tv [untitled] August 21, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
today on our t.v. we know the f.b.i. likes to meddle but now we're learning just how expansive its influence really is the first person to arm the black panther party was an f.b.i. informant so where does the line between right and wrong fall when it comes to preventing and provoking terrorism in the u.s. plus putting on the rose colored google goggles looks like the company may have been buying positive press and now one judge wants to know who is on their payroll coming at coming up yet another case of compromised journalistic ethics and that some of the u.s. wars abroad are winding down who will buy all of this drone technology companies have made available from border patrol to cow bandits a look at the new future of manned aerial vehicles.
tuesday august twenty first or pm here in washington d.c. i'm liz wahl and you're watching party but we begin today taking a close look at the role of informants in the f.b.i. and we'll start by highlighting the case of a man that played a critical role in the black panther movement in the one nine hundred sixty s. his name is richard aoki the man you see here he was a militant activist and arm the black panthers turns out he was also an f.b.i. informant this is all recently coming to light after an investigation by south rosenfeld a journalist that put in a freedom of information request to the f.b.i. asking that they release thousands of documents in connection with a here's part of the report from the center for investigative reporting it discusses the f.b.i.'s techniques in dealing with the black panthers. goal. was to go through as you ranged from sending false letters or planting negative
news stories to trying to foment violence between the pair through that other groups the f.b.i. also used informants as part of its cointelpro operation well aoki committed suicide at his berkeley home in two thousand and nine but today many questions remain to what extent did the f.b.i. know a.o.q. was arming the black panthers well the f.b.i. creating violent situations as a way to justify battling the group this can be compared to the f.b.i.'s recent controversial use of informants with activist groups take the cleveland five for example the five men you see here the f.b.i. arrested these men for the an alleged conspiracy to blow up a bridge in cleveland but some believe it's the f.b.i. that infiltrated the group and encouraged the suspects to carry out the terror plot well it's a slippery slope between the f.b.i. catching criminals and creating them to discuss this trevor aaronson the author of
the terror factory joins us now trevor welcome to the show so to what extent are informants used in the f.b.i. you today. part of the book i looked at five hundred terror the prosecution since nine eleven and what i found is that an informant was used in half of the case you know in some cases an informant is used in the way you might suspect the police provides information but in a lot of cases i've been increasing number of cases the informant takes on a role like what you saw you do where he provides the means and the opportunity for people to commit crimes for people to commit acts of terrorism. as exemplified by the case that. this is not a new tactic by the f.b.i. but would you say post nine eleven that it is more common what's revealing about the case is that it goes back that far you know. the general belief was that this happened largely started with drug imports in the one nine hundred eighty and we've
seen an increase in use of sting operation since nine eleven where there's you know they basically taken a tactic that with use in the eighty's to find someone to want to buy or sell drugs and then you know flip it around and instead of drugs that weapons of mass destruction and some kind of terrorist plot and so now more and more the f.b.i. is using this as a counterterrorism tactic but you know what they say is that this is a way identifying today the terrorists of tomorrow but a real question is this about whether any of these people could have committed acts of terrorism on their own were it not for the f.b.i. providing the means the opportunity for them to do that now i know in your book they're easier when on a few examples what do you think are the most significant examples of the f.b.i. using informants to create criminals in a way you know there's a good example of this out of illinois with a man named eric to read and eric was down on the luck of car with broken down he worked at a video game store yet absolutely no money whatsoever and informant came up to him
suggested a plot to bomb a shopping mall in illinois there got behind that you know he was interested in violence but he had no capacity for violence and it turned out that the f.b.i. to further the plot needed eric to be able to purchase. grenade from an f.b.i. agent who was posing as an underdog and as an arms dealer but what turned out to be the case was that there didn't have any money to buy their goods so they brokered a deal where derek would get a pair of old stereo speakers in exchange for a grenade and a plot like that is patently ridiculous because obviously no real arms dealer are going to take their speakers for black market weapon but that's an example of how the f.b.i. was able to build a terror conspiracy charge around someone who really had no capacity to commit terrorism on their own that's just one of many examples but cover would you say for the most part i mean is the f.b.i. creating enemies or are the enemies already there in the f.b.i. it's just you know trying to bring it to light. what the f.b.i. would say is that these people who are caught in terrorism sting operation would
