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tv   Book Discussion on The Pentagons Brain  CSPAN  October 24, 2015 9:30am-10:31am EDT

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american christianity in the past. >> host: the great tradition of evangelists in america, colorful personalities, you couldn't have anyone more colorful than moody, wonderful characters, they would fit into any drama. any kind of story. they have something, and element of fantasy and fraud about a lot of them but underneath it there is something the ministers to the human spirit. they found something, they struck some kind of religious oil. looking at the manned their effect on people. >> host: stephen cox is the author of "american christianity," the continuing revolution. here is the cover. designed the cover? >> guest: i don't know who designed the cover of time told a was a young mormon. i think he did a very good job.
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>> guest: thanks for being on booktv. >> is there a nonfiction author or balky would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail, but tv@c-span.org, tweet us at booktv or post a comment on our wall, facebook.com/booktv. [inaudible conversations] >> there should be a couple seats around, grab them if you can. welcome to the international spy museum design the historian and
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curator here at spots. welcome to one of our author debriefing programs on a rare friday night. we are appreciative of you coming out tonight. it has a lot to do with who we have here with us. we are pleased to have annie jacobsen, an investigative journalist and best-selling author who writes about war, weapons, national security and government secrecy not to mention intelligence. her 2011 nonfiction best-seller area 51:an incentive history of america's top secret military base has been published in five languages as hazard 2014 nonfiction best-seller operation paper clip:the secret intelligence program that brought nazi scientists to america. the boston globe and apple itunes showed that as one of the best books of 2014. turn newest book, "the pentagon's brain: an uncensored history of darpa," america's top secret military research agency was published on tuesday. after reading that i am fairly sure it won't take long before
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jointer other two books as a best seller. thank you for coming to the internationals by museum. i wanted to ask as we get going, deal have on your bookshelf at home copies of your books in all five languages? >> is the volume okay? >> copies of your books in all five languages? >> i actually do. they are really cool. the chinese one in particular. >> host: that is not on my car. one thing we always want to do when we have doctors here especially considering all authors had to write about a field that is not necessarily the most conducive to getting information, the secret world of intelligence, it is a two part question. how did you come across the idea of writing a book about darpa and how do you find sources necessary to write a full size nonfiction book about a very top-secret agency that does things you don't necessarily
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want to know about. >> i think those sources, folks in the back, thank you. the way i got the idea to write the "the pentagon's brain" came on the tail end of the last book and when i was learning what bonbon was doing in 1958 i was surprised to learn that he was going to be the first director of this new agency at the pentagon called are the anti wanted to be the director but you had one stipulation which was he wanted to bring 12 of his former nazi colleagues with him. that did not fly at the pentagon so they looked elsewhere for director. that iraq was heard york but what a spicy way to start an agency, with controversy, secrecy, back story, so i immediately look into it and when i learned how little has been written about darpa, this is going to be a great.
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>> host: as a science geek, and byzantine isn't the guy and about for quite some time. maybe we should say it is the defense advanced research projects agency, get that out of the way. for clarity at stake was called our but at one point. we will call it darpa to keep it consistent. might as well talk about tonight, there is some dangerous innovations we use in everyday lives that other result of darpa research. when your book came out, there had to have been a book about darpa but there has not been a major work of this level. i want to talk about the origins of darpa and why it comes about and a little about what is as an organization. darpa is different from a lot of military research organizations in that it is not really a military research organization, doesn't really do scientific research. talk a little bit about how it
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is formulated. >> host: darpa has 120 program managers and has almost its entire existence working with the $3 billion budget and yet these individuals themselves are scientists, engineers at the top of their game so they go out into the field, academic, laboratories or other military laboratories and put together teams that bring forth this incredible science and technology and in essence create entire industries. >> host: we will talk about a couple of those industries because they are incredibly important. you talk about why it was formed from a 1958. as the historian, there was a real significant reason darpa was formed in 1958. that puts some monumental events in world history, talk about what caused the united states government to fix a on an agency like this.
