All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, December 8th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
December 8, 2014
Guest: Nathaniel Vinton, Eric Schneiderman, Terry O`Neill, Jane Kirtley,
Elizabeth Goitein, Robert Costa, Nick Confessore
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
PROTESTERS: I can`t breathe, I can`t breath.
HAYES: Protests against police brutality continue as the attorney
general of New York asks to take over investigations into police killings
of unarmed citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this would do a -- go a long ways towards
restoring public confidence which is right now shot.
HAYES: He will join my tonight.
Then, new fallout from "Rolling Stone`s" report of gang rape at UVA.
Plus, the long-awaited report on CIA torture drops tomorrow.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: These are patriots, and whatever
the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is
way off base.
HAYES: Then, new details on just who has the money and the clout when
it comes to king-making in the Republican Party.
Speaking of money and clout, outrage of the earnings of grumpy cats.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
A remarkable scene just unfolded moments ago here in New York at
tonight`s NBA matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland
Cavaliers, with the duke and duchess of Cambridge in attendance, along side
Beyonce and Jay-Z. Cavs Star LeBron James took the work for warm ups in
this t-shirt bearing the words, "I can`t breathe", the last words uttered
by Eric Garner, repeated 11 times as he was subjected to the police
chokehold and the strength that caused his death.
He wasn`t the only one wearing it. Multiple players on both teams
donned the shirt in solidarity tonight. The Nets and Cavs players latest
in the series of pro-athletes to invoke those words which have become the
rallying cry for nationwide protests against police brutality. Including,
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and NFL Detroit Lions` Reggie Bush,
and the Cleveland Browns` Johnson Bademosi.
It`s been five days since the Staten Island grand jury decided not
indict New York police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, in Garner`s death. And
tonight marks the sixth consecutive nights of protests all over New York
City, including right outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the
Nets and Cavs game is underway right now, with the royal couple inside.
Today, some members of the New York City Council publicly joined the
protest, with some even staging a die-in and blocking traffic outside city
hall. The speaker opened today`s official meeting with remarks about Eric
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now calling for
cases like Garner involving civilian deaths at the hands of police to be
investigated by his office instead of by local prosecutors in hopes of
avoiding conflicts of interest. In a jaw-dropping report from "New York
Daily News" appears to support the sense shared by many that something is
broken in the way the criminal justice systems handles these cases, among
179 people killed by on-duty NYPD officers over the past 15 years,
according to "The Daily News".
Just three have led to the officers` indictment and only one resulted
in a conviction and that officer was not sentenced to any jail time. That
is just what is happening here in New York.
In Cleveland, where LeBron James now plays, not far from the Akron,
Ohio, where he grew up, the fallout continues from the death of Tamir Rice,
the 12-year-old boy fatally shot by Cleveland police while holding an air
soft pellet gun on November 22nd.
Video of the incident seems to contradict some very key points in the
account initially provided by police, and today, Tamir Rice`s mother
Samaria spoke for the first time, telling NBC News she wants justice for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMARIA RICE, MOTHER OF TAMIR RICE: All the parties should be
accountable for my son`s death, all the parties, every single one of them.
Me and my family will be satisfied with both of the officers being
convicted. That will bring me justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cleveland officials said the case will go before yet another
grand jury. The Rice family filed a wrongful death suit Friday against the
officer who fired the shot, his partner, and the city of Cleveland. This
after a Justice Department report last week found evidence of systemic
abuse in the Cleveland PD.
The family has also retained attorney Benjamin Crump, who has
represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Today, Tamir
Rice`s mother revealed new details about what happened after her son was
shot, including she says that her 14-year-old daughter was detained and
handcuffed by police on the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICE: The little girl, the little boy said, as she was coming out the
-- she was in the bathroom, your brother got shot. She goes charging
towards her brother, they actually tackle her and put her in handcuffs.
That`s how she ends up in handcuffs in the police car, next to my son, and
she is actually looking at her brother dying before her eyes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We contacted the Cleveland police late today for a response of
those allegations. Have not yet heard back. We will update you tomorrow
if we do.
Meanwhile, less than a mile from where the basketball game is underway
in Brooklyn, a funeral was held for over the weekend with the latest victim
of a shooting by the NYPD, 28-year-old Akai Gurley who was unarmed when he
was shot by a rookie officer in a stairwell in the Brooklyn housing project
on November 28th.
The Brooklyn district attorney announced on Friday he`ll convene a
grand jury to hear that case.
Joining me now on the phone is Nathaniel Vinton. He`s a reporter from
"The New York Daily News" who is at the game tonight.
Nathaniel, tell me what`s it`s like inside.
NATHANIEL VINTON, THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (via telephone): Well, it`s
a pretty surreal scene with the royals here and LeBron James with his t-
shirt statement that was kind of all coming together at once here in the
HAYES: You`ve got protesters outside as well. They had sort of
congregated beforehand. What was that scene like?
