tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 20, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
officials. today the bombing claimed it's fourth victim as another national security chief succumbs to his wounds. as syria continues to burn, today the u.n. security council voted to extend it's mission in syria for an additional 30 days. although the mission has appeared feckless, with its 300 unarmed observers largely confined to their hotel, due to the fighting this is appears to be a glimmer of hope. at the geneva conscience there was a final communique that foresees a transition towards a more democratic system. of course syria and russia denied that this was true. let's bring in rick grenell former national security spokesman for mitt romney as well as former spokesman for multi u.s. ambassadors to the
u.n. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> is his strength loses in numbers. >> he's trying to hang on. he has not given up. it's clear that he's encouraging the government forces to strike back both on offense and defense, but i do think his days are numbers. it's inevitable when you have turkey getting involved, when you have a lot of other players in the region getting involved. it's clear that the opposition forces inside syria are taking hold. they've broken into damascus most analysts thought they would never do. i think the days are numbers. >> eliot: the opposition appears to be more organized and structured and capacity than one would have assumed even just a few weeks ago. it seems to be the consensus that iran is the regional loser
if assad falls. why would that be--and that would be an encouraging fact for the united states. >> yes obviously we focused on syria, which we have done for a long time, pushing the syrian government out of lebanon back in the bush administration, we always knew that syria was really a wholly owned subsidiary of iran. what happens is when everyone is paying attention to syria, iran gets to continue wreaking havoc and doing what they usually do. we always said, i think most in facts, both conservative and liberal analysts agree you have to be watching what is going on in iran. they're going to want to play some sort of role in syria to look like the good guy just to give themselves more time, some breathing room to continue enriching uranium, which we know is illegal in the international community and they should not
be enriching any kind of uranium uranium. >> eliot: if assad falls would iran be isolated and be alone itself with no friends in the region? >> i think they've got some terrorist groups that they still control, so they wouldn't be completely alone but certainly it's a below blow. that's where we wanted to focus on syria and make sure that the opposition groups that are beginning to take hold are ones that are looking for more peace and security than what assad has. having assad fall is not a bad thing. i can hardly think of what could be worse coming behind him. >> eliot: russia has been assad's primary international ally. china standing besides russia. but u.n. resolutions preventing using force or putting in force a blockade that would be more meaningful.
why does russia stand behind this almost terrorist leader? what is their game plan here? >> you know, russia has a lot of financial interests inside syria. they pretend they're just protecting syria because this is an issue just for syria. at the u.n. there is an issue of whether or not conflicts become conflicts outside of the border of the country, whether or not they spill over, so to speak. if they do spill over then countries like china and others will begin to say in a the security council should get involved because it's now become an issue for international peace and security, not just an internal conflict. the syrian government and with russia's help has been really working over time to pretend this is just an internal conflict. when you hear russia say this is just a simple war, what they really mean is this isn't bothering anyone outside of syria, so everyone should just stay out and mind their own
business. as we know this has bled into turkey. this has bled into other areas. we know that iran is controlling a lot of what is going on. this is an issue for international peace and security, and the u.s. government should do more to make sure that people understand that. >> eliot: look, i think you're correct. certainly this has had international repercussions it has been seen as warfare and given what assad has done in terms of bombing and warfare against his own populous, i think people think it's a predicate for intervention. there has been a phrase used with russia, reset and it has not paid dividended. and pertain to go syria. what should the obama administration have done differently. while you're not currently a spokesman for governor romney, what do you think governor romney would do differently with
syria. >> as you book look at the obama administration, there was a decision on the obama team to say we could improve these russia. i think that's admirable. it's noble to think about that. but i think they ignored history. hillary clinton, when she was running against barack obama in the campaign of 2008 when she called obama naive about his foreign policies issues and trying to talk to dictators when he was ignoring their past behavior, i think she was right. the word is that she struggled whether or not they should reset the policy with russia. nevertheless the obama team decided to improve on this relationship. they hit the reset button and things got worse. russians smelled blood. they thought that the americans were getting weak. we demonstrated weak by sending in an u.s. ambassador to syria
after one had not been there for five years, and then president obama decided to call that ambassador back to the united states only to return them six weeks later. we were sending the message that we really didn't have a strategy in sir syria and we didn't know what we were doing. the russians felt they could stand up to us which they have done three times now and there wouldn't be a repercussion. when you speak clearly and forcefully and everything is consistent, that's one thing that the obama team has not been very good at. >> eliot: we'll continue this conversation in weeks an ahead. rick grenell former national security spokesman for mitt romney and former spokesman for multiple u.s. ambassador to the real world and
strange story of seam israel. but first tim pawlenty isn't born. michelle bachmann isn't stopping and the business extra patrol peter is not a business expert. when it doesn't fit anywhere else we put it in the viewfinder viewfinder. >> hello every. >> off to our programs. >> considered at least by the romneys we're told, safe, reliable steady as she goes, nothing too flashy. >> kind of a boring guy.
