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tv   Allison Stanger Whistleblowers  CSPAN  November 10, 2019 7:00am-8:08am EST

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and i wound up with whiplash and a concussion, not because i want you to cry a river for me bu bui just want you to understand that i'm a tenured professor. that means that my job is to speak the truth. my job is not to spin. my job is to listen to perspectives and tried to say what are my best judgment the truth is. i hope you can listen to what i have to say about whistleblowers with that in mind, and if there are people in the community who saying is biased or unfair, let's what
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is or what . >> there's spin. it's really anxiety going on -s not part of an issue. that's before the constitution of the trait was ratified. we to continental congress
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decision, they were right. it that's right. a citizen, as you see , that thy believed in things associated s were unequal and so there's ans day
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issue of public officials are supposed to serve the country, not themselves and if you get confused about that you are not going anyplace good. congress want a passing allopathy also got the two rhode islanders who were thrown in
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jail out of jail. they pay their legal fees and also passed laws that said all the records had to be made available to the public, which is why we can tell the story today. so it's a really illuminating case. >> it's fascinating, fascinating that comes out early in our history. despite this long history and this sort of close weaving into our own fabric of what is right and just, whistleblowers today our best source considered telltales. was there considered traitors. why are we so conflicted about this? >> there are a number of layers to that question and i think it's important to realize that america is distinctive in that they soviet whistleblowers. it's a concept of make sense in a democracy. we think certain ideals you want to see upheld.
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so whistleblowers or innocence look at the status quo that many people say is acceptable and they say wait a minute, you are supposed to believe in this or there's this rule. it's not acceptable. people typically don't agree with them. it's a really challenging thing even in the united states when we celebrate whistleblowing. in other countries though, in other countries that are not democracies, take post, this europe for example, you look at the word whistleblowers like in countries like the czech republic you find the word has totally negative connotations, it means an informer, you are a snitch. they had to invent new words because if the regime is oppressive, there's no ideals to be upheld by whistleblowing. so presupposes you got something you're trying to protect and
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that's what in america with trouble with our whistleblowers. >> we do. but despite a lot of the protections that whistleblowers have gained over the years, the price the end of paint is terribly high. nobody i think sets out to be a whistleblower. they are unique people driven by -- i think a certain naïveté, they have no idea was going to line up against them. >> your absolutely right. that's the story that recurs again again in my book, that whistleblowers start out deleting that if they just report this wrongdoing to their superior, that person will say oh, my god, i can't believe that's going on, let me do something about it. in an ideal organization, if the leader here's something that is against the rules or company dorms or principle, they will want to do with it internally. you will never hear about it externally. but what they find is the
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powerful don't want to hear this for a variety of reasons and so they start out idealistic and why did quite jaded because they wind up losing everything, time and time again. i call this the paradox of whistleblowing in america indie book in that we really do celebrate whistleblowers in theory. that's why both democrats and republicans unanimously agreed to turn the whistleblower complaint over to congress. but in practice it's another matter when our attention goes elsewhere. that's when they wind up losing everything. they lose their careers, they lose their job, their families are often retaliate against and it's a story that recurs again and again so we need to do better by whistleblowers, in my view. >> he basically finished manuscript of this book you said and you get into the post-9/11, post snowden era. it's back to the drawing board. it's almost as if it was this
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earlier, simple world of whistleblowing that changes as it becomes more complicated post snowden in particular. what's changing? what's different. >> there's a couple things that are changing. as john points out i had a whole draft of this book completed and the stone case happened, and i started looking and i thought, oh, my god, i have to start over. because what is this guy? i've go got to figure out so ths went through five manuscript iterations, hundreds of pages of carefully polished and sourced pros on the cutting room floor. i'm a terrible examples how to write a book but i do like the finished project. finished product i should say. but back to question i think two things have changed. the first and the reason why to buy the book into two parts
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before the internet and after the internet because that's at all kinds of effects which we can talk but if you're interested. but the other thing is that the national security state develops after world war ii, which makes us different from many other countries. we got this enormous intelligence community unlike almost any other free nation. so that's when you have the whole idea of a national security whistleblower which is problematic for all sorts of reasons. because to be one you have to break the rules in order to uphold the rule of law, and that's very complicated. >> as i was reading that i was thinking of the old wind out of the vietnam war that chapter yoo destroy the village in order to save it. these whistleblowers basically have to criminalize themselves in order to protect our rights to privacy and the constitution. the other thing that changes is
