tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 17, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
the process is going to be but we also know the first thing we have to deal with is these families and what they are going through. >> absolutely. >> we've got to go. two boston guys coming, we're out of ♪ good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. thank you for joining us on what is probably simultaneously the most active and the most confusing news day of the year. if you had cable news on tv today, like we did here at 30 rock, or if you were watching your twitter feed or checking in on the internet at all, you saw a lot of reporting thrown around that did not make a lot of sense. so, we're going to try to make sense of it all right now. here's what we actually know. here's the confirmed reporting on the boston marathon bombing case right now.
nbc news has learned that investigators have obtained video of a person placing a black bag down near the scene of the blast and that authorities are looking to question that person. the footage has been described to nbc as providing, quote, solid leads in the case. as we told you last night, the fbi found black nylon bag fragments at the blast site and believe that's how the devices were transported to the scene, they've also recovered pieces of the pressure cooker bombs and the press has received official fbi photos of those fragments. we can also report tonight on the identity of the third fatality victim, she was a chinese citizen and grad student of mathematics and statistics at boston university. she was an only child and her parents had declined interview requests because, quote, every time we speak about this, it is like a dagger in our hearts. she was watching the marathon with two other students, one was injured in the explosion and is in stable condition. there are still about 60 people in boston hospitals who were injured, 12 still in critical
condition. okay, now, if you had the misfortune of watching those developments that i just recited play out in realtime today, you may well have just lost the thread entirely on the day's events, because this, this is what it looked like in realtime. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> an arrest has been made, both federal source and my boston source say an arrest has been made. >> federal law enforcement source tells me that an arrest has been made. >> federal source tells her an arrest has been made. >> a suspect is about to be arrested. the suspect is to be taken into custody by federal marshals and taken to a courthouse. that tells us a lot, that tells us they've got him. >> one arrest, this vague description of brown skin, whether foreign or domestic. >> and now it is being told to fox news -- to a fox news reporter, indeed, an arrest has been made. >> according to the a.p., the suspect has been taken by u.s.
marshals to a federal courthouse. >> we are being told by our foxnews.com reporter that an arrest has been made. >> take a half a step back, this has accelerated incredibly quickly. >> some are reporting an arrest has been made and some are reporting that's not the case. here's the truth, we don't know. >> conflicting reports about an arrest. tom? >> i have actually three separate sources, but two that are very highly placed and close to the investigation that have just told me that there's been no arrest. >> okay, now, that would be, you know, we don't know what's right or not right at this point. as anderson always says, you don't want to go down the road of speculation wrongfully. >> no arrests have been made in connection with the boston marathon bombings and that's all we can say for sure. >> let's take a moment to appreciate the evolution of bad journalism at work here. first, cnn has the big breaking news, arrest made in bombings case. by 2:17 p.m., as the pushback has begun to roll it, they are
maybe doubting themselves, it's just breaking news with no further description. something somewhere is breaking, america, we just can't tell you what it is. then around 2:30, the breaking news is conflicting reports on bomb arrest. yes, conflicting because cnn is reporting something that conflicts with what is actually happening in the world. finally, at 2:43, they report the justice department says no arrest has been made. notice, though, they are still counting that as breaking news. breaking news, the breaking news we've been bringing you for the past hour is totally and completely bogus. this wasn't just some abstraction happening on cable news that no one was paying attention to, and i understand people make mistakes, but the bungling of the story today mattered. this is video outside the courthouse in boston after all that frenzied, inaccurate reporting this afternoon, a crowd has gathered. to be sure, a lot of these people are reporters and media folks, but they are people who show up in hopes of seeing a
suspect brought in. among them were likely anguished, angry people whose city has just been through a terrible trauma who wanted to see with their own eyes someone suspected of being responsible for it, a suspect who would not even exist yet but were told by the news was already in custody. and the one thing people knew about the suspect, the only thing they thought they knew for sure, thanks to cnn's reporting was the following descriptor. >> it was described to me as a dark-skinned male individual. >> i was told by a source that was a law enforcement official that this was a dark-skinned male. source had been briefed on the investigation, i should say, that the suspect was a dark-skinned male. >> forget about the fact that cnn got wrong the information they said they had. just explain to me precisely what news value exists in the adjective "dark skinned." what exactly that's newsworthy is communicated in that phrase, a dark-skinned individual could be my swarthier italian relatives or the ethiopian that
