tv [untitled] December 24, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EST
coming up on r t edward snowden has declared victory in a washington post interview the n.s.a. whistleblower said his mission was accomplished we'll talk details with the reporter who met with stone the next and billion dollar bonuses wall street bankers are pondering how to spend their holiday bonuses while one group says it's obvious where all that money should go straight to the people who the banks made homeless we'll tell you more coming up and in the world's ocean floats millions of tons in trash it's a great concern for environmentalists as it makes changes to the earth to change a deeper look at a trashed ocean later in the show. it's
tuesday december twenty fourth amira david in washington d.c. and you're watching our t.v. we begin today with the latest from n.s.a. contractor edward snowden in an exclusive one on one interview with barton gellman of the washington post so on and explained that he's completed his goal he said for me in terms of personal satisfaction the mission's already accomplished i already won as soon as the journalists were able to work everything that i had been trying to do was validated because remember i didn't want to change society i wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself snowden addressed his critics head on in this interview explaining how they gave him no choice but to expose the n.s.a.'s surveillance activities r t political commentator sam sachs has more. one of the most consistent criticisms of edward snowden leveled at him by the n.s.a.'s top defenders is that it wasn't his job to reveal the n.s.a.
secrets that he wasn't elected to make decisions about what should and should not be classified well in his most recent interview published on monday by the washington post edward snowden spoke to that criticism and explain exactly who did elect him to do what he did dianne feinstein elected me when she asked softball questions he said mike rogers elected me when he kept these programs hidden the pfizer court elected me when they decided to legislate from the bench on things that were far beyond the mandate of what the court was ever intended to do the system failed comprehensively and each level of oversight each level of responsibility that should have addressed this abdicated their responsibility in the events of last week that a federal court ruling against the n.s.a.'s bulk phone records collection program the white house's review panel suggesting forty six recommendations to change the n.s.a. speak to snowden's point is disclosures over the last six months have at times made our elected representatives who are in charge of n.s.a.
oversight look pretty silly for example check out this public argument from october between two members of the house intelligence committee congressman adam schiff and chairman mike rogers chair disagreeing over what the committee knew and when it knew it regarding n.s.a. spying on world leaders as revealed by edward snowden. be interested to know mr chairman and we would be happier to make you down to the committee and spend a couple of hours going through mounds of product that would allow a member to be as informed as a member wishes to be on sources and methods and all activities of the intelligence community under the national intelligence framework i would just say and i just think we need to be careful. about what i do we need to assume you don't you wish to use the classification and i think you'd be disingenuous mr chairman if you suggesting we have information if we don't have it so after that after what you saw
there can we really buy the argument that these committees had enough knowledge all along to perform proper oversight of american spy agencies i don't think so snowden also had a message from the n.s.a. he said i'm not trying to bring down the n.s.a. i'm working to improve the n.s.a. i'm still working for the n.s.a. right now just they are the only ones who don't realize it now this is the statement that most likely caused keith alexander's and james clapper as heads to explode the whole i'm doing this because i love you that we all remember as kids but snowden may have a point you can argue that the n.s.a. has lost its way the collected all method the n.s.a. is using today that you need the haystack to find the needle philosophy as far as we know has not boiled a single terrorist plot but it has led the secret documents of shown to a lot of overload at the n.s.a. databases it's led to the construction of an extremely expensive massive glitch
riddled spy center and utah and it's led to perhaps the greatest threat to constitutional first and fourth amendment rights that our nation has seen in quite a long time the n.s.a. really really wants to call snowden a traitor but in the end he just might be their savior in washington d.c. sam socks are today. for your insight on this we actually talked to the journalist who broke the story barton gellman he just got back recently from talking to snowden a fourteen hour interview which he conducted in moscow gellman is the first journalist to speak in person with snowden since fleeing to russia so i first asked him why he thought snowden granted him this interview and why now well to back up he has not wanted to be at the center of the story he wants the story to be about electronic surveillance in the limits of espionage and democracy and so he was kept away from the story i spent a long time trying to talk him into the idea that at the end of the year after half
