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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 20, 2014 1:30am-3:31am EST

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defenders of the dni like to say give it time. we are only in the first few years read the dni willow creek more authority over time. i think what a lot of the experts also believed in was that if the president makes very clear that the dni ahead of the intelligence community with all the things that people want the dni to do here at the top three things that will lead to more dni success because that is in the end one of the key ingredients of bureaucratic power in washington. if people believe that he is acting at the behest of the president of the united states then he will have more bureaucratic clout. i see that as a way forward something that may work overtime but i think your point is right. we have had real operators and individuals in the cia director
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job and arguably they have been able to outmaneuver the dni in a number of cases. >> was the national counterterrorism center of part of this, or was a sort of evolving separately? >> it evolve separately but the yen with president bush's idea of a terrorist run integration center. the story of 9/11 of how do we fuse information collected abroad collected domestically? how do we make sure we reach this domestic divide. president bush created an entity and the 9/11 commission did him one better and suggested he expand its mission in khalid a national terrorism -- counterterrorism center. >> this is an example of an institution which actually i think has accreted to use your term power and influence over time and more than perhaps the dni.
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you have the successful coordination center for terrorism. i think that is everyone's view. the analytical function, the fusion center the ability to pull together the counterterrorism analyst and the fbi and the nsa and of course the central intelligence agency. you have them all cola kate at working in many cases in the same room and access to all the computer centers all the computer terminals around the government has enabled the better exchange of information and better analytic product. >> it's a national -- >> it's the dni staff. they clearly report to the director of national intelligence although they report to the white house for certain functions for reasons i could go into but largely they
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report to the director of national intelligence. they are detailed from a variety of other intelligence agents so the idea is that if you are an fbi counterterrorist analysts and you come to the nctc they want you to be able to see the entire perspective of the intelligence community not just the narrow view from the fbi office but across the government and to work with colleagues and other intelligence community entity so you might be a will to provide a better product so policymakers can have some idea of the threats. >> you mention the iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the intelligence fiasco and you were on the house intelligence committee in the run-up to the hunt for bin laden and it's a matter of public record that you and mike rogers were briefed about that in january of 2011 so you are one of maybe 20 people
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in washington for a very small group. to the extent that you can, what did george tenant. what did the director of matt duss atu? >> this is a pretty good story. this was the night that chairman rodgers formally assumed the chair of the house intelligence committee in january of 2011 and i had just been selected as the staff director. leon panetta invited chairman rodgers out to dinner in his private dining room on the seventh floor of the private intelligence agency at langley. i was like enough to get to go along as a staffer and i assumed the dinner was a very shrewd way of cia director beginning to build a relationship with someone who had oversight responsibility of the agency.
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so as we walked into dinner i expected to go back and have a nice dinner but we were immediately beckoned into leon panetta's office and he had had as good as his conference table which was strewn with pictures that we are all now familiar of of the abbottabad compound in pakistan and he had at the table also top spies and analysts on the bin laden case and was able to layout for chairman rodgers a full day and pulled a piece of paper out of the breast pocket of his jacket and he looked like he had just briefed the white house and had a scribbled notes. chairman rodgers had a very detailed update that we think we might have found bin laden in tora bora and here are the reasons we think that in here are the things we are going to try to do. it was a good first day at the office.
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i felt fortunate to be able to get this type of information but it does say a little bit about the centrality, the continued centrality of the central intelligence agency and some of the biggest intelligence questions facing government. >> the reason i mentioned in the context of the iraqi wmd fiasco is you were in the white house when that played out not necessarily directly involved in that issue although you did later get involved is the senior director for the proliferation. the case leading up to abbottabad was the case that saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction which was basically circumstantial. i guess different kinds of questions. one where you sat on the house intelligence committee do you feel the intelligence community has a better way of interrogating cases that are
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circumstantial? do you think a better way of interrogating circumstantial cases was used in the bin laden case and what are -- how has that been internalized by the intelligence community? d. i think one of the arguments for dni and something that might old boss steve hadley advance was one of the reasons he and condoleezza rice supported the dni was that they were colored their either experience in iraq where they believed the cia's information, the cia's intelligence was considered too heavily which weighted too heavily against other dissenting views across the intelligence community of course namely the department of energy's intelligence office. i think they saw the dni and others had seen this as a benefit as well, the dni is able
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to marshal all the intelligence, all the information from across the community and not just look at the cia. i think cia still played the most prominent role and they have among them the most brilliant analysts that we have in the country and certainly in the government but i think that's one benefit of the dni that the dni is able to bring together all the points of view so we might have a completely balanced assessment on important questions like wmd. >> won a national intelligence is written the dni's coordinating that? >> the national intelligence council writes the national intelligence estimates. previously reported to the cia director and a now reports to the dni bet people would point to me and say you know the national intelligence process always considered views across
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the government. >> this was a way of forcing it. >> this meant a way of forcing it and this gave more rigor to the process especially if we were sorting through the recommendations of other commissions that looked at the wmd intelligence failures. i think more analytical and intellectual rigor has been put into the process. >> let's go back. you mentioned the cia had failed and the very specific issue which is they knew of two al qaeda that visas who are here in the united states in the months before 9/11. they didn't fly that until august of 2001. there was that specific intelligence failure but if you look at the 9/11 commission the cia did a pretty good job of strategic warning that al qaeda
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was planning some kind of attack in the summer of 2001 and all the memos they sent and george tenet had his hair on fire. the title of the book is "blinking red" which is what he said. the system was blinking red so was the cia, the people who screwed up about this piece of information but as an organization they did a pretty good job of the strategic warning about al qaeda and in fact it seems to me if you look at the pre-9/11 era the cia and fbi office in new york were the two institutions that were concerned about this issue. i don't know what your assessment is. >> i think that's a fair point. the people that i interviewed to this day are very clever of the portrayal on the way up to 9/11. they believed the character tour
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of the central intelligence agency and the 9/11 failures of connect the dots is a very superficial explanation of what happened. >> after all there was a bin laden meeting at the cia. >> there was. >> from early 96 so that kind of speaks for itself. at. >> the book details george tenet's efforts to have not only the warnings that he gave to the strategic level to the white house but he also talked about the considerable efforts he made in counterterrorism center to try to marshal all the aspects of the intelligence community together to fight the new terrorist threat so i do think it's fair to say the cia felt like a political football in the run-up. >> do you think the cia's mission at the end of the day cia's mission is to provide strategic warning to the president and his advisers and that's the bottom line in
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addition to covert action. as is well-known a paramilitary organization is focused on ct but do you think that it may have sort of distorted division of the cia to some degree? i will give you a for instance. predicting when the arab spring was going to happen we could all make the prediction that it would face opposition and the question is when would it happen. i don't think you can fault the cia for not knowing which day or month but you can't fault egypt when the salafist not the muslim brotherhood but the salafist got the parliament vote. this is where the cia should have forces on the ground. has the cia moved too far away from what it is supposed to be doing and fighting the last war? >> i think there's something to that but i'm more of a defender of what the cia has done post-9/11.
