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tv   [untitled]    April 15, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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the international airport in the very heart of moscow. oh and welcome to crossfire all things considered i'm peter lavelle whistleblowers are they an endangered species governments around the world routinely train and deploy hackers to launch the fifty k. to cyber attacks against the real and imagined enemies but when individuals use some of these same tools to expose the lies and government abuse they're labeled traitors in criminals is there a war on telling the truth. to cross talk whistleblowers i'm joined by jeannie myrow in new york she used the president of the international association of democratic lawyers and in washington
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we cross to mark levine he is a senior fellow with the truman national security project and talk radio host crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want j.d. is there a war against whistleblowers now are they an endangered species well i don't like necessarily trivializing war but i certainly think that there is a battle against and it tempted demonize anybody who tries to speak truth to power especially in. situations where there's. powerful interests and one side whose whose truth is the don't want the truth out ok if it's a war i don't want to trivialize war because war is really horrible but. certainly there's a battle against. whistleblowers in my in my view i also think that we need to in terms of endangered species i hope not i hope not ok marc
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weigh in well the always been that we're conflict against will stop lords because whoever the whistleblower is blowing the whistle on doesn't wanted to be known they've done misconduct that's true whether it's a government or corporation i'm a big fan the whistle blowers there's a proper way to do it whistleblowers are sensual in a free country to be able to expose government misconduct without fear of jail were being fired but there is a proper way to do it and the way to do it is to go to your boss and then your boss's boss. that works that works you really believe that works. well sounds a dozen times it does in my favorite will so blog to govern a well i can show you and you know you're. jeannie go ahead jump in. i'm going to say there's a lawyer i've represented many missile was a blowers. from in my experience not necessarily people on the level of bradley manning but people who are in science who are concerned about. improper to.
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actions by scientists they went to their boss they went to their bosses boss they went up through the end i perceived yours and uniformly they were they were the ones that paid the price so i don't think that's. right i mean what goes your boss over you know as a loyal and proper way of doing something that what question. the question the question of whether or not you know what you have to go is the question of go ahead jayney i'm sure that there are many people who have who have tried to. go through channels and they in fact bradley manning testified that he tried to go through channels and nobody nobody listened and in fact he then tried to call the new york times and other places directly after getting nowhere with his within
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the chain of command and then he eventually went to wiki leaks ok mark how do you respond to that. ok so the way to do it the proper way you know is a lawyer you go to your boss you go to your boss's boss if they don't respond that's when you go elsewhere doesn't he go to the press give you an example of mike german he's a former agent for the f.b.i. he exposed the f.b.i. squelching investigation into connections between islamic extremists of white supremacists plotting terrorist attacks the united states the f.b.i. was covering it up because of improper action by their agents he went all way up to the director of the f.b.i. director of the f.b.i. still didn't help him it was probably involved did it and then he went to senator charles grassley who exposed it now germans my hero he did it he exposed them and he did so in the right way bradley manning did a document dump he did the largest document dump actually in american history he wasn't just to expose misconduct a whistleblower should do he simply dumped five hundred thousand documents. and he included names one of the reasons why john kiriakou is in trouble is because he
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gave the names of agents the right way to do it is to expose the misconduct but not necessarily give the names of the covert agents that's a violation of the intelligence identities protection act so there are ways to expose misconduct i agree with you that they're not the government doesn't always protect us and they should protect them but my point is if there's a way to expose a misconduct without you know exposing names of covert operatives jeannie go ahead jump in i think that i think that if you go if you go back and you look at what bradley manning testified to as to what he did turn over to wiki leaks they all were justified by his concern that the american people needed to know what the what the. what was being done in iraq in their names and that. this is this is the kind of thing that in fact yesterday the court ruled that bradley manning the government has to prove that he intended to harm the united states by doing this not just that they were embarrassed and so this is this was actually
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a win for him and i don't think it's i don't think one. and say we're in favor of whistleblowing as long as they do it the right way because i think sometimes and let's let's for example. you know richard armitage gave plame name to. robert novak and he never he never he claimed it was inadvertent i mean we have a situation john kiriakou who was told that there was a beta was was water boarded one time and then he gave a lot of information then he comes to find out it's like eighty three times and he never gave any information that was useful and he felt this was absolutely horrible and you know the disclosure of a name you know armitage said it was inadvertent i mean how are we to know that john kiriakou is now serving
