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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 10, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/10/13 06/10/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! any analyst at any time can target anyone anywhere. where those communications where will -- will be picked up and the authorities the analyst is empowered with, not all analysts have the ability to target everything, but sitting at my desk i certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if i had a personal email. >> of edward snowden -- the whistleblower behind the explosive revelations about the national security agency and u.s. surveillance state. three weeks ago the 29-year-old left his job working inside the
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nsa's office in hawaii where he worked for the private intelligence firm booz allen hamilton. today he is in hong kong not sure if he'll ever see his home again. >> it is getting to the point, you don't have to have done anything wrong, just eventually fall under suspicion, even by a wrong call, then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinized every decision you have ever made, every friend you have ever discussed something with. and attacking on that basis, the sort of derived suspicion from an innocent life and taint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. >> we will air interview with nsa whistleblower ed snowden and then speak to the garden columnist glenn greenwald, and joined by another whistleblower, william binney. he spent almost 40 years at the agency but resigned after september 11 over growing domestic surveillance.
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all of that and more coming up for i. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a former cia employee working as a contractor for the national security agency has come aboard as the source behind one of the biggest leaks in u.s. history. edward snowden, a former cia technical assistant now working with the nsa through the military firm booz allen hamilton, revealed his identity in an interview with the guardian of london. snowden's said he exposed top- secret nsa surveillance programs to alert americans of expansive government spying on innocents. >> the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong, and i am willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say, i did not change these, did not modify the story. this is the truth. you should decide whether we need to be doing this.
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>> snowden was speaking from hong kong, where his been since last month since leaving his home in hawaii. he says he carefully vetted each document that he released to ensure it was "legitimately in the public interest." over the last several days, snowden's disclosures to the guard in washington post have revealed a number of previously unknown surveillance operations carried out by the nsa. these include the collection of millions of u.s. call logs, and a secret program called prism that gathers data on foreign internet users from the servers of nine major firms including google, microsoft, apple, yahoo and facebook. but the disclosures include a presidential directive laying out the guidelines for launching cyberattacks, and a data mining tool called ballast informant that details u.s. surveillance on computer and telephone networks abroad. the national security agency has asked the justice department to begin a criminal probe into the leaks. on sunday, the cheers of both
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the congressional intelligence theittees said whistleblower involved should face prosecution. speaking to nbc news, the director of national intelligence james clapper said the leak has done grave damage. thatr me, it is literally wrenching to see this happen because of the huge grave damage it does to our capabilities. >> the white house is expected to make its first comments today on the edward snowden's, and ford as the nsa whistleblower. snowden had been staying the same hong kong hotel for the past three weeks but reportedly checked out earlier today. in its article in a cup -- disclosing his identity the right --
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more on edward snowden and his surveillance revelations after the headlines. president obama wrapped up a two-day summit with chinese president in california. the outgoing national security adviser tom donilon said obama confronted his chinese counterpart on u.s. allegations conspiracy.ed cyber >> this issue that the president talked about today is the issue economic theft,d theft of intellectual property and other kinds of property, and the public and private room in the u.s. by entities based in china. if there continues to be this direct theft of the u.s.
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property that this was going to be a very difficult problem in the economic relationship, and was going to be an inhibitor to the relationship reaching its full potential makeup that is tom donilon talking about cyber piracy. in response to the cyber theft complaints, the chinese president said the u.s. has failed to properly address cyberattacks against china. both sides announced they reached common ground on seeking the to nuclearization of north korea. on the issue of climate change, they agreed to work jointly on reducing the potent greenhouse gases used in there conditioners and refrigerators. at the white house says the u.s. and china has reached that could reduce up to a year's worth of current greenhouse gas emissions. pakistan has lodged a formal complaint after u.s. drone strike that killed nine people. a pakistani government spokesperson said u.s. envoy richard hoagland was summoned to pakistan's for ministry over the
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weekend. >> given the fact drone strike is taking place after the [indiscernible] we do hope this government would in the argument we are making is it is counterproductive. >> fehrnstrom strike at a compound in the tribal region of north waziristan. it was the first since last week's inauguration of the new pakistani prime minister. in his opening address to lawmakers, he had called for an end to u.s. drone attracts on pakistani soil. this daily business of drones has to stop immediately.
