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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  December 10, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." >> today, the senate intelligence committee released a highly controversial government document. it is called the feinstein report. it is the result of a five-year investigation into the cia
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detention program for the years following the 9/11 terror attacks. those who have read it say it is a damning indictment of the cia use of enhanced interrogation. the report claims that such techniques were far more brutal than previously revealed and concludes that the agency oversight of those activities was inadequate, and in spite of its brutality, enhanced interrogation did not lead to actionable intelligence. diane feinstein spoke from the senate floor about her decision to release the report. >> history will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and a willingness to face an ugly truth and say never again. >> there are many who disagree with feinstein's decision. cia officials who have reviewed the reports say it does not paint an accurate picture of their activities and that the intelligence they obtained help head off terror attacks and that any excesses detailed in the
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report ended years ago. they also said the release of such incendiary information could spark violence abroad. it could even, they say, cost american lives. former president george w. bush spoke to cnn. >> we are fortunate enough to have men and women who work hard at the cia, serving on our behalf. these are patriots, and whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base. >> we have covered both sides of the debate many times on this program. at the core, it has to do with humanity and torture. gen. stanley mcchrystal told me in 2014 he is not a believer in enhanced interrogation techniques. >> the point is i think sometimes you get good intelligence, sometimes you do not. the reality is the effect it has on you. i think when you become the torturer, it has a corrosive
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effect over time. i think you move down a path that is difficult to come back from, and i think that happens to individuals involved, and i think it happens to the forest. >> however, here is what former vice president dick cheney had to say in june of this year. >> we were there in extorting very circumstances, and i took a lot of positions, positions i still hold, that generated criticism. enhanced interrogation techniques. and i do not hesitate to defend what we did. >> and this is what former cia deputy director mike hayden said earlier this year. >> the people who said it was not effective want this to be easy. legal and effective. then you get to the morality question. you get to the question of is it
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ok to do these kinds of things to other human beings, and reasonable people can differ on that, and there is a reasonable debate to be had, what it is very important, i think, for the american people to understand that when you have that debate about whether it is ok to do this to other human beings, you also have to have the debate about the flip side of the coin, charlie, which is if you don't use these techniques, americans are going to die. what is the morality of that question? >> joining me from washington is peter baker, the chief correspondent for the new york times, and also david ignatius. david, let me begin with you. what is the white house attitude about this? the president wanted this released, and for what reason? >> they said they wanted it released and set transparency is important, a way of turning the corner, but at the same time, as you saw the president said in his written statement that he put out today, he does not want to refight old arguments. he wants this to be the finale of this debate, which really has been raging for about a decade in this country.
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he wants people to understand that he considers these techniques to be wrong, and he has abandoned those under in order he signed in 2009, and we will not be going back to them again. he does not want to spend time litigating what happened under the last administration. >> what does diane feinstein think about this? >> she spent five years looking into this, and it is no doubt the most comprehensive version about what we have seen about the issues with this program, but she wanted to get out there in public so that people understood what happened, what did not happen, and to make sure it does not happen again. you know, vice president joe biden was asked whether this was a stain on our reputation, and he said it was the opposite, it was a state of honor for coming out and owning up to mistakes, and there is another side. at the cia, they see this as a
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partisan report and a way of deflecting attention from lawmakers who said they were briefed and now want to pretend they had nothing to do with it. >> david, you know the cia better than anyone i know. as a columnist and reporter. they have said to me that they think they had legal authority to do what they did, that they disclosed what they did, and they think that the report is neither fair nor complete. >> there is no question that former agency officials, current agency officials, like the director, john brennan, think that this is a tendentious, a case for the prosecution. they feel they were given authority from the beginning. indeed, they requested the justice department legal opinion, saying that the 12 techniques that their consultants had advised them to use word legal. there is a passage in the report that describes how condoleezza rice was briefed on those 12 techniques, and the justice department decision, but the
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president was not to be briefed me himself. i must say, charlie, even for people who followed this issue carefully over the years, this report is absolutely riveting. it is painful to read. people were read it, i think, with some of the sense of anguish that the people involved in the program felt at the time. some of the most poignant passages were about medical offices from the cia, about younger cia employees watching the early waterboarding of detainees, watching as people were treated in these ways, welling up with tears. one man says, basically, i cannot continue with this. it is a train wreck. you read over this dark history over these few years i think with emotion, and the hope is by putting it out with eviscerating detail, finally it may be possible to put this behind us. >> is that the idea, somehow we can come clear on this -- i am not saying come clean, but come clear on this, and what the
