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tv   Democracy Now  WHUT  October 14, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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tipping yet again into recession. that is what the impression around the big table. >> christine lagarde joined corporate leaders and finance /world bankhe i am up meeting in washington, d.c., which was dominated by concerns over the u.s. fiscal standoff. outside the meeting saturday, a of civil society groups condemned the world bank's investment in fossil fuel projects and mega dams which they say harm the environment and destroy the livelihoods of people around the world. the air force has fired the two star general in charge of all land-based nuclear missiles, citing a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment. major general michael kerry oversaw 450 nuclear missiles at three bases across the u.s. he has been under investigation for personal misbehavior. there are reports his dismissal they have been at least partly related to alcohol use. his firing came two days after the navy dismissed another top
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commander charged with overseeing the nation sticker arsenal. was admiral tim giardina fired amid an investigation into alleged gaming issues. he served as second-in-command at u.s. strategic command, which oversees all nuclear armed missiles and would provide launch orders if the u.s. launched a nuclear attack. powerful cyclone has killed at least 23 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes in more than a million acres of crops. nearly one million people were evacuated from the coast ahead of the cyclone, the strongest tropical storm to hit india in more than a decade. meanwhile, vietnam has begun evacuating or than 100 80,000 people from coastal areas of preparation for typhoon nari, which blasted the philippines over the weekend, killing at least 13 people. syria, gunmen kidnapped seven aid workers in idlib province as
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they were returning to damascus in a convoy. six of the kidnapped victims work for the red cross, while the sabbath is a voluntary the syrian red crescent. citizen held in detention for six weeks has been found dead in his jail cell in an apparent suicide. james lunn was detained during a security sweep in the sinai peninsula in late august. egypt's interior ministry claims lunn was in an area of a car bomb attack on a police station found with "computer and maps of important facilities." the secretive foreign intelligence surveillance court has approved a request by the national security agency to extend its dragnet collection of u.s. phone records. the office of director of national intelligence james clapper disclosed the court's approval on friday. clapper has previously denied before congress that the nsa collects edge data, but the obama administration has touted a policy of declassifying select information following links by
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nsa whistleblower edward snowden. snowden continued to criticize the nsa spy programs after receiving an award from u.s. whistleblower's last week in russia. >> people all over the world are realizing that these programs don't make us more safe. they hurt our economy. the hurt our country. they limit our ability to think and live and be creative and have relationships to associate freely. >> we will spend the hour with the four former government officials who met with snowden last week after headlines. they are from the fbi, cia, the justice department, in the nsa. critics of the nsa are using a state highway cleanup program to protest the agency. the group restore the fourth has adopted a stretch of highway that runs past the agency's massive data facility in utah. to the sully tribune, that means signs bearing the group's name, which is a
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reference to the fourth amendment, will be displayed outside the nsa building. restore the fourth says they will carry more signs protesting nsa spying as they pick up litter near the data center. secretary of state john kerry and afghan president karzai have agreed on the key points of the deal that would keep u.s. troops in afghanistan the on next year. but the two sides remain at odds over the u.s. assistance that its troops be guaranteed immunity from prosecution under afghan law. speaking in kabul, kerry said the issue is a deal breaker for the united states. meanwhile on sunday, u.s. soldier was shot dead in southeastern afghanistan right man wearing afghan security forces uniform. the shooter reportedly escaped after opening fire on u.s. soldiers. it was the third such attack in less than a month. malala yousafzai, the pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by taliban gunmen, has criticized
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u.s. drone strikes during a meeting with president obama. malala to theited white house friday in order to honor her work on behalf of girls education. but the white house statement did not mention another topic race at the meeting. in her statement, malala yousafzai wrote -- in chile, thousands of indigenous people and their supporters took to the streets of the capital center iago in an anti-columbus day march saturday. return calling for the of ancestral lands and an end to the targeting of their activist under an anti-terrorism law.
