tv Charlie Rose PBS September 17, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin evening with a look at the tragic events that took place at the navy yard in washington with john miller, senior correspondent of cbs news and my colleague tim murphy former deputy director of the f.b.i. and maryellen o'toole, former senior profiler at the f.b.i.. >> well, we did see signs. we saw signs after each arrest and we saw signs when he was interviewed for his behavior and we saw signs when he was in the military and he created what they're calling a pattern of misconduct.
so those puzzle pieces now are coming together and they add up far more to dangerous behavior not just nuisance behavior. >> rose: from tragedy in washington to chemical weapons in syria we talk to david sanger of the "new york times" and gary sam mortar of harvard, he is a former proliferation expert in the obama administration. >> as we get into this agreement and as we get into the destruction phase which is supposed to take place in november i can imagine the assad government saying "wait a second i'm not going to give up my chemical weapons if you're sending weapons to the opposition." so this whole thing could become very complicated for the administration if it interferes with what i think is an effort on the part of the white house to step up support for the opposition. >> rose: tragedy in washington and chemical weapons in syria. next.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin with the tragedy in washington. investigators look for clues as to why fworpler u.s. navy reservists opened fire inside a washington building inside the washington navy yard on monday. the f.b.i. has identified the shooter as 4-year-old contractor aaron alexis. yesterday he walked on to the historic naval base and killed the 12 employees before police shot him dead.
in his address to the nation last night, president obama called the attack yet another mass shooting and a cowardly act. joining me now from washington maryellen o'toole, she was one of the f.b.i.'s most senior criminal profilers and is the author of the book "dangerous instincts." here in new york former f.b.i. deputy director tim murphy and my colleague cbs news senior correspondent john miller. i want to begin with john miller and lead me through all of this. the what questions are we asking should beasking and take advantage of the experience of tim and maryellen. >>. >> the motive. are we dealing with terrorism or a sick individual? as we get more granularity it looks like we're dealing with someone who has emotional and mental issues who acted out yesterday. in those cases, when you get to
motive it's often very unsatisfying because if you can find why they think they did it it doesn't make sense to us. >> rose: mary ellen, you've looked at this. tell me what you see in this man >> well, what i see someone with a lot of cop tra dictions, incob consistent behavior. some people say he's a sweet young man. some people say he's very aggressive. the concern is what he has been in the past acting out in an aggressive way it's very disproportionate to the offense. going back to 2004 when he shot the tires out of some construction workers, is 2010 when he shot around through his neighbors' ceiling, his behavior when he's aggressive is disproportionate to what happened and when i see that behavior i refer to that as an
injustice collector. and when you too old that the likelihood that there could be not just mental issues but even serious mental issues, that can make him an extremely dangerous individual. >> rose: and should we have seen signs? i mean, obviously people do all kinds of irrational things leading up to doing something that's much, much, much worse. and tragic. but should we have seen this and should rational people have said "that's irrational and we have to be warned"? >> we did see signs. we saw signs after each arrest and when he was interviewed for his behavior and we saw signs when he was in the military and he created what they're calling a pattern of misconduct. so those puzzle pieces are now coming together and they add up far more to dangerous behavior,
not just nuisance behavior. and as someone who's done hundreds of threat assessments over the years i know sometimes the general public will look at behavior and they'll say, well, this is a young man with problem if my colleagues and i on the other hand will say "this is a man who's dangerous." >> rose: and what's the difference? >> well, when you look at someone who's dangerous, that means they can act out in a violent way towards their neighbors or towards their co-workers. this individual is very hypervigilant to any kind of criticism, as evidenced in his prior contacts with law enforcement. you can't go to work everyday, you can't have roommates and neighbors and not at some point have a fight or an argument or disagreement. when this has happened to him at least we have multiple incidents where he's pulled out a gun.
so as his life continues and he has more life trauma his coping behavior is to pull out a gun. that's a huge red flag. >> rose: subpoena there a triger? a trigger incident he? a trigger something that causes people to go from someone who is an injustice collector who -- a grievance collector, to someone who wants to walk in and shoot not only someone who may be responsible for grievance but other people as well? >> there are probably multiple triggers here but what's important is the thinking behind this behavior would have pre-existed this crime maybe as much as several years. what i mean by that is they have to begin to think about what it would be like to solve their problems by killing all their co-workers. how would they do it?
