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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  March 8, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." roger: good evening. we begin the program with wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organization released thousands of c.i.a. documents and files today. the leaked information exposed tools the agency uses to hack smartphones, computers, and even internet connected televisions. it's believed to be among the biggest leaks of classified information in recent history. the authenticity of the documents has yet to be determined. wikileaks has indicated the
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source of the files is a current or former c.i.a. contractor. joining me now from washington is greg miller of "the washington post." welcome, greg. greg: thank you. roger: hi. how do you assess the importance of this wikileaks disclosure right now? greg: it's a good caveat because i actually think it might takes weeks, if not longer, to get the full measure of the impact here. but for now, i mean, it looks like the c.i.a.'s sort of cyber weapons arsenal has, to a large extent, been laid bare. we haven't seen wikileaks posting actual code that somebody could sort of aim and shoot to carry out an actual hack. instead, it looks like blueprints and documents that describe its capabilities and they are extensive, including, as you mentioned, the ability to turn everyday devices that millions and millions of people use, smartphones, apple phones,
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android phones, and tv sets, into collection tools for the agency. roger: you and i might be using a samsung device or tv and unbeknownsts to us, the c.i.a. might be listening in? greg: if i were doing that, and the agency were monitoring communications, it would be in trouble hopefully. but yes, that's what these files illuminate. so the c.i.a. has a distinct role in cyber espionage. it's built up its capabilities in this realm for years and years. it is more of a black bag shop than is the national security agency which we read about a couple of years ago amid the snowden revelations which is scooping up mountains and mountains of data every day from the internet. this is more narrow, more
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targeted. but yeah, the capabilities that are revealed here are enormous. roger: what do you make of the timing of this, greg. why now? why do you think wikileaks chose this moment, six weeks into the administration, a lot of tensions with the intelligence services, a lot of unresolved issues. why now? do you think it was -- do you think there was a specific purpose in the timing? greg: you know, that's a really good question and i've talked to people who were also curious about that. it's hard to know. i think that it certainly will please wikileaks to be able to sort of poke the c.i.a. in the eye with this revelation right now. it's an awkward, in some ways, for the trump administration, because president trump has declared himself to be such a fan of wikileaks, you know, cited the email, the hillary
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clinton emails during his campaign, said at one point, i love wikileaks, sided with wikileaks over the c.i.a., in terms of whether russia was behind the theft of those democratic emails. roger: do you think he'll still love wikileaks after this? do you think he'll say anything? greg: well, he hasn't so far and his press secretary has been utterly silent on this which i think tells you that the u.s. government is really trying to sort out what's happened here, was really caught off guard by this. i don't see any indication yet that the c.i.a. saw this coming and had prepared the white house or anyone else. roger: do you expect president trump to react? i know he's unpredictable. greg: it's almost in his nature to react to something like this, right? i mean, yeah, i think i do. how he will react to this is hard to know. i mean, this is -- the c.i.a. is now run by mike pompeo, trump's
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pick for that job. will trump enjoy seeing the c.i.a. squirm as some of its most sensitive and valuable espionage tools are exposed? i don't know. roger: how damaging is this to our national security? greg: you know, that's a question we're really trying to sort out. i think that it's -- i think that it is -- it is significantly damaging but not to the extent that it will, you know, make the agency go dark in any way on any important target. right? this reveals how the c.i.a. probably gathers information on a lot of legitimate adversaries, including a terrorist group like the islamic state whose members use cell phones, cameras, video equipment, computers. i mean, this -- these documents can help you sort out how the agency might go about penetrating those networks and getting intelligence. roger: this could be useful to enemies, right? greg: right, this could be highly useful to enemies
