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tv   [untitled]    June 22, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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good evening it's wednesday june twenty second eight pm here in washington d.c. and we see caffeine of it watching our team but thirty three thousand u.s. soldiers will be out of afghanistan by next summer that is at least a promise from this white house and the focus of the president's speech scheduled to begin at any moment now be dipping in and out of his remarks but for now let's introduce our guests this hour we're joined by historian and investigative journalist gareth porter and congressional reporter matt lauer's always been keeping tabs on the how this has been playing out on the hill for us and before we get started matt i have a feeling a regardless of what the president says in just
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a few moments folks on both sides of the aisle are going to find plenty to to criticize care regardless of whether there's a d or an r at the end of their name is that the consensus on the hill so for example he got a hard line to toe the one hand we have senator john mccain who came out and said if you only would takes away three or five thousand troops precious. something that would be palatable to him on the other hand you have some nerve lebanon democrat of michigan head of the armed services committee who says fifteen thousand minimum needs to go right there and he's never going to appease those two wings either party and i think you know it's not going into this i think his main message is going to be every day americans especially those democrats who needs to come out and vote from two thousand and twelve and gareth are those everyday americans are ready for this drawdown a search well actually i think the average american is way ahead of the president in terms of in terms of drawdown distrusting of voter ahead of president and i know it's not shocking actually i mean this is this is been coming for
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a long time we've seen the support for the war continue to trend down for the last year and a half we now see that according to the pew pew poll fifty six percent of the population says bring the troops home as fast as possible. we'll only thirty eight percent are willing to sort of keep the troops there until the situation stabilize so i think he's really making this decision not on the basis of public opinion certainly but on the basis of the power of the bureaucratic and cities that have the greatest interest in keeping troops there is for as long as possible and what would those bureaucratic that would be the pentagon bob gates at this moment at least and the commander in afghanistan general betray us and that has there been any sense of i mean we've seen reports saying that it is sort of breaking ranks with the generals here but how many folks on the hill pointed that out is that a concern it's going to come out tomorrow general petraeus will be being confirmed
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in the senate tomorrow and for the intelligence committee to take over the cia potentially and a lot of lawmakers mainly on saxby chambliss republican of georgia has already come out and said he wants to make sure that the president listen to on his commanders obviously the president took with the commander said with a grain of salt to quote his policy advisers said with a grain of salt so no one's going to be completely happy and it is the dawn of a new more independent obama when it comes to afterward i have to go back and challenge the idea that he didn't pay attention to what the trainer said in fact i think it's pretty clear from the leaks that have been made over the last few days at least got started in trying to think he's getting to the numbers now so let's let's take a listen live at the president announce this tell you that we are fulfilling that commitment thanks to our extraordinary men and women in uniform our civilian personnel and our many coalition partners we are meeting our goals as
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a result starting next month we will be able to remove ten thousand of our troops from afghanistan by the end of this year and we will bring home a total of thirty three thousand troops by next summer fully recovering the surge i announced at west point. after this initial reduction our troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as afghan security forces move into the lead our mission will change from combat to support by two thousand and fourteen this process of transition will be complete and the afghan people will be responsible for their own security we're starting this drawdown from position of strength. al qaeda is under more pressure than at any time since nine eleven well given with talk it's not that you have i think i'm back to the discussion for a little bit. mad i want to start with you i mean nothing too surprising for the administration of course briefed reporters earlier on this we were expecting these numbers but the pace in terms of the pace of the drawdown do you do you see that
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getting a lot of support in congress i mean it's seems to me from what i've been reading and news reports of course i'm not there in person people are saying fast that we want to do this pastor and that's what he's definitely hearing from his left flank and he's been hearing that for a while his. base on the. left side of the democratic party has never supported him on this and he's always needed republicans. from the war and he still has a lot of that support. but right now he's he's he gets high marks in congress senator mccain and senator lindsey graham of. south carolina they're not they're not too happy with him on this but they say. i think lindsey graham and senator mccain would be hard pressed to find a war they didn't like but it does seem from for example we've seen in the debates even the presidential debates and some some statements coming out of the hill that some republicans are starting to shift away from from the president or from i guess there's a staunch support for the war and in fact support some sort of