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president thinks is the responsible thing to do in an international emergency? >> it is that, charlie, to finally make a full accounting of it -- i think there are aspects of this report that are too tendentious, that try too hard. that really would draw a bright light forever in american history to say never do this again, and this report is so powerful, it may have accomplished what she hoped. >> also, questions are raised as to the effectiveness of torture. do we get a conclusion on this, peter, about whether it accomplishes the purpose? whether we should do it, and whether it was legal at the time? >> right, that was one of the questions, but there is sort of a morality question, is it the
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right and to do, but then there is a more important question in some ways, the efficacy, do you get out of it what you want to get out of it, and what this report concludes is that the cia has vastly overstated the intelligence it got out of the program, that, in fact, it outlines 20 case studies where the cia has outlined results of the program that helped thwart attacks or otherwise put them ahead of the ball in the war against al qaeda, and they then dissect those case studies and say, no, in fact, they do not get out of it what they said they got out of it, or they could have gotten it from other sources or gotten it in other ways, and they question the whole value of that program from start to finish. the cia does not agree with that, and that is a really interesting point. you have cia in there, who was the director of the cia, an appointee of president obama, and he agrees with the president in banning it, but he says there was value in the program and that we should not condemn the cia officers who were involved
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in it, because they were doing what they were told to do and told was legal, so you have this positioning with the president caught between these two points of view. >> peter, i thank you so much for coming in. i know you are on deadline, and i know you are writing, but thank you again. >> thank you, charlie. always good to be with you. >> david, speak to this. can they make the case? and finally, were they given the opportunity to make the case to this committee? david? >> this question of effectiveness i think is the hardest for an outsider to evaluate. the committee makes this very prosecutorial case with a 20 cases, saying in each instance where intelligence value was obtained, the intelligence could have been obtained in other ways. the officers who read the report, all 6000 pages of it, in fact, say the way that the committee has organized the
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intelligence amount to cherry picking and that their arguments about those 20 cases is not convincing. they look back, done with hindsight, and they find that thing that could have told you what you ended up getting. a good example was the intelligence that led to targeting osama bin laden in abbottabad. agency officers say no matter what you decide about the moral question, the value of the intelligence gained from harsh interrogation in identifying who the courier was, abu ahmed al-kuwaiti, who was servicing bin laden in abbottabad, it is not clear that that would have emerged without these interrogations. that is an argument, a dispute about facts. historians will pick over that. as important and valuable that i think this report is, it is not the kind of judgment that
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historians would make. it leaves out the context, what it felt like to be the director of the cia when you were receiving 50 threats a day it was believed a second wave of attacks was coming, that the second wave might have radiological attacks. that is really not there, and also the argument that former officials like george tenet make, they were never asked to comment, discuss, explain these issues. you know, you don't want to have a prosecution. you never have a newspaper story where you make accusations and don't get the person who is being charged a chance to respond, and i think that is a legitimate criticism of the report, people should have a chance to answer the charges against them. >> why did they not do that? >> they argued at the time that they were compiling the report, legal investigations were still going on, that it was not appropriate, and they also argue that they looked carefully through all of the statements made by key people, such as george tenet and directors at
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the fbi. i think it is fair to say that, hey, you should have given us a chance to respond. >> they have put embassies and the like on a kind of alert. what is the expectation? what are they worried about? >> charlie, that is one of the tough parts of this. as we know from news reporting, secretary of state john kerry telephoned the senate intelligence committee chairwoman, senator feinstein, and said, we have warnings from foreign leaders that they fear an uptick in violence if this report is leaked, and so, people have been calling the united states, expressing concern about what might happen. obviously, from reading our morning newspapers, we know the
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middle east is in a very fragile, delicate state right now. you have a coalition trying to fight isis that is very shaky, just trying to stand up, and this report could weaken and destabilize it. you have an iraqi government similarly that is very fragile, and who knows what effect the report will have? even given all of those points, the idea that you could indefinitely suppress information like this, it just does not hold up to me, and what senator feinstein said this morning on the senate floor was there are always arguments for delay. the middle east will be unstable at any point in the future you can think of, so let's go ahead and get this out and make a clean item of it. >> there are things in here that you could not even imagine writing? >> charlie, what struck me, and what i think makes this a document worth your viewers reading is the human side of it.
