tv Cross Talk RT June 24, 2013 12:29am-1:01am EDT
edward snowden has been labeled a traitor at home but polls reveal many americans some forty percent believe he should not be persecuted there's a real global debate going over whether snowden is actually a hero to discuss that i'm joined by a man who ran the national security agency former n.s.a. and cia director of four star general michael hayden it's really great to have you on our show tonight thank you very much so in your opinion is snowden a hero or a traitor. well he's certainly not a hero and i don't think he meets the legal definition of being a traitor according to our constitution but he certainly has done a very very bad thing and i think he's also a very troubled young man so perhaps truth lies somewhere. in between the two extremes you pointed out what do you think it could be a chinese spy dick cheney seems to think so. you know i don't have evidence of it.
but i'm going to it's a curious thing why would he go to hong kong for his refuge and other places available that he could have chosen and given the state of sign of american relations particularly when it comes to things about the cyber domain it really is a curious choice but again no evidence today to tell you how i would handle it were i still in government i would make this one of my working i pod to seize one not not all one of my working up offices and then try to seek out evidence to prove or disprove the hypothesis now if you were had of n.s.a. and cia what happens when a young colleague of your say talented good guy walks into your office and tells you boss i think we have a problem with prison what do you say to that. well actually that is that's a great question and what makes all of this so troubling is that mr snowden didn't
do that and if he wants to be a true whistle blower he needs to go to a supervisor his supervisor's boss or the general counsel inside the organization or the inspector general or even to members of congress to express his complaints i mean there's a clear structure within the u.s. government to do that no look i'll be the first to admit that requires great courage and human beings being human beings that there might be some of there who would attempt to take retribution against an officer who attempted to do that but that's the right way to do these things and when look when somebody comes to you with a concern certainly it is true for me you've got to take those concerns very very seriously and this is somebody acting out of conscience and you need to sit down and talk with that individual and if necessary follow up to see if their concerns actually have real merit i remember back in two thousand and seven there are also cases of whistleblowing when you were had of an essay. man address you know what
their concerns before they went public with their information. i had actually left an essay by two thousand and five and so though those events in zero seven and zero eight came after i had left but i have no knowledge that other than complaining about some technological decisions that were made inside n.s.a. i have no knowledge that anything a kin to an appropriate whistleblower process had begun at the agency general hayden why the secrecy of greats like this disaster basically what's going on inside ana say in cia right now i mean you should know as somebody being held responsible talk us through things what do you do when a major crisis exposes you yeah now what you're looking for is responsibility not necessarily guilt all right you want people to be open to you want a clear description with regard to what has happened and so you go to individuals
to learn to to create lessons that allow you to prevent or at least reduce the possibilities that these kinds of things could happen in the future and so you're doing a lot of forensics on the system you're talking to people who knew this young man what kind of things did his actions suggest to bottom you're talking to a supervisor what did you suspect about him that this surprise you did you see any kind of indicators and then you're also doing a damage assessment and let me let me list for you three three different lanes in which damages almost certainly occurred number one it tells our adversaries our capabilities it tells them what we can do and it also tells them what we won't do and that can be very damaging secondly this will punish american firms who have cooperated with n.s.a. . punish them. even though all they've ever done is simply obey american law and help defend the united states and then then finally if there's anyone else out
there in the world of another government a potential source. who might want to cooperate with the united states why would they trust us when we promise that we can keep a secret so all of those things are damaging well you brought up firms from your own experience have social media companies any choice other than obey n.s.a. orders. well again not been an n.s.a. for a long time no but my understanding of the program is that the these companies these private concerns were responding to specific court orders and under u.s. law they can fight those orders in court some have done that i don't know the results of any of these contentious cases but my suspicion is they win some and they lose some but if they're doing everything that's legal why do you say why are you saying they'll be punished well because these are international firms and
