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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/06/13

Guests: Dominic Rushe, Jameel Jaffer

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. So, did you spend any time reading or sending any e-mail today? Did you Google anything? Did you check your account on Gmail or maybe Yahoo? You were not alone. We begin tonight with breaking news. "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian" newspaper today reporting on the existing of a previously unreported top secret government spying program. The National Security Administration and the FBI reportedly tapping directly into the servers of the biggest internet companies in the world. Essentially putting government taps deep inside the machinery that hosts hundreds of millions of American e-mail accounts and online storage and social media and communications. If this sounds familiar, you`re mistaken. This is new. This new secret spying program is entirely different, for example, from the phone records spying program that was revealed last night by "The Guardian" -- the program that has the government storing records of past phone calls allowing intelligence to go back to that data and mine through it at a later date. We`re going to have more on the latest details about that program, the phone program, in just a little bit. But on the computer spying, the story breaking tonight, "The Guardian" and "The Washington Post", both reporting tonight that the National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine different U.S. Internet companies. Big, big names in American computing, including Google and Yahoo!, like I just mentioned. Also, Microsoft, who was apparently first in, in the program. And Facebook and AOL, and Skype and YouTube and Apple and something called PalTalk. I was not previously familiar with PalTalk. It is a smaller company that`s important in the Middle East. It carries a lot of Internet traffic in Syria apparently, and it has been particularly vital as communications medium during the Arab spring. Of the companies named in these NSA documents published by "The Post" and "The Guardian," so far by our accounting, five of these big names that are named in the documents have issued statements tonight denying that they participate in this program, saying that they do not provide the government direct access or some sort of secret back door to their servers. Nevertheless, the NSA says they`re in. Both papers were apparently given access to what seems to be the same document or similar document. It appears to be a PowerPoint slide show used to train intelligence operatives of capabilities of this computer program, which is called PRISM. PRISM reportedly allows officials to monitor not just e-mail traffic in real time but also search histories and file transfers and live chats. NBC News has confirmed the existence of the program. And as elaboration, one source is describing this real time monitoring of computer traffic as the equivalent of standing in the post office and watching for specific envelopes that come from parts of the world or people that are deemed possible troublemakers. Sources also telling NBC News that the surveillance is mainly oriented toward communications that originate outside the U.S. or that involve communications from the U.S. to a foreign country -- key word there probably is "mainly oriented." Either way, the program is one that American intelligence is relying upon with greater frequency. "The Post" got its hand on an internal NSA report that describes the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the president`s daily brief, citing PRISM date in nearly 1,500 articles last year. "The Guardian" reports that more than 77,000 intelligence reports in total have cited the PRISM program as a source since data collection began in this program in December of 2007. Over 2,000 PRISM reports issued every month. One career intelligence officer considers how this intelligence was obtained to be a gross invasion of privacy and therefore worth revealing to the world at large. Quoting from the very end of "The Washington Post`s" report tonight, "Firsthand experience with these systems and horror at their capabilities is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide these PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to `The Washington Post` in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion of privacy." "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type," the officer said. Joining us now is Dominic Rushe. He`s the U.S. business correspondent for "The Guardian" newspaper. He contributed to their reporting on this tonight. Mr. Rushe, thank you very much for being with us. DOMINIC RUSHE, THE GUARDIAN: Thanks for having me. MADDOW: So, you`ve been reporting on this. You know it in more detail than I do. I`m reading what you wrote. Did I mischaracterize any of that or anything important that I missed? RUSHE: No. It`s a shocking story. I mean, we live, like you said, we live our lives online now. Who among us has not been online today to check an e-mail or look on Google, chat with people, it`s part of our everyday life now. It appears that a lot of communications we thought of as private are anything but. MADDOW: In terms of the company`s response to this, we`re watching the companies one by one saying, hey, don`t blame us, we`re not participating in this, we didn`t provide -- Google, for example, saying we didn`t provide any back door access to the government so they could intrude on our