The Ed Show for Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
THE ED SHOW
July 17, 2014
Guest: Lawrence Korb, Patrick Murphy, Tom Bunn, Jim Cavanaugh, Scott
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans, welcome to the Ed Show
live from Washington DC. We start with breaking news tonight. US
officials have now confirmed a surface-to-air missile shot down a Malaysian
airliner in Ukraine.
It`s not clear if the missile was fired by separatist in Ukraine or by
Russian forces across the border. Vice-president Joe Biden said moment ago
the plane was shot down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
We don`t have all the detail. We want to be sure of what I say,
apparently, have been shutdown. Shot down not an accident, blown out of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Malaysian airline flight 17 was shutdown on the hostile region of
Eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The aircraft went down in
territory held by Pro-Russian rebels. The flight was in route from
Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Boeing 777 aircraft was carrying 295 people on board. At this hour
Malaysian Airline officials are saying that 75 of those people have been
identified. The Ukrainian government said that there were no survivors.
At this point, it`s not known if any Americans were on the aircraft. The
airline went down at 33,000 feet while traveling at over 490 knots per
hour. Immediately after the crash, Ukrainian interior ministry official
said, Pro-Russian separatist shot down the plane. A Ukrainian official
claim, the plane was brought down by a Buk missile.
A Buk missile is Soviet-era surface-to-air missile that can reach altitudes
of some 70,000 feet. Meanwhile Pro-Russian rebels deny they shot down the
plane. The leader of the separatist said, Ukrainian armed forces brought
the plane the down. So, right now we have both sides blaming each other.
Earlier today President Obama addressed the evolving situation at an event
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Obviously
the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-
Ukraine border. And, it looks like it maybe a terrible tragedy. Right
now, we`re working to determine whether there were American citizens on
board, that is our first priority.
And I directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the
Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can
to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts
and prayers are with all the families of the passengers wherever they call
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Earlier today President Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir
Putin by phone about the new sanctions imposed on Russia just yesterday.
At the end of the call they did speak about the downed Malaysian aircraft.
I`m joined tonight by NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.
Kristen good to have you with us tonight.
The latest from the White House, I`m sure there`s a great deal curiosity
about what that conversation was like between President Obama and President
Putin. What can you tell us?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you
it was a stern conversation. President Obama reiterating to Russian
President Vladimir Putin that the White House wants to see Russia de-
escalate the crisis in Ukraine. And then we are told that at the end of
the conversation, President Putin told President Obama that he was getting
early reports about that downed Malaysian aircraft.
And just to reiterate the headline at this hour which comes from our
pentagon team, this is from Jim Miklaszewski and Kurt Nakivi (ph). They
say senior US officials, tell MBC news the Malaysian airliner was shot down
by surface-to-air missile. The conclusion is based on intelligence
resources available to the US intelligence agencies and the military.
But the question remains, who is responsible for shooting down that plane,
Ed. I can tell you that the Vice-president made similar comments when he
was speaking in Detroit just a short time ago. And he also said -- and
this is significant that during the conversation that he had with Ukraine`s
President Poroshenko, he offered US assistance, and President Poroshenko
accepted that assistance.
The Vice-president saying, our national transportation safety group and
other experts in the community will be headed to the region quickly and
immediately to help assist in the investigation and to exactly what brought
that plane down.
Now, President Obama is on a previously scheduled trip, he was first in
Delaware. And now, of course he is in New York for a pair of fund-raisers.
The President saying, that he directed his national security team to be in
close contact with senior Ukrainian officials as they continue this
And of course Ed, this all comes against the backdrop that we reported on
your show just last night. That yesterday President Obama announced the
stiffest round of sanctions yet against Russia for increasing its military
encroaching in Ukraine and for -- according to this administration for
increasing its aid to the rebels.
And so, the question at this hour, did some of that military aid lead to
this tragedy that we have been reporting on all day, this downed Malaysian
Airliner? So, a very busy day here at the White House, officials have been
in meeting throughout the day as they try to assess their next steps. Of
course we did hear briefly from President Obama earlier today.
And I wouldn`t be surprised if we hear from here again at some point if not
today, tomorrow, before the week`s end. Ed?
