'Up w/Chris Hayes' for Sunday, January 27th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
January 27, 2013
Guests: Phyllis Bennis, Horace Campbell, Irshad Manji, Nii Akuetteh, Robin Wright, Swanee Hunt, Josh Trevino, Vince Warren, Adam Serwer
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Four shootings and a stabbing left seven people dead yesterday in Chicago,
a city that led the nation in murders last year.
And President Obama in an interview with the relaunched "New Republic" said
about the dangers of head injuries in football, that if he had a son he
would, quote, "think long and hard before I let him play." Right now I am
joined by Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project, at
the Institute for Policy Studies, Horace Campbell, professor of African
Politics -- African-American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse
University, Irshad Manji, author of "Allah, Liberty and Love: the Courage
to Reconcile Faith and Freedom", and director of the Moral Courage project
at NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership and Action and Nii Akuetteh,
an independent Africa policy analyst and researcher and former executive
director of the Washington, D.C., based group "Africa Action." Good to
have you all here.
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appear before the Senate
Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday less than a month after being
hospitalized with a blood clot to testify about the U.S. consulate attack
at Benghazi. The September 11th attack last year killed U.S. ambassador
Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
was one of the few Republicans who asked sensible questions about U.S.
involvement in Libya and lapses in security at the consulate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R ), FLORIDA: Were you ever asked to participate in any
sort of internal or interagency meeting before this attack with regard to
the deteriorating security situation in Libya?
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: With specific security requests,
they didn`t come to me, I had no knowledge of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For the most part, though, Republicans seemed to obsess over the
comments of the U.S Ambassador to the U.N Susan Rice, over double talk and
alleged cover-up and whether Rice purposely downplayed the terrorist attack
connection and underscored ties to protests over an anti-Muslim film.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R ), WISCONSIN: We were misled that there were
supposedly protests, and then something sprang out of that, an assault
sprang out of that. And that was easily -- obtained that that was not the
CLINTON: But -- but no ...
JOHNSON: ... and the American people could have known that within days and
they didn`t know that.
CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans.
JOHNSON: I understand.
CLINTON: Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a
walk one night who decided they`d go kill some Americans? What difference
at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and
do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hillary Clinton was a strong advocate for the U.S. military
intervention that helped remove Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and it will
probably be seen as one of the defining moments of her tenure as secretary
of state. The question now facing Clinton successor, President Barack
Obama and the U.S. is whether our intervention in Libya has produced the
unintended consequence of empowering jihadists throughout North Africa and
how to manage that instability without producing more unintended
consequences in what is now a very heavily armed region in the world.
Militants in Algeria took hundreds of hostages last week and seized control
of the gas refinery, which led to the death of at least 80 people, while in
Mali, a land-locked country that borders Algeria to the south, French
forces have intervened to try to contain an insurgency of Islamist rebels.
Clinton warned the U.S, quote, "Cannot permit Mali to become a safe haven,"
but also noted the problem for policy makers is a regional one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Arab revolutions have
scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region
Instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who
look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw
just last week in Algeria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I also want to bring in Robin Wright, author of the "Islamists Are
Coming: Who They Really Are" and the joint fellow of the U.S. Institute of
Peace in the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Robin, good to have you.
Just jump in any time here, we`ll just pretend you`re sitting at the table.
I guess -- the first place I want to start in this, is there`s an
"Economist," very provocative "Economist" cover this week with a clutched
gun saying Afriganistan, right? That the idea of being it North Africa is
going to be the new Afghanistan. I want to start with the Libya moment
because it seems to me like that`s kind of a counter factual fork in the
road. And from the perspective of policy makers, the question is, how much
of this is the result of the NATO intervention. And as someone who`s
studied this region and I have to say I was reading your congressional
testimony about North Africa yesterday, it`s incredibly prophetic, you`ve
gone before Congress many times, how much do you see the intervention in
Libya as a kind of moment that pushed us toward these cascade of effects
we`re now seeing?
NII AKUETTEH, AFRICA POLICY ANALYST: I think it did push us entirely. The
question for me, though, is, was it intended, was it ignored? Because I
think where I differ with some people, we have to remember what happened
before the NATO intervention. We have to remember that the Arab League
requested intervention. We have to remember that Colonel Gadhafi was
threatening to hand down all the people in the streets. We also have to
remember that at that time the revolution had started in Tunisia and it had
jumped to Egypt and so it seemed to me that if you have a choice between
not allowing people to be mowed down in the streets, you do that. Now that
the link I see with other places is once you intervene, probably the
intervention is always easy, it is the aftermath
HAYES: Yeah, that`s what we learned.
AKUETTEH: And I think the question that I haven`t had a satisfactory
answer to is how is it that with all the worries over the weapons from
Colonel Gadhafi`s arsenal flowing out, no one saw all these fighters, at
least officially, we didn`t see the fighters, we didn`t know who they were
and they went all the way into Mali. When Mali shares no border with
HAYES: So, let`s walk through the causal connection here, right? I mean
there`s a few things here. There`s a lot of arms that flowed out in the
HAYES: So those arms have sort of gone out into North Africa. That`s part
of the problem.
HAYES: There`s a cadre of fighters that Colonel Gadhafi from the ethnic
group of Tuaregs, right, which he had hired ...
HAYES: As mercenaries, essentially, and when Gadhafi was being routed,
they fled out and then back into their kind of ancestral homeland, which is
in the north of Mali, right? So those are the two kind of causal links.
HAYES: I want to ask you, Robin, does the State Department -- does Hillary
Clinton and the Obama administration view the Libya intervention as a
success? And how much did they view that intervention as what has
precipitated the set of effects afterwards?
ROBIN WRIGHT, AUTHOR "THE ISLAMISTS ARE COMING": Militarily the
intervention by NATO in Libya was clearly judged widely as a success. It
forced Gadhafi out of power and it changed a state that had been among the
most draconian in its practices at all levels into something that opened up
hope for six and a half million people. The problem is the United States
has never been very good, whether it`s in Afghanistan or Iraq, in creating
an alternative and the bottom line is the United States basically walked
away along with many of its allies when it came to how do you create a new
state, how do you facilitate the diverse forces, whether it`s the tribal
elements, more than 300 militias that had formed during that brief eight-
month involvement, how do you stem the flow of weaponry, how do you create
It`s a little bit like if you saw Charlie Wilson`s "War," at the very end
of the movie when Charlie Wilson, the former congressman, turns and says, I
raised all this money, billions of dollars for arms to the opposition as
the Mujahiddeen to fight off the Soviets, but I couldn`t raise a couple of
million dollars for education. It`s the same kind of problem. We`re not
good at figuring out what alternatives are and as a result Libya
destabilized and a lot of the arms that went into Libya, a lot of the
forces that were militarized flowed not just into Mali and Algeria, but
across a huge chunk of northwest Africa. And as a result you see a huge
destabilization that`s affect, in turn, little Tunisia, which is in between
Algeria and Libya, it has affected Egypt. That there is this whole section
of Africa now that is very vulnerable to Jihadist extremists.
PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: You know, I think that`s
what important here is that while it may have been unintended that this
would empower a wide range of militarized forces, it`s not only, quote,
Jihadists, but it`s a lot of people with a lot of guns.
BENNIS: And it was not unanticipated. It was talked about widely. It was
anticipated that it would happen more inside Libya rather than over Libya`s
BENNIS: Through Algeria into Mali, but it certainly was anticipated that
this was exactly what was going to go on. By the time of the intervention,
we should not forget inside Libya, Libya was an ally of the United States.
BENNIS: Now, it wasn`t a great ally, we didn`t maybe, quote, like it but
it was an ally. He was on our side. Gadhafi had given up his nuclear
BENNIS: ... had given up everything that had made him a supposedly
resistance hero in parts of the world, and he was now allied with the U.S.,
with Italy, with the U.K., with France, with Europe. So this notion that
we somehow had to intervene, you know, there were threats, there is no
doubt about it, there were threats from Gadhafi against his population.
BENNIS: But the idea that there was going to be an attack that was both
inevitable and imminent in Benghazi simply was not the case.
HAYES: Well, I think -- I think it`s contested intensely now.
BENNIS: It`s contested.
HAYES: Right. But I don`t think ...
HAYES: Right, right, right, I mean -- and I mean, and I think one of the
reasons I think it`s important to kind of - I mean it may seem really why
are we relitigating Libyan intervention, but ...
BENNIS: Because of the impact.
HAYES: Well, because of the impact, a, and b, because the first time
around it never got litigated, right?
HAYES: I mean what happened was -- and what`s weird about the whole
Benghazi issue to me, is this is kind of weird, kind of, you know, it`s a
way of talking about the Libyan intervention now after the fact because we
have these deaths and we have this tragedy and we have this cascade of
effects, because we never talked about it the first time.
BENNIS: But we`re not talking about it now either, Chris.
HAYES: Right. We`re talking about it in this very -- in very remote and
BENNIS: We`re only talking about the ...
HAYES: ... terror in consulate, right.
BENNIS: ...the consulate issue and Chris Stevens, we`re not talking about
what was the policy in Libya that led to that.
IRSHAD MANJI, AUTHOR "ALLAH, LIBERTY AND LOVE": I don`t want to take
anybody away too long from Libya and North Africa ...
MANJI: ... that`s the focus of today`s -- this morning`s panel, but I
think all of what has been said this morning so far really helps explain,
at least in part, why the U.S government is so reticent to help Syrians.
HAYES: Yes, right.
MANJI: Because, as was pointed out during Kerry`s confirmation hearing for
secretary of state this past week, you know, when John McCain said are we
or are we not the friends of the Syrian people?
