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tv   Headline News  RT  August 29, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT

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coming up on r t it looks like the united states is inching closer to military strikes in syria but many world leaders from the u.n. and beyond are trying to put the brakes on any sort of u.s. intervention the latest on the tensions in syria up ahead. and back in two thousand and eight the bank bailout was quickly rolled out in response to the economy's downward spiral but at least one banker spent his government cash on a new condo in florida more on this misuse of taxpayer money coming out. and the n.s.a. claims that the collection of americans data was a quote accident and unintentional grab for more data than they should have but is that really true and who else in government how that has access an in-depth look
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later in today show. hello there it's thursday august twenty ninth at four pm here in washington d.c. i marinate and you're watching our two. we start today with the crisis in syria as the united states and its allies weigh their options for military intervention after the chemical attack last week in damascus now despite denials from the syrian regime the white house said that it is undeniable that president bashar al assad is behind the attacks setting the stage for an international brawl. now president hassan rouhani of iran has said that he will press forward with efforts to ward off military action by western nations against syrian president bashar al assad were ronnie was quoted as saying military action will bring great costs for the regime for the region it is necessary to apply all efforts to prevent it now according to
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state t.v. reports president rouhani said both iran and russia would work in cooperation to prevent any military action against syria and meanwhile the united states and its allies continue to prepare for a potential strike though president obama told p.b.s. yesterday that he did not want a prolonged military intervention if we are saying. in a clear. and decisive but. very limited way we send a shot across the bow saying stop doing this that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term and may have a positive impact in the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians. the white house announced that it will brief members of congress later today on plans to move forward with a military strike and will release evidence of the assad regime's responsibility for attacks later in the week now earlier i was joined by artie's middle east
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bureau chief polis lior in beirut lebanon and i first asked what iran's backing of the syrian regime means for the country and possible military action by u.s. and its allies. well of course iran is a close ally of the syrian president bashar assad and what we're hearing from iran is that it will apply pressure to prevent any kind of military action happening inside their country we're hearing from mehdi tired who is a confident of the supreme leader ali khamenei and he says that syria is iran's thirty fifth province and that if we do syria we lose tehran the concern from the iranian side is that any kind of western military action inside syria will merely open the floodgates and that iran could ultimately be next what iran can do in retaliation to this is it can first be close the ports of hormuz that sees about twenty percent of the world's petroleum of course the international community is not going to want to see something like that happen it can also activate hizbollah
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and the radiant revolutionary guards corps that have networks around the world and that they could carry out potentially terror attacks against those countries that are supporting military action this is not going to be something that the west once and of course this is something that they need to mull over in their considerations we've also heard from iran here the chief of the revolutionary guard saying that an attack on syria would see the immediate destruction of israel that is not going to be something that washington is going to take lightly as a threat now as they view us and its allies prepare for a military strike what is syria doing to prepare for what may come. well from the reports we've been receiving the syrian army has evacuated almost all of its personnel from army and security command headquarters inside damascus as for army units that are outside the capital city here they have been confiscating from the reports we're receiving trailer trucks which understandably will be used to
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move heavy equipment from one location to another we're also being told that the syrian maybe is docking in areas that are usually reserved for civilian traffic that they docking alongside civilian ships so the military is certainly getting really for a possible waste an attack now the white house a survey of the intelligence documents that they have that prove there was a chemical attack and it came from assad's regime they want a slam dunk what exactly does that mean what that expression is a throwback to two thousand and two when the western intelligence at that stage supposedly conclaves proved that iraq had weapons of mass destruction under saddam hussein as we know that later was proven to be false and that expression came about referring to false and incorrect intelligence information i mean we're hearing from the
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british prime minister david cameron as much as much as this already he's saying that all that there is not one hundred percent concrete intelligence that assad did use chemical weapons so this expression really does who food to the the supposed a conclusive proof proof that assad has chemical weapons there are a number of questions that still have to be answered not only whether or not assad carried out that chemical attack but also who owns the chemical weapons at the moment inside syria. paul you're joining us now from lebanon and that's a country that has been caught up in the growing syrian crisis or what are you hearing from people in beirut about very country's role and fears regarding the conflict just next door well i spent several hours this afternoon in the palestinian camp here in beirut and a lot of syrian refugees mostly palestinian syrian refugees have actually sought