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one protester condemned the day walking five hundred 21 years since christopher columbus's arrival in the americas. >> today is not a day to celebrate, but to repudiate the abuses that we have suffered for more than 500 years. we're here to tell the chilean state and current government that we shall resist, that we shall be in resistance to what is happening in our territory. >> in tucson, arizona, immigrant rights advocates disrupted proceedings at a federal courthouse friday when they blocked the entrance and locked themselves to the wheels of two buses carrying and document people bound for the court under a controversial program known as operation streamline. seesush era program immigrants accused of crossing the border without authorization sentenced to the dozens to prison terms of up to six months before their deported. oh tester said a process funnels
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immigrants into the for-profit prison system. today immigrant advocates are expected to march on the headquarters of immigrations and customs enforcement in phoenix as part of a call to hold the unprecedented number of deportations. environmentalists and hundreds of cities around the world to to the streets saturday for the second global march against monsanto. organizers say people in more than 400 cities across 57 countries to art in the action geneticallyanto's modified seeds and other products they say devastate the environment, endanger health, and her small farmers. the aclu of ohio has filed a lawsuit challenging a series of anti-choice restrictions it says were unconstitutionally tacked on to the ohio state budget that was passed in june. one measure bans public hospitals for making transfer agreements to receive patience from abortion clinics. since ohio also requires clinic staff hospital transfer
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agreements, the measure could for some clinics to close. the aclu is also challenging a provision forcing providers to recite e-government script an offer to show patience a fetal heartbeat as well as another that funnels state funds to organizations which are banned from mentioning abortion care. ♪ hundreds gathered saturday in new orleans to remember angola 3 member herman wallace as he was laid to rest. wallace barely 42 years in solitary confinement before he , andeleased on october 1 died three days later, a free man, after a louisiana federal judge overturned his conviction. this is fellow angola 3 member robert king, released in 2001, speaking at herman wallace is funeral.
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[indiscernible] some would say [indiscernible] i would agree with that. slate.died with a clean [applause] herman wallace would have turned 72 on sunday. he and fellow angola 3 member woodfox were convicted of the 1972 murder of a prison guard without any physical evidence. a fingerprint found at the scene was not theirs. a group of lawmakers led by congress number john conyers
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introduced attribute to wallace in the congressional record, saying -- amnesty international has launched a campaign calling for albert woodfox's release. the final imprisoned member of the angola 3 has had his conviction overturned three times, but he remains in solitary confinement at the david wade correctional center in homer, louisiana, where he is subjected to strip searches and anal cavity searches as many as six times a day. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a democracy now! special, we spend the hour with four former government officials, all whistleblowers themselves, who have just returned from visiting national
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security agency whistleblower edward snowden in russia. they are former cia analyst ray mcgovern, former fbi agent coleen rowley, former national security agency senior executive thomas drake, and his lawyer, former u.s. justice department ethics advisor jesselyn radack. last week, the group became the first americans known to meet with former nsa contractor snowden in russia since he was temporary silent -- asylum there in august. on wednesday, the group presented edward snowden with an award from the sam adams associates for integrity in intelligence. after the award ceremony, snowden spoke about the perils of the mass surveillance state. >> these programs don't make us more safe. they hurt our economy. they hurt our country. they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative and have relationships, to associate freely.
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[inaudible] cry between legal programs, legitimate spying, legitimate law enforcement. it is based on reasonable suspicion and warranted action. sort of the dragnet met surveillance that would put entire populations under an eye that sees everything, even when it is not needed. [inaudible] understand the policies and programs of our cannot grant our consent and regulating it.
