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tv   Breaking the Set  RT  January 18, 2014 6:29am-7:01am EST

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happy friday people i'm having martin and this is very good so we all know that the intelligence community would love nothing more than apprehend n.s.a. leaker edward snowden in pearl raid him around in front of the world as an example of what happens to whistleblowers in this country what i didn't know is that some n.s.a. employees want to take it a step further you know to american psycho levels according to buzz feed several pentagon and n.s.a. officials have anonymously expressed their desire to murder snowden a current n.s.a. analyst told the website that quote in a world where i would not be restricted from killing an american i personally would go and kill him myself a lot of people share the sentiment wait a minute we do live in a world where drones kill american citizens what i waited for another non of us pentagon official told buzz feed that he or she would love to put
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a bullet in snowden's head and an army official offered a detailed fantasy of how the murder would go down valving injecting him with poison you know it just so nice to know that jack the ripper and freddy krueger are the ones in charge a responsible in mining all of our personal data pellets go break the set. the please please sir they are very hard to take that are. particularly when you have had sex with her right there the. least.
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little. thing. that. i'm sure that most of us who've lost someone to drug addiction or least known someone who hides drug addiction is a complicated issue can destroy not only individual lives but it can break apart entire families and disrupt communities and despite america's declared war going to listen and drugs such as heroin cocaine and marijuana little stands in the way of average people taking the legal markets many of which are far more addictive than the hardest drugs you'll find on the street now might shock you to learn that the us is number one when it comes to the consumption of prescription pills in fact a two thousand and thirteen study by the mayo clinic shows that nearly seventy percent of americans are on at least one prescription drug and more than half take at least two the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and painkillers this
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epidemic is the subject of a of a documentary called american addict and it explores the road that led this country from being the land of the free to the land of the addicted. pharmaceutical representatives are universally attractive they get recruited from places like cheerleading squad that big ten schools what i'm told is a ball of so approach. psychotic medication it's very popular it's very expensive. and some of the others. are very very commonly diverted the reason being is again the medical programs insurance programs pay a lot of money for these drugs. joining me now are the producer and director of the film and dr gregory smith from l.a. thanks so much for coming on both of you thank you thank you gregory let's start with you why is prescription addiction such a problem in the u.s. what is it about this country that has made addictions demick. well that's a great question and really that's the question that we ask in the movie that we're
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about five percent of the world's population but we're using eighty percent of the world's prescription hydrocodone which are in drugs like in norco and fifty percent of all the prescription drugs in general so this is just not happenstance this is a purposeful movement to get people to take medications and let's face it sick people are is a good business people that stay a long alive for a long period of time so when people stay alive and they have chronic disease these pills become the answer instead of just instead of a band-aid they become the answer for the problem sascha the u.s. is only one of two countries in the world other than new zealand that has direct to consumer advertising on prescription medicine how much of that do you think feeds into this problem. well it's a large problem you know it's very interesting this film to give a little background you know gregory approached me i'm a filmmaker screenwriter i normally do narrative films and i've never done
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a document is my first documentary so what part of the process was i knew the history of prescriptions based on what grade gave me and obviously we all have a family members and friends in this country that are on some type of medication but we started to investigate and unravel what went on and you know it was it was interesting because we really got to see how. how deep the rabbit hole went so to speak so direct to consumer as advertised just one of the aspects or several others is the f.d.a. i mean it just you know we started going deeper and deeper and i think one of the strengths of this film is that not only did we know going in what the you know the problems were with what's going on with prescription medication in this epidemic in the country but we kept continuously discovering more and more and more to even you know i was shocked personally and i think greg as well to what we did discover. is that you you went to him for the film as a doctor was there something that you saw on the field that made you want to make this movie. i'm just sick of seeing people dying i'm sick of seeing people be
