tv Cross Talk RT July 5, 2013 3:29am-4:01am EDT
ironically slim but that's just my opinion. this is not a surprise to me that we've got problems and one time during a time of budget cuts we spend one hundred fifty billion dollars each year to imprison one hundred sixty six people get more it's become a symbol around the world for america that the rule of law. is a. hello and welcome to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle spies are us and us in this case is the us and it finds on just about everyone in the
world including its so-called friends and allies washington seeks total global information dominance and this is being done we're told to fight terror wouldn't it be better if the us monitored its intelligence community rather than snooping on the rest of us. to cross the global information dominance i'm joined by t.j. walker in new york he is a syndicated t.v. commentator and in london we crossed jim killick he is the executive director of the open rights group all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage and jim if i can go to you first in london. leaks after leak after leak it shows that the united states is watching quite a few people and collecting data on them including europe now and people are calling the united states big brother but the washington elite is just brushing it off saying business as usual here and i think that site rages and. what's happened
here is that the united states and the u.k. in fact of. taken some loopholes in the law and say they don't the u.k. believes it can take data or people when they're communicating overseas the united states believes it can take whatever it likes if you're not a united states citizen or there's a greater probability that you're not a united states isn't that it's and i'm allies in this data data is going into data stores all kinds of things going on so that they can analyze and pick that data and see what they might find on the kind of mass trawling it. exhibition so i think it's pretty outrageous i don't think it would stand up in europe in human rights courts i think people would very quickly see that you cannot just take everybody's data on the basis that some people might be guilty that's effectively putting the whole population under suspicion and that is how you put everyone into
feeling that they're watched and put some kind of fear an atmosphere of fear. around everybody has profound consequences for and democracy if people feel that they're under constant surveillance and under constant threat of their private information being abused ok t.j. i think everyone knows security is important but are these programs proportionate to the threat. where we don't really know the threat i mean everyone has their own bias i have a bias as an american living in new york city so from my perspective i have no worry about the government the obama administration or even the bush administration coming into my house and killing me i do have a fear of terrorists i was a block away from times square a couple years ago in the car bomb almost went off i was in the streets of manhattan when the twin towers came down so i like a lot of americans do have. a fear of terrorist and yet there's been no evidence
the obama administration or for that matter the bush administration using this data collection to go after innocent americans or to go after their political opponents ok t.j. have they foiled any major terrorist attacks i mean they do say believe us do you believe them. where the u.s. government claims that it's foiled plane see some attacks i mean yeah and i don't know for certain i don't work for the n.s.a. or the united states government but we haven't had any major successful attacks since nine eleven that doesn't mean it followed it but you can't prove the opposite by just saying you don't know either ok jim what do you think about. well i think you know we don't know what the government's doing but we do know that when intelligence works it tends to be through human intelligence some governments use these kinds of intrusive surveillance and others don't but there isn't
a sort of evidence that the this evidence this kind of snooping produces more people in courts what we what we do know is that in general you have you know . these people the people who are being spied on know that spied on and the amount of data that's available about them is ever less and less the m i five in the u.k. are complaining that the surveillance systems now in place are getting more and more useless because the serious criminals are going to this is this is routinely what happens t.j. i mean why is the united states spying on the european union on brussels. it's on the war on terror i mean why would we have to worry about the you know i know a lot of people european union don't like brussels but i mean why is the united states have to spy on them. i don't know presumably the united states wants to
gather information everywhere they can i want to address something jim said earlier that you said that the united states has spent on some sort of of loophole in their law every time someone complains about finding loopholes in the laws what they really mean is that person is acting illegally and that's one of the big problems many people have with snowden this idea of calling him a whistleblower you are called a whistleblower when you are when you are typically pointing out illegality there hasn't been any proof yet that what the united states did was in fact legal within the united states this loophole is go ahead jim go ahead but what this loophole is the united states constitution guarantees privacy in the fourth amendment for its own citizens you can't just simply go in and rifle through people's papers seize goods and so on without you know what i warrant but if you're not a united states citizen the rights that united states citizens don't apply to you
