All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
June 18, 2014
Guest: James Fallows, Morris Davis, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Dana Milbank,
Dan Ackerman, Linda Sarsour
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
President Obama has just wrapped up a meeting with congressional leaders on
how to respond to the deepening chaos in Iraq. In the hour long session in
the Oval Office, lawmakers reportedly pressured the president to force Iraq
Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki to step down over what they see as his
failure to rain in the sectarian strife that`s fueling the Sunni insurgency
now bearing down on Baghdad. And as ISIS militants threaten to strengthen
their control today over the nation`s largest oil refinery. The Maliki
government, once again, requested U.S. air support in the form of
surveillance and drone strikes. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Martin Dempsey told the congressional panel that air strikes might be
easier said than done given the unclear intelligence picture on the ground.
As we`ve been talking about, the crisis in Iraq over the past couple weeks,
it has struck me that, as a country, we still haven`t really worked through
the ramifications of our involvement there over the past decade. We never
actually had a full truth and reconciliation of the crime that was the Iraq
War. We had a couple of small accountability moments, including the
midterms in 2006 and the presidential election in 2008, which functioned as
rebukes of the people who led us into that war. But now, here we are, 11
years after the war started, having what amounts to the first real public
reckoning with the full horror of what we unleashed, who was responsible
for it and how we should move forward.
As we watch those who advocated for war debate how to respond to this
current crisis, what we are watching is the internal psycho drama of
individuals responsible for more death than one can reasonably be asked to
internalized. We are watching them work through that guilt publicly in a
national conversation that attempts, at least, to reconcile the sheer scope
of what we did. And some people, were seeing, have actually learned the
lessons of history. Hillary Clinton, who struggled to explain her vote for
the Iraq War, during the 2008 campaign has now admitted it was plainly a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: And I wanted to make clear in
this book, especially in the context of my thinking about what I would
recommend to President Obama concerning additional troops in Afghanistan,
that I did get it wrong in Iraq, and it was a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Glenn Beck, generally no fan of the left, just came out and said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK: They said we couldn`t force freedom on people. You know what,
let me lead with my mistakes. You`re right. Liberals, you were right, we
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Liberals, you were right.
Tom Friedman, who once went on television and told Iraqis, quote, "suck on
this." Tom Friedman wrote in today`s "New York Times" that "now is not the
time to reinvade Iraq." Heck, even John Bolton, one of the most rabid
advocates for militarism of the whole bunch, thinks we should stay out of
And then there are what you might call the dead enders, to borrow a phrase.
The people who have dealt with the sheer magnitude of what they have
brought by simple doubling down. Their method of coping with how badly they
got it wrong is to scream even louder that they are right because it will
allow a little bit of truth to work its way in would annihilate their
entire sense of the world`s order and their place in it. We`ve seen this
from Bush era officials like Paul Bremer and Paul Wolfowitz, Senators John
McCain and Lindsey Graham, and commentators like Bill Crystal. But at the
top of this list, the top of all lists when it comes to the Iraq debacle,
is of course this man and his nar (ph) do well daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Al Qaeda is resurgent,
establishing new safe havens across the Middle East, including in Iraq,
where President Obama withdrew all American forces with no stay behind
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz announcing
they`re founding a new organization to advance their vision for American
foreign policy. Just let that sink in for a second. They also wrote a "Wall
Street Journal" op-ed condemning President Obama`s approach to Iraq and
it`s unclear, I have to say, whether or not they meant it to be a self-
parody. It actually includes lines like this, "rarely has a U.S. president
been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."
You see the spectacle of Dick Cheney weighing in on Iraq and on one level
it feels like a just society would have done something formal to sanction
this person for what he did and place him outside the bounds of polite
society. But in the absence of that, at least we can take comfort in the
fact that this man is speaking from a lowed mountainside in a funny hat
rather than from the Oval Office at the president`s side.
This is a man whose family name has been so tarnished, so discredited, he
couldn`t get his own daughter through a primary campaign in his own party
in his own home state. He had to go back to the drawing board to find her
another job, which he`s apparently achieved by starting this new
And, of course, no accounting for this psycho drama, this spectacle of the
lead`s reckoning with the horror of what they did would be complete without
this man, who, to his credit recently, has seen fitting to offer no more
wisdom, dispense no more advice, and simply spend his days in Texas trying
to paint his soul clean.
Joining me now, James Fallows, national correspondent for "The Atlantic."
Someone who was a very open opponent of the Iraq War, wrote a series of
fantastic, deeply reporter (ph) articles in "The Atlantic" about the folly
that it would be.
What is your reaction to watching the bizarre spectacle of people who
supported the Iraq, debating with each other on each side what we should do
with Iraq now?
JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE ATLANTIC": I think you`re
right, it is partly delayed, the discussion they haven`t been having, we
haven`t been having for a dozen years about the sides people took then. I
think also you`re right to give president to - to give credit to former
President George W. Bush for the dignified silence he`s had during this
time and discredit to former Vice President Cheney. It`s not so much that
he`s criticizing his successors. After all, Al Gore, as a former vice
president, was criticizing the decision to go into Iraq in 2002. But the
tone he`s had and the lack of self-awareness is really quite something. And
I think that there also the question of bookers on our shows bringing in
repeatedly people like Paul Bremer and Paul Wolfowitz, who were as
responsible as anybody for how badly this whole thing went. That is quite
HAYES: You know there`s this - a strange kind of meta debate has erupted as
we`ve watched the situation in Iraq descend into chaos. And it`s --
everything that`s happening there, it`s very hard to find good silver
linings in the actual situation on the ground there. The conversation
politically here about who has standing in this debate, and there are
people making the argument that, hey, you can`t just constrain the
boundaries of debate, people lose and people might have been wrong once
before, they might be right again. What do you say to that?
FALLOWS: Well, I have some experience with this. I put out a fairly ill-
considered tweet a couple of days ago saying, how about this as a working
hypothesis. If you stump for the war, maybe we don`t need your advice now.
And I got all this mail from people saying, oh, it`s this (INAUDIBLE).
You`re going to lock up people who disagree. That`s not my point. My point
is that if you were really grossly in error on this particular topic, on
the likely consequences of military operations in this country, that at
least you should have a little bit of deference or a little bit of
reticence in saying, OK, I was wrong then, but for other reasons I think,
you know, this - I can make that point now. So I think at least, in the
last couple of days, there`s been some kind of shock awareness of what --
why we`re listening to Crystal, Wolfowitz and Bremer opine on what to do in
HAYES: And what`s striking to me is that the structure of the arguments
around this right now, very much look like the structure of the arguments
back then, in that there is this kind of temptation to advocate some
immediate sort of intervention to deal with what is seen as an immediate
problem. And in this case, it`s a bad situation in Iraq. I don`t think
there`s anyone who thinks that`s not the case. And without asking the then
what question, the then what question and the then what question is the
question that was failed to ask the first time around. You wrote this
fantastic article called the 51st state about what the Iraq occupation
might look like, that was precisely about the then what question. Do you
think we`ve gotten better as a society at asking that question?
FALLOWS: I think there is some sobering effect of the last dozen years and
people looking at Iraq now, looking at Afghanistan and saying, for what
have we lost these lives, sacrificed all the money and international
standing and stains to our honor with Guantanamo and the torture and all
the rest. So we maybe have been forced into some sort of that. And I think
also, it is, as you well know from this show and sort of the business of
public opinion, there really an almost irresistible compulsion to say, here
is a problem, here`s problem x -
FALLOWS: Therefore we must have solution y. And if the answer is, there
isn`t really any good solution, or (INAUDIBLE) if there`s a solution, it`s
not one that our cruise missiles and our drones and all the rest are likely
to produce. And since we are so much better at the military aspect of
things and almost anything else, it really is hard to break that circuit
and say, well here`s a problem, therefore let`s solve it with the main tool
HAYES: You know it`s funny you mentioned that because I was - I was
thinking about today that I - you know, I was not working cable news in
2003 in the run-up to the last invasion and now I do and I do see how, you
know, the images we show, which are these horrifying images of ISIS riding
in with these black flags, terrifying, right? And there`s a certain kind of
frenetic excitement around crisis and violence that even in an ideological
sense you wonder if that lays the groundwork for people to be thinking in
terms of military intervention as the solution.
FALLOWS: (INAUDIBLE). Oh, and I think you`re right, you`ve written about
this and there is the immediacy and the permanent crisis mode of cable TV
where you think people are suffering around the world, we have to do
FALLOWS: And the next stage of what will it mean if we take this step, is
that going to really make a difference a week from now, a month from now,
so it is a -- there`s a laudable part of this human desire to do something,
in addition to sort of the crowd frenzy part, and the fact that as
Americans in the 21st century, we know we have a military, and that`s the
main thing we have, so we`re tempted to use it. But maybe we`re seeing some
resistance just based on what`s happened over the past dozen years.
HAYES: I think we are. James Fallows from "The Atlantic." It`s always a
pleasure. Thank you.
FALLOWS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: The greatest and most active dead-ender is, of course, John McCain,
whose whole M.O. is that he`s never actually learned anything. Every single
crisis is proof positive his world view and demands the same aggressive
response. There is one issue where McCain has recently changed his mind,
however. The Arizona senator actually used to support closing Guantanamo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I believe we should close Guantanamo and
work with our allies -- and work with our allies to forge a new
international understanding on the disposition of dangerous detainees under
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But now in an apparent, amazing reversal, he thinks that`s where we
should send Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged ring leader of the attack of
the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans. Khatallah was
apprehended by the FBI and special forces over the weekend and charged in
criminal court. The Obama administration announced that once U.S. officials
finished interrogating him, Khatallah will face a civilian trial. Joining
me now, retired Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for
the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay.
And Colonel Davis, do you think it`s a good idea to send Khatallah to
COL. MORRIS DAVIS (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: It`s a terrible idea. It`s - you
know, the worst thing we could do. I think the president made a wise
decision here, bringing him to the U.S., trying him in federal court, and
let`s close this chapter at Guantanamo and put it behind us.
