tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News June 17, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EDT
special on the record. make sure you go to gretawire.com. good night from washington, d.c.. i'm chris wallace. the nsa leaker, traitor or patriot? today dick cheney weighs in on government surveillance. as to the individual who has admitted to making these disclosures, he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. >> the feds pursue edward snowden who told the guardian newspaper -- >> i had the authorities to wiretap anyone, even the president if i had a personal e-mail. >> his disclosures renew a debate about the balance between security and civil liberties. >> it's my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state. >> i want to catch terrorists as much as any american, but what separates us from them is the rule of law.
>> we're trying to be transparent here. protect civil liberties from privacy but also the security of this country. >> we'll ask former vice president cheney about the nsa's surveillance programs. it's a "fox news sunday" exclusive. then the white house says it will arm the syrian rebels. after confirming bashar assad used chemical weapons. >> decided to take an additional step forward in providing dramatically increased assistance. >> simply providing weapons will not change the battlefield equation and we must change it. >> we'll ask our sunday panel if the lethal aid is a game changer or too little too late. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again and happy father's day from fox news in washington. for much of the eight years dick cheney was a heartbeat from the presidency, he was the driving
force behind government surveillance against trr. we'll ask about the help on syria and the scandals. but we wanted to begin with the sweeping nsa data collection and the renewed debate about whether it's an invasion of our privacy. welcome back. >> it's good to be back. >> let's start with edward snowden. the contractor who disclosed these programs to the world. here's how he justified his actions. >> eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public, not by somebody who was simply hired by the government. when you are subverting the power of government, that's a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy. >> what do you think of edward snowden? >> i think he's a traitor. i think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had. he was a contractor employee, but he obviously had been
granted top secret clearance. and i think it's one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interest to the united states. >> we believe snowden is still in hong kong and apparently giving chinese information about alleges u.s. cyber hacking into chinese computers. couple of questions. do you think he was a spy all along for the chinese? do you think he's using this information to try to buy asylum from the chinese? and how firm should the u.s. government be with the chinese about turning this guy back to us? >> well, i'm deeply suspicious, obviously, because he went to china. that's not a place where you ordinarily want to go if you're interested in freedom and liberty and so forth. so it raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this. the other concern i have is whether or not he had help from inside the agency.
that is to say was there anyone else in nsa that had access to a lot of this stuff and passed it to him? that's presumably one of the things i'd look at in the course of the investigation. but i am very, very worried that he still has additional information that he hasn't released yet. that the chinese would welcome the opportunity and probably willing to provide immunity for him or sanctuary for him, if you will, in exchange for what he knows or doesn't know. it's going to be a continuing problem. i think there's a real danger here that he'll go beyond that. and i have trouble believing that somebody in his position as a contract employee had access to the kinds of things he's talking about. >> so you don't think he was acting alone? >> i don't know. i think you have to ask that question. >> what about the u.s./chinese relationship? we saw president obama meet with president xi last week possibly trying to rebuild a relationship.
how much should we put that relationship on the line to demand that they turn snowden back to us? >> well, i think you need to be very aggressive about it. i'm not sure it'll do any good. it depends, obviously, on whether or not the chinese believe he still has value from an intelligence standpoint. i've got to believe they'll work that angle first before they decide whether or not they're going to turn him over. >> since the leak there has been a lot of criticism of the nsa program from both the right and the left. i want to focus on conservatives though. people like senator rand paul who say, fine, let the government target terrorists but leave law-abiding americans alone. take a look. >> this is what we objected to and what our founding fathers partly fought the revolution over. is they did not want generalized warrants where you could go house to house looking for things or now from computer to computer or phone to phone without specifying who you're targeting. >> question. is senator paul wrong? >> i believe he is.