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including snippets of code that amount to signatures that russia could use to search its system and see if there are embedded code in their devices. roger: who do you think the source may be? and do you think the president may go after the source? greg: wikileaks said that its source is a current or former intelligence contractor who obtained these files through some sort of unauthorized disclosure. there was a lot of suspicion among u.s. officials, of course, that russia may be involved here. u.s. intelligence officials believe that russia and wikileaks often work hand in hand. although there is a counter argument here. if these were -- the sensitivity of these files as such that you would expect russia perhaps to sit on them, take advantage of this knowledge, without only using it to embarrass the united
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states. roger: how would you compare this, greg, to the snowden revelation? snowden is in russia, of course, now. what sort of -- there are different things going on here but u.s. intelligence is being compromised in various ways. how would you -- what comparison would you make? greg: right. so there are similarities and differences, if we take wikileaks at its word, it appears to have another snowden-type contractor out there, providing lots of secret information to wikileaks. there are some differences. so the snowden revelations had immediate political repercussions and fallout in large part because they were exposing massive surveillance programs in which millions of americans' communications were swept up. so that was -- there was an immediate reaction, a visceral reaction from the public, that may not come here because these are much more narrow kind of
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operations that the agency is conducting and there's nothing that we've seen in these files so far that would indicate that any of it is being used against u.s. citizens. roger: aren't these revelations more gratuitous? in the case of snowden, you can certainly argue and many have, that this, in the end, produced very positive effects for u.s. society and the debate between freedom and security. in this case, it seems on the face of it, more gratuitous. this is just the way the c.i.a. goes about gathering information. and clearly these secrets are useful to our enemies. why would anyone want to reveal that who didn't want to hurt the united states? greg: yeah, i think you're right, that perhaps it's harder to see a meaningful public debate emerge from this leak, the way we saw after the snowden revelations. perhaps you could argue that silicon valley companies, including apple, google, and
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others, they will be implicated here. they are already very nervous about perception overseas, that they work with u.s. intelligence agencies, that they design flaws into their devices that enable the c.i.a. and the n.s.a. to monitor others overseas and perhaps there will be some sort of reaction in countries like germany. one of the disclosures, one of the documents suggests that the c.i.a. has a massive hacking enterprise based in frankfurt, germany, but it's hard to compare these to the snowden revelations in terms of the propriety of the collection described. roger: we've gone in a short period of time from no-drama, obama, to relentless-drama donald trump, and an administration that really didn't leak to an administration that seems to be leaking all
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over the place. this is -- what's it like working in a washington where leaks of various kinds are pretty much an everyday occurrence? greg: i mean, it's really disorienting, i have to say. i've covered national security in washington for quite a long time now and i've never seen anything like this where every day there is a prospect of an enormous revelation. and this one may not fall into the same category of all those leaks that seemed aimed at exposing what the trump administration is doing in its early days but, yeah, it's not how washington has worked for years and years. that might sound odd. of course, leaks have been around forever in washington. but the volume, the nature, i mean, they reflect a level of tension and distrust between the
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top levels of the white house and other areas of government that is just in some ways unprecedented. roger: particularly the intelligence services in some cases, no? greg: exactly. trump has repeatedly disparaged the c.i.a. and other intelligence services, dismissed conclusions about russia, an incredibly important subject, and seemingly surprised that there could be leaks that would undermine his position or authority. roger: how do you think mike pompeo will respond to the wikileaks revelation today? do you expect a response of some kind? greg: i don't expect necessarily a public response from mike pompeo. i think the c.i.a. so far is declining to comment on this, the white house is declining to comment on this.
