tv Democracy Now PBS September 14, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
09/14/16 09/14/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> how is this all possible? >> think of it as a google search. e-mails, chats, whatever. the nsa is really tracking every cell phone in the world. >> most americans don't want freedom, they want security. amy: the much-anticipated film, "snowden," about one of the most wanted men in the world, hits theaters this friday.
today we spend the hour with academy award-winning filmmaker oliver stone and the actor who josephnowden, gordon-levitt. the film's release comes amidst a stepped-up campaign for president obama to pardon snowden before he leaves office in january. >> if not for these revelations, we would be worse off. yes, there are laws in the books that say one thing, but perhaps this is why the pardon power exists -- for the exceptions, for the many things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page, but when we look at them morally, ethically, when we look at the results, it is obvious these were necessary things. these were vital things. amy: and we will speak with wikileaks editor sarah harrison. in 2013, she spent four months with snowden and the russian airport. fororking as a contractor
the intelligence agencies, he was able to understand this isn't necessarily -- they are not necessarily doing the right thing and telling the public the truth. although his motives of always been to serve his country in a public constitution, the message with which this was appropriate to actually act out became a very different one and in this case, it became having to expend to the american public what was actually being done to them. amy: all of that and more coming , up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning has announced she's ending her hunger strike, after the army has agreed to provide her adequate medical treatment, including gender-affirming surgery. manning is serving a 35-year sentence in the disciplinary barracks in fort leavenworth, kansas, after being convicted of passing hundreds of thousands of
documents to wikileaks. she has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. on tuesday, chelsea said in a statement -- "i am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. i applaud them for that. this is all that i wanted -- for them to let me be me. i hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need." in news from the campaign trail, new york attorney general eric schneiderman has launched an investigation into the donald j. trump foundation. this comes after a series of investigations by the "associated press" and the "washington post" have sparked questions about trump's family charity. "the post" revealed that donald trump has not given any of his own money to the charity since 2008. instead, the charity has simply been receiving and donating
other people's money, while creating the illusion trump has been giving himself. in one case, trump used $20,000 of the foundation money to buy a 6-foot-tall painting of himself. the "washington post" also revealed trump has used the foundation to make political contributions, including giving money to the campaign of florida attorney general pam bondi who had threatened to investigate trump university using foundation money for such political purposes is illegal. meanwhile, a "newsweek" investigation is raising questions about the trump organization and potential serious conflicts of interests that would arise if trump became president. the investigation reveals the trump organization is a vast financial network that stretches from new york city to india, ukraine, china, brazil, argentina, turkey, and russia -- where the organization is connected to russian mining, banking, and real estate billionaire vladimir potanin, who himself is closely tied to the russian government.
trump's frequent praise of russian president vladimir putin has already sparked concern among national security experts about u.s. foreign policy under a possible trump presidency. the "newsweek" investigation concludes -- "if donald trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the trump family, the foreign policy of the united states of america could well be for sale." this comes as a new trove of hacked emails have been released on the website dcleaks.com. delete includes an e-mail from former secretary of state general colin powell sent on june 17 of this year in which he calls donald trump a "national disgrace" and "international pariah." in north dakota, more than 20 people were arrested tuesday blocking construction of the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline, which has faced months
of resistance from the standing rock sioux tribe and members of hundreds of other tribes from across the united states, canada, and latin america. tuesday's actions took place near new salem, which is about 70 miles northwest of the main protest camps. video shows police in full riot gear carrying assault rifles at at the side of the protest. -- site of the protest. among those arrested were two journalists with the outlet unicorn riot. construction was halted for hours as two people locked themselves to heavy machinery. >> we're here locking down to this pipeline, machinery, and stopping construction at this site for today and letting the that construction to the dakota pipeline is to continuing, contrary to what a lot of folks thought after last
friday's intervention by the obama administration, you know, making it seem like they were going to stop the pipeline. the pipeline continues to be built. amy: the arrests come only days after the obama administration intervened in the pipeline battle, indefinitely prohibiting construction under the missouri river and asking dakota access to voluntarily cease construction on a 40 mile spanning the river -- although, construction on the vast majority of the 1172-mile pipeline continues. meanwhile, the dakota access pipeline company says it has removed 27 pieces of equipment from another construction site on tuesday. the arrests came as thousands of people rallied across dozens of u.s. and international cities tuesday in opposition to the dakota access pipeline. on tuesday, hundreds rallied in oakland, boston, london,
