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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 14, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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else. eric glatt, former intern who is a plaintiff in this case. attorney, rachel bien. and mr. warren from colomblo columbia university. thanks for joining us this i venning. that's "all in". the rachel maddow show starts right now. happy weekend. thank wow for staying with us the next hour. happy friday to you. and happy christmas in june. did you see what just happened in texas? i've got a 15-second piece of tape. see if you can tell from watching this 15 second piece of tape what weird thing is going on at this bill signing that just happened down in texas. you're not looking for something in this clip visually. you're actually listening for something. check this out. >> i'd like you to hear from the author of the bill who happens to also be the father of reagan. representative dwayne bohek. >> did you -- did you hear that,
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the ringing? the weird ringing. kind of a seasonal sounding ringing. all right. now here's another clue. here is texas governor rick perry signing the bill at that bill ceremony. everything looks kind of normal. but wait, wait, wait, wait. who's that guy? who's that guy over rick perry's right shoulder? what's that guy with the funny hat and the long white beard? yeah, that's santa. rick perry, in fact, stacked the room with a whole bunch of stunt santa clauss for the bill signing. what just happened in texas is that rick perry signed a bill, he had a big ornate signing ceremony with sleigh bells ringing and santa clauses all over the room to sign a bill that makes it not illegal to say merry christmas in texas. seriously. >> well, it might be june, but folks at the state capitol today are getting ready for the holidays. >> today governor perry signed legislation that will let teachers and students use greetings like merry christmas or happy hanukkah in schools.
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>> those are members of the lone star santas club. they came to the capitol to give their backing on this bill. >> yeah. you can say merry christmas in texas now. thanks to governor rick perry, it's not illegal to say merry christmas. now, was it ever illegal to say merry christmas in texas? you know, you never can be too careful, but saying merry christmas is now doubly triply, merrily, rick perry protected in texas. it is a big rick perry idea in politics. you may remember when he was running for president he tried to make one of the central issues of his campaign the fact he had led the fight to keep christmas from being illegal in texas. and he would lead that fight nationally against president obama. he wasn't afraid. president obama may want to make christmas illegal and ban christianity, but rick perry has santa on his side. >> i'm not ashamed to admit i'm a christian, but you don't need
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to be in the pew every sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate christmas and pray in school. as president, i'll end obama's war on religion and i'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. faith made america strong. it can make her strong again. i'm rick perry, and i approve this message. >> so that was how rick perry ran for president the first time. he will, in his barn coat, protect you from homosexuals. so in case you are worried, america, the one man who will stand between you and homosexuality is this guy. it's rick perry receiving and then, of course, famously cuddling a bottle of maple syrup that was given to him in a speech in new hampshire. rick perry will protect you from the gay and he will keep christmas legal from the democrats who want to make it illegal. that is how rick perry first ran for president. that's how he ran first time and presumably that is how he is going to run for president the
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second time. although we are still observing a ban about talking about 2016 here at the "rachel maddow show" in my handwriting on a whiteboard in my office, one way you know despite the 2016 ban that rick perry is running for president again besides the fact rick perry, himself, is open to running for president again, one of the ways you know he means it is that bill signing with the sleigh bells and santa clauses where he saved christmas is one of the last things he did in texas before he left the state to fly to the new christian coalition conference thing in washington. rick perry will be speaking tomorrow at the christian coalition conference that is hosting all of these other republicans who want to run for president. the christian coalition conference is now called the faith and freedom conference ever since ralph reed sullied the old name but it's the same old thing it's ever been. it's ralph reed and gary bower and all the rest of them. this social conservative ring
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wing of the republican party comes to a sensitive time in our politics when it comes to the issues nearest and dearest to the hearts of these folks. particularly when it comes to gay politics. by which i mean anti-gay politics which has been a central thing at the christian coalition and the organized christian conservative movement has always stood for. and the sensitive issue for them right now is not just the general american public opinion shift to be in favor of gay rights. the latest abc news/"washington post" poll this week found 57% of americans now support legalized equal marriage rights. it's beyond that, though. it's not just that sentiment, that broad feeling in the country that makes their position against it seem awkward. it is that the question is being called. there are policy positions coming up, policy decisions coming up on this where republicans are going to have to make their feelings known not just to each other, but to the jet majority of the country which disagrees with them on gay rights. republican politicians are about to lose the luxury of only talking about gay rights in front of anti-gay audiences like