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a sentence but frankly i think. you know depending on. it was very clear the administration wanted to make the bush administration want to make joe wilson and discredit his claim about the iraq war and or the weapons of mass destruction and. i guess scooter libby paid some price for it but the actual whistleblowers didn't really at the actual people who dealing with you would go one step further valerie plame didn't let me agree with you and you had mark i want to go through and go one step further because valerie plame was a covert operative her name was disclosed there's no doubt in my mind that vice president cheney ordered the disclosure that's what scooter libby had to commit perjury and then they pardoned him as far as i'm concerned vice president cheney violated the intelligence identities protection act and he should be in jail so i'm mincing no words to say that it goes up as high as a vice pres united states you do not disclose
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a covert operative george bush sr called that a traitress act and i think it was in that close. vice president cheney so i agree with you there but similarly i've got to be consistent john kerry but i mean when you look at it this was in the torture disclosure the torture is fine but giving the name of an operative that's where crosses the line so i think both john kiriakou and vice president cheney should be in jail gini go ahead the question of . the claim is the fact is that armitage was with the state department and one of the reasons why they protected him at that time was because it was viewed that the state department might not have been so happy about the iraq war and there for they sat on his name for a while and i think it did you know eventually you're right that cheney as far as i'm concerned cheney and some of the others. clearly need to be held to account for not only the issues of torture but the taking us into an illegal war.
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mark you want to but i think i don't have matters agreement on that ok mark go ahead yeah i think it also matters why something is disclosed it should be disclosed to prohibit government misconduct john kerry out to disclose the right information for the right reason he disclosed the torture he disclosed waterboarding all of that was good his only mistake and he's even said he regrets this one mistake his only mistake was disclosing the name of a covert operative involving operation if he had done everything except disclose that name i would tell him as the hero that he is that was his mistake that's recourse a line that's where he paid the price but bradley manning if he only disclosed government misconduct and not just on a huge document dump which let's face it all the evidence seems to show that he did so because of personal reasons and his disagreement quite rightly disagreement with the don't ask don't tell policy but you know you don't disagree with the don't ask don't tell policy on imus big support of gay rights but don't disagree with it by disclosing classified information has been to the end of his card and nothing else
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that contradicts his testimony in open court as to why he why he just revealed the things that he did yes and that right now i mean he's going to have a lot of the other unions that have been put out there about him being mentally unstable or having these issues of sexuality i think that's part of the demonization that went on with respect to bradley manning and certainly i'm sure you would not agree you would agree that he did not deserve the type of solitary confinement in the kinds of absolute sweetman teddy received for so so long until most recently when he was put into general population mark think there's no question he was unfairly treated in detention why did he do that mark do you think . i think they did that to punish him and i and i think it's horrible and i think that the people who did that should themselves be punished there's no excuse i make a pull out my constitution that's that's cruel unusual punishment that's prohibited
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by the eighth amendment they definitely mistreat them and they shouldn't have and listen jean is right that a court's going to hear all this there is not a final verdict yet there's his testimony there's contrary testimony so i'm basing it only on what i've heard i certainly don't know personally bradley manning but i do know that five hundred thousand documents seems to be pretty large if you want to expose government's conduct i think you can do it with a much more select group of documents that the point is to expose the misconduct but not to expose national security secrets and i think there is a way to walk that very fine line and bradley manning in my view crossed it but jim is right that a court alternately decided that dean right before going to the break i want to say something well my my concern my concern is that we really need to look go back to the question of what do we think about people who are speaking truth to power and you know how do we prevent the kind of abuse that happens to them when the fact is
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that when the agency or the government against whom they're going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on whistleblowers save to. leave the legal. system. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so silly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't i'm trying hard look at the big picture. wealthy british style. sometimes.