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9/11 was such a shocking incredibly terrifying event for many americans and they doubled and tripled down on their counterterrorism mission and did something they needed to do for the country. it was the threat and the most pressing threat. i do think now as we begin to get a better handle at least on al qaeda's ability to pull off the spectacular style attack like they did in 9/11 and it's a fair question to ask are we devoting enough resources to all the different problems in egypt literally and of course what's going on in syria. the president in the dni need to be able to do it. after all that is what we asked them to do to take a holistic look of what our people are doing where the resources are going and are we postured to be able to face upcoming emerging
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threats and not just the fights of yesterday. >> 2,002,002 george tenet talked with the iraq mission manager. so does the dni today have a syrian mission manager? at the end of the day you have to say you are responsible. presumably he would tap somebody to be mission manager? >> he does. >> is that somebody within dni or somewhere else within the intelligence community? >> often they are from another intelligence agency but when they are serving in that capacity across the community capacity to try to bring together for example all the china experts from every different department they are housed in the director of national intelligence officer they can try and have some sense of what everyone is doing and make sure it's coordinated.
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>> just to turn to nsa for a second. can you tell us your understanding, we hear about 215 and 702. what does that mean? >> he sure. 215 is the shorthand for this section of the patriot act that expanded the authority of the government to seek business records. to go to the phone companies and say we would like you to give to us what we call meta-data which is a fancy word if you look at your phone bill and it says this number call this particular number. this was borne out of 9/11 which was because two of the individual hijackers in san diego, we didn't know this at the time that we later found out they were in san diego but we were monitoring a safe house in
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yemen and had we been able to figure out that these particular safe house was calling a residence in san diego if we had access to the state we might have and this is not ironclad but just in the luster of the example of how the tool could have have helped and how 9/11 influence and essays collections efforts later but it could have helped to foretell the existence of other plotters in the united states. >> isn't it counter to that the cia had information that these guys were seceded with al qaeda and neither one was in the united states? >> if they called the fbi a year before 9/11 and said these people were living in san diego under the true name. it would have been a relatively easy thing to find them. you didn't need the phone
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surveillance necessarily. >> that's right not necessarily. with any law enforcement tool you want to bring as many tools to bear as possible and it's very possible that these individuals names have gotten to the right fbi people they would have launched a full field investigation maybe things would have been different but the point is wise people thought we needed 215 is we need to build an analytical case for if there are additional people who would do us harm inside the united states. nsa thought they had sound legal basis for what they were doing. >> you and -- were you surprised on the that vote in this issue in the house? it was a measure to basically change or in this was very close. >> it was and applying an unusual amount of democratic agreement for the house. >> i think you're right. i think the views on national
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security issues have changed since president bush was in office and since tea party members of congress have joined the house of representatives because it's not just, 9/11 is not as recent as it once was. people have forgotten some of the lessons and people have a heightened rate of skepticism about the role of the government or increased desire to see civil liberties protections in place and were offended at the idea that americans phone records even if it didn't have a name or the content of the phonecall was in the government database that was scary and offensive to them and that is why there was a coalition of people on the right and people on the left who almost were able to score a real victory against the patriot acts 215 provision.
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>> and your boss mike rogers of course is one of the main defenders. >> that's right. he and senator feinstein i think it's fair to say have aggressively defended their oversight of the program, aggressively defended what nsa's role is in this particular matter. >> tell us about the less controversial. americans do seem to be uncomfortable with having their phone data with the government. >> 702 is shorthand and assist us in the statute that refers to the fisa amendments act that we debated and passed through congress in 2007 and eight is the shorthand for our ability to intercept foreigners, phonecalls if perhaps they transit through the united states. phonecalls and e-mails so this is ben and big issue overseas. i know of, i read the papers of
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those in europe and other germans that are very upset but you are right it's about foreign intelligence collection. >> the drone issue became an issue when an american citizen was killed. did not become a large pub issue on the hill until that point. >> you are right. congress is split on the issue. the intelligence communities i think it's fair to say are generally comfortable and they would pass laws to make codified and strengthened civil liberties protections but london until he not change the underlying operation of the program. in a house in the senate republicans and democrats in the judiciary are in a separate place so the congress is split on these. >> last night night president obama said to chris matthews that he's going to make changes and it didn't specify what they were and the group in the white house is working on thinking
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through what those changes might need. you have any sense or predictions about what is likely to happen and what he is politically able to file on the hill? >> i think this is an open question as to what the review group will recommend. they review group is made up of variety of things by president obama. the two most recognizable figures are michael murrell who was the deputy cia director until recently. who now works at the firm i am working at and richard clarke who was the counterterrorism advisor for clinton and for bush. they along with some others were charged with reviewing essentially the question of how do we reconcile the tension between security and privacy and civil liberties. i don't know what's in their report. i expect it will be aggressive and i expect president obama will speak to it in a matter of
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weeks and this will drive the legislative agenda at least on intelligence next year. >> lets open it up to questions. if you have a question wait for the wait for the mic and identify yourself and raise your hand. no questions? you dealt with everything. >> mike the connect the dots point you made is very interesting and you started off her speech by saying the cia had all these functions but in addition had a function of coordination burton have the authority to really make that happen. it seems to me that their coordination function, who wants that and do the intelligence agencies really want a coordinator or would they prefer
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to be left alone? i get to that question because as you out line we are stuck with that situation where there is a coordinator that it's not really resourced and you don't really have the authority to perform that unction in an unambiguous way where you have control of people's budgets and people's institutions. >> has a follow-up to that can you point to an evolution at the director of intelligence that you think the president or the previous ones, examples where they really have this role of this windowdressing? >> i think he was onto something. one of the points in the book is that the congress didn't spend enough time discussing in the relationship between the cni -- cia and dni. the cia didn't like the idea that they would perhaps have a new boss but on the other hand i don't inc. that they want it and
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are probably glad today that they are not vested with cord making other intelligence entities. i have heard general hayden say he is not sure how his predecessors were able to do all of the work that is required across the missionaries in the central intelligence agency but by the same token i don't think the cia wants to have the dni trying to get between the cia and the national security council. as you know the national security council and the cia have a hold in every presidency. of course we are aware of all the famous stories from the eisenhower and kennedy years and what the cia was doing and that's the source of the relationship where the cia is called the president's agency. the president over time wanted to affect national security policy and realize realized they didn't have enough tools to do
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it or at least didn't have what they wanted to do a medium source of action between diplomacy and military action. i think that's why they rely on covert action to this day as a lever to influence national events and i don't think the cie dni trying to play an oversight role over what their activities are. >> a couple of -- oversight. some of them are unworkable for instance. having a preview board. things move quickly but what about after-action review because i think if someone is grading your homework you will spend more effort making sure it's 100% accurate and also you would have in it an inch that
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the military routinely compensates cashill tees and drone strikes where we kill civilians. we don't do that if we inadvertently killed civilians in a cia drone strike. is there anything that we could do in the house intelligence community chief of staff has that is realistic. obviously president obama gave a big speech on april 23. nothing substantial seems to have happened although the number of drone strikes has dropped dramatically. of the proposals that are out there? >> i think this gets to the issue of congressional oversight and having worked in the congress for so many years the reason these committees were set up is precisely so that there is a check on an oversight of the
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intelligence community's actions. a lot of people fall to congress for not doing aggressive enough oversight. i think the congress can do a better job of explaining what they do and i think there's definitely room for more scholarship on with what the appropriate role of oversight is but i think most members of congress at least the chairman of committees would say that it's our job. it's our job to check the hallmark of the central intelligence agency. we think we are doing a pretty good job of it, not that there couldn't be more for some of the reforms that you suggest but it really gets down to do you want to use the intelligence committees for the purposes that were created for or create new institutions so that they also will check on what the agency is up to? >> yeah. i guess the argument in favor of them having an independent body
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outside with the the committees that are close to the people, relatively small group of people and the counterargument might be but one of the ideas of course is -- and make it no longer cia function and that doesn't seem to have happened so far. it's complicated to do. >> judging from the paper i don't know, i mean i guess the cia ought to be sticking to collection of intelligence and analysis then you feel better with the migration but i don't know how that necessarily leads to oversight. a guess the theory is to be all his talk about it more and for others feel the check their work more. >> i think that's part of it. obviously sending an armed bomb
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into somebody's house is a military function and traditionally the cia has a quasi-military function. there is no particular reason why it shouldn't be a cia function is i guess the idea and the whole apparatus that the department of defense justice j.a.g.s who are involved in these decisions all the time. >> the argument is we should have increased oversight. i think the dni does at least play some role in awareness about these particular programs. the justice department does have to opine on their legality and the white house does do a lot of work and the bush white house does on trying to oversee these issues. there are a lot of issues. there are a lot of players. there are a lot of issues and i don't know if congress is going to get involved in that. we will see how this develops.
