tv [untitled] May 7, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
welcome back to the big picture i'm tom arvin coming up in this half hour the swift boat campaign against president obama has officially begun but it is really behind this effort to smear the president on his biggest foreign policy achievement the death of osama bin laden and later what is the n.s.a. up to in the dusty valleys of utah while a massive new security center could mean the end of privacy as we know it in the united states. in the best the rest of the news you might remember back in two thousand and four democratic presidential candidate john kerry was dogged by these outrageous and
misleading ads john kerry gave him for free. by many of my comrades in north in the prison camps torturing would say the more lies to us crimes committed on a day to day basis he betrayed us in the past how could we be loyal to him now. dishonored his country and more importantly the people each served with the just sold swift boat veterans for truth is responsible for the content of this advertising those are funded by the group swift boat veterans for truth a right wing organization that attempted to spin john kerry's military service his strongest suit against him he has are so effective they arguably cost kerry that election and introduced a new word into our american political lexicon swiftboating meaning to launch unfair or untrue political attacks and now as we're headed into the two thousand and twelve election one group is trying to swift boat president obama with this new
ad trying to spin president obama's killing of osama bin ladin against him take a look. report i directed leon panetta i was briefed on the middle of beautifully i determined that my direction i called president zardari i was a man or i. don't need to spike the football i said that. and i. suppose in the navy seals gone in they are supposed. to dance and i would be i the group behind that ad is calling itself veterans for a strong america so what more do we need to know about this group as it begins its ad of salt on the president at impact is here he's a reporter at think progress welcome thanks so much for having me great to have you here with us what exactly is veterans for a strong america so veterans for
a strong america is actually a fairly secretive group as best we've been able to discern it's a very small organization in fact some reports show that there is in fact only one employee payroll joel aarons who is the director of this organization however they've also hosted several fairly large events including those with very recent presidential candidates including new kitchen and rick santorum so they do seem to wield a moderate degree of influence among conservatives and republicans is desired ization of the koch brothers fingerprints all over it like so many of these hard right to you know it's very difficult to tell because like so many of these small organizations and super pacs the funding behind these organizations is very hard to find and in fact we spoke with joel aaron's a few days ago to ask him if he could provide us with any kind of documentation or or i.r.s. forms and he declined we spoke to the i.r.s. they don't have any forms on record at all well he doesn't so he's not a real five a one c three those are public information yeah well there's
a filing that like coming up this week actually may fifteenth so we'll see if you know in the few days after that if documentation does surface. when we spoke to somebody the other day they had no record it could just be regarded as a paycheck and a trademark it could be on their website they do have a website where they are accepting donations or soliciting donations i think for the most i mean that the tax deductible they don't claim on the site that their tax deductible they do say that they are organized as a five a one c four however that doesn't necessarily mean that they have filed the necessary paperwork to be officially recognized as the five already for. the republican the whole the whole shtick of this is that obama's politicizing a success in the war on terror take a look at this just very. piece of a clip much larger clip of the republicans doing the same thing four years ago. thank god george bush is our president right now the world just cannot afford and
america president bush sees the world terrorism for the evil that it is and i face the kind of decision that comes only to the oval office. cherished by the throat george w. bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the american people. i don't get it you know obama has not flown onto an aircraft carrier in a suit stuff with socks and things and strutted around in front of a sign that says mission accomplished i mean here's in fact this is the video of it . if that isn't politicizing and he didn't even actually you know have a success at that point i mean all they have done is successfully invaded iraq and begun what was a horrible long drawn out protracted bloody war how can how can republicans get over these this group these so-called veterans for a strong america how could they get away with you know turning up turning reality
have said yeah it's surprising although also somewhat predictable i think as well where something that president obama does that his predecessors have done all the sudden conservatives and republicans are outraged and in fact even with president obama. the director of this organization just a few weeks ago criticize president obama for not taking enough credit for the capture of osama bin laden there was a weekly standard article that had come out that was critical of the president because he listed the passage of health care reform and now the capture of osama bin laden as his proudest moment in office and at the time was very upset and forwarded on this article twitter account and the official twitter account of veterans first dog america as well as maybe outrage that maybe maybe he didn't have quite as strong a case. thanks so much for being with us tonight out it was a great time now to change gears to cyber security and domestic surveillance. there's a massive new building under construction in the city of bluffdale utah population
