updated 5/6/2010 9:19:21 AM ET 2010-05-06T13:19:21

Guests: Edward Markey, David Corn, Pat Buchanan, Denis McDonough, David


HOST:  Good-bye Dubai.

Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews in Washington.  Leading off tonight:

Cracking the terror plot.  It‘s looking more and more like the Pakistani

Taliban was behind this weekend‘s Times Square terror plot.  We‘re learning

now that the Taliban provided training to Faisal Shahzad during his five-

month stay in Pakistan last year.  How is it that this guy got back

unexposed into this country after his Taliban training and then was able to

pay cash for a one-way flight to Pakistan, pass through airline security

and board that plane while the feds were hot on his tail?  That‘s my

question for a National Security Council official in just a minute.

Also, David Rohde is the “New York Times” reporter who was held by the

Taliban in Pakistan—in Waziristan, in fact, for the seven months until

he escaped.  He says we can expect more of these terrorist attempts if the

U.S. doesn‘t convince the government of Pakistan to go into tribal areas

and root out the terrorist bases.  David Rohde joins us tonight.

Also, Congressman Ed Markey says if BP doesn‘t fix that oil leak in

the gulf and do it fast, their initials will stand for “bayou polluter”

instead of British Petroleum.  His big question for the oil company, What

did you know, and when did you know it?

And leave it to the right to figure out how to blame President Obama

for both the oil leak and the Times Square bomb plot.  The radio talkers

and right-wing bloggers are working overtime.

And “Let Me Finish” tonight with the American interest in stopping

illegal immigration the American way.

Let‘s start with how the feds caught the Times Square terror suspect. 

Denis McDonough is the chief of staff to the National Security Council. 

Mr. McDonough, thank you for joining us.  Let me check with this on—

check with you on this.  According to “The New York Times,” at 12:30 in the

afternoon on Monday, authorities asked Homeland Security to put Shahzad‘s

name on the no-fly list.  Three minutes later, Homeland Security

electronically notified the airlines to check the no-fly list for an


At 4:30 Monday afternoon, more information about Shahzad was added to

the no-fly list, including his passport number.  At 6:30, Shahzad called

the airlines and booked his flight.  At 7:35, he bought his ticket in cash,

about 800 bucks, at the airport and got his boarding pass.

Why did it take six hours for the Emirates airline do absolutely

nothing, and to let this guy buy a ticket as if he was Joe Blow?


lot for the opportunity to be with you today.  Here‘s the deal, is that in

the first instance, we obviously have a system with redundancies built in. 

We‘re not going to rely on airline—the airlines or even foreign airline

carriers to ensure that they make the right decisions.

So a point of fact is, the heroes over at Customs and Border Patrol

and at many of the agencies and offices that are watching our watch list

identified a problem here, and they found the person and stopped him from

getting away.  That‘s an important bit of business.

But by the same token, when we have an effort like this, Chris, we

identify something that can be improved, we‘re going to go improve it.  So

overnight, TSA has worked on honing these watch-listing procedures.  And

now, as a result of that, we have a much more fast requirement for people

to review and update their watch list consistent with ours as we give

additional information.

So in the first instance, we had a great bit of effort by Customs and

Border Patrol.  We‘re very proud of them for that.  And in the second

instance, we‘re updating the situation and the system to ensure it doesn‘t

happen again.

MATTHEWS:  But you understand my question.  Everybody in New York—

in fact, everybody in the world—knew that the New York authorities were

looking for this guy, that somebody had committed this crime, attempted

blowing up of Times Square, and everybody‘s looking for the guy.  And

here‘s an airline out issuing a ticket to a guy heading to Islamabad with

cash, day of—day of purchase, and never bothered to check the list, even

though they were notified six hours ahead to particularly check the list

for an update, and then were told a little bit later to check it again.

Isn‘t there any penalty for an airline to ignore the orders from the

authorities here?

MCDONOUGH:  You know, Chris, I‘m not going to get into penalties for

the airlines.  What I am going to get into is recognizing the good work of

the NYPD, 53 hours for them to identify and stop this guy...


MCDONOUGH:  ... the good work of the heroes—the good work of the

heroes at Customs and Border Patrol, who checked this name against a list,

updated with and most recent information and intelligence and stopped him. 

And now, having learned what we did in this instance, we‘re updating the

situation as it relates to our relationships with foreign carriers to

ensure that we‘re addressing and updating this information more

aggressively.  So the bottom...

MATTHEWS:  “The New York Times”—let me—let me just get a new

question here.  Thank you for this, being on the show, Denis.  But here it

is.  “The New York Times” reported that the man that bought Shahzad‘s condo

six years ago was interviewed by the national Joint Terrorism Task Force

just after that purchase.

Did the United States government know about this guy a long time ago,

that he was a problem, Shahzad?

MCDONOUGH:  I saw the same report in “The New York Times” this

morning, Chris.  Obviously, I think what you‘ve seen in this instance,

since this fire first started on Times Square on Saturday evening,

unbelievable cooperation among FBI, NYPD, intelligence services to make

sure that we brought this guy to justice.  I think that is the norm in this

instance, where when our guys get information, they act on it.

