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tv   Headline News  RT  October 29, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT

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well handled that was. coming up on our t.v. as u.s. relations with other countries now are over the n.s.a. scandal congress held a public hearing to look into the spying issue and possible reforms to the foreign intelligence surveillance act the breakdown on those efforts ahead and the collateral damage of u.s. drone strikes overseas congress hears from a pakistani family on the drone attack that killed their family matriarch more on that hearing coming up and headed to jail a former u.s. congressman will be spending three years in the slammer he was convicted of multiple crimes including wire fraud and conspiracy a breakdown on his criminal activity later in the show. it's tuesday october twenty ninth eight pm in washington d.c.
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i'm in the area david in you're watching our t.v. we begin tonight with the continued fall out between the united states and the european union over allegations that the u.s. has been spying on its closest allies german officials have confirmed that the e.u. is now mulling over sanctions on the us government these sanctions would impede the u.s. government's access to a law enforcement tool mainly used to track the flow of money associated with terrorism but it seems the international leaks that incited this action are far from over journalist glenn greenwald now says there are many more ahead. through that all of these arguments there were never three. were there are arguments for which is most countries in the world. will be seen in brazil germany france and. spain in the states is going to repeat itself continuously for the next several weeks or months just every country
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around the world here in washington the tone took a very serious turn as senator dianne feinstein a vocal and us a supporter called out the agent agency she said quote with respect to n.s.a. collection of intelligence on leaders of u.s. allies let me state unequivocally i am totally opposed i do not believe the united states should be collecting phone calls or e-mails of friendly presidents and prime ministers meanwhile on capitol hill the house intelligence committee held a hearing to discuss the role of pfizer in the surveillance of american citizens or the foreign intelligence surveillance act is the piece of legislation that sets guidelines for the n.s.a.'s bulk collection of foreign intelligence information this was the committee's second open hearing since former government contractor edward snowden leaked detailed information about how the programs operate back in june in a statement a house panel spokesperson said the hearing was in place to quote assess a number of proposals to improve transparency and strengthen privacy protections to
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further build the confidence of the american public and our nation's pfizer programs i was going to earlier by artie's sam sachs to talk about this hearing and the latest on the n.s.a. the hearing was supposed to consider a number of proposals and i asked sam what those proposals entailed. so just to recap the pfizer court is this top secret court that we're told provides the oversight over a lot of the n.s.a. surveillance programs including the the bulk metadata collection program so the n.s.a. has to go to this court to get a lot of these court orders problem is nobody knows what really goes on inside this court a lot of the court opinions are classified there's only one it's not an adversarial course there's only one are you worried it's from the government and they go to the judge to get information there's no one representing the privacy of the individual who the government is trying to get information about so today's hearing was all about how to bring more transparency to this court in reforms to this court a number of ideas were brought up such as a process for d.c.
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classifying the court's opinion to give members of congress some more insight into what's what's going on here. there was an idea to install a privacy advocate within the court who would argue on behalf of civil liberties concerns on behalf of privacy against the government lawyer in these top secret or proceedings there's another proposal on the table to restrict section two fifteen of the patriot act the business records provision which the n.s.a. which the court has given the n.s.a. the authority to scoop up all our method phone metadata. that the n.s.a. has been that the programs have been revealed by edward snowden there and the n.s.a. kind of ruffled about general keith alexander who's the chief of the n.s.a. said that getting rid of section two fifteen of the patriot act could put the country in a risk in and leave the united states open to another terrorist attack so they were really open to that reform in particular some of the other reforms they said they were open to and sam what's the likelihood that will actually see some kind of change come out of this hearing. well there's
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a pretty good likelihood i'd say it's important to me that a lot of these individual files a court reforms are incorporated into broader n.s.a. reform bills that have been introduced and when it comes to the chances of these bills passing there's bipartisan support which is something that's unusual around congress here bipartisan support to move. tention house said today at the hearing here's a clip. of the two individuals who wrote one republican one democrat who yes one republican one democrat who wrote the usa patriot act shortly after nine eleven have now introduced the usa freedom act that essentially would repeal many of the aspects and change them of the. of the patriot act. and she's referring congresswoman schakowsky is referring to congressman jim sensenbrenner. usa freedom act and sensenbrenner of course wrote
