Face the Nation Transcripts July 6, 2014: McCain, Graham, Durbin

(CBS News) -- Below is a transcript from the July 6, 2014 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Sen. John McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Dick Durbin, Charlie D'Agata, Alex Ortiz, Sandra Brown, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, David Ignatius and Karin Slaughter.

Bob Schieffer: And today on FACE THE NATION: the man thought to be the mysterious head of the militant group ISIS makes a dramatic appearance in Iraq and urges followers to step up the fight, while, back home, the immigration crisis on our own border intensifies.

The militant group ISIS released this video and says it is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi telling worshipers in Mosul that God has ordered him to lead the revolution there.

In Israel, the violence continues over the murders of three Israeli boys. We will get reports from the Mideast and we will hear from Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham just back from the region, and the Senate's number two Democrat Dick Durbin.

Then we will take a break from the news for our annual summer reading panel, as we bring together five authors who think truly evil thoughts, David Ignatius, whose new book is "The Director." Karin Slaughter's latest is "Cop Town." Sandra Brown's new book is "Mean Streak." And Jeffery Deaver, author of the Lincoln Rhyme series, and Lee Child, who writes the Jack Reacher series. They are contributors to new collection of stories, "FaceOff."

Sixty years of news because this is FACE THE NATION.

And good morning again on this Fourth of July weekend. We're going first to CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata in Baghdad -- Charlie.

CHARLIE D'AGATA, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bob.

First of all, an Iraqi government spokesman that we spoke to said that this video is a fake. It's not al-Baghdadi, and Baghdadi was actually injured in fighting earlier this week, but pretty much everybody else says that it is.

And if so, it underlines a sort of confidence from ISIS militants to put their leader on full display in Mosul's largest mosque. This is a man with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head. And he's standing there at the pulpit ordering Muslims to obey him and to join the fight here.

At the same time, ISIS militants sent out these pictures showing what they say is the destruction of something like 10 Shiite and Sunni mosques and shrines throughout territory they control in an effort to spark more sectarian violence here. SCHIEFFER: Charlie, is the Iraqi military doing any better on any front here?

D'AGATA: Bob, it really depends on who you speak to. If you talk to the Iraqis, they say that they are making progress, specifically just to the south of the northern city of Tikrit. They're stopping an ISIS offensive from getting any closer.

But at the same time, this week, Saudi Arabia had to bulk up their border, send 30,000 more troops there. They say that Iraqi forces had abandoned their post. The Iraqi government says that is not the case, but it shows you what kind of disarray we're in. And one thing that is clear that we repeatedly get from Iraqi sources is that they cannot take or retake territory currently under ISIS control without significant support from the United States.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Charlie D'Agata in Baghdad, thank you so much, Charlie.

And we turn now to the escalating violence in Israel.

CBS News man Alex Ortiz joins us from Tel Aviv -- Alex.

ALEX ORTIZ, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bob.

Well, overnight, we have seen more Israeli airstrikes pounding the Gaza Strip after dozens of rockets were fired this weekend, that after the worst street violence East Jerusalem has seen, scenes reminiscent of the last Palestinian uprising more than a decade ago.

This latest round of violence was triggered by the back-and-forth kidnappings and murders of teenagers, first, three Israeli teens, then a Palestinian boy killed in a suspected revenge attack that set off violent street battles.

And, today, Israeli police have arrested suspects they think are responsible for the abduction and murder of that child. As the threat of further rioting looms, there have been efforts on the parts of authorities from both sides to step back from the brink and de- escalate.

But, Bob, the question is whether the statements of politicians can actually restrain the simmering anger in the streets. Today's calm is tenuous at best, but, beyond that, there's little effort to actually address the broader situation. With peace negotiations having broken down, all it would take is another casualty to unleash further bloodshed.

SCHIEFFER: Alex, there was also some shocking video of Israeli security forces beating a 15-year-old teenage boy who it turns out is an American citizen in Israel for summer vacation. I understand there is a new development on that story as well.

ORTIZ: That's right, Bob.

Well, that video has certainly increased tensions here. It shows Israeli soldiers repeatedly kicking and punching a bound Palestinian boy in the head. Now, he's just been released into the custody of his parents after they posted bail. He has to remain under house arrest for a week-and-a-half before they travel back to the United States.

SCHIEFFER: All right, Alex Ortiz, thank you very much, Alex.

And here in Washington, we're joined now by Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who spent a lot of time there. They are also just back from Afghanistan. Let me start with this video we just saw of this child. State Department has put out a statement condemning the beating. They're demanding a full investigation. But is there anything the United States can do here, Senator McCain, to calm this situation?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, this is one case where I do believe that our secretary of state should go to the region.

This is a role -- this is a place -- many places, I don't think we do play a role. In this case, I think that our secretary of state, Secretary Kerry, could go to the region and try to maybe do a little shuttle diplomacy.

