tv Book Discussion on Operation Shakespeare CSPAN August 23, 2014 9:36am-10:21am EDT
doesn't matter. a serious court judge or district judge for many years, the kids came back and he could not believe the answers i got from the prosecutor. he was so convinced that could not possibly be the answer that she didn't even ask the question or pressed the question even though this question was what happens, the judge was so shocked by it he dismissed the indictment with prejudice which means the prosecution was there all together. most judges can't believe this is going on. i don't think they believe what is going on until they were pressed for -- >> thank you. i am afraid we have run out of time but everyone is invited to the luncheon will be having afterwards. thank you for discussion. [applause] >> the cato bookstore has books outside for sale. if anyone wants to get one
before they levi will be glad to sign it. [inaudible conversations] >> this is booktv on c-span2. television for serious readers. here is our prime time lineup for tonight. booktv visits ucla to talk with social welfare professor georgia leap about games and gang violence at 7:30 p.m.. at 8:00 eastern, the actions of american soldiers in iraq and afghanistan. former speechwriter adviser for president clinton eric lou looks at the history of chinese americans and recounts his own family's experiences at 9:00. at 10:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards dr. ben carson sits down with chuck todd of nbc news to spot is plans to reverse what he argues is america's current decline. in our prime time programming
concludes at 11:00 p.m. as sylvia morris recounts the life of the late conservative commentator and congress woman clare boothe louis. that happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. >> joining us on booktv, michael cader, the founder of a group called publishers lunch. what is that? >> the leading source of information for all the folks in the building in the publishing industry. we have a website and other sites providing information to buy books or sell books and represent authors. >> what is your history of publishing? >> i used to be a publisher. i had my own company for a time and the first internet bubble realized there was a need for helping people sine information online and helping publishers and publishing people use the online space as well so i accidentally entered another business and accidentally became essentials to everyone else. i had to drop my publishing
business. >> one reason we are talking to you at the book expo america publishers annual convention is you put out something called buzz books. >> buzz books is a sampler of substantial excerpts of a lot of forthcoming discovery books so lot of books people are finding out about here at the show we have for e-book so people at home who can't come to the show or weren't invited can get the same sense of previewing the big books that are not yet published all in one package. >> which ones do you tell us about? >> some interesting nonfiction is what your audience likes in particular. one thing we have is the co-founder of paypal, now a big investor has written from zero to one. it is based on a course he taught at stanford university which is teaching students how to build start ups and what he knew about building companies and what the companies of the future are going to look like. he worked with a co-author who
is one of his students at stanford was transcribing his notes. when he was giving these lectures he didn't realize it is the makings of a book. they turned it into a book. interestingly, he is also the founder of a company called oyster.com. they are an e-book subscription service. he is practicing what he is preaching, in gauging and trying to help other companies in our space while writing for everyone so we understand what he knows and how he did it. >> what the think of the concept of oyster? >> the descriptions are interesting. i have known for a long time the power of subscription. if you find a customer and give them something they like to read for a long time, people in this building have mixed feelings. they like the idea of two ways of introducing people to books. must like our sample, some people think the descriptions work because you contrive lots of books before deciding what you want to read in its entirety.
