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tv   Sophie Co  RT  August 20, 2018 1:30pm-2:01pm EDT

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the sheriff's to politicians use it to justify iraq now the agencies are again the world in a political scandal i know you pride yourself on your colleagues for being patry atsic nonpolitical but can you really be about politics in this line of work i mean that sounds kind of like fairytale almost. i think it's a standard you have to strive for i've been a lifelong political independent for that reason that you outline that it's crucial for intelligence officers to be independent and objective and serve the country not just the president and the government but we are also all citizens now they. are taxpayer funded they have no private sector competition appointments there are made by politicians how can all that not be politicized. actually the in the intelligence profession all of our officers are career professionals we spend our entire career inside the agency in my case i was undercover for my twenty
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three years in the cia living abroad for most of those years and frankly i really felt it was not that difficult to me maintain my impartiality and and i think you have to do that whether you're collecting information or analyzing your disseminating it which is the central mission of intelligence you have to maintain an ability to tell your policymakers the truth in other words speak truth to power so is it right for an intelligence professional to be vying for a high political office for instance the media in the us are saying that director of the cia my pump may be replacing secretary of state rex tillerson saying is it steering too much into political territory. so there is always a healthy discussion about the idea of particularly former intelligence professionals getting involved in politics i personally don't agree with that
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as a principle for the same reason for military officers getting involved in politics but peo was a representative who and often are cia directors or they are political appointees point he's and he's in a long line of cia directors who are political appointees and that is the way our system operates just like many of our bastards overseas are lined politically always with the president so i don't find that worrisome or disturbing i think it's much more important that the the ranks of the intelligence officers remain professionalized how much freedom does cia have the means to sessions i mean for instance bush administration ran torture prisons and then obama came in and closed them does agency has the power to decide for itself whether it needs things like that and whether it's ethical to. that's a great question sophia i feel the intelligence community has
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a good set of guidelines it starts with a given set of authorities we have in other words we can conduct certain activities are we call our mission without special authority for example the mission of espionage is a core intelligence mission of all intelligence services we can do that without seeking approval when we do something like interrogation or enhanced interrogation or have prisons that requires actually what we call a covert action finding that if you have requires a a finding from our department of justice that we can do that activity as well as some very strict legal guidelines that are laid out in writing for the agency to follow and at the times when we we run afoul of that when we when we are accused of crossing the line we're held accountable by whatever standard has been laid out by our department of justice and our other authorities that are above us now they involve government agencies in this presidential election someone starting from the f.b.i. role in a clinton e-mail is now the trump investigation investigating both candidates and
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being quite public about it. it's in president it unprecedented isn't it i mean why has the intelligence community taken on this risible and political role this time around. i agree with you actually i find it very regrettable very concerned about the politicization of intelligence i do agree it's happening to some extent i think the f.b.i. and the cia are still very reliable organizations that that are following their their guidelines i still have complete trust and confidence in the organizations but you're right there's the questions do arise and it's because of the highly politicized nature of our domestic politics right now between the republicans and the democrats and between those who support the president those who don't support the president so i agree it's a very concerning time and i think it's going to be a time when we in a way redefine our limits you know what is the proper role of the cia and the
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f.b.i. in the in our domestic affairs and we've learned in our history from the past that we should stay out of american politics and the house intelligence committee has released a republican numinous report which contains allegations that f.b.i. and let the judge in obtaining permission to spy on trump's presidential campaign this report has already been branded inaccurate and is a part of the blame game or is there some substance to this. personally i think it's the blame game that's my personal view the new paper in my view is a republican version of cherry picking the facts as they choose to present them and now i understand there's another version circulating the democratic version i frankly find that whole process to be regrown also not something i'm proud of as an american i'd prefer to see both parties sit down this and discuss these things not in the public eye without declassifying or releasing classified information i think
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all of that is not something as an american citizen that i would endorser or say is a good thing especially with trump's election things haven't been like they used to be before like from what i understand about the american system the nation's foreign policy is largely decided in the white house and the state department and then there's a congress in the senate and they're more preoccupied with internal matters this time congress is so active in pushing its foreign policy vision on the president why. well i think that's true generally sophia and of course we also have the national security council and unlike russia and some other countries china and others that have more continuity in foreign policy work and making we don't do largely through the political nature of our system we were in for a year cycles for a large a large part of that which is consumed with electioneering and campaigning i think that's a weakness of our system i still of course believe in the representative government