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the faith and freedom coalition or avoiding the question altogether because they don't want to be quoted about it because their republican position on the subject is so unpopular. one of these policy decisions that's about to come down on them is the employment nondiscrimination act. it's a bill that simply says you can't be fired for being gay. no employer can put up a sign in their window that says we don't hire gay people. it is legal for an employer to do that right now under federal low. you can't do something like that on the basis of race, of course, you can't do that on the basis of sex, you can't do that on the basis of age and all these other protected categories, but if you want to fire somebody simply and only because they are gay, if you want to put out a job announcement that says i will not hire you if you are gay, no gays need apply, nothing in federal law stops you from doing that. today the nondiscrimination bill that would fix that got its 50th sponsor in the senate in the form of majority leader harry reid. that means the nondiscrimination bill now has enough votes to pass if the republicans wouldn't
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filibuster which, of course, they would. republican presidential hopeful marco rubio was asked about his position on that nondiscrimination bill yesterday. by an enterprising "think progress" reporter who followed him into an elevator. >> the senate this summer is going to be taking up the employment nondiscrimination act which makes it illegal to fire someone who is gay. >> i haven't read the legislation. by in large i think all americans should be protected, but i'm not for any special protections based on orientation. >> what about on race or gender? >> that's established. >> but not for sexual orientation? >> hey, how are you, man? that counts for not an answer. it's kind of brutal to watch the running away. not for sexual orientation? hey, how are you? it's tough to watch. but marco rubio being anti-gay, marco rubio having anti-gay policy positions is not a surprise. he's never taken a pro gay rights position on anything
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really. and it was just yesterday that he said he would blow up the whole immigration reform issue. he would blow up this whole thing that he has been working on, that he staked his whole political future on, he will kill the whole idea of immigration reform if immigration reform applies to gay people, too. >> this bill has in it something that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. i'm gone. i'm off it and i've said that repeatedly. and i don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. >> i'm gone. i'm off it. that shouldn't happen. so marco rubio, the supposed future of the republican party, says there should be no immigration reform if it also would apply to gay people. and he says it should be legal in this country for your boss to fire you because he found out you're gay or because he's decided he thinks that you're gay. maybe nothing should be surprising about social conservative politics and what these guys stand for, still, in 2013. but the nondiscrimination thing, right, i mean, you would think
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that would be something where they could bring more people across the line on this. i mean, the reason that harry reid is number 50 in terms of the sponsoring the nondiscrimination act is because the 48th and 49th votes for the nondiscrimination bill just happened. those are from mr. king who is down the middle, centrist independent senator from maine. also from heidi heitkamp who voted against background checks for gun sales and she's a very conservative person on lots of social issues but even she is for nondiscrimination. but when it comes to the republicans, not only is marco rubio not in favor of it, it's not even the province of rob portman. rob portman is the guy who decided he was suddenly for gay marriage after his son came out to him. so he is okay for marriage rights for his son, but not for nondiscrimination? i'm okay with you being forced out of your job, son, because of you who are? i just don't want you to go through it alone? if you're married, you can both
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be fired for being gay, together. how does that make sense? these maverick republicans that you see on your screen right here, these are the only three republicans in both houses of congress who support employment nondiscrimination for gay people. and while all of those members of congress are republicans in good standing, what you are not looking at there is the republican primary field for 2016. you apparently cannot support something like nondiscrimination for gay people and have any future in republican party politics. nobody who has any real prospects of being a national leader in republican politics in the next few years has anything other than 100% anti-gay policy position on something like nondiscrimination. that is apparently still a requirement if you are a republican and you want to hold higher national office. and that is auk quawkwaruwkward country as a whole is in a different place than that and there's a very good chance this coming monday that very awkwa awkwardness is going to come crashing down on the republican party because this monday
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there's no guarantees, nobody knows for sure, but many court observers are expecting that this monday morning the united states supreme court will issue a pair of high-profile rulings on the issue of same-sex marriage. the court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of california's ban on same-sex marriage otherwise known as prop 8 and we also expect a ruling from the court on doma, the defense of marriage act, the law passed by congress and signed by bill clinton. it's an anti-gay law that denies same-sex couples any federal recognition and any of the federal benefits of being married. the supreme court heard arguments on both of those cases in march. this monday is the next possible day that we could get final rulings from them on those cases and a lot of people are expecting those cases to be ruled on on monday. and those looming rulings are a problem for republicans who find themselves on the wrong side of fast-moving public opinion on this issue. by which i mean almost all elected republicans. because in republican world, it is a very different world than the rest of us live in when it comes to talking about the gay.