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the cables sent back from the first use of waterboarding against an al qaeda member, sent back by a medical officer who was assigned in trying to account what it was like in the room as waterboarding was used. this was a doctor. this was a person who never could imagine he would be in this situation. other poignant, human examples, both of the cia officers involved and with the detainees, and then you read this -- it is the kind of thing that is so nightmarish, it is hard to believe that in our recent history at all it actually happened. this is not an episode of "homeland." this really happened, and you think, wow, i am glad i did not have to make the decisions these people made, and, wow, i am glad we don't do this anymore. >> thank you.
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we will be back. >> rosario dawson is here, and she stars in a new film alongside chris rock. it is called "top five." she plays a journalist writing a piece on a comedian turned film star. "hollywood reporter" says it allows dawson to reveal a comic range we have not seen before. here is the trailer for the film. ♪ >> what's up? this is andre allen. when i listen to the radio, i listen to sirius hits 1. >> that is good. make it funnier. >> funnier? >> put a little stank on it. but yes. >> wassup, [beep]? this is [beep] andre allen. [beep] or scratch my nuts, that is -- >> the first cut was good. >> they voted him the funniest man in america. by 2010, the former standup hit it big, with "hammy the bear 1,"
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"2," and "3." >> it is hammy time. >> you can also see him getting married to reality star erica long. >> where is my kid? >> do we have to do this on camera? >> i don't feel funny anymore. >> i just want a decent story. give me a couple of honest things, i will be more than fair. >> this is chelsea brown. she is doing a story on me. no snitches. >> i am going to turn over like an apple pie. >> you just ate an apple pie. >> things never change. like a black man trying to get a cab in new york city. taxi, taxi? do you think the wedding is hurting me? >> are you kidding me? >> what is going on? >> in the conference room. ♪
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>> why don't you just skip those questions and go right to something? >> all right, why aren't you funny anymore? >> she is hysterical. >> this is my town. anything you need, let me know. >> i got married a lot of times. i was not into the wedding. i should have been into the guy, as you should be into the girl. >> my top fine is jay, naz, scarface, and then i might let biggie get in there. my sixth is ll cool j. >> i need something. i have got a lock on them. [laughter] >> welcome. >> thank you so much. it is great to be here. >> how long have you known chris rock? >> 16 years now. >> define the relationship.
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>> we agree to disagree a lot. we have a very good banter, which i think really translates to this movie. it has been interesting to us for many, many years, and i hope other people find it so. >> you are different people. >> we are very different people, but we are also alike. he is a feminist in his own way and an activist in his own way, and he does stand up, and i love that. he pushes people to think about things he would not otherwise think about. he forces them to laugh at things that they could not fathom laughing at, and because he has an incredible perspective on things, and perspective is something that i hold very dear. i like people looking at the world around them and making observations, comparing ideas, and he has already done that in a really brilliant way, and i love that. he makes me think and makes me laugh. he pushes me. he challenges me. he is awesome. >> he wrote this with you in mind.
