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tv   [untitled]    March 14, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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something else here's part of that and realize that everything you thought you. heard was a big. part of the loan to show well get the real headlines with none of the mersey are going to live in washington d.c. now tonight we're going to take a look at a scathing op ed written by goldman sachs executive on his way out and as we've been highlighting every day it's sunshine week so politicos josh gerstein is going to join us to break down the obama administration's record on transparency and the internet has proven to be a tool that can be used for good and for evil so we're going to speak to an author that looks at the power dynamics between governments corporations and the public to
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figure out how we can keep the internet free so we have all that market and i include in it as of happy hour but first take a look at the mainstream media has decided to me it's. no surprise here the day after more primaries and the mainstream media is just beside itself with how much there is to discuss about the results. rick santorum it's a double win in the deep south the alabama and mississippi primaries a true for true space we've deep in the american south rick santorum celebrating twin victories at mississippi and alabama so why did she informs the top he over performed he did really well with conservative voters and there are a lot of them and in mississippi alabama white evangelical voters very christian voters flocking to him instead of newt gingrich kids just might not think of the deep south as rick santorum country. and mitt romney came in third in both
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scattered states it's clear you come to her and you're the front runner in both of those southern states you can't win the south you cannot win the nomination may have been third in the south but he had a commanding performance in the hawaiian caucuses the former governor getting forty five percent of the vote in hawaii and i guess even those cheesy grits came off a little cheesiness out they didn't buy for those santorum got those states in the south who did not gain much ground in the race for delegates santorum picked up thirty five last night romney forty one now the candidates are looking at to the three contests over the next six days and missouri puerto rico and illinois. art i said it many times and i'll say it again yes presidential elections are obviously incredibly important they deserve media coverage but not to the extent that we see the mainstream media obsess over it all day long drowning out all other news stories that are out there so they let me highlight yet another great report by jeremy scahill that as usual the mainstream media is ignoring you know there are
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a whole lot of journalists these days that actually travel not only to war zones but to shadow war zones to places in which our government operations if they really don't want anyone knowing about it and scale is one of the few reporters actually willing to go there risk his life to bring the story but its latest piece highlights another such journalist yemeni journalist and risks life and limb to report on civilian casualties of air strikes he was the last to interview on our lockheed car as it's known before was announced that a lockie was on the sas nation list and this journalist name is abdul ala haider shape he's currently in prison in yemen and he was sentenced to five years in yemeni court on terrorism related charges but when there is enough outcry from locals from human rights groups president saleh drawn up a pardon for this journalist but here's the kicker scahill told r.t. to see caffein off earlier today he remains in prison today thanks to president obama and a phone call that he made a solid in february of two thousand and eleven president obama said we're very concerned about the release of this guy we don't roll the full extent of what the
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phone call what the white house and state department. that obama said that u.s. sponsored and so that order was rescinded but he continues to walk away in a prison after everything to make a record and it's he's in prison because barack obama was in the prison. i'm going to give you a really basic breakdown of the story i suggest everybody go and read the original piece as reported by scahill what's most important for us to note here is that all the talk we hear from the u.s. government about freedom of the press freedom of information we've seen countless times now that if a specific situation might embarrass the government highlights something that they want to keep a secret that they've been actively denying all of that freedom crackers go straight out the window and the seems to be the case we shake sadly the report of an air strike in yemen in december of two thousand and nine an airstrike that took the lives of thirty four women and children and which the yemeni air force took responsibility for and for which the pentagon congratulated that because the original reports were only said that it was militants who were killed now thanks to
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shea who went to the location of the strike found missile parts labeled made in the usa parts of tomahawk missiles cluster bombs which yemeni forces do not have we know that was the u.s. that was responsible for the strike and we also know thanks to cables released by wiki leaks that there have been conversations between sali and general petraeus about actively lying to the public sali saying we'll continue saying the bombs are ours not yours and so this journalist reporting the truth that neither government wanted revealed for daring to use to can his connections to go to interview people like anwar locky he was convicted on terrorism related charges and then you wonder why no one else tries to go do those interviews but what's perhaps the most shameful scale note is that she's reporting has been used by so many of our media sources there's so many of the other organizations out there from the new york times the washington post a.b.c. news and you know when it's our own a president that wants to keep that journalist whose work they've been using locked up those outlets fall silent for now i haven't seen anybody in the mainstream media