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as an example, this week, as the court is gearing up to issue those rulings and 50 co-sponsors are signing on to the nondiscrimination act, republicans in congress were being lobbied by all the social conservatives who were in town for ralph reed's new version of the christian coalition and their conference. republicans in congress spent this week getting lobbied on the evils of gay marriage and the darkness that will be unleashed on the land if the court rules in a pro-gay way. this was a republican congressman from ohio being visited by that group yesterday. watch this. >> if the court shelves doma and steps on the voice of the people of california, that will radically change the definition of marriage which will, i think, probably unleash the sort of
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civil protests that's reminiscent of the civil rights movement in the '50s, '60s. >> it's going to be the mass civil disobedience of the 1950s and 1960s all over again if the court rules in favor of gay marriage. the nation will rise up in anger and the streets will fill for years. really? the problem for republicans is that after these rulings come out, they are not just going to be able to talk to the ken blackwells of the world and the ralph reeds of the world about it and the people who cheer them in speeches when they call it sodomy, right? after these rulings come out, thi this is going to be the biggest news in the country. they're going to have to talk to the rest of the country, too, increasingly not only against them on these issues but bewildered by them and their positions on these issues. nobody knows exactly what's going to happen on monday, but this is going to be fascinating
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our history matter to you? because for more than two centuries, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ i am today an out lesbian, okay, who just sued the united states of america which is kind of overwhelming for me. when my beautiful, sparkling thea died four years ago, i was overcome with grief. within a month i was hospitalized with a heart attack. that's kind of common. it's usually looked at as broken
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heart syndrome. in the midst of my grief, i realized the federal government was treating us as strangers and i paid a humongous estate tax and it meant selling a lot of stuff to do it and it wasn't easy. i live on a fixed income and it wasn't easy. >> that was edith windsor, edie windsor, plaintiff in the defense of marriage act case before the supreme court right now. a lot of very practiced court watchers think a ruling on that case and a prop 8 case in california may be announced on monday. it is not at all certain if it will happen then or what that ruling will be, but joining us now with probably the best guess in country is tom goldstein, co-founder of the scotus blog, website that covers the supreme court that won a peabody award in excellence in electronic media this year. first blog to win that award. mr. goldstein lectures at harvard and argued 28 cases before the supreme court. tom fwoegoldstein, thank you fo being with us. >> merry christmas. thanks to governor perry for letting me get that off my chest. >> i know you've been held back
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by the threat of the gestapo, right? there's no way to know if monday is going to be the day. what is your thinking about whether or not it's going to be the day? >> i think this one probably will go to the bitter end the justices heard argument as you described it in march. they don't give us any heads-up, but it's likely to be such a big fight particularly when you have two cases on such a historic question as same-sex marriage that some time in the next two weeks it's going to happen, but monday might be a little ambitious. it could happen for sure. >> what do you expect to be the outcome of these cases? do you expect they'll be decided at the same time, we'll hear about both rulings on the same day? >> i'd be shocked. they are twins in a sense. federal law being unconstitutioned and the state law. some of the same theories it violates -- so it would be the court's practice to do it together. in terms of what's going to happen, i would guess there's going to be a split result that
