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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 29, 2010 7:00am-8:00am EST

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and yet, our society today generally believes that we have to have an efficient government because we have been told time after time after time we must make the government efficient. but that is the road to loss of freedom. >> to watch this program in its entirety go to simply type the title or the author's name at the top left of the screen and click search. >> former national security archive fellow matthew aid talks about the history and purpose of the national security agency, which, since 9/11, provides the president with daily intelligence briefing. the international spy museum here in washington is the host of this 50 minute talk. >> well, good afternoon, everyone. welcome to the spy museum.
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i'm the executive director, and i have to tell you i am very impressed with how many of you have come out. i just don't know if you're not reading the papers or it's an intense interest in the subject. it's got a heat index of 102-105 is my understand it's going up in the late '90s, the high '90s. let me put it that way. and i just think you ought to be careful. so i'm very impressed that you have braved the heat. it's also hot out there. braved the heat. i think you must have put your head out the door, felt the heat and then rushed into this air-conditioning. but we're just glad you're all here. we have a real treat, i think, and obviously a number of you may already know that. this is a very good fine work. i've had a chance to talk to others about it. and i think that all of you have
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an appreciation of how much the nsa and nsa techniques have figured, certainly in the cold war. you can go back beyond that, i know, but certainly in the cold war and today. and i think that we're going to have the treat of listening to a historian who is well-known. he has appeared on major media as a commentator. he has done quite a bit of writing. and it was fascinating to me and talking to him. this was a man with a passion for his subject. and he certainly brings that to bear in this book, and i understand there may be others in the future. and one thing i would ask you, matthew, matthew aid, as i would hope you will just touch on what we are now understand the cybercommand that is going to come under the nsa umbrella. it's not whether it will come
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on, come under, or be next door or what. but if you could touch him that i think that would be great. so, secret sentry, the untold history of the national security, national security agency. i should mention as a last word, i don't know if you all recall, but there was a story in 2006 i believe about the u.s. government, u.s. government's efforts to reclassify literally thousands of documents that had been released. the man who discovered that and who got the story was matthew aid. so, we will be listening to someone who has sort of a double appeal, both touching and what we are seeing in that regard as well as nsa. matthew, it's a great treat to have you here. please help me welcome matthew. [applause]
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>> well, thank you very much for coming. i would like to share mr. ernest congratulations. for those of you have come out in 90-degree heat in washington at this time of year. as those of you know, you have to basically bring a squeegee with you whenever you walk outside. so i am always very, you know, very gratified when i see people venturing out into the heat. i have -- i'm going to keep this in formal. i'm not going to redo a speech or anything. what i do want to tell you are a few things that are not in the book. and for those of you have read it and for those of you who do not, i should mention that first of all, this is sort of a known fact, this book could not have been written without the perhaps
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unknowing assistance of the national security agency itself. every time you read an article in the newspapers, you know, they always described nsa, the initials stand for never said anything or no such agency. you know, but it turns out that nsa has had for quite sometime a very comprehensive and very dedicated history program. usually former officers are still on the agency's payroll, our commentary because they have a ph.d in history and asked to write multivolume histories of various aspects of the agency's past activities. and one of those individuals, doctor tom johnson, is hiding in the back. and his three volume, for going history of nsa, which nsa declassified at my request, formed a very large bases or my book. along with about 30 other nsa
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histories which nsa was all too willing to declassify. so for an agency that journalists tend to portray as hyper secretive. nsa seems to be contrary to the cia, which i've had a knockdown drag out fight with. now since the reclassification scandal 2006, now they won't answer my phone calls anymore. nsa has been the exact opposite. basically everything i've asked for, they have given me, including for my book, my new book on obama and the intelligence community. they have been getting the material about activities in afghanistan and iraq and the war on terrorism. it's quite remarkable. and i think i would be remiss if i did not thank them. and they did in the forward to my book but, you know, tom johnson and bob hennig and a
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host of other nsa historians literally made my job so much easier. it basically allowed me, i spent 25 years piecing together little bits of pieces of the nsa's history. and when nsa declassified for my book, literally it was like everything opened up. everything, all the little pieces i've been thinking leading for over two decades suddenly became clear. it was only when nsa began declassifdeclassifying this material, beginning in the late 1990s, i was able to write this book in a cogent and organized fashion. before that my book was basically, the entire order of battle of nsa. i knew where every officer had been, office names. in other words, it would have bored all of you to tears if i had -- no publish would have published it. but any rate, the book itself
