Skip to main content

tv   State of the Union With Candy Crowley  CNN  June 1, 2014 6:00am-7:01am PDT

6:00 am
"state of the union" with candy crowley starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- the u.s. soldier they did not leave behind and the guantanamo bay detainees they let go. today the u.s. and the taliban agree to a prisoner swap. five taliban terrorists for the release of the only american p.o.w. in the afghan war. >> he wasn't forgotten by his country because the united states of america does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind. >> bringing home sergeant bergdahl with president obama's national security adviser, susan rice. then reaction from a panel of seasoned experts, retired marine corps general and former national security adviser jim jones, intelligence committee chairman mike rogers and former
6:01 am
ambassador and undersecretary of state nick burns. and the other headline. shinseki out. the mess at the va still there. >> i'm here to help if they want some advice. former senator and secretary of the navy jim webb joins us. plus updates from our reporters covering the angles in the bergdahl story. this is "state of the union." good morning from washington, i'm candy crowley. u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl arrived at a medical center in germany while the taliban prisoners exchanged for his release are reportedly on the ground in qatar. these wikileak photos match the names released by the department of defense. the department would neither confirm or deny the accuracy of the photos. joining me is national security adviser susan rice. >> good to be with you. >> walk me through when you first knew you had a deal. >> this evolved over a period of
6:02 am
time. going back some years we have had intermittent conversations through the government of qatar about trying to obtain the release of sergeant bowe bergdahl. it's an extraordinary day yesterday and extraordinary day for america because a member of our armed forces who had been in captivity almost five years will now be reunited with his mother and father whom we had the opportunity to see yesterday and who are over the moon. it began over a period of months, this latest round began back in the end of last year when we had the opportunity -- >> the negotiations did. when did they say it's a deal, go get it? >> well, over the last several days, during the course of this week we saw it coming together. it wasn't done until it was done. it wasn't until a little before 10:30 in the morning yesterday that we had confirmation that he was safely in u.s. custody. >> when the special forces went in to get him.
6:03 am
>> yes. >> point-blank, did the u.s. negotiate with terrorists in his release? >> candy, what we did, we ensured as always the united states doesn't leave a man or woman on the battlefield. it's very important for folks to understand, if we got into a situation where we said because of who has captured an american soldier on the battlefield, we will leave that person behind, we would be in a whole new era for the safety of our personnel and for the nature of our commitment to our men and women in uniform. because it was the taliban that had him did not mean that we had any less of an obligation to bring him back. >> in fact, it was the haqqani network. this is not a judgment question, but just a question. you had to negotiate with terrorists to secure -- >> we actually negotiated with the government of qatar. the point is, he was being held by the taliban. we had the opportunity to bring him back. he's back safely in the hands of the united states and that's a great thing. >> i don't think anyone argues that.
6:04 am
i think the question now is, and you point to the kinds of warfare we're having now, that no longer can it be said that the u.s. doesn't negotiate with terrorists? >> i wouldn't put it that way, candy. >> how would you put it? >> when we are in battles with terrorists and terrorists take an american prisoner, that prisoner still is a u.s. serviceman or woman. we still have a obligation to bring that person back. we did so, and that's what's to be celebrated. >> was there a particular reason why now? is it simply because you got the deal, as secretary hagel reported to, health problems, his life was in jeopardy? was there some heightened feeling about this? why now. >> after five years in captivity, our concern wufrz increasing with every passing day. we also had indications that indeed his health was growing more fragile. he had lost a good bit of weight and we were very concerned that time was not something we could
6:05 am
play with, that we needed to act when we had the opportunity. that's what we did. >> why didn't you notify -- >> for that very reason -- >> under the law it says you should. >> this opportunity is one that has been briefed to congress when we had past potential to have this kind of arrangement. it wasn't unknown to congress. the department of defense consulted with the department of justice. and given the acute urgency of the health condition of sergeant bergdahl, and given the president's constitutional responsibilities, it was determined that it was necessary and appropriate not to adhere to the 30-day notification requirement because it would have potentially meant that the opportunity to get sergeant bergdahl would have been lost and, therefore -- >> is there no one in congress you can trust with the information, call the chairman on the senate side and say, i want you to know this is happening, we have to act now? >> we did do that.
