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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  April 20, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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founder, julian assange, is part of a forum on the role of whistle-blowers. then we will look at the affect of arab unrest in north africa. after that, the sec chairman on his agency's agenda. >> the ipod mini is no more. i give you the ipod nano. >> mike daisey comments on the world as he sees it. his latest, the agony and the ecstasy of steve jobs. >> all my monologue come out of a collision with thoughts. >> find out more sunday night on c-span's "q&a". you can also download podcasts
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online at >> nice, a discussion of the question "do whistle-blowers' make the world a safer place?" julian assange, journalist, and former intelligence officers are on the panel. this is one hour and a half. [applause] [applause] >> good afternoon. can everyone here me in the back? good to see so many of you here. i am the editor of "the new statesman." when we announced we were having this debate, we put it up on our website and tickets were sold out in a matter of hours. we talked about switching
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venues. we had a long commute for people who wanted to come here this evening. in the and we stayed here and i think it is a finding you. the motion before the house this evening is, this house i am pleased to say she is here with us. congratulations. [applause] i know you do not want to hear me speak. i have a few brief words about the format. the speaker will have more -- no more than seven words -- minutes to make their case.
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without further ado i introduced the one proposing the motion. [applause] julien us on -- assange. [applause] i gather some of you must recognize that. opposing the motion, we have sir david richards.
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we have douglas. a few words about each of our speakers. e is the head of al-jazeera's transparency unit. [applause] our second speaker proposing the motion needs no introduction. julien was born in queensland, australia. he is editor in chief of wikileaks. he has facilitated more acts of
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whistleblowing than any other individual. there have been calls to -- for his assassination. he is continuing ongoing espionage investigations. he described in a phrase, he called wicked leaks -- wikilea ks the intelligence agency of the people. he writes about politics, economics, world affairs. when he is not writing, and he is speaking. there are other political programs. before joining the statesman, he worked for channel four. opposing the motion, we have sir david richards.
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30 years of service in baghdad. in 2003, david returned to baghdad. he is the un special representative to iraq. he is the head of defense and intelligence. he has had a long and distinguished career and side of the u.s. government. that says here that he was responsible for the security of the protesting systems across the world. a journalist has recently been
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moved to become assistant director of the society. i think you were due to be in new york this evening. i am grateful that you could arrange your flight to be with us this evening. >> thanks very much. i think it might be quite exciting to do this before you speak. two of you have a view about the motion. whistle blowers make the world a safer place. by a show of hands, those of you who would support that motion. this house believes that whistle-blowers makes the world is safer place. who would oppose that? only a few of you oppose that. you have a lot of work to do to find that. how many abstained?
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that is interesting. as many as those opposing. >> it is a pleasure to be here in london. i have been asked to participate because i believe in the value of whistle-blowers. i am speaking on behalf of al his era -- al jazeera's transparency unit. anything i say wrong is myself. we live in a time of unprecedented wrongdoing. we have a phenomenon of the collusion between the mainstream media organizations and government that has surrendered a lot of journalistic principles of keeping government in check and holding them to account because of political leanings or because they wanted to get invited to the next christmas
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party, i do not know why. many of you see this on television and in recordings and in newspapers. at the issue of whether or not to support whistle-blowers is devalue and principal of anonymous speech. i am representing al jazeera, and i am also american. in my country, we have a strong tradition of anonymous speech that we take from our forefathers. that was the discussion of the federalist papers over what form of government the constitution should be. people posted anonymously. they did not want retaliation because they did not want people to hurt them because of the public discourse. the united states supreme court has upheld the volume of
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anonymous speech. it helps break taboos. what is amusing about the whole criticism of using anonymous speech, governments have nearly perfected anonymous speech. let me give you a clear example. oftentimes, the united states government uses the media to help make policies go over well with the public. messages through anonymous sourcing. they go to journalists. how often did you see in the run up to the iraq war, the senior intelligence officer speaking on the intelligence. they have no problem picking up the phone and calling us journalists. that happens all the time. they are passing along their information. why? the powerful can. they make the rules.
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the same thing, when it is turned on its head, they attack the leaks and disclosures and anonymous sourcing. it is wrong. we have the unprecedented wrongdoing and the collusion of so many journalistic organizations with the governments. people are finding ways to take massive amounts of information and put it out on the internet. we recognize that trend. we set up the transparency. we want to have a way to receive these tips and that for people to be able to come to us and pass information along we are not able to obtain that through traditional journalism. we take in information. we authenticate it. we give it context and nuance. our challenge is to turn
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documents into television. that helps the government make better choices for our viewers. we did that with the palestine papers back in january. this was our first disclosure. it was secret negotiations between palestinians and americans. the chair the and workings of a process gone awry between 2000 and 2010. we took a lot of heat for doing it. our first challenge was what to withhold? what do you not put out there? we were under tremendous pressure from the british government. we received a call from mi not to publish the name of a mi officer. and to in turn them with bank eu funding. this is illegal under international law.
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this was listed as a consulate in jerusalem at the time. at the end of the day, we said that this was a libyan intelligence officer, would withhold his name? if he was a venezuelan, would we withhold his name? if we get rid of the my country tis of thee objection that journalists have, that it is liberating. nobody was hurt. we gave context and in permission. if you just put documents out there and they do not have any background, people did not believe them. there is no reason to put out the day that if you do not tell people why it matters to them. they probably would not look at it. the critics of wikileaks, many
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of them are journalists. i have thought about what they said about him in particular and the impact on our profession. i come away with two thoughts i would share with you. one is a more basic, human critiqued. they are hating on him the key -- because he got a scoop that he did not. if he was from a different organization, they would be talking about what the awards they would give him. the second point was that a lot of the organizations, they do not have the editorial cahones to publish. let me take you back to 2004. "the new york times" found new information that the bush
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administration that was eavesdropping on u.s. citizens. the bush administration got them to delay publication until 2005 when bush was safely reelected. they withheld the apache helicopter footage that wiki leaks put out there. the people know what not to put out there. we see this in egypt when they go up to the ministry of the interior. the people did not put it out there and -- because it violated privacy. the masses know what is appropriate to put out there. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> speaking against the motion.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i realize that both of us have been asked to do this and have our work cut out. we will do our best. at the risk of making things worse at the outset, i concede that in certain circumstance -- circumstances there is a valiant case for whistleblowing. when there is deceit or abuse of power, blowing the whistle can be justified. not everybody that leaks a confidential document or 250,000 documents is a whistle blower. whether it is for political advantage or because they disagree with the policy or they take the view that government should not be in the business of keeping information secret.
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it is a problem for which he leaks. -- wikileaks. i also agreed that holding the government to account, the government needs to be properly informed. most democracies have accepted the need for greater transparency. they give the public access to more affirmation. in the u.k., we have the freedom of information act. there is the growth of judicial review that has also played a huge part in opening up the workings of british government, including the most secret. there are good reasons why government believes that it is duty bound to keep up confidentiality. this does not necessarily mean
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the right to know everything all of the time. these include national security , international relations, and the foreign relations of government -- the relation of government policy. there is no doubt that it is too much information, if classified. our defense will never depend on secrecy. when we get on an airplane, we are generally assured, if knocke mildly irritated, by all of the searching and backtracking. since 9/11, there has been only one terrorist attack in britain leading to major loss of life. we have prevented a number of other attacks that in one case it would have led to many others. the work of these agencies has
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to be secret. they cannot operate if their sources and methods are exposed to public view. one of the goals of diplomacy is to make the world a seat -- safer place. to be effective, diplomacy's sometimes requires confidentiality. >> you said that diplomacy requires secrecy. do you think that the people in this room had the right to know that ambassadors were being bugged by diplomats? [applause] >> there is a lot i could say about that. there is one very short point. i thought that was a bit absurd. if i want information from a un employee, i ask for it. he normally gives it to me.
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you have picked up the only exception. the leak of the state department cables has not shown us up to our neck in a state department cover-ups. the show's the normal traffic of diplomacy. they are keeping this confidential for the sake of working relationships. finding the compromises, which are the lifeblood of international relations. it is the bargaining process that becomes public. resolutions are voted in public. explanations of votes are public. the negotiation takes place behind closed doors. that was not the case. getting diplomatic context to
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free -- speak frankly, it depends on trust. this is based on the strategic arms reduction treaty and they wanted to find a way to the difficulties that they faced. they want for their famous walk in the woods. they may have needed fresh air, but they needed the chance to talk frankly and build trust. that is impossible if confidentiality cannot be respected. without frank speaking, the quality of information on which governments must base their decisions deteriorates. that is not, in my view, the recipe for a safer world. the public needs to be properly informed. the government's need to keep some aspects confidential to protect its citizens and
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function effectively. if the right balance is not being struck, the democratic way to address this is not by whistleblowing. in some exceptional circumstances, it must be justified. we should improve the democratic and constitutional processes. parliament, the media, the courts, and rights of individual citizens operating within the framework established by law. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for that. this talk is about not whether sometimes information should be kept secret by those tasked to
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do so. of course it should. the question is whether whistle- blowers and their actions make the world a safer place or not, or to rephrase the question, with the absence of whistle- blowers make the world a more harmful place? we just heard this last speaker saying that when considering a balance between the desire of certain groups and individuals for secrecy and those that coerce individuals at the point of a gun, then the rights of us to know what our government is doing, this is a matter for the
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courts. this is a matter for the democratic process. this is something to be ironed out between us and cast into law. how would we know whether the secrecy process is working for us or not? the only way we can no weather information is legitimately kept secret is when it is revealed. all systems of censorship have that problem and coded within them. because of that original sin of censorship, they all must be held to outside account. the way that has been traditionally done is by courageous individuals who are
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privy to information that they believe the public is interested in. they are putting it out at substantial personal risk. the public bend, if b. media -- the media is an honest conduit, the public decides whether to report those actions or not. perhaps we should talk about some of those actions. if we are not talking about what actually happens in the world, what are we talking about? we are talking about myths that exist in our own heads and hypothetical. i want to look at some situations in history that have led to war and perhaps have
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stopped war. a war between people certainly does not make the world a safer place. the absence of a war or prevention of a war must be the old met in making people safer. a war was triggered by the gulf of tonkin incident. a lie about a u.s. boat off the coast of vietnam, which the united states government claim had been attacked by the vietnamese. that claim was a lie. there were people privy to that claim that knew it was a lie that came forth in the past 10 years to talk about how it was a lie.