philadelphia, and toronto where protesters blocked major downtown streets. in washington, d.c., thousands protested the project. this is vermont senator bernie sanders. mr. sanders: today, the pipeline company is refusing to hold its construction -- halt its construction while a new review takes place. in absence of the pipeline companies compliance, further administration action is needed. that is why i'm calling on president obama today to ensure that this pipeline get a full environmental and cultural impact analysis. so today we stand united in saying, "stop the pipeline. respect native american rights. and let us move forward to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels." amy: the united states and israel have agreed upon a new
military aid package of $38 billion over 10 years. it is the largest military funding package the u.s. has ever offered to any nation. the u.s. already gives israel more than $3 billion in military funding every year. this figure will now increase to an average of $3.8 billion a year. in syria, a tenuous ceasefire brokered between the u.s. and russia appears to be holding, although some violations have been reported on all sites. the ceasefire, however, has opened up a rift between secretary of state john kerry and the pentagon, which is pushing back on kerry's plan to share information with russia in the campaign against isis in syria. meanwhile, u.n. human rights commissioner zeid ra'ad al hussein slammed syrian president bashar al-assad for a wide range of human rights abuses on tuesday. >> this is a state led by medical doctor and yet is believed to have gassed its own
people, has attacked hospitals and bombed civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate explosive weapons, and maintain tens of thousands of detainees in inhumane conditions. words cannot convey how profoundly i condemn this situation. the government which is responsible for some of the gravest violations on record in the history of this council has regularly sent notes to my office reporting abuses by armed groups. but it offers no possibility whatsoever for independent scrutiny. amy: in financial news, new data shows the median household 2015. rose over 5% in it is the first major increase of household income since the recession began in 2007. the data shows average income for the poorest 20% of americans increased for the first time in four years. this comes after a number of cities and states passed minimum
wage hikes, however, economic inequality remains deeply entrenched. the poorest 10% of americans are relatively poor today than they were in 1989. german pharmaceutical firm bayer is expected to announce a takeover of agribusiness giant monsanto today. bayer has been trying to take over monsanto for months, but monsanto has repeatedly rejected past offers. a merger between the firms would create the largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals in the world. meanwhile, a new analysis by the "wall street journal" shows the pharmaceutical giant mylan, which has come under fire for hiking the cost of the life-saving allergy shot epipen by 400% in less than a decade, has the second highest executive pay in the entire u.s. pharmaceutical industry. in the last five years, mylan has paid its top five executives nearly $300 million. that's second only to the pharmaceutical company
regeneron, which over five years , paid its top five executives more than $500 million. in bangladesh, the death toll from a fire at a packaging factory has risen to 31. the fire began after a boiler explosion on saturday. the company, tampaco foils, packages items for multinational companies, including nestle and british american tobacco. this is the inspector general of the bangladeshi police, speaking right after the disaster. >> until now we have found bodies of 21 people who died in the fire. what i have seen is an industry with bad safety per decision -- whether the have proper documents, we will have to look into it. amy: and in new york city, police are looking for a man who lit a muslim woman on fire, as she was shopping in manhattan wearing traditional religious clothing. on saturday, the scottish tourist was standing on fifth avenue when she realized her shirt was on fire. a man was standing next to her
with a lighter in his hand. police say the incident may have been a hate crime. it came only days before eid al adha, one of the holiest days for muslims. in response, linda sarsour wrote -- "as a muslim woman, not only is wearing my religious headscarf in public an act of faith, but it has become an act of courage." the united states has seen a surge of attacks against muslim americans over the last year. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. today we spend the hour with academy award-winning filmmaker oliver stone, director of the much-anticipated film, "snowden" that hits theaters this friday. >> the best i could tell, even walking round with two broken legs for weeks -- >> when do i go back? >> if you ever again land on
those legs, your bones will turn to powder. there other ways to serve your country. >> why do you want to join the cia? >> i would like to make a difference in the world. >> the average test time, five hours. >> 38 minutes? what should i do now? >> whatever you want. >> the deputy director of the nsa offered me a new position. >> can you tell me anything about it? >> you know i can't. >> find the terrorist on the internet haystack. >> for making people very happy. >> thank you. >> how is this a possible? >> think of it as a google search. where looking at everything they don't. e-mail, chats, whatever. >> which people? >> the whole kingdom, snow white. >> the nsa is really tracking every cell phone in the world. >> most americans don't want
freedom. they want security. >> except people don't even know they made a bargain. quite are they watching us? >> there's something going on inside the government that is really wrong and i can't ignore it. get this data to the world. i feel like i am made to do this. and if i don't do it, then -- i don't know anybody else that can. this is everything i have. there when the figure out what i have done. >> did you access and unauthorized program? >> the government knows we have these documents now. >> looking at a possible death sentence. >> i can't turn back from this. >> watch yourself. >> we are running out of time.
