tv American History TV CSPAN September 26, 2014 9:55pm-11:01pm EDT
. . . . . to authority, quite responsive to what a president wants and if you look at the various covert actions over the years and i'll be discussing some of them, these were directed, conceptualized orchestrated endorsed by presidents of the united states. now, when we get into the controversy of the cia itself, i think it's important to understand that when presidents come to washington, they fall in love with two institutions. they fall in love with camp david and they fall in love with
the cia. and when they fall in love with the cia, unfortunately, it's with the clandestine aspect of the cia. its clandestine operations and its covert action that they fall in love with. harry truman was an exception to this and i'll discuss that in a minute. when presidents have had trouble with the cia, it's been over intelligence analysis where i spent 24 years as a soviet analyst. and the remarks of a couple presidents will i think demonstrate what i mean. one of my favorites is richard nixon. when richard nixon sent jim sles singer to the cia to be director he made it clear that he was going out there to clean up the place. i happened to be at the other end of that because he was playing a role in politicized intelligence. nixon clearly said to him that
the cia is nothing but a sanctuary of a bunch of ivy league intellectuals who don't like me very much. the typical nixon observation and referred to them as a bunch of clowns and so what he wanted to know was, what in the world do all those clowns do out there anywhere and it was schlessinger's job to settle this problem and one of the first things he did was to bring together all the of the soviet analysts. i was a soviet analyst at the cia. and he said i want this agency to stop screwing richard nixon. we knew this was going to be a difficult period. he didn't stay around so he didn't have a big impact. the other president who i think made fascinating remarks about everything but also the cia was, of course, lyndon johnson and what lyndon johnson liked to do is explain to people who came to the white house, particularly close friends who came from texas, what it is that intelligence analysts do at the cia and he had his own interpretation of that.
and one of the ways he expressed what cia analysts do was to compare it to when he was on the farm and he had a favorite cow named bessie. and he would get bessie in her stan chon and pull up a stool and he would get a pail of milk from bessie but if he wasn't paying attention, it often happened that bessie would take her shit smear tail and run it right through the pail of milk. he said, this's what intelligence analysts do. i'll have a great program, a great policy an they come along with the analysis and i think what nixon and johnson were talking about was the cia criticism in its intelligence estimates of what we were doing in vietnam. vietnam is an unwinnable war. harry truman did not fall in love with the cia. he may have created the cia but he did not fall in love with it and by 1963 he wrote a very important op-ed describing the
probables of the cia which is relevant to today's situation. it was clear after world war ii that we were going to have a central intelligence agency for two very good reasons. one was pearl harbor. in the case of pearl harbor we had broken the japanese military code so we knew that the japanese were going to war against the united states. we knew they were going to break relations with the united states. indicator of war. we knew that the embassy had been directed to destroy all of their sensitive information in washington. another indicator of war. this information did not get to the right people. if it had on any short list of possible targets, you would have to include pearl harbor and the philippines so this is a tragedy that did not have to happen in the way that it did. so six months after the war ended was when he sat down with intelligence types, most of them from the office of strategic
services and began to talk about the need for an intelligence agency. never discussing the possible of covert action or even clandestine operations but putting the emphasis on intelligence analysis and clandestine collection of intelligence which he thought were two legitimate functions for an intelligence agency. so, 1947, when you get the national security act which really is the act that still governs the national security architecture of the united states, in fact, you can argue it's time to go back and reexamine the national security act, but remember, it created the national security counsel as we know it today. it created the department of defense. it created the united states air force as a separate service. and it created the central intelligence agency. and the director of cia was also the director of central intelligence and here was one of the flaws in the piece, this piece of legislation. because even though the director
of cia was supposed to be the director of all of the intelligence agencies he had no authorization for personnel, for budget, for tasking. even to be the central intelligence figure for the president of the united states, the way, say, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is the central military figure for the president of the united states. and that is a problem that still has not been corrected even with the intelligence reform of 2004. 16 years later, when truman was living out here in retirement, he wrote an op-ed piece for "the washington post" highly critical of what the cia was and what it had become. so, what i want to deal with is not only that 16-year period, because you're talking about the presidencies of president eisenhower and president kennedy but to look at the presidents that followed these two presidents.
