Jeremy Bash:Central Intelligence


I do solemnly swear I will support defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign the master that I will bear to face allegiance to the scene that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and paid us as well as my older sibling older brother and of having the opportunity to go to Georgetown because mom was a professor there and that conferred some intuition benefits and that allow us to go essentially for free I teach there now occasionally and it's just a marvelous place in students are so engaged and Oh smart it was a great place for us for two reasons number one is I grew up in a religious Jewish household I went to a Jewish day schools intelligence and defense missions are fascinating timely and important on the oath Jeremy shares the remarkable story of the analysis and Planning Integral Rosenberg and I am honored to be your host for another thoughtful conversation with a fascinating guest Jeremy Bash graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School D. C. The old D. C. General Hospital and deliver babies mostly for the poor and underserved communities in Southeast Washington and then come home at about six am and colleagues as the result of a two thousand nine terrorist attack at Camp Chapman in Khost Afghanistan a story we should never forget Jeremy Bash youngest I'm actually the youngest of the four I'm sure he reminds you absolutely he's eight minutes my older but he's smarter and better looking than I am the tour worked at the very highest levels of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense in both posts he had the privilege and the responsibility of serving and so they came down in the sixties and raised four kids and they still live in the house in Arlington where I spent my formative years my dad is a rabbi and he get us kids ready for school now as a parent of three young kids it kind of blows my mind to think that mom when out in the middle of the night worked in came back and has the chief of staff to Leon Panetta Mister Panetta of course was the director of the CIA and later the secretary of Defense Jeremy's insights about our oh life and then to Catholic school a Jesuit School for college was a terrific experience first of all it broadened my perspective but it also welcome to the oath paycheck great to be here thank you for doing this I pleasure you grew up in northern Virginia I did I grew up in Arlington. Actually they're not a lot of natives in whiff furry program for midwives at Georgetown University and when I was a kid she would get up in the middle of the night and go and take call and go down conducts funerals for Jewish war veterans who have fallen and their spouses how about your mom my mom was a nurse and she ended up leading the nurses it came down to serve as a pulpit rabbi at congregation in Arlington the only congregation in Arlington and he served there for thirty six years and then when he retired he Gulf War and then ultimately he became the chaplain of the Pentagon now conducting services weekly there and he also at Arlington National Cemetery Perform Oh it opened my eyes to a lot of commonality and common respect among religious faiths and among people of the cloth from different religious Washington DC area but my folks were Brooklyn Knights they came down from New York in the early nineteen sixties at a time when I think northern I decided you know I'm in northern Virginia around the government around the Department of Defense let me help out some way my country so he began to serve as a congregational rabbi at four p all to the successful mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden Jeremy also describes the tragic loss of seven CIA personnel and to International Shinya Arlington and the whole area was experiencing a lot of growth because of course during the forties and after that the federal government really expanded I did all the mom duties as you would expect them to do she sounds like an extraordinary woman she certainly as my folks as I said raised four kids my twin brother and I are the editor in chief of the newspaper the Hoya and also got more involved in sort of editorial writing and I guess finding my own political voice and from Georgetown Face Second Georgetown obviously got a focus on politics in government and international relations which is what I kind of came to be super interested in it the law school this was in the in the late ninety s and really enjoyed law school I didn't know whether I wanted to practice law candidly but I looked up at what you mean by the Westphalian project when I think of the Treaty of West Valley I think of the concept that nations should be secure in their own borders and that governed or the the people who had served in government and when I was at Georgetown who was the time of the first Gulf War and there was a lot of discussion on campus about what should the United States is role be I invaded Kuwait in August of nineteen ninety I it really tested whether or not in the international norm context one Middle East once you we use military force what aggression by one state against another kind of testing the Westphalian project was under discussion could invade another and take it over and I think although our particular meaning the United States is particular interests and defending Kuwait were probably a debatable proposition citizenry of a particular nation should have a country to which they belong you belong to a country not just a tribe or clan or family and when Saddam Hussein I Bill Clinton was at Georgetown graduate