users` privacy in this way. What do you make of their denials here? RUSHE: Well, I spoke to a lot of people in Silicon Valley today, senior figures. They were all confused I think is probably the most accurate word. Seems to me they didn`t know about this. One had a blanket denial from Apple earlier today that they ever even heard of PRISM. So, there`s a disconnect between what we see in the documents and what people in Silicon Valley and these tech companies are telling us. I think there`s just so questions raised by this we need some kind of inquiry into what actually happened there. It`s hard to disentangle it at this stage. MADDOW: But the thing that is hard to disentangle is the NSA`s assertions in the -- what appear to be training document, these slides. That they have to count on their corporate partners for access to this information but they have been able to count on those corporate partners and therefore, get this information in mass amounts providing this exponentially increasing proportion of the intelligence that the United States considers worthy of acting on or at least of telling the president. That can`t both be true and -- that can`t be true and the companies` denials that they know anything about it. Those two things can`t co-exist. RUSHE: One of these things is wrong. In these documents, they specifically refer -- they use the word "assistance." So, how do you have assistance if no one is assisting? But we don`t know at the moment. Certainly, the denials, to me, felt genuine. And there`s a genuine sense of shock from senior figures in -- who were saying they haven`t even heard of this scheme. I just had an e-mail from Microsoft just now saying that they never give information unless there`s a subpoena. And that`s -- they have systems in place. I mean, they get requests from the government all the time for private information and then they are assessed on a case by case basis. But this is something entirely different. MADDOW: With the Glenn Greenwald piece that was reported last in the night "The Guardian" about phone data. That`s not the PRISM program. But this other program about phone data, which we`re going to be talking about a little later on in the show, the government response to that in part was saying, you know, don`t worry about this. Don`t think that this is a great intrusion. This is just metadata. We may know who you`re calling when you`re calling them and how long you`re calling them for and we may know that for everybody in the country, but we don`t know what the content of your conversations is. That`s been the sum of the character of their assurance today on the phone spying issue. But on PRISM, we`re actually talking about the content of communications, aren`t we? RUSHE: Yes, we are. And I think it comes against the background of legislation we have in place in the U.S. is frankly around the world is totally out of date. When we rely on so much, the junk mail you get in your postbox has better protection than your e-mail and that stuff you pick up and throw straight in the trash is better protected by U.S. legislation than your private e-mails to your boss, to your doctor, to your children, it`s a shocking state of affairs. And for the government to say that you shouldn`t worry about it is worrying in itself. MADDOW: Also, it`s hard to get that assurance on spying on phone data and then within the 24-hour period, lose that assurance when it comes to everything you do online. Increasingly, people are making phone calls using voiceover Internet protocol. That would be included in this sort of collection of data. Also, photographs. Also, the text e-mails, also your Skype chats. Also, I mean, it`s all sort of -- it`s rich data, right? RUSHE: Yes. Very rich data. MADDOW: And this is something that started, as far as your reporting goes, 2007 the start of this program? RUSHE: Yes, yes. MADDOW: All right. Dominic Rushe, business correspondent for "The Guardian" -- thanks for helping us understand this. RUSHE: Thank you very much. MADDOW: It`s great having you here. All right. So, this is part of the breaking news tonight, but there`s more. Internet snooping, this breaking news about the government`s PRISM program, there`s a lot going on. Including, we have Jameel Jaffer here from the ACLU who`s had some absolutely very, very stern reaction to some stuff breaking over the last couple of days. Stay with us. There`s lots still to come. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: At the end of the Reagan administration, a scandal broke in that presidency that ultimately resulted in 14 senior administration officials being indicted, not subpoenaed, not recused, but criminally indicted, up to and including the secretary of the defense and the head of the CIA and not one but two national security advisors to President Reagan. One of the national security advisors who got indicted, Bud McFarlane, he was convicted but then got a pardon from Poppy Bush. The other national security adviser, John Poindexter, he was convicted on five counts but his convictions were later overturned by a court. So he did not have to get the pardon like everybody else did. For George H.W. Bush, it was an awkward way to start a presidency, right? The same way that Ford had to start his presidency by pardoning Nixon. Poppy Bush had to pardon all the guys from the Reagan administration who are otherwise going to the pokey for Iran Contra. But when Poppy Bush`s son became president, he kind of picked up where dad left off. He decided to complete the public rehabilitation