tv PBS News Hour PBS August 1, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: edward snowden, the leaker of u.s. surveillance secrets, was granted asylum in russia today. he walked out of the moscow airport where he had been holed up for more than a month. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: we get reaction from washington and moscow and talk with former national security agency officials about the scope of u.s. spying programs. >> they're still collecting everything, content word for word of every doe midwest incommunication in this country. >> the idea that n.s.a. is keeping files on americans as a general rule just isn't true.ufd
scores of rockets on the syrian city of homs as the assad regime celebrated army day. margaret warner gets the latest on the bloody civil war from npr's deborah amos. >> brown: law enforcement bids farewell to f.b.i. director robert mueller. ray suarez explores the transformation of the bureau after the 9-11 attacks. >> woodruff: and we hear from two u.s. senators leading the push to keep the military's sexual assault cases in the chain of command. gwen ifill talks to new hampshire republican kelly ayotte and missouri democrat claire mccaskill. >> the other side has wanted to make this argument about victims vs. uniforms. that's a false premise. this argument is about how we can protect victims the best. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the drama over disclosures of u.s. surveillance programs took a major new turn
today, in russia. the man at the center of the story was allowed to go free for the first time since arriving there in june. edward snowden's lawyer confirmed the news to reporters today at the moscow airport. >> ( translated ): yes, i have arrived in the airport so that a member of the immigration service could give him a document that grants him temporary asylum in the territory of the russian federation. i have just seen him off, and he has left the airport to go to a safe location. >> brown: the national security agency leaker had been in limbo in the airport's transit zone for more than a month. he managed to flee in a taxi, eluding the media throng that had camped there for weeks. snowden will now be able to travel freely throughout russia, but his lawyer said his exact whereabouts are being kept secret for security reasons. >> ( translated ): he will choose his place of residence himself. he can live in a hotel, or an
apartment. as he is one of the most wanted people on earth, he will be making sure his place of residence is absolutely safe. >> brown: snowden released his own statement through the anti- secrecy group wikileaks, which has a legal adviser traveling with him. the statement read, in part: u.s. officials had demanded snowden be returned home to face espionage charges, for leaking information about the n.s.a.'s secret surveillance of phone and internet communications. but russian president vladimir putin refused to expel him and one of putin's aides downplayed today's development, insisting: "this issue isn't significant enough to have an impact on political relations." but in washington, white house spokesman jay carney said snowden's release has u.s. officials weighing whether to cancel president obama's planned
summit with putin next month. >> we will obviously be in contact with russian authorities, expressing our extreme disappointment in this decision and making the case clearly that there is absolute legal justification for mr. snowden to be returned to the united states where he is under indictment on three charges felony charges. >> brown: meanwhile, the president met privately with a bipartisan group of house and senate lawmakers to address concerns about the n.s.a.'s surveillance programs. back in russia, snowden now has a grant of asylum for at least a year. that can be extended indefinitely, and he even has the right to seek russian citizenship. a short time ago i spoke to paul sonne of the "wall street journal" in moscow. paul, thanks for joining us. how much of a surprise was this in moscow? >> i wasn't a particular surprise.
there was a lot of writing on the wall here that the kremlin was going to make this decision and the real question is why was the kremlin predisposed to granting edward snowden asylum? there's probably a number of factors at play there. one of those is that russia is conscious of double standards here. it feels like the west and the u.s. wouldn't necessarily be predisposed to expel a russian asylum seeker so they shouldn't necessarily expel a u.s. asylum seeker. i think there's an element that this would play well among the more nationalist elements of governor putin's con stitch whensy and there's an element here of just who's boss. this is an ability of one of those moments where vladimir putin can show he has the upper hand and that can play well among his constituency. >> brown: an aide to president putin played down the potential for any impact on u.s./russia relations. what do you make of that? >> i think what you see is both the u.s. and russia trying to do two things at once here: one is
to say, you know, we really want this guy or we're not handing this guy over and then the thing that's underlining that is comments coming from both sides saying we don't want this to affect our relations. so what russia is saying is we can't give him back to you, we're going to keep him here and the white house is saying you have to hand him over. but on the other hand we want to deal with things like syria and disarmament and over -- north korea, iran. we don't want that to upset the diplomacy we've been working on in the last couple months. >> brown: on the american side, how much anger are you picking up in washington and in moscow from the embassy or other americans? >> so i think what's interesting is that jay carney today, the white house spokesman, didn't say anything that much stronger than he'd been saying throughout the entire snowden affair since snowden arrived here in late june. he said the white house is extremely disappointed but they don't want to cut off relations with russia. he did say this may call into question the summit that has