2/3 of the congress today, chris, wasn't here on 9/11 or for that period immediately after when we got into this program. and the reason we got into it was because we'd been attacked. worse attack than pearl harbor. 19 guys armed with box cutters and airline tickets. they're worried the next attack, sooner or later there will be another attack and they'll have worse weapons. we have to consider a chemical weapon or biological device. we're at war. and congress, in fact, authorized the president to use military force to deal with that crisis. that puts you into the category being able to use your military and intelligence assets in order to protect against another attack. when you consider the possibility of somebody smuggling something like a
nuclear device into the united states, it's important to gather intelligence on your enemies and stop that attack before it gets laun launched. >> people on the right and left are raising this saying fine. if you find the bad guys and have reason to suspect them, go after their numbers and e-mails. but why do you have to vacuum up information on every law-abiding american in the country? >> first, what information? the answer is phone numbers. and who contacted who. but we don't have names associated with it. it's just a big bag of numbers that have been collected. >> some say that's still an intrusion. >> i don't think it is. those are business records of a telephone company. you don't go into that box of numbers, if you will, to look for connections unless you pick up some place a suspicious
number. you capture bin ladden in abbottabad and look at their cell phones and rolodex and see what numbers there have connections back into the united states. and by preserving that database, you can see if they've been talking with somebody inside. now, as everybody's been associated with the program said if we had had this before 9/11 when there were two terrorists in san diego, two hijackers, we may have been able to prevent 9/11. the allegation is out there somehow we have all this personal information on aunt fannie or chris wallace or whoever it might be and we're poring through it. it's not true. that's not the way it works. those running the program have explained that we have collected a lot of numbers but they are business records of the phone
companies. they have been determined by the supreme court not to be private individual records the way they're oftentimes described by critics. >> let's assume that's right. now the question is being asked why does all of this have to be kept so secret? the terrorists clearly assume we're trying to intercept their phone calls and e-mails. so why not let the american public know the outlines, the general program -- obviously not sources and methods and how you go in and the algorithms and all that, but the blueprint of the program so we as americans can debate it? >> well, i have problems with respect to that concern. i understand people's concern about it. but an intelligence program that does reveal sources and methods which in fact is what they're talking about is significantly less effective because you're not just revealing it to the american people. you're revealing it to your
targets, to your adversaries, to the enemy. there are reasons in the operation. we set this program up back in the weeks after '01, we briefed certain members of congress, ranking members. we did it in my office in the west wing. and we'd give them the layout of what we were doing and what we were learning from it. both parties, both houses. so we had senior officials in the congress and eventually the courts who are read into the program and knew what we were doing and in effect signed off on it. i once asked a collective group. we briefed them and said should we continue the program? absolutely yes. then should we come back to the congress and get a legislation? they said absolutely not. it'll leak. those were the senior members in the congress at the time. >> what right do you think the american people have to know
what government is doing? >> well, they get to vote for senior officials like the president of the united states or like the senior officials in congress. and you have to have some trust in them. you don't go out when you have an intelligence operation trying to collect data and in effect tell the enemy what you're doing. it would be a dumb idea. it makes the program significantly less effective. and it adds crucial information they shouldn't have. >> let me ask you about that. top u.s. intelligence officials have released more information to try to explain and defend these programs. let's put some of it on the screen. they say data from these programs help break up terror plots in the u.s. and 20 other countries. last year they say fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the huge database and that all the data is destroyed every five years. given the leaks, given that information, do you think that provides useful information to
our enemies? >> oh, i think it does. i mean, we've now laid out they have no choice. i mean, i don't quarrel with what they're putting out. they're forced to put it out because an individual in this case snowden took it upon himself to decide the united states no longer needed to maintain this secret. you cannot operate that way. it just doesn't function. if you think about what we were able to do in world war ii. we were reading the german's coded communication. vital in our success in that venture. couldn could have announced it to the world and have this debate, but it would have been destroyed the ability to collect. if you're telling your adversary about your methods and how it is we're reading their mail. the same is here. what's different now is the threat. the threat now is terrorists coming back into the united states using deadlier weapons
than ever before to launch an attack. we have to know what they're doing. we have to know who they're in contact with in the united states. what this program allows us to do and the way it's been set up and operated is when we went to karachi we could get mohammed's rolodex and see who he was talking to in the united states. in san diego they were in contact with their leadership overseas as well as some of the rest of the organization here in the states. if we'd been able to read their mail and intercept those communications and pick up from the calls overseas to the numbers here that they were using in the united states, we would then probably been able to thwart that attack. >> back when he was running for president in 2008, barack obama talked about what he called the false choice between liberty and security. and when this program was revealed last week, he said well i scrubbed a lot of what i inherited from you. let's take a look.
