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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  November 17, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EST

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in 2012 a federal health task force said the risks associated with psa screenics far outweigh the benefits. i'm antonio mora, thank you for joining us. luis suarez is next with "inside story", have a great night. night. >> there are thousands of troops on the streets of paris, heightened states of alerts in western capitals, and u.s. governors telling refugees fleeing syria, you can't come here. can you stop terror attacks by clamping down? are you ready to trade liberties for greater safety? is there a point where free societies give away more freedoms than the security that they get in return? a delicate balance. it's the "inside story."
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welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. france has stepped up it's military attacks on isil after friday night's killings in paris, but paris is different too. there are now lots of soldiers on the streets of the french capital. french and belgium security forces launch more than 100 raids on the homes of expected extremists. is there a level of surveillance, physical and digital, that would seriously limit future attacks? can a free society ever clamp down enough to eliminate the threat? would such a society still be free after it was protected? as security agencies mull over the threat to washington d.c. in a video released just after the paris attacks, we considered the tradeoffs been liberty and security. the delicate balance.
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that debate was front and center when cia director, john brennan spoke at the center for strategic and international studies global security forum. >> i do hope that this is going to be a wake-up call, particularly in areas of europe where i think there has been a misrepresentation of what the security forces are doing. >> cia director, john brennan, speaking of the attacks in paris, over protection. the american intelligence has been the subject of intense scrutiny for several years now. controversial powers granted under the patriot act. and the so-called cia's use offing interrogation methods, not the intention, but the chorus grew louder in 2014 when contractor, edward snowden, leaked information on the nsa's program.
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>> in the past years, because of unauthorized disclosures, and a lot of hammering over the government's role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists, there have been some policy and legal and other actions that are then that make our ability collectively, internationally, to find these terrorists, much more challenging. >> reporter: civil libertarians warn that the government will use times of fear like this to reach for new and unjustified authority. the legal director for the american civil liberties union, said that as far as i know, the french didn't lack some kind of authority that would have made a difference. when we have launched authority like in the paris attacks, they have often been abused. it would have made it more
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difficult to catch the attacks in france, but in a new online video, the cia director admits that he's concerned about protecting the american people. >> there has been a significant increase in the operational security in the number of these operatives and the terrorist networks, as they have gone to school on what it is they need to do to keep their activities concealed from the authorities. >> joining me now for a limit to the security is congresswoman, sheila jackson lee, a democrat from texas and a member of the committee on homeland security. welcome to the program, congresswoman. and has your committee been briefed since this new threat against washington d.c. was released by these groups? >> well, this is an ongoing process, and certainly, we have been briefed weeks before and continuously on the threat of isil and dash, as well as other threats that deal with the
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various sectors and segments of terrorism around the world. this week, we'll be engaging in a briefing, and i will be going to a briefing shortly, and i think that it will be ongoing, because it's a serious and dev it stating terror incident in france that causes everyone to pay attention. but i would say this: first, let me again offer my deepest sympathy to those who lost their lives, their families, and those who are laying injured. this was a heinous, and violent, vicious attack on innocent persons who were simply engaging in people and friends, and doing things that people, no matter what country you're in, whether you're a muslim or non-muslim, you engage in these kinds of activities, so it is important that we recognize the seriousness of it, and we say to the american people, we're concerned about your safety and security. but we remember franklin delano
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roosevelt, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. we should not be operating out of anything but determination, and i don't see a countering of our basic values of liberty and freedom, and the basic tenants of civil liberties, as a detriment to securing and ensuring the security of the american people. we have made great strides with 9/11, and i think that we can do both. >> well, that's just the question, isn't it? where to draw that line. are there things that you've heard during your time as a member of the house, you're a veteran member, and your career spans the post-9/11 era that didn't sit right with you? yes, i understand that they want to do this, but it sounds too much? >> well, it was the judiciary committee that interestingly enough, a very very broad and
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fair response to 9/11, with respects to restraints than put in place. and unfortunately, that bill got altered before it went to the floor, but subsequently, we have handled the usa patriot act. and we have kept in place, for undue search and seizure, and it's not perfect, but as members of congress, both republicans and democrats, focus on that. but let me say that what we should be doing to ensure the american people's security, without trounce on one civil liberate, we can do these things. it makes perfect sense to ramp up security at airports, and various aspects of security. and intelligence gathering has far out paced what we did before 9/11, which resulted of course in that heinous tragedy, that vile and tragic act.
