Security expert Richard Clarke opens up about his new book 'Warnings'

The security expert discusses how he believes some catastrophes could have been prevented with ABC News' Dan Harris.
2:47 | 05/29/17

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Transcript for Security expert Richard Clarke opens up about his new book 'Warnings'
to you, Dan if thank you, on this memorial day security is on so many people's mind as they head to packed airports and parades. I sat down with authorism Clarke whose new book "Warnings" is looking at the closer signs that could prevent catastrophes. What if you could stop the dams from breaking after Katrina or Fukushima reactor or stop Bernie Madoff from scamming out those victims. It may be possible according to "Warnings: Finding cassandras to stop catastrophes." What is a Cassandra. A Cassandra was a woman cursed by the gods and the curse was she could see the future which doesn't sound like a curse but the second part of it was, she could see future disasters but no one would believe her, so for us a Cassandra is someone who is an expert, usually the person who sees a disaster well before the other experts and they're usually ignored. Reporter: Clarke would know. He is something of a Cassandra himself having warned against the 9/11 attacks before they happened. In the run-up to 9/11 were you losing sleep and were you feeling incredibly frustrated? Certainly and I wasn't the only one. But we were unable to persuade the highest levels of the bush administration to make it their number one agenda item. Even though they had been told to do so by the outgoing Clinton administration. What are the other major disasters you looked at in the book that could have been averted if a Cassandra had been heeded. The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme where someone absolutely knew what was going on and reported it to the government six times and was ignored. We looked at the mortgage meltdown in 2008. We looked at the rise of ISIS. All of these events had cassandras. Experts who saw it coming and were ignored. You look prospectively at current risks and you find people who are out there waving their arms around, can you list some of those. Artificial intelligence and the rise of robotics. Gene editing. Pandemic disease, sea level rise, asteroid impact, the internet with everything, nuclear winter. These are all phrases that we know. We've heard about often in science fiction. The problem is they may become fact. All told not a cheery book. I think it's a very cheery book. What we're saying is if we're right about using these human cassandras to predict the future, if we're right and we can find those cassandras, we can prevent most of those disasters. And the new book "Warnings" is available right now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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