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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 24, 2013 2:00am-4:01am EST

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back to my question. >> yes, so several people started talking about this according to what i investigated and looked into, how this all played out. it was interesting because even at the time there was great dissension over this. there were people on the staff of felt like this was the right thing to do and some of them briefly spoke to me. i say briefly because ultimately there were arrests involved because there were people who thought yes we should give these patients some medicine and help them to their death essentially. .. wife and said i don't think i'm going to see you again, he thought he had to get out of that hospital and what would happen to the patients. >> which doctors this? >> he was -- he passed away recently, but he was a critical
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care doctor at memorial. >> he was there for the five days? >> he certainly was. and he felt it was the right thing to do but there were others who didn't. >> can you say that the doctors at memorial were euthanizing patients? >> well, the book, "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", takes you into debt by euthanasia they hasten the death by euthanasia or medicines, order can be called death by murder. he arrested several because a year-long investigation took place and some of the staff who felt like, according to medical ethics and the laws of the land, according to the will of the family members who are present in some cases, that we don't do
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this. that there is a tradition in medicine the goes back to the time of hippocrates the doctors should not be in the role of hastening death and that is something that our medical codes in the united states are very against and they say they are not allowed. there are few places where euthanasia is allowed, but only with the consensus and under strict rules towards the end of life if a patient wishes such a thing. >> who is the next doctor? >> she is one of the doctors who is ahead in neck surgeon and she gave some of the medicines to patients and i should say investigation showed that 20 patients received combination of morphine and a powerful sedative, one or the other or both and died that thursday, september 1. many physicians and nurses,
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several were involved in this and she was one of them, there were two nurses that were also arrested, the three of them were arrested and accused by the attorney general of second-degree murder in the deaths of several patients. and they were arrested because the prosecutors had the most evidence when it came to them and there were witnesses who had seen them and who had spoken with them about giving these medicines are among the doctors we spoke with me openly about what they did, while she spoke with me, would not address the issues around those deaths, not surprisingly, if you are arrested and accused of murder obviously. family members, all of those lawsuits are settled or dismissed now, but i think that on the advice of her attorney, she is not really address the issues at the core and say only
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that she was innocent and not guilty of murder. >> is she still practicing medicine? >> yes. >> where is that? >> louisiana state university, she was promoted after these events because because while the evidence was there, although these deaths were hasten, the drugs were given. what the motivation was was really what the case was hinged upon. and however if it was given for comfort, that is something that we do allow in the united states, certainly, to treat patients for comfort towards the end of their lives. but the experts were called in to look at these cases were pretty convinced, there is one who dissented, that just the pattern of so many deaths in such a short period of time led them to believe that this was more than just an effort to
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provide comfort. but there was great sympathy for these health professionals in louisiana because of the larger context that the decisions were made in. and failures to respond quickly enough on a governmental level, so given that context, they felt that how can these arrests, with all of that failing around them. >> sheri fink, when the news reports come out about what may have occurred at memorial? >> very early on there were doctors and nurses who really disagreed and who had been involved in the discussions over hastening death, euthanasia, putting people out of their misery, whatever order you want to use on a company felt that this was wrong and that the patients were not suffering where this was called for even for comfort medicines. one doctor said to me that our job is not to bring about death and he really dissented in some
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of them spoke with the media. so very early on there were intimations of what might have occurred. but of course, no real evidence and a lot of people tended to dismiss those stories as sensationalistic and not really believe what happens. and i felt like i had worked in disaster and conflict zones myself as an aid worker and my first book was about a hospital under siege for three years during the bosnian genocide. that number had actually heard of a situation getting so desperate that doctors and nurses really thought that -- some of them thought this might be the best option. and i felt it was urgent for our country to know the true story and that that was the best way to honor the sacrifices of the people who worked so hard in this situation and the lives of the people that have passed away. for us to face this head on and not walk away from it and to look at these events. whatever the motivation and the
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feelings of the people who did this. obviously thinking that it was the best thing to do. we need to learn from this and go forward. we don't want to see this type of thing happen again. so there's all sorts of vulnerabilities in the country, organizations getting better prepared with leadership and communication and individuals having our own things. the first half of the book is by an hour by hour rechristen what happened and we have, unlike these doctors and nurses were stuck in a situation, we have the luxury of thinking about it before it ever happens and what we would want to do in a crisis like this. >> you have a picture here of memorial hospital under water. please call on in.
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the phone numbers on your screen, divided by region if you are interested in participating. but it was this taken? >> that was taken on the fifth day. there was an effort to evacuate the hospital just as those injections were taking place in this is one headed toward for the hospital. that's the main hospital. and this is the garage ramp and patients again, creative thinking is what saved lives here. they save so many lives and they pushed the patients until the mob that down ramp of this circle parking garage and then carried none of these rickety metal steps to the top of that here birdsall every patient, when the power fails you have no elevators, just imagine.
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>> you can see the water on the streets below. still how isolated were the people at memorial on day four and a five? >> they were isolated. you know, this is the hospital that is two city blocks long like many of our hospitals. there just wasn't a pattern of regular meetings that people felt like communication was good in the hospital. so there were a few people who had radios and who were in touch with the rescuers and the coast guard left the radio there. so rumors just flew. and i was writing the book, as i thought about it, i thought about the call-in radio show that was happening and people were calling in and reporting
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what was happening and there were people at the hospital with battery-powered radios listening and there were rumors of sharks and hotel swimming pools and that zombies are taking over new orleans, really, does is what people were saying. a lot of the cell phones weren't working, and the phones cut out, they didn't have satellite phones working. and so you asked where they cut off and it felt very cut off. >> was the temperature in the hospital? >> people estimated it at a hundred degrees. the local weather stations not keeping records at that time. but i got weather records and i i would say it was released in the '90s in the area around the hospital and inside it became human. if you've ever been in the hospital, modern hospitals are kind of sealed shut and when the power goes down from which it sometimes does, if you have no air-conditioning, the walls start to sweat. it becomes slippery on the floor and it becomes very humid and
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hot and difficult to work in people's energy was sapped. >> did they have water? >> they did have water, not running water. but they have ample supplies of water. but some people fear that it would run out and they were afraid of that. >> sheri fink, you are a medical doctor as well. and have you thought about putting yourself into place for those five days at memorial? >> i have worked in disaster zones as a volunteer with some of the nongovernmental organizations. and that is really what made me interested in looking at this story. i certainly was not there when this happened and that is why it took me six years to gather documentation and to really try to piece together moment by moment what happened. but what i have is empathy for people working under situations of great stress and just what
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lack of sleep can do to you, what it can do to you when you hear gunshots going off and bombs exploding. and so i think that that gave me some sympathy for the conditions >> were these patients euthanized in your opinion? >> i think it is completely clear that data cannot be argued that 20 patients were found with these drugs in our bodies and it was well documented by the hospital and when they died and where they died and they receive these medicines on thursday, september 1, and they died within a short period of time. as for the intentionality of each person that did this act, that is sort of up to each person to say. two doctors said that we did it intentionally hasten the death of the patients and others that i was trying to give comfort. and so i think that when you
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read the book, i wanted to show the different perspectives. i didn't want to insert myself in their and the whole question of the legal aspect was how do we adjudicate these potentially criminal acts in the context of this disaster. >> sheri fink is our guest, author of "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital" and she's a medical doctor. we have is about the from a call from isabella in florida. >> caller: hello,. >> we are listening. >> caller: okay. >> i'm going to have to move on, i'm sorry. we are going to move on, and we are going to go to our caller
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from portland, oregon. we are listening, please make your comment for sheri fink. >> caller: hello, i was reading about this during the time of "the new york times" writeup on it. i don't know if you were the author of that piece in "the new york times" or not. but it seemed like there was a lot of [inaudible] and there was one woman director of the hospital who is making these decisions and i guess another part of it is that there really was no smoking gun in the sense that you said those two doctors came out and said yes, we did this. but they argue that no one ever said let's kill these people and so therefore people just kind of got off, and they use that as the defense of not being clear, but many people said that they knew that that's what they were going to do, yet no one actually
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said those words out loud to all of the individual doctors. so was wondering if you could comment on that and if you were involved with "the new york times" writeup in the degree to which the hospital staff was told that. and just as a commentary, i feel more sympathy for the patients. i know you are trying to stress the fact that these doctors were under immense pressure but i'm sorry, i have more sympathy for the patients. they are there for their care and regardless of the stress and how it is that they were thinking, their job is to save lives and it just shows you how it was during hurricane katrina that so many people shirk their duties and responsibilities and police and hospital people, that they ended up killing people as opposed to trying to care for the citizens and residents.
