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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 31, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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what the gop is doing, it's all terrifying. >> ruth, thank you so much for your time tonight. i appreciate. it that is all in on this monday night. the rachel maddow shows right now. good evening rachel. >> it. the british invaded afghanistan in 1839. they were in charge in india right next door. their reach as the british empire extended around the world. they were worried that the regime in charge in afghanistan in the 1830s. they are worried that they were siding with russia instead of them, giving russia too much influence in a place where britain thought they should be in charge. so in 1839, the brits invaded afghanistan. they tried to install their own guy who they had hand-picked to run afghanistan who they thought
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would make afghanistan closely aligned with them. the british stayed to fight that war, but ultimately it did not work out. the brits left in 1842. but then 35, 40 years later, the british army tried again. the brits were freaked out all over again that a place they thought ought to be aligned with them was actually more inclined with russia, the same thing that had driven them 35, 40 years before. so in 1848, the british invaded afghanistan again. and again they installed their own hand-picked guy, this time for a hot minute they actually thought they had won and that afghanistan would have a long-term alliance with britain, which is what they were seeking in that first and second war. but the guy they installed in the government, he abdicated, and afghanistan went back to its previous ways again and the british left again. how long does it take to forget? it was 35 years between the first war and the second one.
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it was another 35 or 40 years before they invaded a third time. at the close of world war i, the british again invaded afghanistan and fought another war there. that one ended with them signing a treaty recognizing their independence. britain invaded three different times to try to keep afghanistan in their orbit. three invasions, three wars. the answer was no every time. fast-forward 102 years. it was just earlier this month, august 19, that afghans celebrated what they to this day call independence day. afghan independence day every year celebrates that peace treaty that gave them their independence as a nation in 1919, independence from great britain at the end of the third british invasion of afghanistan. and it is gravely, gravely oversimplifying to say it this way, but if you did have to boil it down, the reason great britain kept invading
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afghanistan over and over again is because they really did think afghanistan was too cozy with russia. they wanted to stop that alliance. they wanted afghanistan in their british orbit instead. after the peace treaty in 1919 in which afghanistan formally got its independence after fighting off three different british invasions, well, the afghan government at the time actually did kind of sign themselves up with the russians. they were one of the first countries to recognize the new soviet states after russia had its revolution in 1917. in playground terms, again, in grossly oversimplified termed, that means in the battle for having influence over afghanistan, the russians sort of won and britain lost despite years and years of fighting in three different wars there, and despite the brits losing thousands of soldiers there. but the russians, soon the soviets, they would end up having their own drama and
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trauma with the afghan people and the afghan government. because the afghan government, while it had recognized the post-czarist, soon-to-be soviet states, while they had aligned themselves with someone britain was alarmed about for so many decades, the population of afghanistan didn't necessarily like that. they didn't necessarily like or want afghanistan being run by a communist soviet allied government, and so they started an insurgency against it. after all those wars the british fought in the previous century to try to keep afghanistan on their side, all of which ultimately failed. it was russia, the soviet union, that felt it necessary to invade afghanistan themselves in 1979 to try to keep the afghan
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government on their side, despite an insurgency in the country that rejected russian influence. in that war, after the soviet union invaded, the united states got involved, tentatively at first, and then ultimately with some considerable enthusiasm on the side of the insurgents who were making things so hard for the ussr. but with us or without us, the history of afghanistan, even the modern history of afghanistan, is enough to have made the outcome of the soviet union's war there sort of a foregone conclusion. why do outside invaders, even big, powerful, influential, rich, well-resourced invaders, keep losing wars there? is it because of something about the invaders or something about afghanistan? think about it. the british tried three times and failed. it takes brass to call that a british problem, especially since they did iterate, they did learn from their previous
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mistakes, they did get better at fighting these wars. they had war one, then a do-over, war two, and then a do-over. it was something that ostensibly made the war worth it, that ostensibly pointed them to some sort of victory. but in the end, three tries, three losses. and russia knew that history when they themselves invaded in 1979. and maybe russia thought it was just something wrong with the british that made them fail in all their wars. maybe they thought we, the soviet union, we'll do it better. who doesn't think they could do a better job than the last guy who failed? but the problem wasn't necessarily the character of the invasion, the way the invaders waged the war. they tried a lot of different versions of it. the problem more likely was afghanistan. which for all its poverty and conflict and everything else,
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afghanistan doesn't particularly want to be under any other country's remote control. and so when the soviet union invaded in 1979, the modern history of afghanistan would have told them how that would end. but they invaded, and then just shy of a decade after they invaded in 1989, the soviets went home, too. they went home february 15, 1989. >> the end of an era. the last of the soviet troops leaving afghanistan after nine years of humiliation and defeat. >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" with tom brokaw. >> good evening. it really is one of the most remarkable military stories of our time. a nuclear superpower defeated by a sordid band of rebels who waged a hit and run war for almost a decade. tonight afghanistan is free of soviet troops and the next bloody phase of this war is set
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to begin. the soviet's long war in afghanistan officially ended as the last unit crossed over into ahmet river and soviet territory just before noon. lieutenant general maurice grandoff who led them to afghanistan finally left. he crossed the border with his young son. you saw that i didn't look back, he says. my thoughts are with the soldiers who pulled out before me, he added, and to those who did not get out alive. in this border town, the soldiers were told they did their patriotic duty, bravely, heroically helping the afghan people. there was no parade that they won. afghanistan has come to an end. but there is no victory to celebrate, no proud ending to this war. it is simply over, over there.
