tv Michael Hayden The Assault on Intelligence CSPAN May 20, 2018 1:00pm-2:05pm EDT
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thank you for comey. towards he end of his new beak, retired general michael hayden notes the plethora of former intelligence officials popping up on is in shows, expressing eg the concern about the direction the trump administration is taking the country. jim clapper, the former director or national intelligence, john brennan, former cia director, john mclaughly, former deputy cia director and one time acting director. general hayden, who also makes frequent appearances. now, he and some of the retired officials had been commenting on the networks even before donald trump's political ascendent si but their assessments have gotten more critical and alarmist under trump and this,
as mike notes in this book, has created an impression they're acting as the public voice of some sort of deep state intelligence community opposed to trump. mike is not the opposition. he is -- nor is he the resistance but is very worried about the undermining of our democratic institutions, particularly the intelligence community, he had a career intelligence officer in the air force, mike rose to direct the national security agency from 1999 to 2005. and then head the cia from 2006 to 2009. since leaving government service he has been a principal of the chartup group, security consulting firm and a teach at george mason university. a couple of years ago, while the field of republican candidates war sorting itself out. mike releases releases the firsk "playing to the edge."
bill a "new york times" bess seller, addressing national arguments over such controversial issues as surveillance, drones, interrogation, and other controversial programs in which he had played a role. his knew book, the assault on intelligence, ranges beyond such specific policy matters to sound a general alarm about hoe trump's actions and rhetoric are eroding a basic pillar of our democratic society, namely, the truth. looking back at the campaign he on serves how -- to shape decisions and influence public opinions. such a departure from evidence based thinking is unsettling from the intelligence community whose mission is to get at the truth. the same can be said about journalist, the courts, law enforcement, and all of which,
as mike on serves, are feeling the ground under them eroded in the current post-truth world. in russian, an opportunity in the age of lies the phrase used in the subtitle of his book, hassen hassen and exploiting and, sees -- his informed argument underscores how much we stand to lose by diminishing our intelligence and other institutions, just as we confront new challenges, not only from russia but north korea, china, and others. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming general michael hayden. [applause] >> thank you. good evening and thank you all for coming out on a night where track was not a blessing, coming here at all. i think that the -- we call the order of march here is i get to talk for 25 or 30 minutes, no
more, and then we all get to ask questions and offer commentary and i look forward to that. i'll try to be efficient what i pretty why and maybe me texture. i actually start the book with remembrance of walking through wartime sarajevo. i was there during the wars. was a vibrant city. you saw us domes and steeples a, and then i you walk look the river you looked in the hills and saw serbian artillery, and then the results of the work of the serbian artillery. wait walking through sarajevo ten years after i hoed the
winter olympics, a startling contrast. what struck me when i walked among the -- is how much they were different from us but how much they weren't. i think that's a curse of being an intelligence officer. you kind of go to dark places, and see things, and i think lot of us come away with the belief that the vein near -- god washingon, d.c.s us to have that kind of life, but it is not naturally occurring. i quickly pivot to -- not claiming were on the bring of civil war here in the united states or societal breakdown,
but that i am concerned, and the concern i suggested comes around the essential importance, the centrality of truth, and i hope you enjoy reading the book because i really enjoyed researching it. there's intelligence in here in terms of espionage stuff but i gout of my own zone and talked to philosophers and historians and other folk rise not normally have talked to any my professional persona. and what i learned is that we in the west, since the 17th 17th century, have broadly been governs by the values of the enlightenment which evidence-based, a search for truth, hugh mill in the face of complexity, hypothesis, experimentation, feedback, a process in which data, reality,
objective things, matter. and it was clear to me, we are moving into -- already suggested but what the oxford dictionary word of theee called a post-truth world. that was the 2016 word of the year. post-truth. decision making based less on exact data and more on feeling, preference, emotion, tribe, loyalty, grievance, and it was clear me we were going in that direction. i don't have if this in the to k about when you have six or seven minutes on an evening talk show and say could you summarize the book, the model i've been using is a three layer cake. i'll go back to each layer. so, broad, drift, post truth, culture, post-truth floor, and the first layer is not the president.