SCHULTZ: It is. It is a very strange coincidence that the sanctions were
announced yesterday by the United States on Russia and this unfolds today
within hours. Is the White House giving any indication at all who they
believe might be responsible for this? Are they ready to finger anyone for
WELKER: They are not, they`re being incredibly cautious and careful with
their language, and so our law makers in Capital Hill. But I can tell you
that the -- said an intelligence committee just recently wrapped up a
briefing. They were briefed by members of the intelligence community.
The Chair of the committee Senator Dianne Feinstein emerged, she called the
briefing helpful. And said, if there is a Russian link, and she stressed
the word "if", it would be incredibly concerning. So, that is certainly
one of the possibilities that they are looking into. Senator John McCain
also very restrained in his language today, he was speaking to Andrea
Mitchell earlier today.
And he said, if there is a Russian link there would be, "Hell to pay". So,
no one is prepared to speculate about who might be responsible for this,
whether it`s the separatist or otherwise. But certainly, there is an
immense amount of pressure, Ed on this administration, on officials to get
to the bottom of who`s responsible. And then to determine next steps, and
to determine how this might impact the situation that is already incredibly
tense on the ground.
SCHULTZ: Well, I`m sure there is a real sense of urgency to find out if
there were ...
SCHULTZ: ... in fact American passengers on board flight 17. And if there
were, if, and if again, there was any Russian involvement here, this is
only going to seriously complicate the matter to the point where -- who
knows where it could end up. There`ll be a great deal of political
pressure for the United States to respond outside of just a normal
Kristen Welker, thank you for your time tonight at the White House.
WELKER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: We`re going to bring you back. We want to bring in now Former
Assistance Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb with me here on Washington,
and also Colonel Jack Jacobs MSNBC Military Analyst and Medal of Honor
recipient. Colonel you first tonight, if the Russians are involved in
this, if their hands are on this in any way shape or form, what does it
COL. JACK JACOBS, MSNBC MILITARY ANALYST: Well, their hands have got to be
on it, there are only three organizations in the region who have this
weapon, probably an improved SA-6, well, it`s not called an SA-11 and has
that kind of range. They originally came from Soviet Russia. Whether or
not it was shot by the Russian troops or shot by a separatist, United
States can tell very, very quickly -- I know we`re trying to be very
restrained in a public announcement, but we have satellite overhead imagery
of this region almost continuously.
There very little doubt in my mind that we don`t already know which side of
the border fired this. And it`s going to make is extremely difficult in
our dealing with the Russians now.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Korb, your thoughts on what this does to the conflict that`s
unfolding in Ukraine right now?
LAWRENCE KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Well, I think it raises it to
another level because -- even if you assume that it wasn`t a Russian who
fired, that it was a separatist, that basically by stirring the pot and
keeping things going, Putin has created a real disaster for himself and for
Russia, because, it`s not just going to the United States if any Americans
on there, but this originated in Amsterdam, probably a lot of Europeans.
And they didn`t go as far as we did with the sanctions yesterday. And I
think Putin has got to reassess because the price for this, even if it
wasn`t a Russian, if it was Ukrainian separatist, he`s got to step down
because this is an international incident.
SCHULTZ: I mean sanctions yesterday, a plane shot down today. I mean how
do you separate the two?
KORB: Well, I can`t. I would be surprise if Putin gave a direct order. I
think if it were a Russian that did it, it was probably some commander out
in the field who had orders if any, you know, plane come from Ukraine
toward Russia, we need to do something about it that was just wasn`t
thinking. Most likely it was one of the separatist.
But don`t forget, they shot down a Ukrainian plane yesterday, a fighter
plane. So, they`ve been using these systems quite a bit.
SCHULTZ: Colonel Jack, taking a look at the intel on this, you have said
many times -- first, the intel you get -- first normally isn`t always
correct. How accurate do you think are intel is and what kind of reliable
information is going to come out of that hostile area for the United
JACOBS: On the normal circumstances that`s correct especially on the
battle field when there`s a lot of noise, and a lot of casualties, and a
lot of things happening all at the same time. It`s very difficult to tell
until long after the event, what actually did happen.
