tv Discussion on Global Terrorism CSPAN March 3, 2019 8:12am-9:01am EST
friends, coworkers, the folk in your church during black history month and beyond black history month. thank you. [applause] >> tanks to come in, everybody. shomari will be signing over here. if you want to line up. >> and now on c-span2's booktv, more television for serious readers. >> ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome to the stage
ronan bergman, ali soufan and erroll southers, with your moderator michael masters. [applause] >> good afternoon. we are going to get started very quickly. on december 19, president trump announced his intent to withdraw the american troops from syria, announcing that islamic state had been defeated in the region. shortly thereafter in the same day vice president pence announced that isis had been defeated, 19 individuals were killed, to include for americans in isis related attack. the largest loss of american life since the counter isis campaign began. thereafter, a car bomb reported targeting americans. yesterday, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell noted that al-qaeda, isis and their
affiliates in syria and if gibson continued to pose a serious threat to us here at home. this morning the president tweeted that intelligence agencies of our country were naïve in their assessment of isis at the continuing threat our country. where are we at with the war on terror? does isis remain a threat? al-qaeda is growth? what's the assessment? [laughing] >> you don't want to hear me. we want to hear the view from tel aviv. >> that's the easiest question. so first, thank you, and -- thank you for the introduction. thanks for the invite. i have just one remark on the president's tweet from this morning. you know, i know nothing about
american politics but of you something from israeli politics. a country where the generals, where the heads of the intelligence community, and a talk given at not about the united states, are the mature grown-ups, other people usually in the regular scenario, the generals are the trigger-happy, the politicians need to restrain them. in israel it's the other way around. a country where you need the generals and the heads of intelligence community to be the ones keeping democracy, keeping the values, keeping being honest, candid, transparent, and making sure that the politicians did not do anything stupid, a country with some difficulty, with some problems. i think that could be some sort of a comment to what the
president tweeted this morning. and again a document israel, not about the united states. [laughing] and to your question, and i will take it from the way seen from israel. al-qaeda, the islamic state is, was stationed on israel's northern border. but it was not seen as an immediate threat because the world aligned and unites to defeat it. and in a way it was much a bigger threat to europe than to israel. isis and al-qaeda in its time did not try to infiltrate israel. the shoe bomber, as he was known, came to israel to collect information to try and possibly
target a plane. and then he came back to his controllers and al-qaeda and said this is too risky, try to find other places so in a way al-qaeda in isis did not pose the great threat to israel. i think they pose a great threat to the other coaches in the west including the united states. it's clearly that isis is in the decline. it's clear that much of the territory that they control is no longer under their control. whether the alternative is better, , meaning iranian of moment in the area, iranian insurgencies belongs to another question. but i think that the threat to european countries from the volunteers coming back from the region, from the middle east, much better trained to germany,
britain, belgium. i was just meeting with a european intelligence official who said in our view this thisa current threat to the stability of our nation and the national security, and the safety of our citizens, and every day passes we see more and more individuals that we need to flag as threat because next day they could be the next suicide bomber walking into the metro in brussels. >> you've done a lot of research and work on the radicalization within the u.s. and homegrown violent extremist. what do we need to be think about is people travel overseas can differ problem here in the united states, only 250-350 people that have attempted to travel but they're still a threat. what does that look like? >> they are very much a threat. what's really important about returning foreign fighters is a come back with the skill sets,
the go back to his assigns weatherbee in europe or the united states with are not going to be welcome. i am very close to the muslim committed in france and this if we don't want the neighbor they should be in prison. they come back, they joined their families, they can't get jobs, they're but not country g the authorities they are here again. so they are in a very interesting and dicey situation. what's happening now is isis once did demonstrate capacity and capability. so to the end of the story about richard reid, when richard reid left tel aviv he flew to paris. here's how that story worked. he went to the airport at charles de gaulle that day and he got stopped, as i was just described to me by my french counterpart, get everything except that a t-shirt that the terrorist on it. [laughing] and the folded out of line speed be easier if there was a t-shirt. >> attracted the folded out of line and question him entertained him long enough that he missed his flight.
