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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 23, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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50,000 of them and hopefully he'll get the next call right. >> or at least won't hear it anymore. mia hamm, thanks for putting up with me. >> all right, keith. you're going to game with me. >> all right. we're on. that's "countdown" for the 65th day of the disaster in the gulf. i'm keith oel behrman, good night and good luck. now to discuss the big win by the u.s. was the man who scored the winning goal, ladies and gentleman i pass it to rachel maddow. we can't do that. >> someday we'll get better technology. if you go with mia hamm, can i drive or carry your bag or something? >> okay. you're on. >> thank you. we have the incredible news about general mccchrystcchrysta.
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we have footage from the fighting in afghanistan. it may change the way you feel. there's the big news from the bp oil disaster today. we no longer have that containment dome thing anymore. plus a republican candidate for congress says the bp oil disaster is a conspiracy by the government. and in the midst of all that mess there's actually some good news. some straight up unadulterated good news about the usa. we have an interview with the american goal scoring superman landon donovan this hour. it's all coming up. first, this is the front page of tomorrow's edition of "stars and stripes" newspaper which goes out to american military installations all over the world. it says "booted, obama relieves mcchrystal of command. petraeus to take over." the lead reads, quote, general stanley mcchrystal's career could not survive another public
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fight with his superiors, but america's fundamental strategic plan for conducting the war in afghanistan may have. summoning general mcchrystal to washington today, president obama had a choice to make that was much more important and frankly much more difficult than whether or not to fire his top commander in afghanistan. the uniform code of military justice article 88 says any commissioned officer who used words against the president, the vice president, congress, the secretaries of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of transportation, on the governor or legislation of any state, territory on which he's on duty and present shall be punished. i don't know where the secretary of transportation gets singled out there. lucky him. the con temp yus word standard made the decision about whether or not to remove general mcchrystal from his post. it made it the easier of the two decisions that the president had to make today. >> i've got no greater honor
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than serving as commander in chief of our men and women in uniform, and it is my duty to ensure nothing complicates the vital miss they're carrying out, that including adherence to a strict code of conduct. the strength and greatness of our military is rooted in the fact that this code applies equally to newly enlisted privates and to the general officer who commands them. the conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general. it undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. >> we summarized the direct impetus for the president removing general mcchrystal today, in a post titled why obama had to fire mcchrystal, he said this. in the end it was obama's only move. keeping him in place would have
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shattered of chain of command. no captain or sergeant could have been expected to shut up and salute when his superior officer gave an order. the guy at the top didn't respect his commander, why should he? the culture of accountability so built up by bob gates for his years at the pentagon gone. the long commission of civilian control of the military wrecked. if there were two decisions the president had to make today, whether or not to remove general mcchrystal from his position in afghanistan, the first one was the more straight forward of the two. the more important decision was that general mcchrystal's firing also means what the general stood for in terms of war strategy would be reconsidered. the president made clear today that it would not. the general that personifies the strategy was fired. the strategy itself is retained. >> let me say to the american people this is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy.
