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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 18, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! [captioning made possible by democracy now!] all that tonight is proven is that europe is going through the difficult process of judging that the problem has failed quite clearly in the minds of all people who do not have a vested interest in contending it
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does -- has not failed. amy: a battle over austerity -- leaders reject a european deal to extend the terms of the current bailout. will greece leave the eurozone? we will speak to paul mason. then, to the obama administration's war on whistleblowers. >> in 2009, i had a . i have recently -- had a new life. i had recently gotten married. i was about to go work for the secretary of state on foreign policy, national security. i had no inkling that the dark clouds would suddenly be appearing. amy: six years ago, state department analyst stephen came --i kim began speaking to a foxnews reporter.
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we will speak to peter maass of "the intercept," on his new piece "destroyed by the espionage act," and here kim in his own words. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the white house is delaying president obama's executive actions on immigration after a federal judge blocked them earlier this week. obama's move to shield millions from deportation was supposed to begin taking its first applications today. but u.s. district judge andrew hanen, of brownsville, texas issued an injunction after a motion filed by texas and 25 other states. the administration said it will comply with the ruling and delay accepting applications for work permits and deportation reprieves. speaking at the white house, president obama said he's
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confident the decision will be struck down on appeal. president obama: this is not the first time where a lower court judge has blocked something, or attempted to block something that ultimately was shown to be law. i am confident that it is well within my authority, and the tradition of the executive ranch's -- branch's prosecutorial discretion to execute this policy to make our borders safer. it will help us go after criminals and those that we do not want in this country. it will help people get on the right side of the law, and get out of the shadows. amy: judge hanen is an open opponent of obama's reprieve for undocumented immigrants, previously calling it an "an open invitation to the most dangerous criminals in society." protests for immigrant rights were held across the u.s. on tuesday. in los angeles, a recipient of obama's deferred immigration action for undocumented youths
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denounced the court decision. >> i stand here today very disappointed, learning about the injunction of the implement can't -- implementation, but i am confident through our fight we will allow the implementation of these programs and continue the benefits for more potential recipients. amy: the top u.n. envoy on syria says the regime of basher al-assad is willing to halt the bombing and shelling of aleppo for up to six weeks in a new bid -- for up to six weeks. in a briefing to the security council, staffan de mistura announced the breakthrough while saying he has no illusions about its chance of success. >> the government of syria has indicated to me it's willingness to halt all aerial bombing, and also all types of aerial bombing
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and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks all over the city of aleppo, from a date we will be announcing from damascus. to be frank, i have no illusions, because based on past expenses, this will be a difficult issue to be achieved but we will engage to position to hope to see them respond from a similar -- to a similar request from the u.n. to hold rockets over the city of aleppo for six weeks. amy: aleppo has sense intense violence in the government's clashes with rebel groups. the syrian civil war enters its fifth year next month. the u.s. meanwhile has expanded military coordination with rebels inside syria. "the wall street journal" says rebels deemed to be "moderate" now have the ability to call in u.s. airstrikes on islamic state fighters. the u.s. is set to begin
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training a group of syrian rebels on march 1 in jordan. ukrainian forces are withdrawing after an offense by a pro--russian rebels. the rebels say the truce does not apply to the town that connects strong -- strongholds donetsk and cons -- and the taunts. they have sustained heavy casualties over the last few days. the ukrainian withdrawal comes one day after the un security council unanimously passed a russian-drafted resolution. despite voting for the method samantha power accused russia of violating the cease-fire. >> if russia is committed to peace, it does not need a u.n.