6:06 am
we had briefed congress in the past. >> but when you knew you were going. >> when the deal was done and sergeant bergdahl was in u.s. custody is when we began making notifications to congress. >> the deal had already been made and the prisoners in guantanamo bay were already on route to a plane? >> no. congress began to be notified when sergeant bergdahl was in american hands which was before the prisoners left guantanamo bay. >> but not telling a couple of folks on capitol hill, might that in hindsight might not have been a good idea? >> khan dirks what we put the highest premium on was the safety of sergeant bergdahl. this was held very closely within the administration. we could not take the risk of losing the opportunity to bring him back safely. >> so there was a conscious decision to break the law, as you know it, dealing with the detain anies and the release of them? >> candy, no. as i said earlier, the department of defense consults with the department. of justice. it was our view it was
6:07 am
appropriate and that's to do this to bring him back safely. >> talk to me about the detainees, a couple of them very high level interest from the u.s. senator mccain said these particular individuals are hardened terrorists who have the blood of americans and countless afghans on their hands. under what conditions did you release them to the government of qatar? are they currently being detained in a place? are they free to walk around qatar? what conditions are they over there? >> candy, we had a series of very specific assurances given to the united states by the government of qatar. president obama spoke to the amir of qatar on tuesday when this looked like it was a real possibility and those assurances were repeatedly directly and personally by the amir to the president. they enabled us to have confidence that the taliban -- that these prisoners will be carefully watched, that their ability to move will be constrained. and we believe that this is in
6:08 am
the national security interest of the united states. >> beyond not being able to leave for a year, one of the conditions we know about, are they free to be in the country, free to communicate with whoever they want? or are they in detention in qatar? >> there are restriction opinions their movement and behavior. i'm not at liberty to get into the nature of those restrictions. suffice it to say we're satisfied that that substantially mitigates the risk to the united states and to our national security, and we feel confident that the assurances given to us will be upheld. >> and in the end, when you were having these discussions amongst yourselves, did you worry that this deal would encourage other terrorist organizations like the haqqani network to seize these individuals in order to get more folks released from guantanamo
6:09 am
bay? >> no, candy. the fact of the matter is sergeant bergdahl is the last of the americans being held in afghanistan. we felt as the war is winding down, it was our sacred obligation to get him back, that we do so. we did so in a way that has brought him back safely into american hands. we did so in a way that resulted in the taliban prisoners being monitored and kept in a secure way in qatar. >> the question is -- >> i understand the question. you asked did we wore richlt i'm telling you that we prioritize, as we always have, bringing back our men and women from the battlefield to the greatest extent we can. this was the right thing to do and we feel that it will, in fact, enhance not only sergeant bergdahl's life, but, in fact, our larger security. >> to any terrorist group or terrorist out there who says, you know what, we've got x, y and z sitting in guantanamo bay. if we have u.s. troops in many,
6:10 am
many places, if we grab one of them, we can work a deal with the u.s. government. what's your message to that? >> i think the terrorists are committed to do what they want to do. we have a promise to close guantanamo bay. the existence of guantanamo bay is a setment to our country. >> i have to ask, as you know, a new committee that will look into benghazi. i know you said my interest in benghazi is making sure that everywhere is more safe for our diplomats. looking back to those talking points on the sunday talk shows, were you ever angry that you were not given full information or that someone didn't check back? did you ever feel like you were put out there with bad information. >> candy, we've been through all of this. i've had the opportunity to discuss this at great length. the fact of the matter is, i'm now serving as the president's
6:11 am
national security adviser. i have all the issues that you can imagine on the world stage on our plate. my primary responsibility and sole interest of that and that of the president, to ensure americans serving around the world in dangerous places are safe. we have embassies, diplomats, servicemen and women as we've been discussing, who are doing the business of the united states at great risk. my hope is that congress will focus on how we can assure we have the resources and ability to keep them safe. >> are you going to testify? >> i'm not going to speculate on something that hasn't happened. i'm focused every day on doing my job on behalf of the american people and trying to keep our people safe. >> the president's national security adviser susan rice, good to see you. >> good to be with you. >> congratulations for bringing home auchlt s. soldier. >> thank you very much. up next, coming home, but in what condition? >> we look forward to continuing the recovery of our son which is going to be a considerable task for our family.