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talking about scales of war and the past with this report on cia proxy prisons and somalia are and how our counterterrorism efforts are having the opposite effect and only making things worse in yemen or eventually the mainstream networks caught on but nobody jumps on covering these stories right away you don't. anyone calling for she's released with the same passion as when american journalists are arrested overseas and yet here our government is playing a direct role in why this man is in jail but the mainstream media for now is choosing to miss. well there is one disgruntled employee that's got everybody talking today i guess you could say that this is how you quit with flair greg smith is a london based executive director of goldman sachs who oversees i quit a derivative i say he announced it was his last day with the company and a scathing op ed in the new york times after almost twelve years of the firm smith
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writes i can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as i have ever seen it as smith points to the loss of a culture of integrity doing right by clients and instead describes for where the current goals become making as much money as possible off of your clients clients that he says that managing directors refer to as muppets now you know the stories making a splash when goldman sachs was trending on twitter by six o'clock this morning goldman has fired back trying to downplay smith's position in the company saying that it's unfortunate that his singular opinion is amplified in a newspaper and speaks louder than other feedback but at the end of the day well greg smith has the world talking today we'll have your number tomorrow join me in our studio in new york is william cohen former investment banker and author of the recently released paperback edition money and power how goldman sachs came to rule the world and he's also contributing editor to vanity fair and a columnist for bloomberg view bill thanks so much for joining us tonight first i just want to get your opinion what do you think about this going out with the banqueting in this. i mean who doesn't fantasize about being able to tell your
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employer what you think about them on the op ed page of the new york times that's most often just a fantasy for people one that they can only dream about and now greg smith has gone and done it i suspect you know this afternoon he may be having second thoughts about this because you know i suspect he will never work in this town again metaphorically speaking of course i don't think you could ever possibly work on wall street ever again he may not want to work on wall street ever again i assume he doesn't because it ain't going to happen well let's talk about some of the things that he's accusing you know goldman sachs that way sure are pretty damning rady saying the toxic there is a stalker that is using the environment is toxic and destructive is just about making money for the firm the clients not pay it's it's none of it is good but is it really shocking. look i mean honestly all of
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what he writes about in moore i've written about in my book i mean anybody who's followed goldman sachs carefully which admittedly probably isn't a whole lot of people knows the goldman sachs has always been acting in its self interest for most of its hundred forty three years by the way that's what most corporations do in america that's what capitalism is frankly pretty much all about acting in your own self-interest and nowhere is that more obvious than on wall street so there are numerous instances in goldman sachs' history where it acted in its own self-interest put its own interest instead of his clients i mean even one could look at the goldman sachs trading corporation in one thousand nine hundred ninety nine hundred thirty one could look at how goldman behaved leading up to the bankruptcy of the penn central. railroad corporation which was the largest bankruptcy of its time in one nine hundred seventy goldman sachs put its interests in front of its clients what was senator levin talking about in april two thousand and ten for eleven hours in front of the permanent investigation committee or an investigation of this talking about goldman putting its own. interests in sort of
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its clients so i'm not sure word rock greg smith crawled out from under today to write this but this has been going on a long time ago in a sense well so in that sense i did you question his motives that all right i've seen some people asking if he could have done this before he worked at a company or an investment firm like alderman sachs and probably made a whole lot of money doing it for the last twelve years you know as a kind of a cop out to leave now. look we don't one thing we don't know about greg smith is the circumstances under which he left or why he left this is obviously extremely rare i can't think of another instance in goldman sachs history where this is happened. you know usually they get people who leave the firm to sign nondisclosure agreements or to sign confidentiality agreements usually that's how they get people to stay in the fold stay under the tent obviously that did not
