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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  May 4, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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pakistani soldiers are now guarding the compound. it's been sealed off. and the man who built it in 2005 was briefly arrested and then released. >> walked through point by point and the bravery involved, the planning, the decisiveness of the president. >> lawmakers who heard details of the mission called the story riveting. but the white house is now changing some details of the story as new and conflicting reports emerge. >> there were many other people who were armed in the region -- in the compound. there was a fire fight. >> officials now say bin laden was unarmed, but resisted when commandos stormed his home. they were ordered to kill him. >> if he suddenly put up his hands, and offered to be captured, then they would have the opportunity obviously to capture him. but that opportunity never developed. >> the white house says bin laden was killed immediately. one of his daughters reportedly told pakistani authorities her father was held for ten minutes
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before he was shot. once in the head and twice in the chest. >> in all that chaos, with gunfire and the like, there are going to be differing accounts obviously. >> and new reports from politico, that bin laden was ready to run, he had 500 euros in cash and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothes. asked why bin laden wasn't more heavily guarded, panetta reportedly said, bin laden believed he would get a heads up before an attack. >> the fact was that we completed this operation within 40 minutes and we had everybody on their way out of that country. >> nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house now. so, mike what are you hearing about a decision on releasing that picture? >> reporter: still under consideration. you saw that interview that the cia director leon panetta had with brian williams on "nightly news" last night in response to the question of the photograph. he says there is no question it will be ultimately be presented to the public. we have to reveal it to the rest of the world. the question is really when and
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what is to be gained by releasing it, said to be very gruesome, as you know. bin laden was shot in the region of the left eye, blood and brain tissue said to be visible there. you don't want to present that image to the public and unnecessarily inflame the muslim and arab world and what is to be gained really? are people going to believe it if they publish a photograph? there is already a taliban commander saying bin laden has been dead for a year and a half, nothing really happened that night or that day in pakistan. so all of these are being measured. all of these considerations what is to be gained, what is to be lost. >> the president is heading to the former site of the world trade center tomorrow to ground zero. he has invited former president george w. bush who declined. and president clinton who we're told is unlikely to attend as well. mayor rudy giuliani, mayor michael bloomberg may both attend there. what do you expect to hear as the president's message at what is a sacred site to so many people. >> and it will be a very solemn
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occasion. we received a communication from the white house. he'll be visiting with 9/11 families. the president ever since sunday night and everyone in the administration has been very careful to mention the feelings and their thoughts about the 9/11 families as th$9/11 fa operation unfolded and the president as we expected will be meeting with first responders on his trip to new york. george w. bush plans to be there, the ten-year anniversary come this september. >> we're seeing new poll numbers now, mike. the "new york times"/cbs poll has president obama's proval ratings shooting up to 57%, as what we saw in april, 46%. and the poll from gallop and "usa today" who gets credit for the bin laden killing, 98% to the military, 71% to president obama, 52 to president bush. is anyone at the white house counting on a political gain here? >> reporter: do they have to? do they have to bring any politics into this at all?
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let it stand. it is a great moment for the united states, no one can deny that. republicans suspect political moat they've ttive they have he. he took so much credit for pulling panetta into the oval office at the outset of the administration saying i want to get bin laden. emphasizing that the operation was undertaken at my direction, going to ground zero on thursday. but, it is just not simply going to be the time where republicans are going to be able to speak up and accuse the president of acting in an overtly political way. the white house is obviously aware of that. but let's face it, this is a joyous almost patriotic occasion, the vast majority of americans are rallying around the president. >> mike viqueira, thank you very much. appreciate that. osama bin laden's dying wish was that his many children not follow in his footsteps. a kuwaiti newspaper published what it says is bin laden's will dating back to 2001. the paper does not say how it obtained the document, which was reportedly written three months
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after the 9/11 attacks. the will includes justifications for bin laden's -- osama bin laden, his decades long jihad against the west. but bin laden also asks his children's forgiveness and he apologizes for not spending more time with them. he urges his children not to join the jihad. apparently in compliance with islamic law. bin laden was reportedly father to as many as 24 kids. at least one, a son, died with him in that raid on sunday. and today, the bin laden compound is surrounded by pakistani police. officials there are trying to explain why he was able to hide for so long right under their noses. today, the pakistani government is very defensive, saying that the raid that killed osama bin laden was an unauthorized, unilateral action. that's a little bit of a switch from what we saw from pakistan the day after the announcement of the killing of bin laden when they said that it was in accordance with stated u.s.