a year this remarkable global debate that there needed to be a kind of summing up you know what do we learn and what does it mean and we needed his voice in that story and he agreed to that become unseen so this isn't in the works for a very long time because you as i understand it were in contact with him back in june or back and you know spring the spring when he released all of these documents or you've been in touch with him over right i've had a i've had a lot of contact with him you know beginning you know sort of half a year or more ago and that's all been at the keyboard and i felt like it was time for us to be. you were with him for two days which is a pretty extensive amount of time fourteen hours of conversation you know how would you describe edward snowden right now i mean just in terms of sort of his demeanor and his mentality he is remarkably sort of at peace with everything he's the man there considerable pressure i must assume but he doesn't
show it he is. he's feeling like he did what he set out to do when he when he says that he's accomplished his mission what he means is that he's taking in a very important subject out of a secret world and handed it to the public so that people can decide for themselves where they want to draw the lines instead of having to draw the lines drawn for them. and in the cart and the article you mention that when interviewing at his guard never really dropped which i thought was interesting considering you're saying that he was remarkably calm and whatnot i mean did you get the sense that he was sort of constantly worrying work concerned at all about his future which is basically unknown at this point. he doesn't project concern about his future he is what i mean by that he didn't drop his guard is that his boundaries for one thing he's a very private person he understands that he is in the news that he has done something very much newsworthy he wants the news to be about the policy the subject the
documents themselves he isn't see that he's got any obligation to talk about his personal life and he has natural security concerns and so is his attention what is it it's interesting that such a private person is now so so much in the open in the public right now but can you talk about how you prepared for this trip did you have to leave your laptop your cell phone at all i mean were there like you know tons of precautions that you had to take before going i can say a little bit about that i mean i did not bring anything with me that i was not prepared to have one or another government take hold of and search or keep or coffee so no i didn't bring anything sensitive brought an empty notebook computer and brought a telephone i don't normally use with none of my data on it and as far as i know those precautions were superfluous in the end because no one stopped me and have
you had any issues since since you've returned of even approached at all by. and anybody asking questions and. nothing better. than i mean that you prepared well one of the things that i found most interesting is something that edward snowden said he said i'm not trying to bring down the n.s.a. and working to improve the n.s.a. i'm still working for the n.s.a. right now they are the only ones who don't realize it did not have anything to say about the current reform efforts underway on capitol hill or. the courts sort and a thing of that nature well it's interesting he clearly has his own views about what ought to happen what he most wants to make sure is that there can be an open debate about that with full knowledge so it was all in the secret court it was in a very small committee of congress for example members of congress rely on their staffs there were there maybe one in ten members of congress has a staffer who was cleared for material at the level of secrecy that this stuff was
kept so most of them didn't understand very much about what was going on. we spoke just before very big week for in that vindicated many of his assertions that he has said all along he believes that some of the programs at the n.s.a. are illegal well soon after we spoke a federal judge the first one to consider it in open court says. one of the main programs of the n.s.a. is unconstitutional or almost certainly unconstitutional the president's own review board comes back with many reform proposals the leaders of the us technology industry come until the president in person that the n.s.a. is actions are harming their the information economy so you get a lot of validation in really the last working week of the year absolutely were you able to talk to him at least through the keyboard about those developments where you know i'm not going to add anything here to what i've already published. you
know sort of his circles are pleased with what's happened here ok that's not very surprising well snowden was insistent that he would never want to publish these leaks all at once that that would be suicide watch can you explain a little bit what he meant by that it's not he opposes publication of dumping all the documents out. not only all as he doesn't he doesn't want me to publish everything that i have he wants me to use my own judgment about what is newsworthy and what would do harm so as not only he doesn't want it all at once he doesn't necessarily want it all published in the first place what he's talking about was suicide is this there are people who claim that he has some other cache of material that he's got rid of to a dead man's switch so that he doesn't keep checking is something bad happens to him then he unleashes this whole thing on the world. first well there's no evidence for that it's contrary to what he says he wants but he said just look at it
logically if i have rigged up a dead man switch and then i may as well just you know basically ask everyone to shoot me because any service in the world that really wants to see this stuff go public all they have to do is get rid of it so it's illogical if it is not a deadness it's a suicide switch absolutely and you mention you having this material and you having to make the decision of what gets released and when how is it a concerted effort how how are you making these decisions. i am reviewing material reviewing it with a very small number of trusted colleague. i'm doing reporting around a lot of it is this in the form of clues that might be you know one line in each of you know sixteen documents that makes me think that there's something going on or something of interest i check it out i talk to government officials i talk to people industry sometimes the person that my idea is wrong sometimes i'm persuaded
