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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 28, 2009 11:30pm-12:00am EDT

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rock star in the go and her point was sometimes a sampras and can be a rock star one day and ago at the next because public perceptions can change and she was certainly quite clear way and in that regard with regard to her husband. >> host: on the afghanistan war indymac war how much of the plans were preemptive planning for those words were done before 1911, sort of scenario planning for those types of war? >> guest: for the iraq war was planning although the planning that had been done was pretty much thrown out the window at time the u.s. started planning the invasion. there's little planning for the afghan war. and in fact it was a cia plan the president first and braced to link up with the afghan militias and northern alliance
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against. >> host: here's cleveland good morning to cindy on the republican line. >> caller: good morning. thank for having me. i was curious if you were able to determine whether rumsfeld's political philosophy and big picture outlook was influenced in any way by having been surrounded by so many people, just to name a few like mr. wolfowitz, elliott abrams, people who were strongly influenced by wohlstetter, by philosophers and military strategists that would be considered like conservative blacks did he or was he influenced by that group or did he agreed in large part they were correct? thank. >> guest: that's a very interesting question and rumsfeld smylie sean ship with the neocons i think is a very important part of his time as secretary because he and up surrounded by a number of
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prominent members of the neoconservative community and they included his deputy, paul wolfowitz, the chief of the top civilian policy official at the pentagon, doug feith but rumsfeld himself is not a new conservative. many of his views may overlap. they do depart one critical area which is the notion of spreading democracy and around the world. rumsfeld is always very uncomfortable with that notion particularly as a rationale going to war against iraq and argued to try to keep it out of some of the rhetoric justifying the invasion. he wasn't particularly successful. the white house embraced that notion along with other rationale they offered involving weapons of mass destruction and so on but when i press rumsfeld
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and why it was he ended up so surrounded by neocons and he didn't have a very convincing answer to that but he didn't seem to me as if it was exactly a strategy on his part. he tended to explain it as a result of him taking the advice of white house officials in the choice of wolfowitz and then wolfowitz in turn bringing doug feith on board and so on. >> host: how acted mr. wolfowitz and donald rumsfeld go back? >> guest: they went back quite a number of years. they were not particularly close friends but they had served together on various groups and commissions. >> host: in government? >> guest: in government, yes. >> host: chicago independent line. >> caller: i want to say i support what president obama spending.
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he had ice cream on saturday and went golfing on sunday and i enjoy those activities myself. thank. >> host: thanks for that call. new york, caroline in westchester on the democrats win. >> caller: good morning. i was wondering how mr. graham felt when he found out that donald rumsfeld, wolfowitz and, and the other neocons promoted saddam hussein -- kept telling us that he had weapons of mass destruction when the man was contained for 12 years and now they all have rudolph into the sunset with big money in their bank accounts and i would like to know when are they going to give some of that money back to the american people because now we are suffering.
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>> guest: well on the question of weapons of mass destruction, clearly that's misjudgment that rumsfeld and all the other top officials in the bush administration are going to have to continue to address. rumsfeld and did believe the intelligence reports that iraq had weapons of mass destruction. but i think of all of the senior administration officials as i write in the book rumsfeld should have known better or he should have questioned that intelligence more aggressively than he did because he made the point always and had for years of trying to warn against the leading to much in the conventional wisdom not challenging enough assumption and intelligence reports. he was very fond of disturbing to people the preface of a book
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on parole harbor which warns against falling into this kind of conventional thinking and not challenging the conventional wisdom sufficiently and yet here was a case where rumsfeld himself didn't seem to question the enough. >> host: moments ago we showed the viewers and want to show again a picture that isn't in your book of donald rumsfeld meeting with saddam hussein. how did this first of all come about, when was this and second why did this come back to haunt him? >> guest: the meeting occurred in december -- december, 1983 when rumsfeld was serving as a presidential envoy for president reagan, envoy to the middle east and at that point he was instructed by the reagan administration to try to
