August 1, 2013
Guests: Susan Filan, Steve McMahon, Susan Jacoby, Betsy Gleick, Simon
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Monster.
Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
And "Let Me Start" with this. It`s a ghastly story, more ghastly than most
can imagine, three women kept captive in the dark for over a decade, again
and again raped, then chained to walls. They escaped this May after one of
the captive women broke through a storm door on that street and flagged
down a neighbor.
Well, today the monster who did this, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life
in prison plus 1,000 years. He had pled guilty to 937 counts of rape,
kidnapping and murder. He will never be a free man.
But the staggering moment came today when one of the three victims,
Michelle Knight, spoke about the horror of that basement, the horror of the
monster who kept her there and used her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE KNIGHT, FORMER CAPTIVE: (INAUDIBLE) I wondered if I was ever
going to see him again. He was only 2-and-a-half years old. (INAUDIBLE) I
cried every night. I was so alone. I worried about what was happening to
me and the other girls every day.
Days never got shorter. Days turned into nights. Nights turned into days.
Years turned into eternity. I knew nobody cared about me. He told me that
my family didn`t care (INAUDIBLE) even on holidays. Christmas was the most
traumatic day because I never got to spend it with my son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that was Michelle Knight. He captor, who sat in chains
throughout the proceeding, took issue, believe it or not, with the
prosecutor`s characterization of him. Let`s watch him in action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIEL CASTRO, CAPTOR: I am not -- (INAUDIBLE) trying to make me look a
monster. I`m not a monster. I`m a normal person. And I am just sick. I
have an addiction, just like an alcoholic has an addiction. Alcoholics
cannot control their addiction. That`s why I couldn`t control my
addiction, your honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Clint Van Zandt`s an NBC analyst and former FBI profiler, and
Susan Filan was a prosecutor. Thank you both for coming.
I once read -- I`m sort of a World War II buff, like a lot of us. And I
once read that Hitler even thought he was a good guy. What is it about the
criminal mind that`s able to delude him or herself -- usually him -- into
believing they weren`t doing the obvious? Clint?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI PROFILER, NBC ANALYST: Well, this guy, Chris, I
mean, you used the right term, monster. I mean, if you look in Wikipedia
tomorrow, there should be a picture of this -- of Castro right next to the
term "monster." This is a sociopath, a psychopath, an antisocial
personality, depending on your perspective.
But this is something (sic) who has been able to deluded himself into
believing, telling the court, telling at least if not -- one of his
victims, as well as the world, that there was consensual sex in this, that
there was no torture, that he wasn`t brutal to these people.
This is a guy who jumped up and down, allegedly, on the stomach of one of
his victims to force her to abort a child she was carrying.
He`s not a monster? Chris, if he`s not a monster, there are no monsters.
MATTHEWS: Susan, I haven`t seen you in a while. What do you make of this
case? I know it has a -- it has such a menacing quality, it`s hard to take
your eyes of what happened today. It was on all the networks all day long.
SUSAN FILAN, FMR. PROSECUTOR: The young woman is absolutely extraordinary,
and she is a heroine. And for her to face her abuser in that courtroom so
articulately and so expressively -- and she even had compassion. She ended
her remarks with, I love you all, with gratitude, and talked about
forgiveness. But she didn`t say that she would forget.
I think she`s really the headline of the story. She`s extraordinary,
MATTHEWS: Well, let`s take -- watch it and listen to the words she spoke
to that -- Michelle Knight -- here she is again, addressing Mr. Castro
directly in the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FILAN: Ariel Castro, I remember all the times that you came home talking
about what everybody else did wrong and acted like you wasn`t doing the
same thing. You said, At least I didn`t kill you. But you took 11 years
of my life away. And I have got it back. I spent 11 years in hell. Now
your hell is just beginning.
What does God think of your hypocritically going to church every Sunday,
coming home to torture us? The death penalty would be so much easier. You
don`t deserve that. You deserve to spend life in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So all this is in her memory, Susan, all the memory of those
Sunday mornings, where she talked about days leading to months leading to
years leading to eternity, the sense of timelessness, that she was never
going to get out of there. And all the time watching this hypocritical
captor of hers, this dungeon keeper, going to church every week for
appearances and being aware of that, that this guy is getting away with it.
FILAN: Yes, I mean, it`s really a truly remarkable tale of courage that
she stood in that courtroom -- most victims can`t be in the same room, let
alone in public or in a courtroom with their accuser. (sic) And they`ll
have a victim advocate read the statement. She was able to go and speak
and make everybody who listened to her feel what it must have felt like to
be her and to feel her triumph at her freedom now..