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policy, that they would go after bin laden wherever he was found. my big question today, will congress demand a change to the relationship with pakistan because of the fact that he was hiding in plain sight. you can share your thoughts with me on twitter, facebook, my e-mail is senator jim risch is a republican from idaho. he sits on several committees including intelligence and foreign relations. senator, good to see you today. >> good to see you. that was an excellent question you asked about congress' demands for reviewing the relationship with pakistan. >> do you think we need to rethink our partnership with pakistan? >> we rethink it constantly. as you know, the situation that you've described as regarding the recent incident, we already went through one time. or more than one time actually as we have used the predator and drone strikes in pakistan. and the government will say one thing one day, the government of pakistan will say one thing one day and another thing another day. and our relationship is complex.
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it is difficult. but we have to deal with pakistan for a lot of different reasons, which i think are quite obvious. >> and what about the financial relationship, the fact that we have been sending them roughly a billion dollars a year since 2001. is the financial relationship something that is going to get close scrutiny at this point? >> well, again it has been over the years. it is getting scrutiny every day. and i know there is some senators that have called for cutting that off. i'm sure we're going to have a discussion about that. we clearly want accountability. after all, they are a nuclear nation. and a lot of people up here were questioning putting the money into it, wondering whether it was going into the nuclear program. obviously there is another country in the world that is more interested than the united states as to where that money is going and whether it is going in the nuclear program. >> senator, given the fact that we went into afghanistan, with the intention of annihilating
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the terrorists who attacked our country, and annihilating those who would harbor them, we have osama bin laden now. is there a point to us remaining in afghanistan, to keep fighting the insurgency there. >> well, as you pointed out, we went in there originally to drive out al qaeda. we have been tremendously successful in driving out al qaeda. unfortunately they went just across the border into pakistan. many fled to yemen, many fled to somalia. so the developments are going to continue to follow them. what's happening in afghanistan is constantly evaluated here. i'm on the foreign relations committee. we had a lengthy hearing yesterday, getting the views of various people as to what the path forward is there. that's going to be re-evaluated in the future, no doubt. this will clearly play a role in it. how big a role it plays, a lot of it is going to depend upon everyone's individual view as to what the significance was of
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eliminating bin laden, which obviously has considerable significance. >> given your role on the intelligence committee, there are three provisions of the patriot act, which expire at the end of this month. one authorizes the fbi to continue to use roving wiretaps on surveillance targets. another allows the government to seize any tangible items in the course of surveillance. and the third one is this lone wolf provision that allows surveillance of targets, not connected to known terror groups. those allowances are scheduled to expire, the attorney general has said he wants them to be reauthorized. what is your prediction? will they be? >> my prediction is they will be reauthorized. the -- we have been tremendously successful as far as avoiding another attack since september 11th on homeland soil. and you've got to give great credit to our intelligence agencies. they need the tools to do that. and, by the way, obviously we have all discussed what the
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fallout could be as far as retaliation from what just happened, and one of the big issues is the lone wolf provision, that is someone who is exacting totally on their own, someone who is not receiving direction from any other command and control structure of al qaeda. the lone wolf provision is an important provision. >> senator, it is good to see you today. thank you so much for sharing a few minutes with us. >> a bit of history made sunday night, apart from the killing of osama bin laden. nine networks across the united states broadcast the president as he made the announcement. more than 56.5 million people tuned in. that makes this the most watched speech since the president took office and one of the most watched speeches since 2001. also on sunday, google saw a 1 million percent increase in searches for the name bin laden. senate majority leader harry reid was hurt in a bad fall while jogging. he dislocated his shoulder. he's back at work at the capital
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now in a sling. his aides say he's fine and he's even been joking around. fresh from the royal wedding of his son and new daughter-in-law, prince charles is in the nation's capital now. he'll meet with president obama sometime this morning. he delivered the keynote speech at georgetown university for a conference on sustainable agriculture. >> it really is a great joy to be invited back to georgetown again, to speak at this conference. and it certainly makes it a change from making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son during wedding receptions and things like that. >> yesterday prince charles visited a small farm smack in the middle of washington, d.c. where low income neighbors can grow their own food. i've actually been there. it is an impressive scene. he also took in the supreme court and met with some of the justices. the town of cairo, illinois, might have been spared, but now towns in six other states are
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being threatened by the mississippi river. the army corps of engineers already blasted one hole in the levee. will they do it again? plus, people were cheering and celebrating in the streets when they learned of bin laden's death. going to talk to dr. phil about what sparks that kind of jubilation. i can't enjoy my own barbecue with these nasal allergies. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris, to the nose!