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we have a clear goal. we are going to break the taliban's momentum. we are going to build afghan capacity. we're going to relentlessly apply pressure on al qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both afghanistan and pakistan to do the same. that's a strategy that we agreed to last fall. that is the policy that we're carrying out in afghanistan and pakistan. >> this is a change in personnel, not a change in policy. it is hard to believe that a war, grand strategy involving the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers and millions of silians, a military doctrine should rise our fall with the fate of one man. tales of military history and heroism so often center olt fate and and decisions of one man for a reason. leaders and their behavior matter. in this case the behavior of general mcchrystal captured by a
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reporter did not just show indiscipli indiscipline but insubordination but called into question the military doctrine general mcchrystal championed. >> the favorite saying to a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail, we can't operate that way. this is something that takes a tremendous amount of understanding. what i'm really telling people is the greatest risk we can accept is to lose the support of the people here. if the people are against us, we cannot be successful. >> what is counterinsurgency, c.o.i.n.? what is the strategy general mcchrystal is describing there. it's the explosion of military objectives so they include all sorts of thing we don't consider to be military thing, things you can't achieve through military means. it means as general mcchrystal says you can't kill your way out of a place like afk. you can't kill your way to victory. instead the goal is to secure population centers, set up
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afghan governance and governance that keeps militants in check even after the military campaign is over. >> we are going to break the taliban's momentum and build ach began capacity. we're going to relentlessly apply pressure on al qaeda and its leadership, strength knowing the ability of both afghanistan and pakistan to do the same. >> building afghan capacity, strengthening the capacity of both afghanistan and pakistan to keep their own pressure on al qaeda. standing up in a civil society as our war goals. think about that for a second. in the recent u.s. offensive in marja, general mcchrystal explained that the initial military operation he was only to create enough strong, secure space to open up a government in a box. so set up a local government in
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marj-to-to crowd it out. you need city councilmen and man straights and court system and experts in agriculture and waste water treatment and education and economics. you need all of this stuff or the war can't be won. they're altogether. you can't win the war without all those things working, too. that's the basic idea of counterinsurgen counterinsurgency. it's people with all sorts of things to offer. if all you get right or do well is the guns part, you fail and lose the war. that is the big story of what came crashing down on general mcchrystal when he agreed to talk openly with michael hasings from rolling stone and if he's preaching that strategy that requires unity and all the mill tear people needed to win a war like this. and be that guy talking smack
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about all the nonmilitary people essential to the mission. you can't be the the guy who says that's necessary and the guy who talks all that skid mark. having that attitude not only towards civilian leadership in washington but towards every non-military resource and asset you bring to bear on your military objectives means that you can talk all you want about the beauty and elegance of counterinsurgency theory, but you, sir, provably don't believe in it. general mcchrystal says he believes in it, but he showed that he doesn't. the president had a decision to make. now that the guy who was promoting and leading the counterinsurgency strategy has shown by his actions that he doesn't believe in it, do you scrap the strategy altogether or replace general mcchrystal with another true believer? president obama chose the latter option. he chose to not change the policy but instead to just change the personnel. >> general petraeus fully
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participated in our review last fall. they both supported and helped design the strategy we have in place. >> today in afghanistan military officials announced six more nato soldiers were killed, including three americans. that makes 76 international forces killed this month alone, among them 46 americans killed. the proponents of counterinsurgency, the people who really believe in this doctrine, warned us a year ago, longer, that this would be about the time we would see increased casualties. this is all expected and part of the plan. it is one thing to ask us as a nation to endure these casualties. it is another thing to ask us to believe that the plan itself makes any sense. joining us now is paul rycoft. it's good to see you. >> my pleasure. >> president obama made clear today this is a change in personnel, not policy. would this have been the right time to reassess the overall
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counterinsurgency policy in afghanistan? >> i think we should be constantly reassessing our policy in afghanistan. i think folks on the ground are constantly reassessing it. there's a larger message here. i don't know if the american public is engaged here and i don't know if the white house is fully engaged. mcchrystal was out of lines and it was out of bounds and sends a poor message to the troops. for the counterinsurgency doctrine to succeed, you ned the full support of everybody in the civilian authority and need the full support of every political resource. a lot of folks believe and follow parts of what mcchrystal said and feel they're not getting those resources. you know you have the bullets and bombs in afghanistan, but you don't feel like you have all those bits and pieces alongside you to commit to the fight. >> in terms of the relationship between the political debate and what's happening on the ground, i found one of the things he hee lighted effectively was soldiers