6:12 am
>> cnn's ed lavandera joins us from boise, idaho, near bowe bergdahl's hometown. ups is a global company, but most of our employees
6:13 am
live in the same communities that we serve. people here know that our operations have an impact locally. we're using more natural gas vehicles than ever before. the trucks are reliable, that's good for business. but they also reduce emissions, and that's good for everyone. it makes me feel very good about the future of our company. ♪ nbr: scott, man - we're here 'cuz we love you. you fed your lawn earlier this spring and now you're at it again. we're concerned. scott: (chuckles) thanks neighbors, but summer's on its way. and while the grass may look bonnie green and lovely now, it still needs a late-spring feeding to keep it that way. another feeding now with scotts strengthens and helps defend your lawn from the brutal heat and heavy use to come. nbr: we knew that, right guys? oh yeah... let's go feed!
6:14 am
scott: get scotts turf builder lawn food. feed your lawn. feed it!
6:15 am
6:16 am
i'm joined now by cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, the other part of this equation, that is, these five ex-detainees from the guantanamo bay prison, what do you know about them? >> here is what the u.s. is telling reporters about these men who they are and what they have done. let me walk through it with everybody here. first up, there is a former afghan minister of interior during the taliban rule. he was a governor, a military commander. he is alleged to have ties to osama bin laden. that's one of them. next up, a deputy minister of defense under the taliban, a senior military commander. he was wanted -- is wanted by the united nations in connection with the killing of hundreds, if not thousands of afghan shiites during the taliban times. all of these guys taliban
6:17 am
members. another one, a third senior taliban commander during hostilities in those initial months with the u.s. and the allies back in late 2001, especially operating in northern afghanistan. another one, former deputy director of taliban intelligence with possible links to al qaeda. finally, we have a member of the taliban who was associated -- said to be associated with al qaeda and was their chief of communications. you can see all these men were senior operatives in al qaeda and had quite a breadth of responsibility during those early days. >> one of the complaints, barbara, that we're hearing now from -- not so much critics of the deal but real skeptics about these guys being contained, they say, look, these are folks with american blood and afghan blood on their hands. is that true? >> that is absolutely the contention. that is the belief. the administration's case, as
6:18 am
you heard susan rice say, that this was an exchange, that these guys were given back to the qataris with the objective of getting bowe bergdahl free. cnn's ed lavandera is with me on the phone in boise, idaho, about 2 1/2 hours from bergdahl's hometown of haley. as i understand it, the bergdahls are headed your way? >> reporter: we've been told by the military liaison that the parents of bowe bergdahl will be landing here in idaho later this afternoon and speaking with reporters. it's not clear whether they'll take questions or make a statement. but you can imagine, a great deal of people here in the hometown and in the home state anxious to see them. i've talked to many of the bergdahls' friends and many haven't even had a chance to
6:19 am
communicate with the bergdahls yet. they're anxiously awaiting to see them and hear from them. >> what are you hearing in general, either from the community or there must be other members of bergdahl family? have you been able to contact any of them? >> they are just anticipating and now kind of transitioning to preparing for the next phase of bowe bergdahl's transition back to civilian life, regular life, if you will, in his home state. his father started to allude to that yesterday from the rose garden ceremony at the white house where you heard him say that he understood his son was having trouble speaking english and that sort of thing. obviously the mental anguish, the physical reparations that need to go on. obviously they will be fiercely
6:20 am
protective of bowe in the months and years ahead as they try to figure out what he needs to do to get back to normal, if you will. >> ed lavandera in idaho covering the bergdahl family, very happy family at this point. up next, a general, intelligence chairman on the dilemma of getting u.s. captives home and negotiating with terrorists to do it.