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happen this time we don't know why we don't know what greg smith was thinking this is not a good day for goldman sachs because frankly they thought this kind of sturm and drang about their behavior was very much two thousand and ten two thousand and eleven news they were hoping to get this behind them and so this stretches up again but this has been going on accord with search for a long long time and it didn't change unfortunately after the financial crisis ok and so then i think we have to get to some of the points that he makes because it seems like greg smith is still optimistic they call him and sachs can change if it wants to any pink's that clients are eventually going to you why is that right he says that of clients don't trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you but i think you have to question how true that is and there is an interesting statement made on the empty theater today about. the one thing i would take issue with in this fascinating amazing story op-ed is the idea that they will lose clients because at this point they haven't even though most of the clients i spoke
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to are fully aware about goldman plays them and they still do business with them because they feel they have to. given that's true i mean we have banks that are too big to fail and firms like goldman sachs are just too big to try to invest with anyone else. i think the speaker in the see and you see clip is absolutely right. i think it's sort of before on your air wall street is a cartel goldman sachs is king of the cartel after the financial crisis we've lost pierce terms we've lost lehman brothers we are a lynch is not what it once was morgan stanley is not what it's once was goldman sachs doesn't really have any competition and if you're a client who you know still wants the same kind of service from a goldman sachs that it one scart you know there's really no place you can go to get it except goldman sachs i talk to any number of clients in the writing in my book who understand fully the kind of treatment that they're going to get from goldman sachs they understand fully that goldman sachs is going to compete with them they're going to goldman sachs is going to probably trade on their inside
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information they understand this but there's no choice there's nobody willing to do with goldman sachs does which ultimately frankly isn't potentially good for goldman sachs but it's very bad for the rest of us it's very bad for our capital market system it's very bad for capitalism and you know i've been writing about this for years and they should change you know nobody's listened to me now maybe this will get people goldman sachs to wake up but frankly in lloyd blankfein as one page letter response today i didn't get the sense that there's any contrition anything that they're willing to change in what they've done and so i don't see what's changing and i don't see the clients being in a position to force them to change no doubt and that response by blank i definitely didn't seem like he was sorry at all or felt that if anything they just tried to maybe not smear greg smith but demote him to some low level employee that really didn't matter but you know i mean everything that you're saying it sounds so frustrating and so we know that we're being you but we have no other choice but so in that sense you know is he going to take everybody to be willing to lose some
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money is it going to actually try to take their money out of these investment firms like robin sax is it going to take people like yourself people like greg smith to come out and speak out because it doesn't seem like government regulation is doing the trick that's not changing anything. you know government regulators unfortunately are bought and sold you know bought and paid for by goldman sachs and other wall street firms i mean one thing that would have a huge effect of course is if institutional investors said i've had enough of this i'm not going to invest in these companies anymore and stop doing business with these companies that would send the most powerful message of all but again you've got to understand that the kinds of trading that goldman can do for its clients the kind of risk that it's really taken to have this clients there's really nobody else willing to do that and so until other competitors come along to give goldman sachs and run from this money it's going to be able to get a lot of get away with this for the foreseeable future if lloyd blankfein were smart though he'd you know take the bull by the horns and say to people this isn't
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we're not going to do this anymore this isn't right this is not we're all about and we're going to change our behavior starting now but i don't hear him saying that there's nothing in his letter that said that and you know i think they're just going to try to continue to muddle through this is best they can all right last thing which is another point that i heard some bring out today is that you know at least you see somebody quitting and in a public manner and you weren't going to see that in two thousand and nine because everybody was happy to have a job that some weird way is this a good economic indicator. well i want a great smith thinks he's going to get a job and wall street after this frankly obviously has got something else in mind i have no idea what it is but he's not going to work on wall street again after this this is the last thing that a wall street employer or a client wants to see happen so i don't think it's a leading indicator of anything a better indicator of our economic position at the moment is you know the slight tick downs in the unemployment rate this no ok i felt i thought it right it's night
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. my pleasure. time for a great great one turn might remember has a few minutes all from the mainstream media's coverage of his arrest by the n.y.p.d. for allegedly planning a terror plot now you may not know is the f.b.i. actually passed on this case pretty much tell you why and the obama administration pledged to be the most transparent ever for politicos josh gerstein going forth. the same. people calling what you said for free and fair elections. and we're still reporting from the summer as you can hear behind me loud explosions.
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gave. a. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lack of sleep you think you understand it and then a glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm sorry welcome to the big picture .