have become terrorists on their own if given the opportunity by natural that the terrorists are there that they hear the bombs you want to plant it in a shopping mall or in a public square but the truth of the matter is that there isn't any evidence to support the idea that there are actually terrorists providing these weapons to want to be fair the united states so i think you know we can conclude then that without that the f.b.i. has become very effective at creating the very enemies of funding so are you saying that it hasn't proven to be an effective method of stopping crimes or acts of terror when you look at actual terror that is not evil as you came very close to bombing the new york city subway system or by justice just to try to plant a car bomb in times square these are men that in our midst never tipped the f.b.i. off and yes they became they got very close actually committing acts of terrorism the people that f.b.i. informants are finding uncovering are people who are interested in violence are odious for whatever reason but they have no capacity on their own to commit this
violence and yet the f.b.i. informant is able to provide that violence that's the need for them to commit violent and so i don't think there's any reason to believe that the people who put up an f.b.i. sting operation would have on their own been able to commit a terrorist act their old me allowed to commit through the use of an f.b.i. informant ok so it's questionable just how how effective this tactic really is why do you think the f.b.i. resorts to this. you know using informants and that's why so often. part of this is a bureaucratic process you know every year the f.b.i. receives three billion dollars from congress earmarked for counterterrorism the largest part of the f.b.i. budget and the f.b.i. can't really come back to congress and say hey you know we looked around we didn't find any terror you know there's so much pressure on f.b.i. to bring terrorism cases that the use of informant has become widespread and i think there are cases where it were not for the pressure the f.b.i.
could sit back and say you know this guy's just a loud mouth that he's you know he's talking big but he's never going to be able to do anything with talk instead they're pursuing the case that they're going to the people who are talking big and saying you know what we can provide you with this and that's what they're doing and it allows you know the f.b.i. to increase the number of terrorism when f.b.i. director muller testified before congress you specifically mentioned the sting operations specifically mention that there are people who were for example a stock or a wal-mart who had no capacity on their own to commit terrorism now in the end it trevor what do you think this is doing you know in terms of public sentiment as it creating this sense of paranoia to be paranoid of these radical groups. well i think the f.b.i. wants to create a situation where you know someone who is interested in violence would it be committed because they fear that the person they're working with is an informant but it has another effect and one of those effect is that for example the muslim community where you've seen so many of the sting operation there is
a mistrust of the f.b.i. there is an unwillingness to cooperate and volunteer information to the f.b.i. i suspect the same is true. of eco terrorists and you know certainly similar things that happened like you mentioned the cleveland group for example you know that was an example of a group that had no capacity on their own only violence someone an f.b.i. informant provided them with a bomb to blow up a bridge but without that up informant without that f.b.i. providing the bomb there was no way is that group of five men could have committed you know conspiracy they were charged with now presumably there are instances where this this tactic of using informants has been affected you can presume because they continued to use it but it does bring up this question where do you draw the line between preventing and provoking criminal activity. i think that's a question that the f.b.i. is really struggling to answer you know in general when these cases up on the trial the evidence tends to be so overwhelming you know classify me as
a bridge or public transit system but juries have been unwilling to be sympathetic to entrapment defense so as a result the f.b.i. has a you know a clear message from the issuer that it's ok to pursue these types of cases and as a result of that i think we're seeing an explosion of these type sting operations that are centered primarily in muslim communities related counterterrorism but also effects left wing groups and eco terrorist groups such as the cleveland by the mention. very interesting stuff that was trevor aaronson the author of the book the terror factory that you might turn out to a high tech case that could have major implications for the current state of the media it's the case of oracle versus google arkansas john it was said oh breaks it down for us. and the never ending patent war between tech companies there are no hostages from apple to samsung microsoft a.o.l. and as you can see by this rather confusing chart right here it seems everyone has
