution to the d'shboard -- for contribution was unfortunate. and tmb.uced tma a team that the ford administration wanted to introduce and challenged the analysis of the cia. it was a group of neoconservatives that was hand-picked by the white house. anti-soviet, paul wolfowitz, who tried to push analysis of the cia to the right at the time
when the soviets were realizing that the missile race was getting them nowhere and it was time to seek another approach to arms control. by concept was fostered names that are familiar to you. was the secretary of defense. -- secretary ironically, he became the oldest secretary of defense in our history when he served for george w. bush. gerald ford was followed by carter. carter was extremely suspicious of the cia and vice president mondale was. this was a time when carter used the four years to not send
soldiers into combat. so, the last year of his it was a walking away or a great reduction in covert action. it all changed in 1979 when the soviets invaded afghanistan. i think we reacted vigorously and unwisely. when your adversary is doing some thing stupid, leave them alone. the soviets were doing something stupid. unfortunately, we replicated all of that and we are now finding our way out of afghanistan. -- our goal has been to introduce covert action as a way to bring the soviets in to
afghanistan. i think that the soviets were convinced that with the united states being forced out of iran, we would not accept the strategic setback and find a way to get back. they thought it would be a good idea to be positioned in afghanistan for some time. those 10 years were a nightmare and the soviet union built up to 100,000 troops. again, over a decade, 100,000 troops tried to create a central government in a country that never had a centralized form of government. reagan.as followed by he has as much harm done and misuse of the cia by president reagan as any other president, with the exception of george w. bush, and i will come to him in
a minute. --n you look at iran-contra and it has always been a subject of conjecture of how much reagan knew about iran-contra -- the fact is, these were reagan's people. the director of intelligence. the cia was not supposed to be part of policy. it was led by people on the national security council, including john poindexter, the national security advisor to the president. key officials were pardoned by george bush in his last months in office. we will never have a full understanding. this was reagan ignoring the laws of the land.
armse first case, selling people in aing statement involved in terrorism. they used the profit of the sales to give money to the contras. notthink about each one on following the law of the land, there are clear grounds for impeachment. the nightmare of the nixon process may have had some people considering impeachment. reagan was too popular for that and the country did not want to live through that kind of experience so soon again. was responsible for appointing the most ideological cia director in the history of the cia. that was a campaign director for
ronald reagan. he did a wonderful job as a campaign director and is not suited to be a cia director. 1970's, you look at the state department and kissinger became the national security advisor and the secretary of state. he was taken around the building ,nd saw william casey undersecretary of economic affairs. howsked the service officer he got in the building. he is senile. can they do something about that? gone within a few weeks -- months after that. bush, youia walker get an appointment of robert gates of the cia. he was the deputy to bill casey.
you look at the politicization of intelligence that led to the failure and the decline of the , you have to point to casey and gates. this is 1986. reagan tried to make gates the cia director when bill casey died. the chairman of the intelligence committee, the senator from oklahoma, called gates from his home and said that the committee does not believe you, in terms of your expressions about knowing nothing about iran-contra. gates was lying at that time and, in 1991, he said he would be a good director. -- theratic chairman
system is not supposed to work that way. he said he would get him through and that is what he did. you get to bill clinton and george w. bush. barack obama. you have three presidents whose appointments to the cia and the directors of the cia were questionable. i have a lot of questions regarding bill clinton stewardship of national security. bill clinton was responsible for abolishing the arms control agency. it is not clear how the cia worked in providing verification of arms control agreements. doing what the right wing wanted, led by jesse helms and
newt gingrich, we lost an important tool for arms control policy on an international level. you look at clinton's jim, george tenet jim,inton's appointments, george tenet, who supported the decision to invade arachnid. -- iraq. george bush wanted intelligence to convince us and george bush was dedicated to the idea of using military force in iraq. it did not matter what intelligence said. you go to the memoirs of bush, rumsfeld, rice, all of them argued that it was intelligence. that is total nonsense. the intelligence is totally
flawed and the people who knew knew that there was intelligence intelligence that said that there are no weapons of mass destruction in a rack. you get to bush and some of the conduct ints of cia the theater of conduct in operations. we're talking about secret prisons and a renditions policy. we're talking about detentions, torture's, and abuses -- detentions, torture, and abuse. in the u.s., clandestine operations. he comes into office with little background in national security affairs. he has not been in washington that much to be a
political participant in how washington operates on a political level. he has never really demonstrated an intense concern. i always thought that he was intimidated by the military and central intelligence agency. you look at his national security team and it was extremely weak leaving robert gates in the defense department. it made no sense and it was caving in to the right-wing and conservatives in the democratic party. appointing hillary clinton to the state department with no real experience. appointing a retired marine theral, jones, to be advisor. it only lasted 18 months because he was not suited for the role.