>> they're going to come for me. they're going to come for all of you, too. juan: that's the trailer to the new film, "snowden," directed by oliver stone, about nsa whistleblower edward snowden, who exposed sweeping surveillance programs by u.s. intelligence agencies and became one of the most wanted men in the world. the film recreates what transpired in a hong kong hotel room over eight days in june 2013 when snowden first met with no tillage prize-winning journalist laura poitras, glenn greenwald, and guardian reporter ewen macaskill to leak a trove of secret documents about how the united states had built a massive surveillance apparatus to spy on americans and people across the globe. it also tells the story of snowden's little known personal relationship with long-time relationship with his partner lindsay mills. amy: through flash-backs, the film chronicles snowden's career in national security as a staffer and contractor with the
cia and nsa, and shows his eventual realization of the extent of the u.s. mass surveillance program, as illustrated in this scene with an nsa hacker whom he later befriends. >> what i will be providing you in the fine gentlemen of secret service is a list of every threat made about the president since february 3 and a profile of every threat maker. >> and these are -- existing targets? >> percent will come from the bulk collection program. >> prison? >> you got a little snow white menu. it almost makes me feel like the witch bringing you poison apple. exhibit a, posted on messageboard, romania has a storied history of executing their leaders, could they do as a solid and take out bush? this looks cheesy. it is from a g-chat.
with the biggest python you have ever seen. hm. >> how is this all possible? -- take out bush. think of it is a google search. instead of searching what people make public, we are also looking at what they don't. you know, cap ,sms for whatever. >> but which people? >> the whole kingdom, snow white. amy: that is a clip from "snowden." the film's release comes amid a stepped-up campaign for obama to pardon snowden before he leaves office in january. snowden is charged with theft of state secrets and is accused of violating the espionage act. he faces at least 30 years in prison, but argues his disclosure of mass surveillance by the u.s. and british intelligence agencies was not only morally right, but left citizens better off. the aclu is coordinating the campaign with human rights watch, amnesty international, and other groups. full page ads ran today in
"politico" and the "washington post." for more, we are joined right now by the director of "snowden," oliver stone. he is a three-time academy award-winning director and screenwriter. he's made nearly two dozen acclaimed hollywood films, including "platoon," "wall street," "salvador," "born on the fourth of july," "jfk," "nixon," "w," "south of the border" and "wall street: money never sleeps." he joins us in studio along with the star of his latest film joseph gordon-levitt, who stars , in oliver stone's new film as the character edward snowden. joseph gordon-levitt known for uncle third rock from the sun" and films. oliver, you have just release this film. tonight in 800 theaters across the country, you will not only show the film, but project a conversation with edward snowden
who is in political exile in russia. cox yes, tonight. amy: talk about why you chose this as a subject of your latest film. >> it is an important story. when it broke, i did not want anything to do that because i just don't think movies can chase the news. we are always about a year or two behind. things change, like in a case like this. i went over to moscow. his lawyer invited me. wary ofth ed and he was the movie and i was wary of the whole situation. by the third visit in june 2015, we agreed to go ahead and do as realistic a person as possible of his life. juan: in the decision to make a feature film, honestly, laura "citizenfour" and
yours focuses more on the story of his journey. >> one is a documentary, a fine film, and this is a drama. sometimes there compared and i think falsely. our goal was to humanize the man, to bring you behind the eyes, bind the feeling of his life. remember, he was a conservative young man. he joined the military at a young age. you wanted to go to iraq at the most dangerous time to fight that war. he could not serve because h was frail, frankly, physically, and he ended up joining the cia instead. his father and grandfather were both in the service. so it is an interesting -- remember in my film "born on the fourth of july" you see an interesting turn and personality. there is relationship partly with lindsay mills.