or the administration. first layer is us. and how it is we seem to accept or not accept arguments. second layer is the administration. so i think the president actually, quite brilliantly, recognized this post-truth drift throughout large portions of the population, exploited it during the campaign, and then makes it worse as president by some of the things he does, but a lot of the things he says. remember the first time that the president announced, came down the elevator and remember his description of mexican immigrants. he campaigned throughout in the direction of what became a muslim ban, about eight days into the administration. that was based on an almost
apocalyptic description of the danger posed be refugees, and then a belief that the current vetting system was dystopia. neither of which are true. it's quite interesting. i just kind of add this as a footnote. going into more detail in the become. after the first executive order came out, five former directors or acting directors of the cia, two former deputy directors, a director of national intelligence and away for intelligence of the national counterterrorism center joined an amicus brief in the court to push back against the executive order. we have lots of concerns. get into the fine print you like if the fundamental concern was decisionmaking based on something other than data. it was the rhetoric of the campaign becoming the departure point for the direction of the
nation's security policy. one more example about the second layer of the cake. obama wire tapped trump tower temp you have he director onational intelligence agency, the attorney general, saying it ain't so but remains so in the -- what's the right word -- mythology of the administration, and frankly in the belief system of a big chunk of americans. there's a remarkable scene -- this is actually captures a lot of what i'm trying to communicate in terms of what we are concerned about. there's remarkable scene, last summer, towards fall, the president wag on the cbs sunday morning show and john dickerson was interviewing him and they're going through the things you expect john to ask the president, and at the end he gets to the trump tower thing, and he says, you said barack obama wire tapped trump tower.
what evidence do you have? and president clearly doesn't want to go there. as he gets up and physically walks from where the interview is taking displays plants himself behind the resolute desk in the oval and pick minutes papers and pretends to start reading the paper, and dickerson won't let him go. he is stalking him and says, no, mr. president, what evidence do you have, what evidence do you have, and the president responds, a lot of people agree with me. a lot of people are saying. people are saying. and that is the evidence stack from which an awful lot of decisions are made. if i can make it popular to speed it up to the 21st 21st century -- make it trending, i can treat it as fact. and i can base action on that. i tell a story in the book about
going back to my home town of pittsburgh and talking to people who don't agree with me. paid for the iron city and all the pizza there are 40 people in the room and i got to the trump tower thing it and was clear to me that for many -- not all but for many over the folks in the room, it really didn't matter whether it happened. it was still true. do you see the -- okay. so, i've kind of covered the first two layers of the cake broadly, us, second, an administration that exploits and worsens, and then i got put on the top you heard about this, the russians. who are coming, recognizing the first and second layers and exploding -- exploiting them. i'll touch on these in detail. let me go back to layer one. what explains that?
what explains why it is we can't seem to have conversations that bend to the middle? we have conversations that seem to go to the extremes. a lot of it probably has to do with technology. i must admit that's why i went to pittsburgh. a lot of it has to do with governance and the effect of globalization and i'm here in front of you saying i've lived the last 50 years with the winds of globalization at my back and i've been blessed by the effects of it and people in my home town this, wind was in their face. so i get the issues and the fundment -- the people in pittsburgh what does donald trump mean to you, and means somebodies paying attention to me. we have that reality. that is not sufficient to explain the acceptance of a view
of objective truth that really is hard to explain. here i attribute that to technology, you saw mark zuckerberg up there. having a hard time explaining himself. here's an example of technology and ambition getting ahead of law, policy, and societal norms. so, as i said, this is -- i haven't got toni intel stuff yet. this is all more broad, and to give you a sense as -- i was invited to sweden in december. the former director of america's central intelligence agency was invited to sweden by the nobel committee, to give a talk on the meaning of truth.
