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tv   [untitled]    December 18, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EST

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were. coming up on our t.v. journalist to help reveal the expansion of n.s.a. surveillance testifies before the e.u. parliament committee glenn greenwald shared what he believes to be the n.s.a.'s ultimate goal we'll tell you what he said just ahead. and senator john mccain goes rogue again overseas is trip to ukraine is the latest on the senator traveling to troubled nation is to exert foreign influence more on the maverick and his thirst for war coming up. in the past decade newspaper circulations have faltered now a gallup poll shows that only twenty three percent of americans have any confidence in newspapers this while the current owner of the washington post offers his cloud services to the cia more on these developments later in the show.
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it's wednesday december eighteenth five pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sachs and you're watching r.t. and we begin with breaking news the white house has released a report written by a review board set up to investigate possible n.s.a. abuses it included forty six specific recommendations to reform the n.s.a. recommendation one was to limit section two fifteen of the patriot act forcing the government to submit focused requests for data rather than bulk collection that's important the review board also called on the n.s.a. to transition away from story data on its own to having that data stored by private companies which the n.s.a. can go to for specific requests also the report calls on the n.s.a. to stop undermining encryption standards as revealed by edward snowden there are a number of other recommendations. including organizational changes to the n.s.a.
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and reforms to the top secret buys a court the electronic frontier foundation which has been fighting the n.s.a. in court releases this statement in response to these recommendations saying we're disappointed that the recommendations suggest a path to continued un targeted spying mass surveillance is still heinous even if private companies servers are holding the data instead of government data senators senators. will continue to follow this new development meanwhile the man who brought edward snowden's n.s.a. documents to the world glenn greenwald testified today in front of a european union parliament committee looking into n.s.a. surveillance on you citizens and he had some harsh words for governments working with the n.s.a. . and governments are devoted to the elimination of privacy rome what is the u.s. the u.k. and its three partners are not clearly devoted to doing that has profound consequences
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but we're everybody who gets electronically greenwald who's in possession of the cache of n.s.a. documents obtained by edward snowden revealed what he believes to be the n.s.a.'s ultimate goal and he also made it clear that the n.s.a. is activities go far beyond counterterrorism throughout the n.s.a. guy. here is teaching us with all sorts of references to the fact that the goal of the n.s.a. is captured by the phrase called leptin all yesterday in an interview with a.b.c. news greenwald promised more reporting on the n.s.a. noting that only a small fraction of the documents have been published and that there are still very significant stories to come meanwhile in the united states one of the n.s.a.'s top defenders senator dianne feinstein the chairwoman of the senate intelligence committee made some surprising comments about the n.s.a.'s bulk phone metadata collection program suggesting she may be open to reforming it after all. this
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program in conjunction with other programs helps keep this nation safe i'm not saying it's indispensable but i'm saying that it is going to work and it is a major tool in ferreting out a potential terrorist attack i'm not saying it's indispensable her words that is a backtrack her comments come after a federal court here in washington d.c. ruled this week that the phone metadata collection may be unconstitutional they also come as tech companies many that have participated in these n.s.a. spying programs lobbied the white house on tuesday for aggressive n.s.a. reforms and of course the n.s.a. review panel released its findings this afternoon calling for broad changes to surveillance programs so change may actually be coming to the n.s.a. after all. now on to ukraine where the united states is trying to influence the protests that have been seen on the streets in that country over the last month senator john mccain went on one of his famous or infamous diplomat kiev
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where he met with opposition leaders and protesters and pushed for closer ties with the european union mccain whether the state department likes it or not has become a maverick ambassador to the world in recent years though often with not so satisfactory results as abby all hisor points out this week in the wire when john mccain comes to town talking freedom disaster ensues most recently mccain was in cairo august following the egyptian military coup since then protests have continued in that country as well as the violent crackdown now the former democratically elected president mohamed morsi is facing terrorism charges that could result in his execution. also mccain visited syria back in may where he met with the rebels and became the biggest supporter of arming the opposition in the syrian civil war since then that opposition has been routed and far more el radical elements of the opposition are exerting more and more control and initiating