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>> thank you. >> the book raises this question is a time of crisis a time when we allow our moral our moral values to five hours at a time when we really need to hold even more closely to our root moral values and that is one of the questions that the book raises. and i think that many people were very disturbed because i should say it wasn't just patients who are teetering at the end of life who receive these drugs, in fact, one case in particular, and that ever everett was a 61-year-old woman partially paralyzed, but he was hodgins and he had expressed a desire to be rescued and he didn't sell breakfast that morning and told his nurses that are we ready to rock 'n roll. he said one specific nurse, don't let them leave me behind, don't let them leave me behind. and she was devastated because
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because he was one of the patients who received these drugs and he was 380 pounds in the hospital without elevators functioning and according to people who participated in the discussion about him, they felt that -- that they were so out of hope that they felt that they couldn't carry him down the staircase. and i feel that we really need to think about this because obesity is an issue in our country. this came up at bellevue last year as well. the last person rescued when the waters came up on the east river in new york city, a big public hospital, 20 some stories high, is a 500-pound man and they didn't give up hope. they kept carrying the fuel of two backup generators after the fuel pumps failed in the basement. and then until they could get
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elevator running and getting him out safely. so a lot of people feel the way that you do and it is one of those reasons why we really need to look at these issues. and as to this, i think that if you read the book "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", i interviewed everyone i could, where did you hear about this idea, where did that person here from that person and etc. and you can kind of see how that initial idea was introduced in a context at first euthanizing pets and perhaps offhand comments about we are putting the patients in making the pets comfortable, when we do more for the patients. the patients were getting comfort medicines all on. they were giving them doses of what they needed for pain and four for distress as well. so the question of how does that idea percolate through the medical staff, embraced by some, rejected by others, it's all in the book, and yes, i did write
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"the new york times" article that you mentioned and early version of this story, which i felt even in 13,000 words could not tell the whole story and that is why i took another three years and wrote "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital." >> what did you when your poll surprise for? remapped for the magazine that this caller was referring to that was published in 2009. >> we have chuck from arnold, maryland. >> hello, doctor sheri fink. i have a question for you. i organized a group under fbi volunteer program called [inaudible] where we looked at long-term disasters and we have a group of doctors, including folks in the military and looking at the health care infrastructure nationwide. i'm wondering if you would be
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interested in participating with critical infrastructure and how to do it and what we might do to improve it for things like this. and i didn't know there was an interesting might have been a way to contact you to participate in that. >> thank you. i urge anyone who wants to get in touch, you can go to my website which is sheri and i am also on twitter and i have my facebook page and there is a contact form on the website as well. and i think that i'm really glad to hear that and i have heard that before. since the book has been published for some really fantastic initiatives of people really realizing that we have seen so many disasters and vulnerabilities in different parts of the country and it is really a wonderful thing when
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various organizations and individuals get involved in looking at these preparedness issues and there are certain things that could be implemented >> who started the investigation into memorial hospital? >> it was started by the medicaid fraud control unit and it turns out that these units are in every state, it is a body that is sort of a combination of federal monies as well as state resources. >> just. >> it was housed in the state capital and they typically investigate medicaid fraud, so this might be anything from abuse of elderly people in a nursing home to financial shenanigans going on and help facility that receives medicaid money which is most of them and
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they looked at best. the second half of "five days at memorial: life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital", you meet those young and passionate individuals. when these allegations are accusations came out, there was a code of silence and people were afraid, knowing that the investigation was going on. so they faced a tough battle piecing together what happened. the bodies sat in an unrefrigerated condition for a long time, so even if you do toxicology test on them, they could detect the amount of drugs, but -- i'm sorry they could detect presence of certain drugs but the amounts are very difficult to detect. so it's the whole second half of the book is how they piece
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together these conditions and after a year of investigating is when the arrests took place. >> the next call comes from walter in new haven connecticut. you are on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: hello, yes, i would like to comment on the military situation and i suppose they can only say that they can actually save and i suppose it is taken out of their hands and they do what they can. and i'm wondering if medical training, so the determination is sort of taken away from them. so maybe the expectation of this and watching what you can expect
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and what it can actually do and who they can actually save as opposed to what they think they can do. >> thank you for asking that question. i looked at the history and what we are talking about here is triaged, which comes from a french word, it referred to the sorting of coffee beans and that was exactly as you said, the original conception if you have a battlefield situation with people injured and who do you save first say verse than his concept was we save the most grievously injured without regard to race or distinction and its egalitarian, as the french would refer to it. and then some years later there was this concept added which would imply this much but this
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group of patients might go last. and perhaps their care would wire too many resources if you say that person, you might lose to other people, or perhaps you don't even have the resources to save them. and interestingly, when we look at the triaged protocol, say that her e-mail and units in america use today, i was surprised to learn that there are roughly nine well-recognized systems in the u.s. for it and they don't operate that category. and for us while we are not always good at predicting which of the patients will have no chance of survival and which will have a chance if we rescue them first. there has not been a lot of research on triage and i would urge anyone watching today and if you know a young person who is going up and wanting to
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research something important in the medical field, we don't even know how these different methods of triaged might impact the overall population and really it is about this normally, we try to do our best with each individual patient and we treat them according to the cute their situation is. we are flipping two or more populations on this kind of based approach. the number of lives saved, quality years of life, should age play a role, should we try to aim for justice and should we do it randomly, these are things that are debated and i think that we in america need to think about this in this particular story is one example and we face these types of situations across the health care system when you think about who gets resources and doesn't. or when we prepare for a pandemic, there are discussions starting to go on that would
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help medical professionals make these decisions and to guide them. these guidelines are being made, for the most part, by small groups of health professionals and they may have very different values on the larger public and i would urge anyone who is interested in us, to please get involved and take a look at your health department website in your state and see what is going on in terms of development of these guidelines. >> the next call comes from jana and wholesome, montana. please go ahead with your question. >> thank you. hello, sheri fink. i'm just curious how many people [inaudible] thank you. >> why is that important to you? and i think she hung up. >> okay, i'm glad to have a chance to answer this because in
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the book i didn't really make it clear that i felt that the race of the person was not -- i felt it wasn't necessary to always mention that. so some people have assumed that this was perhaps euthanasia of all african-american people because there was this doctor who he spoke about who had said something when i interviewed him, having to do with race and having to do with historical situations and we withdraw in our own communities and we feel comfortable with the people we are closest to them perhaps those potential fissures in society can open if we're not careful and if we allow ourselves to fear this, for example. but as best as i can tell of the 20 patients that received those drugs, about half and half african-american and caucasian
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or white or whatever words we want to do is to denote those races. we don't know what the denominator was in terms of the overall racial breakdown of those over there. but i can certainly say that it was not all one race or another who received those drugs and who died and they were a very low socioeconomic status as well. >> to the families get involved in these patients? >> they did. i think some people assume that this was a merciful act of the families would be glad if they think you are putting my loved one out of their misery in this awful situation when they had maybe not a great chance to survive. part of the problem was the staff didn't even know where they were sending people to and whether the next place would have the kind of care that people would need. the family members were not asked what they wanted and
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several were made to leave their loved ones to get on votes and evacuate themselves. i would say almost every single one feels that this was wrong except for maybe one exception, if the loved one even if they hadn't wanted to live, they still had value and that effort should have been made to rescue them. and i think it's fascinating in the epilogue that takes you all the way up and it came out this fall and it takes you right up to hurricane sandy and some of the more recent disasters. we found that one of the big challenges is that even short of euthanasia, this a time of crisis and often family members are not involved in the larger public is not involved.
