All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, May 21st, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: May 21, 2015
Guest: Norm Siegel, Baynard Woods, McKay Coppins, Keith Alexander, Marcia
McNutt, David Freedman
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY STATE ATTORNEY: Second degree, depraved
heart, murder, reckless endangerment. Second degree negligent assault.
Second degree intentional assault and gross negligence.
HAYES: Big news from Baltimore as a grand jury returns indictment on
the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.
Then, Jeb Bush defends his position on climate change.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Why do we have to have a
debate where people that may have some doubts about this are considered
Neanderthals? That`s the arrogance.
HAYES: While in California, crews are working to clean up a nine-mile
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cleanup doesn`t occur overnight. It`s a long
HAYES: Then, the latest on a disturbing murder of a wealthy D.C.
family and the hunt for the suspect.
And, on the eve of a truly historic referendum in Ireland comes the
retraction of a groundbreaking study and the power of canvassing to change
minds on same-sex marriage.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening. From New York, I`m Chris Hayes.
Breaking news tonight out of Baltimore, Maryland, where Marilyn Mosby,
Baltimore state attorney, announced grand jury indictments for all six
officers allegedly involved in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Speaking just over a month after Freddie Gray died in Baltimore police
custody, setting off week of unrest, Mosby revealed a grand jury has found
probable cause to bring charges against all six officers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOSBY: These past two weeks, my team has been presenting evidence to
a grand jury that just today returned indictments against all six officers.
These officers who are presumed innocent until proven guilty are now
scheduled to be arraigned on July 2nd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Charges Mosby announced today are different from the ones she
announced last month. Some charges have been added, some dropped
For example, reckless endangerment charges have been added for all six
officers. One of two counts of second degree assault charges were dropped
for three of the officers, leaving them with one charge of second degree
assault each, and false imprisonment charges have been dropped for three
officers. The most serious charge of second degree depraved heart murder
for the driver of the van, however, remains.
Officers are scheduled to be arraigned in less than two weeks.
Joining me now, civil rights attorney Norm Siegel, who has been
working on police issues for decades.
Your reaction to the grand jury returning these indictments against
the backdrop of other cases in which grand juries did not indict.
NORM SIEGEL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, it proves the point that we
have been making all long, that the prosecutor controls. If the prosecutor
wants to get an indictment, there will be an indictment. If they don`t
want an indictment, they won`t get indictment.
So, Ferguson and Staten Island, the commentary on the prosecutor.
It`s also a commentary on the prosecutor in Baltimore. We should not have
secret grand juries because it`s divisive. It taints the process. Have a
public hearing. Let the people see what`s going on and then we`ll have
less divisiveness in America.
HAYES: So, you are saying -- I mean, because we saw Marilyn Mosby on
the steps, she says I`m bringing charges, low and behold the going finds
probable cause. This is not surprising. This is what happens in America`s
criminal courts every day, right? Prosecutor wants to get a charge out of
the grand jury, they get a charge out of the grand jury.
SIEGEL: The famous saying is you can indict a ham sandwich. And what
that means the prosecutor wants the indictment, you will get it. I`m glad
she reminded the public that the police officers like anyone else have
rights. And we should remember their presumption of innocence applies to
these six officers.
So, people, don`t think it`s over -- the grand jury is not in question
of whether there is guilt or innocence. It just means there is enough
evidence to go to trial and the presumption of innocence must continue.
HAYES: And this is going to be a difficult trial. I mean, we had
seen the record for criminal conviction of police officers who commit acts
in the line of duty is, you know, that`s an uphill battle for any
SIEGEL: This --
SIEGEL: And what we have to remember, there is going to be motions
filed. There`s going to be motions to dismiss some of these charges,
including the murder charge, intent to kill, as opposed to manslaughter or
criminal negligent homicide. There with is going to be motions to have her
removed because of conflict of interest.
I don`t think that will succeed. There is going to be a motion to
move it out of Baltimore. I think that will be defeated as well.
But you`re going to see these motions, and then there will be a trial.
So, everyone who is listening across America, don`t pre-judge yet. Wait
for all the facts to come in. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial,
including these six officers and this is coming from a civil rights person.
HAYES: Yes. Well, a defense attorney to his last breath, right?
HAYES: In terms of the way that this shakes out in let`s say a normal
criminal proceeding. Let`s say you had a charge against six people who had
beaten up someone on the street, right? The normal prosecutorial approach
is you get all six, right, you throw the book at him and then you hope you
roll a few of them. I mean, that`s generally what prosecutors do,
particularly if they had a case in which they had six people involved in
say beating a man to death, right?