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if it had come forth and broken the interpretation of what national security secrets are, as bradley manning is alleged to have done, that war may never have happened. similarly, the disaster that has been the iraq war, we all found out about dr. evidence, -- doctored evidence. when did we find out? the war had already started. why did we find out after? was there no one concerned in the planning who felt that it was wrong? of course there were. the fears that these individuals had, the fears of being imprisoned and jailed for revealing that information to you, kept them secret until
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later on in the process. much later on. this year in great britain, we are seeing an inquiry into that process. the chilcutt inquiry. wikileaks released a cable on this inquiry. this was telling the u.s. ambassador at the time of the inquiry, do not worry, we are going to protect all of your interests here. similarly, there was a time in 2007 when there were serious moves afoot to get up to war with iran. most of you remember that feeling.
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-cons were pushing through their mouthpieces in america and the united states, pushing for that war. people can afford and said, do not do what i did. he was the leaker of the pentagon papers. do not do what i did and wait four or five years until after the vietnam war had started. do not wait to come forward until this war starts. sources did come forth. sources who saw the planning for that war. as a result, there were moves against it. the sources have not been exposed. they did their best.
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they may have changed history and they went back to their jobs and continued on. that is that model that we want to promote as much as possible. whistle-blower's based difficulties. it is rare that they end up in prison. they often lose their jobs and their employment prospects. when they can speak anonymously, they can change history. they can be proud of themselves and their acts and continue on. in 2008, the u.s. military classified rules of engagement for iraq. the rules for the u.s. army and its air support have to use when conducting battles in iraq. we went to the "the new york
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times" to get that out. one section of it spoke about how the u.s. military could crossover the border of iraq without senior authorization at the commander lovell when chasing someone in a vessel or suspected terrorist or a number of other situations. most wars have started as a result of border disputes. a soldier crossing over into another country's territory. you could see the alleged fabricated gulf of tonkin incident as one of those. the iranian foreign ministry held a press conference and said that this was unacceptable.
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later on, we got a hold of another copy of the rules of engagement in 2008 months after the publication. the rules had changed. the u.s. soldiers were not permitted to cross over into iran. i could speak for hours about all of the tremendous revelations. just yesterday, the editor of the most respected paper in india ran over 21 front pages in the last six weeks that were based on the material. there is no a tremendous anti- corruption movement that has been building up in that country, something that has not
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happened since the time of gondi. >> the final minute. >> i thank you. it is obvious that whistle- blowers make the world a safer place. we look at the arguments. this does not mean that everything in government should be exposed. it does mean that the system of breaking alleged alas -- laws is working at it must be kept going that way. otherwise, we cannot replace the reality that we are in. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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bob ayers. [applause] >> when i saw the show of hands at the beginning, i realized what the questions felt like in the coliseum. just a point of clarification, the vietnam war was well under way before the gulf of tonkin incident. that was under the administration of a lyndon johnson. the war started under the john f. kennedy administration. your timing was a little off. >> the french were involved in that war for many, many years. >> sit down. sit down. >> thank you very much. >> please continue. >> we were very polite when he
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spoke. we expect the same courtesy from him. obviously, i am wrong. what i would like to talk about is not the specifics of how many documents were compromised or said what to do. what i would like to look at is how we as individuals and organizations and groups of people deal with issues of secrecy. secrecy is something that we have all experienced throughout our history. there are various forms of this. we have religious secrets, as shown by the gnostic sects and the knights templar. we have social secrets such as the freemasons. we have commercial secrets, trade secrets, property and commercial confidence materials. we have criminal secrets.
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the mafia has a secret code. lastly, we have state secrets. all of these organizations have a commonality on how they deal with those secrets. one is that the organization professes to hold knowledge that is known only to members within the organization. members of that organization are expected to take an oath or make a promise to retain the secrecy of that information. lastly, the members accept and acknowledge that they will be punished by the revelation of that information. this is common across all of those groups. it is not unique to the state. as people, we have developed a very rich language and nomenclature that describes people who reveal secrets. we call them a snitch, a rat, pace wheeler, a trader --
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squealer, a traitor, or a whistle-blower. this is not what i have invented. >> as someone who worked in government as a federal criminal investigator, we also called snitches people who came to us to rat on their friends or provide information to the government. we also use that to describe people who supplied us with information. [applause] >> the rationale for people who break this oath or promise is as varied as some other things you have heard here today. people break the oath for greed,
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for money, for a bandage. they break the oath based on revenge, ideologies, fear, or ego. there is a wide range of punishments we put in place for people who break their oath. depending on the group you are in, it depends. if it is a religious group, you can be excommunicated. socially, you can be expelled from the group. commercially, you can be fired or even worse. you can be subjected to a civil suit. criminals can be put to death, especially if you rat on the mafia. the state can put you in prison or put you to death for violating the oath. people that bright that oath, we
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remember them and remember them in a bad light. if you are british, i say to you purchase mclean, blunt, you know they are spies that gave british secrets to the russians. if you are an american, you say aldrich ames and robert hansen. those are men who violated their oath and gave secrets to the russians. if you are a russian, and i used the name ollie, you know he is demand that betrayed the motherland and gave secrets to the americans. if i say joe and you are in the mafia, you know he testified against her organization and was later sentenced to death. today, we are discussing the legalities and technicalities of
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whistle blowing. that is what the motion is before us. what is interesting is that the motion before us avoid some of the basic human characteristics that should be shipping this discussion. humans appear to share this belief that people that betray their oath are something that extends across cultures, societies, and continents. people that break their oath or someone that we revile and distrust. the question before us, at least the unspoken question before us is due individuals or organizations that encouraged us to break that oath or facilitate our breaking of the oath, or promote us breaking that oath, are they just as guilty as the person who preaches the oath themselves? thank you. [applause]
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>> i think this evening we have some whistle-blowers in the audience. i would like them to come forward. annie, please come forward. [applause] annie, is a former british security service. a spy that left the service at the same time as david. many of you remember. she helped blow the whistle about criminal service intelligence agencies. could you tell us a little bit about your experiences and your story? >> thank you very much for inviting me.
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if you are an intelligence officer with than the u.k. intelligence agencies, you do not swear an oath. it is slightly different than the american system. anything that i say now has already been said. there is no need. i joined mi5 in the early 1990's along with my friend. during our recruitment, we were told that mi5 had to obey the law. during our six years there, there were such a cascade of incompetence and criminality, we felt compelled to leave in order to effect change. that included piles of government ministries and a range of other prominent individuals in the u.k..
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this included a phone tap. should have and could have been prevented. and then mi5 colluding in the cover-up. palestinians were convicted wrongly of an explosion outside of the israeli embassy in london in 1994 that were sentenced to 20 years each that were riding in prison. in 1996, he was officially briefed about colonel gaddafi in libya. they were funding a bunch of islamist rebels. the only difference between then and now, now they're finding the rebels, but they are doing it more openly. we all know about it. what do we do? we joined up to serve our
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country and try to be different. in the u.k., there is a clear line of disclosure. you cannot go to anybody apart from the head of the agency which has committed the crime in order to report the crime. what to do? we decided after many sleepless nights to go public to the press and hope the ensuing -- it would have an inquiry into this. we would go on a run around europe. we ended up hiding for a year in france. we lived in exile for another two years. student supporters and even journalists were arrested and convicted because they dared to expose these crimes. of course, david went to prison,
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not once, but twice. in 1998 when the british government failed to extradite him from france. the second time as when he voluntarily returned to stand trial. he was convicted and want to present in 2002. what is worse that -- was that his reputation was ruined in the press and through manipulation. why does this happened? they are easily controlled by the government and the intelligence agencies. not through the security advisory committee. this is through the adaptation of the official secrets act. this is through the adaptation of terrorism act. there is a section in mi6 which spins and controls media news as
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well. if we live in an ideal world where we had transparency and respect to human rights, we would not need the press to continue to support whistle- blowers. we live in the real world. there is a nebulous war on terror. we need some sort of channel to protect whistle-blowers. americans have that legal channel. i suggest that we need one in the laws of this land. we have wikileaks and the provide protection for whistleblowers. thank you very much and we hope that they continue their work in the years to come. [applause] >> does anyone opposing the
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motion which to come back on some of the points? she spoke about criminality within mi5. does anyone wish to talk about that? douglas? >> can i ask if you defied the official secrets act? there is the idea that you do not have to have some sort of silence if you are going to engage in the secret service. it seems to be inherent in the name. that if you join the secret service, you can keep secrets. leaving the security services, you has a -- you have made a career as a 9/11 truther. i saw you testify having to speak on oath. you were the short as witnesses
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that in the 13 years that they have ever heard. you did not have anything to say. you came claiming that you had secrets and it became clear that you did not know anything. you are very low level and you went out into the world presenting ourselves as experts. you try to prevent -- present yourself as a free-speech expert. >> thank you. the pronunciation of your name? >> it would be nice if you got that right. >> briefly. >> the inquiry was about a state agent. we insure that the evidence given by mi5 was changed. that was one thing. we signed the official secrets act to protect the official
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secrets, not crime. [applause] whatever level we worked on, we know more than somebody who never worked on the inside at all. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for that robust intervention. tell us a little bit more about your experiences. i believe you were dismissed for warning people about the extent of their overexposure. tell us in a little bit more. i would like to know your story about what happened to you. >> you may think that blowing the whistle on a bank has nothing to do with debt, but it
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does. the banking crisis has driven 100 million people into poverty and killed many millions of those people. it does have something to do with death. i say one ting to bob. dwight eisenhower once said, never confuse honest the fence with disloyal subversion. there is a fundamental difference between those who raise and speak truth to power from a position of ethical decency and those who are doing it for subversion. [applause] hague lifts the lid on britain'a secret past. the government that believes in transparency and openness. that is what people expect and
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what they have a right to. transparency is the key to truth. anything done in the dark is not nearly always the truth. it is the truth that sets us free. we only grow by taking risks. the biggest risk we ever have is being honest with ourselves and others. this above all, that it must follow the night into day. of course, obviously, proper whistleblowing makes the world a safer place. it prevents disaster. it prevents wars. on a micro basis, it removes people from organizations that are criminals or a civil wrongdoing. on a macro basis, it leads to major changes of policy process and transparency leads to a better world. in my case, after i was fired
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by james crosby for trying to slow down the bank of scotland, it has led to some changes. some good changes. i have not got sufficient time to go through some of these things. there is not nearly enough changes that have come out of it. the principal reason for doing what i did was to have change in the policies so that we could be protected from the way that banks work. we have not done nearly enough about it. we are still not doing transparency. there has never been a proper inquiry. if you did a proper inquiry, the best interests would be found out. regulators, accountants, rating agencies, etc. in fact, we are thinking about driving a mass movement to get the transparency.