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last november we first told you about twenty seven year old jose pimentel a dominican native who was arrested by the n.y.p.d. on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and a first degree felony three media who loves a good terrorism block on wrong story jumped all over it as soon as the newsroom the man accused of making pipe bombs in his new york city apartment is in custody this morning on several terrorism related charges authorities in new york believe they stopped an alleged terrorist before perhaps hours before he could execute his
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plans twenty seven year old jose pimentel allegedly wanted to bomb the police and u.s. troops returning from the war we want to show you a video of the resulting damage you can see here for him until her believe will to build. this tape of that n.y.p.d. test with jamie he could of course he represents exactly the kind of threat there for you i direct to robert muller and his experts had warned about new york's top cop says the suspect was radicalized by the teachings of us born cleric a lot of. so the conditions are perfect he was said to have ties to al a lot he planned building a bomb and converted to islam on the surface it looks like a cut and dry terrorism incident stop before anything could happen and of course mayor michael bloomberg and y.p. chief ray kelly held a press conference praising law enforcement for stopping this attack before was carried out. you were. going to spread. the robber
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is that screws with one of them. now it's funny that bloomberg added f.b.i. is robert mueller interest speech because the f.b.i. was actually involved in this case at all in fact the f.b.i. was aware the n.y.p.d. had been tracking him intel for two years but the feds never felt that he was a serious threat because he was mentally unstable and they declined opportunities to take the man down so that's why the family was the defendant was arrested by the n.y.p.d. process in a state court whereas usually terrorism cases are handled on a federal level with the f. and prosecuted in the federal court system but the f.b.i. wanted nothing to do with this case so yesterday tell us back in new york state court so he could enter a not guilty plea now defense lawyers think they have enough information to prove that business an example of police overreaching they said we think that when a jury hears both sides of this case they'll see it for what it really is that's not the only thing that might work against prosecutors according to the new york times the suspect got some help and his help came in the form of from intel's neighbor who also just how often to be a confidential informant for the n.y.p.d.
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and the informant was not only a confidant but he also provided a place for the suspect to work on is gone possibly provided the materials and the know how to actually create the weapon and the times went on to say that the informant also recorded incriminating statements made by the men tell after the two of them smoked marijuana together and there's mounting evidence of this informant stepped in and influenced him and tell and maybe why the n.y.p.d. settled on a state case rather than the federal terrorism charges listen to this line from the times article state prosecutors said they were allowed to charge mr p. mintel with a conspiracy even if he were acting with just the informant federal law does not permit charging such a conspiracy and maybe that's a lot of the feds have backed off and it looks like for very good reasons so we can make sure to keep you posted on how the court rules. are and so as our viewers know it's sunshine week national initiative aimed at
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advancing open government transparency the freedom of information and so far every day this week we've been highlighting an issue for you that's shrouded in government secrecy and the case of bradley manning to the new cybersecurity legislation that's being pushed on capitol hill which threatens to exempt even more material from the freedom of information act and unfortunately it doesn't stop there the obama administration which let's not forget promised to be the most open and transparent going as far as keeping the list on tonight's state dinner with british prime minister david. a secret so who can forget the outrage of human years back after it turned out that officials gathered to discuss the economic crisis were enjoying three hundred dollars bottles of wine but where else is ministration failing on the transparency front and who is best equipped to fight it joining me to discuss is josh gerstein reporter for politico josh i want to thank you so much for joining us and i add you know you write a lot about this and there's a lot of extensive documentation out there that shows of the obama administration is doing really bad specifically when it comes to for your requests right whether
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it be trying to challenge that in court having excessive fees put on there but overall if you look at the way of the government this administration has approached the issue of transparency what do you think is the scariest part the worst part the most dangerous of their moves well i think the most questionable moves are probably issues you may have talked about relating to some of the whistleblower and leak cases there have been i think six filed already against people in the government who are accused of leaking classified information to the media in the entire prior history of the united states there's been something like two or three cases of that sort that have been filed and these are pretty serious cases if you're in the government you're accused of leaking secret top secret type information you could be looking at. you know ten twenty years in prison or more bradley manning would be one example of one of these six cases. and so in that case i think we're to bring a kind of a weird interesting little episode that we saw this week which is where he says he
