tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 19, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
kennedy's words ring true today, let them come to berlin for here they will find a people who merged from the wounds of war to reap the blessings of peace. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports", an historic stage. five years ago candidate obama delivered his message of hope and change to a crowd of 200 thousand germans. today president obama was back. this time on the eastern side of the brandenberg gate with a call to reduce nuclear weapons. >> we are not only citizens of america or germany, we are also citizens of the world. and our faith and fortunes are linked like never before. we may no longer live in fear of global annihilation, but so far as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe. >> the fbi brought in the top gun today. veteran fbi director robert muller says that those controversial surveillance programs did help thwart terror plots, including a plan to blow
up the new york stock exchange. >> you never know which dot is going to be key. what you want is as many dots as you can. if you close down a program like this, you are removing dots from the playing field. the republican controlled house voted overwhelmingly to bana borings after 20 weeks in direct conflict with the rights of roe v. wade. you won't believe what another republican congressman has to say about fetuses. >> a 15 week baby, they have movements that are purposeful. they stroke their face. if they're a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. they feel pleasure. why is it so hard to think they can feel pain. >> not surprisingly, today democratic women respond. >> in november voters sent a message that they want us to focus on real concerns, jobs, education, immigration reform, but now they're back.
they're back. in full force with an even more extreme antiwoman antichoice agenda. they should know this, the women of america are watching and so are the men who support them. and then there's this. jimmy fallon. he said when he gets stressed out he goes to the top of the rock and that's often seen. last night he showed us how in a duet across the rooftop. ♪ ♪ ♪ and good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. it's a location resonant with
some of the most inspiring and chilling moments. from john f. kennedy, ronald regan and cold war spy movies. young men are hammering away at the stone in concrete. the berlin wall and brandenberg gate have symbolized repression and triumph of freedom. today president obama drew on the past while making his case for a much different future. tom brokaw and nbc president historian michael beshla. welcome both. >> tom, you and michael have in person and through history experienced all of this. here we had barack obama today, such a platform, such a stage. what did he hope to and need to accomplish? >> well, i think this speech is long overdue. that's not criticism of him. the east/west nuclear showdown has been effectively over for a long time. the big issue is what do we do about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, not just in the
big states of the soviet union and the united states but as they are spread across the middle east in pakistan and other places. and that place was the intersection of so much of the 20th century obviously. it's the heart of world war ii. it's a great showdown between the soviet union and the united states and then when the wall came down there was no greater symbolic conjecture or indication that the communist state run out of the soviet union was over. so this was the appropriate place, but it's really about something more about what happened in the past and the impact i think it's going to have on the future. >> michael, here's a bit of what the president had to say about nuclear weapons to tom's point. >> we can ensure the security of america and our allies and maintain a strong and credible deterrent while reducing our deployed strategic weapons by up to 1/3 and i intend to seek negotiated cuts with russia to
remove beyond cold war nuclear po postures. >> if we've learned anything about this week's g-8 summit, we know that he doesn't have the same relationship that reagan and gorbachev had. >> sure thing. as long as we're talking about history, i guess it looks a little bit better when you think of kennedy and khrushchev facing each other over the wall. i should mention how grateful we all are and how lucky we are to have tom there at the wall the night it came down. often in history we're not so lucky. but after that, you know, there was such a feeling, tom has written about this, that you would have no more competition between moscow and washington, that they could collaborate on things like the middle east. in a way this is a big symbol that that idea is working. >> since you bring that up, we have that tape.