amy: we're going to go to break and come back. oliver stone and joseph gordon-levitt are our guests. sarah harrison will join us later in the show, the investigator for wikileaks who accompanied edward snowden on his flight from hong kong to moscow and ended up spending four months in the russian airport with him. this is democracy now! "snowden" is being released this week. the film, not the man. ♪ [music break]
i'm amy goodman. with juan gonzalez. juan: we are speaking with the director of "snowden" oliver stone. let's go to another clip from the film. >> where did you study? >> mostly i am self-taught. you can to make your busy, but that c is aray 1? >> yes, yes it is. the first supercomputer. engineer? an >>, an engineer. too,ucture and counselor, are supposed make sure you don't buckle under the pressure, turn to drugs and booze. >> you won't have that problem with need. i don't do drugs or booze. >> what is your choice? >> computers. >> snowden, you come to the right whorehouse. juan: we are joined by oliver stone and joseph gordon-levitt,
who stars in the film as the main character. i would like to ask you about the one, the times were able to meet with edward snowden to get your sense of the character and what most surprised you about the man you are for training. >> as oliver said, he and his cowriter took a number of trips to moscow to meet with mr. snowden and he was really generous with his time and get a lot of info on the script. and they brought me wants. sit with them to for about four hours. it was me and him as well as his longtime girlfriend lindsay mills is played in the movie by shailene woodley. the 1 -- he is always trying to take the attention off of himself personally and put the attention on the issues that he is trying to bring up. i think that is proper. i admire him for that. however, because i am an actor
and a was get him ready to play them in the movie, i was focused on him personally, on the nuances that you can pick up when you shake someone hand or you see how they sit or stand or walk or talk or eat come even. we ate lunch together. those little details are valuable to me. amy: you have an interesting background, especially for our viewers and listeners. your parents met at the pacifica station kpfk los angeles? >> yes, my father was the news editor in the early 1970's and my mom was working there, too, that is where they met. amy: your mom ran for congress and your grandfather was a blacklisted director? >> my mom's dad, michael gordon, he had just directed a movie called "cyrano de bergerac" a very lauded movie. the actor had just won the oscar. meetingsen to some
which were basically people gathering at holmes and generally talking about -- the kind of things you talk about on this program, rights for workers, poverty around the world, things like that. but at that time, the u.s. government, wesley led by senator mccarthy, consider that an american. a lot of people were put on a list called the blacklist and not allowed to work. so my mom's family had to move because my grandpa could not work. amy: issues that are an american -- an american by some, consider by so many others as patriotic. i think you could talk about edward snowden the same way. i want to turn to another clip. your character reveals the extent of data collection worldwide. >> what is this? >> data collection for the month of march worldwide, e-mails and skype calls.