This thing is in danger of spiraling out of control. There's a whole lot of reasons for it, but right now this is a time where the United States could play a constructive role.

SCHIEFFER: Senator Graham?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, when you start killing children, you set yourself on a path that is hard to reverse.

And I think a good idea to try to engage and get the parties back into their corners. But one thing about Israel, they will try to investigate, I think, and bring somebody to justice. The other side is not very good at that.

SCHIEFFER: Let's get back to Iraq.

What is your take, Senators, on this new video? Is ISIS now trying to scare us? Is the threat to the United States from ISIS growing? I guess those are the two questions I would have to ask.

GRAHAM: Well, according to direction of national intelligence, the FBI director and most of our intelligence community, ISIS presents a direct threat to the homeland in Syria, now Iraq.

Americans and Western Europeans are going to help their cause. And they can flow back here. So, yes, they are a direct threat to the homeland and they're getting much stronger as we speak.

MCCAIN: I think it's important to recognize that we did have this situation stabilized, thanks to the surge, that we could have left a residual force behind which would have stabilized the situation.

This is not like a hurricane or an earthquake. This didn't have to happen. This is a failure of United States policy. And, by the way, there still is none that I can discern, either a policy or a strategy, to handle this situation.

This guy Baghdadi when he left Camp Bucca, a prison camp that we ran, he said, see you in New York. We now have the largest and richest enclave of radical terrorism in history that not only encompasses Iraq, as we know, but Iraq and Syria. So, we have to look at this as a Syria-Iraq problem. And one of the things that we need to do, of course we want Maliki to be replaced, but we got to stop ISIS first. And that means that we're going to have to do airstrikes. And we need to step up our support for the Free Syrian Army that is really right now getting very badly beaten.

SCHIEFFER: Just one thing, Senator. You say we left. The Iraqis would not sign the status of forces agreement, which would have put troops under our control, legal control. Are you just saying we didn't try hard enough to get that agreement?

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: I'm saying that they were ready to sign. I'm saying that this administration, this president didn't want to stay, and we were there in Baghdad and in Irbil when they agreed to do it.

Now, we were actually there. And the president of the United States would never give them a number of troops and their mission that they wanted to leave behind. In the words of General Dempsey in testimony before the Armed Services Committee, it cascaded down to 3,000 people. The president campaigned he was going to get us out. And the president is going to make the same mistake in Afghanistan, unless he reverses that decision, that he made.

You're going to see the same result in Afghanistan. We just came back from there. They feel abandoned.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, do you agree with that?

GRAHAM: I think the big fear I have about what we're doing in Afghanistan is that we have great capability now.

We can watch a part of the world that is a safe haven for terrorists. Thirteen years after 9/11, there are more safe havens. There are more terrorist groups with more weapons and more capabilities than before 9/11, and we're having less capability, less presence.

If we get down to 1,000 troops by 2017, and dismantle our eyes and ears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will haunt us far worse than Iraq. The counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan is a front-line defense against -- for the homeland and it is being destroyed by this idea of leaving completely in 2017.

Mr. President, reverse your course. Keep our counterterrorism capabilities in effect to protect us here at home.

MCCAIN: We're not advocating combat troops.

We're advocating leaving sustaining capability to give them the capabilities that they don't have right now. By the way, one thing different from Iraq, there are two good men now who we hope will resolve their differences and we can get a president of Iraq. That will make a very big difference. Both Ghani and Abdullah are good people.

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM: If I could just add, what we're doing on the counterterrorism side, which protects the homeland from -- al Qaeda is not decimated. The groups operating in Pakistan and now Afghanistan are lethal. They're growing. We're about to shut down our ability to detect what they're up to and hit them before they hit us. This literally is insane, given the way the world is falling apart.

SCHIEFFER: Well, talk about this al-Baghdadi, if that is who we saw in the film. And do either of you have any doubt that that is who that is?

MCCAIN: I have no doubt.

And, remember, when he left Camp Bucca, the camp that we ran in Iraq, he said see you in New York. There's no doubt of what their ambitions are. They state it very clearly. They now have this large enclave. And they are succeeding.

And that message is going around not only around the Arab world, but they're recruiting Muslim extremists as we speak. They're very good at P.R.

SCHIEFFER: So, we should go after him directly, because he...

MCCAIN: There's $10 million on his head.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: Of course we could.

But that is not the point here. If Baghdadi goes, somebody else is going to take his place. It's the situation which we have allowed to deteriorate because we didn't leave troops behind, because of the decision on Syria. There's a long series of events that have taken place which have caused us to be where we are today. And it all goes back to American leadership.

SCHIEFFER: The president is now asking for half-a-billion dollars in aid for the rebels that are opposing Assad in Syria. Is that going to do it, or is that coming too late?

