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Fox News alert everyone fox can now confirm that the Obama administration is likely to open a criminal investigation into the leaks that revealed widespread government surveillance.
Of millions of americans' phone calls their Internet activity and more.
Stephen Yates is a former deputy assistant to Vice President Cheney for national security affairs.
CEO of DC international how about this he spent the first five years of his -- career at the NSA great to see you.
Thank you and -- morning with what about this news that there will be likely criminal investigation.
It doesn't surprise me that much because the programs involved that were disclosed are highly classified and very important that it.
And so I would expect an aggressive investigation and prosecution of the -- Problem is this general notion of trust with all things currently in fashion about.
Selective application of the law selective prosecution of leaks but this one doesn't surprise me this is a big disclosure.
Stephen where do you draw the line between us the president says we gotta give up a little privacy to have.
National security where do you draw the line.
To me that is something that can never be fixed it's always variable because.
It depends on the circumstances in which we live the public's tolerance for for -- some elements of privacy changes.
Under emergency conditions and so a lot of the the tools and applications or put in place.
After 9/11 those were emergency conditions those were extraordinary measures they might not be appropriate to that that today's world.
National security sources.
Tell me in explaining this in contacts that.
You know to a great extent we've dismantled al-Qaeda.
As you've just said we're not in the immediate post 9/11.
So what do you make of all this in this the information about the leaks what information was obtained and was it worth the risk.
Of privacy to average Americans.
Well I don't think the president has done anywhere near an adequate job of explaining to people why.
They should be subjected to more sacrifice of their civil liberties because he has all for all intents and purposes declared the war on terror over.
He also has gone very far in another extreme to apply civil liberties to terrorists who are arrested and given Miranda rights.
And so on the one hand we seem to give.
Exceeding reverence to the looked at the liberties of the -- unlawful.
And let the same time little regards to the civil liberties of -- broad public that's tremendously out of balance.
Given -- a potential criminal investigation that now we are reporting and have confirmed appearance likely.
How many people do you think would be involved how high up would -- go in terms of criminal investigation of possible penalty.
-- Well my experience when you're dealing with something so sensitive as a broad.
At the exception to the laws that govern what they foreign intelligence gathering agency is allowed to do in gathering information on them to -- domestic citizens.
That it would have to be very high in the leadership it's one of those exceptions that I believe would have to go all the way to the top.
The secretary of defense and the president of the United States.
At the same time -- Stephen understandably the president would take credit for getting you be out.
Osama bin Laden.
And there -- some reporting that the the information obtained may have thwarted.
A subway attack.
I think that's important it's also important for all of us to recognize.
They just because many in our country want to declare a war over the enemy gets a vote in that and that -- terrorist war on us.
Continues whether we like it or not we do need.
Some of these tougher measures and it's really incumbent upon the administration to -- -- more consistent line.
For what kind of a threat environment we have.
And then allow the public to make a judgment and needs to be checks and balances the post Vietnam environment post 9/11 environment or extreme circumstances that should not be our guide.
Are we safer today as a result of information that's been obtained in your professional opinion you've been in this intelligence.
And national security industry -- -- Career.
I have no doubt that there have been plots that were -- have no doubt -- some of these expanded measures.
In past times did leads to key moves to protect the safety of Americans.
But the same time technology has exploded and evolved in ways they couldn't even comprehend -- ten years ago.
And I think it's time for congress to be involved to rebalance what's allowed and what's appropriate very interesting Stephen -- we always learn so much when you join us thank you.
Thank you very much --
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