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the mississippi river is expected to reach its highest levels in nearly a century over the next several days. the army corps of engineers is weighing more levee explosions to divert floodwater around the towns in the danger zone. people who live in seven states are on edge about more flooding from that mighty mississippi river. >> anytime the rain come up, we got to get ready to get ahead.
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we got to get going. i don't want to run every time it clouds up. >> i can't talk. everything you work for is messed up t. the weather channel's mike seidel is in kentucky. what a frustrating situation for so many people. >> reporter: the fact this water is not going to go down very quickly it going to be a slow, methodical drawndown but still come up here. came up about another inch this morning. the ohio river, you can't see it, it is way back there behind the trees, behind the plants, but it has come up into the subdivision and these homes are getting water at least into the first floors. look over here, this is peach orchard road. we came here this morning, it was dark. the road goes off into the woods. in the distance, i don't know if you can see that, those are the very tops of mobile homes. there is about six or seven mobile homes back there that are underwater and are total losses.
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we don't have any significant rain in the forecast. the thing is all this water has to drain downstream. we already had seven records, six records set in 12 states. record high crests. and over the next three weeks, contessa, we're going to be setting records down the mississippi and it won't be until late may before we see the record crest hit mississippi and way down towards the gulf of mexico. the water will eventually drain out of here. it will be painful and head towards new orleans later this month in first part of june. this will be an ongoing story for the entire month of may for somewhere along the river. >> i know your team at the weather channel, mike, is going to stay on top of that. thanks so much for the report. in tuscaloosa, alabama, officials have downgraded the number of missing people to about 80. families there, some of them getting back to normal, trying to, anyway, as schools reopen today. nbc's charles hadlock is in tuscaloosa and how was the school day today. >> contessa, i went to pleasant grove elementary school in a
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small town of pleasant grove 50 miles from tuscaloosa. a third of the town is still standing, including the elementary school. so they resumed school today, but inside the school, people are still hurting. nine teachers lost their homes. a cafeteria worker lost her daughter who went to the university of alabama here in tuscaloosa. many of the students, though they all survived, many lost loved ones. and many lost their homes entirely. in fact, the teachers today said they're putting away their math books and english books and just giving out hugs today in pleasant grove. >> what are they doing now about these estimated 80 people missing? >> that's down quite a bit from just a few days ago. earlier in the week it was 700 missing. yesterday, they lowered it to 240. and last night they lowered it down to 80. i think what is happening is word is getting out that authorities are still looking for the people who additionally were listed as missing. and now the telephones have been reconnected, people are back in touch, they're able to notify
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authorities that, hey, my loved ones are all right, they were just out of town. >> good. charles, thank you for the update. bp's paying big bucks for its first big oil spill. that's the first one we're talking about now. and it is five years later. plus, osama bin laden might be out of the picture. but al qaeda still exists. who might take bin laden's spot as the world's most wanted terrorist. derrick lawson and partner michael horwitz launched ggb of raleigh in 2007 with their first product, the world's largest gummy bear. since then, revenue for the novelty item has surpassed a million dollars a year and they're still growing. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. we're america's natural gas. and here's what we did today in homes all across america:
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the coast guard is resuming an aerial search for a cruise ship passenger reported missing. officials say it is possible the 65-year-old woman went overboard from the "celebrity millennium" yesterday. she failed to show up for a customs check. a rhode island school board has voted to rehire nearly 1500 providence teachers who were sent pink slipz earlier this
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year. providence officials touched off a firestorm in february when the city notified all of its nearly 2,000 teachers their jobs could be cut in june. that leaves 400 or so teachers who will not be rehired. hot on the web today in one of the most viewed videos on, the "today" show's interview with former miss usa susie costillo about her emotional reaction to a pat-down at the airport. >> this woman touched my vagina, four times, she went up my leg, up both legs, from behind, and then turn around and did it in the front. >> i care about safety very deeply. and, you know, i don't think we need to sacrifice our constitutional rights in the name of safety. i think there has to be a better way. >> the tsa told nbc the agent
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followed procedure. the former supermodel is pregnant with twins. when asked directly, carla bruni said she didn't want to answer questions about her family. the birth or births would coincide with sarkozy's campaign for re-election. we have seen a lot of video from rallies, cheering on the united states after the announcement of bin laden's death. but huffington post has a story of a subway rider who tried to get an impromptu rally on the subway train but just failed. >> all right, new yorkers, this isn't always appropriate, but it is today. if you don't mind, anybody join me. usa, usa. come on, usa. bin laden's dead. usa. >> still ahead, dr. phil mcgraw weighs in on what prompts jubilation over someone's death while others like those on the train probably celebrate in a more private, quiet way.