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>> guest: the explosion of the thermonuclear bomb in the marshall islands, this massive 15 megaton explosion four years before darpa is formed. it is important to know the reason why darpa was formed which was initially to defend against this weapon. in essence there is no defense against. that brings us to the heart of the idea of the military-industrial complex, the idea we must always be supreme, have these incredible weapons to stay ahead of the enemy and yet at the same time the knowledge built in that the enemy will eventually have the same technology and so we must be on to the next. that is the give-and-take that eisenhower talked about the specifically when sputnik was launched and the idea that whatever lofted sputnik, the soviet long-range missile could carry a nuclear warhead in its nose cone to the united states. that gave birth to darpa.
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we must never be taken by technological surprise and it is amazing that in all the years since that has always cast america at, kept us the strongest. there has never been an ever taking the american science and technology in terms of weaponry. >> host: we're too young to remember this time. but there may be some in the audience of more wise age, the fear of nuclear war in the 1915s that even trickle down into the scientific world, this was a period where robert oppenheimer who helped build the american atomic bomb because he speaks out against the hydrogen bomb, a security clearance is stigmatized, the idea that the soviets could overtake us any date, the missile gap and everything else, led in many ways to i have to stay ahead technologically.
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>> guest: one of the first thing herbert york did as the director of the darpa was determined, i found it in his files, he had darpa scientists calculate the exact number of seconds for soviet icbm to get from the soviet union to washington d.c.. an astonishingly short time, 1,600 seconds. that is it. that has not changed. in essence the threat that was there is still known. >> host: enter a person most people haven't heard of, mcelroy, very important secretary of defense. you do great job laying out, mcnamara from bohemia, he wasn't in the defense role before he became secretary of defense. you may have known as the p r
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do, someone who understood how brand management, how to talk about mcelroy. >> guest: he invented the concept of the soap opera and was a leading guy in that advertising department and was in charge of soap, four soaps were competing with one another, how will we sell more soaps? let's play during these soap operas and he became the secretary of defense and a powerful one at that. >> host: that comes in handy because one of the first you do, this idea of darpa is not palatable to the military agencies. he has to convince all of them that this is an idea worth doing. >> guest: their mysterious pushback from the military agency. one of these old darpa documents, mcelroy would meet with the individual heads trying to convince them darpa was a
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great idea. it should be our territory, military science specifically states the moon is just higher ground and the admirals in the navy said space should be our territory because where the oceans end space starts. everybody had a reason they wanted to control space which was really why darpa came to be. >> host: what fascinates me about this time is, you talked-about the much larger explosion. i focus on the manhattan project, and said the atmosphere on fire, would it not work at all. the great story you talk about. and started world war iii.
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>> caller: at the top of the world knew the to the air force base. it was going to be the place where we could watch for it was a ballistic missile radar early-warning sites. i interviewed a fellow, tell my story is to individual people who were is fair, there was a fellow named jeanne mcmanus, an electronics technician. he said our job was 90% boredom and 10% sheer terror. one of the first things that happened, the site had only been open a few days, the jay site was connected directly to novak and level 1, little 2, level 3,
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level 5 was end game, and it would usually go away but the notice came in, level 40. the operator in cheyenne mountain was on the phone with the joint chiefs of staff, it has escalated to level 5 which meant with 99.9% certainty we were under attack by thousands icbms. someone picked up the phone and the reason this story is important is it talks a lot about about humans versus computers. these were very early computers. one of the siemens said wait hu minute, where is crucial. he is in new york city. someone said there must be a mistake. there was the mistake.