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as someone recently said, we don't have an oversight problem, problem.n under site it has led us to point in our relationship with the government where we have a department of justice that is unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to congress and the country on camera, but they will stop at someone whoersecute told the truth. >> that was nsa whistleblower edward snowden speaking last week in moscow. for more we're joined by four former u.s. intelligence officials who met with snowden to give him an award for integrity and intelligence. in minneapolis, we're joined by coleen rowley, she was a special agent for the fbi from 1981 to 2004. she was a division legal counsel for 13 years and taught
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constitutional rights to fbi agents and police. she also testified before congress about the fbi's failure to help prevent the 9/11 attacks. "time" person of the year. in washington, d.c., we're joined by ray mcgovern, former includeyst whose duties preparing the president's daily brief and chairing national intelligence estimates. he did that intelligence brief for former president george h.w. bush. we're also joined by thomas drake, national security agency whistleblower. in 2010, the obama administration charged him with violating the espionage act after he was accused of leaking classified information to the press about waste and mismanagement at the agency. the charges were later dropped. we're also joined by jesselyn radack, national security and human rights director at the government account ability project. she is former ethics advisor to the united states department of justice. we welcome you all back from
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russia. i want to start with thomas drake. you your self having worked for the national security agency metellus about this trip -- agency, tell us about this trip you took to russia to give edward snowden an award. >> the award is given to the recipient and we make every effort to actually deliver it and present it in person. given he was in russia, we made arrangements to go to russia and present him with the sam adams integrity and intelligence award. >> who was sam adams? >> i will let ray mcgovern share the history of that because he really has the background as well as the personal knowledge of what sam adams did during the vietnam war era. >> rate, you're sitting next to thomas drake and the d.c. studios. tell us about this award. >> sam adams was a colleague of
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mine. he entered the agency under president kennedy on the same day i did. he was given a count to count up how many communist forces were under arms in south vietnam, and discovered in 1967 that there were twice as many as are generals in saigon would admit to. they said there could be no more arms.99,000 in any under the precision of that number gives it away. in any case, he fought the good caved but the superiors and would not tell the president to real story. sam went to his death with profound regret that he didn't go outside of channels. he stayed inside channels where he got diddled eyed inspector general, the cia. had he spoken out in 1967,
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halfway through that war, those of you who know what the vietnam memorial looks like on the whole left part of the memorial would not be there because there would be no names to chisel into the granite. sam went to his early death with profound regret that he hadn't spoken out. and so it is incredibly appropriate that this award for integrity in intelligence given mostly to whistleblowers, but occasionally to people who do the job honestly in place, that , for example, said, iran stopped working on a nuclear weapon at the end of 2003. if my arithmetic is right, that was 10 years ago. and has not resumed work on a nuclear weapon. the judgment has been revalidated every year since.
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in 1967, 1968, he played huge role in preventing bush and cheney from starting a war with iran. if you don't believe me, just read bush's memoirs. >> explain why you compare edward snowden to sam adams. snowden came by very sensitive information, which he recognized that he had a choice. she could sit around and say, well, isn't that funny, and draw his $100,000 salary and be very comfortable in honolulu, but he --ided, i took a solid solemn oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. i see what thomas drake is done, i see what happened to bradley manning, were julian assange is. if i want to get this information into the mainstream, i got to get out of dodge. very cleverly, he got in touch
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with glenn greenwald and laura poitrus. he met them in hong kong and gave them the information he wanted to get out, then found himself stranded there. to the rescue? wikileaks. sarah harrison arranged with the russian consulate there is onward travel to latin america. wasn america, yeah, he going to transit moscow so he would have to go the other way or he would be stopped. this thing is full of ironies. today is columbus day. i was thinking on the way in, my favorite history on the discovery of america started this way. columbus -- america was discovered by a man who is looking for something else. in the next two centuries were spent trying to find a way around or through it. history is like that, full of ironies, very chancey. here is edward snowden in hong kong. he wants to seek a secure place in latin america. he is on his way to moscow.
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process, the u.s. revokes his passport and he is stranded and spends the next month in the trans-a part of the airport and seeks asylum in russia. what is the end result? he ends up in a place which is why far the most secure place on the orbe because no seal team 6 fancy drone is going to violate russian sovereignty by taking a shot at edward snowden. >> unguided take a break and then we are going to come back for this discussion. -- i am going to take a break in and we are going to come back for this discussion. we will hear from jesselyn radack and coleen rowley, on what our solutions that edward snowden is suggesting, what legislation is their right now to allow the people of the united states to debate the issues of spying and surveillance. what serves national security and was simply criminalizes whistleblowers and the press?
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stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> "secrets." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are joined by the four former intelligence officials who went to russia last week. we believe they are the first americans to meet with edward snowden who have come from the u.s., and they came to give him an award for integrity in intelligence. our guests are ray mcgovern, , thomas drakelyst who work for the nsa, coleen rowley who is the former fbi agent, and jesselyn radack, who we are going to turn to right now. she is the national security and
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human rights director the government accountability project. she was an attorney in the justice department's professional responsibility advisory office. during the bush administration, lindh the dawn walker case. he was found in afghanistan. she raised legal and ethical objections over the questioning of land without his lawyer and revealed misconduct i the department of justice. she was eventually forced out. jesselyn radack, talk about the actual journey the four of you took. you left from where in the united states and how did you make your way to moscow and then to see edward snowden? and tom andus, ray i live in the d.c. metropolitan area, so we left from dulles and took a connecting flight to moscow. this was all carefully arranged, as it has to be.