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mark my words, if we do not solve it this time, the next time it will be and wipe out. i would like to blow the whistle on the format of this particular event. how could you have an event of this measure at have a whistle blower and not being allowed to speak? i was sent this whistle by the sock -- an admirer. it says in latin, to speak up on behalf of the fatherland. >> you have one minute. >> whistle blowing may make the world a safer place. it does not make it a safe place for a whistle blower. you get treated like toxic
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waste. you get treated like a leper. you care more about the organization and then the rubish you. i have been in the depths over this. this is my son writing a card to me on my birthday what i was in the depths of suicide. i know that you think that this birthed this stuff is nonsense, but it is a day to celebrate your life and what a great person you are. know this, everybody has flaws and i'd like to look past those flaws to the great person you are. there is a lot of good in you and what you -- then you get credit for. in everything you stand for, which is integrity and truth. do not worry. we get transformed by truth. the reality is that you get transformed by trouble. all of the pain and suffering
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have been worthwhile. if you want to ask anybody how it changes from the valley of death to amazing grace. my daughter is in the audience tonight. she will tell you. thanks very much indeed. [applause] >> paul was blowing the whistle there. very poignant points. we have had many questions through our web site. one that seemed to recur again and again is this idea of collateral damage. this is as a result of whistleblowing or leaking valuable information. we want to hear you speak on that. >> i have a view on it.
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we have bent in the business for about 4.5 years of exposing actual collateral damage. the deaths added up in total of over 140,000 people documented case by case. in the case of the u.s. military and the assassinations from kenya. that is actual, not only collateral damage, but murder. if you speak about wikileaks, there has been a lot of hot air said about our publication and -- by the pentagon and its rich -- supporters. anything that the press publishes that embarrasses the national security sector. we have a perfect record in true
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respect. that is not the record that we can keep forever. today, we have never preached a document that was mis-described. we have never gotten it wrong, as anyone alleges. nobody has ever suffered physical harm as a result of anything that we have published. that is the answer. that is what gates, the defense secretary of the united states admits. it is what made out that mets. that is what the pentagon admits. if you google the phrase blood on hands and wikileaks and pentagon, there are 10 times as leaks eferences to wikik
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and blood on hands than the pentagon. that is including all the wars that the pentagon has done everywhere. the opponents say that it has no blood on its hands but there is some hypothetical risk that they should be talking about. they are saying that their opponents have blood on their hands when there is none. [applause] >> i am very keen to keep this debate going as much as possible. i would like to hear from douglas murray. i would like you to come
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forward. >> do you want me to preempt my speech? very well. are you sure? >> i will come back. i am worried about how one side -- >> i am worried about it, too. i am happy to hold. thank you. >> please step forward. everybody has been waiting for you. [applause] >> i am worried about how one- sided it is, too. there are countless debates on the panel. i am joking. i do not want to talk about wikileaks, julien, me, paul, i
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want to talk about a man named joe darby. he is a high-school graduate from small-town pennsylvania. he joined and it went to iraq in 2004. he was accidently given two cds containing photographs taken at abu ghraib. he sought the iraqi prisoners being stacks and forced to perform sex acts on each other, being attacked with dogs, being attacked, sodomized, raped. those pictures showed torture, abuse, rape, every indecency.
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joe darby, to use the lingo of the military, ratted on his friends, his fellow show -- ellis soldiers. they did not arrest those guys banged. when he went home to see his wife, they were told that they had to sell their house because it was not safe anymore. he had to be followed around by bodyguards. he had to quit the military, all because he decided to blow the whistle. he helped uncover one of the worst crimes perpetrated by the u.s. and abroad in recent years and there are a lot to choose from. darby was asked by anderson cooper in an interview, did you ask -- did you wish that it was
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not you that was given the cds. he said no, they might not have been reported otherwise. they say that ignorance is bliss. to know what they're doing, you cannot stand by and let that happen. that is what whistleblowing is all about, and that is why this is so important. that whistle blowers do not make the world a safer place, but they have risk lies rather than save lives. -- they risk lives. tell the inmates of of the great prison that whistle-blowers do not matter, they have no impact in the world. i would like to go to those people and say, "you should not have come forward. you should not have spoken out."
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whistle-blowers have a life- saving task. i would take your point in one second. traitors, those who went to the soviet union to sell secrets. people who speak out against dangerous, dishonest, or illegal activity. that is who i am here for. who are you here for, bob? [applause] >> i am here to be entertained by some of the speakers. the man turned over the cd's of abu ghraib. the man returned to those over
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we do who turn those over had no responsibility to keep silent -- the man who turn those over -- who turned those over had no responsibility to keep silent. >> i thought we were having a debate about whistle-blowers. proud of being a whistle-blower. but, listen. this is a debate about people. paul did not take an oath. it is not about roads. it did not about swearing. this is about people and speak out, very clearly, people who speak out against dangerous, dishonest, illegal activity. let's be very clear. it is about big business.
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take the man that was portrayed by a rather potbellied russell crowe in the movie concern the tobacco industry. he saved lives by becoming a whistle-blower. this was about reducing the carcinogenic elements in the cigarettes. his assistance was central to the fda investigation into the role of nicotine. i do not know if he took an oath. but he stood up. our world is a better place. we do not live in a perfect
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world. we live in a very imperfect world, where our government lied to us. they engaged in corrupt back room deals. and then they demand our trust, our trust, year after year after year, lie after lie after lie. well, stop lying to us, and we will not have whistle-blowers. surely a government, show me a government, democratic or nongovernment the democratic. i remember the labor minister telling me, "trust me. trust me. i have seen the intelligence. the weapons are there. the weapons were not there. did it was working in the foreign office when they were going around saying that the case for war against saddam was thin.
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instead of 2003, instead of going to chat with andrew billingham, those weapons of mass destruction. we would have hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqis still alive today had we had whistle-blowers. [applause] and in in in a perfect world come in and in corporate world, we need whistle-blowers, and for have said they will come when governments and neurologists will own up to the level of deceit and corruption in our public life. and if you want any more evidence of the whistle-blowers, just look at what happens to the people who blow the whistle. threatened and blackmailed by the nixon administration who wanted him incapacitated.
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another held by the israelis for 11 years. and another is being held right now by the obama administration, and his underwear is taken from him before he is allowed to go to sleep at night. when whistle-blowers, long to put power in our hands, they say this is outrageous. this is wrong. this is going to destroy the world. whistle-blowers and power fall and dare i say, these people and bradley manning and make the world a safer place. i urge you to back the motion. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you. a senior with the new statesman. something for you to answer. whistle-blower organizations may become a powerful tool to control the government, but who will control those organizations? who will control the whistle- blowers, and how do we know that the information they published is not being manipulative? >> the public holds us to account, and the public takes it weather materials submitted anonymously, if something is
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done to conceal an agenda -- i think all of what we never really does not give enough credit. they can take in information that is submitted anonymously, and they throw in opinions and evaluate it and determine whether or not this is information being put out there for some other agenda or if this is to legitimately call some of the out for wrongdoing. i think there needs to be a conversation on journalists, those who touch and taken the information, about what we put out and we do not put out. for example, in my own opinion, i do not think it would be good to put that information related to critical infrastructure of vulnerability.
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>> you do not support that. >> no, i do not. we do have some context, some background, some new ones. we do not just bonnett information. >> -- >> i will let julianne speak about -- julian speak aboaut wikileaks. sometimes, there is information that is just too important for one news organization to have. so you partner, i think when you get more partnering, you get more accountability. this is a new type of journalism. there does need to be some sort of code of ethics and standards, and i think as a new form of
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journalism, it is being worked out. this is why it is so popular. and that is why he was voted as one of the most popular figures in the world by "time magazine." thank you. [applause] >> could you please step forward? >> thank you. well, thank you very much. >> i have been trying to get your on all evening. >> i know. this allows me to disagree with some of the previous speakers and also to agree with them. i am sorry to enter borne by partisanship, but i agree with many.