of the Reagan administration`s Iran Contra indictees not by pardoning them, since dad took care of that, but instead by giving them all new jobs in the government. And putting one of those old Iran Contra convicts in charge might have been the first mistake the Bush administration made with the Total Information Awareness Program. Other mistakes probably included the name "total information awareness", seriously? Also, maybe the logo was a mistake. If you`re trying to earn people`s trust and not freak them out about what you`re doing, A, do not call it "total information awareness". B, do not use the glowing eyeball in the pyramid gazing out in total over the globe. And, C, do not give this thing a Latin logo asserting that knowledge is power -- power from the glowing eyeball out of the pyramid looking over the whole globe. Also, do not put the Iran Contra convict, John Poindexter, in charge of it. The whole rollout of the total information awareness debacle was just wrong. And even in those heady days, right after the 9/11 attacks, right at the start of the Afghan war, right at the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. Have we ever used the word "homeland" before in this country, when it seemed like nothing too Orwellian enough to freak us out, John Poindexter`s Total Information Awareness Program with the eyeball and the pyramid and everything, that freaked us out even then. And that engendered one of the first and now a long series of periodic upsets we have had as a nation over privacy since 9/11. Not just since 9/11 broadly, but specifically since the big change to the law we enacted right after 9/11 which Congress passed in fact 44 days after 9/11. It`s 132 pages long. It was called the Patriot Act. It was under Patriot Act authority that the George W. Bush administration tried to create this total information awareness thing. They did actually create the office and put John Poindexter in charge of it in 2002. But as noted, they did botch the rollout so badly that by 2003, Congress had actually taken a vote to defund that office. And not the office and the logo and creepy Latin motto. Now, the office and logo and creepy Latin motto doesn`t exist anymore exactly the way they rolled it out. The de-funding of that office may have taken away all those trappings of the office but didn`t take away the surveillance powers ascribed to that office. Globally, surveillance of communication and various transactions across the U.S. border and surveillance of communication and activity inside the United States, even by U.S. citizens, has all increased dramatically since 9/11, mostly under powers granted under the Patriot Act. And while that does not seem to upset us as a nation in the abstract, every once in a while when we find out what it means in terms of privacy, it really does bug us and it sometimes even gets political traction. In 2004, at the Democratic National Convention, John Kerry was picked, of course, as the Democratic nominee for president to try to make George W. Bush a one term president. And although it was John Kerry`s convention, the speech that stole the show was the keynote by U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama. At the apex of that great, great speech he gave in 2004, then-Senate candidate Barack Obama referenced over one of these privacy stories -- privacy upsets that have periodically roiled us since 2001. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), THEN-SENATE CANDIDATE: Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us. The spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America, there is the United States of America. The pundits -- the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states. Red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I`ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don`t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states, and, yes, we`ve got some gay friends in the red states. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: When he said at that apex of that speech, we do not like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states, what he was - - that was July 2004, what he was referencing there was librarians around the country sounding the alarm about they`re being cold to cooperate with government efforts to spy on people`s efforts in libraries. And it was not an abstract worry. FBI agents showed up at the door of a library in Windsor, Connecticut, and delivered demanding, quote, "any and all subscriber information, billing information and access log of any person or entity who had used the computers" in that library on a particular day at a particular time. That demand letter was top secret. The librarians were not allowed to tell anybody they had received it or what had been demanded of them. Still, in top secrecy, the librarians fought the order to divulge library patrons otherwise confidential information. Only after they won their case years later could those four Connecticut librarians reveal the government`s very concrete claim to the records of what was going on in their library. There was drama and upset over privacy even inside the George W. Bush administration. Some of this came rushing back just last week when we learned President Obama was going to tap former Bush Justice Department 6`8" prosecutor guy James Comey to run the FBI. The thing he very famous for other than being very tall in a job where you don`t have to be very tall has to do with Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft getting pancreatitis. John