that's weird. and i gave a 12-minute ted kind of talk and was on a couple of panels. i was there to learn. really wonderful scholars. and there's one woman there, she is turkish by birth, north carolinian by choice. and she is really an expert on social media, and this is important. let me tell this story out. it's in the book in greater detail than you'll get tonight. i'm still trying to explain the first layer here. she says, go into social media, facebook, youtube and so on, is a lot like eating doritos, yu can't just eat one because when you eat a dorito the salt and fat in the first dorito creates a craving for more salt and more fat. and she points out -- she is
right. the algorithms that govern our journey through social media mirror the dorito's theory. you go on to facebook or youtube or nye social media platform. they know who you are better than you do, and their business model is to keep you on the site. the profit is determined by the clicks. so they want you to stay so they give you more salt and fat. they the algorithm presents a certain part of the internet they know will resonate with you, and the longer you stay, the algorithm takes you more and more in the direction of your resonance. in other words, we have this
invention shoot should be democratizing and leveling and community crating and based on the algorithm what happens is you actually go the darker and darker corners of your own self-created ghetto. there are people in the country who have a completely different narrative than most of the people in this room do with regard to the fbi or the bob mueller or the department of justice her to american intelligence community or the deep state, and so on. it's because we get most news now from social media. let me give you an example how the three layers layers of my ck together. was in huntsville, alabama, giving a talk at the university of alabama, red stone arsenal, a great evening. but i reminded that group that last september, the president
gave a talk at huntsville, and it was a stem winder, kind of red meat, feed the base kind of speech, and he goes through it all. all the means from the campaign. but he added a knew one. this is late september. this is the one where he add the, take a knee. this is the nfl. recall that? ask he is out there and used some words we won't use here tonight but the player who take a knee and the crowd -- alabama football, god, perfect audience. they're going crazy. before president trump got back to the east coast that night, russian botnets in the internet veach agency, three leading hash tags were nfl, take knee, and suggesting that definite articles of most rick things to translate between languages.
ted bundy was the third. and the russians were playing both ends. they were -- so already got the social media space, got the dorito effect, and now i have the russians manipulating our social media space, you have to numbered botnets, thousands and tens tens of thousands of computers each one you thing is a human being with a point of view so they can creating trending and the three leading hash tag, take a knee and nfl am day or two later, two of the top four leading hash tags were pittsburgh steelers, and alejandro, villanueva. the russians don't care. doing putt -- a patriotic meme
and a free speech mees meme just to divide. the american alt-right media picked up what the president said and the memes were nearly identity cal with the russians um i'm not implying they're passing information. they picked it up. and quickly enfoe wars, alex jones, took this thing deeply, darkly racial. ly baited on the demographics of the nflle and because alejandro, the left tackle, plays for who? mike tomlin. africa african-american coach. you have this being built up new to the alt-right media -- still in layer one -- and then it bleeds over into network news at 9:00 on a weekday night with sean hannity and gets who sees it on the curvey couch in fox
and friends and then tweets his approval. now, that is not collusion. what i call it in the book is convergence. each actor has done something for their own purposes. the president feeds the base. the russians to mess with our heads. alt-right, their conspiratorial. fox for ratings. but drives us into a far more divisive society than we would otherwise be. by the way, i countedment there are 1,750 more than athletes who suit up every sunday and monday for the nfl. the sunday before the huntsville speech, six didn't stand at attention. this is a brick shy of a national crisis because of the atmospherics of our politics. we made ourselves vulnerable to self-manipulation and manipulation by an outside actor s. already mentioned, i say that
the high friction points of the trump administration -- not surprisingly but have to step back and look at it -- the high friction points of the trump administration have been with intelligence, law enforcement, justice, science, scholarship, and journalism. what do they have in common? they're all fact-based. they're learned. they're emperfect, get things wrong, some may by corrupt, but the -- may be corrupt but the essence of those are this evidence-based addressal of the world, and actually kind of cute. all the fact-based institutions. two years ago when i was here my fact-based institution was over here. because she veterans were yelling at us because of the way we acquire data. you already mention. , detention, interrogations,
surveillance. i haven't had an argument bolt that for two years theme fact-based institutions are hugging us like we're long-lost relatives because they recognize intelligence in the genuine western democracy form is fact based and they see the need for intelligence to be part of this holding the ground based on fact and based view of objective reality. so talk about -- about the russians and the layer of the cake, that's us. a few words on the layer of the cake that is the president and the administration. i do not have to document how distant the president off is from objective reality. you get that. some folks in the room who are good friends and i've got some professional ties to that i've talked to, and we have had presidents who lie before.
