All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, April 16th , 2013
Read the transcript from the Tuesday Show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 16, 2013
Guests: Charles Pierce, Grant Fredericks, James Cavanaugh, Bruce Schneider,
Farrah Stockman, Aziza Ahmed
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tonight, there are no suspects in the attack on the Boston marathon.
The FBI says they do not know whether it was a single person or a group.
No one has claimed responsibility. The range of both suspects and motives
is still wide open.
And with the nation`s nerves frayed, there`s another developing story
tonight that we are monitoring. NBC News has confirmed a letter sent to
Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi was intercepted at the U.S. Post Office
and initially tested positive for the poison, ricin.
NBC News Pete Williams will join us with the latest on that story.
But first, while we may not know anything about who attacked the
Boston marathon yesterday or why, just over 24 hours after the explosion,
there is a lot of new information tonight about the devices used in the
attack, about to expect from the investigation and about the victims.
We know tonight that there were two explosive devices, both of which
exploded yesterday. There were no unexploded devices anywhere else along
the route or city of Boston. Law enforcement officials tell NBC News the
devices appear to have consists of explosive and shrapnel packed into
The FBI announced tonight that investigators have recovered fragments
of black nylon bags at the sights of both explosive devices. Those bags
are believed to have been used to transport the devices to the scene. They
also found BB and nail fragments on the site.
What happens next is that every single fragment of bomb material
recovered from those sites will be sent to an FBI lab in Quantico,
Virginia, where they can be analyzed by the FBI and ATF experts and even
checked for DNA.
In the meantime, though, investigators have launched a major push to
seek information from the public, including tips on suspicious behavior and
photo and video taken around the race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AGENT RICHARD DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: The person
who did this is someone`s friend, neighbor, co-worker or relative. We are
asking anyone who may have heard someone speak about the marathon or the
date of April 15th in any way that indicated that he or she may target the
event to call us. Someone knows who did this.
(END VIDEO CLIOP)
HAYES: Crime scene has been shrunk from about 15 blocks yesterday to
about 12 today. Authorities say they will continue to work to open streets
back up, that the area surrounding the sites will likely be closed for a
couple of more days.
We also have new information tonight about the victims of yesterday`s
explosion. More than 170 were injured. Around 70 remain hospitalized
tonight. The chief of trauma at Mass General Hospital spoke to us this
afternoon about treating some of the most gravely injured victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. GEORGE VELHAMOS, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: They`re really
amazing people. Some of them woke up today with no leg.
And they told me they`re happy to be alive. They thought, as these
things happen, they told me that they thought they would die as they saw
the blood spilling out. They thought they would lose their life right
there and then and as they woke up today from surgery and they saw that
they`re not dead, they feel extremely thankful and some told me they feel
It`s almost a paradox to see these patients without an extremity to
wake up and feel lucky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tragically different story for the three people who were
killed in yesterday`s bombing, about whom we have more information this
One, a graduate student at Boston University, the university has
confirmed a student was among those killed, but is not releasing the
student`s name yet. Twenty-nine-year-old Krystle Campbell was killed.
Krystle`s grandmother told "The Boston Globe" today that she always went
out to watch the race, quote, "She`s been doing it since she was a little
girl. She didn`t miss a marathon. I`m watching it at the finish line."
According to "The Globe", Krystle had moved to Arlington,
Massachusetts, about a year ago, after helping her grandmother recover from
Her grandmother telling "The Globe", quote, "She took care of me for
almost two years after I had the operation. She moved right into my house
with me for two years.
Today, Krystle`s mother also spoke to reporters about losing her
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTY CAMPBELL, KRYSTLE`S MOTHER: She was always smiling and
friendly. Couldn`t ask for a better daughter. We can`t believe this is
happening. She is such a hard worker in everything she did. This doesn`t
make any sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Her grandmother says Krystle would have celebrated her 30th
birthday next month.
And there is 8-year-old Martin Richard. His father released a
statement today saying, quote, "My dear son Martin has died from injury
sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both
recovering from serious injuries, we thank our family and friends, those we
know and those we have never met for their thoughts and prayers. I ask
that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin."
An 8-year-old schoolmate of Martin has told "The Boston Globe" today
always played together on Fridays, saying they liked to draw sports
pictures. She said Martin`s younger sister who was injured in the
explosion always tried to do everything her big brother did. She`s just
A candle light vigil in honor of Martin Richard got underway just
about 30 minutes ago near the boy`s home. Interfaith service for everyone
killed or wounded in yesterday`s explosion is set for Thursday. Tonight,
the White House announced the president will travel to Boston to speak at
Joining us now with the latest from Boston, NBC News correspondent Ron
And, Ron, I have to imagine today was a tremendously somber, eerie day
in the city of Boston.
