All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: February 24, 2015
Guest: Ruth Conniff, John Wisniewski, Sherrod Brown, Jim Manley, Zack
Beauchamp, Spencer Ackerman
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Scott Walker union busting surprise
and Chris Christie`s ongoing demise, tonight, a tale of two Republican
candidates going in opposite directions.
Plus, Sharon Brown on the president`s veto of the Keystone pipeline. Why
the mainstream media needs to listen to Laura Ingraham?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: I don`t think we should jump every time the
freaks with the ace bandages on their faces put out a video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And then Spencer Acerman on his blockbuster report about a black
site run by the Chicago PD.
Apples big news on the evolution of Emojis.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, we bring you a tale
of two Republican governors and likely presidential candidates both with
huge ambitions. One of whom is going through the best of times and one of
whom is facing some of his worst.
Scott Walker and Chris Christie have a lot in common. Both Republicans who
have won repeatedly in blue states, both draw strength from high profile
battles with the left, both have had success in bending their states to
their will, and both, of course, have an eye on the presidency in 2016.
While Walker, despite some recent stumbles has become one of the most
buzzed about Republican in the country. Christie`s star has fallen
dramatically in the wake of a string of scandals, negative headlines and
complaints within his party.
He is living in a bubble, in oblivious the reality of his diminished
standing. This week brought yet another piece of bad news for Christie
prompting one journalist to quip that if there was a mercy rule in
presidential primaries, Chris Christie would qualify.
A New Jersey judge ruled yesterday that Chris Christie broke his own law
when he decided to cut $1.6 billion in contributions from his state`s
public pension system. Saying the state cannot and I`m quoting here,
"simply walk away from its obligations financial obligations to teachers
and other public workers."
In Wisconsin, meanwhile, protestors gathered today in a scene that evokes
memories of the 2011 standoff over Walker`s successful attempt to strip
collective bargaining rights from public workers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL NEUENFELDT, PRESIDENT, WISCONSIN AFL-CIO: They don`t care what
happens to your retirement. They want power. They want more profits, and
they want to do it on the backs of the workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At issue today is the Republican legislature`s plan to push through
a so-called right to work law, an anti-union measure that prohibits labor
agreements in which private sector workers are forced to pay union dues
effectively undermining collective bargaining and union membership.
The measure is expected to pass and Walker says he will sign it, which will
make Wisconsin the 25th state with right to work. But also further weaken
the labor movement and hand the governor yet another victory over the left.
While Chris Christie flails in New Jersey, Scott Walker is picking fights
on unions and public education that seemed designed to endear him to
conservative donors and working to burnish his image as a blue state
Republican who can take on liberals and win.
Joining me now is Ruth Conniff, editor of the Madison Wisconsin-based "The
Progressive" magazine. Ruth, there has been a little question about
whether Scott Walker actually wants this.
He says he is not that interested, what`s your sense from being on the
ground there about who is really driving this train?
RUTH CONNIFF, "THE PROGRESSIVE": Well, Walker is riding the train that
pulled up at his door sponsored by the Koch Brothers. I mean, let`s face
it. These are not indigenous Wisconsin political ideas. Not right to
work, which is word for word an Alec bill, this legislation that they are
It was created and crafted by a group of corporations and right-wing
politicians at a national conference. Not by the people of Wisconsin.
Similarly in Walker`s budget, which he sort of conveniently is distracting
us from with this, you know, big rally today and this big push to stick it
to unions once again as he did at that time.
You know, the citizens of Wisconsin didn`t gather and say let`s cut our
public schools and university system, and make you pay a fee to get into
public parks and that provide money to sustain them, and destroy basically
the whole apparatus of environmental regulation in the state.
These are not indigenous ideas. These are Walker taking a national right-
wing philosophy and testing it out in Wisconsin. Can we really take it to
the hoop here?
You know, he is testing it out so that the right wing can see if you can
divide a state and pit working people against each other and create so much
bad feeling that people are distracted and disempower unions, and produce
wages, and a really hand a triumph to these corporations and right-wingers,
who are his backers.
HAYES: All right, so given what we saw with the recall, put yourself in
the shoes of the closest advisor to Governor Scott Walker today. You have
to walk in his office and say, Governor, there is going to be hundred
thousand of people gathering at the capital outside to protest this right
to work law. Is the mood in that room, you`re covering Scott Walker,
awesome or are you bummed?
CONNIFF: He is doing this on purpose. It is awesome to him. I mean, this
is why he went to Iowa and described these historic protests where ordinary
working people were out in force as a scary mob that he stood down and was
courageous for doing so. He is running on this and it is absolutely his
HAYES: In all fairness your kids are terrifying. We should also ask the
question here about what -- to what extent does Scott Walker`s appeal to
some sense of middle is really x`d it. One piece said look at him
carefully, not as a blue state governor, who`s won over moderates.
