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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  August 18, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" is provided by albritton communications and "politico." reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> this week on "inside washington" -- the bloody crisis in egypt. >> our corporation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back. >> getting tough on crime policies. >> need to make sure incarceration is meant to punish, deter, and rehabilitate, not to simply warehouse and forget. >> gearing up for 2016. >> get your act together, republicans.
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>> a salute to one of the greatest voice on the bus. very tough. mubarak, egyptian wanted change, they wanted jobs, food, freedom, but instead today they have chaos and military rule. hundreds are dead and dying as the military put down the hammer. president obama speaking at martha's vineyard where he is on vacation. >> this morning we notify the egyptian government we are cancelling our baena annual joint military exercise scheduled for next month. i have asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions
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taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as the siri with respect to the u.s.-egyptian relationship. of the u.s.yers give egypt about $2 billion a year in military and economic aid. thators mccain and levin we should cut off military aid. under the foreign assistance act, if they had called this a military coup, we would have had to cut off aid. is it time to call this a coup? >> it is time to change the law. in foreign affairs, there have to be situations in which the executive has discretion. when there was a coup in mali a year ago, we follow the law and cut off aid. a year later, we had to rush in and help the french to resist the jihad against the capital.
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what the president is trying to do is a thread a needle, to not cut off aid yet, as a way to exert leverage. all, all of the aid is in the pipeline for the next year. they did that rapidly so that they would not be in a fix. this is very hard but they are not going to run out of money because the gulf states are going to give the money. >> the egyptian military already has a lot of money. >> they get the lion's share of what goes to egypt. they have a procurement office near my home. cutting off aid is a human rights response to what is happening over there, but the issue that has not been touched on -- to cut off aid to the military, they will turn somewhere. somebody else will be ready to provide that. i am talking about the russian
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bear. they have been interested in getting into egypt during the time of the soviet union. the u.s. has to be concerned about that. if you lose that, you lose a lot of influence in the middle east. >> if this money is buying united states influence, i do not know what we would have without the money. theink it is fair to say generals have been totally unresponsive to restoring democracy. they just appointed 25 provincial governors. 19 of them are governors -- generals. repression,utal make no mistake about it. >> this is not just a situation of the generals opposing the egyptian people. are in a real clash
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with the muslim brotherhood. they do not see this as a way where they can cooperate and reach conciliation. their choice is just to bring them down. >> let us look at the history. 1952, they overthrow the king. stole a watch from winston churchill, how the world's biggest collection of pornography. now we have more say, democratically elected, he is gone, now what is new? how can there be any hope for democracy down the road? >> i have been to egypt about six times. i was there during the mubarak era. the place was shut down, military everywhere.
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if they pull that back, as we did under morsi, something else steps into the vacuum. what came in did not throw the people. the muslim brotherhood was taking the country in a direction that a lot of egyptians in the middle did not like. >> colby is right. democratically elected does not mean democratic. the muslim brotherhood is not democratic. the palestinian wing of the mother -- muslim brotherhood is called hamas. a democracy ine gaza. the problem is, that is where morsi was taking egypt, that is why there were the largest demonstrations in the history of egypt, larger than the ones against mubarak. coup,my, when it did the made the decision, it would be the army or the brotherhood.
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those are the only significant institutions in the country. one was taking it into a dictatorial stage. now it is a zero sum game. there is no way to reconcile the two. >> i am not arrogant enough to think i know what the answer is for democrats, but there was clearly great disagreement within the military itself, within the new government itself. mohamed elbaradei resigned. who thoughteople that there would be something short of this. i do not know whether that is true or not. perhaps that is naive. we may be left with no option but to support this government. when we do that, we send a signal to the rest of the arab world. >> but this is not civil war yet
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apparently. states, we do say that democracy is the the rule of law, and minority rights. they have been abridged, ignored, quite frankly, by the brotherhood. true, freeon elections. this was not the first time the u.s. has ignored democratically elected governments. we did it in iran. anddid it in chile guatemala. it is a dangerous move to pursue. >> the president says we will cancel our biannual joint military exercise which was scheduled for next month. when did you think of his statement? >> it is tough to make a war
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statement in a vacation setting. every president takes vacation, but when you talk about people being killed, it does require a certain gravity of setting, which was not communicated in the appearance. i think his words were measured and thoughtful, but he does not want to call it a coup, because then the law comes in. junta runningtary it. >> if you cancel joint military exercises, what is the response? >> i think the president was trying to give an appearance of the united states being opposed to everything happening. i am sure he feels he does not like what is happening. i am not sure that he thinks there is an alternative now. he said all the right words, we
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deplore, condemn, and no joint exercises, but where we are right now, when the military conducted the crew, they crossed the rubicon. either the brotherhood was going to go quietly and spend 80 years returning to power, which was unlikely, or we have what is happening now, like what happened in el nigeria in 1992. in 1992.a the president does not have much alternative now. >> that is the point. he does not have a lot of leverage in this situation, which made his statements sound in effectual. he did not have much to say other than to deplore the violence. even then, he was so measured, he wanted to be evenhanded in his statement.
