tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 6, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
for years. i had access to everything in the company. >> when you say you had access, give us insight. what could you see? >> >> i could see every file on every server. >> within the company that you worked for? >> yes. i worked for news organizations, and it was my responsibility not to tamper with anybody's information or go where i should not go. lookw others that would for files about salaries or files about who got what vacation.
don't ever go there again. what program does the government have, who is misusing the system. if you remember in the 2008 searched in the state department database for candidates. they had a system that found that, but they probably found it because it was easy to see who looked for mccain and looked for obama. but how do you check up on -- i want to see what my ex-wife is
doing. i go into the system and put her name and. >> you are making a similar point to a facebook comment, who is watching the watchers? what our left of our program tonight, the c-span out all looking at the nsa surveillance program. it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. that is not what this program is about. what the intelligence community at phoneis looking number is in durations of calls. --y are not looking at names >> they are very sensitive and
and damage to americans by the no-fly list and taking off your shoes than by this program. see you there are talking to and in order to identify threats. >> they're out for the next five weeks, the august research -- recess. we're going to spend the next five weeks, three nights a week hosting a c-span town hall, taking your thoughts and comments on issues of public policy and politics. -- numbers
we will take your calls in just a moment, your facebook comments, and your tweets. bit, will be joined by the defense reporter to look at some of the political and politicians on capitol hill on this surveillance issue. are in recess through the early part of september, and others were asked by the president to head to egypt. ofy met today with members the opposition in egypt. they made comments after some of their meetings today, that we urge the release of political prisoners that have been morsi's ousting.
it is impossible to talk to somebody who is in jail, the interim presidency denounced the foreign pressure him as a sign of growing impatience with mediation. filed today. here is the wall street journal reporting on this. the justice department has filed criminal charges against a number of suspects that killed a u.s. ambassador and three other people familiar with that matter. the islamistf militia, they were seen in the compound when it was overrun the according to intelligence officials.
trying to keep track of the lawmakers in the august recess, where will congress -- and what will congress do over the recess? islandg to visit every in his state over -- he will be crisscrossing meeting with constituents. going on an is fishing trip with his 83-year- old father in canada. pasadena, texas. robert of the democrats' line. >> i just wanted to say, talking about the defense authorization was pretty split among
the party. 111 democrats voting for it and 93 republicans supporting the amendment. i was just wondering what that will translate to, primary politics and all of that on the democratic side. you don't really see a strong , i am just later wondering how that vacuum is .oing to change i am just wondering what that is going to look like in the midterm elections. was mentioning the amendment to the 2014 defense spending bill that would have defunded this nsa program and it fell short, the final vote was 217-205.
111 democrats supported it, and 93 republicans supported it. you can see the numbers against it. taking my call. my issue with this whole thing is that they have a hearing or a meeting on friday. they have the gentleman from the different branches of there, it is just metadata. as has been brought to our attention earlier, it was just phone numbers. but those are attached to names. yet we are not looking at names. are we supposed to trust these guys? i believe the senator from georgia on the questioning side was on the committee that you can't talk about what is going on was actually after these guys.
are you worried about any more information coming out? anything because i am sworn to secrecy. we are not worried about anything else coming out, but we are constantly in a barrage of information. of the data,sue anthony romero addressed that in his recent comments. legitimate inis the public eye, it is illegal in our minds. let's break it down. the standard is really important to read the word of a law. they believe that the tangible are relevant.
it defies the knowledge or the understanding when you are collecting every single phone call, data. how is that limited to relevance when you say you have all the phone numbers dated to and from the americans? they had me take that training or relevance is a bit more circumspect. they say it is not content. it can give a lot of content. on a phonestay call, how often i phoned my mother. i call and the government? the private telephones i happen to have that i don't call at the office because i don't want to lock my call.
i have a cellphone because i want to keep that somewhat between us. that would be complete information and give you a very full picture of what my day is like. i think that the fourth amendment does cover the protection of my metadata. the nsaopic is surveillance programs. jonathan from columbia university posted this article. here is a link to the article. if you are on twitter, follow #cspanchat. at the top of the home page, you will see the link right there. it will be right on that article. say it isew, they must -- much less intrusive if
they can find information faster and not abuse it. >> i wrote a little thing down and it will take a couple seconds. no big deal. we are now a nation of suspects that fight every moment everyday, so much for the great revolution. can you imagine what washington, jefferson, atoms, the others would say? steve on the independent line. long day home after my of work, at once every three months, i go through one of those checks for the do sobriety checks. or you go pulled over through them?