MANJI: It was Senator Kerry who pointed out that, you know, this is a
country not unlike many in the region that has so many dimensions to it,
not the least of which is what happens, you know, once the various
sectarian factions, Sunni, Shia, Druze, et cetera, you know, how do they
MANJI: What happens with the Kurds? Where are the arms going?
HAYES: Well, right...
MANJI: Where is the money going?
HAYES: And I think ...
MANJI: And in a way -- sorry, just to finish up the point, in a way this
is the kind of obliqueness that I think Phyllis is talking about is that
nobody is going to say, look at what has happened with Libya. They`re not
going to say that, obviously, but this is part of the lesson learning
mission that, you know, soon-to-be, I think, Secretary ...
MANJI: ... Kerry is on and needs to be on in order to figure out ...
HAYES: No, and I think ...
MANJI: ... how do we not be part of the problem anymore?
HAYES: And that`s absolutely right, I think, in terms of the
counterfactual right, it`s Libya we did intervene and Syria we are
intervening in the sense of we`re sending money and sort of helping other
people send weapons, so it`s not like we`re just sitting by. But in terms
of what happened in Libya, I think that has been the lesson learned to the
extent we can. Horace, my sense is that your feelings about the Libyan
intervention are different than these and I want to get your sense about
what the effects are right after we take a quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Let me underscore the importance of the United States continuing
to lead in the Middle East, in North Africa and around the world. We`ve
come a long way in the past four years and we cannot afford to retreat now.
When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are
consequences. Extremism takes root, our interests suffer, our security at
home is threatened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I thought that was such -- that`s Hillary Clinton testifying this
week and I thought that line was so important because it kind of distills
down, I think, the operational theory, right, in intervention here or
American leadership, which is when America is absent, especially from
unstable environments, there are consequences. Extremism takes root, our
interests suffer, security at home is threatened. And Horace, that seems
to me like a proposition that you don`t agree with and the Libya was a kind
of failed implementation of that view.
HORACE CAMPBELL, PROF., SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: First of all, Hillary Clinton
has a very short memory, so the kind of leadership she`s talking about, we
have to be very clear, what kind of leadership we want in Africa. The
people in Africa want peace. They want unity and they want reconstruction.
They do not want wars. And what happened in Libya is a sign of the kind of
militarism that we`ve seen all over Africa from the U.S. Africa Command.
50,000 Libyans have been killed out of this intervention. The whole region
of North Africa has been destabilized. There are 1700 militias running
around Libya today. The U.S. ambassador has been killed. The United
Nations is calling for a fuller review. What the United States need is to
have a review of its whole Africa Command and to withdraw its military
forces. There`s no need for the United States to be engaged with Africa
through the military. Africa needs dentists, students ...
CAMPBELL: They need engineers, they need teachers, they need doctors, not
the military. So what the leadership that Hillary Clinton is talking about
is not what Africa needs. What we`ve seen from the Pan Sahel Initiative,
the Trans-Sahara Initiative, and the U.S. training of these militarists are
the very same people who are creating the problems in North Africa.
HAYES: Let me just -- I think people may not know this, up until 2007
there was no distinct Central Africa Command in terms of the way that the
Pentagon cleaved the world, right? There is CentCom and there is European
Command. Beginning in 2007, there was initiation of AFRICOM, which is
African Command. It currently is stationed in Europe, not actually in
Africa. But then there have been a variety of initiatives through AFRICOM,
right, to train the soldiers of different African regimes, right, counter-
terrorism training, other kinds of training and in fact the soldiers of
Mali. Mali was one of the kind of star pupils in the AFRICOM.
CAMPBELL: And they`re the same people now we`re fighting.
HAYES: Right. So I want to turn to Mali in a second, but first I just
want to push back on this -- not push back, but to play devil`s advocate
about this intervention question on Libya, right, which is that when you
look at all the negative consequences of Libya, what do you say to air
shots point about Syria? Right? Because Syria -- everything that you could
say about Libya, Islamitization, weapons, destabilization, refugees,
everything that`s terrible about what has been the fallout of Libya seems
to me happening in Syria as well where there hasn`t been the same kind of
intervention, and so maybe it`s just the nature of the conflict as opposed
to what the U.S or the west does or doesn`t do.
CAMPBELL: No, that`s a co-approach. It`s not the nature of the conflict.
The very same Jihadists who were called terrorists in then 2000, like the
Libya Islamic fighting group ...
CAMPBELL: ... who were called terrorists, they were the same people who
were financed to overthrow the Gadhafi regime. So all of these
organizations that are now in Benghazi creating problems are the ones who
were being financed by the CIA to go to Syria. So the United States cannot
create terrorists and then go and fight them and to tell people that they
are creating stability in the world.
BENNIS: But, of course, that`s exactly what the U.S. does. This is what
the U.S did in Afghanistan, this is what we`re seeing there, where the U.S
supported and armed a whole group of Islamist fighters throughout the 1980s
to fight the Soviet Union and then suddenly now we`re back fighting them
directly. But I think if we look at Syria, it`s very important to take
what Irshad said to the next point, which is I think that this means there
should not be military intervention beyond -- I mean it`s already, there
is military intervention. Let`s not kid ourselves. The CIA is
orchestrating who gets the weapons, the U.S military is helping to
facilitate all of that, so we are intervening in Syria. That`s a ...
HAYES: There`s not military intervention explicitly from our forces.
BENNIS: Explicitly, yeah, but it`s getting closer to that.
BENNIS: But I think the problem here is we`re looking at a scenario where
we`re denying that the actual opposition in Syria began and still has a
crucial component, which is calling for nonviolent ...
BENNIS: ... political revolutionary processes. The -- the forces ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can call forces ...
BENNIS: No, no, but Chris, their voices are being drowned out by this
massive militarization that is going on ...
HAYES: But again, but the questions is the massive militarization, is that
-- is that the product of ....
BENNIS: It`s both.
HAYES: Right. Exactly.
BENNIS: It`s both.
HAYES: I`m just saying it`s not necessarily ...
BENNIS: There`s a part and there`s an external part and they come together
with -- in the form of weapons and that is what has drowned out these
voices that are still there. It`s incredible bravery ...
HAYES: I agree.
BENNIS: On the part of these people that are still coming out into the
cities of Syria in the midst of the bombing, in the midst of these attacks
BENNIS: ... to say we want a different kind of government here, but we
don`t want foreign intervention.
HAYES: Right. But what we have seen is that in the cauldron of war and in
the cauldron of violence, right, it is often the case that liberal,
secular, nonviolent, even radical sector non-violent voices are diminished
while the people with guns rise up.
BENNIS: And that`s something that`s facilitates by sending all these
weapons. That`s what happens. That the people who have the weapons
suddenly have the voice, and the people who (ph) those weapons ...
HAYES: I am just saying that -- I`m just saying that same process has
played out in a million of different environments which the U.S had nothing
to do with it.
BENNIS: Not in a million without the U.S.
BENNIS: In the history of the world -- no.
HAYES: I mean I`m just saying that this is a dynamic of armed conflict.
CAMPBELL: In the most recent history that has been the role of the United
States of America.
HAYES: Robin, Robin, let me ask you very quickly. Do you -- because I
want to turn to Mali, because that`s the place where the heat now is on
because we have an explicit western intervention ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HAYES: ... in 2300 French troops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HAYES: Do you think the State Department is -- what is their perspective
on the French intervention in Mali and what Hollande is doing there. Is
this worrying them? Is this worrying the Obama administration? Is there
support for this?
WRIGHT: Well, obviously the United States is providing refueling
facilities for the French warplanes so, yes, the United States is playing a
role already. I think there are no comfortable choices and that`s one of
the realities across the region today, whether it`s in Mali or Syria, in
post-revolution Egypt and Libya. The United States doesn`t have a grand
strategy. It`s looking at each case individually. The reality is that
with Islamists taking over northern Mali, which is larger than France, just
that part of it, this then creates a greater threat throughout the region
and unfortunately the outside world dithered for way too long in trying to
figure out a response and to the earlier point, the fact is the Africans
can`t do it themselves. There`s been talk for two decades about creating
an African rapid deployment force and they haven`t been able to bring it
together, provide training, cohesion, command and control and as a result
there is no local or regional alternative.
CAMPBELL: And that`s (inaudible)-- it`s opportunism. It`s opportunism on
the part of the France to go into Mali when there was a plan by the African
Union and the United Nations Security Council. The United Nations Security
Council resolution 2085 ...
CAMPBELL: ... did not mandate France to go in.
CAMPBELL: ... And with the history of France in Africa, Africans on the
whole are opposed to French intervention.
HAYES: Let me -- let me pause that for a second because Robin just
mentioned the people -- the world dithered ...
HAYES: ... And again, six months ago, eight months ago you were testifying
before Congress saying the situation in Mali is very bad, it`s very
unstable, the U.S. is playing a destabilizing role, and I want you to just
set up the parameters of what we`re discussing -- what we`re discussing
about Mali, because I think it`s confusing to a lot of folks right after we
take this break.
HAYES: All right, Nii, you -- you testified a number of times before
Congress about the situation in Mali before Mali was in the headlines.
HAYES: What is the back story to the French intervention?
HAYES: What is the lay of the land in Mali that has brought us to this
HAYES: It`s popularly said and I agree that Mali had four crises. It`s
descended into full crisis back in January of 2012 You have the Libyan
intervention that brought in the arms and, therefore, the civil war
restarted. So ...
HAYES: So there had been a civil war. It had kind of abated and it
started in the wake of -- restarted in the wake of Libya.
