Mark Mazzetti

  • Aired:  04/03/14
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The New York Times's Mark Mazzetti discusses "The Way of the Knife," his book detailing the CIA's expansive secret military campaigns since 9/11. (5:56)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A NATIONALSECURITY JOURNALIST WHO IS

CRITICAL OF THE C.I.A.'S OWNWARFARE.

I AM HESITANT TO SITNEXT TO HIM.

PLEASE WELCOME MARK MAZZETTI.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

HEY, MARK, NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANKS FOR COMING BACK.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: AS I SAID YOU'REA PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING

CORRESPONDENT FOR THE "NEW YORKTIMES."

YOUR BOOK IS CALLED "THE WAY OFTHE KNIFE," NOW AVAILABLE IN

PAPERBACK AND IT'S ABOUT THEC.I.A., IT BEING A SECRET ARMY,

AND SOMETHING CALLED "THE WAR ATTHE ENDS OF THE EARTH."

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

WHERE IS THE END OF THE EARTH?

( LAUGHTER ).

>> A FEW PLACES, MANY PLACES.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> THE IDEA I WANTED TO CAPTUREIN THE BOOK WAS THAT THERE'S

BEEN SOME WHOLE HISTORYPOST-9/11 THAT HASN'T BEEN IN

IRAQ AND HASN'T BEEN INAFGHANISTAN.

THERE'S BEEN THIS WHOLE WHAT ICALL THE SHADOW WAR IN PLACES

LIKE PAKISTAN, YEMEN, AND PARTSOF AFRICA WHERE WAR IS BEING

WAGED OUTSIDE OF DECLARED WARZONES AND THIS IS AS MUCH A PART

OF THE HISTORY OF 2001 ON THANWHAT HAPPENED IN IRAQ AND

AFGHANISTAN.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK THEC.I.A. IS DOING THE RIGHT THING

THESE DAYS?

>> THEY'RE NOW REALLY MORE THANEVER A PARAMILITARY

ORGANIZATION.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINKTHAT'S A GOOD IDEA?

>> I THINK THAT THEY'RE-- IT'SGOOD AND BAD.

>> Stephen: COME ON, PICK ASIDE.

( LAUGHTER )GROW A PAIR.

>> I THINK THERE'S PROBLEMS WHENYOU HAVE WARS THAT ARE WAGED IN

SECRET WITHOUT A LOT OF PUBLICACCOUNTABILITY.

>> Stephen: OKAY, NOW WHO ISRESPONSIBLE FOR THE C.I.A.

BECOMING THAT WAY?

IS IT BUSH OR OBAMA?

AND I'LL TELL YOU IF I AGREEWITH YOU.

>> IT'S ACTUALLY BOTH.

>> Stephen: BOTH?

>> IT'S ACTUALLY BOTH.

>> Stephen: THEN I CAN'T MAKEUP MY MIND.

I'M WITH YOU.

IT'S GOOD AND BAD AS YOU SAID.

>> IT STARTED WITH BUSH,CERTAINLY SINCE AFTER 9/11, BUT

IT'S EMBRACED BY OBAMA DURINGTHE LAST FIVE YEARS.

THERE'S A LOT OF CONTINUITY WITHTHE COUNTER-TERRORISM PROGRAMS

BETWEEN BUSH AND OBAMA.

>> Stephen: PETRAEUS, IN ONE OFTHOSE RECORDINGS THAT CAME OUT

WHEN HE WAS FOUND OUT TO BE YOUKNOW HAVING A LITTLE

SOMETHING-SOMETHING ON THE SIDE.

IN ONE OF THE RECORDINGS HE SAIDHE WANTED TO BE THE HEAD OF THE

C.I.A. BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THEACTION WAS GOING TO BE

MILITARILY.

IS THIS WHAT HE WAS TALKINGABOUT, THAT THE C.I.A. IS DOING

A LOT OF MILITARY OPERATIONSTHAT ARE EFFECTIVE IN THE WAR ON

TERROR, THE ARMY IS NOT ALLOWEDTO DO?

>> THEY'RE DOING PARAMILITARYOPERATIONS IN PLACES WHERE THE

ARMY IS NOT ALLOWED TO GO.

>> Stephen: ARE WE AT WARWITH THOSE PLACES ONCE WE'RE

BLOWING STUFF UP THERE?

>> WE'RE IN THOSE PLACES,SOMETIMES NOT AT WAR WITH THOSE

PLACES.

WE WERE AT WAR IN PAKISTAN BUTNOT NECESSARILY AT WAR WITH THE

GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTANWE'RE IN WAR IN YEMEN --

>> Stephen: THAT'S THREADINGA VERY NARROW NEEDLE THERE.

WE ARE BLOWING UP PEOPLE IN YOURCOUNTRY, BUT WE LIKE YOU.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: OKAY, SO THEY'REDOING THIS MOSTLY WITH DRONES,

RIGHT?

>> A LOT OF DRONES.