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democracies and governments can be corrupt. this is true. democracy is a deeply flawed system. it is not perfect. it is, as churchill said. and i think we have to be aware, very aware, of this discussion between the difference between open societies, democracies, in which evil can come to the four and do in those systems in which they never do and cannot. are there flaws in our government? of course. but, by and large, a democracy like america has a lot of checks and balances, different officials, different parties coming to power, elections,
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elections every two years, elections which just throughout the government that many were critical of in iraq, making your biography may be as terrifying as the prime minister. who knows what we should know? the decides? well, people like mr. assange, so with him on the panel, we are likely going to be talking about wikileaks. but do they know, ladies and gentlemen, what they are doing? to criticize the government when it goes wrong. to some extent, not perfectly,
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they do know what they are doing. my own personal feeling is this. that when you unleash thousands and thousands of documents that were never meant for the public eye, were never meant for your opponent's eyes, were never meant for an intelligence agencies eyes, you introduce an element of chaos. it is like war. it is very hard to contain once you start. you may think you know you are doing. you may think you're going to lead to great criticism, but what about the collateral damage in your campaign? are you sure you know what you're doing when you release secret documents relating secret conversations between states of the fragile governments of yemen or jordan or a confrontation with the king of saudi arabia saying that he hopes that the
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israelis do bomb iran could be sure you know what you're doing when you introduce an element of chaos like that in a region which i can assure you does not need more conspiracy theories. another talked about with great pride the release of information that mi looking at trying to assassinate, khaddafi. are you sure it is good to let colonel gaddafi know you want to do that? you will get a chance to answer my questions in a minute. the woman said she was proud of the gaddafi. are we sure that is a good idea to lexcano gaddafi know 10 years ago that mi 6 was doing that? is mr. assange sure?
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>> there will be time. >> is he sure that he knows better than foreign intelligence agencies? maybe he does. maybe he is, indeed, the god like figure that the to person would have to be. what about this new era of journalism? it seems to me it is very much like the old one. people get to pursue their interests. if they hate america, they can release a whole lot of stuff that they can do to make america look bad in the world korea if, like aljazeera, if you are hostile to the state of israel, you can release the information -- no, no, you will get time.
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this is not exactly an open democratic government. and release as many papers as you can in a big white -- in a big light. are you sure, ladies and gentlemen, that they are really and brave and they present themselves and who -- as they present themselves? he said, "we took a lot of heat for doing it." i am surprised you are here. it is a lovely light. you can make a lot of money. you can get a lot of money when you present yourself as a great adversary of something you do not understand entirely.
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but surely, you have to take one. >> no, no, they will get time. i cannot help noticing. why has the russian government secrets not come out? is it because they actually kill a journalist? >> please come in a shouting from the floor. -- please, no shining from the floor. j8ul -- no shouting from the floor. julian assange.
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>> i would ask you to do your research before making comments like that. >> there was a "the guardian" journalists, and they said they were informants. >> point of order. we are in the process of suing "the guardian" and -- you are welcome to sue was iffy -- to join us if you would like. >> there are some of point of view that are exactly counter to what you are saying.
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>> lives have no social utility. the view abuse is a terrible thing. that is why i was involved. to protect us all from the abuse of libel laws, actualize. there must be a recourse, and that records is in the courts and in the court of public opinion. >> thank you very much. >> another point of information, i would lead that was to be able to finish his speech. >> as i said, i very much look forward to them releasing the information about the russian
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secret service killing journalists. the fact that the cia does not hunt down and kill its critics, they do. i would like to see that more reflected in your work. daniel said that by and large notice that the complaints of human rights abuses happenings that disproportion -- inverse proportion to the human-rights abuses happening in the country. the more likely you hear about them, the less likely they are going on, because in a closed society, you do not hear about it. finally, democracies, as i said in the beginning, are in perfect things, but they are the best thing going. they have to answer questions. sometimes, those questions are
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unpleasant. they have to be answered. and when they are not answered, you and i and the public gets to throw out the politicians we no longer trust, and we do. so those people who are very critical, like julian assange, should, perhaps, and to some questions themselves, and since we have the opportunity tonight, i would like you to answer a couple of questions. you are, after all, an organization dedicated to freedom of information. are you willing to reveal all of your sources of funding? how can you demand transparency from government when you as the organization have no transparency yourself? who works for you? who are you involved with?
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who are your employees? where are you even based? none of these things get answered. .et's ask some more questions what is your relationship with the holocaust deniers who says he was an employee of yours? what about what the public should know and what they should not prove governments are elected. you are not. finally, who guards the guardians? or in this case, who guards the guardians guardian? it seems to me tht -- that wikileaks is not the best place for this to be. you said there was a conspiracy against you, which included an editor, and then you said that
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they were jewish. and then when he was not, you said his thoughts were jewish. i am coming back to the point, i assure you. all of the rest of your attributes aside, somebody who has gone so far with the conspiracy theory, whether you are really better place than any government to decide what these ladies and gentlemen and i and all of us do know? thank you. 2 -- [applause] bonds >> the assistant director for the henry the jackson 5 to. we are running out of time, but, julian. after those accusations, would you like to come back and
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say something briefly for the debate? >> obviously, he has nothing to say about the motion he denied. since he has resorted like some many of that type to personal attacks on me and our organization, which are, of course, unfounded, and which i hesitate to respond to directly, because i can see them to be a corruption of what we're all here for, but i cannot read some of them go without comment. the most interesting of your views is about who decides
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whether a media group or organization should be supported or not. i think that is an interesting question. and the answer in our case, we are a publishing organization, and we publish the work of whistle-blowers. republish it to the world. all of the fruits of our labour go to the public because that is the tab of labor that we are engaged in. unlike organizations that are supported with money out of the tax base or by advertisers, we
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are directly supported on a week by week basis by you. you vote with your wallets every week. whether you believe that us facilitating whistleblowing activity is supported or not. or you believe that we need to be protected in our work. that dynamic feedback between us, the whistle-blowers, and the public, i say, is more responsive than the government's structure that is elected after it is soliciting money from big business once every four years.
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>> i will allow one further piece of information, and then we will close the debate. >> i have not got money from anyone other than the general public. you have just confirmed to us that you think you're better than our government. thank you. the lady there has done the job. >> thank you, douglas emerging. i asked earlier at the beginning of the debate were positions. this house believes that whistle-blowers make the world a safe place. i know julian has to go for obvious reasons, but who believe that whistle-blowers may the world a safer place?
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what is your view now? is there anyone abstaining? this house believes that whistle-blowers make the world a safer place. [applause] i would just like to say thank you to mr. gallagher for the frontline club. thank you to our wonderful guest editor. and thank you for being such a good audience. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp[captioningy >> in less than two hours, fcc
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chairman on his agency's agenda. after that, we will reach their the role of whistle-blowers. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning. haitian president-elect told a news conference at 9:00. that is on c-span to. here on c-span. at the center for american progress as a forum on the occupational safety and health administration with the head of the agency and a panel of workers. that is at 10:00. >> here are some of the programs featured on c-span this holiday weekend. three former secretaries of state talk about american diplomacy. on easter sunday, president ford's son speaks about the
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administration on ethical issues. former nbc news anger tom brokaw and the vice-president on bob dole. on monday, political strategist on same-sex marriage in america. for complete list of this weekend's programs and times, go to >> according to a former state department analyst, egypt needs more economic support from the west to avoid an escalation of political unrest. this panel also heard from a journalist who said western military intervention in libya may drive a wedge between al qaeda and jjhadist. >> i think we can did started. good morning.