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>> those leaks haven't happened. it was growing movement. i testified at one before the senate judiciary. essentially this was the worst secret in the world. there has been a lot of, they seem to be more movement around discussing it and the president has often talked about it. edward snowden has he performed a useful public service about what the nsa actually does? obviously he broke the law. he broke the law and that's a different question than the public service when he broke the law. >> i am more of if you studying the commission reports about intelligence failures, it's worth noting that as long, as
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short as 10 years ago commission reports were beating up the national security agency for not keeping up with technological change not collecting enough information collecting that information on iraq wmd in deep that the major commission work that examined the iraq wmd problem faulted nsa for a variety of problems. i sort of want to make sure that we don't legislate in anger about what the national security agency has done because the reason that they have melded some of these programs as they were listening to what the political leadership said and indeed arguably what much of the country was demanding after september 11 and after iraq because they needed to do a better job of providing the warning for policymakers so that they might be able to have for a disaster like 9/11. careful thae
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don't just whips the intelligence community one year year -- one five-year period. if you do we are going to get very mad at you because you were too good at some of the things you are doing. >> this group that is advising president obama. >> there is peter swire who was i believe he was a lawyer out there in chicago with the commission on american progress, the committee on american progress here and the other two escaped me. >> it sort of sounds like a expert group. >> i think people have seen it in different ways.
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i've seen criticism that they are all insiders. in terms of the president i've some people say you shouldn't have two people in there that have such intelligence backgrounds and i've heard people say there isn't a real strong defender except for michael murrell in the intelligence community but i think it depends on where you sit and i think we will have to read it. >> what -- when do you think it's going to come out? >> i think it's going to come out in december. i don't know for sure. i hear around town that is coming out soon. speak and you wait for the microphone for one second in that way c-span viewers can hear you. ..
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that actually goes to some of the big teams of your book. again, national counter-terrorism center. bill to make sure -- because there was intimation in the system that was very easy to see post event. that did not service. there were others, some secondary list, a list where people would go into secondary. if you got to detroit you would have been on the secondary for additional. so that was the kind of example
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where the operators did not quite work or maybe that is an unfair critique of the operators. >> so it gets down to what you think, you know the mission of intelligence is. you going to deal to prevent every little event. that think the answer is no. your not going to be always able to operate perfectly. for the largest of your question i think the community is doing a much better job on counter-terrorism. we are safer, at least from a large-scale attack. the question peeresses of weather that is because of the institutional reforms that i discuss in my book for to is because we were spending up to $80 billion on the mission, doubling will we get spend before 9/11. it is debatable whether it was because of the increased money, focus, and lessons learned from 9/11 or whether overtime the institutional improvements as the commission and some would
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argue that we have made, whether that will lead to increased national security down the road. i think the institutional reforms are an open question still being debated, but the committee certainly has improved its performance in the last in years. >> any other questions? no other questions. thank you very much. the book is for sale. great book. blinking red for everyone watching it,. you will be prepared to sign them, i think. >> absolutely. >> thank you very much for having me. >> thank you. [applause].
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[applause] >> thank you very much. i appreciate everybody coming here. this is a great event. there is -- this is only the second greatest event i have had here. so this has to take second place to that, i think. among the people at my wedding, which i discovered later was the major russian spy, bob hansen. i had known him for years as one of my sources. i did not realize what his application was. but it is really good to have you all here. i was very happy that the
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president decided to hold off on his announcements until tomorrow so that he could hear what i had to say tonight. it was very nice of him. i don't think he will agree with most of what i have to say, but i will be interested to hear what he has to say tomorrow. one of the things that is fascinating is how many people actually know about the nsa today. i mean, when i first heard the puzzle power back in a june 82i was doing a book tour. one of the people on the book tour or at least in a limousine telling the studio was senator bill bradley from new jersey. he said, well, what is your book about? well, the national security agency. was that? so we got on the said. he was there to talk about the economy. i was there talk about the nsa. i just could not resist it when i asked how secret it is. even senator bradley said he had never heard of it.
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you get really angry. he took a separate car back to the hotel that night. the next day his aide called up and said, that was below the belt. i said, no, below the belt, he probably confused with the nba. [applause] so i hear he went on the intelligence committee after our get together. he knew a lot more about the nsa after that. one other thing that was really funny when the book first came out was that the book was picked by a book-of-the-month club. so at the new york times book review. on the back to have all these are pictures of these little books that make little pictures of the books that make the book-of-the-month club. i saw mind. the name was there. the picture was different. it was a picture of a rocket taking off for something. then we called up and they said, well, what was the idea of doing this. they said, well, we the you were talking about nasa.
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they actually change the cover of my book on the book-of-the-month club because they thought i had made a mistake. so -- but john wanted me to keep his shirt because we a lot of people with a lot of questions. the question's going to be far more interesting than the talks. i thought i would run through the few interesting things here. first of all, i'm happy to be in the press club. the press club has been -- by been a member here for over 30 years now. i was actually a member -- actually not at the time, later on, this was actually an all man's place until 1971, i think it was. but the person upon -- out there that has a deck of cards in front of him was an all-time press club member.
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he would hang at year during the 1950's. he became a really fascinating card shark. he wrote a book called education of a poker player. that is the -- ers still in the original building. he may have been playing cards year. before he became a card shark yet another job. that was being a founding father of the national security agency. and the nsa actually got its start in that little apartment building there. july 21920. and the chief of the black chamber, that is what it was called. he lived on the top floor with his family. the first floor was of farming company. it was accompanied a supposedly made commercial codes, but it was just a front. the actual code breaking was done on the two middle floors. so as you can imagine, the nsa has grown a fair amount since those days.
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but what -- some of us, at least some people have been saying -- right now. afros actually in 1929. that was the secretary of state to came along, secretary of state simpson. did not want to tell him that there was a thing called the black chamber even though his state department was paying for. did not know what his reaction would be that there was a secret office in new york that was eavesdropping on carry vacation. he did finally tell him. simpson was erased. the gentleman did not read each other's mail, and he immediately close down the black chamber. well, that put yardley out of work. so then yardley went from being the head of the black chamber, the head of the organization that was the first predecessor of the nsa to becoming the basically edward snowdon of his state.