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you say how can we possibly do that. but there is an example before hurricane sandy was approaching, and connecticut there is a hospice there. and they realized that they would have do it evacuate in short order and they assumed that they would move the most fragile and sickest is that patients first. then they went and they spoke with the families and they asked the families and they found something but the staff did not anticipate, which is that the family members closest to death wanted to go last and they wanted every chance for their loved one to be a part of that. so i think we can sometimes find
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things and it's crucial, really. >> the next call comes from sheila and louisiana. where's your location? >> caller: [inaudible] >> we are having trouble hearing. >> i'm south of monroe, louisiana. hello? >> please go ahead, we are listening. >> caller: hello, i like your book. and i think that these doctors have a tough call. before hurricane katrina hit, because of new orleans, what happened there and we never heard anything about that. i have researched this many
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times. >> she was talking about a leper colony near new orleans and she wanted to know what happened to that. >> i am not familiar, but thank you for the question. >> how much did hurricane katrina cost the health care systems? >> not only were these doctors and nurses brought before a grand jury, which i should say they did not indict, but there were many lawsuits against the corporation itself for what one lawyer described as a new theory of liability and failure to prepare for potential and possible disaster and they knew that hurricanes could hit new orleans and that there could be flooding in the new that there was a vulnerability in many hospitals. so the hospitals have been sued by the people who were in them, not only people who died, but those who suffered during the days of heat and fear and it was
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an particular suit and certified as a class action on behalf of basically everyone in the hospital. because of workers compensation, they couldn't be part of the suit as workers, but just as it reached a stage of jury selection, the corporation and the plaintiff settled for $25 billion without any sort of admission of any sort of responsibility. so that was just divided of this year and people just received it this year and everyone i've talked to is pretty much unhappy with the amount that they received. people feel that at least one daughter one patient who had received this, sort of let her own lawsuit and she settled this year she says she just fell at the amount wasn't enough to make
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the corporation think harder about disaster preparedness and making these investments and you have to wonder in this is a critical infrastructure. we want them not to be places of danger for the patients and i'm. all of us may need them ourselves if there is a hurricane or an attack of some type. we need that to be able to continue to function. thinking about that is big questions for our country. >> hello, i really love this book and i think it's amazing and i just wanted to ask
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questions. number one was the issue of abandonment. i know that the defense counsel for these doctors, they are using an argument in a disaster situation with american law and state law doesn't apply anymore than i thought that was very deserving and i just wanted to get your thoughts on those things. >> sure. i think that american law still applies and honestly it was difficult in a situation that juries do have discretion and they are able to, in this case, it became a question of whether that jury really heard all the evidence or whether they didn't hear all of the evidence for
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this. >> we both apologized, to nicole in brooklyn. >> so who designed this? >> i think it's brilliant. and that is exactly the effect that is being done. >> we have tried to fix it. >> the author of the book, thank you for being on booktv here in miami. this is live coverage of the
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30th annual miami book fair. the 50 year on the air coming up, several more author events today. the next one you will see is at chapman hall with doris kearns goodwin. they will be on a panel for 45 minutes or so, the first, peter baker is a chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and bush and cheney at the white house, he is coming up in just a few minutes. but first, we want to surpass coverage. he came out with this book. >> i laid out a doctrine that said that protect the country, we have to be on the offense and
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we had to deal with threats before they fully materialize and that's one of the lessons of the attack of september 11 and this includes the ideology of the innocent. but i felt that it was important to deal with because the biggest danger facing america is weapons of mass destruction and in the hands of a surrogate that has chosen this. one thing is clear in this book are not is that i tried to make diplomacy work and there is an exhaustive attempt convince them, we meant what we said whether we should have gone to the security council and i walked through the debate.
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your position, as you say, is legally he was in violation of previous problems the. >> yes, what is interesting is i wanted there to be a coalition of these confrontations and it's not just the united states that was demanding this or allowing the inspectors in but a lot of nations. but they cannot add without a u.n. security council resolution and a woman to build a coalition and we agreed to pass a unanimous resolution. on one hand we have a military track trying to send signals
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that there will be consequences. and in terms of weapons of mass destruction but i think people forget is that congress passed a resolution calling for the regime change. and after september 11, congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of force to protect the american people and when people begin to then change their mind, which sometimes happens in politics. but it can happen if you're the commander in chief and you can be playing politics with the security of the united states and with those who wear our uniform.
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>> anyway, it is a painful experience and i'm certainly not attributing it when their child is sent into combat. but it's a difficult position and no president should ever think about this without considering the consequences. >> he has gotten a lot of military members that have fallen and you have written about this. can you tell them about that? >> yes, it rings a bell a lot. because i want the american people to understand incredible strength of this.
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and i talk about this, being high level with the children and how courageous they were and i didn't want them to see weepy commander. i wanted them to hear the words that your father is a real person. and then she said he did his job and now you do yours. so there's a lot of people with strength of character that come out. and people should support them. [applause]
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>> under saying that those as part of its. >> we became fast friends and admire him a lot. i admire him because he's a courageous person when he gives you his words, he keeps it. laura and i spent a lot of time with him and made a lot of friends along the way in the international arena but i would say we ended up with a very fast friendship and i found it to be unusual to look beyond the horizon and i thought tony blair could do that in a way that was very strategic in thought.
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and tony have that. >> we had one and she was breaking into my position and this is fair and swift and the death penalty saves lives and she didn't agree. >> he were reelected with a majority for the first time in 16 years and you went in on the social security issue first and only later in 2006 push forward for changes in our immigration laws. those are not successful endeavors. what have you learned from that?