SIEGEL: Right. But these cases have huge ripple effect, not only in
Baltimore but all across America. And I don`t like when the prosecutors
overcharge. You can make a case here especially with regard to Goodson
Jr., who is the driver. Did he that morning and he even if he was doing,
quote, "a rough drive", did he intend to kill them? Did he show callous
SIEGEL: The question becomes --
HAYES: You are talking about the depraved heart, which is by far the
SIEGEL: Thirty years.
SIEGEL: Now, manslaughter or criminal negligence, if the facts all
come in, I can understand that. But I think there is an overcharge here
and I don`t know why they do that because it then creates this tension and
divisiveness. And just as there was anger in Ferguson and Staten Island,
there are people all across America who think this process is now rigged
against the cops.
HAYES: So, they would think that, regardless?
HAYES: I mean, I would say why do they do this? What is good for the
goose the good for the gander in the sense that prosecutors overcharge all
the time, right? Why should they start overcharging in this particular
SIEGEL: Because two wrongs don`t make a right.
And the point is, we`re trying to create a process that most Americans
will say is fair. That`s why we need a special prosecutor. There`s
questions, if a special prosecutor is doing this as opposed to this
prosecutor, I`d be more comfortable than I am tonight.
HAYES: Interesting. Norm Siegel, thanks for joining me. Appreciate
SIEGEL: Always a pleasure, keep up your good work.
HAYES: All right. On the very same day that Marilyn Mosby announced
grand jury indictments for the six officers allegedly involved in death of
25-year-old Freddie Gray, the city of Baltimore reached a grim milestone,
its 100th homicide this year. That number puts Baltimore homicide over 40
percent higher than this time last year, with much of the violence coming
out of the western district where Freddie Gray died, according to Baltimore
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. He told reporters violence is up in the
district where much of the unrest took place, while cooperation with police
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: When officers pull up
to respond to a call, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any
given point in time. You have many citizens with hand-held cameras that
they`re sticking in the faces of the officers about an inch from the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, there are some numbers which suggest a police slow
down which the commissioner denies, as "Baltimore Sun" reporter Justin
Fenton first reported, Baltimore police made an average of 625 arrests a
week in the seven weeks prior to the unrest. In the past two weeks, they
made an average of just 328.
Joining me now, Baynard Woods. He`s editor at large for the
"Baltimore City Paper".
Baynard, first, I`d like to get your sense of the perception in
Baltimore around the crime that is taking place, the shootings, the
homicide, in the wake of the Freddie Gray unrest, and the sense among some
people in Baltimore that there is a link between the unrest, the disorder
as it were, and the spike in crime.
BAYNARD WOODS, BALTIMORE CITY PAPER: There definitely is a sense of
the police seemed to be unnerved in doing less and less willing to interact
with people, and partly it comes on the interpersonal relationships that
come out of the western district.
When we were over there in the initial times of the unrest, people had
really personal relationships with the officers. When officers were
standing in the line in riot gear, individuals would look at them in the
eyes and say, how does it feel now you can`t say anything and I`m able to
talk? So there is a lot of wrong tension that`s there in the western
district for a long time.
HAYES: Yes. You know, part of this may just be kind of statistical
clustering. We may see the homicide rate slow down.
But one thing that really stuck out to me in Justin Fenton`s arrest
data is knowing the way at least other big police departments operate,
Chicago, New York, ones that I covered, you know, it`s hard to see you are
seeing arrests at 50 percent of what they were in the seven weeks
beforehand. I mean, is it plausible that`s just happenstance?
WOODS: Yes, it seems really astounding to me. Some people are saying
the weather has changed. But I think the weather can`t have anything to do
with this. Yesterday, there was a march that began right where Freddie
Gray in the western district, marched over in the FOP`s office, and there
were 48 police officers that I counted guarding the Fraternal Order of
Police clubhouse and other cars around that.
And so, there they`re certainly out there. Some people have made a
case a lot of overtime was used during the unrest that there were a lot of,
but there were a lot of police out yesterday and they weren`t stopping
crimes. They were guarding the Fraternal Order of Police.
HAYES: What do you think there all means for the city of Baltimore in
terms of the perceptions in there and outside the city in the wake of
Freddie Gray`s death and now the word today about the grand jury returning
WOODS: Well, people seem to be very happy with Marilyn Mosby. Part
of the conflict that people bring up is that her husband, Nick Mosby, is --
does represent city council the western district area, but the lack of
leadership from the mayor is something you keep hearing over and over.