She ended her remarks with, Someone is listening to me now. I`m being
heard and I`m liberated. It`s remarkable, Chris. This is an unusual tale
not only for the disgusting horrors of the crime, but for the triumph of
the victim who is now free.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Well said. Well, remarkably, Mr. Castro tried to paint a
portrait of a, quote, "normal home life" there. He denied any violence,
and even when he apologized to the women, he seemed to deny what happened
was all that bad. Let`s watch him again, the monster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: I would come home and just be normal, like a normal family. These
accusations that I would come home and beat her, beat them -- those are
totally wrong, your honor, because I -- like I said before, I am not a
violent person. I know what I did is wrong, but I`m not a violent person.
I simply kept them there without them being able to leave.
I am truly sorry to the DeJesus family, Michelle, Amanda. You guys know
all the harmony that went on in that home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: There he`s looking right at her. Anyway, Castro also shockingly
called the sex with the women consensual and said there were times they
asked for it. Those are, grossly, his words, I must say. Let`s watch him
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: Most of the sex that went on in the house (INAUDIBLE) all of it
was consensual. This -- this -- these allegations about being forced upon
them -- that is totally wrong because there was times that they would even
ask me for sex. Many times. And I learned that these girls were not
virgins (INAUDIBLE) They had multiple partners before me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Let me -- let me go to an expert and a good friend of mine,
Clinton Van Zandt. Clint, you know, I`m not into this -- sometimes
liberals do this. Conservatives used to do it. Certainly liberals do--
We`re all guilty. Well, I don`t think we`re all guilty. I think this
guy`s guilty. It`s real simple.
But my question is, given the way we look at these things, when you look at
the row of houses there -- I hope we can show it again -- they`re not row
houses, but they`re -- they`re semi -- they`re detached, but they`re really
all close-knit homes along a street there. And we`re talking about almost
a decade here in which these women, and then -- the two and then the
daughter, of course, who came of this raping...
VAN ZANDT: Yes.
MATTHEWS: There we are right there (INAUDIBLE) These are close together
house. If you go to the Safeway, you go out to shop at the corner, you go
to church, anything you do, people are watching. And you don`t -- if you
yell at night or you turn the TV up too loud, somebody tells you to turn it
down. We all know that.
How could this have happened in a closely-knit set of houses like that and
nobody know about it but the guy?
VAN ZANDT: Well, as we know, Chris, this is a guy who was feeding the
women fast food. He would come in and maybe give them one meal a day.
He`d go out to a fast food burger joint, get them, come in.
Chris, as you know, too, he kept these women chained by their legs in
various bedrooms in the basement, upstairs in the house. I mean, he
treated them worse than dogs.
But everything he did was designed for a purpose. Just like when he beat
his common-law wife time and again and again because she wouldn`t listen to
him, she wouldn`t shut up, was his term. He justified it. And in his own
way, he justified all the actions he took.
But I think what`s important and what`s a statement about society today,
for 10 years, he came and went out of that house. He carried food in. He
had to carry clothes, packages, other things like this.
I mean, that`s why when this case first broke, initially, law enforcement
thought there`s got to be somebody else involved. There must be his
brother. For this guy to be able singularly to pull this off for 10 years
and all of the neighbors are "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,"
that`s a tough comment.
That hearkens back to the days in New York and that famous murder that took
place over a half an hour...
MATTHEWS: Yes, Kitty Genovese.
VAN ZANDT: ... when that woman was killed. People heard her -- yes,
people heard her...
MATTHEWS: Kitty Genovese.
VAN ZANDT: ... being murdered, and allegedly closed the windows of their
house not to hear the scream. You know, we`ve got to be able to hear the
cries of our neighbors.
MATTHEWS: Well said. Let me go to Susan on this. You know, I`m only an
expert on -- and again, in deference to you and others, I`m not an
attorney. But I hear that people that go to prison who`ve got child
molesting issues and crimes on their record, that they don`t do too well.
How is this guy going to go into prison for life and 1,000 years with this
record of what he`s done to women, what he`s done to this child? He`s not
going to do well, is he.
FILAN: He`s going to have a rough time in prison. There`s no doubt about
it. I mean, corrections has changed remarkably over the years and it`s
gotten -- corrections has gotten a lot better. But it`s going to be
difficult to keep the other inmates away from him, who are going to view
him as one of the worst of the worst predators. There`s a hierarchy,
there`s a pecking order in prison and there`s -- you know, amongst the bad
guys, there`s the good guys. And he`s...
MATTHEWS: I understand.
FILAN: ... clearly going to be at the bottom.
MATTHEWS: That`s what I`m talking about. How do -- how do the corrections
people who are professionals protect his guy? Do they put him in solitary
FILAN: Yes, you really can`t. I mean, you can -- you can put him in
solitary, but eventually, he`s got to come out for some exercise. I mean,
you can`t lock him down 24/7. He is going to have interaction with other
people. And it could even be a correctional officer that just can`t stand
it, can`t take it.
MATTHEWS: Well, wait a minute. Do they put him in with the check kiters
and the white collar people that are more harmless, or where do they put
Let me ask Clint this question. Where do you put these guys who you know
are definitely vulnerable to their other -- to their new companions, who
just hate what they did?
