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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 8, 2011 5:15pm-6:00pm EDT

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action is from the most affected human being. this is the ethic and something from my book which can be described as a common ethnic for jews and christians and muslims to make it more complex is they introduced the adm not only the one this of god but the one ms. of humanity. of egypt or roehm people believe 10 different class of societies that the emperor in japan are caesar was defined and children of god. people are classified into class's of human beings each society has his own notion of that.
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what our religion taught is that god is one we should all love each other as brothers and sisters and america has established that in the form of democracy has changed societies and i grew up as a young kid those who are touched by the untouchable but with china and japan we see buddhism and hinduism today maintaining the existential world p.o. but that is to the class is being broken of today that contribution from the common ethic that the face religions have. i agree that it is god's
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intention that god sent to every community in their own language so from my point* of view it is god's intend to be worshipped in different languages. of 51 to choose to speak english lowered german and this is your option and we should celebrate that price at -- friday and i have learned a lot about my own religion i encourage my comrades to learn more about christianity in hinduism because you understand your own version better that way to us like it makes you understand your own language better said these are thoughts i want to throw out. >> that is a good place to stock. do want to say anything in
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conclusion? >> but the deep part felt word of thanks for coming here today to give us the honor of your attention. i want to thank you for your great moderating and imam imam, surrey net, chloe, thank you for your welcome god bless you. thank you
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>> welcome ladies and gentlemen. i am the historian from dave international spy museum. we'll come. we are fortunate today to have with us the author debriefing of mr. fred burton. he is here to talk about his new book "chasing shadows" a special agent's lifelong hunt to bring down a cold war assassin to justice" fred started the career as a police officer in merrill
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lynch but as the mid '80s he joined the state department where he served for 14 years in the diplomatidiplomati c security service and became deputy chief of the counterterrorism division. he left the department in 1999 and went to work for another organization that you are familiar with. perhaps some of you were here after hearing the speaking already publishing his memoirs confessions of the counter terrorist agent and in that book he describes working on the investigation, in many cases but also on the investigation of the death of pakistani president, the hostage crisis of beirut and the struggle against hezbollah against many other things. he is here today to talk about his new book chasing shadows. he talks about how he was
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fascinated with the 1973 assassination of the 10 it renault josef alon from bethesda maryland. interestingly enough, as a high schooler, fred had a job at a nearby gas station in bethesda and cut chile's he probably pumped gas for the colonel before his assassination. he may have had a brush with him in the early '70s by the time he became involved with the assassination was very cold case and the book recounts how he became interested and how he pursued for the killers. now i will turn it over. before we get started if you have cellphones or devices, please turn them off and fred will talk about 35 for 40 minutes then we will take questions and answers at the end.
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ladies and gentlemen,, fred burton. [applause] >> thank you for having me today. i appreciate the international spy museum for agreeing to host my book launch and that is very kind of you. before i get started out like to say my quote -- sister is here also my old boss from the state department which is very kind for you to come out of retirement to visit me. it is good to see you. this case is the kind of case that i wish i could have spent more time on in the early '80s as well as the 1990's when i was then the official position to do sell but to has you know,
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is that time frame we were just inundated with terrorist attacks all over the globe and there was not a lot of spare time for cold case is. when they started to look into this case a good number of people with firsthand knowledge to have passed on the search became extraordinarily difficult to get first-person knowledge of colonel alon the victim of this terrorist attack but about the book, july 1973, three months before the yom kippur war which was the israel 9/11 kumbaya and assesses stepped out of the bushes on the very quiet street from chevy chase maryland and author -- fired five shots
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into the body of colonel josef alon. colonel alon was special. he was a hero of the state of israel, a very decorated fighter pilot also the military attache and was performing a a very vital role at the time between not only the u.s. but many other countries with is hostile period of time. to think about the case is one that takes many of us back to a time it is hard to fathom that we had no cellphones, and the internet, and the police, which happened to be my old police department that responded to the scene that night, did not have the capability your means to investigate the
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international act of terrorism. since it is in this business coming the old boy network really came forward to help and i made a call for information out to montgomery county police association and literally was swamped with requests for help by individuals that responded to the scene of the crime that night. was also a volunteer with the rescue squad and it responded to the scene of the murder that night and trans corded colonel alon to the super -- suburban hospital i was fortunate i could interview every rescue squad member that responded to the merger that night as o as a gourmet county police.