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a drawdown are you getting that sense you're seeing a big internal debate right now in the republican party and you're getting accusations that some members of it are now isolationists this is something we haven't really seen as one reporter tell me this is bizarro world we now have president obama as a war hawk that's a kind of rant against afghanistan policy he said he would wrap it up but now this is his war and that's one congressional republican told me he's totally supports obama in this and this is a war hawk president when it comes to afghanistan and that's not going to do too well for him in two thousand and twelve or if we are entering the election here and how much do you think the election is factoring into the president's decision here . well it is obviously in the background but i just want to make clear that when we think about mccain and lindsey graham these are out writers these are clearly outliers on foreign policy and national security policy. at one point they were somewhat more to the center but now i think they have they have sort of moved my
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grade outside the consensus within the republican party which is much more cautious about afghanistan and i want to come back to the point that i was making just before we went to hear his. figures on the withdraw when you go back and examine the leaks that were taking place in the last few days it's clear that poor trainers and gates really wanted ideally was a withdrawal that would keep. roughly. you know most of the thirty thousand until the end of three thousand until the end of two thousand and twelve what they got was almost that it was six months shy of that. and plus aren't they also you know engineers and support troops are coming out is not necessarily front line about our force was in the happiest way has that he has that option to juggle the numbers so that the maximum number of combat troops remain there but i also want to make another point which underlines the degree to
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which obama still privileges the interests of the military in regard to war policy and that is that if you look carefully at the speech text he does not say that the united states is going to withdraw its forces completely even its conventional forces by the end of two thousand and fourteen he has left the way wide open to meet the further demands of the military to keep us combat troops there even through two thousand and fourteen and so i mean i think that this is a speech that really does continue a pattern which was established the first two and a half years of his administration of again pay most attention to the interests of the pentagon the military and matt what's your sense do you think folks are sort of seeing obama on capitol hill as being in law. and with the pentagon on this or are there divisions that are emerging there are divisions that are emerging here he is
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going to have his own voice on this warning don't send you a slap now but he's just never come across as a president who really stands up to the pentagon as you were saying i mean we saw that with bob woodward's book on the initial surge. in this one and obviously we see this with the pentagon they say they want twenty thousand troops and really don't want a different number so there's gamesmanship going on and i think all sides agree with that you know i mean what happened here clearly was he chose the middle option that was presented to him by patris and wishing stream option but the option betray us would love to have he didn't really expect to get that was sort of a very nice negotiating ploy and carrot right before we took out of obama's words there one of the things that he said he was talking about this drawdown coming from a position of strength and you know we keep hearing these words position of strength substantial progress at the same time and twenty eleven as is poised to become the deadliest year in terms of civilian casualties for the afghans cars i am
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any critics said not to have any credibility whatsoever what's your assessment are we really in a position of strength and i think it's another way in which he is privileging the interests of the pentagon the military and he's not even in the slightest questioning the claims that they're making that we've we've made huge progress if you actually listen to the voices of the colonels and lieutenant colonels on the ground in afghanistan what you're hearing there is that it's not really so rosy at all and what they're really telling the the people who talk to them is that even if the taliban of which we did some what they have to do is hold on for another few years until u.s. troops are out and they have essentially prevailed and you know i think that this is widely understood within the military but they're telling a different story to the public well speaking of casualties if we can just sit back and listen to the president for just just a little bit there. are acting on our own. instead we must rally international
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action which we're doing in libya where we do not have a single soldier on the ground but are supporting allies in protecting the libyan people and giving them the chance to terminate their own destiny and all that we do we must remember that what sets america part is not solely our power it is the principles upon which our union was founded were a nation that brings our enemies to justice while it hearing to the rule of law and respecting the rights of all our citizens to protect us so nation justice rule of law fred kagan the neo conservative could not have put it better as i did so. and now you had a point to make earlier and i mean it's interesting hearing him talk about libya because that's really where his supporters are growing on capitol hill where it's slim to none have been a stand there is that support but the one point to make is now because we've been
