Oct 11, 2012|
America is too lazy and stupid to see what is coming. This is Lara Logan's bone chilling speech.
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
I am very happy to be cat and in fact the timing was incredibly fortuitous because. For the last few years I have been working on the story that when I -- broached the idea. Everybody looked at me skeptically. Even the trust of the people around me who have been through a lot with me to. And that was a story about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan today. It's funny because nobody. -- that that was an issue to be paying attention to nobody thought there was any real traction to act and it -- -- now. Because I knew I was wrong I -- that war from the beginning. And watch what's happening on the battlefield. And -- missed the air act toward looking back at recently air sometimes that state -- year at home. You know and and I knew that we were being liked it. -- news that the American people are being misled. Ends when it comes is issues that I care about like issues of national security. I don't think that politics. Should dictate social security policy. I don't know it -- -- at night -- night. So that combination makes us comments pop. That's and the fact that the challenge of covering award a year -- to you out here. Is that how to write highlights sixty minutes -- -- live at ground and common sense anymore I don't have the benefit of that time. There and be able to develop stories in. Breaking news so what contribution can I make from afar and that's when you look at it at the situation in Afghanistan you look at the battlefield and you think. What's this modest story that I can do because what's the story that tells people something that really madness spirit there's. 100000 things you can say about Afghanistan and about the -- that only. Interesting and relevant and important but there's only one of two hour or two of them that dictate. What it means and where it's taking us. And what the consequences are what we're doing neck and those that's the way that I try to find my stories. And that led us into this investigation -- al-Qaeda in Afghanistan NA I want to show you just a short clip from the piece that ran on Sunday night. So that you can have some sense of what I talk about this and move forward. Your -- tough spot right now. Can you explain why the sudden increase in these attacks. Well I'm mad as hell about it -- in the sweet. We're gonna get after this it reverberates everywhere across United States no work. We're we're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign we're we're not willing to be murdered for. Cleaning Afghan troops like these Afghan special forces soldiers. Is the centerpiece of general Annan's mission but they're there for it and he's already had to suspend the training twice. Because of the crime -- insider attacks and pat which shot threatening America's exit strategy. Shenanigans braced themselves for more attacks. -- terrorism means for us again the country which has become al-Qaeda his base of operations in Afghanistan today. These are enemy fight to send. With the blessing -- the pakistanis. And every c'mon -- satin shoes has had to try and build a relationship and. So why did that story -- and why did we choose to do that particular story. Well four and number of reasons but particularly because if al-Qaeda was truly what drew us to Afghanistan. Austin 9/11 then it was it if we we. Felt it was a fair and legitimate question to be asking of American. -- it's what is the state of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and you would have -- Bandied around the number fifty. All the time ever you know that head of the CIA other people officials in the administration. Love to tell us today that there are only fifty al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan and the impression that was given his that there one drone strike away from the administration. And that's just simply not true they know it's not true. What we had to do was to set about investigating it to discover. What was the truth and we had to be very careful about that because there is it there is it and distinction. Between investigating something to find out what the real situation is. And trying to prove something that you believe is true. And those are two very different things in the second one is a very dangerous thing. And it's the enemy of great journalism. And and it's a track that it's very easy to fall into the fact that we're so it was my -- Who kindly reminded me of the fact that certain points in the process here. And as usual he was absolutely right. And we didn't need to prove anything because it was so evident so how did we set about doing that well of course we return to the official -- -- and that meant reading. You know and researching everything that anyone in the administration -- position of authority had had to say about al-Qaeda and Afghanistan over the last few years. Fortunately I I read just about everything on a daily basis so I stay on top of a lot of that and that is not -- I think. Having areas having beats the report does exist for a reason right can be reporting is a great thing. Because there's nothing like that. Institutional knowledge of that depth knowledge of the time. And they gut feeling that you have that tells you when someone's collection when they're not and what you should be concentrating on what you shouldn't. To guide you in doing real true investigative work and so. So we not only have to look -- all of that we had to look at every counterterrorism expert in the field we went to the agencies -- obviously to the CIA to. Wherever we could go we went to the think tanks linked to. Anyone who was anyone who could possibly know about this and we kept hearing the same thing time and time again that. You know there's no political reason for anybody to be talking to you about this right now because. If we talk about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan does not undermine the argument for leaving. And and that was already a problem for us at one point we even had in writing from the US military that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was off the table. That they weren't even prepared to talk about that which only made us more determined to talk about it because when you. When you're constantly knocked down when people constantly try to bury you. And you have the sense that you're onto something. You know that it's worth while it's it's. Hot not to doubt yourself and you know date at the end of the day you're going to be standing alone on the fifty outlined in the Super -- right in -- on the premiere of sixty minutes. And you're seeing something that nobody in the administration wants to hear. And a lot of people in the united states military don't want out there because there -- a lot of people who weren't helpful to us. In the disputed this story so you -- that not overstate it you better note that what hit. Doing is correct. And you better not screw it up. And to. You know the official American position is only one -- -- Just as important to us was white. Al-Qaeda themselves have to say about this there's been a narrative coming out of Washington over the last few years many of it driven by Pakistani lobbying money. And found -- -- on apologists when my favorite things to read about is how the title on today's so unlike the Taliban 2001. They're just have more moderate gentle kind it how to find just can't wait to see women in the wet place. Occupying you know an equal role in society and you know great economic prosperity for all of Afghanistan and don't really wanna take us back 3000 years into that terrible terrible place that I witnessed in 2001. When I went with the Afghan soldiers who retook. Problem from the