16 Episode results for "Abu Musab"

11: Assault on Al-Qaeda, Part 1

Covert

33:39 min | 1 year ago

11: Assault on Al-Qaeda, Part 1

"June two thousand six in the dead of night a Chinook helicopter lifted off from a secluded desert airbase in Iraq inside elite troops from Britain's Special Air Service the SAS were sitting side by side. They were checking their weapons ammunition night vision goggles and radio equipment these fighters were part of a secret of Unit code-named Task Force black they we're traveling towards a remote farmhouse on the outskirts of Baghdad inside was their target Abu Musab Al's Hikari the mastermind into behind countless bombings kidnappings and beheadings as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq as the operation approached the farmhouse to smaller helicopters flanked them they were accompanied by a couple of smaller headquarters lynxes with snipers in them that would orbit over the target and then last in the order if you like this little fly on Mada were a couple of big helicopters with the force that would be used to put what they call a calm around the Alpha the corden being the belt of security so that if anybody jumped out the window made a run for it S- quarters as they call them they edit eh either the people in the helicopters the orbiting snipers or the call would take care of those people the fighters landed stealthily onto the Desert Floor Floor and began closing in on the property to scouts climbed over a small stonewall and crawled towards the farmhouse looking for signs of life and and possible entrance points pinning their backs against the uneven concrete. They peered through a crack in the wall to catch a glimpse inside inside the building walls if you like a protection detail of people for this particular Amir that's at the SAS targeted there were at least two possibly three wearing wearing suicide vests they will hall a dozen sold rifles. There were dozens of hand grenades. These people are heavily armed. They must be protecting being something or someone important but could it be. Abu Musab also Cari finally after years of brutal anarchy in the war-torn country. Could this be his end. Welcome to covert show about the shadowy world of international espionage top secret military operations rations. The entire country was essentially embroiled in a civil war. There is a beheadings every day. They're suicide bombings. There is retaliatory acts of terrorism going on between the city and she answer every day you would wake up and read about murders decapitations types. I'm Jamie Rennell and I'm going to take you inside history's greatest special operations missions to learn about the brave soldiers and operatives who risked their lives to terminate the world's most wanted eliminate terrorist threats and protect countless innocent law. Abu Mussa Balza Cari had been thought to be responsible for years long bloody war in Iraq. Was this evil I think arguably over over the last several years no single person on this planet has had the blood of more innocent men women and children on his hands then Sarkar why and how and why did our colleagues terror begin but as a cow is doing in Iraq is trying to destroy completely the state in order to to rebuild it and from the ashes of this date we will rebuild the new state and this new states will be sort of carbon. Call me of the Caliphate. This is the true story of Task Force Black and the killing of one of Iraq's most vicious terrorist leaders Abu Abu Musab all's Hikari this is assault on al-Qaeda part one the rest of the fighters from task force black joined the scouts at the perimeter wall of the rustic farm building but as they drew near something surprised them mark urban even the author of two thousand eleven's task force black the explosive true story of the special secret forces war in Iraq as the SAS men from B squadron of twenty two s started to move towards the AL for the target. They realized it was not going to be a typical sort of mission. They they thought they could hear sounds inside the building. They approached the building very gingerly and a few of the men walked around a parked car that was under a car park and to to that surprise and satisfaction found that there was a door just wipe behind the call. If all's are Cowie one of the world's most wanted aged terrorists was inside. Why would he leave the door wide open. Would it be so easy to get inside. The unit opted to enter the compound through through the door only to find it was a trap almost as soon as they went through the door. They were hit by a hell of bullets the people inside clearly the news somebody who was coming they were armed and they will wait so they'd. Father's initial volley of bullets hit a couple of the SAS guys the SAS go always withdrew. Obviously they had casualties to treat so they withdrew to a safe distance. The airwaves were alive at moment with reports that there was resistance instance inside the building under they needed to take the appropriate action immediate action deal without resistance immediately for the commander on the spot a number of very difficult questions some of these incidents where heavy resistance was encountered they simply pulled back and dropped a bomb on the building and killed everybody inside for many different raisins the SAS on the ground decided not to do they wanted this person alive for intelligence purposes the longer they withdrew from the action the more opportunity to terrorists. I would have to destroy data that could lead the coalition forces to other Al Qaeda compounds the team again advanced towards the open door. They felt it was is worth trying to fight their way and that's what we did. They went into the building. They started to engage people in the dauntless in the rooms as they went into the building trying to clear Rimbaud task force black ran through the building taking out each al Qaeda operative in their path while al Qaeda fighters sprayed the night air with AK forty eighty seven fire but the al Qaeda cell were no match for the methodical and controlled fighting style of task force black suffered many casualties now. The downstairs was secured but the upstairs still needed to be investigated as one of the SAS fighters entered the stairwell of the farmhouse farmhouse. The top of the stairs above him was dark with no sign of life. He slowly walked up the stairs readying himself for any signs of booby traps. APPs were ambush as he reached the top step on the stairs a figure appeared as one of the SAS men who who was a staff sergeant. A team leader went up the stairs to the upper level. There was a suicide bomber waiting for him at the top of the stairs who detonated his suicide. We saw device. There was an explosion the SAS man was bloom down the stairs. There was a man down but special forces continued up the stairs moving past. Ask the now dead suicide bomber. The rest of the house was cleared. The fighters scan the rooms to their horror. Several women and children were caught up in the blast tragically. There were no survivors among them. The soldier however was still breathing with only slight bruising and Minor Lacerations Association's he would recover meanwhile operatives had captured five male al Qaeda hostages with the House now clear threat task force black started looking for any evidence linking the House with Alexander Cowie and to the teams surprise the sound of footsteps came came from above them grenade hit the ground outside the compound next to the entrance of the property followed by a flurry of machine gun fire there were other people they've been throwing grenades and opening fire at the SAS. They were killed to another man wearing a suicide vest a squirt or as they call it flat the back of the building and hate under a car that was parked behind the building. He was taken out. It's not clear whether it was one of the snipers helicopters talk about a corden forces were around the building the tallest building the Alpha so at the end of a sort of terrifying twenty minutes. There were a whole lot of dead people in this building including one person blowing himself up in an attempt to kill US soldiers. Another who hadn't had a chance is to detonate his best was lying dead under the car. There were spent cases grenades got every one of the date al Qaeda members that the has been stepped across. I've seen a photo of this had a grenade in his hand with the pain removed and clearly steph quite gingerly across him as they tried I to see what else was in the building. The special OPS mission proved to be a success inside the house. We captured five senior ranking members of al-Qaeda. We didn't know at the time they were senior. Ranking we thought or suspected they were because of the way they dress because of their mannerisms but we didn't really know what we had. That's it's the voice of Matthew Alexander senior military interrogator who oversaw the team tasked with finding out who those five men were and more importantly if they could lead him to Abu Musab collie. This was a guy who had murdered thousands of people in fact he murdered many more people than some of Bin Laden ever. Did you could say a colleague could be responsible for upwards of one hundred thousand deaths by starting the civil war in Iraq he wanted to be the leader of all tied in Mesopotamia and he I saw this struggle as part of the larger al-Qaeda struggle for dominance in the Middle East but is really all about him and his the strategy was to start a civil war in Iraq between Sunni and Shia and he believed American forces. We get mired down in that civil conflict and then the American public would demand and we be withdrawn when he didn't count on is that we would stay now. I know you've heard me talk about the great courses sources plus before and I wanNA bring it up again because I really can't speak highly enough of these folks. I love their streaming service. It's called the great courses plus and it's priceless source of knowledge and just about any field. It's a streaming service that offers thousands of different lectures on a billion different topics. Now the word lecture conjures I to mind division of me falling asleep my backpack in a room full of a thousand other students. This is not that the topics are incredible and they are taught by people who actually really have done whatever it is. They're teaching and they really care about what they're talking to you about. 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I'll ZERKALO WE IN THE NEW GENERATION Loretta Napoleonic other cow is a working class individual. It does not belong to an elitist family in that is very very different from the majority of the lead there some of the Jihadist Movement and arcade them his his background is he was a criminal. You know he spent time in Jordanian prison for sexual assault salt he was a drug dealer. He was a petty criminal Jordan. Well there is a there's a narrative which you find in the lives of of quite a lot the people who got involved without Kaieda and I suppose you could say that there's a period in their lives which you might call the sinful years crazy years as I mean you saw it with some of the nine eleven hijackers that there was a period of their life when they've been drinking heavily and doing lots of things which clearly Islam would consider very very very Harare unplayed Zaccaria was one of those people I mean accounts differ as to whether he was actually hard boozing villa in his hometown now it's certainly true that he was involved in some forms of crime and that he probably had some kind of a piff unie some kind of moments when he realized that he he's life was going the wrong way and the Islam was the answer for him and of course many of those people who had kind of experience often in jail became the most militant jihadist because they felt they had redeemed their lives and discovered purpose in one thousand nine hundred nine. All ZACCARIA traveled to Afghanistan to become a freedom MM fighter against the Soviet occupation it was there he met his mentor and Inspiration Osama bin Laden at the beginning of two thousand finally finally Auxerre car. We met Osama bin Laden. It was a very interesting meeting with the leader of al-Qaeda a very very powerful man in Afghanistan. Also cow was a novelty. It was the leader of this small group of individuals who did not even have a name that did not not have base and the reason why are the Cowie met is because he was looking for a sponsor he was looking for money. He wanted to set up a little camp where he could look after his followers. Osama bin Laden offer Cowie to become part of Al.. Okay dumb former White House counterterrorism adviser Fran Townsend Sir Kelly really came to at least my attention I think many in the counterterrorism community me during the millennium the ninety nine to two thousand period there had been a series of raids in Jordan and there was a threat in inside Jordan there was tremendous cooperation between the FBI the CIA and our Jordanian counterparts during in fact we deployed a number of FBI agents. It's over to Jordan to work with the CIA and the Jordanians and during the course of that investigation it became clear the leader of the cell was an individual by the name of Zarcal. We we knew he was an important terrorists figure. We knew he was an important operational leader. I don't think anyone at that point in time. Imagine you you know more than a decade later we would be chasing him inside. Iraq where he would become an even more influential figure in Al Qaeda in the wake of September eleventh much of the Al Qaeda leadership went into hiding in the tribal belt between Afghanistan and Pakistan the United States had begun its invasion of Afghanistan Afghanistan Zorka we and other al-Qaeda fighters meanwhile had crossed over to Iran and then into the northern Iraq region known as Kurdistan now now that move is very much the beginning of the making with made because the Americans were informed of the existence of outsor- Cowie at the end of two thousand and one by the Kurdish secret service the Kurdish secret service alerted Americans the odds are Cowan was the link between between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein it was clear as we were in Iraq the increasing importance of czar calloway inside al-Qaeda circles he had come up during the course of the war in Afghanistan people understood his importance as an operational leader and he was clearly trusted by bin Laden Auden and Al Qaeda senior leadership and so when he was deployed if you will from the federal administrative tribal aries into Iraq we understood as the the American counterterrorism community that this was a significant event this was he was well liked by soldiers and al Qaeda. He was well respected by leadership. He was incredibly capable he was experienced and so he had that unique combination of skills that would allow him to be a real force on for al Qaeda against US inside Iraq in two thousand three the US and other coalition forces entered Iraq and the Saddam Hussein regime quickly collapsed but it created a major power vacuum houser Collie who was hiding in the shadows kick started a campaign of violence. He stirred up the hatred between Iraq's two main religious groups the majority Shia Muslims and the minority Sunnis he then created a militant group with the aim of killing as many many Shias as possible and sparking a brutal cycle of violence across the nation and it was drawing the attention of the United States especially Secretary Three of State Colin Powell on the fifth of February two thousand and three calling power when to Security Council and in front of the words presented also Cowie as link between Qaidam and Saddam Hussein nobody at art of Our cowie before that day I mean everybody in the community of terrorists expert and never heard his name interestingly pressingly enough from that moment onwards also cowie became the men masterminded immaturity of the terrorist various attack which had taken place after nine eleven also Conway's group was named by intelligence officials al Qaeda in Iraq or for short short a Q. I when you look at Al.. Qaeda's mission in Iraq is our couch mission. We mistakenly look at these organizations as terrorist groups. This is too narrow. These are revolutionary organizations that want to spread an idea they can return to what they call a caliphate of fourteen centuries old old concept that there's a pure way to live according to the Koran Prophet Muhammad targets included bombing the offices of the United Nations and the Red Cross regular attacks tax on the basis of US military coalition forces but in an effort to maximize casualties the terrorist group shifted its attention to targeting public markets. It's police stations mosques and with it media coverage and in the eyes of our Collie this was attention on his movement and an important recruitment Krugman tool former interrogator and author of how to break a terrorist Matthew Alexander. There's a large influx of foreign fighters into Iraq after the Abu Abu Ghraib scandal which was essentially al-Qaeda's number one recruiting tool for convincing young Muslims from all across from everywhere from North Africa all across the Middle East to come to Iraq and fight in what they termed Jihad in these foreign fighters were extremely potent because they were the ones who made most of the suicide bombers so they're the ones that essentially we're also the most brutal I think the largely the ax you see like beheadings happen because of these foreign fighters and not so much because of Iraqis Al-Zour collie orchestrated numerous suicide bombings a devastating series of attacks in March two thousand four killed close to two hundred people at she a holy sites czar Cowie was is at the top of the target list inside Iraq one because of the bloodshed he was causing and not just of Iraqis. I mean this. This terrorist leader became a primary source of injuries and killings of our own soldiers and coalition forces and so absolutely he became prominent on the scope of the president in terms of briefings and targets then on May eleventh two thousand four als. Cowley became linked to a new outrage. US intelligence analyst list discovered a video on a jihadist website it featured a civilian man being paraded in front of heavily armed al-Qaeda fighters. He wore a Guantanamo ontong obey style orange jumpsuit the analysts immediately recognize the civilian as Nick Berg a twenty six year old communications expert from Pennsylvania Selena he had been kidnapped in Iraq a month previously the video showed his unimaginably horrific death so nick Berg at having gone there on rather naive and optimistic hope he might find work got kidnapped in the north of Iraq and essentially he sold sold by the kidnap gang to militant Islamists who of course a loyalty to other missiles Howie when the time came that he had outlived his usefulness to then they murdered him and the video is one of those horror show type of jihadist videos in which long knife life is used to cut his throat and you can even hear the sound of knife owned by its screams a truly horrific video but the point is at the beginning of video capture in original fooling was released and it says Abba Miss Up also call always slaughters in America now a lot of people at the time couldn't quite understand why he was choosing to if you lie incriminate night himself in such a grant and grisly fashion he it he appeared in the video. He's thought to wielded the knife. The intelligence analyst sued looks at it felt that the words of the figure speaking in the video were him. It was his voice based on previous analysis of the voice but he was hooded so why do this why incriminate yourself by putting your name at the beginning of the video. The general view was that the kind of propaganda of the deed that very much informed the Jihad time. There's a Collie could see that if he publicized himself what he was doing as a really militant irreconcilable suitable enemy of the Americans that this would bring him money from the collections in mosques for the Jihadi would bring him volunteers from across the Arab world. I did that calculation. He was right. Do you ever wonder why the big wireless providers in two thousand nineteen costs so much I mean that's true with like TV's and electrical equipment and cars all that stuff. So why are they still so expensive. It's because of the retail stores. 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Unlock your phone for you so you're not stuck with them because you bought a phone from them added no that by the way the folks at Mit Mobile Noble helped me with that so to get your new wireless plan for just fifteen bucks a month and get the plan shipped to your door for free go to mint mobile dot com slash covert art. That's meant mobile dot com slash covert and that's important slash covert cut your wireless build a fifteen bucks a month at mint mobile dot com slash covert once again former FBI NCAA senior official Philip Mudd. The guy was so brutal so tough. It's sort of like a Mafia family operating in New York City. If you kill everybody else eventually people stand back and say well we got a big guy the big big dog on the corner in town and we'd better be careful so just the brutality and the effectiveness have his efforts against. I the Americans and then locals I think people stood back and say this guy's a blow torch. We better let them roll. It wasn't that we're losing. It was just we should you know it was just like when will this end in. How will it end. I didn't have any sense that we had reached a crescendo former assistant secretary of defense. Tom O'CONNELL well I. I don't think there's any question that he was intimately involved with a number of suicide bombings beheadings he certainly had a a major propaganda campaign going we knew him to be in contact with Osama bin Laden. He really put the crosshairs on his own head by all these spectacular acts all the press that that he was receiving so he was important as a figurehead. Berg's death was a signal to the world that Al-Zour calories reign of terror was escalating to mythic proportions. I think the legend was bigger than the man because what the Iraqi Sunni started to believe in those people who had joined al Qaeda was that if the Americans can't can't kill a poem can't stop him then maybe he was predestined to win the war and so you had little kids in the street you know pretending to be hummus also cowie because he was essentially invincible in the fact that we couldn't find him kind of added to his legend in also helped them to recruit new fighters which was extremely important to them was to bring in other. Sunni insurgent groups in foreign fighters in Iraq in so finding a boo missiles are Kobe was more than just decapitating the leadership fall Qaeda was also about disproving the idea the al-Qaeda could win the war in Washington ending ulcer conway's reign of terror had become a top priority for President Bush and his inner circle of advisers. Fran Townsend said that they had to untangle the web of small elements that made up always network with with all kinds of Iraq. Frankly what we what. We said we needed to do when we saw them. Having the mental was to step back and say okay what has given them this momentum clearly they had these individual cells clearly they were able to share bombing expertise clearly removing moving some money and then component pieces to explosives and so you begin to break it down you say okay. I have to look at each of the discrete elements How is he moving money. How are they communicating. Where are they getting the component pieces for what are each of the components and what would you need to put it together and I'm going to target each discrete discreet tiny little element if I can begin to pull little elements away. Suddenly the whole thing falls of its own weight and that's exactly what happened. The president encouraged the entire community military intelligence all of it to look at how they could support each other in pulling discreet little elements away to be creative live to find the technology that it was going to require and the intelligence it was gonNA require and that's exactly what the military and the intelligence community did you come and I and the days where you have where the momentum you feel like the momentum hasn't been with you you start with your thought is really so much so so simple all its let nothing blow up today. Let me get through today with nothing blowing up and I can if I can string two and three and four days together I can then switch switch the momentum. I mean you really you start. When momentum is not with you and you're frustrated with very modest goals. Let us get through this day and figure out how to make that two tim days. Al-Zour Cowie seemed to have the power to strike it will and yet somehow he remained completely hidden when you really didn't know what he was doing in Iraq back in. We didn't know like diddy lives there to have kids there. Where was he moving What was his support network. I think what most counterterrorism officials I will tell you as you go through periods where you feel beleaguered right you go through periods where you have your making very limited progress and you're trying to understand why that that is why does he seem to have momentum behind him and you're trying to figure out what can. I do to change that dynamic but anybody who's been in this fight will tell you that's what that's what happens you go through these periods and you've got to push through and you've got to understand what is it. That's giving him the momentum and how do you take that away from him. He was so well hidden that no one had a recent photo of him. Let alone any idea where he might be. He didn't use a mobile phone for fear. It would be tracked. He only met with a select group of trusted advisers visors whose whereabouts were also on known finding Al-Zour cowie would prove difficult but not impossible over a period of analysis this they had picked up on a few predictable elements of zircon ways movements. We knew that we had a spiritual adviser. We knew that he was going to visit him. We identified a car hard that he was going to take to get there and so as you got each of those little elements you understood that it was absolutely inevitable that would be successful is just just a matter of being patient because eventually he would. We had enough intelligence and enough of a network that eventually he was. GonNa make a mistake us an opportunity and that's exactly what happened through the combined efforts of interrogators under tremendous amount of pressure to deliver results quickly every day we were reminded minded how important it was to find an killer capture. Obama suttles Kylie because use the key to winning the war and that pressure was reinforced for a variety of leaders leaders continuously on us and task force black. The momentum had shifted the the rates of his network. We're getting faster and closer to him so you had the sense. We're we're going to get there. You had you had an increasing confidence that we were getting closer that we putting the squeeze on and and that the military was ultimately going to be successful. Al-Zour Cowie's final days are upon him. That's next time on covert. Covert is an audio boom in world meteorites co-production hosted by me Jaime Rennell. It's produced by audio booms. Ben Hostile Rachel Jacobs is Casey Georgie and Karen Bevan and by Pascal Hughes for World Media Rights we had additional production help from world meteorites by Gerald's Abankwa David mcnabb mcnabb is the series creative director and the executive producers for audio boom are Brendan Regan and Stewart last if you haven't already don't forget to follow us on spotify fi or subscribe on apple podcasts Stitcher or wherever you find your favorite shows you can also find us on instagram at covert podcast and and if you've got some time give us a review.

Iraq Alexander Cowie al-Qaeda Inspiration Osama bin Laden US SAS Baghdad assault Abu Musab Al Afghanistan AL cowie Afghanistan Nick Berg Abu Mussa Balza Cari Abu Abu Musab
The Targeter

I Spy

29:26 min | 5 months ago

The Targeter

"If you're interested in spice stories you might like to subscribe to another podcast true spies. You'll meet the people who navigate this secret world. What do they know one of their skills? And what would you do in that position? Look for true spies. Wherever you get your podcasts. This is I spy. Show from four policies where spies story. We're following the vehicle and he pulls in twos or Kelly pulls into this farm essentially with like a grove of trees that are set up to block the win for all the buildings around there. The canopy of the trees. We can't see through it so we don't know what where he's gone at this point he got out and ran and we couldn't see him. We don't have any way to tell special operations forces on the ground like which way went They get to the pickup and capture all the belongings and everything and confirm it was him in the car Because he had he left everything behind that was that was incredibly infuriating to get that close to him without actually capturing him from foreign policy and spice gape welcome to ice by realize spice stories told by the people who were there each week we feature one former intelligence operative from somewhere around the world describing one operation. I'm Margo Martindale on today. Show Native Bach owes a CIA target or lead a two year hunt for a man in Iraq. Abu Musab cowie the al Qaeda jihadist had carried out some of the deadliest attacks of the Iraq war against Americans and Iraqis bacchus worked on the operation side of the agency while targeting czar. Cowie but she started her career with the CIA as an analyst. Our story begins in two thousand. Three after the first round of America's major combat operations in Iraq after the start of the war. They were looking for volunteers. That would go to Iraq in order to help. Continue to work on whether or not we can find information that ties al-Qaeda and nine eleven to Iraq so our team had volunteer and we were sending one person at a time and I just volunteered to to be the second person on our team to fly there. The agency had started sending analysts into conflict zones in war zones prior to nine eleven but after nine eleven they needed that subject matter expertise on the ground so they sent them into Afghanistan and then they sent them into Iraq analysts were working alongside the operations colleagues. Because it was just much more efficient to do that on the ground versus waiting for that information to come back to headquarters. I hadn't been to a war zone before so I wasn't really sure what to expect. But I end up on a plane on with all the cargo. They strap in some Toyota pick-up trucks. And we're sitting within the cargo. Hold of this airplane and I'm looking around thinking everybody in here must know a lot more about what to expect than I do because I really had no clue. I didn't have a lot of training before I went because it is just a very quick. You know we need analysts in country right now and my then department head wasn't super interested in me attending all the weapons trading that I needed prior to going because he wanted us to be there doing the analytic work versus training for an opposite type of role so I was a little nervous but I actually got to sit up front with the pilots for a little while and a jump seat and part of part of that trip that I got to sit up front. was landing into Baghdad and I started seeing essentially what looked like fireworks and knew wasn't fireworks so I asked them just to confirm my suspicion and it was tracer fire. The people were shooting up at us from the ground as we were coming into Baghdad. So that was my first experience with the war so my job in Iraq was to continue to look for information that would tie Iraq to Al Qaeda or nine eleven. There were obviously In a burgeoning insurgency. We know that now at the time the administration was not interested in having that conversation we couldn't even use the term insurgency or insurgents a But my main focus personally was cowie. Was there Kelly still in the country? What was answer all Islam to and terrorist plots are operations are being conducted currently so by that time the agency knew quite a lot about Sir Kelly. He grew up in Jordan. That's where he ended up developing his first. You know sort of localized group. He had been a wreaking havoc in Jordan in the ninety S. There was several things that he had been tied to as far as Harris activity in Jordan because his focus initially was mainly the Jordanian kingdom he had started to build a training camp in Afghanistan. That was KINDA CO located with Al Qaeda. It was a separate camp. Al Qaeda wasn't interested in him at the time he wasn't interested in their agenda. Were sharing space. Probably using each other's training obstacle courses that we see all these videos from shared ideology in the sense that they're both extremists but he had a completely different focus and then he ended up after nine. Eleven and moving out of Afghanistan he traverse through Iran and ended up in northern Iraq. And that was the concern. He was co located with a local terrorist. Group called answer all Islam and he started building. This bio weapons factory essentially. That actually sounds much more salacious than it actually was it was a really rudimentary effort at develop bioweapons. So I ended up having to debrief a lot of detainees came in. I would look through the list. Caesar's anybody that made sense for me to look at in to ask you no questions about terrorism but also Working with the what. We called high value detainees so those from Saddam's upper echelon of his government turkeys was Saddam Hussein's foreign minister. I had a few conversations with him. The first one that stood out was when he was actually in the hospital for essentially heat stroke so my at the time was to go in and just talk to him about the topics of terrorism in any of Iraq's connections to terrorism. Well I found that Tar Diseases. Not One for Words so he told me essentially what I already knew about. Iraq's connections with different terrorists or regional organizations which are pretty loose and the facts. They didn't have a connection with al Qaeda central and why they didn't have an interest from an ideology perspective and from security perspective. That would put him on the radar Saddam on the radar of a lot of western countries. In a way that he did not want the attention he was more interested in being the strong man. The dictator giving any power to al Qaeda would have been like analytical to everything that he wanted and believes in the course of that whole conversation. Of course I was getting the sense that he was kind of trying to recruit me to have empathy and sympathy and I think Which wasn't surprising to me. He's he's of the generation that thinks all women are an pathetic and maternal but when he realized that I wasn't going to play that game then he just started acting like a belligerent nursing. Home patient opening his hospital gown. He's sitting there in his underwear and just starts flapping it and he's clearly trying to get a reaction from me and I didn't give it to him. I just sat there and just continue to ask questions like he wasn't naked. So that's probably the most interesting conversation in our interview that I had while I was there a lot of people I talked to were just Iraqis trying to figure out how to make this work. They have all of a sudden all of their resources and infrastructure are basically shut down. We've removed all the bath this out of their jobs. So it's like taking everybody who's been working in the US government and just firing them all expecting the country to function. It's not that these people were loyal necessarily to Saddam is that they had a job within the government so on one hand you're looking at people who are just trying to survive and then on the other there were people who were functioning as insurgents and or working with some of the foreign fighters were now streaming into the country. So I worked a lot with special forces. We were working a lot of the same operations. We were doing a lot of the targeting and analytic work and it just happened that we're some some. Cia officers were on some of these raids. And so I ended up joining. It wasn't something that you normally would do as an analyst and it's not really something I'm sure after I left was Standard Protocol. But it was pretty much left to the working level to figure out how we were going to do. All of this at the time. I was there in Iraq. So we just kind of have carte blanche to figure it out. We'd find a target somebody of interest. Sometimes it came out of some detainee information that we had her or another person and especially at that time. The Iraqi intelligence service was a huge focus. Because they're Iraqi intelligence service was set up to counter invading forces so they would conduct a lot of terrorist operations. They had a guy who was a bomb maker that was building a lot of the ID's that we were being confronted with with the military is being confronted with so we were trying to find him because he was very very good at his job and we were making our way. Essentially from one target to another trying to figure out where he was located as he kept. Moving and one of the targets was was essentially a relative that we end up finding out After we pick him up that he doesn't have a lot of information. But this is essentially like us. You Know Swat team coming into your house in the middle of the night. Lining everybody up in interrogating them. Some of these people were valid targets and others were just information collection and I I at the time felt like this doesn't seem to make sense. You're just alienating people by doing that. You're not recruiting them. Which is the antithesis of what the CIA they recruit people. They spent all of this time trying to convince people in grooming them to work for you so that you can trust them so the country's already starting to turn against us. This is the wrong approach so sir. Kelly starts conducting terrorist attacks inside of Iraq against coalition forces. He bombs the UN building. He bombs Shia mosques. His strategy is against anybody who he considers an infidel but his strategy is also just wreaking havoc so he wants to keep the coalition forces busy. He's hitting civilian targets. He's hitting coalition targets. He's trying to keep. Everybody focused on just guessing where he's going to go next. So after I returned back to DC we found out there had been American. Had Been Kidnapped Cowboys Organization. We had been trying to figure out of course where he was located. We're looking for signs of life. His name was nick. Berg and then one day Video ended up being released through channels for other jihadist organizations before it hit the public by that time. I was the lead analyst essentially on all this or Kelly operations issues and ended up having to watch that video because this could lead to clues about. Who's involved? Maybe where they are and anything else. We can discern from video itself. You know now. We're familiar with this setup. There's men lined up in front of a black banner. There's a person in an orange jumpsuit kneeling down in front of them. And then you know there's a whole speech about just essentially using it as propaganda and recruitment about why they're doing this and their justification for it and why they think is a show of strength and then they end up killing him toward the end of the video. Nick Berg was probably the first captive Sarkhouhi had publicly killed. You're listening to. I spy a production of foreign policy and Spice Gape. We'll be right back True spice is the ultimate debrief. On the stories. Only spies can tell week by week mission vine mission. You'll meet the people who navigate this secret world. What do they know? What are their skills? And what would you do in that position? Listen now at spice GAPE DOT COM forward slash is spy welcome back to ice by we return to the story of NATO Bacchus has. She hunts for the Outside. Jihadist Abu Musab Zarqa we in Iraq by the end of two thousand and four thousand five. I had moved into an operations role whereas targeting officer and I was heading up these cowie branch and I was responsible for trying to stop him in his organization from conducting operations inside Iraq and outside of Iraq and that sense of responsibility is just completely overwhelming. Especially when you're in a situation where it just seems like it's just never ending the R murdering people at very large numbers. He's going after early Shia targets. He's killing innocent civilians. He's attacking schools in that situation. Where things are moving so quickly. It's hard to have empathy for another human being. Does things like that on the operation. Side targeting officer as actually looking for tactical information actionable. So you're understand the whole structure of the organization itself. But you're also strategically looking for vulnerabilities. Nodes that you can take out to help either. Air Support or on the Ground Special Operations forces to conduct capture or kill missions periodically. We'd get some semi credible Intel about Zahra Kelly's locations or movements. And then one day regard some information that our was going to be traveling in a white vehicle and this time we had really credible intelligence. On's our COWIE's movements but it was very last minute like it was going to happen instantaneously. So there's a drone Iraq but it was not an armed germ like we hear about all the time now. It just had video capability so as soon as we were able to figure out where this this pickup was going to be moving from. We had a drone up over that area and then identified the vehicle so we're following vehicle. Special Operations forces is is trying to scramble up behind him. Because it's all happening very last minute. And they catch up to him and then it's a car chase and he pulls into pulls into this farm essentially with what you know being Montana. We would call a shelter belt which is like a grove of trees that are set up to block the win for the buildings around there he pulls in. It's the canopy of the trees. We can't see through it so we don't know what where he's gone. At this point he evidently gets vehicle. Search running an grove of trees extends quite a ways down into this like little valley so he got out and ran and we couldn't see him. We don't have any way to tell special operations forces on the ground like which way once they get to the pickup and capture all the belongings and everything confirm. It was him in the car. 'cause he he left everything behind but yeah that was That was incredibly infuriating to get that close to him without actually capturing him he left behind a laptop it was encrypted but not in a super sophisticated way so special operations had the laptop and they were just determined to all of it themselves. We'll that's not their specialty that CIA NSA. Even if be I can do that. All of which are plenty available. There are all located together. All he would have had to do was handed off to the person I have invented with them sitting there but instead they kept it for a couple of weeks and that was infuriating. There's a lot of this happens within entered government agency fighting. You know we would have been in it. Within an hour been able to exploit a lot of intelligence off of that laptop including contacts phone numbers. A lots of intelligence could have exploited if we would have been able to do it right away all of which was old by the time we got it and then we found a lot of really weird videos and pictures of like graphic contents animals. I'll just say this is our. Kelly was pretty much sociopath by two thousand five. I felt like we were still scrambling around asking. How do we stem the tide of this violence? If aren't articulating any strategies to build things around the country that can actually counter the violence. Otherwise we're just it's just like a constant game of whack a mole. I mean we were still trying to figure out. What's our main goal in Iraq? We didn't have one certainly right after the invasion. We didn't have any kind of plan for how we deal. Like helping rebuild or maintain and infrastructure. How do we make sure that they can provide jobs and building economy? Make sure people have electricity and food right after the invasion? What's the overarching? Ingolf were a government that's form. What's the overarching goal for? Letting them have autonomy to form what kind of government they want. I mean we just didn't have. I think those those release like basic things in place prior to the invasion and we couldn't articulate. What's our end goal for. When we feel like Iraq has become independence by that time. I just felt like I was the last person standing on so many of those teams that had started out there and it was more than time for me to go a hand this off to somebody else because I just felt ineffective like if we can't if we don't have an in game two this. What am I here for so I went ahead and took a job. That was definitely different. Speed I worked some for our national resources. Division which focuses on collecting information and intelligence against foreign entities within the United States. So it's you know scientists coming from China that are trying to steal government secrets or whatever. It may be about three months. After I left there ended up being a detainee that was very close desert. Cowie gave them information on his place in time of where he would be. This guy was close to close to understanding his schedule. What his motives are and strategy? And who's close around him so they end up bombing? The House Cowie is is located and special operations forces. Were able to actually recover the body. If tally and identify him on a work trip and I was nowhere near any kind of secure communication stuff that I could call my colleagues and find out more details or look more details. I was in a hotel lobby and I walked into the lobby. My colleague at the time said go look at the TV screen. Go look at the TV screen. So whenever they're interested just thought to cry on scrolling across said that he had been killed. You know I was so relieved on one hand because it just seemed like taking out somebody who's whole main ideological focus was just killing everybody as an opportunity was beneficial for Iraqis he had killed so many Iraqis up to that point and I was happy that my colleagues were able to to at least accomplish this piece at the same time. I knew. This just wasn't the end of anything. That this integration of this organization with continue to flourish. They had been existing for way too long. They had galvanized support. Had A lot of people that were foreign fighters indigenous Iraqis who had been recruited and working with them and trained on all these tactics and now all these people have all this expertise. It was a relief on one hand but on another. It was depressing. Knowing that this was not gonna end I was actually in total for about ten years and I think ultimately. It's not surprising I ended up with. Ptsd eventually because it was just this constant flood of violence. I didn't really understand at the time. The impact that it would probably have on me and I think it just depends on. How much of this are you being flooded with? How much of this violent content? How much exposure you know in real life? It wasn't something that I hadn't even thought about much later after leaving the CIA that that would even be a possibility. I really hit me after I had slowed down so I was just working as a consultant. So he's working for myself. I had a lot more downtime and then had to revisit some of these issues when I did H. B. O. Documentary called manhunts and it was after that I realized my response to some of this is normal and not only that. But it's just you know manifested as me not wanting to go out in public and I was hugely claustrophobic after awhile. I never did get over. The like loud sounds issue and feeling like that constant alertness that PTSD causes just became overwhelming debilitating which I had no choice but to get some help. I found a therapist and a psychiatrist that were familiar with. Ptsd and trauma worked with them extensively and medication. Initially that helped a lot. It just resets your brain just like you know. Cholesterol drugs would do that for you. It's essentially a reset to try to even out the neurological functions that are happening inside your brain and then after consistent therapy after a year it was like. I finally started to feel a little bit like myself. Prior to all of this off feel native. Barco spent a decade in the CIA. She describes her experiences in the book. The target or my life the CIA hunting terrorist and challenging the White House dotcom. I spy the production foreign policy our executive editor is Dan. Ephron Rob Sachs Amy McKinnon and Dan have really helped produced today show. The interview with Bacchus was conducted by Dan. Ron If you have tips or suggestions please write to us. I spy at foreign policy DOT COM. If you like the show please subscribe it platform and leave us a review. It really helps us out a lot. In Comm- home foreign policy subscribers can sign up to get bonus episodes each week in your podcast app go to foreign policy dot com slash. I spy if you're not a subscriber you can still get access to additional excerpts in interviews by joining I spy plus for details go to foreign policy dot com slash. Is You'll also find a link to our facebook page where you can get the latest updates and hear directly from the producers of ice by next week on the show C. I a. officer milt bearden helps us Soviet defector track down. Oh lover but the story doesn't end. Well you're ching-kuo rings the doorbell all expectant of love and kisses and she opens the door and Kinda takes one look at him and she says don't think I'm going to be in love with a traitor. You're on your own. That's next week on. I spy I'm Margo Martindale back. Who Please home as I was saying. True spies is a new pub cost which real spies tell us about their role in the espionage operations that changed history truth spa week by week. Mission mission the people who navigate this secret world was going to be a massacre. What do they know? What are their skills? And what would you do in that position? Look for true. Spies wherever you get your podcasts.

Iraq CIA Zahra Kelly analyst Abu Musab cowie Margo Martindale Afghanistan US Toyota al-Qaeda Saddam Hussein officer Iraq America Baghdad PTSD Bach Nick Berg
12: Assault on Al-Qaeda, Part 2

Covert

48:25 min | 1 year ago

12: Assault on Al-Qaeda, Part 2

"Summer two thousand six the elite fighting outfit Task Force Black were on the trail of Iraq's deadliest terrorist Abu Bumu Saab all Zerkalo Zarko the number one priority for a man driven to unleash unspeakable carnage on the people of Iraq and coalition military forces Sarkar. We personified the dark sadistic and medieval vision of the future future of headings suicide bombings and indiscriminate killings but with the help of interrogators and military leadership task force black back finally brings down the death is our cow as we suspected would it was a devastating world organization welcome to covert show show about the shadowy world of international espionage top secret military operations Jamie Rennell take you inside history's greatest special operations Sion's missions to learn about the brave soldiers and operatives who risked their lives terminate the world's most wanted eliminate terrorist threats and protect countless countless innocent lives. This is the true story of Task Force Black Mackillop one of Iraq's most vicious terrorist leaders Abu Musab also also collie. This is the assault on al-Qaeda par to the farmhouse raid that led to the capture of five high ranking. Al Qaeda officers was born out of months of intelligence stemming from an the operation brought about by a general who arrived in Iraq almost three years prior. Stanley McChrystal took a radical new approach for hunting down Al-Zour Collie and destroying destroying a Q. I or Al Qaeda in Iraq. Here's former assistant secretary of defense. Tom O'CONNELL Stan McChrystal unique guy. years of of experience with our special operations forces at all levels former arrange commander he and bill mcraven were to of the early special operations leaders John Mulholland another that really took their operational experience and applied it to the battlefield sorta. I don't WanNa say said forget Washington but we know what to do here and by God we're going to do it and you get personalities that are that strong that experience that well respected the force falls in and their operational experience starts to start the show and it's just the type of guy you want in that position. McChrystal is the newly appointed commander of the Joint Special Operations Command or J. sock formed in the late nineteen eighties to coordinate the work of America's elite troops J. sock controls the best of the best from across the different branches of the United States military. These are these so-called special missions units units navy seal team six Army Delta Force and the Air Force Twenty Fourth Special Tactics squadron active in every corner of the world often on highly classified missions. The soldiers of J. sock are experts in precise targeted strikes against hard to reach enemies. Mark Urban is the author of two thousand eleven task force black. The explosive true story of the special secret forces war in Iraq is a very secret organization and it was tasked with finding the most sensitive types of mission against US enemies obviously in the context post nine eleven terrorist enemies as counter terrorism at the start of the Iraq War J. Socks mission had been to find and arrest the leaders of the old Iraqi regime including President Saddam Hussein sane once this mission was accomplished. A power vacuum was created and also Cowie was ready and waiting to step in in decapitated. See what some call the bath is to nationalise dealership. They probably assisted the growth of Al Khadra in Iraq because by taking away the leadership figures shakes that former the generals the key people who keep off this they live questionable of angry young militants Sunnis with nowhere to go and those people gravitated towards Cardo so McChrystal made a strategic decision to abandon the hunt for ex members of the old Saddam regime instead he focused almost all of his resources on just just one man Abu Saab all's or Kali Matthew Alexander former interrogator in Iraq and author of how to break a terrorist. I when I arrived my feeling was how can I contribute. How can I help in this. the violence and essentially in our commander came in and gave a big speech right after we got there and the point of the speech was the only way to win the Iraq war more to stop the violence between Sunni Shia is to find an killer capture of Hummus levels are Kelly to get to Oliver Cowie himself. McChrystal astill began building a complete picture of his terror network. He set up a large command center at an old Iraqi airbase in the town of ballade north of Baghdad and invited all of America's different spy agencies to set up camp there again former assistant secretary of defense. Tom O'CONNELL was a huge huge room. Saddam did a great job and building A TAILOR-MADE OP Center for those high value target activities in Iraq back. If you walked into their joint operations center you would be shocked at one the the focus on the the targets these are the top ten here the entire collection tasks this is how we're moving against them and as information brakes on each one you see the various various forces and the inner agency and the Allies and in some cases the Iraqis move against it and it's it's an unfolding story every day. It's constantly updated. It never blinks. It never sleeps and you put that much talent together. Give them the authorities days. They're going to be successful. The idea was that every piece of information however insignificant would be brought there and fed into a massive database if if McChrystal and his men learned everything they can about why they may be able to quickly find its weakest points and strike former FBI CIA a senior official Philip Mudd when we started working with special forces and I I remember General McChrystal. WHO's a real hero in this war the guy's a legend Terry not only a legendary operated take the way he constructed joint commands but I remember him coming into headquarters and saying you know we need some of your people and as any bureaucrat? Will you sit back there and say all right is in dog in the hunt. What are we trying to do here. A key part of the plan was to question each captured militant for as much intelligence as possible using enhanced interrogation arrogation tactics and protocols set by the Bush administration so about ten years ago I was sitting in the hair and makeup trailer Taylor on a movie that I was doing and the hairdresser said to me well. Do you want me to prop this up with a little bit of extra powder so that it looks thicker and I thought wait a minute things. Wchs things aren't thicke right now what's happening. I want you to know that most men start losing their hair by thirty five. It's not uncommon. It's not you you are not unique and and you're not. GonNa be bald but you've got to do something about it right now. I heard that and I started taking steps to make sure that my hair didn't go fallen out by the age of forty okay so one of the best ways to do that is to for him dot com. It's a one stop shop for hair. Loss skin care sexual wellness for men but I want you to understand you. Don't have to go to a doctor. You can do all this stuff online. There's embarrassing visits you don't have to explain yourself or wear a Hoodie and a hat and just kind of sneak in with a fake mustache and try to cover your identity. You can go get real prescriptions from real doctors. We're not talking about going to a gas station and getting snake oil pills or any of that stuff so you're gonna they get real prescriptions. You'RE GONNA get real doctors. You're GonNa do it online and you're not going to have to spend hours wasting your time in a doctor's office. This stuff is featured in G. Q Men's health esquire playboy just to name a few so I want you to order now. My listeners can get started with the hymns complete haircut for just five bucks today right now now while supplies last and subject to real doctors approvals okay so see website for full details and safety information. This could cost you hundreds. If you went went to the doctor or a pharmacy somewhere else go to four hymns dot com slash covert. That's F. O. R. H. I. M. S. dot com slash covert for him. Dot Com slash covert McChrystal established a special detention facility next door to his command center enter were interviews of suspected al-Qaeda members would be conducted keeping all of the Intel gathered central to one location former interrogator in Iraq Iraq Matthew Alexander the Interrogation Unit you essentially composed of where we kept the prisoners in also our Turkish Asian rooms in our analysis room in our desks which we called the gator pit part of our facility was an old Saddam era aircraft hangar and then the rest of it was just kind of make shift built additions to a warehouse essentially where you would just take plywood in throw it would up in Crete compartments in rooms but it was really essentially like a very quickly built haphazard facility where sure where it was just kind of all thrown together last minute when it felt like well our task force had its own detention facility because of our pace which essentially Ashley was go out capture senior leaders of al Qaeda get information out of them through interrogation in quickly turn around and go back out in catch new leaders this and do that in a manner in which always going up the chain of command towards Kali using this massive amount of up-to-date intelligence McChrystal unleashed the most most dangerous weapon in J. socks Arsenal the coalition forces special mission units of elite frontline soldiers these units would work in an entirely tiredly new way historically they ran only one or two major operations per year now they would conduct multiple raids on a daily basis Fran Townsend former White House counterterrorism adviser we found over the years in the war was that you need there needs to be a continuous loop right right of information and so the operators need to understand from the intelligence community what the capability is and the intelligence community needs to understand what the operators are seen being on the ground and so they can task each other right and they can and you get better and more refined th you know. I can remember visiting Iraq and watching them. They didn't go out once on a night. They went out multiple times. oftentimes the intelligence operators would go with the special forces they would do they would get what's called pocket litter there were hard drives a piece of paper out of people's pockets they come back they bring it to analyst back on the base who from the CIA who would go through that information that that would lead to another targeting package and the operated the special forces would go out again. That's sort of continuous feed. Continuous loop is what made them incredibly effective well. It all starts by piling in the back of a Stryker vehicle in sitting in a very cramped space. That's very hot in very dark and then you're you're going through the streets you know and there's all types of hazards roadside bombs and snipers in by the time you get to the target usually already drenched in sweat in your adrenaline going and then the team conducts a raid of the location in go out they go in in the the capture your intended target and then they immediately call you say you're jumping out of the vehicle. You're running down. The street won't get when it gets really exciting is when you have more than one house. oftentimes the these terrorists they would run out of one house jump a wall and into another house and then you'd have to wait a second house in sometimes it would ended up with a third or fourth house and then there's only two interrogators so you could end up with as many as ten or fifteen captured personnel and the I need have ten or fifteen minutes between two interrogators to try and figure out who were the bad guys and back to the base. The critical factor is speed every time a militant militant is captured the members of Q. I around that individual will try to cover their tracks by reorganizing the entire network. It's a cat and mouse game. The terrorists wrists constantly changed their routines abandoned safehouses and recruit new men to replace those that have been lost or captured but if McChrystal's people can work worked faster than their enemy they will destroy a Q. I before it can regenerate what I saw general McChrystal do as A. I'm not a field opera but I'm a career analyst. That's what I saw him. Do was not just evolutionary was revolutionary. You think about the history of warfare you know tanks artillery aircraft you think about the history of intelligence strategic work that identifies the Soviet nuclear arsenal for example now. Let's fast forward to what we've been doing. The past decade plus you take technical technical information. Things like stuff you oughta captured cell phone or captured hard-drive. You take detainee. Operation Detainees are saying about the network. They just came from you. Take pieces of paper you might capturing raid last night and you put them in a big hopper and say our software or nationalist. Our people have to be good enough so so that when the with within the the the timeframe of ours they can put together a picture of what that network looks like for example foreign fighters across Iraq doc. What is all this information. Tell us about money about suicide bombers about leadership and not only put that picture together do it well enough so that an operator can conduct a raid raid within twenty four hours contrast were that where we were in terms of intelligence and military operations even fifteen years ago and where we are today all that coming together so that you're not only constructing a picture of a foreign fighter network. You're not only operating on that picture within twenty four hours. You're doing it for years on end with people from every Consi in town incredible in a way the most important Tortilla that general McChrystal Jason brought this whole oh fake was that if you hit an organization false enough accurately enough and repeatedly enough you you could actually cause them to collapse now in other conflicts around the world various counter-terrorist feels. It tried this but they never really found that. It worked the old idea. What if you killed somebody. We drank them screaming from that home. In the middle of the night he would simply create many more people who wanted revenge had held true and and this idea that you could actually take down a whole terrorist militant organization had never been material that never been made real actually made to work that. McChrystal's attitude was yes. I know if we go into someone's home in the middle of the night will create a business that we want to take down so fall elst that when that angry brother will son whatever it is tries to report to take part in the Jihad. There's no one to talk to because all of his father or brothers friends they have also been lifted in the same forty hour period now. This was a critical to what they wanted to do. It involved Mount Mount multiple raids every night. Sometimes a particular task force would do what they call bounce homes they go from one target they would find intelligence there they go on to another target and another another one and they could round up a whole group of people half dozen people say and petit commits and sell in one night and little by little that was going to have an effect. Jay sock had developed into a well oiled machine every single night for special task forces spread out through Iraq doc and performed up to a dozen raids at one time each group was assigned to take down targets in a different part of US occupied territories to the north is task force read formed from the army's seventy fifth Rangers Brigade to the West Task Force blue made up of US Navy seals the center of Iraq was the responsibility of task force green staffed by the US Army's most elite unit Delta Force and finally these soldiers were joined by the SAS ask operating under the codename feeling among many of the American intelligence operators that the SAS and the other British special forces also is the Special Boat Service and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment had skills that were quite unusual and quite different to the type of skills that Delta force or the seals at the American training and operational activity at all been based around if you like action man leaping out of helicopters boarding ships this kind of stuff assault rolls whereas the British special forces because of their long involvement not just in Northern Ireland but in places like the Balkans where they've been involved in the hunt for war criminals they had skills to do with the patient nurturing uh of targets and groups have targets now that involves surveillance involved creativity stealth about how for example could you get a remote surveillance camera hammer onto a balcony overlooking at target. You might be interested in they came up with all sorts of things they drove around in Baghdad taxis they disguise themselves and the American intelligence people saw some of these during the early years in in Baghdad and they liked it. They actually there's something we can learn from these people because because they could better that counseling themselves they also got Iraqi colleagues that they could use some of those cover tasks but right the way through the Americans did value the fact act that the British could add another very highly trained very professional special operations task force to their lay down because they were in Baghdad. They could go after ah the same very very high. Importance targets McChrystal and his team worked through their targets night after night. The supply lines of foreign fighters were being being intercepted. Bombmakers were taken out of action mountains of intelligence captured and analyzed despite two years of taking all Zerkalo as network apart the ultimate objective the man himself still eluded them were under tremendous amount of pressure to deliver results quickly every day we were reminded of how important it was to find an killer taps rebel muscles are Kylie because he was the key to winning the war and that pressure was reinforced from a variety of leaders continuously on US support for covert comes from manscaping who who is number one in men's below the belt grooming manscaping offers precision engineered tools for your family jewels okay so here's the TMI portion of the recording and I no longer rocky nut fro anymore so I have to take care of some things down there and it's a delicate operation and let me tell you razors and testicles tickles don't generally go together and there until now hasn't really been anything on the market that can take care of things down there safely well. 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Thank you so go ahead and get twenty percents off go to manscaping dot com use the code owed covert the turning point was the farmhouse raid in the moments after operatives to control of the Farmhouse Farmhouse Task Force black swept the building looking for any clues to ulcer cowboys whereabouts along with the hostages the task force provided McChrystal's J. Socks Special Operations Command with the computers and phones they found on the premises the rate became known as larch wood four they sweep everything they think might the aerobics mobile phones computers everything else and they take it away as a result of launch with four and subsequent operations consumer generated a huge amount of actionable intelligence came into Jason's hands in the House that Ah fool so all to get they had a computer when Ajay sock analysts started to probe one of the captured computers he discovered something extraordinary raw footage of ulcer collie himself from his recent propaganda video the footage shows him in a desert area firing weapons and urging his his supporters to show no mercy against their so called enemies he Iraq's Shia community and the US forces this video proves to be vital because it shows Jay sock what else collie looks like currently the task force swab the laptop and send the material evidence for DNA analysis through traces of DNA that were found late in the US Senate was backed up and sent back to the US for analysis they would conclude. It was his laptop on the laptop. They found around the video of him. Performing in the desert they found sorts of other things of course information about operations of his sells strategy documents if they were absolutely sure that they had got much closer to the person they wanted the analysts realized that Al-Zour does your car we must have left the house just hours before the SAS arrived. It wasn't until we discovered the video footage of him. from one of our rates that we actually started to get excited that we're close because the house where we picked up that video footage one of the teams told us or are we at least believed from what he told us that that had been in that house probably within the last forty eight hours before we rated it and that's when we we finally had the confidence to think that we're we're trail. The assault team from J. Sock has secured a major breakthrough from my position in the White House. I I remember it building over time. I don't remember there being single. Aha moment where you said now I know we're going to get him. It was the momentum had shifted the raids raids of his network were getting faster and closer to him and so you had the sense we're going to get there you had you had an increase in confidence that we were getting closer that we're putting the squeeze on him and that the military was ultimately going to be successful something else that stood out to the investigators after further reviewing the videos videos made by als or Kali they discovered outtakes. We analyzed it and we we find this raw video our colleagues in the one where he's out in the desert firing in the gun jams and he doesn't know how to declare it. Many of our colleagues followers know him to be a fearsome warrior but the video clearly shows him to be an overweight unimpressive oppressive figure of a man and appears completely unable to control the recoil of his machine gun initially he appears not to know how to fire more than one shot at a time and immediately immediately after he figures out how to switch it to fully automatic mode his weapon jams and the self styled holy warrior can't get it going again. He has to ask a friend. The unblock the stoppage the video that we saw that al-Qaeda released didn't have all the Kooks in it you know it only showed is probably being a strong on fighter that that whole image of infants ability but the reality is on the raw footage he didn't even know how to clear weapon and so the professors told a very different picture of who he was he was far from the seasoned fighter he had led people to believe he was. The coalition released the full. We'll unedited video to the media. Meanwhile deep inside the Task Force's secret detention center Jay socks interrogators gators got to work on the five men they captured from the Farmhouse Matthew Alexander a senior military interrogator who witnessed and conducted many of these. He's interviews firsthand. The men that we brought in we called the group of five and we knew that they were five important members al Qaeda but we didn't know what their roles were. Initially you know they claimed to be just a taxi driver. A guy who was there to videotape a wedding and they had this very unbelievable story that they're there to attend a wedding. Even though there was no bride or groom there were suicide bombers in the house but essentially we went to interrogate these five separately and little oh by little we will get information from one of them and then we'll take that and turn around and use it against the other for one member of the group the senior ache you is operatives known as Abu Hater refused to say anything other hyder initially claimed that he was just a videographer that he was there to film the wedding and he was probably one of the detainees gave the least amount of information initially he was interrogated for about twenty days during that time he just maintained this story that he was just there to videotape a wedding. Even though it was completely unbelievable for weeks rotating teams of interrogators try psychological pressure please for Cooperation Asian subtle threats despite their efforts he would not talk and officials had to make a decision they arranged to have him sent to Iraq's main detention. Shen facility Abu Ghraib prison in the Saddam Hussein era Abu Ghraib prison was one of the world's most notorious with torture weekly the executions and vile living conditions as many as fifty thousand men and women were crammed into cells there at one time after the regime's collapse the complex was deserted and quickly refitted as a US prison with accompanying medical center however even under US military control the prison soon descends ends once again into a place where prisoners were systematically and illegally abused. Matthew Alexander wanted to avoid these men reaching Abu Ghraib. He believed he could get the information he needed from. Abu Haider using the traditional interrogation techniques so after the first few weeks of interrogation when when he wasn't providing any information the the senior analyst on our on our team decided to transfer him decision was made to get rid of him that he would never talk and so we sent him to another prison where he would just disappear into the anonymous crowd and I decided that I would go in and interrogate they gave him one last time before he left and I didn't really have permission to do that but I felt that he was or could provide very important information towards findings or Kali and so about six hours before he was transferred he was to get on a helicopter. I went in and brought him into interrogation. Asian Room and began a conversation and that conversation started with nothing about al Qaeda nothing about terrorism. It started with a friendly conversation about he was What was his life story on. How did he come to be sitting in a chair opposite me and getting to know each other and we shared stories about yeah. are are both of us have appreciation for Ultimate Fighting Championship we talked about wrestling. We talked about soccer. We talked about the politics of the Middle East and we talked about a lot of things just so I can kind of understand who he was and what I understood stood and got to know about him that I five and a half hours is that he was a grand diga West. This is a man who really held himself in high esteem every time. I said I did something he would say. He did that plus one better you know he's that type of person who always had to be the smartest most capable person the room in once. I understood that about him in that was his personality type than I knew exactly what type of technique to use against him and that was a technique called pride go up which is where I would constantly strike a stroke his ego constantly make him believe in this fallacy that said that he was a very important man that he could affect the future of Iraq and then in the last fifteen minutes what I did was essentially offer him a deal offered him the chance to work with US instead of Al Qaeda and a secret program that didn't exist in which he could be a person who could influence the future of Iraq Alexander visited Abu Haider in his cell at night regularly and coaxed more and more information out of him about als are cowboys whereabouts all on the pretext of proving his worth for the non existent secret program. What I asked him was to prove his trust that we did have a relationship in which I could trust him he could trust me and I told him. If I was going to trust him that he would have to give me the name of a terrorist who I was thinking about and that he knew the name and I knew the name but but I wanted him to say it and the reality is I didn't. I didn't have any name in mind. It was all bluff but he thought about it for a while. It looked me up and down. They said the name you're looking for is a boot Abu Ayoub al-Massari in at the time was the number two man al Qaeda right below circle and so I knew immediately he knows other you've Mostra for certain he knows Sikali and so as soon as he said that he knew Eupol mastery I immediately started to think who else does he know Collie because even master himself itself you know he was kind of the ghost of al-Qaeda the guy that nobody would ever admit to meeting nobody had ever seen and here's the guy sitting in front of me was the first person we ever had to admit to meeting almost three so. I knew he was extremely important. In a new he had to know other people in the inner circles of Al Qaeda and a few weeks later I went to meet with him one night in his cell and he said I said you're so close to getting this program. All we need. Is that one last piece of information. That'll that'll convince my bosses and he said I'll give it to the interrogators tomorrow and the next day he came in and he told the interrogators that every month of we would meet with his spiritual adviser. Who was our detainees best friend. Hey folks real quick. I want to talk talk about one of our sponsors this week. vistaprint one of the things that people don't realize about acting and voice overs and podcasting is that just like any other business. It's all about the people that you know and it's the connections that you make and you really never know what those connections are. GonNa come from so it's really important to be able to have something on you so that you can handle somebody just in case you make that one connection. 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They'll make it right this to print wants you to be able to own own the now in any situation which is why our listeners will get free shipping on all business cards any style and equality just go to vistaprint dot com and enter the Promo code code covert. That's important covert for free shipping on all business cards any style any quantity limited time offer own the now at vistaprint dot com Promo code covert and by the way you support our show when you support our sponsors finally Abu Hater offered interrogators the information they'd been searching for every month. Al-Zour cowie would meet with his spiritual leader named Abu Abdur were Ramon. It's the piece of intelligence that everyone had been waiting on for years. All Zerkalo we had lived in the shadows striking with impunity now at last J. Sock has what it needs to find him and take him out the intelligence and military effort that put together it was beginning to to close the noose around his neck. We knew we had identified individuals in various cells that were part of the pieces of putting these bombs together the other. We knew that Zarqa we had a spiritual adviser. We knew that he was going to visit him and so as you got each of those little elements you understood but it was absolutely the inevitable that we'd be successful is just a matter of being patient because eventually he would we had enough intelligence and enough of a network that eventually he was going to make a mistake and give us an opportunity and that's exactly what happened using this information. J. sock swiftly traced the spiritual adviser and began following him day and night using high-tech systems uh-huh like Predator drones as well as old fashioned undercover operatives. They created what McChrystal called the unblinking eye. Their target was never out of sight. Abu Haider tells Alexander that if they wanNA find all Zerkalo they need to look for one particular sign so our detainee a hater told us that his best friend was all Rochman any told us where to find out Rochman any told us that we would know when I'll rochman was going to visits our colleague because he would get into a blue car so we went and found Brockman at a mosque in Baghdad to the analysts dismay. Every times are Cowie's. His spiritual adviser drove around the city. It would be in a white car. We followed him from his mosque twenty four hours a day and eventually he did got in a blue car and we lost him in Baghdad traffic and so all that work you know everything that had gone in to try to find some in that moment was lost and we were devastated. We'd put all this effort into it and because we lost a car in traffic we'd lost their chances colleen uh but lucky for us this this adviser. He went back to the same mosque. I mean that's where he teaches. That's where he he lives until he picked him up again and followed him again and I believe a couple weeks later he went and got in that same blue car again and then we fall this man got into his car and headed out of town so the time came they decided that they'd assemble the resources to see where he was going and they use. Predator other methods to fully he's call by now. Pictures from the drone were being fed live to Jason Sox command center. Everyone including General McChrystal himself watched in silence as Roman drives into a large compound and gets out of the car. Uh to the task force's surprise Abu Musab Al-Zour Cali the man responsible for killing so many innocent men women and children walked into the car to greet him time is precious and critical discussion was held in the command center. Is it worth trying to capture all Zerkalo alive in broad daylight. Is it better to wait until nightfall and take him when he's asleep. If they strike they risk a heavy firefight and numerous casualties worse. Al-Zour cow is a master the last minute escape if they wait he could easily slip through the net again. This could be their one and only chance to finish the job. Matthew View looks on totally unaware of what decision the commanding officers would take to take out Al-Zour Cowie McChrystal believes. There's no time to lose he. He can't even wait twenty minutes for the Assault Force to arrive by helicopter he ops for another plan designed to take all cowie completely by surprise. General Stanley McChrystal's decision is that nothing can be left to chance he calls up to sixteen fighters patrolling nearby once the blue car arrived at the house. helicopters took off immediately to go to that House and captures Cali and it was about twenty minutes away and there was a period time in which we were just waiting. I was watching it live on video. in the car had arrived at the house. We'd seen you know all Rochman go inside and we were just waiting and we're expecting to watch the helicopters land in the rate which we typically would watch and instead after about maybe a five minute minute wait the house just exploded and it turns out that the committee had just decided to order the bombing house to ensure that circle he didn't escape again in you know so then maybe ten or fifteen minutes after that the helicopters landed still alive on a stretcher being carried away and and that's when one of the special operations soldiers ran up and stopped these two Iraqis carrying on the stretcher and I looked at him and tried to roll off the stretcher and the soldier grabbed him in conway died. It was sort of a sweet justice office if you will that. SARCOMAS last image was a US soldier grabbing him the day following the bombing the coalition announces to the world that they have their man at last and released photos of his dead body as a grim confirmation. The following is an excerpt group from former secretary of defense. Donald Rumsfeld's two thousand six NATO speech last evening. US forces in Iraq in a town called Baka killed Abu Masada is czar calway the leading terrorists in Iraq and one of the three senior al-Qaeda leaders worldwide there are going to be people who are determined to kill innocent men women children and and they'll others will come along but in terms of someone who has gotten up that high and and then that effective killing Lillard literally thousands of Iraqis were killed bill by this man the death of is our car we while enormously important I will not mean the end of all violence in that country and one ought. I'm not to take it as such but let there be no doubt his the the fact that he is dead. is a significant victory in the battle against terrorism in that country and I would say worldwide because he had interests well outside of Iraq. He was an integral part of the global war on terror. It's a devastating blow to al Qaeda in Iraq. The man who was thought to be invincible was dead. You know it's interesting. I don't from my time in the White House. I remember hearing the the the moment win. Saddam Hussein was killed. I remember coming into to the White House in hearing sarcophagi had been killed but it's not there's no relish in that right because the minute one of these leaders killed or taken out on the battlefield battlefield. You're moving on because there's going to be somebody to replace them. In so I frankly I can remember hearing Sarkhouh was killed knowing that that gave us a window of opportunity thirty while they were regrouping to continue to target them in further degrade their capability clearly their work was not over with the intelligence that was collected from the smoldering remains remains of Ulcer Cowie's compound another series of raids was launched and started to fall like a stack of Dominos. I think the truth is that findings was an absolute imperative he in many propaganda statements had summed his nose he he basically made the case that his ability to wage his kind of G. had without being captured or killed was a sign of his power and of the weakness the US on the Iraqi government that it was trying to set up so killing him on doubtedly had an impact there was a lot of expectation from from the rate of material was recovered it allow further inroads there were dozens of rates in the weeks that followed to be made into the kite strong structure and we can see eh that little by little through two thousand six through to the early party number seven they did successfully take them down to his car is our Co.. If you like was evidence of a bigger strategy that was really getting seriously affected by that point and by the summer of two thousand and seven uh-huh cadre in Iraq had largely been smashed. The death is our cow as we suspected would it was a devastating blow to the organization there was you know a good deal of chaos inside the organization and what you do is you know when you're targeting. You're also collecting intelligence on the network and so with that allows you to do as the minute he's dead their former vulnerable the the the people around him than they realize and so you do a series of raids that is devastating reading and they never really came back from from his death and it turned the tide of the war and the momentum to the side of the coalition in a way. I I suppose should have been expected but you can never be confident. You had that moment. You know I mean obviously it's good news. It's a victory on. He clearly had some operational talent had some leadership talent had the trust of bin Laden. had a larger than life figure so you can't say it's a bad thing to take him in his and his minions out. Was it a blow to al Qaeda and Iraq I think so they changed the landscape escape immediately now and there are those in even in the policy community in the United States and in the media that said it really made no difference personally I think it did better to dump them off than have him still operating on the battlefield and he had killed along America's interrogator. Matthew Alexander offers a different in perspective though I do think there was an element of justice although I think justice is best served in court but in an environment like this. We're doing counterinsurgency. We're still in a combat zone. You know a killer. Capture is the justice that you're trying trying to get from the perspective of a soldier who's hunting a terrorist in in a combat zone and do I lament over the death is our Collie in no way yeah. This was a guy who had murdered thousands of people in fact he murdered many more people than Osama bin Laden ever. Did you say Cali could be responsible for upwards almost one hundred thousand deaths by starting the civil war in Iraq and so. I don't think the world's GonNa Miss Him. I can't really the say do I agree with this or not agree with to bomb the house if it was me I'd like to say that I would have waited in raid the house so we could avoid civilian casualties but I can't blame the commander either for bombing the house because we had escaped before and you can make the argument that killings colleagues saved thousands sense of lives. I the lives at cost but there's no way really to justify this regardless. al-zirkli led the Jihadist insurgency into Iraq. When he was killed it was hoped that his campaign of terror would collapse tragically in death? Al-Zour colley left a legacy of more death and bloodshed by two thousand thirteen terrorist operation he helped grow in Iraq had morphed into the terror group. We know today as Isis and by two thousand fourteen the group had full control of the Iraqi city of collusion thankfully by early two thousand thousand Nineteen Isis influence over the region was diminishing. The fight against terrorism still continues. That's all for covert. Susan to we will be back for season three special. Thanks to the folks at audio boom and world media rights and all the sponsors that help make this podcast possible title. I want to take a second. Thank all of you for listening if you have time and feel so inclined swing on over to Instagram at covert podcast there's all kinds ends of additional content and if you want you can say hi. I'd love to talk to you. Covert is an audio boom in world meteorites co production hosted by me Jaime Renou. It's produced by audio booms. Ben Hasley Rachel Jacobs Casey Georgie and Karen Bevan and by Pascal Hughes for World Meteorites we had additional production action help from world media rights by Gerald's Bangla David mcnabb's the series creative director and executive producers for audio boom are Brendan Regan and Stewart last asked if you haven't already don't forget to follow us on spotify or subscribe on Apple Podcasts stitcher wherever you find your favorite shows and if you've got some time it gives us a review