(CROSSTALK)

MCCAIN: Not unless we take out Assad's airstrike -- air -- air capability, these terrible barrel bombs, and also give them more weapons than we have them today.

Three years ago, fine, two years ago, when president overruled his entire national security team's recommendation to provide weapons to these people, but now, it's not enough, unfortunately.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about something closer to home. And that is this crisis building on our borders now, these children that are flooding across the borders. What should we do, Senator Graham, with these children?

GRAHAM: Well, we have to send them back, because if you don't, you're going to incentivize people throughout that part of the world to keep sending their children here.

About a third of the little girls are raped in the process of getting here. It's a humanitarian problem, but it's apart from immigration reform. This is a specific problem created by an impression that if you get to America, you can stay. We have got to turn that impression around, send these children back to their homeland and tell countries in question if you don't keep them and take care of them, we're going to cut all aid off.

SCHIEFFER: Senator?

MCCAIN: And if you want asylum, and if there's reason for it, go to our consulate, go to our embassy. We will beef up those capabilities. Don't come to the American border.

This is -- I can't tell you how all this breaks my heart, because I still believe that comprehensive immigration reform, a major part of which was enforcing our border and reinforcing our border, and this obviously hurts that opportunity.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I know both of you are for immigration reform.

Some in your party are saying, let's call out the National Guard to reinforce the border.

GRAHAM: Well, we have had National Guard troops on the border.

The bill in the Senate doubled the size of the Border Patrol to 40,000. There would be a Border Patrol agent every 1,000 feet. The Senate bill put sensors and technology in place we used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We can control our border. That's essential. In the bill, 90 percent operational control was required before anybody could move forward toward citizenship. There is a plan in place to control our border, but it won't happen until the president signs a law. If the president does this by himself, if he goes it alone, he's going to make it so much harder. This is the administration that designed Obamacare.

SCHIEFFER: But the Congress won't do anything. The Congress has said they're not going to do anything about this.

I would just like to ask both of you, how do you feel about being members of a body that won't act, and a party, on a crisis like this?

MCCAIN: We will just continue the fight. We will continue the effort, respectful effort, to convince our colleagues in the House that we need to move forward on this issue. But it doesn't help when the president says that he's going to he -- has a pen and he has a phone. But we will continue to make that effort on the grounds of security of our border, as well as the fact that you cannot deport 11 million people. We need to address the issue.

GRAHAM: Bob, there is a change in our party.

I don't see how you could effectively win the presidency in 2016 if you adopt self-deportation as the Republican view toward immigration. Ted Cruz embraces legalization without a path to citizenship. Things are changing on our side. It makes it really hard to deal with a president who at every turn take a law he doesn't like and unilaterally changes it, from the IRS to Obamacare.

It has a cumulative effect. So, there are people in the Republican Party who get it. But the president is making it very hard for us, those who do get it, to work with him, because he's unilaterally changed every law he doesn't like. Now he's putting immigration on the list.

SCHIEFFER: Senator -- Senator McCain, I have one question I can't let you get away without asking, because Hillary Clinton has said that you are her favorite Republican.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHIEFFER: And I just want to ask you, is she your favorite Democrat?

MCCAIN: Actually, I hope this program is blacked out in Arizona.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: Please cut.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: Look, I respect Secretary, Senator Clinton. I respect her views. We have had disagreements on a number of issues.

But I think it's my job to work with every president, if she is -- regrettably, if she attains the presidency. I worked with her in the Senate. I just worked with Senator Sanders on a Veterans Affairs bill. We have got to fix the VA.

How do you do that? You have got to reach across the aisle and work together on certain issues. And I'm not only not embarrassed about that. I'm proud of it. And I respect Hillary Clinton. I may not agree with her.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thank you both.

We're going to turn now to the number two Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin. He's in Springfield, Illinois, this morning.

Is Hillary Clinton your favorite Democrat, Senator?

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), MAJORITY WHIP: Well, I think Hillary Clinton would be a great president. And I support her. I served with her in the Senate.

I watched her as secretary of state. I think she has what it takes.

SCHIEFFER: All right, much more serious question here.

I want to ask you also about these children that are flooding our borders. The federal government seems paralyzed to doing anything about this. Where do we start to fix this? What needs to be done here? And I'm not talking about passing some bill in the future. I'm talking about fixing this problem right now.

DURBIN: Well, there are two points I want to make for you, Bob.

First is, I think this administration understands what needs to be done. And it's a really amazing challenge. First, get down to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and make it clear that sending these children north is a desperate and deadly decision and that they have got to stop as quickly as possible, and force that information- gathering in those countries.

Secondly, these smugglers and coyotes ought to be hit with the hardest penalties we can possibly come up with. The fact that they would lure these children into this deadly journey is just unspeakable. It is an awful crime.

And, third, we have to deal with these children. It was the Homeland Security Act signed by President George W. Bush which says, we treat these children humanely, which means we view the compassionate responsibility of the United States for these kids as their processed back to where they came from.