the moment, tom, let's see what happened that night. you were there to anchor "nightly news" live and at 6:30 eastern time in the united states. the most amazing thing happened behind you. watch. >> young east germans have rushed through the brandenberg gate undeterred by water cannons fired at them by east german police. they have been pulled up on this wall by other young west germans who have come from this side on this day when the announcement went forward that there would be no more checking from east to west and west to east. east germans can come across the wall as casually as you and i can do in america. it may seem like a natural act to you, but you must remember for almost 30 years now these people have been confined, living in a prison-like state governed at every step of their life by the east german government. today the east german communist party gave up control over their lives in a way that no one had anticipated in their wildest
imaginations. they have effectively taken down the wall. >> talking about being at the right place at the right time and instantly understanding the moment. >> well, i like prescient. there was not much going on in our state. jerry lampart, our foreign affairs worker, said why didn't y don't you go to berlin. they were being pushed out to czechoslovakia. i went. i was going on fumes at that point because i was up around the clockworking on the eastern sector and then there was that memorable news conference in which the bureau in chaos handed the memo to the propaganda agency, they said, all people have the right to go back and forth through the wall.
it was like somebody had arrived from venus and handed him that paper. we were witness to that. one of the really touching and emotional moments for me came much later after that. i was in a meeting with president bush 41 with mikhail gorbachev and helmud cole and said to gorbachev, you didn't send the tanks and you didn't send the troops and to president bush he said, you stood with us for a unified germany. there was a lot of resistance to a unified germany led by margaret thatcher. those were two moments as a journalist and citizen of the 21st century that i felt privileged to be part of. >> michael, here we have this speech, this moment somewhat overwhelmed by the news conference that preceded it. we'll talk to chuck todd about that, on the issue of surveillance. you've had a lot of time to think about this in the last two
weeks since the leaks first took place, the balance between surveillance between security and civil liberties. >> it's something we fought over as the cold war was still on in the mid 1970s. this was something i think we should maintain there should be a debate. the shame is it should have been a debate that was gbegun by people in political life. >> tom, while we are told, trust us, it reminds us of reagan, trust but verify. people are wondering how long are the data held and what guarantees we have? if you tell us trust us, how can this man -- >> you were part of the coverage of the patriot act. that was passed in a rush with not a lot of thought. >> nine days. >> very senior, very prominent member of bush 43's administration, i talked to him about it later, he said that was a terrible example of rushing.
>> they had to do something. >> they had to do something. they threw this net out there and said we'll try all of these things. and i really do think it's time for us to go back and look at that, what works, what doesn't work, what reaches too far. great line that came out of the last two weeks is that you can have the internet or you can have privacy. you can't have both. that's the world in which we're now living. but it does not mean that you can't have some controls over the internet and some stronger filtration process than we now have. my guess is that the officials have been coming before congress this week, including fbi director mudirect or muller. they're absolutely correct. i'm sure they have headed off some terrorist threats. when you have a high school dropout working for a private contractor who has access to the material that he does and can cause the kind of turmoil that he does, it seems to me that's back to the drawing boards, guys. how are we going to get this in a way that we can both protect
ourselves and protect our liberties. >> i've been told that as of 24 hours ago they believe that he had gotten off with thumb drives, whatever, with more than 1 million documents, documents that have attachments, separate documents, so counting on the damage. want to ask you about afghanistan because you've covered the war so intensively and now we have 24 hours ago the first word that there were going to be negotiations with the taliban and now the taliban plants their flag in doha. it's different afghanistan. karzai not unexpectedly says i'm not going there. are we back to square one? >> andrea, that is the perfect contrast to where the president is today and what he is talking about. there was a kind of symmetry about the world when we had in play, somebody in moscow contesting with someone in washington. >> it was horrible but much easier. >> horrible but much easier. state to state. now you have the fractured
landscape. you don't know who's going to plant their flag where. afghanistan, which has always been a work in progress as a government. i mean, the fact is that president karzai is the president of kabul. once you get outside of kabul it's still tribal. >> on the payroll of the cia. bags of cash. >> in the meantime i was just at west point about three weeks ago and in the course of a casual conversation with the superintendent, we lost three of our best people in the next month in afghanistan. he was just talking about the price that is being paid. that's getting not enough attention here. >> i believe more today that we lost some of our troops today. >> yeah. >> as well in kabul. and it is not getting enough attention. one little foot note. in an interview with bill cohn, whom you both know so well, the former defense secretary, when i asked about why does keith alexander, general alexander feel he has to hire, he recruits at conventions that we need