once you reach a certain point, you can't turn left or right. talk to't typically every single person there, but they pick and choose who they think might be drinking. me because ithers am working. laws.ot breaking any this happens hundreds of times a night every night and saves thousands of lives. with't have our problem them finding out who i am calling because i am not going any what i shouldn't. i don't know why so many people
-- i don't think this is something that we have to worry about. is save're trying to do lives. it is that simple. >> i am so glad i got on. i think nasa is intrusion. in may of 1919, the allied forces obtained a copy of communist rules and regulations. 50 years later, let's read the rules. barack the gun, get them away from religion, make them superficial, destroy them. get control of all means of publicity. get people's minds off of their
and other trivialities. constantly harp on controversial matters of no importance. destroy the people's faith in their leaders by holding them to contempt and ridicule. power as fast and as ruthless as possible. by encouraging government extravagance ha -- >> do you think that the nsa is using that sort of fame as some sort of manifesto or playbook? i am dying get into what's going on. inflation fear of with rising prices in general discontent. ande unnecessary strikes civil disorders.
will let you go there and move on, thanks for your contribution. >> thank you for taking my call. i have been watching this for a while. i used to consider myself a conservative. this is the first time ever i have considered myself as an independent because this is out of control. and said thatut this program have stopped a couple terrorist plots. covers this quite a bit. he pointed out that they gave us the intelligence.
they said there are 10 other ones we can point to. a couple days later, there are three dozen. the truth ofose how they got this information and nothing. the real enemy is the truth. the lady in houston have the project, she was just trying to uncover voter fraud. targeted by seven federal organizations. thenas visited by of shut, made her opener safe to look at all the guns in she was visited by the fbi. they brought the anti-terrorism taskforce. team. a swat
the feeling, perhaps feeling more of an independent. there was a lot of divided in the debate where the amendment to the defense bill and the house for fiscal year 2014, the amendment would have defunded these surveillance programs and who wanted to give you a flavor of some of that debate, which ultimately failed. ladies and gentlemen of the house, this amendment will not stop the proper use of the conductact to terrorism and intelligence investigations. this amendment is intending to do is to curtail the ongoing dragnet collection and storage of the personal records of
innocent americans. it does not defund the nsa and will continue to allow them to conduct full-fledged surveillance as long as it relates to an actual investigation. >> we can't deal and false narratives. a false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of american phone calls. a false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of e-mail. it is not true. we need to deal in facts, the facts are real. the only people who have benefited from the revelation of classified information by someone who worked for this government who intentionally and
unauthorized declassified some of the most sensitive national security information we have, those engaged in islamic jihad will have benefitted. before they left before the recess, the vote was 217-205. most equally divided in the house between democrats and republicans, it failed to pass. is the defense reporter, thanks for being part of a conversation today. showed a bitat we this expose and leave for congress to tackle? >> we are going to see a lot of
this come back in the fall. we will see similar measures come up and be debated. we will not start to see a lot of discussion, something that is concerning to a lot of members of congress. .e will have hearings this comee a lot of back out. it is just beginning in congress. administration made the decision to close embassies , issuing a world wide travel alert for americans, a parallel issue. what can you tell us about what the administration is doing in response to these potential threats out bear?
the embassies abroad were going to be closed. they decided to extend the embassy closing to the end of the week. it is out of an abundance of caution. there are very regional, so they are not necessarily saying -- j. carney did not say that this was something that was going to threaten the homeland, day after that many times. they asked that many times. >> to the amendment for a moment, we show floor debate and what the vote looks like. the issue is pretty much done in the house. on the senate has not worked their defense bill. is that issue going to come up
in discussion of defense funding? will be discussions in the process. this is something that we heard about, he has been very concerned. this in 2011, that when the american people got a sense of how the patriot act is being interpreted, in reality, they would be angry. see somerobably measures, but i am not sure it is done in the house. toers could crop up similar that amendment or even further reaching. we had the senator on as a guest a couple of sundays ago and this is what he had to say.