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we have been doing a better job of intelligence gathering, and i might say that we are now committed to working with france, who may not have had all of the intelligence gathering resource that's we had. so i don't step away from saying that we don't have the tools, short of completely oppressing someone's civil liberties. we should not make statements or think that blocking 10,000 syrian refugees, most of them are victims of domestic violence, women and children, who are listed to come to the united states, who will be checked by the counter terrorism unit, checked by the fbi, checked by homeland security, and i might say, has anyone it seen a terrorist pop up through the unaccompanied children, of which there was great hysteria the summer before last? did anyone see that coming about? well, i believe that we have the tools to ensure that we vet
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every one of these syrian refugees, and they're coming in not thousands at a time. but they will be coming in at a sufficient pace to be vetted. the one person that came through -- we should take note of that in france -- through greece, i'm not ignoring that, but it doesn't equal closing our doors to these victims who are fleeing for their very lives. >> sheila jackson, the ranking member and senior democrat on the homeland security council. and thank you for joining me, congresswoman. the united states has had, since 2001, escaped the kind of carnage, the attacks, and now in paris. flanked east and west by two big owings, and north and south by two big allies. has it been geography, luck or the ramping up of the security
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state that many americans haven't fully reckoned with? a delicate balance, it's "inside story."
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>> this is al jazeera america live from new york. >> at 7:00 - "news roundup". tony harris gives you a fast-paced recap of the day's events. >> this is the first line of defense. >> we have an exclusive story tonight. >> then at 8:00 - john seigenthaler brings you the top stories from across america. >> the question is, will these dams hold? >> and at 9:00 - >> i'm ali velshi, on target tonight... >> ali velshi on target. digging deeper into the issues that matter. >> i'm trying to get a sense for what iranians are feeling.
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>> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. a delicate balance this time on the program. we're looking at what free societies do to protect themselves in the era of political violence, and we're asking if yo you can be free and safe. joining me now, the aclu's legislative council. and the national vice president of the national security program at the third way. she has already come out and said, basically don't lay on more measures. there's no evidence they work. how do you know that? >> well, i think that it's important that we not forget the lessons of the last decade. so post-9/11, we saw a horrific attack, and in the wake of the attacks, we rushed through the
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patriot act. and anybody at the time was labeled as someone who didn't care about national security. and later on, we find out that the patriot act was roadre used to surveil every single american, and these mass surveillance programs under the patriot act revealed that they were not successful in thwarting terrorist attacks, and it's important for us all to address the problem, coming out of the attacks, there's no silver bullet. and we need to make sure that we don't pursue policies that at the end of the day don't harm american's fundamental freedoms. >> but if we look at those about. there have been no paris style, no mum ba style attacks in the united states, so a lot of americans might conclude that what we have been doing has worked >> it would be wrong to conclude that the mass surveillance programs are why
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we didn't have the attacks. meta data programs, whether you called a priest, a doctor, and at the end of the day, two executive branch reports concluded that they did not thwart a single terrorist attack. and what that underscores, these mass surveillance programs, as a lot of security experts said, they make the haystack bigger, and it makes it much more difficult to target the real threat. >> countyless rasping up of security efforts by the federal government in the years after the september 11th attacks, but can we even figure out what worked? we have not been targeted in the united states in the same way. you just heard nima suggest that it wasn't the patriot act that did it. >> that's right. we have a huge number of programs that we have been running after 9/11, and we have increased cooperation between
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the fbi and the cia, and that's part of the problem on 9/11, the threats inside of the united states wasn't making its way to the right places. we overclassified things, and kept things in silos, and cooperation has tremendously improved since 9/11, and the american people themselves are much more sensitive of what needs to be done to protect from terrorist attacks. we have been fortunate in this country. often when we hear about potential terrorist attacks, the fbi has broken a ring, and our law enforcement community are the most sophisticated compared to our european allies, unfortunately. >> how do we tease out what happened? whether it was a combination of geography or luck, or actual measures that put in place that really you could point to and say, this was an effective thing that we didn't use to do, and we do now? >> i think that there are a lot of ways to evaluate them. and unfortunately, a lot of the programs are classified. and there are people like the
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members of the congress on the intelligence committee, and like nima said, there are programs that are complete ineffective, and other programs that are very effective in identifying terrorist threats. and we need to stop spending money on the ones that are not effective, and focus on the ones that we need of. >> are we in a position because transparency is thought to drain a program of its effectiveness? we tell everybody ma we're doing and the very people that are unaware, you find out. >> there are pieces of information that we can expect not to be revealed to the public. but the notion that the public and the members of congress shouldn't know what's happening, we should not have agencies operating with oversight. you had members of congress who said, i had no idea this was happening. saying that we should have a public debate with the
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programs, and we could have that while still maintaining the secrecy. >> yes, stay with us. authoritarian states, countries with very different ideas about personal freedom, have been victims enough as they try to limit people. and travelers, and at the same time, political commentators, and rank-and-file citizens in the west are calling for tougher response, arrests without charges, and shutting the doors to refugees. do those responses work? even if it's done to assure your own citizens. it's the "inside story."