Ashcroft got acute pancreatitis had to go to the hospital in 2004. At the time there was this big standoff inside the Bush administration over the government spying on people. The National Security Agency does signals intelligence. So, that is phone calls, e-mails, electronic digital radio based transmissions, all that kind of stuff, signals intelligence. That`s what they do and they`re supposed to be doing it outside the country. It`s supposed to be part of our spying on other countries. But after 9/11, the Bush administration reportedly told the NSA to start vacuuming up that kind of stuff inside the United States as well. So, not just abroad, but turn those sensors inward. And every 45 days, President George W. Bush would give the NSA a military order as commander in chief directing them that the surveillance were doing internationally, they should do it inside the country, too. And that`s kind of a big deal. I mean, if you`re at the NSA and you get an order like that, obviously it raises the question whether or not that very big deal order from the president is actually legal. Can the president legally tell us to do that? Well, John Ashcroft with pancreatitis kind of decided, no, those orders weren`t legal, at least not the way they were trying to justify it at one point during the Bush administration. And that is what led to the big dramatic standoff in that hospital room in March 2004, when the Bush administration`s program to have the NSA spying on all of us by presidential order needed to get its periodic legal rubber stamp from the Justice Department. And John Ashcroft was wicked sick. He was in the hospital. So, he appointed big tall James Comey to be the attorney general instead. So, it was going to have to be Comey who was going to have to sign off on it. And so, the White House tried to go to James Comey to get him to sign off on it and he wouldn`t, and then they tried to go around him and have sick John Ashcroft from his hospital bed authorized it and James Comey raced them to John Ashcroft`s hospital room and sat by his bed and told the FBI agents not to let anybody in or out and wouldn`t let it happen. That was what that whole drama was about -- whether the Bush administration spying on us was being done in a legal way. The resolution of that drama ultimately the Justice Department wouldn`t sign off on the program as it was. It was a big drama. Everybody threatened to quit. Words were exchanged. There was reportedly swearing. And the ultimate resolution was they did keep spying on us, kept doing the spying they were doing but they tweaked the rationale to make the Justice Department more comfortable. We finally learned they were doing that, spying in that way in 2006 when "USA Today" broke the news all these phone companies had been told to turn over phone records to the NSA, not just people suspected of anything but anybody so the NSA could create a giant mega database of every call that was made in the country. And just as people got upset when they heard about total awareness and the library and upset they were collecting all this information. Upset enough in 2007 Congress voted that the Bush administration should not be able to do that kind of thing just on their own say-so anymore. Their decisions about spying on all of us, getting all that data about all our phone calls and all our e-mails and all the rest of it, even for the millions of us who are not suspected of any wrongdoing, they should not be able to do that just because they say so, just because they want to, a court should be involved. There should be judicial oversight. So, after one of our periodic upsets over privacy issues back in 2007, Congress passed a law that put something called the FISA Court in charge of decisions how much the government can spy on us even if we`ve done nothing wrong and they don`t think we`ve done anything wrong. FISA is a real court but they meet in secret and their rulings are in secret, so we never know what they`re saying it was OK for the government to do. When Barack Obama became president in 2009, the Justice Department and the intelligence community said that year that they would start a review process to maybe declassify some of those FISA court rulings to maybe let us know what some of those court rulings said since that was the legal basis how much we could be spied on. They said they would start a review process to redact and release some rulings of that secret court so we could know how much we are being spied on. Whether or not they started that process, whether or not they ever reviewed those FISA court rulings none have ever been released. That`s how we get to last night`s all caps exclamation point big deal report from Glenn Greenwald writing for "The Guardian" newspaper in Britain. It`s not new that the government claims the right to collect any business records from any business of any kind, as long as it`s connected to some kind of anti-terrorism investigation. That`s been the law in the Patriot Act since it passed in 2001. It`s not new the government is vacuuming up wholesale top level information from our communications, even without suspicion that we have done anything wrong. We learned about that in 2005 from "The New York Times" and expanded way from "USA Today" in 2006. What is news now is that we finally get to see one of these orders from this secret court which we`ve never been able to see before and it spells out this is the kind of power the government thinks the law gives them. It spells it out in detail. The court order specifically