a reasonable, fine human being and all that, he would be a sensible pick. because again, no one would notice or care. >> wouldn't like it. >> ifif you goad me into it, i'll show you tats. >> would you ask him to apologize? >> um. >> i just need to ask you about this, senator mccain was just on the senate floor and said what what you're doing, going after huma. >> i can't do an interior right now. >> can you do one with us later? >> yes, i can. >> she's better than anybody else in the country in making her point regardless, let's give michelle bachmann a hand. >> this one stinks to high heaven. >> oh, libor. libor, libor. >> when we talk about libor
what exactly is that? >> a complicated process that involves a multitude of was confidence. >> i never knew you could manipulate libor. i thought computers spit it out but i guess all these banks give their borrow borrowing rates very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it.
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>> eliot: it may be one of the bizarre stories from wall street. you may remember sam israel, the hedge fund fraudster who is convicted of running $450 million ponzi scheme and who faked suicide by jumping off the bear mountain bridge to avoid a 20-year prison sentence before finally turning himself in after a global manhunt. but the story gets and according to the mind mind-bending retie says, a new book entitled "octopus" by gee lawson which is based on interviews with sam israel involves a shadowing c.i.a. operative and secret markets run by the federal reserve and the united nations thank you for joining me. >> thankthank you for having me. >> eliot: is this fiction or history. >> this is exceedingly strange story. i think that strangeness gives it part of its importance.
it's like a haul of mirrors that is reflecting wall street back at itself. >> eliot: one hopes that it's a state fair version of wall street or do you worry that it's a window into the reality of wall street, almost anything goes and you can get away with almost anything. >> in september of 2008 i sat down with sam in prison. he started talking about the secret bond market, the c.i.a. ponzi schemes. and then three weeks later the global financial crisis hits. i thought, man i'm going to live to this guy. i'll take this stuff and see how far it goes. >> eliot: do you think he's crazy but closer to reality than the folks at wall street. >> i worked on wall street for a short while. when he started as a kid he was brought into lying and cheating. little lies, little cheats. but really criminal behavior. it became a cultural thing for him. yeah he saw the dark side that have evaluate. so when someone came to him and suggested that everything is a
cheat, it made sense to him. >> and he lived that life. then of course he had the narcotics and all sorts of an alternate universe he was living in, and it collapsed on him but he seems to believe the story that he told you. >> he does. to this day. think about it from your point of view. you have $150 million in cash. you're down $150 million. what do you in to the sec or double down. he doubled down. >> cenk: and he kept doubling down and he brought into this world of special trading floors and the u.n. it's crazy, amazing stuff. he did brief it and tried to get the money back. >> it ends up in a shootout in hamburg. >> eliot: did that happen. >> sam believe it happened. i believe it was staged for him. >> eliot: to make him that he was being brought into a secret society. >> a con man being conned. when they created sort of a
control sam's mind, behavior and ultimately his actions. the money, all the stuff nicoles had him legally under his spell. >> eliot: to come back to the unfortunate reality of this. the hedge fund missed all this. >> he knew they would. he aggravated, they won't even know at. if they do, they'll be too afraid to say anything because they'll think that they made a mistake. >> eliot: when it comes to see the frailty of our regulatory structure, he was correct.% >> sam should be brought before congress to testify how it goes. people have asked me would sam do this now. the answer is no and he has learned about life and limitations, but the dangerous question is, could he? and for sure he could. >> eliot: my guess is if he could get away with it, he would. but the answer to the other
question, are there other people doing it, absolutely yes. >> absolutely yes. the way that the financial fraud aspect of this is carried out is terrifying. "octopus" is a reverse in invest investing guide. not in how to get rich quick but how to not lose your money. >> eliot: he had some super coopercooper computer program that could predict the market and people believed it. >> the fbi knew that he was associating with known frauds and they did nothing about it. goldman sachs. >> eliot: they didn't do anything. >> he was three of their top three losing funds and they collected millions in commissions and did nothing about it. i would just say this, though. it sounds cookie and how did sam do it, but sam was brilliant at it. he was a show man, a performer. >> eliot: you said something that was a critical insight.