Rapper Young Moose came out with a new song in which he said why is the
mayor always ducking us, so it`s going from the streets all the way up of
Commissioner Batts and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seemed to really not
have a handle on this.
HAYES: All right. Baynard Woods from the "Baltimore City Paper" --
great pleasure. Thanks, a lot.
WOODS: All right. Thank you.
HAYES: All right, still ahead: the very latest on a massive manhunt
on the way right now after a brutal murders of a wealthy family and their
Plus, the nation`s former top counterterrorism on the current debate
And a look at how Jeb Bush is trying to defend his position on climate
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: And I find this a lot in these debates when people say -- well,
everybody knows the science is clear. Well, it`s not so clear and there is
diversities on these things, particularly as it relates to the influence of
man on this subject.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Carly Fiorina, the only woman so far on the presidential race
on the Republican side, may not, according to the criteria announced by FOX
News yesterday, even be on stage for that first debate in August. Some of
her former staff may not feel too sorry for her. Judging by a new report
on what her campaign looked like the last time she was running for office.
Quote, "Twelve of about 30 people who worked on Fiorina`s failed 2010
California Senate campaign, most speaking out for the first time told
`Reuters` they would not work for her again. The reason, for more than
four years, Fiorina who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million,
did not pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records show."
The Fiorina campaign eventually paid the staffers. But apparently,
that did not soften the complaints. Again, according to "Reuters", quote,
"I`d rather go to Iraq than work for Carly Fiorina again", said one high
level former campaign staffer who asked not to be identified citing
disclosure restrictions in his contract.
HAYES: California remains in a state of emergency tonight as crews
work around the clock to clean up after Tuesday`s massive crude oil spill
off the coast of Santa Barbara. Officials say crews have skimmed now 7,700
gallons of oily water off the coast. The roughly 21,000 gallons of oil are
believed to have entered the water, causing a nine-mile-long oil slick
along the coastline.
The spill resulted from a rupture of an underground oil pipeline
Tuesday, which prompted beachgoers to report a strong odor of oil. By the
time officials confirmed the spill and shut down the pipeline, more than
100,000 gallon office oil are estimated to have been released underground,
with about a fifth of that oil seeping into the ocean.
Officials said today a number of dead animals have been recovered and
others are being nursed back to health.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. JENNIFER WILLIAMS, COAST GUARD: Cleanup doesn`t occur
overnight. It`s a long process and I ask for your patience as we continue
our work. We urge the public to stay out of the affected areas that have
been closed for the response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining us now from the scene in Santa Barbara is NBC News
Channel reporter Kirk Hawkins.
And, Kirk, what is the latest there?
KIRK HAWKINS, NBC NEWS CHANNEL: Well, the latest numbers have been
slightly updated from what you mentioned there, Chris. We can tell you
that workers have collected an estimated 8,300 gallons of oil. But as you
also mentioned, that is nowhere near the close to 100,000 gallons of oil
that we have been told have been estimated to have spilled in the ocean
This is an all-out effort around the clock, workers have joined that
because California Governor Jerry Brown issued that state of emergency here
yesterday that has helped tremendously with the effort. We have noticed a
huge effort. Hundreds more workers here combing the shore line, using
boats, using helicopters, as they tried to clean up all of this oil.
But, initially, we were told this was only going to last about three
days. Now it looks like it could take weeks or potentially even months.
HAYES: You know, I am struck by the method by which they appear to be
doing this. This always happens every time there`s an oil spill, is the
method seems remarkably low tech. I mean, you basically got people in
rakes and shovels kind of gathering that gunk and dumping into buckets.
It`s not surprising it`s going to take a while.
HAWKINS: Yes, not surprising at all. I think it sounded as if they
were trying to appeal to a lot of the people they were hoping to spend
their Memorial Day weekend here at this campground and another. They were
both booked solid. So, essentially, they were trying to appease them in
some way. But they`re nowhere close to that goal.
And you can see some environmentalists have criticized them for not
using enough booms. But they say there is no way they could have that many
resources. So, this is going to be a really long drawn out process.
HAYES: And, finally, Kirk, the folks in Santa Barbara, in this
community, did they realize there is an oil pipeline underneath them, or is
this news to them?
