tv [untitled] December 20, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm EST
hello and welcome to cross talk where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle and it's a whistleblower edward snowden has always maintained his motivation was to force a serious conversation about the all encompassing surveillance state well he certainly has achieved this so with mission accomplished is it time to cut a deal with them for even grant him a pardon. to cross-talk edward snowden i'm joined by my guest mary fan in seattle she is a professor at the university of washington and a former federal prosecutor in washington we have ray mcgovern he is the co-founder of veteran intelligence professionals for sanity and in new york we cross to timothy car he is a senior director of strategy at free press all right folks cross talk rolls in fact that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage it if i
go to you first in washington isn't it time to cut a deal with mr snowden i mean he's made his point everybody knows his name if you can if you're literate you know who he is anywhere in the world we certainly know a whole lot more about the n.s.a. i mean isn't it time to move forward in reform the n.s.a. in the intelligence community and let this guy off the hook he did everyone a huge favor peter i guess i would have problems with your phrase here elegy here cutting a deal. has lived up to a solemn oath to protect and defend the constitution the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic a u.s. district judge now has reiterated the fact that. the n.s.a. as he put it has indiscriminately and charlie invaded our privacy in direct violation of the fourth amendment it's not that we should cut a deal with edward snowden we should praise him welcome him home for. exposing what
what i call incipient fascism is like when the government has all kinds of information on all kinds of people and can use it for all cards purposes ok timothy but well there are voices in the n.s.a. that think that they the government should talk to mr snowden i in principle i agree with ray don't get me wrong here but cutting a deal is what's being talked about meaning no more leaks and you will clear your name ok this is the kind of deal and i'm not saying it's the best deal but it is a deal that's being talked about timothy go ahead well i would say that they don't need to strike a deal at all the whole premise of the charges against edward snowden are bogus that he shouldn't be. under. possible criminal would be in charge of possible criminal acts from the department of justice because the the premise as been proven to be wrong in fact we've learned
from a federal court disk decision earlier this week in and a review panel that was appointed by president obama that that in fact the n.s.a. had overreached its bounds in that and that it a lot of the actions of the mass surveillance that the n.s.a. and other intelligence communities are involved with have been indeed beyond gone beyond the constitution and violate violation of our rights so the i think the d.o.j. should just drop the charges and lets you know to intimidate you whatever when we don't typically we don't know that it's not going to happen we all know that isn't going to happen i mean in the best of all possible worlds that would be a great likely a great outcome but it's not going to happen mary if i go to you in seattle again you know cutting a deal is where everybody wins ok is this possible in the case of mr snowden. i'll
be the dissenting voice and that's why you're here. it's. the man has broken the laws these arguments that which are quite eloquently made make it to the jury make it to the sentencing judge but he has broken the law ask for a lenient sentence if you indeed think he's a hero tell it to the jury tell it to the judge but he has broken the law imagine if your government the position that you're in here if you give mr snowden amnesty think about all the people who are intrusted with classified information does this mean that if you have you are in you succeed in in secret in a way very sensitive information given to outside sources and and threatening and perhaps holding out the possibility that you have more damaging information to trade if you don't get amnesty then you get a walk on breaking the law it's a very difficult position for the government to be in and certainly they can't
condone such a law breaking ok ray that's between a rock and a hard place go ahead well what mary is talking about is secrecy promise which all of us write even a piece of paper as if you do sure of employment not to reveal information that would damage the national security. it's not a promise not to reveal high crimes and misdemeanors is not a promise to keep secret blatant violations of the constitution the united states and i grant you lawyers in congress people can can devise laws and even put them into effect that are unconstitutional and there always has a kind of hiatus between the time when those unjust illegal was illegal was put into effect and the time when the courts catch up and say no no that's unconstitutional we have finally reached that time and so whether the law can be
legal and constitutional i'm not a lawyer but i think i know the answer to that the constitution supersedes all of this and what n.s.a. has been doing clearly violates the fourth amendment which says the rate of the people to be secure. from unreasonable searches in the search searchers and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause supported by articulating the conditions under which places can be searched people or things can be seized it's very clear amendment it's very clear that those laws so to speak violate that amendment timothy let's look at the political angle here barack obama is really good i was good go ahead but i was going to say barack obama has the the reputation of just hunting down mercilessly whistleblowers this could be a political coup for him if he could find a way to say look you know we know there are a lot of problems at n.s.a.