VAN ZANDT: You know, the terrible thing is there`s a lot of guys we can
start to compare him with. Jeffrey Dahmer, of course...
VAN ZANDT: ... Jeffrey Dahmer, the cannibal, who killed victims and
allegedly ate them -- he was murdered in prison.
But the arrogance on this guy`s part, if no other reason, they`re going to
have to put him by himself. Think, for example, Chris, Dennis Rader, the
BTK serial killer, how he stood before the court and lectured everybody
about serial killers.
This guy, who pled to over 950 counts, still stands there and argues with
the judge over, as you suggest, whether the sex was consensual or not, or
whether he had actually terrorized these women or not, after he pled guilty
to these various crimes, to save himself from the death penalty. Well,
he`s got a life sentence, no chance of parole.
But Chris, these three young women have got a similar life sentence. They
have to deal with this thought. They have to deal with the post-traumatic
stress. And these are the -- these are the stories that come into your
mind at night again. When you hear a sound, when you pick up a smell, the
PTSD kicks in. So these women, who`ve only been out for three months after
being held in this terrible situation for 10 years, they`ve got a long road
to come back on.
MATTHEWS: You know, that`s so true. When she talked about missing
Christmas with her kids, and just today, I was thinking about -- I try to
write occasionally serious writing, and I keep thinking of the smell of my
mother`s cookies and how it comes back into my head about what Christmas
And here`s this woman who was separated from her child for all those years,
thinking as an adult about what she`s missing in the dark as she`s being
raped. Amazing horror here.
Thank you so much. Susan, it`s good to have you back, Susan Filan...
FILAN: Good to see you.
MATTHEWS: ... attorney, and Clint Van Zandt. Unfortunately, we only meet
on these circumstances, Clint.
Anyway, coming up: Cruz control. The Ted Cruz wing of the Republican Party
fires more shots at the Republican establishment, if you will. How do they
think Mitch McConnell likes being called a chicken?
Well, next, one of biggest questions about Anthony Weiner`s new sexting
scandal is about his wife, Huma Abedin, and her role in this political --
and also about those people that -- that he`s been dealing with on this sex
aspect of his life.
Anyway, and the Russia -- the government of Russia, Putin, has granted NSA
leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum. A full year he can stay there now.
That means Snowden, who criticized our country`s secret surveillance
program now gets to live under a government that`s not much -- not so much
big on freedom.
Finally, the speech Queen Elizabeth never wanted to write, never wanted to
give, and we never wanted to hear. It`s about nuclear war and what could
have been said to us.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, here`s some news. We may have a race on our hands out in
Kentucky. Let`s check the HARDBALL "Scoreboard."
According to a new PPP poll, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes leads Senate
majority leader Mitch McConnell by a point. It`s Grimes 45, McConnell 44.
One thing to note about this. We always do this. It was commissioned by
the Progressive Change Committee -- Campaign Committee, a Democratic group.
And we`ll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Surge on the right or a coup? Ted Cruz and his Tea Party allies
have hijacked much of the Republican agenda now. You see the evidence in
big issues, with the parties facing major divisions -- immigration, the
budget, the debt ceiling. Those divisions have Cruz`s fingerprints all
And that includes the fight over defunding "Obama care." Cruz, along with
Senators Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and others, are all urging their Senate
colleagues to sign a pledge vowing to vote no on any spending bill that
funds even a penny of the president`s health care law. Well, the threat of
a government shutdown is the ultimate bargaining chip.
A vocal (ph) coalition of conservative groups, including the Tea Party
Patriots, Heritage Action and Citizens United, took to Capitol Hill today
as part of that fight against the president`s health care law. Their
argument to Republicans -- "You fund it, you own it."
Well, like flies to honey, Cruz and Tea Party Republicans were there to
greet them, of course. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There is no battle more important than this
opportunity right now to finally defund "Obama care." "Obama care" is the
biggest job killer in this country. It is hurting the economy.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: It hangs over our economy like a cloud of
uncertainty, and people don`t know what tomorrow is going to bring.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: We`re standing for the people, and I hope
the president understands that, and eventually, if we stand strongly
enough, comes around and starts standing for his people instead of his
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: That`s, of course, Louie Gohmert, the famous or infamous --
notorious, I must say -- birther who believes the president of the United
States is really from East Africa somewhere. He really does. He says it
all the time.
Anyway, party leaders like Ted Cruz are lurching the party to the far right
right now. You can see it. The question is, are they really going out
there to take over the party and shut down the government or are they just
trying to make a point? Big question -- right-wing surge, attempted coup
Michael Steele is an MSNBC political analyst and former RNC chair and
Steve McMahon`s a Democratic strategist.
