Return to Transcripts main page
FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Mandating Diversity; The Evolving Terror Threat; Counting Down to a Deal with Iran; The Sorry State of U.S.-Israel Relations; Interview with Michael Oren, Martin Indyk; Spy Vs. Spy. Aired 10-11a ET.
Aired June 28, 2015 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:11] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I am Fareed Zakaria.
We'll start today's show with the latest global terror attacks and what to make of them. We will focus on the Kuwait attack and why it was a game-changer.
Also, the Iran talks. The clock is ticking, and now some Obama faithful have turned their backs on the president. I will talk to one of those people. Obama's former arms control and weapons of mass destruction czar.
And the troubled U.S.-Israeli relationship. Who is to blame? Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren points the finger squarely at President Obama. The administration's former Middle East envoy, Martin Indyk responds.
Then double agents, secret codes, Russian intelligence, the FBI. And a critical meeting at a Hooters. The real-life story of how do catch a Russian spy from a man who helped to do just that.
But first, here's my take. In thinking about America's enduring racial divide, I find myself intrigued by some lessons from an unlikely source. Singapore. To help prepare myself for a trip there next week as a guest of the National University of Singapore I asked the country's deputy prime minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam what he regarded as the country's biggest success.
I imagined that he would talk about economics since the city state's per capita GDP now outstrips of that America, or Japan or Hong Kong. He spoke instead about social harmony. We were a nation that was not meant to be, Tharman Shanmugaratnam said. The swamp ridden island expelled from Malaysia in 1965 had a polyglot population of migrants with myriad religions, cultures and belief systems.
"What's interesting and unique about Singapore, more than economics are our social strategies. We respected people's differences yet melded a nation and made advantage out of diversity," he explained in an interview echoing remarks he made at the St. Gallen Symposium last month in Switzerland. How did Singapore do it? By mandating ethnic diversity in all of its
neighborhoods. Over 80 percent of Singaporeans live in public housing. All of it well regarded, some of it very upmarket. Every block, precinct and enclave has ethnic quotas. This is what people mean when they talk about Singapore's nanny state. And the minister readily admits it.
"The most intrusive social policy in Singapore has turned out to be the most important," he says. "When you ensure every neighborhood is mixed, people do everyday things together, become comfortable with each other and most importantly the kids go to the same schools. When the kids grow up together, they begin to share a future together," he said.
This belief was at the heart of many of the efforts of the United States federal government in the 1950s and '60s -- to desegregate schools and integrate neighborhoods through court orders, housing laws and executive actions. Those efforts were largely abandoned by the 1980s and since then the data shows an America that remains strikingly segregated.
This residential segregation has translated into unequal access to security, basic health care and crucially, education. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ordered school desegregation 61 years ago, schools have actually become less diverse in the last two decades. A UCLA study last year pointed out that many black and Latino students, quote, "face almost total isolation, not only from white and Asian students but also from middle class peers as well."
These findings would not surprise the Singaporeans. "The natural workings of society rarely lead to diverse and integrated communities, not in Singapore, not anywhere else," Shanmugaratnam said to me. "They more likely lead to mistrust, self-segregation and even bigotry which we see in abundance in so many countries today." He pointed out that in Britain half the Muslim population lives in the bottom 10 percent of its neighborhoods by income. "Did that happen by chance," he asks.
[10:05:10] Singapore is an unusual case. It's a small city-state. It has its critics who point to a quasi authoritarian system, one that impedes free expression and makes opposition parties face severe handicaps. Singapore can do things western democracies cannot. It also has had its own racial problems. All that said I believe that Singapore is an example of a diverse society that has been able to live together and that we could learn something from it.
To be sure, Singapore could learn some lessons from Western democracies as well. "You cannot simply assume that the natural workings of the market or of society will produce social harmony or equal opportunity. Government, an elected government, has a role to play. And it's not about speeches and symbols. It's about specific mechanisms and programs to achieve the outcomes we all seek."
That's something to consider as America in the wake of the tragedy in South Carolina debates flags and symbols.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
Let's dig into what the secretary of Homeland Security on Friday called the evolving global terrorist threats after that day's attacks on three continents.
Joining me to do that is Phil Mudd, the former deputy director of the CIA Counter Terrorist Center and a CNN counter terrorism analyst.