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also, thanks to dr. johnson and the other nsa historians, i tried a different kind of book that had been written before. the main question i always wanted answered is, you know, we stand right now, there are 200,000 americans, you know, comprised of u.s. intelligence committee, total cost $75 million a year, what are we getting for the money? i mean, for all the manpower and all the effort, what bang for the buck are we getting? it's the hardest question that any historian can answer. it's great to write a good book about caring, do, and spies and ether and how it's done. but at the end of the day the hardest question that we have to ask ourselves, and i have read literally tens of thousands of pages of cia studies. there's one question no one can answer is, is nsa worth the money spent on it since its
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creation in 1982? it's like it's trying to prove a negative. it's impossible. so what i wanted to in writing this book was to lay out those instances, those things that i knew about both, good and bad, where the successes and failures of the agency in terms of the product it produced. i stayed away from sources as much as i could, for the simple reason that i didn't want to sleep in a bed next to nsa security officer for the rest of my life. and as much as i appreciate the massive technical skill that is required to intercept and process the foreign communications today, as opposed to 50 years ago when it was all radio all the time, now you have cell phones and fiber optic cables and blackberries and
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about a million different kinds of handheld devices. i mean, i can only imagine the nightmarish situation that the boys and girls have to face today. literally, it's 40 time moore's stuff coursing through the ether for them to intercept that it was in the cold war. and there aren't enough supercomputers in the world to handle all of that material. so i have great sympathy for them, how they're doing it. i can only guess that. well, it's an educated guess, but what i wanted to give you, the readers, is a sense of what they had produced or failed to produce during that period from the end of world war ii in 1945 up to the time my publisher told me to stop writing in 2008, upon threat of bodily harm. and as a friend of mine correctly pointed out, and it's
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almost a truism, we know much more about the failures of intelligence agencies that we do know about the successes. and i have to say that, you know, i tried to be mindful of writing the book to be balanced, to give the readers a sense of all the successes, as well as the failures. and in reading the reviews, that came out after the book was published a year ago. i was always surprised, you know, i write, i write books, we hope that you, the readers, will come back and sort of take it all in. in reading the reviews i've sometimes wondered if the reviewers actually read the book i wrote, because it was either he was too harsh on nsa, too much negative, or the man is in love with the agency. you know, he basically gave him
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a free ride. and somewhere in between that was missing sort of the salient fact that, and i admit, many of the agencies successes i don't know about. or i may know bits and pieces, but not enough to go to print with. i should also point out that two-thirds of my manuscript ended up on the cutting room floor. i gave my publisher, said okay, i want 100,000 words. i gave him 300,000. and so basically cut out a lot of the material on, some of the success stories got cut out simply because they were just dull, boring, and so it ended up on the floor. and for that i apologize. that's my own fault. everything you want to know about electronic intelligence, ripple, spy flights, submarines and use of navy ships, for collecting electronic signals,
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that all ended up out of the book as well. i'm going to have to do a separate book just on that subject all to itself. the biggest problem that i faced, and i'm facing right now, inviting the obama book is how do you talk about the craft of intelligence as an outsider without compromising ongoing operations? and one of the problems that i faced in writing "the secret sentry," especially the chapters for 9/11 or post-9/11 is that i ended up knowing, i was told a lot more than i could reasonably put in print and not expect a federal grand jury to hand down an indictment. and i, so like many responsible journalist, there are others, but like a few responsible journalists who do write about intelligence, i ended up self
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editing a lot of the material. the codeword for the domestic eavesdropping program, what does it tell you? if i was to put it in a book, yes, the "new york times" or the "washington post" would lead to the feet and published the fact that i had, you know, codewords of these programs. but it doesn't tell you what these programs did pick it doesn't say how expensive they were, whether they were legal or not. and so i self edited that material. a lot of the other current operations that were then taking place in iraq and afghanistan and pakistan, and elsewhere around the world, i clearly if i was to publish or propose publishing any of it, my publisher would have had a heart attack and i wouldn't be able to sleep at night. so i just want you all to know that there were limits, self-imposed limits in terms of what i could and should
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responsibly write about intelligence operations. and it's a terrible burden that any person writing about intelligence, at least if you are responsible or think you're responsible, has to do with. is one of the things, i should also mention, is i had been slaving away on this book. i think i mentioned it took me 25 years to write this book. and the first hint i had that i could actually write this book was in 1995 when nsa and the cia jointly released what is called the nova papers about the predecessor or organizations as to what now nsa. we are breaking the codes of what is know to what used to be the kgb and the operations here in united states.