it's fueled by other instances of mass homicide. so much that thinking evolvings probably years ago and it came to sort of its fruition yesterday. but it's definitely not snapping behavior. this took a long time for him to get to the point where he decided this was how he was going to handle his issues, his problems, his complaints, his need for revenge. >> you know, there was an incident on friday of last week where a supervisor took him on the side and said "you installed one of these cubicles wrong.". one of the i.t. things. mary ellen, is it possible that something that small could have been a last straw? >> i think it's -- it certainly is, john, especially if there were other people around that are either heard it or he thinks
heard it that hi would feel this sense of humiliation. that's a -- that's a very bad emotion for someone who is an injustice collector. if they feel they've been publicly humiliated. it may have been o a scale of 1-10 between him and his supervisor a 2. he, on the other hand, probably saw it as a 10 plus because of the circumstances. so that could have been the straw. >> and it's not just -- she's absolutely right, charlie. it's not just this case. the bureau has handed or responded to a number of these offenses and then they take a look back. they do a scrub just like they're doing on this individual getting his whole life laid out in exactly what were the pre-attack indicators and in all the past event there is's been pre-attack indicators when you look back. but the problem with the pre-attack indicators the family knows about us, friends know about it, the psychiatrist know
about it. law enforce system never brought in on the picture or it's brought in in disparate areas. seattle event happens, texas an event happened. >> rose: and people who know the indicators don't know what to do about them? >> and don't know who to report it to, especially when it comes to mental health issues. so the bureau and other agencies have looked back to determine what are the pre-incident indicators and what are the triggers? >> rose: and what would you add in terms of indicators? >> i think the indicators are that. you have to event in seattle. you have a reported event in texas. you have -- it's come out that the navy cited him for eight different misconduct events. who's looking at that in the hole? those are all different type of indicatorss. i have to say there always is a trigger from the past suspects that we've had there was always a triggering event. it was a change of job, a relationship problem, a domestic problem, a work other business problem. >> rose: l. >> i think a picture emerges here-- as tim and mary ellen
have framed it-- of a guy who's not where he thinks he should be. he dropped out of high school, got an equivalency degree. he didn't finish college, he was back in school again. he listed on his resume on the classified site for resumes where you get security work reporting live from a clearance that he hoped to make $30,000 to $40,000 which is aiming pretty flow the i.t. field. so i think he looked at -- you know, this guy has a college degree, he's doing better. this guy got promoted in the navy, i didn't. and this is building up and he's probably blaming people around him. >> rose: tim, what's the f.b.i. doing right now? >> well, today even this far a day later they're most likely still at the scene. the evidence response team is still at the scene. they're doing trajectory analysis, behavioral analysiss there, victim assistance and witnesses probably set up there. they're scrubbing this individual's life all over the country. in other words you have new york
j.t.t.f., inpatient intel with the f.b.i. looking at his background up here. at the same time you have seattle offices of the f.b.i. and their state and local partners doing the same thing as well as texas. >> i think we have to get another-to-another question here and this is the provocative question for television which is mary ellen told me a long time ago that one of these guys doesn't see the last one on television and go out and do a mass shooting basically. but disturbed individuals who are already thinking about doing something like that see the last guy and that tends to accelerate their plans. "i could be that guy. that could be me." >> rose: the whole world could be talking about me. >> about my name. so when is the conference of television news executives where they get together with law enforcement professionals and say "how do we handle these guys?" because if you look at the last two years there's been one of these after another after another, you can start with aurora, you can start before that, you can go through newtown and say how do we redefine making that guy famous for a week if that is his or her
ultimate goal? >> rose: how do you answer the question yourself? >> i would say it's a worthwhile discussion. and i think the empirical data that the news media would probably demand before they said "we're going to either cover these less or cover them in a different way." there was the shooting, these are the consequences, we can have one day of wall-to-wall coverage because people need to know. but what do you do on the second day? do you keep mentioning the killer's name? do you use his pictures? do you talk about his problems? do you go through his collection of injustices dorr you say the next guy is watching this now and he's thinking that could be me. how would we minimize that. the question i think we have to have-- and mary ellen might fill this in-- is how much effect does the last guy have? >> rose: mary ellen? how much does the last guy have? >> i think the last guy has a huge effect and it e it may be