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the whole issue of support of the national security system through contractors, which further cloud the issue and close off to scrutiny. >> that's actually right, because this book came out of my previous book which was called one nation under contract and it was a book on the privatization of american national security. that is, contractors increasingly be used instead of government employees in all realms of national security, and this really and he cannot of course an issue, both democrats republicans alike did this. there was a real belief if you can outsource it to the private sector, it's going to be better on every front. it will be more efficient. it will get the job done more effectively at lower cost, all of these things which in a book i scrutinize and it turned out not necessary to be true. but from the book i realized we
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in the united states had really blurred the lines between business and government in an unusual way with this outsourcing. that i think led to the influence economy that we see today, also this revolving door between the government and the private sector that did not used to exist. if you left government for the private sector 30 years ago, it used to be called selling out. now it's called cashing in. right? it's completely acceptable. this is a problematic thing because if you bore that line too much, you -- blur that line too much, government doesn't have purpose because milton friedman would say that to have a free market economy you need government to provide for the
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common good. you need police forces. you need schools. you need all these things, but we have really lost that sense. and for me that was a really interesting thing to reflect on after writing the book because you can't turn the clock back. you can't nationalize industries in the united states. that takes place in other countries. so what do you do? i thought we are trusting our elites behind closed doors to do the right thing for the american people and not serve themselves. that's kind of -- the founders were not addenda. that's why they created the separation of powers. ambition could counter ambition. how do we keep our elites honest in the four privatize world, and that's i came up with the topic of whistleblowers because that's what they do. they keep elites honest when the system is functioning well. >> the issue it raises is the
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whistleblowers from these private sectors are not protected, and so that in itself discourages further whistleblowing and sets up the chain where scrutiny simply isn't there, doesn't it? >> that is something that really creates additional problems because i do want to bore you with a survey of all the laws surrounding whistleblowing. not going to do that to you but i will tell you we have a real patchwork quilt that's developed over time because it's such an old concept. you need a lawyer if your whistleblower to navigate that labyrinth. it's a real problem but then with contractors, remember edward snowden is a contractor at the time. the contractors don't have protection. you have this weird situation where they're doing the work of government that they are not government, so trade secrets, but then also national security
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creates a really potential problematic mix. because i trust, i want to believe that intelligence community is serving us to keep us safe, at the same time from what i've learned, we need oversight to ensure that happen. >> i think people were startled by the pervasiveness of the scrutiny that was being carried out against american citizens, sort of irrespective of whether they were involved in anything untoward or not. >> that's what edward snowden revealed if you follow that story. in writing "whistleblowers" i interviewed the entire, all the innocent whistleblowers including edward snowden because i wanted their perspective, but also the entire senior leadership of the nsa. there are always two sides to every story and i wanted to examine both and understand that. in the book what i try to do you
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will see i try to let the nsa official speak for themselves. so general alexander, a character in a book, i try to let the whistleblower speak for themselves and that i try to tease out of those competing narratives what the truth is. i also want you to have enough information to judge for yourself, but snowden really is an interesting case because if you look at what he revealed with those leaks and it violated the law to reveal that information, he really showed that the nsa after 9/11 had adopted emergency procedures because we've been attacked on american soil, right, the world trade center, the pentagon, a plane that went down in pennsylvania. those are justified in my view. we want to prevent another attack, right? but what happened is those emergency procedures became business as usual, without any
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public discussion of whether the something we as the american people wanted. snowden forced that discussion and as a result you got change. the patriot act was changed. in this sense i think he may one day, i write in the book, he may one day be considered america's first trader patriot. because he provided a public service but he also broke the law to do it. >> to mention the internet low bit earlier and one of the issues seems to be that technology is moving so quickly that normal democratic processes simply don't have the ability to keep up and legislate reasonable, sound legislation to deal with it. >> that's a really good observation, because part of what you are seeing with textiles today, you have this big lag.