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it's over despite more than nine years of battling the muslim guerrillas who have supplied soviet regimes. soviet mothers warned their sons, and gorbachev declared the war a bleeding wound. he decided last year to pull out the troops. in moscow today there was relief that the pullout was finally over. >> translator: i'm happy. happiness is all i feel. >> translator: we all think the withdrawal is a positive move. >> translator: i think the intervention was a mistake. but the withdrawal is wise, although a somewhat late decision on the part of our government. >> the bands played and patriotic speeches were made. but this was a defeat, and now the country will try to heal what gorbachev called that bleeding wound. nbc news, near the african afghan border. >> february 15, 1989. we talked about the length of time between all the various british invasions in afghanistan, those three different wars, 35, 40 years between them.
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how long does it take to forget? how long does it take to decide to do it again? today marks roughly 32.5 years, 12,000 days since the soviet withdrawal from afghanistan from the end of that war and the end of today of ours. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate american citizens, third country nationals, and vulnerable afghans. the last c-17 lifted off from hamid karzai international airport at 3:15 eastern time. while it is complete, to ensure citizens and afghans who want to leave continues. i know you're going to hear more
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about that from the state department shortly. tonight's withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in afghanistan shortly after september 11th, 2001. it's a mission that brought osama bin laden to a just end along with many of his al qaeda co-conspirators, and it was not a cheap mission. the cost was 2,064 service members killed. that includes 13 service members who were killed last week from an isis-k suicide bomber. we honor their sacrifice today as we remember their heroic accomplishments. no words from me could possibly capture the full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who serve nor the emotions they're feeling at this moment. but i will say that i'm proud that both my son and i have been a part of it.
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>> proud that both my son and i have been a part of it. that's a reminder of how concentrated u.s. military service is in our country. families often sending multiple generations into the service, even simultaneously, while the vast majority of americans don't serve in the military. also a reminder that of the young soldiers and airmen and marines who died just last week in afghanistan, some were literally babies on 9/11. they weren't even walking or talking at the time of the precipitating event for the war in which they died. they were toddlers at the time the starting gun was fired to start this war that ultimately ended their lives. the last u.s. planes left the airport in kabul today, august 30th east coast time, which was basically midnight in kabul when they left. it's the deadline set by president biden. the last two americans on the ground before the plane closed
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its doors and took off were general christopher donahue who was directly in charge of overseeing the kabul airport airlift, that's him here, and the image released by the u.s. department, the last u.s. soldier leaving afghanistan. also on that plane, the other man left as the last man beside him was ross wilson, the top u.s. diplomat in kabul. tonight secretary of state antony blinken gave extended remarks on the end of the military mission in afghanistan and the start of what he called the new diplomatic mission in that country, including efforts to continue to get more people out of that country, even without kabul airport as a bridgehead for doing so. one of the first concrete signs of the end of the mission today was an faa notice to airmen, which is a notice to pilots worldwide, and it was blunt as all get-out in case it was not clear before. quote, effective immediately hamid karzai international airport is uncontrolled. no air traffic control or airport services are available. aircraft operating into, out of
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or through kabul should use extreme caution. the taliban now controls the airport. over the past 17 days, the u.s. airlift brought more than 122,000 people out of afghanistan through that single runway airfield, single largest noncombatant evacuation in the history of u.s. military by a lot. president biden tonight said this in a statement ahead of what's expected to be a major speech to the nation on afghanistan tomorrow. he said, quote, i want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from afghanistan as scheduled in the early morning hours august 31st kabul time. the last several days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in u.s. history, evacuating over 122,000 of our citizens and allies of the united states. they have done it with you
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unmatched courage, and i will not extend my will to afghanistan beyond august 31st. it was a decision by our joint chiefs and all of those on the ground to end our mission as planned. their view was that ending our military mission was the best way of protecting the lives of our troops and securing the prospects of civilian departures of those who wanted to leave afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead. i asked them to cooperate with our international partners, afghan partners and foreign nationals who want to leave that country. this will include ongoing diplomacy in afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport, allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of afghanistan. for now the president says, quote, i urge all americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things.