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refuge there this is because it's a neighborhood that's very very poor the rent a street and a lot of the syrian refugees who are coming across actually cannot afford to live in beirut you have a figure of some seven hundred thousand syrian refugees currently living here just in one day with thirteen thousand they came across and that is why the lebanese president is going to the united nations next month to seek further assistance for the influx of refugees it's interesting that from those are spoke to while some do support assad some don't and almost all of them were unanimous that they were against any kind of waste and strikes with people telling me that they believe that this will only lead to bloodshed down the line i want to also make the point that his beloved the militant organization based here recently said that it would not stand idly by if assad was attacked and this is important because it's the strongest statement so far indicating how his by the world place itself in any kind of attack on damascus his will of course in the past has same fighters to assist
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assad but we haven't heard such direct claims as of yet of course hizbollah will react by firing missiles into israel this will lead the united states to need to respond and so you have the whole possibility of a regional conflict evolving when you talk to ordinary lebanese of course they don't want to see any kind of western intervention they very concerned about the very delicate political sectarian balance that this country has and what is happening in syria has a very negative effect on that. thank you paula that was artie's middle east bureau chief paula sawyer in beirut lebanon now joining me now to shed some additional light onto the latest developments out of syria today are gareth porter an investigative journalism historian joining me here in d.c. and richard murphy the former u.s. ambassador to syria he's in our new york studio right now gareth i'm going to i'm going through this question that you first what is the purpose of these military
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strikes. well that's the question i think that everyone is asking around the world really. it is so so difficult to figure out what the administration really thinks that it's doing the one way here in the united states has published a come comedic take on this in which he has obama saying i pledge to carry out a strike against syria with no objective whatsoever and seriously though you know it is sometimes stated that we have to do it for humanitarian purposes and sometimes because of international law both of which are highly debatable to say the least in terms of recent history as well as previous history of u.s. policy and you know it begins to look like the there's a small coterie of people within the administration susan rice the national security adviser secretary of state john kerry in particular who have gotten the
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idea that they want to do something. and that they have played upon you know a lot of domestic pressure from the republican party some of the people the republican party not all of them and they have somehow prevailed on the president to do something that he apparently didn't want to do and that presents a real mystery of major proportions now richard i want to ask you president obama said yesterday that while he wants to send a message with these strikes that they're not intended to destabilize the assad regime so what kind of message what these strikes realistically defending. i think his message has been pretty clear he wants to send a very strong signal a strong slap if you will that the regime will not repeat the use of chemical weapons i think that's that's his basic message no how it's going to be done we don't know yet but he's been perfectly clear on that and he's
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not talking about the international law because he doesn't have the security council with him he's looking for international legitimacy which is why he's consulting with a wide range of countries today. now this morning british parliament they debated why is the burden on the u.s. and the u.k. to strike syria militarily rather than the middle eastern allies such as kuwait qatar turkey saudi arabia and the gulf what do you think about that. well i don't i wouldn't expect the individual arab states to strike nor did i expect the arab league to endorse a western strike us just going too far given the history of the area this is of the west of the united states it's sort of a we have some very strong friends there but they don't want to be standing out alone and saying welcome uncle sam come in send your military in and do something nasty to a fellow arab state that just runs aground runs against the grain now gareth i want
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to ask you why were the chemical attacks the tipping point. well the real there's a very serious question here which we haven't talked about and that is how what is the state or the status of the actual evidence that a nerve gas attack took place. and the answer to that is that the evidence is still very much subject to confirmation and the only real confirmation that can be provided is from the u.n. investigation that is now just about finished with its work but it appears that the obama administration is not prepared to wait until that investigation presents you know the final report of its work and that's a very that's a very strong indication that there are serious questions that the administration wants to kind of push under the rug and i would add that one of the most one of the
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biggest pieces of of evidence that the administration relied on in its initial presentation of its case by secretary kerry was that medicine frontier had made a statement that presented the evidence that they'd gotten from hospitals that more than a thousand people had been more than several thousand people had been treated and three hundred fifty five i believe had died of symptoms suggesting a nerve gas attack but now. the frontier has issued a statement saying we cannot confirm this information and we refuse to have this used to justify military action in syria now richard i'm going to i'm going to ask this to you you said last week that quote the timing of this allegation that several hundred people have died as a result of poison gas or nerve gas in the course of the last day or odd what did you.