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we are going to concentrate on north africa and we have a number of very excellent speakers who have knowledge of this area. we have first -- he will be speaking on the future of egypt. graham is a scholar at the middle east institute. he is formally worked with the department of state and the senate foreign relations committee. he has a doctorate in modern middle eastern history. from the university of wisconsin and has -- and has taught at several well-known institutions. we are looking forward to hearing what he has to say about
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egypt. after that, we will have -- many of you might be familiar with him from his many articles he has written for jamestown. if you read arabic, he will certainly know him from his work. he is an expert on libya. he has worked on this for many years, so he is fully prepared to analyze the events that are going on now. we are looking forward to that. after that, we have a direct henry -- derreck henry flood. he is also with the jamestown association. he has been doing a great job over the last year. we are very privileged to have
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him here today as he has just returned from a six-week stay in north africa, most of that was spent in libya on the front lines. he is going to have a very interesting perspective on what went on there from a firsthand knowledge of the events in their. -- there. i will be speaking on security implications for north africa and the wake of the arab revolution. my bio is in the material that was handed out if you care to have a look at that. without further ado, we can give started. -- we can get started. >> you can take the podium if you like. >> let me say that i do not have any surer view of where the egyptian revolution is
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going. we are in the middle of something and it is evolving every day. we need to be able to readjust what we say on a daily basis. for me, this is the most important event in the middle east. egypt has the role in the middle east of the and the fulcrum of the events. it has, in the last 60 years, it is the only country that has been able to tip the balance of power of. the 1952 revolution in the arab world in egypt to the balance of power for the next two decades in favor of the soviet union. that is the direction that the egyptian revolution just ago. the president decided -- he said it back in favor of the west. we have been fortunate that we have been dominant in that region for the last period of time. we are at a another period of time where egypt made tip one direction or another and we do
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not know what will happen there. it is an egyptian revolution and those of us on the outside will have been among employees. for those of us -- will have minimal influence. this is a very exciting moment. this is an extraordinary moment. when i first would to cairo in 1963 -- it is a very different country today than it was in 1960. . it is changing rapidly not go because this is an extraordinary situation, we are sometimes cursed that we have ordinary analysis. all of us will have to be looked at everything we thought about egypt and rethink it on a daily basis number of things are changing rapidly. the source of our information is limited. we are fortunate that there are a lot of people they're and i am one who believes that having al jazeera broadcasting beggarly from cairo has brought us more information than we ever had in
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the past. each one of us has to figure out what the slant is and do our own analysis. the problem i have is that we describe the revolution and he does democratic. i am not sure what that means in egypt. i am not sure what democratic means for all of us. we are all enthralled with the way the young people in the square has managed to remove and autocrats, managed to transform their society. and have taken their country to replace or we never thought was possible. six months ago, let alone today. is continuing to change. the problem for me is that i worked on the senate foreign
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relations committee for a long time and joe biden always made a very important observation. the most important characteristic of politician can have is the ability to count. my problem is, too many of us view this as a democratic revolution and are blinded by the inspiration and a forgotten our ability to count. that is what worries me. i am concerned about our week of. -- about where we go out. for the referendum on march 19, the christians, all the useful opposition democratic groups and the square, every business person i've spoken to have voted no. they all voted no. together, they could not get 23% of the population. if by any democrats, i am
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asking who are the other 77% of the population? the biggest group everybody talks about is the muslim brothers. nobody believes that the muslim brotherhood can generate more than 25% of the vote. all the sudden, we now have the 23% that will fall into the reformist movement plus the 25% that fall into the muslim brothers. en route is the 52%? where did those people come from? where did they go? none of us note. we'll to speculate what they are thinking. that is what it makes it so difficult. you get some idea of where these people come from if you go back and look at the two dozen 5 parliamentary elections. in those elections, mubarak tried to reform the ndp to be in
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a more western oriented party. what he did was in the party convention, he engineered the replacement of the traditional candidates from rural areas with young, urban aggressive people. they were people who were world lead. they had gone to school in english. they knew the world. they replaced the traditional leaders in those areas with this candidate. the traditional leaders did not accept that. they all ran as independents against the candidate. they beat the candidates across the board. they replaced the ndp. all these people said, we will have our traditional leaders, the people we care about.
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they know us and we will vote for them. i would expect -- when they got to parliament, the all rejoined the ndp. all the independents who were not muslim brothers joined the parliament. they really did not want to be out of the party. data base of support -- that the base of support still exists. therefore, that is a very strong stable factor within egyptian society. the muslim brothers are almost all centered in urban areas of. cairo, alexandria and some of the other towns. why? those areas where people have lost their traditional village in family identities. the traditional leaders in the
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village do not have the influence in the cities where they come from? that is a problem that we face because we do not know where these people are going to go and. those people on the outside were looking for ways to help the democratic people become more popular. 23% of the population of. within that 23%, you have many of the people supported the old regime. these ministers who are being prosecuted today -- they would all fall within that 23% of the population who are reformist. they were reformists'. what we see at this point is not the removal of -- is a removal of the regime, but is also in those people who would be called reformists.
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at the government reformist became too corrupt. when people talk about wanting to change the democratic structure, they're trying to figure a way to get that 23% to be a majority. that is what we want. if you listen to reforms, we want to break down the system. break down the system and create lists. who do you open it up to? if it will replace it? will it be democratic reformers? will it be muslim brothers? it is a problem that we face. and then you see the other pillar that is coming under attack, the army. the army in egypt is different than anything we know. it makes you uncomfortable as americans to see how they function in. but they have functioned in
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egypt their own way. they are an institution and they had been separate from society. they are not an institution that wants to interfere in the internal affairs of egypt. they want to be on this side and they believe that they are responsible for providing stability. when they came into the square, at those who knew the army knew they would never fire on the egyptian people. kit -- their job is to protect the egyptian people, not to harm them. when you had the pro-mubarak people attack the square, they were not going to fire on those people either because they were also egyptian people. their job is to bring stability. they did not want this job, they do not want to be in power, they want to see a civilian government come back. 10 years ago, i think the structure of the army would have preferred a military officer to take over.
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there's been an evolution in their own thinking. they do not want to control the country. they know they need the civilian people. the real problem they face today is the revolution for most egyptians was not a democratic revolution. that is not what they're in the streets. it was an economic revolution. that revolution continues. the social economic problems of egypt are tremendous. if you see the news reports about factories, strikes, things are not working, the economy is going downhill. the fear is that those people who have not participated in economic growth over the last decade, they did not participate that much in the revelation. this is the 77%. but expect their lives to get better. if this government cannot deliver on improving the lives of the masses of people, this revolution is likely to take a
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second revolution. we have the -- we may have something happen that we do not know. we do not know where this is going to go. the crucial thing for the government is to get goods and services to as many people as possible so it looks like the government is doing something on their behalf. boring about the democratic revolution is fine, but you need -- worrying about the democratic revolution is fine, but you need to address the economic problems. the world is going to makes its sorry if they did not help the government of egypt address the economic issues. >> thank you very much. very enlightening perspective on the egyptian evolution -- revelation. we will take some questions at the end of the session. we can move on now to the next
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speaker. >> let me start by a st. thank you for the jamestown foundation for inviting me. is a pleasure to be year. -- it is a pleasure to be here. thank you for coming. before i start, i would like to say something. it has not been easy preparing this paper. it all depended on whether gaddafi folded. in the beginning, the only a few people believed that colonel gaddafi could stay for long. the two countries bordering egypt, the regime fell quickly and.
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-- fell quickly. in egypt, the regime of president mubarak felony few weeks. -- fell in a few weeks. he was not only facing an internal rebellion, he was facing the whole world, including the mighty army of the u.s., britain, and france. we are in the third month of the libyan crisis and gaddafi has managed to stay in power. he may fall indeed as the american government hope he will do. gaddafi has managed to weather the storm and has lasted almost 43 years in power. can he manage but he did in the 1980's and 1990's? we will see. in this paper, i will try to
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point out some strengths and weaknesses and the gaddafi regime. i will also talk a little bit about the opposition party, the rebellion, and i will also mentioned the implications of what is going on in libya and algeria, a country that i believe is a very important country that should not be ignored. before i start, let me say something very briefly. libya presents a golden opportunity for reconciliation between america and some of the the odds -- jihadists. the end result could lead to a more weakens -- there is also
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the possibility that the policy could backfire by and you will end up with a stronger al qaeda in the whole of north africa. we will talk about this a little bit later. let me start by saying something about the gaddafi regime. the regime is very weak from the outside. , gaddafi is the man who makes the decisions and libya. no order can be issued without his approval. he claims to be needed to be a president nor a prime minister. he is the leader of the revolution, king of the african kings, of course. [laughter] a 1 and regime is not the thing to do -- a one-man regime is not the thing to do. in practice, it is a very
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difficult, as gaddafi has proved for the last 43 years. the 1969 military coup was not a one-man show. the three officers came from all over the country. they were mainly influenced by the popular movement at that time. gradually, colonel gaddafi started to change. he wanted power all to himself. this led -- in the 1980's and 1990's, gaddafi regime defeated three major plots carried out by one opposition group.
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the residents of colonel gaddafi in tripoli. at the end of the 1990's, -- at the end of the 1980's, the national front moved its fighters to algeria from which it was hoping that it would fight algeria and it failed in doing so. some officers from a very powerful tribe tried against . we will talk about a little bit later. gaddafi defeated an insurgency led by the jihadists.
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it is formed by a -- he defeated all of these attempts in the 1980's and 1990's. his base was shrinking. d.s.o. many enemies within the country's. -- he has so many enemies within the country's. all these attempts led gaddafi to change the way he organizes his armed forces. he started to see the army as a prep. the army could one day produced an officer who may try his luck with a coup attempt. gaddafi created what can be described today as a parallel army.
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it is known today in libya as the gaddafi brigade. peace brigades are -- these brigades were fighting the rebels in. when the doctor created these brigades, his aim was that these units are able to defeat any coup attempt that could start inside libya. the main task was not fighting an outside army. the main mission was to topple the and the coup attempt against the regime from within the country. one of the most famous brigades was the one headed by a friend of colonel gaddafi. in addition to these, the regime depends on its survival on a complex map of tribal allegiances, especially in the
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west of the country. the survival of the regime or its demise depends a great extent -- i know that some people dispute the influence or the importance within libya today. the pointes the fact that the insurgencies or the rebellion has supporters from across the country, from all the major tribes within libya. at the same time, -- they also say, even the tribes that are still balking gaddafi in the west of libya are doing so because of fear of reprisal of his regime. i also accept this argument. however, i still believe the survival of the regime or its demise depends a great extent on what these major tribes do in
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the next few weeks or months. the first tried on which gaddafi depends -- this tried -- this tribe is in central libya. it is very powerful. its members hold sensitive positions within the state and the armed forces at. they are currently fighting the insurgency. any spiting units -- the most important tried for the regime is in the south of libya. a great number of the fighters who were fighting on the front of, gaddafi come from that region. and their loyalty to the regime should not be questioned.