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and for reasons that are subtle and sometimes difficult to understand, a former deputy director of nsa who was a lover of history, if you don't get many people rising to senior ranks of intelligence committees level appreciation for history said this stuff has run its usefulness as a secret so let's declassify. i know that there were those that nsa is going to be resisted the declassification of this photo but they were overruled because -- do it. just tell me when you're going to release its i can have a press conference. one of my main, one of the problems that has sort of reared its ugly head post-9/11 world that we live in immediately after 9/11 we live in a world
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during another period, during the mid 1990s right after nine 9/11 wendover annual conferences at the cia releasing documents and inviting historians to come listen to former agency officials talk about, you know, how they won the war. and then 9/11 came along and it stopped come and it stopped completely. no more conferences, no more releases of papers, and suddenly i became persona non grata along with a few other of us who actually vote on these, this issue. and it's beginning to change it again. in the last six months the cia has released several tranches of the very, you know, significant groups of papers on cold war intelligence issues. and i applaud cia for doing that, and i hope that nsa will follow suit and do the same. but, you know, we live in a
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democracy, and, you know, i keep having to remind myself that no matter how much damage of death and destruction al qaeda may have caused in 9/11, what makes a strong is the fact that we continue on, you know, as a people. we have probably the freest society in the world. if you have ever lived overseas you know the truth of it. and the fact that the intelligence community is back in the business of openly talking about the history of intelligence i think is a very, a very good sign. lastly, i should also mention the fact that i have to make an apology to all of you. and i think it's an appropriate one. the book is, you know, one-third is that does. there's a reason for that. i do know how many of you who are serious readers of
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intelligence history, you open up a book and you have no idea what information that author is presenting to you as fact came from. and i'm not an academic. i only have a bachelors degree. i'm not a ph.d, but it always drove me crazy when i picked up a book, and i will mention the name of any authors because mr. ernest oakshott is downstairs and a number of them are personal. but i always believed that you have the right to know where this stuff comes from. and it was confidential and i do use my footnotes with various confidential source, and then i began to regret doing that, especially when any of the people who gave me the information said, i have no problem with you giving, you know, using my name in your book. and i decided that if they were still alive i was not going to use their names.