AKUETTEH: The fourth round. Because actually the first round was in 1962,
two years after Mali became independent. So you`ve got this (inaudible)
war restarting. Then three months after that, you`ve got the coup.
AKUETTEH: In U.S. (inaudible) in Bamako, by throwing the government that
had two months to go and was about to hold elections. So that`s the second
crisis. A democratic crisis.
HAYES: There is a democratically elected leader, he is two years from
ending his term ...
AKUETTEH: Two months.
HAYES: Two months, sorry, two months from ending his term. There`s a civil
war that has restarted. The military is sort of angry at the leadership
because they feel they`re not getting support in the civil war. They show
up at the presidential palace.
CAMPBELL: That`s right.
AKUETTEH: And that military ...
HAYES: And it was trained by the United States.
AKUETTEH: The military ...
CAMPBELL: The captain who overthrew the government was trained by the
United States ....
HAYES: Yes, through this AFRICOM ...
CAMPBELL: Six times he came to the United States, and then he went back
and had a coup d`etat.
AKUETTEH: That`s right. And that wasn`t the first time the U.S.-trained
soldier. I mean Gambia ...
AKUETTEH: ... has been brought (ph) in (ph) and nobody notices. The
president there was trained by the U.S. One month after he got back into
Gambia he made a coup.
HAYES: And so, and after this coup ...
HAYES: ... this U.S.-trained soldier who ...
AKUETTEH: ... in Mali.
HAYES: -- pulled it off in Mali, the U.S. unlike a lot of other
international bodies did not immediately condemn the coup.
AKUETTEH: Precisely. I think that is something that is missed, and I
think it`s very important, because when the coup happened, everybody, the
United Nations, the African Union, even the World Bank and the IMF were
condemning the coup. The State Department spokesperson after they had an
interagency meeting said we are not sure we can call it a coup. These
soldiers had grievances, they need to talk to them and now they have
changed their tune. But I think it`s very important to ask why they didn`t
condemn it as a coup. So we go to the third problem, of course, which now
gets State Department attention, which is the terrorist problem. The fact
that you`ve got four -- three Jihadist groups in the north, AQIM ...
HAYES: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Movement for Oneness in Jihad,
which I said is one of the most (inaudible) names I`ve ever heard in West
AKUETTEH: Yes. And Assa Addin (ph).
HAYES: Assa Adin (ph)
AKUETTEH: OK, these are Jihadist groups who have taken over control. Now,
they were aligned with the Tuaregs.
AKUETTEH: But once the Tuaregs won and they declared independence of
Azawad, what they call northern Mali, their allies shoved them aside and
said forget about your independence, we are here to implement ...
HAYES: Sharia law.
AKUETTEH: Sharia law. And the fourth -- and the fourth crisis of Mali is,
of course, humanitarian because it is the Sahara Desert. There are food
problems every year, so people are already moving out, looking for food and
water. So you`ve got those four, but I think the fifth thing that not --
should be added, and I don`t see it added enough is contagion. This -- if
this what`s happened on an island (ph) nation with still, you know, kind of
get out -- (inaudible), but not this much, but this has a great potential
of destabilizing all of West Africa.
MANJI: And much of Europe.
AKUETTEH: Yes. Absolutely.
MANJI: Much of Europe as a result of the proximity between the two.
HAYES: And let me just -- I mean, I want to hone in on this one crucial
dynamic, which is that there is essentially a civil war that was largely a
civil war about these ethnic division, in which an ethnic group, a distinct
ethnic identity, Tuaregs were fighting for, essentially, self
determination. They partnered with largely foreign fighters, who are
explicit Jihadists, right?
HAYES: Who once they got in the partnership, the Jihadists threw them
overboard and have taken over.
AKUETTEH: That`s right.
BENNIS: Except one of the three major Jihadi organizations, if we`re going
to use that term, and I think this is a troubling term in some ways, is a
Tuareg-based Islamist organization ...
BENNIS: So there is intersection ...
AKUETTEH: Oh, absolutely.
BENNIS: It`s not like there`s these bad Jihadists casting outside and good
Tuaregs over here.
BENNIS: There`s a lot of intersection.
HAYES: Right. Hold that thought, I want your response to this and talk
about how do -- what to do next, I mean how to move forward now that -- is
there an out for France? Is there an out for everyone in this?
BENNIS: Out is the key word, right.
HAYES: Yes. I think everyone wants an out after the break.
HAYES: So we have a current situation now, in which the French have
intervened, in fact, there`s news reports this morning that they have taken
a major strategic city that was held by -- I`m not sure of the right term,
the Islamists, let`s say that. So the question now is now what? I mean
this seems like the classic kind of quick sand intervention.
AKUETTEH: I think the U.S is in my mind preferable to the French. Horace
and I will agree that the French has a horrible record in Africa.
HAYES: Because they were the colonial rulers of this area.
AKUETTEH: Sure. There were other colonial French who were particularly
bad. Maybe the Portuguese would have rivaled them, but they had a bigger
area. So I`m uncomfortable with them.
AKUETTEH: But if the terrorists, Jihadists, whatever we want to call them
are going to take Bamako, I`m glad that somebody stopped them because it
gives me nightmares of what would have happened if they had gotten into
Bamako. I think that the U.S. influence, because the U.S. -- I mean look
at us, the U.S. has civil society traditions that will hold the
government`s feet to the fire whatever they are doing in Mali. I know ...
HAYES: You sound like John Bolton, dude.
AKUETTEH: No, no, no. I`m only saying ....
AKUETTEH: ... One more point.
AKUETTEH: I`m only saying comparatively I don`t see that in France, OK, if
you look at French policy, colonial and neocolonial policy, whichever side
of the aisle, everybody just says, oh, it`s Africa, let our government do
whatever it wants. But you have the anti-apartheid movement, you have ...
HAYES: Hold on one second.
AKUETTEH: -- that opposes what the U.S. is doing in Africa. So I would
prefer the U.S to France.
HAYES: Robin, Robin ...
AKUETTEH: The Africans.
HAYES: Robin, you wanted to jump in. Robin.
WRIGHT: I do. Whether it`s the United States or France, the reality is
that military force is not going to solve the problem alone. Bombing
attacks are not going to remove the Jihadists or the -- not address the
core issues that have divided Mali. And this is where you need a really
much longer term solution, and this is where the United States has talked
about smart power that`s not just defense and diplomacy, but it also
includes economic development. And that`s really the key in trying to deal
with the intense poverty and sense of need and desperation in this large
and strategically located African nation. I was in Bamako in the 1990s
during the first visit by a secretary of state and the great question was,
Mali as a model for Africa, could you have democracy endure in a country,
which doesn`t have much of a middle class, where poverty is so rampant and
doesn`t have a whole lot of outside aid to help it develop. And so the
great question is not just how many resources are devoted right now to get
rid of the Jihadists, extremists, marginalized, recapture the north, put in
-- allow for democratic elections to put back a representative government,
but what do you do, what does the outside world do to try to create a
viable state and stabilize -- create a model all over again in this region
now of deep instability?
BENNIS: The outside world can`t ever do that in my view. I don`t think
it`s ever succeeded. That has to come from inside. The kinds of
intervention that we`re seeing is solely aimed at the military part.
BENNIS: And what we`re already seeing is that French planes have killed
civilians in various cities.
CAMPBELL: All of the discussion have ignored the people of Mali. All of
the discussion about what to do ignore the fact that there`s a civil
society in Mali. That they are the Malian people who want peace and the
Malian people do not want the military.
MANJI: As Robin pointed out, the world has ignored already what Africans
wanted. Africans went to the United Nations Security Council for months
asking for a mandate to intervene. We all dithered. Now, frankly, given
the destruction and the sheer inhumanity, barbarity, really of Sharia law
that has taken hold in northern Mali, it is time for military intervention.
I strongly support the French, but I am very glad that the United States
did not take the role that the French have because, of course, the world
would be up in arms about that I think that now is the time for the United
States to seriously think through what kind of humanitarian assistance can
it give Mali since the French are doing the dirty work ...
MANJI: It`s time for the United States to get smart about soft power.
HAYES: Horace, I want you to have the last point here.
CAMPBELL: I think anyone who talks about France intervening in Africa to
help Africans do not have a sense of the history of the destruction and
killing and the torture that has been carried on by the French. This was
an opportunist move by France ...
MANJI: We`re talking about now. We`re talking about now.
CAMPBELL: -- by France to preempt work that was being done by ...
MANJI: violation of the Africans ...
CAMPBELL: Who wanted to go in? What we`ve seen in Somalia, that after all
the talk about Somalia, it was the African troops who cleaned up the
Somalia institution. In the final analysis it will be Africans on the
ground who will solve the problem.
HAYES: Horace Campbell, professor of African politics, African-American
studies and political science at Syracuse University and African policy
analyst Nii Akuetteh, thank you for joining us this morning. That was
fascinating. And I`m not -- there were so many different perspectives
there that I had not been anticipating. Rooting for an American
intervention over the French.
HAYES: All right. Hillary Clinton`s legacy as secretary of state. This
is just one part of it. Let`s look at a broader picture after this.
HAYES: All right. Welcome back. Joining me now at the table are Josh
Trevino, former speech writer in the George W Bush administration and now
vice president for external relations at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
and Ambassador Swanee Hunt who served as U.S ambassador to Austria from now
1993 to 1997, now the Eleanor Roosevelt lecturer in public policy at
Harvard`s Kennedy School of Government. We have just been talking, as you
SWANEE HUNT, LECTURER, HARVARD`S KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT: Yeah.
HAYES: ... in a very heated fashion about the situation in North Africa.