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violence within the ranks mccain also met with rebels in libya back in april of two thousand and eleven specifically he met with them in benghazi and we all know what happened there later so it seems like wherever mccain goes the situation deteriorates which doesn't bode well for ukraine and one has to wonder how a senator like john mccain has garnered such respect in the senate when it comes to foreign policy today the united states is nearing a nuclear deal with iran but just a few years ago this was senator mccain solution to the situation in iran and then over an old beach boys song bomb iran. but anyway had i. at i think iran is a great threat. to cheating there ever a ship where a nuclear weapon mccain was also one of the voices who thought the war in iraq would be a cakewalk it wasn't the also that the later troop surge in iraq that he supported
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was responsible for a drop off in violence it wasn't instead it was the sunni awakening which happened several months before the surge and as most u.s. troops have left iraq today mccain back in two thousand and eight was calling for a much longer occupation of that country. president bush has talked about our seeing in iraq for fifty years maybe one hundred is that long it's been in we've been in south korea we've been in japan for sixty years we've been in south korea for fifty years or so that be fine with me and make it one hundred so the question is why is john mccain's interventionist foreign policy which is subscribed to by many elected lawmakers still taken seriously well earlier i spoke with j.d. to chile managing editor at reason twenty four seven and i wanted to know is john mccain the foreign policy kiss of death you know i would say pretty much. if nothing else he goes into a country to open his mouth and he gives
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a local authority and regimes great cover to say they're local nationalists look something leaned on by the us you know this is what set up an area obvious we don't want to go into keynes direction even when he's right i accidents he doesn't they're always a bull in a china shop so he does an enormous damage at that around the world well mccain isn't the only one who sort of subscribes to this belief lindsey graham is with him on a lot of these issues and connecticut's democratic senator chris murphy when with mccain to ukraine this week how is this hyper interventionist ideology still agenda mys despite its disastrous effects that we've seen over the last several years. because more than anything it plays to the local t.v. audience and plays the media in the united states i'm not even sure that it's intended to that effect on the international stage and certainly it's counterproductive in many cases on the international stage however it makes headlines you and i are talking about him and that gets the politicians in front of the camera and it gets them into newsprint and that may be the end goal for at
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least a couple of these guys anyway when it comes to ukraine specifically mccain is aligned himself with an opposition party and a leader that has some questionable nationalist anti-semitic past. he just basically is stepping into a complicated situation here what's he hoping to accomplish you know that's a great question are you right now you've got a three way trade struggle going on ukraine is caught the middle the government there has a lot of problems it's also going on and of evil situation and the people in the streets of our legitimate demands but an american politician steps into a situation like that and start throwing his weight around and give the he gives the local government some cover to resist the americans may help to pull up the national fervor a nationalist fervor and it's it complicates the actual argument you can place in that country it doesn't do anybody any favors they have a problem that as a result locally it's not something that john mccain is going to fix with nearly went to war with syria a few months back the president came very close to launching military strikes
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something that mccain and company have been calling for for more than a year now does that suggest that despite the rhetoric coming from president obama about diplomacy in the importance of diplomacy that this white house is a lot closer to mccain's interventionist thinking that lets on. well you know we've had continuous form of foreign policy continuity i would say at least since two thousand that is no particular reason to draw a bright line between bush administration foreign policy and obama administration foreign policy is fine to think there's a difference in the detail and emphasis but the fundamental premises are the same it's interventionist our seats militaristic and it's one that sees its goals as being one with troops or these days with rome's the president right now is pushing back against criticism he's received from the interventionist far right on this potential for an iranian nuclear deal but this deal wouldn't have been possible had the president gone through with military strikes in syria isn't that right. well
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i'm not sure what kind of a deal is going to is going to come out of this but these discussions have been ongoing for years are our regimes will be brought to the table with threats of course they are that mean that you're achieving you're in goals with threats to the people on the ground the people in the streets are better off at the end of the day because you've threatened you should weapons that i think is more complicated if we look at these international conferences and whether the pressure is roughly interventionist on the right and the left because this tends to be a shared fetish the end result tends to be something it's the headlines with politicians meeting but the people actually suffer are going to be a little more anonymous and those are the people of in the streets on the ground if decade of war that we've seen increasing extremism so we've had we've gone on this war on terror for more than ten years as a result we've seen an increase in extremism the loss of huge amounts of treasure the amount of money we've thrown into this war on terror and intervention if all of
