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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 2, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

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doubt we are in the country. we have the same idea that the soviets had which was this is a primitive country in a lot of trouble and if we can restore everything and produce material benefits for the people they will be grateful and come to our side. there is more to it. afghans are interested in material benefits but there is a question of the of institution, a society society, seoul, a family structure, reconciliation of all contending factors on the afghans seem. the taliban business is not completely separate from the contentions with in afghan society over dominating the identity of afghanistan.
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[applause] it's wonderful to be back so i thought i would give you some of the major ideas that are in the book. recently -- essentially see your eyes glaze over then we go to q&a so i am in the fifth week to you physically the same talk so i am pretty tired of it. [laughter] blige just thought i would move past that to have the
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of bit more of a conversation. i think this is an engaged groupon we have had some really good discussions not only the technical detail but the geopolitical mitscher so to me that is the interesting part i will try to throw out enough to talk about but not so much i go into the question and answer time. i started to write september 2009. rights after i was ambushed in afghanistan is this is one of the classic scenario is. most live in mountain valleys of the little villages nobody really lives high on the mountains they live on the valley floor and
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usually there is only one road. by 4:00 in the afternoon everyone knows exactly where. kid you hear me okay? and then you'll be driving down the road in the middle of the valley. i was ambushed 4:00 in the afternoon i remember thinking every deadbeat -- this is that bad ambush i have been involuntarily of gillespie is actually used to teach it as an instructor i thought if they are my students i would fail them. was badly put together. are they having a bad day? that i realized after that one day of thinking about it it was not a taliban ambush but a particular village in the valley that was passed about how much aid we had
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given to other villages they were sending us a message how they felt about our aid prior to rescission that seems like a crazy over reaction we will know that happens all the time that with the assistance we give to afghanistan that is 14 times the size of federal budget is responsible for a substantial amount of what we see on the ground. and in afghanistan doing exactly the surface layer to look beyond what is actually going on that you don't actually see immediately. what i have tried to do in the book is to start that conversation that i had in my head where i started to say there is a deeper level
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than just the counter insurgency dr. not just about the insurgency fighting a government but a bunch of villages trying to get authority over other villages in the way people fight and also of the dynamics of conflict common not only to the insurgency but gains, militias, all sorts of non state groups that compete to control populations 24/7 over the planet were sown or not. but i started to realize what we do in afghanistan is a geographical fluke. bettis with the book ended up being about. we have gotten really, really good at dealing with non state armed groups in a very traditional and xenophobic society in remote rural villages with only
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landlocked mountainous environment with a population density very low the connectivity is almost nonexistent. if you look to the future of the plan at what will happen after afghanistan is over and we move to the next round of conflict you will find that is not it at all but much more on the urban coastal and very highly connected environment. we will do a lot of the same things we have done. 80% of conflict is and always has been a regular in nature one of the main combatants is almost the non armed group more precisely with u.s. military history
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there is a specific repeated patent that we do a barge scale operation about once every 20 or 25 years also the size of kosovo about every five or 10 years and that pattern goes right back to the middle of the 19th century and it is completely independent of policy makers preferences. somebody say to the president say we would get out of this business? he is the seventh president to say the same statement over 80 years and there is no effect whether he wants to do it or not or how often. looking forward we will do more of the same stuff but that environmental looks very different. said four big factors drive that environment in to think about what is the shape and what impact it will have a
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and one is new, the force one on one to focus i will cover the first three. number one. urbanization. number to population growth. number three around the coast line and then connectivity which is a new factor. starting with population growth at the beginning of european industrial revolution and the population of the planet was about 750 million people. it took 150 years to double by 1900 we were out 1.5 billion people then doubled again in only six years at 3 billion people can double again the 6 billion by the end of the last century and a dozen years since then we have that is slightly more than 1 billion people so today it is roughly 7 billion yen cc the accelerating pattern of population growth since the
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industrial revolution. those who do projections looking at the demographics suggest we will not keep rising at the same level for ever be will top out at the middle of this century at about 9.5 billion that is still 2.5 billion more than we have no. with that same time frame we are likely to have a significant level of urbanization. in 1800 about 2 percent of people lived in the city of 1 million or more. 2% of the people of the plan in 1900, 10 percent from 1950, to to 5%. 2008, a 50% projection is 75% of people on the planet by the middle of the century. the current population would-be the urban population by the middle of
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the century. the third is the fact based on the mechanics of moving heavy stuff that most cities have traditionally been on the coastline. look at megacities of the population of 10 million or more there either directly of the coastline or on a major river delta only four cities on the planet that are not. beijing, tehran, a mexico city and moscow. why is that? it is easier to move heavy things by water so trade has traditionally been river born so the cities would acroterion round of logistics' so people moved to existing cities already the population is heavily live coral. 80 percent of the people
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today live within 50 miles of the coastland. urban and crowded those are well understood 20 years ago in the marine corps in particular or to talk about the three block for or there were guys in the army as military theorist who wrote all about the stuff way back and well understood. but what has happened in the 10 years since the 11th, the military has been dragged off to this environment of a landlocked remote environment of afghanistan and the planet has changed. in the year 2000 there were only 30,000 as telephones in nigeria. today there are 130 million.