In this particular case however, we`ve had an eye on this region for a long
time. And like said we`re looking at it real-time. There`s very little
doubt that we don`t already know exactly what happened. And for the United
States now, the real issue -- I mean there are a lot of real issues. But
the most immediate issue is at what point in the public dialogue do we then
disclose who it was who actually shot.
And this, I`ll be surprise if we don`t know. Figuring out when to say it
is a very, very difficult thing to do.
SCHULTZ: Well, I`m told that this Mr. Korb is very common route for a
civilian aircraft to go across. It would seem very unusual that they would
not know that they are shooting down a civilian aircraft at 33,000 feet.
Military aircraft travel much higher than that or much lower than on a
So, if there are Americans on there, what`s the protocol or restitution in
holding people responsible here?
KORB: Well, I think since we know as Jack pointed out that it is a Russian
weapon system. I mean this thing as you pointed can go to 72,000 feet.
So, this is -- so, they either gave it to them or it was Russian who did it
that they would be held responsible for that, and whatever the damages
that, you know, the people, you know, could get.
And this -- don`t forget, it`s not just Americans, a lot of innocent people
on there ...
SCHULTZ: No doubt.
KORB: ... nothing to do with that.
KORB: And so they would have a claim against the Russian government.
SCHULTZ: Well the FAA, OK, having a claim against the Russian government.
SCHULTZ: What does that mean? I mean international ...
KORB: Well, obviously (inaudible) human life. But there will be, you
know, monetary damage. And the other thing I think is an air flight has
already canceled their flights to Ukraine. I think you`re going to find a
lot of airlines not be willing to fly to Moscow anymore because they have
to go this way. So, that`s going to hurt them in addition to the
And I think -- most like more Europeans than Americans, they`re going to
get much tougher with the sanctions, they didn`t get go as far as we did
SCHULTZ: We`ve just learned that 233 people have been identified so far.
There are no Americans according to Malaysian Airlines. It`s a horrible
tragedy, there`s not question about that. It is an act of terror no doubt.
You know, Colonel Jack could this be some rogue commander who would have
access that might have been winging it on its own that decided to do
something. Is it that undisciplined in the Ukraine?
JACOBS: Well, you raised a very interesting issue here. And that is -- as
General McCartney (ph) suggested earlier today, when you have sophisticated
systems in the hands of undisciplined people and decision are made at the
lowest possible level. And we don`t even know what the -- what control may
exist with the roles in engagement are.
When you have a situation like that, it`s a recipe for disaster. So, you
could very well have exactly what you suggest, people who know how to press
the button but don`t know how do much else, under the command of people who
also don`t know how to do much else in a very difficult situation and
making a big mistake because they`re A, undisciplined, and B, they`re not
supervised, and C, they don`t have very in the way of controls on the
The rules in engagement are fuzzy. That`s what gives rise to this
situation. I think you`re absolutely right, could very well be a decision
made by a commander on the ground without any instigation from higher-up.
SCHULTZ: What can we expect Mr. Korb to hear from Vladimir Putin. We
don`t hear any condemnation of this whatsoever so far.
KORB: I think at some point you`re going to have to. And I think he`s
going to say -- as Jack pointed out, it could have been one of his, you
know, on-scene commanders, you know, following what he thought was the
orders or obviously even if it`s a Ukrainian separatist, it`s his equipment
that got there. So, I think if we can get a good thing out of it, he may
decide he`s going to have to pull back from this area.
You know, he had about a thousand troops there a couple weeks ago then he
upped it up to 12,000 when nobody was looking. And I think you will see
him hopefully, pull back and realize that this could precipitate a much
SCHULTZ: OK. Lawrence Korb and Colonel Jack Jacobs, great to have both of
you with us tonight. There is no question about it that we will continue
to cover this. We`ll have more on the crisis of the plane shot down in
Ukraine coming up. You`re watching the Ed Show on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us on the Ed Show. We`re so following
the downed Malaysian airline flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Flight 17 was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members when it was shot
down in Ukraine.