france, 70 million. germany, 500 million. result, 2 billion. inside the u.s., 3.1 billion e-mails and calls for not including any of the telecom companies. >> russia? >> russia is 1.5 million. >> suited collecting twice as much in the u.s. as russia? this is out of hand, man. have you shown the standing one else? >> you guys are the first. >> i would be careful. it did seem like you're rocking the boat. know if i was a little who thought this was -- >> what is going on? >> i was just showing this one slide. my bad. >> the country we were collecting most signals from. >> i will see you guys. i don't want anyone
unauthorized and here again, especially -- >> it won't happen again. juan: that is a clip from "snowden" were edward snowden is talking to other members of the team the extent of the surveillance that he has managed to pull together because he developed a program called heartbeat. that was an interesting aspect of your film. in essence, the heart of the program he created which was an index of the surveillance programs made it easier when he finally decided to download the material to be able to do it in a more efficient manner. >> very few people know that and some technical people know a lot about the case and pointed that is a revelation. of course, the nsa has 150 programs and the names are insane. it in there, -- it hasn't come out yet. i think you'll find heartbeat. of course, they will cover it up when they release it or to something. but he was playing offense and defense. the last thing ed did was work on offense of capabilities
inside the warfare of hawaii, the second position there with booxe allen. anyway, he learned a lot. he combined the offense -- that is one of his major points, why are we waging offense and warfare when we cannot secure our homeland without defense of capabilities? amy: talk about the process of making the film and the elaborate security protocols that you went through, using code words, handwritten notes so they can't be picked up on the internet. >> i just want to point out one more little thing. michael hayden was the head of the nsa and 9/11. and they failed to do their job. that is very important that americans -- americans don't realize the failure, that he had good information that led to two of the hijackers that were in san diego. that was through a safe house they own. i mean, they did not own it, they spied on it for a long time. in other words, they haven't
really utilized those tools for defense. as to our protocols, we were suspicious there would be interferences, but i can't say that it happened. i don't know. we did go off-line. off the grid as much as possible. meetings in person, phones, de-bugged the computers. when he script went out, we cut it up and put it on a device and encrypt it and send it off to whoever was reading it in the world. amy: and you found in germany? >> we started in germany. we built most of america out of germany and we came here for one week only to watch it in d.c. and joe and shailene walked right in front of the white house with mr. obama who came in and out once or twice and had to suspend filming. there was a blackout that day. also moved on to hawaii and shot
near that base. we shot actually in the home -- close to the home that ed had in hawaii next of the golf course. then he moved on to hong kong and that to germany and moscow. juan: i would like to ask joe, this is not only a tale of international espionage and intrigue, is also a lost -- love story. it is not only crucial to holding the audience, but also to the development of the character that you portray, edward snowden. >> that is the thing, the real-life story of edward snorri -- snowden's life these nine years between 2004 and 2015, which is really the bulk of the film. the real-life story is the perfect material for drama will because a drama is focused on a character that changes. as oliver pointed out, snowden enlisted in the u.s. army in 2004, the kind of guy who wants to go fight for his country and he is a certain kind of patriot.
and i almost think he kind of evolved into a new kind of patriotism. one kind where you just believe that everything your country does is right no matter what and you don't ask any questions, and a new kind where you do ask those questions and view that as patriotic. a big part of that development from one kind of patriotism to another is due to his girlfriend lindsay mills he was brought up in a really different environment than he was, whereas, ed's father and grandfather were in the service and lindsay came from a very different up bringing. juan: let's go to a clip with a walk through a protest against the iraq war and washington, d.c. >> excuse me, ma'am, would you like to sign? >> i actually just sign. thank you. too much nsa spirit for you? >> no, i don't like bashing my
country. >> it is my country, too, and right now it has blood on its hands. >> sorry, i have friends who are over there right now all stuff >> i'm not talking about the troops, i'm talking about the more spending on the war. >> our commander-in-chief? >> whatever you want to call him, he is still wrong. i'm questioning our government. that is what we do in this country. that is the principle we are founded on. >> how about questioning the liberal media? you are buying into what one side is saying. >> maybe i am, because one side is right. >> that is funny, because my site is right. >> oh, really? why is it smart conservatives always make me so mad. >> because you don't like hearing the truth. >> you are a very frustrating individual. do you know that? how am i going to make you see? >> i can see just fine, thank
you. amy: that is edward snowden played by our guest here today joseph gordon-levitt, and shailene, playing the long-time girlfriend of edward snowden, lindsay mills. talk about what happens in hawaii when ed has come to this decision that the american people should understand what is happening to them being surveilled. >> in real life, it is hard for ed to define the moment growing phenomenon. it starts in geneva when he serves and increases through japan, goes through maryland, and then he ends up in hawaii because he wants to go there. he is a case of epilepsy that comes up late in the movie, which is accurate to that time period. it is quite shocking when you're that age, 29, to encounter the limits of your life. mortality sets in. you have to make your decisions to a certain degree. his relationship with shailene has turned, in a sense, she has