HAYES: If we were to bring him to Guantanamo, as opposed to trying him in
federal court, my understanding is, giving the legal ambiguity about the
detainees there, that if what you want to see is this man pay the price and
have accountability for the crime he`s alleged to commit, a civilian trial
is much more likely to both insure that in a speedy fashion than the morass
that is Guantanamo.
DAVIS: Yes, Chris, back in September of 2006, there were 14 men that were
transferred from the CIA to Guantanamo. Of those 14 men, there`s one that`s
been convicted and sentenced, and that was Ahmed Gallani (ph), who was
convicted and sentenced in federal court. The other 13 men that got off the
plane with him that day are still in, you know, legal limbo at Guantanamo.
You know, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is in court this week on hearings that
began three years ago and there`s still not a trial date. So I predict, you
know, if this case goes forward in federal court, it should be wrapped up
within a year. If it goes to Guantanamo, it could be sometime next decade
if the right things have been moving down there.
HAYES: Do you think - do you sense backsliding? Well, first of all, do you
support closing Guantanamo?
DAVIS: Definitely. You know, Senator McCain, and it`s disappointing, I
worked with him a bit when I was chief prosecutor, and both he and Lindsey
Graham, you know, pushed back against the Bush administration on enhanced
interrogation and with the second rate proceedings at Guantanamo when that
was not popular to do. So I have a lot of respect for the two of them.
DAVIS: But, you know, it was a year ago right now that Senator McCain and
Senator Feinstein issued a joint statement that said, quote, "it`s in our
national interest to close Guantanamo." So that was a year ago. Things
haven`t gotten better over the past year.
DAVIS: So it just -- it just makes no sense.
HAYES: Yes, can you square that stated belief by Senator McCain, that it`s
in our national interest to close Guantanamo, with the idea that we should
bring a new detainee to Guantanamo?
DAVIS: No. It`s been a disaster. I mean our allies and our enemies alike
have condemned Guantanamo. And we`ve had some progress over the last few
years, you`re getting detainees out of there and beginning the process of
closing it down. So at this point, to add to the population, by taking
Khatallah there makes no sense. And it accomplishes nothing. I mean we`ve
picked Guantanamo because there were some in the Bush administration that
thought it was outside the reach of the law. So, to them, it was the
perfect place to take people to be exploited for intelligence. And that`s
back when you had the Jay Bide (ph) memo that said anything short of the
pain - you know, equivalent of death was acceptable. (INAUDIBLE) changed.
HAYES: Or organ failure, I should note. The pain equivalent to organ
DAVIS: Right. But all that`s changed. I mean Guantanamo, it turned out, was
not a law free zone. You know the courts have said, they have a right to an
attorney and a right to, you know, to Habeas Corpus in federal court.
Senator McCain himself, in 2005, you know, passed the Detainee Treatment
Act that banned the enhanced interrogation techniques. So there`s really
nothing to be gained by taking Khatallah to Guantanamo other than perhaps
making some, you know, political point to try to paint the president as
weak. But there`s nothing you could do at Guantanamo that you can`t do on
board a ship or on U.S. soil.
HAYES: As former prosecutor there, we saw people angry about the release of
the five Taliban figures in the swap for Bowe Bergdahl. What is the
likelihood, do you think, of people returning to battle, and what do you
say to people that are scared of that?
DAVIS: Well, you know, certainly over the past 12 years, there`s been a lot
of pandering, you know, to fear and a lot of profit made off of fear
mongering. You know, again, you know, you can`t guarantee that no one is
going to return to do bad things. I mean if we`re waiting for the risk to
be reduced to zero, we`ll never get there.
DAVIS: But I think we`ve got to take some calculated risks, try to mitigate
the potential for harm. I think the president has done that. I think it was
a good move to send the five back and get Bowe Bergdahl back home.
HAYES: Retired Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, right before the Super Bowl, this ad was released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Rancher, teacher, doctor, Seminole, Seneca,
Mohawk, (INAUDIBLE). Native Americans call themselves many things. The one
thing they don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the
trademark for that helmet. So what does this actually mean? We`ll talk
about it, next.
HAYES: There`s all sorts of serious news going on (INAUDIBLE) today, which
is why sometimes you just have to take a moment to watch a crazy video from
the Internet, like this one, which comes to us from Thailand, we think.
It`s a duck stampede. A stampede of ducks. Yes, those are ducks. Lots and
lots and lots of ducks. Why are they stampeding? Where are they going? We
don`t know. We certainly have some guesses. But we`re supposed to be
lightening the mood here, OK? So, how about just, whoa, look at all those
ducks. I mean, seriously, look at all those ducks. I didn`t know they could
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: There was a bombshell announcement today from the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office, which is, let`s be honest, not generally a government
agency associated with big bombshell announcements. This one, this was a
big one. The announcement was that the trademark registration for a little
outfit called the Washington Redskins has been cancelled. Federal law
protects trademarks so long as they are not deemed to be disparaging. And
guess what, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found, quote, "a
preponderance of evidence that a substantial amount of Native Americans
found the term Redskins to be disparaging when used in connection with
professional football." If the nickname is disparaging to Native Americans
now, then the question becomes, was it disparaging back in 1967 when the
team first registered their name? And if so, they should probably never
have been given its trademark in the first place.
