All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 4, 2015
Guest: Andrew Exum, Laith Alkhouri, Kitty Higgins, Susan Crawford, Silvina
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN:
HAYES: Jordan vows relentless war and executes two prisoners
following the murder of one of their pilots. Tonight, what does military
victory against ISIS look like? And what`s the plan the day after?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: How in the world are we
going to dislodge ISIL from Syria without a ground component?
HAYES: Plus, a look at one major news organization`s decision to
share ISIS propaganda with the world.
Then, the biggest Internet news since the invention of the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allison, can you explain what Internet is?
HAYES: Presidential murder mystery in Argentina takes another
And let it bro.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like they depict men as evil and cold and
bumblers. That`s what it looks like. What kind of message does that send?
HAYES: ALL IN investigates Disney`s "Frozen" and the war on men.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t have to empower women at the cost of
tearing down men.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
The Middle Eastern nation of Jordan is vowing further revenge tonight
in the wake of the release of a horrific video from ISIS depicting the
execution of a Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh who is burned alive by
ISIS while trapped in a metal cage. At dawn, less than 12 hours after the
release of the ISIS video, Jordan executed two prisoners to avenge the
death of their pilot, including this woman, an Iraqi militant who ISIS had
demanded be released potentially in a prisoner exchange.
The executed prisoners were involved in 2005`s suicide bombings that
killed at least 57 people. She was captured after her suicide vest failed
to explode. In Jordan, soldiers and civilians gathered today to pay
condolences to the family of the pilot killed by ISIS, and in the streets
of Amman, protesters clutching images of the burned pilot and calling for
revenge, gave a warm welcome to King Abdullah II who cut short a trip to
Washington to return home and meet with senior military staff amid a
Jordanian promise of a, quote, "earth-shaking and decisive" response to the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD AL-MOMAMI, JORDANIAN MIN. OF STATE FOR MEDIA AFFAIRS: We are
talking about a collaborative effort between coalition members in order to
intensify our efforts, and work to stop extremism and terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The planned intensification comes amid a lot of frustration
among Arab nations that are part of the American-led coalition against
ISIS. As first reported by "The New York Times" and confirmed by NBC News,
the United Arab Emirates suspended air strikes against ISIS in December,
citing fears for the pilot`s safety in the wake of the capture of the
Jordanian pilot. The UAE saying the U.S. had not put proper assets in
northern Iraq for rescuing downed pilots.
Meanwhile, the execution of the Jordanian pilot appears to be
strengthening public support in Jordan for military confrontation or
increased military confrontation with ISIS. With one Jordanian saying,
"After what we`ve seen, no one will support them."
At the confirmation hearing for Defense Secretary Nominee Ashton
Carter on Capitol Hill today, meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham reiterated
his long-standing call for American boots on the ground to fight the terror
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: How in the world are we going to dislodge ISIL from Syria
without a ground component?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me is Andrew Exum, a former army ranger, did tours in
Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote a book about his service in Afghanistan, served
as adviser to the Pentagon also on Middle East issues.
Great to have you here.
ANDREW EXUM, FORMER U.S. ARMY OFFICER: Yes, thanks for having me.
HAYES: We`ve never met in person. I`ve been following you for a long
time. So, it`s really nice to have you here.
HAYES: OK. There`s this cycle that happens. ISIS commits an
atrocity, it understandably outrages the populous of the country that it
commits it against, and there`s this feeling of, OK, we want revenge, and
Jordan saying, we`re recommitted to this endeavor. The question to me is,
OK, what does that mean? What`s that cash out into it? Like, is it a lack
of will that is the problem now, or there`s real tactical and strategic
reasons that it`s hard to roll that?
EXUM: I think there are a couple things going on. I mean, first off,
I think absent this video, which is kind of putting is back on the front
pages, I don`t think it`s been a good past six months for them. And I
think if we take an assumption, it`s a big assumption, that they have a
coherent strategy that they thought about, an effective command and control
to figure this all out, then I don`t think their strategy is very good.
You know, there was a lot of worry they were trying to lure the United
States and other nations back into the fight against them, maybe to
increase their recruitment. If that was their strategy, it was probably a
bad strategy, because they brought CentCom into the fight, not in
significant numbers, but enough numbers to push them out of Kobani, and to
give the Kurds a pretty big victory there. And I think we`re starting to
see them rolled up in Iraq as well.
I think, for me, the big issue --
HAYES: You think they`re being pushed back right now?
EXUM: Yes, I don`t think that the past six months have gone very
well. I think their high watermark has probably passed. The problem is,
we`ve seen this movie before. So, in 2007, I think we were able to pretty
decisively defeat al Qaeda in Iraq. But, of course, you can win that
victory, but all you`re really doing is buying time and space for some sort
of political reconciliation process. I think that`s not on the horizon in
Syria, because they`re in a civil war.