OK, you`re the inside guy. What are they up to? Let me -- I`ve been
trying to frame this with the producers here because I`m not sure what the
answer is. Would Ted Cruz be all that upset if not only the government
shut down over the issue of "Obama care," but we ended up defaulting on the
debt for a couple of days? Would he be upset with that a lot, or would he
say, Well, that`s the price of doing business with an establishment you got
MICHAEL STEELE, FMR. RNC CHAIR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think
it`s hard to say exactly where the thinking on this is going right now. I
think that that mindset would be consistent with what the Tea Party members
of the caucus came into Washington to do.
STEELE: It would be to create the revolution inside the Capitol building
itself, in the chamber itself that says, This far and no further. The
problem, though, is the blowout (ph), the ramifications. I`m all for, you
know, defunding "Obama care." I think it`s a monstrosity...
MATTHEWS: Even though it`s the law of the land.
STEELE: Even though it`s the law of the land. But this is the point.
This is the point, Chris...
MATTHEWS: What else do you want to defund?
STEELE: What do you want to replace it with -- well, you know, Republicans
wanted to defund the Department of Education. And this is the biggest
point. It hasn`t happened.
So that`s the reality. You`ve got to deal with the reality. You may want
to defund a lot of things, but you`ve got to deal with the reality of doing
it and actually what happens when you do it, if you do it. And that`s the
piece that`s still missing here. What -- what are you going to replace
"Obama care" with? How are you going to lay out to the American people
MATTHEWS: Well, so you don`t believe...
MATTHEWS: ... destroying "Obama care" represents an economic program.
STEELE: Pardon me?
MATTHEWS: It doesn`t represent a positive program.
STEELE: No, it doesn`t. It`s not a positive program.
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Michael just talked about what the
mind-set is. And I think that presumes that there`s a mind at work here.
These guys don`t care what happens to the government. They don`t care if
we default on our debt. They don`t care if Wall Street collapses. But
what will happen...
MATTHEWS: Why don`t they care?
MCMAHON: Because it`s a matter of principle.
MATTHEWS: What`s their motive? What`s their motive?
MCMAHON: Well, for those guys, most of them, the motive is, I want to have
a constituency that will enable me to run for president in a Republican
Party that is increasingly on the right.
MATTHEWS: I think they`re true ideologues myself.
MCMAHON: Well, they`re true ideologues, but they also want to run for
MATTHEWS: All three of those guys do.
STEELE: But you`re creating something now that you will inherit as
president that will be far worse.
MATTHEWS: OK. Here`s why I think they`re so confident in what they`re
Here`s a new poll, Pew Research, not a right-wing organization, probably
more liberal, if anything, Pew asked Republicans if they thought their GOP
leaders should move more to the right, be more conservative, or became more
moderate. A majority -- there it is -- 54 percent said go to the right.
So can you really overestimate the urge of the Republican rank-and-file,
which you have represented, to just jack it over to the right a bit? Just
try that thing? A little more crazy.
STEELE: I don`t overestimate it, but I don`t know what that means. How do
you define being more conservative?
MATTHEWS: Shut down the government for a couple weeks.
MCMAHON: That`s not the question that they asked.
STEELE: But that`s not conservative. That`s not being more conservative
to shut down the government.
Look, we did that during the Clinton years. Were they less conservative
when they did that?
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me tell you the win-win.
Here`s where I see the win-win. I don`t think it`s irrational. You tell
me. If they shut down the government, if they default on the debt, in
other words, we`re not paying our bills, we`re not paying interest on our
T-bonds or anything, we`re a joke, laughingstock, Chinese give up on
lending us money, they start pulling it back, they can say, not only do
they win the political argument, they humiliate Obama, they made his
government look weak, the administration look weak. They have screwed up
the economic recovery. Then they have a win-win.
MATTHEWS: But why don`t you think they`re rational?
MCMAHON: I actually don`t think it`s a win for them to screw up the
STEELE: No, it`s not. I agree with you.
MCMAHON: There was another poll that came out today that had congressional
approval rating at 7 percent. And that`s Americans reacting to what these
guys are doing. Nobody wants to shut down the government. That wasn`t the
question that was asked.
MATTHEWS: Why are the Republicans say get to be more conservative?
MCMAHON: Well, they think the government is too big, and they would like
to see it be smaller, but what does conservative mean? Does it mean shut
down the government? Does it mean default on the debt? Does it mean take
everyone`s 401(k) down through the floor? Does it mean have Wall Street
MATTHEWS: You`re being rational.
MCMAHON: But you know what? At the end of the day...
STEELE: But that`s where you have to be at the end of the day.
MATTHEWS: I look at Ted Cruz, and I don`t know the guy. He is a young
guy, he`s new, he`s obviously extremely well-educated.
And I see -- I don`t want to use demagogue, because that`s really negative.
I see a guy who wants to shake things up so much, he`s not even sure how
much he wants to shake it up, and see which way the piece is laying, and he
picks up the pieces.
STEELE: That`s the sentiment of his colleagues as well. That`s sort of
the back story to a lot of this noise that you see going on...
MATTHEWS: He said -- Ted Cruz won`t vote for any spending bill -- that
means any continuing resolution that keeps the government going after
September 30 -- that pays for Obamacare, which means the government
shutdown will come.