>> i came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs. my team evaluated them. we scrubbed them thur oroughly. we expanded some of the safeguards. >> how much has president obama scrubbed what you guys gave him? >> i can't -- i don't know. obviously, i've not been in the loop on classified information since i left the white house. but i -- one of the keys for me, chris, is i know keith alexander. he's one of the finest -- >> head of national security agency. >> now in charge of the program. i know mike hayden well. i worked with mike when we set this program up. he skam to me and he said that there were additional things we could gather if we had authority. i took it to the president and
he signed off on it on strict limitations to what we could do. these men are as fine officers as you'll find in the united states military. i met a lot of them over the years. i trust these guys with my life. >> so what do you make of -- >> what i make of what they're saying is they are to be believed. they're good, honest americans. they're patriotic but they also care about. >> reporter: what do you make of the president suggesting i had to scrub up what these guys left me? >> i don't pay much attention to what barack obama says. i find a lot of it in other areas like benghazi and irs not credible. i'm obviously not a fan of the incumbent president. i don't know what he did to the program. the program obviously from what has now been released is in operation. i think it's good it's in operation. i think it has, in fact, saved lives and kept us free from other attacks. >> one last question in this
area. some krit issics say there's a disconnect between the president remarks in which he says the war on terror is winding down. take a look. >> our systemic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. but this war like all wars must end. >> couple of questions. first of all, what do you think of the president suggesting where we are now on the war on terror. he said we're at a cross roads. does it make it harder to justify this now surveillance if the war on terror is winding down? >> well, first of all he's wrong. it's not winding down. if you look at the part of the world now that's available as safe harbor or sanctuary for plan and train and launch attacks against the united states, it runs across north africa. all the place where is the muslim brotherhood have come to power. so the threat's bigger than
ever. the other problem is the proliferation of nuclear weapons. and weapons of mass destruction. today we're all concerned about syria. think of what a problem would be if the north korean nuclear reactor hadn't been destroyed six years ago. we'd have a huge mess on our hands. the problem from a standpoint of terror is bin laden may be dead, but we have other affiliates out there operating. benghazi is proof al qaeda is operating. he's dead wrong in terms of the threat. in terms of credibility, i don't think e he has credibility. one of the biggest problems we have is there's a big point where the president of the united states should say this is a good program. it's saving american lives and i support it. and the problem is the guy has failed to be forthright and honest and credible on things like benghazi and the irs. so he's got no veblt. >> guess what? we're going to take a break
and we're back now to continue our conversation with former vice president dick cheney. the white house announced late this week that it has reversed policy and that it is going to start sending the syrian rebels small arms and possibly anti-tank weapons. but they also made clear what they won't do.
take a look. >> we don't at this point believe the u.s. has a national interest in pursuing a very intense open-ended military engagement through a no fly zone in syria at this juncture. >> is it wise for the president to get involved at all in syria at this point. is this in you have? and looking back, how do you think this president has handled syria over the two years of the civil war? >> i don't think it's been well handled. i'll be the first to admit it's a complex, difficult situation. we've had our debates over the years. but i think john's pretty well nailed it. now we're to the point where it's hard to understand that it's the use of chemical weapons that has triggered this result. as john said the other day there were 93,000 people affected that weren't killed by chemical
weapons. it's not clear to me what the mission was here or that they understand is it strictly humanitarian, does the united states have a vested interest in the outcome and are we in fact potentially involved in some kind of proxy war with the soviets or russians who are supporting assad. i think it's important that assad go down. i think my instinct would have been to support the opposition sooner. if you care about it, if it was in the national interest. you had an opportunity sooner to provide support without having to get american forces directly involved. now they're going to do it. but the question is whether or not they're a day late and a dollar short. >> what about no fly zones. what about standoff strikes on syrian air and things to reduce their -- eliminate their superiority. >> jack keane said the other day on this network, former general. jack's a close friend of mine.