is about Verizon business customers. Specifically about the government getting access to 90 days worth of calling records from Verizon business customers. But there`s no reason to believe that the other parts of Verizon are not subject to similar orders and there`s no reason to believe that all the other phone companies are not subject to the similar orders. Presumably, they`re vacuuming all this stuff up. There`s also no reason to believe that this 90-day period that`s spelled in the court order is anything special. Indeed, the top senator on the Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, she came out today and implicitly confirmed the authenticity of the court order and said, yes, it`s not just 90 days. We`ve been doing this since 2007, since that congressional decision to put all this under FISA authority. Since then, FISA courts have apparently been okaying mass surveillance without suspicion of all the top level data on all our phone calls. And who knows? Maybe all our e-mails, too, since they`ve got the power to do it Senator Feinstein represents one of the three types of political responses to this revelation today. There`s the Feinstein reaction which is shared by Senators like Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham. It`s not partisan thing at all. You can essentially describe their reaction as the big whoop reaction. They`re saying, listen, there`s nothing new here. We`ve been getting briefed on programs like this for years. We`ve been voting on programs like this for years. We`ve authorized this kind of surveillance for years now. Why are you freaked-out about this? So, that`s reaction number one. Reaction two is best typified by this headline at "The Hill" newspaper today. Today. We don`t have it? I have it here on my paper. Patriot Act author extremely troubled by NSA phone tracking. Patriot Act author is troubled by this? Jim Sensenbrenner, who is the original author of the Patriot Act, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001 which cleared the way for all this to happen, he says that "I had no idea this would happen." So, first reaction is: big whoop we all knew this was happen. The second reaction was kind of "who me" caucus? I had no idea this was going on. Senator Isakson who voted for the Patriot Act and voted for FISA authority and voted for the FISA reauthorizing when it came up last year, he`s in the "who me" category, along with Jim Sensenbrenner. He said I never voted intentionally for any bill that would grant blanket authority to monitor every phone call. Senator, apparently yes, you did. The third reaction today has been from members of Congress who actually do think this is a big deal and who did know this was happening, and who have been trying to get people concerned about it all the long while that they have known. Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall writing to the attorney general last year, warning that if the secret court rulings were ever made public, they would, quote, "stun Americans," saying that there is now a, quote, "significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows." When the FISA court authorizing was up for another vote in December last year, those senators and others supported an amendment that would have forced the security administration to reveal just exactly how many Americans are being surveilled by that agency. That amendment only got 43 votes and it failed. They tried another amendment that would have made the program transparent to the public. It got only 37 votes. It failed, too. Back in 2009 when the Patriot Act was being re-authorized, Russ Feingold and Dick Durbin tried and amendment to say that people should not have their records seized by the government unless there was some tangential connection to terrorism. That amendment failed, too. You go all the way back to 2005 when senators tried and amendment that would have kept the NSA from seizing your phone records unless they had specific and arcticulable facts showing that the person whose records they wanted was, quote, "an agent of a foreign power." That amendment was sponsored by Idaho Senator Larry Craig of wide-stance fame. It was co- sponsored by an Illinois senator named Barack Obama. But again, that one failed, too. Never went anywhere. None of those amendments ever went anywhere. No effort to curtail this kind of power has ever gone anywhere in Congress since they killed the Total Information Awareness office but none of the associated programs. And that was a long time ago. And the Patriot Act was not only authorized in 2001. It was re- authorized in 2006. It was re-authorized again in 2011. FISA oversighted this kind of mass vacuuming up of American data for people who are not accused of any wrongdoing, that was approved by Congress in 2007. It was reapproved in 2012 just this past December. Remember the controversy? No, you don`t because it didn`t happen. Even the specifics of what is being authorized by all these votes, every once in a while rears up and horrifies us what it means for our privacy, in the abstract the broad authorities for government to keep doing it keep getting okayed. So, we`ve got new specific data last night about the NSA directing the mass seizure of Verizon`s phone data. Tonight, as we said at the top of the show, "The "Washington Post" and "The Guardian" added more. Another program we did not know about before called PRISM established in 2007 and apparently running ever since in which the NSA and FBI tap directly into the central servers of nine top Internet