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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 14, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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10/14/14 10/14/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica this is democracy now. >> if you're covering the war on terror, you consider several war correspondent. in the war on terror, everything you are writing about is secret. d wantyou had to decide, to give up democracy, do you want to give up free press? do you want to give up investigative reporting in order to be -- to fight terrorism?
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>> meet james risen. he is a veteran investigative reporter with the new york times. he won the pulitzer prize for his stories exposing warrantless wiretapping by the cia. -- national security agency. he has been pursued for 6 years by the bush and now the obama administrations for refusing to reveal a source. in 2008 subpoenaed first. but what i can say now is, with all of these people showing their support, i'm willing to keep fighting. >> james risen faces years in jail for refusing to name a source. his answer -- he's written another book. it's called "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." today we will spend the hour with james rison.
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all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. military chiefs from the us-led coalition fighting the islamic state are meeting today in washington as the militant group continues to advance in iraq and syria. isis militants have reportedly claimed nearly half of the embattled town of kobani, along the syria-turkey border, despite three weeks of us-led airstrikes. on monday, security sources told agence france press the city of heet on the edge of anbar province was entirely under isis's control after iraqi government troops withdrew to another base. heet is about 115 miles west of the iraqi capital baghdad. the violence in anbar province -- united nations, as many as 180,000 people have fled the area in and around heet. speaking monday, british foreign secretary philip hammond said iraqi forces must take the lead
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on the ground. >> we're looking with cola can bestalition forces on how the needs of security forces for retraining, technical support, and assistance. and we absolutely are prepared to provide personnel for specialist roles for training thes, but not to take convent lead. the combat lead has to come from iraqi security forces and in syria from the moderate opposition free syrian army forces. >> underreport accuses she militias back to the iraqi government of committing war crimes in their fight against the islamic state. amnesty international says the shiite fighters have kidnapped and murdered scores of sunni civilians and execution style killings. turkey denied claims by obama administration officials that it had agreed to let us-led troops use its bases in the fight
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against isis. the obama administration has been pressuring turkey to take a more active role, while turkey has requested a buffer zone along its border with syria. meanwhile, turkish warplanes have reportedly bombed kurdish pkk rebels near the iraqi border. members of the pkk have played a crucial role in the fight against isis in kobani. villagers in the afghan province of paktia say a nato airstrike has killed seven civilians, including a nine-year-old child. the villagers said they were gathering firewood when they were fired on. a spokesperson for the us-led coalition confirmed a "precision air strike" in the area, which he said killed eight "enemies" but adbul wali sahi, the province's deputy governor, said the villagers brought the corpses of seven civilians to the provincial capital. >> local villages claimed they were collecting firewood on a
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mountainside when they were hit by the airstrikes. as you can see, they are children among the dead bodies. the afghan nation is tired of such killings. we're going to seriously investigate this incident, and we strongly condemn such killings. and you ever committed this crime must be held accountable for their actions. >> this month marks the 13th anniversary of the u.s. invasion of afghanistan. over the weekend, hundreds of people marched in the afghan capital kabul to protest an agreement to keep 10,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan beyond this year. former president hamid karzai had previously refused to sign the deal in part over the killings of afghan civilians. the u.s. air force is facing questions over its decision to destroy 16 cargo planes purchased for afghanistan. the united states spent $486 million to purchase and refurbish a fleet of 20 italian-made planes for the afghan air force. but the program encountered what an inspector general called "continuous and severe
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operational difficulties, including a lack of spare parts." so the pentagon scrapped the plan, and 16 of the planes -- which were converted to scrap metal worth $32,000 -- less than a hundredth of a percent of what the program cost. the pentagon replaced the planes with four larger ones made by lockheed martin. special inspector general john sopko has asked the air force to provide records on its decision to scrap the planes, saying he is -- "concerned that the officials responsible...may not have considered other possible alternatives in order to salvage taxpayer dollars." the pentagon has issued a report on the "immediate risks" to national security posed by climate change. the report says global warming could increase the risk of terrorism and infectious diseases, lead to devastating natural disasters, strain water supplies and fuel droughts and crop failures leading to mass migration. the pentagon report coincides with a new analysis that finds
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the rise in sea levels recorded over the past century is unparalleled in the last 6,000 years. in ferguson, missouri, protesters have wrapped up four days of action with a "moral monday day of civil disobedience." scores of people were arrested in acts of nonviolent resistance across the st. louis region on the final day of "ferguson october." the protests drew thousands from across the country to protest the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old african american michael brown and the lack of justice for police shooting victims nationwide. outside ferguson police headquarters, hundreds of protesters remained for four hours, the same amount of time police allowed michael brown's body to lie in the street after his death. clerks we must love and support each other. lose.e nothing to it is our duty to fight for our freedom.
