tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News August 24, 2013 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
throwi . growing chaos in the middle east. egypt on the brink of civil war. how should the u.s. respond? plus, fresh outrage over the nsa's surveillance programs after the white house releases secret court rulings. and president obama says he's on a personal mission to make college more affordable. we will tell you what he has planned. welcome to "the journal editorial report." i'm paul gigot. growing here and abroad about america's hands-off approach to the middle east. as new evidence of chemical
weapons used in syria surfaces and egypt moves closer to civil war. we a great to have you here. welcome back to the program. >> thank you for having me. >> good. let's look at syria first. a year ago, i think it was the president famously, president obama, fame famously said -- use of chemical weapons would be a red line that syria shouldn't cross and would have consequences. what is assad's calculation that he would cross, be willing to cross that red line? >> small-scale attacks and nothing happened. what happened recently was the sixth attack and -- each attack has been bigger than the previous one with the exception of one in the middle. so -- he has been testing both the -- international public
opinion and the united states resolve and also how far he can go inside syria. now we can establish that pattern quite clearly. >> it is -- he figures he's testing the u.s. so testing the world and they are not responding. he's going to keep pushing ahead to do what he needs to do to prevail. >> yes. >> that's how you would see it. >> yes. also, you know, in every case, government media, supporters of the government, to leave the areas targeted before. sometimes a way -- wait for several weeks and then attack. in every case, places picked by the opensition, by the -- by their administration i have centers. assad does not want to let them create a government. phantom government, if you like. so we know it is clear that it is part of an overall military strategy on his part. >> sources inside of the obama
administration are now leaking that the president is considering the use of force in the wake of the chemical attacks. do you think that that would make a difference and should the united states enter militarily in response to these attacks? >> the first thing to do is to make the united states position politically clear. the united states has lost a lot of credibility in the middle east recently. people hesitate to take it seriously as a major power. and it has proved to be a fickle friend. the president says something, then nothing happens. so on. you know you have to restore confidence first. you know before -- we can discuss the use of weapons. otherwise, you know, if you fire a few rockets as -- president clinton used to do in afghanistan, and then -- sit back, that would be quite useless. >> when you say establish, re-establish political
credibility, what do you mean? do you mean -- side with the rebels, for example? look, we are going to enter more of -- more assertively on their behalf? >> first of all, no. to take -- clear political position, saying we can not -- as the international community allows president assad to continue killing his people, it is clear that the attacks were done by him. there's ample evidence. president obama knows that. the french, the british, they are -- given him lots of evidence. the latest attack is muff to -- assign a team american experts to study the -- area and find out that the attack has happened. >> right. >> president obama is hiding behind the -- russia's president putin. in fact, two of them are working together in this sense. putin threatens to veto and
obama says because of the threat of veto i can't do anything. >> you would put together -- if you were president obama you would put together a coalition with the french and the turks and the saudis and others that would intercede in syria. more assertively on the part of the rebels. that's what i'm trying to get at you from you. would you pick one side? >> i -- well, if you want the -- clear things to do, first of all, you know to organize the refugee areas, iraq and jordan and lebanon, turkey and so on, protect them against president assad's attacks, to create no-flay zone in areas liberated by dashes especially in the kurdish areas of syria, so that president cannot use his russian made air force to bomb them. and then to try to tip the balance of armament in favor of the rebels by giving them some
weapons which they can defend themselves. you know, we are not talking of invasion by american troops, you know. and -- military participation by the u.s. but you no, indicating that the u.s. is not on the side of president assad and -- is on the side of the rebels. and will not tolerate that. >> all right. that sounds like an intervention on the side of the rebels. if not, u.s. troops on the ground. thank you very much for being here. >> it is -- it is -- it is intervention light. >> all right. thanks. when we come back, new details spark new outrage over the nsa's surveillance programs at home. starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home.
