tv [untitled] January 17, 2013 4:00pm-4:30pm EST
i am. do as i say not as i downloaded last year's bitter battle over anti-piracy legislation led to many lawmakers speaking out against illegal downloads but a new report shows just how prevalent piracy is within the walls of capitol hill will tell you which movies and t.v. series employees couldn't keep their hands off of. and the death of computer prodigy aaron swartz has put a spotlight on a number of internet related issues today will look into the role the prosecution played in swartz's death. and military suicides reached
a record high in two thousand and twelve with one veteran taking their life every eighty minutes on average ahead we'll examine what the government is doing to protect the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend american values . it's thursday january seventeenth four pm here in washington d.c. i'm liz wahl and you're watching artsy well here at r.t. we've been on top of covering the various bills moving through congress aimed at regulating the internet the most notorious of which is sopa or the stop online privacy act backers of the bill said it was necessary to crack down on online piracy but now a new report says those trying to punish online pirates have been legally downloading music t.v. shows and movies on their congressional computers this is according to u.s. news and world one of their reports here's
a sample of what they've been downloading. home in a way in australian soap opera the voice a singing competition show supernatural and the ultimate fighter and the grassy of the next generation interesting lee enough it looks like congress members and staffers themselves. maybe among those affected by anti-piracy legislation to discuss our producer late. joins us now nice to see you here it is rachel so it looks like lawmakers are practicing what they preach lawmakers not practicing what they preach lives shocker breaking news i think i think that's definitely clear it's we're not sure at this point if it's the lawmakers or just the employees using their computers but either way it's very clear that it literally at the exact same time that they were creating this legislation like sopa which would essentially create a kill switch by which any website that had any sort of copyright information could
be taken down they were looking at that copyrighted information in a way that on those same websites right so they were benefiting. downloading stuff you literally get they were using with woods essentially called bit torrent so people who download any i mean you know if you download a cd full of information you would essentially say torrent you know and then the the artists and then you'd be able to download it pretty easily interesting we went over a few of their favorites there what else are they download and what else are they entail i mean it's it's one thing that they're doing something hypocritical i don't think that's really new for congress what was shocking to me was their utter lack of taste right you showed some of the biggest things like the voice not i mean not only is that just like kind of a silly show but it's also one that streaming for free on n.b.c. dot com so there's already you know you can there you can see it on your hands as are always on you tube that's true they always are on you tube but let's say you want to watch the whole thing you want to see like celo with the cockatiel on his shoulder you can do that for free then i mean so there's also you know they're
watching glee and there's ten pages right here essentially have all this information they're watching the ice cube television show are we there yet as you saw there watching australian soap operas in downloading them it's like here's the deal according to the democratic national party to keep congress open for one single work day cost thirty million dollars or thirty million two hundred seventy five thousand dollars that's according to the democratic party so then they're using all of these computers that were given to them on capitol hill to download are we there yet the t.v. show right so this is. a double whammy here they're yeah they're downloading illegal material and on top of that they're using you know public public computers yeah they're not like i hear this i mean they're voc right and at the same time they're also using public time to try and legislate to make this a more criminal behavior and to create more criminal consequences for this behavior interesting certainly doesn't make them look very good at all how was all of this
brought to light will then essentially happen to citigroup came forward and is in essentially. information to kind of be able to look at ip addresses themselves it's really easy to determine ok this is an ip address that is related to the house of representatives so after you look at those ip addresses it's pretty easy to say ok this is what's been going on in the ip addresses which is again kind of creepy in the instead of perhaps trying to legislate all of these things to criminalize looking at these things it might be more useful to actually look into some of these computer privacy laws that have been left stagnant since one nine hundred eighty six. and you know another another thing about this that's really striking is that a huge reason why people are so congress claims they're so very interested in cracking down on copyright laws and things of this nature is because they're decreasing revenues for movie companies for these big broadcasting companies but as but as the congressional research service itself showed in
a recent report the total gross revenues in box office receipts for u.s. companies over the past fifteen years has actually increased significantly it's doubled so and so has executive pay in fact the only thing that's decreased in regards to these movie companies is hiring so every day people who might otherwise be hired is gaffers or sound people or whatever it may be on sets. aren't getting hired more so they don't have those jobs executives have those jobs and these companies have actually increased their revenues significantly it's interesting and it makes you wonder what the incentive is behind wanting to put these little pushing these pieces of legislation like sopa and some of us some of these other bells aimed at cracking down on hackers regulating the internet stopping online piracy things like that we do know that the motion picture association and organizations like that have been some of the biggest lobbyist in terms of the wishing the sludge and were arrested and of the m.p.a. is chris dodd the former senator from connecticut democratic senator who now makes