sometimes people have concerns about moving away from selling one book at a time because these big authors are people waiting and waiting for their next book. no one wants to seize that turned into part of everybody's book. >> what books do you want to talk to about? >> there is an interesting one by morgan storm who was actually a member of al qaeda for many years and he converted and turned into a double agent for the cia. that provides a first person look at life inside a terrorist organization as well as very risky double life that he lead and the way in which he refers to himself and helped a lot of us. it is pretty intense. >> how much of his book will be put on line? >> we have substantial excerpts, i have to look up in my book to tell you how many pages but it is morrison just that first chapters that you often find out about selling sight. these are run anywhere from
usually two to 6,000 word so that translates into 20 to 50 pages and it varies by book. the other thing is these are all books weekend get the first chapter online yet because they haven't been published yet so it is a way of what white we are trying to do is to say if you're interested in reading more and storm, check out peter fields and the others too because they're all together in this free package. c-span: -- >> a few other books? >> charles below is a columnist for the new york times and he writes about his offering in louisiana so it is a very personal book, but very interesting. we have another reporter, a pulitzer prize-winning journalist comment he wrote a story about an 18-year-old who killed two scientists when doing what we now call distracted driving and it follows his odyssey of repentance and redemption and this person is
now a leading advocate for helping all of us to reform our distracted driving techniques that goes into the science of what is happening to us in our lives as we have all these things called our attention span ends helps us understand what all this is doing to our brain as well as trying to show us what is doing to our society when we are not responsible about how we're working with these devices. >> where can people find these excerpts? >> they are available in every major e-book platform. search for buzz books 2014, fall winter. it is on every major e-book platforms so you can download for free on whatever service platform you like to use. >> michael cader, thank you. >> here is a look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to the wall street journal. at the top of the list is america which questions the future stability of the united states. scholastic titles mine craft redstone handbook and mine craft
essential hand book following second and third. fourth on the list is strength finder 2.0 and fifth is sarai young's jesus calling. retired neurosurgeon ben carson is next with his take on several issues facing the country in one nation. you can watch dr. ben carson discuss his book with choctaw on after words. check our web site for specific air time is. the first family detail by ronald kessler looking at the lives of u.s. presidents through information provided by secret service agents. in the kingdom of ice, a look at the 1879 u.s. naval expedition to the north pole. ninth is former secretary of state hillary clinton with her memoir hard choices. drebin the list is edward klein's blood feud, an examination of the personal and political relationships between the clintons and the obamas. that is a look at this month's list of nonfiction bestsellers according to wall street
journal. >> john shiffman is next on booktv talking about a department of homeland security sting operation code-named "operation shakespeare" which was created to stop america's enemies from acquiring american made defense technology. this is about 45 minutes. >> thanks for coming. 9 name is john shiffman. i am a reporter at would ears in washington and i first wrote about "operation shakespeare" about two or three years ago when i worked for the philadelphia inquirer. this is david hall, a partner in philadelphia. dave was a prosecutor for "operation shakespeare". he worked alongside a half-dozen
federal agents. we knew each other many years ago when i was writing my first book. he was a prosecutor all over the world. david has an unusual background as a prosecutor. simultaneously he spent 30 years in the u.s. navy. in the u.s. navy reserve much of it in military intelligence. he is the only prosecutor i know who is a black belt. over the next 20 or 30 minutes we hope to have a good conversation about a few things. we want to talk about why and how today's most coveted
weapons, minister technology capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and explosions are ending up in any hands. we are also talking about the serious threat giving away our technological advantage poses to america and its troops not to mention the financial cost. u.s. businesses and taxpayers spend billions every developing military technology which china, russia, north korea, pakistan simply steal for a fraction of the costs. we also talk about why the threat is in some ways just as important and as dangerous as the current cyberan espionage threat. we also talk about operation shakespeare itself. let me start with a brief overview of operation shakespeare and talk about the case in the larger public policy implications. at the end we have time for some
questions. operation shakespeare uses one homeland security case, an extraordinary case to describe the shadow war that takes place daily that has fallen from the headlines. operation shakespeare was an undercover sting operation against one prolific arms broker. it was a first of its kind sting. conlan security agents in philadelphia created an undercover business to lure an iranian arms dealer from southern iraq into southern iran so the republic of georgia, to the capital. the iranian, the sole customer was the iranian government with sophisticated radar, computers and gyroscopes capable of firing missiles. american law enforcement had things like this for many years but they never caught someone in this way. something always went wrong. the book uses the background of
shakespeare's thing to describe systematic efforts by the iranians, chinese, pakistani summon with koreans to acquire american made technology. the most lethal weapons are not necessarily the big ones but small ones, small enough to be smuggled inside a package of chewing gum. microchips and gyroscopes, night vision and technology. i have one right here. i am sure you can barely see it but this is an actual microchip from operation shakespeare. this is exactly what the iranian was trying to acquire. it is smaller than a fingernail but a few string a bunch of them together and pinpoint aircraft in the sky you can use it in radar to shoot down american planes and other things and there is a copy of it in the back of the book. you can see it is smaller than