Now, this doesn`t mean the team name Redskins will just disappear. Just
like the last time this happened in 1999, when the same office found the
trademark was not valid, the team will likely appeal today`s ruling. In the
meantime, they`ll be able to continue exclusively using the trademark, the
name. But the last time this happened, it didn`t take place amid a storm of
outrage. In recent months, President Barack Obama himself and half of the
Senate have called the team to change its name. Team owner Daniel Snyder
told the "USA Today" last spring that, quote, we`ll never change the name.
It`s that simple. Never. You can use caps."
When a federal body rules that your nickname is according to the law
disparaging to a great number of people, well, Senator Harry Reid may be on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: There`s no trademark any more for the
Redskins. Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize
this, but it`s just a matter of time until he`s forced to do the right
thing and change the name.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She`s a
Democrat who represents the District of Columbia.
Congresswoman, your reaction to today`s ruling?
REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D), WASHINGTON D.C.: Well, the lawyer in me,
Greg (ph), said you shouldn`t be surprised because Snyder, Dan Snyder, has
tried to trademark the name four separate times since. And four times this
very patent and trademark office said that this word was disparaging. How
many times does he need to hear it? The was - by the way, the Patent and
Trademark Office found in a prior case that it was disparaging. It was not
overturned in the courts on the merits. It was -- the courts essentially
didn`t reach the merits.
HAYES: That`s right.
NORTON: So there was a technicality as to who the plaintiffs were.
NORTON: This time, the petitioners are the right petitioners. So he`s going
to go down in flames. And why do so over a racial slur?
HAYES: This is a really important point. The last time that it was thrown
out, it was appealed. It was thrown out on standing ground in terms of who
the plaintiffs were and whether they`d experienced an (ph) injury. So
lawyers went out, they found a younger crop of people that they think will
pass that same threshold. And there`s no reason to think they won`t. And if
they get to the merits, the lawyer in you says, they have no chance.
NORTON: No chance. And the reason I say so, Greg (ph), is that the courts
have to give almost complete deference to the fact finder here, to the
expert agency. They can`t just say, well, we don`t like what you found.
NORTON: So I don`t know what kind of lawyers Dan Snyder has. And I don`t
know what kind of a leader that the NFL has that he hasn`t gone to the
other team owners - that he hasn`t gone to FedEx and said, help us get Dan
to understand this is going nowhere and all of us are now being painted and
HAYES: You know, this is interesting. This is - just shows you how long
awareness of the offensiveness of this name has been -
NORTON: Oh, I`m sorry. This is Chris. I`m sorry.
HAYES: Yes. It`s fine.
NORTON: Greg was your producer, I think.
HAYES: Well, he`s a good guy too, actually.
HAYES: So this is - this is a -- Edward Bennett Williams, who is - who is a
former Redskins owner, in 1972 saying, "yesterday I met with a delegation
of American Indian leaders who are vigorously objecting to the continuing
use of the name Redskins. I shall ask Mr. Gross, who is their spokesman, to
communicate with you directly on the subject." He`s writing to the current
owner. So this is not a secret. Why do you think it`s gained the kind of
ground swell that it`s gained now?
NORTON: Chris, it`s because the native people have stepped up themselves to
educate the country. They are at a severe disadvantage. They`re only 3
percent of the country. They`re - they are - they are all around the
country. They`re not like Latinos and African-Americans who are a much
larger group. They wouldn`t dare do this if any of those groups were
He can do it because Native Americans are spread all out. Well, they have
come together now, and they have raised the consciousness of all of us.
Look, all of us have used the name, that old name, because we didn`t know
NORTON: We know better now. And you have what has been spawned, Chris, is a
virtual movement. Not only a native people, but of people of every
conceivable background behind them now. He`s going to lose. He`s losing in
the public and he`s losing in the courts.
HAYES: You know, I agree, it does seems to me - it seems absolutely
inevitable. So the question that I -- people on social media today were
coming up with possible replacements for the name. Is there -- do you have
a favorite possible replacement? Is the city of Washington, engaged in the
early stages of collective brainstorming for what to -
NORTON: You know there -- Chris, there are people who engage in that name.
That`s the one thing I want to give him, the right to name his own team so
long as he doesn`t use a racial slur. And that`s what he`s (INAUDIBLE).
HAYES: That`s right, keep it out of another racial slur and he`ll be -- and
the new name will be fine with you (INAUDIBLE).
NORTON: Yes. And, Chris, tell me this, I thought this was a rich man who
knew how to make money. Can you imagine how much money he would make if he
had a new name and all that paraphernalia had to be changed?
HAYES: That`s right. There he is.
NORTON: Why isn`t he smiling all the way to the bank and just say, let it
HAYES: You know, iPhone comes out with a new version every year. It`s a
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, thank you so much.
NORTON: Always a pleasure.
HAYES: Coming up, remember this guy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they`re home. Oh, wow, you cats hit the jackpot.