brought him to a new awareness against his previous conditioning. , he seesoes to hawaii the worst of it. some of the worst of the offensive cyber warfare, particularly. we are past the eavesdropping at that point because he a sampling of that in japan and geneva. but in hawaii, he's issa capability. it is always pictured to the american public as a defensive capability, but it is an offense of one. the chinese are always hacking is per the news. in reality, people like this work hacking them and quite efficiently. so in hawaii, he comes to this -- i don't to spoil the movie, but it comes to be when he lifted these materials and helped get them out to the public is not done in a realistic way it was done. we gave it a little juice because it is a drama and
because, frankly, is probably much more available than you think, the way he did it. juan: what about the process of getting the film made? when you first went to the folks in hollywood to try to talk about this film and you ended up going with an independent destroyed or? regard some hardware and budget and we had a good cast. they all said no. we don't know why. you never do. we suspect a dig up to corporate boards because the had of the studios like the script for the most part. when upstairs, three or four days go by and you don't hear anything, so the lawyers, as i said, "no" is easiest word in english language and they passed. we went to open road. a brave, young destroyed or -- distributor. they've done a terrific job most of very courageous of them. amy: let's go to another clip. this one features the initial discussions between glenn
greenwald and an editor at the guardian about publishing the findings from snowden's nsa leaks. >> janine, how did the white house conversation go? >> i do quite clear we were in possession of an authentic pfizer court order. i just pray it is actually authentic. >> are you actually questioning that? >> glenn, no one has ever seen a fisa court order. there is the presidents. >> israel. >> to the white house make any specific claims about national security that would prevent you from publishing? >> yes. i asked them repeatedly. >> what more do you want? you can go out and know you are safe. >> i would like to talk to alan before we go any further. >> absolutely not.
we're sitting ducks, janine. it is 1:00 p.m. in new york. if you don't get it out in the next four hours, you will miss the evening post. >> i'm sorry, glenn, but allen is our government -- >> the government could barge through the store any moment and you up more time. a journalist and stop stringing us along. >> that is a clip from "snowden." just a what is happening today, the launching of campaign to pardon edward snowden. can you talk, oliver stone, about what is happening? >> about this scene? thehe scene and also about campaign for president obama to pardon snowden before he leaves. >> that is been initiated by the aclu stop amnesty and other organizations are involved. i did not do this film for those
purposes, but certainly i think it would be a great choice for our country to turn back on the road it is on. some prisony take time. you said so. he cannot defend himself in court under the espionage act. it is impermissible to bring evidence of any kind about the security state, so he is in a bind. he would like to come back. he loves his country. >> one thing i would add about the scene we just saw's for support and campaign, an important part i think of him being pardoned is the truth that snowden's disclosures did not do any harm to anybody or to the country because that is a claim know,et said a lot, you he is going to harm national security, that certain individuals were uncovered. there is no facts behind that at all. in fact, what you see in journalists,
checking with the white house about what they're about to leak and directly asking the white house, tell us specifically, how does this from national security? we will reject what you want us to redact. the white house could not specify anything. i was a,a process, responsible process to make sure that no harm would be done. i think that is really in a poor thing when considering what he did. >> this scene is based on tuning gibson's conversations with me. she had a hard 24 hours. amy: the editor of guardian usa. >> and she did it because the editor was truly in the air on his way to new york. glenn greenwald, who you have interviewed several times, definitely brought the pressure on her because he said he was going to go independently of published it himself on his own site, which i guess it didn't happen because she actually --
you saw her in that scene -- amy: and the guardian 18 fillets are for the reporting -- won a pullitzer for the reporting. with the come back from break, we will be joined by sarah harrison, going with ed snowden from hong kong to russia, though he did not intend to stay there, hoping to make his way to latin america. sarah harrison and editor with wikileaks. we're talking to oliver stone, three-time award-winning filmmaker who this week is celebrating his 70th birthday will stop and joseph gordon-levitt, the star of the film. he plays edward snowden in the film "snowden." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. with juan gonzalez. we are spending the hour talking about the new film that tells the story of nsa whistleblower edward's note and called "snowden." while speaking on monday from moscow where he is in exile, edward snowden made a case for presidential pardon by barack obama. this is snowden speaking with ewen macaskill. >> if not for these disclosures, these revelations, we would be worse off. yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but perhaps this is why the pardon power exists -- for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page, but when you look at them morally, ethically am a and look at the results, it seems obvious these were necessary things, vital things. amy: or more, we're joined by three-time oscar-winning filmmaker oliver stone am a