>> there has been a dramatic shift of something, half of the country feels that it is a violation of their liberty. i think that is what you saw on the floor of the house of representatives. there would not have been a big debate, he would not have had 200 votes for fundamental changes, and this is definitely going to continue. the approach that we have been thatof, trying to revise when you try to spy on a theon, you have to have suspected of terrorism.
the dragon that surveillance or your vacuum of everyone of the records, who people call, there are millions of law-abiding americans that become increasingly unpopular. >> the defense reporter for politico. edward the issue, withen likely to come up the secretary of state and their counterparts. russia,nse minister in what do we know the intent of that meeting? >> it appears that they're going to talk about it, something that will be discussed in that meeting. it is hard to tell what the agenda of either country is.
but russia oppose the decision was seen as the king of finger and a high of the united states. it is something the administration is not taking lightly. >> a comment on the nsa programs, our liberty rights is the very thing that will bring this country to its knees. russia prays that our country destroys. >> i was just thinking that all of this security is making me insecure. about it. way i feel on the republican line, go ahead.
>> here in the pacific rim, what we have found out is that our telephone company, for example in the hawaiian islands, it is tied to reno and las vegas. these by outthat our utilities. have plug their dirty court in to beautiful fiber optics. have gottene lines 30 by proxy. why does it need to be nationalized? gas are linked with illegal in a state that doesn't allow gambling. do you have any further comments?
>> having people are very concerned about this issue and this is something we are hearing across the board. there is a renewed debate stemming from this week between national security and personal privacy. there are trade-offs in that equation, no matter what decision you make as far as how far reaching you allow them to be, it has been publicized. however much you're concerned about the privacy of individual citizens, the trade-off could be national security and the possibility of a terrorist act. it is kind of one of the selling points of the program. 54 terror attacks were thwarted using this program, but all of this is a brand new. we did not know this before the
leak. of lawmakers said it should not have happened, they said it was a treasonous act, someone who did something that is not legal and took information that was never meant to be public and made it public. many lawmakers say that it did. >> are you there? you are on the air. i have never in my life heard the wholesale lying by this republican party today. the people of fact, in this country have more
freedom than they ever had in their entire life. you have all kinds of freedoms today. people do anything they want to do when they want to do it and you have to be a fool if you think that this government is after you. what difference does it make whether they listen to you or not? they are trying to keep you safe. job, to keep this country safe. itone else is going to do but the government. what this is going on, the truth is to take this administration so there'll be a zero legacy. they don't want him to have any kind of legacy at all. everybody in this country knows this is the truth.
>> any thoughts on his comments? >> he articulated the argument for the trade-off between national security and personal privacy. they said the american people are willing to make trade-offs in the name of national security of their own privacy, and that is something we're starting to see, at least in the u.s. sentiment. there is willingness to give up to those concerns. and libertarians and liberal democrats disagree with that, but that is something we are seeing a willingness to do. posted earliere today, do you support the nsa surveillance programs? we have constitutional rights to
privacy, liberty over security. the government is not to be trusted. it was all about relaxing rules , glad to see the right wing coming around. >> i would like to say eric snowden?t >> eric snowden. spy, we don't know and the government does not know what his intentions were. he may have thought this was his only alternative. if he wanted to do the right day and let the american public and i agree thatrams, the gentleman that said without
him, we would not have had this debate. government already has charges for him? that is ridiculous. >> what do we know of his background, how he came to that position? it wasfense contractor, very early in his career, an analyst working in hawaii. allowed clearance level him to see this program and he gathered the data on it. and it led the the washington post. that was his decision, definitely. route, he his escape went overseas, and came up with -- teamed up with wikileaks, theed themselves with
whistle-blower idea. of if he isestions a spy or not are something for people who know the details to figure it out. seems this was he believed he was exposing wrongdoing. and if that gives them protection, it is questionable. phase is underng way in the bradley manning case in maryland, and the case got under way, the trial got under accused before of a gun and began after delays. these major national security stories help or hurt the obama administration oppose the policy on national security and
withdrawing troops from afghanistan? >> it is all tied together, this idea of privacy, security, there is a lot of criticism of the willingness to use droned strikes. other things have been questioned as well. the u.s. military is pulling out of afghanistan in 2014 right now. to thee all adding up new debate that is going to come up in congress. it was interesting to watch this vote. the party's going both ways. this is a debate that gets to the heart of what the american people are wrestling with.