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other countries must respect our sovereignty. >> a taliban assault on afghanistan's main international airport in kabul has ended with all seven attackers dead. two were suicide bombers while the rest were gunmen shot dead by government forces. the attack came one day after an afghan soldier shot dead three americans, two soldiers, and a civilian in an eastern province. it was the latest in a series of so-called insider attacks by members of the afghan forces in the u.s.-led nato occupation. tens of thousands rallied in turkey sunday in the largest anti-government protests since unrest broke out two weeks ago. the movement began as an effort to block the razing of a public park but has since grown into challenging turkish prime minister erdogan for what opponents call excessively religious and authoritarian tendencies. the largest crowd sunday filled istanbul's taksim square, with
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thousands more in ankara and the western city of izmir. police dispersed the ankara protest with tear gas and water cannons. erdogan meanwhile addressed a counter rally of thousands of supporters upon his return from a foreign trip. he said his patience is wearing thin with the opposition protests. former south african president nelson mandela has been hospitalized and remains in what is been described as serious but stable condition. it is his fourth trip to the hospital since december for recurring lung infection. the former south african president is 94 years old. the senate is beginning debate on the bill apart as an immigration reform bill that would establish a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants while radically expanding border enforcement. in a boost to the bill's chances of hitting the 60-vote threshold, republican senator kelly ayotte announced her
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endorsement on sunday. lastly, the republican controlled house passed a measure to resume the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. president obama granted them a reprieve under an order last year. six people are dead after friday's shooting rampage in santa monica, california. the suspect, john zawahri, reportedly set fire to his family's home and shot dead his father and brother. police say he then hijacked a car and opened fire on the campus of santa monica college, killing three others. several other people were also wounded. sorry was armed with assault rifle, an automatic weapon similar to what was used in the newtown school massacre. the san mónica police chief said police recovered more than 1300 rounds of ammunition. >> and all of the magazines which collected were in fact loaded fully, something in the order of about 1300 rounds could
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have been fired had not been in intervention. our present any time someone puts on a vest of some sort, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, a handgun, and a semi- automatic rifle, carjacked folks, goes to college in kills more people, and has to be neutralized at the hands of police, i was a that is premeditated. >> the annual meeting of the retail giant walmart was held in arkansas on friday amidst protests from activists and striking workers. around 100 walmart workers took part in a national caravan to protest what they allege to be illegal retaliation against those seeking to change company practices on wages and work for security and unions. inside the meeting, shareholders and their proxies were offered a brief window to present non- binding resolutions. the measures were all defeated because the founding walton
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family still owns more than half the company's stock. ' rights activist from bangladesh urged walmart to stop its rejection of new safety standards proposed in the aftermath of a building collapse that killed over 1100 bangladesh workers in april. jenna sparks, a louisiana walmart employee and a member of the group power walmart, drew applause from the crowd of thousands, including many of her colleagues, when she raised the plight of struggling workers and 27 --ized the sierra's $20.7 million paycheck. i want you to know that times are tough for many walmart associates, too. we are stretching our paychecks to pay our bills and support our families. so when i think about the fact that our ceo mike duke made
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over $20 million last year more than 1000 times the average walmart associates, with all due respect, i have to say, i don't think that is right. [applause] some activists made it inside the beginning, never were kept away after walmart won restraining orders against protesters and walmart labor groups. california's troubled san offering nuclear plant is shutting down for good. it has been idle for over a year following are rio actively. the leak led to the discovery of excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water. the plant's operator, southern california edison, had maintained it wanted to restart the reactors but on friday announced the plant would be permanently closed. in a statement, friends of the earth welcomed the news saying --
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"the people of california now have the opportunity to move away from the failed promise of dirty and dangerous nuclear power and replace it safe and clean energy provided by the sun and wind." andrew selection begins today in the murder trial of george zimmerman, the florida man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager trayvon martin last year. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to the man who blew the whistle on the national security agency and expanding the surveillance state. on sunday, the guardian newspaper revealed the source of its explosive series on nsa to be a 29-year-old former cia technical assistant named edward snowden. for the past four years, snowden has been working at the nsa as an employee of various outside contractors, including booz allen hamilton and dell. most recently he was working at the nsa office in hawaii. on may 20, he boarded an airplane bound for hong kong