VINTON: Well, to tell you the truth, here in the arena, it`s pretty
easy to be insulated from it, for better or worse. The royals came in
through an elevator that brings vehicles down below and then they sort of
regrouped. Everyone was wondering if these two sort of megawatt celebrity
units were going to interact with each other or cross over in any way.
There were a lot of people here just watching everything LeBron did from
start to finish.
HAYES: Was there any audible reaction when LeBron came out in that
VINTON: You know, the electricity around him wherever he goes. A lot
of people here in Cavs gear, fans of his, and I wouldn`t say there was
anything specifically audible. Everybody knew that it was coming, I think,
and a number of his teammates and other team had the shirt going. So, you
know, it`s just part of the general atmosphere here.
HAYES: Yes, it marks a departure. I mean, we saw, you know, back in
the 1990s when I was a childhood NBA fan, Michael Jordan famously saying
that Republicans buy sneakers, too, a lot of players shying away from
political statements. This marks quite a departure in that respect.
VINTON: Yes, you know, sure does. You know, LeBron seemed to want to
just make the T-shirt itself be its own statement. He was in the locker
room before the game. He got there early and, of course, there were about
50 people surrounding him while he was stretching, listening to his head
phones, just waiting to see what he does.
He was asked if he was going to be wearing the t-shirt. He said he
didn`t know. Of course, he did know. It turned out that in about 25
minutes before the game, he had the shirt delivered to him by Jarrett Jacks
from the Brooklyn team, and he wore it just for the warm-up, just for a
HAYES: Nathaniel Vinton of "Daily News", thank you very much.
The grand jury decisions in Ferguson and here New York have got a lot
of people questioning whether local prosecutors should be the ones to
present cases involving police shootings. Can those prosecutors adequately
represent the interests of the victims when they frequently work with law
enforcement officers and depend upon them every day to build their cases?
Well, enter New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who
wants someone else to happen shooting, specifically himself. He wrote a
letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo today, calling for an executive order that
would supersede local district attorneys handling the investigation and
prosecution of police cases over the state attorney general`s office.
I spoke to Attorney General Schneiderman. And I asked him if he`d
explain exactly what he`s asking for from the governor.
ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: What I`ve done
today is sent a letter to the governor, first of all, committing myself to
working with him and the members of the legislature to reform the law that
needs to be reformed at the state level very badly. Our laws relating to
the process for prosecuting misconduct by police officers need to be
rewritten, and asking in the interim that he`d do the only thing we can do
immediately which is to designate my office, the office of the attorney
general, and this is the only office he can designate to do this, to take
over pending this legislation being passed, take over all cases of deaths
caused by police officers in the line of duty of unarmed civilians. A very
narrow set of cases but it is an immediate step to restore public
confidence and I`ve asked for an order that would expire when he and the
legislature rewrite the laws that badly need to be written in New York and
to set an example for the country.
HAYES: So, anytime a politician is saying, I want you to give my
office more power, obviously, there`s going to be some skepticism around
that. Why is your office the right office to do this?
SCHNEIDERMAN: Well, the only office in the state that the governor
under our state laws is empowered to direct to take over a case from a
district attorney is the attorney general. It`s been done in the past on a
variety of occasions. The famous Knapp Commission prosecution that was in
the movie "Serpico" was because Governor Nelson Rockefeller directed the
attorney general to supersede the D.A. and appoint a special prosecutor.
The attorney general`s office is the only office who can do this and we
have 13 offices around the state. We can certainly provide people to work
on the case that do not have direct contact or need to have further contact
with the local police department at issue.
It`s just a common sense approach. I am answerable to the people of
the state and all the counties, and I think the public is -- confidence is
shot in the ability of our local D.A.s, who do a great job, by the way, and
I don`t think there is the reality of bias to the degree which a lot of
people are contending, but the public perception has created this wedge
between people and the police, and it`s very dangerous to have the people
of a city or a state feel that they can`t trust the police.
They have to come forward as witnesses. They have to trust their
police officers. The NYPD is a great department. We have a great
commissioner making reforms. But all across America, people are asking the
question, how do we ensure that there`s an independent arbiter when there
are accusations as something as serious as death caused by a police officer
acting in the line of duty. And I think this is a step towards restoring
Felix Frankfurter famously said, justice must satisfy the perception
of justice and this is an effort to restore that.
HAYES: Knowing what you know now, given the result of the Staten
Island grand jury under the office of Dan Donovan, should the governor have
taken the step before the grand jury was impaneled in Staten Island?
SCHNEIDERMAN: Well, I don`t want to second-guess that. One of the
things that needs to be addressed in New York and other states as well, is
the completely opaque grand jury process. We have the toughest -- some of
the toughest laws in the country on making it impossible for anyone to know
what goes on in a grand jury, and that I think anyone who says they think
Dan Donovan did or didn`t do a proper job, they can`t know because they
can`t get access to the information, as we saw in Missouri. Other states
have different laws.