won the boston marathon before it was bombed on monday and everyone in between. no, that's not the purpose of that phrase. that phrase is not there to convey journalism. what dark skinned indicates is aha, all you folks who thought it was a bad muslim who did this, you were right. because, of course, let's be honest, that is the subtext that says all of this. but our job, our job in the media is not to flatter those knee-jerk presumptions for the sake of momentary titillation, it's to wrestle that to the ground and get the facts right. so, let's go back to what we do know about the investigation at this hour and for that let's go to nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, thank you very much and thank you for getting things right today. i want to ask you what we do know about how the
investigation's developed and how you would characterize the progress that is being made, given there was no arrest today, there is no single identified suspect, but nevertheless, it does seem like the last 24 hours have been quite good from the standpoint of progressing through this investigation. >> well, i think they consider it very promising, and here's the reason. they've been asking for pictures, they have what they believe are pretty important pictures that show from several different angles a young man at the second -- at the scene of the second bombing talking on a cell phone, setting down a backpack, and then dashing away just before that bomb explodes. they don't know who it is. they have a good look at that person, and they are eager to do three things, figure out who that person is, find them, and talk to them. and we are told they haven't
done any of those things yet, but there are several angles that they are working to try to figure out the identity of that person. the fact that the person was talking on a cell phone is important, because they can now try to go back to cell phone records and look at probably thousands of people who are on their cell phone at that time and start to work through that. so, they've got the picture, they've got the cell phones, and they can start now to work back and see if they can look at other pictures now and trace the movement of that person through the crowd, through all the pictures that they have. so, it's a very, very promising lead. can't call that person a suspect yet, because you never know. it could turn out to be innocent behavior, but it's one of the most promising things that they have, and they are working very aggressively to follow up on it. >> i remember in the aftermath of the oklahoma city bombing, of course, there was that famous and iconic police sketch of the suspect and then when timothy mcveigh was apprehended, everyone saw this tremendous resemblance between the two. i guess the question is, if they
do have an image of this person, are there plans to release that image to the public for the sake of publicizing who this person is? >> plans, no. they have thought about it. it cuts both ways, because if they think they can't make any progress in determining who it is, then they probably will release it, but probably will do that only when they think they have run out the string that they have, because releasing the picture causes all sorts of problems. it alerts the person that they are on to them, it also causes all sorts of calls that come in from people who will falsely say they think they know who it is. you know, that's the price of asking for public tips, you take the good with the bad. you know, it may come to that if they need to do that. it's certainly something they've thought about. >> i want to ask you, finally, about the ricin question. this has been this crazy sort of subsidiary story in the aftermaths of boston, a series of letters tested positive for ricin sent to federal officials, lawmakers, wicker, carl levin, the president himself. we have an arrest now i understand of a man named
kenneth curtis from mississippi on that case. can you tell us the latest on that? >> the letters were sent to an army laboratory for testing because these initial field tests are often inaccurate. what i'm told is that after doing 24 to 36 hours' worth of lab tests, they have a sort of mixed picture on it, that the tests show it's something, but they don't know the potency of it. is it really dangerous levels of ricin or is it merely sort of a junior league version of it and they are trying to find out whether it really is dangerous or not. so, they are doing more testing. in the meantime, you're right, they have arrested this suspect in mississippi. it's someone that they've been watching closely for the past 24 hours or so, because they had thought as of last night this was the person who sent the letters. it's someone who's written to congress many times before, well known to the capital police, so
we just don't know whether this guy's going to be appearing in court tonight to face the charges or whether that will be tomorrow and what the charges he'll ultimately face will depend on the results of the test. if it turns out not harmful, that's one charge, sending threatening levels, if it turns out to be a poison, that's a much more serious charge. >> quickly, we should state the fbi said there's no reason to suspect at this point any link between the boston marathon bombing and the letters. >> right. the fbi, i think, goes a little stronger than that and says there isn't any. >> nbc's pete williams, thank you for your excellent work over the last few days, appreciate it. >> you bet. up next, why our political system has zero tolerance for terrorism incidents but is fine with 30,000 gun deaths a year. stay with us.