i wonderful civil servant over the years. a rather tired civil servant by this time. directort an effective of the central intelligence agency. i think he was captured by the operational side of the house and he carried out the white house mission that was started by george bush. it weakened the process of oversight in the cia. the statutory inspector general with the cia is extremely important and was created by one of the reforms after iran-contra. the first time, got a statutory inspector general instead of a regular one. this was a general appointed by the president of the united states and it gave the individual a tremendous amount of clout. if you think about the work done
by a statutory inspector general over the years, there are a lot of reports we have not seen yet and detentions and renditions to produce a report. unfortunately, the cia is dragging their heels and i think we are entitled to see the report. should fighttein harder to get it released and they should allow whatever reductions are needed to get the paper out. -- during the global war on terror. it has been highly negative. i am not saying that there are not successes. i am saying that the point that i want to make is the presidential misusage of the intelligence agency. they have been good directors.
smith for truman was good. john was an honest director. bill try to expose a lot of excesses. was a good director of the cia and someone who is new to the washington community. i do not think he ever felt comfortable as the cia director. who usede presidents cia intelligence effectively. ofhard nixon was so critical the cia offices and use the analysis on two very important occasions. the anti-ballistic missile treaty in 1972.
she guaranteed the monitoring and verification of those treaties. i was working and he called us and. he said, only politicians can verify the agreement. he did not like the fact that we were the verification panel. pentagon,king on the who was against arms control and arguing that the agreements could not be verified. in terms of the salt agreement systems, it was the intelligence of the cia and the intelligence community in toeral that was essential get arms control underway. the most are teaching initiative of any president over the last 40-50 years was the triangle of allowedd kissinger that the united states to build better relations with china and the soviet union then they had with each other.
cia intelligence provided the impetus to suggest that we could do this. as a result, the union would have to engage us and they did with the treaty of berlin. we would end up with good bilateral relations with both of them. effective asan be a support instrument in this area. in terms of what needs to be , i think we could do it ourselves a lot of good by going back to the op ed that president truman wrote in december. and thert action warning of covert action policy. can taintion clandestine collection and intelligence analysis.
the cia should not be a second pentagon or a paramilitary organization. it was necessary to return the role to a quiet intelligence arm of the president. militarizing -- ilitarizing the cia. president obama, i thought, made thelear that he wanted usage of drones turned over to the military. we have reduced the missions and they are still being run by the cia. tarize and demili decentralize. good to have a statute for the cia director so that each president does not have to feel like he has to have his own director. that is what we have been doing for the last 30 years.