But actually someone who has been able to pumped every last vote out of the
rabidly conservative base, that is loyal to him, and that`s the way you
have to understand him as a political creature.
CONNIFF: Yes, and Walker has not run in a presidential year. When
Wisconsin is a blue state statewide, you know, we`ll see how he fairs in a
presidential year. Voter suppression has been very important in Wisconsin.
That`s part of the strategy here.
But right, dividing people, I mean, he said it best when he said divide and
conquer is his strategy. So stirring up resentment among non-union private
sector workers against their neighbors who have benefits and health
insurance to say I`m going to take that away from your neighbor rather than
saying I`m going to lift up the entire state.
You know, we see the results of that and overtime, unfortunately, as Walker
leaves office it will be more clear because, you know, cutting our top tier
public education system the way that he has cut it, historic cuts.
And the same thing with the university system and the other changes what he
calls bold brave reforms that he`s made here are going to leave Wisconsin a
wreck and he is basically burning this place down to fuel his national
And it is very popular with the Koch Brothers and the other -- the Sheldon
Adelsons of the world, who fund right-wing candidates for president. But
it is really, it is a destructive path, and I think it is one that should
worry the whole country, not just Wisconsin.
HAYES: As someone who has watched him up close on that note, how
formidable do you see him?
CONNIFF: I think Walker is a lot smarter than people think, I think that
he is not making gaffes and making mistakes when he doesn`t answer
questions. You have seen this pattern throughout his political career.
He didn`t run on shutting down Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin. He didn`t
run on Act 10. He didn`t run on right to work, but he is advertising those
things to the base now and he is able to sort of equivocate to say I`m not
going to answer that question, to come off as sort of a reasonable guy in
spite of these very, very right wing politics.
And that positions him beautifully for a national presidential run because
he absolutely has the base, and at the same time he presents as moderate
and reasonable, which gives him a shot I think in a general election.
HAYES: Ruth Conniff, thank you very much.
All right, Chris Christie tried to do some damage control today at his
annual budget speech in the state legislature which came one day after a
judge ruled he cannot follow through on his plan to reneg a nearly 1.6
billion in pension payments.
Christie claimed he had reached an unprecedented accord with one of the
state`s largest unions to reduce pension and health care costs in the wake
of that ruling, though the union he was talking about, the New Jersey
Education Association said that no deal had been reached.
There is one thing that Christie said today that no one is going to argue
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The numbers do not lie. Let me tell
you this. We don`t need any court to tell us we have a serious problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Indeed. New Jersey is in horrible shape financially. The state is
facing a $7.35 billion structural deficit heading into next budget year.
Christie built his political brand on his willingness to take on the left
in order to get New Jersey`s fiscal house in order when the state faced a
similar structural deficit of $8 billion back in 2009.
Christie at that point even called on then Governor John Corzine to quit
his bid for re-election in shame. Yet under Christie, New Jersey has seen
its credit rating cut repeatedly and the state now faces a mess on its
budget and pensions with no clear way out.
Chris Christie was able to outrun the numbers for four years and get re-
elected. But in a terrible bit of timing for his presidential aspirations,
he is now learning you cannot outrun the numbers forever.
Joining me now is New Jersey, John Wisniewski, co-chair of New Jersey
Legislative Select Committee on Investigation. He attended Governor
Christie`s address this afternoon. Characterize the current state of New
Jersey finances five years, six years, I guess, into the Chris Christie
JOHN WISNIEWSKI (D), NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLYMAN: Substantially no different
than they were when he took over. I mean, this is the amazing thing for a
governor who has talked about being the so-called adult in the room, about
wanting to come in and talk about the real numbers, how we`re going to
And he`s even talked about how he`s addressed our structural deficit. It
is substantially the same as it was when he took office. And so for all of
us in New Jersey, who have to live with the consequences of Chris Christie,
we get very frustrated at these made for TV moments where he talks about
these things as if the reality doesn`t matter, the facts don`t apply.
HAYES: So here is the Chris Christie theory, the case back in 2009. It
was as follows, this is one of the states that have been essentially
parasitically eaten from within by public sector unions, teachers, people
living off of the public trough, and politicians who don`t have the guts to
look them in the face and say no.
And say, yes, and yes, offer things in the future they can`t deliver on.
I`m going to come in. I`m the guy that yells at teachers and says no, you
can`t have that. What happened? Why didn`t that work?