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snowden, who today has become the object of is he a hero or a trader. my answer to that is always he is a very heroic was a blur. there is no connection between snowden as far as i'm concerned, as buys. i had one in my weddings that i mentioned. he's not selling secrets to the russians. he did not go there themselves seekers to the russians. he went there because the u.s. canceled his passport halfway between hong kong and ecuador. the way before there was an ever snowden there was herbert yardley. and herbert yardley, after the close the black chamber, they decided to -- it is such a write a book about it which was the very first to expose a of american cripple logic community and there were not very happy, obviously, what -- when his book
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came out and they try putting him in jail. they could not find a lot, so they actually created a new part of the espionage law to prosecute him with. a lot of that is what they're prosecuting or were trying to prosecute, trend to prosecute snowdon with red now. ironically the first head of the nsa became also the first whistle-blower. now, this is something that i think every word would be very interested in. there is history of this. there is history which i will show you a little bit. at one point being a really big villain for the nsa, and the next minute being a hero to the nsa. it took a while. it took almost seven years, but they finally put herbert yardley in the hall of honor at the nsa. so maybe there is still a chance for every seven at some point. but like us said, this is an --
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yardley wrote the very first book on the organization of the crypt illogic organization, the predecessor of the nsa. the next one to write was david connecticut hero of book called the code breakers and 1967 which still lot about the nsa has the most -- the biggest expos a of the nsa that had never happened since herbert yardley. and the nsa went to a lot of trouble to get rid of the book. i mean, they even considered -- this came out in and senate intelligence committee report, surreptitious entry into this house to steal the manuscript, clandestine service supplication , whenever that is, kidnapping, termination. worst of all, there were going to plant some disparaging press reviews about his book commodes as an author you take every other option before that one. so like yardley david
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connecticut was rehabilitated in the 1995 that made him an official -- the first official scholar in residence at the nsa. they took all his books, including the one that there were trying to ban and put it in a library. so, again, more hope for edwards no near. and then mine was an excellent, the puzzle palace. and there they accused me of putting the country at risk. they threatened me to rise with prosecution. that said -- they forced me to give up documents college and never gave up r-rated a library or did the research, ripped a lot of stuff of the library, they threatened some of my sources, including a former nsa director with prosecution and jail time and everything. they had to -- they have a guy follow me. that is why wore a costume or rye went.
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so they actually that was eileen party at john henry's house. but they did actually have somebody in every audience or i give a talk taking notes justin cases of japan said something that they could put me in jail with. they put all file cabinet of papers to get around me. fl ia, the free information request. we don't have anything on the. that's impossible. a been writing a benefit three years. even of a single piece paper. and then i saw on one paper in the sub defense of the word esquire. so i sent a request for everything on the file i'm gonna holds or. then i get rehabilitated. so after -- after about 20 years the agency -- yes, i just when that picture up. they actually had a book signing. the nsa.
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they did have a line going up the door. a lot of the people were actually carrying the puzzle palace was there were forbidden. anyone his book of the national group the largest school, but i'm really recalcitrant i became a bad guy and wrote the book about the nsa and eavesdropping. i no longer on their official tour listening more. but anyway, there is possibility here that this could be really. you get general alexander : of saying snowdon is a hero are wearing a hero t-shirt. it is all possible. but before those are the people that i really admire, people that helped me in writing some of the books i did, some of the articles i did. tom drake, occur week, all the
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people who defined the nsa. these are people who were working there for almost 40 years. tom drake it works their is a contractor for a long time. before that he was in the military. and tom's to cut hundreds first-ever job at nsa was september 11 to those among. but these are the people that i really and mired because their people who have a conscience. and when 9/11 came along and the nsc began he's tapping domestic is the people that spoke up. they left the agency, quit the agency because it did not want to see the system they work on turned into a vehicle for use german-american citizens and the u.s. so i have a lot of aberration. in all have the honor of attention that is no national what they did an awful lot of work to help get the message out
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in a few of the mayor here tonight actually. well, the nsa is, longways since herbert l. yardley in the town house. now it's an entire city. have been to their a few times. and it is just a mammoth location. people have no idea how much that agency has grown just in the last ten years. it is -- the complex, the headquarters complex itself, you could put the u.s. capital and therefore times over and have space left over. and the whole purpose is eavesdropping. it is an agency that really needs to have a -- one and released have a close eye on which is why we're here, why this controversy is, because there has not been a close eye and a. here is the nsa budget. for years the nsa -- this is one of the top-secret documents released.
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for years the nsa was the largest budget item in the intelligence community, but that changed more recently because of the advent of drones with the cia and so forth. so it is an enormous amount of budget. you can see how it is budgeted. and it is very widespread. this is one of the more revealing slides i have seen from the 9/11 group that shows where they do all of their -- they plan all of their mall where, the computers around the world, 50,000 places the plan now where. of the places with a tap into fiber-optic cables and so forth. so for somebody has been writing about the nsa for a very, very long time this was an extremely informative slide. matted data. no one ever heard of that word before last june, i think. but it has become really the key
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-- one of the key issues we're talking about now. i don't know about you, whenever give the u.s. government, particularly the nsa, the authority to have, you know, every time i pick up the telephone to keep a record of that and to keep it for five years. so that is one of the big issues that will be talked about tomorrow and the president's talk, whether he will go a long with the committee's recommendation which is his panel's recommendation which is basically taking the nsa out of the business of storing all of these records and instead putting the data where it is supposed to be, the companies are the collected it. and then using legal authority, getting a warrant from a judge to search through the data and not just going through it without any oversight.
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anyway. meditated is a really big problem. one of the things that has come up more recently was these two decisions on the issue of mad at data. one was judge richard leon, a federal judge in washington. the other was judge william pauley in new york and none of it made any difference, but i grew up with judge lyonnais went to law school with them. but we never agreed on anything in 30 years. he is a very conservative judge. periods judge leon came to a very conservative conclusion which happens to be the same conclusion i came to which was the conclusion that the government should not be able to do this kind of activity with
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the data. judge william paleo-indian came to the office -- opposite conclusion. you had that split decision. in my opinion provides that whole idea of the government collecting netted data. i mean, the snowden case is a perfect example of why. here was at risk snowdon. the was a contractor. he was in his 20's. and yet he was able to spend almost a year, it seems like, exfiltrating all of those -- well, over one-half million secret documents. and without even knowing about it until the inception on gone. so do you want to trust his agency with all of your data? i don't particularly want to do that. you can see what happens with
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target. there are people out there that really one data that will pay a lot of money for it. and as somebody at the nsa said to him, the honorable thing, being a whistle-blower, wanted to be a criminal, they have all that data. the lessee keep in the hands of the government, the better it is pretty darn of the key issues which is an issue will talk about, which is somewhat of a complex issue but it is a key issue in the entire meditated discussion. it is the issue that judge pauley sort of hung his hat on on his decision. and it all centers on this house in human and this person appeared. i will guarantee you i am the only person in this room that has actually been to that house. this was the operations center in the men. it was very controlled of his plots from. i went there because i did a documentary for pbs.