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technology has outstripped our laws. people are just doing. what's permitted because it's not illegal in this great berry and some of it might not be in her interest as a country. that's what the nsa was doing, too. they were not necessarily breaking the law. they were exploiting loopholes in the law that since been addressed. >> much of what you write about seems to almost be predictive in terms of the way that as you jettison norms and jettison traditional ways of dealing with things, some of what we see today that sorry if this sounds parson, but it seems as if this was almost predetermined given the way things were flowing. >> yeah. that's the interesting thing about this book because this book went into production a year
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ago, and i really wrote it as an exercise in trying to understand our history to place what was going on in that trump years in some kind of context so you could better understand it. it was very clear to me from trump's election given my experience with the inteligence community and the innocent whistleblowers that they were behaving in a really unusual way with this president. and they were doing it, i could see, because they saw the the president as a national security threat. they don't normally behave this way. if you know anybody in the intelligence community they won't even tell you what they do. i don't know any of you have friends or family or in the intelligence community or national security jobs, they really believe that even the most and oculus piece of information could be that missing jigsaw puzzle piece in
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the enemies puzzle -- and oculus -- that can undermine the national security of the united states so it is totally unlike them to be leaking as they are doing but they're doing it because they swear an oath like the president to protect and preserve and defend the constitution of the united states. i think they see his behavior as somehow violating everything that given their life for. because if you are incumbent you're not doing it for the money. you can make a lot more money somewhere else. they really believe they are serving their country and the job is to provide the unvarnished truth to politicians, and the politicians decide what to do with it and that's what they see being turned on its head. i mean, red flag alert when campaign officials are having
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repeated interactions with russian operatives. that's never happened before in the united states, and they have a lot to see you can understand it better, it's called that to hop rule. you know about the to hop rule? what that basically means is if you're interacting with any of the united states, and you are two steps removed, you are a legitimate candidate for surveillance so, for example, i passed the one hop rule. i'm a candidate for surveillance here why? because i am interacting with edward snowden who is charged under the espionage act. so they have a legitimate right to spy on me, to go ahead. i mean i'm not that interesting, but for that reason when they see campaign officials meeting with russian operatives, his red
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alert goes off and they want to investigate it. so it sounds parson, but it actually isn't. they are trying to uphold the system itself which serves both republicans and democrats. if we had some republicans in the audience who think that sounds biased or parson, i'm happy to elaborate further on what i believe it isn't, but that's the way i see it. >> in a democracy we think of secrets and being antithetical. and yet secrets are necessary. how do you balance the need of whistleblowers and full transparency against the need for secrecy? >> yeah, it's really important. we also want people to be loyal, team players. that's an issue. whistleblowers have been seen as not being team players. what you have to look at, not their motives, not the
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personality because they can be quirky, unusual people. i think some of the most interesting people but they are not ordinary people, right? and you have to look at the content of the complaint. in other words, what is it they are revealing? when they file a complaint it's just a beginning. in the book you will see the past overwhelming majority of complaints don't see the light of day and also don't get settled in the whistleblowers favor. most of them are thrown out. it's not something that's easy to do and when it rises to the level where somebody says this is urgent and credible, congress is obligated to investigate. >> are you optimistic or pessimistic that men and women will continue to come forward as whistleblowers? >> we're at a watershed moment and how we will deal with this
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moment will become that. i'm optimistic because you can see them about and part of, why it's great understand our history is when you place things in a historical context or comparative context comparing us to other countries, you feel very helpful about where we are and where we can go because you see time and time again and i can go through examples of people that we've been very confused circumstances before. about what corruption is, the abuse of power is. we have righted the ship. if a look at the first gilded age, that's fasten, bost week. that's a democrat, totally corrupt democrat in new york city who is basically skimming money and handing out to his cronies and finally gets the whistle blown on it for the he also incidentally build new york city for most of it. neck. interesting, things were getting
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done but he was completely corrupt. when that corruption was exposed, the public, it was an outcry. he was thrown in jail. he died in jail. he did not try to defend what he did. so that's what's distinctive about the situation is in my view we are confused about what is shameful and what is not shameful, what is correct and what is not. it's partially because this conversation which is gutless confused about how you serve your country. you can serve your country by making a lot of money and creating jobs. don't get me wrong, but it's not serving your country if you're a public servant and you are serving yourself rather than thinking about the country and the american people, the common good at large. it's something we can get back, i really firmly believe it. if you look at the inspector general system, that system through which this right