so there was a lot of excitement on campus about his presidency and I looked at people like Warren Christopher who was coming in as secretary of state who had had a long career in and out of government in the law and at the Justice Department and I thought boy law school allows you to keep your options open and potentially do some public service along the way after law school in Germany I know that you clerked for judge Leoni Brinkema in the eastern district of Virginia she is a wonderful trial judge still sitting on the bench I had the privilege of appearing in her courtroom many many times that's actually where I met you that's right I went to that office in Alexandria i WanNa see what a federal prosecutor did what was really at stake was whether or not one country could invade another and get away with it I look to people including the incoming people who were serving in the Clinton administration in ninety two and justice what was fair in any particular outcome and she was tough I mean as you know you prosecuted cases in front of her she put the government through its paces and I liked that actually I thought that was one of the things I loved about Judge Branca's chambers was that she had a picture of all her clerks on the wall they were family to her absolutely and in fact every year we have a huge virtue she was tough she was fair I know that sounds cliche but it actually happens to be true it wasn't always easy in her courtroom but I never walked out thinking that an engine miles and got to see a lot of motions before the judges and as I looked around at the various judges in that courtroom I was really taken by the practical approach that you ask you what you intended to do with the rest of Your Life Jeremy What did you tell her I said honestly judge I have no idea and I remember the conversation distinctly because she came and she kind of plopped her and how the criminal justice and also the justice system in general worked in practice so I clerked as a summer clerk in the Eastern District Division you've got to see a lot of judge Brinkema took to the law she really wasn't and isn't an ideological judge she served always looked at the facts I and tried to weigh what was self down in a little chair in my small office in her chambers usually when the clerks talk to the judge we would go into her larger officer chambers and so she came into my office and she said we all went out to the final party which we hoped would be a victory party but you never know is close all of a sudden are flip phones began to buzz and primary against former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley I decided Hey I wanNA volunteer for the campaign I've got no idea how leave my clerkship and see what I can figure out rations I drove home to dupont circle and they're on the corner I saw an old friend of mine who had worked with before on Capitol Hill I roll down the window Florida was so close you worked on that that's right I was living in Nashville Tennessee as the foreign policy director issues director for the campaign and on election night for Democratic think tank and working on foreign policy issues for Democrats he hired me and I began working with him and that job led me to a job on the Gore campaign as the foreign policy issues director as our listeners know the two thousand election ended in a remarkable thirty six day contested recount because the vote tally in the state the government in a criminal case and the defendant to draw nigh and come close to the bench and make their case heard give their attention and they shall be heard that's right yeah sickly I think you're capable you're nice fellow all of my other clerks have jobs lined up we know what's with you and I told the judge was look I reunion picnic and so many of the people who were involved with judge bring him his family including Oliver Clerks are still part of that family on the last day of your clerkship she came to they want to work on a presidential campaign and I wanna work in foreign policy and national security this was chuck in the fall of nineteen ninety nine so it was about in nineteen ninety eight was to do the Oh yeah oh yeah a and gavel in the session of court and that's not the case in every courtroom around America but the in probably Steve I thought you live in Seattle what are you doing here in DC and he said well I'm staying over in Georgetown you WanNa give me a ride I'll tell you what I'm up to and he was working basically well I literally left the chambers of the judge on my final day of my clerkship without a job in hand with no real connections to the core presidential campaign other than your aspirin our elections are we are a rule of law country in the end absolutely these things get decided under a set of rules under our system and whether aware the litigation strategy was being formulated I was drafted to be I guess a young associate on the law firm led by some real legally didn't you go to law school and I said I did but I've never practiced law I mean I was a clerk for a federal judge but that's about it and they say well we need lawyers good enough exactly good enough we're all told to go back to the headquarters late that night and we were told that there would be a recount in Florida that would probably last about three days and they said Hey Bash Jeremy Well I learned that had a lot more to learn about the law about our legal system and I also obviously learned how critical and important put us all in a charter flight for Florida Nicole Wallace who was a guest on this podcast tells a charming story she was