great guy. that from a military standpoint of being able to accomplish something objectively that would provide success with the no fly zone is what he would recommend. that's not without potential cost, obviously. syria has a fairly sophisticated anti-air capability. sophisticated ground to air missil missiles. so it's a problem. and again, i think it's important for the administration to come back and explain what is the u.s. interest here. it seems the only reason is you're going is because they killed 150 people with chemical weapons. is that our national interest? and i'm not sure that they've got to straighten their own lines. >> let's talk about benghazi. there's a general principle in the military no one left behind. but back after benghazi, then-secretary of defense leon panetta said that wasn't
possible during -- given the specific circumstances during the terror attack in benghazi. let's take a look. >> basic principle is you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on, without having some realtime information about what's taking place. >> given the circumstances that night and what we've been told about the deployment of forces, was the decision by the president and the pentagon not to send u.s. forces during those seven hours to try to rescue our people on the ground. was that an appropriate decision or not? >> i don't think it was. my experience was especially on 9/11 and in that part of the world, where we anticipated that al qaeda might well try to mark the anniversary, if you will, of 9/11 with an attack. especially in a location that had an enormous amount of
intelligence. the first thing you broadcast is the ambassador saying we're under attack. we were always prepared, had troops and organizations, teams ready to go, operate at the drop of a hat. and practice exactly that type of operation. i found it difficult to reconcile leon and i like him, he's a good man, but to reconcile his statement that we couldn't have done anything. they couldn't have been ready before the crisis developed. they could respond on short notice. it's a nato base. if you're not going to be ready in libya of all places, then where are you going to be ready? the military has the capability and apparently didn't use it. i think that was a bad call. >> what do you think of the president's decision to name susan rice to be his new national security adviser? >> well, she appears to have been part of the coverup that
one of the things here that concerned was a political issue. the whole notion that this was a terrorist attack, which it was, undermined the narrative that they solved the terrorism problem. we got bin laden, terrorism problem solved. she peddled the party line. but i think that was a huge mistake. what she did was huge mistake. i think she lacks credibility. and she doesn't need to be confirmed. she can go in there as a national security adviser. i just question whether or not somebody whose judgment was so flawed that they took what was apparently very bad information and peddled it as aggress i havely if she did. >> let's go to the groups names patriot or tea party in their name. employees in the cincinnati office has been interviewed and
are telling conflicting stories whether this what from cincinnati or higher ups in washington. there's so far no hard evidence of any involvement by treasury or the white house at least so far. as someone who's been around this town awhile, what do you make of the irs scandal? >> i think it's the -- one of the worst abuses of power imaginable when you think of the power of the irs. it clearly was used for political purposes to go after a conservative group, my side of the political spectrum. regardless of who it was, that is a kind of gross abuse of power that everybody's legitimately concerned about. i think that i have trouble believing two guys in cincinnati dreamed this scheme up. i just don't think that's true. i once -- i don't often talk about it but i was the director of operations of the cost of living council. one of e the i thinks i had to
oversee were 3,000 irs agents. it was a professional organization. they worked hard to take the rules and regulations by the policy types and implement them in the field. i have trouble -- it was a long time ago -- but i have trouble believing that the profession professionalism i observed would be doing that. picking out a political class to go after that they would do that without doing -- >> mrs. cheney is giving you a call. >> right. that's the first time on "fox news sunday." >> but they would do an example like we've seen here with respect to the way they've operated. and i think -- i personally believe i cannot conceive a situation it didn't come from higher up. >> the other scandal now is the justice department raising the possibility of prosecuting fox
news' james rosen for his role in revealing what seems to be classified information. back in 2006. i love the way you're checking it. >> i was turning it off. i wanted to make sure it won't go off again. >> back in 2006 there were reports that you raised the possibility of prosecuting a "new york times" reporter james risen for breaking the story that the bush administration had ordered and was engaged in wiretaps. first, is that true? did you consider the prosecution of james risen of "the new york times"? and secondly, what is your philosophy of whether or not reporters can, should, are liable for criminal prosecution for exposing national security issues? >> i was not for prosecuting
