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PBS NewsHour for February 24, 2016 - Part 2



Shain, Michael Hayden>

the map expands to 12 more states for Super Tuesday. Former NSA and CIA

Director Michael Hayden talks about his new book on American intelligence

in the age of terror. Donald Trump gains momentum ahead of Super Tuesday.

The showdown between the president and the Republican Congress continues.

Should the U.S. rebuild its entire nuclear arsenal? Why does a former

Goldman Sachs executive want to overhaul Wall Street?>

Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; Ted Cruz; Marco Rubio; Nuclear Weapons;

Military; War>

Now, as the Pentagon embarks on a wide-ranging, and hugely expensive, plan to modernize what`s known as the triad, bombers, submarines and missiles, there are calls to rethink whether all three are needed.

Special correspondent Jamie McIntyre has our report, produced in partnership with the Pulitzer center on Crisis Reporting.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Behind this massive eight-ton door 60 feet below the frozen fields of North Dakota, a 27-year-old first lieutenant heads a two- person team with a singular mission.

The two junior Air Force officers are missileers entrusted with executing the most consequential of presidential orders. At almost the same time, at nearby Minot Air Force Base, a B-52 Stratofortress that`s been flying for more than half-a-century is drenched with deicing fluid. Its aging jet engines roar to life with the help of eight explosive charges, a method developed during the Cold War to give the bomber a quick kick-start in a crisis.

All the while, hundreds of feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, sailors aboard a U.S. ballistic missile submarine methodically perform their weekly doomsday drill, three ways to do the same thing, end the world as we know it, by launching nuclear weapons.

MAN: Weapons away.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Missiles, bombers, subs, America`s nuclear triad, a three-pronged approach to deterrence that dates back to the 1960s, when the former Soviet Union was the enemy, MAD, mutual assured destruction, the strategy, and thermonuclear war seemed a real possibility.

ADM. CECIL HANEY, U.S. Strategic Commander: The real key here, as you look at the combination of the triad, is making the adversary`s problem very complex, very costly, so that restraint is a better option.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: U.S. Strategic Commander Cecil Haney is the four-star admiral in charge of America`s nuclear arsenal. He says the triad endures because it`s still the surest way to guarantee that, even if hit with a first strike, plenty of U.S. nuclear weapons would survive, enough to allow Haney to present the president a full range of options.

It`s a strategy based on redundancy, having backups for backups. But to critics, maintaining and rebuilding all three legs of the triad in the 21st century amounts to expensive overkill, among those critics, former Defense Secretary William Perry.

WILLIAM PERRY, Former U.S. Defense Secretary: Well, you can have belts and suspenders, and then belts and suspenders for the belts and the and suspenders. And that is what we are getting into here.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Perry says the current strategy is based on the folly of winning a nuclear conflict, the kind of Cold War thinking caricatured in the classic movie "Dr. Strangelove."

ACTOR: Mr. President, I`m not saying we wouldn`t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops, depending on the breaks.

WILLIAM PERRY: The whole sort of "Dr. Strangelove" rationale that went with how you use nuclear weapons, which was endemic to the Cold War, I don`t think is in place today. If we regard nuclear weapons, the role of nuclear weapons today, as preventing the use of nuclear the weapons against us, then all of that goes away.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: The United States is at the point where, to maintain the safety and reliability of its aging nuclear arsenal, largely designed in the 1950s and `60s, almost everything needs an upgrade. There are plans for new submarines and stealth bombers, along with upgraded bombs and missiles to go with them.

Add in the possibility of next generation land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, ICBMs, and the price tag comes to an eye-popping $1 trillion over 30 years. Despite the substantial cost, trimming the triad is not an issue that`s gotten any serious examination on the presidential campaign trail.

It did come up once in last December`s GOP debate.

QUESTION: Of the three legs of the triad, though, do you have a priority? I want to go to Senator Rubio after that and ask him.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: I think -- I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: If Donald Trump had an understanding of the triad, he gave no hint, and it fell to Marco Rubio to fill in the gap.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Presidential Candidate: The triad is our ability of the United States to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos or from the ground, and also from our nuclear subs.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Each leg of the triad has its advantages. Submarines are stealthy, virtually undetectable, and therefore nearly invulnerable.