HAYES: So in fact, some of the exact same people who were members of
al Qaeda in Iraq are now fighting for ISIS, I mean, actual individuals.
EXUM: Yes. And a lot of the Shia partisans to the civil war in Iraq
are currently in the government. There`s not a lot of trust on either side
of that equation in Iraq.
HAYES: So, let`s say that we saw a really strong push from a
coalition partners, and let`s say, stepped-up activities that really did
have success against ISIS. And my question always is, let`s say ISIS were
defeated, right, it`s Monday and we say ISIS is defeated. What does
Tuesday look like?
EXUM: That`s a good question to ask. And I think there`s one
narrative that says, well, we`ve got resurgent Islamic militancy in the
Middle East. And I think that`s true.
Another lens you can look at is we`ve got two really weak states in
Syria, and Iraq, that don`t have functioning, competent national
institutions. So, I think on the Iraq side of the equation, it`s probably
easier to address, but it`s still going to be a big lift, which you`ve got
to build up competent security forces, you`ve got to broker political
reconciliation between varying demographic communities in Iraq, and that`s
going to be difficult. But I think it`s largely a nation-building
In Syria, I don`t know what the solution is there. That conflict, you
know, these types of civil wars last, and the past 100 years, an average of
about nine years. If that holds true for Syria, then I think we`re a long
way away from seeing some sort of resolution to that conflict. And until
you see that, you`re still going to have the fundamentals in place for an
ISIS-like group or for a dissatisfied, or disaffected Sunni group in
eastern Syria and western Iraq.
HAYES: That`s an interesting point. So, the idea of this sort of
fundamental driver being power vacuums with weak states, because the
fundamental driver being Islamists fundamentalism where Islamism.
EXUM: Yes, the conditions that led to an al Qaeda in Iraq, or an
ISIS. I don`t think those have gone away. They`ve ebbed and flowed, but
they haven`t gone away in either countries.
HAYES: There was -- you know, in some ways we`ve seen this movie
before, you referenced 2007. You had al Qaeda in Iraq, Sunni militants who
were just absolutely barbaric, I mean, slaughtering children as they
prayed. And there was a certain point at which the sheer barbarity served
to backfire on them.
EXUM: Yes, that`s right. Keep in mind there`s barbarity on both
HAYES: Yes, that`s right.
EXUM: But that, of course, makes reconciliation all the more
difficult. It did after the civil war in Lebanon. It will after the civil
war in Iraq. But you`re exactly right.
So, what we`ve seen with al Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS, I think ISIS has
learned from al Qaeda in Iraq, their previous iteration, they`re now
providing social services to people in eastern Syria, for example. But
it`s almost as if they`ve got something in their DNA that they can`t help
but burn a Jordanian alive in a cage or decapitate prisoners on video. And
that`s the stuff that I think is going to cost them not just within the
broader Arab world, but it also motivates the international community in a
way that were not motivated, for example, to intervene against Boko Haram
HAYES: Or Assad dropping barrel bombs and killing people.
EXUM: That`s right.
HAYES: Andrew Exum, really a pleasure. Thank you.
HAYES: The success of ISIS in capturing the world`s attention is
about more than the extreme barbarity and atrocity its members have
committed. It`s also about the way they packaged the atrocities. Part of
the group`s sophisticated aggressive propaganda machine seemingly designed
to seduce new recruits to a cause and scare enemies into submission.
Today, ISIS released footage purporting to show people in the ISIS
controlled city of Raqqa in Syria watching the group`s latest horrifying
spectacle on a large projector screen in that city. It`s a video showing
of Jordanian pilot being burned to death.
Video images from that atrocity have already been beamed across the
world by Western media outlets. The NBC Universal News Group which
includes this network has aired stills from the video, but do not show the
pilot`s death, as well as a brief video snippet before the execution
begins. At ALL IN, we made a decision not to show anything from the video,
which ISIS so clearly wants to see widely disseminated.
FOX News, owned by Rupert Murdoch, made a very different decision.
The cable network showed a brutal still image from that video, showing the
Jordanian pilot succumbing to flames. And on its Web site, FOX News made
the entire 22-minute video available in unedited form with a warning that
it is, quote, "extremely graphic".
"The Guardian" reports the Twitter accounts associated with is
supporters have been sharing the video which has been taken down from
YouTube and Facebook, via links to the FOX News page, with one ISIS
sympathizer saying, reportedly crowing, quote, "Whoever is looking for the
full conversion of the video, here it is, and it cannot be deleted because
it is on an American network."
In a statement, FOX`s executive editor said it, quote, "decided that
giving readers of FOXNews.com to see for themselves the barbarity of ISIS
outweighed legitimate concerns about the graphic nature of the video."
Adding, quote, "Online choosers can choose to view or not view this
Earlier, I spoke to Laith Alkhouri, senior analyst at Flashpoint
Partners. I asked him why ISIS screened the execution video for the
residents of Raqqa.