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for new coverage international and war in the very heart of moscow. welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing whistleblowers. michael thank you in new york talk about the chilling effect right now when it comes to whistle blowing well certainly i think the fact that bradley manning manning was punished and severely punished was a signal to all whistleblowers. being punished for the. disclosure you're saying for the trial and having all kinds of heavy having all
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kinds of things released about his motivations and so forth. and characterizing him as mentally unstable and things of that sort you know that that kind of punishment certainly has a chilling effect on people trying to as i say speak truth to power and you know we have to be concerned about that. a lot of the people who have made the kinds of disclosures you know or now being have been prosecuted people like tom drake. who at n.s.a. raise the question of of. the expenditure of public money for a system that. didn't work as well as the inside one several other people i haven't heard anybody very recently since bradley manning who has been willing to come forward with something major i mean i think people are still sending things to wiki
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leaks which are which is i think good and we're getting information some. mation from wiki leaks. julian assigns i think it is if you take him at his word his charge is to make sure that the identities of people are not compromised. publishes things nonetheless i am very concerned about the chilling effect on. the people who should come forward i don't know if you know this but. i think back to some of the. i'm involved with the the issue of agent orange and the use of agent orange against vietnam in vietnam and the fact there was a a study that was done in one thousand nine hundred sixty five that showed the the problems with dioxin and agent orange and it was suppressed and finally it was leaked four years later and then it was banned and the fact is that in
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those four years from one thousand nine hundred sixty five to one thousand nine hundred seventy there were huge numbers of people who were exposed both u.s. veterans of u.s. military and others fighting in vietnam as well as the vietnamese people and that that there was really a climate of fear at that time as well with you remember enemies lists and so forth and that and that i think about the damage that's been done and continues to be done especially second and third generations of people from the military in vietnam for the failure to disclose. information that was known about the dangers of. these agents ok so this is the kind that i think we have we as a society have to really worry about mark go ahead jump in. to mention those cases those are two very strong whistleblower cases and i'm really glad you
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mentioned agent orange up to write about i could think of daniel ellsberg of the pentagon papers but i'm really glad your original tom how do you feel how do you feel about him being fairly marna how do you feel about ellsberg. i'm i'm fine with what ellsberg did what ellsberg remember but not a tragedy line in the law but there's a difference once a day the difference is first of all in the law ellsberg was a reporter see there's the law says you can't disclose the information for the person who has the classified source to the reporter but the reporter can't be prohibited then from publishing that's legit in a sign just not under legal trouble united states but bradley manning is the reporter once he gets the information can do whatever they want with it that's the famous new york times case so but the point is whistleblowers like tom drake is a classic example he was exposing the fact that we could have gotten a three million dollar program and it cost a billion dollars because of no bid contracts and i don't know why the obama strange went after him i'm glad charge had been dropped and i'll be first to condemn any just the private investigation to tom drake he didn't expose names he
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only exposed to limited government misconduct that he saw he's a classic whistle blower he should never have been prosecuted absolutely but i think you have to make a distinction dream that and a broad document dump of five hundred thousand documents some of which may well have exposed or misconduct but a whole bunch of other documents as well and if you give covert names to julian a son that breaks the law even though to in the son's later redux them you can't give covert names when you have classified information you just can't do you need a lawyer do you think as i yes ok i need you here go ahead. i mean look the reality is that you know if we look at. in the u.k. . catherine gunn who was the one who exposed the cables that showed this attempt to really cook the books if you will to promote the iraq war she blew
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the whistle on. these. on these cables and then when she demanded all the information to show that in fact this was happening the government dropped the case against her in fact because she was showing that the war in fact was illegal and it seems to me that the. kinds of things that you you know the covert operations and other people they don't get a pass people don't get a pass for being involved in illegal activity they just don't get a pass and you know there's there was. no because well. i mean you know i'm all right how do you support. not give somebody. go ahead there's a certain point where you have to be you know you have to make a moral choice if you if you if something goes all the way up the line to the
