tv Face the Nation CBS January 19, 2014 8:30am-9:01am PST
from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. captioning sponsored by cbs >> schieffer: today on "face the nation" the president announces changes to the national security agency's surveillance program. but how will that affect our national security. >> for intelligence being effective over the long haul we must maintain the trust of the american people and people around theorld. >> schieffer: seven months after much of the national security agency's spying programs made headlines, the president laid out his plan to rein in the agency. but will the plan really change anything? privacy advocates want more control, others say he went too far. we'll hear from both sides with house intelligence committee chairman my mike rogers, colorado democratic senator mark udall plus president obama's
former national security advisor tom donlon and c.e.o. deputy director is key member of the group that advised the president how to reform the nsa. all that plus our own panel of analysts. 60 years of news, because this is "face the nation." good morning again, the house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers has been out front from the beginning defending the nsa programs since they first came under fire, mr. chairman, welcome. >> thank you. >> schieffer: i want to ask you about the president's speech, but the first thing i want to get to is that you suggested that perhaps edward snowden had some help from the russians. he of course the man who dumped all of this information out on
us from the web and from the american files. what do you say to that? >> couple of things, i said that there -- he's likely to have had help, i think there are some interesting questions we have to answer that certainly would lend one to believe that the russians had at least in some part something to do with a, either helping his capabilities. we notice that a guy that was worried about privacy issues spent a lot of time as recent dia report revealed stealing information of vast majority of which had nothing to do with the nsa program and everything to do with our military capabilities, army, navy, air force, marines. number one. you have to go and look for that information. there's some security things that he did get around that were clearly above his capabilities. the way he departed how he ended up in moscow, we still have some questions there, but i can guarantee he's in the loving arms of fsb agent rightened it's
not good for the united states or good for hinders will cost us billions of dollars, by the way, bob, to try to rectify the problems he's caused the military operations. >> schieffer: you said that some of the things that took place after he left adds to your suspicion. tell us what you can about that. >> sure, there's a couple of things that we worry about. one is there were some, at least some events and some small reflections on everything from how he prepared to leave, his root of departure and how he quickly ended up in moscow. all of those things raise questions and there's some of that still under investigation. there's some clear evidence there ha something else was going on. this wasn't a random smash and grab run down the road end up in china, bastion of internet freedom and russia the same. something more was going on
there. and because of the nature of the information that was stolen, again, nothing to do with american's privacy a lot to do our operations overseas. some of those operations, by the way from, military perspective are being turned off today. that's a significant problem. it gives indications that this is not what it appears to be. and when you look at the totality of the information, you look at the vast majority of it had to do with military tactical and operational events happening around the world, one particular agency alone estimated from conversations i've had up to several billion dollars to try to fix the one military institution. >> schieffer: the fact that you're making these -- that you are revealing this just as our olympic athletes are getting ready to go to russia, are they safe? >> well, i have real concerns about the safety. the russians have not been fully cooperative on a security front with sharing information that
might be helpful in securing the bulk of our athletes and participants, people who are there to view the games. i'm concerned. we have got to have better cooperation as we move forward. if we can ensure the absolute safety, not only of our athletes but people who are there to watch the games. i think they think this is a political embarrassing situation for them they're not going to share, that's really the wrong attitude when you're talking about an international event in a place where we've seen successful and targeted events. remember this wasn't like atlanta where some guy stumbles in the park, he's a one off kind of guy, pull off an event. this is an organization that is dedicated to violence for its political gain. they have publicly stated they want to target the games, they have already targeted sturt in the region. this is a whole different animal. we need full and absolute cooperation from the russians on that front if we can make sure that our -- >> schieffer: when you say they're not cooperating, not
