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tv   Book Discussion on Snowden  CSPAN  December 20, 2015 8:15am-9:31am EST

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thoughts. my convictions after. but after paris, i felt disheartened by him, i felt he hit a kind of low in terms missing what was needed. in his celebrated news conference in which he was challenged really quite wonderfully in my view by cnn's jim acosta, mr. president, isis has done this, they've done this, they are here, many americans are feeling frustration and thinking, why can't we get the bastards. that was just an honest -- you don't get blunter as a question than that. and the president, to my unhappiness, seemed in response to that to be sort of intellectually weary and
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frustrated that people don't understand the fabulousness in his strategy, don't you get it, he was defensive, he was not -- he was not someone who could explain to you. there's a great absence when it comes to obama and isis and it is an absence of how he thinks about isis, not just what to do about it, what your strategy supposedly is but how should we think about it, how should we view it, what kind of threat is it, how should we be prepare to go meet that threat, what are the possibilities, he doesn't speak about any of those things, which makes you wonder, my god, is he not speak because he doesn't want to actually share his thoughts which makes everybody uneasy. and now there's, you know,
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there's this -- and now there's a president who is acting less like a presence and an absence. it does no good. it was very bad leadership the past week. >> we are going to have to leave it at at. the name of the book the time of our lives. peggy noonan, thank you. >> is there a nonfiction author or book that you would like see featured on book tv. send us an e-mail or posta comment on our wall,
8:18 am >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen, columnist is an award winner, his political cartoons appears in about 100 newspapers in the united states and from 2008-2009 he was president of the association of editorial cartoonist. he ahas won a script award and
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best book year award. joining him on stage tonight is chris hedges. chris has spent nearly two decades as correspondent, he has reported for more than 50 countries and has worked for the science monitor, the dallas morning news and "the new york times". hedges was part of the team of reporters awarded a prize, he is also the author of several best-selling books, including wars of force that give us meaning and his new book wages of rebellion. we are here to celebrate the release of ted's new book, snowden. welcome ted and hedges. [applause] >> hi, so, thanks for coming everyone, i'm ted, that's chris.
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i'm going to talk a little bit about my book and then chris will talk a little bit about whatever he's going to talk about and then we will have a little discussion and then we'll throw it out for the audience for q&a, so you if you have any questions, comments, insults, please keep them and we will feel them and like the government, we will ignore your insults. so can everyone here in the back? okay, i will talk a little bit about the book. we don't have the ability to do a slide show. you should just grab a copy of the book before you buy numerous copies of it. but i will go through the thinking here. closer. these mics are cleaned after every appearance, right? [laughter] >> so anyway, this book was really not my idea, like all of my best ideas, my publisher
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suggested that -- yes. sorry. said that -- suggested that i might want to do a graphic novel biography of edward snowden. i was intrigued by the idea and into it but i was concerned that someone else would do a biography in some format in pros or otherwise. one of the things that i wanted to do was to make the book discreet and its own thing that would be different from say a snowden autobiography but like all books, the hardest thing is format. how do you get into this topic, we know edward snowden is a controversial figure, has
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invoked a lot of opinions on the spectrum. to me, what is the book. we know that the snowden book, but what is it. when i was asking people, well, what's your next project, as they always do, i'm working on a graphic biography of edward snow den and i was shocked by how many people told me they didn't know who he was. including people that were very-well read. how is it that we can live in a world in 2013, two years ago, what to me is an important story of my lifetime, more important than 9/11 how is it that that story has faded into obscurity. among people who knew who he was, they were vague on the
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petit larceny, isn't he the russian spy, or isn't he the guy who said something, i mean, that's a quote that i heard literally. nsa, cia, they were doing something wrong. what he had revealed had to be stated and layed out in some very clear and concise way that could be digested by anybody. and to lay them out, and so the only program that has been discussed in congress or by president obama in anyway has been the telephone meta data program which is spying with
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verizon, at&t and sprint. what time you made a call, how long you talked to them, what your phone number was and that's it. you can get a lot of information from that if they're calling an oncologist or someone close to you might have cancer. if you're calling mother jones magazine if you're calling about subscription, so you can tell a lot about people from telephone meta data and there's been a lot of articles about that but there hasn't-there's been a lot of misdirection press largely controlled by allied with the government. they keep saying, you don't have to worry about it because that program doesn't actually intercept the voice content of your call, and that's true. they have another program that does that. and then the people who defend
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that program say, well, you don't have to worry about that program because it doesn't store the calls, it only intercepts the calls, that's true because they have not program that stores the calls for five years or longer, it's in a data farm in utah. you know the technology has only improved since 2012, '11 and '10. the searchabilities are better, no doubt. and so the -- so i knew lastly the third part of the -- of the book besides telling this story, explaining what the programs do, the third thing had to be able the dilemma faced by the man about one and a million, really
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2 and 1.4 million. there are 1.4 million american who is had access to some or some of the classified documents that edward snowden took to nsa and cia. out of those 1.4 million people who saw violations in the fourth amendment here. let's be clear on this, no one on the political spectrum says that these programs are legal. they are not legal. they say that they are necessary, they are not legal and they are not authorized under the patriot act. they're massive violations of the fourth amendment under unseasonal search and seizure. the issue is for me i wondered in the kind of society that we lived in.
