'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, August 25th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Monday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
August 25, 2014
Guest: Lizz Brown, Antonio French, Mark Thompson, George Burgess; Jill
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I just want them to make the
earthquake warning voice a little less scary.
RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: Yes, a little more (INAUDIBLE), maybe with
a little music or something. Ding dong.
MADDOW: Thanks, man.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: Well, we`re now more than two weeks after Michael Brown
was shot and killed by a police officer and we still don`t have the police
story of what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Brown family calls for a silent night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I want is peace.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People want to respect the family`s wishes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the streets of Ferguson may have quieted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My community deserves honesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anger over Brown`s death lingers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cop was not on his job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If this were not a police person, we would
expect the indictment to be a forthcoming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of eyes on that local prosecutor. This
community has no confidence in that individual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calls for it to be handed to a special prosecutor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone disconnected from the facts of the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Nixon saying he is not going to do that.
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: He has experience, he has office that
the people heave have elected them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the wrong person at the wrong time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice for Michael Brown Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parents and relatives of Michael Brown laid
their 18-year-old to rest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael was a big guy. But he was a kind, gentle
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This funeral was not just about grieving.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His death is not in vain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re about to turn this moment into a movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to deal with policing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can`t stop fighting, we can`t stop seeking
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had enough of the senseless killing. We
have had enough of it.
O`DONNELL: It has been 17 days now since 18-year-old Michael Brown
was shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson.
While we still don`t know what officer Wilson says happened in that
shooting, we are learning more about Officer Wilson.
In 2009, he began his career in law enforcement in Jennings, Missouri,
on the Jennings Police Department. The job lasted only two years because,
as "The Washington Post" reports, the Jennings Police Department was,
quote, "a police department so troubled and with so much tension between
white officers and black residents that the city council finally decided to
disband it. New officers were brought in to create a credible department
Darren Wilson then moved on to the Ferguson Police Department, which
has now become the most troubled police department in Missouri. On Friday,
St. Louis County police had to suspend one of its officers when this online
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN PAGE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: I don`t care whether
you`re Christian or not. I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord
and savior but I`m also a killer. I`ve killed a lot. And if I need to,
I`ll kill a whole bunch more. If you don`t want to get killed, don`t show
up in front of me, that simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Officer Dan Page who we saw doing crowd control
earlier last week in Ferguson.
Officer Dan Page`s speech lasted over an hour and included this
reference to President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAGE: Now, this here is Kenyan. I had my own airplane, I had me a
Learjet, I said, I want to go find where that illegal alien claiming to be
my president, my undocumented president lives at. So, I flew to Africa and
right there, and I went to our undocumented president`s home. He was born
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Lizz Brown, a criminal defense attorney,
and a columnist for "The St. Louis American" newspaper, and Jim Cavanaugh,
an MSNBC law enforcement analyst, retired ATF special agent in charge.
Lizz Brown, first of all, to Mr. Page there who has been suspended,
how surprised were you or shocked or how would you describe your feelings
about discovering that this kind of thinking was in one of your local
LIZZ BROWN, THE ST. LOUIS AMERICAN: Confirmation. I really believe,
when I hear those words coming out of his mouth, it`s the same energy, it`s
the same thought process, it`s the same world view that I believe drove
Darren Wilson to feel comfortable enough that he could shoot a child, leave
a child on the ground for four hours, and then know that he was going to be
covered by the county police department. That`s -- it`s confirmation,
O`DONNELL: And, Jim Cavanaugh, Officer Page is in the police
department that Ferguson immediately handed over their investigation to.
And that video has been online since April. Nobody thought, until Friday,
there was anything wrong and the officer involved didn`t think there was
anything wrong with having that video online until Friday, since April.
JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It`s outrageous,
Lawrence, really. Not only that, not only his comments are outrageous, but
he`s speaking to a group called the Oath Keepers, which is a group that`s
involved in crackpot conspiracy theories against the government, they`re
the group that -- one of the main groups at the Bundy ranch, they`ve gone
to towns in the West to try to fight civil authority. They claim
constitutional backing by their name Oath Keepers. But they`re involved in
a lot of the crackpot conspiracies and right-wing crazy conspiracy
And to have this guy, even if he was talking to the Rotary Club, it
would be outrageous. But he`s talking to this group. So, I think the
county police really have to take some actions here and do some searching.
They can`t have people like this, a 35-year police veteran, this is the guy
also that pushed a CNN anchor, Don Lemon, and Don`s one of the nicest guys
you`ll ever talked to, I`ve talked to him a few times. So, I think it`s
O`DONNELL: Lizz Brown, Michael Brown`s family asked for peace and
calm today, in Ferguson. They seem to have gotten that. There`s
absolutely nothing going on right now on the streets. But tell us how the
-- what turned out to be this giant event of the funeral was received in
that area today.
BROWN: I think that people -- they came to some peace with it. I
think that people were inspired by it. But I also heard talk on the street
about how they didn`t want the world to interpret that this -- that pushing
the pause button with the funeral meant that this issue was going to go
away, that people were no longer going to be engaged in this action, that
our issues have somehow been resolved.
People are concerned about that in the rush to healing, that we are
overlooking the fact that nothing has been addressed. Nothing has been
fixed. We can`t heal unless we take the knife out and allow the wound to
heal. And from the perspective of many people, the knife is still in.
We don`t have an indictment. We have an indictment that`s going to be
drug out over a number of days. We have a grand jury that`s only going to
be given the information by a prosecutor that is at best not going to be
able to issue or work on this case or deliver the evidence on this case
because he`s compromised.
So, people have mixed feelings. They are happy for the family that
Michael Brown has been put to rest. But there`s so much more ahead.
There`s so much more to do. And no one wants the steam to go out of this
O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, I want to read to you from the deadly force
rule that the St. Louis County police have -- I believe it`s the same one
the Ferguson police have -- where they say, officers are authorized to use
deadly force to protect themselves or others from imminent threat of death
or serious physical injury. That`s the standard rule that you read all
over the country.
And what I`ve been looking for in the evidence since this story
emerged is, tell me what the threat of death or serious injury was to the
police officer firing the weapon according to the accounts where Michael
Brown is running away from him. Or any one of the accounts, other than the
close-quarter contact they seem to have had at the car, which I think is
not clear what was going on there.
But after that, where most of the bullets were fired, I can`t see what
in this evidence fits within the deadly force rule.
CAVANAUGH: Exactly. I mean, it`s a bifurcated incident. The
incident in the car where the officer grabs Michael Brown`s neck, there`s
pushing, shoving, maybe there`s punching, the officer`s injured in the
face, there`s a -- you know, he might have broke leather and like ankle
Brown went for the gun. If there`s a struggle for an officer`s gun, that`s
a struggle for your life.
So that first shot -- you know, it could have been the shot in Michael
Brown`s forearm because the officer warned him, I`ll shoot, I`ll shoot,
I`ll shoot. When things happen like that, you know you might put your arm
up. He could have had that first shot.
So, an argument could be made that maybe that is justified use of
deadly force, fighting over the gun, but every shot after that running
away, turning to surrender, those shots cannot be justified use of force.
You can`t shoot a person running away because he punched you, you can`t
shoot a person running away because he was involved in a strong arm
robbery. By the nature of that crime you know there`s not a weapon
So, at the worst you have a serial bully. He punched a policeman, he
punched someone at the store, and you can`t shoot him for that. That`s
about different than in you had an active shooter, say at Newtown, running
away from the officer, killed 10, 20 people, now you`ve got to stop him,
that`s a whole different use of force.
So, you can`t shoot a guy rubbing away, even if he punched everyone in
town. You just can`t use deadly force that way.
O`DONNELL: And, Lizz Brown, here we are 17 days after this event and
the police still have not offered any account, any story, to describe what
this police officer actually did after he got out of his car, which is when
most of the bullets were fired. It is when, we now know, Michael Brown was
shot and hit with the bullets that killed him. There`s absolutely no
account from the police about that.