sharing, what do you mean? >> they're cooperating to a small degree but there is information that we think is valuable about organizational activities that we are fairly confident that the russians track they're not sharing with our security forces. this has been a targeted, people are pushing and pulling. this shouldn't be this difficult. it is in everyone's interest including the russians to share that information with our security forces so that we can make sure that our activities -- our athletes and participants are safe. >> schieffer: are we doing what we should be doing here? are we taking precautions, extra precautions? >> we're doing everything that's possible, our security services are doing everything they can to try to make sure that we're safe. there is again some cooperation with the russians. we do know that it has an ending point, in this particular case shouldn't do it. we need to continue to put pressure on the russians to fully cooperate so that we can get some of these questions answered. >> schieffer: let me shift to
ask you here to talk about this morning, the president's big speech. the changes that he outlined, did he go too far, did he get it just right, did he not go far enough? >> two things, first the speech was good in the sense that it said, listen, no abuses, legal program, not a domestic spying operation that rhetoric occurred over the last year, i think he put that to bed. this was a program that was overseen by the judicial branch, congressional -- legislative branch and the white house. lots of oversight, not illegal, no abuses, that's important. secondly, disappointing part of the speech was only in washington, d.c. can you announce the review of the review of the review in 70 days, that be a decisive action taken. it interjected some uncertainty in to the business records program that we really do need ant count on to keep us safe. some of the other issues i think are workable. this one had an immediate impact on that program, especially
calling for a warrant before access to the phone records. that's concerning. >> schieffer: legal me ask you about this phone records business. one of the things he said needs to be addressed but he said i don't have an answer for you yet is what do we do with this vast trove of telephone numbers that the national security agency is collecting and has under its control, some are saying that ought to be put in to private hands rather than government hands. where do you see that going? >> well, this is that uncertainty that i talked about. the president outlined, i thought well done, articulated why he thought the program was important. it closed the gap that we found after 9/11, it provided the closing of the gap of something we missed that could have helped us stop 9/11, got it. then he said, well, i have some concerns about moving it to the private sector, outlined that very well. then he said, but i don't think the government can do it so i'm going -- we're going to conduct another 70 day review basically then review it again.
that's the uncertainty that was not helpful. >> schieffer: do you think private sector can do this better than the government? i look what happened here at target, what's happened at neiman-marcus, would you rather keep it under government control or move it to private? >> any about what you're interesting the private sector to change some systems that they have or accommodate a government mandate. i don't think that's the right answer. think about what we've been able to do, you lock this system away, there has been no disclosure of any of the information, no names and addresses. imagine if you are in a police station you have evidence vault, it is locked and very certainly controlled about what as access that's what they have done here. they have taken what could potential leap be evidence of a crime and warrants often collect things even a warrant that has nothing to do with the crime but you need to compare it, lock it away in a vault. no names, no addresses. then they take an overseas number that they know has been associated with a terrorist and dip in to it. now, through that there is a
court review of that, there is an ig review, internal nsa review, doj review, senate intelligence committee review and house intelligence committee review. if you move all of that to the private sector, you lose all of the review. that goes away. and you open it up to privacy concerns i don't think we talked about divorce lawyers are going to have a heyday. private detectives on any civil matter anywhere in the country are going to have a heyday. the companies tell us they believe they will be deluged with warrants on these telephone records that the companies can't sustain. and they are there to provide service to their customers not work for the government. >> schieffer: mr. chairman, i want to thank you nor being with us this morning. you really brought the information that we had about this and also i think underlines just how complex this is. thank you very much. we want to go now to colorado's democratic senator mark udall he's in denver this morning, he has been one of those who has said that we need to rein in the
national security agency and i guess i would ask you, senator, how did you come down on what the president said on friday? do you think he did the right thing? did he go too far, not far enough? >> bobf you'll indulge me for a minute we got a big football game here in denver today. i just want the country to know that 364 days of the we're we're patriots but today we're broncos fans. and i anticipate at the end of the day the other patriots, the new england patriots will go home to boston and broncos will going to the super bowl. we'll hope for a great game and thanks for indulging me. i think the president reached a milestone on friday, he announced the end of the bulk collection of american's phone records. he showed he was listening to those of us across the political spectrum, i feel like i've been a voice in the wilderness all these years. and we're now in a position to