Phil, what did you make of the biggest one, the Tunisian one? Does it strike you as -- you know, IS inspired or IS directed?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I would say IS inspired. I think we're seeing this across North Africa, also seeing this obviously in Libya. It looks to me like we're going back to the future. We saw Egyptian groups tried to do this in the 1990s and it was a rejection of those groups by the Egyptian population in the security forces.
I think there is a risk in these attacks, Fareed. Obviously they're going to galvanize IS supporters but they're also going to lead people in Tunisia to say, why do we want these guys here if they destroy the tourism industry?
ZAKARIA: And the other ones that struck me, the Kuwait one in particular, as significant because unlike al Qaeda, this seems to be the IS methodology, which is, they were directed against the Shia.
MUDD: That's right.
ZAKARIA: This has now become the standard operating procedure for ISIS.
MUDD: I think this is going to be the least visible in the United States and elsewhere around the world. People will focus on what happened with the tragedy in Tunisia. I agree with you. I think this is the most significant. When we face the al Qaeda problem, they were trying to attack targets, for example, U.S. embassies and cultural places to get the Americans and others to leave the Middle East.
This is more profound. This is ISIS trying to strive a stake in Middle Eastern society as they've done already in Iraq. This is trying to draw a sharp line between Sunni and Shia. This is hugely significant. It's not just terrorism. This is at the heart of Middle Eastern culture.
ZAKARIA: So far the one stable part of the Middle East has been the Gulf. The Gulf states, Saudi Arabia. And of course the big problem is now they're going in Kuwait. Bahrain is majority Shia. In Saudi Arabia you have 15 percent Shia and they sit on top of all the oil. Could this become a -- could this Sunni-Shia thing start to destabilize the Gulf?
MUDD: I think more likely in Yemen. But the possibility in other places, I suppose that could happen. But my experience in working with security services out there is the hand of security in Shia neighborhoods is going to be tough. All those countries have a lot of money to spend on security. They've been surveilling, for example, the population of Shia in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia for a long time.
They've had problems in the past in Bahrain with Shia including right after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So I think before you see any further conflagration you're going to see security forces come in with an iron fist in these places.
ZAKARIA: But what strikes is that it does exacerbate the Sunni-Shia divide everywhere and in places like Syria and Iraq where there are mixed populations, this probably -- is going to make it much harder for Iraq to stay together, the Iraqi army to stay together. Syria to stay together.
MUDD: I think Iraq is finished as a state. I think you're going to see -- if anything sort of a Sunni stand, that is you have Kurdistan up north, I think the fact that you have such a divide between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq with the use of Shia militias means you will never further absorb in the future the Sunni population into Iraq.
I also think the fight our in Yemen, far as it is off the map, is significant because people in the Gulf are going to believe Iran is behind it. So not only are you going to get an exacerbation of that Sunni-Shia divide, the suspicions about Iran right in the midst of America negotiating a nuclear deal are going to rise.
[10:10:03] ZAKARIA: So the Middle East, you know, as I think Richard Haass said, is going to get worse before it gets worse.
MUDD: I think it will get worse on two fronts. First the divide between moderate Sunnis and extremist Sunnis is going to last for decades. I think a lot of these countries -- Iraq is one, Syria is another -- are going to become more conservative over time even if IS doesn't take over. But that divide, that historic divide that goes back centuries between Sunni and Shia is rising up everywhere.
And we've seen it not only in Iraq, we've now seen it in Syria, we saw it in Yemen. We've seen in Saudi Arabia. As you mentioned, we've seen it in Bahrain. And now for the first time we see it in Kuwait. If you draw in a map it's a remarkable swath of territory.
ZAKARIA: Would it be overly optimistic of me, though, to say this has turned in a hell of an internist warfare in the Middle East. They're -- you know, they're killing each other. They're going to have less focus on spectacular terrorist attacks against Western targets in the West, et cetera.
MUDD: Boy, it sounds like, Fareed, you live my live at the CIA for 25 years. You look at this and I can give you a simple calculus. When terror leaders of organizations like al Qaeda or ISIS in Yemen or al Qaeda in Iraq are either focused on fighting the government, for example, Bashar al-Assad or focused on fighting each other, the likelihood that they spend a lot of energy on New York or Washington or London or Paris declines.