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think it was just profoundly
disturbing. So many people I talked to were just upset, particularly
because we learned about those three victims that you were just talking
about. A young boy, who is 8 years old. He lived in a town, an area of
Boston called Dorchester, which is about as quintessentially Boston as you
can get it -- a working class, middle class, hard working neighborhood that
so many people here can relate to.
The woman Krystle Campbell was from an area called Medford, which is
also another very Boston place and a graduate student here like so many
others here, the third victim.
Here at the hospital, we learned today that several of the patients
who are in the most critical condition woke up from medically induced comas
today for the first time. Maybe four or five of them and were able to
speak to doctors about what they had been going through. The doctors with
were saying they were trying to keep all this business, there wasn`t a lot
of discussion about the incident and what had happened.
But it was an indication of how serious some patients still are here.
The number of critically ill patients rose from 17 to about 22 or 24, and
the doctors we were talking to were saying it is going to be several days
before they can determine whether these patients will leave intensive care.
So, the road to recovery, the road to stability is still very bumpy and
We have been trying to talk to some of the families who are here at
the hospitals around town, trying to see loved ones and trying to spend
time with loved ones and the hospital staff said it`s just too soon, that
this is still too raw and too touch and go yet before these families want
to talk to the media.
Some want to talk to us because they want to world to hear their
stories, but it`s still a very delicate situation. All across town, I
think it`s that feeling of anxiety, that feeling of resiliency, though, as
I noticed that the Boston Bruins here are going to play hockey
tomorrow night, which will be a big gathering here and obviously, a lot of
tears will be shed in that arena in that place, again, one of the
quintessentially Boston place. But again, today, because we learned so
much about these individual victims, just profoundly disturbing, but still,
a lot of signs of resilience and that this community is determined to push
on and fight this and continue on -- Chris.
HAYES: NBC`s Ron Allen from Boston. Thank you very much.
Let`s go to Charles Pierce, writer for "Esquire Magazine", political
blogger for Esquire.com, who joins us from Newton, Mass.
And, Charles, I really liked the piece you wrote in Grantland today.
It looks like with the bruins back that some sense of normalcy tomorrow in
Boston as life starts to get back up and back to normal.
Obviously, the area in the middle, in downtown is still going to be
closed off, but some beginning creeping signs of normalcy as the city also
enters a mourning period now that we know who exactly has died.
CHARLES PIERCE, ESQUIRE.COM: Yes. I think and it`s an unfortunate
way to put it. But I think the city does have a lot of clarity now in
terms of the extent of the actual human cost of what happened yesterday.
It`s very -- I mean, it isn`t significant though, the area that will
be closed off. This is the center of the city. This is the center of
tourism. This is where everything starts. This is the center of the
shopping districts, of the high rent restaurant districts.
Copley Square is a big deal in Boston. And with it closed down, the
emotional and the kind of emotional and literal geography of the city will
be change for quite some time.
HAYES: I couldn`t help but note we just saw some photos of the candle
light vigil of Martin Richard, and obviously, the story of an 8-year-old
dead I think particularly coming on the wake of Newtown so recently.
There`s something, I think there`s a particular emotional rawness Americans
feel right now. Always feel fraught in the face of something as horrifying
and tragic as a child being killed.
But it seemed to me there was a specific kind of emotional force to
learning that bit of information today that who exactly this 8-year-old boy
who had died was.
PIERCE: Yes. I think that, you know, the entire story that he was
there to watch his four finish the marathon and he was waiting there to go
greet his father after his father finished the marathon, and then having
I think you know, as any great storyteller and I`m certainly not
putting myself in any categories. But any great storyteller will tell you,
the accumulation of detail is what brings the emotional impact and I think
the accumulation of detail as we learn more and more -- we learned his
name, we learned where he was from, we learned why he was there and he
became I think, you know, I think he became the symbol. Not a symbol, per
se, but the Boston marathon has always been an open festival of all of us.
Nobody really cares except for some of the media who wins and who
loses or finishes third or fifth or who qualifies for the Olympics. It`s
all about your Uncle Bob from Nashville who came up and put on a cow suit
and ran for four hours. You know, and people running for different fund
raising things and people running with their fiancee`s name on their chest
and stuff like that.
It`s why there are always people who wait in back bay every year for
the people who are straggling in in five and six hours in the dark. Why
you`re still there, so you can let these people know that somebody out
there appreciates what they`re trying to do.