truman's concerns which i think are highly topical today and highly relevant today were with what the cia had become which was not part of his original concept. in other words, when he was thinking of the cia, he referred to this as the quiet intelligence arm of the president of the united states. he wanted a place where he could go outside of the policy arena, that is outside of the state department, outside of the pentagon, outside of the joint chiefs of staff, where he could get intelligence analysis that wasn't grinding some policy ax, that was supposed to be objective or balanced. what he saw that the cia had become over the 16 intervening years was a very subversive organization that he said had become much too noisy in terms of all of the new that is the cia was creating, unfortunately. and was putting too much
attention into covert action. and he said something that is very topical for today which is, the he didn't want the cia to become another pentagon. and one of the arguments i've been making over the years and certainly in the book i did on the cia, the failure of intelligence, was the cia has become essentially a paramilitary organization which i think is not what truman had in mind. and the one thing that trueman understood that presidents after truman did not concern themselves, if you have an organization ta conducts covert action, covert action is part of policy so already you have tainted the intelligence, you have tainted intelligence collection because covert action is in support of policy and comes directly from the white house in support of a very specific policy. so what happened in the 16-year period? eisenhower's an interesting study in this regard because
when we think of eisenhower we think of all the warnings he gave about overuse of the military which are all -- were valid warnings and remain valid warnings to this day. you're all familiar with the military industrial complex observation in the farewell address of 1961. he gave a very important warning in a speech early in his first time in the speech he wrote himself warning about bloating defense budgets that would not allow the united states to do what it needed to do in terms of infrastructure, domestic economy, educating our children. and there was a great line in it that he wrote about when we're spending on defense and particularly when we're overspending on defense, we're spending the brains and our scientists, the sweat of our laborers and the hopes of our children and he warned against this and he also warned that any era or period of global war or permanent war such as the one
we're in now would lead to definite limitations in personal liberty and you can argue that's what's exactly what's happened over the past ten years but nevertheless eisenhower is the president who started the cia down this trail of covert activity. and when you run down the list of covert actions that he endorsed, that came out of the white house, in every case, they left the united states in a weaker strategic position than existed before these covert actions were conducted. 1953, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of iran. substituting the shah of iran. an issue that remains in our bilateral relationship with iran to this day. the following year, guatemala and the work that the cia did working with the guatemalan military and creating the k-unit which was responsible for all sorts of horrors and nightmares
in guatemala against the indigenous population. the decision to assassinate lamambo in the congo even though it wasn't carried out by the cia because another group got to him before the cia could get there. think of the succession so, probably the worst tyrant in the modern history of africa. cuba, even though eisenhower didn't endorse the bay of pigs and brought to him by nixon in a very emphatic way and supported, of course, by dulles the brothers that ran state and cia, eisenhower considered the bay of pigs to be madness but the attempts to overthrow castro began in the last year of the eisenhower administration. and finally, indonesia. and the great crimes against the indonesian civilian population because of the feeling that sacarno was too far to the left
for american interests, economic interests. tease were not only covert actions that were strategic nightmares, but they were supported by a committee that eisenhower appointed in 1954 under general doolittle. the doolittle commission which endorsed this kind of repugnant activity and that's exactly what doolittle called it saying that now they were um against the soviet union that was seeking world domination, tremendous exaggeration of the soviet union, even in the 1950s. doolittle wrote a report that basically said that ends justify the means and the americans would have to learn to understand this kind of repugnant behavior. frankly, if you fast forward to more current time period, when you think of dick cheney's remarks about the dark side, they come from the same kind of thinking and conceptualization
that we saw from the doolittle committee. when kennedy came in to office, he had none of the experience, of course, that eisenhower had. he was somewhat uncertain about the plans that were given to him for cuba that included the bay of pigs. but he did call eisenhower at the farm and instead of eisenhower saying or giving a sense of all of the qualms and hesitations he had about the bay of pigs, unfortunately, he advised kennedy that when you have an exile force you're training if you don't put them to use they're eventually going to go home and talk about an operation that never took place and the united states could be embarrassed ultimately by this. kennedy went ahead with the bay of pigs even though he had been misled by some of the briefings he got from cia that there were people around him including former secretary of state
atchson and schlessinger and others and as we all know this ñ called in the ig report, inspector general sport, the perfect failure. bay of pigs was just a nightmare. it is kind of interesting that here it is more than 50 years later and there's a federal court of appeals, this was just last month in may, upheld the cia in their efforts to hold on to documentation from the bay of pig that is we still don't know about, that still hasn't been declassified. so we're still living with this great fear of cuba and great fear of castro and still unwilling to declassify documents. so kennedy was responsible for that nightmare which could have undercut the kennedy administration from the very start. and if it hadn't been for the cuban missile crisis, kennedy's image would have been much different but kennedy was also responsible for the overthrow of
the government in vietnam. which strategically was totally flawed because one of the reasons why we wanted to move him out of the way were the clandestine reports the cia was collecting legitimately that he was looking for a way to open up negotiations with the north vietnamese and we were not in favor of but in moving him aside and he was killed in the process, you really ended any possibility of having a legitimate government in vietnam that we could work with. so, when you look at vietnam as an unwinnable war which it was like iraq, like afghanistan, this is something that we knew from the outset. now, when you march through the president's after eisenhower and kennedy, the dye was cast in a sense. the model of covert action, clandestine actions, model for political assz nationings, for regime change, all this had been set so when you get to richard nixon and the operation against
chile, again, like the guatemalan operation which was encouraged by united fruit, the largest landowner in guatemala, in chile, you get economic interests, again, like i.t.t. and mining interests that were in favor of overthrowing the leftist government, the democratically elected government of yaenda and you get a dictatorship bringing more horrors to chile. in fact, when richard helms, the cia director, left the white house with the mission that he had been given by henry kissinger, he was stunned by the authority that he had to conduct covert operations in chile. he ended up lying before a congressional exit tee and was fined for that. but he was somewhat shocked by the authority that he had.