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this isn't enough to stop the interventionist when they go out there and call for us to go into another country then what will what will it take for people like john mccain and lindsey graham to see error in their ways. pushing them aside there's no way that people who have who have based their careers this type of god policy this kind of goal are going to renounce it decided that it's are rarely are they going to renounce it decided they've been in error for decades they're going to push that aside we have spent a vast amount of money we spend currently somewhere around the forty percent of total military spending on the planet comes from this country and yes extremism has written there has risen around the world we have not achieved a safer planet i would say the foreign policy that we've been pursuing has failed they're not going to admit that you know we need to push with them aside but different people in place to implement a different foreign policy change need to chose a managing editor at reason twenty four seven thank you we're going to syria where there are growing concerns over rampant lawlessness and violence at the hands of extremists working within the opposition or terabit corresponded aboutalebi albo
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hia has more. terror still fills the hearts of those who witnessed the militants and during the town of hadera they saw panic disoriented people running for their lives and they ran themselves they will never forget the despair in the eyes of those who were forced to stay behind we have no reliable way to communicate with the people trapped inside out but officials are saying the atrocities against the civilian population are continuing people are being butchered and even burned alive and every bit of news coming out of the town is dealing a new blow to those whose families are still being held by the militants everyone working for the local authorities was to be killed regardless of their religion or do nomination they were all taken to be killed they took everyone even those who supported neither the government nor the rebels they were all either tortured killed or used as human shields the things being done in a drawer unthinkable they're slaughtering children and throwing them out of windows
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and no one's doing anything about it syrian authorities say they have evidence confirming that massacres have taken place and address a dad led taqiyya and many other areas which remain under the control of the armed opposition the situation in syria has now deteriorated to the point that international norms of combat are no longer being observed. there is an industrial town with a lot of the president's working both in the private sector and for government agencies horrifying crimes have been committed in this town houses who are set on fire with people trapped inside the syrian army which is positioned just outside the town continues to carry out surgical strikes as part of their effort to liberate address which is now the only hope of the families waiting for news of their loved ones inside the town. r t along with the reports of indiscriminate massacres there are concerns that relations between
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christians and muslims in syria and the rest of the middle east are rapidly deteriorating in fact prince charles spoke about this topic in london this week telling a reception for middle east christians that we have now reached a crisis where bridges are rapidly being the liberally destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so we cannot ignore the fact that christians in the middle east are increasingly being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist islamic militants i spoke earlier with ahmed fatah middle east analyst and i asked him what was behind what prince charles referred to as the deliberate burning of bridges in the middle east. we have to take into consideration that from two thousand and three and the us invasion to iraq the balance of powers and again the balance of. countries relationships have fallen apart we have to recall that there was more than one million iraqi christians who have
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been forced out of their countries right now in syria we have a total population of two million christians living there and out of those two million population about forty five thousand have fled the country. about eighteen months ago there was the bishop of the matter night church in lebanon who is a supporter of the regime and he spoke very bluntly about the whole situation that his biggest fear is to witness in syria what will happen what has happened before in iraq so yes i agree with his royal highness prince charles and his and that energy that there is a deliberate action to bring down the relationships the muslim christians relationship into a. stage we this is very evident in iraq in syria and in egypt as
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well it's so with the u.s. it's been meddling in the middle east for decades and over the last decade actively engaging in warfare in several countries in the middle east are you saying that that exacerbates the problem of violence against christians do extremists see these populations as extensions of the west extensions of the united states. no it's not it's not like that it is perceived from the i would call them the mickey mouse organizations such as the jemaah islamiyah or the islamic state in the iraq and the levant such as al qaeda such as the salafi movement that's now mushroomed all over the sunni world across the middle east these all while seemingly are independent lysine and media don't have a central command in reality they all act and think they have a very clear message you just have to follow the. rhetoric in the countries that