The problem with that argument, Fareed, is that the world is changing. The number of foreign fighters in places like Syria and Iraq is so substantial that to believe that none of them will bleed out back to Western Europe or North America is short-sighted. I think we're going to see implications of this in Europe and North America but I do think, as you suggest, most of the energy of these groups is going to be against each other.
ZAKARIA: Incredibly complicated.
MUDD: This stuff is complicated. Yes.
ZAKARIA: We are so lucky to have you, Phil.
MUDD: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Thank you. Take care.
Next on GPS, at the eleventh hour five former Obama officials have published an open letter calling for caution on a deal with Iran. What are the concerns that caused them to make such a public statement? I will talk to one of them when we come back.
[10:16:24] ZAKARIA: It's getting down to crunch time after two years of Western powers patiently trying to negotiate a deal on Iran's nuclear program. So many were surprised this week when five former Obama administration officials came out strongly against what they think would be in such a deal.
Those five were former CIA director David Petraeus, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General James Cartwright, former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross, former non-proliferation adviser, Robert Einhorn, and my next guest, Gary Samore. Samore served for four years as Obama's principal adviser on arms control issues.
GARY SAMORE, ARMS CONTROL ADVISER UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Welcome, Fareed. Hi.
ZAKARIA: So what prompted you to put your name to this letter? You're limiting the ability of the administration to negotiate and to make deals. If you were on the other side of the table right now, Gary, if you were in -- negotiating with the Iranians I can't imagine that you would appreciate having a public, what appears to be a public warning from your former colleagues, you know, telling you what you should and what you can and cannot make concessions on.
SAMORE: We were very aware of the importance of not asking for things that are unachievable or unrealistic. And I think, if you look through the substance of the letter, you'll see that the positions we take on the key unresolved issues are very much in line with current U.S. policy.
ZAKARIA: But then I don't understand the point of the letter. The point of the letter is to say the United States negotiating position should be what the United States negotiating position is?
SAMORE: And we should insist on it. I think we've seen the Iranians making an effort to walk back some of the positions that they tentatively agreed to in April. And in particular, as I am sure you know, Supreme Leader Khomeini gave a speech this week and issued a fact sheet which, you know, clearly contradicts positions that the Iranians have taken earlier. This may very well be a negotiating ploy. It may not be serious, but it's important for the U.S. to stick to our position and in particular we shouldn't be driven to seek an agreement by the deadline of late June or early July.
I think the status quo is quite comfortable for us, and if we need to negotiate through the summer that's something the administration should feel it has the luxury of taking that extra time.
ZAKARIA: Let's talk about that for a moment because it has long struck me that the status quo, that the current situation, is actually much better for the United States than for the Iranians. Their enrichment -- their, you know, nuclear activities are largely suspended, you know, so the clock has stopped in a sense. And we could negotiate for another year, another year and a half. Will they put up with that in your view?
SAMORE: I completely agree with you. There is a myth in Washington that somehow the Iranians benefit more than we do from the status quo. That's completely wrong. The status quo is very much in our favor. And, as the letter says, recognizing that, the pressure is really on Iran to come to an agreement if they want sanctions relief. And therefore, we should take our time and make sure that the final critical details in this negotiation are resolved to our satisfaction.
ZAKARIA: So what did you make of that -- of that speech by the Supreme Leader? Do you think it's -- you know, you have been watching this for years now. Do you think it was a negotiating strategy? What struck me about it was it was very specific and, as you say, totally contradicts what the Iranians appear to have already agreed on.
[10:20:10] SAMORE: So we've seen this before. Last July, as we were approaching the deadline of the negotiations at that time, Supreme Leader Khomeini gave a speech that laid out very unreasonable red lines and that really threw a monkey wrench into the negotiations at the time, it delayed an agreement. Eventually of course the Iranians conceded. I think this is probably the same thing. This was probably a negotiating ploy intended to strengthen their bargaining position.
But it may mean as consequence that we don't meet this deadline of early July because I think it will be difficult for the Iranian negotiators to agree to something that directly contradicts these recently-announced red lines from the Supreme Leader. So my best guess, unless the Iranians cave in, in the next two weeks, my best guess is that we're probably looking at several more months of negotiations.