Bombers are slow enough to be recalled at the last minute. It`s the third leg, the intercontinental ballistic missiles, on hair-trigger alert, that are under the microscope.

We`re flying over the missile field that essentially surrounds Minot Air Force Base, 150 ICBMs buried in silos underground spread across 8,500 square miles of North Dakota.

It`s just one of three missile fields that cover five states, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and North Dakota, 450 ICBMs altogether. Were it not for the security fence, this silo would be barely visible in the snow. But the locals know where it is, and so do America`s enemies.

Having so many missiles in fixed, known locations makes them a tempting target if an adversary were to contemplate a first strike, which in turn, critics argue, creates pressure to launch right away, at the first sign of attack.

Among those critics, no less than former U.S. Strategic Commander General James Cartwright.

GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT (RET.), Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: You have automatically forced the president, in our case, to make a decision to use his weapons or lose them. That doesn`t make a lot of sense. Use or lose doesn`t contribute to deterrence.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Cartwright is now chair of studies at Global Zero, a disarmament advocacy organization. He thinks the day of the ICBM may have come and gone.

GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT: I believe that the current ICBM structure, the way it`s based and the way it operates, is probably not something that we need to carry to the future.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: Jim Miller was undersecretary of defense for policy during the Obama administration, and led the Pentagon`s review of nuclear weapons policy. He argues that land-based ICBMs are a hedge against unforeseen complications.

JAMES MILLER, Former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy: Without a substantial number of ICBMs in the United States, if we had some problem, a technical problem, or a vulnerability because of any submarine warfare of potential adversary with our submarines, we`d be left with an adversary having to undertake an attack involving only a handful of aim points in order to take out a deterrent.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: At Minot Air Force Base, Colonel Kelvin Townsend, vice commander of the 91st Missile Wing, stressed that neither subs, which have to be contacted at sea, nor bombers, which have to be put on alert and fly to their launch points, can match land-based missiles for speed of response.

COL. KELVIN TOWNSEND, Vice Commander, 91st Missile Wing: Anywhere on the planet, we can be within moment`s notice. And within roughly 30-plus minutes, we can be there.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: But that quick reaction time makes the ICBM potentially the most destabilizing leg of the triad, argues former Defense Secretary William Perry:

WILLIAM PERRY: If you`re going to blow up the whole world, what is the hurry? Why do you mind waiting another 20 minutes to do that? I don`t see either the common sense or even the strategic argument for doing that.

JAMIE MCINTYRE: And Perry says no one has found any reliable way to detect or defeat submarines at sea. Bombers and submarines can do the job, he argues, with a high degree of confidence.

At the Air and Space Museum in Washington, Joe Cirincione gazes at a Minuteman-III ICBM on display. He`s president of the Ploughshares Fund, which advocates deep cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He says supporters of keeping all three legs of the triad have lost touch with the destructive power of the weapons.

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, President, Ploughshares Fund: One nuclear weapon on one city would be a disaster that we haven`t seen since World War II. Ten nuclear weapons on 10 cities would be catastrophe beyond historical experience. And hundreds of weapons on hundreds of cities could end human history altogether. Why do you need 5,000?

JAMIE MCINTYRE: For now, the debate over the triad is purely academic. The latest Pentagon budget funds plans to begin rebuilding all three legs, and no one in Congress is mounting any serious opposition.

For the "PBS NewsHour," I`m Jamie McIntyre.

GWEN IFILL: There`s a lot more online about rebuilding America`s triad. You can see excerpts of key interviews and view a photo essay, all that at

We move now from defense to intelligence, and how the country has changed since the attacks of September 11.

The privacy vs. security debate has surfaced again in the wake of the FBI`s appeal to tech giant Apple to unlock an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shootings. And there is renewed campaign debate over torture.

Hari Sreenivasan has our conversation with one man who was at the center of U.S. intelligence policy.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Retired Air Force General Michael Hayden is the only person to ever serve as both the director of the CIA and the head of the National Security Agency. His tenure at both agencies came during a critical period, as the U.S. launched and prosecuted the global war on terror.

He`s just written a book about his time in government called "Playing to the Edge."

He joins me now.

Thanks for joining us.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET.), Former CIA Director: Thank you, Hari.

HARI SREENIVASAN: So, let`s start with some things that are in the news right now.



