tv France 24 News PBS August 26, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> coming up, concern growing over the expansion of nsa surveillance since the war on terror started. employees were spying on their lovers. the agency was spying on uniteded nations. and that's just what we found out over the weekend. we'll speak with a former agent turned whistleblower ahead. the conflict in syria may have reached a boiling point. secretary of state john kerry says he has no doubt they used chemical weapons on civilians. is intervention inevitable? and speaking of chemical
weapons, a new report details how the u.s. once held saddam hussein and the iraqis with its chemical weapons attacks on iranian troops. ♪ tens of thousands gathered at the nation's capital this weekend in remembrance of the 1963 march on washington. even though the nation has come a very long way, many feel that the struggle for martin luther king's dream still continues. more on the sights and sounds later in today's show. it's monday, august 26. pam 5 p.m. in washington, d.c. the national security agency was once the most secretive organization in the u.s. now, hardly a day goes by when we don't hear about the nsa's latest scandal. this weekend was no exception.
two major headlines ran on the front pages of newspapers around the world this weekend. the first was a revelation that a number of nsa employees were actually using the surveillance program's capabilities to spy on their lovers. or, as they called it, operation love-int. that's according to the chairwoman of the senate intelligence committee diane feinstein. there are about one case per year during the past ten years that we know about. and the people who participated were reportedly disciplined. the second major revelation to come out this week, the german publicication report that is the nsa managed to crack the encryption codes protecting the u.n.'s internal video conferencing system, allowing the u.s. to spy. this comes just a short time after revelations came out about the agency's spying on the e.u. i was joined earlier by a 32-year veteran of the nsa and helped design some of the very
programs that the n sanch still uses today to spy. before he turned into a whistleblower. we started out by talking about the 2011 fisa court ruling that was recently released by the obama administration. in it the nsa said it was stepping out of the shadowing by having this part released because it wanted to show that it operates lawfuly and fixes mistakes when detected. i asked if he thinks that statement is true. >> no. i basically believe all the fisa court orders to do domestic spying are basically general warrants and they're in violation of the constitution that is the right to privacy, fourth amendment principally but also the first amendment in terms of -- by giving that data the what it does is tells them who is associated with who internally in the united states. that's violating the right of free association under the first amendment. >> so when you have, however, on the other hand, you have
john bates the judge having this scathing rhetoric within those court documents. what does that do? does that kind of solidify or not solidify the idea of the fisa court being a rubber stamp court? >> well, what -- the fisa court coming out and saying they really have no way of verifying, and even the chief judge said he has no way of verifying. that i've been saying for a long time they don't have any technical means of verifying the validity of the statements being made to them. u even in august of 2002 the fisa court came out, a story was broken by the "new york times" where the court detected 75 cases where the f.b.i. misled the court in soliciting 75 warrants. well, that probably was only the tip of the iceberg, too. so this is a longstanding problem. they've known about it for a long time. they never really have attempted to solve it. >> now, one of the purposes of edward snowden having revealed
a huge surveillance apparatus today is that we presume that things got out of control with the nsa's surveiling cape abblets. but are we at the point of no return here? where it can't be dismantled. all touf do is start unfunding them and they'll have to start cutting back. that's the way to do it like representtive initiative unfund this activity. that's the way to start. if they don't stop, start cutting even more. cut their funding. >> where there any reports of employees using the kind of surveillance capabilities to spy on their lovers, spy on anyone else that they wanted to? >> not that i was aware of. ok? i did not know of any of that when i was there. of course, i left after 9/11. that's when all the domestic to domestic communications was started to be collected by nsa. >> but you say it's possible.