by government that it would be a bad idea to publish the story but most often we we've we found something that we think is interesting and of public import and in consultation with my editors at the post we publish and lastly you know the guardian was threatened by the u.k. government and forced to destroy the copies on their server and i was wondering if that's ever been an issue for you or the washington post i mean how have you been able to maintain these documents and really protect them. if there had been. threats or coersion use against me or the working pros you would know it would be news and we would be the first to report that there's been no no attempt by the u.s. government to compel us to do anything there been times when they've asked us to try to persuade us not to publish something there are times we've agreed sometimes we have. to rest your question we're taking very considerable steps to keep the material safe and i was barton gellman writer
for the washington post and senior fellow for the century foundation. and while we're on the topic of edward snowden the n.s.a. whistleblower just released an alternative christmas message britain's channel four chose him to deliver their annual response to queen elizabeth's royal christmas message snowden focused on the topics he has come to represent by explaining why he values privacy so greatly take a listen. a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all they'll never know what it is me still have a private moment to themselves recorded on the last thought and that's a problem because privacy matters privacy is what allows us to do who we are or who we want to be so there you have it snowed ins version of christmas goodwill. well bankers on wall street are a little extra jolly this season as they give themselves
a pretty nice gift money wrapped in a bow with a price tag of ninety one point four four billion dollars because this year that is the total sum of extra cash bankers will be receiving as holiday bonuses in fact it's so much money that bankers don't know what to do with it the financial times has tried to help out by publishing a magazine called how to spend it giving bankers ideas for how to invest their money but one group called the other ninety eight percent has proposed another idea for where that money could go. you know what wall street could do with that money instead of spending it on wants is gadgets cards. they could help. the other ninety eight percent is asking that bankers give their bonuses to the homeowners who no longer have homes to talk about this initiative and how it might be mutually beneficial for both the homeless and wall street i was joined earlier by the other ninety eight percent alexis goldstein i first asked her how bonuses
are calculated on wall street and why they are such a big deal. so there are a big part of compensation these big wall street banks pay their boys a very high base salary usually in the range of like one hundred fifty thousand to two hundred fifty thousand but then on top of that they get this sort of performance bonus and the way that they're tallied is there's a number of surveys and the one that we were looking at was report on by the new york times analysis of a consulting company johnson associates and they basically asked the top eight u.s. banks how much money they had set aside for bonuses in two thousand and thirteen and that's how we arrived at the ninety one point four four billion dollars was a result of that survey and in another new york times article it actually predicted that bonuses were going to rise this year by five to ten percent i mean can you talk about how it's possible that they now total almost ninety two billion dollars well it is crazy right especially when you think about earlier this year there was this bloomberg article about how the government there's like
a government subsidy of eighty three billion dollars so it's almost as if all of that government subsidies is going right back into bonuses but this is just way that wall street has worked for a really long time and we try to parry that parity that a little bit in the video because i used to work there and i sort of played myself in this video we put out another ninety eight dot com but you know they feel very justified they feel like they're doing something for i suppose the greater good and we take issue with that i should definitely check out that video it is a very funny but what's incredible is that bankers have so much money and i didn't know this but you pointed out that financial times actually has a magazine that's called like how to spend it yeah i think it comes out there two times the area thirty times a year it's incredible but you are suggesting that there is a way for them to spend the money and a noble way and that you know they donate that money to the homeless can you talk a little bit about why the homeless are there are the people that really deserve that bonus this year so the foreclosure crisis caused ten million people to be displaced from their homes you know most have family homes single family homes and