joseph gordon-levitt who plays edward snowden in what snowden," and i want to bring another conversation sarah harrison, investigative editor of wikileaks. in 2013, she accompanied edward snowden on his flight from hong kong to moscow and spent four months with him in russia at the airport. sarah, it is great to have you back on democracy now! they interviewed you when we were both in -- i interviewed you when we were both in germany. at right now if you could talk about the effects of the release onthe documents that ed did where you are now, germany, you can't go back to britain, afraid what would happen to you if you went back there just as ed is in russia right now, and on the world -- why you got involved. >> well, having worked with quite a number of sources before for my work with wikileaks, this was obviously a large issue for
me. when edward snowden reached out as asking for assistance when he was in hong kong having does in a complex legal and political situation and needed some people to assist with technical and operational security expertise, he reached out to us as an organization and i went over there is a person on the ground in hong kong to help him not only for him himself because he has clearly done something so brave and deserve the protection i felt, but also for the larger objective to try and show despite the war on whistleblowers, there was another option. at the time, the obama administration was intent upon source chelsea manning into prison for decades -- as she is now in prison for 35 years -- and we really wanted to try to show the world that there are people that will stand up, there are people that will help. and the guardian, for example,
did not give any additional help to edward snowden as a source, as a person there, and we wanted to show there are publishers that will help in these scenarios. with regard to the effects of the documents and revelations that edward snowden gave, i think it has become obvious to so many people in the world that this is at the very least a public debate that needed to be -- needed to happen. in germany, it sparked an inquiry into not only the nsa surveillance on this soil, but also with the collaboration with the intelligence services here. there have been some amazing revelations that have come out to the documents and this inquiry about how strong that cooperation is, with essentially the intel services here being more beholden to the u.s. than they are to their own government will step we see similar source of revelations and beginnings of change around the world. a number of corporations are understanding they actually have to give better services with regards to encryption and privacy to their customers and
are changing their products accordingly. juan: sarah, what about this argument by some here in the u.s. that snowden should have pursued normal whistleblower challenges were complaints to supervisors within the institutions that he worked in. you dealt with many whistleblowers across the years. your response to that? i was so we can actually see through some quite recent examples --, straight, previous whistleblower being 1 -- that where these channels are intended to be used, not only do they fail, but there is combative persecution becomes back in retaliation from u.s. government. thomas drake lost his job, essentially his life, ended up having to take a very expensive legal case. he was cleared in the end through some very good defense work, but it essentially ruined
his life. in the whistleblowing acts he tried to take her not taken seriously through the proper channels. so they clearly do not work. particularly, in the national security industry. i think there is no hope that edward snowden could have taken the right channels. he actually did try at the beginning, did try these channels. as is mentioned a number of times on this program, patriots and a believer of the u.s. systems and justice system, but, sadly, as has been proven in the attempts he tried with this, and we have seen trials for whistleblowers, etc., that justice system is not always fair and he was able to blow the whistle and get this information to the public domain or training reforms and the other ways other than to go public in the manner in which he did to the u.s. media. amy: sarah, can you return home to britain? well, i am sorry that you
just said that before. i actually had a great summer where i was able to go home. maranda,hanks to david journalist working with glenn greenwald at the guardian at the time when he transferred to the u.k., he was stopped under the terrorism act were you have no right to silence when you're stopped like this at airports. he was forced to give up passwords, etc. i legal team was very certain that i would be stopped for my work with wikileaks and with "snowden" under this terrorism act, despite being a journalist. they knew my ethics. i would not answer some questions and would therefore be at risk for charges of terrorism. david maranda rightfully said journalists should not be stopped under this act. we have a believe in the u.k. of freedom of press. in an attempto try tprotect allournalis, he tcase against is act thing used against journalists and finally
won earlier this year at the high court in the u.k. after ais win, my legal team took reassessment of the risks and happily, i was able to return home to be,'s summer. amy: congratulations. i happily correct what i said. let's go to the democratic presidential debate last year, one of the primary debates. further clinton was asked if she orwed at snowden as a hero traitor. this begins with hillary clinton and anderson cooper. ofnton go he broke the laws the u.s.. he could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. you could've raised all of the issues he has raised and i think there would have been a positive response to that. addition, he stole very important information that has, unfortunately, falling into a lot of the wrong hands. i don't think you should be brought home without facing the music. amy: that is hillary clinton.