And it`s oddly -- there`s an odd echo to that from the day that this
happened where Michael Brown`s body was left on the street for 4 1/2 hours,
an unprecedented period of time, in a situation like that. And we now are
left with this unprecedented lack of information from the police about what
BROWN: But you know what happens in this absence of information on
the part of Darren Wilson? Darren Wilson and his defense attorney have the
opportunity to see and to hear and to examine and to dissect everything
that everybody else says, all the other evidence that`s out there.
So, when Darren Wilson, if he chooses, and I believe that he will,
when he goes into that grand jury to testify, he will have at his beck and
call, he will have all of the statements that other people have made. So,
when he makes his statement, his statement will fit those other statements.
He`ll be able to make a statement that will be un-contradicted.
And like you said, Lawrence, this is unprecedented. I have never seen
anything like this, that there has been this kind of silence on the part of
the defendant and the evidence for someone to be charged. It`s amazing.
O`DONNELL: Lizz Brown and Jim Cavanaugh, thank you both for joining
BROWN: Thank you.
CAVANAUGH: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up: Michael Brown`s family and friends and many,
many more said good-bye to him today.
And there is news tonight about action President Obama is taking
against the Islamic State in the aftermath of the execution of the American
photojournalist James Foley.
And in shark news tonight, a great white was spotted not far from
where "Jaws" was filmed in Massachusetts today -- and yes, we have shark
O`DONNELL: A new Pew poll finds most black people and most white
people in the United States believe that black people and white people get
along pretty well, 75 percent of white people and 64 percent of black
people think that the two get along very well, or pretty well, compared to
four years ago. That is 2 points lower for white people and 9 points lower
for black people. Just 28 percent of all Americans said that black people
and white people don`t get along well.
Up next, the controversy that erupted today when "The New York Times"
said Michael Brown is -- their words -- "no angel."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC DAVIS, MICHAEL BROWN`S COUSIN: I know that Michael would be
smiling a big, gentle smile that he always gives whenever he greeted you,
because Michael was big guy. But he was a kind, gentle soul. Michael also
stated to the family that one day, the world would know his name. He did
not know how his name would be remembered. But we`re here today
remembering the name of Michael Brown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Eric Davis, Michael Brown`s cousin, speaking to
the thousands of people gathered this morning at Friendly Temple Missionary
Baptist Church in St. Louis for the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Notable attendees included Reverend Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, Missouri
Senator Claire McCaskill, and several members of the House of
Members of the families of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis also
attended the service.
Michael Brown`s parents did not speak but his stepmother, Cal Brown,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAL BROWN, MICHAEL BROWN`S STEPMOTHER: I met him three years ago. He
was a boy. But he evolved into a man, a good man. And he just wanted so
much -- he wanted to go to college, he wanted to have a family, he wanted
to be a good father. He said, I`m going to shake the world. And I promise
you that he has.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now from Ferguson: Mark Thompson, host of "Make
It Plain" on Sirius XM radio, and Alderman Antonio French, who represents
the 25th Ward in St. Louis. They were both at Michael Brown`s funeral
And, Antonio French, tell us how -- there were two things that I was
watching blending together. One was family and friends` reminiscence about
Michael, the kind of things that you would have at any funeral. And then,
the kind of larger frame that Reverend Al Sharpton was using in his talk at
How were those two things blended?
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: Yes, I think today`s event served
two purposes. One, for the family of Michael Brown, provided a sense of
closure. It provided an opportunity to begin and another step in the
process of healing, but also for the community. That`s gone through a lot
these last two weeks. Thousands of people came to show their support for
the Brown family, but also, as an opportunity for us as a community to also
begin that road to healing and to have a little closure to this tragic
death of this young man.
So, I think the speakers today did a good job of blending those two
interests. And especially Reverend Sharpton, I think he did a very good
job painting the big picture of what this is about.
O`DONNELL: Mark Thompson, what went through your mind as you sat
there in the service?