just seven and a half thousand people it's a two billion dollars project commissioned by the national security agency complete with heavy fortifications surveillance and top secret clearance building officially being recognized out of the innocuous name utah data center is expected to be completed by late summer twenty thirteen but what exactly is what's going to be going on within the top secret walls of this two billion dollar dataset the answer apparently is surveillance but not just surveillance we're talking the biggest spy center this nation has ever seen and if you use the internet talk on the phone check out books in your library then you might want to be very concerned about this so-called data center spy center under construction in utah here to explain why is james bamford investigative journalist and author of numerous books including the shadow factory james welcome thanks very much tom i have to say your book the puzzle palace was for me one of the fact i had you on my radio show after
came out it's just just in any case you'd use marvelous marvelous work and so what is what is going on into well if you mention it's actually the largest spy center in american history it's a million square feet two billion dollars it will be able to hold maybe up to a yota bite worth of data which if you measure that out in pages would be basically two hundred quintillion pages of text so to hand it's a million two hundred actually five hundred quintillion pages of text but this is this is more than enough to reach from here to the moon many many many times over. it's an enormous data center and that's what n.s.a. needs to have to put all the information it collects eavesdrops on enormous amounts of communications all over the world including in the united states. and they need someplace to put it and that's what will be n.s.a.'s cloud in other words all the
data will go in there and then n.s.a. from its headquarters and listening posts around the world and in the united states will be able to be able to access it in terms of international spy in analysis i don't think most americans are going to get real upset about that in fact they might be. gratified that there's somebody in the us his government's plan attention is going out across the world but domestic spying didn't didn't there used to be this fire wall that you know the f.b.i. could do domestic work the cia and the n.s.a. had to do international work. how did how did the n.s.a. get into the domestic surveillance business when n.s.a. is almost always been in the domestic surveillance business legally from the time it was born in one thousand fifty two illegally from ok so the time was born one nine hundred fifty two until mid seventy's when it was discovered in a say had been each illegally eavesdropping on every single telegram coming in and going out of the country and then in the late seventy's n.s.a.
was sort of put on a leash there was a organization called the foreign intelligence surveillance court created that n.s.a. had to submit to in order to use drop within the united states and that worked fine up until. president bush decided to bypass the face of core bypassed the one sort of buffer between the n.s.a. and american public and do warrantless eavesdropping for a number of years until it was exposed by the new york times and then congress largely ratified that and watered down the protections from the vice a court the foreign intelligence surveillance court and that's where we are today the n.s.a. is getting bigger the protections are getting weaker and what does this mean this center and this trend that you just described. for individual privacy in the united states for people who are not. in a. i don't want to say politically active people people who are not involving
themselves in anything that might remotely be considered terrorists you don't have to look at the watch list they had somewhere around a million names on it most of them probably eighty five ninety percent were wrong names or mistakes take kennedy was on there for almost four months before he get off it i always figured that was just some malicious clerk put him on now there's there's all kinds of innocent people that are on that list and you never know you know you might not be at the level where you're bumped off a plane but you're still on the list so you never know you don't get this small business administration loan it might be because you're on that list your child doesn't get into annapolis or west point because you don't know why but it may be because they check the list and mistakenly you're on that list so every people do have something to worry about they don't have to be you know osama bin ladin or terrorist but they do have some concerns or
a new type of blacklist or red list or remarkable james bamford thanks so much for being with us to my pleasure for the great work great writing researcher you're . in the earliest if the earliest champion of privacy rights in america ben franklin were able to see the construction of this massive spice and he rolling in his grave. still to come everything you know about morality and religion might be wrong after the break why atheist might be more compassionate people than true believers.