HAYES: Charlie, I asked you this yesterday and it seems to me and I`m
not on the ground there, so I`m curious to hear you how citizens of Boston
feel about the local response. Just in terms of the amount of information
they`re being given by the governor, Deval Patrick, Mayor Menino, the
commissioner of police, Davis. Whether there`s a sense this is being
handled in an efficient, effective and calm manner so far?
PIERCE: Well, I think that, first of all, I think both Governor
Patrick and Commissioner Davis did themselves a great service last night at
that press conference that took place while your show was on the air.
Governor Patrick slapping down that Alex Jones idiot, then Commissioner
Davis producing really the only piece of information at that press
conference, which is that the gentleman in the hospital who has now been
eliminated as any kind of person of interest was not a suspect.
PIERCE: And Commissioner Davis was quite firm about that. And I
think they both did themselves a great service and the city a great service
by being as definitive in both of those cases as they are.
I think this is so far been a very locked down investigation. Very
little leaking. There`s some talk now beginning about finding photographs
before the event and whether or not the security along Boylston Street was
at tight as it should be.
PIERCE: That will come along, I`m sure in the next couple of months.
There will be, you know, a city council hearing or perhaps, you know, a
hearing or the --
HAYES: Charlie, I want to just jump in for a second so the viewers
can see on the left is live images of the candle light vigil being held in
Dorchester moments ago, actually not live, for the 8-year-old victim of the
bombings yesterday, Martin Richard. There is a candlelight vigil being
held in his neighborhood of Dorchester and tons of people out for that.
Charlie, I want you to stay with us.
And, from Washington, we have NBC News justice correspondent, Pete
Williams, who have been doing incredible work in the last few days.
And, Pete, thank you so much for being with us.
I want to get to the investigation and what we know, the latest on
that, but first, I want to begin with these ricin reports. NBC News has
confirmed a letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker did test
What do we know about -- how seriously should we take this? What are
the odds of a false positive under these circumstances? I`d like to get a
little context before we start ringing the alarm bell.
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, let`s
understand what the results come from. All mail to the U.S. Capitol, this
is ever since the anthrax attacks is now sent to an off-site facility for
processing, where it`s tested for all sorts of things, including ricin. An
automated alarm went off. The envelope in question was found, pulled out
of the mail supply and a field test was done. It was also positive.
But these tests I must say, are oftentimes wrong. We`ve had field
tests on mail at the Capitol that have tested positive for ricin. I
remember one at a mail sorting machine that tested positive and it turned
out to be just paper dust from the mail machine.
So, what they do at the case like this is they take the material, they
send it to a lab where it`s cultured and then they`ll see if there is
actually ricin. And if there is, then it`s a pretty serious matter.
Now, let`s be clear about one thing. There`s no -- no one is
suggesting anything connection between this and Boston. Obviously, the
mail would have had to have been sent before the Boston thing. And the
other thing is sending a letter to a member of Congress is a very directed,
personal thing, where as setting off a bomb in a crowded place, obviously,
you`re trying to, you have a whole different goal.
HAYES: Pete, let`s turn now to the latest on the investigation. We
have some photos that have been released by a local news station that
appears to show some kind of suspicious package along the parade route.
You can see it there highlighted on the left and then another photo of that
same spot moments after the explosion.
We have confirmation it seems from sources, both publicly on the
record and also in reporting, about apparently, what looks to be a pressure
cooker bomb, shrapnel and BB and nails packed in with explosives lugged at
some point using some kind of bags to the scene.
Is that about where things are now? What is -- do we know anything
beyond that at this point?
WILLIAMS: Well, what we do know for sure is that the bombs were made
using a pressure cookers. There are some photographs starting to circulate
that clearly show parts of pressure cookers. The brand name is on one of
them. The pressure that the cooker can withstand is stamped into the
metal. There are fairly substantial pieces.
So, there`s no question they were in pressure cookers and the FBI has
They`ve also acknowledged that the bombs had shrapnel in them, ball
bearings and nails to further amplify the destructive power and try to
inflict maximum casualties.
And in terms of what made them go, that`s believed to be smokeless
powdered gun powder in essence and the mere fact there was smoke you could
see after the blast, smokeless powder, of course, will smoke, it just
doesn`t as much as traditional, old fashioned black powder.
That`s not a high explosive. That`s -- in some categories, classed as
an explosive. It`s gun powder. It`s not like dynamite or plastic
But whether that leads in one connection or another, whether this is
domestic or foreign, it`s simply too soon.