WISNIEWSKI: Well, it was a fundamental lack of truth in what he said quite
frankly, Chris. I mean, look, he came in and he said that I`m going to
reform the pension system. There can always be things done belter, but he
came in and said I`m going to make these changes and you have my word.
I will make a pension contribution. I`m going to pay the obligation the
state has and then several years after that, he comes in and says, he says
to the court, my own law, that I wrote, that I advocated for, well, that
law is unconstitutional and I`m not going to make the payment.
HAYES: Let`s just be very clear here. Getting the details for a second,
but this is important. The whole idea behind the possession reform law
from Chris Christie was, governors have this temptation to basically rob
from the future to cover present, right?
You basically say I`m not going to put the money in the pension because I`m
not going to be around in 20 years when they are collecting, but I do have
this $1 billion budget short fall now. I will take that money now in the
present. He passed a law saying you cannot do that, and then --
WISNIEWSKI: Did exactly that.
HAYES: I mean, literally exactly that as a court ruled today.
WISNIEWSKI: Right. And of course, his defense to that now is a liberal
judge, I`ll tell him what to do. The reality is this is what he promised
to the people of New Jersey, to the public employees of New Jersey, and he
reneged on his promise.
And so today, he gets in front of a legislature and he says, I`ve got a new
deal and I`m going to promise you this. He broke his promise before, what
gives us any assurance that he will keep his promise now.
Plus the group that he said he had to deal with had to put out a press
release saying, wait a minute, not so fast. We don`t have a deal.
HAYES: This was the governor`s statement on that, Governor Christie and
one of the state`s largest public employee unions are actually doing
something, working together, and have a road map for reform. What does
John Wisniewski have to offer besides partisan rhetoric and tax hikes? A
question for you.
WISNIEWSKI: What do I have to offer? The fact that this governor, and I
voted against his pension benefits reform for exactly the reason that we`re
talking about today. It was an empty promise. That it was a promise that
could not be fulfilled. Here we are today, three years later, with a
promise that has not been fulfilled.
HAYES: What`s your solution?
WISNIEWSKI: We certainly always have to work to make sure that we`re doing
better, running it better, but we have to raise the money. We have an
obligation. The state of New Jersey incurred an obligation and today we
can all talk about how maybe we should not have. Maybe it could have been
But the state of New Jersey incurred an obligation. This governor, the
next governor, and governors after have to live up to that obligation.
Because if we walk away and reneg our obligations today, what other
obligations will we walk away from the future.
Educating our children, paying for health care, these are things that all
come into the category of living up to the obligations we committed to.
HAYES: How many downgrades have there been?
WISNIEWSKI: Eight downgrades.
HAYES: Eight downgrades. Is that legacy going to outlive his
WISNIEWSKI: Absolutely, it`s going to take awhile to recover from the
mismanagement that this administration has had. Look, he talked today
about how we put together last year`s budget without a tax increase.
Yet when you look at the budget, 40 different tax increases and fee hikes,
and so this is a governor who tells a good tale, but the facts don`t back
HAYES: The numbers are the same. The structural deficit is essentially
the same as it ran in 2009 --
WISNIEWSKI: You know what, Chris, it`s time that this governor stops
blaming his predecessor for the problems he`s had. He`s had five years in
HAYES: John Wisniewski, thank you very much.
WISNIEWSKI: Thank you.
HAYES: The president vetoes his first major legislation, a big day as the
Republican majority struggles for traction.
Plus an incredible new report alleges there is a black site in Chicago
where police interrogate American citizens. The reporter who broke the
news joins me ahead.
HAYES: We are keeping an eye on a courthouse in Stevensville, Texas, where
a jury has just began deliberating in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the man
accused of killing American sniper, Chris Kyle, and a fellow veteran, Chad
Littlefield at a shooting range in 2013.
Routh has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury agrees the
court could have him committed to a mental hospital. A murder conviction
would mean an automatic life sentence. We will bring you updates as we get
them. Keep it right here.
HAYES: New Republican majority was never going to be able to impose their
will completely thanks to the president`s veto power and the routinized
abuse of the filibuster now a fact of life in the Senate.
But at the very least the GOP could strategically use their control over
the House and Senate and by extension the entire congressional agenda to
paint Democrats into various political corners.
Forcing them, for example, to take difficult votes, testing part of unity
and making them go on the record with positions that might come back to
bite them in the next election.
So far however, none of that has panned out. Today Republicans` one
plausible shot at political victory, a bill to fast tract the Keystone
pipeline, which passed out of both chambers reached its inevitable
conclusion, a presidential veto.
Since Barack Obama is not running for re-election, the political cost of
said veto appears to be absolutely nothing. Republicans other big
political gambit has been their plan to repudiate President Obama`s
executive action protecting millions of people from deportation, an action
that is currently on hold by a federal court.
