tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS July 4, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT
>> from washington, the mclaughlin group, the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. >> issue one. n.s.a.? [speaking in other language] >> the n.s.a. can't seem to get a break. on tuesday wikileaks, the organization that leaked tens of thousands of u.s. diplomatic cables in 2010, released new documents that, it says, come from the u.s. national security agency, also known as the n.s.a.
the documents suggest that the n.s.a. spied on the phone calls of three french presidents. jacques chirac, nicolas sarkozy, and current president francois hollande. it also suggests that the n.s.a. was able to spy on phone calls by many other officials in the french government. wikileaks says the documents prove the n.s.a. gained access to sensitive french negotiations on issues including the european union's future. the french government summoned the u.s. ambassador to paris for an explanation but u.s. officials aren't unduly concerned. they believe that france won't really be outraged about these revelations. why? first because france engages in similar espionage against u.s. leaders. second because france relies on n.s.a. intelligence sharing to safeguard french lives. is this a tempest in a tea pot? >> well, we really don't know,
do we? because, after all, we don't know what they were listening in for and what they heard so apparently it coincided with some sensitive moments in regard to negotiations with iran and the push for the u.s. to do something about isis and syria. but the question is, we don't know exactly what was happening here was the n.s.a. working on their french lessons or were they -- were the metadata sweeps going out of control? we only know the administration says we're not listening to them now. we're not eavesdropping now, and if you can't believe the administration and the n.s.a., who can you believe? >> i'm going to say yes to the question it's a tempest in a tea pot. the french have a well known reputation. they spy on everybody. friends spy on friends and yes, then when you're caught
you apologize. and then the spying continues. it's like rick's cafe in the movie "casablanca. shock, shock, gambling is going on. and the french actually have serious problems to worry about beyond this. a week ago the terrorist attack and as clarence said they do rely on n.s.a. intelligence. so i think they'll be doing more sharing with the n.s.a. than complaining. >> let me ask you this. has anyone noticed a pattern here? the u.s. catches china in cyber espionage and, presto, a new disclosure from the snowden files about america spying on citizens and allies. is that coincidence? >> who knows? that's the nature of the intelligence business. there is a lot of stuff that you know you don't know. the chinese and russians have had access to edward snowden so potentially, it could be a leak in that regard. i agree with eleanor in the sense that the french intelligence service is very, very aggressive both in terms of monitoring of u.s.
leadership and also u.s. industrial secrets. this is what happens. it is known to happen. it doesn't happen so much between the u.s., canada, new zealand, australia, and the u.k. but the nature, you know, this is intelligence business. you monitor each other. you get caught. as eleanor says, you apologize and you do it again. >> a reminder. edward snowden's initial revelations came on the eve of president obama's palm springs summit with xi jinping. after the u.s. had accused china of massive cyber theft leaks about n.s.a. spying on angela merkel came on the eve of a u.s.-eu summit. and now this. i ask you again is this coincidence? >> well, everything is going to be a coincidence if that's the case, because they're doing it all the time. this is what they do. they try and get as much intelligence including from allies more or less, if they have to. if they don't feel they're
getting everything that they need to know or feel they want to know. we're providing them with a lot of intelligence. we expect they're going to tell us what we want them to tell us. often they don't do that. >> the most embarrassing thing was being caught listening in on one of angela merkel's cell phones. she, rightly, got upset. but earlier actually last month, the chief prosecutor in germany called off a year-long investigation into that incident saying they couldn't come up with enough evidence. i think that's even been put behind us. so this is, you know, all of these leaders have much bigger problems to worry about than who is snooping on whom. >> who she's talking to on her cell phone. >> whose ox is being gored? we tell other people that you shouldn't feel nervous about us listening into you but then when they get listened into they get upset. >> right. >> if you consider the issues we're dealing with in terms of now iran going forward. we don't know what's going to happen after this week.
but the issue concerning france and greece, eu relations france arms deals in africa. there's a lot of meat there. france with china and development. >> if i'm -- and the former french president sarkozy is going to run for president apparently again in 2017 so the stuff in these cables that are embarrassing to him, though it is not a surprise, it says he felt he was the only person who could handle the global financial crisis. he is a bit grandiose in his thinking. but this is not going to stop him from running for office again. there are some moments of embarrassment. but i didn't see any serious breaches. >> you hear this moment of piety expressed here? >> which one? >> by rogan. >> i'm sorry. >> i was going to kneel down and say a prayer. do gentlemen ever read other gentlemen's mail or listen in on a foreign leader's mobile phone? >> ever? >> yes. >> yes they do. they do do it. >> all right.