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they have a pact with gaddafi, there is a family relation between them. it is cemented by family ties. the brother and lot of, gaddafi, from that tribe. -- the brother-in-law comes from that tried. -- tribe. to highlight the influence of the importance of that tribe in libya. colonel gaddafi exerted so much pressure on britain to free the bomber, enormous pressure from
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within the tribe. before making a lot of threats against british interest. some critics would say that it was his own interest was to bring him back to libya in case he were to tell the secrets of the bombing. this tribe is considered the largest tribe in the libya. its members lived all over the country, all over libya. even in the capital of the rebellion. the people also control a vast chunk of the military and security institutions within
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libya. in 1993, there was a problem between this tried and gaddafi. its relationship with gaddafi it was set back after the 1993 failed coup, which some of the officers were implicated. gaddafi had trusted this tribe and allowed them to control the military institutions. in 1997, members of the tribe, loyal to gaddafi, executed the implicated officers. some would argue that they were forced to do this by gaddafi. whether this is true or not true, at the end of the day, he managed to keep the blood of
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these dead officers on the tribe itself. it became an internal issue. in some arab cultures, we still have this problem of taking revenge. if someone from a tribe is killed by someone from another tribe, the tribe family has the right to go and take -- and kill someone from the tribe which kill that person. this tit-for-tat things cannot be the case. by making the tribe executed some officers, gaddafi managed to keep it an internal triable issue. he has nothing to do with it. it was the tribe. it was the leaders of the tribe who killed their own officers which betrayed their regime. also, a very quick point here, at the beginning of the
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rebellion, the revolution, the uprising in libya, it was said that the tribes joined the rebellion. many people said so. if they indeed joined the rebellion, the regime would have fallen by now. they only live a short distance from misrata. they could march to misrata and take the siege of the third biggest city in libya and gaddafi's regime would fall very quickly. there is debate on whether they're still with gaddafi or at least not joining the rebellion. i will say a few words why. the fourth tribe is also seen as loyal to gaddafi. they occupy an important position.
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their role became more important after 1993, because gaddafi said that he was putting his trust in them. when the officers tried to go against him, he wanted to diversify, make more alliances and pacts with other tribes. others were indicted and became very powerful within the regime. -- were invited and became very powerful within the regime. the backbone of tripoli to be defended comes from that region. the population within tripoli itself originally comes from there. if the opposition wants to do anything within the libyan capital, maybe that tribe could play a role in that.
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i only named a few of these tribes still seen as loyal to the regime, but at least not fighting with the rebels. the reason for them staying loyal to the regime may be related to their wish of honoring their historic pact. also, they could be fearful of losing the power they have held all the time if gaddafi falls. members of these tribes have occupied important positions in the government. now, a new regime is emerging, based in the east of the country. the rebels attacking gaddafi's forces are mainly from the east. it may be normal that some tribes in the west of libya may feel threatened by the emergence of a new rival power in the east that may try to take away the power they have held for so long. this would lead me to talk about the formation of the rebel
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forces, the opposition. it seems that american colonists -- columnists are debating who the rebels are. it is not easy to answer this. began as a popular movement before it quickly became an armed rebellion. this quick transformation of a peaceful movement into an armed struggle has not allowed time to identify properly who the leaders of this new rebellion are. i will try here to identify some of the main players in the rebellion, but before i do that, i would like to say a word about the absence of political parties and culture inside libya. for the 42 years of colonel khadafy is rule, the political parties were -- colonel gaddafi pose a role, the political parties were banned. -- colonel gaddafi's rule,
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political parties were banned. people were rolling themselves. even under the rule of the king -- people were ruling themselves. even under the king, political parties were banned in libya. the libyans are not accustomed to having political parties. so, when colonel gaddafi's regime fell quickly after the revolution in february in the eastern regions of libya, there was a vacuum. who would fill it? no party existed to fill or take advantage of the fall of the regime. the people who went to the streets against the regime were mainly ordinary people belonging to different backgrounds of the
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libyan society. there were no known names among those people to take charge of the uprising. so, the responsibility fell on former officials who were part of the regime and only defected after the start of the uprising. the most noun -- the most noun among those was the former justice minister -- known among those is a former justice minister. he is well respected. he is a decent man. but there is a problem here. he does not seek power. he is very willing to relinquish any post he has. he has the national council. he says his job would finish the minute gaddafi's regime falls. he does not seek power. in addition, many of the council
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members were part of the gaddafi regime before joining the revolution. the interior minister, as the ambassador, all of the known names within the opposition have now been part of gaddafi's regime. so, the absence of proper elections, it seems impossible today to say if these members of the council have any true representation of the masses who led the uprising. all the opposition groups have come back to libya now in order to reconnect with their supporters and also to reconnect with the people who led this uprising. the libyan national salvation sent some of this members to
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reconnect with their members. the muslim brotherhood also sent some people. but i think the quickest to act with it than this -- were the jihadists. they are part of the libyan people and felt that it was their part to participate in the military struggle. some of them have returned from outside libya. they were these people who came from outside, a fraction of the jihadists operating within libya itself. as you know, libya freed around 100 jihadists when they were conducting peace negotiations. some of these people were young
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people who did not know anything about the struggle against the regime in the 1990's. they were mostly young, influenced by i iraq and allied a -- in iraq and al queda. these people were freed by the regime and, i believe, many of them have joined the revolution. others have made statements in support of the revolution, but i believe that their role is very minimal in the things that happened within libya. a final point here before i move on, colonel gaddafi has been saying from the start that the armed rebels fighting his government are al queda.
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he seems genuinely hurt that he once helped the west fight against that group and now the west is fighting to topple him with what he sees as an insurgency led by jihadists. by this degree, i believe that will play a role in any government that comes after the gaddafi regime. i believe they will not try to hijack the uprising. they will work within any system that comes after gaddafi. he will be glad that i will finish. a few things should be mentioned about algeria. i think it can play an important role. algeria actually feels that
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these actions have led to al queda in the north taking advantage of this situation. you have seen the recent briefings of military intelligence of al qaeda possessing weapons from libya. i do not know if this is true or not, but it seems the president also believes that al queda has also managed to gain weapons from libya now. syria also does not feel comfortable when it sees its arch enemy, france, meddling in the affairs of the country. you also have to take into account the the algerians are very sensitive to seeing the french bombing and killing libyans, even if the dead people were gaddafi supporters. the algerians still remember french planes bombing them during their push for independence.
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also, algeria is sensitive to the moral policies. when morocco fights with the western alliance against the libyan regime, it seems normal that algeria wants to take a totally different if not opposing policy. the final point, algeria may not be comfortable seeing the end of the conflict in libya with the victory of one side against the other, not now at least. a victory for the rebels in libya will encourage its people, the algerian people, who want to seek change, to act now. if libya descends into a civil war, algeria could point to some people and say, if you want to start a revolution, you have the example of libya. do you want a civil war? three points. algeria's point of view should be listened to in any serious effort to resolve the libyan crisis.
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the algerians are very well -- they know how to negotiate. they have done it for some many years including the american hostages in iran in the 1980's. if algeria can play a role, i think it should be encouraged to do so. maybe it can offer gaddafi and his family some kind of exile. second point, assurances of some kind should be given to the tribes in western libya still fighting with the regime. if you want these tribes to switch sides, you have to offer them an incentive to doing so. this incentive should not be seen as the trail to gaddafi's own tribe. it should -- be trail -- betrayal to gaddafi's on drive.
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-- own tribe. finally, actions in libya may turn out to be a genius masterpiece of brilliant foreign policy. it could resolve your long- running struggle that you have had in the middle east or at least most of them. it was you saved them from gaddafi's tanks when they were approaching their base in benghazi. your interventions won the battle to their favor. someone about -- some will no doubt be grateful. others will surely disagree. they are mostly al queda people. they're not very strong now, but they may be in the long run, especially if libya descends into a civil war. they will have plenty of time and a proper place, and most
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importantly, access to weapons, plenty of them. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. that was very interesting to me, especially the role of the different tribes. next, our next speaker will tell us about his personal experience in libya. >> thank you very much. showing a visual multimedia presentation. these are some of my photographs from the couple of weeks that i spent in libya from the last day of february to mid-march. these are from my own
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experiences, and i am going to be giving a talk the sort of the company's the photos. these will help to explain some -- accompanies the photos. these will help to explain some of the points i am making. the title of my talk is, "the mitsubishi war." i chose that title sort of tongue-in-cheek as an all monished to the toyota war -- an homage to the toyota war of 1987. pickup trucks were fitted with guns and anti-aircraft weapons used against america in the early 1990's. a little bit of background. before i arrived to libya, i arrived to broke on february
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28th. the libyan conflict began as a small cluster of lawyers demonstrating on february 15th in downtown benghazi. people who had been inspired by the revelations -- revolutions to the east and west in egypt and tunisia. by february 28th, a full-scale armed revolts had broken out. as libyan security forces gun down an unknown number of protest is, told to me by a libyan civilian, to be in the 100, in what was called -- to be in the hundreds, in what was called the day of rage. the libyan revolution began. what personally drew me into the libyan revolution was that libya was a deeply closed society, say for the bangladeshi migrant
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workers and the odd italian tour group that would come to visit roman ruins from time to time. libya's on a need to throw out over four decades of gaddafi rule to open the area to mass tourism. libya has been a largely closed society akin to north korea, relative to the beaches of tunisia and the pyramids of egypt and so forth. the people of eastern libya, cut off from most of the west of the world, clamored to make their voices heard. journalists were bombarded with every type of political and emotional sentiment. some older libyans for wanting to tell 30-40 years of anecdotes and stories of how they have
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suffered under the gaddafi regime since the revolution of 1969. the peripheral effects of the libyan war. the implosion of libya threatens most of the mediterranean littoral states. gaddafi has often threatened to turn the southern tier of the european union black eye unleashing migrants and reference -- black, by unleashing migrants and refugees with italy being the most vulnerable. what happened with the collapse of the libyan security state was much different. hundreds of thousands of migrant workers were flooding not necessarily italy or the canary islands in spain, but the egyptian and tunisian borders, very vulnerable, destabilized, still in revolutionary states.