But Cruz is now accusing the president of threatening to shut down the
government by himself because the president wants to implement the law of
Obamacare. This is how he screwed it around. This is Cruz. Here he is,
Senator Cruz from Texas, voicing his argument earlier this week. In other
words, it`s not he who is bringing the government down, it`s the president
for trying to have his program which was enacted into law, passed by
Congress, and signed by him become a reality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The next step will be that President Obama and
Harry Reid will scream and yell, why are those mean and nasty Republicans
threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare?
And at that point, we have actually got to stand up and fight. We have got
to stand up and make the argument and win the argument that, no, that`s not
true. We voted to fund the federal government. We want to fund the
federal government. Why is President Obama threatening to shut down the
federal government because he wants to force Obamacare down people`s
throats, because he`s not willing to give individual families the same
waiver he`s given giant corporations?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Remember Pat Buchanan, my friend, our colleague here for all
these years? Smart guy, way to the right of the party when he was around
He`s not way to the right anymore of your party. He`s not way to the right
anymore. Pat`s somewhere in the center-right now compared to this
STEELE: Well, look, again, I go back to the main point, the defund
MATTHEWS: What do you think, Steve?
MCMAHON: Well, that`s extortion. Look, here`s what`s going on. He didn`t
want to raise the debt limit. That`s a principled position.
But basically he`s saying a law that Congress passed and the president
signed, that the Supreme Court has upheld is something I don`t like, so I`m
going to have a temper tantrum. And I`m going to try to organize people on
MATTHEWS: But he didn`t look like he was in a tantrum. He is a cool
MCMAHON: But it`s a tantrum.
MCMAHON: To make Mitch McConnell fear a Republican primary.
MATTHEWS: Pat had tantrums.
MATTHEWS: This guy says it calmly like it`s normal. That`s what I think.
The new normal in the Republican Party is right-wing.
MCMAHON: If you read what he said, instead of listen to what he`s
MATTHEWS: You agree, don`t you?
MATTHEWS: It`s a right-wing party.
STEELE: It`s very, very conservative.
MATTHEWS: Do you know what he just agreed to?
MCMAHON: It is. It is.
MATTHEWS: The party he once ran is now a right-wing party.
MCMAHON: Mitch McConnell now is living John Boehner`s life.
MATTHEWS: Mitch McConnell is on the left of the Republican Party
MCMAHON: No, he`s living John Boehner`s life. Those people are crazy.
MATTHEWS: Thank you. It`s all true. It`s not crazy. It`s true. Maybe
Michael Steele, thank you, sir. And August has begun. Steve McMahon,
crazy August in Washington has begun.
Up next, the newly revealed speech -- this is really staggering stuff that
-- the queen of England, the speech she would have made had Britain come
under nuclear attack back in the `60s. And It could have happened. Who
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL and now to the "Sideshow."
Recent intraparty squabbling between Rand Paul and Chris Christie has
highlighted the deep divisions within the Republican Party, but it`s also
ignited a debate over bacon, at least according to Jimmy Fallon last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON")
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Actually, here`s what
Rand Paul said. He said, "In terms of pork barrel spending, Christie is
the king of bacon." Low blow.
Well, in response, Christie fired back. He said, "That kind of name-
calling is beneath the office you hold, sir. But just to clarify, would I
be the king of real juicy pork bacon or that gross generic turkey bacon?"
to which Paul replied, "What? I don`t know, man, bacon-bacon. Look, your
fiscal values are not in line with the Republican Party."
To which Christie said, "Are you kidding? I`m as Republican as they come.
But, hey, chemical to that king of bacon thing. Do you think I would wear
a crown of bacon or sit on a throne of bacon or would I just be all like
eating bacon all the time?" to which Paul said, "Dude, it was just a
metaphor. Let it go. My point is your state`s spending is out of
To which Christie said, "I will tell you what`s out of control, how much
you got me thinking about bacon. You can do whatever you want with the
Republican Party. I`m about to start a bacon party in my tum-tum."
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Anyway, concern about -- more serious stuff -- NSA surveillance
continues to mount this week after new leaks revealed another secret
program called XKeyscore, which collects data from e-mails, social media
and browser history.
While these leaks continue to stoke characterizations of the agency as Big
Brother, here`s a parody from "Wired" magazine`s YouTube channel depicting
what it`s like, really like inside the NSA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Special projects. Nicole.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We have a situation. What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I`m analyze Glenn Greenwald`s Verizon metadata.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: This takes priority. Follow my instructions
precisely. Ready? Are you ready?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Ready, ready, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Turn on your computer.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: It`s already on.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, you`re good, kid. Now, listen to me very
carefully. I need you to hack a Web site.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Yes, I have been waiting for this moment. Thank you
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Your youthful exuberance is wasting precious time.