But when the legislature and the governor get to work on this, one of
the issues they have to address is this black box of the grand jury in New
York, which has very tough secrecy laws.
HAYES: Ultimately, what you would like to see in a legislative
solution that essentially creates some kind of an independent office that
these cases are fed to.
SCHNEIDERMAN: Well, it has to deal with the law that is -- in several
different areas. If Dan Donovan had gone to a court and said, you know
what, the appearance of impropriety here, I just want to create the right
impression and keep if up the confidence, judge, will you please appoint
another D.A. or another person to prosecute, he would have been turned down
under the current law of the state of New York.
We have to have a safety valve in these situations. Under current
law, the only office the governor can direct to take action is my office.
These are not cases anyone looks forward to having, but we are prepared to
be part of that solution, and also by taking the step we think it will send
a message to the legislature that we`re all serious about this, and we`re
not going to put up with inaction in the upcoming legislative session.
HAYES: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, great thanks.
HAYES: Last week, "Rolling Stone" apologized to its readers for its
flawed reporting in the bombshell report of the rape allegations in the
University of Virginia. Now, the ugly backlash against the accuser has
become. That`s ahead.
HAYES: In the midst of yet another grim news cycle, there`s some good
news to report and that is Obamacare is working. According to a new report
by federal health officials, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act has
resulted in insurers reducing their administrative costs. That means more
of the insurers` money is going towards providing actual health benefits to
customers for less money, because under Obamacare premiums are growing at a
slower rate, too. Just one more example of how the ACA is working.
HAYES: New chapter opening up tonight surrounding "Rolling Stone"
report alleging a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity
party. Last week, after mounting criticism over the way "Rolling Stone"
reported the piece, the magazine admitted to discrepancies in the story and
apologized to readers. Now, a woman who is roommates with Jackie, that`s
the woman at the center of that story, the UVA student president -- student
(INAUDIBLE) survivor of the horrific gang rape story that leads the piece
is speaking out. She says she does not believe her roommate`s story was a
Over the weekend, Emily Clark, who says she was Jackie`s suite mate
when the incident allegedly took place wrote in UVA student newspaper,
quote, "I believe wholeheartedly she went through a traumatizing sexual
assault. She was kind, funny, outgoing, friendly, and a pleasant person to
be around, that all notably changed by December 2012. Sometime that year,
I remember her letting it schlep to me she had a terrible experience at a
party. I remember telling me multiple men assaulted her at the party. She
didn`t say anything more."
The article defending Jackie`s story comes after several key details
of the "Rolling Stone" article had been called into question. The online
piece now features an extensive editor`s note apologizing for discrepancies
in the story. When the note was originally post on Friday, it read, quote,
"We have come to the conclusion that our trust in Jackie was misplaced."
That line was changed on Saturday. It now reads, quote, "These mistakes
are on `Rolling Stone`, not Jackie."
Although the magazine has apologized for the story, they have yet to
given an account of exactly which part of the story they had confirmed
before they went to print and which part they had not. Managing editor
Will Dana told "New York Times" the magazine plans to do further reporting
on the story as it tries to determine the truth of what happened at the
University of Virginia. Quote, "Right now, we`re picking up the pieces."
Over the weekend, someone publicly tweeted the full unconfirmed name
of the young woman this person says is at the center of all this and
solicited personal information about her. As Jackie deals with the sadly
predictable violations of her privacy, the entire University of Virginia is
dealing with fallout from the report. Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity in
question, has strenuously disputed several parts of the report. And
yesterday, three national organizations called on UVA to immediately
reinstate all fraternities and sororities on campus, which were suspended
after the "Rolling Stone" report.
In a statement to ALL IN, the University of Virginia told us Greek
activities would be reinstated on January 9th.
Meanwhile, advocates like Emily Renda, a UVA student and rape survivor
who worked with Jackie worried about the report`s impact on all survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMILY RENDA, RAPE SURVIVOR/ADVOCATE: I don`t think the "Rolling
Stone" article or the reporter did her justice in acknowledging the ways in
which she was confused or still working through a trauma, which she is
still working through a trauma. And now, I think people will take
inconsistencies to mean that she is lying, which is what police departments
have done for many years, and which is why so many rape cases go
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Terry O`Neill, the president of the National
Organization for Women, and Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law
at the University of Minnesota.
Professor, let me start with you. I think one of the things that`s
troubling about the journalistic aspect of this -- and I don`t think has
been fully appreciate bid the public is this, it is not simply the case
that "Rolling Stone" did not contact the men in question. It is the fact
that it appears they did not have any names. That they ran a story,
somehow miraculously got through legal, which I don`t know how, without
every actually getting names that they could have confirmed were actual
existing human beings who attended the campus. I can`t imagine how that
gets through legal.