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security council ruling. there are lots of ways to end the violence. stop pretending you are not doing what you are doing and start calling on, and insisting upon the separatists observing a cease-fire. amy: in response, the russian ambassador said his government is not responsible for starting the conflict in eastern ukraine. >> [speaking russian] >> she accused russia of stopping the crisis, they're starting the crisis, but did we toppled the president? russia calls for a bloodless solution. we insisted on and mentation even after the lawfully elected president was being toppled. we supported the communique
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calling for a constitutional dialogue. what was the impetus for the armed conflict? it was a support by certain western countries, the decision of the key of leadership to militarily depress the satisfaction of the people in these. amy: the security council is holding an emergency session on olivia today after cairo about to avenge the beheadings. on tuesday, egypt called for a global campaign to remove the islamic state. isis is one of several groups that have emerged inside of libya since the u.s.-led ouster of gaddafi. also, tripoli-backed fighters sent to sirte to confront isil fighters from misrata deployed
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-- in certain. talks between greece and european creditors collapsed this week amidst this agreement over the future of german backed austerity. germany says no new deal is being offered, and that athens must stick to the terms of its existing bailout. on tuesday, the greek prime minister, alexis tsipras, said his government wants a deal that will not compromise on the objective of crippling austerity. >> we are not in a hurry, and we will not compromise. we are working for a mutually beneficial solution, a solution without austerity, without the bailout that destroyed greece in the last year. amy: we will have more on greece
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after headlines. the obama administration will allow foreign allies to purchase u.s.-made drones for the first time. under a new policy, american firms can sell their drones abroad, but will be subjected to a case-by-case review. buyers will also have to justify their need for the drones and commit to "proper use" principles. but those standards are classified, so it's unknown if other countries will be able to use drones for extrajudicial killings like the u.s. does in -- abroad. "the washington post" reports the policy partially comes out of u.s. military corporations intent to tap into the $6 billion dollar global arms market. speaking to the website common dreams, william hartung, of the center for international policy called the drone exports quote "one of the obama administration's worst policy decisions," adding, "regardless of what guidelines are established for their use, history tells us that once the united states transfers a weapon to another nation it is
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extremely difficult to control how it is used. the u.s. should be reining in its own drone strikes, not making it easier for other nations to use them." ashton carter has been sworn in as the new defense secretary following his overwhelming senate confirmation vote last week. secretary carter: i have a commitment to the future to building a force for the future, and that involves not only securing the resources that we need, but making sure that we make the best use of the taxpayer's dollar. make sure that we embrace change so that years from now, and decades from now, we continue to be a place where america's finest want to serve. amy: president obama tapped carter after forcing the ouster of chuck hagel late last year. carter has a long history at the pentagon, where he once served as the chief arms buyer. in 2006, he backed a pre-emptive strike against north korea if
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the country continued with a planned missile test. carter has recently voiced support for arming ukraine and opposing the transfer of prisoners from guantanamo bay. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman. less than a month after the anti-austerity syriza party swept to victory in greece, a major dispute has broken out between greece's new leaders and european finance ministers. on monday talks between greece and its european creditors collapsed amid disagreement over the future of german-backed austerity. at talks in brussels, greek negotiators rejected a deal to extend the terms of the current bailout scheme with no alterations to the austerity terms. greece is reportedly now planning to submit a request to the euro zone to extend a "loan agreement" for up to six months but germany says no such deal is being offered and that athens
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must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout. the greek finance minister spoke in brussels. >> we were offering to refrain from, effectively, implementing our own program, the program were elected to implement, for a period of six months, and all we were getting back was a nebulous promise of some specificity that was never specified. under those circumstances, ladies and gentlemen, it proved impossible for the greek government, despite our infinite goodwill to sign the communique so discussions continue. amy: lawmakers from the ruling syriza party say greek voters had rejected the terms of the bailout and that greece would not be intimidated into accepting them. dimitris stratoulis is greece's new deputy social security minister. >> the government remains
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unyielding to its position. the greek people have rejected this with their vote and the presence in the street, as have the people of europe, who have openly express the solidarity with our own people. amy: the breakdowns in talks have brought fear that he -- greece could leave the eurozone. to find out more about the significance of these investigations, we are going to london, to speak with paul mason. he covered the greek elections and is working on a documentary called "greece -- dreams take revenge." his most recent blog for channel 4 was headlined "leak and counter-leak -- how not to achieve a greek deal". welcome to democracy now! how don't you achieve a greek deal? paul: as we speak, there are phone calls and briefings backwards and forwards between athens, brussels, even here in
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london because the greek government has, today, requested a six-month extension to the loan, but has not put forth conditions they might accept to get the loan. it is like having a loan from your bank, and saying we're going to extend it by six months, and any conditions you attach, we are not going to obey . i read that right now as a delaying tactic, because the european central bank, it is meeting right now and will break of the meeting this afternoon -- every meeting in the european central bank holds over greece the possibility that they pull the plug on greece's effectively busted banking system. it is really tense stuff, and this is how not to do it. the greeks of elected a government that wants to cancel austerity but they all the rest of the world 320 billion euros
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and it is very difficult to see how they get what they want without a confrontation, and time is running out because the emergency extensions to loans and liquidity facilities run out at the end of this month. amy: explain, paul, what austerity means. paul: austerity means something like a 50% increase in male suicides. it means real wages fell by 25% in five years. it means that the economy lost one quarter of its capacity. it has shrunk by 25%. if you sit at a coffee table -- at a cafe in athens, talk to the person who is serving you, they will be a graduate living, probably more than one person to a room, and the average income is 500 euros to 600 euros a month.