The recipe to make a pressure cooker bomb is sadly all over the place.
WILLIAMS: It`s -- you don`t have to look very hard to find it. The
al Qaeda magazine "Inspire" has the recipe, but a lot of other places do,
HAYES: Yes. We should be clear, it does not narrow down the universe
of people that could possibly do this that we know it`s a pressure cooker
WILLIAMS: No, but on the other hand, the fact that the explosive was
gun powder, that these pieces were fairly big, means that investigators
will have a lot to go on. They`ve all been sent to the FBI crime lab in
Quantico. They will try to reconstruct them now.
And let me tell you what`s happening right now -- they know what brand
pressure cooker there is. Now, they`re trying to find out where do you buy
WILLIAMS: What, truly, what part of the country sells them? Let`s go
now and find out who sold them in the last couple of months. This is the
sort of thing which the FBI excels -- sheer force of numbers chasing down
all these leads.
They`ll find out -- and I know this from past investigations. I`m not
making this up. They will see if there`s electrical tape, what kind was
it. When was it made? Can we find a lot number?
And, of course, in all these things, they`ll be looking for
fingerprints just in case the bombmaker got sloppy.
HAYES: NBC`s Pete Williams, thank you so much tonight and thank you
for your work over the last two days. It`s really been vital. Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
HAYES: Charlie Pierce, stay with us.
Up next, the latest from a forensic expert on how all the pieces of
the investigation are being put together. That`s coming up.
HAYES: A digital puzzle is at the heart of the Boston investigation.
We`ll talk to an agent on the case of the 1996 bombing that most closely
resembles the marathon explosion.
Stay with us.
HAYES: One thing that has become very clear over the last day and a
half is that video and pictures taken by business owners and general public
around the scene will be a crucial part of the investigation. Federal
agents are so interested in getting the visual material, they were
interviewing travelers at Logan Airport this afternoon to make sure they
get everything people have on their cell phones or cameras before they
leave the city. Officials today repeatedly urged the public to turn in
information they have to authorities no matter how inconsequential it may
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENE MARQUEZ, ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We are looking for the
public`s cooperation. If there`s any video, any photographic evidence, if
you can please contact the FBI hot line or the city`s hot line.
DESLAURIERS: It`s various video submissions of the area around the
crime scene, crime scenes, that were taken around the time of the blast,
both before and afterwards. All video like this, we encourage the public
and particularly business owners in that area to continue to submit this
information. This is very, very important.
TOM MINENO, BOSTON MAYOR: The 24-hour hot line this you need has
information also. That number is 617-635-4500.
HAYES: I want to bring in Grant Fredericks, owner of Forensic Video
Solutions. He`s a former police officer and coordinator of Vancouver
police forensic video unit in Canada. He`s also a contract instructor at
the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Grant, the first thought I think anyone watching has to have is how do
you begin to go through the sheer amount of day that that must be streaming
into the Boston police department right now, given the amount of people
that were there, half a million people, given the amount of cell phones
that people have these days. What do you do? What does day one look like
in the video investigation when all of this is coming?
GRANT FREDERICKS, FORENSIC VIDEO ANALYST: Well, day one for the
people in charge of the video part of the investigation is one of an
overwhelming event. For them, they are going to be inundated and are being
inundated with video sources from hundreds of different proprietary
formats. They`ll probably end up with many thousands of hours of video
clips and likely hundreds of thousands or more of still images.
The best model for this kind of investigation just occurred in
Vancouver, Canada, when coincidentally after Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup
in 2011 to Boston, they had a riot and Vancouver did the same callout
request and ended up with 5,000 hours of video for a riot.
What`s different about Vancouver and the Boston marathon is that you
had hundreds of thousands of people with video cameras. Every person with
a cell phone has an evidence collection device and they were collecting
evidence unknowingly, now that it`s evidence, and they currently have that
evidence and police want to get it.
The problem is, they want to get the right kind of evidence. They
don`t want the public to do their own editing to decide what depose to the
police. The police should get it all.
HAYES: So, how do you separate the signal from the noise? In this
kind of situation, with the sheer -- I mean, in case of Vancouver, you have
tremendous amount of video of a very chaotic event. Is there a way to
automate the way you go through that? How do you make sure you find a
needle in the haystack?
FREDERICKS: No, you don`t separate that information. You want --
number one, you want it all. You don`t want the public to look at their
video and send you images, if they had images of the fire, the bombing, the
smoke. You want everything.