And I think that`s one core part of the legacy of the first
administration`s foreign policy and Hillary Clinton`s tenure at state and I
think the defining external event to the administration of foreign policy
has been the Arab spring, obviously, and all that uncorked and how to
manage that. But before we get to that, we still have Robin on satellite.
I want to talk about the relationship between the president and Hillary
Clinton and the degree to which the legacy of foreign policy in the first
term has been Hillary Clinton`s legacy and the degree to which it really
has been -- the shots have been called from the White House, because a lot
of reporting on this has been very interesting. Tonight there`s going to
be an interview on "60 Minutes." That`s a joint interview between the
president and Hillary Clinton, a kind of joint exit interview, and this is
what the president had to say about Hillary Clinton`s legacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hillary will go
down as one of the finest secretary of states we`ve had. It has been a
great collaboration over the last four years. I`m going to miss her. I
wish she was sticking around, but she has logged in so many miles I can`t
begrudge her to want to take it easy for a little bit, but I want the
country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she`s played during
the course of my administration and a lot of the successes we`ve had
internationally have been because of her hard work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Robin, as someone who`s covered this administration, one of the
things you hear from reporters who cover it is that the biggest strategic
foreign policy calls have been very tightly held in the White House and not
made in state. And that state`s portfolio and Hillary Clinton`s portfolio
has been somewhat removed from the biggest foreign policy calls. Is that
your sense from your reporting?
WRIGHT: Well, Hillary Clinton has faced two major challenges, and one is
the fact that the White House has usurped a lot of the traditional roles
played by the State Department in making the big calls. It also comes at a
time, however, the U.S foreign policy is so defined by military
WRIGHT: ... that the Pentagon also has a disproportionate role But the
other big challenge is the fact that worldwide the United States has less
influence than it did a decade ago or particularly 20 years ago during the
Cold War, the immediate aftermath. And so the ability of the United States
to influence what`s happening is also limited. There -- you see this
redrawing of power so that you have a rising China. Four years ago Hillary
Clinton`s major challenge was not the emerging China/United States
relationship. You also have under Vladimir Putin, a truculent Russia who
has blocked repeatedly U.S. initiatives, whether it`s in dealing with Syria
and trying to squeeze President Assad further with additional sanctions, or
trying to deal with Iran`s ...
WRIGHT: ... controversial nuclear program. And again, blocking the kind
of diplomatic or economic initiatives that would tighten the squeeze on
Iran. So there are lots of different challenges she`s faced. I think her
legacy is likely to be centered around the fact that she changed America`s
image around the world, given what happened, the kind of hostility there
was or negative perceptions among so many countries because of Iraq,
because of Afghanistan, and also the role she played in putting women on
the international agenda. That`s often dismissed as kind of a social issue
WRIGHT: But the fact is this accounts for half of the world`s population
and she has kind of institutionalized the U.S. policy on women and their
role in society in developing, in politics, and that`s a major
HAYES: Swanee, you wanted to talk about that.
HUNT: Yeah, Robin, you`re right on the money. And this fits in what they
were saying about civil society and what Irshad was saying about now it`s
time to (inaudible) -- after the military we have to come in with soft
power. This has been the major piece in my opinion of her legacy. And I
would put Hillary Clinton with George Marshall. She redefined security.
He came in, he was dealing with all of the things that a secretary of state
deals with, but he redefined it and said this is not about revenge on the
vanquished. We are going to rebuild the vanquished. And I was in Europe
and I saw the effect of the Marshall plan, which goes on for decades and
decades. And Hillary Clinton in redefining security and calling it
inclusive security has changed the nature.
HAYES: Right. But I think with the Marshall plan the key distinction
there was there was a sort of conceptual -- a reconceptualization that was
married to a real policy and money, right? The question with Hillary
Clinton is, are the reconceptualization that she`s articulated in speeches
been actually married to a change in U.S. policy?
JOSH TREVINO, TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION: One of the big developments
of the Bush administration, especially vis-a-vis foreign policy was the
extent, to which the Department of Defense, first under Rumsfeld then under
Gates, took such a leading role.
HAYES: Totally. Yes.
TREVINO: And what`s been interesting in the Obama cabinet is the
institutions have pretty much continued that relationship ...
TREVINO: ... which is, you know, so if you like George W. Bush`s running
of foreign policy, there`s a lot to like in the Obama administration.
HAYES: You`re saying in terms of what -- the center of gravity on this
kind of institutionally about foreign policy.
TREVINO: Well, absolutely, you know. And you saw it with kind of the
coining of the counterinsurgency theorists, who came to prominence in the
2007-2008 period, which treads on a lot of territory that State treads on.
TREVINO: Hillary has continued that relationship with the Obama
administration`s Defense Department and I don`t think it`s going to change
under Secretary Kerry.
BENNIS: You know, I think that this is what one of the ...
HAYES: That`s a really interesting point.
BENNIS: ... crucial things. It`s also true that if you look at the George
Marshall example, that was when the wars were over. These wars are still
being fought. The wars of the Bush administration are being fought
throughout the Obama administration. I think just one point I think it was
the election of the first African-American president in this country, a
country grounded in the legacies of slavery and genocide, that was what
transformed the view for a brief moment at least of the United States
around the world. It wasn`t Hillary Clinton. It was the election of the
first African-American president. But I think that this question of the
militarization of foreign policy is very much at play right now. It has
been for four years. It`s that and the combination of special envoys, if
you will, as the ...
BENNIS: ... sort of institutional way that it happened that Hillary
Clinton was not in charge of policy in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Iraq,
in Israel/Palestine, it was completely abandoned, and that was all run
through the White House. I would say those policies have all failed and I
don`t hold Hillary Clinton ...
HAYES: Right. So that`s to Hillary`s credit, right?
BENNIS: Well ...
HAYES: Hillary won the argument on Afghanistan, right?
BENNIS: No, because ...
HAYES: I want you to respond ...
TREVINO: I think she was wrong.
HAYES: I want you to respond right after we take a quick break.
BENNIS: OK. Good.
HAYES: Talking about the legacy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
how much it`s her legacy. I think that`s one of the real questions here is
how much the first term foreign policy of the Obama administration is
Hillary Clinton`s legacy and we were talking a little bit about the ways,
in which the center of gravity has moved away from state and towards DOD,
the NSC and you wanted to kind of respond.
HUNT: Well, yeah I went to the Pentagon right after the end of "Shock and
Awe" and I said, look, I spent an hour saying here`s why you have to bring
women in right now. They know where the weapons are, they have got their
fingers on the pulse of the community, they understand the reconciliation,
the rebuilding, they will rebuild across lines, you know, et cetera. They
have fresh ideas.
HAYES: You`re saying bringing Iraqi women into the process.
HUNT: That`s exactly right. And they have to be very substantial. Not
just one voice or two voices out of 24. So this wonderful general who said
to me, thank you so much, madam ambassador for coming, blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, and as soon as we get the place secure, we will think about
women`s issues ...
HUNT: ... completely missing the point that this is a security issue. Now
Hillary Clinton has made a huge difference in three ways. She has
integrated into all the planning of state and USAID, requirement that they
have to talk about what they`re doing to support gender equality, and by
that they mean elevating women`s leadership. Second, she`s running the
National Action Plan, which is actually House at the White House, but it
reaches across DOD, Homeland Security, Treasury, et cetera, but State
Department is the key to that. And third, and this is key and this is
where you get to the George Marshall. She is thinking about the future.
She is bringing hundreds of young women from the areas we`ve been talking
about this morning and she`s bringing them in together for weeks at a time.
These are members of parliament, these are young ministers, et cetera, and
the next -- I saw being in Europe, I saw the effect of doing that with the
young leaders. They are now -- they are now the prime ministers, they are
the foreign ministers, et cetera, and they understand the United States.
HAYES: And part of ...
WRIGHT: Chris, can I talk ...
WRIGHT: Can I add something?
WRIGHT: I think that we`re not talking about the elephant in the room.
Hillary Clinton`s main legacy is the fact that she has created such status
both at home and abroad that she is the natural Democratic candidate for
president in four years. And that`s not just for women`s rights, but that
in terms of what happens next politically in this country is tremendously
important. So I think we can`t write off that. But I think the irony is
that the second Obama term is likely to be more interesting in terms of
foreign policy, because we`ve gotten out of Iraq in terms of combat troops.
We`re going to get out within the next 18 months and probably less from
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe.
WRIGHT: And that opens up a lot of possibilities of where do we engage in
a positive way rather than in just through military force. And that -- I
think she may look back and be a little bit envious of John Kerry and the
fact that without the issue of re-election and so forth ...
HAYES: Inheritance. Yes.
WRIGHT: Yeah, that then he may have greater latitude and to do some more
imaginative things than she did.
MANJI: Just a few minutes ago you used a very important phrase, her
legacy. And I would argue that it`s not so much a policy legacy, as it is
a political legacy. Hillary Clinton very quickly sort of reconciled with
an ardent campaign adversary, namely President Obama, but then took
distance and showed routinely that she was able to set her own agenda,
literally and figuratively and show herself to be the independent player in
Washington that she is, and Robin picked up on this in my view very, very -
- very importantly, which is -- which is that, you know, when, not if, she
becomes the 2016 Democratic candidate, not only will she have the gravitas
for that in Washington, but also around the world.
HAYES: She -- we`ll talk more about that and the second term reference.