HAWKINS: Oh, they very much realize that. Back in the 1960s, in
1969, there was a massive oil spill here, approximately 3 million gallons
of oil spilled out into the ocean. So this was really what some credit as
the birthplace of the environmental movement, the modern environmental
movement. So, a lot of times we have been having news conferences, locals
and environmentalists have been attending them and asking them questions,
pointed questions of not only the state workers here but also company
HAYES: All right. Kirk Hawkins, thanks for that. Really appreciate
On the other side of the country today, presumptive Republican
presidential candidate Jeb Bush was playing defense on climate change for a
second straight day, as he tried to maintain a very precarious balancing
act on the issue. Bush was asked yesterday to comment on President Obama`s
speech at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, where the president
characterized climate science as settled and called climate change an
immediate national security threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: First of all, the climate is changing. I don`t think the
science is clear of what percentage is manmade and which percentage is
natural. I just don`t -- it`s convoluted and for the people to say the
science is decided on this is really arrogant to be honest with you. It`s
this intellectual arrogance that you can`t have a conversation about it
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Jeb Bush used to be the governor of Florida, which is already
feeling the effects of climate change, though officials don`t always like
to talk about it there.
Under the current Republican governor, Rick Scott, state officials
have reportedly been banned from uttering the phrase change climate change
in public, though his administration denied it.
Today, Jeb Bush was pressed on his characterization of people who
accept the scientific consensus on climate change as intellectually
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Why do we have to have a debate where people may have doubts
about this are considered Neanderthals? That`s the arrogance. It`s the
arrogance of saying that people who have a different well thought out view
that somehow aren`t as intelligent or capable. That`s what I think in
order to forge consensus, you can`t have this kind of attitude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, the intelligent capable non-Neanderthalish,
McKay Coppins, political writer for "BuzzFeed News".
MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Yes, it`s true.
OK. Let me get my spiel here and this is why I think this is
fascinating what`s happening here, where you see Jeb Bush on -- let`s pick
two issues -- climate, immigration also, which has been big this week.
You got Democrats, leaning into issues, climate and immigration. They
think these are 55 percent plus issues, 60 percent issues. They`re on the
right side of the wedge.
They`re going to -- Hillary Clinton is going to be aggressive on
immigration. She has hired a DREAMer. She`s going to -- path to
citizenship, executive action.
Climate change, the president is really pushing it. I think he has
the wind at his back.
And I can`t come up with a single domestic issue for the Republicans
where they have the same ground. It used to be Obamacare, faded into the
background. It used to be the deficit, which really was a winning
political issue for them. It has receded politically as a mathematical
fact. Taxes are low in a historic sense.
What is the Republican domestic policy 55, 60 percent wedge issue in
COPPINS: Well, I mean, if you ask Republicans, they`ll go through the
standard ones which are taxes, which you are never going to lose votes by
calling for lower taxes.
HAYES: Everyone loves lower taxes. But it`s -- you can just feel in
the temperature of the country that is not --
COPPINS: And the economy.
So I think this is why you hear Republicans talking a lot about
foreign policy right now. Traditionally, Republicans have used national
security and foreign policy as a wedge to great effect, right? When the
country is nervous or scared about the state of the world, about the
national security, about the security of their families, they tend to turn
to Republicans who are more hawkish. They like the tough talk. They say
we will keep you and your family and the country safe.
That may work. But the Republicans face the problem that Hillary
Clinton has a robust record on foreign policy, much more robust than much
of the Republicans and right now, at least, there with isn`t the kind of.
I mean, you have ISIS. You have all kind of things as always going on
around the Middle East and the world. You don`t have a singular crisis
that is defining the elections.
HAYES: That`s a great answer. That`s I think the correct answer. I
think this some ways if I were a Republican, if I were sitting there, the
thing I would bang on every day the Middle East is on fire, Middle East is
on fire, look at these horrible monsters of ISIS, you know?
But it`s also remarkable that there isn`t a domestic answer to this.
COPPINS: No, right.
HAYES: There really is not a domestic answer. Sure. In a general
sense, Republicans they want, you know, less regulation, or smaller
government, all that stuff they have been saying for decades, right? But
there is nothing.
You know, I have been reading campaign speeches from Richard Nixon
back in 1968 and, man, law and order --
COPPINS: Yes, crime.
HAYES: And he knew that he was pushing and aggressive on it, and
Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats sounded mealy mouth of defense the same
way you hear Republicans on immigration, climate, these other issues.
COPPINS: Even go back to the beginning of George W. Bush`s
presidency. So, 2000, right?
COPPINS: Culture war issues which were Republican wedge issues at
that time there are little ones like school uniforms, remember that? Flag
burning amendment. The English as the national language issue, right?
Those were all issues Republicans used, micro-issues, but used to
great effect signal. None of those issues work for Republicans anymore,
HAYES: That is exactly right. The biggest symbol is marriage
equality, which in 2004 there were ballot initiatives, he was perceived by
Republicans as a wedge issue in their favor, a 55-plus, 60-plus issue in
their favor. It polled that way.