You want something from them if they were there the day ahead of time,
two days ahead of time. You want a complete chronology of every event that
occurred there. And the reason for that, people were taking images of
their friends, their family, taking video of the runners. And somebody in
the background was carrying the bomb into the scene, maybe more than one
person. They won`t know that.
You want the authorities to have the best evidence. You want them to
be able to go through it at their leisure with their coordinated approach
so that they`re not leaving anything behind. You`re not going to be able
to separate the noise from it. You get everything and after that, you
begin to find suspects or begin to target people by, you know, by males
with backpacks, as simple as that.
And you start collecting everything.
HAYES: I want to bring into the conversation, former ATF special
agent in charge, James Cavanaugh. He retired in 2010 after more than 30
years in the bureau. He was the ATF`s lead investigator on the 1996
Atlanta Olympic bombings.
I want to talk to him because the last time there was a bombing whose
basic facts -- not perpetrator, I should be very clear -- but basic facts
compared to the Boston attack was the Centennial Park bombing at the 1996
Atlanta Olympic Games. It was a high security, outdoor sporting event with
a huge public presence.
The weapon used was a relatively crude device, a pipe bomb filled with
nails and crews, and one person was killed by the explosion, while 111 were
James, I guess the question to you was how do you begin trying to
track down who did this? Obviously, there`s a wealth of data presented in
those pixels that are streaming into the Boston Police Department. Pete
Williams talked about getting the fragments of the pressure cooker.
Where are you going right now if you`re an investigator?
JAMES CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Chris, the way
this work is this investigation is basically an iceberg. The part you see
is the small top. That`s the part you see where the agents and detectives
are on the ground in Boston, picking up the fragments of the bomb debris,
picking up the bomb components, the pieces of the pressure cooker, the BBs,
they`re going to the hospital, retrieving component parts from victims,
from doctors and recover them from the victims, and they`re putting that
And they`re going to be able to put it together. It`s going to be
able to be put together, just like humpty dumpty, almost completely
HAYES: Piece by piece. I mean, they will have basically, you know, I
read somewhere today, within 98 percent of the original, actual device.
CAVANAUGH: ATF and FBI and bomb squad detectives have been blowing
things for up 50 years in training. And we blow up pressure cookers and
cars and everything in between, and we sift through and we pick them up.
It`s a raison d`etre. We live to find out what that stuff is.
These two scenes, as horrific as they are, as devastating as they are
to Boston, they are not huge forensic scenes for agents to process.
They`re not the Murrah Building. They are not `93 World Trade Center.
CAVANAUGH: They`re not even the Olympic Park bombing. They`re
smaller because they were anti-personnel devices.
These bombs were made with hate. They were intended for mass murder.
But the desire of the bomber would be his undoing, his or their undoing and
that desire is for attention and theater and terroristic theater. That`s
why they went there.
They went there because the cameras were there. They went there
because the world can watch there and that`s why the terrorists, where ever
they came from, and we can talk about all those places they can come from.
They went there for that reason.
So that will probably be their undoing because they are going to be on
the cameras. They`re going to be on cell phones. They`re going to be on
CCTV. They`re going to be on all the reporters that were there.
The forensics will layer that on. And we talk about a slow moving
case, but we`re 24 hours into the case.
CAVANAUGH: And look what we know publicly. We know it`s a pressure
cooker, ball bearings. We know it`s --
HAYES: Is that encouraging to you what we do know?
CAVANAUGH: Extremely. I mean, smokeless powder, maybe a circuit
And here`s another thing that`s very valuable if you are the commander
of this case. You got two pressure cookers.
CAVANAUGH: I`ll be putting out to the public. Did anybody know
anybody who bought two pressure cookers recently because that could be an
CAVANAUGH: And so, if that comes in, you know, then you might have a
film from Walmart or Home Depot or somewhere where that was purchased, and
you can layer that on with your photographs, your forensics and put it
together. This case is going to be solved.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, both of you gentlemen, briefly. If it is
a single individual, we don`t know if it was an individual or group, but it
being a single individual, has not been ruled out by anything we know so
far, does that make it a harder case to solve? I mean, clearly, there are
cases, the Unabomber and Eric Rudolph, who was the -- ended up being the
bomber of the Atlanta Olympic bombing, that took a very long time to solve.
Unabomber took a very long time to solve.
Does it make it a more difficult case to solve if you are dealing with
an individual as opposed to a group?
CAVANAUGH: Well, not necessarily. Because you know, when you`re on
your own, you`re alone. And you can trip up or you make more mistakes.
Not only do you have to make the fusing and firing system of the device,
but you have to purchase the components. You have to deliver the device.