6:21 am
ugh. heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and are proven to taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm. amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
6:22 am
if it doesn't work fast... you're on to the next thing. clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair. it targets fine lines and wrinkles with the fastest retinol formula available. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. one week? this one's a keeper. rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots rapid tone repair. from neutrogena®.
6:23 am
i'm a messy person. i don't like cleaning. i love my son, but he never cleans up. always leaves a trail of crumbs behind. you're gonna have a problem with getting a wife. uh...yeah, i guess. [ laughs ] this is ridiculous. christopher glenn! [ doorbell rings ] what is that? swiffer sweep & trap. i think i could use this. it picks up everything. i like this. that's a lot of dirt. just that easy. good job, chris. i think a woman will probably come your way. [ both laugh ] nbr: scott, man - we're here 'cuz we love you. you fed your lawn earlier this spring and now you're at it again. we're concerned. scott: (chuckles) thanks neighbors, but summer's on its way. and while the grass may look bonnie green and lovely now, it still needs a late-spring feeding to keep it that way. another feeding now with scotts strengthens and helps defend your lawn from the brutal heat and heavy use to come. nbr: we knew that, right guys? oh yeah... let's go feed!
6:24 am
scott: get scotts turf builder lawn food. feed your lawn. feed it! frnltsz with me general jim jones, obama's first national security adviser, house intelligence chairman mike rogers and nicholas burns, former undersecretary of state and current harvard university professor. so you all know what the story is. it does seem to me that we had a clash of mottos. the u.s. doesn't negotiate with terrorists, leave no man behind. >> obviously we should be happy for the family. they've gotten their loved one back. that's very, very important. the methodology and what we used is very troublesome. remember -- >> by methodology you mean -- >> negotiating with terrorists. remember this is an individual held by a terrorist group in another country, pakistan. we know that to be true. across northern africa, the
6:25 am
number one way that al qaeda raises money is by ransom, kidnapping and ransom. we have now set a price. so we have a changing footprint in afghanistan which would put our soldiers at risk for this notion that, if i can get one, i can get five taliban released. the problem is the way we're changing our footprint means we get less intelligence, that's already starting to happen. we'll get more degradation of the ability to collect intelligence to even stop forced protection efforts for our soldiers. that's why so many of us are so concerned about what really is a break with u.s. policy of not negotiating with terrorists. >> i think some people would argue ronald reagan did negotiate with terrorists when he negotiated with iran and the whole iran contra thing. nonetheless, in this current state, general, is this troublesome to you in the sense that, do you believe it puts u.s. military folks at risk or americans in general? >> i think, first of all, i identify with the congressman's
6:26 am
feelings about the family. this is something to be celebrated, and we're really happy for them. but we will have to talk about what this means in terms of risk. >> so talk about it. >> it is -- people will judge this in different ways. but in my lifetime, the americans are always at risk. we're more at risk than any other country. if they think the value of taking action against americans and holding americans is going to somehow help them achieve their goals, they're going to do that. so i think qatar plays an important role here. these are bad people and they do have blood, american blood on their hands. >> the guantanamo bay detainees. >> it's absolutely important that know we're embarked on this path, that we make sure these
6:27 am
people -- that qatar helps us make sure these people do not return to the battlefield. >> look at this from the point of view of diplomats, it's not just u.s. soldiers as we all know, being a diplomat can be a dangerous position. so when you look at it from that point of view, do you think that this makes being an american riskier in this day and time? >> well, it could. first of all, we rejoice in the freedom of bowe bergdahl to go back to haley, idaho. that's a great thing. i was told as a young diplomat we were going to the middle east. 30 years ago, if you're taken hostage, we're not going to negotiate for your release. it's been u.s. policy for decades. we don't want to reward or encourage terrorism. the problem we've got, we're still in afghanistan. the president has announced or troops will be there for at least two more years. we've seen that the al qaeda
6:28 am
core has met taft sized in north and west africa, more virulent, if it's possible, than osama bin laden terrorist groups. we don't want to see our diplomats or soldiers put in that situation. >> general, there is also leave no soldier behind, leave no man or woman behind. can one make a distinction and say, as i think we heard susan rice try to do earlier, we were in the middle of a war. they had one of our soldiers. she didn't ever say we're negotiating with terrorists, but obviously if you put qatar in the middle, the u.s. was negotiating with the haqqani network, with the taliban. it kind of seems to me there's a difference they're trying to make between diplomats and a soldier in the performance of duty in a war. >> well, afghanistan is going through a major transition right now. how afghanistan turns out is
6:29 am
extremely important. at some point most conflicts do resolve themselves in an exchange of prisoners at the end of a conflict. we are not there yet, although we're going to be substantially reduced. we'll still have 10,000 or so americans exposed. people will -- this will have to play itself out to see exactly how it happens, how it happens in terms of the security of those people. >> but the truth is, we weren't really ever at war in afghanistan against afghanistan or pakistan or any country. we were at war with a group, groups, but nonetheless in the world of asymmetric warfare, where we are fighting groups and not nations, we used to do prisoner exchanges with nations all the time when we were at war with them. why not now?