General Stanley McChrystal Iraq Iraq United States al-Qaeda J. Sock Baghdad Matthew Alexander Al-Zour cowie Saddam Hussein assault Kali Matthew Alexander Jay sock Zerkalo Abu Musab commander Jason Sox Tom O'CONNELL Stan McChrystal
Former CIA Targeting Officer on the Post-9/11 Hunt for Terrorists

Intelligence Matters

36:01 min | 1 year ago

Former CIA Targeting Officer on the Post-9/11 Hunt for Terrorists

"This is the intelligence matters podcast with former acting director of the Michael Morell, sponsored by Raytheon. My breast you've asked for volunteers. So I went ahead and raise my hand, I ended up being the second person from our team. The went to Iraq. My job was to continue to support my team in answering questions on whether or not we would find any further evidence that Iraq was connected to nine eleven. I did that through talking to detainees that Ramon, Terry custody. In addition to former regime officials. What was a typical debriefing session, like, and did you try to build some report, as you kind of went into the room. Yeah. But that sometimes worked other times, there was just so much resistance. It was clearly not going to be productive. The one exception being Tareq Z's. I think the first time I met him was in was in the hospital and he decided he wanted to disarm me and throw me off. So he opened his right in front of me. Just sitting there in his underwear. I didn't respond, but yeah, that was probably the more unique was the foreign minister of rock war. Yeah. Eventually become branch chief of the dark a unit essentially, you guys are looking for him. Right. So, by this point, or Kelly had joined Qaeda, he took violence to a whole different level. He was basically doing anything wanted to just so chaos. Were you surprised that L Qaeda in Iraq was able to bounce back and ultimately become this thing called ISIS? Or did you always see the roots such a bride network and that extremist ideology, we knew from what happened with Al Qaeda wasn't going away? So while it wasn't surprising that it morphed. It was slightly surprising that it, morphed in such an intense dynamic way that it did. Mehta Bacchus was an analyst in targeting officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. Her work helped United States, successfully track one of the world's most wanted terrorist Abu Musab, ELS Hikari, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the predecessor organization to ISIS. Neda is now a senior fellow in the program on national security at the foreign policy research institute, last week, native published her memoir, the target her in which she shares her experience, as a, a officer, I had a chance to sit down with native to discuss her new book, and what it's like to be a CIA analyst and CIA target her. I'm Mike morale. And this is intelligence matters. Nato welcome to intelligence matters. It is great to have you on the show. Thank you for having me, and congratulations, on the publication of your book, the target her. I know it took a while and actually I wanna come back and ask you about that at the end. But maybe the place to start our discussion is at the very beginning your Montana. You grew up there. You went to school there. How did you end up at the Central Intelligence Agency? Yeah. It was a circuitous path. I really wanted to live overseas in work overseas. And I was really interested in working for an international organization. And when I graduated from undergrad, there was a bit of a recession in the US, not a lot of jobs. I started here was this was in nineteen Ninety-one, and I started a grad program actually, in India in New Delhi, and after a fight the first half of that year, I decided I wanted to go back to the US and. Just didn't seem to be a lot of options. So I chose positions that were I could get a job in a lot of those ended up in HR, even though my academic background was an economics. And so when I saw job advertised for CIA for an organizational development person, I went ahead and applied. And so you started as a human resources officer, what did you actually do? Well, when I came in they were looking at trying to modernize the operation side of the house. So I was working a bit with rob Richard trying to allocate resources and figure out. How do we Justice to rob at that time was probably the number two he was the number two and rations? Yeah. So he of course, in, in the good case officer way was trying to recruit me to come to come to DO side and case officer. I you know, I did that job for a little while up into of until nine eleven and then you transition to be an analyst. Yes. How did that happen there? There was an opening in OT ir office of transnational issues, and it was an illicit finance. So I applied for that role and fully got in, in that changed obviously the trajectory of my career there. So I started in the predecessor office OT I, I started in the office of global issues, and it's, it's had a bazillion different names over the years, but actually started there, so NATO, can you give the listeners, a sense of what it's like to be an analyst at CIA? What is a kind of a typical day look like we've had a lot of operations officers on the show, but not a lot of analysts. Right. So what is it like to be Alice? Also, one of the reasons I wrote this book, it just felt like there's just not a lot of analysts who write books. In addition to women who write books analysts job is, you know, listeners have probably heard you talking about it as well is really to digest information, pick out the salient pieces, and right products for the policymaker or. Reefa policymaker. So it's while it doesn't sound sexy. It's really, really interesting work because you get to see a huge swath of information. So I'm gonna get a lot of people mad at me here on the operational side of the agency, but I actually think the point of the spear is the analytic side. Right. That's the representation of our work to the people who make decisions. Right. And so, I think it, it is extraordinarily important. Richard Helms, who is a beloved director used to say the most important thing agency does is analysis. I agree. It's the culmination of all the efforts coming together. Right. So you were part prior to the war in Iraq. You were part of the team that was tasked with addressing the link between Iraq and L Qaeda. Can you talk about that? So I came into the team it was kind of a second innovation of the team. It had a new branch teeth. She was fantastic. She had been briefer. I think she's a mutual friend of ours, and she was really, you know, building the analysis around the question of whether or not Iraq had anything to do with nine eleven al-qaeda. And so we were continually working with operation side of the house to, to collect information fill in any gaps that we have a lot of questions we were being asked by by the policy me, lots of questions. Is there a link? Is there a link? Is there a link? Yes. And you guys answer that we did. And what did you would? Did you conclude the ultimate conclusion was that there was not a link to put it plainly there? We couldn't find substantial evidence that Saddam had ever really worked with Al Qaeda, and there was no link between Iraq and nine eleven. Right. And we I think we did say that there was some communication between them going way back. But even that turned out to be wrong, right? Exactly. The end of the day. Yes. If I remember correctly, we wrote two papers. We wrote a paper that said, if we were going to make a case that there was a link. Here's the best case we can make. And you there for that. That was, I think you're referring to the murky paper I came in right after that. So we wrote that paper which I think, gave the wrong impression a little bit. Yes. And then we corrected it and I remember I was then the number three on the inside of the agency and we put out kind of the paper, and it didn't get a great response from the policymakers if. I remember correctly. And did you guys feel that with the, the Libyan particularly yes we did. So it was a long paper. And we called it the bible, because everything we had had gone into it. Trying to, to at least fill in all of the gaps that we had on the collection as much as we possibly could. So that paper didn't resonate necessarily with the White House. It didn't resonate with pieces of the Pentagon. So we had the again, the continual questions about around some of the nuances of the analysis that we had on the paper. So the paper concluded no relationship. Yeah, no Iraqi involvement in nine eleven. Yep. No rocky foreknowledge of nine eleven. Right. And yet some members of the administration continued actually, to this very day to suggest that, there was a link right? And this is where all the sound bites that we're seeing in the media now on on. On all the news networks, where administration comes out with this sort of nuanced language of trying to push this narrative that changes that trajectory of the truth that was happening a lot, especially with this issue, and even I think probably on the WMD side to a certain extent, but certainly with the issue of whether or not Iraq was connected to al-qaeda, the implication was from some members of the White House, and some members of DOD as that there was some kind of connection. And. How did you guys this is a question about, I guess about me at the end of the day, and the people on the seventh floor? How did you feel? You were supported with regard to what you were saying and the pushback, receiving. I mean I d have fantastic teeth in. She had a lot on her shoulders in the sense of this was such an unprecedented moment. I think for us in time she because she had that connection and experience with the White House. I think she was leading a lot of the effort and some of the direct communication just because she was capable so on one hand we were. Probably interacting more with directly with senior leadership than I am traditional team would be at the same time we felt supported from the seventh floor. Well, you know, we got a lot of things wrong on Iraq. But this piece we got. Right. And you should feel very good about that. I know I do, but you should feel really good about that. So NATO after the initial invasion of Iraq. You do a tour in Iraq. We asked to go did you volunteer? How did that happen? We my brush Steve asked volunteers. So I went ahead and raise my hand, I ended up being the second person from our team that went to Iraq. I really didn't have any idea what to expect. When did you go, it was I left DC in may of two thousand three okay? At the end of may. The, you know, the person that went right before me. He was in kind of in a slightly different situation. You lined himself with a case officer who had been there for a little bit longer. So they had the structure kind of setup routine setup for what they did on, on a daily basis. When I got there, the DO had changed over, so we were rebuilding the structure of what we needed to do and achieve on a daily basis. So what did you do? What was your job? My job was to continue to support my team in answering questions. On whether or not, we would find any further evidence that Iraq was connected to nine eleven Okita. So how did you do that? I did that through talking to detainees that were military custody in. In addition to former regime officials like Tareq Aziz and sort of tell me how that worked you were taking. They were you went to their cell. They were taken to a debriefing room. How did how did that work? So how did you an how'd you find that right? Because you're writing analysts and all of a sudden you're face to face with. Yes, people who are under arrest so working the little bit through one of the I think it was a deputy chief station at the time he was he had told us kind of with a structure was for the detainee population. So I worked with the general population, which we were set up in these sort of plywood, debriefing rooms when they would just pull him out of these pens at at Baghdad international airport and. And set him up in for once they had shade. I think you know, it was essentially a break for them with a regime officials. They were held in a separate area. We were in buildings were we able to, to talk to them for longer periods of time. And what was a typical debriefing session like well with the general population, it varied, some of these guys were arrested because they were suspected to be what we were terming insurgents and some of these guys suspected could be foreign fighters and my whole interest, really at the time was were these guys working with third Kelly where he is. He is he still in the country and what is he doing at the moment? Did you have a kind of standard set of questions now or it defendant on, on these circumstances of how the person was arrested? So I would have to just play by ear how cooperative this person was going to be what their background was? There was a lot of regime, like former military, some former rock intelligence service. It would just depend, and did you try to build some report, as you kind of went into the room. And yeah, that's that sometimes worked other times, there was just so much resistance. It was clearly. Going to be productive. The one exception being Tareq Aziz. I think the first time I met him was in. He had a heat stroke was in the hospital, and he was in a hospital robe as most people are when they're spittle sitting across from me on a cot, and he decided he wanted to disarm me and throw me off. So he opened his little robe right in front of me. Just sitting there in his underwear. I didn't respond, but yeah, that was probably the more unique the foreign minister of Iraq war. Yeah. Yeah. So what, what were your enduring memories of that? I tore and what, what, what really stands out to you. I think more than anything was the lack of cohesion of process and strategy. What were we going to do? Once we were there once everything was dismantled. We didn't seem to have a plan. There's no way to put anything back to government. We as a government and a coalition. We just. Didn't seem to have. Any any kind of plan to be able to provide electricity water any kind of infrastructure after it was taken apart. Could you have a sense? Did you have a sense when you were there that this was going ahead in the wrong direction as a result of that? Yeah, I did. I remember having a phone call with my husband. Well, it wasn't yet. My husband at the time just relating to him. How hopeless it already started to seem because we didn't really have a grasp of what was happening. I thought on the ground in a in a way that would be productive. This was clearly ramping up to the huge fight native a few months after you return from Iraq, you quit. Yeah. In fact, you sent a resignation Email. I understand. But days after that, you were back at work again. What what happened there? So people smarter than me has tried peeling off my branch going to other jobs. They had been there, quite a while. While it was burnt out, essentially, I stayed on longer as analysts largely to prove myself. This is the first you know, really high profile account, I had been on, I was writing a lot of the presidential daily briefs at that point I just I was burned out. And I was really tired of answering the same question over and over and over again that came back to me constantly in addition to trying to keep up on the daily intelligence, it was coming in, and trying to provide that information back to the policymaker. And so you said I'd had enough. I'm done. I had filled full bring capacity at that point. And it just just do it anymore. And so you say, I quit, and then what happens ended up getting a call from another senior manager, who worked in counterterrorism center, and said, did you have any idea what you were going to do that? You were going to go work. Someplace else were you gonna figure that out later? I had I did have an offer from one of the contractors. I wasn't really interested in it. I was just the offer letter had been sitting at my house, and I hadn't done anything with it at that point. I when I got the call from the senior manager from the counterterrorism center, and he said when you come back into the DO side. Yeah. Fraiche inside of become a targeting officer. I've just had a lot more allure to me. And what was it about being a targeting officer that was different than what you were doing before that excited, you? Well, having the strategic background of, of the d, I am the type of analysis that we did there and being able to apply that to working with the action arms and trying to dismantle our Cowboys network was I felt like at least at that point, I'd be doing something versus answering a question, so we should take a second to tell the listeners what is a targeting officer. And what is a targeting officer do? At that time, they were just in the operation side, now, they're in both sides of the house. But on the operation side, their job is to either recruit and look for assets for the US government reclining, the person who has yet the information we need. We'll spy for us or it's to target individuals that we are looking for like star Kelly or bin Laden or members of all Qaeda to find them. Find out why they are. Yes. And what's the difference between what an analyst does on a day-to-day basis? And what a targeting officer does, is there much of a difference there. It's still analysis, but it's tactical analysis. So you move from trying to really paint his broader picture, too much smaller not necessarily Pinho version, but a much smaller bandwidth of information that you're looking at so you're really trying to just find ways insertion points and vulnerabilities to dismantle the network or an organization. One of the you talk about in the book, is that. You felt as being an analyst, particularly on the Iraq al-qaeda question as you're always looking backward. Right. And one of the things you liked about targeting is essentially, we're looking forward. Right. That played a role in how you felt about the two jobs. It did. And really, you know traditional analyst job is you are looking forward. And that's what was so interesting. And exciting about being an analyst, so going to the targeting officer role in some way was like being in a traditional analyst. Again, maybe in retrospect, I should have looked for another analyst. Okay. I think he did okay has a targeting officer. So Nate you eventually become branch chief of Zarcal unit. So what's the arc our unit essentially, you guys are looking for him? Right. Right. So by this point R Kelly had joined Okada. Is organization where he was? You know, building up within rock was garnering all the resources and money and recruits, Al Qaeda, traditionally had drawn. So in Iraq prior to the war, you know, he moved into northern Iraq, right? Prior to the invasion. He had set up a camp that included a rudimentary poisons lab in northern Iraq, and he was co located with another indigenous terrorist organization. And then when the vacuum occurs he, he starts filling it. Right. So he was basically lying in wait waiting for that vacuum to occur so that he can take advantage of it and extremists start joining him because, yeah, he's got this great personality. And he's got a already had built a network. He was Colocation with Al Qaeda in Harare Afghanistan in the late nineties. So he he'd already been building this extremists network for a while. And what made him so special? I guess what made him so good from one perspective. Right. And so bad from another perspective. Right. He took violence to a whole different level. This is one of the first times that we had seen a tactic that had continuous rolling vehicle bombs, so he would take two or three vehicles and load them up with Idees and push them through to a target one at a time right after another as caused huge destruction. It was one of the first time that we'd actually seen that would seem mention of that as a plan before, but had not ever seen it executed. He was also targeting civilians, other Muslims, lots of Shia. He was basically doing anything wanted to just so chaos. And you talked about the relationship between him and al-qaeda and that evolved over time. Can you talk about that a little bit? Yeah. When he first joined Qaeda, there was a struggle between. How he was supposed to build his strategy, according to what Al Qaeda central wanted. And then what's our Cowie wanted? So they, they was they were butting heads for a while. And eventually, he won then wasn't wasn't part of the debate. They wanted him to focus on the foreign presence, and he wanted to focus on creating this dynamic between Susan Shia in Iraq. That's exactly right. So he was he was wanting to just make sure that he was taking advantage of the situation internally they wanted him to go after the foreign targets because they were still really focused on the United States and western European countries al-qaeda, and what was by focusing on the internal target? What was he trying to achieve? Well at that point, he, he had a point plan that ISIS, actually took in co-opted Calif. It was toward the bottom of his list. He wanted to control territory so that he could start building his own caliphat, and people need to know that, that this. Organization that he created al-qaeda in Iraq, eventually more into ice. Yes. Someday. So you then go back to Iraq for a second time. When did you go? And what did you do? So this is a targeting officer. I actually was managing the team at the time, and we had a person that was co located with special forces, so well we had a person rotating through there on in addition to sometimes having people in Baghdad. We were working with special forces, we're working with station, and we were really trying to take advantage of any kind of vulnerabilities. We could find within Kelly's organization, so special forces was quite often are action arm. And that's that was true in Afghanistan. And guess probably still true today. Yes. So Nate you had some near misses in in getting him. In fact, in February of two thousand five you almost got him, but he got away wha- what happened? We had intelligence from somebody who was tired of czar Kelly taking advantage of everybody that said he'd be traveling at a certain period of time with another individual in a white pick-up truck. So we had surveillance on we were able to see overhead where we saw pickup truck. Leave a certain point that was navigating toward a destination that we were told about so special forces in lined up on you thought that ramble him we thought that was him. They scrambled up behind. They were still a good half mile away, but we had surveillance overhead and but at the time our surveillance wasn't able to see through some clouds in some of the tree, canopy. So he would disappear periodically. And then he pulled into a farmhouse into what Montana we call shelter belts. Canopy of trees and we couldn't see him. He got a truck and ran. So by the time special forces pulled up the individuals were gone, but there was a laptop that was left inside the pickup. So how did how? How did you and your team feel at that point? It. That was it on one hand it was it was fantastic. We were able to get that close figure that we could again. But on the other hand to be able to be that close and odd actually capture him or kill him at that point. That was incredibly frustrating. So then you turn, and you do another job transition. Yes. Right. And then but we eventually do get him. Yes. So about three months prior to start Kelly being killed I transitioned to another job within the operations field. And so my, my former colleagues. And some of the team that I had worked with, and the US military ended up getting him in how did how did that happen to the extent you can talk about it? They had actually human intelligence about where and when he would be arriving in a certain place. So US military was actually able to, to leverage, all of that information and, and continually update intelligence also working with the CIA and they ended up killing him. So then how did you how did you hear about it? Right. And you feel. So I was I was with were colleagues. We were actually traveling at the time I came down into this hotel lobby, and they told me they saw it on the news, that he'd been killed, and I, I was shocked. I mean, I knew it was coming, right? Rear? He's inside this country. There's coalition forces everywhere. But it was I felt like it was a huge relief. I knew it wasn't the end of anything -sarily, but it was huge relief. And then we're you. Were you surprised that Al Qaeda in Iraq was able to bounce back on an ultimately become this thing called ISIS or did you always see the roots of that? He had such a broad network and that extremist ideology, we knew from what happened with al-qaeda wasn't going away. So while it wasn't surprising that it morphed. It was slightly surprising that it more in such an intense dynamic way that it did drawing so much from Iraqi. Did we know of al-baghdadi at that time we knew of him but he wasn't a player necessarily, but he became radicalized we know before R Kelly really took over? So she a member of L Qaeda in rock. If he I don't know if he ever swore Bayat R Kelly, but he certainly was part of that network. So Nate, then you decide to leave CIA. Yeah. Right. Why? Well, my husband at the time didn't work there. It's really difficult to. I wanted to live overseas. I didn't really want to go back to the mother ship, in DC that badly for a long period of time, and it's really difficult to ask somebody who's mid career to senior career. To move every few years with me overseas in different capacities. So. That was just a rate on moment for us both to make that change. Do you miss it? I do miss it. Yeah, I missed it right away. I missed the Camry. I missed the ability to, you know focus on different topics at any given time. It was a great place kind of reinvent yourself. So a lot of discussion in your book about the role of women and CIA. Let me ask you two questions about that. One is you saw a difference in the role that women had on the analytic side of the agency and the rule that they had only operational side agency. Can you talk about that? So on, on the analyst side, you know, it was largely there was largely gender equity. It seemed to be semi equal numbers. You were really judged on your capability, and the products that you right? As you know, when we send things out to for our colleagues to, to tear apart they do it equally. It doesn't. Matter who you are. They wanna make sure that we have the analysis right on the operation side and still felt very misogynistic at times, sometimes I was the only woman in the room and in various meetings. And I, I was looking around for someone to be a mentor, especially because I wasn't a case officer, and it was just really difficult to find women that were able to create a balance on the upside. And I saw this and in fact, I saw to the point where we made a decision to bring in Madeleine Albright and have her look at this issue of what happens to women on the operational side of the agency. And she wrote a great report and made a whole bunch of recommendations. And I sure hope they've been implemented because there was there was a difference. Absolutely second question. Second question about women, which is that a lot of has been made about women as targeted right? Most targets are women, and then people even make the argument that women make better targets than men. What's your sense on that? So I don't I always push back on him because I think, regardless of who you are. It depends on individual skill sets. Right. That's like saying men are Jen are generally better at X, because they're men. I don't think that's true. And it depends on the person regardless of what gender you identify with your capable of, of doing great things. There were a lot of women focused on Al Qaeda before nine eleven. It wasn't a super sexy job. There wasn't an immediate payoff. And I think women are willing to put up with that to his stint patient. Yeah. And not looking for that bump in career, I guess, at the time, but there were lots of men working focusing on the analyst, I'd also on Okita. So fantastic analysts who I, I highly respect, so there is has been a lot said about women doing documentaries have have been a theme of the documentary. So NATO been great with your time, too few more questions. Number one. Roll like yours was fictionalized the role of a targeting officer was fictionalized in the film zero dark thirty. I'm sure you've seen. So how accurate is that as a description of a targeting officer, engage should ask you that question? I would love to fly around. Get to ask the question. I mean it wasn't really my experience as a targeting officer. I'm sure it was, you know that one single person her experience as she saw it. I, I personally saw everything is a much broader bigger team effort. I think what happened in the film is that they had to create one. Absolutely. Yeah. Who did everything it's hard to have a huge ensemble cast and Ryan movie round. Right. The second question was. In your mind. How much of the breakthroughs that happen in targeting case are attributable to a moment of intuition, a moment of brilliance. And how much just really hard data work. There were some people that actually analysts that had worked for me that I was just amazed at their ability to find and dig up and create these just connections that were. Initially when we talked about it just didn't seem plausible, but they would in a finding these nuggets on hunches and be able to make those connections, and they would turn into real time operations. And sometimes, I think it is based on your instinct, and there is some value to being able to have some Harris. Good skill to do that job. And, and where do you where do you think those hunches? And intuition, what do you think that comes from knowing how either the individual target functions? Or else understanding the organizational dynamics, where, where would they go to leverage their strength at this point? So, so real deep knowledge, the target in the organization, looking at yes, creates a moment where you say that's not the way they would do this, this is the way they would do what I think we should focus on this. Exactly interesting. And ate a one last question this one related to your book. You've been very vocal about the frustrations of. Of getting your book through the publication review process at CIA. We all sign a piece paper when we start to work there that we will do that the rest of our lives. Right. You've been filed a lawsuit to get your book. And loose so to speak, what happened. What was what was going on there? I had Senate in as I was supposed to the entire manuscript. I didn't hear anything back for a long period of time. And by the time I actually did receive some receive something, I think it was at least a year and a half later, you Senate. You didn't hear anything for a year and a half. Right. It came back largely black with zero explanation. There were some things that they said, well, if you change this, it can be that, but there were huge chunks of this, that were just completely redacted and they couldn't answer some of those questions, because it was done by another agency some of it was done by DOD, and I couldn't sit down with anybody. They weren't willing to to does just discuss why they what they thought something. So I had no book at that point. And I couldn't even move forward with publishing so without getting answers. I ended up having to file a lawsuit so that I could at least try to clarify what more could be doing differently. And that's when they actually sat down, and we had a whole discussion, so I talked to several different agencies in individually and work through the process. But there's the process is so broken so, so at the end of the day, how different is what was published from what you originally sent them. How much ended up being redacted I would say twenty five percent of it was completely redacted and removed and another thirty percent changed. And when they explain to you, why they wanted redacted it make sense to you ten percent of it. Did there was some stuff that they just gave back to me when I'm sitting there were sitting there and discussing it they're like you can have that back. You can have that back. So there really wasn't any rhyme or reason as to why they redacted the information some of the information that they did. Interesting. So after more than two years of going through that the books out, so you must feel really good about it very much. It is, was a labor but it's, it's really nice to just finally have it out there native. Thank you so much for your time today. The book is the target her, and the authors, native Baku's. Thank you so much. You welcome. That was native Bacchus. I Mike Morrell. Please join us next week for another episode of intelligence matters. This has been the intelligence matters podcast with former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell, sponsored by Raytheon. The podcast is produced by via gases, JV Benson and Enya guitar. If you haven't already subscribe rate, and review or ever, you download podcasts you could follow the show on Twitter at Intel matters, pod, and follow Michael at Michael. Jay morelle intelligence matters is the production of CBS News Radio.

Iraq officer analyst Central Intelligence Agency al-qaeda czar Kelly United States Nato Iraq L Qaeda ISIS Nate Montana Qaeda Raytheon acting director Michael Morell
Nada Bakos on 'The Targeter'

The Lawfare Podcast

40:18 min | 1 year ago

Nada Bakos on 'The Targeter'

"I think one of the things I would love to wear all the time is our week causing more chaos. Or are we actually affecting the situation in positive way, are we dismantling the violence, and the chaos, are we just creating warm by conducting the operation from our perspective because a Iraq theater is a military primacy theater. So the CIA had primacy when they went into Afghanistan for operation, because they were I in this was not declared a war in the ways way that Iraq was and within Iraq, the OD had primed. The so we were more in the support role than we were in Afghanistan and continuously aware of how military would be using the information wanted to make sure that we always had some type of analysis top line analysis, even if it's just wrong for sending back to them. We wanted to be clear. Here's the context. This is the law, fair podcast June fourth two thousand nineteen in movies and TV shows like zero dark, thirty and homeland Hollywood is fictionalized the roles intelligence officers and tracking down terrorists, but the truth is often filled with personal and political challenges beyond those that screenwriters, imagine, Nita Bacchus worked in several jobs at CI including a targeting officer focusing on the founder of al-qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab, all's are cobby in her new book, the target or she describes the experiences and challenges. She faced along the way last week. David got on the phone with Nita to talk about what the targeting officer, does what it was like interrogating detainees in Iraq and the difficulties she encountered in getting her book to print, it's the law, fair podcast episode four hundred twenty three native Bucko on the target are. Nato. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me. You betcha. You've got a remarkable book, that's out the, the target or is, is the title. And that's title that may not resonate with everybody until they read it to find out this description of job that few people really understand within the CIA, and we're going to get to it, your subtitle, being my life in the CIA hunting terrorists, and challenging the White House. We're going to break down each part of that. But I wanna start a little bit earlier. How did you get to the point where you were even working at CIA? What road took you there? I was really focused on working overseas. And at the time that I finished undergraduate, it just didn't seem plausible that a US employer would pay me to work overseas. We were in a bit of a recession grad full just kind of seemed out of my grasp the time trying to figure out how to pay for it. Probably just pulled around for a few years. And finally implied. Now, something happened before you even got there, which in a sense was a preview of some of the dangerous situations, you got into in Iraq that will talk about later, you're a college freshman, and you were just hanging out with your friends one Monday night, what happened. Well, we were actually I was part of us are already and we were crossing streets and drunk driver came at us, and I don't remember the accident. But this is the recall that has been told to me and hit poor of us walking across the street, so that was bit of a life changing situation that was the first semester at at Mahnken state university in both men. And so I had to drop out for the remaining time period and shifted certainly shifted things for me and my perspective. Some of the book you talk about your experiences getting into CIA in your path into Seattle was not the traditional one for, for someone who ends up targeting terrorists, and, and working in Iraq with some of the, the hardened criminals that came in that you head to interrogate you came in, and you're actually doing an HR job of some kind of a corporate consulting type job talk a little bit about that job to dispel, people, the notion that C I A is all just operators and analysts what were you actually doing when you first came in? I, I never had out to be an HR professional just never something that I had thought about I just happened to fall into that line of work, because it was available when I was out of school and started working as an organizational consultants and in in or development. And so when I came in, I was working with the operation side, and trying to figure out how they modernize their workforce. And what should should those jobs look like? And how should they align? Their mission doesn't seem like a clear path to what you ended up doing an Olympic work. How did you get there? As soon as I joined I really wanted to do different job, you know, HR is great work, but it just had never been in my passion. But when I realized you could move around within the agency, jerk qualified for another physician and apply. I was really focused on that and I had a fantastic vaseline supported my goal. So he was he was very much championing anything that I really wanted to pursue at that point. Vinci, got to the point where you were doing analytic work, and you give a rare window in the book to something that, that isn't described much, which is the, the training that an analyst gets you describe a program. I think you abbreviated as cap the Korean less program. Talk a little bit about how it is that people from diverse backgrounds, including yours got up to speed in the analytic tradecraft in order to do the job that a C. I A analyst does. So I don't know which kept class you were. But when I was before it, I was unable to partake in the joy that you had. We were I think we were the tenth class that went through the training, and we were older so we weren't custom pithy young analyst. Right. Out of grad school. We were cynical and probably put our teachers through the ringer a bit more than they needed to be kept Clinton has a bit of a reputation as a ring to because of some of the things you pulled on your on your own instructors. What were some of the things that, that you did that manifest themselves that way? Yeah. Well, some of it, you know, we're just typical pranks on some of our fellow student, but they also incorporated, the unwittingly the teachers that were part of the process. But yeah, I go through that some of that in my book, some of the anecdotes of camaraderie some of the things and probably shouldn't have done as adults. But at the same time, I would say that we did learn, you know, some valuable analytic tradecraft the same time in spite of ourselves, we learn how to be also analysts how to write all of these products, you know, I have gone on, and then the other job that I not really actually paid attention. At some point. What does that actually mean when you said you learned how to do the Olympic work what described the job of an analyst, and how it's different than some people assume? So an analyst and you can correct me or add to the an analyst, and somebody who digest information intelligence and Ryan permission and collection and paint a picture for the policymaker that actually truly analyze that information and interprets it for the policy makers, so that they have a clear view on a set of problems that they're actually trying to do, but your job is not to recommend policy is correct. So even within all of these products or any of the briefings, we do not recommend policy. We are not allowed to do that. That doesn't mean you don't have opinions about policy in, in fact, a late around in the book, you get to descriptions of US policy towards Iraq in the occupation and afterwards, you clearly have opinions about those. But as an analyst, how do you keep that opinion from getting into the work product, you're creating well, and that's really? One of the, the crux of the analytic tradecraft is making sure that you remove bias. So you're always need a made aware by your peers or the writing process itself when you're doing the analysis and part of the process helps eliminate the bio. Let's get to the chronology of your book, really that the bulk of your work, it's about Iraq during the period when a senior manager, that I knew well, when you would know as well described the post invasion scenario in Iraq as going from bad to batter to worse, and you talk through all of that with specific focuses on your jobs in how you did them early on you right in hopes of making yourself invaluable around the office. You said yes to everything, including volunteering just a matter of weeks after the US, led invasion in early two thousand three to go to an assignment in Iraq. What were you doing in Iraq when you first got there? And how did that evolve? What I thought there was a really a set role or anybody just I knew it. My marching orders were for my team headquarters. There had been another team member ahead of me. So he gave me the two hour lay of the land in you got back and I headed out. So when I landed really my whole focus was still trying to confirm the concern that we had prior to the invasion. And if there were changing I needed to report, those through channel. And then in addition to that continuing to look for signs that they're Kelly was still building an organization inside of Iraq. I mention of Masaba Cowan that takes a whole portion of the book your early work in Iraq seemed to focus a lot on looking what you describe, as looking backwards trying to describe the relationship or lack thereof between Saddam Hussein and Okada. Before the invasion, instead of some of the analytic problems, you clearly found most compelling which were what's happening now. And where is someone like Zarko going talk a little bit about the tension, you felt out there, working on those issues that were being requested by policymakers in Washington instead of building up some of that analytic work to help prevent catastrophes in the future. Right. I think you summed it up perfectly while I was out there. We're still having to confirm this historic analytic bottom line versus looking for current threat was coming up on the horizon, trendy evaluate. You know, the time is base that we were in currently that was incredibly frustrating. Things are starting to go downhill, very quickly inside of Iraq. The insurgency started to rise. There was the UN bombing. There was a major Shiama bombing, so there were several things that were starting to have an inside of Iraq that we felt like we're more repressing need than continuing to answer some of these questions about evidence that the administration had been using to invade Iraq, that's carbon for the horse on. And it just seemed to, to be a distraction that was not needed. Among the real characters in this book that you talk about is a member of the former Saddam Hussein regime that you had the chance to interact with in the interogations nicknamed him evil Hagrid talk a little bit about him and why he mattered mattered because he had been in leadership circle of Iraqi intelligence service under Saddam, so he had a lot of knowledge about not only historical connections, but he had a lot of knowledge about where there any operations in place for them to act on either overseas or inside of Iraq, once the US and baited, why did you call them evil? Hagrid. Well, I use that term because he was a very large man, and not a nice guy. He was known to have done a lot of what we consider crimes in this country. And with him, you didn't just sit down and ask him questions as you've been doing with some other detainees. What, what different interrogation tactic, did you others use to, to try to shock the system without violating your own ethics and doing so. Innocence than we came up with a different scenario where he would be without a nation moved to a different location. And we would set up just a conversation within this location just trying to elicit more information out of him. So it was just it was like a interpreter, and the interrogator or the questioner, and then evil hatred. And in this case, it was inside of an old bombed out shelter just meant to use that locations and try to at least confuse him take him off guard, because at this point he'd been not exactly for coming about a lot of information we already knew he would have them inside on the work. Well. Once got inside this shelter a couple of things sort of went awry. And we ended up having to interrupt the no, the whole interview with this series of, like when I consider now. Humorous antics, evolving just trying to make sure that we were still secure with him. He trying to keep him in a shelter without military policemen nearby that he did not have military police surrounding him that he was basically free to go at one point. I'm thinking he had no idea or he probably could have just left, you'll so talk about your interactions with one of the leading figures, in modern Iraqi history, someone who rose to the level of deputy prime minister under Saddam in. Here's how you describe it in the book the first time I spoke with Tariq Aziz. I saw him in his underwear. I think he actually preferred it that way, talk through that, because that's not the. Thing you expect to read when you hear about a very ordered discussion or interrogation with someone like Tariq Aziz. How did that happen? Well, he was actually in the hospital that point he'd had some heated Christian, and he just decided to be the belligerent old man and try to turn the table and take me up guard. So he opened up his bathrobe or his lovely hospital gown, and sat down and his underwear on the bed across from me and will caught in there. So he was using it, you know, to cool and self and like flapping it back and forth. And when I didn't react, he just kept continuing the conversation eventually closed it. But it was a, you know, a surreal experience 'cause he's one of the most recognized figures that had been working under Saddam icon glasses. He's a folk person that we would always see cracking about porn affairs so it. Yeah. Seeing him in person for the first time in that vulnerable position. But yet still try and take control of it. It was interesting. There were times in, in reading your book that I wish that there had been some accompanying pictures. This was not one of those times. So all right. Let's move to the foundation for the, the bulk of your work and what you're talking about here really for the first time is a detailed study of what it's like to do the job of targeting regarding a major figure. We don't mean targeting strictly in the Connectik sense, the military since we're talking about targeting, in fact, building pattern of life understanding since the origin, for this really as it relates to boost also Cowie was what happened with the coalition? Provisional thority, the CPA in Iraq, issuing decrees that former bath officials could not have roles in Iraq's future government, and that the security services would be completely disbanded and the combination of those meant that you had overnight half a million Iraqis without jobs. Many of them turning in into violent criminals, the kind of people they used to try to keep in Iraqi jails. That led to the situation in Iraq that suddenly you're back into again, analyzing as a target or how someone like Zarqa Howie takes advantage of that situation. Let's use this as a chance to talk about this new position that didn't really exist as such you say it didn't even have a name yet. What is a target or in what does someone like you do when you are spending eight ten twelve hours a day targeting someone like Kelly? When I became a jargon, after I'd moved to the operation side out of the analysts is. And so, by then I am really focused on pulling in all the tactical information instead of synthesizing it for the policy maker. We are trying to paint this picture on how we can leverage some of this information to conduct operation this Manley, his network dismantling leadership trying to track down his leadership. So most of our day were spent trying to piece together different operations that we can then engage with military or some of our own on the ground. So is it fair to say that your customer focus really changed? You're, you're not doing the traditional job of an analyst writing for policymakers here in Washington to grapple with national security threats and devise ways, out of them, you're really focused on writing for military officers. And for agency operations officers too. Prosecute this war effort. Is that right? Yeah. That's, that's correct. Well, I think he summed it up thickly, and then in doing that job, you have different challenges because one of the challenges of traditional analytic job is politicization, which is knowing what the customer wants to hear. Do you consciously or sub consciously change your analytic line to either give the customer, what she wants to hear or to actually just keep putting putting an answer out there just to make them angry? Either way, letting it affect your analytic line. But you're talking something different here. Now, there's a different danger involved in targeting because the military officers or the agency operators, sometimes want an answer of their own. They want you to give them certain information to allow them to complete their mission. What do you think, were the greatest risks, inherited nece, relatively new profession? You were doing as a targeting officer. Well, I think one of the things that was most aware of all the time in our. We causing more chaos. Or are we actually affecting the situation in a positive way are we dismantling the violence and the chaos or we just creating roar by conducting the operations and that, you know, from our perspective because Iraq theater is a military primacy theater. So the CIA had primacy when they went into Afghanistan for operation, because they were I in this was not a, you know, this was not declared a war in the way, same way that rock was than within Iraq, the OD had primacy. So we were more in the support role than we were in Afghanistan and continuously aware of how military would be using from the information wanted to make sure that we always had some type of analysis hop wine analysis, even if it's just raw into Ron colleges for sending back to them. We wanted to be clear. Here's the context because if it's taken just. Out of context, or Ron is just us without any type of analysis. It can really go over. I did you have any cases of that, where you felt you were providing information that was misused? Oh, yeah, definitely. How does it feel with in this case, obviously, with policy analysis matters? But in the case of targeting, your analysis could be a life or death decision within minutes being taken by those to whom you're providing information. How did it feel as target or having that information in your opinion? Misused. Jerry aiding in other times when we had missed opportunities, there's times when things were taken out of context, their time, when, you know, some of these rolling rates than ended up happening, it was just like this giant bulldozer or snowball effect. But just, you know, just because we could we did and wasn't youthful, and it can be really this is gonna sound almost trite. But this is it can be really disempowering when you are. You're trying to do your, your most accurate type of analysis that you're providing to whatever the action arm is, and it's misused we become really cautious than about what you wanna share if you do that, that has a that has an effect, also, if you become overly cautious. You're not giving them information they need in other areas. Right. And not always a struggle. Right. There's always bureaucratic lucky to this also because how we share information within the. Government is still it was still a challenge at that time. But, you know, we were we were forthcoming as we could be. We had one person in vetted with the military with special forces almost the entire time so that we could share information, and we can provide on the spot analytic capability, so we're doing what we could. During this timeframe in late two thousand three going into two thousand four Iraq is going downhill, the violence is increasing. You took a career change that is you moved from one of these line positions. And became a branch chief, a manager talk talk through the difference between being a manager and working for a manager at that level. Yeah. I had made that change probably fairly soon after I moved to the side, as targeting officer. So I was a manager probably within a month. I guess, moving to the ops side or before that, but I don't know it wasn't it hadn't been my first management job in my life. But it's still at the same time. There's a lot of moving pieces when you're dealing with a war zone, and I'm sure that with had to be frustrating 'cause I wasn't paying enough attention at times, to like, what I could be providing cars leadership. And then as your real focus for a lot of the people that worked for me. You're trying to on a daily basis still dear job in an officiant way. But at the same time will fill the needs of a war theater, and that can be pretty difficult. When you're still mired in the substance at that point, you probably news or Cowie, as well, as anybody at the agency, you've been watching him in various contexts for years now you're a manager helping others do that as well. There was a key turning point in a believe it was October two thousand four when czar Cowie finally pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Why did this matter? Well, and at that point, I was still in Allah, and DA. Okay. Structure of analytics, so. So that matter because this is this is the correct of what the administration was trying to piece together as evidence before the war for why we should have made a rock because they were talking about how close Kelly Kaieda won't he, he hadn't been you didn't even when he started out have the same shared ideology extremist, but that was kinda thing son of it. So that point it mattered because all the sudden the profile and the resources and the legitimacy that lended to Cowley that dramatically changes his role in Iraq. That makes him much bigger deal, and he had a lot of Iraqis signing up and going along with him committing these attacks, the role, some Iraqis who were fed up with this, and you describe when dramatic day in February of two thousand five when special operations forces got a tip from an Iraqi citizen, who decided to help fight back against this reign of terror. When you can talk through that story of how you. Learned about this tip, and how it got you very close to our Cowie. Well, there were multiple emphasis, I would say, one of them that I was able to write about the lances. Lances of Iraqis not wanting to live like the living in K off having to constantly deal with destruction. Nobody wants to really live like that. And there were Iraqis just not unlike ICES when they were trying to control territory being forced to work with these organizations because they had no choice. This is governing or space. This is the person that you have to go through them in order to, you know, by fell products on the market. So, I think in large part, there was some, there was a look a lot of people who were, you know, interested in in trying to quell the violent and many of them, many of them don't have a way to do that. They want to quell the violence, but they feel powerless of this, this local, you write about actually knew some of Cowie's pattern of life, knowing that during a certain late night, window, Zarqa. We could be found in his white truck driving. North of Baghdad, which is exactly what is target or you want to be able to provide to the troops on the ground, right? Yeah. That's true. So that, that's a big deal being able to get that type of insight. So what did they do with it, when they got that insight? How did they how did they take action, you know, working special forces, they were able to, you know, some of our our platforms, where we were tracking vehicle and ended up. I are being overhead on a drone just camera angle. We were able to track vehicle and, and Newark, positive it was him in, in the vehicle time. But what we can tell from the pattern and everything that we had been told prior to we're pretty sure it was likely him driver. And so once they had location special forces were then, basically, in a vehicle pursuit, her sometime in eventually, he drove into farm got into. Of, you know, tree canopy where we couldn't really have visibility at the time and took off running, and we weren't able to track to make to give them coordinate somewhere. He's actually they were going, but they did get a hold of the pickup. How did that feel being that close actually seeing him on the video feed in knowing that he that he escaped? Yeah, that's frustrating. You got the next best thing, though. You got you got his computer. What did that give you get it some shooter? There were some issues around getting into the computer. What do you mean? And I go in and go into in my book, well, again, there's a lot of entering the issues that sometimes disrupting get in the way of completing a mission, and that was an example of one is this one of those examples of tension between the, the military and the CIA in terms of who has. Primacy ES. So what happened in this case? How did the how did the computer information alternately come out while automatically came out because agency was able to get into it finally received the computer and was able to retrieve all the information off of it, but by then a lot of it had eroded because time too much time had gone by so a lot of the phone numbers. And one of the technical information, we could actually collect off of it where a longer useful a good point here, which is probably element of stress for you, as a target or for your team. When you're managing a team targets is the perishability of the information that it's so time sensitive capture this computer, if you don't get that information active again within hours, the people can move onto different codewords, two different phones, two different patterns of communication. Yes, one hundred percent. So the timeliness of when you I gather Ron, especially if it's captured either from a rain more. You know, computer, anything like that the turnaround time needs to be really, really short, and we're utilize any of that. Let's suppose forward a bit to June of two thousand six when Zarqa we actually does meet his end. Tell us about what you were doing at the time and how the news came to you. I transitioned to different role within the CIA with colleague and have thought on the news. I adjust him down from my hotel room in the lobby. And it was on the news. I was at that moment. I was really wishing. I was with my colleague the two, you know, congratulate them thank them finishing this, at least this portion of what we set out to do. So that was it was disappointing. I wasn't at least there that what about the aftermath you note in the book that your, your story really wasn't done, then because your name in some of your work showed up in some facial reports talk through that of it. Yeah, I got a phone call from the security office one morning. And they said, hey, we would like to send out a security team to thirty review for you. Because your name is in not redacted is in report. Court. The torture report, this is the report that the Senate put out. Yeah. It was the report that Senator Feinstein staff had had released and I wasn't aware of it. I'm that was not on my radar. My mom had just passed away within days of this phone call. So I wasn't reading news or anything else that point, and it was a shocking and surprising have this kind of coming back around to, you know, by, then I had left the agency altogether, though. Yeah. Sometimes it feels like you know, this goes away or anybody, you know, my piece of the torch report was, I was put note wasn't a central. It was it was based on person that I talked about in my book that we actually had picked up in a rock that was connected to central Kaieda non off on goal. So you know, while it imported, I think they're a lot of wine. A torture doesn't work because of because of something I have said. At the same town, and I would appreciate it a phone call. Let me know. My name was going to be in it. All right. So let's reflect back on this and talk about some lessons, first of all lessons, if you were to in a sense, train, target is in train others in the us government how to work with targets. What are the main lessons from your experience about how this process can work? Well, I'll come to late main lessons that I actually learned where that personalities matter of your credit curdle are not insurmountable. There's always at least ways to start hit, communicate he'll deliver analysis. And I think that more than anything, this is really about alternately. What's, what's the strategy that has to be agreed upon for all agencies to be able to work together? I think ultimately had I had this to do all over again. There's a lot of other conversations, I would have had with leadership in federal forces that would have been much more transparent. I think I was new to doing. All this at that time. It didn't know how to drive some of the discussions. I think that would really benefit ARCHE benefited our team listens for people going into this line of work people considering a profession as in particular targeting officer. What do you wish you would've known at the start other than that in terms of how to approach the job and how to succeed at it without falling victim to the stress creates. That's a really good question. And not when I've been able to totally answer for myself. But I think that the advice I would give to anybody that's going to go into that line of work, or even that type of profession is while there's a sense of urgency, especially when you were working with a war zone. There's not as long as you're acting with integrity, and you're doing what you can to manage the situation is within your control. That's enough. There's no superhuman quality, that will magically appear that will help fix everything. Let me ask you about a different lesson in this goes meta, because this book was largely ready to be published several years ago. But you had perhaps the most challenging experience with the agencies pre publication review. And in fact, the US government's pre publication review of that I have heard of in recent years, could you talk for just a little bit about the process. Sense of putting in a book like this four classification review and what happened in your case. Mike. It had been held up for a very long time. So the book that I wrote actually had a lot of other agencies mentioned. So there is a reciprocal agreement between the CIA and apartment of defense and other agencies to allow them to review any any book that they have coming through publication, you that mentioned their agency to mine had been farmed out all these other agencies. Well within that reciprocal agreement. There is no way for the CIA who in force a deadline and re and require them to refund or say, if you don't respond by this day, we'll consider this acceptable. There's nothing in that agreement the mind just lingered it sat at the OD without, I guess, I did get a response. I should say, I got to respond. And my response was Wotton, lots and lots and lots of black cages with narrow explanation. Pages that this was basically them saying this material is not allowed, and we won't let you publish it, but they did not explain. Why exactly didn't explain why I had sent it with fifteen hundred foot. No. So I was documenting the, the information, I was finding an open source. So a lot of this is very confusing to me as to why an entire page people act. And I wa- I had requested meeting. I was told no I couldn't eat with the OD. The I couldn't sit down with me. So the only recourse, I had this point, who had structured out of the government was actually file a lawsuit and talk about that process. What, what does the lawsuit in tail and then how did it work in your case? Highly recommend finding an attorney very familiar with national security law crop that and in my case, I found Mark date he help interpret for me. What some of the process next step needed to the and then worked with the DOJ attorney once filed a suit to work through the process. And so got a meeting set up down with CIA's, P, R B, and then the OD in the same couple days, presuming that this prompted action in a way that simply making requests did not a hundred percent. But this, this time we went through every single reaction that they had some some they gave up some Cox grew. So my agrees either provide other sourcing or agree to just take it out, all together. So the question that a lot of former agency officers get after publishing a book that's been through this process. How much of what you're originally idea for the book was how much of that came through in the end after that law? Process, including the lawsuit air there, there was quite a bit change. There's quite a bit. Take it out quite a bit changed. I don't I don't know exactly. I would guess at least thirty percent was removed and another twenty to thirty percent with changed. The get the sense that some removals were not due to classification reasons, but they were requesting things be removed because they just simply shoulda poor light on one or the other government agencies involved in from cases I think that's true in other cases. And then I pushed back on a lot of those, but in other cases it was there's a lot of really unclear guideline. So we don't have an overall process. Right. The I has their guidelines for what they find acceptable. The has their guidelines, which I still until understand FBI has their own if they has around. So everybody just has a differential rotation of how the review process should work. So I had. To figure out her agency. What was acceptable Nina? Thank you for talking with us about your life in the CIA and hunting, boom Cowie final thoughts in terms of policy. You talked earlier about the fact that analysts don't do policy analyst inform policy with good assessments, but they don't do the policy, however, you can't work in this business for a long time, without having a policy view that comes out of it in terms of what works what doesn't work on the ground. What are your recommendations for policy now as private citizen to policymakers, grappling, with, for example, whether to initiate, a conflict with Iran? If prodded into it or how to manage the sticky situation that still is Iraq. What stands out to you the most? Well, that we haven't had lessons learned. We seem to keep repeating the same old mistakes over and over Iran. The perfect example this drumbeat leading up to this, and the anonymous. The first thing you know, in various publications about how Iran is threatening threatening United States. We have yet of the public been able to see any evidence other than some of this morph information. The administration's putting out I think that there is a time and place for declassifying anything that requires the American people to give up kid money resources for foreign policy problem that administration thinks that we need to focus on, if it's not extremely clear. We appreciate it. And good luck with your book. Thank you. The law. Fair podcast is produced in cooperation with the Brookings Institution. Please, if you having yet, give the podcast a five star rating at a review wherever you listen to podcasts and share us with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. You can buy off air merch at the law, fair store dot com. Our podcast is edited and produced by John howl. And our music is performed by sofi again. And as always, thanks for listening.

