tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 16, 2013 3:00am-6:00am PDT
♪ the first explosion occurred, and it was kind of like a sound i'd never heard before. it shook you right to the core. and then trying to figure out what happened. we saw the smoke and then the second explosion occurred and at that point, it was pandemonium. >> i got within about a block and then i saw an explosion of white smoke and the loudest noise i've ever heard in my life. and even though i was almost a block away, the concussion from that was just stunning. it's disorienting. and i think everyone around me
too, we just kind of looked at each other. >> a time when the world's most prestigious marathon, 26.2 miles, 23,000 athletes, a half million cheering fans, but this year, marathon monday will be remembered for the devastation that ripped apart a day of triumph and joy. >> at 2:50 yesterday afternoon, two bombs just seconds apart exploded near the finish line of the boston marathon.
thick, white smoke only temporarily masked the carnage that was left behind. scores of people, runners, children, volunteers were left bloodied and dazed by the incredible strength of the blasts. first responders who had been treating cases of dehydration and blisters were suddenly faced with what looked like a war zone. with screams hanging in the air, they delivered emergency first aid that in many cases saved lives for those who were there, it was absolutely surreal. >> you just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was. but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. i mean, my legs didn't stop shaking. >> i've got that image and that sound. i'll never forget the sound and the imagery i saw when i approached. >> as soon as that second one went off, it was complete mayhem. >> everything going through my head was this is an attack, this is not an accident. this does not happen, two can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you don't know what direction really to run in. you could run in any direction and a third one could come.
if there was one and there was two, there could be three and there could be four. >> at least three people were killed by the bombs. among them, an 8-year-old boy. more than 120 people were injured. many of whom are now listed in critical condition. president obama spoke from the white house yesterday evening. >> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. >> a theme of this year's race was 26 miles for 26 victims. a message of remembrance of the newtown school shooting. many of the victims' family members were there at the finish line tent yards from where the
blasts occurred. you can imagine that, it is tuesday, april 16th, and we're live in boston this morning, just about five blocks from the site of double bombing, those explosions yesterday near the finish line of the boston marathon. joining us now we have with us for the whole show today, mike barnicle. and in new york, willie geist. you've been covering this since the story broke. we've been listening to your words, your reporting, your words of calm. a day later, how is this sinking in? >> well, i think obviously the city, the environment around the city is still in a state of shock. the city will not be business as usual today. many of the streets around us you can see have been closed off, back bay, the entire area of the finish line is closed off and shut down. but like any city like new york, after september 11th, like any city in this country, people are resilient, we'll go on. >> yesterday was a special day
for people outside of boston, can you explain? >> oh, joe. >> you know, the sox play, it's a holiday in boston, actually. >> it's a holiday. >> the sox play in the afternoon. you were there with your son. >> it's a traditional holiday. it's perhaps the greatest day for the city during the course of the year. it's a day when the entire city wears a smile. it's a day when hundreds of thousands of people arrive here from literally around the globe and certainly around the nation to run, first, in the boston marathon, 26 miles in massachusetts, to the boylston finish line. the game concludes just as the middle of the pack begins to come through kenmore square on route to the finish line. people spill out of the ballpark, which is four or five blocks from the finish line. many of them walk along -- >> they walk -- >> they walk along the route.
>> and the timing was such that you actually were coming on over, right? >> yeah. and what it is is when you're in the newspaper business and people from the newspapers here with us later this morning, i think, stories bump into you. you don't bump into stories. these people who have arrived here to cheer on a relative running for a cause, a specific cause, the newtown -- >> 26 for 26. >> cancer, aids awareness, things like that, running to raise money and awareness for various causes. and it's strangers cheering strangers. strangers handing cups of water to the runners, people they don't know. so at the finish line, five blocks up here, the two explosions occur and you see this amazing resilience. the lessening of panic, the impulse of people to help others. i spoke to a young man yesterday afternoon who saw both blasts within 20 seconds of another as
he waited for his girlfriend to come across the finish line. first blast was to his right, second blast was to his left about 15 seconds after the first blast. about 25 yards to his left, he ends up with others applying. he saw a young man dive on his two children. that was the story. >> mika, we're going to get into casualties in a minute, but what's happening with the fbi investigation? >> well, we'll start with an update this morning. the fbi is taking the lead backed by officials from the atf and the massachusetts state police. so far, no one is in custody. but authorities are confirming the search of an apartment last night in neighboring revere. it's still unclear if it's part of the investigation into the bombings. investigators are also speaking
to a saudi citizen who was injured in the explosion. he's apparently in the united states on a student visa, but again, no arrests. it's also unclear how many bombs were planted at the scene according to the "new york times." two other devices in addition to the bombs that went off were found and disabled by police before they were detonated. how frightening. mike talked about the tradition of this event and how many bost i bostonians and americans it brings together. also about 100 countries from around the world which will lead to a debate about where this came from until they figure it out. >> what? >> you don't know if it's domestic or international. but for sure, whatever happened to whoever did this gets an international platform of terrorism like it or not. >> because people, obviously, this is not just a boston event. it's an international event, the most famous marathon in the world. and willie geist, up in new york, mika brings up a great point. yesterday, almost immediately
after this bomb blast, some news agencies were trying to figure out too quickly, i think, who was responsible for the blast and we didn't know yesterday. we still don't know today. it reminds me. i remember in the hours after oklahoma city back in 1995, on april 19th. >> right. >> 1995, i was watching cnn, they kept talking about arab terrorism. and i was reminded by somebody in my office, my first year in congress that it was the anniversary of waco. i actually remember calling cnn talking to frank and saying, frank, i don't think this attack came from the middle east. i think this attack came from middle america. and yet, everybody was still moving down that path for quite a while. we just don't know who this is and news agencies would be safe and smart to take guidance from the fbi and just wait. >> it's not only okay to say
what you just said, which is that we don't know, it's the appropriate thing to do. i don't know why this happens every time there's an incident, everyone wants to make implications or draw lines or point out anniversaries. we don't know, the white house doesn't know right now, the fbi doesn't know. we will learn perhaps, today, more about who did this and why they did it. until we get good information, we ought not speculate about it. and bad information travels so much faster now in the age of twitter and everything else. i know you have it too, the copy of the boston globe in front of me, guys. just incredible stories. and there are going to be hundreds of them. these are the first stories. one this morning on the "globe's" website about a couple of brothers there watching their friend run in the marathon. both of them, age 33, 31, lost a leg. there it is right there. >> oh, god. >> they were recently laid off as roofers, there to see their buddy finish. they did not see him finish. they called, nflt, one of them, their mother from the ambulance
and said, mom, i'm hurt real bad was the quote she recalled and told to the "boston globe." this is one story of one family, there's the 8-year-old who was killed. his mother and sister also seriously wounded. they were there to watch their father. to watch their dad cross the finish line and instead they lost an 8-year-old. this is just the beginning of these stories we're going to hear today. >> yeah. it just twists this tragedy. if it's possible and wrenches it even more because the marathon is about unity and it's triumph. and there's so many stories as, mike, you pointed out. you just come here and the stories come to you when you're covering the boston marathon. and the reasons that people are doing it and the reasons they want to cross that finish line. and then the torture of what's happened here. it's absolutely sick. >> yeah, i think it's important to reiterate as joe indicated and really just pointed out. what federal officials and local
officials have told me repeatedly over the past 12 hours or so is what they don't know far outweighs what they do know. >> yeah. >> let's just let them do their job, investigative work before we start jumping in with theorys. >> and mika, it's such a -- i mean obviously this sort of tragedy is always jarring. in this type of an event, which is -- i mean, it just brings out the best in people and the good will in people. you were telling us offset before about running two days ago in a half marathon in new york and we're talking about how everybody encourages everybody. there's not really a competition that people are cheering on and decide it is such a celebration -- >> these blasts occurred an hour in for those very people. in the front of the race are the professional athletes. that's a story in itself. but the rest of the race are people there to be with others and enjoy a beautiful day and to
challenge themselves to do something they've either never done before, they want to do again and beat their time. they're usually running for someone they love. or in memory or someone or in unity with others. and it's -- so many things went through my mind when i saw this across the air waves. it just in so many ways has been a devastating thing from a national level to an international level and on a personal level, as well. and certainly security at sports events and major major big city events will be an issue from now in the months to come all over again. in washington, nbc news national security analyst and former director of the national counterterrorism center michael lighter joins us. we want to be careful about trying to figure out where this came from until there's good evidence that the fbi decides to
release. but security at marathons. may en, how -- this is ridiculous. you've got tens of thousands of people lining a street looking forward, what do we expect? >> right. well, first of all, i really would echo joe and mike barnicle's views about it is so early in this investigation and i think it's incredibly important to be cautious about who did this and how we adjust in the future. but as you noted, these sorts of large public gatherings, these have always been viewed as potential targets. and we can do a lot to make these events safer. and boston -- cities like boston and new york have. it starts with collecting the intelligence. so you try to detect these things before they occur. you do have a significant police presence that boston obviously had. all of these things add up to reducing the likelihood of something tragic like this occurring. but as we saw, if somebody's
really committed to killing people, killing innocent people in a totally senseless way, it is going to be impossible for us to stop all of the carnage. what we also saw in boston, i think the result of 10, 12 years of counterterrorism and homeland security protection is a spectacular response. the police, the fire, the hospitals being ready for this sort of mass casualty event. that doesn't save everyone, but it undoubtedly does reduce the number of casualties that we see. >> hey, michael, could you speak to the degree of difficulty about an event like this? this is not an event, the marathon, that occurs in a stadium, at a ballpark or a convention hall where you ha have -- you have assigned egress and exits and entrances, this is an open society we live in. this is 26 miles, one specific area of boylston street with
massive coverage. the degree of difficulty securing an area like this. >> yeah, mike, you're absolutely right. the fact is, you can't hardened the route of 26 miles, you can't harden an entire city. events like the super bowl, you can obviously do different levels of protection and go out and have no-fly zones and screening and metal detectors for people coming in. and all of that reduces, again, the chance of a really large-scale attack. something like a marathon route, it's impossible to do that other than in some very, very highly secure areas, potentially the start, the finish, official areas. but along that route, no matter how many soldiers in blue, the boston police department, massachusetts state police you line up, it's virtually impossible to keep everybody safe. and, again, i think what this requires is you do the best you can. you reduce the casualties, you try to find this before the act.
