tv [untitled] December 27, 2011 6:01pm-6:31pm EST
country and letting the people have a voice so we went down to freedom plaza and got a chance to speak with chris hedges one on one between occupy wall street in new york and the other cities that spread to as well as the october two thousand and eleven movement that just began right here in d.c. something seems to be happening in this country but what could it actually lead to more earlier i spoke with chris hedges pulitzer prize winning reporter and author of the world as it is dispatches on the myth of human progress and he was also in freedom plaza in d.c. today and how does somebody that said that civil disobedience is our only hope for the future of this country so i asked him if civil disobedience is what he thinks we're seeing right now. yeah. i think people have finally woken up to the club talk or see that we live in. the fact that the only word that these corporations know is more there are no impediments to patients reconfiguring of the united states and the global economy into a form of neo feudalism they recognize that the political system is broken that the
commercial press the judiciary the elected officials. are essentially wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state and we're seeing a reaction and it's of course for those of us who have been calling for acts of civil disobedience and physical defiance of the corporate state it's deeply heartening what about those that are part of the corporate media you can say especially we're seeing a lot of this on fox news or elected officials people that want to be elected officials like herman cain they're saying that this is anti-american because if your anti corporation your anti free markets and your anti-american you're anti freedom overall well of course i mean and who owns those networks general electric fired rupert murdoch's news corp. disney. there's about a half dozen corporations that control almost everything most americans see watch read or hear and they're going to make damn sure that the people who get on the
airwaves that they control disseminate the message they want and that's precisely the message but i think increasing number of americans across the political spectrum are seeing through that mendacity and i think i think the corporate states in trouble if you think about playing into perhaps the division that we see right now with the tea party movement which you could say it was co-opted somewhere along the way but originally came out of this restoration that a lot of americans are not sure is the balance right then later on president obama's health care plan and it is that message where. to divide the groups or the tea party have the same thing in common as occupy wall street and the act over those lot of tea party i think when you look closely at its origins was from the beginning a creation of the corporatists like the koch brothers and others and it functions as america's fascist party it celebrates the gun culture the language of violence
the undercurrents of racism the scapegoating of people who are vulnerable and weak within the society muslims undocumented workers homosexuals intellectuals it has all the hallmarks of a classically fascist organization including the fact that it's bankrolled by the most retro grade elements within american society and the people who bankroll it have turned anger and of course you're right that they are tapping into a legitimate rage but they have deflected that rage away from where it should be directed which is wall street towards government because corporations want government to become weaker more anemic to destroy what controls and regulations are left and there isn't of course much left so you don't blame government do you think that perhaps individual politicians people like president barack obama are they just played for the system essentially because they depend on campaign donations they depend on the money and there's no way to get out of it i wouldn't
call them slaves to the system i mean barack obama is certainly intelligent enough to understand where power lies and what he has to do in order to stay in office and what whose interests he has to serve and he has served those interests as a suit through asli as did george w. bush the fact is there is no way within the american political system to vote against the interests of goldman sachs it doesn't matter whether it's bush or obama or mccain or anyone else. we we live in a in a in a society that. in which the citizenry has been utterly disempowered rendered impotent. and it doesn't matter what citizens want even when we vote for instance in two thousand and six. against the war in iraq and turn the control of congress back over to the democrats what does the democratic party do it continues to not only fund the war but increase troop levels in iraq by thirty thousand obamacare ends up being two thousand pages written by corporate lobbyists the equivalent of
the bank bailout bill to the pharmaceutical and insurance industry four hundred billion dollars in subsidies obama has expanded the reach of imperial wars including proxy wars in somalia yemen pakistan he has not restored habeas corpus on all of the major structural issues there is no difference there's a complete continuity and of course the working class and the poor and increasingly the middle class have to pay the price and it to end it doesn't matter whether it's democrat or republican and that's the fuel of these movements so how do you see this playing out do you think i mean for example let's look back at the occupy wall street the one that's going on in new york right now yesterday they saw some of the largest numbers that they had passed far and they were met with a police presence right people were arrested they were batons that worth around there was pepper spray does that have to be violent or can it be done peaceful of the more frightened the power elite becomes the more violent and drug tony and will be the measures of control and the security and surveillance state in this country