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generous whistleblower complaint goes to caucus because believe me it's a miracle this came forward. that was built in response to richard nixon's abuse of power. what happens after these incidents is, people are granted safe how can we prevent that from happening again? what laws campbell passed to be sure it doesn't ask that's why congress passed a series of reforms after watergate to try to prevent a recurrence of the same thing, and we can do the same thing now. they're so methinks we can learn from this to make our country better, so i'm optimistic. >> there is a magnificent little play called an enemy of the people, and it tells the story of whistleblower who in the end basically losers everything, but his final line, it's the line i think that resonates with a lot of whistleblowers is sort of a confused statement of, but i was
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right. and right doesn't seem to have made a difference. >> right. this is the thing that is so tragic in some ways, in beautiful, because if you ask the whistleblowers why they do, it's interesting, there were stored or people they say because it was wrong. what they were doing was wrong. they have the sense of, their sense of right and wrong. i didn't have a choice. i learned it and had to say that, but there are a lot of people who are not like that. >> i'm going to send you to the tender mercies of the audience. >> i would love to know what you're thinking about. >> the boom mic will find you with questions so they can get them on tape. just raise your hands and she will common find you. >> you can ask me anything. >> i was wondering if you came across whistleblowers who were not right, who maybe have their
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own sense of what's right and wrong and it may not actually agree with what the law is? because often, people think there's something, some untoward behavior that must be unlawful and actually it may not be. so what is your input? did you come across that? >> a really good question, and the thing is, the weight american law defines whistleblowers, it's revealing in proper context and yet a reasonable belief that what you have seen is wrong. people can be wrong about that. you don't hear about those whistleblowers because the cases are investigated and you never hear anything more about it. you will hear about whistleblowers when it turned out to be right. so in a sense there's all sorts of people who might think you know something is wrong, i did
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actually isn't and you just don't hear about them. because we are humans, right? we all have our biases and misconceptions, and some people are just plain difficult, right? >> you'd talked about defining what a whistleblower is or is in the book very nearly. >> i wanted it to be connected to the american tradition, which is rooted in the rule of law, which means there's a distinction between fact and fiction, truth and falsehood, and that we can look at evidence and see whether something has violated the law was unconstitutional. >> if you are writing the book today, would you write it any differently than when you wrote it originally? >> that such a great question. i struggled with this book for so long. it was seven years in the making, if you can believe that,
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and that's a very painful thing i call it my exercise in redemption through suffering. but the upshot of that is a very happy with how it turned out. you have to read it and tell me what you think, because i actually wrote the last chapter about the trump era in the past tense. you know, what we're going to do after trump has been dishonored and to make some suggestions about the things we can do because yeah, it's funny, i could see something like this coming. because i know a lot of people think the deep state is partisan and nefariously plotting to overthrow american leaders, but that's not the intelligence community i encountered in my research. that was kind of a flight. the minute that started
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happening, what is going on? what is james comey doing? you start paying close attention. i was writing some of this, like kerry matheson in homeland, connecting things, going crazy. actually the thing that made the big difference was i was doing, i was talking with mark wealth who was the screenwriter who made the film "zero dark thirty," wrote the screenplay for "zero dark thirty" because he was working on a television series. this is not speaking to revealing anything secret. if you google it you will see it, this is a couple years ago, on russian intervention in our elections. i got asked, it was fun for me as an academic to think about the tv show. because sometimes doesn't feel like we're in a tv show that is
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like jump the shark? i want to change the channel but they said put it into two pages, who are the main characters? what's there characteristics? what are the main narrative lines? what the overarching narrative? two pages. so i did that for them and it was that minute, it was through that exercise that crystallized to me what this book was about and what i was trying to explain, which is how we arrived at this present moment, how we should interpret it, what we should do about it. i'm happy with it how it came out. i'm not a good model for writing books. don't polish your prose before your sure the structure is right. >> how do we keep whistleblowers safe? >> how do we keep whistleblowers safe? it's a very important question here and now. i think it's frightening because the president and another unprecedented incident has basically inside his supporters
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by tweet to retaliate against this whistleblower. we are not worried about trump and his immediate advisers doing something. it's just their supporters, in the internet age, which changes everything because that allows for dioxin. people not connected to the the president can take justice into her own hands and harm the whistleblower, terrorize their family, all of this is not good. what we need to do is if the american people realize that was the point is an important part of the american experience, it helps keep democracy alive. like it helped keep our elites on his and insist the whistleblower be protected. congress will respond. the whistleblower will be protected and, indeed, what you see is we may not even need the whistleblower to testify because all the former officials are coming forward now. incidentally, that something i've learned in my book, too. nobody in the nsa will let you go and record with their name,