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complaining to general mcchrystal about counterinsurgency. is there a lack of buy-in on this doctrine of front line soldiers and front line soldiers coming home as new vets? >> i think there's a lack of buy-in nationwide. i don't think everyone is clear on what we're doing in afghanistan. i think we have to drill down deep and hear part of what's coming out of the military. mcchrystal was a rock star. a lot of people support him 100% and feel he has a sophisticated understanding of what happens on the ground. all the pieces are credit tal, but a lot of folks feel like he wasn't getting the support he needed. petraeus, everybody loves petraeus. that's going over very well, but the question is what happens to the guys on the ground in the next couple of months when the casualties do increase and the fighting does get more complex? >> what kind of support would mcchrystal need in order to alleviate some of these doubts? what kind of focus would need to
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be demonstrated on this issue that makes a difference both to soldiers in the field and to the military brass that need to make decisions about how connected they are to political leadership? >> i'd ask you and everybody watching right now how much are we talking about afghanistan last week? how much were we talking about afghanistan over the last month? folks have focused on bp, with good reason. people are focused on the economy. for the most part a lot of folks on the ground feel like the country is not always paying attention. if there's an upside that comes outs of all of this in the next couple of weeks, i think we'll be focused on afghanistan and that's something that's good for the folks on the ground and good for the country. if we have a re-evaluation of the policy debate, that's a good thing. if it gets more attention to commit to folks on the ground when we need it, that's a positive outcome of all this controversy. >> let me ask you, paul. is it always a net benefit to have jerks like me and talking heads on television partisan or not talking about the war effort
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and talking about strategy, talking about tactics when we're this removed from it? i don't buy you have to listen to the generals on the ground and civilian leadership doesn't have a role. i'm not part of civilian leadership, but i'm part of the echo chamber and part of the political sphere in this country, sometimes i worry we're spinning our wheels and not helping when we do talk about it. >> there's a divide. there's clearly a divide. in the last couple of days i've been frustrated because a lot of people on television are talking about the counterinsurgency who have no idea what they're talking about. that is frus tratrating for somy from the military. there's frustration with the white house. things like going to arlington on memorial day. there's a director of foreign policy focused on the veteran groups and military groups. he left and went to the department of defense. nobody replaced them. michelle obama talks about veterans. he's an anti-war democrat who
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doesn't have a history to serve in the military. he has to work harder to bridge that gap. >> how do you shed the label anti-war when you tripled the number of troops and leaders since you've been president? >> there's always a rub with the military. when he comes in as someone who didn't serve on the ground anti-war in his campaign stuff. he's changed that. i'm not say you go can't support the troops and be anti-war. command and control, understanding the mill father is an area of vulnerability for it and he has to work harder to get support of folks in the field. >> somebody who i've always enjoyed fighting with these things about. thanks a lot for your time. good to see you. >> my pleasure. thank you. >> a long, long way from washington. 90,000 american troops are in afghanistan right now. sebastian and tim were with one platoon for a 15-month deployment is informant worst fighting in the country. the footage is stunning and made
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into an award-winning film. we will talk this hour with landon donovan, the soccer player who made americans scream at their televisions this morning in a good way for once, a really, really good way. please do stay with us. mom, thanks for the amazing pie! it's soo good. ♪ this is insanely good. see, i thank you for stuff! oh and thanks for the roof over my head...and stuff like that. you should come over more often. and thanks for having such exquisite taste. ♪ [ female announcer ] give the cool whip. get the love. ♪ get the love. let's go. com] [ laughter ] [ slamming ] [ engines revving ] [ tires screech ] [ engine revving ] [ male announcer ] before you take it on your road trip... we take it on ours.
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our interview with landon donovan and plus the latest from the gulf is all coming up. (announcer) no matter what life throws at you, you can take the heat. 'til it turns into heartburn, you've got what it takes: zantac. it's strong, fast lasting relief. so let them turn up the heat. you can stop that heartburn cold: (sssssssss!!!) zantac. you can stop that heartburn cold: (sssssssss!!!) from more hotels for my withperfect girls' weekend. plus i can compare dates to find out when i can save the most cash. done and done.