HAYES: Hello from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. With me this morning, I
have Phyllis Bennis, author of "Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A
Primer." Josh Trevino of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, also co-
founder of redstate.com, a conservative blog. Irshad Manji from NYU`s
Wagner Research Center for Leadership and Action, and Ambassador Swanee
Hunt, former ambassador to Austria under President Clinton. Joining us on
satellite is Robin Wright, author of "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion
Across the Islamic World," and we`re talking about Hillary Clinton`s legacy
in the week in which she gave her big headline testimony on Benghazi, and
then also I think a day later or two days later testified at the hearing --
the confirmation hearing for her successor, Senator John Kerry from
And talking about the degree to which the first-term legacy of Barack
Obama, what the foreign policy of the first term is, the degree to which it
is Hillary Clinton`s legacy and the degree to which she has been
marginalized from some of the major decisions.
Irshad and Robin were just making points about that her legacy is political
as much as anything. I mean, she is one of the most popular politicians in
America right now. Her poll ratings are above 60. In some ways, one can
say that staying clear and not being associated with the big decisions has
redounded to her political benefit, because the big decisions are in some
ways by nature the most polarizing, the most controversial, and what`s not
controversial is hugging on dissidents and professors and members of civil
society across the world and I`m not saying it`s all--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, stop already.
HAYES: No, no, I`m saying --
HAYES: I`m saying this in a visual sense. Right, that what Americans see
of foreign policy. I`m saying, this is not what Hillary Clinton`s actual
I`m saying if you watch the news, right, you see a news clip, and Hillary
Clinton is somewhere, and she`s holding a town hall or she`s talking to
students. She`s doing things that in the back of your mind, if you`re an
American median voter who is not following foreign policy that carefully,
the images that you are being flashed of Hillary Clinton are generally
positive. They don`t have to do with these very polarizing decisions.
BENNIS: That is a key components of what U.S. foreign policy is. U.S.
foreign policy for the last four years has been shamed around wars. It`s
been shaped around military responses to the foreign policy challenges
around the world, starting with the Iraq war. We now have the State
Department being in charge of the 15,000 or so armed contractors, if we
want to be polite, mercenaries if we want to be a little more accurate,
that are in Iraq at the behest of the United States, because the agreement
between the U.S. and Iraq made them withdraw all the soldiers and all the
Pentagon paid contractors. They were replaced by Hillary Clinton`s guys.
We don`t hear that. That`s not under Hillary Clinton`s actual
jurisdiction. It technically is, but in the real world, that`s not what
she`s responsible for.
That (inaudible) so many other parts of the world, where the key parts of
foreign policy now are Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine. None of these are
places where Hillary Clinton can say that`s what I did.
JOSH TREVINO, REDSTATE.COM CO-FOUNDER: Large contractor footprint in Iraq,
no question about that, but not entirely accurate to say replaced. It`s
not a one for one replacement. It`s not the same size of a force.
BENNIS: We had 100,000 before under the Pentagon. We`ve got 15,000 now.
TREVINO: Well, that`s absolutely true, and I would argue that is a
qualitatively different footprint.
TREVINO: But to get back to the point that Irshad was making and we were
talking about during the break, unquestionably what everyone thinks of the
policy legacy of Hillary Clinton, politically it is a triumph for her. Two
polls out in the past ten days, ABC, Washington Post, NBC and Wall Street
Journal both have her hovering around 70 percent approval. 40 percent
And what`s interesting to me, at least in private conversations -- I don`t
know who is going to admit it on air, so I guess I will, since I have no
prospects in elected office -- but when you ask a lot of conservatives if
they could go back in time to 2008 and who they would support, McCain,
Hillary, Obama, there is a substantial number of people who say, you know
what, Hillary Clinton was probably the best choice for president in that
year. And that`s only going to redound to her benefit as time goes on.
HAYES: I also think that`s incredibly fleeting. I just think that --
TREVINO: I don`t agree with that.
HAYES: I think there`s this sort of -- these weird marriages of
convenience, right? As soon as -- if she were the nominee, right,
conservatives would rediscover all the things they hated about Hillary
Clinton 12 years--
TREVINO: I`m not arguing that the partisan game has suddenly ceased and
we`ve all come to the light, but there is still that sentiment there, which
endures even after Benghazi.
WRIGHT: Chris, can I make a point? And that is I think we make a real
mistake if we look at Hillary as a woman and someone who has been
advocating social -- some of the social issues and not understanding that
she is one of the hawks in the administration. She was very much in favor
of the Libyan intervention, she was for the surge in Afghanistan, and she
backed at one point in the inner discussion a more active role in Syria.
And I think this is -- we make a mistake in trying to paint her as the
HAYES: No, I agree with that. I think the point that I`m making is the
about distinction between what Hillary Clinton is doing operationally and
the image Americans have of Hillary Clinton, partly because I think the
nature of the office. Let`s remember, Condoleezza Rice was inordinately
popular as she left office as well. Right? She was polling extremely
highly, and part of that has to do with the fact that being removed from
the basic -- the muck of domestic politics is a really good thing for a
politician, because that`s where the issues that divide people the most
intensely tend to get waged. And so I think that has redounded to her.
HUNT: Sure, and I agree with what Irshad said, that this is a political
legacy. But Josh is so interesting, because you heard Irshad and quoted
her as saying it`s a policy legacy, and that`s what I`m saying, it`s both.
TREVINO: It`s political, right.
HUNT: It`s political and it`s policy. She is bringing in -- she is
introducing a new idea. And because it`s new, it can be labeled soft
around the edges, or hugging, like you just said. Take it back, take it
back. You know, you`re going to take it back, I`m serious.
HAYES: No, I didn`t mean it I think in the way--
BENNIS: There is a new legacy that you can point to. It may be her idea,
but it`s not been operative for four years. She has not been--
BENNIS: So really, who cares what her personal ideas are, what she`d like
HUNT: It`s not just her personal idea, it`s U.S. Security Council
BENNIS: I know, I`ve worked on 1325 for many years.
HAYES: Do you guys want to clue the rest of us in on 1325?
BENNIS: It is a resolution that says women have to be central in peace
making. But I`m saying that in the real world, we have not seen that. In
the real world, the war in Iraq continues. In the real world, the war in
Afghanistan is being escalated. In the real world, we don`t see women
playing this major role. It`s a goal, it`s an aspirational thing.
BENNIS: That`s all true. But one, 1325, is not Hillary Clinton`s legacy.
That went way before she did. And two, the notion that Hillary Clinton is
saying that we should always listen to the United Nations is certainly not
true. She is a unilateralist with the best of them when it comes to, for
example, Libya, when it comes to, for example, the surge in Afghanistan.
This is not somebody who sees international law, the United Nations
collaboration with other countries as crucial to our foreign policy.
HAYES: But it also seems to me that the point about sort of making
institutional reforms or weaving things into the institutional framework of
the State Department might be something that does not bear fruit
immediately, right? That seems like part of--
HUNT: That was my point. You create an institutional change. Granted,
Phyllis, I give you all credit in terms of the militarization of our
HUNT: We also know that the higher percentage of women that you have in a
parliament, the less militarization there is, more budgets swing over to
health, education, and interestingly environment, economic development.
The kinds of emphases that in fact John Kerry has but -- wait, wait, wait,
wait, wait. Even as you`re working on foreign policy, you`ve got to work
on increasing the number of women in the U.S. Congress.
BENNIS: But look, if you`re talking just about the question of the impact
on women and the role of women, let`s look at one aspect of Afghanistan,
which so often is talked about in the sense of we have to be at war in
Afghanistan to protect the women. Well, let`s look at what these 11 years
of occupation have led for women.
HUNT: That`s not what I`m saying, by the way, just so you know.
BENNIS: Wait a minute. But this is a huge argument here, and the idea is
that women are somehow better off with this occupation, with this war than
they would have been otherwise.
Afghanistan right now is in exactly the same position in the rankings of
Save the Children and UNICEF on where is it safest for a woman to give
birth and where is it safest for a child to be born and live to her first
birthday in the world. Afghanistan is the worst place for a woman to give
birth -- it used to be second, now it`s first. And it`s the worst place
for a child to survive. That`s partly because in those -- in those years
of occupation, the U.S. has spent a huge amount of money training 350,000
soldiers and police and only 1,200 midwives. What if that had been
reversed? What would that have meant for women if we`re talking about
TREVINO: I`m going to attempt the Herculean feat of actually finding
common ground with Phyllis here and actually broadly agree -- with all
respect to my fellow Texan -- that Hillary`s principal legacy, whatever
bears fruit later on the road -- really is the maintenance of pre-existing
institutional relationships and roles. And that, again, I think is kind of
the big story is that there is no story in terms of the change in how State
relates to the rest of the policy making apparatus. You know, vis-a-vis
the White House, the NSC, everything else.
And I actually concur with you on that. That`s something. And I don`t --
BENNIS: Oh, dear.
TREVINO: Now, I don`t agree that`s necessarily a bad thing.
HAYES: People who like the status quo ante. Right.
HAYES: Conservative, right.
TREVINO: Yes, right.
HAYES: Robin Wright, author of "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across
the Islamic World," thanks for joining us this morning. Really appreciate
WRIGHT: Thank you.
HAYES: And at the table, I want to thank Irshad Manji from NYU`s Wagner
Research Center for Leadership and Action, and Ambassador Swanee Hunt,
former U.S. ambassador to Austria under President Clinton, for joining us.
That was excellent, thank you very much.
HUNT: Thank you.
HAYES: A high profile hearing tomorrow at Guantanamo, four years after
President Obama promised to close the facility. That`s next.
HAYES: Tomorrow, the latest hearing in the ongoing military tribunal of
alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will take place at
Guantanamo Bay. A headline that feels like it should be from another era.