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[ male announcer ] make it yours. make it mio. ♪ welcome back to msnbc. i'm contessa brewer. at least four people were killed in libya today, after gadhafi forces bombed a libyan port in misrata. four people there were killed. nato says it will keep bombing libya for as long as it takes to end the violence. sony hired a group of cybersleuths to catch whoever hacked into their network. personal dat aa from possibly 1 million gamers was exposed. according to the epa, the largest per barrel civil penalty assessed, more than 200,000 gallons was spilled there. and the united nations projects that the world population will hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100. it is expected to pass 7 billion this october.
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a senior u.s. official tells nbc news not to consider ayman al zawahiri a shoe-in to take over as leader of al qaeda. many terrorism experts say he has been the de facto leader of the organization for many years. as osama bin laden was hiding from public view, but the u.s. officials say two other candidates are out there, including an american. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is live in benghazi, libya. what do you know about who's in line potentially to take the reins of that organization? >> logically it would go to his deputy. his second in command, ayman al zawahiri. but the fact that fact that osama bin laden has been killed creates a power struggle within the organization, does create a leadership vacuum. ayman al zawahiri has tremendous experience, he has credibility within the organization, but he's not popular within the organization. he's been described as arrogant. he's alienated a younger
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generation. and there is this question which many organizations face, companies, even states face when they lose their leader, will they stay within the command structure, the existing power structure, or will they skip to a younger generation, try and bring in new blood. and even al qaeda is facing that question right now. that new rising star within al qaeda would be the american and he is charismatic, he's popular, he's very savvy on the internet, grew up in new mexico, has been linked to almost all of the attacks recently that have been carried out by al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the underwear bomb, ink cartridge bomb, also in touch with the ft. hood shooter. he has credibility, popularity, but nowhere near the experience of somebody like ayman al zawahiri. >> in terms of leadership, it is not as if they're going to hold
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global elections for the next al qaeda leader. >> no, but they will have some sort of votes. they had a ruling council, the shura council. it will be very difficult for them to meet right now. especially after the raid on bin laden's compound, which as jim miklaszewski has been reporting, yielded this tremendous amount of intelligence, hard drives, people starting to analyze that intelligence right now. so, no, i can't imagine the top leaders of al qaeda are going to be getting together anytime soon. but the way al awlaki able to reach out to supporters was never in person. he used online. he used computers, internet, sermons broadcast from anonymous locations to bring out al qaeda's message. he was really the person who championed the transition, i guess, you could call it to al qaeda digital. >> richard engel following the developments there from benghazi, libya.
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thank you. an american man thinks he should get at least part of the $27 million reward for bin laden's death. gary faulkner, the so-called osama bin laden hunter, tried 11 times to track down the al qaeda leader. in fact, pakistan arrested him last june for trying to cross into afghanistan. the state department's offered $25 million for bin laden's capture. and then two airline groups put up another $2 million. faulkner claims the publicity surrounding his arrest in june forced osama bin laden out of hiding in afghanistan and put him in a spot where u.s. troops could find him and get him and that's why he deserves at least some of the money. a big debate brewing over whether the white house should release a photograph of a dead osama bin laden. spokesman jay carney warned photos of the corpse are gruesome and could be inflammatory. but cia chief leon panetta says the public needs proof bin laden is dead. >> there were concerns and
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questions that had to be debated about just exactly what kind of impact would these photos have. but the bottom line is that, you know, we got bin laden and i think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him. >> dr. phil mcgraw hosts the dr. phil show. he's in los angeles today. dr. phil, i inundated with e-mails and messages from viewers yesterday with very strong opinions on both sides of this. let me ask you to come down. is there a -- would there be an impact on the national psyche to see what we have been told are rather gruesome pictures that you can see blood and brain matter. >> contessa, and thanks for talking about this, because i think it is an important issue. i don't need to see this picture. i can tell you from a psychological standpoint i have every confidence he has been located and killed. i have confidence in the dna and
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i have confidence in our leaders to tell us the truth about that. what i worry about is this, if this picture is put out there, and this internet environment that we're in today, that image is going to be captured by people that are going to do all kinds of things with it that i think would be inflammatory, would be disrespectful. i don't think bin laden is entitled to any quarter or compassion for us. he gave none. i think he deserves none. so no question about that. but i do think this could be inflammatory. i think the curiosity is voyeuristic. i don't think that's a healthy thing. i don't want to see it. i don't need to see it. i think other people probably some of their interest is just voye voyeuristic. >> some people are arguing against showing it and say they're comparing it to al qaeda's public release of photos or video of beheading and killing americans.