working for the Republican candidate same thing Austin had been done she always kept open mind she did run a tight ship and one of the jobs of the law clerks when I've eventually came to begin my clerkship looking in of some important foreign policy decisions but of course no more important decisions could possibly fold until after the attacks of nine eleven in his strip mall in Florida eventually after a couple of days in Palm Beach County where they were hand counting the ballots and doing a manual recount. I went to Tallahassee the capital of Florida you're happy or unhappy with the outcome it's the outcome and you move on when I went back to Washington after December thirteenth two thousand which was the date that the supreme four months before the Iowa caucuses so this would be the presidential election of two thousand two thousand I wanted to work for Al Gore was vice president of the United States he was in a contested she thought she was going to Florida for a couple of days on his behalf forgot to bring her phone charger as I recall and ended up down there for more than a month s right so I bought a suit so go home and pack for three days you're going to Florida I went back to my apartment in Nashville by the way with the last time I ever saw that apartment I pat for three days and I went back to the headquarters even potentially some participation in Watergate you're referring to the Church Church Committee and the Pike Committee in the House Really Reviewed and reshaped court room in some ways like the prosecutors were sort of on the front lines dealing with the aftermath of nine eleven including novel legal issues absolutely one of the things that happened after nine eleven was the subject of intelligence was really thrust onto the front pages in a way that we really hadn't seen since the nineteen seventies including importantly creating a new position a director of National Intelligence Pellet oversee sixteen other intelligence agencies by late two thousand all the time and it's also a place where my father is conducted services and just knew so many people there that I felt it just so acutely and personally I guess that this repeat your son I probably can and I I always actually saw it as a huge honor to be asked to open a session of court and Beseech the litigants the intelligence community landscape for the most part since the seventies the community and its approach to intelligence had been largely the same well nine eleven changed all that time to get serious about whether or not I was going to practice law so I went to the law firm of o'melveny-meyers I worked there as an associate but you didn't really scratch that foreign policy which did you I didn't and again starting a job in DC in early two thousand and one at the beginning of the Bush administration I felt like I was really kind of on the outside into the war was also being discussed and debated hotly because it was impart premised on intelligence assessments about Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program board issued its final ruling and Al Gore ultimately conceded. I sort of thought to myself wash I do next I clerked worked on presidential campaign I figured it was probably coming out of other national security agencies and it had to do with potential impermissible wiretapping eavesdropping on American citizens and Manera including Warren Christopher who had been secretary of state you fought hard for thirty six days in Florida the Supreme Court ruled against your candidate what did you take away from that and I was like most people living in Washington with attacks happening so close to us at the Pentagon course as I said I grew up in Arlington and drove by that Pentagon building in the Nineteen Seventies Chuck as I think folks will know there were a series of abuses that were uncovered by Congress coming out of the FBI coming out of the C. I. A. US courtroom was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia in December of two thousand one the case was assigned to judge Brinkema the judge had clerked for Judge Brinkema and the other judges in that in trying to help the government defend itself and defend the country against the threat of terrorism. Can you describe for a moment how the House Permanent Look Committee on intelligence I began to be very energized about conducting oversight over the intelligence agencies and the way the Bush administration was utilizing intelligence and the House intelligence agencies they have enormous power they also have the ability to do things in secret so it's out of the public eye so we have to have somebody from Congress somebody from another did investigations over our intelligence agencies and the theory of that oversight was look somebody has to watch what's happening with her Kevin Commission a with stood up it was a blue ribbon commission of prominent Americans Bipartisan Commission and it laid out changes for the way the intelligence community should be reorganized Democrat on that committee was Jane Harman California Congresswoman who was very focused on national security homeland security and they've really been taking a leading role after nine eleven branch of government washing what the executive branch is doing and so that was kind of the essential bargain when these committees were created in the nineteen seventies which is we will tell the secrets was it security clearances so they can access the information we will brief them on all the major activities and programs but intern the agencies can't do very much watch unless Congress approves it and so it was kind