ronen is right, he found his hand to answer tel aviv is too difficult. he came back the next day, he got on time and you all know the rest of story, the reason that she didn't detonate because the day he left the airport previously it was raining outside. that you was wet. had that shoe not been what we would have very different scenario no. so again, like isis, al-qaeda, these are organizations that thrive on capacity, to the building but most importantly in tenacity and they will not give up. it will not give up recruiting americans. when these guys finish fighting over there they will return to their homes, and we have to do more than sit and hope that they won't go operational. >> ali, what did we miss? on the eve of 9/11 and you write in your book, al-qaeda and osama bin laden had 400 pledged fighters. today today were looking over 20,000, in excess of 20,000 in
syria, 7000 in somalia, 5000 in the air peninsula. where have we missed the boat? >> -- arab peninsula. >> we did not fight the right fight to end al-qaeda. for example, instead of finishing al-qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan we decided to go and invade another country called iraq that is nothing to do with 9/11. that created a lot of sympathy for al-qaeda. al-qaeda was really a dying breed after 9/11, and that gave them the recruits and that gave them the power to move forward. but i just want to go with your first question, and i want to talk about it from the united states position, not our friends in israel. look, i mean, the president of the united states has of this dangerous habit to always attack
the intelligence community. we have people every day, they put their life on the line to get us the right intelligence for what's happening. we at cia officers who died in the line of duty and we don't know anything about them except a start in the lobby of likely to quit people who work day and night, engineers, satellite operators, translators, undercover agents to get us intelligence that we need to make sound decisions. you heard the assessment yesterday from the heads of all the intelligence community in the united states, cia, fbi, nsa, dni, you name it. all of them said isis is still a threat, north korea is lying to us, i ran is not that much of a threat. and guess what?
everything the president of the united states is saying basically is not true. the president of the united states, and this is the assessment of the people in the field, the president of the united states, instead of saying okay, let's go back to the drawing board and represent the u.s. in a good way, he said those guys are naïve, week, and the need to go back to school. mr. president, the trump university is out of business. [applause] >> my colleagues in the intelligence community, my former colleagues, cannot speak for themselves, but we can speak for them. we are not going to allow this genius geo- strategists -- move kissinger, with the trump intel, to decide what is best for the american people. we had a problem in iraq.
we have that problem with 9/11 and will not allow this problem to happen again. if they cannot speak for themselves, i lived through 9/11. i will be so happy with so many people to speak on their behalf. [applause] this is my friend from my perspective. >> certain things seem a bit, yogi bear said it's déjà vu all over again. a u.s.-led coalition initiated the campaign to dislodge al-qaeda and the taliban from afghanistan in what has become our largest conflict over 17 17 years with a loss of over 2400 americans and the cost of billions of dollars. window sitting down in doha speaking with the taliban about ip sharing agreement that would see them back in power are in the same place that we were? have we made progress?