nixon was followed by gerald ford. ford's contribution to the cia was extremely unfortunate because ford introduced a concept for politicizing the intelligence of the cia. he introduced the concept of team-a, team-b. team-a was the cia and political analysis of the cia. team-b was a team that the ford administration wanted to introduce and i have no trouble with that as a discipline for challenging the analysis of the cia, but this was a group of neo- conservatives, hand picked by the white house, led by a harvard professor, richard pipes who was very anti-soviet. general danny graham, paul wolfowitz when's anti-soviet and tries to push analysis of the cia to the right. ironically, at the very time when the soviets were realizing that the missile race was getting them nowhere and it was time to seek another approach
toward arms control. so the team-a, team-b concept fostered to a great exat the present time by two name that is are very familiar to you -- dick cheney when's the chief of staff for jerry ford, and donny rumsfeld, the youngest secretary of defense, since the creation of the national security act and the department of defense. ironically, he became the oldest secretary of defense in our history when he served for george w. bush. ford, of course, was followed by carter. carter was extremely suspicious of the cia. his vice president mondale was, too. in fact, this was a period that carter used, four-year period, where we did not send soldiers in to combat. and until the last year of his administration, there was really
a walking away or at least a great reduction in covert action. that all changed in 1979 when, of course, the soviets invaded afghanistan. when i think we reacted very vigorously and probably unwisely. i think it was thnapoleon who sd when your adversary is doing something stupid, leave them alone. the soviets were doing something stupid. unfortunately, we replicated all of that and are now finding our way out of afghanistan. but we started covert action in afghanistan before the soviets invaded and i've always been convinced that briz ski, the national security adviser for carter in this period hoping to introduce covert action as a way of bringing the soviets into afghanistan. and i often felt that the soviets convinced with the united states being forced out of iran in 1979, that we as a
country would not accept that strategic setback and would find a way to get back. and the soviets felt it might be a good idea to be positioned in afghanistan for at least a period of time. but in any event, that ten-year period was a nightmare for the soviet union. building up to 100,000 troops. and we repeated everything they did. again, over a decade. 100,000 troops. trying to create a central government in a country that's never had a centralized form of government. carter was, of course, followed by reagan and you probably had as much harm done and misuse of the cia by president reagan than any other president with the possible exception of george w. bush and i ththen i'll come to in a minute. when you look at iran-contra and it has always been a subject of conjecture about how much reagan
really knew and understood about iran-contra, but the fact of the matter were these were reagan's people. bill casey, the director of central intelligence who was the first director ever put on a president's cabinet which is something truman never would have approved of because that's a policy organization and the cia was not supposed to be part of policy. it was led by people in the national security counsel, including john poindexter, the national security adviser to the president. key officials of both the national security counsel and the cia, all of whom were pardoned later by george h.w. bush in the last month or two of his in office but clearly this was reagan ignoring the laws of the land. in the first case, selling arms first out of israeli inventories and then our inventories to iran. a state that was involved with acts of terrorism.
which was violation of law. and then using the profits from those sales to provide money to the contras which was a violation of the bolin amendment. so when you think about impeachment, particularly based on not following the law of the land, there were clear grounds for impeachment and i think if the country hadn't gone through the nightmare of the nixon process, there may have been some people who would have considered impeachment but reagan was much too popular for that and the country didn't want to live through that kind of experience so soon again. reagan was also responsible for appointing the most ideological cia director in the history of the cia. and that was william casey. casey was a campaign director for ronald reagan. he did a wonderful job as a campaign director but he certainly was not suited to be a cia director.
