tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 11, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT
to our time. it was he who instilled in millions of south africans the power of the ballot, the joy of democracy. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us. tonight, we have a name and a face of the man at the center of the nsa surveillance revelations. the question still remain, are the programs necessary, are they dangerous? we'll be debating the issue coming up. also tonight, how is this happening in america? another major metropolitan city is closing almost two dozen schools, laying off hundreds of teachers and aides, but plans for a new $400 million prison are still moving forward. i'll talk to the mayor of that city, michael nutter of philadelphia. plus the primary field is
set for the special election in new jersey senate race and it is a doozy. i really am excited to introduce you to the candidates. we begin tonight with the biggest mystery in the news today. where in the world is edward snowden? this is the mira hotel in hong kong where edward snowden is believed to be holed up until today. it is just across the harbor less than 15 minutes way from hong kong's consulate which houses a cia station. something edward snowden himself was aware of this weekend when he revealed to the world precisely where he was with an interview van greenwald, and for "the guardian." >> i would be rendered by the cia, have people come after me or any of their third party partners. they work closely with a number of other nations. they could pay off the tri heads. any of their agents are assets. we have a cia station up the road in the consulate here in hong kong. i'm sure they're going to be
very busy for the next week. and that's a fear i'll live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be. >> the hotel confirmed to the "washington post" that a man by the name of edward snowden had been staying there. they would not say for how long, only that he checked out today. meanwhile eli like is reporting the internal police force was tracking edward snowden well before he outed himself this weekend. according to sources, this "q" group immediately noticed when snowden disappeared back in may. "there's complete freak-out mode at the agency right now" one former intelligence officer tells the daily beast. "there has never been anything like this in terms of a referral to the justice department. "the associated press" is reporting edward snowden moved out of the hawaii home he shared with his girlfriend on may 1st. police visited a local real estate agent to find out where he went. she didn't know.
snowden, himself, told "the guardian" as he packed his bags he told his girlfriend only he had to be away for a few weeks and was vague for the reason why. before boarding a flight to hong kong on may 20th. the fbi reportedly paid a visit to snowden's family in pennsylvania and a couple dark suited gentlemen were seen knocking on his mother's door this morning. in short, it's not exaggeration to say this 29-year-old you see before you is one of the most wanted name in the world right now. we know his name and face because of a stunning move on his part to identify himself as the source of a series of leaks of secret classified documents published last week by "the guardian" and the "washington post" detailing specific tactics and programs that give the nsa access to americans' call records and internet activity. even in the small world of high profile leakers of government secrets to flee the country and
come forward as the leaker, rather than sitting around waiting to get caught. >> you can't come forward against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk because they're such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningful oppose them. if they want to get you, they'll get you in time. >> predictably, there are already calls from both sides of the political aisle for edward snowden's extradition and prosecution. >> it's dangerous to our national security and violates the oath of which that person took. i absolutely think they should be prosecuted. >> you, too, senator feinstein? >> i do. >> you have to enforce the laws, so this is somebody who appears, at least, leaked sensitive classified information. i think he needs to be prosecuted. >> the justice department has already confirmed it's conducting a criminal investigation into the leaks that edward snowden has taken
credit for. the most striking thing about this unfolding spy story, aside from the human drama of a man who has consciously and deliberately decided to throw the rest of his life away, for an act of conscience, which is what edward snowden, has decided to do. aside from that very compelling human drama, the revelation of edward snowden's identity and the claims he makes about the power he had are far more disturbing than the substance of what we learned from the information he's leaked so far. >> the nsa specifically targets the communications of everyone. it ingests them by default. it collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and measures them and stores them for periods of time. simply because that's the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. so while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of
terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so. any analyst at any time can target anyone. any selector anywhere. i sit in my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you, to your accountant, to a federal judge even the president if i had a personal e-mail. >> let me read that again. any analyst at any time can target anyone, any selector, anywhere. there's a 29-year-old working for a private contractor, not even particularly high up in top secret america. who can do what he says he could do. how many disgruntled abusive ex-boyfriends are there inside this massive apparatus? how many people with substance abuse problems or people who for whatever reason would be willing to accept $1 million from the chinese government in exchange for some information that's at their fingertips every day? if edward snowden, if this guy can read your e-mail, how secure really are these country's secrets? joining me now is senator bernie sanders, independent from vermont.