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idea that we that we sacrifice this continuity of stability in our policymaking but it is it is a vulnerability or a weakness and you can really see it right now because. largely because we're dealing with unprecedented issues that we've never had to consider we've never had such an aggressive intelligence attack if you will on the american democratic institutions and or in our election process that we just had in the previous election that has caused a great deal of this i think soul searching inside the u.s. so we've come now to the. the trump russia story you said yourself there's no hard evidence yet yet of trump straight on collision with russia so why does the public believe it to be a fax and the media in america reports that as a fact and also. i hope the american people or the media don't believe it as a fact sophie i i see it as the facts are clear
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that for whatever reason and i question why the russian intelligence services. attacked our system so aggressively but i think that as a fact i don't i don't think that's the nihil the question then is what did that do and what impact did that have on the results of the election and for what reason did russian intelligence conduct that activity i don't have the answers to those questions and i won't speculate because i think that would be irresponsible i think we have to determine what happened and then decide what happened on the basis of the evidence and i don't think we're there yet but that's the thing i don't know that anyone has presented the evidence and then the facts have been presented to the public by intelligence agencies and i can probably has been misled intentionally or not by its intelligence community many times like i am i'm thinking w m d's in iraq for instance since the consequences of that are still felt
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fifteen years or so why really wholehearted face in what the intelligence is telling them about russia now especially what you're saying it's a fact but every time russia asks to show them the facts they they they are unable to provide them. just like with iraq i think that's a legitimate i think that's a legitimate accusation sophie to the extent that it puts pressure on the us intelligence community to do something it's hard to do which is to present the if you will the secret facts or the story i don't even know frankly the secret story because i don't have a reason i need to know that as a retired cia officer however if they do present the facts there's a risk of of compromising what we call sources and our methods which would of course not not be good so the question is how much evidence should be provided to the american people i'm personally and i stress this is my personal view an
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advocate of declassifying as much information as possible and presenting it to the american people and to present it. to the russian government i think we really need to initiate a process that we negotiate an end to this kind of aggressive cyber hacking and interference in our one another's domestic affairs if president putin believes the u.s. is interfering in russian domestic affairs or internal affairs it's not a good approach to interfere in our affairs in order to get us to stop doing it so i think it's in the interest of both sides a sit down and and talk this over and try to avoid a repetition of what happened in two thousand and sixteen in the future. ok let's take a short break right now and when we're back we'll continue talking to cia veteran ralph larson discover a spy agencies position and it's today squalls tensional states and.
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uses to. put themselves on the line. to get accepted or rejected. so when you want to be president and you. want to be. to going to be for us this is what the full story of the beautiful. interstate or was it belongs in
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the. city. you know world of big. logs and conspiracy it's time to wake up to dig deeper to get the stories that mainstream media refuses to tell more than ever we need to be smarter we need to stop slamming the door on the shouting past each other it's time for critical thinking it's time to fight for the middle for
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the truth the time is now we're watching closely watching the hawks. now we're back with cia battering ralph while what larson former top cia official and a two decade veteran of the agency tell you about the spy bureau's role in today's united states internal and external policies are all from michael powell has just recently met had so fresh us intelligence verus to protect the american people as
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he put it so hostile us awake threat naming sanctions aside russia and the u.s. are still programatic enough to work together on some issues right. well that's right sophia it's really important that professionals in the intelligence business not cease cooperation even at the hardest times we have a long history between the u.s. and russia that goes back in the soviet days of setting aside our most grievous complaints against one another to cooperate in areas like counterterrorism and sometimes on counterintelligence and other issues that impact on both on our bilateral relations and i applaud the recent meeting of the three russian intelligence visits chiefs in washington with director pompei and others i think it's a great move toward to reinforce the idea that we must continue to cooperate in areas of common interest to both countries now obviously the congress is up in arms there