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and i struck gold in many ways that the original fbi case agent surfaced and was the old civil rights investigator who had transferred up from birmingham to a very quiet office and he thought he would we far removed from this incident and stand, the original fbi agents could fill and a lot of missing pieces early on surrounding how lampert -- important colonel alon was. these are the kinds of things only the fbi had access to. montgomery county police did not have access to sensitive information the fbi had possession of.
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stand and the detective from the cold case squad four dave partnership to get to the bottom of what happened and this is probably not a politically correct statement that we cut ourselves -- called ourselves the graybeards. the gray-haired guy sitting around trying to figure out what happened to colonel alon to put together the pieces of the puzzle. i am truly honored i don't know if there is due june 7 from the associated press press, adam and randy that provided an extraordinary amount of help and as i mentioned in my book "chasing shadows" i would not want either one of them hunting me. [laughter] i am sure they do wonderful work and thank you for coming.
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this provided a critical piece of information that they could data mind out of the national archives from a the caa briefing that occurred to put us on the right track to be blunt and who have done it. without their help, i certainly would not happen successful. i need to mention the colonel alon family. it was a tragic event for them for anybody who has lost loved ones in a violent manner and i cannot say enough about their persistence. think about this. a quiet home where most of us grew up to have the night shattered of the killing of your father than watching
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your father died then to be whisked away on air force 2 back home to israel under presidential quarter of nixon and kissinger ordered air force to to fly the body and the family home. they have been unbelievably diligent to get to the bottom of who killed their dad and i must say they were very successful to get chasing shadows it is out last week coinciding with the film and from what i've understand it is doing quite well. i am very proud the colonel alon family has closure. when you do these cases my boss knows you can only do the best you can during
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these investigations that everybody looks for the absolute. very rarely do have absolutes. you have the operation, the theme, a 75% of the puzzle you may get lucky to get 90% but never 100%. at least based on the cases that i have worked. you know, who did it and why but you never get one hedge 8%. i am optimistic with the media surrounding the book here in the united states and being published in the united kingdom that missing pieces of our intelligence gaps are filled by anything that perhaps we messed. but at the end of the day i
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think colonel alon family can sleep soundly knowing their father was gunned down in the act of political terrorism and he deserved a better. at that time there was not a lot of protection for resident lowered officials. 1973 my a organization dss was formed after the bombings from 80's and if this case had happened today, no doubt the case would we rapidly solved, but this is a time period again before dna, before anything that you see on "c.s.i." existed. i must say that to i am extraordinarily grateful to host individuals predominantly in beirut that
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wanted no recognition for what they did to help me get to to some of the old radical palestinian terrorist that aided to pinpoint exactly what had occurred and who pulled the trigger. at that point* i would like to open four and eight questions people may have about "chasing shadows". >> is really and cia and the
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backdrop and the wrath of the god squad with the assassination of a palestinian and after the munich massacre and chaos in the united states. i was amazed at how much domestic subversive activity was occurring in that period of time. i am sure that you know, from your days at the cia but as a teen-ager from bethesda i had no idea. the weather underground the black panther party, the watergate chaos, the fbi, a
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black day jobs of palestinians offices across the country. you have the pow hostages coming home from vietnam. this was a troubled time in america and it is easy to look back at these cases to say why wasn't this solved then? the original fbi agent told me that to we have so many leads on so many different cases that we have zero ability to do all lot on any of them to do that well. they were not prepared to do this kind of case but anybody who was a student of terrorism that current events resonate today what is going on in the middle east with the top look of 1973 because there is not a lot of changes in that time
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period and israel is doing the best that it can to protect themselves during that time period. >> tell us about the background and why he was interesting and worth killing from certain bad people? who was he? colonel alon was a child of the holocaust. his family was killed by the nazis and he had fled czechoslovakia to israel. i fade when you look back over a man like an ad and think about that. as a starting point* then you go from there. he became a warrior, and for those of you who know anything about the israeli air force come in these are
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the cream of the crop what we would view today as our delta or seal team folks. the defenders of the state of israel. colonel alon was good at what he did. he was a darn good pilot and fought numerous battles look back at the treasure trove of photographs the family so graciously read turned over for me to look at and his network was shimon peres, the folks that he knew and hobnob with and that bothered me a bit because you would think someone of that to stature would have gotten more urgent attention than any of us paid within the u.s.
