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tv   Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson  ABC  November 20, 2016 10:00am-10:30am EST

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sharyl: 60,000 employees secure more than 100,000 miles of borders and coastline. but to criminal drug cartels, all that security looks a lot like opportunity. what kind of money can the illegal activity bring in for a corrupt agent? >> they could, in theory, make more in an evening than they, in scott: walk the beat with a british police officer and something may seem amiss to the average american. there's no gun. very recently, the government decided tackling terrorism, meant gearing up. >> we've got to make sure that the officers who we are asking to run towards danger have the protection and the means to deal with the incidence. sharyl: 93-year-old john
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flew that helped turn the tide of world war ii against the naz is. >> it was february of 1945, it was in the alps, it was very cold. sharyl: he was assigned to operation greenup, an oss mission to drop three spies behind enemy lines in austria. now, a handful of heroes are running down the clock hoping for well-deserved recognition. >> it means that at least somebody thinks that we did a good job. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicaprg sharyl: welcome to "full measure." i'm sharyl attkisson. securing the southern border is
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just how big and what form the promised wall will take remains to be seen. already, there's an army of federal agents guarding the line between the u.s. and mexico. their top priority -- keeping terrorists and their weapons out. today, we explore the risk of border agents getting corrupted and crossing the line to the dark side. customs and border protection is the largest federal law enforcement organization in the u.s. 60,000 employees secure more than 100,000 miles of borders and coastline. all that security looks a lot like opportunity. jeff veltri: we have a number of adversaries south of the border, whether it's mexican drug trafficking cartels, as well as alien smuggling organizations, who actively seek to corrupt u.s. government employees to facilitate their criminal enterprises. sharyl: supervisory special agent jeff veltri is briefing us at the fbi's border corruption task force in san diego, california.
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jeff veltri: they spot and assess individuals who would flirt with women who come through their lanes or potentially have financial distress in their lives, gambling debts, and then they target those those vulnerabilities. sharyl: individuals like michael taylor, an immigration officer at the largest land port of entry in the world, san ysidro, california. that's where a cartel-connected mexican through officer taylor's lane and caught his eye. jeff veltri: ultimately, they exchanged telephone numbers, he began dating. she indicated to him at one point that she wanted to cross a friend or a relative. sharyl: an illegal immigrant? jeff veltri: an illegal immigrant and she gave him $500 in exchange. from that, what we would call in law enforcement, he got a taste, and that was the beginning of his corrupt activities. sharyl: officer taylor smuggled
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but there was another target in the crosshairs of the mexican beauty salon mata hari. jeff veltri: she ended up corrupting yet another customs and border protection officer and that would be mr. lorne "hammer" jones. sharyl: in a decade-long crime spree, officer jones helped smuggle in people and 33 tons of marijuana. one reason the dark side is so tempting is because the pay-off is so big. border agents and officers make $38,000 to $69,000 a year. what kind of money can the illegal activity bring in for a corrupt agent? jeff veltri: they could, in theory, make more in an evening than they, in their annual salary, would garner. sharyl: the fbi now has 22 border corruption task forces dedicated solely to rooting out dirty officers on the take. they caught officer michael gilliland on surveillance video allegedly carrying a cash payoff
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hundreds of illegal immigrants for $120,000 in bribes. and there are many more. agent marcos manzano, jr. hid illegal immigrants in his family's house. agent michael gonzalez is seen here on a police camera loading pot into his vehicle. officer margarita crispin is serving 20 years for taking bribes to let marijuana through. and officer martha garnica is serving 20 years for smuggling. her lavish home and suspicious behavior raised red flags among jeff veltri: all these individuals take an oath to protect this country against enemies foreign and domestic and they are violating that oath and they are violating the trust of the american people. sharyl: from 2004 to 2014, 168 customs and border protection employees were arrested, indicted, or prosecuted on corruption charges. jim tomsheck believes the actual number of crooked agents is much higher. how rampant do you think the