a stake in the industry of the future and that brings us to this oracle versus google the biggest case in tech and it just got a whole lot more interesting with billions on the line and the future of technology development at stake a us court has ordered google to disclose any of the names of authors bloggers or journalists that may have been paid to quote report or comment on the case but let's take a step back and explain how we got here the entire court case hinges on a claim by oracle that google owes the company upwards of a billion dollars for using certain technologies in their popular android platform after an initial decision siding with google oracle promised to aggressively appeal the ruling and it's been in attack mode ever since that brings us back to now judge william alsop want to know exactly which journalists and bloggers the two companies have been paid to take media coverage in their favor citing concerns that the evidence presented over the course of the case was directly or indirectly
influenced by financial compensation so after failing to comply with the original deadline google now has until august twenty fourth oracle on their part admitted to paying stanford law professor paul goldstein as well as foss patents tackler blogger florian mueller calling him a paid consultant he coincidentally also has no ties to microsoft google however struck back at the court stating it the not pay off anyone adding there had been zero quid pro quo arrangements made by thick the pressure is still on google to provide the name of any contractors consultants or employees that might have covered the case so at the end of the day it looks like google might have to confess who it paid for its positive press however it's not just the money and allegations of copyright infringement is the notion. that media can be bought and sold to the highest bidder and yet another stark reminder to always always question more party i'm trying to settle for more on this christopher chambers journalism
professor at georgetown university joins us now welcome to the show chris thank you good so the judge in this google case is not buying that google is complying and disclosing who the company paid for favorable coverage what do you think google is hiding it's hard to say i mean this this is this is utterly beyond the pale this whole thing is just unprecedented i mean usually when a judge orders part you know not the reporters that's a different thing but orders the parties to disclose who your your allies and your shills are it's because the there's been some you know outward evidence of jury tampering or something like this there's been a jury verdict in the copyright and patent actions this is after you know the smoke has cleared this judge is doing this it's it's utterly utterly. unprecedented so there must be some you know i mean i do believe in there where there's smoke there's fire thing and because oracle who'd lost you know who was the plaintiff you
know had you know one or two people that they said they had dangling there must have been something there must have been some tip off camera as they say in latin that to the judge that you know something was going on here or he just looked and saw you know article upon article blog post upon blog post lining up you know in google's favor and said there's got to be something going on here plainly there must be something going on here because they haven't advanced the constitutional argument against the order they're just now we don't pay anybody and so i don't think this judge is either a moron or crazy so there there's there's fire there somewhere right and the implications of this are significant because i mean google is massive everybody uses google they are about. news to search for and that's how they responded to the order they were basically sent the list saying well everybody uses google especially google advertising you know what do you want us to say and you know
where is oracle boom you know now maybe you know i don't know internally and they lost the case they took a big hit it was almost a slam dunk you know was a slam dunk on the patent action almost in the copyright for google maybe oracle figured it didn't have anything to lose but again i mean they disclosed fairly quickly google is basically saying well there's nobody there's either nobody or it's everybody in the universe and that's that's a ridiculous answer and again they haven't for you know advanced any constitutional argument saying you know you can't order us to do this so there's got to be something going on here and it's something that people need to pay attention to despite all the political noise and everything all these other issues going on in the world i mean this is something that we all do use and we need to really prepare our ears up and see what's going on here now looking at the bigger picture i mean to what extent this is just one example a very significant example to what extent are journalists commentators bloggers paid to report on a certain issue in
a certain way well i mean there's there's there's there's shilling for money you know which is what he's going after and then you know which is not really that far off the on the end of the spectrum and then there's commentary and punditry i mean it might be something that that i do i'm not getting you know gold bricks in the mail from our t. but you know there are instances even going back before say the golden age of new sites and breitbart and blogging and you know melding with t.v. news going back into the eighty's and ninety's where the bush administration some generals who had been retired and put forward as pundits for the pentagon were there you know shilling for the first direct. war and then weapons of mass destruction for this for the second one you had commentators fox commentators a number of them who were on the administration payroll under george w.