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over a million people could see this law-breaking and only snowden and the guy name tod, these two guys were the only ones who have stepped forward in the last 14 years since 9/11 at all to talk about the programs. bear in mind there had been previous whistleblowers. bear in mind that nsa charter is only foreign signals intelligence. nsa is under u.s. law to spy on foreigners. they can span on foreigners on americans when they are talking to foreigners or not when
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e-mailing an american or whatever. they are doing it on a mass scale with a program in the 1980's. that's why they did not reported on. in that program, essentially made the effort to intercept every transmission, bank wire transfer, all these communications at the time, and at the time general who was the head of the nsa bragged that the u.s. did cubbing -- successfully intercept back in the 80's. it goes back a long way. it's just much more efficient now. i open the book with passage where people are followed by cameras as they move through the streets. telephone, drones track their
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movements. most is the telescreen, the tv on your wall in your house and you can never turn it off and you it watches you. the government can see what you do and they have it in a position that you have no privacy in your room. the nsa, this was the part that may be opened with 1984, the nsa really recreated this with smart tvs. nsa can watch you through the camera on your computer or the camera on your smart tv. if you have a smart tv, they can watch you. and so it's kind of insane, they can track you through the movement, through the streets just like they could in 1984, that's how the boston police and the authorities track the brothers after the boston marathon bombing and were able to sit in the control and watch it. now there's a question about
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efficacy, the city was on lockdown and the guy for a smoke went out to his backyard and found in the back hiding out in his boat full of bullet holes. so we really need to encourage smoking if we are really going to capture terrorists, and probably save trillions of dollars on the nsa. there's no evidence whatsoever that the nsa had ever successful intercepted a realtor risk plot against the united states of america. no evidence whatsoever. maybe it's happened but nobody knows, nobody on the senate and intelligence committee can say it. so anyway, we have this world and we have this society that had been somehow corrupted. i think the moral issue is here. if i can't go through the system
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and as snowden said, is you have to report wrong-doing to the people that are most responsible for it. if you're not willing to take that -- to make that sacrifice as whistleblowers like daniel and many others but not nearly enough have done, then there's literally no ability whatsoever for this system, which is so off the rails in terms of militarism and being behold into corporate interest and so and a broken electoral system. just like in 1984. the world that he portrayed seemed like a possible future but now it's our absolute present. in fact, that's our past. it would not be as what we are living today. and, i think, i want to leave
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time for chris to talk so if we can get to the discussions, so that's a little bit about it. [applause] >> thank you, ted. this book wages a rebellion, begins from that point, from the distopia that ted described, what our philosopher calls inverted totalitarism. a classical totalitarian regime you have a communist party that overthrows and replaces it.