finally, what i would like to see is separating intelligence analysis and clandestine activity into two different sections. going back to president truman would be a good start. i would like to hear your comments and questions. we have a lot to talk about. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> it is usually hard to get the first question so, i usually n.m i usually jump to the second. >> can you talk about the national security agency and the cia? we have been hearing a lot about the nsa's collection of
information. what you seem to be referring to is what the cia should be doing, strictly collecting information. trumancia was created by in 1947 as part of the national security act. the nsa was created secretly by truman in 1952 with a specific -- inn to communicat communications and signal intelligence. they had the task to intercept all signals and communications abroad. it was a foreign mission dealing with foreign collection. no responsibility for domestic function. the cia it was going to have jurisdiction in national security matters. the national security agency is
a collection agency. they have gone off the rails. it is interesting that the director of the cia, when they got into domestic surveillance, which i think is a violation of the constitution and one judge agrees. was michael hayden nominated to be the director and i went down to talk to some , theers about the issue question of his role at the cia in metadata never came up the confirmation process and that is unfortunate. focused on intelligence collections of signals and, when you look at the body of law, law get protection in the
that no other intelligence collections gets. whatever you think about snowden, he violated serious loss that make his return to this country and how that is conducted and extremely because theocess laws will be pursued, in terms of violation of signals and communication intelligence. he is in a lot of trouble, as we all know. 9/11,eral years after there was a reorganization of the intelligence agencies and there is one director overseeing absolutely everything. how has that impacted the cia? >> it has weakened the cia and the intention was to weaken the cia. you talk about the policy
direction and now, to a certain extent, you could argue that the director of the cia, who was the director of central intelligence, war the hats -- hats, had too much responsibility for one individual. they did not give the cia director any authority, in terms of personnel or budget or testing. when they created the director of national intelligence, he did not get the authority because the pentagon would not allow it. before it could be sworn in, rumsfeld, who was a detroit in terms of understanding -- adroit in terms of understanding and your accuracy -- a bureaucracy.
the national intelligence czar got a desk at the new building and rumsfeld had created the undersecretary of defense or intelligence to make sure that all of the responsibilities that dealt with military intelligence stayed with the pentagon. you look at the intelligence community and budget and personnel along to the military. ands a military operation that is why the cia outside of the military process was so important. if you look at the directors of national intelligence, with the exception of one, a retired foreign service officer who had no authority whatsoever and resigned to take a position at state, all of the directors of national intelligence had been d i would argue that
the military, which does a lot of things well, one of the things they do not do well in strategic intelligence. the real problem we have with intelligence analysis is strategic intelligence. long-term intelligence. time -- another reason why present truman was. it has not been a measure that has led to improvements in the intelligence community. >> i read a book called "the brothers." >> good book. >> it seems to set the table for the cia and for policy for the rest of the century. my question is, how influential was that on eisenhower or was eisenhower calling the shots? it was not clear, from that book, at least. >> when you deal with eisenhower
, it wastegic concerns eisenhower's policy. dulles,lars and allen they did not have great influence over eisenhower. sense on howanny to control the military. one of the best things he did not put in writing was on his way out of the white house in 1960-1961, when he was ruminating with close advisers and said, god help the united states when the person who sits in this chair does not know how to deal with the military. eisenhower did. all of the efforts to bail out , nixon was prepared
to use nuclear weapons. getting involved in vietnam. billing out the british, french, stupid israelis in the attack to prevent the nationalization of the suez canal. look at eisenhower in hungry. -- hungary. eisenhower excepted a stalemate in korea and a lot of presidents would not have been willing to do that. it was his policy and the dulles brothers and nixon were not that influential. he relied on military officers, to a large extent. particularly matthew ridgway. that was a close relationship. the one between eisenhower and ridgway. on covert action, for some cheaplythey did that
and it was not noisy or visible. i ran a p a to be a success and he followed their lead on those appeared to be a success and he followed their lead on those issues. the way he controlled the defense budget, for example, and kept a lid on spending. covert operations were influential because he did not pay attention to them as he did to strategic matters. >> a two-part question. on the intelligence leading up to the iraq war, you said it was flawed. my understanding is that saddam's generals believe that he had wmd's. that they knewid the intelligence was flawed. can you clarify who they are and