three last guys before this one. but i think this copycat effect is really one of the pink elephants in the room but it's -- it's so important. is we give it lip service, but to these individuals that carry out very similar plans, they're mission oriented, they want maximum lethality, they want to stop the world and be on t.v. for a week long period of time, it's hugely important. that's part of their motivation from my experience is to have that power and that thrill seeking experience. >> rose: do we know from all those that have been studied that these are people who have a low self-esteem or a high self-esteem and don't think the world understands them which is it? >> they see themselves differently depending on the case we're talking about, columbine versus virginia tech
versus the shooter yesterday. so in columbine, for example, erik harris was very arrogant and really held himself in high regard. and this shooter yesterday may be less so. so it's degrees. but when you start to look at the behavior and how they're going to rectify their life, those are the common threads. but they're not all cookie cutter personalities and i think it's also important to point out if they do have mental health issues they all don't have the same mental health issue. and so, you know, i know there's talk about rounding up all the people that have mental health issues and keeping guns out of their hands and the question is, well, who do you round up? the depressed ones? how about the psychopath i can ones? so we have to recognize their differences but we also want to recognize their commonalties and i think from that that i agree
with tim and john, there has to be a wrap around approach to how we address this. it's no longer just a law enforcement problem issue. >> i mean, one of the questions is how does an individual like alexis fly under the radar screen no? so let's take it on paper-- which is 20-20 hindsight and unfair. but i am the u.s. navy. am i going to take a guy that shot out tires of cars that he thought was blocking driveways, fired a gun through his neighbors' floor because of noise complaints? am i going give him a secret clearance. am i going to let him work in secure government facilities. now the answers to that are well he wasn't prosecuted for those. so while the arrest charge was there, he wasn't convicted, how does the same person buy a gun the same answer? so part of this is do we need to
improve that radar in those background checks? this is a case where you have an i.t. specialist with a security clearance. these the same questions they're raising about contractors, snontd, the n.s.a. leaks. are we looking at these people hard enough. >> rose: are we? >> well, certain agencies are and certain aren't depending on whether you're a contractor or federal employee. so it varies but with four to five million individuals with security clearances and the urgency to get them down there was pushing government over the last few years to speed up these backgrounds and now hindsight again-- unfair looking back-- are we rushing some of these too far? are we not making good decisions on looking at the whole person and either eliminating them or taking their clearances away. >> rose: you're former deputy director of the f.b.i. suppose turn director of the f.b.i. today and the president of the united states call i don't say into the oval office seasoned and says "what do we do? what do we do as public officials? what do we do as law
enforcement. what do we do as journalists? what do we do in the health care field? where do we begin to take steps that somehow we can at least make some progress in stopping this because it seems to be an epidemic." >> it's an interesting question and the answer is they've already done that. so i think it was this year, in january of this year the white house brought d.h.s., the department of homeland security and the f.b.i. together and said how do we respond better to an active shooter event? and so they charged d.h.s. with the f.b.i. to going out there and determining the state and locals, making sure everybody is getting the training they need from the command staff down to the police officer. >> rose: and that works? >> that works perfectly. >> rose: i want to come back to how it works perfectly but go ahead. >> but part of that plan, from what i understand that plan to be, is that they were supposed to work with the communities and try to work their way through pre-attack indicators discussing educations with schools telling
them what pre-attack indicators were so those were included but i don't think to the level they need to be to help solve this problem. >> that's one of the intersections here that's a very difficult one. if you look at the aurora shooter here's something where his school referred him for psychological help where the psychiatrist helping him wrote up there's indicators that this individual is dangerous and then the person left the school. well, then he wasn't there problem anymore. there wasn't a reach out the the local policetor county to say we have concerns about this person. and the bar is set incredibly high for medical professionals and psychiatry and psychology about whether you can form law enforcement. if you think that they are an imn imminent danger, if they're about to do something tomorrow you can breach patient
contractualty. other than that you're supposed to keep that counsel. that's another thing that after the shootings people say we need to take a second look at that because in yesterday's case we had someone who had been in and out of treatment. in aurora we did and others we have and we have to ask where does patient contractualty weigh against public safety? >> rose: what does law enforcement do? >> but to borrow mary ellen's phrase it's not a cookie cutter solution. let's take aurora as a model hoochlt ears somebody who created a notebook that his pictures of him shooting and threatening language. that's the thing where law enforcement can't show up and arrest him but they can go there conduct an interview, ask questions, they can then begin to make an assessment. is it the fix no, but it puts them on the radar. >> rose: i'd love to know if there are people headed down -- mary ellen has establish shed sees a building rage.