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just as you describe puts it back into the national conversation. first and foremost, i think doma is going to be struck down. either an this theory that it violates the rights of same-sex couples or violates the states rights, if the state wants to recognize same-sex marriage, i think justice kennedy is sympathetic to the idea that congress can't overturn that judgment. proposition 8 it asks this very conservative supreme court, most conservative supreme court ever a lot to recognize a right to same-sex marriage. it looked like the center of the court was looking for some way out of deciding that question. >> they could do that by saying we shouldn't have taken this in the first place or by deciding it on some technical ground that avoided the merits? >> exactly right. to say that maybe these plaintiffs didn't have the right to appeal because everybody who is responsible for enforcing these laws is giving up on them. the president says that doma is unconstitutional. the governor in california refuses to defend proposition 8. that wave of national attitude
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that you've been describing applies to the elected officials as well. that might, ironically, give the supreme court a way of kicking that critical, fundamental question down the road while still advancing the ball through the doma case. >> i'm going to be a bit of a herotic and talk about the justices as political people for a second. i know they don't like to be talked about that way. i do tend to think of, especially the younger more conservative justices as being politically minded. justice roberts, in particular, as a young chief thinking about how he is viewed. when i think of him as a political figure, i think of him worrying how his federal conservatives might think about his ruling on obama care. maybe he doesn't want to be seen as a squish, maybe he wants to be seen as a conservative. if i extrapolate -- i'm making that up. if i extrapolate, he doesn't want a 5-4 ruling when he's on the side of 5 voting for gag marria
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marriage. am i crazy to think about it in those terms? >> think about it as somebody who really cares a lot about the perception of the institution. i don't think he sweats things a lot. that's the nice thing about life tenure. but in all events, it's really odd to think that he would be the fifth vote. justice kennedy who's written two very significant cases on gay rights, who's really the person who same-sex marriage advocates are looking to first and foremost by the court's conservatives. he would have to be the fifth vote then the chief the sixth vote certainly. >> the other big rulings expekted by the court soon, one is the voting rights act. do you have any other informed speculation for us on either timing or likely outcomes there? >> that one is probably up sooner. it was argued beforehand. this is the question of whether provision of the act, those who have a history of discrimination
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to the 1960s has to get the permission of the department of justice or the court before deciding their voting systems. the idea that they would keep moving into new forms of discrimination if they always had to be sued. this court a few years ago shot a shot across the bow of that and said you need to narrow it, cut back the number of covered jurisdictions. congress didn't do anything. the justices do not like it when it seems like the other branches of government aren't paying attention. that statute i think probably is in big although by a thin majority. >> tom goldstein. tom, thank you very much for your time tonight. you always make these things both clear and scary. >> thanks for having me. >> thanks a lot. with the voting rights act, with section 5, that is a backbone civil rights protection. if that goes, and most informed people on these matters seems to think it's going to be going, i have no idea what the political repercussions of that are going to be but a very big deal in this country in a way that's going to last for a very long time.