Now, I will give you the information. All right, Ms. Winters, where are
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Oh, geez.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Have you hacked the site?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Yes, I hacked the site.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Was your cover blown?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: No.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Is the data I mentioned still there?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Yes, the data is all here.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Read me the data.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: "Dear HenryTopple1943, thanks for opening an account
with GeoCities.com, the world`s leading e-mail provider now and forever."
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Yes, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Your password is password123.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Password123.
Oh, I have been trying to remember that for years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Anyway, hmm, not a great recruiting video for aspiring NSA
agents, is it?
Anyway, next up, it was the queen`s speech, but luckily it was one she
never had to make. Documents released by the U.K. government today
included a contingency speech prepared for Queen Elizabeth II which was to
be used in the event of a nuclear war. Well, the draft written during the
Cold War back in 1983 is a chilling reminder of how the free world lived
under the very real threat of Armageddon.
Here`s an excerpt -- quote -- "We all know that the dangers facing us today
are greater by far than at any time in our long history. The enemy is not
the soldier with his rifle, nor even the airman prowling the skies above
our cities and towns, but the deadly power of abused technology. But
whatever terrors lie in wait for us, all the qualities that have helped to
keep our freedom intact twice already during this sad century will once
more be our strength."
Well said. Keep calm and carry on, British to the end.
Coming up: male politicians and their female supporter, Huma Abedin and
Sydney Leathers, if that really is her real name.
And you`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.
JANE WELLS, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Jane Wells with your CNBC "Market
The Dow surged 128, the S&P 500 topped 1700, for the first time after
gaining 21, and the Nasdaq jumped 49.
Jobless claims hit a five-and-a-half-year low last week as fewer Americans
filed for unemployment benefits. New claims dropped to 326,000.
And ExxonMobil with big losses. Profits there plunged 57 percent in the
second quarter, down $9 billion from a year ago.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide -- now back to HARDBALL.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to know, how can I trust you with my
family and my community when you can`t be trusted in your own family?
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: It`s a fair question. I
mean, I don`t -- it`s a fair question.
Look, you, sir, know some embarrassing things about me and my personal
life. That`s part of the cost of being an elected official, I guess.
People look into those things. I`m embarrassed by it. I have dishonored
my wife. And -- but, sir, I didn`t do it to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that`s the issue, I guess. I didn`t do anything to you.
Well, we will talk about that some other night. That was Anthony Weiner
last night talking about the pain and torment he caused his wife, Huma
Indeed, as this week`s "People" magazine reports that is coming out
tomorrow, after Abedin learned that Weiner`s texting continued after he had
resigned from Congress, she seriously considered dumping the guy. The
recent publicity has been extremely painful of her, of course. She`s
"Abedin spent recent days talking and crying to friends since the news came
out that her husband had broken the promise the he made to her and to the
public when he resigned from Congress in June 2011 to never, ever again
send lewd photos of himself to women over the Internet. `When we spoke,
she broke down. This is deeply upsetting to her,` says a friend."
Well, meanwhile, even as many people are fascinated by the question of why
Huma would stay with him after all this and encourage him to actually run
for mayor and keep encouraging him, scholar Susan Jacoby asked a recent --
actually a related question in "The New York Times" this week. Why do all
these women derive satisfaction exchanging sexual messages and pictures
with this guy?
Is it Jacoby or Jacoby?
SUSAN JACOBY, CENTER FOR INQUIRY: It`s Jacoby, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I`m sorry. Jacoby is the actor.
Anyway, thank you. you`re joining us now with thoughts from your essay.
You`re the author of "Free Thinkers." And Betsy Gleick is the executive
editor of "People" magazine.
Betsy, thanks for joining us. We don`t often get you on the show. Why did
you take a political story and put it in a big magazine which has a general
readership-like people? How did politics jump the track into general
BETSY GLEICK, "PEOPLE": Well, first of all, Chris, it`s great to be here,
but "People" always covers politics, and we have covered this particular
story in the past.
In fact, our original story about Anthony Weiner and his marriage kind of
became a part of this bigger story of what he told us and when he stopped
texting and sexting and when he started again. We have been all over this
story all along, and it`s a human story as well as a political story.
MATTHEWS: What was your last big political story before this one?
GLEICK: We did a big piece on Chris Christie within the last couple
MATTHEWS: OK. You got me there.
Let me ask you. Let me go to Susan on this.
This question of -- I`m just going to step back on this. This is about
women. You two women can go over this, the role of women supporters,
female supporters of male political people. Both of women in this case, in
this weird story -- it`s not a triangle exactly, but it`s a three-part team
-- you have got the husband, the wife and you have this woman who sexted
back and forth with this guy who is running for mayor of New York.
The question is, why did both these relationships start with political
associations, and then -- even the one over -- online and the one in real
life, the real and the virtual -- all began with politics and ended up with
these personal relationships.
What does that say about how politicians, male and female, allow politics
to lead to kind of thing in both cases? In other words, he used his
political relationship with people to develop other relationship, one a
wholesome marriage, another case, a very unwholesome relationship -- Susan?