JANE KIRTLEY, MEDIA ETHICS & LAW PROF., UNIV. OF MN: It`s really
astonishing malfeasance in my view of the journalistic obligation to do
some elementary fact checking. My sense is that it there was a narrative
that the magazine had become enamored of and they became convinced and I
think the reporter became convinced that this particular individual was
truthful and was telling a compelling story. But you can be sympathetic,
you can empathetic, you can be patient, but you have to ultimately do your
And no news organization -- I would add, no advocacy organization --
can afford to put forward a false narrative in a situation like this,
because as you suggested, what that`s going to mean is that in the future,
victims are going to have a much harder time being believed.
HAYES: Terri, Emily Renda I thought made a really good point, and I
think this also bears repeating. In fact, we just saw this discussion with
the Michael Brown case when we talk about eyewitness testimony. There are
people who made the leap from an eyewitness said something that was then
refuted by the physical evidence to mean that the eyewitness was, quote,
"lying" in how they remembered a very traumatic, fast-paced event. In this
case you`re seeing people calling the young woman, clearly a traumatized
individual a, quote, "liar", or referring to as a hoax, when it also seems
it`s completely plausible this is someone who had a traumatic experience
whose recall as we know from psychologists is imperfect.
TERRY O`NEILL, PRES., NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: Honestly,
Chris, the more convinced I read about this, the more convince I am that
Jackie was telling the truth. She`s a hero. She`s an extraordinarily
courageous young woman. And she has been very shabbily treated by
unethical journalistic procedures at the "Rolling Stone". The "Rolling
Stone" has a lot to answer for.
You know, the reality is that survivors of rape trauma, discrepancies
in their stories is in fact as signal that they are telling the truth. In
fact, the rush of hormones, he fight flight freeze response to a life-
threatening situation like a traumatic rape, especially a gang rape, those
things actually do two things. First of all, they severely interfere with
the victim`s ability to respond in a rational way to the immediate event,
and also, the brain chemistry of the response prevents the victim from
being able to assemble a narrative that is coherent and makes sense.
That`s why so many police don`t believe them.
HAYES: So, to hear, this to me is where we get to the rock bottom of
the issue. You know, there are several things that are said in the article
which, for instance, the person at the center of this was a fellow life
guard with Jackie. It appears that Phi Kappa Psi is saying no one at the
time work as the lifeguard, the fraternity says there wasn`t a party on the
night in question.
So, there are some sort of factual disputes that are being put by the
But to your point, right, let`s say, let`s zero in on this, because
this seems to be the problem, right? If this is the case, and we know the
psychological literature establishes this, then what possible hope is there
for due process or justice in either direction, right? You`re talking
about crimes that are committed in conditions of intimate closeness without
witnesses, often without anything dispositive forensically. So, then, what
do you do, right? I mean, you can`t sort of throw out the principles of
due process at the same time it seems that that the principles we do have
which require a kind of perfect recollection and physical corroboration
make it impossible to ever hold any one account for this?
O`NEILL: So, Chris, I think you`re exactly zeroing in on the problem.
Because we have this innocent until proven guilty that we apply to an
accused perpetrator, we therefore apply exactly the opposite standard to a
rape victim. She is presumed guilty of lying until she can prove herself
innocent. That`s wrong.
She needs to be just as innocent until proven guilty as he is. And
that is something that we have not had, certainly not on college campuses.
That`s the essence of rape culture, is that in our zeal to protect an
accused, we re-victimize the victim.
HAYES: But, Jane, that`s also -- that may or may not be part of the
rape culture as Terry says. It`s also part of the sort of jurisprudential
tradition when we`re talking about how the courts process this. How should
reporters process it?
KIRTLEY: Well, remember, reporters are not bound by the rules of
evidence. They have the ability to go out and ask questions and get
information that might not be admissible in a court of law. And I think
they need to do that. It isn`t enough to say that this woman was
traumatized, so therefore, we must accept her entire story as given. It`s
up to the reporters to take the steps to go out and double check it.
And, you know, one of the stories that has come of this is that
apparently, "Rolling Stone" made promises that they would not even attempt
to contact the individuals that were being accused. Now, that just doesn`t
make sense from a journalist perspective. You can`t rely on a single
witness or a single person`s story like this.
I`m not questioning the voracity of this particular individual because
I don`t know how believable she is. I`m just saying that as a principle,
you don`t rely upon one person.
HAYES: When you reach the point in the story, when the story says,
you can`t contact these people and I can`t tell you their names, you say, I
completely respect that and I know I`m not going to push you on this, but
we have to go find another source of the story. Full stop.
KIRTLEY: Exactly, exactly.
HAYES: Terry O`Neill and Jane Kirtley, thank you.
All right. Back in a moment.
HAYES: The woman behind the success of international media sensation,
best-selling author, lifetime movie star and internet meme Grumpy Cat is
knocking down a report from the British tabloid, "The Daily Express", that
she, Tabatha Bundesen, has made 64 million pounds, that`s nearly a hundred
million off of the cat.
From the cat who goes by the name Tartar Sauce at home, now here at
ALL IN, we`ve been unable to determine Grumpy Cat`s actual net worth.