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someone said let's go outside and of course there was the giant moon coming up over norway so this radar system had actually worked better than expected, supposed to detect missiles up to 3,000 feet and actually read the reception of the moon a quarter of a million miles away and bounced back and forth so many times, those were the thousand icbms that were not coming disaster was averted by a human. >> host: early technology is always tricky. we focus on the technological aspects of intelligence and one of these -- darpa was probably influential in being the first intelligence satellite put into space, one of the fundamental jobs of darpa was the early satellite program and corot know which some people may know about as the first american satellite, was inherited by darpa for the air force, they saw that program
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to fruition. the idea of a military satellite, you see these begin to the civilian world a little bit. i am not going to screw up the acronym of television in for read operation satellite program, this is the first true whether satellite. >> guest: eisenhower loved that program. he was so amazed. nasa had inherited that satellite program darpa started. these were these amazing images in space for 79 nasally, they were very short-lived and it took something like 23,000 photographs above the earth of the earth. in this world where we always see sell much from such big perspective in that unbacked, that idea that these were the first images of the weather seen from space and they were beautiful. and eisenhower spoke of that and i write about it.
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he saw what it looked like over egypt, over the st. lawrence river. he could see the whole world in each photograph and spoke to the nation about it with great pride. they became as national geographic said it was a really interesting time and thought that long ago in the big picture of things when we could first see things from space. >> host: you mentioned in the beginning of your conversation that darpa essential uses art and science, round up the top people and this started in the beginning. one of these assembled scientists had a particular name, jason, because to me this is something people just don't know about. the amount of influence they had over american foreign policy, still have today over american foreign policy is pretty extraordinary. they were assembled after darpa
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was assembled led by a man you may or may not know who charlestown's is, very important to us, talk a little bit about the jason and what they do. >> guest: jason began in 1960 as a group, they were referred to by their government handlers as the supermen of hard science. they were astrophysicist, nuclear physicists, they handled, tackled all the hard problems and immediately when darpa was founded the idea was windy as deadly as you said, we need the best guys with the biggest minds. for awhile jason's only customer was darpa. i had the great fortune of interviewing a fellow named marvin goldberger, presidential science adviser and but co-founder of the jason.
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i write about him, he just passed, interesting hearing his perspective. we interviewed in 2015. his long lens of history working on these projects going back to the 60s, the jasons are some isn't this the being the isn't people consider them up there with the of lanai in terms of these guys cooking of these ideas but i found, from reading their unclassified report in interviewing some of them, they were very cautious in their work and they were full-time academics and part-time defense scientists. they would only gather in the summer and discuss these big problems the secretary of defense would put to them and say sort this out. >> host: it wasn't the easy part, it was the difficult part nobody could figure out, we have no idea what to do with its, you fix it and amazingly their track
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record is pretty spectacular. >> host: the unclassified documents are one thing but the classified documents, some of the names of the documents have been declassified, only the names but when you read the new realize i couldn't understand that even if it was declassified. such literally hard science. >> host: darpa comes of age during the vietnam war. a lot of travel by fire in many respects. a lot of the things that are looked at in vietnam as being potentially problematic about the war were things that darpa either tried to get rid of or were the -- the first ones to appreciate the idea of trying to defeat an insurgency with technology. maybe not the first one.
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the primary focus was high-tech counterinsurgency strategy. talk about the extent of things like technological operations. >> guest: vietnam was an interesting time for darpa, many different -- they were working on anthropology programs and conventional weapons, the ar-15 was darpa weapon that is now the n 16. early gliders which kind of lead to sell technology. the one that i found the most impact will was lot idea of sensor technology. the coach team in trail was sort of the dreaded problem of the pentagon. all of the fighters, insurgents would come from the north to the south by way of this trail and the secretary of defense figuring out a way to stop this.
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they saw it almost like it was the human and needed to have a starter reese severed. jason scientists and documents. they thought about nuclear-weapons, that was not an option. this feature of an electronic fence. the reason i found it so interesting to explore was because all the sensor technology, seismic sensors which come from the program you referred to, audio sensors, magnetic sensors, these were incredibly early ideas during the vietnam war and now they make up so much of our existence, i am sure driving hear someone's lynch yield wipers started to work as a drop of rain, this -- to the sense is
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they were working on. >> host: the technology is used throughout the intelligence agency. i am sure one of us drove over one of the sensors on the ground to determine how fast we are going, things like that. vietnam was also a time they began to and vesting more professional technology. agent orange is one of these technologies that i find very interesting, weather modification technology. more devious things, more outside the box thinking about winning of the war through causing monsoons or changing the ability of the vietnamese to grow food. >> they weren't continue to be always at the cutting edge of science and darpa is an agency looking at the problem 20 years, 25 years, spoken of as free requirement research and it takes the idea of the military-industrial complex.