There`s enough food here to feed a lion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That sock puppet is the mascot for the last tech bubble burst. And
now there`s a new app that may be the next one. I will tell you what it is
HAYES: Great story out of Texas the other day. All right. The Dallas County
Commissioners Board unanimously approved to pay reparations to African-
Americans for a lengthy list of injustices ranging from slavery to Jim Crow
to predatory lending practices. In Dallas, Texas. The resolution was put
forward by the county`s only African-American commissioner, who had
apparently been inspired by a piece he read in "The Atlantic" called "The
Case for Reparations" written by our good friend Tomahazi Coats (ph). Now,
he may have been inspired, but the rest of the board apparently voted for
the resolution by accident. Sad horns (ph). After the vote, other
commissioners admitted they had never read the resolution before voting on
it. While it now stands Dallas official position, reparation should be
paid. The resolution is, of course, nonbinding, so no money will actually
be going out any time soon.
However, there is another place in this country where, at this very moment,
people are applying for reparations. And those reparations will be paid.
It`s in a Republican-controlled Southern state. We traveled there to bring
you that story, and you will never guess just who`s putting their weight
behind the effort. We`re going to bring you that story next week as part
of our series "ALL IN America: Behind The Color Line." That`s every night
next week at 8:00 p.m.
I hope you will join us.
HAYES: OK, you ready for this?
Got a million-dollar idea. It`s an app for your phone. You get your
friends on this app, and when you want to send them a message, all you have
to do is press a button, and that message that they get sent is, get ready,
yo. Just yo, just like that.
It sends your friends the word yo in a teeny little robot voice. No other
words are available, only yo. But it turns out -- and I couldn`t believe
this -- my million-dollar idea is already out there, and now I`m no longer
joking. Someone actually raised $1 million for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took developer Or Arbel eight hours to code. According
to ThinkProgress, it`s so simple, Apple rejected it from the app store the
first time around, because the quality assurance guys thought it was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, maybe this thing has some real potential, I don`t know, but it
seems pretty ridiculous on its face. An app that just says yo, and yet
someone got a million dollars for it.
Of course, a million dollars is not all that much in the world of venture
capital. Facebook bought the texting app called WhatsApp for a whopping
$19 billion with a B in February, which works out to about $350 million per
employee, and $40 per user.
Photo app Snapchat actually turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
And ride-sharing Uber is now valued at $18.2 billion. Just to put that in
perspective, at that valuation, Uber is worth more than Avis, more than
Hertz and more than Sony.
And this has people asking, pretty reasonably, are we now experiencing a
massive tech bubble? Hedge fund manager David Einhorn is among the growing
list that thinks so. And he`s warning investors to be wary.
If there is a tech bubble and it`s about to burst, the question is just how
much damage it could cause. Back in 1999 and 2000, when Pets.com and many
other Web-based companies were falling victim to the last tech bubble,
Silicon Valley saw 200,000 jobs evaporate overnight, which helped drag the
economy into recession.
And with an app that just says yo, just yo, yes, like that, that`s all it
does, with that bringing it in -- yes -- bringing in a million dollars --
this is dangerous, control room -- it`s high time to try to figure out just
what the heck is going on.
Joining me now, Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNET.
All right, this does seem to me like this is the thing we`re going to write
about five years ago a la Pets.com when we talk about the tech bubble
DAN ACKERMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, CNET: This is where we say, OK, we ran out of
ideas. We`re just going to get the million dollars to anybody who walks in
But the flip side is, you can kind of come up with some good talking points
about it. You can say it`s a low-latency communication app. It makes
sending a message like one tap vs. like 11 taps to actually open an app and
send the yo, so it`s not the yo that`s important. It`s the fact that you
can just ping somebody immediately.
HAYES: Wait. So, you`re defending the yo app on substantive grounds.
ACKERMAN: I`m defending the concept that you can have an app that just
does one thing really simply.
In fact, the guy who came up with this app, somebody asked him, hey, can
you make an app that will just ping my assistant and just tell them I need
them? And he made that app. And he said, what if I can make this for
everybody, so that everybody...
HAYES: OK. So, here`s the broader issue, right?
The reason that there`s a million dollars available for this guy and this
app is that there is so much G.D. money sloshing around the world of
venture capital and Silicon Valley. I see it. Just people I know...
HAYES: I`m getting yo`ed.
HAYES: I see it in just people I know who have gone into app development,
and there is just -- there is a lot of money. Why is there so much money
ACKERMAN: Because I think nobody wants to get left out of the next big
thing. When we talk about WhatsApp being worth $16 billion or $19 billion
and some of these other companies being worth billions of dollar,s even
when they don`t even have a shipping product yet, somebody says, you know,
if it costs me a million or two to get in on this, if I lose it, that`s OK,
because I`m going to spread that around and maybe I`m going to hit one of
HAYES: Right. But why is there so much -- where does the money come from?
Where`s -- I remember when the financial crisis happened around the
housing. There was this Planet Money story called the global pool of
And it was basically about the fact that there was this glut of savings
worldwide. There was all this money sloshing around looking to find
return. And that was part of what was driving what ended up being the
bubble that ended up bringing us the financial crisis.