is profound deep immense and brutal. and growing and where is the movement going i've covered movements all around the world i covered all of the revolutions in eastern europe east germany czechoslovakia romania all the uprisings against milosevic in belgrade when movements like these begin you never know where they're going even the leaders don't know where they're going i was sitting in a room in leipzig on the afternoon of november ninth one thousand nine hundred nine with the leaders of the east german opposition and they were saying that perhaps within a year there would be free. passage back and forth across the berlin wall within a few hours the wall didn't exist so i mean that's a small illustration of the fact that even the purported leaders of populist movements like this one have no idea where it's going to go we're all hoping that it becomes so powerful and so immense that it begins to shift power away from the
one percent back to the rest of the citizenry when you compare this moment to what we saw going on in the one nine hundred sixty s. here in america i think the sixty's were different. the status the new left in the sixty's was largely a middle class phenomenon. it was severed from labor labor did not support. the new left. including the fact the a.f.l.-cio supported nixon's war in indochina and denounced to the kids in the street as hippies and i think what we're seeing now is something different i think that the commonality of interests against the corporate state is a kind of a unifying factor that can bring together everyone from a libertarian people like myself who. worked in two thousand and eight for ralph nader who are still saying of course they hate the wary being thrown around right now the protesters although if you look around you can see it's not just young people it's an older generation as well and you're inspiring really younger but
would you say i is there a fear here let's say of the economy dies finally rebound gets back on track my ways might we see the same thing as those sixty's that these people move into the suburbs they get jobs and they're now the ones working and i have heard that the fact is there are no jobs i mean real wages for american workers since the early seventy's have remained stagnant or declined we maintain both a level of consumption and an empire through credit that credit has dried up. it the manufacturing base has been decimated. wall street speculators and remember in the seventeenth century speculation was a crime. speculators were hong. they control our financial system and and so the idea that we're going to rebound i mean we're watching the european banking system as i speak stand on the edge of collapse it's not just greece that's going to default but most likely italy portugal spain and the repercussions of that
are going to reach our shores so you know there were no restrictions placed on wall street they looted the u.s. treasury in two thousand and eight they went right back to their old games and we're headed most likely for another crash unless we stand up and stop them they'll come back and help themselves to whatever money we have left now of course this october two thousand a lot of movement is about corporatism it's also about military ism and now it's been ten full years but the war in afghanistan do you think it's ever going to end yeah because we're losing the war. the taliban controls about seventy seventy five percent of afghanistan. we have replicated the disastrous occupation of the red army where we control the urban centers sort of i mean we see attacks even in kabul . but only twenty percent of the afghans live in urban centers the rest of the country is either controlled by the taliban or in dispute and. it's an unsustainable bore both financially and militarily both in iraq and afghanistan we
bought a kind of temporary graveyard piece after one point two million iraqis were killed i spent a lot of time in iraq and i can assure you that that also over the long term is not sustainable so these are wars we can't win we've wasted what four trillion dollars absurd sums of money that could have been used to put every american in this country to work. gave us the best public education in the world as well as access to the finest health care in the world and we just poured it down a rat hole. chris thank you so much for joining us today i promise we're taking a break but there's a lot more to come as our interview with jay you were of the young turks about wall street corruption and the security researcher chris a boy and fills us in on how with new technology the music press journalists and their sources.
now the time we conducted this interview not a single wall street banker or executive of the prosecuted on criminal charges for the financial crisis unfortunately at the end of two thousand and eleven nothing has changed so here's a look at me speaking to the young turks about how our system in itself is fundamentally corrupt one the debt crisis in europe and poor economic figures here in the us lead us into what could be considered another double dip a crash a real depression let's not forget that to this day the u.s. is not prosecuted or a single wall street banker for bringing it all down the first time in two thousand and eight called coddling call it unfair or just call it what it is corruption and a mad save is an excellent piece in rolling stone that shines light on that kind of corruption of the securities and exchange commission according to an f.c.c. whistleblower over the past two decades the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations into these words white washing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals now the f.c.c.