if you want to see visible anger unlike any we've seen in recent memory coming from the president of the united states, you'll see it from the rose garden and then some after a senate minority killed gun reform. that's next. stations come over o mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
the yeas are 54, nays are 46. requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. >> shame on you! >> order in the senate. >> the grim irony of the past few days is as cable news was going into 24-hour, wall-to-wall coverage, away from the cameras on capitol hill, republican senators were quietly filibustering and with that vote killed the last meaningful piece of legislation to address the last mass causality event, the one just a few months ago. the one we paid a great deal of attention to, the newtown shootings. the cycle is the same, something horrible happens, we all watch it happen in realtime and feel terrible and want to know who were the perpetrators, what are the circumstances, and why did it happen. we get some inkling and have a discussion of what the implications are for policy, what we might do to prevent
something from this happening again in the future. when it's guns, when the killer is a shooter, the answer is nothing. we are told this just happens. but if it gets put in a special category called terrorism, then the answer is, everything must be done, no cost should be spared, no legal precedent should stand in the way. once it gets put in the terrorism bucket, we must do everything in our power. no one ever says people are going to die from terrorism, that's just the way it is. and if it's in the gun bucket, yeah, 30,000 people are going to die every year from guns. that's just the way it is. why is that the case? in the last 30 years, there have been 30,000 to 40,000 gun deaths in the united states per year, more than 900,000 people. in the last 40 years since 1970, there have been about 3,400 terror-related deaths, depending how you define terror according to the integrated united states security database. a million gun fatalities in the 33 years since 1980 versus 3,400 terror fatalities since 1970, 43 years. there's a reason why terrorism has a significance and justifiably so, it's the ideological political violence does a sort of violence to the social contract itself that is distinct, menacing, horrible, it distorts society in a specific and special way, a way that a
very deranged murderous kid in a school with a gun doesn't. the terrorist act, the perpetrator removes himself to resolve ideological disputes in a nonviolent fashion. but the scale of mismatch between how our political system responds to one kind of death versus the other is shocking, particularly on a day when we're watching this gun bill go down in flames. in a seemingly unrelated homeland security hearing today, senator claire mccaskill raised an incredibly intriguing question. >> based on the evidence at this point, is there any difference between sandy hook and boston other than the choice of weapon? >> the answer, which homeland security secretary janet napolitano conceded is no. underlying the arguments used by opponents of gun safety issues is the implied position that 30,000 people are going to die each year by guns and that's the way it has to be. it's the price of freedom. and it is absolutely true that
some number of horrible events is, in fact, the price of freedom. you cannot have total security without the country becoming a police state. we expose ourselves to risk by getting out of the house in the morning, getting in a car, going into a public space, through there is a bizarre and perverse mismatch in our political culture about what risks are acceptable and what are not, depending on what the implement of violence is or what the origin of the perpetrator is. so, today, the manchin/toomey background check amendment, the gun bill, the watered down compromise failed to pass the senate's agreed upon filibuster of 60. keep in mind, it got 54 votes, four more allowed than if it was an actual up-or-down vote. it was filibustered. >> the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill, and unfortunately this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose,
because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners and that, in turn, intimidated a lot of senators. i heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. and my question is, a victory for who? a victory for what? victory for not doing something that 90% of americans, 80% of republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done? it begs the question, who are we here to represent? so, all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for washington. >> opponents lied saying this bill created a gun registry when it did exactly the opposite, created a 15-year prison sentence for anyone creating a gun registry. so, as we follow the developments out of boston, as we leave no stone unturned attempting to find the perpetrator, another 88 or so
people will lose their life to a bullet tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. meanwhile, we'll all worry that if the suspect who blew up the finish line in boston isn't caught, we can't be sure that we're safe. we'll be right back with senator richard blumenthal of connecticut and the mother of virginia tech student that was shot in that school's massacre six years ago this week. what was their reaction as the senate vote went down today? that's next. ♪
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numerous injuries. the situation began with a fire at the plant. firefighters are trying to cut it out. a staging area was set up where ambulances are parked. they are attending to victims. more, but now back to chris hayes. we're joined by senator richard blumenthal, democrat from connecticut who pleaded for support from the senate floor before it was killed by a minority vote. senator, i want to first just get your reaction to today's vote. what is your take away from what happened in the senate chamber today? >> it was a shameful day. not only for washington, d.c.,
but for the nation, a real indictment of our democracy that there were 55 votes in the senate, 90% of americans, a vast majority of gun owners and even nra members, and yet we failed to meet the 60-vote threshold, and it was heartbreaking. the hardest part of the day was trying to explain to the families from newtown and virginia tech and other victim families how democracy could fail to work so deplorably. >> what did you tell those, i mean, what would you like to tell those victims' families, i don't know if you got to talk to them, but when you heard that one woman say, "shame on you," what went through your head? >> well, first of all, i spent some time with the newtown families after the vote, and i will tell you, they are resolute and resilient as they've been since december 14th, and really inspired me. i said to one of them, you know, we're not done. and she looked at me without skipping a bit and said, we're not even close to done.