these whiz kids and he said, we don't. if they don't have a value system, we don't need to hire half a million contractors. >> right. >> with top secret clearance now, that we have plenty of people going into the military who have the value system who can learn the internet and we don't need people who have -- who don't understand, you know, what it is that we're fighting for. that said, tom brokaw. >> that's the world we live in. i think of my grandchildren. from a domestic point of view, they also have very good lives. they'll be able to go places, but it will not be as easy for them. people will be looking in on their lives. we talk about any time that they send an e-mail message it's there forever in some ways and what troubles me a lot more with every passing day is the expansion of the blogosphere and the outrageous commentary now
hidden behind pseudonyms of one kind or another. it's been bad for some time, but now it's become so vitriolic and profane and a lot of misogyny directed at women in public office. you read the worst kinds of things about them. we can take the hits, but somebody who finds themselves coincidentally in the news then comes under this vicious attack and we don't know what the roots of interest. it's there forever. it's the dialogue we ought to be having about the impact on all of this on, if you will, the commonwealth and stability and what we stand for. >> thank you both so much. and as we've mentioned, historic presidential moments have taken place at the brandenberg gate for the last 50 years. on june 12th, 1957, with berlin
still divided. >> general secretary gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the soviet union and eastern europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. mr. gorbachev, open this gate. [ cheers and applause ] >> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. and in nother rock star moment, yout used it for their concert to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. ♪ ♪
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i'm actually going to take off my jacket and anybody else who wants to, feel free to. [ cheers and applause ] >> we can be a little more informal among friends. >> president obama in berlin today getting comfortable before his address on the east berlin side of the brandenberg gate. a foreign policy speech that was somewhat eclipsed by german
sense si tifts to the nsa controversy. chuck todd is live and was out there in the heat and knows why the president took off his jacket. so how would you assess the balance today because the germans have a long history and surveillance is not something that goes down easily over there? >> reporter: first to paraphrase ron burgundy, a black suit was a wrong choice in terms of the heat is concerned. it's interesting here on this issue, andrea, is that you can tell that this is a political issue that merkel is sensitive to with the public, and so she's been very critical publicly of the u.s. surveillance -- of what's leaked out about u.s. surveillance and then you get these leaks from the german side that, you know, she brought this up and was tough with the president on this specific issue because of what you just said and what you and i both know which is the sensitivity,
particularly with germans, particularly with the germans that lived on the east side when it comes to surveillance. so -- yet what i really hear is, you know what, the germans knew full well what the u.s. has been doing. had is not as contentious as maybe the coverage particularly here in germany would lead you to believe but it goes to the sort of classic case in any democracy, all politics is local. this is about local politics for merkel. >> we shouldn't forget that angela merkel grew up on the east side. she grew up in what was then east germany. the appearance five years ago, which i covered during the campaign when he went and gave that very credible speech because of the crowd size and all the rest of it in 2008, and that led to the mccain campaign celebrity ad where they ridiculed the president for giving this speech. >> right. >> so what was the contrast to today? showing a little bit of that.
>> reporter: yeah. i want to give you a little context here. this was merkel inviting the president to do this. sometimes you hear that and you think oh, that's b.s. that's the white house really asked the germans to ask the president and all of this stuff. in this case, i think it's real. this is an election year in germany. the president is popular. angela merkel standing next to the president on a big stage with the world watching is good politics for her. again, an election year in germany. but not wanting to be seen as polite sizing it too much there was an attempt to shrink the crowd size. now the white house was all too comfortable with allowing that to happen because they feared they could never live up to the billing that happened five years ago, this he could never recreate another 250,000 people showing up. maybe they would have gotten 25, 30, 40,000 people. now what i 234noticed in follow this president for as long as i have, president obama feeds off
a crowd very well. the way this was all put together, you have this incredible setting, this incredible back drop and you have the distracting glass. you could see that the president himself wasn't feeding off the crowd. it was hot. those folks were out there for 2 1/2 hours. trust me, i was out there with them. it can sap your energy a little bit. i wonder if that addeds a little bit to this. it was a serious speech, serious in tone. if you were going to talk about the optics, you can't help but wonder even if it was just 25,000 people, maybe they would have taken all the rid did i calling th-- ridiculing, it wou have been, i'm sure, something that some in the white house would have loved to see. >> jeff todd over there. we've been looking at new pictures coming in of angela merkel and the obamas having dinner. they do seem to be getting along very well. >> the state dinner.