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we are monitoring closely to see what sort of investigation takes shape now, like it's clear the c.i.a. will have to mount a really big counter intelligence probe to figure out what happened here and probably will have to relay a crimes report to the f.b.i., which will also have to investigate. but i think right now i have to say, my impression is that they are still in the sorting-out mode, what just happened. roger: will the c.i.a. have to change its methods? greg: undoubtedly, i think that's clear. although experts i've talked to have said that that is weirdly manageable. you would expect a revelation like this to be such a catastrophic setback that they would send them back to square one but the reality is that these exploits for things like the iphone are developed on this basis over and over again. every time there's a new software update that patches a security flaw, there's a counter effort by spy agencies to find something new they can get their
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hooks into. there was some confusion initially on these wikileaks files about whether the c.i.a. had managed to crack the encryption used in very popular applications like what's app or signal. that doesn't appear to be the case here. it looks like the agency's ability to work around those encryption programs depends on their ability to manipulate the devices themselves, not the apps that are loaded on to them. roger: so it's fixable? greg: i do think so. i think it will require some significant regrouping but we've seen this over and over again. they certainly regrouped after the snowden revelations. roger: greg, thank you very much. greg: thank you. ♪
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♪ roger: the importance of civic education has perhaps never been more crucial to our democracy. politicians often accuse one another of violating the constitution, but surveys show that americans have little understanding of the founding document. an annenberg public policy survey conducted last year found that only a quarter of americans could name all three branches of government. joining me now are two people who are determined to change that statistic. kathleen hall jameson joins from washington. she is the director of the annenberg public policy center of the university of pennsylvania. here in new york is robert
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katzmann, chief judge on the second circuit court of appeals. two years ago, he launched a circuit-wide civic education initiative, justice for all, courts and the community. i am pleased to have both on them on this program. welcome. judge katzmann: thank you. roger: judge, of late, i think a lot of people have won't up and thought, gosh, the constitution, the supreme law of the country, that's really important. why is it, however, that knowledge of it seems to be so slight in many cases? judge katzmann: when i was growing up in new york, public schools of new york, civic education was so important. our teachers understood that our democracy is fragile and that to have an understanding of that democracy, we needed to know about government. the old line from john dewey that, for every generation,
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democracy must be born anew with education as its midwife. and i think that what's happened over time is that education, civic education, has had less priority across the country than it should. roger: why is that? surely it's basic. judge katzmann: it is basic, it is basic. and certainly without knowledge of our governmental institutions, how can we expect democracy to thrive? roger: kathleen, how dangerous is this situation? benjamin franklin in 1777, famously said, when asked what form of government had been created, "a republic, madam, if you can keep it." are we going to be able to keep it without the kind of civic engagement that sustains a democracy?
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kathleen: there are times that are more critical than others and at this time it's particularly important to understand that we have three branches of government and what their roles are, especially of an independent judiciary. what we see when we do surveys, those who don't understand the checks and balances, don't understand why veto power is part of that and why a veto can be overridden and more importantly, don't understand an independent judiciary, when you examine that, it predicts the propensity to say, when the court issues an unpopular ruling, maybe we should get rid of the court. part of what's important is the public's understanding of the judicial system. roger: are you saying that most americans don't understand
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checks and balances? that seems so fundamental. how can that be? i read somewhere that 10% of college graduates think that judge judy is a member of the supreme court. 10%. how is this possible? and we're seeing right now just how important it is to know something about these subjects. kathleen: i don't worry if people can't name justices on the supreme court. roger: but judge judy? kathleen: i worry if they don't understand what the supreme court is supposed to do so when you ask people what happens when there's a 4-4 ruling, which is possible right now without the ninth justice in place, there's a sizable percent of the population that thinks the decision goes to the federal court of appeals. another part of the population thinks they keep voting until they resolve the tie and in a survey we did two or three years back, we actually said, what is the other alternative and we put in place, it goes back to
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congress and congress gets to decide and more than 20% of the public said, you know, that's right. why is that important? because when president trump puts forward his immigration ban and the court issues a ruling and the president defers to the ruling, the public needs to understand why the president does that and needs to understand that that is part of the checks and balances of our system actually working. roger: the president, judge, only deferred to the ruling after speaking about so-called judges. in six short weeks, we've had pretty much frontal attacks on the first amendment, on the press, enemies of the people. we don't know exactly what happened, whether any aid or comfort was given by now president trump's coterie in the election. i have to ask you, the kind of civics lessons in the basics that you've been trying to
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foster, would the president himself be a good candidate for that course? judge katzmann: as you know, roger, i can't get -- as a judge, i can't get involved in the politics of the moment. what i can say is, and this interest that i've had in civic education is long-standing, is that each of us has a collective responsibility to understand how the institutions of government work so that we can be respectful of those institutions and that's why i think it's so critical to have these programs of civic education, which try to educate the public to bring communities closer to the institutions that we serve and that's what we're doing in the second circuit in this project that began a couple of years ago. roger: what are the main obstacles you've encountered to that?