more money than he ever did on capitol hill i mean he's still on capitol hill but he's kind of on the other side of the do. and now so they're not revolving door exactly the revolving door we talk about a lot and i think that it's really apparent here but i think that it also shows that even as people are going around the door there are still people right we're all still people who just want to see are we there yet torrent did on our computers but do it at home right on your own time right and maybe percocet online instead of going right and maybe if you recognize that this isn't something that's going to be very harmful stop legislating it to make it more criminalized. well now this is kind of public information i could imagine it embarrassing do you think that it could change them into kind of changing their you know stance is toward it and pushing the these pieces of legislation well i hope so i think in particular the fact that there are bittorrent being the voice and degrassi the next generation should be a source of embarrassment to them but i don't think in the past we've seen that
when congressional members were shown that they were acting hypocritically that it necessarily change them i mean look at people who are say like quote unquote pro-family values people who were caught with the d.c. madam or we've been caught in a homo sexual relationships when when they were very opposed to gay marriage it certainly hasn't changed that maybe they've had to leave office but it doesn't often change the. practicing what you preach maybe it's something that is lacking if there's anything we can take from his story right it's. really appreciate you staying on top of that was our t.v. producer rachel currency this. we turn now to the hot button issue with the now hot button issue of prosecutorial overreach the issue has come to the forefront after the death of the renowned internet activist aaron swartz swartz took his own life after facing the prospect of three decades in prison for his alleged involvement in hacking and stealing millions of documents from an online academic archive nowas
family and supporters are saying the sentence prosecutors are calling for is outrageous the father going as far as saying the government killed his son so is there a problem with our justice system that needs to need some serious thought and our federal prosecutors going too far and asking for punishments that don't fit the crime to discuss j.d. to cheli managing editor of reason twenty four seven joins us now welcome back. so we have this new discussion that is being brought to the forefront is it overdue and did it take the death of someone considered to be this this genius in order to get people to care about the issue you know it's horrible to think of that might be the case but it does seem to be true the fact the matter is no one was discussed in receiving there was it has been going on for a while and say stephen am an assistant u.s. attorney involved in this case was involved in another head is a few years ago where there are all sorts of there's life on one has to read with
fairly harsh penalties so if one comes out of this we actually get a discussion so that's a good thing but it's horrible to someone's life to do it right. it's really tragic what what drives prosecutor is to ask for these harsh sentences. blind wall ambition carmen ortiz is being discussed as the next governor of massachusetts they were seriously at throwing her name around as the democratic candidates hopefully that discussion is over but you never know i mean it's not uncommon for attorneys for those in the u.s. attorneys prosecutors but there is no other way up the a political ladder and that's why they do this i mean they want prosecutions of the don't they want to look tough and they want to build they would tell the voters that they've got the backbone sewer you know the next political office they see and other words this is a way to make a name for themselves and that's all that it is but of course the climate the bodies to do it. now i do want to read this statement from the u.s.
attorney carmen ortiz defending the office and the government's actions in this case she says quote i must however make clear that these offices this office is conduct was appropriate and bringing and handling this case the career prosecutors handling this matter took on the difficult task of enforcing a law that they had taken an oath to uphold and did so reasonable they are so they also go on there in that statement denying that they actually pursued the maximum sentence even though they were entitled to a what's your reaction to their justification. you know she's trying to hide behind the fact that law is badly written then that the law of the law makers already made a mistake when they crafted its head schwartz stolen the hard drives that contained the information that he downloaded it is a misdemeanor and he probably would have been facing probation he downloaded the data which was inside of the deleted downloaded more than the news from give them
terms of agreeing that he'd signed would allow them to so themselves and he's facing a felony prosecution. carmen ortiz had turned down his defense attorney's efforts to bargain for a non prison sentence in this matter he knew he was facing prison time one way or the other the fifteen felony counts against him it's extraordinarily harsh simply downloading academic papers right sever guard less of whether or not they were going to pursue that maximum sentence the capacity is there for them to request that and to go after a sentence like that there was going to prison so that's clear martinez is now saying that he was only going to ask for six months in prison or i'm assuming that she's never served any prison time yourself six months to me an eternity if you're not hard to hardened criminal yourself in our report in this or that's a pretty stiff penalty for what swartz that so her as her defense claims here aren't very impressive they're very convincing at all. all right do you
think j.d. that one problem is that many of these laws that are too vague and that there is space for prosecutors to ask for whatever they want. the laws are vague and they're harsh i mean the law in this case you know basic was was meant to go after hackers and server terrorists instead it's going to be used or was used against open source and because somebody who believed that if the nation should be free nobody has claimed that he was doing this for personal profit there was no chance of that at all he wanted to make these academic papers publicly available and so yes he faced the possibility of decades in prison because of this even if there are sure and says that they were going to seek the maximum sentence he was still going to be a convicted felon with a loss of civil rights that involves us laws partially written it's vaguely written a lot of our laws or and then they give prosecutors maximum we. see prosecutions and very strange cases but it's a apply that carries these laws very strangely and you never know then what