>> it's possible. >> so this ability for abuse. and the other thick to point out, the nsa is overwhelmed with trying to figure out how edward snowden got in and took his documents because he was covering his tracks very well. so if edward snowden can do it and there are a ton who have this privilege, other ks do that too. right? >> yes. the problem is they don't have any way of monitoring what's going on across their network. and what they need to do is put together an automated system to do diagnostics of who is doing what. so they can pick up people like snowden as he is downloading or within fractions of a second. but they don't have that capability now. so that's still a major problem for them. they can't monitor. they're not capable of monitoring who is doing what on their network. >> with those employees
reprimanded for being part of that love-int is they self-reported. it wasn't the safeguard that told them something was going on. it was the employees. >> and the other thing you should glean from that particular disclosure is the fact that all this information is in the data bases of nsa. >> very interesting. now, talk about the relationship of the f.b.i. and the d.h.s. and the nsa. because you were speaking a little earlier how the nsa isn't the obble one with all -- only one with these data. >> in the interview with director mueller of the f.b.i. in march of 2011, for time magazine, it was published, he talked about the f.b.i. using stellar wind from october, basically, of 2001. so the f.b.i. has been using that data base all along, and also in march of 2011 also, he testified to the senate
judiciary committee where he was saying that he could go in to the data base that he set up with the department of defense where he could go in and with one query get past all past and all future e-mails. so that says there are content being stored on people inside the united states because his response was how would you prevent a future fort hood? that meant someone become radicalized and having a terrorist act or completing a terrorist act inside this country. that means he's got access to their e-mail. so that's getting back to this massive collection that mark kline only exposed one note of that collection in san francisco. but that's the upstream collection process. >> yes or no, do you feel vindicated by all this information coming out from the n.s.a.? >> i guess the way i view it is that edward snowden did a great public service because he presented information that cannot be refutured by the
government and now they have to face what they've been doing. >> n.s.a., thank you very much for coming. it's not only domestic issues that the president is dealing with. he is also knee deep in syria's civil war as aggression in the country escalates. secretary of state john kerry delivered a speech just over an hour ago saying that the u.s. has little doubt that syrian president and his regime used chemical weapons on the syrian people after images of dying children being carried to hospitals have gone global. investigators were finally allowed to inspect the area where the alleged chemical attack happened but right as the convoy entered, snipers began firing down on the group, forcing them to temporarily retreat. u.s. defense officials said over the weekend that the navy has moved a fourth war ship into the region and all of those warships have the ability to launch ballistic missiles if tensions come to that.
however, the assad regime denies using chemical weapons on its people and says that the snipers shooting were in fact terrorists. now, the world is waiting and watching to see how all of this plays out. for more on syria's options i was joined earlier from the national coordinator at the answer coalition here in d.c. a middle east analyst in new york. from miami, the executive director for the syrian emergency task force. and i started off by asking him if western intervention in syria is becoming a more rearls stick prospect. >> i think the way that the secretary of state spoke today and came out sort of saying that the regime is the perpetrator behind the chemical weapons attack and the way that he spoke about it, i think that signifies that there will be some sort of military action or military response by the united states and international community. so i think now we're coming to a point where we will see something happen.
but what scale that's another question. >> sit a good idea? >> absolutely. i think any time that a regime in the government uses chemical weapons, these should be used by no one at all. and if something like this is allowed to happen as it has been in the past on separate occasions where it's been documented that it was the regime that has used sarne gas, for example, in different areas of seer yarks this has been the largest attack since. and if there is no response by the international community, that is a further green light for the regime to continue these insane humanitarian rights abuses. >> how do you respond to what he just said? >> well, the idea that the syrian government would carry out poisoned gas attack the day before the u.n. inspectors were coming to syria to investigate a previous reported poison gas attack is completely ludicrous. this is a stage provocation by the so-called free syrian army, the so-called rebels who are
fueled and have their weapons fueled by foreign proxy governments of the united states including qatar and saudi arabia, not democratic governments. they're staging a provocation because they know that without foreign military intervention they can't win. they can't defeat the assad government militarily and they don't have a popular base significant enough compared to the assad government's popular support to do the job. so they're doing everything they can in concert with the hawks in washington, kerry, those in the pentagon establishment who want to go in, as they did in iraq in 2003, as they bombed libya in 2011, as they want to do again in syria. this is a stage provocation. >> i want to get you in here. do you believe that the u.s. has the moral impertive to get involved in syria if there is proof of chemical weapons used by the assad regime. now, given how difficult it will be to ascertain who used the chemical weapons with 100% certainty, what do you think the next move from the global
community should be? >> i'll put usage of chemical weapons in prentsdz sis to highlight it. until now we don't know for sure who used the chemical weapons in seer yafment we know there were chemical weapons used but we are not certain, + not even to a minimum degree to justify military intervention. however,f the proof is concrete to prove that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons, then definitely the united states and the others have a mobile obligation. however, the track record of u.s. administrations with allegations of chemical weapons usage or existence, we remember the big theatrical show done by colin powell at the security council before the invasion of iraq on the w.m.d., et cetera, until today, there is no trace
of w.m.d. in iraq. so we have to be really very, very careful. if chemical weapons were used, then this will justify an intervention not only from the united states but from the international community. >> now, you have been in syria with great frequency. one of the biggest objections to the u.s. arming the rebels is that the weapons could get into the hands of fundament lists and be used against us. characterize the free syrian army soldiers that you've met and worked with. is this a fair criticism? >> yes, sure. first, i want to say real quickly that this isn't like iraq in terms of speaking about weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist there. we know that there are chemical weapons in the hands of the syrian regime. we know that he has used them in the past with unequivocal evidence. we know that by no means do the rebels have the deliverry systems if they even in a crazy world got chemical weapons to use them. and we know that it took five
days for the inspectors to go in and inspect. so the regime, if they had nothing to hide they should have let them in right away. now that being said to go to your question, it is very important that first of all everybody wants a political solution and everybody wants this crisis to end. i think the syrian people are incredibly tired. but if we do arms flowing to syria or not, whether the united states or west arms or not and they're going to different groups and sometimes not the right people at all. and it's opened the room for extremists to sort of come into the fray of the conference. so it's imperative that we arm the right people and the right people are the ones that defected from the regime's army because they didn't want to shoot innocent children, they didn't want to shoot their own people. >> the united states -- >> the lifeless bodies dying and wrapped in slouds in areas where they did not allow people to go in. >> let's get brian in here.