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was one of the darpa directors who spoke to congress after the vietnam war when darpa got into trouble, you are making weapons we don't need and he called it the chicken and egg problem, saying listen, if a need for a weapons system comes along and we haven't already developed it there is a real problem. that is the chicken and egg problem. >> host: unwanted talk about cymbeline use of technology developed by darpa would give the audience hasn't heard of this agency they go that is where this is from. let's start with j.c.. light. >> guest: the johnny appleseed of the internet. he is the man responsible for what we have today as the internet, the technology used by almost all the technology on the planet. that began as the darpa project, the internet was originally
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called darpanet and bank later came to the pentagon to darpa in 1962 when congress decided there was a big technology problem and if you can imagine the idea of a red phone, that was the technology president kennedy and khrushchev had to use to make that dreaded go no go nuclear decision. and mindful there are 1600 seconds till doomsday, imagine wasting thirty-second trying to dial a rotary phone so the pentagon said we need command-and-control. they -- lukelighter came to darpa to work on this very hard problem and in his early memos he talked about this idea of intergalactic network. these computers spoke to each other and were tied together and everyone said yes, work on command and control but later of course that materializes in a
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very big way and becomes the darpanet and then the internet. >> host: computer scientists look at his writings he essentially predict cloud computing and this was in the 1960s. alan tearing talking about artificial intelligence which we are nowhere near today, back during that time. it is hard not to talk about him not only for the internet but as a computer -- a lot of data systems today are used to create models, everything from word games to weather patterns and everything else. talk a little bit about that. >> host: i wonder what his intentions were because he was very liberal in his thinking and very transparent, sharing everything. he was involved in one of the more controversial programs of the vietnam war which had to do
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with behavior modeling with computers. the new computer systems in thailand at the information centers were gathering information based on these lukelighter ideas of behavior modeling. so keep track of western villagers were doing in strategic programs, feed that information into giant computers with the idea that down the road we could track these individuals, find them, follow them, see how they wound up and this gets into very awkward territory, i think, for the pentagon today, having to do with surveillance programs because they do link to one another. >> host: who is jack bork? lukelighter was doing before. >> guest: we have neil kospi here who was working with jack for. we had this idea that computers were helpful and they could be
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used as a training tool so jack for had this idea of creating a system instead of using an old standard cable to have generals make ideas it could be computerized and this was profound thinking and also for was not clear on the are on that at this point so it was a regent of him. it became darpa program. wired magazine refers to jack for as the father of cyberspace. in essence because that civilian technology everyone knows today and everyone's children in the audience probably worked on the games, these giant systems find their origin in the program that jack for and neil kospi ran for the generals at the pentagon who wanted to play those games. and throw a little self into the equation. >> all the way to the ground level, i was in the army with
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thousands of other people around the country working together. that jumped out at me in the book as well. and there are other civilian technologies like gps is darpa brainchild's as our technologies used for swat teams and things like that closing out this conversation of civilian use with a couple of those technologies. >> guest: one thing darpa does with scientists and engineers i spoke with so many of them, almost all of them are incredibly gung-ho darpa and talk about how darpa find the solutions to things and darpa allows scientists to put science in away their industry bosses wouldn't allow them to because it might not seem like such a good idea but darpa thinking of the future, darpa likes to say darpa makes the future happen but another thing they do in the
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spirit of how eisenhower created or saw this initial idea, it would cut out inter service rivalry, gps being a great example of that. originally an darpa program, in the 70s the navy started having its own gps program and so did the air force and orders came from the pentagon that said wait a minute, this is not working the way it should, as one system for all the agencies so darpa was put back on the program and ultimately they created a system called navistar which is the gps we have today. a fascinating detail, gps was working, we just didn't know about it and didn't use it. and it had a defeat chair because it was a targeting idea. it had a feature built-in called selective availability so if someone in europe or asia could easily hack into the system from
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the pentagon didn't want them to know for targeting reasons how close it was that it created 100 or 150 foot offset and then in the early 90s moving towards the late 90s europe started developing gps and saying we will create an industry with this. ..