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but if you can get them after they leave their position, they can say things in the record at the goods it otherwise, and the same is true with all these people being called to testify or subpoenaed to testify, i should say. >> one of the things that struck me was the sort of incitement to go and find the whistleblowers. are we reliving history? >> democratic presidents typically don't talk with enemies of the people. i have a degree in soviet studies on emily with the russian police state, and soviet police state and that language use in dictatorship. you don't typically see that in a democracy. rhetoric can be damaging. what our presidents say i think really matters. >> over here. >> way over there.
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wait for the mic. we want to hear your question here. >> can you hear me? >> i hear you. >> booktv can hear you. >> question, professor. i heard you describe some of the federal agency employees -- let me say i've a cousin who is the cia bu but i know you've a lot e affinity for that culture than i do. i appreciate, you know, your sense of sympathy or empathy for them but i thought i heard you describe people that were making conscience based leaks not separate from pursuing legal channels such as whistleblowing. i don't accept the fact and don't think you should be conferring sympathy on the notion that taking an oath of office conference license to break federal law, what you think is what i heard you say. >> that's a great question, and
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you're getting ready to the heart of what's difficult about this question because you are right, we don't want and intelligence community behaving in this way. my argument in the book is that there behaving this way because we are in an emergency situation where the system itself is at stake. what i set the end is what we needed after this emergency situation is passed is we need to not celebrate the leakers but instead realize that was a necessary evil, if you will, to deal with an emergency, and we all had to go back to normal. we do want the behaving in this way. we want to suggest it's acceptable in an emergent situation but definitely not desirable. i used the example just -- you should remember and tell me what you think. winston churchill after world
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war ii dishonored arthur harris. is anybody know who arthur harris is? [inaudible] good. you guys are with it. bomber harris. he did the bombing of dresden. ready to go to westminster abby today, you will not find his name or the names of his bomber pilots inscribed on the walls of westminster abbey among the fallen. you will find the fighter polyps. you not find the bomber pilots, and the reason is churchill, when he needed them to do these nasty things, because the system itself was at stake. democracy in britain was at stake, but after the war he needed to dishonored arthur harris to restore the moral universe that had been upended by the worker we will need something similar to move forward, that's going to require both parties to say there been
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excesses on both sides, she can sensei this is for the american people, this is for the rule of law, this is for free markets and democracy and we will make a break with this past behavior into that in the future. now, human beings are human beings, but democracy was restored in britain. we can do something similar i think, in a sense make a symbolic break by dishonoring the behavior that was necessary, but should not be acceptable in ordinary times. does that make sense? >> i had a question. are you comfortable with the term whistleblower as it applies
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to the person who discussed the conversation between the president of ukraine and president trump in regards to, from what i've heard it's mostly second information, not first, and the person is also anonymous. regardless of what the future people are discussing, it may bring down a president. does the term whistleblower, do you think that applies in this case or do you think it is something else? >> that's a really great question. i'm so glad you asked that, because there's been a lot of claim that this isn't a whistleblower, it's partisan, and i think there is really important to focus on what the law says, and what president trump's on intelligence community inspector general has said. so if you go to the intelligence community inspector general website you will find a letter from michael atkinson, who is a
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trump appointee, so he's the one who says officially on their website that this person is a whistleblower, that the complaint went through all the proper channels and now it's got to be investigated. what was important to realize with this whole first-hand-second thing, it doesn't matter. what matters is the content of the complaint which the whistleblower is going to prove him or herself. yet investigate to see if the complaint has any water. that's what the whistleblower may not need to even testify because you have the formal officials coming for to say that they were onto something important for us to know about and discuss. it's a very good question. look, it's legitimate people are confused about this. had you heard about whistleblowers before a couple weeks ago works a little bit but it's not in the national
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intelligence community, right? it is legitimately confusing, but i think my book provides a great context for understanding it. and i wrote it to be readable. it's got 100 pages of bibliography and footnotes but it's only 200 pages long. you go from the founding to the present in 200 pages and you the reader need to be the judge of whether i succeeded in delivering something any use or entertainment value. >> so president trump has claimed that his sixth amendment right should allow him to confront his whistleblower. if this goes to an impeachment proceeding, how would that apply? >> i don't even know what that