SUSAN JACOBY, CENTER FOR INQUIRY: Chris, I love you and your show, but I
think that what you said is how the media is missing the bigger story here.
Anthony Weiner --
MATTHEWS: That`s why you`re here, to help us.
JACOBY: Anthony Weiner happens to be a politician who is engaged in what
millions of Americans, men and women, are engaging in every day. Of
course, we`re fascinated by it, because he`s running for mayor of New York.
But I think the larger question is -- why is it -- this has been framed as
males abusing their power and female victims. The fact is, is that any
woman who doesn`t delete these kinds of e-mails, whether it comes from a
politician or Joe nobody, as it usually does, is making a choice to
participate in not only sexting, but a lot of virtual sexual satisfaction
that goes on on the Internet.
So I think that there`s a much bigger story here about what kind of a
society we are, about women as well as men, and as far as Huma Abedin goes,
Chris, you`ve been married a long time. You know that nobody knows what
goes on in a marriage.
I think the media -- and that goes for both males and females -- ought to
cut this woman a break and stop asking why she doesn`t leave her husband.
What business is it of ours?
MATTHEWS: Well, where do -- let`s talk about the political piece. It`s
not just one person running for mayor or two people running for mayor,
Betsy. And that`s the story. That`s what makes this interesting.
If it was just one guy, let`s face it, it wouldn`t have the human interest.
There`s a lot of human interest in why, there are political pair, not, I`ve
known a lot of -- Howard Dean`s wife, perfectly normal marriage I can tell
you, she has nothing to do with his politics. A lot of women -- I`ve seen
politicians whose wives never campaign with them. They just don`t do it.
She has chosen to campaign in extreme. I think that`s a story that people
find compelling. That`s why I think you`re covering it.
Your thoughts, Betsy?
BETSY GLEICK, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: I completely agree with that. And, you
know, I think that Huma stood up at the podium, next to him. She spoke at
the podium. She didn`t even pull a Silda Spitzer, she spoke.
They have -- you know, they were in "People" showing us their family. They
were in "The New York Times" magazine, showing the world their family. She
is a part of the story. There`s a basic curiosity.
Of course, I agree with Susan completely that we should note be demonizing
her, but demonizing is different from really wanting to explore the nature
of this relationship.
MATTHEWS: Let me go over to this other woman, Sydney Leathers. It`s a
strange name. Everybody laughs about it, because everybody laughs about
But Sydney Leathers, I assume that`s her real name. What do you make of
her? Because, you, Susie, you are writing about this. What is this story
on people who live in a virtual world online? They don`t have lives, I
guess. I think that`s your angle.
But they seem to have lives at the computer, on the laptop?
JACOBY: That`s really the question. Sydney Leathers, or whoever she is,
is 23 years old. The point I was making is that there are hundreds of
thousands to millions of Sydney Leatherses by other names who participate
in his activities.
I had on my author Web site today a very thought-provoking e-mail from a 25
years old who said, who are you to be judging me about having virtual sex?
I owe $75,000 in student loans, I work two jobs. If that`s what I want to
do when I come home at night --
JACOBY: -- who are you to be saying that?
MATTHEWS: I love it when people do that.
JACOBY: I`m not judging her, but what I think we need to think about, and
Sydney Leathers no less than any other woman out there, is, why, if we`re
doing that, we`re spending time on that if you`re making a choice to spend
time on that, sexual fantasizing with strangers, rather than going out and
meeting somebody real.
Virtual sex, what kind of a society are we when we`re too tired to even
look for real sex? Forget about real friendship.
MATTHEWS: OK, let me go to Betsy one last chance.
You know, I do agree with you. Obviously, it`s a big story. Everybody has
been covering this story from every possible angle. Henry Kissinger, he`s
still around with us, I just saw him a couple weeks ago. Henry Kissinger
once said power is the greatest aphrodisiac.
Is that really at the heart of this story? Is that the two people who are
having marital weirdness going on around that they`ve got one guy involved
with something online? Is that this guy is running for mayor of New York
and could have possibly won a couple months ago?
I don`t think he will probably win. Who knows with New York? But that`s
what`s -- that`s what`s interesting perhaps to women, that`s what`s
interesting to us as viewers, power. Maybe he`ll get it.
GLEICK: Gosh, I don`t know. I`m hear to talk about sort of our incredible
reporting about why they are together and the timeline of what he told his
wife and what he told the public.
And I don`t think this is a relationship about power. They have a very
small child together. You know, I think that genuinely, they love each
other and they are working on their marriage, and she, Huma, is an
incredibly powerful person in her own right. She is not running for
GLEICK: But she is incredibly accomplished, and, you know, Hillary
Clinton`s right-hand person. And to say that -- if you were saying that
she`s in it for power, I`m -- you know, that`s not what our reporting
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think power is an aphrodisiac.