>> the body language is a lot better than it was with vladimir putin. >> reporter: quickly. this is a very close personal relationship. you know, she was a little skeptical of him going in when he first became president. personally she got along with bush very well despite the awkward back rub moment. she didn't get along with him ideologically but personally she did. this is a very, very tight bond between the two. they both needed each other at different times and they both helped each other out. >> thank you very much. chuck todd, we'll be following your reports and safe travels. come on home. >> reporter: all right. and we are following breaking news. there have been some terror threats made in new york. nbc's pete williams joins us from the newsroom. pete? >> reporter: very odd case, andrea. according to the fbi two men in new york state who were plotting to develop a device that sounds like something out of science fiction that they could use to aim x-rays at people and harm them, people that they described as enemies of israel.
the fbi identified these two people arrested today as a 49-year-old engineer from g.e., glendon scott crawford of galway, new york. and eric feight of hudson. they've been charged with con sir si to provide material support to terrorists. the fbi got on to this after one of them walked into a synagogue in new york and said he was looking for people to provide them money and support so he could develop this device that he would mount in a car and drive around and aim it at people that he considered to be enemies of israel, possibly muslims and others the fbi says. but from then on it came to nothing although the two men didn't know it. the fbi had a number of people come at them posing as various kinds of organizations that would agree to help them. the two men built this device but what they didn't realize is
that the fbi had rendered it inoperable. they'll appear in court later today, andrea. >> and, pete, before i let you go, i just want to brief you on this. this just in from kathryn, our producer at the state department who had been in touch with the icelandic representatives, she now has confirmation from the ministry of interior that they did hold a meeting with a representative from wikileaks and they were advised, the representative was an intermediary from wikileaks, for edward snowden about the rules and regulations for asylum and they told this intermediary that in order to apply for asylum the individual has to come in person to iceland and make that application in his or her own name. >> what a surprise. >> that is the answer to snowden. i know you're following it from the fbi's perspective because they are working as we speak on the charges. they have to file charges in order to file an extradition request and i think your
information is that they still believe snowden is in hong kong? >> right. what this is all about is snowden himself raising the possibility that he might try to seek asylum in iceland. the way it works in most countries, as in here, you can't mail in an application. you have to show up and claim asylum. they are still trying to work out the details of the charges and, as you say, as we've been told, their belief is that he's still in hong kong. >> thank you, pete williams, on all counts. we'll be right back. and needed to establish his credit history so he could rent a place of his own. mike helped kevin find ways to build his credit -- like any good big brother would do. now kevin has his own place, he's building his credit history, and mike has his apartment back -- for the most part. so i may be able to do this. yeah. [ female announcer ] let's talk about ways to help you establish and build your credit history. when people talk, great things happen.
