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tv   Headline News  RT  January 3, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm EST

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i'm going to you're. coming up on r t new statistics are out on the number of deaths caused by u.s. drone strikes this is the future of the drone program is revealed we'll talk all things in you wavy. and there's a new man in charge of new york city but will mayor bill de blasio keep the current controversial stop and frisk program in place or make major changes we've got a report from the big apple coming up and before you ship or receive that new digital package here how the n.s.a. might be getting your mail before you do plus encrypting your e-mail might become a bit more challenging now that the n.s.a. is racing to stay three steps ahead of you by building quantum of computers that's later in the show.
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it's friday january third four pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you are watching r.t. well we begin this hour with a closer look at the u.s. drone program its effect of miss and its future new estimates released by the bureau of investigative journalism the long war journal and the new america foundation are shedding light on just how expansive unmanned aerial vehicle strikes have been since two thousand and two in all or even a total of four hundred sixty one air strikes in pakistan yemen and somalia resulting in some three thousand five hundred twenty deaths of the people killed four hundred fifty seven or eleven percent were civilians meanwhile the defense department released its annual report on the use of unmanned systems the report laid out a road map through twenty thirty eight of how the u.a.e. program will continue to develop take a look at this chart this is an inventory. of the total number of unmanned aircraft
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the department of defense ope sorry that we don't have the chart but i'm going to describe it for you anyway it shows thousands of you avi's that are currently in the deal these possession and that doesn't even include the ground and maritime systems now the agency estimates it will spend four point one billion dollars on unmanned systems a twenty fourteen a thirty percent drop from two thousand and thirteen but still quite a bit of money to talk things all things u.a.b. related i'm joined now by abraham wagner he's in los angeles who is an adjunct professor at columbia university school of international and public affairs and in new york mary ellen o'connell she is a professor of law and research professor of international dispute resolution at krock institute for peace studies at the university of notre gone welcome to both of you mary ellen let's start with you i want to start off by talking about the amount of people who are killed by drones since two thousand and two after all the secrecy surrounding these numbers what do you make of these results are they higher
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or lower than what you expected. well i'm very critical of this new statistic being released by the council on foreign relations it is simply misleading that there have only been eleven per cent of all persons killed designated as civilians this is simply incorrect the only place where i go first to to sticks and i am one of the experts one of the people who's been tracking and looking into killings by drones since the very first one in yemen alcide in a combat zone in two thousand and two and i am a professor of international law in my studies i only look at the bureau of investigative journalism and i look at their low but also their high numbers and the bureau reports total numbers of four thousand one hundred persons killed that's the statistic we should be looking at and even more importantly we should focus as americans on the number of two hundred six two hundred six that is the high number
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of children we may have killed those are the relevant statistics and they should be reinforcing americans views that drone killings outside official recognized legal combat zones should come to an end and abraham what do you think about those numbers i know the military would probably say that a lot in percent of civilian casualties is relatively low when you look at the effectiveness of these programs overall that is is that your sense of it. no it really isn't. i think that the number of casualties given the situation are fairly low the eleven percent mary it's hard to you know pick any particular source and say this number is right or that numbers are right even if we accept the four thousand number as a reasonable estimate and we look at the eleven percent number and say goes report from the council on foreign relations and you know it's an aggregate number the number of civilian deaths for example if we look at the not for the past four years
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in pakistan we're talking in the one to three percent range for a looking at yemen the numbers are much higher in the fourteen percent range but warfare is not sanitary there really is no such thing as surgical strikes and any time you're engaged in warfare there is going to be collateral damage and it's highly unfortunate that the collateral damage often involves civilians women and children but that's the nature of warfare and the nature of warfare these days as we've seen post nine eleven is not the same type of warfare we faced in decades prior they are not declared wars they're not necessarily official wars and you know i'm a law professor as well at columbia also at u.c.l.a. and when we teach the law of war the sort of things we're teaching are old wars we're in a new environment and the new regime now mariel
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a new kind of touched on it before but one of the problems that is the classification of what exactly a militant is a militant is defined as all military age males in a strike zone regardless of whether or not they participated in combat activities could the civilian death toll be even higher than u.s. made or then this report estimates and given that classification. well i have to disagree with abraham when he said that we're in a new kind of warfare and therefore the way we classify people has to change under international law the definitions in the geneva conventions and their additional protocols the definition of who is a civilian and who is a combatant who may lawfully be killed in combat or who may not lawfully intentionally be killed in combat has not changed and the united states is fully onboard with the definitions under international law and under those definitions there are few if any of the people that the united states has killed in yemen