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where he has remained ever since. since wednesday, the guardian has published a series of articles based on information provided by snowden. first the guard in revealed the national security agency is collecting telephone records of millions of verizon customers under a secret court order issued in april. then the party in revealed the existence of top-secret program codenamed prism where the nsa obtained access to the central servers of nine major internet companies, including google, microsoft, apple, yahoo and facebook. then on friday, the guardian exposed how president obama had ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for u.s. cyberattacks. then the guard in reveal details about an nsa data mining tool called balas informant that details and even maps by country the volume in this
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amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks. a top-secret and as a global heat map shows that in march 2013, the agency collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide. the nsa most frequently targeted iran, pakistan, jordan, egypt, and india. the boundless informant documents also showed the agency collected almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from us computer networks and a 30 day period ending in march 2013. in a few minutes we will be joined by glenn greenwald who has written these exposés. but first, let's turn to edward snowden and his own words. he recently sat down with glenn greenwald to talk about why he leaked the documents and why he is revealing his identity. this was filmed in hong kong. it was posted on the garden
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website on sunday. >> i am 29 years old. i work for bruce allen hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for an essay in hawaii. >> what are some of the positions he held previously? > i have been assistant senat-- systems engineer, a senior adviser for the central intelligence agency, solution consultant, and a telecommunications information officer. >> one thing that people are most interested in and try to understand who you are and you're thinking, is there came some point in time where you cross this line of thinking about being a whistle-blower to making the choice to actually become a whistle-blower. walk people through that decision making process. >> when your impositions of
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privileged access like a systems administrator for the central intelligence community, you are exposed to much more information on a broad scale over an average employee. you see things that may be disturbing, but over the course of the normal person's career, you would only see one or two of these instances. when you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of these things are abuse. when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business, people tend not to take them very seriously. but over time, that awareness of ongoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about it. the more you talk about it, the more you're told is not a problem. eventually, you realize these things need to be determined by the public and not someone hired by the government. >> talk about how the american
quote quote quote quote
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surveillance state functions. does it targets the actions of americans? >> an essay in the intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible. they believe they serve the national interest. originally, we saw that focused narrowly tailored as for the intelligence gathered overseas. increasingly now, we see this happening domestically. specificallyhe nsa targets the communications of everyone. it interests them by default and collects them in a system that analyzes them and measures them and stores them for periods of time simply because that is the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. so while they may be intending to target some associate with a
quote quote
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foreign government or some of the suspected terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so. in the analyst at any time can target anyone anywhere. where those communications will be picked up and the authorities the analyst is empowered with, not all analysts have the ability to target everything, but sitting at my desk i certainly had the ability to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if i had a personal email. >> one of the extraordinary parts about this episode is usually whistleblowers do they do anonymously and take steps to remain anonymous for as long as they can, which they often is forever. on the other hand, you did the opposite. he declared yourself openly as the person behind these disclosures. why did you choose to do that? >> i think the public is owed an explanation of the motivations
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behind these people that make these disclosures outside of the democratic model. when you are subverting the power of government, that is a sentiment -- finally dangerous thing to democracy. if you do that in secret consistently as the government does when it wants to benefit from any secret action it took, it will kind of get officials the mandate to say, tell the press about this or that said the public is on our side. they rarely if ever do that when and abuse occurs. that falls to individual citizens. they're typically maligned. it becomes, these people are against the country, against the government. i am not. i'm no different than anyone else. i don't have special skills. i'm just another guy who sits there day to day in the office and watches what happening -- what happens. the public is to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.