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>> i know. >> what was it about you that you think he was writing to? >> that i carry hot sauce in my purse? >> that you would challenge? that you had your own mind? >> very much so. i think he likes the way that we have kind of gotten to know each other over the years and talk, and the things that i appreciate. i especially really loved his documentary, "good hair." i love the kind of father he is, and he jokes that he felt that this was a movie that if he did not direct and do really great that no one would let him direct anymore, so he really brought it. he really pushed it to you and he was not going to call his friends and bring them onboard for something he thought was a sinking ship. he really had high aspirations for it, and that is why he wanted me on board. >> it is a judgment that he finally is as good in a movie that he is as good as he is in standup. paying as much attention to it as he does with standup.
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>> he worked on the script for three years before hand. when you watch his stuff, he is really seamless about watching is special and see him cutting between, different outfits, listening to him tell a joke, and he is so familiar with the way he is and his demeanor, it seems like he is telling that joke for the first time, but he has done that joke 100 times before he shared it. not looking like chris rock in the movie, but actually being andre allen, and i think there was an enough familiarity and there that he is a comedian, an actor, and give him the benefit of the doubt, but on top of that, he was doing "m -- with a hat," which was an incredible play. he was working with an acting coach, and he was determined to not be chris rock at all times. he was, i am writing this, producing this, and i am acting in this, and i do not want any
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part to be misconstrued or wrong or done in a way that i dialed in because i was busy doing something else. please call me on it, and that was one of the things when he first approached me with the role. i said, "congratulations, well done, have fun with that." and he said, "wait a minute. you have to be in this movie with me." and my grandmother had passed two years before, and i had just done a slew of movies, from "give me shelter" to "sin city" and to "trance," and there is something about taking the time to mourn, and my brother said, "you will be home in new york with family, working with your friend, and talk to him. if you want to have some input in this character, i am sure he would rather have you collaborate rather than just say no," and i sat and talked to chris about this ad nauseam, and he said i auditioned him for his own movie, and i am not used to
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doing comedy, and i was, like, nervous. this was a lot. >> chelsea, when you first saw her in the script, and after you tweaked her to become what you thought she was -- >> he had a really good basis for her, because he did write this for me. there was a lot that i felt connected to and really familiar with, but i wanted to push it. you're going to have this woman who is shadowing this man around all day, and she is a fan of his, and she is also a single mom, and she is sober, and she has real issues and things in her life, she is not just going to take it when he says, yes, quitting drinking alcohol had no effect on my career, and this relationship is doubly great, and there is no problems with it. and i was not going to walk away from this experience and say, i wish i had pushed him harder. in fact, i work for the new york times, and you need me.
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this movie is going to fail without me doing some kind of review. you are going to let me push you, and she takes advantage, and i like that she goes toe to toe with him, and i wanted to push that as far as possible. >> as a director, how is he? >> amazing, actually. that was one of those things, you know, when you are about to work with a friend. i know my drama, and i bite my nails and get very nervous, but he goes, this is going to be very funny. you will work again and be able to show your face in daylight and have hot sauce in public. trust me, i know my comedy, and i felt like what is so different about us and what is so great about us was that much more developed and that much more
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push, because he does not fight you. it is not like he had all of these incredible talents on there and was trying to show he was the big guy. there was not like this -- i am sure he has got a huge ego, but he wanted everyone to be their greatness, and that is why there are no cameos in this movie, because everyone has a shining solo moment, and he pushed that for me, and it was amazing. he says he is the protector. he was not the director. he was the protector. he protected his friends, the locations. i called him the conductor. all of these incredible instruments, i mean tracy morgan, whoopi goldberg, adam sandler, gabrielle union, amazing, amazing, amazing people, and he would go, let them hit that high note, and just when you thought, ok, they are feeling please, they are starting to run out of breath, and he was, keep it going. the guy with his back to the audience, not on camera right now, he knows how far he can push you, and he gets that out of everybody, and he did that