that's the loophole basically a citizen of europe a member of the european parliament can be treated in exactly the same way as a north korean body rageous. ad adversary and their definition of that big legal definition of adversary i think this is what jim is getting at. who's the adversary or something can be outrageous and not necessarily be illegal so that's why i do have i do that's right i just wanted to pick up with a good idea of the holding snowed in calling snowden a whistleblower what he years or somebody who was working for the government took a vow of secrecy then saw a policy he didn't like and decided to reveal it to the world that. we do know is what he did was illegal and i don't think whether you work for the government in brussels or great britain or anywhere else you want every single
individual who works for the government making their own public policy on what they like and don't like going to be don't like it they will reveal it to the world that simply is not a sustainable thing for. gym teacher you're right but you've got a problem here that both the u.k. and the american government are deciding for themselves what is legal and what is not they're putting that into practice they're doing that secretly they're not revealing what their surveillance mechanisms that mass surveillance mechanisms are and then a very small number of people relatively small number of people sworn to secrecy know about it and therefore it's almost impossible to have a democratic debate about whether any of this is reasonable i mean this is true that a lot of what edward snowden revealed about the way that the foreign intelligence of a surveillance act and the u.k.'s use of the regulation investigative powers act the way that these actually used some of it was known or suspected we did think that
some of these big programs might well be going on but it was all rumor and hearsay it was little articles in specialist technical magazines it wasn't on the front page of the guardian it wasn't in every news service we weren't having discussions like this we need to have discussions like. this even if we actually in the end agree with the programs that these governments have put forward saying i don't think people will when they understand that they're being placed under suspicion and the amount of power that governments are accumulating over them but we need to have that debate if edward snowden was the only way for that to happen then he realized that then you know he has to make that moral judgment if he's not going to be placed in the position where he has to make that more government judgment that governments needed to have been responsible about what they tell the population in the first place so that the people being sworn to secrecy were big sworn to secrecy
because of operational reasons that they weren't to reveal the actual people being investigated or the specifics of what intelligence agencies were doing to investigate specific crimes he wasn't revealing any of that he was just saying he is the systemic situation this is how these laws are being employed this is the kind of information that is being gathered and these are the means by which that's happening and that's something we should have known in the first place ok t.j. that sounds like a public service but go ahead. well i don't agree that snowden is a hero but i do agree with you that it is a good thing for open societies to have a debate on what is fair game in terms of surveillance and what is privacy so even though i don't think so is someone who should be turned into a hero i do think it's a good idea that we're having a debate like this and you could be a bit happier. actually you know in the middle. but it took snowden have this
debate when you are green. well he certainly sparked major interest in this and what happened in the united states is after nine eleven of the bush administration the patriot act a lot of these things were rushed through and then they were put into law and then people sort of forgot about it and congress didn't spend a lot of time talking about it the media didn't spend a lot of time talking about it so i do think it is a good thing that we as a society are debating it but i also think the media need to do a better job of reporting actual facts that the average american thinks right now that the government is just sort of eavesdropping on every phone conversation willy nilly that's not what has happened we don't know. we don't know we don't know if that's true do we need more information more debate go ahead jim well i think what we did i mean i think you can argue because they're doing something i'm going to get we're going to the details of who is communicating with the government is the
u.s. government is collecting the details of who is communicating with who and way and obviously extremely intrusive kind of information to store and they weren't prepared to reveal that you fact similar things happen in europe but at least in europe we have the public debate and in fact in a week or so time some of the laws governing how they're under challenge in courts in europe so we have the chance of our court system and the human rights that we've written into law within europe challenging some of the gentlemen i have suggested been here in reverse going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the ongoing surveillance scandal state party.