companies grabbing en masse not just e-mails, but information about when you log-on or off, your documents, your videos, your audio, your chats, Skype chat, your photos. And again, it is not for people who are suspected of crimes, it is, a least it seems, for all of us, everything that goes through Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple and PalTalk. And, apparently, according to classified documents reviewed by "The Washington Post", all the date on drop box is expected to be coming soon to this program. We`ll have much more on this straight ahead. The ACLU`s Jameel Jaffer joins us next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New details are breaking about widespread government surveillance of Americans. It turns out every time you picked up the phone, the government has known what number you were dialing. A secret surveillance program is collecting is the telephone records of every single one of us. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Late last night, "The Guardian" newspaper in London broke what ultimately became the giant news story of the day here in the U.S., secret court orders never been seen before showing the NSA telling Verizon that the NSA was going to collect en masse Verizon`s telephone data. That was the big story of the day until we learned late tonight of a similar program in which the NSA and the FBI have the ability, they say, to tap directly into these central servers of nine top American Internet companies, grabbing not just e-mails but also documents and videos and audio files and photos and chats. Joining us now is Jameel Jaffer. He`s the deputy legal director of the ACLU. Mr. Jaffer, thank you very much for being here tonight. JAMEEL JAFFER, ACLU: Thank you. MADDOW: Part of me feels like, wow, these are huge new revelations. And part of me feels like didn`t we already know they were doing this stuff from revelations in 2005 and 2006? JAFFER: Well, I mean, some of it certainly went on before. Some of it went under the Bush administration before there was this new FISA Amendment Act that was created by congress in 2008. When it was done by the Bush administration it was lawless in the sense that there was no statute the government was relying on. In some cases, the government was acting in violation of statute. Now, the Obama administration is pointing to statutes to justify its surveillance. In some cases, the administration is right. The statutes are so broad that the kind of surveillance the administration is engaged in is exactly what was contemplated by Congress. In other cases, and I think yesterday`s order, Verizon order is an example of this, the administration`s interpretation of the law essentially guts the law. It`s so extreme that it goes even beyond the very permissive boundaries set by Congress in the Patriot Act and then the FISA Amendment Act. MADDOW: So, "The New York Times" publishing an angry editorial denouncing these revelations today in which they have sort of to pause in the middle of their anger how upset they are to say, we recognize it`s legal. (CROSSTALK) JAFFER: I don`t think that`s what "The New York Times" said either. I think that "The New York Times" said there is a statute the government is pointing to, to justify the surveillance. That`s different than saying it`s a constitutional statute. MADDOW: OK. JAFFER: Ultimately, I think here there is blame to go around. It`s a target rich environment in terms of villains here. There`s the Congress that gave the administration this power. There`s the administration which exercised all of that power and more, and there`s the court, the secret court that signed off on this incredibly broad order that allows the government to sweep up information about everybody. Every phone call you make. Every -- how long is that phone call? Who are you calling? Maybe even the location information associated with the phone call. That`s a lot of data. It`s not just about suspected terrorists, it`s about everybody. MADDOW: Let me ask you about a statement that`s come out tonight obviously from an unnamed official because it`s always an unnamed official. An unnamed senior administration official telling "Reuters" tonight that the program -- the PRISM program that`s been disclosed by "The Washington Post" and "The Guardian" tonight, communications collection program referred to in "The Guardian" and "Washington Post" stories does not allow targeting of any U.S. citizen or any person in the United States. So, it`s only targeting non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. Would that be a definitive legal -- would that definitively change your assessment of the legality of what they`re doing here? JAFFER: No. I know what they`re doing here, a game they`ve been playing for a while with this particular statute, because this particular statute allows the government to engage in surveillance directed at people outside the United States. And the government points to that to try to reassure Americans this isn`t about them. In fact, in the course of surveillance directed outside the United States, the government routinely collects international phone calls that Americans make to those people or calls that those people make to Americans inside the United States. And so, while the program is nominally directed at people outside, it`s collecting all sorts of information Americans have an interest in. And so, this program, even if you sort of accept we shouldn`t care at all about privacy of people outside the United States, this program is something people