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first, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results. an air lift that evacuated tens of thousands more people than any imagined possible. second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport and provide support along the way. and third, to everyone who is now and will welcome our afghan allies to their new homes around the world and in the united states. the president calling for grateful prayer tonight for those three things. he then closes with a call for gratitude for the sacrifice of the 13 u.s. service members who were killed last week while facilitating the civilian evacuations from the airport. in his statement tonight, he lists them all by name. again, this from the president tonight as the u.s. ends the longest war in our history, as
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the united states becomes the third world superpower to leave afghanistan after years of fighting, thousands of casualties, and no certain outcome that bears resemblance to the stated objectives that justified continuing the war for this long. it was the british, it was the russians, today it's us. president biden will address the country tomorrow. for now, it is something to see the headlines across the front pages tonight at the "new york times," at the "washington post," at the "wall street journal," "usa today," just stunning reach. this date will, in fact, live in history. tonight we'll have more for what happens next for afghans who want to leave, particularly for afghans who the u.s. has accepted responsibility for, particularly agreeing to help get them out. the airlift is done, the ambassador is gone from the u.s. embassy, but the pentagon
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and the state department are both explaining today there are more people to get out and they are still planning to get them out. how that will happen with zero troops and a closed u.s. embassy, there is interesting reporting along those lines. we'll have more on that tonight. that's a continuing, developing story. and all of that, of course, is unfolding at the same moment the country has been dealing with one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever make landfall in the united states. hurricane ida has been downgraded to a tropical depression. it's still dumping heavy rainfall on mississippi tonight as it makes its way toward the tennessee valley and up to the northeast. when it made landfall yesterday, ida was a cat 4 hurricane with sustained winds topping 150 miles per hour, one of the largest and strongest hurricanes to hit the united states, one of the top five. since dawn broke this morning, louisiana has been coming to grips with just how much havoc ida left in its wake, particularly around the coast
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and around the great american city of new orleans. this is laplace, louisiana, today, northwest of new orleans. some residents were trapped by rising floodwaters there. people retreated to their attics, calling for help. but the winds were too strong for any rescue efforts overnight till early this morning. you could see why it was so dangerous to send out rescue crews last night from this quite scary footage of people being rescued from a flooded highway in new orleans in the middle of the storm last night. there have been two confirmed deaths from the storm. one of them was a man who drowned when his vehicle tried to go through floodwaters. you can see here search and rescue teams finally reaching laplace for all those people who had their homes filled with water, all those people trapped in their attics trying to get away from the rising floodwaters. the national guard rescued 191 people, 127 pets. it's not clear how many more
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people may need rescuing right now as we speak. today's operations have largely been responding to all the 911 calls that couldn't be answered last night. 911 systems were down in multiple locations for much of the night last night and today, including new orleans. the governor said the teams will do a grid search in the hardest hit areas. they'll go street by street and block by block and then they'll do a secondary search to make sure they didn't miss anyone in the first one. meanwhile the state is bracing for the lack of effects, the lack of electric power. this is a collapsed transmission power in new orleans today. the power company, entergy, says all eight of the transmission lines that come into the city of new orleans were knocked out by the storm. there is distribution lines within the city. the big towers, the big transmission lines that bring high-voltage current into the city, there's eight of those coming into new orleans, all eight knocked out.