It`s also a headline that is likely to produce a little more cognitive
dissonance for those celebrating the second inauguration of President
Obama, who rather famously signed an executive order just two days after
his first inauguration ordering the closure of the detention facility at
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This first executive order that we are signing by the authority
invested in me as president by the Constitution and the laws of the United
States of America, in order to effect the appropriate disposition of
individuals currently detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo
and promptly to close the detention facility at Guantanamo, consistent with
the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and
the interest of justice, I hereby order. And we then provide the process
whereby Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: More than four years later, Guantanamo Bay is not only fully open
and operational, but the goal of shutting it down is arguably much further
away than it was on that day in 2009.
Simply put, why is Guantanamo Bay still open? What`s happening there now?
And what, if anything, is the plan for the 166 detainees who are still
there? Joining us now is Vince Warren, executive director at the Center
for Constitutional Rights, and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones magazine. He
reported from Guantanamo Bay in the spring of 2010. Great to have you guys
All right. It`s sort of remarkable to me how prominently Guantanamo
figured in the public imagination for the years of the Bush administration
and how outside our view it is now. And I guess my first question is,
Vince, what is -- what is the plan? I mean, just walk me through what is
the plan? I know the administration has signed two consecutive national
defense authorization acts in which Congress has explicitly prohibited any
funds to transfer people from Guantanamo to the United States. They have
signed it with signing statements saying they don`t believe that Congress
has that authority and that they disagree with it. They still want to
close Guantanamo, they still want to transfer detainees.
There is a military tribunal process working its way through. Where is all
this headed? What is the best case scenario for what the end point is
VINCE WARREN, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Well, it`s a good thing
it`s a short segment, Chris, because there really is no plan as far as
anybody can tell. Where we are now as you laid out is that we have a
political problem, we have a legal problem, and we frankly have a human
problem. The human being the 166 men that are in Guantanamo; 86 of them
have already been cleared for release and basically are just sitting there.
The Obama administration signed the NDAA, which has all of these
restrictions and said, yes, this ties our hands, there`s not much we can
do. But the practical piece is that Congress did tie one hand behind
President Obama`s back, but he actually did a very good job of tying the
other one behind his back. He could have, and he could use -- exercise
authority under the NDAA to say, look, we`ve got 166 guys in here. I want
to close this thing down. I`m going to use the provisions to just transfer
some of these men out. That`s something that he`s clearly not doing. He`s
going the military commission route. There was a hearing that happened --
a ruling that just happened just on Friday, where the second person that
was tried in military commissions now, that his charges for conspiracy have
been thrown out. The first one was Selim Hamdan, and his charges for
material support were thrown out. So that tells us that the two big plans
that they had, which was to hold `em and roll `em, hold`em is let`s keep
these 46 guys in Guantanamo and we`re going to keep them indefinitely, but
we`re going to roll the others into the military commission is not working.
HAYES: OK, so I think that`s actually a really useful framework, it`s a
political problem, legal problem, human problem. So let`s start on the
political problem, right? Because I mean, the first thing that happened
was they signed the order, Congress rebelled, right? And here`s just a
taste of what that looks like in terms of the change of opinion from
Republicans. We`ll get to what the administration has done. This is
Senator Lindsey Graham in 2009 saying the president is right to want to
close Guantanamo, and then in 2012 reneging. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: The president is right to want to
close Guantanamo Bay. The reason I say that is I`ve traveled all over the
world, I`ve been to the war zones many times, and every commander tells me
if we could start over, it would help us repair damage throughout the
world, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. So I think we can safely
close Guantanamo Bay, but we need a plan.
Simply stated, the American people don`t want to close Guantanamo Bay,
which is an isolated, military controlled facility, to bring these crazy
bastards that want to kill us all to the United States. Most Americans
believe that the people at Guantanamo Bay are not some kind of burglar or
bank robber, they`re bent on our destruction, and I stand with the American
people that we`re under siege, we`re under attack and we`re at war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I will note that a review of the detainees at Guantanamo found that
at the most around three dozen were in any way really associated,
affiliated with different Islamist groups, right? And that might fall into
the crazy bastards category, but there`s 166 people there. Right? So this
is even an internal review by the executive itself that is trying to find
people they can try gets you to about three dozen.
What happened among Republicans, Josh?
TREVINO: Well, I mean, look, the ideological voyage of Lindsey Graham is
sort of Odysseus wandering the (inaudible), saying you don`t know how long
it`s going to take or where it`s going to end up.
I will say more broadly, which is kind of emerging as one of the themes of
this morning, is that it`s another example that if you liked what George W.
Bush did in military security and a lot of foreign policy, then you`re
going to end up liking a lot of what the Obama administration has done.
The president I think was very sincere in his desire to close Camp X-ray
and the rest of the facilities at Guantanamo, but he came to realize
through the policy review process -- and this is to his credit, you know,
he`s part of a reality-based community -- that there is a class of people
that cannot be prosecuted but are too dangerous to release. And so that`s
where he finds himself.
The third Geneva convention provides for the detention of enemy combatants
so long as the war lasts. So when we talk about closing Guantanamo, the
real question that we`re asking is, when is the war against al Qaeda over,
which is kind of the meta thing that`s hanging over this entire issue.
HAYES: Do you think that`s right, that the Obama administration had a sort
of road to Damascus moment, where they came to learn to embrace this, or
was it that -- or was it that they got this political pushback from Lindsey
Graham and Republicans, and then Democratic members of Congress?
ADAM SERWER, MOTHERJONES.COM: I think that there is a certain amount of
truth. I wouldn`t call it a road to Damascus moment. There`s a certain
amount of truth that the Obama administration acquiesced to the late Bush
administration after the courts got done dismantling the aggressive, more
aggressive policies of the Bush administration. They said we`re going to
keep some of this stuff. That`s what happened at the National Archives
speech in 2009.
But I think Guantanamo is not an essential facility. We can safely house
terrorists inside the United States, no matter how dangerous they are.
What happened with Guantanamo is that the administration bungled the
politics, and they had a moment of cowardice where they decided they
weren`t going to prioritize this, and it wasn`t worth what they felt was
losing other aspects of their agenda, and then Democrats in Congress got
scared and basically said no, we`re not doing it.
HAYES: So you refer to this kind of paradox, which is the can`t charge
them, can`t release them paradox, right? I want to talk about -- yes, I
think I want to talk about that, because that gets to the legal problem.
You said political problem, legal problem, human problem, which I think is
a really good way of thinking about Guantanamo.
I want to talk about the legal problem. What are the legal mechanisms in
place? What are the standards of evidence? What exactly are we doing?
What is the legal regime that guides this place? There`s a huge debate
about that. There`s a big Times story about it today I want to quote right
after we take this break.
HAYES: All right, so there`s some group of detainees at Guantanamo, I
think that`s fair to say, that essentially everyone agrees shouldn`t be
there. Right? There`s not even a contestation. These were going to a
cousin`s wedding and picked up at the Khyber Pass because of bad
TREVINO: I guess I`ll be the lone dissenter on that. I don`t agree that
there is somebody shouldn`t incontestably be there, except by people who
actually have been cleared by the tribunals, like those people shouldn`t be
BENNIS: Well, that`s a lot of them.
TREVINO: No, I understand that, and I concur on that group.
HAYES: Stay with that number--
TREVINO: It`s 86 people out of the 166.
WARREN: And let`s just be clear that there`s some people that have been
cleared under both the Bush administration and the Obama administration.
There`s a man that`s there right now named Jamal Amedzien (ph), cleared by
both, just sitting there.
HAYES: Let`s just talk about those 86 first. We have 166. Of those 86,
I`m saying, so the problem with them appears to be this problem of where to
send them, right? That`s the big problem. It`s not that -- I mean, they
have been cleared, they could go, right? But what country wants to take
them and how do we get to take them? And of course you can`t just move
them to Peoria. I mean, I think you could, but go try to sell that to the
-- no, I do. I do. I think it`s incumbent upon us. I think we should pay
these people restitution.
BENNIS: Absolutely. Absolutely.
HAYES: Absolutely, no question. But politically -- so let`s put those
aside for a second, right, because then let`s talk about the legal process
that`s going forward. Right now Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is being tried.
Now, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is someone who has admitted himself that he was
one of the people, the architects of 9/11, right? The military tribunal
process is officially a war crimes process, right? And that is one of the
significance of the legal decisions that you`ve noted in which they have
vacated two convictions, one under material aid and one under conspiracy,
because those are not war crimes, right? They`re under U.S. code. And
there`s a battle right now happening between the JAG officer and former
Rhodes scholar who`s in charge of running the prosecutions at Guantanamo,
and the administration, over whether to continue to try people for things
that are not explicitly in the smaller category of things called war
crimes. Charlie Savage has a great piece in the Times today, a quote from
Eugene Fideli (ph), law professor on General Martins, who is the JAG who is
running this. "It`s tempting to view this as about General Martins, but
it`s not. Decisions about prosecuting detainees have become about what is
feasible as opposed to what is rational," which I thought was--
BENNIS: And neither of those are about whether it`s legal. This whole
nation of the rule of law has been abandoned in the question of Guantanamo.
We`re looking at a scenario where this decision is made-- you described it
before, Chris, when you say they`re too dangerous to release, but there`s
no evidence to put them on trial.
Well, in my view and what I think the legal standard of our country has
been, we haven`t always met it, but supposedly what we`re based on if we
are a country of laws and not a country of men, as they say, is that if
there`s no evidence, somebody is not guilty, and that means you don`t hold
them responsible. If somebody is guilty of whether it`s war crimes or
these civil crimes, and that`s a somewhat more esoteric, different issue --
if somebody is guilty, there`s going to be some evidence that can be
brought into court. If there is no evidence because the only evidence you
have is what you got by torture, it means it`s not only illegal, but it`s
unreliable, so you don`t have evidence that they`re too dangerous.