of his bargain that basically Congress would be the is in the ears of the American people on secret intelligence activities and by the way that was for two reasons number one is because national security has tended to be and I think should be not a partisan issue and second of all chuck because a lot of their work the moment in our nation's history really call people to try to serve and do something good for the country and by the way when Zachariah sally the only person ever prosecuted in and and the Senate Select Committee on intelligence work what they're created to do and how they actually operate in the nineteen seventies congress conduct was behind closed doors so they actually had a big hearing room both on the House side in the Senate side a hearing room that was actually a room where you can handle classified Info and select committee on intelligence which is the congressional committee in the House that oversees the intelligence community was looking for a new chief counsel I apply for the job and I got the job the topic was somehow incorrect so after the allegations of the Bush warrantless surveillance program came to light Congress took a look at the underlying legal authorities and tried to reform the foreign intelligence and three in early two thousand and four as these changes were being discussed and as we were already several months into the Iraq war in which how we and that was also a time when everyone was trying to figure out whether or not the original intelligence case for the Iraq war with sound or whether or not that intelligence analysis warrantless eavesdropping on Americans as part of a counterterrorism program as it also is revealed in the papers at some point there were allegations that the CIA had engaged in abusive interrogation tactics including waterboarding against individuals meaning al Qaeda terrorists who've been captured and held in secrecy I facilities that there were so many changes there were changes to organization there were changes to budget there were changes to authorities one of the main things that happened after nine eleven was of course the nine nation and when it's behind closed doors it sometimes means it's a little more serious there's less grand standings right there no cameras in the room so there's no unknown pontificating for the cameras when you said it more directly there are no cameras in the room the House Intelligence Committee at the time in the mid two thousand was looking at a number of issues pertaining to Intel also preserving the core fourth amendment rights of American citizens to be protected from unlawful or warrantless surveillance at the end of prison Bush's eight years in office as Obama a transition team is taking shape you've got to meet a fellow named Leon Panetta who's Leon Panetta Leon Panetta was a son of Italian immigrants whose those committees one in the House and one of the Senate had always functioned in a much more bipartisan way than perhaps other committees in either chamber did that's right and I think the agents in as the New Democratic Council for the Committee I was asked to head up a number of investigations and inquiries I was a consternation by the Bush administration I the intelligence committees both the house in the Senate were analyzing allegations made in the news media that Bush administration had conducted eavesdropping analyzed that intelligence based on potential threats from outside the United States so foreigners not in the United States who are communicating using email and new technologies while surveillance act which governs the way the government can conduct surveillance which by the way ideally is how it should work unfortunately it was wrapped up in the vortex politics like all things when ground and congress passed legislation that is still in effect to this day which I think structure I balance of giving the government the ability to collect information collect intelligence and this came through Ellis island may their way to California opened an Italian restaurant near an army base called Fort Ord servicing a lot of the soldiers and service members we discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter so help me God so help me God so God welcome to the oath Apple Hill tend to be but once we kind of cut through the rhetoric of who is soft on terrorism who's on terrorism and who was more protective of privacy and who is less protective of privacy when you kind of got down to it there was a of what CIA is doing what NSA is doing with the FBI is doing to a few members of Congress some in house some in the Senate and their staffs and we will give them the Gratien and he came into work in that administration on civil rights during his tenure he came into some disagreement with the way the Nixon administration was pursuing the southern strategy which who were heading off to war in the nineteen forties that young man Leon grew up to really have a calling to public service and he came to Washington initially to work in the Knicks diminished gotten your name at that moment is one of the nicest people I've ever met he was raised right he was the son of Italian immigrants and there was an ethos of love of country and devotion to public service in gratefulness and gratitude that kind of permeates the way he was raised and it just emanates from him and so because he's got this kind of mode of being ocean's about what the CIA should or shouldn't do again chuck this was following many years of I would say boiling controversy about intelligence and in part also about the way that might WanNa consider meeting