This report in “The New York Times,” I don‘t have anything to verify

that.  We‘ll obviously track that down.  But the bottom line here, Chris,

is this.  Fifty-three hours after this guy attempted this attack in Times

Square, he‘s brought to justice.  So that‘s a very positive development in

our view, and we‘re going to learn lessons from it, as we do from

everything we do around here.  But the bottom line is NYPD, FBI, intel



MCDONOUGH:  ... CBT (ph) and others did a good job here.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m impressed, as well.  Thank you.  But let me ask you

about Pakistan.  How did we get them to participate?  Within hours of

picking this up this guy in this country, Shahzad, Faisal Shahzad, we found

out that the Pakistanis are our allies, hopefully, in the fight against

terrorism, picked up either other people over there who were collaborating

with him.  How did we get them to do it?

MCDONOUGH:  Well, I‘m not going to get into that, Chris, but what I

will say is this.  We‘ve undertaken over the course of the last 16 months a

rigorous and comprehensive effort to explain to the Pakistanis that those

extremists that mean them harm also mean us harm.  So we want to work

together with them to ensure that we can bring these terrorists and

extremists to justice.

Nobody has suffered more at hands of these extremists than the

Pakistani people, dozens, hundreds, thousands of Pakistanis killed in

terrorist attacks by al Qaeda and their associates.  We recognize that they

mean as much danger to the Pakistanis as they do to us.  So we‘re going to

continue to deepen that cooperation.  We‘re going to make clear to them

that these enemies, which are their enemies, are our enemies, too.

MATTHEWS:  So it‘s 53 hours from the time this happened until the time

we picked the guy up, right?

MCDONOUGH:  That‘s correct.

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, Denis McDonough of the National

Security Council.

MCDONOUGH:  Appreciate it, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Well joining us now is Roger Cressey, an NBC News terrorism

analyst.  Well, that was Denis McDonough, who certainly knows how to stay

on message.  He told us one thing, which is, basically, they did a good

job, and that‘s fair enough.

But let‘s get some more information here.  How did they know about

this guy?  Apparently, six years ago, they were looking into this guy,

checking on a purchase of his condo by somebody else, so they were watching


ROGER CRESSEY, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST:  Well, the problem was, they did

not have any other corroborating information to identify him as a threat. 

What has to be determined is, was information on Shahzad put into the

terrorism databases?  And was there any other...


CRESSEY:  ... corroborating information that they missed?

MATTHEWS:  We can put things together.  They went to the trouble of

checking him out on making a condo sale but didn‘t notice he went over

there, for what, five months to get some training in terrorism?

CRESSEY:  Well, they know he went to Pakistan, but they didn‘t know he

was going to Waziristan.

MATTHEWS:  How about connecting two dots?

CRESSEY:  Well...


MATTHEWS:  ... checking him out before, and then they saw he went for

terrorist training.

CRESSEY:  So the question is...

MATTHEWS:  One dot would be enough, I think.

CRESSEY:  Well, sometimes that‘s true.  The question is, did the FBI

know that there was a linkage to known organizations over there?  Was he

just visiting his family?

MATTHEWS:  Look, nobody likes the...

CRESSEY:  That‘s the problem.

MATTHEWS:  Most people—there‘s a guy on the show later on, a

politician, who likes profiling.  Nobody likes profiling per se.

CRESSEY:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  You look at a guy, he‘s got a beard, he‘s got dark

complexion, a certain accent.  That‘s rotten, anti-American behavior.

CRESSEY:  You bet.

MATTHEWS:  But checking out a guy who‘s going—who‘s been

naturalized but is heading back over there for a period of months, who is

obviously a little suspicious in the beginning, you would think they would

do a better job on a guy like this.

CRESSEY:  I think as long as they believed he was going to visit

family and he had no known connections to any of the bad guys over there...


CRESSEY:  ... they had nothing to go on.

MATTHEWS:  So we had nothing before he went over?

CRESSEY:  I think that‘s the problem.  Had we had information that

there was a Pakistani Taliban...


CRESSEY:  ... or other organization...

MATTHEWS:  Here‘s a question for you.

CRESSEY:  ... we‘d have been there.

MATTHEWS:  If we had knew so little, how come with the—our allies

over there were able to pick up eight guys within a few hours over in

Pakistan after we made the first arrest?

CRESSEY:  Telephone tree.  Once we were able to identify Shahzad‘s

phone and the number that he used, and then the numbers that he called over

there, they quickly were able to corroborate and put them together.

MATTHEWS:  You mean his speed dial is what picked up all these guys,

or what?

CRESSEY:  His speed dial, yes, a big part of it.  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask you about recruitment.  I said this the

other night.  Somebody misinterpreted me because it often happens here. 

I‘m an American.  You‘re an American.  We take great pride in this country

not because we have a common language or we‘re from the same ethnic

background or anything, because we‘re not, but because we have a belief in

this country and what it stands for.

So when somebody naturalizes and becomes an American, we go, Wow, you

want to join us?  It‘s like a convert.  Welcome!  You‘re doing everything

right, OK?  We find out that this guy, you know, Faisal Shahzad,

naturalized, became an American, went through all the final papers and

everything, and then became a radical enemy of the United States.  That is

disheartening to me.

CRESSEY:  Oh, absolutely.  Absolutely.  And the question still is,

What radicalized him, and when was he radicalized?  Did something happen in

Pakistan when he was over there that he said, I can‘t believe the United

States is doing, this I‘m now an enemy of the United States?

MATTHEWS:  Is he willing to buy all of that—excuse me—crapola,

that we heard, that...