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of a was sort parenthetical reference to religious institutions, and the christians are really being clobbered over there. under the morsi government, he allowed it to happen. >> and it is happening even more so now. it is very sad to watch. you watch this whole area of the world which had been marked by since the and juntas early 20th-century, and each time there is one overthrown and there are hopes for change, it turns out badly. those periods between events, i think, are shrinking. you talk about 10 years in algeria. with the current communications we have, these tumultuous
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events will happen more and more frequently, and they are incredibly dangerous and globally, but these people are also killing each other off. >> as we learned in this country here -- >> the road to democracy is a bumpy one. bethe rule of law has to excepted, minority rights need to be protected. it was not a walk and a part in the united states either, and we are still trying to iron out the issues. >> a good analogy for what is happening today is what happened in chile. there was a left-wing government, peter o'shea comes in and we have a left-wing government. comes in and we have a left-wing government. in latin america, which has had a century and a half of juntas,
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large and democratic, it is difficult. >> stop and frisk, changes in drug charges. new ways tong promote public safety, deterrence, efficiency, and fairness, we can become smarter and tougher on crime. >> that is attorney general eric holder making announcements about sentencing drug offenders. no longer mandatory minimum sentences for non-filing drug offenders. does the law allow that? >> absolutely. this is what prosecutors do. it is called prosecutorial discretion. you decide what you will charge. do you charge a large quantity or a lesser quantity? when the bush administration was
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in, john ashcroft change the rules to ask for the maximum all the time. support asis getting people have woken up to the folly of this. they have done this in a bunch of states that we think of as red states. the number of people in federal prison is 800% when it was in 1980. that is phenomenal. >> a lot of this is low-level drug? >> yes, low-level drug. >> so change the law. that is how the constitution works. there are people in congress trying to work on precisely this. reversing the mandatory sentences instituted in the 1990's after the crack epidemic of the 1980's. this is typical obama lawlessness.
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changing the law can wait. if you are a liberal in a hurry, you want to undermine and go around the law, and called it discretion. >> excuse me, the people that object to this usually are conservatives, liberals who say the conservative prosecutor is being too strict with his prosecutorial discretion. >> the mandatory minimum laws have to change. you do that by changing the law and getting rid of it. aboute not going to talk the quantity of heroin, cocaine the person is dealing with because you do not want to get caught in that situation. ago,e contras, three years passed a fair sentencing act.
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they have already moved in this direction. loose ends, as far as attorney general holder -- anybody selling drugs without large ties to large drug organizations. that aside, there has been a national movement. utah, rand paul, patrick leahy, and dick durbin have spearheaded this in the senate. state the capital of punishment, has closed three prisons. the fact that they are closing prisons shows that this is a national movement. precisely what the president ought to give a speech, explain the issues, exert some pressure, and show some urgency.
