Skip navigation

All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
December 9, 2014

Guest: Baher Azmy, Glenn Carle, David Feige


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight on ALL IN.

RICHARD CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: You also have to work those -- the
dark side, if you will. We`re going to spend time in the shadows and the
intelligence world.

HAYES: The Senate report on Bush era torture has been released and we now
know just how dark the dark side was. Not only was there more and worse
torture and abuse that ever reported, the CIA allegedly had their own
PSYOPs campaign to keep all of it in the shadows.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN: This program
was morally, legally and administratively misguided.

HAYES: And what did President Bush know and when did he know it?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Whatever we have done is legal.

HAYES: Tonight, my exclusive interview with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson and
one of the CIA officers who interrogated prisoners at a CIA black site.

And she`s the Ferguson grand jury witness who became the darling of the
right wing.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Another witness said that Michael Brown
charged Officer Wilson like a football player with his head down.

HAYES: Tonight an ALL IN investigation into the highly impeachable witness
number 40.

HANNITY: Charged at him, quote, and I`m reading, "like a football player
with his head down charging."

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. After five years of
work and a long battle over declassification, the Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence today finally released its extensive report on the CIA`s
Detention and Interrogation Program in the early 2000s and it is damning
indeed.

The heavily redacted 500-page executive summary of the committee`s findings
represents this country`s first official reckoning with the torture regime
operated by the U.S. from 2001 to 2009. And it shows that torture carried
out by the CIA was far more brutal, far more widespread and on far more
shakier legal ground than the agency had previously represented.

That the torture was ineffective, destroying the single key rationale for
implementing it in the first place and the CIA willfully misled media
outlets, lawmakers, national security and the White House about both the
extent of the program and its effectiveness.

The Senate report is ripe with chilling details about how the CIA treated
the 119 known detainees who passed through its custody. We learned that
CIA officers made threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee and a
threat to cut a detainee`s mother`s throat. We learned that a high-profile
detainee Abu Zubayda lost his left eye while in CIA custody. And we
learned that two detainees were subjected to stress positions including
being shackled in a standing position for extended periods of time with
broken bones in their feet.

We learned that one CIA officer played Russian roulette with a detainee
while another threatened the detainee with a gun and a power drill. We
learned at least five detainees were subjected to so-called rectal
rehydration or feeding through the rectum with no medical necessity,
including one whose lunch tray consisting of hummus pasta with sauce, nuts
and raisins was pureed and rectally infused.

And we learned that a CIA officer whose decisions appeared to have
contributed to a detainee`s death, likely from hypothermia after forcing
him to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants was later given a cash
award of $2500 for his, quote, "consistently superior work."

Beside the astounding brutality, the Senate report shows the CIA torture
program was consistently plagued by mismanagement and rank incompetence.
At one point, two detainees taken into CIA custody were subjected to sleep
deprivation and dietary manipulation until the CIA confirmed that those two
men had, in fact, been trying to contact the agency for weeks to inform the
agency on what they believe for pending attacks.

In other words, we tortured people who were trying to help us. Perhaps
most disturbingly, at least a year into the program the CIA, quote, made
the unsettling discovery of holding a number of detainees about whom we
know very little. It turns out according to the report, 26 of the 119
detainees, 22 percent, did not meet the legal standard for detention and
should not have even been there in the first place, including one man
described as, quote, "intellectually challenged," whose taped crime was
used as leverage against a family member.

Above all the report seeks to debunk the torture program`s entire reason
for being and legal rationale. The idea that torture produced intelligence
that led directly to the disruption of threats against Americans. The
report goes point by point for the CIA`s most cited examples of actionable
intelligence obtained from torture and dismantles them using the agency`s
own documentation of what actually happened.

That includes the most famous examples of all of the -- of all the hunt for
Osama bin Laden. Despite CIA claims to Congress the agency would not have
found bin Laden without the torture program, a narrative enshrined in the
movie "Zero Dark Thirty," the report found a majority of accurate
intelligence leading to bin Laden came from sources outside the CIA program
and, quote, "The most accurate information acquired from the CIA detainee
was provided prior to the CIA subjecting the detainee to Enhanced
Interrogation Techniques."

Senate Intelligence chair, Dianne Feinstein, who spearheaded the report and
fought for its release spoke on the Senate floor today about its
importance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FEINSTEIN: History will judge us by our commitment to a just society
governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say never
again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Vice President Joe Biden applauded the report`s release today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: I think it`s a badge of honor, every country,
every country has engaged in activities somewhere along the line that it
has not been proud of. But think about it. Name me another country has
been prepared to stand up and say this was a mistake, we should not have
done what we`ve done, and we will not do it again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: This as the "New York Times`" Peter Baker reports an administration
official said the White House won`t take sides between the CIA and the
Senate over whether the interrogations worked.