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so sometimes you know what you know and sometimes you know what you don't know and sometimes as the firesign theater says three thing you know is wrong you know that you're wrong if you really are you're right. to make. sure. you go is. the story line is that for thousands of years most of our morality has been derived from religious doctrine religious people say that without religion and people would have difficulty determining what's right and what's wrong they also say that compassion itself caring for one another is a byproduct of subscribing to a certain religious morality according to new research from the university of
california berkeley if you believe that compassion and morality are best found a religious people and everything you know is wrong joining me now is dr at a million simon thomas the science director with the greater good science center at the university of california at berkeley and dr simon thomas welcome to the program highground thank you for months thank you for joining us first of all what did you find about compassion levels between believers and atheists. so this is a really interesting study in that it doesn't necessarily tap into a difference between religious people and non-religious people with regards to how much compassion they feel rather it comes out the fact that when you try to trump people wish compassion when you ask how much compassion they feel in the moment they're more likely to behave in a pro-social or generous or co-operative way on the average they're
religious people in the study were overall a more cooperative than the people who are non-religious it's just that when you tried to trunks the feeling or the idea or thoughts about compassion this was more moving were more influential to the behavior of the people who were less religious now could that be because you were you were looking at the hard as judge the the the evangelical as the let's call it that of the religious folks of the religious movement and among atheists you were not looking at the hard edge of the evangelical atheists you were just looking at average atheists who the consequence saw they don't they don't care so much could could that you know personality or. evangelical difference make
a difference. that's a really great question and our samples we were not necessarily gathering those extremes we were capturing data from people who fall closer to the middle or to the average and asking them to identify themselves as their very own religious or from a one on a numerical scale from one to seven a very unreligious or very extremely or strongly religious. and didn't really matter whether people identified in a sort of particular political orientation those didn't influence the outcomes of our statistics rather it just seems that if people feel that they are more religious on a day to day basis their compassion seems to be a little bit more sort of ingrained all the time rather than something that comes on in a specific moment and so when we try to invoke compassion in
a specific moment they're not as much. in other words very cooperative they're generous regardless of whether we have tried to tap into compassion first people who are low on religion seem to be much more influenced by a movement of compassion being brought on dr dr simon thomas thank you so much thank you very much for the pleasure now everything you know about atheism morality and compassion is right. just. time for sides the good the bad of the very very terror. for bickley ugly the good gregory berns burns is the director of emory university's center for neuro policy he's trying to unlock one of the greatest secrets down to man which is what the heck is man's best friend thing by training dogs to sit perfectly still burns is
for the first time performing m.r.i. scans on dogs that are awake measuring what parts of their brains are being stimulated in response to swimming certain human interactions the studies will likely reveal just how much human language dogs actually understand and just how aware they are of their owners emotions and it might prove provide some relief for anchorman ron burgundy. come again. you know i don't speak spanish in english please. you know be the bad north carolina republicans four different republican politicians on in the state have gone full on birth or the latest is dr john whitley running for a congressional seat the state's eighth district who called president obama's birth certificate a poorly reproduced forgery after whitley went on to say there is a tremendous amount of smoke here in fact it's called a smoke screen on the other hand simply call it a reeses and the very very ugly multimillionaire congressman paul ryan at
a town hall meeting last friday representative ryan was asked point blank by a constituent if he supports closing corporate tax loopholes to prevent student loan interest rates from increasing here was ryan's answer. you. know. no well it shouldn't surprise most political observers who study the republican agenda over the last year it is telling that the top budget maker in congress would rather preserve unfair tax breaks for transnational oil corporations like exxon mobil the most corporate profitable corporation in the history of the world rather than make sure the next generation of young people in america aren't saddled with debt some might call as heartless some might call it flat out economically stupid and others might call it selfish given the ryan is a millionaire he seems to only care about other millionaires i just call it very fair.