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can you talk about something that it's paying a lot of attention to and how i was more of the current military technology is because of this agency. >> it's very much about the brilliance and hubris and pushing science we must ask questions about where we are now and looking at the technology that we have now that came out of vietnam.
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president is obsolete in some regards that idea when they moved the information technology and we don't have time to discuss or write about it at length in the book nanotechnology the art of making things smaller what i learned from the unclassified pentagon documents is that the agency or the pentagon is moving towards autonomous warfare. we start with remote control and move towards governance.
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there are questions about ethics and robots that can do things without an operator in the loop that these are certainly all places where. let's not use the word cyborg but let's use the idea of brainwave interfaces and the cybernetics these are things that ten years ago with. they've already been able to do that he nibbled to remotely control a rat and moth so what
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is clear is that it's moving humans in the military environment towards being comfortable with this idea of merging man and machine that makes a lot of people uncomfortable and a lot of other people excited. it just depends where you fall along the lines of this idea that essentially we can now create our own evolution and engineer our own evolution. >> it may sound like science fiction. one of the things you talk about in the book is a stick my group. >> they are thinking right along the lines of the ideas of the future. charlestown.
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they are very highly classified for obvious reasons they were age 98 and its offer at berkeley if was an incredible interview but he told me the way that he got the idea for inventing the laser considered one of the most important technologies of the present day but the way the town's got the idea was way back in 1926 when he was a little boy in bed reading a science fiction book called the death ray and that in spite independence by you to create a laser. anyone who listens to anything
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and knows a little bit about darpa how to be concerned at some level about the influence of the billions and billions of dollars being spent by the defense industry events in your book you talk about the idea that the people who are pulling many of the first strains they are made up of boeing and lockheed martin and the defense industries is that something that we should be concerned about or changed in some ways in the beginning or is it about nothing or is it could mean the continued militarization how does this dynamic work and is it problematic? >> it's an important question and i raise it at the end of the
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book i always keep in mind by job as a journalist is to report the facts of the public it's hard when you get to the end to not have conclusions as they stay with you through this narrative and so one of the conclusions i ask people to contemplate is what you're talking about and that is the idea of the military-industrial complex having a little bit too much power. eisenhower warned against it in the siege but he also said the two ideas could live together as long as you have in a alert citizenry. the problem i came across had to do with the scientists who is responsible for a lot of this trans- humanism and the programs in 1990 and 2000, and we were discussing the brain implant program that's moving man with
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machine in ways that make some people uncomfortable and i said to have it about i had read a report. they shouldn't be putting green chips in people's brains in essence because it could lead to towards brain control. that's their assessment, not mine. the steerable rats could essentially become this terrible human. it was an in-house pentagon think tank and they advised the president. they are very knowledgeable superman of science in their own way because what is also true is unlike the adjacent scientists that were full-time academics and part-time defense scientists
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as the list explains they are defense contractors and they said on the board of a lot of the defense contracts which raises the question that eisenhower raised which is let's make sure that the citizenry maintains a knowledge that they are aware of the military-industrial complex is planning to do. he worries about the scientific relief. >> please raise your hand. we are going to have microphones coming around so they can be picked up by the cameras. they will come to you. right over there. >> do you have any example where
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the scientists are seeking something that's going on in the civilian world and then kind of build upon it and create technology clacks >> yes. it's a great question. at the place where i observed that have to do with a situation in the war on terror in iraq where darpa created a program called combat zones and the idea was to use the advanced sensor technology of the vietnam electronic trends. from what i understand, the pentagon followed the model model & contractors into the field to map the territory.
