tv [untitled] December 17, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EST
because i am. coming up on r t edward snowden speaks again this time it's to the people of brazil the n.s.a. whistleblower has offered to help the nation investigate u.s. surveillance but this time he wants something in return details on that just ahead and in texas the fracking industry is on fire literally homeowners fear the controversial practice is lighting up their drinking water an in-depth look at the boom that we leaving locals busted coming up and in pennsylvania a bar of soap can land you in handcuffs two people spent a month in jail after police mistook homemade so for cocaine we talked to the lawyer scrubbing their records clean later in the show.
it's tuesday december seventeenth four pm in washington d.c. i'm lynn neary david and you're watching. and we begin today with an open letter that edward snowden has written to the people of brazil now in the letter which was published today in brazil's full han newspaper snowden said he'd be willing to help brazil investigate and i say spying on its soil but could not fully participate in doing so without being granted political asylum because the u.s. government quote will continue to interfere with my ability to speak snowden went on to say that post american senators tell us that brazil should not worry because this is not surveillance it's data collection they say it's done to keep you safe they're wrong there is a huge difference between legal programs and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all seeing eye and save. these
for ever keep in mind that the documents have already revealed that brazil is a top and is a target in latin america and that includes the surveillance of communications for brazilian president dilma rousseff the revelations angered rousseff who earlier this year canceled an official visit to meet with president obama in washington this september she also spoke at the un general assembly where she pushed the united nations to give citizens more protections against unwarranted surveillance meddling in such a man there in the lawyers and the fears of other countries is a breach of international law and as such it is an affront. to the principles the should otherwise govern relations among countries especially among friendly nations . a country's sovereignty can never affirm itself to the detriment of another country's sovereignty. the right to security of the country's citizens can never be. sure by violating the fundamental human rights
and civil rights of another country's citizens. brazilian senators have already asked for snowden's help during hearings about the n.s.a. is targeting of brazil and snowden is now asking for help in return right now the former government contractor is living and rush on a temporary one year visa of course known and still faces charges in the u.s. here's how white house spokesman jay carney responded to questions about granting snowden whistleblower status at a press briefing this morning it is remains our view that mr snowden is accused of leaking classified information. and that he faces felony charges here in the united states and he should be returned to the u.s. as soon as possible. where he will be accorded full due process and protection now the top about this a little bit more i'm joined by kevin stole a blogger at firedoglake kevin thanks for joining me thank you so snowden is now
asking for permanent asylum from the brazilian government now of course we know there were some significant leaks that came out showing how the u.s. has been monitoring brazilian politicians and companies however the u.s. has also been found doing this with other countries so why do you think you know snowden is really dear owing in on brazil right now. he hasn't formally asked to be granted asylum what he put into his letter was this statement that in order for him to help brazil investigate potential crimes against their country committed by the u.s. when doing surveillance against brazil he would have to be given asylum so that he could really participate in this inquiry his terms for a temporary asylum in russia you want to respect what russia has given him basically doesn't want to look like he's not grateful for what russia has been able to do for him so that's why that was that way and so there is this concern and this
interest in going to brazil because yes tried to go to germany and that hasn't worked out that was rejected by uncle of merkel and there are these other countries like every door that was initially a possibility and that didn't work out right and as we know the journalist who broke this story glenn greenwald is actually based in brazil along with his partner david miranda do you think that could carry any weight in convincing brazil that they should open their doors to snowden are they doing anything are they speaking to the brazilian government at all on snowden's behalf. well you know that's an interesting question i'm not really sure if that's going on right now in the background. now if brazil does decide to grant asylum to edward snowden how to kind of you know shift the dynamic between brazil between brazil and
the u.s. . it would be very bad for relations between the u.s. and brazil i would expect that politicians in congress would consider measures to punish brazil for taking action to protect noton but i also think that there would be a number of people here in the united states citizens who would be glad that he was able to find a country that would protect them people who have celebrated the act that is taken to blow the whistle and reveal surveillance that the government had been keeping secret these programs that i think many people are glad they know about now or and again if he is granted down down the line asylum in russia how could he even conceivably get there it seems like that is a big roadblock a big problem. do you know anything about you know how he would get from point a to
point b. if you was granted permanent asylum and that was worked out behind the scenes and i think that we would probably learn that this had happened once he had boarded a plane and was on his way to brazil there's a lot that would have to be worked out between the russian government and the brazilian government and then of course the brazilian government would have to be willing to stick its neck out and be willing to stand up to the united states and as far as getting on an airplane that may have to be a private jet that maybe have to be raised through own money or there might be a service that would be willing to take him or there could be a diplomatic jet that would be willing to fly him but this would all be worked behind the scenes something that i'm sure we would all find out after the fact well i want to go back to this letter because snowden said something really interesting about power and he said quote these programs were never about terrorism they're about economic spying social control and diplomatic manipulation they're about
