'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
September 2, 2014
Guest: David Rohde, Matthew VanDyke, Amy Farley, Charlie Warzel
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, you drove me crazy with that watch
story because I`m up here in Boston doing the show tonight and I don`t have
a monitor that can show me what you`re doing or what you`re showing with
all those watch pictures, which I needed to see.
RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: I will text you the pictures.
O`DONNELL: It`s the Sirius listeners who are in their cars listening to
you on Sirius, I speak for them, Rachel.
MADDOW: I`ll text them all the pictures. Here it comes, everybody.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel.
We have breaking news from the White House tonight that the president is
ordering 350 more U.S. military personnel to Iraq, and a man who knew both
of the American journalists who have been executed by the Islamic State
will join us tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A horror that appears with no ending.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tragic breaking news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The execution of yet another American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly two weeks after the execution of Jim Foley.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ISIS has released a video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Titled "A second message to America".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reportedly shows the beheading of American journalist
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sotloff`s mother begged for this not to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to see him home safe and sound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are despicable murders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what their M.O. is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a sharp sadistic assault on our country`s pride.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPT. SPOKESPERSON: We are sickened by this brutal act.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is where a spiraling crisis meets a reluctant
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are they intentionally provoking the U.S.?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re trying to shape U.S. foreign policy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think we should build up ISIS to say they`re 10
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ISIS represents a new, complex threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got an allergy to Syria and we`ve got an allergy
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: We need to think first and shoot
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not simply a military problem.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, DOD SPOKESMAN: The real measure of success is that
their ideology is ultimately defeated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s never going to happen at the end of an American
O`DONNELL: A new video that reportedly shows the beheading of American
journalist Steven Sotloff in Syria was posted online today by the Islamic
State, which calls the video, quote, "A second message to the U.S.", end
The group says it executed Sotloff as a response to U.S. airstrikes against
the Islamic State in Iraq. The posting of the video online comes one day
after a U.S. military airstrike in Iraq destroyed or damaged 16 Islamic
state armed vehicles near the Mosul dam.
The United States has launched 124 airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic
state since early August. It is the second video in the last two weeks to
show the beheading of an American journalist. The first victim was James
Foley. The Islamic state showed images of another hostage today, this one
a British citizen.
The White House press secretary said this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States, as you know,
has dedicated significant time and significant resources to try and rescue
Mr. Sotloff. We -- I`m not in a position to confirm the authenticity of
that video or the reports.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Last week, you`ll recall Steven Sotloff`s mother released this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIRLEY SOTLOFF, MOTHER OF STEVEN SOTLOFF: As a mother, I ask your justice
to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. I
ask you to spare his life and to follow the example set by the Prophet
Mohammed who protected people of the book. I want what every mother wants,
to live to see her children`s children. I plead with you to grant me this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today, a Sotloff family spokesman said, quote, "The family
knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately."
Tonight, President Obama authorized Defense Department request for an
additional 350 military personnel in Iraq, bringing the total number of
military personnel to approximately 820. And Florida Senator Bill Nelson
said today he will introduce legislation giving President Obama explicit
authority to order air strikes against the Islamic State within Syria when
Congress returns from recess next week.
Joining me now is David Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for
"Reuters" who was held prisoner himself by the Taliban for seven months.
Also joining me, Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News terrorist analyst.
And we`re also joined by Matthew VanDyke, who became a fighter for Libyan
rebels. He knew James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
Matthew VanDyke, first to you. What do you remember most about Steven
Sotloff, what would you like to say about him tonight?
MATTHEW VANDYKE, FRIEND OF BEHEADED JOURNALISTS: You know, there`s a lot
of journalists that cover conflicts. They sort of parachute in from one
conflict to another, and jump region to region.
But Steven had a real love for the entire region. He learned Arabic, he
made the contacts, the friendships, drank the tea. He had a real
understanding of the people and a real dedication of reporting in that part
of the world. And this is the last person this should have happened to.