why they did not speak up? what happened with that? >> first of all, one of the things that saddam hussein did well was -- it worked against him -- was convincing international communities and his own people, including generals, that he had weapons of mass destruction that he was willing to use against his own people. saddam hussein never thought he would use the weapons against us. he was concerned about internal thelts, particular after war in iran in the 1980's. he had chemical weapons and use them. the cia had collections that made it clear, including from a who went backrdan into the country and was killed for giving this information, who made it clear that there was no
weapons of mass destruction. they were destroyed by his own forces or the u.s. military during desert storm or in the wake of desert storm. you have a former minister who said this and the cia ran an excellent operation in iraq. the americans in scientific areas went back and talked to relatives who were still working in important industries. that theyade it clear did not have this weaponry. thatad sources reporting it was based on -- reporting -- it was single source reporting. it could not be supported by other sources or other reporting. powell, who gave that
speech at the u.n., was lied to. the people who knew and the people who wanted to learn new that there was no weapons of mass destruction. that there were no weapons of mass destruction. somewhat were shocked when they found out. clearly, a total misusage of intelligence and a politicization. you look at the october 2 dozen 2002, and the white papers that were prevented from the charter -- by the charter from were allegations that were all wrong. that was the very product used
speech beforel's we went into the country. >i do not think that bush cared at all about the evidence. i do not think he was looking for evidence. he was cowering people. richard clarke wrote about this in his book. he said, they want to do find out what iraq's role was in 9/11. not only was there no role, saddam hussein and osama bin laden hated each other. they were not allies at all. was the 1% factor. there is a 1% chance that saddam hussein has weapons of mass destruction.
this is justification for what cheney wanted to do. punishment to afghanistan because there were no strategic targets. there was no real terrorist movement because al qaeda had been routed. over two months, 450 people. that is why the war is such a tragedy. various ethnic groups were effective in getting the telegram out of -- taliban out of kabul. we did not have to be there for another 12-13 years with all of the losses suffered. >> you spoke in your opening remarks about the cia not being
a rogue agency and that the things that have happened had been misused by the president it is my perception that, at least for the last two years, they have gone before congress and repeatedly misled various committees. i also feel that the committee's committees have really practiced a "hear no evil, see no evil" approach to the cia. in addition to the president misusing the agency, there is a lack of supervision by congress and i would like to hear your thoughts. >> there is no question that oversight has been compromised. the shocking thing to me is that we created a secret organization, the cia, with no oversight whatsoever. you do not have a statutory ig.
it took a series of abuses ike,re church and p who just died in the last six months, realized that you need oversight. years, the cia it was out with no responsibilities to the congress. that thergue up intelligence committee was an and they were the powerhouses within the senate. it was bipartisan. you wascould tell it bipartisan. that was the turning point. with democrats and republicans, it has been a cat's paw for the
white house. dianne feinstein, is finally exercising -- because she knows the cia was lying to congress -- and i'm not saying that cia did not try to play sleight-of-hand with the congress. they often did that with the policies given by the white house. feinstein was in the position to know where all of the and she shouldre still be engage with the white house to get the report out. it has to come out. we are entitled to see the violations. we have to know what they are because they were conducted in our name. thing andbenghazi hillary clinton, she was saying she did not want to get involved in the issue.
it seems like mike was talking about how he prepared the talking points or whatever. it seems like he was involved in that whole benghazi issue. do you have thoughts about that? >> the important thing about benghazi -- and this is a misunderstanding from the beginning -- it was not a consulate platform. we had a consulate that was small. benghazi was an intelligence platform. in benghazi had a specific mission and was probably four times as big as the state department presence. all of the other foreign communities had taken their consulates out of benghazi because of instability in benghazi. buying weapons back
that had been sold to malicious. it is interesting how many times the cia has to buy back weapons that never should have been provided in the first place. did, 24 people on the plane were cia and six were state department. me, the state department has gotten off of the vote. there is no question. why was the ambassador, chris stevens, a popular young andssador, even in an ghazi what business could he have been doing? clintondegree was interested in showing success in libya when the overthrow of qadhafi has been a nightmare and counterproductive? i believe that there is politicization of the briefing
points and that susan rice, who now has trouble giving a description of what happened in the trade-off between the american soldiers and the aliban is the same person who bollocks benghazi on the talk shows. benghazi was a nightmare and the people who were there knew it was a terrorist attack that had nothing to do with this film that was making the rounds in the united states. that it hasunate been so politicized. i do not think that anyone is really trying to look at benghazi for what really happened. it is being used as a partisan weapon and it is not good for this.