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an inverted totalitariasm. and yet internally have seized all the levels of power. as ted explained, it's over. in the book that i wrote is really how does one resist, how does one rebel against this dystopia. we just saw this project that came out today that exxon mobile were aware of climate change decades ago and, yet, like the
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tobacco denied the industry in the name of corporate profit. not only a criminal offense but offense that at this point given the extent of catastrophe mean the extinction of the human species itself. so in this book i talk about the moral of imperative which snow den simplified. couple with militarized police forces coupled with civil liberties, finally we have to rise up not so much for what we can achieve but for who it allows us to become that we can't use the word hope if we don't resist and that means
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physical resistance, it means civil disobedience and it means jail time. this is a passage from the book on snowden, i thought it was apt to go tonight and talk about ted's book. i have been to war, i have seen physical courage, but this courage is not moral courage. very few of each the braviest warriors have moral courage. the moral courage seems to defy a crowd, to stand up as a solid individual, to be disobedient to authority even at the risk of
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your life for a higher principle. with moral courage comes per -- persecution. he landed his health -- helicopter and tenter -- ten terrified, and for this act of moral courage thompson like snowden was hounded and reviled. moral courage always looks like this, it is always defined by the state as treason, the army attempted to cover up the
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massacre and marshall thompson. it is the courage to act and to speak the truth, thompson had it, daniel elsburg had it, martin luther king had it and what those in authority once said about them, they say today about snowden. my country right or wrong is the moral equivalent of my mother drunk or sobber. so let me speak to you about those drunk with power, to sweep up all your e-mail correspondence, tweets, seb searches, your phone records, your file transfers, your live chats, financial data, medical
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data, your criminal and civil court records and your movements, those were a washing billions of billions of taxpayer dollars. those who have banks of sophisticated computer systems along with biosenseers, scanners, recognition technologies and miniature drones, those who have privacy, and yes, there's no free press without the ability of the reporters to report the confidentiality of those who have the moral courage to make public the abuse of power. those few individuals inside government who dare to speak out about the system of mass
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surveillance has been charged as spies or hounded into exile. and omni present covered the east german state and creates climate fear. it makes democratic decent impossible. any state that has the ability to inflict full spectrum dominance on its citizens is not a free state. it does not matter if it does not use this capacity today. it will use it. history has shown should it feel threatened or seek greater control. the goal of wholesale surveillance is not in the end of discover crimes but to be on hand when the government decides
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to arrest a certain category of the population. the relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked and those who watch and track them is the relationship between masters and slaves and those who wheel this unchecked power become delusional, general keith alexander, the former director of national security agency, hired a hollywood set designer to turn his commander center at fort meade into a replica of the star wars enterprise. james clapper, the director of national intelligence had the odd -- odacity to lie under oath
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to congress. this was a rare glimpse into the theater that now characterizes american political life. a congressional oversight committee holds public hearings. it is lied to. it knows it is being lied to and the person who lies knows the committee members know he is lying. and the committee to protect say and do nothing. these listen to everyone and everything. they have bugged the conclave that elected the new pope, they bugged angela merkel, un
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secretary ahead of a meeting with president obama. now what security threat was posed by conclave of catholic cardinals and the chancellor and secretary general. they bombed businesses like brazilian and american deals for shimp -- shrimp. they bugged their exlovers, wife, girlfriends and the nsa are data. i was a plaintiff before the supreme court in a case that
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challenged the wiretapping, a case dismissed because the court believes the government's assertion. we had the court said no standing, no right to bring the case and we had no way to challenge this assertion which we now know to be a lie until snowden, in the united states the mouth amendment limits the state's ability to search and seize to a specific time and event approved by a magistrate. and it's impossible to square the bluntless of the amendment of all our personal communications. former vice president al gore said correctly is that snowden
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disclosed evidence of crimes against the united states constitution. we have have been fighting against mass surveillance, made no headway by appealing to the traditional centers of power. it was only after snowden leaked documents that disclosed crimes committed by the state, again -- geunine debate began, appointed a panel to review intelligence, three judges since the snowden revelations have ruled on mass
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surveillance with two saying spying was on constitutional. he could have been made public the entire intelligence community and undercover assets worldwide. he could have exposed the locations of station and mission. he could have shut down the intelligent system as he had said in an afternoon. but this was never his intention. he wanted only to hope the wholesale surveillance which until he documented it was being carried out without our consent or our knowledge. politicians including the democratic candidate hillary
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clinton argue that snowden put a turn in internal mechanisms to have his grieve answers -- grievances that this argument made during the mad tea party in alice and wonderland. i don't see any wine, she remarked, there isn't, said the chair. [applause] >> okay. so how should we do this? should we throw it out to the
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audience and gibber jabber? >> i will let you lead. it's your book. >> it's going to be all about us . >> your discussion of moral heros and distinction between what's legal and moral, i'm thinking about examples, the main moral hero. >> i'm a great admirer of the philosopher who writes quit a bit about the dilemma one faces when they are confronted what e
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manual cahn calls radical evil. she writes that she had to unlearn everything that she was taught in order to understand. until she's picked up almost killed, expelled from the country. stripped of her german citizen and become stateless. i think that the -- the system of what she shelton calls is one that we as citizens have lost not only our voice but our ability to make, you know, our
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most basic rights, respected. we have example after example of how what it is that we as citizens expect or desire is irrelevant. against the bailouts in congress and yet it passed anyway. nobody wants wholesale surveillance. i sued the president and federal court of the authorization act, which overturns over 150 years of domestic law and permits u.s. military to carry acts of extraordinary rendition against u.s. citizens in american citizens. we won in the southern administration of new york and the obama administration appealed.