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i am willing to go on record to defend the authenticity of them and say, i did not change this, i did not modify the story. this is the truth. this is what is happening. you need to decide. >> have you given any thought what it is the u.s. government's response to your conduct is in terms of what they might say about you, how they made to pick to, what they may try to do to you? >> yes. i could be rendered by the cia. i could have people come after me or any of the third-party partners. they were close the with the number of other nations. or they could pay off the triads. we have a cia station just up the road. i am sure they're going to be very busy for the next week. and that is a fear i will live under for the rest of my life. you cannot, for against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and be
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completely free from risk because they're such powerful adversaries that no one can meaningfully oppose them. if they want to get you, they will get you in time. but the same time, you have to make a determination about what it is that it is important to you. if living unfreely uncomfortably is something you're willing to accept -- and that is human nature -- you can get up every day and go to work and collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. but if you realize that is the world you helped create and it is going to get worse with the next generation and the next generation, which then the capabilities of this architecture of repression, you realize you might be willing to accept any risk and it doesn't matter what the out, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that is
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applied. >> why should people care about surveillance? >> even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. the storage capability of the systems increases every year by orders of magnitude to where it is getting to the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong, he simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from someone -- even by a wrong call -- and they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinized every decision you ever made, every friend you have ever discussed something went, an attack on that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. >> we are currently sitting in a room in hong kong, which is where we are because you traveled here. talk a little bit about why it .s you came here specifically, people will speculate that what you really
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intend to do is the fact to the country that many see as the known rival of the u.s., which is china, that we are really doing -- you are seeking to aid in enemy of the united states which you look to seek asylum. >> there are a couple of assertions in those arguments. there are sort of embedded in the questioning of the choice of hong kong. the first is that china is in enemy of the united states. it is not. there are conflicts between the u.s. government and the chinese prc government, but the people inherently -- we don't care. we trade with each other freely. we're not at war. we're not trying to be. additionally, hong kong has a strong tradition of free speech. great think, china, a
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firewall. they do have a significant restrictions on free speech, but the people of hong kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, making their views known. the internet is not filtered here, no more so than any other western governments. i believe the hong kong government is actually independent in relation to a lot of other leading western governments. >> [indiscernible] been purgedve had the material came, were there things you could have done with these documents to advance those goals you did not to? >> absolutely. anyone in the positions of access with technical capabilities that i had could suck out secrets and pass them on the open market. pressure always has an open door, as do we. i had access to the full rosters
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of everyone working at the nsa, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world. the locations of every station we have, their missions and so forth. if i just wanted to harm u.s., you could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon. but that is not my intention. i think for anyone making that argument, they need to think, if they were in my position and you live a privileged life -- you are living in hawaii, and paradise making a ton of money -- what would it take to make you leave everything behind? the greatest fear i have forrding the outcome america of these disclosures is that nothing will change. people will see in the media all of these disclosures. they will know the length the government is going to grant tomselves power unilaterally
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create greater control over american society and a global society. but they will not be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things, to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests. and the months ahead, the years ahead, it is only going to get worse until it eventually there will be a time where policies will change. because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance our policy. even our agreements with other sovereign governments, we consider that to be a stipulation of policy rather than law. because of that, a new leader will be elected, they will flip because ofand say the crisis, because of the
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dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, more power, and will be nothing that people can do that point to oppose it and it will be turn key to renée. >> nsa whistleblower edward snowden being interviewed by the guardian's glenn greenwald filmed by laura potras in stata's hong kong hotel room. he left for hong kong on may 20 and has been there since. when we come back, we will be joined by glenn greenwald and william binney. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> dave lippman. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. to talk more about the national security agency, we're joined by glenn greenwald from hong kong where he has broken a series of
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articles about the nsa over the past week based on information provided by edward snowden. he conducted the interview with snowden that we just aired. since we last spoke to glenn greenwald on friday, he has broken two more major stories about the nsa. on friday, he exposed how president obama ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for u.s. cyberattacks. he revealed -- glenn greenwald also unbilled information about informant. a top-secret nsa global heat map shows in march 2013 the agency collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide. the nsa most frequently targeted iran, pakistan, jordan, egypt, and india. the documents also show the agency collected more than 3 billion pieces of intelligence from u.s. computer networks over 30 days ending march 2013
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rid glenn greenwald, welcome to democracy now! a lot has happened this weekend. edward snowden has come out. we just air the interview that you did with him. talk about the significance of this series of exposés you are continuing from hong kong. the primary point that i think needs to be made from all of these stories and particularly from the very courageous outing of ed snowden is there is this massive surveillance apparatus being gradually contracted in the united states that are the has extremely invasive capabilities to monitor and store the communications and other forms of behavior not just of tens of millions of americans, but hundreds of millions, probably billions of people, around the globe. it is one thing to say we want
