C.R.: What you, what you alluded to us, we didn't have any problem, I actually had a former FBI colleague thinking I had gone, he called and said, "you've gone in to hostile, a hostile country" or whatever, something like that and I said, "No, you wake up! The Cold War is over. We had -
C.R.: no problem of being stopped or questioned or anything by any official Russian entity so we traveled by ourselves and of course they've even eased the Visa requirements. You can now get a Visa that's possible for three years for on and off travel. Ours was not like this, we had a humanitarian category Visa that's only good for one month. But the Visa thing has eased and so there's a lot of business people from all of Europe, western Europe and the United States going to Russia.
We traveled, we stayed ourselves in a hotel and then we met Snowden for this award ceremony at an undisclosed location. What I was saying is, we don't know where we were because we don't even know Moscow so when we're driving and stuff we had no idea where we really were. Ray by the way had served in Moscow forty years before but it had changed greatly and none of us really knew where we were. It was a safe place and we did then have a nice long opportunity to discuss issues that evening.
R.K.: So let's hear about the discussions, what did you learn from Snowden?
C.R.: Well you know we did discuss quite a bit, the whole reform problem, of trying to reform the laws. He would like to see the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendment Act repealed. And I think when he said that he meant portions of, because those things are quite extensive and they're disparate. They include like, for instance, the Patriot Act is two hundred and sixty-four different provisions and so when people say the Patriot Act, of course nobody has even read that whole long, it's a three hundred pages or so, no one has read it so what they are referring to in their heads, mentally, they're referring to this spying business. It is a lot, there's other things in the Patriot Act that people don't even that are in there.
Most of the debate, public debate in the United States has focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act which is the provision they subverted, it was never intended to allow the vacuuming up of all telephone subscriber data, you know all the various major telephone carriers are given these orders every ninety days and it says that they have to hand over all their telephone subscriber data and call's Meta Data, it's what it's called, that was never intended to allow that. Sensenbrenner, who actually was one of the people who drafted this portion of the Patriot Act, was fairly incensed that it got interpreted later, broadly interpreted or twisted to allow them to do this.
So a lot of people know about that and that's the area that only twelve votes difference a couple of months ago when it came up in the House, and I want to say it was two hundred and five that wanted to end this massive collection of telephone meta data and two hundred and seven -- two hundred and five wanted to end it and two hundred and twelve, something like that, so really it was just a question of seven votes in the House that failed to end this vast collection and people are quite aware of that, and are hoping that at the very least this can be reined in.
There may be some solutions, different solutions whereby the government can't use this vast vacuuming up of data. That's the one -
R.K: It's interesting that that legislation was proposed by Justin Amash who is a Tea Party member.
C.R.: And, in fact the libertarian, I mean this is kind of what happened, especially in the last couple of years, and it's not just on this issue of massive surveillance, it's also on the NDAA, on the National Defense Authorization Act, the group that was probably the most stridently, and had the numbers of senators and House members that were more opposed to the NDAA, it's provisions, it also was the Libertarian group.
I kind of distinguish some of these from the, just your basic Republican because it is a new group that is really focused on Liberty, and so they actually had higher numbers voting also not to pass the, or not to pass and re-pass the NDAA.
There's been a change I think, I will just mention one third example, here in the twin cities we had a very, you know, almost a Rush Limbaugh radio host. He actually at times even substituted for Rush Limbaugh on the National Show. He was a real, you know mostly Right Wing Conservative, his name is Jason Lewis. He was one of our main Right Wing radio talk show hosts. A couple of years ago he went one hundred and eighty degrees flip to now be a completely against the wars and certainly for restoring these Constitutional Civil Liberties.
It's been quite an amazing thing. I said two years and it might be almost three years ago. He writes op-eds for our main paper and the funny thing is, that his op-eds are stronger than almost any op-ed I ever see. He just recently wrote one quoting Eisenhower about how bad the military-industrial complex is and how -