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it is our duty to win. >> more than 40 people were arrested, including members of the clergy and civil rights activist cornel west. protesters also descended on st. louis city hall and a political fundraiser attended by missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill. at a st. louis rams football game against the san francisco 49ers, protesters unveiled banners reading "rams fans know black lives matter" and "racism lives here." and demonstrators also shut down three area walmarts in a solidarity protest over the fatal police shooting of african-american john crawford who was killed while he was holding a bb air rifle on sale at a walmart in beavercreek, ohio. to see our coverage from on the ground at ferguson october. you can go to the centers for disease control and prevention is rethinking its recommended protocols for preventing the spread of ebola after a dallas nurse contracted the disease.
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the nurse has been identified as 26-year-old nina pham. it is still unclear how should become infected while wearing a mask and other protective gear as she treated thomas eric duncan, who died of ebola last week. the cdc has identified what it calls a large group of other workers involved in duncan's care who may be at risk as well. in the southern mexican state of guerrero, hundreds of protesting students and teachers have set fire to a government building in the capital chilpancingo to protest the disappearance of 43 students. the students have been missing for more than two weeks after police from ambushed their buses outside the city of iguala. more than 20 police have been detained and accused of collaborating with a drug gang with ties to the city's mayor, who has fled, as has the chief of security. despite fears of a massacre following the discovery of mass graves, protesters have continued to call for the students to be returned alive. in a separate incident in guerrero state sunday, police
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opened fire on a van filled with students traveling back from acapulco, hitting and injuring a german exchange student. authorities say 15 to 20 police have been detained. in the northern mexican state of sinaloa, gunmen shot and killed an activist and radio broadcaster while he was live on the air. atilano roman tirado hosted a weekly radio show and led a group of villagers demanding compensation after they were displaced by a massive dam project. radio listeners heard the gunshots after one of the shooters entered the studio. the leader of spain's catalonia region has canceled a referendum on independence next month, but vowed to press ahead with an unofficial poll. the announcement comes after spain's constitutional court suspended the referendum two weeks ago. hundreds of thousands of catalans flooded the streets of barcelona last month to call for the vote. the catholic church may be
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softening its opposition to homosexuality. a vatican document prepared after a meeting of 200 bishops recognizes that lgbt people have "gifts and qualities to offer" and asks whether catholic communities could provide a "welcoming home" to them "without compromising catholic doctrine." while it cited "moral problems" to same-sex unions it recognized the potential for positive aspects in both lgbt relationships and cohabitation among heterosexual couples who are not married. human rights campaign called the document a dramatic new tone from a church hierarchy that has long denied the very existence of committed and loving gay and lesbian partnerships. alaska and north carolina have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after courts in those states overturned bans on marriage equality. the rulings are part of the broad impact from last week's supreme court decision to reject appeals from states that sought
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to ban same-sex marriage. in 1998, alaska became the first state to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. it has now become the 30th state where same-sex marriage is legal. british lawmakers have passed a resolution recognizing palestine as a state. the resolution is nonbinding and will not change the british government's official stance, which does not recognize a palestinian state. but parliament member jack straw said the vote is symbolically important. >> i believe the facts of the israelis in temperate reaction to the very prospect of this house passing this resolution, is proof that this resolution will make a difference. the only thing the israeli government, in my view, under ,he present demeanor understands his pressure. and what this house will be doing this evening will be to