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they're stripped of due process and held indefinitely. and during that two-year battle after we won and the appeal in the second circuit, an opinion poll went out and that section 1021 of the nda at a 97% had disapproval rating. what we have seen the courts have an essence of ended are most important constitutional rights by judicial fiat, that's how you get this absurd idea that the unlimited cash is right to petition the government or a form of free speech. you know, in this case, the second circuit did not want to rule on, as ted pointed out, issue of aprilsy, -- private and the way they did was referred in the case.
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they said, hedges doesn't have a standing in the plaintiff, therefore, he doesn't have a hedges and we have seen it with activist, any fracking activist will tell you. the superstructure of the state bans the ban, whether it's texas, the government, becomes a weapon to criminalize and crush legitimate democratic. and that's where we are. we have the wonderful smoking mirrors and political on track to cost us $7 billion and professional sports, there's all sorts of ways to distract us,
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but, you know, the naked fist of the state which ted referred to is becoming more apparent specially for people of color where people are being gunned down, people are being gunned down in the streets and if they're not being gunned down and terrorists in the streets, they are being locked in cages. we will go back to erin, when you strip a segment of your population of rights the way we have stripped poor people of color of their rights, then rights become privileges and once rights become privileges, they can be taken away from everyone. you also have created as erin points out a legal mechanism by which there should be the wider population become rested, those tools can instantly be applied to everyone else.
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>> it's almost like, you know, everything chris said is absolutely true and mainstreamed and if you told me to -- even 20 years ago, if i heard someone saying these things, i would have thought they were a nut, what you're saying is absolutely true and it's amazing to me how the system of checks and balances turned out to be nothing of the sort in so quickly. you know, there's no one thing you can point to, but for me a great example was the disputed florida election. you know, it's like, well, the u.s. supreme court was never supposed to hear that case because in the united states elections are decided by the states. so when the florida state supreme court ruled for a recount -- order to recount in certain counties, that was supposed to be the last word. and the u.s. supreme court even
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took bush-gore, yet, nevertheless they stepped in, they ruled, they installed bush who didn't windshield win the sf florida, one can obviously criticize al gore's strategy of not asking for a statewide recount, which was foolish for statistcal reasons. you would imagine a more democratic undercount in republican counties than there would be in democratic counties. soy wondered how gore's math skills are, but i still -- the thing that's still amazing to me, he was installed. i remember when that decision came through. i lived on morning side drive overlooking harlem. i expect today hear glass start breaking and expect today hear people screaming in the streets, i expected what would have
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happened in any number of countries around the world in terms of unrest protests and so on, and nothing happened. i'm wondering of the american character and society and stuck in political structure or all been propagandized to not react, just take it and keep going on. >> well t problem is that when they carry out, you know, a violation of it's not immediately apparent what they have done. there's a great book called defying hitler by sebastian, in
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1933, on the surface things appear like there's what went before when, in fact, there's a legal change by which you impose a totalitarian seasonal. this is true even in stolan in russia. if you go up to the 20's. there was opposition brutally repressed but it takes time and there's a moment in hoffner's book, the next morning, everyone gets up and go to work and take the kids to school and he said,
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actually people there were people, but he said the social democrats were so frightened they all fled to switzerland. i don't know what people say about trump, those convictions are. so -- so what we have seen is a very similar kind of process and corporate totalitarianism is a different kind of species and in fact, in terms of the technological capacity to monitor and control the government far more frightening than past systems. i covered east germany. you're right. it was a radical moment and let us take a moment to defend and
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he did not elect george bush. this became the way the democratic party to demonize and had to destroy because he represented the interest of working men and women and fighting corporate power. but you're right, you're right to point that out as a moment, but i think it's -- i mean, we are certainly, you know, utterly, the most illusion society on the planet. but i think that the -- the crux of this issue is when this information takes place it's largely perceptible and when it's perceptible, it's too lailt.