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with every single person, and he did not back off. they say in his previous films, he would do a show after or during, and he would save his jokes for that special he was going to do, and he did not do that. he said, i am going to put everything in it, and i want all of you to do the same, and we did it. >> your deal was drama. his field has been comedy. was this drama or comedy? >> i agree with them. this was drama with a lot of jokes. but it is really hard-hitting and very raw. this was a film because we did not do it with a big studio and didn't more independently, he could make this sort of very adult r-rated film, and he could go there and have jokes and take things in certain directions that probably we would not have been able to do if there were several chefs in the kitchen going, we have to do it this way. >> there was one chef in the
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kitchen, the producer, scott rudin. >> chris had worked with him before, and chris said, i never went to you before with anything, but this movie is really special, and i want to make it in new york and with the locations and actors i want. and it is going to be really, really special, and will you back to me, and scott saw it and said yes, it was great. scott would be there every single day. he would have assistants there, buying property, and it was 24/7. the man does not sleep. they would be talking and laughing, and anytime there was an issue, you went to chris, and chris was really on top of it and on point, but scott was just there, and he is not saying anything, and he would say, "i saw that, and that is not going to cut," and he would look back down, and there are all of these people in a frenzy going, how did he see that? that was not his assistants. it was him. he is brilliant. he has the notoriety he has
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because he has earned it. >> you see him as a filmmaker making films he is not in. >> 100%. i think that is one of those things -- not that mel brooks or woody allen ever did that, but i think he is following in that lead of great comedians who can do that very proudly, being a proper director. >> clint eastwood is, as well. >> and mel gibson and a lot of people who have turned, you know, and you talk to people, julie delpy, who can work on both sides. angelina jolie is doing it right now. he is definitely one of those, because he has got a voice and stories he wants to tell. he is got a perspective he wants to share. >> what does rosario want? >> everything. i have a lot of things that i do all of the time. i did take that break that i needed after this movie. i am glad i did not do it before
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this movie. i did it after. i got to end on a really high note. after this film. >> what did you learn? >> it was not like i had so much of a break. i have a latino organization that turned 10 years old, and i work with a girls club, and i have a company i just started in ghana that we are using as a social enterprise to make impact in there. so it was not like i was not working, but i just did not do stuff in front of the camera so much, and that was amazing. i like producing. i like directing. i like writing. i like singing. i like a lot of things. and there is a new game coming out right now, called "arkham nights," and i am all about that right now. that is going to be my christmas. >> you are going to give it or receive it? >> i am going to buy it to myself and then lend it to my brother, maybe, if he is nice.
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there are people in my life, it jane fonda, and people i have had a chance to meet, like maya angelou, and these women wear their life. they enjoy their life every step of the way. i was talking to pat mitchell, and she said it gets better. i want to be in my life in my 50's and 60's, and i watch "trip to bountiful" with cicely tyson, and if i stay sane enough, i can do it until i die. >> and to tell a story. >> absolutely. you can do it on your cell phone now. you can tweet to someone. it is so amazing, the connection. i am enjoying it and rolling with it. >> "top five" is in some theaters and goes wide on friday, december 12.
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back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
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>> anonymous is among the biggest online vigilante groups, and its members break into the computer systems of companies and governments. hector monsegur was one of the most effective operatives, instrumental in cyber attacks, including visa, mastercard, sony, and the u.s. senate. in 2011, he infiltrated the tunisian government website in support of protesters at the height of the air of spring. -- arab spring. later that year, he was apprehended after hacking into an fbi affiliate. he became an informant, allowing the government to launch his actions as he engaged in hacking activities with his former peers. the fbi says he has helped them prevent more than 300 cyberattacks in systems controlled by the military and nasa. i sat down him recently for his first television interview, and here is that conversation. how old were you when you saw your first computer? >> i saw my first computer when i was probably eight or nine.