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it always seems funny to me that people keep asking where he is and who is protecting him rather than focusing on the underlying reasons of why it would be necessary to be in hiding from your own country. were greatlyof us honored to be able to be the first americans to see him since hong kong and to get over there and be greeted with open arms by the russian government and actually be able to see ed and sarah harrison and just give them a hug and let them know we had complete solidarity with what they were doing. i know it probably feels very isolating for them given all the vitriol you hear coming from the u.s. government. >> where were you in moscow? >> i don't know the answer to
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that. i couldn't tell you, even if i did. the security is a huge issue. -- therey as we have is a lot of issues with security, especially considering the director -- the former director of nsa and cia michael hayden and the house intelligence committee chair mike rogers joked about putting him on the kill list. there's been a worldwide manhunt for mr. snowden, that is no secret. so i think people should really look at the question behind why he would be in any kind of hiding or in an undisclosed location, and why someone who tells the truth and blows the whistle on massive legality by the u.s. government, why they would have to go to another country to do so and then seek
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asylum from yet another country in order to gain protection. >> jesselyn radack, what did edward snowden tell you? and what did you tell him as you presented the award? >> as we presented the award, we each read from various other famous people in history, ,ncluding martin luther king who people also smeared as being traitors and turncoats and hurting the country. and then later in history, realized they were heroes. other people like ben franklin. we talked about how he was supported despite with the us government is saying about 60% of our country is in support of in a say reform. -- nsa reform. despite all he is dealing with, he is incredibly focused on
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whistleblower protection, on surveillance reform, and on journalist source confidentiality. so even though he has all of these other things going on, for him, he is incredibly focused on surveillance reform and that it be meaningful. and while there are a number of bills before congress right now, most of them focus on the 215, andct section very little on pfizer section 702. so he was very well versed, centered, balanced and engaging and has a wicked sense of humor. which was very fun. supported.t mutually andhe knows he is not alone that he has a lot of people in the united states and around the world who are supporting his endeavors. >> you mention benjamin
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franklin. i want to turn to coleen rowley, former fbi agent who was awarded "time" person of the year for her work around 9/11. she was division legal counsel for 13 years and taught constitutional rights to fbi and police, all of whom testified about the fbi's failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks. what does benjamin franklin have to do with edward snowden? >> most people would not have any way of knowing that significantly one of the founding fathers of our country was vilified exactly the same or for the same reason as edward snowden. in 1773 you or 1774, benjamin franklin was postmaster general and he came to his attention your communications between the british and the colonist overseers that american colonists would not be accorded
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the same civil rights as british citizens. because they thought they had to keep the american colonists at they are whatever, so they were not according american a colonist the same rights. richmond franklin became a whistleblower and 70 and 73, all -- ben franklin became a whistleblower in 1773, only to be called every name of the book by the british and the american governor at the time. he was stripped of his postmaster general status. and timee how history changes everything. and the case of benjamin franklin, changed rather quickly. pre-k's let's go to edward snowden in his own words in his interview with glenn greenwald in june fromtrus hong kong when he first revealed who he was. snowden explained why he made the decision to become a whistleblower. >> when you're in positions of privileged access like a systems
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adststststrastr for the intelligence agencies, you're exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee. because of that, you see things that may be disturbing, but over the course of a normal person's career, you would only see one or two of these instances. when you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis. you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business, people tend not to take very seriously and move on from them. but over time, that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about it. the more you talk about it, the more you're told it isn't a problem. until the van surely you realize these things -- eventually you determine these things need to be determined by the public. >> that was edward snowden and
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he first came to hong kong. to thomasturn back drake, you yourself, work for the national security agency for many years. can you talk about which of his disclosures, of the many which of he leaked, these disclosures about the nsa were most important? >> the first one is no doubt thedash80 order, compelling verizon through the secret fisa court order submitted by the fbi to turn over every phone records it had each and every day to the nsa. we're talking about a truly fast scale, will over 100 million phone numbers without suspicion tiedy probable cause, not to any kind of investigation of any sort. this simply being turned over to