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do you see it that way? >> well, i do think we're better than that. i think part of it depends on what they do. i mean, if they start this campaign that it is all a hoax, all a ruse, that bin laden has not been killed, et cetera, et cetera, if that's part of the intellectual terrorism that al qaeda undertakes, then i think you respond to that. but at this point, i think he has been killed. i think it has been -- he's a casualty of war. >> let me point out that people who are still doubting whether he's actually dead or not, they may not be convinced even with the photo release or video. if people are doubting that -- >> come on, contessa, there are already pictures out there of presumably bin laden being killed. we know that they're a hoax. with photo shop today, if somebody chooses not to believe this, they're not going to believe it if they see that picture. they're already photo shop pictures out there that are not real. so, i mean, you're not going to
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convince those folks. >> let me ask you about some of the cheering and the rallies and the jubilation that we saw when this news first came out. a lot of those we have been told were young people who were rushing out in the streets, that this is sort of a pivotal moment and yet yahoo! said today, 20% of the people who were searching osama bin laden online were teenagers. how did he die? who is -- 66% of them were searching for who is bin laden. they didn't even know who bin laden was. so why do you -- to what you attribute all this cheering and the celebrating? >> i'd like to think we're not cheering someone's death. i mean, whoever it is, that's a bit unbecoming, i think, to be celebrating that. but i think what people are celebrating is this the elimination of a threat. this is an elimination of an
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evil person that could impact our lives and our families. i think you're celebrating a heightened level of security and i know people that -- well, actually it has gone the other way, we're more at risk now than before we killed him. look, it is like getting in the boxing ring. you can't say i don't want to hit the other guy, it may upset him. this is war and it is a war we didn't declare. he started this. and so he's a casualty of that war. but i think people are really celebrating the relief that comes from eradicating this evil force more than they are the actual death of someone. >> dr. phil, i remember on 9/11, we saw those planes over and over again, the loops on video, crashing into the world trade center and seeing the smoke rising from the pentagon, and at some point maybe a couple of days after it happened, there were a lot of psychologists who went on television and said, listen, if you have children, it is time to stop letting them see that, that they can't separate it. do you have advice now for children who may be exposed to
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this kind of news conference, to the death of osama bin laden, to the cheering, and to the questions about what happened? >> well, i think we do have to explain. i think we do have to explain to these kids that this was a casualty of war. and that what we're talking about here is that we made some advance in the war. and that that's what we're being celebrating here. i don't think we want to talk about that we're celebrating the death of someone, even someone as evil as this person. but, you know, he made the choices. when he makes the choices, you choose the consequences. that just comes with it. and i think you need it let people -- let children understand that, that war is an ugly thing, and that there are deaths and there are casualties, many americans have been killed and sure enough now this al qaeda leader has been killed and that's just part of war. it is why we don't want to be in war. people do die. >> dr. phil, i really appreciate
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your unique perspective today and your expertise in dealing with some of these difficult topics. thank you. >> contessa, thank you. cia director leon panetta right now is briefing congress about the osama bin laden raid, giving more details there. yesterday, he briefed the house and early today, the agency categorically denied two stories coming are from bin laden's family in pakistan. one, that bin laden was captured, then killed. not killed immediately. and two, that bin laden's son was thrown on board the chopper as it departed abbottabad. the cia says those stories are not true. two senior officials said osama bin laden's remains only left the compound. kelly o'donnell is live in washington, d.c. what kinds of questions did the lawmakers have for the head of the cia today? >> reporter: they really have been a couple of big issues. people want to know about
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pakistan's involvement and we have been told that they have raised those questions. some members have said to us that they felt they had some satisfaction, that some new information was given, it is all classified. we can't share it. they didn't tell us. and a lot of this has been about talking about what the s.e.a.l.s actually did and what the operation from the intelligence community involved. and senators did give their perspectives on that, calling it a riveting story of what actually happened. and so i think what the situation room was like when this all occurred, they have tried to, in a verbal way, re-create that for members of congress to really answer their questions about the training, how the operation was conducted, and what was found at the location. that's the sense that we're getting. they did say they got some new information and things like that. and members are saying they found it extremely helpful and so these briefings are well attended and they are appreciated by members. some yesterday and again today. so much to talk about and the cia director, of course, wasn't