You`ve got a chance of being seen by witnesses in many places, so -- if you
don`t have conspirators.
But you could have a couple of conspirators or multiple conspirators
HAYES: All right, forensic video analyst Grant Fredericks and former
ATF Special Agent in Charge James Cavanaugh, thank you both for your time
tonight. I really, really appreciate it.
Coming up, more on the national reaction to the Boston attack. We`ll
be right back.
HAYES: Breaking news on the third fatality from the bombing of the
Boston Marathon. Tonight, the Chinese consulate general confirms that a
Chinese citizen was killed in yesterday`s explosion. Family has asked that
the victim`s personal information not be disclosed.
While the nation`s attention has been understandably focused on
Boston, there is other news happening. One of those other stories that has
been easy to lose track of under the wave of horror and pain of the Boston
Marathon bombings was a report released to little fanfare today on what, at
first glance, what might appear to be an utterly unrelated topic.
An 11 member bipartisan panel put together by the Constitution
Progress this morning made public an exhaustive 577-paged report on the
United States` use of torture under President George W. Bush. The report
says that it is, quote, "indisputable that the United States engaged in the
practice of torture."
The commission`s cochairs, former Republican Congressman Asa
Hutchinson, former Democratic Congressman James R. Jones spearheaded the
two-year investigation. What "the New York Times" calls "the most
ambitious independent attempt to date to assess the detention and
The report found no firm or persuasive evidence that torture produced
vital information that couldn`t have been otherwise legally obtained, and
also confirms new incidents of torture the CIA has not admitted to. It
concludes that torture, quote, "damaged the standing of our nation, reduced
our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary, and potentially
increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive."
We look back at the torture regime and rightly bemoan the lack of
accountability for those who oversaw this obscenity, from George W. Bush to
Dick Cheney to David Addington and John Yoo. But the uncomfortable truth
is that in the wake of the horrific spectacle of 9/11, the entire culture
and society shifted in a decidedly dark direction. When Dick Cheney said
famously and ominously we would have to work the dark side, he was giving
official voice to an impulse that was already being articulated in our
newspapers and on our cable news channels.
I remember that the second tower had hardly fallen when I started
reading commentators from the right, center and even self-proclaimed
liberals openly contemplating or simply outright advocating for torture,
the suspension of due process and all kinds of harsh Draconian measures at
odds with our laws and traditions.
Ultimately, the people responsible for the torture regime so
exhaustively described in the Constitution Project report are the
government officials who made the key decisions. But the fertile soil into
which the seeds of torture were planted was provided by the commentators,
pundits and law professors who first made torture seem acceptable in the
minds of the public in the wake of 9/11.
That is why in the aftermath of an event like Boston, we have a duty
to fight our darkest impulses in ourselves, in our fellow countrymen and
women, to make clear to our elected officials and leaders that we desire
security and justice and also the application of the rule of law, that
there is no reason that our remarkably capable law enforcement officials
and courts can`t handle apprehending, trying and convicting the perpetrator
or perpetrators of this slaughter.
And it is why I was so angered and disappointed when I saw "Slate`s"
great reporter David Weigel report that Maine Senator Susan Collins said
this to a gaggle of reporters today, quote, "the question is what do we do
once we do capture the individual? How is he treated? If he`s an
American, obviously then the Constitutional protections pertain. If he is
a foreign national, in my view, then he should be held by a military
tribunal and he should not be read his Miranda rights, as the Christmas Day
Yes, that`s Susan Collins, hailed as one of the lone remaining
Republican moderates in the Senate, a voice of reason and bipartisan
wisdom, blithely telling reporters that if the person apprehended happens
to be a foreign national than due process doesn`t apply. What a disgrace
and what an insult to the American system of law and justice and the
Constitution and those sworn to uphold it.
And what ignorance. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which
protects the right to due process in federal proceedings, is quite clear
about who it applies to. It reads, right at the beginning, "no person
shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on
a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury." And it goes on to say, "nor
be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."
Not, you will notice, no citizen, "no person." If a French national
is arrested in a bar fight, he gets access to a lawyer, is arraigned and
charged and eventually tried. We don`t have some special carve out in the
law for foreigners. Our laws are our laws.
