Hot Fox Business property Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, the head host of Kennedy on Fox News‘ sister network, recently endured a heated exchange between her and neoconservative statist United States Army (U.S. Army) Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Ralph Peters regarding the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)‘s spying on Americans, especially when Peters took her to task over her opening monolog which was saturated with criticism of the agency’s spy tactics on every innocent American who isn’t regarded as a terrorist suspect. Kennedy, of course, stood her ground all the while the retired lieutenant colonel tried to talk over her on the issue at hand.
Here’s a transcript of the entire discussion that has ignited an interest in their solidly-heated exchange that aired on March 9, 2016:
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery: WikiLeaks is painting the CIA to be a vast domestic spying agency. What a shock! The [Department of] Defense now is reportedly opening an investigation into how WikiLeaks got that CIA data. But is all the government snooping truly necessary to keep us safe? Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters joins me. He’s Fox News’ strategist analyst and former Army Intelligence officer.
Welcome back, Lieutenant Colonel!
Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Ralph Peters: Hi, Kennedy.
Kennedy: Hello… darling! (smirking for a moment) Okay, so let’s talk about this ’cause the timing is very curious. Do you think that this dump of WikiLeaks-CIA information, uh, coincides perfectly for some reason with Donald Trump’s claims that the Obama administration was wiretapping his phones at Trump Towers?
Peters: Of course it does. And this is Russian intelligence working through its…its cutout WikiLeaks, uh, trying to cover up for the blooper when the President said, without any substantiation whatsoever, that President Obama was wiretapping him.
Kennedy, what you said in your monolog just isn’t true. Nothing in this release says that the CIA was spying on the American people. Nothing. These techniques are techniques we use against our enemies. Would you like – libertarian or not.
Peters: Do you want the CIA and the NSA to stop spying on terrorists, to stop spying on the Russians, to stop keeping us safe? That it would be a dereliction of duty had the CIA not develop programs. I mean, we – Hello? Terrorists use smartphones, terrorists use computers. And terrorists [interrupted by Kennedy]
Kennedy: So do Americans, and there’s, there’s, there’s nothing in the information
Kennedy: [Disagreeing with him] that we have been given that reassures us that they are not spying on American citizens, and this technology is so accessible
Peters: [interrupting] You’re dealing with due diligence….
Kennedy: [interrupting Peters] …. and so broadly used that we know from a number of sources that, that
Peters: [interrupting] No, we don’t. Which sources? Which sources?
Kennedy: [interrupting] Yes, the government has, in fact without warrants, went-
Peters: [interrupting] Kennedy, ok.
Kennedy: [interrupting] -spying on American citizens
Peters: [interrupting] Give me one instance….give me one instance of the CIA.
Kennedy: [interrupting] I don’t give the CIA the benefit of the doubt.
Peters: [interrupting angrily] Well, then ok, you don’t have to, but I’m a patriot. I worked in intelligence. The CIA is too busy to spy on people’s lives. It’s not, their lives aren’t interesting. I’ll tell you, when the American people are being spied on
Kennedy: [gently interrupting] Yes.
Peters: [again interrupting] – not by CIA, not by NSA, but by Google, by Facebook, by [unintelligible]
Kennedy: [interrupting quickly] Ok, but here is, here is what I understand, and that’s one of the things that I said in my monolog.
Peters: [interrupting rudely] So that doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter? If Google spies on us, that’s okay, right?
Kennedy: [interrupting again] Let me respond to that.
Peters: [interrupting] The CIA….
Kennedy: [interrupting again] Let me respond to that.
Peters: [interrupting] Will you let me respond?
Kennedy: [interrupting incessantly] Well, no…
Peters: [interrupting] All right.
Kennedy: [interrupting] You just made a statement, and I’m saying to you what I said in my monolog. Everyone is spying on you. They’re all spying on each other. But…
Peters: [interrupting] But not enough. The CIA is not on the American people.
Kennedy: [interrupting] Yes, they are. Uh, I have to enter into [interrupted by Peters]
Peters: [interrupt] Give me proof. Give me proof that the CIA is spying on the American people. Ain’t happening!
Kennedy: [interrupting, talking over Peters] I have to enter into a relationship when…. Give me proof that they are not.
Peters [interrupting again] Well, how about the Constitution? Give me a case. Give me a case that they’re spying on any of your friends or you.
Kennedy: [interrupting, talking over him] Well, you know, Lieutenant Colonel, I would love to access some of those cases, but because of the FISA courts, it is impossible because they operate in utter opacity. So we cannot know who is being spied on and who is being wiretapped and who is under surveillance by the federal government because it operates because of Section 702 of the Patriot Act under complete darkness.
Peters: [interrupting softly] You don’t know.
Kennedy: [interrupting] There are many things we don’t know. There are some things we don’t have to know. But we don’t know the exact CIA budget is. Uh, we are now learning that they have tools beyond what Edward Snowden could have imagined in 2013.
Peters: Actually the tools revealed in, in this WikiLeaks dump are pretty basic. They’re common sense tools. Again, we need these tools to work against our enemies. Now if you can cite a single case of you or your friends or acquaintances being spied on by the CIA, please let me know, but I actually worked in that world. And people on the outside keep saying, “Ooooh boogeyman, CIA spying on us.” The CIA is really, really busy protecting us.
Kennedy, you are a libertarian. How can you possibly in any way come to the defense of Vladimir Putin who kills his opposition….