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doing field work in mogadishu i was walking around interviewing people about how to make a living in 24% of somalis use a cell phone. there is a big fight to but has said memorialized in a movie called plaque caulked around that happened around a major market downtown mogadishu. i was talking to traders in the market were the somali currency surviving 20 years without a central bank is traded on the floating interest-rate they have computers set up, they're on the internet, the understand international currency in they trade the currency on the floor on the bottom floor five times per day they update the trading rate in dade fire it out by a text message to the traders in the city that is how the
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works of trades. somalis have always been traders but until recently there were about trading international stocks or managing remittance money from minnesota or scandinavia but that is what we see now. what i saw on the ground support is something that economists say access to the international trading economy dependent on connectivity is a major element from the agricultural surplus why people move to cities. with the scientific terms it is like the salty solution or not salty solution on the other they will migrate from one side if you have the connectivity differential between urban and rural environments people will live to were the conductivity is. if you want to be plugged into an to the international economy coming you have to
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be in mogadishu you cannot be with the countryside of somalia. we have seen a significant movement to cities driven in part by connectivity and that ships and changes the way conflict happens. i would give you two examples then i will summarize how to think about the environment. one is libya's the other is syria. in 2011 there was a very major fire in a coastal city if there was a french naval task force ready to intervene in the conflict but they did not know much about what was going on on the ground. an urban city well-educated and libyans have exploded with access to soft loans over the internet. of the kids were getting
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shot as they tried to move around the cities so they began to use gugler and android sell funds to plot the locations of the snipers shooting at them. they would put pins in the map don't go down that street. the french start to see these pins appearing on buglers. so they flew reconnaissance mission so then they obviously started to bomb those positions when the school kids realize to free-market the french will baum it they went out to mark every position they could find and then whenever destroyed they would take them down and disappear from to coerce. -- google immerse a crowd source synchronized bombing a system that the pentagon spent billions of dollars
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the school kids are on the ground because they have access to connectivity that would have been impossible three of four years ago. as far as i can tell talking to kids on the ground those on the french task force at no time did they ever talk to each other it was self synchronized based on what they could figure out. a second example is a little more analog. in syria last your for a couple of bad agencies we start to see these little or merge vehicles appearing one of them was 6 feet longer than three fell wide with arbor on the outside. it had a machine gun mounted on top to be controlled remotely with a series of video cameras mounted on the
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outside actually the. pro on the top then inside was a flat screen tv in the whole thing driving the vehicle and the control was run through the flat screen television through the game boy. this is a backyard workshop. it does not make sense to have such debt tiny armored vehicle with a machine gun but seek it for this was a bit -- where it was built theca of the american styled armored vehicles or the soviet vehicle with the regime because the streets are 5 feet wide is not confronting other armored vehicles it is designed specifically to operate
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because federal have the ability. this is perfectly adapted to the environment. but now meeting a very tax savvy population then they have access to use tools to make it taken the backyard. something not in afghanistan but to look get the urbanize savvy population and final example in the u.s. states of georgia may 2011 a 15 year-old ninth great kid looked at the libyans and thought they don't know how to use of weapons systems of the crowd sourced in 48 hours a diving gold medal to
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teach the libyans how to use the weapons they were capturing he got this from soviet websites and his friends in those to speak arabic. today that is a major document used across syria with a fighting because neither word gun cultures you deal with people that came up in a gun culture sir buddy knows how to fire a weapon. what i sat with the nafta and travel editor i ask where the ied techniques came from he told his 50 year-old they make me one. they just no hope but -- they just know how but syria or libya did not have that background banal a kid in united states in 48 hours can pull together a middle that is now the dominant document that people downloading repeatedly it is out there as a key element
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how people operate in syria. not to be labored up point but to understand not only do we need to be engaged with the urban environment because we have been distracted of 10 years that will not be in the future norm but in that time it has changed and is dramatically more connected than it was. so the topic that i end on how to understand the urban environment under stress producing violence in and this will be happening across the planet. some marks was a social scientist looking at european cities cities, berlin, london, were
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experiencing many of the same things of coastal cities today. we look at lack of government services the of communities and people getting alienated that they need to access and how that affects people, there is a lot of similarities but there was the idea of durbin metabolism to write an article that has become very seminal called the metabolism of cities. to basically say just like a body a city has one serious intake, carbon, fuel comair, people, then they are transformed in produces the biomass of this city is in the energy it needs to function but it produces toxic waste. the city has to have the carrying capacity to deal
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with those byproducts where you see pollution. this is a common procedure in ecology to look deadbeat urban environment to run the material flow analysis of it has the capacity to do with the flow if it is experiencing. i have a number of case studies from jamaica to other places to do and on material flow analysis. instead of carbon or water but many, drugs, information system, weapons, how they fall in what toxic byproducts, usually violence is generated and what is the way this city can use to cope with the flow. if you look at the problem the military does not figure
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in the answer there is no solution to the problem of rapid unplayed and urbanization to sew skins 3 billion new people in the next generation across the entire planet. to put an army division into one of those and it would disappear nobody would even know. cities that have 25 billion people come with the entire west coast of india and giant cities not in the military sense. then they do get into the tactics of how you do that but there is no solution that involves the military going in and. a problem focuses not and will evolve in a solution that is like saying it is fire prevention that doesn't
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help you if your in the fire department. your job is not to worry about prevention but to fight the guy tim fire when it breaks out. what do i do plan fire prevention fails? if you are in the military there is a dead certainty that our political leaders will send us tuesday in fired because that is what they have been doing fed is not affected by the policy makers preferences. see better understand how to operate in a crowded urbanized coastal environment against the actor has access to democratize technology and connectivity that makes the adversary dramatically more the soul than what we have never encountered before. that is the environment the military needs to think about with significant implications the way
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restructure and the way we operate status and other side of the discussion but what do we do about the problem of? i think it is a matter of resiliency and community-based design rather than government casting people on the head telling them to sit down and shut up by can talk to much more detail about what we have done with my company with ngos in africa to test the way to operate. i think it pioneered on the design or put them together with a community that understands the problem or comes up with the stuff of a particular is just billion to. might challenge sen and rub
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my people do is have to do that in the environment with people shoot team and you? you just cannot have a conversation? those are the places we worked and where people in the military and law-enforcement need to be focused. because i have spent very down for the last 20 minutes i will end on the up and no. it is not all bad. 3 billion more people by the middle of the century not only could that be potentially very good for the planet by reduce pressure on the environment but 2 billion more people of the global middle-class 15 people out of poverty poverty, access to education thank economic prosperity. if you are in business there is a massive opportunity these cities have not even happened yet with the entire
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population will lead stuff just to get by in the big city. there is a significant upside with good research data to the adaptive capacity to handle these problems increases farther but there are certain things you have to have in place and one is the ability to make people more resilient so not only stop this with coastlines of the developing world but thinking about how to reach each people choose swim and urban resiliency in a different way that exploits the adaptive capacity that is out there to help people a lot that as a way to engage with the problems?
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i could go on but i am bored with the same talk so let's have a conversation. i will defer to you. >> just raise up your question cards. good questions on the richter subjects. one that has come up batiste twice preparing for the last conflict what are some of the bad lessons that will be appropriately coming added the iraq and afghanistan experience for military or government going forward? >> great question. to equal and opposite areas
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one might counter insurgency is the answer it is a doctrinal construct like any other a human model we are about to where a revolution the way we think about the environment but it is about time the other opposite areas calling is not the answer he got have to worry about protecting populations or to go into choosing is that governments can do. the history is pretty clear weather weighed know how to do it or not we will be sent
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in their. the other thing to highlight there is a dangerous addiction to the remote warfare. lot nsa has been doing a avoiding putting troops on the ground and it always reminds me but war is so dangerous often it is perceived from cold hearted this and i think the worst american is to minimize the danger in damage that conflict does and one of those is the reliance on remote forms of technology to compensate our willingness to put troops on the ground. one of the only things that stops human beings from
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fighting is they have had a tough if you outsource to robots to create a precedent we can tell anybody anytime across the planet provided it meets us it could bounce back at some point. >> host: i see that. it a related question is clap conflicts in the past are relevant to the world you forsythe and what countries our best placed because of their experiences that they intend to it will translate to what comes next.