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this is earlier today in newtown, connecticut, outside the town hall. reading of names of more than 6,000 people have been killed by gun violence since the sandy hook elementary school killings in newtown six months ago today. the victims and victims' families and community members paused for a 26-second moment of silence to honor each of the 26 victims of sandy hook. 20 first graders, of course, and
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6 educators. since sandy hook, there have been ten mass shootings where at least four people died other than the shooter, himself, in our country. the most recent was last week when a 23-year-old man killed five people in a rampage near santa monica college in southern, california. the dead included his father and brother. he was armed with an ar-15 assault rifle and .44 caliber handgun. he used the rifle to fire 100 rounds in this ten-minute-long attack. he had about another 1,300 rounds with him and in a duffel bag he had 40 separate extended capacity magazines for the rifle that each held about 30 rounds. it has been six months since newtown. and everybody else is saying that despite the national horror, the national outcry over what happened at newtown, the federal level everybody's been saying that congress has really done nothing on guns. actually, though, the house of representatives did pass something just last week on guns. the republicans in the house of representatives passed one piece of gun-related legislation since
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newtown. and it is a bill to stop the government from buying ammunition. to stop law enforcement from buying ammunition. so that in the shooting war, the u.s. government is about to declare on american citizens, the government side will run out of bullets sooner and then fox news can win the war or something. >> we're watching inexplicably without any, any voice from the department of homeland security, we are watching another purchase of 7,000 ar-15-like rifles. we are watching 2 billion rounds of ammunition, principally 40, and .9 millimeter. we are looking at the purchase of 2,700 light armored vehicles in the midst of, at least allegedly 2,700 of those vehicles. what in the world is going on as the homeland department -- department of homeland security seems to be arming up and the
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administration's trying to disarm american citizens? >> imagine what homeland security is doing. it's just awful. are we going to talk about how many ammunition they are stockpiling? who are they going to shoot? us? >> this idea that the u.s. government is stockpiling ammunition to kill us all was birthed in the usual conspiracy clearinghouses. the same people who brought you the boston marathon bombing was faked. or maybe it was an inside job and michelle obama did it. the same people that said the tornado that hit moore, oklahoma, was a government-made weather weapon which president obama used to shoot tornadoes at oklahoma on purpose. those are the same folks who have been predicting an american government arms race against the american people. i mean, why else would american law enforcement want bullets except to enslave us all? >> so what are they going to do if they want to violate our second amendment rights? do it with ammo. >> can you explain this to me? what do they need it for? >> well, they don't.
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that's the point. >> then, but people -- i mean, but it had been purchased before obama by the -- >> yeah. no, not these numbers, now, laura. not these numbers. the best evidence of that is look what happened to the supply. the supply is gone. and where did they go? the supply, some of it, of course, people -- >> are buying up. >> yeah, they're buying it up but not to those proportions. i know this for a fact because i know the people that are, you know, concerned about this. and so, so, there's no downside if i'm wrong on this. >> i know this for a fact because i know people are concerned about this, so there's no downside if i'm wrong about this. that's how i know it is a fact. it seemed insane when senator james inhofe of oklahoma responded to the supposedly concerned americans who gave him no downside if he's wrong with a bill to actually block law enforcement agencies from buying ammunition for training. senator inhofe is that kind of guy and you know, hey, he's in the minority party in the senate
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so this crazy idea of his, you know, brought to us by people who believe president obama decides where tornadoes go, that crazy idea of james inhofe is not going anywhere in the united states senate and that's true. you know what? it passed anyway. it didn't go anywhere in the senate, but republicans control the house. and in the republican-controlled house, they passed this thing. by lots. look. by a big margin. 234-192. a party line vote. they passed their version, the house version of the jim inhofe stop law enforcement from buying bullets conspiracy theory bill. they passed it as an amendment to the funding for homeland security. so when we lament that six months after newtown, congress cannot get anything done about guns or ammunition, or our country's massive and worsening problem with mass shootings, it is wrong to lament that because the republican-controlled house of representatives can get something done on this issue. they can feed the apocalyptic paranoid from my cold dead hands war against the government conspiratorial gun nut base that
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they thrive on. they can feed that. that's what they can get done. and in totally unrelated news, the gallup polling organization today reported that americans' confidence in congress has not only fallen to the lowest level ever recorded since the dawn of modern polling, the level of confidence that americans have in congress has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded for any american major institution ever in the history of polling. and since the national catastrophe that was newtown six months ago today, this congress has been earning that distinction it holds in the american mind every single day. capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression.