>> i am told i am the last. two!gotiated that i get i have about ten. i have agreed to settle for two. let's do the easy one. would it be your position, looking at the intelligence agency over the years and for hasoses here, assuming it two operations, intelligence and operations, would it be your position that they should not have an intelligence division? the director of operations needs the ability to collect intelligence and i would support that. i am thinking of some assignment that i had where i benefited from intelligence collection that was clandestine.
egyptianse, when the decide to kick out the soviets in 1972. i thought it was a signal that in israelinterested and the intelligence was spot on. the important thing to remember is that the united states does a tremendous collection -- job with collection. the collection is always good enough to prevent us from being wrong. the errors are made on the analytical level. on just a lack of rigor. 9/11 was an intelligence failure that could have been prevented. the collection was there. iraq, the collection was there. the decline of the soviet union, the information
was there and gates did not allow them to do what they needed to do with the intelligence. the hard the collection is quite good. >> i have read some portions of some of the books you have written, and i recommend them to everybody in here. they are excellent. >> i have nothing to do with you saying that. [laughter] >> that is correct. i thought i would shine you on a bit before i asked the last question, which is this. commented on edward snowden, that he is in big trouble and has violated many laws. i also noticed you made a linent somewhere along the about violations of the fourth amendment. is that a fair statement? >> certainly. snowden as werd know him.
at this point in the life of the intelligence community, did there need to be an edward snowden to expose what is going on in the diligence community -- intelligence community? >> there is a contradiction between being right and legally designed. the edward snowden in interview he gave to brian williams, which i think all of you should try to see if you have not, made it clear you can be right but that does not mean what you are doing is legal. i think snowden knows full well he violated laws. but he also knows what happens to someone like, straight -- thomas drake who was a whistleblower and accused under the espionage act who could have but thes life in prison judge through the evidence out and said this is not the soviet union and you cannot conduct
yourself this way in my court. the sad thing about the snowden cases he is safer in russia than in the united states. that is an indictment of us. i think what he has revealed to us is something we needed to know. in some ways, it should be a wake-up call about the excesses of the intelligence community. the reason i am critical of obama is when he came into office, he early on said i am not going to look back. i'm going to look ahead. you have to have accountability for what took place under george bush for eight years. that is something we do not seem to be willing to do. saying what is put in place will be effective. if you look at the surveillance been a kangaroo court, a mouthpiece for the administration.
a lot needs to be done. if not for snowden, we would not be having this discussion. the president would not be answering the charges he has had to answer. congress would not be creating reforms and judges would not be referred to as orwellian. we owe snowden something. but he faces a serious legal situation. i question whether he should have taken an interview with brian williams. he has a very good lawyer representing him in washington who handles very big cases, so i think we should know some dialogue has started. i feel he should be brought back and there should be some kind of plea bargain because we have no idea what he took with him. i talked with people who were involved with damage assessment for this case, and they do not know what he has. he does not have anything now. i think it is important to sit
down with snowden at some point to find out what is going to be compromised. very much. you [applause] >> every sunday at 8:00 and midnight eastern, you can learn from leading historians about presidents and first ladies. to watch any of our programs or check our schedule, visit www.c-span.org/history. you are watching american history tv on c-span3. in the war, ae lot of soldiers have been away from their homes for three to four years. fromwere getting letters home saying the farm is falling to pieces, we have patrollers taking supplies from us. when are you going to come home? there is a large problem with desertions at this time. not desertions from the
standpoint of soldiers not wanting to go into battle. it was just their heartstrings were being pulled by their families needing them back home. lee imposed was a strict set of orders that deserters .ould be sometime shot there were several occurrences of this happening. morale was so low about this , about this time "les mi serables" came out in book form. several confederate troops saw it on the shelf and said, "that miserables."s 10:00urdays at 6:00 and eastern on c-span3. >>