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pakistan and somalia who are legally defined as combatants and those are the only people we may intentionally kill abraham is talking about the dirtiness of war and collateral damage but outside of an armed conflict and we're talking about human pakistan somalia none of those persons should have been killed under armed conflict rules they perhaps could be killed in the attempt to arrest them resisting arrest under peace time law enforcement rules but we haven't been invited to do any of that kind of arrest in any of these countries so let's be clear under international law which is the law that binds the united states and all countries resorting to military force four thousand people killed is an unacceptable unlawful and reprehensible number and it should and abraham do you want to respond to that. i don't agree we've selectively decided to ignore international law and these definitions since nine eleven when it suits our. to do so the kinds of definitions
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that are contained in those conventions are antiquated the people that took out thirty. civilians in the last couple of days in russia were not following these rules the activities we've been engaged in post nine eleven don't necessarily follow these rules and these definitions that i probably agree with the cons on for elections were and probably mary-ellen that these definitions are in fact antiquated you're not going to find the people that seek to do us harm that seek to kill americans qualifying under at the quoted definitions and as echo says in the piece these definitions need to be modernized and changed this is not the nature of foreign policy today we made a decision as a nation following nine eleven and something called the bush doctrine now to go after terrorists who seek to do us evil and those who support them wherever they
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may be we haven't changed that doctrine and continue to operate under that so long as we do that because they have additions to the doctrine that abrams the doctrine neighbor doctrine abraham is talking about is a unilaterally imposed political view of the bush administration this is not what president obama was talking about in may of this year twenty third last year two thousand and thirteen when he said the united states would comply with international law he did not say that these were antiquated rules his lawyers and he tried to to shove what they were doing in to the accepted current rules of international law they didn't talk about antiquated rules so i'm afraid abraham's view about the united states' position on international law is in correct we have not. sought to change the rules we have just sought to. truth to evade analysis of the actual facts of what the united states is doing that's i assume why there's so
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little official us commentary. to justify under international law these killings when they were hand he resign remarried maryon let me jump in there on the i.o.c. and report says it is reducing the amount of money it spends on unmanned technology is that a good sign in your opinion. i think it's a bad sign of the one thing i think most people will agree on is that unmanned vehicles are drones and i guess the new term that the defense department is calling a non piloted aircraft these things save lives and they save money one of the great numbers which we no need to focus on is that since we've started military operations in the tribal areas places like was zero stay in which are horribly hospitable we have lost absolutely no american lives in aircraft and no amber thank you on the ball and i will for i'm sorry i have to cut you off there abraham we're just out of time this is a wonderful discussion one that needs to continue mary ellen o'connell
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a professor of law at the university of notre dame in new york and abraham wagner adjunct professor at columbia university in los angeles well let's turn now to the latest information coming out about the national security agency on thursday we learned that the n.s.a. is well on its way to developing a new quantum supercomputer this incredibly complex system has eluded researchers for years due to its complexity and its fragility if the n.s.a. succeeds a working quantum computer would open the door to easily breaking the strongest in question tools and the use today including a standard known as r.s.a. meaning that you can kiss your digital privacy goodbye for good no matter how many measures you take to protect yourself now the completion of a project like this is still likely at least five years off but that's not the only computer you should be worried about the other one is your own according to
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a new report by der spiegel a division of the n.s.a. is intercepting computers and other electronics on their shipping routes and then before the packages are delivered in a say agents load malware or backdoor access onto the technology the whole process is called interrupt diction to talk all things n.s.a. on join. now by our two weapon use our andrew blake and political commentator sam sax you guys ready to get into it right and you tell me more about this program what do you know about how it works and how the computers divert this information spiegel first came out with this report a few days ago and we've only really seen what's in that report keep in mind that only a handful of people have access to the classified n.s.a. documentation it's kind of stuff is talked about security researcher named jack apple presented in a hamburg germany last week actually in conjunction with their spiegel article and managed to to shine a little bit more light on this interdiction program and what we do know and it is kind of limited right now but what the public knows at least is that when the
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n.s.a. has a particular target whether it's a foreign state run agency or malicious hacker or some sort of you know international criminal they're trying to track down the can be you know ideally monitoring their sort of internet transactions and if that person say you know according to apple order something off of amazon dot com the n.s.a. was able to intercept that able to divert it to a side location and then literally just break inside the computer and add back doors and all sorts of different things terrible terrible things do the companies know why are they participating in that so so far almost all of the companies that were named by either mr apple bomb or into their spiegel article have issued statements either dismissing the notion that they helped the n.s.a. or else and they had never even heard of this you know one of the companies particularly the f. bomb mentioned in his presentation was dell computers there's a number of hardware pieces servers there manufactured by dell have been for years