a lot of people haven't gotten back on their feet after that and a lot of that was because the banks went into neighborhoods and sold the. loans really aggressively a lot of them were predatory there's a lot of racial discrimination and so we feel listen you've made all of these ill gotten gains why don't you give the money back to the people that you took it from in the first place and we put out a couple of proposals one of them is this thing called the national affordable housing trust fund which was something that came out of two thousand and eight that's never been funded there's a group called the national low income housing coalition that says if we funded that trust fund for ten years at thirty billion dollars a year we get the homelessness in america so we're saying hey banks want to fund the first two years of that you'll still have several trillion dollars left over and it will help right you're wrong right i think a lot of people would be surprised to know that at the beginning of the year ten banks paid eight point five billion dollars to settle complaints that they improperly foreclose on homes can you first explain what it means to you know say you improperly foreclose on homes i don't know that a lot of understand that communal lot of things but one of the things that means is
every payment was made by the homeowner they were never late they made all of their payments and because of some snafu or paperwork problem or mistake or perhaps out right now fees and they were foreclosed on anyway so there was this big settlement where they tried to pay out cash payments to people who lost their home even though they made all their payments another reason it might have been illegal is because someone was approved for a loan modification and so one side of the bank said we're going to give you a lower monthly payment but the other side of the bank wasn't communicating so the right hand wasn't talking on the left hand and they were foreclosed on anyway even though they had negotiated a lower rate and were paying that right did nothing wrong so those are just two examples on dealing with the complaints and the lawsuits and all of that were the bankers held accountable in any other way i don't i don't think so i mean i think we're seeing a lot of fines but for the most part these fines are lower than the profits made in the crimes committed and so i think it's just the cost of doing business and until we either see you know people going to prison or banks held accountable by saying you don't get to do business anymore for x. months or x. years of course they were going to continue to see these problems and that's why we're saying listen you shouldn't get to take these big dollars that you've gotten
in this deal gotten ways and given yourselves you should give it back to the people that you've harmed we are to. and to sell this idea of giving the money to the bank or giving the money to the homeless general from a p.r. standpoint for the bankers can you talk a little bit about that too well right so we sort of saw this is a win win right i mean i think that the banks would be doing the right thing but they're also going to get a p.r. boost from this because nobody really likes them still there's still this big fall out there was a big ask j.p. morgan twitter experiment that if you morgan tried to do just a month or so ago where they said hey come ask our executives some questions and they got as quickly trolls and people are asking funny questions people are asking serious questions but the sort of upshot of it was that people are still very angry and so i think if they were to just do this very common sense thing and take one hit in one year it would do a lot to boost their image and instead they're setting all these money on advertising while they're still lobbying behind the scenes why don't they just do it for their own p.r. let alone the sort of charitable nature of absolutely well interestingly i mean you
wanted to get fifty thousand signatures on this petition and you already have forty seven thousand which is amazing that you're only three thousand from your goal so my question is sort of what's next what's the next step what i think we're going to try to keep bringing the heat and telling the story you know maybe you'll see some creative actions in the new year when the banks actually get their bonuses because they usually don't actually get them on christmas and i think we're just going to keep trying to shine a big big spotlight on the fact that listen eighty three billion dollars a year in government subsidies and you're paying yourself ninety billion dollars in bonuses there's something really wrong with delegate a noble cause and we will follow up with you to see what happens thank you so much alexis goldstein communications director for the other ninety eight percent thank you for having me. and the next time you pack for a trip to san francisco you might actually have to pack some bottled water to the city's board of supervisors is considering a ban on plastic water bottle sales saying that the plastic is quote incredibly wasteful and environmentally damaging people often drink plastic water bottles
without thinking about where it goes after it's thrown in the garbage and as it turns out tons of that plastic has accumulated into what is now known as the great pacific garbage patch captain charles moore discovered this trash war text back in one thousand nine hundred seven since his discovery scientists have engaged in rigorous testing of this plastic soup and have documented multiple consequences on the environment artie's ramon glendower spoke with captain moore and explains how plastic has become toxic for the ocean. this is the stomach contents of a four month old checked bottle caps trash bags and broken plastic are now part of the diet of many birds and sea creatures around the world it's very depressing an initially to realize the extent of the problem one of the largest concentrations of marine debris in the pacific ocean is halfway between hawaii and california called the great pacific garbage patch. more accidentally found the garbage patch in one