>> well, you know, with the taliban, look, i am all about bringing the tubes back. we -- troops back. we've been there for so many years. we gave up when any diplomatic or political engagement to solve this in afghanistan. the easiest thing for the intellectual laziness of washington is to give that project to our troops because of the best troops in the world and there is no mission that they cannot accomplish. but it's not our job to negotiate, to have diplomatic agreements, to have geopolitical strategy to solve the situation in afghanistan. what's happening today i think is not what needs to be done. it's not just as talking to the taliban and say guess what, in six months were out of here, you figure it out with the government over there, you know,
have some sharing agreement on how to govern afghanistan. we could have done that on the eve of 9/11. i remember after the east african embassy bombings -- bombing, with the pakistanis and others that they need to give us the people involved in the east african embassy bombing, , after the u.s. as coal even, we need, you need to give up al-qaeda. and they said, they made a promise that they will never allow anybody to attack american interest from afghanistan. tell that to the 3000 americans were murdered on 9/11. they made that promise. now they're repeating the process again. you want to solve afghanistan, you have to include pakistan, including india, china, russia and the rent because each one of these countries have interests. unfortunately, we are fighting with all of them. you know, with all due respect to the shit show what's happening between the the prest
in pakistan and we have iran and intelligence committee telling us that the russians and the chinese have been working as closer together since the 50s. so just negotiating with the office of the taliban in doha is not going to be the victory that we deserve after everything that we've done in afghanistan. that is my own perspective about that, but imagine if you heard that there is negotiations that we will leave after six months under the obama administration, so many people specific tv networks, , they will be calling it treasonous. unfortunately, we are focusing on a tweet, not on the reality on the ground for what's happening in places like syria and afghanistan. and by the way, al-qaeda continue to work very closely with the taliban in afghanistan. and al-qaeda leadership in
northern pakistan, protected by the taliban and the haqqani network, that is part of the taliban in afghanistan. so just keep that in mind when you hear about this great diplomatic initiative that's going on to bring peace to afghanistan. we need to bring our troops home, yes. we need to do it right, and doing it right means that diplomatic initiative that includes all the countries i mentioned, that only negotiating with a couple of guys on the taliban movement. >> ronen, this morning he mentioned jihadist handbook, the management of savagery, the al-qaeda playbook. stage one of the playbook is to work to create chaos in regions and then seek to fill the vacuum. you note in your book that israel has committed more assassinations than any other country since world war ii and
it has no to achieve some great tactical success in that, and you go in that from iranian scientists cannot see situs, hamas leadership. -- nazi scientist. i can't help but wonder, , are e not just creating vacuums that others fill often with unintended consequences in our targeted assassinations? >> history does not repeat itself. you can compare one incident to another to a certain extent but not whatever israel has done, not what the u.s. has done. i think that taking the use speedy take it from the israeli perspective. >> the israeli perspective shows that in certain points, in certain time frames when targeted assassination was used as part of an overall strategy, not as as a one-time, not in or to set aside the local
constituency at home showing that we do something. if it's done systematically they after day, in order not to let the enemy raise its head, then there are few very clear examples when, where targeted killings have been able to stop terrorism, at least for a time. but, of course, israel was able to, but using the most extensive campaign of targeted killings ever launched in history between 2001-2002, this was in reaction to a horrific wave of suicide bombers that hamas and palestinian civil suit against israelis, later called the second intifada, the only thing to stop them from coming, the suicide bombers, was targeted killings. now, they did not kill the bombers.
thomas posted they have more volunteers than suicide vests. that was true. how do threaten someone who is willing to sacrifice himself, wearing a suicide belt with a switch off and on, does need any training, he goes to a bus or goes into a shopping mall or kindergarten and switch and not from off to on, he's one to sacrifice himself. anyway, but it turns out that when you target the layer above these people, so the committee gaiters, the shoe bombers, the indoctrinated, the recruiters, "the communicators," the regional commanders, the political level, these people who have no problems with sending other people to the death can once the price tag is attached to their lives, they said, well, i'll die but maybe another day. so this is a clear -- at once israel started to kill all these
people, took three years, but after killing them or killing parts of their leaders and much of the upper echelon of the commanders, the field commanders, hamas i would say underneath begged for cease-fire with egyptian mediation, begged for cease-fire with israel. and it proved that even such a jihadist organization, you know, it was like the jihadist version of games of thrones. having no boundaries, no politically correct this, a deal but they want, they seem to be unstoppable. but once facing with the same destiny as they wanted to have on people and israel, they stopped. saying all that doesn't it say that hamas problem is solved. hamas is controlling a state in gaza. and as much as today it is much,