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>> yes, i wanted to touch on what chris said the last time he spoke about his father and putting your career would have been betraying your father. to me that's kind of the root of so many of our problems, is that we just don't have really good leaders, people to give the young coming into this world leverage and to stand up to what's right. i mean, i try to bring this out all of my life and i was not popular because i could see the lack of fitness, the lack of health, the lack of just, like, high standard and standing up for what was right. i mean, at such a young age and i was always trying to get people to reach for more and stand up for more and try to be more than just having a job, you know, paying your mortgage and having kids. and, you know, i would always be
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pointing out just the low standard that was set, and people -- you had to dig a hole in the pool. they would make excuses. if you pointed out something, they would make excuses. going down rather than up. ..
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this is all, what's fascinating is you read bernays or walter lippman and others that are quite open about it. and that sense of individual preoccupation even to the extent it is expected and spirituality. so the question is not in traditional religious sense of how is it with a stranger, how was it was an outcast, how is it with the other. it's how is it with me, which is just a reflection of the narcissism of the culture. that has been a very disempowering and pernicious force. >> i think this kind of brings us to one of the questions in my
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book about snowden. i was wondering why with snowden different, why was he willing to offend and maybe possibly even sacrifice his life? what was it about his upbringing or his background that brought them to the point? and the bottom line is there's nothing. his parents are divorced. so what? half of americans his age have divorced parents. he was in the boy scouts. suicide. he learned traditional american values, trustworthiness and honesty and, obviously, what he witnessed at nsa and at booz allen hamilton was dishonest. to me what was intriguing was the if there's any one incident that really turned him against the nsa and the security state it was a very picky you kind of
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moment. he was stationed in geneva as a number at the u.s. embassy as a cia guy undercover, it, and to your fellow cia agents, he was at cia at the time, talking about how they flipped a swiss banker whose records it would access to. the way they compromised they took him out, got him drunk, then called up the local police and had them arrested for drunk driving. and then showed up and miraculously rescued him. they were laughing about it because that's compromising to the point where he had to turn over the documents, secret banking documents that you kept from heretofore from the cia. snowden thought it was absolutely disgusting. he thought it was un-american. he thought it was cheating. he thought it was underhanded and gross, not the country he wanted to be from. additionally, a very basic example of, a standard bit of
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spycraft not at all sophisticated. if you read frederick forsyth you've seen this, anymore. this is no big deal. so what is it about snowden? i interviewed thomas drake, the other whistleblower who i talked about in washington, whose career was completely destroyed. he was an upper level executive at nsa and when he tried to attempted to go through the system, reported his concerns about not only privacy violations but also wasting of billions of dollars of taxpayer money on inefficient programs, really it was corruption. people, private contractors are connected to the officials that were proving these are grams were benefiting. he went to inspector general. he did everything he was supposed to do as a whistleblower. nevertheless, they raided his house, set out to destroy his
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career. they blackballed them, destroyed his marriage. he ended up, and now he is working at the genius bar and apple store in maryland. that's where he works. i've talked to about this like what is it about you, why you? what about -- i was wrong. what i saw was wrong. and i kept insisting, yes, but what about your colleagues? they all saw the same stuff. they didn't say anything. they didn't think it was wrong, or if they did they didn't think it rose to the level of something worth sacrificing are taking a risk over. i realized after a wild that he was just hardwired this way. it was just something about him, he couldn't put us in on. the closest he could get to was he came, had been raised in vermont which has a spirit, which has global governance and
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town meetings and local democracy, it feels like very intimate and if you like you are participating in your government much more so than perhaps in other places. but there was nothing. there's something about, to bestow the is a role model. what i would aspire, i want my son to be. someone who does the right thing even when it hurts. that's the definition of integrity. it is. and light, wind, i mean, where did we go wrong? chris talks a lot about morality. and in this country morality is the province of the right in the political debate. it's always, what we're talking about is moralism not morality. moralism is where are you sticking your genitalia. but morals are about what's right and what's wrong, truly what is the bigger issue versus the small issue like, for example, edward snowden had to
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decide which of his oath he was going to violate, his oath to protect the constitution or to protect classified data. from being revealed outside source of the he couldn't give both. you to choose one. john paulson archer wrote in an overworked, something like bookmark i'll refer her to, what he defined as the quintessential existential dilemma, which is i am handed a gun. is a gun to my head and i am told shoot that of a gut or i will shoot you. what is the right choice. he says of course the right choice is to say a few and get shot and die. point being, the right choice isn't always any fun. but it's still the right choice. >> that socrates, you know, better to suffer wrong than do wrong. errand when she writes about those who stand up to defied radical evil says it's not those