And yet 12 years after the horrors of 9/11 and the shameful
abomination of torture we committed when we created a new special carved
out area of law, we have a Republican rushing to repeat the same conceptual
and legal mistakes, to place the perpetrators outside of our normal legal
system. Susan Collins should take the time to read the Constitution
Project`s report. It is a useful, timely reminder of how not to react to
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: The president said it best this morning when he outlined the
approach to the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, which so far
seems to be the approach that most people are taking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will find whoever
harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. We also know this:
the American people refuse to be terrorized, because what the world saw
yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and
kindness and generosity and love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That phrase, "refuse to be terrorized," caught me because last
night I read this from security expert Bruce Schneider, "when we refuse to
be terrorized, when we`re indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists
fail even if their attacks succeed." Attacks like yesterday`s bombing in
Boston are extremely rare here in America. And your odds of dying in a
terrorist attack are far lower than dying from just about anything else.
Still, when something like this happens, people absolutely
understandably get jumpy. And any unattended suitcase automatically
becomes a suspicious package.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe you see something suspicious, but you don`t
want to get involved. It`s nothing, you think. Can you be sure? If you
see something, say something. Report suspicious activity to local
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, in the aftermath of something like yesterday`s bombing in
Boston, I`m curious to know how we remain alert but not panicked, and what
does "refusing to be terrorized" look like. Joining me now is Bruce
Schneider, a security expert, author and also the chief security
technologist for BT Group Communications Services provider. We also still
have Charlie Pierce with us from Newton.
Bruce, I`ll begin with you. and you`ve written about this topic a
lot. you`ve written about the kind of ways in which we`ve responding to
9/11 and what you call security theater. When something like this does
happen, people are going to be more alert, right? And the authorities are
telling them to report things And there`s some information that we need to
get out of those folks.
So how do you balance that with not essentially overwhelming local
authority in the -- all of the lower 48, as we have been seeing over wire
reports with suspicious package reports, and actually end up enveloping
more resources than necessary?
BRUCE SCHNEIDER, SECURITY TECHNOLOGIST: Well, I think the trick is to
be local. In the Boston area, we want to overwhelm the police. They don`t
know what`s going to be valuable. They want absolutely everything. In the
rest of the country, it`s business as usual. So overwhelming the police
there is going to have the same derogatory effect it had all through the
past 12 years.
HAYES: Has see something, say something been an effective tool for
SCHNEIDER: It hasn`t. We`ve learned that the FBI investigates
thousands of things and they`re all false alarms. And they used to hit the
news. Someone was dumping their trash or someone with a blinky light badge
at Boston Logan Airport. Lots of things are reported. None of them are
really suspicious. The problem is these are amateurs we`re asking. These
are not security professionals. These are not police.
When you ask amateurs to be on the front line of your security, you
get amateur security. Generally, we know what`s suspicious. We don`t need
to be prompted. If something is truly suspicious, people --
HAYES: It will rise up within you to this level, cross that sort of
threshold. Charlie and Bruce, I want to read you -- I want to talk about
this discussion of the word terror, terrorism, terrorist, which there`s
been I think some kind of silly political debate about it. But it actually
seems material to me in terms of how we all conceive of what`s happening,
right? It`s material, Charlie, in terms of what legal regime we`re going
use in this day and age often, as we see Susan Collins.
PIERCE: Such as it is.
HAYES: Yes, such as it is, right. Here is the official State
Department definition of terrorism, which I think is really important here:
"premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against
noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents." This
is the FBI definition of terrorism, "the unlawful use of force or violence
against persons of property to intimidate or coerce a government, civilian
population or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social
Charlie, you`ve said this thing to me yesterday that was profound,
which is that terrorism is in the eyes of the terrorized. And I`m
wondering whether Boston will feel more or less terrorized depending on
what motivations we ultimately find out were responsible for the murders
that we had there yesterday.
PIERCE: I don`t have -- in situations like this, I always tell the
story of a friend of mine who grew up on the Falls Road in Belfast and was
in Boston and was walking to Boston Garden one time to sing "the National
Anthem" at a Celtics game. And as he was walking to the Garden, a guy
jumped out of an ally near North Station and said to him, give me your
money, I have a gun. And my friend from Belfast looked him right in the
eye and said, "sir, where I come from, if you have a gun, you produce it."
PIERCE I`ve taken that as sort of my attitude towards this thing. As
Bruce said, you have -- if it happens to you, it is going to happen to you.
It is a bolt from the blue. Now, your question is an interesting one,
because I have not seen so far in the reaction a predisposition to be
overly angry at a specific political motivation, no matter what that is, at
least in the city of Boston so far.
I think we`ve had the case of the Saudi national student who has now
been exonerated. And there was -- I mean, the fiery rhetoric around that
took place mostly far from the city. And again, I give credit to
Commissioner Davis for stepping on that story at the press conference.