O`DONNELL: Did you ever talk about the possibility of this kind of thing
VANDYKE: Yes, we had dinner just a few weeks before he went to Syria. We
even talked about James Foley`s case. We often talked security.
O`DONNELL: And, David Rohde, having been in captivity with the Taliban for
months on end as you were, when a situation like this happens, our thoughts
first of all go to what it was like to be in that captivity for all that
time before you even get to this horrible end.
DAVID ROHDE, REUTERS: Yes, it`s horrific he survived through this period,
you know, the prisoners were treated really poorly, and it`s just -- this
is a public murder. It`s inexcusable. These are civilian journalists.
And, you know, I do think this tactic maybe helps the Islamic state in the
short term for their sort of perverse recruitment and propaganda reasons.
But I do think this is disgusting. People in the region and Americans, as
well, I`m just so sorry we`re here again tonight talking about this
O`DONNELL: Evan Kohlmann, talk about the point that David just made. How
does this work for the Islamic State?
EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, look, the purpose here is
to intimidate the American public and to intimidate the U.S. government.
And I think it`s certainly fair and I think critics of the U.S. becoming
militarily involved in Syria are correct in the sense that the Islamic
state wants to provoke a confrontation with the United States. It wants to
provoke a military confrontation.
Unfortunately, the problem is if we continue to turn the other cheek, this
group will continue to carry out these provocations and they will steadily
inch up the kind of the margin of terror, of fear.
The problem is, it may get to a point where we can no longer ignore this.
We`ve seen this before with al Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor organization
for ISIS. They continue to do this. They continue to behead people and
carried out suicide bombings in Jordan, and they even claimed to carry out
an attack in the United Kingdom.
That`s the problem is if we don`t respond, they`re just going to keep at it
until eventually we have no choice but to respond.
O`DONNELL: Matthew VanDyke, what is your understanding of the Islamic
State`s ambitions and what they tactically expect to gain from this sort of
VANDYKE: Their ambitions were largely regional until the United States
started air strikes. What they hope to gain is a change in U.S. policy.
It`s not going to happen. Perhaps, it will help recruitment, but I don`t
think they`ll recruit anyone except for psychopaths, with these sort of
I agree, it does them more damage than it does them good. Those people in
the Muslim world are completely repulsed by what they`ve seen and I don`t
think it will help their recruitment all that much.
O`DONNELL: David Rohde, they have been recruiting in Europe, and that has
Europe quite worried, it has the United Kingdom quite worried. We saw the
United Kingdom announcing today new ways of dealing with this, including
possibly suspending passports of British citizens who are abroad, who they
suspect to be involved in this kind of thing.
What other measures do you think it is possible for the United States to
possibly entertain at this point?
ROHDE: There can be this tracking, there can be suspending of passports.
But it`s very hard for the American government to track these cases. The
Americans that have died in Syria often went to third countries and other
parts of Europe or the world. And then made their way to Turkey and went
over the border. So, it`s very hard to track it.
You know, it`s a moment for the administration, the president is off on his
trip and there`s talk about Putin and a need for a strategy in Islamic
State. There needs to be a statement, is this a threat to the United
States in the long-term or is it not? Americans clearly want no part
getting involved in Iraq, but there seems to be an inconsistent message
from the administration about how serious this problem is.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the White House said about the deployment
of the additional 350 military personnel to Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRBY: Absolutely, there`s a strategy for our approach to the Middle East.
Now, I can only speak from a military perspective and from the Pentagon.
But we have been consistently going after the terrorist threats in that
part of the world.
Inside Iraq, the mission is very clear. We are there to support Iraqi and
Kurdish forces as they take the fight to ISIL.
The military strategy with respect to the Middle East also has been very
clear. And it`s not just something that we just started doing. I mean,
we`ve been going after terrorist networks in that part of the world for
more than a decade, with very good success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: OK, that obviously was not the White House spokesman.