and then you respond with the resilience that you've talked so eloquently about. that you get back to life. you don't forget, you investigate you find the people behind this, but you don't let this completely alter our life. because that provides the terrorists, whoever they are domestic or international a huge victory. >> willie geist? >> michael, it's willie geist in new york. the hospitals and law enforcement both reporting that there were ball bearings inside this bomb. not some of the other projectiles like nails that you might find in other improvised explosive devices, particularly like those you see in afghanistan. what can the kind of bomb used yesterday tell you about who may have been behind this? >> as a general matter, willie, the type of bomb, the explosives, was this gun powder? was it some higher quality explosive like petn, was it
hydrogen peroxide? that will give a load about the type of organizations behind this. the fact there were ball bearings in this is it clearly tells you that whoever did this was intending to maim and kill. this wasn't an attempt to just, you know, do some damage and scare some people. this was someone or a group trying to kill people. you know, beyond that, i think it's really dangerous to say ball bearings suggest domestic or international. the fact is whether it's al qaeda or domestic terrorist groups or hezbollah, all of these groups have used different sorts of motus operenda. it will be a different lead for investigators in boston and washington, but beyond that, it's hard to go much farther. >> i thought the white house's response yesterday was interesting. not what the president said, but
what the president didn't say. >> right. the president did not refer to the attacks as an act of terrorism. but later, a white house official said, quote, this. any event with multiple explosive devices as this appears to be is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror. however, we don't yet know who carried out this attack. and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign, or domestic. >> you know, the boston globe's kevin cullen, i thought wrote a great column yesterday about this in response to it. talked about a perfect marathon and then, of course, the unimaginable. >> this is how bad this is. he writes, i went out monday night and bumped into firefighters i know. they said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. the dad walked on, the boy went
back to the sidewalk to join his mom and little sister and then the bomb went off. the boy was killed, his sister's leg was blown off, his mother was badly injured. that's just one family, one story. >> the horror of that, mike. the absolute horror is just hard to imagine. it's hard to put into words, it's hard to -- as a father. >> sure. >> even try to imagine what he's going through this morning. >> yeah. well, just after the two blasts went off. i mean the freeze frame in your mind from past marathons at the finish line is it's an extraordinary day. an extraordinary day of joy and happiness, communal spirit, and the streets are filled with younger children coming to see parents or relatives running. especially at the finish line. a young boy rushes out to give his father a high five or
whatever and moments later he's dead, he's 8 years old. almost inconceivable. and yet sadly, sadly, in this day in age of ours, we've been lucky this has not occurred before, since september 11th on a massive scale like this. we've been fortunate. >> yeah. we have. >> all right. still ahead, we're going to talk to former homeland security secretary tom ridge. also, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams with the latest on the investigation. coming up next, former boston police commissioner. [ pacino ] the inches we need
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in a certain way and there's just never a thought in your mind that you could just, you know, out of left field get blown up. >> when you cross people in the hallway. you can sense something's a little different now. and it reminds me of that feeling we had in the days after the terrible attack on september 11th. >> all right. welcome back to "morning joe." we're live in boston. just five blocks from the scene of the double bombing at the finish line of the boston marathon. here with us now from london, former police commissioner from boston, los angeles, and new york, and an old good friend of mike barnicle's bill bradley. mike, take it away. >> commissioner, good morning to you in london. having been experienced and a veteran of securing facilities like the city both in boston for a marathon, new york, los angeles for a marathon, could you give us a glimpse into what happens before the event occurs. during the morning of the event, the intel that's gathered, the
security preparations at various agencies, police departments, federal agencies, go through to prepare themselves and the city security wise? >> subsequent to 9/11, security for that event, which i worked for over 20 years when i was a boston police officer and ultimately boston police commissioner. after 9/11, it all changed in terms of the security. it was not just crowd control any longer. it was before the fact, looking at intelligence, working with the fbi, the counterterrorism entities and the federal government, the fusion center of boston to see if there was anything being discussed about that event. is there any chatter about it? are there any threats being directed at it? so the intelligence analysis is extraordinarily comprehensive. by all accounts, there was nothing appearing on the radar screen that there was anything being directed at this event. in terms of physically at the
site as you know, they would use bomb detecting dogs. the area where this event occurred where the bombs went off. if i understand it correctly based on past experience as well as yesterday, it would have been a v.i.p. area in which there would have been credentials necessary to get into that area. the level of security is so different, it's no longer just crowd control. it is to try and prevent exactly what happened yesterday. the awful tragedy that happened there in boston. >> and given commissioner that this was and is part of the towns that you covered heading up police departments around the country, just your personal thoughts on the events here at the iconic boston marathon, which i'm sure is something that is a wonderful day for you in this town as it is for everybody. >> mika, this event that i grew up in boston, first policed it
in 1971 as a boston police officer, and as a sergeant, as a lieutenant, as a chief of the transit police. as the boston police commissioner. it is an extraordinary day and one that i have great memories of. and those memories will be forever tainted by what happened yesterday. i noticed just prior to our interview when you're reading an extraordinary column by kevin cullen, and like mike barnicle, how all of you seasoned commentators, your eyes teared up just thinking how he described that event. i read that column online earlier this morning and literally i had tears coming out of my eyes. the poignancy of it, the tragedy of it. there's an e-mail i received from somebody that michael knows, a former deputy superintendent, my colleague, that he sent to me. i talked to the special ops at the scene of the blast. he said the injuries were
horrific. so many amputations. he and many others were shaken to the soul by what they saw. shaken to the soul by what they saw. an horrific event. >> yeah, willie geist here in new york city. doctors saying the same thing on the scene, even in hospitals, this is like nothing they've ever seen or frankly have had to prepare for. a lot of people have pointed out in the last 12 hours or so that this marathon and others like it are prime soft targets. you have a large gathering of people, it's hard to police that many people. in your experience, has the boston marathon been targeted previously? anything you know of that had been thwarted. >> nothing i know of, the current commissioner in boston, and i'm not aware of any specific targeting by anybody of this event.
demonstrations, certainly, but certainly not acts of terror. >> commissioner, joe scarborough here. if i'm not mistaken, this is the first act, is it not, of terrorism? like this since 9/11, which really, really underlines the remarkable job that the men and women in our federal government, state governments and local law enforcement, what an incredible job they've done for well over a decade. >> well, this is the first successful act. new york city where i now live has thwarted i think now at least a dozen of these efforts, including you might recall the gentleman who brought a car loaded with explosives into time square. we have learned so much, we have become so much better prepared, the fusion centers, the coordination, the collaboration. but there is no ability to ever prevent all of it. and yesterday was a clear
example of that. that we live in a very free society, thank god and we'll continue to live in a free society. we can prevent most of them, but we can't prevent all of them. >> you know, commissioner, listening to you talk about the day and what the day means to the cities of this region, always has. the enormous crowds, that swell the city to size triple its normal size. i was thinking as you spoke as i listened to you that on the day after the marathon as you well recall, both papers, the globe and the herald run the names of all those who finished the marathon. and the sadness of today, the legacy of yesterday in part is going to be in today's papers we are listing the names of those dead and wounded. and that's a sad thing. >> it will forever change the nature, if you will, of the event, which will -- years going forward will continue to be
celebratory. a favorite memory of mine when i was police commissioner in 1993 was taking my dad out to lexington and concord to basically see the reenactment of the lexington concord event and driving the 26 miles into the city. and then the honor of having my dad sit beside me at the finish line to watch the first runner come through. sitting in london last night and getting the messages about this event, you could have knocked me out of the chair. the poignancy of it, it's my hometown. >> i'm so sorry, commissioner, thank you so much for joining s us, we'll be talking to you again soon, i'm sure. >> thank you. still ahead, what yesterday's events mean for national security. chairman of the house homeland security committee congressman peter king joins us. also u.s. senate candidate in massachusetts congressman stephen lynch. up next, sports columnist for
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>> do you plan oncoming back? >> i'll be back next year. >> i thought it was my first and only boston. i think we all have to run boston. i mean, we have to support that organization. >> all right. it's 38 past the hour, and we're on boylston street in boston, five blocks from where the bombing occurred. here with us now from newton, massachusetts, sports columnist for the "boston globe," dan shaughnessy. >> dan, neither one of us want to admit how long we've been around. so with that said, let me ask you to set the scene for this day that we've both covered for decades. set the scene in terms of the route, what the route means to people who run it, people who watch it, and what the day means to people who live in and around this region. >> mike, as you know, it's one
of those unique days that we have that no one else has. patriots day. your friends call from out of town, you're not working. the there's no school. the reenactment, the goofy ball game. it's the only major league baseball game of a country that starts in the morning every year. it's a boston thing. fans generally go down to the finish line to see what's going on. you've got 26 miles, along the route, a lot of us live along the route. people line up everywhere. go through where the college girls come out and scream at everybody. there's heartbreak hill at newton, the turn at the fire station. come in, down through coolidge corner, and at fenway, the runners coming into kenmore. it's always been this great day, 117 years. people lining up four or five deep, all over the route, great atmosphere, families, all of that. and to have this shattered in
such a way really takes everyone aback here in boston and forever changes one of our great institutions. the boston marathon. >> and, dan, if you could talk about when the ball game gets over and you're working for the next day, writing a column for the next day's paper, today's paper, this marathon, when you leave, when you go through kenmore square, come down commonwealth avenue, talk about, we mentioned this earlier, how stories bump into you. you don't bump into stories. >> absolutely. because generally the later in the day, the better the stories. i mean, the elite runners, you know, ethiopians in this case, kenyans most of the time, we understand it's great. but the real stories are the people, your friends and neighbors. they're chugging through there a couple hours later. those are the people coming down boylston street when the devices went off.