6:30 am
>> the haqqani network is not a nation state. it's a terrorist network. they don't control government services -- >> but we were at war with them. >> we're with war with anyone that declares war against the united states which is al qaeda and its affiliates and those who provided resources. >> therefore, if you're at war with this group as you would be with a state, germany in the past, don't you of necessity have to negotiate a prisoner exchange? >> no. here is where i disagree completely. we have other means to use, and remember, they came to congress about a year ago and we're thinking about doing these negotiations. by the way, they didn't get a very warm reception from either party in the national security committees. they said this is fraught with trouble. so this all of a sudden comes a year later. they didn't notify congress. i think they violated the law in two different places here. why is because this is a -- this is morphing into different
6:31 am
places. an al qaeda affiliate in now africa looks a lot and functions a lot like the al qaeda affiliates operating out of the tribal areas in pakistan. if you negotiate here, you've sent a message to every al qaeda group in the world that says, by the way some holding u.s. hostages today, that there is some value now in that hostage in a way they didn't have before. that is dangerous. our argument is, listen, we don't fight this like we would fight a nation state war. you can't, and you shouldn't negotiate with terrorists for this very reason. >> i want to get back to something you said. before we close out, i want to ask you, so much depends on whether qatar can deliver in the corralling of these five men. do they have the wherewithal? they won't tell us what the restrictions are other than they
6:32 am
can't leave qatar for a year. it's unclear to me -- susan rice talked about certain restrictions, et cetera, et cetera. do they have -- is this a country equipped with the kind of surveillance or watchfulness that could handle five folks that have some blood on their hands? >> well, this is a key question. the deal -- if you favor this, you're going to have to understand that qatar is going to be able to keep these people under wraps, essentially house arrest. they won't be able to contribute either by phone or in person to the battlefield because our soldiers are there. it's a very small state, qatar, a tiny state. i'm not sure they have the apparatus to contain five people like this. i think it would be helpful to know from the administration what are the conditions that they tried -- >> i tried. apparently those are part of the secret of their containment and they wouldn't tell us. we do want to continue our conversation. i want to wrap up about this. i've also got a couple of questions about the va that i think you all can chime in on. we'll be right back. of complete darkness.
6:33 am
i am totally blind. i've been blind since birth. i lost my sight to eye disease. i lost my sight in afghanistan. and it doesn't hold me back. but my blindness can affect my sleep patterns. i go through periods where it's hard to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. but i learned that my struggle was with non-24. non-24 is a circadian rhythm disorder that affects up to 70% of people who are totally blind and can't perceive light. talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and learn about non-24 by calling 844-844-2424. that's 844-844-2424. or visit now i know that non-24 is real. and i'm not alone. it's time for a new day.
6:34 am
at od, whatever business you're in, that's the business we're in. with premium service like one of the best on-time delivery records and a low claims ratio, we do whatever it takes to make your business our business. od. helping the world keep promises. [ shutter clicks ] hi there! [ laughs ] -i'm flo! -i know! i'm going to get you your rental car. this is so ridiculous. we're going to manage your entire repair process from paperwork to pickup, okay, little tiny baby? your car is ready, and your repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own it. the progressive service center -- a real place, where we really manage your claim from start to finish. really. ♪ easy as easy can be bye!