senator, a lot of your colleagues have been calling for prosecution and extradition of edward snowden in the wake of his revelation he, in fact, is the leaker of these documents. what's your feeling about those calls? >> my feeling is he made a decision, he knew what he was doing and he will pay the consequences. whatever that may be. let's not get distracted from what the real issue here. the real issue is not snowden. the real issue is what he revealed. and that is right now, this is the reason i've consistently voted against the usa patriot act. what he revealed is that virtually every single phone call made in the united states is now on record, on file, with the united states government. and in addition to that, what we now know is that the websites that we access, the e-mails that we use, may also be on file. and the question, chris, is not snowden. the question is, what does freedom and liberty mean in the united states of america? what does our constitution mean? what kind of country do we want to be? are we comfortable with knowing that so much of what we do in our personal lives is in somebody's file in the united states government? and you raised a good point that
there could be bad actors out there who gain access to that information. that's not the only point. kids will grow up knowing that every damn thing that they do is going to be recorded someplace, in a file. i think that will have a very orwellian and very inhibiting impact on the way we live our lives. >> senator -- >> go ahead. >> i just want to ask you about this question about this inaugurating this debate, about what kind of country you want to live in. that's something snowden, himself, said, and something the president made mention of. he welcomes that debate. it's interesting to see the polling come out which shows, "a" i think a majority, though not a very strong majority, that basically is endorsing these practices and an interesting partisan switch in which democrats seven years ago polled on this, didn't seem that enthused about it, were critical and now seem to be much more willing to believe that this is the kind of thing that is necessary or acceptable for national security. what does that say to you about
where this debate is right now if we're really going to have that debate? >> it doesn't really shock me. there are many people who i have talked to, many good and decent people. this is what they say. they say, look, i'm not a terrorist. >> right. >> i really don't care if the united states government goes through all of my files, knows everything about me. it doesn't matter to me if it gives them more tools to capture terrorism. i understand that position. i strongly disagree with it. i, frankly, think that's unconstitutional. it's not what our constitution is about. it's not what this country is supposed to be about. look, chris, i happen to be someone who believes terrorism is a real threat to this country. there are people who want to do us harm, want to kill americans. i want our law enforcement people to be vigorous in going after terrorists, but i happen to believe they can do that without disregarding the constitution of the united states or the civil liberties of the american people. and i think what we need is to tighten up the usa patriot act, specifically section 215.
if the government has probable cause, if they have reason to believe somebody is a terrorist, go after that person, but don't have a blanket check on hundreds of millions of americans who are innocent. >> you're referring to section 215 which is the business records provision of the patriot act which we have now learned, thanks to the revelations about the verizon court order, that all of their phone records of every customer were turned over to the government were being essentially used as a drag net. i think, senator, you make a great point here which is we can have a debate only right now because we know no more information, and the debate is conducted on such unequal footing, precisely because citizens don't know much more than an official tells them. >> right. right. by the way, chris, why we need to have this national conversation, it's not only the government. it is the private sector as well. >> yes. >> when you go to the doctor and you get a prescription for an ailment that you have, are you really comfortable knowing that somebody will know what kind of diseases you have?