in fact, in the 1970s, when i worked at the state department and kissinger came over to state to become not only the national security adviser, but also, the secretary of state he was being taken around the building and saw a plaque on one of the doors, william casey, undersecretary for economic affairs and he said to this poor foreign service officer taking him away, how in the hell did he get in this building? he's senile. can you do something about that in what's a foreign service officer going to do about william casey as an undersecretary of state for foreign affairs but casey was gone within a period of months after that. with george h.w. bush, you get not only the appointment of robert gates as the cia director, even though gates was the deputy to bill casey, so when you look at all of the to litization of intelligence which led to the failure to anticipate
the decline of the soviet union, you have to point to casey and gates who were the filters for intelligence during this period. this is why i left the cia in ñhis is why i left the cia in college. reagan tried to make gates a cia director in 1987 when bill casey died. but the chairman of the senate intelligence committee, david born, senator from oklahoma, called gates at his home that night after the first day of testimony and said, the committee doesn't believe you in terms of your exprexs of knowing nothing about iran-contra and of course gates was lying and had to pull his name out of the process but in 1991 he laundered the credentials and convinced born he would be a good director and born guaranteed to the white house that's a democratic chairman, guaranteeing to a republican-led house, the system is not supposed to work that way, he would get him through
and that's exactly what he did. when you get to bill clinton and george w. bush and barack obama, i think you get three presidents whose appointments to the cia and directors of cia were extremely questionable. i have a lot of questions with regard to bill clinton's stewardship of national security in general. bill clinton was responsible for abolishing acta, the arms control and transportation agency and i don't think it's closely understood how closely they worked in terms of providing verification and monitoring of arms control agreements so with abolishing acta which the right wing wanted in the 1990s led by jesse helms and newt gingrich, and clinton caved in to that pressure we lost a very important tool on an
international level. and when you look at clinton's appointments, jim woolsey, george tenet, the same george tenet who told george w. bush it would be a slam dunk to produce the intelligence to support the decision to invade iraq, and remember, george bush did not want that intelligence to convince himself. he wanted that intelligence to convince us. bush was dedicated to the idea of using military force in iraq. and i don't think it really mattered what the intelligence said. but if you go to the memoirs of bush and rumsfeld and cheney and rice, all of them argue it was intelligence that convinced them that we needed to take action. that is just total nonsense. the intelligence was totally flawed but people who knew, knew that there was also intelligence that made it clear there were no weapons of mass destruction.
in iraq. so whether you get to george w. bush, and you get really to some of the worst aspects of cia conduct in the field of clandestine operations, of course, i'm talking about the secret prisons, the renditions policy which was really a kidnapping policy, detentions, torture and abuse, all of these things were part of what dick cheney called the dark side. in u.s. clandestine operations. barack obama comes in to office with very little background in national security affairs. that was always the weakness of the obama candidacy. it's not that he had not been in washington that much to be a political participant in how washington operates on a political level, but he had never really demonstrated an
intense concern with national security policy. i always sthaugt from the start he was somewhat intimidated by the military and the central intelligence agency. his appointments when you look at his first national security team were extremely weak. leaving robert gates at the defense department made no real sense. and i think was caving in to not only the right wing but conservatives within the democratic party. appointing hillary clinton to the state department with no real experience as an international steward of american national security policy. appointing three-star retired marine general jones to be the national security adviser which only lasted about 18 months because he was totally unsuited for that role and putting in leon panetta who's a wonderful civiler is vapt over the years but was a rather tired civil servant by this time. it was not an effective director
of the central intelligence agency. i think he was captured from the outset by the operational side of the house and he also carried out the white house mission which started by george w. bush to weaken the process of oversight within the cia. and remember, this -- the role of the statutory inspector general of the cia was an extremely important position. it was created by one of the reforms after iran-contra when the cia for the first time got a stach 2k3wi opposed to a regular inspector general. in other words, this was an inspector general appointed by the president of the united states. which gave that individual tremendous amount of clout and when you think of the work that was done by the statutory igs over the years, particularly the reports on 9/11, a lot of the reports that we haven't seen yet, the reports that dealt with detentions policy and renditions
policy, work that fed into the senate process which produced a 6,000-page report that, unfortunately, the cia is dragging its heels on in terms of sanitizing for the american public, i think we're entitled the see that report. and i think senator feinstein should fight harder to get it released and i think obama should allow whatever redaxs are needed but get that paper out. we need to see what happens in our name during the global war on terror. the problem in presenting this talk the way i have it's been highly negative. and i'm not saying that there weren't successes. but i think the point i wanted to make is the one of presidents -- presidential misuse of the central intelligence agency. there have been good directors. general smith for president truman was a very good director. john mccone was a very honest director and when he thought he
didn't have the ear of the president he resigned. he went back to california. bill colby tried to expose a lot of the excesses of cia behavior and admiral stansfield turner was a very good director of cia but someone who was very new to the washington community and i think never felt really comfortable as a cia director. and there were presidents who used cia intelligence very effectively. and actually richard nixon who was so critical of cia analysis used that analysis on two very important occasions. one to start the arms control process in terms of the salt agreement in 1972 and the abm, anti-ballistic missile treatly also in 1972 and without the cia guaranteeing the verification and monitoring of those treaties, which the cia did guarantee, something that made helms very nervous, i was