LAITH ALKHOURI, SENIOR ANALYST, FLASHPOINT PARTNERS: Not only they
screened the film, they actually had interviews with locals in Raqqa and
they asked them, what do you think of this film? And the response was, you
know, an eye for an eye. We punish just like how we are being bombarded.
So, the entire video is supposed to be propaganda to show that the locals
support ISIS, that the locals are indeed siding with ISIS, and that they
are actually, you know, in agreement that this is punishment.
HAYES: Let`s just be clear to stipulate for a moment that nothing
that appears in that video can be taken at face value for the obvious
reasons, that ISIS is capable of burning people alive. So, we can`t
imagine this is the genuine feeling of the citizens of Raqqa.
ALKHOURI: Indeed. I don`t believe so. I mean, you know, ISIS rules
with terror and fear and intimidation. It`s all provocative. The people
there know that their punishment could be similar to the punishment of
others executed by ISIS if they rebel against the group, or if they defect
from the group.
I mean, the punishment for ISIS, for anybody, who defects from the
group is death. Once you vow allegiance --
HAYES: Once you join ISIS --
ALKHOURI: You can`t leave. And that`s, you know, part of it, that,
you know, you are under the rule of ISIS and Raqqa. You are all part --
you know, citizens of this Islamic State. And thus, you have to almost
agree with us on what we do.
HAYES: There`s a question about whether this is strategic or this is
not strategic, right? There are some that view this as trying to recruit,
they want to try to intimidate their enemies, the degree to which it`s
useful for them to be feared by the people they might encounter on the
There are others who think this is part of, like as Andrew was just
saying, part of their DNA. They can`t help themselves but kind of enjoy
this. What is your feeling?
ALKHOURI: You know, I think, look, ISIS always has a message in every
video it puts out. You know, they spend days, sometimes weeks producing
this high-quality material in order to make a specific point or a few
points. In this sense, besides delivering the message to the locals, which
I don`t think was the primary message, I think the primary message was to
show the world that they`re trying to bring Jordan to its knees, that
Jordan has to be humiliated for its part taking in this U.S.-led coalition.
So, in a sense, it`s trying to send a message, yes, maybe to the
locals on one hand, but also to the Jordanians, that you need to tell your
government to step back and withdraw from this U.S.-led coalition.
HAYES: OK. But here`s the things, it was the same message they had
to the U.S. government with the succession of American hostages that they
murdered. It backfired there. All it did was serve to increase U.S.
support for U.S. involvement, right? They have to know that at this point,
right? Or they are misreading the public opinion?
ALKHOURI: I think -- I don`t think they`re in tuned with what the
Arab world, really, their view of them. I mean, they think the Arab world
maybe supports them in some sense.
HAYES: So, they believe their own propaganda about themselves, about
how they`re viewed in that region.
ALKHOURI: I believe so. I think they believe that Jordanians would
have kind of revolted against their government and blamed the government
for being part of this so-called crusader coalition.
HAYES: The appearance of this video on a major U.S. media outlet, on
its Web site, what is the significance of that? Is that not significant?
Do you have a feeling about whether videos like this have enough newsworthy
ALKHOURI: Look, I don`t think the entire video should have been shown
in full, because this is essentially disseminating terrorist propaganda,
whether it disappeared from YouTube or not, disappeared from Twitter or
not. You know, there is a solid permanent link to this video on the
I think that was not a wide decision. On the other hand, showing the
barbarity of ISIS has been demonstrated over and again. So, this is only
one extra step in demonstrating that ISIS is barbaric. But, you know,
there was -- I believe the propaganda value here is that ISIS does not want
the video to disappear, ever, because --
HAYES: They want it to have a stable home.
ALKHOURI: Absolutely. Absolutely. And by having it on a network
that is presenting it in full, in a way, you`re helping them.
HAYES: Laith Alkhouri, thank you very much.
ALKHOURI: Thank you.
HAYES: The incredible picture, people are who are scared of flying
are going to use to justify that fear, ahead.
HAYES: Important update to bring you on a story we did, last night.
But for some context, let`s rewind the ALL IN time machine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know, it all started when "Washington Post" style section
reporter Ben Terris walked into Republican Congressman Aaron Schock`s new
office. What he found was, quote, "bright walled walls, like gold colored
wall sconce with black candles, a federal style bull`s-eye mirror with an
eagle perched on top." It turns out the color scheme was not random.
According to the woman behind the front desk, it was, quote, "based off of
the red room in Downton Abbey."
Today, after refusing to discuss the office decor and after a D.C.
watchdog group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate
whether Schock broke House rules by accepting the work for free, ABC`s Jeff
Zeleny managed to get an interview with the congressman who said he had
never seen the highly British popular drama and he`s planning to pay for
the interior decorating seen here himself with a personal check as soon as
he gets an invoice from the decorator.
He also said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. AARON SCHOCK (R), ILLINOIS: Taylor Swift said haters are going
REPORTER: What shade of red do you think this is?