Kennedy: [interrupting] I don’t come to the defense. If, if you’ve ever watched the show….
Peters: [interrupting, talking over her] who’s subverted democracy….
Kennedy: [interrupting] I don’t come to the defense of Vladimir Putin.
Peters: [overriding her] You’re playing into Putin’s hands.
Kennedy: [interrupting] No.
Peters: [interrupting] You’re playing into Putin’s hands.
Kennedy: [interrupting] No, and I also won’t give into the new cold war hysteria.
Peters: [interrupting] The CIA is not the enemy.
Kennedy: [interrupting] Uh, those flames that people are fanning for their own political convenience. I think the truth is somewhere else and not on either of these extreme sides, which are using hysteria and emotion to try and control people, their movement, and their actions. And I’m
Peters: [interrupting] So the bottom line is….
Kennedy: [interrupting] glad that Silicon Valley is going to stand up for itself, its customers, and for privacy, and defend some of these egregious steps that the government
Peters: [interrupting] They are defending their profits. They’re greedy pigs. I mean, come on. I mean, they won’t even help law enforcement. I mean, Kennedy, do you, do you trust Putin more than the CIA?
Kennedy: [interrupting] They, they help law enforcement all the time, and, and, by the way, they, they grant access to over 80% of the requests that they get. Eh, not with warrants. These are without warrants that they get from law enforcement, so they, they actually do. But, you know, they have to appear at least as though they are using this technology to keep people safe and their information private, which is what consumers rightfully want. And that’s okay. Just because you can hack doesn’t mean you should.
Peters: [interrupting] And the CIA is interested in your consumer habits.
Kennedy: [interrupting] And, and to your, to your….
Peters: [interrupting] I love, I love, I love billionaire libertarians. [Something else unintelligible]
Kennedy: [interrupting] I know. Amen. I’d rather have them on my side. Uh, but, but here’s the last thing. You know, I agree with you when you say that the CIA is very busy. All of these agencies are busy. The FBI is busy. The problem is they’re too busy because they’re looking at and spying on too many people, and they oftentimes….Kennedy: [interrupting]
Peters: [interrupting] Just not true, Kennedy.
Kennedy: [interrupting]….don’t get the bad guys [unintelligible].
Peters: [interrupting] This wild claim is just not true.
Kennedy: [interrupting] Really?
Peters: [interrupting quickly] The CIA and the NSA – they are made of decent people, –
Kennedy: [interrupting once again] I don’t doubt that they are made up of decent people.
Peters [interrupting] – military people, patriots.
Kennedy: [interrupting] But I also know that the CIA…
Peters: [interrupting] They don’t spy on the average American.
Kennedy: [interrupting]….created a hacking apparatus so it can operate independently of the NSA so it didn’t have a right agency looking over its true.
Peters: [interrupting] That’s not true. That’s absolutely nutcake stuff.
Kennedy: [interrupting, talking over Peters] That’s absolutely true. No, that’s true.
Peters: [interrupting] They are needed because things move very fast today, and some specific CIA programs have to happen in a closed loop.
Kennedy: [interrupting] I wish, I wish I could have blind trust.
Peters: [interrupting] Do you not know your enemy of the American people?
Kennedy: [interrupting] I love my country right now. Especially I do *NOT* trust-
Kennedy: [talking over him] Of course, I don’t love Vladimir Putin. And I think Julian Assange is a kook. It’s not, they’re not mutually exclusive.
Peters: An alleged rapist.
Kennedy: What? There was, yeah.
Peters: Our government….do you wanna – are you a true libertarian? Do you not believe in a world without government, without police, without military, without intelligence agencies?
Kennedy: [interrupting] No, that’s a false dichotomy, and you know it. You absolutely –
Peters: [interrupting quickly] No, I don’t.
Kennedy: [interrupting] – know it. Yes, you actually do.
Peters: [interrupting] Intelligence agencies get a bad rap.
Kennedy: [interrupting] And do you think it’s impossible for the CIA to overstep their bounds?
Peters: [interrupting] Of course they’re human beings. They could, but show the evidence that they had. They were doing what they can. Look, in….when I was in intelligence, we got ethics training. Unlike the people in the Trump administration by the way, we got it, and we got it over and over again. We were strict in our obedience through the law.
And, by the way, no president can order surveillance. It does go through the FISA courts, and the standards were very high and very rigorous. And when I as an officer took an oath, it wasn’t to a regime; it was to the Constitution of the United States, and everyone –
Kennedy: [interrupting] Amen. You and I both agree on that.
Peters: [interrupting] – I know in intelligence believes that.
Kennedy: [interrupting, moving on] Okay.
Peters: [interrupting] Well, yes. Do you think the CIA is subverting the Constitution? Do you really think that? Isn’t that enough?
Kennedy: [interrupting] I think that, that the, the potential for abuse is so stark –
Peters: [interrupting] Ah, potential.
Kennedy: [interrupting] – and astounding that to assume that it’s not happening is, uh, doing a great disservice to individual liberty.
Peters: [interrupting for the last time] I’m not assuming. I’m telling you I’ve been there.
Kennedy: [interrupting for one final time] Lieutenant Colonel, thank you. Unfortunately, I , I have to move on and talk to party panel. You know, I always enjoy talking to you. I think you’re an incredible author. I love your books, and I love your brain even when we disagree. Thank you.
Peters: Thank you.
So who won this retarded argument – Lisa Kennedy Montgomery or Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters? I know the answer to that one. Do you?