Malaysian Airlines lost contact with the aircraft 31 miles from the
Ukraine-Russia border in separatist territory. Leading to speculation, the
aircraft was intentionally shot down as part of ongoing power struggle in
Short time ago, President Obama called Malaysian Prime Minister and the
Ukraine President from Air Force One. The President addressed the crash
today during a pre-schedule appearance in Delaware this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger
between the Russia--Ukraine border and I directed my national security team
to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States
will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: While cautioning against drawing unconfirmed conclusions about
the shooting down of MH17`s crash, Senator John McLean urged firm
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Either Russian or separatist and they`re
really one the same have already shot down several aircraft of the
Ukrainians. If it is, resolved of either separatist or Russian actions
mistakenly believing this was a Ukrainian warplane. I think there`s going
to be hell to pay and they`re should do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Senator McCain, remember the Senate Armed Services Committee went
on to criticize President Obama`s actions in the region.
Yesterday, the President rolled out a new set of sanctions against key
financial interest for Russia but the Senator says it`s hardly enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: The reaction of our European community and the United States has
been insulting in how small and how little help we have given.
These latest enacted by the Obama administration, I think they`re helpful
but if you ask Ukrainian government that struggling, they would say they
need weapons for which to defend themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Wasting no time to politicize the situation, Senator McCain. The
Senate Intelligence Committee has been briefed on the crash on the shooting
down of the aircraft and is still sorting through information. We`re
following the political fallout as more details come to us tonight covering
the shooting down of flight 17.
For more on the politics of this ordeal, we`re bringing in Former
Congressman and Iraq War Veteran MSNBC Contributor, Patrick Murphy.
Mr. Murphy, good to have you with us tonight. Walk us through if you can,
what do you think the Intelligence Committee is going to be looking at
right now, and sort of their way through the information to actually verify
who maybe responsible for this?
PATRICK MURPHY, FORMER PA CONGRESSMAN: Yeah. As, you know Ed, I served in
Intelligence Committee in my two terms in Congress. So, they`re -- the
committee right now and the US Congress during sessions, and all the
members are back in Washington D.C and they`re getting briefed.
And they`re probably getting briefed from someone - obviously either a DIA,
the Defense Intelligence Agency or someone in the Intelligence Community
about what we know. And what we know doesn`t look good. What we know
makes it sound and look like this was done by either Russia or indirectly
by Russia to the faction in Ukraine.
Others mentioned in your earlier panel, Russia had a ton of troops in the
region. They pushed them back and they just pushed back some recently, yes
in the border of the Ukraine. But they also shot down two military jet --
military cargo plane from Ukraine yesterday.
So, hours after President Obama announced that there`s going to be more
sanctions to be done. We see an aircraft being shot down which killed over
200 people. It`s a real tragedy and we will see soon what the facts really
SCHULTZ: Mr. Murphy, don`t you think -- I would like your opinion on this,
about President Obama getting some support on Capitol Hill to get answers
from the Russians.
If it`s a Russian surface-to-air missile and if there are two factions on
one side such as the separatist and also Russian support, how can it not
have Russian hands all over it? And shouldn`t the Intelligence Committee
members be demanding some answers from Mr. Putin tonight?
MURPHY: There going to be some demanding, some answers, absolutely. And I
think the fact that Putin hasn`t come out or come out and say that this is
a tragedy, you know, but the same thing happen Ed, 30 years ago.
In 1983 -- September 1983, Russia shot down a civilian aircraft, a Korean
airlines that had 62 Americans on it. They were murdered by Russia, by the
They denied it Ed for two days. But President Reagan -- he was in his
first term, he said that it was murderous, that it was a massacre. But I
will tell you Ed, the politics of this -- and you`re going to get mad (ph)
when I say this, but Barrack Obama should channel Ronald Reagan.
Because let me tell you something. Ronald Reagan at that time was
negotiating in Switzerland to make sure that we got a nuclear arms deal and
arms control treaty to happen because he saw that was a long game. That
was important. And Ronald Reagan was attacked by the right-wing .
SCHULTZ: I have to challenge you on that. Just a moment, President Obama
does not have to emulate any other President.
MURPHY: Well ...
SCHULTZ: President Obama -- I mean, you know, Ronald Reagan -- we can just
talk about Iran-Contra. He wasn`t clean on a lot of stuff either.
MURPHY: No, no, no. I`m just saying .
SCHULTZ: I mean, let`s be careful about how he should model himself after.
President Obama was elected to get us out of conflicts not into them.