although they're acting very consistent with american law there will be others in the world who will look at them with suspicion and and certainly from my point of view unworn is just suspicion but that's what's going to happen and what's happening to the programs like the ones that snowden made public this prison data collecting tool are they being wrapped up right now worries the n.s.a. going to go ahead with it in your opinion no i you know i would see no reason why either the programs that he revealed the metadata program or the prism program why they would be stopped there lawful they're appropriate they're affective but the effectiveness may be the element that's most harmed by these revelations again ever serious now know what we can do and also know what we won't do the boundaries of american law and policy and that gives them a higher probability that they'll be able to protect their communications from united states agencies trying to intercept them can tell you something though as
much as prison is huge and it has turned america into a database platform for all it's access to facebook google yahoo microcell i mean that's are not brothers on lennox tentative prior to the boston bombing are you guys maybe casting the net to the white. well actually the sun i asked were not detected by any program like this in the sun i use were not detected because prism isn't suitable for detecting the kind of communications that sister and i have brothers had prior to the boston bombing i mean prism is about foreigners it requires a belief on the part of the national security agency that those people we want to monitor are foreigners and have foreign intelligence value and we've got to prove that in broad terms to an american court before we can insist that one of these companies assist us in that effort you know president obama has claimed surveillance programs have stopped fifty attacks but since this program has began
operating shortly after nine eleven how many terrorist attacks were prevented sali by information gathered from this prison like programs that could not be gained through any other source. right and that's a great question and i don't mean to be indirect with my answer but i'm going to be indirect. i don't know is the correct answer to your question how many have been prevented only through the efforts of these two programs between actuality i can't point to any program very often that is the sole reason that we've had an intelligence success i mean one of the one of the great achievements of american intelligence in the past dozen years is that we've been able to blend multiple streams of information with little bits of data here in little bits of data there that we've been able to convert combine into a meaningful picture and in other words we've been able to pick up shards of glass that individually have no meaning but because we collectively have
a large number of these shards can actually combine them into a very meaningful mosaic i want to read out a quote from snowden the consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed i think what it's trying to say that a lot of people feel uncomfortable after these leaks because it seems like you break into my home you listen to my phone calls you intercept my e-mails my private s.m.s. ace without telling me you're doing that and you're labeling all of that as war on terror i mean can you really not fight were terror and protect privacy my privacy. well i think the president was right when he said responsible governments have to make choices you can't have absolute privacy and absolute security there always has to be a balance between between the two and and the balance frankly is based upon that to tell the of circumstances what is the nature of the threat how real is that threat how imminent is that threat how effective is this tool in detecting that
threat and so i think i agree with the president that this is a a suitable balance though i should point out that there's some of the things you said americans are saying are simply errors of fact we aren't doing many of those things but and unfortunately here in the united states when these kinds of stories get out into the public domain i'm fond of saying they are rushed into the darkest corner of the room is as rapidly as possible so so one of the important things is to make sure the american people exactly understand what we're doing no to go back to snowden is quote about the consent of the governed this is an ancient athens this isn't a direct democracy we're allowed the entire population to vote on every proposition we are a representative democracy. the people's representatives were informed of these programs and they voted in favor of them they've been approved by two presidents
they've been approved by the american court system in the american system at the executive branch the legislative branch and the judicial branch line up it doesn't get any better than that in terms of consent of the government but i mean security state is not really a state religion that can't be questioned and if you question it then you're not a lawyer right i mean and are you saying i know not all that's right and are you saying they are prison hasn't spied on americans. now that has been pressed into private e-mail predicate for prism the predicate for prism is that the target of the surveillance is a foreigner and what's happened is that story has been confused with the metadata story which is indeed about americans but it's about american phone records not american conversations or communications art we're going to take a short break and we'll return with former n.s.a. and cia director michael hayden on the new american package isn't meant to ask who
is the perfect material it's a lie you make just a small change and you get a totally different result than what a pretty top note you have. this is a little complicated. it's like geometry we start by marking out the incision lines as a guide. it's very intricate work where my life has changed a hundred percent. it was a field operating table here more than just a very small table and as long as i had a flashlight and a working battery and i had a good enough environment to work it. was among them along with some other terrorist leaders. she was if he's reminiscing about just. looking at you but at the same time he's somewhere else.