working on salt at that time and he called us in and said, remember, only politicians can verify an agreement. he didn't like the idea that we were referred to as the verification panel. but basically, we were taking on the pentagon which was against arms control and arguing that these agreements could not be verified so in terms of abm and the salt agreement and very important weapons systems, it was the intelligence of the cia and the intelligence community in general that was essential to get arms control under way. and of course, when you think of the most important strategic initiative of any president over the last 40, 50 years, it was the strategic triangle of nixon and kissinger to allow the united states to build better relations with both china and the soviet union than they had with each other. and it was cia intelligence that provided the impetus to suggest that we could do this and as a
result the soviet union would have to engage us which they did in terms of the treaty of berlin and the arms control agreements and we would end up with very good bilateral relations with both of them. so, the cia can be effective as a support instrument in this area. in terms of what needs to be done, because i'm running out of my time, i think we could do ourselves a lot of good by going back to that op-ed that president truman wrote in december of 1963. the warning about covert action, the warning that covert action is policy. and covert action, therefore, can taint clandestine collection and even taint intelligence analysis. that the cia should not be a second pentagon. it should not be a paramilitary organization. and it would be necessary to return the cia to the role of the quiet intelligence arm of
the president. this would mean demilitarized the cia which needs to be done and something obama addressed over a year ago with a very important speech at the national defense university in which i thought he made it clear that he wanted the use of the drone turned over to the military. and we have reduced our drone missions but they're still being run by the central intelligence agency which is an important paramilitary activity. but we need to demilitarize. we need to decentralize. it might not be a bad idea to have a statutory term for cia director as we do for the fbi director so that each president doesn't feel he has to have his own intelligence director which would -- we have been doing for the last 30 years. and finally, what i would like to see is separating intelligence analysis and clandestine activity into two separate organizations.
they should not be under one roof. so, going back to president truman would be a good way to start. so with that i'd like to hear your comments and questions and criticisms. i think we have a lot to talk about. [ applause ] so -- oh. it's usually hard to get the first question and i usually jump to the second question. >> could you talk a little bit about the division of responsibility between the national security agency and the cia and we have been hearing a lot about the national security agency's collection of information as though they are what -- what you seem to be referring to what the cia should be doing, that is strictly collecting information. >> yeah.
the cia was created by truman openly in 1947 as part of the national security act, the national security agency was created secretly by truman in 1952 with a very specific mission. and that would be their role in communications intelligence and signals intelligence. so, they had the function to intercept all communications and all signals abroad. it was strictly a foreign mission dealing with foreign intelligence collection. with no responsibility for domestic function anymore than the cia was going to have any jurisdiction in domestic matters. but the national security agency is essentially a collection agency. where they have gotten off the rails and it's kind of interesting that the director of nsa when they got into domestic surveillance which i think is a
violation of the fourth amendment of the constitution and there's at least one federal appeals judge out there who agrees with that position, was when they started the massive surveillance. yet, when michael hayden was norm nated to be the cia director, and i went down to talk to some staffers about this issue, the question of his role at the nsa and massive surveillance and the meta data that we have seen never came up in the confirmation process which was, indeed, unfortunate. but their focus is a very narrow focus on intelligence collection of signals and communications intelligence. and when you look at the body of law that protects intelligence, they get protection in the law that no other intelligence collection gets. so, whatever you want to think about edward snowden, of course, he is a very controversial
character he recollec eer he's serious laws and makes his return to this country and how that's conducted an extremely difficult process because these laws will be pursued in terms6or violation of signals and communications intelligence. he is in a lot of trouble as we all know. >> several years after the 9/11 attack there was a reorganization of intelligence agencies where there's now one director literally supposedly overseeing absolutely everything. how has that impacted the cia? >> well, it's clearly weakened the cia and the intention was to weaken the cia. you're talking about the intelligence reform act of 2004 that created the director of national intelligence. now, to a certain extent, you could argue that the director of cia who up to that point was
tals director of central intelligence had -- wore these two hats but it was too much responsibility for any one individual. and i said at the outset one of the flaws of the 1947 national security act was it did not give the cia director who was the director of central intelligence any authority in terms of personnel or budget or tasking, moving people around as missions changed but when they created the director of national intelligence he didn't get that authority either because the pentagon would not allow it. before he could be sworn in, donald rumsfeld who was very adroit in terms of understanding the bureaucracy, in fact, when you put rumsfeld and cheney in a room together, i mean, they could control a bureaucracy like no other pair of individuals could do. so, before the director of national intelligence, the so-called national intelligence czar, got his desk at the new
building, rumsfeld had already created the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and made sure that the responsibilities stayed with the pentagon. and when you look at the entire intelligence community, 80% to 85% of the budget and personnel belong to the military whether they're civilian or military. it's a military operation. that's why it -- a cia outside of that military process was so important. and if you look at the directors of national intelligence with the exception of one individual, a retired foreign service officer, john negative uponty and served for a while and realized he had no authority and resigned to take a position at state, all of the directors of national state have been retired generals and flag officers, admirals and i would argue that the military which does a lot of things extremely well, one of the things they do not do well is strategic intelligence and the real problem we have of
intelligence analysis is strategic intelligence, long-term intelligence. that is not their thing. the military does worst-case analysis and that's another reason why truman wanted a cia. so it's not been a measure that's led to any improvement in terms of the real problems of the intelligence community. >> i recently read a book of "brothers" about the dulles -- >> good book. >> seemed to set the table for the cia and foreign policy for the rest of the century. my question is, how influential were they on eisenhower or was eisenhower the one that was calling the shots? v(u @r(t&háhp &hc% least as to -- >> yeah, it was. when you are dealing with eisenhower and strategic concerns and the use of the military, it was eisenhower's policy.