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we did a documentary and the nsa and 9/11. so i went to that house, and we saw it, and that was where the first hint of 9/11 came from. again, these were all the issues that feed into judge paulis decision, the comments of the director of the nsa. this is -- what i am about to talk about here is the key excuse for having limited data program. what happened was in december of 1999 the nsa -- while, the nsa had been listening to this house for years because it was the house where he would call to set up his terrorist operations. it is the house where they attacked the u.s. -- set up a plan for the u.s.s. cole, the u.s. embassies and so forth. the nsa was listening to that house. december of 1999 it picked up the communication, and it was from afghanistan that said send
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khalid for the meeting. so we know that the nsa knows at this point that there will be a big meeting in kuala lumpur. well, they nsa passes that to the cia and to the other intelligence agencies. the cia says people to kuala lumpur. they get the cooperation of the government, the malaysian government. and they're watching these guys. and then all of a sudden they get to the airport and they get on a plane. and they fly out of the country with all of the cia being good intelligence people they figure they're flying to bangkok because that is where the plan was going. the problem was, like all of the station in bangkok to let them and it happens to be a saturday and nobody was working.
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so that the terrorists got the plane and disappeared into bangkok. but the cia did know that there were going to the united states because they had a copy of their passports with the visa and it. so what happened was the two of them flew from yemen to kuala lumpur. california. and since nobody had been tipped off by the cia, no one was there to watch them arrive. they went down to san diego. then managed to get this house here. it was a house in san diego. done by somebody, muslim and san diego and needed a place to stay, let them stay there.
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the guy happens to be an fbi informant which was very interesting. you had to terrorists there were on their way year. the cia knew about it, did not tell anybody, and they're living in a house that is owned by an fbi informant. then his wife was pregnant in yemen. so he caught her -- calder fairly often. the nsa was eavesdropping and everything in that house, everything going in and coming out. so what happened was that the cia wanted information from that house. it wanted to say, well, give us the transcripts, give us with these people saying. the nsa would not give the cia and the information that they were picking up from the house. they went up three times asking senior officials at the nsa for that information and they would not give it to a.
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the cia is a building near on a listening post the communications announced. the problem is, they're only getting the downlink. they don't have the satellite, so they are not getting the uplink of the communication. so they go back to the nsa and say, look, you know, we get the downlink. we have our listening posts. can you just give us the appalling? tsa says no well, that is the -- that is one of the key issues right now. this is another case that is coming. let me back up to this one. he accepted the argument that the nsa command even know for two years there were listening to everything going in and out of the house, there were not able to pick up to five they're
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inedible to find out that the calls from that house are going to the house in human. now, of vases 1982. they just can't believe that the nsa is saying that they did not have the capability to find out where those phone calls were coming from. that is the nsa problem. did not know whether those calls were coming from. there were listening to the calls in yemen, but they could not tell that there were coming from san diego. that is the key point. so judge pauley accepted that argument. that is the argument for a message dated because the nsa could not sell well it -- or those phone calls were coming from.
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you had to collect everybody's minute data in the united states so that you have it in one place then you can go through it so that you don't have another 9/11. that is their argument. again, these are things that are somewhat complicated, not usable in a sound bite on television, but they're critical to this whole issue of better data and it needs more writing about and a journalist committee because a lot of it, are you kidding? you know, we put all of this technology out there and you can't tell where a telephone is coming from? so -- but the story is not over yet. there is any -- there is going to be a third bite of the apple year. we have a split decision, the judge in new york, the judge in washington. well, this another case coming up called first unitarian church in los angeles this is the nsa.
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a played a little role in this case myself. the electronic frontier foundation, income in the case that focuses on the legality of matted data. but there's another little twists and they're also focusing on another issue. that is the americans right of assembly. the government should not have a right to know every time a committee for the republicans are meeting here to get all our phone calls and find that that we're having a meeting, or the naacp. any political gatherings are anti-war gatherings. that is where the other aspects of this case that makes a little bit different from the other two commanded should be decided hopefully in the relatively near future. so you have these three cases, and they will go to the appeals court in the supreme court for decision. we are just at the entry position, but i really do have
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to -- every time i see judge leon after, for the first time, see was right. and rather he was right on this issue here. what i did was wrote an amicus where i helped. i taught at berkeley at one point. law students at berkeley wanted me dealt into an amicus brief, friend-of-the-court brief for that case. the third case that will be coming up. memo we focused on large new was looking back to the church committee, for example, in 1975, the church committee, we can sell the nsa was just running amok. millions and millions this was only when the church committee came along -- publicize it
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cannot their hearings and there for reports that there was a change made. that was the creation of the foreign intelligence surveillance court, the first court to ever put any kind of regulation on the nsa. and it worked really well for 30 years. i mean, i was not perfect, but they never turned the government down. at least it was there and did make some -- i think it was -- i used to make jokes about it, but i think it actually did do a fair amount of good work. certainly better than not being there. so what happened after 9/11, the bush and ministration went around the court, violated the law and just bypassed it. and then two and a half years later or so after the new york times revealed the program then
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they created this thing called the foreign intelligence surveillance amendment to act which legalized but there were doing in the first place. now we're at the point where we were at just prior to the church committee with the nsa has run amok. we need another church committee to look get this. i admire the president's panel because they actually came up with some really good suggestions, but it was just a panel that looked as some of the issues for a month or a couple of months or never was and that's it. and in the oregon. so i think what we really need is a church committee to do this . it has been since 1975. let the technology, like the amount of weaknesses that they have created in the foreign intelligence surveillance forum. and then i was down in rio back in november. i saw greenwell while i was
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there. he showed me one of the documents that he had. i thought it was fascinating. this one here was -- this is just an excerpt from it, but -- and i've got another slide that you can actually read what it was. but when i read that i thought, wow, we are here. we have finally arrived at the point we were in 1975 when the government was doing a lot of really bad things. back them what they were doing was there were looking for ways to get martin luther king who is considered a radical, and they wanted to discredit him in front of his followers. and one way of doing that was by finding out what kind of sexual activity he might have and then using that tie their blackmail them, and stored them, or basically just discredit them in front of his followers.