when i watch this. doesn't feel like me at all and. it's someone totally different someone i don't know if. they were ready to do anything for their country to me is to love the country more than yourself if you join the military for any other reason that you're probably not to have a good day they were tools in the hands of the state now they live remembering the past which is impossible to get rid of. the war. but however good people do get hurt. heard good people empty silent. a lot. but would prefer not to be sometimes i feel like. i should have died over there. because. i saw
welcome back to the show our guest today is michael hayden former n.s.a. and cia director when we're discussing the fallout from prison gate on edward snowden's extraordinary revelations general hayden what exactly does it tell you about your system that your own people whistle blow on you because it's not the first time. no no it's not and you know i mentioned before that i believe mr snowden was not a hero he had committed a crime but he was also a troubled young man let me phrase it for you this way what kind of what kind of moral arrogance is required to believe that your personal moral judgment trumps that of two presidents two houses of our congress the american courts and over
thirty thousand of your coworkers. know i would miss it in american society as in russian society we have a generation of young folks whose kind of absolute commitment to transparency reaches well beyond anything of my generation or even my children's generation and we are now like the russian security services or any security service or out the world we're now recruiting from populations whose views toward secrecy and openness or a bit different than those that have been traditionally held by the people we recruited in a former age and so you've got a mr snowden you you've got private manning both of whom have almost have this romantic attachment to it to revealing secrets. but in both cases this commitment to absolute transparency has created great harm to the security of people around the world but can i ask you something if not whistleblowers who else
can stop you in case you push it too far there must be checks and balances everywhere right. you know they did you're right you're right now let me raise a technical point for you a whistleblower has to point out unlawful activity even snowden admits this wasn't unlawful he claims it was unwise it was inconsistent with his personal value system but no one claims it was unlawful it was consistent with the law it was done under a court order with the knowledge of the congress and since oh it's hard to for for me to imagine that you know that anyone would afford him whistleblower status at least in the technical legal definition of the term now what do you get debate you get debate in our representative government you get debate from a judge who pushes back saying he's uncomfortable with the outlines of the court order we want him to sign you get debate in the american congress were members particularly the intelligence oversight committees get
a chance to look at these programs and to pass on their merits as to whether or not they would authorize them or appropriate funds for them. i mean women talking for a while are we really saying that giving all the details of my private life to a government agency is the new normal it's it's the new patch we all stick norm. no no not at all and again that you're saying that as a reflection as to how badly reported this story has been the details of your private life are not being shared with the government and these two programs what the government gets is a macro database of phone calls but just fact of call nothing more and with regard to the prism program has already said it focuses on foreign communications of intelligence value to the united states that's with the national security agency and i might add what the f.s.b. is all about so the whole thing is that maybe if the security state was
a little more transparent like obama promised it would be before the us elected president that maybe the american public and the foreignness will be more comfortable with programs like president. you bring up a wonderful point and somebody with my background coming from the security services i mean we're reluctant to say much about anything we actually think we're more operationally effective the less our adversaries know about what it is we're doing but we also realize we work in a democracy and i'm now fond of saying that in the american democracy the president probably gets to do anything one off one time based upon his presidential authority and a narrow definition that it's simply lawful but in our system and our system the president doesn't get to do anything over a long period of time without generalized popular support and and you're right you
don't get generalized popular support unless the american people and especially their representatives have some sense of broad knowledge maybe not detail but broad knowledge about what their government is doing on their behalf and so i know have to admit even as a security professional that we may have to make a few things more public things that actually might make us a little less effective so that we can make the american population more comfortable about what it is we're doing otherwise the american population the american democracy will tell us to stop doing all of what we're doing and so we're going to have to have these tradeoffs transparency popular acceptance and operational effectiveness general hayden you brought up your security background but you also come from a long line of republicans whereas the republican point of view on all of this i mean how does the less government i believe in with all of this. well