bush shilling for certain you know items you know so that does happen the problem is now it's hard to trace i mean how do you get you know i mean if somebody is paying you through a news outlet to be a pundit i mean where is the news outlets money coming from of i what if i work for c.n.n. or m.s.n. b.c. or fox as a paid commentator or you know or a reporter hosting the show you know what is their point of view and where does where does their corporate money come from i mean so it goes through a lot of filters plainly this judge is saying there are new filters here i have evidence possibly that you know google maybe through an intermediary got these people on the hook so somehow and you know in this nebulous world where who is a reporter is a blogger a reporter is a tech blogger a tech reporter you know. they're operating in this weird kind of market that we haven't explored yet so they basically figure we can do what we want so no i don't think it by give anybody
a check but there might be something there and that's exactly what you know media becoming more digitizing all these rapid technological advancements i mean we're seeing consumers have more choices than ever before which seems like a good thing to have all these choices but the flip side how do you know which you know which outlets you're turning to are are accurate or if some of these reports are misleading or if there is a conflict of interest here that leads to the seller exactly and you know and here again i mean you have a situation where you know again it's not that clear cut the usual situation where the reporters and you know it and again as a blogger reporter are being subpoenaed or subject to these court orders it's the parties to a suit that's been solved amused by the dispositive jury verdict. so i mean this being so unprecedented i go i have to say though i'm a little i'm not a scared about what the judge is doing with maybe it's almost like chief justice roberts in the you know obamacare case i mean maybe this guy is doing something for
the public good and maybe he's trying to strike some kind of blow for not having these huge corporations have these page shills influencing you know to ping the scales either way but again this is oracle which is huge versus google with which is huge it's like godzilla versus whatever monster they don't really get hurt it's scrambling around at their feet to get squashed and so you know we need to you know pay attention to this regard right lastly quickly just want to ask you amid all of this what is a viewer or a news consumer to do well with this. as many outlets as possible outside of your echo chamber your usual comfort zone and have a very diet because you're not going to get it directly from t.v. or a site except her and you can even trust the search engines because they are like google they are a machine in and of themselves as is twitter you know so i mean it's that's the pro
. pleasure to have you on the show you know if that was christopher chambers journalism professor at georgetown university and the narrative of media and bloggers making money from their sponsors for positive coverage is not a news story as we had just discussed with mr chambers we showed you another example of this media bias yesterday with the case of our planet money reporter adam davidson and ally alley bank here is mark ames he's one of the founders of the web site shame which stands for shame the hacks that abuse media attics take aleck . the real problem is when you're taking money from these people covertly and then you know and then promoting their agenda on n.p.r. you are centrally a product spokesman and davidson is a product spokesman but we don't we haven't been disclosed that fact. and to see the entire discussion of the n.p.r. bias and the role money plays in journalistic ethics go to our website youtube dot
com slash our team america was defense spending the united states dwindles down the defense industry is pushing to expand their market of dro and they're looking not only to our overseas allies but to groups right here in the u.s. commonly used in military operations drones are now finding air space domestically we're talking drones being used for things like wildlife conservation surveillance of farm land border patrol and drug enforcement recently we learned about the international association of chiefs of police giving recommendations for the use of drones by police agencies but are we really at the point where police need unmanned aerial vehicles in order to keep us safe or is this just a way for the defense industry to ensure they are still reeling in the dough in a time when the wars are dying down to help answer this any step on of it associate litigation counsel for ethic joins me now welcome amy so i first want to start off
talking about law enforcement we had just mentioned that this association of police chiefs you know coming out with this code of conduct for the use of drones within police forces is this the beginning of drones being used by police forces on a regular basis i've really think it is police chiefs across the country have publicly said that they are interested in german technology that they want to be able to use that there's been a real pushback however thankfully by people who say that they're not going to accept this being used by just police in their districts during normal surveillance so the code of conduct disappear step unfortunately it's not enforceable it can be changed any point and it really is questionable and wind applies or not seeing as when police have you surveillance technology in the past without feeling the need to warn and now that the wars are dying down these defense industries are looking to sell drones domestic. lee would you say there's a big market for that there is a huge market now the problem is defense drones are actually very expensive we find