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and that is what this document was. it basically said the same thing it was back in october of 2012. and what it argued was that -- and the director of the nsa, general alexanders title at the very top of it commanded said they let her personal vulnerability. sexually explicit material on line and so forth. a lot can be learned by people visiting pornography sites. besides, it's probably more from a listening to the north koreans . said in the nba here is to exploit. i was amazed at the language of the used, let no one would ever see this document. so then they would exploit the vulnerabilities of character. and they said, we are not
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talking about terrorists come across. these are people or radical. and actually in identified the people. i saw the original document when i was down there. actually saw the names, but you know, i agreed that you should not publicize it. when i saw the names it was not a division between -- because one of the names i saw was a u.s. citizen, are u.s. person the college, and others are foreigners. there was not a division. verily going after the foreigners, americans, u.s. persons, and foreigners. and then, you know, what is interesting to me, among the distribution tests, the justice department and commerce. is because they're trying to regulate the porn industry something? i did not give what the commerce to permit would be giving a top-secret document from the nsa about use dropping out peebleses
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to porn sites. there's a lot i don't understand about the nsa. so going back, this is what happened back in the battle and 1960's. the fbi used wiretapping. ♪ -- discover vulnerability for radicalizes such as mine with the king. back then the idea had come up with j. edgar river, the longest serving fbi director who now comes from general alexander, along with serving nsa director witt says something about not letting people stay on the job too long. and the nsa player roll back in those days as part of eavesdropping and the anti-war protests and so forth. so they would pick up the information and pass it on to the fbi. so in terms of reforms, you
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know, i could not see anything that i really disagree with on those 46 recommendations that came out from the white house panel, you know, hearing all these rumors that the president is killing ted do cosmetic changes tomorrow and nothing really sensitive which would be very disappointing, but actually it goes along with his track record. i mean to me is the guy that triple the number of people -- tripled the number of forces in iraq instead of ending in the first six months -- i'm sorry, and afghanistan, triple the number of forces in afghanistan and the first cut its office said in a minute. george bush had won drone attack in yemen in a year's. and obama has declared war on yemen. there are drawn attacks all the time. the first attack was not even
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address our attack. it was december 17th 2009. that was when he launched his first attack which was very telling. there were not enough runs in the area. there were all in afghanistan and pakistan. but there was a navy ship. it was either a navy guided missile cruiser. in it whenever casey used that. and if that that there were some terrorists down in the rural part of southern yemen. so they fired all these cruise missiles this crew. this tiny little village. the cruise missiles happen to be filled with cluster bombs telling you know, 109 countries. this is the person i voted for president. really. shooting cluster bombs -- yes. shooting cruise missiles or
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cluster bombs at a country we are not at war with and then missing the target and killing 15 women and children. but that wasn't the end of it. the next day he made a very public phone call to the president of human thinking and for such a great terrorist operation is performed. the president of yemen had nothing to do with it. it was entirely the obama administration. he agreed to go along with it. which gives me kind of to the point i'm making or the point i want to make. we find out a lot of these things, not from the u.s. government, but from whistle-blowers. a lot of this came from the material that was leaked by mana -- chelsea manning. among the documents released was a meeting between patraeus and the president of human. and at that meeting he place
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after that attack. there was one on christmas eve and other attacks in yemen. then then that meeting there was a transcript that was leaked by the documents. it says there were laughing about it in the meeting. the president of yemen said i will keep lying about it. as a matter of fact, on line to my own parliament about it. one of the things that i thought was fascinating since i number of people at the church committee, they were able to get the nsa to come up and name a lot of the people that work targets of their eavesdropping, the antiwar protesters and so
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forth. there were 1600 of them. they actually came out with the names of my fear some people like dr. benjamin spock. >> there was one name in particular that they refuse to release to the church committee. despite all that there would never releases one name. that name was finally released. i think it was last september it was released. here is to it was. which is why we need another church committee. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'd be happy to take questions. at think john has --
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>> good. who do we have? this fine. >> i think the audience. that think they learned much from the narrative recounting the national security ministration. one of the things, created by a top-secret memorandum by harry truman in 1962. no congressional or public debate. just sort of embarrassed. i am sure that harry truman thought he would be embarrassed by this session. >> it is the only agency in the u.s. government that was not created by a law in congress, hearings, by a bill through congress. it was created by a top-secret memorandum signed by harry truman in 1962 that was -- even the congress was not allowed to know about it. it is the only agency in your
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government that was born secret. >> which is the opposite. the government must be transparent in order to have government by the consent of the governed. it seemed apparent inconspicuous that other than a few cameo to appearances nothing involves congress. we have those the bourse, where is congress. >> nasa's 1975. >> and now was this sort of an episodic instance in any event. we're talking about the constitution of the united states. forty-seven classified volumes. he was investigated for espionage by the next demonstration. >> we can't depend upon our liberties that some brave
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whistle-blower from time to time will expose wrongdoing of the executive branch. needs to be institutionalized, which is the whole reason why yet congressional oversight. and then tell that change we made gate and snowden from time to time, but it won't change that night unless they're is a systematic assistance by the american people in congress that this be made public it is a joke if anything they have the cover-up. -- >> exactly. and that was one of the points i usually make. i'm not asking for a church committee in congress. ms confer an exchange of church committee to my committee head would be like a 9/11 commission. and also one that just is not have former government officials but as a civil libertarian so forth. we have to get other questions.
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>> un question. >> that was my question the frank church in 2014. >> that was why -- unless we can find somebody with the medical ability to bring them back to life and put them back into the senate, i would not -- i would not allow the senate or the congress to do this committee. but when it comes so far. i've been following this ever since the church committee. and the church committee, they took it upon themselves, their mission, there were the beverage win the american public and the nsa or the intelligence community. it is draw said the intelligence committees in congress feel that
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they are the protector of the agency. not the protector of the public. they argue for a bigger budget for the intelligence agency whenever there's a cut in the budget argue for more freedoms for the agency. where were they doing that here in half years, the times release , the information getting out about the enormous eavesdropping which came from the whistle-blowers, not from our overseers in congress. >> any other questions? >> so, yes. sorry. deborah is a really good friend of mine. she was the lead attorney on the tom drake case. i worked on that case and it was a tremendously successful case. a whistle-blower from the nsa who is charged with 5-pound to five counts of espionage. leaking some rather mundane
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information. i was able to show with the help of to me that the member mentioned there were charging him with was not only unclassified and that one of the put him in jail for 35 years, not only unclassified, but it was in the public domain and put there by the nsa and the pentagon. so when it came time her child the prosecution rift -- please to sign this green tell mr. mayor with no jail time and no fines the judge spent 20 minutes and yelling at the prosecutor and the nsa. it was a good case. i appreciated the deputies work on it. >> it's good to see. thank you for that. >> you're embarrassing me.
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>> and i'm going to take a different role and play devil's advocate which is driven in part by this and comparable -- uncomfortable feeling that i have. it is driven in large part on my experience in tom's case which is i have read articles in the post and the times the there are millions of documents -- well, i guess one-and-a-half million documents he took. the best majority of the documents that are in his possession have really nothing to do with medical data are spying on americans. one of the slides you show was a map of the world showing where our mouth where is. i don't want to comment on whether we need to know about that, what and what point is and word snowdon going to be not this clamors zero, but a thief. >> she's a journalist.