created a policy spelled out on its own internal website that for any m u i's which stands for matters of inquiry for those that don't develop into full blown investigations all the documents be destroyed which is exactly what was done thousands of times and it makes me wonder if there had been a paper trail if investigators could have seen patterns emerging if the financial collapse could have been seen before it hit but also shows the continuous revolving door between top level officials of the government's regulation agency and the very banks and wall street firms that they were supposed to hold accountable why else would an investigative agency want to get rid of potential evidence so how do you place the story into the larger context of corruption and hypocrisy that we see that from our government earlier i caught up with host of the young turks and i first asked him if unfortunately left enough after everything that we've learned since the crash in two thousand and eight if this story even surprised him at all. no not at all it's exactly what i expect the government is in essence whether it
was a republican or democratic administration covering up for wall street all along there's a couple of reasons for that one is the politicians who make the decisions up top get paid by wall street is oftentimes literally their biggest donors so are we surprised that we set up a system where people get paychecks from wall street and then they decide that they're not going to pursue the wrongdoing or wall street who would be surprised by the system. but how do you try to fix something like this right because it's one thing to say that there's a lot of anger towards congress and towards elected officials because these people get the checks to see it in terms of campaign donations or what else but then when it comes to people that actually work at the s.c.c.a. we're kind of helpless we don't get to decide who gets to hold that position or not who gets to be the top investigator and then move on right over to one of the banks that they were supposed to be investigating let next. well you see that's the key thing here you've got to set up the right system with the right incentives and disincentives if you don't it's an automatic fail so for example with the rating
agencies when they get paid by the people who they are rating well obviously they will fix the ratings so they can get more money for the benefit of the people who are paying them i mean it's the most obvious thing in the world and with the s.e.c. i mean you can. be as examples but with almost every one of these bureaucracies you have the same thing for example in texas waste management was handled by a certain gentleman who was appointed by rick perry who got a tremendous amount of money from the guy from the people who built a five hundred million dollars in waste management plant in texas second biggest auditor rick perry rick perry has an incentive to fix the system and then a guy who is handling the waste management then guess who he worked for right afterwards the same company that he was supposed to be regulating and chose not to regulate it's systemic how do you fix it you set rules where you say hey you know what for example if you were going to see you are not allowed to work in any company or even in the industry that you were regulating for
a certain number of years i would do i would be draconian and say ten years well then people say oh nobody will want to work there well ok if you came to the government to rob us so you pay later on i don't like to work there i want honest people to work there and i want to pay a good fee to do it. you know i like that idea because you're coding and i don't think of that sounds bad at all now when it comes to our members of congress though right because apparently this entire story when it comes to this you see and what t.v. is reporting on bank came out thanks to a whistleblower from within the sea and he went over to congress in july and he presented this information to them right where chuck grassley said well i just don't understand why an investigative body you know would want to do something like this why they would want to get rid of potential evidence and then we hadn't heard anything else from congress and only after this piece broke today now it's senator grassley once again start bringing it up so do they just play dumb even though it's on public record this is been presented to them. you know i always wonder about the
two and i don't have a good answer to that when i see grasses rationally that i think you see thinking like snickering after is going to like old golly gee will or girls i didn't see that. we all get paid by these same guys what a joke this is and he's just you know more sophisticated actor or are they purposefully ignorant they don't want to know so they don't know so they tell their staff to look into things like that so that when things that are obvious happened they go oh golly gee wooders nobody could have seen it coming it's one of the other there's no question about. now obviously it's hard to play the what if game at this point we can't just go back and pretend like the economy didn't crash in two thousand and eight and we're not still feeling the effects of that but let's just kind of play with that idea for a second here just imagine if some of these investigations had gone through if some of these documents weren't destroyed and you could have picked up on a pattern and let's say that it came out that there was insider trading going on a i.g.