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the patriot act the freedom act repealed a lot of the patriot act it installs that special privacy advocate on the pfizer court that we talked about earlier and it restricts patriot act sections two fifteen the bulk metadata collection program it has support from republicans and democrats are on board with it and it has a companion bill that was introduced in the senate by a democrat senator patrick leahy so looks like with this bipartisan nature it looks like something will get passed when it comes to the n.s.a. it will be passed in a standalone bill or maybe something added to the national defense authorization act at the end of the year which still needs to be worked out it's just a matter of whether it's going to be a really meaningful reform or more watered down reform of the n.s.a. will have to wait and see but of course the latest n.s.a. leaks have centered on the u.s. government spying on world leaders then with a congress or intelligence official speak to that issue at all. they're supposed to read in chairman mike rogers the chairman of the intelligence committee he gave
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a lot of difference the other say on this one he said this is what happens in the in the in the surveillance world friends spy on each other allies spy on each other the european union spying on the united states and is continuing to spy on the united states france spying on the united states so he didn't have any problem with the united states spy on world leaders and director of national intelligence james clapper said that knowing the plans and intentions of world leaders is a basic tenet of surveillance surveillance one hundred one so the sort of our age you saw yesterday on the other side of capitol hill in the senate with senate intelligence committee chairwoman dianne feinstein when she found out about this program spying on world leaders didn't exist on the house side here where chairman mike rogers seemed to suggest that this is completely fair game and something of the n.s.a. should be doing very interesting well as. seems like right now there are questions over when and how much the white house knew about this surveillance but what about
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the congressional intelligence committees which are in charge of oversight doesn't seem like they were aware. that there's a question when it comes to the intelligence committees to of or when they were notified chairman mike rogers suggested that the committee knew about this based on national intelligence priority framework it's kind of a giant report that the intelligence committee of the white house gets that goes to the priorities of the intelligence committee but other members of the committee pushed back a congresswoman jan schakowsky and congressman adam schiff said hey this committee didn't know about it they asked the n.s.a. why they didn't know why they weren't informed about these programs which led to this confrontation between chairman mike rogers and congressman adam schiff over whether or not the committee actually knew about the program to spy on world leaders there's the clip. be interested to know mr chairman and we would be have got to take 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
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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 this we need to be careful about what i type about i but i think we do so we don't you wish to use the classification and i think would be disingenuous mr chairman if you're suggesting we have information if we don't have it. because that was a very public and a very embarrassing dustup on the house intelligence committee where you have members debating what they knew about and when they knew it and this is the committee that we're told is providing oversight on the n.s.a. and given what we heard from senator dianne feinstein yesterday it would seem to suggest that chairman mike rogers didn't actually know about it if his counterpart in the senate didn't know about it and neither intelligence committees were fully briefed on this program that authorized spying on world leaders so that was political commentator san facts on capitol hill thank you. and just today i sat down with ecuadorian president rafael correa during his visit to moscow korea is in
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russia not to talk about the n.s.a. but rather to boost the friendly relations that already exist between the two countries relationship between ecuador and russia gain new momentum this year as the two countries align their support behind former u.s. government contractor edward snowden artie's alexey chefs he has more from the president. there is now in moscow the very same city where edward snowden there whistleblower now resides on his political asylum the breaking revelations of who infuriated the leader of ecuador back this summer and he is still pretty much angry especially in the light of the latest revelations on high profile politicians in europe being wiretapped by the n.s.a. . but at least they said it was necessary for fighting against terrorism and i don't know if that angle merkel is a terrorist i think it's clear the use of agents programs for economic reasons we're hoping the transnational companies can you imagine what could happen if the
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program was carried out by been as we look at cuba russia could or argentina they would have called us dictators and criminals and we could be judged in the international court so. even the fact that. the economy of ecuador largely depends on the united states it's not by no means an obstacle for mr korea to come with open criticism of washington's actions i remember when i covered the huge international scandal involving the visit to moscow of another latin american leader the president believe you ever more or less want to use a plane was denied airspace in europe and i had to spend twelve hours at vienna's airport so back then i quoted a very explosive words from the ecuadorian foreign ministry which said that if something like this happens to us president then it would have been a good reason to declare war so of course the economic and military cooperation will be on the table at the talks between putin and korea but there's no chance that the fate of mr snowden will escape their attention in this conversation that