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>> that is one of the major questions that people have. the question is, you have one half million documents. by the like i did not show me all of them. i was down there. he happens shown a couple. but that's a really good question. the major questions are, is -- to the chinese about naxos? could the russians of rednecks us? according to what he says, that did not get access. speaking in his defense to some degree if your whistle-blower and it's trying to get the documents out, you don't have time to edit the documents lawyers sitting there your desk. the idea was who would pull the documents out and not just put them up on the internet, but to give them to responsible journalists, and the journalists would go through them. that is what happened with dan
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l. burke is a good friend of mine. he did that. he gave it to the new york times on "washington post". and we ended at helping to shorten a war that we should never have gone into. there is no -- i don't think you went to whistleblower school. he probably did not read out to be a whistle-blower. you know, i give him a lot of courage for he has and what he did. i think there's a lot that the government is always saying. the world's going to come to an end. they said the world was going to come to an end when david connecticut wrote the codebreakers. it the world will come to an end . but so far the world is in good
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shape. the main problems we ever getting into wars that when i suppose to be in. if we don't have whistle-blowers' occasionally, they may not be perfect people, may not make mistakes. we will laugh a government that we don't want one about. anyway, i always am happy to debate you. you're such a great lawyer. and always feel that i'm up against the greatest challenge. i appreciate it. thanks to free a question. >> you probably know that this is the -- part of this is the subject of the 28-page section of the original joint congressional investigation into 9/11 which was suppressed by
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president bush and remained suppressed by president obama. this section, from what we can derive from other writings and speeches by senator bob gramm who chaired that committee indicated an investigation on saudi intelligence connections with the two hijackers in san diego zoom, funding mechanisms and apparently also the fact that the fbi refused to allow it digress subcommittee investigators access to the informal who own a house where these two guys were saying -- staying. >> give me your predicate or request. >> further comment. two members of commerce have introduced a bill calling for every member to read the 28 pages and that it declassified. wonder what your thoughts are on that. >> --
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>> well, i completely agree and have a lot of admiration for walter jones. republican from north carolina, and he was the person who when we went to war changed the name of french fries to freedom price because the french were not supporting our war. and then one day he read the book arrow called a pretext for war and he completely changed and became the most vocal anti-war opponent within congress. analysts and a great deal of admiration for him for a meeting of state and then trying to get others to change also. it is amazing what is still classified in as reports. i had no idea because i have not seen anyone. i don't know what the saudi part is. there are a lot of people that have speculated. i don't know, but the committee did a poor job on the essay
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aspect which i wrote a lot about because they never focused on what the nsa did not know. and so i agree that that should be released. >> judge, commented the question. is several years ago i was told that what the nsa really meant was no such agency. >> now is stands for not secret anymore. >> you might want ask those visiting here to give their comments later on from the nsa. my question is in light of the situation where the nsa and the cia were not cooperating but for 9/11 and if they had it might have prevented it, going for word what do you think would be the proper balance between this kind of data collection and analysis for national security in protecting individual privacy what should whatever the nsa
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turns into or other agencies be doing and-a they cooperate with the cia and others to protect interests while still protecting privacy. >> the one problem here is that first of all i would like them to add these to start telling the truth about how useful some of these programs are. the nsa when for years telling congress how useful the e-mail meditate a program once. it was not until senator wyche and senator you know poked their fee to the fire and said, come back here and show was word has been useful. the nsa could not to the debt had to shut the program down in 2011 then mom we're discussing those telephone minute data programs director kim batten said there are 54 cases where this could help prevent attacks. and then it was down to like 32
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or whatever. and then all of a sudden she wasn't really talking about the manner data program, the 215 program. he was talking about the present program will lead. when it came down to the actual net it it a program it came down to one success, one success. and actually, the deputy director admitted this. he admitted it on public radio about a week ago. it was this one case, and the case was a guy in san diego who sent $8,000 to some group in somalia. did not have anything to do with the united states, but that is the one success for collecting all of your telephone records since 2001.
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so that's what i really hope. begin start to understand the useful programs from the useless programs and to apply not just the standard of some guy in the back room or the bomb and a backer of the nsa listening post, but people who are in the civil liberties privacy community hear other voices in this debate. >> i would like to five my question is just about this. you'd think there is really -- >> what? >> and american society to really restrict, to really end this kind of restrictive -- [inaudible] this permanent threat of terrorism.
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panera said the show. >> it's a good question. the question is basically, do you think there is any public support. the problem is it going up against the tehran machine. the fear mongering machine. .. so much of the sphere. we have had what, 23 people have
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been killed from terrorism in the united states since 2011 and half of that was major nidal hussein and the army major and the fbi in san diego have been picking up these conversations with anwar awlaki so it wasn't a question that they didn't know about. so i have eyes been amazed at the united states how it's against the law to take a bottle of shampoo onto an airplane but you can buy as many assault weapons as you want. [applause] what sense does that make? but that's a good question. unfortunately i can only answer the questions where there is a mic because this is being recorded bye bye c-span so if i answer question where there is no mike they wanted the question so i have to go with john henry where the mic is. >> i'm with the institute for public accuracy. we are having an event to remedy some of the problems with the --
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and we will have several whistleblowers that you mentioned. as well as russell tice will be there immediately following obama's address of people can check it out on line. it will be live streamed at 12:30. obama is speaking at 11 and they can go to to get the insights on the whistleblowers immediately following obama's address. i would like to ask you a brief question about a pushback on the international scope of it. certainly nations spy on each other but should we have some kind of limits on can the nsa spy on democracy activists in egypt for example? is the delineation between u.s. person and non-u.s. person does generally the most meaningful one that we want to set up? thank you. >> again that's another good question. this whole issue doesn't resonate as well and that's what about the rest of the people in
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the world's? i mean we don't care about any of the people in germany or france or anybody else? yes they have their own intelligence services and spying but still. it's a question of digital imperialism in a sense. i hear that argument a lot. we all spy. every country spies but every country doesn't have the nine largest internet companies home-based in their backyard. and when you do have the nine largest internet companies in your backyard you can force them to do things that other countries can't do. you can go to google and force them to give you whatever you want. but the nsa goes well beyond that. there's the front door but they also go into the backdoor and tap into the fiber-optic link between the data centers so i think that's something i would
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like to see at least addressed and where is this leading us in terms of worldwide surveillance of everybody and is a rational we are paying for this? are we just building the haystack so high that we will never be able to find the needle so those are good questions. >> jim marc rotenberg from the electronic privacy information center and i want to thank you very much for your talk and all your work on this issue. as you know it was the epic that brought the omission -- initial challenge to the nsa program. we were supported in that effort by dozens of legal scholars and former members of the church committee who agreed under section 215 there simply wasn't the authority for the nsa to collect all the telephone records on american citizens but i will want to ask you about the historical significance of the president's speech tomorrow morning. it seems to me if you take a
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step back and think about the significant reform efforts in this area we were called for example in congress of 1974 in watergate to pass the privacy act to strengthen the freedom of information act and the congress after the church committee established the foreign intelligence surveillance act. don't you think we have sufficient evidence at this point that points toward comprehensive legislative reform in light of what we know to save guard privacy in the country? >> i certainly do mark and that is a true big organization and has been on the advisory board. they are the ones that originally fought nsa during the 1990s when nsa wanted to do a thing called the clipper ship where the nsa would force the u.s. to turn the keys over to
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nsa for letting them use the backdoor. the public and the congress rejected that largely because of what epic was doing and then we find out from the snowden documents that it doesn't make any difference. they are going around the backdoor anyway and eavesdropping so it's a good question. the problem is as somebody mentioned earlier frank church isn't in congress anymore. we have dianne feinstein and i just don't see an awful lot of momentum in congress to work on or to actually pass some privacy bills with teeth in them. i would really like to see that happen and you know we are living, still living in this post-9/11 period which we weren't living in back in those days and as i mention itself generating so you get the
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congress people who know that they have to go up for re-election every two years and they know that if they vote against a new budget increase for nsa or they vote for a privacy bill instead their opponent is going to say well, my opponent is weak on terrorism so if you are blown up by the next terrorist bomb it's going to be his fault. that is the incentive for these congresspeople to push for you know progressive legislation and falling back on pouring more money into the intelligence community that yeah that is one of the reasons why epic does a great job at trying to get these bills passed. >> there has been a couple of references here or at lease one to the fact do we have to balance our rights against national security. a vigorous effort by a lot of people to reframe the argument or frame the argument that we