So, just earlier this week, the administration says the very existence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay is a recruiting tool for our enemy. You can see it in the orange jumpsuits that you see in every horrible beheading video that ISIS produces. You agree?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: I don`t think it`s a powerful recruitment tool for jihadism.

And let me add one additional thought. If and when he brings these prisoners to North America, he`s still going to insist on indefinite detention without trial for a whole bunch of them. All he`s done is moved them from a warm to a cold climate.

But he`s still sticking to the legal principle that some other countries object to that we actually can treat them as prisoners of war and keep them for the duration of the conflict.


The other big story right now is obviously this tension between Apple and the government. In this conversation, you have said that you come down on the side of Apple more often than not. In this specific case, with this specific device, you are on the side of the government in trying to open it up. This is the phone, of course, that was used by the attacker in San Bernardino.

You know, one of Apple`s arguments has been, listen, this will set a precedent, it will create a back door. And, sure enough, there`s at least nine or 10 other cases where Apple is being asked to open up that phone.


And the U.S. attorney in Manhattan says he has got 175 of these instruments sitting in a room that he wants to be reopened. So, in this particular case, the original ask from the FBI, going back months now, was some sort of universal back door that would allow them to get into Apple and other companies` encrypted devices.

Frankly, Hari, I think American safety, American security -- put the privacy argument aside, which is quite powerful. But I`m a security guy. I think American security is better served with end-to-end unbreakable encryption.

And I recognize that makes the life of the FBI more difficult, may even make the life of my old agency more difficult.


Speaking of tools, you have said that enhanced interrogation techniques, what most American would consider torture, worked. In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he had been water-boarded -- I want to get this right -- 183 times, kept awake for seven-and-a-half days, been in multiple stress positions.

In a Senate report just a couple of years ago, it found that a lot of the information he gave us was either misinformation or he would confirm something after the government showed him that, hey, we have this from another source already.

So, I`m wondering, why does America still need these techniques?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Well, I came to the agency in `06, all right?

Most of this was already history. I could have walked away from it. But I studied the program over the summer of `06. And I detailed kind of my personal journey in this. And I decided that -- and a lot of things had changed. We were safer. We knew about the enemy more. Some laws had changed, all right?

So, I was fairly willing to pull the program back. But I wasn`t judging what my predecessors had done. And I wanted some form of program to go forward, so that the president would have that option.

HARI SREENIVASAN: You might not judge your predecessors, but the American people certainly do. Right?

If you felt like were you on solid legal footing, why do this -- why do this in renditions, in black sites? Why destroy the tapes of what these events looked like? Because that seems like almost a tacit admission that, guess what, somebody back home isn`t going to think too highly of this.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Well, what I try to suggest -- and actually point out in some detail in the book -- is, for example, the U.S. policy on renditions is the same under this president as it was under President Bush. That hasn`t changed.

All right? These were extreme circumstances. No one is arguing that this should be a fast or an easy decision. I tell the story in the book. Although I emptied the sites in `06, we kept them open. We wanted to have the option of using them.

I put two people in them. And I relayed in the story that I sat there with the order to authorize extended sleep deprivation on one of the detainees, Mohammad Rahim, and I never forgot he was a human being.

HARI SREENIVASAN: General, in a recent op-ed in The New York Times, which was an excerpt of the book, you defended the policy of drone strikes.

And you said in there that the signature strikes were thoroughly researched, and, to use your words, `Intelligence for signature strikes always had multiple threads and deep history. The data was near encyclopedic."

And, interestingly enough, in that same chapter, you point out where you got the wrong one-legged guy.


HARI SREENIVASAN: And you had an after-action to figure out what went wrong. Right?

So, I think the question on the minds of a lot of people is, what is our actual ratio of innocent bystanders or collateral damage to every person we have? We have outside estimates from the Investigative Journalism Bureau and other places that say that these could be in the hundreds or thousands.

You say: Listen, based on the intelligence I have seen, that`s not the case.


HARI SREENIVASAN: But the irony is, is that, well, we`re kind of left to fill the vacuum if that information never actually becomes public.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: No. Hari, you are absolutely right. And I regret that.

And, unfortunately, I went to my own limits, playing to the edge, with what it was I could write about. So, I fully admit -- I think I described the targeted killing program as necessary, precise and imperfect. All right?