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add to the haystack. the second one that comes to mind would be the prism disclosures. this goes beyond just the metadata, which in itself is quite extraordinary. it gets to the heart of content of subscribers of us-based internet service providers hosting servers on which millions and millions of subscribers were determined in terms of the definition of their foreigness, giving nsa unprecedented access to those accounts on a routine basis through various technical means. either direct access or being afforded access by these same providers. i think the third mechanism actually is beyond just the vast violations of the sovereignty of u.s. citizens, but also now the surveillance state goes well beyond the boundary of the u.s. and violating the sovereignty
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and integrity of nations as well as individual citizens in other countries through various arrangements, through telecommuting occasions -- telecommunication providers. this is truly unprecedented in history. what we're seeing is secrecy and surveillance are completely subverting security and liberty, not just in the u.s., but for many, many citizens around the world. those are the three that stand out for me. there were other disclosures made that also speak to economic espionage, financial espionage, as well as other forms of misuse and abuse of access for the purposes of the u.s. gaining the upper hand across any number of areas. , you said over the weekend as she visited with had nosnowden that he
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top-secret information as your question about whether the information that edward snowden brought with him from the u.s. was turned over to russian authorities where he is now, or chinese authorities when he was in hong kong. >> amy, it had to do with this red herring about the four laptops he took with him to hong kong. you don't store a lot of information on laptops. otherore information ways. when i was asked that question about the laptops, i probably should've said, what about the laptops? instead i said, you don't store information on a laptop. laptops innocents were a diversion. what he gave to glenn greenwald itrus in hong kong was different all together. the laptops were incidental. that was the only point i made on that. it seemed to be sort of an
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ancillary point i did not make much significance. the surveillance court has approved a request by the national security agency to extend its dragnet collection of u.s. phone records. the office of director of national intelligence james clapper disclosed the court's approval on friday. clapper has previously denied before congress that the nsa collects such data, but the obama administration touted a policy of declassifying select information following edward snowden. i want to turn to the famous clip of clapper in march telling democratic senator ron wyden of national security agency does not wittingly collect data of millions of americans. >> does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> it does not. >> not wittingly.
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there are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly. >> that is james clapper. yes now admitted that statement was false and apologized to congress. in june, he sent a letter to the senate intelligence committee saying he misunderstood the question. saying -- i want to go back to coleen rowley, former fbi special agent , again, named004 person of the year by "time" magazine after the 9/11 attacks. you recently were and congress to hear more testimony for officials. this moment were clapper did not tell the truth and said he was trying to figure out what was going through his mind to lie to
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congress, are these officials sworn in when they testify? >> i don't know if you was sworn in that other time, but the october 2 hearing, which was to discuss possible reform of the foreign intelligence surveillance act, neither clapper were sworn in. this was in contrast to the law professors who merely gave their opinion on the law, afterwards were forced to raise the right hand and swear to tell the truth. says it'sd snowden not oversight, it is undersight, i've been saying it is not oversight, it's overlooked. in absence, the directors who are fact witnesses to what has occurred and have not told the truth and even to congress, senator wyden was absolutely stunned to know there were
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secret interpretations of fisa law, yet james clapper tells the american public the opposite. >> the new york post published an article called "rogues go to russia to celebrate snowden." they write -- , you worked in the justice department. you were an attorney there in the justice department's professional responsibility advisory office. can you respond? they're talking about you. >> yes, i understand that despite the fact i am a legal the d.c. baron legal ethics committee, tom
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drake was completely vindicated. there's nothing traitorist about him. he went through all of the proper channels he could go through as the nsa whistleblower to his boss, to the nsa, general counsel, to the department of defense inspector general, and to two 9/11 congressional committees, and they turned around and prosecuted him for espionage, which is one of the most serious charges you can level against an american. now, if the new york post bother to do its homework, it would have realize that all 10 felony charges against thomas drake were dropped and the case collapsed in spectacular fashion, they would realize that coleen rowley was never under , andind of criminal cloud instead, "time" made her person of the year in 2003, the year of the whistleblower.