public. You know it's such nonsense. And every now and then you read someone in a British paper -- an American paper some wanting to. The baby talk into the Talabani and Taliban when he go to peace talks and they they in there it there. Ready to renounce their links to al-Qaeda at this. Windy day. The theory is he packed up and go home from a -- the problem is over the top on just -- country back they've got no problem with human and we can just. We can stop wasting billions of dollars and an American lives in Afghanistan and we can turn out backs on this. This war that has really been a waste about time. That's amazing to me that that's where -- today. Because -- I mean not only do I remember the promises that were made which is fine you know and keep your promises that's that's that's politics I guess. But he has to think that there's any similarity between this and Vietnam. Is ridiculous. The Vietcong didn't care what you did when you went back to America. He had come -- fighting for an Islamic -- The sitcom didn't have a global struggle. And it's amazing to me that we constantly ignore what al-Qaeda and Talabani Connie -- these groups. Tell us every day in their own newspaper is -- statements. They share something. He -- an idea. A -- is not their organization you don't have to have a cot and membership cod or baggage or something. That we recognized in our society something that the FBI can say OK I know what that is I'm gonna hold you responsible for what you did in Libya. We're gonna put you on trial in America. This is terrorism. It's a completely and I totally different fight from anything we have faced. In our history. And that's why we chose to do this story. Because what's the one thing about Afghanistan that's gonna come home to -- -- what we have done there for the last living as what we. -- role in the Middle East rule across the world. -- way of life. Is under attack and if you think that's government propaganda if you think that's nonsense if you think that's war mongering. You're not listening. To what the people who have fighting you say about this high in your arrogance. You'd think you write the script. But you don't there's two sides and we don't dictate that -- In fact after eleven years of war in Afghanistan where. We're surrendering rushing for the exits this class as we can. We're not only do we not dictate the terms but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage. And we now face an enemy that former US ambassador Ryan Crocker who does it if you didn't make this piece that we did talk to him and and he says it. We've killed all the slow and stupid -- But the ones that I left. On more committed. And they didn't become any kinda what gently in the last eleven years. And he's absolutely right. They not a thing Ryan Crocker said was we think we've won that campaign. When they haven't even begun to fight. And that's right so as a reporter. Doing investigative work. I chose this subject because one icon I can't stand that there is. And made July being propagated about the real situation I don't care who's in power. I don't care who's behind it. I'm looking only at act like I said to general Allen. You can sit here and tell me that you're building a relationship with the pakistanis. And NBC. General McNeill the first commanding general in Afghanistan and tell me that. So it is his replacement general barn -- general I can very chose not to discuss it and walked out before you interview. General McNeill told me that again when he after his second ten in Afghanistan before you tie it. General -- -- when he was there and general Allen who was so remarkably frank. And passionate in his interview that I went there you know he was kind of like the invisible general people don't know a lot of action island. But I walked away from that -- you. Thinking of my son was in the united states military in Afghanistan probably want him to have a leader like that. Because he had the courage of his convictions -- what you didn't see and that story -- him at the end of seeing. I said and I get the feeling general this is personal to you and he says it. I didn't I didn't come here. I came here fully expecting this to be the last job that I have -- this is completely. Consuming I almost -- from them back at having been and you era. What's amazing to me this week we ask that of people and we send them to war. And we send people to die. And if anyone has wants to know what your tax dollars also paid for because -- we were talking about tax dollars in yeah. Coat and visible to -- some time rule that says that national medical center has its cold we'll take -- You know take your family to Arlington cemetery and see -- fresh graves that have been -- and not. And those soldiers hadn't been put in the ground by Hamas and other people on the terrorist list they'd be put there by al-Qaeda and the Taliban and Connie. The Pakistani government. And all those people. Who want to destroy. The United States the weights and our way of life. So we tried very -- with this story to. To get to the places. That are difficult to get his. Al-Qaeda changed the nature of journalism forever when -- -- Daniel pearl's throat on camera. They changed out currency journalist had a valued. In. Reporting things to be witnesses they became participants. In the conflict and in the fight. Summit in laden wanted to get his message Jack he didn't need to sit down with. Sixty minutes he had. Any number of to Heidi for this is also -- -- magazine and you know Arabic news channels to send it takes to. And when you go into a situation like the -- I was with with that's relevant commodity or it's got to think. What's his motivation for talking to me because that in the end it's really going to be the thing that determines whether I walk away from that meeting I don't make his. There's obviously a certain amount of risk involved in all of these decisions but. The end of the day if you really believe that someone is there for the regency saving our then you've got a chance of coming away from the July. And in fact that particular -- I had met before back in 2006 when he was a fighter. And I went in embedded with the top line and does me just south of Kabul. -- than a mile from the US base I was with 300. Taliban fights back in 2006. Before we even admitted that the insurgency. Was back it and I say it's agency like that because the covenant with the government in power. An exciting to get back in power. They don't see themselves as insurgents. -- very important distinction and and for me if you failed to identify the ideological component to this -- He failed to identify. What your enemy Israeli fighting for. If you lie about who they -- ready IR. I don't see how you could possibly have the right strategy. And what we wanted to do. -- -- people with a sense of something that -- it something that is going to resonate something that I honestly believe we'll come back to haunt us. As it did before it's almost like Groundhog Day in Afghanistan. That. You know just as Charlie Wilson's war right Tonya Wilson said -- you know if you turn your back on Afghanistan now. You're gonna pay a price and we didn't believe them. And then there was an eleven. He went and look at what's happening in Libya. -- -- a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or politics. And you just wanna scream for that -- -- kidding me. The last time we were attacked like this was the USS Cole which was a prelude to the 1998 embassy bombings which was a prelude tonight that. And you're sending an FBI to investigate. I hope to god that you're standing in your best and it's kind of arias. Who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked. On its own soil that its ambassadors will not be -- And the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.