The way they would do that is by attaching the measure that would gut the
executive action to a must pass bill funding the Department of Homeland
Security, the department that would oversee it. It`s effectively been a
game of chicken with Republicans threatening to shut down DHS unless
Democrats allow the executive action provision to go through.
But today in the final stretch, just three days before Homeland Security
runs out of money, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed on the
breaks. He did whatever the metaphor calls for.
Coming to grips, the reality of Senate math after a fourth Democratic
filibuster, McConnell has now proposed separate the DHS funding bill from a
vote in the president`s executive action, more or less what Democrats have
been demanding all along.
This is the best part, in response, Minority Leader Harry Reid supporting
the shades after his accident and not one to ever resist an opportunity to
press his advantage is saying he doesn`t accept McConnell`s cry for uncle
unless he hears it from John Boehner too, refusing to make a deal in the
Senate without full buy in from the House.
I spoke to Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio who voted against
the Keystone bill, I asked him, if he expects to pay a political price for
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: I don`t think people in Ohio pay that much
attention to that, but it would have meant higher gas prices in the
Midwest. It`s not what we should be doing with infrastructure.
We really ought to be doing with infrastructure is highways, bridges,
water, sewer systems, medical research, community colleges, and all of
that. Keystone was very little of that and I believe science.
I believe the facts that the Keystone pipeline contributes far too much to
climate change. I know what happened in Toledo, 500,000 people lost their
drinking water for a few days this past summer, and part of that was
because of climate change interacting in, you know, shallow western basin
of Lake Eerie.
So I know my state, and I know that the Keystone pipeline was not good for
HAYES: When you started, when you showed up to your first day of work for
this Congress and you thought about where you would be six weeks later, how
is where we are different or similar to what your conception of life around
Republican rule would be like?
BROWN: I thought they would get a little better start. They might
actually get something done, but you know, it`s hard to break the habit
when your DNA doesn`t allow you to say yes. That appears to be both in
Speaker Boehner`s DNA and Leader McConnell`s DNA.
It`s hard to break that habit and they have not broken that habit yet that
is why they have run this Congress already into the ground. They`re
serious threat of the government shut down. Something that I didn`t think
Mitch McConnell -- I figured he`d find a way to avoid that.
It`s going to be really close now. I don`t know what`s going to happen.
Speaker Boehner, they have not really figured out how to do anything much
positive. They passed an anti-suicide bill for veterans that might work on
with left over from last Congress we tried to do.
They did that, but short of that, nothing much has come out of this
Congress and I guess I thought they would get a better start than this.
HAYES: You imagine that one of the things you do if you now control the
gavel is to place your political opponents in uncomfortable positions,
taking tough votes, getting them on the record. Have they succeeded in
that? Has Senator Sherrod Brown had to squirm a little bit yet?
BROWN: No, not really, and the things we`ve argued for we need a long-term
transportation bill, a minimum wage. We need to do something about
currency, immigration. None of those have they addressed while they show
an ineptitude and incompetence that -- I mean, I knew these guys weren`t
superstars, but I -- and I say guys because their leadership in both
parties is pretty much all guys.
I just thought they probably would do a little better than they have done.
I want them do better for this country. I just don`t want them to do
better by veering the government to the right and shutting the government
down and doing those kinds of things instead of what I hoped would happen
in an election.
Mitch McConnell said he wanted to be bipartisan that he`d look at what was
bipartisan in the past. We have done transportation bills long term. We
have done minimum wage, we have done immigration reform bipartisanly for
much of the last 20 years.
I was hoping he would go in that direction instead of looking again to let
radicals push him into a government shutdown.
HAYES: On that shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was talking
about the need for DHS to be fully funded. He said this in part, "To make
sure Homeland Security is funded. ISIS is funded. We see that every day
That I got to say, that strikes me in some pretty irresponsible fear
mongering to say that DHS is not fully funded. ISIS is fully funded. You
connect the dots? What do you think of that statement?
BROWN: Well, I think that -- you know, when you think about what are we
prepared for? We`re asking border guards to work without pay, TSA
screeners to work without pay. I was in Dayton where the Dayton fire
Department will lose a lot of money temporarily.
Five hundred fire departments in Ohio, it is likely due to them, but it
won`t be if they shut the government down. That doesn`t mean that we`re
going to be vulnerable immediately, but it is some exaggeration, perhaps,
but we`re simply not running, doing the things like running the government.
No one knew what a government shutdown was until this crowd just ache to
make their points. It`s just shameful and it makes people turn against
government and politics. If their intent is to succeed as a country
they`re failing and it is shameful.