The White House spokesman said today that the request for the 350
additional personnel was to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel
Evan Kohlmann, is that going to be enough to protect our diplomatic
KOHLMANN: Well, look, even if it`s enough to protect our diplomatic
personnel in Baghdad, I think the problem is evidenced by right here, the
hostages that ISIS took weren`t U.S. diplomats, they were U.S. journalists.
And there are targets for these folks to grab all over the place.
I don`t think the solution is not trying to build a fortress around our
diplomats or journalists. I think the solution is to go after the people
who are murdering them. And those people are in Syria.
I mean, there`s quite a lot of evidence at this point that these located in
Syria, even those who examined the execution videos would conclude that
they`re most likely filmed in Syria. If we`re not dealing with the problem
of ISIS in Syria, this is not going to stop. There`s going to be no end to
And simply fighting ISIS on the Iraqi side of the border makes no sense,
because the only people that respect that border are us. ISIS has openly
declared it has no intention of respecting that border.
So, you know, look, I agree with what David was saying. I don`t think the
U.S. public is exactly excited about getting back involved in Iraq, but I`m
not sure it`s a war we necessarily have any choice about, or a conflict we
have a choice about. If these folks are threatening us and they`re killing
American journalists and American diplomats and they`re threatening others,
what choice do we have?
O`DONNELL: Well, I think we always have a choice when it comes to war.
And, David Rohde, as a journalist, do you think that the killing of
American journalists who voluntarily put themselves in these situations is
a reason to provoke the United States into full-scale military action?
ROHDE: No, I wouldn`t -- I don`t think Americans are different from any
civilian and I don`t think there`s any special reason when a journalist is
killed. But it`s back to this core question about what are we doing in the
Middle East? Are we pulling out? Does it matter if Iraq dissolves? Does
it matter if there`s an Islamic State that spans Syria and Iraq?
If this group was in Jordan and toward Saudi Arabia, you know, how would we
respond to that? If they`re going to Jordan, they`re closer to Israel.
It`s this broad strategy, what are we doing?
And maybe we shouldn`t be involved in the Middle East. Maybe this isn`t a
threat. But we don`t seem to be having the broader debate. And again, the
president isn`t giving us a vision about the Middle East matters, you know,
or the Middle East doesn`t matter.
O`DONNELL: Well, Matthew VanDyke, when journalists over there that you
talk to talk about going into areas like this and you have conversations
about something like this could happen to them, what is their expectation
of a possible aftermath to something like this?
VANDYKE: Nobody ever really thinks it`s going to be them, but for sure,
everyone working in Syria takes a lot more precaution than they did a year
or two years ago. A lot have stopped going. If ISIS` intent is to
intimidate the press, they`ve certainly succeeded.
O`DONNELL: David Rohde, Evan Kohlmann and Matthew VanDyke, thank you all
very much for joining me tonight.
KOHLMANN: Thank you.
ROHDE: Thank you.
VANDYKE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, President Obama authorized an attack yesterday in
Somalia. What does that tell us about the president`s strategic use of
And how easy is it for someone to hack your phone, get your photos, get
what you`ve been using, any photos or any personal information you have?
People now are very much afraid of what`s going on with the iCloud and
Apple has issued a statement today about what happened to some celebrity
hacking that went on this weekend.
O`DONNELL: At this hour, President Obama is aboard Air Force One headed to
Estonia, where he`ll meet with leaders from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia,
three NATO countries that border Russia. The president intends to reassure
them that NATO is committed to defending them if they face attack. Like
Ukraine, Estonia has a large Russian population.
On his four-day trip, President Obama will also travel to a NATO meeting in
the United Kingdom, where the military alliance will consider a rapid
response force for NATO members that border Russia.