Now, you just hit 60 percent, right? It`s a wedge issue in the other
direction, you saw in the Hillary Clinton video. She understands it, too.
You line up domestic policy issues, you look for the place where
Republicans aren`t on defense. I would be concerned if I were advising a
Republican presidential candidate on that specific.
COPPINS: Yes, I thought it was interesting in Jeb`s answer yesterday
and today when he`s talking about who he is talking to. I mean, part of
the answer on this is like, of course, our economic interests wrapped up to
energy companies that make it hard for Republicans and politicians in
general to push back.
That said, there is also an element of this that`s rooted in the
religious right and conservative base that is generally skeptical of the
scientific community because they see it as hostile to their religious
And so, when Jeb Bush -- we know Jeb Bush knows the scientific
consensus. He`s a smart guy, right? I won`t speak for him. He`s well-
educated. He knows the 97 percent of scientists, where they stand on this
But he has to still talk to that base that is very skeptical of
science and the problem is that whereas 15 years ago even or 10 years ago,
that was ultimately politically advantageous in a general election. That`s
not necessarily the case here.
HAYES: That`s right. You can them. I`ve watched so many Democrats
in so many situations give these kind of tentative mealy mouth. I mean,
perfect example is Hillary Clinton on driving license is back in 2008,
right? That was someone who knew they were caught and they were caught on
the point of a spear of an issue that they wanted to avoid.
You can tell what a Republican is that way and that is what that body
language, those answers to Jeb Bush look like to me. I think it`s going to
make it a fascinating election on domestic policy front. Of course, the
economy could totally tank and all that as well. You never know.
HAYES: All right. McKay Coppins, thanks so much.
COPPINS: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, as Jeb Bush seeks to differentiate himself from
his brother on Iraq, I`ll ask the former chief counterterrorism adviser
Richard Clarke about the ongoing defense of the 2003 invasion.
HAYES: Authorities have released the name of a suspect in the
horrific quadruple murder of a couple and their ten-year-old son and their
housekeeper. Police identified 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint as a possible
suspect based on DNA found on a pizza delivered to the family`s home.
Authorities believe Wint, who they considered armed and dangerous, may
now be in Brooklyn, New York. U.S. Marshals and the NYPD are still
tracking leads. But authorities believe Wint took a bus to New York area
and stayed with his girlfriend at her Brooklyn apartment last night but
left in the early morning hours.
Wint`s girlfriend is not a suspect.
Following an apparent home invasion on May 13th of the Savopoulos
family had been bound and threatened overnight, according to authorities.
The next day, hours after $40,000 in cash was delivered to the home, Savas
Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and housekeeper Vera
Figeroa (ph) were killed.
At least three of the victims were beaten and stabbed before the house
was set on fire according to police. Police now say the suspect is a
former employee of Savopoulos company American Ironworks.
Joining me now Washington Post, TIME and court reporter Keith
Alexander. Keith, the details here are just absolutely horrific.
Do the police have a kind of working theory of what happened? What
the motive could possibly be for this?
KEITH ALEXANDER, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Chris the motive from what I`m
hearing from my sources was simply, robbery, money. What we found is that
said earlier, Chris, was that the family was able to get $40,000 in cash
delivered from the business, from their company and put on the front porch
or front steps of the house on that Thursday morning.
My sources also tell me that in addition to that $40,000 that they
also tried to get money wired from the victim`s bank account, but that
So they were trying to get more than the $40,000.
HAYES: So we have a scenario in which it appears some kind of
assailant comes, essentially takes the family hostage, extracts ransom from
them, has them deliver cash. We also have I think a call to one of the
housekeepers who was
told to stay away, is that correct?
ALEXANDER: That is correct.
That call came on Wednesday to tell the housekeeper not to come in
because there was something going on and she was not needed.
What is also very interesting, Chris, that police in a standstill for
almost a week until Tuesday afternoon when they got that DNA hit off of a
piece of crust from a Domino`s pizza that was delivered to the house
Apparently, the suspect, using gloves ate pizza but did not eat the
crust and his DNA from his saliva was found on the pizza crust.
HAYES: Yeah, that is a pretty remarkable detail.
And how did they have -- obviously, there is not a universal account
of DNA, right, for all people? You don`t just run -- I mean, someone had
to have taken a DNA sample of this person before, right?
ALEXANDER: The suspect has several charges in Maryland, in an area
called Prince George`s County which is about a half hour, about 20 minutes
away from where the victim`s family live. Assault charges. He even had a
restraining order taken out against him by his own father. He is
considered armed and dangerous as you said earlier. He even threatened and
attacked a young lady back in 2009.