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it is when i lived in ithaca, new york, for a while, and it was cool, because i was bored. it was during the summer, and there is nothing to do there. i had no friends and no family, so it was basically my family inside of a little house, and we were there pretty much all day, every day, and it so happens that i think my father or his wife saw an ad or knew somebody. they were pretty much giving away a computer, an old apple system. it had an old dot matrix printer, and i was sitting there in front of it, and i wondered. this was something relatively foreign to me, so i was tinkering with the system and learning how it functions. i was able to escape, escape from the current situation we were going through. >> so you were self-taught. >> absolutely. everyone around me were into
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something, but it wasn't computers. >> was it a passion then? i mean, once you had that idle time, and you had that device, did it feel like, my god, this is the best thing that ever happened to me? >> absolutely. close to it. i felt i could create, which was one of the most interesting things. i was eight years old. i would create a document and print it out a thousand times, waste paper. it might seem ridiculous, but he gave me the ability to create something. >> how did you go about hacking? >> we were poor, and i needed a way to get online, and in those days, getting online meant credit cards, and you had to pay some kind of service provider, so i needed to find a way where it would be cheap or free, so i needed a way to access the internet at would not be a
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burden to my grandmother, who was really poor, and also, growing up, i watched films like "war games," and "war games" was an old-school school film. even ones like "hackers" or "sneakers," so my interest was piqued when i could get online continuously without interruption. >> you were known as "sabu." >> yes, i chose that name, probably around 1997. before that, i had a different name, a random name, which i forgot. >> sabu is the name of a professional wrestler. >> yes, i used to watch him with my father, before my father went to prison. my father and i would sit there and watch ecw at 2:00 in the morning, and the coolest guy was the guy jumping off of buildings and doing reckless things, and
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his motto was homicidal, genocidal, and remind you, while he is doing that, he is jumping off buildings, and while i am hacking, i decided i needed a moniker, a pseudonym, and i thought, this sabu is pretty interesting. >> tell me about anonymous. >> well, anonymous is or should be an idea. anonymous was an idea, an idea where we can all be anonymous. we can all work together as a crowd, united. we could rise and fight against oppression. that is what anonymous is. >> and then there was lulzsec. >> yes, lulzsec you could say was more of a mistake. it was a group that had to be created, because what we wanted to do was something that many anonymous members were not ready for, they were not accepting of it. at the time, anonymous was more focused on like social protesting and low scale hacking.
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they were not thinking outside the box. so once we did a certain hack, we gained a lot of attention, notoriety, because it was media. there was lulzsec, because was anonymous, they did not want to feel the heat. it was actually exciting. it depends on your goal, obviously. if you are hacking to learn, the thrill is proving your concept. we call these "proof of concept," "poc." once you could prove your concept, then you have that thrill. >> give me an idea of a concept. >> if you are trying to prove an exploit, kind of like a mathematician who proves a theory. they would create an algorithm.
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and if it works, if it checks out with his colleagues, then that is a success. in the case of an exploit, you find a vulnerability in a web application or some sort of software. >> tell me how you operated. how many hacks did you do? >> thousands. >> what was the biggest? >> my biggest hack to me, that actually did something, was when i resuscitated in operation tunisia, when i help to the tunisian people get the revolution. you know, i help to the people. >> that started the arab spring. >> yes, the arab spring started in tunisia. regardless of whether i was at home in the lower east side, in the projects, behind a computer. >> how did that make you feel? >> wonderful. it felt great. i felt like i could finally do something that is going to help people. it was just hard.