the world has changed, technology has changed, and we have got to figure out a way to protect basic american rights in the middle of this technological revolution. >> senator bernie sanders, thank you so much for joining me tonight. really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. joining me now is russell tice, a former intelligence analyst at the nsa. he blew the whistle on the bush administration's warrantless wiretapping of american citizens in 2005. russell, my first question for you is, what is happening right now, if you had to imagine, inside the nsa? i cannot begin to fathom the kinds of meetings that are happening inside the agency. >> well right now "q" group which is the security group that used to be called "m" group, they're probably, they probably all have their hair on fire right now. i assume they're going through every bit of background of this gentleman. as probably -- they're also looking at every program he's ever been cleared for as well. >> so here's one of the things i think is really surprising about the revelation of who exactly
was behind this. i read some folks speculating last week when these documents were being leaked thinking this has to be someone high up, pretty senior. we found out it's not someone quite senior in terms of how long they've been in the intelligence community or how senior they were, but someone with a lot of access and also someone that worked for a private firm. how common is it to have people at private companies with this kind of access? >> well, i think some of what he's saying might be overstated, but he was basically in an outstation in hawaii, and they tend to have less security in an outstation than they would at ft. meade. so there is a smaller i.t. section and he may very easily have been put in charge of a lot of access that otherwise if he was a ft. meade proper he would not have had. because it's just a measure of size and the amount of folks you would have in an i.t. office. >> that's fascinating. in terms of security contractors, and we've seen statistics saying that, you know, as many as 70% of the
positions inside the world of those who have top secret clearances are actually private firms. should americans be -- is this one point of the debate that these revelations should spark us in about the nature of the intelligence system right now that is so heavily privatized? >> well, it is an issue, because there's an awful lot of work that's being done in the private sector that a decision was made some time ago that they were not going to increase the federal workforce but they were going use contractors. i was a contractor for a period of time. you get paid an awful lot more as a contractor than you do as a federal employee. typically it's easy to fire a contractor and difficult to fire a federal employee. it wasn't the case with me. >> i want to ask that question. as someone who is a whistleblower, what was your experience in trying to blow the whistle from inside the nsa? and does it make you understand why snowden might have done what
he did? >> oh, absolutely. i learned the hard way, you cannot trust any of the internal supposed mechanisms that are there for oversight. the chain of command, the i.g.'s office, even at the d.o.d. i.g. i found was basically trying to put a knife in my back. the whistleblower protection act does not apply to the intelligence community. they're exempt from it. most people in the intelligence community, they don't realize that. so you can't even go to the office of special counsel because they're exempt from that, too, and the merit system protection board. so even if you use the intelligence community whistleblower protection act, the only thing that gives you is the right to go to congress.
it doesn't have any teeth there to protect you against retribution from the agency that you're reporting abuse on. >> russell tice, former nsa analyst, whistleblower. thank you very much. what happens to a city when almost 4,000 school workers are handed pink slips? 23 schools are shuttered. a $300 million prison gets built in their place. i'll take you there next.
up next, some kids complain their schools feel like prisons. i'll take you to one american city where the schools are actually being replaced with a prison. still to come, political candidate almost as entertaining as toronto mayor rob ford has his sights set on washington. this guy is amazing. the monster that chris christie made, still to come.
unelected board, refused to listen. spends more money on a closing plan than on keeping schools open. closes schools that have 92% graduation rate. closes schools that are doing well. if you do that, then what choice does community have but to say enough is enough? even in it means getting arrested. >> she did get arrested and spoiler alert, she was not successful in her efforts. the schools are still closed. randy weingarten was protesting from closing 23 schools across the city of philadelphia.
the commission said they needed to close nearly 10% of the city's schools in order to erase a budget deficit of $1.35 billion over 5 years. initially, teachers at schools that are closing would be transferred, but last week, that same reform commission approved a budget so tight it left a $300 million hole which in turn left philly's school superintendent with a very difficult decision to make. >> late this afternoon, school superintendent william hite detailed who will get pink slips. in all, 3,783 workers are getting layoff notices. that includes 676 teachers, 769 assistants, and the largest group affected, more than 1,200 aides. >> all of this is the result of something that took place a little more than a year ago when pennsylvania's republican governor tom corbett who is my own dark horse pick for maybe the worst governor in the country, along with the gop-controlled house of representatives, cut statewide pre-k through 12 education budget by $961 million. a 12% cut in education. and i bet you can guess what part of the philadelphia community will be disproportionately affected by school closings.