much stronger as isis as much to prevent al-qaeda, hamas is much stronger today than it was ten years ago. but yet israel is in relative peace, editing, this is a think the bottom line to your question is that intelligence, nothing less than exquisite and the willingness to translate that into even violent actions like targeted killings can achieve a lot on a tactical state. it will not achieve your strategic target or strategic goal of reconciliation. >> erroll, how does that square domestic record with a much different situation, but we have to address the issue which is confronting tactical success versus strategic success. for those individuals within this country were becoming radicalized to violence, whether motivated by white supremacists
and neo-nazism, or radical islamist ideology. how do we effectively counter that? >> the obama administration took on a new program called countering violent extremism that it was well intended. it made the mistake we made in the '80s when i was in law enforcement and we decided to embark on what was called a cop program, community oriented policing. when we went into the community is ambassador bolton we know what your problems are and we will help you solve them. we didn't listen. we didn't ask them how they felt. we didn't understand what was going on. we have no real understanding of the landscape. we make the same mistakes with the cve program and the united states that they may with a similar program in uk called present your here and so as a t we marginalize and alienated the community we needed to support us in helping produce the risk of recruitment to radicalization. i just finished last week a second study in minneapolis. i've been there for five years.
for those of you don't know, the largest number of americans that are left to fight for isis are from minneapolis, somali americans. in 2008, 2009 they left here to fight for al-shabaab in somalia. in 2013 and 14 they left minneapolis to fight for syria. isis had totally co-opted their strategy and a method of recruitment, and i am happy to report now that as a result of community taking responsibility, becoming business owners, educators, politicians, athletes, that pipeline to turkey and to syria has pretty much been turned off. however, when i talked to them they say you don't understand. you are so focused on the sole jihadist threat. what about the people who are victimizing us?
we do have a threat to our national security. the same threat they haven't great britain and france and germany, and it's their own homegrown individuals who are there already, not coming across the border, not flying in, not being trained abroad who are going operational. the adl tracks hate crimes. it stuck at the largest number it's had since they tracked it since the '70s. we have a real definitional problem internationally and domestically. internationally, and we talk about this when i'm teaching, we can't agree on what terrorism means in terms of a definition. if you want to be more challenged when the session is over, go online and look at all the united states agencies that are responsible for counterterrorism. dispatch agencies that share the same definition. then you hate crimes which are biased motivated crimes. there's big difference in america. if i caught until someone and
young how hitler, , i'll be treated regularly in court. if it's a hate crime, i may still get life but but i will e called a terrorist. if it's deemed to terrorism, i may still life pickets a lot more vindictive. timothy mcveigh was not prosecuted for terrorism. he was prosecuted for using a weapon of mass destruction and one or 68 counts of murder. dylann roof was not prosecuted for terrorism in south carolina. he was prosecuted for a hate crime. so when we see things happening now in the country, and i'm talking, speaking for the community that i deal with that is supposedly going to benefit from these programs who say how is it that i can do something here and go to prison for a life, but someone bombs a mosque in gets probation? that's problematic. so until the government gets on board with really understanding
how to engage communities and how to engage communities, you let them drive the car. we are not very good at that. we've got to have a much more comprehensive, soft power approach to this if we really want them to engage in what we're doing. let's just talk about radicalization. radicalization is no more than the identification embrace and engagement in furthering extremist ideology. think about what's happening in america now. as far as i'm concerned were looking at a radicalized country with some of the accident happening lately because these people engaging in furthering extremist ideologies. >> i would love to hear your reactions to that, and just kind of preface with a quick sentence. ronen, every director that is spoken publicly spoken about the need for better engagement, reconciliation and political process. ali, similar question. you said with killing bin laden we kill the messenger, , not the message. you spoken about the need for