power you know considering the country countries we've seen that are in the u.s. a scope of surveillance what do you make of that argument. i think he's got a point because why do you need to know what all of these citizens are doing why do you need to have these vast net cast out on two countries why do you have to put world leaders under surveillance if it is just to protect the world against terrorism it's obviously about much much more it's about having strategic interests in energy resources around the world wanting to protect companies businesses wanting to make sure that certain markets remain open to the united states and not closed off because you know china or russia or countries in latin america or anywhere around the world are competing it's about wanting to have that information on what diplomats are going to say in upcoming meetings so you can blindside them
and get them into a corner where they comply with what you're trying to do and so it is unfair and what snowden lays out in his letter to brazil makes it clear that citizens are being placed under surveillance around the world just so that america can maintain its power in the world and have and i wanted to ask you about the recent news a federal judge called the n.s.a.'s metadata collection program likely unconstitutional yesterday that was a big win for privacy advocates and such could this ruling strength strengthen edward snowden's case as a whistleblower either to receive asylum and a country like brazil or even amnesty here in the u.s. . what it does and this is key is that it reopens this question because it has been settled for the last six months that everything the n.s.a. does is legal i mean a lot of us media have accepted this as truth but what this judge doing that opens
the question makes it seem like he did have a reason to blow the whistle and that's great for him and that does give him a lot of ability to go around to countries and say that what he did was an act that was allowing and very interesting topic kevin to still a blogger at firedoglake thank you so much. and today president obama met with executives from leaving tech companies those companies including google twitter apple yahoo microsoft they spoke and many many more the white house says the meeting was focused on efforts to repair the obama administration's health care dot gov website and to reform government information technology however controversial national security agency programs were also on the agenda since n.s.a. documents were first leaked in june a number of tech companies have been urging president obama to curtail surveillance programs the meeting comes just a week after leaders in the industry penned an open letter advocating for radical
reforms the letter said quote this summer's revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide the balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of individual rights that are in shrine in our constitution this undermines the freedoms we all cherish it's time for change the white house meeting also comes just a day after a federal judge deemed the government's collection of domestic phone records unconstitutional. and today is the twenty sixth birthday of whistleblower chelsea manning she is currently serving a thirty five year jail sentence for releasing hundreds of thousands of government documents in two thousand and ten to transparency organization wiki leaks this is chelsea's first year at the u.s. does disciplinary bear except for leavenworth in kansas but her fourth year behind
bars manning has been fighting for her right to live as a woman and receive treatment for gender identity disorder however she is currently being held in a men's prison which is tonight her from receiving hormone therapy manning is prepared to go to court where she will argue against that denial. and last. swete a u.s. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in yemen after intelligence reports identified the vehicles were carrying all qaeda militants it was a gruesome attack in which more than a dozen people were left dead and twenty two injured with nine left in critical condition shortly after this tragedy yemen's parliament voted for a ban on drone strikes and although these headlines quickly spread across the united states and around the world some are wondering how reaction might have been different if the drone had hit an american wedding instead that's exactly what conor friedersdorf explored in his atlantico article called if
a drone strike hit an american wedding we've ground our fleet in the article friedersdorf asks this question can you imagine the wall to wall press coverage the outrage and the empathy for the victims that would follow if an american wedding were attacked in this fashion or how would you feel about a foreign power that attacked your wedding to talk a little bit more about what happened this week and what it will take to make americans empathize with this i'm joined now by michael brooks contributor at the majority report and host of intersection on as one media thanks so much for joining me thank you now one of the questions the author asks in this article is one i want to pose to you and that is if you want to drone strikes put american wedding parties similarly at risk what do we tolerate our targeted killing program for a single day more what are your thoughts on that well. well i mean my thoughts on that are you know i think obviously if there was a drone strike from
a foreign power that hit an american wedding party or for that matter we don't need to go too far away there was a terrorist attack in the united states on september eleventh right that we had an incredible reaction to and not rightfully in terms of our policies but right believe that people were upset by this i think in some ways we could draw an even closer parallel and say that these policies that we're implementing overseas and carelessness with things like drone strikes are affecting american security are blowing back and we might not see a direct relationship but there definitely there sure you know and the author said something that really stuck out to me he said even putting yemenis through the most horrific scene and magine of all on their wedding day is but a blip on our media radar easily eclipsed by a new beyond say album you know while the headlines did get some traction on the internet we do see it you know marginalized by and large by t.v.