it's the regular folks, the firefighters, the teachers, the people running for the charity. all those people are the ones that are finishing now after the elite runners have already showered and done their press conferences. >> hey, dan, it's willie geist in new york city, you wrote a beautiful piece in the globe this morning. you point to the unthink about nature of the day and how difficult it was to wrap your head around it. a day that started like every other patriots day, ended for you in your living room with the kid who grew up across the street and lived across the street in your living room with jeans torn and shrapnel in his leg. can you explain that a little bit? >> it was the strangest thing. i had to -- like a lot of us, i went into town, i had two daughters down there and one of their mothers-in-law was running. i went to get them out of there to get home and with social media and whatnot, they said, hey, he was down there when the bomb went off. i called kevin, he came over,
sat on the couch, had a beer, he had a tear in his jeans from the shrapnel and rolled up his pant leg and had a wound there. he said i've got to go to the hospital tomorrow. he was able to describe all the stuff that happened. it was odd he had been standing right there. and like anyone else, his parents were worried had he been a little closer to the device. he's not sitting having a beer in my living room, he's somewhere else. >> dan and mike, you've covered this town. but we all know this is a college town. joe, you and i know this as fans of the boston red sox. and it's not just the day of the boston marathon that brings people into the streets. this is the kind of town where people walk everywhere and they pour into fenway park. and they're used to bumping into stories and everyone's bumping into everyone and it's part of the joy of going to a game. and you wonder just how this is going to change the way things
are done. >> yeah, i doubt it will. i mean, there'll be more security next year. i doubt, though, that people in boston are going to change. dan, i'm sure you'll agree with me. red sox fans are pretty tough, bruins fans are pretty tough, runners that come out here are tough. i don't think they're going to change a lot. security's going to be heightened. we were listening to bill bratton talking about his memory, of his dad taking him up at 5:30 to look at the reenactment, driving 26 miles and having the honor of sitting next to his father at the finish line. and how the events of yesterday are going to change the way you look at boston's most special day for years to come. >> well, i was a kid reporter in 1976. i think mike barnicle might have run in this one, but it was 100
degrees, i remember dog day afternoon was playing at the theater on boylston street when they came down the finish line and a run for the hose is what we called that one. i was in the globe car with a wa wa walkie-talkie. >> barnicle, you never ran a marathon, did you? >> dan is right, 1976 was the hottest marathon on record. i nearly expired. >> thank you, dan. >> with you in the flat bed truck trying to get jack craig. >> that's exactly right. >> the visual image is just fantastic. thank you very much. the boston globe's dan shaughnessy. thank you for coming on the show. in less than three hours from now, the fbi is set to hold a news conference with the latest on the investigation. up next, some perspective on what law enforcement may be looking for with former
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john timinney. give us a sense, we love this town. we love boston, what are we to expect in the days to come as the investigation ensues, but also the city takes on this new meaning and this new way of life. >> well, that's the difficult part. it really is going to change the boston marathon, which is an american icon. i've run it a few times myself. i don't think it'll ever be the same. however, it will continue. the police at davis, they've got their work cut out for them. i'm sure there's going to be forensic evidence from both scenes. i guarantee you'll have tv cameras and video cameras coming into play over the next few days. there may be witnesses who surface, people who may have ran from the scene out of sheer panic that may have seen somebody acting suspicious. you have two locations. is it one individual dropping off two bombs or two individuals
each one developing off a bomb? all of those things. and then, of course, with the fbi and the local terrorism task force. do they have any informants that can shed light on this? and probably the biggest thing is not to jump to conclusions. not to assume anything. leave it all wide open. don't lean towards a foreign or domestic. it could be either one. patriots day, also tax day. that could've got people up in arms. it could be a foreign type. so you leave all the options, all the possibilities open and let the evidence and the cctv cameras and the witnesses will bring you to your suspects. >> chief, how extensive is the camera network in boston? obviously, when something happens in london you can -- >> dial it up. >> you can dial it up pretty quick. there are a few streets in london that aren't on close
circuit tv. do you know what the situation is in boston? >> yeah, my sense is most american cities, new york is going that route. there's nothing like london and belfast. those two cities have complete integrated system and it's almost nothing without it being captured on cctv cameras. as a matter of fact, back in 2005 in london, they were able to follow those guys from outside of london all the way into london to the subways and to the bus. so there the cctv cameras were absolutely invaluable in the investigation. my sense is boston -- they will have some cctv cameras. filming the very end of the finish line and then you have individual people that will be taking pictures throughout the marathon. but especially at the finish line. there'll be hundreds if not thousands of pictures taken of people running and crossing the finish line in the minutes and hours leading up to the bombing.
>> mike barnicle. >> john, you were number two in new york with bill bratton, chief in philadelphia, chief in miami. >> yep. >> could you talk briefly about how policing in the united states has changed since september 11th, how departments have changed since september 11th given the often tenuous relationship between municipal police departments and the fbi. and now the fbi is running this investigation. how has that relationship changed? >> well, i think, it's funny, i was talking to somebody just this morning about the fbi's role. i first realized it after the chief of miami after 9/11, and we had a big event about 1 million people in miami, a big celebration. and who shows up but the fbi completely different role for the fbi that normally they would show up to do an investigation after an event. but now with the major events all across what is a super bowl or any other event, the fbi are there ahead of time with their
resources and they've got great resources, and so it's more of a partnership and there's not as much turf battles if you will as there was prior to 9/11. the relationship is entirely different. so the relationship is a lot better than it was prior to 9/11. >> all right. former philadelphia police chief john timoney, thank you very much. >> thank you, mika, thanks, mike. >> thank you, chief. >> -- who documents post 9/11 america. he joins us live here in boston. keep it right here on "morning joe." all stations come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two.
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it was a terrible day. very bad things happened today for no good reason. and our thoughts are with the people of boston and everyone who is suffering. >> boston's my hometown, it's where i grew up. it's where my family lives. so i wanted to take a moment to say that like everybody here, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of boston and everybody who has been affected by this absolutely senseless act. >> is anyone else sick of this
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as you all know, this whole community has been dealing with an horrific event today. two explosions on boylston street near the finish line of today's boston marathon. >> this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point. >> it was loud. really, really loud. and then people just chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. people were scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first, it almost sounded like a cannon blast, it literally almost blew my head off. >> times of crisis, we come together and help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are don't show our weakness. they show our strength. >> make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did
this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town so are its people. >> there was just families all around us with kids yelling and screaming and we just wanted to try to get away as quick as possible. >> and we reaffirmed that on days like this, there are no republicans or democrats, we are americans united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> and welcome back to "morning joe." we're live here in boston just blocks from that scene where the double bombing happened yesterday at the finish line of the boston marathon. mike barnicle is still with us and willie geist is with us from new york. joe will be joining us in a moment with former homeland
security secretary tom ridge. to recap, three people are dead including an 8-year-old boy identified by boston nbc affiliate as martin richard. his family members are reportedly seriously wounded, as well. nearly 130 people were injured. they're being treated at nearby hospitals. and joining us now, we have white house correspondent for the "wall street journal" who was actually running in yesterday's boston marathon. set the scene for us. you weren't writing a piece. this is not your beat. you were just a runner. >> right. yesterday i was just supposed to be a runner. i just finished the race and was still in the logjam of runners getting water, getting my finisher medal when i heard the first explosion. and i was about a block away and everyone stopped and kind of wondered what had happened. but went back to what they were doing and then we heard the second loud boom and that's when people started to realize that something was wrong.
>> did -- were you part of the crowds that were running and trying to get away? what went through your mind as a reporter? because i would think there'd be two things at once. >> right. kind of conflicting emotions because as a reporter, you're used to being on the scene and you walk toward news not away from it. and so i wasn't certain what was happening. and pretty quickly, we could hear sirens. and police cars started to arrive. and volunteers said clear the area, you need to leave. and so they pretty quickly started moving us out. and at that point, everyone had just run 26.2 miles and you feel like you can't walk another step let alone run away from what's happening. >> your legs feel like they're 800 pounds each when you've run so far. but at some point, i would imagine the adrenaline takes over and fear takes over and get the hell out. >> absolutely. you had to get away from the scene. >> so the scene that you describe and, mike, i'll let you jump in. so you became a reporter on this instead of just a runner.
i'm sorry to say because i know running just like me for you is your escape, your joy, your thing away from your work. >> right. >> it now became your work and you wrote this. i was just far enough away that i couldn't see the gory scene unfolding a block away. there injured and bloodied spectators who had cheered me on a few minutes earlier now were being rushed to medical tents originally set up for hobbled runners. something is very wrong another runner said to me. like me, the runners all around had come not just to the end of boston's 26.2 grueling hilly miles, but to the conclusion of a journey of preparation that starts many months before the race. our expectation was that we'd pick up a hard-earned medal, gratefully hug our friends, instead, tragedy struck. after running all of those miles, i felt i couldn't walk another step. but in the panic after the explosions, there was no choice.