They have no legal status here in the United States. Now, let me see the second point. I am really getting fed up with some of the critics of this administration, particularly from House Republicans. They had the opportunity for one solid year to call the immigration reform bill, and yet they refused to.

And now they're arguing we need more enforcement at the borders and a lot of other things. When are they going to accept their responsibility to govern, to call this bipartisan bill for consideration?

SCHIEFFER: I want to ask you also about Iraq. You just heard Senator McCain. You just heard Senator Graham. Do you think Democrats will stand behind the president if he decides to order airstrikes, if he decides to go after ISIS?

And I guess I would ask you also, do you agree with the two senators we just heard that this really is a threat to American security, this ISIS group and what they stand for?

DURBIN: Well, I think we need to take them seriously, but realistically.

And, realistically, this is what it comes down to. What have we learned in the last 12 years in this part of the world? We have learned that the United States has the best military on earth, the best weapons, the best technology, and yet even those troops, even that capacity cannot restore a leadership to Iraq.

Maliki has not unified Iraq. Our American forces can't change it. How do we bring about nationalism in Iraq, where people are still wedded to blood feuds and sectarian violence? And do we honestly believe that sending airstrikes in is going to change a 14-century-old battle within the religion of the Muslim people?

That is not going to happen. So, let's be careful. As the president says, use our power and our authority in an effective way. He's called for a counterterrorism partnership. I think that is a move in the right direction. Engage other countries with the United States.

This go it alone, call in airstrikes is not going to solve the problems.

SCHIEFFER: Well, who do we work with? Do we work with Iran? Do we work with Syria? Who exactly in this broad strategy do we work for -- with?

DURBIN: It's interesting. Neither of those countries want us anywhere near the situation in Iraq and Syria today.

And we have to carefully choose our allies. But within the region, there are other countries that I think will come and stand behind us to stop the spread of terrorism. That's what the president is looking for, partnerships to bring peace to this part of the world.

Haven't we learned our lesson after 12 years? Look what happened in Iraq; 4,484 Americans gave their lives. Over 30,000 came home seriously injured, $2 trillion to our national debt. The suggestion that now we're going to engage more military force in this region should be done carefully. And I think the president is trying to do that at this point, and I support him.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Senator Durbin, we thank you for joining us on this Fourth of July.

We will be back in one minute with some personal thoughts on what the Fourth means.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: So, here we are on another July Fourth weekend.

We all know why we celebrate the Fourth. It's our nation's birthday, the day founders signed the Declaration of Independence. But that is just the beginning of what happened on the Fourth.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCHIEFFER (voice-over): Three of our first five presidents, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Monroe, died on July 4, Jefferson and Adams within hours of one another in 1826.

Our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on the Fourth. West Point opened on July 4, 1802. The Louisiana Purchase, the acquisition from France of 800,000 square miles of land that now includes all or parts of 14 states west of the Mississippi, was announced to the American people on July 4, 1803.

The cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on Independence Day, 1848. More than 150 years later, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid at the World Trade Center site on July 4.

Lyndon Johnson chose July 4, 1966, to sign the Freedom of Information Act into law. Though over shadowed by the Fourth, this whole weekend is one for anniversaries and birthdays. Yesterday marks the anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt signing the bill creating the National Labor Relations Board in 1937.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHIEFFER: And today is the birthday of Nancy Reagan and George W. Bush.

If all goes as it usually does this weekend, Americans will have celebrated all or some of the above by eating 155 million hot dogs -- back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And coming up in our next half-hour, our summer reading panel, with bestselling mystery writers David Ignatius, Lee Child, Sandra Brown's, Karin Slaughter, and Jeffery Deaver.

Plus, we will have tribute to real American hero and the author who told us about him. So, stay with us, if you will.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Some of our stations are leaving us now.

For most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, all about books and authors in our second half-hour. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Well, welcome back to FACE THE NATION.

Time now for the fun part.

For this year's book panel, we thought we'd try something a little different, a summer reading show looking at some of this year's hottest thrillers with some of the country's best known mystery writers. Sandra Brown has written over 70 novels. Sixty-three of them have made "The New York Times" Best-Seller List. Her latest is "Mean Streak." It will be out next month.

Lee Child and Jeffrey Deaver have written 51 novels between them. They contributed to "Face-Off" and they both have new books out.

Lee Child's 19th Jack Reacher novel is called "Personal." It will be out later this summer.

Jeffrey Deaver's main character is Lincoln Rhyme. His new one is "The Skin Collector."

We'd also like to welcome Karin Slaughter, who's written 14 thrillers. Her new one is "Cop Town."

And our last panelist, someone familiar to FACE THE NATION viewers. In addition to his day job as a columnist for "The Washington Post," David Ignatius writes thrillers, too. His latest is "The Director."

So, welcome to you guys.