Iraq CIA US officer Iraq analyst Kelly Kaieda Afghanistan Saddam Hussein Tariq Aziz czar Cowie Nato Washington Ron Mahnken state university Seattle al-qaeda Iran Nita Bacchus UN
General Stanley McChrystal on Myths and Realities of Great Leaders

Kickass News

48:52 min | 2 years ago

General Stanley McChrystal on Myths and Realities of Great Leaders

"This is kick ass news. I'm Ben Mathis. When you need energy on the go and don't have time to wait in line, grabs Bresso, monster, Espresso, monster is a premium blend of Espresso in cream made with freshly brewed Espresso, coffee hormone free milk into unique energy blend complete with taurine and B vitamins each can has three shots of Espresso and comes in vanilla spreads ACO or Espresso in cream flavors, close your eyes, take a sip and enjoy Espresso monster today. Support for today's show comes from the new Amazon series homecoming directed by Sam 's mail, the creator of mister robot based on the critically acclaimed podcast by ally, Horowitz and Meco Bloomberg. Homecoming stars. Julia Roberts is Heidi. Bergman a caseworker for the homecoming transitional support center, but four years after starting a new life. Heidi is faced with questions about why she left the facility and she realizes there's a deeper story. Beyond the one she's been telling herself don't miss homecoming stream now only on Amazon prime video. Hi, I'm Ben Mathis. Welcome to kick ass news. General Stanley mcchrystal served for thirty four years in the US army rising from second Lieutenant in the eighty second airborne division to a four-star general in command of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan during those years he worked with countless leaders in pondered an ancient question. What makes a leader great? He came to realize that there's no simple answer. Because leadership is not what you think it is. And never was now in a new book called leaders myth and reality mcchrystal profiles thirteen famous leaders from a wide range of Iranian fields from corporate CEOs to politicians and revolutionaries to explore how leadership works in practice. And challenged the myths that complicate are thinking about leaders and today, I'm honored to have general Stanley mcchrystal on the podcast to share how he came to reassess the legacy of his own. In hero. Robert E Lee in the aftermath of Charlottesville, how he personally learned that the man of the top often gets credit that he doesn't deserve. And why in the military and in other fields leaders aren't always judged by their results, he discusses the fifteenth century Chinese Admiral who's become the symbol for that country's global ambitions. Why he didn't realize that Coco Chanel was a real person and one leadership flaw that he shares with the ball people, Walt Disney. He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab Azer Kali in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Kedah Iraq leader and eventually hunt him down and kill him. Plus, he says he has no specific political ambitions. But you won't hear any Sherman esque statement from this general, and he gives the reason why coming up with general Stanley mcchrystal in just a moment. Stanley mcchrystal retired from the US army as a four star general after thirty four years in the military and having commanded the joint special operations command or J sock in Iraq. And then he commanded the International Security Assistance force and US forces in Afghanistan. He is a senior fellow at Yale university's Jackson institute for global affairs and a partner at the mcchrystal group. A leadership consulting firm based in Virginia his previous books, my share of the task in team of teams were both New York Times bestsellers. And now he's followed it up with his latest bestseller, titled leaders myth and reality general Stanley mcchrystal. Thank you for your service. And thanks for sitting down with me today. Thanks for having me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading leaders myth and reality. But I have to confess that. I usually don't enjoy books that have the titles like say Churchill on leadership or. Lincoln on leadership because the moment and author identifies. Someone as a leader to be emulated. It's just a given that they then have to whitewash their entire biography and ignore all the flaws and all the mistakes in order to make their case that they are a leader to be him United. And my thinking, I guess has always been what good is a leadership book, if you can't learn from the leaders mistakes as well as their successes with leaders myth and reality, you seem to be trying to change that we are after many years of trying to learn leadership being taught it and headed demonstrated to me, and then the opportunity try practice it. And then studying it and writing about it to an extent at this point in life pretty late. I came to the conclusion that I and my co-authors didn't really understand what leadership is so we wanted to go back to first principles and truly identify. What is it? And why can't we get our arms around it? And you talk about how your decision to. Throw away. A portrait of Robert E Lee in the aftermath of Charlottesville, actually lead you to rethink how we define leadership as a fellow West Point alum that can't have been an easy decision for you know, is a really tough decision. In fact, I had grown up with Robert E Lee is probably the penalty an example of leadership for me. And there've been a personal connection I'd grown up living near his boyhood home. I'd gone to Washington Lee high school I'd gone to West Point many years after Robert Lee, but I'd follow the same path. He served thirty two years in the United States army. I served almost just about that number thirty four and it West Point when you arrive there are many statues of generals and people to emulate, but Robert E Lee was always special for everyone. He was this character that was nearly perfect. And he was depicted that way, they were painting seven my lived in Lee barracks. And so you couldn't be Robert E Lee, but he could be a beacon that you could try to move closer to. So I spent a career thinking about that. And when I was a second Lieutenant my wife young wife now forty one years of marriage gave me a painting. It was a cheap actually a print with painted oval clear acrylic to look like a painting. She paid twenty five dollars for this thing framed and gave it to me. And I traded it for the next forty years every quarter set a cordage we lived in. I hung it up. Because for me. It was an example of the values that I believed in and when people came to my house, it was my way of subtly telling them what I've valued in leadership, and then after Charlottesville in spring twenty seventeen any my wife came into me and said, I think you need to get rid of the picture and I disagree. I said, no. And why would I do that you gave it to me on? And she goes now, I think its signaling something you don't believe in. And I said, no, he's a non-political general, and she goes, well, maybe he is to you. But to many people he may be a. Symbol of white supremacy or people that have hijacked the idea. So we we talked for about a month till I became convinced and one Sunday morning. I took it off the wall and throw it away. And that was just when we're beginning this book. And so we made the decision to profile Robert E Lee in the book and take a very careful re look at how I thought about Robert E Lee and leadership in general, and you said the painting was sort of a symbol for all of the qualities of leadership that you found valuable in Lee, what were some of those qualities that you use to admire about him. But perhaps still in buyer about him. I still do he was even as a cadet West Point known as the marble man by his fellow cadets. Now that wasn't completely. A compliment because he was a little stiff wasn't the kind of guy you hung out with right? You you said marble men, not Marlboro, man. That's right. And he was. Very upright duty was the word. He would have associated with himself who is a serious guy. Whereas other army officers on the on the frontier posts used to often drink too much or gamble. He didn't do those things he was focused on being studious being upright. He was courteous, and when people would describe him they would describe him as slightly larger than life. Maybe a little too perfect kind of the stoic ideal. I guess exactly. But then seventeen years into his career the Mexican war erupts, and Robert E Lee goes to Mexico, and he's a staff off Susan engineer officer, and that's usually not a position where you come out a hero. But in fact in the combat of the Mexican more he shines and maybe the most respected mid grade or young officer in the army to come out of the war so much so that general Winfield Scott the overall commander described him as the best. Soldier in combat that he'd ever seen. I always hear people talk about how he was so honorable, and he was the consummate military officer something to aspire to and yet I mean isn't the first job of a great military leader, an honorable military leader, not to wage war against your own country. How do we reconcile that? Well, it's hard to because for years. I reconciled it that he had just been loyal to his earlier association with Virginia. But you don't I took the oath on the planet West Point to support and defend the constitution of the United States. And so did he and the country had been founded by his role model, George Washington. And so when Robert E Lee faces his Plutarch Ian moment in the spring of eighteen sixty one has to make a value judgment. And what's interesting is he almost doesn't make a judgment. When you read the stories. He said I am against secession of the south. But I. I will do what my native state does and Virginia was awaiting a popular vote referendum. And so he basically gave his decision to the popular voters of Virginia who became emotional over president Lincoln's decision to reinforce fort Sumpter. And so they voted to succeed. And so the most important decision of his life. He almost didn't make and then he spent the next four years trying to destroy the United States. Yeah, it's interesting that this consummate leader sort of abdicated his leadership duties at the most critical point in his career voters, and it doesn't make him evil. Yeah. What it makes miss Shuman? It makes him flawed. It makes him like you. And I right. And to that point you open the book by comparing two different paintings of lease hero General George Washington crossing the Delaware. There's of course, that famous one that we've probably all seen, and then there's another more contemporary painting. Tell us about that second one. Sure, they the well the first picture, of course, is the one that's hanging in the White House, and it's got robbery or George Washington in a small boat crossing the Delaware river to go tack the British on Christmas night. And we've all seen it. He's standing and leaning forward and everybody else's down there row. And and whenever thought about we said, well, that's a leader. That's George Washington. But if you really look at that picture, it's absurd in a small both that would tip Easley. He's leaning forward standing. Yeah. No, no, military guy. No sane person is going to do that in an icy river at night, at least I'd do it twice. So not too many years ago. A gentleman commissioned a painter to do a more realistic version, and now it's on a flat autumn barge, which is reportedly the boats that were actually used he is standing essentially holding onto a canon. That's being moved across. And it's. It's realistic. It's how a sane person would cross a river at night the way that he's depicted in the first painting. It's the way a general who wants to get killed. We're probably would've crossed the Delaware and not not in smart military commander try and yet that's how we one of. You are leaders. We wanted to view them as David beating Goliath. We want to believe that they are larger than life that they are almost incapable of error. He and brave to the point of being foolhardy, which is completely unrealistic that that's right? Exactly. And you take apart actually three of what you call. The biggest myths about leaders in this book, and I want to deal with each of these one by one first of all there's this idea that there is a recipe for success at West Point. I know that you must have spent gosh, countless hours studying history's great military battles and looking for replicable strategies. Is there something wrong with that? Well. It's education, and it's helpful. It's a template, but it's never a solution. Because there are no two battles no to wars to situations alike. And so when people spend the rest of their career looking for a time to do what Hannibal did it can I or somebody else did a battle? They're going to be disappointed. There are principles that you learn but sustain with leadership if you if you look at George Washington, Robert E Lee or any leader, you wanna pick and you say, okay, how were they in you write that list of traits or behaviors some people even try to stand like the person that their hero. My father told me he was in the military out of Westport right after World War Two. And he said there was a whole population of patent knockoffs. US army officers tried to act like George Patton. And of course, only George Patton can be George Patton. Yeah. But the profanity that that the pistols and all like that you you can't try to do. Something that worked for someone else. So there's no list. There's no genetic leadership plan yen patent himself was pretty deeply flawed military hero. And I imagine those people just completely overlooked all of those aspects as well. That's right. If you look at someone like, Pat, and you see someone who was colorful, and profane and aggressive, but if you really decide why he was affected. He was a student of war. He knew the battlefields from World War One of where he fought in World War Two people don't spend a lot of time thinking about that side of patent. They think about him yelling at people and slapping soldiers and push in tanks on and that's a superficial almost cartoon version, and we do that often with leaders the second myth, which is this tendency to miss a tribute success to the person at the top you said that you came to this realization when you were writing your own memoir a few years ago. What did you learn about success? In Google gets credit when you were doing that. Yeah. That we call it. The attribution myth, and I started writing my memoirs in twenty ten when I I thought about it. I said, well, how hard could it be? I was there. So I know and I brought a young man who was about a year out of Yale University of English major to come help me and we worked together for two and a half years to write this. And so the first thing we did was we did a detailed time line and all the significant events. I've been a part of in many cases, I've made a decision and there'd been an outcome for which I received either credit or blame. And that was the council affect. But when we did the work. We did a whole bunch of interviews like one hundred interviews with people who are involved, and there were so it was very humbling because what happened was I had of you of something, and it was almost never wrong. But it was always stunningly incomplete. Like, I would make a decision then something would happen. And I'd say. Well, that's why. But then when we did the interviews we found so many other people doing so many other things that affected it more than I did of which I was totally unaware until after the fact when we did the interviews and other contextual factors that suddenly I realized that I was a figure in my memoirs, but I wasn't even the central figure in the story of my life. Every situation was so complex that I was just a piece of it. And that was an eye opener. That was a little humbling pretty disturbing. Yeah. And if if we really made this public, you know, we pay CEO's and all these incredible amounts of money for the successor favorite company. When in many cases, there are much smaller factor than people want to attribute and that that plays out time. And again when you study when you're studying, and so understanding that leadership is actually at interaction between leaders, followers and contextual. Actors. It's almost it's an emergent property almost like a chemical reaction. And so it's not something that I put on my pocket and throw at you throw some leadership betcha. Instead, it's this thing that happens, and it's different every time. And so it's never repeatable with exactly the same personality and and whatnot. And that's the second myth. And then the third myth was result. Smith, right. You sort of give lie to this myth that leadership has always merit based and leaders always chosen based on results coming up through the ranks in the military bureaucracy is is something that you personally witnessed probably more than a few times. In fact. Absolutely. I mean, you you pick leaders you elect them you select them, you support them all the things we do. And you think you've got this hard edge, very objective? I and make tough decisions in reality that doesn't correlate to performance at all. In fact, we follow cereal failures leaders filling emotional. Requirement force much more than they do an objective requirement. So I saw on the military people with certain traits would be promoted and followed and heralded. In fact, they weren't very good soldiers and other people who were great soldiers and were successful. They're just didn't generate the same feeling either in subordinates or senior. So. You know, we want to believe that the results part. And therefore who we elect we follow was the right choice, but it's usually much more and more emotion than reality. Yeah. And we see this in politics. People often follow the person who speaks to their heart or gets the Manggarai about something than necessarily the smartest guy or the guy with the the longest resume, and we will stick with them long after. Yeah. It's been disproven Adolf Hitler in nineteen forty four. There was an attempt on his life by German officers and the German population was largely angry at the German officers for trying to kill him. This was eleven years after Hitler took power, and he had already ruined the country. I it's got to do week emotionally buy a product. And then we love it. We in some respects to give up on a leader is meeting that you made a mistake in the you were wrong. So we're always reluctant to do that. I guess Zach. I want to talk about how you went about writing this book and the cry. Not that you were looking for and leaders in selecting the bios to include in the book. What were you looking for? Well, it's it's funny when we started we knew we wanted to do number profiles of leaders, but it was a little contradictory because we were going to write a book about leadership that we knew one of the arguments would be we get too focused on individuals not or wider picture. And so you say, well, why are you writing about him right one? That's because that's how we've always thought them. So we went back to Plutarch the original biographer who had done by of Roman Greek leaders, and we use that as a basic model, but the idea was we wouldn't try to compare leaders in terms of traits or what worked the real question was why did they emerge as leaders? What about them or what about the times or people around them that actually did it and pretty early in the process, we came out with it sort of recognition that leadership isn't what we? I think it is. And it never has been and you you referred earlier to the the myths that we came up with and we started with this recognition that we've always looked to leadership through these mythological ends is. And I had this child's book that my mother got when she was five in one thousand nine hundred twenty nine and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and she's to read it to me, and it was Greek tales for tiny tots and one of my remembered with atlas and there was his handwriting picture of a guy in a g string standard on top of a mountain, hold up the sky, and I'd look at that. And I go at strange, but then as we think about it for years and years and years people assumed that at the sky didn't fall in something or some bodies holding it up and knits are designed to explain what's otherwise unexplainable. And so people said, well, if it's not fallen in somebody's holding it up atlas on stop them out and doing it that good excuses or a good at. Explanations. Any and they just bought it. What we've done the same thing with leaders. We look at leaders and someone says that the person who saved the west in World War Two is Winston Churchill, and we sort of look at that. And we go okay write that down. But of course, that's an incredibly simplistic description of one leaders role. He was part of this, right? Larger equation. And so we came up with these three myths, which we call the the formulate myth, which is the idea that there's a checklist of how to be a great leader. And when you actually look at results that doesn't equate doesn't correlate to success respect was in those don't translate across different careers in different eras, and so forth. And one of the reasons we pick these very different thirteen leaders for book is because they were all leaders, but other than that there are very few similarities between their background how they operated times at cetera. We found that leader. Ships intensely contextual. We're going to take a quick break. And then I'll be back with more with general Stanley mcchrystal when we come back in just a minute. 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But also people like Walt Disney Leonard Bernstein, Albert Einstein. Even Coco Chanel. How much knowledge did you have about Coco Chanel coming into this? This is great admission. I didn't know she was a person I thought Chanel was just a brand name brand Chanel number five. And yet when you studier it's amazing here is an incredible fashion designer, but even more she's a branding and marketing genius whose an orphan at a young age work. Sure. Way up takes an opportunity to about the time of the first World War Two revolutionize fashion not just in France. But around the world, and then she builds an impera on that to include the fragrance should on number five by being both a good business person. But then also being. Brand herself. When people bought Chanel products, they were buying Coco Chanel 'cause she dressed a certain way, she actors certainly shed a lifestyle, and she invited you to be like cocoa. And the best way to do. It is where her clothes use her perfume embrace her lifestyle, and it it worked beautifully as a leader. She was a tough person. She was tough to work for. Yeah. People loved to work for because she was special have you embrace the Chanel lifestyle. I'm not that far yet guy. Probably the figure in this book with whom Americans are least familiar is a Chinese Admiral name Jong her who is pretty well unknown over here. But in China, he's revered as this great hero. And today, he's even become a symbol of China's emergence as a super power, what does Jong her say about China's global ambitions in the twenty first century. Well, he says a lot he was a fifteenth century figure theoretically seven feet tall with a waste five feet around. He'd been castrated at age ten, but then remained loyal to the to the Ming dynasty which had actually killed his father and castrated him. But, but he led this big spoilt seven different voyages of treasure ships out around the world and China now has pulled his memory most people in the west and didn't know who he was pulled his memory up to show that they're a global power to show that they have always been. International most of us think of China's the last two hundred years when the middle middle kingdom was very insular and to a great degree backward. Now, she Zhang paying with the one belt one road strategy is saying that was a very temporary thing what you saw China. And the last two hundred years isn't us. We actually were global nation. We have always been that way. And here here's proof. And so who a nation pulls up and makes their heroes says an awful lot about what that nation wants to communicate. And I know that you're probably more often asked to comment on Iraq or Afghanistan, but is the rise of China and the state of play in the South China Sea, something that you give a lot of thought to these days. Well, I do I'm not in government. But anyone who doesn't give a lot of thought isn't thinking, economically or diplomatically or potentially militarily because China which again had two hundred years of I described. As a bad weekend. They are back in a big way. And what we've gotta do is re look how we fit in the world. Most Americans have a post World War Two view right after World War Two America was forty six percent of the world's global domestic product, which is an aberration and not sustainable now that we've got the rise of kingdoms like China and other parts of the world. I think we need to understand that our role will be interacting not necessarily in opposition. But it's going to be complex, and we're going to have to deal with real. Not in a in a way of denying the reality. But in a realistic approach, you actually include of all people too, many people surprise, Al Qaeda and Iraq leader, Abu Musab als we among the biographies of leaders in this book. Now, this is the man that you hunted and eventually killed what can you learn about leadership from your enemy in combat when it's it's interesting to step back. We took thirteen leaders for this book right to include Coco Chanel Harriet, Tubman. Margaret Thatcher Albert Einstein Leonard Bernstein, Sweden, a wide range because they're not just military leaders are political, but someone I had to put in there was Abba Moussa votes collie because I fought him as part of my task force for two and a half years, and we ultimately killed him and in June of two thousand six but I came to respect him. I didn't come to like him. I didn't come to agree with him. And I did mourn when he died, but I came to respect to leader. And the thing that was interesting about him. When we pair him with Maximilian Robespierre, the French revolution. Zarqa we was poorly educated came up of the tough background and industrial town in Jordan. He became very committed to Iselin, the fundamental view of Islam and believed very heavily engine hot or holy war and wanted to be mujahedeen or holy fighter. And what worked for him, which he became a zealot he became someone so pious te so personally self-disciplined so obviously committed to his cause that burn like hot flame, and almost like moths are attracted to that. We're all attracted to people who are very confident very committed very zealot like in their leadership style as people did with ropes peer. Now, the other thing about Sarkar weaves because he was so committed he got many other people to follow him who didn't share the same level. But they were. Willing to follow him because his obvious commitment to it. And then he was also he was a good leader. He was charismatic. He did good things get around to to talk to his people basics. And so I could disagree with his 'cause I disagree. He was a psychopath in terms of murder, but but I had to respect the effectiveness. He had us a leader. And to be honest, head to learn from it, I suppose it's easy to dismiss him as a psychopath in a monster, which he probably was, but it's not a useful way to go about trying to actually defeat and kill your enemy. I it sounds like you must have dedicated a good amount of thought to getting in the mind of your enemy was that a pretty dark place. And would you come to understand about him? Well, it is a dark place to do that. Thank what we do in war. We try to dehumanize the enemy do what? Right. Army's always do we call? The Germans the Huns. We tal- they Japanese the nips twelve Vietnamese the googles and. That's so that they're not human show. It's easier to kill him. You're not frightened of them. And you you don't feel the same empathy when you actually fight against someone for a while that changes because particularly when they turn out to be very good fo-, you have to respect them. And so in the case of any enemy, but particularly Cowie I started with this thing. He he beheaded a young American Nick Berg in two thousand four filmed it, and my whole force was just emotionally furious over and we committed ourselves to kill him. But over time a few things happen. I who's very good at what he did. And then the second is you come to the realization that his perspective is his perspective. And he believes it deeply, I may believe my side. I may be committed to it. But what makes me right in him wrong? And what if I'd been born in Zarqa Jordan instead of where I was what I believe is. He did and. And what if he's is right as I am just on different sides. And so you start to get a grudging I respect for the effectiveness of your foe. And then you have to have a certain respect that they might just be as right as we are the beheadings were sort of a morbid media strategy. But somehow, it seemed that it was affected with his own people in if you will establish his brand or the brand of al-qaeda and Iraq talk a little about that. And how that was received within his circle. Sure, we think that the beheadings were to scare the west, and they do a little bit of that. But what they really did is they signaled to his potential followers that he is so committed to the cause that he's willing to do things that he knows are horrific. Isis made an art form of this. They committed to people that we are after a righteous cause, but our causes so righteous that we're willing to do evil to achieve it. We go back to rogue spear and the French revolution. Here's a guy who believed writing things he believed in writings have Russo, but he became committed that you needed to use terror to achieve virtue. Now, there's a contradiction there, but there's sort of a an interesting seductive idea, I'm willing to behead nine hundred Frenchmen in five weeks in the center of Paris to build a virtuous society on the surface. It looks laughable. But many French believed that here we are finally committed to making a change we're committed to doing whatever it takes to get divert you and very similar with Sarkawi. It just has a power to it. And Rebecca beer took more of a distance approach to terror he kind of delegated that his subordinates. And in some cases, he probably wasn't even aware of all the people who were beheaded in his name Alarcon, we on the other hand personally, beheaded many people, how do you how do you assess that I really can't make a distinction because on the one hand rips peers hands were clean, reportedly, the only the first execution ever attended was his and so he kept himself slightly at arm's length, but he was in fact, part of the driving force behind it. Our Cowboys trademark we she was up close. His hands were dirty. He was involved. He was. Doing beheadings he wore combat close. So to me, there's not a big distinction both on the positive sides shared a very genuine commitment to their costs. So you really can't doubt that they were real about it at the same time. Both did some pretty horrific thing. So it's hard to to judge them, positively. There are no statues to Robespierre around. Now, you go you just won't find them with the proliferation of I d attacks in Iraq. And our colleagues ability to just allude capture time and time again. In fact, you talk about how oftentimes he traveled completely alone went through checkpoints in disguise. It's understandable that he sort of took on almost a supernatural mystique in Iraq and even among the troops. I imagined trying to defeat him from a morale standpoint for you as a military leader. Did you find yourself? Having to fight against this ghost light persona and bring him back down to earth in the eyes of your men. Sometimes I absolutely because he became almost a symbol of our inability to get him. And so a little like Francis. Marion the swamp FOX are mostly from the civil war. Just the fact he's able to operate is impressive to people and makes him a little bit more powerful, and it underwrite or underlines our inability to do that. And as you studied leaders for this book, did you find parallels to your own experience? And maybe even as you read about some of their flaws and mistakes think to yourself. Yep. That sounds familiar. I recognize that I can look back I count Leslie almost every leader here. The one that sort of jumped out at me that surprise Moos Walt Disney a really because. He had a lot of traits much more talented than I'll ever be. But he was a good animator. And then he creates this amazing full length animated picture Snow White and the seven tours and he desert over three years by mortgaging his company, mortgaging the electoral property to Mickey Mouse, and then pushing his team to create this magnificent full first full length animated movie, and at the time, it was thought to be crazy, but he got people not only to laugh, but to cry animated figures. Well, so he's at the height of his success in nineteen thirty seven he still younger than forty. You almost can do no wrong for years later, his animators who had done this amazing work for him have a bitter strike against him. And when I saw that I go, wow, they're ungrateful. You know here through the depression. He created a firm gave him great jobs then in one thousand nine hundred and he reacts badly. Yeah. He felt the same way. You did he thought that they were disloyal? In fact, few cues few of them being communists and whatnot. And and I thought about myself as a leader. And I thought about the times when I pushed organizations really hard, and I worked really hard myself. And then there were glimmers of people go in. No, that's not right. One of my reflexive responses was, you know, you're not loyal. You. Don't see the big picture. You know, you're not you're not willing to work hard enough. And when you see that it's a little bit like holding a mirror up, and it was interesting. The young people that helped me with this book, they were pretty hard on Walt Disney when we first did the research, and we we've had these discussions how we're going to portray each person, and they were ready to write him off his bad guy. And I kept saying, hey, human, and the reason I was arguing that was you know, there was a bit of me the same with Robert E Lee, he makes this amazing mistake in eighteen sixty one and goes to defend. Avary, but you know in that situation. Maybe added done the same thing in the context of the Munoz who's to say, that's right. And so I found at this point in my life. I'm a little bit more forgiving of the human side of it. But in recognition of just how important it and Walt. Disney's a great example of the kind of visionary leader that we tend idealize like Disney or a Steve Jobs who put the end goal or their product above all else. And sometimes don't treat their teams very well as someone who's been in a position of power with incredibly high stakes. Do you relate to that relentless dedication to the mission? Did you give much thought to what the people under your command thought of you? Did you did you care about that? Or did you have to kind of just not care about that? That's a really good question. People ask me, whether I was zealot when I was fighting against we shop Cowan and I will have to say. To a degree. It was really I didn't behead people. But yeah, it became a cause as much as it became a fight. And so I would say that. I did care. What people thought of me, I care deeply I have to admit that. And I cared deeply about them. But I was willing to push them really hard. It was a period in two thousand five when we had to make a very difficult decision, which risked destroying the force destroying J sock. And I we had conversations about it said you're going to put the nation's counter-terrorist force at risk. And at that point. I felt it was necessary. And right, I still feel it was necessary. Right. But if I look back, I wonder whether I could have made any other decision whether I could have stepped back in banana lyrical and said, no the risk is too high or whether I was. Emotionally, committed to the fight at that point where I made that decision. And then rationalized it. No. When you're commander of J sock in Iraq. You often went on night missions with your men looking back. Do you think you would have done that again, or no you have to do that you held it? You have to do that. Because you have to find out what they're doing. You have to understand the conditions under it was hard, and they have to understand you willing to share some of the danger, etc. They know you're not going to do their job. But if you're not willing to do some of that your credibility wouldn't last long. Yeah. And I suppose that's becoming even more important these days because the commanders usually on base that try leading the charge. Go to the days of Robert E leeann division and corps, commanders were under fire, and so's Robert Ely nowadays, you have to make a conscious effort, but I think it's just as important as ever now if you were to include. Your own biography and leaders myth and reality. What do you think that theme of your chapter might be? Yeah, that's a great one. I I think it is that the most interesting part of my personal experience was the transformation J sock as we changed an organization the nature of it. I think that it would have been about somebody who pushed a change really hard. But didn't do the change themselves. I get credit for being this transformational leader what I was was a person who was part of a team that created a transformation in my contribution was to create an environment in which that transformation could and would occur and creating an ecosystem nurturing it and whatnot. I never had the right answer. I never was smart enough. But I was lucky enough to recognize people around me could figure out the right answer. And I was had enough humility to know that somebody else had the right answer. Let's go with it. Yeah. Of enjoyed talking. To you before we go. I don't want to ask you if you have any interest in politics. But is there any scenario down the line where you could see yourself running for office never been an ambition of mine. I'm at a point now where I think American politics or a crisis leaderships at a crisis. I think American politics or crisis. And so I don't want any American to say that they won't be a part of it. I don't want any American to say they won't vote because they don't care that they wouldn't serve that they won't run for office because we're really at an all hands on deck moment. Well, I enjoyed the book it's called leaders myth and reality, I highly recommended folks general Stanley mcchrystal it's been an honor. Thanks for talking with me kind head me. Thank you. Thanks again to general Stanley mcchrystal for coming on the podcast order. His new book leaders myth and reality on Amazon audible for wherever books are sold. The flat iron school will teach you everything you need to get a job in code data science or design, but they'll also prepare you for the jobs that don't even exist yet. Go to flat iron school dot com slash podcast and read about graduates new careers, salary ranges upcoming courses and explore these exciting new careers. You can start building your own career and coding data science or digital design at one of flat irons, local, we work campuses. Or you can take courses online. Go to flat iron school dot com slash podcast, read, the reviews and sign up for a free. Intro course enrollment is open. Now, if you haven't already be sure to subscribe to kick ass news on itunes and leave us a review you can follow us on Facebook or on. Twitter at at kick-ass news pod. And as always, I welcome your comments questions and ideas at comments at kick ass, news dot com. I'm Ben Mathis. And thanks for listening to kick ass news. Kick ass. News is a trademark of Mathis entertainment Inc.

Robert E Lee General Stanley mcchrystal United States Iraq commander Coco Chanel George Washington Virginia China Amazon Ben Mathis West Point Walt Disney flat iron school Charlottesville Winston Churchill Bulkiness Bomba Lincoln Afghanistan
American Horrors

Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill

55:46 min | 11 months ago

American Horrors

"Let's go now to president trump from the White House. Hello this is your president last night was a great night and we watched a movie. I got to watch it along with vice-president pence others in the situation room I got to watch much of Donald had told fantastical lies to justify the war and they were supported by many leading Democrats including Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton the president it is intercepted capture the Senate by solidifying Republican support and winning over key opposition Bush's government intentionally fabricated links between vicious and violent way shot and killed dead thank you very much I appreciate it the brutal economic sanctions that intensified from George H W Bush through Bill Clinton and had punished and killed Iraqi civilians Mercilus and was gearing up for its invasion of the country which would begin the following month with the so-called shock and awe bombing Talapity of that regime and the fear that people lived in I also saw the fast disintegrating remnants of a once secular society that had modern Gallop's weapons of mass destruction very seriously we know they have weapons of mass destruction we know they have active programs the has did the notion that Saddam would somehow emerge from whatever was to come and still be the head of state of Iraq the Bush Cheney Administration by that point I'd spent four years traveling in and out of Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power I saw the had waged war against Iraq but on the ground at that time in February of two thousand and three the regime's propaganda rang hollow and no one knew what was going to come next Saddam Hussein had proven to be a cunning survivor who managed to stay in power the last time Baghdadi I wanted to share a personal story from almost twenty years ago it was February of two thousand and three and I was in Baghdad Iraq the Bush administration intercept in New York City this is episode one zero five of intercepted last night the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader hospitals and excellent schools all of that was crumbling to pieces in the years since the Iran Iraq war of the nineteen eighty s the nineteen ninety one Gulf War sleep and in large numbers and on the eve of the US invasion there was this sense of inevitability Iraq that everything was about to change Jeremy scahill coming from the offices there isn't any debate about it the objective has to be disarmament compel Iraqi compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions got to do it was a sick and depraved vision to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein was that it was precisely Saddam's brutality and his secular regime that kept the Iraq and al Qaeda along with a litany of lies about Iraq's decimated WMD program I take the fact that he does ends previous US administration's new this about Saddam Hussein. He was an atrocious dictator a human rights abuser a mass murderer the called for the complete destruction of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction looking back on that time perhaps one of the greatest historical ironies of the heuristic buildup in the Middle East now as an aside note it's important to realize that one of the major inciting incidents in making Osama bin Laden Canine as they call I call us an animal gutless animal and violet and he died what he would ultimately become was the decision by George W Bush's father to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia for the nineteen ninety one Gulf War thanks radical ideologues who came to power wanting regime change in Iraq at any cost ladies and gentlemen each and every and Al Qaeda and it was entirely the product of US policy and war after nine eleven the Bush administration counted among its rick kinds of forces that would later make up al Qaeda or isis locked in chains bin Laden and Saddam were not allies they weren't came to power emboldened by Bill Clinton signing of the Iraq Liberation Act of Nineteen Ninety eight which made regime change official US policy sensitive positions in Saudi Arabia that decision and the permanent wars that were to follow was the most solid link between Saddam's Iraq but he could be used in a marriage of convenience to keep order for the United States to make its oil money and to justify its Miller largely written by neoconservative lobbyists among those who supported it was actually Bernie Sanders I often wonder if any of these people who support one of these findings confirms material breach by the former Iraqi regime of the UN Security Council resolution fourteen forty one taken together it might direction elements of the eighty second airborne division as well as key units of the United States Air Force are arriving today to take up defense they constitute a massive breach of that unanimously passed resolution provide a compelling case for the use of force against Saddam Hussein did that bill or who shaped the policy under George W Bush actually bothered to really examine with the potential consequences of overthrowing Saddam and one of Saddam's most loyal and prominent comrades he was well educated well read and he knew the US position on Iraq better than many of the American AMC type glasses he smoked a cigar he was wearing house slippers at the bottom of his olive trademark military uniform and he knew that what was coming was month before the invasion began I met with one of the most important figures in Saddam Hussein's regime the internationally known diplomat Deputy Prime Minister Tareq asked to do by car al-Baghdadi is dead in light of the reported death of Abu Bacher Kazys in February of two thousand three he shared something that I had never heard from him before sitting in his office with his large I dunno run leashes he had been with Saddam for decades they knew each other going back to the nineteen fifties and he often served as the public face of the Iraqi regime destroy any semblance of secularism in Iraq but he said it will come at a high price America will open a Pandora's box or possibly execution any issued a warning he told me the US can overthrow Saddam Hussein the US can obliterate the Ba'ath party the US can appearing on international television holding press conferences shuttling to and from the United Nations or international conferences Aziz himself was a Christian would look like especially in the new reality of the post nine eleven world but back to February two thousand three I was in Baghdad and a little more than brutal points in history would millions of the people who've been killed still be alive would there have been an al-Qaeda capable of spectacular attacks manage of the removal of the strongman Saddam Hussein. I've often thought about that meeting with Tareq Aziz and how prophetic it actually was he over the past year we have deepened our engagement with the forces of change the rock by the way many Democrats voted for that bill which was will never be able to close he mentioned bin Laden and al-Qaeda and he said that it will be forces like these that are going to fill the void and take gape that has emerged happening in the absence of decades of that US policy I talked about a nation that was actually interested in preventing the this country is perfectly content to continue its pattern in the Middle East and more fires are yet to come and to burn on and on assessments of the situation in Iraq and canned lines about the power of the Ba'ath Party and the glory of Saddam Hussein but the last time I met her Nicolay Historical punditry that flooded the airwaves and internet in the aftermath the partisan bickering comparisons with the bin Laden raid and who did the better ignoring all history and context now we can talk about who Abubakharov Baghdadi was and his legacy of atrocities and the crimes of Isis gets he was ultimately captured held in a makeshift prison at the Baghdad airport and forced at times to dig a hole so he could use the bathroom saw what was coming when the US invaded Tareq Aziz was the eight of clubs on the deck of cards that the US military used to identify its high value target or an isis that was able to conquer territory the size of Great Britain we don't know what alternative history would have unfolded but it is hard to imagine the healthy to help win the freedom of several prisoners held by Isis including the journalist James Foley and Steven Satloff both of whom were beheaded by Isis thing Obama or trump it's part of the sick American sport that is played by Democrats and Republicans alike and as always it necessitates we're GONNA be talking to war reporter Mike Giglio who has a new book out about his time on the ground covering Isis it's called shatter the nation's but first we begin Aziz who is planting the Iraqi people from living normally it's he has government with the support of the bridges Syria be on fire today had the US not waged it's many many offensive wars in the Middle East or supported dictators and strongmen at their most we should discuss all of that but at what point will we as a country have the courage to reckon with the monsters that we create would Iraq and Blah Matt's he had to deal with over the years I had met with him many times over the years I was travelling in and out of Iraq and he would often we've between remarkably realistic Dr Amanda Rogers thank you very much for joining us on intercepted thank you for having me right off the bat your immediate response to trump's lengthy verbose is the end he admitted that the US could in fact topple Saddam Hussein a comment that in different times would have resulted in Tareq Aziz imprisonment Auden's or the bug Dadis of the world from rising up or the Isis and al Qaeda's would want to actually study these issues confront this history and make and Egypt as well as the genocidal mass murder of UCD's rank isis among the most depraved organizations tire war against Isis. What I would definitely describe in trump's language as a war against Islam and I say that for a couple reasons the government so when you speak about compliance is the United States which is not complying with the united in Iraq and Syria and to go through some of the history and context that is almost entirely omitted in the discussion in this country when we talk about Isis or al Qaeda Tom Administration handled announcing the death of Osama bin Laden with the way that trump and his administration handled the killing of Bughdadi everybody Sunni Muslims I've really have a problem with the weaponization of minority discourse on this issue particularly when someone like trump invokes it because it's already with Middle Eastern and Islamic studies scholar Amanda Rogers of Colgate University she is focused for years on the way isis propaganda has evolved and was deeply involved in I thought about all of that this week as I watched Donald Trump proudly gloat over the reported killing of Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi and then the any stretch of the imagination but that fundamental error I think speaks to a much much larger problem with the absolute erasure of any GOP Osama Bin Laden and Bughdadi are in many ways products or responses to us in Israeli policy and in the case they in fact constitute genocidal campaigns there's absolutely no question about that on the execution of Christians in Libya is press conference which he revealed many many many details that may or may not be true Oh my God okay my immediate responsive which part I would say audie is dead he was the founder and leader of Isis not in fact correct back daddy was not the founder of Isis of Baghdadi we're talking about al Qaeda in Iraq largely being nonexistent prior to nine eleven and prior to the US and plans for it to never repeat if the discourse currently underway in the aftermath of Baghdad's killing is any sort of foreshadowing than the reality is no number one he repeatedly referred to isis targeting of disease and Christian communities as genocides and yeah come into play with the prioritization of Christian Syrian refugees you know that's not to say that they don't deserve protection of course they do but what it ends up doing and today on the show we are going to be looking at the role of US policy in the Middle East how's that trump has this huge fetish for being the Anti Obama right and when I was listening to that press conference I don't know how describe it it almost seemed like he had scripted them in his head along parallel from how Obama failed to disclose details talk has died in custody of a heart attack in June of two thousand fifteen he lived long enough to see unfold exactly what he had envisioned star out of this man's are we that didn't previously exist Saddam Hussein's forces while he was in power often had battle and the third sentence I'm surprised it wasn't the first actually but the third sentence he says Boo Bakar Albuquerque ask for being a strong men that that could keep the quote unquote them at bay and any case the effect of Colin Powell speech obviously vision in two thousand and three with the exception of some small patches in the north of Iraq and then you have a nice little breath mint guy painter George W Bush who a little historical context that gave birth to isis in the first place but one thing that really set me off was his characterization of the invades and bug Dadi himself spends time in Iraq in a US prison at Camp Buka talk about the the way however you know the vast majority of dashes victims as you know anyone that knows anything about this organization can tell you our Muslim including thing is essentially serving as a force multiplier for Isis own talking points so that's one thing that really set me off contrast the the way in which the the bin Laden raid is every last detail of Oh he was whimpering and crying and screaming all the way it seemed like those were almost flourishes for protection of us no fly zones exactly but so essentially what I'm getting at right is that after the US invasion and the creation of this Jihadi Rockstar we have to step back because there's a missing link here too and that link is Abu Musab Azocar we so for listeners who are not familiar with this particular as in which post nine eleven US policy gave rise to the very forces that now trump is celebrating killing the head of targeting Shiite number one and number two being so graphic and brazen in the brutality of his his televised executions and in both of these minds classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder Iraq today harbors deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab figure Colin Powell went to the United Nations to make the case for the war on Iraq in February of two thousand three during his presentation he a person in the states end up merging so to speak with Al Fire in a marriage of convenience but it bears repeating and emphasizing this point in time the central leadership of L. Fire that had been sidelined by the Afghanistan invasion meaning that Osama bin Laden was in hiding and he'd been made an allegation that this man this Jordanian names are call we was in fact the critical link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime problem is that a is are not in fact that big of a figure at the time and so essentially Colin Powell managed to make Jihadi rocks lewd the groundwork for the war to occur right and definitely in the public consciousness gave justification that was seen as credible but the pro are we an associate and collaborator who Somma bin Laden and his okaido lieutenants this is not the case you know? Saddam was was beloved by the as with Al Qaeda or on Islam forces in the north of Iraq in a in an area that Saddam's forces did not control they were under the quarter that's a discussing with appropriate people in Iraq he transitioned to a Iraqi government had but I want to bring to your attention today is potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Oh Qaeda terrorist network a nexus that everyone who had any links to the bath party but not take their weapons right not take their weapons so they immediately fire more than one hundred control attributes of strategy we see the seeds of the group that would later become so called Islamic state barring the US invasion of Iraq and the essentially this is where the birth of so called Islamic state I think really begins but that's massively erased from the record in public discourse surrounding things like that fifty thousand Iraqi soldiers many of them from heavily suny areas of Iraq talk about how the United States in D. Bath vacation time line that still has to be determined he comes in and the first thing that L. Paul Bremmer does is to fire solution is to fire Garner was going to be the administrator and he basically had a theory that we should just decapitate the regime but keep all of Saddam's infrastructure in place he harder to find a more crystal clear plan for Fuck Shit up disaster then what Bremmer and the CPA national capacity this teachers this meant every day functionaries on top of which those who were purged from the military did not have in firing all of these and it wasn't just soldiers it was teachers and others working in civil society many of them ended up getting folded into some form of what was viewed at the time Azzawi never got along this was merely a marriage of convenience right also I'm in Aswa hurry who at the time was the number two in breath back daddy and at the same time you have the US occupation forces when they initially went into Iraq in March April of two thousand and three general he had improvised. If you know what I'm saying yeah I mean I I do think that there's some validity to that in a much broader picture the fact is that both creation of himself as such a fundamental figure you would not have had Iraq become the battleground that it that it became issue of indefinite detention random sweeps and arrests of anybody in the area of quote Unquote Fighting Age detention facilities I'm buying large marginalized so figure legs alcohol we starts to to really take off as far as the famous number two most wanted the point about precisely what the was doing in Iraq that helped to turn general angst into insurgency in the first place which is the basically has all of the social capital that he ends up being able to leverage into a relationship with a fire the H. Q. and he's only there several months and then a political ideologue who cut his teeth working for Henry Kissinger comes in L. Paul Bremmer we will be in the process hello bin Laden and the gang or not so enthusiastic about your tactics here he was even to kind of wild for them bin Laden and al-Qaeda objected desire as the resistance against American occupation it wasn't everyone wanted to hold up the banner of Al Qaeda it was well our aims happened to be the same as there is right now it's because so much of so-called Islamic state's symbolic fuck us in the propaganda videos as well as in their structure as well as in their messaging is a direct political pieces of the war on terror won crystal clear example related to that the British captive John Kelly who as far as their weapons taken and no subsequent options for employment were available so you can understand why a massive massive number of people all without jobs without arms living under military occupation for a completely legitimate war might wanNA fight back but back to you actors were flooding into Iraq and he was captured bys are always forces and he was beheaded and they released this propaganda video precisely what you're they know might still be alive I hope so he is labeled in one particular series of propaganda films as John Canley a British detainee al-Qaeda when Osama bin Laden was still alive there's a series of letters that were courier between Zohari are we where Zoa hurry was basically saying his execution follows the standard Jihadi snuff film format which is to say there's normally like five guys behind the captive the captive is on his knees in pioneered so they've typecast themselves to be this ultimate villain when they execute Jim Foley they allow him to have a voice and instead because they didn't just D- bath Fai as you mentioned the military right anyone who belonged to the bath party was stripped of their in an orange jumpsuit that wording is not incidental so we have to think about how much of Isis Zone political language was a contractor from the United States who was in Iraq working on radio towers as the United States started to build all these cell phone systems when all the contra you too what trump said founded the Islamic state the Nicholas Berg execution is a seminal moment right so Nicholas Berg was captured and like Camp Buka so one thing that gets missed here is in terms of the historical eraser I think this is absolutely key trump kept mentioning the orange jumpsuits and structure is not just incidentally rooted in the war on terror but deliberately so people may remember the case of of Nicholas Berg who victim is never ever ever charged with a crime and that is a radical departure from previous jihadi executions that Khloe himself suit this is our Khloe era like German just pointed out and at that point the detainee or the captive is meant to say his name and where he's from that's it that's the only line he gets towards explicitly dreamed of building their own Guantanamo Bay Facility for American and British captives of the the captors in the execution commences however when we look at the execution videos of Jimmy of Stephen of David Allen Abdurakhmon then an executioner steps forward reads a list of charges the kangaroo court finds the person guilty of espionage or whatever they charged him with and describing and this was really the first time that many people saw this tactic on display and it was in two thousand and four in Iraq by the guy who actually and also the military were running and the prisons in Iraq and the impact that had on the rise of Isis. I don't think that it can be overstated I really don't think what happens with the I four is a one on one situation where Jihadi John the executioner Dan's with the victim in front of him in an orange jumpsuit and it's the orange suits prior to so many beheadings and I wish that a fraction of this country had any sort of historical memory head of dehumanizing him the way that we saw Nicholas Berg being treated they absolutely deify Jim to what extent do you think that the sea ah black site program the torture program Kit they call it extraordinary rendition but let's use real terms here the kidnapping program that the CIA Travis that it can be overstated for those who followed the case of the hostages before their executions were made public hostage takers and acted these policies on the hostages before they killed them they waterboarded everyone and they waterboarded Jim Foley the most and this was better known as the Beatles that guarded Jim and Stephen and the rest of them they they explicitly spoke about this to the hostages and they and and has spent years studying the media and propaganda operations of Isis. She's on twitter at MS and trippy except you Dr Amanda Rogers Thank you very much for joining us that intercepted thank you Jeremy happy anytime Amanda Rogers Middle East scholar she teaches at colgate university always out in the public sphere right so after every report of death he would release an audio visual proof of life and he was always very many people had direct contact with him he pretty much surfaced visually only in the announcement of the laugher so-called Kyla at the mosque will actually you know what's fascinating about that incidentally really pisses me off people were fixated on the damn watch lake how can these barbaric backwards medieval animals her with that you know lineage so that's one issue but secondarily the bigger issue that that people are just not paying attention to isis learned from the angry for media attention even before Abu Bucket Daddy and I think he took the reins what in two thousand ten if I'm not mistaken but even before him because they're anything but stupid and adversity technology as I hope more people know now I don't know if there's anyone else I could think of that could make any part of this funny leadership of the group that would later become Islamic state or so-called Islamic state treated its fundamental key leadership as a background later I guess you could say they were always cloaked in mystery so ever since basically the seeds of of Isis began there had been an awareness that is always had the figurehead in the background always because one of al Qaeda's fundamental misteps was having attention hungry Ben Laden I would like to be optimistic and say okay well you know they've they've fragmented though the whole organization and you know the end of Isis Ni- but I'm not it wasn't just a fantasy of people who had been in these American prisons it was also people who had heard about the practices that went on within them rights the fucked up by letting bin Laden have such a key prominent role out front so much so that back daddy himself was known as the ghost stakes of al Qaeda and back to your fundamental point about the erasure of history unlike al-Qaeda the leader of Isis and the predecessor organizations domestic about that at all now given that Baghdadi is the figurehead right in the so called Caliph I would be shocked if they had not already located a potential successor does have technology well if you WANNA go ahead and write them off as medieval backwards barbarians that are too stupid to use technology guess what you don't see them coming when the all the focus was on his Rolex yes absolutely and he was reenacting the whole Ambassad era but had like that cheap shitty back in the trunk rolex I don't know I don't know my watch kid Mike Welcome to intercepted thank you for having me is it significant that Baghdadi appears to be dead according to the White House like how significant is that we go now to journalist Mike Gig Leo he is a staff writer at the Atlantic magazine where he it wasn't just the direct experience but the knowledge that it occurred at all how significant is it that Abu Bakar is dead what does it mean focuses on intelligence and national security he embedded with Iraqi special operations forces during the battle for Mosul and was detained in Egypt during the one tracking isis closely believed that he had operational control of the group for years now need seated it because he was in hiding you know if you compare him to like Osama bin Laden bin Laden was like in the broader battle against Isis it is because of what he stood for you know he's the guy that declared the Caliph it and declared himself Caliph Rob Massacre in two thousand thirteen he has a new book out about his experiences in the region it's called shatter the nation's Isis and the war for the Caliphate Frontman Baghdadi is show operator he was always more in the background you know as far as like how the group survives and continues long term I'm not sure how much it affects you know a stone's throw from the equivalent of the West Point Military Academy and like right under the nose of the Pakistani military and that raises all sorts of other questions but it's just smuggling networks that Isis has and so maybe he was at some point planning to utilize them on the other it really raises questions for Turkey that he was so close to Turkish military pitch border it's not an Isis territory it's in Al Qaeda territory those two groups our enemies you know on the one hand he is right next to some of the most effective outposts and in territory that is generally seen as a Turkish protectorate it is reminiscent of Osama bin Laden than being in about a bad Pakistan and he was awesome what do you make of where they found Bughdadi and what that says about the state of his leadership of Isis at that moment it's right near the attacks were mass casualty shootings like in Paris and suicide attacks but also just kind of embracing the random acts of violence drive your truck into a crowd actual as a man I think it's one thing I wish people understood a little bit better about isis is that to a large degree strength was its decentralisation so it'd be hard to London album the travesty for Muslims around the world and he represented the group for so long but on an operational level I don't think any scheme of terrorism it's multi level marketing operation compared to like the very centralized al-Qaeda where you could just simply when you think about bin Laden's signature terrorist attacks for example with al Qaeda it's the twin towers right really high profile well executed operation with Isis their signature Haifa passer-by that were sort of designed to just so like a general fear and unease that I think really actually managed to embed itself into his moment in the world it's taste I mentioned earlier the fact that he just didn't have the power and the operational control the group that he wants did how central has body been to the growth of Isis as an individual to at one point centrally organized and direct high-profile attacks they did do that but to your point let's think about the Orlando nightclub shooter he declared his former territory anymore because that's where you know. US Special Forces and their Kurdish allies were strongest maybe felt anyway from them to these standing could was the right move the point is just interesting to see where these figures choose to kind of hide out as they await almost certain death maybe the simple answer is that he didn't feel safe and I I think I saw that coming we cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have elitist Isis. I want to let you know Orlando and I did the shooting my name is the same thought process as this savage killer if we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans women and children gay and straight Jews you had protesters all of a sudden pouring into the streets in these traditionally really repressive countries and chanting for Democracy Freedom Social Justice part of Baghdad he's legacy that Isis was able to sort of weaponize decentralisation to this extent I sort of think of Isis as being the kind of pyramid Iraq will be over and so America was searching for a new way to engage with the Middle East and in the Arab spring in Egypt and in Syria especially good is that politicians in the West would help do the work of spreading fear around attacks like this so rather than painting nightclub shooter as a deranged person who probably would have carried in your book but it also covers a large swath of historical territory that I think often gets fast forwarded over and I wanted to back up a bit with you and declare your allegiance to Abu