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answering our questions when we went by him and saw the picture of that a moment ago. but they find this valuable. and we will have some public hearings about pakistan later in the week with chairman john kerry on foreign relations. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. i wanted to mention, we have learned that five computers with ten hard drives were taken from that bin laden compound. and fbi is analyzing what they say is an intelligence treasure trove. they say there is lots of actionable, useful information on there, even though as far as we have been told, there was no internet connection or phone connection to that compound. and now the cia, we're told, is setting up a task force that will study this information. they want to act on it quickly before it becomes outdated. for instance, if there are -- if there is information about people who donated to al qaeda, donated money, they want those people to disappear. >> there is no doubt that al qaeda is still a threat to the united states and the rest of the world. but should u.s. troops still be
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in afghanistan? that debate raging right now. plus, president obama gets a bump in approval ratings over bin laden's death. what that could mean for the presidential election. first, a programming note here, andrea mitchell will be in chicago tomorrow night for education nation on the road. she'll interview education secretary arne duncan and mayor elect rahm emanuel who will also address a crowd of business and community leaders. there will be a panel discussion about the skills and knowledge required for today's students to compete in tomorrow's economy. that all begins at 8:00 eastern time and you can watch it on [ wind howling ]
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[ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business. i'm andrea mitchell. up next on "andrea mitchell reports," did osama bin laden have official support from pakistan? we'll talk exclusively to pakistan's former president, pervez musharraf who was in office when that compound was built. israel's ambassador to the
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united states joins us to talk about the impact bin laden's death will have in the middle east. and as lawmakers get briefed on the intelligence, we'll get the latest details from barbara mikulski. we'll see you in a few minutes on "andrea mitchell reports." the president is already under pressure to review his strategy for the war in afghanistan. press secretary jay carney told reporters yesterday, plans haven't changed to drawdown forces this summer. but some say the al qaeda leader's death -- msnbc military analyst and u.s. army general barry mccaffrey joins us from syracuse, i understand, today. general, good to see you. >> good to be with you, contessa. >> osama bin laden has not been active in the afghan insurgency in many years. we went in there to destroy the terrorists who attacked us, and their hosts. do we have any current mission being in afghanistan?
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>> well, contessa, it is a huge dilemma, a $10 billion a month war, we're having several killed and wounded in this conflict. it is an internal tribal civil war that can't be directly now tied to al qaeda as you suggest. so going forward, support is dropping for the war, but coming out would be a disaster. that's the dilemma. >> as a candidate, president barack obama said, look, the goal of the war in afghanistan is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda. did osama bin laden's death do some of that job? >> it has been a helpful shot in the arm to the u.s. armed forces. this is good news for the troops out there fighting these people. i don't think it had a huge impact on al qaeda's ability to operate. they morphed into very decentralized structures. he's lost his iconic value.
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so it will have some hampering effect on them, but not overwhelming. >> let me ask you, general, because the navy s.e.a.l.s are getting so much praise now, 98% of the people who responded to a recent survey give the credit for bin laden's death to the u.s. military. could this boost military recruiting? >> well, i think, you know, i just am giving a lecture at the maxwell school here at syracuse university and there is a slide that says the most trusted institution in american life of the u.s. armed forces. to these navy s.e.a.l.s, jsoc units, are the absolute elite of the u.s. armed forces but it is the most respected institution in american society. prior to killing osama bin laden. >> and in this case, could that boost the visibility even more for -- especially for outstanding high school students, you know, those who
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have lots of options before them, but may choose a career in the military. >> well, i tell you one thing, if i was, you know, 40 years younger and could swim better, i would be out there trying to join the navy s.e.a.l.s. >> all right, well, i spent three years up there working for the dean of the maxwell school. you tell my old friends i said hello. good to see you today. thank you. >> good to be with you, contessa. >> the race for 2012 when we come back. [ female announcer ] the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise pain relieving heat patch.