CRESSEY:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... actually, we‘re going to hear later in the show about

how to be a member of the Taliban, you have to believe the Jews blew up the

World Trade Center, that everything was all—you know, was a trick to get

into war against Islam, that we really want to crackdown on Islam and

Islamic countries?  Most Americans don‘t give three seconds‘ thought to

Islamic countries, let alone wanting to crack down or get rid of Islam


CRESSEY:  Well, and the other point here is that Shahzad was an

educated man.  He had his university degree...


CRESSEY:  ... computer science, engineering.  He wasn‘t part of this

population that‘s susceptible to radicalizing because he was uneducated.

MATTHEWS:  And also total...

CRESSEY:  Something drove him.

MATTHEWS:  ... 180 belief from what we consider common sense...

CRESSEY:  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  ... which is the United States has a Middle East problem. 

We wish we didn‘t have a Middle East, to be honest about it!  We don‘t want

to deal with them.  I mean, not (INAUDIBLE) get rid of them, we just wish

it wasn‘t our problem, let alone thinking about how we‘re going to de-

Islamize them.

CRESSEY:  So you have a population in the United States that—some

of that population is angry at U.S. policy.


CRESSEY:  That doesn‘t make them activists against the United States

government.  So we got to find out...

MATTHEWS:  What do you think was the recruitment basis for this guy? 

What got him aboard?

CRESSEY:  If I had to guess, it was something happened while he was in

Pakistan or happened to his family in Pakistan.  The other possibility is

his economic situation in the United States got so bad, he became

desperate, despair, became susceptible, and you know, went over there, and

boom, they got him.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Well, let‘s talk about the pattern now.  What do we

know about recruitment efforts of naturalized or English-speaking people

with perhaps Islamic backgrounds who might be susceptible to alienation?

CRESSEY:  So despite Shahzad‘s incompetence, he is the gold standard

for al Qaeda and its affiliates—naturalized American, clean passport,

can get into the United States, doesn‘t appear on anybody‘s database for

terrorism.  So he is ideal for what they would love...

MATTHEWS:  Would they rather have someone like him than some blond

from Denmark, you know, like the John LeCarre novel, where you have

somebody recruited from00 some lefty from northern Europe that plays ball

with the Palestinians in the old days?

CRESSEY:  Oh, no.  Ideally, they want a Western European Caucasian



CRESSEY:  ... they...

MATTHEWS:  That would be—that would be better than gold standard.

CRESSEY:  That‘s ideal.  And there was a concern a couple years ago

that al Qaeda was training in Waziristan in the fatah (ph) with Western

Europeans or Caucasians.  We could never prove it, but that‘s what the

concern was...

MATTHEWS:  Are there any examples of them recruiting people like that,

like in a novel, where they actually find people, northern Europeans who

are lefties or whatever, have that sort of a—I shouldn‘t even say lefty

in an American sense, but in a northern European sense, like, you know, Red

Guard or something like that, where they—Red Brigades, where they really

are so far over left that they identify with all the zealots in the Middle


CRESSEY:  What they‘re looking for are Muslim converts.


CRESSEY:  So maybe Christians before, Western Europeans, Caucasians,

convert to Islam...

MATTHEWS:  I hear you.

CRESSEY:  ... then go to Pakistan and other places and then become

radicalized.  Those are even more ideal than what we‘ve seen before.

MATTHEWS:  How you can believe the West is evil, if you‘re from the


CRESSEY:  Because if you have specific grievances, you want simple

solutions.  And there‘s no simpler solution that the United States and the

West is a source of all of that ails us.

MATTHEWS:  Do you have a sense, by the way, that the Taliban‘s the

Taliban‘s the Taliban, it‘s all connected, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the

Taliban in Pakistan?

CRESSEY:  Well, this is important.  The Taliban is not a homogeneous

entity, all right?  There are multiple tribes.  Afghan Taliban have their

own objectives.  Pakistan Taliban have different objectives.  They work

together, though.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  So in effect...

CRESSEY:  That‘s the important thing.

MATTHEWS:  ... they‘re allies.

CRESSEY:  They‘re definitely allies.  They‘re allies of convenience

and they‘re allies for operational purposes.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Roger Cressey—as I say before, when you‘re around,

it makes me disturbed because it means that the issue‘s hot.  But it‘s good

to have you.

Coming up: How much of a threat is the Taliban over in Pakistan, where

this guy was working with?  We‘re going to talk to “New York Times”

reporter David Rohde, who was held by the Taliban for five months over

there before escaping.  So he knows all about the situation that this guy,

Shahzad, was in over there when he was getting training.  He was there

himself and escaped.

But in one minute, results from last night‘s primaries in Indiana,

Ohio and North Carolina.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Well, the establishment candidates fared pretty well in

last night‘s primaries.  In Indiana, former senator Dan Coats won a five-

man Republican primary and will face Congressman Brad Ellsworth for the

U.S. Senate seat of retiring senator Evan Bayh.

In Ohio, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher beat Secretary of State

Jennifer Brunner.  Fisher will face former Republican congressman Bob

Portman for that Senate seat of the retiring George Voinovich.

And in North Carolina, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and former

state senator Cal Cunningham are headed for a run-off next month.  They‘re

going to face Senator Richard Burr in November.

HARDBALL back in a minute.


MATTHEWS:  Back to HARDBALL.  So what does the attempted Times Square

bomber story tell us about the larger fight against terrorism in

Afghanistan and in Pakistan?  And what more can the U.S. do to stop it?

David Rohde is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered

Afghanistan and Pakistan for “The New York Times” from 2001 to 2008.  He

was working on a book in 2008 when he was captured and held prisoner by the

Taliban for seven months.  He escaped in June 2009, and now he‘s finishing

his book.