>> colleen, was this your first boston marathon? >> it was my third. >> oh, wow. >> i'd experienced it before. it's such a special day and a celebratory day in boston. hyde had a great experience in the past and was looking forward to another celebration at the finish line. >> for those people, viewers out there this morning who are unaware of uniqueness of the boston marathon, the oldest marathon in this country, 117 years old, could you speak to the route and the strangers who offer you assistance, water and encouragement along the way, all the way until you come across the finish line? >> it's a special race, you start out and you actually run toward boston and you run through these small towns. and people have the day off and they line the streets and they come out and they offer you oranges and little kids set up lemonade stands and offer you cups of water. it's a community event. people are so supportive and people put out the score of the
red sox game during the race. i always tell people, there aren't a lot of opportunities in life for amateur runners and amateur athletes where you are cheered on and where you have, you know, so much support. >> so much exhilaration at the end, too, that you finally made it and you can't understand what that feels like unless you've done it. i did a half marathon on sunday and i don't know how you've done it. i'm impressed. >> hey, it's willie up in new york, i appreciate you being with us this morning. you talked about it a little bit. but there have been some stories coming out of yesterday in the midst of this evil of overwhelming good. you talked to some of those who ran to the scene. i'm interested in your fellow runners, though, there were reports of some of them after having completed that journey and having the 800-pound legs that mika talked about. knowing what they knew about what happened, continue running another mile to mile and a half to hospitals to offer their own
blood to help somehow. can you talk about what you saw from your fellow runners? >> right. i think everyone's instinct was how can we help. some runners went to the hospital, gave blood. some runners on the scene were doctors and had training as first responders. they walked back toward the scene instead of trying to get away from it. there's such a comradery among runners. i think everyone's kind of first inclination was to help the fellow runners and the spectators cheering us on. >> all right. thank you very much for telling your story. will you be here next year for the marathon? >> i think i will. >> i think you will. thank you very much. we really appreciate it. all right. joining us now in washington, the country's first homeland security secretary tom ridge. very good to have you on the show. thank you very much. i see i'm reading some of your assessments of what's happened
here. and at one point, i think late last night, you might have said the more you hear about this bombing, the more you think it might have been a coordinated attack. does that still stand? and if so, why? >> well, i think it's an interesting observation that i made and you challenging that this morning. i think it's fair to say with various reports, i think the interpretation based on my experience has changed. at one point in time, there were two exploded devices. two that had not been detonated. and another report that there were five other explosive devices found. the concern -- not the concern, but the ideas i had evolve and continue to evolve. they're not the five exploded devices. and things have changed dramatically. it speaks to a broader point. we won't not know who is responsible. we will not have all the details until the investigation is finished.
leads me to believe that perhaps i shouldn't jump to conclusions based on what has been reported because it's not as factual as i thought it had been. >> fair enough. fair enough. and we'll be careful too, obviously it's better to wait for all the information to come out. given the story that we're covering now. yeah, go ahead. >> well, i think it's understandable of people looking for answers and journalists are doing everything they possibly can to provide as much information as they can. but i think the cautionary remark that the president made about not jumping to conclusions, it clearly seems to me and i still believe it was a terrorist attack. we don't know whether it was a domestic terrorist, connected to an international organization, multiple devices designed with an anti-personnel, designed to maim, designed to bring the kind of destruction as somebody referred to earlier in your program that you often see in
battlefields, with improvised explosive devices in afghanistan and iraq. in my judgment it's a terrorist attack. the source of it remains to be determined. >> you know, governor, one of the frightening things about holding the type of position that you held over the past, you know, after 9/11, over the past decade and you hear it from other high-ranking law enforcement officers and members of the cia, it's all the intelligence that comes streaming in and trying to sort through it and parse through it. what seems to frightening to me at least from a layman's point of view is the fact that there was no chatter. there was no warning. doesn't appear to be any piece of evidence out there that anybody could've acted on. >> no, that's exactly right. and i think as we deal with the global scourge of terrorism and we're going to be dealing with it, i'm afraid, for the
foreseeable future, the epicenter is trying to identify the perpetrator before he or they act. in this instance, there were no leads, there was no communicati communication. nothing substantive to act upon. and make no mistake about it, i'm quite sure there were security measures put in place. i'm quite sure that over the 26 plus miles, there were cameras and there were police, they were marked in unmarked cars. did everything you possibly can. as we remind ourself every single day, multiple events, cultural, social, political, attracting hundreds of thousands if not hundreds of thousands, we have been will always be a target rich environment. i don't like to use that expression. people convene in large crowds, and this historic day in boston was marred from the cheers to the chaos in the tragedy that evolved. >> isn't it safe to say it
possibly could be why the boston marathon was a target. an international event on tax day, opens the question for domestic as well as a foreign attack. >> i don't think you're jumping to a conclusion there. when i said earlier in our conversation, you know, you think differently when there are multiple undetonated devices. you go from one or two people to maybe three or four. the report was five or seven devices, you think it's a much more coordinated attack. but i don't think it's a -- you're jumping to conclusions to say this is a big day in boston. it is an international event. runners from all over the world participate. and the terrorists or the actors knew they would get this attention. they also knew with the devices they used, they would cause a massive number of casualties. >> we live in an open society as
you just spoke to, the impossibility, the near impossibility of securing an open area like a marathon route. it's a lot different than securing airports or things like that. super bowls, things like that. now this event has occurred, we have a society also where hundreds of thousands of people have cell phone cameras taking pictures that could potentially be part of this investigation. could you speak to the methodology, the drudge work ongoing right now as we speak. how does this go? how do they go through all the evidence they've gathered and still out there. >> well, i think you characterized it very appropriately. it's drudge work. it is pain stakingly focused on the slightest detail. the shrapnel that was used. there may be some evidence there. you've had surveillance cameras, i'm quite confident. you've had literally hundreds if not thousands of people with their iphones taking photographs. and as you go through all the
video evidence, the forensic evidence that they are able to accumulate based on the scene itself, it is a pain staking bit by bit very slow, methodical, incremental process. they will identify the perpetrators. they will find out who is responsible for this horrific act. but it's going to take some time. remember that '96's bombing in atlanta was a pipe bomb, it took quite some time to determine who the responsible party was. but i'm confident in the ability of the law enforcement community to identify the actor in this matter. absolutely confident. >> well, the work you did in part will help with that. here's part of what president obama said yesterday. take a look. >> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did
this. we'll find out why they did this. any response -- any responsible individuals, any responsible groups. will feel the full weight of justice. >> and then secretary ridge, a white house official later said, quote, this, in the event with multiple explosive devices as this appears to be is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror, however, we don't yet know who carried out this attack and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group foreign or domestic. >> and governor ridge, when you hear the president of the united states talking about we will find the perpetrators, we will bring them to justice. even though he's not from your party. and he was critical of your administration, you've got to really feel a bond with that president because you've been there when you're responsible
for keeping americans safe and an event like this happens and people want answers, they want it quickly. sometimes it's frustrating for people inside the white house. >> well, i think it's frustrating for people inside the white house and may be frustrating for 300 plus million americans. we want the answer as quickly as possible and justice and some may say retribution, but we want to find out who is responsible and make sure that the -- our response as a nation, as a country is appropriate. and frankly, we have to wait and see what the investigation reveals. is it a domestic lone wolf? some grudge against the government? is it tied to an international organization of some kind? a jihadist movement? so we need to find out who the actor was, determine the motive and figure out the form of justice and action this government takes. >> secretary ridge, it's willie geist in new york. i think a lot of us thought
after the attacks of september 11th, this was the new normal to use a term we were going to see a lot more domestic terrorism. and we haven't seen a whole lot of it. there was ft. hood, the anthrax attacks, thwarted attacks, a combination of good police work and in some cases bumbling terrorists. should the american people be surprised based on all you know, all the intelligence you saw as director of homeland security that we have not been attacked more often than we have been since september of 2001? >> no, i don't think we should be surprised. i think the 9/11 world what most americans don't see is the additional security that both in the public and the private sector that we've now embedded into everything we do. i think clearly america is safer today than it was at 9/11. and i think, again, we just have to remind ourselves that in this extraordinary country in which we all live, and the freedoms and the accessibility and the
liberties that are so profound and so much a part of our existence. we cannot let the terrorists alter how we live and enjoy these freedoms and how we enjoy our country. we are certainly safer. but every single day when we gather at these kinds of events, there is always that potential. and i say that not to frighten or alarm, it is a global scourge. it is something we're going to have to be dealing with. and to date, i think the country has done a remarkable job in securing itself. and every day we get smarter, every day we get more secure. and there are only two ways this event could've not occurred. one is somebody mentioned earlier in the broadcast, we're going to identify the actors beforehand, seize them, go the the perpetrator or cancel the event. i was gratified to listen to the previous -- the woman in the reporter who ran the event said she's probably going to run in the marathon. i was hopeful that all of these
other events would continue. maybe ramped up security, more inconvenience, we don't want to fundamentally change how we enjoy this country, how we live in this country. >> no doubt about it. >> no question there. former homeland security secretary tom ridge, always good to have you on. >> thank you, tom. >> coming up, the latest on the investigation and the administration's response. pete williams and chuck todd join us next. you're watching "morning joe" live from boston.
on days like this, there are no republicans and democrats, we are americans united in concern for our fellow citizens. i've also spoken with governor patrick and made it clear they have every federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. and above all, i made clear to them that all americans stand with the people of boston.