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add the pressure on the government of israel. >> the resolution passed 274 to 12. it comes after sweden's new prime minister announced his government would recognize the state of palestine, becoming the first major western european country to do so. oklahoma is seeking to delay three executions until next year amidst a shortage in lethal injection drugs. oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt has requested more time to train staff and obtain drugs which have been in short supply due to a boycott by european drugmakers. in april, oklahoma was the site of the 43-minute botched execution. since then, the state has revamped its protocols and unveiled a new death chamber which cost more than $100,000 in taxpayer money. the breast cancer charity susan g. komen for the cure is facing criticism for partnering with a company that makes drill bits for fracking. for a second year in a row, baker hughes, will donate money to komen and sell fracking drill
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bits painted pink for breast cancer awareness. fracking extracts oil and gas from shale rock by blasting chemicals -- including several linked to cancer -- deep into the ground, where they are at risk of leaching into water supplies. over the weekend, more than 200 groups around the world took part in the third annual global frackdown to call for an end to fracking. a u.s. marine is being held on board a navy ship following the apparent murder of a transgender woman in the philippines. all jennifer was found dead in hotel bathroom. police in the philippines say they plan to charge private first class scott pemberton with called but under a deal the visiting forces agreement, he will remain in u.s. custody. the manila, protesters call for the marine to be handed over to local authorities. one made reference to an earlier controversy from a rape case,
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when carter u.s. mines were accused and optimally acquitted of raping a filipino woman. of the is another test visiting forces agreement as we of seen in the past. it has been used by the u.s. government to shield its personnel from any accountability under citizen law. -- a repeatallow or of what happen in 2006 with the rape case. this has to go through philippine jurisdiction. anything less is unacceptable. >> and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today we spend the hour with the journalist at the center of one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades -- veteran "new york times" investigative reporter james risen. in 2006, risen won a pulitzer prize for his reporting about warrantless wiretapping by the national security agency, .
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history would have come right out before the election of president bush over john kerry. it might have changed the outcome of that election. but under government pressure, "the new york times" refused to publish the story for more than a year until james rison was publishing a book that would of had revelations in it. he since has been pursued by both the bush and obama administrations in a six-year leak investigation into his book, "state of war: the secret history of the cia and the bush administration." risen now faces years in prison if he refuses to testify at the trial of a former cia officer accused of giving him classified information. in june, the supreme court turned down risen's appeal of a court ruling forcing him to testify in the criminal trial of ex-cia analyst jeffrey sterling, who prosecutors believe gave him information on the agency's role in disrupting iran's nuclear program. in "state of war," risen showed that instead of hampering iran's efforts, the cia effectively
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gave iran a blueprint for designing a bomb. james risen has vowed to go to jail rather than testify in sterling's trial, which is set to begin in january. industry broadcast sunday, general michael hayden, who led the cia until 2009, and before that, led the nsa, told lesley stahl on "60 minutes" he does not think risen should be forced to divulge his source. >> i'm conflicted. i know the damage that is done. i do. i also know the free press necessity in a free society. it actually might be that i think, no, he is wrong, that was a mistake, that was a terrible thing to do. america will suffer because of that story. but then i have to think about, how do i redress that? if the method of redressing that actually harms the broad freedom of the press, that is still wrong. the government needs to be
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strong enough to keep me safe, but i don't want it so strong that it threatens my liberties. >> well, the obama administration must now decide if it will try to force risen's testimony and risk sending one of the nation's most prominent national security journalists to jail. president obama has already developed a reputation as the most aggressive in history when it comes to targeting whistleblowers. his justice department has brought eight cases so far, more than all previous administrations combined. on friday, federal prosecutors hinted that they may decide not to press for risen's testimony under new guidelines issued earlier this year that make it harder to subpoena journalists for their records. james risen's answer to this saga has been to write another book. released today, it is titled "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." he writes that the book is his answer to "how best to challenge the government's draconian efforts to crack down on aggressive investigative reporting and suppress the truth in the name of ceaseless war." james risen, welcome back to democracy now!