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>> that is a long way, using social media and using hacking to influence a revolution. and targeting companies so that there is monetary gain. >> absolutely. >> two different things. you did both. >> you could say that. i had access to the companies, and when you get access to the companies, you have access to their database. the credit cards are right there. it is not about chasing them down and looking for the credit cards. you break into the machine, and you have access to the credit cards, so, yes, i had access to the credit cards. >> how and when did you know the fbi was on to you? >> several days or weeks before the rest, because i would come downstairs, take the kids to school, and there is a random con edison truck parked in front of my building. how often do you see a con edison truck parked in the lower
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east side? >> should have been a indicator, right there. >> do you know what was the greatest indication? >> what? >> the mailman was hanging out with the con edison guy in front of my building, so i knew that something was going on. >> tell us about the night the agents showed up at your door. >> it was around 8:00, dark, and they knocked on my door and said police. i was pretty sure it was not the police at the door. before i went to the door, i went to my brother and said, listen, just chill. relax. let me handle this. and i went to the door, and we have a whole bunch of fbi agents at the door. there were 14 or 15 of them, and they were going down the stairs, doing verticals, and there were some in the hallway, some in suits, and they basically pulled
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me out into the hallway and said, we are glad you opened the door in time, because we were about to smash it in, and i said, what is the problem? >> that is what you said? >> yes. >> why are you here? >> how can i help you, you know? and they said, we know who you are, right? we know who you are, and we know what you're doing, and we also know you have two kids in the house, so you cooperate us, and we'll take you in and you'll be back in the morning, or we will call child services and take the kids away. it is your call. you make the decision. so it is clear they had an understanding that my weakness -- >> was your kids. >> was the kids. they had done their homework. respect. that was disgraceful, that entire situation. unfortunately, i was in a situation where i had to lose these two beautiful girls who were innocent and young and did
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not have anything to do with any of this. why would i assist them in creating emotional complexes that would haunt them for the rest of their lives? i would rather take the weight. >> ok, in order to keep the kids, what did you have to do? >> i had to go downtown and cooperate with them. >> how hard was that? >> one of the hardest decisions of my life and also one of the easiest, because the kids were involved. i am not going to choose a movement of strangers over these two girls. >> so you went to work for the fbi. >> it is not that i went to work for the fbi. it is just that i was forced to have my computer logged by the fbi, and it was difficult. it was very hard, but i was able to manage it.
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>> the fbi says that you helped them prevent more than 300 cyberattacks on our government. >> yes. >> the military. >> yes. >> nasa. what did you do? >> well, here is the interesting part. what i was doing before my arrest was unifying hackers, all right? that is part of what i really did. that is the thing that made me so popular for whatever reason. unifying hackers. bridging the language guys and the hatred between groups and nationalities, so by being someone that iranian hackers and israeli hackers, pakistani hackers, others, will accomplish in their goal on a greater scale, it put me in a situation where i was logged by the fbi,
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and they got to see hacks in real-time that were taking place against the infrastructure of the united states government, so with that being said, i was able to assist in the attacks happening against the government and share it with the government so they could fix these issues. >> but also, you took down how many? eight of the world's top hackers? >> i did not identify anybody. i did not point my finger at anybody. i did not say, what is your ip address? what is your address? >> would they have gotten them otherwise? >> you want to be truthful? absolutely. >> but there was huge advantage in having them on their side. >> yes, because they had the logs from the computer. i was told do what you do but just do not attack any u.s.
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targets. what was i doing prior to my arrest? i was uniting hackers and activists from around the world, correct? after my arrest, i am doing the same exact thing. unfortunately, now, there is logs. that is the part that hurt the most. >> tell me about jeremy hammond. >> he is an interesting character, not as they portrayed him to be. he was just a random activist who had some hacking skills, and he wanted to be part of lulzsec, just like many of the hackers. unfortunately, lulzsec was only a team of six, but he hung around with us. once lulzsec met its end, he participated with operation anti-security. >> you know what some of them
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are saying, they are saying you coerced them. >> that is kind of difficult. that bothers me a little bit. i would say, what are you doing? let's share that information on twitter. you are telling me that i coerced them, what was i doing before? nothing has changed. i did not change from what i was doing prior. so, no, there was no coercion. i participated. we worked together. the same as everybody else. >> prosecutors have said you have been cooperating with them. and unusual public disclosure. >> kind of. from what i gather, doing some research, most informants are top-secret until trial, and if the trial does not
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happen, they remain secret forever. >> exactly. >> but i never went to trial. so the exposure is kind of baffling to me. >> you know why? >> i cannot give you their perspective, unfortunately, but i am sure it is some kind of propaganda. how else would you kill a centralized movement with no leaders if you were to say that there was a leader? and its leader was sabu, and he is compromised, by the way. so what happens after my exposure if you paid attention to the social atmosphere of anonymous? panic, fear. people began to fall back from participating in anonymous operations. maybe that was their agenda.