we know how to handle that. we have had presidents who have argued with us before. but, no, that's -- i don't agree with your objective view. think this is the objective view. and we have hat that, too. this isn't that. back to the original thing. this a president for whom the objective reality is not the departure point. that sound harsh and judgmental but i mean to it be descriptive. not trying to expand my own knowledge. i'm fair to everybody involved i came across a term called meta kole mission is the able to think but your thinking. it's the able to get outside yourself and observe yourself. so that if you're a director of a play, you can sea that scene is not working, or if you're a musician you can say, well,
missed that note. people who lack metta cognition, don't observe themselves, and so when they get into an area that is over their head or about which they do not know very much, they keep on talking. i read that after doing research, and i harken back to two event. one during the campaign. remember the candidate was making -- not just going to kill terrorists. we're going to kill their families. i'm on bill marh pushing the book and say says, we're going -- no, no, here not going that and i stood up for the lose armed conflict and so on. the next week there's a presidential debate, and brett baier references my community, says we're not killing terrorist
families. they'll refew do that now president, then-candidate trump says they won't refuse me. then he went into a leadership theme as to people following him, and then he explained why we need quill terrorist familiar dub kill terrorist e terrorist familiar blaze the 9/11 family were here and they warmed the attacks take flag with their husbands during the attack from overseas. that's pure -- well, it's not correct. it's just totally made up. more recently, more recently, the president went to davos in february, and former cnn correspondent, brit -- thank you -- pierce mortgage again is doing a long are form interview with the president and they get
to global warming. and the president goes into this kind of long, uninterrupted discourse but they used to indicate global warming. they have to call it climate change because parts of the areas that are getting warmer and then said the polar ice caps going away and right now they're the biggest they've ever been. well, okay, that's not true either. actually it's exactly the opposite. in the history hover measuring the ice caps. here's -- meta cognition, decisionmaking based on something other than a objective view of reality. i wound up with that story to ask you -- that was the president. the travels indiana very -- -- inside a very large ecosystem. did anyone in the ecosystem say, mr. president, a private word? which now brings me -- i'll stop and get your questions.
thank you brings me to role of truth-tellers inside the administration. how is it that the intelligence community -- which is designed -- with all of our flaws -- which is designed to create an as accurate a view of reality as we can so that american policy -- what i am fond of saying, it's very rare -- one instance where i lad so much evidence i was -- whereas, whereas, whereas, and then the president said, okay, mike, therefore. almost in all instances, all we do on a very good day is create the left and the right hand boundaries of logical policy discussion. that is our task. we kind of get to say, if you're over here, you're probably
dividing by zero and not going to get a good answer, and if you're over here, you're assuming water is going run uphill and that's not going to work. he we create that boundary. now the challenge is for intelligence, for a president, who reasons differently, he is instinctive, intuitive, has an almost natural confidence in his own narrative, how the world works, how does the fact-based guys get into the head of the president? and that's kind of the last 50% of the book. how does that take place. ...
he said these one was really rock ignorance, i mean, the candidate that had never been in government, new nothing about the plumbing, how things worked it was clear he thought the cia was the whole game when in reality the cia is important, but they are our institutions out there and it so we went from ignorance to a zone of what john calls antagonism. that had to do with the cake, with the-- with our telling him the story that the russians intervened in the american electoral process. that was a great tragedy. we always have to adjust to a new person. we always have to adapt how we approach him based upon how he or she learns and there's always a speed bump. unfortunately the first time we
had a meaningful dialogue with president-elect trump was on the russia issue where we were just putting out facts as we knew it to be, but where he saw an issue that other people, not the intelligence community, but other people were using to delegitimize his election as president. that's a perfect storm and frankly i'm not intelligence point of view kind of a national tragedy. you went from ignorance to antagonism. zone and three, where we are now, phase three we are kind of in a zone of what john calls inevitability. you cannot do the job without talking to these guys and even if you have trouble setting left and right hand boundaries there is a rhythm to decision-making in which intelligence folks need to be even-- in their even if they don't set strategic policy. you need the technical information to even make a bad decision work and is so we have
got this zone of inevitability. don't want ignorance. zone two, antagonism. zone three and then john said we will get to zone before when robert mueller reports out. then, we will see where we go. it is an issue i raised in the book and i'm happy to entertain in the q and a that the president when he gets-- when the present tense push back from the institution of his own government, fact-based institutions does not get the facts. he attacks the institutions and so you have the attack on the fbi, the attack on the attorney general, the attack on the department of justice, not so much lately, but attacks on the intelligence community delegitimizing institutions that are the fact-based institutions that provide the fundamental infrastructure of a country that
has been founded on and governs itself reflecting the values of the enlightenment that we need to make decisions based upon objective truth and so the call for the book kind of cri de coeur at the end is that obviously you have to project your own-- protect your own personal integrity, but for god sake you have to protect institution because we will need them again and i do think too badly mix my metaphors i think we will hit a lot of white water when the robert mueller investigation reports out and so my guidance to my old tribe is standard fast, be loyal to the president and try to help him to succeed, but protect the institutions and with it at that i will stop and happily take questions.