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over a million homes and businesses are without power in louisiana, including the whole city of new orleans. entergy says it will take days just to determine the extent of the damage and far longer to restore electricity. that means most people will be without, for example, air-conditioning as the heat index tops 100 degrees in coming days. officials are warning about the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning of people using portable generators inside a home or garage. that's what caused most of the deaths in louisiana from hurricane laurel last year, so they're trying to get the word out about portable generators. the other thing we're keeping an eye on in louisiana are the hospitals. as you know from recent reporting, including here on this show, louisiana's hospitals are already full to bursting with very sick covid patients. you might remember a video we played on the show a few weeks ago, a navy medical team. uniform active duty navy medical team arriving at one hospital in
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louisiana to help relieve the doctors and staff there. we played the video. it was nice to see the standing ovation they got from the staff, the staff that was so overwhelmed with covid patients. well, that was ochsner general hospital, which is about 120 miles west of new orleans. that same hospital, ochsner, had to see evacuate 160-plus patients because of partially torn-off roofs, failed generators, water running down the roofs, blown-out windows. this is the roof that blew off of ochsner hospital. all the state's hospitals are full as well as the hospitals of all of the neighboring states because of covid. and now on top of everything, these hospitals are bracing for the possible arrival of people who are being rescued from floodwaters, or people who get sick or injured in the coming
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days while they try to cope without having electricity for what may be an extended period of time and what may be extreme heat conditions. so the challenges here are myriad. we are watching that developing story tonight. that and the news out of afghanistan is enough to power a normal news cycle until the end of this year, at least, right? but on top of that, we've also tonight got eyes on a washington story, a washington story historic in its own right. according to a story from cnn, the phone records of donald trump are being requested by telecom companies from those watching the attack on reporters as they tried to stop the certification of the election in which mr. trump lost to joe biden.
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last week, as we reported here on the show, the committee investigating the january 6 attack, they contacted eight agencies, including the archives and records administration, the national archives along with the department of justice, department of defense, a whole bunch of other agencies. they were all told they had a two-week deadline to hand over a lot of records and communications related to the attack on the capitol and related to the broader effort by former president trump to try to seize power, to try to stay in power even after he had lost re-election. those eight federal agencies were sent those demands last week. then after that, social media companies were sent a records demand as well, asking them to preserve records related not just to the capitol attack directly but also to efforts to sabotage or overturn the election. well, now, in addition to the federal agencies and the media companies, now is telecom companies, cell phone providers being told to preserve
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communications related to a whole bunch of people, including members of congress who attend order promoted the stop-the-steal events in washington on january 6th, the event that led to the capitol attack. telecom companies are also being told to preserve records from adult members of president trump's family, members of his family who were also involved in those same events on january 6th, including the former president's adult children, ivanka, don junior, and eric. they're also being told to preserve the phone records of former president trump himself, which is a pretty remarkable thing, right, to have a congressional investigation trying to obtain the detailed personal phone records of the former president and his kids and serving members of congress who may or may not have abetted his efforts to try to seize power and stay in office after losing the election. that's some thing, right?
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i know we are just buried in news right now, but this itself would be a showstopper at any other time. we're going to have more on all those stories and more in the course of this very busy hour tonight. do stay with us. very busy hour tonight. do stay with us.
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and just doubled the capacity here. how do things look on your end? -perfect! because we're building a better network every single day. for more than a month, congressman jim jordan had trouble giving a straight answer to a question. congressman, did you speak to president trump on the day trump
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supporters attacked the capitol on january 6th >> did you talk to the president that day? >> i talked to the president thousands -- countless times. >> i mean on january 6, congressman. >> yes. i've talked to the president -- i can't remember all the days i talked to him. >> on january 6, did you speak to him before, during, or after the capitol was attacked? >> i spoke to him that day after. i think after. i don't know if i spoke to him in the morning or not. i just don't know. i would have to go back -- i don't know when those conversations happened, but -- >> so the answer is -- the answer is -- what? the answer is yes? those bumbling answers to straightforward questions, those answers were the closest we have had to an admission from republican congressman jim jordan that he did speak to
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president trump the day they tried to stop the certification of the election. we know the congressman and president trump did speak that day multiple times. congressman jordan now admitting, look, i definitely spoke to the president that day. i don't recall. i know it was more than once. i just don't recall the times. perhaps he will have the opportunity to have that memory refreshed soon. today the house committee that's investigating the january 6 attack sent letters to multiple cell phone providers directing them to preserve phone records that might be relevant to the committee's organization. cnn reporting that the list of individuals the phone committee wants includes president trump himself, several of his family members. the committee also wants the companies to preserve the records of several members of congress, including marjorie taylor greene, mo brooks, matt gaetz, jim jordan, andy biggs, paul gosar, madison cawthorn, jody hice.