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it is great to have you with us. your new book is "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." you are quoting john kennedy here. >> yes. i think that is what we have done since 9/11. we have paid in norma's price in the name of what -- we started this war after 9/11, this global war on terror. justicen order to seek a richer vision or whatever -- however you want to characterize the attitude of america right after 9/11. today does become essentially a -- today it has become essentially a search for cash. there are many people involved were doing it because they are in, because they want status or power or money. i think of it kind of i sense, l
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context it is like in the middle ages when you had the 30 years war or the 100 years war in europe where you develop a whole new class of mercenary soldiers who all they did their entire career was go from one country to another to fight wars. deal you exposed a great in "pay any price," yourself are pressure.mous how do you continue to write these front-page pieces for "the new york times" and write this book as you face the possibility of years in jail? >> it is what i do. it is my job. it is what keeps me sane, to keep going. if i just gave into them, then i would be, you know, failing and what i want to do. i want to keep finding out the truth. it is the thing i have try to do my whole life, is be a reporter and a writer. it is the only thing i know how to do. moment, we are to talk
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extensively about the stunning revelations of "pay any price." but if you could go back to what you revealed before edward snowden and how it eventually came into the "new york times is growth that when you pulitzer prize. "new york times" that ultimately one you pulitzer prize. 2004, or number of sources who began to tell us that they knew4 something really big, they knew the biggest secret in the government, but they could not tell us because they were so nervous. they were very tortured by what they knew. oftook months of kind patients and talking and reporting for eric and i to
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figure out exactly what it was that they were talking about. finally, we were able to piece it all together. in the fall of 2004, we had the story ready to go. i had a great confrontation over the telephone with michael hayden, who you just saw, where i read him -- i got him on the persony bluffing the pr at the nsa and said, i need to talk to him right now. i was shocked to got on the phone. i read him the top of the draft of the story. he goes -- gasp. that is when i knew we had it. so we had the story ready. hayden and the government started to crack down on "the new york times" and pressure them to hold the story until -- it was ready about two or three weeks before the election, in
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mid-october 2004. after the election -- >> can you just explain. what does it mean when the government pressures the leading newspaper in the united states? what does that look like? do they march through the offices of "the new york times" into bill keller, the executive editors office? >> usually with a ask is for us to go to them. -- first meeting was between it was probably early october, mee september 2004 between and the washington bureau chief at the time. john mcglothlin, then acting cia director and his chief of staff john mohs and. we met at the cia directors town office for the old executive office building. it was a very funny meeting because at that time, they did not want to of knowledge the story was right. they did not want to officially acknowledge. they had all of these
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hypothetical -- we have is very weird hypothetical conversation with a cap saying, well, if you were-- if the government doing what you say they were doing, it would be very bad free to reveal that. that was just the beginning of a whole series of meetings with the editors and us, the reporters, in which they said that this is the crown jewel of the was counterterrorism operation and if you reveal this, this will damage national security. so that was essentially the argument they used then and they used throughout the entire process. >> it went higher than you and the washington -- >> higher and higher and higher. >> and the election is coming closer and closer. >> they met with taliban and keller. editorse newspaper and and newspapers met to discuss the story and bill keller decided to hold it.
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decided to not run it before the election. then after -- >> do you think it could have changed the election? nut of your revelation. >> basically, the story was we found out the u.s. was spying -- the nsa was spying on americans electronically, listening to the phone calls, international phone calls, back and forth with people overseas. and gathering -- doing lots of data mining on their phone and e-mail. also getting the content of their e-mail. and doing that without court approval. they were going around the fisa court, the foreign intelligence or valence act court, which had been set up specifically for that purpose of providing secret warrants for spying -- for
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eavesdropping on spies and terrorists or suspected ties. the government had decided to go around the law, gore around the courts and not tell anyone else they were doing that except a couple of hand-picked people in congress who are elected chairman of the intelligence committees. secretre keeping the from everyone so they could do it on a vast scale. what the people who talked to us about it believed is that it was unconstitutional. that is why we were pursuing it. i want to turn to build any who we had on democracy now! william bennett was the national security agency whistleblower who spent nearly 40 years at the nsa but retired about a month after september 11 2001.