So, yes, he has multiple charges, several of them actually quite
HAYES: All right, Keith Alexander, thank you for that update.
Up next, as the Obama administration defends its policy in Iraq
following the recent capture of Ramadi by ISIS, I am joined by former chief
counterterrorism adviser of the National Security Council Richard Clarke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD CLARKE, FRM. COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER: All of this stuff that
seeing today, the rise of ISIS, the disintegration of the state in Iraq,
the disintegration in state in Syria I think is arguably directly connected
to our invasion. We destroyed the state. This is what happens when you
destroy a state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The White House admitted today that ISIS`s capture of two
major cities this week, Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, are a major
setback in the
international effort to degrade and destroy the extremist group.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would acknowledge that
we have seen a setback in Ramadi. I think you could accurately
characterize the situation in Palmyra as a setback. We have experienced an
important progress and experience some important setbacks as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This crossroads in U.S. strategy on ISIS comes in a broader
reexamination of the entire Iraq war and its trajectory prompted by Jeb
Bush`s inability to state whether the war was a mistake.
His eventual admission that it was seemed to signify a new kind of
Republican consensus on the issue until Weekly Standard editor William
Kristol, that broken clock who somehow manages never to be right published
this op-ed in USA Today arguing, quote, even with the absence of caches of
weapons of mass destruction, and the mistakes we made in failing to send
enough troops at first to provide security from the beginning for the Iraqi
people, we were right to persevere through several difficult years, we were
able to bring the war to a reasonably successful conclusion in 2008.
I sat down today with Richard Clarke, a former White House
counterterrorism adviser and author of the new novel Pinnacle Event. I
asked for his response to Kristol`s op-ed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARKE: We opened Pandora`s Box when we went into Iraq. And some
people said that beforehand, not many. And all of this stuff that we are
seeing today: the rise of ISIS, the disintegration of the state in Iraq,
the disintegration of the state in Syria, I think is arguably directly
connected to our invasion. We destroyed the state.
This is what happens when you destroy a state. You have chaos. You
have the rise of factions, regional and ethnic factions. And I think we
can look at that decision and say that`s the reason that hundreds of
thousands, probably a couple of million if you add it all up, people have
HAYES: You were speaking earlier about the way we are currently
fighting ISIS. And I thought you made a really good point, basically, you
have to decide whether this is something we actually want to do or not in a
sort of deep democratic sense. Like, are we going to commit to doing this
CLARKE: Right. Because we are kind of doing it half-assed. And I
understand why. The president and a lot of the American people who elected
him don`t want to go into Iraq. They elected him to get out of Iraq, after
all. And they were reluctant to go any further than we have.
But now we have 3,000 troops there as advisers, as trainers, and we
could probably do what we need to do with that number or only slightly
more. But there are political decisions to be made.
And I think the American people and the congress ought to be a part of
that. And the congress has been asked by the president months ago now to
make a decision to vote on the use of force against ISIS. And they`ve
reused to do it. It`s incredible.
When the congress is not asked as frequently been the case with a lot
of presidents, they bitch and moan they weren`t asked. Now we have a
says, okay, I used to be in the senate foreign relations committee. I know
IK should ask for this. I`ve asked for this. Nothing.
HAYES: OK. But I want to press you on this point, because I see a
lot of the commentary on the U.S. current military activities against ISIS
seem to go along the current line. We`re not serious about this. We`re
not putting in all that we could. And if we could, we could defeat them.
And my question always is, of course, can U.S. military defeat ISIS?
Of course. Can it defeat the Taliban? Yes. Did it defeat Saddam`s army?
Yes. Then what? You are still left with the same then what question.
CLARKE: First of all, it`s not clear that the American military
defeated any of those people.
HAYES: Well -- that`s right. That`s the point.
CLARKE: And I`m not talking about the American military defeating
them. What I`d like to see is us equipping the Kurds, us equipping the
Sunnis, who are anti-ISIS, and giving air cover, a lot more than we`re
doing, to all of those people and even to the Iranian supported militias,
which the administration is
You look at the number of air sorties that we`re doing. They`re very
low. And the reason for that is we don`t have forward air controllers.
So where we don`t want collateral damage, so we`re not bringing in
HAYES: So, just to be clear here, you are saying there is a place
between the kind of the full Lindsey Graham which is like troops on the
ground, actual reinvasion of Iraq and what we are doing now, that there is
room to intensify what
the U.S. is doing now with basically the people that are are?