a judge is going to hand in terms of sentence for a certainly having a felony on your record no matter what is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life you know there's kind of this ideal and a perfect world people that go into law do it because they want to be part of serving justice this justice system but you know when prosecutors are driven to ask for the maximum sentence and set of a fair sentence to me that doesn't sound like justice one no it doesn't selling justice at all you know as a seventy four of this is political ambition driving it very clearly oakland visions of these prosecutors i don't think just as politically for they could have slapped him on the wrist they could have offered probation they're going to said don't do it again jay store the organization from which these documents were downloaded didn't want any prosecution at all so it's hard to see where any kind of justice was in this case right. could this ever change i mean is it possible
to tip the balance of power so that there's not so much of it and the hands of the prosecutor. yes i mean for a lawmakers could write was so that there are asleep specific they could very well write laws that are understandable i think of our laws they don't give so much leeway to prosecutors but they would have to do that a the state and federal level in the in the law making bodies in congress and in the massachusetts legislature or other state legislatures there is now an investigation going on by far was the one in congress and so the pondok of the u.s. attorney here and then not that say investigation should go forward but it's only going to achieve real results if they'd not just penalize this u.s. attorney but they also change the way they draft laws and put more effort into it so they're not so big in the end very day do you think we've reached a tipping point i mean in the wake of aaron swartz where we are now going to take a serious lock apneas laws at the power of the prosecutor. and
possibly think about some some real change do you think we have reached that point for having a discussion on this conversation that wasn't going on before so we least have an opportunity whether we take advantage of this opportunity to its full extent whether we make the changes that need to be done we're going to see in the next few weeks pregnant a few months but the opportunities here now to make these changes right j.d. great to have you on as always that was j.d. to managing editor of reason twenty four seven. well let's agree that veterans deserve the best health care when they come home from deployment but perhaps that need is greater today as thousands of troops come home plagued with post-traumatic stress disorder but this a man for health care and the government run veterans affairs system is leading some lawmakers to re-evaluate the program are to correspondent christine for us out has more. on the battlefield america's soldiers dodge
bullets and bombs. when they return home there are new battles to fight ones often wrought with bureaucracy and backlog when they signed a contract to serve this country we're supposed to take care of those that have borne the battle it's one of the few issues democrats and republicans in congress agree upon the need to provide better health care for veterans especially those who reach out for help at the v.a. when i talk to veterans their biggest complaint is they want to get in congressman tim walz is the ranking member congressman jeff miller the chairman of the veterans affairs committee on capitol hill both agree changes are necessary as far as what changes well enough things been drawn up in legislation yet but one proposal is to look at opportunities outside of the current system so that if a veteran can get. a timely appointment for their health care needs that they can go somewhere other than the v.a. it's their choice it's their life it's an idea that could up and the u.s.
health care system for veterans entirely but when the gaining traction especially in light of the current system which is fraught with long wait times and mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder going on treated for far too long if someone's coming in with a heart attack or treated immediately if someone's coming in with suicidal tendencies that's a heart attack and that's the way it needs to be treated that's not at it and that's not just a sprained ankle in two thousand and eleven the v.a. treated about four hundred seventy six. thousand veterans across the country for p.t.s.d. and according to a report released by the veterans health administration office of inspector general just forty nine percent of first time patients got an evaluation within the suggested first fourteen days on average for the remaining patients it took about fifty days to be evaluated still in multiple studies the v.a. was found to have some of the best health care in the country the rand corporation
found that the v.a. out performs the national sample on nearly every measure the nonpartisan congressional budget office had similar findings showing the v.a. with higher scores on quality of care by tri care and the v.a. but at a time when more members of the military are dying from suicide than from physical combat related injuries it may not be enough the pressing problem of veterans' health issues could change the face of what was one of the most successful examples of government run health care in america in washington christine for the out our team. from our dr david rad founder of the national center of it for veterans studies at the university of utah joins us now welcome welcome there dr rod. so does this system of delivering health care to veterans need to change well i think viewed the indications would suggest that it does so i think clearly with the the long wait times are part of the difficulty of part of what we need is better
access and better availability of care the v.a. certainly has been remarkably responsive to care and i think all indications are that the v.a. is providing high quality of care but given the number of veterans struggling with psychiatric issues it's difficult to meet that demand higher enough people quickly enough provide access and availability of care in regions in areas of the country where we have high risk soldiers right on the. multiple studies confirm what you just said at the v.a. was found to have some of the best health care in the country but i mean it doesn't matter how good the health care is you can have the best position working at the a v.a. hospitals but if they're understaffed and overwhelmed ultimately it's going to be the quality of care that is going to suffer i think you're right on the money i think that's the issue that that if if they're overwhelmed understaffed not able not i don't able to meet the needs quickly that's the core issue the other thing