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means. i've never heard of a sixth amendment right. [inaudible] >> confront your accuser. >> but we're not in a court of law. you just talk to any lower, were not in a court of law. we're is gathering information right now to see if there should be a court, a trial. that's what impeachment would be. be. so it doesn't really apply. >> i think the point of the question is once it gets to the impeachment proceedings, does that change anything? impeachment is only a court trial either, is it? >> no. that's not a court trial either. [inaudible] >> the six amendment issue which is to confront your accuser, whether it's at the point that it moves to the senate and to an actual trial, does it kicking
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then? that's not a strict legal proceeding either. >> here you are this also interesting thing going on, too, with our legal proceedings with the rest of giuliani associates. that's the other interesting thing and the tax returns have been subpoenaed. we are entering a really interesting moment were a lot could be revealed the some of you may not be aware of it but i will write a piece and atlantic and the next days or so in with the blood in why is that relevant to the united states? it's relevant to the united states because there are international corruption networks that have rocked europe in all sorts of ways and led them to pass those comprehensive whistleblower protection law anywhere here it exceeds the united states in all sorts of ways. that's because the were a numbr of corruption cases in europe,
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panama leaks, that led to the death of two investigative journalists who investigating the corruption. there was a journalist killed in malta by a car bomb. malta is a centerpiece of all sorts of corruption. they sell passport. who buys them. the russians, and the use them to travel freely through your. nothing was done to prosecute this murder in malta. but in slovakia, those a man named john cook's y'all's who was murdered with his fiancée and is huge public outcry some of you may remember. the enormous demonstrations and it led to a fall of the government and the election of slovakia is first female prime minister. europe is sort of interesting because, because these are international corruption
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networks, there might be a a european whistleblower that reveals information that's relevant to the situation here in the united states. because, think about it, the rule of law and anticorruption, they are two sides of the same coin. because corny capitalism is not the sort of capitalism that free market america celebrates. we pride ourselves on our small business, entrepreneurship. you don't have that crony capitalism. so that's why if you support small business you should really be in favor of anticorruption and also the rule of law. that makes it possible. >> have you looked into whistleblowing in great britain at all? >> it's a great question because
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it will interesting because cultural differences come out in this research that are really fascinating. in 2013, transparency international came out with report on whistleblowing in europe and they went through all the words for whistleblower in european countries, at almost all of them were negative. the way the european skin about it, this is an american thing. americans were very involved in advising the europeans and how to draft this law because they just have a wealth of expertise having 200 plus years of having whistleblower protection. it really is seen as un-american concept. then the british adopt laws in 1998 and the co condit says thas an anglo-american concept pic and now it is seen as a democratic concept that will apply across europe. that's important because if we're going to keep democracy alive, we really do need a
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coalition of civil society organizations fighting to make it so, and that's precisely what brought about the whistleblower protection directive in europe. it's precisely what can keep democracy vibrant in the united states today. we have a situation where elites are being criticized by both the left in the right for failing to serve ordinary people, and that's a sears issue. whistleblowers i think help us get information we need to confront that. there's a question right here. go ahead and ask it. ask me anything. >> this has to do with corporations. you take it to your higher ups and if you see nothing is resolved, what do you do then and what kind of protection would you have? i know there's a big tobacco
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case many years ago. >> that was in my book, too. >> i don't remember what happened, but what kind of protections do they have? >> what you get, this is what's interesting, is the real connection between the first amendment in whistleblowing. can you see heather might be a connection? what happens in corporations is the higher-ups don't pay attention to whistleblower tip usually goes to the press. that is something as a company you should not want. you should want to resolve internally because if enron -- does anybody remember enron? enron and worldcom -- how about worldcom ask if this companies had listened to whistleblowers inside their organization, they could have righted the ship before these companies went belly up. if you're a smart ceo yo you are
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going to want to create a climate in which people feel comfortable telling you something needs to be fixed. that's hard to do. you have to be a pretty self-confident human to be able to take that kind of criticism, but there are leaders like that, and they are extraordinary. [inaudible] >> let them hear from you. i love hearing questions from chicago. i'm from chicago, so it makes me really happy to be -- i was born here is what i'm trying to say. i don't live here anymore. [inaudible] does this pertain to the #me too movement as well? if corporations had paid attention to some of this -- [inaudible] >> i think that's really true, and open the book by talking about that because there were whistleblowers in the #me too movement because let's face it, what was happening was everybody knows that's wrong.