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they operate in that they are anti christian anti jews anti even muslims who might be secular or who might be shiites or home i'd be not agreeing hundred percent on the other five dogma achmed what are the consequences of a christian free syria or more broadly even a christian free middle east if this continues well now we have a christian free iraq if the little event which is referred to as syria lebanon and palestine this is all have been emptied from the christians. will not to overrule that the ten million plus christians in egypt will also be next to follow will not overloaded the. christians in jordan also will and will follow this this is very sad we are being captured as hostages by these other five
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movements these seem to be separate yet the united. what do you make of how the u.s. is responding to this issue given the conflicting interests here for example in syria you have the assad government which has been friendly to the christian communities but the u.s. is opposed to the assad government instead favors the rebels which we're now seeing factions of the rebels not being friendly to christians can u.s. even play a role in mitigating this problem. nobody understands what the us. game . this at this time in the middle east the us the first time in a very long time. perceived in the middle east even by its strongest allies such as saudi arabia and egypt as an unreliable box and this is quite harsh i have not heard of such harsh criticism what do u.s. government probably since the height of the anti american sentiment in.
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the middle east in the sixty's and the seventy's. this is unheard of the u.s. unfortunately does not have a game plan and the u.s. is dealing with the situation there in a very amateurish very inexperienced and very shadowy way in approaching the this is the whole situation that was middle east analysts that foster thank you. the senate foreign relations committee is set to consider a new bill that could have wide ranging implications for u.s. foreign assistance take a look at this it's today's business meeting agenda for the senate foreign relations committee and right at the top of the list is something called the egypt assistance reform act of twenty thirteen officials within the white house have been working with the senate committee to get this bill passed which could loosen restrictions on u.s. aid to countries experiencing a military coup according to section seven zero zero eight of the twenty twelve
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state department and foreign operations appropriations law none of the funds appropriated shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat this law complicated things earlier this year when egypt's democratic government was overthrown by the military and the us was forced into reconsidering its heavy foreign aid contributions to that country obama administration has been careful not to use the word coup to describe what occurred in egypt as a result of that law but this new law soon to be under consideration in the senate would scrap section seven zero zero eight and allow post-coup countries to apply for a waiver to continue receiving aid from the united states unclear what hurdles the law could face both within the full senate and the house. will be on the washington
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post is dealing with a conflict of interest questions that newspaper was recently acquired by jeff bezos the founder and c.e.o. of amazon and as c.e.o. of amazon bezos recently signed a six hundred million dollar contract with the cia to provide cloud computing infrastructure the six hundred million that bezos is getting from the cia eclipses the two hundred fifty million he paid to buy the washington post newspaper and there are questions over whether or not this deal could affect the washington post reporting on cia matters here's bezos responding on sixty minutes. does that present any complex for you the fact that you provide the cloud that the cia uses for its data i don't think so we're building what's called a private cloud for them charlie because they don't want to be on the public cloud but here is what former washington post reporter jon hanrahan told the huffington post quote one thing is certain post reporters and editors are aware that bezos as
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majority owner of amazon has a financial stake in maintaining good relations with the cia and this sends a clear message to even the hardest nosed journalist that making the cia look bad might not be a good career move washington post isn't the only newspaper that's seeing its reputation question in fact americans are losing confidence in all newspapers is a gallup poll found back in june only twenty three percent of americans almost a new historic low have confidence in newspapers so what does this mean for journalism and news media in general i spoke earlier with jeff cohen journalism professor at ithaca college about this issue and i first asked him whether or not the washington post should disclose amazon's contract with the cia when reporting on the agency it had his company and its hundred million dollar contract now you told me that regularly the washington post here acknowledge the basic principle of journalism that your acknowledge when the owner of the newspaper. show interest in