the size of a dime. to hold it here in the united states, this one is worth $5,000. it is legal in the united states but what is illegal is to take it outside the united states. that is what homeland security agents are trying to prevent. it is a crime because tiny weapons are vital to giving u.s. troops the kinds of advantages they need. the army nestle fights at night with the huge advantage. bombers and submarines noon the invisible to the enemy. nobody wants to go to war but if we do go to war we want our soldiers to have the best protection and most of all we don't want our enemies to be able to use american made weapons against american troops. this is not some kind of future hypothetical threat. iraq and afghanistan, our military discussed triggers and
unexploded i e ds. the shocking thing is these triggers kerri serial numbers that can be traced to factories inside the united states. and smuggled to insurgents on the battlefield. in the book when you learned the main target of operation shakespeare awarded various remote triggers from accompany in arizona. as we talk about this i want to recognize someone who is with us today. it is important to remember who we are trying to protect. in the book i open with the story of a lieutenant in the army who was killed in action in iraq and his mother is here today. i want to recognize the lieutenant at service to the country and agents who are here, i want them to me afterwards to give you a sense of the kind of person you are working for to help somebody else. before we start talking about
this can you talk about why these components, even the ones that might seem innocuous like the urine bag for a fighter pilot, what it matters for in the military? >> the cliche is a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. that is a cliche because it is true in the case of chains but also in the case of weapons systems. it seems innocuous until it is the thing it breaks and causes an aircraft to be downed for maintenance. every one of these components matters. when forces they floyd, supply chains are stressed and often in those cases the failure rate goes up because of the absence of little components that failed.
>> you told me once about something the navy employes call the hangar queen. can you talk about what that is and what that tells you about the importance of having every little part? >> the painter queen idea is not a desirable situation from a supply point of view. what happens with the deployed forces is one of the airplanes goes down, it is not functional sub is sitting in a hangar at the second airplane goes down and the maintenance people start reading the first airplane for parts for the second airplane and at some point what happens is the first airplane isn't used anymore because it is only there for inventory. that is obviously to be avoided but is an example of what happens when a supply chain
fails. >> talk about how iran and china steel our military technology. how do they get it out of the country? >> they use, what they do is take advantage of whatever weak points they can find in our efforts, in the case of iran or china, they figured out our cybersecurity is bad, one of their main mechanisms for stealing u.s. technology, not that iran doesn't do that but iran takes other measures as well. they are often seeking physical components to supply their maintenance people, their specific problem with aircraft is the united states supplied aircraft to iran in the 70s, f 5s, at 14s and of course after
the revolution we stopped maintaining them and stop supplying them with spare parts so they had to do that themselves. and so they had the same problem and navy squadron has when it is deployed far from home, they start running out of things so they have acquisition agents who are in the business of trying to acquire those things so they use those shipment points and front companies and shipment points like dubai in order to get u.s. companies to send them, supply them with components. >> the target in operation shakespeare, the iranian would do something similar. he would get -- he would get marching orders from the iranian government, send it by fax instead of e-mail because if they send it by e-mail they are worried that he might just forward it on and have the fingerprints so he would have to retype it in so he would make queries to the united states, he
would claim to be in dubai or other places and have the equipment sent to dubai and the inside iran. the target in operation shakespeare, he was prolific and was a representative. what was his business model. what did he hoped to achieve? was the political or after money? >> money. he was all about the money. at would cause him to get arrested but he was not a religious zealot. you, was not ideological. i don't think he gave much thought. he didn't give a lot of thought to the implications of what he was doing. he was trying to get rich. that is what drove his business model. his idea was to take the requirements list you just mentioned the got from the
iranian government and to obtains those parts and specifically wanted u.s. parts both because they were trying to to maintain and upgrade u.s. aircraft but also because u.s. parts are more reliable than other parts. he would obtain those, have them shipped to a front company, he would be using a false name and try to ship them to iran. >> the agents in philadelphia set up a phony american storefront, export import business in pennsylvania may be 20 or 30 miles north of here and set it up in the strip mall which means wedged between the chiropractor's office at the dentist's office and started setting up to help brokers to buy american material. how did they first come in contact with the target in operation shakespeare? >> the idea behind the storefront was to appear to be a
real business also led 31 and the company received all sorts of inquiries from people all over the world looking for u.s. components. sometimes they were not looking for illegal deals but a lot of times they were. he was one who was looking for an illegal transaction. >> there were a lot in the book about the agents themselves, their backgrounds and what drives them. you call them the dream team. you worked in the government for a long time and the ability to get these people working together at the same time on the same project and having a somewhat successful outcome. there were six seven primary agents and supervisors. i want to ask about three of them. a former navy cryptology scoot set of undercover operations.