do you think that the government still would have taken the same steps still would have bailed them out what any of this kind of and you know information even. tried to make the you know even to have made them look the other way or try to approach things differently. unfortunately american people have to understand this and i think they're pretty close to understanding that we don't have an honest government so if we had significant evidence which we did by the way we chose to ignore of foul play i.g. or countrywide or any of these top banks and financial institutions well it would have been inconvenient for the government because they were going to give them the money no matter what they were going to bail them out no matter what so the fact that there was evidence there they do they want us we don't sweep it under the rug it was made public and we're going to meet you know now we've got to deal with this and people are going to complain that we're you know giving money to these same corrupt people but they were. no matter what because the system is set up in
a way that our politicians and our regulators get paid by the people who are supposed to be regulating and watching over that is a fundamentally corrupt system now i want to segue really quickly to talk about another little element that we're seeing so as impeded cited to downgrade the u.s. credit rating and of course we saw a lot of angry finger pointing of that was the republicans fault that was the democrats' fault now it's just s. and p's fall and now we also find out that s. and p. is being investigated for what they missed when it came to mortgages for many years ago do you think of the timing is a little bit convenient here is this you know supposed to be some sort of act of revenge. you know we don't have enough information because the justice department claims that they were investigating s. and p. or at least the inside sources that are quoted in the papers today that they were investigating s. and p. long before the downgrade now is it possible that the s.
and p. thought oh they're going to downgrade it they're going to investigate us so let's downgrade them so that it will seem like revenge right that's also possible or we got word that s. and p. was thinking of downgrading us all or back in april which is true so then we started the investigation in may i don't know you need the extra details to know which came first right but look i mean we're talking about two again unfortunately fundamentally corrupt organizations but what is the s. and p. which gets paid by the banks to rate the banks which is a joke and by the way they also get paid by the banks to rate the united states so it's shocking that they came to a conclusion that it turns out the u.s. needs to take more from the middle class and give more to the rich which is exactly what the banks and the top corporations want and also the second party involved is the united states government which is also fundamentally corrupt so you know pick up as to who is at fault. yeah definitely is a it's a complicated web they're weaving there i guess we won't know the details that i'm sure you can assume that the other credit or the other ratings agencies probably
were involved the same thing that they also missed the housing bubble so why wouldn't they be being investigated as well and for some reason it's only falling on us and p's shoulders they're like you just got to ask but i want to ask you about something that the c.e.o. of starbucks recently decided he he said he's so sick so disgusted with congress that he's going to boycott donating to any campaign and now that letter has been passed around it's going over to the c.e.o.'s of other corporations they think that's a good idea to try to take the money out maybe then they'll listen. first of all it's a great first step he's one hundred percent right because all the money to use and over to republicans or democrats are totally and utterly wasted. unless you're actually trying to basically implicitly bribe them in which case is not wasted money it's money well spent you'll get a great return on investment. but if you're actually an honest person who thinks that they're going to do what they claim to do it you're in for a rude awakening i mean even if you're
a conservative and you give the republicans you think they want to balance the budget they don't give a damn about balancing the budget all they want to do is shuffle the money up to the very rich and whatever they're in charge they never balance the budget never in fact the last republican president to do it was eisenhower so they're playing a big joke on you the democrats are the same thing they have in the progressive priorities and god knows how many decades so yes first step is stop giving the politicians they're just wasting your money and using it for their own purposes i think the second step should be to give to an organization that fights for an amendment to do you a corporate personhood because these corporations are buying our democracy thank you so much for joining us tonight and so you're just as cynical as i am when it comes to all of this i just don't know how we're going to win thanks. it's that amendment don't worry we're common. technology is changing our world for the better but as we rely more on it there are certain safeguards and changes that we might have to make to keep up and keep information secure so check out our interview with
security researcher christopher is to going about what journalists can do to protect their sources in today's world right here on the show we constantly talk about the government's expanding reach and abilities when it comes to monitoring just about everything whether it be through legislation that strongly relaxes rules on the need for warrants or secretive gag orders that for social media companies to hand over users' private info but it's time to think about all this applies to journalists and their ability to keep their confidential sources say and not that of the new york times christopher sigmoid argues that american journalists should assume that their communications are being monitored by their government and possibly other governments as well and of the safety of anonymous sources is going to depend not only on journalist ethics built but on their computer skills as well and that for. now wiki leaks might be a safer bet than any journalist out there let's find out more and how to change that he discusses if he is christoffersen going fellow at the open society foundations and a doctoral candidate at security informatics at indiana university christopher thank you so much for being here tonight i think serving about ok so you say that