Vladimir Putin`s government is now attacking the European official who says
that Putin told him, quote, "If I wanted to, I could take Kiev in two
weeks", end quote. The Russian government didn`t deny that Putin said that
but claims it was out of context and they may release the transcript of the
Coming up next, what war hawks don`t quite get about President Obama`s
O`DONNELL: American and Somalia officials said today that U.S. airstrikes
could have possibly killed a leader of the Somali terrorist group of al
Shabaab. According to the Pentagon, the U.S. dropped hell fire missiles
and laser guided munitions on an encampment in Somalia yesterday, targeting
the leader of the al Qaeda affiliated group that claimed responsibility for
the September 2013 mall massacre in Nairobi which resulted in the deaths of
over 60 people.
U.S. officials told NBC News that three suspected members of al Shabaab
were killed but it`s not confirmed whether the leader was among them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRBY: If he was killed, this is a very significant blow to their network,
to their organization, and we believe to their ability to continue to
conduct terrorist attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The news of those air strikes in Somalia came five days after
President Obama said this about Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don`t have a strategy. I
think what I`ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are
getting a little further ahead of where we currently are. And I think
that`s not just my assessment but the assessment of our military, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now are MSNBC political analysts E.J. Dionne and
We are in the great strategy controversy in Washington because the
president said what you just saw there.
And, E.J., he was talking about how do we handle the Islamic state in
Syria, which is a much more complicated question than how to go after them
in Iraq, which the president has already been doing. And I think it
actually has exposed something I`ve felt for a very long time -- no
president has an overall strategy about how to deal with all threats in any
given region or the world. The truth of the matter is, they make it up as
they go along.
E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right. Well, let`s have a grand
strategy to deal with ISIS and Ukraine and Libya and just mix it all up. I
mean, you`re absolutely right, there is -- even when you have a grand
strategy, that popular term among foreign policy types, you still have to
deal with messy situations. I think we can stipulate that the president
shouldn`t say we don`t have a strategy yet, simply because it`s going to be
distorted and his enemies are going to use it against him.
If you look at an article by Walter Pincus in "The Washington Post", he
suggested there is a strategy that just hasn`t come together yet. What
President Obama wants to do is to pull together a lot of Sunni allies with
Saudi Arabia joining in, talks with Qatar, with Jordan. The idea is we
don`t want to look like we`re going to war on behalf of the Shia against
the Sunnis. We want Sunnis to unite with us against ISIS, against the
He`s also been trying to get a government in Iraq that`s inclusive, so the
Sunnis in Iraq will ally in this battle against the Islamic State.
So, there is an approach here, and he decided he wasn`t going to announce
his strategy until it actually all came together, which wasn`t a bad idea
since he should have never used those words.
O`DONNELL: And, David Corn, the reason why we`re talking about Somalia is
that it shows one of the things the president has made clear for a very
long time, which is he wants to use military force when it`s practical,
when he knows or feels it will do more good than harm, where the
repercussions are controllable, where the situation is controllable.
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: He is a deliberative and pragmatic
interventionist. He doesn`t have a grand -- there was once a grand
strategy. In 2003, the Bush administration had a grand strategy for
remaking the entire Middle East, that they would start with Iraq and
everything would fall into place there. Well, actually, the opposite has
happened and it`s triggered what we have today.
So, the president likes to look at things in a very deliberative manner.
He likes to take his time. We saw this with Libya. Libya is the perfect
case when it comes to understanding how the president approaches foreign
policy. He took weeks. He went to the Pentagon for several sets of
options. His aides advocated aggressive action, some less aggressive
action and he ended going to the Pentagon saying, listen, I don`t like
these plans you`re giving me. Give me something even more robust -- before
he put together a multilateral approach that included some minimal but some
regional actors, as well, which is what he would like to do as E.J. just
mentioned here in Iraq.
And so, it`s going to take time. ISIS is not a problem you can solve with
a couple of airstrikes in a couple of weeks. This will take months, if not
years, and it`s going to have to have the regional powers and others be
part of the solution. Otherwise, we won`t be able to do it alone, no
matter how much John McCain wishes that were so.
O`DONNELL: And, E.J., the problem here is the use of the word "strategy"
and many people in Washington not understanding what it actually is. It`s
not just an idea of something to do today, it is something that follows
through what happens when every other reaction that is going to occur in
reaction to what you`ve done happens and then you have a plan for that.