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and in my own case, i have been andicated by the d.c. bar the u.s. attorney's office in d.c., so i suggest the "new york post" quit trying to do the government's work of turning patriots into traders -- traitors and confusing fear with freedom, and confusing dissent with disloyalty. i am glad to be in the company of people who went over to see ed. ed is part of that same group. and while history will remember ed favorably, i am quite sure it "newt going to remember york post" headlines. >> let me put that question to ray mcgovern about calling you rogues or traitors, supporting a
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traitor. you're a top briefer for george h.w. bush. you work at the central intelligence agency. what is your response to what is loyal, what is being patriotic and what is breaking the law? >> sticks and stones may hurt my bones, and so forth. it is almost laughable if it weren't so serious. take in bc for example. their top foreign correspondent was in russia just a few days before we were interviewing the fiery redhead anna chapman who was going to start her own tv program, and they wanted to ask about her wedding proposal to edward snowden. give me a break. that is all over nbc, but no one asked any of us to be on the sunday tv shows yesterday. maybe that is asking too much, but the mainstream media here is
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laughable in terms of the way they treat this. they're very much part of the government apparatus and they followed the government line. if they're going to call me rogue, well, i've been called worse things. >> coming back to some interesting news "the guardian" is reporting on the editor of "the new york times" about what british officials wanted from her. we're talking with the four former intelligence officials in the united states went to russia to bestow upon edward snowden and integrity in intelligence award. coleen rowley of the fbi, jesselyn radack of the state department -- of the justice department, ray mcgovern of the ca, and thomas drake of the nsa. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. guardian" reporting "new york times" editor has confirmed senior officials try to persuade her to hand over secret documents leaked by the former national security agency contractor edward snowden. she said she was approached by the british embassy in washington after it was announced "the new york times" was collaborating with "the guardian" to disclose some of the files. among the files were several relating to the activities of gchq, the agency responsible for signals interception in britain. she said -- thomas drake, you work for the national security agency. you are prosecuted by the u.s. government for attempting to leak information about what you
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are most disturbed by in the national security agency. can you respond to this latest news of the british intelligence trying to get the head of "the new york times" the handover the nsa documents of edward snowden? >> it reminds me of the reason why we had the first american revolution and why the first amendment of our constitution exists. remove the shore near revolutions -- revelations of inward snowden is partnership with gchq, not just on an international scale. at the reality that it is extremely dangerous in today's world in the united states as well as in the united kingdom to speak truth to of power and if you do so, it becomes a criminal act. yet the very individuals in the
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u.s. throw hold any allies before congress and the public, as has been clearly demonstrated over the last number of years, the fact that we have essentially had the equivalent of constitutional a coup d'état since 9/11, we have come off the rails in terms of the rule of law, and we're simply going to get all the data we can no matter where it is or no matter what form it takes. because we just needed in case we need to protect our nation ostensibly under the mantle of patriotism. >> if you could say what happened to you and compare it to the case of edward snowden. from thethere foundations of the secret surveillance state. within just days of 9/11, i became -- it became known to me, i discovered much to my horror the pandora's box have been
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opened. the united states had set aside the fourth amendment and set aside the foreign intelligence surveillance act. this goes back to the 1970s. it was to my horror i was eyewitness to this aversion of our own constitution, the constitution which i'd taken an oath to support and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. i knew if i remained silent, i would be complicit in the government conduct in violation of the rule of law and the constitution, and i would not do so. so i began a multiyear set of activities to blow the whistle on the secret surveillance programs that ultimately were the foundation in those first years after 9/11 a became institutionalized, then we had the prima facie evidence that documented edward snowden has disclosed with extreme your conviction of courage to make -- with extreme conviction of kurds. you cannot have governments in the united states without -- we
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have a secret government who is governing without consent and doing so in secret coercion. >> are snowden's disk or -- disclosures changing the way the nsa works? republican congress number who co-authored the patriot act is poised introduce a new bill to curb spying at the national security agency, commerce member jim sensenbrenner helped to expand spying powers under u.s. intelligence agencies under george w. bush, but now says the programs have gone too far. coleen rowley, why do you take this one? you work for the agency for decades. what about what is being proposed now as a result of what edward snowden has revealed? -- and ourr visit visit, we were told edward snowden that he had begun the debate by disclosing to american citizens what was going on, this
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massive spying upon american citizens. we were happy to tell him the debate has begun, but he is very concerned -- and this is actually the reason he has sacrificed so much, is that he wants to see these laws, the secret interpretations of law i should say, fixed. and of course the debate has begun. there have been hearings. they heard from clapper and alexander, who have not been truthful. for instance, alexander has claimed the nsa's massive spying has thwarted 54 incidents of terrorism affecting the united states. this was immediately debunked, mostly by the press, and the fbi later testified in hearings that, no, is really only one example they can come up with and it is actually a very flimsy example of a case involving