The point I think here is that President there has been so much division
here in Washington. When does this Senate Intelligence Committee and the
House Intelligence Committee leave all of this garbage at the waters edge
and support the President?
Because it would seem to me, the President is going to need some support
right now and demanding accountability from Vladimir Putin instead of us
getting in some kind of political squabble in our country about what we
should do as far as policy is concern.
Somebody shot that airplane down. And, you know, the superpower of the
globe deserves to have some answers on this.
MURPHY: I agree to you Ed but it can`t be a solo though. We need to get
the world community against Russia. This can`t be denied since miracle
(ph) of time.
And also I`m saying about the Reagan thing is that, Reagan did not call for
military reaction and he didn`t call for sanctions and he was crucified by
the right-wing. And the same right-wing that -- there always in bigots
(ph) no matter what Barrack Obama does.
But I just want to make sure that we do what`s necessary to come together
as a country but we don`t make .
SCHULTZ: Well, that`s what I`m saying.
MURPHY: Well ...
SCHULTZ: I mean to come together as a country is not John McCain going out
on the talking heads saying that President Obama hasn`t done the right
What in the world could President Obama have done in Ukraine to make sure
that a civilian aircraft? Was it going to get shut down by separatist?
MURPHY: Absolutely, nothing Ed. And I`m on your team on this one. But
all I`m saying is that, if we look at history, that Russia did the same
thing, you know, again, we don`t know ...
MURPHY: ... exactly what happen.
MURPHY: But they did this in September of 1983. And it killed the U.S
Congressman and 61 other Americans were on that flight. And we don`t know
how many Americas were on this flight, but we do know that over 200
civilians were murdered or potentially murdered ...
MURPHY: ... if they were shut down. And that is a massacre. And we need
the world community to put accountability front and center and that means
when you have the UN Security Council where you had China on that, that
they would always side with Russia.
If the case is -- if Russia -- fingerprints were on this which evidence
most likely (ph) will show, the fact is, is that China has to back away
because this is a human tragedy and the world community must come out and
come out strong against what happened.
SCHULTZ: Well, that start with American leadership and I think that the
President could use some Republican help on this, as unified boys to get
accountability out of the Russians.
You`ve got a surface-to-air missile that is Soviet Era, you`ve got it done
in hostile territory which is held by separatist who are against the
Ukraine government, and obviously supported by none other than Putin. I
mean, Putin ought to be able to get answers on this faster than anybody
else on the globe.
There isn`t another person on the globe that should be able to get answers
as to who the hell did this than the guy who is calling the shots in
Russia. It would seem to me. The other thing that I think we need to
point out tonight. Is that the Federal Aviation Administration in this
country was forbidding any kind of American aircraft to fly in this zone.
So, President Obama did take action for the safety of Americans. Cargo
planes not allowed to go through this hostile territory. American Airline,
aircraft carrying American passengers, and American pilots not allowed to
go into this area.
So, it`s not like we didn`t know something like could unfold. The point
now is, where is the leadership in Washington, not just at the White House?
MURPHY: And that`s what you received also Ed in the next couple of days if
not hours, that besides finding out, you know, exactly what happened. And
frankly they probably know. We had a good radar and the intelligence
capability. But they just haven`t announced it yet.
But if that is the case, what you will see is Department Justice rush and
if there are American tragedies which we do -- there is reports out there
that there were Americans on this flight that those families can then sees
Russian assets here in North America especially in our country and hold
those Russian assets so that these American families will get justice.
MURPHY: Now again, I know its (inaudible) but we need to make sure the
perpetrators over there will have ...
SCHULTZ: I want you take on the fact that the President did what he did
yesterday with sanctions on Russia and now this on 24 hours later.
MURPHY: I don`t think it`s a coincidence. I think what he did yesterday
was the right thing to do. And I think Russia -- If you`re asking my
opinion, I think their hands are all over this. And they should be
SCHULTZ: Do you think this is retaliation for sanctions?
MURPHY: I do Ed. And unfortunately ...
MURPHY: ... that`s the case but we -- time will tell, and we`re talking
hours not days.
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Patrick Murphy, good to have you with us
tonight. I appreciate your time.
MURPHY: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Keep it right here for the latest update from Ukraine. You watch
in the Ed Show on MSNBC, more coverage coming all of these.