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was artie's alexy our reporting from moscow. and u.s. lawmakers heard testimony from survivors of an alleged u.s. drone strike today three pakistani citizens appearing before congress this morning to describe an attack that killed their sixty seven year old mother and grandmother and pakistan last year the family was invited to washington by representative alan grayson and tonight on our team rep grayson spoke with tom hartman about how the drone program is damaging relations between the countries take a look. america's gone from the most popular country among pakistanis to in many respects the least popular country among pakistanis and that will definitely have all sorts of consequences for our own security and by alienating the people of pakistan we are going to end up a lunatic in pakistan itself and this will actually impair our ability to fight terrorism. on the hell that family came to share their heartfelt stories with lawmakers and held high hopes of getting answers from congress artie's guy in egypt
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talk young spoke with the family and brings us this report this was the first time actual victims of u.s. drone strikes were in congress and there were maybe only four members of congress who came to this briefing apart from the congressman who initiated this meeting congressman alan grayson it's no secret the u.s. congress generally approves of drone strikes so it's very difficult to expect the sudden change of heart even though hard was what these drone victims were appealing to on a twenty fourth of last year u.s. drone strike left this pakistani family devastated the nine year old girl and her thirteen year old brother and nearly scaped death that day their sixty seven year old grandmother was killed while picking vegetables in the garden last month on the . drones don't want to win this prize or. this kind of bright return. you know this family has never been abroad before out of their home
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in north waziristan in pakistan and the father said he looked at the life around here in d.c. and i met them at a lively d.c. restaurant after a screening of a documentary on drones where they were invited and the father said he wished his children too would be able to walk the streets not afraid of being bombed at any moment the family of course came to washington hoping to get answers to why they have to live in fear every day i had the chance to talk to the little girl very briefly a day before this meeting in congress here's what she told me why do you think you grandmother has to. go and i don't know but one of the reason why she came to me i have no idea why my grandmother would want to turn him. with my grandmother everything became dark i was scared so i started to run again and i noticed my hand was bleeding and i tried to clean my hand. not kept coming out when i was very sick a term in the independent reports
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a us drone strikes killed one hundred seventy four children those are astonishing numbers if you put human faces to them and the purpose of this briefing in congress was to put a human face to drone strikes there's a shortage has that in congress the tragedy of this family will fall on deaf ears but there is hope that the public will take notice in washington i'm going to check out. and a federal judge has now sentenced former representative rick renzi to three years behind bars the former g.o.p. congressman served in arizona's first district for five years between two thousand and three and two thousand and eight at the time of his indictment renzi held a coveted seat on the house intelligence committee however that year he decided not to seek reelection fast forward to june of two thousand and thirteen when representative renzi was convicted on seventeen of thirty two corruption counts he was found guilty on two sets of charges the first embezzlement and which the representative was found to be funneling client funds from his insurance brokerage
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into his election campaign and the second a charge of conspiracy in which he and a business partner named james sandlin together orchestrated an illegal lance wap of u.s. government property in response to the sentencing acting assistant attorney general mike feely ramana of the justice department's criminal division said quote mr renzi abuse the power and the corresponding trust that comes with being a member of congress by putting his own financial interests over the interests of citizens to break down this case and what the implications may be i was joined earlier by melanie sloan director of citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington she first explained the land swap between rick renzi and one of his associates. this is the bigger part of the case the one that really implicated use of the public trust mr renzi used his position in congress to insist that the resolution trust coppermine purchased land from representative from mr
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sandlin in order for mr sandlin to pay back a debt that he owed to representative renzi and the resolution trust company didn't wasn't really that interested in this land they were initially interested in making a land swap for some other land but then renzi kept pushing this land and then he wanted it to be valued at a much higher price than it was worth and eventually somebody from the resolution trust company went to federal prosecutors and told them about what was going on in this case representative renzi then fight this case tooth and nail for really seven years it went all the way up to the ninth circuit court of appeals they tried to go to the supreme court the supreme court turned down the case and it has been winding its way through the courts and frankly it's just it's not very satisfying to see him get only three years in jail for such a flagrant abuse of power and i want to get to that will ultimately how did he get caught before we get in further because that's one thing i haven't been able to understand sure he got caught because people went to the justice department people told the justice department what was going on that they thought that there were problems with what representative randy was doing that they felt pressured to