MARK THOMPSON, SIRIUS XM: Well, I would agree with Antonio.
But the thing I would add to it is that this family could have had and
had a right to a private service. And they chose to share their grief with
the nation and the world. And allow the rest of us to participate in it.
So, obviously, they get the global nature of what happened to Michael.
The other thing too that went through my mind is that this was a
service not only of memory and honor but a service of dignity. Michael was
not treated with dignity when he was killed, nor when he was left out in
the street, Lawrence, for over four hours. The family deserved to bury
their son with dignity and that`s what happened today.
And I was very, very proud that that happened, proud to be a part of
it. And I think the entire country need that.
This is one step towards some type of closure. We won`t have full
closure until there`s justice done. But it was one step toward that.
O`DONNELL: Antonio French, I want to go to a controversy that broke
out today before and during the funeral, is about an article in the no
times, when I thought was a pretty solid article, talking about Michael
Brown and what we know about Michael Brown. But it used the phrase at a
certain point in the article that Michael Brown was "no angel."
And those two words, "no angel", created a real internet girt backlash
against "The New York Times," it provoked once again the public editor of
"The New York Times," Margaret Sullivan, to do a special posting today
about "The New York Times" coverage of Ferguson and she said that choice of
words was a regrettable mistake. Later in her report on it, she said "no
angel" was a blunder.
What would you say to explain the feelings that are out there, both in
Ferguson and nationally, about the sensitivity to these kinds of references
to Michael Brown?
FRENCH: Yes, I was disappointed. I thought the timing of that was,
at the very least, insensitive, the day of his funeral. And I think a lot
-- we`ve seen different times wear coming from "The New York Times" today,
even from the local Ferguson police department, things that would act to
disparage the name of Michael Brown as the victim.
But I think we just need to keep in mind the facts of the case. This
is the case of two human beings. One had a weapon, one did not. And one
wound up dead.
And so, the community here is eager to get all the facts out about Mr.
Brown and, of course, the officer, Darren Wilson, in a trial. And the
quicker the county prosecutor indicts, the better, and we can get on with
what we`ll really want, which is justice, whatever that may be.
O`DONNELL: Mark Thompson, I want to read you a comment that the
author of the piece gave to "The New York Times" public editor about it.
He himself is a 31-year-old black man, and he said, I understand the
concerns and I get it, he said, I agree that no angel was not a good choice
of words. He explained that it was meant to play off an anecdote earlier
in the piece, and actually once he explained that I got what he was trying
for. Obviously, it did not work. And I didn`t understand why he was using
that phrase without his explanation of it.
But in the media you never want to get yourself into a spot where, in
order to understand what I meant, I`ve got to get into this elaborate
explanation of it.
THOMPSON: Right. No, I would agree. It was a poor choice of words.
But as far as I`m concerned, spiritually incorrect.
Mike -- Michael is a martyr. And he`s someone who did not earn his
suffering. We often say, an unearned suffering is redemptive.
So, whatever he meant, whatever anybody thinks, whatever the police
chief here would say about Michael, whatever they thought about him, all
martyrs are angels. Whatever he thought Michael was before, he most
certainly in death is an angel now.
O`DONNELL: Antonio French, I want to get your reaction to some of the
things we`ve been learning in the last few days, especially that video of
the St. Louis County police officer and an incredible over hour-long rant.
It`s been online since April, no one thought that was an issue, the officer
involved didn`t think there was any real problem with that.
As soon as it emerged to the news media on Friday, he had to be
suspended. And as someone who`s working there, I wanted to get your
reaction to when you discovered it. Did that -- was that a huge shock to
you, a huge surprise to you, that somebody with those kinds of views could
be active in the local police there?
FRENCH: No, it wasn`t shocking at all. Let me say that the vast
majority of men and women in uniform serve honorably and they are good
police officers in the community.
But those few that are bad apples damage that relationship, that
sacred relationship between community and police. And I think what we`re
experiencing here in St. Louis right now is a completely fractured trust.
