tv Headline News RT August 21, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
coming up on our t.v. army whistleblower bradley manning was sentenced to thirty five years in prison the judge handed down the sentence of the man who leaked the government data to wake you it's an update on the case ahead from fort meade also a series of new revelations show two sides of the n.s.a. on one hand the n.s.a. doesn't know what edward snowden fully has on its surveillance on the other it's reported that seventy five percent of u.s. internet traffic is being monitored by the n.s.a. more on these developments coming up and finally allegations of chemical weapons being used in syria have returned syrian opposition groups and activists claim the syrian government has used chemical weapons to kill over a thousand people more of the situation later tonight show.
it's wednesday august twenty first eight pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sax you're watching r.t. and we begin with a prison sentence of thirty five years that's what a military judge handed down to bradley manning this morning as punishment for releasing hundreds of thousands of state department cables war logs and other government documents including what's now known as the collateral murder video last month manning was found guilty of twenty twenty two charges including espionage charges he was facing a maximum of ninety years in prison the government asked for many to serve at least sixty years meanwhile his defense push for a seventh that would still allow manning to enjoy some kind of life in the end judge colonel denise lind settled on thirty five years a dishonorable discharge from the army and loss of pay and benefits amending sentence was reduced by one thousand one hundred eighty two days for the time he
was in prison before the trial and another hundred twelve days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in two thousand and ten manning's attorney david coombs said this in reaction to the sentencing. while we were successful in avoiding the aiding the enemy offense. the fact that the government pursued this offense the fact that the government didn't let this offense go forward even after it was clear there was no evidence of any intent to do so should sound an alarm to every journalist it should sound an alarm to every concerned citizen archies liz wahl was in the fort meade court room earlier today and i first asked her about the courtroom as reaction when the verdict was read. i was sitting in the courtroom when the judge delivered the verdict today and when the judge announced that sentence of thirty five years out of what i heard from my perspective i heard us
some gaffes and despite repeated warnings from the judge and and military officers for members and spectators to not make any comment to not shout anything out they made their ruling very clear that there could be punishment we heard members and spectators. say things like bradley you are our hero thank you thank you bradley so it was a packed courtroom plenty of his supporters there that made their their support for manning earlier in the courtroom after that sentence was delivered pam was you've been covering this from the get go what do you make of the sentence itself i mean the government was asking for something like sixty years could a face of nineteen years he ends up getting thirty five years. with the sentence i mean i think it depends on who you ask and whether or not it was lenient or whether or not it was too strict as you said it was possible it was
possible he faced ninety years the prosecution in the sentencing arguments asked for sixty the defense didn't ask for any particular number of years but they kind of hinted that by the time a lot of the information becomes declassified that bradley manning leads they you should not still be abroad and a jail cell also the charges that he feed a disk guilty to amounted to twenty years alone just for those charges so so some people say that this could be kind of a happy medium. so to speak i will say though that during the press conference today that combs just spoke at bradley manning's attorney david whom he was asked is this a fair trial did bradley manning have a fair trial and welcome said he said. he said it to comment on whether or not it was perceived or it can be perceived as a fair trial he said no and he said that is because the lack of transparency
throughout this trial there hasn't been any cameras allowed inside he said if you could have cameras in that court room a lot of what happened would not have happened according to him today just moments ago lou so what happens next we've had the trial in a guilty verdict now the sentencing is there anything else. well coom today here what he came out and address to spectators and something making made clear before the sentence and now after the sentence at this press conference is that this is not the end they face the at his supporters see it as another chapter actually another kind of beginning there's going to be a whole nother post trial process he said that next week he is going to file or a request is in this next week next week or by a lever a pledge that president obama pardon bradley manning or at least commute his sentence to time served as you know he served over three years to been a in confinement for over three years just in this. throughout the trial and