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and, yes, jim jordan. promoting or furthering the aims of the stop-the-steal rally that precede the attack on the capitol that day. it's something to obtain phone records from a former president, from a former president's family, and from serving members of congress. joining us now to help us understand the am big of this question and why it's necessary is a member of the house select committee congressman luria. thank you for being with us and taking the time. >> thank you. >> do you agree that this is a remarkable request? i feel like i've covered a lot. i don't know if it's exactly unprecedent, but it does feel like a big deal. >> rachel, this committee is tasked with fully discovering
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and understanding facts of everything that happened on january 6th and everything that led up to january 6th, which obviously we know is an unprecedented attack on our democracy and our institution of government. so the committee is using these preservation requests to ensure that telecommunication companies preserve these records. this is a preliminary step, and there is a lengthy list of people who are involved, and i won't comment specifically on names but i would say we're taking a broad look, we're casting a wide net to make sure we understand all of the facts about what happened that day and have those records available as the investigation moves forward. >> do you and other members of the committee anticipate that these requests will lead to legal fights, either when it comes specifically to the former president or to serving members of congress? i know you don't want to talk
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about any individuals, but given the reporting and given what chairman thompson has said about the scope of these requests for information, are you sort of building into your timeline an explanation that some of these things may end up in court. >> it's certainly possible, and i think the committee's approach has been so far with these record requests and preservation requests. we're essentially sending out requests and providing a deadline in order for the telecom companies and government agencies, depending on their request, to comply with that timeline. then there are subpoenas if necessary. but our hope would be, especially if it would involve current members of government, that people would comply with these requests. but we do have tools available in order to enforce those requests with subpoenas later on if necessary. >> i said at the outset of the show tonight that this is a showstopper of a development with the investigation of what happened on january 6, particularly given the committee's willingness to look not just specifically at the physical attack on the capitol
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but how it was seeded and what appeared to be a larger effort to try to avert the election results and bring back the former president. it's a show-stopping development to have these requests go out and think about it and what's at stake for our country. it also happens at a time when we've got these incredibly historic and harrowing other developments in the world, not just hurricane ida, which we're watching the continued impact of in the southeast, not just this terrible moment that we're at in terms of covid and the strain on our country and its hospitals, particularly in the southeast. but today is the end of the u.s. war in afghanistan, and as someone who served in the united states navy for two decades, who rose to high levels in the united states navy, in fact, who was in a command position for a very long time, i have to ask your reflection on this moment, both this work that you're doing and what it means today to end this longest war.