when the greats stay blind to what is happening in their country. the american dream is disappearing. the houses with gardens are laid out the poor are left hopeless the streets are full of angry crowns fighting against. heights who stole the american dream. react to situations i have read the reports. put the no i will leave the state department comment on your point. it's. no more weasel words. when you made a direct question be prepared for
. welcome back to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle to mind you we're discussing global information dominance. ok t.j. in new york i'd like to go back to you and it's a director general keith alexander says his agency is incapable of determining how many americans have their calls and e-mails invaded by the agency without warrants
i mean isn't do you find that troublesome i mean here's the head of this agency and he can't tell you you know the eavesdropping without warrants i mean shouldn't he know that ideally sure it would be nice for him to know that it's a number so he has just i think it's i mean what is so big i mean i don't know maybe it's too again we can speculate everyone from their own bias can speculate in their favor as jim just said you know we don't really know if the government is listening on everybody's phone calls by that by that same logic though i can't say you don't know if the government has foiled fifty major attempts to have dirty bombs go off in major cities and if it weren't for this program we would have dirty bombs going off everywhere in major american cities so this this logic of saying well because we don't know we're going to assume the worst can work both ways ok jim but that's why we have checks and balances don't we that's why we have government and society in trust ultimately that word trust and this is what this is all of really about who do you trust. yes there are two things if firstly the
american government has been shown to be keeping the metadata calls who used to talk to that starts what we do know we also know that the u.k. government is recording everything that it can get its hands on as it traverses between the u.k. and the united states and that will include a lot of people's calls and e-mails and so on being recorded for at least three or four days now. on the question of trust the only way we can really have trust is by being completely transparent about what these programs involve the problem we have with the american. act is that it just says we'll have secret programs to gather information about foreign people for foreign intelligence purposes or in the case the patriot act will secretly seize information. how security letters and nobody's are going to know what these things are about
eight months why that's why. nobody knows exactly what's going on in the companies aren't allowed to tell ok what's going on i will still if you've not got in companies are saying here nation t.j. jump in this is jim how jim how can you possibly be a government trying to foil the secret attempts of terrorists trying to have to cause a secret attack on a country how can you possibly be transparent on that if you are transparent you make it easier for terrorists to do what they need to do that's the whole point of having these things a secret jim you want to reply yes this is this is the confusion in the debate we have a question about the broad nature of the programs do we take everything we can get our hands on and put it in a massive database or data center in the middle of a desert that's one kind of question the other question is are we putting under surveillance eisa civic group of people. who we believe may be plotting to do
something criminal now a lot of thing i agree you can't discuss that in public but the former thing you know do we build some massive data center to warehouse everybody's information or do we put taps on cables running across the atlantic and just store everything we possibly can for up to a month yet we can have a public debate about that and in fact it's essential that we do because if we don't have that debate before these programs start people like edward snowden will come along and reveal that information t.j. good point there i mean if we don't have a real debate here we're going to get more snowden's don't you think. well we definitely need to have a debate and i think jim hit on important point of a matter of trust and again this depends on where you sit if i were someone who lived in the middle east or a leader in the middle east or central asia i would be very distrustful of the u.s.
government i would not like this policy at all but i can tell you as an american as other people who live in america when it comes to who i trust more even though i don't love everything the government does i fundamentally do trust the government not to listen to my conversation and then call up and say hey we heard you doing something perverted or nasty so we're now going to extort you for your entire network i trust the government not to do that whereas i do not trust terrorist and other people who hate america do you resent do you to not attack america you know that's why that's why i'm in favor of using the government to try to track these people and try to figure out and before they launch bombs or attacks ok t.j. do you trust. that you trust mr clapper he lied he perjured himself and everyone wants to go after snowden ok but at the same time clapper perjured
himself in front of congress he should be removed he should be fired immediately but what does that have to do with the bigger issue in the united states we are a big targets where the most loved country in the world but we're also the most. people who were actually a little tiny to us does that give them the right to lie because i give him the right to lie nobody has nobody has the right to lie and nobody has the right to dismantle the entire security apparatus of a country because you don't like what one person said either that's for well that's just a relevant me to me certainly hang on a second that they're just going to comment. and there is zero there is it that is irrelevant as me saying you can't trust no don't because you know libertarian is now aligned himself with totalitarian regimes and going to places like china which are in a tory as well mr clapper as someone negligible research for us to try to get it going point. we've got to go we've got to go back to the point about do we trust