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>> i had to do over again, i'd probably say the immigration plan first. but i didn't. congress didn't want to reform social security. so there is an issue, i feel, in all due respect, where congress is more reactive than proactive on the issue. and nevertheless they push hard on the issue because i think it's essential that we performed social security. i made it clear that i didn't go to washington to play small ball. and i went there to deal with problems and not shy away from them. and it is wildly praised, nevertheless the issue got away
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and it became something that is very difficult and somebody was nervous about it and i can understand why people are. and automatically with labeling us and i have no regrets and trying those issues. and in both cases i was unsuccessful. >> you have a chapter on iraq, which goes into 2003 and a little bit in 2004. and then you have a chapter leader in the book on the search where you talk about how spring of 2006 he came to believe that our strategy in iraq was failing needed to make changes in that. and that resulted in this
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strategy which i think is generally agreed to have been successful and how did you turn the government -- why did you change your mind on that. >> i changed my mind because i felt that we were beginning to lose in the loss in iraq would be a major blow to the security of the united states and it would've meant that the sacrifices that have gone on prior to that moment would've been in vain and send shockwaves through the middle east and i've always believed in the universality of freedom that exists in everyone's soul and if we could get the right strategy to bring security into place, people would be given a chance in the politics were first and we were very successful in us constitution where democracy can take hold.
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and i have decided that it would've been catastrophic as far as i would have concerned. >> and that was president george w. bush from 2010 here and there's a live picture c-span bus that is here and we will be live all afternoon with author events and collins. go to and get a full schedule and joining us now is peter baker, author of this new book, bush and cheney in the white house and what did you learn? >> i think he was willing to be
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a part of this, he didn't talk about it to the same degree, he talks about how katrina was handled and he still obviously believes in the iraq war, and he talks about how he feels in particular and i thought it was a very interesting memoir as presidential books go. >> what about the number of dick cheney? >> i think that he expresses regret, but he opens up about his attitude and his point of view, like you could get a better look and he is kind of a cipher. they don't understand him because he is not as public as bush has been over the years and i think how he saw the world and why he was pushing 40 and. >> were you able to interview both principles? >> yes, he was very helpful and very willing to talk and
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president bush chose not to talk to me for the book. there were about 275 people that were important in the bush years including david petraeus and a lot of others in the vast majority of the record, which makes this such a valuable document of history. >> has dick cheney been consistent in this position since 2000? >> he has been. for the most part. focused on the idea that 9/11 represents only a tip of the iceberg. he advocated policies that others may not have made and he believed it was necessary in defense of the country and he remained fixed on it. president bush always believed in the defense of the country but began to see these other trade-offs pursued a different
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direction like more diplomacy and things that are so controversial. even eight democrat, he basically does much of the terrorism programs. >> that terrorism program was also part of this, was in an? >> yes, he was resistant to some of the changes. he thought that they were too far in giving in to the class. making compromises on military conditions and he began living a lot of prisoners outside of guantánamo in his time and so these are changes that he finds alarming and five and the second term. we get into more details later.
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>> out of the relationship of all the weed eaters that they were in office? >> is a dynamic and fascinating story and i think people thought it was a static picture and a cartoonish idea. as you saw in that clip that we played, he's a smart guy, he made his own decisions, certainly he was the most influential vice vice president that we have an overtime in overtime and should be able to move apart, cheney doesn't find that a good idea and so by the end they are on opposite sides in this includes syria, russia, gay rights, auto bailout, donald rumsfeld, and then they had this sort of fight as well. >> this is our guest for "the
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new york times", here is his book, days of fire. (202)585-3890. you can also send a comment to twitter and you can make a comment on her facebook and the harriet miers story that you tell, walk us through that. >> it's very interesting. >> but he understood what he wanted to do in this includes judicial activism and he interviewed a lot of candidates.
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especially throughout all the candidates, he chooses his own white house counsel. and he knew his heart and he thought everyone else would appreciate her the way that he did and it was a miscalculation and it will be a tough sell. this was done anyway. and she is savaged by fellow conservatives that don't see her as a representative of what they were looking for injustice and more importantly behind-the-scenes, i think that what we didn't see at the time was what really did her in which was white house preparations for hearings on the hill. and they discovered that she
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doesn't understand the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause and she really understands the issues of this under the fifth amendment. and it was something that she spent a lot of time on but the lawyers came away shocked and she was upset and went to bush's inner circle and said you cannot let her go up there, and push him around to the idea that it was unfair to her either and she would be under a devastating moment for her. >> a new account in her book, that there is a fire that president bush had asked dick cheney to lead a task force. >> yes. and he was a judge that was
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well-known among conservatives particularly in on the extent of asking goliad, who was dick cheney's favorite justice, but bush chose this in part because he had been through a rough time and he thought kerry myers might be an easy sell on capitol hill. harry reid was a democratic leader and said he loved harriet miers. >> he probably would've lost to some republicans, when he? >> at. one of them said next time you're going to have to say something and another one was just how did i do and she said that you flunked and senator specter a subset of some of her comments that he sent a
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questionnaire back and made her redo it like a high school student. so she had a rough time trying to persuade republicans at that point. >> at the end of the eight years, what was the relationship >> it was proper, but by the end, they disagreed on so many things. and it becomes a proxy about the partnership and especially for one last validation for what they had had and he was not willing to give it to him. and not telling the truth according to prosecutors about how he learned about the cia affiliation. he was criminalizing and this is
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a stain on the reputation and you have to do something about it. and it was very skeptical and he thought that it was special favors of people who had access asking for the special favors and he was inclined to do it. they come back and say that we think the jury had every reason to find what i found. so did untrendy decide and we are leaving him as a good man wounded in the field of this. >> good afternoon. >> afternoon. they give are taking my call. my question is a question.
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and that is the conflict between them on so many issues in terms of final decision-making. pc that is good or bad? >> that is a really interesting question in the it didn't help the policies they were pursuing and this is one of the things that history will be debating this for a long time. ..
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what the rest of the world considers right, and are we ever going to get prosecutions for these crimes by cheney? >> well, you know, these are issues we are still debating today obviously. president obama not only kept that program going, he has expanded and believes that it is a useful tool of national security, and he believes it is legal. you know, there is obviously talk about, some people who would like to find prosecution on some of these issues because, as you say, the interrogations' are what people call torture. president obama decided that he was not going to do that. he allowed a real investigation of some of the cia officers. that's a place and then was closed without any additional
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prosecutions. so i think at the moment there is no -- it does not seem to be a vehicle at the moment that is moving in that direction are trying to investigate those issues, but president obama did sign an order banning what -- the techniques that were included in some of the programs the vice-president cheney and president bush had authorized. >> since the end of the bush administration, how many times have the chaneys and the bushes -- >> not very many. two publications together. president bush broke ground on his library. then again when it opened just this last april. besides that they had, i think, a private dinner at one point, but otherwise it don't really get to and talked. it is not friendly. i asked president cheney about this during one of our interviews. look, we were never buddies. it was a professional relationship. we did not socialize.
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it was a professional relationship. ♪ what a lot connolly's a rice? what role does she play? >> now that is a very different relationship. her relationship as personal as well as professional. she had dinner at the mansion with the present in the first lady hillary she went to camp david for social occasions on the weekend. she worked with the president and talks more to the present. the second term elevation to secretary of state dementia not only add that personal relationship, but she also had a professional and policy mandate from the president to begin pushing the administration and someone different directions. look, in the first term we a broken china. because of september 11th they had to take decisive action, the notice time to rebuild relationships and make a different change in the second term. and she put it, she ended up fighting with president cheney.