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>> rachel, you know, i reflect back. i was in uniform myself on 9/11. it was actually a time when i was potentially coming to the end of my service. i had finished my service commitment for being commissioned as an officer. when i saw those tragic attacks on our homeland, on the united states, on the twin towers, i was serving in the aircraft carrier at the time, it was a moment i knew i needed to continue to serve, because what i was doing was important, my time in uniform was important, and defending our country was essential. so from that point forward, i served for another 15 years. there are so many people -- you know, i mourn the tragic loss of the 13 americans who died during the evacuation. and they put their lives on the lines to continue to defend our country overseas and understand that we have enemies overseas and they're still there and they're still looking to harm
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our allies. i look back and think about our 20 years in afghanistan, the success of that was truly that we did prevent terrorists from gaining ground and planting a seed in afghanistan from which they could launch attacks against our country. but now as we with draw, i think it's an incredibly tenuous time. we've seen that with the time frame of this evacuation, that there are terrorists there who are willing to harm us, who have already harmed, the loss of life of 13 americans and others injured and many afghans killed from this tragic terrorist attack within recent days. it's a very tenuous and dangerous time, and above and beyond that, we've left behind americans. we've left behind partners who served with us during this 20 years. we still have a mission at hand to make sure we can rescue them, that we can bring them back, that we can bring them to safety. this mission is not over until the mission is complete and we've brought every american home. >> we still have a mission at hand, indeed. that's actually going to be the focus for the rest of our hour tonight. congresswoman elaine luria from the great state of virginia,
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member of the house select committee on january 6th. thank you for your continuing service and thank you for joining us tonight. thank you. we have much more ahead tonight. stay with us. ahead tonight. stay with us
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if it's severe, stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach area pain, and swelling. could your story also be about ibs-c? talk to your doctor and say yess to linzess. at the top of the show, we showed a graphic listing the names of the 13 service members who were killed in afghanistan last week. one of the pictures on that slate of 13 was apparently doubled. the first time we put up this slate with their names and i mean clearly in concept now that the u.s. military is no longer on the ground in afghanistan, we're witnessing an administrative hand-off of this issue from the military to fully the responsibility of the united
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states state department and the nation's diplomats. tonight america's top diplomats gave us the first outline of what that might look like going forward while he reaffirmed president biden's commitment that the u.s. government will get everybody out of that country who wants to leave. >> if an american in afghanistan say they want to stay for now and then in a week, a month, or a year and they reach out and say i've changed my mind, we will help them leave. additionally, we've worked intensely to evacuate and relocate afghans who worked alongside us. we will work to secure their safe passage. this morning i met with the foreign ministers of all the g-7 countries as well as cutter, turkey, the european union and the secretary general of nato. we discussed how we will work together to facilitate safe travel out of afghanistan, including by reopening kabul's civilian airport as soon as possible. >> secretary of state antony blinken announcing a
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multilateral initiative to continue to try to get afghan allies and u.s. citizens, dual citizens, out of afghanistan, in part by planning to reopen the country's main airport in kabul. how is that going to work, and unless and until that happens, what are the other ways out? joining us now is nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent, the host of "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc, andrea mitchell. andrea, it's great to see you. it's been too long, my friend. >> thank you. it's great to see you, rachel. >> we heard a lot from secretary blinken about america's commitment and thanking our partners and talking about what has just happened. what's the nitty-gritty in terms of the plan going forward to get additional people out who the u.s. has committed to get out if and when they want to leave? >> this is very, very tough. it depends on relying on some very uncertain people, especially the taliban. they say that they don't rely on them, that they will trust them
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once they prove that they are living up to those commitments, commitments they have made not only to the u.s. but to 100 other countries that have demanded this and the u.n. security council with, importantly, russia and china both abstaining, the rest of the security council, as well as the g7 says today that they have to live up to this commitment, to let there be freedom of movement, no reprssion of women and girls. freedom to move to the borders, including those in the u.s. with targets on their backs to be allowed to leave when they want to. is that going to happen? it happened until the u.s. left militarily, but now that it's a diplomatic mission, what leverage do we have? well, they have some financial leverage, but basically they have to make this happen by pressuring the taliban with the finances and trying to get pakistan and iran to keep their borders open, pakistan primarily. we don't have much leverage with iran. at the pakistan border, they
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have not made any commitment. there was a meeting with the five countries minus china surrounding afghanistan, and they have not said they made a commitment to keep those borders open. in the past pakistan has, but those overland roots are patrolled by the taliban. are they going to let people through? they know who the point of impact are or they suspect or know were involved with the americans. there are thousands and thousands of people who are sivs and people who didn't even get through that process who should have been through that process, and then more people, the women lawyers, the judges, the teachers, others who have been prominent, judges who have put the taliban in jail. so they've got documentation of these, they've already been going door to door. there is plenty of evidence that they have not lived up to any of these commitments outside of kabul and their relationship at the kabul airport. >> in terms of that airport, obviously kabul is not the only airport in the country, and the taliban takeover of the airport
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today was also simultaneously and necessarily a statement to the world that the karzai airport in kabul is closed. is their effort, or is there going to be effort by turkey or by forces from any other nation to get kabul airport back open? obviously the taliban can't run it themselves. they don't have air traffic control karks passty, and all these other things. this idea that that airport is going to reopen and that will again be some way that people can leave, how do we get there? >> that is exactly what blinken has been working on with turkey and cutter. he talked with the g-7 and importantly with turkey and cutter today and has been doing this for weeks, and this started with the president talking to erdogan, turkey's president in brussels when we were there for the nato meetings. there was no commitment then.