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to call servers and the n.s.a. advertises among its employees that it has programs that can let it literally just hack right into those pieces of machinery also the n.s.a. advertises that it has a one hundred percent success rate. when it needs to target a apple i.o.'s device well you know one thing he brought up during his speech was well does the n.s.a. have a one hundred percent accuracy when it comes to this because they pretty much know you know their direct cooperation there that's something that apple is you know are they going to deny it well you know it's there's a whole lot of questions that were brought up about colluding between american companies and the n.s.a. and i don't think we really don't know the full answer for a while and what about you and me is there any way for us to know if this is happening to us or to our computers i mean i don't think you personally you're a good girl and i. think anyone trying to break into your computer but if you buy something from dell if you buy something from western digital if you buy something
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by samsung if you buy something by cisco these are all companies where the n.s.a. has a list of vulnerabilities in those products so the biggest computer names apple if you have an i phone the n.s.a. knows how to break it are they going to break into your i phone i don't know i hope not but they know how. not just really tech companies are all shipping companies to you. who are the ones redirecting these packages they were reach whether or not they knew about these programs or whether they were cooperating or participating in they said we weren't cooperating or participating but they didn't say whether they knew about the programs or not that's an interesting point sam and i know vermont senator bernie sanders wrote to n.s.a. director keith alexander he asked this quote how does the n.s.a. spying or is the n.s.a. currently spying on members of congress or other american elected officials sam do you expect alexander to answer that question honestly given his track record and based on the disclosures that we've seen so far from the n.s.a. or this is a pretty tricky way of talking to members of congress will say something in public
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in public letters and then you might remember ron wyden collecting cell site location data as he writes back we're not currently doing that but you might want to see the classified ads for another insert to that question but this is a pretty simple question yes they are spying because. senator sanders goes on the letter to say by spying i mean are you collecting metadata on personal phone calls yes they're spying on everybody they're collecting all everyone's metadata in the united states pretty much so that's a pretty easy way that clobbered can respond to that now service in new york times in the guardian published calling for clemency for edward snowden yesterday have elected officials in the u.s. followed suit has anyone shown any support for it there's been a few members you've tweeted out some support congressman alan grayson has congressman jim mcgovern congressman peter welch. really rather really going to come out full thought throat for clemency a lot of other members of congress want to see some release espionage charges
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dropped everything like that well to really snowden did what they couldn't do but wanted to do ron wyden has been saying for years the american people be horrified at the n.s.a. knew what they were doing but he took his oath more seriously i guess or wasn't willing to expose costs to show violations like edward snowden was and your we have thirty seconds what do you make of the new york times calling for both snowden and chelsea manning's kind of pardons well i don't think the new york times has gone as far as to call for a pardon for kelsey manning which is kind of sad seeing as how even as recently as last month mainstream established media have been citing diplomatic cables and and war logs released by private manning those information are still newsworthy and still use on a regular basis and if you're going to ask for clemency for snowden i don't see why you should also ask for manning all right archie web producer andrew blake and political commentator sam sachs thanks for working as. well new york stop and frisk program had a number of road blocks this past year part of the high profile trial over the
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legality of the practice and then with allegations of abuse by individual officers but with the end of michael bloomberg his reign as mayor and the beginning of bill de blasio is where does the future of the something for us program stand for more we turn now to our to correspondent honest enough. the n.y.p.d. stop and frisk policy reached the peak of its criticism and controversy during twelve years under mayor bloomberg the stopping and tearing gating and searching of new yorkers on the streets overwhelmingly in communities of color without warrants and often under flimsy pretenses the hundreds of thousands of stops made each year human rights groups and advocates have dubbed the policy of racist immoral illegal discriminatory and a violation of civil and privacy rights whereas officials have been saying that it actually helps prevent crime groups like the american civil liberties union has been saying that in nine out of ten cases people were found to be completely
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innocent even opening to the n.y.p.d. official records now in new york city new york has a new mayor and bill de blasio for throughout his election campaign promised to our culture of this policy and put an end to. discrimination and he has now appointed a new police commissioner who write off about a promise to bring about change and return trust to communities in the communication and being together walking hand in hand with the n.y.p.d. on a daily basis however despite these promises the irony here is that new york's new top cop is also known to be one of the initial proponents of the original form of the controversial practice because when he was first police commissioner back in the ninety's under mayor giuliani he did enforce more aggressive tactics in the police force which led to bringing down crime but also reading stop and frisk
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so many community leaders and groups here in new york have been voicing their concern and criticism because of this nomination they're saying they can't trust a man who was known to have embrace this policy prior to in previous. years and certainly they're saying they want a man to one the job of altering the controversial stop and frisk policy to be someone who represents change and not just a continuation of the process so the question now is whether the new commissioner will be the right or wrong man for the job and also what the politicians promise is can actually be turned into real action of change and most importantly whether many new yorkers can begin to trust their police force again after decades of using and escalating a practice that has been dubbed unconstitutional by critics and as they see it you're going to see new york while keeping with tradition president obama used his power of clemency to reduce the sentences of people convicted of nonviolent drug
