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I welcome to Defcon three and -- humor -- I've just gotten back.
From two weeks for them in China retracing president Nixon's historic trip of 1972.
Winner in China nowadays you have a press blackout he can't get CNN map that you want to anyway you can't get -- -- can't find out anything in the news cycle.
So -- I get off the plane.
And if -- -- and I I just started in 1973 try to work target I want it.
IRS can't tell wiretapping.
Cover ups sounded like -- got holidays.
Anyway I bet it's her former attorney general Michael Mukasey.
Here in the studio to talk about what's next.
Any series of scandals.
-- but we're gonna do first though is go to Washington DC.
For Steve -- Who's got the -- -- -- urgency.
Not -- you cannot my dad had its great.
Anywhere close this heated talk about they.
Sadly that the latest scandal but the sex scandals and harassment and the united states military -- the latest here.
Walt KT a source over on Capitol Hill told me in the last hour that the sergeant first class.
Down at Fort Hood Texas who was a sexual assault.
Prevention and response coordinator is now being accused of forcing someone working underneath him into prostitution.
And and sexually assaulting two others now we don't know this sergeant first class -- name yet and he hasn't been charged with anything yet but over at the Pentagon.
Press Secretary George Little is telling us that secretary of defense Chuck Hagel just found out about these allegations yesterday and he described -- the secretary's reaction as frustrated.
Angry and disappointed any added.
That sexual assault is a crime and will be treated as such the safety integrity and well being of every service member.
And the success of our mission.
Hang in the balance.
So now the Pentagon says an order has been given.
-- credential and re screen everyone who has this job of sexual assault prevention and response coordinator remember just two weeks ago the air force officer who was in charge of that entire -- -- sexual assault prevention program was arrested in Arlington Virginia.
Very late at night for -- an alleged -- -- sexual assault and now congress is trying to get involved the house armed services committee chairman but McCain is promising.
That quote as we write this year's annual defense bill combating sexual assault will be a cornerstone of our legislation.
-- we well let's stop and tell we stop this behavior in its tracks the top Democrat.
-- house armed services committee Adam Smith is also saying that preventing sexual assault needs to be a priority in the next budget and remember -- the latest stats.
Have shown a dramatic 35%.
Increase in sexual assaults in the military between 2010.
-- -- out and they appear it's just simply extraordinary to think that we've been at this for ten years and then not only is it not getting any better is getting a whole lot worse a whole lot more pervasive.
Do you sense of people are talking about taking this whole issue.
Outside the chain of command that there would be some different mechanism for dealing with sexual harassment.
We haven't heard that yet but obviously these things are kind of starting -- There's there's a logjam -- though the 12 weeks ago which was so high profile we saw guys mug shot that that air force officer.
And now we have this one where.
Potentially this this officer down in Fort Hood Texas was forcing people to work for him into prostitution.
-- A gold said that the statements that we've seen.
From today and yesterday for out of the Pentagon have been very harsh and may use words like -- were urgently trying to fix the problem and two weeks ago.
An -- said in no uncertain terms that he is gonna try to stop this but.
At this point.
We haven't heard anybody even really suggesting.
That it should be taken out of the chain of command we just had the Pentagon.
And congress and President Obama two weeks ago talking about.
What a terrible problem this is and try to fix it but obviously as -- -- if it's something like this happens again.
And there might be a more desperate.
Call from some folks -- Washington here to take it out somehow but even how to even.
The way to do that would -- -- pretty tricky.
Got out a whole -- -- would be just a hole.
Different structure that would have to be created to deal with it anyway thank you so much Peter and -- product because who knows -- maybe another one sadly tragically.
Thank you Peter.
Okay now we're gonna turn to your former attorney general Michael Mukasey general Mukasey.
-- he's got to park course about the series of steps of scandals that seemed to be unfolding.
By the hour -- -- wanna start I don't I it's it's hard to even know where to start I've been.
Ben -- you -- on this from the very beginning.
You said there's so much more to it it now turns out you were right we now have evidence.
Email evidence my guess is there's going to be a lot more.
Paper trail other aspects of been -- we now have the IRS scandal.