HAYES: Yes. And we`re going to play some sound from Governor Deval
Patrick. Charlie, that`s a fantastic story. Charles Pierce of "Esquire,"
thank you for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
Bruce, stick around. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi has released a statement
tonight about news that a letter addressed to his office was intercepted in
a U.S. Post Office screening facility and initially tested positive for the
poison Ricin. Quote, "this matter is part of an on going investigation by
the United States Capitol police and FBI. I want to thank our law
enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of
us who work in the Capitol complex safe. Gail and I appreciate everyone`s
thoughts and prayers."
Again, in initial testing, a letter bound for Senator Wicker`s office
tested positive for Ricin. We`ll keep you posted as this news develops.
HAYES: Right now, I want to bring in from Boston Farrah Stockman,
columnist at the "Boston Globe," and Aziza Ahmed, a professor at
Northeastern University School of Law who writes about changing global
landscape of Muslim minorities after 9/11. And Aziza, I want to start with
you because I know that I`ve been speaking to friends of mine who are Arab
and Muslim and this kind of sense of tension as the investigation unfolds
about finding the community in the crosshairs or under scrutiny if, at some
point, it is revealed that there is a suspect who is Arab or Muslim.
I`m curious from the perspective of Boston how things feel to you
there right now, in that respect?
AZIZA AHMED, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: Well, I do think
that after any one of these tragedy, we are faced yet again -- that we`re
faced with we want someone to blame. And the Muslim community does feel
under pressure and under stress. The immediate finger pointing towards the
Saudi national does -- does point to how the conversation may go.
HAYES: Bruce, tell me how do you deal -- and Farrah, I want to get to
you in a second. People have this kind of ambient anxiety. And then it
goes searching for things. And there`s this mismatch between the supply of
information and the demand for new information, right? And so that ends up
with those anxieties being channeled in these specific ways. Like what do
you do with the stuff that`s there that`s the anxiety?
SCHNEIDER: You have to recognize it. Human beings are natural
pattern matching machines. We look for stories. And if there`s not a
story, we`re going to make it. That`s why conspiracies are so enticing.
The only thing we can do is pay attention to it and understand we don`t
have any facts, that a lot of this is pure speculation and not to act on
HAYES: Right. Farrah, the Boston Marathon is a tremendously
cosmopolitan event. And Boston, which is being talked about in these sort
of tribal ways, is also a tremendously cosmopolitan place. And I wonder
how the city is reacting in that respect?
FARRAH STOCKMAN, "BOSTON GLOBE": No, absolutely. This was not just
an attack on Boston. It was not just an attack on America. It was an
attack on the whole world. And yesterday, I was down at the scene and you
saw people from all over the world helping each other. There were runners
from all over the world who ran and spectators. And now, we see the third
victim was actually a Chinese national, a woman at BU Graduate School.
And so I think it`s important to focus on that, because we are all the
victims of this attack. And if we keep our minds on that, we can avoid
scapegoating one group of people.
HAYES: Aziza, what do you want to see happen in terms of the way the
authorities talk about the investigation? What cues are you looking for?
Deval Patrick I thought had some really strongly worded comments today at a
press conference about not following the impulse to alight upon categories
of people, I think is what he said.
AHMED: I think Governor Patrick is right. That`s exactly right. We
can`t scapegoat. We can`t jump to conclusions, as has already been done.
We need to proceed with caution. And we need to focus on the local. I
would say that we need to think about what`s happening in Boston and not
turn this into a situation that it isn`t.
HAYES: Bruce, you talked about pattern, humans are these pattern
matching machines, which we are, specifically in moments of chaos or
anxiety. Of course, pattern matching is precisely what we want the
forensic experts and security experts to do, right? But amateur pattern
matching is a whole different kettle of fish.
SCHNEIDER: Right. And it`s so easy for us to do it. We`re look for
conspiracies. Also it`s easy to find us versus them. We`re used to us
versus them. Where do you define the us? Is it Boston? Is it
Massachusetts, the United States, people who speak our language, people who
look like a dominate majority, or the whole world?
You treat these as criminals and it`s a crime against the world, not
against a country, not against a race, not against a language. And if we
do that, we will stick together and find the bad guys.
HAYES: We`re also going to be finding out more obviously about the
motivation, ultimately, we hope, as the suspect is tracked down,
apprehended and arraigned, tried. Farrah Stockman of "The Boston Globe,"
Aziza Ahmed of Northeastern University School of Law, thank you both. And
security expert Bruce Schneider, thank you for coming in. I really
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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