I must say, is it safe to be here, because you people truly think evil thoughts. You sit around thinking about how to kill people.

And I just -- as we get on with this, I want to ask you about -- does this (INAUDIBLE) you had, does it come from personal experience?

Does it come from the newspapers?

Where does it come from?

But -- but first, Lee and Jeffrey, I want to ask you about this new book that you are both a part of. This is a book called "Face- Off." And it is about what -- how many writers here?

LEE CHILD, AUTHOR: There's 22 writers that paired up to write 11 stories. And it speaks...

SCHIEFFER: Tell us what this is about.

CHILD: Well, it's about readers. I mean we're readers, fundamentally. And all readers have one or two or three or four favorite characters. And they start daydreaming, what happened if this guy and this guy were in the same story?

So that's what we did. We have, for instance, Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly bringing together their characters in the same story. And 11 people, 11 pairs of people did that.

JEFFREY DEAVER, AUTHOR: And it was a lot of fun.

--- you know, Lee is a -- the head of an organization called International Thriller Writers. It's -- and he can speak about it probably better than I can, but I've been a member for some time now. And this is a group that nurtures young, beginning writers and is also part of the established mystery writer organizations. It's been around for about 10 years now, right?

CHILD: Yes, 10 years (INAUDIBLE)...

SCHIEFFER: And they -- and I guess that we should point out this assignment at Simon and Schuster Books, because Simon and Schuster is owned by CBS, so, you know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, so...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: -- but you take the proceeds from this and it supports your thriller writer association.

DEAVER: Yes. And the ITW is a -- a membership fee-free. People can join for free if they'd like to. And this is one of the projects that Lee and a number of other people have put together to -- to fund that.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I'll tell you, it's just fabulous. I've read about four of these stories in here and -- and they're really fun, because you can -- it's -- it's a great book to read before you go to bed. It's -- you read just about...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: -- and -- and then you can turn in and read another one.

DEAVER: And what's fun, too, is that writers tend not to play well with others. And this was sort of an -- a forced opportunity...

CHILD: Yes.

DEAVER: -- to put us together with some other folks and see what came up.

SCHIEFFER: Well, that's great. You know, one of the things is, as a writer of non-fiction books, I know how to do that. I would not know where to start in writing a book of fiction.

And -- and, David, you've done both. I mean you -- you know, you're a columnist for "The Washington Post" and -- and your new book, "The Director," is about the CIA and it's post-Snowden. It was almost like -- did you start this book before Snowden?

DAVID IGNATIUS, AUTHOR: Yes, I started it a year before we'd ever heard of Snowden. But that's a good example. You come up with a plot that embodies things you know are going on in the world, this collision between the world of hacking and the world of espionage.

And then along comes real life and real life is different than, in some ways more interesting than what you had imagined, so you rework. And I think it's that process of taking real things and then reworking them in our imagination that make them feel more real for the readers.

I mean that, you know, you could write a 100,000 word newspaper story, but that wouldn't be very interesting to read if -- and a novel is 100,000 words, that's different and powerful.

SCHIEFFER: Sandra Brown, you know, one of the things I discovered, as I say, I -- I write non-fiction things when I write books. But I did kind of branch out into songwriting, which is -- there's a certain fiction in there. And what I have discovered as a songwriter, you'd better have an excuse that you can explain to your wife why you wrote this particular song, you know.

And so I -- when I read your books and -- and I must say, another full disclosure, Sandra and I go way back. She's an old TCU gal. Actually, we both went to TCU. She worked as an intern at "The Star Telegram."..

SANDRA BROWN, AUTHOR: That's right.

SCHIEFFER: -- in the office.

BROWN: And that's when I first met...

SCHIEFFER: -- when I was a reporter there.

BROWN: -- Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: But let me ask you this. You have a lot of steamy sex scenes...

BROWN: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: -- in some of your books.

BROWN: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: And is that a problem for you?

(LAUGHTER)

SCHIEFFER: I know you're happily married.

BROWN: Well, it's not a problem for me. And I think my readers love it. But I think you're referring to one time Michael was reading -- my husband was reading a passage and he goes, you know, this is really good. But we never did this.

(LAUGHTER)

BROWN: So it keeps him on his toes.

But I always say, well, I write about murder, but I've never killed anybody, either, you know. So it is fiction. It's still fiction.

SCHIEFFER: Yes, Karin, tell us about your new book, because this is a...

KARIN SLAUGHTER, AUTHOR: Well...

SCHIEFFER: -- standalone. This is not a character that you've dealt with before, right?

SLAUGHTER: It is. It's two new characters, actually, two women who are police officers. And it's set in Atlanta in the 1970s, which is just a fascinating time for me, because I was a kid, so I wasn't paying a lot of attention.

But for women during that time period, there were so few legal protections for them. So if a woman wanted to get a car loan or buy a house or rent an apartment or even get a credit card, she had to have a man cosign with her. And that was just shocking for me to learn that.