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have to balance constitutional rights versus national security and what seems lost and that is the back of the bill of rights as mr. henry alluded to the beginning really the means for us as a sovereign people versus what we previously saw subject under the monarchy to be the overseers and provide oversight for the government meaning the malfeasance or misfeasance of government officials. going back and some of us are earlier -- old enough to remember the 70s the army and agents of defense spying on antiwar activists and to suppress their free speech in right now and here we have the nsa and the dod agency doing on on a massive scale worldwide. the question seems to me to be why are we willing to relinquish to government officials military especially do have a very narrow focus that we as american citizen should have. i think vietnam was the best example showing that the army, the military was wrong and the
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antiwar activists were right and they are the ones who manage to keep us from degrading into the same catastrophic failure that the soviet union did 15 years later because we have that right to know. where is the outreach i guess is my question? [applause] >> that is always the problem. i write looks and i write articles and i do documentaries and so forth so i'm always hoping we are going to create momentum for things but it's hard for any american public to get energized between issues that don't deal with saving them from the terrorists are saving them from iraq or saving them and i don't have the answer to that. i wish i did but you are 100% right that during the 1970s the army actually was used in the united states to spy and to eavesdrop on u.s. citizens. it's another reason why the
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committee was formed. motivating the public, if i knew the answer to that i would be selling toothpaste to make millions of dollars but i don't know how to motivate the public. >> jim, i am curious. you warned us of the danger of inadvertent release of all of this vast score of information but to your knowledge or we intentionally sharing any of this make a data with foreign countries and if so do you have any idea which once? >> is really interesting. people don't realize this at its not just the nsa. the nsa is one element of the much larger organization. it's called the u.k. usa agreement otherwise known as
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the -- i don't know why they call it the flybys. it should be 10 years but that is what they call it the flybys and that's the united states the u.k. australia new zealand and canada. after world war ii it was very successful in codebreaking the purple machine in japan and so forth so the countries continue doing codebreaking and so forth. what they did was they divided the world up in terms of its fears of eavesdropping capabilities. the u.k. could eavesdrop on europe very well. the u.s. could do south america and the australians and new zealanders could do southeast asian and so on and so forth. it's one big organization that does the spying so everything is picked up by the united states is shared with those five countries. there's a lot of sharing that goes on beyond that. one of the documents that i
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thought was fairly shocking from edward snowden was the nsa was turning over to israel all of our data that the u.s. was collecting without everything going through having some oversight or overview, just turning it over. so that's the problem you have when you have a situation like that. you have the government that collects all of the stuff. there's no real oversight and nobody saying you were not allowed to do that. they just do anything they want and i don't particularly want to know the police to know who i'm calling every day. why should they no? i agree it's a big problem. once they collected its going into this place i wrote about in utah called bluffton which apparently is not being a very big success. it's a $2 million, 1 million square feet and every time they
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turn the switch on one of the servers melts. so they haven't had a lot of luck with that at that is where supposedly it's going to be stored. i think it's shared easily and they can share with whoever they want. norman. >> you mentioned senator church but senator church was from idaho and came from a distinctive political culture. his ancestry was sent at -- predecessor was senator board who was a great opponent of centralized power governmental tyranny and arbitrary decisions so the question that we have all raised how come our citizenry isn't more active or more outraged or how come the aclu protests and their editorials in the times and so on but there
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isn't a kind of study abroad taste popularly rooted protest and probably the answer to that lies in other features of our political culture in the gigantic system of our social institutions and the fact that when you sign a contract for a phone you are signing something away that's powerless in the face of these very sizable institutions will whether they are big banks or communications companies. i would suggest that this induces a kind of general paralysis which requires real bureaus to oppose and as everybody knows it is in everybody's forte. >> that is why all whistleblowers are so rare.
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in a society like this is much easier to go along and if you are in certain areas of society and you are saying that there is no threat to terrorism people are going to look at you like you are a screaming radical or something like that. if you actually look at the statistics that person would be absolutely right. there's this fear-mongering that goes on. that is really to me the worst part about it, the fear-mongering and it hasn't encountered much in the press either. what to do about it i really don't know but i tried to indicate the level of risk and if the level of risk is very small from things like terrorism or its very large on gun control and things like that. anyway i wish there was some solution. i just don't know.
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>> my question is earlier you were describing the 54 events whereby they were tried to come up with evidence. do you have any idea how much money they spent specifically on that program and how many people are being employed to do nothing essentially? >> yeah i have no idea but nsa, it was all top-secret until the document came out with the budget was so there is -- nsa is the largest intelligence agency in the world. his 35,000 employees and you have another 15,000 or so that are contractors. you've got all that money and all those people out there and yeah that's the big question, what do you get out of that? it's on most like they are doing it because it's an academic
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exercise because we can do it or we are eavesdropping because we can so we will. that's really a problem and that is why the senate house and intelligence committee don't hold their feet to the fire like the church committee. it wasn't just church but there were other committees back in the 70s that did that. you are going to have these programs. as i mentioned the nsa kept arguing that the internet metadata, the e-mail metadata program was a roaring success until they were forced by only two senators udall and wyden to put up or shut up and they couldn't put up so they had to shut the program down. while i'm thinking of it just so i can mention it but we were talking about whistleblowers and so forth and penalizing whistleblowers.
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where are the penalties to the u.s. government for breaking the law? where his clapper? [applause] es he is an indian been criticized by the government let alone indicted and how many people from the warrantless seeds dropping the operation were prosecuted? that was a complete violation of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. even in a time of war you only have five extra days to do warrantless eavesdropping. nobody ever gets punished. there's this lack of accountability. general alexander headed the nsa captain of an aircraft carrier that ran into the rock of gibraltar. what a navy captain still be running a ship? he still running the nsa after the worst security breach in u.s. history. there's no accountability within the administration. you have to start with
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accountability before you start getting any reform. you let the same people make all of the same mistakes continue to make them. >> i am from the government accountability project. [applause] >> we represent -- represent edward snowden and i just want to point out that the congress actually took out of the whistleblower in protection enhancement act any protections from retaliation for the intelligence community whistleblowers and therefore they are vulnerable to any action the government takes against them for a corporation. do you see on the horizon and he and enhanced protections from reprisal coming from the congress or the obama administration? >> yeah you point out some really important facts.
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the fact that the whistleblowers don't have protection and that is why the things the administration keeps talking about, they have these proper channels they can go to. well they don't have those proper channels and i don't see any legislation. i have been watching this for years because that is my bread and butter comes from whistleblowers. to give you one quick example here one of the people that i quoted in my last book the shell factory was adrian kinney who was an employee or who was in nsa what they call voice intercept operator down at the nsa's huge listing post in the state of georgia here that eavesdrop on a lot of of -- remotely from satellites and so forth created she was among the things they were doing was eavesdropping on americans
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calling americans come in other words journalists are aid workers or americans in the middle east to happen to call their spouse in the united states and were having bedtime conversations and so forth. she didn't particularly want to listen to that. she said it was like reading somebody's diary so she protested all the way up from her position at the listening post in georgia all the way up to the head of the army intelligence and security committee which ran all of that. his name happened to be keith alexander at the time. and that got nowhere so then she climbed up the ladder on the congressional side and got all the way to the senate intelligence committee chairman leahy and again nothing happens so she finally talked to me. i really asked her to go full face and full name and let me use that because otherwise they
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would just say i'll go you are just making it up. she did and it was a very brave act on her part but she felt very strongly that the government was doing this is in this is the problem the whistleblowers they spray they don't have any real protection. we were a will to do a few things behind the scenes that got her protection within two hours of the time i came out with mike look and was on abc news. senator rockefeller and the chairman of the senate intelligence committee at the time agreed to hold a hearing, not hold a hearing but agree to an investigation and they immediately asked her if she would testify. she said she would which made her witness before a committee. they couldn't prosecute her without obstructing investigation of congress. i have never had a source get
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arrested or prosecuted and i want to keep it that way. >> jim lee told c-span 8:15 and we have so many questions out here. >> i don't want to keep people here if they don't want to be here so if you want to leave. i am happy to keep asking them. >> thank you so much, jim. >> thank you very much. i really appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> by the way i think they are selling books out there and they have asked me to notify you that
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my books are for sale. it's a capitalist society here. [inaudible conversations]
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