6:35 am
first the cookie at check-in. then a little time to kick back. earn double hilton honors points with the 2 "x" points package and be one step closer to a weekend break. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything. i don't have to leave my desk and get up and go to the post office anymore. [ male announcer ] with you can print real u.s. postage for all your letters and packages. i have exactly the amount of postage i need, the instant i need it. can you print only stamps? no... first class. priority mail. certified. international. and the mail man picks it up. i don't leave the shop anymore. [ male announcer ] get a 4 week trial plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to and never go to the post office again.
6:36 am
6:37 am
i want to play a quick sound bite from susan rice earlier in this show. the question was why did -- there's something you brought up. why didn't you go to members of congress and tell them that this deal was in the making. here is what she said. >> is there no one in congress you can trust to call the chairman of the intelligence committee or the chairwoman on the other side and say i want you to know this is happening. >> we did do that. we briefed congress in the past about this potential. >> in the past. but when you knew you were going. >> when the deal was done an sergeant bergdahl was in u.s. custody is when we began making notifications to congress. >> but the deal had already been made and the prisoners in guantanamo bay were already on
6:38 am
route to a plane. >> no. actually congress began to be note need when sergeant bergdahl was in hair khan hands which was before the prisoners left guantanamo. >> she said, look, the dod, the pentagon went to the justice department, asked if it was okay given the laws surrounding who needs to be consulted about the release of these gitmo prisoners and the justice department said fine. >> there isz a reason congress is involved by law, by statute, by congressional authority in these decisions prior to. the notification has to be to keep congress currently informed, number one. the reason is you don't want to talk to each other about something as sensitive as this. that's why congress is involved in these issues. it happens frequently. everything from the osama bin laden raised months and months in advance and followed up to the day of the raid.
6:39 am
some notion that this is so secretive and so sensitive that it couldn't happen, it's wrong. she said they notified. i'm mystified. they didn't notify congress. here is why. other places that we have let the gitmo prisoners go to these particular countries, by the way, which we paid them to take them, has been a disaster. it hasn't worked, which is one of the things that last year we brought up to them. it's not working. if we're ever going to continue this, you need to change it, they didn't like the advice and counscil they got from congress i always think that's dangerous, just like the secret negotiations with eye reason caused huge consequences with our allies, this will cause huge consequences as well. i don't understand why you wouldn't engage with people who have done this for a long time and could have alleviated some of the problems they'll get into in the next days and months ahead, including the risk to u.s. soldier.
6:40 am
>> part of the pressure here is the u.s. is getting out of afghanistan. the president made a speech at west point this week and said our combat troops will be out. we still don't know exactly how many troops will stay in there, if any. and the feeling that perhaps the u.s. felt, a, he seems to be getting sicker and b, we're losing leverage here. would you agree with that? >> you're leaving 9,000 to 10,000 troops in afghanistan through 2016, i didn't think it was smart to say we'll leave lock, stock and barrel, nobody after 2016. you do reduce your leverage. we've made a lot of sacrifices, soldiers and civilians since 2001 in afghanistan. the new government that's coming in, they will need our help. we still have to fight al qaeda on the afghan-pakistan border. i think we need to leave the forces in and not signal that we're leaving on this day. that robs you of leverage in situations just like this. >> general, a quick question on this subject.