>> t j was and still is an extremely fine agents. he was the younger than i am. and he was a very deliberate, smart, agent who was trying to think through the problem and undertake the role, the undercover role in mysterious ways the that he was actually credible as a businessman. he was young, as a navy veteran, he was a police officer and he had been a customs agent and very knowledgeable about smuggling. >> john elandra was a supervisor of the case. he had been a philadelphia police officer for decades.
you worked the streets and then he became the head of counter proliferation unit nationwide after 9/11 went overseas and health with operations overseas and toward the end of his federal career he decided to come back to philadelphia to run the counter proliferation unit. what makes him a good boss? >> the fact that he was not my boss. the thing about these people, they are all one of the kind people, john is a straight ahead person who is not going to take no for an answer, he keeps going forward no matter what. he is the type of person you need when you are trying to overcome obstacles and that is exactly what we were trying to do and he was perfect for that.
>> one of the other things he did was the agents set up an undercover platform overseas as well. they set up an equivalent to cross international out of eastern europe and the reason they did that was because iranians are nervous about dealing with an american company said they decided to find one that opened the second company. overseas. ..
could, was in a position to where you know he could appear to be non-american, and give us that non-american face in dealing directly with an iranian acquisitions agent like artibili. you say he was acquire taste. he had very strong opinions but they were based on 30 years experience as an under cover officer. we all had strong opinions and we weren't afraid to share them. i think that is part of, you know, what made the team so good. i mean, you know, people challenged each other and i think for that reason, whole
exceeded sum of its parts, except in one parts and i'm told looks. the reason there are no photographs in here there were no good-looking agents on that operation. >> another person who doesn't want his photograph taken who is the sort of the fourth more interesting character, the agents use ad british informant based in london who had been an arms dealer for about 50 years. he said, now said to be retired and, can you talk a little bit him, about the british inforth, he called himself the white man, right? >> yeah, he did. he was, well, he presented the same problems that every informant presents, he knows all about criminal arms dealing because he is a criminal arms dealer and that means he is somebody, you know, who has to be, you know, treated carefully
and, at arms length but he was an extremely -- he had at it about half a century, he was extremely knowledgeable person, about how arms dealing works internationally and that's one of the ways we were able to find targets and it is also one way in which we were able to appear credible to the arms dealing world. >> this british agent, he worked with the stasi, he worked with the north koreans, worked with robert mugabe, had quite the rest may. -- resume', i think he was so steeped in this you brought him to the united states to train agents at one point? >> yes, that's true. >> what was that like, having someone like the white man talking to these agents who had probably never met anybody like him? >> well, you know, it is a clash
of cultures, you're, talking about, you know, a room full of true, blue, clean-clut federal agents who trying to learn from somebody who exactly the opposite sign type of person. what they're trying to do is learn how to be a criminal but he was uniquely good position to teach that skill, that's why we brought him. >> i don't want to give away the whole story but you were able to at one point get the arms dealer to meet the undercover agents in georgia and you wrote a memo shortly before, before you left, your superiors in washington, i wonder if you read the quick excerpt, this will give you an idea what a typical but prolific iranian arms dealer is trying to buy. >> this was part of, this was
written, you know, we already had the georgians agreement to do this undercover operation and now we had to get the u.s. government to go along with that, the way you do that is with a memo, and this is a short part of that. he is a notorious iranian arms broker who negotiated with numerous undercover storefronts over the years. the face shifter is tip of the eye berg. artbelly, requested f 14 fighter aircraft part. u-2, 2,000 under water information systems, tubes for night missionvision goggles and surveillance radar system. he is involved in the face shifter transaction for three years he requested quotes on over 600 items. he attempted to get the undercover agents in the face shifter deal involved in a
$2 million sonar transaction, recently sent quotes for bell military helicopters. artbelly, submitted quotes for digital data computer, f-4 aircraft and. the face shifter deal itself and face shifters refer to that ship john was showing you before, the face shifter deal itself gives rise to number of adverse instances about artbelly's intentions and capabilities. face shifters used in radar and electronic communications and electronic warfare. request for 1,000 copies, suggest he has a customers with enormous military requirements such as government of the iran. i meant by the last comment about the face shifters, my inference if someone was buying a few phase shifters, someone in iran like artbelly, that acquisition would be for the purpose of reverse engineering.