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government as well as the israeli government but to step back from that period of time is surely after his murder of the yom kippur war happens and israel is caught off guard and a huge intelligence failure on the part of the intelligence service what has been studied as to why that occurred. if you think about the casualties of war with the clandestine services during that time period come if you have other intelligence officers assassinated by black september and the israelis going around the roald assassinating the black september members. i can see why our government has very few leads to pursue
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and i can understand the israeli government had to very quickly back down the hatches to do with the world events unfolding our countless telephone calls and your father was killed in action and a war casualty not the cause of or the sinai desert and they killed in the line of duty. >> did the israelis. [inaudible] >> thank you for that question. i get nervous i digress back to you wanting to send me
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some place bad. [laughter] to the best of my knowledge they did not. there is a series of killings that occurred surrounding israeli, that prompted the israeli government subsequent to the killing of colonel alon to institute a similar diplomatic security service program. as we know better than i from the disasters we then we put forth the aggressive program not only to protect the israeli diplomats and missions but the series of killings prompted their government to take measures.
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after colonel alon and chevy chase merrill lynch all diplomats where move to high-rise apartment buildings and they moved said diplomats out of a private residences at the time. another interesting point* you may find fascinating is thinking about been general what about the internet? we have chatted about this a lot of it is just not that easy to find people you have to do a lot of work then to find a home where the victim did -- liv to keep an eye on the house and again the victim was a fighter pilot pilot, and think about why didn't they see any
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surveillance? there had to be surveillance under way in order for them to find a house and two mou lie in wait and execute colonel alon on his front lawn and that night july 1973. >> not to take away from the book but why he in particular was killed? what was the motive? >> i struggle with that question, peter, because we have supposition we don't have the smoking gun why he was identified look at the statements made from black september concerning the
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israeli bombings of the palestinian camps that is what put colonel alon on the black september screened personally you'll see this in the book with an unbelievable eyewitness to his reaction after the colonel was killed. and a sense, i think it was retribution for the israeli bombings of the palestinian camps and i also think that if you step back, i don't ever ever underestimate the enemy that is what steve taught me a long time ago. think about this in context three months before the bomb to pour more it was billion strategy because if you look
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to carry out a war like the yom kippur war 12 cause destruction who better to target and the and military attache of the country that you get ready to invade? do i have a smoking gun evidence? i don't. but the target selection was a brilliant. in fact,, looking through some of the historical documents read data mine from the files, there was threat to informations that happen before the killing radical palestinians were to assassinate the ambassador to the united states all the we are in the intelligence business you can only give 40% of the facts but looks like there was enough intelligence leaning forward to indicate there was a plot
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in the works but nobody could figure out exactly who the target was. i think he was a brilliant target said. and the terrorist probably did surveillance of the israeli ambassador. >> i was wondering was he working for the israeli government? did he have any active responsibility? >> the i's river the military attache from washington d.c. >> but from your last comment the but wider conspiracy to imply the egyptian military intelligence were working
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with the palestinian weighing in preparation from the yom kippur war i never heard that the four per crowe is that a surmise under part war is a hard and evidence of a wider range gained involvement of the services of the two arab nations that belongs to the yom kippur war and radical palestinians? >> i could not find any specific evidence to indicate there was no link but if you look at the intelligence failure surrounding the yom kippur war the information centers on the individual by the name of -- codenamed the angel he was israel's greatest spy or you chips raitis buy depending on who you want to believe. and curiously he fell to his death in london are tossed
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off the balcony that he was providing granular intelligence on eject soar plan to invade israel. and thus subject of a high degree of controversy i had a very interesting note from colonel alon diary of a trip to london where he operated out of that i could never think directly to but in the back of my mind certainly i am open to the idea that colonel alon and he had met, but i have no specific evidence of that whatsoever. but i do know there is a high degree of certainty colonel alon would have access to his intelligence based upon being in his
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position as a military attache assigned at that period of time. >> maybe talk about of a drab stage backdrop the of whether you felt in the end was in default? >> thank you. i acknowledge your help before but you and randy did extraordinary amount of work and i cannot think you enough. tell the story was arrested for the bombing of a plane in europe and we did the extradition/rendition back in the day to bring him to the united states to stand trial and was also
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implicated in the car bomb attempt on a gold mine air in new york city as well as severance to bomb the israeli bank so he has the extraordinary amount of blood on his hands. he served his time and there was wonderful reporting on and khalid unfortunately depending on how you look at this, he was let 12 and ice did the deportation i tell you this simply because there is no doubt in my mind khalid in new more about this case did he ever admitted and i think it is highly probable he was involved to some degree in the target selection of washington whether or not to