reconciliation and community engagement. how do we get there? [laughing] >> okay. well, i think, look, i believe that people who are part of a terrorist organization, people who are already sucked by the gravity, the appeal, the terrorism or the hate or whatever messages, and they are inside that planet of hate, i don't believe we need to do kumbaya, cve, let's drink tea together until we can engage you back into society. i think there are two ways are these guys to be handled. either a bullet or the handcuffs. and i think our programs need to be directed, and this is based on experience and based on dealing with these things for more than 20 years. we need to direct our programs,
our cve programs, our community engagement programs to be more preventive. that means event people to be sucked into that orbit of hate. when you're in and there was a lot of studies this was done, the farc, hamas, hezbollah, you name it. when you're in your focusing on the operation. you're focusing on doing what you need to do and staying alive and not going to jail, and you're not going to be listening to any argument that has some critical thinking that's going to wake you up. maybe when you're in gel you can think about it, and those people who think about and decide that oh, my god what the heck was i doing, that's fine. we can use them as formers in order to prevent others from going in. but let's not waste our money, our efforts, our strategy in trying to reach out to people in that isis or inside al-qaeda or inside the white supremacist
movement are ready to go and kill people and tell them hey, please, let's figure out a way to live together. this is not going to work. i agree with what my friend is talking about you with a white supremacist in the united states. in the last ten years, last ten years, 78% of all terrorism related deaths happen because of white supremacist. 23%, islamic extremists. now, who's fault that most of you don't know that? the media, absolutely. it's part of it. they can with what's appealing. this is why we are here in the first place. trump is a symptom of the culture we already have, you know? 78%. last year, 73% of all terrorism
related deaths with the same group, 50 people were killed by the same group. we don't have policy. we don't have political courage to stand up for that. we don't have resources that's directed to deal with this threat, and people just don't want to talk about it. in congress they don't feel comfortable talking about it. remember, there's good people on both sides. [laughing] [applause] >> no, there are people are motivated by fear and hate on one side, and there is all of us on the other side. people who go down in screen in the streets of charlottesville that jews will not take our jobs. i do know any jewish guy who will flip burgers, but that's a different situation. [laughing] -- don't know.
maybe you know, but -- if you're not a a lawyer or a doctor or n accountant. [laughing] so anyway, those people are not normal people. those people, they still watch the history channel and see what hitler tried to do and they tried repeatedly or in the united states. hell no. you know, this is about i think the festival of, the ideas about world war ii, the theme is world war ii. they were defeated on the shores of normandy and they are not going to be freaking demonstrating in any american city. [applause] >> they are not. i will be sure that they won't. and i think they can say how hitler or hiles trump and they been doing that at all the rallies, but this is not what america is all about.
as for the islamic extremist, yes, we more than 45,000 foreign fighters from about 110 different countries that went and joined isis in iraq and syria. but if you look at the numbers, and the proportions of the numbers, from the united states we had only about 150. i become 150 is a lot of people don't get me wrong, but we are a nation of 350 million. if you look at western europe, that more than 5000 from western europe. france alone with and 2800. belgium more than five or 600. great britain britain, and janine that took many people from the west. we know each and every person who went. we know where they are. we know if they're still alive or dead, those people who decided i just want to come back home, we welcome them but we welcome them to go to they were aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. you're lucky if we don't kill
you over here. if you come here you go to jail. the europeans have bigger problem because the numbers are huge. they have hundreds if not thousands. how do you deal with the situation? so the president can say isis is done. isis is not done. we seen that before. and bob and his ideology morphed from when he was in afghanistan and he was kicked out of jalalabad and he went to sedate and is kicked at a sedan and nobody thought al-qaeda was done. he went to afghanistan. he did an alliance with the taliban. they reinvented the network. they did 9/11. after 9/11 we swiftly responded, we kicked him out. they actually morphed again into a different organization, created alliances with entities they never had relationship before and they were able to survive because of the iraq war and other things that happen. so they are always changing according to the security environment.
isis today is what al-qaeda was in 2001 when we kicked them out of afghanistan. so i know the president being the smartest person in the room and great historian understands these kind of things better than gina haspel, but the director of the cia, but i have the tendency to believe gina haspel over what our president is saying. so it's good a difficult time. this battle is hard. i think what happens is we always focus on killing individuals. we never focus on killing and ideology. ideology is very hard to kill because you cannot take it down with bullets. as lot of other engagement jeff to do, diplomatic, cultural, economic, all the stupid things. and, unfortunately, just because we had the biggest, strongest hammer in the world, does mean every problem is a nail.