Senator John McCain himself a survivor of torture or held captive in
Vietnam mounted a stirring defense of the report`s release from the Senate
floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know from personal experience that the
abuse of prisoners were produced more bad than good intelligence. Most of
all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us
from our enemies. Our belief that all people, even captured enemies,
possess basic human rights which are protected by international conventions
the United States not only joined, but, for the most part, authored.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But the CIA, while acknowledging shortcomings and mistakes, is
largely standing by its detention and interrogation program and pushing
back on aspects of the report, including the idea that the CIA misled
Congress, the president and the public about the effectiveness of the
program.

In a statement released today, the current CIA director, John Brennan,
argued the program was, in fact, effective, writing, quote, "interrogations
of detainees on whom enhanced interrogation techniques were used did
produce intelligence that help thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and
save lives. The intelligence gained from the programs was critical to our
understanding about al Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism
efforts to this day."

Six former CIA directors and deputy directors also weighed in, with an op-
ed in the "Wall Street Journal," writing, quote, "We designed a detention
and interrogation program at a time when relationship building was not
working with brutal killers who did not hesitate to behead innocents.
These detainees had received highly effective counter-interrogation
training while in al Qaeda training camps. Yet it was clear they possessed
information that could disrupt plots and save American lives."

The CIA still has its defenders among the political class including, not
surprisingly, the two top U.S. officials during the period in question,
former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Nicolle Wallace, who served in the Bush administration, had this to say in
the runoff to the report`s release this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLLE WALLACE, BUSH ADMINISTRATION COMMUNICATIONS CHIEF: There were
three people who we thought knew about imminent attacks and we did whatever
we had to do. And I pray to God that until the end of time, we do whatever
we have to do to find out what`s happening. And the notion that this
somehow makes America less great is asinine and dangerous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Tea Party star, is not yet in the
U.S. Senate when the torture program was first being debated in public,
staked out his position today tweeting, quote, "Those who served us in the
aftermath of 9/11 deserve our thanks, not one-sided partisan Senate report
that now places American lives in danger."

Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina who is set to take over
chairmanship of that committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in the
new Congress, saw the torture report as purely political saying, quote,
"The only motive here could be to embarrass George W. Bush."

Joining me now retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He was chief
of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.

Your reaction to the reaction today? Do you feel as if we`ve made progress
as a nation in reckoning with this period or are we back where we were 10
years ago?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL: I think
the latter, Chris, because I don`t think even though this might bring a
modicum of accountability to some of the people at the top, some of the
people you`ve named, I don`t think anything really would be done so
whatever punitive effects there is to it will be whitewashed, will not be
accomplished.

And as for lying, let me tell you, I`ve been watching it all day, Chris.
I`ve been watching people like Phil Mudd and John McLaughlin, whom I spent
so much time with I grew sick of them, getting Powell ready for his
presentation at the United Nations.

Phil Mudd, I remember him coming into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel room where
at 2:00 a.m. in the morning of that morning, February 5, I was taking
things out of Powell`s presentation that connected al Qaeda with Baghdad,
and Phil was frantic trying to get it stuck back in. And even went and
work George Tenet up in his hotel and tried to get George Tenet to make me
stop doing it.

And then to hear Phil Mudd come on TV and talk about so calmly how
competent and how wonderful this program was and how it worked and so
forth, it almost made me sick to listen to that going on. These people
lied in my presence. They lied to Condee Rice, they lied to Steve Hadley,
Condee`s deputy at the time. They lied to Rich Armitage, Powell`s deputy.
They lied to me.

People like George Tenet, John McLaughlin, they lied about the mobile
biological labs, they lied about connections with al Qaeda. So -- for them
to sit there and say that they didn`t lie to the Senate Select Committee or
to the House committee, it`s absolutely absurd.

HAYES: Is there any credibility and I mean, the CIA, in your opinion? I
mean you have Michael Hayden, you have a wide swath of these folks, Peter
Goss, former officials, former heads of the CIA. I mean, shouldn`t --
basically shouldn`t the American people believe the CIA when the CIA says
this is one-sided, this is bunk, don`t listen to this?

WILKERSON: This is another disservice to the agency, Chris. There are a
lot of good people at the agency. There are just as many people I would
submit if you could do a survey, there would be more people who are anxious
to see the agency`s name and these people who`ve done these sorts of things
cleared out. Anxious to see some sort of accountability. Anxious to get
their hands cleaned, to get the agency`s hands cleaned, and to get on with
business, to do the things that the CIA should do in a way that they should
do. I mean, conformance with the law when and if possible.

This is not an agency that is out there, you know, cowering in the dark,
wondering as McLaughlin and Tenet and others have said, if it has a future.
This is a group of people who would like to do their duty to their country
and to their mission. And they`d like to get this stuff off their hands.