What did the pilots know?
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Thanks for watching tonight. We`re
following the latest developments on the shooting down of Flight 17.
According to Russian television, the Russian Defense Ministry and officials
in Kiev are working on a three-day humanitarian truce for the purpose of
this investigation. In a televised statement, the President of Ukraine
said, "I would like to draw your attention that we do not call it an
incident, not a disaster but we call it a terrorist attack."
Investigators are looking through the debris reportedly spread across in
area about nine miles in diameter. The airlines has lost track of the
Boeing 777 Flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
280 passengers and 15 crew members were on board. So far, 233 bodies have
been identified. No Americans have been found. We`ll have more. Keep it
right here for the latest on MSNBC in the Ed Show.
BERTHA COOMBS, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Bertha Coombs with CNBC Market
Wrap. The stock sliding on geopolitical worries up to the downing of the
Malaysian Airlines jet in Mariupol (ph) Eastern Ukraine. The Dow drops to
161 points following the load at 17,000 mark. The S and P shed 23 while
the NASDAQ doubled 62 points.
Google shares are higher after hours though the company`s revenue came in
ahead on estimates. However, earnings did fall short a bit.
And IBM`s latest earnings and revenue were better than expected but shares
are falling in late trading.
That`s it from CNBC, we`re first in business world wide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Malaysia Airlines twitted it lost
contact with one of its flights over Ukraine and their space before reports
Malaysian Flight 17 had been shot down.
Senior U.S. official tells NBC News the Malaysian Airline was shut down by
a surface to air missile. According of officials, U.S Intel Analysts are
still trying to determine whether the missile was launch by separatist in
Ukraine or by Russian forces positioned across the border.
To the region where the plane went down has seen severe fighting between
the Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists rebels in recent days.
The Malaysia Airlines plane is the fourth commercial airliner to face such
The previous three were first on April 28th, 1978, Korean Airlines Flight
902 which diverted from its plan course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and
strayed over to Soviet Union. After being fired upon by an interceptor
aircraft, the crew made a force landing at night on the surface of a frozen
lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by hostile fire.
The second was on September 1st 1983. Korean Airlines 007 was shot down by
at least one Soviet air 2 -- air missile after the 747 strayed in the
Soviet Airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew members were killed.
And the third was on July 3rd, 1988. Iranian Aircraft Flight 655 was shot
down by a surface to air missile from the American vessel U.S.S Vincennes.
All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed.
Now, several Airlines are reportedly examining their flight paths and
they`re now saying that they`re avoiding flying over the area. It should
be pointed out that in recent months the FAA had put out some restrictions
for American pilots, American flights and American cargo traffic in this
hostile area of the world.
I am joined tonight by Captain, Tom Bunn, retired airline captain. Also
with us this evening is Jim Cavanaugh, NBC news and MSNBC law enforcement
expert. And joining me on the phone tonight is Scott Hamilton, aviation
analyst. Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
Captain Bunn, you first. The FAA does not have jurisdiction over many
countries in the world. But if they put up a directive to American pilots
and airlines not to go into this hospital area, would these Malaysian
pilots have any concern about possibly being shot down in this territory.
TOM BUNN, RETIRED AIRLINE CAPTAIN: Well, certainly if the U.S. has
concerns or the airlines have concerns but it`s a competitive environment
and caused containment as an issue. They may have figured that they didn`t
want to spend the extra money for the fuel to go around it.
SCHULTZ: Simple as that?
BUNN: Yes. That`s exactly it.
SCHULTZ: It would be -- had been a financial decision?
BUNN: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: And what kind of measures can a pilot take I mean on an aircraft
of this sophistication? There`s T caste system that would automate in the
cockpit traffic. I would assume that if there`s an incoming missile, they
would have had some kind of knowledge that something was close to their
airspace and it would be recorded on their black boxes. Captain Bunn, what
BUNN: No, not the T caste. Military aviation has -- they have devices
that will pick up radar signals from attack missiles. That`s not what the
T caste picks up. The T caste picks up what`s called the transponder which
is the signal that we use to send signals about our identification, our
speed, our altitude to aircraft control. That doesn`t pick up a missile.