i didn't even i wasn't aware of all of them now i am i mean i you know i'm i'm be i'm a born cynic but i mean there is a political angle here too if you want to answer that or you want to and say what you wanted to say originally go right ahead of him at the new york. it's a good question and it's really in line with what i was going to say that there has been this almost stunning reversal in washington i think people are familiar in june july and august you had members of congress and members of white house and the intelligence community are saying that course edward snowden should be arrested in some or even suggesting that the journalists like glenn greenwald and others should also be be charged with some sort of a crime for assisting snowden here we are today and this week in particular where we have a federal court decision that says that this the n.s.a. the n.s.a. mass surveillance is likely unconstitutional we now have a review panel that was appointed put in place by obama himself that has made
a series of very strong recommendations to suggest that indeed they have they have overstepped its so i think that there the sort of conventional wisdom of in washington that we saw the through the summer in the fall which is why i could of course he's a criminal of course he should be prosecuted has dramatically shifted to a point where the obama administration can say exactly what you said now that we know what we know i see that we have gone too far and that we should no longer vilify this person who actually really started this whole process of investigation of inquiry about whether or not our the intelligence community has gone too far it's become fairly obvious that indeed they have and we should be the ankle to edward snowden for blowing the whistle and creating this public discussion about about what's really going on you know mary it's interesting if for some reason for example snowden was apprehended he probably would be put on trial in the united
states and most likely sentence and go to prison but no one's going to put the n.s.a. on trial it's seems to me and i can understand your attachment to the law that you know if i want to a red light i should be punished if you run through a red light you should be punished i understand what you're saying the law should apply to everyone but you know the people that are breaking the law on a massive scale according to at least one federal judge is there and that they're not going to be punished through this process that you're mentioning. not so really but there's an interesting point in terms of how our system punishes right so there's been. so there's individual punishment which on the one hand we're talking about with regard to what mr snowden may face now with regard to mr snowden and these eloquent arguments that you're making here basically asking for a null for cation a jury nullification make these arguments maybe you'll succeed and you'll certainly stir even more of a productive an interesting debate in in doing so now with regard to the n.s.a.
the other side of your question that's a different there are so when you're talking about sanctions for political agencies and actors the sanctions are are different and they're sometimes outside of the criminal process but that doesn't mean there are no penalties look at the incredibly negative publicity that has surrounded all the various actors look at the demoralization in fact of some of the n.s.a. . government officials because of the incredible. negative publicity that is a form of sanction one we're talking about political actors different kinds of sanctions for different kinds of actors ok but you know it seems that the entire intelligence operated apparatus and system is against mr snowden here i couldn't appreciate what mary had to say there but he's at least that's why he's sitting in russia because he doesn't feel he would get any kind of free trial in the united states and you met him by the way peter first of all. the analogy between running
a red light you know breaking the law if you have a pregnant wife who is delivering a baby are you entitled to run the red light of course you are there is mary and others you know the argument from the specialty but more important here is who should be cut a deal should it be people who lie under oath to congress like national intelligence director clapper who told us all of march. the n.s.a. is not collecting any type of data at all in american citizens and then later apologized for having said something that was clearly erroneous his words should we say we careen you mean i think i have to jump in here and go back to you but we have to go to a short break and after that show right we'll continue our discussion on edward snowden stay with our feet.