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jim tomsheck: i think it's possible that 1,500 to 2,000 of them have either historically been involved with corruption or may today be actively involved with corruption. sharyl: tomsheck led the fight to expose unscrupulous officers at customs and border protection, as chief of internal affairs. were you suprised at how much corruption you saw in that position? jim tomsheck: yes. sharyl: part of that, he says, was due to a major recruiting effort that rushed to hire 6,000 new border patrol agents over two years. jim tomsheck: that hiring initiative that occurred between 2006 and 2008 created opportunities for persons to infiltrate the agency. sharyl: only after all that hiring did customs and border protection, cbp, begin giving lie detector tests to applicants. the results were eye-opening. jim tomsheck: most shocking was the discovery that there were
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who had been directed to apply for positions who actually worked for drug trafficking organizations, either on the u.s. side or mexican side of the border. sharyl: they admitted this in the polygraph test? jim tomsheck: yes. sharyl: can we assume that before the polygraphs were instituted, people like that may have slipped under the radar and gotten hired? jim tomsheck: let there be no doubt, that is exactly the case. sharyl: but tomsheck says his anti-corruption efforts were stymied by then-head of border patrol david aguilar. jim tomsheck: i was very surprised to hear his response, which was one of anger, not one of appreciation. he was yelling when he said, "this is not what we do, we manage this problem." sharyl: what do you think he meant by we manage it? jim tomsheck: they attempted to manage the problem by hiding the problem and dealing with it within the ranks of the border patrol. sharyl: later, in a whistleblower complaint, tomsheck alleged the border patrol's aguilar called him and
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meeting and gave them a strange order -- to redefine corruption. jim tomsheck: what we were told to do was redefine corruption in a way that would reduce the actual number of corruption arrests, from what was at that point 80-something to a number that was less than 30. mr. aguilar actually took a sheet of paper and wrote a number on it that was 20-something and kept tapping it with his pen as he was explaining how we would go about redefining corruption in a way to reduce the number of corruption arrests. sharyl: how would one do that, redefine corruption? jim tomsheck: it couldn't be done, and more importantly, we wouldn't consider doing it. mr. wong and i clearly understood that we were being given an order to cook the books. when we returned to our offices and looked at one another, we both had the same reaction, that we had been in a bad scene in a very bad movie. sharyl: tomsheck says when he wouldn't go along, he got socked
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scores. he filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint and was eventually moved out of his job. what do you think is the reason you were removed? jim tomsheck: the aggressive posture that i and my colleagues had taken with regard to corruption, misconduct, and aggressive use of force. -- excessive use of force. sharyl: aguilar, the border patrol manager tomsheck accused, declined our interview request and has since retired. the border patrol had no comment. the vast majority of the men and women who work the border are honest. but the impact of even a few bad they could allow in terrorists. in november of last year, days after terrorist attacks overseas, eight syrians were caught illegally crossing into the u.s. from mexico. so were five pakistanis and a man from afghanistan with alleged terrorist ties. over several years, border patrol caught nearly 2,000 illegal immigrants from 35
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jeff veltri: the biggest concern would be somebody with nefarious intentions to harm our nation finding themselves in that pipeline. sharyl: gil kerlikowske is the current commissioner of customs and border protection. there is a lot of concern among law enforcement. they know that most people who cross the border will not be terrorists, but they don't even want one to slip through and they feel like it's hard to get a grip on all that? gil kerlikowske: well, i think the terrorism issue is, particularly after the attacks in paris, uh, the continuing war in syria and the number of people, millions of people, that have been displaced, uh, compared to what's going on in europe, our issues are significantly fewer or less than that. but is there the potential then for somebody to enter the country or try to enter the country? that's always a concern to us and we have to be aware of it. sharyl: that point is punctuated by customs and border protection
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alarid waves through a white minivan carrying 18 illegal aliens. his cut for that one load, $36,000, close to his annual salary. a search of his home turned up $175,000 in cash. in an alarming taped confession, alarid admits helping smuggle in a hundred unknown people. mr. alarid: ain't nobody that i know of that's a bin laden or something. fbi agent: well, i'm glad to hear that. jeff veltri: i think his comment indifference. sharyl: do you feel confident that we are, in part because of the fbi's efforts, about as safe as we can be in trying to minimize that threat of terrorist coming through? jeff veltri: i feel as confident as i'm going to feel about it. you're never going to stop anyone who is morally bankrupt and has a price for their integrity.