According to the permanently frowning feline`s agent, Ben Lashes, whose
other clients include Internet sensations Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat, he
told "The Hollywood Reporter" on August he estimates the cat has generated
about $100 million in revenue total. Adding that, quote, "This is a seven-
figure cat, for sure."
Clearly, Grumpy Cat is worth millions in revenue. But today`s series
of outrage responses to fact that Grumpy Cat could be generating this
amount of money, well, I`ve got to be honest. It bemused me.
Say what you want about Grumpy Cat, and sure the absurdity of the
cat`s market popularity stems from a (inaudible) that caused by a genetic
defect, but that cat never sold anyone a predatory mortgage, never
participated in a series of transactions that threatened to bring down the
entire global financial system and never did anything that cost taxpayers
billions of dollars.
If you thought people at the top of the income distribution were there
because of their hard work and good sense and brains and Grumpy Cat is
where you draw the line, let me tell you, in the annals of creatures who
don`t deserve the money they`re making, Grumpy Cat doesn`t even make it
onto my ledger. As the saying goes, don`t hate the player, hate the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us something about the report coming
SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: No, not right now. I will
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you tell us about Senator Kerry`s phone call
with you on Friday?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you expect from the -- do you expect any
pushback from Republicans...
FEINSTEIN; I will make comments on the floor tomorrow at 11:00 and
I`d like to reserve any comment until then.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, ma`am.
FEINSTEIN: I`m sorry you had to wait all day for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After five years of bitter wrangling, behind the scenes of
jockeying and litigation and power struggle, and a damn near constitutional
crisis, and a reported cost of $40 million, tomorrow, the Senate
intelligence committee plans to
release the most comprehensive account the CIA`s under the Bush
A 500 page summary of a 6,000 page report. The long awaited report
has been a point of tremendous tension between different branches of
government. The CIA even admitted into hacking into the senate staffers`
computers. At least one senator accused the agency of trying to obstruct
the torture investigation.
CIA director John Brennan eventually apologized.
The Obama has taken the report very seriously, so much so the
president sent his own chief of staff Denis McDonough to meet with Senate
intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein at her home in California
this summer to apparently negotiate over what details would make it into
the final report.
Feinstein told the L.A. Times that White House`s involvement was,
quote, not received well.
The report is expected to question, according the New York Times, the
efficacy of torture and revealing more details about the program. It also
suggests CIA officers in the field may have misled officials at
A couple years ago, Senator Feinstein put out a statement saying in
part, the report uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and
and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight.
Now, there is a bipartisan push to release this report. Republicans
John McCain and Lindsey Graham in the Senate continue support its
declassification release. There`s also a bipartisan push against the
release of the report and staunch support of what the CIA did, some of it
from, well, unsurprising corners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re fortunate
to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf.
These are patriots. And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their
contributions to our country, it is way off base. And I knew the
directors, I knew the deputy directors, you know, I knew a lot of the
operators. These are good people, really good people and we`re lucky as a
nation to have them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, chair of the House
intelligence committee is warning the release of the report is dangerous
from the U.S. and its allies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) MICHIGAN: Our former partners are telling us
cause violence and deaths, our foreign leaders who approach the government
and said you do this, this will cause violence and deaths, our own
intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are some indications that some in the Obama
administration feel the same way. NBC reports that on Friday, Secretary of
State John Kerry calls Senator Feinstein, personally seeking a delay on the
release of the report. Today, State Department said that Secretary Kerry
was simply having a discussion with Senator Feinstein about the impact the
release of the report will have on the safety of Americans held hostage
around the world.
But he made it clear the timing of the report`s release was Senator
Joining me now, Liza Goitein, director of the liberty and national
security program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
I actually can`t believe it`s finally happening. I mean, this has
been such a drawn out drama. The report was completed several years ago,
if I`m not mistaken.
ELIZABETH GOITEIN, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: It was ready -- it was
voted out of the committee in 2012 so it`s been a couple of years of
fighting essentially back and forth with the administration about what
parts of the report could be released, with the administration trying
to keep the report from being declassified to the extent that Senator
HAYES: Feinstein wanted. And so my understanding of the main point
of contention of this has been the fight is over, whether you use
essentially pseudonyms for certain people that appear in different places
throughout the report so you have some sort of narrative sense -- this
person, this operator was doing this in Afghanistan and he was later doing
this and obviously you don`t use a real name, you use a fake name and the
CIA is saying that is exposing our people.
GOITEIN: That`s one of the fights. There were also fights about the
names of countries that cooperated with the United States. There may be
other fights as well that we don`t know about. There were several hundred
redactions apparently that were the subject of negotiations.
HAYES: So we`re now hearing this argument -- Mike Rogers is making it
-- apparently John Kerry made some version of it, which is now isn`t the
time. I mean, look, how much the world is blowing up. No, that is
basically the argument
GOITEIN: I`m sorry. I`m just laughing because maybe they noticed
that there was just an election. They might have noticed. And the
chairmanship of the intelligence committee next year will fall probably to
Senator Burr who is on record as saying that nothing that the intelligence
committee does should ever be done in public. So it`s not really saying
now is not the time...