been planned in moscow in early september between vladimir putin and barack obama. but in terms of any other retribution or response, you know, we aren't seeing an escalated level of rhetoric from the white house, though we have seen some of that from congress, especially from republican senators. >> brown: your difference russian officials is that they're not particularly worried about the summit or g-20 meeting being impactd? >> i think there is a real possibility that barack obama is not going to come to the summit in early september, that he was planning on attending with vladimir putin which is the head of 2 t g-20 summit in st. petersburg. and i think you have to look at two reasons for that: one is if he comes here and he appears to be shaking hands with president putin and edward snowden is nearby somewhere else that doesn't make him look good to the american public. but the other thing that i think a lot of people are missing here is that it's possible there are
not going to be resulted from that summit and it doesn't behoove president obama from coming here and have yet another awkward meeting or press conference with president putin like he had in northern ireland a month ago where he doesn't have any results to show. it doesn't seem like the u.s. and russia are making any progress in syria. it doesn't have anything to show for disarmament, the speech that barack obama made in berlin a couple of weeks ago was met with a tepid response here in moscow so part of this is a calculation on the white house's part that not only will this look bad if edward snowden is in barack obama's airspace while he's here it's also that they just might not have anything to show for that summit. >> brown: what happens next for snowden? is there an expectation there that this one-year grant of asylum means something that could stretch on without limit? >> i would not necessarily take the one-year limit of this temporary asylum to be the amount of time that snowden is
going to spend in russia. that is a renewable period. he could be here indefinitely and from what what his lawyer is saying it's looking like he'll be seeing here for the foreseeable future. in terms of what he's doing, where he is, those questions remain unanswered. his lawyer has been coy about where he's planning to live, where he went today after he got in the taxi outside of the airport and, you know, he's saying that we don't want to give out that information because this is obviously a wanted alleged u.s. criminal and he has serious safety concerns so we're going to not disclose where he'll be staying in moscow. so it remains to be seen what he's going to be doing here. the head of one of russia's biggest social networks came out today and offered him a job as a programmer but one of the main things we know is that the requirement for giving him asylum, president putin said he needed to stop his political activities. he couldn't continue to be a thorn in the side of the u.s.
government while in russia. so whatever he does it's probably not going to be a public role. >> brown: paul sonne of the "wall street journal" in moscow, thanks so much. >> thanks. >> woodruff: we continue our look at government surveillance with a debate among former officials from the n.s.a., in just a moment. also ahead on the "newshour": the bloodshed continues in the syrian civil war; robert mueller's mark on the f.b.i. and senators mccaskill and ayotte on curbing military sexual assaults. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: ariel castro who held three women captive and raped them repeatedly, over a decade, was sentenced to life without parole today, plus 1,000 years. one of his victims, michelle knight, addressed the hearing. she told castro she spent eleven years in hell, but now, has her life back. >> from this moment on i will not let you define me or affect who i am, you will. i will live on. you will die a little everyday
as you think of the 11 years of atrocities you inflicted on us. >> holman: castro then delivered a rambling statement. he acknowledged what he did was wrong but insisted most of the sex he had with the three women was consensual. >> i just wanted to clear the record that i am not a monster. i didn't prey on these women, i just acted on sexual instincts because of my sexual addiction. as god is my witness, i never beat these women, like they are trying to say that i did. i never tortured them >> holman: last week, castro pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts, including kidnapping, rape and murder, for beating and starving one of his captives until she miscarried. in afghanistan, nato opened an investigation after weapons fire from u.s. helicopter mistakenly killed five afghan police officers overnight. two others were wounded during
the operation in nangarhar province, in the eastern part of the country. afghan special forces called for air support during a clash with taliban fighters at a police checkpoint. the u.s. helicopter engaged and apparently fired on the wrong target. the u.s. may end the use of drone attacks in pakistan in the near future. secretary of state john kerry told pakistani t.v. today that he hopes it's going to be very, very soon. he met with new prime minister nawar sharif and announced the u.s. and pakistan will resume a full partnership, including high-level talks on security. kerry acknowledged u.s. drone attacks and other issues have roiled relations with pakistan since 2011. >> i think we came here today, both the prime minister and myself, with a commitment that we cannot allow events that might divide us in a small way to distract from the common values and the common interests that unite us in big ways.