>> yeah. >> so, they are coming back. this cause is not going away. and my hope is that my colleagues will heed and hear the outrage that i hope america will express, not just from the gallery, as i heard today on the floor of the senate, but really all around the nation so that people can be swayed by that majority, that silent majority, may be too silent. >> i want to ask you about members of your own party. even if every democrat had voted for the measure under the 60-vote threshold, even if every democrat had voted for it, it still would have fallen one vote shy, but four members of your caucus all voted to essentially sustain a filibuster of this piece of legislation. have you had conversations with those colleagues of yours and how do you feel about that? >> over the last weeks, chris, i have talked to just about every one of my colleagues, and many of them on the other side of the aisle, but let's be very blunt politically, we needed republican votes.
even if we had all the democrats, we still needed a bipartisan support, and that was the reason why the compromise forged by senators toomey and manchin was so critically important. it would have been a vast improvement on the current law. nowhere near as strong as i might have preferred or nowhere near as strong as many, including myself, but the point here is that we need a bipartisan vote. there should be nothing democrat or republican about supporting gun safety, and i think the brunt of it may well fall on republicans. >> very quickly, senator, what should be done next? it seems to me if the current package is voted through, everybody gets to say they did something, and in some ways that's the most perverse result, or do you think what's left in the package is salvageable or meaningful enough you want to see that passed out of the senate?
>> this bill is coming back, chris, there's no running away from it, and the connecticut effect that the nra hope would dissipate, it said so specifically is not going away. so, i think a strengthened bill and some measure of bipartisan compromise is still very much reachable. remember, four and a half months ago this issue was thought to be politically untouchable. now we came very close to victory because the newtown families turned the tide. >> senator richard blumenthal, thank you for joining us tonight. let's go to lori haas, who yelled from the senate gallery who said they should be ashamed of themselves. her daughter emily was shot twice at virginia tech six years ago this week and survived. lori, what caused you to yell out at that moment? >> frankly, i was disgusted and ashamed myself for the senators voting the wrong way.