HAYES: There was one thing that struck me in this report that I have to
ask you about. This is in the summary that we got today. An internal CIA
e-mail from July 2003 noted the White House is extremely concerned
Secretary Powell would blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what`s
been going on.

You`re working for Secretary Powell that time. Your reaction to that?

WILKERSON: I`m sure that`s probably the case. I got to see him. I worked
for him over 12 years. And I got to see him blow his stack worse than he`d
ever blown it before at the CIA with George Tenet and John McLaughlin
because he sensed what was being done to them. He took me into a room and
told me to cut about 25 percent of the presentation he was supposed to give
out. Told me to take it out because it was worthless.

He was even worried that it wasn`t accurate. And then within a few
minutes, George Tenet showed up with this spell-binding news that al Qaeda
operatives had revealed under interrogation he said, no revealing that he
was being tortured at the time, that it revealed significant contacts
between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein`s operatives in Baghdad.

This is a flat-out lie. We later learned that with Sheikh al-Alibi that he
was being tortured, no U.S. personnel were even present. And that within a
week to 10 days he recanted what he`d given under torture.

HAYES: So --

WILKERSON: So this is a kind of thing that was happening when I was out at
the CIA for five days and nights when these people who are now trying to
tell the American people that they were confident and they were telling the
truth.

HAYES: So I just want to clarify. So you didn`t know about the program.
The secretary didn`t know about the program. It looks like Condee Rice
didn`t know about the program. There were a lot of people at the highest
levels of the government in these executive branch who were not read into
the fact we were torturing people.

WILKERSON: I think that`s true. I`ll go out on a limb and I`ll say that I
think the only person who was completely read in, and no one knows all the
details, but the one who has read in on both the need for the law to cover
their rear ends and the need to continue the program because it was
effective was Richard Bruce Cheney.

HAYES: Right.

WILKERSON: He was the man in the shadows, orchestrating all of this from
his position in the White House.

HAYES: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson -- thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

WILKERSON: Thanks for having me, Chris.

HAYES: The story the CIA sold the White House and the American people
about the effectiveness of the so-called detention and interrogation
program, that`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: One detail in today`s report is from 2006 when President George W.
Bush first learned about the specific torture techniques being applied at
CIA black sites. According to CIA records, when briefed in April 2006 the
president expressed discomfort with the image of a detainee chained to a
ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on himself.
Five months later, this is the president in the Oval Office with NBC`s Matt
Lauer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: These alternative methods you talked about in terms
of extracting information from these suspected terrorists, were you made
personally aware of all of the techniques that were used, for example,
against Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, and did you approve all of those
techniques?

BUSH: I told our people get information without torture and was assured by
our Justice Department that we were not torturing.

LAUER: It`s been reported that with Khalid Sheik Mohammad, he was what
they call waterboarded.

BUSH: I`m not going to talk about techniques that we use on people.

LAUER: At some point, Mr. President, if techniques, these alternate
alternative --

BUSH: Matt, I`m not going to talk about that.

LAUER: I`m not going to ask you specifically to say about it. But if they
are used, are you at all concerned that at some point, even if you get
results, there`s a blurring the lines of -- between ourselves and the
people we`re trying to protect us against?

BUSH: Matt, I`m just telling you, what this government has done is to take
steps necessary to protect you and your family. You asked me about your
family. And you represent a lot of other people. And the best information
we can get is from people we take off the battlefield so we can act on it.
So we can stop plots before they happen. And whatever we have done is
legal. That`s why I`m saying. It`s in the law. We had lawyers look at it
and say, Mr. President, this is lawful.

That`s all I can tell you. I`m not going to tell you specifically what`s
done because I don`t want the enemy to adjust. This -- we`re at war. This
is people that want to come and kill your families. And the best way to
protect you is to get information. And I`m confident the American people
understand why we`ve done that. You see, we`ve acted on information
they`ve given us to prevent attacks. And these are real. This isn`t make
believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: More on the story the CIA and the Bush administration we`re selling
the American people in the media, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: One of the striking things about the newly released CIA torture
report is the lengths the agency allegedly went to, to mislead everyone
from the White House on down about the effectiveness on the torture
program. The investigation paints a picture of the agency running a kind
of propaganda campaign, selective leading and misinformation to willfully
mislead the American people.

Starting with their bosses at the White House. The report reads, quote,
"CIA repeatedly provided incomplete and inaccurate information to White
House personnel regarding the operation and effectiveness of the CIA`s
detention and interrogation program." There were, quote, "instances in
which specific questions from the White House officials were not answered
truthfully or freely. All the while the CIA warned that, quote,
"termination of those programs will result in loss of life possibly
extensive."

CIA disputes this characterization but according to the committee`s
findings the agency wasn`t just deceiving the White House. They were
providing incomplete information to the Justice Department, the FBI,
selectively leaking classified information to the media. The report looks
at two specific pieces, among others, that, quote, "included inaccurate
claims about the effectiveness of CIA interrogations, much of it consistent
with the inaccurate information being provided about the CIA to
policymakers at the time."