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facilitate a resumption of ties with iraq that had been ruptured during the iraq-iran war. both the ed ministration and saddam hussein at bat were interested in resuming those ties and of the u.s. thought it would be important as a way of offsetting iran's influence in the region. it seemed to be a good idea at the time. of course 20 years later it was an embarrassment for rumsfeld to have those pictures circulating of him shaking hands with saddam hussein. >> host: you do have photos in the book in the oval office a picture here of secretary of state colin kabul and the national security adviser condoleezza rice. walz secretary rumsfeld's relationship with those to? >> guest: his relationships were strained with both. he had -- particularly on policy -- in personal terms, he could
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be engaging, courteous and so on. but there were tremendous tensions between rumsfeld's cantelon and powell's state department on a broad range of foreign policy and national-security issues and there was a lot of gamesmanship, a lot of need when. rumsfeld used to needle will in the national security council meetings sometimes rumsfeld for instance would pick on powell's pronunciation of the capitol of afghanistan told him he was putting the accent on the wrong symbol and how will would slash himself and try to get back at rumsfeld on his suits and so on. as for condoleezza rice, he was critical initially of her management of the national security council. >> host: did you talk to either of them for the book? >> guest: i talked to one of them. >> host: its water maryland on the independent line, good morning. >> caller: good morning,
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gentlemen. yes, i would like to ask the author part of the problem with rumsfeld's reputation comes from the fact no matter how good of the secretary defense you become, if you are a secretary who wants to be an agent of change as rumsfeld was to go in with slider forces and change the mentality of the military, you sometimes just takes so many pins and pricks that in the end of your reputation isn't what it would have been if you had kind of went with the flow. >> guest: i do think that there is something to that point. i mean, he was bound not to be the most popular person just like coming in and trolleying to change very high bound institutions, one of the most hidebound bureaucracy in washington. but, there are also ways more effective to try to bring about change than others and what
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rumsfeld has often criticized for and partly what got him into trouble was his style and his -- he could be needlessly offensive, abusive, abrasive. at least that is how many who dealt with him felch. >> host: hyattsville maryland up next on the democrats' line. good morning to jill. >> caller: good morning. i have always been troubled by the remark that he made to a young soldier standing up telling him and asking him also i believe about the equipment and not being supplied with the equipment that should have been on the field and rumsfeld said to him after hesitating you go to war with what you've got. to me that was insensitive and could he have not, i help you address that in your book and if not now.
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>> guest: i did talk about that at length and we talked about that earlier in the program this morning. he has never really regretted the statement. he feels it was taken out of context and if you read his whole statement he does show more empathy for the situation and he did when he returned to washington sent off an number of memos to senior officials as i report in the book trying to do better on this issue. >> host: you might brent scowcroft during the nixon and ford years continued to have contact over several subsequent decades. donald rumsfeld remained perplexing to this day said mr. scowcroft. i don't know what rumsfeld really thinks, he said and 2007. i've had a chance to watch his mind operate. for anybody else with whom i've had that kind of contact i've got a picture of who they are, what makes them work and so on. i have no idea what makes him work, what makes him the way he
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is. i want to ask you after doing this book on donald rumsfeld, do you have an idea what makes him tick? >> guest: i have somewhat of a better idea but i cannot say that i thoroughly understand him. you know, he is very complicated and that is what has continued to fascinate me about him. he's like jekyll and hyde kind of character. he's got this rauf and tough hard charging site to him that got him into trouble as the defense secretary also had made an effective years earlier in the business and government and on the other hand he can be very affable, genial personable, sort of has a kind of old world courtesy about him. you never quite knew which rumsfeld would show up at least sometimes i didn't with my dealings with him. there were times that he seemed genuine, seemed forthcoming and
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other times he could be very icy cold and shut down a line of questioning if it was going some place where he didn't want it to go. he seems very self aware. there were examples and i mention this in the book when he would dress down an officer in front of a group of others and be very harsh and afterwards, you know, another senior official might take rumsfeld aside and say you were maybe a little too tough on this person and rumsfeld will acknowledge that and maybe give the person a phone call and not quite apologize but at least we try to soften a little bit and so he is self aware, but why he didn't rein himself and morgan remains somewhat of a mystery. >> host: this is spencer will indiana, ruth on the republican line.