this is st augustine. strategic we should try. a longer cover team of journalists trying to release wiki leaks documents about to how the united states is trying to. be a local media more pro-american they encounter fear ignorance and pressure. country blocks the way to information freedom. c.d.'s down on our t.v. wealthy british style. markets
why not. come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's cause or for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to cause a report. from a language of what i will only react to situations i have read the reports and let you know it is a no i will leave that to the state department to comment on your latter point of the month to say it's ok because i'm not talking no god. no more weasel words. when you made a direct question be prepared for a chase when you throw a punch be ready for a. pretty tough speech and
a little down to for him to cross. place. science technology innovation all the latest developments from around russia. the future covered. welcome back to cross talk we're all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the whistleblower edward snowden. ok i'd like to go back to you were making a point about the criminality of the side of the state here it's very interesting
is that you had former united nations envoy from the united states through the united nations saying that snowden should be hung from a tall tree and i think a former cia director said the same thing in the last day or so here it's very interesting that you say ray because you know i think you could say you know mary's got a point technically here is a person that probably broke the law but for reasons that are exceptional here and you are you to do that but you know it's listening to what you had to say before is that these people at the n.s.a. and their protectors they're never going to be held to justice but the entire apparatus wants mr snowden to be held accountable but not the system well peter you know john bolton and that other fellow will see are not serious people so i don't i won't comment on what sheriff said. what we're talking about here is different treatment for different people and we started talking about how snowden is being prosecuted or persecuted depending how you look at it but that the n.s.a. officials seem to be sort of immune now that happens to be the very sad case they
can live before congress they can do unconstitutional things really willingly and clearly in violation of their oath to the constitution and not be prosecuted now why is that because you could always find a lawyer. you could always find a lawyer that it's ok george bush was waterboarding ok the lawyer told me it was ok now unless you can prove and that's why the e-mails from guns all of us would want to stray let's say unless you could prove criminal intent namely conspiracy to tell the president what he wants to hear in that case waterboarding is legal in these cases violating the constitution united states the fourth amendment is legal unless you can prove a conspiracy these guys get off the hook so what i'm saying is that the president is states really has to face into this has to say do i what chief intelligence advisors to me lying to congress i don't care of congress allows it or even
encourages it as dianne feinstein and mike rogers have what about me on the head of these guys do i fire these guys do i not and so far he says he's not and i think that betokens a fear of these folks are the part of the present the united states it's interesting timothy it would make it even more pathetic here's a president who was an expert in constitutional law ok let's not forget here go ahead tim if you want to jump in go right well i mean you know there is this this issue of. unequal justice and i think the double standards that have been applied here are very evident and you know before we were you know we should talk about amnesty certainly for edward snowden but we also need to look at the laws under which he's being prosecuted the espionage act is a piece of legislation that was passed in one thousand nine hundred seventeen that was designed to go after world war one era spies and it's now being used by the obama administration more than any other any administration that came before him to
go after whistleblowers like edward snowden the laws are out of date and we need to have a serious look at changing the laws i think certainly we can give amnesty to people like chelsea manning or edward snowden but that doesn't protect the next whistleblower you have to change. those laws in or order to protect free speech to protect people who are pointing out abuses within government and who should be protected and allowed to share that information in order for us to correct these wrongs mary very good point there i mean could that could be a case here with manning and with snowden be good good presidents to make better laws and laws that fit the in the digital age that we live in today. that is a really important point in a really interesting point absolutely what mr manning what mr snowden have both done is provoked a national debate and given impetus for some for some quarters to argue
that you know our current regime needs to be updated now whether or not that's going to move the american people i think this is something we're seeing right now certainly if mr snowden comes he makes the kind of political necessity argument that i'm hearing from our panelists today that will further start a bait and if that is his goal that it seems come in coming to the states coming home. to to make these arguments before a jury and before the nation can further his his cause. with regard to a couple times here folks have been talking about the recent. district court opinion about the telephone metadata a matter of data collection program keep in mind that's on appeal. there's been some very interesting creative arguments that are being debated right now in that district court opinion whether or not it remains good law and viable is yet to be
seen certainly mr snowden's leak have triggered some more creative legal interpretations you know. looking at that the appeal. to the federal district court decision or opinion as it is i couldn't help but think coming to work today doing this program that this is kind of like watergate you know richard nixon's biggest problem is not that he broke the laws lied about it all the way to the very very end and in john dean said you know this is a cancer on the presidency and i was just wondering if that opinion from the federal district court is the beginning of a cancer that obama is going to truly truly regret if he doesn't make some really good hard decisions in the next few months. well peter you know i'm mindful of what the judge said judge richard leon quote i cannot imagine a more and discriminate and invasion in this systematic and high tech collection