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they're all these laws on the books but sometimes that powerful don't want to enforce the rules if it's in their interest to not enforce them. so whistleblowers really exposed those blind spots and forced society to confront their hypocrisies. that is, the gap between their stated ideals of actual behavior. we all have blind spots so not suggesting men are to blame or anyone is to blame but it's useful to think that what your blind spots are and try to understand alternative points of view, and that's what the #me too movement did. now, we can have debates about how it played out and other political instances. let me say there's ideological folks on the left and on the right, and the american constitutional democracy is not an ideological concept, in my view. it's committed to the free and
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open discussion of ideas and to a citizens with all sorts of, coming from all sorts of walks in different political orientations to try to put together, to deliberate and figure out where the country should go. whistleblowers sort of have a positive purpose i think in that initial movement, regardless of what you think about where it went from there and in particular cases. i don't think it's important. it's the principle that's it important. we can have difference of opinion on the political application. >> there is a play called a very poison that involves whistleblower in russia who -- i can't pronounce his name was poisoned. i wonder how, is it in your book or have you given any thought to that situation? >> look, i speak russian an andi
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stated russian. my dissertation was on soviet foreign policy. which is a real, you know, funny thing to go through because i defended it and then three months later there was no soviet foreign policy. [laughing] i had to find a new area of expertise are not going to repeat what they kept saying to me but i will say this. it is really true, the russians of the best in the business. they have had a police state for a long time, and that's why immediately when i see the trump campaign meeting with all these russians, i think oh, my god, you are in trouble now. they will play you. they will -- that's why think the intelligence community was alarmed by it, too. but it's a dangerous -- these networks are dangerous point that's why we want the rule of law because the alternative is
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kind of mafia contract enforcement. you realize you get the mafia to enforce contracts when nobody trusts institutions. i don't think were at that point that in the united states where we need mob rule. we can resuscitate the rule of law. >> the khashoggi situation -- >> oh, man. >> is he considered a whistleblower? do we have enough information to consider handling -- >> you are pointing to the intimate connection between the first amendment and journalists and whistleblowers. so he is a journalist who wrote things that saudi arabia didn't want written, and he was killed. obviously, i don't support the killing of journalists who are
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trying to just bring the truth to light. that's why the whistleblower complaint to me is a a unsettlig because i teach american foreign policy, and one thing i know is that we need a team for foreign policy. i see a former student from american foreign policy in the audience, which is great. you know this, jack. we need a team. we need to work together and it's very disastrous, you have a shadow foreign policy, that's what's happening with this ukraine -- part of the complaint is the united states had official anticorruption foreign policy which was being applied to ukraine, and rudy giuliani and attorney general barr and the president were running a shadow foreign policy i was in direct contradiction to the
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official foreign policy of the trinity. the meta-what you think of what the policy should be, it's very dangerous if the stated policy is different from what the actual policy is, and it's also very damaging to our anticorruption effort around the world, because corruption floor shoes around the world if the united states isn't the idealist on the side of anticorruption. so, for example, with some of this terrible corruption in malta that was revealed through panama papers, there was this bank there was laundering all this money. it was just going to keep on laundering and told the united states up and said no, that's corrupt. the bank has to be closed, the bank is close. this is what it's enormously important for the entire world what we do with corruption. because if the united states doesn't stand against corruption
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and for the rule of law, the cause global is damaged. so that's what's at stake in the ukraine issue and that swasey summary public servants willing to come forth and say i've never seen anything like this, this is something that i feel compelled to speak out about. thank you for that question. >> you commented that you were hopeful. could you elaborate on that a little more? [laughing] >> look, look, i'm looking at you and i'm feeling hopeful because, let's face it, we are all in some sense provincial. we come from particular communities and we think -- let
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me put it this way. the east coast might think that the middle of the country is provincial, but they don't realize that they, too, are provincial. the difference between the middle of the country and the coast is that you are aware yet something distinctive here. ..