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with iraq or afghanistan it is hard to realize how good people have got and what they are doing. it is only in the realms of special forces. the capability not only of the ad agencies and a state department is unparalleled in history one of the potential tragedy's is we may forget everything we have learned to and have to relearn it again. i would love to make some mistakes as to the same once again. but when i talk about in the appendix is how the urban and changes conflict in what that means it is a very
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complex the military tends to think about content we think about the very time -- maritime but also there is a subterranean, a land surface , the year bin canyon 20 years ago, the high rises the rooftop environment and the aerospace and a cyberspace but offshore there is maritime subsurface and seabed and also rivers and harbors creeks and harbors in the middle where this is the effect of all different demands the way we think about operating in the featured buyer meant will not cut it. i am conscious i and many marine establishment that the marine corps is
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extraordinarily well adapted we don't have durbin in fireman's when the entire seaboard is serving an objective maneuver will looks like -- held different because you don't have the seabed in the for the navy withy platforms to ride if of logistics in to the environment you don't have to use the port or the airfield to have the standoff distance will not work going into an environment primarily you have to be there for a long period of time to engage. for the army we are really good at running logistics' into the environment to take up this thing is we need from the environment fuel, water, food, logistics' is the key.
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that will not work when the reason you go it is precisely because of the conflict emerging to go in with contract seeing offices that will not work. lot more to talk about with that question but that is the main issue. >> just a quick follow-up question who is good at the first three issues? like connectivity but who are experts in that? >> u.s. is good with to ring any type of error ben
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litoral is the british say got a pretty good how you organize junior level commanders to operate? to be a platoon sergeant the way they structure demand but it is completely different to how we doing. there is a discussion because but i talk about this in the book and it may
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look for the brazilian police typical to what the military does. >> could questions around the fourth component the importance of having some dissent soldiers with a dynamic how could we incorporates with the american-led military around called the military's would? >> i will just focus on one issue but how we use people that understand big data or that they understand the environment. it is a colonial discipline
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in a postgraduate degree to put on a funny hat to go into somebody else's country it is typhus savages of the south pacific of anthropology of the author that traveled to the islands in the early 20s to came back to growth this warda account of things happening. coming from that background i thought that all these people are connected. but there ought to be but latino outside of rio day janeiro i thought i would have to go walk the streets
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but obviously you do still need to do some of that like to make up but there are 20 robbers sand -- pluggers one writes about how it is run by gangs. he writes in english the work we do in syria we have four teams doing humanitarian aid reporting for the nba but we don't have our own people because you don't need to put people out there. that is one element with people from basically every country of the planet with language skill and knowledge and relationships to tap into that environment. this is not about spying on the environment but what is going on.
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it is now possible to really understand through remote observation what is going on in the way that was not possible five or 10 years ago. the highest murder rates of the planet you could fire up google's maps in the morning just by traffic patterns if you have the right over them to look at what streets to avoid the way the traffic moves. people do that i was out at google today how they talk about data analysis and one said there is no solution that there is no one that will allow us to solve the problems but it will allow people that live in these environments to be more resilient and figure out the existing environment
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catalogs them to function. i don't want to be bad backs thunder dome but leveraging the people to come from where we might operate with the operation of the ground with the big data picture is critical stuff that we need to be doing better. every police department every new york police department in to talk about what is going on. >> host: this certainly are with the disaster response to integrate is that components.
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>> weld is the injured governmental structure to a klay to be effective? or pure technology components. >> pilot's death of mumbai attacked in 2008, a gang warfare in jamaica, a little of shriveling data also the era of spring when i was the to what about these research efforts the from what he might to think is probably the unit of the analysis we need to apply. with that level of city coverage for what happens in
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the national but two good examples. mogadishu has been without a central national government for her before they were college professor shoreham the terms but mogadishu is a thought of a farrell said the end of the government goes the way it will collapse but actually research shows those when the government goes with the city doesn't just go as wild it is the mad max environment. the other to think about is stability.
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bit it is a better way to describe it. we see open systems with continual input the capital of bangladesh is a great day simple in 1950 to bryan's 450 you will be a 25 million and a whole series of national government have come up with a fix with the problems repeated the overtaken by events so by the time to be implemented but at the nation state level it was too late to affect what they tried to change. getting a below the nation's states to the subsidy increment is important. looking at the same pattern repeated at the street to block subdistrict level and
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off than it is similar but with a twist. when you learn what works at the streets or district level and look at that pattern. >> motivation for violence as a concept that makes him think of the disparity between the wealthy. >> by the way there is not as strong correlation in the field research between a street coefficient that this job besides the ability to but just the fact there is a disparity between rich and for more. go aren't. >> host: that came up with education and to leverage
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education. like a goalie and that has a lot of wealth to bridge the gap but to see the grass greener on the other side or to influence of the country's future and then black-market business, drugs , and arms being the of fuel. >> the single biggest motivator that i saw was predictability but if you have a city with people moving and selling them that goes on for generations with those people settle you end up with the horse shoe shaped or ring of territory
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where there is no officers of slums not to allow the presence people are excluded from the mainstream of the economy of politics and there was a time after 9/11 we would talk about when governed spaces like if there is no government presence but talk about the slums of africa they're not uncovered that all they are thoroughly governed because what happens when that happens the role they play is like the police force were then tear restore insurgents the jamaican in drug smuggling gang we got
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them into mortar and rocket the city within kingston to deal with this one guy who was smuggling cocaine into the united states. if you talk to people on the ground they don't look it as a drug smuggling organization that is just what it does what it does on the ground is like the government do gets a job it keeps down petty crime for how you access fuel or water or in such a city it is the government just like ours kills people overseas, just like in jamaica and the fact the government sells drugs that is not the main issue. thinking of this city as a
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system the main motivation for violence is getting away from a dangerous environment of unpredictable uncertainty to the environment where i know exactly what i need to do to be saved. one will set down a rule said that basically says here's the rules i will protect you and i will not hurt to. if you break the rules you are asked risk -- at risk but they flocked to that to come under the control but the effect of politicians with a downtown urban area that a ring of territory was not taken to fetas refuse to be for the water now those of have a chokehold like the
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non stage actor ramifications of humanitarian issues? >> nato is still very relevant what is happening below us city level they could engage to solve those
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problems are three international constitution's in nato right now thinks about what they will do post afghanistan part of the conversation i have had in neat -- nato is afghanistan is a geographical fluke see will be awesome after fighting the conflict will still happen but it will not necessarily require the same things we have been doing so nato, the when like the world bank and asia and africa of development aid talks about to address this. there is a program is never called violence prevention where people using your been designed to prevent balms from happening yet figured out ways to limit its when it does happen.