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then, drake gets indicted by the federal grand jury in baltimore for leaking information to the baltimore sun. and at that point i realized i was really smart not putting the names of my sources into the footnotes of my book. the other thing i would like to say is, before i turn over to you, for those of you who may think that i was a little too critical of the agency in the book, i tacked onto the paperback version sort of a postscript of what's going on since president obama became, moved into the white house in january of last year. i mentioned a few programs which, you know, took the breath away of some people at fort meade, but didn't reveal as much as i could have about what these programs are up to. i wanted to sort of correct, begin the process of correcting
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what some people think is a slant towards the critical aspects of my book, by paying tribute and mentioning the successes that are currently taking place. you have to be wary when you read a newspaper article, take for example, the dana priest series that was published by the "washington post" recently. which, you know, sometimes took on a two-man gloom, you know, rampant intelligence coming out of control, rogue elephant, specter reared its ugly head again in the first time that's happened since the nixon administration. and, you know, you have to, whatever you may think about article in the information contained in it, or what was not contained in it, you have to always remember that there's something else behind the statistics. that there are hundreds of thousands, most of them in
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uniform, you know, i've been to kabul and islamabad four times over the last couple of years. and they can't even begin to describe the horrible conditions these guys are having, and gals, are having to go through doing their jobs. you know, it's just, somehow the newspaper articles don't do justice to the efforts that these men and women are doing today. that doesn't mean they aren't not making mistakes, and it's up to us as historians to tell you about it, because it's a human endeavor. good, bad, and ugly. but i think we need, we need -- i think it's incumbent upon the intelligence community to adopt more transparency, to tell us if, if they don't like the stories that are occurring in the "new york times" and the
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"washington post," then, for god's sake correct it, the story. give us the truth. and my god, our democracy will survive somehow. even telling us about the eavesdropping program, yes, there would be about a weeks worth of screaming and yelling on the fox network's and cnn and in a desperate in them -- msnbc. i think we can handle it, to use a line on the comedy show. i should also, mr. earnest asked me to talk briefly about cybercommand. for those of you who don't know, president obama approved the formation of a military command called the u.s. cybercommand, whose head is lieutenant general keith alexander, who is also the director of the national security agency. so now he has come at last count he had about four or five
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different hats that he wore. but u.s. cybercommand has the responsibility of defending our nation's telecommunications and computer infrastructure. which i always thought was part of nsa's original mandate, you know, it was usually called imitation security, they became information security. somehow we needed a new command, a new layer of bureaucracy on top of, you know, what already exists to handle the cyber threat from abroad. i'll tell you what, when these lovely offers coming from nigeria asking me to give them my bank account, information, when they stop, then another cybercommand is working. but i mean, cybercommand may have some meaningful affect, or not, on protecting our nation's, the government communication
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system. it's never been proven to my satisfaction that, you, there are about 15 different organizations engage in various degrees or another in cyber defense or and it is the hottest contracting. you go to a conference here in washington. there are literally -- literally hundreds of defense contractors bidding for multimillion dollar contracts. the problem is i don't think anyone knows what the threat is, or how to deal with it. everybody, but there's a ton of, billions of dollars being thrown at the problem willy-nilly. and that's typical for washington. what we need is one person to bang heads, you know, to quote j.r.r. tolkien, to bring them all into darkness under one, one pictorial head. but that is something that is sort of goes against the culture
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here in washington. by the way, if any of you wonder why the last director of national intelligence didn't survive very long, you know, we have now a man whose the head of our intelligence community who literally has no power to direct or control the activities of the 16 intelligence agencies that he commands, much less his own office, much less the military intelligence component, which is the second tower. nobody realizes, there's a second intelligence community on the other side of the potomac. so what i would like to do now is turn it over to you and, yes. [inaudible] >> sorry. >> how did you how did you answer your own question, are we getting our money's worth, why aren't why not?