when you're buying thousands of copies that tells me you're buying for someone who is planning on building phased array radar. in the u.s. navy, for example, as a method for acquiring multiple, many, targets simultaneously, which is a good example of technology being a force multiplier and if iran of course is able to acquire a phased array radar, that eliminates the u.s. technical -- technological advantage vis-a-vis iran. >> this is all happening in october of 2007 and just to set that scene for you, you may not remember but that is the same time period in which president ahmadinejad visited new york city and u.n. and, he had given controversial remarks at columbia university about the holocaust and about gays and at
the same time president bush was doing some sabre rattling of his own saying if iran didn't stop supplying the insurgency in iraq, that the united states would do everything it needed to do to defend its troops. seymour hirsch had just publish ad very long piece in the new yorker in which he talked about the pentagon rushing battle plans for, for an invasion of iran if that was necessary. so all of this is going on coincidentally at the time you're supposed to meet the iranian in few bless sy. -- tbilisi. october 1st, 2007, you're in the airport and in the concourse with john, one of the other agents, darius, another undercover agent waiting to meet artbelly coming off the plane. other agents are wiring up the hotel room with hidden cameras
to meet him. what is going on in your mind waiting for this guy to appear? you've been doing this three years now. you spent 3 doll million on the case and what do you have to show for it is a memo. >> a very good memo. >> good memo. >> a lot going through our mind at the moment. of course john and i had left them back to do all the real work back at the hotel but we were at the airport waiting to see if artbelly was showing. you don't know, he said he was going to and sent us picture, copy of passport. he was giving every endcation he was going to appear. you don't know until you actually see hip. we were very focused on that question. and, you know, we were very much hoping that we would see him appear. i guess you don't want me to give away whether he appears or
not. >> one of the things, he appears. so you're in the hotel room an one of the things that i found fascinating was there are maybe or seven or eight or nine hours of hidden video of conversation that goes on between the two agents that believe, artbelly believes they are a european arms dealer and his cousin, who is an american arms dealer will help them and all work together and all going to make lots of money and up with of the things the agents do, they don't just arrest him. they don't just hand him the phase shifters or any nil of the other things they want, like if it was drugs, they draw him out, how will we do this, how will weigh run the operation. the americans learned a lot of things. one of the things i found fascinating had to do with reverse engineering and what artbelly iranian arms dealer told the agents was that they
could make a lot, not on reverse engineering part of it but there were many things that the iranians knew how to build. they hacked systems, for example, they knew how to build night vision, very sophisticated, top of the line night vision but they didn't have the capability to manufacture one or two parts they really need to make it work. that is important about cyber hacking and cyber espionage, once you get the plans, that is all you need but in many cases you also need, you need the actual, you know, last component or two. they needed the tubes for the night vision. what else did you learn about iran's procurement process by watching the arms dealer on video talking to the two undercover agents? >> well he was describing, he was describing the process by which he was, you know, obtaining his requirements and then growing out and filling
them. he basically was telling us that, that the, that the, iranian government had increased its requirements, he you know, was telling that iran was preparing for war. and that this was one of the reasons that he had so many urgent requirements that the phase shifter deal led almost immediately in the digital air data computer deal. we had, he just, he kept mentioning new deals. >> c-130 helicopters. >> as darius put it, you've given me your list of components you want for the c-130 but basically it is the whole airplane. he laughed and said yeah, that is basically true. >> at one point the agents get, have an opportunity to clone the iranians's laptop. he brings his laptop into the
meeting and, the agents are able to clone the laptop and, inside you find, what, three, four years of business records that tell you, what does it tell you about the iranian government and how they're trying to acquire military technology? >> artbelly's record were basically a mirror image of what iran was, government of iran was asking him to acquire. not a complete picture of everything iran is doing and focusing what artbelly was focused on which was electronics and aviation but clearly reflected at least part of the iranian wish-list in terms of what they were trying to acquire. it also showed, you know, what, what he had acquired and successful acquiring different components, what was in the hands of the iranians. >> one of the other things that