It makes people turn against government and politics generally. If that`s
their intent, they succeeded. But if their intent to succeed as a country,
they are failing and it`s shameful.
HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown, always a pleasure, thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now to further assess the parliamentary skill of the new
Senate majority is former chief spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry
Reid, and now senior director at QGA Public Affairs.
All right, Jim, let`s talk here. I want your grade for the first six weeks
or so of Mitch McConnell`s turn of the majority.
JIM MANLEY, FORMER HARRY REID SPOKESMAN: Not only would I give them an F,
I would probably charge Speaker Boehner if I could with legislative
malpractice and maybe --
HAYES: You`re being unkind and charitable and partisan. You don`t really
believe that, do you?
MANLEY: I absolutely do. Let me get this straight. So the first thing
they do, they send a bill to the president that they knew he is going to
veto despite the fact that the record oil production, increases of
fracking, speeding up the permit process in the gulf.
And now we`re stuck in the situation with the DHS funding bill, the likes
of which I never saw in my 20 years in the Senate. With all due respect to
Senator Reid, who is probably watching the show, I would love to be able to
say that he came up with some brilliant legislative strategy to pin these
guys into a corner.
But the fact of the matter is he had nothing to do with it. Democrats had
nothing to do with it. As Senator Brown suggested, once again these guys
are overreaching. I, too, like you thought they would want to put some
legislative points on the score board, but true to form they`re
overreaching and I don`t see anything changing any time soon.
HAYES: I mean, first of all, I love that it is just sort of funny to watch
Harry Reid to say it`s not enough that you cry uncle. Talk to John Boehner
and get him to agree to a separate vote.
MANLEY: He has been down that path way too many times before. Just
because the speaker wants to get something done doesn`t mean his caucus
will go along. So this is very, very tricky stuff.
HAYES: What was -- I mean, the thing about this -- the way this DHS thing
played out has been fascinating and for a number of reasons. One was if
you transport yourself back to the fall when the president made the speech,
I`m sorry the winter I guess it was.
When the president made the speech saying we`re going to do this, there was
so much rage. And then there was a problem of not having the bite to match
the bark. They can`t do anything. They had no strategy, and they went
along day by day with no strategy and now they`ve reached the end of the
road. Is that how it happened?
MANLEY: I sure think so. I have no idea how we got in this particular
situation, but I do know it will take some time to sort out. In the
meantime over in the House, the House Republicans are, the conservatives
are getting further and further embolden, and they are not in any moods to
HAYES: So my big prediction is that the only place where you will see some
sort of action between the two is on something like lifting the sequester,
do you think that that theory is correct?
MANLEY: I think that is a possibility, yes. I think another thing that is
ripe for the picking if Republicans play their cards right along with the
Keystone pipeline, which as you know, picked up the necessary Senate
Democrats to get out of the Senate is a repeal of the medical device tax as
HAYES: Jim, are you on the payroll of the medical device industry?
MANLEY: I am not on the payroll of the medical device industry.
HAYES: Because basically about nine out of ten people walking around our
nation`s capital are on the payroll of the medical device industry so I
have to ask that question.
MANLEY: Some of them are my friends, but no, I have nothing to do with it.
So anyways, the bottom line, play their cards right, there is a handful of
things they can get done including the sequester.
So far, at least, Speaker Boehner`s attempts to control and/or manage his
caucus have proven disastrous, and Senator McConnell has sat there trying
to figure out how to deal with it.
I`m sure he wants to get something done, but it takes two to tango. And
the House and Senate Republicans aren`t on the same page by any stretch of
HAYES: Also, I just got to say, I mean, Senator Brown said it, I don`t
think that many people in Ohio are paying attention to Keystone, I
genuinely think there is a massive gulf in how much Republicans think
people are following the Keystone fight or that is has some broad political
appeal, and how much it actually has, right? I mean, this is your first
MANLEY: I could not agree with you more. I have to tell you, Chris, I
still can`t quite figure out how we got in a position where a Keystone
pipeline is the end all and be all for my friends in the environmental
community, but it is what it is. The president now vetoed it. How did he
do it? Very quietly, given the situation. It wasn`t worth the time for a
HAYES: All right, Jim Manley. Thank you very much.
Coming up, a surprising consensus of opinion.
INGRAHAM: I just think we react so emotionally to these videos.
I think we should have a clear headed debate about how to best secure the
homeland without changing our way of life.
HAYES: Why I agree with Laura Ingraham, next.
HAYES: More than in 5,000 years ago, early human written communication was
developed through tiny, little pictures called hieroglyphics. And it has
only taken that long for us to return back to them.
We now find ourselves in the process of watching society abandon linguistic
forms of representation in favor of the quasi ancient form know as emoji.