we have to assume that the government is monitoring communications if you're a journalist is that everything in terms of your text messages your phone calls all very mails even your skype conversations you might have this doesn't mean the government is monitoring you in real time you know all the time what it means though is that if you ever do anything that the government decides that they find interesting they can get it they can get it by using the services provided by free company provided free by companies like google facebook twitter that are routinely saving this information by default we're sort of leaving this digital data trail behind and so when the government decides after the fact that they you know they think you've done something interesting or they think you've spoken to a whistleblower they just call it the company's ask for the information and suddenly they know who the whistleblower is without ever forcing you to reveal it do you think the government is becoming more aggressive in that sense in terms of going after people going after whistleblowers trying to find their sources if you look at the case of james rising recently or obviously their reaction to wiki leaks we know just from information's been published this government this administration
has been far more vigorous in going after whistleblowers than any previous administration so this is you know normally you would think of the republicans as being in a really anti was going but president obama has really. not know the whole story held in anybody's back from going off of these guys. really what this means is if you are a journalist and you're contacting the source whistleblowers inside the administration or or anywhere you need to protect this information because the government will get it eventually and depends i guess was being put out there because we see you know we see the new york times we see many of the major publications in this country leak information all the time that they get from white house officials senior white house officials but it all depends on whether they want that information to be leaked to. public or not but so what do you suggest that we do in terms of changing that you know you mention that of course if somebody is studying journalism in school they don't have a computer security class journalism schools death and they need to be taking the initiative and teaching their students computer security skills now most
universities have a computer science department does it seem like the perfect marriage bring some computer science professors over have them teach the journalism students you know maybe that you can even pos and journalism professors about the computer science department teach them how to blog but news organizations also need to take responsibility and protect their information for people who have already been through journalism school your organization for example all of your stuff resumes use g.-mail and when they communicate with me maybe you should be hosting your own e-mail service so that google one hundred of your data and everybody all our secrets on t.v. there were. no no yeah mail is something that you know that i think a lot of people use or a lot of people use their personal emails and so you know what about organizations now that have been trying to implement their own wiki leaks style leaking things like the wall street journal piece of both the wall street journal and al-jazeera english both set up their own wiki leaks style platforms to encourage leakers when the wall street journal said there was a they had some initial stumbling they chose incorrectly encryption algorithms they
were vulnerable to certain forms of interception and then their terms of service basically said that they could hand over your information to the government really whenever the government asked for it and those organizations receive criticism legitimate criticism and they've sort of learned from that but really what this tells you is that news organizations at least right now are not really equipped to be setting up these sites they don't have trained information security experts in-house right they focus on what they're good at which is digging up dirt and publishing it but they really really need to go out and acquire this additional expertise because their information their sources simply are not safe right now so in the meantime though you think that wiki leaks is probably the safest place for somebody to leak their information for a source to go to whatever you think of us on it and people really do have different. indians' about him he is a computer scientist he's a trained computer security expert and he and his volunteers have really built this stellar form for anonymous leaking no one no sources all we could be have been revealed based on anything that wiki leaks has done and in fact they still don't
have the redacted state department cables that got put out there you know you could say that what has had is a problem is their vulnerability in terms of the personal relationships people have left the organization and then try to hurt wiki leaks has protected its own sources the information that's come in has clearly leaked like a sieve once it's there but the infrastructure that they've set up has been put in place such that they don't know who is leaking things to them in fact they still don't know if manning was the person who provided them with the cables they have built a system that provides zero information other than the documents that come in the door christiane thank you so much for joining us tonight and i think it's something that journalists and news organizations definitely need to start thinking more about i guess just don't let the government know because then i'll be a little upset thank you. i would take another break but coming up next we speak to grover norquist on why reforming the drug war makes sense financially. wealthy.