Where the IRS is being used for political purposes to intimidate and -- and then finally you know first amendment rights of -- reporters as we who are also being harassed.
Where does it go from here -- legally walk me through what happens.
-- nor assortment Gaza you brought up on our and I don't think it can you put them all together I.
-- each and he can't I really don't amended there is on.
The only thing they have in common.
The suggestion that there are people in the government who think the laws of gravity -- don't apply -- them.
And it's sort of like -- you know be the year and that the coyote -- -- have been road -- coyote cartoons is an existential I'm.
And he goes out over the cliff and he keeps running until he looks down he -- -- over the -- and -- falls -- Com and it's sort of like that.
There are people who just don't seem to think the rules applied.
Sorely been Gaza.
Blatant kind of cover up was engaged in but that is really not the worst part usually they say the coverup is -- -- -- -- Here the crime may have been worse -- the cover up.
Because the crime.
Was he in not responding.
When there were Americans.
In peril of their lives and in fact.
And it appears that's.
The reason for not responding may very well have been that if we responded this.
This is against -- narrative this isn't supposed to happen.
It's not happening and therefore we're not gonna respond to -- in the way that we would respond.
If something real war happening.
So -- they were expendable.
I don't know that anybody thought of it that way but that's the way it happens that's the way it turned out now we see is it up immediately -- -- and -- so.
Well we've seen.
The topic final -- -- -- talking want points paper trail.
We've seen a timeline.
The only people who -- time isn't really accounted for.
In any meaningful way are.
The secretary of state.
And the president.
-- So then the question becomes is are there going to be more hearings is a house.
Is there a special.
Select committee like there was during Watergate that senate select committee.
Investigating Watergate as a house -- the house select committee on penthouse and.
I think that -- house select committee is not out of the question and I think given how serious it was.
And he suggested that somehow it's yesterday's news there are what does it matter -- the -- -- writer in the end why's it matter who.
It mattered at the time.
Now the question is would it matter at the time.
Write him and and then I think you're absolutely right why was -- no rescue effort made and I say well we believe we could've gotten in time when you know that at the time.
Didn't know that at the time number one number two -- Given then the nature of what was happening.
It is entirely possible that even if soldiers could not have been put on the ground at the time he could've gotten jets there -- -- straighten strafing.
Sorry -- who would have who -- scatter these people.
It was at least worth a try and you also -- -- the time I was on going this is going to be.
Potentially kidnap situation -- -- are on house at these people as far as China did not attack.
With little pieces of paper saying this attack is gonna last only so long our only interest in killing people are gonna connect and -- So OK so did you think -- beyond the point where the president can appoint a special prosecutor from the executive branch.
We don't know what there is to prosecute if anything.
And I'm not a fan of special prosecutors.
We have a congress.
They can investigate whether additional legislation is necessary they can -- which is what they're supposed to do oversee the performance of the executive.
This is within both their legislative.
And their oversight.
There's no reason why they can't appoint a -- the joint committee to investigate.
OK -- the talking about the AP scandal because it now the administration saying well this is part of an ongoing.
Investigation into a leak I've heard you in the past when that those leaks came out you're very critical of them as -- as high.
Now the it so the administration says well this is required under the Patriot Act we had to do this in order to find who did the leaking.
What -- you thank you buying that one.
On buying it from only so far.
The leak that was in personable.
And it's hard to resist that this is an administration -- talking out of both sides of -- mouth which is what makes it difficult for them to sell it I think -- even to their friends.
They were leaking.
Profligate -- and profusely.
They leaked information about.
That the killing of bin Laden.
Not only the it that the intelligence we supposedly got which then made a lot of it useless and but also the fact that there was that doctor involved -- was then picked up and is now doing life in prison.
Which is a message to anybody else who wants to cooperate with -- that you really ought not to do that.
There was there with the leaks of the stocks that operation.
All sorts of leaks from this administration now all of a sudden.
They're cracking down Hollywood type I favor.
The -- -- cracked down on people who -- the better the fuel -- you have.
The -- that the nature of the operation that was being inquired into here was a highly confidential even within.