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the subject that the story yes regular there should be quotes or it's elementary. but do you think that this what looks like a conflict of interest has a chilling effect on journalists at the washington post as they're pursuing stories that might be about the cia. oh i think so i mean i i would hate to be a washington post reporter on that the i need to be a washington reporters that reporter on a few other beats on that basis you know is involved but yeah it has a chilling effect on everyone they are know the washington post that amazon already played a role it wasn't a very kosher wine and kicking wiki leaks off of its web hosting which really hurt wiki leaks during the height of the controversy a while back and so the relationship of the amazon basin was to
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an agency like the cia is is very relevant and remember an amazon spokesman last month when saying we look forward to a successful relationship with the cia well you know i hope the washington post as much info or do a successful relationship with the cia because in american journalism journalists are supposed to be independent critical yet real scrutiny to powerful agencies like the cia and yet americans confidence in newspapers is nearing an all time low it's only twenty three percent of americans have strong confidence or any sort of confidence and and in the newspapers do you think that has something to do with these conflict of interest stories these ideas of of very wealthy individuals moving into the newspaper industry who have these other interests on the side. well i think that the savvy our news consumers in our country know about some of these
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conflicts i mean they know that general electric for years now with comcast loans and b c news and emmett's n.b.c. news they know about rupert murdoch owning the profits and all the others they know about disney owning a.b.c. news i think that's savvier consumers don't trust a lot of us mainstream media because the corporate owners are so off powerful have so many interests and are so cozy with the state and you know i should say that we're not the only problem that has. not the only country that has a problem of corporate ownership is too cozy with the state you're about it written in relation to france and mexico and russia and all these other countries but in our country we're totally you know immersed in this propaganda about our free press and where the prius brass and in reality in recent years because of corporate ownership of the media there's just been so much coziness big reporters big
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bankers with the corporate and political powers that be that you can't trust warning today as being fully independent how we knew is this phenomenon i mean we always think of these media baron these very wealthy newspaper tycoons from the old days citizen kane what is it what is the new my newspaper baron today is it because they make their money elsewhere and then you get the newspaper is that what the problem is you know it's slow and that's always been this problem as you said but back in the times that citizen kane in a place like new york city there were twelve daily with different owners at a place like chicago there might have been six or seven day leads every major city had two or three dailies so the difference between that era and now is a side from the internet which we need to keep free and some of these corporations rise and. i warn you right now aside from the internet that the media really
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concentrated in those news most cities and one newspaper towns and then when it comes to t.v. radio newspapers magazines movies there's basically six to eight corporations that control most of the revenue or most of the product that's the difference between now and say the nineteen twenty or thirty there's this new media venture being started by pyramid they are the founder of. and pay pal owner of a pay pal and there's been criticism leveled at him due to his past and due to what sort of relationship amazon and pay pal might have with the government are these criticisms fair and do they reflect maybe people becoming more skeptical of the relationship between businessmen and newspaper outlets i think you're right that course it's fair for all of us to scrutinize that won't. the media and i do know personally glenn greenwald and jeremy scahill who are going to have we are told
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the control of the new news organization that omidyar from e-bay is london and i have made that rain wall there and scahill feel muzzle far more than these reporters in their name in the you know that all were muslim for years and years and mainstream media if they're muzzle for a week or two i expect them to come out denounce the operation and what have you so i have a lot of faith in this new operation because glenn greenwald and jeremy scahill and laura poitras the filmmaker will be in charge of the new operation next year. jeff cohen journalism professor at ithaca college thanks so much thank you and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered including the breaking news coming out of the white house about n.s.a. reforms go to youtube dot com slash r t america check out our web site also r t dot com slash usa and you can follow me on twitter at seven sacks we'll be right back
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here at eight pm thanks for watching. syria in collapse western backed rebels have either been routed or on the run the saudis supported jihad it's now prevailed in rebel held territory civilian population steroids meanwhile assad remains in power with this military intact what's next for syria.


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