what wrp you going to say? >> the united states government has been on a course to overthrow the government in syria because it's an independent nationalist government. it was formally -- it was formerly a colnifment they did the same thing in libya. they bombed libya in 2011. they invaded iraq in 2003. we see war after war after war. what's the real reason for the war? it's not because one government has a better or worse human rights record. it's not about chemical weapons. the middle east possesses two thirds of the world's oil. the u.s. wants to show that it's going to control this resource rich part of the world. the bush administration and the obama administration are doing the exact same thing. using chemical weapons as a pretext to carry out an illegal acted of aggression against a sovereign country. the people of the united states by a margin of 90% oppose any military strikes on syria. >> and i'm going to give you the last 15 seconds here.
>> first, the presyrian army, as the gentleman from miami referred to, he says that they have defected and they went because they didn't want to shoot any civilians or children. on the other hand, if they were armed by the western powers, they are going to turn around and shoot other civilians. but just because they have a different political conviction, doesn't make them the enemy. >> and we're going to have to end it there, unfortunately. and while the u.s. considers actions in syria in the wake of evidence suggesting the use of chemical weapons, a startling new revelation from foreign policy magazine shows that the u.s. played a role in helping saddam hussein use ser yin gas to defeat iranian troops back in 1919 8. according to declassified
documents discovered at the national arkeist using satellite images u.s. officials conveyed the location of iranian troops to iraq fully aware that saddam hussein's army would attack. according to those same documents, senior u.s. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the attacks. tant amount to complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical attacks ever launched. here to talk about this bomb shell revelation, the policy director at the national iranian-american council. thank you for joining me. how shocking are these revelations? did iranians expect this before? >> i think there was pretty widespread perception that the u.s. was definitely involved with coordinateding with iraq in supporting saddam hussein in terms of providing intelligence and things like this.
this was fairly widely known this had begun at least towards the end of the iranian-iraq war. to now see this fained ignorance on the u.s. side about the fact that saddam was using chemical weapons, that this was actedly not true. the u.s. knew well what shadm was doing according to the report top officials were well aware that saddam planned to use chemical weapons in those particular instances in which the u.s. was providing intelligence for iraqi strikes. so i think that any sort of ven near of ignorance about the use of chemical weapons has sort of been dispelled by this report. >> and this certainly isn't the only report that is coming out in recent days and weeks. last week we learned about the revelation that the u.s. and c.i.a. in particular excuted the 1953 overthrow of iran's
democratically elected prime minister. so what does this say about the history of u.s. and iran and how the u.s. is intervening? >> the revelation last week that he was toppled in part by the c.i.a. it was widely well known it hasn't been corroborated in the terms that it has now been. we had never seen these documents laying out very clearly the u.s. role in what are perceived in iran as two major injustices committed against iranians. now, the u.s. had already apologized for what happened in 1953. madeline albright towards the end of the clinton administration went to pains to apologize for what had happened and to acknowledge complicity. i think this is important. i think that events like this shouldn't just confirm the worst suspicions that the iranians have which certainly they do and certainly many of them actually are true. but what we need to be able to do is look at this history, these decades of enmitty between the two countries and
figure out, ok, how do we acknowledge that these happened, how do we move past them and avoid what we're seeing in the middle east, this spiraling conflict and so many ways into a potential war between the two countries. i think that hopefully what this can do is sort of air out these past injustices and provide an opportunity to move past them in order to avoid something even worse coming in the tute. >> but at the same time do you think it could draw a divide? could it stop a divide in the frade relationships between iran and the u.s. at the moment? >> it will certainly be used by people who don't want to see a reproach or movement towards improving relations between the u.s. and iran to, to say look this is the united states commiting these crimes against iran and so we can't deal with them. but again, there are injustices on both sides. there are crimes that have been committed on both sides. and the hope is that these
historicle grievances don't serve as an obstacle or something that sabotages. what i really think is an opportunity right now for the u.s. and iran to begin engaging in very serious, timely negotiations to discuss some of the really serious things that are happening right now. >> and let's talk about this new opportunity that you're speaking about. of course iran has a new president. so go ahead and talk about what role he plays in iran and the opportunities that he might offer to the united states in terms of binding those frayed relations. >> well, i mean, given everything that we're seeing in the region, iran has in recent weeks been sort of a rare beacon of hopeful news. iran held an election in june in which rohani won overwhelmingly won in the first round, sort of defied all expectations and he was somebody who was campaigning on a policy of basically ending