6:41 am
how worried are you that these five men now in qatar will end up either on the battlefield or influencing the battlefield wherever that battlefield may be? >> we know the previous detainees that have been released have returned to the battlefield. >> some of them. >> some of them have. as i said earlier, i think it's very, very important for the government of qatar to make sure these people are kept under control and do not return to the battlefield. >> let me turn you all to the va quickly, the other big story this week. all of you understand bureaucracies in washington, the military bureaucracy, diplomatic bureaucracy, congressional bu october see. do you feel in the end the resignation of general shinseki was a political necessity or was it absolutely something that had to be done for policy purposes? >> it seemed to be political, so many members of congress calling for his ouster. here is a very capable,
6:42 am
effective, honorable gentleman that served his country all the way back to being wounded in vietnam. i think what happened at the va over the last decade, you have a tremendous infusion of people from the iraq and afghan wars, the va is simply stretched -- i don't know if it has the budget it needs or the personnel it needs, i was sorry to see secretary shinseki go. >> he was there for five years. his service to his country is unparalleled, no one should question that. the management of the va in the last five years has not been good. an 8% increase in veterans, 34% increase in funding. i didn't call for his resignation. i thought he should come to congress and lay out a plan to physician it. that never really happened and he becomes a distraction. this is as serious a problem as i have ever seen and the culture is rotten to the core that would allow double lists and veterans to actually die sitting on those lists. something is rotten at the va, and we need to get to the bottom
6:43 am
of it. i would bring somebody from the outside to get a handle on this thing. it should be quick. it should be severe. this notion that nobody gets fired in this town and everybody is a wonderful human being and the way they manage is just simply not the way the world works. if we want to get to the bottom of it, people i think need to be held accountable yesterday and at the same time a plan of implementation to get it fixed. >> senator jones, you probably knew general shinseki and know him well. do you think this was about politics or about his service at the va? >> i think frankly ric shinseki, who i do know well, he was chief of staff at the army when i was coming out of far reen core. there's no finer soldier that i know. what's happened at the va is something i know he is teachly troubled by and was surprised by. it really suggests a systemic
6:44 am
problem of enormous proportions. we have a saying in the military that a leader is responsible for all that his unit does and fails to do. no one has lived up to that more than ric shinseki. i think that's why probably today in retrospect he really feels that he should have known, and he regrets he didn't. but i think there's a lot of problems in the chain of command that kept him from knowing what he should have known. >> general jim jones, congressman mike rogers, former ambassador nick burns, you have added immensely to our discussion today. i appreciate you coming. >> thank you very much. when we return, president obama says fixing a dysfunctional va is not rocket science. >> it requires excuse. it requires discipline, it requires focus. >> vietnam war veteran and former senator jim webb on improving care for america's
6:45 am
warriors, plus his new memoir. that's next. t any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or any allergic reactions like rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about experiencing cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial.
6:46 am
6:47 am
because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
6:48 am
you are gonna need a wingman. and with my cash back, you are money. forget him. my airline miles will take your game worldwide. what i'm really looking for is -- i got two words for you -- re-wards. ♪ there's got to be better cards than this. [ male announcer ] there's a better way with compare hundreds of cards from all the major banks to find the one that's right for you. it's simple. search, compare, and apply at first round's on me. to your old cleaning ways again not once you've tried mr. clean's new liquid muscle. it's a concentrated liquid gel with 2 1/2 times more power per drop, so a little goes a long way. new liquid muscle. when it comes to clean, there's only one mr.
6:49 am
he is a decorated marine combat veteran, former democratic senator from virginia and an author of a new memoir. jim webb joins me. busy day for us. i know you know the news of a u.s. soldier after five years being held by the taliban, specifically the haqqani network now free in an exchange for five prisoners from guantanamo bay. what do you think of it? >> i've been following the conversation on your show. i think obviously everyone should be happy that our soldier is out of harm's way. i think there have been very good points that have been made about the exercise of presidential authority. they actually apply region-wide and the concerns i have had over our foreign policy in that part of the world. you go back particularly to libya. we'll see these hearings on
6:50 am
benghazi and what happened in i was saying for many months before we actually saw the use of force in libya that this was beyond the extremes of a presidential, unilateral exercise of power from anything we had seen just to begin with. you're going to have problems when you have this very vague -- >> we helped in kind of an international effort -- >> when the president, on his own initiative, without coming to the congress, there were no treaties, we were not under attack, we were not under imminent threat of attack, we weren't rescuing any americans, under this vague notion of u man tear yann intervention which has come out of this administration, we saw i don't know how many weapons from gadhafi's areas out now through the region, we've seen a lot of bad results. >> you see the release of u.s.