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that is for graduates. that is very -- austerity. then you have the 300,000 families that cannot afford electricity, and something like, 15% of people now, are on the edge of, or have lost healthcar e. when you lose it, you join the queue with undocumented migrants, the red cross. amy: speaking tuesday, the german finance committee -- commissioner said it was unclear whether greece wanted a bailout. >> greece needs to decide whether they want the program or not. no one understands what greece wants in the end. an extension of the program is only possible when the goal is to end the program. we all want the euro group to stay together.
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we have worked for years on it. i am the one that has been here the longest, but everyone has to do it did, and the decision is in athens. amy: the german finance minister also expressed skepticism regarding his counterpart, greek finance minister yanis varoufakis. >> he is not so efficient in trying to convince others. that is what i can say in observing him. there is room for improvement. amy: you wrote a piece in the "guardian" recently, saying germany is eating itself over greece eroding moral authority and seems prepared to destroy the eurozone's integrity just to make a point. explain what you mean. paul: inside german
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decision-making circles, there is a policy they cannot run a budget deficit. they regard the rest of southern europe -- spain, italy, portugal, as big spend thrifts inefficient. that is the feeling. with greece it is personal because greece elected a government led by a party one-third of them are far less marxist, and most belonged to the new tradition that would put them way to the left of any politicians. it is more than just about money. people have been trained as marxists, so this is something that nobody in europe expected, least of all the germans, and the germans basically known --
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they cannot get their head around the idea that a party has been elected that wants to do something so radically different that they cannot do it without breaking the rules that the eurozone has been formed around. so, it is becoming cultural. remember, of course, the oldest member of the party is 94, and in world war ii he was jailed by the nazis for ripping the swastika down from the acropolis . this is a living memory. you bet in the mountain villages of greece, there are people still alive who remember when the germans occupied their village. that is how cultural and personal it is getting. amy: so, explain why germany should help greece. paul: many germans believe they should not help greece. the rational case for debt
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relief is that the debt is not repayable. it is 320 billion euros, 175% of gdp, and to service the debt the government has to run a 4% surplus. if america could run itself in surplus year after year, it would have to/-- slash spending. this is only possible because the debt is being rolled over and rolled over. the conservative government that was defeated in the january election also needed to roll the debt over, but wanted to do it in a euphemistic way, where effectively the demand was to roll them over until the year 2016. i do not expect -- 2060. i do not expect to be alive then. the current government says you
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are in denial. you need to write them off as you do with all countries that are bust. we have taken a 25% of gdp hit to the size of our economy. the greek government is running a surplus. it does not need to borrow because so much has been cut but what they want is a radical debt relief, the kind latin american country saw in the 1980's, and the kind given to heavily indebted countries under the millennium development goals, but right now it does not look like they are going to get it. what they are fighting for now is a four-month stay of execution because it is clear -- pull the emergency landing on the european central bank, and goodbye to the four major banks. amy: speaking after the breakdown of talks tuesday greek prime minister alexis tsipras criticized the german finance minister's attitude towards the greek people. this is part of what he said. >> the german finance minister,
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mr. wolfgang schaeuble yesterday lost his cool, not because he spoke against the greek government, that is his right, but because he expressed himself in a derogatory manner for the greek people. i would like to point out to him that it would be better to pity those who walk with their heads low and not pity those that held their heads probably high. amy: if you could talk further about what alexis tsipras is saying, and also where he comes -- work -- where he comes from, the significance of him being prime minister now. paul: this was a guy that was a far left communist in the 1980's, and although he is moderating his positions, he is trying to run a swedish or
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scandinavian style social democracy right now. the background of these guys is marxism. the next thing to understand is what people in greece field -- the 36% never voted for this party, and the other 10% devoted for other parties are feeling there is a social and psychological revolution going on. it is not just about the election. my day job is to be a news reporter and every day i sit down and look at cameramen shooting what looks like a crisis. working on a documentary with independent filmmakers, and it looks like they are shooting a dream -- not as in their dreams are coming true, but pinch me, week up, is this happening? they go on demonstrations that usually end in riot charges
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tear gas, where the cops are appearing with anti-holsters, unarmed. the barricades around the parliament have been removed. this is removing a lot of barricades in people's minds as well. everyone is focused on alexis tsipras. they are very photogenic. while we are focusing on them, ordinary greeks are seeing, not yet real change economically, but they are feeling an atmosphere change, so as a result, alexis tsipras who won the election with 36% and was able to form the government, is now riding on 70% in terms of popularity, and if there is an election now they get 45% on all the differences of the election results from the january election and now comes from switching support to the current left government.