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virtually every other african state-the republic of south africa had an unknown number of migrant workers. the egyptian border, the organization of migration had charts of order for all of the people living there, people from every single african state from guinea, gambia, equity oriole guinea -- the equatorial guinea. the scale of which i will personally admit i had no idea how fast this crisis was in that regard. -- vast this crisis was in that regard. when i cross the border in february, there were thousands upon thousands of bangladeshi man between the ages of 18-35
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who were just camped out at the border. the bangladeshi government could not or would not come to their rescue. on the flip side of that, when i returned to egypt several weeks later, there was not a single bangladeshi man left and there were thousands upon thousands of people from chad and the sudan, most of whom were without papers, passports, many of whom had been outside of their native countries. some of them were born in libya and had no identity documents of any kind. let's see. gaddafi pose a resistance to the eastern-led revolt -- gaddafi's resistance to the eastern-led revolt has ripple effects that will be felt as far afield as bangladesh, a vietnam and the philippines. this is actually a global
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crisis. many of the migrant workers who had been working in libya for many years actually do not have a place to go back to. i spoke with people from chad and some of the south and north sudanese, and many of them told me that they do not have homes in the countries they were from because they had been in libya for an incredibly long time. the rebels themselves, who are they? this is a question that has constantly been asked in the media here in the united states and in the european union, which i was able to read some of online when i got out of a very internet-restricted libya. lydia's rebels are, as you might discern from media accounts, or anything but monolithic. every fighter i spoke with claims to be fighting for what they called a free libya. most say they're looking to transform the gaddafi state into a representative government
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that includes a rotating presidency. many said they wished it would be four years, consistent with the united states, coupled with some form of open, cyclical democracy. there are implements -- there are islamists involved in the fighting. some are the dedicated front- line fighters. however, these fighters do not in any way make up the demographic majority of the rebel movement. if anything, they are in allied air. some of them came into the conflict as -- they are and out liar -- a outlier. some of them came into the conflict as opportunists. some came to the front line wearing flip-flops, a cliche you have heard about the taliban in afghanistan. the rebels are incredibly disorganize despite their spirited corps and a wasteful
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display of bravado that was carried on for foreign after day.s davy they have lots of finite ammunition. they looted weapons stores to have massive displays of much she's no -- machismo. thatte gaddafi's claims the rebels have allocated ties i saw noda timees, evidence of this in over two weeks. i appear today with my head still attached to my body. libya in 2011 is not iraq in 2004, despite claims to the contrary. the biggest threat to
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journalists is gaddafi forces, not jihad forces or nihilists. a colleague of mine is currently in captivity from the libyan regime, along with three other journalists, one who has not been reported missing, and the other three have been reported in a detention camp. various media outlets are trying to work for their release. they do not have the diplomatic clout of the new york times, unfortunately for them. i asked specific front-line fighters about their views of the islamic fundamentalist groups. one said to me that is irrelevant. most libyans consider the lifg a spent movement that has nothing to add to the current revolution. they consider it something that
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was more important in the 1990's. they wanted this to be portrayed desperately as a civil society revolution with an armed wing that was trying to overthrow the gaddafi regime. the rebels were often insisting that their cosmopolitan, pan- libyan movement, their very thinly drawn out initial platform in the courthouse in benghazi says the tripoli is the capital of the united libya. it was essential to the rebels that they did not want to portray libya as a place that was about to fracture down the center, dividing tripoli in the north and the stronghold in this apparent desert with benghazi in the east -- the saharan desert with benghazi in the east. they were insisting that the country not be cleaved in two.
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on to the rebel equipment and their inherent conflicts along with and alongside nato. the people of eastern libya and the people of the central coast that i spoke with have a very bitter memory, a very bitter collective memory, of 30 years of italian fascist colonialism that existed from 1911-1941. older libyans, some of whom are actually involved in the rebel movement -- there are very senior men fighting in this movement, told me that they fondly recall allies, or their parents had told them about allies getting out fascist powers. you ever heard about the australian forces fighting against german and italian fascism in 1941. the older generation of people
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and libya have instilled in the young people and the fighters at deeply anti-occupation sentiment that exists within the current rebel movement. not only does this stem from the first pillar of this almost xenophobia, stems from the legacy of italian colonialism, which is very bitter. my colleague wrote about this. he was a resistance fighter to italian colonialism who was hung and is a pen ultimate symbol of the rebel movement. he is depicted on the bottom of a flag which is the red green and black flag from before gaddafi's green, monotone flag. the other main factor with libyan hostility to any
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potential western ground intervention is the libyans observation through mass media of eight years of heavily destructive war in iraq. as one rebel said to me at the conclusion of a battle, forget about baghdad. if all the troops enter libya, we will make mogadishu look like a walk in the park. they are operating from a position of the inherent weakness in terms of arms, manpower and training. but they also still believe they hold the cards in that, they came to demand heavy western air power but said that if one western beirut, french, british, italian or american -- one , french, british, italian or american was walking around benghazi, they would shoot them.
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they're very fearful of occupation. both sides have their red lines. the rebels have the town which was once a secure place but now many of you have likely heard of. it has a desert road that bypasses benghazi to the south and connects to the egyptian border. the rebels insisted that if it was genuinely breached, it is possible that the war would be lost without western air intervention. i left libya just before western air strikes began. on the other side, we learned -- and a colleague of mine was shot in the calf -- that they have a red line.
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the rebels were telling journalists a bit of their own propaganda mixed in with their bravado that they were going to storm that line any day. foreign journalists like myself learned about this geographical buffer, and a breaching it was absolutely unacceptable. they ended up putting of a very strong fight. some colleagues of mine were pinned down in a firefight with machine guns and snipers along with mercenaries for several hours. that was the initial battle, and then many western journalists retreated to points further east. once the rebel movement realized that this was an insurmountable task, the toppling of this area,
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the calls for a no-fly zone increased among both war fighters and civil society actors in benghazi and other areas. that was until the air strikes actually came to fruition. the libyan revolution has reduced itself to a contest over the heavy oil producing basin, the most valuable of the oil producing areas. there seems to be a pendulum swinging to and fro between the oil areas in the rest -- in the west and another area in the east, which is where we are today in the back and forth fighting. i would like to make a point about some of the rebels equipment and how they're actually fighting the war. the rebel equipment consists of an army of chinese and cheaply produced chinese and better produce japanese technicals outfitted with a 50 caliber
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anti-aircraft guns. soviet era double and triple quod mounted guns with ammunition which are used when the gaddafi regime was launching airstrikes. they would fire wildly into the air trying to shoot down whoever was overhead. the rebels are fighting amongst extremely difficult physical conditions, sandstorms combined with poorly trained fighters were often little more than can fodder. the supply lines along the central libyan coast were constantly being struck as the front lines started moving further and further west toward the aforementioned town. one weakness the rebels had was an inherently diminishing amount
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of limited military material. without a resupply from the outside which gaddafi had reportedly had access to himself, the rebels did not have a way -- it was really unclear at the time. i'm talking about mid march. i was made privy to information that the french government had actually sent a shipment of weapons and munitions to the rebels in the port of benghazi march 11th and 12th when it was clear that a leader wanted to be declared in this pan- mediterranean conflict. i would like to talk a little bit of the civil society aspect of the war, the home front. i am primarily referring to
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benghazi. outside of the courthouse in benghazi, there would often be people chanting no, no, no al queda. a lot of these people were women, interesting for a north african and arab conflict. those on the home front insist that there is basically no political space for anti- democratic islamists within libyan civil society. that is despite the fact it there are islamist fighting on the kinetic war front. insistence that there be no western footprint on the ground, not even the lightest intelligence 1, was evidence to me of a politically immature mind stead -- mindset among the revolutionaries. if air power was going to be used, as it now is, if there
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were westerners from these intelligence services correlating armed forces, i'm not sure how the libyans thought that nadir destruction of rebel tanks was going to be unavoidable -- nato destruction of rebel tanks was going to be unavoidable. nato spokesperson said he did not know the rebels had tanks, which i find someone astounding. one of the things i found by talking to a wide swath of libyan society is that the libyan people are essentially exhausted from not being active participants in an increasingly unevenly globalized world. the reasons for the beginning of
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the revolution, besides nearing their neighbors in egypt and libya, were economic, social, and a massive grudge that many people had against the regime regarding the 1200 men killed in a prison massacre, which was a lot of the legacy from something happening 15 years ago and a place like libya with the history of the italian occupation. even young people have a long memory. in conclusion, where do we, or rather, the libyan people go from here? the military pendulum continues to swing back and forth with no end in sight. reports of oil terminal towns being captured, lost, recaptured, seem to continue ad nauseum. nato on board and across the mediterranean coast may have indeed averted -- nato on board meant -- bombardment along the
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mediterranean coast may have indeed averted civilian deaths. their limited air and sea engagement will unlikely topple the gaddafi family in the immediate or near term. in my view, from the hundreds of people i spoke to over several weeks, something has to give to alter the current course of the conflict as the status quo is unsustainable. the rebels must be better trained and equipped and willing to sustain mass casualties if there to try to take misrata entirely in rebel hands, and eventually mount a very difficult assault in tripoli which would be immensely
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violent and lead to many debts. nato and the united states may have to ultimately be willing to decapitate the regime, depending on how much the western public is willing to take in the political will of the united states and the european union and its counsel partners in the conflict. ultimately, the somewhat xenophobic rebel movement may be forced to except when stern -- accept western boots on the ground. they may ultimately have to have a self recognition of their very limited military capabilities and the fact that gaddafi believes he is in this conflict for the long haul. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you for those interesting firsthand observations about libya. i am going to try to gather of some of the more specific things we have heard this morning and talk about revolutions in general. i think that nostra thomas himself could not have foretold nostradamus himself could not have foretold what is a happening in the middle east, all sparked by a tunisian food
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vendor. revolutions are dangerous creatures that can unleash all kinds of social forces that can take a revolution a long way from where it started. the french revolution of 1789, which both inspired and terrified europe, began with days of mass action much like the days of anger that we have been seen today in the arab world. though the king and queen were led to their death, it was not long before leading revolutionaries had their own meetings with the guillotine. liberty, fraternity and equality became mere slogans as napoleon bonaparte restored authoritarianism to france and began directing the slaughter of a generation of young man in pursuit of imperial conquest.