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i mean, it was dissuasive. it gave people a reason not to participate in anonymous if their so called leader was compromised. >> i assume part of the government attitude was about you, public disclosure, that in the end, we will get you. you cannot hide. behind anonymity. we will get you. look who we got. we caught a big fish. >> yes. and you know what? it was not a matter of them just being sophisticated or them having some technology used to find me. i made mistakes. i made a lot of mistakes. >> that is how people get caught. >> that is how people get caught. >> what is happening right now as we are talking the worst thing that hackers are able to do to the united states? >> well, that is a good question. there is no thing as security.
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that being said, airport security. hackers can break right into the airport. powers systems. turn off the lights. water systems, shut them down. water pipelines. they will shut down saudi arabia for a day, and guess what? the price of gasoline will shoot up $20 by tomorrow. the bureau of prisons, where i was locked up at. scatter systems. the locks are controlled by scatter systems, logic controller systems. they can simply open all of the cells across the united states. >> you are saying those are things that can be achieved by people who are working today as hackers. >> hackers can do way more than that. it should be an inspiration to
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the american government to work on our infrastructure. >> to make it more hacker proof? >> it is not hacker proof. it is how we are handling security in this country. it is completely absurd. for example, instead of educating -- let's say this office right here, and we are all government employees, and you are the president. >> you are in charge of security. >> yes, by all means. i will be the security guy. instead of you telling me, hey, hector, educate everybody about passwords and how to secure their laptop, because we have sensitive information here we do not want to leak, that is not what happens. we call in a company and give them a billion dollars, and here come the contractors.
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we have a sickening reliance on security contractors, the likes of booz allen hamilton and mansec, companies like snowden worked for. who will guard the guards? our security, the people that we hire with tax dollars, are not really secure themselves, so they are at our attack vectors. do you understand? >> i do. it seems like we are in a bad place. >> we are in a bad place. we are in a really bad place, and as time goes on, you are going to continue to hear stories like, oh, the chinese government has infiltrated the post office, or the russian government has infiltrated the sewage system. this is going to continue to happen until we change our perspective on security. we need to stop treating security as a contract job and
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accept security as a way of life that we need to think about. all right? we all, individually, have the responsibility to focus on our own security. there is no reason why you should have an intern handle your e-mail. you should be able to handle your own e-mail. >> can you imagine this? it is said, and i have no way to judge, that you were really, really good. >> i will leave it up to people to decide. >> can you imagine if you had not gone one direction but had ended up in silicon valley? >> well, that is the problem. i did not end up in silicon valley. i had no connections to the world. here i was, this young, poor, puerto rican guy from the lower east side projects, and i had no education.
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how was i going to get from there to silicon valley? i tried to get i had my own security company, and that failed, so with no help from anybody, it would have been extremely hard for me to make it. i guarantee you though, had i made it in silicon valley when i was 18, if i had been pointed in the right direction, you and i would be having a completely different conversation. >> thank you, hector. >> thank you. ♪
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>> live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west," where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm emily chang. take a look at the headlines. equity markets took a big hit today. the dow, nasdaq and s&p fell about 1.6%. the selloff comes after opec says oil demand for next year will be the lowest in 12 years. nyu economics professor michael spence tells bluebird surveillance that russian president vladimir putin is a big user here -- loser here. >> is pushed him into the arms of the chinese. >> is the dialogue ongoing?

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