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speaking on democracy now! in 2012 come he explain what happened. >> after 9/11, all of the wraps came off for the nsa and they decided, between the white house and the nsa and cia, they decided to eliminate protections of the u.s. citizens and collect on it domestically. they started collecting from the one commercial company that i know that participated, provided over -- probably on average about 320 million records of came indications of a u.s. citizen to u.s. citizen inside this country. >> what company? >> at&t. they were providing billing data. at that point i knew i could not stay because it was direct relation of constitutional rights of everybody in the country. the store toated
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indications act, privacy act, intelligence acts of 1948 in 1978. it was a whole series -- plus all the laws covering federal can medications governing telecoms. all of those laws are being violated, including the constitution. that was a decision made that wasn't going to be reversed so i could not stay there. >> that was national security agency whistleblower william benny. so he leaves and he ultimately has a gun put to his head by federal authorities in his shower. he is a diabetic amputee. his kid and his wife also being held at gunpoint. >> right. yes, i have a chapter in my new book about the nsa whistleblowers early on, including bill. and tom drake and some of the others. it is remarkable what happened to them at the nsa. what we found out years later --
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i did not know bill or diane or tom. they were never our sources. a what we found out was, the government thought they were our sources for our "new york times" story in a were persecuted as a result, even though they had never come to the press. diane work in particular suffered amazing persecution, even though she tried to go -- >> explain who she was. was the housee intelligence committee's staffer in charge of oversight of the nsa. right at the time of 9/11. bill, right after he found out about this new program, went to her, her house, in suburban washington and told her what he is heard about. .iane was outraged and shocked and she could not believe it was authorized. she thought this must be some kind of rogue program that nobody really knew about.
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so she wento the chairman -- she went to her boss, the staff director of the intelligence committee and minority staff director, to warn them that they have got to tell the chairman and a vice-chairman chairman of the committee what is going on. and then she gets this message about this't talk anymore. don't investigated and keep your mouth shut. and she realizes the chairman and the vice chairman already know about it and are keeping it secret. so she then tries to -- goes on this long odyssey within the government of going to all these powerful people that she knows inside the government to try to warn them about this illegal and unconstitutional program. and every time she goes to someone that she respects and who is very powerful, she realizes that they already know and are in on the secret, and are keeping her mouth shut. finally, about a year later or a couple of years later after our the government,
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thinks that she is our source and they rate her house in a raid bills house and a few other people like tom drake. >> so the peas does not get published before the election and you try again after the election. >> we convinced the editors, let us try again after the election. after the election they said, ok. i start working on the story again. we get it reedited by our editor rebecca corbett and we haven't already to go -- had it all ready to go. i knocked on doors and went to this one guy who we knew at his house late at night right before christmas, we knew he knew about this and we knock on his door and he just a ceiling -- hefor bothering him just starts yelling at us for bothering him. he was clearly scared. he did not want to talk. but we had the story ready to go
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by mid-to-late december of 2004. then the editors killed it again for the same reasons, national security. so by that time, the story was dead. i knew they were not going to run it at all. so i had a previously scheduled book leave to work on my book "state of four." i decided, i'm going to put it in my book. and so i did. when i came back from book leave 2005, ing or summer of finished the book throughout the summer and i think by late summer, i told the editors that it was going to be in my book, so they should think about running it. inlet me go to bill keller "60 minutes" lesley stahl. meeting heim about a
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was summoned to the white house that made keller decide not to run. said, if theret is another attack like 9/11, we are going to be called up before congress to explain how we let that happen and you should be sitting alongside us. , you couldeffect have blood on your hands. >> he was saying if anything goes wrong, we're going to blame you. >> right. >> what was your answer? talks over the 14 months. actually, the negotiation -- the talks we had with me and eric had with the editors, were very high-minded. it was a very interesting debate. we debated kind of this issue of national security versus civil liberties in a lot of ways. i'll was that afterwards, you know, you could've put those debates we had inside paper on
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television. they were pretty interesting. ultimately, what really i think convinced bill was, in the fall i told them it was going to be in my book and they storyd to reengage on the -- >> that is putting it politely. it would be very immersing as their top national security reporter reveals his revelations not in the pages of "the times" but in your book. >> they said, after i told them it was going to be in my book in late summer 2005, what they said was, ok, we will think about putting it in the paper. but they were not committed to it. they wanted to negotiate again with the government. so there were a whole series of new meanings with the government , which was for a frustrating to me. what the government told them that fall was, they have a wrong. we're not listening to anybody's phone calls. we're only getting the metadata, the calling data.