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you would have liked to continue breaking china. >> days of fire is the buck. next call, you want to call and, you can dial land. 585-3891 if she lived in the mountain and pacific time zone. dick cheney help you change your mind? >> now, he really is not. very consistent and very strong and firm in his views on these things. i asked him about this. he is not offer very many regrets, if any. he thinks that they -- the policies that he has advocated were proven right because the country was not attacked again by the time they left office. and it's interesting. he does not trade in trade offs or if it then that. he does not play the game and
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some others do saying, look, here is how we way these things. this is how we go. a clear choice. >> from the months after september 11th pushing forward with a mission that ultimately considered. >> yeah. obviously they saw the next up in the war on terrible everywhen they have to understand the atmosphere in which they make this decision. a moment of great uncertainty and fear, appetite for action as one senior official put it to me, i so people today, the reason is because we need to kick somebody's austere. afghanistan was too easy. what he meant is that there was such a fever in the country at that time to do something after such a terrible ordeal and
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vice-president cheney thought there were threats that were worse than 19 guys with box cutters. seri does come in fact, urged the president to go and. the president does go along with it not because he was convinced but he actually was inclined to do that anyway. obviously we saw what happened. a war for which there are not fully prepared and goes in a direction that they did not expect and cost him politically for the rest of his presidency. ♪ turning to a cheney after september, he tried to enlist his vice-president to help respond to katrina. this time. >> she did. asked to head a task force that would take care of reconstruction and so forth. thought it was a paper tiger and he would not have any genuine authority to do anything. that is worthless if you can actually do anything. he turned and down and said no. one point he said he would go on one trip as a fact-finding mission, but that would be it. i think that is one of the month that they begin to sort of diverge. and number of moments like that
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that add up to a larger disconnect between the two. >> what was the relationship between staff? >> well, at times it was quite factious. they obviously like each other, work together well, but there was a sense of different genes that times. the staff on e-mails, the security council did not notice coming to them. there was a sense that the staff had these at least into renown things. the counsel's office, david addington, vice presidents, very strong-willed council seem to really be a dominant figure. so at times it was quite dense. >> heritage foundation which has been one of the leading organizations on the government shut down and challenging president obama's health care
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program. and he is, i think, a leading figure in his efforts. he can't practice law because he did not get the pardon. he had not said in a loss street journal. recently. but he has kept a low profile. >> you cover the white house. you talk about this in your book. >> they all did. it is inevitable. you're surrounded by men with guns, living in this forgers. you have a big boom. everywhere you go is scripted down to the exact moments. it is such an isolating experience. all of them, i think, feel it. ito then tries to come back in his own way through french ships and other means. president obama just to keep a blackberry. hopefully it is guarded against encryption, against
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surveillance, but he tried to keep in touch that way. each president finds a way to try sent break out of that bubble, but it is our challenge, i think. >> the next call comes from merrill then detroit, michigan. peter becker the new york times. >> yes, mr. baker. >> hello. >> the question i would like to ask, is there a published comments of the soldiers from the war? is there a published. [indiscernible] of the disabled veterans from the war? is there a public accounting of the unpaid dollars of cost to the united states from the war? has that been published? >> thank you. >> well, certainly there is certainly, you know, the names
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of of the casualties are back on line, published, certainly there have been studies about what caused the country financially. the wars. so i think that information is certainly out there. part of any calculation of americans as stories that they will make about the cost and value. >> if we talk to dick cheney today about the iraqi war, will we say? >> i think he would feel that is the right decision. saddam hussein was a threat. even though the weapons or not there, he argues that he has the capacity to store weapons programs again. as sanctioned regime at the time. this was still the right decision. now, i think if he had it over again to do there might be some different methods. he would have, perhaps, changed course earlier on, but very
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strong proponent of what they did and does not express second guesses. >> donald rumsfeld. >> i asked him, do you think that the president would have gone in have been known there were no weapons? and he says, no, he thinks it was the right thing to do. but he obviously presided over several years of a strategy that did not work ultimately. and he felt that it was mishandled partly because the chain of command was not properly dyspeptic -- respected. he did not like that gerry bremer was reporting to the president instead of him. it was a disconnect that hurt the effort the first year after the war. he had his own critiques of what went wrong. i think he still stands behind the decision to go and. >> president bush likewise. certainly in public and even in private. second thoughts about going in. even though some of his aides have said that they think he probably would not have gone and
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at the known that there are no weapons. president bush does not say that. what he does say is you cannot have do averse. but he would have done it differently in terms of the number of troops sent in. earlier. obviously he does say that they did not handle the way that it was done as well as they should have. >> you are talking to dick cheney you are talking to me the president told one republican senator. when dick cheney is talking it is me talking. >> very early on he empowers them. having his influence is because george bush gives in this influence to me in power some. in cheney to is pushing in a direction that bush is inclined to go anyway. is only later that he begins to start whistling elisabeth the notion that cheney is in charge. by the 2004 re-elect he offers a drop off the ticket. and bush thinks about it. he gives it a few weeks and comes up with the name of someone who might take his place .
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and on other reasons he says he is thinking of doing it is because it will show who is really in charge. you begin to see, he has begun to resent the notion that somehow he, the president, is now really in charge of his own administration. >> nextel sherry in dayton beach -- daytona beach florida. >> hi. november 2001 bush overturned the 1978 presidential records act. he signed an executive order permanently flaunting from the public of presidential documents and tapes going back to the reagan ministration. many in congress called this measure for secrecy unconstitutional. my question is, after bush left office, are those presidential records now available to the public? >> that is a very good question. i will not be able to give you a precise answer because i am not as of today on where that stands
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i no there are amendments and changes. i know that starting in january of this coming year president bush's library, george w. bush library will begin accepting free of the commission requests for documents from his administration. we will be interesting to see how people begin to explore the wreckage from his administration i think you're right, kept out of the public eye. he thinks it is deemed classified, but it will be interesting for researchers in large part because the first one where e-mail was genuinely used in a significant way, 200 million e-mails were collected and kept and stored. a fascinating record. if we had tapes under the jfk and lbj and nixon administration, e-mails will be the real treasure trove for future researchers. >> why? >> well, i think bush insulted us and the males, but you get a much more real time look at what they were talking about with each other.
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people are very -- less circumspect e-mails. they ought to be kept her history. so hopefully we will get better sense of who makes what decision when, how they will be, the factors will be going into it, the debates going on. and i think that the research will be a fascinating opportunity. >> when president bush made the executive order decision, then the other former presidents support him? >> my memory of this is sketchy, so i want to be careful. it is not quite as sweeping as we describe it and we still do the papers. think it provides a longer lead time and more discretion for the president to keep them out of the public view. i just don't know that. ♪ you are on with peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the new york times. >> can you hear me? can you hear me? >> we are listening.
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>> you know what, we are going to move on to lynyrd in boca raton, florida. leonard, please go ahead with your question comment. listening. >> pointed, the republican governor. helms was then head of the -- he will never get a hearing. the constitution. i can't believe that they offered for the congress, promulgated and said that the senate will make its own rules that should supersede the constitution. each one of the senators sworn to uphold the constitution. yet they violate the constitution by not giving earing to people who are
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nominated for judgeships. and it seems to me, you know, when we have this bottleneck and wrote a letter to the president and said you have to bring a certified action against the head of the congress to bring forth some legislation because he is holding it up in violation of the constitution. i get no response. i notice afterwards that they have now reduced majority of 51 over 49. i really would have liked that discussion on whether or not the rules of the senate supersede the constitution or comply with the constitution. >> right. it is a good question. the rules of the senate don't supercede the constitution but the constitution is ultimately they about what it is the senate can and cannot do.