And I wonder if there`s something in miniature happening here, with the
concentration of wealth in this country, that there`s just so much capital
ACKERMAN: Incredible concentration of wealth in a handful of a few people
who are using it to sort of cherry-pick their favorite projects.
Now, sometimes, they get a really good return on their investment because
they get in very early and they get very favorable terms, so if you have a
great idea like the yo app and somebody comes to you and gives you a
million dollars for a big chunk of it, you`re probably actually getting a
really good deal down the road if the app does well, because they got a
bigger percentage than maybe they deserve.
HAYES: Am I wrong that there is -- let`s talk about WhatsApp. I know that
there are millions of people around the world who use it. It`s a free
messaging service. It`s very easy. We have a friend in Argentina that we
have been using with. It`s a great little product.
It`s unclear to me how it`s going to make money. How -- that`s the other
thing. That is the other thing about this that`s similar to the tech
bubble in 1999-2000, which was companies that had no clear revenue strategy
getting acquired or going -- doing IPOs for hundreds of millions or
billions of dollars.
ACKERMAN: Sure. And I was around for that original dot-com bubble too.
I think the difference back then was these companies like Pets.com and
Kozmo, they had these big capital-intensive things, where they built
warehouses and shipped products and did physical things that cost a lot of
money. This stuff is all a lot of cheaper to put together.
A messaging app costs a lot less than building a giant warehouse and
shipping pet food somewhere. WhatsApp, I actually use that, and I think
I`m going to keep using it in the future, whereas with yo we`re probably
all going to be done by the end of the week, and everyone will have their
million-dollar laugh and move on.
HAYES: Yes, I think this is probably a one-day story, even more than a
But what is the way that that money gets turned -- what it way that
something like that gets that turned into real money, right? Eyeballs
equal revenue how? When?
ACKERMAN: The real reason why WhatsApp sold for so much, and some of other
companies like Snapchat is these bigger companies like Facebook and like
Google and like YouTube, they want to get in on these before someone else
snatches them up.
In some cases, it`s just getting it before someone else gets it, so they
can something that is valuable, and they will figure out what to do with it
HAYES: Isn`t it also though -- I read a few analyses of the Facebook
WhatsApp acquisition and it was basically buying the competition. Right?
Messaging is important, these other people might displace you, so buy them
before they can.
ACKERMAN: For such a big, gigantic company, Facebook has always done a
not-very-good job at mobile and at messaging, two areas that are just
growing, growing, growing, while using your laptop and sitting there is
getting smaller and smaller.
So, instead of building a mobile messaging platform that worked well, they
just bought the most popular one in the world.
HAYES: Just buy one.
Dan Ackerman from CNET, yo.
HAYES: Coming up, an ugly event at the conservative Heritage Foundation
has blown up on the Internet, thanks to the reporting of Dana Milbank of
"The Washington Post." Now people are questioning Milbank`s version of
events, and so he will be here with us next and has something to say to the
HAYES: Coming up, any time something like this gets said, you know what
follows is going to light the Internet on fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGITTE GABRIEL, FOUNDER AND CEO, ACT! FOR AMERICA: It is time we take
political correctness and throw it in the garbage, where it belongs.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We will talk to someone who was at that event next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL: When you look at all the lessons of history, most Germans were
peaceful, yet the Nazis drove the agenda. And, as a result, 60 million
people died, almost 14 million in concentration camps. Six million were
Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You might wonder what provoked that comment.
It`s part of a tape that may be the Zapruder film of the world of
conservative Islamophobia. Everyone has got their own interpretation of
the event. It`s the Benghazi Accountability Coalition`s Benghazi panel at
the Heritage Foundation.
It gained some notoriety when "Washington Post" columnist Dana Milbank, who
showed up for the entire 65-minute event, wrote a column about some of the
ugliness that occurred when a Muslim-American woman asked the panel a
A nine-minute clip of the event was also released and showed the reaction
of the panel when Saba Ahmed, an American University law student, noted she
did not see Muslim-Americans representatives represented at the event and
asked a question about the importance of fighting an ideological war with
ideology, instead of weapons.
Here`s a bit more of that response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL: There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not
all of them are radicals.
The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be
between 15 percent to 25 percent, according to all intelligence services
around the world. You`re looking at 180 million to 300 million people
dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization.
So are you an American? You`re an American citizen. So, as an American
citizen, you sat in this room and instead of standing up and saying a
question or asking something about our four Americans that died, and what
our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a
point about peaceful, moderate Muslims.
I wish you brought 10 with you to question about what -- how we can hold
our government responsible. It is time we take political correctness and
throw it in the garbage, where it belongs.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The atmosphere in the room, according to Milbank, was actually
worse than what`s depicted there, although I have to say that video makes
me really uncomfortable.
When the nine-minute clip started getting attention, some rushed to defend
the Heritage Foundation, saying it had been misrepresented.