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the u.s. government that these capabilities, and another to allow it to be assembled without any public knowledge, without any public debate and with no real accountability. our ultimately is driving reporting and will continue to do so, is the need for a light to be shined on what this incredibly consequential world is about and the impact is having both on our country and planet. >> on saturday, u.s. director of after intelligence james clapper criticized the leaks. >> it is literally, not figure to flee, literally got rich in to see this happen. -- it is literally that wrenching to see this happening because of what it does to our capabilities. for me this is a key tool for preserving and protecting the nation's safety and security. every one of us in the intelligence community, particularly the great men and women of nsa, are profoundly
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affected by this. >> glenn greenwald, your response? this is just the same playbook that the u.s. government officials have been using for the last five decades whenever anything gets done that brings small amounts of transparency to the bad conduct they do in the dark. they immediately accuse those that brought the transparency of jeopardized national security, try and scare the american public into believing they been placed at risk and the only way they can stay safe is trust the people in power to do what ever is the wont to do without any kinds of constraints or accountability or light of any kind. this has been going on since daniel ellsberg, now considered a hero, but back then was accused of being a traitor who jeopardized national security and put the lives of men and women in american uniform in harm's way. the reality is, if you look at what we disclose, which disclosed things like the fact
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u.s. and the national security agency is collecting telephone records of millions of americans without regard to any wrongdoing or tapping into the servers of the largest internet companies that people around the world use to communicate with one another. it is inconceivable the last there is no same argument one can make that anything we disclosed in any way alerts the terrorists who knew already for many years the government is trying to monitor them or in any way enabled attacks to be done on the u.s.. the only thing we exposed is the wrongdoing of these political officials. the only thing damage is their reputation and credibility. top secret designations are more often than not used to protect the political officials from having known what they're doing in the eyes of the american people, not protecting national security. that is the case of the stories we published. >> can you tell us more about edward snowden, why he came forward, what he risks, and why
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he chose hong kong? really one of the most remarkable experiences i have ever had, meeting him and having interviewed him for several months now, really, and from the last eight days in person here in hong kong. i say that because he has undertaken actions that he knows are going to result in serious harm to his person of interest and his well-being, whether that means he will never see his home again or will spend many decades in a cage or will be passed around from government to government. in the short term he knows his life has been turned upside down and he knew that when he did it. there are all kinds of ways he could personally have benefited. he could have sold it to all sorts of intelligence agencies. he could have dumped it indiscriminately on the internet
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or pass it to his enemies and uncovered all sorts of covert operations. he chose to do none of that. he did something that doesn't really benefit him at all, but it benefits the rest of us because we learn what our government is doing. he did that knowing he would be put into that situation and never betray any degree of fear. he was worried about what was going to happen. he was tense about what would happen, but never had any regrets. he was very at peace with his choice because he knew it was the right thing. as far as coming to hong kong, the main reason he did that was because he has watched the past four years as the u.s. government under president obama has prosecuted whistleblowers work aggressively than any other prior administration in american history by far. he has watched the trial of bradley manning taking place with little transparency, hard-
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core fundamental abridgement of due process. he knew if he stayed in the u.s., to be subjected to that treatment. so he came to a place where he believed the political values that prevailed were ones that he found amenable, lots of free speech. he also believed he was coming to a place where the government would not instantly succumb to the demands of the american government when it came to what was done to him but instead was --wered its own interest law. >> talk about that he'd worked at the central intelligence agency, booz allen hamilton, and several contractors inside the agency. never acted directly employed by the nsa. he was directly employed by the cia or he was stationed with diplomatic cover in geneva, switzerland for roughly 2.5
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years. prior to that and after that was employed by a multitude of private contractors including allen anda dnt -- thdell. instructions and orders from supervisors at the nsa. it shows is interlinked world between private corporations and our most powerful and secretive intelligence agencies. it has all been privatized, or a great bulk of it has been privatized. that is all the more reason to be concerned with these extreme surveillance abilities are vested in these agencies because it is such as government officials to control it, but these private agencies that play a very substantial role in how it operates. booz allen in particular is one of the largest defense
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contractors. one of the primary officials is michael mcconnell who was the director of national intelligence under george bush. it is the type of prototypical defense contractor were there the prior officials go and fill the executive slots and reverse it when it is the democrats and play. the fact to work for them is when it freed a lot of problems for them. ti?nd mike mcconnell's 10 years ago the country was up in arms about the possibility that americans would be spied on. so it was supposedly killed, tia, total information awareness. right. what is fascinating about that,
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that took place in late 2002, 2003 when it was revealed the pentagon is planning this total and permission awareness program that was being run by john poindexter, the national security adviser to president reagan who resigned in disgrace and almost went to prison over the iran-contra scandal. what was amazing about that, there was great public but or, even in the early stages after 9/11 when the public, media, congress were extremely subservient to what ever the government wanted to do but that was just a bridge too far, even then. revelations with a published so far, what they illustrate is what he said. they don't call it total information awareness any more. that was a bit too honest of a term. clear what itdly intended to accomplish. what the nsa is doing is creating a total awareness