thousand nine hundred seven was selling through a gyre ocean currents circulate and collect trash it's a piece here a piece there it's not a solid island but in general what we see is a soup of plastic not really an island of plastic next year captain moore is planning to spend a month at the garbage patch to research its effects on the food chain it is difficult to see the collection of trash from above because it's mostly made up of pieces of plastic the size of a fingernail researchers believe that there could be two million of these little pieces of plastic persuade a mile millions of creatures are dying every year tangled in plastic it's not just the wildlife that is being fooled into eating the stuff and getting tangled in it it's we ourselves that are our changing. biological being with the chemicals in this hyper consumptive atmosphere that we live in scientists at the scripps institution of oceanography in san diego have also been trying to figure out how the marine debris is changing the world as group study estimated
that fish in intermediate ocean depths of the pacific ingest plastic at a rate of roughly twelve thousand to twenty four thousand tons a year this trash and it is helping to keep garbage out of the pacific ocean but despite efforts like this there are still tons of pieces of plastic just like this which continue to make their way out to sea clean up the mess that's already been made is likely impossible but experts say that the problem could potentially be solved with a radical change in economic and social culture when you hear politicians talk about growth you'd think it was one of the ten commandments for our very being is as consumers of product this defines us these days the brand of car we have the brown of hair gel we have a round of clothing that we have this is how we get our identity more use that consumption habits and our creature comforts have led to an earth shattering problem where to put all the trash we generate we really have to redefine ourselves
as human beings as something other than a consumer in order to beat this problem new shorelines creative trash are appearing in all oceans and even in america's great lakes as world economies continue to thrive on mass consumption caps and more will continue to sail and study the plastic oceans in los angeles ramon that in the r t here in the us some americans take the phrase better safe than sorry to another level by preparing for a possible apocalypse but some of them still have one mary in mind for such an emergency and more on that here's the residents lori harkness.
there are three million preppers here in america you know people who pratt or prepare for the inevitable apocalypse or just for bad stuff to go down in general like hurricanes or the power grid breaking down or zombies and for those proper as this story is peer pressure poor you see many preppers build underground fortresses to survive in and those fortresses are usually utilitarian and bare bones bunkers but for the proper demand a little more luxury a new survival bunker was just put on the market in yellow jacket colorado and it could be yours for eleven point five million dollars it's over four thousand square feet and provides many luxurious accommodations but it's no ordinary mansion according to its real estate listing it has a seven stage of water filtration system that taps into its own private well it has powers the sum up on backup power systems including solar wind electric and gas
generators so you'll stay powered through anything that has its own one hundred forty five hundred thousand dollar radio tower to provide for observation and u.h.f. communication and has ten scrambled walkie talkies its air conditioning system is fully redundant with borkum browsers and condensers heating has five layers of backup including electric heaters and wood burning stoves all outside air docks have emergency shutdown sealed and gas get valves in the event of dirty air or a biological hit the main air. act this room has always own generation for purification it's made of solid concrete and reinforced steel and is nuclear rated at fifty pounds per square inch pressure wave so it's got you covered during a nuclear holocaust to it has its own helicopter pad but if you don't want to buy it you can choose to reserve a spot in the house version nineteen thousand five hundred dollars per month per
person you just need to pay one month up front per person during peacetime before the crap hits the fan basically it has everything you could possibly need to survive during the apocalypse of your choice and since this country is becoming more and more of a crap fast it might be a good idea to secure a place to survive in underground but with an eleven million dollar price tag unfortunately this bunker is probably only accessible to the political and corporate scumbags who are driving us into the ground in the first place tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the risk that it. looks like a former catholic school girl has a special cross to bear meat valerie dogs also known as a valve midwest the aspiring adult film actress returned to her high school in
nebraska sneaking onto the catholic campus to film a not safe for school photo shoot dogs claimed that the setting was revenge for former classmates and teachers disapproving of her career choice she posted the pictures on her website and said she used full property even a crucifix and some less than christian ways but her photo shoot has got her in some hot holy water the one thousand year old was found guilty of trespassing and public nudity last month and just received a sentence of forty five days in jail dot is appealing first because in regard. so the public nudity charge only dogs and her camera operator saw her in the buff during the act her attorney chad withers said that parading around naked shouldn't get more jail time than a more dangerous offense like a first time drunk driving charge and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to you tube dot com slash r t america check out our website r t dot
com slash usa you can also follow me on twitter at amir a david from all of us here at r.t. happy holidays. i've got a quote for you. it's pretty tough. stay with sob story. because this guy like smear that does stead of working for the people most missions the beach the media were richo bridegrooms day to day. the.