>> clear the set. >> that was president obama yesterday, and as you see in washington, d.c. on capitol hill, flags are at half staff this morning. joining us now from washington, nbc chief news white house correspondent and political director and host of the "daily rundown" chuck todd. and pete williams with the latest on the investigation. pete, we'll start with you. bring us up to date. >> okay, mika. one of the confusing things about what's going on here is how many devices were there. now, obviously we know there were two. the two that went off. but we've been hearing for all of -- since this happened that there were others. and i think the reason for that confusion is there were so many other packages that were on the street after the explosion. people simply dropped what they were carrying and ran. and authorities have been going through all those packages, trying to see if there were any other explosive devices. they detonated or i should say
destroyed several of these packages. and there's been confusion about whether there were two unexploded bombs. but this morning, senior law enforcement official says it now appears, no, there were no unexploded devices, just the two that went off. we'll see whether later in the day that changes again. but that's our best information for now. and it's too bad in a sense because if there were unexploded devices, that would be obviously an investigative gold mine in terms of the components how they were made and so forth. now, as for the second part of this, the second moving piece that we saw last night, there was a search in the boston suburb of revere. that is the moment of a 20-year-old saudi man who is here on a student visa. he was questioned at length last night in a hospital. he has fairly serious burns. he was seen running away after the explosion and witnesses said he appeared to be acting suspiciously just before the bombs went off.
not certain exactly what that means. but they say there's really -- it's too soon to know one way or the other about him. he may have simply been an instant bystander and he's denied having anything to do with this. but that is an area they're looking at. mika? >> pete, what do we know right now about any forensic evidence having to do with the kind of bombs employed, the kinds of devices employed? what with uz left? what have they found? do we know anything about the forensics of this investigation? >> not much. and i think the reason for that, mike, is the first priority they had last night was pursuing all these packages. it kept them extraordinarily busy all night long with the bomb squad people making sure there were no other packages left. you had two bombs that raised the question of, well, were there more? and there was all this confusion about whether there may have been more than two.
a lot of that work is going to be done today. some of it -- some of the initial work was done last night. but we don't have a very good picture yet of what they found in terms of what kind of explosive was used. they claim to know some of the officials i should say, claim to know how the things were detonated. that is to say whether it was a timer, whether it was a cell phone call, whether it was some other kind of radio remote control device or simply somebody, you know, with a fuse pressing a button that delays it and then they run off. they say they know what that is, we don't know what that answer is yet. >> chuck todd, i heard you say earlier that the white house was careful. in describing exactly what happened yesterday, early on, the president did not call it an act of terrorism. and you say that's -- there's a good reason for that. and that reason is the mistakes that were made off benghazi. >> well, they don't -- they
debated whether to use the word or not and made the decision that when the president uses that term, that's just going to color the investigation, it's going to color the way things are done. and instead, since they don't know who did it and they don't know why. and joe, i keep going back to that. it is -- it was striking yesterday, and the white house staff itself seems a little surprised at how little is known. yes, we're not even 24 hours removed. but when you think about all the other incidents that we've been in this situation. where they've been in this situation. they're used to getting information a lot faster. they're used to seeing these investigations. you know, maybe there's a suspect in custody quickly. there's just -- they're somewhat frustrated by the lack of what the fact they don't know who did it and they don't yet have a motivation as to why. and that goes to why they were being careful of what he said.
they knew his words were going to have extra weight. if they're treating like an act of terror, they saved the president's words until they have all the facts. >> hey, chuck, it's willie up in new york. if you can -- i'm imagining somebody sitting at home saying, wait a minute, some sort of device full of ball bearings was exploded killed three people, injured more than 100, in what way is that not terrorism? why is it important, exactly, for the president not to characterize it that way? at least according to the white house? what would it mean if he had come out and called it terrorism? >> well, fairly or unfairly, there's a definition the public takes with terrorism that the assumption is it is some sort of politically motivated attack. they obviously are very sensitive to this. what happened to benghazi and other incidents that have happened on their watch.
that's why. i talked to other security officials that had the same reaction you did, willie. and said, yes, i understand what the white house is trying to tell you and i understand why the white house is being careful. at the same time, this was terrorism. whether it's crack pot terrorizing the city of boston or some international group that's terrorizing the united states, it's -- it's terrorism. >> chuck, off of that response, your reporters eyes and ears in the white house, the three prior chiefs of staff to the president, rahm emanuel, bill daly, jack lew, came versed in congress, versed in politics. the current chief of staff has his role had an impact in the
rhetoric in the employment of rhetoric by the president and the administration right now? >> well, you can't help but wonder they are being extra cautious by what they have the president say. also remember, mike, this is the first incident where john brennan is not by the president's side. it's a new team of people by the president's side inside that west wing. john brennan over by the cia. that's not to say the president is not on the phone quite a bit with john brennan. they have developed a close, personal relationship. this is a different team. this is the first one first incident of any kind like this happening on this team's watch. i go back in sort of watching what i saw with the white house yesterday which is, they're not withholding anything. sometimes when you don't get information out of them, they have it, they're being very careful, they're dotting an eye, crossing a "t."
in sources i talked to yesterday, they were emphasizing, we don't have any hidden information, we're not sitting on anything, nobody's sitting on anything, you're not going to sit on an anything in an investigation like this. they don't know. >> pete, any idea what you're expecting throughout the day? have you heard any words from fbi, law enforcement authorities on future briefings? >> well, there's going to be one in about two hours up in boston i think is the current plan. it wasn't clear if it was going to be 8:30 or 9:30 eastern. but now they're settling on 9:30. i guess you can watch what they say, but you can also watch what they do. the fact this happened in boston, that there was, you know, no obvious federal crime. but the fbi is leading the investigation says it all. because the fbi automatically has the lead in any attack that is considered to be terrorism. so that's -- that really tells you everything you need to know. >> all right.
our thanks to chuck todd and pete williams. >> thanks, guys. >> we'll be getting updates throughout the morning. up next, we'll hear from an e.r. doctor who treated some of the victims in yesterday's attack. congressman michael mccullough will be joining us. "morning joe" will be right back from boston. everybody has different investment objectives,
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we've obviously mobilized not just the trauma team for today, but the backup team and the backup to the backup team. this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point in the world. 126 patients at last check still in boston hospitals after yesterday's bombi ingbombing. the chairman of the house committee michael mccaul, more "morning joe" live from boston next.
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe" at 7:40 in the morning in boston, massachusetts. the morning after the twin bombings at the boston marathon on patriots day. joining us now from capitol hill, republican congressman from texas, the chairman of the house homeland security committee, michael mccaul. thank you for being with us this morning. >> well, thanks for having me. >> is there anything you could share with us this morning based on what you've seen overnight or just waking up this morning? we just spoke to chuck todd who is in touch with the white house. they say they are frankly surprised and a little frustrated they don't yet have suspects or more information. what can you tell us? >> well, first, my heart goes out to the victims and families. such a tragic experience looking at the graphic videos out there. i think the only new reporting and briefings i've had is a saudi bystander, if you will, who was hospitalized became a
person of interest who has been questioned. and we know that a search warrant according to the reports was executed at his house. we don't know what's come out of that. as a former federal prosecutor counterterrorism guy, you can't rush to conclusions. but i do know they have had this person in custody and i think that's a positive step forward. >> he's been identified as you said a person of interest. he told authorities he got up and ran away and he was tackled by a bystander, because he was scared like everybody else. do you have any idea what they found when they looked into his apartment? should we be more concerned about him than he suggests? >> no, i do not have the results of the search warrant. and so, no, i don't have that information right now. i will tell you this, you know, simultaneous bombing, mass
casualties, spectacular event, those are all the ingredients that are in there. and we saw that, unfortunately, yesterday which led me to call this an act of terrorism as of yesterday. i think the fact that the fbi's taking the lead on this clearly indicates that it is taking it as a terrorist investigation. the question is, whether this is a foreign terrorist attack or a domestic terrorist attack. we just don't know. >> congressman, we are right here in boston, massachusetts, five blocks from the site where two devices exploded yesterday afternoon. three people are known dead, hundreds more are injured, we know that. but this city is coming to life again this morning. the sun rose, people are going to go to work, children will be out playing in playgrounds throughout the city and other cities in the country. could you talk about the degree of difficulty in increasing
security. despite the intel reports you get, despite the sophistication. in an open society, the degree of difficulty of preventing incidents like yesterday. >> very difficult to stop something like this. you really can't clamp down on security with open events, like a football game, like a shopping mall. i don't think the american people want a 24/7 security clamp down on them. so this is a very delicate balance in terms of trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening. i think what you mention is if anything's a silver lining is how we come together and americans at a time like this how the other runners came to the assistance. i kaud to the white house yesterday and the message we both had was this was not a republican/democrat issue, this is an american issue. it's an event that transcends politics. >> i know you have a busy day ahead of you, we appreciate you
making time for us. chairman of the house committee on homeland security. thanks for your time. >> thank you, joe. coming up, the sports reporter who shot this dramatic video of yesterday's explosion near the finish line of the boston marathon has already become an akiconic image. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] this is a reason to look twice. this is a stunning work of technology. the 2013 lexus es and the first-ever es hybrid.
that is the now iconic video, the moment the first of two explosions rocked the finish line of yesterday's boston marathon. and photo journalism is now an art in and of itself. online photo journalism steve silva filmed that video. steve, it's a great day in this city as you know. marathon day. so let's put you on the clock at
2:50 yesterday afternoon thereabouts. what are you doing? where are you? what evolved? >> aisle dead center at that point sitting right on the finish line. out there for about five hours shooting finish line scenes. at this point four hours into the race, mostly the charity runners and the people that didn't qualify coming across. i'm trying to capture scenes. somebody does a cartwheel coming across the line or push-ups, that sort of thing, very light coverage, 2:50 p.m. out of the right side just there it went, the explosion just smoke shot up, you heard the loud thud sound and just kind of went over. got closer for a split second, thought is it some kind of muss kel fire celebrating these people coming across. as you got closer, only 12 seconds on the approach we heard the second explosion up by fairfield street. >> a, what goes through your mind, then your mind's eye as
you're working? what do you do then? >> yeah, no. so i got to keep filming this. you want to get close but not too close. i wasn't going to be panning cameras over bodies on the sidewalk but i wanted to get an essence of what the scene was. i knew to stay close. i was just in the middle of all that mass confusion an those initial moments where people were trying to get to victims, marathon volunteers, police officers, fire, some of the soldiers running in the marathon helped pull those partitions back to get to people but we needed those first responders, the medical team in there. it was getting the word to the medical team in the tent, they're just used to treating people with cramps and hamstr g hamstrings suddenly being an emergency trauma situation. they all come sprinting up with stretchers. >> for those who are not familiar with the boston marathon and the finish line, at the finish line there is a world
class triage unit available there on site. luckily for many of the wounded, the injured, i would think, they were within literally second. >> yeah, they were there within second. that part was good. unfortunately there was some people there wasn't much you could do but comfort them. there was a man whose leg was severed off. that's an image you can't forget when you see that. they were there on the scene to get people out of there, street closures, getting additional ambulances and police in there was not easy. i think they did everybody -- everybody on the scene did a great job. >> you're working, adrenalin is flowing. what does it sink in to you? what time last night or maybe not yet? >> i believe this morning they put a compilation together of some of the interviews and president obama speaking. i think when i heard that when i got up this morning the gravity of the situation hit home a little more. yesterday was just all reaction. i had had to get work done for "the globe," they wanted video. i had aftermath video.