CLARKE: With the assets that are there. I think Central Command,
which is our military command that runs that part of the world, has
actually probably asked for permission to put advisers forward and been
denied. That`s what I`m hearing.
HAYES: We helped covertly fund and support the mujahideen in
CLARKE: That`s right.
HAYES: They were the -- some of whom became the (inaudible) and some
of whom became the Taliban and al Qaeda.
CLAREK: I remember a day when they were sitting in my office.
HAYES: Yes, exactly, right. I mean, if you look at this in the long
-- then we had the war in Iraq which has produced the chaos that created
first al Qaeda in Iraq and then ISIS. You know, it`s hard to think that
these decision -- it feels almost like we keep creating our own enemies.
CLARKE: We do. There`s no doubt about it.
HAYES: And then we fight them. And then -- like how do you break
CLARKE: Well, I don`t know. And that`s a good question. I don`t
know the answer. But I do know this, we`ve got one now. Whether you call
it ISIS or DAESH
as the Arabs call it, it`s a large capable force. It`s probably got 25,000
fighters. It controls cities like Mosul with a million people. It
controls a large swath of land, more land that dozens of countries have,
more people than dozens of countries have. And it is going to be a
terrorist nation sanctuary. It already is where people from around the
world go to get trained, get combat experience and then go back home. And
I think that`s a threat to the United States.
HAYES: I can never be convinced by anyone that whatever actions we
take militarily aren`t going to produce the next incarnation of the next
CLARKE: It could well be. It could well be.
But for now we know that we have got this threat and I think we need
to do something about it. And it doesn`t mean -- Lindsey Graham`s crazy,
who am I suggesting and the other people are crazy about suggesting we
send thousands of
troops, full divisions again. No, no one wants to do that. We tried that.
That did not work
The smart approach here is intelligence-based driven using special
forces, using air power and arming the people out there with who are on the
other side. And we haven`t done that.
HAYES: That was my interview with former White House counterterrorism
adviser Richard Clarke.
Still ahead, as Ireland becomes the first country to hold a nationwide
referendum on same-sex marriage, a widely cited study on how best to change
people`s minds on the subject looks like it might have been entirely
fabricated. We`ll tell you that story next.
HAYES: Protesters gathered outside McDonald`s corporate headquarters
for a second straight day today. Around a thousand people marched outside
the fast food giant`s annual shareholders meeting today, including fast
food workers from around the country, part of the movement that has been
striking and picketing for years now. They are demanding $15 an hour and
the right to form a union.
Organizers say they gathered 1.4 million signatures on a petition
calling for those changes. Police say about ten people were allowed onto
the company property to deliver those signatures. No sign yet on how they
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN FARREL, ACTOR: I found out my brother was gay when I was nine
years of age and I never found it to be anything other than just the way he
was. I never thought of it in terms of any unnaturalness or any such thing
and I seen my brother go through a lot. I`ve seen him be at the tail end
of the whip of intolerance many
He went to Vancouver and they got married and they`ve been happily
married I don`t know how many years now. To think that they had to leave
their own country to do that is sad and disappointing and just grossly
unfair, I feel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Actor Colin Ferrell was talking about his home country of
Ireland, which tomorrow will become the first country in the history of the
world to hold a
national referendum on marriage equality. A yes vote will amend the
country`s constitution to say, quote, marriage may be contracted in
accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.
And one of the ways the yes equality campaign has reportedly sought to
win support for marriage equality has been to use one of the biggest
political science studies of the last year as a template.
That study, which was published in the Journal Science was called
"When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for
It appeared to prove that canvassers going door to door could persuade
people in a matter of minutes to change their mind on same sex marriage.
And it worked especially on the canvassers themselves were able to make a
personal connection. For example, if they were gay. Some of the biggest
media organizations in this country covered this study -- The New York
Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times,
The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, This American Life even devoted part of an
excellent episode to it called the incredible rarity of changing your mind.
Well, it turns out the results of that study were too good to be true.
When we come back, we`ll look at what exactly went wrong and discuss an
important question: just how many other studies you hear about in the news
are a complete bunk?
HAYES: Joining me now David Freedman, contributing editor at The
Atlantic and author of "Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us and How to Know
When Not to Trust Them." Good title. And Dr. Marcia McNuttt, editor-in-
chief of the journal Science.
Dr. McNutt, let me start with you since, you are editor-in-chief of
the journal that published this. Can you walk me through what happened
MARCIA MCNUTT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SCIENCE: Yes. I certainly can,
Chris. After we published this paper to much attention, naturally other
researchers tried to reproduce this finding. They were particularly
interested in the very high response rate of the survey participants,
because what happened here was that the researchers got nearly a thousand
households to respond to their surveys after three months, after six month,
after nine months and they got multiple members of the households to
respond to the survey, which was really quite
remarkable in a survey designed to get that kind of return rate and they
couldn`t do it.