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talking with that senior advisers today they're saying there's only between made in fifty and seventy actual members of al qaeda still in afghanistan and that they were largely working with the taliban so now the question on the hill is for some mission and this is been a question that's been here for almost a decade now and just one more point the missing piece in the speech which you know i really think is the most intriguing part of it is the failure to talk at all about the cost of this war which the biden faction of the administration obviously was pushing very hard to be included in the speech and to be the basis for a much bigger withdrawal so i mean i think that's why we can see that he's really made a clear choice here in favor of one set of interests over another set of interests within the administration and in the in the political system and if you want to get back to that know better let's just listen to the president very briefly right i'm not horizon is beyond our reach. america it is time to focus on
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nation building here at home in this effort we draw inspiration from our fellow americans who have sacrificed so much on our behalf to our troops our veterans and their families i speak for all americans when i say that we will keep our sacred trust with you and provide you with the care and benefits and opportunity that you deserve. i met some of the let's talk about this nation building here at home. that's actually almost verbatim some of the language that we hearing from from capitol hill now lawmakers including those that originally came out in strong support of the afghanistan war are now saying hey you know what it's time to focus here at home is this going to resonate well but monikers i would think and i think the president got a big. big signal processing power asked me when the conference of mayors meeting in and baltimore said we'd rather have that one hundred twenty six million dollars
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spent here and we have states with massive budget shortfalls cities with massive budget shortfalls and a. very conservative group of republicans in the house that want to come slash and they're going to cut and slash the federal budget the question is what else can you can slash and i don't really targeting military spending are they never do you care that in parts of the house well clearly yes this this speech announces that even though there is this rhetorical flourish in favor of nation building at home it's kind of this embodied it's this is so shaded from the substance of the speech there's nothing in there that really suggests that he's really given any serious consideration to the alternative that biden faction wanted which was to really have the full thirty three thousand out by the end of this year and then continue the withdrawal through two thousand and twelve so that you would be down to perhaps thirty fifty thousand by the end of
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two thousand and twelve. and therefore i think that the president is facing some very very heavy political sledding in the future. and one has to conclude and i have to say that i made a big mistake at the outset thinking that obama was not more of an independent. figure in relation to the jury that he actually turned out to be and i think he has become over the last two and a half years fully a war president and that his whole perspective has really been shaped by that so that this is not this is no longer simply making a basin's to the military i think he now has bought into it to a much greater degree than he had before he became president and care i think it's here with you one thing that we didn't hear for the press from the president of course i didn't listen to the entire speech live at the text here is there any potential changes to the strategy on the ground do we have any indication that
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they're doing away with the whole counterinsurgency approach and we're going to see the de facto it is already happening i mean the counterinsurgency approach is no longer really the heart of the strategy it's very marginal part of the strategy is indeed the special operations forces going out hunting and killing or capturing. taliban commanders as well as right and far and that's really the only thing that they claim in any meaningful way has succeeded i have challenged one of the key claims that was made by petraeus was to your that is the capture of one thousand three hundred fifty five rank and file in a ninety day period turns out that ninety percent of the bangerz rank and file taliban ninety percent of them were either released in the first few days or released from the detention center after their files reviewed they turned out not to be television in any sense that they could really make stick in the fog of war i guess you can say and matt you brought up the issue of libya earlier of course
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that's been a top of the agenda for lawmakers probably more so because they are peeved that president didn't go to them first and i don't think that it's so much an indication of a a move towards that in congress but why what's why do you think there's such a focus on on libya for example and not for instance the congressional approval or our lack thereof in yemen and in pakistan and other places. we're fighting more of a covert war i think a big part of that is because republicans control the house so when you have a government about about the parties this is just an easy and we see this battle all the time throughout history any time a president. doesn't abide by the war powers act congress gets mad. when it's the president from the same party they get last but you still hear those rumblings and that frustration when you control the house and the president is from a different party it's easier to throw those stones and i think that's what we're seeing right now that's more political but also while libya i think the answer to