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system. the last article published was a data mining program called boundless informant. that is what the nsa is about, eroding all vestiges of privacy and making sure they have unfettered monitoring ability. this is what he canfor ultimately. he said in good conscience he could not allow that to be done in secret. he said the public is to be informed and have a public debate about a. >> i want to go back to what ed snowden said. >> in the analyst at any time can target anyone anywhere. where does communications will be picked up and on the range of networks and the authorities that analyst is empowered with, not all have the ability to target everything, but i sitting at my desk certainly had the authority to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a
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federal judge to even the president if i had a personal email. >> and edward snowden is a 29- year-old contractor with booz allen. he was working in hawaii. he said he could wiretap any of these people. explain how that is possible, glenn greenwald, just to make this very clear in plain language for people all over this country and around the world. >> the nsa sucks up into systems billions and billions of communications activities every week. billions and billions but in fact, the data mining documents republics reflected the sucks up 90,000,000,030 days. the washington post three years ago told us that every single day the and the sec collects and stores 1.7 billion emails and telephone calls by and of
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americans. their argument is, we may moderate, but the law says we cannot listen to it or read it if it is between americans without first going to a fisa court. what edward snowden is telling you, although that may be the law, the monitors, the systems at nsa allow full and unfettered access at any time to any one of these analysts to go and listen to what ever is they want, to read whatever emails they want, to monitor and read -- real-time any online chats taking place. because there's really no accountability or transparency, there is no check on this abuse. we know for certain -- we should have learned a lesson 35 years ago when the church committee documented it, that when human beings are able to spy on other human beings in the dark, rampant abuse is inevitable. that is supposed to be why we don't have spying ability without
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accountability. >> we're going to take a break and then come back to glenn greenwald who is in hong kong right now as he continues this series of explosive revelations about the nsa. before we go to break, we understand that edward snowden has checked out of the hotel he has been in for the last week. do you know where he is? i do, although i'm not going to share that with anybody. >> where one to be back with glenn greenwald and also joined by william binney who left the national security agency run after 9/11 because he was so deeply concerned about the level of surveillance of americans the nsa was engaging in. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our coverage of the national security agency, speaking to glenn greenwald who has been releasing this remarkable series of exposés based on average snowden getting
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these documents from the national security agency. we're joined now by former senior nsa official william binney, largely responsible for automating the agency's worldwide eavesdropping network, one of the two co-founders of the agency's signals intelligence automation research center and resigned after the september 11 attacks, deeply concerned about the level of surveillance. glenn greenwald still with us who has broken the series. glenn greenwald, can you talk about the latest revelation about the cyberattacks that was the most recent exposé? sure. we read this document and it was remarkable because it set for this aggressive policy whereby the u.s. could wage with the document itself called offensive cyberwarfare against any other
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entity or any other nation in the world simply in the event it advances u.s. interest -- not if we're being attacked or it was necessary to prevent an imminent attack. the judgment of others said doing so would advance national others. they have the right to wage cyber war. the pentagon had declared cyber an aggression of war. there were no planning details, no blueprints for how these attacks would be waged, nothing harmful about publishing it but it was an extraordinary policy that had been secretly adopted by the president with no debate. we believe debate was warranted. >> there's a great irony in snowden revealing his identity from hong kong. president obama at the time wrapping up a two-day summit with the chinese president in
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california the outgoing nashville security adviser said obama confronted the chinese president on u.s. allegations of china-based cyber piracy. >> right. that was one of the main reasons we publish the article, the obama administration spent three years running around the world warning about the dangers of cyber warfare coming from other nations like china, iran, and other places. what is unbelievably clear is the u.s. itself that is far and away the most prolific and aggressive perpetrator of exactly those cyberattacks the president obama claims to find so alarming. as you say, we published a story on the eve of his conference with the chinese president in wash the top agenda item their complaints about chinese cyber attacks and hacking. it just shows the fundamental
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hypocrisy the u.s. makes not just to the world but to its own people about these crucial matters. >> i want to bring william binney into the conversation as well. you quit after almost 40 years at the nsa, deeply involved in developing the whole surveillance mechanism, yet you quit over it as well. your response to these series of revelations? >> it certainly is an extension of what i've been trying to say that we were on a slippery slope to a totalitarian state. that was simply based on the idea the government was collecting so much information about all the citizens inside the country that it gave them so much power that they could target people and use the knowledge to collectively a symbol of the people participating in the tea party, target them, and it could even do the active attack on them with going across the network by taking material out of their computers. it was a very dangerous
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situation, in my mind, and still is. >> william binney, when you quit over a decade ago, which ever think it would get to this point or were we at this point a decade ago as well? >> actually, it started about then. certainly, 2003 was important because all of the devices that are putting and other equipment that would allow them to take whatever is on the optical fiber network inside the u.s., they deployed those and started collecting all the material so that became content, in. emails, voice-over ip, all of that material was coming in and be stored. then before that, starting right after 9/11, they started pulling in all of the call records. by the way, some of the numbers everyone is talking about are too low. the call records i estimate it would been on the order of 3 billion a day.