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president obama's call to close guantanamo drew some of the loudest applause. at the prison camp there is no indication that any closure will happen any time soon. pretrial hearings happened today. joining me now by phone from guantanamo where they have been following all of these hearings, carol rosenberg and joe chirillo is a former fdny firefighter. he was all about buried in the collapse of the twin towers and survived and is attending the hearing today at the invitation of the prosecution. first to you, carol. what is happening today? do we have khalid shake muhammad wearing the cammy gear and what to many are offensive battle gf arb? >> reporter: yes, andrea. he and his four fellow accusers back in court today. they voluntarily skipped court today and he showed up in what i
would call his uniform. the attire of a hunting uniform, woodland camo pattern that the judge has allowed him to wear with a white turban. he has the same burnt orange dyed beard. these are strictly legal motions. it's not about the 9/11 attacks, that day, the plot or the scheme. we're hearing something called an unlawful command motion. it's a uniquely military thing. it basically says the military and the government medaled in the preparation of this case to stack the deck against the defense and they've been calling admirals to court to talk about the preparation by the prison, the prosecution, the pentagon for the case in talking about things like guard searches of what's supposedly privileged material and the days and months ahead of the initial arraignment. we also heard yesterday very
interestingly from an international committee of the red cross lawyers who asked the judge not to give the defense documents in the hands of the u.s. government about the conditions that these men, mohammed and the accused 9/11 plotters were held under by the cia before they got to guantanamo. the icrc lawyer says this would be a terrible press is he dent and could jeopardize the ability for the icrc to go around the world for prisons, see what's wrong and tell governments what they need to do confidentially to meet the geneva conventions. this is all about setting the conditions for the trial, who can see what, who can say what, what can be said in open court. most importantly, what evidence will be admissible when we get to trial maybe next year. i think this must be hard on the victims. i think we've heard words -- more words like water boarding
and torture than we've heard 9/11 or about september 11th. >> that's exactly the point, carol. >> these are dry legal motions. >> i mean, you've set the stage perfectly, carol, because that's what i want to ask joe. you are a victim of 9/11. the whole nation was, but you were there. you suffered. how did it feel to be there and what's your response to these pre-trial motions? >> well, you know, for me it's obviously very, very bitter sweet. it's a moment in time that i've been waiting for for the last six years for many reasons. i think first and foremost is to put a face on hate and evil, but on the other side of the coin it's very disheartening as i feel, you know, about the whole judicial process as a whole and how we are put -- the prosecution basically on the stand and cross examine them while these five beings, and
i'll refrain from calling them human beings, sit there and take this all in at a tremendous expense to the american people which in effect to me is another terrorist incident in itself. >> joe, where would you want them tried? would you prefer they be tried in court in the united states? what do you think should happen to them in. >> no, i don't think they should be tried in the courts of the united states. i don't have a legal background so i can't tell you tally why. if i did, i'd be out of place and i don't like to do that. certainly i think guantanamo is as good a place as any, for a lot of reasons. number one, it's physically insulated from the shores of the united states of america and preventing a lot of protests from all different kinds of groups, sympathetic people, a people that are part of their organization and that's something that united states just doesn't need right now, you
know, 12 years after the attack where we're trying to get back up on our feet. and for somebody like me who's on a mission to make our country the re-united states of america again and to resurrect patriotism, they are where they are. of course i am proud. as hard as this is for me to even swallow is that our government is giving them as fair a trial as anybody would get and i'm proud that that's a statement about our country and the people that we are. >> now how do you feel about the fact that the military judge is letting them wear camouflage uniform-style garments? >> you know something, i thought about that. at this point, you know, they can come in with three piece suits, they can come in with bathing suits, to me it's all a charade on their part. you know, we're not intimidated
by them. this is not a mockery as far as i'm concerned. to me they're not even -- they're not even an entity in this world. i couldn't even care, to tell you the truth, if i even saw their face. it means nothing to me. all i'm concerned about is that the prosecution stays the course and that justice will be served on behalf of the victims and their families. >> joe torillo, a former firefighter from new york, a survivor of 9/11. thank you from guantanamo for calling in. right now president obama is speaking, delivering a toews at the state dinner in berlin. let's listen. >> families like chrysler and gug again hiem, stein way, steinbeck, babe ruth, lou gehrig, young americans like our daughters will always be grateful to levi strauss for their blue jeans and americans