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as an american intelligence she was meeting why would the law makers be against is if it does bring tangible results in the fight against terrorism. well i know some people in congress and i interact quite a bit with congress too if you will inform and advise specifically on the areas that we need to talk with one another to continue keeping our country safe both of our countries that's in american interest to not see any russians die in terrorist attacks as it is in russian interest to prevent any terrorist attacks in the united states or elsewhere in the world so i don't think there's any dispute on that in congress and i think maybe some of the posturing is frankly political as opposed to substantive i haven't heard anyone say we shouldn't be talking to one another on counterterrorism issues democrat senator chuck schumer has demanded publicly naming everyone who had contact with their russian intelligence delegation and we want that sort of all across the board disclosure being damaging for the
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nation. yes i think it sends the wrong message if if i were to talk to senator schumer i would i would certainly urge him not to politicize you talked about politicizing intelligence earlier this would be an example of it if we don't do this cooperation with it but between one another in areas such as. exchanging information and analysis on the terrorist groups and their activity whether it's in syria or around the world in the caucasus in them in the u.s. we should all be fired so we have to have the courage to do that it's in my experience of i was involved in the earliest if you will lays on work between the u.s. and russia at the time of the breakup of the soviet union and i don't recall a time when three intelligence chiefs all came together to washington such as just happen and so i take it as a very positive signal of
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a desire to do more and i hope both sides can find the strength to do that. this is just a chance for politicians to be loughton t.v. friendly blaming spies right and left because on the other hand surely they must care about the actual issues of national security right yes i hope so and i have i have a deep respect for senator schumer and i i quite i would question this based on what i've seen in the media and i hope behind it all it's not a seriously questioning why we would be doing this at this time i would also add that again this is a somewhat unorthodox view for someone like me i'm not a believer in applying sanctions to people that are doing their jobs we have a long history of of trying to avoid that sort of politicization of intelligence so i think we try to have to try to find out find a way to deescalate the politicization of intelligence activity it would help again
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if both sides particularly in this case i would have to put more pressure on the russian side to stop interfering in u.s. domestic affairs with intelligence activity and that would set a better environment to deescalate the rising tensions on a political level that this fact that intelligence committees on capitol hill have been briefed about this mean that the administration has no trust in congress. i don't think i would go that far sophia i think it reflects the very sharp political dividing lines right now in our country and not just between the democrats and republicans but between within the parties themselves i think the democrats are struggling to reestablish their identity to decide what hard or wing of the democratic party will move forward into the next election cycles and i think the republican party is trying to decide how much should supports the president
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some do some don't as you know i'm not the true betraying any secrets here so i think there is there are various conflict and tensions and instabilities within both parties again having watched this for much of my over sixty years i have seen other times in our country when we've seen just as confused and days and we generally emerge out of it stronger than we enter that so i'm overall confident that we'll get out of this phase that we're in stronger than we were before we entered it so one terror attack has already been prevented thanks to the cia sharing intelligence with moscow and put it has personally thanked the americans for their help in that how does that work what the intelligence agencies i mean how do you coppery it on some matters when there is general mistrust and as to lady i mean how do you know you're not being caught i think that's a great question and i love that question. yeah well i love the question because it gets back to the heart of what we are what what i hope we are and what we strive to be and even on our on the days we don't we don't reach this ethics i would call it
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of intelligence our basic motto our basic if you will standard is we have a duty to warn we have a duty to warn anybody anywhere in the world if they might their lives might be threatened by terrorist activity and of course in my time at cia working in counterterrorism i personally instructed my officers to analyze and then provide the russian government with information that i believe prevented attacks on russian citizens during my time so i consider that a high one of our best days any time we help one another prevent attacks where people might be killed obviously and so that's that's a great story and as we've done before this is just fortunately on this occasion there's a little bit of recognition that it happened and i think that's a good thing so do you think the recent pentagon military doctrine shift from the war on terror to great power while great with china and russia given higher
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priority now means that the cia's anti terror effort will fall to her. i don't think so sophia because terrorism is not going away we fact i'm a little worried right now because every time there's been a relative lull in activity such as we've seen since a little bit of reduction of conflict in syria recently there's been a rebound and then the terrorists every merged in a new form so i'm not in any way believer in the idea that we were past this threat of terrorism i think at the same time the great power rivalry doesn't necessarily imply that we're enemies again or that we're back to a cold war i think in a way whether you're that you apply this idea of rivalry to china or russia it's a recognition that both countries should be taken seriously and that their interests are sometimes a threat to the united states but i would describe it more as competition than adversarial. i've heard former cia officials lament the fact that the agency has