black students comprise 81% of those who will be impacted by the closures and 93% of kids affected are low income. meanwhile, governor corbett has no money for schools. he fished under his cushions and found the cash to build a $400 million prison complex in suburban philadelphia. and that's on top of the $1.8 billion corrections budget already signed by corbett. when it comes to pennsylvania's budget winner, the department of corrections all the way. so what we have is hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in incarcerating people from poor neighborhoods along with the corresponding buzzsaw taken to education budget, and it's all the more telling. you realize that, "more than one-quarter of pennsylvania prisoners come from philadelphia." joining me now is the mayor of philadelphia, democrat michael nutter. mayor, thank you.
the first question i have for you is, looking at this story as an outsider, it seems to me like pennsylvania's priorities are extremely screwed up at the moment. >> well, let me say this, chris. i'm focused on trying to get additional funding to invest in the education of our children here in philadelphia. we've had our budget challenges here at the city and the school district has as well, separate entity, as you mentioned in your opening, controlled by the commonwealth of pennsylvania. we do have a budget deficit. i put forward a plan to fill some of that deficit, but we do need additional support from the commonwealth and we need to save money as a result of workplace reforms and other financial reforms with the unions that the school district is negotiating with. these are some pretty tough economic times. i think that the school superintendent, dr. hite, and the school reform commission, though, took the right step in honest budgeting. they've only budgeted the dollars they know that they're
going to have. let me give you a little bit of background for that. >> mayor, let me stop you right there. before we get to the background, you're quite measured in this. and my question is -- >> the background is important. >> okay. i want to hear the background, but first i just want you to -- i mean, let's start with the 12% cut to education which is cascading down and part of the reason that this is happening. what is your feeling about that cut? i understand that there are local fiscal challenges, there are fiscal challenges across the country, but at a time when the state is finding the money to build this prison, it's very hard as an outsider to look at this and feel like the priorities are in the right place. >> well, of course, i'm a posed to the cut. there was a cut to education all across the commonwealth of pennsylvania. at the same time, here if philadelphia, we have, unfortunately, had to raise taxes two years in a row. property taxes and a use and occupancy business task.
we put up $90 million additional into funding education here in philadelphia at the city level while obviously facing some challenges at the state level. we've had a number of schools that were closed because of empty seats across the system. we've had an expansion of charter schools in philadelphia over the last few years. nearly 60,000 students having moved from district-managed schools into charter schools which, of course, are still public schools. but you can't maintain that level of inventory, 70,000 vacant seats across the entire school system, and continue to provide high quality service. so we've had to make some very, very tough decisions working with dr. hite and his team. >> well, there are critics -- >> numbers are the numbers. they are real and we are seeking additional funding this year from the commonwealth of pennsylvania. we've had some fairly positive discussions about that.