many of these ponzi scheme fraudsters are great actor. these are the skills that converge, kind of like on tv, they converge to permit them to persuade people. and the very near is there so the investigators have a hard time seeing through it. >> it's a paradox and i totally believe the best victims for confidence games other con men. >> eliot: why is that? >> they think they're smarter. they think they can get over and they're greedy. those are the elements of a victim for a con. >> eliot: but you need to be more sophisticated to con a con artist. >> this is why nicoles was a fascinateing character. when you get to the end of the book there is a third level to the con, he walked away clean. never charged. i had to change his name.
>> eliot: he gave you information. >> one of the guys who knew him did. he's still cooking around. this is a multi billion dollar international industry, this con. >> eliot: time is short, but when you checked out the facts that you got from israel, enough of them checked out, so you think there is some veracity to his story. >> there is. the loopier the story got the truer it got. this truth was truly stranger than fiction. you could not make this stuff up. >> eliot: just to make sure you have not completely lost it, there is not some fund being run by the federal reserve. >> no, it's a complete fraud. >> eliot: in that case i'm going to tell people to read the book. it's great. guy lawson "octopus." >> eliot: do you miss the real world and politics collide on "the gavin newsom show." this week director philip kaufman asks
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>> eliot: coming up, we've got jobs news coming at the end of the month, and it may not be good. but tonight on "the war room"," jennifer will go into into the horrific death it's going on in colorado and why these tragic shootings are repeated timecu vanguard: the documentary series that redefined tv journalism. >>we're going to places where few others are going. >>it doesn't get anymore real than this. >>occupy! >>we will have class warfare. >>i'm being violated by the health-care system. >>we're patrolling the area looking for guns, drugs, bodies. >>we go in and spend a considerable amount of time getting to know the people and the characters that are actually living these stories. >>the award winning series "vanguard" only on current tv.
>> eliot: for all the tax cuts for all the stimuli and for all the rhetoric we just can't get this economy stirred up. and unfortunately that brings us to our number of the day. negative 12.9. that's the index this month from the philadelphia federal reserve. and in case you don't know the philly fed, this is not a good number. the index measures changes in business growth in the pennsylvania, new jersey, and delaware region. when the index goes zero, factory-sector businesses are growing. when it drops they're shrinking. that's why a chart of the index tends to look the same as a chart of employment numbers and it's one of the best predictors of job growth. that's why the deeply negative number states that the job creation could be low for july. to make matters worse this is the third month in a row with a negative index.
this will probably be bad news fo the real world and politics collide on "the gavin newsom show." this week director philip kaufman asks "is war the ultimate aphrodisiac?" find out on "the gavin newsom show." only on current tv. um, miss ? you have hard water stains and that cleaner's not gonna cut it. you need lime-a-way. it's 4 times more effective at removing limescale than the leading bathroom cleaner. lime-a-way is specially formulated to conquer hard water stains. for lime, calcium and rust... lime-a-way is a must. if you have copd like i do you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate.