jon foster dulles and allen dulles, richard nixon as vice president did not have great influence over eisenhower. eisenhower had an uncanty sense of how to control the military. in fact, one of the -- the best warnings he did not put in writing but it was on his way out of the white house in december, january of 1960, 1961, when he was ruminating with a group of his close advisers and he said god help the united states when the person who sits in this chair after he does not know how to deal with the military and eisenhower did so all of the efforts that allen dulles made and john foster dulles did to bail out the french, nixon was prepared to use nuclear weapons to do it. getting involved in vietnam which the dulles brothers and nixon wanted to do. baiting out the british and french and israelis in the stupid attack to prevent the
nationalization of the suze canal, doing something about the soviet invasion of hungary, the criticism of obama about ukraine. look at eisenhower and hungary and 1956. eisenhower had no interest in any of that and eisenhower accepted a stalemate in korea which a lot of presidents probably would have been unable to do. so, it was his policy and the dulles brothers and nixon were not that influential. he relied on actually military officers to a large extent who he knew from world war ii, particularly matthew ridgeway, that was a very close relationship. the one between eisenhower and ridgeway. but on covert action for some reason, because i think it can be done as he thought cheaply and not too noisy and not too visible, and because iran appeared to be a success in 1953, he did follow their lead on those issues and i think
serious mistakes were made so you have ady cot my here. it's clearlyiz eisenhower's policies over the eight-year period. kept a lid on defense spending but on covert action and clandestine operations they were influenti influential. because i don't think he paid as much attention to that as he did the strategic matters. >> kind of a two-part question. on the intelligence leading up to the iraq war, you said it was flawed. my understanding was that even saddam's own generals believed that he had wmds and that we were getting intelligence maybe from some of those people which would say to me there's nothing we could do better to make that intelligence better. you also said other people knew the intelligence was flawed. could you clarify why they didn't -- who those people were and didn't speak up or what happened with that? >> well, first of all, there were -- you know, one of the thing that is saddam hussein did
extremely well and this was a great strategic deception was worked against him was convincing international communities to some extent and his own people including general officers that he had weapons of mass destruction. particularly, chemical weapons that he was willing to use against his own people. saddam hussein never thought he would use the weapons against us. he was more concerned about an internal revolt than he was anything else, particularly of iran against the 1980s and not only he had chemical weapons, he used chemical weapons. but the cia had all sorts of collections that made it clear including from his son-in-law who defected, went to jordan and then lured back into the country and killed. in return for giving up this information. who made it clear he had no weapons of mass destruction. that they were destroyed either by his own forces or by the u.s. military during the desert storm
operation or in the wake of desert storm. so you had the former foreign minister who said this and the cia ran an excellent operation in iraq that hasn't gotten a lot of attention sending iraqi americans to go back to baghdad and important areas of iraq and talk to relatives still working in important industries in iraq where they could determine what iraq had in the way of strategic weaponry and they all made it clear they did not have this weaponry. and then you had sources or reporting that was based on single source reporting that was presented as sourcing that was -- could be supported by other sources or other reporting and even someone like colin powell who went out to the cia to write that speech he gave at the u.n. was lied to by the deputy director of cia john mclaughlin in terms of how good
this sauersing was. the people that knew and wanted to learn knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. and the inspectors who went over there, people like david kay and others, they were shocked when they found out there were no weapons of mass destruction. but clearly, that was a total misuse of intelligence. it was total to litization of the intelligence product so when you look at the estimate of october 2002, that the cia did and the white paper that the cia did, which they were prevented by their charter from doing because it was the unclassified version of the estimate that went down to capitol hill right before the vote on the authorization to use force. there were 28 allegations. all of them were wrong. and that was the very product that was used to write colin powell's speech he gave at the u.n. first week of february 2003, six or seven weeks before he went into the country. >> did the president have any
better information than colin powell had or he believed the same? >> i don't think bush cared at all about the evidence. he wasn't looking for evidence. he was cowering people from the very start, richard clark and it is in his book. soon after 9/11, to find out what iraq, iraq's role was in the 9/11 attack. and not only was there no role whatsoever by saddam hussein and osama bin laden hated each other. they were rivals in terms of the islamic fundamentalist activity in the middle east. they weren't allies at all. and this was known to bush. it was known to cheney but, you know, cheney's position was the 1% factor. if there's a 1% chance that saddam hussein has weapons of mass destruction, we have to take action. well, this is justification for what cheney wanted to do. we wanted to punish someone after 9/11. no doubt about that.