Iraq Saddam Hussein United States president Isis Baghdad White House Tareq Aziz Jeremy scahill trump George H W Bush Middle East Oh Qaeda Senate UN Security Council Orlando New York City
The rise and fall of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi

Front Burner

24:16 min | 11 months ago

The rise and fall of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi

"But not always I completely struggled coming out to my parents as a comedian being in the entertainment industry for a Middle Eastern people is unheard of affecting change. I'm trying to winter and I'm almost law welcome to chosen family every second week we talk about art sexuality and identity with a special guest usually for more C._B._C. podcasts Goto C._B._C. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts. I know Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties after a firefight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body there's a large crew of brilliant fighters blue holes into the side of the building not wanting to go through the main door because that was booby-trapped fry according to trump by daddy took his own life and the life of three of his children by detonating a suicide vest was body was mutilated the blast the tunnel had caved in on it in addition but test results gave certain immediate and totally positive identification called Isis fighters losers and repeatedly said Baghdadi died whimpering that he died in a vicious and violent way as a coward running and arrayed by US troops in Syria it was a remarkable and very detailed address from the US president related with eight helicopters significance Abegg Daddy's death and what this means for the future of the Islamic state this is from they will not escape the final judgment of God the first day I came to office I would say where's al-Baghdadi so importantly many of his this is a CBC podcast Hello I'm Jamie it'll be warwick is a national security reporter for the Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize winning author of black flags the rise of Isis today we'll talk about the announcement well it was interesting to see this performance compared to the one that we saw a few years ago when Osama bin Laden was killed they were quite different in style and substance were killed we lost nobody not into the use of cell phones anymore they're not they're very technically brilliant you know they use the Internet better than almost anybody and on nights like this one we can say to those families who have lost loved ones al-Qaeda's terror justice has been done the last one being Jersey leader to justice so that was of course Donald Trump on Sunday morning announcing that Isis leader Abu Baqir Al Baghdadi was killed during morning yes I'm sure they were being here so I actually want to start with that press conference on Sunday from Donald Trump what was going through your head the world perhaps other than Donald trump both of them announcing some pretty big news I mean we expected this we knew from last night this was probably coming but it was big headlines here in the United States and around the so much more somber and subdued in this having kind of a bit more of a bragging tone about it and some more political overtones savage monsters will not escape their fate tur- terrorism or leave this vacuum conspiracy theories and propaganda or another potentially stronger leader. What do you think about that argument in light of today's announcement jobe either nice to be with you thanks for coming onto the podcast on such a slow news day we all slept in the world it The leader of the Islamic state is apparently killed right I remember speaking of Obama's announcement back then there was debate over whether or not it would count last night the United States brought the world's number one isis no longer controls any territory in either country isis on election day here's Isis right now however mm Donald trump well I think there's no question that this is not the end of the Islamic state in effect in some ways I think history will show that Baghdadi was probably much on North American soil you know Baghdadi was was a big deal because he led the rise of this group that started its country its caliphate and the end of that less influential of of of terrorist figure bin Laden was without question he was iconic at the end of the man behind the September eleven attacks is sort of the biggest attacks ever on he did not position himself and was not regarded as a sort of a iconic figure in the way that bin Laden was he was the head of the Caliphate certainly was goot is something we all witnessed a few months ago and that's that's a big deal after nearly five years of fighting in Iraq and Syria the trump administration signaled today that and that was really the first time he showed himself on video with his face uncovered we we haven't seen or heard very much of him since right right in fact it's pin he he was then and then as the caliphate continued to blossom and then to fade he didn't really interject himself very much she was almost it was the first time we'd heard his voice and one of only two or three images that have ever appeared of this man and so it it was striking how reclusives visibility anyway this idea that he was absent when the Islamic state was collapsing essentially in the last couple of years is is that is that true respect but he was not very present visible almost in a curious way freight you know I I feel like a lot of people might have heard of him in two thousand fourteen he gave this speech help us psychologically by putting messages and and yet even those very you know difficult times for the Islamic state e pretty much was absent in terms of we don't really know that but we we see little glimpses of him doing things like small things like helping with the curricula for schools in the Islamic state or offering somewhat frustrating to those of us who tried to cover this man because there were almost no photographs the time that he see the got up on that podium in that one speech in two thousand fourteen his plan was to go to University of Baghdad and become essentially a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence and that was his track until the US whose ambition was to be an Islamic scholar and that's that's a that's a serious discipline it's involves years and years of training and memorization of the Koran a lot of speculation about the Russians and they killed them in two thousand seventeen the Russian defense ministry says that it is investigating reports daddy was among those killed in an airstrike on I'm really discovering they assume that this was Baghdadi they thought visually it was him but the SUV religious guidance on various questions but we didn't see him at least in any detectable way leading operations that was something that he would defer to other people putting frankly people who were more qualified than than he was because the other thing about daddy is he was not a military man by training or background he was back except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people as a fateful Muslim he felt it was his duty to resist the invader nice command post in Syria exactly so he was a homeless leader with with multiple lives where he kept being killed off and reports so whether he was injured or incapacitated in some way we tried to be inaugural Qaeda franchise called itself Al Qaeda in Iraq that's one of its early names and yet it was always a bit too rough around the edges invisible in fact if it came to the point where some of his followers were complaining saying look where's where's our leader why does he show up it isn't he lead the troops or at least you know assumed it was him and they did a site an onsite test he was killed and it was positive it was it's this is waited two thousand and three we come to Iraq with respect for its citizens for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice we have no ambition in we came from how he came to lead this state so this is it's really interesting to me and it's something that was fascinating when I began to look at this man and his life is this is not some and that's how he ended up getting involved insurgents groups in his area one of which was run by this notorious Jordanian terrorist named Abu Musab al one that you would have picked to be future leader of anything in particular terrorist group was as a young man easies Kinda Geeky studious kid a little bit too strong willed in terms of their own ideas and theology and there was just running fight between the leaders of this Iraqi group and bin Laden over whether was he working behind the scenes are we get glimpses of it and the things we would hear what is that well he is maybe he's wounded or maybe he's in this place or that place a little too brutal even for bin Laden saying lodden allow them to take the name but he wasn't too happy with with these people because they were a little bit too too violent and just action group to the helm of these state this is a really interesting story because we have a young man who like I said wanted to to fight had a tense relationship with al Qaeda he was famed for indiscriminate bombings and video and beheadings of his captives tactics out guy the criticized for being too and there wasn't much supervision or or or anything suffer essentially warehousing and this became kind of a university for terrorists at least twelve of the top leaders of ices serve time at Camp Buka we obtain photos of ten of them in bouquets yellow prison jumpsuits became the place where he made connections where he won some respect from others because of his knowledge of of Islam and his ability to lead prayers and that kind of thing so he came forces and put into this notorious prison the south of Iraq Call Camp Buka and this is huge place where essentially became a warehouse in the desert for stream this organization that young Baghdadi glommed onto in the early two thousands and then how does he move from this al-Qaeda are we that was his introduction into the world terrorism right he essentially align themselves with al Qaeda yes and what was then called al Qaeda in Iraq and this is a group this was an organization that you know all the suspected jihadist in bad guys said the US would scoop up right sometimes it would have fifteen sixteen twenty thousand people all confined within barbed wire they should do things like behead people which seem to really want to do just like by the founder of the Islamic state's predescessor in Iraq this man is a car we and that really was his role so he naturally fit into this rule as the Islamic state started to form in around two thousand I need to resist and so he joins these little cells and he ends up getting arrested pretty quickly because he's not a fighter he's not at all and he gets scooped up by the US and he began rising through the ranks of this group as sort of the spiritual man the guy who had issue fatwas or tell the others what was allowed and what wasn't allowed confirmation so what else do we know about him so weirdly he's finds itself in this leadership position in happens right at a time when lots of interesting things are happening in in in the region at its height remind me like what did these because everybody else surrounding was being knocked off so he essentially finds himself as in the number one position by process of elimination and exactly almost accidentally number this in front of a marble pulpit announcing the founding of the caliphate in Mozell in Iraq but we let her see the tension of this this organization is somebody who could be as a spiritual adviser or leader and that's who Baghdadi became what's he got out of prison he was released a few months after he got it that's breaking out there's lawless regions there's guns you know weapons are being shipped from other countries in the Middle East so it's a perfect environment for this Iraqi organization two thousand eleven justice he's really getting his hold on the organization that's when Arab spring breaks out in Arab spring is is a phenomenon in Iraq there's lots of unrest Sudanese or upset with you wiped out and many leaders of this organization were killed one after another until Baghdadi essentially was the only one left so rising through the ranks on fourteen yeah and and as it happened this is he was coming in you know into sort of leader leadership ranks at a time when this group was under a lot of pressure because around two thousand eight two thousand nine this old eight you either sold or Qaeda and Iraq group is really being hammered by American force think about how how remarkably fast happen you have a group that was almost dead in two thousand nine two thousand ten it moves into Syria at just the right time make state look like what was Baghdadi presiding over here over like it's millions of people right exactly so it's heyday in this is really we have to stop. Is has launched a campaign to destroy all Shia mosques and shrines and even suny sites deemed to contravene she there's fighting and and and and insurgents have a way of getting involved in that and trying to win allies and then next door Syria is the big there's this huge civil wars Jordan Syria takeover cities and then straight into Iraq took over you know the second largest city in Iraq Mozell and just a matter of weeks lead pilot was first lieutenant was Kospi twenty-six just married in July the cage with gasoline and trying to keep his composure Islamist who who believed in you know kind of going back to the very early days of the founding days of Islam and believed in some of these what we consider now by it's got military training it's got a professional people who've been doing killing very well for a long time and it quickly becomes very big most powerful the most effective so that's where the kind of the this religious scholar background comes into it because he was extremely conservative Britain mascot not only a huge amount of land but it commands millions of people it's got universities has gotten military bases weapons money whole bank vaults full of cash by twenty-first-century standards really brutal methods of of punishment and there was also this idea it's called Tak theory among these groups it's it's this notion can to colonize in essentially reinvent itself right and essentially feltus vacuum we've all come to know isis as this brutal regime for things like beheading US Journalists James Foley the burning of a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage this is by this sort of tribal movement that arose was called the bar awakening this are the tribes are sick of of these terrorists they're trying to get rid of two and so it was almost also use technology quite successfully to recruit people from all over the world you might think this is a commercial from the Tourism Board of Canada it's actually a city all the cities and so by the time by daddy really hits his stride he's the leader of a small country essentially that's the size of great military group within the country it gets kind of follows from around the world and so just in a in a very short period of time it has the equivalent of a of an army that's able to march across east and is this executioner ignited trail of fuel the last seen a front end loader buried the cage and the corpse under originally come from Canada debate daddy play a role in that as well you mentioned before he used other people like with expertise so suddenly he's he's sitting on what is really the the most powerful and richest terrorist group the world has ever known and I know for a lot of people listening almost anything as you

Abu Baqir Al Baghdadi Donald Trump Osama bin Laden United States Iraq Abegg Daddy Iraq Mozell Syria Pulitzer Prize Washington Post James Foley al-Qaeda Canada Kospi Syria Britain Tourism Board of Canada president Jamie warwick
General Stanley McChrystal on Leadership

Kickass News

48:52 min | 4 months ago

General Stanley McChrystal on Leadership

"This is kick ASS news. I'm Ben Mathis when you need energy on the go and don't have time to wait in line grab Espresso Monster. Espresso monster is a premium. Blend of Espresso and cream made with freshly brewed espresso. Coffee Hormone Free Milk and a unique energy blend complete with taurine and b-vitamins each can has three shots of Espresso and comes in Vanilla Espresso or espresso in cream. Flavors close your eyes take a sip and enjoy espresso monster today. Support for today's show comes from the new Amazon series homecoming directed by Sam the creator of Mister Robot based on the critically acclaimed podcast by ally wits and Meek Bloomberg homecoming stars. Julia Roberts is Heidi Bergman a caseworker for the homecoming transitional support center but for years after starting a new life. Heidi is faced with questions about why she left the facility and she realizes there's a deeper story beyond the one she's been telling herself don't miss homecoming stream now only on Amazon prime video. Hi I'm Ben. Mathis welcome to kick ASS news. General Stanley McChrystal served for thirty four years in the US. Army rising from a second lieutenant in the eighty second airborne division to a four star general in command of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. During those years he worked with countless leaders in pondered an ancient question. What makes a leader great? He came to realize that. There's no simple answer because leadership is not what you think it is and never was not in a new book called leaders myth and reality McChrystal profiles famous leaders from a wide range of Iranian fields from corporate CEOS to politicians and revolutionaries to explore how leadership works in practice and challenge the myths. That complicate are thinking about leaders. And today I'm honored to have General Stanley McChrystal on the podcast to share. How he came to reassess the legacy of his own hero Robert e Lee in the aftermath of Charlottesville. How he personally learned that. The man at the top often gets credit that he doesn't deserve and why in the military and in other fields leaders aren't always judged by their results. He discusses the Fifteenth Century Chinese. Admiral who's become the symbol for that country's global ambitions. He didn't realize that Coco. Chanel was a real person and one leadership flaw that he shares with of all People Walt Disney he reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab Al-Zarka we in the book. And what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Cato in Iraq leader and eventually hunt him down and kill him plus he says he has no specific political ambitions. But you won't hear any Sherman esque statement from this general and he gives the reason why coming up with General Stanley McChrystal in just a moment Stanley McChrystal retired from the US army as a four star general after thirty four years in the military and having commanded the joint Special Operations Command or J. Sock in Iraq and then he commanded the International Security Assistance Force and US forces in Afghanistan. He is a senior fellow at Yale. University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a partner at the McChrystal group. A leadership consulting firm based in Virginia his previous Books Mike Share of the task in team teams were both New York Times bestsellers and now he's followed it up with his latest bestseller titled Leaders Myth and Reality General Stanley McChrystal. Thank you for your service and thanks for sitting down with me today. Thanks for having me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading leaders myth and reality but I have to confess that I usually don't enjoy books that have the titles like say. Churchill leadership or Lincoln on leadership because the moment and author identified someone as a leader to be emulated. It's just a given that. They then have to whitewash their entire biography and ignore all of the flaws and all the mistakes in order to make their case that they are a leader to him united And My thinking I guess has always been what good is a leadership book if you can't learn from the leaders mistakes as well as their successes with leaders myth and reality. You seem to be trying to change that. We are after many years of trying to learn leadership being taught it and had demonstrated to me the opportunity to practice it and then studying it and writing about it to an extent at this point in life pretty late. I came to the conclusion that I and my co-authors didn't really understand what leadership is So we wanted to go back to first principles and truly identify what is it. And why can't we get our arms around it and you talk about how your decision to throw away a portrait of Robert e Lee in the aftermath of Charlottesville actually lead you to rethink how we define leadership as a fellow west point alum. That can't have been an easy decision for you. Know is a really tough decision. In fact I had grown up with. Robert Lee is probably the penalty an example of leadership for me and There've been a personal connection. I'd grown up living near his boyhood home. I'd gone to Washington Lee High School. I'd gone to West. Point many years after robbery leap but I'd follow the same path. He served thirty two years in the United States Army. I served almost just about that number thirty four and at West Point when you arrive. There are many statues of generals and people to emulate but Robert e Lee was always special for everyone. He was this character that was nearly perfect and he was depicted that way. There were paintings of him. I lived in Lee barracks and so you couldn't be robbery leap but he could be a beacon that you could to move closer to so I spent a career thinking about that. And when I was a second lieutenant my wife young wife now forty one years of marriage gave me a painting was cheap actually was a print with painted over clear. Quick look like a painting. She paid twenty five dollars for this thing framed and gave it to me and treasured up for the next forty years. Every quarter said accorded. We lived in. I hung it up because for me. It was an example of the values that I believed in and when people came to my house it was my way of subtly telling them what I valued in leadership And then after Charlottesville in the spring twenty seventeen any my wife came into me and said I think you need to get rid of the picture and I disagree. I said No. Why would I do that? You gave it to me honey. And she goes. Now I think its signaling something you don't believe in and I said No. He's a non-political general and she goes well. Maybe he is to you. But to many people he may be a symbol of white supremacy. Were people that have hijacked the idea we we talked for about a month till I Became convinced and one Sunday morning. I took it off the wall and throw it away and that was just when we're beginning this book and so we made the decision to profile Robert Lee in the book and take a very careful re-look at how I thought about Robert e Lee and leadership in general and you said the painting was sort of a symbol for all of the qualities of leadership that you found valuable in Lee. What were some of those qualities that you use to admire about him and for perhaps still admire embarrassed about him? I still do. He was a Connecticut West Point known as the marble man by his fellow cadets. Now that wasn't completely a compliment because he was a little stiff. You're kind of guy you hung out with you said marble men not Marlboro Man. That's right this and he was very upright duty was the word he would have associated with himself who is a serious guy whereas other army officers on the On the frontier posts used too often. Drink too much or gamble. He didn't do those things. He was focused on being studious being upright he was courteous and when people would describe him they would describe him as slightly larger than life. Maybe a little too perfect kind of the STOIC IDEAL. I guess exactly but then seventeen years into his career. The Mexican war erupts and Robert. E Lee goes to Mexico. And he's a staff off Susan Engineer Officer at usually not a position where you come out a hero. But in fact in the combat of the Mexican war he shines and maybe the most respected mid grade or young officer in the army to come out of the war so much so that General Winfield Scott. The overall commander described him as the best soldier in combat that he'd ever seen. I always hear people talk about how he was so honorable and he was the consummate military officer something to aspire to and yet I mean isn't the first job of a great military leader and honorable military leader not to wage war against your own country. How do we reconcile that well? It's hard to because for years. I reconciled that he had just been loyal to his earlier association with Virginia You know I took the oath on the planet West Point to support and defend the constitution of the United States. And so did he. And the country had been founded by his role model. George Washington and so when Robert e Lee faces his plutarch Ian Moment in the spring of eighteen. Sixty one has to make a value judgment. And what's interesting is he almost doesn't make a judgment when you read the stories he said. I am against secession of the south but I will do what my native state does and Virginia was awaiting a popular vote referendum and so he basically gave his decision to the popular voters of Virginia. Who became emotional over president? Lincoln's decision to reinforce for sumter and so they voted to and so the most important decision of his life he almost didn't make and then he spent the next four years trying to destroy the United States. Yeah it's interesting that this consummate leader of abdicated his leadership duties at the most critical point in his career to voters. And it doesn't make an evil. Yeah what it makes miss human. It makes him flawed. It makes him like you and I right and to that point you open the book by comparing two different paintings of lease hero. General George Washington crossing the Delaware. There's a course that famous one that we've probably all seen and then there's another more contemporary painting tells about that second one. Sure they the Well the first picture of course is the one that's hanging in the White House and it's got Robert or George Washington in a small boat crossing the Delaware River to attack the British on Christmas night. And we've all seen it. He's standing in leaning forward and everybody else's down there row and when we talk about we said well that's a leader that's George Washington but if you really look at that picture it's absurd in a a small both that would tip Easley. He's leaning forward you standing. Yeah no no military guy. No Sane person is going to do that in an icy river at night at least twice so not too many years ago. A gentleman commissioned a painter to do a more realistic version and now it's on a flat bottom barge which is reportedly the boats that were actually used. He is standing essentially holding onto a canon. That's being moved across and it's realistic. It's how a sane person would cross a river at night the way that he's depicted in the painting. It's the way a general who wants to get killed. We're probably would've crossed the Delaware. Not a smart military commander. Try and yet. That's how we want to view our leaders. We wanted to view them. As Day. Bit beating Goliath. We want believe that they are larger than life that they are almost incapable of error and brave to the point of being foolhardy which is completely unrealistic. That's right exactly and you take apart Actually three of what you call the biggest myths about leaders in this book and WanNa deal with each of these one by one First of all. There's this idea that there is a recipe for success at West Point. I know that you must have spent gosh countless hours studying history. Great Military Battles and looking for replicable strategies. Is there something wrong with that? Well it's education and it's helpful. It's a template but it's never solution because there are no two battles no two wars new situations alike and so when people spend the rest of their career looking for a time to do what Hannibal did it. Can I or somebody else did a battle? They're going to be disappointed. There are principles that you learn but same with leadership if you if you look at George Washington and Robert e Lee or an elite leader you WanNa pick and you say okay. How were they knew right? That list of traits or behaviors. Some people even try to stand like the person that their hero. My father told me he was in the military out of Westport right after World War. Two and he said there was a whole population of patent knockoffs. Us Army officers tried to act. Like George Patton. And of course only George Patton can be George Patton but the profanity that that the pistols. And that you. You can't try to do something that worked for someone else. So there's no list. There's no genetic leadership plan in patent himself was a pretty deeply flawed military hero. And I imagine those people just completely overlooked all of those aspects as well. That's right if you look at someone like pat and you see someone who was colorful and profane an aggressive. But if you really decide why he was effective he was a student of war. He knew the battlefields from world. War One of where he fought in World War. Two people don't spend a lot of time thinking about that side of patent. They think about him yelling at people and slapping soldiers and push in tanks on and that's a superficial almost cartoon version and we do that often with leaders the second myth which is this tendency to miss attribute success to the person at the top. You said that you came to this realization when you were writing your own memoir a few years ago. What did you learn about successes in? Google gets credit when you were doing that. Yeah that we call it the attribution myth and I I started writing my memoirs in two thousand ten. When I I thought about it I said well how hard could it be? I was there so I know and I brought a young man who was about a year out of Yale University in English. Major to come help me and we worked together for two and a half years to write this and so the first thing we did was we did a detailed time line and all the significant again events. I've been a part of in many cases. I've made a decision and there have been outcome for which I received either credit or blame and that was the castle effect but when we did the work we did a whole bunch of interviews like one hundred interviews with people who are involved and the result was very humbling. Because what happened was I had a view of something and it was almost never wrong. But it was always stunningly incomplete. Like I would make decision. Then something would happen. And I'd say well that's why but then when we did the interviews we found so many other people doing so many other things that affected it more than I did of which I was totally unaware until after the fact when we did the interviews and other contextual factors that suddenly I realized that I was a figure in my memoirs but I wasn't even the central figure in the story of my life. Every situation was so complex that I was just a piece of it and that was an eye opener. That was a little humbling pretty disturbed. Yeah and if if we really made this public you know we pay. Ceo's all these incredible amounts of money for the success or failure of the company when in many cases there are much smaller factor than people want to attribute and that that plays out time and again when you study when you're studying and so understanding that leadership is actually at interaction between leaders followers and contextual factors. It's almost it's an emergent property. Almost like a chemical reaction and so it's not something that I put on my pocket and throw at you throw some leadership. Betcha instead. It's this thing that happens. And it's different every time and so it's never repeatable with exactly the same personality and whatnot and that's a second myth and then the third myth was results with right. You sort of give lie to this myth that leadership is always merit based and leaders are always chosen based on results coming up through the ranks in the military bureaucracy. Is this something that you personally witnessed probably more than a few times in fact absolutely I mean you you pick leaders you elect them you select them. You support them all the things we do. And you think you've got this hard edge very objective. I and make tough decisions in reality. That doesn't correlate to performance. At all in fact we follow cereal. Failures leaders fill an emotional requirement force. Much more than they do an objective requirement. So I saw on. The military people with certain traits would be promoted and followed in heralded. In fact they weren't very good soldiers and other people who were great soldiers and were successful. They're just didn't generate the same feeling either in subordinates or senior so we want to believe that the results part and therefore who we elect we follow was the right choice but it's usually much more and more emotion than reality. Yeah and we see this. In politics. People often follow the person who speaks to their heart or gets them angry about something than necessarily the smartest guy or the guy with the the longest resume and we will stick with them long after. Yeah it's been disproven Adolf Hitler in nineteen forty four. There was an attempt on his life by German officers and the German population was largely angry at the German officers for trying to kill him. This was eleven years after Hitler took power and he had already ruined the country. I it's got to do week. Emotionally buy a product and then we love it and in some respects to give up on a leader is meeting that you made a mistake in the you were wrong so. We're always reluctant to do that. I guess I want to talk about how you went about. Writing this book and the criteria that you're looking for and leaders In selecting the BIOS to include in the book. What were you looking for? Well it's it's funny when we started. We knew we wanted to do a number profiles of leaders but it was a little contradictory because we were going to write a book about leadership that we knew one of the arguments would be. We get too focused on individuals not wider picture. And so you say well. Why are you writing about him right one? That's because that's how we've always thought them so. We WENT BACK TO PLUTARCH. The original. Biographer who done biographies of Roman Greek leaders and we use that as a basic model but the idea was we wouldn't try to compare leaders in terms of traits or what worked the real question was. Why did they emerge as leaders? What about them or what about the Times or people around them? That actually did it and pretty early. In the process we came out with a sort of recognition. That leadership isn't what we think it is and it never has been and you you referred earlier to the miss it. We came up with and we started with this recognition that we've always looked to leadership through these mythological lenses and I had this child's book that my mother got when she was five in nineteen twenty nine in Chattanooga Tennessee and she to read it to me and it was Greek tales for tiny tots. And one of my remembered with atlas and there was this hand-drawn picture of a guy in a g string standard on top of a mountain. Hold up the sky and I'd look at that and I go at strange but then as we think about it for years and years and years people assumed that the sky didn't fall in something or some bodies holding it up and knits are designed to explain what's otherwise unexplainable and so people said well if it's not fallen in somebody's holding it up atlas on stop them the mountain doing it that good excuses or explanations any and they just bought it. What we've done the same thing with leaders. We look at leaders and someone says that the person who saved the West in World War Two was Winston Churchill. And we sort of look at that we go. Okay write that down but of course. That's an incredibly simplistic description of one leaders role. He was part of this right larger equation and so we came up with these three myths which we call the the formulate. Which is the idea that? There's a checklist of how to be a great leader and when you actually look at results. That doesn't equate doesn't correlate to success in those. Don't translate across different careers in different eras and so forth and one of the reasons we pick these very different thirteen leaders for our book is because they were all leaders but other than that there are very few similarities between their background. How THEY OPERATED TIMES ETCETERA? We found that leaderships intensely contextual. We're GONNA take a quick break and then I'll be back with more with General Stanley McChrystal when we come back in just a minute. Zeal is an amazing service that offers professional in-home massages at your door in an hour after a long day at work or tense holiday weekend. Zeal is the perfect way to de stress with zeal. You get a professional massage in the privacy of your own home so you don't have to go all the way to the SPA or sit around with a bunch of strangers at the gym just opened the zeal APP in. Choose your favorite massage style. 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You can start building your own new career and coding data science or digital design at Flat Iron Schools. We work campuses or take courses online. Go to flat iron school dot com slash podcast and read about graduates new careers salary ranges upcoming courses and explored these exciting new careers in. Roman is now open. It's time to future proof your career and change things starting with you. Flat Iron School Dot com slash podcast. And now back to the podcast. I WANNA talk about a couple of more of these leaders that you profile in the book You include not just military leaders but also people like Walt Disney Leonard Bernstein. Albert Einstein even Coco Chanel. How much knowledge did you have about? Coco Chanel coming into this. This is a great admission. I didn't know she was a person. I thought Chanel was just brand. Name the brand Chanel number five and yet when you studier. It's amazing here is an incredible fashion designer but even more she's a branding and marketing genius. Whose an orphan at a young age work sure way up takes an opportunity to about the time of the first World War Two revolutionize fashion not just in France but around the world and then she builds an empire on that to include the fragrance number five by being both a good business person but then also being the brand herself. When people bought Chanel products they were buying Coco Chanel because she dressed a certain way she actor certainly shed a lifestyle and she invited you to be like cocoa and the best way to do it is where her clothes use her perfume embrace her lifestyle and it worked beautifully as a leader. She was a tough person. She was tough to work for. Yeah got no people loved to work for because she was special have embraced the Chanel lifestyle. That far probably the figure in this book with whom Americans are least familiar is a Chinese name. Jong who is pretty well unknown over here but in China he's revered as this great hero and today even become a symbol of China's emergence as a super power. What does young her say about. China's global ambition in the Twenty First Century. Well he says a lot. He was a fifteenth century. Figure theoretically seven feet tall with a waste five feet around he'd been castrated at age ten but then remained loyal to the to the Ming Dynasty. Which had actually killed his father and castrated him but but he led this big spoilt seven. Different voices of treasure ships out around the world and China now has pulled his memory most people in the West and didn't know who he was pulled his memory up to show that they're a global power to show that they have always be international. Most of us think of China's the last two hundred years when the Middle Middle Kingdom was very insular and to a great degree backward now Shizhong paying with the one belt one road strategy is saying. That was a very temporary thing. What you saw in. The last two hundred years isn't us? We actually were global nation. We have always been that way and here here's proof and so who a nation pulls up and makes their heroes says an awful lot about what that nation wants to communicate and I know that you're probably more often asked to comment on Iraq or Afghanistan. But is the rise of China and the state of play in the South China Sea. Something that you give a lot of thought to these days. Well I do I'm not in government but anyone who doesn't give a lot of thought isn't thinking economically or diplomatically or potentially militarily because China which again had two hundred years of I describe it as a bad weekend They are back in a big way. And what we've gotTa do is re look how we fit in the world. Most Americans have a post World War Two view in right after World War. Two America was forty six percent of the world's global domestic product which is an aberration and not sustainable. Now that we've got the rise of kingdoms like China and other parts of the world. I think we need to understand that. Our role will be interacting not necessarily opposition. But it's going to be complex and we're going to have to deal with in real not in a in a way of denying the reality but in a realistic approach you actually include of all people to many people's surprise al Qaeda and Iraq leader Abu Musab Al Sarkawi among the biographies of leaders in this book. Now this is the man that you hunted and eventually killed What can you learn about leadership from your enemy in combat? But it's it's interesting to step back. We took thirteen leaders for this book. To include Coco Chanel. Harriet Tubman Margaret Thatcher Albert Einstein. Leonard Bernstein Sweden a wide range. Because they're not just military leaders or political. But someone I had to put in there was Abba sabotage conway because I fought him as part of my task force for two and a half years and we ultimately killed him and in June of two thousand six but I came to respect him. I didn't come to like him. I didn't come to agree with him and I did more when he died. But I came to respect leader and the thing that was interesting about him and we pair him with Maximilien Robespierre the French Revolution Zarqa. We was poorly educated. Came up over the tough background and industrial town. In Jordan he became very committed to Eslam the fundamental view of Islam and believed very heavily in Jihad or holy war and wanted to be a Mujuhedeen holy fighter. And what worked for him was he became a zealot. He became someone so pious. So personally self-disciplined so obviously committed to his cause that burn like a hot flame and almost. Moths are attracted to that. We're all attracted to people who are very confident very committed and very zealot like in their leadership style as people did with ropes peer. Now the other thing about our colleagues because he was so committed he got many other people to follow him who didn't share the same level but they were willing to follow him because his obvious commitment to it and then he was also he was a good leader. He was charismatic. He did good things. Get around to to talk to his people basics and so I could disagree with his. 'cause I could disagree. He was a psychopath in terms of a murder. But I had to respect the effectiveness. He had as a leader and to be honest head to learn from it. I suppose it's easy to dismiss him as a psychopath in a monster which he probably was. But it's not a useful way to go about trying to actually defeat and kill your enemy. Sounds like you must have dedicated. A good amount of thought to getting in the mind of your enemy. Was that a pretty dark place. And what did you come to understand about him? Well it is a dark place to do that. Think what we do in war we try to dehumanize the enemy do. What right army's always do we call the Germans the Huns we tal- The Japanese? The Nips we saw Vietnamese the Kooks and that's so that they're not human so it's easier to kill him. You're not frightened of them and you. You don't feel the same empathy when actually fight against someone for a while that changes because particularly when they turn out to be very good fo you have to respect and so in the case of any enemy but particularly czar cowie. I started with this thing. He beheaded a young American nick. Berg in two thousand four hundred founded and my whole force was just emotionally furious over. We committed ourselves to kill him but over time. A few things happen. I who's very good at what he did. And then the second is you come to the realization that his perspective is his perspective and he believes it deeply. I may believe my side. I may be committed to it. But what makes me right in him wrong? And what if I'd been born in Zarqa Jordan instead of where I was what I believe? Is He did? And what if he's as right as I am just on different sides and so you start to get a grudging? I respect for the effectiveness of your photo and then you have to have a certain respect that they might just be as right as we are. The beheadings were sort of a morbid media strategy but somehow it seemed that it was effective with his own people in If you will establishing his bran or the brand of al-Qaeda and talk a little about that and how that was received within his circle sure we think that the beheadings were to scare the West and they do a little bit of that but what they really did is. They signaled to his potential followers. That he is so committed to the cause that he's willing to do things that he knows are horrific. Isis made an art form of this. They committed to people that we are after a righteous cause but our causes so righteous that we're willing to do evil to achieve it. We go back to rogue spear and the French Revolution. Here's a guy who believed writing things. He believed in the writings of Russo. But he became committed that you needed to use terror to achieve virtue. Now there's a contradiction there but there's sort of a An interesting seductive idea. I'm willing to behead nine hundred Frenchmen in five weeks in the center of Paris to build a virtuous society on the surface it looks laughable but many French believed that here. We are finally committed to making a change. We're committed to doing whatever it takes to get virtue and very similar with our Collie it just has a power to it. And Rebecca took more of a distanced approach to terror He kind of delegated that His subordinates and in some cases he probably wasn't even aware of all the people who were beheaded in his name. Call me on the other hand personally. Beheaded many people. How do you assess that? I really can't make a distinction. Because on the one hand robespierres hands were clean. Reportedly the only the first execution ever attended was his and so he kept himself slightly at arm's length but he was in fact. Part of the driving force behind it Zarqa trademark was up close. His hands were dirty. He was involved. He was doing beheadings. He wore combat. Close so to me. There's not a big distinction. Both on the positive side shared a very genuine commitment to their costs. So you really can't doubt that they were real about it at the same time. Both did some pretty horrific thing so it's hard to to judge them positively. There are no statues to rub spear around. Now you go. You won't find them with the proliferation of attacks in Iraq and colleagues ability to just elude capture time and time again. In fact you talk about. How oftentimes he traveled completely alone went through checkpoints in disguise. It's understandable that he sort of took on almost a supernatural mystique in Iraq and even among the troops. I imagined trying to defeat him from a morale standpoint for you as military leader. Did you find yourself having to fight against this ghost like persona and bring him back down to Earth in the eyes of your men sometimes absolutely because he became almost a symbol of our inability to get him and so a little like Francis? Marion the swamp Fox are mostly from the civil war. Just the fact he's able to operate is impressive. To people it makes him a little bit more powerful and it underwrites or underlines our inability to do that now as you studied leaders for this book did you find parallels to your own experience and maybe even as you read about some of their flaws and mistakes. Think to yourself Yup. That sounds familiar. I recognize that I can look back. I just countlessly almost every leader here. The one that sort of jumped out at me. That surprised Walt Disney because he had a lot of traits. You much more talented than I'll ever be. But he was a good animator and then he creates this amazing full length animated picture. Snow White and the seven dwarfs and he desert over three years by mortgaging his company mortgaging the intellectual property to Mickey Mouse and then pushing his team to create this magnificent full first full length animated movie and at the time it was thought to be crazy but he got people not only to laugh but to cry animated figures. Well so he's at the height of his success in nineteen thirty seven he still younger than forty. You almost can do no wrong for years later. His animators who had done this amazing work for him have a bitter strike against him. And when I saw that I go. Wow they're ungrateful here through the Depression. He graded firm gave them great jobs then in one thousand nine hundred one and he reacts badly yeah he felt the same way you did. He thought that they were disloyal. In fact fused cues fuel Bombini Communists and whatnot and I thought about myself as a leader and I thought about the times when I pushed organizations really hard and I worked really hard myself. And then there were glimmers of people going. No that's not right. One of my reflexive responses was. You know you're not you don't see the big picture you know you're not you're not willing to work hard enough and when you see that it's a little bit cold. Amirah and it was interesting. The young people that helped me with this book. They were pretty hard on Walt Disney. When we first did the research and we we've had these discussions Hauer GonNa portray each person and they were ready to write him off his bad guy and I kept saying. Hey Human and the reason I was arguing that was you know there was a bit of me the same with Roberty League. He makes this amazing mistake in eighteen. Sixty one and goes to defend slavery. But you know in that situation maybe done the same thing in the context of the moon. Who's to say that's right and so I found at this point in my life. I'm a little bit more forgiving of the human side of it but in recognition of just how important and Walt Disney's a great example of the kind of visionary leader that we tend idealize like Disney. Or a Steve. Jobs who put the end goal or their product above all else and sometimes don't treat their teams very well as someone who's been in a position of power with incredibly high stakes do you relate to that relentless dedication to the mission and did you give much thought to what the people under your command thought of. You did you. Did you care about that or do you have to Kinda just not care about that? That's a really good question People ask me whether I was zealot. When I was fighting against boomer Salazar Cowan and I will say to a degree. It was really. I didn't behead people but Yeah it became a cause as much as it became a fight and so I would say that I did care what my people thought of me. I Care Deeply. I have to admit that And I care deeply about them but I was willing to push them really hard. There was a period in two thousand and five when we had to make a very difficult decision which risked destroying the force destroying J. Sock and I we had conversations about it. Said you'RE GONNA put the nation's counter-terrorist force at risk and at that point. I felt it was necessary and right I still feel it was necessary right but if I look back. I wonder whether I could have made any other decision whether I could have stepped back in been analytical and said no the risk is too high or whether I was emotionally committed to the fight at that point where I made that decision and then rationalized it. Now when you're commander of J. Sock in Iraq. You often went on night. Missions with your men Looking back do you think you would have done that again or no? You have to do that. You have to do that because you have to find out what they're doing you have to understand the conditions under it was harder and they have to understand you willing to share some of the danger etc. They know you're not going to do their job. But if you're not willing to do some of that your credibility Wouldn't last long. Yeah and I suppose that's becoming even more important these days because the commanders usually on base you try leading the charge go the days of Robert E Leeann division and corps. Commanders were under fire and so job really nowadays. You have to make a conscious effort but I think it's just as important as ever now if you were to include your own biography and leaders myth and reality. What do you think the theme of Your Chapter Might Be? Yeah that's a great one I I think it is that the most interesting part of my personal experience was the transformation J. Sock has changed an organization the nature of it. I think that it would have been about somebody who pushed a change really hard but didn't do the change themselves. I get credit for being this transformational leader. What I was was a person who was part of team that created a transformation in my contribution was to create an environment in which that transformation could and would occur and an ecosystem nurturing it and whatnot. I never had the right answer. I never smart enough but I was lucky enough to recognize the people around me could figure out the right answer and I was had enough humility to know that if somebody else had the right answer let's go with it. Yeah Wa- have enjoyed talking to you before we go. I don't want to ask you if you have any interest in politics. But is there any scenario down the line where you could see yourself running for office? Never been an ambition of mine. I'm at a point. Now where I think American Politics or at a crisis leadership at a crisis I think American politics crisis and so I don't want any American to say that they won't be a part of it. I don't want any American to say they won't vote because they don't care that they wouldn't serve that they won't run for office because we're really at an all hands on deck moment. Well I enjoyed the book. It's called leaders myth and reality. I highly recommended folks General Stanley McChrystal. It's been an honor. Thanks for talking with me. A kind had me thank you. Thanks again to General Stanley McChrystal for coming on the podcast order. His New Book Leaders Myth and reality on Amazon audible for wherever books are sold. The flat iron school will teach you everything. You need to get a job in code data science or design. But they'll also prepare you for the jobs that don't even exist yet in school dot com slash podcast and read about graduates new careers salary ranges upcoming courses and explore these exciting new careers. You can start building your own career and coding data science or digital design at one of flat irons local. We work campuses or you can take courses online go to flat iron school dot com slash. Podcast read the reviews and sign up for a free intercourse. Enrollment is open now. If you haven't already be sure to subscribe to kick ASS news on Itunes and leave us a review. You can follow us on facebook or on twitter at at kick ASS news pod and as always I welcome your comments questions and ideas at comments at kick ASS News Dot Com. I'm Ben Mathis and thanks for listening to kick ASS news. Kic asked news is a trademark of Mathis Entertainment Inc.

General Stanley McChrystal Robert e Lee Iraq Coco Chanel West Walt Disney commander United States China George Washington Virginia Ben Mathis Amazon Flat Iron Schools Charlottesville West Point Yale University Afghanistan robbery
10: Che Guevara's Last Revolution, Part 2

Covert

30:39 min | 1 year ago

10: Che Guevara's Last Revolution, Part 2

"Early september nineteen sixty seven after months of training local bolivia soldiers and gathering intel american can c._i._a. Agents finally had lied on finding che guevara their biggest clue to his whereabouts. A man known as palko irrespective is back in shape but he was very disappointment last cigarette the what he was it was a breakthrough for c. I. agent felix rodriguez who had a personal personal feud against guevara but the closer they got to catching him the clearer it became that capture meant death because one he had he had his orders the c._i._a. Too key changhua and now he was receiving orders straight from his from the libyans basically from high command james going to be executed welcome to covert show about the shadowy world of international espionage and top secret military operations by iraq. You wanna go. I'm jamie rennell and i'm going to take you inside history's greatest special operations missions to learn about the brave soldiers cultures and operatives who risked their lives to terminate the world's most wanted eliminate terrorist threats and protect countless innocent lives and that's way you feel it picks up the phone and says well the communicates back to the beliving command. We need the rangers in this area now. He caused another week or two shake gone. Che guevara had been hiding out in bolivia trying to inspire revolution throughout south america it had not been going well and with the bolivian rangers and the cia closing in his end was by but the last thing rodriguez expected to do was to have to save him and then i burn one hundred word which i really want him alive beirut i five this is jay guevara's last revolution part two rodriguez green beret trained bolivia and rangers had just captured someone they were sure would lead them to vara an insurgent by the name of palko. Joe rodriguez had learned paka was forced into being a guerrilla. It was likely he would talk they are so when he led us us to go fewer on the soviet union going through another leading urban country instead of giving him documentation shaw away or why he was he wasn't really even taco had been wounded by the rangers assault on his unit but because has he was a prisoner they wouldn't take him to the hospital so i pay for a nerve from to come over and he has a lot of warrants us to that's. Let's as light up green so the warrant we eat every bad things in there so they would be free materials in there to kill the worms antibiotic it while idea to headquarters and we were able to save his life also treated me well overdue overdue passing formation. He's finally broken. Newspapers and magazines rodriguez new getting on his good side was key to getting the information they needed needed. Once paka was healed. Rodriguez could now begin the most important part of his mission thus far interrogating the person who he thought could lead him to jay little by little pock opened up so afraid folk leaning also found out that he had a tremendous memory short guy survey survey before it went last for increasing her. I would tell the guy from end his memory. He was site location where he was before he will give you. The address and the name of fifteen people after two weeks of interrogation rodriguez realized is to the great revolutionary. Che was in even more trouble than they thought from paco he was able to find out that chase unit was fractured. There was is a lot of infighting. There was no harmony. This was a dysfunctional revolutionary band. Kenmare is an award winning journalist and co author of hunting. Che really wanted to train his girl is to be tough. You you really have to focus on this old. Cuban style in the mountains the hearts of the band russell what he wanted to do is harm his scores and then that was part of the reason why he was more than them around the countryside. What happened was the heat marston into being in weakest essentially they they were able to scrounge from the people because the people weren't supporting them and what did is degraded to the point where they were really combat affected me. It was easy to give sandwich and a drink in clean clothes and also a happy guy is really willing to help with that. They learned about the formation of chase group. The the whole unit was divided into three groups that would march meters apart vanguard center and rearguard year old term individual that he knew that where we're seeing the arita we've been talking about the vanguards rearguard. He gave all the eggers name that he knew of people. Forming the vanguard descend andy rian guard our was about a tangled with that would move about one kilometer listen and mild else you from him. He would be the meal what they call. The sanfer. We'd be paying for a day would have another group in regard one. Thank you for listening behind him. They would move away so he's informational truly volleyball to us. Pokka also revealed more of the inner turmoil of guevara's guerrillas. They knew he was having trouble convincing the locals to join his caused but his own soldiers were starting to have problems as well in all being to get food a lot of time. They went hungry a thursday then there were so thing who drown be real grounded blow when you grow the unique a guy from the area especially the rating see some relating otherwise you were. He's very very fis currency. Ah i'll undergo rio lost people in different diet by after a few weeks rodriguez has decided to show paco the photograph he found among guevara's effects. The photo of the mysterious woman who handled as finances she was the key to chase taste funding and communication network really much about her and all that she was with the going thing and she was by working in the the city's newly soy broad these pictures to compile was the way that defied all might dollar out it was from the university how defy her. Luckily ula was loyola guzman. She was twenty eighty five years old and a graduate of the elite communist party activists training school in moscow. She was also a member of the libyan communist. Youth palko said she was working. Out of a secret cell in the bolivian soldiers wasted no time tractor down bay swooped in to arrest her guzman mon was distraught under interrogation but gave intel about eleven members of the guerrillas after that. She said she would rather kill herself than betray her comrades. You know the bolivian troops springer the question her and she was so distraught got what they found and she ended up telling them about jay and the gorillas and she was so distraught that she tried to kill herself by throwing yourself out. You know a third story window and she survived and and later she gave interviews say sorry she was. She gave any information to bolivia's despite her limited information. This was a victory for the c._i._a. Capturing guzman had cut cheo from his funds and communication. The rebel force was now completely isolated and on their own all the c._i._a. Needed to do now was initiated an operation to finally bring jae in but rodriguez still had no clues as to his current location then it came a breakthrough. Some of the rangers came back from a routine patrol arrived back at camp carrying three dead rebel fighters and the three men or brought into towns remote area on the back of mules when they take the bodies often. You'll see it looks. They were prematurely discover because allstate tell their story. That was for my call debate. Police came. They're looking for money. Why would they controversy basecamp among their bodies rodriguez founded driver's license and documents. All the names were falls but the licenses had photographs any any recognizes right away. These are three men. Who are you know chase front guard which means a chain has to be in the area. Eh one of them called miguel was the captain of chase front column shea split his force into three vanguards that then they would that would march certain intervals so that you never call them together and he was able to anticipate when when when he was going to run into the older so that when the first doc group ran into the living soldiers he would know they'd be able to maneuver to make sure that they can say fluid keyed to find as so he split his force order separate them so that they were hard pale from paco rodriguez had learned that j. always moved in the middle column that was protected one thousand meters. There's behind the front vanguard using the location of where miguel was killed. Rodriguez was then able to determine as position and now that he knew where che was he had to strike immediately and that's way feel it's picks up the full and says the communicates back to the bolivian command. We need the rangers in this area now. Because you know another weaker to jacob the god you could be able it can be back in cuba but we know where it is right right now. We can have a trampoline to come out here and going to this particular area of the rates and find rodriguez urgently gently called the u._s. Green berets command. He needed them to release the bolivian second rangers battalion from training and instead send them to combat che. We are convenes and we have the right now. When i got here he understood that vice and he order immediately that they won't we'll break at first. Then was pushed that they said they're still training. They haven't even had the ramones yet. How are we going to send them out there and feel. It's was adamant. Adam and fuelled said we need them. We need them now. Because of another week could calling he could be anywhere in the country. He'll be back in cuba. This is our one chance chance to get him and that was the urgency in rodriguez's voice made it clear that it was now or never to bolivian battalion were dispatched dispatched immediately to hunt down one of the trainers gerald peterson describe the landscape of the area they were to stake out there working to her rough montazeri a very very poor so we were able to basically tactic specifically to catch grooten surgeons and some of the time ted's about breath observed hammer shit you force insert against cigarette against the a big forest is a hammer and captured on the stakeout. Geico seventeen men suddenly walked into a high sided kenya where they thought would be the rangers assumed they could only be guerrilla fighters. If che was in fact in that middle column canyon could provide the perfect terrain to utilize the hammer en ville training maneuver essentially shea into camp canes ron perelman each other and they know the shades of one of them so very proud of the ranger company commander he takes his command group it goes to the bottom where they intersect and they set a blocking position on on the one campaign of left canyon and then they sweep down the right canyon and intellect can tangibly tactically. It's perfect. It's exactly what they were trying to do that. They set up a blocking position on the highground a sweep through the canyon trying to flush ship they were shooting a couple and sitting sitting down new reporting gibson concur continue to pursue and these guys literally was running on this uh in syria iran and his guerillas were trapped as they tried to escape the soldiers pick them off one by one as rebel forces now locked in one guerrilla was shot in the leg shooters stood above him ready to finish them off. Don't shoot me. I am che guevara and worth more to you alive than dead. Hey podcast listeners. This is your producer rachel jacobs. If we've learned anything from covert its history is brutal beautiful and often ridiculous like. Have you ever wondered what pablo escobar and hippos have in common. Have you ever seen a british lawyer. Don one of those white powdered wigs and wondered why and did a rainmaking super villain really almost drowned san diego on ridiculous history then bolan noel browne explore some of the strangest most fascinating resonating stories from across the span of human civilization and there are some really silly things that have happened in the past. How about the american war on chinese restaurants you can learn the answers to these questions and more by subscribing to ridiculous history than apple podcasts the iheartradio app or wherever you find your podcasts uh they changed back to a schoolhouse he's there with another one soldiers willie and they put him in the middle which is a small town back in his office rodriguez paste for ten years ears che had alluded u._s. intelligence and now his fate lay in the hands of the poorly trained bolivian army. When we heard a news you you know he was a tremendous fi first of all. We got very fight. That's why blake at that very fight back a reporter carl and that he had a couple of questions thankful for these specific location was using that soon we a hotel i recalled carson saying this is the piece of my country and the gorilla imile uh soon after rodriguez had to get to work. The first thing he did was photograph. All of chase captured documents among chase effects were even more diaries which could give them a better idea of his movement inside bolivia. Feel rigas recognizes immediately just how important this is a little kamara's gonna start taking pictures on the dire for the c._i._a. So they can process it but then rodriguez learned something alarming the bolivian officers holding chain were telling him that he would soon be executed and this was directly against rodriguez own orders to keep him alive fearless mission there though is really to get a hold of all papers get cleaver pictures taken them and and try to save chase life because the that point told him before he left is we want to skyline and you can get jail game loss of so feel kind of two michigan. One is going to get all the intelligence. The also wants to keep share off. If he had roy regan's meanwhile sent a message to see i- handlers that they had captured chiang a few minutes later he sent a second message and then i burn only one hundred which i really want to give him a live. You better remove at a high level. The call for chase death was ordered by bolivian president rene body intas it was common bolivian practiced just to kill prisoners rather than capture them and so- rodriguez had to appeal to the bolivian military's top brass to halt the execution. The answer came in makoto. Call ceiling jay's whoever zeba coat five hundred shalon six hundred seven hundred actually had the orders i five under season was reputed site waited gill carlson panel kate by from the operational area equal size arnout that they have been ordered from your high ninety prisoner. I received my trojan stride alight august august. You're gonna say phoenix. We have worked at gurgling. We are grateful to your health. These are order from president michel mother. Orange rodriguez was conflicted. They were in bolivia meaning. The bolivia in president had the final say and in any case guevara was is a war criminal to the bolivian population but his direct orders said otherwise. Could he do something about it because one he had he had his orders from the c._i._a. Hi it keep chain a lot and now he was receiving orders straight from his co. <unk> from the libyans basically from the high command saying james going to be executed and so i thought well how can i get you know. How can we planning to skip. How can i get out of here small back. I thought maybe i would call the telephone line. I would totally buy got occasion with that that my embassy was able to convey depressing jail life reining greenback the soviet don't execute a prisoner at the same time having to he was he believable by ordered it. I hope i never had that situation. A game. I love you was very very hard situation very emotional and finally he fought in this country he thought about everything changed on to his own people to the cubans any real bad boy i make the rules here wasn't gonna fight it and the end rodriguez came to the difficult conclusion that jay had been captured in bolivia until the bolivian presidents rules were law no after work i reflect on it. I believe letting history wrong with having my move could have tried to say the same dive. I feel a responsibility. I wasn't involved so i let history royd self. Nevertheless is not easy for a soldier go by everyday. You ordered the execution of individual wisconsin. It's usually a lot of you probably be mistaken. In the school house with our was evading in his questioning colonels tano the bolivian commander was having no luck in getting him to talk recalls. Daniel asking say work boy was the wire four hundred vague baited my do have the courtesy to who asked me say award rodriguez decided he would try to get some information himself. It would be the first time he would come face to face with guevara the man he had hunted for so long and now it would be their final confrontation kneeling down rodriguez told chain the news of his fate around in the afternoon here on these lady lady where he was saying well we you radio. He's already giving the news. He die from combatants that point by not much i can do anymore scooting from in a on sake alendronate sorry trying best you pervy understood what what i was saying. You turned white like a favor but he says it's better if you have never be good for life they had to buy. You got ears l._a. Relate to give despite treat me with that point that i argue might have secured everybody. The you'll get won't be by just a not. I would not give it to you asking twice lead room the third day you'll get people go beyond on your side so finally let's run and i knew a chainsaw you give it to me. You look at me for a few seconds. You'll see these. I love you bye and he says anything you want for your phone. If i got the message and they changes pressure and said you can tell me why remarry trying to be happy. I was the last show that bush me we should have we. The embrace must do bags for the patient. Should the two spoke for awhile convivial. They mostly made small talk anytime rhode. Rigas attempted to get information was still on guard. Where i asking question the technical interest wall smile i also as a final act of closure rodriguez asked if they could take a photo together it would be the last photo ever taken if the young rebel leader they gave my camera that who pilot nine next to the soviets next door who may have grown minute to the universe and he's saying nobody. Will you let kidde leader perks. Actually white gave the filtering to the c._i._a. A picture of me laughing of course when he saw thanks changes fresh. Finally the time for execution was not a young bolivian soldier named mario tehran and volunteered to do it and the process was complicated. It was common for the bolivian government execute prisoners. There's but it wouldn't look good politically and news outlets had already announced shea had been killed in battle so rodriguez instructed tehran to shoot shay in the leg not in the chest with the help from rodriguez and another soldier che was brought to his feet and taken outside there in the bolivian son in the back of an old schoolhouse thirty nine year old che guevara said his last words. I know you've come to kill me. Shoot coward. You are only only going to kill a man. The only having live is very very difficult right. It was a very solemn moment of tation you had to do it. Can you is to do as a soldier. You very hard very hard. In the end theron shot him nine times so ended the life of the face of the revolution the man who had set out to overthrow what he saw as unjust governments was dead because really is i think the father of the modern revolutionary movement and whenever there was a skirmish whenever there was a group of the people who thought that they were gonna fight against what they was social injustice they would invoke chesney gig of our was uh charismatic provocateur revolutionary gangster murderer he was hugely unsuccessfully zestful bolivia and i think he met the fate he deserved. Chase body was flown to a local town where he was laid out for public display. It was a messy revolutionary. Terrorism was still terrorism and would not be tolerated. You're back in washington the c._i._a. Celebrated a victory they had been stalking chafe over ten years and had now finally gotten their man and the operation had been done with minimal resources they had successfully trained local soldiers to work alongside their own elites a lot of the technique sent with us. You know the accelerated training breaking them off into groups. I mean there are still being used by the green berets afghanistan in the c._i._a. Was also excited about the way rodriguez broke new ground in bolivia with his pioneering investigative techniques. I think that his his insistence on keeping parkas alive i think the way he exploited intelligence i think the way he elicited information asian the way he he dealt with to bolivia nhs on a one to one basis made it made it possible for them to do the capture they did the way he went about it was revolutionary and and and i think it set the course for counter insurgency and the ensuing decades of what felix understood instinctively was that you don't win hearts and minds by killing people you win hearts and minds by protecting six weeks after chase capture rodriguez was back in south america training an elite ecuadorian intelligence unit in nineteen eighteen sixty nine. The man who caught chego vara finally became an american citizen and enlisted in the united states army during the vietnam war. He flew over three hundred helicopter missions and shot down five times during his career with the c._i._a. Rodriguez was awarded the intelligence star for actions ends of extraordinary heroism but despite all this rodriguez will always be remembered for his c._i._a. Mission to hunt down j guevara they. I was twenty six years at the time when you're old thing more important for example. Why wasn't the bay of pigs that have to move your racially get nine ronin more bordon's nina away. Nevertheless it happens to be your chains. Fighting spirit still lives on grill. Warfare is is privileges these days so against bolivia. It's it was. I don't think there was ever really grilled. Warfare in bolivia to a certain degree sideway beat will really know he wants. He's very ironic departed while you skua licensing but a lot of people even all really who he was <hes> there are people are wearing his shirt loose and all leads in the next episode abu musab all's our car we took credit for heinous acts of terror in iraq including beheadings yes and bombings and was known accomplice of osama bin laden. You can say there could be responsible for upwards of almost one hundred thousand deaths by starting the civil war in iraq and it would take a joint effort between the united states and british special forces to take him down there. Kelly's motive was that he wanted to be the leader of al qaeda message potato and he saw this struggle your part of the larger al-qaeda struggle for dominance in the middle east <hes> the physicality is really all about him and his strategy was to start a civil war in iraq between sunni shia and he believed american forces. We get mired down in that civil conflict and then the american public would demand that we withdraw <hes> when he didn't count on is that we would stay. That's that's next time on covert. Covert is an audio boom and world meteorites co-production hosted by me jaime rennell it is produced by audio booms looms ben hammersley rachel jacobs and karen bevan and bypass cal hughes for world media rights. We had additional production help from world media rights by gerald's abankwa kwa david mcnabb's the series creative director and the executive producers for audio bumar brendan regan and stewart last. If you haven't already don't forget to follow us on instagram at covert podcast you can also follow us on spotify or subscribe on apple podcasts stitcher or wherever you find your favorite it shows and if you've got some time give us a review <music>.