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president you have to say the president is violating the law maybe he'd rather you do or operative that's not the that's not there by the way i went to a period if in fact there becomes an investigation you can't you can't in fact blow the whistle about an event and then say well we can't look into it because it's a national security that's what's happening now and we're going we're at a valid point to kissinger yeah so. ellsberg went to the n.s.a. under his now isn't term he went to the officials and then he went to the new york times i'm saying that's proper what's not proper is to go directly to the new sort of guy here but i don't think when they tell you no then you go to the news and i think that is proper and i think that's partly under the understanding there is that there are little ran in the land and did and that's what kiriakou did and that's what all these others have done they didn't jump quickly. at first in fact
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that many of them were believers in the system and felt that the system would correct itself if in fact it was brought to the tension of the of the proper people i mean i understand your version of my sermon it only arabian and the only reason. and the only reason and the only reason why ellsberg this case was dismissed was because of the the. the revelations that the government had gone into his psychologists office and there was this whole question of government misconduct and not because he wasn't you know they didn't think he was guilty of the of a violation of the espionage act which i think in red i think you would agree time that he wasn't so this is these are we just have to. be careful because this country and this world has to rely on people who see wrong doing it wrong doing
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bringing it to the attention of the public whether if it's done through there if they can't get their chain of command or their bosses or whatever to react they have to bring it to the attention of the public otherwise we are in the dark and i as i've said in the past truth is often the first casualty of war and you know because we're in this ongoing war on terror which is of war on a tactic and not on on anything that is is real we are here and i'm agreeing with you on war and i think we have to stop i want to be clear here go ahead mark go ahead i'm a big fan of whistleblowers. we have to in a free country expose government misconduct you've got to be able to do that you've got to be able to expose illegality without being punished i think for good that i think tom drake did that frankly i think john kerry yako did that when he exposed the torture or the guy who exposed the warrantless wiretapping all of those are for armstrong whistleblowers because only a mistake and i think he would agree it is only
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a mistake was disclosing the one name of the operative to the journals he should not have done that and maybe he's been punished too severely for that but that was his only mistake if we just expose the waterboarding i'd be one hundred percent on the side of the same with bradley manning if we just expose the misconduct if we just expose some of the operations where we're civilians were killed or three or four friendly fire which he also exposed but exposed a whole bunch of things in afghanistan war and the iraq war operations names of operatives he just went way too far and i'm not saying he's easy please understand any whatsoever that those are not absolutely their job in the. record as in the is is the is the collateral damage video of the of the. persons getting ready to kill civilians from the how our captors there is nobody that i know that bradley manning has exposed who is a covert operation operative through the wiki leaks. i'm going to go. to prove it
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in court or they won't. between a son just said he's reductive some of the five i defy to try and his trials open and you and i probably won't be able to come to sydney bradley manning until the trial is complete but my point is that i hope you can accept genie is that even when you're a whistleblower doing a courageous act exposing his conduct that you have to limit your exposure to misconduct you can't just willy nilly disclose not scary cigarettes i would hope you'd agree with me on that and i janine would give you the last word go ahead well listen. i think that it's important you know oftentimes to be able to conduct diplomacy in some secrecy and so on so far that i don't disagree with with wanting to do that where i disagree with is the idea that everything is part of the national security state can't be revealed anything that has any implication for national security years you know how do you classify ninety nine out of ten documents that shouldn't be classified including grocery lists or whatever i mean
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the reality is that. what we really need to be doing is looking at the power structure that punishes people who bring forward information that the public all right i'm going to jump in here is a fascinating conversation but we're run out of time many thanks today to my guest in washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here argue see you next time and remember talk. legal. the worst you're going to think. right out of a. radio guy in fort lauderdale minestrone. i want to watch what were about to
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do because you never seen anything like this color.
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down. the international airport in the very heart of moscow. if you live on one hundred thirty three bucks a month for food i should try a big.


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