And we have a lot of work to repair that.
But the young men in this community have interacted with guys like
that very often. And they know better than most that there are way too
many officers with those kind of views that patrol their neighborhoods.
And so, we`ve got to do a better job of weeding those guys out, exposing
them, and make the police department more reflective and sensitive to our
O`DONNELL: And Mark Thompson, there`s probably, my guess is a very
large racial division in reaction to that video. African-Americans not
being so surprised by it or even shocked at all, and white Americans, a lot
of them looking at that video saying, that`s absolutely shocking that a
police officer would be up there saying those things.
THOMPSON: Yes, it is. But as Antonio said, this is something that
obviously is an ongoing reality and even a daily reality, for not only
young men here in Ferguson, but elsewhere. As we say, since this movement
started, there`s a Ferguson near you.
And we`ve seen it manifested not only -- this has become ground zero
for this struggle, but let`s face it, Lawrence. Michael is one of a long
list of killings, just in the past few months. From Eric Garner, Izel Ford
(ph) in L.A., to the beat are of Marlene Pinnock (ph) on a California
Highway, Michelle Kasaw (ph) in Phoenix, Arizona, John Crawford in Ohio,
Omar Obrega (ph), a Latino brother, beaten to death by LAPD as well. And
then the third mentally ill individual, Kajieme Powell right over in St.
You know, this is a very frightening time. We`ve seen this happen a
lot but not so often as such a concentrations fashion. It would seem that
police this past month have developed an appetite for strange fruit again
with all of these killings.
And when we look pack at our history, we know we`ve overcome a history
of lynchings. You know, in 1919, the greatest number of lynchings ever
recorded in this country was known as the Red Summer. I`m afraid, as this
summer has gone by, and because of the color the police wear, because of
all these killings, we may have to end up calling this the blue summer of
O`DONNELL: Mark Thompson and Antonio French, thank you very much for
joining me tonight from Ferguson.
FRENCH: Thank you.
THOMPSON: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have some breaking news on White House
action today over Syria as some are of course continuing to push for a war
And later, new pictures of the earthquake aftermath here in
California, and we have great white shark video today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: ISIL is a sophisticated and well
funded as any group that we have seen. They`re beyond just a terrorist
group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical
military prowess. They are tremendously well funded. This is beyond
anything that we`ve seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only
way you do that is you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and get ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the seemingly endless aftermath
to president George W. Bush`s war in Iraq.
President Obama met with defense secretary Chuck Hagel today to
discuss possible military options against the Islamic state, the group
responsible for the murder of photo journalist James Foley. And tonight
"The New York Times" is reporting that President Obama has authorized
surveillance nights over Syria.
Quote "the surveillance flights are significant step toward direct
American military action in Syria, an intervention that could alter the
battlefield in Syria`s three-year civil war."
Over the weekend Islamic state forces seized a Syrian military base,
giving them control over much of a province that borders Turkey. Despite
over more than 90 air strikes in Iraq against the Islamic state, including
one on Saturday, near Mosul dam, President Obama`s sharpest critics are not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We need to hit them in
Syria. We need to help the free Syrian army mobilize so they can fight
them on the ground. When it comes to ground troops if our military
commanders tell us that we need ground forces to defeat ISIL, which is a
threat to the United States, so be it. We have got to go win and stop
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today the Syrian foreign minister said that any strike
which is not coordinated with the government will be considered as
Joining me now is NBC News counterterrorism analyst and former
director of the national counterterrorism center, Michael Leiter. Also
joining me is "Washington Post" columnist and MSNBC political analyst E.J.
E.J., I always want these discussions to begin with the fact that this
is the aftermath of the Iraq war. This is what we are dealing with. The
Islamic state was not there before we decided to invade Iraq this time.
E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: No, I think that`s
right. And we have been dealing with that aftermath for a long time. We
didn`t plan well going in, it was a bad idea going in. But now we`re stuck
with the situation.