kerry also addressed the political crisis in egypt. the obama administration has declined to say the military ouster of president mohammed morsi was a coup. kerry said the military did not take over, but in his words is restoring democracy. he said millions of egyptians asked the armed forces to intervene. egypt's interior ministry offered safe passage today to thousands of morsi supporters, if they end two large sit-ins in cairo. the offer came a day after the interim cabinet ordered police to break-up the demonstrations, but gave no timetable. even so, there was no sign today the protesters plan to move on, despite the risk of new bloodshed. instead, the muslim brotherhood called for a mass march tomorrow. charges of election fraud echoed across zimbabwe today, as votes were counted in yesterday's presidential contest. the opposition charged the outcome has been fixed by robert mugabe, the 89-year-old president who's led the country
for 33 years. we have a report from neil connery of "independent television news." >> reporter: as the results from zimbabwe's elections slowly emerged, the anger of what's been condemned as a monumental fraud soon became clear. the opposition leader attacking what he said was a rigged ballot. >> this has been a huge fuss. this election has been marred by illegal violations which task legitimacy. it is our view that this election is null and void. >> reporter: the suspected mugabe supporters were bussed in to vote on election day to a constituency where they don't live. they were challenged by an opposition m.p. who has now lost his seat. robert mugabe's party says it's
burr treat opposition but observers estimate as many as one million voters were denied their democratic right. >> the elections were seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise urban voters, up to a million persons. >> reporter: with the counting here nearly complete, there's a growing air of resignation that these official results will be anything but a true reflection of the voters' wishes. the opposition say they're incensed by the vote-rigging they claim has taken place. outside the opposition's headquarters we saw a police presence for much of the day. after 33 years in power, robert mugabe's rule goes on and the hopes of those who dare to dream change was coming to zimbabwe have been deflated. >> holman: a number of u.s. embassies and consulates worldwide will be closed sunday in the face of a possible terror threat. the state department said today it's being done out of an abundance of caution, and is based on unspecified
information. the embassies may be closed for more than one day, depending on how serious the threat is judged to be. president obama has chosen a new leader for the internal revenue service. the nominee-- announced today-- is john koskinen, a retired corporate and government official who's managed a number of organizations in crisis. the i.r.s. has been under fire for singling out tea party groups and others for extra scrutiny when they seek tax- exempt status. on wall street, upbeat reports on manufacturing in china and the u.s. drove stocks to new highs. the s&p 500 closed above 1700 for the first time. the dow jones industrial average gained 128 points to close at 15,628. the nasdaq rose 49 points to close at 3,675. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we pick up on the continuing fallout from the revelations of former n.s.a. contractor edward snowden. last night we debated the role of teignorurveillance
approves the government's requests to gather intelligence information on americans. tonight, we have a conversation with three former n.s.a. officials: a former inspector general and two n.s.a. veterans who blew the whistle on what they say were abuses and mis-management at the secret government intelligence agency. william binney worked at the n.s.a. for over three decades as a mathematician, where he designed systems for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. he retired in 2001. and russell tice had a two decade career with the n.s.a. where he focused on collection and analysis. he says he was fired in 2005 after calling on congress to provide greater protection to whistleblowers. he claims the n.s.a. tapped the phone of high level government officials and the news media ten years ago. >> the united states, at that time, was using satellites to
spy on american citizens. at that time, it was news organizations, the state department including colin powell, and an awful lot of senior military people and industrial types. this was in 2002, 2003 time frame. the n.s.a. were targeting individuals, judges in the supreme court. i held in my hand judge alito's targeting information for his phone and his staff and his family. >> woodruff: so binney what was your sense of who was being targeted and why they were being targeted? what was being collected in other words? >> well i wasn't aware of specific targeting like russ was. i just saw the inputs were including hundreds of millions of phone calls of us citizens every day. so virtually there wasn't anybody who wasn't a part of this collection of information. so virtually you can target anyone in this country that you
wanted. >> woodruff: both binney and tice suspect that today, the n.s.a. is doing more than just collecting metadata on calls made in the u.s. they both point to this cnn interview by former f.b.i. counter-terrorism agent tim clemente, days after the boston marathon bombing. clemente was asked if the government had a way to get the recordings of the calls between tamerlan tsarnaev and his wife. >> we certainly have ways in it's not necessarily something that the f.b.i. is going to want
>> woodruff: tice says after he saw this interview on television he called some former workmates at the n.s.a. >> well two months ago i contacted some colleagues in n.s.a., and we had a little meeting, and the question came up is the n.s.a. collecting everything right now because we figured that was the goal. and, yes, they are collecting everything right now, content word for word, every domestic communication in this country. >> woodruff: both of you know what the government says: that we're collecting a number of phone calls that are made, and the emails, but not were not listening to them. >> well i don't believe that for a minute. i mean that's why they had to be bluffdale that facility in utah with that massive amount of storage that could store all these recordings and all the data being passed on the fiber optic network of the world. i mean you can store 100 years of the world's information here. that's for content storage.