>> he feared potential prosecution. the laid out some of priorities. here is what he had to say. >> there is really no daylight between people of all sides and viewpoints that the government classifies too much information. the president has called for lower amounts of classification. aboutou are talking leaking investigations, we use that as a term of art because it is a common misperception that
they criminalize the release of classified information. that is not the case. there is information that might be sensitive that you read about and papers every day and it might be unwilling to government officials and caused some level of alarm or concern by various constituents, but it doesn't mean it is a violation of federal law. the handful of cases are a small subset. referred to as national defense information. in order to bring a criminal case for the unauthorized release of ndi, this is information critical to national defense.
>> let's check a couple of tweets. the bipartisan nature of the debate. it is a distraction to divert attention from the fact that we're chattel. whoa combat us veteran would rather live free with the chance of being killed by terrorism than one day as a slave. gathered chatter and listen on the bad guys? the fourths amendment would be able to be passed through congress today? , lee munselown hall is a defense reporter for politico. tim is in kentucky.
republican line. ar eyou on the line? that should be you, tim, right? >> yes. home ins. soldier, 2006, semi with an intelligence job. you signedwden, paperwork saying that you will not give up any information whatsoever. i believe he needs to be charged. i do not like things that are intrusive, we don't need to know about it. but it protect us as a country. people need to get over the fact that the government is not trying to listen in on every
phone call. it is not a republican strategy to put obama in a bad light. .t is frustrating people need to get over it and realize that national security is not always as easy as they think it is going to be. >> he mentioned what he had to assign to do the work that he did. the bradley manning incident and the edward snowden incident, will it change the way they do contractors as well? >> the senate is looking into
this. there is a ballooning national security structure that comes from having more and more classified. so much information is classified, so there is a big push to declassify a lot of information. the government has the mentality of when in doubt, classified it. it is easier to keep information classified than to make the calculations to be classified something and get it wrong and cause all sorts of issues in the agency. we have seen members of congress said that over classification needs to be dealt with as well
as looking into defense contractors at what level of access people are getting. the things they are seeing on a daily basis. on the issue of records and data. >> they already keep them for 18 months, how long do you need it? >> a lot longer than 18 months. >> once you have picked up someone who has been communicating with parts of the world that might have originated this activity, you want to go back and find out if , >> maybe that is
the debate they are going to have. >> you would limit your ability to do this issue. thank you so much for taking my calls. this is a lot to look at here. the lle bachmann on intelligence committee is an oxymoron. it scares me that they are doing this very generalized luck at where you're going on the internet, when you're looking at, how frequently ha. there is an awful lot of information that can be gleaned from that. thesenot necessarily --
are american citizens talking to other american citizens and it seems like it ought to be completely legal. unless there is some kind of warrant. it is just wrong. nows watching democracy last night. they mentioned something about where ittroke program is being used by the dea for this war on drugs. which is a huge failure. i am concerned about that. that they areit , backtrackinga and making up some kind of probable cause.
the backt will become door to a lot of privacy and persecution of innocent people, things that should be dealt with on a totally different level. know about other agencies using this data? a new program that even members of congress did not find was in thet, it paper, something that is not well-known. the scope of this usage of phone records is go very unclear. we don't know which agencies are using it or how it is all being done. answer they tough to question right now because it is though new. >> the issue of nsa surveillance
programs. >> first of all, the speaker said the you can paint a pretty clear picture of someone with that information. technology is only going to get more powerful. people will talk about civil rights, people are saying that the government will make us safe. and the balance that we need to find there. what does their need to be a balance? i believe that the potential down the road, maybe that is fear mongering, but i think it is a serious thing should be happening down the road.