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had a press have report where basically it said that the white house specifically told reporters not to quote anybody by name and then they quoted u.s. trade representative ron kirk as deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs michael froman and the very next line they said that they won't talk about the internal dealings or decisions editorially they're made of a.p. but. i mean what do you think about was that supposed to be with an accident do you think or was it supposed to be a bit of a jab oh i think it was definitely a jab it was no accident the a.p. has been pretty strong on the sunshine issues i think they filed more freedom of information requests than just about anybody else in the media they're very aggressive on these issues so i think it was a pretty strong jab at the white house coming here in the sunshine week but those kinds of background briefings i mean we shouldn't mislead viewers into thinking that they're not common they're very common it's very routine i cover the white house all the time and they have briefings all the time where you're only allowed
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to refer to someone as a senior administration official quote them like that there are other variations on that such as no quotes allowed where you can get sort of background information and you can report officials think this officials plan to do this but you can't quote anybody at all and sometimes these things are basically completely off the record and it's not clear what you're supposed to do with the information so definitely a case that the associated press was trying to strike a blow for press freedom during the sunshine week but so in that sense you know it becomes a weird dynamic too because they want to talk about trying to force the government to be more open to be more transparent and we talk about this relationship that the administration the government in general now has with the press where the press is so dependent on the government for certain leaks and for access to information you know does the press does the press office so play a role in helping to contribute to this ongoing secrecy. oh there's no question about that i mean it's already been pointed out for the washington post pointed out
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that the associated press despite taking this stand because the night before moved a story about the subject matter of that briefing that was attributed apparently to senior administration officials are some sort of a tip from the administration no there's nothing wrong with getting tips but the reality is that sometimes what happens is there are briefings separate briefings for wire service reporters each day where they kind of preview for them what's coming up the next day the administration likes to have the associated press move a story to sort of set the agenda for the day and to try to get some of the facts out so it's definitely a two way street and reporters are always looking for information on whatever kind of basis they can get it where we really have a problem is that reporters grow band together and insist that these types of briefings should be done on the record we should be able to quote people and as long as some reporters are willing to take the information on background with that means without it being quoted or attributed it's very hard for the rest of the media to take a hard line against it especially in this internet era when one report from one
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person is going to pop up everywhere they have something that other stone what do you think about the role that congress plays and all of us i know have been holding hearings this week about you know what was your takeaway. well you know congress i have to say i think mostly there are many people in congress that approach this as a political issue i don't know how sincerely interested they are in the subject sometimes there are some folks that have pursued these issues for a long time senator leahy on the democratic side i think senator cornyn and senator grassley on the republican side have do have a genuine interest in the freedom of information act but as a general rule congress only seems to care about enforcing this when it's sort of the other administration in power by which i mean republican members are always interested in transparency and talk about the freedom of information act when it's a democratic president in power and democratic members seem more interested in the subject when it's a republican president in power and one of the things i've written about is out there sort of a lack of outrage with the obama administration when they do things that are an
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affront to transparency just because you know they the president has sort of own that transparency brand and it was bush who was seen as a threat to reporting and reporters not president obama and so people are often somewhat surprised to hear there been all these prosecutions of reporters sources and now even an effort going forward to try to force the new york times reporter to testify in court about his confidential sources so in that sense we've spoken about the administration that's doing a piss poor job of actually living up to their promise of being us transparent ministration after the press. also doesn't do that good of a job so i guess they have to thank you if they have to play the game or at least some reporters do you congress does it for political purposes what can the average citizen do in that sense. well i think it's just important to monitor the degree to which the government is keeping up with its promises here i don't want to say that the obama administration hasn't done anything while there are some people who think in the foyer area freedom of information act things are worse maybe even
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a little bit than they were under president bush they've done pretty good job trying to push out data and so forth and make the government's use of the internet more robust i think for the average citizen it's just a question look at these open government plans every agency has put one out about the kind of information they're planning to put online they've promised to put online it's not that hard to go through it item by item and see whether they've actually done it you know they say they're going to put out the schedules first pacific cabinet member on a monthly basis have they done so when you look at it no not really maybe about twenty five thirty percent of the time and about seventy five percent of the time they haven't so that's really the kind of checking that people can do and i guess blog about it or write about it and bring it to the attention of the folks that follow them on social media and so forth i haven't gotten their fair share but in the meantime we don't even know what kind of wine they're going to be drinking tonight you know if you want to talk about the obsessive nature of some of this think i say josh thanks so much for.

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