will always be grateful especially for some very important german immigrants, anheuser-busch. now -- [ applause ] on a very personal level, i'm thankful to anwa. schiller once said keep true to the dreams of your youth. angela, you've spoken often of the freedoms of your youth. the freedom we had today when we were out on the balcony before our lunch, she pointed to the train tracks along which the wall used to run and her memories of riding to her university and then hearing the tracks on the other side and imagining one day that she would be free. and you've not only kept to
those dreams but you've also helped those dreams become real. i'm extremely grateful to our partnership. you're an inspiration to me and to people around the world. [ applause ] two years ago chancellor merkel became only the second german leader to address our congress. the other one was adnar. as you quote in your speech, you mention the freedom bell that hangs in the former town hall here, which was a gift in 1950 from the american people to the people of germany and it was modeled after our liberty bell. here in berlin that bell tolled after president kennedy's speech. it rang after german unification. it rang after 9/11 which obviously meant so much to us as a symbol of the freedom and
friendship which binds us together. >> we have more and more evidence of what life does indeed begin at conception. >> babies are still at risk. women deserve better than abortion. >> we are here that it's inherent and that we take an action and that we address these goznel like abortions. >> last night the house overwhelmingly passed a bill that would prevent women from getting abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. the republican house said a time frame contradicts roe v. wade. the bill's original sponsor was congressman trent franks who embarrassed some of his republican colleagues with one of those patented male rape comments that hurt the party so badly last fall. >> before when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest a
subject because, you know, the incidents of rape and -- resulting in pregnancy are very low. >> indeed. joining me now a leading voice against the legislation, senator barbara boxer. i know it's not going to pass the senate, it won't be signed by the president even if it did. what are they anything what do you think other women who -- women and men should say about some of the medical claims by these republican congress members? >> i think what they're doing is just continuing this war on women that they said they never waged because if you really look at the cases at about that stage of pregnancy where they say in essence really no more abortion, there are cases where women have developed blood clots which are health threatening and life threatening. there are cases where they have such a horrible case of cancer or diabetes that if they continue they'll be made infertile. it's case after case. they have no exception for health of the woman.
so all i can say is they keep saying they want to discuss jobs and they want to work on the deficit. they're threatening not to raise the debt ceiling, which would be another disaster for us. they won't even go to conference with the budget. they're not looking at comprehensive immigration reform and i got a bill through on water infrastructure which is critical to our port to 500,000 jobs. they're not doing that. this is what they're spending their time doing and it's to the extreme right wing in this country and it harms the women and it harms the men that support us and it harms families. >> i don't know if you heard about another congress member apparently monday night at a markup discussing the fact that fetuses experience pleasure and pain and he had -- and he's a medical doctor and a health subcommittee chair talking about how fetuses have -- male fetuses have all sorts of ability to
feel pleasure. i mean, it goes beyond anything i've ever heard before. >> i know what you're saying. >> you know what i'm trying to grope for. >> grope for. here's the point. let's stick with the groups that know what they're doing, and these are the acog, which is the college of obstetricians and gynecologists, the nurses who have come out strongly against this bill. this is about hurting women and what's interesting is they put their right wing women members of congress in the front of the line to be the face of this. that's just changing the messenger. it's not changing the message and the message to women is you really don't count. you really don't count. and the message to everyone in the country is we're willing, this is them speaking, to overturn 40 years of settled law just to appeal to our right wing base while they ignore all the issues confronting the nation, which i went through before.
why don't they take up the water resources bill? why don't they take up comprehensive immigration reform? why won't they let us go to conference with the budget bill so we can ease the pain of sequester and get this country moving. we already see the deficit is cut in half. we can do more. but they stick to that right wing agenda. they haven't changed at all. they've doubled down on this right wing extreme agenda. they are in that fringe lane. they can't get out of it no matter what they do. >> senator barbara boxer, thanks for putting up with us today and being here. >> okay. my name is mike and i quit smoking.