the conflict between iran and the united states and the west over the nuclear issue. talking about the need to have substantive dialogue to not engage in some of the rhetoric that the ahmadinejad government had been engaging in, and promising to reach out to the united states and have dialogue. and i think that for rohani and his government the calculation is if there's a deal to be had they want to pursue it and see if it's possible. but if the united states is not actually interested in the deal they want the onus to not be on iran for a deal not manifesting. so really, it's a big question right now, ok, is the ball in the u.s.'s court or the iranian's court. iran has elected this moderate. if iran appears willing to make some compromises the onus is going to be on the u.s. to make
similar compromises and that's going to be on the sanctions. >> i know congress right now is currently debating whether more sanctions should be in place. thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you. >> this week marks an important anniversary in american history the 50th anniversary on the march of washington and martin luther king's i have a dream speech. thousands descended on the national mall to remember the legacy of civil rights leaders and they said at this march. with this march they're using it to remind the country how much more work needs to be done. martin luther king i iron i, john lewis, al sharpton and cory booker with among the people who spoke. and while all the folks were optimistic there was one message that there was still more work to be done.
to talk about the story and racial relations, the host of inside the issues joins me now. thank you very much for joining me. let's start off with your impressions of this last weekend's march. >> well, it was well attended. it was fairly well organized. but it fell woefully short of the 63 march, and that's not really a criticism of the organization of the 2013 march but understanding that the historicle differences, the relevances and where we were in 36 and where we are now are so different. in 63, we were dealing with a movement, we were dealing with a judicial approach, we were dealing with a legislative approach, a civil activism, unrest in the streets approach and that was to a great degree very well coordinated. now, in 2013 we have a number of disparate issues, whether it
be mass incarceration, whether it be stop and frisk with chief kelly in new york or stand your ground with zimmerman and the murder of trayvon martin. but the coordination of all of that coupled with not having as friendly of an administration in 2013 as you did with the kennedy/johnson administration in 1963 a lot of that makes for the difference between these being disparate moments versus a cohesive movement. >> and just from what you were just saying, something that was brought up that i thought was very interesting, this was very much an establishment supported thing. you had attorney general eric holder, you had u.s. congressmen speaking at this. so is the idea of radicalism and protests in order to make a point about how much more work needs to be done left to the history books at this point? >> well, i don't know if it's
left to the history books as much as you have to look at who was behind the organization of the march, which was reverend al sharpton and the national action network and reverend al sharpton is tied very closely to the obama administration. so you're going to get as a result of that you're going to get speeches, speakers, a lot of dialogue that is more consistent and in line with the obama administration than quote/unquote radicalism. so really -- and again, that's not necessarily to say anything negative against reverend sharpton but that is just the reality. so that's going to give you -- and again, because in 63 you had legislation that the civil rights organizations were pushing for. they were pushing for a voting rights act. they were pushing for a 64
civil rights act and they were trying to apply pressure to the administration for kennedy being reluctant to support it and then lyndon johnson wing behind it, they were pushing the administration to support substantive identified legislation. so things that were being articulated were very, very clear. what we have right now is there really is no identified substantive legislation for people to get behind. so that's why you wind up with a whole lot of discussion about we've come this far, we have so far yet to go. we've done so much. there's so much yet to do. but when you left the march on saturday, which i did, you didn't leave the march understanding what you were supposed to support specifically. >> and something to bring up speaking about what you don't know to support there is a specific map that is using the 2010 census bureau. if we can bring that up.
and what it shows is this racial divide that is still in the country. it is split down the line on this map in a very physical way. so my question to you is where do race relations stand in the u.s. and what are the top thing that is need to be fixed? >> well, i think part of the answer to that question is depends on where you look for your answer. for example, i have an 11-year-old son. when i look at my son, his friends, when i look at how children play, when i look at my students and the interaction between black students and white students, that generation of kids, there's an awful lot more dialogue, there's an awful lot more -- many children will say that there is no racism in america. but when you look at the numbers in terms of incarceration in this country and you have 2.5 million people incarcerated over 53% of those people are people of color -- >> so important to address. >> exactly. >> we are just out of time.