pretrial and when there's a whole process there is in this case is going to go to the army court of appeals and it's possible that it could go down all the way to the supreme court. party correspondent liz wahl thank you. now for more on what this sentence means for bradley manning and other whistleblowers moving forward i was joined earlier by just one radek the national security and human rights director of the government accountability project the girl morris davis a professor of law at howard university and the former chief prosecutor quanto bet now i started by asking colonel davis what exactly this thirty five year sentence means for many. well you know a lot of folks really panicked when they heard that number today in the military has a very elaborate process for how they calculate confinement so that thirty five year
number likely results and private manning serving about another eight to nine years of confinement because he will get the credit for time served you get called good time credit it's a third off ten days per month off your senates and then he tells you all perper oh and around the one third point so he's probably looking at about eight or nine more years to be a total of about eleven or twelve year sentence for what he did just and this was really the critical phase of the trial i mean many had accepted guilt for some of these charges the only question was how long would he be sentenced prison for and whether or not already serving three years of being tortured was enough punishment as is liz wahl who you just we just heard from interviewed some people at the coroner here's a clip talking to dr cornel west and here's what he had to say. but i just think it's a sad day in the country when a fellow citizen my dear brother bradley manning reveals the lies and crimes of the u.s. government he's the one who's criminalise and for me one day is too much so one day
being too much do you share that sentiment or is there something to be said about kind of facing some of the consequences for this and has already i guess is that i think he already has i mean if i had my druthers i would limit it to time served which of course included nine months in solitary which even the judge found to be torture or unlawful pretrial confinement. but realistically given that the government was seeking ninety and then sixty and the defense was around twenty five thirty five seems like a good a good outcome though obviously it's a very steep compared to any other whistleblower on espionage charges in eight years from thirty five down to possibly eight as you said colonel davis but even just saying thirty five years or even eight years implies that manning is still somewhat of a dangerous individual which can't really be the case i mean the guy leaked secrets
it's not like. he's going to be given security clearance over the next few years and be able to do this again so isn't this really about sending a message this verdict not so much really dealing with a crime but is making sure people in the future don't don't know what you know the government had the opportunity when private manning pled guilty to improperly disclosing classified information and he stood up and took accountability for what he did wrong which subjected him to a twenty year sentence and the government rather than just accepting his guilty plea and what would have been an appropriate punishment insisted on going forward with the aiding the enemy charge similar to treason and the government lost on that and all they've done is bought five years of appeals from here on out and i think private manning has some really good grounds for appeal but it again is to send a message to the next person sitting out there and i haven't heard anyone of the millet. saying gee i wish i was private manning i think folks that have seen what he's been through don't want to be the next private manning and they're going to think twice about revealing classified is made you think of messages been heard you
know i know the prosecution was a very unabashedly about the fact that they were seeking sixty years in order to send a message to me that it's all about politics and has nothing to do with justice in terms of where they were spent heard at least in my office where we represent whistleblowers it has not stemmed the flow of people coming forward and i think edward snowden is a good example of someone who found the manning case and all of these espionage act prosecutions to be instructive in terms of how the u.s. would engage in overkill and try to seek blood from a turnip in a way that it could so i don't think it will be a deterrent of other whistleblowers jumping off from from mr snowden does this kind of confirm a lot of his suspicions about facing facing trial in the united states here and basically how difficult it is nowadays to mount a whistle blowing defense case really whistleblowing is not a defense in a criminal case it's not it doesn't provide an affirmative defense and all of the
courts that have heard these espionage charges against whistleblowers first of all none of them have been sustained in that great case they were all dismissed kiriakou all the espionage charges failed manning is the only case where it succeeded but again that was in a court martial context a significant portion of which was conducted in secret and which the public had no access to colonel dave so we've had a series of kind of bombshell civilian court cases recently that have shown that it's very hard to prove guilt george zimmerman coming to mind here in this case this was a military court how does that change the burden of proof how does it make the defense's job a lot more difficult i don't know that it was it doesn't change at all the standard is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and i think a lot of the attorneys that have been involved with the guantanamo. will tell you that they gained a lot of respect for the military justice system as a result of that but you know the system is has gotten a black eye because of our mishandling of the sexual assault cases and since by