over the next couple of days to include the FBI Director Bob Muller to include the outgoing national security advisor to include the head of the National Security Agency and I'm going to show you to your office follow me we'll walk down the hall this is your office this is how telephone works by the way here's a schedule of individuals near Carmel Valley and Monterey when Brooke Obama was elected president he called Leon Panetta and said would you consider serving as CIA director and I think it's fair to say Mister Panetta's center of all the big budget negotiations between President Bush forty one and the congress and his expertise on the budget committee led President Clinton to appoint him as the director the director of the office of Management and budget and then ultimately he asked Leon Panetta to be his White House chief of staff Leon Panetta served as Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff until pitches just be a good staffer just help the person do their job is great opportunity if you're just kind of willing to just devote yourself to the job of helping someone do their job and the CIA director and he took the piece of paper from me and he looked at me said this is all grey stuff now what the hell did you say your name was again I learned this on Capitol Hill remove physically went down the hallway and this is exactly what happened shot elevator doors open and he walked out and I said Hello Mister Panetta my name is Jeremy Bash is a little bit surprised by that this is about the time that you met him that's right so this was in very late two thousand eight early two thousand nine president elect Obama said you know I really want someone early into Clinton's second term and then Mister Panetta went back to California where I think he thought he would just kind of enjoy a quiet life out there in the in the beautiful central coast of California to get your ego absolutely and it doesn't matter what your name is just you give them the information you help them set up a schedule and you help them get the job done but let's make one thing clear about Leon Panetta he may have CIA had conducted the global war on terrorism Leon Panetta came to Washington in early January two thousand nine there was a cold day in DC I was serving as a staff Matt your name kid to being his chief of staff when he became the director of the CIA that's right and couple weeks after we started working together and we went around to various Senate offices because of office of civil rights but that wasn't the end of Pinault wasn't and he went back in the early nineteen seventies to California and he began to practice law and then ran for Congress and was elected grateful he doesn't take himself too seriously he has a great sense of humor and he knows to treat everybody respectfully he just treat people right and so you went from what the hell was to Congress in one thousand nine hundred seventy six after Watergate ultimately rose to become chairman of the House Budget Committee where he oversaw the budget of the entire federal government and was really in the set you're going to be nominated on Friday and here's a draft of remarks and by the way here's the telephone number of every former CIA director you should call and ask them for advice including President Bush forty one who had one who understands Washington to take a fresh look at the CIA he said to Mister Panetta I think you can do that. You don't come in to this position of this job with any preconceived number on the transition team and I heard in the hallway that Leon Panetta was gonna be the CIA director site position myself near the elevator when he came up to the sixth floor there's a hearing and then vote that whether or not you can be confirmed and he said to me said would you be interested in coming over as chief of staff at the agency now having served as chief counsel course to be director you have to be confirmed by the United States Senate and so he as other people do go round and you kind of make calls on the senators and you sit with them in their office and then ultimate his most of which are located with our US embassies around the world so I've kind of seen a lot of activities and operations I received many briefings from the House Intelligence Committee I was very familiar with CIA activities I had traveled around the world to about forty overseas ca stations and base CIA officers. But honestly I really didn't know how the agency worked from the inside so I said to him I said to Mr Panetta I'll come over as chief of staff kind of onto conditions you are showing up at a place where people have worked for a long time they know it well they're deeply devoted to the mission listen listen to them here what they have to say don't come in number one is I want to be more staff than chief 'cause I'm not chief of anything at the A. and second is I think when you come in as director leading an agency let's not a lot of people know it certainly not how you know Jeremy the CIA grew out of an organization called the S. and the was a paramedic with a preset agenda right absolutely and especially because frankly President Obama was the source of concern at the agency because he had campaigned on ally on the professionals who were there let's not rolling with a thick posse that's the way I put it to us not rolling thick let's go over you as director Allgeier chief-of-staff event during World War Two collect vital information and bring it back to American decision makers and the C. I. A. which was established in nineteen forty seven acted or surveillance electronic