We`re now living in the aftermath of the complete lack of a George W. Bush
long-term strategy for what it meant for the United States of America to
invade, occupy, take over Iraq.
DIONNE: Right. And I think the problem in Iraq is that the administration
then made so many optimistic assumptions, we could get by with fewer
troops, that we would be welcomed as liberators. There were no plans there
for sending enough troops to pacify the country. There were no plans about
what to do with the Baathists. And then, we got rid of the Iraqi army
which created a lot of new enemies for us.
So you don`t want to go into a situation like this on the fly like that.
There are a lot of people who thought, let`s blow up the Middle East
because it`s so messed up that it went get worse. Well, it can get worse
and it kind of has gotten worse.
And when you look at -- people talk about the great threat being Iran.
Well, the Iraq war had the effect of strengthening Iran. So, if you`re
going to sort of aim before you shoot, that does seem like a good idea to
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, David.
CORN: I was going to say, there was really little strategic sense of what
would happen after that intervention, that invasion. It was just sort of
like roll the dice and see what happens.
You know, the debate in Washington and elsewhere over the use of the
president`s use of the word "strategy" is worrisome, because it shows that
we can`t have an adult conversation about the issue itself. Anybody who
heard what the president said and looked at the sentence before and the
sentence afterwards realized that basically what he was saying is we don`t
have a plan yet on what to do about ISIS, we`re working on it. I`ve asked
the Pentagon for options.
But by jumping on this and trying to make political hay out of it, the
folks two claim to be patriots, claim they want to -- that they care about
our national security are making it harder to develop anything involving or
resembling a policy consensus.
If I were the president, words that I try not to say too often, I would
call Boehner and McConnell and Republican leaders to the White House every
single day and say, OK, let`s talk about this, what should we do? And then
they can talk to the cameras afterwards and make this a communal effort,
even though Republicans on Capitol Hill, most of them, many of them, are
still looking at this as a way to score points rather than come to any
clear understanding of what we should do.
DIONNE: Lawrence, I want to say something about president Corn`s comment
just now. He makes a really important point about the adult conversation.
A lot of this still seems to be re-litigating, refighting the decision on
the Iraq war. There were just a lot of people who fundamentally disagreed
with the president, even though the country agreed with him on this, in
pulling out the troops in Iraq and in being against the war in the first
place. A lot of this is cover for rearguing that war.
And I don`t think most people want to reargue that war. They want to solve
a discrete problem, which is ISIS.
CORN: And they`re trying to also promote this meme that the president is
weak and he dithers. Just because he`s spending some time, maybe a couple
of weeks, trying to figure out how to get the best handle on a problem that
is about as naughty as they come foreign policy. There are several layers
of civil war going on between Sunni and Shia, between Sunni and Sunni,
between Iran and Saudi Arabia, all these different things and to sort of
interject the United States on its own is something that should happen
cautiously at best, if it happens. And why people don`t sort of applaud
the deliberation here is kind of sad.
O`DONNELL: Well, dither apparently is the Republican word for "think,"
which is something they are very uncomfortable watching presidents do that
CORN: That seems to be the case.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And if you ask Lindsey Graham that think about what you
do, he would simply say, well, you got to bomb within Syria, but I haven`t
heard Lindsey Graham would not help Assad.
CORN: Well, you also have to have a target, excuse me, E.J., and that`s
one of the things that the Pentagon is trying to come up with, how to bomb
and have a way that is a positive impact towards the policy you want. Not
just like John McCain said on that YouTube video years ago, "bomb, bomb,
bomb, bomb Iran." You can`t be that reflexive.
O`DONNELL: Thank you very much both very much for joining me tonight.
DIONNE: Good to be with you, Lawrence.
CORN: Sure thing.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
Coming up, the hacking and the sharing of celebrity`s private photos
online, and what it says about the security of your information in the
And for the third time, another plane forced to land after an argument over
a reclining seat.