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addicted to drugs when it's not necessary so it's sort of been a crusade of mine for quite some time and i met at a party when i was writing the book american addict. and so the discussion started and he said you should make a movie about this and about a year later we got back together and decided to do it but it's a it's an enormous problem it's unnecessary and it's really when you merge big business and people's health and we've seen time and time again where people's health and well being is trumped by big business it's a lose lose situation there in the film you guys go to undercover to a clinic to prove how easy it is to get these prescription pills what are these clinics and talk about your experience there well there's a sergeant steve offerman he directs a program called home which its sole responsibility is to you know take illegal drug pills and artificial pills off the streets that's an entirely different
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segment of of this of this problem which is the artificial fake pills are out on the streets but there's an entire you know there's entire medical medicare fraud aspect that goes on as well where people are using medicare medicaid getting . from victims everything from homeless people on the street to just you know normal individuals taking these pills selling into pharmacy selling on the street repackaging him for some pharmacies themselves are culpable in this i mean there's just so much in this i mean the bottom line is the patients that are suffering is is the main issue at hand but the illegal you know criminal aspect of it and how much you know three hundred billion is a number that they give us for the farms to be in school what they make you know this is what the companies make but there's you know a completely underground black market where there's millions and hundreds of millions are to be made as well so these are the two you know the two aspects of
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the film that we explore and i want to yeah of course i was going to say that what's really important understand is that the pharmaceutical problem the war the street drug problem i mean this there are three times as many people on these drugs than die from these drugs than heroin cocaine and methamphetamine combined so the war on drugs we're fighting the wrong war i mean the war should be against some of these pharmaceutical drugs that are killing people well to follow up on that gregory why do you think it is that the u.s. is spending millions of dollars and i want drugs to go after hard drugs like heroin cocaine and even marijuana meanwhile overseeing the production of illegal heroin with the drugs like oxycontin buycott and. that's a big question the short answer is it's big business i mean pharmaceutical companies make in credible amount of money the medications are legal so there is a combined investment to make sure that people are taking medications for
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a variety of ailments whether they need it long term or not it's really been a situation where people all across the country are taking medications for the long term and it's just it's all about the money. and i want to turn to you you know we used to be shocked to hear about. celebrities dying from speedballs mixing heroin and cocaine but now it's almost commonplace to hear about celebrities oh dean or even other people i mean i'm not i'm just saying celebrities an example here on some kind of prescription cocktail i get it never addressed the same way as hard drugs are how much is the media to blame for the culture of acceptance well the media is to blame and i just want to make another know we spend a lot of time in washington d.c. and one of the individuals interviewed in the film is dr sidney wolfe who is head of the f.d.a. advisory committee. in washington and he states in the film that the pharmaceutical country companies are the strongest lobby in america they pretty much get whatever
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they want they took it from the tobacco company and now the they are the masters and the they get so much money and this influence the media not only through direct to consumer advertising but also in the media itself you know bearing these crimes and we see a lot of celebrities were initially reports come out where it is prescriptions that are you know coded to their to their deaths but then later on when autopsies come out they you know give a concoction of some other elements or some other drugs and not really for grounding or emphasizing the you know that the prescription narcotics were a primary source of their death so the media is complicit we also see in movies and in television shows. this perpetual usage of pills through you know the stars of t.v. shows it's glorify and yes exactly actors and shows so that that much like cigarettes did you know thirty forty fifty years ago it makes children and other adults want
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to take those pills because they're seeing their favorite celebrities taking them but then when these same celebrities are dying they're not as i see that know exactly it's totally downplayed i'm really about to outline not really well gregory let's move on also let's elaborate on what really about the at da i mean let's talk about. how deep these pockets go how big is the big pharma lobbying machine in washington. well. most people feel like it's the number one lobby right now and when you look at the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and the f.d.a. it's a ludicrous relationship the f.d.a. is supposedly overseeing pharmaceutical companies to put out safe drugs but yet the same time they get around thirty thirty five percent of their budget from these same pharmaceutical companies that have to pay fees to the f.d.a. to get their drugs put on the market and often people think i'm costly bashing the