>> the critics, the critics will say, and they've said it looking at the situation, rahm emanuel, fellow mayor in chicago with school closings, but actually this is, of course, part of the plan which is that if you expand charter schools often which are outside of the sort of normal administrative procedures of the school district proper, sometimes not unionized, that this is essentially a way to get -- >> but still public schools. >> sure, this is a way to get -- >> still public schools. >> still public schools now, let's say. right? this is a way of essentially smashing what was the old administrative public district that people had some real democratic accountability over and replacing it with something that people don't have that kind of democratic accountability over. >> yeah, i mean, i've heard that. i mean, it's certainly an interesting theory. what i'm focused on is these public school parents, who are taxpayers, made a decision to move their child from one school to another school which is still a public school. and that's really about high-performing seats all across the system and a choice that
parents get to make. so my job is to make sure that we have a system of great schools all across the city of philadelphia. that they are properly funded, regardless of who manages them. that our children get a high quality education. that their parents are actively engaged in their education. and that the elected officials, certainly myself included, are providing the proper funding for a high quality education regardless of what school a parent decides to send their child to. >> quickly, mayor, did the reform commission make the right choice about what schools to close? some of these schools seem like they're actually quite high performing. >> there were a variety of factors that went into this and a whole host of different community meetings. you have some buildings where there actually is a good quality education going on, but the physical plant of that building is old and decrepit. philadelphia, as you well know, is an old northeastern city and many of our buildings are old and not high quality places for kids to go to school or even teachers to teach. so i think overall they started looking at about 39, got down to in the 30s and ultimately decided this year 23. overall, the src school reform commission made tough choices
but they made the right choice. we need to downsize the system. we can't have the vacant seats. at the same time, what you don't hear much about, they've actually increased or opened up, created more high quality seats for children to attend school and get a high quality education. so these are tough, tough issues. these are tough budget times. we need to make sure we properly fund education for our children here in philadelphia. >> philadelphia mayor michael nutter, defending the decision by the reform commission. thank you very much. the new jersey senate seat held by the late frank lautenberg will be filled later this year with a special election. today we have our primary candidates and the republican front-runner is a real piece of work. you definitely want to stick around for that. why let constipation weigh you down?
the race to become the next senator from new jersey kicked off today in what is shaping to be lopsided circus. thanks to a ring master who doesn't want to face cory booker's electorate. today at 4:00, the deadline passed to enter what looks to be a quite crowded field, the senate seat of the deceased senator frank lautenberg. the race is made more competitive by the fact the guy who was sworn in today as interim senator will not be running in the special election on wednesday october 16th. that means it's essentially an open seat. today a slew of democrats filed like congressman rush hot, former rocket scientist, and newark mayor cory booker who is odds-on favorite against the democratic field that includes new jersey assembly speaker sheila oliver and congressman frank pallone.
crowded field on the democratic site is probably a sign they see this as a winnable seat. after all, new jerseyans haven't elected a republican to the senate since 1972. on the republican side of the ledger, thereto is aleta eck, a doctor, whose main focus is government intrusion into medicaid and health care, and new jersey state senator michael dougherty decided not to run, instead is throwing his support behind this guy, steve lonegan, the former three-term mayor of bogota, new jersey, population 8,000. steve lonegan is a tea party conservative who plans to take washington by storm. >> i commit to defund, to overturn the repeal and get rid of obama care before it's too late and i'm going to put backbone into the republican party in washington, d.c., and make sure they do something. >> absolutely. >> steve lonegan was one of the stars you might say of a little documentary about the bogota mayoral race a few years ago. >> i'm in trouble now. i'm getting in serious trouble.
what do i have to do? no,s steve, i can't calm down. i need to resolve this. this is outrageous. i don't know what to do. i don't know what the hell to do. >> steve lonegan whose 15 minute of fame as mayor of bogota was when he tried to get a spanish language mcdonald's billboard taken down in 2006. there he is in front of the billboard which translates to, a cold front is coming, the new iced coffee. both mcdonald's and the billboard company denied his request. we have thus far been able to reach steve lonegan's brother, immigration rights advocate, for comment about his brother's race. lonegan has run twice, once against now-governor chris christie, won for congress and state senate and lonegan has lost all those races. lonegan is leaving his post at the koch brothers americans for prosperity to run for senate. >> i did step down today from americans for prosperity to run for office. i gave up a job i had for seven years that was a terrific
opportunity for me. i formally terminated that position today to run for the united states senate. i intend to win this race. i don't intend to be an unemployed loser on october 14th. >> i almost forgot when lonegan wanted to announce a proposal to end all state affirmative action programs he decided the best place to do that was on martin luther king jr. boulevard in newark on martin luther king day. all this is not exactly boosting lonegan in the early polls. head to head between cory booker and steve lonegan it's 54% to 27%. chris christie is widely expected to win re-election in the landslide. after all, governor christie night have provided steve lonegan good old christie coattails. that is not happening. christie avoided answering direct questions about lonegan's chances including this exchange. >> governor, what do you think of the steve lonegan candidacy for u.s. senate?