in may, eric holder said nsa whistleblower and snowden performed a "public service" by leaking documents revealing the mass surveillance will stop he made a comment during a podcast hosted by david axelrod. >> you can sadly argue about the way in which snowden did what he did, but i think he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made. amy: sarah harrison, can you respond to what hillary clinton said about getting information into the hands of wrong people? and then, oliver, i would like you to respond as well. >> well, also -- i will come to that in a second. also just with regards to what she said, i think it's important to note at the time snowden blew the was so, it was also a government contractor, where there are different rules.
just rhetorical spin she's using to try to say he at any other options. as you can see from the holder from many other quotes government officials and the government response, this is a debate that needed to happen. therefore we can see in snowden 's situation as snowden was alluding to in this conversation he had with ewen macaskill, his case is essentially a very good test case in that despite obama , weaigning protecting more do have more and more whistleblowers coming forward, post snowden itself. courage is contagious. there were no paths for them that are workable beforehand. the laws don't protect them afterwards as well as what oliver was talking about with regards to a fair trial or not for snowden, he also would not
be able to mount a public interest defense. he would not be able to explain, as your with other alleged crimes, the public debate he started and how from an ethical standpoint what he did was right. essentially, whether before or after, he has so few options open dam. i think this spin we're from clinton, including there is harm done, there is no examples of bad from my work with wikileaks we've had years of these attacks and still he was government has not come up with any examples of this. to me, this is all just rhetorical spin tried to deflect from the roof situation that we clearly need whistleblowers as part of our democratic processes and at the moment, protections for them do not exist at all will stop and they clearly must be built. i think the campaign for pardoning that has begun will hopefully spark this element of the public debate a lot to see how we can move forward in that area as well as the protections of privacy. juan: oliver stone, your reaction to hillary as well as
donald trump has raised the possibility of execution for edward snowden. >> well said by sarah. when mrs. clinton said "into the wrong hands," she honestly meant the russians -- obviously meant the russians. she misses the point that no spy gives his story to the newspapers for free -- just what he did. we show it very clearly in the hong kong hotel room. on top of it -- juan: and turned over all of the records to the journalists and did not keep any. , delete all of the information he has. he says, i have no more information. i am traveling with no baggage. he had no exit plan. he wanted just to get this information out. basically, everything. he felt like it was over with his life. he was willing to accept arrest or death. it was over. that is the point of that scene.
he deletes it. it is your responsibility now. juan: you mentioned during the break, snowden has quite a bit of support among more libertarian republicans as well. >> when you show the scene of joe and shailene walking in front of the white house, his early views were very libertarian -- ed's views. in the point is, many republicans are supporting that view. i think 50 voted for the freedom act. a lot of them are in some of the with this idea that the nsa has gone way too far. ofn: you have a next project vladimir putin in the works? >> it is for next year. there's a documentary. he talks very forthrightly and gives a chance for the mac and people to actually hear him as opposed to hear the insults directed at him. amy: sarah, very quickly, julian assange still in the ecuadorian embassy in london and chelsea
manning is just announcing she is ending her hunger strike because she is getting the medications and the support she feels that she has been demand and through this strike. that where they both are today. she is serving 35 years in prison. >> let us see him. chelsea manning. amy: you want to see her? >> yes, her. put her on tv. let's have an open discussion on it. she is a prisoner. she has rights. amy: and, sarah? >> yeah, i mean, it is great news that manning has felt she is able to end her hunger strike in her demands are starting to be met, her demands for basic human rights. it is sad, and i think an obvious -- these are two other obvious examples of this persecution of these troop
tellers, these people are bringing information into the public domain. referring to the hillary clip, as oliver was explaining, ed was working with u.s. journalists to bring this information to the u.s. public. one can only assume and hillary's quote, she's talking about the wrong hands, supposedly the american public -- amy: that is an interesting analysis. we have to leave it there. this noteleave it on of the significant development this week, the 70th birthday of oliver stone. oliver, enjoy. make a wish and blow out your candles. juan: a long interesting was career. amy: what are you most proud of, oliver? >> the body of films. thank you. amy: that does it for our show. three a time academy award-winning film maker oliver stone. joseph gordon levitt, thank you for joining us, playing at snowden. sarah harrison, joining us from berlin. the new film is called "snowden."
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