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when the editors came back and told us that, eric and i said, they're lying to you. finally, after a while, eric and i were able to convince them they were being lied to and i think that had a major impact on their final decision to run the story. >> so the story comes out. you went until a surprise for your book, but there's something else "the times" decided not to publish, what you are being prosecuted for now. story, anas another operation involving the iran nuclear weapons program in which the cia had used a russian defector to give nuclear blueprints to the iranians. and the idea was that they're supposed to be flawed blueprints that within send the iranians down the wrong track on building a bomb. at the russian told them
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immediately, oh, i can see the flaws. scientist.clear he says, i can see the flaws in the iranians will see the flaws. then he sent a letter when he gave the blueprints to the iranians, he gave a letter to the iranian saying, you can see there are problems in these blueprints. so it is quite possible that the iranians are able, by being tipped off, were able to find good information in them and ignore the bad information. .nd that was in my book i had written that for the paper before, in the editors had decided not to run it because the white house asked them not to for national security grounds. after my book came out, the government began leak investigations about the nsa story and other things in my book, including that story. i think they finally decided not "the new york times" on the nsa story because it would not -- it would have meant a major constitutional
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showdown. i think they decided to find something awesome i book to come after me on, to isolate me from "the new york times." and they picked the merlin operation. >> and they want to know your source. >> they want to know who my sources are for that story. >> did it surprise you that it went from the bush administration to the obama administration? >> yes. i thought once the obama administration command office, the whole thing would be dropped. i was very surprised that the obama administration continued to pursue the case. in 2009, the issued a new subpoena and have continued to pursue this ever since. >> he told "new york times" maureen dowd that president obama is "the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation." >> his record speaks for itself. he has prosecuted more whistleblowers and gone after
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more journalists than any president in history. -- thathe has done record is going to be a major part of his legacy, of trying to erode press freedom in the united states. >> we're talking to "new york times" was her prize winning, investigative journalist james risen. he has just published a new book out today called, "pay any price: greed, power, and endless war." and we come back, we will talk about what he calls the homeland security industrial complex. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're spending the hour with investigatived journalist with "new york times" could surprise winning journalist with his new book just out today, "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." you are being pursued by the u.s. government.
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will you reveal the name of your source? because? , you know, you cannot have aggressive investigative reporting in america without confidential sources and without -- and without aggressive investigative reporting, we can't really have a democracy. because the only real oversight for the government is an independent and aggressive press. and i think that is what the government really fears more than anything else is an aggressive investigative reporting in which we shine a light on what is going on inside the government. we can't do that without maintaining confidentiality of sources. >> as president obama, eric holder, or anyone else in the administration signal to you
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they may not demand that you testify and reveal your source? >> no. >> these reports were in "the washington post" on friday and michael hayden saying that perhaps you should not be prosecuted. do they encourage you? >> well, i'm glad to hear that, but we will see. talks in june, eric holder met with a group of journalists to discuss press freedom issues and was asked about the justice department subpoena of you to testify in the trial of x cia journalist jeffrey sterling. he said -- >> well, we will see. i'm not sure what that means. it is all still in the courts right now. we will see. it is very unclear what is going
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to happen next. >> "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." the of a series of stunning revelations. why do you begin by laying them out. >> ok. to me with the war on terror became, as i said earlier, this enormous search for power and status and cash. i began to realize what we had in the war on terror were we had do -- we had deregulated national security. that is essentially what dick cheney meant when he said the gloves come off. that means deregulating the whole national security apparatus. taking all the limits off of what we can do in national security. at the same time, we port hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars into brand-new counterterrorism. the fbi, the new homeland security department, all of them, the pentagon, they all had