one of the reasons i like vice president joe biden is because he's unfiltered he often speaks his mind without thinking about the political consequences and also happens to be the biggest knock on joe but but on sunday joe biden spoke his mind and said this about same sex marriage. i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying men are entitled the same exact rights all the civil rights all the civil liberties and quite frankly i don't see much of a distinction beyond what you just heard is a pretty big deal for two reasons one as vice president joe biden just became the highest ranking american official in the history of our republic to endorse same
sex marriage that means we've hit a tipping point now when it comes to same sex marriage that same tipping point that argentina hit in two thousand and ten when it approved same sex marriage or brazil in two thousand and eleven or canada in two thousand and five or the netherlands brazil mexico iceland sweden spain's of africa portugal and belgium all nations that have already recognize same sex marriage in the last decade at tipping point is seen best in the eight states of the united states that have passed laws to legalize same sex marriage with maryland being the most recent just a just a few months ago just earlier this year joe biden was just reflecting the mood in america which is that we as a nation are ready to extend civil rights to all americans regardless of their sexual orientation further reflected that secretary of education arnie duncan also endorsed gay marriage this morning the second reason why joe biden's comments are a pretty big deal is that president obama doesn't agree with them and rarely do
presidents and vice presidents disagree president obama has yet to come out in support of same sex marriage and instead says that his views on the issue evolving what does that mean. well it means that the president politically can't come out in full support of nationally recognizing same sex marriage even though our nation like i just said has hit a tipping point on more than half of all americans support same sex marriage the inconvenient truth here is that despite our nation being ready for this leap forward in civil rights given the toxic nature of american politics today we may have to wait until after the election to actually take that step and we can thank conservative political operatives for the delay ever since today's republican party devoted self to representing only the interest of the top one percent it had to stuff the party with voters who aren't members of the one percent in other ways and that includes appealing to the hard core religious right giving fundamentalists and
other enemies of civil rights and gay rights and outsized voice in the republican party noam chomsky recently made this observation the republican party has for some years pretty much abandoned any pretense of being a traditional political party to kind of lockstep obedience to the very rich super rich the corporate sector. they can't vote at the mobile as a different constituency which has always been there through american history but never really it was mobilized politically because at the religious right. even though a majority of americans now support same sex marriage the republicans don't and in an election where there are already stark differences between the two parties when it comes to the economy tragically the president would be on political thin ice with swing state moderates if he were embraced same sex marriage right now much
safer for him to just hammer romney's push for more of the same old failed trickle down reaganomics austerity is destroying the middle class so while it's good that vice president joe biden did what he does best and spoke his mind about gay marriage it's troubling that our nation still isn't ready to repeal the defense of marriage act and finally give official recognition of same sex couples across the land on the other hand it's hard to believe that this latest episode of honesty by the vice president wasn't at least considered or discussed in the white house before he went on the air which could signal that despite the third rail nature of gay rights in the american political debate in a few states the president might be nearing a major endorsement of same sex marriage not only is it the moral thing to do but it's also good politics as emma said he sees chuck todd pointed out today now that wall street is going for romney big time president might need some extra fundraising from the gay community gay money in this election has replaced wall
street money it has been the gay community has put in money in a way this presents a very very important part of the fund raising operation so hopefully after this election or even sooner once the conservatives economic agenda is rejected by the voters and the outside influence of the religious right in america diminishes our nation will be ready to take that step so many other nations have already taken and it will depend on you president obama to take a politically courageous stance to make it happen either before or as soon as the elections are over we and our g.o.v.t. brothers and sisters parents and children are counting on. that's the big picture for tonight for more information on the stories we've covered visit our website to tarpon dot com free speech dot org and our team dot com also check out our two you tube channels there are links over time arbonne dot com also tom arbonne dot com check out all the different ways you can send us your feedback and don't forget
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