David, thank you so much for joining us.


MATTHEWS:  Give us a picture of Waziristan, the place where you were

held, and to what extent can you tell us the place in which Faisal Shahzad

was trained?

ROHDE:  It is—Waziristan, where I was held, is the same place he

was trained, and it‘s essentially a Taliban mini-state.  The regime that

the U.S. felt had toppled in 2001 in Afghanistan has simply moved a few

hundred miles to the east and is based in Waziristan today.  It‘s a Taliban

government.  There are Taliban police, Taliban-run schools, Taliban-run

work crews.  It‘s literally their own state.

My guards were trained by foreign militants in how to make roadside

bombs that would kill American soldiers.  And foreign militants were also

brainwashing young Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to carry out suicide


MATTHEWS:  What you can tell us about the recruitment of people like

Shavad—Shahzad, rather, in terms of people who are in the United States,

naturalized, and brought over there, recruited and then sent back to mature

(ph)?  What can you tell us from your experience?

ROHDE:  It‘s hard for me to say about the specific recruiting.  But my

guards and the commanders who held me, the Taliban, were very eager to

carry out attacks inside the United States.  They told me that they had met

some people in Waziristan who spoke English, like Americans, like I did,

but I never met anybody by that description.  But there‘s no question that

the people in North Waziristan—again, it‘s this mix of Afghan Taliban,

Pakistani Taliban and foreigners—you know, want to carry out attacks

inside the United States.  That‘s what they told me over and over again.

MATTHEWS:  There‘s a lot of notion out there—maybe we have

perpetrated it here because we keep hearing it—that the Taliban that‘s

in Afghanistan is different than the Taliban that‘s in Pakistan.  Your view

of that, having experienced captivity by the Taliban in Pakistan?

ROHDE:  The real—there are, I would say, some Taliban in southern

Afghanistan—and those are the ones that President Karzai‘s trying to

negotiate with—that potentially could be dealt with in a political

settlement.  But the biggest problem again is Waziristan.  The Afghan

Taliban based in Waziristan are no different than the Pakistani Taliban. 

They all work together. They worked seamlessly during my captivity. 

It‘s a—it‘s a generation of young Afghans and Pakistanis that have

sort of grown up among Arabs and Uzbeks in that area.  And they really

believe they‘re part of a broader jihad. 

And what‘s amazing is that the Pakistani army was asked in January by

Defense Secretary Gates to move into North Waziristan and eliminate this

Taliban mini-state, but the Pakistani army has refused to do so since then. 

MATTHEWS:  What‘s your gut sense, having had this experience?  I know

you‘re writing the book now.  But if you could share with us your—your -

sort of the gut feeling of having been their prisoner. 

Are they evil?  Are they very extremist?  Where you would put them in

terms of just people that you have experienced in life? 

ROHDE:  They—they live in this sort of alternate reality.  And

there‘s young boys who really don‘t know anything about the world beyond

Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

They believe that they‘re fighting an effort by the U.S. to—to

forcibly convert Muslims to Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  They think

the U.S. is just out to eliminate Islam as a religion and occupy Muslim

countries.  They don‘t believe that 9/11 was carried out by al Qaeda.  They

think it was a secret American plot create a pretense to invade Muslim


And, again, the key thing is that they‘re able to run these schools

there.  They‘re able to indoctrinate their young fighters.  And the key

issue is, when will the Pakistani army move into this area and eliminate

this safe haven they have? 

The 2005 London subway bombings were planned and carried out from

there, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the recent case of Mr. Zazi,

the American Afghan who was arrested for plotting an attack in New York,

and now it appears that the Times Square bombing—all of these cases are

linked back to Waziristan. 

MATTHEWS:  But would the—the person who‘s been arrested now at the

airport, Shahzad, Faisal Shahzad, would he believe—would they believe—

would he believe in the fact that the United States government had faked

9/11, et cetera, et cetera? 

ROHDE:  Oh, absolutely.  I mean, that‘s widely believed in many

countries, unfortunately.  But it‘s—it‘s particularly believed in the

tribal areas. 

And my guards endlessly watched Taliban videos that portrayed

themselves as the victims of this vast international conspiracy led by the

United States, the United Nations, Israel, India, all designed to subjugate

Muslims across the world.

And they really believe it.  And them having this free territory that

they control is just, you know, a very dangerous thing.  And the Times

Square scare—excuse me—the Times Square case seems to show that it‘s

now a direct threat to the United States as well. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, I guess you didn‘t—you didn‘t—you didn‘t have

any effort as a prisoner to argue with people, did you, when you were over

there?  Did you ever try a logical argument with them?  Or that was


ROHDE:  I did.  I actually talked to them about, could there be some

compromise in Afghanistan, where they could have strict religious law in

some parts of the country and not in others?  And they said, no, they

couldn‘t compromise.

These very hard-line Afghan Taliban based out of the tribal areas,

they‘re part of a group called the Haqqani Network.  They refused to

compromise.  They said it was their religious duty to enforce hard-line

Sharia across Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban I met said it was their duty to enforce hard-

line Sharia across Pakistan.  They told me that the people, the average

Pakistani and Afghans living in Kabul and in Islamabad were no longer

Muslims because they lived under those governments. 


ROHDE:  They—they—I was surprised by the extremism. 