And those policymakers are the one getting inaccurate information. That
includes Congress. Earlier today former CIA director Michael Hayden said
he`d never been deceptive to the Senate Select Committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So when Diane Feinstein today says you lied, is she
lying?

GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I`ll go so far as to say she`s
incorrect. I mean, lying -- lying is intentionally, intentionally
misleading someone. All right. Let me make another distinction. Telling
people something they don`t want to hear is not the same thing as telling
people something that is untrue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The investigation includes an entire 37-page section dedicated
solely to inconsistencies in a single 2007 Hayden appearance in front of
the committee. For example, in April 2007 then Senator Olympia Snowe asked
Hayden about the interrogation of Abu Zabayda, quote, "Did any CIA
personnel express reservations about being engaged in the interrogation or
these techniques that were used." Director Hayden`s response, quote, "I`m
not aware of any. These guys are more experienced. No."

The report notes that statement is, quote, "incongruent" with CIA records.
It goes on to list five e-mails in which CIA personnel express reservations
over the interrogation of Zubayda. And August 8th e-mail reads, quote,
"Several on the team profoundly affected. Some to the point of tears and
choking up."

An e-mail send a later day reads, quote, "Two, perhaps three personnel
likely to elect transfer away from the detention site if the decision is
made to continue with the enhanced interrogation techniques." It is
possible that Hayden did not know about those e-mail, that he was also
unaware of making almost 40 other statements that don`t match the CIA`s own
records in that single hearing seems unlikely.

Joining me now Dafna Linzer, managing editor for MSNBC.com, former reporter
for the "Washington Post," who did a lot of reporting on the war on terror.

It`s so striking. What emerges from this and in some ways that push back
after the fact that the URL or CIA saved lives is the singular focus on the
CIA that they had to do this and that it was effective, that they`re
orienting all of their internal communications to policy makes so the White
House and the Justice Department, to the media, to the public around that
work or property in principle.

DAFNA LINZER, MANAGING EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Right. And they`ve been
successful at that for years. I mean, even the Bush interview in 2006.
That was exactly his line. Exactly as the CIA had always wanted it to be,
that everything they did saved lives, that all the information they got was
very valuable. That it led them to other terrorists, that it led them to
Osama bin Laden in the end.

You know, they haven`t really put forward any evidence to show that. It`s
been a lot of tell for many, many years. And they`ve been successful at
it. The idea that they`ve now come out again on this huge push, this huge
publicity campaign, to try and beat back an actual official record showing
inconsistencies and discrepancies is really incredible.

HAYES: And the official -- if they solely have documents, we should be
clear. This is all based on internal CIA documents that provides the raw
materials for this report.

LINZER: Right. Right.

HAYES: The one argument folks in the CIA are making that seems to me
persuasive is we are being hung out to dry here. We were ordered by the
president of the United States to do this, we did it, sure we weren`t
equipped to do it at the beginning, but we sort of bootstrapped it up. It
was wanted by the American people who were thirsty for vengeance and
terrified. It was signed off on the political class, it was briefed to
legislative leaders. And now you guys want to all put this on us. It`s
the battled CIA.

What do you think of that argument?

LINZER: Well, the CIA is a government agency and there`s oversight of that
government agency. And there`s a lot of things that they need to do. And
they need to show for Congress. For this report, you know, 2009, when the
committee decided to do this, they decided to do this because there was
evidence that the CIA destroyed materials on the interrogations.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: It`s the story of the tapes.

LINZER: That`s right.

HAYES: That`s not evidence.

LINZER: Right.

HAYES: It`s not even -- we know that. They destroyed evidence of these
interrogations.

LINZER: And, in fact, they had lied to Congress about it. They --
Congress didn`t even know the tapes existed when they finally found out
they`d been destroyed. That`s why the committee went ahead with this
investigation. It was a bipartisan agreement. They were all so angry
they`ve been lied to. You know, a few years later down the road, what they
agreed to, from a partisan perspective of what Republicans and Democrats
agreed to, was that they were going just investigate the CIA.

They could have investigated and extended that to the White House and to
other officials. The Republicans wouldn`t allow them to do that on the
committee. So it`s focused on the CIA and its actions. Yes, in fact it
makes -- you know, it gives us one narrow perspective just on the CIA but
that`s an important perspective and one that everyone needs to have. You
know, are there other perspectives, do we need to know more about what
Congress really authorized?

Do we need to know more about the Bush administration and what they really
knew? Absolutely. But do we need to know about what the CIA was up to?
For sure.

HAYES: And they were implemented. Now that`s the thing that comes through
in all this.

Dafna Linzer, always a pleasure. Thank you.