What`s odd about the moment now, I think, is that we seem to be
getting to something much closer to a consensus on Iraq. The first time
we`ve had anything close to that. Yes, you`ve got Lindsey Graham and folks
saying we should send ground troops. But I don`t think -- the vast
majority of Americans certainly don`t want to send ground troops.
But there is agreement that is, ISIL, is dangerous. Is very
dangerous. And that we should try to contain them and push them back. And
that`s why we`re helping the Kurds, that`s why we`re doing the air strikes,
it`s why I suspect Obama`s working his way toward attacking them in Syria.
And, you know, I think Lindsey Graham will get part of his wish. It
looks like the administration is stepping up help to the free Syrian army
where you`ve got a civil war within the civil war there. And they`re the
people who would take on ISIL in Syria. So I think we`re closer to a
consensus than we`ve been for a long time.
O`DONNELL: Michael Leiter, how do you -- how does the United States
hurt the Islamic state in Syria without helping Assad?
MICHAEL LEITER, NBC NEWS COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: It`s very, very
difficult. First we have to figure out exactly who the Islamic state is
and where exactly they are in Syria. We know they are broadly, but a lot
of that I think is surveillance flights and other intelligence collection
going on now is to at least provide the president with options to strike,
if he chooses to do so.
Now, there is going to be some benefit to Assad if we choose to strike
ISIL. And the fact is we`d have to do that to make tactical gains against
ISIL, knowing that what we`re really trying to do is provide more space for
a more moderate free Syrian army to counter Assad. Now, that`s a lot
harder today than it was two years ago. But it`s really the only game in
O`DONNELL: E.J., the "New York Times" reports that in order to try to
avoid helping Assad very much, the Pentagon is drafting military options
that would strike the militant Islamic state in Iraq and Syria or ISIS near
the largely erased border between Syria and Iraq, as opposed to more deeply
inside Syria and would bolster American support for the moderate Syrian
rebels Mr. Assad as their main foe. So, there`s the trick they want to try
to perform, E.J.
DIONNE: No, that`s right. I mean, I was talking to a western
diplomat today who made the point that given the civil war within the civil
war, you probably could, he was arguing, hit ISIL in ways that wouldn`t
help Assad that much but could help their foes in the moderate position.
But it shows what a mess the region that we are on record saying that Assad
could go even as we`re going after one of his main opponents.
The other key here is the United States is being very careful because
it does not want to look like it is waging a war against Sunni Islam. And
the administration knows it needs a lot of Sunni support including Sunnis
inside Iraq if they`re going to turn ISIL back. And that`s another sort of
complexity about getting involved in the Syrian fight.
O`DONNELL: Michael Leiter, some people talk about destroying the
Islamic stays or stopping it and they have estimates the Islamic state
forces are larger than Al Qaeda ever was. What is the even remotest
possibility of stopping or eliminating the Islamic state?
LEITER: Lawrence, we have to do it in stages. And I actually think
it`s very likely, and not all that difficult, to stop them in Iraq and then
to roll them back in Iraq. They probably have about 4,000 to 5,000 troops
in Iraq. And U.S. air power and a capable Iraqi ground force can get them
rolled back. The much harder question remains, Syria. And destruction of
ISIS I think really is going to be a multi-year effort. We can reduce
their capability, but destroying them is going to take some time. And we
have to realize that their initial reaction to U.S. involvement is probably
going to make them even more inclined to attack the U.S. and the west more
Now, I think that`s their strategic goal anyway. But this will, at
least initially, be a little kicking the hornet`s nest. And that means
that you have to have an even stronger defensive posture to avoid those
sorts of attacks.
O`DONNELL: E.J., the Islamic state is a passion-driven movement. You
can destroy the bodies. How do you destroy the passion and how do you then
eliminate it so that it doesn`t recur?
DIONNE: That is a good question. I mean, the fact is you have all
kinds of sort of radical Islamic groups who have -- who are very
factionalized. You know, these guys who were too radical for Al Qaeda,
which tells you where we`re going, I don`t know if you ever completely
eliminate that impulse among some parts of Islam. I think you sort of take
on a particular group like this knowing that that sentiment may morph into
another group somewhere else but you just have to keep pushing it back.