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f.d.a. the pharmaceutical companies there are good people that work and in both of these agencies and in pharmaceutical companies however i think that the interests of the people at the top of these pyramids are not always genuine and we've seen time and time again where medications are are put on the market that should never gotten on the market information studies are suppressed and then it isn't until the drug kills or maims enough people that you see the pharma super see the f.d.a. riding in on a white horse to take a drug off the market that should have never been on the market in the first place it's ludicrous. patents for life saving medication etc i just wanted to follow up because you're a doctor i mean i think a lot of people who visit a doctor proceed an ad on t.v. about restless leg syndrome or whatever else is on there and they're peddled certain drugs by the doctors seems like a vicious cycle is there any way to protect ourselves from becoming american addicks it's all about people educating themselves because you can't rely on
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television ads and even your doctor often enough to tell you exactly what to do and i'll get i'm not bashing the doctors sometimes doctors get a lot of their information from the pharmaceutical companies they are in twined in our medical schools and i was one of them i believe in. the conventional medical protein told about nine years ago when i saw that people simply weren't getting better and i had more and more people that i was treated for chronic pain becoming addicted to these medications and when i opened. myself it was a big difference thank you so much everyone check it out american addict it's on netflix you can find on line. dr gregory smith filmmakers thanks so much for coming on thank you thank you very much coming up on dissect obama's speech on an unsavory form stage. one is a triple a credit big call it is aaa credit there's only two or three countries the
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wrong the other aaa credit america is not aaa anymore most of your zone is. big aaa credit think about that with open transparent security creation and the ability to wipe out wall street with actual securities tributed caltrain matter to get truckloads of two point zero this is fantastic. us president barack obama's public opinion ratings are in the doldrums to make finish his days in office as one of the country's worst presidents how do historians and the public determine the success or failure of an american president and why are some presidents rehabilitated years or even decades after they leave all.
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earlier today obama gave his long awaited speech on n.s.a. reform unsurprisingly he rejected nearly all of the most important recommendations of his own review panel suggested in the wake of the snowden leaks bulk metadata collection is still a ok information will just be stored in a yet to be determined non-government site and intelligence agencies will have to receive judicial approval before accessing that database obama also hinted that privacy advocates would have some kind of role in contesting these data requests although as of now that role is completely unclear but considering that courts have rejected only point the review percent of all government surveillance inquiries somehow i don't think that judicial approval is going to be too difficult for the n.s.a. to manage so it's not about substantive reform what was the speech about what was a lot of this we're going to get a say though that if another nine eleven or massive cyber attack occurs they will
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be asked by congress in the media why they failed to connect the dots. did you feel the collective shiver of fear run across america just then let the really traumatization began in fact of the course of the forty five minute speech obama mentioned nine eleven times and said the words terrorist or terrorism sixteen times do i even have to reiterate that you're four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed in a terrorist attack in this country but don't worry words like transparency and accountability or mention a whopping one time each but hey this type of spying is all legal so moral objections to whatever the n.s.a. is doing doesn't really hold up in the court of law right mr constitutional law but i have. indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens. well except for a federal judge's recent ruling that this phone program was likely unconstitutional
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and as far as the complaints abroad about warrantless spying on citizens from germany brazil obama's got back covered. a number of countries including some who have loudly criticized the n.s.a. . privately acknowledge that america has special responsibilities as the world's only superpower. the classic american exceptionalism argument works every time i'm glad that everyone has apparently privately confirmed to you that the rights of their citizens don't apply when you're the world's only superpower and has obama reminded us there's nothing to fear from your friendly neighborhood and i say agent they're just as concerned about fourth amendment rights as the rest of us. so generously other intelligence agencies are our neighbors they're our friends and family. only maybe all this time i didn't realize or just nice old folks working at these intelligence agencies definitely not the kind of people that would want to murder their critics well except for that pesky edward snowden character that guy