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secondly, what are some, to major successes? water a couple of failures, and how could they have turned into successes? >> very good questions. short answer, i, and it's a personal opinion, you talk to any senior cia official and they will give you a different answer. i mean, they're the ones who had declared his. but my feeling is that they have gotten, would have gotten our money's worth from the agency, despite all the failures, despite the gulf in 1964 which was, you know, and intelligence failure of first order which dragged america into war. but as dr. johnson, in his multipoint history of nsa points out, you know, president lyndon johnson, because i was looking
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for a reason to go to war. if the talking golf thing happened in some else would happen that would ultimate resulted in is go to war. it just so happened that the gulf was sort of the reason i were intelligence failed where it failed, it failed at nsa and it failed at the white house and pentagon level where you had a secretary of defense that was in such a hurry to bomb north vietnam. it didn't matter what the intercepts actually said. basically you take them to which you're already premade conclusion. the weapons of mass destruction scandal is another example where nsa is not entirely, just a small part of the intelligence failure. [inaudible] >> there have been examples where nsa got it right and
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analysts at langley got it wrong. for example, the 1968 soviet invasion of czechoslovakia. all the evidence, all the intelligence and from other sources clearly indicated that the soviets were going to intervene militarily and crush the czech government, which they viewed. and for reasons that the cia's intelligence analysts, that the national intelligence officer level set know, the russians will -- babel rattled their sword but they will not do it. so, and this became sort of, this was written in stone and they refused to budge no matter how much evidence. the same with the matter in 1960. all theeidence from the collection standpoint from nsa and others, clearly foretell a
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major offensive in 1968, vietcong. but analysts at line one, before -- the north vietnamese don't have the capacity to conduct a nationwide coordinated offensive. it was part of their mind set up at the time. there are just literally dozens of examples where the collectors get it right. the 1973 arab-israeli war, another good example of where nsa got it right and the analysts at langley said, the armed forces are incapable of taking on the israeli defense forces. there's no chance of war. and so everybody was shocked when, you know, the egyptian army crossed the suez. and we've had examples where they have got it wrong, but those examples are fewer than the analysts who are responsible
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for taking the mass of material collected by nsa and turning it into truth. that's my get conclusion. my candidate. lee demonstrated just that as i come over 25 years, i see more and more examples of what analysts, for whatever reasons, there are many examples where they got it right and nsa had no collection on the issue whatsoever. but on the major crisis of the 1950s, you know, through the threat of cold war, you know, in like '60s, 70% of the time nsa was right. so i mean, that says a lot about how massive and global nsa was, at the height of the cold war i think in 1967 or 68, nsa had in excess of 90,000 personnel and close to 100 listening posts
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around the world. it was truly a gargantuan effort in virtually every nation in the world was being listened to the united nations, ngos, you name it, everybody was being monitored. i mean, i would be willing to admit that since it was such a gargantuan effort yet, you miss a few things. but i'm always surprised at how much they actually caught. >> i did want to emphasize again, if you wait for the microphone. [laughter] that we have a traveling microphone here as well. okay. but it does so because everyone can hear us, and also those who are taking the meeting. okay quick so thank you very much. and go on for your questions. [inaudible]
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>> i think they can hear me. >> but the recording can't. >> okay. i wanted to introduce you to our new historian who has just joined the museum, mark stout. so any concerns that you have, programs you want to suggest, or just random comments, either one of them as well as my cell. so let me help you, matthew, on that. >> thank you. >> i have a simple question, but -- could you give us a concise description of what the nsa does operation or organizationally? how does it work to pull all this information? >> that is a big one. okay, nsa put simply, nsa is, nsa has basically two primary
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missions. it has a host of coronary missions, and basically it does two things and to things only. it is the nation's eavesdropper, which probably accounts for 60, 70% of its effort. and it is responsible for protecting the government's communications infrastructure weatherby computers, e-mails, and how it does it. well, okay, i'll. benny: it in general terms. -- i'll speak to it in a general terms that i hearken to the fact that i is so many of you have children or grandchildren who are enamored of cell phones and have the registers in their hands at all times racking up huge bills. nsa, i will give you a very good example. in baghdad in 2007 for general
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david petraeus sent over to baghdad iraq's security situation, it is fading rapidly, but i said i can fix it for you, mr. president. he goes over to baghdad, and first thing that he is confronted with is we knew very little about the organization of the iraqi insurgents and al qaeda in iraq. it turns out that nsa had come up with a couple lovely devices, which basically could vacuum cleaned all of the e-mail digital pager and cell phone traffic for the greater baghdad area, which is roughly a couple million people crammed into a very small place. and then there was a corollary computer system that basically could go, ran through all of the call data and figure out who was an insurgent and it was just my paw calling and for the local