effort against americans without judicial approval well you know that's pretty clear you know that's sort of an a paying in but i think it's also a decision his party stayed the decision but it was very very clear to him and what he did he did his homework like nobody else has done and he went through those three f.b.i. cases the ones the advertises where this kind of collection was was useful and he found them all to be bogus all bogus and so having done his homework he made this ruling now you know with respect to snowden coming home well you know anybody who knows anything about what's happened to recent whistleblowers knows that this was never an option for mr hosts node and thomas drake of the n.s.a. who suffered for years of of pressure condition and persecution at the hands of eight just department of justice lawyers after which the judge in maryland said look you justice apart and lawyers don't ever ever bring cases like this to me
before to me again based on such flimsy evidence all charges dismissed all felonies dismissed they were going to put him away for twenty five years snowden looked at that and stone and said look at what happened to tom drake i knew i had to get out of dodge number one to get my mission accomplished and number two he said in wonderment that he happens to be not by his intention but by happenstance in the safest possible place where the john bolton's the james walsh sees the mike rogers and the general hayden's can't get a drone to shoot him down it's seems he'll seal team six to ferret it out so it's a high high ironies here but the fourth amendment could not be clearer and i think judge leon has start. really look at this thing we'll see if we have an independent judiciary now because there are all kinds of imaginative lawyers it is justified this already and will try to could justify you know timothy and i've been reading
various reports and no one's really sure but it what's been released so far for mr snowden some have said is less than one percent and i really have to wonder that must keep a lot of people at the n.s.a. up at night because what's going to be next because you know we had we had had you know members of the n.s.a. lied to perjure themselves in congress and then something came out oh well we actually do do that eccentric setter i just have to wonder you know what the timeframe is going to be because with these recommendations coming out there could be leaks that come out to make all of these recommendations just you know redundant because you know we could learn so much more and that's why and i got to be misunderstood cutting a deal because i think there are people in the end if they get on can't we talk to this guy because it could get much much worse for them well i mean it's and it's entirely likely that we are only viewing the tip of the iceberg and it could get
much much worse but i wanted to comment on one of the earlier statements about whether there is a comparison between the obama administration the nixon administration whether in fact we now have a cancer on the presidency the one difference there is that president obama has said at least he welcomes a discussion about this and this this review panel with with forty six recommendations of three hundred page report very extensive change of attitude towards how much power we should be giving the n.s.a. and so whereas nixon of course would not take that corrective course obama now has an opportunity in light of this court decision in light of this the recommendations of this panel to change course to propose legislation to see. port legislation there's already been some legislation of the proposed some of it should be supported other shouldn't but to put forth legislation support legislation that will demand more accountability and so we may learn more we may need to continue to
revise the sorts of changes that we need to make but at the very least we are now taking a step in the right direction and recognizing yes that balance between national security and our rights as citizens is has gotten completely out of whack to the point where we now need to correct that to stop giving away so much power to the n.s.a. and put in place mechanisms whether it's through the the courts whether sure the n.s.a. the n.s.a. process whether it's under the patriot act that demand more accountability all right it may very well when it went right around going to go to miami and seattle last word you know what kind of digital reform we need so this doesn't happen again . what kind of judicial reform do we need it sounds seems like we need a security after i would need a data security reform so this so this whole incident doesn't happen again where we have folks secret in a way data with regard to judge it should issue reform i think we're having
a debate right now we're having a debate we're having a debate about who should be allowed a point judges to the intelligence surveillance court or having a debate about mary mary i wish i'd given you more time we've run out of time folks many thanks today to my guests in seattle washington and in new york and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember crosstalk. you see. why is the price of gold so high. demand global demand do you think gold is money. the value of the only place we have to live of the water that we need to survive is
not compared to bill i mean gold we're not going to eat gold we're not going to believe. we're not going to drink oh well clearly one of my all is and is in a desperate economic situation absolutely right what we're wrong to do is say there for any kind of economic development from the outside is going to be a benefit their only purpose is to extract as much money as possible to feed into the global financial. with me your heart. your political economic system that's extremely actually true. first it was a question whether mining should even be carried out altogether can it be done in a way which doesn't destroy people's lives resources environment and soon will you
know those are pretty serious questions mining is not a what a moment problem it's happening in asia in africa and south america in central america in mexico and it's even happening in canada and the united states. and i barguti basically for the abolition of these kinds of agencies that interfere in the internal affairs of foreign nations i think it's counterproductive i think we create more enemies than we do friends when we involve ourselves in these so-called color coded revolutions many of them have been overturned since the united states was some bros engaged in them i would say if the common turn has been shut down to shut down some of these agencies in the united states. this is the media leave us so we leave that maybe. privacy potions to cure the
breaking news on our. lands in germany off to being released from prison in russia that's off to president putin signed a pardon on what he called humanitarian principles also. the idea that the people don't deserve access to knowledge because people cannot deal with. speaks to wiki leaks associated co-producer of a movie which shows just how hard it can be for whistle blows to get the truth in print. and syria's embattled kurds take their ambitions for autonomy to a new level demanding an independent seat at next month's international peace talks in switzerland.