media and i mean what what is your sense as to why that is. you know i think it's almost over determines there's so many different variables from kind of lack of resources covering overseas news to lack of public engagement on these issues but i think that what he's getting at that's also really important is we need to broaden our empathy we need to think much more seriously about what's happening in other parts of the world obviously particularly it's done in our name and i think you know that aspect of kind of projecting outward morally and emotionally but it's also politically very important we need to be more sophisticated engaged in our thinking so i don't know exactly the specific reason why it's not getting that the coverage that it should get and deserves to get going off of what what are you saying right now i wanted to ask you you know why you
think it is that americans can't really empathize with innocent foreigners why is it so hard for them to do you know i don't know if that's of their you know assumption entirely i actually do think that the more does come out on this program polls have shifted on and people are more engaged with this but i think there's no question that generally the united states is very inward looking and there isn't this kind of real sense of our footprint on the rest of the world and that's really remains a problem and it remains a problem in most countries projects overseas sure and michael interestingly you know when i hear people defend the u.s. drone program they often say that it's great because we catch the bad guys and we do it with you know real surgical precision the based on what we've seen so far with the strike so far in yemen pakistan and other muslim countries is that really the case. i think the notion of using surgical to describes strikes like
this is kind of obscene actually i mean the reality is is that there are two different types of drone strikes broadly speaking and i think when we're talking about targeting a specific individual in a very specific context that's it's own debate and there's more gray there to be you know sort of honest and what i think but signature strikes which i think that's what this strike would fall under which are based off of behavioral pattern and it basically means by definition we don't even know who we're hitting we're just saying if you're in a certain place if you fit a certain pattern we're going to hit you by definition that's not surgical by definition we don't know who we're hitting and it's really an incredibly problematic way of framing it. given the results it is problematic and it's really tragic to see what's happening over there but i do appreciate you coming on the program and breaking that down michael brooks contributor at the majority report and host of intersection on as one media thank you thank you thank you so much
a cosy countryside get away from the city hustle is an idea ruined for some americans who are experiencing the negative effects of a fracking boom in places like texas the ground drilling technology has become a proven way to boost corporate profits but as a guy in a chick kalki and finds out it's the landowners who pay the price the local government in texas tells us they believe that the water from his well water that he can set on fire is safe to drink and to use in his home. you can't carry it into your home. thank you but steve has the assessment of other experts who say he's well is a ticking bomb in his backyard loaded with methane and other contaminants why the starkly different assessments. steve claims that a fracking operation nearby contaminated is well and that texas energy authorities
are shielding the gas company they don't want the world to know that it really is this bad they don't want it in official documents it could be that the fracking allowed gas from lower formations into the aquifer and subsequently into steve lipski as well the gas company denies the claim the lips sued the range resources corp but the firm counter sued and won in cause and effect evidence a ground water is incredibly difficult to prove my view solace are is an engineer who worked with the federal environmental protection agency is not surprised that the state oil and gas regulator sided with the gas corporation conceit that derives its income in survival from oil and gas production issues really putting in charge of also regulating the protection of groundwater from our going down swell and there's any
parent conflict of interest in that determined to fight for his home father of three steve has been shipping fresh water from the city on trucks at a cost of five hundred dollars a month but the family now faces another blow from the fracking corporation of four point two million dollars lawsuit for defamation steve lipski his dream house and it's a beautiful property has become his nightmare several of his neighbors apparently have the same problem but they're reluctant to speak out after they saw how the gas company went after missile oops they shouldn't expect much help from washington either. says the environmental protection agency has not put nearly enough resources into studying the effects that fracking has on groundwater but that didn't stop the e.p.a. from coming up with a report in favor of the practice. phillips case were advised to vent the
gas constantly to keep it from accumulating under their property as their neighboring gas well continues to frack it's five thousand feet deep we're pretty much standing around on top of the one hundred years from now when somebody dies because there's some contaminant in the border area and they're able to trace it to this fracking everybody else instead who cares investor for the loss of three for now it seems that the authorities at all levels are so fired up on fracking potential profits that households like steve leave his family are left to fight a low to get a healthy environment in their homes. down our t. parker county texas. and believe it or not certain hygiene products can get you into big trouble these days for the last month one couple has been in jail on drug charges after police finally discovered that the drugs in question were simply bars
of soap and adult cruisin alexander bernstein were pulled over last month for speeding in pennsylvania when the state trooper approached the car he immediately claimed he smelled marijuana to which cruz admitted she had smoked earlier that day a police officer then asked if he could search the car and that's when the traffic stop took a turn for the worse soon after the officer found two bricks of a white substance cruzan bernstein immediately told the officer that it was homemade soap but he didn't exactly buy the argument instead he insisted that the powdery substance was cocaine and that he determined that by conducting a special field test he then arrested cruz and bernstein on cocaine trafficking charges and held them in jail for a month with bail posted at up to five hundred thousand dollars of course charges were dropped when lab testing finally indicated that the substance was in fact just so when we asked the pennsylvania state police how testing soap could turn up as cocaine the p.i.