i can't imagine what their thought process was and how they are going to explain it to their constituents and the rest of america. >> the president today talked about, obviously, the newtown families have been very visible in this lobbying effort and as well as family members of those who died in tucson and some in aurora and virginia tech. i want to play you some sound of the president talking about criticism that he was, quote, using the victims' families as props. take a listen. >> i've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. a prop, somebody called them. emotional blackmail, some outlets said. are they serious? do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? do we think their emotions,
their loss is not relevant to this debate? >> i wonder what your reaction is to that, lori. >> well, i agree with him wholeheartedly. if i can't speak to what happened to my daughter, emily, laying on the classroom floor, she got shot twice in the back of the head, you know, i heard your comments earlier, that was terrorism laying in that classroom when the gunman came in three times. not only do i have more authority to speak to gun violence and how it touched my family, i think i have an obligation, you know, friends have said, colin goddard, i'm not doing this for me, i'm doing this for someone else. you know, we want to stop the gun violence from harming and hurting other families. all of the people that i work with, i've talked to people from tucson, aurora, newtown, they are doing this because they
don't want other families in america to be harmed by gun violence. they don't want that pain and suffering visited on anyone. we all deserve to live free from gun violence, and we know what it's going to take, and these senators that voted the wrong way today, shame on them. and we are determined and we are coming back. we're not going anywhere. i'll be knocking on doors tomorrow. >> let me ask you this question, the argument that ended up being marshalled ultimately against the even fairly moderate watered down legislation offered in the manchin/toomey compromise was that it wouldn't actually prevent gun violence, it was an amazing argument which the nra argued to water it down, then they said this isn't going to do much. i wonder what your response to that is. when you look at the actual scope of gun violence in this country and the kind of legislation proposed, there genuinely is a mismatch between what was proposed and the scope
of gun violence, but how do you respond to this argument of futility of the legislation? >> who's arguing the futility? let's be clear, the gun lobby that just wants to sell more guns. when we go to public safety experts, the law enforcement, they tell us we need to stop criminals, and the best way to do that is to do a background check on every buyer. we get our information about public safety from those experts. we don't listen to a special interest group. in virginia, we know that criminals are arrested, you know, about 79 annually at gun shows attempting to buy firearms. that is a criminal element. that's who we're -- exactly who we're after, who we're trying to stop when we do a background check on all buyers. i just think it's just, you know, garbage, frankly, they want to stop the discussion and they want to sell more guns. i'd like to save lives, and i think americans are with me. i think after sandy hook, americans became determined to do something about gun violence in america, and after today's vote, i think americans are angry, and i think those senators who voted no are going to hear from every american. either going to hear from me, and, i think, most americans are going to be with me and are
going to speak up, stand up, and let their voices be heard. >> lori haas, currently working with mayor against illegal guns. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you, chris. we have a correction to make in the case of the letters sent to the senate and white house tested for ricin, authorities first identified the suspect as kenneth curis, now kenneth curtis with a "t." we'll be right back with click three. few industries are changing more rapidly than healthcare. by earning your degree from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to advance your career while making a difference in the lives of patients. let's get started at capella.edu. welcnew york state, where cutting taxes for families and businesses is our business. we've reduced taxes and lowered costs to save businesses more than two billion dollars to grow jobs, cut middle class income taxes to the lowest rate in sixty years, and we're creating tax free zones for business startups.
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soldiers participating in something called the tough ruck 2013 started monday's boston marathon before the other runners. they ran in full combat gear carrying 40-pound military backpacks to honor comrades killed in iraq and afghanistan. they immediately sprang into action, aiding victims, pulling off debris, assisting medics, and saving lives. one of the men was carlos arredondo. mr. arredondo became an antiwar activist after his son was killed in iraq. during the chaos, he, too, sprang into action and helped save the life of another man's son captured in this amazing photo. their story is among the most viewed and e-mailed on the "new york times" website. the second awesomest thing came from our twitter fan, skylar hill. a growing group of online organizers are showing support for the people of boston through the act of running. thousands of people have logged into this google dock sharing how many miles they ran and why.
responses vary, to support my running family, to keep fear from winning, #runforboston also popped up and a run for boston facebook page where people can pinpoint where all these amazing runners are. it's almost enough to make someone as fully distance running averse as myself go for a jog. the third comes awesomest the chaos from other news outlets. a link with this description, cnn right now, here's what you see when you click on that link, a completely out of control cartoon dinosaur on roller blades. this appears to be the runaway mascot from the toronto raptors. i am, of course, awaiting the hologram version of this guy. see all these links on our website, allinwithchris.com. we'll be right back. hoo-hoo. hoo-hoo...hoo-hoo.