MATTHEWS:  So, it isn‘t a case of people just being unhappy misfits,

if you will, in the United States, like some people are anywhere, I

suppose, and are looking for ways to sort of justify their alienation and

joining in some fringe, crazy—we would think crazy—zealous group over


You believe there‘s a real difference in world view, and it‘s just

fundamentally different; they look at the world as, us over here against

them, seeking to crush their religion and their culture, using even extreme

means like blowing up 3,000 people in New York; in other words, it‘s an

absolutely stark, 180 difference; it isn‘t a matter of just finding some

people who are Islamic who are upset about life in the United States and

recruiting them?  They have to share that point of view to join them?

ROHDE:  Yes, that‘s true. 

And, again, because they have...

MATTHEWS:  I‘m asking you.  These are questions.  I am sorry.  I

didn‘t phrase it correctly with the right question mark at the end. 


MATTHEWS:  I‘m asking you.  You say, basically, that we‘re dealing

with people who look at the world totally crazy, from our point of view,

and there‘s no arguing with them; it‘s not about people being unhappy and

joining them; it‘s about people accepting a totally 180 different view the

world than we have here?

ROHDE:  I—well, I would say it‘s a 180-degree different view than

most Muslims have. 

Most moderate Muslims do not support these people.  And—and they

disagree with their sort of extreme interpretation of Islam.  So, they have

a 180-degree, you know, different view the world than most Pakistanis and

most Afghans.

But when they have, again, this area that they can control where they

can indoctrinate people and spread—it‘s really an ideology, you know,

that‘s where they‘re going to be so powerful.  There were Arabs in that

area.  I mean, and there were rumors that—and who knows, but this is an

area where Osama bin Laden could be hiding. 

MATTHEWS:  Anything we can do to beat them, except kill them? 

ROHDE:  Well, I think the key thing, again, is that the Pakistani army

is the long-term solution in the tribal areas.  The drone strikes are

effective.  They are knocking out leaders of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

But the long-term issue is getting the Pakistani army in there.  The

United States has given more than $10 billion in aid to Pakistan since

2001.  And the surprise is that the Pakistani army fails to go into this

one area.  They have moved into other areas.  They have lost 2,000

soldiers, and it‘s important to recognize the sacrifices that the

Pakistanis have already made.


ROHDE:  But they really need to get into North Waziristan.  This is

the last holdout of—of the hard-line extremists. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, David, good luck with the book.  We can‘t wait to

read it.  We will have you back when it‘s done.

ROHDE:  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  David Rohde, thank you. 

He was captured by the Taliban in Pakistan and has lived to tell the


Up next:  A Republican candidate for Congress runs a campaign ad

actually calling—well, he‘s doing it—he‘s calling for racial

profiling.  Wait until you see it.  It‘s going to be in the “Sideshow.” 

And we want to welcome, by the way, our viewers in South Africa on


You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  


MATTHEWS:  Back to HARDBALL.  Now for the “Sideshow.” 

First: the hot political ad that basically makes the case for racial

profiling.  It comes from Dan Fanelli, one of several Republicans seeking

to challenge Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson down in Florida.

Here‘s Fanelli‘s ad as it ran on a FOX affiliate last weekend. 



a terrorist, or this?  It‘s time to stop this political correctness and the

invasion of our privacy. 

Let‘s face it.  If a good-looking, ripped guy without much hair was

flying airplanes into the Twin Tower, I would have no problem being pulled

out of line at the airport. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, I think the problem here is obvious.  Do we really

want to have a TSA person making ethnic judgments on who gets in the slow


Next:  Sarah Palin‘s potential 2012 bid got an early endorsement this

morning from a source very close to the candidate, Bristol Palin.  Here‘s

Bristol on “The View” talking about her mother. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Would you like to see her get back out on the

campaign trail and run again? 

BRISTOL PALIN, DAUGHTER OF SARAH PALIN:  I would love to see that,



And would you go along with her? 

PALIN:  Yes, I would. 



JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, “THE VIEW”:  How do you like it when Tina Fey does

an impression of your mother?  Do you like that?  Or does it offend you?

PALIN:  It‘s funny to a point, but the accent, it‘s—it‘s not real

at all. 



PALIN:  No.  It‘s not the way it is.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, “THE VIEW”:  Would you like your mom to be


PALIN:  I would.  I think it would be awesome. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, there‘s a lot of running room, I think, between

having the East Coast cultural elite run the country and having Sarah Palin

do it. 

Anyway, speaking of the late, great presidential campaign, remember

Joe the plumber?  Well, you might want to call him Joe the politician now. 

In yesterday‘s election, Samuel Wurzelbacher—that‘s his name—won his

precinct‘s seat on the Ohio Republican Central Party Committee.  The group

is responsible for selecting the county chairman and setting the local


Time now for the “Big Number.”

Catch this.  Since 2003, there‘s not been a single black member of the

United States Congress—not a Republican one.  Well, that could change

soon.  “The New York Times” reports today that a new wave of African-

Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans.  How many?  At

least 32. 

The surge is due to dissatisfaction with the Obama White House, it

said, coupled with a belief that black Americans can win these big

elections, as evidenced by President Obama. 

Thirty-two black Republicans running for Congress this year—

tonight‘s very “Big Number.” 

Up next: holding BP accountable for that massive oil spill which keeps

getting masser down in the Gulf.  U.S. Congressman Ed Markey joins us next. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  



“Market Wrap.”

Stocks sliding again today, as investors remain skittish about

European debt—the Dow Jones industrials falling almost 60 points, the

S&P 500 slipping more than seven, and the Nasdaq tumbling almost 22 points. 