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he was here the night colonel alon was murdered i have nothing to indicate that he was. i only wish i could ask a few questions and i hope that adam we'll find him out and we could go talked to him. >> 1999 you leave the state department if by a apologize i have not cynosure book debt but only after that time you start to work on the case. can you talk about how not only became aware of the dedication to start investigating this in your new life as vice president? what is your story in terms of connection with this case how you became acquainted and started to pursue it? >> i had a tremendous amount of regret and killed two not do more in the 80s or 90s
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when we could have when these people were alive. we could have gotten to khalid lowered to others that perhaps were linked to the case before they passed on of simple old age. i alluded to the case in my last book, a ghost as one of those cases that stay with you. there was a wonderful reporter at "time" magazine their reach out to to the colonel alon family and put me in touch with them as on with the same period of time randy and add them and we formed a collective task force to try to get to the bottom of what happened. i think a lot of these cases are solvable with just using persistence but i told this
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to colonel alon girls as well. i don't think the case would have been solved the 1973. weaver not there with iran six, our government of our government was new to this type of threat on our soil. we would not have had the capability to sell but then. the case was also so old that folks talked freely about it wednesday started to tap into the old radical palestinian group that were alive and many of those were proud of their accomplishments regarding their fight against israel. sometimes you turn the tables and take a vantage of those comments to get people to keep talking to you. my name happens to be on the
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book with john who is a brilliant military today's military historian. there is the aviation aspect to this that i had no grasp of planes other than spending a lot of time writing in them. most cold flights over the atlantic but john was extraordinarily helpful to make sense of how important colonel alon was. remember, for those of you who were students of espionage edge as well as terrorism, and the israelis got their hands on the state of the art soviet big with the defector back in the day. that made its way back to the united states and went to area 51 and colonel alon had actually done battle with those a new our traditional red baron
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dogfights so his knowledge just of how to fight in the air against the evil empire of the soviet union at the time during the cold war was critical. critical. >> to what degree do richard your inability to do more from 80's and 90's with karen -- vermette bureaucracy, redundancy, the way of the structure of the government? >> all of the above. i think if you look at the u.s. government during that time period, in many ways filling out index cards. we had no database. everything was old school hard five ellsbury pick up the phone and call somebody are visited. you could not e-mail anybody. a lot of it was that.
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but with randy and add the mark at the ap and archives the fbi had more information in their files but i also knew how the fbi operates with defense author ways of doing business. and to understand the case you have to understand the bureaucracy the original case agent assigned to the wheat and agency but reported to baltimore which was a long ways away from where the crime occurred who ultimately reported to fbi headquarters and nothing move fast then with the new york connections of khalid al-jawiri and your cat its own files and new york does not talk to baltimore. i don't know if they do
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today but certainly not 1973. you had silos compartment of information spread out throughout the fbi. and as well as the cia. i think probably there, as always much more classified data that exist that i never had access to. i trust there is a reason why that date is being classified. >> i have one final question. you talk about how you have some sense of who was behind this but you have a sense of said trigger pullers are out there and are they still alive? do you know, ? >> besides khalid al-jawari
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on the loose somewhere probably in the middle east, there is at least one other man who fled the scene of a crime that i don't know his identity and i talk about that in the book. i and fairly confident if a guy who pulled the trigger is to we identified but i think you are back to the same issues that i would love to know who the wheel man was. >> fred burton they do for coming. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> here is my question. if it is written in a breezy popular style and has the breezy optimism to it. you write at one point* and i quote "the innovative capitalist a culture can allow us to make the houdini style escape from climate changes most devastating impact. what makes you so sure? >> my mother told me to avoid wishful thinking and i try to be provocative to see if others are awake i take climate change very seriously and now that my two minutes is up. i love a good joke. [laughter] i take climate change very seriously. my optimism, the core of my optimism i do not want you
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to moons walk away thinking i am i eve but when we anticipate a challenge , 9 billion people perhaps if enough of us are scared and aware of the challenge that climate change poses some of the beginnings of addressing dume head on is anticipating the problem. zucker bird, ucla faculty faculty, in a world where we have between seven and 9 billion people anticipating major challenges that there will be a market just as folks use their blackberry to tax might exciting points. [laughter] for there is a need for climate change innovation demand creates supply so it is not my be forceful thinking but if we anticipate and like the titanic if we are afraid of the iceberg this is the beginnings of the time to take corrective

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