>> i sit outside your house every night in a bush listening to your conversation. >> given that the chinese were able to steal millions of sensitive files from the u.s. government was hillary clinton smart to use a personal e-mail system when she was secretary of state? >> no. she was very silly to do that. and it raises more of a concern about what was she trying to hide there? because she knows. >> like patrocinio said, -- like pat buchanan said. >> what is the answer to the question? >> i've forgotten the question all together. what are you talking about? >> should hillary have kept the private e-mail? in light of this? >> it was a political error but it is awfully hard to make the case that her system is more secure than the state department. the state department was hacked during that same period. >> that is not fair. >> it is undoubtedly the cais that the state department had better security than hillary
had in her own private -- >> they were hacked and she wasn't. >> we don't know that she wasn't. >> we would see the chinese -- >> i'm going to give her a yes, she did the right thing. >> okay. >> issue two. ransom red lines. >> our policy does not prevent communication with hostage takers by our government, the families of hostages, or third parties who help these families. when appropriate, our government may assist these families and private citizens in those communications. >> basic changes in handling of hostage negotiations including by families of some americans held abroad, mr. obama this week relaxed restrictions on hostage negotiations with terrorists. while the president insisted the u.s. government will not make monetary or other concessions in return for hostages he also said that families won't be prosecuted
for financial negotiation. the president says that the u.s. government will, on occasion, help manage negotiations on behalf of families. not everyone welcomes this change. republicans say that the president is risking more kidnappings of americans. >> question. does this change of policy put more americans at risk of being taken hostage? >> i would think it does, specifically, that was the reason for the old policy, which was somewhat misleading, we had a flat, we don't negotiate with terrorists policy but in reality we did. there were back channel negotiations, deals on the margins. the worst aspect of our policy was that families were being told, don't you dare give any money to these hostage takers, because that will put you in jeopardy of breaking the law
against funding terrorists. i don't think anybody was ever prosecuted or in any real danger of it but what happened was families were handcuffed insofar as what they could do, and now we're becoming more in line with what the european countries do. >> yes, except european countries do pay ransom and the president made clear that u.s. government is not going to do that. i don't know that there are many families who could raise the kind of money into the millions but i think this is an attempt to bring in families into the government's efforts to free their loved ones. there are now more than 30 americans being held, so this is not, i mean, this problem is likely to grow. they're now creating an interagency unit specifically to deal with the families and with the people who have captured them, so, i mean, if this does go to a whole other level, i don't think it encourages more hostage taking because the treasury is not out
there saying we're going to give away millions but it is an ongoing problem. >> it'll absolutely put more americans at risk of being taken hostage. i'll give you the rationale. terrorist and criminal gangs all over the world will welcome the f.b.i.'s involvement in facilitating private ransom payments. america is a rich country. because so many americans travel, the rate of hostage taking will escalate. >> i think without question. i think that is absolutely going to happen. i don't know how it's avoidable. once it is now permissible for families particularly families who have enough money to have to pay ransom in order to get their loved ones freed, it's bound to happen. i don't see how it's going to be avoided. >> how will we know? because so many have been taken and released even when there aren't. >> nothing compared to what will be taken now that it's going to be released from the constraints of the government, which did really constrain a lot of people. >> well, the terrorist groups now have other means of fuppeding. they're not really dependent on getting ransoms from
governments for funding. and they're going to do a lot better getting millions from the governments of france than out of here. so, i mean, i don't think it will have an appreciable effect. it is a way to humanize a policy that is very difficult for the families. >> will the ransom of kidnapped americans become a major source of financing for terrorist organizations? >> i think it's a big problem. one of the things you'll find now with the changes to the law is that you'll find it easier for companies to get into insurance pro-fwrams for people at risk. journalists go to conflict zones. terrorists will become aware of that. if you look at the statistics over the last 10 years, a lot more europeans have been taken by americans because the various terror groups have understood that the cost of capturing an american is that they might get shot in the face by a u.s. special operator, to be blunt, and the cost, the benefit of capturing a european a french citizen or german citizen is you get a big bag of cash. yes, i think it will incentivize that.
>> we got to be clear about that. not cash from us. >> if the u.s. government is seen as an involved -- involved in a direct sense with negotiation that breaks from long standing policy. >> they've been involved. from three or four different agencies. and the families have been complaining because they don't know who to talk to. this is just an effort to bring some humanity and efficiency to a very underground process. >> i think they'll look at this in the sense of perception of opportunity. >> i'm so glad you know the mained of the terrorists. >> you look at the trend record from the 1980's revolution deterrence from the bush administration after the raid in february, 2011. they back off. they take notice of steps. it's a fact. >> they'll get more from the europeans though. >> that's true. >> they'll get more now from american families, too, frankly, if the american families can in fact pay ransom.