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it does not mean there transcribing what is being set on the phone calls, just recording the fact they occurred. they're using a target list, i am sure, to target people who they want to record and transcribed. and that list is provided to the switch networks and whenever the switches detect them, they route those audios or that audio to recorders and then it gets recorded, stored, and put in a party list and transcribes go through that and transcribe it me, i want to return to a remark made over the weekend by james clapper. he said the leaks would aid enemies of the united states. >> while we're having this debate, discussion, and all this media explosion, which of course supports transparency which is a great thing in this country, but that same transparency as a double-edged sword. and that our adversaries, with a nation state or nefarious groups, benefit from the same
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transparency. so as we speak, they're going to school and learning how we do this and so that is why it potentially has or can render great damage to our intelligence to abilities. >> william binney, can you respond to james clapper? >> in my mind that is a red herring. it is a false issue. the point was, terrorists have already known we have been doing this for years so there's no surprise there. they are not going to change the way they operate just because it comes out in the u.s. press. the point is, they already knew it and were operating the way they would anyway. the point is, we are not -- the government is not try to protect it from the terrace, a protect that knowledge of that program from the citizens of the united states. that is where i see it. >> glenn greenwald, this is the
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debate going on in all of the networks is that your compromising national security by publishing what edward snowden has given to you, and of course at edwards known is not a whistleblower, but a threat to national security they're saying -- and of course saying a word snow and is not a whistle blower, but a threat to national security they're saying. and the fact that edward snowden did not want everything released, careful not to release, for example, the location of cia stations and other information? the claim the director is making is so ludicrous that i'm surprised he can get it out with a straight face. it should insult and dozens of the intelligence of our single person to whom he is directing it. the idea there are any tours in the world who pose any real
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threat who are not aware or were not aware until our article appeared last week that the u.s. government tries to monitor their communications and listen in on the telephone calls and read their emails, in any terrorist who is unaware of the fact u.s. government is doing that is a terrorist incapable of even writing droning, let alone that manning a bomb inside the u.s. is not to concern keep this from terrorists, but keep it from the american people. that is the point. as far as the documents are concerned, he had access to enormous sums of top-secret documents that would be incredibly harmful. he turned over only a small portion to us, all of which he read carefully. i know that not only because he told me, but because the way we got the documents was an extremely detailed folders all/content that you could only organize them had to carefully read them. when he gave them the said, i'm
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not a high-level government official or journalist, i'm not saying everything should be published and i don't want it all published. i one u.s. journalist to decide what is in the public interest and will not cause a lot of harm. he urged us in fact to exercise the kind of journalistic judgment exercised. so had been his intention to harm the u.s., he could have up to these documents to the internet or found the most damaging winds and published. he did the opposite. the nsa and the rest of the country owes him a debt of gratitude for all the work he has done to inform the american public without bringing about any harm to them. >> to say the least, he understands the stakes right now. this is the first week of bradley manning trial, who faces life in prison possibly death for releasing documents to wikileaks, on trial at fort meade -- action, the headquarters of nsa. if you could give a final comment on this? >> who should go first?
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>> go ahead, william binney -- glenn greenwald. >> i find is a courageous because he knows exactly how the government treats whistleblowers and yet he went forward and did it anyway. what i really hope is his courage is contagious and people get inspired by his example, as i have been, and decide they ought to demand rights not be abridged and they have the full authority to stand up to the u.s. government without being afraid. >> will there be more exposés we can expect from you at the guardian? yes, there will definitely be more exposés you can expect from me and the guardian. >> william binney? >> it was a conscious decision he made to do with the dead and of course the government is going to try to get him and he knew that.
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