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now they say they have that commitment. the airport is a mess, and we destroyed a lot of equipment. we left a lot of -- 73, i think they said, broken aircraft, that's what the general said, making them unusable. that's what general mckenzie said and listing all those assets that we left and made incapable of flying again. they also took out all of the staff, all of the air traffic controllers, the airport workers, the mechanics, so there is no way that that can be reopened without qatar and turkey putting people in. that is what they're relying on, and it's going to take a long time to get that airport up to speed. they need the overland roots, but what we're learning tonight from the veteran groups we're talking to, my colleagues are talking to, the refugee groups, they're telling people to shelter in place because there is no evidence that the taliban will let people pass. people are being told to go to safe houses, many of which have been financed in the past by american aid groups. go to safe houses, go to shelters, try to hide out until
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we see what the taliban are going to do. and then the other thing is, what general mckenzie also emphasized is, there are now 2,000 fighters, isis-k fighters, at least, he said, hardcore isis-k fighters, many of whom were released from the jails by talibans, who taliban leaders agreed was their biggest mistake in their march to encircle and overtake kabul. many were released by the taliban. and those are the hardest of the hard. they proved what they could attempt to do tragically last week with the 13 fallen service members that they killed and so many others injured and so many, you know, more than 100, we don't even know how many, 200 afghans who died in that terrible assault, suicide bomb. but they also had the rpgs, five that were aimed at the kabul airport today. so that was by american equipment. the attack on the airport in kabul was really the opening of
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the civil war. and there are resistance groups against the taliban in some of the outlying provinces that have been under some of the warlords who have not been, you know, really part of the taliban loyal group, but the -- the other group, of course, is the isis-k that now is going to be going after the taliban, and the taliban has control over kabul, but can they control the rest of the country? this is going to be another terror war right in the same place as you described at the beginning of the program that has been the subject of the country that has been unconquerable by so many invasions, so many times by the brits, by russia, and by us, and all needing to defeat.
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>> nbc news chief foreign ashares correspondence. andrea, this is a fascinating story to keep watching. the end of an era about the start of something new and complex. thanks for helping us understand, my friend. >> you bet. fascinating and tragic as well. >> indeed. we'll be right back. stay with us. us hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we? no, we're having the "we're getting coverage so we don't have to worry about it" conversation. so you're calling about the $9.95 a month plan -from colonial penn? -i am. we put it off long enough. we are getting that $9.95 plan, today. (jonathan) is it time for you to call about the $9.95 plan? i'm jonathan from colonial penn life insurance company. sometimes we just need a reminder
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this weekend, 50,000 people marched on washington, d.c. the house passed both of those currently stalled by the republicans and the senate with an assist by joe manchin. the signs you might have seen from d.c. that said the boy from troy sent us, those were in tribute to the late congressman and civil rights activist john lewis who was born in troy, alabama. it wasn't just d.c. this weekend. there were good-sized marches held in places like atlanta, in
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phoenix. there were hundreds of people who gathered at the pilgrim rest baptist church. in miami people held up a protect voting rights sign that says tell our senators to pass the john lewis voting rights act. this is all happening right on time. in texas, republicans on friday passed their new voting rights restrictions through the state house. texas democrats had managed to hold this off for nearly 38 days when they fled the state to deny republicans a quorum so they couldn't act at all. but now it's back on. it may ultimately pass as soon as tomorrow in texas. texas's republican governor says he's expecting to sign the bill within a week of it passing the legislature. if that's true, it is sort of all over but the shouting in texas unless there is federal help to stop this kind of stuff. which means the pressure is all the more back on the united states senate for a federal remedy to what republicans are doing in state after state. watch this space. all right. that is going to do it for us tonight.
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that's growing to do it for us tonight. i'm particularly grateful when you try to spend some of your time with us at night. we'll be back tomorrow night. "way too early" is up next. now, u.s. military flights have ended and our troops have departed afghanistan. a new chapter of america's engagement with afghanistan has begun. it's one in which we will lead with our diplomacy. the military mission is over. a new diplomatic mission has begun. >> america's longest war finally comes to an end. the united states military has completed evacuation efforts in afghanistan. the question is what about the americans who are still there. plus, in louisiana, the storm is over, but the recovery from hurricane ida has just be