keep faith with the constitution, to also rep american's privacy. took the recommendation of his own panel with all due respect to my good friend chairman rogers, there have been some abuses, not intentional but there have been some abuses. >> schieffer: let me just interrupt you there, senator, what abuses? what were they? >> there was -- in 2009 the court ruled that there were a lot of unintentional abuses that they there for shut down the program and demanded that individual warrants be generated or individual court orders be generated to query the database. the point i want to make is that the phone companies right now are collecting all this data, we're mandating that they provide it to us. it's their business model to collect this data they're not going to use that data in ways that will break faith with their customers. i found chairman rogers' about
divorce attorneys and stuff a little bit of a reach. but the point here is that we can protect americans' privacy as the panel pointed out our quality of life also keeping our country safe. the president did the right thing on the bulk data collection program. we'll keep those authorities in place under the so-called 215 provision of the law but we won't collect every americans' phone records almost every day in this massive database. >> schieffer: what is the difference, senator, in collecting people's financial information, we all have to tell the government our financial status so we can pay our income tax to make sure everybody gets their taxes paid. what's the difference in that and having somebody's phone number on record? >> well, there's the important distinction here, that is the consent of the citizenry. and, bob, the law that created 215 under the leadership of jim
sensenbrenner. over time, the law has been secretly interpreted to be broader and broader and the case i've been trying to make is that we ought to limit it. we can be effective in protecting our country but we don't need to collect every single phone record of every single american on every single date. you think about it, although these are just phone numbers and times. after awhile they become a form of content. you can read, if you will, what people are doing by analyzing those numbers. when you combine that with the fact that this program has not provided uniquely valuable intelligence, there's no example of where the 215, bulk data collection program is uniquely valuable intelligence we don't need it. in so doing we keep faith with the constitution, we lessen the costs involved we rebuild trust in the intelligence. that's my mission, i want to join chairman rogers and thank all the men and women who keep our country safe. i want to rebuild support for
and trust in the intelligence committee, that trust has fall the learn it's now time to rebuild it and the president took a big step forward on friday. we've got a mission still front of us that to implement all the changes that he proposed. >> schieffer: what do you think the situation on capitol hill is for that, because what i'm hearing is, in the house votes may not even be there to continue the programs that we have. >> here is what it means, bob. next year these authorities expire. and i believe without real reform, not -- reform that the president's panel proposed in many ways the president proposed on fly day these laws will expire. so we have real motivation to get it right and to work together. i'm hardened by the fact the concerns have been right, left and center. this has not divided on partisan lines. americans' privacy is at the
heart of our freedom. you think about freedom. the freedom to be left alone which is what privacy is, is what really characterizes much of what we as americans think is important. >> schieffer: all right. senator, thank you so much for giving your side of this very important discussion that is now going on. and we will be back in one minute. ♪ [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices that connect us and teach us. ♪ we'd see that almost 100% of medical plastics are made from oil and natural gas. ♪ and an industry that supports almost 10 million american jobs.
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that there needs to be a thorough investigation of exactly how he was able to download and transport it and what exactly happened along the way. i do think that's a fair question. we've had lot of discussion here about the program and about disclosures that he's made it is a fair point to say we need thorough investigation as to exactly how snowden came to -- >> schieffer: wouldn't that be almost obvious? wouldn't you want -- wouldn't there be a thorough investigation. >> there is an investigation underway. it needs to be thorough and look in to all the angles. >> schieffer: do you think we are pursuing snowden aggressively enough? >> we did. i do. >> schieffer: do you agree with those who say maybe we should offer him some sort of ma'am necessity in order to get him back here? >> absolutely not. i don't see any reason. strongly against that. snowden has done great damage to the united states across a range
of dimensions, he had a lot of options here to raise issues that he might have had about these programs and in no way be for amnesty. >> schieffer: would you call him a traitor? >> yes. >> schieffer: let's talk about what the president proposed and didn't propose in his speech friday about reforming the nsa. do you think they should be reined in? >> i think -- i'd argue with the premises the way you phrase the question. the backdrop is important. the programs have been disclosed and discussed friday were fully authorized by congress, overseen by the court and tightly overseen within the executive branch. this street not an example that we might remember from the 1970s, where you had illegal and rogue programs that were discovered by the church committee and real reform. that's not this case. these programs are fully visible. >> schieffer: let me just ask you this. do you agree with senator udall who says there have been abuses, people like mike rogers say, there have been no abuses.
