Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
For more on these developing stories as I mentioned we are joined by congress and Mike -- chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
chairman thanks for joining us thanks -- first shipment I wanna get you talk about the breaking news about the administration now saying that Syria and back has used chemical weapons.
Are your thoughts -- you heard this story that there are not saying any direct military.
Eight as of yet or weapons as of yet or no fly zones as of yet.
-- we really don't have a good policy matter of fact earlier this week we've asked the White House to come up in brief us what our plans are what the United States plans to do.
He says this has changed his calculus as many have called for the French and the British and the Israelis.
Myself fathers who have said he listeners really clear evidence that this chemical weapons have been news.
Maybe as long as a year and a half ago.
Let's go here we're we're this thing is deteriorating and we regional conflict -- -- dangers of the national security United States.
Problem is the announcement comes today we still don't have a plan so I'm hoping that the White House will show up next week.
But -- comprehensive plan about how we move forward in what is a very very difficult situation.
You're saying a year and a half ago he may have known on March 19 you said I have a high probability to believe the chemical weapons were used.
How confident were you back then and do you think this took too long for the administration.
To get to this point.
I do think it took too long I think they tried to outsource it to the United Nations.
This in this there's no substitute you cannot outsource US leadership it just doesn't work.
There -- Arab League partners -- -- US leadership in this present again this isn't about boots on the ground and military action.
There's a whole host of other things that the US credibility.
Marines -- very hard decisions that are being made in a place like Syria.
None of that really happened.
And so we lost credibility with our Arab League partners we lost credibility with the opposition.
Which is why the secretary of state is having such a difficult time trying to get some agreement on a diplomatic solution.
You have to show that leadership role in order to corral all the forces on the ground in Syria to a difficult agreement we have and we don't have that yet.
-- just -- you know that the public opinion polls are upside down on this for any action by the US of your recent poll.
At -- what should the US do about the situation Syria help civil rights crisis.
Or stay out civil war 68%.
-- stay out.
You think that.
-- -- I agree if they're talking about military action I am absolutely without my completely convinced that would be a disaster for the United States to do it.
Remember though we have very special capabilities in the Arab League partners -- Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Cuts or other places.
This our friends the Turks.
Are all looking for US leadership not necessarily boots on the ground but leadership we can bring unique capability and -- -- tell -- why this is important right.
They have chemical weapons clearly now we've seen they've used them they have chemical weapons.
We know that every flavor of terrorists in the world is in Syria right now fighting gaining experience and guess what they want to get their hands on those chemical weapons.
If we have any national security interest at all it's to make sure that those chemical weapons and those conventional stockpiles of weapons.
Don't fall in the hands.
-- -- -- -- front and al-Qaeda organization.
Now from men are also al-Qaeda.
-- organization Hezbollah that's operating actively now in Syria.
Hamas elements are there PKK yet terrorist groups are up in the north I -- we need to make sure that those groups don't -- -- armed with something that causes a worldwide.
Crisis I want to turn out to the NSA case -- other of breaking story.
Today you talked about the connections possibly with China and and Snowden Edwards -- us.
Ties would be -- you said.
Do you have any reason to believe that he's already and Chinese protective custody.
What I mean if you think about it yet here here's a guy who.
Packed up a whole bunch of very sensitive materials tried to access material that was clearly out of bounds of his responsibility.
Packed it all up and headed to China to make an announcement that he was a whistle -- which by the way he's no whistle blower.
He gives whistle blowers a bad name these folks come to congress and come to legitimate places where we can fix these problems.
And we believe it is now he's now reporting and in China media about the United States possibly time spying on China.
That's not whistle blowing that's betraying your country and so there's a lot of -- events that we have seen.
That -- this just don't pass the smell test that was the end computer systems where he was not supposed to be.
He was clearly accessing information he was not supposed to have.
Downloaded information he was not supposed to have and attempted to access other areas of this system.
That he was it appears today was not able to get out.
There's a report on business there was your -- -- -- or report that he used a computer thumb drive to smuggle -- the highly classified documents can you.
From that I'm not able to confirm that the investigation is ongoing.
And again there's there's a whole bunch of series of actions by this individual.
That does not lead me to believe that he would his intentions were honorable his intentions were to take all this material.
And go to a country that has a highly aggressive intelligence activity directed that the United States of America that's concerns.
You give us specifics on on how these programs awarded.
Attacks I -- specifics.
Of either program.
Well what we're gonna do I think these -- cases -- fantastic example to me.
But remember this is really important -- and I know -- there's a lot of people who are concerned about this and reason they're concerned about it is we have three very real scandals happening with the administration.
Ben Ghazi the I -- and by the way that -- -- scandal is real I think there's going to be criminal behavior here.
And then you have the -- Those are clouding people's public trust on national security issues so I hope that people take the time.
Because this is important for -- national security I do believe it has saved American lives and lives of our allies and here's the thing.
It goes into a lot of phone records I think -- has most people charged.
So these are business records held by the company they don't belong to the the consumer these are just building references but -- -- code names attached to them.
I'm gonna get cut off if you have just 12 I like to hold you to the other side of the break.
And just finish this thought.
Stay with us -- direct.
How -- we continue to be joined by House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers before we were rudely cut off by the computer the pays the bills here.
chairman you are saying why these programs are.
So important there is one poll out this week -- Hamas and -- -- secretly collecting phone records of millions of US citizens unacceptable invades privacy 62%.
Acceptable prevents terrorism 32%.
Right and I think if the question is asked how we know the information I have the privilege and the burden to be the German intelligence committee.
As we go over these things with an absolute fine tooth comb.
Because the constitution tells me -- that I am supposed to defend the United States of America.
And by the way you can't do it.
By violating -- rights of individuals we've done that and we have absolutely done that in this particular case.
So if you tell Americans there's a lot box this is information that doesn't belong to you by the way it's like to think of -- when you put your trash out on the curb.
Law says that there is no longer yours no expectation of privacy.
Your billing information when it goes in this is not your name by the way it's not even your subscriber information it's just phone numbers in a big box the database just phone numbers no names no addresses nothing.
And so what happens is.
And NSA gets a tip that this phone number overseas belongs to a terrorists and it has another phone number and where they don't know the origin.
They go through a whole series of steps court ordered steps to even access the box that is only phone numbers no names.
They punch it -- and guess what comes out what could be nothing.
-- could come out like three or four different phone numbers they still don't even know the names.
If they think that's a domestic phone number they have to give it to the FBI to conduct an investigation.
That would that has all the rights and protections -- US citizens.
This is so overseen and so abused by just a fraction of the time but I'll tell you why it's important.
You get me terrorist person operating in the United States and by the way they're treated like a US person treated like a US person.
Talking to a terrorist overseas that's how you disrupt.
Terrorist -- from overseas happening in the United States I think if Americans truly understood that their names are not associated with this.
It's not their personal phone records its business records I think most Americans would say and it makes sense to them.
And yes you have got thirty seconds is intelligence committee doing anything to interview the survivors of Ben Ghazi even the classified guys the Intel guys.
Yes we have done that we have my committee has brought -- -- the relevant CIA officers.
We have another round of that.
To bring the men and this is serious four people died.
I think there were political decisions involved in really bad security decisions I think that's gross negligence at best.
-- I think it's worse.
Then that we're going to continue to can this investigation.
The State Department portion of it has taken a little longer and -- it's more difficult to get answers in the State Department side of it.
But it's something that we need to do and as chairman thank you for your time thanks to secure.
Filter by section