HAYES: Oh, they`re just trying to run out the clock permanently.
HAYES; So, if they -- if they make it a few weeks, they can just bury
this thing forever.
GOITEIN: Well, probably not forever, but possibly at least until
Obama`s tenure is over.
HAYES ; We are talking about the only comprehensive investigative
entry into this conducted by an official entity, am I right?
GOITEIN: Yes. We are.
HAYES: And the decision and the extend to which the American
government tortured people, fairly systematic and a fashion that I think
all indications reporting suggest would be more widespread than perhaps
GOITEIN: More widespread, more brutal, those are Senator Feinstein`s
words. And also that the effectiveness of these techniques -- first of all
they were not effective, and second that CIA officials actually
affirmatively misled the Department of Justice and congress about that.
This is a very important report. And it really is the only opportunity for
some form of accountability that we have seen thus far and maybe that we`ll
HAYES: We should point this out here just as an aside that torture is
illegal under U.S. law, it`s illegal under international convention. It is
a war crime, that`s just a statement of fact.
GOITEIN; That is a statement of fact, however, quite recently, the
State Department made a statement that the Obama administration interprets
the laws against torture to apply to U.S. officials acting overseas when
they were acting in areas that were under the jurisdiction of the United
States government. So that leaves the door open to torture by U.S.
officials acting elsewhere in places across the world.
I would like...
HAYES: Wait, explain that. I don`t understand that.
GOITEIN: Right, so the question is to what extent to the prohibitions
against cruel and degrading treatment apply when the United States is
HAYES: I see. Well, a lot of this was done overseas, right?
GOITEIN: A lot of this was done overseas. And to the extent that
HAYES: It`s the administration`s position that it`s legal if it
GOITEIN: No, the administration`s position is that it is illegal if
it is done overseas in an areas that is under the control of the U.S. -- or
the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. So that would include a military
base. Would it include a black site operated by another government?
HAYES: I see.
So, if you happen to have a U.S. CIA operator in a black site operated
by a third party government, in which a detainee is transferred to, is that
outside the purview of the legal prohibition on torture?
GOITEIN: And that`s one of the reasons this report is so important,
because President Obama has said that torture is wrong, we shouldn`t have
done it. We tortured some folks, is the words that he used. But the door
needs to be closed,
it needs to be closed permanently and that won`t happen until we destroy
this Hollywood narrative that torture was somehow heroic and patriotic.
And that`s what this report can do.
HAYES: One of the arguments I think you`re seeing from some quarters,
particularly from the CIA folks, is basically, the White House put a thumb
on the scale in the development of this report to essentially put maximum
blame on the CIA independent and take it away from the Bush White House.
GOITEIN: Right. And it is true from what I`ve seen that the report
will not focus on the role of the White House. And that`s a shame not
because it makes the CIA look worse or more culpable than it was, but
because it makes the White House seem less culpable than it was. And
really, there`s plenty of blame to share in all of this. And we need a
full account. We need the full truth. It`s time. It`s been more than a
HAYES: What happens tomorrow if it comes out and there are massive,
bloody, violent protests around the world?
GOITEIN: ISIS, executed -- or the Islamic State, whatever we`re
them now, executed American hostages and said that it was because of
American air strikes. The air strikes did not stop. We don`t allow ISIS
our foreign policy, we should not allow ISIS to dictate whether we adhere
to basic principles of transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
HAYES: ISIS also, one should noted, are reportedly waterboarded James
Wright Foley, something I think we would all agree when being done to James
Wright Foley is torture. I think that applies universally. Eliza Goitein,
thank you very much.
GOITEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: People with a lot of money have already decided the three
who are frontrunners for president in 2016. But they only want one of them
to actually run. More on that ahead.
HAYES: It takes a whole lot of people to put a television show on the
air. And last week, we lost one of those who helped make this and so many
other NBC and MSNBC shows possible.
Will Higham, was television stage hand for over 40 years, one of the
unseen team responsible for much of what you see on camera -- the lights,
sets and props. Will helped launch this show 18 months ago. Will passed
away last week after complications from a brain tumor. He was 63-years-
old. He will be long-remembered around here for his amazing attitude and
selflessness. And the thoughts that everyone here at All-In are with the
Higham`s family this holiday season, especially his wife Karen (ph) and
their two daughters Candice (ph) and Erica (ph).
HAYES; The Republican Parties biggest donors and fundraisers have a
serious problem on their hands. There are three guys here -- Chris
Chrsitie, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney who they see as contenders to be the
establishment candidate in the 2016 presidential primary. If just one of
them runs for the nomination, well the GOP`s donor class has a unifying
candidate to rally and fundraise around.