ought to care about. It`s a program that results in the government building huge databases of Americans` communications. MADDOW: Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU -- I have a feeling we will be hearing from the ACLU in some official capacity shortly. JAFFER: You might. MADDOW: I will not ask you to tip your hand. Jameel, thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it. JAFFER: Thank you. MADDOW: All right. Much more to come, including a best new thing in the world tonight. Stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Pat Sajak has been the host of the TV game show, "Wheel of Fortune" for almost 30 years and it has been very good to him because he looks almost the same as he did when he first started, when he first had to console the contestants who had spun bankrupt on the big wheel. So, good for him. Pat Sajak is also glad for folks to know where he stands politically, which is on the right. Last summer, he wrote this essay about President Obama`s "you didn`t build that" line to explain the importance of infrastructure and education spending. At the time, Republicans thought you didn`t build that was a huge gaffe that might turn the election. Those Republicans included Pat Sajak. And then, here, if you pay super close attention, is Pat Sajak making a joke on "Wheel of Fortune" about the "you didn`t build that" line. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAT SAJAK, WHEEL OF FORTUNE: John? CONTESTANT: B! SAJAK: There`s B. What do we have? CONTESTANT: A thriving business. SAJAK: Yes, that`s. (CHEERS) SAJAK: We can build that. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: A thriving business, Pat Sajak says, we can build that. Kind of subversive, right? But if you like political subversion in your game show hosts, frankly, Republican Pat Sajak is chicken feed. If you want to see it done to the ants (ph), you got to stay foot for the best thing in the world tonight. Cash, game prices and a lovely parting gift and game show host civil obedience 70 times like you`ve never seen before. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK. When the story broke about the IRS and the political keywords they were using to scrutinize applications for tax-exempt status, that story broke because an inspector general report was coming out about it, and an IRS official decided she would apologize for that practice ahead of that inspector general report coming out. That`s how we all came to know that that thing was happening. The Department of Justice collecting phone records for all those phone lines of "The Associated Press" -- well, that story broke because the Justice Department sent a letter to "The A.P.", telling them that that surveillance had happened and then "The A.P." decided to make it public. And the story about the Justice Department getting access to the phone records and e-mails of that FOX News reporter, that other leak investigation, that one broke at the same time as all those other ones but the timing on the FOX reporter story was actually by accident. The FBI getting into that reporter`s e-mails and phone calms, that was supposed to have been made public a year and a half ago. But it apparently accidentally left sealed in a court filing by accident, until a court reporter in Washington noticed it a couple weeks ago and that`s how that one came to be known. This is turning out to be a big summer of big news about the Obama administration. But how all these stories are coming to light is getting to be an important part of the news itself and that is nowhere more clear than all these national security stories breaking right now. "The Washington Post" story broken by Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras tonight about PRISM, this mass collection of data from Internet sources, that story was borne from a slide show intended for internal use of the NSA, kind of a training PowerPoint slide show. And that slideshow was leaked to "The Washington Post" and to "The Guardian" by a career intelligence officer;. Quoting from "The Post," "Firsthand experience with these systems and horror at their capabilities is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to `The Washington Post` in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy." The source even gave "The Post" a quote explaining his motivation for the leak. Quote, "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type them." "The Guardian" scoop that broke last night is thus far pretty much -- is thus far more opaque in terms of where that story came from. What leaked in "The Guardian" story from last night is a secret court ruling that directs Verizon to hand over data about all of the phone calls on its system to the NSA. Glenn Greenwald`s piece for "The Guardian" simply said that the secret court ruling had been obtained but not how or from whom. "The New York Times" says that that court order was marked top secret/SI/no foreign, which would make it, quote, "the most closely held secrets in the federal government." And that court order is what "The Guardian" released last night. And tonight, they released their own version of the PRISM story, which is also in things with "Washington Post", including their own chunk of the actual slides from the secret PowerPoint presentation. NBC News reporting tonight that U.S. intelligence officials are reeling tonight after all of these leaks, piercing the most sensitive secrets in the counter terror data collection operation. And this all follows the NBC report last night on this, the internal