are there people that somehow that rage has been seen, spotted and somehow been able to channel it away from a violent act? mary ellen? >> oh, most definitely. and i wouldn't use the word "raej," actually. in these cases where they're more predatory in nature, the mission-oriented go in with a lot of weapons. these shooters in these cases are almost hypoemotional. meaning without emotion. and the witnesses and the survivors are probably going to tell us-- not sure yet, but i would expect they're going to say yesterday he walked coolly and calmly, he didn't seem to be upset, he just seemed to be very matter of fact about what he was doing. that's certainly been the case in other mass shootings of this type. so i would expect that he's, in fact, not rageful on the surface but actually hypoemotional and sometimes -- often times that's
even worse because you can look right at someone like that and you can't tell what's going on with them because it's all inside. >> rose: factor in now at this point in the conversation guns. what does and where's the connection and what do we know from all the cases you've studied about where guns come into play? mary ellen? >> well, you -- yes, you heard me say earlier that first there was -- that was one of the pink elephants in the room. there are other pink elephants in the room. in order to be a mass killer you have to have weapons of mass destruction. had these shooters-- including the one yesterday-- had even a knife or something far less lethal than the weapons he had he could not have killed as many people as he did. that's the bottom line. that's the definition for a mass killer.
having access to weapons and being able to bring those weapons into a workplace, university or school. i don't know how you really get around that. >> rose: guns. >> is that a realistic proposition that there won't be guns available in this country? do we think we will get to that point? >> rose: you've been in law enforcement long enough and thought about this a lot. >> i don't think that's realistic. now there may be-- like there has been in the past-- certain bills that limit long guns, high capacity magazines and the like. but if you look at how this was committed, it was by a shotgun-- which is bought for hunting purposes-- and by a handgun that was taken off an individual guard that was already shot. >> rose: did he think he could achieve with a shotgun maximum lethality? a word i learned in this conversation? >> you know, i think they used the tools that they can get their hands on. they think through this, they
plan it, this isn't a spur of the moment thing. >> rose: which raises an interesting question. is it generally the objective of most of these we have seen to kill as many people as possible because they believe that adds to the dramatic impact which will somehow make them the subject of attention? you get more attention if you kill 50 people than if you do two. >> well, based on their behavior from my perspective, that's what their behavior is saying. going in with multiple weapons, accessing multiple weapons, having a great deal of ammunition and just starting to shoot everybody and anybody, even if you have someone that you've targeted, you have other victims who you may not even know that you include in your killing spree. so based on their behavior, they are going in for maximum lethality. and what's in their head at that
time, again, we don't know. but they are prepared almost like a -- almost as though they're on a mission to kill just as many people as they can. and in the end they keep killing until they're either apprehended-- as what happened in aurora-- they suicide or suicide by cop. >> rose: but they want to kill as many people as they can because it gives them maximum publicity. maximum what? >> i think it's multiple. i think they go in to kill has people as they can in part because it will get them that sort of notoriety. it's sensation seeking, thrill seeking. but i also think there is that revenge element that's there to get back at people. and these cases that we're talking about, in order to be able to accomplish something that's so callous, that's so cold-blooded, you have to view human beings as objects.
and they want to kill as many people-- objects-- as they can. so i think it's multiple. i don't think it's singularly motivated but that ability to look at another human being in such a callous way pre-existed that shooting yesterday. that doesn't just crop up in your personality traits yesterday. that had to evolve over time. >> rose: do you think they want to die? >> that was going to be my question. >> rose: is it suicide? they think i'm committing suicide by doing that but might as well. >> i think suicide is a huge issue with these cases and whether they view death as the way those t three of us or the four of us would view it, i don't know. but i think suicide is definitely -- definitely has a prominent role in these cases. >> rose: i'm also intrigued by
what we're learning about how to handle. beyond the nature of the person doing this. what have we learned in law enforcement about how to -- >> about how to actually respond to the active shooter? i think there's been a lot of work done. texas state university came up with a protocol in 2002 that's been adopted by the f.b.i. and d.h.s. and they've trained over 40 state and locals. they have a protocol. how you respond, how you have a unified command. what everybody's responsibility should be. how you clear room to room. how you rescue people. they walk police officers and xhanld staff through this. how the information will flow. where's everybody going to be. if something new pops up. and they table top these exercises. the united states has gotten very, very good training, active shooter response. a lot of the cities, new york, washington, l.a. actually practiced this in a unified space with others, with other federal and local partners. so they've learned quite a bit
on how timely you need to get there. you have to get there quick in order to save lives. how to get through the building as quick as you can. it's about getting there, taking out the adversary and saving the rest of the people there. that's what the training goes to >> rose: and it's extraordinarily different from how we were raised. the protocol through the '70s, the '80s, the '90s was get containment and wait for your special forces, you your swat team to go in and open a dialogue with the subject try to talk them out. that was an old model which dealt with the professional criminal or the person who was crying for help. the new model is while you're setting up your perimeter and waiting for your swat team your person is engaged in what another term mary ellen will teach us today, hunting behavior. which is they are stalking in that location to kill has people