Operations this was at the top level classification.
A situation we got somebody.
Under and really a double agent and -- Qaeda who frustrated.
A plan to blow up an airline.
-- that was the most sensitive kind of operation.
The number of people who knew that was very very limited.
Limited within the CIA limited within the executive.
The place to look it seems to me at least to start is with the telephone records of the very few people who -- Did a broad ranging inquiry into telephone records of AP reporters now I don't know whether this is the opening of the investigation or not but there are two possibilities.
If it's the opening the investigation then the starting from the wrong end.
When they picked telephone records for example of the congressional correspondent.
For the eight -- My information is that this operation.
Was not briefed to any committee of congress -- was that confidential.
There's a few brief congress you might as well release -- to the public conversely it's like -- sit.
It wasn't briefed -- committee of congress so why are you examining the telephone records of the congressional correspondent for the -- Unless you're trying to send a message.
The AP that.
And two people who talk to the AP that.
We are gonna find out who talks to the AP holy beyond the question of this leak investigation.
-- -- this leak investigation into classified information.
-- has a much -- -- it will -- if it could it could be.
They're right we're watching right away.
-- watching you all governmental employees not only discussing.
Classified information which may not do.
But discussing the ordinary workings of the government on a day to day basis that's to me is what's dangerous are where where -- a week from today.
Giving more information comes out more whistle -- that for I think more whistle blowers stepped forward with regarded in Gaza because.
The special ops people who.
Knew the people who died and who knew about people who were.
Ready to help and -- -- themselves ready to help I'm not gonna go and we have not heard from now we have not heard from all of we've heard from a couple.
And we've not heard from many of them and they will be her.
So then what happens to the other to refuse IRS I think IRS AP content.
IRS and we -- we were told is being investigated by the Justice Department.
Sort of an interesting concept who -- -- gonna represent the people at the IRS they usually represented by the Justice Department I don't know whether they have an in house capacity.
To handle people who.
Who are under investigation -- by the Justice Department so they may be a whole cottage industry.
For Washington lawyers representing IRS folks who were themselves.
In the spotlight.
Thank you so much for repayment down forests I have a feeling that this this but I know that I've broken it down it's it's an ongoing theater -- -- -- and it's it's very dangerous to start.
Drawing immediate conclusions as to where -- come out and because we don't know.
But one thing I mean we we know enough.
With regard to -- -- you know that that something horrible happened.
And keep working correct we know enough with regard to the IRS to know that there were people doing what they should not have done and the notion that somehow this is.
Well it's it's they would just they would just trying to crack down on on.
Right wing organizations that were posing as welfare organizations and I think this was if they were under 501 C four we have to have.
Welfare activities they were doing political activities and so this was all very well meeting.
They -- cracking down on large organizations they were cracking down on -- investigating.
-- kitchen table kinds of organizations.
Well I certainly did your conclusion that -- -- Kapler and absolutely okay well thank you so much for taking the time out of your very very busy schedule and -- your man.
That everybody's turn to right now who makes some sense -- -- it says it's okay thank you very much thanks for parents take a break and then come back and talk about.
-- little bit more fun.
I welcome back to -- country where another cabinet officer joining us from Denver.
Former secretary of veterans affairs.
Secretary Jim Nicholson.
And -- you bring you board today to talk to us about an issue that this shows covered pretty extensively why we still have this backlog.
-- benefits for our veterans who have earned the right to have them and yet it seems that despite.
Speeches by absolutely everybody all sides of a political -- conservatives and liberals.
We still have a problem.
Why what's the backlog and -- we haven't checked mr.
We have it because veterans are.
Presenting themselves to the VA seeking.
Disability claims that is compensation for injuries they occurred while serving their country and active duty.
That have diminished them physically.
Even -- fun at a temporary basis and they're doing that and increasing numbers not only individual veterans but each veteran has more of the the conditions.
The injuries that they have been a cumulative impact of that.
Has caused a tremendous backlog of these it's almost.
A year now for a veteran to get some reading from the VA which is it is just too long and while I'm sympathetic.