the laptop showed was the financial record and how artbelly would, he would, couldn't buy things directly from the united states because he is in iran. impossible, or supposed to be impossible with sanctions and he would use swiss banks, mostly, german banks and they would reroute the money for them. one bank, credit suisse, later got in trouble for doing this very directly. they would send out marketing brochures to iranians who lived in saudi arabia and in iran and in tube buy and it would offer to strip out iranian and persian sounding names or replace them with western sounding names and for customer x, customer y and did this for years and years. made billions. they started this in the '80s with the embargo with the libyans. i don't want to tell the story but you got to meet artbelly and
talk to him. what was he like? >> he was a very smart person. he was very diligent, detail oriented. as i said before he was not, he was not, you know, a zealot. i think he had, there was a fair fair amount of dissonance going on in his mind. he said in an undercover meeting he acquired parts that didn't kill people and that of course was nonsense. but he would say, you said the same sort of thing in court. he denied being an arms dealer. and, you know that was only true in the sense he did not traffic rifles but he was clearly trafficking munitions items. so, know, in, although he was a, you know, smart, capable person, he was not particularly well-considered. >> what i found really
interesting in talking to him was the, his perspective which, talked to a lot of people who have, a lost criminals and most of them say, i didn't do it or it is not all my fault or try to push the blame on somebody else. he argued the law. well, it is not against the law in my country to do this but of course the american legal system doesn't really care. that was really his perspective, why are you doing this to me? i haven't, i haven't broken any of my laws or my, my customs. talk a little bit about what happened since operation shakespeare. >> can i make one point about that? >> sure. >> that's true. he wasn't breaking any iranian laws and he also was doing what his government wanted him to do but he was very much aware of the fact that he was breaking
u.s. law and he said as much in the undercover contacts with us where that was a point the undercovers were bringing out, you know this was illegal and he acknowledged that he knew it was. in fact he took multiple steps of evasion to sort of keep himself at arms length from the u.s. he, one thing we had to prove in this prosecution was willfulness. in other words that he knew he was doing something illegal and he admitted that by pleading guilty. >> so operation shakespeare was generally successful. you and some others went and used it to train other agents. to try to show them how, how this, how this can be done. so since then have there been a lot of cases like this? what's the fallout? >> no, i wouldn't, i'm not aware that there are other cases like this. i mean, i had, we had all hoped that, you know, once we proved
the concept this kind of case would become more than the norm rather than the frontier in terms of federal export enforcement. the, you know the concept involves sort of taking the prays out of the united states and getting as close to the adversary as you can which is very difficult. it is difficult. it is expensive. there are a lost challenges much. but it, you know, it hasn't happened as much as any of us hoped it would but, i'm an optimist and i'm expecting it to. >> you just retired from government service fairly recently but do you get a sense that the pace of iranian chinese military acquisition has changed at all in the last five, six years? >> no. i mean i think the pace of artbelly's acquisition changed
quite a bit but in terms of the government of iran, their efforts continue. with respect to china, recent, you know, public revelations by our government show that, and, significantly by private companies who have, you know, discovered the same sort of thing have shown that in the last, say, five years, chinese efforts have, if anything increased. >> do you i think the government, the u.s. government is doing enough to try to stop this? because i get the sense in reporting of this book and other reporting that there are rivalries between agencies and, a lot of people are caught up in bureaucracies and whether or not, you know the paperwork instead of, you know, the people an danger that we're talking about. the government, u.s. government decide ad couple years ago to have a coordination center to put everybody together, fbi, commerce department and isil and homeland security together and took, they