And I fully admit, and I actually give examples as you suggest where we actually made mistakes. But we moved heaven and earth to do the right thing, to make sure we targeted legitimate targets. And I actually say in there, this may be the most precise application of firepower in the history of modern conflict.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The underlying question also is, I guess, one of trust.

There is just -- you have said that, for example, when you found out that the Snowden revelations were going to happen, that it was going to uncover the information collection program that you helped set up at the NSA, that, on a personal level, you felt that there was a betrayal of trust.


HARI SREENIVASAN: You can understand then how perhaps the country would feel betrayed that one of our liberties was being taken away by our own government.

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: If I`m out there working for an agency, and if I have got the president to authorize it, and Congress to legislate it or oversee it, and the courts to perform their functions when the law requires, I think I have got the Madisonian trifecta. This is really important. The political culture has shifted underneath us, all right?

And a lot of good Americans, not just ones wearing tinfoil on their heads, if you understand what I mean, very serious, thinking Americans are now looking at that and saying, in today`s political culture, what you just described, Hayden, is no longer consent of the governed. That is consent of the governors. You may have told them, but you didn`t tell me.

So, now we have what is unarguably an existential question for American espionage. How will we be able to conduct espionage in the future, inside a broader political culture that demands more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life?

It is a fundamental question. And one final point. We, the spy guys, have to accommodate to the broader political culture, not the other way around.

HARI SREENIVASAN: General Michael Hayden.

The book is called "Playing to the Edge."

Thanks so much for joining us.


GWEN IFILL: Now to another reignited debate, this one about the role and size of the country`s big banks, Wall Street, and accountability.

It`s been playing out periodically in the presidential campaign, and is once again a subject of attention and debate in the world of finance.

Tonight, we start a series of occasional conversations on the subject.

Jeffrey Brown has our first.

JEFFREY BROWN: Last week came a strong argument that -- quote -- "The biggest banks continue to pose a significant, ongoing risk to our economy."

And it came from an unusual source.

Neel Kashkari is a former investment banker. He started his career at Goldman Sachs, then joined the Bush Treasury Department in 2006, later serving as a key player in the government`s response to the financial crisis as administrator of the TARP program, which helped bail out the big banks.

In 2014, he ran for governor of California as a Republican, losing to incumbent Jerry Brown. He`s now president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and joins us now.

And welcome to you.

So, still too big to fail, you`re saying. This is in spite of Dodd- Frank, in spite of all we have seen. You are suggesting a crisis could still happen and big banks would still need bailing out?

NEEL KASHKARI, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: Yes. Unfortunately, that`s true.

Dodd-Frank has made a lot of progress. The banks are stronger. They have more capital, so they can withstand bad things happening. But if something -- if a big shock were to hit the U.S. economy, I`m afraid that the taxpayers would likely still have to step in and bail out the banks.

In my view, based on my experience during the crisis, we have not yet solved the too-big-to-fail problem. And we do need to.

JEFFREY BROWN: And so things like the stress test, you have already had some people push back at your critique, stress test and others things. You`re just -- you don`t think those are strong enough; you don`t trust them?

NEEL KASHKARI: Well, here`s the thing.

The crisis in 2008 was so devastating for the U.S. economy, millions of jobs were lost, tens of trillions of dollars of wealth was destroyed by that terrible crisis. I think we all agree that we never want to have that happen again.

But we need to be able to allow banks to run into trouble without bringing down the whole U.S. economy. If you remember the tech bubble in the 1990s, it was a big boom and then it crashed. That was painful for Silicon Valley, but it didn`t risk the whole U.S. economy.

We need to make sure our financial system is that strong, so that it can withstand the shock without hurting the rest of us.

JEFFREY BROWN: Just to be clear, how serious or how dire is the situation? Is the financial system at risk now? Is that what you are suggesting?

NEEL KASHKARI: No, I think the financial system is strong right now. But the key is, now is the time, when it`s strong, for us to make these big transformational changes, so that 10 years from now or 20 or 30 years from now, we don`t have another crisis.

You know, as a society, we tend to repeat the same mistakes. A lot of mistakes that led to the Great Depression, we repeated in 2000 -- in the 2000s, leading to the great crash. And so we need to make sure that we make the changes now, so that 20 or 30 years from now, we`re not back in the same situation.