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>> the initial indications were that one of the vents, which is allowing the oil to vent so the cap will stay on, somehow might have been dislodged by coming in contact with an rov. >> coming into contact with an rov, remote operated vehicle. other than the containment cap sitting on top of the leaking oil well since june 4th siphoning off the gushing oil, what we have down there to get the oil off the water and to contain it is that suction tube. it's like a straw collecting a small fraction of the oil pouring into the gulf of mexico. we are now back at that incredibly lame point in the containment effort. that's it. that's all we've got, because this morning at about 8:45 a.m. eastern one of the bp's remotely operated vehicles jostled the containment dome. so bp said they had to take the dome off, after it was jostled, thus bringing us back to the situation we were in before the
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dome. you may recall that the first time we tried a containment dome it didn't work because there was icy, slushing hydrates in it clogging it up. the robot jostling the new containment dome created that hydrates risk again, so they took it off. bp is working to put the cap back on. if it's successful, that gets us back to the new normal, which is tens of thousands of gallons of oil leaking into the gulf of mexico every day. joining us now is kerry sanders live from grand isle, louisiana. yesterday kerry was out here the site of the oil leak. thanks very much for joining us. >> sure. >> trying to get a handle on what happened with the containment cap. is that a good description of what happened in the gulf this morning on the sea bed? >> reporter: indeed. we don't have the actual understanding of why the remotely operated vehicle hit that cap. was it being operated from one of the vessels that's on the surface, or was it being
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operated from one of the locations where they have a command and control back in houston? the other question is was in part because the fatigue that is setting in? as you know, it's a highly qualified unique position, and they've been working very long hours. was it simply a matter of fatigue when the person was moving the rov that they wound up bumping, or was it it an unexpected current in the water? there's a lot of things. this is part of where they're spraying in that dispersant, and so there's a lot of complications of what's going on down there. as you so appropriately point out, what it means is if the estimate of 60,000 barrels every 24 hours is accurate, we're now at 50,000 barrels going directly into the gulf as opposed to what we had before this accident happened, a limited success i should point out where 10,000 was going up that straw to a ship on the surface called a
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q-4000. it goes into the back of the ship and they combust it right there. they force air in and burn it. you see the black smoke. we saw it yesterday. they're eliminating it at the source. you had about maybe 27,000 other barrels making its way up to the enterprise, and it's being captured by the enterprise, and the enterprise fuel there, the petroleum they're catching is captured and taken to the refineries. now we're at 50,000 barrels flowing directly into the gulf of mexico. it's an ugly situation. go ahead. >> what's next in their effort to try to stem that? apart from bp just tonight said they are trying to replace that cap. if that happens, we're just back to where we were. we have tens of thousands of gallons flowing into the gulf even if they're successful at resetting that cap, right? >> reporter: absolutely. you know, the cap is a little bit of good. it's not the solution.
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everybody has come to the conclusion that the only solution here is going to be those relief wells that are being drilled. if there is any positive news -- i have to tell you, i'm a little skeptical of a numbers game being played there. the dpogood news is the two rel wells is ahead of the schedule anouned. once well is 40% ahead and the the other is 28% ahead of schedule. i asked whether that schedule was set back at a further date in mid-august so they could announce they're ahead of schedule. just asking that as a curiosity. i did not get an answer. there's a little bit of an anticipation here that those wells being drilled down are going to be get there by august. if they don't, there will be a huge disappointment. one thing i did learn and i think this is really interesting is that when they drill those wells, whichever one makes it there first, as that bit goes
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down and makes that turn, i've wondered how are they going to actually hit it? it seems like it's a very difficult thing to do, so deep to get it dead on. but inside the drill bit they have a magnet, and the magnet is designed to seek the metal of the pipe. so they believe they're going to get it on the first or second time rachel. >> kerry sanders live from grand isle, louisiana. thanks for helping us understand it. really appreciate it. >> sure. >> i sort of can't believe we've got this, but we have an exclusive interview with the most famous right leg in america coming up on tonight's show. landon donovan and his right leg are still coming up. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 if it was up to me?