ZAKARIA: Gary Samore, pleasure to have you on.
SAMORE: Thank you, Fareed. ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, the U.S.-Israeli relationship is on the rocks
and fingers are being pointed. I'll talk to former diplomats from both sides, Michael Oren and Martin Indyk, in what is sometimes an undiplomatic debate as you will see. Coming up.
[10:25:20] ZAKARIA: In the last few years the U.S.-Israeli relationship has been brought to the lowest point that many observers can remember. There are deep disagreements between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on everything from a two-state the solution to the nuclear talks with Iran. And by most accounts the two men just don't like each other.
My next guest, Michael Oren was Israel's ambassador to the U.S. under Netanyahu. He has written a very controversial new book called "Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide."
In the book and in subsequent articles he explains all the ways he thinks the Obama administration lost the trust of Israel, from relying public daylight on disagreement between the two nations to the president making speeches about the Middle East that the White House didn't clear with the prime minister first. And much more.
I asked Martin Indyk to join me as well. He was President Obama's special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. In that job he was on the other side of many of the issues that Oren brings up. He was also U.S. ambassador to Israel under Bill Clinton.
We began by talking about the daylight and the speeches, but I want to pick up the conversation where I asked about one other criticism that Oren made of the Obama administration. Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, Michael, about another decision that you seem -- you seem to have some problems with, which was the decision to appoint Martin Indyk special envoy. You say in the book you thought it was counter-productive because Bibi Netanyahu didn't like him.
MICHAEL OREN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I thought -- I thought it was an odd appointment. Martin and I have discussed.
ZAKARIA: Well, it says, "It was counter-productive and it made me think, if Kerry was serious about the peace process, why did he seem intent on shaking Israel's fate?" And my only question to you is, do you think that the United States government, when appointing special envoys, should, you know, worry about the sensibilities of Israeli?
OREN: Martin, I have known for many years and appreciate his knowledge and experience in diplomacy. But -- and I think Martin would not disagree with me. He had a famously strained relationship with Netanyahu and his appointment was I thought an unusual one to say the least if you're trying to establish trust. My mantra, if you will, to the administration from day one was that
Israelis respond to feeling secure. They do not respond to threats, they do not respond to pressure. I always would say, try love. Try love. If you embrace us, make us feel secure, we will go that extra mile. And it seemed to me from pretty much early on in 2009 that that message was not being -- was not being internalized. And not by everybody.
With Martin's appointment I think we discussed ways that he could build that trust. In the end I don't think that Martin disagreed that that trust was not established and that the relations ended up being famously strained.
MARTIN INDYK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL UNDER BILL CLINTON: Well, famously strained is Michael's characterization. I simply don't agree with that at all. My relationship with Netanyahu had its ups and down. But I would say something which Michael doesn't know and this goes to a lot of the things that are in his book. He relates something where he has partial knowledge. Ambassador Shapiro has criticized him for not knowing everything that was going on.
In this case he clearly did not know that my appointment as special envoy was cleared by Secretary of State Kerry with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He assented to my appointment. As for building trust, Michael doesn't know that the extent to which I went to build that trust with the prime minister indeed following Michael's advice on this. And we did work closely together during those negotiations and I followed certain understandings that the prime minister and I reached about what I would and wouldn't do.
And during those negotiations I think we had a relationship of trust. When those relations broke down, I criticized both sides for the failure of those negotiations. So I just think that this is another case in which Michael, in the -- in the process of trying to build a case against President Obama has misconstrued what actually happened.
OREN: I think it's an odd response for ambassadors, whether Ambassador Shapiro or Ambassador Indyk to say that another ambassador doesn't have a full picture of what they do.
[10:30:00] Of course ambassadors don't have the full picture. We have our, we have our insights, our perceptions. And that's what this book is about. The book does not claim even to know the entire picture. The book is about what the -- the situation looked, the unfolding events, how they seemed from the perspective of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. There is no claim to omnipotence here.
None whatsoever. But the end of this process, now we're a talking about a process that at the end actually took place for the most part after my term in Washington, in Israel the only blame that is really heard was the blame that both Martin and Secretary of State Kerry put on Israel for settlement buildings in areas which are not considered settlements by the people of Israel. They're considered the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem that no Israelis think of as settlements. And that the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, specifically chose to release Palestinian terrorist prisoners who had killed hundreds of Israelis to keep the settlement issue off the table.