SERWER: I think it`s actually less banal than that. It`s really just that
if you go and look at the review that the Obama administration did, they
can`t connect a lot of these people to specific incidents.
SERWER: To try them for -- their actions for.
HAYES: It`s about their institutional affiliations.
SERWER: Let alone membership. They can`t connect these guys to specific
incidents and say you did this and this is what we`re trying you for, which
is why they`re so reliant on these material, supporting conspiracy charges,
which could undo the entire system.
WARREN: Let me just jump in real quick because this is an important piece
that Adam brings up. Is that because they can`t make those kind of
connections moving forward for trials, the fundamental question is what are
they still doing -- why were they there in the first place, right? We
shouldn`t get caught up in the legal process moving forward, because legal
process moving forward actually belies what people have been saying all
along since 2002 when they first brought them in there, is that the
majority of these people had no legal, factual or other basis to be put in
there to begin with, and we`re literally trying to unplug some of the work
that the Bush administration had done to get these guys there, and we`re
looking at these legal pieces.
Now, the political piece of this, which is really interesting, is that the
Obama administration has a huge rule of law problem. They have got a rule
of law problem moving back, meaning that the Bush administration officials
that were responsible for the illegality in the torture are not being
prosecuted. They have got a rule of law problem moving forward, which is
that they`re trying to get these detainees through the eye of a political
needle called the military commissions, and they`re trying to figure out
what can we throw on them? What kind of the broad--
HAYES: Right, they`ve got a pool of people and then they`ve got to get
them through some process. The has been constructed essentially around the
politics and the court decisions. And now they have got to shepherd them
TREVINO: Let`s make a broader point. I don`t agree that rule of law has
been thrown out the window. And this is how it`s important to get this
right. As imperfect as the process has been under this president and the
last one, people like (inaudible), and I agree with them on this, if we
don`t get this right, if we don`t get a tribunal process right, if we don`t
get the mechanisms right for assessing guilt and innocence among these
people, that the battlefield incentive, perversely enough, is not to
capture but to kill. And that`s something that we have to think really
hard about whether we want to do. So it is, arguing -- accepting all the
critiques of the process, it`s very important that this happened, and I
actually think the Obama administration should be commended for at least
attempting to unravel the knot on this.
HAYES: The question is, the question is, can the process be made right? I
think -- and that actually brings up -- I think that brings us to the
hearing tomorrow on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, because I think that Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed is in a special small case of people that was connected to
a specific event, has admitted to such. If there is a person who really
did commit a war crime, was active in a war crime, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
looks like the most likely to be that. The question is, can the process
work for even the best case?
BENNIS: And he could have been tried in the United States. We have tried
HAYES: I want to talk about that in a second.
BENNIS: Some get convicted, some get acquitted, they get imprisoned.
None have escaped.
HAYES: Right after we take a break.
HAYES: So, Adam, you were at -- we`re going to have a procedural hearing
tomorrow. It`s not a hearing of guilt or innocence, it`s a hearing about
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. You were at -- what do these trials look like, as
someone who sat there and watched one of these hearings?
SERWER: Well, it`s very strange because you actually sit behind sort of a
glass, soundproof wall. And you have to look up at a monitor, and it`s
delayed by like 30 seconds so that the judge can hit a sound button and
block classified information supposedly from being disclosed. And often
what`s classified is typically stuff that`s public knowledge, but is
officially secret from the government`s perspective. So you`re actually
watching people talking and moving and doing things, and then you see them
doing the same things 30 seconds later on this monitor with sound. It`s a
really surreal experience.
But I think as far as Guantanamo itself, the most interesting thing about
it is that it`s very much, I think, one former Bush administration lawyer
described Obama`s policy on this as a kinder, gentler Bush. You go to
Guantanamo now, and facility-wise it`s a much more comfortable place for
the detainees. They have a very expensive soccer field, but they still
don`t have any of the rights that they were supposed to have or that Obama
suggested that they would have when he was running for president.
TREVINO: Well, so to Adam`s point, actually, there was a very interesting
op-ed in the New York Times a few days ago by Jennifer Daskal from Human
Rights Watch, who made exactly that case, that you might as well keep --
and she worked very hard for the Guantanamo--
HAYES: She was part of the Guantanamo bar, she was defending there, and
she went to the administration, and now she says keep it open.
TREVINO: Keep it open because of exactly what Adam says. The conditions
there are arguably better than what they would experience in Illinois or
any of the federal prisons on the continental United States.
BENNIS: But this isn`t about conditions.
WARREN: That`s nuts.
WARREN: That is completely, 100 percent nuts. Keep the people that are
detained illegally in place because the conditions are much better now than
they were eight years ago? That`s crazy.
TREVINO: No. Better than they are in the U.S.
BENNIS: This isn`t about conditions. Wait a minute.
HAYES: Finish your point.
WARREN: My point being is that I think we`re missing the meta picture
here, which is that we now have a situation in which these military
commissions are moving forward. Our emphasis is focusing on military
commissions and on detainee treatment, but that`s really not -- that`s not
the issue. The issue here is that we have an opportunity to try people in
federal courts that we are not looking at, at all. And regardless of what
happens with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the military commissions, Chris,
with respect, I think the question is not how does that system work for the
easiest case for the administration. In a democracy, the question is how
does the legal program work for the hardest case.
HAYES: My point, and I want to talk about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And the
reason I cue up the easiest case is I`m not convinced it even works for the
easiest case. Right? So the point is, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed is a perfect example, and I think obviously we`re being
critical of the Obama administration here, I think rightfully so. But to
me, the KSM case showed what they inherited. OK, fine, KSM. So mastermind
of 9/11, said so himself. I don`t think there`s a whole lot of question
about that. Pulled off a huge mass murder. OK? There should be
accountability and justice for that, all right?
Now, the guy was tortured, OK? He was subject to war crimes. We are now
going to have a war crimes tribunal for someone who was the victim of war
crimes, who committed war crimes, quite clearly. But then the question is,
well, Eric Holder wanted to try him in the U.S. and Charles Schumer got
wobbly, and everybody got wobbly, everyone ran away from it, they tried and
tried and tried. Then they said, fine, you win.
But let`s say you tried him in the U.S. Well, the first day there`s going
to be a procedural hearing saying you cannot admit the things that were
admitted -- that you got out of my client while he was being tortured at a
black site, which is the hearing that`s happening tomorrow.
So the question is, what should they be doing with him? Because if the
fact of the matter is, you bring him into a civilian court and they say you
tortured KSM, and the law says, well, then you`ve got to let him free,
because we don`t have evidence.
BENNIS: The law doesn`t say that. I mean, it should in my view, that if
you torture somebody, they should be released.
TREVINO: Even Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
BENNIS: But it does not say that.
TREVINO: Even Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
BENNIS: He`s not subject to this law. But I`m just talking about what
U.S. law should be if I were writing law.
But the point is, it doesn`t say that. The point is, it says if someone is
tortured, you can`t use what they told you under torture.
HAYES: That`s right.
BENNIS: I think they have some additional evidence about--
SERWER: They have a lot of additional evidence.
BENNIS: They have a lot of stuff that they can raise, and it`s enough to
convince without having to use what they got during torture.
SERWER: They`ve been having conversations for 10 years talking about this
BENNIS: Right. And they have got this all on tape.
HAYES: So the point is that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed could be tried in a
HAYES: In downtown -- and still be -- stand a reasonable chance of
WARREN: And the only reason why it doesn`t happen is because of the
politics of the situation. And that`s, again, going back to the big
But even looking at military commissions, and so you have this little (ph)
case where there was this ruling. Let`s put this back on the Obama
administration again. So there`s the political piece with Congress and
there`s George Bush, but here`s what the Obama administration can and
should do. They`re in the position to decide whether they are going to
appeal this court ruling about conspiracy, right, the nonwar crimes, crimes
in a war court.
HAYES: In which a court vacated a conviction.
WARREN: The Obama administration should not appeal that conviction -- that
decision, because what that would do is it would move that whole process
forward. It would give them a political footing to say, look, either we
are a rule of law presidency or we are not, and we have to abide by this.
Let`s shift these trials to civilian courts, let`s take the political heat
on these things. We`ll still get immigration passed, we`ll still get gun
control passed, but the state of our democracy, the foundation of our
democracy rests on these next few days.
HAYES: I interviewed in January Lakhdar Boumediene, who is a famous
detainee at Guantanamo because of one of the most important Supreme Court
cases about habeas bears his name. And when we come back, I want to just
play a little clip just to remind people of the human stakes here. You
talked about political problem, legal problem. There`s a human problem.
Which is there are human beings who are rotting in a prison, even if it has
nice facilities, with no access to their families, to their lives, and they
have been there now for in some cases 11 years, and they haven`t done
anything. I mean, that`s the key point. This is like, there are people
who really have not done anything, and they are in there for 11 years.
And I want to talk about whether the Obama administration really does have
a plan to close it, or are we going to have Guantanamo forever, right after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAKHDAR BOUMEDIENE, FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE (through translator): I
read that Guantanamo and they removed the black bag from my head and the
muffs from my ear and blind folds, you know, it was a big shock to me. And
I said to myself is this America that respects human rights? During the
preliminary investigations, interrogations, I mean, I thought that America
was a great country and that there was justice and freedom and human rights
and that they were realized during within a day or two that -- or maybe a
month, you know, that they would realize that I am innocent and they will
let me go home to my family, but it was totally the contrary. This is
something that I will never forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Lakhdar Boumediene, who is a Guantanamo detainee. Adam, is
there a plan right now to close the facility?