happenstance you had the manning case today you've got hassan major hasan at fort hood you have sergeant bales' fort lewis and you've got cleats shaikh muhammad in court kuantan him oh so there's a real spotlight on the military justice system right now and i think today was a positive step that hopefully can help redeem some of the luster that the system as you mentioned that there might be some appeal opportunities very important the other option for manning is to get a presidential pardon from president obama would speaking worked and not it is that is that is that just i think it will be a cold day in hell for that to happen i mean obama just finished prosecuting i know he was the one who approved we have proved and same with all the other espionage act prosecutions of whistleblowers so i don't think he would suddenly have an epiphany or a moment of truth that this is not a wise path in democratic society that's supposed to be transparent it's important for many who did try to reach out to the new york times with this information other
news outlets have the new york times been on this in taken some of this information would we be here talking about about this trial would manning a face these sort of consequences were i mean what does that say about journalism in general the whole wiki leaks angle in julian astonishing things i think if he i think the new york times that sounds like they blew him off i mean he did reach out to the new york times and no one responded given the new york times coverage of this trial is spent abysmal they haven't shown up during much of it i'm in terms of whether they would cover it i don't know i don't know if they would have covered his disclosures i'm not sure what they would have done with that but in general there is a war on whistleblowers and a war on journalism and in general a crackdown on information if it happens to embarrass the government or even worse expose its. on colonel morris davis professor of law at howard university just one radek national security human rights director at the government accountability project thank you both sam now moving on to the n.s.a.
it's been roughly two and a half months since the edward snowden leaks were exposed to the world and the national balance operations unveiled and yet to this day the n.s.a. still isn't sure the extent of these leaks unnamed sources within the intelligence community told n.b.c. news that the n.s.a. is quote overwhelmed trying to figure out exactly what edward snowden took and as a chief keith alexander was asked back in july about just how much the agency knows regarding the extent of the leaks. let me ask you about edward snowden i realize you can't tell us what he got but do you feel now that you know what he got yes now this latest report contradicts that claim and it's a spokesperson said that alexander answered the question quote in a more general sense meanwhile more news is breaking about the scope of the n.s.a. surveillance of the internet particularly u.s. networks more unnamed government and intelligence officials told the wall street
journal that the n.s.a. has the ability to monitor seventy five percent of all the domestic internet traffic here in the united states it does this through a series of relationships with internet service providers that at the request of the n.s.a. hand over various streams of internet traffic to be further reviewed using complex n.s.a. algorithms and how these requests are handled differs between each internet provider with some internet providers employing their own legal team determine which data should be handed over to the n.s.a. and which data shouldn't and often the way these requests are handled has quote caused friction between internet providers and the n.s.a. and definitions of what exactly is a foreign communication to be handed over to the n.s.a. is still being worked out but as officials say americans e-mail content and metadata is inevitably being swept up into the n.s.a.'s vast databases in fact in one instance documented by the wall street journal's report all the e-mail and text
communications around the area of salt lake city utah were monitored by the n.s.a. and the f.b.i. for a period of six months ahead of the two thousand and two winter olympics and just this afternoon the a.p. reports based on newly declassified documents that the n.s.a. has collected as many as fifty six thousand e-mails every year for three years belonging to americans with no connection to terrorism before the top secret files a court stepped in and ordered the n.s.a. to change its collection methods. so that is that for more on this topic i was joined earlier by i show you on a card you know a senior attorney for the center for constitutional rights in new york and brian doogan technologist at open technology astute here in d.c. and i started by asking brian about the government's claim that it isn't fully aware of the extent of edward snowden's leaks it's incredibly disturbing that the that they actually don't know what was taken the right that no audit trail was