then i'm fielding calls from media that saw the video and wanted comment. i was in a reactionary mode until 2:00 in the morning until i got up this morning. >> willie geist is in new york with a question. >> your video over the last 16 hours has become the most feel piece of tape around this world associated with the incident. one thing people have noted, you sort of absorbed the blast for about one second and then you run to it. i'm not sure everybody would have done that. i know it was probably just an instinct for you but can you share a little bit more about what you saw when you finally reached that scene and what happened after you turned the camera off? were you there among the wounded? >> yeah. i never turned the camera off. i probably ran about eight minutes of video out there from the area. the blast went off, i just went to it. i didn't think about it. i wasn't trying to say, oh, i shouldn't go here. i just needed to know what it was and needed to get close to it. when i heard the second bomb go off, i knew we were in a serious
situation. that was my feeling. as i got closer to the sidewalk, it was just a pile of bodies and blood on the scene. it was just a horrible scene like it was a spielberg horror movie but it was real. so it all hit home pretty quickly. >> the day itself, the stories, i can recall when dan shaughnessy and i were talking about it earlier, it is one of the few events you cover where stories bump into you rather you bump into stories. that's part of the poignancy today. the-year-old child, the coroner of fairfield reaching out for his dad, from dorchester, a neighborhood in boston that are killed. it is quite a day. >> last year i remember being out in the line. i'm trying to get random people coming across. you never know when they'll come through. i remember catching a man who just lost his son in iraq.
he ran the marathon carrying his son's boots. that's my lasting image from last year. here it is a year later where people are going through the same types of death and injury right here on the course feet from the finish line. >> willie, we should assure people throughout this country and throughout the world that -- steve, i'm sure would back me up here -- there will and marathon next year and there are far more good people than there are evil people and the good people, as steve just indicated, were out there yesterday helping complete strangers, strangers helping strangers. i think that's one of the things that impact you the most, isn't it? >> yeah. everybody -- great volunteers of the marathon anyway. they're helping the runners all day long. they were standing right on the line. you did see that first wave come through and the crash and partitions go. all those marathon volunteers felt it first. just strangers on the sidewalk that were not affected but in the zone and they stayed in that zone. all the first responders rushed in. there was plenty of help on-board for sure.
>> willie? >> steve silva, we appreciate you sharing your story with us this morning. it is the piece of video that everybody now will associate with that terrible day yesterday. steve, thanks for your time. >> welcome, willie. coming up next -- a new perspective from capitol hill on what the bombings mean for national security. we'll talk to three top members of congress, plus pulitzer prize winning journalist ron sus skin joins the conversation back in boston. >> we just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. my legs didn't stop shaking. >> that image and that sound, i'll never forget the sound and i'll never forget the imagery i sound when i approached. >> as soon as that second one went off it was complete mayhem. >> everything that went through my head, this is an attack, this can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you can run in any direction and a third one could come. if there was one and there was
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yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. ♪ the first explosion occurred and it was kind of -- it was like a sound i had never heard before. it shook you right to the core and then you're trying to figure out what happened. we saw the smoke. then the second explosion occurred and at that point it was pandemonium. >> i got within about a block and then i saw an explosion of
white smoke and the loudest noise i've ever heard in my life. even though i was almost a block away, the concussion from that was just stunning. it's disorienting and i think everyone around me, too, we just kind of looked at each other. >> in boston, patriots day is steeped in tradition. a state holiday marking the city's proud history. a time when the world's most prestigious marathon unites runners from around the globe. 26.2 miles. 23,000 athletes, a half a million cheering fans. but this year marathon monday will be remembered for the devastation that ripped apart a day of triumph and joy.
at 2:50 yesterday afternoon, two bombs just second apart exploded near the finish line of the boston marathon. thick, white smoke only temporarily masked the carnage that was left behind. scores of people -- runners, children, volunteers -- were left bloodied and dazed by the incredible strength of the blasts. first responders who had been treating cases of dehydration and little bit offers were suddenly faced with what looked like a war zone. they delivered emergency first aid that in many cases saved lives for those who were there, it was surreal. >> you just heard a loud boom and no one knew exactly what it was but it stopped everyone. >> the ground shook. i mean my legs didn't stop shaking. >> i've got that image and that sound, i'll never forget the sound and i'll never forget the imagery i saw when i approached. >> as soon as that second one
went off it was complete mayhem. >> everything going through my head is this is an attack, this is not an accident, this is not happen -- can't happen within 15 seconds. >> you don't know what direction to run in. a third one could come. if there was one, there was two, there could be three, then there could be four. >> at least three people were killed by the bombs. among them an 8-year-old boy. more than 120 were injured. many of whom are now listed in critical condition. president obama spoke from the white house yesterday evening. >> we still do not know who did this or why and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but, make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.
>> the theme of this year's race -- 26 miles for 26 victims. a message of remembrance for the newtown school shooting. many of the victims' family members were guests at the finish line tent just yards from where the blasts occurred. and here we are now live on boyleston street in boston this morning, just about five blocks from the sight of those explosion yesterday near finish line of the boston marathon. joining us at the top of the hour, democratic representative from massachusetts an member of the homeland security committee, congressman bill keating. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. i'm so sorry. sfli wish we weren't here. there was numbness around the city last night and i think it is replaced by shock this morning still. people are still letting this sink in their heads. it stands in stark contrast to what we usually have on marathon day, the electric nature of the city, in stark contrast to what's going on with law enforcement officials right now. the frenetic pace that's going on at so many levels. >> our "morning joe" family --
mine especially -- we love boston. we come here any time we can. we love going to fenway park. we love walking around the city. we feel the people. there is a certain type of person that makes a bostonian. the marathon, you're right, it unites the city and the world and the country in a way like no place else on earth. it is the oldest marathon in the world. >> and it's international in nature which makes you think, if this is a terrorist attack -- i think it is -- i think you're going to see a situation where that was -- the very nature we celebrate is one of the symbols of doing this. it could be on the 15th of april, too, something that's a symbol of more of a domestic terrorist act but the fact that it was coordinated seconds apart and synchronized that way, the site and date, all lead people to believe that this is something that's being
investigated as a terrorist act of some sort. >> you talk about how the feeling of unity and exhilaration of the marathon and how that just turned in a matter of seconds to devastation and a sense of shock and a lack of understanding, conception of how this could happen. tell me where you were when you heard the news. >> i was driving up ready to go to washington. i heard that the event occurred. i heard that there would be interruptions at the airport and as a member of homeland security, i wanted to be here in the city. we have been here in the past, just a few miles from here we had a field hearing investigating these very types of issues at logan airport where we brought the committee up for preparedness to find out how prepared we could indeed be for these things. we -- i could let people know this -- that one of the best fusion centers, one of the best joint task forces in the country is right here and that's what's
taking place right now. i had a call on my way from a staff from the white house who said anything that you need, anything that the city needs, it was a call that i'm sure went through all the local officials here. again, in this element of surrealness, to have a place that -- on a day that there was going to be that much pulling together internationally even and nationally. >> it's sick. >> to have a call from the white house saying anything we could do, that's one thing that people should take some confidence in at this point. i think most of the people in boston -- most of the people in the country are geared at victims an their families. as a district attorney for years and certainly that's when my thoughts -- >> absolutely. so many of the people who are injured, mike, are in critical condition. the injuries are described as gruesome and that in the streets of boston, when people are
supposed to still for many hours be crossing the finish line to the screams and collapse of joy from their family, they were being tourniquets being conducted in the streets. it is just surreal. it is not something you ever, ever expect to see. >> well, mika, the scene itself, bo boylston street, a combination of super bowl sunday, new year's eve, it is a celebratory atmosphere, it is filled with people from all around the world, not just around the united states. and five blocks from here right now it is a crime scene. it is a homicide scene. it is the side of multiple homicides and multiple injuries. congressman, iyou alluded to th cooperation that's been going on not just yesterday and today but for months now. can you speak to the preparations to secure, to try and secure this particular race, any race like this, in a free an
open society. >> here in boston they meet each and every day. i've been there at the fusion site exchanging information, federal, state, local. i know -- just last november the biggest exercise in new england occurred planning for this with almost 2,000 law enforcement personnel. they're prepared for this. are you ever prepared for everything? no. i think certainly as this unrafls and we look back, i've been in contact with homeland security officials as well, as well as the chair of the committee, and at the appropriate time we are going to be peeling back looking at this evidence, seeing what happens, seeing what we can do to improve. with terrorists today, it is a moving ball. you prepare for the unexpected and each terrible tragedy like this we learn something from it and move forward. but they're prepared. people should be aware of this -- they're mobilizing now at a dynamic pace, going at every level chasing every bit of
evidence. and that part people can feel secure about. >> finding out who is behind it will certainly help. willie geist from new york has a question for you. >> congressman, good morning. are you in a very unique position of having to manage the emotions of your district of something terrible that's happened to people you know and love and also being on the homeland security committee back in washington. are you able to separate those two things, first of all of, and what have you heard in terms of the investigation, any new information you can bring us this morning? >> i think when i was a district attorney, it's hard to separate because you are talking to victims' families right away and you're dealing with what affects you as a human being. one thing i can assure you, at all levels, people have moved on. they have a job to do, they're doing it. they have to separate that emotion and move forward. i think that as we look at this event at a local level, i'm quite confident knowing the resources that are here, knowing that i'm hearing from the white
house itself that there will be no assets that will not be used that might be necessary to get to the bottom of this. and i believe sincerely that we will find out who had's responsible and there will be justice but we also have to look at this in the perspective of what we learn from it and what we can do to prevent future tragedies. >> congress manage bill keating, thank you very much for coming on the show. we'll put joe in your seat. tight quarters here on boylston street but we really appreciate you coming on. keep us posted. here with us now from capitol hill, we are republican congressman from new york and chairman of the homeland security committee, subcommittee on counterintelligence and terrorism, we have representative peter king. peter, gosh. we've had you on many times and these circumstances are some of the worst ever. first of all, if you can just tell us what you know, what you're hearing in terms of reports coming in to you on the very latest on the investigation
and what happened here in boston. >> well, clearly this was a terrorist attack. this was coordinated. you had multiple explosions. you had someone able to penetrate security. amateurs don't do that. this was well planned and coordinated. it was a terrorist attack. it is a question of who did it. again, it is too early to say. obviously we have to consider whether it was islamic jihad but it can also be white supremacists or anti-government people. that's all being looked at right now. as congressman keating said, this investigation is in the early stages but i think there is a lot of information, evidence, available that law enforcement is going to be able to move relatively quickly on this and so i'm -- again, i can assure you that all elements of the federal, state and local governments are involved in this and it does show though -- i think this should and wake-up call to everyone that the war against terrorism is far from over and we're never fully safe. the post-9/11 world that we live
in, we have to be expecting and on the lookout for something like this every day and when people complain about being stopped at the airport or they talk about too much security at events, that's why that security is there, because of what happened yesterday. >> all right. so obviously there are a lot of "what nexts" here in boston. tell us what's next in washington on capitol hill moving forward and addressing this. >> i'm on the intelligence committee. we'll be getting a briefing later this morning which we will get updates on what's known. staying in touch with law enforcement, counterterrorism officials to track this down, to see if there is an international component, to see if it was a lone wolf, looking back on it, i can tell you that i received two top secret briefings last week on the current threat levels in the united states and there was no evidence of this at all. no intelligence that seemed to be out there. now people will look back and see if something was missed.