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the place in the world that sounds most like a made up place but, in fact, is a real place, is timbuck tu. the name to notes the idea of it
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being hard to get away. metaphor for far awayness. not because timbuktu is far away from the u.s., lots of places are far away but don't have the specific connotation. i think that specific connotation is because timbuktu is on the edge of the sahara desert, located in northern mali. if you're even relatively close to timbuktu, it is remote and difficult to get to. that is one of the many reasons a current series of scoops from the soerassociated press has be fascinating. the ap has been rolling out exclusive stories based on documents they say al qaeda fighters left behind in a building in timbuktu. an ap reporter says she found a stash of confidential al qaeda documents in that house, "tucked under a pile of papers and trash." if the documents are real, and the ap says they are real, they reveal a lot of stuff about al qaeda we did not know before and they probably did not want
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anybody to know, stuff like their strategy how they plan to rule once they topple enough governments to do that. this is building where the ap reporter found the secretbuktu are the documents, themselves, published in the original arabic and translated into english. this stash of documents that this one reporter found in a house in timbuktu. some of the stories have had details about al qaeda's day-to-day office politics like the one about al qaeda's leaders in northern africa being really angry at one of their subordinates for ignoring their phone calls, missing meetings, disobeying orders and worst of all, failing to file his expense reports. turns out that's a universal problem. reporting from this same ap reporting in timbuktu turned up evidence of this al qaeda group in mali training to use fairly sophisticated surface to air
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missiles. the ap actually published the al qaeda surface to air training manual. we have information about what certain weapons certain al qaeda cells have and what they're planning to do with them because of this ap reporting. sometimes the most sensitive and sensational news like that, we know exactly how a news organization got its hands on this sensitive or sensational thing they have published that has national security ramificati ramifications. sometimes we know. sometimes it's a reporter finding it in a trash heap in a house in timbuktu. sometimes the source of the information is not easily traceable. for example on the same day this week the ap published their latest scoop on al qaeda and the surface to air missiles, on that same day the "washington post" also published a different story about al qaeda. the "post's" story was about how u.s. forces sabotaged the al qaeda online magazine "inspire" including in some ways that al qaeda apparently was not readily noticing. things like screws up their bomb-making instructions to the instructions still sort of
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looked right but the bombs that were made by using those instructions would not be bombs that worked. "sometimes the disruption occurs when the magazine is being put together intelligence officials said. a u.s. operator might aller a technical point in a set of bomb making instructions so the device will not work. the sabotage could go unnoticed for a long time. "the source said. the "washington post" was able to publish it because these unnamed officials leaked it to the "washington post." if al qaeda was not noticing that their bomb making instructions online were sabotaged, it seems important that officials leaked that fact to a newspaper because now al qaeda knows, right? we do not know why these officials leaked this information because we do not know who they are. they are unnamed. we can't acquire as to their motivations, can't report about their motivations. it seems right now like every big news story about national security at least in the last couple weeks has been based on leaked information.
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the bombshell about nsa spying was originally an anonymous leak. the leaker decided to reveal himself. we know who he was and his explanations for why he did it. there's also stories like this one in today's "washington post" which is supposed to be about the shocking elaborateness of president obama's upcoming travel plans to africa. we do not know who leaked this travel and security document about the president's forthcoming trip but we do know why it was leaked. somebody wanted to embarrass the administration about this. somebody who's described by the "post"s a being, "concerned about the amount of resources necessary for the trip." in the same story the "post" notes these exact same kinds of preparations were made for previous presidents who traveled to africa but, of course, when it is this president, it's an outrage for some reason. and, of course, the biggest national security story in the news right now, not only here but globally, also started in this country with a leak. a story that broke as we were going to air last night that the obama administration has now determined with high confidence, they say, that the syrian government has used chemical
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weapons and that the u.s. will be arming the rebels in syria in response to that declaration about chemical weapons. in the last 24 hours since that story broke, this one, too, has been driven further largely by leaks. despite the administration's efforts to brief reporters on their decision-making ahead of the leaking, they have not won. the leakers have won. the obama administration's own announcement of this new big escalation in u.s. involvement in another middle eastern country, it was leaked to "the new york times" and then leaked to a senator. senator john mccain, before the white house had announced anything official to the public on syria, went to the senate floor to tell everybody what the white house was about to say. he was asked, hey, how did you know that information before the white house said it? and he replied that he had to protect his source. >> can you give us a sense of how you found out that the u.s. would be arming the rebels? >> i'd heard that from a reliable source that i'm sure would not like for me to give you his name, brianna. i'm sure you understand that.