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that is that it's so openly a war that has nothing to do with the security interest the united states that we have openly admitted by the president that you know this is not about national security this is about humanitarianism other issues that has never been used as a basis for a rationale for us what so called kinetic military action and very briefly is this the beginning of the end in afghanistan or just a shift in semantics and no i think that quite the opposite i think that this is the beginning of what could be a permanent war in a sense in a sense of war does not have any end in sight in afghanistan because this is clearly what the military wants this is what they wanted in iraq they would have got that except for the fact that the iraqi government insisted on u.s. withdrawal. so i think there's a real parallel here between what the game plan is in afghanistan and what it was in iraq and at this point i have to say that it looks like obama is going along with a game plan on the part of the military and the pentagon all right well gentlemen
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thank you so much for taking the time out of your tuesday with us today thursday wednesday i can't even remember it's been a long week of your evenings to chat with us about the latest developments in afghanistan thank you both so much and i wasn't i think a journalist gareth porter and congressional reporter now having us make sense of the president's plans for afghanistan. now when it comes to the economy down down down seems to be the only direction that it's heading into times of course people look to their leaders for the answer so is washington going to step up to the plate largely as christine for example set out to bring us that story. two a half years after the collapse of this nation's economy. the dust is still settling . and decisions on how best to rebuild are still in the works and the economy needs to grow to create jobs our basic challenge is trying to figure out how to make growth faster more sustainable translate to more jobs the lack of jobs has led
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to widespread homelessness many of this nation's cities and a foreclosure rate still too high to give most americans any hope jordi of americans are understanding that this is not the recession that they've experienced in the past this is the second great depression the unemployment rate still hovering above nine percent it is a grim picture painted even grimmer by some economists in the united states it's nine point one percent but then when you add in the underemployed depart time workers who want full time work and can't find discouraged workers. people who have dropped out of the labor market it's probably more like one out of five americans proposed solution to this thirty billion dollars small business lending that signed into law in september by president obama less than nine hundred applications have been filed and so far zero dollars have been given out the majority of small banks
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haven't even applied we do not have the capacity in the program does not give us the ability to force banks to lend many solutions proposed by the obama administration continue to ignite anger mr secretary i would just like to close by saying that on behalf of the business owners in north carolina and across this country you are wrong also happening and with no apparent progress vice president biden and lawmakers continue their struggle to find an agreement to raise the debt ceiling as the deadline looms closer there is increasing talk of a short term agreement kicking the. further down the road as well as reports of lawmakers resorting to creative accounting and gimmicks to exaggerate the size of spending cuts finally with q e two the six hundred billion dollar bond buying program expected to end in a week many worries about what lies ahead and if it will feel anything like this.
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or like this. with the implosion looks like in greece or austerity measures have already been put into place unpopular solution it's angering the people there. leaving many to wonder if the similar scene becoming to these shores i don't know what the end result will be but maybe there will be a night where americans get fed up with this and will be storming the gates of washington d.c. with pitchforks over the last few years the u.s. has had to borrow trillions of dollars to keep this country and we're building operational the federal reserve bank and also printed hundreds of billions of dollars and pump it into the economy to try to help the frustrating part for so many americans but they haven't felt as results yet and they're starting to wonder when and if things will ever get better in washington christine for his now our team. the federal reserve chairman ben bernanke if they join the ranks of those of
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the president mr outlook on the u.s. economy from the optimism seen during his last press conference or burning he did say that the causes of the current downturn are actually temporary that you know these are little shifts that could be overcome with due course and of course that's not the perspective of my next guest michael t. snyder he's the founder of the economic collapse blog dot com and i asked him what he thought of. optimistic views on the economy. i completely disagree a big request this has been seems to be another lehman brothers moment because what you have in greece is a situation where they're just kicking the can down the road if greece defaults it's not going to just play greece is going to have thirty all of your. banks all over europe or very much exposed to greece and now the banks from europe are barry highly leveraged for example when lehman brothers collapsed they were leveraged thirty one to one which was absolutely horrible now german banks actually hold