i don't know if there was or not. then we have to find out again if we can locate where this person's from, hoe was involved with, whether or not there's other possible plots out there. there is a whole range of topics that are being looked at right now. one thing we learned after 9/11 -- nothing can be looked at in isolation. when something occurs you look to all the ramifications, why it happened, how it happened, what can happen in the future and who else can be involved. >> congressman, we are about 18 hours into the event, 18 hours ago, two explosive devices, five blocks from where we're seated today. in the intervening hours, at least among the people i have spoken to, there was no sense from intelligence chatter prior to the explosions, no sense from anybody being warned that this thing was going to occur and
since the event occurred, there's been no indication that anyone has claimed responsibility. have you heard anything other than that? >> i've heard the exact same as you. in fact my staff was talking to people in boston, with the boston police yesterday. i was talking with the nypd. obviously we were talking to people in the fbi and throughout the federal government. no, from all indicators there was no intelligence chatter beforehand. there is no indications this was going to happen but it also shows, mike, that if someone is serious enough, if someone is able to construct an explosive device and they are able to get to the scene, it is very difficult to stop them. no matter how much security you have. the person can preplan this in advance. that's why the more intelligence we can get up front, the better. for instance, in new york, that's why ray kelly has at merchants of businesses, if anyone's purchasing any products -- ball bearings, beauty equipment, anything that
can be remotely constructed as a bomb it is a requirement to let police know. but most of the police departmen -- boston police department is an outstanding police department. we have some friends in congress who are talking about cutting back on homeland security funding. say that the police are getting too much money to fight terrorism. that we haven't been attack, why is all that money needed. the fact is they may track down 99 cases and they turn out to be nothing. the one that gets through is what happened yesterday in boston. that's why the police in boston and new york all over the country need the support of homeland security in getting the funds they need to stop these attacks. >> congressman peter king, thank you very much. we'll see you soon. >> mike, our prayers go out to all the people in boston. >> thank you, congressman. >> absolutely. thank you. up next, he knows boston as well as anybody. congressman steven lynch joins the conversation next on "morning joe."
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seconds after those bombs went off we saw civilians running to help the victims right alongside members of the boston police department and boston ems. and in the hours that followed, police and medical personnel from across the region have sent dozens, maybe even hundreds, of volunteers to help us here in boston. that's what americans do in times of crisis. we come together and we help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our
weakness. they show our strength. >> democratic congressman from massachusetts and candidate for john kerry's former senate seat, representative stephen lynch. mike barnicle? >> congressman, you've been in the house of representatives for a good long time. you're a native of south boston. you've lived there all of your life, still live there. talk, if you will, about the neighborhood aspect of the marathon. you represent a number of police and firefighters. probably half the people in your block participated in this marathon in one way or another. but talk about that. >> well, it is a neighborhood event. but it's also an international event. it's sort of a strange combination of those. but, look, we had families, some of the victims here are just neighborhood people, brought their kids to watch the race. i had a staff member who was running for dana farber.
we were all very intently focused on the race and seeing our friends finish. more runners that are raising money in that race than running to win it. and just a terrible, terrible, terrible tragedy. and the human part of this -- for the neighborhood. for the neighborhood. boston's really a small city of neighborhoods and so when the names come out and some of them have come out, we all know those families. er that part of our community here as well. we're feeling it right now and we can already feel that outpouring of love from our neighbors here in the city of boston, across the state and across the country for those victims and their families, what they're going through right now. i was with some of the victims' families last night at the hospital and that's what sustains them right now. they're so thankful, so thankful for the first responders, for
the boston police, for the boston fire, for the ems, the way they responded. i talked to one of the dads who tragically lost his son yesterday and he said that if it hadn't been for the civilians after the blast who jumped in, along with the professionals, he would have lost his daughter as well. but it was that quick thinking -- >> are you talking about the father who lost his 8-year-old son? >> right. >> we heard the heart breaking story of the son running out, hugging him, then going back -- >> they were all watching. the dad is a runner but he wasn't running yesterday. >> the dad wasn't running. okay. >> they were -- they were there to support some of their friends who were running. but the mom and dad were friends of ours. >> what did he tell you about the moments before and after the blast? >> well, they were all intently focused on the race. they were looking through --
there is a stream of runners coming in at that point and they were all intently looking for the faces of their friends who were running. and the kids were all up on the barrier. you see these barriers behind us. they had their feet up on the pegs trying to get a little bit higher view because their daughter's only 5, their sons were i think 11 and 8. so they were all focused forward and the blast came from sort of the back and to the side. they were all -- >> so the 5-year-old daughter also critically hurt? >> right. >> how is she doing? >> the family -- they're going to make a statement a little bit later this morning so i'd rather let them make their statement before i comment on that. they need our prayers is what they need right now. >> what have you heard from law
enforcement officers? >> well, we've had a lot of briefings during the course of the day yesterday. i haven't had a morning briefing yet but -- >> what's the last thing you heard last night? >> they were still doing the evidence gathering at that point so the scene -- the bomb scenes, two of them really, were still being combed or there were literally hundreds of csi and investigative personnel down there picking up evidence. >> have you heard anything about the home that was searched? did you get any briefings on that? >> i heard that through the media. i did not hear that from an official briefing. but i did hear it, yeah. >> we've been talking, mike and i have been talking, so shaughnessy and bill bratton about the importance of patriots' day here. mike, of course, set it up beautifully. it is funny, for those of us that are outside the city, you forget when patriots' day is
coming up. i get red sox updates on my phone all the time and i hear, the game starts at 11:00. i'm like 11:00. it immediately hit me. patriots' day. it is such a special day, mike, in the life of this city. it always has been. >> it always has been throughout our lives, steve. it is a combination of the super bowl, new year's eve, christmas eve, st. patrick's day. it's the whole deal. >> it really is. >> it is the whole deal. what the congressman just spoke to is one of the magic parts of marathon day. at the conclusion of the marathon, after the winners, the professional runners have crossed the finish line, you get the families, the people running for causes, it is obviously the beginning of school vacation week here in massachusetts so you have thousands of children, along with hundreds of thousands who have gathered to touch someone, to cheer someone on, a parent, a relative, a sister.
and this young lad, 8 years of age, with his mother and his sister and his dad is now a casualty. it is a crime scene up the street and what was a scene of joy. always has been a scene of joy. and will be again. will be again. >> oh, absolutely. i guarantee you, they'll have twice as many runners next year than they had this year. the people of this city and this state and this country won't stand for this and that's why this is such a rare, rare event in this country. that's why next year on patriots' day, i guarantee, it will be the biggest and the best patriots' day that we've had in our lifetimes. >> and off of that, which is a true testimony to what will occur next year, there is an ancient boston expression, which we cannot employ on the air but it ends with "hey." hey, they'll be here next year. because there is no fear in this
city. there will be no fear. a resilient place. >> it is so violative, that attack yesterday, because it does embody -- here we're very proud of the fact and -- that democracy, the fight for democracy here in massachusetts from lexington and concord to the tea party in boston, there's just a sense of history here that is -- it is embodied on that day, patriots' day. to have this attack on this day just makes your blood boil. >> please let the family know that the young boy lost so tragically yesterday, that our thoughts an our prayers are with them and certainly with their other children. >> thank you. >> thank you for being with us. we really do appreciate you coming on today. we will be back. nbc's tom costello has been following the national security response to the bombing.