And then, you know, going -- fast forward into the 1970s, you had a lot of new laws to protect them. I write about Atlanta and say the laws didn't quite reach there for a while. But even something like birth control. You know, in 1972, a case came up before the Supreme Court. And prior to that, a woman was not allowed to legally have contraception unless she was married.

So, in effect, she had to have a man's permission.

And it's really funny, because you fast forward 40 years and now we have to have permission from five Supreme Court justices to get birth control.

But just writing about that, I think probably everyone here agrees with me, the point of writing a thriller is to sort of hold a mirror up to society and show people what's going on. And if you write about it in the 1970s, you can complain a lot more than if you write about it now.

SCHIEFFER: Jeffrey and Lee, you both write character books. One of you writes the Jack Reacher books, the other writes the Lincoln Rhyme book.

I would like to ask you, how did you dream up these characters, because they are really one of a kind guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well...

SCHIEFFER: And I guess that's what you're trying to do.

DEAVER: This was about 15 years ago. And I was looking for a new book idea to write. And I -- you know, I always listen to what readers expect. And I write a very fast-paced kind of cinematic novel. That's the formula for a Deaver novel. And I'm -- I'll always do that.

But I always want a different hook, something that's going to make readers perk up their ears a bit.

And I decided to do a new version of Sherlock Holmes. It had nothing to do with the original Conan Doyle story, but what I wanted was a character who had to outthink the villain. I didn't want the -- the bad guy or the good guy to win that climactic scene at the end where suddenly the hero has a flashback to his youth and he says, oh, my dad taught me to karate kick this certain way or kick box when I was a young boy and now I remember it, then he beats up the bad guy. That's kind of the cliche.

So Lincoln Rhyme, being a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down, has to outthink the villain. I created "The Bone Collector," the first in the series. I never thought it would be popular. I was proud of the book. It seemed to do well.

And then it took off around the world, you know, millions and millions of copies.

SCHIEFFER: Well, that was -- your characters are much different.

CHILD: Yes. And that is pure wish fulfillment. I just thought that I -- what would I do if I could get away with it?

And Jack Reacher was the -- was the answer to that. I mean he lives in a way that -- that I think a lot of us would like to live, always moving on, owns nothing, lives nowhere and no job, no home, just free. And the freedom of -- of Reacher is what a lot of people respond to.

SCHIEFFER: He is what we would do if we could really do what we really want to do...

CHILD: Exactly. Yes.

SCHIEFFER: -- (INAUDIBLE).

CHILD: And I used to think...

SCHIEFFER: (INAUDIBLE).

CHILD: -- originally, I thought that was a man's thing. I -- I thought men would -- would understand that fantasy. But over the years, I've learned it's actually a woman's fantasy, too, that they could just walk away from it all, be somewhere else tomorrow, that -- that they don't know, they've never been before.

And so that's what -- there's disadvantages to it, because there's no support system around it and there's no soap opera. You know, he doesn't have a job, he doesn't have a boss, he doesn't have friends or neighbors. It's just him.

So each book is relatively difficult to do, because it's just him.

And how do you get him involved? You know, he's not a cop, so he shouldn't be involved. So every -- every chapter one is about how do we get him into this story. But once he's in, then it's great, because he -- he can be anywhere and do anything. As you said, 19 books and I thought I would be getting sort of bored of it by 19 books. But because every story can be completely different -- I mean this new one, "Personal," part of it is set in Paris, part of it's set in London. It's extremely glamorous for a Reacher book.

You know, normally Reacher is hanging out in some $20 motel in the West somewhere. But, no, he's in Paris this time (INAUDIBLE)...

SCHIEFFER: I just was thinking about this as -- as we put this panel together. I didn't mean it to be this way, but four out of five of you used to be journalists in one way or another, and David -- David still is. And I guess...

IGNATIUS: I can't escape it. But in my -- in my fiction, I do get to imagine "what if." What if the things that I'm writing about as a journalist were pushed to the limit? What if you could get inside and really see what was going on?

In my new book, "The Director," what if a new director came to the CIA and, in his first week, somebody walked into the American consulate in Hamburg and said, "You've been hacked; we're inside your systems"? What would he do? Where would he turn?

And so that, for me, through my whole career, has been starting with things that are real and then thinking, "Well, what if -- what would these people do if the next thing was pushed?"

BROWN: I think, to some extent, we all do that. Because we're all attuned -- like everyone in the country, we're -- we're immersed, you know, with media constantly. And it's a Flicker or a Twitter away, you know, a world story.

I think what we as novelists, as fiction writers do is put a different spin. I'll see something -- and it can be the most bizarre, the craziest thing. You think, how in the world did someone get in that situation? And you start asking the "what ifs" and put just a little different spin on the factual story, and that's where I have come up with some ideas with which to work and expand on.