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store. and i think we have to wait for nsa to declassify material on the subject, but i've talked to a couple dozen people who basically have said through this, given, vacuum cleaner and a set system that they parked on a man-made mountain out of the baghdad international airport, it looked basically like the compressor, you know, think of soul power compressors see, assuming there was a jackhammer, to a little power pack, you know, behind him. that is exactly what the intercept system looked like. there was nothing unusual about it. it just had this capacity to basically suck up everything in the ether within a certain frequency range, which has led cell phones, cell phones all operate on sales. this thing basically was connected to all the different
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cell phones in the baghdad area. everything said into this computer system, which then sped through it and said, i half, we have an insurgent cell here and an insurgent cell here. they could locate them based on their telephone number. it's just like what are police system here use in the united states. when you pick up a cell phone, they can actually track you using it. they know exactly where you are. this is how the system worked in baghdad. and so general petraeus was was able to send in what they call to work rogers, infantry squads to the locations id by the system. and sure enough, just one insurgent cell after another after another went down. basically it's a simple process, but it's much more competent than i am making it sound. that's an example of how a system works but it takes vast
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amount of computer power to do it, and nsa is the only agency in the world has the technology, the money and the manpower. russia used to have a much larger, you know, the soviet union before communism collapsed, had a much larger single intelligence system and then they fell on hard times after the collapse of communism. they are on their way back to their are still a shadow of their former self. does that answer the question asked. [inaudible] >> i don't mean to be disrespectful by asking this, but nevertheless, what does your book too different from what the multi-volume version of dr. johnson? if you're short of an executive summary of his, what do you do, what do you bring to the table? i don't mean to be disrespectf disrespectful. >> no, it's actually, i'm almost attempted to drag time up here and let him give you his side of
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the story. but when i try to do, and, tom's multi-volume history is wonderful, except that they're still huge chunks of it that remain classified. a, i try to fill in some of the blanks. in some cases with some success. and others, not. i tried to add material that was not contained in tom's book, the volume of history, because with all due respect to my friend back there, there were many other areas where his written on specific operations, specific aspects of the agency. and i tried to bring them all together, plus bringing in the results of 25 years of research of the national archives and other document repositories, plus the interviews i've done with former cia and nsa officials. so basically, i tried to do, you
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know, basically the same thing he did, but from an unclassified all source. >> yeah, matthew came to me to try to answer the question. i think i would like to put a perspective on what he did and tell you a little story about how i did this. i was in nsa's program. i was writing this book, one of my jobs was to view all train force in the agency. almost all of them had something to do with things that used to happen rather than things that are going to happen. they all went across my desk and i started to notice that there was a huge pile of foia coming in from national security archive. every single one of them had at the bottom matthew a. i immediately concluded this was a competent person. not only that it was a pseudo, it was a poor shooter.
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it would be named matthew aid? i think was in 2001 i was invited to speak at a conference in toronto on i think the korean war. and i went there with matthew aid. i introduced myself that i had no idea he was a real person. i apologize. [laughter] >> and so i read the paper he presented on korea, and i'd already written one that was in one of the chapters in my multi-volume history. also on korea, the same one. i realized his was better than mine. and i have access to all the classified iq it's. and the reason it was that it was because he had stepped outside the agency any a broad perspective that agency employees could never bring. he had a critical eye that i simply didn't have. i was a true blue nsa agent, and they could not step outside the agency and review it i think from the perspective that
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matthew had. i could say a lot of other things, but i think in short, that's what his book brings, the evaluation of nsa. thank you. >> thank you, tom. [inaudible] >> i enjoy would have been able to hear so far. i want to come back to the cyber issue, and i want to positive media center and ask ask which opinion is. based on your work. in very simple terms, this is oversimplifying the situation, the internet is wide open. literally, anybody with the right skills and processing capability can pretty much spot on anybody else. -- can pretty much spot on anybody else.