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it does not say how they should provide that and vice. that is how the senate sets its own rules within the parameters of the constitution but it does not actually say anything about hearings and what process the senate must go through to consider or not consider as the case may be, nominations. you're right that the rules changed this week. harry reid pushed through a new measure that will eliminate filibuster possibilities for most presidential nominations. instead of being 50 votes, 51, and we will see how that plays out. democrats were on the opposite side of that issue just a few years ago when president bush was frustrated that there were filibustering his nominees and republicans were the ones who first talked about the nuclear option. did not go forward. that will apply to both parties depending upon who in the white house. >> in fact, harry reid was on our program a couple of years ago.
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ted crews sent out and little clip of that program. saying that he would never hold a nuclear option. >> what is good for you is bad for me. becomes opposite when the majority switches. harry reid and the democrats were vigorously against this nuclear option and thought that it would inhibit their ability to block what they thought were bad a promise from president bush. republicans now are trying to block what they think of that a promise by president obama and it is time to turn the tables. it is done to the point where both parties have made it so difficult for whoever is in the white house support appointments and that the frustration level has risen and it will be interesting weather it changes the dynamic and not. ♪ how long have you covered the white house? >> says 1996 except for four years when you went overseas. and then i came back to go back to the white house when we returned in 2004. >> is there a difference between the different licenses that we have covered? any of them more accessible than
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the others? >> i think that there is more consistency in the white house regardless of political party that we think, both in terms of the policy option, foreign policy, and even the way they deal with the press. the real political parties in the white house briefing room by the white house and the press, not republican and democrat. all feel the same way. not fair to them that we simply love conflict in scandal and we are not treating them with the seriousness and fairness that they deserve. i have heard that 33 white house is. you know, what has really changed is the nature of the media itself. i started in 1996, i wrote a story, maybe too at the end of the day. that was it. in of course we pile weather stories, blocks, tweets, do a lot more tv and radio, bought gas and so on. ever moving, ever shifting media
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environment. sped up and makes it harder, i think, to do longer and more thoughtful journalism. * a try very hard to preserve despite the exhilaration. ♪ and now at politico. a longtime editor. >> exactly. political magazine launched last week. it's worth looking at. >> the cover story was a big piece. >> it was call rocking the cabinet. terrific piece. >> important are not important. >> how essentially the white house focuses power in this particular administration and is also reflected the previous ones. , think it is. every white house wants to stay in control and cabinets increase in net like that as equal matters of policy but not necessarily essential to the administration. >> how would you compare it? >> a very good question. when i interviewed by nine
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before it became vice president he was talking about how he was not going to. the first vice-president ever to come into office saying he would not be as influential as his predecessor. he viewed cheney as a bad model. a good partner to obama, but not pulling the strength in his view. he is a strong partner for president obama, but there are often issues that he has long down on. not on the same side on the afghan surge in the raid into pakistan. and he did -- he took on big projects like the iraqi withdrawal and the stimulus package. he was charged with gun control while they did some executive action. so i think it has been a mixed bag here. >> the next comes from gasol in boca raton right here in florida. go ahead. >> i have a question in my mind with regard to whether or not dick cheney specifically what he
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and president bush's real opinion on torture was. for instance, i am curious as to whether or not either a both of them thought that water boarding was torture. i know that they had some legal opinions from what i considered to be rather extreme sources, but did they -- did they participate in encouraging those legal opinions? and i am curious about what their thought pattern was with regard to torture in general and specifically whether or not water boarding was really torture. >> well, that is a great question. both of them if there were on this to date swim say they don't think the water boarding his torture. they, as you say, rely on legal opinions. that has been disputed. president bush clearly felt some
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discomfort in the sense that there was no water boarding. that was the end of waterborne in the administration. as vice-president cheney about this issue limited interview for this book. and i said, you know, explain to me how this works. the view is very much the ticking time bomb view. an existential threat. if you really think they're people out there trying to do grievous time to the country that was even worse than the 3,000 died, then water boarding, you know, three guys who were water board, it seems like a small price to pay. and ashton, the next question, okay. if you believe that and that is a logic, is there any part of you that felt queasy about it? because i think a lot of these things are tough. a lot of the decisions that the president's advisers may have trade-offs. simi 30, 6040. very rarely 100. he had no qualms about it whatsoever. he feels certain in his budget
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you about it and has not had second thoughts that he is willing to share. >> next call, richard and winter harbor, maine. hello. >> yes. i was wondering whether peter baker was familiar with the book called extreme prejudice by susan and now. she, in fact, was sent over there by the cia as a peacemaker prior to the invasion. when she comes back to try to tell her story she was gagged, was able to speak to small groups all-around, but this is an important thought. i know basically what i would call a coffee historian. he is really going out of milan to be reading this book, but i would like to know whether he has read the act and wants to make any comment about susan
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landau, extreme prejudice. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks for the question. appreciated. have not read the book, but it sounds worth reading, for sure. i don't know that i am reading in the buck. he read about 200 different books. some members of the administration and some critical of the administration. so my view was, many different voices, and different points of view possible to try to come up with the best possible history that we could write. >> is there a tendency to on-time -- sometimes to pull punches? >> a great question. obviously that is an issue that you have to grapple with and find the right balance. richard this, they are often -- they don't give us all that much to begin with. at all feel like we lose anything. rival we think and report and stick to the fact based
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analysis. it would be fine if they punish you as a result, so be it. the truth is as long as your fair and accurate, as long as you are, you know, providing their point of view as well as any other country points of view i think the professionals understand that. those who don't probably were not going to help us anyway. >> clair in boynton beach florida, the last call for peter baker the new york times. >> mr. baker, i am very interested in your findings about the role of colin powell in the lead up to the iraqi war. i always felt he was very reluctant to go before -- i believe he testified about the weapons of mass destruction, at such a. my feeling was that if he had resigned in protest as to what they were doing in that the debt
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situation things may have been different. >> that's a good question and an important one. in fact, his deputy secretary of state at one point did, we reveal in the book, urge : bell to resign thinking that -- the argument being that the white house is using dollars a cover for policies that otherwise would not get as much public support. secretary paul did not see it that way. he did not resign, obviously. he spent a lifetime in the military and believe in being a good soldier. the truth is, he was reluctant about the iraqi war but never actually said no. he went to the president, brought along was that he had written out a long legal battle of the different possible consequences of work, things that he thought the president ought to consider before going to war. he called it the break even on it, and effect. all different possible negative effects, but when push came to
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shove and the president came and said it, okay, i'm going to go for it. are you with me. he said, i am with you and the stick with him. he never did our lycee, we should not a war and certainly as you say, resigned in protest. would that have made a difference, possibly, but he did not feel that that was something you wanted or should do at the time. >> the relationship today have the bushes and the pols. >> you know, i don't really think that they speak a lot. i think that they are altogether in april -- april. president bush said nice things about vice president cheney. but cheney was in the audience with the cabinet and the kid. on stage and had a speaking role. yellen to library, videos narrated. portrait of the first lady and pictures of the daughters. and even a statue of the dogs.
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there really is a not very much in there. he did not like the idea that he was running things other people think that. he was the decider. >> we have been talking with peter becker, chief white house correspondent of the new york times, also the author of this new book days a fire, bush and cheney in the white house. you are watching book tv on c-span2. now, we are live in miami at the 30th annual miami but fair. book tv has been on the air. we have been covering the miami but fair, at least parts of it. a couple hundred thousand people attend this every year. weaker too long up and that chapman halt room of miami-dade college with this festival is
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always thought. can see the room is getting full . she will be there in just a moment. brenda new bio on woodrow wilson. william howard taft. the golden age of journalism. beginning in just a minute. after that we will be back here on our set in miami for call-in program. susan herman, president of the aclu. there knew book is called taking liberties, the lawn chair. the erosion of american democracy. those of the next two events that are coming up this afternoon. live from miami. this is book tv and c-span2. we will take you now to chapman hall for the beginning of doris kerns goodwin and scott berg.