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engage in this land swap so people from the resolution trust company went to went to justice and of course going off of what you were just talking about you know prosecutors asked for twelve years of course the defense said he doesn't need to serve any time in jail so what do you think about this three year sentence i mean give us some perspective is that is that enough now i think three years is a pretty light sentence given the fairly agreed just facts in this case in two other cases in which members of congress have gone to jail in recent years one involving duke cunningham a representative from california and another involving william jefferson from louisiana both of those members who were involved in illegal activity that also involve money coming into their personal pockets they received ten and eight years were. actively so representative renzi getting nearly three years is a very low sentence i think the judge may have taken into account there were some problems in the prosecution's case there were questions about whether the f.b.i. had engaged in some improper activity but one thing i will say is that judge david perry said that mr renzi and mr sandlin who engage in these activities were good
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men who did bad things and i will say that i think it's pretty rare for a judge to to give the defendants who've been fighting such tooth and nail and refusing to take responsibility for their criminal behavior so much the benefit of doubt is interesting i'm going to ask you do you think the fact that this took place in arizona of all places had anything to do with a historically republican state we're dealing with a republican congressman do you think that having to do with it or you know i think that the judge seemed to be. affected by the fact that this was a former congressman who was well what had once been well respected in the state. congressman's family push that he was a family man with lots of kids a man of faith but rarely will you see other criminal defendants getting the same kind of benefit of the doubt when they have done something so blatantly illegal i mean most people if they're caught red handed like frenzy is and he never took responsibility again usually these lighter sentences are handed down when somebody accept responsibility for their action when they plead guilty and they say yeah
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that you know i did something wrong and he was a bad circumstance and here's why i did this bad thing but representative randy is still fighting and he's still saying they're going to appeal again to the ninth circuit court of appeals so they're not done yet and you mentioned the role of the f.b.i. in all of this and perhaps that's why he had such a light sentence can you talk about the misconduct to what extent did it go to well so some of the problems were about the great amount of confusion that exists when a member of congress is prosecuted there is a portion of the constitution called the speech or debate clause and this is very complicated but basically it says that members of congress can't be questioned about things in the legislative sphere and when the f.b.i. was doing its investigation of representative rand. they were listening to some of his phone calls and they were overhearing material that they weren't supposed to listen to and the judge was very troubled by that and much of that was thrown out of quite of court and in fact that is the issue that first went up to the ninth circuit questions about the extent of the speech or debate clause defense
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absolutely and you know it's interesting i just want you to expand a little bit more on that like what's the rationale behind. you know. behind the major began i mean just i i just can't believe that this was actually used they tried the speaker today because was it actually becomes it's an original part of the constitution it was it an important part of making sure that our members of congress were independent from the executive branch that the executive branch couldn't just come in and say arrest members of congress and they could be forced to do the executive branch's bidding so it had some had some good reasons for its enactment but in recent years it's been expanded a great deal we saw an expansion of the use of the clause actually in the case of the prosecution of william jefferson that we saw before the prosecution of representative randy and some people may remember that rather representative jefferson as his congressional office was searched by the f.b.i. in this brought to a big court case as well and and this is played into the case involving
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representative ramsey so i think we're not through with seeing the use of the speech or the debate cars used by members of congress to basically hide their misconduct and of course no other nobody else can get away with that this is something that's particular to members of congress and sometimes house and legit state legislators absolutely and in the case of former majority leader tom de lay obviously he repealed and he was acquitted. you see he won his case referenda he's now saying that he's going to appeal do you think it's at all possible that he might actually escape this i think it is very unlikely the case against representative delay was very different than the case involving our representative randy the main difference and i am no fan of representative delay but representative ramsey was taking money into his personal. pocket and representative delay was not involved in that kind of activity he was funneling money into campaigns in the republican party to the republican party i think it is a very different matter and we're also talking the difference in federal law and texas state law and will definitely have to keep our eyes peeled for what happens