They couldn`t get the response rate. So they went back to the authors
and they said, how did you do it?
So the second author asked the first author, could you please get me
the raw files so I can see this data for myself and the first author was
unable to produce the data at least so far.
HAYES: And that other author, Donald Green who is a giant in the
field of political scientists, in fact, I`ve read his book "Get Out the
Vote." He has done path breaking work on the effectiveness of voter
contact. "Get Out the Vote" is a bible I`ve got to say in political
campaigns, anyone who is watching this, who has worked on campaigns knows
that. He is the one who retracted, the other co-author, we have not gotten
an explanation from.
David, let me ask you, is this an example of science as the fantastic
self correcting machine that science tells us it is or is this sort of a
scary example of getting one over on one of the most prestigious journals
DAVID FREEDMAN, EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I wouldn`t quite put it
that way. I mean, Science is a wonderful journal. I think the rate of
fraud, outright fraud which this appears to be, we`re not sure yet, is
very, very low.
However, I really want to disagree one thing Dr. McNutt said which she
referred to naturally when people tried to replicate it a distinct minority
of studies are ever replicated. We don`t know how many studies may
actually be fraudulent or grossly wrong in some way, and even up to and
because nobody tries to replicate them. They just stand on the record as
So a lot of studies are really wrong. And we just don`t even know
HAYES: And Dr. McNutt, there seems to be an issue, a broader issue --
what David is pointing to here, which is the fact that the incentives of
science and the incentives of folks like us who cover, who do news, right,
are in some ways exactly opposite, right? Science wants to get predictable
reliable consensus in which everyone can keep regenerating the same
results. And what we want in the news is we want man bites dog. We want
some outlier. We want some results that blows your mind.
That`s why this study got so much attention, because the results were
so beautifully crystal clear. It`s the kind of thing that you can easily
communicate. But most good science doesn`t necessarily do that, right?
MCNUTT: I agree. And actually what is the incentive in science is to
prove someone else wrong. You never get any fame or fortune in science by
showing that you have proven that someone else was right. You only get
advancement by showing that someone else was wrong. So if someone else`s
results look too good to be
true, you will, indeed, try to reproduce their results if only to show that
they were wrong because that`s how you can advance your own career. And I
think that`s, indeed, what happened in this case.
HAYES: So David, can you walk me through a little bit of some service
journalism for people watching at home. Because I think one of the things
ends up happening in the way study results are reported is big splashy
reports get reported and we get short of a whiplash.
Here`s a good example. This is coffee. Right. Studies on coffee.
Same week, August 2013, Mayo Clinic issued a study saying drinking large
amounts of coffee significantly increase your mortality, bad news for
people like me that drink about 90 cups a day, while Duke and U.S. graduate
medical school found four cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of non-
alcoholic fatty liver disease.
And you get this kind of thing particularly in the nutrition space all
the time, kind of dueling headlines of results. What do you -- how do we
make sense of that?
FREEDMAN: And it`s very difficult. Scientists are very, very good at
looking at the big picture. I think science works. I think it works
beautifully. And the way it works, scientists are trained to look at a
vast number of studies. And scientists tend to be very, very skeptical of
The problem is when you get to science journalism and what people read
in the New York Times and The Washington Post and he Wall Street Journal,
yes, MSNbC, because then the emphasis tends to go on a single study, the
latest, greatest study, as was the case here.
And this was an incredible mediagenic study, plus it was a randomized
control trial. So, oh my god it must be a great study, how could it be
wrong? Plus it told us something we wanted to hear.
And that is all the ingredients for a study that really pulls us in as
suckers and then what do you know? Like about two-thirds of studies in top
journals, the results don`t hold up over time.
HAYES: Yes, Dr. McNutt, can you sort of give a sense of what context
-- I mean, how much -- how big is the grain of salt we should take an
individual study with?
MCNUTT: Well, I agree that any individual study needs to be taken
with a grain of salt and let me put it this way, science is ultimately
built on a solid foundation.
We know that science over time advances because it`s brick by brick
and with mortar, we know that we build upon the results of others and that
science goes forward. But it`s three steps forward, one step back. Four
steps forward, one step back. Any individual study can get undone, but
because of that self correcting process in science, it is still a process
that takes us to discovery of the laws of nature.
HAYES: All right. Dave Freedman, Dr. Marcia McNutt, thank you both
for joining us. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show
starts now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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