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>> this is being driven by economics. says if a guy is caught heroin, andt of that would trigger an automatic sentence -- then conceal the amount. that is not how you do it. >> the reality of the way that this works, it is the mules who are caught, the people carrying a large quantity of drugs, and they get a huge penalty, as much doeas a kingpin. you use that as leverage. mules frequently do not have anything to tell beyond one guy. >> a federal judge says that stop and frisk, you cannot do it. blumberg says of that will increase crime across the city -- mayor bloomberg says that that will increase crime across
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the city. >> the judge is right. >> you have an excellent idea. we need to work and that together. there is a guy in boston that would do that. he would take people off the street and killed them. his name was whitey bulger. he was on the fbi's most wanted list for 16 years and they could not find him. it turns out, the fbi was in bed with him. towaway compromise, totally corrupted by its association with him. to not him carte blanche be held liable, and to tell him who was a threat to their organization by his continued dominance. >> what is the consequence for
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the fbi? >> one of them is in prison, john connally. >> hat's off to the massachusetts state police as well. >> they were honest and not corrupted. >> only one guy went to jail? >> he was the main contact. i think there was another guy as well. >> but it did stop, you are right. >> let me explain for the viewers, for three of our panelists, this is a local issue. >> this is a national issue. what affects the baystate of explanation. >> that moment in 2017 when we all get to say, madam president to hillary rodham clinton.
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>> can anyone out there be hillary clinton? >> hillary clinton may pete hillary clinton. she is adopting a set of left- wing ideas before the primary, she may alienate her saw from the average american, she made to feed herself. clare mccaskill was speaking, newt gingrich as well. if not hillary, who? o'malley,en, martin andrew cuomo, charles klobuchar., amy if elected, i will search. >> the bench is pretty thin.
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a week is a lifetime in politics. three years is an eternity. i do not know if hillary clinton will run in 2016. >> at one time, we were talking about hillary clinton and rudy giuliani. it never really worked out. find thepossible to republican in town that is downright morose about the result in 2013. and you to start winning the votes back. your reaction? >> i am not morose, i am rather serene. all of this gnashing of teeth, enough. a one-year autopsy is enough. i think the prospects in the midterm elections are excellent. the democrats are scared to death about the implementation of obamacare and how that will
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hurt them. 2016, who has any idea what it will look like? hillary clinton was inevitable in 2008 as well, wasn't she? >> what if they shut down the government? >> republican will have a big problem. they have a real difficult problem ahead of them. what will they do with this question? they cannot come together on issues that are important to them, like immigration. --is important, successively substantively for the country, but also for their party. >> you do not have to be following the news daily to figure this out. it is not good for the party, they are ruining the brand. however, the seats in the house are so gerrymandered, the possibility that the democrats
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take over and be responsible for what happens in the house is pretty small. is right twiceck a day. it was good to hear speaker gingrich. he did make sense about the republicans. they have no response to obamacare. any one of them does the same thing. they do the same dance. that pre-existing condition is a great idea. keeping children on the family plan until 26, a wonderful idea. but how do we get there? no idea. 2014, charles is right, looks good for the republicans. right now, 2016 looks bad. political a great writer. , for me, covering him was the alternate assignments. he died this week at the age of
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85 after a lifetime of great political writing, playing the horses, and enjoying whiskey, good food, and scores of reporters and politicians who delighted in his company. he would hate what we are about to do here, but we will do it anyway. was there anybody with a better built in bs detector? >> no, he was excellent. he just likes politicians, he nots their company he did take the cheap shots. he wanted to know what made them tick. he cared about politics, thought it was important. he was just exceptional. >> we all had a chance to work with him for a number of years.
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wast sounds cliche, but it a high honor and distinct privilege to be on the set with jack. not only for the reasons that you talked about, but he knew so much. and he shared it. he did not hold back, he was not playing games. he was just collegial -- that is the best way to describe him. >> last guy at the bar at the way there at night, first guy at the job in the morning. >> he was unbelievable. i think he would sleep for one hour, but i do not know where all the alcohol went. he was fine in the morning. he could absorb it. >> he would be appalled by all the nice things we are saying. was drole and ornary.
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he loved politics, the give-and- take, and the human side of politics. that is what is missing now. we have politicians and their teams and they make it impossible to get inside. it is sort of the end of an era in that way as well. >> you get the last word, charles. we had to do it. see you next week.
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from washington the mclaughlin group. the american original. the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talks. issue one, egypt erupts. >> america wants to be a partner in the egyptian people's pursuit of a better future and we are guided by our national interest in this long standing relationship. but our partnership must also advance the principles that we believe in. and that so many egyptians have sacrificed for these last several years no matter what party or faction they belong to. >> reporter: the egyptian police and security forces launched a coordinated operation to clear the streets of cairo, of tens of thousands of muslim brotherhood protesters who were demanding the return of


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