(UNKNOWN): And years ago, readers would write in and say, "Oh, the government would never do that."

(LAUGHTER)

CHILD: And now, of course, they're saying, "Oh, maybe they would."

(LAUGHTER)

DEAVER: I found, too, that the journalism training I had, as a matter of technique, has been very helpful. Because we create fictional worlds but they have to be recognizable to the readers. So being a journalist, I would go out and interview people, get the facts, try to create the scenario in a very realistic, concrete way. And I think that's helped my fiction quite a bit.

SCHIEFFER: Karin, how did you get started?

SLAUGHTER: Well, I just make stuff up. So, you know, and that's -- my father teases me because I was such a daydreamer as a child, and he thinks it's wonderful I get paid for it now.

But, you know, like these guys that I'm here with today, we all just pay attention to things. And we have these wild imaginations, where we take the kernel of a crime or something weird that happens and we turn it into an entire book.

We all get asked, you know, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a book. You write it and we'll split the proceeds."

(LAUGHTER)

And the idea really isn't the hard part. It's sitting down and figuring out, well, how are the characters going to tell this story?

And, for a lot of us, it's, well, how is the character going to change because of this?

Because, when people are affected by crime, it changes them, whether they're victims or investigators or people in the community. And so that's a real focus in a lot of our work, is, you know, how is this going to change people?

Lee is very fortunate because Jack Reacher never changes.

CHILD: Never -- yeah, I mean...

SLAUGHTER: He buys a new toothbrush.

CHILD: Reacher never changes. But, in general, Karin's right. The best book is not watching the detective work on a crime. It's watching the crime work on the detective, the -- you know, the moral implications, the psychological stress that the detective is under. Reacher is immune from that. He's the same at the end of the book than at the beginning. He doesn't learn much because he knew it all to start with. He's just this unstoppable force.

SCHIEFFER: You know, Sandra and I were talking, and she made the remark that, in television, people tend to be quite jealous of other people's success. But she said, when a writer writes a good book, all writers celebrate it. Why is that, Sandra?

BROWN: Well, because I think we're all readers first.

CHILD (?): Exactly.

BROWN: And we all love a good story. And I personally think that what is good for one author is good for everyone. I remember when the "Harry Potter" books were so popular and they were having midnight parties, you know, and the mothers were taking their children to get the hats and the -- you know, everything, and the magic wands, and they were having, you know, galas at bookstores. And someone asked me -- he said, "Aren't you a little jealous?" Don't you wish they'd do that for you?

And I said, "They are doing that for me," because while the mothers are standing there in line, they might pass a Sandra Brown book and pick it up for the first time. So I think that -- I celebrate when there's a phenomenon in the publishing industry.

DEAVER: Anything that gets people to read...

BROWN: To read.

DEAVER: ... is good.

SCHIEFFER: Well, what are you guys reading now?

Karin, what are you reading?

SLAUGHTER: Well, I just finished Lee's. I really enjoyed it, personal. But right now I'm reading "The Quick" which is a kind of Gothic Victorian book. It's really fascinating. We don't always read thrillers. I think one of my favorite books ever was Sandra's that she wrote a few years ago, "Sweetwater."

BROWN: "Rainwater."

SLAUGHTER: "Rainwater." I'm not very good with titles. She just told me.

(LAUGHTER)

I said, "What is it?" But it's a wonderful book because she's so great at writing characters. And I think that's something we all focus on is, you know, not just the broader story but who is this character and what are they going to do that's really going to pull the reader in and make them interesting to the reader?

SCHIEFFER: What do you think is the most significant book you ever read? What's the one that made the biggest impact?

IGNATIUS: Oh, boy. As a writer, I think the novels of Graham Greene are the ones I go back to again and again. Sometimes when I'm starting a book, I'll just see how he did it. You know, "The Heart of the Matter," "The Quiet American." These are just -- they're very modern books. They're so elegant.

I read a lot of history, so right now what's -- what's on my device is a book called "Laurence in Arabia," which is the story of T.E. Lawrence. And it's just scarily appropriate for the mess that we're all looking at in the Middle East now. It shows how these lines in the sand that are the countries of the Middle East got drawn in complete duplicity, you know, a series of lies by Britain and France. And it just makes -- makes your skin crawl.

SCHIEFFER: He talks about reading it on his device. Would you rather read it in a book-book or...

DEAVER: I'm a paper guy, although that's not to say that I don't have the e-readers for convenience. And sometimes it's that instant gratification. I read review of a book. I hit a button and there it is.

CHILD: Yeah, I'm pretty much back to paper. I've tried the electronic devices, and they're great for traveling, if you're on the road for two or three weeks.

SCHIEFFER: Exactly.

CHILD: Then they're really good. But without any agenda at all, I just have drifted back to paper books. SCHIEFFER: What are you two reading?