O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne and Michael Leiter, thank you for joining me
DIONNE: Good to be with you.
LEITER: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, there was a great white shark today up in
Massachusetts in "Jaws" territory.
O`DONNELL: Now for the good news. Good police news. A panicked
father called the Yonkers, New York, police when he found his 2-month-old
daughter wasn`t breathing. Sergeant Joe Barca was first on the scene and
immediately started trying to resuscitate the baby. Sergeant Barca cleared
a block an in her airway then rode with the EMTs all the way to the
hospital. That was 20 years ago. This month, Captain Barca attended the
wedding of the girl whose life he saved when she was 2-months-old.
Up next, the great white shark that was spotted today not far from where
the movie "jaws" was filmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come down and chum some of this (bleep). We`re
going to need a bigger boat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today, not far from where that "jaws" scene was filmed,
this happened. In Duxbury, Massachusetts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Duxbury, he`s right outside my door, right
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was a 15-foot-long great white shark spotted by a
Massachusetts state police helicopter about 150 yards off the beach at
Duxbury around 1:30 p.m. today, prompting officials to order people out of
the water for several hours and provoking one beach going movie fan to
scratch this into the sand. "you`re going to need a bigger boat."
Joining me is George Burgess, director of shark research. George,
this is close to home for me. I used to swim at that beach when I was a
kid. And I`m going to be in that area this weekend. So how scared should
GEORGE BURGESS, SHARK EXPERT: You shouldn`t be scared but you
certainly should be respectful. Probably since you were a kid, there`s a
lot more white sharks there in that area. In fact, in large part because
of taking care of the marine mammals, the seal populations are back up and
that`s one of their favorite foods. And of course, the white sharks are
also protected both nationally and in state waters.
So there are more white sharks out there. You need to remember when
you enter that you`re entering a wilderness. It isn`t like it was when you
were a kid.
O`DONNELL: How big is 15 feet? Is that a -- that`s one of the bigger
versions of that shark, isn`t it?
BURGESS: Yes, that`s a good-sized shark. They get to about 18, 19
feet in life. But most of the time they`re smaller than that. So a 15-
footer as good-sized one and it`s an adult.
O`DONNELL: Now, can we take any consolation from him being 150 yards
offshore, which most swimmers from the beach aren`t going to get close to?
BURGESS: Yes, I think that`s a good consolation, although it`s not
assurance that that animal wouldn`t come closer to shore. Keep in mind
that seals, you know, they come out of the water and the reason there`s
sharks around is they form colonies on the shores and come out and bask in
So, you know, a favorite place for them is -- for white sharks is to
be near those colonies. So clearly don`t go in the water if you`re
adjacent to the well-established seal colonies.
O`DONNELL: Now, how do we track this shark? Will we know in the next
few days where this shark has gone?
BURGESS: If it happened to have a tag in it. The scientists have
been putting tags in a lot of these sharks. Fit happened to have that we
could follow it in real time. But the reality is these are highly
migratory animals and that might be on the other side of the bay by
tomorrow, might be on the other side of the bay right now. So they move up
and down, back and forth.
The best way frankly is to have lifeguards, you know, with binoculars
on the beach which is basically how we do it here in Florida, although
white sharks are not common in Florida. We have plenty of other sharks and
the lifeguards routinely see sharks come, they pull people out of the way
once the shark has gone by they let the people back in the water and call
their buddies up the beach to say one`s coming your way.
O`DONNELL: And do great whites like that 15-footer travel alone?
BURGESS: Yes, these are solitary animals. And the only time we see
them together is if there`s a common food source. For instance, a seal
colony might be attractive to bring in a number of white sharks. It`s the
reason of course why we`re seeing so many of them in recent years in the
cape cod area is because as that seal colony has gotten bigger, there`s
more white sharks in the area. And of course there`s more humans out there
looking for them too. We now have cell phones that take pictures and we
social media them as soon as we see them. So it`s a story instantly.