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sean penn on death row and susan sarandon. >> you did a terrible thing, a terrible thing. but you have a dignity now. nobody can take that from you. you are a son of a gun. >> joining me now sister helen trajon, author of "dead man walking" and a leading crusader for joining us. >> happy to be here. >> the movie was extraordinary. the book on which it was based was even more extraordinary. where is the battle now on the death penalty in terms of your advocacy state by state? >> we can see a real shift happening in the country. executions are down. death sentences are down and there's less enthusiasm of the
public for the death penalty. you can see that now it's down to like maybe 62, 63% who still say they'd favor the death penalty. when they're given life without parole question opposite the death penalty, we now have a majority, slight, 1%, that favor life without parole. >> are there any cases, sister, where you would support the death penalty as horrendous as 9/11? >> yeah. the killing of any human being, a loss that can never be replaced. every act of murder against a human being is horrific. the question we're now facing is what about us who try to enforce this and apply the criteria that the supreme court said that the death penalty is only supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst.
you look at actual practice over 30 years you say the worst of the worst always end up being of the 1,000 people executed and on death row poor people who have killed for the most part white geographic locations. 80% of all executions happen in the ten southern states. you have rick scott of florida who has upped his popularity by slating for execution 13 human beings. it's a cultural thing and there are different cultures and it plays well in the south but across the country we can see the shift happening and rejoice to see that and this book being reissued is for the next generation. kids weren't born when the book first came out. the book can do good work to bring people to both sides of the issue and reflect deeply on it. >> do you think the advent of dna testing and the illinois
project and others who have done heroic work to try to disprove the convictions of some of these poor and poorly represented mostly minority african-american men predominantly in the south, has that played a role? we now see the evidence of people wrongly convicted. >> sure. it's had a huge impact on the public because we've now had 142 wrongfully convicted people exonerated off death row. before the public and myself included, i didn't know anything about the death penalty when i got into this, i thought it would be a fluke for an innocent person to -- we had the best court system in the world. you couldn't possibly send anybody to death row or prison. dna opened the gates and then the moore we began to look into it and a lot of these exonerated people have been saved by college volunteers and innocence projects. that's how broken the thing is. now we begin to see that we do
have a faulty system and when it comes to something like death that we make an absolute decision on life and death. it's making us a bit more humble about it. more reflective about it. i think we have a new occasion now for dialogue. >> sister helen prejean, it's wonderful to meet you. the book is "dead man walking" reissued in paperback. we'll be right back. ica. ica. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger.
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put on your lawyer's hat. it's supreme court tomorrow. decision day. >> they told us on monday to expect more decisions on thursday. obviously we're still waiting for some of the big ones. defense of marriage act. california's proposition 8 on gay marriage. the landmark ones, the big ones that draw the most attention, typically the court releases at the end of its term which is closer to the end of the month. it's the supreme court and as pete williams as i have always
learned from him, it's very unpredictable. we'll wait and see. >> the university of texas affirmative action on college admissions that was one of the earliest argued back in october and we're still waiting on that. everybody's eyes on justice kennedy. a lot to talk about tomorrow. thank you. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> we have breaking news to report. the fbi arrests two men accused of planning attacks on "enemies of israel." nbc justice correspondent pete williams will join us with more on the device the men allegedly tried to make to target people with radiation. we'll have more on that. plus, reaction to the american medical association's decision to classify obesity as a disease. it will clear the way for prevex and treatment but others say the move is all about money. we'll talk with a doctor who specializes in obesity surgery. it's our news nation gut check.
we have interesting insight and former investigators of the 1996 twa 800 crash near long island are in a new documentary. they are refuting what the government says caused that plan to explode killing 230 people. we'll talk with one of those former investigators now calling for the ntsb to reexamine this case. it's all coming up next on "news nation." ♪ [ male announcer ] just when you thought you had experienced performance, a new ride comes along and changes everything. ♪ the 2013 lexus gs, with a dynamically tuned suspension and adjustable drive modes. because the ultimate expression of power is control. this is the pursuit of perfection. ♪ there you go. come on, let's play!
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