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it might be something akin to dodge city on payday, only there's no sheriff. >> right. >> and to the extent there's any government presence at all, a classic case is the heartland situation where 130 million credit card numbers were stolen. and do what government agencies that knew about that as it was occurring and did not warn the company or the people involved. so i guess the point of my question is, if infanticide is a situation, and maybe a situation is a good way to describe it, where in the internet is as open as it is, and with all due respect to the government's reluctance to get involved with it, how do we appropriately protect the public with respect to privacy? and what would your observations be of that? thank you. >> thank you. you have hearkened to the
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problem, sort of the heart of the problem, which is if the government was to step in and propose that u.s. cybercommand, in any induration that it assumed, move into the commercial, meaning the civilian internet market, to protect us, you can imagine what the reaction would be from the aclu. but also people like me, who have, i mean, there is still part of me that wonders why google, for example, needs and essays assistance to protect it from hackers and other, you know, internet service providers have the benefit of nsa's production. in coming in the aftermath, it's been five years since been your time review of the domestic eavesdropping program on the front page of the papers, i think, you know, there are no
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polls that i've ever been taken, but it ends it to propose let us move into your computers, let us protect you from nigerian fraud artists and guys in siberia you're trying to separate your credit card numbers from your wallet, i think a lot of us would be very later he, and properly so, letting a government agency, especially one as large as nsa, as powerful as nsa, into our homes. i mean, you can imagine the constitutional lawyers who argued this stuff is fourth amendment issue, this is invasion of my home. you can't enter here. so i don't see, i don't see how it is a can intervene and protecting us as americans, as individuals. it's mission, as i understand it right now, and it's a matter of intense debate, you know, in the
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west wing of the white house, at in a dashing nsa, at the department of homeland security, and cybercommand and essays mission is only to protect government communications and those of our allies and our troops fighting overseas. if beyond that i mean, you can imagine what the public's reaction would be. you saw what the reaction is when it was revealed in the "washington post" that google had approached nsa and asked for help to protect it from chinese hackers. the reaction was visceral. it was pointed and it was overtly negative. and i mean, google is that large, and that dominating presence on the internet. imagine if, it would take, it would take a 9/11 type of catastrophe affecting the entire internet before think most americans would be willing to
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let the national security agency, or some such organization, regulate and be the sheriff on the internet. right now i do think nsa wants the job. at my impression talking to general alexander and others. is like a fourth amendment nightmare that the agency absolutely does not want or need right now. it's got three wars, and protecting the government's communications, that's plenty right now. >> isn't there though a conundrum that even if the agency were to protect private communications, would inevitably protect indications of those parties, some of which it wants to, eavesdrop on? there seems to be no way out of that, to protect me from nigerian scammers, could protect, and it certainly protect the communications of people threatening terrorist action here or against our
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allies? >> it's a different way and the same problem, yet. it is absolutely true. i output the problem in a different light. dashing i will put the problem in a different light. if in nsa came to me and said we'll give you, mr. a., a one time good deal. we will play overwatch. we will be big brother just for your computer. but for us to protect your computer and your telephone, we will make sure you don't get calls from telemarketers at dinnertime, and we will make sure that the nigerians leave you alone, and we'll keep the buggies out of your computer. we will do all of that. all you have to do is give us your passwords. we have to know some very intimate personal information about you. we can't protect you in less we
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know you. and i mean, it was a question we all asked ourselves after 9/11. i mean, we knew that we're going to have to make some accommodations after the terrorism attacks, that there would be some loss of civil liberties, that we would have to make sacrifices on order to protect our country, our homeland. we didn't realize how far it would be. you know, the government may have gone, or the infringement of constitutional infringements that may or may not have taken place, we will never know because all the guilty parties have been given retroactive immunity. but yeah, i mean, we're in the same -- does anyone here, i mean, i'm willing to entertain any calls. does anyone here feel that they are so threatened that their computers are so wide open to attack, it had dashing it hasn't
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happened to me, i have to admit. i live, i have a block from the chinese industry embassy. i have to believe they are listening. the russian embassy is not all that far from me. we live in a town which is just, we have probably more spies here in washington today than we had at the height of the cold war. they live in my building. i mean, i know. i have met some of them. the chinese, god, they are wonderful. i will have to take, that's my next book. but i don't, i personally don't feel threatened enough. i don't feel that the threat is imminent in no way i would be willing to let nsa or the u.s. government, in general, into my home, into my computer to protect me. i'm not, i'm not sure from what rubicon has to be crossed before i would be willing to let that