I would remind the fact one of the panelists was Frank Gaffney, who is
utterly and openly paranoid about Muslim-Americans infiltrating our
government. Never mind the fact that Brigitte Gabriel, the one who
indulged in that tirade, has been named by the Southern Poverty Law Center
as one of the leaders of the anti-Muslim inner circle.
Fringe figures who traffic in the belief that either all Muslims or a
massive portion of them are violent extremists who domestically constitute
a fifth column to bringing down the U.S. and the West, these fringe figures
are fetid at these kind of events. In the world of conservative, these
voices, increasingly in the conservative mainstream, would, if they were to
say the same thing about Jews or Christians or other groups, never be
Joining me now, Dana Milbank, op-ed columnist for "The Washington Post."
What was it about the room, Dana, that made you write that column?
DANA MILBANK, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well,
actually, Chris, I had gone to that event to write about something entirely
different, about a different guy who barely even figured in the article.
And then things sort of took on a life of their own as I watched this sort
of baiting going on throughout this hour-long thing, capped off at the end
by not just what they were saying to this Muslim law student who asked the
question, but the taunting that ensued and these longstanding ovations that
were given to that woman, Gabriel, whose clip you just played.
HAYES: What the heck did this have to do with Benghazi? What is the
Benghazi Accountability Coalition? What is this weird nether world of like
MILBANK: It was a little bit odd, and then the Heritage Foundation tried
to say it wasn`t their event, it was the Benghazi Accountability Coalition.
Well, guess who is a member of the Benghazi Accountability Coalition?
Heritage Foundation is. And of course the program there was on Heritage
letterhead and said, the Heritage Foundation welcomes you to this event.
I think what has happened in the larger sense is that, you know, look, we
just got the mastermind, apparently, of the Benghazi attack. Things are
running a bit thin in terms of, what are we going to say next? Is it --
are we going to still go on about Susan Rice`s talking points? Something
new needs to be said here.
The problem is, when you have a Benghazi forum like this, it tends to go
off into very odd directions. This is not at all the first thing like this
I had witnessed.
HAYES: Yes. The key point to me here is that #Benghazi, as I describe it,
which is distinct from the actual attack on the actual consulate that
actually resulted in this horrific loss of life and four dead Americans,
the #Benghazi is the kind of like swamp world of conspiracy theories that`s
become its own kind of iteration for this generation of Vince Foster
speculation, or similar to what we saw during the Clinton years.
MILBANK: Right. Exactly.
And so you mentioned Frank Gaffney, who was there on the panel. Before the
clip that you played, he went into this long thing about how the president
of the United States uses words that should be on the Web site of al Qaeda
-- I`m not clear that they have a public Web site -- saying that this --
the president of the United States is funding jihadists, and then goes on
about this disproved canard about Huma Abedin, who had worked for Hillary
Clinton, having deep personal ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and
suggesting that, in all agencies, national security agencies of the
government, there are Muslims working to get a ban on Sharia law being
blasphemed across the United States of America, really far-out-there stuff.
And this is what Benghazi has become.
HAYES: And this is being said at this panel. The Huma Abedin canard is
really a despicable and disgusting one. It`s about the idea that she
herself is a kind of double agent, because her name is Huma Abedin, because
she comes from the region, because she is Muslim.
MILBANK: And was very tricky by marrying Anthony Weiner, a Jew.
HAYES: Yes. Right. Exactly. Yes. That was part of her cover, of
HAYES: Were you surprised at this pushback that came in response to the
column, that you had somehow defamed the defenseless Heritage Foundation?
MILBANK: You`re never surprised in this business.
A lot of it came from the far right, the #Benghazi crowd that you had
mentioned. I got some mainstream criticism. I looked into it. And,
indeed, they had seen a nine-minute clip of the 65-minute event and didn`t
actually get a full picture of it, and I pushed back considerably on that.
I think there`s some value to actually attending these things. And when
you see the taunting and see what is going -- actually going on in the
room, you get a real sense of what is going on that you don`t get from the
sort of an antiseptic videotape.
HAYES: All right, I want you to stick with us.
Coming up, the enduring power of Islamophobia on the right. Stick around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, HOST, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR": The reason I said that Robert
Bergdahl looked like a Muslim is that he looks like a Muslim.
I said that Robert Bergdahl looked like a Muslim when he appeared at the
Oval -- at the White House with President Obama. A, he absolutely looked
like a Muslim. B, he talked in Pashto, the language of the Taliban. And,
C, he thanked Allah.
I thought the appearance was totally inappropriate. I said it. I will
stand by it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Bill on one of the occasions in which he judged the father of a
freed American prisoner of war, Bowe Bergdahl, based on that father`s
Joining me now is Linda Sarsour. She`s executive director of the Arab
American Association of New York. Still with me is Dana Milbank.
All right. What is your reaction to the video that we played?
LINDA SARSOUR, ARAB AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK: I think it`s just a
Snapchat of the Islamophobia industry that is well and alive in this
country, and it just goes beyond that Heritage Foundation event.
But it was just disgusting to watch the -- it was exactly what Dana said.
It was just lopsided. It was like -- it was ugly. And to treat any woman,
regardless of what her faith was, like that, is absolutely disrespectful.