[applause]. yes ma'am? >> i should say that you are assuming that the reason he rejects the russia stuff is because some people use it to delegitimize his victory. it's also possible that he took an enormous amount of money from vladimir putin and that's why he doesn't want investigation to proceed because you will find it. but, my question is where the republicans? on the republicans in the senate, i mean, today i heard on my way over trump called immigrants animals. animals. where are the republicans? we have the democrats over here, liberal radicals in the republicans over here far right. >> so, that was the lower layer of the cake.
this only happens if we create the conditions where this leadership can succeed. let me develop a thought and having spent time on this in the book it's hard to get every thing in in 26 minutes. normal constitutional checks on a president if you read the document should come from the other branches of government and those fundamental income from congress. that is supposed to be competing there is supposed retention, i mean, i used to testify as director of cia. i was existing-- when i went up there, it matter that i was serving a republican president and the democrats on the majority. but, that was not the big fault line. the big fault line was article one, article two. i was representing the executive in its extreme and it didn't read that it-- matter whether it was republican or democrat. that is not happening.
the most remarkable thing has happened that the pushback against the president right now is coming from the departments and agencies of the executive branch. it's coming from the fbi, coming from justice, coming from a institutions and remarkable unremarkable events the president is trying to enlist members of his party in the legislature to weigh in the agencies and apartments of his own executive branch. i have never seen that before and that's kind of a good summary to the kind of pathological dynamic we have underway. it's the normal price on the president and his-- [inaudible] which i choose to define as career professionals governed by the rule of law and here we are.
thank you. >> thank you. >> hi, thanks for a great talk. i would like to ask you to pick up where you left off in talking about your admonition to the intelligence community, your advice. so, given the current intelligence community including the professional staff as well as its leadership what do you think that community is capable of doing in protecting-- to what extent, to what length within your belief go to protect institutions say in the event of firing robert mueller or in the event his reports is extremely damaging and dangerous to the president? >> so far, i mean, a lot of the
sound you hear from downtown is institutions holding their ground, i mean, you had the director of nsa, director of the fbi, attorney general in open session they are answering the question. today the director of the fbi said the russian thing is not a witch hunt and so that is good. they need to hold their ground. again, back to dynamics i talk about how this is twisting the normal constitutional or political processes with congress not being the break. the other thing a bit twisted is that you have the normal injured of government that designed to help the president succeed and they don't always seem attached to the decision-making process that the president enjoys and so i think that is the history of hr mcmaster who was trying to connect the normal processes of
making better informed reality -based fact bounded decision to the decisions made by the presidents and he never was able to make those gears mesh. i'm not even addressing questions of lawfulness, i mean, that is a separate issue and you watched gina hospital in hearst test my say they would follow the law are not worried about that. i see in the book that those things over here, cia and nsa and so on, we always accommodate to the presidents. presidents are different. each human being printed a different way. president bush learned in discussion. president obama learned in a quiet moment. he was a reader rather than a conversationalist. president trump has his own style. we reflect the presidents priorities, so we accommodate that and what i say in the book
and this is the real answer to your question is you cannot accommodate so much to one presidents that you undercut the very legitimacy of the institution in the eyes of the institution, in the eyes of the people are really important and in the eyes of the next president who therefore night-- my now believe you are way does you pretend to be, on objective fact-based intelligence organization and that's where i make the plea to hold their ground. [inaudible] >> right. [inaudible] >> to be fair dan coats is the director of national intelligence and he has said the iranians are not cheating on the deal. no material breaches and they are further away from a weapon with this deal than without it and we know more with the deal than we would know without the deal. he said that publicly.