we have a problem with drone technology because it can be very cheap it can allow an incredible amount of surveillance at a low cost however the defense drones are expensive so you're going to have to see who is willing to purchase these drones however these are capable of being weaponized they can carry incredibly invasive surveillance equipment they're very very high tech vehicles so we do should keep an eye on who they're sold to and what these people plan to do with them because there is a high capacity for abuse now with you had mentioned that there are very expensive that want the drones that are used in the military but as they look to expand these drones domestically could they kind of you know tailor the drones to make them more affordable so that they can expand them to domestic markets if they can take off them a lot of the weaponry a lot of the more advanced surveillance technology there is a market for these on the border customs and border protection already own ten of the predator drones which are the drones that are being used overseas the defense
drones so they might be able to sell them to customs and border protection to other administrative agencies and maybe even police departments in the united states who would like to purchase these for increased surveillance and insults a possible that police chiefs maybe across an entire state or region would want to purchase just one drone to surveil the entire area now in the i want to take a look we kind of compiled this list of domestic drone uses today. if we can bring that up there the first one border patrol drug enforcement agency operations u.s. police force and then it kind of gets away from law enforcement to conservation efforts monitoring crops and. then catching cow thieves. so it looks like the possibilities are endless they are and i would add to your list there are. in use in real estate for people to catch videos of houses to put up on you tube or wherever to sell houses they're being used by the paparazzi and
what many would feel is a very privacy invasive manner so that really anything you can think about being used for their bring use journalism is another big area where drones are starting to be used more and more often. i'm not sure if our team is thinking about using drones i haven't heard that yet but i think keeping on this with them possibly becoming more widespread some of the safety and privacy concerns associated with seeing more drones hovering in our skies exactly there are incredible amounts of safety concerns epic is of course focused on the privacy concerns we were asking the f.a.a. to regulate this industry to say that there are only specific purposes you can use a drone for that you have to be transparent with those purposes and if you go outside of what you say that you're going to use it for that you can be held accountable for that so we're really in the forefront of this. over the next couple of years the f.a.a. congress has required the f.a.a.
to allow more and more drones to be used so we're coming out now and trying to make sure that privacy is protected at this point so you know two years down the line when everybody is already on film all the time somebody isn't all of a sudden thinking oh we should probably look at this so you're saying that the focus now is regulation because i mean at this point is it just inevitable that drones are part of our future well congress has said they are and at this point unless congress comes back and says you know where we were just kidding we were going to revoke what we said before. there's going to be a huge push for them they're making sure they're allowed in the united states airspace there were choir regulations to be loosened to let more of them in so unless we're able to come in and require some baseline protections at this point thirty thousand i think is the number that they're saying are going to be in the air in the next ten years thirty thousand euros thirty thousand in the. our air power i mean at this point you know today we have seven thousand operating drones twelve thousand more on the ground so you're saying that within ten years that
number is going to triple exactly wow ok you know really quickly we don't have that much time but you know these agencies and companies that use these drones they say you know we're what they're finding uses for them that we're able to to do our jobs more effectively so do you think that drones can be used in a positive way or do you think it's kind of just a dangerous ideal together and there have been positive uses for it they've been it used to track missing hikers when they're in the forests and they can't be found and save lives they've been used to discover environmental abuse and one notable case it was observing a river and they found a river of blood flowing out of a factory and was able to discover that there's tremendous environmental abuse so as long as they're used in a way that is not to spy and surveil on individuals in the united states there are positive uses however we want to make sure that right amy thanks so much for coming on the show we are out of time great to have you here that was a mr bennett edge associate litigation counsel for ethic and that is going to wrap
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