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offenses before the new year only prisoners were convicted of possessing crack cocaine and each of them has served more than fifteen years in prison so why reduce the sentences of these eight people while the obama administration has attempted to address what it deems is an unfair prison system the fair sentencing act narrowed the disparity in sentences for crack and cocaine offenses but nevertheless prison populations have risen up five hundred percent in the last three decades artie's liz wahl brings us more. signs president obama is feeling more generous this new year late december the president commuted sentences of eight mates the crimes they were convicted of were nonviolent crack cocaine offenses they were sentenced under harsh mandatory minimum laws some of them face life behind bars but all of them served at least fifteen years of their sentences in a rare show of mercy president obama said quote commuting the sentences of these eight americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice
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and fairness but it must not be the last advocates for reform hope it's just the beginning and say the sure and sentences barely make a dent in fixing an unjust system that resulted from the so-called war on drugs in fact there are an estimated eight thousand people currently doing time that would be free of sentence under current laws in august attorney general eric holder acknowledge that the system is flawed and needs to change. too many ways. of course that we are all. sustainable and it is. and it is our duty to identify those areas that you can you know to better advance the cause of justice for all americans but the reality he is referring to is that jails and prisons across the country are jam packed with nonviolent drug offenders
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like this one that i recently visited in chicago critics of policies enacted in the war on drugs say they do little to deter drug use result in profound racial disparities in a restaurant it's andrew in the livelihood and future for inmates and their families while taxpayers foot the bill for an unsustainable system it's a deep psychological and economic impact on a broad number of people it's not just the person who goes to prison that's affected and as a country i mean we are paying for so many people to be welfare that used to be supported by the person who is no prison so there is this sort of ripple effect that cost this not only to incarcerate the person but then to take care of the family that's left behind clemency for drug offenses is rare perhaps the president's commutations during the holiday season at a new chapter for the war on drugs in two thousand and fourteen in washington liz wall r.t.
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well by now you've probably heard of the so-called knockout game or seen the youtube videos of people punching unsuspecting victims while someone videotapes the encounter men women elderly adults children as young as twelve and it could happen to anyone at any time but now the new jersey state legislature has proposed a bill to combat this growing program problem it would result in a minimum of one year in jail for anyone caught trying to knock someone out on the street and some people are taking steps to protect themselves from the danger of this trend artie's marína reports. you're walking down the street minding your own business and without one. her name police say they are investigating yet another knockout attack attackers mainly in their teens targeting victims at random it's called the knockout game the goal of this violent and twisted so called game is to knock a stranger unconscious with a single punch a feared phenomenon across the nation the ongoing brutality has claimed lives in at
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least three u.s. states here in new york city more than ten people have been randomly assaulted among the youngest a twelve year old student among the oldest a seventy six year old woman was walking along warman avenue when a man struck her in the head this man too scared to show his face on camera says he was attacked last month while walking home from work their group surrounded me and one of them as i tried to get away one of them stepped out towards me and. with a close is hit me in the face in some cases suspects have been arrested and charged however exacerbating the problem these videos uploaded on you tube have been viewed by millions raising concerns about copycat attacks many knockouts have taken place in broad daylight as victims were walking through their own neighborhoods and as the n.y.p.d. a department of thirty four thousand officers continue struggling to curb the
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string of violence citizens are seeking alternatives to stay safe. former n.y.p.d. officer rabbi gary moskowitz and is offering his seventh degree black belt skills for free to knock out victims and others seeking protection we're going up to someone who works worker you must learn how to be aware you must know how to fight if some go through time where the knockout attackers are for him and for him ready to moskowitz believes are likely motivated by gang initiation something the n.y.p.d. hasn't officially acknowledged if ignored because the guy who had a problem is they have. they're really trying to curb all the goings and they can't do that so for fear for a long time they don't want to put a name on something right away because if they put on a one of them they have to go after archie reached out to the n.y.p.d. to find out what america's most powerful police department is doing to combat the knockout epidemic our questions and interview requests were ignored it is not fair
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to ask any players perform to be able to be assigned to everybody in the shrewd they can protect their morals and also in new york city streets the big apple's mass surveillance system does actually allow officials to know where and when many of the crimes are occurring but so far filming the knockouts hasn't helped to prevent them marina port ny r.t. new york. oh all right that doesn't for now from on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com forward slash r t america check out our website our dot com slash usa and follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez see you right back here in five. no.
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look it was terrible a problem very hard to make a plan to get along here a lot that had sex with her right there no legs let's play. a little i'm. a little. little legs. play.
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well i'm. a little. crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want.
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to. show but i asked him for this post right here fundies they wanted to take my life. put in for this film and they wanted to cut my head off but they couldn't cut it.


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