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who say you know, we shouldn't do this with this ought to be country it's those who say i can't. there's just something deep down, sublime madness. in this book i spent a lot of time interviewing those i believe our endowed with that. jeremy hammond who hacked into stratford and released 5 million e-mails, including e-mails that show that the government and private security firms are attempting to link nonviolent occupy movements with al-qaeda. we use it in our trial. julian assange and others. one of the problems is that we look back in history of these figures, these great resistance figures, malcolm x, fannie lou hamer, sitting bull, and we kind
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of hold them up but we are unable to see those figures with their own midst because the state, and snowden would shortly be one of them, because this did so effectively demonizes of them and makes us afraid to identify with him and stand up for them. and that was, that was true for all of our great resistance figures and profits and martyrs. people forget how hated i figured even martin luther king was while he was alive. these are common and you know, history is important but often times i think we, we don't learn the lessons of history. we don't understand what it means to make moral choice, to take moral risk and the costs that always comes with taking more risks. because if there are not any
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cause, it's probably not much of a moral stance. >> you know, i mean, it's interesting to me about snowden. this is in history. it's right now. he such a typical american guy, you know? i mean, he looks ordinary. these white. he's a technocrat. he started out as a right winger. he was a right wing libertarian voted for ron paul in 2008, donated money to ron paul. he's an american kid from south carolina raised in maryland. i mean really he is probably more relatable to the average american. and also the fact he is so young. 29 we needed this. i think somehow it's about is different from a rose of parks or someone like that who you're
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sort of how could i be rosa parks? i don't think i can be rosa parks but i think i could be edward snowden except i never would have been hired by the nsa to do something like that. in fact, when i went to columbia whenever jobs affair when i was 19, they had the cia recruiting booth and went to talk to them because i had silly fantasies about kerry microfiche in the sole of my shoe and having dead drops in red square preeta went to talk to them and they said, we are never going to argue. i said why not? and they said well, you attended socialist meetings on campus but and i said communists also. and they simply only higher mormons from utah, which is why we did so well in the intelligence community. any other questions? >> let me get someone who hasn't -- >> several questions. one is about --
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>> a little out of. >> the content of the phone conversations that they do recall that the report and the phone calls, some kind of a data form someplace -- >> yes, it started in a data form in bluffdale utah which it is massive and it is being expand all the time and it's been billed with hundreds of billions of dollars of your tax dollars. >> now, good government use this data to use against individuals in a court of law? >> well, me, chris alluded to this earlier. the thing is that that's the good of visit data will never be looked at. it's 99.999% of assets on those servers. what's happened is that, as chris alluded to earlier in the past few needed community he said whenever someone fell under suspicion of wrongdoing they
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could be searched or tracked or followed but that you needed a warrant from a judge, from a magistrate. and that come and since, in recent i would say since 9/11 in particular but before that, but certainly after 9/11 the new paradigm has been as the nsa system they want to collect everything. what they do is they collect every bit of communication. they store them and then they search at their leisure for clusters, for patterns. and yes for individuals. so the question is, you know, even if you believe right now that president obama is the best president we will ever have and that our government isn't the best government we will ever have, just like -- and you believe in it, the fact is presidents of change, regimes change. the one to will president donald
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trump to use that information to fully? possibly. collected those to about when i became a french citizen. i'm bored in the united states but my mother is french and when i was 18, he was 1981 and reagan had just become president. there was a lot of talk that there might be a war and a draft. i did a patriotic thing and i ran up to fifth avenue and 74th street and got in line and declared my french citizenship. i was online around the block of guys about 18, 1970 the marseille is waiting to get in. so when i finally got my citizenship papers i got an id card, passport and then they had to be a good certificate. at on the birth certificate it said birthplace, french but i was like i was born in cambridge, massachusetts. it's like this mistake. no, no, no. you were born in france to explain to me that during come
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at the beginning of world war ii when the vich vichy authoritiesd the authorities, the gestapo and so on, when they invaded france they captured all the pleas of data records, mostly kept on postcards or filing cards that show the religious identification and whether someone was born overseas or not. when it came time to deport they deported jews first and people were born overseas first. to the camps. so at the end of the war the french government passed a new lavlaw that stated they would no longer maintain those records. so the french government does know exactly how many, say, arabs that are in french. they have to guesstimate but they don't have a list of them and there's no way to get it. for example, there are many people were outside of france because they destroyed those records. in every file supposedly, i don't know if this is true but
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supposedly in french archives i am listed as being from gop on. figures ago i was in paris driving the wrong way against six lanes of traffic on the sean says leigh wendy kopp will be with this cute little kp and he's like what you doing? i said i showed my passport and he ran my information and he's like, what? yes. it's like the mississippi of france, okay? from the spanish border, and really strange accent, like no way could anyone who learned english in the united states have to ask them. it's impossible but just kept insisting on us like yes. there's nothing you can do about it. goodbye. so the point is there is some information that should be in anyone's hands.