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the big headline from yesterday's primaries was nicky haley's wince for governor. she may be the most from meant, but she's not the most interesting one. i think this guy is. bill randle, a tea party candidate who last night became the republican nominee for north carolina's 13th congressional district. he won the nomination decisively and won it after he outbirthed the and outtempered the tempers floating a conspiracy theory
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about the federal government deliberately causing the bp oil disaster. >> personally, and this is purely speculative and not based on any fact, but personally i feel there's a possibility that there was some sort of collusion. i don't think how or why. in that situation if you have someone from a company proposing to violate the safety process and then the government signing off on it, excuse me. maybe they wanted it to leak, but then it got beyond what was anticipated and we had an explosion and loss of life. oh, man, now we have panic. is there a cover-up going on? >> bill randall republican nominee for congress believes there was co-lugs and now
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there's a cover-up. you think panic? imagine your republican party on official and he's a nominee and eligible for national news coverage. >> now, we have panic. >> and finally for the first and possibly last time ever on this show, we have a tennis update for you. from the lawns of wimbledon where play was suspended due to darkness in the match between america and france. the score at the point they broet off was 6-4, 6-3-7-6. 59-59. you heard me. in the fifth set in what turned out to be the longest match of all time. each player had won 359 games. this war and peace length epic he started yesterday when it was suspended for darkness and went on all day today until it got too dark and they will pick up again tomorrow. they practically have their own time zone. they've been whacking away at each other for a mind-boggling ten hours so for.
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you could wall the entire lord of rings trilogy and reread the hobbit in less time. he hit 98 aching and the other player hit 99 aces. here's your insert. the fifth set alone was longer than the previous longest match in tennis history. that match was a breezy little six hours and 33 minutes. tomorrow all one of them needs to do is win two straight games from the other and then retire or maybe get married. a perfect match doesn't come along every day. we'll be right back. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ] [ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom. see it. live it. share it.
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new fusion proglide. they feel sorry for you. it can't be that bad. i show up there, and you're burning your own feces and living in the tent. we literally lived in a bunker about that high that i couldn't stand up in. you see bullet holes rattled into it, and when you look up, i don't know why i have them here because they don't stop the bullets coming down from the mountains. i felt like i was fishing in a
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barrel. in a barrel. >> they're gathering intel right now basically on how to deal with us, because they haven't -- there's no really research or intel on how to treat us right now, because they haven't had to deal with people like us since, you know, world war ii and vietnam. dealing with guys that are coming back from 15-month deployments with as much fighting as we went through. >> this week a new film is released that tracks one deployment by one u.s. army platoon in afghanistan. it's called "restrepo." it's not about the politics war or give ucoyou context. it shows how they live and fight and die during their 15 months in the kuncountry. that lack of political context
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about how individual firefights fit into battlefields, fit into the war, actually helps rather than hinders our understand of how americans are dying in this war, the longest war we've fought as a nation. in year nine the pace of combat is going up and the number of troops is going up and the pace of nato casualties is worse than it's been with 46 americans kill the this month. it shows americans fighting in a place we stopped fighting. before we pulled out from the korengal valley at the time this platoon was there this was the site of one-fifth of all the combat happening in the entire country. as our country today is shocked by the general mcchrystal firing, shocked back into paying attention to the war again. trying to decide how much of general mcchrystal's fall is
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about mcchrystal and how much is about the counterinsurgency strategy he personified? i think we're fortunate to have this raw, combat film coming out this week to show us what that strategy means on the grounds for the americans not just debating this but who are living it. check out this one other clip we've got here. >> hey. >> the outpost is at the 6-3 grid line, and then the 6-2 grid line, the insurgency has drawn this imaginary line in the sand there. every time the guys come out of the fire base and cross this
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base and go oh [ bleep ]. every time they cross this grid line, they get in contact. someone extend the security bubble, because wherever i can place troops and provide security is where i have an influence on the populous. the hard part is that they're so deeply rooted down here because of family ties and because of religious ideals that getting these people to push out of insurgency and basically push out their family members is going to be the hard part. right now the road ends at the korengal outpost, and where the road ends is where the taliban begins. >> filmmakers who lived with 2nd platoon battle company for most of 15 months. they join us next. to have more exposure to the arts. maybe you want to provide meals for the needy. or maybe you want to help when the unexpected happens. whatever you want to do, members project from american express
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♪ and i don't know ♪ is this the part ♪ where you let go ♪ is this the part ♪ where you find out ♪ i'm there for you?