risen. but it's a felony offense to pub establish information about communication intelligence in the united states. it's never been enforced, but it's a felony calling for a sentence of ten years to do that. now, nobody -- >> prosecuted "the new york times"? >> i urge we ought to investigate. either the law is the law or it isn't. nobody had the nerve to actually go after "the new york times." but it's on the books. and i thought in this case obviously that admitly i'm a hard rock on some of these things. probably wise that others said no we don't want to prosecute "the new york times." but there is a provision of law. it's very clear. and it's never been enforced. >> but you think it should be. >> well, either that or take it off the books. but it wasn't aimed at the reporter. it's specifically "the new york times" had been asked by the
president of the united states with the publisher and the editor and the washington bureau chief in the oval office asked them please do not publish this. it will do damage to our national security. and they did it anyway. >> finally, your health. you got a heart transplant 15 months ago. >> right. >> couple of questions. first, what are you able to do now that you were not able to do before the transplant? and secondly i don't expect you to get warm and fuzzy but i'm going to try to put you on the psychiatric couch for a moment. what does it mean to have this new lease on life, literally? >> well, it's nothing short of a miracle, chris. obviously i owe a deep debt to the donor and the donor family. i was near death three years ago. liver and kidney shutting down. they planted a pump in my chest that was battery operated that kept me alive for 20 months and
that got me to the transplant. i wake up every morning now with a smile on my face, thankful for the gift of another day i never expected to see. >> mr. vice president, it's always a pleasure to talk with you, sir. happy father's day. >> you too. >> and many more to both of us. >> all right. up next, we'll ask our sunday panel whether the plan to arm the syrian rebels will do anything to level the playing field in that deadly civil war.
>> -- is all in. and we're talking about giving them more light weapons? it's insane. >> senator john mccain strong at his criticism of the president's decision to arm the syrian rebels is much too little too late. brit hume, fox news political analyst, jane harman, gop master mind karl rove. and fox news political analyst juan williams. there's an editorial this weekend -- let's put it up on the screen. it's called dabbling in syria. obama arms the rebels but not enough to defeat assad and his patriots.
do they have a point? is the president dabbling? >> the worry is what the situation is so advanced in a bad way that it would take a lot more than what he's apparently prepared to do to change the complexion of that conflict. which in turn means that all the big talk about red lines and so on may be for naught even if he tries to do something. and that would be for the president of the united states who presides over the great superpower of the world and when it comes to an issue like this isn't worth much. because he isn't prepared to back it up with effective action. i think that's a loss for him and the country. >> congresswoman, even bill clinton this week was turning on president obama in a private event with john mccain. he said president obama would look like a total fool, clinton's words, if he paid too much attention to the polls and didn't get involved in syria.
did this president wait too long? >> i think so. by the way i disagree with what the vice president just said about susan rice, but i agree with his comments about the need for a strategy around what we're doing in syria. the president let ben rhodes announce what we're going to do. this is something he should have taken for himself and he should have explained syria against what else is going on in the middle east and what we did in libya. and i do think we should be doing this. i gather in jordan where we're going this week we're going to leave a few f-16s behind just in case something more comes of this straty. and i'm worried a little bit about john mccain's idea about some form of no fly zone because there are chemical weapons on the ground. but i think being aggressive in syria is going to help us get to the peace table with russia and to persuade the iranians that we mean what we say.
>> we're two years too late. two years ago in august president obama said it was time for assad to go and we have done little to make him go since then. and as a result our credibility in the region is deeply damaged. light weapons might have had a big impact two years ago. i'm dubious to how much of an impact they might have now. the gulf states have indicated supplying to the rebels. but this is -- i'm with brit on the question of the american credibility. we had the announcement that the iranians are sending 4,000 revolutionary guards. hezbollah out of lebanon has opened -- has helped open several new fronts inside the country. the revolutionary guard creating a front in the golan heights by attacking israel. american action two years ago might have made for a more
stability situation today. i'm concerned it's way too little and way too late. >> let's pick up on that, juan. a lot of people are calling this half measures. no fly zones. to degrade the air advantage the syrians have. at this point no anti-tank although that apparently is a possibility. being called small weapons and ammunition. what can he accomplish with that at this late day? >> well b it becomes a force multiplier is the word from the white house. and it's a very interesting word. as jane harman said, the president didn't own this. this is coming from ben rhodes, his top assistant there on this issue. but the idea would be -- >> stop you right there. what do you make of that? the president doesn't come out and make this announcement in policy. >> i think senator mccain picked up on this saying he shouldn't look at the polls. the polls do not want the united states to get involved in another war in the middle east. i think that's clear.