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>> then today it was unnamed western diplomats who leaked to "reuters" that the white house is seriously considering a no-fly zone in syria. that leak, despite the fact that white house officials, that the white house's official comments on no-fly zone today called the idea difficult, dangerous and costly. the white house has also not yet officially specified what kind of weapons they plan to provide to the syrian opposition, but the leaks have provided it. again, tonight, two officials leaking this time to cnn that the u.s. is going to send small arms and ammunition and maybe anti-tank weapons. according to these anonymous leakers, those weapons will be provided by the cia, which, of course, would be covert action so there will be no official disclosure of that action, so, therefore, leaks. there's a lot going on in national security and national security-related politics right now. one of the newsworthy things about national security politics in the united states right now is how many significant leaks there have been of supposedly closely held information in recent days.
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just about every day for the last couple of weeks there has been a significant new leak of some important new national security information. and it is in that bewildering context of real information, of apparently real information, and of fake information that we are now trying to figure out exactly why the united states has decided to intervene in the syrian civil war after holding out for months, and what kind of intervention we really are about to make. and whether this is a symbolic step, a political step, or whether this is something that might actually make a difference in that war. joining us now on that last point specifically, nbc news foreign correspondent who has made three trips to syria since the start of the revolution. >> great to be here. >> strategically the u.s. government has said for a long time that they want the assad government to fall. is what they're doing now something that will make it any more likely that will happen? >> that's going to be very difficult to assess right now because of all of the articles that you mentioned. we don't know what the weapons are going to be.
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we don't know if they're going to tip the favor of the fight in the balance of the rebels in the opposition. because ultimately that's the stated u.s. objective. that's what the opposition wants. but as a result of what the u.s. is doing, that's being met by other countries. russia, china, iran and now hezbollah are sending their weapons, fighters and supply to the syrian regime and you're having a proxy war. >> thinking about, i mean, thinking about hezbollah-trained fighters and obviously the syrian formal military, plus the support, as you describe, from russia and china and from iran, if that's the force on one side, is there any level of shipping weapons to the other side that could make it a fair fight? or is this always going to be an unbalanced guerilla warfare against organized force kind of thing? >> well, you know, from a perspective of military, you can probably create the balance because if you impose a no-fly zone, that would require countries, nato countries like turkey, the united states, european countries and there's no doubt on a military level the comparison between the forces that you mention and the nato
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countries definitely favors the nato countries and their technical capabilities. but on the ground the rebels over the past several, two years of this revolution, have been able to capture territory, hold on to it, but they're not able to territory, hold onto it, but they're not able to stop the syrian regime's air force from bo bombarding them. it is to neutralize the effect -- >> so the rebels believe that the air power is definitive. if they could deny that they could overrun the country. >> that is right, and in libya, it was only when nato intervened and gave them the air superiority and move on to tripoli. people here argue, the opposition is arguing they cannot keep the territory they are holding. because once they push out the
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regime, what tends to happen is the air force comes in and levels the entire area. and that is why they're calling for the no-fly zone. >> this fight started as humanitarian aid, and there was some question as to how much humanitarian aid actually got there. then it was supposed to be body armor and night vision goggles, again, questions as to whether any of that got there. but now it is military aid, with limitations on the kind of weapons we'll ship. if that doesn't turn the tide, strategically, hasn't the u.s. already committed itself to the next step which would be the no-fly zone. and in u.s. politics, if the idea we're intervening, and it would make a difference, but isn't this kind of a slippery slope? >> it is very slick. president bashar assad has to go, this is a stated u.s. objective and this is the goal.