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appreciate outrage over the scope of the nsa's surveillance programs. "wall street journal" reporting wednesday that the agency system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all u.s. internet traffic. that news comes as newly declassified documents show the nsa collected as many as 56,000 domestic e-mails and other electric ronnic communications per year between wait and 2011. reported to congress and to the fisa court. joining the panel this week, "wall street journal" lump mist and accidenty editor dan henninger, columnist, mary o'grade write. opinion journal.com editor james toronto. so, dan, how concerned should we be about the latest revelations? >> none whatsoever, paul. i'm an anti-terrorist absolutist. okay. the premise here is that the nsa exists to prevent mass murder by islamic terrorists. here's hair job. i'm glad they are doing it. now, it seems to me the question
is what exactly is the problem here with the nsa? if i may analogize, law enforcement agency like the fbi or police department. they have the capability clearly to do awful things. the police carry guns and billy clubs and want to walk down the streets pistol whipping and hitting people they can do that. they have the ability. they don't. why don't they do it? because there are lawses and rules preventing them from doing it. there are laws and rules preventing the nsa from doing the awful things. there's no evidence that they have done it. will's never been a single identifiable example of a person who was e-mailing -- e-mail read or damaged by the nsa. >> do you buy that analogy of a police? give them guns and you can abuse guns but where they donor if they do they are punished to -- capacity, nsa, to listen in on 75% of our online communications. >> i don't buy that argument. this is about collecting information. we have a government that has
repeatedly undermined our rust in washington. her saying don't worry, we have this covered. it is very hard for -- to put the american people in position where they have to choose whether they will trust the government or if they don't, they are going to be accused of, you know, not helping on the war on terror. >> the 75% figure is a capacity figure and what they are capable of doing. we knew they had that, something like that capacity. weigh don't listen to that. we have access, really, to about 1m 1.6% of these communications and smaller fraction. by the way, these are foreigners. listening in. >> the point is that -- the government also is not supposed to let high-powered weapons go into -- it is not supposed to have the irs targeting political enemies. it is not supposed to abandon men in the peeled in benghazi. there's lots of reasons why the
rules as we so confidently look at hem and say, you know, that this protects us, might not be backed up. i mean, you know will are -- >> you pull the -- stop doing this? >> i would not stop doing it. but i think that ray kelly was right when he said, look, the -- obama administration could have been a lot more transparent about what he is going on here. be straight with the american people. tell them that their e-mails may be captured in this sweep. i think american people can handle that. what they can't handle is secrets held by the obama administration which they don't trust. >> ray kelly, new york police commissioner. >> well, may heart is with mary here and my head is with dan. i distrust the government. i particularly distrust this administration. on the other hand, as far as these new revelations, okay, we now know 75% of the e-mail, go back and read a story, our newspaper, 2008, what we have learned is entirely consistent with that and describe the scope
of the way this operation works normally. that and the snowden details only put a little bit more by specific detail to it. in addition, the -- revelations about the court admonishing the msa suggest that there is a mechanism for dealing with error at least and potentially abuse. >> the administration released the court rulings declassified them themselves. not a leak. it -- it got the information out will. it does show that the -- will is a process by which mistakes overreach sing corrected. >> yeah. it was -- human operator error. it was not intentional evil. e-mails and reading them. had worked that judge. you read down to the bottom of the statement, and they -- corrected the problems, to the satisfaction of the court. and the court said problem solved. >> is your problem, james, that it is this president? or is it the programs themselves?
i want to ask mary that, too. >> well, i -- i mean, i have a basic distrust of the government. i think a healthy skepticism of the government is part of the american way. yes, i'm particularly mistrustful of this administration for the reasons that mary gave. on the other hand, we have, as dan says, no evidence that the nsa has been corrupted in the way the irs was. >> the specific abuses of the irs bother me a lot more than this because you have a case where -- care cases where the government did specifically attempt to punish individuals for their political beliefs. this case, nsa, we don't have any example of that. >> i think most americans would feel better you don't give the opportunity to someone in government. because, you know, james madison pointed out this is not about individual human beings. this is about creating a system that you don't have to depend on this person or that person being trustful but that the system itself would control my kind of
abuse against individuals. and the other thing is that this information can get into the hands of other people. it is not just the government. i think the edward snowden case is the perfect example. >> quickly. >> more from criminal actors than the operators of the nsa. you can't have your cake and eat it -- you cannot have a big data system like that finding terrorists and do the search with the things you are suggesting. you either want the program or you can't. >> he is great with the american people. >> college students head back to campus with a record number now relying on federal financial aid to meet sky rocketing costs. fear not, president obama says he has a plan. to make tuition more affordable. please. what's this? uhh, it's my geico insurance id card, sir. it's digital, uh, pretty cool right? maybe. you know why i pulled you over today?