Orange rodriguez che guevara bolivia rangers Che jay intel iraq bolivian second rangers battal james soviet union cuba jamie rennell south america rigas president bolivian government Kenmare cia Green berets
Interview Series: GENERAL STANLEY A. McCHRYSTAL

What Really Happened?

41:24 min | 1 year ago

Interview Series: GENERAL STANLEY A. McCHRYSTAL

"I wanna take a quick break to thank one of our great partners who really make this podcast possible. As many of you know, I spend most of my time working. I don't really like to do much else. Reading writing recording repeat. So what happens when this is the case, you don't really get furniture. I lived two years. This is true. I live two years in an apartment once with only mattress. No fridge. No rug no girlfriend anyway, my current place. Well, something wildly unexpected happened. Now, there's no girlfriend, but I got in touch with the folks at article article has beautifully designed modern furniture, and that Scandinavian simplicity which I happen to be a fan of I got this new suite high table desk, not too much just tasteful, and it's all online, no showrooms, no sales people just savings. An article is offering our listeners fifty dollars off their first purchase of one hundred dollars or more. To claim visit article dot com slash W R H as in what really happened. That's all. It takes to article dot com slash W, R H, and the discount will be automatically applied at checkout. That's article dot com slash W R H to get fifty dollars off your first purchase of a hundred dollars or more. Hey, everyone and welcome to our second episode of the what really happened interview series. What really happened is produced by Dwayne the rock Johnson. Danny Garcia, Brian Goertz, seven bucks productions and cadence thirteen today, we're talking to someone that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said was quote, perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I've ever met, so general Stanley mcchrystal with general, I'm hoping you hear conversation you would normally expect during his thirty five years in the army. He was at one point in command of all US forces in Afghanistan despite Newsweek once calling him the most secretive force in the US military. I talked to him about a range of topics. Nightmares? He's been having the value of being able to tell good jokes the importance of storytelling, and how to convince people on your perspective while listening just remember in Iraq. He person. Directed special operations where he was integral in the capture of Saddam Hussein his forces were responsible for the death of Abu Musab house are Cowie leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. You may also recall general mcchrystal was the subject of a controversial article by Rolling Stone called the runaway. General the article reported remarks by mcchrystal's staff that were critical and scornful of the White House staff and other civilian officials President Obama called him into his office and mcchrystal resigned. And then Brad Pitt played him in that Netflix movie last year, he came out with a book called leaders myth and reality which she wrote with Jeff Eggers and j Mangone, and although not credited on the cover. There's actually three other people who helped them write the book, which I'll speak to him about. There are some other controversies and highlights of his career with those stories and many others have been told over and over again. So I wanted to speak with the general. About very human things topics that sometimes are overlooked when people interview general Stanley mcchrystal so that in mind here is our conversation. Hi, this is STAN mcchrystal. Hey, general mcchrystal. This is Andrew Jenks calling from the podcast. How are you? And you thanks for calling. I appreciate it. Oh, please. Thank you everything. Good on your end. Yeah. Life is really good. But it's been a great year so far. So I had no complaint. Well, great year. Okay. Well, let's general mcchrystal's greatest thing of the year. Yeah. Well, the best thing in my life is my two granddaughters. Next door to me their age four and two. That's pretty cute. Okay. Okay. Fight company is grown up to one hundred people so from two people eight years ago now, and then we released this new book, which leaders, which is a lot of fun. And from what I understand you work to his three younger kind of research, or you can tell me assistance on it as well. What was it like to be working with younger people in that capacity? They will give a young person's perspective. And that was very interesting because for one thing they were harder on leaders than I was they were more critical. And you know, I would I guess that. Because you know, I I've been to a lot made a lot of mistakes. So maybe I'm more forgiving mistakes. But it was interesting to see that the angle they came at it from just curious was there, any leader in particular that that you were call them sort of like there's a lot of talk, and I'm very defensive of him when people bring up. Churchill, and and they kind of forget that he was alive in a leader during a different time. And and I'm big defender of his was there any distributors that you recall, the two that they were hardest on that we'd probably differed with Walt Disney and then Robert Ely. And Robert E Lee, you know, the Charlottesville stuff because I'd gone up on the heroic idea, and then they grown up more recently. But then the the Walt Disney part was interesting 'cause I'd also going up in an era. When Walt Disney on wall was so well known and they as they studied him they look at his management failings and whatnot. So they came at it much more critically. It was interesting. That's so interesting. So, you know, it's in my experiences, I've been very lucky to interview and speak with and sometimes even get to know leaders in in very different capacities, professional athletes, president United States CEOs to to the people that we don't necessarily think of as leaders, but one consistency that I've found is. They instinctively are curious and listen, very well. And I can't the number of times I've been speaking with someone who I admire. Fire and I'm asking them questions, and then inevitably find myself answering questions of Thursday's happens a lot, and you almost just pretty much said that with what you were taking away from the three younger people that that you were working with has there been something you've taken away from meeting different high profile in quote, unquote, kind of important people and have noticed any any kind of similarity as it pertains to listening to great one. I guess. They really listen. If you ever you've been in conversation with somebody in the last few bunch of questions, and then either they're looking over your shoulder, or there is sort of glazed over when you're you're responding, and you realize that it was more of a gesture Thani an interactive on the other hand, I once had launched with with a group of people with Bill Gates, and he's different kind of guy was I felt like he hooked up a cable to my brain and tried to suck everything out. And as soon as he had gotten it was like, okay, got it. Thanks, but it, but it was mazing. He he asked probing questions. He he listened intently and the people like that that I'm around that are really curious. It's the same thing you've experienced now that doesn't make them. You know, I found a lot of people who are effective leaders. Don't listen. Yeah. But it doesn't make him. Good people. I see right, right. Speaking. You were talking about Walt Disney, your childhood and correct me if I'm wrong, but I as I recall in your in your book, and you've talked about it. Elsewhere at a ten years old, your father leaves for Vietnam is up sat. Right that correct. Now what you know, something that that re re talk about a lot on this show. And I think it's something that society at large is discussed as this this balance of what what makes us who we are combination of genetics the environment regrowed up in I I don't mean to play therapist here. But what do you what impact other than the impact may have had on on what you wanted to do with your life in terms of going into the military? What impact did it have for you as a young guy? My father traveled a lot. When I was a kid. I think it had a lot of made a difference my life. What what? What impacted that have on on you as a young boy? Yeah. I think. A great believer. That your experiences in the people who are examples in front of you. Whether they're intentional examples are not have the biggest impact on you. My father was a very quiet guy. He was very self effacing. But he was a very successful soldier. So on the one hand, I I was never had come out with him. But I knew about it. I read about it. I saw the the awards in the whatnot. He got for that. So I started with the assumption that it was a very good combat soldier like the kind you see in the movies. But at the same time, I saw this guy was very courteous gentleman, and he was not a braggadocious person or or pushy. And so those two things sort of connected for me as you start to say, okay. How do you? What's the right way to conduct yourself, and you start to I think a lot of people wanna be their father is. Certainly get into the day died. I think that has a big impact. And do you recall what it was like when he was gone and your with your siblings, and your mother what was that? If you could if you if you wouldn't mind speaking a little bit to what that what that was like as a family because it's in a lot of ways rethink of you know, you are they listen, your general Stanley mcchrystal. I mean, you are one of the world's leading thinkers yet you like so many other of us were sitting there, maybe at a dinner table ten years old with with a dad who has gone and a mom trying to trying to hold down the house. If I have it. Right. Would that? Exactly. Right. It just to put it in perspective. They were six kids, and my mom and my dad he went in the summer, sixty five is the first thing. I remember the at Phnom war was really just ramping up at that particular point. I didn't have a huge. Appreciation for for that particular war. But I watched a lot of war movies. And also, I was able to extrapolate I remember without making this too long. My dad had to go to a course before we went to before he went to Vietnam. So we drove down from outside Washington DC through Chattanooga, Tennessee, where my mother had grown up down to forbidding Georgia. So my dad could go to this course. And in route my mother has an appendicitis so got this. Station wagon a Chevrolet BelAir station wagon to parents six kids put in their two of them. Very young one of them's a baby. And before we arrive at Chattanooga. My mother hasn't appendicitis emphasize has to mmediately be putting off spittle all the kids are then farmed out for the next three weeks to relatives. So my dad could go to the course, and my mom could come less, and then we came back together. And I remember I dreaded my father leaving almost like it was the end of the world so much. So that one night I was staying at some relatives house, and my parents were a few blocks away at another relative's house, and I got up in the middle of the night left the room. I was left the house and walked those blocks to my the other relatives house because I knew my father was about to leave. And I was just desperate for him. Not to leave without me seeing. You see an spending as much time as I could with him. And then. The entire time. He was gone. I remember literally everyday thinking if I could have one wish granted in life. It would be my dad to come home. And you know, it's funny because there were six kids it wasn't like he was my best friend, and we hung out together. All the time. But there was something in my life about it. And I remember my mom. She was really strong lady as a person, but that's tough that's tough going and to to keep six kids together to worry about your husband in combat all that at the same time is is a tall order nowadays when I see young wives 'cause my mom was forty years old when that happened. Now, I see young soldiers with a spouse is nineteen and her husband or or wife is gone. I've just you know, I'm sure of amazed by what they're able to do how they hold it together in later years. Did you ever talk to your dad about that the impact he had on on us specifically during those times you were gone? He was gone. Yeah. Very much. So and I remember talking about my dad, you know, how he thought about it because nearly individually or the his first year Vietnam, he been of a tank commander. They made him a temporary brigade commander the next level up and. He did it for about three weeks, and then he came home. And at the time, I didn't think much about it. But what had happened was general depuis division commander had made him agape brigade commander and asked him to extend for another six months or year, and you know, for his career that would have been amazing. That would have been literally the best thing he could possibly do. And yet my dad I asked my dad. Well, why didn't you do it? And he said 'cause I had a wife and six kids back here, you know, vicious where my responsibility lay and he made a very conscious career trade-off during that period. And that was that was instructive. The other day. I turned on this old digital video camera. I hit play and after a few seconds. I knew it was it. It was what I've been trying to find it was old footage of my grandmother and grandfather from about twenty years ago. My guess is I was I don't know twelve years old I interviewed both of them just to I don't know. Maybe show my kids one day just to have. But then I came upon another tape, which I didn't even know existed. I didn't remember it. Anyway, my grandparents were in their small car driving. I was in the front seat next to Granddad nanna in the back. I must have been staying the weekend with them. I'm not really sure. But because I filmed everything since I was a young kid. I was doing exactly that filming the three of us in the car nana's still alive doing quite well, but grandad passed away about ten years ago. He was always a hero of mine. He was an inventor he invented the modern day floor. Some light bulb invented into glow on your. Watch. He was endlessly curious and incredibly humble he worked for GE. So whether he came up with a billion dollar invention, some pretty sure he did or nothing. He was always making your average salary and live the life you'd always dreamed of in Schenectady New York now nanna is quite the talker. So during most of this car ride, she was talking and talking God lover, but my camera was on Granddad, I was filming him just driving. But Granddad was talking in his own way. He was driving by certain places, and I was realizing this while watching without telling me he was letting me know what to film rather than going straight to their house. We stop by this big brick wall near you're the school. My mom went to where he would endlessly practice has tennis shot. He was big on practice. Always practicing trying to perfectly put the tennis ball in this square box. He had set up with masking tape for years hours on end. He would do this. I got a good shot of it. Then he passed by this scream place that he and I like to go to get a shot of that. He was saying without having to say a word while nanna was talking. I kept the camera on Granddad and where he was kind of quietly taking us because of legacy box. I had the rare opportunity to watch this the other night this home video from twenty years ago. I'll be able to show to nanna who I know will love every second of it. And that's what home videos, do they put you in that time place and capture moments said, our memory doesn't necessarily recall if I had a journal from that day wouldn't have written about this car ride. This isn't a story I've told through the years, I didn't even remember it home videos capture not just the moments refer yet. But the essence of those moments legacy boxes a chance to save your family films and photos from being lost forever. If you aren't able to play recordings from a VHS tape or anything along those lines. This is a chance to bring loss memories back to life. You send your legacy box filled with old home, movies and pictures, and they'll do the rest professionally digitizing your moment's onto a thumb drive or digital download DVD, whatever works. There's never been a better time to digitally, preserve your memories. Visit legacy box dot com today to get started. Plus for a limited time, they're offering my listeners, an exclusive discount. Go to legacy box dot com slash W. R H to get forty percents off your first order. Go to legacy box dot com slash W. R H and save forty percent today. Get started preserving your past. General, you know, one thing that that please call me, STAN. Oh, okay. We'll do. Call me. Call me by my friends. Call me jank's, which is my last name so car fake Tolmie jank's. So STAN I I did a did a documentary a while back now on remember Bobby Valentine, the baseball manager, of course. So he was in Japan. I don't know if you know this he was in. He after coaching the Mets he went to Japan coached team there. And as you probably know baseball's the number one sport in Japan and his team won the Japan Series. And so he was the first American to ever manage a team that won the Japan Series. And he in turn became a Demi God, there's a beer named after a burger named after a streets named after him shrines literally and literal the anyway until I lived there for nine months. With him and filmed, I realized that he didn't become a Demi God just because he won a Japan Series. But because the moment he arrived there. He studied the language she ate the food. He made sure to let everyone know from very sincere place that he respected the culture and wanted to understand it what kind of role does that play in your line of work, particularly during your time in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah. Much more than we have actually let it I think of what Douglas McArthur did when he got to Japan in nineteen forty five. Now, he did or the language. He didn't come close to the Japanese culture. But when he did was he played a part. You know was when the the emperor stepping down and Douglas MacArthur played the part almost as a sure get emperor figure and yet he instituted a lot of good. Forms for the Japanese people. So they they really respected him. Now. What I found when we went to Iraq and Afghanistan is although Americans are big hearted and will intentioned. We don't learn the language often. We have this tendency to keep it arm's length from a culture and to not make the kind of efforts to not be curious as as we talked about earlier as we ought to be. And so it's a consequence the people were trying to deal with they sense that, you know, if you're if you're not willing to try to empathize in what I mean by that is trying to put yourself on the other side of the table and see how they see things then people know that no matter what you may be doing for their country. You're not really respecting them to the degree. And if you've ever been in a conversation. Relationship with someone and you either sensor know that they don't really respect you. I I don't know about you. But I oughta manically resented, I automatically don't like them in return. Right, right. That's I think it's just incredibly important one interesting really surprising fact that I've learned is on a from an episode that that we worked on earlier in the in our season. It was about general Custer. And and this native American buffalo calf road woman who may have been there at Custer's last stand and played a role in him dying. And I what I what I didn't know was the rate at which native Americans serve in the military. And from what I understand. And and and I've I've fact check this, but you would know better than I. From what I understand now. And historically, speaking native Americans proportionally sign up for the military at a higher rate than anyone else. And I was wondering what what you make of that. And if if yeah, I I guess I'm I'm trying to complicate this yet. What what what do you make of that? Yeah. And and I don't have the numbers is I can't confirm or deny that. But my sense is that that's true. If when I think of that, I think of responsibility. You know, the native Americans were tribal society and win a tribe went to war. There wasn't a chief in the way. We think of it. You know, you didn't have an autocratic chief told everybody what to do. In fact, there was an awful lot of individual decision making, but also sense of individual or collective responsibility. So I think what you're seeing is as native Americans think of themselves not as natives but have a, but as Americans and when they see America has a requirement there. There's just this natural reflexive reaction of of course, we have this threat or we have this requirement. So they are going to step up, and and do it and the the native Americans that I've served with. I remember operation sergeant major in the ranger regiment was Lakota Sioux and just amazing guy. But but I think they bring a set of values. That would be really positive in American society. Regards. You know, if if America thought of itself, not as a set of tribes, but is one big tribe and America thought of itself with a collective responsibility for each other. Then I think that kind of reflexive standing up and maybe not just from military service. But brother things would be even more common than it is. Stan, I know a lot of people are talking these days. It's almost a buzzword, which is storytelling and the value of of making a point and giving information vis-a-vis a story in kind of the world you live in an especially as a pertains to the military is is that as a -ffective as sort of lining up the the facts of of the situation. I don't know if I asked that exactly how I was. I was thinking, but let me is storytelling something that that you focus on when trying to make a point. I do and I do it more every year of my life because I realized that's the way I receive ideas if you think about our. History. I'm glad you said that STAN because I thought my question was terrible. And you totally pick me up on that. So I tell you it would forfeit Jane. Think about it. What motivates us we hear the story of valley? Forge we hear the story of the Alamo. We hear the story of Susan b Anthony. And you know, it's one thing if somebody gives you the numbers they say, this was the voting numbers. This was this. Okay. That's all important data. But the real story that resonates. The people has to be something we can get our arms around. We we've got to be able to. To make it understandable enough digestible enough that then there's a point to it. And we can draw conclusion. Now, the danger of this is mythology. The danger is that our stories become divergent from fact to the point where we start to believe mythology, and we simplify things to the point where we say, this is why this is, but, but what do we remember we remember the stories we remember the personalities of the stories, and and so I think what we've gotta do in in our society. And in America today is we've got the decide the stories that define us. And we've got to make sure we share common stories. We've gotta make sure that we have set a common set of stories that we all can go back to as sort of a mooring point for our values. Such such a great way to put it STAN. I mean, I mean kind of along those lines something that I think a lot about is elementary middle and high school, and how how it feels in this this to be clear as an opinion that education these days, especially at those ages is still based on this kind of shoe Christian. You know, British old old way of teaching. And you know, I I read about how you were in school reading books in the library posted doing math, which which I can relate to. But these days information is everywhere and a lot of ways what's going on in the last couple of years here. I think maybe a history will we'll see isn't that surprising because you know, for a decade or so we were we were trying to understand all this information rethought. It was really interesting. And then slowly it was. Is being manipulated? And we've never just experienced having so much and for me, again, just an opinion. I would think and I don't think it's happening schools should be teaching if nothing else maybe other than you know, put history. I but how to digest information how to process information? And then how to go about talking about information? I mean, I think they could spend all of middle and high school just doing that. And that's that's the first step. How do you think information in the world that we live in today should be taught to younger people, and I'm talking pre-college? Yeah. There are certain obvious skills. You have to teach them, you know, basic bath in writing. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. I don't mean to suggest that obviously those are integral. But sorry, STAN gut. But but but you're right, Jake. I think you have to have a narrative of there's gotta be something that pull things together, you know, because that's the way our minds work. We wrote this book leaders over the last year and a half. And we wanted to write a book about leadership and we wanted to to get into some serious concepts. But to do it we told the story of thirteen leaders because that's the way all of us could think then we processed then we've got the sort of be honest about that those stories are never exactly accurate. You know, just a short story. I we were doing a big operation in Afghanistan. And when I was commanding our special operations forces, and we had a very senior officer. We. Had to brief to get his approval. And so we would give these normal military briefings to him, and he was sort of a Kerma generally like older guy. And he we just couldn't connect with it. And then I had one of my officers seal senior seal who he went to brief his part. And he basically started he goes, sir. Let me tell you a story, and it was almost like he began with it's a dark and stormy night. And he told his story with a voice in the movement, his hands, and he told how the battle was going to go or we were proposing that we were going to do this and the senior officer resonated, so well with that that suddenly we get approval for the operation, and it was funny because then the next two times we had to get approval we had that same guy brief and he would use the same technique. But but it was it was instructed to me because that is what I listened to if. If if somebody is giving me a bunch of facts, and then they suddenly say, let me tell you how this connection this is happening. And it's a it's a narrative, then suddenly my mind grabs it, and so I think that we need to teach people to communicate that way. But as you said, we also t to teach people to put a filter on because a really good storyteller can tell a story that takes you way, off course. And and if they tell the story with enough enthusiasm, and they repeated enough, and it's got just enough of what you want to believe the danger is we didn't believe that. Which is unbelievable right? Excite laso. So we'll put. Imagine a case like this a double murder trial, a high profile media circus, a famous celebrity accused of the crime, and then a not guilty verdict. Now, imagine eight years later what happens when there's a new murder with the same celebrity suspect. An a second chance to get Justice. Did he do it again? And this time can she prove it from the mind of executive producer? Marcia Clark comes a new murder mystery only she could tell it's about what goes on outside the court and beyond the TV cameras. It's about the battle fought in the public eye, and what really goes on behind the scenes, and no one knows that better than Marcia Clark by the end of the ten episodes. You'll know the truth, but they'll keep you guessing until the very last minute the fix. A ten episode event. Premiering Monday, March eighteenth on ABC. But don't say so myself stand you're a pretty funny guy. How do you? How do you go about using humor in tough situations and finding that right balance? Yeah. That's I mean, I tried to. And I also love to be around people who do that. First thing is intense situation. It can it can cut down the tension right away. You're scared you're worried and the person with the the frame of mind and presence of mind to tell a joke can can make everybody said feel better. I also think that it allows you to become more human and you become in the military. And as you go up in rank you wear your rank on your clothing. I mean, everybody sees your rank before they see you. Right. So they and so sometimes the ability to tell self deprecating jokes when you're very senior. And that sort of thing in suddenly reminds them that, you know, under those close your naked just like they are. And it creates some kind of connection with people that is necessary for real communique. Nation. Now, the problem with different cultures is a lot of humor is very cultural oriented. All right. So you have to be able to find things that can cross over ages or or backgrounds or religions that are still funny to everybody. So you got you gotta have a few Goto. Jackie broad co twos. On the other end of the spectrum were only got a few minutes here, incredibly great gracious of your time, this this may be too personal. But we talk a lot and we've talked about on this show PTSD returning soldiers. I think one very tangible way for for people to to relate to what that even means is an may sound cliche, but our our nightmares. And I'm curious if if you have nightmares that are that you could speak to in a result of all of your experiences. Yeah. I do. I don't know that there that I can attribute them to war a new let me sorry stand. Let me take that back. I mean, they don't have to trip. Maybe we don't need attribute him to war. Yeah. No. I I think a lot of people do I have. And I talked to my wife about this. I this recurring dream where I am involved in something. And I haven't. Done the preparation or the work. Sometimes I'm in a course in like a college or something and I'm three quarters of the way through the year. I haven't done any of the papers. I haven't taken the test. And I suddenly realized I just haven't done what I was supposed to do. And therefore, I'm gonna position where it's impossible for me to do what I have to do, and I feel extraordinarily helpless, and then another one I have is I I've got to do something. And it's usually something physical. I've got a walking distance or Klein something, and I cannot control my body to get it to do either. My body is moving in slow motion or online there, and I can't move my extremities. And I'm literally, you know, I have this incredible will to do something in no capability to get it done. I'm not sure where they come from. They come off enough that I'm starting to wonder if you know. There's not some reason to it. When it happens I wake up, and I'm I'm bothered. I'm not frightened. I'm bothered. And I try to think if there's something in my life that is true given. And sometimes I think there is sometimes I think there isn't obviously it's guessing, but what are some of when when opining I suppose what what has come to mind. Yeah. There were things that they've come out of your control sometimes. And I'm guessing that in both of these cases sort of the the common factory is I'm at a point where suddenly, I'm helpless. I'm unable to to get the work done because I'm so far behind her several or I'm physically unable to do something. And I've been in places before if places in my career when my military career ended or or where decisions were going where I had no ability to influence the outcome. And yet I was going to be impacted a lot by outcome. And I think about you know, how anybody who's in life who loses the ability the agency to to take care of themselves, or to do those things that they feel like they ought to do just what that sense of helplessness feels like, and that's pretty frightening. You. You know, I think about what it would like to be suddenly out of work. Or to be suddenly, and I couldn't take care of my family or suddenly physically debilitated, and I couldn't do something. Or you know, you name it. We all have these responsibilities or expectations. We put on ourselves vis-a-vis, our responsibility to others or to our nation or just very basic. And when you can't do those, you know, how do you feel and then, you know, in my more thoughtful moments, I extrapolate that to others, and I say people who are not as fortunate as I am suddenly find themselves in a position for which they had no responsibility. It just they are there. They are homeless. They are you name it, and they can't do anything about it. And and just that's to me. Maybe the most frightening feeling of all that was so fast. Hitting my last question here what component of your life? Do you think it is is most unexpected or people find find surprising when you know, I don't know you're at dinner with some folks, or or you're you're talking to a group of people that they always seem most surprised by. Yeah. That's an interesting question. You know people. Always you know, I've got these two granddaughters. Live next door to me and they're four and two and they're kind of center of my life. I never saw that coming man. I had a son love my son, very close to him. But I I'm really entrenched by my granddaughters and being around him. And and I I sorta didn't see that coming and people say, you know, Harvard no soldier. I don't think it's that uncommon to have that feeling. I think the thing that that people sometimes remark on his I'm a little bit more progressive in my thinking, you know, both politically and socially than than people expect that I am I think I always have been the people tend to thank, you know, retired general, you know, going to be somewhere to the right of Gingas Kahn. And people come to be the time. They just say that. And I say, no, actually, I think about that. And they go really, right? I don't know if they're impressed or disgusted, but this kind of. Well, you're a registered democrat. Right. I mean, that's not. That's public information. Right or no, my slow I'm registered at an independent. But you know, I mean, you know, I've been leading to the democratic several life will stand it's hard to articulate. But but thank you so much for your service really am incredibly grateful if nothing else for for your time here today. Well, I appreciate your time. Jason and the thoughtful conversation, I enjoyed it tremendously. All right. Well, thanks again. And have a great day you too. So those it for this week's episode next week we have sukey Kim who wrote an incredible book about being undercover in North Korea. If you like the show please rate in review on apple podcasts. If you don't like the show totally totally don't have to or you can reach me on Instagram Twitter Facebook at Andrew Jenks.

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Protests Flare Around the Globe, U.S. House Votes, and More

The World Next Week

31:18 min | 11 months ago

Protests Flare Around the Globe, U.S. House Votes, and More

"Now in the coming week protests intensify in Lebanon and Chile and the US House of Representatives votes on rules corning peach me inquiry. It's Tober thirty first. Two Thousand Nineteen in time for the world next week I'm Bob McMahon and I'm Jim Linzie Bob earlier this month. The government in Lebanon proposed taxing. The what's HAPP. Message Service rather than raising revenue. The proposal has raised a ruckus. Protesters hit the streets. Their demands demands quickly morphed into a call for the overthrow of the country's ruling political class. Protesters got part of their wish. This past Tuesday when Saad Hariri resigned as Lebanon's Prime Minister he tells a bit more about the protests in where they might be headed. Sure Jim I. It's worth saying that. This is not isolated isolated protests in the Middle East or in the world they are happening everywhere and there are all sorts of reasons there seems to be a through line through many of them. Which is the problems emanating from flagrant inequality? Some of that is definitely the case in Lebanon. It's a it's a Resentment against the so-called elites in the way they have been mismanaging the country country and in Lebanon. It's particularly interesting. Because of the incredible mix diversity of religious faiths ethnicities and so forth that makes up Lebanon and lemony society which is also one of the more curious and interesting democracies to follow in the Middle East. There was one account I read. They kind of laid out the scope of problems that the Lebanese are facing. And why this what's APP tax disorder was the last Straw by the way the tax. I would imagine something like six dollars a month so that amount was enough to sort of tip people over the edge to show. Oh these incredible scenes in especially in Beirut the large crowds There was one report. I I read On the region saying eliminates people face crushers and include very high unemployment increasing public debt crumbling infrastructure stagflation. There's a term from the US nineteen seventies a growing currency crisis environmental catastrophe and the burden of hosting about one and a a half million Syrian refugees and by the way that's roughly twenty percent of the country's population if you do the math so all of this has ended up to these These demonstrations which sort of span different religious sects and clans and so forth and lead have led to Mr Hariri stepping down. What's interesting though is at the end of the day? When all is said and done you could still have a government led by Mr Hariri emerging from this crisis? How does that happen Bob? It's because of the very sort of delicate balancing act among the ruling powers in Lebanon. And let's be clear they're you're not gonNA step down and open the door for the public to step in and seize the reins of power because they represent different factions of society. So you have. The the Shiite related parties season and movements that are represented also include by the way Hezbollah which is Iran affiliated both militant movement but also increasingly political movement. I'm you have have Christians who are a minority but have become powerbrokers. Unusually Christian serves as the president of limit on you have Sunnis and then within them you have multiple clans and and so forth Hariri. He is a a Sunni he's been balancing between Saudi and Iranian pressures. In part he comes from a family that has was extremely powerful His Father Rafic Hariri. One of the wealthiest in in the country for years was assassinated in a bomb attack that a u n tribunal has pegged to some Hezbollah officials but he has been trying to balance the powers. They're basically basically went on went on the national media. And just said I am unable to continue on in this capacity. And he's trying to work with various powerbrokers to set up. What people are calling for which is a technocratic technocratic government basically some sort of a group that can come in with a skill set? That will help engineer. The country through its its fit of problems without getting swayed by all the different special interests. That's a lot easier said than done. Yes going to say Bob. How do you make that happen? Given as you point out you have very strong religious communities that that have historically struggled and fought each other for control of power control of the economy. Those divisions aren't going to go away at the same time as you point out upped. Lebanon is suffering from the consequences of spillover from the Syrian civil war. And we're in a time in which the overall global economy seems to be slowing slowing down. That seems to be a lot of strikes against this technocratic government if even comes to fruition. Now that's right. Jim and one possible scenario. Is that a a couple of leaders. Emerged from representing different backgrounds in the country who have enough sway and who have the will to go ahead and and try to afford such a coalition but in this sort of a a deal. Somebody's interest would be trampled on and so on. And so let's think back to I mentioned Rafic Hariri for example. One of his big initiatives was to lessen lessen the Syrian influence on on Lebanon. Many will say he paid for it with his life. In terms of he he was strong. He had a lot of sway. He ended up having an amount out of independence. That seem threatening to outside Powers Almond if you follow the UN inquiry into his killing. That seems to be what happened so at looking at this so far the protests in Lebanon in have been peaceful we saw in the last twenty four hours. Some violence are there concerns that that violence is going to ramp up in shoe will be looking four potential outside meddling in Lebanon's politics as you know Bob and there's a long history of Neighbors and other powers middling in Lebanon. Yes indeed I mean I. I mentioned the Saudi Iran. Influence Hariri famously was stopped in. Saudi Arabia was said to have resigned their under Saudi pressure before emerging and taking up his his his business back in in Lebanon he has been as I said balancing influences from Hezbollah as well even know Hezbollah figures have been linked to his father's killing but it's interesting. You had the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah within the past week saying he was against the resignation of the cabinet. But you know at the end of the day as I said this is society that at first of all it's showing remarkable sort of civic control and for country built across so many different influences in religious disciplines and so forth it is showing a the peaceful nature that is for example missing in nearby Iraq where protests have been the bloodiest among all the protests. Going on right now but part of this has been the control of security services. Their unwillingness to use live ammunition on demonstrators and so forth. There has been concern that some of the chance that have turned against let's say Hezbollah and outside influences namely Iran could spark a Hezbollah which has a very potent armed affiliate could come in and sort of crackdown and then you'd start to see all sorts of sectarian violence. Lebanon look back at its history. The past forty years a really bloody awful civil war and then different spurts of violence have occurred as well. And it's again back to original point Jim at forging the kind of government that that would need to be taking on. These reforms is really difficult. The last time the factions tried to form a new cabinet The one report mentioned the process lasted nine months. That's not encouraging. But as you noted that the top of discussion Lebanon is not the only place we're seeing outbreak of protests. So let's go somewhere else. Where protests have made the news this week week in that is Chile there? The protests erupted over. What was roughly a nickel increase in the fare for public transportation but unlike in Lebanon I've been on? The Chilean protests had been chaotic in violence. And we've seen looting of stores and supermarkets something on the order of twenty. Two subway stations have been set on fire and at last count at least nineteen people have died. Indeed things have gotten so bad in Chile which is usually seen as a model of success success in Latin America that the country center right President Sparse Dion Pieta declared a state of emergency and has announced. That Chile is not going to host the APEC forum in the so-called Cop twenty-five Environmental Summit. So can you fill us in. And what's happening in Chile up. Sure Jim I. It's worth mentioning that this one wouldn't. I probably has the most surprising of all the demonstrations that are going on around the world. Partly because as you said Jim. Chile has been seen for many years as Paragon of democratic craft development in sort of a balancing of open market with With Democratic Freedoms SORTA leader on the world stage in these areas. It's president is the chief U.. And human rights official and yet. It's really actually a veneer as we're finding out one of the things that's come out in the reporting about how this is happening in Chile is that it is among the most unequal countries Under the Organization for canonic cooperation development the CD and again this this fair this relatively minor fair and as we saw the tax proposal in Lebanon this proposed fare increase. crease was the last straw and just triggered this just outrage. I think and it's really spilled over into whole host of issues. That Chilean Society is upset about. I mean when you've already had actually the reversal of the subway. Fare increase You've had the elimination of the propose increase in electricity charge. Or actually I think the increases already underway. You've had the government of Sebastian Pinera increasing minimum wages things like pension benefits raising taxes on the wealthy. He's there's been a major reshuffling cabinet hasn't seem to have much influence. In fact after all those steps he had to come out and announce the cancellation of these two really high profile and very prestige building events in Chile because of the concern about not really knowing where things are going to be going in the country. So it's a place where there's going to have to be again potentially like Lebanon There's a sense that there are deep-seated reforms that have to take place and then have to the move beyond the current sort of political calculus. The president of self is a billionaire in that is seen I think as as sort of feeding sort of the outrage and frustration about inequality in the country and so political parties. Potentially there's going to have to be some sort of deep seated sort of dialogue that gets underway. That talks about what needs to change in Chilean society is is eh things like basic issues like providing affordable healthcare and education sustainable pension all the things that a lot of democracy struggle with frankly and certainly United States the debate so many of these issues frequently. And it's playing out to some extent on the the. US political campaign underway right now but for Chile with the the inequality being so sharp taken there are stakeholders people who have high stakes in sort of the status quo. Who will push against that and the question is whether Pinera himself has an heft to to be able to change it in meaningful for ways in incredible ways so that this anger that is festering and continuing will subside? I would imagine Bob that one big question would be can pineyro make the kinds of political changes needed in a high framer times ban that is going to satisfy the public mood. Just sort of looking at the protest from the outside. Clearly people are angry. They want change now the list of issues. You pointed to our issues that aren't going to be solved it overnight and even if you announce a new tax plant it's going to take a while for the benefits of that plan to manifest themselves so uh I guess the question is are we. Seeing the potential for prolonged divisions in Chile and real threats to Chilean democracy. I think the the answer is Potentially yes as again as surprising as that sounds given the stature. This Chile has had in the region and again as in the Middle East. We have a region in which there are protests protests spilling out. All over the place. You just had another major democracy in an economy with a change election in Argentina where you had populace elected to power promising going to turn around an economic program that was seen as not serving people but fears. They are being. That country's GONNA become even more in debt and more sort of indebted to populist sloganeering of you have protests in Ecuador and Bolivia some of this is also based on the model of I forgot to mention the sort of the commodities dependency of the economies throughout out the region. So are they going to be able to rebalance their economies in ways that make changes things like copper prices which is really important for countries like Chile. Make them less important. It seems to be all the recipe for you know continuing these protests. And will they have any time to create some sort of clear dialogue on things like constitutional changes. I don't know. Ah I think you've put your finger on a big factor certainly in Chile in a number of other countries that is the dependency upon selling commodities and during boom sometimes commodity prices. Go Up and you have a growing pie so even if you have inequality everybody's better off today than they were yesterday. Politics tends to be a lot more manageable but in a situation that we have now with a lot of commodity prices having fallen in essence going from a boom to bust problems that you might have been able to manage before all of the sudden become very very visible in its politically difficult to handle them in part because the economic conditions are not favorable to making the kind of changes. You're seeing the positive benefits that changes take place quickly but one thing I want to actually ask you about is the consequences of the Chilean protests for International Summitry. As I mentioned in asking the question question. President Pinera has announced two weeks ahead of the APEC summit meeting and the Cop twenty-five Environmental Summit that Santiago is not GonNa host either of them so where does that go is the APEC summit off. Are we going to reconvene in neighboring Brazil. Any sort of clarity on what's going to happen on the summit front. I have not seen the recent reports since that announcement that says with any sort of clarity you know wear. This might be happening I've seen some tweets by president trump. WHO's concerned about the building not the US in China to to announce some sort of phase one trade deal? Prison trump is tweeting that they're zeroing in on a on a Alternate locale to be able to to do that by the way. Those talks talks themselves are subject of a lot of question marks right now however this is reverberating throughout the Pacific. Rim Right. It's APEC. It's you're seeing media reports from faraway Singapore expressing concern concern about what's going on here. I am not sure yet where an alternative venue might be. And if you look in South America there's a great many countries Dealing with their own domestic firm at the moment Jim so it's not clear at all it's going to stay in the in the hemisphere and as for the climate talks as well as the UN has many venues that it can. It can find. I think there you might end up being something like a venue like Geneva might end up you know stepping in In place of Santiago for them to be able to review what they call the COP twenty five which in this case would be A conference reviewing the Paris climate agreement and where things stand there it follows though we should note a period of a great deal of attention on climate issues at the United Nations. In general assembly. Kickoff in Just last month Jim and the figure of Greta Thune Berg of Sweden teenager and a lot of other people movements talking about public protests people movements in Vaber of doing something about reining in emissions seen as contributing to climate change so two very important summits involving issues like trade and climate which Have a great deal to do with the global health. Jim In and it's a little bit unsure where they're going to take place Y- I would imagine that even if they salvage any parts of either of these two meetings they're gonNA be scaled way way back because these summits take months and months of detail planning you have the whole issue of security operations. Getting schedules was coordinating schedules. Having hotels space all of the boring things that go into putting on a big summit and it's virtually impossible to reconstitute. Shoot that in this space of a couple of weeks. Good point and you could. You know it'd be interesting to see whether a group like APEC decides to switch. Its agenda a little bit to dress. The very issue that caused the disruption of the the summit in Chile in terms of issues of cost of living in global inequality and so forth certainly would be very interesting. Well Jim I WANNA take the conversation back to Washington and although I'd like it to be about the Washington nationals who just won the world series. Congratulations nationals in their fans. And I couldn't even find some international Elements as well. But I'm going to. I'm going to resist the temptation Jim. There's something else even and bigger going on Washington and that is a movement by the speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on the rules. That will govern the impeachment inquiry of President. Trump Jim EPA will take place likely half an hour within finishing the taping of this podcast. We are going to speak in terms of a few assumptions. Let's say in some other longer term issues to put some in context around this issue so jim talk about the significance of this vote as it moves forward. Certainly Bob and I think your question Senate at properly. This is not a vote to authorize any impeachment inquiry it is a vote on a resolution that sets out the terms for how the House is going to conduct its inquiry in in its public face so it deals with issues like what the rules are governing the public hearings it designates the intelligence committee will take the lead on those hearings. thaddeus will appear report that will then go to the judiciary committee other things like the release of the transcription the depositions that had been held over the last few few weeks in private variety of other issues. Now the immediate impact of this vote and again the looks pretty clear that it's going to pass. Yes I will note that two hundred twenty eight. Democrats are already on record. Favoring impeachment inquiry just two hundred eighteen votes for a resolution. This'll be history party line. Vote we expect but I wouldn't anticipate this'll be a vote along straight party lines. Republicans have been arguing all along that the the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate because there hasn't been a vote to authorize the impeachment now again. This is not technically a vote to authorize impeachment but to to set the rules of the road for impeachment inquiry. But even having this vote. I don't think it's going to change Republican attitudes toward the underlying issue of impeachment Peach Mint of the president likewise again assuming this resolution passes it's not likely to change the White House. Behavior never noticed an an a number of occasions. The White House has said it's not going to cooperate with Congress or with the House on the impeachment inquiry because there hadn't been a vote but again. I don't think the fact that you're going to get this vote is going to change. What's going to transpire? In terms of the unwillingness of the White House to provide the information. The House is going to demand. I think it's clear given today's vote that a vote on impeachment is inevitable. It's hard to see the Democrats going this far in turning back big questions. Maybe what is the impact. The public hearings are going to be held this month. And I think it's also safe to say that this impeachment inquiry in the hearings that we're about to see are going into further paralyze policy making in Washington right now one of the big issues that we're facing is that come November twenty second the the government will shut down unless Congress and the president agree on a spending plan. It's not clear a going reach agreement against go back to the beginning of the year we he had longest government shutdown because the White House and Capitol Hill. Couldn't come to agreement. If we do get as seems likely vote to impeach the president that would then in kick the issue to the Senate meaning. We're likely to have a trial in the Senate in January again big question as to how long that trial L. May last but obviously be happening just as we begin the formal nominating events for both parties for the twenty twenty presidential election. And Jim could you just quickly recap what central issue is here that the house with all these Witnesses they've been calling this continues. We we may see for national security by the John Bolton appear at some point cording latest reports. Could you talk a little bit about what's at issue as this moves. Forward the core issue here Bob is whether president trump held up. US aid for or Ukraine aid that had been approved by the United States Congress until it was willing to open a political investigation of former vice president. Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. That's what the issue is about. And we've had a stream of witnesses come up to Capitol Hill and based on. What's it's been leaked about that testimony? It certainly seems that a number of the Hebrew who worked for president trump believe. That was the case. We'll find out more when a discussion moves to the Public Format Matt and we have public hearings. But that's really the crux of the matter. The president insists that there was no quid pro quo and he points to the transcript. That at the White House released earlier this month as showing that nothing had happened. What we now know is that transcript was not contrary to what the president said a verbatim transcript? It is a transcript that leaves out or has left out at least some elements of the conversation and that since it was more summery or rough transcript and if forbade him transcript and again to learn a lot more let me go to the public hearing phase of this inquiry. Let's take a break from the intense politics going on in in Washington then and talk about another figure that was making the rounds in Washington that bigger came from our twitter poll of bigger week. Abu Bakar. al-Baghdadi I'm pretty sure why I twitter poll shows him but Jim could you talk a bit more about this figure. Happy to Bob. Obviously Mr Baghdadi was the forty eight year old Iraqi. Who is the head of the Islamic state? He died over the weekend in a US special forces raid in the inlet province in northwestern Syria an isolated compound about four miles from the Turkish boarder as we understand it he killed himself and two of his children by detonating a suicide vest as a US special forces operators were closing on him. And I'll note early reports indicated that three children have been killed for the. US government's your vice that to to the early story and as you know Bob is a former journalist. I early stories can change but the early story is that He was betrayed by subordinate apparently angry at how isis had treated his relatives and this mole apparently fed intelligence to the Syrian Kurds who then pass it intelligence along to their. US call now. Baghdadi's rule was distinguished by his brutality. Which I'm not going to recount? But he also had a unique ability to knit the remnants of what was the old Iraqi army the old Botha's as well Polish religious zealots from as many as one hundred countries into a significant fighting force at the height of the Islamic state's operations in late. Two thousand fourteen. Really two thousand fifteen. It control as much as forty thousand square miles of territory in Iraq in Syria. That's roughly the size of the Commonwealth of Virginia. AH The big question. Many people are asking is will his death. Make a difference in the fight against Islamic extremism. Historical record suggests probably not we've seen the killing of terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden Abu Musab Azocar we in Anwar Al Awlaki and that hasn't diminished the threat. That doesn't mean that the Islamic David is likely to reconstitute itself as a territorial entity. That's probably not going to happen. But it certainly still capable of carrying out terrorist attacks in Syria In Iraq and beyond the Pentagon estimates that there is many as fourteen thousand Islamic state fighters still operating in Iraq in Syria. Yeah and the one big question from the raid is what information were. US Special Forces able to find at the Baghdadi compound compound and those that provide usable intelligence to break other Islamic state networks. Yeah that's going to be fascinating to follow and then it's obviously set off a whole will bunch of other discussions about reinforcing the Intense debate about the role of US forces in Syria and the value them. Being there with Syrian Kurdish allies versus operating more remotely. Now looks like the latest numbers were seeing about the number of US forces on the ground in Syria albeit in a different location is close to what we had seen already. We had seen in close to one thousand the latest reports. Now that nine hundred are gonNA remain many than protecting these oilfields in east. That isis related forces could not benefit from oil revenues. And then of course. It's a question Russian of as our colleague. Bruce Hoffman Israelis whether groups like al Qaeda which is still around comes in and takes advantage of say vacuum in Isis leadership to seize the reins of the the Jihadi Movement once again and caused a lot of problems. Well certainly I think critics of president trump's decision to remove. US support for the Syrian Kurds into talk at least initially about pulling out. US troops from Syria would point to this operation. Say This is why the United States should be in Syria very small all commitment in terms of number of troops but high leverage. That is a big payoff for a relatively small investment and that by walking away from the Kurds. We're going make it harder for ourselves to do these sorts of operations going after terrorists who while they are geographically physically based in in Syria or in Iraq. Pose a threat beyond the region. I think going to see that debate. Continue for quite some time. But what about you Bob. Who are what is your figure? The week so JIM figures number and and I'm GONNA draw it from the same region in a way as we'll see The number is It's actually a vote. Four hundred five to eleven. That was the bipartisan vote. In the US House us on a resolution that recognizes the Armenian genocide this is something that has reportedly and with a good deal validity than reported that it occurred about one hundred years ago. Turkey against ethnic Armenians One point five million. I believe were were killed in this genocide and Turkey has vehemently fought against any sort of recognition of this They do not acknowledged as genocide and point to a whole of developments going on at the time that resulted in some ethnic. Armenian deaths. Suffice it to say that Turkish pushback on this and previous efforts to to vote on such a resolution have been successful but such is the case of the Turkish stature in at least in the house among both Democrats and Republicans that they lost a resounding vote on this. It's a very symbolic vote. There's no sign it's going to come up for a vote in the Senate for example. It's a nonbinding resolution and yet any sort of votes especially by Turkish media ally As is the. US are taking very hard and the response has been very angry. Bob Why have successive. Turkish governments fought the designation of the killing of Armenians as a genocide given that the killings weren't carried out by the government of Turkey but the predecessor Ottoman Empire. It's a really good question. Jim I think it deals with Turkishness in Turkish Kennedy I think potentially resonates with Any Turkish activities that take place up to the present day. Let's say it's Kurds or a large a minority in Turkey. And it's seen as a slight against this sort of Turkish nationhood writ large despite the the actual formal beginnings of the modern Turkish state that they just refuse to acknowledge their is. Just as I said. There's just been a pronounced denial mile to to recognize any sort of campaign like this because they see it as a stain on. Turkish people writ large. Jim How about you. Who are what is your figure that week Bob? My figuring week is a person person and I'm going to go with Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister of Great Britain. He finally got a big win in the House of Commons. But it wasn't a win about pulling the United Kingdom out of the European Union as you know. Today is October thirty first that was supposed to be the deadline for Britain to ditch the EU. Even even though Prime Minister Johnson said he would rather die a ditch than ask for the deadline to be extended. That's exactly what he did in the EU earlier this week. Granted Britney three month breath extension until January thirty first of twenty twenty even so Johnson may still get the last laugh. His big win came when he got the overwhelming backing checking of the House of Commons. To hold a general election on December twelve that six weeks from now you'll be the first December election in Britain in ninety six years and it'll be the fourth time in less than five years and that British voters have gone to the polls now by all accounts this vote is a high stake. Gamble gamble by Johnson. He's hoping he's going to get a majority of Members of Commons elected and committed to his brexit plan people who've been following the Brexit Saga Algemeen. Remember that his predecessor to reason may may the same calculation back in twenty seventeen and it backfired. Big Time honor is the Conservatives or Tories his lost seats again I think people following the news coming out of the United Kingdom will note that this is going to be framed as they should we stay or should we go election. Shen that is now British voters going to vote for sensually Johnson's plan to leave the EU. Or the Labor Party proposal for a second referendum in that referendum as I understand it is going to give voters a choice between leaving with a sensible. Do whatever that means or remaining in the European in Union. But I would caution people that it's more complicated than that and one real question for voters are going to be asking themselves is do they want Jeremy Corbyn then as prime minister in one of the very interesting dynamics in British politics right now is that many of the people who oppose Brexit also oppose seeing Jeremy Corbyn and become prime minister. And all this is going to be complicated by the fact that in Great Britain like in the United States and Canada. It's a first-past-the-post system. What that means is that none of the parties necessarily need to win a majority of the votes in order to win a majority of the seats? So what that means is people should treat national polls in Great Britain quite cautiously. But again we're looking at three potential outcomes. One is that Boris Johnson wins gets US majority in in that case. I think you're going to see Britain. Leave the United Kingdom. You could also see Jeremy Corbyn win and that will give uncertainty. Because you'll have to have the second can referendum and what that referendum actually says and it will be a matter of great contention and it'll take a long time under British law to actually pull it together and then finally there's a possibility only that once again. The British voters disagree among themselves about what to do we end up in essence perpetuating where we currently are so again the Brexit Saga. It really is what seems to be a never ending saga. Yeah I think of the term. Br exhaustion definitely Showing how we're willing to become Jim. I guess we'll circle back in December number in January and take stock. I wouldn't replacing events with the British book in this. Neither would I bought well. That's our look at the world next week. Here's some other stories to keep an eye on the UK hey takes over presidency of the UN Security Council and OSCEOLA leaders. Hold a summit in Bangkok. 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Abu Mashar on Solar Returns, with Benjamin Dykes