and we're in the midst of pulling out of two wars. i think the notion in the united states, that is where our focus should be. the idea of leaving the patriot missiles in jordan, the idea of going north into ireland and reaching out now to potentially russian leading putin and talking to him about what this means in terms of the middle east, threats to not only jordan with all the refugees but to israel. and making it clear to e the europeans that the united states is not disengaged but acting as a leader and the united states will not allow the rebels to lose. once you say that, by sending these weapons, you change the tone of the conversation. you open this to negotiation. >> i hope you're right in what he does does change everything. but the worry is he doesn't. look. if the united states wants to have credibility on these issues, let me go back to the question chris asked you.
we hear from ben rhodes a relatively invisible figure not from the president himself. you mentioned the policy. every president is constrained by that and should be by public opinion. but on these kinds of foreign policy issues which it has military conflict, the polls themselves are going to be adverse to that. this is an area where presidents have to lead. they lead by what they do and they lead by what they say. let's go back to the first gulf war. does anybody think when in kuwait there was any sentiment in the united states in favor of the military involvement there. of course there wasn't. that president bush came out and said this would not stand. i couldn't believe he said it. but as he led, opinion turned around. and by the time the conflict was engaged, the opinion -- >> wait, wait. let me interrupt one second. i want to bring congresswoman harman in here.
the president is going to be at an international convention tomorrow in northern ireland. the white house is talking they'll get on the same page with the british and french who have been ahead of us on this that he's going to meet with putin and negotiate him to have a settlement. you really think he's going to persuade poout ton give up on assad? >> so far we've gotten nowhere. let's remember bosnia under bill clinton where we were involved in an air campaign and bombing and that got us to the table in dayton. and that led to a negotiated settlement. >> we're not doing either of those. >> not yet. but i have reservations of air campaign because of the chemical weapons. but we have to show we're tough. i'm hoping john kerry will be at the g8 meeting and i assume he would be. no.
but his negotiation is important there with the russian foreign minister. >> no intention to carry as long as they know what obama is doing. >> but they don't bank on bashar staying. if they think he'll fall, they'll intervene. >> all right. >> they have spent the last two years arming assad and keeping him in power and they're going to continue to do it. >> i agree with that. >> and we are kidding ourselves if we think there's going to be a magic moment in dublin or belfast where the irish ancestors of president obama are going to give him the blarney. >> we're going to take a break. inside the nsa. did snowden help people know what the government is up to or compromise our security?
this is "a," incredibly damaging. "b," there should be no notion that this person is a traitor to the united states of america. we know eventually when people are given too much power in government they will abuse that authority for nefarious purposes. sometimes for political purposes and that's not okay. >> a taste of the debate going on inside both parties about the wisdom of the government's sweeping surveillance programs. we're back now with the panel. congresswoman harman is the top democrat on house intelligence when you were on capitol hill. where do you come down on the basic idea of these nsa programs? and how do you respond to the critics on both sides who say it's just too intrusive on millions of american who is are minding their own business? >> i actually think this is one of the rare and true victory
laps that congress can take. because congress is the place that amended the surveillance act in 2008 to bring these programs clearly under the law. and it works with a foreign intelligence surveillance court which is composed of 11 federal judges who rotate in and out, full disclosure or, you know, massive disclosure to congress. and then an executive branch which can't do anything unless the courts approve and congress overs oversees. this is the separation of powers. there are folks in congress who disagree with this program. i think it could be debated. maybe it could be narrowed. but some said all these provisions that relate to this, the business records provision and the amendments and renewed by congress every three years. but it protects our country. i do agree with mike rogers that this compromise, this leaker potentially has are the hurt us in national security terms.