SCHOCK: I don`t know, it`s bright. My overwhelming reelection last
cycle despite having dark navy walls, was over 70 percent.
REPORTER: But this is British. We defeated the British.
SCHOCK: So, we`ll see -- well, it`s British, it`s also Republican.
Red. So I had Democratic blue the last four years. So, I`m going to do
red maybe for the next four years. Maybe we`ll do yellow after that. I
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. So there you go. Except that might lead to
another possible violation of congressional rules, as the "Washington Post"
reports which dictates how office walls may be painted in just a few select
colors. Although, to be honest and fair to Congressman Schock, that rule
sounds like it was written by haters.
Back in a moment.
HAYES: What should have been a pleasantly mundane train ride home
turned into a disaster for passengers on one of the country`s busiest
passenger rail lines last night. Today, investigators are trying to
determine if the terrible deadly accident could have been prevented.
Six people were killed, making it the deadliest accident in the
history of New York`s Metro North railroad. The crash occurred when an SUV
was struck by the train at a crossing in Valhalla about 30 miles north of
New York City. The train pushed the SUV about 1,000 feet down the tracks,
about the length of three football fields, according to NTSB investigators,
detailing their initial investigation today.
The third rail, the electrified rail, pierced the front car of the
train, resulting explosion made in the combination of the electrified rail
and gas from the SUV, according to the investigators, the driver of the SUV
who died as been identified as 49-year-old Ellen Brody, a mother of three.
Five male passengers in the front part of the train also died. The SUV had
stopped on the tracks when the safety arm of the train crossing came down
on the back of that SUV.
Part of the investigation will be to determine if the driver of the
SUV was confused by the signals at the crossing, or felt it impossible to
But an eyewitness, the driver of the vehicle behind her, described
what he saw when that safety arm came down on the vehicle in front of him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It comes down and hits the top of her car, the
back of the roof, and actually slides a little bit down the back towards
the back window. I fully expected her to back up, so I looked behind me,
and luckily there`s nobody behind me, I`m able to back up, and waiting for
her to back up, instead she gets out of the car. She gets out, walks
around the back, looks at the arm that`s on the back of the car.
She looks at me. I gestured to come back. I backed up again further
to even indicate there`s plenty of room to back up. And she turns, walks
and gets back in the car, slight hesitation, and then moves forward, and at
that instant the train came.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At least 12 other passengers were injured. One is listed in
critical condition, another in serious condition. The rest of the ride was
in stable condition or have been released from the hospital.
But as NTSB investigators began their work this morning, there was one
unmistakable bright spot, the rest of the more than 600 passengers in that
train evacuated safely.
Joining me now, Kitty Higgins, a former member of the National
Transportation Safety Board.
Kitty, how do you start an investigation of this kind of accident?
What are you looking to reconstruct? And is there some sort of policy,
judgment you can make, or is this essentially just a horrible freak
KITTY HIGGINS, FORMER NTSB BOARD MEMBER: Well, Chris, in these kinds
of accident investigations, you start with saying everything is on the
table until you take it off the table. So what the investigators will look
at, they will look at the signals. They`ll look at whether they were
working properly. They will look at the -- what the driver was doing.
They will look at all of the aspects of the train movement itself.
Was it going at the appropriate speed, was it functioning properly, were
the signals functioning properly. They will look at things like the
evacuation procedures, were people -- did people know how to get out of the
All of that, and they`ll take issue by issue, and address it until
they can say, OK, that wasn`t a factor in this accident. We know in
general what happened. They will look at the -- I`m sure there`s a camera
at the front end of this train that will provide a perspective from the
engineer`s point of view. Until they can rule things out, everything is
still on the table.
And, you know, unfortunately this is not the first grade crossing
accident we`ve seen. But -- and this has been a priority issue for the
NTSB for a number of years.
HAYES: I want to talk about the data on that, which I was looking at
today, and was actually surprised and heartened by what I saw. In 1981,
you have 9,461 collisions at crossings, 728 fatalities, which is a lot. By
2013, you`re down to just over 2,000 collisions and 251 fatalities.
What`s been done to bring those numbers down as rapidly as they`ve
HIGGINS: One of the things that`s been done is prioritize the
crossings themselves and to make sure there`s the appropriate signaling and
lights and crossbars at the intersections where there is the most traffic.
There have been, unfortunately, accidents involving school buses, for
So, we`ve done a much better job at the state level, at the local
level in terms of protecting these crossings. Obviously, it is not
foolproof, as we know from this accident yesterday. The question is,
again, determining the facts of exactly what happened here, and looking at
what else can be done to make the system that is very safe even safer.
HAYES: Yes. You said this is very safe. That`s been my sense always
about rail travel in the U.S. I mean, how safe is it compared to other
modes of transportation, chiefly driving and flying?