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that is like having an effect although it is not military. >> the worldwide marshall plan. >> i would not go that far but it does not get helped by large the international assistance philanthropic donations of overtaken behalf government with the aid battered in talking about the gates foundation many philosophical have a single issue like health so if the focus is maternal health and infant mortality that is where you have money for that is what you focus on the looking at the city in the system you better have a great education plan in five years or employment plan in 20 years or you just create a mess of problems to buy even the acid degeneration from now which is what we see with the
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environment. >> we will end with this question. the process of forgiveness and reconciliation of leadership and post conflict using iraq, afghanistan places that have been struck by violence are. we're due leaders get their mandates to do the right thing by them or their people? >> right to. to my mind one of the under it knowledge but an important points reid never effectively made peace after 2001 for every kid that went to high school taught the of the lease effective treaty is the upper side treaty at
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least we invited the germans we never even let the taliban stand up. they surrendered and tried to make peace after a 2001 technology authority to be a part of the peace building process if we said no. they came back in 2003 because they were excluded from the reconciliation process that never happened. that is the missing piece in the last chapter talks about the initiatives that have spent a successful one is the way the liberian women banded together that led to the end of the civil war in 2003. talking about women there is a gender equity way to think of women involvement with these complex and is important and relevant but another way is economics.
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most of sees some slum and fireman's there are no jobs for men. it is not accidental it is a dormitory environment so they worked in townships. they are there because the english colonial government put them there for an unmarried men to be a labor force if you live in san jose the guy who delivers your mail does not have the money to live there but he lives tumor three hours away. in her bid environments in africa is probably a slum. they meet every morning the only people that stayed around in the environment old man or young man or crime. most jobs that exist are
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held by with an almost all businesses are owned by women. if you exclude women from your discussion of peace building you miss 50 percent of your population but 80 or 90 percent of the actual economy. in liberia muslim am presbytery and women got together to create an alliance to put economic pressure on the government to shut down the conflict then they went overseas with help from nigerian lawyers to put pressure on the rebel side to force them to stop fighting one of the few examples of the bottom-up peace building enabled by conductivity and we will see more examples going forward. third piece building bottom-up is important but
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they still have the international peacekeeping force to keep that agreement but ultimately the solution comes from within the society or it does not, and all. you certainly cannot impose legitimacy on the political system you cannot assemble a state to bring in the spark battle of body parts of a slap you can animate that that will walk and talk then it will go dead. and that spark of legitimacy hast to come from within said with a couple places of nigeria that happen to be resilient, libya and it
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comes from an urban population that will be dominant of the next generation. >> host: david thank you very much. this concludes our portion. [applause] the was an excellent talk and saw a really good discussion from the participants in the audience. he will be here to sign copies of the book. i have read more than 30 percent of the book but it is so readable i cannot tell you how great it is. it is rich reading so i encourage you to look at it. >> if you have insomnia i recommend it.
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>> figure for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> i never expected to right an entire book on cancer and tell i was diagnosed as a relatively young age at 306. i was astonished how different it was going through treatment than what i had heard about cancer are what i expected it to be. i expected a well oiled machine but it wasn't guaranteed the people knew about my cancer in that was followed so i was very
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different so i could not help but to write about it. . .
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see it may not be as familiar as it should be to people because it's really at the heart of the whole discussion here the right of the people to be secure in their persons houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no one shall issue but upon probable cause by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons of things to be seized. it's very specific. it's very basic. it's rooted in english common law and it have to do with unreasonable searches of the king so is there is no limitation on the monarchies power. it was very precious to the colonists and i want you to remember when we talk about the founders everybody always thinks
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after 9/11 freedom is an indulgence. if you are never attacked of course you can have freedom but once you are attacked you can't have freedom and yet we have preached to people throughout the world the virtues of limited government and the virtues of individual rights and they have certainly been more threatened by violent civil war and religious fanaticism that we have. the founders, i my struck by the fact people thought the founders put these protections in and they knew more about danger than we will ever know. if this thing had gone wrong after all they would have their property seized and their families killed so when they enshrined these freedoms they were doing it in society that was quite sketchy and quite open to foreign attacks and so forth. yet they enshrined this but people look for the protection of privacy. they stumble on the that the word itself is not used in the constitution.
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as the constitution law person it seems to me something much more basic than the word privacy. the sanctity of individual states. when you read the writings of the founders that deal was there had to be a prior place where you could collect your thoughts where you could experiment with ideas and we could discuss with your friends. where you could exchange letters as the founders did free from intrusion by others typically by the state. i think it's the most vivid manifestation of a privacy right any document. what is your view lacks. >> over the years the development of the doctrine of privacy with notably legal scholars louis brandeis and warren enshrined exactly what you are saying, the right to personal autonomy, the right to have one's thoughts private, to reveal what we want to review and to make a decision when to
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do so and what kind of information we want to share with others. most troubling these days i think is the question many say well if i'm not doing anything wrong i don't have anything to hide. i think what our founders and others realized and had the foresight to realize is that when the king or the president or those in power have the capacity to collect information on us or to peek into our private lives, inevitably that information be it technology which has many wonderful uses, has proven through history to be abused. i think that many wise people and the people who wrote the fourth amendment at the time was to prevent against what were called general risks. colonists didn't want to have the british come into their houses at night to search for
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anything without probable cause and the standards that have evolved over time legally or reasonable suspicion that some criminal activity was afloat. i think it's worth reminding people that there is no national security exception to the fourth amendment and time and time again we hear the argument that if you want to be safe you have to give up some civil liberties and that's not only not true but i think in many cases actually makes our nation more vulnerable both in terms of privacy and national security. >> let me just push that. one reason we are having this discussion today and i want to say i got involved in this because i was over at city lights books. i am writing a book for basic books on the surveillance state. my manuscript is due in february and i saw this book on the shelf and i got really mad.