U.S. government tally and a kind of spreadsheet on its covert program of drone strikes in Pakistan. NBC`s Richard Engel reporting last night on "Nightly News" and then on this show, that over the year and a half long period covered in this government tally, about a quarter of the people the U.S. says it killed in drone strikes were not only not known by name, they were not even known by affiliation with any specific bad guy militant group, even though the U.S. insists they must definitely have been militants of some kind. Twenty-six percent of the people said to be killed in these drone strikes over a year-and-a-half are just simply listed by the U.S. in this document as, quote, "other militants, or foreign fighters." That`s in the U.S. government`s own accounting. "The McClatchy" news agency published an account of similar drone data in April. I should have noted that last night in my introduction to Richard and I`m sorry about that. But NBC says that its drone data is actually different from what McClatchy reported on back in April. And that means that it`s not the same classified document circulating to different news agencies, which means, if you think about it in terms of thinking about where the leaks are coming from, it means the drone data is also leakier than we first thought, right? The FISA court secret ruling leaked to one source. What is apparently the NSA`s biggest and most secret surveillance operation, PRISM, leaked to two separate sources. The covert drone program after action report spreadsheet was leaked to two sources in two slightly different forms. Where are all these leaks coming from? When it rains, it pours. And right now national security leaks are pouring down like a flood. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Best new thing in the world. Are you ready? So it turns out that the Turkish word for gas mask is gazmaskesi, and the reason I know that is not because I speak Turkish, obviously, but because of the best new thing in the world today. As you know, there have been big protests going on in Turkey, tens of thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets for almost a week now, started as an effort to save a park in downtown Istanbul. It`s has now turned into a big, sustained, anti-government maelstrom. It`s fueled by outrage of how authorities have reacted to these peaceful protesters with tear gas and violence. It`s also been fueled by long, simmering grievances against the government there. Around the world, we have had access to a lot of dramatic images from those protests. But inside Turkey, the government has censored the coverage for domestic consumption. That said, TV game shows are one of the things that do still go on, without new trouble, even in times of civil unrest, even under a censorious government. In Turkey, there`s a TV game show that`s called "The Word Game". And it`s kind of like "Wheel of Fortune", maybe closer to "Password." you ever see "Password" on for about a zillion years, a zillion years ago, I`m on old person. Anyway, in this Turkish version of password, this show that`s called "word game". The host gives the contestants a clue, and then based on the clue, they have to guess what the secret word is. On Monday night, the host of the word game in Turkey decided to use the game show to subvert the censorship in his country. He made the whole game -- the whole game show about the thing that nobody is allowed to talk about on TV. For example, one clue to the contestants was "democracy breather." Democracy breather? I`m stumped. But the contestant was not stumped. (VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) MADDOW: Gas mask! Democracy breather, as the government has been tear-gassing the protesters, right? How about this one? A person that concentrates all political power. That`s the clue. Hmmm. (VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) MADDOW: Dictator! Good clue. The next clue was, the social network site that has been described as a curse. Answer? (VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) MADDOW: Twitter, Twitter. If missed that one in America, Twitter is just Twitter. In Turkey, on the morning of that episode of "The Word Game", prime minister had called Twitter a menace to society. And at single one hour episode of "The Word Game" in Turkey, the host brought up the anti- government protest that nobody is allowed to mention 70 different times. Among the 70 secret words he put into the game were "police" and "violence" and "silence" and "resistance" and "censorship". According to "The New York Times" lead blog which picked up on some of the translated coverage of this hero game show hosts, the last two clues were pretty direct messages to the government. The second to last clue was, to voluntarily give up a position. The answer was: resign. And the last clue was: the act that makes a person bigger by asking to be forgiven for wrong actions. The answer, of course, to that was apologize. The host has not been back on TV for a live show since doing this on Monday night. So, we do not know what his act of bravery will cost him. Whether or not the host Ali Ihsan Varol ever knew that bravery would be what was needed from him, as a host, as a game show host, he has showed that he has got what it takes, best new thing in the world -- amid another night of all-night protests tonight in Istanbul, it is the best new thing in the word. That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". Have a great night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END