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so everything the u.s. is doing now and getting to the goal it incremental. now some people argue that the u.s. allies in the arab countries say if you are already stating this goal, why are you stating the specific incremental that you know will bring down the regime, and that is a direct u.s. intervention. and it is not military, again, you have to pull back from the terminology, used, but if it is the no-fly zone, getting nato involved, but at the end of the day you already stated the objective, everything that happens between now and then is incremental, and you need to go all the way to the end line. >> i don't think there is any controversy at all, other than the u.s. military involvement. and once the involvement happens, the military supplying, there is very little that i can imagine that can hold the u.s. from going all the way, and then we're there for a decade. >> and that part of the world doesn't want to see a military
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arab intervention. >> this part of the world doesn't either. >> it is highly unlikely the u.s. would have any types of boots on the ground. and perhaps it shouldn't have boots on the ground. but at the end of the day, they want to see more u.s. leadership diplomatically. >> oh, i feel like i've seen this movie, and i don't want to see this movie. ayman mohyeldin, thank you, always good to see you. and on the plus side, our old friend scott brown. stay with us. i want to make things more secure. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions
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because zyrtec® starts working at hour one on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour three. zyrtec®. love the air. the largest spanish language newspaper in massachusetts is based in somerville, massachusetts, and has never endorsed a candidate, ever. but this year, in the election
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seat previously held by john kerry, the first state-wide candidate in the whole history of the state they will jump in and make an endorsement. massachusetts has the first latino candidate for senate. and the newspaper is going to weigh in, and today they did. they endorsed the other guy. el planeta endorsed ed markey. the decision to support him would be easy, but on the matters that most affect the latino community in massachusetts, we believe that edward markey has demonstrated a greater commitment to the issues than gabriel gomez, his support for obama care and funding education and health care, specifically they praised him over gabriel gomez on his support for abortion rights and an assault weapons ban, both of which gabriel gomez opposes. ed markey had first lady
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michelle obama campaigning for him a week ago, and former vice president gore did a fundraiser for him. the president was with him in south boston this week. former president bill clinton is going to be doing a rally tomorrow, but those of us in western massachusetts know it is central mass. then joe biden will be back campaigning for ed markey, so he is having a couple of good weeks and the election is two weeks away. but you know it is not all bad news for the other guy, gabriel gomez, because he just got scott brown, the massachusetts half-term senator, who won his seat in a special election but then lost it for the first time, after waiting until this late day in the game, scott brown said he will do whatever it takes to get gabriel gomez elected. whatever it takes, if you have been wondering what scott brown
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has been up to since he was taken out of the senate, well, me, too. this is still his twitter page, still says scott brown united states senate. not anymore. right next to him, looking into a glowing, white blob, here is scott brown, saying this is him and watts, scott brown, next tweet. oh, i see, not governor constangy, that was apparently the governor, it was governor mcgrory, who is that? next tweet, scott brown, oh, you mean governor mccrory, oh, i finally knew we would get there. but in the middle of that dust storm in scott brown's mind, this ping that must be really
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exciting to gabriel gomez to have his endorsement, if you miss those days, those days are back. what does this tweet mean from scott brown? really, actually, don't bug me, i have no idea, i'm just really, really looking forward to the united states senate race in massachusetts on june 25th. whatever. that does it for us tonight, we'll see you again on monday, but because it is friday you have to go to a particularly interesting place tonight. good-bye. >> due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. there are two million people behind bars in america. we open the gates, lock-up. >> this is what you call a dog