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i personally am an awesome moral person but if i had this information is a bunch of people who are really screwed over if i could get into those files state it's more that went a society breaks down, the reason all totalitarian systems keep files on all other citizens is at the moment the power structure or the power elite feels threatened and they have the capacity to pull up those files and criminalize entire groups of people based on utterly innocuous data, data that they interpret in such a way as to target individual with criminal or terrorist take activity. that's why totalitarian states collected i have one. state data. that's why stalin did it. that's why the fascists did it. we have now handed that to overcome it's not a bad idea necessarily of individuals. it is about this corporate cobol that has seized out and that
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growing awareness on the part of the wider public that everything they been told about globalization and neoliberalism is a lie. it is seen well sucked upwards in defense of a rapacious predatory elite. it is not further democracy. it is, in fact, obliterated democracy. it has savaged the environment. and so as that reality is understood come and i think we are seeing it in this election, manifesting this election, as the state loses its credibility, then it will increasingly, as it is, resort to harsher, more naked forms of oppression that orwell outlined in 1984. remember we got two great thinkers but we got huxley
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first. we got access to cheap mass-produced goods and spectacle and entertainment and easy credit, pharmaceuticals. and now it's gone. and the pharmaceuticals are still there but everything else is, and as those forms of control are less efficient is -- the fishes and we get the more naked forms the more brutal and violent forms of control of which of the security and surveillance state is, you know, kind of the first and foremost among the system. [inaudible] >> i do not have a website. i do not tweak. i don't have a facebook page that i don't own a television. >> instagram? >> i don't have anything. i have a phone and i 5000 books in my house. >> anyone else? okay, yes.
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[inaudible] spirit you could ask the secretary of state clinton. >> just repeat the question is asking why snowden is still living in russia. they revoked his u.s. passport. he couldn't get to ecuador. [inaudible] >> she's asked if there's another place he delivered. >> it's one of the things in the book that corrects somebody misreporting that has occurred about this issue. so the u.s. government asserted, falsely, that the chinese allowed to snowden to leave on an invalid passport in order to poke at the eye of the government but that's false. that didn't happen. when he boarded his plane in hong kong he had a valid passport. if you passport do you ever notice that it would have a little chip logo on the front? because there's a microchip inside. you may foolishly think that is for your convenience to allow
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you to zip through jfk but really this is a tool of state control to do exactly what second is that hillary clinton did who, in my view, this action disqualifies her from the presidency as much as her vote to invade iraq. she said, me, she turned off his passport while he was in the air to moscow. is only supposed to change planes in moscow. when he appeared at the airport he went to the transit desk. he was supposed to continue onward to havana, cuba, but they told him he couldn't board because he didn't have a valid passport anymore. which is kind of if you think about it is insane that his government state department can just flip a switch and turn it off like that. and by the way, just parenthetically from a national security point of view, let's just assume that they did know whether snowden still had those documents with him. so you're going to strand him in
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russia, of all places, pretty stupid. so i mean, the fsb could've just like taken us to often. there's nothing anyone could have done about it. so is a really boneheaded move and completely immoral in so many ways. but he had been invited to go to ecuador and he would've been able to get i think that option is the one on the table. the problem is that it's just geography. he's in russia. so how does he get to another country that would host tim without passing over airspace that is either controlled directly or indirectly by the united states? i don't know if you recall this episode but the president of ecuador was visiting moscow at a trade function, trade meeting, and then there was a rumor that the u.s. got, snowden was aboard his plane and the austrians forced him -- >> bolivians ashbourne bolivians.