Today, it was Portugal‘s turn in the debt crisis spotlight.  Moody‘s

put their debt rating on review for a possible downgrade by one or even two

notches—one analyst telling CNBC that the crisis could lead to the

complete collapse of the euro. 

A big media bonanza on the earnings front, News Corp blowing past

expectations in large part due to the success of “Avatar,” Time Warner

beating estimates as well on a rebound in ad revenue and strong DVD sales. 

CBS reporting after the closing bell, beating on revenue.  Earnings

were in line with expectations. 

But Viacom missing its revenue target on a slow season for Paramount

releases and a slump in DVD sales. 

That‘s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide—now back to


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

Today, the latest effort to stop the oil spill in the Gulf begins with

a dome-like contraption making its way to the site.  Has BP done enough? 

U.S. Ed Markey met with executives of the oil industry yesterday. 

Congressman Markey, what do you make of BP‘s—in terms of their

discipline, their backup systems, their training, their safety approach? 

Generally, did they take the full responsibility before this happened to

make sure it didn‘t happen, even if it did? 


I think that they were operating under an assumption that an accident

could not happen. 

When I had executives before our committee yesterday, they made it

clear to us that they never thought the rig could ever sink.  When they

were making an application to drill in this location, they said that the

total amount of any spill would only be 5,000 barrels in any eventuality. 

We‘re now seeing 5,000 barrels per day.

And so it‘s clear that BP never anticipated that a worst-case scenario

could, in fact, be created.  And that kind of boosterism leads to

complacency.  And complacency leads to disaster.  And that‘s what we see. 

Now BP is taking steps to limit the damage, but a lot of this could

had been avoided if they had put in place proper safety measures right from

the get-go, defense in depth, one system after another, that could have

avoided this ever occurring in the first place. 

MATTHEWS:  In the last administration, which put in place apparently a

lot of these people that are regulators, these headless nails that are in

there supposedly regulating the oil industry, had a role—they got in

there because Cheney was in there with his secret task force.  They met at

the White House.  We never found out who in the industry was involved. 

To what extent is the current regulatory regime that governs people

like BP in place because of the previous administration, which was run by

Cheney, based upon the Halliburton lifestyle that he came from? 

MARKEY:  Well, the Clinton administration recommended, for example,

that an acoustical trigger that would have made it possible to shut down

the well by remote control, be installed as an essential piece of


But when the Bush/Cheney administration took over, they made a

determination that it was too costly to build in that extra safety

precaution.  And, again, when there is an assumption that an accident

cannot occur, $500,000, which is what that acoustical trigger would have

cost, seems very expensive.

But when 5,000 barrels per day are spilling out into the Gulf,

destroying people‘s livelihoods, it doesn‘t seem that costly at all.  And

so that was the ethos that existed inside the Bush/Cheney era.  And I‘m

afraid we‘re now living with the consequences of those assumptions. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me talk to you about what‘s happening today.  We‘re

getting reports that BP‘s out there hiring en masse, basically, all kinds

of shrimp—shrimp boat operators, fishers, fisherman, and people like

that, hiring them a—sort of a per diem basis right now, and getting them

to sign off any possible suit against the company. 

In other words what looks like a labor pickup, they‘re hiring people -

they‘re basically going around the Gulf hiring people and getting them to

sign letters that says, “I won‘t sue because of my loss of business.”

Do you have any sense that‘s going on? 

MARKEY:  Well, you know, these people are all victims.  They could

lose their livelihoods.  Their income for this year could just be

destroyed.  And they‘re being asked to then sign waivers.  The victims are. 


MARKEY:  Instead of BP saying, look it, we made six billion dollars in

the first three months of this year; there is no price that we are not

willing to pay in order to ensure that these people are made whole.  We

have the money.  We have a moral obligation.  Instead, by asking them to

sign waivers, legal liability waivers, it just says that they still don‘t

get it.  They have a responsibility.  They said an accident could not


They should just basically make a commitment that there is—money is

no object.  We will take care of these people because they‘re desperate. 

Too many people are too desperate right now.  They will sign anything if

they have to.  They should never be forced to make that kind of a choice. 

MATTHEWS:  What would you recommend to President Obama right now, in

terms of offshore drilling?  Would you say cool it in terms of your shift

toward allowing that as part of a compromise? 

MARKEY:  I would say that we need to have a comprehensive review of

what went wrong, as we did after Three-mile Island, when President Jimmy

Carter created the Kennemy (ph) Commission, the president of Dartmouth, to

do a complete evaluation, so that, going forward, there would be a whole

set of safety procedures that would minimize the likelihood that there

would ever be a recurrence. 

I think we will have to do the same thing, with a blue-ribbon panel. 

But I think that if you looked down at the Gulf, it‘s likely that there

will continue to be drilling, but we have an obligation to make sure that

we do so in a way that does not endanger people‘s lives or their

livelihoods, and that innocent victims not been created, which is I think

what is going to happen if—if our prayers are not answered over in

Florida, and in other parts of this country. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, U.S. Congressman Ed Markey of


Up next, from the oil spill in the Gulf to the failed—or actually

Times Square car bomb, the blame Obama First Crowd is desperately looking

for ways to blame the president.  How far will they go?  By the way,

they‘re pretty desperate.  They‘re blaming him, saying he‘s out to get the

coal industry by blowing up oil rigs.  I mean what they‘re claiming is


But in one minute, is President Obama finally enjoying a bump in the

polls over health care?  New numbers in 60 seconds.  This is HARDBALL, only



MATTHEWS:  President Obama could finally be seeing a bump in the polls

after health care reform in a new “New York Times” poll with CBS, the

president‘s approval rating among independents is up to 48 percent, with 39

percent disapproving him.  That‘s a nine-point swing from February, before

health care reform was passed.  So he‘s going up a bit in the middle. 