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that is how weird crazy -- and if you are greek -- how disorienting the situation is. that is why alexis tsipras says we are in no hurry, we will fight for what we were elected to do. i've spoken to him at length. these are not people that came into politics to compromise. they were a tiny group of 4% 15 years ago. they are talented people who thought they would spend their days in universities. they are in power now when they will not stay in power by massive compromise. they would rather -- if they are forced out of the euro, they will slam the door so hard the building will fall down. amy: i'd like to go a clip from the short documentary you've been working on called "greece -- the end of austerity?" which
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is part of a larger, ongoing film project on syriza . we will hear from syriza member rena dourou, but first party candidate spiros rapanakis. >> we cannot see any hope anymore. we cannot see this solving the problems. they have been told for five years that this is the only way to solve problems, but more people are waking up to the fact that that is not the solution. >> when you have a family, and you suddenly lose your job, you come to a place where you can not buy your food from a supermarket,supermarket, and the bank takes it away from you. so, it is the worst thing that we faced during the crisis, and for us we brought hope to the
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people. amy: that is a clip from "greece -- the end of austerity?" if you could talk about what it would mean if greece left the eurozone, and in that case, start by explaining what the eurozone is. paul: a documentary that i am working on -- i am basically mentoring a team of journalists who want to tell the story from the grass roots. the latter guy was a candidate and the other is an ngo manager. they are people in this country that would probably not end up supporting or being members of a far left party or government, but the centerleft was smashed and vacated. the centerleft did austerity, so the greek equivalent of the labor party, of the elizabeth warren democrats has
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disappeared. it does not exist. it gets 4% of the election. people from the technocratic, trent generation who want democracy, a decent life, and the ability to start a small business, maybe, they are voting for this far left party in droves. when we are working on the documentary, we are going out to rural areas, the waterfront, and what you see is ordinary people that have had enough switching. this is just the start. we do not know where it goes. that is why i am so keen to document the outcome. it could go through to a social outcome as we saw in spain in the 1930's, when people begin taking control. that is where we are. the eurozone years an alliance of 19 -- the eurozone is 19 countries that pooled their currencies and banks without pooling their tax system. you can have one country like germany growing rapidly, quite rich another country like
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greece bankrupt, and the euro has to fit both ends of the spectrum, and it does not. greece -- i think it is still 50/50, and i could revise that in an hour when the european central bank comes out of the meeting. 50/50 whether they stay in. if they leave, after the shock and the destruction of the new currency and capital control, i think there is a possibility that it would be better for them economically, but the greeks did not sign up to the euro as an economic policy. they signed up as a, kind of, guarantee, that they would always be part of the european family, and they have been treated, they believed, so harshly by the european family, that many of them now and i mean since the election -- there has been a nationalist feeling a feeling of germany and the eurozone kicking us while we did everything we could to elect, a
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young, forward-looking anticorruption government, and then we get kicked. that is changing the view of things. here behind me, westminster -- westminster is now engaged in a debate about whether we, the british, should leave europe. we are not in the eurozone. greece is plain hard into the debate because people look at germany -- and their thinking -- i know it is distasteful to say this -- they are saying did we fight world war ii so germany could destroy democracy in greece? that is being set in the building behind me. amy: paul mason, thank you for being with us. the economics editor for channel four news. he is working on a documentary. his most recent blog is "leak and counter leak, how not to get a deal."