didn't connect, but he said it. >> thank you. that's a wonderful presentation. it seems to me, though, there is a layer you are leaving out. you are not talking about the corporations, about the interests behind a lot of this policy regardless of whether or not we have a president that is off his rocker. that affects your agency or your agencies including military and so forth. we are always in a them and us situation continuously throughout our history and that benefits intelligence industries and other aspects so that if we cannot see that layer in addition to the three he
presented, we are never free because look at the tax policy. look who want on that issue. look who briefs with arms sales to saudi arabia and israel and so forth. where is that layer? >> again my book, that's a residual problem. that's not new at this presidents. president eisenhower warned us against the industrial complex and it's a long-term condition so to be honest i have not addressed it, but again returning to fact-based decision-making can't hurt in what you are describing their. >> eisenhower played into that, also. >> i get it. >> i would like to build on the stroman's question. obviously there was a breakdown during the bush administration for the iraq war. i would like you to discuss the commonalities of the bush
intelligence committee-- community and now. >> great-aunt fair question and i do address it in the book because it's kind of hard to say and not basing decisions based on fact and i'm a signatory to the bonnie national-- i'm sorry that iraq he national intelligence on destruction. i need to tell you about this, also. of that was an argument over what constitution-- constituted objective reality and the fact of the case are the following, we in the intelligence community believe what we wrote. it was convenient for the president. useful for the presidents and useful in making a case for war, but we actually believed it so it was not made up. it was our objective reality. we were just wrong. there was another case pushed by some in the administration and
that was that there was an operational relationship between that eye rockies and al qaeda. we believe that to be absolutely untrue and we dug in and opposed it and so again i admitted earlier we all get it wrong, but getting it wrong and pursuing objective reality is one thing. being comfortable with making decisions on something other than objective morality is another and that's the case, i think-- as i said we know how to handle presidents who disagree with us, but this is different. one example wanted to use and there's a friend of mine in the room and we talked about this. remember the speech in virginia for the jamboree, a little over-the-top for 12 -year-olds. the president comes back and everyone is upset and he said no way. said it was the greatest speech they'd ever gotten. that is not true.
the question is, does he know that. does the mind make a distinction between what happened and what was useful to have happened? that is the difference i'm trying to describe. >> you are saying the quality of the intelligence community is equal from the bush administration or-- >> well, we all went to school on the iraq and i.e. answer to add a footnote the estimate on the russians, the russians did this for these purposes was given with high confidence and i will tell you after that iraq and i.e. we are careful before we slap high confidence on any judgments. that made me comfortable they had a good evidentiary staff to back it up.
>> thank you for your time. over the past decade there's been a pendulum swinging between human intelligence and i was curious having served at the helm of cia if you-- where you think the pendulum is now and if it will hold for the future? >> i don't address in this book, i touch in the zero my couple years back and fundamentally what i will tell you is because everyone in this room has been so careless with what it is they put in their cell phones-- not you, but globally we have decided for convenience that even the enemies of the us love being online and just think of your own practices, i mean, how much more do you do with that instrument in your coat pocket that used to be done in person where the data was kept in a drawer or something like that and so we have gone through period, 10 or 15 years in a kind began when i was at nsa where if
we think if we can do this half well it will be the: electronics surveillance talking about foreign intelligence targets. everyone is getting smarter now. we are talking about end to end encryptions are those communications which were carelessly put out there and made available to espionage services are getting more secure and so i think the broader trend is we will have to tend to our and 18 in some of the other disciplines like human intelligence and other sources. it shifts. my sense is the shift is in the direction of human because signal intelligence might be a little less available. >> thank you. >> i think we would all prefer presidents who are fact-based and able to admit when they are wrong and consider arguments that go against their trans- op,