And then to turn around and condemn Israel for building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, which nobody considers settlements, was simply unfair and just -- from my mind that is another example of undermining of under the trust --
INDYK: That's not true. As a historian you are not giving an accurate account of what happened.
OREN: As an historian and--
ZAKARIA: Wait a minute. Let's give Martin a chance, Michael.
INDYK: While both of us care deeply about the U.S.-Israel relationship and both of us can at least agree that the relationship is in crisis. Why you would want to come out and pour flames on the fire in this way, in this incendiary way, is really something that I find quite incomprehensible.
OREN: It's interesting. One of the points I make in the book is that the administration was very, very disciplined. I actually said this with respect. In Israel, we have a rather rambunctious democracy, where every member of the cabinet is a potential prime minister and everybody has their own messaging. But the Obama administration was exceedingly disciplined in its messaging. That line you just heard, Fareed, why would you want to pour a bucket of fuel on a fire, I have now heard from four different people who have been briefed by the administration. So I'm glad that your guest has been appropriately briefed by the administration.
INDYK: What is the point? The point is, first of all, Michael, that is simply not true. I have spoken to nobody in the administration.
OREN: You just chose those words randomly.
INDYK: I spoke to nobody in the administration.
OREN: But of course you have.
OREN: You couldn't have chosen those words randomly. They actually appear in paper --
INDYK: That's what you're doing. It doesn't require anybody to be told what to say to know that that's what you're doing.
OREN: I think you're well briefed. Let's get to the heart of this. Why now. You raised -- you raised a question. (CROSSTALK)
OREN: We are missing the huge forest for the trees right now. This book was scheduled to come out in October, and it would have been much easier for me. I would be on break from the Knesset then. But I pressured my publisher, Random House, to bring it out now, before the fateful vote on Iran. This is not about books. It's not about fires, it's not about pouring -- it's not about pouring fuel on fires. It's about the security and the future survival of the Jewish state. It's not about legacy. It's not about diplomacy. It's about my children's lives, my grandchildren's lives, and I am not speaking as anybody's spokesman here except for myself. I am telling you this is a very bad deal that endangers our future security and survival. That's what it's about.
ZAKARIA: You got the first word. I'll give Martin the last.
INDYK: Look, I think that the issue of the Iran deal is being exaggerated in a way that distorts what is happening here. The purpose of the deal is to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, to put meaningful curbs on its nuclear program, and should be assessed in that way.
Instead, the way that Michael portrays it is that it's going to produce an Iranian nuclear weapon that is going to be used to destroy Israel. I think that's a vastly emotional and a historical approach to the problem that's being focused on here.
And if that is in fact the case, then it behooves Israel's leadership and it behooves Michael to find a way to work with the administration, which the president is willing to do. I think that the critical issue here is that the United States is Israel's second line of defense, its most important strategic ally, and the relationship needs to be repaired, not further damaged. And what Michael is doing is causing it further damage for no good purpose.
ZAKARIA: Gentlemen, a spirited conversation.
I thank you both for being frank and honest.
OREN: Good day.
ZAKARIA: That was Michael Oren and Michael Indyk. To see much more of my conversation with them, go to CNN.com/fareed. It's really worth watching.
Up next, reports recently have suggested that ISIS is searching for the materials to make a dirty bomb. We will dig into the problem of loose nukes next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. The tense negotiations over Iran's nuclear program have grabbed the world's attention. But if you're concerned about nuclear threats from abroad, that country may only be part of the problem. Over two dozen nations, many of them U.S. allies, have weapons usable nuclear material, some of which is not secure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: That's according to a watchdog group called the Nuclear Threat Initiative which keeps a meticulous record of these materials around the world.
Twenty-five countries have them, the group says, and there is nearly 2,000 metric tons of it. Enough to make tens of thousands of nuclear bombs as powerful as the one used on Nagasaki, according to the Fissile Materials Working Group.