are you disappointed there aren't any moderates in the party running? do you think that hurts the party's chances? >> you know, listen, again, that's another way of asking the second part of terry's, so no thanks. >> ah, but this has not deterred mr. lonegan. >> i anticipate with enthusiasm governor christie and i will be making great team the next 16 weeks to win the first republican u.s. senate seat in 42 years. >> koch brothers stooge, perennial also ran, spanish language billboard hating, obama care repeal crusading, lonegan is christie's special election stepchild. we'll be right back.
first i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet. today would have been sendak's 83rd birthday. he died last year. his work, of course lives on. his 1963 classic "where the wild things are" is read by moms and dads all over the world. it's a favorite in my household. it's also a favorite in the white house. the president really getting into character for a lucky group of kids. today, google paid tribute to sendak's creations through a famous google doodle. the home page features the character, mack, in his monster pajamas. if you click on the image, you're taken to an animated adventure of sendak's work starting with "where the wild things are." a fitting tribute to an amazing and creative mind. you're missed, sendak. the second thing, comes from the apple tech conference. the tech titan is revealing its innovations in san francisco this week with gadget geeks from around the globe gathering to hear the news firsthand. with so much happening, it's difficult to sum up the conference with one image.
cnet's dan ackerman makes an attempt by tweeting this photo. on the right, see the line for the men's room. on your left is the line for the women's room which does not exist. perhaps all the women were on the other floor or perhaps there weren't that many in attendance. if anyone is well equipped for waiting in a long tedious line surrounded by like-minded people, it's definitely these guys. brings us to the third awesomest thing on the internet. she may have been a late adopter but she was given a warm welcome. fan girls and guys let out a collective omfg this afternoon after learning hillary clinton joined twitter. her bio list, past and present, alluding to her future, wife, mom, lawyer, first lady of arkansas, first lady of the united states, u.s. senator, secretary of state, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, tbd. the much celebrated text from hillary tumbler, where boldfaced
names text for the former secretary of state. clinton's response always shows her seated inside a military plane sporting a bad ass pair of shades. she embraced the text from hillary theme. her first tweet, i'll take it from here, using #tweetsfromhillary. it's not known whether hillary will use the social media platform to propose policy initiatives or her speculation over her future political endeavors. [ male announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance in sync?
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i'm no different from anybody else. i don't have special skills. i'm just another guy who sits there day-to-day in the office, watches what's happening and goes, this is something that's not our place to decide. the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong. >> that was edward snowden explaining in his own words the question we are all asking, why. why did a 29-year-old booz allen hamilton employee living in hawaii making around $200,000 a year decide to throw it all way way? to leak classified documents related to one of the government's most secretive agency, the nsa, then go public and reveal himself to the world? a decision that has laser focused the reactions and inclinations of people over the past week from the leaks onto a single person.
today daniel ellsberg, famed leaker of the pentagon papers wrote "there has not been in american history a more important leak than edward snowden's release of nsa material. snowden did what he did because he recognized the nsa surveillance programs for what they are, dangerous, unconstitutional activity." in the "new yorker," snowden, "he's a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison." many, many americans are learning about who edward snowden is and what exactly his leaks mean. americans for the most part have very conflicted feelings about surveillance and about how the government operates in secret to, quote, keep us safe. but now, now we have this face, this person, and our very conflicted feelings about our government and secrecy and accountability and our safety are being focused on this incredibly intense question. did edward snowden do the right thing? joining me now is amy goodman, host and executive producer of "democracy now."