but let me shift to it historical example. across the kennedy and johnson administration they assembled a cabinet that people called the best and brightest and robert mcnamara probably considered himself like the mark zuckerberg of our time, nothing but evidence -based, fact-based data driven and yet over the course of six years you could say we ended up in a far worse a blunder than iraq your card you square that with where we are right now? >> when i was a mid range officer probably you tenant colonel i read hr mcmaster's book on this which is a description of the joint chiefs of staff during this very time and fundamentally h.r. condemns that she for not pressing their case, for agreeing with the-- in real life when you go in there with a case that cuts across the presidents preferred policy, narrative, preconceived belief
you got to buckle in and you got to push back hard. i-- i have a minor version of that with president bush as we were describing what the war in iraq was. it went from dead ender to an insurgency to a civil war to something worse than a civil war and as we made each analytical leap we had to sit down with the president who is not being made happy that the signal foreign-policy action of his administration was doing this, but we dug in and said it, so in that case-- and hr makes it clear it was the truth tellers not doing their duty, not insisting. >> thank you for being here. >> thanks. >> i understand you are speaking about this dynamic of post truth administration, post truth base
in america, but i was wondering if you could add all speak to how much we see that dynamic in other countries and i don't just me-- mean close allies in the uk , but i heard similar descriptions in russia with this whole, you know, nothing is true and everything is possible. >> i spent a lot of time in the book talking about the russian information bubble and i have really given it a short direct tonight. there's a lot of in the book about the russians have done and what we should do about it, but russians begin with themselves and they bubbled their own people and then they extended that bubble to your pen towards us to give this kind of informational shield over the seizure of crimea and the occupation of the dawn boss and then i go to great length in the book to talk that j helm 15. i'm getting some nods.
this is a vanilla exercised by american special forces in texas and several other southern states that russian bots turned into an obama administration round up up political opponents up to and including abandoned walmart used as concentration camps and boxcars transiting texas with leg arms attached to the floor. it got so much traction that the governor of texas called out the state card, which is a volunteer force to watch the feds exercise , to calm the population down. so, you have got the russians playing this game a lot. they put it on us and i think with some success with regard to our last election. they have tried it on norway, no affect because norway doesn't have that first layer of the cake that we have. of the other countries that are more susceptible and i do think russian activity has in effect--
in great britain they tightened up the pressure and so on. i don't talk a lot about the rest of the world, but there are other examples of what you and i would call modern democracies drifting in the direction of personalism, i won't say authoritarian as in, but certainly in the direction of a taxi so it's a more generalized trend. >> as you said in russia for example it started domestically, but do you think that there as here the intelligence community sort of also caught in that bubble? >> no. very careful, intelligence law enforcement, someone, i was very careful to say in the western liberal tradition and so there are intelligent services and not
all of them are russians who begin with their own top priority methodologically -based view of the world. i used to work with a lot of them and i tell the story in the first book on across the table from a professional until-- a foreign partner until someone hit a button and all of a sudden he sourced talking not based on data, but on his nation's creation mythology at which point you don't not because he may take transmission received as in i agree with your transition. you lock your eyes and one of the passages in the first book that i was happy with: back to the c-17 to fly from x-uppercase-letter to y-uppercase-letter and i could've back of the jet, pour myself a glass of wine and think what was it that i said that had that usually very professional officer on the other side of the table going oh, now, here gowns
american mythology. at what point did hear that response? again, when i talk about looping in intelligence with the journalism and science talking the western liberal tradition. >> thank you. >> i asked the director of the cia what he would do if he became knowledgeable of a catastrophe genocide of holocaust and he went into detail how he discussed this with his directors and finally could not answer the question. later, rwanda came about in the director failed to make known what was going on. did he do the right thing by holding back? >> i don't know my life experience comports with the preamble of the question. [inaudible] who was it?