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now there are those partnerships as well. >> thank you for the first two come i believe that he was a paperclip scientist and my question is whether many paperclip scientist involved. i didn't come across any of the paperclip scientists which by no means means they were not there because there were so many of them and they were involved in the programs. but that is a great question. they didn't have any kind of discrimination against people in
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other countries and people who had worked for the manhattan project and other places as well so i haven't seen either. >> i'm going to change that occurs there is one name. back there, ananda. is the military seeking investors for everything at the same time that robots are already out in other markets and other parts of the world so when are they going to implement them on the battlefield and how much will there be of a human needing other human needing to control that or will it need at all will that be the case? >> there are so many robots in play presently, and you can go
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to the website to see these amazing videos. they crawl and walk and climb into they can fall over and get back up. they are up in space and others robotics across every military service and certainly plans of unmanned warfare through 2038 indicating this movement as i was saying the force of the movement from remote control to governance. >> a lot of places people heard the name darpa is the challenge that happens every year and now it's become this thing in different countries and everything else is. >> what are some of the way his
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darpa morphs its projects into the greater public-sector? technology distribution i guess you would call it. >> we talked about to have been in the internet and gps. if you mean specifically how do they just say now it's out there i understand it was a decision like clinton and gore into fits a few phone calls -- >> is a classification issue in many cases. >> it's also a case you've said in your talk when other countries have a stopwatch this technology by themselves it's no longer something that needs to see classified gps was a good example of this putting up satellites, so there was no need necessarily to keep all programs classified anymore.
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what is typical of cooperation between darpa and jsoc? >> i think darpa cooperates with everyone. my understanding talking with individuals the organization is everybody wants with darpa has indigo's both ways. there was a program died when they went in with afghanistan and unclear about how that actually worked i'm sure that stuff is still classified but most definitely cooperation from my understanding with all the military services.
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>> this may be an unfair question. if all these interesting ideas what but is the next book going to be since one leads to the next out of office effort. one thing i can say is i always loved writing about how the agency and military intelligence work together because there's always this idea that they don't and it's my understanding that they do so the next book involves a program that was cia into the defense into which an agency.
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>> there's so many programs you will never know. >> thanks for the talk. there's a lot of people who were in various positions before and after to be the chief arms negotiator. can we talk about darpa as a german air and maybe it's broad impact of policy who went on to much higher positions? >> that's a great question. it speaks to how important science and technology is and of course the current secretary of defense being a scientist and a technologist but i think the first one or i know the first one was harold brown and he came berkley from livermore h. 24 and
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then when he went to the pentagon he was the person whom all of the darpa people reported to them to be a non- war and the 1977 he became secretary of defense a very important secretary defense and in essence created a really important concept called assault breaker which i write about in the book that allowed the u.s. military to dominate in golf war one and that was all science and technology driven and when harold brown was secretary defense he was able to get money into the arena that didn't exist before certainly with historians by creating an entire industry around technology at the pentagon.
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>> you eluded to the linkages between the community. in the research did you run across any instances where they benefited from espionage either providing the later research or suffered from espionage where they've got the good stuff other people want to get access to? >> that's a great question. i don't know of them being infiltrated by any spies in essence but i do know in the other way certainly there is an incredible interplay because these programs are so interwoven, science and technology and intelligence but there was one interview i interviewed the advanced and they worked together a lot but i did interview someone who was involved in the early
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organization and presenting that idea to congress and what he told me was that the intelligence community was very much loud by darpa and what they wanted to do and they wanted their own model model industry really modeled themselves after darpa. >> they are putting out contracts for people for the ability to do advanced computing that even five years ago no one was thinking that way and they've taken that next level saying we want people thinking 30 or 40 years down the road much of the same way that they do as well. >> back here. >> will you tell us a bit more about how darpa is organized and how if one comes to join, how long you are there in the
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appointment process and things like that? >> there's generally 120 program managers. usually people stay for this is sort of the way that it said we do have someone in the audience who had been there for decades so that is the structure of allegedly that i would also remind everyone that house with all of these agencies the information that is given is often only part of the story so they are free of red of redtape conspiracy and because as you said earlier they don't make things themselves, they farm it all out so it allows them to this flexibility but they do have an awfully large building but not many reporters get into so who knows what's really going