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fewer resources now than sure in the cold war but does new technology like the n.s.a. surveillance mean that fewer people are needed at the agency anyway. i generally am not a person that believes that intelligence resources are insufficient i think we have plenty of resources and we have to be smarter in how we go about things as you as you indicated technology helps leverage we can leverage technology to as afore we call a force multiplier that makes us stronger there are other ways to do it too i don't think numbers is often the way to attack a problem i think we need smart people we need people who have the authorities they need the resources they need to do their jobs but i don't think the numbers indicate whether we have enough coverage in other words i believe or the u.s. intelligence community we have some we have sixteen different intelligence and it is within the what we call our intelligence community we have plenty of capability
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i think where we need to make more efforts is in how we decide what we do and then being more efficient in going about our missions so will the agency have less need for gathering old fashioned cold war style human intelligence like i don't know talking to someone or infiltrating a guerrilla camp control like hacking is dropping on phone conversations intercepting e-mails spying would. replace the human intelligence component. well you're talking to an old school person so i don't feel i need to reform my thinking at this point my life so i'd have to answer you by saying there's always room there's been room for of thousands of years for old spice old fashioned espionage spies go back to biblical times and you know as long as there are humans on the earth there's a need to know what our if you will competitors and adversaries are thinking and human spies will never be replaced by cyber or hacking or any other killer drones
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or any other technology in fact in the one nine hundred ninety s. in my view are the u.s. intelligence can community became too enamored with what i call national technical means whether that was satellites or other things to replace human intelligence we thought the world changed after the collapse of the soviet union and it had we're still living in the same world i was born in the one nine hundred fifty four so i believe to answer your question we're always going to need understanding of adversaries and even some of our friends plans and intentions because by having that knowledge will make better decisions and also if you like more technology progresses we're typewriters and old special letters are the safest thing out there still anyway as well thank you so much as it is and to your i thank you so much for this interview this wonderful insight always show you all the best of luck or talk until ralph larsen two decades cia veteran former moscow station chief about the
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cia's relationship with the trumpet ministration and its role in today's coude a quilt that's set for the senate see you next. difficulty. opening up a bit. in the film. yasi will give you the scoop because we. were talking to this. about them. at l.f. i think i last did it one on the list immediately each i disliked it.
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but a lot of any of us thought i was good but i'm looking at him as art and i was up the money into the magazine about having to. tell you the longing i like mom was almost. to say to me. place of israel off the wall that was if you made. other people would go from zero zero zero zero. was really not that way at least i. feel. when a loved one is murder it's natural to seek the death penalty for the murder i would prefer it be willing to the death penalty just because i think that's the p.r. thing the right thing research shows that for every nine executions one convict
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respond innocent the idea that we were executing innocent people is terrifying the is just no really the present and that we hear even many victims' families want the death penalty to be abolished the reason we have to keep the death penalty here is because that's what murder victim's families what that's going to give them peace that's going to give them justice and we come in and say. not quite enough we've been through this this isn't the way. i've been saying the numbers mean something they matter the u.s. has over one trillion dollars in debt more than ten white collar crimes happen each day. eighty five percent of global wealth you long to be ultra rich eight point six percent market saw thirty percent just last year some with four hundred to five
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hundred three per cent at the first second and bitcoin rose to twenty thousand dollars. china is building a two point one billion dollar ai industrial park but don't let the numbers overwhelm. the only numbers you need to remember one one doesn't show you can't afford to miss the one and only. now finally into the non-static and atlanta now has a little bit on talent on to the final bell player line and if any of you would be that easy to find it turned out and it may. be a plus is that going to take plus to people whom it didn't play but i thought it might have been my little bit of a lot of fun now that i little bit out of the fact that i don't have money coming no doubt much of the way for the market not to get it but
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a place to sit and one day it's like lose lose some footage of the plane. plane to see planes you can get no problem playing . meet.
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moscow accuses u.n. chiefs of secretly blocking its own agencies from helping repair serious conflict good economy. also this hour a teenage girl who escaped her slave men from iceland claims she's been came face to face with a copper in germany where she'd slept for safety we spoke to my boss called the police i told them i'd never imagined possible for an idol fighter to be in germany however the police were unable to trace his name. and an american defense spending factures photo publicity stunt backfires as twitter users send in some home truths about the company's problems in yemen.


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