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the question is what your price is. sharyl: tomsheck retired last year. customs and border protection reversed his negative review and, in april, settled his whistleblower case. the agency has now begun polygraphing all new customs and border patrol applicants. but it's not a good sign that the majority are flunking the lie detector tests. next on "full measure." they're known around the world as bobbies, england's police force. now, the threat of terrorism is bringing a radical change to
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sharyl: a time-honored tradition is under assault across the pond. most british bobbies work the beat without a guns, armed with only a billy club. now, there's a shift in that longstanding policy. scott thuman shows us how terror is altering the way of life in london. scott: walk the beat with a british police officer and something may seem amiss to the average american -- there's no gun. to find a so-called "bobbie" who does carry a firearm, unless you're gawking through the gates of parliament or outside the prime minister's residence. this is a nation that has prided itself on its extreme lack of firearms. but change is in the air. very recently, the government decided tackling terrorism, meant gearing up adding 600 high-profile, highly armed special officers to ensure the public they're adequately
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become firearms trained. you talk about that number of perhaps another 1500. is that enough? steve white: out of a force of about 130,000 people in total, you're looking at 5500 of them being armed which is an incredibly small proportion, particularly when you compare it to other countries, the united states where everybody is armed. is it enough? well, we'll have to wait and see. scott: steve white is chair of the police federation and says for attacks like the one on the bataclan theater in paris. they can't always wait for quick response teams, whether by motorbike or boat, who are trained for speed but limited in number. do you want to see more officers with guns on the streets? steve white: i think in terms of whether or not we have more. firearms officers on the streets, it's going to be about the appropriateness in terms of threat.
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police officer has to carry a gun? i sincerely hope not and i certainly do not think that is foreseeable in my service. scott: white says it will be a lengthy process, taking at least 2 years to train more than 1000 officers to use lethal measures in a country where the concept has been so foreign for so long. attacks are now the impetus. steve white: to a certain extent, it's too little, too late. you know in terms of increasing our firearms capability, yes of course we support that, but we would have to say that we told you so. that this was going to happen and no one was listening. it's good to have people listening now that the government is listening. scott: why weren't they listening before? steve white: you'd have to ask them that. we can only present the argument in so many ways. and to be fair, the government are now listening to us. scott: and, he says, listening to lessons learned during a previous war on terror. the ira, irish republican army, for years, terrorized the british way of life by bombing in an effort to gain independence.
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john o'connor: the horror of that is still remembered today because the fear was you could be walking in central london, just walking passed a parked car and where is the fear today is someone walking along of jihadi appearance with a rucksack on their back, you'd look twice. scott: it sounds like a bit of a flashback. , but that's because the way of dealing with it is probably the same except that the strategy used by jihadists isn't to use car bombs -- at the moment. scott: and that is where intelligence gathering is still more powerful than the hardware, says o'connor. the british people, desperate to deter more attacks, are anxious to relay anything suspicious to police, who still believe bonding with those on one's beat is integral. are they just getting absolutely flooded with intelligence right
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john o'connor: yeah, because people want to be of assistance. it is very difficult. the real skill of the intelligence services is prioritizing. and i think they've been doing that very successfully. we don't always hear about the successes that they have, but i think the absence of major terrorist successes in this country, since to it. scott: 7/7 is the july date in 2005 that jihadists set-off coordinated attacks on london's public transit system, killing 52, wounding more than 700. supporting that argument for increased security is the last annual tally of figures showing 255 terror related arrests and seven major plots foiled, which is reflected in the country's current threat level status of severe, meaning an attack is
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short, both white and o'connor agreed that firearms become necessary, as they were in paris. >> but we've got to make sure that the officers we are asking to do these difficult jobs, who we are asking to run towards danger when others are running away, have the protection and the means to deal with. scott: in the meantime, this probably, mostly unarmed nation is wrestling with emerging threats and the cornerstone of its centuries old standard of policing. and increasing the number armed or arms trained officers is made more difficult by how many are retiring, so steve white says they really need to find around 3000 officers willing to use guns, not 1500 -- already a bit of a challenge since many don't want the responsibility that comes with having a firearm. sharyl: changing times, very interesting. thanks, scott. ahead, we follow the money to afghanistan and another huge boondoggle. $85 million of your tax dollars, in part, for an abandoned, $85 million of your tax dollars, in part, for an abandoned, five-star hotel. - announcer: thousands of washington, d.c. families
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to develop new common-sense home sharing rules. we helped the city collect millions in taxes last year from our community. and we support rules that protect affordable housing and maintain our neighborhoods. working together, we can make sure all of washington can benefit. he gets a lot of compliments. shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, ?thank you for serving our country? and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him.