was created. the that's the type of abrogation of trust that the united states government needs to restore and that is why the president the united states needs to him in state and independent x. sternal council of experts to review the n.s.a. . movie the n.s.a. spying but on all these systems that edward snowden was using they by default should be creating audit trails of every single action of every single administrator on the machine edward snowden was not the top level administrator of this machine he just happened to have access across domains at a top secret security level there is no excuse for any administrator to not keep logs of that type of information and it is entirely entirely disturbing and untrustworthy of the n.s.a. to not keep track of that type of information right i guess you could say that way
or that they're either being a little less than truthful as we've seen or that's just gross incompetence that they can't seem to track what's going on on their network share on a given the way that both the u.s. and u.k. governments have reacted to these leaks most recently detaining glenn greenwald's partner david miranda in the u.k. doesn't that show that it likely doesn't know the extent. well you know only if you believe that david miranda was actually carrying some of the documents it seems very imply. to me that would have sent any twenty nine year old who didn't speak very much english and wasn't a lawyer with a whole trove of valuable kind of you know classified documents or draft copies of stories or things like that i think this was clearly an attempt to just intimidate greenwald and any other journalists like him who is thinking about reporting on stories that involve classified information that the government doesn't want out there you know cardinal richelieu i think said that a man with a family can be made to do anything and this is probably about the most
intimidating thing you could do to a journalist to the us it has the ability to collect seventy five percent of internet officials say it's inevitable that americans communications are getting swept up into these databases at what point does the administration just have to flat out concede that yes it is indeed collecting mass quantities of data on american citizens and that it indeed domestic spying operation right you know that's something they'll never concede because you know a lot of people in the media believe that the american public's very blahs a about surveillance it's true that all the polling data for the last seven years shows that the american public doesn't care if the surveillance seems like it's targeted at terrorists and if it seems like it's targeted at foreigners and but they do care greatly even if they think it's a very thin surveillance that's directed at every american or ordinary americans right and so you see all the administration's talking points are aimed at saying we're not actually listening to domestic content we're only gathering your phone numbers or. this or we're only targeting foreigners and the interesting thing about
the last two weeks of stories is shows that the n.s.a. is actually not particularly good at limiting itself to targeting foreigners if that's even what they're trying to do and that was shown to us in your attorney of the center for closers rights and brian dugard technologist at the open technology institute of course all of the information we currently have about the national security agency's surveillance programs would still be in the government's computer networks were not for edward snowden artie's larry king spoke with former congressman influential libertarian leader ron paul about whistleblowers in their role in bringing government secrets to light the head of a wiki leaks julian a songe recently described himself as a big admirer of yours what do you think of that whole we gave leeds operation the leaking names and the like what was your reaction well i want as much transparency of government as possible i think wiki leaks has worked very hard to make sure there's nobody has been injured in there's no evidence that anybody has but if our
government is doing something wrong and they're hiding it from us i think there is a moral obligation of those people who know and can reveal that to us to let us know they should tell us but they government complains oh no they're going to release this information to the enemy well i'm not the enemy the people is not the enemy the people ought to know what's going on we ought to have our privacy is protected and the secrecy of government challenge when it's totally unnecessary and most of this is very unnecessary all the spying that they do so what do you think of the of the bradley manning news in the edward snowden's. why i think highly of them i think i think of them like daniel ellsberg daniel ellsberg you know who was they tried to put him away for a long time in prison they tried to you the new york times for it for releasing the truth about how the vietnam war was started how we were lied into that war and i
think people now who are people now are trying to tell us the truth about what happened in iraq and afghanistan they should be seen more as heroes because you take a guy like snowden he knows exactly what he was up to and he knows that you know the danger of it and but he believed i sincerely believe although i've never met him that he was convinced that he was doing a service to the people by doing this and we should be calling people like this a traitor and you can watch the full interview this thursday at nine pm eastern time right here on r t moving on more allegations of chemical weapon use in syria syrian opposition groups and activists are saying that more than thirteen hundred people were killed in a chemical weapons attack carried out by syrian president bashar al assad's government forces just outside damascus if true it be the deadliest chemical weapons attack in decades artie's polis leers intel of eve and she has the latest.