SERWER: I don`t think there`s a plan to close the facility. Obviously the
administration is working to transfer the people that they can transfer,
but I don`t think there`s -- there`s no plan without Congress approving the
money to transfer the people that they don`t want to release to American
soil, which, you know, for all sorts of reasons, you know, even civil
liberties groups oppose it as long as the administration is still relying
on indefinite detention without trial as a kind of terrorism tool. So it`s
-- it`s -- I mean there`s -- it`s hard to see a way, in which Guantanamo
gets closed in the next three years.
HAYES: And does this mean that we`re just erosion? Is it just going to
stay open until all of these people die? I mean I`m serious, I mean is
that what we`re looking at, that`s just sort of bleak years, not months?
BENNIS: It is really to that point, because there is no endgame here.
Everybody kind of agrees that the so-called global war on terror, which in
my view was never a war except to the degree that we made it a war, has a
defined end date and so the whole Geneva convention requirement about the
release of prisoners of war after the end of hostilities, how do you define
the end of hostilities if you don`t have a declared war in the first place?
HAYES: I mean, I think one of the things this returns us to, which is a
theme that has emerged and Jay Johnson gave that speech as General Counsel
with the Department of Defense about talking about an end to this permanent
-- this war, this quasi-permanent war state. The president in his
inauguration talked about what the dangers of a permanent war state. We
had Barbara Lee on the program last weekend who was the one person to vote
against the authorization of the use of military force and who is now
sponsoring congressional legislation to essentially repeal the
authorization of the use of military force, and kind of a way of declaring
the end of this war.
And it does seem to me that whenever we cover anything in this sphere, it
does points back to the question you raised, which is like how long are we
in the state of war? Can the state of war ever end? And if you`re in a
state of war that can never end, something is wrong, right? Something is
definitionally wrong, I think.
TREVINO: Well, we have -- we have some recent history to draw from, not a
perfect parallel, but when we look at the early Cold War, there was
essentially a state of national emergency perceived, or actually declared
depending on the year, really from 1948 until some vague point ...
TREVINO: ... in the 1960s after -- after Kennedy essentially. And so it
took us, you know, almost two decades to figure out what that looked like
and the kind of normalized procedures and processes within that. And it
may take that long, with that state, which is a real state of war with
respect as well. But we`ll see.
WARREN: In respect to what Josh is saying in that 20 or 30-year period
there was a lot of political posturing that was cropping up. The specter
WARREN: ... of communism around the world and the U.S was taking very
aggressive policies ...
WARREN: ... with respect to that and we`re seeing a lot of that specter
come up with respect to terrorism. The question really is not how long
will the war last, the question is what the hell is this war that we`re
WARREN: And legally, how does that lead to our ability now to drop drones
on the rest of the world?
HAYES: All right, what you should know for the news week ahead coming up
HAYES: In a moment, what you should know for the news week ahead. But
first, a few updates on some stories we have been following. In November,
we discussed the number of requests for user information Google receives
from the U.S. government. The time Google said U.S government requests for
user data continued to rise in the first six months of 2012. According to
Google`s latest transparency report, this is a global trend, during the
last six months, Google has received by far the most requests for user
information from governments around the world. From July to December,
Google received nearly 21,000 requests, 17 percent more than during the
same period over the last year.
And we have yet more evidence that austerity is not working in Europe to
spur economic growth or cut government debt. According to EuroStat, during
the third quarter of 2012, government debt relative to annual economic
input -- output in the European Union, which has seen many countries for
several years, embarking a regime of cutting spending and raising taxes was
barely changed at 90 percent of GDP. Actually, it rose from 89.9 percent
the three months earlier and is up from 86.8 percent of GDP in 2011.
Finally, before the presidential election, we discussed business owners
threatening the layoffs if President Obama was reelected. One of them,
Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray told employees if they did not donate to
the Canvass Political Action Committee, "The coal industry will be
eliminated and so will your job." Murray also forced his employees to
attend without pay or rally for Mitt Romney in a mine operated by Murray
Energy, Ohio. In midsummer Murray said the company would shut down the
coal plant entirely, the Red Bird West Mine, which employed 56 people
because of the president`s policies. "The New Republic" now reports that
Murray is starting to hire at the Red Bird West Mine again. The company
denies its reopening the plant and said it will hire back 42 or 43 people
to work in the place for a, quote, "drawdown" that will take place over the
next several years.
So, what you should know for the week coming up. You should know it is now
illegal under federal law to unlock your Smartphone if you purchased it
after Saturday. Unlocking or cracking a phone is a process many owners use
so they can use their phone on any cell network, not just the one to which
it is contractually tied. Until recently, the U.S. Copyright Office had
granted an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allowed
users to engage in the practice, but that exemption is now kaput. That
means that wireless carriers could conceivably sue consumers who purchase
and unlock their phones. You should know this suggests the latest example
of a copyright regime that is broken and dysfunctional.
You should know the full bio and resume of Mary Jo White, the president`s
choice to head up the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may have
heard that Mary Jo White is a former federal prosecutor with hands-on
experience prosecuting white collar crime. And that her nomination was a
signal to Wall Street that accountability was in store. But you should
also know that after serving as a prosecutor, Mary Jo White went to find
the practice defending big shot white collar titans of industry, including
former Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis. You should know the revolving
door continues to spin, and the incestuous relationships between big banks,
big law and their regulators on absolutely essential reason we`ve not seen
a real accountability for the systemic fraud in the run-up to and the wake
of the financial crisis. You should know Mary Jo White now has an
opportunity to prove her doubters wrong.
As the election recedes from memory, and an outrage of the voters
suppression adds with it, you should know that thanks to a new study, we
now know roughly how many people were denied their ability to vote by the
unconscionably long lines in the state of Florida. According to the
analysis of data collected by the Orlando Sentinel, there were roughly
200,000 voters gave up in frustration on election day and never voted
because the lines were so long. Ohio State University Professor Theodore
Allen who crunched the numbers told the Sentinel the actual number of
deterred voters including those who never even went to the polling place,
because they knew how the long the lines were, was likely even larger.
You should know the main reason Florida election officials give for the
ridiculously long lines on election day was the reduction in early voting
days from 14 to eight days passed by the Republican legislature and signed
by Republican Governor Rick Scott. An AFL-CIO survey of voters nationwide
in November found that only nine percent of white voters had to wait half
an hour or more to vote compared to 22 percent of black voters and 24
percent of Hispanic voters. You should know that Republicans attempts to
make it harder to vote won`t be abandoned anytime too soon, especially, if
they keep losing national elections. I want to find out what my guests
think we should know the week coming up, beginning with you, Phyllis
BENNIS: We should know that this is the second anniversary of the Arab
Spring`s revolt in Egypt. And one of the things that it`s led to, although
there`s huge crises in Syria and Libya and Mali and other places related to
the Arab Spring, one of the great pieces of this is still a very positive
process, is that in the Palestinian territories, there`s a whole new non-
violent tactic under way where Palestinians are rebuilding villages on
Palestinian land, the same places where Israeli settlers illegally are
trying to settle. The Israeli government has responded with vicious
brutality, tearing down the encampments, tearing down the new villages.
But this is now going forward as a regular, normalized process as part of
the non-violent pressure to end the occupation.
HAYES: Josh Trevino.
TREVINO: February 12, State of the Union the president is rumored to be
announcing his omnibus immigration reform package. So we are going to see
a lot of hints and suggestions dropped as to what that is going to contain.
Watch as you do for the proposals that look like real immigration reform
with movement of labor across the borders in a safe, secure and orderly
fashion, which does not exist for unskilled labor now, and watch which of
those will merely normalize the existing population, which, arguably
necessary, is also what was done in the failed 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli reform.
HAYES: This is the sort of what do we do now when people hear versus what
do we do about regulating the future flow question.
TREVINO: Exactly. Whether we have to revisit it in a generation.
HAYES: Vince Warren.
WARREN: You know, the secretary -- the State Department special envoy for
the closure of Guantanamo, Dan Fried, has left the building. He is moved
on to a different job, that job has not been filled by anybody new, and in
fact it`s supposed to be taken over by someone in office ...
HAYES: I think (inaudible) bad jokes, that job listing.
WARREN: It`s exactly, who wants that job. But I think it is very
important over the next week and will be forward to answer the question
that you raised on this question, what is the plan for Guantanamo, unless
they have somebody in that position, it`s not going to happen.
HAYES: Adam Serwer.
SERWER: Josh actually took mine, and I was going to say you should pay
attention, but I want to put a different spin on it. You should pay
attention to Republicans like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio who had put forth
immigration -- in broad strokes, immigration reform proposals very similar
to things that the president himself has put forward in previous years, and
you should look to see how they react to the president`s immigration reform
HAYES: And you should also look at the fine print.
HAYES: The devil is in the details about how many people are going to come
in, how many are going to be allowed to stay. We are going to talk about
immigration and gained citizenship ...
HAYES: We`re going to talk about immigration on next weekend, because I
think we are going to see a lot of stuff leaked this week. So we`ll be
talking about that one. We`ll be talking about it I think a lot this year.
I want to thank my guests today Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy
Studies, Josh Trevino, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Vince Warren,
for the Center of the Constitutional Rights and Adam Serwer, from "Mother
Jones" magazine. Thank you all. Thank you for joining us. We`ll be back
next weekend Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 eastern time. Coming up next,
Melissa Harris-Perry. We`ll see you next week here on "UP."
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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