there was no punishment to be dealt to afghanistan because there were no strategic targetì% because al qaeda had been routed from the country. very effectively by the cia and the military over a two-month period with 450 people. that's why this war is such a tragedy. after december 2001, we should have turned the keys back over to the country. the various ethnic groups who were so effective in getting the taliban out of kabul. and we didn't have to be there for another 12, 13 years with all the losses that we have suffered. >> you spoke in your opening remarks about the cia not being a rogue agency and that the things that have happened is because they've been misused by the presidents.
it's my perception that at least over the last few years they have gone before congress and repeatedly misled agent -- the various committees and i also feel that the committees have really -- have practiced a hear no evil, see no evil approach towards the cia. so i think in addition to the president's misusing the agency, there's also be a lack of supervision by congress and i'd like to hear what your thoughts are on that. >> there's no question in my mind that the oversight process has been compromised. now, the shocking thing to me is that in 1947, you create a secret organization, the cia. with no oversight whatsoever. you don't have a statutory ig. you don't have an intelligence committee. it took 30 years and a series of abuses before people like senator church and congressman pike who just died in the last
six months in the house, the pike commission, realizing that you needed oversight committees so for 30 years the cia was basically out there on its own hook with the support of the white house with no responsibilities to the congress. for the first first 15 years i would argue up through david born and the con if i mags of david gates i think the intelligence committee particularly in the senate was an elite group, the senate select committee on intelligence, they -- when i testified against gates in '91, they were the powerhouses within the senate were on that committee. and it was bipartisan. and you could tell it was bipartisan. but that was the turning point. and now, under both democrats and republicans, it's been i think a cat's paw for the white house. finally, senator dianne feinstein who's done a terrible job up to now is finally exercised because of the 6,000-page report because she knows the cia as you say was
lying to the congress. i'm not saying that cia didn't try to play slight of hand with the congress because they often did that to protect policies that they were given by the white house. but feinstein was in a position to know what all of these on fis cases were and she should be engaged with the white house to get that report out. it has to come out. we're entitled to see it. violations of law took place and we have to know what they were because they were conducted in our name as the united states of america. >> on the benghazi thing, hillary clinton and the new book saying she didn't want to be involved in the to littizization of the thing and mike morel on "60 minutes" talking about how he prepared the talking points
or whatever and seems like he politizing from the very beginning. >> the important thing about benghazi and i think this was a misunderstanding from the very beginning, benghazi was not really a consulate platform. i mean, we had a consulate there. it was very small. but benghazi was really an intelligence platform. the cia presence in benghazi with a very specific mission was probably four times as big at least four times as big as the state department presence. all the other foreign communities had taken their consulates of the of benghazi because of the fighting and instability in benghazi. the cia was there to buy back weapons that were given to qua gi da if i and interesting how much times the cia has to buy
weapons back that never should have been provided in the first place so when the plane flew out of benghazi with the survivors of those attacks from the work i did 24 people on the planecia ad six, i think, were state department. so to me the cia has gotten off the hook for the security problem in benghazi. no question about that. why was the ambassador, chris stephens, very popular young ambassador in the middle east in libya, why was he even in benghazi? what business could he have been doing in benghazi. to what degree was secretary of state clinton interested in showing we were successful in libya when clearly overthrowing khadafi is a nightmare. totally counter productive. i believe there was some plitization of those briefing points. and it is interesting that susan rice, now having trouble given a
description with the trade-off between the american soldier and taliban is the same one who bol oaks briefings about benghazi on the talk show because people like hillary clinton ran because they didn't want to go on television in the wake of benghazi. benghazi was indeed a nightmare. i think the p em there knew it was a terrorist attack that problem had nothing do with anti-muslim film making the round in the united states. but it is unfortunate that it is being so politicized. i don't think anyone is really trying to look at benghazi for what really happened. it is used as a partisan weapon. in this case. and that's not good for any of us. >> i'm told i'm to be the last question per. we negotiated that i get two.