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[laughter] i sat down and that's the nice thing about city lights books. i was able to start reading. it i didn't think i would diet and i would get it electronically somehow and then lawrence serengeti walked in and i thought i had better buy the book. it's really quite a terrific book because what it centers on his release the attack on individual freedom, the right to organize and address grievances, the right to be unpopular, the right to challenge government. and it goes through a lot of examples of where government has been used to destroy people's freedoms. i thought about that recently in the last couple of days with spying on people like martin luther king and the civil rights movement in the peace movement and so forth and occupy and what
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have you, the labor movement. there have been a lot of examples but one factor that is left out is that it has always been that way is the connection between technology and privacy and what has happened. i have not only been the object of surveillance as it points to my career but i also been in totalitarian countries. i have been watched by secret police and i have even been arrested in a few places. what hit me then was that the surveillance was really like today's standards extremely primitive. what you are really talking is maybe someone being able to -- some visible person outside of your apartment, someone following you. all of that is not antiquated now. what you have -- i remember i started a privacy project at usc where i am a professor in communications and
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journalism. this was before 9/11 and i wrote an article for yahoo!. it struck me that because of this technology things were changing very rapidly. i didn't know the half of it but the key things to understand our first of all the use of supercomputers which have become more super every hour. and the ability to sift through enormous amounts of complex data for instance facial recognition, checking a picture of the irs of your eyes or your fingerprint or apple's new computer and being able to take 20 million facial portraits in 15 or 20 minutes and 510 of five people. so it's not just a question of gathering information. in the old days -- i will just give me my own prejudice on it. in the old days you could actually assume the secret police would have the degree of incompetence and even though
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they collected information and files did anyone ever read the files? i know when i got my own files a great federal judge in san francisco released a good part of my own files. a lot of it was erroneous and a lot of the stupid false information and was also clear to me and i will just give one example that people really weren't reading it. i remember i was accused of being behind the student movement in japan. i couldn't figure out for the life of me how i could be behind it. i had been to japan and so forth and evidently there was a manifesto that i had written that they were studying. it was translated from english to the japanese and back to the english. what it was was a look that i'd written in 1961 on u.s. cuban relations.
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it was interesting but had nothing to do with japanese radicalism. what it was with somebody was hustling somebody in the cia or some in the trans-wedded this thing and someone translated it back and it was gibberish by the time i read it. people are often disappointed. it's kind of warring and everything. that's no longer the case. now you have this massive amount of information and it can be gone through within minutes and certainly in real time. can track everything. so that's one big factor. the fact that we have the supercomputers in the fact that people voluntarily give up a tremendous amount of information through apple giving up their fingerprint. like hitler or stalin getting the fingerprint of every person in the country and connecting
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that with every dinner they have in the connection with all of their friends and every e-mail. you have this incredible ability to identify the individual and a place that happens in their politics and their friendships and so forth. so you have a totally observed society. the question i would put to you, is this fundamentally at odds with what we mean by the free society? is this so inherently threatening that one wonders what you could have anything other than a notion of freedom as consumer freedom. we want to buy shop and have all these ads and so forth and we are willing to vice the basic ingredient of a free society which is individualism. >> with the rise of what was called years ago the computer state in the 60s when we had some of our more primitive
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computers, i read a wonderful look by a reporter. it was called the rise of the computer state. i recommend it. he foresaw everything that has happened right now and i think it bears stating that the role of corporations have been an enormous part of how this has come about that through developing brand loyalty with multinational corporations we very easily hand over personal information, whether it be when you charge something and there might be an rfid chip implanted in the article of clothing that you buy two things as simple as filling out product registration forms that ask out many members of our and your family or what your habits are that we don't
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give a second thought to. we have now giant data aggregators such as acxiom which you may have read about has very cleverly, knowing that they are going to be suggested -- subjected to him more government regulation put up a web site where you can check to see what information they have on you or what information they choose to say they have on you. it's one option to correct that information and give them more targeted data about your habits or how much money you make a year. they have done that and it's a clever gimmick but so were all the royalty programs. maybe even in your coffee shop where the mobile apps that your children use the collect their data. i think that we see a confluence of factors, one being the agencies that are charged with protecting our children and
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others. the fcc and ftc, regulatory agencies that are not doing their jobs. laws that have not kept his with the technology that changes every day. tech knowledge he that potentially will be made very affordable so that everyone can have it can afford it and really rely on that to conduct their daily business. and then we have a revolving door between private industry. after the cold war where they saw it decrease in military spending and had to read purpose military equipment for civilian use. i think that impacts a lot of surveillance technology including drums. rfid technology, biometrics. so we are seeing things that used to be used for the military because of the corporate
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lobbyists and businesses that see this being a lucrative way to develop surveillance technology and to make the pentagon and nsa and our government agencies reliant on them to conduct this business without this cozy partnership i don't think we would be quite at the point that you describe. >> let me explore that partnership because the excuse that google or apple or yahoo! gives is we don't voluntarily turn over information in now with the fingerprint we are encrypted and so forth but i think the reality is incorrect me if i'm wrong that the private sector hasn't put up much resistance. we can't assume that everything will with the nsa as a comparable agency. there was an article in "the new york times" i guess on the 28th --
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i won't quote from it or do you want to quote from it? >> this is an article by james ricin and laura at september 20. the agency can augment the come indications. >> that's the nsa. >> data with material from public commercial and other sources including bank codes insurance information facebook profiles passenger manifests voter registration rolls and gps location information as well as property records and unless testified tax data according to the documents. they do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such quote enrichment data in several former senior obama administration officials said the agency drew on it from both americans and foreigners. >> with that description we can assume that every bit of data out there, every purchase, every
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meal, every phonecall, every e-mail and because of the ability of supercomputers to digest this material is available. one would have to be extremely naïve to think this is a power of that will not be in use. the question really is what can you do about it? i'm going to offer a solution because everybody gets undoubtably come here and it's all depressing and what can we do? i think this solution existed. it's not a perfect one and he came up during the negotiations over the reversal of glass-steagall in the 90s. i happen to cover it for the "l.a. times" and in the financial services modernization act which is the basic piece of legislation. an odd coalition formed that said insurance companies and commercial banks and investment
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houses your emerging an enormous amount of information. health insurance banking records and housing records and so forth brady should have a privacy protection. this coalition oddly enough involved william safire with the nixon speechwriter who was a columnist at "the new york times" but cared a great deal as too many libertarians. i won't say he was one but about privacy. ed you fortunately is now a senator from massachusetts as a member of the house who is very concerned about it. shelby a conservative senator is for it. they said let's have -- opt in instead of opt out. these are the key words and basically opt out is pretty much what they give you now. if you're upset about something and you want to go through the rigmarole you can say i want a date and not used in this way. you would have been required to
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give explicit permission for your information to be merged with other screens of information and turned over to her's and people who sell it. you would have control over how this information was used. opt in, opt out. markey and others went to clinton and said look whatever we think of this bill which is a horrible bill that ushered in the economic crisis of the last eight years if we are going to sign up what you seem determined to do why don't you at least have this opt in protection over the records that are being merged and clinton refused to do that. he promised at first and then he betrayed that. that remains the again you're the person i want to address this too. what do you think about that? is it too late for the requirement? is this the battle we should be
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having? >> i think we need to be having several battles on the number of different fronts. i love the idea of opting in. >> does everybody understand what we mean? >> i also don't think it's ever too late. i have a favorite passage i want to read the fleet. a quotation from committee chair frank church of the church committee that was formed after revelations of colintelpro were brought forward by citizens who broke into the fbi and local office in pennsylvania. at that time out raged publicly was so enormous that the programs were quickly stopped. although j. edgar hoover did say he considered them a success and there was great possibility they could be reopened in the future. but church who is a democrat from idaho said every presidential administration in
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the past be it republican or democrat had abused their power and he's had quote the nsa's capability at any time could be turned around on the american people and no american would have any privacy left. if any did cater ever took over the nsa would enable it to impose total tyranny. there would be no way to fight back. i don't think it's true there's no way to fight back. we have choices we can make us consumers and quite honestly consumerism has brought us to a large degree to where we are now. i think we have seen such failures of government officials who have taken an oath to uphold the constitution to really do their job. it's worth reminding us that as we the people, we are an important part of holding the government in check and making them do their jobs. so i think opt out is one
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possibility -- opt-in and what you said about the businesses who say they have no choice, will they do have a choice and i know they are pressured so much by government to have what they call a backdoor where law enforcement can gain access to our information even more easily than they do now. i think if we go back to the days of the church committee what they did was put in protections. the attorney general's guidelines and attorney general levi said that the app be i can't spy on political dissidents and you know politically active individuals based on their religious or other ideologies. they have to have probable cause that some criminal activity is underway. over the decades that have passed since then those protections have been eroded. both federal protections and the
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ones the state and local municipalmunicipal ities have in place. now after the usa patriot act, we have seen consent decrees that i put in put in place and police departments across the country fizzle away and now an agent really only have to say that they in good faith belief that an investigation should be opened. an example that we just found out a couple of weeks ago purely by accident by activists in washington state where there is an important lawsuit going on involving the army spying on peace groups but actually destroying the peace groups. local police followed these activists and gave them multiple arrests for nonexistent charges. one person was kicked out of his apartment. others suffered emotional damage and they were destroyed.
