Friday Lightning Round: Political unrest in Turkey

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 14, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: Each week we ask you to vote for your favorite topic in the Friday Lightning Round. And tonight you chose the protests in Turkey.  Before we get back to our panel, let's hear from Turkey's prime minister.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (via translator): We say to our youngsters, please leave Gezi Park now. Go home. If there are any of those illegal organizations there after that, let us deal with them because Gezi Park does not belong to those illegal organizations and those occupying organizations.


BREAM: The situation continues there in Turkey with protest that's started over one thing and may now be about something very different.  Julie, what do you make of the current situation?

JULIE PACE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  No one is watching the situation in Turkey closer than the White House is now. President Obama has invested a tremendous amount of time, a lot of resources in the relationship with Erdogan. And these protests started as an environmental sit-in, they are about so much more right now. This is really about a secular but majority Muslim country watching a leader pretty warily and wondering whether his sort of moderate reforms when he took office are slipping away, and wondering whether he's trying to impose some religious values on this population.

So, again, this is a very troubling situation right now for the U.S. Depending on where it goes, it could get worse, the White House is certainly hoping it gets better.

BREAM: Charles, is democracy at stake here in Turkey?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST:  Yes, because he is not a democrat. He was elected democratically, but a lot of people were, Putin, Chavez and others. And then they go ahead and dismantle it. He has done it slightly more slowly than a Putin, but he has dismantled it and he is attempting to. And the protests essentially are an anti-authoritarian protest.

The problem is that it is only a sliver of society in the streets a lot more narrow than even Tahir Square. So if you had to bet the house, you'd bet on Erdogan.

BREAM: All right, I want to make sure we get to all of our lightning round topics. So let's turn to the NSA and issues over that. And I want to hear now from Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who is the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.


REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER, D - MD: Unfortunately, there was a lot of false information on the airways about letting people's constitutional rights, that what we were doing was not legal. There were no constitutional rights that were violated.


BREAM: Dana, what do you make of this and how the NSA program has been bandied about?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE":  Ruppersberger is actually joined with Chairman Mike Rogers, so there is a bipartisan Intel Committee, people who are in the know, people who are trying to defend the administration.

They don't give you a lot to work with when you are trying to defend them. President Obama said that he wanted to have a national conversation about it and then he has not talked about it ever since. And so I actually think communications wise they're making a mistake that the Bush administration also made it in 2005, too slow to react to the New York Times revealing that the terrorist surveillance program. We let that warrantless wiretap brand get tagged to President Bush and it took too long for us to explain it. They should have learned from our mistakes. There are people who are trying to defend President Obama and this program. They need to help us do so.

BREAM: Well, and part of that may be the NSA's Director General Keith Alexander talked about possibly being able to declassify some of the ways in which the NSA program has actually thwarted plots maybe as early as next week and we might get some information.

PACE: Well we would love to have that information. I agree with Dana that I think in these types of situations it is always better to try to be putting out more information to try to get ahead of the story. We do hear these things from people like Mike Rogers where they say, trust us. The more we put out about this the easier it will be for terrorists to try to find other methods. Or trust us, this thwarted plot. But until we actually have some evidence on both those fronts, it is really hard to accurately evaluate these programs.

BREAM: Charles, I want to ask you about our final topic tonight, which is about CBS reporter Cheryl Atkinson and the fact that CBS has announced her computer, as she alleged a while back, they now have forensic evidence to suggest it was probed, it was hacked. They don't know who, but they know what happened.

KRAUTHAMMER: And it was also around the time she was reporting on Benghazi. She and this network were about the only ones even interested in the subject. I have no idea who is behind this. I'm generally not a conspiracy theorist, but I'm not sure there are a lot of other interested parties here. And given the record of our own attorney general and truth telling and other people in the administration including the press secretary, I'm not sure I believe anything that I'll hear in explaining this away. What we heard from DOJ was to our knowledge we did not go into her computer. Well, let's get the knowledge.

BREAM: And, Dana, that was one thing, when they put out that statement. We knew there was wiggle room left there. But now that there is forensic confirmation, where do we go next?

PERINO: Maybe to the Cincinnati IRS office where two low level employees were deciding to do this. Charles several months ago called this "CSI Benghazi." This is the latest episode. So we know that they did it. We don't know exactly how but we know it was very sophisticated.

So that leaves the why, probably Benghazi. And then the who. The Chinese hackers probably are not that interested in Cheryl Atkinson's computer information. So I think on this final graduation weekend as parents are sending their kids out, they should tell them for every liberal arts class you take you have to take two computer science classes because that's where all the jobs are going to be.

BREAM: Julie, any advice for grads from you?

PACE: Computer science sounds pretty good. Journalism is not a bad career either.

BREAM: Yeah. If you like to investigate. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: If you want to learn how to line dance, join the IRS.


BREAM: The lessons are free. We're paying for them but they are free. And the pay is not bad either.

Panel, thank you very much. That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for a very special birthday salute. That's next.

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