[ inaudible ] >> actually, i had about ten, but we will just -- >> i agreed to settle for two. >> so we'll dot easy one first. what wo it be your position, looking at the central intelligence agency over the years, and for purpose of discussion here, assuming there are two operations, intelligence division and operations division, would it be your position there isn't an operations division. >> i think the director of operation sets ability to collect clandestine intelligence and i would continue to support that. and i'm thinking of some assignments that i had where i benefitted from intelligence. checks that was clandestined, for example when the egyptians decide to kick out soviets in 1972 which i felt was a signal us to that they were indeed
serious about an agreement with iz ral that helpry kissinger knack owned it so the intelligence was spot on. the important thing to keep on about intelligence is the united states does a tremendous job of intelligence collection. when you look at all of the failures going back it pearl harbor before the cia was created, the check was kb enough to prevent us from being wrong. the errors were made at the analytical level, lack of resourcefulness, just a lack of rigor, so 9/11 with intelligence failure that could have been prevented. the collection was there. iraq war, collection was there. the decline of the soviet union, intel jeps was clearly there. but gates wouldn't allow the analyst to do what they needed to do with the intelligence. so the collection is quite good. and i wouldn't do away with that. that's whalts the hard question? >> the hard question i'll get to
in a moment. first of all, i would like to say that i've read some of the portions of some of the books you've written and i recommend to everybody in here. they are just excellent. >> does that have anything do with you saying that. >> correct. correct. i figured i would shine you on a bit before i ask you the last question which is this -- [ inaudible ] >> oh, i don't know. i notice you commented on edward snoweden that he is in big trouble and has violated many laws. and i also notice that you made a comment somewhere along the line that some of the things going on were violations of the fourth amendment. is that a fair statement? >> certainly. >> all right. >> it is not edward snoweden as we know it. did there need to be an edward snoweden to expose what is going on in the intelligence
community? >> now, there is a contradiction between being right and being legally designed. even that interview with brian williams, which all of you should try to see, you can be right, that doesn't mean what you are doing is legal. i think snoeden knows full well he violated laws but he also knows what lapped to someone like thomas drake who i know fairly well, a whistle blower at the cia. he was convicted of espionage act and could have been convicted by every judge through every account that judge threw snoweden out and lek tired snoweden that this is not the soviet union, there is the united states and you cannot conduct yourself this way in my court. so the sad thing about the snoweden case is he is safer in russia than he is in the united states. and that's an indictment of us.
in some way there should be an excess of the intelligence community and the reason why i'm critical of obama is when he came in to office, he is very early on said, i'm not going to look back. i'm going to look ahead. well, you have to have accountability for the excess that took place, particularly under george bush for will years and this is what we don't seem to want to do. and not convinced that the reform process we put in place for the nsa and this massive surveillance and metadata is really going to be effective. and clearly if you look at the phone intelligence surveillance court that's -- that's been essentially a candor record, a mouth piece for the administration. so a lot needs to be done. and if it weren't for snoweden, we wouldn't be having this discussion. the president wouldn't be
answering the charges that he had to answer. the congress wouldn't be proposing reforms and judges wouldn't refer to this activity as orion. so we owe snoweden something. but there is a serious question. right now he has a very good lawyer representing him. in washington. who handled very big cases. >> we should note there is some dialogue and there should be some plea bargain because we have no idea what he took with him. i've talked to people involved with damage assessment for this case. and they do not know what he has. i think it is important to sit down with snoweden at some point to find out what is going to be compromised. >> thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> on news makers this weekend, michael podhorzer is our guest. political director for aflcio, he talks about important positions for the 13 million workers his groups represent. news makers, this sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. eastern on c span. the 2015 student cam video competition is under way. taupe all middle and high school student to create a five to seven-minute documentary on the theme the three brakss and you showing how policy, law or action by the executive or judicial branch of the federal government affected you or your community. there's 200 cash prizes for student and teachers totaling $100,000 for the lift of roles on how to get started, go to student cam.org.
>> in 1964 president recall campaign is officially launched as a hundred thousand people assemble in detroit hear president jopson's first bid for reelection. his speech is mainly concerned with nuclear weapons. while not mentioning gold water by name, mr. johnson answers his owe poent's call with conventional nuclear weapons. he reaffirmed the need for strict residential control. >> make no mistake, there is no such thing as a conventional nuclear weapon.
>> for years, one nation has -- against the other. do so now is the political decision of the highest order. and it would lead us down an uncertain path and -- whose outcome none may know. no president of the united states of america can divest himself of the responsibility for such a decision. >> as cheers ring out in detroit, there are more in los angeles. 50,000 people packed the dodger stadium to greet the republican candidate as he opened his campaign. senator gold water arrives in the stadium with mrs. goldwater to combat against the democratic administration.