that's not for metadata. metadata if you were putting it into the system that we built, you could do it in a 12 by 20 foot room for the world, that's all the space you need. you don't need 100,000 square feet of space, like they have at bluffdale, to do that. you need that kind of storage for content. >> woodruff: so tell us, how extensive is the n.s.a.s >> this, the program only involves telephony metadata, not emails, not geographic location. having a physical analyst look or listen, which would be disingenuous.
>> woodruff: but the government vehemently denies it is recording all telephone calls. robert litt is the general council in the office of the director of national intelligence. he recently spoke at the brookings institution. >> we do not indiscriminately sweep up and store the contents of the communications of americans, or of the citizenry of any country. we do not use our intelligence we collect metadata-- information about communications-- more broadly than we collect the actual content of communications, because it is less intrusive than collecting content and in fact can provide us information that helps us more narrowly focus our collection of content on appropriate targets. but it simply is not true that the united states government is listening to everything said by every citizen of any country. >> woodruff: joel brenner, who was the n.s.a.'s inspector general and then senior legal counsel, says the intelligence agency obeys the law and directions of the foreign intelligence surveillance court. >> it's really important to understand that the n.s.a.
hasn't done anything, as i understand it and from all i know, that goes one inch beyond what its been authorized to do by a court. >> woodruff: so tell us, how extensive is the n.s.a.s collection of data on americans, on their phone calls, on their emails, on their use of the internet. >> this-- the program only involves telephony metadata, not emails, not geographic location. the idea that n.s.a. is keeping files on americans as a general rule, just isn't true. there's no basis for believing that. but the idea that n.s.a. is compiling dossiers on people the way j. edgar hoover did, or the way the east german police did, as some people suggest, that's just not true. >> woodruff: well we've been talking to a couple of former n.s.a. employees and one of the allegations they make is that
its not just collecting this metadata on telephone conversations, its recording those conversations and its storing them and keeping them for possible future use. >> i think you're talking about mr. tice and mr. binney, mr. binney hasn't been at the agency since 2001, mr. tice hasn't been at the agency since 2005, they don't know what's going on inside the agency. >> woodruff: another allegation that we heard from them, from mr. tice, is that back before he left the n.s.a. in the early 2000s, that there was spying going on news organizations, on supreme court justices, on presidential candidates, on senator barack obama, and on military leaders, the top generals in the army. >> mr. tice was terminated from
indicated, having to do with the period before 2005, eight years ago. they're just coming out now. i wonder why. the farther he gets from the period when he could have known what he was talking about, the more fanciful the obligations have become. >> woodruff: brenner claims that oversight of information gathering has actually improved. >> we have turned intelligence into a regulated industry in a way that none of our allies, even in europe, have done. we have all three branches of government now involved in overseeing the activities of the n.s.a., the c.i.a., the d.i.a., and our other intelligence apparatus. this is an enormous achievement. >> woodruff: last week, one oversight proposal in congress aimed at preventing the n.s.a. from collecting date on phone calls was narrowly defeated, but some members are vowing to press
for additional restrictions on the investigative agency. >> brown: now back to syria, where there was another bloody day and the country's president basha al assad called his country's civil war the fiercest barbaric war in modern history. margaret warner reports. ( explosion ) >> allahu akbar. >> brown: that was a weapons depot, vaporized in a massive explosion today, as rebels rocketed an army-controlled district in the key crossroads city of homs. opposition activists and local residents said at least 40 people were killed, and three times that many injured.
the attack showed the rebels still going on offense in the face of recent gains by government forces. but those regime gains gave president bashar al-assad the confidence to issue a statement today, predicting his forces will win the civil war and to take his first public trip outside damascus in more than a year. he addressed troops in daraya, a suburb, in observance of army day. >> ( translated ): the power of the army comes from its people. but at the same time it comes from the support of the people for you, and the syrian nation strongly stands with you. from when this conflict first started i've said we will be victorious. martyrdom is a fate. but our goal is one of victory, and all the nation is awaiting the victory of the syrian army. >> warner: photos of destruction in homs show those victories have come at an astonishing cost. what's left of the city's khaldiyeh district is now back under syrian army control. homs-- 100 miles north of
damascus-- is the gateway to assad's alawite-sect powerbase on the coast, and thus a crucial battleground. farther north, parts of idlib, aleppo and raqqa provinces are held by various rebel groups, but the city of idlib is under regime control and brutal fighting rages in the commercial hub of aleppo. meanwhile, there are still questions about chemical weapons use in the syrian civil war. the united nations says it will soon deploy investigators to three sites. the u.n., u.s. and other countries have concluded chemical weapons have been used, but with mixed judgments as to who's responsible. meanwhile, as the fighting grinds on, president obama approved arms shipments to some rebels, but many of them say it may be too little, too late. for more on the situation in syria, we are joined by national public radio's deborah amos who has been covering the country's civil war since it began. she's back in the united states for a brief visit.