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>> welcome back to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. we're talking about the permanent intentions between
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liberty and security. massive enterprises to keep us safe from those who plan murder and mayhem in free societies. with me, of the aclu and mika of the third way. how do we draw that line? it's a tough thing, because it's overseen by elected officials who are very sensitive to any implication that they're not doing enough, and also sensitive to touch. >too much. >> i think that it's really hard, especially since public officials are sensitive to public opinion, and it can often lead you to a place, and we have seen people concerned about the refugees coming back from syria, and the 21 republican governors who want to close their states to sir ran refugees. when you look back at history, the resettlement jewish
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refugees in world war ii was tremendously unpopular among the american people. and if the politicians would have followed the popular demand, we would not have been the safe haven for them as those seeking freedom from atrocities today. part of the reason we don't have it like in europe, we have an open society. and a society where people who come from other countries can make a life here and succeed. and so turning them away plays into isil is' hands, that we can only play to people based on religion and not values. >> do we recalibrate enough, where once a program gets financed, passed, either secretly or publicly, does it become a permanent part of how we respond to security threats in a way that almost barricades off review and reconsideration in. >> no, but over the last
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decade, what has become very clear, these are complex issues, and these are issues that should be debated in the public. when we have national security. and there are imkeg innings the program for free speech and constitutional rights, it should not happen in the shadows, and my hope is that it's taken very seriously by this administration and in the future administrations. we need to look at the programs impact. >> what would you say to an american who says, look, i don't want to know the details, i don't want to know about black sites, questionable means of questioning suspects, extra judicial killings. just keep me safe, i'll know its working, and what you have to do, maybe it's better. >> we americans certainly want to be safe. but they also value their
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constitutional liberty. so when americans are told their personal photo or personal communication can be collected by the government without a warrant or without cause, that's something that also gives them concern. and we need to be very careful. because our history shows that in sensitive times following a tragic event, sometimes the knee-jerk reaction is to put in policies. >> i'm not making them up, there's a portion of this country that says, look, i know that you have to get your hands dirty in this terrible new world that has been ushered in, and as long as you keep the united states safe, if you have to do some things that are a little northwesti, maybe it's good totha i don't know about them. >> they swear an oath to the constitution, and not to the
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security of the country, because we believe in those values. and it's important to keep the values, even when we're dealing with the worst threats. one of the reasons why torture is not a good thing. it produces bad ruts, not just our values, but you get false leads, and you send our he investigators down wrong paths, and toward the terrorists. anybody will tell you whatever stop. >> our time is very short. and i want to ask you quickly before we close, are we about to reopen that debate in the wake of new threats to washington d.c., and implied threats to the western capitals, are we about to embark on this again? >> my hope is that we'll hear from the last decade, policymakers will look at policy that's don't make sense
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for america, but the public, now that they know what's happening, hold our elected officials and government accountable to enact policies that are not good for the country. >> i think that we can stop isis without abandoning the policies and going back to a 2002 style of counter terrorism. we have shown that that's not effective, and we should continue with what works. >> i want to thank my guests,nia, and mika. i'll be back in a moment with a final thought about remembering ben franklin, an 18 century man and a 21st century challenge. stay with us, it's "inside story." and you can send us your thoughts on twitter@aj "inside story" am. or follow me and get in touch at ray suarez news, or our facebook pain.
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tell us what you think between the delicate balance between liberty and security.
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>> in 1755, benjamin franklin wrote in an open letter to the british governor of
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pennsylvania, those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. franklin wrote before bombs on commuter trains triggered by cellphones, and before exploding luggage in the hold of an airplane could scatter corpses in the sinai desert. and before the high-powered weapons that could mow down people having dinner and drinks. so you might say, sure, ben, it's easy for you to say. it's a human impulse to lower risk and the odds as much as we can, inclined to suffer. you climb behind the wheel of your car, and pop a pill, and pick up your utensils to tuck into a chicken dinner, and you think of all of the riskses as measurable and acceptable. for a while, will you think twice about being in a public place with a large crowd, look
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around as you pick a seat in the movie theater. last night, my teenage daughter asked if i heard that isil will be targeting her home down, washington d.c., with a terror attack. if younger, as her brother and sister why on 9/11, i could have reassured her, but if she were older, she would be able to access her risks more accurately. is a is between the two polls. i told her that the whole idea of a terrorist attack is to make her panic, and i told her thousands of people and billions of dollars were at work to make those attacks impossible, and finally, i told her that she had no choice but to go on and live her life. i'm ray suarez. and that's the "inside story." li
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is french police launch raids in a northern suburb of paris to search for a noontide suspect linked to friday's attacks. also ahead on the program two air france planes have been diverted in the u.s. and canada after bomb threats. all passengers were evacuated safely. russia offers a $15 million award after revealing a bomb brought the egypt plane

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