HIGGINS: Well, everybody -- flying, people worry about the most, and
I think it`s in part because when accidents happen, they`re catastrophic.
But they`re also very rare. More people are killed in highway accidents.
So, people will often say you`re at more risk driving to the airport than
you are flying.
I would say rail, again, is very safe, but there are commuter
accidents. Whether there are accidents like this, accidents on passenger
lines, I was involved in being on site for an accident between a freight
train and a commuter rail in California a few years ago. We had a metro
accident recently in D.C. So, they happen.
But again, we have to remember, and put it in context that we`ve got
thousands of people, probably millions of people riding commuter rail every
day, and they get to their destination safely.
HAYES: Kitty Higgins, former investigator with the NTSB, thank you
Lots more ahead here tonight, including huge news today that could
easily be the most important thing Barack Obama did as president. We look
back at the years, and in the future.
Stay with us. I`ll tell you about that.
HAYES: Officials in Taiwan this evening are searching for survivors
and working to determine the cause of a deadly crash of TransAsia Airways
Flight GE 235. The plane went down shortly after takeoff today and footage
of the crash is extraordinary and harrowing.
Recorded from the dash camera of a nearby car, it shows the plane in
the final moments dipping between buildings, while rolling to its left and
then clipping a taxi you see there, on an overpass before crashing into the
It happened this morning as the plane was leaving Taipei`s Songshan
Airport, heading for Kinmen, which is a nearby island off the Chinese
mainland. 53 passengers and 5 crew members were on board, at least 31 are
dead with a dozen still missing. 15 people have been hospitalized.
New York Times reporting that one survivor found his 1-year-old son in
the water three minutes after the crash and immediately began performing
CPR. At least two local papers are saying that boy is now in intensive
The Guardian is reporting the driver of that taxi is in the hospital
with a head injury, but in stable condition, somewhat miraculously.
According to the New York Times, shortly before the crash, a pilot
indicated engine problems, saying, quote, "may day, may day, engine
flameout". The plane that crashed was a Turboprop ATR 72600, was less than
a year old. It appears to have been just inspected a few weeks ago.
Asian airlines have had a string of disasters over the last year.
In December, an AirAsia flight headed for Singapore crashed soon after
taking off, killing all 162 people on board. Last July, another TransAsia
flight went down, killing 48 people. Also in July, Malaysia Airlines had a
plane shot down over Ukraine. And in March, one of it`s planes just
A combined 537 people died in both those flights.
In recent years, Asia has quickly become the world`s biggest market
for air travel, explosive growth, with more than a billion passengers
flying in 2013. The question now is, whether that explosive growth is
adding to a potential safety risk.
HAYES: Today, get ready for this, drum roll, a Semi Obscure Federal
Agency made an announcement about a semi obscure regulatory issue, which,
50 years from now, we may look back on as the most consequential
development during Barack Obama`s presidency.
Seriously. For the future of innovation in this country, the way we
communicate, our economy, and the way that we consume information.
Basically for the way we live our lives decades from now.
And in order to understand the impact, first consider this, okay?
When you move into a new house or apartment, the place is empty. Stuff
is all in boxes, you`ve got to order pizza because nothing works yet. And
in order to get the place functioning, you`ve got to make a few calls.
First, you may need to call the water company and make sure the waters
running. At some point you`re going to need to use the bathroom. You`ve got
to call the electricity company to get the lights turned on, or, if they`re
already on, at least transfer the bill into your name. At this time of
year, you definitely you`ve definitely got to call the gas company and get
the heat turned on. You`re going to want to cook. And then you`re going to
You may have had the experience, as I have, of sitting in an apartment
you just moved into without internet and it is maddening. It`s like you
don`t even live there. I mean, what are you supposed to do, talk to the
people in your apartment?
Here`s the thing, all those things you have to get turned on when you
move, that checklist, we understand those is intuitively as utilities,
they`re services you essentially cannot live without.
That is not how the law sees them.
Under current law, water, electricity and gas are utilities. The
internet is not. it`s basically just like any other products subject to
the whims of the market.
Now, as of today, however, that may be about to change.
The Federal Communications Commission just announced a proposal to
reclassify internet as a public utility, regulated by the government to
maintain free and open access. A principle we know as net neutrality.
In an online essay for Wired Magazine, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote
today, quote, "I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet
protections ever proposed by the FCC. My proposal assures the rights of
internet users to go where they want, when they want. And the rights of
innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone`s permission."
These new rules will have profound implications for the future of the
internet, because the government will have a lot of power to require broad
band companies to offer services to everyone on equal footing.
Perhaps even more remarkable, is just how unlikely these rules seemed
only a few months ago. Seriously, last May, four months after a federal
court struck down previous net neutrality rules, the FCC voted to move
forward with what was called an internet fast lane. Basically, allowed
broadband providers to charge a premium for faster service, effectively
creating a two-tiered internet.