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next with this case but melanie sloan thank you so much for coming on director of citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington thank you. and to the controversy over obama's new health care law and no it's not about the troubled website rather it has to do with what president obama has been telling americans about how this will affect health insurance for individual buyers take a look. if you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor period if you like your health care plan or you'll be able to keep your health care plan. period . very. little. no matter what you've heard if you like your doctor or health care plan you can keep it if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor if you like your private health insurance plan you can keep your plan nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage of the doctor you have nothing in our plan
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requires you to change what you hear all approach would preserve the right of americans who have insurance to keep their doctor in their place. but even though the president gave a convincing argument for why people didn't have to worry about changing their plans we're now learning that that couldn't be further from the truth according to an n.b.c. investigation fifty to seventy five percent of the fourteen million customers can expect to get notifications that their health insurance has been canceled this all because their existing policies may not meet the standards mandated by the new health care law now the law originally stated that policy than a fact as of march of two thousand and ten would be grandfathered which means consumers could keep them regardless of whether they met the new standards however the department of health and human services then narrowed that provision down to say that any policy that had significantly changed according to state law would no longer have grandfathered status and according to this investigation the obama
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administration was not exactly in the dark about this in fact they've known this to be the case for at least three years obamacare regulations from july of two thousand and ten specifically say that because of normal turnover rates forty to sixty seven percent of customers insurance policies would lose their grandfather status meaning. customers on those plans would have to switch the white house does not dispute that many individual holders will have to change their plans but in a statement a spokesperson said quote in the vast majority of cases those same insurers will automatically shift in rowley's to a plan that provides new consumer protections and for nearly half of the individual market enrollees discounts through premium tax credits so like it or not the message has changed but the white house says it's for the better. tonight's resident takes a look at the disparities of good cop bad cop and how far cops will go to be undercover and become a run meg take
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a look. there are a lot of rotten eggs in society that's why we need cops in the first place to catch rotten eggs for stealing or trying to kill us that kind of thing but somewhere along the line in society the cops went from being good guys that catch bad guys to being the bad guys themselves bad guys who in the name are good people into doing bad things for bad reasons like police quotas or quelling activism to the point where a lot of people call cops hague's but perhaps it would be more accurate to call
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them chickens at least you can call a cop in lake elsinore california chicken because recently one of them dressed up in a giant chicken suit to conduct a cross walk enforcement operation the officer in a chicken suit walked out and across walks at five different locations across the city and gave all thirty one take it's too bad a drivers who didn't yield to the chicken properly people in elsinore have complained numerous times about unsafe drivers around their schools so the police is chicken sting operation could be seen as an earnest effort to improve safety in the community. still police were definitely out that day to ensnare people not yielding to weirdos into going out for it and it wasn't the first time police in that area had been out to coax people into being bad eggs in july the twenty thirteen lightning in a bottle music an arts festival was held in a nearby park where fifty eight people were arrested for drugs. the arrests caused
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outrage as many people say the cops were overzealous in their undercover cop pushing drugs routine and were way out of bounds arresting innocent people this was a festival that compost of their trash by the way and stayed three days after the event was over to pick up anything left behind including cigarette butt. and the lake elsinore police just set up a dui checkpoint in another coordinated effort to ensnare the public so the cop in the chicken out that could be seen as just trying to keep bad eggs from breezing through walkways by schools in a creative way or it could be seen as yet another tactic of the police trying to ensnare good people into doing something bad it's hard to say how we got to a place in society where the people who are supposed to protect us have become someone we see as the bad guy i guess it begs the question which came first the
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chicken or the rotten eggs tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the rest of it. and that does it for now for more on the stories we cover today go to youtube dot com slash r t america check out our website r t dot com slash usa can also follow me on twitter adam you're a david and don't forget to tune in at nine pm for larry king now tonight's special guest is science's reigning superstar neil degrasse tyson is sure to be an out of this world look at the astrophysics of the universe for now have a great night. i think. i'm.
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going to run your whole life should be communally face i decided you know i'm only . a pleasure to have you with us here on t.v. today i roll researcher.

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