that we haven't mentioned is the issue of stigma there are a number of veterans who simply do not believe that the da is going to provide responses meaningful care and we have to take that issue on opening up the availability of care to other providers outside of the v.a. system helps us in a number of ways with that issue. you know going along with this and it's not it's no secret the v.a. and they're overworked underfunded and we have a long wait times mental health as we had in our report goes untreated for a long amount of time i did a report about how drug abuse is running rampant in these institutions even the one here in d.c. and one of their main facility is and this is a government run system so dr rod could this be an example of what a government run system on a national scale and the alaska look like well i think a part of the problem is that the larger the system the larger the bureaucracy the
less flexible the less responsive the health care system is that's why it's important look at alternatives to look at unique approaches even really to look at can we make your more readily available in some of these rural areas where our veterans are so they don't have to travel we may have a much more flexible nimble responsive system that's what i worry about the larger the organization gets the less flexible the less responsive it can be and you know right off the bat what comes to mind is obamacare and i guess. yes i know some physicians myself that have gone through the v.a. system and have talked about how just how understaffed they are and how overworked they are. and compare what obamacare could be to what the situation is in the v.a. which is a very huge massive institution as it is well it's a largest health care system in the world i mean the reality is it is the largest
system in the world the nice the music provide high quality meaningful care the question is whether or not there can be responses in these critical incident so if you look at veterans you look at what these needs are the reality is we need the people there were can respond quickly when there's a crisis large systems have a hard time doing that more often than not i guess and actually i want to bring up these statistics here that kind of illustrate just how massive this department is two hundred seventy thousand employees one hundred thirty one cemetery is one hundred fifty two hospitals they disperse benefits to over four million veterans so dr despite the enormity of this department it's still just is not enough to to meet this to meet this overwhelming demand and i think that this with these latest numbers speak to i think the reality is if the numbers suggest it were not beating that it means the numbers suggest that maybe we need to be creative we need to think outside of the box we need to look at other alternatives and even the system
needs to look at all rather than getting larger we need to look at other options. right i want to bring in these other statistics that show these new figures the military suicides among active duty members of the military and veterans have skyrocketed and reached record levels. three hundred forty nine suicides of active duty personnel in two thousand and twelve that's up fifteen percent from the year before nine hundred fifty so. side attempts per month among veterans being cared for by the v.a. . and then this one i think is is pretty startling us military vets and u.s. military vet that are and commit suicide every eighty minutes so clearly the mental health issues of returning soldiers aren't being met i know that you said that something needs to be done we need to look outside of the box so do you think that the answer is perhaps expanding their options outside of the of the v.a.
so that they can seek help elsewhere well absolutely i would say that expanding and sort of the traditional system is what we need to look at we need to look at partnerships with local community providers local agencies they provide that kind of flexibility in a more nimble responsive system if you look at an organization that's based in nashville called not alone one of the things that not alone does is they provide peer they don't coordinate care for veterans outside of the veterans system and they've been able to get support in other donors that won't fund their care so some individuals are already doing that some people are already out there trying to find solutions trying to find a more flexible alternative so and what of one of the results of this be that veterans would be able to receive care faster. including mental health care. in cases where there are suicide risk in their significant risk of harm in some
ways what's critical is how responsive how fast we can provide care and not delight one of the things we know is when we delay care individuals at high risk that that risk goes up is they wait for care if you look at me these negative outcomes some of these tragic losses that we've experienced it were those were among people waiting for care all right we don't have too much more time but of course cost is always an issue even with obamacare a lot of lawmakers scratching their head as to how this this is going to be funded what expanding it as health care option to veterans be a cost effective solution well i think it would be if you look at some of the recent findings so if you look at some of the work that we've done here at the national center for veterans studies you look some of the work that's been funded by the department of defense there are a number of effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder there are number of things to treatments for suicidality many of those treatments are time
limited many of those treatments are restricted in terms of the amount of care that is required and as a result the cost of care so if people will provide the cure that has a new pure bull foundation that's been proven to be effective actually it probably will be less expensive really interesting i really appreciate you coming on the show today that was dr david rad founder of the national center for veteran studies at the university of utah absolutely happy to join you thank you. and that's going to do it for now but for more on the stories we covered you can check out our you tube channel that's youtube dot com slash our team america don't forget to leave us your feedback and story suggestions you can also check out our website our team dot com slash usa and you can follow me on twitter at liz wahl see right back here at the end. not hearing some day of the call much more than a break. for a look at president obama. even more even more invasions of our privacy can end monday here anyway twenty per cent. for the president only.
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