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a lot of greek debt and there are leverage thirty two to one at this point so greece goes down it's going to ripple effects across the entire world and they're experts all throughout the financial industry that are warning that this could set off another two thousand and eight salt crisis and michael another interesting thing that came out of this sad press conference a question was not as a beat as he was the last time that he spoke but a brain he was talking in revising the economic outlook is that you know what the problems that are causing the current crisis they're temporary they'll get better we'll get pulled out of the hole that we're in or is that something you agree with . i totally disagree of course burning he was totally wrong about the housing crash in recession he said those things would never happen either when you look at the economy today two years ago there were two point six million long term unemployed in the united states today there are six point two million long term unemployed overall there are twenty five million americans that are either unemployed or underemployed and the average duration of unemployment in united states to date is
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approaching forty weeks two years ago i'm sorry got into two thousand and seven we have twenty six million americans on food stamps today we have an all time record forty four million americans on food stamps so things are getting worse and birmingham is in a state of demonic and he said of course he very hinted at least that q.e. three the controversial and quantitative easing program is not that he continued it's a question the current the current round of of pumping dollars into the economy is set to expire soon do you think that they'll stick to that promise already think of that that will contain printing. i don't think there's any way to stick to those problems because the truth is that around the world people are getting tired buying u.s. government debt there's been headlines about china reducing their holdings of short term government bonds lately the top official in the russian government came out recently and so they're going to continue to cut back on u.s. government debt can go the largest bond fund in the world because. they're going to
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reduce their holdings the u.s. government has over the long term and still don't there is not that many buyers in the marketplace and yet the u.s. government has to continue to issue massive quantities of debt so the federal reserve does not but i did not going to fight so well they call it quantitative easing three or not someone is going up there by old and that's probably going to put reserves to make cider of the economic collapse blog dot com. that was all the server hosting contingency plans on the books here's one you probably missed a web server takedown and fees are by the f.b.i. . that's exactly what took place in virginia yesterday f.b.i. raided agents raided a data center in a wee hours of the morning confiscating servers used my number of companies some of them quite legitimate what exactly were the investigating where they take c.n.n. news reporter that when the caller has more unfortunately we don't know we're not nearly as much as we would like to know how the f.b.i.
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is not just a few computers the entire racks of computers use the service and it's very reston virginia and you know so let me get a little overbroad like you have you didn't quite understand. how the servers are configured more than was necessary and so then you had collateral damage on some sites that were entirely innocent of any wrongdoing well we're well off line is this collateral damage and what were they looking for at the f.b.i. so again we don't know yet that isn't exactly what we have a press release here but as far as you can tell that might have been related to us and really a recent laws sarkar hacking intrusion attempts so there have been efforts against go rossley there's an arrest. in the last forty eight hours in this room for instance so that's what we think it is well the timing of the raid a somewhat interesting you mention the lulz sec attack this comes on the heels of the arrest of a lot ryan cleary in the u.k. who is associated with
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a group loosely do we have any other indication that this could be some sort of an effort of by the f.b.i. to investigate that group. we have a few news reports saying that is. a very mr government officials talking on background but yes the two are related we don't have any official information and though i really don't want to reserve judgment on the propriety of this until we actually have the court records and we see exactly what they're going after it is a little worrisome of that the who really sees all of these servers or other ways to do this job for instance you just asked to copy all the data i mean it's like a printing press being used to i was driving with material material you seize the books you don't see just the printing press that's usenet maybe a hundred other companies so that's a little bit of a first amendment issue matter danger and we reached out to the f.b.i. and surprise surprise they did not. give us news scoop they just said it's an ongoing investigation and i was calm at the moment. but that you know one thing i
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do sort of want to get at here is give any sense of whether there's a ramp up of i don't cracking down on hacking attacks by federal officials. i think the answer is yes it has to be yes there's i mean this is something you know that but it is concerning the idea of multiple ongoing investigations this comes on the heels of would you like some that did a bit of a verse from last year and also what you have senator got attack once you have enough in for guard act to close ability of the f.b.i. then it starts to go a little bit or seems so you do something new because of all make it look like you're actually you are still in charge and also in command to do something useful we don't know what would you tell son that's my suspicion and i was that on the scene it mutes now unfortunately that does it for now here on our team america but of course it doesn't mean the news is not.


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