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on in there. >> hell is darpa today involved in the cyber war, can you talk about that? >> the leading efforts if you look at the budget you can see how many of the programs are trying to defend against cyber warfare. i think it's interesting that perhaps the only daughter of a buddy i have ever heard the pentagon speak of is cyber warfare in other words they are very clear that we have a supremacy everywhere but admits that cyber warfare is an enormous threat and so i think that -- they couldn't be doing enough in that area if i imagine that they are. >> it's the number one potential to the united states and the plaintiff terrorism as a number one threat so people are paying attention and there's a lot of
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money going to it's certainly. >> any last questions? >> i just want to know about how do you see the conversation as the sort of privatization now private companies allow the information for technology information that previously and do you think that they still have the edge so they can use private companies to quiet the intelligence in the u.s. and challenge the u.s.? >> i ensure darpa has the edge and they have incredible satellite programs including one of satellites and reusable
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technologies. so i think the whole idea of what is happening in space is having this resurgence now that's very similar to what it was back in 1958. nowhere is more important than satellite technology and since the job is to keep the nation safe from technological surprise, one can only imagine how much darpa is looking up. >> they are always working with companies as a part of their organizational structures we don't know if a private company is getting technological advantages on their own or through money from somewhere else, so it's sort of something my kids kids may know knew about one day. any final questions?
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>> i always enjoyed reading the acknowledgments section of the buck and i'm book and i'm curious about your process of writing and it didn't sound as if they cooperated so you have to identify the sources that were willing to cooperate to talk about the process for doing the research and writing the book. >> i always love talking to scientists and engineers who work on these programs and they be right about these subjects and it is a common question of how you get your sources, and i always carry with me an idea that goes back to when i wrote about area 51 to a scientist who worked with the cia and early pioneers in space and surveillance and he told me two things. he said one, it is the prepared mind, so it is always are on top
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of your information information and keep current rent about things that interesting to you, then people essentially gravitate towards you to share the stories with you and he always told me to look up and that is the physicist concept because the superman of science are always looking up for the answers. whether it is bad or birds or the moon or the cosmos. the answer lies about. and what he was also saying to me is go higher up. and he's hoping that someone as a source doesn't want to talk to you it is probably that they are too low down and that they can't and seek out their boss. and i found in this way that i find wonderful and inspiring and important that the greatest mind, the scientists and engineers, people who have
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knowledge and information are willing to share it if you ask the question. so maybe the press office is going to give me the information but shortly 70s him on scientists did for this book as they do for all of my books and i think that's the wonderful thing about when you get old and look back on so many of these as i do you say to yourself what can i share with my country that i have spent so much time dedicating my life to. >> was this about the pentagon or anyone else? spec i'm a journalist, i'm a civilian, so i don't -- >> we tend to have a lot of thoughts go through lots of hurdles before they do anything. >> this is a question like looked at this
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>> and part of the book you write about fear of the robots taking over and we lose control. having been through this now for three or four years did you see that? >> here's what i think. i begin the book with the idea that scientists created a weapon of which there is no defense and two of the scientists are both wrote to the president of the united states. this weapon should be made and it is an evil thing. because they feared there would be no defense against it. we have lived all these decades
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with sort of i hope it doesn't happen and it happened. but we are in a parallel situation now in my mind and also provided many scientists i've interviewed to think about this question should we be afraid of artificial intelligence and the idea among the smartest scientists in the world is an overwhelming majority that got could be a weapon of which there is no defense and therefore limits must be in place. and so my fear comes from a shared concern that comes from very smart individuals. >> very, very smart and others talking about that, absolutely. >> any last questions? hello and good evening.
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thank you for the time and a chance for all of us in the audience but with regards to the military-industrial complex, what are your thoughts on how citizens can stay well-informed so the power and state balance and things do not go awry? spinnaker do exactly what you're doing. you are doing. just by participating in discussions and reading, so much is out there thanks to all the books we have them here in america we can just read and i think that's just maintaining. it's imperative some people choose to become advocates of certain things and others remain aware and how they vote or how they think or how they speak or how theyar

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