SCHULTZ: So Jim Cavanaugh, they would have probably no warning whatsoever.
Just, you know, the reports are that they were shot down and so, you as
officials are confirming now that these just came out for these pilots.
They had no warning whatsoever.
JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think you`re exactly right, Ed. I
mean there`s no warning an explosive device like a missile. There`s no
warning to the pilot. They`re going to know when they`re hit. And they
only have just seconds, minutes if that much before the plane goes, you
know, it breaks apart -- and a 75 maybe kilogram material in a missile like
So it`s going to be pretty catastrophic events if you will. Tanks are
going to blow up and it`s going to be pretty radical. But you know, as am
old cop whenever we were doing a murder, we`re always more concerned about
the next murder because we can`t save that victim. So we want to stop the
And I think what you`ve talked about in your prior piece there also builds
on that. You know, you`re trying to divert civilian aircraft away and
you`re trying to stop whoever`s doing the shooting in the ground.
You know if it is the pro-Russian insurgence and they are, you know, red
tag malicious with rudimentary training who misidentify this aircraft, you
know, I think the White House who is handling this very coolly -- just from
an old negotiator I would be saying to call the Russian president and say,
"You know, we know you have a dozen of these of these systems that are in
the hands of your pro-Russian insurgence. Move them back across the border
and at least put them in the hands of the Russian military."
You know, whether Putin wouldn`t even acknowledge it but if they move back,
I mean that would be step so we don`t have any more passenger planes, you
know, and risks. So, you know, there are things that can be done
diplomatically behind the scenes. The investigation may not be more
fruitful than we know now. We know now that the missile -- service area
missile shot it down and the only three entities that have that capability,
the Ukrainian military, the Russian military, and the pro-Russian in
SCHULTZ: Jim, do you think that the Russians know exactly what happened
CAVANAUGH: Hell, yes. I think they know exactly what have.
SCHULTZ: Scott Hamilton, your thoughts on what has unfolded when the FAA
says don`t fly in this area and then some countries just pay no attention
to that and go ahead and do it. What`s the ramifications of this? What
kind of adjustments would be made?
SCOTT HAMILTON, AVIATION ANALYST: Well, we`ve already seen the adjustments
that airlines are avoiding the entire -- the Ukraine aerospace but off-the-
scene (ph) report that the aerospace was closed up to 32,000 feet and the
slide was at 33,000 feet. So technically the pilot would appear to would
have been in the clear on this. Now, common sense will tell you that you
might want to avoid that entire area but this is the report that I`ve seen.
SCHULTZ: Is this the fault of Malaysian Airlines, Scott, making a very bad
direction on a flight path?
HAMILTON: Well, I -- Air Canada had already avoided the airspace but then
you have the airlines like Lufthansa that just announced today in the after
math of this that hence forth they were going to avoid the air space.
Emirates airlines turned around the flight that was in route to Kiev.
Again, indeed the report was that the airspace was close to 32,000 feet --
this flight was 33,000 feet -- the pilot was legal. So I`m not sure if you
could draw that conclusion.
SCHULTZ: OK. Jim Cavanaugh, Captain Tom Bunn, and Scott Hamilton, thank
you for joining us tonight here on the Ed Show as we continue our coverage.
Coming up, President Obama and Vladimir Putin had a phone call earlier
today as this news first broke. Details ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don`t have all the
detail. You don`t want to be sure of what I say. Apparently have been
shot down -- shot down, not an accident, blown out of the sky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Vice President Joe Biden who was traveling in Detroit today spoke
with Ukrainian president, Poroshenko a short time ago. This morning
President Obama was on the phone with Russian president discussing
sanctions when the first reports of the down plane were coming in. He
later spoke with the president of Ukraine and the Malaysian prime minister
from Air Force One.
President Obama is in New York at this hour on a previously scheduled trip.
It not clear if there we`re any Americans on board Flight 17. And as of
this hour Malaysia airlines reports the 233 bodies have been identified.
So far no U.S. citizens have been identified, but again it is early in this
investigation. The United States National Security team is working with
the Ukrainian government in the recovery efforts.
In New York, the U.N. Security Council has just scheduled a meeting to talk
about the possible world wide implications of the down plane. We are
following the story closely, we`ll bring you the latest right here on the
Ed Show. We`re right back on MSNBC.