deb amos, thank you for joining us durneing oof these brief visits of yours. >> good to be here, thanks. >> warner: what is your sense of the strategic situation on the ground in syria? >> i think over the past couple of days we've seen this continuing momentum for the regime. especially in the city of homs. they have been able to take a particular neighborhood, khaldiyeh. the rebels have had that neighborhood for more than a year and this continues on from taking the town of qusair on the lebanese border. so what we've seen is that the regime is able to use a not-so-secret weapon: foreign fighters. hezbollah from lebanon, the militant shiite militia has come in to back up the army and they've been able to score two significant victories against the rebels in the center of the country. the rebels remain strong in the north and in the south.
>> warner: so what's the state of the rebel forces and their state of mind? you talked to people involved in that camp. are they demoralized? >> i think qusair was demoralizing with the rebels and khaldiyeh is as well. these are both symbolic, especially in the city of homs which was the heart of the revolution and the regime has come down very hard. in fact, has destroyed khaldiyeh to save it. we saw pictures today, dramatic pictures yesterday and today, of unbelievable destruction in this neighborhood. the regime showed a lot of pictures in that neighborhood to prove that a historic mosque was still standing but what you saw instead and what so many people focused on was this once-thriving neighborhood has been completely destroyed we also saw that in qusair on the lebanese border as the regime routed the rebels they destroyed
the city. >> now had the weapons -- the administration promised and they had to get it through congress, but have any arrived? are they making any difference? >> i was there about three weeks ago in jordan talking to rebels there and nothing had arrived and they were complaining about it. there are weapons coming through. they are from saudi arabia the americans now are helping with vetting the rebels. the americans, the fresh, the turks and the saudis have an operation room in amman. they are in constant touch with the rebel there is. as the situation stands now, the u.s. is still giving non-lethal aid. what that means is night vision goggles, kevlar vest, m.r.e.s. the united states so far has not started putting weapons into the hands of rebel bus they are taking a big role in veting who doeget the weapons coming
through jordan. >> warner: you mentioned the pictures from khaldiyeh and, two, the assad regime released this video of him visiting troops. is there also an image were going on between two sides? >> oh, there's no doubt and that's been since the very beginning. the other thing that we saw this week is president bashar al-assad opened an instagram account and this is another occasion for very calm leader-like photographs that were put out on the web. on the rebel side, there are seven youtube channels that are with the f.s.a.. you can watch almost every battle that takes place, putting out more content than al jazeera or pbs. it's a huge amount of video. both sides are speaking to their base. something that we understand in
america politics and it is to keep up the morale of each side to say we are winning and so all of that is done with this imagery. the truth of the matter is we are still a stalemate in syria. neither side can deliver a knockout blow although neither side appears to be willing to end this brutal, brutal conflict. >> warner: we've heard that more than a million syrians have fled to neighboring countries be from your trips in there and the people you've talked to, how are people who have stayed-- millions of them-- in these battle torn cities, how are they getting by? >> there's two kinds of people inside. there are millions of syrians who are displaced. people who lived in the neighborhood of khaldiyeh who have been driven out and find themselves in makeshift refugee -- they aren't refugee, they are internally displaced camps within syria. and those e apepl not doing
well international aid organizations don't get to them, it's up to the rebels to care for them to make sure they get enough to eat. but there are many villages in the north and in parts of aleppo where people are going about their lives. it's now two and a half years into this conflict and both in the rebel-held areas they know that every couple of days one of those villages may have a rocket or mortar attack or missile. it's part of life. people have gotten on with their lives. this is the same in the capital. people go out at night. there are restaurants nope the capital. also in the south in dara'a, another contested city where you have a regime-controlled area in the middle of the city and the rebels control large swaths in the countryside. people, you know, get up in the morning, some of them tend their
farms in damascus people go to work. it's really quite amazing the resilience of syrians in so much violence that as time has gone on people have learned to live with some of this violence. i'm not talking about the seriously contested areas. those are terrible for civilians but there are parts of syria where people have a relatively normal life. >> warner: deb amos of npr, thank you and travel safely. >> thank you. >> woodruff: f.b.i. director robert mueller made his farewells to the law enforcement community today at a ceremony at the justice department. ray suarez looks at the outgoing director's tenure and how the f.b.i. has evolved. >> suarez: mueller led the agency for 12 years, starting just one week before the 9/11 attacks.