LINZER: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. I`m going to talk to a former CIA officer who`s
involved in the enhanced interrogation program and wrote a book on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You interrogate him. He`s this top al Qaeda. He can
help us find bin Laden and could destroy al Qaeda. And you will do
whatever it takes to get him to talk. Do you understand? And I said, and
said, well, we don`t do that. And the response was, and this was the first
chapter of the book. Well, we do now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: My interview with the man you just saw there is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The first detainee subjected to the CIA`s torture program, captured
March 2002, was a man named Abu Zubaydah, who the CIA initially and wrongly
believed to be an important al Qaeda official. (The) torture report
details how Zubaydah spent 266 hours in a coffin-sized confinement box,
frequently crying, begging, pleading and wimpering and told the only way he
would leave the facility was in the coffin-shaped box.

Typically kept naked, sleep deprived and was subjected to waterboarding
that left him completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open,
full mouth.

Despite his hysterical, quote, hysterical pleas for mercy, Zubaydah
eventually became so compliant, he would put himself in to position to be
waterboarded when his interrogator raised his eyebrow and snapped his
fingers twice.

Joining me now Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional
Rights. He used to represent Abu Zubaydah, currently represents another
subject of the CIA torture site in the report Majid Khan (ph).

This seems like a broken human being from the reports here. I mean, is
that the man you represented, you met with, broken? Is there anyone there
left to charge or run through a legal process?

BAHER AZMY, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: I think, you know, I have to
be somewhat cautious around client sensitivities. But I can say he and
other torture survivors that we`ve worked with suffer the predictable
consequences of this torture program, which is to shatter people, to break
them. How else do you explain that kind of brutality, or with respect to
Majid Khan (ph), how do you explain what`s revealed in the torture report
footnote 584 about rectal hydration, which is a form of aggressive sexual
assault.

HAYES: And that is not -- just to be clear, this term, which I`ve never
encountered before in my life, rectal hydration, is not some kind of --
it`s not like forcefeeding down a tube, because someone is having a hunger
strike, it`s simply a means of degrading someone.

AZMY: Clearly. That is the point of this interrogation program with so
many of these brutal, sadistic, torture techniques.

HAYES: People watching this saying these people are associated with people
who murdered 3,000 Americans, that wanted to murder more, that were engaged
in plots to murder more, and whether it was wrong or not, I`m not going to
sit here and feel a whole lot of sympathy for your clients. What do you
say to them?

AZMY: Well, I don`t necessarily ask them to have sympathy for our clients.
I expect them to have sympathy for a democracy and torture is the
antithesis of what democracies do. They`re associated with the most
repressive tyrannical regimes, that`s why torture has been banned
universally for dozens of years.

HAYES: And, yet, it`s surprisingly popular in the U.S., even when you call
it torture. I think when you call it torture you get to 40 percent, when
you go to waterboarding you get over a majority, have the torturers in some
senses won the last 13 years?

AZMY: I hope not. I mean, I think this is the still riding a sort of wave
of so-called patriotism or flag waving. But this is a long process. And
judgments about illegal U.S. conduct sometimes take time. But they will
come.

HAYES: These two men are still in GITMO, am I right?

AZMY: That`s right. Yes.

HAYES: Majid Khan (ph) who you represent know, Abu Zubaydah. How long
will they be there?

AZMY: Well, Abu Zubaydah is a so-called indefinite detainee person in that
category who the government thinks is too dangerous to release.

HAYES: But, they can`t try, because they tortured the hell out of him.

AZMY: Yes, that`s their claim anyway.

HAYES: So, in some dark prophetic sense he may have to leave in a coffin.
Baher Azmy, thank you.

AZMY: Thank you.

HAYES: We also have someone who is on the other side of this. 23 year
veteran of the CIA`s clandestine services who worked in the enhanced
interrogation program, wrote a book about it. Glenn Carle joins me now.

Glenn, can we start with the black sites that are part -- a huge part of
this. These are spread across the world. Some in Afghanistan, one in
Poland. Can you just even walk me through what is a black site? What`s it
look like if I walk into the room? Is it in a basement in a rented
building? Is it in a camp that`s been constructed from scratch? What`s it
like.

GLENN CARLE, FRM. CIA OPERATIVE: Sure, I`ll tell you. But I wouldn`t say
I`m on the other side of this. I think there`s really only one side. I`m
on the same side, I believe, as the gentlemen and you who were just
speaking.

But, OK, a black site is a secret facility -- the black is a term of art in
the CIA which means clandestine, unknown, unannounced, kept secret and so a
black site is a secret site where the detainees were sent so that no one
would know where
they were.

HAYES: And you were asked -- you were given a detainee and told early in
the days of this program that he was an al Qaeda person and you need to get
what you could out of him and you were told that you could use torture.
You were urged, my understanding, to use torture.

CARLE: Well, the word torture is never used. People are careful. I could
never bring myself to use it, although I was stunned from the first
seconds. And no one ever used the word torture.