The Astrology Podcast

1:52:38 hr | 1 year ago

Abu Mashar on Solar Returns, with Benjamin Dykes

"<hes> <hes> really it's not fully consistent or at least when there's a conflict he seems to go go to cusps and divisions one example of that in this his example is he says the fifth house okay. The v sign would be the normal sign fine. You'd want to pro- fact for perfecting the fifth house but he says what if the cusp is on the sixth sign so you have to signs involved well they also wanted to direct us primary directions with houses and for that you need a degree like a cusp so here's his answer he says pro fact from both the v sign and under the sixth sign because that's where the kospi is and then do primary directions from the cusp okay so do everything to both ukiah you kind of do both with the pro factions you do both signs and you you can figure out pretty quickly that this is not going to work because <hes> suppose the v sign is scorpio but sixth is sagittarius. You're talking about very different planets very different types of signs and when they pro fact they will land different kinds of places every year so it gets to be a mass. It's not consistent but we can see him leaning towards cusps but i think what we also need to say is the fact that he needed to explain this shows that there was no agreed upon answer in those days that it was something people were wrestling with because he has to defend explain like a tradition his drawing on wor projections shinzo by sign and potentially whole sign houses but that how to use them also partially in this other quadrant framework and what happens when that runs into conflict conflict with the sign based framework <hes> yeah and <hes> yeah so so there he needed to explain this which means there there was no agreement <hes> there was a conflict here <hes> between some of the techniques how they worked and what they wanted to do with them and so he was trying to give his answer <hes> because if if everyone was doing quadrant divisions they for everything they wouldn't have to explain anything if so <hes> but there's inconsistencies too because at the same time time that he's that he's trying to combine signs and divisions. You also have to ask well how does he. How do we apply this to the native if we're using quadrant divisions. Let's say to interpret transit's. What are we doing in the nativity. Are we using thing signs or divisions and he he doesn't give a complete answer. Their big blanks to be consistent he would need to fill in the blanks and our blanks in his theory so maybe working some things out working some things out things were in flux at at that time and to me. It's it's an amazing thing to discover because it seems that by the time we get into the middle ages the days of whole sign houses are pretty much over and over in a way that people might not have known there was even a problem right because they didn't have they didn't have these books of abu <unk> that explained that there's a problem right and there's like reasons reasons for that because he said in the introduction by the twelfth and thirteenth century like whole sign houses largely already out the door in it's largely already quadrant houses and that part of the issue is that that you discovered is a <hes> in this latin translation of abacus shower or in the arabic translation he has this whole discussion of this issue issue but then when the arabic text was translated into latin that though specific chapters were not in the latin version they didn't make it into the translations so that the later astrologers of the later medieval period from the twelve th century forward would not be aware that this was like a debate that abba machar was like dealing with and wrestling with breath but then secondarily <hes> you said that when you translated the arabic that he has specific terms that he uses and his terminology is subtly really different when he's talking about whole sign houses or a squadron houses so that if you're reading the arabic it's it it becomes very clear but if you're reading it in the latin translations a lot of that nuance and detailed just drops out of the text right right the <hes> in arabic they had cleared stink tion in vocabulary that shows you they absolutely absolutely knew the difference <hes> and in chart examples they would they would use this vocabulary so when they talk about whole sign houses they called it houses houses by counting or by number because once you know what the rising sign is you can count with your finger so to speak signed by sign so those are houses by counting but for quadrant divisions they call them houses by division. That's one word or or by equation <hes>. I know there's a couple of other <hes> at least one other term so in some chart examples. They'll say well l. <unk>. This planet is in the ninth by counting but it's in the eighth by division and and that only happens when you are trying to combine both systems. We're taking notable systems okay so this is really interesting thing to me because i think it it means it feels like to me then we're back in a situation where i know very early on like twenty years ago rob hand i think in his monograph on whole sign houses and his little short booklet that i think it was like a mountain astrologer article originally speculated that abba machar was the turning point where quadrant the houses seem to take over past that point forward and he seemed speculation at the time that he thought machar was the pivotal figure in terms of influencing that got and and based on this text almost seems like that might be partially the case <hes> partially due to a deliberate some deliberate decisions on apple machar's part word <hes> in sometimes favoring quartering houses when there was a conflict but also perhaps due to some accidents of history as well such as portions of his is discussion not making it into the latin translations or the language getting sort of flattened when it was translated from arabic into latin in some instances. Will you think of <hes>. I mean think of how some of the medieval astrologers might have approached things if they knew there were alternatives some of them might have debated whether he was right or wrong or tried to complete his theory or something like that but they would have known that something was happening instead. They didn't don't know anything was happening. Okay now. I mean that makes persons in terms of why the shift was so sudden then because they could just like drawing on part of this massive book that was like the book on solar revolutions and as far as anybody knew it was all just just largely quadrant houses could be could could be could have played a role certainly yeah sure now i'm now we have to we have to admit <hes> not admit but we have to <hes> <hes> acknowledge that that this whole sign an division issue is a permanent one because in astronomy. It's the fact that the the zodiacal clip dick is oblique from the <hes> celestial equator so signs rise <hes> at different angles and so they're not always going to fall on the expected or associated. Did you know axes and that's an inevitable part of astronomy but that doesn't so that it could be that signs and divisions are used for different reasons <hes> it could be for example that <hes> in horry chart let me just kind of pause propose this they had different specialized terminology for whether a planet was moving towards an axial degree like the m._c. and if it was moving past it they had different terminology and the explicitly associated you did that with things in time how things come to be in time and pass away over time and in horry every charts. We are not generally talking about the whole life. We're talking about something. That's happening right now. In time will it could could be that quadrant divisions are especially appropriate for harari astrology because it has to do with something that's happening right now in time so that divisions do something special by themselves but they especially do it in a branch like harari whereas they don't act in the same way in a natal chart. Let's just some ideas and i'm actually working on on what could be a solution but these are some things to think about and it's it doesn't have to be all one or the other right yeah <hes> <hes> sure i was just thinking response that though about like masha allah and saul and how they're often using whole sign houses in the early part of the harari tradition and so it's a little bit mixed there even in the horry tradition it's mixed but actually <hes> there are passages in the saul all book that show i think an attempt to solve the problem and i'm working on that right now so we'll see what happens but <hes> it but it's good to know that we are not just picking plucking this out of the air and making miss up this is a major astrologer with lots of students famous guy and he is recognizing along with his colleagues that there was the problem and he's trying to solve it yeah and we're just picking up on that issue that was left unresolved or somebody was trying to resolve the issue back in the ninth century now that issue is suddenly come back into the community and astrologers once again wrestling with it in the same way that he was <hes> right on and and maybe with the benefit of hindsight and with access to more texts we can find kind of solution sure so so let's get back to the solar returns and let's get into the specific techniques and let's talk a little bit about some interpretive principles if we can do you think <hes> it's time to jump into that in terms of like how would have a mature or what are some of the rules that we can take from abu shaar about how he might approach a solar return shot in terms terms of some of the basics yeah one <hes> so one of the main principles is that <hes> in order for something from the nativity give it to flow on through into real time is that you want there to be some sort of repetition or reinforcement <hes> happening in the real time technique that that repeats or draws out features of the nativity so this can can happen in a number of ways for example if you have. Let's say you have venus in your natal tenth now. That's something something that is there for all of life but in the solar return if the solar return venus is in the solar return tenth in that chart then we have a repetition we have continuity of meaning between two charts and so you might expect that some of that natal ten ten thousand venus becomes expressed in that year so that could be an example of a repetition and reinforcement okay the rule rule one is like look for repetitions across the natal chart and the soil return chart because if that happens sometimes it's going to accentuate were or dry out those placements that were promised in the birth chart and perhaps mean they're going to be <hes> more prominent in that that specific year <hes> another example is suppose that you <hes> by pro faction. <hes> you have by profession. You have the projection affection. Come to your natal saturn. This is an example he uses so it comes to your natal saturn and let's say you're natal. Saturn is in germany so so that means that saturn the meaning of natal saturn will be activated because the perfectionist telling you this is one of the time lords this year but but as we know from the ancient <hes> rules one of the ways in which planets expression is more consistent is if they can see their own their own house see their own sign so so for example he says if this perfection comes to your navel saturn well the natal saturn will be activated but a lot depends sounds on whether saturn in real time at the solar return is aspect jam ni- because if he can see his natal position than he can sort of actively manage and monitor and modulate that natal meaning meaning and sort of bring it forth whereas if he's an an assigned where he can't see his natal position he's not able to properly properly manage it so something s- attorney and will happen it will be part at least part of the needle meaning but maybe not exactly flee how you six expect or it won't be fully manifested or it will only appear for time and then disappear so so <hes> configuration how solar return planet compares to its natal position that will matter okay so if the solar turn planet is if you've a planet activated as time lord than you next wanna see if that planet in the solar turn chart is aspect ing by a major aspect. It's nato position in the birth chart right <hes> then there's there's other other things that again follow follow general principles. You might have some planet that's activated as a time lord in the nativity. Well in the in the solar return find that planet if it is highly angular. Let's say near the mid heaven of that shows that it's not only a time lord but it's highly stimulated for that year because that's word i it's. It's an stimulated position in the solar return but he says if it's cadence if it's passed the mid heavens so it's become week it might be something like a plan that you have but you never really put the effort to make it happen. It might only be a wish something that you're thinking about but it doesn't fully manifest so it's activated but it kind of stays <hes> at such low level of energy doesn't rise to the level of action and that's what again what is the little if that if that planet is angular moving towards one of the axes he's in the solar return versus being dynamically cayden d- okay so things like whether the whether the time lord in the revolution is in its own dignity or not if it's harmed by a malefic or not all of these things will tell you how well and full way that needle promise can get passed on into real time okay so it's often all a lot of this is just relating relating it back to the natal chart and figuring out whether the solar return positions are accentuating and almost like an ebeling the promise of the a planetary placements in the birth chart or whether they're somehow negating or not supporting or trying to think of the term for that to to rebuff almost the positions or the the promise that the planet wants to signify the birth chart right and you can see this follows directly from the theory of prediction addiction because if you need a real time technique to describe the real conditions of the event you need to compare real time to the ativity and that's exactly what you're doing when you're seeing how the time lord compares to its position in in the revolution okay <hes> and another thing that's really important is the solar return ascendant right yeah the solar return send <unk> first of all it will activate some nato position so if your solar return ascendant is sagittarius darius then you have to see what your natal sagittarius was was at the ninth house eleven pows because it means those topics will be arising this year so <hes> it's one way of activating things in the nativity it also has to do with the person's outlook looking <unk> mood and sense of wellbeing in that year so it's a temporary ascendant for them okay so it's temporary ascendants activating the needle house also activating a needle planets in that sign right and <hes> what about the ruler of that <hes> of the ascendant in the solar solar return chart that given more weight yet planets in the planets. It's in it of course would you'd look i but the lord of that ascendant would show more of what the native is interested in doing and again. You have to compare those charts because the lord of that ascendant is in the solar return earn ninth so that shows an interest. Let's say in travel and foreigners an education well that solar solar return ninth was a natal house again. Let's suppose that the solar return ninth is gemini well gemini occupied occupied natal position suppose it was the natal v that means that the native is interested in travel aval or or something about the natives life has to do with travel. 'cause it's a solar return ninth but because that gemini was the natal v with the children are involved too so this comparison and what's being activated. What's being drawn on. It's it's like back and forth process going back and forth between the two charts and it can get complicated and overwhelming if you if you aren't disciplined with with yeah that's one of the things <hes> with this book that he uses so many different techniques and there's so much going on that there's a potential to get it a little bit overwhelmed just in terms of the number of different angles that he approaches things yeah and in fact <hes> in the in the in the book look on monthly techniques it gets so complicated because he not only have nato things that you are you know a perfecting and during the annual revolution's and the near but you're also casting monthly charts it can be so complicated that at the at the end of the chapter after he gives three quick and dirty methods to kind of get you in the chart real quick look at a few major things and then pull out out before things get too crazy. Okay which i think is really nice because it shows that he was thinking like an astrologer. He wasn't just writing copying down techniques and kind of elaborating on some notion he had ad he knew you had to get into the chart with a client. Get into the essentials so it that's another window into his thought as an astrologer okay <hes> should we talk about that a little bit his monthly <hes> treatment of like monthly techniques yeah okay so so this is mainly dealt with and book nine right yeah a one of the missing books that was missing in the latin version but that's in the arabic arabic version right okay so this is new material yeah it'll be new for everyone except for a few people who have read it in the last thousand years right so anybody that hasn't read it has doesn't read arabic basically and has been reading the arabic arabic tax. So what's the approach. What does he do in order to approach monthly predictions within the course of a year so some of some of he has he has actually seven special indicators so this is where things i've i've outed tables ables that explain each one so that you don't get lost some of these monthly techniques come from the nativity or the solar return so for example you do annual pro factions one signed per year well once you get to one sign. Let's let it be scorpio. Scorpio was not only the sign of the whole year but it's also the first month of the year then the next son will be the second month some of the scorpio here the next month <unk> <unk> to projections the police does does instead of some of the other variants that other people like i think ptolemy does something different read yes. He rejects ptolemies method. <hes> explicitly explicitly rejects it so he does monthly pro factions within ativity but then you have a natal chart or the solar return chart well. The solar return chart is both an entire year. You can also affect from its ascendant but then the whole solar return is also the first month of the year so every month you can cast a new monthly revolution chart okay so the question is like the solar return chart at that point is like the birth chart in that. Let's in giving indications for the entire year but then the question that you sometimes have is like well. When are those specific things can happen during the course of that year right with each of these charts were narrowing down to smaller amounts of time so by the time we get to monthly charts were dealing with in any monthly chart. You're dealing with four different ascendance for example the same time a monthly perfection action in the nativity a monthly pro faction in the solar return an ascendant in the monthly revolution and and we'll maybe so maybe it is only three <hes> so it can get kind of crazy so you need rules to tell you where to start it and where to go from there so that's that's partly why i've added these tables and he's explicit about here. The rules that you follow how can you tell when something thing in the in the solar return in which month will it manifest okay got it and how is the monthly return charge calculated it is calculated for the time when the sun comes into into the corresponding degree of every other sign so if your natal son is at fifteen gemini then every solar return will be when he returns to fifteen gemini but every monthly chart will be when he's at fifteen cancer fifteen leo oh fifteen virgo so the corresponding degree in each of the other signs okay so he's not doing like a lunar return chart right. He's not doing that okay does he. Do any other planetary return shorts or is that more of a modern notion as well not aw that he notes when planets return to their natal position at a solar return but he doesn't do something like a venus return chart. He doesn't do those okay and and that's actually treated is really important though when a needle planet does return back doc twits nato position in the solar attorney chart yeah it's kind of surprising he has <hes> he explains what it means. When a planet <hes> returns to its nato position or even its own sign and what it means fits applying to its nato position or separating how close it is and he even has some timing techniques for how long that planetary return will last four including combinations of including combinations of transit so yeah it's <hes> i haven't worked out those techniques practice yet but he <hes> has very interesting things to say about them okay and <hes> you mentioned applying aspects and that was something that was mentioned at one point that there's certain <hes> things that are taken into account to help prioritize what's more important versus what's less important and that's one of the things taken into account in it was just the solar attorney charts is that applying aspects tend to be given more weight and more focus on applying <hes> aspect especially the closer the or or or a conjunction. We're talking about <hes> soon. Applying conjunction <hes> is going to be more actualized <hes> than a separating operating one <hes> the closer it is stronger <hes> especially if it's within <hes> orbs or within the same bound okay <hes> yeah. There's a lot there one of the other things that this book deals with it's very unique and important and influential is also the technique that sometimes sometimes known as <hes> fidora yeah okay what is that that's like a medieval time lord technique essentially right yeah. It seems to be a persian technique. <hes> it's a time lord technique that separates people out into day or diurnal births and nocturnal attornal births and for diurnal births. You have a certain series of time. Lords that start with the sun and the sun is a time time lord for certain number of years than venus mercury and so on and <hes> for nocturnal births. It starts at the moon. She's your first his time lord at the beginning of life than a saturn jupiter and so on so it's a different order of time lords based on the sect active your chart and this technique also includes the nodes as time lords which is a good indication that it might have come from from india right where the nodes were given more importance relatively early on as well as in the persian tradition that was then sort of influenced by the end intermission right some kind of persian indian crossover. That's probably the origin of this technique okay so it's not basis unlike other unlike the greek techniques that are based on the motion of the heavens like distributing through the bounds or pro factions that go signed by sign. This is a sect based <hes> approach and it goes in the caldeans order order of planets in order to speed okay and really quickly the years of the planets <hes> the sun is ten years venus's unisom eight mercury's thirteen. The moon is nine. Saturn is eleven jupiter's twelve. Mars is seven the north note is three and the south snowed is to right <hes> yeah it makes seventy five years <hes> i can identify what could be the reasons for for some of those years but also if you pair up the planets in certain ways <hes> you will get the number nineteen <hes> so if you line up the planets and i have a diagram where i sort of fold them over themselves. You'll see that there are a recurring patterns in the numbers that someone was inspired to do this. <hes> some of the numbers i can't explain like the mercury number but <hes> <hes> but yeah someone creating a in a way it's a more i want to say it's more flock of a better word more cosmic conception of the human being because again it's not based on the actual order of the signs and planets in your we're chart it's based on the cosmic scheme of the heavens and day and night but but he emphasizes that you do need to pair it with <unk> projections so it's it's. It's not totally abstract. <hes> you are supposed uh up combine it with pro factions revolutions and i don't know if that's just his idea because he wants to kind of do everything at once or or if that was what the originators of the technique wanted and he then becomes as he become one of the primary sources for at that time lord technique basically are one of the most influential sources i think he did for later people but we know that he did not make up most of these delineations nations because <hes> burnett and a charles burnett and guide the last name of alumnae <hes> they translated passages from later compiler who clearly who attributes most of these paragraphs some some of them read almost word for word to under cigar who was an earlier persian astrologer so what seems to have happened is that all under cigar was part of a persian tradition <hes> where they <hes> either inherited or invented for doria or fars and that was passed on and preserved by abu shaar but then he added some of his own <hes> paragraphs to some of the <hes> interpretations reputations okay got it yeah because that said it's a works very similar to a time lord technique on but it's not at least as far as the surviving having sources that we know from the greek and latin tradition the technique that that existed there so we just sort of assumed that it was developed in the persian tradition right <hes> but because the slater compiler clearly attributes allowed this to under cigar. It's pretty much confirmed that that it was persians who were who were <hes> promoting this but by the time of abu machar i think a lot of allender cigars work was lost or people were people didn't know they were reading launders a gar- so a lot of the area are material becomes identified the abu machar okay cool <hes> one other area and one of their topic. That's really fascinating because <hes> apple mature has almost geico some personal discussion to the student in this section as he does talk about <hes> longevity and the length of life technique at one point right <hes> yeah this is this also was missing in the latin and it's really too bad because it's both personal and kind of funny in a way it's a chapter on long jetty techniques predicting the length of life and not just <hes> the length of life but also years in which there could be problems problems even though it's not fatal and <hes> the chapter begins where he's directly addressing the reader. You're who i guess was his students and he says you've been asking me to to explain these techniques to you and tell you all about this but then he <hes> he admonishes the students saying you want to know all of this but by i will. What right do you have to go rummaging around in people's charts looking for this when all you're trying to do is satisfy your curiosity. All you're we're trying to do is look for something that's terrible and it shows that <hes> in lot of ways people don't change because i i mean how many astrologers when they hear about something terrible on t._v. They think oh i wonder what the chart looks like and they're only doing it to satisfy their curiosity acidy and so he's <hes> he's he's <hes> he's pointing out that you shouldn't be so excited and so curious <hes> to to look for disasters in people's charts but since you at least have to know about this <hes> here here is how you go about it okay. That's really interesting as a almost like morning. <hes> you know of that you might not be happy with what you find or that you really we needed to reflect on your reasons for wanting to known to have that knowledge. <hes> it's interesting to hear that coming from the ninth century medieval author yeah. It's it's the ad i mean. It's the attitude of you know before you do this. Who do you think you are to ask these questions uh-huh <hes> but he points out that one of the valuable things about this chapter is that he not only adds some new things <hes> a new reflections and combines techniques and add some fixed stars but he says it's good for you to know the difference between leaned a truly dangerous year and just an unpleasant one and that's a valuable thing to know right because astrologers can sometimes get <hes> messed up by that or get a obsessed about like a year that doesn't look very good but sometimes their expectations -tations of like how bad it's going to be being way off right exactly you can get little to <hes> obsessed and worked up about about <hes> a difficult year and so he's trying to explain the difference between them. Okay <hes> so he's an he's an he's any starts out by acknowledging the traditional longevity method of finding the releaser and housemaster stor often called the high leg and the coca dan he acknowledges that but he says that's not enough you have to look at things like revolutions and and make these comparisons to okay so he's sort of walking that line between the traditional approach versus this other approach that he's advocating in the book. That's focusing on the importance of the real time action of the soil return chart in manifesting almost the transit's basically right that the that the traditional technique of the housemaster and release her is is the way i put it. I think in the book is it's like actuarial tables. <hes> length of life tables used in insurance. You're you're expected life expectancy which is could be very close to the truth but there's lots of things that can happen <hes> to lengthen life or cut it short so you can't just rely on that one thing to understand people's course of life right okay so but otherwise his approach is relatively standard in terms of determining the the releasing planet that is prominent in the chart that represents vitality or life force of the native than directing it using primarily directions until it hits the rays of malefic or something like that what yeah and <hes> so you you find that rely that planet that represents the life force and you use primary directions directions or distributions really with it until it comes to something looks real bad but again to return to his theory of prediction and distributions are time lord technique and time lords are not enough. We need a real time technique as well so that's why we can direct to something that looks bad but then we need the real time techniques to see in actuality. How good is it right right. Because then the real time techniques the solar return shirt also get it be activating and accentuating whatever the needle promises and said there's already a question set up there of what is the needle promise of the birth chart is the birth chart say the person's gonna die you know eighty years old you know when they fall fall asleep in their bed or something like that peacefully or does it indicate that there's other indications for a more difficult <hes> and to the person prematurely early and the real time conditions should help time that end described that and after having in <hes> translated all this material i started <hes> i started using this and it looks like this is really valuable bull advice that could help explain some things in charts when you're looking at longevity that the other authors don't don't talk talk about okay. <hes> so does this become. This doesn't become his primary treatment of length of life right. He has other treatments. I'm sure yet. He talks about another books but i feel like i feel this is really valuable because he says a a couple of times in this book. He says i'm writing this in my old age so he's writing this at the end of his career. He's giving giving you his fully thought out techniques and i think also with this treatise nine are this last part with the longevity stuff because he's he's responding to students. He's going to be more direct and kind of sum it up sum up his approach whereas in other books he might just be copying technique from someone else sure there's something about the personal the personal touch and he's explicitly giving advice in response to students that i think makes this special okay so yeah so maybe this was written in later in his career than other some of his other forty. Some odd works may have been <hes> in it's a fascinating just thinking of him as a teacher and in him writing some of this for his students and keeping the student in mind as he was trying to excavate some of these complicated doctrines <hes> yes it's <hes> i think between the his student should van which i will translate that <hes> those anecdotes that material between that some of these other personal comments that he makes i think abu machar comes alive in a way that <hes> you don't really see in most of these older astrologers. We just don't have access to their to their everyday lives and biographies like we do with him yet. Definitely 'cause like the further and further back you go in the history. It's like the less and less we know about some of these authors. Even the really important ones dorothy is we have almost no information about his life where you have somebody like ptolemy where we have his written works but otherwise we don't know much else about him and the later and later you go you start to get more information about them. The fact that abu michelle had a student who records his anecdotes about him or he read all these books in talks about different anecdotes about being in his old age or what have you and then like later. I've been studying like the renaissance tradition more it's fascinating getting to lilly and actually having somebody that wrote a separate out autobiography of his life and it's interesting dr getting more into the more modern period how you learn more and more about astrologers the further you go but the abu machar's in this interesting like middle ground in terms of that and i think as we <hes> as i translate <hes> souls mundane works which has mundane charts in it from his lifetime <hes> that will help put him in a certain place a he that will help put him <hes> in in the midst of events like we talked about in the <hes> in our sal- interview and then the in the masha allah horror books that i'm going to translate the new ones <hes> we'll learn maybe maybe more about his clients and where he was and who he was dealing with <hes> so we can get a more personal view somewhat but it's not on the level of what we're getting with abu mature yet <hes> will that's really fascinating and he's one of the most influential strangers i mean i think holden or somebody refers to him or or cites him as being referred to as the prince of the astrologers or of the medieval astrologers or something like that is that one of his titles i think so yeah yeah okay <hes> prince of the astrologers. I think ptolemy might also have been called that too. Oh yeah we'll told me a lot of titles especially once you get guys like vice studio and he's like the truth loving ptolemy and other stuff like that but it seems like abattoir. This is like an interesting month like july august where we're abbott machar's having a bit of a revival because we have your book coming out which is about to be released on august ninth <hes> that's the election chart we picked for the release of the book was the release of this interview but then we also had just in the past couple of months the full translation of like burnett hat and yamamoto's translation of the greater introduction as well so it's like two of his biggest and most influential astrological works certainly coming out around the same time relatively close together yeah yeah. There's something under those something weird about that. That's kind of interesting historically in who knows if he has some sort of like long term one thousand year like time lord thing being activated at this time right will have to cast the sole reveluti- find a solo revolutionary evolutionary transit to to use his principles to see if we can make sense of it yeah exactly. We got to rectify that chart for him. <hes> n._c. Can solve that mystery thousand years later <hes>. I'm trying to think of are there any other topics related to this related to abbas machar or <hes>. I'm just this approach scellera turns. That's demonstrated in this book. That's unique or useful that we should mention from the especially to modern astrologers who might be curious. It's like why this is important valuable. Well a one thing that really <hes> once i started working working out his theory prediction based on statements that he makes i hope that it will inspire people who don't use time lords <hes> to to use them and find find one at least one that you like projections are the easiest but find one <hes> because a and and then if if there are other people especially traditionalists who only focus on time lords you need to find a real time technique i it will round around us out better as astrologers but also if he's right. We're dealing so to speak with three levels of reality if we don't others understand all three levels in coordinate them together we're not we're not operating on all cylinders as astrologers so i hope i will <hes> inspire people to explore techniques that the <hes> haven't learned before and and make them feel like they could gain something important as astrologers from it brilliant. I think that makes sense <hes> awesome so where can people <unk> find this book or how the hell can they get they can find it on amazon <hes> probably other online bookstores but on amazon on and if you are not in the united states there are other amazons in your country or in your region that you should find because <hes> shipping i'm from the u._s. <hes> internationally is very expensive so find it <hes> at your at your own countries online bookstores hours okay so just do a search for <hes> abba machar on the revolutions of the years of nativities and the book will be available online line everywhere from august ninth two thousand nineteen forward. Yes cool <hes> when elsie working on her. What's your next project. Now that you've just published like two major richer huge translations of arabic tax in the past few months will my main project. I'm working on now trying to finish my natal course which i'm hoping hoping will be done by the end of the year maybe but as far as an this abu musab book and the saul book the two books behind me those are the two required texts so that the soul book is for the delineation part of the course and abu machar for the predictive part but i'm also working on a translation of firm icus a translation of the great introduction by abu machar of my own and several other things so <hes> got some big things coming but the main thing is my course hopefully in the next six months brilliant yeah. I'm looking for to that indefinite looking for your translation of fergus. I noticed in your introduction of lengthy introduction here that it's clear that this is like a proper preparatory tax that is meant to be read alongside your course so that's very exciting that this is like the final piece that you needed to put in place in terms of required reading for that for the students of of medieval in traditional astrologer yeah i some people have asked why why i didn't do a course earlier and i guess there were a number of reasons for it but when i finally did this book and then realized that the students needed a guide to understand the techniques especially since there's so much more. I realized you know it was good that i waited because people need it's almost i like this this book and the way i did the introduction. It's designed for students so i couldn't have done it until now anyway. Yeah and you've been like every new translation. It's always something new that you're learning about. The history of astrology in something is becoming clearer or more refined and now you've really gone back act two as far into early sources as possible by going back to the original taxed and bypassing <hes> large parts of the latin tradition going straight into the arab berg so it seems like it was really worth ultimately and that was a good call to make when you started heading in that direction earlier in this decade yeah i had i had inland in the for the natal material you know i i was thinking well. What would be a good book and i knew that the book of aristotle so-called book vera startle in latin latin had all this good material in it but the writing was so the writing in latin style is so awkward and a problem but when i discovered saul's book on nativities i thought will this has all of it but i couldn't have translated it until the last few years so again. Maybe maybe it's all happening in its own good time and it's happening at the right time now. <hes> so i'm very excited that these are coming out now and <hes> we're getting thing of such a rich view of what was going on in this key period among these famous astrologers and hope to teach a new generation of students how to do all of this. I mean it's a very exciting time to be alive. In strategic says just thinking yesterday that we have access to more tax now than from different eras of the astrological tradition than at any other time in the history of astrology which is just overwhelming to think about especially because it wasn't that way you know three decades ago we didn't have a lot from prior to the twentieth century and now suddenly do people like yourself and your efforts and other people like james james holden or robert schmidt or what have you suddenly we just have tons of tax of all of the most important texts from the past few thousand years of the history of astrologers all ger suddenly available again for astrologers to study and there's something incredibly unique and exciting about that yet it's exciting and <hes> at the same time i think we're at a transition point and at and it's not only your course and it's it's dimitrius book. That's come out recently lately and it's my course. We're producing the translations but at some point the student really needs a guide to <hes> digest it all to understand many authors and practice. It and i don't think until the last few years have we in the last few years. We've gotten to the point where we can really start doing that. In a way we couldn't before yeah definitely because some of us have been putting this stuff into practice for a decade or two now and so the lived. It's become alive again like the tradition isn't just like this dead thing that exists in books but it's something that's been <hes> you know. Life has been put back into it and it's like breathing again and i noticed that even among many astrologers today <hes> especially especially including younger astrologers who have learned some of the tradition they have not been working with the material on an everyday basis the way i have and you do dmitri does and other to practicing traditional strangers especially the natal material real the harari horie folks especially in england the they don't have that problem but with the natal material <hes> there's fewer people people who have been working with it on a daily basis and so now's the time for people who are interested in traditional off <hes> now is the time to jump in and start claiming it for yourself and really <hes> working definitely well <hes> this will give people a lot to work with like i said seven hundred pages it's packed with a ton of techniques that we sort of touched on in passing here and gave an overview in this interview but i can't really even accurately convey like the scope of this book and just how much it goes into much detail it really gets into it's quite amazing in terms of that so definitely would recommend everybody everybody get it because i also can't believe like how available this says the fact that you can go to amazon and by <hes> this book for like thirty five dollars or whatever it is and this is literally like the most important and influential taxed on solar returns in the past two thousand years and suddenly it's just like available again and you can order it and get it delivered on amazon prime or what have you in two days is just mind blowing so thank you for for doing that in all of the work that you put into this over the past three to four years as well as the past ten years of learning arabic so you could translate it. I think it was worthwhile and just on behalf of the astrological community. Thanks thanks for for doing that for all of us while i'm having a ball cool all right well. I look forward to having you back again. <hes> next time for whatever have your next text is. I hope it's fergus the wanting firming his translation forever because i know there's a lot of good stuff informix that you'll be able to draw out in terms of the language guage that nobody else could so will will return again next time for whatever your next book is sounds good. Look forward to it all right well. I i guess that's it for this episode of the astrology podcast so thanks everybody for watching or listening and we'll see you next time <music> they.

abba machar saul nato ptolemy amazon attorney apple james james holden ukiah charles burnett horry abbott machar abu shaar abu michelle abu machar germany fergus india
Amanpour: Bill Weir, Jorge Castaneda, Stanley McChrystal and Brian Greene

Amanpour

58:34 min | 2 years ago

Amanpour: Bill Weir, Jorge Castaneda, Stanley McChrystal and Brian Greene

"By the new book, how the internet happened from Netscape to the iphone, the first single volume history of the technology industry since the dawn of the World Wide Web. It's about Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. It's about why Facebook beat my space. It's about how Napster net flicks revolutionized media. It's about whatever happened to AOL and it's about how the internet happened to us by the book how the internet happened from Netscape to the iphone by Brian McCullough. I'm Omar Arja founder of Haussa highlights and I'm CJ till ladonna comedian co host and Omar's best friend and we're doing the house highlights Twitter, show Thursday, October twenty. Fifth at eight PM. So check it out at h. o. highlights and that's h. highlights. Hello, everyone and welcome to. I'm on fourth. Here's what's coming up. A caravan of seven thousand migrants Bez down on the United States through Mexico and President Trump is accused of manufacturing Mitte hysteria. We get the latest on the ground and we speak to the former Mexican farm minister Kohei Castenada. Then is America losing its longest War. I speak to Stanley mcchrystal, former commander of allied troops in Afghanistan and wool to is it some cloves, the origins of life, the universe and everything with theoretical physicist, Brian Greene. Welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London, an estimated seventy, five hundred migrants a heading north through Mexico, fleeing violence and poverty in Guatemala and Honduras, and hoping to reach the United States where they plan to seek asylum reporters on the ground, say group called the migrant caravan consists of thousands of families, including many mothers and children facing starvation and attacks on the long March north reporters and aid agency, a full blown humanitarian crisis developing, but President, Donald Trump, lashed out in what announce Amelia terms, especially ahead of mid-term elections. The middle of the Gavin take your cameras at search. You're gonna find MS thirteen. You're gonna find Middle Eastern. You're gonna find everything. Quite a senior counterterrorism official contradicted Trump's insinuation that terrorists have joined the caravan saying, quote, we do not see any evidence that ISIS or other SUNY terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern US border correspondent Bill. We're has been following the caravan. He's joining me now from weeks to Mexico Bill. Thank you for being with us. This is really a gathering storm and a potential humanitarian crisis. What are you seeing on a day today? Step by step basis. There. Well, Christiane. Just imagine if you or someone you know had taken everything you own and carry on your back and has walked hundreds and hundreds of kilometers sometimes carrying your children. Accepting food rebasing from the kindness of strangers like this man handing out tortillas here and thirteen days into the journey. You know how, how would it feel? So it is a day by day minute by minute pursuit survival. That's what force a lot of them initially to leave Honduras there and walk for the last thirteen days they have about a month or so, at least before they reach the western United States border as well. But I'm seeing mostly people. For missiles. I'm seeing a lot of scenes like this where the kindness of Mexican strangers is helping feed and clothe these people as they make their way north as well. And of course, the the idea that there are hidden Muslim terrorists in this crowd is is ludicrous on its face. You know what the president could equally point out is that this group is ninety nine point, nine percent Christians Catholics and Protestants alike, and many of them fleeing both political and criminal violence in Honduras within others, fleeing poverty. And those who see the safety in numbers of this crowd moving north in Mexico, whether they are in Guatemala, are deciding to join. It's an opportunistic sort of thing, strengthened numbers and most oblivious to the fact that the optics of this are playing out politically in the United States. They don't have the luxury to think in those terms. But I, I've been asking people, first of all, do you know you're breaking the law? And they acknowledged that they are, but say, they have no other choice and. When I was reading the president's tweets to some folks in the crowd yesterday, and here's one reaction. Tease using the pictures of the big caravan and saying that's a mob of criminals. And there's even Middle Eastern possible terrorists in their way in Los Angeles, gay. Okay. I don't understand why he's similar. He says, we're not terrorists. Our country is very violent, but the people are poor people. Do you have children. That's what hurts me the most is I have three kids and I had to leave them behind because there's no job. When do you think you'll see them? Again? I don't know. He says, it's up to God. Now the the caravan has halted here in this town about eighty kilometers north of Mexico, Guatemala border fifty miles or so not out of fear of law enforcement or anything. Other men to honor one of their own one man from Honduras fell from an overloaded truck on the highway yesterday fell to his death. The second confirmed death of far so they paused to respect him and tell us that they will head back north before the cracker. Dawn tomorrow. Christiane. Yeah, Bill they do really do seem determined. I'm wondering why this is suddenly happening right now. We've seen periodically over the months and years that there are these long marches out of as you describe it, poverty and violence and corruption at home and what is triggered the latest one. And honestly, we're seeing some really desperate pictures even on the Mexico Guatemala border of people hurling themselves off bridges, trying to get onto anything the floats to take them. Onto Mexican territory. Yeah, we were on the bridge when the Mexican federalize tried to stop the flow didn't work very well. People jumped from that bridge swam rafted across there as well. The best I can gather is really the initial spark of this caravan came out of the the political climate that's happening in Honduras as the audience might recall, berry contested election, a one whole Landau Hernandez. The president was reelected. In what international election watchers say was very suspicious terms. There was a weeks long recount during that recount President Trump congratulated him promise can foreign aid as well. And then once in power he's taken on more of a strong man stance down there appointing a lot of his cronies into the judgeships as well who then dropped charges against people, accused of embezzling massive amounts of that country's wealth. They say twenty two protesters were killed according to human rights watchers down there. So that plus the cartel violence, SP. Park the initial caravan to come out, and then it just gathered steam as people see this as an opportunity to find strength in numbers and comfort as they head north as they support each other people from different countries are now sort of this brotherhood of the caravan as it moved north. Again, most of them oblivious to how it's playing in the country of their destination a Bill. I'm really curious though to know they, they may be oblivious how it's playing politically, but they must have seen over the last month. You know, these awful scenes that the US Mexico border when families were separated. I mean, the last big crisis was that one and I wonder, don't they think that might happen to them and you've been reporting that so many kids are on the way as well. Yes, I've said again, and again, do you understand what's happening in the United States? Have you heard about family separations? Have you heard about President Trump's threats to us soldiers to turn you away and all of their answers, sorta hearken back to an amazing poem by a Somali English poets wore San Shire who wrote you only leave home when home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border. When you see your whole town running ahead of you only put your kid in a boat when you think the water is safer than the land. They say, we'll take that choice that uncertainty that five thousand kilometer hike up the link of Mexico with all the all the perils that go along with that they'll choose that path and rather stay at home. I mean, it is extraordinarily in the way you read that poem, it really does put it into shop for Neath Bill. Thank you so much. And now to the former Mexican foreign minister who Jose Castenada. He says that if the people marching want to claim a Silom in the United States, they should be allowed to cross through Mexico. And he's joining me now, in fact, from New York mister Costanza, that is pretty provocative. You're basically saying, hey, if you want to go to the United States go through Mexico and you should be able to get your destination. Absolutely Christiane good to be with you. It's very important to understand that the United States has been pressuring Mexico for several months now for Mexico to agree to what President Trump said that is that asylum should be requested in Mexico, but Mexico has not agreed to that, and it shouldn't agree to that. Some people want to request asylum in Mexico about a thousand have those requests will be processed. Some, we'll be granted others not, but other people don't want to stop in Mexico. They want to go to the United States. Mexico should not be doing the United States dirty work for it. These people should be allowed to reach the border asked request asylum to American authorities at the border and the United States will decide what it wants to do. There is no reason for all of them to be processed in Mexico, except that that's what President Trump wants that that's not a good enough reason. Well, what about. I guess the Jucci of cash towards a lot of these migrants. I mean, you've seen with your very own, is that those who get to the border? Certainly over the last several months onto this administration have been detained have had that children separated this whole zero tolerance policy, which I, I admit as being a retrenched under under a lot of process, but there are huge numbers of kids who are still separated from their parents. I mean, why would any government encourage this fan to keep moving? What's question of encouraging it? Christiane they entered Mexico. The Mexico watermelon border has been poorest for fifty years at least more than fifty thousand refugees entered Mexico in the nineteen eighties fleeing the war, the civil war in Guatemala. This is not a new story. People come and go every day across the river on these rubber rafts or swimming or whatever. So now a group of central Americans got together and instead of travelling alone. Being much more vulnerable to rapists assault shakedown people, the Mexican authorities, which on occasion are very corrupt. They decided to band together and in numbers, there is safety. This is not for the Mexican government to decide what it should do with them. Can you imagine if we in Mexico were to put them in refugee camps and not allow them to leave your your, remember the images in Hungary of the Syrians yet. Remember the images in Austria that we don't want that either. So why should we do the Americans dirty? Well, either they process these people in Honduras, which they could or they process them on the US side of the US Mexican border, not in Mexico. So in a way these people are political footballs wherever they are, they're football is on the US Mexico border that footballs in their own country where they are fleeing by all accounts, a huge amount of corruption, including under the nativist elected president of Honduras. So couple of questions in terms of the law, you say, we don't want to have refugee camps set up, but the UN secretary general is urging all parties to abide by international law, including the principle of quote, full respect for countries rights to manage their own borders. And the UNHCR, which is the refugee agency, says it. It's deployed teams to ensure the travelers of fully informed regarding their rights to asylum, along with providing legal advice in humanitarian assistance. I mean, they may very well have to end up putting up camps. Well, if for those who want who request asylum in Mexico. And as I said, more than a thousand have and the Mexican government apparently is handling this very humanitarian way after an initial mistake of teargassing the women and children on the bridge across the suit chat. Then now they're doing this properly. UNHCR is helping, which is a good thing. And those who request asylum in Mexico. Should be kept in shelters while their requests are processed, those who do not want to request asylum, we have two choices in Mexico. We deport them or we let them through there is no way the Mexican government. The new one or the old one can deport seven, eight, nine thousand people who are now only one hundred miles from the border. I think the important thing here was sentenced to view this from a humanitarian point of view. These people are fleeing the violence in what is probably the most violent city in the world outside of countries at war, some federal LA in northern Dudas. That's what they're fleeing from more than anything else. Whatever they run into in Mexico or in the United States is better than that. I can only congratulate Bill weird for this excellent verse from the poet. He mentioned about the shark. I mean, I think he got it just right and you know, mentioning Bill, he also said and reminded us that win. This president was elected in Honduras. President Trump praised him and congratulated him, and the administration promised a lot of aid. Now, President Trump is basically saying that in fact, in fact, why don't I just play what he said about the issue of eight. I'm gonna play. This sound bite. A lot of money every year we give bar and they did nothing for nothing. They've been done big. We give them for men amounts of money to know what the you covered all the time, hundreds of billions of dollars. Like a lot of other, nothing for our. So he's threatening to take away that aid and you know using terms that you now familiar with, but what does what does that mean in the macro picture threatening to take away a what? What would it do to this flow of caravan? Well, first of all, Christiane it's very little money. It's what's left of the vice president Biden initiative called alliance for prosperity for the three countries. Actually the five countries in Central America which has been gradually reduced over the first two years of the Trump administration. There's not a whole lot left. It's not that much money for you and me it is, but for big countries or relatively big countries, what Amal of population of eighteen million people. It's not that much money. Firstly, Secondly, to cut it off is completely counterproductive. The money was sent there in the first place by the Obama administration. Initially to help people stay in Honduras and what an l. Salvador helped people be more secure, help people against the gangs against. The kidnappings against the extortion against the violence. You take that money away. All Trump is gonna do is encourage more caravans which are by the way are said to be already leaving on doors and Salvador as we speak and it's logical. Why is it happening now? I know you asked to Bill, we're Christian and I think it's worth adding to what he said, which was quite a on on the the with, quite right. This has been the numbers have been increasing for the past three months. September was the month of the greatest number of Central American families together reaching the US border. It's not that all of a sudden a lot more people are coming. If that a lot more people are coming together because it makes much more sense for them to protect themselves and also to make it more difficult for Mexican authorities either to shake them down. We have corrupt the thirties and Mexico Christiane you and I have spoken about this many times. That's which senseless to deny it. Well, these. People are protecting themselves from that, and they are also placing the Mexican government and a very difficult situation. We have to agree to that Trump is pressuring them. On the one hand, you stop them and public opinion to Mexico. It will build again has been showing this the Mexican towns people along the way or helping them with blankets with water, with diapers with tissue paper toilet paper as what have you because they feel a great deal of empathy for them. There may be others in Mexico who are not so happy, but the townspeople in Chapas. And once they get to hock, it's going to be the same thing. People are going to be helping them and supporting them. So the Mexican government can't just all of a sudden try and throw him out. There's no way it can't happen. Well, let me just quick the Ostia to react to President Trump also said that, you know, if you take your cameras, you're gonna find MS thirteen and and Middle Eastern people. I mean, his own counter terrorism officials have said that there is no evidence for that, but but but you can concerned at all that it's. It's might be a conduit for any kind of terrorism or anything like that. I don't think so at all Christiane was foreign minister on nine eleven. We began cooperating with the United States with the Bush administration the next day on security and over these now, seventeen years, there has been not a single incident of terrorists trying to enter the United States through Mexico or trying to enter Mexico through the land border with what Amal and the least last place they would want to hide. So to speak is in the middle of a caravan where they have to walk in thirty degree heater, ninety degree heat in American terms in walk for fifteen hundred miles and be exposed to everything that has happened, why bother? They can get on a plane in Pachulia and fly to Mexico City. All right. Well, great deal of surveillance. That's pretty simple, I think. So let me just quickly end onto the broader issue and that is economic opportunity for people in your region. Of course NAFTA and the whole renegotiation of the deal. Clean the United States, Mexico and Canada. I mean, we know that I think is something like twenty seven states. You know. You know that the major major partner for economics is Mexico there the destinations there, what has NAFTA done or the new negotiation? Is it wildly different than what it was before is the US better off is Mexico better? How would you frame what's happened? I think I'd frame it with a huge sire of relief Christiane in the sense that at least there is a new NAFTA instead of no NAFTA at all, which was a real threat. Real danger during many of the months of the negotiations since President Trump took office that said this new NAFTA or whatever anybody wants to call it is really not that different, not terribly different from the previous one. And most importantly, it will not affect neither for better nor for worse the southeast of Mexico or Central America, the regions in Mexico that the marchers are going through Chiapas Oaxaca maybe later get Randall, maybe through web LA and crews are the poor states of Mexico the poor, south of Mexico, a little bit like the Mezzogiorno in in Italy. You know, these are very poor regions where you don't have on a mobile plants. You don't have refrigerator plants, you don't have LED television. Flat-screen plants. You have people growing corn. You have people growing bananas, you have people growing nuts or some coffee. Sometimes in Japanese very poor regions. Noth- does not gonna make a whole lot of difference. The absence of NAFTA would have been a disaster for Mexico. Absolutely. Apparently that has now that danger has gone away except Chris, John, and I have to mention it unless President Trump says, if Mexico doesn't stop these people, I'll rip up the new NAFTA and I won't sign it. And I would not discard that having followed President Trump closely now for two years, almost Gandhi. Well, I just was going to ask you what you thought of latest polls in Mexico. Basically showing a drop of more than thirty points in positive views of the United States between two thousand fifteen and twenty seventeen. Well, it's absolutely logical. I mean, he as a candidate, Donald Trump called Mexico, Mexicans rapists drug dealer. Hours thieves. I mean, he ran his campaign on an anti immigration anti Mexican platform. He's doing it again right now by the way for the midterms. So after a lot of goodwill in Mexico towards Barack Obama, even if Obama deported more people than any other American president had had ever done. Other is a lot of goodwill Trump comes along and starts insulting Mexico's, ever Mexicans every day. Then he says, he wants to build the wall. Then he says, he wants to rip up NAFTA. Then he begins deporting Mexico Mexicans from the heartland of the United States that Christians very different to deport somebody who just crossed the border and knows he's risking of money his life, whatever. And we'll try again the next day to deporting someone from Atlanta from Chicago from New York, who's got a family here has been working here for ten years without papers. Granted, he's undocumented or she's undocumented, but they've been living here. They've been paying taxes. They've been law. Hiding citizens, low levels of criminality. They have a job, they have a home. They have children in school and all of a sudden they're picked up and sent back to Mexico a country. They haven't been to in ten fifteen twenty years who've ak- Sonate a foam afar minister. Thank you so much for joining us. Hey tower Beck, and I've got to buy us Harrison the clippers on each reports, the forty eight, my guys by seventy percent, Vietnam base of plan base in every now. And then I give myself the freedom that if I want to go be fish, which I do like I keep it open for myself. The full forty eight is now available on Spotify. And of course you can always listen subscribe all the Bleacher report app, apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I mean Eddie cantor joining me this week on March madness three sixty five. I've got a foursome from UCF my pick to win the American companies. We just want to be the best thing we can never do that. Then hoping that pretty well. I tried to March man is three sixty five now at apple podcasts and Spotify. So many people around the world depend on CNN's quality reporting. And now they have an incredible online store. We've clothes gear and gadgets right now you can get fifteen percent off your purchase, just visit store dot, CNN dot com. And when you're checking out into the code CNN podcast, just one word and get a fifteen percent discount it stat, simple that store dot CNN dot com. And so as the Trump administration struggles with the right response to people fleeing violence and repression in these countries. So too is struggling with the right response to a close ally, Saudi Arabia since the journalists, Jamal Shoji was killed on October. Second inside the Saudi concert in his Don boop is something the Turkish president urged. One today cold, a premeditated murder. He said, a plot that began in late September. Shawna could of the information of tain so far. And the evidence found shows that has shook. She was murdered in a ferocious matter to try to hide such ferocious murder would be an insult to conscience of humanity. So we expect appropriate actions from Saudi Arabia. From this point onward, we want them to reveal all the parties responsible and to give them the appropriate penalty. So the crisis has become a test of leadership, not just for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also for the United States, which is something my next guest knows all about retired four-star general standing mcchrystal. He led the US forces in Afghanistan and the coalition forces and also the anti-terrorism campaign any Iraq before that he told her course on leadership at Yale University, and now he's written a new book about it is cold leaders, myth and reality, and standing mcchrystal welcome to the program. French for him Krisztian. Well, you know, I, it's really good to have you today because I think a lot of what we've just been discussing on sort of geo political level and particularly now with the United States, you know, really implicated in this whole Saudi US relationships what to do about it, and I'm drawing on your expertise is needed in the field. And now one, you know you've written a lot about it. You have said that the US has to stand up and Sekou Shoji's mode is wrong. So what would you advise as a leading policy in that regard in ons to this. Well, I think long term views very important. One of the things I would reminded when I commend ghanistan is we had a forty six nation coalition. Most of those other nations that came didn't come because they had interest in Afghanistan. They came because they believed in the United States. They valued the relationship with us wasn't perfect, but that was very important. So what I'd say is when we look at the kashogi issue, we do want to have a relationship long-term with the king of Saudi Arabia and we will, but it has to be based on trust. It has to be based on values. It has to be based on respect. Were we not to show the strength in that now not to be demanding of our allies as we are enemies, but also of ourselves long term. I think we pay a huge price. Well, I wanna see whether you agree with your former civilian boss. The former Defense Secretary, Robert Gates who we, we keep pushing these leaders. As to what they think is the best response as they call to thread the needle that you are talking about right now. And he said, well, this administration could do worse than look back at what the George H W Bush administration did after the ten men massacre in China in Beijing in one thousand nine hundred nine. This listen to what he said. He was the first head of state to impose sanctions on the Chinese government to show that how much we disapproved of what they had done. But at the same time, said emissaries to the government to talk to the leadership in Beijing. Tell them why we were doing what we were doing, why we had to do what we were doing, but that we wanted to keep the strategic relationship still on track. I'm so so they're all methods, right? I mean, this administration could just look back into the not too distant history book. Well, I think so. And I completely agree with secretary gates, you have to tell them there is a future. But at the other time you have to tell them there have to be levels of trust and values involved here or in the near term. There's gotta be huge consequences for that. I want to ask you to just put your hat on and look at it from the Saudi point of view again, with regards leadership and what makes good leadership. So we read that for decades and decades, the Saudi Royal family, the mosques, the whatever you can call it civil society or not. But nonetheless the population ruled by consensus to try to keep the peace and and large by and large did. But the this particular new crown prince has vacuumed up so much power, and it's all concentrated in in one person's hands by and large that that you know, this kind of thing may be allowed to go on. I guess I'm trying to ask you what you make of that kind of power diner. Hamic in terms of leadership. What often we confuse power and leadership. You can have an awful lot of power and you can exercise it through coercion or you can give awards or things like that. It's not really leadership in my view because leadership is something that makes people better. Leaders are people who pull us to higher values. They make us braver. They make us stronger. They make us more compassionate. They make us the things that we're in in our life. Sometimes we just don't do. So the temptation is to have political power or military power or economic power, but the long term thing that makes a difference is changing. How people think changing the values they exhibit on a daily basis. And I think the Saudis of taken a near tune view here and they'll, they'll also pay a huge price of that. But President Trump does tend to praise strong men. And I, I use that. You know, it's not gender neutral. It strongmen he, he, he, he likes that. He doesn't actually likes strong women like Angola Mirko, but but he does like strong men to the point that he even while hinting that he wasn't satisfied with the Saudi response to the killing of dramatically. Shoji nonetheless said that the Saudi Crown prince was in controlled and a strong leader. That's certainly what we've seen. I spent the last two years studying and writing a book on leadership, and the big conclusion for me after all this time of thinking about it, was it leadership? Is it what we think it is? And it never has been. When we look back at leaders, we see leaders who grab onto either power or celebrity or zealotry, or even their own personal genius. And they confused that for being real leaders and being real leaders means that you've got an interaction relationship with your followers that makes both better. It makes the leader better. It makes the followers better and it constantly adapts to the situation. So if we think of leadership or power is two dimensional hammer that we found on people until they get it, I think we, we really get a bad outcome. I'm gonna get to some of the specifics in your book in a mo-. But I want to ask you about the concept of dissent because. Whether it's within a political context with an a military context and what it actually means, how do you, where do you come down on the concept of dissent? And you know, we have to sort of throw by to to use sort of running against some kind of dissent. I mean, you were forced to retire because of woods that you used woods that you'll subordinates used the go back to your civilian boss, and that was the president of the United States. And he said. Not dealing with you general, you know? So where does the send play. Yeah, I think this sense incredibly important on two levels on a personal level as you get more senior powerful, you become a four star general. There's a tendency for people to laugh at your jokes today. How smart jar underwrite what you say, because it's just the dynamic you where your rank on your uniform. The danger with that is you start to believe that you are smart, that you are humorous. You are all these things in your courses of action or right? You really need to send around you that says, hey, guess what stand you got this completely wrong and you have to construct people around you that did that for you. You know, I got married. That's worked in my personal life for many years, but but in a professional sense, you have to do that thoughtfully. You have to create it on a national level. Dissent has to be welcomed and celebrated if somebody stands up and says, no, I think we've got a completely wrong, and here's my reason if we criticize if we stop it down, not only do we lose the value of that particular message which may or may not be right, but we 'cause a lot of other people to be more hesitant to dissent. There's always a certain group of people who if they see someone else get attacked or publicly shamed or barest, they won't raise their hand. And suddenly what we. We have is a quieting of the population. We start to create sheep and a nation of sheep is a dangerous place. That's not the American tradition. It's not what we want. We want vigorous national debate, but it's got to be by people who are respected and respectful. Okay. So that raises a couple of questions. I, the idea of not tolerating descend is apparently got Jamaica Shoji killed. He was a reformist. He believed in the crown prince's reforms, but he believed that there should be a big consensus and big debates, and he believed the power is being too concentrated. But what about the United States? Do you believe the United States in the Trump era is a nation of sheep? Do you believe that congress is a gaggle or pack or whatever they cheaper in the plural? Do you believe that if the military uniform military of the United States is given an order that they may not believe is a legal order? Should they refuse? It. Well, for the military assured of take that off the table and not on active duty anymore. If they get an order that is illegal, they absolutely are required not to follow it. So I think that's separate. I think our political leaders, some of our social leaders, I think a lot have been quieted. I think I have a lot of conversations with people who have misgivings, but they say, you know, but the economy's doing well or, but we got this that we like or. But we got that that we like in the danger is as we attack the media or we attack our political opponents, or we put names it is publicly shaming embarrassing to people. We start to overtime cause people to be more and more reticent to say anything. You know, if I know after teaching teaching almost nine years now, if a student Esa question or makes a constructive criticism in the class, and I sort of slapped him down with a smart response. You know, I may feel good for that moment, but I lower the opera or the likelihood any other students going to say anything much of what might be very valuable. This is quick to go back over your recent military history. I mean, you were Jay Salk in Iraq. You did catch Abu Musab Zaccaria who was the leader of the ISIS? It's ration- there, the al-qaeda, it's ration- in Iraq. That was a success. Then you lead troops in Afghanistan and frankly, it's currently not a success. I mean, Afganistan is the longest war. We've seen the highest number of civilians being killed there in a long long, long time we see the Afghans even making the the killings of their own forces a secret like a national security secret. What is what is going wrong? I mean, this is a lot of money, media trillion dollars. So many thousands of troops so much death, so much injury. Yeah. And Christiane you've been there. I know there's a tendency to to paint with a broad brush from afar and CF ghanistan as a violent place with bearded Mola's warlords and the Taliban and corrupt officials, and that's not untrue. But if you get close, you see an unprecedented number of females in school now for seventeen years ever since nine. Eleven. You see a new generation rising. It is not perfect. It's not even on an asthma to get the perfect in my lifetime or my sons lifetime. But what it is is it it's an effort by part of that population to have a better future. Now, if we made a strict business case, I could say we should walk away from Afghanistan, sort of wipe our hands of it and say, that's that's money wasted. That might be true it. It might be lives, but I don't think that I actually think that when we make an effort to give people hope when we make an effort to give people opera -tunities when we try to commute. Kate around the world that that getting stability and getting opportunity for people in an area like this. I think it's an investment that over the very long term pays off. I think the United States has actually been using living off some of the things that were done for decades before now that built up a level of confidence and goodwill in our nation. So there is no easy. It's enough ghanistan and I wouldn't be arguing to put a lot more troops or anything like that. But I think a partnership with the people of Afghanistan and clear communication that we're involved in the region because we care does make a difference. I wanted to go back to your book because you have profiled eleven leaders. The vast majority of them are men and you profile maybe three women you. You talked about people that Coco Chanel will Disney Robespierre as I said, subs, Akali Harriet Tubman Zhang? Hi and Robert E, you also say that you realize that they're just not enough women, you know, in your book and not enough women, you say it's it's unhealthy as well as well sort of immoral, whatever the right word is the the used, why? Well, because women have traditionally been underrepresented in leadership positions. We have interesting finding it wasn't surprising to find out that they're more males CEO's in America than there are female to use. It was the prize to find that their male more male CEOs named John, then there are all female CEOs, so they're just haven't been the avenues, the free. We selected Margaret Thatcher, Harriet, Tubman, Coco Chanel, we're all different nationalities, completely different backgrounds, and all had a very tough road to leadership. The grocer's daughter, Margaret Thatcher sort of works her way through a complicated British political system to become. The most famous prime minister outside of Winston Churchill in the twentieth century, she's got a whole era named after her Harriet Tubman five foot tall, African American former slave goes back thirteen times into slave controlled territory to rescue other slaves. She's not a particularly. Outgoing woman. She speaks, but she speaks for a larger cause, but she's got this extraordinary ability to become a symbol for others, not just females, but also for African Americans and for everyone. And then of course, Coco Chanel comes out of an orphanage, and she found an empire and she does it by making people want to be like Coco Chanel and others to want to work for. You know, I never thought I'd be talking about Coco Chanel with general. Stanley mcchrystal when we met in Iraq and Afghanistan, none that is is very refreshing. But can I just end with something your own postal, you know, sort of epiphany a road to Damascus for longtime general. Robert E was your hero and you say, you describe the great hero. Winston Churchill is praising him as one of the best battlefield commanders and at the age of sixty three. You decided to ditch that. Why did it take you so long. You know, I think it takes all of us a long time. I admired Lee, the general for all of those sort of traits that you have honesty, courage, decisiveness on the battlefield, and I was encouraged to do that in my youth. I went to Washington Lee high school. I went to lease college West Point, but then what happened is after Charlottesville, I realized that lease persona often shown in in paintings or statues had been hijacked. It was being used by part of America with white supremacist and other views to send a message that that I don't associate myself with. So I stepped away. I don't think he's horrible, but I think we have to have a mature view and that too is leadership knowing when to step away. General mcchrystal. Thank you so much, indeed for joining us. And now we turn to a conversation with a great leader in the field of quantum physics professor, Brian Greene is a world. Renowned physicist and a bestselling author who's creative storytelling helps make complex scientific theories accessible to a general audience. And he sat down with our Walter Isaacson to talk about the biggest scientific mysteries of our time and how quantum computing could drastically alter our future. Brian, welcome to the show. Thank you. If you could solve three scientific problems, tell me what they'd be very clear what they would be. So I want to know the origin of the universe. I wanna know the origin of the universe and we've gotten a little bit closer. We're close. Yeah, we're, we're closer. But if you were to say to me, so why did it start at all? We still don't have an answer to what happened at times era Arjun of universe Arjun of life. How did these particles coalesce and come together to yield living? Breathing things like us. Again, we're getting closer, but certainly we can't create life in the laboratory at we can do that. Then I would say that we've really cracked that problem. And the third is the origin of mine yard and of consciousness. As we were talking about, how is it that particles that don't seem to think on their own electrons and Cork's today they cry. Do they have emotions? I don't think so. But somehow they all swirl together. And here we are having. An inner life that somehow lights up. What turns on the lights in there? I don't know. Explain to me how quantum computing works. There actually are small quantum computers in existence now. So this is not just pine, the sky, it classical computer, the ones that we typically use, it goes step and step and step and step. Everything is sequential and everything is definite in the quantum world. You can do all of these fuzzy calculations at the same time and have them coalesce into the answer that you're seeking, which means you can do the calculations farmer quickly. You can do the analysis farmer quickly. You can tackle problems that classical computer couldn't touch. What would that mean for our lives to me that the real, the real possibilities of quantum computing are to undertake problems today. We simply couldn't even approach using classical ideas or which we will take to a spectacular new level. I mean, one that comes to mind is machine learning, so. So machine learning has the capacity to transform everything. We're used to having devices being a bulldozer or jackhammer that extends the power of the human form to do things that otherwise would be impossible. But that's just sort of a stronger faster leaner version of ourselves. If you would, it doesn't really replace creativity in the human intellect, machine learning. Many people suspect may be able to do that when a machine can actually look at large data sets and not be told how to analyze them, but learn by seeing the patterns. That's what we do. We are pattern recognition machines and when a computer can do that, then burn a completely different arena that we see starting to happen. And quantum computing is a very powerful means for recognizing patented dealing with large data sets. So this is at least it's decades off, but this could be a play. Where we begin to really see computers doing the things that for the most part for all of human history, we have viewed as intrinsically us. And that includes creativity said that it seems to me, creativity means something a computer couldn't do thinking. We'd like of a rule. Tell me why. What we'd like to say that because we like to think that we're special and I don't mind the human species being a special entity in reality. But the fact of the matter is creativity may well be seeing unusual and hidden patterns within data, manipulating those patterns to a powerful effect, and that happens inside this thing inside our heads, there's gray gloppy thing, and I think it just operates by the rules of physics, and if it operates by the rules of physics and doesn't have any other kind of inspiration, why can't a device outside of her Greg gloppy thing inside overheads also undertake those very same kind. Of calculations computations and analyses. So I think it's very possible that one day they'll be somebody in that chair who's able to carry out this kind of interview that we're having. And certainly somebody who better job than I am right here, and that is when we cross a threshold into a brave new world that Greg gloppy thing you referred to. It has consciousness is consciousness explainable by physics, I think so I don't have any proof of that. Now. We're just in a territory of gut feel at the moment. But again, I don't think there's anything going on inside our heads that isn't alternately the motion of particles in the oscillation of fields, and we have questions that describe those processes. They may not be the final equations one day, perhaps you will have them, but I don't think need anything else, but physical law to describe ultimately what's happening inside of our heads. And from that point of view consciousness would simply be a quality of. The physical world when there's a certain kind of collection of particles that come together in the right way and perform the right operations, you've been working whether it be string theory and other things on trying to capture what Einstein wanted to do, which is a unified theory that would connect quantum to gravitation to relativity and everything else. If we had a unified theory, wouldn't we wouldn't it all fit together again and not everything would be probabilities? Well, if you believe Albert Einstein's vision, then indeed, that's where we would be heading Einstein thought that if we could just get a unified theory, all of this quantum stuff that was certainly working at describing the data. He couldn't deny that, but he thought it's just a stepping stone to the deeper understanding. And when we get there, Nomer talk of probabilities and no more talk of entanglement, no spooky action. That's what he thought. But you know, he passed on a while ago, right? Nineteen fifty five. And in. Half-century sent every single piece of experimental data. Every single mathematical development has pointed away from that vision division that we have now is that the quantum world is here to stay and just accept it and get on with it because having old vision is coming from an intuition that was built up over a long course of human history, but it's the wrong intuition. So you don't think there's a unified theory. I do think there's a unified theory. I don't think it will accomplish what Einstein hoped it would. In other words, you'll still have uncertainty. We'll still have quantum uncertainty. We'll still have quantum probabilities and all this weird quantum stuff will still be with us. The advantage of the unified theory is finally will put together our understanding of gravity and our understanding of quantum physics into one unified whole that would be progress, but I don't think that progress will wipe out the quantum understanding the other grade advance in the past couple of years was cosmic background radiation. Came along, would that explain to us? Well, the cosmic microwave background radiation is our most powerful insight into cosmetology. We all want to know how the universe began and again with iron Stein's general theory of relativity updated by more sophisticated versions of the cosmetology that it gives rise to in recent years. We have a pretty good sense in the early universe. We believe there was a kind of repulsive gravity that drove everything apart, rapidly, stretched the fabric of space. And when we do our calculations at stretching would have also stretched out little tiny quantum uncertainty in the early universe. Sort of like if you have a piece of spandex when you stretch out the spandex, you can begin to see the pattern of the stitches. We believe that we can see the stitching of the fabric of space through the stretching, and that is the microwave background radiation. And we can do calculations that predict how the stitches should look, tiny temperature variations across the night guy and. Holy smokes. When we do the observation and we compare it to the calculations their spot on accurate. We're talking about process that happened. Thirteen point, eight billion years to thirteen point, eight billion or something happened, and then what this wave came in and finally it. That's right. That's right. When we look up in the night sky and see the microwave background photons, they've been traveling toward us for over thirteen billion years. And those little tiny packets of light have just the right properties that are mathematics predicts that they should. So we human beings crawling around on this little planet. Thirteen point, eight billion years later are able to develop equations that seemed to give us insight into processes that happen billions of years ago. So what does that tell us about how the universe began where we think it probably began as this very compressed tiny nugget that was filled with an exotic cosmic fuel because the influence on field, the name doesn't matter much, but it's a fuel that gives rise to an exotic kind of gravity, this repulsive gravity that pushes everything apart. That's the bang in the big bang. And we've been living through the aftermath of that cosmic explosion ever since. And the only reason why we believe these ideas is because of my background radiation. So completely agreeing with what our predictions say should look like. You know, the cosmic background radiation helps understand what happens in black holes. That's been one of your fascinations which is the edge of black holes. I let me ask you about your Equis at the edge of time how you try to explain that through art through children through music. Yeah. Well, I think that these ideas need to be widely understood widely discussed widely shared. And so if they stay within the Howard halls of universities or esoteric journals, it really doesn't get out there. So we've tried various, you know, unusual blending of science and art to try to reach your broader on into this piece referring to. I collaborated with Philip glass. I wrote a short story a rewriting of the Mitha Vickers. The boy doesn't go near the sun with. Swings, he built a ship and flies near the edge of a black hole and what happens is near the edge of a black hole time slows down. So when he comes back, thousands of years have gone by on earth, but only a couple of hours for him. So his dad has gone his family's gone. So it's kind of a traumatic story, but Philip liked it and we turned it into a live stage work where there's an orchestra of film and a narrator, that kind of takes the audience to the edge of a black hole. We're navigating chartered black. All who. And when you have that kind of experience, it doesn't just make your head. It kind of makes your your heart pound right. If you get into the store, you can feel the chill of the experience at tell you. Let me just tell you one thing, my son when when he first encountered the story, they wrote at the end, he was crying and someone said, don't you feel bad? You wrote a story that made you son cry because the dad is dead. And so on. I said, no, if Generale Tivoli which is alternately, within story can make a five year old cry, good thing that kid is feeling the science and you need to feel these ideas and order that they aren't just esatern abstract nonsense. So much of this stuff is not something we can imply daily lives. We're never going to go near the Java black coal whenever going to travel near the speed of light. Why is it important that we understand? Well, my own sense is that the universe is incredibly rich and you don't have to know these ideas. To live in this world. My mother doesn't know these ideas. She says they give her a headache and, and I totally get that and I respect it. But if you can get these ideas, it opens up reality in wonders ways. I mean to walk down the street and think that time for us elapsing at a different rate for somebody on the street bench, right to look up into the night sky and be able to think about the quantum processes that do give the microwave background radiation to think about quantum physics, allowing us to tunnel through barriers for have these strange spooky connections, it's just wondrous and how tragic if people are cut off from these ideas simply because they don't speak the technical language of mathematics and physics. That's why I think these ideas. And if you'd be brought out to the world and many various ways explained to me though, that notion of you walking down the street and you're saying to yourself time, is traveling for me differently than that person moving in another direction. Yeah. Well, I've tried to see. See what it would be like to live these ideas. So at times I forced myself to go around the world and really imagine in detail what's going on with time with space and with quantum physics. And yeah, one of the key ideas of relativity is when you move relative to somebody else, your clock is ticking off time at a different rate, and it is very hard to hold these ideas in mind because you are assaulted all the time by conventional reality telling you that all clocks tick off at the same rate which is wrong. It's false, but it's hard to live with the truth because so much of your experience contradicts it. It's counterintuitive because he's affects her very small in everyday life. But I find there's something deeply wondrous every so often in actually living these ideas. So if I walk down Broadway today would must supposed to observe and watch and think, well, first of all recognized that the sidewalk is mostly. Empty space and that you're actually not touching the sidewalk because it's actually the electrons in your shoes repelling against the electrons in the concrete. So you're floating as you're walking along. And yeah, your time is elapsing at a different rate than someone who's sitting relative to your motion your time has also elapsing different rate from someone who's at the top of the Empire. State building your watch is going slower than gravity. Gravity is a little bit less until why? Why is that? Well, the answer comes to mind, Stein's theories, I can imagine a world where that isn't the case. So it's not like I can say, logically it had to be that way, but an Einstein general Tivoli gravity doesn't just pull on matter. It also pulls on time and when it pulls on time, it makes time elapsed more slowly. So at the surface of the earth gravity, a little bit stronger, the polar stronger time go slower than at the top of the Empire State building. Yeah, it's crazy by green. Thank you. Pleasure. I did it a while my time, maybe elapsing at a different rate than yours. This still is all the time we have that is it for our program. Thanks for watching. Remember you can always listen to a podcast see us online at Amazon dot com, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter, goodbye from London. Are you interested in learning how enterprise scale companies drive organic traffic to increase their online visibility than download the voices of search podcast from the heart of Silicon Valley here, search metrics Inc, CEO Jordan Kuni as he delivers actionable insights. Dowdy was data to navigate the ever changing blends gape of Google apple, Amazon, the voices of search podcast arm search engine marketers, and business analysts with the latest news and insights. They need to nephew the ever changing landscape of search engine optimization and content. Are you ready to learn that you search data defined strategic insights about your competition and your industry as a whole and search for voices of search wherever you download your both cast. That's three simple words voices of search to learn the secrets of search engine and content marketing. It's CNN's as here to tell you about weekend warriors, it's my new foreign policy podcast which dares to ask what else is going on at the end of each week. I'll speak to a rotating cast of experts to get their unfiltered takes on the most pressing global issues facing America from the humanitarian crisis in Syria to the latest updates on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. 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December 30: A celebration becomes a fight for survival