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we don't have the full context there could. requote please share you said the timing of this allegation that several hundred people have died as a result of poison gas or nerve gas in the course of the last day is odd. what did you mean by that i think it was the the fact that the statement came out so quickly after the attack and it's quite true we do not have the confirmation out there in public as yet and i think that the president is going to have to come. out with a good deal to justify any u.s. action and i expect that to happen because this white house is to living haunted by the memories of two thousand and three in the bush administration's surgeons that weapons of mass destruction were. about to be used you know those clear weapons
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there's one other point about timing that i think is very important to make and that is the the timing of this alleged chemical strike just at the time of that the u.n. team is already there in damascus and clearly able to go and then the timing of the the assad regime saying yes to the request to go visit the site now it is simply not explainable it's not explicable in any way shape or form that the assad regime would carry out a chemical strike and then allow the u.n. to go in and take samples to prove that it exists now i want to thank you well you know i'm sorry we got it we got to cut out early here but that was gareth porter the investigative journalist and historian richard murphy a former u.s. ambassador and syria. now in other news james writes in the new york times reporter whose two thousand and six book
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state of war details the cia's attempt to foil iran's nuclear program is again being pressured by the department of justice to reveal his sourcing for the story now rice and has been subpoenaed in the criminal trial over the leaking of state secrets that appear in his book rice and his lawyers argued that the relationship between a journalist and source a was confidential after his argument was denied by the fourth district court race in appeals now the department of justice has filed a legal argument with the u.s. appeals court strongly opposing further consideration of reasons petition not to be forced to reveal his source rice's lawyers have asked the court to convene a full session to decide if you should be granted first amendment protection which would relieve him from having to reveal the identity of his source now if the appeals court listens to the department of justice will be left with one of two options one either breaking his promise to his source or to jail for contempt of court. now in financial news today talk about mismanagement of funds
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check this out in two thousand and eight darrell lane woods the chairman of a small missouri bank received one million dollars after applying to the united states treasury for bailout money under the troubled asset relief program however just days after a main street bank receive the funds would spent more than a third of them more than a third on a four hundred thousand dollar waterfront condominium in fort myers florida now on tuesday woods pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the federal district court of jefferson city missouri and the investigation which led to woods's woods's arrest was headed by the special inspector general for the troubled asset relief program and while many people are pleased to see justice being brought to those who abused bailout funds it does raise the question about why larger financial institutions have not seen the same level of oversight so here to discuss this subject is the co-host of prime interest bob english thank you for being here either now i want to
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start off by asking you what exactly what he sees me how exactly did tarp work unfortunately tarp did not work it was sold to the public on the promise that it was going it was going to help people with underwater mortgages and unfortunately it just build out the big banks so what hank paulson did he was the goldman you know treasury secretary at the time he went to congress and he instilled a lot of fear in people and what he said was if you don't do this we're going to have financial armageddon well now what kind of conditions were established for the use of that money. like i said there were conditions that were and to see it into the in unfortunately that those conditions were not followed so when you find out what tarp actually did all they did was bail out the big banks interesting now to your knowledge kind of just touch on this smaller financial instead. kind of seeing more of an oversight from b.
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special inspector general which is a great name for a great and and the justice department in general when it comes to kind of overseeing these bailout funds unfortunately the smaller financial institutions are at an extreme disadvantage what happens with them they don't have access to the same money privileges to be the federal reserve that the larger institutions do so and also they have stronger regulatory oversight so what you see happen when you know when these regulations are passed j.p. morgan itself goldman sachs are writing the regulations and then the smaller financial firms are now not able to take advantage of them now do you believe the government will go after those bigger banks the same way they've been going out of this kind of well there is this there's this funny thing it's called too big to jail unfortunately the government is not going to these bigger banks and there is a push there's a push to go after some of these mid-level employees like j.p. morgan has this energy scandal that's going on right now and they're going after
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a guy named bill but he's turning states of it in so going after his boss in a subordinate but they're not really going after the big fish they're not going after the whales even though he was the london whale that's very interesting now do you believe you kind of just said no but i'm going to ask you more point blank do you believe that justice will be served to the public by prosecuting those from the big institutions that maybe potentially with all the noise the media is making we'll see some of that in the coming months unfortunately one of the things that's happening is that the f.c.c. is going after insider trading which is a crime but it's not the biggest crime and hedge funds were not the proximate cause of the two thousand and eight panic and they're not going to be the cause of the next panic so the the federal regulators are not going after the right people right now and unfortunately that is the case so that as you see they're going after this this guy named steve cohen back. capital management but you know she's not going to