Of course, as we heard President Bush quoted on your segment a few minutes
ago, the government decided what one can do and said that this is not
torture. But if you define something as you want it, then you can call it
what you will. And that`s what happened.

So no one ever used officially and formal, professional conversations that
I heard the word torture.

HAYES: But they did use enhanced interrogation techniques.

CARLE: Oh, yeah, sure. Absolutely. And there was no question, to me, and
I think to many of my colleagues what this was. Sure.

HAYES: You resisted. You said I`m not going to do this. What was your --
what were colleagues saying? I`m so fascinated reading this report,
because you can`t pull down and poll the CIA front line operators and
agents who are working in this. What are people saying to each other? Are
you getting drinks late at night saying what are we doing? Are people
saying I don`t want to talk about? Or are people saying this is great, we
should be doing this?

CARLE: Well, I think you will always have a range of views in any
institution. So all of the above that you described. However, in general,
the culture is you are given an assignment and we are a quasi military
culture in the CIA. And it`s not a debating society or a graduate school
seminar where you say what about this, what about that. Discussion,
debate, arguments on how to do something or whether it should be done as
it`s being prepared occurs, but once the policy is set or the instructions
come, then there`s little discussion. If you challenge something like
that, you are viewed as insubordinate.

I was told, I remember, a number of times -- I was discussing religious
issues, which were quite relevant since we are the infidel to the jihadists
and the Koran is central to them and so I was discussing theology, which
was an important way to develop rapport. And I was told, listen, we aren`t
engaging in a college or a graduate school seminar on theology, we`re out
to get the terrorists so cut that out, which of course a very foolish thing
to say.

But that sort of shaped the culture of discussion or lack thereof.

HAYES: There`s some part in the report in which some CIA interrogators are
sort of reporting back to headquarters and then up to the White House and
headquarters, you know, this isn`t working. And they`re just getting the
message like keep pressing.

CARLE: Oh,well, I engaged -- was involved in an infinite number of surreal
and Kafkaesque moments, one specific one, this actually happened, although
it sounds unbelievable. It sounds like a skit, but it`s not funny in the
least. I was told to ask a certain question. So I did. And the answer
was essentially, by the fellow, I don`t know. My assessment was that he
was being truthful. So I wrote, he said he doesn`t know. My assessment is
that he`s being truthful.

The response from headquarters was the fact that he has not answered the
question proves that he is withholding information and/or lying.
Therefore, you must press him hard, which is completely insane. And I
thought I was dealing with an idiot, but I found out that actually was
formal instructions guidance from the White House I believe.

HAYES: Glenn Carle, for interrogator for the CIA. Thank you, sir.

What if one of the eyewitnesss that St. Louis prosecuting attorney Bob
McCulloch put before the grand jury in the case of officer Darren Wilson
wasn`t even there when Michael Brown was shot? We`ll talk about that
possibility ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: I want to show you part of a journal entry and it reads as follows,
"well I`m going to take my random drive to Florrisant. Need to understand
the black race better, so I stop calling blacks the n-word and start
calling them people."

Who said that and what it has to do with the Darren Wilson grand jury
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The use and abuse of testimony in the Darren Wilson grand jury.
For example, witness number 40 says that Michael Brown charged Officer
Darren Wilson like a football player head down, witness number 40, who
wrote an overtly racist passage in what is described as her journal entry.
Witness number 40 whose account
to investigators was picked apart and seemingly discredited by them? So why
was witness number 40 allowed to testify in front of the grand jury next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And then, quote, "he looked like a football
player with his head down, charging at Officer Wilson." Charged at him,
quote, and I`m reading "like a football player with his head down
charging."

That Michael Brown, you know, was charging like a football player full
force on Officer Wilson.

One witness described it as charging at Officer Wilson like a football
player with his head down.

Don`t charge him to, quote one of the eyewitnesses, like a football player
with your head down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: One of Sean Hannity`s favorite details out of the thousands of
pages of testimony the grand jury hearing of Officer Darren Wilson is a
particular witness of Mike Brown, a witness account in which Mike Brown in
the final seconds of his life charges, quote, "like a football player
towards Officer Wilson." It`s a detail that sounds quite exculpatory for
Officer Wilson and it is described in a piece of evidence called witness 40
journal entry.

"The cop just stood there and dang if that kid didn`t start running right
at the cop like a football player, head down."

But the story of witness 40 and how that phrase has made it on to Fox News
tells you just about everything you need to know about how abnormal, how
strange this whole grand jury process was. Because witness 40`s story
about the events of August 9 appear to be tough to believe.

In that same journal entry, here`s how witness 40 described how she found
herself on Campfield Drive the day Michael Brown was killed, quote, August
9th, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. "Well, I`m going to take my random drive to
Florissant. Need to understand the black race better so I stop calling
blacks "n" word and start
calling them people. Like dad always said, you can`t fear or hate an
entire race because of what one man did 40 years ago.