surveillance sometimes called eavesdropping that say an essay may do overseas bring all that intelligence together by foreign intelligence what I mean is intelligence primarily outside the United States that affects the foreign relations or international interests of the United States is to conduct analysis to bring an all sources of intelligence whether it's intelligence that the CIA collected or satellite imagery that another agency should we have to bring a couple of other people their general counsel couple of other senior people but let's rely on the professional side they know what they're doing you know I think that's the best advice you could give the someone the organization during World War Two that the United States setup under wild bill Donovan who had been selected to lead an organization that could basically go into enemy territory ending enhanced interrogation techniques and that was seen as sort of a shot at the CIA officers who've been asked to carry out some of those counterterrorism programs and there was just a lot of associated with it because we fear or concerned that if America was seen as the author of it there could be blowback and these are basically the most secret sensitive intelligence mission let's not do what the previous administration had done describe for our listeners a little bit about the CIA how it's structured what it does I mean everyone's heard of it but it's very possible that enwright reports it's called finished intelligence in the parlance of the intelligence community to write finished intelligence reports about topics that are of interest to decision defined under the law as actions that the United States government wants to take to affect the political military or economic condition our agents of influence advanced certain ideas or maybe denigrate certain individuals or in some cases actually conduct sabotage is ten paragraph short one or two page documents that explain either something happening immediately for example a foreign leader is making a decision and the St military action and our soldiers where American flag patch on their arm and our diplomats driving cars with little American flags on the front but there are times and physically destroy a rail line or a warehouse or a facility at belong to an adversary where we didn't want the US fingerprints on it and so Erica any information or intelligence that bears on how we make our national security decisions is CIS tasked with collecting that number one collect foreign intelligence number two was designed to do three things and it does those three things to this day and really well and I think they do it the best number one is to collect foreign intelligence and document explains that decision or might be something a little bit more long range like for example what the military of say China might look like in ten years so number two in my view of covert action was a couple of guys in black masks kicking down a door or doing some special ops activity and it's really not like that at all I mean of course that kind of activity breath under our law and under our system covert action is treated very carefully what do I mean by that first of all under the law today before the actions so that the operators in the field know what they are expected to do and members of Congress understand what will be done that's right and I think before I worked on the House Intelligence Committee in some cases conduct lethal action against terrorists or others who were planning to kill Americans and so it's not just like a one off covert action operation does Hollywood depicts these rogue operations but actually they're done pursuant to law and guidelines and policy with written and stuff include conducting a quasi military or paramilitary activities on the ground to for example train local forces in another country or John's overseas where the hand of the US government is hidden. I WanNa unpack that a little bit because there's a lot in that clues so when the United States acts over a set of activities the activities can include working with individuals on the ground it can include advancing certain messages as I reference it could states can engage in covert action it has to do a couple of things the president of the United States has to personally sign a document called a finding I'm so glad you mentioned that Germany example during the Cold War there was a lot of things that we wanted to do to push back on the Soviet Union in a particular country in Eastern Europe A. B. Spread some information or have talk about and so this is our podcast it's called why is this happening and the whole idea behind it is to get to the root of the things that we see Lee out every day they're driven by the is in our history and if you think about what could possibly be as kind of hard to talk about them because they are all by their nature classified secrets however for sees whether it's our diplomats or our military we do so under the flag of the red white and blue we say this is the United States of America we have an interest in moving a policy in a certain direction or the United States code the military operates under title ten of the United States code a lot of times those two things those two entities tonight it's usually over months or years a set of activities at the United States is engaged in at your podcast but you alluded to this but it's a really important point the intelligence community in the United States operates under title fifty the ideas each week I sit down with a person uniquely suited to explain why this is happening new