as possible. so that's a no-wait situation. the average police officer isn't equipped to take off on a heavily armed person so they've adjusted to that. every city has a vernalover an immediate action rapid deployment plan. active shooters in the place, there is no waiting. three cars pull up, you're from the park police, you fear from the capitol police, i'm from the f.b.i., we form the first team. we go in. our job is to make contact. you're from the transit police, the u.s. marshals, the smithsonian police, you form a second team. second contact team is launched and you flood that zone until you, as tim says, can stop the assailant, that mean may mean taking into custody or killing him but the justice department to stop his killing. however you have to do that. we saw this yesterday in action. >> rose: what did we learn yesterday? >> this was really interesting because this has been table topped and trained to in the d.c. area where if any place on
the planeter, tim, you've got more police departments within one jurisdiction it's the district. and you had an m.p.d.-- meaning d.c. police-- metropolitan police commander arrives on the scene and he starts doing justice that. he sees officers streaming as say you three, you're together." they're all different catches. >> rose: but someone is delegating? >> somebody is saying all right, i'm sending these contact teams in and they are going what they call down range. towards the threat and you saw a fairly quick engagement. this individual shooter had gone to the high ground on the fourth floor shooting down into the atrium and the walkways when he had what the tactical people call a position of advantage. he had the high ground and he had the good view. and he had the shotgun. when they got up to the fourth floor they engaged him, he kald security officer, he took his gun, he had that weapon, he shot a d.c. officer, a canine guy, 20
years of experience who had a long weapon shot him twice in the head. n.s.i.c. agents shot at him. at that point, you know, it was no longer shooting ducks in a -- you know, it was no longer his game. he had to go on the run. and then you see this very interesting and scary time where there's like a 15-minute lull in the action where the contact teams are roming the halls and he's either roaming the halls and was hidden and he comes out of the corner and a d.c. cop and a u.s. park police officer come face to face with him and take him down. >> and that's generally if you -- in past events when they've done that analysis you'd be surprised. people think this is a long event. the average is 12 minutes. the individual is normally taken out -- >> rose: between start to finish? >> start to finish. >> rose: the time they arrived or --. >> well, from the time they started shooting until the bad guy is either down, committed suicide or taken out.
>> rose: whether it's in a theater or atrium, 12 minutes. >> so in this case you had minutes to the police response, park police was very nearby. d.c., too. they had engaged the suspect with gunfire within seven minute of the initial call locating anymore that building and in 30 minutes the whole thing was over and a lot of that time they didn't know where he was. >> rose: with respect to this-- you and i covered these things-- there's often misinformation. is that inevitable or sr. it what? >> it's inevitable and it's not just misinformation on the media side. if you've been in the command post during one of these things you're getting traffic. you're getting radio calls, you're getting reports, people are coming in there, they're briefing you. >> rose: telling you what they think they know. >> and you're getting it right from the source. these are the people on the scene. they're calm, they're professional but they're getting it from a lot of polices. so the rule of thumb is the first story is never right.
it may have the basis of right but the details are always going to change. one of the curveballs we faced yesterday was this individual was found after he was killed with identification belonging to another individual who was also navy personnel when they locked down that guy's house for a search warrant they said anybody coming in and now detained them for questioning, that individual who was thought to be the dead gunman rolled into the driveway and they said "who are you?" and he gave his name and they thought "well, this is odd." the same thing happened in newtown where the shooter was carrying his older brother's i.d. they went to the older brother's house and then when they encountered him they thought well, how could he be the shooter if he's here and supposed to be there. so you see these things but during the incidents, hn, there's a lot of information moving fast and you have to kind of sort through it. >> rose: and warn people that
this is changing in a moving fast story. >> so yesterday you had the same thing. you had witnesses reporting multiple gunmen. so it could have been an off duty police officer with a gun running through to help respond and witnesses reports so that's why you had those reports of second and third gunman which is very concerning but i think those that are in the beth israelize 95%, 96% are loan gn they're not multiple gunmen but the training for active shooter isn't all around just one lone gunman, it's based off the mumbai event. multiple shooters. >> rose: >> multiple locations. >> that's what these police departments and f.b.i. and d.h.s. are training for. the multiple shooter scenario because they that's one of the worst things we would face. >> avenue the mumbai incident where they took multiple locations, a train station, two hotels, a jewish center and they're -- their goal was also maximum lethality and where they didn't kill people they were setting fires in the taj mahal hotel, i briefed that to the
l.a.p.d. with the f.b.i. in los angeles and said look at your current model. and they basically rewrote the book in l.a. about the response to the active shooter thing based on mumbai which is you're not going to have enough swat teams. your patrol force is going to have to rise to this. in new york they trained 3,000 narcotics cops and plain clothed people in how to deal with long weapons an the idea that if they had this -- their special weapons people wouldn't be able to necessarily handle it alone, either. >> rose: i want to lead with this question to you. first question is knowing what you know now what would you most want to know? what is your biggest question as one who has enormous experience wrote a book as we mentioned called "dangerous instincts," as the experience of looking at so of m of these cases in your role as a profiler for the f.b.i.