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we will follow this story, and what is happening in spain with the podemos party, very much like greece. you can see our interview with pablo iglesias, the young 36-year-old professor who heads up podemos and some polls project he could take the next national election in spain. this is democracy now. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. over the past several years, democracy now! has closely looked at the government's crackdown on whistleblowers from
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army private chelsea manning to former national security agency contractor edward snowden to cia analyst john kiriakou. well, today we bring you the story of another whistleblower one whose case has received far less attention, the jailed former state department analyst steven kim. he is currently serving a 13-month sentence at the federal bureau of prisons in cumberland, maryland, for violating the espionage act by leaking classified documents on north korea to fox news reporter james rosen. journalist peter maas of “the intercept” details the prosecution of kim in a new piece out today titled "destroyed by the espionage act -- stephen kim spoke to a reporter. now he's in jail. this is his story." in a few minutes we'll be joined by reporter peter maass. but first, this is an excerpt from "the surrender" a new short film that accompanies the report on the intercept's website. it is directed by stephen maing and produced by peter maass and laura poitras, director of "citizen four," the oscar-nominated film about
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edward snowden. this clip begins with stephen kim. stephen: i had a new life ahead of me. i had recently gotten married, and i was going to work for the secretary of state on national security. i had no inkling that the dark clouds would suddenly be appearing. >> in the spring of 2009, state department analyst stephen kim was introduced to foxnews reporter james rosen. stephen: i remember meeting him right outside of the state department. we talked about pakistan, the iranian revolution can we did not know about south korea, let alone north korea, so i had to explain the basics.
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>> to james rosen, i am new to this -- do you have any suggestions on things you might be interested in doing? >> to stephen kim, i would love to see some internal state department analysis on the state of north korea's nuclear program. james rosen. james: i will always honor the confidentiality of my dealings. bill: sure, if you do not do that, you are no longer a reporter, and you are one of the best. >> james rosen published parts of a classified report. >> another name has been added to those charged under the espionage act. >> stephen kim was an expert on north korea and he is now facing trial for allegedly leaking
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classified information to a foxnews reporter, charge he denies. >> foxnews reporter james rosen reporting the north korea would respond to sanctions with more nuclear test. [laughter] jon: that is the leak -- north korea answers everything with more nuclear tests. they have a nuclear test-based economy. [laughter] stephen: i did not consider the conversation to be so memorable, or so blatant in my mind that it was because of that conversation that these things are happening. >> we are now learning the obama justice department invoked the espionage act to justify its investigation. >> the espionage act, a
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100-year-old statute was passed to address spying, and it is the principal tool the government uses to go after real spying, and for someone like stephen kim , who is accused of having a conversation with a member of the media. >> that is the attorney abbe law. >> this administration has prosecuted twice as many leakers as every previous administration combined. how does that reflect balance? >> the president from and believes in the need to protect the first amendment and for the need for reporters to do their job. >> james rosen was named as a co-conspirator but not indicted. >> court records obtained by nbc news show that in their efforts to convict stephen kim prosecutors obtained phone records of foxnews journalists. >> the fbi naming james rosen a criminal co-conspirator in the leak. >> james rosen declined to be interviewed.
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>> one of the disconnects about this case is here is someone that has been accused of the national security offense, and i can assure you that stephen always thought in all of his work, that his job was to help make the united states stronger. >> call me idealistic or radical, but i refuse to take in the deeply undermines our national security. james, i was thinking that perhaps it would be good for you to write a longer piece on why the intelligence community got so many things long on north korea. just a thought, stephen. >> dear stephen, the only way to do this is to expose the policy or what the north is up to, and the only way to do that, authoritatively, is with evidence. yours faithfully, james. >> one a reporter could deal with someone that could beat exposed -- that could be exposed it comes with some severity, but
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this is information out there in the world -- nonclassified sources you could google and learn without it being classified. >> in february, 2014, after fighting charges for four years and depleting his life savings stephen kim accepted a plea deal. stephen: probably the toughest decision that i had to make in my life was to plead guilty. it went against every fiber of my being to give up the fight. >> as the family spokesperson, i would like to make a short statement. the government's prosecution,
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which started in 2010, has taken a terrific -- or rhythmic toll on my brother and our family. his life has been in limbo for the past four years. there will be difficult months and years ahead, but we look forward to stephen returning to our embrace soon. >> on april 2, 2014, stephen kim is sentenced to 13 months in prison. stephen: the culture in washington is pretty cutthroat pretty ruthless. maybe it is because of my academic background, i thought my intelligence assessment would pierce through the politics. i guess i am naive.