episodes of why is this happening every Tuesday listen for free wherever you Aliza report that's right and the third thing that the CIA does and this is the thing that I think is least understood is call covert action and covert action is are occasions where it will advance the foreign policy of the interest of the United States to do things overseas and kind of change the conditions on the ground but we don't want America's hey it's Chris as from MSNBC every day I come to the office and we make a television show and every day I think to myself there's so much more I want makers and the most important finished intelligence proc that the CIA writes and edits every day is the president's daily brief and these are articles like you might think of them as although the CIA has not lost nearly as many professionals as say the United States military has for a relatively small organization like the CIA which is close knit and for which there are no parades and there are no full honors military burials if someone falls to specific direct authorisation by the president which usually means that it's been reviewed thoroughly by the National Security Council which includes all the key agency military intelligence are conflated that's right and the separate legal authorities that you referenced are very important because when the CIA ax it has to act pursuant all is a book in a glass case and in that book is inscribed and careful calligraphy the name of every C. I. Officer whose name can be as the Department of State the Department of Defense and others and also chuck it means that Congress is overseeing it so whenever you hear things about rogue intelligence activity right is the memorial wall it's a wall of marble into which are carved a star representing every see I officer who has fallen in the line of duty it does happen by our government but that's mostly a military activity what the CIA really does in the realm of covert action is develop a program meaning Ghanistan the CIA lost seven personnel many others were injured in that attack foreign nationals who worked with the CIA were also killed and wounded battle because of course the service of so many of these individuals was anonymous and must remain anonymous this is a wall essentially of honor tragically falls in the line of duty their parents and their loved ones can't even really publicly mourn and so when you have to keep secret their relationship revealed because they're secret operations have either been declassified or because they are no longer sensitive you're referring to the book of honor but was fascinating about the book of Honor When you look early reviewed both by the second branch and by the legislative branch when you walk into the original headquarters building of the CIA into the main lobby immediately on your during anonymous service to our country and specifically there is a star on the wall for every person who has fallen in the line of duty and in front of that Marble Wall can identify them we just won't it really goes to the nature of their service and to the mission of the CIA and of course when one of them you talk about that attack the origin of that event really dates back to the hunt for the senior leadership of Al Qaeda and the hunt for bin Laden himself director Panetta besides some of the stars are names but besides some of the stars it's plank because even to this day chuck even many years after they've died and sacrificed everything law during Mister Panetta's services director on December thirtieth two thousand nine there was a devastating attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost staff a nine was that there was a potential lead to find bin Laden's number two I'm an al-Zawahiri and Zoya here he was actually one of the founders of Al Qaeda and the League came from our friends in the country of Jordan where they had arrested a jihadi an individual named Balawi and Balawi was a got it is there are a lot of blank spaces and there are a lot of places where there's no name they're all you would see as a year for example two thousand nine and you would see several stars services for the fallen we have tomb dedicated to people who we are unable to identify from previous wars at the CIA we shipped to the CIA it's a huge burden on family and I think one of the ways that we tried to see lighten the burden but I would say respect that burden is by honoring them at the memorial he's or CIA officers doing things just always know and always remember that what they've done has been heavily scrutinized heavily lawyer D- Heaven he was in Egypt who really promulgated the original doctrine of Al Qaeda and the underpinnings of the theology of the organization finding him was a key priority for our country we can't tell the public that they were associated with a at the two of the unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery where your father presided over no one else had ever offered to be effectively a double agent working not just for the bad guys al Qaeda also turning and working for the United States and they were actually standing outside of the meeting room when the car in which allow it was being driven came on as we figured if we could find him maybe we could find bin Laden and the trail on bin Laden had really gone cold and the fall of two thousand and nine the CIA got an enticing enthralling lead killed him and not only killed that driver who was working on behalf of the agency but it also killed seventy I officers and wounded several others again just who had been sympathizing with al Qaeda but he also had an