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giving a few thousand dollars to show bob -- shabab. senator feinstein and others are able in a very misleading way to revise history and claim if the nsa had been collecting the massive data before 9/11, these attacks would not have occurred. they can do this because many people have forgotten the 9/11 commission and the various in curriesconcluded -- in included just the opposite of what diane feinstein is saying. back then, the rationale was the dots were not connected and the dots or not connected because there was too much intelligence flowing in. officials claim intelligence is like a firehose, and we can't a sip from a firehose. that is the excuse they had all
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of this information, specifically was, including hijackers were terrorists, suspects who came into california and the cia director never told the fbi. the case in minnesota where the fbi did not itself act upon intelligence. and the amount of intelligence that was not even read, let alone appreciated, assessed, and then acted upon. so this whole history is being revised and turned on its head -- >> so this collection of data is actually hindering, hurting national security because there is too much information pouring in and it is hard for them to sift through this. , want to go to ray mcgovern former cia analyst. earlier this month during a cybersecurity panel hosted by the washington post, former national security agency director michael hayden joked about putting edward snowden on a kill list after learning of his nomination for european human rights award. he said --
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mike rogers responded, "i can help you with that." ray mcgovern, can you respond to this and how is edward snowden getting by in russia? >> i asked ed whether he was aware of these suggestions, shall we say, that he be put on the kill list for assassination. he kind of winced and shook his head as if to say, my god, what has our country become? unconscionable these people would joke about things like that, but it shows the poverty of thought and the determination to make this -- i call him a patriot, not hero. euros can be dismissed. edward snowden is a patriot. it is easier to dismiss this fellow if you frontally attack him personally the way these
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folks have done. tom drake, when he was acquitted, the judge abraded the justice department saying, you had no business persecuting this person for four years. guess what? tom had an experience in moscow when he met edward snowden, and i'm sure he was thinking, wow, i guess some good can come out of this because it was ed snowden who freely said right up front that it was tom's example. what happened to him by going through channels that persuaded ed snowden to seek a more secure --te -- security route secret is route. >> your thoughts quickly on that, tom drake? >> i feel ensure near a kinship with edward snowden. he wants the constitution restored, the surveillance state disbanded. it has gone far beyond the mandate to do with terrorism and other threats to the nation.
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>> sarah harrison could also be seriously endangered by all that she has done, targeted by the british and u.s. governments. was there concern about this, tom? >> yes. she sacrificed herself and inentially is in her own way her own asylum. >> we have to leave it there. thank you for being with us. tavis: good evening.
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from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. thatht a conversation pulls back the curtain on how close we have come to accidentally deploying weapons of mass distraction right here in the good old u.s. journalist eric schlosser coming up right now. ♪
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: we hear a great deal about weapons of mass destruction and it seems we have come close to detonating two of those bombs, incidents that have been kept secret until now.
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award-winning journalist eric schlosser has pulled back the information on what has been his book,n in "command and control: nuclear weapons, the damascus accident, and the illusion of safety." let's dart our conversation on a personal note. i grew up in a place called bunker hill, indiana. there is an air force base and my dad served for 37 years and i grew up on this air force base and little did i know that in 1964, the year i was born, there was a major accident in bunker hill, indiana. >> a be 58 bomber was taxiing on the runway. the runway was icy and the bomber slid off the highway -- the runway and caught on fe. one was killed but there were five hydrogen bombs on that plane. two of them were unharmed and one of them was scorched and one caught on fire and one of the
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melted completely into the runway. these were weapons that did not have adequate safety devices yet and in this case they did not detonate but they could have been a problem for kokomo and that base. that base had lots of other nuclear weapons on it and it was very fortunate that none of these wind -- weapons detonated. tavis: the stuff you learn about your own life. >> that base could have been obliterated. happenede story that on grissom air force base, how common are they? rex a lot more common than what we have been led to believe. the book has been based on interviews and documents i got through the freedom of information act. their standard line was there was never any chance of these things detonating accidentally and whenever there was an accident, they would neither confirm nor deny a nuclear weapon was involved.
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what concerns me is we invented this technology. i think we build the safest nuclear weapons of any country and yet, if we have had this many problems with our weapons, it makes you wonder about countries like pakistan, india, russia, and how they're managing these arsenals today. tavis: that raises a few questions. not the least is given all the accidents that we are -- we did not know about, why is it that we are in the business of even making nuclear weapons and i will come later to our checking others for having the same technology we have, especially ple we helped develop it. why are we in the business of making nuclear weapons? >> we have thousands of them. they are a holdover from the cold war.