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but one of the activists filed a freedom of information act requests and found out about project hemisphere which "the new york times" reported on three or four weeks ago where this government is actually paying at&t staff to sit side-by-side with drug enforcement agencies and to have access to at&t phone records going back 26 years. i am saying this because i think that when we have data that is stored as you said and the data center in utah which can house more computers so they can process more data, we are really seeing a race, an international race for which government can accumulate the most data. clearly the u.s. wants to be at the top of the list. hand-in-hand with that goes an
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enormous amount of secrecy about these programs so it's often just by accident that we learned really the extent to which our personal records are being gathered, stored and then with storage not only inaccurate data that getting into the hands of people who may want to alter your medical or financial or other records. so there are lot of possibilities for manipulation. i sort of lost track of the beginning question could see the beginning of the question was the division of the private government and one could argue that the has -- for protecting private information. it seems the government after 9/11 came in and said -- i'm sorry, it's c-span. bull. know you were going to turn it over to us. there there have been noises of
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persistence but in the main they have turned it over. there were examples of people resisting our companies resisting but the general feeling is they turned over everything. [inaudible] >> i think with the apple five s. -- maybe i will go get the five s. but it's an incredible thing. the american people -- if you ask people hey you have to turn over your fingerprint we may have a situation where most americans voluntarily not only turn over their fingerprint that connect that fingerprint is a set before with every book, every record, every dinner they have. incredible. if stalin's russia have been able to do that would have been the mark of totalitarianism. everyone in the soviet union had this fingerprint connected with every purchase they made in every meal that would be the
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ultimate totalitarian fantasy and yet we are on the cusp now of doing it voluntarily. i suspect people in this room routinely -- can we use your location? do you want to see if that restaurant is round the corner? maybe you don't but most people do. trying to find a movie in my area and we are turning up over the most private thing. and then as far as -- you make a very good point the question of whether it's misused. it can be augmented and distorted. the other day i went to a lecture on censorship. so i'm down -- downloading books that were formerly censored. i'm sorry, i was using amazon. they didn't have at the bookstore near me.
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suddenly i realized i am now presenting the portrait in the eyes of people -- some people is a. i think that is fine literature by the way that you are apt to think twice if everyone knows what short downloading. we have the good essay by chris hedges on the radical dissent. he is quoted rosa luxemburg so i'm checking out rosa luxemburg doing my fact checking. a revolutionary so you're creating profiles that could easily be used by others. >> and the data aggregators as marketers have similar profiles and one of the problems with select thing tidbits of data and not looking at it as an integrated whole is just as you say your choice of what movies you see, what products you i
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will label you as an anarchist and the dangerous with the anarchists, right now it again goes back to the issue of funding for private corporations. there is competition among department of homeland security and other local agencies that received dhs funding say a municipal police department to identify so-called terrorist threats. now we see the catchall anarchists being used a lot. after the environmental animal rights activist in 2005 were deemed top domestic terrorism threats. now it's anarchists. i was at the republican national convention in florida the year before last and the police or the fbi issued a report of an anarchists threat because on top of the building there was some graffiti near a guess for some of the delegates were.