interesting background he had some medical training and when he was arrested by the Jordanian intelligence viruses he after some time said you know I can get you guys to I'm an al-Zawahiri I can lead you to bin Laden's number two and his state irrational in Afghanistan we were going to send about a dozen of our best officers out to this remote base on that base we would have a CIA contact the local contact who on the operating table You'd better call the director this is between Christmas and New Year's and director Panetta was home with his family celebrating the holidays I called Mister Panetta at home I like in office at the CIA called me and she said that operation in Afghanistan has gone horribly wrong there was a bomb we've got several people who have been killed we've got several others began at the CIA he really asked our analysts to take another hard look at whether there were any significant leads and one of the important lease chuck that realized in the fall of two thousand and all these things were absolutely critical before we could actually entrust him with a sensitive operation so we sent a dozen of our best officers to that base in eastern Afghanistan it would hold a meeting with him and during that meeting they would talk to him and assess whether or not he was for real and they would as they say an intelligence parlins validate him the how was Zawahiri was a medical doctor and this individual Balawi had had some medical training if he had a way to find him well this was very enticing lead quite asked him to go secure on his classified phone I told them what had transpired and over the course of the next twelve hours as we began to realize what had happened was to end the desegregation of schools in the south and Leon Panetta disagreed with that Nixon strategy and so he was ultimately fired from his job as hitting the which many CIA officers along with other US officials gave their lives and of course Mister Panetta had to call President Obama Vice President Biden dyed his jacket and he detonated a massive suicide bomb and the shrapnel from the bomb was so powerful that it normally what assesses boniface they will figure out if he could potentially carry equipment if if he could report back how would he report back how would he communicate Maria true exactly and so we took a look at how we could figure out if this guy was telling the truth we devised operation we were going to go to a base chuck I remember distinctly the morning of December thirtieth two thousand nine a woman named Amy who was the senior executive assistant in the directors bend it became clear that this was going to be the single worst day for the CIA since the Beirut embassy bombings in the early nineteen eighties read a very critical to go after this important lead to get them lodden stars for those seven CA officers and employees were added to the memorial wall the base they told the security at the edge of the base you know don't search this guy because he's kind of a sensitive source or potential source and we got this and they drove him onto the base the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and explain to them that not only have you lost seven CIA officers but that we also totally missed well he got out of the vehicle he was riding in and he stood up and he was standing about fifty feet from as I said a dozen officers and he put his hand the driver pickup this individual alley on the Pakistan side of the border drive them across the border and drive him into the base once he was on the base officer in small towns across the country for people who had served the country and died too young I went to the services that were held at Arlington National Cemetery missed at the headquarters building there were funerals held all over the country and Mister Panetta attended those funerals he was very moved by the outpouring of love and support conversations with some of my favorite reporters about things we usually discuss off camera listen for free wherever you get your podcast thousand ten he said Director we've gone down to the end of that dead end street and at the end of the street there's a fortress and ponente looked up from his briefing papers and he said could be done to protect our country from terrorism we owe them our deepest gratitude could you tell us surnames their names were Darren Herald Jennifer of a flag draped transfer case or casket holding the remains of a fallen US servicemember after that ceremony at Dover on a very frigid Liz Scott Dane Jeremy After that tragic attack and after Mister Panetta had to go so Bob Mueller do that too well we did this for a couple of months through two thousand and ten and then in August of two thousand ten the view it's got one way reflective mirror tape on all the windows you can't see in there's no phone service there's no Internet service we tried to look through their trash to see if we can raise their hand because I think they thought that he wanted to see everybody owning the problem and he said we're going to go after bin Laden if it's the last thing we do four two brothers two brothers who historically during the days of nine eleven and the aftermath thereof had worked with bin Laden as his bodyguards as he had what he needed so these two brothers had not been heard of or seen since the weeks after nine eleven they found these guys in Pakistan and they gatekeepers described by counterterrorism professionals as his quote facilitators but basically it meant they kinda ran traps forum and drove him around and

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