ED SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Ed Show. We`re also following breaking news
from Gaza. The Israeli defense forces have initiated a ground offensive
operation with in the Gaza Strip. Earlier this afternoon, Israeli prime
minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that he had instructed the military
to begin a ground offensive. This invasion comes after 10 days of Hamas
attacking by land, air, and sea and after repeated rejections of offers to
de-escalate the situation.
Since fighting began, more than 220 Palestinians and one Israeli have been
killed. Joining me tonight from Gaza City is NBC`s chief foreign
correspondent, Richard Engel.
Richard what does this offensive mean and how extensive will it be? What
do we know tonight?
RICHARD ENGEL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well from what we can see
right now, there does appear to be a quite and aggressive operation
underway. We are in Gaza City. Behind me is Gaza City. You can see there
are still some lights on. We are looking east and a lot of the fire is
coming from that direction for the last several hours, every few moments in
fact, we`ve been hearing explosions coming from the east, also coming from
There`s been fire from Israeli warships, form the Mediterranean sea as
well. The Israeli army just put out a statement a few minutes ago saying
that a large Israeli force is involved in this operation including tanks,
artillery, combat engineers and is backed up by the Israeli Air Force,
Israeli Navy. We can also hear but not see the Israeli drones that are
flying over the city. There`s been flares, illumination flares flying in
Gaza. There`s illumination flares help the drones to identify targets.
The Israeli military says the objective is quite specific. It is targeting
tunnels that Hamas particular has been using to infiltrate from the Gaza
Strip into Israel. In fact the Israeli military said that, we quote, "The
terrorists are fighting underground and that is where we will meet them."
This combat operation is unclear how long it will last.
The specific military objective of just targeting the tunnels which by
definition would mean just the land around the edges of the Gaza Strip,
just those border regions that touch parts of Israel, that`s where we are
seeing potentially a longer ground offensive under way right now. But in
this part of the world, once you have troops on the ground, its realty
unclear where this is going to go.
SCHULTZ: Richard Engel reporting from Gaza City tonight here on the Ed
Show. Thank you so much, Richard.
Joining me now as NBC News military analyst, General Barry McCaffrey.
General, the response from Hamas, what`s your anticipation here?
BARRY MCCAFFREY, MILITARY ANALYST: Well, they don`t have many options.
They`re really have their backs against the wall. They lost their support
out of Egypt. The brotherhood is now out of office. That`s been their
primary source of easy supply.
Most of this is Iranian material coming in through Egypt or in through the
sea. I think their believer (ph) of Hamas, think they got nothing to
loose. And the Israelis I think have no option. The tragedy of course of
all is that is when you`re fighting with tanks, mechanized infantry,
arterially, air strikes, arm drones in the middle of a hugely densely
populated area to result in hundreds of tragic civilian casualties.
But again it`s hard for me to imagine why the Israelis could possibly
continue without hourly air rage scrambles to shelter in Telaviv and else
SCHULTZ: So how long would you expect a ground offensive like this to
MCCAFFREY: Well, I`m sure the Israeli defense force, they`re going to try
and get in there and out of there as quickly as they can to punish Hamas
and try in -- I`m surprised they`re talking about only tunnels. I would
think they`d go after missile stock piles. There we`re some 10,000
missiles in Gaza according to public intelligence reports. They fired off
maybe 10, 15 percent of them. There`s a lot of missiles and they`re formed
The tunnels would be with in a kilometer of the border but even that if
we`ve seen on the U.S. efforts again North Korean tunnels, it`s very
difficult to discover these things. So, they`ll have to go, find the
entrance way with intelligence with rewards for people turning in to
tunnels. It could be an extended operation certainly if they go into the
populated areas to look for missile cast. They`re going to be in there for
SCHULTZ: Generally Barry McCaffrey, great to have you with us tonight here
in the Ed Show. I appreciate it so much. Thank you, sir.
And we will continue here on MSNBC to cover the shooting down of Flight 17
as information comes in at this hour. No Americans have been identified is
being on that plane but the -- that`s the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz -- with
Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. I`ll be back with you again
tomorrow night right here form Washington DC. Rev, good evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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