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good morning. >> caller: good morning. yes, i wanted to touch more on this idea that the neoconservatives influence and other objects talking about democracy and making democracy around the world, and i find that to be an absolute fallacy because that wasn't what they wanted. that was for public consumption in this country. it sounds good because we have a so-called democracy. we think the would be wonderful for everyone but if you use their history and who their mentors really were it has nothing to do with democracy. it has to do with power and in higher around the world and to say that was where they disagreed with rumsfeld i find that to be absolutely untrue. >> guest: will there is no question there was a line of argument within the administration about to use that
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promotion of democracy notion as a justification for the invasion of iraq. there was a strong push in that direction and rumsfeld did resist and he had long discussions with doug feith, the chief on this about exactly the wording and statements to try to not make that one of the rationales. >> host: terrorist texas on the next is richard on the independent line. no, to oklahoma and this is barnett, good morning. oklahoma, make sure you turn down your television or radio before you ask your question and then go ahead. >> caller: all right. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: yes, it seems to me like this fellow should be writing a book about adolf
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hitler -- rumsfeld was the biggest creep ever in government and especially with his old bush bodies it's a shame someone can't write something about someone good. thank. >> host: you write that he was influential secretary of defense since robert mcnamara. how do the to compare? >> guest: i talked about the comparison between the two. there are a lot of similarities. they both came into the job, the top pentagon job from business eager to try to make change in the pentagon. they both quickly made a lot of waves made a number of enemies. they were seen as overbearing and surrounded by a number of aids who were of similar mind
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and manner and they both of course in the pleading of the united states into very unpopular wars. there is a significant difference though between a mcnamara and rumsfeld in their mind set when they left office. by the time mcnamara left, he was beginning to have doubts and express regrets about handling of the vietnam war. not so rumsfeld. he may in time come to express some regret. he didn't with me and i pressed him on it particularly in our last interview last fall. he of course has left office number than -- unsury, he has left office older than mcnamara was when he left office. mcnamara has had more time to reflect. so, we will see where rumsfeld finally comes out. >> host: former secretary
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rumsfeld is working on his own autobiography. >> guest: he is. he is. you know, it's a little surprising that he is because for many years he used to -- showed little interest in that kind of book. in fact, he often denigrated other memoirs particularly those that dealt with a sense that he was involved in because he would feel they didn't capture the events as he remembered and he was always worried about and he still is concerned about writing a book that the others are critical of because they think it is an accurate or self-serving and they will therefore think less of him for that. he told me at one point that he had read katherine graham's's autobiography and was actually quite scared by it. it was a very frank book that won a pulitzer prize, but his frankness scared rumsfeld and
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so, whether he could bring himself to be as honest as i think still an open question. >> host: did you get the chance to interview former vice president jeannie? >> guest: i did actually twice about rumsfeld. not surprisingly, chaney still defends the line he used about rumsfeld in a farewell ceremony in december, 2006 when cheney called rumsfeld the best secretary defense ever. he thinks rumsfeld's part charging stifel at the pentagon was just what was needed to bring back change. >> host: a couple more calls. tennessee this is michael on the republican line. >> caller: yes, sir, thanks for having me. i just wanted to say i was going to ask your guest if he has ever heard of the situation going back to march, 2003 when the war began where a country that had inspectors on the ground like we did, why it's not finding anything. have they ever started a war
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like that because i remember world war i where, you know, they shot the guy and they managed to go into serbia to look and that started the war because serbia wouldn't let them go in to look for the assassin. >> host: we will get a response. >> guest: they generally believed their weapons of mass destruction. i don't think they were inventing that rationale, and one of rumsfeld's more embarrassing moments was even if it couple of months into the war where he was insisting that they knew where the weapons of mass destruction were and it was just a matter of time before they would be found. he genuinely believed it. >> host: vero beach florida, good morning on the independence line.