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sharyl: today, there are more than 9,000 u.s. troops on the ground in afghanistan. and we've spent more than $110 billion tax dollars to help rebuild the country. unfortunately, much of that money has been lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. in today's "follow the money," we track $85 million tax dollars down the tubes. the u.s. special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction, john sopko, recently toured two abandoned construction sites in kabul. this one for a five-star jordanian citizen and a u.s. company. it was to open in 2010. according to sopko, the federal agency in charge of overseeing the spending, the overseas private investment corporation, fell down on the job. it's funded by hundreds of millions of your tax dollars. also abandoned, a luxury apartment project next door that was supposed to open in 2013, but obviously didn't. the o.p.i.c. provided no on site monitoring of the projects as it
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and now with that money gone, u.s. taxpayers are also picking up the cost of security for the deserted buildings. sopko says the o.p.i.c.'s management failure may point to system-wide problems with the federal agency's work around the world. still ahead. heros who should not be forgotten. we'll tell you about america's original special forces the secret army that helped win world war ii still waiting for
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sharyl: before special forces and navy seals, before the cia, there was the office of strategic services, the oss. the u.s. force was behind some of the most daring operations in world war ii. congress is poised to award surviving members the congressional gold medal for their bravery. but time is growing short for this handful of heroes. we spoke with one. >> this is mont blanc, one of the highest peaks in that part sharyl: in woodstock, virginia, 93-year-old john billings still has a vivid memory of the daring mission he flew that helped turn the tide of world war ii against the nazis. john billings: it was february of 1945, it was in the alps, it was very cold. sharyl: back then, he was 1st lt. john billings. a veteran of 14 daytime bombing missions, he was assigned to operation greenup, an oss mission to drop three spies
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john billings: we couldn't find, i mean the whole of the alps were, were just blanketed in overcast clouds. later we found out that, that the wind speed was 200 miles an hour going over that ridge. and even the clouds were falling that fast. sharyl: the three spies parachuted and made their way to innsbruck, austria, gestapo headquarters. that mission inspired the 2009 film ?inglourious basterds." >> we're going to be doing one thing and one thing only, killing nazis. sharyl: the intelligence the real spies gathered about nazi troop movements proved vital to defeating hitler. that was one mission and a handful of heroes. at its peak, the oss had 13,000 operators working through europe, asia, and africa, almost a third were women. they went behind the lines on covert operations, underwater and from the air.
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today, there are few left. billings would like for him and the other survivors to be awarded the congressional medal, not only for their sake, but also for history's sake. john billings: well, it means that at least somebody thinks that we did a good job. sharyl: john billings is still flying airplanes. the senate passed a bill to give all the oss veterans the congressional gold medal. late this week, we heard the oss society, they tell us the house will vote on awarding the medal, one source tells us that vote will happen after thanksgiving. congratulations to all the brave americans who served. next week on "full measure." you may be tired of turkey by then, so we've got shrimp. but the question of who is catching it and where is at the center of a global controversy. we'll take you to the bayou in louisiana and an industry threatened with extinction by foreign competition. that's next week.
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"government matters" with francis rose. >> coming up on "government matters," pulling the plug on cyber vulnerable contractors. a group of chief information officers wants that authority from congress. and a busy year from the government's category management initiative. one key player says that momentum will 2017 and general services administration is working overtime to get industry on board. and all eyes on the presidential transition. how will a trump administration impact the i.t. community. our federal roundtable has all the answers. "government matters" starts right now. >> thanks for watching the weekend edition of "government matters" featuring the latest topics that matter to the business of government like

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