People are now translating classical works of literary fiction into works
of literary emoji. You can condense Victor Hugo`s Les Mis into one emoji
only text message, or translate Hermen Melville`s two hundred thousand word
novel, Moby Dick line by line into emoji, starting with "Call me Ishmael"
which, of course, obviously translates to phone, man, sailboat, whale, okay
That book, Emoji-dick, by the way, has been inducted into the Library of
Congress. But of course emoji, as much as I love them, have at least one
glaring problem. Their representations of the world have been decidedly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST OF THE COLBERT REPORT: The diversity mafia is
whining that the emoji characters are predominately white. Well of course
they are. White male is American neutral.
It`s the baseline model.
HAYES: That doesn`t have to be the case anymore, so don`t worry.
Apple`s forth coming versions of it`s newest iPhone and computer operating
systems, beta versions of which were released to developers this week, will
reportedly feature a more diverse cast of skin colors. Six to be precise.
Five of which appear to be reasonable, facsimiles of people`s skin color,
and one of which we`ve concluded, after rigorous investigation I have to
say, only exists in the worlds of the Simpsons and The Lego movie.
They also found the emoji lexicon was seriously lacking in one more thing.
INGRAHAM: I don`t think we should jump every time, you know, the freaks
with the ace bandages around their faces put out one videos. I just think
we react so emotionally to these videos. I think we should have a clear
headed debate about how to best secure the homeland without changing our
way of life.
HAYES: Amen, sister.
I was incredibly gratified to see Laura Ingraham on Fox News this morning
making essentially the same point about terrorist propaganda that we have
been making consistently on this show. Which is that everyone needs to keep
calm and stay rational in the face of what is obvious emotional
manipulation by people who we all agree are invested in our emotional
manipulation and who achieve said emotional manipulation in large part
through propaganda videos demonstrating their brutal tactic.
But the ability of Al-Shabaab or Boko Haram or ISIS to murder people they
have captured and even make videos of those murders does not correlate in
any meaningful way to the actual threat they pose to Americans here in the
U.S. Nor does correlate to their military potency.
In fact, ISIS for one, appears to be facing a new set of challenges. Words
of Vox put it today, "ISIS is losing". Reporter Zack Beauchamp writes,
"...after months of ISIS expansion and victories, the group is now being
beaten back. It is losing territory in the places that matter... Coalition
airstrikes have hamstrung its ability to wage offensive was, and it has no
friends to turn to help."
If you`ve been watching the national news coverage of ISIS, Beauchamp`s
report feels like it might as well be coming from Mars.
Joining me now from Mars is Zack Beauchamp.
All right, Zack. Make your case, dude. You are not marching in tune with
the rest of the media, that basically makes me feel Cleveland is surrounded
by ISIS. Why do you say they`re losing?
ZACK BEAUCHAMP, ISIS.COM: Look, I`m right and they`re wrong. And the
reasons why that`s true are the following.
In Iraq, ISIS has made no major progress and, in fact, is being beaten
back, and we can talk about a few specific fronts.
The most important ones are in Northern Iraq where a road that connects
their Syrian and Iraqi holdings has been cut off by Kurdish forces, and in
North-central Iraq near Baghdad where Iraqi forces have made slow but
steady progress moving North, up into territory previously held by ISIS.
And in Syria, ISIS have failed to advance. They`ve been stopped time and
time again and they`ve been pushed back from a Kurdish town, Cobani, in the
North, with the help of U.S. airstrikes.
All that suggest that the group has lost it`s ability to make serious
offensive moves in the way that they were in say, the summer of 2014.
HAYES: The summer of 2014 is when they kind of, literally, put themselves
on the map in terms of the territory they took.
So what I`m hearing from you is there are two forces that seem to be most
effective against them right now. There are Kurdish fighters that are
happening in Syria and are around Cobani, and then there is an Iraqi army
essentially backstopped by both coalition and U.S. air strikes that, you
are saying that they are winning right now if you are just looking at the
BEAUCHAMP: Right. We need to be careful about the Iraqi army, which is
little bit of a mess.
They`re supported by a huge mass of nongovernmental Shia malitias, so they
are aligned with the government, but not officially part of the military.
And these militias have been helping the army make it`s major progress and
territory. And the army itself is still being trained by the United States,
it`s lost a lot to mass defections, and so we`re not sure how effective it
is. But the militias, together with the more effective parts of the Iraqi
army, as well as the Kurds in the North, have done serious harm to ISIS in
HAYES: Do we -- we have a map showing some of the territory here? Because,
I think that maybe this will help.