intelligence services or do intelligence services abuse their power and i think the simple to the answer to that is yes they do from time to time they absolutely do and the more power they have the more potential they have for abusing it the more that we don't know about the power the more the potential is for them to do it on the quiet you know we have seen you know richard nixon in the states you know it's not vs example but in the united kingdom right now we've just seen the idea of the police defining for themselves what a domestic extremist is using essentially kind of terrorist kind of powers against these people and they're just environmental protesters and they've been put under directed surveillance for a number of years and number of those individuals doing the surveillance of children with these people and very very innocent people who've been themselves mishandled by the police they've also been put under surveillance by the police in
order to discredit them to put the people with surveillance powers abuse them it does happen but also in the u.k. we've seen collaboration between these kinds of covert operations and the media to hand over information to them essentially to sell newspapers we're all vulnerable to this kind of abuse once the powers that they're that's why they should be restricted and used against people who are genuinely serious criminals who are plotting dreadful things rather than sweeping up everybody's information on the off chance because then you're putting everybody at the we don't know you know is there any evidence we see here but we don't have any evidence in the united states of this information is be. being used other than trying to go after criminals in terror is that this is in stark contrast to a lot of the history of the united states where you had a j. edgar hoover head of the f.b.i. putting the technology of his time a tape recorder under the bed of martin luther king jr to try to work stuart him in
to try to have pressure over political opponents this is not the same thing as a teacher who wanted to do you want to you're going to have a lot you're absolutely you're absolutely right you're absolutely right on one thing that when you give surveillance power to the government there is absolutely the potential for abuse it is a question of balance what do you fear more do you fear from the government more or do you fear abuse from terrorists. this particular moment it's very very significant particularly in history go ahead jim and. this is the you're not you know you're putting forward a kind of dark cult to me that doesn't really exist the question is we need to fear terrorists we do need to investigate what are the ways that we can do that are appropriate that don't hand huge powers that are necessary to the people doing the surveillance that would open people up for on unwarranted peace the question is
about being targeted in understanding why you're investigating people and what you need to do that rather than saying let's just sweep up everything because we might find some stuff that's the approach we've got there and it's not reasonable ok t.j. what do you think i mean what you don't know jim that it's not necessary you don't know what's necessary i don't necessarily know what's necessary the inherent to the nature of intelligence is you gather as many facts as you can and then you try to piece things together to try to foil a terrorist plot so you don't see anything that is necessarily going to say it was more information that gathering is completely irrelevant we know most of this information is computer or it well maybe it's ninety nine ninety nine percent. yeah exactly all the information is of no use whatsoever of why we can't bring it i.e. i really seriously don't think that that information is never going to be put to
any use or isn't even being put to use that that we wouldn't appreciate the laws in the pfizer particularly extraordinarily broad they're there to for the u.s. to use for any foreign policy reason and that means that legally the position is that if i am doing something that the united states doesn't like like complaining about their foreign policy like saying that i don't think that the u.k. and the u.s. should get involved in a new war somewhere that puts me on a potential target list and if the united states wants to gather information they have the legal powers to do that there is no bar whatsoever i don't feel i'm a terrorist and i don't feel that i should be placed in that position ok t.j. twenty seconds you get a lousy. against twenty seconds go ahead. you're saying you don't know if it's necessary and it very well may be necessary ninety nine percent maybe irrelevant sometimes that one percent is the intelligence needed to stop terrorists
all right on that gentlemen thank you very much many thanks they might get to new york and in london and thanks to our viewers for watching us here see you next time and remember. the only one. real damage and complexity of this oil spill was not something you can grasp just by looking at dirty birds we have between four to five million people in this directly affected area of the coast and it's pretty clear why it's not being reported because b.p. can't afford to have a reported all along the gulf coast are clean they are safe and they're open for
business if b.p. is the single largest oil contributor to the pentagon the u.s. war machine is heavily reliant upon b.p. and their oil this is a huge step backwards for the marker see it's a step forward. corrects it is toxic is a look a lot like spray in vietnam it was a it was not a picture that either the government or b.p. really wanted to have out there i don't want dispersants to be the agent. of this.
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