And, as John Oliver pointed out in a now legendary segment on his HBO
show, the deck seemed to be pretty stacked in the broadband company`s
JOHN OLIVER: I can show you the troublingly cozy relationship between
cable companies and Washington in any number of ways.
I could show you the president of golfing with the CEO of Comcast. Or
saying at a fundraiser at a cable executors house that he`d been there so
many times the only thing I haven`t done in this house is have Sabot
But perhaps the most succinct way is this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has picked Tom Wheeler, a former top
lobbyist for cable and wireless companies to be the next chair of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER: Yes. The guy who used to run the cable industry`s lobbying
arm is now running the agency tasked with regulating it. That is the
equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.
HAYES: ... is very funny.
Alright, so, cue an outpouring of public support for net neutrality,
opposition of the Fastlane proposal with the record 4 million comments
posted at the FCC`s website, actually crashing the page at one point over
Now, by October the FCC was considering more of a hybrid approach to
regulating the internet. And the last November, President Obama comes in
drops the hammer.
President Barrack Obama: Cable companies can`t decide which online
stores you can shop at, or which streaming services you can use. And they
can`t let any company pay for priority over it`s competitors.
To put these protections in place. I`m asking the FCC to reclassify
Internet service under title 2 of a law known as the Telecommunications
In plain English, I`m asking them to recognize that for most
Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday
communication, and everyday life.
HAYES: Joining me, Susan Crawford, former special assistant to
President Obama for science and technology innovation policy, author of
Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded
Age. Great to have you here.
SUSAN CRAWFORD, AUTHOR: Great to be here.
HAYES: All right, I should say obviously, cable companies include my
company, Comcast, who back in November when the president issued that
statement, said they agree with the goals, but disagreed with the
classifying this title 2 classification.
So, first let`s start basic. What should I care? Like why does this
matter to me in terms of my consumer experience every day of the internet?
CRAWFORD: Well, Chris, this is unleashing the regulatory ideal, which
providing opportunity for everybody. So, you as a consumer with internet
access, should be able to access whatever you want whenever you want. And
HAYES: Can`t I do that already?
CRAWFORD: Well, it`s not clear because actually, these gatekeepers
unlimited power to do whatever they want. Their potential power is
So here the government is saying, we`re in there, we`re going to be a
cop on the beat, we`re make sure that when internet access providers
connect with other networks like Netflix and other players, they have got
to treat them fairly, and
when they sending stuff to me, they have got to be fair.
HAYES: OK, right. So the nightmare scenario here from your
perspective, activist perspective is something this this. Cable companies
find itself competing with Netflix, right. Netflix wants to sell you the
stuff. Of course they have got to use the cable company`s pipe to get you
that stuff. The cable company says, huh, well maybe we`re just going slow
down that Netflix connection a little bit, and then you`re trying to watch
it and it doesn`t work and you`re like, you know what, screw it. That`s
the fear, right?
The fear is that under the previous regulatory environment, it was
theoretically possible for those providers to do that, essentially to
strangle their competition. It was at least regulatorily possible.
So, like Chris Christie and the traffic cones on the bridge, same
thing if I`m the consumer would never know what was happening.
What happened today...
HAYES: Ah, that`s a great example, right, you`re sitting -- that`s
very good. So, you`re sitting in the traffic, and you`re like why is this
traffic? And it turned out that someone put those cones there on purpose,
but you had no idea.
CRAWFORD: How would you know?
And so the problem for the FCC is that its regulatory authority was
unclear, not because they don`t have the authority, but because they`d
slapped a different label on high-speed internet access during the Bush era
in 2002, 2003. They called it an unregulated information service. It
turns out that`s not what internet access is, it just gets you from point a
to point b with information. So the FCC is has put a better label on it.
They called it telecommunications services.
HAYES: OK, it`s telecommunications service.
So let me say this. Let`s say that David Cohen of Comcast were
sitting here, or someone else from my parent company were sitting here, I
think they would make the following argument. They would say something
along the lines of the following.
This is investment capital intensive investment we`ve done to lay this
cable. There`s fiber that certain companies are laying. We need to be
confident we`re going to recoup that investment. You`ve now just squeezed
off our market incentive.
You`re laughing as I`m saying this, but this is the argument they`re
making. You`ve now squeezed off our incentive. We don`t know. We`re not
going to be regulated like a utility. So, maybe we`ll stop laying cable
CRAWFORD: In fact all these actors are saying different things to
Wall Street. They`re saying this will make absolutely no difference to the
way we invest our plans for investment. Verizon said that, Comcast said
it, Google said it about their Google Fiber plans that title II
classification makes no difference at all.
HAYES: So, they`ve been saying -- you`re saying they`re telling Wall
don`t worry, don`t run from our stocks if this comes down.
CRAWFORD: And in fact, their stocks went up today.
HAYES: Their stocks did go up today.