[applause] >> ronen cup of going to give you an opportunity to respond to that are located to the question. you write indie book it's hard to predict how history will proceed after some shot in the head. i'm wondering if you think the book, if you have any of the stories you like to share what is ready intelligence and the political leadership came back and we thought one of the targeted assassinations that said probably would've been better if we held off on that one? >> quite a few. usually israelis were very hesitant with killing leaders. it turns out that when you kill a leader, usually history will change its course. leaders to have effect on history. of course you come to wonder if -- would place a bomb and the other side of the lake of the table, hitler instead, with that
change the second world war? probably too. but in many, many cases, history changes its course, you just don't know if it's going to do it in the right way. in april 1988, israel assassinated the military commander of the plo. in fact, the person who actually pulled the trigger on the head of the leader was like the chief of staff and ministry of defense official. he is now running for the deputy prime minister. by the way, only in israel where very young people are going secretly with the heads of the conversation, to convince the only person in the country who
is authorized to okay the targeted assassination, that is a prime minister. and some of these people who are to go in secret to convince the prime minister to sign called red page, and actual codename for assassination is negative treatment. [laughing] israeli sense of humor. [laughing] and only in israel some of these individuals, through time, cross and become the prime minister. the chief, the first chief of the assassination unit, participate as commander as to permit of the assassination operation. benjamin netanyahu was part of that. israel killed abu jihad in apri.
they tried to calm down the first intifada. they got wrong because this was a popular uprising killing of you would know. in retrospect many of the people who ask the participate in that operation say we lack is leadership to date, his charismatic leadership. he could fight hamas better than anyone else. this is one. and the second, i mentioned before the targeted assassination campaign to destroy the wave of suicide bombers. the tip of that was killing the founder, the original compass of hamas. telling him helped a lot in fighting hamas, but also, this something the israelis did not assess properly before doing that, it took the last stone that prevented iran from taking over hamas.
the objective in kind of a rain attempt to find and open. he said no, thank you. he hated these shia guys and he just ignore anything to do with them. once he's outcome his lieutenants in his absence took everything they could from hamas -- from iran, sorry, started training and hamas begin something much more powerful than ever the sheikh could of dreamed, that it could. so in retrospect there are few very clear instances israelis regret doing taking someone's life. >> follow up from that, the first time that i met ronen, he wouldn't remember, -- amazing historian and doctor andrew's was leading a similar and asked ronen about a ticking time bomb scenario. you have a terrorist in custody of a ticking time bomb. the title of your book come from
-- if someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill them first. following from what you just said, what is the moral argument for targeted assassinations that israel relies on? >> few of them. first, "rise and kill first." [applause] meaning, both my parents, my late mother and father are holocaust survivors. they came from the ashes of your to the palestine, then young israel and together with the jews that were there became the new israel is an established the state visual. i think there were three lessons the ultimate including the leadership, including david ben-gurion, until the holocaust did not support what they called the personal terrorism, meaning targeted assassinations. but changed his mind because of the holocaust. and thought that jews should take a much more firm actions to defend themselves.