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really needs to disappear right and speaking of snowden obama had some kind words for the man who started this whole mess in the first place. the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out is often shed more heat than light while revealing methods to our adversaries that could impact our operations in ways that we may not fully understand for years to come. more heat than light is the main heat on him or james clapper or keith alexander because i won't disagree there and frankly without snowden disclosures there is absolutely no way obama would have had to stand there today and try to defend unlimited unabated global survey once and of course we're just supposed to take the government's word for because there was not one specific detail in that speech of how these leaks have actually made america less safe but hey these kind of facts just don't fit the narrative that obama's trying to paint here remember it's bush's old story terrorists are all around us and will strike at any time and anywhere only only all encompassing global
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surveillance of every world citizen can stop them if instead of hope and change obama should have campaigned on despair and sameness. it's been over twelve years of u.s. military occupation in afghanistan making it the longest war in u.s. history and last year a tentative biological pact between kabul and washington was announced that could extend troop presence throughout the year twenty twenty four growing tensions between the u.s. and afghanistan have led afghan president karzai to delays signing the agreement and ongoing criminal incidents including the drone execution of afghans to civilians certainly aren't helping the situation just this week yet another air strike by coalition forces in north of bull has left an unknown number of civilians
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dead but yet another less explored aspect of this conflict is the u.s. government's gross mismanagement of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars that in many instances it actually ended up in the very same hands of the group the u.s. is fighting for over a decade it's a topic my next guest douglas a listing examines in his book funding the enemy how u.s. taxpayers bankroll the taliban douglas joined me earlier and i first asked him to elaborate on the exact amount that you has pretty much given it's ended up in the hands of the taliban. the u.n. security council or interim report last year indicated ten to twenty percent of all the international funds that went into afghanistan to get up in taliban hands. i don't know the time for all the international dollars but i think we're well over six hundred billion ourselves we're still spending about a billion and a half dollars we can afghan stand so
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a lot of money is getting into taliban and can you give us some examples of how this money is being administered and what pretense. will look at what i documented in the book funding the enemy and i went back to understand last year to see if anything had changed. is basically what i saw was a toxic network that connected ambitious american career as they were kind of out there punching their ticket for profit american corporations. corrupt afghan insiders kleptocrats and the taliban and then essentially everybody was in on the take when i was first out there soldiers started telling you we're funding our own enemy we would be driving around out in taliban country in armored vehicles and they started telling me these stories and as i got back started doing more research to confirm it with officers and digging into it that was indeed the case everybody's in on the take it's a a it's. it's
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a lie network and two thousand and one i remember a really bizarre story about the u.s. paying the taliban to quote switch sides seems really like an inconceivable concept to me what was the strategy because pretty much seems completely counterintuitive. it is counterintuitive that's a good word for it. the way the system often works i can give you a couple of an example a couple of examples and there's a very recent one that came out there's an enormous dam and canal system in in southern afghanistan and helmand primarily that is called the good jackie down and that was put in with american money back in the one nine hundred sixty s. when the united states in the soviet union were vying for. influence in afghanistan an enormous project. and it was supposed to bring water to that desert and what it did by the time we get to the twenty first century and and our war there is it's it
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is watering the greek poppy fields of the world the opium poppy fields so you have poppies to that horizon afghanistan is now the world's largest producer of opium poppy. about ninety percent of the total so that could jackie down and not many for of course first we bombed it when we and then we started rebuilding because that's where the real money is so we have hired these for profit corporations to bring in and. hundreds of millions of dollars worth of. generators and whatnot and they get jackie down is about we've got about five hundred million in that jackie dam now. there is a third turban that was delivered in two thousand and eighty but we've never been able to install it because it's surrounded by the taliban it's completely taliban controlled country and brought up opium which was my next question a really really interesting. of the taliban and nearly