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happen. i'm just postulating a position here, i think the vast majority of the 250 plus americans would not be willing to permit that to happen. we don't have a situation as you find in london where on every street corner you will find for cameras. i don't think we would permit that here in united states and the same thing is true when it comes to protecting our communicate and -- indications. >> matthew, thank you very much. >> very stimulating presentation, and -- [applause] >> we have been the lead to learn today that there really is a matthew aid, so keep up the good work. >> has win98 is a former staff sergeant with the u.s. air force, and the former national
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security archive fellow. the international spy museum here in washington, d.c., hosted this event. to find out more visit b. theo wilson as a coach a is o prize-winning biologist and a naturalist. and we're here to talk to himd n about his first novel called anthill. welcome to the program. ame up we title of your book? >> there are a lot of that hills. it is a coming of age novel about a boy who grows up in the deep south and becomes the enamored, in love, a rare package, end begins to developed special liking and understanding and that he will do anything when he grows up to save from developers in that part of the south. i saw things like that under
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threat of developers. in the course of studies of natural history he focuses on and -- ants who make up two thirds of the weight of all insects. they own the earth. that is where ants come in. a little boy learned about them when he goes to college. >> after writing about nature and biology, why did you choose to write this one as a novel? >> here is one reason. i wanted to continue to push awareness of nature and how fast it is disappearing in this country and around the world. i have found something that you would know very well too. people respect nonfiction which was what i have been writing all my life. but they read novels. this is one reason i decided to write a novel. >> tell us more about the main
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character and is there a biographical elements to his character? >> i have to admit his childhood, for his early teens, closely parallels that of your faithful author who grew up in that part of the country but then they diverge as rafael salmons cody, his mother's made a name, for reasons of his own, though late hero of the confederacy, after that, proceed on to law school and find solutions that he sought to be an effective conservationist and save this precious land for what he learns of the law. >> what do you think readers will take away from this book being that it is a novel that they might not pick up from a nonfiction book about the same
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topic? >> for my fellow southerners, my heritage especially, the preciousness of the natural environment and the rapidity with which we are losing it. second, the importance of knowing in detail for purposes of fiction and not just nonfiction their rich environment around all of us. the natural environment which skimmed over by novelists and it is not here. nature becomes a virtual character. third, takes up a quarter of the whole book, the account of the ant wars, colony against colony until one finally exterminated the other another comes in and exterminate the second one, all of that is in particularly iraq
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scientific detail. when you follow the life cycle of the colony, their wars, tournaments like military groups on parade, they demonstrate their strengths to other colonies and the way they communicate chemicals is based on fact. >> he will be presenting at the national book festival. what kind of information would you like to impart to the audience, what you hope they get from your talk? >> the most important is pretty much the themes we touched on of enormous importance of america's environment and for my fellow southerners the critical nature and the enormous importance of nature and its relevance to fiction and nonfiction for future creative work.
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>> you mentioned your relationship to the south. do you think there's more of an awareness between man and his environment in the south than in other parts of the united states? >> not particularly especially the mid-atlantic states in new england, or the far west. or the close attention many southerners give to the outdoors to -- tends to deal little much on fishing and hunting which is okay but i want to help encourage a broader interest >> capitol hill cook is the name of the book. the author is lyndon bauer. we usually don't talk about cookbooks but why would we want to talk to you? >> this is cooking for a cause. 50% of all the proceeds and the
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royalties in advance go to home for our troops. it gives them a wheelchair accessible home. and who wouldn't want to note the favorite recipes of george washington to president obama, with notes about why they like the recipes, and this congress. >> what is president obama's recipe in your book? >> he has a mac and cheese and shrimp linguine. >> how did you get access to those recipes? >> my husband was the longest serving social related history and i was an intern during watergate for new a lot of the folks and i had done three recipe books before and had given them to charity. so this is to books and one for the same price that is a great bargain and it's the best chair you could ever ask for. >> here's one recipe you have. theodore roosevelt. >> that's right. it's a healthy k., let me take that it is heavy and it is great. it's delicious. >> what other recipes do you
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have that people might be interested in? >> i think the best one is probably maybe eisenhower's fudge. when she married i can she told my husband that sh she had to c, even boil water. and after she met him she was the shed. she ran across this million dollar recipe and it's so good, even kids can make it. it's fantastic. my second favorite is probably ronald reagan speak on pocket it's just like pumpkin pie but it has pitons and all the knots are on top. so it's typically political. >> you also have the recipe from harry reid. >> yes, i do. it's very, very good. and i have ron paul and michele bachmann. you have every kind of political persuasion you would want. >> capitol hill cook is name of the book. linda bauer is the author. recipes from the white house, congress and all the past presidents. >> you've been watching booktv on c-span2. every weekend we bring you 48 hours of


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