it does not seem like there are too many injustices, so my immediate answer would be no. that could be something that could happen, something that people should be concerned about. becomeernments may overbearing at some point in time down the road. >> doesn't this have to be reauthorize every three or five years? that is being brought up a was the patriot act concurred a temporary fix, and it has been reauthorize, something that people who are very concerned about privacy are wondering when this is going to be revisited. when will this be looked at as far as what the government is the patriot act is certainly is something that will come up in these
discussions again in the fall and congress will be all over this issue. drones, thef christian science monitor report and on the use of drones in and around the men in terms of terrorist activities. strike in u.s. evacuation, signs of intensification? what can you tell us from reporting about where things are with the activity there? activityir reports of the origin of these threats that we have seen over the past week or so. that might be linked, they might not be. not a lot has changed in that discussion recently, but certainly under a lot of scrutiny. it is something the administration has been
criticized for. whether thereions are justified. the floor talking about this over and over again. it is not something that is going to be let go lightly. people ins a lot of congress and around the country. >> on the republican line in illinois. withhave no problem surveiling countries like china. the terrorist need to be surveiled, but they are small potatoes compared to china. i wonder if congress would like illed withe insider trading. i like them to use the patriot stopi think that we can
crime if we classify these gangs as terrorist units and send them to guantanamo. mentionedler earlier intersecting u.s. calls, but they're not just used for u.s. the the data is a worldwide? >> if there is some sort of contact, it can be across the globe. this is something that she was saying earlier. question about what information the government needs and what it doesn't. she said that the narrative of the u.s. watching american citizens and paying attention to them if they are not being investigated is false. she is on the intelligence committee, i have imagined it is
something that she has been briefed on. but there are people on the intelligence committee that believe differently. there were 21 members of that committee, only two of them , 19 votedthe bill against. that maybe are paying the most attention to this, did not support washington. >> mackey says your question about storage, we suck at long term media storag. -- storage. we're talking a lot about important is he and this information? i assume the russians already
about this and they are very fired up about it. aboutre concerned privacy, and it seemed like nobody has a mild opinion on this one. it is separating people in congress and across the country. there is not a lot of give and take and personal opinions about where the government should be going when it comes to this type of data. >> watching c-span's nsa hearing as a 20-year-old, i am concerned at how aggressive the nsa is becoming at home. any man and we will make him a criminal. on the republican line. >> i appreciate folks like you that present these things. the american people are only and
knowledge of what we are told by one organization or another. i am also a 20-year civil servant retiree working in areas that i won't talk about. we can do a whole lot better than what we are doing it and it is very critical that people look carefully at folks we sent to serve us in folks we place in high places. >> it is early, but any of the data exposed by snowden way?ng troops in harm's >> it depends who you ask. senator mccain have expressed concern about information that putleaked, or that it could
troops in harm's way. you hear the case made for both sides of that and it is tough to quantify if it did. the people that are concerned about the leak, which includes theybama administration, want to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. >> let's go to elizabeth out and pennsylvania. for taking my call. i want to bring up a couple of points here. is not at to privacy "constitutional right to be " it is an implied right. that is what makes it easy to get around with a lot of these agencies.
we get information from them all the time that there is not a lot of oversight. perhaps in the future it should be looked a little further towards. on the republican line. i believe this trojan horses in the united states. rounding up people that year, they are going to college or whatever. they guard our borders and to bring the military home. we would have declared a total war.
we defend the people because we are the government and this is our home. to fighte have terrorism, don't make slaves out of us. the independent line in new york city. >> we mentioned more and more people are accepting and coming around to accept universal oversight. on this program, and not -- the oversight is acceptable.
they clearly showed us in technical terms [indiscernible] the information is universal. does this make us a nation of suspects? have the lastyou word, the last thoughts on our topic this evening. >> people are very concerned about this issue. you hear both sides articulating that weints, something will see this issue,. congress will pay attention to it. the country will pay attention to it. expect to hear more about town halls like this. >> she covers the defense for politico. thanks for joining us this evening. thank you for all of your calls on our program this evening.
the conversation continues at facebook.com/cspan and # cspanchat on twitter. and washington journal tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern with your phone calls and comments. formerst guest is the department of, and security chief. homeland security chief. will beseo medina talking about the august recess and immigration reform. on later, a spotlight $4.5zines and the recent billion construction project for the and tomorrow evening, we will focus our attention on the issue of