across by the american -- by the flags and start picking up people and bringing to the emergency room here. >> you've been cut. you are covered with blood. >> i was carrying. somebody who lost both of their legs. i was carrying this flag and i just -- my instinct wants to go help and see what i can do and let's just pray for the angels. >> security is being stepped up in cities across the country in the wake of yesterday's bombing in boston. nbc's tom costello is on the national mall in washington. tom, good morning. >> reporter: hi, guys, good morning to you. today is emancipation day here in d.c. it is a d.c. holiday and they have a big parade planned for pennsylvania avenue. it is going to go on as planned. in london this weekend, they have of course the big marathon and they also have another marathon planned for oklahoma city in about two weeks. all of this as the threat of terrorism looms very large.
in washington, always viewed as a potential terrorist target, a show of force. heavily armed police and dog teams patrolling the subways, checking trash bins. in new york, the nypd and grand central station and times square. and across the country the lapd also out in force at the dodgers game, union station and lax. but security experts warn ensuring 100% security at a public event like the boston marathon simply isn't realistic. >> if somebody wants to go out and kill people, they can. the question remains is can they cause mass casualties and can they sustain an attack. >> reporter: oklahoma city, 1995. 168 dead, including 19 children. timothy mcveigh was convicted and executed for planting the bomb. the atlanta olympics, 1996. two dead, more than 100 wounded after a backpack holding pipe bombs exploded.
domestic terrorist eric rudolph was arrested seven years later. london, 2005. 52 dead, 700 wounded after coordinated suicide attacks on the underground and bus systems. times square 2010. a car bomb failed to explode. police later arrested a pakistani-american trying to board a flight to the middle east. this man's job when he was at the secret service -- protect president obama with 1.8 million people on the washington mall gathered for his first inauguration. >> you can't guarantee anything. all you do in the field of security is reduce the probe ability of an event like this to something so miniscule if something does happen your response element afterward is enough to keep the casualties to a minimum. >> many americans have grown tired of war, tsa checkpoints and heavy security at sporting events. former national director of counterterrorism says the threat remains very real. >> if this turns out to be either domestic or international terrorism it will remind people
of the difficulty of the tasks that we have been working against over the past ten years. >> reporter: experts say that while we can certainly prevent and address more security issues than we did before 9/11, trying to protect a soft target like a marathon is just increasingly difficult and they point out that a terrorist only has to find the weakest, softest point and attack there. of course that's where we're all most vulnerable. guys, back to you. >> i would say it is almost impossible to protect completely. but tom, talk about, if you could, what we can expect now from the likely places where they will step up security. the tsa, at the airports, at train stations, and public events that you say are still on schedule. what can we expect? >> homeland security has been pretty tight-lipped but we can tell you anecdotally that we've already seen signs of that in the airport, as well as in train stations. airports, i should say, as in
the train stations. this is a city, d.c., along with new york and now of course boston, that's always conscious of and always aware of and trying to plan for any eventuality. the police chief here says this city is going to go on as if it is a normal routine but always guarding against the possibility of terrorism. yesterday they deployed more of these high-profile tactical units to the subways, if you will. today, of course, they've got the parade. this is a constant -- d.c. points out, it is constantly watching out and aware of the issues. >> nbc's tom costello in washington, d.c., thanks very much. coming up, pulitzer prize winning journalist joins the show. we'll be right back. the only thing we'd ever grown together
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the american people will say a prayer for boston tonight and michelle and i send our deepest prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. i'm supremely confident that bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city, and as we do, the american people will be with them every single step of the way. >> all right. president obama responding to the tragedy here in boston. joining us now here on boylston street, pulitzer prize winning journalist ron suskine.
>> good to see you again, ron. when you wrote the 1% doctrine absolutely it was alluding to the fact cheney and the bush administration decided if there were a 1% chance we were going to get struck, they were going to do whatever it took to stop that from happening. that's worked for the better part of a decade but yesterday a random attack and most frightening, really no warning at all. no chatter, no nothing. this is new. >> well, it is new. it's also new that a big public american event, boston marathon, the kind of thing the world looks forward to got hijacked. it is more than loss of life. it is symbolic. >> how have things changed since you wrote the back, the aftermath of 9/11 on police gathering and intelligence gathering. how much have we learned? >> we spent hundreds of millions of dollars. we'll get a bang of our buck test here the next few days. i think we have changed.
i think people's understanding of how these terrorist conversations go has changed. we need to be -- keep calm, carry on, what do the british say. we need to be forceful but not hysterical. the thing the president's language there was very measured. i think that's part of that evolution. i think we're going to see a lot in the next few days as to how the country has grown. there are other countries that have had more significant issues like this one, the brits, t israelis obviously, and part of what they've understood is the key is, is it a way to be ourselves, forcefully, but ourselves, nonetheless. >> mike, you were talking yesterday after this happened about the great tragedy. obviously the 8-year-old boy who died, his sister who was seriously injured. the two brothers that each lost a leg. there are so many human stories that are tragedies that will change lives forever. but you did say that we were
fortunate that it happened in a city that has the best hospitals, not only in america but in the world, and also a quick response post -- again, 10, 11 years after 9/11, that shows how much we've learned over the past decade. >> well, yesterday at the finish line, there is a world class trauma team right there at the finish line to take care of runners who may have been dehydrated. they are employed immediately into a far more serious situation. three or four world class hospitals all within three or four minutes ambulance ride of the scene itself. but we had the attempt -- failed attempt in times square. right? we have this successful attempt to instill fear into our culture yesterday. but it's been a period of time of extraordinary success in combating terrorism that's struck so many other areas of the world. >> absolutely right. i think that what we see now is this sort of shock to the system
to say, wow, we have been pretty good. this interdiction has been successful in a lot of ways. the intelligence gathering, domestically and abroad. some of the civil liberties that are getting a little bit crimped on our side, what we do in airports. it is much more difficult -- on planes and trains. but part of what you think about, what the terrorist mind thinks about, where are the openings? you don't want to start thinking about the terrorist handbook here but that's part of the way this mentality works. >> this was a huge opening when you have so many people and so much going on and it literally, it seems like looking at it at this point that the only thing that could have been begun to maybe try and stop this is the concept of if you see something, say something. >> absolutely right. >> which is hard. >> you see how hard this would have been to stop. >> i don't know how. >> it would be almost impossible. >> when you have a 26-mile route. >> tens of thousands of people. >> and all those backpacks.
people finish -- >> they put things down through the race so it's actually -- even though in train stations an airports if you see an unaccompanied bag you're told to go tell someone about it. at a marathon you're not thinking that way. >> i think a key issue will be how these big public events change or don't change going forward. will their character be altered by heightened security. if that happens it will be kind of a loss and a kind of victory for folks that do this. >> you talk about tug-of-war with civil liberties and safety. we were talking earlier about london. cctv everywhere. you can't do anything in london where the police, the authorities, can't trace you down. that helped them crack a couple of high-profile cases. do you think americans may be more willing to have closed circuit television across major cities where terror attacks may be happening? because right now we're scrambling a day later. you know if this happened in london they would have been able to follow whoever did this.
>> there's no doubt right now they're downloading all those cameras in the finish line. there's just -- there's thousands of hours of videotape together. but the question is, how we might change just along those lines. i think people will feel a loss if there are cameras everywhere. the question is what do we trade for that security. >> here we go again with that. really quick, barnicle. >> one of the things that's in play here is our culture itself. our attention span. increasingly as a society it is shorter and shorter. september 11th seems to some people as if it were 200 years ago. we have the phrase "war on terror." do you think it is perhaps now necessary as we ease into the second decade of the 21st century, that we reinforce with people in this country that it is a daily duel with terror? not a war on terror. a daily duel in terror. >> mike, you're talking about precisely the shift in language that this is maybe an opportunity this terrible event
provides. that's part of how we grow and mature as a nation. >> ron suskind, thank you so much. >> isn't it great to see ron again? >> yes, it is. we get along great. before we go to break, images from social media of a message written on the sidewalk in front of the home of 8-year-old martin richard, 1 of 3 people killed in yesterday's terror attack. we'll be right back. live from boston. alec, for this mission i upgraded your smart phone. ♪ right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? [ electricity zaps ]
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it was a terrible day, very bad things happened today for no good reason and our thoughts are with the people of boston and everyone who's suffering. >> boston's my hometown. it's where i grew up. it's where my family lives. so i wanted to take a moment to say that, like everybody here, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of boston and everybody who's been affected by this absolutely senseless act. >> is anyone else sick of the [ bleep ]? i seem to have to say that too often. i have to not say it is a great day for america for some random act of madness.
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as you all know, this whole community has been dealing with a horrific event today. two explosions on boylston street near the finish line of today's boston marathon. this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in the news in baghdad or israel or some other tragic place. >> it was loud. it was really, really loud. and then people just chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. it was a cloud of smoke, people were scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first it almost sounded like a cannon blast but it felt so strong it literally almost blew
my head off. >> moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness, they show our strength. >> make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this an we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. >> there was just families all around us with kids yelling and screaming and we just wanted to try and get away as quick as possible. >> we re-affirmed that on days like this there are no republicans or democrats. we are americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> as we come back to our live coverage in boston, we're thinking and praying for the family members of those who lost
their lives yesterday and those who are still fighting for their lives today in this city. having multiple surgeries, complex surgeries, mike, and we do thank god that they are being taken care of by the best doctors in the best hospitals in the world. >> yeah. we stand today at the intersection of grief and optimism. what happened yesterday happened but the army of the good far outweighs the army of the evil and good will prosper and survive and people got up today in this city, the sun rose, they went to work, children will be out to play today in this city and elsewhere. yesterday was yesterday. today is today. and tomorrow will be tomorrow. >> and boston will be defiant. >> we love this city. mike's family has many ties to it. we come here as a show as fans and we will certainly be back, many times again. >> no doubt about it. if you