6:51 am
soldiers coming home as a good thing, but it's also raising questions about an overreach of administration that did not seek out congress. >> in terms of support at large, there should be a better debate on that. you can also include in that, by the way, the agreement that they're talking about signing in afghanistan for the size of our troops in the past. that should be something that the congress should examine. >> quickly on this, because i want to move on to the va, but do you think that u.s. military folks or even civilians worldwide become more at risk now as a result of indirect or otherwise negotiations with terrorists. >> that's always been the concern. in the way that you've seen the discussion, i think general jones made a very good point in that respect, and i think, again, we're going to have to see a much more vigorous discussion from the congress on presidential authority. what we've seen in the past is that republicans don't
6:52 am
particularly want this discussion because they're more agressive in terms of this use of form in that part of the world. the democrats don't want it because they don't want to be disloyal to the presidency, but we have to have that discussion. this is a piece of a reason why we need to move forward there. >> let me talk to you now about the va. what do they need most there? do they need an outside civilian corporate tough guy to go in there and just say, okay, this whole department, you're fired, or do they need someone who is more prone toward here's what these veterans need, let's get it to them? >> well, i've been working in veterans law since 1977. when i left the marine corps and went to law school i was on the house veterans for four years, was on the veterans committee in the senate, i've been involved in these issues all my adult life. the biggest problem in the va while i was in the senate was
6:53 am
backlog. the medical issue you're seeing now is a part of that. but when i got to the senate, just in terms of getting their cases resolved, the backlog was 600,000. when i left it was 900,000. >> how do you stop it? do you just need somebody who is going to crack heads? >> you need someone who knows how to run institutions and who understands the nature of government bureaucracies. when i was in the pentagon years ago, we saw a lot of people come from the corporate world thinking that they were going to apply the corporate standard involving weapons systems, for instance. you need to have both. you need to have someone who knows how to get to the heart of these problems. the facts are there. the demographics are coming from the post-9/11 group and the vietnam group. >> not to mention korea. i want to get you to name names here in a second, but i have to take a quick break. and when we return, i'm also going to talk a little bit about politics that may be in the
6:54 am
senator's future. (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. i began losing my sight to an eye disease when i was 10. but i learned to live with my blindness a long time ago. so i don't let my blindness get in the way of doing the things i love. but sometimes it feels like my body doesn't know the difference between day and night. i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. i found out this is called non-24, a circadian rhythm disorder
6:55 am
that affects up to 70 percent of people who are totally blind. talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and learn about the link between non-24 and blindness by calling 844-824-2424. that's 844-824-2424 or visit today. don't let non-24 get in the way of your pursuit of happiness.
6:56 am
6:57 am
6:58 am
back now with former senator jim webb. the author of a new book "i heard my nation calling," sort of a personal memoir to your time in service to the country zchltz this . >> this is not a political book. this has been my profession for many years. to me this is a piece of literature, and i hope that people will still be reading this book 35, 40 years from now as they have been with "fields of fire," my first novel. >> if you heard your country calling again and the voice at the other end of the phone said, i really need someone to run the va, could you say no? i know you're not asking for it -- >> i'm always happy to give advice, but i'm really not interested in being in the administration right now.
6:59 am
>> but you have answered your country's call, which i think is sort of why i'm asking. >> well, as i say, i'm happy to give advice on it, but not looking for that commitment. >> would you rather be president? >> well, i think i'm better when i can have my own voice. i think that's the reason i stepped away from the senate. it's the fourth time in my career. i've do i've done a period of public service and gone away and written journalism and kind of cleared my head. we're back in the discussion. i spent an entire year of not doing any interviews or op-eds and there's a lot of things to talk talk about. >> one of those long runs for the presidency doesn't sdreintr you at all? >> we're taking this one day at a time. i'm glad to be back in the discussion. >> so maybe, maybe not. we'll talk to you again closer to 2016. it's very nice to see you again.
7:00 am
>> thank you. >> thank you all for watching. i'm candy crowley in washington. fareed gentlemzakaria gps start now. >> this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you around the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. a big leap for american foreign policy, from obama's speech -- >> americans must always lead on the world stage. >> -- to edward snowden to the european elections. i have a great panel, david ignatius and dan cenow. could afghanistan turn out to be a success? i will give you my case for optimism. also, from what to have for dinner and how to fix global warming, a revolutionary new way to