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a radical of the crop now ninety percent of the world's heroin or opium comes from afghanistan i mean i find it hard to believe that with the guard post and surveillance drones monitoring afghanistan that the opium supply route wouldn't be able to be stopped or at least tracked if the government really cared about fighting a war on drugs what's your opinion and how much of this war is about protecting or even overseeing the opium trade. well i think this is an example. that i've been talking to voters. the insiders are certain personal. of the opium trade and the warlords empowered when we first came in there were essentially opium lords those are the same people are still involved with the treaty and suddenly the taliban gets their part of the government officials get their hurt. you know i also reckon back to an article one hundred thousand plus private contractors in there
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the pentagon was asked what the hell they're doing there and they didn't really have a definitive answer have we figured that out yet what the private contractors are doing on the ground. well in some cases almost nothing i mean if you want to have an opportunity to really perfect your craft skills that's the place to do it because they are. it's it's hilarious how little you know and i'm speaking of all and i should say i've dealt with lots and lots of extraordinary rages are equal but it's it's ridiculous out there people just i sat across from one contractor in kandahar one of the missiles and her kind of eyes and you started to another contractor and he said we've got to keep this we are going you know we're making so much money you know that's just the way it is these folks are making enormous amounts of money i spoke with a letter that was that he had been offered i believe it was two hundred twenty five
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thousand or two hundred fifty thousand dollars a year to train drivers to i didn't come on board unbelievable and i was i mean the more they are talking about this more does seem like the war is just meant to be sustained i mean we know about the potential pact that will keep troops there until two thousand and twenty four i mean tensions between washington bore rising such after the recent u.s. airstrike that killed an unknown number of civilians there how do you think that these drone strikes they're continuing are going to affect the so-called strategic pact that karzai is kind of pushing right now. i think the drowning strikes are every recruitment tool for the insurgency revenge is a major cornerstone of the past in culture they don't forget these things so if you're if your cousin is killed they're not going to forget that there's a great western saying about it i took my revenge after one hundred years and i
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mean the sorry i did it so soon people have long memories. these people don't have a lot of things they have relationships. i was douglas withing author of funding enemy how u.s. taxpayers bankroll the taliban. thanks for watching everyone see you monday when i break the sat all over again next week. there is so little self reflection on the part of both the american public and then american decision makers i wonder why is that we are in the continental sause the country of three hundred fifteen million people very self-absorbed we are. slated from the world by two large oceans. we're trying to think of foreign policy is something we do to other people rather than that but something we
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participate in. millions around the globe struggle with hunger each good. what if someone offers a lifetime food supply no charge only in the cherry sub take in the very strong position against g.m.o. and we think that. the genetic anymore the fight products are a priest tool tool there is no. evidence to this any problem with genetic engineering when you make a deal. or is free cheese always in a most track i don't believe that that destroyed. and that free. enterprise is profit not the. not for social justice golden
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rice monarchy. as a new physician i swear to abide by the hippocratic oath. to the best of my ability and judgment. i will prescribe for the good of my patients. i will not give deadly doses to anybody. or advise others to do so. i will never do harm to the. doctors of the docs are too. weak. for that on june sixteenth one thousand forty one we had
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a graduation party at school and the war broke out. the shops were always full of goods we. were in september leningrad was blocked. one day mom went and saw that all the shelves were empty. in november they bombed the die of steel warehouses it was the main storage place for all the food in the city people eating the earth because it had small traces of sugar in it i tried to eat it as well but i couldn't. do it the third night it was incredibly heavy bombing. it was a direct hit on that very shelter and everyone was buried under me and. all of them were dead.
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these rockets could have never been fired from government controlled territory i suppose from. america's claims that the government was behind a chemical weapons of time near the capital damascus last august. officials from mosco visit gone tunneled a prison seeking to negotiate the release of a russian national who's been held for years without challenge just lying to the majority of detainees and. together they can continue with sweeping surveillance president obama's into separate plans to reform the n.s.a.'s acts if it sees all dismissed as a limited p.r. stunt.

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