to aral eric transformed the bureau since then, and prevented a number of serious terror plots. the outgoing director, in turn, gave much of the credit to those he's worked with. >> it has been my privilege to work with so many talented and dedicated public servants. men and women who give everything in their power to keep the american people safe men and women for whom the rule of law is the guiding principle. for an examination of the mueller era at the bureau we turn to former homeland security secretary michael chertoff, who worked closely with mueller during george w. bush's administration. and julian zelizer. he's a princeton university professor of history and public affairs, and is the author of a book on the politics of national security. secretary chertoff, it's been said that director mueller had to oversee the transformation of the f.b.i. from a crime-fighting agent city to a national
security one. in practical term what is did that mean? what had to change at the f.b.i.? >> well, of course, the f.b.i. continues to be a crime fighting mission but intelligence and prevention have to be equal priorities with prosecuting and punishing crimes after that they occur and that meant creating a career path that will foster the development of an intelligence capability. it meant to some degree centralizing the activities of what used to be a widely decentralized agency so you could have a coordinated approach to dealing with counterterrorism and perhaps most important it meant taking the f.b.i. overseas, putting them into the field, getting them involved, working side by side with our men in uniform and women in uniform to collect forensic information that has intelligence value. >> suarez: the director said "i love doing bank robberies, drug
cases, homicides. as a prosecutor that's what i thought i was going to be overseeing when i got to the bureau. but now americans expect us to prevent the next terrorist attack." what did that mean about the f.b.i. that he had to change. >> well, 9/11 fundamentally change the role of that agency from something that was really focused on domestic crime fighting to something that was focused on terrorism partially and that included the expansion of analysis, expansion of intelligence gathering, going across borders and a redefinition of the mission of what the f.b.i. was about and i think it will ultimatebly a very significant change that we saw under president bush that has continued and will remain a permanent part of our policy infrastructure. >> suarez: professor, that wasn't just happening at the f.b.i. but many agencies involved in criminal and the
intelligence activities. as part of a huge runup in spending, in capability, in the case of the f.b.i., has it paid off? did it work? >> well, that's the question people will ask. obviously many sporters of the changes will argue that many important cases have been prevented. the subway bombing in new york city was one of the big landmark efforts where really big terrorist threat was averted. there are many the public knows about, many which we don't know about, but overall that will will go on the plus of what we have done since 9/11 to reestablish a sense of normalcy in this country to prevent many attacks. on the negative sides there will be critics who say there's been an erosion of civil liberties and there will also be questions about events such as the boston bombing where some of the hold in intelligence gathering have been exposed.
>> suarez: is the tradeoffs been larger than the benefits you derive in an agency of the f.b.i.? >> from from the standpoint of the f.b.i. there have been, as the professor said, a number of plots that were disrupted, some are well known, some are not well known, i can tell you during my time period we met with the president once a week with the f.b.i. director to talk about ongoing plots and the bureau was involved in disrupting or in some way preventing those plots from coming to twu wigs. they're not perfect. the boston marion bombing is something that didn't succeed but if you look at the total score card, it's quite remarkable what the transformation has done. and, frankly, without a significant sacrifice of civil liberties. the bureau still operates within the traditional framework of the law. in this m cases supervised by the courts. >> suarez: secretary, you mentioned the boston bombing and i guess the mueller era is bracketed by 9/11 on one side and the boston marathon bombing on the other.