And on the specific issue of health care, President Obama‘s approval

among independents is up to 40 percent, with 45 percent disapproving, a big

improvement over February, when he was way down at 31 percent approval. 

We‘ll be right back.


MATTHEWS:  We‘re back.  Why are some far right wingers ready to say

just about anything to undermine this president‘s credibility or leadership

generally?  Here‘s Former FEMA Director Michael Brown last night on

HARDBALL.  Here‘s an encore.  Let‘s listen. 


MATTHEWS:  You‘re saying this, that the president delayed his reaction

to this disaster so that he could hurt the coal industry?  I‘m confused. 

MICHAEL BROWN, FMR. FEMA DIRECTOR:  No, no, no, no, no.  Hang on.  He

said in 2008 that he wants a cap and trade bill that is so onerous that

carbon-based industries, like the coal industry, if they try to do anything

new, they will go bankrupt.  The president is very anti-carbon energy.  I

understand that.  I get it.  I just disagree with it. 

I think in this case, he saw an opportunity to say, look how bad oil

and gas drilling is. 

MATTHEWS:  But don‘t you know that what you‘re saying, to a third

party, not somebody like myself or somebody like yourself, listening to

you, thinks that you‘re sounding insane? 


MATTHEWS:  Well, of course, Michael Brown was made famous by the

incompetence of the Bush administration during Hurricane Katrina.  Is that

exactly what grinds the gears of these guys, why they‘re hitting Barack

Obama so much in this particular incident?  Can‘t they stand a president

who seems to be able to handle an environmental crisis, a terror threat and

a broken economy, all at once.  Is his confidence driving them crazy? 

Well, that‘s food for thought.  David Corn is the Washington bureau

chief for “Mother Jones” and a columnist for “Politics Daily.”  Pat

Buchanan is an MSNBC political analyst.

Patrick, I was ready to hear about precious bodily fluids at some

point.  I was wondering what Michael Brown was getting to, coal.  Some

strategy against coal is leading the president to fake an urgency about the

oil drill when, in fact, he was out there secretly slow-walking this thing. 

These are complicated conspiracy theories. 


with Brownie on that one. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you agree with him on? 

BUCHANAN:  His Oil Spill Response Plan, Janet Napolitano delayed a

full week before implementing something like that.  I think she‘s got real

problems.  “The New York Times” is after him on that.  But, look, you had

Congressman Markey on here, where they‘re listening.  We hear Bush/Cheney

did this.  Bush/Cheney did this.  He tried to dump it if the lap of


What you get in this politics—

MATTHEWS:  We have information that, in fact, these regulators were

put in office by—Bobby Kennedy Jr. has information on that. 

BUCHANAN:  You‘re doing the same thing, Chris, that Brownie and Rush

are doing, which is let‘s get it into politics, let‘s blame X, Y and Z. 

Look, Obama had nothing to do. 


DAVID CORN, “MOTHER JONES”:  Listen, there is such a thing as

assigning real responsibility when things go on, not fake conspiratorial

responsibility.  In fact, Barack Obama has gotten you know what from

environmentalists for being too supporter of coal when he was a senator

from Illinois.  But Bush/Cheney, during those years, what is it, the

Mineral Management Service at the Department of Interior, where they were

having sex with oil industry lobbyist and not charging them for—and

saying that‘s OK, BP, you don‘t need to have—

MATTHEWS:  I think, by the way—


MATTHEWS:  Fairly originated on the right.  Here‘s Michael Brown

again, the inimitable one, making his comments on Fox, hauling coal to New

Castle, I think it is called. 


BROWN:  Only now is the president appearing to be engaged, and I think

the delay was this: it‘s pure politics.  You know, they don‘t say these

things without it being coordinated.  And so now you‘re looking at this oil

slick approaching the Louisiana shore.  According to certain—NOAA and

others places, if the winds are right, it will go up the east coast.  This

is exactly what they want, because now he can pander to the

environmentalists and say, I‘m going to shut it down because it‘s too



MATTHEWS:  Let me give you the line of thought I heard here last night

from Michael Brown, Pat.  I don‘t think you share it.  Barack Obama came

out for of offshore drilling not as a compromise, which we all thought he

was doing to get a climate bill through, which I think we all agree on, but

he did it as a fake, a head fake, because he knew or sensed that there

would come an opportunity where he would blame offshore drilling for an

environmental disaster and then he could say, see what happens when you go

with offshore drilling.  I think that‘s mindless.  It assumes a prophetic

ability on the part of the—a clairvoyance which is insane to believe on

the other side of the argument, I think. 

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t for a second believe that Barack Obama wants this

thing to go up the east coast of the United States.  I don‘t believe any

American can want it to hit the Gulf Coast. 

MATTHEWS:  Brownie does. 

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t believe anybody deliberately wants that to happen

to the human and natural ecology of one of the most important parts of this

country.  But I do think—Obama‘s not responsible for this, but there are

people who are responsible for the response.  And I do think Napolitano has

been slow here.  I think this about the White House: they do seem to be so

defensive.  Let‘s not look this way, let‘s not look that way, let‘s get

down there, should we go, shouldn‘t we go?  They don‘t act like executives,

like Ronald Reagan did in that air controller strike—


MATTHEWS:  Katrina was water coming towards New Orleans.  This is oil

coming from an oil well run by BP.  BP does have the first responsibility. 