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>> sorry, the bolivian president and the austrians forced the bolivian presidents to land. whisking the life of ahead, for head of state to try to capture acy who obama to address added to a nine year old hacker is kind of really over the top. that's what with happened is that if he got on the plane. he can only go to countries that border russia and hoped for the best. i mean, you know, he'd go to kazakhstan i guess. >> can you talk a little bit about what you think are the weak points or weak points in the culture of acquiescence we are living in? >> of american culture? >> sure. >> well, that's another program.
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was happening in the united states reminds me of what happened in yugoslavia which i covered as a foreign correspondent where in essence you have political paralysis, the inability on the part of the state to respond. and that political paralysis is carried out by self-identified liberal elites biggest of really a liberal elite, figures like clinton did as much damage to working men and women in this country as ronald reagan. obama has only carried on that trajectory. but what happens, i think we're seeing it with any of the elections, is that when people rise up with legitimate frustration and despair and hopelessness, is that they turn up on the self-identified liberal elite which has been ineffectual to serve this cabal in this case corporate oligarchs
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abut they turn on liberal values themselves. that's why we have such powerful proto- fascist movements in the united states, whether they are crystal fashions, nativists, whether they are tea party you know, militias and they've always been part of the virus of american society can avoid back to the slave control, the pinkertons, the klan. but what happens is that you direct that rage toward the vulnerable, towards muslims can undocumented workers, african-americans, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and that we are watching. you see around rallies. that is just part of the physical and moral disintegration of society. the use of wholesale violence. we live in a city where one of our fellow citizens was choked
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to death, unarmed, never committed a crime. choked to death and killed on a city sidewalk and none of the police went to jail. the danger of that is that a very kind of nihilistic violence we are seeing right now between houston and asia where the palestinians feel so crushed their lashing out with this inchoate but understandable theory, to understand is not to condone but understandable is, is also happening in the tiny. with a 26 or 27 assassinations of law enforcement officials, including two in new york city this year. these are not confrontations. these are assassinations. i hope this is not a pattern but i think that there's so much evidence now that society has seized up, that society really isn't functioning at all.
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we watch the arms industry hobbled the nation out from the inside officially 54% of discretionary spending. in fact, it doesn't account for veterans affairs of a nuclear weapons program, it doesn't account for all the black budgets like intelligence and streams were not allowed to see. by best estimates were spending 1.6, $1.7 trillion a year on endless feudal wars which we've lost encourage like iraq and afghanistan, taliban controls the war of afghanistan. but, of course, for a small corporate cabal, northrop grumman, it's great, war is a business. and so we are as american citizens being tasked o workfore prosperity, the collapse of our infrastructure, repressive measures, any time you try to one american former industrial city after another, it's a
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wasteland. it's ian take it out on us. and that's what empires all go down. we are no exception. the collapse of complex societies chronicle all of the characteristics that empires die. and, unfortunately, you know, that pathology of death is one that you know unleashes some very dark spectral forces. that is a very violent society, unlike canada, for instance. we are a very, very violent culture. i mean, you know, the end of literacy, the rise of spectacle, the way verifiable fact now owns a special on airways, no longer matters. however you're made to feel, that's kind of what fox news is about. there's just so many signs.
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the final sign being that the harsh forms of control that empire uses on the outer reaches of empire, drones, militarized police, wholesale surveillance have now migrated back to the heart of the. so a night raid in east new york looks no different from a night raid in fallujah. kevlar vests. and that's not accidental. what destroyed a democracy is a tyranny opposed on others finally implodes on itself. thank you very much. >> thank you, everyone for coming tonight rejoicing out like to add to that is i like to answer that question. nothing is really settled in american politics. and if you like that the uniquely american thing. you know, in other countries if there's a dispute over an issue, there's a battle. and eventually one side prevails. and then it's over.
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and mostly the losing side goes home, licks its wounds and a sad. but it's over. but in the united states, the south doesn't admit that they were wrong during the civil war. day would never come despite shermans march they were not crushed. this resistance is not gone. the confederate battle flag still flies above state capitals. they never got over it. if you just look at all these like battles, it's so hard for liberalism or progressivism to triumph can't even when it does try and triumph can't even win to triumph can't even when it is time, even when it does have the support of an overwhelming majority of americans there still, the losers don't admit they applause, and the winners don't make them admit that they lost. so nothing ever gets it's like we never move forward. i find it just come as a political commentator i find it just baffling. we could li


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