DEAVER: Well, right now, being here in the nation's capital, I have wonderful book, "Magnificent Catastrophe," Larson's book about the election of 1800. And if we think politics is newly invented now, no, it's exactly the same as it was back then.

CHILD: I'm reading a book, nonfiction called "Jet Set." It's about the interaction of the Boeing 707 in 1958 and the way that that changed the world, that we -- you know, we could all get around so much faster and more easily and travel en masse. And it's pretty good -- yeah, fascinating.

SCHIEFFER: Sandra?

BROWN: I just finished Greg Iles, "Matches Burning." It's about the sins of the fathers being revisited during the Civil Rights wars in Mississippi in 1964.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this question. What about -- are there still places to go to promote books? I mean, Barnes & Noble is -- we see it shrinking. Borders...

BROWN: We go on "Face the Nation."

(LAUGHTER)

CHILD: We're going to take over from those boring old senators.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHIEFFER: You know, what about the future of books? Are people still reading?

I mean, I do, but...

IGNATIUS: If you go to a bookstore to give a lecture, and I'm sure all of us do that on our book tours, seeing a group of people in that setting who are, everyone of them, you can see in their eyes how much they love reading, and you try to explain to them what you do, and the sense that they're in it with you is a way in which a book comes alive again. It's dead when you finish it, but it comes alive in the mind of the reader.

And when you're in -- at a group of those people, it's exciting.

CHILD: People love story. Everything is a story. A television commercial is a 30-second story. People will always consume stories. The exact form in which they will consume them changes from time to time. But reading is like -- it's a virus that sleeps in the ground. It will always be there. And it bursts out periodically and becomes huge and then dies away. It comes back. Reading will always be there.

DEAVER: Despite what we've heard, the -- last year, 300,000 and some change -- 300,000 books, titles, were published in the United States. And those are traditional books, not self-published books. That's e-books as well as print books. And the market expanded last year, of 2013.

SCHIEFFER: Karin, does it bother you that, with the coming of Twitter and Facebook and all that and these really short messages, do you think people's attention spans are shortening?

Is it harder for people to read a book now than it used to be?

SLAUGHTER: I think that it's probably a relief. Because you get so much more when you read a book and you have the ability to, sort of, lose yourself. And the whole point of a book is to shut out the rest of the world. And people really need that now. The more connected we are, the more we need time to ourselves.

BROWN: I agree. I have gotten to the point where, at a certain hour of the evening, I shut down the phone, the iPad, the everything, and I don't look at it again. And I sit and read. And I have a conversation with my husband. And -- because we are now almost forced to do a lot of social media promotion and everything and it just gets consuming. And at some point, I feel like it's sensory overload. I can't handle anymore.

And to me, reading is that escape. It's that relaxation.

SCHIEFFER: Very well said.

Well, thanks. This was really fun. I knew it would be. And I'm really glad you all could come this morning. I'll be back in just a minute with a tribute to a real American hero and the author who told us about him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Speaking of books and authors, we note this morning the passing of Louis Zamperini. Destined to become one of American literature's most memorable figures because he was in life one of America's true heroes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCHIEFFER (voice-over): When he died last week at 97, millions of us had come to know him as the central figure in "Unbroken," one of the best-selling books of all time by Laura Hillenbrand, whose own story is as remarkable as the man she wrote about.

As a teenager, Zamperini ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. While he was there, he managed to steal a Nazi flag from the German chancellery.

As a bombardier in World War II, he was shot down over the Pacific and survived for 47 days in an open raft, only to be captured, tortured and starved at a Japanese prison camp for two years.

LOUIS ZAMPERINI: They took great joy in telling somebody we were going to be executed, you know. And they'd always go through the motions.

SCHIEFFER: It took Hillenbrand seven years to research and write the story, yet she never met Zamperini, as she told CBS News correspondent Chip Reid by telephone, because she is confined to her home by a rare disease called chronic fatigue syndrome.

LAURA HILLENBRAND, AUTHOR: Patients often go into times where they are literally unable to get out of bed for weeks or months or years. And it was something that helped me identify with Louis, because he -- his story is largely about suffering.

SCHIEFFER: She was telling a hero's story. And as she interviewed him over the years by phone, she became his heroine.

ZAMPERINI: I showed her one of my Purple Hearts. And I said, you deserve this more than I do.

SCHIEFFER: When they finally met two years ago, Zamperini told Hillenbrand the book was a crescendo of his life.

HILLENBRAND: And he believes he's lived this long so he could see it written and read. And that was the loveliest thing he's ever said to me.

SCHIEFFER: Hillenbrand's book has been on "The New York Times" best-seller list for 174 weeks and the story will soon become a movie, directed by Angelina Jolie.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: (AUDIO GAP) for today.

So thank you for watching FACE THE NATION.

There's still time to eat another hot dog.

And we will see you next week.

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