you know offered us this statement quote we still consider this an ongoing and active investigation and are considering an internal review to make sure our policy was followed or discuss that more i was joined earlier by the attorney for alexander bernstein james high decker i started off by asking him why an adult cruises car was pulled over in the first place. fiat assume going to senses it was a profile stop we had a young hispanic lady driving a twenty thirty mercedes benz she was only going five miles over the limit that's hardly reason to pull somebody over i'm suggesting to you that if she had she not been a young hispanic lady and not been. accompanied by mr distracted she would not have been pulled over right well i want to talk to you about the field testing because that's the most intriguing part of all of that why exactly does field testing involve typically and how was it determined in this case that it was cocaine ok if
you're testing essentially is a shorthand way of getting a result as to what the substance is that one scary it's a it's a kid that's prepared and when you do it you take the product of the suspected drug and the positive in the airfield with the fluid and what happens is the if you will in terms of certain color depending on the color it turns the term is what the substance is we've been using them in pennsylvania for well over a quarter century and there are by the lower courts by the by the magisterial courts and getting cases not only arrested and prosecuted but getting them into the courts of common pleas our courts accomplis a trial you have to come with a formal state police crime lab report that would be asked a by registered chemist what does it allows to preserve police officers to have a quick study so to speak on what the substance is and get a result. right the what happened here is there were two packages and the police are on the trigger that access the packages presume that it was controlled
substance i.e. cocaine he then says that each package allegedly and each package allegedly produced the result that these substances were cocaine but i can apply that he bought the arrest warrants against not only added l. was the driver of the car with the times being a troll but i guess my client mr bernstein who was a passenger and had no connection to a car other than being god is a passenger in a right and you said allegedly allegedly this substance was tested is it possible at all that the state trooper did not actually conduct a field test at all absolute possible there's three years number one the test wasn't the at all number two the trooper was an honest and risk misrepresent of the results and number three the test doesn't work and it doesn't work we have jailed off a lot of people is ultimately on the accuracy of these tests which are accepted by the court so i want to ask you about that because you know i remember covering
a similar case and which two young men were stopped and frisked in new york and officers ultimately arrested them for allegedly carrying crystal meth which they later found out was only jolly ranchers and so this is obviously not the first time we've seen these sort of field test test sealed sort of bogus results i mean how detrimental can these field tests really be if they're not done properly. well there are a tremendous my clients casey since november thirteenth up until last tuesday was thousand present and the five hundred thousand dollars bail and same else rouletabille cruz they were used and accepted by the court to issue an arrest warrant issued reviewed by a magistrate who denied our bail motion to get them locked up predicated upon the says be accurate so they can be very daring and well and i want to ask you about that i mean they were in jail for an entire month and i can't conceive of how they could have been in jail for that long i mean what does this testing involve why does it take an entire month the testing at the state police that are actually the
sleeper and i was actually dime what happens is that the people are prosecuted to the preliminary hearing based upon the surging our kid or the north gets the short form testing that we just discussed need results don't come back from the state police crime lab oftentimes for five six months later it was it was really fortunate in this case that the testing at the state police crime lab which exonerated substances from being controlled was done rather quickly and not been done within a month there has still been housing present that's incredible i cannot believe it takes that long but as i understand it alex your client will be fine. how this experience has really affected him and what sort of damages he'll be seeking well we're not we're not seeking there was this but we haven't determined whether it's going to be we're probably right i was a person is whole enjoying the holidays he's it's his decision whether or not he wants to pursue this any further at this point there's been no decision whether or
not this is the underpinnings of it civil rights leader or not we have to do with you the benefit of the doubt just like we weren't given a bit of a doubt a little bit at least as they pleased quite how this could have happened. was there somebody than happy on behalf of the troopers or really what will are here because something like this should happen that was james hider an attorney at karalee law firm l.l.c. and that does it for now i'm a mirror david. i've been. a sight. i think for for me. and for the bank right on. my. television right.
here just to what is it a. we tried to tell you we warned you. the government is not publishing well we have been reporting on this show that they have to buy scheme well because with a one hundred percent guaranteed outcome a crash in the real estate market people will be underwater negative equity and the banks will need another bailout and the wealth and income disparity will increase yet again. there i marinate this is boom bust and here are the stories we're tracking for you today first up policy meetings at the federal reserve this week have markets doing some funky stuff we'll tell you all about it coming right up and why are still
nations just simply better than others they're an automobile author of why nations fail sat down with me to talk about this very subject and finally it was just basis is nifty little drone delivery gadget had everyone pumped about amazon recently the online retailers german workforce is none too pleased with their employer virtual currencies and i discussed this very issue in today's big deal it's all coming up and it all starts right now. this week may prove to be an explosive one for the financial markets given the possibility that the fed may finally begin to pull back on its feet.