But if one viable establishment candidate is a blessing for the GOP`s
donor class, two or more is a headache. You don`t want to have to pick
sides in a battle between establishment candidates, one that their
candidate might end up losing and the pressure is on.
According to a report from Nick Confessore in the New York Times
today, Christie and Bush have already begun pushing top bundlers to commit
Establishment donors worry they will be split into competing camps,
have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for a bloody primary that
will injure the party`s eventual nominee, or even worse, provide a path to
nomination for a non-establishment candidate like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz who
the big money donors think have little chance to win the presidency.
Now, here`s the thing, in he post-Citizen`s United world, it turns out
the members of the GOP`s traditional donor class, these millionaires and
billionaires, are rather amazingly the little guys. Because while they
fret about frayed relations and play by the old political rules, megadonors
like casino magnate Shel Adelson are simply writing rules of their own.
Adelson, who Forbes reports is worth a cool $29.5 billion, a figure I can`t
believe I just said out loud, and whose family spent $20 million backing in
Newt Gingrich`s presidential campaign in 2012, is reportedly looking into
taking his political spending in-house in order to exert more control in to
how his money is spent.
And then there`s the Koch brothers and their allies who built up a
operation that Politico reports has all the hallmarks of a national
political party. They`ve dumped tens of millions of dollars into a data
company that`s developing detailed, state of the art profiles of 250
million Americans. And developed in-house expertise in polling, message
testing, fact-checking and advertising media buying, dial groups and donor
A Koch-backed business at the center of the effort called I360 uses
consumer data from credit bureaus along with information from social
networks, income, TV viewing, even the brand of car someone drives to
develop voter profiles.
Now, this used to be the sort of institutional capacity that could
only be had from a political party. The fact that it now exists outside
the GOP reflects a rather amazing and underappreciated transition from a
unified party apparatus into the political equivalent of a failed state
where various fiefdoms and warlords fight to impose their will. It`s a
hugely important change we`re going to talk about it next.
HAYES: Joining me now, Nick Confessore, political reporter for the
New York Times who wrote that piece today, and Robert Costa, a national
political reporter for The Washington Post.
All right, Nick, I was fascinated -- I`ve been fascinated by sort of
21st Century, smoke-filled room, kind of plotting. What came across to me
-- and maybe I`m overstating this, is that the world of the bundler, which
really rose to prominence I would say under George W. Bush when you had the
Rangers and the Pioneers, that`s when it really became, like, a thing, that
is an increasing outmoded mean of production, that it`s like monks working
on illuminated manuscripts, that we`ve got this new Citizen`s United world
where it`s, like, who wants to bundle a bunch of $5,000 hard money checks
together when you could just go to the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson.
NICK COMFESSORE, NEW YORK TIMES: It is certainly a lot more work to
bundle. You know, as long as we have limits on contributions to
candidates, we`ll always have bundles. But you can now set up shop as a
power broker in a party without having to do all of that hard work of
calling 50 people a week to get checks. And you can set up shop and be your
own mini party if you want to if you have the money.
HAYES: And also think about -- I think this is an important point,
because there are so many unintended consequences to Citizen`s United, but
think about the difference between the kind of person that`s a bundler and
the kind of person who can just write a hundred million dollar check,
The bundler is this -- is sort of by definition embedded in some sort
of establishment, right. They have to have a lot of contacts. These -- a
lot of these are big, corporate lawyers, they work with a lot of different
clients. They`re sort of part of the elite, rich, large in the way --
Sheldon Adelson is definitely part of the elite, but he`s also, like, a
really idiosyncratic guy. The Koch brothers` politics are really
idiosyncratic. They are genuine zealots. I think, self-professed in a
certain way. And it`s a different kind of profile than the folks that
you`re talking about in this piece where we`re trying to find the
COMFESSORE: It`s true. It`s party and then outside the party or kind
of one foot in the party. And these guys, you know, have their
peccadilloes and their preferences, and if they decide that they think so
and so is actually the secret best long shot hope for the party, they can
put the money and make that happen for that person.
HAYES: Robert, how much power do these folks have such that you can
actually see a situation in which you don`t have all three of Jeb Bush,
Chris Chrsitie and Mitt Romney running, which by the way, in itself
hilarious for a million reason, not the least of which because any Tea
Party person or conservative intellectual or someone connected to the base
thinks those three people are -- they want to have nothing to do with.
ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGT POST: Oh, I think there sort of is a
competition for all of these donors, whether you are a bundler or you are a
mega-donor. And I think Nick`s piece really nails it, Christie, Jeb Bush
and Mitt Romney, they all overlap with those same donors and those mega-
donors. And so what everyone is trying to figure out right now is, one,
who`s running? And if Christie and Jeb run and Mitt run, who are you going
to line up with?
HAYES: But here`s the other thing, right? The bigger issue here is
that every sort of open primary since 1988, which wasn`t a particularly
contested primary, has basically gone down like this: the GOP establishment
likes a certain person and a lot of institutional support rallies behind
them, the base is either skeptical or hostile, but the establishment
nominee wins in the end, and that`s George H.W. Bush and it`s Bob Dole and
it`s George W. Bush, it`s John McCain and it`s Mitt Romney.