O`DONNELL: George Burgess, thank you very much for joining us
BURGESS: Good to be with you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, a 6.0 earthquake here in California yesterday,
in northern California. And still there is a chance of significant
aftershocks this week. The mayor of Napa, California, will join me.
O`DONNELL: The national weather center in Miami has determined
tropical storm Cristobal has grown into hurricane Cristobal tonight with
maximum sustained winds at 75 miles per hour. The storm is about 100 miles
east of the Bahamas at this point. And now seems likely headed out to sea.
But forecasters warn that rip currents could be a problem along the North
Up next, new pictures from the California earthquake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very sudden. It lasted a long time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrifying. We didn`t know what was happening at
first. I mean, it was just -- just whipping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: When you see this, what goes through your
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just that. I`m speechless.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Residents in the town of Napa, California, are still
assessing the damage one day after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the
town. After the pavement buckled, more than 200 people were sent to the
hospital, some with serious injuries. More than 100 structures have been
red tagged in Napa County declaring them unsafe to live or work in. And
Napa`s wine industry took a big hit with many wineries losing bottles of
wine and facing damaged wine tanks and barrels.
There have been dozens of aftershocks in the area tonight. Experts
say that the probability of a strong, damaging aftershock in the next week
or so is about 25 percent.
Joining me now is the mayor of Napa, Jill Techel. Mayor, where were
you when the earthquake hit?
MAYOR JILL TECHEL, NAPA COUNTY: You know, I was actually in Monterey,
California. I got a phone call at 4:00 a.m. saying I better hop in the car
and get back really quick. So I was not here when the earthquake hit.
O`DONNELL: And the coverage Sunday morning in California, I can tell
you here on the local Los Angeles stations they just took the feed from the
San Francisco stations with the live coverage nonstop for hours and hours
with these really some of the really most beautiful buildings in California
were hurt by this, weren`t they?
TECHEL: Yes. Some of our historic buildings that we were really
proud to have part of our downtown really got shook up in the earthquake.
O`DONNELL: And what is the plan for digging out of this?
TECHEL: Well, we`ve got to individually look at each building. And I
think you`re right, there are a lot of red tags right now because we`re
being overly cautious to be sure that nobody gets hurt. Safety is just
number one when you`ve got a situation like this. So we`ve got fences
around the properties that have sustained some damage to keep people away.
And we`re going to send structural engineers in to see what the options are
O`DONNELL: And what`s happening to displaced people who have lost
their homes or cans stay in their red-tagged homes?
TECHEL: You know, we`ve got a great salvation army and American Red
Cross. We have a shelter in town. But what happens, people go to the
shelter and residents of Napa will come out and say, come to my home. So
they don`t stay in the shelter very long, somebody takes them home to their
O`DONNELL: And how localized was the damage? How much damage is
there outside of the city of Napa?
TECHEL: You know, it was closer to American canyon. And it had very
little damage. Further away was Vallejo. Quite a bit of damage. Vallejo
also has an historic old town and I think that`s where most of the damage
was. So it`s the older historic buildings that seem to have not fared as
well structurally. Certainly all of us in the neighborhoods had everything
rocked. And when I got back home, everything was knocked over. All the
shelves were over. All the wine was -- enough of the wine had spilled and
broken. So there`s a lovely smell of wine in the house. But it`s not
drinkable right now.
O`DONNELL: That smell apparently is all over the area up there.
O`DONNELL: The winemakers were hurt badly, weren`t they?
TECHEL: Yes, yes. They lost a lot of product. And, you know, there
were terrible pictures of just them not being able to get into their
wineries, barrels, smashed Carneros outside the city of Napa, I think was
hit the worst.
O`DONNELL: Mayor Jill Techel of Napa, California, thank you very much
for joining us tonight. And good luck dealing with the aftermath of that
earthquake, 6.1 is pretty bad.
TECHEL: Yes, yes. It`s going to take awhile. So thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
Chris Hayes is up next.
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