what question is most in your mind that you do not know the answer to? >> i would say there are several. i want to know what his mental health state was. how severe his mental illness was, what the diagnosis is. i think that's very important. i'd want to know his toxicology report the see if this behavior was exacerbated by drugs or alcohol. there are reports that he did abuse alcohol. so i'd want to know all the factors that contributeded to this behavior yesterday. i don't want to see a big hole at once investigation is done and say, geez, i wonder if that was more atribtdable to a, b, or
c. so i want to know what his mental health history is, the tox report. i want to know how this behavior especially in the last 24 hours and in the time since august 25 when i think he arrived here in d.c., what his behavior was and who else may have been aware of it and not recognized it but been aware of it is. one of the very most powerful warning behaviors that we've seen in other cases is leakage. and leakage has vofled over time as well. so i would be looking for forms of leakage which mean he is directly or inadvertently told somebody about what he was going to do. >> rose: and if, in fact, you could talk to him, somehow he'd survived and the f.b.i. said go in and talk to them, what would you ask him? >> i would ask him what -- well, i'd actually ask him who he --
he's following these other cases of mass homicide. i would treat it, charlie, like i would treat a case in which somebody has threatened suicide. you don't walk around it, you go right to them. and you say "are you thinking about killing yourself how are you going to do it? what's your plan? tell me everything about it." and that's what i would do with him. i'd go right in there and say "tell me what you're thinking, what's your plan? how are you going to carry it out?" i'd confront him with it because he is suicidal and i would treat it exactly that way. >> rose: finally this. the maybe by definition anybody who does these kinds of things is insane. on the other hand, are the people who doze do these -- some people who do these things just simply psychopaths or mean or whatever explanation you have
that it has nothing to do with what we commonly understood as mental illness? >> in my opinion, that's absolutely true. and a psychopath is not someone that's mentally ill sol you have people who have psychopath i can traits in these cases but you have people who have mental illness as well but here's the important point, a person can still mental illness but not be so debilitated by that mental illness that they cannot think very strategically and sustain a very well thought out plan. >> what mary ellen is saying is we've seen cases where the person clearly had something wrong with them and were mentally imbalanced yet when they go to to do this act they plan it with extraordinary attention to detail and rationality. here's the real test. when they get in there and shots are being fired and people are
screaming and there's pandemonium and things start to go wrong-- their gun jams, something like that, the police show up-- you see this almost hyperrationality in many of these cases where they're able to adapt, overcome and continue with their plan. one of the real hedges on the insanity defense is, well, my client is incompetent to understand the proceedings, you can't go forward with the trial, we're pleading insanity. your client was extraordinarily competent in planing this act and carrying it out even under the same pressures that sometimes flummox law enforcement people in the face of gun fire. and this's what makes this offender in general different for from other kind of offenders >> rose: last word to you since we've lost our feed to mary ellen. >> we need a comprehensive response. people are going to come out of the woodwork, is it the weapons?
the background check? the clearance. they'll have all these different things and reasonsbly this occurred. what we need is your question which, as the white house asked and they have asked the f.b.i. to do a number things, and d.h.s., we need some other plan to look at the underlying issues here. what can we do to help prevent sneeze we know how to respond to them. law enforcement knows how to respond to actual shooters. where do we get to the point where we can understand not just the mental health but the things that need to be put in place to mitigate the risk of this happening in the future and i don't think we're to that point. >> rose: thank you so much. thank you for coming in on this busy day. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: we turn now to syria, united nations united nations confirm that chemical weapons were used in the august 21 attack outside damascus that left more than 1 shgz 400 dead. while the report did not assign blame to the incident, the data it contains ifrp kate it is
assad regime. the u.s. and russia agreed to avert a possible u.s. strike on syria. it calls for the country to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by the middle of 2014. the syrian government has also officially agreed to join an international convention banning chemical weapons. joining me now from boston, gary samore, he served as senior advisor on non-proliferation issues at the national security council during president obama's first term and david sanger, the chief washington correspondent for the "new york times." i'm pleased to have both of them on this program at this time. i just asked this question of both of you. take a look at the implications of the united nations report and tell me what it means and what impact it has. gary, first you. >> well, charlie, i think the u.n. report really will help strengthen the agreement that the u.s. and russia have reached. we now have a good agreement on paper. no doubt chemical weapons were used. frankly, very little doubt that it was the syrian government that was responsible.