As It Happens from CBC Radio

1:18:11 hr | 9 months ago

December 30: A celebration becomes a fight for survival

"This is a CBC podcast. Hello I'm Helen. Man Sitting in for Carol off good evening. I'm Chris Bowden. This is as it happens. The podcast edition tonight. A celebration becomes a fight for survival. Five people are injured when an attacker with a machete bursts into New York Hanukkah celebration and a Jewish later tells us his community is traumatized breaking news and a busted reporter. A journalist says he was just doing his job by following protesters who broke into a generating station. The Crown prosecutors say. He was doing criminal mischief. The Jean Genie a little more than a year. After a scientist announced edited the genes of twin babies. A A Chinese court announces. He'll spend three years in jail instead of doing further work on sales. It had him at. You had me at. Hello well the truth. Is I have no idea whether rob Bob Feller even likes the movie Jerry Maguire but regardless he's collecting as many vhs copies of it as he can but lack next time. If you're worried that the people who make butter there's cultures are spreading themselves. Thin be horrified to learn that they're spreading the main ingredient pretty thin to and winning singlehandedly and Alberta man preserved his amputated amputated arm after finding someone to clean and process it for him and he tells the whole story with disarming candor as it happens the Monday edition radio guesses he we found the right taxidermist and the wrist is history. They had gathered at the Rabbi's House north of New York City to celebrate the seventh night of Hanukkah then an attacker Kerr came in and according to one witness started wielding his machete back and forth trying to hit everyone around five. People were injured in that attack this weekend and today day officials charged a man with federal hate crimes. They say they found handwritten journals with references to Jews and antisemitism in the suspect's home Aaron Wieder is a member number of the Hispanic community and a legislator in Rockland county where the attack happened. We reached him in Ram oppo earlier. Today Mr Wieder how are you yourself feeling today. Under the circumstances. We're trying to hold up not just myself. It seemed tired. Jewish community and not only in Rockland county but all over new state and elsewhere as you know some lawmakers in New York are calling for the National Guard to come in to protect Jewish enclaves in your state would measures like that provides some level of reassurance members in the Orthodox Jewish community rabbis administrators the schools in just lay people are asking for more and more law enforcement for more visible law enforcement to be out there and I think that it didn't really take place yet on the level to make people feel comfortable I know that synagogues in schools have hired private security really guards to do that. So the answer about National Guards well any type of protection against the community that feels that they are under siege and they are very easy identifiable would be very helpful and welcoming. Can you take us back to the weekend. And tell us when I learned of the attack and what your thoughts and feelings were in that moment I was spending the Hanukkah celebration with family in Brooklyn and I've gotten text messages in the phone calls. People were confused scared in might children Dron Kinda got an in clink. What was going on and the sad part was a asked me if perhaps perhaps we should stay in Brooklyn and not go home for the night? That's what happened. Naturally I immediately drove back active at the time of Ram Oppo. I went down to the scene. I know the community very well I know the rabbi. In the synagogues we were there law enforcement was the air and it looked like a crime scene but a crime scene with a lot of failure and confusion by the People living in that community. Can you tell us anything about the victims who were injured in the attack. The victims were injured in the attack. Were total the five. Most of them are already released from the hospital. I met with him in fact one person is having a family. Emily wedding tonight is his son is getting married tonight but one victim is still in the hospital an elderly person who has a heart condition and is literally fighting for his life and his family. You are asking the public for prayers. The family of the suspect released a statement through the suspect's lawyer that it says the suspect has quote a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations. It also says he has no known history of Anti Semitism and yet we now hear that he has been charged with federal hate crimes. Can you tell us what your thoughts are on what happened and and the person who is accused anyone who would do such a horrendous terrible is mentally deranged in fact people who have deep seated hatred in their hearts Ara in my opinion mentally not stable. The Washington Post says that the attack on Saturday was the thirteenth anti Semitic incident in three weeks in New York. I just wonder what your thoughts are on whether levels of government whether police forces are taking seriously the threats to Jewish communities in the United States right. Now let me correct you. It's thirteen incidents. Were reported. That will probably many more soft attacks. People Bill Yelling eightfold derogatory things towards Jews probably went unreported as an elected official in the county of Rockland. I've dealt with law enforcement in particular the sheriff of Rockland County. I have all the faith. He's doing everything he can to keep the community safe life and he has many sleepless nights worrying about an working hard to protect the Jewish community in Rockland County. But I do understand those who have looked for answers in having gotten them yet And feel that more needs to be done. What would you like to see down? Definitely in the increase of visible enforcement on the streets. I would like to see funding for private schools because private schools in the United States. I'm not a government funded and they are struggling for resources and It will go away for local governments in state and federal governments to provide for funding for security for schools. This is the number one concern of people in the Jewish community. God forbid if a target like that of a hate crime is a school children our most precious commodity that we have our future and we need to protect our children more than we protect banks and I can't say that schools private schools are better protected than the banks. How does the broader threat As well as the specific attack on the weekend and the ones as you say that have gone unreported. How do those affect people who are living day to day in Rockland County and going about about their business? What what kind of impact does it have on them? Do you think people are traumatized. And you could see if you walk down the streets. You could feel it. You can see a level of alertness that I've yet to seen before people are more alert. Specially at night you know. Even parents parents Being with children. How more alert? They are walking down the streets or going shopping malls people take this very serious and they do look over their back. I WANNA ask you. Finally why using this is happening right now. I don't have the answers and I hope there. There's no answer to this because there should never ever be an explanation. Hatred specially hatred that can lead to violence so I hope we never have the answer for the question. You just asked Mr Wieder. I'm very sorry to hear what about what your community has been going through Our best to everyone who was injured. And thank you very much for speaking with us and I think you as well all right. Good bye bye. That was Rockland. County the legislature Aaron Wieder. We reached Him Ramco earlier today for more on this story. visit our website. CBC DOT CA Slash Ai. H The children we know is Lou and Nanna are now more than a year old and today we learned that the man who claims to have edited their genes will be behind bars for several years. Her John was widely condemned last year when he announced he had edited the genes of twin babies to make them immune to HIV. Now he's been sentenced to three years in prison in China and find the equivalent of more than five hundred sixty thousand dollars. Dr William Hurlbert is physician and professor of neurobiology at Stanford University. He was one of the people who John Quayle spoke with about his experiments before they were or made public we reached Dr Hurlbert on vacation at Solitude Mountain. Utah Dr Hurlbert. What was your initial reaction to the news? That her John Quaye had been sentenced to three years in prison. My first reaction was one of sadness because I know a doctor who we call. JK At his nickname. I know him personally. I spent quite a few hours talking with him. And I'm just sad that this worked out this way didn't didn't work out well for him or for for his country or for the world in some sense except the one good thing is alerted us. It's awakened the world to the series since of the issues that are coming down L. Tortoise with biotechnology what about What how does he feel about? Not just the Chinese government but the world generally responded A to his experiment. He was surprised personally but I had actually warned him that he was proceeding too fast. And I didn't know he had implanted. Embryos does but we had several conversations before this was disclosed anti warned him to go more slowly to keep in conversation with the rest of the international scientific community and more broadly and he was doing that to some extent. But not deeply enough. Not Transparently enough. Do you think he he feels any remorse. Yes in fact. He wrote to me about three weeks. After the Hong Kong summit were his work was disclosed. You know it was leaked he. Didn't you WanNa have known at that moment. But there's all sorts of forced on him at the Hongkong some little more than a year ago and afterwards he he emailed me and said can we talk walk and so over December January. We had a series of long long conversations two or three hours about this whole matter and at one point he sent me an email saying saying he really regretted that he proceeded the way Morse about it. The Chinese state media is reporting there prosecutors allegation that was motivated by fame and money I mean they say he conspired with others because there was a commercial benefit to be gained from all of this. What's your take on? That get sold exactly the way I see it. I mean it's pretty hard to separate out people's personal ambitions of fame and fortune. But I know for sure. He had a very idealistic overarching intention and he realized that there were a lot of very serious needs especially with genetic diseases. There were social problems associated with with HIV AIDS in China that he hoped to address and so he he was really believing that he was branching out boldly into something that would benefit. Everybody say had an idealistic intention as well as certainly wanting to be decisive undo good with his training fences on standing in the world it but a medical rules. Ethical rules exist for for fundamental 'til reasons. Why not experiment within those rules? He must have recognized that they existed. Well you know the rules are not as clearly set out as you might think and I think is one of the failures and one of the reasons why we have to take this situation as more than just the work of a broke scientists or an individual moving too fast. He thought that he was obeying the rules. Set up and advocated by the National Academies. So had there been a clear set of guidelines and procedures to follow on very confident. He would not have done what he did. Yeah you said earlier here. Though that that he didn't tell you you didn't know that he'd actually implanted embryos. I mean he will withheld that information. You think it's because he thought it would raise a red flag with view. I'm not quite sure why he didn't tell me earlier than he did he. He never told me that he had implanted embryos. But he did tell me there was a serious scientific paper and I think maybe the reason he didn't tell me this is because he knew I'd been urging him not to do it but he was interested in the ethical issues and was turned understand. Adam he was just in too much of a hurry but this is such a crucial issue that I think you should have stayed within within the bounds so far larger wisdom. It sounds. He's like you. You were very thoughtful in the conversations you had with him in the advice you gave him. I guess you operate it with the what you had but do you have any regrets yourself off. I don't have any regrets about the way I conducted myself. I regret that this happened this way for. JK WHO's a very very bright person unfairly. Nice person a humble person but I know this is a bigger bigger story than just. JK's life family but there's a personal story to a to do. Do you worry that because he has pushed the bounds. This far that others will will do the same or take it even further. That's a hard thing to figure out what could happen. Now on the one hand he did open the territory. But it's obvious that this brought a lot of scrutiny from the world a lot of opprobrium a lot of condemnation and so I think people will be a little more careful. I think the as I said earlier the most positive thing to come out of this and I told. Jk this when he was feeling especially especially down at the very least did one good thing and that was awakened the world the seriousness of these issues. I'm hopeful that now we will find a way to have of a Goebel conversation about it because really these are issues that relate to the whole human family. They're really species issues. They're really issues for figuring out out. What kind of future we want as human beings and if we don't address them with Wisdom Brilliant Optima Cavada mistakes that will hurt individuals and road the social cohesion this so crucial for civilization? What seems to be getting lost? Though in these ethical discussions is is that these two real little girls apparently had their genes added. What kind of future do you imagine that they and possibly even their descendants? Attendance might face as a result of being unwitting test subjects. I think my own guests is that they'll be relatively unaffected physically but social issues. Of course significant. The families certainly do not want their children to be on public display. But they're going to have to keep them preserve their privacy privacy if they don't want either be just harassed by curiosity seekers or buys even negative attitudes Dr Hurlbert very much for your insights and for your time. Thank you all right goodbye. Dr William Hurlbert is a physician dishes and professor of neurobiology at Stanford University. We reached him at Solitude Mountain. UTAH For nearly two decades after a motorbike accident in his youth mark home grins. Right arm was was almost completely unusable and this year he decided it was time for his arm to part with his body but that did not mean. He parted with his arm after getting it amputated amputated. Mr Holmgren sent his arm off to a taxidermist to have it cleaned and put back together and he recently got it back. We reached Mark Holmgren in Drayton Valley Alberta Berta. And if you're squeamish you might WANNA turn your radio off for the next six minutes mark. Why did you decide? You wanted to keep your arm. After it was amputated it was just something I always wanted to do. I thought about it for quite a few years and the thought it was a new thing too. If you have to get it removed then something need with it. You say something need. What is the arm? Look like right now. That's just bone. It just looks like a skeleton bone. Now you had had a very severely injured arm right many years ago. It took a long time for you to decide to have it amputated. Can you can't take us through that a little bit. Basically just waiting to see if Technology did you would would advanced enough to be able to fix it or give me robotic arms there something like that but They told me there was no more real. Big Advances Vance's so I just decided to remove it so once you made this decision. How complicated was it to keep the arm and find a taxidermist? It was a little tougher to find the taxes. They Miss. They just had to keep it frozen until I found the right versus. You had it in your freezer. I did yes. How do you bring home an amputated arm? It's completely frozen when I picked it up and disrupt it in a garbage bag and look at home carried it out so you say it was hard to find a taxidermist. Tell me about tracking one down what it was involved. I called about five of them first and they pretty much all shut me down right quick and so Put It on. FACEBOOK goes looking for a tax that they missed a friend. Sent me a link to one. He had talked to already so they already knew that I was calling and we now have the woman who did the work on the line. That's Danielle Swift. She is the CO owner of legends taxidermy and skull cleaning. Hi Danielle. Aw I so you had been given the heads up by by Marx friend. What was your first reaction when you heard about the idea? I thought he was joking. I I don't think I'll ever receive another phone call like that in my life that hey I have a buddy that wants to get his arm cleaned. It was like Oh okay okay okay. Yeah let's do it. Let's do it was at that instant you thought it was okay to go ahead and do it. I thought about it. I hesitated for maybe ten seconds and then I just I saw you know what this is GonNa be so cool so market said. He had a lot of trouble at my other people rejecting him. Is there some kind of reason that they would did not do it and you would. There's no like taxidermy code or anything is there. No I think I guess this may be your level of weirdness. My husband David wanted nothing to to do with it from the get go. He was like if you take this on. This is your project one hundred percent. Let me know when it's in our beetle colony and let me know when it's done so don't go in there so if he would pick up the phone he would have said no so. I'm glad I did so. And you said within your colony what was that. We Use Dermot the Beatles to clean all of our skulls in bone material. So you put the arm in with them and they clean off all the flesh. Yes I was going to ask you to describe. Describe the arm without being too gruesome before you started. But we're already on gruesome territory. So what did the arm look like when you started the process. Wow you know I I was like Oh this is fine and as soon as I took it out of the bag and just holding his arm is like Whoa okay. This is weird now. This is somebody who's armonk holding but it's you know it's it's it's just skin great so Putting it in it took a while because it was frozen I put it in frozen and unfortunately his hand was clenched fist. In due to me not knowing the bone structures to well in how to piece it back together I had to actually manipulate things as they. We're thawing so that I would know where things went so it was a lot of hands on and it Kinda got pretty gross for a little while but the Beatles take care of it so so fast but it's not my guess to growth but I guess that depends on the level of the person looking at it will be on two different anatomies there anything different about book cleaning a human bone from animal bones From from what I had experienced the Al.. You like you go through some different processes when you our Finishing a bone. Like when you take it from say meet in Hyde and everything being on a bone to win it star quite and clean like your bone carries as a lot of Greece in it from fat deposits and everything so we have to go through a process of decreasing it and there was a lot of degreasing I had to do. It actually shocked me. I had to do probably ten times more work on that than normal. Say A deer skull mark. Let me bring you back in. Did you know all of this before you started when when you handed the arm over that. That was what was involved. No I had no idea. I just thought you'd give it to the bugs and when they're done you back together so what was it like to see. Get hold it in your hand. Once you've got it back from Daniel. It's just what I wanted. It's exactly what I was expecting it to be. So where are you keeping it. I'll probably we just put a nail on the wall and hang it up like a picture. It's certainly now I keep it behind the sink. There's some flowers and plants and stuff so throwing just stuck it in a little jar. Wow Danielle what does it mean to you to hear whole happy. Mark is with the result. Oh It's pride all right you know you get you get something. That's so personal to someone and to have them receive back and be happy with the finished product and proud of it it just. Yeah it gives you a really good feeling of well. I Guess Pride of joy that you accomplish something that they were hoping to receive back of something so intimate to them. It's nice to hear your so happy with the final result with the decisions that you both made as well thank you very much and happy new year to the two of you to mark Holmgren Brin recently had his arm amputated and then Daniel Swift cleaned it and put it back together. Reach them both in Drayton Valley Alberta The name Monty Python means absolutely nothing. It is the made up name of one one nonexistent person except that there were six of them except but there was a seventh and his name was Neil Innes a man. One former colleague called quote the most talented but least ambitious man I ever met on quote. Neal a comedian songwriter known for his work with Monty Python. The bonzo so dog Duda band and the ruttles died on Sunday. He was seventy five years old in the seventy s Mr. Ns wrote sketches and music for Python most notably for the nineteen and seventy five film Monty Python and the Holy Grail and among his many talents. The UNAMBITIOUS MR. Ns had a knack for writing satirical songs and parodies of other people's music which led him to form the Beatles parody group the ruttles with fellow Python member. Eric idle the group recorded albums and released a mockumentary called the ruttles. All you need need is cash in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight. Today Monty Python Star John cleese remembered Mr. Ns on twitter as quote a very sweet man. Much too nice for his own good Just break is charged with mischief. But he says it was just journalism in two thousand sixteen gene. Before Mr Briggs joined a p t n he was covering indigenous protests at the Muskrat Falls Generating Station project in Labrador the company had secured a court injunction in blocking protesters from entering the site but the protesters broke. The lock went through the gate and began an occupation so Mr break took his camera and followed the protesters inside insight. Justin breaks lawyers have argued that he shouldn't be tried for doing his job as a reporter that earlier this month. A judge dismissed their application and gave the green-light for his trial to go ahead in January. We reached Justin break in Ottawa. Justin break what are you thinking and feeling now that you are seemingly Heading for trial It's unfortunate that this outstanding criminal charge has not been dropped but At this point I think I'm feeling more confident now than I than I was two years ago Facing all three charges you know vindicated by Newfoundland Labrador's highest court and also also with the support of all of my colleagues at APN journalistic and press freedom organizations and And you know basically three three three plus years now to reflect on the importance of the work that I did in the fall of two thousand sixteen in Labrador and the impact without his so the crown and says that you were engaged in mischief at Muskrat falls. What would you say? How do you describe what you were doing? They're covering a very important story It it was a it was a good ethical decision to make to to follow that story and cover it because the public had a right and they need to know what was going on ATM Muskrat falls at that time. So you know I kinda I stand by that decision and I don't. I do not believe what I did was a criminal. The other journalists covered that Muskrat falls occupation but they did it from outside the gates whereas you followed the protesters onto the property me. Why did you decide that? You should challenge the court's injunction and join that occupation. Why didn't decide that? I should challenge the court's Injunction Junction That day I had to make a snap decision in a matter of seconds whether to stay with the story or abandon the story and cover it from outside the gate. Ah You put it You know I did follow the story and others didn't follow the story that day but as soon as I was in there and had exclusive access to the story that's when CBC C. N. N. TV and others began reaching out to me to say. Hey we we actually need to know what's going on in there. Can you help us so so by virtue you of making that decision to go in. I was actually able to act in not only in primarily covering the story for the independent but also to help other media who who. We didn't make the same decision as I did. In those few seconds do you feel that the other journalists failed to do their jobs whereas you did. We are at a turning point in terms of the You know quote Unquote Era of reconciliation. And it's well document. That Canadian media have historically failed to adequately represent and cover for indigenous people and stories and I think that Probably because it was a unique and unexpected situation had media had more time to prepare or consider the pros and cons or potential ramifications are benefits of following that story. Maybe there would have been a different outcome in terms of other journalists following the story. So your work. Muskrat falls has been framed as embedding with the occupiers. But but some have described you as well as an activist journalist would would you think that's a fair assessment. I don't know what people mean when they say when they say that I'd want a definition of that term. And how would you define. I don't have the definition for it because it's not something that I consider myself I guess it would be more fair to say. I've been an advocate of crafts freedom. Doing but You know like I alluded to earlier. I mean we've for years Different various bodies observers have called on Canadian media to do better in reporting reporting on indigenous issues The wash inquiry. No journalist was present when Dudley George was shot in in Ontario You know the TRC Truth and Reconciliation Insulation Commission and it's called the actions calls for indigenous media to better support. It's these stories can be told and so. I don't think that the conversation necessarily should be asking thing at this point in time in two thousand nineteen why journalists Make decisions to do a better job of covering these types of stories. I think it should be incumbent on media who are not taking these types of decisions. Why they're not because we saw? We have three years to reflect on the Muskrat falls coverage that the independent did and we see that it'd probably provided an enormous ormuz public service because a counter narrative that was being constructed by Government Inc and by police. That in fact turned out to be not the complete complete picture. You mentioned earlier that to additional charges that you've been facing the crown dropped the criminal contempt charge and then the court of Appeal dismissed the civil. We'll charge so what is the reason that the crown has given for wanting to move ahead with this mischief charge. We're wondering the same as well. I mean they believe that they have the that it's in the public look interests. I mean this is known this is in court documents. So we know and they they have to believe or be able to argue that it's in the public interest to proceed with these charges. So they think it's in the public interest to uh pursue the criminal charge of mischief over five thousand dollars and they have to believe that they have a reasonable probability of convictions. So to my understanding that means that an argument has to be made that my presence on the site as journalists impeded the I guess financial interests the Crown Corporation building. Damn what is it been like for you to continue your work with this thing hanging over your head. I mean it's been interesting. It's definitely Occupied occupied time and energy resources on my part but at the same time it has I think motivated me to pay more attention to the press freedom that I I think a lot of us. Journalists take for granted in Canada. And it's also created a dialog and conversation not only about press freedom but in the media's bowl and responsibilities of media have uncovering these types of story the Supreme Court of New Zealand labradors decision on the civil matter which came down earlier this year specifically cited a APTMA's Affidavit Karen Liaison former news director here who wrote Enough David in the intervene in my case and the judge we think for the first time in Canadian Indian history fight the reconciliation and the need the importance of media having to be present and bear witness than report on these types of events. So you know it's it's it's more than just about press freedom here. We're actually I think taking a step towards a better and more responsible media coverage of indigenous people an indigenous stories. All right just break. Thank you very much for talking with US locate. Thanks very much all right. bye-bye Justin break is a reporter with AP news the reached him in Ottawa. For Thirty Years Julie. Berman was an advocate for transgender rights. She she volunteered with. LGBTQ organizations in Toronto and spoke out about the rising violence and hate targeting the Trans Community in the city. Last week Ms Berman was killed. She was fifty one. Toronto Police have since charged a twenty nine year old man with second degree murder. His motive remains unclear. Nikki Ward is longtime sometime. Trans rights advocate. Who is friends with? Julie Berman and saw Ms Berman Struggle With homelessness addiction and mental illness. This morning Ms Ward spoke with Metro Morning Guest guest host Fara Morality about how she'll remember her friend Nicky. Tell us a bit. Julie Berman like most of us who have survived while she was scrappy had a very dark sense of humors. We will develop over time. I she was creative and Yeah I'm a survivor. Until of course she wasn't when you say she was a survivor. What do you mean? The life of most transfer payments is a life of many cases continual fear endanger violent death solitary poor nasty brutal and short and so those of us who survive This is an evolutionary process. Here the tough tough one survive and the ones who aren't so tough don't sad sad reality and Julia was very tough but not invincible. And our life wasn't easy she had been going through who Quite a bit over the past few years. Tell me about that. Well look the climate today for Trans People is is not a bed of roses by any means. In the past six six months we have seen a massive increase in casual violence against Trans Women and against The vulnerable groups in the past six months weakening the church wealthy area we've had Professors say that we shouldn't exist lecturers twenty public library saying that. We aren't real women. We've had religious extremists march on Church wealthy area. That Trans Memorial has being vandalized. We've had swastikas on the crosswalks. And that's the climate we all live including Julie. It's not surprising Short it's not surprising that that that situation mental health suffers in addiction. Comes along with it in so poverty is the number one issue We really are living in underclass pass whom the city of Toronto in the Facebook Post. The you'd wrote talking about Jew leave. You said that you were angry about the way that Julie's death was covered in the media particularly that you didn't see any trans women commenting on our death. Why did that make you angry? There's a tendency in on institutions speaking specifically of and by the way. Thank you very much. For being the exception that proves the rule here I greatly appreciate that but institutions tend to modify our tragedy and use it as an opportunity to fundraise instead of to raise awareness. And so it's terribly important that we have Trans Women talking about Trans thinks not after the fact but before the fact that the policy oh see level so A large number of people were contacted. who were at night the Trans Nor Trans Women There were people who cannot speak authoritatively or even on an informed basis about it so it was very very distressing and of course Yeah that didn't play well with the Trans Community. Transfer women didn't play well with poor Julie's family we're dealing with just the horror of this loss. Toronto Trans Rights Advocate Nikki Ward. Speaking with Metro morning guest host far morality about her friend. Julie Berman Berman was killed last Sunday. She was fifty one frosty. St The snowman was a fairy tale. They say but he was made entirely of snow. He wasn't just a hollow shell with a bunch of snow slapped on a weird the cat. If he had been well imagine our collective disappointment it would be like the disappointment. Visitors to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. Felt this this summer the X. as it's called is known for its carnival rides. It's wild and or disgusting. Food and its annual display of butter sculptures giant blocks of butter showcased inside a glass refrigerator carved into extraordinary things but a photograph posted on twitter last summer seemed to shatter that illusion and Torontonians were outraged. The photo showed a sculptor slapping butter on top of giant dinosaur model the visitor visitor to the X.. Who captured that image tweeted today? I learned the butter sculptures at the X.. are just pieces of plastic covered in butter back in August when Helen was guest hosting she spoke with Rebecca Hall at the butter sculpture featured in that photograph. It's one of our favorite interviews of Twenty Nineteen Rebecca Rebecca Hall at. We've described this photo for our listeners. But can you tell us what's actually going on in it from your perspective so this photograph is of me sculpting and the Butter Fridge I'm almost done for the day sculpting and working on peace and it's actually funny because I'm covering my armature which is the skeleton of my work to hold it up with butter and it's actually a photo right before. Disaster happens where the whole sculpture actually comes falling down Ono. The person who posted the photo on twitter is suggesting that butter sculptures are not solid butter but but pieces of plastic covered in butter. I guess that's because of of the form that you were using I guess so I'm it isn't plastic. It's it's actually just some foam home from home depot to be honest And I actually ended up Building the foam part for the dinosaur As has an armature to go and keep it up and Yeah No. It's it's funny because a lot of people are are going crazy over it and saying oh my gosh it's it's not all all at thought here but That's kind of almost every butter sculpture. Does almost every piece has something in it again. We think maybe the way people curve you know hard piece of marble or or carve ice that it's like a solid block that you kind of just chip away ad. Does it ever work like that. Not Really A lot of sculptures. You know we're going really dynamic with their sculptures. Now we're going bigger and we're getting much more Larger larger with our scale and a lot of the pieces have a lot of hanging overhangs. You know large arms or very tall sculptures and we need something to support that. Let's ice holds itself up but unfortunately butter you know if you've ever smeared butter on your toast. You know what it's like. It has no real form to it so so a lot of sculptures unless they're very small are usually filled with something in it and they didn't have something what a styrofoam or plastic or whatever ever day would fall apart absolutely It's already happened a couple of times in the fridge I've actually sculpted one sculpture before stirred started on the raptor We were asked by the Seaney And Fan Expo to do peace and we did the Infinity Gauntlet and it's almost also also butter with the exception of the sun because some just kept falling off we ended up actually putting a couple of chopsticks in it to go and hold it. 'cause we're working against gravity and gravity but he just wants to pull the butter down and clearly it does sometimes because you said the thing did collapse on you. Yeah it collapsed on me. The person working next to me her sculpture clap laps. Even though it had wood dowels in it. It's got plumbing pieces in it. It fell down. You don't actually realize how big these things are until you come and see it in real life yeah. How many pounds of butter are we talking about? Say for this raptor it is three hundred pounds and gravity just early wants to pull it down so used foam. It was funny you you mentioned how this seems to have really blown away. Many people in Toronto that that this is not what they suspected it was having this. Form inside at some of the tweets Sir. That's honestly heartbreaking. I blame capitalism. There goes my last remaining reason to visit the X.. A travesty and a colossal waste of butter you know. People are pretty outraged. Yeah yeah it. It really surprised me because it was funny. The sculpture next to me. It's an and Ville with the roadrunner on top of it. It had a pipe sticking out of it for a good two days. Maybe the reason people notice mine more was because it's purple so it sticks so it more but it definitely hasn't been the first year that I have gone questions you know. Oh my gosh that's cheating or you know why are you doing not and then as soon as we explain it a lot of people are like oh right Bader it's mushy. It doesn't have a forum you know. It's not rigid like you said with ice or marble it it sounds like this is a pretty frustrating material to work with. Oh Gosh It is so much she Especially for us Warm butter cutters sometimes to go build on armature and it just it plops down. You know it's very difficult to work with one it's hard. It's so hard that sometimes we breaker acre tools trying to carpet into it. So it's it's not the easiest medium like we all love working in butter otherwise we wouldn't be here and we just we love the material. It's so unusual. You know it's definitely a harder material to work with but we really love it. What do you want to say to those people who feel maybe a little crushed spy the reality of the fact that you're not dealing with solid butter here? I think people just need to look more closely at the other sculptures unrealized. But it's been this way as long as I've sculpted or the other sculptors sculpted it's always been there and maybe people just didn't notice it before someone didn't pointed pointed out before but it's still a lot of butter Including my sculpture. It's only ten percent armature. It's like ninety percent butter so it really is still a butter sculpture. We're just using the armature just to go and help us oaten you know. Help US along and get it done and but for the most part it is Butter don't worry and yes it is better. It's not margarine. I swear I would think that'd be even slippery and harder to mold. Look Rebecca. I really appreciate appreciate you sharing the secrets of your craft with us. Thank you so much. Okay bye bye. Rebecca Hall is a butter sculptor at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. We reached her there this August when she spoke with Helen who was guest hosting and to see that infamous photograph of her butter sculpture. Go to our website. CBC DOT CA Okay Slash Ai. H It has been the year of gratitude. Burke Greg the sixteen year old Swedish climate activists started a movement that inspired millions to join protests worldwide. She traveled across the Atlantic Ocean on a very uncomfortable. herbals zero emission sailboat twice. And for all of that. She was named Time Magazine's person of the year after which he was attacked on twitter by the president of the United States but her father miss timber still a young woman and allowing her to be in. The spotlight was a hard decision sponsor. Tune Berg spoke about his fears for his daughter on today's episode of BBC Radio Four's Today program which Greta guest edited. Why she decided to do this? We Re said quite clearly that we would not know supported supported. Why did you say that? Obviously we thought it was a bad idea putting yourself out there with all the hate on social media media and and you know just the idea of your own daughter sort of putting yourself at the very line of of of such a huge question like climate change so. It's not that you have pushed her to do this. Because that question often get cells to the public it was Dell's Tamalada where the heck was pushing this. You haven't pushed her to this new On the contrary we said okay. If you're going to do it then you're going to have to do it by self you'll I'll have to be incredibly well pat. You have to have all the answers to the questions. She says okay. Whatever the journalists came along she she would all through all the questions and that was surprising thing because she didn't speak to anyone at the time she has asked purchase? Yes yes spirit. She had also become quite ill with depression. Your much earlier like three or four years before she went on on the school strikes. She are fell ill and she stopped talking. She stopped eating and all these things she stopped going to school. She's basically home for a year as she didn't eat for three months of two and a half months. Which of course was the ultimate nightmare as a parent? You have food aid. Eat Food to survive and your child colleges the. Is there ever moment where you think. I would just like us to go back to being an ordinary family family before all of this began or do you have the same sense of purpose that she does but I can see Greta very happy from doing this and I saw what she would before. I mean she didn't speak to a single person. She could only eat in their own home. She went on to school strike and I think they three some came along against her like peptide. Hi Vegan as she ate it that was like I cannot believe I cannot explain how much that would change. That meant to her and to us and it was just like she changed. That was fun to tune Berg. Greta tune Berg's father speaking with the BBC's Michelle Hussein I don't know if you're one to make resolutions at this time of year. But if you are you no doubt appreciate as I do that. There are a lot easier to make than they are to keep. You often hear that you should be realistic in choosing goals else. That being overly ambitious is a recipe for failure. Suffice it to say that is advice. Michael Berg did not heed and it wasn't even new years when he resolved to do what many of us would consider impossible to forgive his son's killer. It was June two thousand six. When as it happens I spoke with Mr Burg after news? News broke that Abu Musab el-zari then the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq had been killed just two years earlier. Mr Berg's son Nicholas suffered a grisly death at the hands of Al Qaeda. After he was captured while working as a contractor in Iraq the man believed to have carried out his execution was Mr Elder Cowie. Given that add Michael Berg's reaction to the death of his sons tormentor was surprising to say the least. He said he forgave him. Here's a little of what he told as it happens. Well my reaction was human reaction up sadness at the death of any fellow human being and there are people that love him and they're people that are are now suffering the same pain like family and I Have suffered I cannot and I will not ever justify revenge because that would just the find my son's staff Mr Berg's resolve to forgive his son's killer sparked outrage across the US he faced death threats and was even shot at but a Canadian. singer-songwriter named Peter Cats heard Mr Berg. Speaking on as it happens that night in June as he was driving his car and he was so moved by the interview that he immediately uh-huh pulled over and began to write down. Some of what Mr Berg was saying. It was the beginning of a song that Peter Cats called forgiveness not to mention a lifelong friendship with Michael Berg last year. The two men Joint Carol on as it happens to speak about how Michael Berg's resolution to forgive had transformed both their lives. Mr Katz was in the studio here in Toronto. and Mr Berg was in a studio in Norfolk Virginia. Here again is their conversation. Hello Michael Hello and Hello Peter here in the studio with me. Hello extraordinaire having both of you together to yes. I Mike I want to start with you because because we heard some of your voice from that interview in two thousand and six in the introduction and This is not long after you forgave your son's killer someone who is a brutal murder if your son and You said that you realized it was a response. Nobody wanted to hear what. What did you mean by that? Well people try to talk me out of it I think later that same day of that original interview Larry King interviewed me by telephone and he kept saying well. Come on Michael This guy and then he would be a lot more blunt than I would have wished them today. A about what what he did and it seemed like he just couldn't accept the fact that really is if he was accusing me of lying and there was a lot of media coverage right and not does that. There are a lot of people who responded to us. People say horrible things to you people in your face showing you photos Ddos an images and big banners of your of your sons murder and just so angry with you. Someone took a shot at. He'll use a bullet through a window at one in pointed it was just extraordinary. Yes it was. That's it was. And how did you deal with that at the time To tell you the truth I I think I was still pretty much living on adrenaline and As Peter said in an song I felt like guy had nothing left to lose So I'm not normally is maybe Brave or foolhardy as I was as far as exposing myself to you know to possible dangers back. Then you called yourself. You said I'm I'm an nothing left to lose club. I think you said in iron review right right well there are a lot of us Back in the day I was I know a lot of people who had lost children in the war and That's what we call it ourselves roles but you you came to this point of forgiving Kylie not immediately. This is something that was a process took some some months about half a year and you describing that to us when we spoke to you two thousand six. I just WanNa play a bit of what you said at that time after submit that it took a little bit of time I never once asked for revenge against him. Because I knew that that was wrong. needlepoint son would say that. That was wrong on But it took me a while About a half a year I think before I came to the point where I can honestly say. I forgave him one day. I opened up a Catalogue that came in the mail that offered a course at nearby Imaculada University That was entitled forgiveness the way to love and a wounded world. I thought you know I'm not a Catholic. I'm not a Christian Not even a very good job or even much of anything but I have to take that course and I took that course and I've learned what forgiveness is all about listening two thousand and six Michael. What did that cost? Teach you about forgiveness. Well I think one of the biggest things that taught me was that to forgive. Someone is not to condone what they did. I certainly don't condone what what did but it's basically I I I would say in her not to hate and negatives process The sister sister Shila Galligan. Who taught that core set? IMACULADA said Forgiveness light quitting cigarettes. Sometimes you have have to do it over and over again. So it's you know it's it is a process and shakers just so great and presenting things in such a way that anybody could could accept them and explaining the nuances of the the differences between condoning and forgiving and and other things that people are often confused and ultimately forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't for the person being forgiven. It's for the person who's doing the forgiving and it. It changed my outlook on life. In in general on my relations with people especially people close to me and it's still a tremendous factor in my life the fair to say that that course change the course of your life. It certainly did. That's very fair to say and Peter. I I think it's safe to say that Interview Michael's words changed your life. Didn't it yeah they did. I just got a Muslim just listening to to it again and I mean just listening to it in today's Times Twelve years later and realizing that that message is still more important than ever And at the time I I was listening to Michael and as I was listening to this interview I I just wasn't expecting the way that it was going to unfold and the reaction that he was describing. And as you when I found out later in the interview that people call him a coward and had shot at him I just said I said hang on a second the the message that this man is saying is the most courageous brave choice. I've ever heard somebody ever make and it felt like the antidote wrote to this escalating hatred. That was was happening in the world and just listening to it again today. I'm just like it's still the answer it's still remains is the answer. It's still remains more important than ever so. Remember the details the situation in which you listen to Michael This interview I was. I was driving along in my car and and Canadian musicians been a lot of time driving across Canada lot of timeless in CBC. And and I would always listen to as it happens and and you know it's just one of those things that's on and you're listening to it and you're taking it in but it's one of those interviews that I just kind of zeroed in on as I clued into what was being said and and to me. The part that I was very moved by Michael's reaction in and of itself I was very unexpected reaction. But what really kind of jolted into action was was the fact that you you don't like I said that people shot at him and called him a coward and just put him through even more hell than than I have a son. I don't know what it's like like to lose one let alone under the circumstances that Michael Lost Nick So when I found out that people were doing that to him just said that to me is just just unconscionable and I need to do something about that and and I need to somehow amplify his message and the you know the context of it was you know als- Erc how was this targeted. Forget and they were like. Hey we got him and Yay victory You know mission accomplished that kind of lingo and you know they were using I mean I. I don't want to speak for Michael on this. But they were using nick in the murder of Eleazar Cowie as as a reason to justify what they were doing revenge. Yeah and the lyrics of your song. I'm just going to read the chorus and then we're going to hear it later on so people know there are not going to miss that so I guess I'm going to have to try forgiveness because men so you know that's all that I've got left. My boy did not deserve this but neither do the rest. I guess I'm going to have to try forgiveness how. How did those words come to you? Those words came to me right away. I think I pulled over and wrote down those words and then as is often the case for me with in writing I I kinda have the initial thing and then I knew I needed just be with it because sometimes the surface reaction is is not deep enough. I I immediately just care about so deeply and I and I knew that I was going to be singing in Michael's voice so I wanted to do it properly It wasn't just about channeling. Melling my own feelings about it. I really wanted to amplify his voice. That was the goal so I wrote those words down and then I actually ended up seeking out a copy of the interview that you guys had done and I transcribed it. I'm just so I could kind of practice putting words together in the way that Michael put words together other and really then just kind of work from there and see very carefully. Put it together and Michael Whe- When you first heard the song. What was your reaction I was I was overcome. Totally overcome that in light of all the negative reactions. I had that someone would have such an understanding of what I meant and and be so kind and so Generous in in his respect just overcame. That still does every time I hear it. It to of you became friends didn't you. What was the friendship based on was at this moment it didn't do? Did you find you. You took too deep replace Luke who was a Knicks Knicks. Best friend organized a concert and they created a scholarship scholarship in nickname. They called it Burger Palooza and and and the Invited me down to come perform at that concert. And so I went went down to West Chester Pennsylvania and I. I stayed in a guest room at Luke's house where he told me that nick would have spent much time time. And and then we did this concert and I got to Michael. We went for a coffee together in the afternoon. And then I played this concert and I stood on a stage in my view or Knicks friends and family and teachers and Michael and I got to play this song and I my whole body shaking just thinking about that moment and how touched I felt to be able to do that in and contribute in that way and then several years in a Roy went down and did that and and then Michael and I were also invited to give a symposium on forgiveness at a college in Philadelphia in two thousand twelve and we've got to spend even more time together then. I remember going for a long walk together in a park in just just so enjoying our time together. I think this I believe a generation. Difference isn't there would be closer to nick's age Yeah Yeah I'm in my mid thirty so I guess about the same Ecuadorians. Outright Michael Vick would be forty okay so pretty clear skies younger. Yeah speaking singer Songwriter. Peter Katz who wrote a song called forgiveness inspired by an interview on as it happens with Michael Berg Man was on the other line from Norfolk Virginia. Is someone someone who forgave his son's killer in Iraq and I I think we need to hear this song. I think at this point and so I'm going to ask you to play for. ESPN absolutely Smith to explain. It does everything nothing To say some things they happen and once they do within of a way the tell you that this life is I- uh manual. After that so I will not stoke the fire of this fate when I get some GonNa try forgiveness uh-huh because many know it saw I've got a but boy did not deserve but now get some true Call me a coward. Komi every once could hurt me now have nothing to go on Spike macos. I will not curse his name. Uh Broken play. But I won't participate. You know this So I guess try forgiving in many. No it saw I've got landlord did not deserve talk to the rich. Get some forgive Oh they shut me for speaking up against this tired. Whoa not man one more do a simian hello? There ain't nothing that just a fire and I know here before you Livin note the horace listed still swear the only answer forgiveness. I'm nasty forgiveness forgiven. Give them a traff given. Ah Ah girls or watch a he put us to the Komo. Let's show them forgiveness not The show Forgive Spare to say there is not a dry eye in host here like. I don't know you're dealing with that. It's a very moving very very moving. Peter has a real talent at touching on immersion. I think he has talent feeling it. There's a depth to that that's Yeah can only come from an inspiration Michael on that and you were the inspiration. What to say to my When I heard your voice on the radio that day I just I just I? I felt like you're one of the rapist. People that I I've ever heard and it's been such a pleasure to get to know you. I'm calling my friend and I really just feel I feel honored that I get to be of service to your message and it might career. That was the very very beginning of me as a singer songwriter. And kind of testing the waters and and that song really was the the affirmation that I needed the confirmation nation that I needed that there was a place for my voice so it's also changed my life In in many ways you gave me hope for the human race because as I said before so much of the reaction was was very very negative and On that day that Circolo died the interview with. CVC I think was the only one that was not adversarial Ariel. Your reaction has to be the the most positive reaction. I ever got to anything anything I I said. And you and you you did it with such emotion and love. I mean you can just feel it through the words in your the voice. What do you think your son Nicholas was income of all these developments from the song? Our conversation always how would he respond. Well I don't I don't know because he was very modest and shy in a way person and he He probably wouldn't like all the publicity or people all saying good things about him. I guess I mean he was just that kind of person and his political views for very different from mine but I think I said this neighbor the original interview in our he wants poll. May that Although our views were different he was proud of me for getting out expressing mine Loyd was of him for doing what he believed in. Peter I can tell you. Have you want to say to Michaeline just ask you you. When have the last word here? Yeah I just wanted to to say to you my column you know that I I. I wish I could have gotten to know nick but I feel like at the son of of somebody I know that he would be he really proud of of you and what you've done and I'm really proud of you and and I also want you to know Michael that I I don't see a you as a as a God figure something and I've appreciated that you haven't tried to paint yourself as anything other than a human being. You've always made me feel like this is the real thing. It doesn't take other worldly powers to be able to make a choice like you made. It just takes that tapping into your humanity and doing the hard thing. Your your message of forgiveness has helped me through the last twelve years in an immense way and that moment of hearing your voice on the radio that day and writing that song just fundamentally onto mentally changed my life in a huge way so thank you deserve all the success that you've had were that That could have been not walk and was a hiccup park that are took. That would have been great. I admire both of you and I appreciate so much to Have a chance to speak with you. Have you both together. Thank you both. You're welcome bye Michael by Peter. Toronto based singer Songwriter Peter Cats and activist Michael Berg speaking with Carol last year. And we've reposted that interview to our website at CBC dot Ca Slash Aih there Radley clumsy and bulky but some of them are Jerry and those are the ones rob fowler color covets while the rest of us are throwing out old VHS tapes. Mr Keller wants all of them with one caveat they have to be VHS tapes of the movie. Jerry Jerry Maguire over the years the Vancouver man and his friends of collected more than four hundred fifty copies of the Nineteen Ninety six movie for a Los Angeles art collective called hauled. Everything is terrible. The group is planning to build a pyramid out of all those VHS copies of that movie. Mr Keller is the leading collector of Jerry Maguire tapes in Canada and in September. He told Carol why he had taken on the challenge. It's one of our favorite interviews of the year. Rob What inspired you to collect all out of these copies of the Jerry Maguire film while. I can't say that I did this alone. I went to a performance of everything is terrible in Chicago about nine nine years ago. And then they had a donation box for Jerry Maguire's and I didn't know what all this was about so I went online and I saw that they were looking to build build a pyramid in the desert. And I thought how can I get in on this so with some big ing with some help from friends started collecting and gave copies to these guys. So far how many they have they collected this point with with your health there at twenty seven thousand and with my health they've They've got four hundred fifty eight of my copies as of right now. Where are you finding them? So I've depleted most of Vancouver's inventory. I think just over the years so these days we're doing road trips. We hit a I. Adore is church. Rummage sales Grandparents basements are always a source and it hit any kind of gold mine in it particulars fifth shop up. You know what I did. Find One and I spoke with the lady there and she used all of her connections was able to get your sixty copies. How much time do you spend doing this? Probably too much time. It started Kinda like a hobby. And then you know it's the thrill of the Turkey till like tiny adorable Obsession sessions say and now you sharing this at anybody else are you doing. Are you a lone wolf series. A small group of US I guess. The unofficial official ringleader of the GERRYMANDERS. I guess you'd call us. And so who who else is in your group I were and how did you recruit them well. It's not something that you share. You know with a lot of people you get. These weird blank scares totally justified. So it's just some close friends and those close friends. It seems like knows someone that had jerry at some point. You know. There's thirty million people In Canada and I think probably more than half of US own. VHS Copy of this match film at some a point. I don't really have to look hard for them. They kind of find me. Why do you think there are so many copies? VHS copies j McGuire there. Oh I think it's one of the last films was that was a giant blockbuster hit before. DVD's kind of took over so this is like the last boone vhs when everyone had to have a copy and then they just kind of went the way of the land so after about six months of being sale all right speaking of going the way of the landfill so these ones did not go to landfill. What is this tells about this collective everything is terrible arable which has which is initiated all this collection? So it's a group of video editors from Chicago and what they would do is they would go to obscure replaces trying to find a Weirdo. VHS tapes they would take them a slice them together and make a full length feature films and what they found is when they were looking looking for these videotapes. They always come across Jerry. Maguire's again it's one of those popular films. Everyone Kinda donated after about a year so they felt bad about these Jerry's You know being alone uniform. They started grabbing. All those copies to and and you know before they knew what they were at ten thousand fifteen thousand. I yeah this. Whoa this idea of the pyramid is that? When did that come about building a pyramid Jerry Maguire tapes so I think we've been toying with that idea for a few years? I think initially they were looking to build. Ah Thrown of Jerry Maguire's and did that I think two thousand fourteen I call it a pyramid scheme. they're trying to build gigantic thing in the desert. Initially I was hoping they were doing stairway to heaven but I think this is. This is a much better way to go. It's kind of like that. Show the hundred thousand dollar pyramid except this is like bigger and I do. Do you think you've reached peak. Jerry at this point do you think is actually more out there to be had. Oh I think we're just beginning. You know there's I've according to them My little group is the biggest collector in Canada. And we're only four hundred fifty eight copies. I know there's more out there. So what's in it for you It it's it's it's just part of this. You know pop culture garbage thing just to be able to say I contributed to this gigantic. Waste of time. It's really nice. Let's be recognized for excellence in my field and I think that this is probably one of the things I'm best at. Where are you storing? All of these films well Much to the surrender my husband and they're all getting the kitchen. We're blessed with a lot of storage space above our cabinet. So they're all on display their instead of building a pyramid in the desert. Maybe you can make furniture furniture out of them. My own Jerry trump. Yeah I think that's a great idea. What do you think of the Jerry? Maguire movie This is I've actually not seen it. I here's a great film and of course you know memorized the front of VHS box in front back It it it says right on the box. It's a great film so you know I don't doubt that at some point in Sherman. Sit Down and watch it. I've got other things in my My Cue right right now. So you a guy who could actually see Jerry Maguire copy of VHS from a mile away you could spot and yet you've never watched the movie I have. I have not watched the movie audit trail. Yes I'm sure I'm sure it's riveting but there are a lot of people who don't like the movies maybe it's fitting that it should go to. Everything is terrible well for me. If they don't like it please send their copying directly to me. Okay Rob we'll put the word out. Okay thanks so much thanks bye bye bye from September. That was rob feller speaking with Carol about his collection of Jerry Maguire. VHS tapes the art collective everything is terrible is still working towards building building. It's Jerry Maguire. VHS Pyramid you've been listening to the as it happens podcast. Our show can be heard Monday to Friday on. CBC Radio One following the world at six you can also listen to the whole show on the web just go to CBC DOT CA Jason Slash. Ah and follow the links to our online archived. Thank you for listening. I'm Helen them and I'm Chris. How and for more C._B._C.? PODCASTS GO TO C._B._C. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.