We blacked out part of the n word in that graphic we just showed you but it
is clearly written according to the journal entry, which I repeat, was
submitted as evidence witness 40 woke up on August 9th and decided that on
that, of all mornings, randomly drive to a black neighborhood so that she
will stop using the n word.

Flash forward to October 23, witness 40 is brought before the grand jury.
And she tells a story that basically backs up the idea that Officer Wilson
was justified in his use of force.

But here`s the thing, one day before, on October 22 the FBI and someone
from the U.S. attorney`s offices conducted an hour and 38 minute interview
with witness 40 that runs for 99 pages of transcript in which the
questioners performed what turned out to be a methodical devastating
dissection of her account.

Here`s one excerpt. Question, you said you used the n word, what kind of
comments would you make when you used it?

Witness, word for word?

Question, uh-huh.

Witness, they need to kill the effing n-word. It`s like an ape fest, and
then it just -- it just not right. It is just not right. So I put my
focus my energy into with a couple of Wilson supporters and we made and we
have been collecting donations and we have schools making home-made
Christmas cards.

During one exchange questioners suggest to her that she seems to have used
internet accounts to fill in the blanks of her story. At various points
she complains about her short-term memory. At another point, they recited
to her the various problems with her own story.

Questions, so you are posting racist things online and you are telling us,
you know, and you are telling us, you know, your account and then ther eare
videos that don`t show your car. And there is a map that shows you
couldn`t have left the way you left from.

Witness, I don`t know. I don`t know how I left.

Question, but obviously we find out what people`s motivations are when you
say you posted things online that are racist and you come in here and tell
us an account that supports Darren Wilson?

It leaves you thinking it is possible this woman wasn`t even there that
day. And here`s the kicker, that whole hour and thirty eight minute
interrogation, that itself was played for the grand jury before witness 40
ever took the stand.

At the end of her testimony to the grand jury she then mentioned the
journal. And that is how witness 40 journal entry also made its way into
evidence.

This is apparently what St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch means when he
says he presented all the evidence to the grand jury.

It looks a lot like someone exerting zero quality control and zero judgment
over what is credible and what is not and leaving the grand jury drowning
underneath a sea of conflicting information, including from a witness who
wrote racist things admitted to racist comments, has a car that never
appears on video at the site and says she woke up one day and decided to go
into a neighborhood which just happened that very day to the be the scene
of one of the most racial divisive incidents in recent memory.

And it happens to take into account that bolster`s Officer Darren Wilson.
And her story is still being cited by Sean Hannity just last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Witness number 40, the big kid turned around, had his arms out
with an attitude. The cop, just stood there, dang if that kid didn`t start
running right at the cop like a football player with his head down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now, former public defender David Feige.

When you -- you`ve read this, you`ve read the testimony. You read the --
do you even think, as a lawyer, like, what do you think of this testimony?

DAVID FEIGE, FRM. PUBLIC DEFENDER: Well, the weirdest thing was the first
thing I read was the journal entry. And I don`t know about you, but just
from that -- forget the dissection, forget the fact that the maps didn`t
correlate with what she has said, it didn`t sound like any journal entry
I`d ever seen or heard of right.

Most journal entries are...

HAYES: It sounds performative...

FEIGE: Yes.

HAYES: They`re reflective. They`re like -- there`s no, oh, I felt this
way or oh, I thought that, or oh my gosh it was incredible. No commentary
at all. It was like I saw X in his right hand, with his left hand he
reached thusly, then he turned clockwise. It`s, like, crazy. And you sit
there and you read this, andy you`re like, this just does not even have the
vaguest sense of truth.

HAYES: And you have a -- this to me -- this is where we get to the problem
with this whole process, which is that, well, at one level, yes, he gave
them all the evidence. He had this woman testify. He played an
interrogation by federal investigators that seemed to completely knock her
story aside and then he gets the journal and it`s like why are you even
giving -- why not just save everyone the
time?

FEIGE: Well, because he obviously did not exercise any curatorial judgment
whatsoever. I mean, that`s the answer.

By the way, something Sean Hannity should do, since he`s got it all -- I
mean, it`s one thing to use curatorial judgment, pull out this excerpt
without mentioning the racist comments, without mentioning all the things
that undermine her, right, and throw it up on the news. It`s another thing
to just sort of go, well, here you go. You decide. Whatever.

HAYES: Right.

But the point is that this is -- judgments about credibility and judgments
about what people should and shouldn`t see are the kinds of judgments
prosecutors, any trial attorney is making all the time, right. You don`t
just say, hey, this person that came into our office. They had a scrap of
paper. We think they might be crazy, but what the heck we`re going to show
it to you.

FEIGE: But this is exactly why Ferguson was so simultaneously commonplace
in so far as what it was dealing with and bizarre in how it dealt with it.