syrian government has now of course admitted that they have chemical weapons, they've joined the chemical weapons convention but there's still a lot of work to be done in terms of translating the u.s./russia agreement into a u.n. security council resolution, into action by the o.p.c.w., the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and we have to start with the assumption that the syrian government will try to delay and evade and at the end of the day hide at least some of their chemical weapons. >> if they do that, what happens then? >> well, it's going to be up to the u.s. and russia to pressure assad to give as full accounting as possible. and i think that what's mildly encouraging is that the russians have some vested interest in getting rid of syria's chemical weapons. a, i think they're probably furious at the assad government for using chemical weapons, despite russia's many warnings. b, the russians are nervous about the transfer of chemical weapons to extremist groups who might even use those weapons against russia.
and, c, russia wants to avoid any u.s. military attack on syria. and the best way to achieve that is to get rid of the chemical weapons and certain live to prevent use. >> rose: russia in conversation this table and elsewhere has always said that they regime no lhemica rnrrect? nt on at leas two occasions. when we had indications that the syrian government was preparing chemical weapons for use both directly and through the russians we warned the aside government not to use chemical weapons and at least on those occasions they appeared to back off. >> rose: so why is the russian government saying today they don't think these weapons were used by the assad regime? >> i frankly think they have to. but i'm not sure they really believe it. they know very well what will the syrian government is capable of and as i say they have mean? the past how serious the threat was because they've joined us in
warning assad. but in terms of protecting the assad government, i don't think the russians can afford to publicly accuse him of carrying out a warm crime. >> rose: david, what would you too old that? >> i think the u.n. report itself is quite a comprehensive piece of work and when grow back into the appendix of the report you discover that the weapon that was used in these august 21 attacks was significantly larger than any of the weapons that have been used in those smaller attacks that took place back in the spring and it involves very complex technology and preparation and all of that would, as gary suggested, make it very difficult to believe that the rebel groups were responsible for it, especially because of the trajectory of these rockets appeared to be launched out of government-held territory. as for its implications, i think it makes it harder for assad
regime to make the case that they don't have significant stores and the big change in the past week is they've begun to admit they do. but the history of past disarmament is unless there is a big da dramatic demonstration at the beginning of the process that assad is serious about giving this up, a demonstration that would make it unmistakable to the people who won unit 450, his chemical weapons unit and others in the syrian military, then there's going to be this game that could go on for some time. the iraqis and the libyans at the beginning of their disarmament periods made big dramatic shows. the libyans pulled the bombs and warheads-- empty ones-- out of storage and rolled bulldozers over them. the iraqis lit much of their chemical agent on fire in open pits, somethat that no environmentalist would want to see happen. >> rose: how much pressure will the russians bring to bear on
ahad? >> they've got another interest here which is that if assad does fall and some of these weapons fell into the hands of the more radical jihadist it is russian fear that it could be used in caucuses caucus regions that they worry about themselves. so i think they've got as gary said a strong interest in making sure this happened but they've got an even stronger interest in making sure the u.s. does not intervene. and as a result i think they will probably say that a 50% or 80% job is good enough in terms of getting rid of the stockpiles >> rose: gary, how much time does the president have to give them? >> well, you know, i think as david pointed out the beginning of of the process is critical and we'll have a very early test because within a week according to the u.s./russia agreement, assad has to give a full accounting of the chemical weapons, munitions as well as production and storage facilities.