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why hasn't more of this been happening? judge katzmann: i think it's spreading. i think it's spreading. i think that there is an awareness. in our court system, second circuit of the courts of new york, connecticut, and vermont, the federal courts, at every level, the court of appeals, the district court, the magistrate court, the bankruptcy court -- the judges are all engaged. we have a tremendous co-chair, victor romero, district of new york. and there are an extraordinary range of activities. we are working with boards of education on civics materials for textbooks and textbook revisions. we have teachers institutes where teachers come into our courthouses and they are paired with judges and scholars. this is a program -- roger: you're finding an enthusiastic response? judge katzmann: very enthusiastic.
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we're doing this with the justice resource center. we have programs of re-enactments where we re-enact classic trials. roger: perhaps you have a little more freedom to express yourself, the question i just asked the judge, has the president been showing insufficient respect for even perhaps contempt for the constitution in some of his actions and statements since he took office? kathleen: you have to remember, the president has all the constitutional protections and we live in a country in which expression is something we value. we have to remember, also, that we have a press that's there to hold the president accountable and the government accountable. roger: we're doing our best. kathleen: and in the process understand that what the first amendment does is says government isn't supposed to interfere with that right of the press to exercise its responsibilities. at the beginning of the administration, i don't think we ought to judge too early what larger questions such as the wellbeing of the constitution will be as a result of this president, this congress, this
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judiciary and this moment but we can say this is a difficult moment in the nation's history because we're confronting problems that are very difficult. we've got an anxiety-ridden electorate, an electorate that doesn't have the civics knowledge that it needs to really understand the checks and balances in our system and how they're supposed to function and we have some rhetoric that has broken some norms, that have been long-lived and well established and that's potentially problematic. roger: how dangerous is the repetitive fake news accusation, even today, fake news, statement tweet from the president. this is very disorienting. if people are disoriented, they no longer know their rights. they no longer know where they stand. how troubling do you find these fake news accusations emanating
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almost daily from the oval office toward "the new york times," "the washington post," and other institutions that, let's face it, we make mistakes, but are they killers of the republic? kathleen: i'm proud of the journalism that has been developed over the course of the last two to three months. the congress has been doing its job. the president has been doing his job. the judiciary has been doing its job. the press has been doing its job as well. to the extent that the press is vigilantly watching those boundaries and calling those instances out where it thinks there are potential deception or misinformation, we have to be standing up and cheering and remembering that's why the first amendment is there. the press lost job is to hold government accountable and government's job is to stay out of the press's way. roger: the blurring of the lines between what is true and false
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-- does that bother you? generally a lot of people are just unable in the cacophony to distinguish the two? robert: i'm reminded of what a great mentor of mine once said, daniel patrick moynihan. he used to say that, "you're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." i think what was at the core of that was a sense that there are things that are discernible and that there are data that are discernible -- roger: facts exist. robert: and i think it's important that we keep sight of the importance -- roger: isn't it troubling that we even have to say that facts exist in 2017 in the united states of america? robert: on the other hand, we
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deal with this all the time in court. they weigh the facts and the evidence. this is not a new enterprise for many of us. kathleen: one of the important things that a court system does for us as a country and as a citizenry is model standards of evidence and argument. it models the process by which one can draw inferences from available, contested evidence, and come up with good judgments carefully reasoned. what we need now more than ever in the body politic is more of that kind of evidence driven careful argument where we ask, what's the link between the evidence and the assertion and where is the evidence. what institution has protected that most diligently? it is the judiciary. when the press is doing its job, it is a close second. robert: when you think about the grand experiment that is the
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constitution, what is it that the framers envisioned? they envision the interaction of diverse institutions, congress, the executive, the courts. they envisioned the interaction of diverse elements acting on those institutions, and there was a sense that although each institution would act according to its own interests and incentives, together, they would create a deliberative system without -- with outcomes that would be in the public interest. that is the model that we aspire to. i think that we shouldn't lose sight of what it is the founders had in mind. that's why civics education is so important, because if we need to change things or tweak things, having that sense of what is that constitutional document, what is that framework is all the more important. roger: it's very moving, i think, seeing the ingeniousness