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>> caller: thank. i have a couple of points that i want to discuss. first, when ford exonerated nixon and then returned to the oval office with the entire staff of the 2,000 regime, to say that wolfowitz, pearl, chaney and rumsfeld were not part of the neocon, you know, beginning era is ridiculous. the second point in terms of the directive that he was trying to enforce from george w. bush in terms of the military, the only thing i ever heard about it is the privatization he succeeded in to the army and pentagon operation. >> host: okey we will hear from bradley graham.
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>> guest: i wasn't saying that wolfowitz, pearl, feith were on neocons, they were. rumsfeld though was never really a card-carrying neoconservative. he was at times a fellow traveler and found it worth useful to be associated with them to sign their letters before becoming defense secretary on various issues and to have them in his upper ranks at the pentagon. but he, himself, was not a card-carrying neoconservative. and as for transformation, there's a lot that can be included under what rumsfeld included with transformation and part of the problem i think was by the time he left it was a buzz word that he was meeting
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seemed to encompass almost anything anybody wanted it to and he was trying to affect change at the pentagon. >> host: donald rumsfeld is an eagle scout but you write he almost quit. what made him turn around? >> guest: well, he did almost quit they're involved in scouting throughout his high school career and now is very proud of the fact that he stayed at this. and was not going to be a quitter and was determined to see it through and one of the things that kept him the had a very tightknit scouting group in the chicago area where he grew up and there was a very dynamic sproul meter who stayed with the boys all the way through their
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scouting years. >> host: a couple more calls for bradley graham, san bernadino california, good morning to stephanie on the democrats' line. >> caller: good morning, c-span. i have basically a statement and in a comment. my first statement is that there go the republican corpse the begin rewriting history [inaudible] the bush administration did and with that i have a question is rumsfeld one of the people, because you kind of touched on it earlier, the reason why he knew that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction is because he felt either the [inaudible] -- is any portion of this book going towards charities to help
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the families? thank. >> guest: i am not aware of rumsfeld ever profiting from any sales of weapons of mass destruction or elements of weapons of mass destruction to iraq or anybody else. so far there are no proceeds of this book to give to anybody. i do want to say though that a number of the calls understandably sound very critical of rumsfeld and i understand that and i think my book overall is quite critical and quite a tough on rumsfeld but it does attempt to provide a kind of a nuanced view of him because he is a complicated character and i think it's important to understand where he was responsible for things alone where there was responsibility to be blamed to be shared and
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where in some cases maybe he really wasn't the key person responsible. >> host: bradley graham's new book, "by his own rules" goes on sale today. thanks for joining us this morning. >> guest: thanks for having me. bradley graham is a military foreign affairs correspondent for the washington post. for more information, visit this summer book tv is asking what are you reading? >> i'm charles gibson at abc news. the book on ibm most looking forward to this summer is to come out august 11th. i have the date circled on my calendar. pact conroy has an awful coming out called south abroad. that is an area if you know charleston south carolina in that grand old city that pat
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knows very well and when he writes a novel it is occasion for celebration. so, south of broad comes out and i hope to have it read by august 12th or 13th. there are a couple of other books i am going to read this summer. janice lee has written a book called the piano teacher unlawful sit in china that i am told is very good. marilyn robinson has written a follow-up to her great book of a couple of years ago. this book is called home and it is a further story of the prodigal son returning. her first book will so eloquent i look forward to reading this one. colin how were has written a spy novel called the worst that is recommended and on my bookshelf the awful but that is where you read in the summer, a good spy novels and as long as i have this occasion to other books i want to recommend that i read in past summers that i think are a joy for anyone who picks them up. one is the book feith by marcus
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zusak it's different than anything i have ever read and with marvelous insight into the human condition. and then someone knows my name by laurence hill. it is a fictionalized autobiography of a woman sold into slavery who chronicles her life in magnificent fashion. someone knows my name, the book fief and as i said, pat conroy's south of broad that comes out august 11th. >> to see more summer reading lists and other program information visit our web site at
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per coming up next, booktv present "after words," an hourlong discussion between a guest host and the author of a new book. this week, nicolas schmidle, fellow at the new america foundation, talks about his book, "the live or perish forever." it's an account of the two years he lived in pakistan beginning in 2006. mr. schmidle discusses


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