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so there's this perverted understanding that oh, he's just doing things everybody else says and he's doing it in an assertive way and he's speaking the truth and these are good things but it's also clear that he'sreally selfish . i don'tthink americans are selfish .i think they want
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to revive their communities and contribute to them and don't enjoy this polarized climate wherein where people are hurling insults back and forth at each otherwe are all americans . so i guess what makes me hopeful and maybe you can do this for, i don't know what your political persuasions are but everybody out here, take someone's breakfast with whom you disagree and discuss the future of this country. i think small things like that can make a difference and also understanding history that we've been in tough times before and gotten out of them is something that makes me optimistic . so don't give up. other questions, yes. anybody want to ask me that hasn't asked yet? just want to make sure i get --
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>> you also seem to be optimistic about the free marketplace of ideas within institutions that we have . can you square that with the recent stuff with facebook and their position, trumps new advertisements. this is about all i know on the subject but do those concrete facts always win out ? it seems like we're in a more subjective era so i'm challenging your optimism a little on that, but i'd love for you to any of that. >> jack is my formerstudent and he's really smart . this is a great question and the reason it's a great question is that my next book . i want to think about that so check back with me in a year. i'm going to do this one more quickly.
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undetermined to do it the right way, get the structure right before i start polishing things, i'm going to do it right but i'man optimistic person by nature . until the very last minute with the charles murray book, i was convinced that if i just stood up there and explain to people why it was important that they engage with people with whom they profoundly disagree, i thought till the last minute i would persuade people that was the case. i was unsuccessful so look, we've got some real challenges in our country. but that's something we as individuals can attend to in my view. i'm really, i don't know how many of you go to church or are part of a faith-based community, those are inspiring places a lot of them because you see people from all walks of life at all income levels , all political persuasions coming together and realizing what they have
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in common and in my church in vermont, a congregational church, we have the governor of vermont, republican governor who vetoed gay marriage and we have the two lesbians who filed the suit that resulted in the overturning of the defense of marriage act and they sit in the same church and talk at the coffee hour and they could be deeply antagonistic but they're not so we have it within us to reach out to people who are different with whom we politically disagree and focus on what it is that unites us. this is a great country, it's so exceptional. it's worth preserving and it's in our hands to do so. so that's why i'm optimistic. >> allison, thank you so much for coming.
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>> it's been a real pleasure. >> most people here know that we don't pay our authors to come but we don't want them to go home empty-handed so we do provide them with a book. >> thank you so much, ilove it . >> we will have you signing books over at the table if you want to get a copy of copy of the book, they're available upfront. purchase one and if you will, sign it. >> i'll sign books and i'm eager to hear what you think of it so read it and let you know what youthink. thank you so much for coming . [applause] >> you're watching book tv on cspan2 with nonfiction books
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and authors every weekend. book tv, television for serious readers. >> tomorrow the director of the smithsonian institution chronicles creation of the museum of national african-american history and culture with rand paul of kentucky discusses socialism. security columnist bill gertz report on china's efforts to become a military andeconomic superpower and naomi klein talks about consumerism and climate change . or more information about the authors you will see visit or check your program guide . >> dd asked buddy carter what are you reading ? >> two things. first of all i finished the book i enjoyed very much, it's written by thomas carlyle. it's a book, and it's actually i've biography of a fictional philosopher. diogenes, and very interesting book and i'm


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