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and foresight of the founders pitted against such a contemporary situation. robert: they were so young, in their 20's, 30's, 40's -- it's remarkable, the wisdom in their years. roger: do you think there could be a new enthusiasm for education in civics? the country is very divided, red state, blue state. people think completely differently. i was a foreign correspondent a lot of my career. when i go to new york, indiana -- it's a foreign correspondent type experience. do you think this could bring the country together in some way, if everybody reacquainted themselves with these basic rules? kathleen: i wish we could find a way to increase the likelihood that those who are in charge of a country and those who constitute the citizenry would
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look back at the kind of content that good cynics education has -- civics education has and learn the lessons of the past. we learn from the korematsu case of the country can make serious mistakes when it's trying to balance security and liberty. we learned from the cherokee nation's case that when the president does not enforce an order of the court we can have really consequential, hurtful times for a whole segment of our population. that gave us the trail of tears. we have learned that the country can make mistakes and it needs to learn from the mistakes and when we give up on civics and understanding how we came to where we are as a nation, we may forget some of those lessons. as a result, we may have to repeat them. that would be tragic. roger: judge? robert: i couldn't agree more. i think that civic education is a force that can provide the ties that bind. they can provide us with a sense of what is it that brings us together, whatever our
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differences might be. it's no accident the george washington envisioned the national university, that james madison thought that there should be a seminary of knowledge and of ideas. out of that educational process comes better understanding whatever our differences, because then we will be talking to one another with a common language and will will be better able to appreciate what is in this little book. roger: thank you very much. robert: thank you. ♪
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♪ roger: "cries from syria" is a new documentary from an oscar-nominated director. it recounts the horror of the syrian war, featuring interviews with journalists, activists, and children who have experienced the brutality firsthand. here is a look at the trailer. ♪ >> syria is a very ancient and beautiful country. it is called the cradle of civilization. but we have been living under dictatorship for 14 years. but we were so optimistic that this revolution would -- >> anyone who talks about him, he will just disappear or he will die.
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>> it started the revolution. more than half a million people joined it. >> our job is to save their lives through destroying the terrorists. he called us terrorists. >> this regime -- they are supposed to protect us, but they are not protecting us. they are shooting us. >> things are getting worse every day. >> we syrians are the people who
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are suffering most from isis. >> there are people who give us hope, a group trying to save lives. >> we are not terrorists. we are people like everyone. we still have dreams. ♪ roger: the hbo documentary film, "cries from syria" will debut
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march 13 on hbo. i'm pleased to have the film's director and a journalist at this table for the first time. welcome. syria is an unconscionable abomination. this war has now been going on for almost six years. half a million people dead, 5 million refugees, other millions displaced. a lot of people's eyes just glaze over at this point. they say syria and they drop their hands. why did you make this movie? why did you decide this was a film you had to make? >> i think a lot of people have a lack of knowledge about syria in the beginning of the revolution, about what goes into such a huge refugee crisis that we have not experienced since world war ii. following the european crisis in
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2015, i found that the answers were there. they fear this people because of some misconception through the media, because the media is starting to cover these events through the major waves of refugees in 2015, when a lot of immigrants from different -- refugees from different parts of the world -- again, i'm emphasizing that we are not all syrian refugees. 30% of syrian refugees are among the people trying to reach -- roger: how did you go about making the movie? did you go yourself to syria? how did you do that? it is very tough for journalists to get into syria. there are direct threats from isis. it is a very tough environment, yet you produced extraordinary footage in this movie.
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>> first of all, thanks to the journalists and activists who have been documenting every step of the revolution. from the beginning, the camera became something that was their weapon, to witness and document the atrocities. thanks to them and today's technology, it was able to make it happen. roger: what does it mean to you now, today, living in turkey, to have this opportunity in this movie to express your experiences? you are often in tears in the movie. this is absolutely heart wrenching. this is the loss of your country, the loss of yorktown, -- the loss of your town the loss of everything, and you have to sit and watch bashar al-assad saying they are all terrorists, there was no genuine uprising. these are very painful things. what does it mean to you to be able to speak in this way to the camera?