>> karl, let's talk about the republicans. there's also a debate within the democrats. how do you feel about so many republicans from rand paul to mike lee to james sensenbrenner who was authors of patriotic act saying this program isic too intrusive? >> look, you can be a civil libertarian and they are in both parties but you have to be consistent. if you don't like this program which we now know was accessed 300 times last year. you have to be begins local law enforcement to routinely business records of the telephone company. you can't turn a cop drama where there is not somebody pining somebody's cellphone or taking a look at some land line or telephone booth to help solve a crime on television. it is rionlt done on a large scale at the local law enforcement level. the difference is apparently this program holds on to these records for five years.
we don't know how long each individual phone company may keep the records available to local law enforcement. this one requires a warrant to be able to search the record of any american. you can monitor the foreign communications without a warrant but then to search this database you have to have a warrant issued by one of these fisa court judges. that is not what happened with local law enforcement which simply get the local phone company to run a trace on the phone or give you the connection to a phone kane. how many times have we sent police because of phone records? we have to be consistent. >> chris: have you been in that hotel ever? >> as i recall it was somebody neighborhood wallace, drug dealers. >> chris: then there is a man that disclosed the secrets, edward snowden holed up in hong kong and
we are told giving the chinese a lot of information, we don't know if it is true about cyber hacking of china and hong kong computers. juan, what do you make of him? >> young people have made him into a hero. to me this guy is no daniel elsberg. not at all. >> explain to the young people who daniel elsberg. >> he was the one that orchestrated the release of pentagon papers to the "new york times." the difference here this was not about revealing corruption or lies by a government or anything like that. he was revealing secrets that had to do with effective programs to battle terrorists in this age of anti-terrorism. so to me, i think this is guy who took an oath when he said he was going to work as a government contractor and he broke that oath. i don't think that is martyr or hero, i think
that is more of category of a traitor. he should be extradited he should be prosecuted. if the point is we need to debate, yes, we need a debate about the bounds between civil liberties and national security. that is debate i think should have taken place with far or energy back in 2002 when we passed the patriot act. there was only one senator that voted against it and a and that was russ feingold of wisconsin. we need to fight terrorists. now to go back and say, oh, you know what, we didn't know about it -- baloney. we've known about it clearly since 2006. everybody knows about it. to say, oh, gosh, this is a shock. that is ridiculous. >> too much of a fuss has been made because i think it turns out that what was true about what he revealed, what was new -- i was
reading this morning a lengthy story in may 2006 that laid the whole thing out about nsa and telephone records. it's been in the public domain. his claims about what he could do from his desk and reading emails and all of that, much doubt has been cast on that. a lot of new what he said wasn't true. i think this is much ado about not very much and not very much of a guy. he apparently what he said was new was not true. my view we shouldn't be paying so much attention to him. >> i disagree. whistleblowers should be protected but this was no whistleblower. this guy is dangerous. also there may be more -- they knew about it in 2006. >> there may be more records turned over. this is a wake-up call for
clearance process. this guy got into the system because he was security guy. >> chris: 3,000 employees have top secret clearance, half a million. >> he was in one of the most important jobs. i think some of the i.t. administrators who are in charge should be a federal employees and supervision over them. this guy was one inch ahead of a sheriff in about five jobs. >> apparently he is over in china and he knows about property comes used, the u.s. hacking chinese institutions. we don't know if that is true or not. >> why is he doing business with the chinese? does he spy for the chinese? >> who knows. >> and send him in the chinese system to mislead him. i agree with. this guy, i want him prosecuted but ts guy is minor player. this stuff is largely out in 2006, both programs were
largely described. >> chris: thank you panel. see you next week. don't forget to check panel plus where our group picks up on the discussion on our website and make sure and follow us on twitter. up next, we hear from you. about who to hire without going to angie's list first. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
>> chris: time for the mail. you have plenty to say about the nsa surveillance program. brenda writes on twitter, it needs to be more targeted to the criminal element not a massive garnering of records. on our blog, the issue is people do not trust the federal government at this point. the obama administration has shown it is partisan and does not appear to respect the constitutional limits. a mix of opinions on facebook. this one from ken. this is to protect us and this guy that let it out is a traitor. laura says if it helps stop terrorist attacks like 9/11 i'm all for it. i sure don't have anything to hide. happy father's dad. to my kids be sure and caught your old man today. have a great