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cause the next financial crisis right so they're kind of focusing their energies in the wrong place at the exact same that's exactly what i'm saying what do you think they what if steve cohen do to really anger the federal government to make them go after him opposed to the people who they gave money to oh that's a loaded question. i think you made a lot of enemies you know along his trail he had one of the biggest hedge funds he's a very influential financial guy and he just made too many enemies and then when they as you see decided to start cracking down on insider trading he was just an obvious target well bob thank you for joining us today that was bob english co-host of prime interest. now in recent months we've been doing we've gained a better understanding of how the u.s. is counterterrorism operations like the national security agency are spending their money and today we now know the size of the budgets that they've been operating on the washington post has released a block of budget report which spans over a dozen agencies that make up the national intelligence program now the central
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intelligence agency n.s.a. and national reconnaissance office received more than sixty eight percent of the black budget with the cia receiving fourteen point seven billion ten point eight billion going to the n.s.a. and ten point thirteen allocated to the n r o now strictly focusing on the n.s.a. we know that their programs go beyond just counterterrorism our chief political correspondent sam sachs explains. the latest n.s.a. leak exposing mass spying at the united nations proves the n.s.a.'s activities stretch well beyond counterterrorism but besides spying on allies the n.s.a. plays a more frightening role acting as the mass collection service for a persistent dragnet on all american citizens run out of the drug enforcement agency there's a shadowy unit known as the special operations division its purpose is to coordinate investigations across multiple law enforcement agencies as reuters reported earlier this month two dozen agencies share intelligence with and use
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intelligence from the special operations division including the f.b.i. the department of homeland security the i.r.s. the cia and the n.s.a. now with the n.s.a. leaks we know exactly how the n.s.a. goes about collecting all of its data it gets it straight from tech companies like google and microsoft or straight from telecom companies like the eighteenth tee and horizon or good sense data straight from the fiber optic cables that carry communications all around the world a process known as up streaming and when it comes specifically to the internet it's one of the n.s.a. has access to seventy five percent of all domestic web traffic now all of this information is then stored in massive n.s.a. databases like the one being constructed in utah capable of holding a yacht a bite of information which is this many bytes the n.s.a. assures us that it's only interested in foreign targets and that there are
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safeguards in place to protect americans communications but locked in these databases are vast quantities of data belonging to american citizens the real issue is what they actually have stored in their databases they don't consider it a violation of this unless an analyst pulls that they'd out of that story. so all of the billions of transactions of u.s. citizens to other u.s. citizens are stored it's just who makes the query and what kind of query they make we know that as a result of these queries the n.s.a. breaks its own rules thousands of times per year and scoops out protected communications belonging to american citizens and according to the n.s.a.'s own internal guidelines they're allowed to keep this data in their databases not only that the n.s.a. retains data belonging to american citizens if that data is reasonably believed to contain evidence of a crime that has been is being or is about to be committed such communication may
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be disseminated to appropriate law enforcement authorities which brings us back to the special operations division which gets much of its information from those n.s.a. databases housing american citizens communications it's essentially a giant pool of information and it contains evidence of any crime you or anyone else may have committed in the past that can be fished out and used against you today the prime min terms of domestic to domestic communications is having the f.b.i. or the d.h.s.s. have and have access to that data where the h.s. can take their list of words they're looking for in people communicating and where the database for those words. so that's going to guess all the communications of u.s. citizens now we can't know for sure how many investigations in american citizens have been helped by information held in the n.s.a. or special operations division databases because the law enforcement agents are specifically instructed to hide their evidence trail and make no reference to these databases when building
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a case so this goes well beyond counterterrorism this is really the construction of an all knowing police state and although it's unlikely that any of these omnipresent investigative powers will be used against average citizens just yet still this is a tool that can be used any time to target specific individuals who may have at any point in their life skirted the law and talked about it so pesky politicians and muckraking journalists might want to take notice the n.s.a. is collecting the dirt on you and it's more than willing to share it with everyone else in washington same socks or t. now the latest n.s.a. leaks regarding mass find at the u.n. proves that the n.s.a. is activities stretched well beyond counterterrorism but besides spying on allies the n.s.a. plays a far more legitimate frightening role acting as a mass collection service. moving right along we're
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going to go on to this if you're looking to get a new much larger brain you may be in luck science and clearly we need one today on this afternoon when scientists for the first time have successfully reproduced miniature human brains and alive now that's right what's going on here is that scientists are using embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells to create the part of the embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord in fact the pieces structures have react have reached the same level of development as a nine week old fetus but before you get too excited these miniature brains they aren't yet capable of human thought. however the brains are still being put to good use according to one study the developing organs have already been used to help scientists gain insight into rare diseases not to mention the potential for a real breakthrough and organ donation so perhaps we want to get a revamped brain but we will get to save a lot more lives that doesn't for now we'll be back here at five o'clock for more on the stories we covered you can go to youtube dot com forward slash r t america
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and check out our web site r t v dot com forward slash usa you can also follow me on twitter at aaron it see you back here in a half an hour. but he sees things that's something to people don't notice. these. things most people never to call him disabled but he's the world's first deaf and blind doctor of science. professor i think other civil out of. the great life you have to steal that's.
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