O`DONNELL: This afternoon, as iPhone users around the world were in mid
panic over the security of their devices, especially the security of their
Apple issued this statement.
After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain
celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user
names, passwords and security questions. A practice that has become all
too common to the Internet. None on the cases we have investigated has
resulted from any breach in any of Apple`s systems including icould or find
my phone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify
the criminals involved.
Joining me now is someone who might have spoken with one of the people
involved. Tech editor for BuzzFeed Charlie Warzel. So Charlie, who did
you talk to who may be the subject of this investigation?
CHARLIE WARZEL, TECH EDITOR, BUZZFEED: Yesterday morning, I spoke with
Brian Hamad, who is a 27-year-old who lives in Georgia. And he was a
person that the Internet around early Monday morning, late Sunday night,
after these leaks started looking towards. He told me that he claimed he
had never been in possession of the photos but some people on some online
message boards, in places like Reddit, sort of back traced and saw his
computer address inside one of the screen shots of some of the leaked
photos. And so, it`s like all these things, it`s very unclear, but right
now he seems to be sort of the Internet sleuth`s prime suspect.
O`DONNELL: And here`s the -- here`s the statement that he gave. He said,
I am just an idiot, which is something we can all agree on, whether he`s
guilty or not guilty in this case. I am just an idiot who tried to pull
one over 4chan and lost big time and stupidly left this identifying
information. They took my proof and back traced it. If isn`t remotely
true, I am not a hacker. I have no idea how the hell how someone could
hack into all of those accounts.
Charlie, what should people be fearing about the security of their devices
as a result of this story?
WARZEL: This isn`t the first time obviously that this has happened to
celebrities. But also with Apple and with iCloud. And while Apple put out
that statement and pretty much denied that it was a large, wide breach, you
know, this has happened before. A wired reporter, it happened to him in
2012. And the real issue is that with iCloud, there are still ways for
hackers to sort of get in with brute force, which means, you know, using
multiple, multiple guesses. And until yesterday morning, Apple actually
had a security flaw that would allow you to enter as many passwords as
possible. It doesn`t time out like if you`re trying to enter a password
like when, you know, to get into your computer per se. So there`s some
issues with the extent of the security on this device that has all your
O`DONNELL: Now, it`s pretty much settled now that everyone under 40 has,
you know, kind of sensitive photographs of themselves or on their devices.
And so can we just, as a culture, just completely remove the embarrassment
for this and just treat them like baby pictures or high school graduation
pictures and just recognize sure, these are everywhere and it`s nothing for
everybody to be worried about.
WARZEL: You certainly can, but --
O`DONNELL: Charlie, it feels like we`re about 100 years away from that
particular level of enlightenment.
WARZEL: I think we are. And also, you know, the sort of the wow factor of
celebrities, that`s going to be an issue. And I don`t think we`re evolved
enough on that front quite yet, although it does seem to be something that,
you know, we`re getting better with as a culture. I mean, these
photographs have been taken down. They`re not easy for an average person
to find now, a lot of these celebrity photographs. So as a culture, you
know, the media has done a decent job, you know, delinking and learning
from spreading these things.
O`DONNELL: What has happened with the particular photographs that
everybody has been buzzing about, has the Internet defended against the
dissemination of these things?
WARZEL: It depends on what community. So, you have some communities on
some of these message boards like 4chan who, you know, celebrate these sort
of leaks. This is something that they are actively going after more.
They`re really excited about this. But you know, a lot of news sites, you
know, and Jennifer Lawrence`s publicist came out very strongly, and I think
a lot of people really sort of understood this is something that, a, could
happen to a normal person. It`s happened to normal people before. We`re
starting, you know, to see that their private lives are, you know, just
like ours. I think that the media has done a good job this round of sort
of, you know, getting rid of the links to some of these seedier places and
sort of making sure that these photos don`t necessarily show up without
having to do a lot of digging on some of the, you know, less savory places
of the Internet.