>> i think what this discussion is about is emphatically not about abuses. president's review commission found no evidence of abuses of these programs. what this is about is the technology, the power of the technology and the future. how to ensure that these programs operate consistent with our values and in ways to give competence to both people in the united states and around the world that they're being operated in an appropriate way. that's important context here, we don't have evidence of abuses. what here talking about here is dealing with the capabilities the potential of these technologies ensuring things get done consistent with our values. >> schieffer: ask you about the report the senate intelligence committee put out last week, it really excoriated the state department for its role in not providing enough security for the benghazi consulate. concluded the attack that left four americans dead, could have actually been preventable. you were the national security
advisor at the time. do you agree with their conclusion? >> the report is a good report. i think it's done a real service frankly. because it's a bipartisan report, signed off by all the members of the committee. they had additional things, but the core of the report is bipartisan report that reviews in a thorough way the events of benghazi. provides a number of important recommendations which i think are quite sound. really importantly in addition to looking forward it also looks backward i think really dealt with a number of the concerns and conspiracy theories frankly that were out there about what happened that night in benghazi. particularly as to whether or not the government did everything it could to try to save our colleagues there. >> schieffer: let me ask you about this new book a former defense secretary robert gates has written. he came down pretty hard on you in various places. he also reveal many private conversations with the president. what is your overall reaction? >> my reaction to the book is that basically, a lot of the
press reports have been not consistent with the thorough reading of the book, number one. number two, i would remark that secretary gates and i spent hundreds of hours together. and the important thing i think that comes out of the book is the substance and decisions the president made. so, for example, secretary gates talks about the difficult process we had in working through afghan policy. in the end agrees with every decision the president made. >> schieffer: he suggested at this point the president when he really didn't believe in the mission that's a tough charge. >> that's not true. the president came to office, reviewed afghan policy, narrowed our goal, stated them clearly, tripled the number of forces in afghanistan now on way to completing the mission. i don't think that's fair. i think fair reading. book doesn't come to that. if you are to spend time in these discussions it's not
unusual for policy makers to ask hard questions. to raise concerns, indeed you as citizen should want your president in the most senior person to ask hard questions and raise -- he needs space for that. >> schieffer: he accused you of being particularly disrespectful to military leaders, citing your quote, suspicious sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders. >> let me -- i'll say three things in response to that. one is i have the deepest respect for the military and work with the military very closely over four and a half year period, as you know. number two, gates says, again, important to read the whole book, says during the course of his relationship with me it became very strong and very solid working relationship. he was talking about one instance at the outset. want to repeat, i think that you and citizens around the country indeed fair reading of history you want to have your most senior national security officials asking the hardest questions indeed if you read recent books on president bush's
administration, peter baker's fine book, if you read study of the vietnam era, you would want to have the tough questions asked. >> schieffer: tom donilon thank you so much. we'll be back with personal thoughts in a second. of the little roomis the sy over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ ♪ this magic moment (voseeker of the sublime.ro. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go.
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matter foreign policy got almost no attention. yet the bush presidency was defined by 9/11 and america's reaction to it. thousands of americans were sent in to harm's way because the intelligence on which decisions were made was simply wrong. we should not forget that. if warp speed advances in technology have given us the ability to do better, we should embrace that not diminish it. the president gave an excellent outline of the new challenges but left the hard capacity for later, for one deciding where the vast trove of data the government is now able to collect should be stored. to me a little delay is just as well, these questions are so complex they must be based on more than emotional reaction to revelations suddenly thrust upon us. let's take the time to think this through. in the meantime here is my tip to german chancellor merkel the way to keep others from picking
up sensitive information on your cell phone is to stop talking on it. as the said there street a reason why blackberries and iphones are not allowed in the white house situation room. back in a minute. tall the building is, or how ornate the halls are. it doesn't matter if there are granite statues, or big mahogany desks. when working with an investment firm, what's really important is whether the people behind the desks actually stand behind what they say. introducing the schwab accountability guarantee. if you're not happy with one of our participating investment advisory services, we'll refund your program fee from the previous quarter. it's no guarantee against loss and other fees and expenses may still apply. chuck vo: standing by your word, that's what matters the most.
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