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what are the areas of revelation that have -- one of the areas of revelation that has many parallels was the european revelation -- arab revolution. in most closely resembles what should the continent at that time. there was a rapid spread from country to country despite eats nations revolution having -- each nation's revolution having a different character. it often attracted a reluctant middle-class. governments appeared to cave in at first. too many university graduates were pursuing too few jobs, a condition we have in north africa right now, many of these folks making up the core of revolutionary forces, both in
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1848 and in today's north africa. most importantly, no charismatic leader emerged along the lines of fidel castro or even a george washington. what was the result of this kind of revolution? at that time, small concessions from the government's lead to a dwindling interest in revelation. when the casual revolutionaries gave up, the revolutions became doomed. by the summer of 1848, the forces of counter-revolution had time to reorganize and began clearing the barricades with the loss of thousands of lives. in two places the revolts became larger wars of national mobilizaliberation, hungary and italy. with a one year -- within one
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year, both had been solidly defeated. the revolts failed, but they laid the foundation and provided inspiration for later revolts such as the russian revolution of 1917. they signaled that the end of absolute monarchies was in sight. in this sense, even failed revolutions can have an enormous impact decades later. it has been suggested in some quarters that the military weakness of libyas rebels can be overcome with modern supplies of weapons. it must be noted that every influx of arms into that region in the last century has been followed by years of violence. for example, it was an influx of arms that contributed to the breakdown of order in darfur that eventually resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
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darfur used to use a centuries old inter-tribal resolution system, usually involving compensation in cash or animals to deal with incidents of violence such as murder. however, this system broke down when the introduction of automatic weapons allowed the slaughter of dozens of people at a time by a single individual. traditional methods of conflict revolution were simply overwhelmed by advances in killing technology. arms may be the solution to gaddafi, but they will not bring stability to north africa. those advocating a shipment of modern arms to libya as rebels speak about controls over whose hands they might end up in. this is wishful thinking. once arms are sold, abandon, lost, stolen or even given away. some have already found their way into the hands of al queda.
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that should give pause to those backing the supply of arms to the libyan insurrection. the half-hearted endorsement of a no-fly zone by the arab league was taken by nato as a green light for attacks on gaddafi's forces. in reality, with the exception of wealthy but distance cutter, most of the arab league has kept qatar, most of the arab league has kept a distance. there are rumors that algeria is providing arms and aid to gaddafi. algeria has no desire to see the arab revolution washup on the shores of tripoli, and giving the libyan rebels a bloody nose way togo along discouraging like-minded
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incidents in algeria. in sudan, political survivors will not be hasty in counting out gaddafi. both nations have deep if turbulent ties with libya, which has fluctuated between assisting their development and interfering in their internal affairs. in the meantime, both are keeping their distance. but if gaddafi falls, it is likely that both will attempt to exert their own influence on the formation of a new regime. the fall of tripoli would not necessarily mean the end of gaddafi or his regime. the libyan leader would have the option of retiring on military bases in the desert where he enjoys solid support. with access to fighters from neighboring countries, gaddafi or his successors could continue low scale the debilitating attacks on the libyan oil infrastructure that would prevent any new government
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from getting off the ground without substantial foreign aid. it would not be difficult to raise a tribal forces opposed to what many libyans might see as a benghazi-based government intent on giving western and southern tribes power, influence and funds. such a conflict could go on for years with an effect on oil prices and the global economy. the rebels do not have means, and possibly not even the inclination, to distribute oil revenues throughout the larger libyan society. should gaddafi feel he is losing his grip on libya, it is possible he could once again sponsor international terrorism, especially with strikes against the western nations leading the attacks on his regime. we of no reason to suppose a new government would be a force for
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stability in the region. the question here is not whether al queda will take advantage of instability in north africa, but whether it can operate there in any meaningful way. egypt is the historical crossroads of the world, and as such, it is an appealing theater of operations for al queda, which has ideological roots there. al queda could certainly attempt to penetrate egypt and resume operations there. of course, that would definitely appeal to them. however, al queda does not appear to have any active cells in egypt or even many sympathizers there. there is little appetite for a return to the dirty, back street
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war between islamic re extremists and the regime that dominated the 1990's. more importantly, egyptians realize that extremism = poverty and deprives them of important sources of foreign currency. al queda still does not present a political alternative beyond slogans and the implementation of sharia law. with insufficient agricultural production, a rapidly increasing population, massive unemployment and under- employment, as well as threats to a water supply that poses dangers to cultivation, and power supplies, egypt is in need of a more thoughtful strategy than that supplied by extremists. there are many sincere muslims
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in the region who desire sharia, but they would also be questioning of the wisdom of leaving this in the hands of al qaeda of north africa. opportunities will nevertheless be presented for al queda from the complex that will inevitably follow revolution. foreign attention and resources will be diverted for their -- from their activities. let me turn to sudan for a moment. cobbled together from scores of ethnic and tribal groups speaking hundreds of different languages, sudan, unsurprisingly, has been a center of dissent, rebellion, an outright civil war from their first day of independence. while popular revolts maybe
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the mediterranean coast, the sudanese people have already overthrown -- may be new along the mediterranean coast, the sudan and people of ari overthrown two dictators. sudan is now -- have already overthrown two dictators. sudan is now faced with the possibility of an influx of neighbors from libya. a small protest movement has been firmly repressed so far, but there is enormous dissatisfaction in the north with a president who has failed to keep the country together and has lost most of its oil revenues to the new southern state. in the current situation, there is a possibility of both north and south sudan turning into failed states with enormous consequences for a large part of africa.
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the crux -- the collapse of the gaddafi regime would have an enormous impact on chad, maui and the share. let -- niger. libya is an integral part of the economy of the states, including the employment of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers. gaddafi regards this region as a libyan interplant and has played an important role in the area, particularly through his recruitment and sponsorship of people whose ancient homeland has been divided amongst half a dozen nations in the post- colonial era. having long acted as a sponsor of regimes that consider the presence inconvenient and irresponsible, gaddafi is now
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trying to get them to rally to his cause. whether he wins or loses, there is immense concern in these nations that the fighters will return to their home states to initiate a new round of rebellions in oil and uranium rich regions. egyptian revolution is not yet history. we may have only witnessed the first phase of a process that could continue for years, decades, or even generations. it is unlikely that the egyptian officer corps, unquestionably part of the egyptian elite, is willing to oversee the transfer of power to the masses. indeed, it would be unreasonable to think that this would be their first instinct. in egypt, political revolution is also social revolution, and these types of things do not usually happen overnight. egypt's internal security service has collapsed in the
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wake of the egyptian revolution, and they are in the difficult process of being rebuilt and restructured with the new mandate that promises to secure a genuine security threats rather than repress political opposition. while there are many cases of government violence against demonstrators, there are remarkably few incidences of retaliatory violence against the security services during the revolution. such matters of all is traditionally been handled -- such matters have always traditionally been handled by the elite. the question is how competent they will be in controlling extremists. they are employing an interior ministry forces three times the
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size of the military, securing egypt from islamic extremism has come at considerable cost to the liberty of the egyptian people, because no longer considered acceptable. the question remains, however, whether lighter and less intrusive security presence will still be as effective in eliminating islamist extremism. gaddafi's libya has always been one of the major financial backers of the african union. this has stopped now, with significant consequence for union that already suffers from underfunding. there is no guarantee that any libyan regime would guarantee such support, nor is it likely that another african state would be able to step in and fill the shortfall. sub-saharan countries have been
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effectively excluded from partaking in the libyan conflict even though they have close ties with libya and will inevitably affected -- inevitably be affected by what happens there. there are negotiations -- i do not know if anyone heard that they are going on. they were treated as an unimportant sideshow by the same nations that were busy taking out libyan armor and air defenses. at some point, the west will have to shrug off the white man's burden that has become outrageously expensive and destabilizing. african peacekeeping missions have an uneven record, but they are not going to get any better at this kind of thing by sitting in their barracks. more cooperative efforts between the west and africa that a knowledge the interests of those actually living in the continent and the limitations of external parties in dealing with political crises there would do more to stabilize north africa
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than a hail of bombs and rockets. in short, revolution is not an easy thing. most failed. it would be presumptuous to assume the revolts in egypt and libya or elsewhere in the middle east will lead to inevitable success regardless of how that success might be interpreted. however, whether successful or not, the repercussions of revolution can rarely be tamed, making the recipes for insecurity. at best they can be managed with a bit of luck. at worst, efforts to contain or refer social and political transformation are only capping the volcano. if it does not erupt there, it will erupt somewhere else at a time of its own choosing. thank you. [applause] [applause]


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