So, OK, so the stocks went up today. Is there some argument that this
is actually some kind of crony capitalist way of essentially creating
barriers to entry, that you basically said the companies that exist now are
going to exist forever and, god, does anyone really like their utilities?
CRAWFORD: Actually, what they`re banking on is the certainty that the
chairman is not going to impose any form of rate regulations, not going to
be setting prices, not going to be requiring them to share their facilities
with anybody else. So they`ve got that, they`re hanging on to that, and
that gives them a lot of certainty.
But the president at the same time is pushing competition into this
marketplace, because right now, three out of four Americans can only get
choice for their...
HAYES: One choice.
Three out of four. One choice. You move into the apartment, you`ve
got one choice.
Susan Crawford, thank you very much.
CRAWFORD: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: All right, I will tell you the actual craziest story in the
world right now. I`ll tell you what it is.
Plus, also, Fox News takes on Frozen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE DUCEY, FOX NEWS: Are movies like the Disney smash hit about an
ice queen and her sister empowering girls by turning our men into fools and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Steve Ducey over at Fox News was fretting this morning along
with his guest, the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, that
the sequel to the
Disney hit movie Frozen is going to ruin boys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUCEY: The new Frozen movie that`s coming out in a little while, from
we`ve seen, it looks like they depict men as evil and cold and bumblers.
That`s what it looks like. What kind of message does that send?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Well, and it`s not just Disney. I mean, it`s
Hollywood in general has often sent the message that men are superfluous,
that they`re stupid, that they`re in the way, and if they contribute
anything to a family, it`s a paycheck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Some real hot takes there from your friendly neighborhood Fox
stars, uncovering the hidden injustice men are suffering in Hollywood right
now, particularly at the hands of the shameless man-hating Disney empire,
which has a long history of brainwashing our children with evil or bumbling
male characters like Hercules or Tarzan or Aladdin, to just name just a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to raise real men. We want to encourage
masculinity and not villainize masculinity.
DUCEY: It would be nice for Hollywood to have more male figures in
those kind of movies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Strong male figures.
DUCEY: As heroes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. We can both be heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s true.
Seriously, if Mr. Ducey truly does feel marginalized by Hollywood`s
reputation of his gender, I might point him to some numbers collected by
the folks at USC`s Annenberg School last year.
The top grossing film in 2013 across more than 4,500 speaking roles,
about 30 percent were women and 70 percent were men. Not surprisingly just
28 percent of films even have a female lead or co-lead. And just 2 percent
featured more female characters than male characters.
So, my advice to Steve Ducey is, let it go, let it go.
HAYES: International terrorism, accusations of a vast government
cover-up and conspiracy, an arrest warrant for a world leader, a president,
and then the
death of the man who was apparently about to reveal it all. The actual
craziest story in the world right now is happening in Argentina. And it
all began 20 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Horror of a different kind in Argentina today.
Crowds gathered quickly around the rubble, all that was left after a
powerful blast leveled the seven-story building. There was no warning for
the people inside.
HAYES: It was the worst terrorist attack in Argentina`s recent
history. 85 people killed, hundreds more injured, when a car bomb blew up
outside a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
Attention quickly centered on Hezbollah and Iran as the culprit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After the explosion, Argentina sealed its borders
detained an Iranian citizen as he was about to board a flight out of the
HAYES: But the initial investigation into the bombing was so badly
botched, no one was successfully prosecuted in connection with the bombing.
So a new investigation was launched, ten years after the attack. And
then President Lester Kirchner put prosecutor Alberto Nisman in charge of
Nisman also believed that Iran and Hezbollah were responsible. Then
recently, as he worked on the case, a shocking allegation emerged. Nisman
charged that the current president of Argentina, Christina Fernandez de
Kirchner, the wife of now deceased president who appointed Nisman to his
position, was trying to cover up Iran`s involvement in the bombing in
return for oil.
Kirchner strenuously denied all charges. And then one day, before a
scheduled appearance before the national congress, Nisman was found with a
gunshot wound to the head.
UNIDENTIFIED FEAMLE: Investigators said the death happened under
questionable circumstances just hours before the prosecutor planned to
detail explosive allegations of a high-level government cover-up.
HAYES: Protests broke out in the streets with many accusing the
government of orchestrating Nisman`s death.
Meanwhile, the administration said it looked like a suicide.
HANIBAL FERNANDEZ, PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF (through translator):
You don`t have to be a genius to realize that it looks like all in
conclusive to the same point.
HAYES: The president also suggested it was a suicide, then appeared
to change her mind writing on her Facebook page that, they used Nisman
was alive, then they needed him dead.
As to who "they" are, reports suggest the president could have been
referring to Mossad, the CIA, or Argentina`s own very powerful intelligence
service which she
has now vowed to disband.
Meanwhile, the journalist who broke the news to Nisman`s death, fled
to Israel saying he was being chased by Argentine security forces.
DAMIAN PACHTER, JOURNALIST: I was the first to report on that. And
now I`m kind of suffering the consequences of that.