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so taken alone and even though there were very few protesters there, they issued a report. the media carried it and it continues to perpetuate negative stereotypes about individuals who are merely in many cases initiating fair freedom of speech rights that because they question the status quo or government policies they're now called an actress. the labeling is very real because as you know that can be used to stigmatize, alienate groups and even in the case of animal rights activist to create federal legislation. the animal enterprise terrorism act. it in many cases punish punishes what we traditionally called civil disobedience and other forms of protest such as leafleting or chalking a sidewalk. they imbue those with sort of evil connotations and higher
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fines and higher penalties. >> i just move on -- want to move on to -- when i wrote my attic -- article just a year before 9/11, i had all these concerns. in the 9/11 as they say changed everything. it was suddenly on steroids. and now the argument is for nasa security to find terrorists we have to invade all of -- our government has to invite -- in favor of a private space. it was george washington in his farewell address who warned us about the imposters. ben franklin warned us about those who would sacrifice. what is the quote? >> those who would sacrifice freedom deserve none. >> ride, and i just did an article today on --
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a very good article in the new york times. the voluntary leaks of the government about the conversation between al qaeda and the head of yemen was actually did more harm to national security than all of the papers released by snowden. but it's again an example of the cynical use of national security if the government does it it's legitimate and the fact is most of the classified information shouldn't be classified but it's routinely leaked as was the story about the success of the electronic surveillance. they wanted to show what nsa does is necessary so we had to shut down the communication. you know the government if they leak it's legitimate. if a whistleblower leaks something that's embarrassing,
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for instance was spying on the leader of a cell and the leading company in brazil or something well then that's espionage. and that's what snowden is accused of and seems to be really the ominous aspect is the use of the national security argument to justify this vast expanse of the surveillance state. i don't know if you want to comment on it. >> i think with 9/11 as many of you know the patriot act pretty much have been written before and was quickly pushed through by people who didn't read it. i think because the united states felt perhaps that our country was in permeable and could not ever be attacked it gave our leaders an opportunity really to exploit public fears
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and shock. i think to take advantage of the tragedy that one that was a criminal act. one that did not warrant stigmatizing an entire group of people or country. and i think one of the things that ties into the whole safety issue which i'm especially concerned about, is what we are seeing now called american exceptionalism that we as a country have a kind of pride and attitude especially with the spying on allied nations. we feel that we can do whatever we want and when people -- countries that we have worked with and who have considered our friends find out we have been spying on them i think that does a lot of damage in terms of our
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credibility. i also think as you said the obama administration quite frankly is embarrassed by these revelations and yes obama has classified more documents than any other administration and yet gave information for the filmmakers of "zero dark thirty" on the osama bin laden nighttime raid. they do want to control information. attacks on members of the press and on freese press is especially choking to democracy. we saw that in the 60s were colon tell pro-newspapers were targeted and the government went and got records from banks of subscribers to newspapers and as a result those periodicals who reported on antiwar activities and other left-wing activities
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were mostly ran out of business and affect the corporate media now really dig dates what information we will see i think factors in combined with obama threatening reporters with charges of espionage or conspiracy and going after reporters is another way that our personal liberties are gravely imperiled. >> there were three cases of espionage and before obama there've now been seven? there's a constitutional law professor. i voted for him twice and donated more money than i could afford at one point. how do you explain this? >> corporations. he is beholden to them as most of the last few presidents have been to get him to office and i think that in many respects one
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of the facts i find interesting is that a high percentage of three and four-star generals when they retire or go to work in private security and then in turn often consult with the government. i think that's it conflicts of interest especially if they are lobbying to buy more drones or whatever the product is that they make. there is a blurring of the lines between some of the functions we traditionally think of as governmental functions with attendant oversight that we expect from them such as conducting intelligence. i think corporations need an intelligence apparatus to stand. the more information we can gather the better it is for them and with a trend on the conservative supreme court it is giving corporations the same rights, free-speech rights that
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people have. i think that all of those factors combined to really brought a lot of us of our elegy to choose and to engage in the kind of that to the piece that holds the government in check. >> so one of the strengths of your book has these great case studies and also a lot of documentation. can you give some of those case studies? maybe you could talk about occupy. how the power of the state was used. >> and freedom of information act requests that came out at least a year after occupy kind of lost some of its steam but not all, it came out that even before the first occupy event the department of homeland security was going around the
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country and meeting with financial officials, representatives and local police departments, telling them that you had better watch out. there are going to be occupiers that may be attacking local banks, having protests. they met with the chambers of commerce for example. what this shows is the enormous amount of coordination between federal law enforcement agencies and local businesses. it's also worth noting that if you don't know what fusion centers are, they were created a few years after the attacks of 9/11. ostensibly to help streamline intelligence gathering and sharing across the country because the 9/11 commission report greatly criticized how that happens in this country. they partner with business so it's not just law enforcement but it's the are and in at least
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one report a pretty harsh report by the government general accounting office found fusion centers were pools of ineptitude enormously wasteful in terms of money. >> explained what a fusion center is. >> effusion center is an entity. i think there are about 80 across the country were different levels of law enforcement share information with again local businesses to a certain extent to try to improve some level of law enforcement, intelligence gathering and sharing. one of the ways that they took recommendations from the 9/11 commission to try to improve how we do intelligence in this country, to make us safer. but they have been ineffective and i think there have been many examples of you know large surveillance networks, large
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computer databases that report millions of dollars managed by the earth and that have failed. >> certain things that dwight eisenhower was worried about the military-industrial complex and with the collapse of the soviet union we didn't have the sophisticated entity anywhere. we tried to go with china but china was funding us so we couldn't go too far. and the gift that doesn't stop giving, terrorist happened. terrorism happen. you mentioned the 9/11 commission and it goes to the russian what do we have the right to know and what is classification? the whole enemy is al qaeda and 9/11 -- we haven't had a trial for these people. we have not had any kind of public -- who is mohammed blog,
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law and who are these people in and what was driving them? we have this enemy that we don't know too much about. the 9/11 commission report i used to remember the pages but there there is a disclaimer box in which these people are commissioned by the high security and appointed by the president say very clearly be asked to see the key witnesses in guantánamo. we were denied that right. we then wanted to put questions to them and they were denied that right. we were even denied the right to talk to the people who question them. so you have a whole narrative of what happened on 9/11 based on official leaks of information from the government to the 9/11 commission. no fitting, no examination so let me ask you about the legal
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community that you have had a lot of contact with of the lawyers guild and so on. why are these also out to lunch in weiss and they're more outreach in this community? >> in the community of progressive lawyers? >> no not progressive. they're supposed to believe in the rule of law and limited government and the rights of individuals. why are people asleep at the switch? why do we have to lecture them about the evils of totalitarianism? >> i think many lawyers and others are concerned. the government, the so-called unitary executive, has become so powerful that the bush administration legal counsel wrote memos justifying torture. if has been immediately sort of played out on tv programs like 24. torture has become normalized
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and i blame the corporate media for being a part of that because they dictate the realities of what we see. it's really all about control of information. it's about secrecy by government and that includes not letting us see dead bodies coming back from iraq, not seeing the damage and trauma that young american men who come back and women from the battlefields -- it's about covering that up and again corporations giving us the kind of propaganda message to make us more perfect consumers but to also vilify the act of speaking out against such things so there may be angry voices saying that these things are wrong but they don't get reported on in the media. when you see the police with less lethal weapons attacking
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passive protesters in a crowd what you see are images of police in riot gear with scruffy protesters. you hear about mass arrests that it will team months or years before you hear that those arrests were unconstitutional. surrounding people with netting for doing nothing wrong and then arresting them as they did with 700 occupiers on the brooklyn bridge. the police took them through stoplights letting the protesters feel they were allowed to go there but then they arrested them all. i think that we have such a sort of singular one-way message for the government and corporate played through the media. i tried to include some stories of little resistors, be it school children who refuse to -- to get into the high school
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cafeteria for lunch. we don't hear about those stories. we are faced with an overwhelming amount of propaganda in the form of marketing and as i mentioned earlier grand loyalty to the business. >> as they say on tv the book is "spying on democracy" and i want to ask you about the take-away from this because generally people say okay privacy, so what? i can live with it. i like the convenience of shopping and not using a credit card and using my fingerprint or scanning this and so forth. what really you are talking about is the end of the democratic experiment. we we are playing it down now. this is a very depressing book. i hate to say it. it's an informative book but you're really talking about not you know giving up some personal
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tastes and freedom. we are talking about the totalitarian states. >> right. >> am i putting words in their mouth? >> we are talking about the totalitarian state. >> basically a -- basically the assumption of this look is protecting a space that is your own where you can regroup and meet with others and where you can exchange letters. as branders pointed out it wasn't just in the whole. it was in your communication. it's personal space and without the personal space for the individual this whole idea of democracy whether the notion or white doesn't mean anything. you are observed everett every moment and you have no time to think and no freedom to think and so forth. the real message of your book is that this is a war on democracy. yet it's done in the name of
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protect in. that has always been the case with the rise of nazism in germany and what have you. it was always to protect some basic values and the right of people. so again i get back to the question why is this not more alarming? why do we sound like some odd all characters worried about this thing knowing probably full well that when we get out of this meeting we will probably give away even more of our privacy, right? i will probably look for some restaurant and get cement mason and send an e-mail that everyone can see or make this phonecall that can be tracked. google can take a picture of my house and everything about it. i mean come on. why isn't this more alarming? you suggest what i think -- i can't believe it's true but maybe it's true that we trust the state?