co-author of "the silenced majorities: stories of uprisings, occupations, resistance and hope." karen finney, host of the awesome new msnbc show "disrupt with karen finney. "she's also former director of communications for democratic national committee. and marc ambinder, contributing editor to "the atlantic." author of "deep state." amy, i want to begin with you. do you think -- i think i know the answer to this. do you think edward snowden did the right thing? >> i think he was concerned about the whole american population being snowed and he wanted to challenge that. amazingly, given what he could face, i mean, look at bradley manning, the trial began this week. he faces life in prison as he's a court-martial at ft. meade or possibly the death penalty. snowden knows exactly what he faces. what he said he was more concerned about is the american
people would not know they're being spied on, watched, listened to, monitored in ways that we possibly have never dreamed of before. >> karen, do you agree with that as you watch this unfold? >> you know, i'm not quite sure yet how i feel about it. i well tell you, i say that because i think about how the irs story, for example, has changed over several weeks and the more we've learned the nature and composition of that story has changed. on the surface of it, the thing that bothers me the most is why did some 29-year-old kid who's worked for this company for three months have access to that kind of information which you talked about at the beginning of the show? number two, i can tell you when i worked in the clinton administration, had a top secret clearance. i took that as sacred. it bothers me, i'm very uncomfortable that this 29-year-old kid decided it was okay to put this information out
there and, you know, i guess the other piece of it is, you know, we have these feelings, and i think parent of the problem is, you've heard me say, ethic, the reality of the nature of the threats we face, law and technology, have not kept up. i mean, what if what we're talks about is the listening on on conversations we've had could have prevented the boston bombing. are any one of us going to look at people who lost limbs and say, too bad, sorry? i'm very uncomfortable with this. >> you just said it right there, to any, precisely illustrates the problem with the incentive structure inside the government for secrecy. which is that after boston, right, everyone's going to say, what did we miss? and no one, because of the nature of that, if you're sitting in the white house in the oval office or any -- you're never going to make a decision to ratchet things down. to make things less secret. because what you do is you open yourself up to get destroyed by lindsey graham the day after something like, god forbid, the boston marathon bombing happens. marc, i thought it was interesting snowden distinguished himself from bradley manning, saying, i've carefully evaluated every single document i disclosed to ensure each was legitimately made in the public interest. there are all sorts of documents that would have made a big
impact i didn't turn over because harming people isn't my goal. transparency is. what do you make of that statement? >> i mean, it certainly suggests that he understands the potential significant risks that can attend from the leak of any classified document that talks particularly about sources and methods. but to get back to your original question, you know, to the question that we all gravitate to, did you do the right thing? we have the least amount of information at this point to evaluate it. that doesn't mean i will evade it. i think if you segregate out the documents he leaked, talking about the foreign intelligence surveillance court order which involves directly the collection of metadata, telephone records on american citizens, doesn't talk about sources and methods. if that were the scope of what he leaked, it would still be an enormous story. it would necessarily advance a debate that the government has shied away from for a long time. he would still face the consequences and perhaps appropriately so, but i would feel more comfortable saying he did the right thing. the second set of documents leaked about the prism system, both the "washington post" and "the guardian" didn't publish everything he wanted to publish. i don't know what harm that will or won't have in terms of the future -- yeah?
>> i want you to hold that thought, because this question, part of the problem is we're conducting this debate like we are with everything having to do with top secret america in the dark, right? we have to take on face value official pronouncements. amy, respond to marc and karen right after we take this break. if there are laws that have been broken, certainly the reports seem to indicate that, that if anyone were to violate the law by releasing classified information outside the legal avenues, certainly that individual should be prosecuted at the full extent of the law. >> eric cantor talking about the 29-year-old intelligence analyst edward snowden.
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been broken, certainly the reports seem to indicate that, that if anyone were to violate the law by releasing classified information outside the legal avenues, certainly that individual should be prosecuted at the full extent of the law. >> eric cantor talking about the 29-year-old intelligence analyst edward snowden. i'm here with amy goodman from "democracy now." karen finney, host of the new msnbc show "disrupt." and marc ambinder from "the atlantic." left, right, republican, democrat. look, to get security clearance you swear you're not going to leak this classified stuff. it's classified under the law and you're breaking the law, so, you know, you're going to get prosecuted for it. >> a couple quick things. one is, he's a military contractor. let's not forget he wasn't even working directly for the nsa, and how many of these contractors -- these are corporations -- this young man had access. like, about 1 million people it sounds like across this country do.