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more money than they knew what to do with. isthey began -- to me, it like the banking crisis. you had enormous money going into a deregulated industry, meaning, counterterrorism industry. ,nd you have lots of unintended bizarre consequences. so that is what i have found is the crazy programs that developed, the bizarre nature of the whole war on terror. if you pull up the put and look inside of it, is just stunning. -- to the book with this me, kind of a metaphor for everything that we have going on now is in 2009, there was a small ceremony at arlington national cemetery. in section 60, which is where the dead of the iraq war lay buried, it was a small group of pro-war people who were celebrating the sixth anniversary of the fall of baghdad, and what they call iraq
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liberation day. it is the day the statue of saddam was pulled down. i saw paul wolfowitz there. the woman who is sponsoring that dave's their money was viola draf, an aging georgetown socialite. she was veryt pro-iraq war. then two years later, she was found murdered in her apartment -- in her house in georgetown. her husband, who had been going around washington dressed as a general in the iraqi army, was arrested for her murder. he had claimed he had been named general in the iraq he army by prime minister maliki. after he was arrested, the police found a receipt from a printing place in washington where he had counterfeited the letter in the certificate of being a general in the iraq he
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army. he was a total fraud. he has now been convicted of her murder. i thought that was a metaphor for the fact that this war on terror, a lot of it is just a fabrication that we are now trying to unravel and deal with. so i began to look and see all of the various things that have happened in this war. one of the first things i came across was how the united states had airlifted billions of dollars to iraq for use by the new iraqi government. billions have been stolen and ed to lebanon by iraqi leaders. then i began to look at the case of dennis montgomery, who was -- >> before you go to that, the billions of dollars from the lebanon, from iraq to where? >> it was stolen from baghdad and moved secretly to a bunker
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in lebanon where was being held by the wealthy and powerful iraqis because they wanted to steal it and use it for themselves. and also, probably, with some lebanese money launderers. >> civilians of dollars of u.s. taxpayer money back whacmoney -- >> it was actually lebanon money. no one was doing any oversight of any of these programs. >> dennis montgomery? >> is a fascinating character who -- he was a computer software person, self-styled expert, who developed -- what he said was, special technology that would allow him to do things with computers that other people could not do. one of the things that he developed was this imaging technology that he said he could
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networkges on broadcast news tapes from al jazeera. he said he could read special secret al qaeda codes in the banners on the broadcast amount -- al jazeera. the cia believed him and were giving him information based on watching hours and hours of al jazeera tapes saying, i know are the next al qaeda attack is going to be based, when it is when a happen. the bush administration and the cia fell for this. >> it was in the news -- >> he said it was in the banner. anyway. so it was this -- if you talk to him, he argues, well, they were looking for it. they convinced him to look for this. it depends on who you talk to. but he was one of the great
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weres of the war on terror they actually grounded planes in europe, the bush administration, based on information they were getting from dennis montgomery's so-called decryption of al jazeera broadcasts. is a whole number of other things like a larva's, which was this covert program at the pentagon where a palestinian involved in that was actually trying to use the bank account set up by the secret pentagon program to launder hundreds of millions of dollars and the fbi investigated this but then tried to keep the whole thing quiet. quite how much did the u.s. government give to dennis montgomery? >> millions of dollars. then he used -- he was a heavy
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thinkr and eventually, i had a lot of financial problems as a result. me, the a strange -- to dennis make him her story is one of the strangest because what it shows is, early on in the war on terror as i said, the cia and all of these other agencies had so much money to spend on counterterrorism that they were willing to throw it at everything. they were so afraid the next terrorist attack, that they were willing to believe anybody who came up with some idea. i called that chapter about montgomery, the emperor, the war on terror, because nobody wanted to say the emperor has no clothes. it had very real effects, site from spending all that money. for example, planes being sent back. >> international flights were
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grounded between the u.s. and europe and mexico. there was talk that the white house, even of shooting down planes based on this information. asbecause they could be used september 11, as -- >> missiles, or whatever. it was crazy. >> it was only the french government -- thehe french government -- cia and the bush and administration did not want to tell anybody what was really happening, where they were getting this information. it was supersecret information about al jazeera, we can't tell you. finally, the french intelligence service and the french government said, you know, your grounding our plane so you have to tell us where you're getting this information. they finally share the information. a french tech firm to look at this and said, this is fabrication, this is nuts. after a while, the cia was finally convinced, maybe the french were right, and they stopped talking about it. they did not do anything else.