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at a time a hire education has never been more important, or more expensive, too many students are facing a choice that they should never have to make. either they say no to college and pay the price for not getting a degree and that's a price that lasts a lifetime, or you do what it takes to go to college but then run the risk you won't be able to pay it off because you have so much debt. >> president obama, thursday, at the state university of new york in buffalo. rolling out the administration's new plan to curb college costs. the president's would-day plus tour comes as a new department of education report finds that for the first time ever a majority of undergraduates are receiving some kind of federal financial aid with a record number of students taking out loans and a record number defaulting on those loans. we are back with dan henninger. "wall street journal" assistant editorial base editor james freeman and editorial writer
alicia finley join the panel. jails, for five years i have been listening to president say he is making college more affordable and now tells us it is unaffordable. >> got to pay close attention. he has done the big tour saying there's a plan dash plan making college easier to afford and now we hear that we can't afford the trillion dollars of student loejs out there. of course, you remember three years ago he put law a plan to increase federal balance sheet bay trillion dollar. >> with student loans. what's going on? what's the politics here? >> well, i think people are hoping that basic economics will -- now that it is asserting itself will be appreciated by the white house. you have for years now a situation where the government subsidizes college education and now is shocked that the prices are rise. i haven't done -- haven't done so much to pump them up with grants and loans. i think that the hope is that
there's a market solution as opposed to colleges. >> administration figured this week that -- since 1983, fees, tuition, and -- four-year college going up 257% in 30 years. much faster than inflation or middle class incomes. why is that happening? >> look, the government keeps on pouring more money into higher ed. keeps pouring subsidies -- colleges pocketing the money and raising costs. is that unexpected? >> normal incentives if you are bogey to get -- push more money into an industry, end up people -- the cost of that industry -- that product or service going up. >> that's right. these colleges are using the money to finance these mega-stadiums and nice dorm facilities along with these really high salaries for these executives. >> proliferation of administrators as well. as part of the problem or not? >> probably one of the biggest drivers is that -- at some
colleges there are more administrators than there are faculty. >> james, the president's plan. what will he do? >> what he is going to do is start ranking colleges based on how much edges indicational bang for the buck they deliver and then tying aid to those rankings. in other words, if the government thinks that you -- college or you university are doing a good job at a low cost, then they will reward you with more funding. them take away funding if they think you are not giving students good deal. i hope all of those people in college campuses that have done so much to support president obama realize the great threat this is to american education. you might have possibly -- i would hope, an interesting coalition where you get academic leftists and people on the right who don't like government interference saying this is not another industry that washington ought to take over. >> he is an optimist, isn't he, that that will happen? that's why we love you james. >> will is a problem.
parents are finally pushing back against the incredible cost they have been paying for all he is years. so -- finally, the fact is in the fire. question is who is going to get into the solution quicker, the president, the government, or the private sector. >> does the president's plan have a chance to work, do you hi. >> problem is the president's plan is essentially to allow these students to default on their loans. forgive their loans after ten years. that's his income base repayment plan. >> that's what happens if you decide to go to work in the non-profit sector for government or loans. you can write off your loans after ten years. what happens if you are somebody like you who went to work for the private sector? withdrew get that same benefit, do you? >> no. unfortunately. >> i think -- i think that tells you what the danger is on the ranking, though. the president made it very clear. government i now saying -- if you do non-profit work or work in government.
time knew for hits and misses of the week. >> miss of the department of health and human services and medical research on the national stutsz for health. this week nih researcher claimed the sequester forced him to end a research project and cure blind zmst kill his test subjects, adorable bunny rabbits. i can't vouch for whether this research is vital or bunny rabbits are cute but i do know that the earlier -- earlier this month it was reported that hhs is free serving from the sequester cuts all obama care outreach efforts. so i think we can agree that hose are the wrong priorities. >> okay. mary? >> this is a hit for eric
holder, attorney general, for his announcement that he will initiate more probes than a large financial firm that played a role in the subprime financial price its. i'm excited about this because i know for sure this means he is going after fannie mae for its in the junk bonds and also it is -- possible that he's going to go after citibank where his treasury secretary used to work. >> paul, hit for two slivers of evidence that the culture may not be doomed yet. first is that anthony weiner, candidate in first place after his recent, shall we say, revelations, is in last place. the second one is that oprah winfrey this week was going to interview the troubled actress, lindsay lohan. by tv's measurement standards, nobody showed up to watch. some may say we are just bouncing off of the bottom of the culture. i'm going to allow myself a ray of hope. >> who says conservatives are