To the VA and the problem because it's it's -- large of number of people that they have to -- what they they could expedite this.
To me it's an emergency so they ought to take emergency measures and wrote an -- they had a colleague and I for the wars -- post a way to handle this is to assume.
That there's validity of that request for disability claim on the part of a veteran and ramp them at least a partial disability claim.
-- that gets them started and it's it's akin to the way we deal with request for refund from -- IRS.
The IRS assumes the taxpayer is entitled to the refinance -- -- good check and then it's subject to being audited later.
If we could trust taxpayers to do that why can't we trust veterans.
Who make a request for disability claim.
We -- could level that's out there could have five years to give a final adjustment.
For this veteran and what his final compensation situation would be but meanwhile we get him started bridge that gap that they're facing.
-- also be entitled -- she would be entitled to have BA.
Medical care VA.
And it would it would end this.
This backlog which I think is casting.
Such a negative image on the BA in the VA at the people the VA were very hard to take care veterans and they do a darn good job taking care of -- health needs of veterans but this is in the disability area.
-- -- pinning everything with a negative brush so it's become a real problem and a real morale problem my take on the part of of our veterans and god knows they have enough problems without having to deal with long delays.
At the BA so this is a soluble situation and I think they got to take emergency measures had to solve.
I read here -- -- when you talk about the backlog.
Mean these are the average wait.
For completion of the process of the veterans claims.
Had to wait 173 days.
Days so the above this is as you just said warmer people are -- the process.
Asking for disability claims and we have now gotten to the point -- it's almost a year.
People have to go through the paperwork and still get nothing.
What happens when ladies and when I thought newspaper front they leave the department of -- aren't.
See -- Veterans Affairs Department.
Is there anything that tides them over as vague as they leave active duty service and go -- to the disability rolls.
There really isn't -- -- they can get educational benefits immediately.
But they can't get disability benefits until there's been -- and adjudication of of their injury and and the way the VA does it now if the veteran makes claims for five or six different have regional and Arthur -- Knee and traumatic brain injury in their loss of hearing and so forth.
They want to resolve all of those individual claims before they make a final reading for that veteran.
They don't have to do that they could take just one of those and that would get him started and -- -- would get 30% disability.
Which -- -- that the needs of that veteran with some money every month.
And as I said immediately get into the VA health care system and probably start getting some vocational rehabilitation training.
It's just good for their morale and it shows that the government really cares about them as soon as they take that uniform off and they don't have to wait that year.
To get some idea of what they're disability is going to be so.
It's it's an emergency situation and as I said I'm very sympathetic with the VA because it's a real big load but they ought to take.
Some emergency measures I think because it is it is soluble we could make.
Of the validity of that veterans claim just as we do -- IRS.
The pays a tax refund to a citizen.
And they could be under way.
-- when you are -- secretary of veterans affairs.
Was it was there so is it just so that we don't have a a resource -- you don't have enough people on the and the veterans agency.
Is that -- you don't have the right technology is is there one specific problem you can point to and if you throw some more money out of does that fix it.
No money hasn't solved it because they've thrown a lot of money the VA is very generously funded by the congress by the taxpayers -- not subject to the sequestration.
It's a problem if it's rather Byzantine missed the system -- there they have by the way.
Paper medical records when they come out of off of active duty which slows the system down as well.
So there's a lot of reasons that want to give for this to be a long protracted process they have to validate.
That they did have a bad parachute landing -- Fort Bragg and so forth because that's that's part of the duty they have that the judicial.
Duty fiduciary to the taxpayer.
But take -- cut through.
A lot of that and I I -- -- by the way when I was secretary and I couldn't get through the office of management budget -- -- that's what the waiting time by the way.
Was about a 150 days and we had 225000.
Veterans in the Q.
And they now have something like 900000.
Veterans in the Q so it.
It's an emergency and it's it's having a bad impact.
Not only on the perception that people have of the BA which is unfortunate because it's an outstanding organization.
Really takes good care veterans really.
But it's also having a bad morale affect on on this veterans and those that are thinking about becoming a veteran and we have an all volunteer force we have to show.