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no, because that is the assumption. it will only be done to the other. this is a denial as i said at the very beginning of the whole assumption of our society which is a constitutional society of restraint on the state. a restraint on power and builds on suspicion of power and builds on the need to protect individual rights. yet as a culture and maybe it's because of the dominance of thinking about freedom of consumer sovereignty and consumer freedom and being free s. consumers that we have lost that notion or do we think it's only going to be muslims of a certain kind that are going to be persecuted and we don't have to worry about a? you deal with -- you are out there in many cases what is the resistance? >> i do think that children raised on the kind of technology that we have, and i mention in the book at disney world they
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have magic bands that you can wear in your hand to get through those long waiting lines if you give your personal identifying information. cinderella will greet your child on his or her birth date because after they go over the magic reader it has a different name, but it's all made to be fun and friendly. i think with the government not, as i said, doing its job in protecting the most vulnerable people in our society, children who are raised now with advertisements as i understand it in some classrooms and you know coca-cola sponsorships in the cafeteria, one of the issues i was always interested in when i was in graduate school was advertising to children during
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saturday mornings because it would have a cartoon and then a television ad that was animated so the kids couldn't tell the difference. children develop manual dexterity and the ability to use computers far earlier than they develop the ability to discern between reality and fantasy. i think although computers and technology has opened up our lives their liking to the internet, the creators of which wanted to foster more democratic communications but in many ways we are seeing how it's being turned again to gather personal data to watch and control us. i think we are in a difficult. not because so many people have been born along with the rise of technology taking this enormous burst and the internet obviously has changed the world in ways
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that we could not have foreseen. i do think consumerism and corporate control has made this more difficult. i do think it is a depressing scenario but i don't think it's beyond hope. with awareness comes the possibility of change. i think the snowden disclosures were the most important revelation we have had in a decade. daniel ellsberg from the pentagon papers that i think we have a window of opportunity to recognize where we are, that we have choices. it's not going to be easy but it's our job to teach everyone else. i came to berkeley and i've gone there a few times but i see people wearing jewelry and sort of feel like i'm back in the 60s a little bit. that was it period when it was you know great to protest or to the individual and now we have
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been taught to sort of don't shake the boat and don't be a creative freethinking person. we have to reclaim our autonomy and our sense of personal creativity. one very frightening development the obama administration is a program he has and i can't member the name of the budgets basically if you think a fellow government employee is linked to a whistleblower you have the duty to turn that person in. what does that do? it stifles creative thought. people thinking outside of the box which is just what we need especially to come up with ways to protect the country or fight against this amorphous enemy that we have created. again being in a state of perpetual war is something that corporations love and when you have an amorphous enemy that enables that. i do think there has been a sea
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change with the snowden revelations and i hope it's just the beginning as more things come out. >> let me open it up for questions. before we do that made push this in a positive direction. i think we were just left to unknown military nonimperial lives we would straighten us out because people don't like being intruded on and they want to pressure their privacy. no cell phones in those -- that gave us those protections. i'm a big defender of the internet and i tell people i used to edit ramparts in the old days on speed and chris hedges
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and many people around the world without cutting down another tree and people on the internet can find wonderful things. they can counter lies. whoever heard of the guardian english paper and now lots of people know the guardian and they can read the garden -- guardian and read the interview with snowden and so forth. what scares me and i have become a bit washington person despite contradictions that i'm very well aware of what this whole notion that you can't be both were republican and empire at the same moment which is what i think shows the founders. if you are going to be an empire for the people and of the people
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you will have accountability in the main push of our constitution is our anti-imperial push to keep things on a local level and manageable. so i see that as the main intention. to be optimistic the same obama who was doing some of these things and now we see a reversal we saw an incredible coalition congress of republicans and democrats going against war in the mideast and syria. we see iran for example and a willingness to try diplomacy over war. i wonder whether the big issue over privacy isn't a fight over empire. if you want to have an empire you have to have secrecy. you have to have militarism. the only way you can preserve democracy is by abandoning that
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and being a normal country. what with the war on terrorism is all about is an effort to assert the empire at a time when they really don't make much sense. it's not basically economically viable. it costs a lot in human lives and resource. weiss -- do you see this as a source of optimism? in my overstating? >> i think the empire issue is accurate. i do it rate in the last even few weeks we have seen enormously hopeful -- >> i should have thrown the pope into it. >> up hope, yeah. >> we started as a roman catholic publication with pope john xxiii i think it now we have -- the 23rd? now we have a pope who seems to
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be similar in some ways. >> i think that -- >> i was afraid i was going to be attacked but i'm looking for some marginal science. >> i think again we have a window of opportunity. one of the tasks before us is the sharing of more personal narratives and communicating in communities that we have gotten away from. let's replace the propaganda of a country that has been so focused on empire that the mom and pop shops that are gone because of starbucks and other very sterile businesses that want to dig hate what kind of kafka we have and what choices we have. the most powerful power that exists is the power of the people. that is why i was so proud to work with the national lawyers guild is we have defended
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protesters and individuals targeted by the government for over 76 years. we ourselves were spied on and infiltrated for four decades by the fbi. we sued them and got them to do that it. individual stories are really important to share and once we lose that we loose community which i really think this would empire is fighting against. i would encourage people to speak out when you get angry like the fellow in network did opening the window and shouting out on not going to take it anymore and don't lose the sense of who you are in yourself and your created ding. >> grade. [applause] >> he so we will take some questions. come on up to the microphone. it will have to be from microphone.
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