O`DONNELL: Charlie, you`re the tech adviser to some celebrities. Would
you say just don`t use the iCloud as step one?
WARZEL: I don`t necessarily think it`s that. I think you have to -- you
just have to be very present and know what you have. I mean, you have to
take -- really this goes back to having really good user names and
passwords. It`s like the very simple thing. And you know, and also making
sure that you don`t put other public information, if your backup security
question is, you know, the school that your -- your first high school, then
you shouldn`t enter that information on Facebook and have it easily
available to everyone. Because then I can call up Apple and I can say I`m
you. And this is, you know, this is where I went to high school, and they
will give me access to your account. That is a way that some of these
people, it`s called social engineering. It`s the way they`re cracking into
So you have to be very mindful. I don`t think it means don`t use the
technology, but I think it means this stuff has very real-world
consequences and there are people out there. So you`ve got to really work
hard at it.
O`DONNELL: Well, I went to three high schools, so I`m feeling safer now.
Let`s just say I struggled in the first two.
Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed, thank you very much for joining me.
WARZEL: Thanks for having me.
Coming up, rewriting a diagnosis that has nearly always been fatal until
And later, another fight over whether you actually have the right to
recline your seat on an airplane, another diverted airliner.
O`DONNELL: And now for the good news. Joy is back. Five months ago LAST
WORD producer Joy Fallon gave birth to her daughter, Sophia Marie. Mom is
now back from maternity leave, working with the staff and she brought with
her today to the office this photograph of Sophia watching, of course,
watching her favorite TV show.
Up next in the rewrite, the Ebola virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOCTOR KENT BRANTLY, AMERICAN EBOLA PATIENT: And I`m glad for any
attention my sickness has attracted to the plight of West Africa in the
midst of this epidemic. Please continue to pray for Liberia and the people
in West Africa and encourage those in positions of leadership and influence
to do everything possible to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Dr. Kent Brantly rewriting the Ebola diagnosis to
something nonfatal. Today, President Obama made this public service
announcement available in West Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Ebola is not spread through the air like the flu. You cannot get
it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus. You
cannot get it from another person until they show the symptoms of the
disease, like fever. When burying someone who has died from this terrible
disease, it`s important to not directly touch their body. You can respect
your traditions and honor your loved ones without risking the lives of the
living. Stop thing disease won`t be easy. But we know how to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Dr. Kent Brantly experienced that firsthand. He told his story
exclusively to NBC`s Matt Lauer.
MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: July 23rd, you wake up, take me through the day.
BRANTLY: I woke up that morning, and really I just fell a little off, a
little warm, a little under the weather. And I took my temperature and it
was 100.0 I think.
LAUER: And your family was thousands of miles away and you knew they
couldn`t come back.
BRANTLY: I was so thankful that amber and the kids were not there. That
would have been an overwhelming mental burden if I had woken up sick laying
bed next to my wife with one of my children snuggled up next to me.
LAUER: Fortunately, his wife amber and two children had left Liberia three
days earlier to attend a wedding in Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then when he did call to tell me he had Ebola -- I
don`t know if I can describe that. I was -- I knew it was coming. I have
seen him treat this people who had already been diagnosed and I knew how it
ends. I knew how everyone is in to that so far. So I had the disadvantage
of having the knowledge the course of the disease. I was scared.
LAUER: There was a time during those days in Liberia when you were really
sick that doctors didn`t think you wouldn`t make it through one of those
nights. We you aware of that?
LAUER: Did they talk to you about it?
BRANTLY: I don`t think they ever said that Kent, I think you are about to
die, but I felt like I was about to die. And I said to the nurse who is
taking care of me, I`m sick. I have no reserve and I don`t know how long I
can keep this up. And I thought I`m not going to be able to continue
breathing this way. And they have no way to breath for me and when I had
to quit breathing.