media reports are citing the syrian revolutionary command council which says that government forces loyal to the syrian president bashar assad were flying over the area off to the bombardment using chemical agents this is a test happened in the rebel held area of eastern damascus in a place called eastern ghouta the area has witnessed heavy fighting between opposition fighters and the army what we are hearing is reports that the front which are fighters that are affiliated with al qaida are also operating there now some reports do suggest that more than a thousand people were killed in this latest attack but other reports talk about dozens dying graphic images have flooded the internet showing an alleged victims choking foaming at the mouth and displaying other possible symptoms of the attacks in syria the origin of this footage however is verified and that point needs to be made that no one knows where it was filmed or who filmed it we are trying to get
more details at this stage from the area we have been speaking with local residents who complain that it was finally there earlier but they insist that there have been absolutely no signs of any kind of chemical attacks the first to break this news was the saudi arabia network r.b.f. now suddenly arabia has its own agenda inside syria it's an team of the syrian president assad and therefore any kind of reports of the use of chemical weapons we must take this into consideration all of this comes at a time when you inspectors are inside the country conducting a chemical probe the situation with chemical attacks is far from clear we need to make the point that the first reports of chemical weapons was that they were used in the field back in march the nineteenth this year by the tech fieri terrorist groups when they launched a rocket attack in kabul. now that did cause widespread destruction in syria
immediately demanded and in. based a geisha and from the united nations the syrian government also has said that it is a way that sour and projectile all being manufactured by the. in the suburbs of damascus and this has been confirmed by fighters who've been arrested by the syrian army the united nations for its side has said that it has received up to thirteen reports of chemical weapons used in syria the one from the damascus government of the race mainly from the united kingdom france and the united states both sides of the conflict and here we're talking about the rebels and the government have however denied using chemical weapons the inmate in the united nations independent investigative condit said that there was strong support suspicions that the rebels had to use this illegal seven guests the issue has become part of political manipulations in terms of what is happening inside syria the american president barack obama has declared that any kind of chemical attack would be of way of line
that could ultimately trigger american intervention inside syria but as i say what actually happened today at the moment false and. that was artie's paula sawyer reporting from tel aviv israel while new info on the n.s.a. surveillance programs continues to pop up how about a refresher on one of the key concerns with the program is the mass collection of metadata or doubt of that can reveal who you are so stupid with by phone and e-mail your location even more well for more about the residents laurie harvest.
found out about the n.s.a. spying on a fall president obama. top national security officials rushed to assure americans that they had no reason to worry or to feel like their privacy had been invaded they told us what the n.s.a. is harvesting from our personal online lives is just a matter of data that no content was actually involved just mother data data about the data so don't worry and that is a total crock of crap because the modern data in your e-mail to and june is just as personal if not more thorough than the recipe you were actually e-mailing. matta data in your email is the promise to seize the end time stamp information that's what your government is collecting and analyzing at whim to prove just how intrusive that is mit media lab developed a tool called immersion when you plug your email account is the immersion tool it can reveal everyone you've ever interacted with in each phase of your professional and private life it can reveal when your family members are tightly grouped and
live together your work colleagues through the years high school friends college friends whom you dated etc and it does that over time so through meditating you can very clearly see things like when you met your spouse or when other light advents happen more invasive than that no the meditators shows discord like when you stopped working at one place right when a new person came into your life or want to close friends suddenly became your enemy so if the government wanted to get an informant i knew all they'd have to do is look to the one person you were talking to every day and then suddenly stop talking to bingo they have their informant without ever having to read a thing. matta data will reveal your friends your family your happy time your time just write your travel history and if you're a journalist whom your sources are mit's a merchant will illustrate that through email but the government is cool life. that
data from your phone calls your wife in place your smartphone all of it over years and years still think meditate is karma. you know the fourth amendment right to not have your property whether visible or digital peeved fourth urged without reason or noticed by fellow american and your government in play grimly by leading the constitutional rights of the collection of your metadata and for that you should be angry. tonight talked about that by following me on twitter at the red button. that does it for no or more of the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america or check out our website r t v dot com slash usa and you can follow me on
twitter at same sex for now but it is. well. it's technology innovations all the developments from around russia we've got the future of coverage. here is mitt romney trying to figure out the name of that thing that the americans call. i'm sorry i missed the guy who cares what you say are you know what that is so. no one was saying the feature isn't the only poll that chris. can see.