i think your viewers are seeing a very interesting dynamic here in the united states i mean let me first of all challenge the assessment that i'm a republican i i was selected to be the head of cia by a republican president but i was selected to be head of n.s.a. by demick. the president president clinton but your questions about the republican party and it's really quite interesting here in the american political system that the extreme right of the republican party and the extreme left of the democrat party seem to be coming together with regard to common concern about some of the things that the center is doing to keep americans safe and and free and so you do actually have some republicans criticizing this program on civil liberties less government is better government grounds rather than addressing the program on what are frankly more traditional probably republican grounds on the grounds of national security you know at the end of the day the fact is that prison gate has
damaged of alma's reputation personally play has also undermined you know the reputation of his office of the american presidency in the eyes of the world i mean it was so how he was in front of merkel in germany and he had to justify himself i have to justify prism for the whole world you know do you think this scandal this leaks will actually make him push the security state back or deceive in want to do that do you think you can challenge the whole thing. look i think there's a bit of theater going on here and i i mean no disrespect to to the leading figures in germany or the united states all right well let's all admit very candidly that all nations conduct espionage all of them do you know we're focused on the united states because we're actually more transparent about our espionage than any other country on earth that's really what the issue is here that's why this is this is
a publicly discussable item but it's not because what america's doing is unique but our high ranking official is not an exception because n.s.a. leaks made known foreign official is where more than once for example lead to twenty summit in london i mean how does spying over then russian president committed since calls help fight the war on terror well oh let me first of all comment that i have no views on any actual operational activities of american intelligence services and i would also offer you the view that all nations on this planet have the legitimate foreign intelligence concerns beyond the war on terror this is just not about terrorism it's about foreign intelligence and i repeat in all nations conduct foreign intelligence just to wrap it up given what we've discussed do you foresee a rollback on the surveillance state in general
a cutback on it or is it going to go ahead with the same pace. what i foresee is that these two programs the very light touch on american privacy created by the metadata telephone program and the prism program and my personal judgment they both go forward i mean they already have bright wide bipartisan support they will continue but what we have been talking about here today and what my countrymen and people around the world have been talking about for the for the past two weeks that will generate a global discussion about what is the meaning of privacy in an internet era what are the true rules what are the legitimate expectations of privacy in a world in which everyone is connected to what i had i had an advisory board at cia and i would give them tough problems and one of the tough problems i gave them was this question of security and transparency and here's how i framed the question i
said will the united states be able to conduct espionage in the future inside a broader political culture that every day demanded more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life and they studied the problem and they came back to me and their final answer was. we're not sure general michael hayden former rattus a and cia director it's been very interesting and i want to thank you for joining us today and i will see you in the next edition of. page is the perfect material it's a lie you make just a small change and you get
a totally different result. what a pretty top note you have. this is a little complicated. it's like geometry we start by marking out the incision lines as a guide. it's very intricate work. my life has changed one hundred percent. from the field operating table here more than just a very small table as long as i had a flashlight and a working battery and i had a good enough environment to work it. was among them along with some other terrorist leader as. soon as if he's reminiscing about just. looking at you at the same time he's somewhere else. when i watch this. it doesn't feel like me at all and. it's someone totally
different someone i don't know. well. this month high tech means good help whether it be the latest laser cutters on lifesaving heart rushing innovators are working hard to keep you healthy. some companies it's been a winding road from car simulators to cutting edge training systems for others it's been a lifetime of work along the mysteries of the cell chikatilo own technology of. the future or.
flight to freedom and a whistleblower edward snowden waiting for a plane to an eventual safe haven this having fled hong kong. and his refuge may be granted by ecuador. the thirty year olds of requests for that of asylum all orchestrated though by the whistleblower group wiki leaks. will chase him to the ends of the earth just as. the white house warns the western hemisphere against helping the runaway days off the full wrath of the espionage act against us to snow.