HAYES: Now, there`s new evidence of just how far Alberto Nisman was
prepared to go with his investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials now say Alberto Nisman had drafted a
document requesting the arrest of Argentina`s President Christina
HAYES: Found in the garbage of Nisman`s apartment after his death,
drafts of arrest warrants for President Kirchner and her foreign minister,
which just opens up more questions in what is rapidly becoming one of the
biggest spy thriller whodunits of all-time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s so much more to this story. Is there a Syrian
connection? And the mysterious spy master fired just a month before
Nisman`s death. We`ll get into all the incredible details next. Stick
HAYES: All right, joining me now to walk us through this, Silvina
Sterin Pensel, a New York based correspondent for Argentinean TV station
This story is hard to believe is happening. It really does feel like
SILVINA STERIN PENSEL, TODO NOTICIAS: It`s a movie, or a novel and
the country`s completely shocked and outraged, and puzzled. Everybody.
HAYES: Yeah, I mean, everyone must be just at the edge of their
So, let`s start with this, OK? First of all, did he kill himself?
That was the original determination of a police investigator, and people
said this is crazy and suspicious. He was going to testify in two days.
He was making interviews with journalists. Do we know one way or the
PENSEL: Let me start by saying for the American audience, that this
is -- imagine the CIA or the National Security Agency working line in line
with a high-profile prosecutor. And after a rigorous investigation, they
accuse President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry of secretly
dealing with al Qaeda
to cover up something related to 9/11. So it`s huge. It`s unprecedented.
PENSEL: Put it that way for the American audience to fully
HAYES; It would be the most explosive news story in the history of
the American republic, or at least since -- I don`t know when -- I mean, in
the modern era.
PENSEL: It`s terrible. That`s why everybody`s puzzled.
And the biggest fear is that this case never gets a solution, never
gets solved, of the 1994 bombing.
HAYES: Which remains unsolved.
OK, so let`s say -- so, his ex-wife -- his ex-wife -- I guess ex-wife,
PENSEL: Yes. Alberto Nisman`s ex-wife...
HAYES: she doesn`t believe it was a suicide.
PENSEL: Exactly. During the burial ceremony, she gave a very
powerful and very moving speech and said that she`s persuaded this was not
HAYES: OK. We have no definitive, though, medical determination from
an autopsy medical person, whether it was or not, right?
PENSEL: There are -- you know, the initial reports came back, the
toxic reports and the forensic reports found no gunpowder in his hands.
So, you know...
HAYES: It`s hard to imagine, right.
PENSEL: But I mean, everything`s possible. And I`m not here...
HAYES: To say one way or the other.
HAYES: But let`s assume he was killed, OK. Then it becomes this
whodunit. Who`s got the motive. There are some people who think this
somehow was the Kirchner government. He was going to blow the whistle on
this corrupt deal they made with Iran to cover up a terrorist bombing in
exchange for oil. They got wind of it. There was an arrest warrant in the
garbage and Kirchner had this guy whacked. There are some people who
PENSEL: Supposedly in exchange for oil, and for an arms deal of some
PENSEL: But, you know, I saw many interviews on TV with the former
prosecutor who is now dead. He seemed very confident, very secure of the
evidence he was going to show before congress. It`s important to remark
that he appeared dead in his apartment the day before he was going to
present his evidence before congress.
So the whole public, the whole country wanted to listen to what he had
to say. And we were prevented...
HAYES: Right. And so then the question becomes, OK, so let`s -- now,
Kirchner appears to be saying essentially that she`s being set up by a
head of an intelligence agency, a man by the name of Jaime Stusso (ph), who
is kind an Argentine J. Edgar Hoover, right? I mean, he was there -- he
ran -- ages, this intelligence agency called SIDE (ph). There`s like one
blurry photo of him that exists. That`s the one you`re looking at.
PENSEL: First it was called SIDE (ph), then it was called secretary
intelligence, and now last week in a very political speech, President
Kirchner announced that she was dissolving the whole thing and submitted to
congress a new
bill to completely dismantle it and create something new called the federal
HAYES: Right. So this is like the equivalent of coming saying like
we`re dissolving the FBI or the CIA, the president saying that.
Now she fired this guy...
PENSEL: On a televised speech.
HAYES: In a televised -- she fired this guy six months ago, right?
HAYES: So there is a -- wait...
PENSEL: For many, many years he was a legend and the secretary of
HAYES: So there`s a theory of the case that they pulled to which is
that this was a reprisal, firing him, he`s basically engineered some setup
to frame her for this murder.
PENSEL: Exactly. That he planted false information, and misled
prosecutor Nisman, who has been investigating the bombing since 2005, so
for many years, and he was in fact the one who formally accused the Iran
government and one (inaudible).
So, yeah, that`s the...
HAYES: These are the different theories.
PENSEL: That, you know, the -- he was misled by Jaime Stusso (ph), so
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