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the timing couldn't be worse for republican hopefuls getting ready for their first debate in south carolina tomorrow. instead of hammering the president on the economy, now they'll likely be focused open the president's so-called gutsy move against bin laden. karen finney is a former spokesperson for the democratic national committee and amy holmes hosts the nationally syndicated radio show america's morning news. she's a -- how do we describe you, a conservative independent? >> yes. >> i like that. so, karen, let me begin with you, we're looking at the
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numbers, the job approval rating, the new numbers for the president have really seen a big jump. now standing at 57% in april. 46%, a gain of 11 points. how long can he hold on to that? >> well, let's be clear, not very long. people are going to go back to focusing on the economy. what i think is the most important opportunity though here for the president is this idea of the way he is a leader, the desis ev lead cisive leaders restoring a bit of confidence in our government and in our system, i mean, we haven't felt that in a long time. and this is an example where things worked, the intelligence community worked, our military folks on the ground worked, the agency wide coordination worked. the president and his team worked. i hope those are the couple of things that they're able to build on going forward and going
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into the election. >> i just read a report here, amy, that nancy pelosi had called, former president george w. bush to congratulate him on his role in the mission to find, capture or kill osama bin laden. are you likely to see at this debate in south carolina tomorrow that focus from the republican candidates, that they want to put more of the credit back on president bush? >> i don't think so. let's also be clear about this debate tomorrow, in south carolina, as of 48 hours ago, only tim pawlenty would be on the stage. i think rick santorum will also be joining him. >> here is my list. tim pawlenty, ron paul, buddy romer, rick santorum. no michele bachmann, no mitt romney. >> right. >> there is a run on the bush record. i'm fine with that. >> this is not a significant debate for the republican party and the gop leading into 2012. i agree that where this is really important for president
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obama is in the leadership issue. reuters did a poll about a month and a a half ago that 17% of people would describe barack obama as a strong and decisive military leader. this blunts the kriccriticism o that point. tomorrow, president obama has the opportunity to give that speech at ground zero to connect emotionally with the american people. that is a place where obama has had a bit of trouble, that he doesn't seem to necessarily get it where the american people are coming from. we saw that in the debate over the ground zero mosque. and let's remember, he's not -- he hasn't released the pictures and i think that has a really important cathartic symbolism for the american people that the monster has been slain, the devil has been killed here and if president obama does that, i think that will help him. >> amy, karen, i hate doing this, but i've reached the end of my hour. we have to cut the conversation shorter than i had hoped for. next time. thank you. that wraps up the hour for me. i'm contessa brewer. thank you for watching today. i'll see you back here tomorrow,
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noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. if you live on the west coast. president obama will head to ground zero tomorrow and we have all the coverage accompanying that visit. up next, "andrea mitchell reports." hello, andrea. >> hi, contessa. coming up next, my exclusive interview with pakistan's former president, pervez musharraf. what is his reaction to the u.s. raid? and the fallout now facing pakistan, plus, will they or won't they as the white house decides whether to go public with pictures of bin laden. lawmakers are now weighing in and israel's ambassador to the u.s. joins us on what bin laden's death means for the wave of change in the middle east. "andrea mitchell reports" up next right here on msnbc. now we're hittin' the road with the proglide challenge. [ horn honks ] yo, my friend, come on down here! what do you think about that proglide? yeah, this is great. this thing is fantastic. it feels good on my sensitive skin. i don't feel like i'm shaving. [ male announcer ] fusion proglide is engineered with gillette's thinnest blades ever... it feels like it's doing the work for me. [ male announcer ] it glides for less tug and pull. it was smooth! this was fantastic. i'm having way too much fun with this razor. [ male announcer ] turn shaving into gliding
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," burden of proof. should the white house release the cture of bin laden's body? correcting the record, the white house now says bin laden was not armed and cia director leon panetta tells nbc's brian williams on "nightly news" the navy s.e.a.l.s had a license to kill.


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