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i was about to go to the policy planning staff, working under hillary clinton. basically, the style and thrust of my analysis has always been the way we analyze a country like north korea, that everyone says is unknowable -- he needs a reassessment, and to me, that all came down to how the united states understands how another nation thinks, and we cannot view that through our lens. there is a term called mirror imaging. i would do it this way therefore they must do it that way -- i would think that is not very helpful, and if abused, that can be actually quite dangerous. amy: jailed state department whistleblower stephen king in an expert -- an excerpt from "the surrender" a video about jailed
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-- -- that accompanies a new report by peter maass who joins -- peter maas. you will hear that story when we come back. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: moby "swear," this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are joined by paul mason, a senior writer at "the intercept." his new article is headlined, "destroyed by the espionage act -- stephen kim spoke to a reporter. now he's in jail. this is his story." peter maass, welcome back to democracy now! you accompanied stephen kim to
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jail, where he sits right now. let's go back and tell us the whole story. what happened to stephen kim who was he, and how did he end up at the state department? peter: he was an expert on north korea. he worked where nuclear weapons were designed and analyzed. he was privy to some of the deepest, most sensitive secrets of all, and then he became an official at the state department working as an expert on weapons of mass this -- mass destruction, particularly in north korea. in 2009 he was introduced by james rosen of foxnews by a press official at the state department, and they were introduced in order to talk, and they talked about all kinds of things -- pakistan, north korea, etc.. amy: now, this is extremely important. kim did not reach out to rosen. it was the state department press person that got kim in touch with rosen.
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peter: exactly, and it is not an irony, but one of the tragedies of the case that stephen kim and that of being prosecuted for talking to a reporter that kim had been introduced to buy another arm of the government. amy: talk about where the first meeting took place --what did he set up? peter: it was an ordinary first meeting between a journalist and state department show. it took place outside of the state department. as a savvy press official does, he knew it would not be good for the meeting to take place in kim 's office, classified area, and not good to meet in a cafeteria as other journalists, etc. would see them. they met in a park outside of the state department. amy: meet in a park? peter: outside of the state
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department. they were introduced. i think you have a lot to talk about. the first meeting, they exchanged pleasantries, etc.. irony is not the quite -- the right word, but later on they left the state department and talked outside of the state department, and the fbi portrayed this fact that they left the department in order to talk as something suspicious -- that they were doing something they were not supposed to do, even though the precise act of leaving the state department to talk is what they had done the first time they were introduced by state department official. amy: stephen kim was not used to speaking to reporters. he was asking for guidance. peter: he had very little experience talking to reporters. he had basically not talked to any american reporters. he was interested, in talking,
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he told me, to a reporter, and asked for suggestions from herzberg, who suggested james rosen. unusual for a press official to go to fox news, which is not loved in the state department or the obama administration, but the bureau was a readout of hardliners, and he had donated to the bush-cheney campaign, and the decision was made that stephen can would be introduced to him. peter maass --amy: take us to what happened next. peter: on june 11, 2009, rosen calls stephen can a number of time -- stephen kim a number of
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times. then stephen kim looks at a new classified report on north korea. then they go back outside again having arranged to do so, and talked for maybe 15 minutes something like that. three hours later, approximately, rosen publishes a story that says according to a new classified report, north korea is planning, in response to the united nations sanctions, to detonate another nuclear weapon, and that report that rosen's story was based on is the subject of the espionage act prosecution because the government is contending it was classified information, harmful to national security, and stephen came leaked it to james rosen, and the curious thing is no document ever changed hands. it was just a discussion about a document, and one of things i found out in the course of
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reporting this story -- going through this lengthy court docket that a lot of people have not looked at -- the fbi interviewed government officials about what happened at about the report, and one of these government officials told the fbi this classified report today talked about, it is a nothing burger. that is the phrase used. amy: a nothing burger? peter: another official said about this nothing burger of a classified report, that it was nothing extraordinary. the government had people inside of the government saying look, this is not a big deal. of course, there were people in the government that thought it was a big deal. the biggest problem for kim, i think, was his timing was terrible. he talked to rosen at a time when the obama administration had had it with leaks, and decided they do not like leaks. official leaks, that is fine,
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they help the administration for pr purposes. unofficial ones, they do not control, they hate. the obama administration decided to use the espionage act to prosecute people talked without authorization to reporters, and stephen came happen to be -- stephen kim happen to be a reporter that talked to a reporter without authorization. amy: he had original authorization. peter: he had original authorization -- exactly, but there was not authorization to talk about this specific report. his timing was terrible because the rosen story came out just at the moment when the obama administration -- one dennis blair was looking it over and said we have to stop this, we have to prosecute people, we need to, as dennis blair told "the new york times," we have to hang an admiral, make an example of someone.