>> i would rather not say. >> i was the j2 in europe during the rwanda genocide. we deployed. we deployed late. we deployed after the original genocide, but we did deploy so it was not that we didn't know. >> that's right, but director at that time didn't speak. i want to thank you for the honest, courageous and insightful analysis that you have provided. i would like to ask if you have ever thought of running for elected office? >> never. next question. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> i will try to be efficient. >> you talked about your friends in pittsburgh and their ambivalence. it's more that they are on the team maybe and sided with trump and will believe what he says and trump will say what favors
him in the moments that supports his side. >> yet and a lot of things he says rhymes with some of their core beliefs. sorry to interrupt. i know based on fact broad macro statistics come immigration is a national advantage for the us. when i'm talking to the kind the back room of pittsburgh his micro experience may be contrary so many of the who appeals to that micro experience, the president's statement may not be factually correct, rhymes with the fear or believe that someone house. >> exactly. james comey in his book talked about during the election the obama administration talked about the inoculation on this idea of trying to tell people this was going on. i think to some extent that has happened now and well know that happened, but do you see a path
forward now in terms of what we can do to inoculate the population in any way or the encourage-- >> briefly. i talk about this in the book. one of the elements i fear is our getting numb, our accepting some things as warm when they aren't norm and so i really do try to point out in the book, don't say that's okay. it's not. its difference. its popular" at the moment, but it's not normal in a literal duration of the word so that's what i would hold. i will not allow that behavior to be normalized for the conduct of office government public and so on. >> in general just keep speaking out? >> yes. >> yes ma'am? >> good evening. thank you for your talk and for this book.
your assault on intelligence makes you wonder about the question of counterintelligence. >> i do not address that in the book. the discussion is intelligence informing policy, but one of the subplots is how does intelligence defend itself against foreign adversaries. i talked about in the previous book. >> good evening. quick question. are we, is our relationships with our allies because the intelligence community rise on its allies to conduct effective operations. is that being damaged and eroded by the current administration and is it something that may be difficult to recover from in the immediate future which will impact our ability to do counterintelligence? >> specific question has it been harmed i don't think so. we have a lot of partners.
we got people out there that want to be friends with the cia far more than they want to be friends with america. we are a big powerful organization and even at the political level your bars-- all sorts of disagreements and they still come visit you and welcome you in the national capital, so i was director for 31 months and we went to 50 countries and a lot more came to langley. they do that because we are actually pretty good at this and although we get some things we would not otherwise get the rate of exchange and the aggression as far-- always are better, which is big, but i am concerned of the long-term. you saw the episode the last 10 days with the chancellor germany, the president of france and the foreign minister of great britain coming here and saying we have been thinking, while we wait a bit and we went ahead and ripped up that iranian deal. so, i feel-- the fear i have is
that in appearance and maybe even in reality america first my push us in the direction of america: and so if i were still director referring back to your question i would probably get a little over to the side here and just think we are now publishing anything, but i want you to go over here and huddle up and come back in a month or two and tell me how we would do this if we didn't have as many friends? what is it that i would have to change internal to us if we couldn't guarantee the number of liaison relationships we have, so i would begin to think about that. thank you. >> good evening and thank you for your time. my question relates to something you mentioned was the ends of your presentation, respecting,
upholding the institution and remaining steadfast. if people like rod rosenstein, robert mueller are doing their job respecting institutions and upholding them, how can we really did them allies the institutions they serve that i think we could agree a sizable population of americans believe are currently a farce. >> now believe they are suspect. >> right. >> i travel a lot and have a lot of conversations and there's a good chunk, about a third who fundamentally believe the problem here is that the institutions i'm saying we need to protect, they say they are corrupt and frankly, are trying to overturn the results of the democratic process and so as on-- i was on bill mark about 10 days ago and there was a libertarian and a progressive. cia libertarian progressive, it was great.
but, the progressive-- i'm sorry the libertarian or scientific question said don't impeach, don't try, indict or impeach. i'm not prejudging where the evidence goes. he said the only way you can affect change is that the american people-- a chunk of the american people will not believe is a coup is to election and make whatever change we have the product of an election rather than an extraordinary activity. so, that's where our national dialogue is now. i think that is correct and again not prejudging anything that robert mueller will come up with, but i do think-- what i fear what he comes up with will be a national test and a third of america will say you see, i told you and the other third will say yeah, i told you in
this third in the middle will be going back and forth and that does not get the cloud away. it's now over us and darkening our dialogue. thank you. [applause]. >> thank you very much. copies of my book are available at the checkout desk. please hold up your chairs. [inaudible conversations] >> book tv is on twitter and facebook and we want to hear from you. tweet us, twitter.com. /book tv