Just like George worst and it said I hope he said if it air base it doesn't take care of its veterans are not gonna have veterans have people won't -- it.
Well -- you so much for bringing this everybody's attention and I think that the solution that temporary solution.
That you -- you've suggested makes more respect than anybody ever heard so thanks so much -- secretary and keep talking about it and keep writing about it.
Thank you will thank -- very much.
OK it's not Father's Day it was just Mother's Day but the military has act test and that is.
Honoring our nation's military -- it's called the national fatherhood initiative.
And basal lacked who is the best father of the year that -- -- -- four finalists.
And we have a gentleman who is going to explain to us but this always listen -- Carroll vice president for development and communications the national.
Okay you have had thousands of nominations for the equivalent of -- of the year warrior for a final.
Yes you we have 44 great finalists -- the world nominated.
Abide by their families we collected hundreds of nominations from around the country.
For this award it's a war that the national fatherhood initiative where a private nonprofit organization and we've been doing for several years now.
On the so this year one of our finalists the -- dragon family.
He Patrick mind dragon.
His wife became very ill at one point fairly recently and so he essentially -- it.
Basically become as as sole parent for their for their kids really take care of his wife take care of his children obviously he was serving our our nation in the military at the same time.
It just really didn't did an incredible job of balancing on all those all of those duties.
Another one of our finalists -- or hero mind.
He's actually first immigration first.
-- generation immigrant to the United States and we really loved his story.
-- it's really kind of the American dream sort of story and as parents.
Came here worked very hard to make sure that their son could you know build a life here for his own -- in the United States on -- of course serving in the military.
-- wife just gave birth to their third child.
On so just another incredible story Charles and -- another of our finalists.
He's a wounded warrior so he obviously has sacrificed a heck of a lot for our country.
But the thing that really kind of struck us about him was -- Within 36 hours of having his leg amputated he was actually at his daughter's karate competition cheering -- on.
So I don't know about you but when I have a cold -- kind of out of commission for like three or four days and here's a guy who you know was serving his country overseas got injured had his leg amputated.
And within 36 hours was -- his daughter on so just unbelievable levels of commitment two children and families on and then.
Our other finalist Kevin Phillips he.
He's just one of these guys that just like -- the every dad sort of guy.
Great outdoors you know up enough in Alaska really kind introduces children -- that incredible part of of nature on.
Did you know all kinds of incredible things to make sure that -- stay connected to his children while he was deployed he -- actually other of our finalists as well.
Recorded themselves on on you know of the dvds.
Doing reading bedtime stories for their children so -- went there when they went off on deployment their kids could have you know these videos of dad reading to them.
So all -- these guys have just done amazing things to you know I'm not only serve our country but to be the best answer that can be for their children.
It isn't the talk to me about the special challenges that man in the military phase.
Not only being deployed -- try to stay connected to their families.
Sure what -- challengers and and what is the military -- to try to help them overcome them.
Yeah I mean we back in 2001 our organization the national fatherhood initiative actually start our deployed fathers and families program to really start providing specific support.
To the military tit for military fathers on and do what we found is that what these what -- really need.
Is an -- -- somebody intentionally talking to them about the fact that their fathers so that before they're deployed.
During their deployment and upon their return from deployment the receiving specific support.
A -- that you know those different aspects of their lives related to them being father's because if you talk to these guys.
The most important -- -- they have in their lives is is being a dad but unfortunately historically not really -- much has been done very specifically to support them around fatherhood.
It's -- we're really trying to build resiliency.
In these families by supporting dads around fatherhood so parenting skills communication skills relationship -- skills.
Practical things like how do you stay connected while you're deployed as you know we're delivering that sort of service.
Through bases through the branches through the Department of Defense to make sure that these guys have the support that they need.
On in their roles -- stats.
Okay we'll Benson I think everybody is watching the show should be inspired by those -- dads and they can vote for their favorite dad is by going to -- -- -- fatherhood dot org.
So this is even better than a beauty pageant you can vote for that dad of the year and -- from the -- found her.
Thank you so much for joining us and as an uplifting story all of them sound like great dance they are you great thank you so much.
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