You can see, it`s a little hard to see, but you see the map on the right is
quite a bit smaller in certain ways than the map on the left, particularly
look at the western portion of that map.
There are significant portions of territory that essentially they no longer
The question here is, are we headed towards some kind of route and
definitive victory? Or essentially a stalemate, in which they are able to
retrench around they currently have control over?
BEAUCHAMP: So in Iraq, the prediction that I hear from most people who are
closely following the situation is no. That is that ISIS is going to be
unable to, in the long run, hold on to the territory that it controls in
Iraq. And there are two reasons.
And the first one is that it just doesn`t have the amount of force
necessary to administer these territories like a government, which is what
it wants to do, and eventually services will collapse, the structure of the
society will stop functioning, and they will have a lot of difficulty
working as the government there and lose popular support.
And the second reason is they`re over matched by the combined Iraqi forces.
They have all of these different factions are bearing down on them with
American air strikes. They don`t have the military capabilities to fight
them in the open and they won`t be able to hold on this territory by
pushing these guys out in the way that a conventional army would. They just
can`t do it.
HAYES: And the other remarkable thing about ISIS is they are so, they have
managed to alienate -- I mean, aside from the people their recruiting,
right, and the sort of ISIS fanboys on Twitter, you know, the women who are
But in terms of, like, any kind of large actors, everyone hates them. I
mean, uniformly, groups that hate each other in any other context equally
BEAUCHAMP: Yeah, it`s because they like to kill people. It is part of
their ideology that you have to submit or be destroyed. That is the way
that things operate, and if that`s the way you think about the world you`re
very bad at making friends.
HAYES: Yeah, you`re going to make a lot of enemies.
BEAUCHAMP: Yeah. Even Al Qaeda is friends with the Syrian resistance
they`ve been smart enough to focus on the Assad regime, principally. But
they have also fought ISIS and some of the Syrian rebels, but by and large,
they make tactical alliances with the Syrian rebels.
And ISIS doesn`t do that very well because they`re crazier than Al Qaeda.
HAYES: Zack Beauchamp, who started this segment by saying, "I`m right and
they`re wrong" and I`m going to suggest to Ezra Klein that become the new
Vox motto, replacing "Explain the news".
Thank you for joining us.
BEAUCHAMP: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, astonishing allegations that the Chicago police
department is operating a "off the books interrogation compound", described
as a domestic black site.
The reporter who broke the story joins me with all the incredible details
HAYES: In the years after 9/11, we now know that the CIA operated black
sites around the world. These were undisclosed facilities where people were
taken to be interrogated.
Tonight, a new blockbuster. Investigative piece by The Guardian claims that
the city of Chicago is operating what lawyers call "the domestic equivalent
of a CIA black site".
Ryan Jacob Church was a protester at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May,
2012. He was ultimately convicted, along with two others of possessing an
incendiary device and of misdemeanor mob action.
Church says he was taken to a facility, know as Homan Square, after his
initial arrest. He described his experience to The Guardian.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN JACOB CHURCH: When they first arrested us, they took us to this
building. We were never booked or we were never processed.
I was in Homan Square for about 17 hours, handcuffed to a bench before I
was finally allowed to see an attorney.
HAYES: Home and square is a known facility of the Chicago police, and
officially serves various functions. That is not at issue. What is an
issue, is whether the site is also used, as The Guardian describes, for
"keeping arrestees out of official booking databases... denying attorneys
access to the "secure" facility, and holding people without legal council
for between 12 and 24 hours".
The Chicago police department responded to our request for comment and it
reads, in part, "The facility is considered sensitive because many officers
who operate there are often involved in undercover assignments, and
advertising their location could put their lives at risk. Other sensitive
units housed at the facility include the Bureau of Organized Crime, SWAT
Unit Evidence Technicians, and the CPD ballistics lab.
CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews
of suspect or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If
lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other
facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD`s
Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim
There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not
any different at Homan Square. The allegation that physical violence is a
part of interviews with suspects is unequivocally false, it is offensive,
and it is not supported by any facts whatsoever."
We also asked the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel for comment. They have not
responded yet, although it`s a busy day.
Today is election day in Chicago. Right now the polls have closed, returns
are coming back, and Rahm Emanuel is watching them to see if he will face a
run off to be reelected.
Up next, The Guardian reporter who broke this story is going to get to
reply to the CPD. You do not want to miss that. Stay right here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCH: So when I slept, I slept with like my hand cuffed to the bar, and I
kind of slept like this.
It`s a domestic black site.
HAYES: Ryan Jacob Church, who claimed he was interrogated without being
read his rights at a Chicago police facility, told The Guardian newspaper
when it comes to the Homan Square "when you go in, no ones knows what`s
happened to you".