The dangerous materials are stored in hundreds of different sites, both military and civilian locations, and shockingly there are no strict international rules for keeping the materials secure, NTI says. For instance, some sites have their own security forces to ward off possible attacks, but other sites simply rely on local police for protection, or must call in military units. And make no mistake, the threat of nuclear theft and terrorism is real. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said that more than 100 incidents of unauthorized activity, including thefts, are reported every year involving nuclear and radioactive materials. In 2007, gunmen broke into a nuclear research center in South Africa that had enough weapons grade uranium to build several nuclear bombs. They were thwarted. But the incident was very concerning. In Moldova, six people were arrested in 2011 with bomb-grade uranium in a sting operation, and said they had enough to supply one-third of the amount needed for a nuclear bomb.
ISIS has already procured radioactive material from research facilities and hospitals in Iraq, hoping to make a dirty bomb, according to one report. A terrorist only needs enough highly enriched uranium that would fit into a five-pound bag of sugar to create a nuclear weapon. And nation states aren't the only entities that have the knowledge to build bombs, NTI points out.
Despite these ominous threats, there is some good news. Since 2012, seven countries have eliminated most or all of their weapons usable nuclear material, including Ukraine. The Obama administration has spent billions and spear-headed three international summits to address nuclear security. And earlier this month, Congress finally approved two treaties that will improve standards for protecting nuclear material. Still, worldwide, there remains an alarming lack of oversight over the
most dangerous materials on the planet. There will be one more nuclear summit before the end of Obama's term. The president needs to push harder to strengthen security measures that protect nuclear materials from terrorists. Achieving that goal doesn't get the kind of attention that negotiations with Iran have gotten, but it might prove just as important in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Up next, the spy story you won't believe. It stars Russian intelligence, an innocent American, the FBI, top secret documents, and a Hooters. Really. When we come back.
ZAKARIA: My next guest wouldn't strike you as a spy, but he was one. A spy for the Russians, in fact. So why isn't he in jail? Why is he sitting across from me? It is a fascinating tale. Naveed Jamali is a first generation American, who, when he took over the business his immigrant parents owned, got a whole lot more than he bargained for. I'll let him explain.
So your parents owned a research business for decades. And in the pre-Google era, they bought books and papers for people. And one of their recurring customers was the Russian consulate.
NAVEED JAMALI: That's right.
ZAKARIA: So talk about that.
JAMALI: So, it all started one day in the late '80s. My parents had a small office, and a man walked in and said I'd like to buy books. He showed a card very quickly that said Soviet something along the lines of mission to the United Nations. And my father innocently thought, hey, this is great, we have an account with the United Nations now. The books were these academic types. And my father said, I'll ship them to you. The man said I'll come back and pick them up. And he left. And my father went back to work. And not more than 15 minutes later, there was another knock on the door, and this time it was two men from the FBI, who said that man was Soviet intelligence and we'd like to know what he wanted to do. So there started an almost 20-year relationship between my parents, the Soviets and the Russians and the FBI.
ZAKARIA: And how did you ramp up this relationship over time?
JAMALI: So my parents took the approach of sort of status quo. They got the books for the Russians and then shared that list with the FBI, and really had no interest in sort of moving the needle in either direction. I approached the FBI with the simple request of asking for a letter of recommendation to apply for the Navy. I had applied for a program in the Navy as an intelligence officer, and that was my goal. I wanted to get a little star on my resume. That was it.
ZAKARIA: So what exactly were you doing for the Russians? The Russians would ask you for designs, technology --
ZAKARIA: -- about various military products. Even sometimes open- source.
JAMALI: Yes. They wanted to get whatever I could give them. So part of what they had to figure out was first what I actually had access to. What was my value to them. So part of it was, as you said, they'd give me lists towards the end of titles of military equipment they wanted me to collect documents on. But then secondly they also wanted to check that I was able to do this. And as I progressed and I had access to larger systems, I would be able to retrieve higher and more sensitive information.
ZAKARIA: Who was the Russian Oleg? Talk about him.
JAMALI: Oleg Kulakov was a diplomat at the Russian mission to the United Nations here in New York. I believe he was the second secretary. He was part of the military staff committee. And his job, as far as I can surmise, was to be a spy handler. He was in fact my spy handler.
He was set to recruit, task and run me as a spy.
ZAKARIA: You were at Hooters one day. First explain why Hooters and then explain what happened.