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but we are delighted to welcome you here this afternoon, but to hit 30 of miami book fair international. we also want to a knowledge.
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i see quite a few of you year. we thank you for your support. the end of this session you will have time for questions and answers with the authors and autographing session as well in the green area to the far right of the elevators. i will ask if you could please silencer from. we would very much appreciate if you would silencer found. for those of you coming in, please answer quickly and file. we will be starting the program right now. so i would like to ask dr. alan fein to come forward. once she is done we will hear from arlen hell who will introduce our speakers. please join me in welcoming. >> on behalf of myself and my family here today my sister jill, my nephew, and my partner,
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i would like to welcome you to the annual literary event sponsored by the lilly in fine memorial literature endowment. the intent of the endowment is author of presentation on the works of literary quality. its goal is to enhance love of literature to the widest audience possible in our generation and for generations to come. three are especially grateful to the devoted friends and students of lillian phineus so generously and treated to the endowment. many of you are here today to pay tribute. year is a little bit of background. she was born in milton, massachusetts, a small town
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about an hour from boston. in the 1930's she came to new york city to get hurt in a in education at columbia's teachers college. then, along with my father, benjamin fein, former education editor of the new york times and their four daughters, then moved to long island in the early 1950's. in 1971 my parents came to live in key biscayne. she shares her passion for literature with students. she taught at miami-dade college and at the institute for retired professionals before graduating.
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introduce students to writers of different nationalities and ethnic groups. she opened the door for many. that is why every year we continue to celebrate her spirit and to keep her memory alive. a group ever students even from the study group that gathers tubes discuss literature my mother would have been delighted by such a selection of two pulitzer prize-winning buyer first.
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down from an oral or two. receiving his pulitzer biography of charles lindbergh. he has also written biographies of max perkins and goldman. we will hear about this latest, well-documented subject, president wilson and the relevance for today's economic and foreign-policy berg cites his famous statements, the world must be made safe for democracy. a scott berg enhanced -- his book is enhanced by the access to new material. only recently uncovered. wilson's private letters to his physician and letters belonging to his daughter could was latest biography, the bully pulpit,
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theodore roosevelt, william howard taft and the golden age of journalism depicting the complex french of these two men and the competition and their fight for the presidency which weakened the progressive republican party. above all good when observed how roosevelt was the first modern president to have a close relationship with the press. goodwin has also made the profiles of presidents, live in her many compelling biographies of the kennedys, lyndon johnson, and, of course, lincoln's team of rivals which was the basis for steven spielberg's home of lincoln. condition two are biographies goodwin wrote a memoir called wait until next year revealing what it was like to grow up in the 1950's in her home town of
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rockville center. we are thrilled with this personal connection. she went to the same high school as my sisters and nine. my sister joe was a classmate. i had the same excellent history teaches as she did. the story of her coming of age, her love of baseball that she shared with her father, her close relationships with friends and neighbors also chronicling significant historical events of the fifties. she interviewed both lillian and zero. my mother and sister to document the role that my father benjamin find played in reporting the integration of central high in the rock, ark. she notes on a state -- daily
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articles became sources of discussion in her history class. so beautifully included our family in her book. we are extremely happy to come full circle by granting heard the lillian fine memorial literature endowment award. we are privileged today to welcome these eminent biographers. >> please give her another round of applause. celebrating 30 years. thirty years of the miami but fair international.
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>> it is nice. i am closer. we are about to introduce americans treasure biographers. ladies and gentlemen, good one, and the best audience here, raise your hands. let me see it. >> she was the first female journalist in a locker rooms of the boston red sox. you can applaud a little bit louder for that. but we want to take a journey to a part of america's history and a turn-of-the-century, 1901 to 1921. please join us on this journey.
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already introduced the illustrious history. you will hear little bit more in a little bit. please make sure that you get a coffee -- a copy of her book. the second biographer, another native of new england. a's got bird. please give demand. [applause] >> i must say now an honorary texan and colonel in virginia. she will tell you a little bit more about that. he is going to talk to you about the 27 presidents -- 28 president from woodrow wilson. please welcome. to moderate the discussion, one of our own.
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sixteen years she served as a miami-dade county commissioner. suez hired to found the good governor's initiative, and she is educating and training the next generation of talented and perfect elected officials. can you believe that? the hon. case sorensen. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for that great introduction. welcome, everyone. now in its 30th year. i mean, let's hear it. mitchell kaplan. doris goodwin and scabbard. it's so wonderful to have you here. welcome to miami. our premier annual cultural event. is good to have the year. in most of the bucks about
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presidential. and really, it was started by the roosevelt because he is known as teddy. and so how did he start the progressive era jack what propelled him to act? and what were his successes that are still with us today? >> i may, indeed, : teddy. he did not like to be called teddy. he lost that battle with history. teddy roosevelt came into power at a time when the aspects of the industrial age have not been dealt with. there was no compensation. women and children were exported in the factories. huge monopolies. the gap between rich and the poor and grown wider. sounding somewhat familiar to situations today. the digital revolution may have produced a similar kind of economic change. even though he was a conservative when he started in a certain sense and certainly a republican when he started, you realize that the republican
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party would not be able to continue as a major force in the majority force unless it began to deal with these problems of the industrial age there is so even as governor he tried to introduce reform legislation anger in the political bosses who were tied in with the old order. so they decided there were dumped into the vice presidency where you would have no power and now be the end. of course mckinley is assassinated, and he becomes president. it is not really that he did it on his own. anderson of the only way that he could move is reluctant congress to take the legislation was necessary was to mobilize the country to push them from the outside in, so that is why he defines the word bully pulpit as the president's power to educate and morally move the country forward, but he needed help, and he had help from the press at that time. most remarkable set of relations with the press. they too were progressive. they too have their own agenda, as did the social summit groups, churches. it really was an uprising from the country at large to the
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something had to happen, but he was at the helm, said his name will forever be identified with the progressive era. i taught a seminar on the in the progressive era four years ago and always wanted to live with them. finally after all these other characters i get a chance to be with his most colorful, exasperated, extraordinary figure. so sometimes i wonder what i am doing spending my life with dead presidents, but would not change it for anything in the world. we're going to get to you, let's continue on chronological order because this came into the picture. is said to include passages in your book as well. how have they become close? 400 letters between. how did they become close and added the rest happened? >> added not really know that much about taft. i needed to follow the progressive movement up to the time when his guy. and i knew, of course, that have succeeded steady and they had run against each other in 1912, you always go back, and i know
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that scott does a, you want the primary sources, letters and diaries and private journals, the charges for an historian. when i found these 400 letters between the 2i realized they became friends in their early 30's. an odd couple. marching around everywhere during wrestling and boxing, weighing between 250 and 350 is not doing much wrestling and boxing, but they liked each other. almost attracted to research it brings them into his cabinet. becomes the most important person in his cabinet, even though all his life-just wanted to be a judge in never politician perry from a cabinet post his eyes this is the man of want to succeed me. he runs the campaign. he gives him advice at every moment. the only thing he did not give him advice on musses campaign sought him and teddy would have approved. on a raft with taft. yet on a raft with 340 pounds after would not be on a very long. anyway, then he is sure that he
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will be the lead as a president. guess africa to give his face, caused back and he is told by his progress is attached as become too much in coziness with the old-guard republicans in the congress to train the progress of legacy. it really was not that because he did try to do what he thought he was doing, but he just did not have the skills of public leader. did not know how to deal with the press, give a speech. in such as the decides to run against taft. perot campaign in 1912. of course because there are two republicans running-when spivvy and then, of course, but the parties, when he loses, runs on the bonus third-party campaign opening the door for the democrats win. but what was so emotionally moving for me is the hard break when they broke with much greater than i realized because the french ships had been much stronger. i love writing about these emotional things. allowed to be much more than just destroyed, linear story.