CORN:  One big difference with Katrina was we knew it was coming.  And

the question was whether the chief executive at the time got, you know—

got Brownie and everybody else prepared for that.  He didn‘t.  He was

celebrating John McCain‘s birthday.  He was strumming guitars.  Cheney was

off on vacation.  They weren‘t prepared. 

MATTHEWS:  By the way, Ray Nagin didn‘t do a great job either. 

CORN:  No, but we‘re talking about federal response.  In this

instance, I think BP  -- one thing I fault the administration for is I

don‘t think they pushed BP hard enough, early enough on what was really

going on.  They took the initial estimates at face value.  Also, they‘re

not down there at the bottom of the ocean floor sampling themselves. 


MATTHEWS:  You want more regulation, right, Pat?  Let me get it

straight, you want more industry regulation? 

BUCHANAN:  You drill a hole in there that can put out 5,000 gallons a

day, yes, I want it regulated if it‘s off Ocean City or if it‘s off


CORN:  That‘s what Bush and Cheney didn‘t do, Pat.  You weren‘t with

us back then before the tragedy.  Now you‘re there afterwards. 

MATTHEWS:  I think this idea about big government being bad, at

certain times we really need government.  Do we trust industry to self-

regulate, period? 

BUCHANAN:  No, they don‘t. 

MATTHEWS:  You don‘t?  Interesting. 

BUCHANAN:  Look, up there, if we‘re going to guarantee billions in

deposits, then you got to have regulations on them.  Let‘s talk about

Arizona.  Look at the response there.  Whatever you say about what Arizona

did, they‘re trying to get people to show their federal cards, whether it‘s

a green card or a work visa.  What does the government do?  They pound

Arizona and say, we‘re going to get the Justice Department to watch you to

make sure there‘s no racial profiling. 

Where‘s the help for Arizona?  Why don‘t they say, we‘re coming in and

we‘re going to take it in.  You guys help us out, but we‘re taking this


MATTHEWS:  I‘m going to get to that in my final word tonight.  It‘s

closer to you than a lot of other people, I‘ll tell you.

Times Square, by the way—let‘s talk about former Governor Pataki on

MSNBC Tuesday.  Let‘s listen to former Governor Pataki. 


GEORGE PATAKI, FMR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK:  This is another case where

this administration, we are responding after something is attempted.  We

saw it with the Christmas day airplane bomber.  We saw it in Times Square. 

We were lucky in both cases.  Then we saw it in Ft. Hood, where we were not

so lucky, and 13 of our great, young heroes, who put their lives on the

line to defend us, were murdered.  I think this administration just has got

to change its approach. 


CORN:  Well, I remember something called 9/11.  I don‘t think Pataki

was out there bashing Bush and Cheney for not catching the 19 hijackers

before the fact.  This is really hard stuff.  One car, one guy, maybe

conspirators over in Waziristan.  We don‘t know for sure yet.  Look what

Timothy McVeigh did with just a handful of people. 

We‘ve caught a lot of this stuff.  They caught the guy in Denver,

Zazi, and they caught five guys in northern Virginia.  But it‘s really hard


MATTHEWS:  Do you think we should have caught this guy before he


BUCHANAN:  You‘re missing the point.  You can‘t prevent it.  I‘ll

agree with you.  Look at the response.  Let‘s Mirandize.  Let‘s make sure

his rights to remain silent.  We about to get the information—

MATTHEWS:  I think this guy‘s singing, by the way.  Anyway, thank you


BUCHANAN:  Why would you Mirandize him? 

MATTHEWS:  I think he‘s singing.  David Corn, Pat Buchanan. 

When we return, I‘m going to have some thoughts about stopping illegal

immigration the American way.  I‘m closer to Pat than some people are, but

I‘m not with Pat.  You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Let me finish tonight with a poll that tells a great deal

about American attitudes toward illegal immigration.  The poll taken by

“the New York Times” and CBS shows a majority of the country supports that

new law in Arizona that gives police officers the job of detaining illegal

immigrants.  Nine percent say they think the law should be even tougher,

should go further.  This fact that 60 percent, three in five, back a

measure at least as tough as Arizona constitutes powerful information. 

Given the strong media criticism, this 60 percent figure might be seen

as only a minimum estimate of true public opinion.  Think of how you would

respond if a pollster asked you what do you think of the controversial law

in Arizona? 

Here‘s more information from the poll: 89 percent, nine in 10

Americans, say that illegal immigration is a problem in the country; 65

percent, almost two thirds and growing, says it‘s a very serious problem. 

Three quarters say illegal immigration is bad for the economy, that it

weakens us. 

There it is loud and clear for all politicians to hear.  Americans

don‘t like illegal immigration.  Four out of five, they want the government

to take a strong action in dealing with it. 

Get this, the same people who are tough minded about stopping illegal

immigration want to give the people who have come here illegally a chance. 

Two thirds say they should be permitted to stay here either on a path to

citizenship and on the basis of being a visiting worker.  Message to

politicians seeking re-election this fall, get serious about immigration

reform, true reform that stops the flow of illegal immigrants, not by

police profiling, but by stopping illegal hiring.  Reform that gives hope

to an American future for those here illegally. 

So why‘s it so hard to do what‘s so plainly right, what the American

people, most of us, so plainly want done? 

That‘s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  See you tomorrow





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