United States Michael Berg twitter Toronto Rockland county Aaron Wieder reporter Julie Berman Berman professor Butter Rebecca Rebecca Hall JK Danielle Swift China FACEBOOK Dr Hurlbert CBC Dr William Hurlbert Stanford University
#195  Social Cohesion is Everything

Making Sense with Sam Harris

1:08:11 hr | 6 months ago

#195 Social Cohesion is Everything

"Welcome to the PODCAST. This is Sam Harris. Okay well then locked down for about a month here a logo month on my side. This is an increasingly surreal experience anyway. I hope you're all stain reasonably sane and healthy. I just want to express my gratitude for all of you who can't actually lockdown because your serving some essential function in society healthcare workers frontline responders. Those of you who are working in the supply chain delivering packages and food or commend markets and pharmacies. Were all incredibly lucky to have you and totally dependent on you. So thank you for what you're doing. This episode of the podcast has yet another PSA. I think I've had four or five of those in a row so he will not hit a paywall hear anything on the pandemic. We're putting out in its entirety. But just to remind you if you care about getting all of my podcast content. The only would actually do that is to subscribe and Sam Harris Dot Org and also apologies for the sound in this episode. It's been my general practice of late to bring people into studios and record them professionally. The pandemic has made that impossible. We've been sending people microphone who they can record from home. But we can't control all the variables in their environment. And how all that works out. So you'll hear some strange acoustics for one of our speakers. Today he'll get used to. It is by no means terrible. I actually had a podcast recorded a few days before this that we can't release because the audio was that bad. One can never be entirely sure what was going to get under these conditions but today's episode is perfectly fine albeit not perfect. Okay Tha dams begin with General Stanley McChrystal. And his colleague Chris Fussell General McChrystal retired from the US army as a four star general after more than thirty four years of service and his last assignment was as the commander of all American and coalition forces in Afghanistan. He has written several books. One of which is a memoir titled My share of the task which was a New York Times bestseller. He's also senior fellow at Yale. University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and he's the founder of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute and his colleague. Today's episode is Chris. Fussell Chris's partner the McChrystal group. And he's the CO author with Stan of team of teams which was also a New York Times bestseller. Chris was a commissioned naval officer and he spent fifteen years in the navy seals in various points around the globe the also served as the aide to camp to General McChrystal during his final year. Commanding Joint Special Operations Task Force fighting. Al-qaeda Chris has also on the board of Directors of the Navy Seal Foundation and he's a member of the council on Foreign Relations and also teaches at the Jackson institute at Yale University. And in this podcast we focus on the covert nineteen pandemic. We discussed our initial mistakes in responding to it the nature of the ongoing crisis the threat of a breakdown in social order the problem of misinformation the consequences of dishonesty from the government. The prospects of nationwide lockdown the trade off between personal freedom and safety the possible threat of tyranny concerns about the global supply chain and the price of oil going to low the safeguarding of the twenty twenty presidential election and other topics so without further delay. Bring you Stan. Mcchrystal and Chris Fossil. I am here with General Stan. Mcchrystal and Chris Fussell guys. Thanks for joining me fact. Happiness so Stan I will. I will drop the general for our conversation. But obviously it's a great pleasure to get you want here given your your expertise and you don't need much of an introduction. I will have given you one in my opening remarks but perhaps both of you can summarize your experience here that seems relevant to the conversation. We're about to have sure I'll start in in. Chris and I shared a love it. I spent a career in the military but really starting in two thousand and three when I took command of Joint Special Operations Command America's counterterrorist forces. We were mostly focused in Iraq but actually spread across the entire Mideast against al Qaeda and eventually gets al-Qaeda in Iraq which emerged starting in two thousand three and what happened was we were a purpose built. Kenner terrorist force for precision almost elegantly precise operations but not on a very high tempo. Then we ran into this new entity al-Qaeda in Iraq that was amorphous severe like that was opportunistic. It was wickedly fast at learned constantly. Adapt adapted to the conditions. Everywhere was and it was really lethal and for about two years. They were defeating US. No matter what we did they were just a different threat that we weren't ready for what we did is in the middle of the fight. We transformed the organization not as much organizationally as culturally. We moved to a distributed operation where we operated from seventy six different basis simultaneously. We had to synchronize ourselves. Every twenty four hours because that was the pace of the war we had to change the mindset of how operations were conceived and approved push approval way down close to people close to the action and yet we all had to stay collaborative so that we had a common picture common shared consciousness of what was happening. It feels an awful like what is happening with. Covert nineteen right now. And so my background really. That's the time when my beliefs on leadership started to ship pretty dramatically and then in two thousand ten when I retired we founded the McChrystal Group on the hypothesis that our experience was not really unique to war or counterterrorism. It was to the age of complexity and speed. Which has changed the environment? We operate him and Sam. I joined the military. The navy in the late ninety s went straight into the seal teams and spent about a little over fifteen years there in that community and in two thousand three went through the selection To become part of the counterterrorism task. Force that Stan McChrystal oversea for about five years during the peak years of transforming that organization from top down linear into distributed network model and so for a few years get to see it on the on the front edge forces on the ground outpost around around the world round the fight then spent a year on stands staff as his aid camps chief of staff in finding civilian world and got to see that from the strategic level watching how really a global enterprise have transformed the way it communicated decentralized decisions. I've been on the receiving end of that but then got to see it from scenes. Get deeply interested in the network methodology. That is again so surprenant today as well went on to study that Grad school went back to my seal command for for a few more years than in two thousand twelve. Came here to depart partnered with Stan. Ever since that time Nice Nice Wall so there are many ways we could have this conversation and your expertise with respect to distributed organizations and the resilience that one has to build in by organizing new new ways. That obviously has A. There's a positive side to that. Amir learning from having bumped up against terrorist organizations. But all of this is relevant for how businesses now need to proceed under these new and highly disruptive conditions so we can talk about what people can do and should do in the business community to to make themselves more resilient but I want us to focus on the ways in which are fairly inept response thus far to the pandemic and particularly in the United States. Could I don't know if you share that judgment I would? I would love to get your take on. Just how you think. Our response has gone so far but however well or ineptly we respond there are downside risks to I mean virus aside an economic collapse that we all need to be mindful of and in particular. I'm concerned about social cohesion. And again this could be a generic conversation for some future. Pandemic right let's say this is a Kobe. Nineteen is a dress rehearsal for something much worse. I WanNa get a sense from you guys about what you're thinking about and watching for and worrying about and the kinds of advice you know would be given to the government and to businesses and individuals in light of the the possible knock on effects of what is on one level and epidemiological problem and on another. You know a quickly growing an economic one absolutely and Tim what I'll do is I'll start and frame up what I think. The situation has evolved to an impasse to Chris. Because he and I've spent a lot of time talking about the social cohesion part. If we think about the threat right now this amorphous viral frightening threat of a pandemic mixed with liberty. Shut down or a seizing up with the world. Economy on a short-term basis has frightened by something we can't touch your feel but we know is deadly and it also has us terrified because our economic wellbeing our security of our future is in doubt if we look at the United States as the pandemic started to appear first in China and then the little places elsewhere. Our first response was not to be candid with the American people as we should have been and I think several things came out of that by not laying out the situation very clearly like a leader at the beginning of a war might do. We created misperceptions about the level of threat and the level of activity. That would be needed to defeat this. Maybe that was to make people feel better in the moment but the reality is what it did was. It caused a lot of organizations to be slower to respond. They needed to be as we did that. And we reacted slowly. We started to suddenly see the effects of the virus on the United States which of course accelerated the economic shutdown. And then what we've been doing since is largely fighting this as fifty separate state battles as though each state and really each municipality is on their own to fight this virus but the very nature of an opportunistic threat. Like this is that you must be united if you want to win a war the way you do it as you break your enemy into pieces in the new defeat them in detail if you WANNA lose a war you do the opposite you get divided up and then each organization is trying to defend itself and they can't So what we've done is we've set up a mindset in the United States that says to a degree every man and woman for themselves and you know I break that to the state or municipal level when they lacked the confidence the expertise the resources to do that then. Suddenly you see society under pressure but it's not linked arms. Let me pass to Chris. Because that pressure can produce some frightening affects ya up. We started at pretty high level of what we've seen in other parts of the world that we may think we're far away from it in reality this part of the human DNA the tribalism so local focus that can kick in as we start to lose the those things that we take for. Granted that to keep us enough so that you don't separate as a society there's A. There's a thing called. The social cohesion cohesion curve. That I'm a big believer in just simple sort of X. Y. Axis that says you have I if a country is not you know in civil war has its cross some Level to maintain so the daily piece around society. Some of that you get for free based on the to the homogeneity the similarities inside the so think like Norway for example repre- high just on the natural level of cohesion. And then you have to. You have to cover the difference with the rule of law and order and and sometimes if that natural order is pretty low like we found in a place like Iraq for example from the outside pre two thousand three. It looks like okay. This is a relatively stable place. The natural cohesion was much lower than we would have assumed and Saddam Hussein in the bath has had covered the gap with all sorts of massive suppression behind the scenes via some of which we knew about what some of which we didn't right and so when that gets removed Removed than suddenly that gap is wide open and the that tribalism kicks in very quickly and in a matter of months society decayed into civil war and then it comes out and throws a grenade in the middle of it right so that we've seen that other places in Afghanistan when the Taliban came in it's separated the society through Very violence methodology. Obviously but Just fifteen years prior had been a vacation backup post. Soviet and warlord situation with violence in tenable the Taliban separates people down to the lowest and isolated level and we will be generations. If that's ever able to recover the the Afghanistan one wants new Balkanisation in the ninety s etcetera etcetera. So seen examples of this we have to be into standpoint as as things gets separated down the state and local level that will further decay. Potentially down into socio economic lines some of which already started trickling in the news whether it's between healthcare food shortages those sorts of things. There's there's a real potential under the surface that we can fractionally is by think. We're we're far distance from sort of the levels of violence. We've seen in other places but the social repair in an already very life polarized society could take much longer than we imagined it would if we don't get aggressive right now as leaders at every level to to to keep those communities states etc tied together under some some common banner right was I think many people listening to this conversation will find it. Frankly alarming that. I'm even inclined to talk to military guys however well-qualified and view the current situation through that Lens to talk about the possibility of a breakdown in social order is to paint and unnecessarily scary picture. And there's just something inflammatory about even entertaining this possibility but I think one lesson to draw from this experience is you know if you haven't thought about how quickly the world can change and once it changes there. Is this kind of ratcheting effect. Where you it seems. Move in one direction and it's very hard to get it to move back to where you came from. You're not drawing the obvious lesson. Most of humanity at this point is now told to stay home and various places are enforcing that recommendation with greater lesser heavy-handedness. And it really seems to me fairly obvious that if our response to the economic emergency isn't really effective we run a risk of many things going haywire. That again this is standing completely aside from the very obvious stressor of the epidemic which could break our healthcare system and make this parallel theme tragedy. Just what is beginning to happen? Economically poses a threat of of a breakdown in social order. So I just WanNa frame this discussion by Saying that I'm not expecting a breakdown in social order but it just it would seem irresponsible to not have experts of. You're sort at least talk us through the kinds of things. We should be looking for responding to preempting an advance. I'll give you one example so like in Los Angeles. It was just recently advertised that some very nice stores on Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills had boarded up their windows with plywood obviously anticipating the problem of looting and when I saw that on the one hand that could you could interpret. Data a signal of heightened risk or but conversely is also just a message sent to is almost like broken windows policing run an reverse is just a bad message of social distrust sent to all of society. But when you start to see things like that I see in kind of unraveling beginning which we should want to figure out how to arrest and you know the other rumors that I don't know if there's official but I have this fairly good authority. That police departments are policing quite differently. Now because they don't want to be up close and personal with people when they don't have to they don't want to be putting people into jails where this contagion could be exploded the courts. They're not impaneling juries. Our justice system is grinding to a halt as well and therefore their crimes that are not being prosecuted and crimes that are not being even responded to at the level of policing so and this is the kind of thing that again is moving in the wrong direction. When you're talking about social order so I just wanted to put that out to both of you and I think it's only responsible for leaders at every level to recognize you know what is similar about a current problem or crisis on what's different and there are variables here that we've never we've never dealt with. We certainly seen no natural disaster hurricane. Sandy type stuff. That's when the gritty nature of our society comes out but the variable is different. There's and we we all love seeing this right neighbors support neighbors. They come out they rebuild a House. They go to the hospital in volunteer their time etc. We can't do that in this situation. it only makes the problem worse. If you try to play to your you know your your strongest side of your nature and help one another out so we have to separate and that adds fuel potentially to the fire that you're you're talking about and I think one of the things in a good way to say society thing you don't notice. He lives in the background. If you live in a society right but if you've been to places where that was the truth and then very quickly. It's not the truth. My first experience with this was breathe. Two thousand one spending time in Croatia training with units there and got to be good friends with a question. They're special operations units in an officer there who had been married to a Serbian woman. They still were when the war worst started. They had twelve hours to make a decision where they're going to go back to her village arena. Saint-gratien had decided to stay in Croatia. Then he's told me his whole story is we've got to show. His unit went back and fought in the village where his wife was wrong and his children's grandparents had lived there and then it happened in a matter of you know eighteen twenty four months and lasted a generation right. There was a level of intermarry common language Common Culture. That would seemed absolutely seamless to an outsider. And so yeah you have to think through how we you can fight it. You can get ahead of it. Leaders have to be very deliberate about. How are we gonNA hold these social ties during together together when we're when we have to be physically apart? I I just want to echo the point you made about. How Bizarre and unnatural this problem is and this is not at all like any other sort of natural disaster because keeping people apart is the the first and only remedy at this moment and has antithesis of all of the ethical and political silver linings societies contend to find when everyone has to respond to a crisis. It really is almost engineered for a bad outcome. So how do you think we should be messaging around this? Because one of the things that is especially insidious about the current crisis is there's a political overlay to everything or at least people have to burn a lot of fuel trying to fight themselves free of it and so the messing around this being a problem is you know balkanized with respect to politics. You know there are many people who for the longest time seemed to this was all a hoax is a media driven narrative designed to harm the president's reelection prospects and many people seem to have recovered from that but certainly not everybody and I don't know how much time you spend on social media but I'm encountering Pizza Gate level conspiracy theories around basic terrestrial facts of epidemiology and. It's it's pretty weird out there. In the information stays we can take any of this. You want but just in terms of what is being communicated how it's being communicated how we get on the same page with respect to this now too crises again. Covert and the economy. What are your thoughts there? Let me start first with the idea of what keeps people believing in operating according to the rules of a society and I think it's based on confidence you know. The value of money is based on the confidence that someone else will accept that money for for what you need. The reason many people follow laws is because they believe there's a law and order system that it's in their interest to follow laws because other people will then as well once you start to have a dearth of information if we did a thought experiment. We said covert nineteen was approaching and suddenly all digital communications. Were cut off television phones. Everything suddenly people would feel their heads with whatever the idea of the potential threat. Is You know we already see hoarding? We see increase sales of firearms recently during this. And that's that is. Those are glimmers of people losing confidence that the system is going to work. So now if you say we haven't lost all communications but our communications become corrupted. They've been corrupted by politics and they've been corrupted by dishonesty as well. People just putting absolute disinformation now and so people start to discount the truth. They start to act in a way that that says I am. I not confident that society is going to work in the way that it was advertised in that I experienced before. And so now I've got to draw into my tribal group whether it's my family or or religion or race or whatever it is draw together which causes society to atomised more. You see that whenever a societies under huge pressure again we saw it in Iraq you said during riots where people short go to the place they feel safest but a modern society can't function that way very long because our systems are built on things have any connect deliveries having to be made for supply chain for food that the delivery of services. I think it's a more fragile apparatus infrastructure. We sometimes think it is and that's why I think the importance of really clear accurate information to build people's confidence. It may not be the story that they want it. Maybe paint a pretty challenging picture. The accuracy is essential because people make decisions based upon their perceptions and people will again. They'll as we'd say they'll go. Hi Right and and sort of drift out. Where common sense should take them and that really threatens society That's something I worried about. Frankly ever since trump became president. Because whatever you may you know one may like or not like about him. I think it is on controversial to say that his relationship to the truth to a truly fact-based discussion about anything is about as precarious as we have ever seen in not just politics religious anywhere in public life. I'm sure there are still people out there who will not admit that. The president lies to an unnatural degree but it's objectively true to say that he does right. It's not a partisan statement and I've always viewed this as just a a horrific liability because if we have someone who will lie reflexively even when it doesn't serve his interests he will contradict himself in a way that certainly doesn't make him look good and there's no apparent advantage and he does it just relentlessly and with a velocity that we've never seen before and is sort of good fun when you're when there's nothing at stake and the Dow is hitting thirty thousand and were not in a war and everyone in trump's base can just laugh that he's winding up the Lib cards but now we really need leadership and we really need to be able to trust the information. Were getting from the White House and you know honestly it just seems like something that cannot be corrected for apart from the experts with their own reputations to maintain however difficult that project is messaging around him whether they're standing within six feet of him or not. There's no way that trump becomes someone who can actually be trusted not to shade the truth. I know you guys have a somewhat taboo for you to strike. What seems to be a hard political note one way or the other. But I'm just wondering what you are your senses of that and what to do in light of that because to my eye and at least sixty percent of the country's I this is a man who will lie about anything all the time for reasons far less grave than the kinds of reasons he's confronting. Now so how do we re boot from there? I think there's two ways to to tackle that even trying to stay this thing as it turns into political conversation it only exacerbates some of the problems that that run against logic right people just single. I'm on this side therefore I believe or don't believe in in an epidemiologist right. Yeah let me just respond to that concern to try to close the door to there because it really is not a political point on making. I would never say this about someone like Mitt Romney Right. This is not an anti Republican point. And it's just not political to point out that someone is not speaking factually and is either ignorant of certain facts or consciously misrepresenting them and you just you can catch trump doing that so often that you can set your watch by it and again. That's just not I don't view that as a partisan statement although it will be heard as partisan statement by the presence defenders I who you making as you often do a sound argument about the importance of verifiable truth in. That's more important now than than ever one of the things. There's there's two two thoughts that teases up one is. At what level would this be fought and out? I'll turn that over to stand and sort of this. This is exactly what he had to do. Inside of are forced to fight a distributed problem right governors and mayors local leaders. Our frontline colonels. The other though is the interplay between these types of systems and this is one that Saint Aubin starting this problem for twenty years And so just painfully obvious when you see happening the way that a traditional `top down system works and if if you have a very sort of corner office jerk radical leader who always wants to receive information of walkout and share it as his own which is not uncommon in big big enterprise government military etcetera. That tendency trickles down very quickly. The whole system old snap into that sort of a hager. It's the exact opposite of what you need to do. When you're fighting in network spread networks and traditional bureaucracies. Or hierarchies are are governing. Dynamics are fundamentally opposite right. One cares about how? How quick can I grow? I'm GONNA find new opportunity wherever it exists. That's how a Haida spread. And that's how this is spreading obviously Different problems but the variables that allow them to do that in a interconnected world or very similar. And so if you are a leader Stan. Mcchrystal head rolled into the joint counterterrorism community and said. I WANNA know everything out. Tell you what to do next. We would have done every single thing we did correctly. We would've gotten praised for it and we would have been orders of magnitude too slow to keep up with the problem. We fought a bunch of localized fights. All look good in our little world and the problem would spread multiple times faster than we can keep up with and the real problem is if you had a caustic leader sitting on top of the system like that he could have said all the other things happening aren't my problem is everything I say to do gets done right. So my units are great. This is everybody else's problem. So the the the at every level these to stack up against each other in opposite in very dangerous ways leaders in this sort of situation need to quickly create the copper wire for connectivity. Get Ground Truth. Because that's where the truth sits up through the system and then be the ultimate network connector. Say I don't I don't know the answers. This is changing too fast but I bet the mayor in this city has a good some good. What does she know? What can we learn from it? And how quickly can be informed by that so I just want to be the the network conduit and I will never be able to walk out on stage and look like the brilliant note all I could have an a traditional hierarchical model and that's a hard behavior for leaders to shift towards. That's as one is not a solution that's highlighting the problem on the balance those personalities. I think the thing that I had hoped for twenty years ago was that the wikipedia affect would bring truth out and so I really sort of had a pollyanna view that said if you get enough sources in unfettered from providing ground truth that the truth would went out because it's the truth that has not proven correct so far and so one of the dangerous parts about this is because that's not proven true if you look at our political environment people discount. Everybody had a pretty intelligent friend of mine the other day. Say that he was not happy. With what the president said but he thought that all politicians lie so what the President says doesn't matter and we've discounted and then there's the idea that all news media is flawed and so we've discounted of information that that we used to be reliant on it really does matter how you respond to an error right so like you know when the New York Times makes a mistake you know if they doubled down on it every time it was pointed out will then. They're just torching their reputation and it doesn't take too much of that before you've made what many perceived to be an unrecoverable error and so and so far is there. They're reliable channels of information and unreliable ones. It really does often come down to what anyone is. Asian or any individual does when it becomes clear that they made a mistake but one of the things. That's so toxic about our information ecosystem right now. Is it because everyone can essentially silo themselves without even knowing they're doing it but everyone can create enough of an echo chamber based on the kinds of news? They like to hear. It just seems that many people become unreachable right. There's always a conspiratorial rejoinder. To a fact that is impossible to assimilate within your cherished conspiracy theory or worldview and people can just stay stuck there. And then you're then you're dealing with people who for whom. The Sky is the limit based on allegations of the MOST INSANE INTENT. Behind any of it like you know. I'm talking to people not publicly the moment but privately but people who have immense social media platforms who think that the problem is all made up that Cova. Nineteen is not even as bad as the flu and that all annoys were hearing from hospitals and governors is just an attempt to get more money out of the federal government that is perhaps married to some kind of social panic. And there's literally no there there we're going to wake up and realize that basically only seventy five year olds died from cove in nineteen and there were most of them. Were going to die anyway. From other conditions I'm talking about people have millions of followers on twitter and their messaging. This kind of contrarian attitude with respect to this that is is incredibly harmful and one irony here is that this has hit the Blue Counties. I I e the big cities and so it's only now beginning to make itself known in rural America throughout the south. And and we're we're just at the beginning of this thing both epidemiologically and economically. Where do you think this goes once? The difference between New York City and every other place in the country is no longer so stark. You Charles you're talking to this parallels to the tribal viewpoints that that we experienced the previous life with the al Qaeda fight that I think may start to manifest here. And there's A. There's a glimmer of hope here as well. One of the things we found again back to this interplay of traditional systems and n networks that really have no emotion that just WanNa get big fast one of the ways that will plough is. We'll pat ourselves in the back. Four senior numbers go down in New York. Which is the the end product you know? People literally putting their lives on the line and working around the clock. That's a good story. Cova doesn't care. It's just going to leave that very hard access point and go somewhere else. It'll drift into these other communities as you're as you're laying out so that's not. That's not up to us what you when we went into that fight. We all showed up with our our organizational biopsies which are similar in some ways. So these political lines geographic lines etc. That are going to be a challenge here so I came from. This started inside the military units. I came from the seal teams and I've grown up in a culture that said we don't get along with this army unit or that unit over there at Cetera et Cetera. And you don't know better you just grow up believing that to be the truth and it's based on sort of cultural. Laura thought the same thing in reverse so as we got distributed one of the first things that McChrystal did was. We're GONNA send you out closest to the fight and we got in these small pockets next to each other. We you know in the bullets were flying those cultural biases go out the window. Pretty quickly right so you figure out. A way to become a cohesive team on the ground there were certainly some forcing functions that was not a flick of the switch. Once that started to take hold inside these very very Alpha military units. And you know those personalities. Sam Spend time around those that part of the military then it was able to expand out into civilian organisations as well so we had to collect the buys against intelligence organizations or against diplomatic organizations etcetera etcetera. And as these members of those different tribes clustered in small groups close to the fight we used to call the star wars bar. You walked in. It was all volunteer Alliens. But we were. We were locked in one localized fight. Which made it very serious and traditional tribal norms could be overcome by sort of common bond on solving your local issue. Then when those networks were tied together into a bigger system you started to get ground truth right and you got a clear picture across these boundaries that had an interagency feel to them because there's local groups that said look we're all on the same page. Here's our interpreting this and then you connect that around. The world and leaders were given an honest picture of what was happening inside this network threat and of course that goes back to the discussion. It was dependent on leaders that were really willing to put in place. A network methodology that allowed and back forced the sort of truth to power sort of fared on that. Everybody likes to talk about. But it's very very hard to put in place. They created a system very deliberately where those closest to the fight at a daily platform where they could talk about what was happening and at a certain point that no one could deny that truth. The problem's bigger here. It's shrinking here. We need helicopters over here. We need Predator assets to go to the north and those were decisions that were coming up from the ground based on that Interagency Cross Tribal Boundary Realistic Picture. We can do the same thing here. It's the local leaders creating a network connectivity connection model between Mayors Hospital Systems for Responder Governors. Even so that they can become the ground eye view in truth. If they're given the platform that can become a very very powerful tool but it that will take intention and all of us will default to my down in view just like I would've unseal teams. I wasn't going to suddenly say I'm going to forego all of my seal team tribal norms walk across the street and trying to become buddies with his army ranger over here. Because my tribe would've said what the heck are you doing right? We had a we had leadership on top of it said. This is the only way we win. And I'm GonNa put forcing functions in place in and make you all get along and I. I believe there was a book written about this beforehand. I believe that will make us as interconnected as this al-Qaeda threat and the same thing I think can hold true here. What do you think the prospects are? That will have a national lockdown. I think it's inevitable. I think he'll be late to need. But at a certain point what we've seen so far is instead of being ahead of the problem where we are responding as a nation to sort of that. You the the facts being right in front of Essen and having to do it and so I think a national lockdown comes pretty soon. I'm not sure how much it will cost us to be this late. But I'm but I believe it's significant and this opens the door to another strand of concerns. Which is the the ways in which arguably a necessary response to a and biological and economic emergency can be viewed as the the aggregation of power and even the looming threat of tyranny. Right so we'll have a government that by definition will have more and more power both overt which is in this case imposing a lockdown. And you know how it's imposed the details. There will matter but also just were seen really a hunger for increased surveillance right. We want to be able to track the spread of this thing. We want to be able to track the efficacy of social distancing. Most people have seen the video of all those cell phones leaving the beach in Fort Lauderdale and spreading out throughout the country. And these are now digital surveillance tools that the government will have more and more access to and on some level. We have a scared population that will be eager to give away. Its privacy and some amount of freedom with both hands if it could possibly do some good here and again this is more of a ratcheting effect where you know you keep turning the wheel in one direction and it becomes or one could fear that it becomes very difficult to turn it back and to reset. So how do you think about the threat of tyranny or the perceived threat of tyranny as we enact more comprehensive response to the problem? Yeah Sam I'm not as worried about it as some people are if you go back in our history. We've always imposed measures. We had to whether it's passports to get an innovation whether it is TSA to protect airlines from terrorism. Whether it's things we do policing wise just to to make sure that people are safe on the streets I think every nation the society makes a trade off between certain personal freedoms. And then. What's what's needed to keep the society from destroying itself. I think the technology has been growing so it just makes it easier to have surveillance cameras or cell phone tracking or any number of these things and I think society will make decisions it will like it has with the use of mobile devices. Many of us have traded off a lot of our security for Comedians and I think people will be only too happy to trade off some of their convenience for you know security from a pandemic or other threats. So I don't think it'll it'll be as bad as we think fact. I think the population will sign up for it pretty easily. I think we'll have to keep watching it because the problem is if tinge to get ahead of us now the technology what we can do with cell phones what we can do with tracking is more than the average person appreciates so they will have given up more of their personal privacy than than they know and so we do need to watch that if you watch. What not just as being done by governments. But what's being done by marketers? What's being done by political campaigns? You know there's an extraordinary ability to target voters customers or whatever using data that most of us don't really think about when we log into a website or or use our cell phone. I would On that just a little bit savvy had a conversation before this all hit with a few folks in your world just around the idea that this concept of being unknown right is really a a unique on the grand scope of history my sense of individual autonomy and and people not knowing what I'm up to is maybe going to be just this brief cute little moments of one hundred years or so because we think about in a tribal culture. Obviously everybody everybody. That's how you survive even building back just to my grandparent's generation growing up in small town. Everyone was in your business all the time. It's only in recent history that you've been able to move away. You know being from middle class community you could. You could go to school. You get a job in a city where no one knows you and you can create a sensitive autonomy and independence and and you can choose how known you are to that local community. Technology is already usurp that right and this may be the wake-up call that says no to standpoint collectively. We're GONNA trade off that that sense of autonomy for collective protection like we've done throughout the vast ninety nine point nine percent of our of our history and I think this will be as all on the backside of this all the data that will be collected. The arguments will be quite sounds to build a trace this sort of thing and to your earlier point. You've discussed this with others on your show. This probably is the warm up right. Anyone that knows his face far better than than we do. We'll say this is this is round one. This is the easy warning for what could happen down the road and so those things together and we will learn out of this probably. Hey the only one of the ways. We have to position ourselves to be ready for this when it when it's a forty percent kill rate and easier. Transfer methodology is to sacrifice some of these liberties. Right the knock on effects of that so long conversation. But we're going to be having this conversation pretty quickly here. That's one thing to be hope for. If it's possible to learn these lessons so clearly that we could have a kind of turnkey solution to the next pandemic because it. It really does seem like this isn't the last time we're going to face with something for which we have zero immunity and as you say could be much worse and a national or shelter in place order could be responded to with with real alacrity and something like finesse if we just knew how we unroll it everyone understood the need for it and we know how to stall our economy and then to restart it and we know how much money to pump in. Or what percentage of GDP to pump in and it seems like this machine the workings of which were understanding more. And more in our you know. We're we're stress testing it but again it. The leadership has been such and the public debate. About in many cases. Undebated facts has been such. That is not yet inspiring much confidence that we're learning the lessons in a way that will be indelible yet but it. It's an interesting thing to consider. So the guns of August's are in the military realize fighting last thing because it was so hard to learn the wrong lessons for the next war. There wasn't a There wasn't an easier. Alpine that was fought before this this generation right and it it lords grows etc if there is a bigger thing on the back side of that of of this if could come in ten years sometime our lifetime or certainly probably waves of this current one but one of the things we are trying to talk directly with leaders across different parts of industry and government CETERA. Is everybody gets a pass right now. Because we're all trying to figure this out. We need to move faster. Knowing it's a pass in the fall now gets a pass in the spring and certainly society. We don't get another pass on this once. We figure this one out exactly like you're saying what are the. What are the things we have to have in our routine to be able to go in and out of this if it happens again in five years or if it happens again in the fall and so a lot of leaders understandably organizations are thinking how do I get through this quarter? That's that's fine? You know baseline ourselves. But how do I create the Organization of the future? That's going to be able to survive through these things or the nation of the future they can deal with this sort of pandemic when it's even worse and could be orders of magnitude worse. How do you guys think about the tension between what is rational for individuals or even individual businesses to do versus? What is collectively beneficial? I mean there there are zero psalm or apparent zero some trade offs. Here take something like you know whether to buy. Pp Right of the the hoarding of masks or anything else. The hoarding of food being early to stock up. And you know how much to stock up when if there's a run on the market or run on the bank or run on anything you know you get this breakdown of the system and supply chain and in many cases eight breakdown of confidence in our our institutions and norms. And you're obviously there could've tipping points there where the tensions can be resolved up until the point and then then you've got people boarding up their windows and trying to sell thousands of bottles of Purell out of public storage and being vilified online for it. How do you think about those trade offs between the Individual and Group? I think it's when you lose confidence that society is going to work in your favor and our collective favor the law and order that supply chain going to work then you start to have a case where people or small groups are incentivized to do. What's best for them because the good of the society no longer applies to him. I don't think it would take very much to see that behavior. Kick up more than we have. We've seen some hoarding and things. We've seen a couple of communities that I read about basically say we don't want any outsiders coming in. I could see three weeks from now. Small towns with checkpoints outside the towns with people with shotgun saying no strangers can come to these checkpoints into our town and from their standpoint. It would look like very rational behavior from anything six months if we went back six months when we predicted this kind of thing we'd say it was sort of a post apocalyptic Zombie land behavior. But but I can see that happening and people justify to themselves at that particular case it works. The problem is the more those things happen. The more it speeds up the deterioration of society. The more you break things apart the less this globalized system we've created works and a lot. People aren't fully appreciating the fact that there's so many things that are not built not only in their neighborhood but not in their country that they rely on every day that suddenly you say no wait a minute. It's in our interest for the global structure to be healthy and to work and in fact it could be to our demise if it doesn't so. I think that we we need to spend time educating people on that because if you have a simplistic view you take simple actions yet. One of one of the things that I've heard stance quite frequently. The last few weeks is to to leaders who had not just industry leaders but any any leaders that sit on top of these networks that keep society together is signed to activate the network. How do I think about that and the obvious ones on the mayor town? I'm a governor etc city manager. But they're all these these supernotes inside community networks that we take for granted because they're just in the background right. My school principal my church lear. My Community Group leadership etcetera at any net localize space. Those leaders there. They can be a real part of the solution. But it's a new sort of challenge for them so I I'm sure this is happening across the country but the the school system will say okay. We're we're were at home for the rest of the year. We're going to hand out school packets three times a week. We're going to cite skype calls so turns into kids involved through digital platforms of their teacher but those principals sit on top of these especially in a place like DC or other larger cities very diverse adult communities and we see each other in passing at the school our kids on a playground together etc. There's a social cohesion. That comes from that. They could be gone for six twelve months. We don't we don't know yet. How long and when we couple it with the problems could be on the backside of this you know I live in in the middle of DC. My kid goes to school with with other kids. Who I know are not parents. This we spend time after school together. Some of those kids live in food desserts on the other side of the city when there are shortages that are impacting communities and the tethers between adult population been separated because we're so isolated. Then you add in one more risky variable to help you know. Society can start to unwind in a very unfavourable way. So who are those local leaders? It might seem unnatural for a principal. Step in and say you know what every two weeks. I'm going to do a skype. Call all the parents in my school because I wanted to hear from each other I wanted. I want those ties to stay in place. That's never been part of their job description. But those are those invisible networks that we have to find ways to keep strong because we don't know how long this is GonNa last year. What what are your expectations there on the time front. How long are you preparing yourself for it to last year? We've talked a fair amount about it. I think we're going to see the effects of covert nineteen directly meaning waves of of it into twenty twenty one probably into the spring of twenty twenty one. I think that as society gets a little more prepared for each time that each one will be a little bit. Less impactful on us will be better at doing certain things but I think that the requirement to separate is probably likely again in the fall of maybe again in the winter early spring which is going to affect the economy. So I think if we thinking that kind of time horizon we need to think about solutions. That are not you know everybody. Cocoon their home for two weeks. And then we emerge in. It's all well. I think we're going to have to make organizations work. You know the distributed work environment for not just a few but for most organizations are going to have to work. We're GONNA have to figure out how we take care of those people who have to be out physically doing it. Not just first responders but people in the supply chain and and things like that. We're going to have to think through those because there's not an alternative. We have got to keep those fundamental wheels of society. Turn it it you know. I can remember from the the kite the last time I had a a finish line in my head was the when we were chasing. Abu Musab In Iraq who was the first really well known leader of a near al-Qaeda two point. Oh he was sort of innovative etc. And we all and I can bring conversations. I happen to before deployed during that time window and we knew we were close and the thinking was. This'll be the finish line when we when we get him. This war will start to wind down and we got him and within two three days. Everybody realized but wait a second. That wasn't a finish line. There there is no finish line of this thing. This is a new type of threat. Have you met Abbott al-Baghdadi and because you realize this is an ideology that league's Ists in networks and it will just continue to thrive so our challenge then was wiggle would be. How do we redesign ourselves? And of course leadership event sanctums for Awhile a little thick headed on this I was. How do we redesign ourselves to be able to survive through this much longer? Unending generational infinite war than a network wants to fight on if you if you take it with a rigid. We're going to be done by X. Date then you're setting yourself up for frustration and probably failure. What lesson do you draw around our dependency on global supply chain here because many people were frankly astonished at how thin our supply was on many fragile? I think that the PCP issue has been the most Golan for people images the idea that we could so quickly run out of masks and many of them need to be produced in China and China having the same problem and then when you overlay the prospect of being in conflict with a country like China and you recognize that our most of our medication is coming either in whole or in part is coming from China. And it's just you know. One person drew the analogy of outsourcing our ammunition to China knowing full. Well that we could one day be shooting war with them. But we're expecting them to supply us with bullets. What lesson do you draw about what we actually need to take in house for emergencies of this kind? Yeah I think that one thing is the interdependencies between countries are grossly under miss or under ms or misunderstood. Because as you say there we may say okay. We're GONNA make all of our weapons here all of our ammunition here all of our key things but then you find the key you know. Basic materials or components of those are required and like we founded our medical supply chain. We have interdependencies. This came from a focus on trying to be as efficient as possible to reduce our costs as much as possible. And if you go to the you know the doctrine of free trade it makes sense. People should do that. Part of economic activity for which they are best suited but it does create this mutual dependency that we are dependent upon the supply chain there and they are dependent upon us for many things. Therefore you've gotta decide whether that's acceptable whether they are a reliable enough partner. Both politically medically militarily for us to do that. And that's a consciousness that I think America's like for quite a while I think we just don't have a sense for just how many things we don't either make or the the raw materials we don't produce. Yeah it seems like there should just be a comprehensive inventory of everything. We wish we had in the current circumstances and didn't and then figure out why that was the case and also just figure out what the government can only do effectively just seems like the free market incentives for many of these things are just never going to be there and so recognizing that an ability to produce an antiviral that if all goes well only a tiny percentage of US need to use once in our lives. The market doesn't incentivized investing billions of dollars in that but MMA clearly. That's the kind of thing we need. In these circumstances. I don't know if you have thoughts about the division of Labor between government and private industry. There yeah it said if you go to just medical capability Governor Cuomo gave a great sort of primer on this the other day and he described a we have a privatized hospital system and all of those hospitals can't afford to keep beds that they don't need so they very carefully calculate what they need. And so we don't have excess capacity. The military has to have a certain amount of excess capacity like you see with the hospital ships and then feel hospitals that they can put up with. They have to be prepared for conflict and sudden casualties but rest of our system. Just isn't built that way and so when we suddenly want to have the search capability we don't have it. I think that's a national decision the Nag. The Nation has to decide. How much search capability do we want to maintain you to keep in mothballs? Or We'd have to subsidize hospitals to keep ready. He and and obviously all the other emergencies and potential emergencies that the world can throw at us have not been canceled just because all of our attention is on this one. How do you see the the risks? Were running on other fronts. Yeah I think we've been running this risk for a few years here in the United States for sure in our sort of Echo Chambers preoccupation religious fast new cycle etc and strategic costs right and we've seen examples of that with Russia another other actors. There had been done some pretty sophisticated stuff over the last three years. This is back to the earlier discussion. One of the variables here could be proven wrong here but certainly not my lifetime. Has there ever been a single story that the whole world talking about this literally? The only thing any outlet is talking about anywhere in the world right now. There may be an exception out there. But it's just blanket right and so those sophisticated actors all the way down to violent groups that most folks have never heard of they know when they have a smoke cover right and I am sure that this is being taken advantage of by really bad actors all not just nation state players but localized problems were countries that we would normally pay attention to and be able to put pressure on and US diplomatic leverage etcetera etcetera. That that they know that their actions will break through and doesn't get into the media cycle. They can get away with whatever they want. That could be bought violence acade- whatever their but their intent is. It will take us a lot of that will never be unwound. But I'm I'm willing to bet that some of the stories that will come out of what happens during this. Blanket coverage will be will be heartbreaking stories in there and some strategic ground that we will have a real challenge ahead of us took to make up so everything from the strategic all the way down to the local Sam I would add. There's some destabilizing factors that are likely to be second third order effects. The one that jumps out most is the price of oil. You know we were already moving away from oil into renewables which I think was a good thing but many economies in the world to include a hearse to a degree are based on a stable price of oil much higher than it is right now and I think there's every chance that the price of oil could drop down below twenty dollars a barrel if it goes. There than many nations aren't economically viable anymore and so their entire economic model is up ended. And so you almost have to have instability. Follow from that. Throw on top of that less mature medical systems and they get hit with covert nineteen. Show you have this combination of factors that produces instability which whenever you have instability nowadays in the world you can export it whether you are trying to exploit it or not so. I think that's just a couple of examples of things that could easily happen in pretty near future so I I know you guys are running out of time over there so I I'll bring it into the end zone here. Do you have any special concerns about the election in November? Because just on its face asking everyone to turn up and vote in person seems epidemiologically unwise and it would be very easy to see in the paranoid fantasies of his detractors. A concern that trump could just decide. It's not safe to hold election. I don't know what the constitutionality of that would be. But how Haywire could the Presidential election go if covert is still surging on all fronts at that point. Yeah I think I. An election is critical. I think for lots of reasons but particularly in the United States right now presidential elections critical. I also think that it's entirely within the capacity for us to go without having to go physically polling booths. I think we've got the ability to trans transition to vote by mail were necessary but both digitally otherwise there would be growing pains in but I think we could have already started making that transition. I think we also could take a great step forward toward decreasing voter suppression. That way. There are lots of things I think that technology could help us. Do this could be the forcing function for us to take it on. I'm worried that we can do it fast enough for November but I think we need to make that effort we talk about social unrest or social cohesion. I think if this election is not conducted then I think that will be an additional pressure for part of the population with a sense that they have been disenfranchised. Here it's just the concern about a hacking of a digital election is so excruciating at the moment and the the crisis of legitimacy that would follow if there was any doubt as to whether or not the result was really the the real result. It's hard to see how we get away from paper on some level. I don't think it could be executed flawlessly and still undermined in the echo chamber were right Which is the real. It's it's a parcel of the core of the problem but I would say it's sort of the DNA of of of growing up in the world that we did fighting these complex flights. You're always semantically nervous about the second ridge line out and it makes me nervous that we're not talking at the national level of outlet. This will look like in the fall. There needs to be a plan in place that were considering Debating right now assume the worst in the fall and don't try to solve it in in October right. We need to get ahead of this right now and start warning the American people and prepping for him. I WanNa thank you both for the the work you have been doing for many years and the work you'll continue to do is it's been great to get your expertise here on the podcast. Is there any place you would point people if they want to follow your work and understand what you're doing with businesses and give us the relevant websites and social media handles sure all our stuff is on our corporate website? Mcchrystal group DOT COM or team of teams. The first book we wrote together a few years back. That's a great primer on sort of theory the case that what we experienced over overseas and then you know quick search away they can find stand on my cellphone social media platforms. Right Stan. Chris you so much for your time saying thank you for having accent.

Chris Sam Harris US Iraq Chris Fussell General McChryst president General Stan McChrystal al-Qaeda New York Times Afghanistan Stan Stanley McChrystal officer Yale University Croatia