JAMALI: Yes. Hooters. I guess you can't say you have lived unless you've gone to Hooters with a Russian spy. That was definitely a bucket list experience.
The Russians -- there is this comedy that went with this, with this whole offings, but it was very serious. The Russians for their part, they were under surveillance. And they would execute counter- surveillance, and they would choose locations to meet. This was -- there was no email, there was no cell phone conversations. It was all done in person. And the Russians would choose locations that were, I guess, good for a security standpoint, and for some reason they chose Hooters. So in this odd twist, I had clandestine meetings at Hooters over chicken wings. It was strange, but I guess truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
ZAKARIA: What would happen at these? They would ask you for documents like drawings of F-22s, cruise missiles?
JAMALI: The Russians -- I think the gold of any intelligence service is not just information, it's in fact human beings, it's assets. The Russians were looking at me as a long-term source. Part of that was to gauge whether I was willing and able to get them information. So, yes. I was passing them documents, I mean, this was controlled by the FBI. But clearly the Russians knew I was applying to join the military and they saw me as someone who could deliver recurring information over 5, 10, 15, maybe even 20 years.
ZAKARIA: So this goes on for 20 years. How does it end?
JAMALI: Oh, goodness. Well, if you are the bad guy, I hope at some point you get caught. For me, it ended, oddly enough, back in Hooters. I guess I can say I'm here and Oleg isn't. I don't want to ruin the book. But it was an adventure. And I never thought that I would get in the middle of it.
ZAKARIA: Do you worry now that the whole thing is exposed and you have written this book, the Russians will come after you?
JAMALI: It's an interesting thing, Fareed. The Russians, they really are a professional military intelligence service. It is almost a gentleman's game. It's like chess, perhaps on steroids. But there is an unwritten rule. I have a lot of respect for Oleg. He, listen, the day he got off that Aeroflot flight in JFK, he was -- he considered himself in enemy territory. And he wasn't wrong. He was shadowed. And I don't think they -- I am not worried about my safety, because I don't think it would benefit them to do anything to me.
ZAKARIA: Naveed Jamali, pleasure to have you on.
Next on GPS, the debate over the Confederate flag has been heard beyond South Carolina's borders. Thousands of miles south of the Mason-Dixon line. I'll explain when we come back.
ZAKARIA: This week, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house grounds in Columbia. The state's official flag does not contain Confederate imagery, but there are several Southern states whose flags do have such symbolism, and calls to change such flags have started to come in. Of course, the American flag has changed many times over the years too, and that brings me to my question of the week. When was the last time the American flag was altered? 1958? '59? '60? or '61? Stay tuned. And we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is Jonathan Tropper's "Everything Changes." Tropper is a clever, funny novelist, who writes about modern life, love, sex and loss, in an engaging, often hilarious way. He can also get surprisingly deep. All his books are worth reading, but this is the one I would start with this summer.
And now for the last look. The debate over the Confederate flag was heard beyond the borders of South Carolina this week. Farther than you might think. It has been 150 years since the end of the Civil War, but take a look at these pictures of a celebration earlier this year. Men, women and children wearing 19th century style clothes are partying like it's 1869. Confederate flags abound, in the air, on people's clothes, even decorating the dance floor. This happens every year deep in the heart of Brazil. Let me explain. After the Civil War, several thousand Southerners
flocked toward the promise of a fresh start in a place that offered economic opportunities and still practiced slavery. They found that in Brazil, which promised the American Southerners cheap land, as Reuters points out. One colony's descendants throw an annual confederate party. They serve traditional food, like fried chicken and biscuits. They play country music, and from the looks of it, enjoy some Southern style dancing in cowboy hats.
When asked about the current controversy, the organizer told us they do not accept discrimination of any kind. He said, quote, "For us, the flag represents fraternity and family and teaches us about the history of our ancestors." Hmm.
The correct answer to the GPS challenge question is C. Hawaii and Alaska were admitted to the union in 1959, but it wasn't until 1960 that the flag officially added its fiftieth star. July 4, 1960, to be exact. So happy almost 55th birthday to the latest incarnation of Old Glory, and happy almost July 4th to all the Americans watching.
Please tune into the show next week when we'll air my latest special, "Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World." Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.