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>> eliot: ann romney calls out you people. who are you calling you people. michelle bachmann calls out a muslim brotherhood conspiracy, reminding us all that michelle bachmann is still around and still crazy. and we all recall how great it was how great it was to have eight years of george w. bush as president. >> eight years was awesome. i was famous and i was powerful, but i have--i have no desire for
fame and power any more. >> eliot: brings back great memories. tough as it may be today we'll try to end the week on a lighter note by taking a look back at the week that was with political satiriskt john fugelsang. >> thank you for having me and talking about the silliness that unites all. >> eliot: let's play this out. what we call it here, ann romney talking about you people. it was an amazing moment. take a listen. >> we have given you all you people need to know to under our financial situation and how we live our life. >> does that sum it all up. >> and it had to be an african-american journalist. i like ann omni. she seems like a great people, great kids, a knockout, ms survivor, lovely lady. i think this was a case they tried to have the romney that
appears more human and life like to go out and do damage control and she didn't do it very well. it makes her look more out of touch. the can scandal right after she said you people. they said she was talking about the media you people, why would someone like my husband have anything to hide. he does have something to hide. you're hiding something. that's why you're being interviewed. >> i have my own theory. >> give it to me. >> i think we gave him a refund. get this straight. mitt romney is the guy who during vietnam was a missionary. he was governor of massachusetts massachusetts, and then on the olympics he got his needs for dc and got pate for it. he broke up with bain and still had friends with benefits. you don't want to know how he
does doggy style on cross country trips. now when you ask for his tax records he does not put out. >> eliot: i'm not going anywhere with that change of the topic but that was great. on that note. let's turn to michelle bachmann. >> really? >> eliot: is she still nuts. >> she makes me so ashamed to be an insane lying idiot. she makes the rest of us look terrible. >> eliot: and did she read the story about mccartyism and didn't realize he was the bad guy. >> i don't know if they are bigots or just acting this way to appeal to bigots. but michelle bachmann is a mecca for people who hate mecca. it's really, really ugly. >> eliot: john mccain stepped up. the old mccain, hate to be serious when you're making me laugh on a very somber day but john mccain of old came out
and said. >> john boehner did when john boehner is your moral super that's like taxing wesley snipes. a very rich businessman is running for her seat in minnesota, this kind of gaffe may make conservative folks over there donate to someone else. she's there-- >> eliot: you love her. >> i want her to be president. i would eye a yacht if she was president. i'm a comedian. she makes others look sane and relevant. >> eliot: and gw, did it bring back good memories. >> as a comedy, yes. the first non-buffoon in a generation. i love george w. bush, you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth when they let the free world leader speak on his own. when he promotes the book he never really didn't write. >> eliot: how do you know that? >> whoa whoa, first off it's
called "the decider": then he said parts of it were lifted from other peoples, his aide's books. he plagiarized the book. >> eliot: i read it. >> this book is not him. he wrote the forward. this is george bush's notebook on how to fix the economy. >> eliot: i wondered about that choosing that as the topic. >> he was being humble. now he's anonymous and it was his clunky ill spoken away of appearing humble and it came out the often did. that's why we miss this guy. with the english language, he was inventing it every other day. this guy talked like dr. seuss. after those ace years losing jobs and the war in iraq. >> eliot: i loved his metaphor.
>> he was just changing the rules, busting this out wide open. i miss his wife as well. only in america would a librarian marry an illiterate. >> eliot: she was continuing her teaching. she had her special ed badge. >> when she said teach for america, she really meant it. >> president obama, this is classic americans taking stuff out of context. let's take a listen to what he really said. >> somebody helped to create this unbelievable american system that we had that allowed you to thrive. somebody invested in roads and bridges. if you have a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> eliot: unless you're in the road building business what he said is true. >> our good friends at fox and friends edited where he explained he wasn't saying the government helped you build it. he said society helped you build it. he said it takes a village to
make a business. the scandal was he was saying the same thing as elizabeth warren. she said the same thing success sinkly. he was trying to do this. he was saying that society produced you. society produced the conditions and structure that allow you to thrive. it's a winner, and i hope he sticks with it. >> eliot: it is a winner and it will be the full the full crumb for the debate. end in a funny section on a serious note. >> i hope he gets some handlers who can help him condense things in twitter length talking points like me, mr. president. >> eliot: we'll send him your phone number. he needs it.