they drew three lessons from holocaust. the first that there will always be someone who is after tequilas, meaning perform annihilation. the second is, the of the people will not help. third, that we need to have a safe haven. we need to have refuge in israel and defend that wherever possible. when you of these three lessons in the back of your mind, and every generation, your prime nemesis, your chief adversary is calling for your construction whether nasr of egypt who said i'm going to destroy every target south of beirut, we know what is south of beirut. you know it. >> one day i will take you there. >> but if you take me to beirut, just make sure it is not one way ticket, , i can go back as well. [laughing] i think the same time were sitting here, there's another
session about the scientists of hitler. these scientists produced surface to surface long-range ballistic missiles with which egypt wanted to destroy israel. so whether it was nicer or yasser arafat wrote that every jew who came to israel after 1970 and then to seneca meaning all the jews should be expelled, or saddam hussein iraq said that i'm going to burn down house of israel. ahmadinejad from randy said we must destroy the zionist entity. when you have an inoculum lessons of the holocaust, and in present your adversaries are calling for your construction and did whatever they can to deliver annihilation, you are left with one conclusion, one lesson. rise and kill first. [applause] >> a lesson perhaps on the heels of the worst attack in the jewish community here in the united states in pittsburgh. when we have just a few minutes
left, i want to do something personal about each of your works. ronen, in your book you referenced how them aside intentionally was interest in disrupting the research i think the former head of idf chief of staff mentioned that your book was activators espionage or something to that effect. ali, your book, the first book, remained blacked out and redacted at certain points because of an unprecedented effort by the cia to keep parts contain. and erroll, and your book you talk about the dhs report about what's up in the system and neo-nazis which was pulled back by dhs after opposition of congress. if sunlight is the best disinfectant and information is power, why are we, , what's goig on regarding agencies and entities are holding back information instead of allowing it to flow more freely on top of such so we can learn from history and not repeat it? >> well, i really don't think we're holding back.
ali said it best. we've got 17 members of intelligence community. it'll ever agree on anything and they agree on something now. that something that should be looked at. i had the honor and privilege of being a professor. i want to believe that the next generation of counterterrorism officials, intelligence community, people that will be very intelligent, very smart and carry on. i has to do is to me now ask ag why should i get in the public sector. i have spoken to more officials in the last two weeks that have more than ten years of experience in the respective agencies -- perspective agencies who think about leaving. to tom hanks comments, their expertise, we believe we are in trouble. i never thought i would have to go to forums like this and defend the fbi for not being the deep state. that's where we are.
so that's my concern added don't think we are holding back. i think we need to listen to these people and all the years they dedicate themselves to it, ali can tell you same as i can, doesn't matter who's at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. with the country to defend and that's what we do, foreign or domestic. -- we have a country to defend. [applause] >> ronen, and then we will end with ali. we have 20 seconds each. [laughing] >> the israeli intelligence community is doing remarkable things and it keeps israel safe and israeli citizens safe, save a lot of lives everyday. however, it's so centralize everything that's happening in israel. on the one hand, there's no single event, no single development of history that is happening without the participation with the intelligence community. on the other, very, very little oversight. institutional oversight, professional institutional
oversight over these highly powerful entities and organizations. and the vacuum, and this is the main reason why i wrote "rise and kill first," the vacuum is for us, journalists and historians to fulfill. when you do. it's our sacred oath to, and be the ones because us know what else to make sure that these remarkable people, daring, brave, courageous, and i'm not being cynical but they are doing whatever they can but also whatever they're permitted to do because israel, at the end of the day, as a democracy and we need to keep it because after all sync it with technologies, start up, with unbelievable capabilities but our greatest and most secretive strength as israelis is our democracy. when you to keep it there. [applause] >> ali, last thoughts.
>> okay. i support everything my esteemed colleagues said, and every time we are on the front lines can put in our life on the line for this beautiful country, we here it is the great country on earth that we are not perfect but the greatest thing about america that we always strive to make it more perfect. america is great. i believe the intelligence community and our law enforcement and our military, and so many regular citizens,, hard-working citizens, people like you, will be sure that america will continue to be great and we shall overcome. thank you. >> please join and thanking these great panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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