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>> well, scott berg, woodrow wilson camera into the picture. he was elected. he went back to progressivism. talk about that a little bit. >> she went back to progressivism daytime taking the foundation, roosevelt, not teddy, to woodrow wilson. but really it was built upon. and wilson wanted to commend it is kind of ironic because most people have an image of this very presbyterian minister son. in fact, he was extremely human. he was extremely emotional and very passionate they read what he wanted to do, above all, was to humanize the presidency. so where theodore roosevelt had created this relationship with the press, woodrow wilson really wanted to advance. but he did was start holding press conferences which a president had never done before. everything that he did was toward personalizing the white house. and toward that end wilson came in with really the most
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aggressive progressive agenda that we had seen. and he brought it about largely through this process of humanization. and he did it by showing up at the congress. wilson had an extremely peculiar view of how the legislative branch and the executive branch should function. he thought being a political scientist at these two branches -- now get ready, you have to work with me on this, he thought they should cooperate. [applause] think of it. think of it. i mean, he fell literally they should cooperate the government. and so wilson did something presidents have not done since john adams in 1800. he showed up in the congress to conduct business. he brought back the president appearing to deliver the state
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of the union address. woodrow wilson delivered 25 addresses to a joint sessions of the congress. and he actually showed up in a little room that sits in the congress which was designed for presidents to come and work with the congress. now, i think a lot of the presidents have failed to find this room. [laughter] i am not naming names. but i think they have failed to find it because it has a rather tricky name. is called, the president's room. [laughter] >> lbj found it. >> estimated. and really -- and he found it big time. and that is why so much legislation got past. these were guys -- and johnson was in many ways in the los onion tradition of getting in there, rolling up your sleeves, may be cracking a few legs and
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arms and twisting them. and that is what wilson did. in so with that we immediately sought within the first few months of the wilson administration the lowering of tariffs, the interaction of the modern income tax which and a graduated scale so that the richer paid more. we saw the establishment of the federal reserve system which has been basically the basis of the american economy for the last century. he went into labor, eight hour work days to mull workman compensation and so forth. but the first ones you on the supreme court. all of these things but progressivism for woodrow wilson was about leveling the playing field. he was not anti wealth, not anti-war street, but he was antitrust. he was against unfair confrontation. in any where he side he tried to fight it. >> so you have both alluded to the fact that there are a lot of
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parallels between today and those times. are we in another gilded age? >> well, i do think that one of the things that produced at great gap between the rich and poor at the turn of the 20th-century was, as i said, the whole economy and shifted to be used to be that if you were living in some country town, the richest person might be a doctor or lawyer in a house on the hill. then suddenly with these massive just swarming in the 1880's and 90's, big railroads fan in the country. oil industry coming, you have these millionaires side by side with the immigrants in attendance. the turn-of-the-century, the pace of life and sped up. because your head telegraphs, typing letters, local wars exploited in the tabloid press and people are saying that there was a lot of nervous disorder because the pace of life had suspect up. think about it today with the pace of life speeding up even more by all the images that we have now. the problem is, yes, we are in
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some ways in another deal that age. but the progressive era, the mobilization of the country to handle these problems has not emerged. and so as a result -- and i am not even sure the bully pulpit had the power that it did in both wilson and teddy's time when they would give a speech it would become the common conversation in the country and be reported in full, even by the time that fdr when on his fireside chat, you could hear 80% of the people listening to his chat. you know, you could walk down the street on a hot chicago night and not miss a word of what you the same as ever loma sitting in the kitchen and listen to the radio. by the early television you would listen to the whole speech up to reagan really when there were three networks. now the media is divided the way that it was in the 19th century. in national newspapers came along in my time, the 20th-century, even am writing checks right now, 1913 and 20.
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in national newspapers that emerged in the early 20th-century replacing partisan press. in the old days you would only read your newspaper. if you're republican away good democrat. the republican newspaper, lincoln gave a great speech can carry on the shoulders of his people. the democratic is every fell on the ground and they booed and hissed. and then we get away from them with national newspapers car radio, television. now here we are taught divided media. you may only watch your own favorite cable station, you're a part of the president's speech, the pawn and staring in town of 40 is finished command our attention span has diminished. in the guys that i wrote about, there were given two years. ray baker, william allen rights of white 50,000 word pieces month after month after month. people read them and talked about them. i'm just not sure that that -- that anyone will be given an amount of time by a newspaper or magazine today. and the expense accounts and a
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camaraderie. in the attention span to talk about it. so i worry about where the country is going in terms of our influence on the government. complied is said there is no one left well less. sometimes i think that is true for us. where are we? we just complain about what is going on in washington. we have not figured out how to do something about the paralysis that is there. >> and i think the fragmentation in the media is only going to continue these people make up there on the media all the time. social media, blocking, and the factory media. i mean, that is happening all over the place. and how is president wilson treated by the media? >> u.s. treated pretty well, especially by the race standard bakers, many of them in debt working. >> i love baker. he is my favorite. >> he really spent his final years not only working for
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wilson within writing nine volumes. he so adored him. one of the most glorious piece is about wilson was written by qaeda tarbell. in fact, it was so wonderful i find myself not quoting it because i thought it made me look too partisan in wilson's favor. but i think is quite true we have been suggesting about this great actualization of the media because what we have lost the, and you really articulated it. we just don't think as much anymore. we react from the get some much. that is why we flock to that cable station bespeaks what we think we think even though we have not body yet. but i think that is a big factor today. wilson had a very good relationship with the media up to and just into the first world
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war which wilson ultimately brought us into. and at that point -- is because one of the great ironies in the story, the most progressive president that we had today, not even for getting tiara, but that this president became the most suppressive of the press, which he did during the war, revitalizing the sedition acts which really had been quiet certainly since the days of atoms and someone with lag in they were brought back. factum was news to settling in all the time saying and doing nothing that heated not to bury that is a good cover. >> it is interesting. people ask me, what would roosevelt had done in today's world. i think he would have loved it. his great strength was to reduce complex problems and to short and language. so this square deal. i mean, everything that scott
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said that while some believe then, the fairness, not going after the rich unless they have accumulated their wealth and unfair means you're really not going after the poor unless they're not taking care of your opportunities. the rock on which the country was founded. in fact, not on his career deal with speak softly and carry a big stake. even gave maxwell house's slogan. it is said that he drank 40 cups of coffee a day. something has to explain the incredible energy of this character. >> that is true. he would have loved twitter because you could not shut him up. >> right. he would -- he loved being in the center of things. this is both the strength and weakness. his daughter said he wants to be the bride at the wedding in the course of the funeral and the baby at the baptism. >> and all of this, of course, may wilson crazy. he thought tiara was just a big blustering caricature of a man.
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and, in fact, somebody once pointed out so many of the same principles that you believe in. what you attack him every day? and roosevelt said to my think that's true. i guess wilson is just a weaker version of me. ..


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