JEFFREY BROWN: So, in the options that you laid out in a speech last week, option number one was break -- was the straightforward break up the big banks.

So, how would you do that? How do you decide what is big? And why, for example, would 10 moderate-sized banks be less dangerous than five big ones?


Well, what we`re doing in Minneapolis is, we`re bringing experts together from around the country who have different proposals for how to solve too big to fail. So, we haven`t picked which one we think is best yet. We want to bring the experts in, analyze their proposals, and come out with our recommendations at the end of the year.

But look at the -- in the 1980s, roughly 1,000 Savings & Loans failed in the S&L crisis. Again, that was devastating for those communities and for those banks, but it didn`t risk an entire nationwide economic collapse. So, there is a precedent of having smaller banks, they might make similar mistakes without bringing down the whole economy.

We want to analyze these objectively and figure out what`s the right solution and how do we go forward.

JEFFREY BROWN: As you know, a number of bankers in the past and even after you gave your talk, they have said that bigger is in some ways better, right, that they can offer more services, that if U.S. banks were not allowed to be so big, international banks, China and elsewhere, would swoop in and take the business.

NEEL KASHKARI: Well, you know, if other countries want to take huge risks with their financial systems, we can`t stop them. My view is, we should do what`s right for the United States, come up with one set of rules for any bank that wants to do business here, and then enforce those rules evenly.

And, hopefully, we can lead the rest of the world to follow our path, follow our example. We need to address this. It`s not only American banks that are too big to fail. As you indicated, there are some banks outside the U.S. too. But it`s time for us to show leadership on this issue.

JEFFREY BROWN: I read your speech. You did not suggest or propose bringing back Glass-Steagall. I wonder why not. Why not go farther to once again separate commercial banking from investment banking?

NEEL KASHKARI: You know, I don`t have a strong opposition to bringing back Glass-Steagall.

I just know, based on the crisis that we just went through, it really wasn`t the combination of investment banking and commercial banking that triggered that crisis. It was the fact that a lot of banks made a lot of bad loans. It was plain vanilla lending that went off course.

And so we need to make sure our banking system and non-banks, our insurance companies, et cetera, that they are all safe and secure and that they can`t risk bringing down the whole U.S. economy.

As you know, in 2008, AIG, one of the largest insurance companies, that became a systemic risk that almost brought us down, and it required a taxpayer bailout. I think we all agree we never want to do that again.

So, I`m proposing, let`s take action now to make sure we`re never in that situation.

JEFFREY BROWN: And let me just ask you, when you made this speech and got a lot of attention last week, a lot of the focus was on the messenger, an unlikely messenger, a lot of people thought, a former banker now telling us the banks are too big, a former regulator telling us that essentially regulators are not able, even now, to act in a way that still might hurt the economy, still might have to bail out the banks.

A reformed -- a reform person, what -- how do you describe yourself? How are we to see this?

NEEL KASHKARI: Well, I am an experienced person.

I was a strong free market ideologue going into Washington. Then we all lived through the terrible economic crisis. And I think I learned humility about markets can make mistakes. Regulators are not omniscient.

I asked people, I said, did you predict that the price of oil would drop from $150 to $30? I didn`t see it. There are a lot of things that can happen in the world economy that we`re not going to be able to predict. So, we need to make sure that our financial system is robust, so that if those things happen, the system can be strong and not require taxpayer bailouts, and not cause devastation to the American people.

JEFFREY BROWN: Neel Kashkari, thank you so much.

NEEL KASHKARI: Thanks for having me.

GWEN IFILL: Tune in later tonight on PBS for a documentary focusing on the massive amount of digital data that we record every day.

The human face of big data looks at the indelible digital trail we all leave behind and explores how it can be used to address some of our biggest challenges, hunger, pollution, disaster response and health. But it turns out it can also help us understand how babies learn words.

DEB ROY, MIT: At MIT, Deb Roy and his colleagues wanted to see if they could understand how children acquire language.

And we realized that no one really knew, for a simple reason. There was no data.

NARRATOR: After he and his wife, Rupal, brought their newborn son home from the hospital, they did what every parent would do, mount a camera in the ceiling of each room in their home and record every moment of their lives for two years, a mere 200 gigabytes of data recorded every day.