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>> we're taking it direct. >> i need more [ bleep ]. >> we want to push them southeast.
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>> big firefight. >> packing up rounds? that's fun, though. that's fun. you can't get a better high. it's like crack, you know. you skydive or bun gee jump or kayak, but once you've been shot at, you can't top that. >> how do you think you'll do in the civilian world, then? >> i have no idea. >> a scene from the new documentary from afghanistan. we're joined by the journalists who 'embedded with the 2nd platoon. thanks for your time. congratulations on the film. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i won't direct this to either one of you, but you can jump in. why document one long deployment by one small group of soldiers? why not contextualize this valley and fighting amid the overall war? >> so many great journalists have provided the context.
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the war is nine years old now. there have been many books, many movies that provided the big picture. the one thing that hadn't been done was to document what it was like to be an american soldier in combat in afghanistan. not that policy decisions are based on that, but when these guys come home, we need to understand what their experience was. not politically necessarily but on an experience level. >> you never see the enknee shooting at these americans in the film. you see an awful lot the gunfighting. is the enemy in this case taliban, disgruntled locals or tribal fighters? did the soldiers know who they were fighting with when they were fighting? >> the soldiers were going through the fighting. there are local taliban in the valley, but there was a lot of foreign fighters, guys from pakistan and arabs and it was a mixture of al qaeda and the taliban forces. >> i think that the army decided
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that the korengal valley would no longer maintain those outposts in the valley. that's referenced at the end of the film. did that change the overall feeling about the soldiers you worked with about what they had done there for all those months? >> that was a very painful thing for them, to watch the u.s. military pull out. they fought very hard there and lost friends there. every one we were with was almost killed there, so that was a very painful moment. on the other hand, they're professional soldiers and understand that strategic decisions are made. basically there were not enough men to be effective, and so they were placed elsewhere. i think they understood that. >> that issue about not enough men. the army today reversed a decision to punish officers for command failures that led to the death of nine soldiers which happened while you were there in the korengal but not where you
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were filming but the soldiers were reacting to it. were there underresourced? were there enough people at the post to give them a fair shot at success? >> when we first turned up in the valley of 2007, it was obvious to us that the war in afghanistan was slipping out of the control. something we know now. there was a company there, but extra soldiers were intended to survive northward to protect the valley and those soldiers never came. if there were more soldiers there, i'm sure security would have been better. >> this is, of course, as you mentioned not a film about politics, but it it sort of necessarily becomes a film about military strategy because we see the strategy in action. did the soldiers in battle company, the soldiers you were with, buy into or have opinions she expressed about the overall strategy of what they were doing there, why they were there? they're not just staying alive. they're going on offense and on the incredibly dangerous patrols and offensives.
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did they talk about overall strategy? >> they didn't for afghanistan. what they discussed was the things that were relevant to them that might get them killed. they talked about strategy in the valley themselves. they discussed it endlessly because their lives were affected by it. they were very, very clear about trying to avoid civilian casualties, for example, other than the obvious moral issues. if they killed civilians they would side with the taliban and more would get killed and understood that relationship. there were several times i saw them take dramatic action. >> let me follow-up with you on that. you don't think society understands war very well. obviously you have a book out now called "war" base odd your time with these soldiers as well. you said if society is going to solve the human problem of war, they have to figure out what it is about combat that attracts young men so much that they're willing to risk their lives to go back out there to get it. after spending all of those
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months with seco2nd platoon, do feel you're closer to figuring that out? >> i think i am. we were at a he very remote outpost on this hilltop being attacked three to four times a day sometimes. the guys, when they come back, when they come back to society they want to return to that hilltop into combat. society thinks -- they think it's a question of adrenaline addiction. i think they're addicted to brotherhood, an otherwise very healthy impulse taking place in a very unhealthy place. i think if society understands that, it won't be palologyized so much but understood on its own terms and maybe society can provide that sense of inclusion and brotherhood here rather than in combat. >> it won the grand jury prize for documentary at sundance. it comes out on friday. his book about his time called
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"war" is out now tim's book called "infidel" is due out in october. thank you for your time. congratulations on this achievement. >> hey, thank you. >> thanks. coming up on "countdown," mia hamm joins keith. landon donovan who scored the goal today joins us from south africa. [ diane lane ] when you were 14 you knew exactly where to turn to help your skin get healthy and clear.