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it was very unfortunate that rosen had been not been careful in his contacts with kim, so when the government decided they would investigate the leak, it was easy for rosen -- for them to figure out where rosen had gotten it from because he had used his phone to call stephen kim several times that day. they left the building at the same time, returned at the same time. you do not have to be a very good at dei asian to figure out -- you do not have to be a very good fbi agent to figure out who james rosen talk to and then they found a series of e-mails asking for internal documents. case closed -- not case closed, but that is the entire case, basically. amy: we are talking to peter maass, an award-winning reporter who just published the espionage
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-- "destroyed by the espionage act -- stephen kim spoke to a reporter. now he's in jail. this is his story." talk about what happened next. peter: they did not tell stephen kim he was the target of a leak of investigation. he did not know when talking to the f dei that he was the target -- the fbi that he was the target. that is what stephen kim's basically refers to as something close to a perjury trial. this is something the fbi has not done, and law enforcement does quickly -- going to the suspects it interview them
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casually, and did not tell the suspects to tell that they are the subject -- do not tell the subjects -- suspects that they are the subject of the investigation. stephen kim did not tell the entire truth. he said i only met james rosen wants, i will not talk to him about anything else i never talk to him again. if he had known he was the target, he would have lawyered up and probably been careful. when the fbi came to him a second time, nine months later they lay down a reconvey had saying you had broken the espionage act with a body of work and they threatened him with multiple counts. this was in august, 2010, that he was finally indicted under one count of the espionage act and one count of lying to the fbi. that was 2010. they decided to fight against the government, and for four years, they fought.
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he got a very good, expensive were to take the case on, and cost millions of dollars, only part of which he could afford to pay, and it took everything out of him. it is not surprising because we have seen this happen -- when the u.s. government goes after someone they consider a high-priority case, they have virtually unlimited resources and the effect it had on stephen kim was to deplete his life savings, his marriage broke up, his young son had to move away, he contemplated suicide, and he talked to me about this. and you are, accused, basically of espionage -- which is what the name of the act is, your entire reputation is shot even before you have the first chance to stand up in court and say i am innocent, this is why. he googled how many sleeping pills it would take to kill himself. he thought about jumping in front of a train, not because he was guilty, because he was innocent and did nothing to get a fair trial. amy: then explained what
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happened -- how this was, if you could call it, result. peter: the government made an offer to stephen kim's lawyers that he would have to spend a modest amount in jail -- 13 months. amy: this is after he was threatened with 30 years and said he should serve seven years in a plea agreement. peter: and this is often a process with the government threatens to throw the book at someone unless they plead guilty, and it creates an enormous amount of pressure. he said he understood what happened to aaron swartz, a brilliant computer programmer who was accused, after having downloaded academic articles from a commercial database, accused of computer crimes that would have landed him in jail, the government, with same, for more than a decade, or something like that, and it was a terrible burden for erin schwartz to take and he ended up taking his own life. stephen kim came close to that
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himself. the government cracked down very strongly on anybody who disseminates data beyond the borders of the government, whether it is corporate or government data. so, for stephen kim -- he described it to me like a brutal calculus. if i plead guilty, get 13 months in jail, that is it. i will be out after 11 months with good behavior. if i go to trial, i could end up in jail for 12 years, it can be another $1 million in legal that i do not have the money to pay for. which is the better route to go? he pleaded guilty and took 13 months. amy: what happened to james rosen, the hawks news reporter -- foxnews reporter? peter: he is still a well-known reporter. in order to acquire james rosen's e-mails, they applied
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for a search warrant and they referred to him as a potential co-conspirator. they accused him of basically being a minstrel who is trying to operate inspiring with stephen kim, collecting data. rosen came that close to being indicted himself. when this was revealed that the government -- a -- called him an unindicted co-conspirator and -- b --tracked his physical movements, it was a huge controversy in the press because it was taken, recently so, as an attack on the press. amy: you have james rosen atfox and james -- at fox and james ryman at "the new york times." peter: very confusing, very different journalists.
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amy: meanwhile stephen kim continues to serve in cumberland, maryland. peter maass is an award-winning investigative journalist, author
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