>> what does the money go to right? blowing people up. that is a big problem as well. >> we're not going to arrest american families. >> that's not the point. the point is will it be an incentive for kidnappers to go after more americans. >> you're saying the administration should have kept the policy as is, that if you engage with any conversation and you think about paying money, that you'll be prosecuted in american court. you would support that? >> no one is being prosecuted. >> that's insupportable, i think. but i'm asking you. >> no. i think it's just going to create a much different incentive on the part of people. i would have stayed with the old policy. it wasn't so terrible, frankly. >> no. >> but the message is that it endangers human life in my opinion. >> issue three. reason to celebrate? >> for 60 years disneyland has been the happiest place on earth. and tonight, well, it feels even happier. i am fairly certain walt would
be extremely proud, certainly amazed at how far we've come. >> july marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of disneyland. walt disney's premier theme park, a unique american icon. the founder might be amazed at the changes in the walt disney company that bears his name but whether he would be proud is another matter. the "new york times" revealed last month that disney laid off hundreds of skilled american tech workers in orlando and replaced them with foreign workers under the h1b visa program. "the times" says disney executives forced the american workers to train their foreign replacements before they were laid off. "i just couldn't believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly." said one former worker, "it was so humiliating to train somebody else to take over your job."
h1b visas are supposed to be used only to fill skilled jobs for which no qualified american applicants can be found. there are now 85,000 h1b visas issued annually for foreign workers to come to the united states. disney's c.e.o. cochairs the partnership for a new american economy that is lobbying to increase the number of h1b visas. but the practice of replacing american workers with h1b visa holders is now under scrutiny from the u.s. labor department. in june after the "new york times" story and under pressure from the senate, the department announced it would investigate two indian companies infosys and tata whose workers replaced u.s. tech workers at southern california, edison, the fossil group, and disney, on suspicion of visa fraud. question would walt disney be proud of disneyland?
>> that's a good question. i can't go to the grave and ask disney. but this has been happening with a lot of companies. i can take you to ohio and talk to americans who have been replaced by overseas workers and who they were asked to train before leaving. the fact is disney is so famous, so well known. >> have you been to disney land? >> i am an american parent. of course i have. it's part of your rite of passage. i've been there three or four times. >> disney world is better. >> world and land, yes, and universal studios is terrific, too, i might add. anyway, i'm in favor of this sort of visa but there is an issue about being used to bring cheap, overseas, skilled labor in to replace americans. that wasn't the intent of the law. >> now what is happening is a lot of people who have graduate degrees, particularly in science and engineering, okay, are coming to the united
states. for every one of those people that comes to the united states, they create an additional five jobs in all the statistics on that so it has a great positive benefit as well. that is one of the things we have a shortage of. and foreign engineers are highly trained people coming here. i'm not saying it should be open, open doors or open gates, but for those kind of people, we have a shortage. we should be thrilled they want to come. >> i'd rather see the american corporations put some money into training americans to take those jobs, but in the interim, i think we should welcome people from around the world. but these visas are being abused and that's what's happened at disney world. they're bringing in people not with these great skills who are replacing people who can competently do those jobs, so i welcome the investigation. >> yeah. president obama in march said that he would dramatically expand a different program l1b visa, to allow foreign companies to bring, "hundreds
of thousands of their workers to offices here in the u.s.." what impact will this have on u.s. wages? mort? >> well, it all depends what kind of people they bring. but it is bound to contain wage increases or salary increases. there is no doubt about it. but the other side of the coin, as i say, is it will also enable us to expand a lot of the industries that we want to expand, particularly those that require people with a lot of education. and so we have a shortage of these people. this is the fastest growing part of the economy. this is where we have to be competitive around the world. so there is some benefit to it. it should be, shall we say, controlled a little bit more. >> right. and the ultimate reality here is that, yes. this is being played by disney but it is not just disney. the key is you have jobs potential but it is inherently based in the united states. the positive side is they try and play it too much. obviously the brand damage that would have in terms of consumers wanting to be able to have a quality service is a risk for them.
so there is the equilibrium in the market. at the same time, great, untapped potential is the energy revolution in this country. a lot of potential for americans employed there on good wages for the long term, and it doesn't necessarily require -- >> we have great universities in this country and we educate people from around the world and then they go, they are forced to go back to their countries and they take those skills with them. >> a reliable consulting firm said southern californians can save between 40,000 and 45,000 per tech worker by laying off u.s. workers and replacing them with h1b visa holders. is this raw capitalism at work? >> well, i would say that it is certainly raw and it is capitalism. therefore i accept your description. >> but that's the short -- it is -- >> i can tell you that personally since i came into this country on an h1b visa and i didn't get that kind of salary increase. >> from canada. >> sure. it was easy for a canadian. >> look what happened to you.