HAYES: Elaborate

FEIGE: By which I mean, look, this thing -- one of the reasons I think
that
Ferguson took off the way it did is precisely because it was emblematic of
a much bigger problem, which is black men being shot by cops all over the
place under bizarre circumstances and that`s often unjustifiable
circumstances. So it was in its very banality that it was so explosive.

At the same time, how they dealt with that was completely bizarre, which is
to have this farcical grand jury process, which is designed entirely to
serve a political purpose for Bob McCulloch, right, and that`s the road we
trod to get here.

HAYES: Which looks in this case like it attracted a Darren Wilson
supporter who may or may not it appears possibly essentially essentially
invented an account that supports it.

FEIGE: A supporter, crackpot, we don`t know. It sounds to me like you
could checked yourself of the local mental hospital, shown up and said I
was there. He was like, oh, come on right in.

HAYES: You`ll be witness 41. Because we, quote, are committed to giving
you
all the evidence.

FEIGE: It`s all about transparency.

HAYES: Former public defender David Feige, always a pleasure. Thank you .

FEIGE: Great to be here.

HAYES: After the events of the past few weeks, it`s making me wonder if we
really are a nation of laws. My thoughts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: First and foremost, we are a nation built rule of law.

BUSH: We are a nation of laws and we must enforce our laws.

CLINTON: We are also a nation of laws.

OBAMA; America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am
obligated to enforce the law.

BUSH: We`re a nation of law, a nation of civil right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: When praising our country, presidents love to invoke that we are a
nation of laws. It`s a phrase that hearkens back to a famous quote
attributed to John Adams which actually appears in the Massachusetts
state`s constitution that he helped write and refers to a government of
laws and not of men.

But being a nation of laws can`t simply mean a nation that has statutes and
courts and lawyers and legal process, because, well, basically every
country has that. I mean, for example, in Egypt, the current military
regime, just oversaw the reversal of former dictator Hosni Mubarak`s
conviction for the murder of hundreds of protesters in Tahrir Square. And
in proceedings that were all legal in some narrow, technical sense, but
were widely viewed by international human rights observers as an outright
sham.

And it`s safe to say no Americans are rushing to call Egypt a model for the
rule of law, or Egypt in its current iteration a nation of law.

So, a nation of laws can`t simply be a nation with laws. It must enforce
those laws without fear of favor, apply them equally to the powerful and
the powerless alike, to the connected and the unconnected. A nation of
laws is one where the law acts as a great equalizer by restraining those in
power and ensuring that even the most marginalized member of society can
count on getting a fair shake in court.

Equal justice under law as it reads above the Supreme Court.

And I`ve got to say, for a long time I have believed the U.S. is such a
place. Sure, it`s flawed. And sure there are places where justice is
miscarried, but fundamentally I have long thought the U.S. really is a
nation of laws.

I have to say it is getting harder and harder to hold onto that faith.

I mean, first we all watched Wall Street engage in massive and widespread
fraud and predation and virtually no one went to jail for doing the kinds
of things that say would almost certainly get you locked up if you were
just a guy from the neighborhood.

And then, last week, we all watched as a police officer who put a man in a
chokehold, who died shortly after, and whose death was later ruled a
homicide, walked away from a grand jury with no indictment, no charges
whatsoever. We don`t even know if he`s going to be fired.

And today, well we have 600 pages documenting the torture carried out and
authorized by a wide variety of government officials, up to and including
the president and vice president. Documenting activities that are, on
their face, a violation of section 1240 of the U.S. criminal code, which
outlaws torture specifically mentioning acts committed outside the U.S. by
a U.S. national.

And no one, no one will face prosecution for those crimes. I mean, think
about this Michael Vick did more time for what he did to dogs than anyone
will face for what they did for human beings, many of whom we learned today
shouldn`t even have been in custody in the first place.

The law and its application always depends on context and circumstances and
intent, any lawyer will tell you that, but it cannot depend on whether the
person committing an act is powerful or powerless. I mean, can you sell
people worthless trash that you know is worthless without telling them?
Well, it depends on who is doing it.

Can you choke a man to death? It depends on who is doing it.

Can you anally rape someone with a tube, threaten to kill his children and
threaten to rape his mother all without legal consequences, well, you see,
it depends on who`s doing it.

I mean, think about this, one of the authors of the legal justification for
this entire, sick chapter currently serves as a federal judge rendering
opinions and interpretations on the law.

Does that sound like a nation of laws or does it sound more like the
cynical machinations of one of those regimes we so eagerly and rightly
condemn?

If you want to defend torture, by all means, go ahead. But, please, I am
begging you, spare me any sermons about the law ever, ever again.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right
now.

I`m from Washing D.C. Good Evening Rachel.



THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

Content and programming copyright 2014 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.






Sponsored links

Resource guide