Joining me now is the reporter who broke the story, Spencer Ackerman, The
Guardian U.S. national security editor.
All right. The CPD pushing back very hard on this. They`re basically saying
this is a nothing burger.
Of course we have a facility there, people know it, and any time any
suspect is brought anywhere, whether it`s there or any CPD facility
anywhere in the city, they get booked.
SPENCER ACKERMAN, EDITOR OF THE GUARDIAN: Yeah, when do they get booked,
where do they get booked.
Look at everything in that statement the CPD did not say.
They say you`ll get an access to a lawyer. When do you get access to that
lawyer? How do lawyers get access to Homan Square?
We`ve got, something like half a dozen attorneys who`ve told me over the
last several weeks that when they go there they actually get turned away.
Similarly, there`s no booking record of people who go into Homan Square.
Family members, lawyers don`t even know where people are when they get
taken into this place.
All of these questions the Chicago Police allies.
HAYES: So what you are saying is that this facility is used, you have
evidence to support both from lawyers, one person on the record, others off
the record, that suspects are brought there to be interrogated without
their lawyers and also outside of the normal channels for booking, right?
So there is some window of time in which they`re in there.
ACKERMAN: Yes, sir, and often times, when the interrogations are finished,
they`re either let back out on the street, some are suspects, some are
Sometimes the police can`t figure out if they actually have any evidence on
people and let them go, or, if they do, eventually, they`re taken nearby to
the 11th district and then they`re booked.
In that period in between, these people were functionally disappeared.
Their lawyers, often times indigent defense attorneys and people who do the
work of going to police stations to make sure that no inherently coercive
interrogations are taking place, do not know where these people are.
HAYES: I mean, this piece was lawyered by The Guardian?
ACKERMAN: Oh, significantly.
HAYES: You are alleging, your reporting is alleging, a massive, a CPD
conspiracy to systematically violate the constitutional rights in a matter
that is primafascia offensive to the basic constitutional rights we all
know, miranda, excetra, taking place under the noses under the entire
Chicago press core, Chicago political establishment, excetra.
But you really, that`s really, you`re going to stand up by that?
ACKERMAN: I stand by that. That`s exactly what the story said.
HAYES: How is it possible that that is going on, that attorneys know
enough to talk to you about it and that it`s not in the Chicago Sun Times,
Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune or anywhere.
ACKERMAN: First, I wish you could tell me that. You`ve spent more time in
Chicago than i possibly have.
What I`ve heard from lawyers and activists was that they`ve tried to
interest journalists in looking into Homan Square for years and got no
takers. Why is that?
What`s up with the Chicago media? I have no idea.
What I have seen in the time that I`ve been reporting this and another
story about a former Chicago cop who became a Guantanamo torturer, and had
rather ominous signs ahead of his Guantanamo time of doing that to black
Chicagoians is that it is really, really difficult to get institutional
Chicago interested in thing that happen to poor Chicagoans, brown
Chicagoans, and black Chicagoans.
HAYES: There is a story about a man name John Hubbert who`s taken to Homan
Square who was never walked out. The Tribune reported the 44 year old was
found unresponsive inside an interview room pronounced dead. The medical
could not locate any record for The Guardian indicating a cause of
It remains unclear why Hubbert was ever in police custody.
ACKERMAN: So, the medical examiner, they contacted me after the story ran
and said that he died of, he was found, the cause of death was heroin
How could he have been in custody, if you know people who have gone through
heroin withdrawal, if you know people who have been affected by that, how
could that have happened? How could he not have gotten to a hospital? How
could he not have been revived? How could he have been found dead?
I don`t have the answers to these questions. But they`re sure cause for
further investigation here.
HAYES: Today Rahm Emanuel is on the ballot. One of the things before the
voters is a reparations bill for the victims of John Burge, who was a
Chicago police detective who tortured confessions out of people.
ACKERMAN: Who not just tortured people, he electrocuted them. He hit them
over the head with telephone books. And he did this to black Chicagoins. He
did this to people, the institutions in Chicago do not care about.
Chicago police, whatever they want to say in annidime statements that dodge
the real issues that they only responded to after my story ran, not last
week when I sent them all these detailed questions, have a history here. It
has a context.
HAYES: And we should say Mayor Emanuel may be headed towards a runoff. He
also is standing in the way of that reparations bill for the victims of
John Burge`s torture. That`s well established, no one is contesting that.
It`s a question of whether they get reparations.
Spencer Ackerman, thank you, the article is incredible and well worth the
read. We`ve put a link to it on our Facebook page, Facebook/allinwithchris.
That is ALL IN for this evening. RACHEL MADDOW`S SHOW starts now. Good
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