this kind of access to the very personal information about our lives. but i think about daniel ellsberg. that's who you started with. 40 years ago. who said he realized as a top rand corporation official and pentagon official, he had a kind of access that most people didn't, and if he were to give out the information, a secret history of u.s. involvement in the war in vietnam, he could stop the deaths of tens of thousands of u.s. soldiers, perhaps, and millions of people in vietnam, cambodia. he opted for that and helped end the war in vietnam. this is 40 years later, and this young man is deeply concerned about something he learned that says, that affects not only all americans, but people all over the world. >> karen, as someone who, you know, you and i are both on the broad coalition of the center left of america, and i find something powerful about the
sheer and raw and evident conscience that is displayed in that video. i mean, it has to -- like, from the place i come from as a progressive, that speaks to me that there's some real moral vision there. >> it does. and look, i remember very clearly when i was at the dnc, when we were fighting the bush administration on the warrantless wiretapping. i mean, many democrats, howard dean among them, you know, the argument we made was, follow the law. we can do, you know, let's follow the law and we can keep america safe. we said we wanted a process. we now have a process. i think the argument needs to be, if this process isn't right, then let's have that conversation. but the other problem, just quickly, chris, that really bothers me about this is, you know, somebody could track my location just based on my cell phone. somebody not the government. and so, like, we're already -- it's a farce if we think that we've got a level of privacy that we used to. i mean, the amount of
information that is out there and available about us that we are willingly giving away all the time, if we're going to be this concerned about it, then let's really have that conversation because i don't want private companies having access to that information either, by the way. >> that argument, marc, i've heard this argument from people, just in my everyday conversations with folk, friends, whatever, over the last few days as these revelations come out, being like, look, i just assume everything is being tracked and monitored all over the place which mitigates against the argument these are destructive leaks because presumably anyone working for al qaeda makes the same assumptions. how much have you heard that, marc? how much does that jive with the way you think of this as someone who has reported on the nsa? >> i think it's certainly one way to think about privacy in general, but there's a big difference between corporations and the government. and it actually goes to the difference between daniel ellsberg's revelations and these revelations which is the government possesses the ultimate executive power. i mean, it can jail you, it can detain you, it can kill you.
daniel ellsberg's revelations may well have contributed to the wrapping up of the vietnam war. these revelations are not going so far as we can imagine in our future. they just don't nearly rise to that level. so it's difficult for me to compare him on the qualitative basis to daniel ellsberg. even though the obama campaign and apple, i'll hold up my own phone, and apple, know more about me than, you know, perhaps even members of my family. and probably the government. what the government can do with that information is much different than what a corporation can do. they can make me buy something or vote for someone. >> they sell that data. that is marketing data. >> i agree. >> that is used to target products and services to you. >> i agree. i'm not saying it's a bad thing. i agree. >> they're making a profit off of it. >> i'm not saying it -- right. i'm saying -- i agree with you, karen. i'm just -- there is a distinction between corporate access to this information and the government's access. because the government can do a lot worse with it. >> what we have seen, one of the
remarkable things, just the begin of this story in the last week, is the degree to which how inextricably bound the government and private enterprise is in the creation of this huge intelligence complex. on the contractor side. amy goodman from "democracy now." karen finney host of "disrupt with karen finney". and marc from "the atlantic." that's "all in" for this evening. the "rachel maddow show" begins now. chris, am i allowed to congratulate you on the tie? >> yes. >> it's lovely. >> i'm all growed up. >> that's exactly right. you were here to see it, people. it just happened. all right. thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. happy monday. we begin tonight with this very cool kid. her name is is cy fi. c-y f-i. cy fi is obviously cooler than i am and probably significantly cooler than you are as well. no offense. cy fi is the founder of something called defcon kids, an annual convention of sorts for computer hackers for people who