this was a case where the f.b.i. already had tsarnaev in the system but didn't make the connections between what it had. is that an illustration of a problem where now agencies are able to collect these huge databases but can't necessarily connect all the cross hatchings that would guess us to a suspect? >> well, it does illustrate the fact that although we've gotten better about connecting the dots it still requires you to understand the significance of the individual dots. and there are going to be times when either because of human rohr or some misalignment of priorities something is going to get missed. so i wouldn't this -- consider this to be undercutting the overall sex of the system but it's a useful opportunity to take a look at what didn't work right. did we not pay enough attention to the source of the information because it came from the russians? was there some failure to follow up on something because an
individual didn't didn't appreciate the urgency. in the hand, no matter how much analysis is enhanced by technology depends on human beings. >> suarez: when we look back at robert mueller's 12 years at the f.b.i., the question comes up whether the emergency ever passes, whether there's ever a time when the threat is seen off when you can stand down, or do places like the f.b.i. only grow in the one direction-- ever larger? >> i mean, the history of national security institutions is that they remain in place, they continue even after the crises is over. that's certainly case with a lot of the cold war institutions that we developed although they were reformed and reorganized after 9/11. with this particular threat with terrorism it's unlikely threat will go away any time soon. it will change in nature, it might diminish in some places, expand in others but the f.b.i. is not going to lose the new
characteristics that it's gained since 9/11. i think this is a little bit like the cold for what that respect and this institution and the changes that mueller put into place will remain permanent. they will be reformeded, some might be scaled down but the basic character of the f.b.i. is what it is today and it's not going to go back to the j. edgar hoover days. >> suarez: secretary, are we ever going to have anybody-- now that the job is so expanded-- who's a director for 12 years again? >> well, of course, you know congress created a ten-year term and i think that will be the norm. it was a little bit extraordinary to have bob mueller to hold over for another couple years but the theory is you want to have continuity and you want to establish that the director is operating without the timeline that a particular administration has but really stands through four administrations. there's got to be continuity, non-partisanship. bob mueller brought an incredible sense of
professionalism and experience to the job and in many ways he is the mold, i think, of directors to come, including jim comfy, who just got confirmed. >> suarez: gentlemen, thanks very much. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. >> brown: finally tonight, it's been called an epidemic: the ongoing problem of sexual crimes within the u.s. military. an estimated 26,000 troops were sexually assaulted last year. just 3,400 of those attacks were reported. and statistically, a female soldier is more likely to be raped by a fellow officer than she is to die in combat. gwen ifill picks up our look at the issue. >> ifill: the debate continues on capitol hill over how to end race and sexual assault in the military. we spoke recently with democratic senator kirsten gillibrand of new york who wants to take the power to launch prosecutions away from military commanders. but the senate arms services
committee voted to keep the process in the chain of command while stripping commanders of the authority to overturn verdicts. democratic senator claire mccaskell of missouri and republican kelly ayotte of new hampshire support that approach. they join us from capitol hill. welcome to you both. you are both former prosecutors, you both agree this is a major problem that has to be solved. how does your proposal, senator mccaskell, differ from what senator gillibrand is proposing? >> well, i think proposal that we are supporting does a better job of protecting the victims and a better job of holding commanders accountable and ultimately it will result in more prosecutions and putting more perpetrators behind bars. i think as former prosecutors that's what motivated both -- i think i can speak for kelly that this is about -- i mean, frankly we don't care whether the commanders are in it or not. the important issue is how can we protect victims and get more successful prosecutions. >> ifill: senator ayotte,
senator gillibrand said when she talked to the newshour that this is what victims have asked for, her approach, which is to take it out of the chain of command. how do you respond to that? what have victims told you? >> well, certainly victims have varying views on this issue and what we want to do is make sure that we -- make sure victims are protected. that's why we made retaliation under a crime under the u.c.m.j. but also to make sure the chain of command and commanders take responsibility and aren't let off the hook for creating the best supportive environment for victims. and that's why i support this approach. and, in fact, what we found is that if you compared the amount of prosecutions brought by commanders, they've actually brought more prosecutions than if you just left it with the jag lawyers. so i'm worried for victims that less cases will be prosecuted if we take it out of the chain of command. so to me as a former prosecutor, if we prosecute less cases then it's going to put victims in a very difficult position.