and according to the u.s./russia agreement, experts on both sides have agreed a ballpark figure of what that declaration should look like. and i assume the russians would be coaching assad behind the scenes to hell him he these make a declaration that passes the laugh test. that's within the bound of a reasonable declaration. so we may find out quickly the extonight which assad will be cooperative. >> rose: from intelligence sources and other sources we pretty much know what he's got? >>. >> i wouldn't say across the board. but certainly in terms of the major facilities i think we and the russians and others have a very good sense. there will be more of a margin of error in terms of the precursors and chemical weapons themselves but, again, within a reasonable range and that will be a very early test whether or not assad is serious. >> rose: david, how does the situation see its options? >> well, it's plan "b" option, of course, is always to hold the possibility of military force out there and not necessarily
with a u.n. mandate to do so. i think the his tense that the president has had in recent "new york times" using that force, both in his decision to go to congress and then his decision to play out the russian option tells you the president himself is quite hesitant to go that route. and the room for miscalculation here is that president assad may come to the conclusion and the russians may come toll the conclusion that that has tense runs so deep in the president that they can get away with w a fair bit in this declaration and in the actual inspections. and i suspect that will be where the hard issues are going to come for the white house because they're going to have to decide at some point whether a partial declaration or partial inspection is good enough to keep assad from using this again >> can i add, charlie, one other complication? one other big complication is how this chemical weapons
agreement interacts with the administration's support from the opposition because assad has already said that that his willingness to cooperate in disarming his chemical weapons will depend upon the u.s. not providing support-to-the opposition. now, that's off the table for now but as we get into this agreement and in particular as we get into the destruction phase-- which is supposed to take place in november-- i can imagine the assad government saying wait a second, i'm not going to give up my chemical weapons if you're sending weapons to the opposition. so this whole thing could become very complicated for the administration if it interferes with what i think is an effort on the part of the white house to step up support for opposition. >> rose: the opposition has said in recent days that the arms are beginning to flow. they're light arms, but let's imagine this situation here-- and this is purely a scenario-- where two months from now assad comes to the conclusion that the opposition is gaining strength and taking more territory and
they've already take an fair bit of the country. if that's the case, giving up his instrument of last defense may seem a harder and harder decision in a few months from now than it does right now when the russians are basically holding a gun to his head. >> rose: so what are his options? >> i think for right now assad has no choice but to go along with this agreement. and i think many ways there may be nervousness. even though they're declaring victory in damascus, i think he has to be worried about cooperation between washington and moscow to put pressure on him to give up what has been a very important strategic asset in terms of the national defense against israel and other outside players but also against the rebels. so for now he's going to play along. but down the road as david suggest as the situation changes he may feel that he has no choice but to stop or to limit cooperation. >> rose: based on your best
analytical skills and vast experience both of you. how do you see this playing itself out? >> i think this -- the process put in place by the u.s./russia agreement is likely to play itself out for at least a couple months because all sides share certain interests. washington and moscow and damascus all want to avoid an american attack on syria the u.s. and russia would like to see chemical weapons eliminated or at least significantly reduced so i think for the time -- and the situation on the battlefield is not going to change in a short period of time. so i expect this agreement to play out for some time and if it does collapse it will be down the road when they get into the destruction phase. >> rose: david? >> charlie, i think the interesting issue here is that what's off the table now is punishing aside for the august 21 attack, the one you just saw the u.n. report about. and as the timeline gets longer, when we get further away from that attack, i think it gets
harder and harder for president obama to make an argument he's launching an attack as punishment for that. so then the rationale would have to change in the white house and it would have to be punishment for non-compliance with the disarmament agreement and that's always a harder call. because people will argue that it's going slower than it could have but remember the united states has been at the business of destroying its own stockpiles now for 28 years. we've spent over $30 billion doing it. and parts of it remain undone. so assad will have a good argument to make that this is hardtor do and if you want an example just look at the american experience. >> rose: i had former secretary of defense leon panetta here on friday who made the case that others have made including former secretaryates that at the end if you don't have some russian american compromise
here that the president has to act-- even if he doesn't have in the case of leon panetta congressional authority because of the risk of how it will be read in tehran and north korea is too severe, has the president put himself in that place? gary? >>. >> if the agreement breaks down and there's non-compliance of use of chemical weapons by the syrian government because they feel they have to given their battlefield situation the president has no choice but to use military force and i thich this time around the white house is unlikely to make the mistake of seeking congressional authorization because that clearly is not on the table. >> rose: david? >> if they're not going to get congressional authorization after a use of chemical weapons against the syrian people i think it's going to be harder to get it for what what would be a complex technical argument over
compliance with the agreement. but the problem with the administration facing on the credibility issue here is that this is not a credibility argument that's been made by their critics, this is a credibility argument that has been made publicly and privately by their own secretary of state and even at some moments by the president himself. the secretary of state has raised iran and north korea and how they are watching time and time again and at that point you've sort of got yourself in the box. >> rose: to be continued. thank you, david, thank you, gary, a pleasure. >> thanks. >> rose: thanks, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us, see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
09/17/13 09/17/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! the demographics unit, they would take ethnic officers out of the academy and drop them into ethnic neighborhoods where they were basically the eyes and ears of the nypd. they kind of go to the bookstores and the libraries and the cocoa bars --hookah
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