>> i stayed here and i did not go to another country to earn whatever i earned. >> you're a multi billionaire. >> i don't know. i can't talk about these numbers on the air because i don't understand them. >> issue four. two tales of one flag. >> my hope is that by removing the symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in heaven. >> nikki haley, republican governor of south carolina calling on her state's house and senate to remove the confederate flag from their capitol grounds. the governor is not wasting time. she says that if a vote on the flag's removal isn't held before the summer recess, she will force an emergency vote. governor haley made the announcement following a week of introspection over the murder of nine black worshipers at a church in charleston.
the killer, dylann storm roof, was motivated by white supremacist ideology. and while many in south carolina continue to support the confederate flag as a symbol of states' rights and human courage in battle, the governor disagrees. >> we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. the fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something we cannot stand. the fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the capitol grounds. it is, after all, a capitol that belongs to all of us. >> the question is, is governor haley right? is it time for the south carolina legislature to furl the confederate flag? clarence? >> i thought it was long pastime to move the confederate flag into a museum where it belongs but what is interesting to me is how quckly -- quickly public opinion seems to have shifted in favor of retiring the flag in recent days especially since this terrible
tragedy in charlotte that reminds me of the church bombing in birmingham back in 1963 where minds were changed overnight in many ways. bombing people or shooting people in a church is just so far beyond the pale. and the other thing is that just nationally we have moved beyond that in many ways and many south carolinians were concerned about the economic impact among other things of appearing to be so stuck in the past. >> right. and the flag was erected on the south carolina statehouse grounds in 1962 as a symbol of defiance against integration. and so it really is a hateful symbol to people alive today who are not seeing it in the context of a war that was fought, but they're seeing it how it's been perverted in its current use. she, nikki haley only has limited powers. she has to get the legislature involved in alabama, also the republican governor. he just -- he was able just
through an edict to remove the flag. >> there are calls for confederate symbols to come down across the south. and in texas vandals have defaced civil war era monuments. the confederate statesmen and troops who died in the war. do all confederate symbols need to be destroyed? >> no, of course not. i think the reason why it had to come down in the capitol is the capitol is a special place of the democratic representation of the people all the people, right? it has to represent all the people. it did not do that. at the same time the confederate flag, i think this is important, i don't think, we have to back away from some of this rhetoric now. these stupid bands that some, that apple put this ban on this computer game. it is part of the fabric of history. to some people, you know i know it's easy for me to say. >> i think we need to be careful here in the sense that to a lot of people in the south it is a representation of
courage in battle and states' rights against majoritarian government which is important in terms of political correctness. >> people are reminded about the preservation of slavery. >> but in the private domain we have to respect people who want to fly that. >> should there be a purge of any discussion of the confederacy for fear of committee micro aggression? >> of course not. >> this is a public symbol frankly that is seen by a lot of people as reinforcing segregation. >> right. >> that's something that it seems to me is time to put away for the moment. >> there is a second history of this flag. early in the 1960's states across the south who wanted to resist desegregation laws and rulings began to make a banner out of the old battle flag. this is the confederate battle flag we're talking about. now it's got a special meaning to it. >> should amazon and other retailers ban any merchandise that displays the texas lone
star elmo? >> no. that's up to them. >> right. it's up to them. they're making their decision. >> predictions, clarence? >> look for the current display of the confederate battle flag to be replaced in many locations by the official confederate government flag which was the stars and bars and not nearly as inflammatory because hardly anybody knows what it looks like. >> great idea. eleanor? >> donald trump will lose money in his presidential campaign. he is going to lose advertisers because he insults just about everybody. >> tom? >> i think in the coming months you should expect a growing blow back in the united states against the perception of a more politically correct restriction on free speech. >> mort? >> i am changing my prediction. i actually don't think donald trump is going to lose money on any of this stuff. >> the miss universe they're pulling it. >> that's your prediction. >> there it is. >> that is mort's prediction.
narrator: tonight on "spark," arts and social issues. bay area artists and designers breathe new life into san francisco's neglected urban corridor. cullinan: what if you walked to work every day? and it was fun? i mean, why not? right? narrator: with spellbinding views from the sky a bay area photographer reveals mankind's scars on the land. hundreds of thousands of people experience chinese artist ai weiwei's ground-breaking installation on alcatraz. [ wood blocks tapping rhythmically ] an experimental setting for new music and classical greats. inside san francisco symphony's soundbox. thomas: extraordinary to think that something 400 years old could have that powerful effect on someone who's a 21st-century person. narrator: it's all ahead on "spark." funding for kqed arts is provided by...