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today this was the scene outside the federal courthouse in boston after several media outlets erroneously reported an arrest has been made in the boston marathon bombings and the suspect was headed to the courthouse. the reason why this moment is so charged, is that when we apprehend the suspect, we all know our response will depend very much on who that suspect is, their nationality, ethnicity, and religion. once again, depending who it is, there will be a tidal wave of political pressure to push them out of the normal categories and structures of criminal law and into the categories and structures to deal with terrorism that our political and judicial system has constructed in the wake of 9/11. the fight will be whether to treat him or her as a criminal in a federal court or as a terrorist in a military tribunal. to treat the bombings of the boston marathon as a crime or as
an act of war. almost 12 years after september 11, we are still operating within the generally ad hoc legal regime that the push administration created centered on making a crucial distinction between a criminal act and act of terrorism. so, the question we have to ask now, is that the right way to think about what just happened? does the distinction between crime and terrorism clarify things and make us safer, or does it obscure what we should actually be keeping our eyes on? joining me, former fbi agent, security consultancy, and esther, journalist, author, and radio host. great to have you all here. i think there's an extremely important point, precisely because there was this early sort of contest and argument whether the president was using the word terror or not. the next day he came out and said it was an act of terrorism. at some level it was sort of silly, stupid, political got ya, but at another level it's important how we all think about and react to what happens,
right, if something is terrorism or not. i thought this bill o'reilly clip did a good job of exactly articulating how we think about those two things. take a listen. >> u.s. intelligence, as i said, best in the world. fbi, a first-rate organization. talking points believes the perps will be found and brought to justice and executed, but, if this is, if this is an international terror attack, the repercussions will be severe. and if it's home grown, that will be another stain on american history. >> right, so brought to justice, but this other thing, which is international terrorist attack. dawn, as someone who's worked in the fbi and abroad on terror attacks and at home under things that fall under the rubric of crime, do you think it's a worthwhile distinction to think about these as separate things when we think about newtown and boston? >> terrorism is a crime.
title 18 of the u.s. code has a whole list of federal statutes that fall under the auspices of terrorism. for example, what we saw in boston, the reason, i think, why it was easy for people to come out early and say it's terrorism, you had a weapon of mass destruction that was used to kill people. that's -- >> weapon of mass destruction, is that specifically the term that we're using for this pressure cooker bomb? >> well, you can use it. under the wmb statute, a bomb of that can be considered a wmb. >> i did not know that. >> there's your terrorism charge, potentially. so, i personally believe terrorism is a form of criminality, should be treated as so. that's not to say there are other tools in the toolbox that should be discounted. for example, if you have something that's considered a national security investigation, you get authority to do things
like fiza, national security letters, things like that. those are all valuable intelligence collection tools. >> then we get to this interesting point, right, if it's someone who's a domestic u.s. citizen, presumably that national security aspect will not be brought into play, right, if it is a foreign national presumably it will. i wonder what your reaction is to that, hina. >> chris, i think what this really hones in on is the fundamental question we've had since 9/11, which is does an act of terrorism cause us to change our laws, our values, our principles, and the bottom line is that it doesn't. if there's anything that we've learned, one of the main lessons of 9/11 has been if we go away from our laws, values, and principles, that's when we do wrong to our national security, to the rights of individuals, both innocent and accused, and we hurt our ability to bring perpetrators to justice. >> don's not saying that, don's saying when we talk about something as national security related in the context of an
international terror attack, which is bill o'reilly's phrase, there's an additional set of tool kits that are useful and necessary that allow investigators to get to the bottom of things. >> so, there are, you know, laws that have been put in place that allow us to pursue terrorism, whether it is international or domestic, and i don't think -- i don't want us to get into the kind of speculation we've seen raging over the networks right now. >> of course, right. >> i think that the bottom line is law enforcement right now has all the tools it needs and one of the things that we've seen at this point is how responsible the debate largely has been amongst policy makers, from president obama, to governor deval patrick, the message rightly has been one of resilience, inspired, i think, by the resilience of the people of boston. >> should we care whether it's terrorism in the sense of what the motivations were, whether they were ideological or political in some way, does that
matter in terms of how we, as a society, think about how to prevent it, how we should charge or punish the person who did it? >> it matters because we are a nation who has a particular relationship with violence, so, once something is defined as terrorism, it changes our relationship to how we think about who the perpetrator will be, depending on who is caught so that if the perpetrator is white and male, it will not be the kind of -- we will not think about it in terms of terrorism as if he were muslim. that's just the reality of how we think about terrorism. it becomes the -- >> we call timothy mcveigh a terrorist, don't we? >> we call timothy mcveigh a terrorist, but we do not deal with white men in america the way we've dealt with muslims post-9/11. there is a difference in how we relate to the perpetrator, depending on who they are and where they are from.