And I think, again, it goes back to, how dare a Muslim woman stand up for
herself, how dare she assert herself and ask a question? And I think
that`s the kind of confusion that the Islamophobes have. It`s one moment
we`re oppressed, but when we actually assert ourselves, then become an
empowered woman to ask a question, it`s like, who do you want us to be
HAYES: Do you think this little kind of weird self-contained world of
Benghazi conspiracy theorists, is that representative of something broader,
is it its own weird subculture?
SARSOUR: Absolutely not. It`s part of, like, Obama is a Muslim, you know,
looking at their -- just listening to what Gabriel said, she said -- her
math is very off, by the way -- 25 percent of 1.8 billion people is like
one out of every four people wants destruction of the West, and it seems
like we`re doing well. We`re still around.
SARSOUR: I think again -- I think the thing that concerns me the most is
that this is really acceptable bigotry. Like, nobody is up in arms about
this. They are more up in arms about Dana writing the article than the
actual content of what is going on.
SARSOUR: If we flipped it around and we put a Jewish woman in there or a
Christian woman in there, we would be up in arms at the Heritage -- we
would be asking for them to be shut down and the government to like
investigate their finances and find out who they`re connected.
It`s just -- my thing, it`s like the hypocrisy around this acceptable
industry that is backed by millions of dollars. The Islamophobia industry
is at least $120 million. Center for American Progress and the Council on
American-Islamic Relations they have tracked money. This is a lucrative
business. These people are making money off of this hate.
HAYES: And just peddling this. That`s the point, Dana, right, that this
is like -- this is just red meat for the base.
MILBANK: Yes, Chris, and it`s sort of the last area where discrimination
for some people seems to be perfectly legitimate.
Imagine if Bill O`Reilly said, wow, Bergdahl`s father looks like a Jew.
Could you imagine the reaction to this? Or Gabriel saying, the peaceful
Muslims are irrelevant, could you imagine somebody saying, well, peaceful
Italians are irrelevant because there is organized crime, or peaceful
African-Americans are irrelevant because there`s the Black Panthers?
It`s preposterous. And if you substitute another ethnic group in there,
you see immediately why this is completely unacceptable.
HAYES: Do you think -- I have been thinking a lot about what is going on
right now in Iraq. And it does occur to me that there is this old adage
about the news that we don`t cover every plane that lands, right?
So, people have an outsized sense of the danger of flying, because for a
long time, the only thing we covered were crashes, and so that is what is
in your mind. And the fact of the matter is, we don`t cover peaceful
Muslims just hanging out going about their day performing surgery or being
We cover ISIS marching through with black flags looking super terrifying.
SARSOUR: Well, when we did do that, when The Learning Channel put together
that reality television show called "All-American Muslim," the right wing
went crazy. They started pulling ads, and because, how dare we show
Muslims in Michigan living like normal Americans?
And that`s the problem. And then the question is, where are the peaceful
Muslims that are like ahead of the -- whatever, the peace movement? Where
are all the Muslims condemning terrorism? There are plenty of them out
there, trust me, but the media -- that`s not exactly a spicy story.
HAYES: Right. Exactly. We don`t -- you know, we don`t -- even in the
case of -- you know, even in Syria and the Syrian resistance, the Syrian
resistance, the kind of secular left resistance of Syria got no play here,
What got play was the fact that there were sort of al Qaeda folks and ISIS-
And I wonder, Dana, like, how much the way we all cover this is part of the
MILBANK: Well, that`s true in this area, as in all areas, and we
accentuate the negative.
And, of course, people see it on their news screens. But, still, to take a
leap from there and say that there`s 300 million Muslims out there bent on
the destruction of Western civilization, well, if we have a war on terror,
what does that mean? We have to go out and kill all 300 million people?
MILBANK: Good luck with that.
HAYES: Yes, that`s exactly right. And there is this kind of desire for
some kind of cataclysmic clash with some massive group of people.
And one of the weird things, I think, that the results of the way we
reacted to 9/11 was to inflate the importance, right, and the credibility
of precisely those groups that are most marginalized.
SARSOUR: I mean, look, we`re giving platform to like Pastor Terry Jones
from Florida, the Koran-burning pastor, who has like two people in his
HAYES: Right. Right.
SARSOUR: Who are we giving platform and agency to, like, Frank Gaffney or
Brigitte Gabriel or Pamela Geller? People need to do their -- media
specifically needs to do their homework on these people who we`re giving a
platform to. I wish I had the same platforms that these people have.
And I think, for our -- for the Muslim community, we`re just another
edition to a list, a long history of people who have been marginalized,
vilified. And there will probably be more groups moving forward.
My concern right now is that we keep saying, no bigotry, no racism, but
with the -- when it comes to Arabs and Muslims, it`s acceptable bigotry.
No one says anything.
HAYES: Yes. Yes, Dana`s point about, he looks like a Jew, like, that just
-- forget it.
Linda Sarsour from the Arab American Association of New York and Dana
Milbank from "The Washington Post," thank you both.
MILBANK: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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