And the question now is do we reach some breaking point post-Citizens
United where that rule fails to hold. What do you think?
COSTA: Perhaps. But the most interesting part of this discussion
right now is Mitt Romney. And when you talk to...
HAYES: That`s an amazing sentence.
COSTA: I know. But it is because of the political dynamics at play.
There`s a lot of concern that Chris Christie is still damaged by the bridge
episode and that Jeb Bush has not been on a ballot since 2002 and whether
he could be a candidate for these times with this Republican base is an
open question, that`s why they`re still going to Romney -- Woody Johnson
and others, and saying are you interested? Is this something you can
consider? And I think Romney is going to wait and see whether Jeb Bush
runs and whether Chris Christie stumbles.
HAYES: Nothing makes me more sympathetic as to people that I think
are normally quite ideologically distanced from me like the sort of
insurgent Tea Party activist than reading accounts of behind-the-scenes GOP
donor class donors, because it`s like...
COSTA: It`s enraging.
HAYES: I mean, if I were them I would be like who are you? We --
first of all we did it, the guy lost. And second of all, like this is so
anti-democratic I can`t even begin to get my head around it.
COMFESSORE: It is in a sense, but you know, in a sense but this party
has spent years and years deregulating campaigns, making money more and
more and more important.
HAYES: That`s an ideologically commitment also.
COMFESSORE: And these guys have a seat at the table. If it takes a
billion dollars to run for president the guys who are paying for it are
allowed to have a voice. And it`s going to be a bigger voice every year.
COSTA: At the opposite at end of the spectrum, though, you have Ted
Cruz and Rand Paul who believe that that system is going to get outplayed
and that you could still win the nomination with the support of grass roots
activists and some of those bundlers and a mix of all of that.
HAYES: Well, the big question to me also becomes how sophisticated --
how sophisticated the sort of big money post-Citizens United operations
What we had in 2012, which was the first iteration of this, you had
the kind of foster freeze phenomenon, right. You had the person with the
deep pockets, writing checks, with not a particular amount of institutional
capacity or even, I think, in some case, political sophistication and we
saw a lot of train wrecky things grow out of that.
COSTA: Right. It was a gold mine for consultants.
HAYES: there was a -- oh my god, can you imagine -- first of all, if
you are a GOP consultant right now, I mean, you are like -- you`re already
probably taking out a mortgage...
COSTA: That`s right.
HAYES: You know, for the huge monthly nuts so that -- because you
know you`re going to be making so much money coming into this.
So, the question is do you see something that looks a lot more like as
we get into the sort of war lordism, right and the failed state metaphor to
extend it, something that looks like the rudiments to a political party,
and that`s what the Koch brothers look like they`re building.
COMFESSORE: Yeah, I think the only team within this world that has
all the capacity to actually, on its own, decide to affect the course of
the primary is the Koch operation. They have the data, they have the
ground organization, they have the ground troops, they have the money. So
if they want to flip that switch and for the first time get involved
seriously in a primary.
HAYES: In a primary, pre-nomination.
COMFRESSORE: That could be something. But they have not done that.
COSTA: I would respectfully disagree. I think if you look at
individual donors, like Foster Freeze, look at the Santorum model from
2012. With one big donor, you can survive until pretty far in the primary
process. The question is, can you survive until the end, that was the
problem for Santorum. He had enough money to win at about a dozen states,
but not enough to win the nomination.
HAYES: I think it`s also just useful for everyone to take a step back
because it`s very hard to sort of compute matters of magnitude and we`re
dealing with the amount of money we`re talking about, right.
So $29 billion, I mean, you could write a $200 million check like just
COMFESSORE: Each month.
HAYES: I mean, each month.
I mean, so in some ways, what always has struck me about what happened
in the post-Citizens United era isn`t how much money it is, it`s actually
how little. Because these are people that have so much money, they could
just drop a billion. I mean, one-thirtieth of your -- you know?
COMFESSORE: Like, Proctor and Gamble spend $6 billion a year on
advertising. The entire campaign of 2012 costs that much. So, I agree.
I`m always kind of surprised at kind of how skin flinty all of this is.
You could put a lot more money.
The hard part, though, I think experts will tell you is capacity.
Like, how do you spend it effectively. Even on air waves, there`s a finite
amount of inventory on the air waves.
HAYES: Or do you get, Robert, just like, you know, the consultant
permanent employment act in 2016?
COSTA: We may see it.
And I think consultants are celebrating, because people want to spend
even more money. I mean, Nick is right, the air waves have only a finite
amount of resources. And you`re going to have to spend out -- find out
like the Koch brothers how to spend that money on the ground in an
HAYES: Nick Confessore and Robert Costa, thank you both, gentlemen.
That is All In for this evening.
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