that matters because it speaks to what i describe as our intimate and contradictory relationship with violence and once you put the "t" word in, once terrorism is defined, i don't think it's just who the individual is, if they are a foreign national -- >> or a group of individuals. >> -- or a group of individuals, it's the way which that person then initially directly connects to our policy. >> do you think that's right with respect to law enforcement, do you think the division between the timothy mcveigh's of the world and muhammads of the world? >> i think that it doesn't really. i mean, i believe -- this is from my experience, you cannot and should not get tunnel vision looking for a specific, you know, because somebody has a particular faith, they pray five times a day, therefore, it's an international terrorism versus a timothy mcveigh type. we have seen so many cases where you have -- >> let me just say, it could be a left wing terrorist, we literally know nothing. someone who is mad at his or her ex-spouse who happened to be
working the medic tent. >> what you need to focus on is the activity, the race, religion, you know, all of that really is irrelevant when it comes to you have to be able to prove the activity isn't furtherance of terror. >> this is what's going to happen, i guarantee this is what's going to happen, if the person caught is indeed a foreign national of any kind, there will be a massive wave of political pressure for that person not to be charged in article three court. i can tell you here right now, susan collins got in front of that, what do you say to that? >> i say look at the track record. we have a very good track record of bringing these individuals into federal court using the statutes that are available to us. even in -- >> even a foreign national? >> -- even a foreign national. being able to use that intelligence in a criminal case, i would say look at the record.
>> i want to get more from you, hina, and play a bit of sound of peter king talking about what exactly incursions we should tolerate in the name of no one dying from terrorism, because it's an interesting contrast to how we feel about guns on this day of all days. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] at his current pace,
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are unnecessary, ineffective, and irresponsible. that's what we did when we treated the acts of a fringe group after 9/11 as a global war. that's where we expanded it to and look where we've gotten, military commissions that don't work, that are an embarrassment, and allow alleged terrorists to claim they are warriors. >> we've decimated al qaeda, gone years without a successful attack. >> and one of the best tools we've had is through law enforcement, through the hundreds of terrorism prosecutions in our courts. >> when terrorism is on the table as a policy matter, right, no one ever argues for cost-benefit analysis, how much should we do. everyone says we should not tolerate a single death from terrorism. here's congressman peter king, essentially, making that argument, that kind of argument yesterday.
>> i don't -- my idea that the right to privacy is in a private setting. if you're out in public, i don't think you have the right to assume anything's private. >> you're not concerned we're going to overly secure, make it so going to a sporting event becomes almost impossible? >> ask the parents of the 8-year-old -- ask somebody who's lost somebody in a terrorist incident, would you rather have a loved one dead or camera on the telephone pole, i think they'd take the camera. >> that's the argument, right, would you rather have your loved one dead or a camera on a telephone pole, i think they'd take the camera. >> there's the universality about the reaction to what should happen that is different depending on how we define the piece of violence. everyone's a victim -- >> anyone could be that person. >> absolutely, absolutely, child or adult, male or female, black or white, in that moment, we are victims. depending when the perpetrator is, that fundamentally changes
when we think about justice, retribution, and our identity as warriors, as being willing to exercise revenge or retribution, but also to not simply hold an individual responsible depending on who they are, but to make the entire group from which they come responsible, too. if they are not white and male specifically. >> let's look at how problematic that is. extremist violence comes from many different forms and we don't say, for example, perpetrators members of the ku klux klan, we don't require christians to distance themselves and say that's not part of christianity, but we're equating falsely terrorism islam or muslims, we do deep damage to innocent people and we, i think, hurt the ability of -- >> do you think that equation has been made a lot in the last few days? >> i think that --
>> i feel like it's been largely better than, i think people have been very careful with some real notable exceptions about that. >> i think that's exactly right and that's actually where i was going is that we have been more responsible right now, and that is the exact right approach, but that must not change regardless of who the perpetrator is. >> don, let me just show you this chart real quick, gun deaths versus terrorist deaths. when you look at that chart, think about where our priorities are, what we think about as a society that we need to guard against to secure people, like, does that match to what the priorities and resources of the federal government, for instance, are? >> well, if you look at it just in terms of an economist would look at it, the cost benefit or, you know, which is the biggest risk here, obviously, more deaths from guns. but, you know, i think when you -- terrorism, obviously, invokes something nor visceral in people. images of 9/11, so, you know, i
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