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except for the folks who write reports from the gulf at bp.com there is consensus in the country that the news lately and particularly today is a big, fat downer. the story of general stanley mcchrystal's ouster is not good news the bp oil disaster somehow got worse today. did you hear new home sales were down 33%, the worst level ever. to paraphrase "airplane" looks like i picked the wrong day to stop eating greasy food from a food cart. a red, white and blue chute.
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the usa needed to beat algeria after coming tantalizing close to scoring several times including another apparent goal disallowed by the referees, the usa found ourselves in a scoreless tie. if they didn't score they would head home defeated. in the 91st minute of action, it happened. except for people whose hearts are made of stone, everyone in america was instantly and totally psyched all at the same time all about the same thing. awesome. u.s. freaking a as in awesome. all thanks to the miracle last-second goal by landon donovan. kent is a huge soccer dork. as you know. kent, did anything cool happen to you today? >> well, rachel, i talked to this guy named landon donovan.
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he is famous. joining me on the phone is landon donovan the hero of the u.s./algeria match who scored the winning goal. mr. donovan, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. thanks for having me. >> my first question is how heavy were your teammates when they dived on you after the goal? >> it was intense. the moment i hit the ground i regretted it because i knew they would be coming in running. there was a good 30 seconds where i was hoping they would get off me but it was all worth it. >> you will feel that tomorrow. >> exactly. >> can you describe the emotions, you know, it was such an intense game and you kept having opportunity after opportunity. what was it feeling like in the second half? >> yeah. we played this game a long time and unfortunately the better team doesn't always win especially in soccer. sometimes you have gaves where you hit the post, you create
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chances, a goalie has a great game and things don't go your way. it can be disappointing and frustrating. i think the word i would use is tense. just until the very last minute there was just a sense of tension and anxiety that was relieved, thankfully. >> i experienced all that tension and anxiety watching it and then you scored and the entire country freaked out, including me. my neighbors hate me now. how did that feel to finally score? >> obviously, when you are in the moment, you can't really appreciate, you know, the ramifications of it, but for us, we worked so hard and we put so much into not only these three games, but for a long time with qualifying and getting here. to have that all finally become worthwhile is really gratifying and it is obviously the most special night in my career. >> sure. now, apparently the u.s. is playing ghana in the next match. >> mm-hmm. >> how do you avoid a letdown
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after such a big win? >> i don't think there will be any letdown. i think we are all very excited. this is the expectation for a long time, to get out of our group. then we always knew at that point we can compete with anybody in the world. so i think all in all, ghana is a good team but we are excited to play for a chance at the quarterfinals. >> when you were a kid did you have that moment you were pretending you were scoring a goal in the world cup? >> funny you say that. i talked to my dad after the game. i used to sit in my driveway and playing basketball, kobe bryant gets it, three seconds left, he shoots. you dream about those moments in all sports as an athlete. and then to have it happen to you is really cool. >> well, it was such an exciting moment and there's so much going badly in the world right now.
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how aware are you that this is one of the few really happy moments that the country can share? >> well, you know, without getting too deep i, in the past, i just thought this is a game we play. at the end of the day maybe it is, but the reality is people want to be inspired and people want a break from their everyday life so they can enjoy something and be proud to be an american. hopefully we gave that to them today. i know a lot of people skipped work so some bosses might not be happy. but for the most part our country is very proud of us and that makes us feel good. >> we are all proud of you at "the rachel maddow" show. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure, kent. >> so awesome. justice earl warren of the united states supreme court. the sports page records people's

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