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they just shut it down if eventually come of it never wanted to talk about what had really happened. >> and then dennis montgomery revealed as a con man in jail for that. >> no, he's not in jail. but it was -- he actually got more contracts after that with agencies.on and other he continued to operate for a long time. he kind of went from one agency to the other. >> where talking to james risen by pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist for "the new york times." is due book just out today, "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." corruptsome back, were in the were corrupts absolutely. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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agency. >> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're spending the hour with james risen, the investigative
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reporter for the "new york times" who won a pulitzer prize for his book, "state of war: the secret history of the cia and the bush administration." it also won him -- welcome of becoming a target, not only of the bush and administration, but the obama administration. for year after year, right or today. he could face years and jeff are not revealing a source on one of the stories that he has exposed around a program called merlin and he was giving flawed blueprints for nuclear trigger to iran. issue of facing years in jail, how are you preparing for this? as you said, i have had a lot of time to think about it. it bothered me a lot more at first. i was more nervous about it when it first started. but now it is just like the ground noise in my life, so i'm just kind of used to it now. because i know exactly -- i have no doubts about what i'm going
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to do, so that makes it pretty easy. >> you are covering the very people who could put you in jail. >> yeah, sometimes. yes. as i said earlier, that is the only way to deal with this, is to keep going. the only thing the government respects is staying aggressive and staying -- continuing to investigate what the government is doing. int is the only way that we the journalism industry can kind of force -- push the government back against to maintain press freedom in the united states. coveredave whistleblowers for years. they are your sources for years. and now in a sense, you have become one yourself for press freedom. and you write about in "pay any price" these remarkable people who face all odds, like bill binney and others. >> they faced much more than i
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ever do. they're much more courageous i think than we reporters are, especially me. diane roark is really one of my heroes. she did everything that you would expect someone to do in the government. to me, her case is a perfect example of why edward snowden had to do what he did. he never could have gone through this system -- people say, why didn't he go to the system? she tried to go to the system and was persecuted for it. what's what about edward snowden? >> i think is a whistleblower. in the same tradition of whistleblowers. >> "the new york times" recently said they would call him a whistleblower. can you talk about the process, the decision "the times" mate and using that terminology for him? >> i did not know that. i did not know that was an issue. that is interesting. i just think he is. i think there is a simple fact. he has revealed lots of
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information that has led to a national debate about the extent of electronic surveillance in .he united states and has paid a heavy price for it. he had to go into exile. anyone who thinks he could have done what he is done and state in the is fooling themselves. >> do you think you should be allowed back into the united states and not face trial? >> yes, i do. >> what do you think he is contributed? >> as i said, here sparked a new national debate over the extent of surveillance. what i think he contributed, and our stories and other people stories early on about the nsa, we revealed the framework for what the bush administration had done, that they had turned the nsa on the american people. what i think snowden revealed, and the basic thing i think he revealed, is that under obama
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and in the years since we had first written about it, the american people have become much more online citizenry. we were now completely digital. with facebook and twitter and all of these things. as a result, the nsa had grown dramatically in their ability to watch the online presence of americans. much more than they had just if you years earlier in the bush administration. so what i think he revealed was the dramatic expansion in just a few short years of the nsa possibility to shatter the online presence of americans. that is a real contribution. >> you have a son who is a reporter? >> yes, my oldest son, tom. >> what is the legacy you want to pass on to him? >> i want to have a free press. i want him to be where he can
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still develop sources and do aggressive reporting in the same way i did throughout my career. i don't want young reporters to face a situation or climate where they are much more constrained in what they can write about than i had in my career. >> and you're willing to go to jail for this? >> yes. that is the one thing i can link to my son. quick thank you for being with us. 's investigative journalist with "the new york times." could surprise when reporter. his new book is out today called, "pay any price: greed, power and endless war." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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