THERE HAS BEEN ESCALATION OFSPECIAL OPERATIONS MISSIONS

AROUND THE GLOBE IN PARTS OFAFRICA.

SO NOT JUST THE C.I.A.

IT'S ALSO PARTS OF THE PENTAGONTHAT HAVE SORT OF BLENDED

TOGETHER OVER THE YEARS TO DOTHESE KIND OF SECRET MISSION.

>> Stephen: THE BLOWING STUFFUP WITH DRONES-- THERE WAS A LOT

OF CRITICISM AND OBAMA SAYS HE'SNOT DOING IT ANYMORE OF

STRAPPING GUYS TO TABLES ANDPOURING WATER OVER THEIR FACE OR

MAKING THEM STAND UP FOR 36HOURS OR IN A BRIGHTLY LIT ROOM

FOR SEVEN DAYS OR SOMETHING LIKETHAT.

BUT THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ABIG PUBLIC OUTCRY ABOUT BLOWING

THEM UP REAL GOOD IN SOME PLACESANDY AND ROCKY.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE DIFFERENCE?

>> I THINK THERE ARE DIFFERENTREASONS FOR THAT.

I THINK THAT SOME DEMOCRATS HAVEBEEN LESS HESITANT TO CRITICIZE

A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT ABOUTTHIS.

BUT THERE'S ALSO DIFFERENCES IN,YOU KNOW, WARFARE WHEN YOU HAVE

SOMEONE IN YOUR CUSTODY, YOU'RESUPPOSED TO TREAT THEM HUMANELY,

VERSUS A BATTLEFIELD KILL.

THIS IS THE ARGUMENT THAT'S MADE--

>> Stephen: LET'S JUST NEVERHAVE THEM IN OUR CUSTODY.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Stephen: WHAT DOES "THEWAY OF THE KNIFE" MEAN?

IT SOUNDS LIKE SOME SHORT OFKUNG FU OR A NEW COOKING SHOW ON

THE FOOD NETWORK WHERE THEYASSASSINATE A RIB ROAST.

WHAT IS "THE WAY OF THE KNIFE"?

>> IT CAME FROM A SPEECH JOHNBRENNAN GAVE SEVERAL YEARS AGO

CONTRASTING THE BIG WARS INAFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ CALLING IT

THE HAMMER, SAYING THE OBAMAADMINISTRATION IN THESE OTHER

WARS USES A SCALPEL, AND ASCALPEL IS SORT OF A EUPHEMISM

TO IMPLY SOMETHING IS WITHOUTCOSTS OR CONSEQUENCES.

SO I USED KNIFE BECAUSE KNIFEFIGHTS ARE FAR BLOODIER.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINKTHERE'S ANY WAY WAGING THESE

MILITARY ACTIONS IN COUNTRIESWHERE THERE IS NOT A DECLARED

WAR COULD EVER COME BACK TO BITEUS IN THE ASS?

AND IF SO, ISN'T THAT KIND OF AGOOD THING BECAUSE HAVE YOU SEEN

AMERICA'S ASS?

IT COULD USE A COUPLE OF BITESTAKEN OUT OF IT.

>> IT CERTAINLY HAS THATPOTENTIAL.

SECRET OPERATIONS THROUGHOUTHISTORY, THERE'S BLOW-BACK A LOT

OF TIMES.

THE SORT OF MORE YOU HAVEOPERATIONS CARRIED OUT WITHOUT A

WHOLE LOT OF PUBLIC OVERSIGHT OREVEN INTERNAL GOVERNMENTAL

OVERSIGHT, THE MORE CHANCE OFTHINGS GOING WRONG.

SO CERTAINLY ONE OF THEQUESTIONS IS HOW MUCH OF THE--

OF THESE OPERATIONS RADICALIZEPEOPLE WHO WEREN'T PREVIOUSLY

DISPOSED TO THESE MILITANTS?

AND SO THAT'S SOMETHING WE'REGOING TO HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION

TO.

>> Stephen: ARE THE THINGSIN THE BOOK TRULY REVELATIONS OR

ARE YOU A C.I.A. OPERATIVEWORKING FOR THE "NEW YORK TIMES"

TELLING US THINGS TO PUT US OFFTHE SCENT OF THE REAL THINGS

HAPPENING IN THE C.I.A.?

>> EVERYTHING THAT I-- IS INTHERE IS WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE

TRUE, AND WHAT I'VE REPORTED.

SOME REPORTED IN THE PASTTHERE'S A LOT OF NEW INFORMATION

IN THE BOOK.

AND AS I SAID, IT'S AS MUCH OF ASORT OF HISTORY OF THIS PERIOD

AS CAN BE TOLD WHEN THERE'SSTILL A LOT THAT'S STILL

CLASSIFIED.

>> Stephen: LOUD AND CLEAR.

MARK, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MARK MAZZETTI.

THE BOOK IS "THE WAY OF THEKNIFE."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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