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>> first, it was so difficult to remember these days. living these events for six years, it took everything from us. my home, my family members, my friends, all the dreams. to go remember all these events -- we kept -- we tried to keep our psychology, kind of -- >> together. >> we are all traumatized, but we are bracing up to face things and continue. but it was so difficult to remember things from the past, because i think that these were nightmares. roger: remembering is so important. >> remembering is so important. we thank him for this step. it is so difficult for us, these things that we lived -- now i'm pushing them to the back of my memories. i don't want to remember them.
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but when i have to speak about them, they all come out. after five years, there is someone who came to put the story all together from the beginning till the end. roger: what's it like for you when you watch president assad in his palace, essentially dismissing everything that has happened in your country over the last six years and explaining that anybody who thought like you, who wanted freedom, who wanted a more open society, who wanted an end to the decades of brutal rule, the massacre of hama decades ago and the same family is still there, and he is calling you and people who think like you terrorists -- what's it like for you to watch that?
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>> sometimes it happened like it's funny. it is so sarcastic to listen to him saying that. unfortunately, i hate no one in this world. roger: but you hate him? >> i hate no one but him. the hatred in my heart goes to the extent that -- i don't know what to say. to see him safe and sound in the palace just reciting and lecturing people that this is what happened -- this makes me feel so depressed because of the whole international community. roger: some people think he could be part of the solution. president putin thinks he could be part of the solution. what do you say to that? kholoud: he is the problem. >> more than isis? kholoud: yes. roger: why?
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because isis was created by and supported by assad. think about being a syrian and living those events for six years. assad was tracing us activists to silence us. the free syrian army started to liberate some parts of syria, almost 90% of syria was free. this is the end of 2012-2013. then we started have isis. those people who fled damascus, the capital, or any capital where the regime exists, they fled to the opposition-held areas and now they are killed by isis. activists who were lucky to flee assad were killed by isis. isis is taking over from the free syrian army, handing it
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over to the regime, and the regime taking it over, back and forth, like what happened in palmyra. it's very obvious that this is a filthy game. roger: "a filthy game"? kholoud: between assad and his partners. we are losing everything. roger: evgeny, you have some amazing footage involving children. i found some of the most powerful images in the movie involve children. perhaps we could roll a segment about a child describing the war in syria, and then we could talk about that? ♪
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roger: why do you focus on children so much? evgeny: you know, i think,
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despite if you hate or like the regime, nobody allows the regime to torture kids. since the beginning of the revolution, we witnessed that it started with the kids being tortured and then being killed. i think using these images and allowing these kids to be vocal in the movie, allowing them, instead of having a childhood, i am calling them the lost generation, who still have hope, doing activities grown ups do -- you can see how optimistic they are in creating -- roger: i remember the kids who said president assad turned off the electricity, so now we have to bring the water up by ourselves. they put together a pulley system to bring the water to the top floor. these were kids who were like eight or nine. you watch that and you think for a moment maybe, perhaps that's a source of hope. evgeny: they are optimistic. they have a hope.
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a lot of the reasons why -- the well-known clips of the kids -- we witnessed this footage in september, 2015. he was fleeing the country with his family and found dead on the shores of turkey, three years old. he symbolizes the death of the young kids. then from december of last year, symbolizing hope. through these kids, through their stories, through the kids that i interview, and i interviewed a lot of kids -- altogether i interviewed over 100 people through my movie. for the first time i'm putting them in the context of the story, through their faces, through their stories, i'm tried to tell about the uprising, the civil war, about all the interventions, about hope that these kids still have, because
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they believe one day they will be able to go back to syria and rebuild the country. it was important for me to keep the camera on the labor of their eyes. they are the witnesses, the heroes. they are struggling. but they are also my heroes at the end of the day. roger: kholoud, there is a cycle. the boy found head down on the beach and all the world erupts and says we cannot tolerate this any longer, this is terrible, unacceptable. then the weeks go by and people ignore syria again. it must be quite desperate for you watching this. kholoud: it is. actually, i lost hope in government. i believe that governments are not going to do anything for syria.