O`DONNELL: You can see more of Matt Lauer`s exclusive interview tomorrow
Coming up, when you make your plane reservations now, apparently you have
to factor in how much time it`s going to take when your plane is diverted
to land at another airport because someone reclined their seat. That`s
O`DONNELL: Tonight, European officials are proposing new sanctions against
Russia in response to reports that more Russian troops are in eastern
Ukraine. The new proposals would ban more Russian firms from borrowing
money from EU banks, and they would expand the bands on Russian technology
that can also be used for military purposes.
Up next, another case of recline rage, this time on Delta Airlines.
O`DONNELL: For the third time in nine days, a flight was diverted over a
seat recline dispute. Last night a Delta flight traveling from New York to
West Palm Beach, Florida, made a stop in Jacksonville, Florida after a
passenger says she was hit on the head after the person in front of her
reclined her seat. Here`s how a passenger on the plane explained what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON KLIPIN, PASSENGER ON DIVERTED PLANE: This woman sitting next to me
knitting actually tried reclining her seat back. The woman behind her
started screaming and swearing. And then a flight attendant came over and
that exacerbated what was going on and she demanded the flight land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Delta Airlines released this statement.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the captain elected to divert to the
closest airport, local law enforcement met the flight and removed the
According to the police report, the passenger who was removed was 32-year-
old Amy Fine. She was the one who screamed at the other passenger who
reclined her seat.
Joining me now is Amy Farley, news editor of Travel and Leisure, who edited
an upcoming report on air travel for the magazine`s November issue.
Amy, this is getting really out of control here. We`ve got this epidemic
going on now where, when your plane takes off, it might land where the
ticket says it`s supposed to land, but if somebody reclines a seat, you
never know where it`s going to land.
AMY FARLEY, NEWS EDITOR, TIME & LEISURE: I think where we have our case of
a lot of passengers that need some anger management classes. It`s
extraordinary. People are really reaching a boiling point with the
indignities of flying in economy and they are taking it out on one another.
That`s what`s happened in the last week or so.
O`DONNELL: The legal situation is interesting. It`s kind of tricky trying
to deal with charges here, anything other than federal. Because when that
plane lands in Jacksonville, Florida, if there was some kind of disorderly
conduct crime committed flying over Georgia, they don`t have any
jurisdiction there to, you know, to make any local arrest. And so it seems
to me until the airlines figure out how to bring criminal charges for this,
or at minimum, until they start suing the passengers who make this happen,
I think we are just going to get more to them.
FARLEY: I mean, I wouldn`t be surprised if airlines are weighing their
legal options because it is expensive to divert a flight. By some
estimates are up to $200,000 if you have to take a plane off course and
landed at another airport. So obviously, the passengers are the ones
causing these problems and the airlines are going to do everything in their
power to hold them responsible.
O`DONNELL: Yes. I mean, the airlines have specific money damages that
they set for every time this happens. And I for one can understand why
they are not very, very publicly bringing, very expensive litigation
against the people who force their planes down like this.
FARLEY: We may be seeing that coming up. But I will say that, you know,
airlines are -- I won`t say that they`re reaping what they sow, but they
have changed the experience in the back of the plane and it is incredibly
frustrating these days to sit in economy class, because you have less space
than you used to.
O`DONNELL: But everybody knows that getting on the plane. And so now,
we`re just -- once on the plane, we are all left to the decency of human
beings about how they been behave on the plane.
FARLEY: That`s absolutely true. I am in the recline camp. I think --
we`ve seen in the last week people divide down the lines of do you recline
or not. I have longer legs. I believe it is my right to recline. But
obviously, you have to pay attention to what`s going on around you. If you
have somebody with excessively long legs sitting behind you or if they`re
eating or trying to work, you should be mindful of that. But that said,
you know, there`s not much room. You can`t flip your laptop up to get some
work done if somebody brings their seat down in front of you.
O`DONNELL: You have a right to recline. Amy Farley, news editor of Travel
a& Leisure, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
FARLEY: Thanks for having me on.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
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