>> ifill: u.c.m.j. being the uniform code of military justice. >> that's right. >> ifill: i'm come back to you but i want to follow up with senator mccaskell. what is it about accountability that makes your approach better? if all these years these problems have persisted, what about your approach would change the accountability? >> well, here's the problem. imagine you're a victim and you're going back into your unit and there are lawyers 200 miles away who have decideed this case goes forward versus the commander deciding whether the case goes forward. in which environment do you think the victim has more protection from retaliation? i think it's fairly obvious: she gets more protection from retaliation if the commander is signed off. and that has not been the problem. they have not been able to bring us any cases where the commanders have refused to bring prosecutions when the prosecutors have recommended it. just the opposite is, in fact, true, as kelly said, many times prosecutors, maybe because it's
a hard case, maybe because they're worried about their one-loss record say this case is not a winner. and the commanders have insisted, no, let's get to the bottom of it. so yes the commanders need to keep out of the business of overturning juries. yes we need to change the rules so victims get more protection, more counselors, legal help, they're in control of where they go, whether they come back to their unit or get shipped out or whether the perpetrator gets shipped out and another important reform, gwen, is that we're going tyke-to-take out of the equation how good a soldier someone has been. that might be relevant to something, it's not relevant to whether or not they're guilty of a crime. so we have really done historic reforms here and the countries that have changed their systems, there has not been an increase in reporting. so even that premise that they're basing this on that report willing increase, the other countries that have changed this, they have not seen an increase in reporting. >> and by the way, gwen, the other count these have changed this, the changes were actually made as a result of -- to
protect defendants not to support victims. so it's important for people to understand that when we have a difference with our allies, that was actually done because defendants were driving that, not further protection for victims and what we're about is making sure that we have further protections for victims. >> ifill: senator ayotte, i want to start with you and go back to senator mccaskell. why will this be different? why will commanders have more incentive to act to protect people if, indeed, in that chain of command someone in the chain of command may have been the one who raped or assaulted you? >> well, first of all, gwen, you do not have to report at all within the chain of command. there are multiple avenues you can report to. now we're also going to have special victims' counsel so victims have their own lawyer to represent them. but in addition to that, our proposal does have incredible accountability for the commanders because if there's a disagreement between jag attorney and the commander in
terms of bringing a charge, that's going to go all the way up to the civilian secretary of the force. whether it's the secretary of the air force, the army to make the call and even if both say that we're not going to bring a case it still goes up for another level of review to make sure that victims know that there is accountability within the chain of command. >> ifill: senator mccaskell, at your press conference on this matter you had a navy retiree who said part of the problem here is that the investigations just take too long. that their hands are tied, there's nothing they can do. what about your approach to this would resolve that problem? >> well, the good news is that in our approach these victims -- when they report outside the chain of command they're going to get their own legal advice and that is going to be a pressure point in the system. because they're now going to have somebody advocating that this case be handled quickly and if you take the commanders out that removes even more pressure
from these cases going as quickly as they should because now the commanders will be accountable under ours. if they're not accountable anymore, that's a problem for the jags. that's a problem for the jags, that's a problem for the criminal investigators, that's not our problem. that's an unintended consequence that in the long run would hurt victims not help them. it's important to know, gwen, that as kelly said the victim community is not monolithic on this. we've had victims call our office, victims that have been featured in some of the documentaries about this subject that have said "we think your approach is better. they're feeling, i think, marginalized because -- as sometimes we've felt marginalized because the other side wanted to make this argument about victims versus uniforms. that's a false premise. this argument is about how we can protect the victims the best. >> ifill: senator ayotte, how do you get to zero tolerance on something like this, no matter what your approach is. it's one thing for commanders and presidents to say we won't
tolerate this or for members of the senate but how do you make that happen? >> i think we make that happen first of all within the chain of command if you condone this within your unit or don't support victims you should be fired and that piece of accountability coming from the top flowing through every level of the chain of command and i can tell you, gwen, the reason we're going to push towards zero tolerance in addition to training and the lawyers, the counsel victims will get in our bill is that claire and i are not going to let this go. we serve on the arms services committee and we will be asking people not every year but every few month what is is happening and please report back to the committee to make sure that we hold people's feet toe the fire on these important provisions and you should know there is a lot of agreements between us and senator gillibrand on so many of these provisions and i know whatever we report out it will be strong and it's not the status quo. >> ifill: senator kelly ayotte
of new hampshire and senator claire mccaskell of missouri, republican and democrats good to see you working together. thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> thanks, gwen. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: edward snowden, the leaker of u.s. surveillance secrets, was granted asylum in russia. the u.s. criticized the move, and said he should have been returned to face espionage charges. ariel castro was given life without parole, plus 1,000 years, for holding three women captive in his cleveland house, and raping them repeatedly, over a decade. and egypt's interior ministry offered safe passage to thousands of supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi, if they end their sit-ins in cairo. >> brown: online, getting to the top of the laffer curve. kwame holman explains. >> holman: arthur laffer is the economist behind reaganomics and the famous arch. that predicts the ideal tax rate for generating revenue. he spoke with our own paul
solman to explain how his theory applies to states. and a new study shows americans' feelings about their economic prospects divide sharply by race. the economic optimism of minorities surpasses that of whites by one of the largest margins in decades. read about that on our homepage. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday, we'll look at the latest round of jobs numbers and a new effort to boost the employment of those with disabilities. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with david brooks and ruth marcus, among others. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support
of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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