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roger: are you very disappointed in the united states? kholoud: yes, i am. roger: do you think president obama should have upheld the red line as he said he would when the regime used chemical weapons? kholoud: there's no redline, unfortunately. they crossed -- every one, every president claimed things are a redline, but president obama said that chemical weapons are a redline, but assad crossed them. roger: with no consequence. kholoud: and only recently, he hit a city with chemical weapons. people were just -- they are dead because of the chemical weapons. they are besieged for more than four years now. he used chemical weapons against them. where is the redline? no one knows. roger: what do you think about what president putin and russia have done in syria, the bombardment of aleppo, coming to the aid of president assad, intervening away the president
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obama said could not be done -- evgeny: it is misrepresentation of the facts. he's fighting isis, who is not in aleppo. roger: putin? evgeny: yes. he is claiming one thing, but he is doing -- roger: you don't think the russians bombarded aleppo? evgeny: i saw that they bombarded aleppo. according to himself, he is fighting isis, who had never been in aleppo at that moment. it is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. roger: by president putin. evgeny: yes. what happens when our new president trump wants to go with our soldiers into the syrian grounds, it could be the biggest mistake for us. at the end of the day, it will be another death of innocent people. roger: you mentioned president trump and he has an executive order that bars syrian refugees
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and, indeed, all syrians, temporarily, from coming to the united states. how do you react to that? it seems almost cruel. evgeny: i think it is a big mistake, and i will tell you why. if it was 20, 30 years ago, shutting the door to the country, i think it maybe was right. in these days when the terrorism operates on a completely different grounds through the social media, i think first of all my suggestion to president trump is to look for the roots of the terrorism and to learn more about terrorism. if you understand the roots of the terrorism, then you can fight the terrorism. i suggest to operate more with intelligence and to learn more about what's happening in our own country. if you go back to the attacks that we had here, none of these people came from syria. none of these people came from this country that we have banned. shutting the door on people who are desperately seeking shelter is the wrong thing.
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at the end of the day, shelter can be provided by all these radicals and isis, and those who seek shelter become the terrorists because they are provided shelter by isis, who know how to brainwash them. we need to learn the roots of the terrorism and to fight it appropriately. this is different times than 30, 40 years ago when you just shut the borders and it help you to fight terrorism. terrorism is different today. roger: kholoud, what's your reaction to the travel ban? i understand you had a hard time at the salt lake city airport. you were detained there for an hour and a half or so. what do you make of this atmosphere that seems to be intent on portraying all muslims as a potential threat? kholoud: this is racism first of all. this is discrimination. i feel angry from the bottom of my heart.
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it doesn't affect us syrians, primarily, because the united states is not receiving syrian refugees since the beginning. roger: very few. kholoud: very few compared to other countries. roger: especially germany. kholoud: especially germany, yes. so, if they are not receiving so, if they are not receiving people, then, i mean, there are a few people who have been received here, but the problem is those activists, including me, who, every now and then, try to make it to the states to talk to the people, speak to the media, and meet prominent people, let's say from the congress or politicians, decision-makers, to tell them about what's going on or to lobby for our cause, now we are prevented to do this. roger: do you think you will go home one day? kholoud: i will, definitely. roger: when? kholoud: i don't know.
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roger: and what syria will you go home to? kholoud: syria that i was dreaming about. roger: you still believe that? kholoud: yes. roger: what's the basis for your belief? just hope and faith? kholoud: and the sacrifice of my friends. we'll be traitors if we fail them, so i'll continue with this till the end. roger: till the end of time. kholoud: either see this or die. and in both cases, i will be satisfied. roger: evgeny, it's hard to continue after that, but do you believe that your movie will help bring about the situation that kholoud just described and that she will be able to -- was that a purpose of yours, a
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reason for making the movie? evgeny: there were many reasons. i as a filmmaker believe that we are responsible to learn about people and to tell their stories, to bring their voices. if i will be able through this movie to change somebody's perception, to teach somebody, and to make people to change their minds, even a few, and then to save a life. roger: what would you like to see syria do? kholoud: stop assad from bombing syrians. and a no-fly zone. if anyone started to have a no-fly zone, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved at that time. roger: thank you very much. truth is important. facts are important. remembering is important.++++++
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