Anyway, thank you, Betsy Gleick, thank you for coming on from "People
Magazine", from the stands, a great issue. I bought it -- think I bought
the last issue, not this one. I bought the Kate issue. I`ll get to this
Anyway, thank you, Susan Jacoby.
And anyway, up next, Russia defies the United States and grants asylum to
NSA leaker Edward Snowden. They`re going to give him a year over there. I
guess he`s going to learn Russian. But do Americans view Snowden as a
traitor or a whistleblower? I think we know the answer. It ain`t traitor.
And this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Edward Snowden gets asylum in Russia. And here in America, most
people think he`s a whistle-blower and not a traitor.
HARDBALL coming back on this one, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT: Let me just say this, because I think it`s
important. He`s not a whistle-blower. He is not a human rights activist.
He is wanted on a series of serious criminal charges brought in the eastern
district of Virginia in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: We`re back.
That was official State Department characterization by Jen Psaki, the
spokesperson, of former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden`s status
two weeks ago from the State Department. That was her reminding reporters
that Snowden is indeed a wanted fugitive by this government, our
Snowden, quote, "the most wanted man on the planet", has been held up in
the transit zone of a Moscow airport in nearly six weeks. But in a new
twist to this international saga, Russia granted him temporary asylum
today. Snowden left by taxi to a nearby secure location. He can now live
and work in Russia for up to a year, while his application for permanent
political -- I guess it`s exile -- is pending.
A recent "Washington Post"/ABC poll showed that three out of four Americans
believe the massive collection of phone call data by the NSA, the National
Security Agency, that Snowden personally exposed, intrudes on our privacy
rights. You got it, 3/4 of don`t like what they`ve been doing.
While the White House and State Department may consider Snowden a criminal,
even a traitor, he may have actually performed a public service for
exposing the privacy concerns, sparking a national debate which goes on
over the government`s far-reaching security tactics.
Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson of "The
Washington Post", and Simon Marks of "Feature Story News".
Gentlemen, I want to go with Eugene here.
I don`t know whether -- to me, the issue isn`t so much Putin`s enjoying
this, exploiting it. Obviously, it`s an opportunity for them to tweak us -
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Sure.
MATTHEWS: -- as it is what we think as Americans --
MATTHEWS: -- about him, and what we think more importantly what we think
of our government.
ROBINSON: Exactly. What we think about him and, you know, is he a good
guy, is he a bad guy, you know, I don`t care about that. I do have strong
opinions about what we`ve learned courtesy of Edward Snowden.
MATTHEWS: And you don`t like it?
ROBINSON: No, I don`t like it. And it`s ironic, of course, that officials
from the president on down are saying, well, of course, we should have a
national debate about security versus privacy and all this stuff. Well, we
couldn`t have that debate unless he had leaked the stuff. They weren`t
ever going to tell us.
MATTHEWS: So the ends justifies the means?
ROBINSON: Well, look. The fact that we now know that there are secret
courts developing a secret body of law interpreting the Fourth Amendment
and we can`t even know about it, we can`t know what the opinions say?
MATTHEWS: Simon, you get this? I mean, I think this is the American
debate. Jump in here. It`s probably true of every country. The
relationship -- there is two important political questions in our lives,
the relationship between our government and us and our country`s role in
SIMON MARKS, FEATURE STORY NEWS: It`s absolutely true, Chris.
MATTHEWS: -- to drive all political debates. Go ahead.
MARKS: It`s absolutely true, Chris, and this is a debate that is taking
place right now in other parts of the world. I was just doing a radio
appearance on a radio station in London where they`re discussing whether
the British government shouldn`t have granted Edward Snowden asylum and
stood up for him because the polling data here and there suggests that most
people view him as a hero for having released this information.
MATTHEWS: Well, here are some numbers, by the way -- 74 percent now say
the government has been intruding in our lives basically. And we don`t get
many polls that are 74 to 22, Gene.
ROBINSON: No, we don`t. There is another question in the poll. There is
another question that asks, is it more important to protect our privacy
rights or to investigate possible terrorist threats.
And more people said it was important, like 57 percent, to investigate
MATTHEWS: But you can do this without holding this --
ROBINSON: Exactly. I think -- it`s perfectly consistent. If there is an
investigation, if you have a target, if you know what you`re looking for,
as in a Fourth Amendment search, then --
MATTHEWS: But surveillance is not investigation.
ROBINSON: And gathering a huge, huge mountain of data, of our personal
data with no suspicion.
MATTHEWS: Simon Marks, I`ll give you more time next time. You were just
short tonight. But you were a great gent to come on tonight, as always.
I`m glad to hear the world perspective on this.
Gene Robinson, Simon Marks -- we`ll be right back after this.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this:
"When an American says he loves his country, he means that he loves an
inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can
draw the breath of self-respect"
That was how the great Adlai Stevenson sought to describe the love we have
for this country -- the freedom we feel deep within us, the light and
living sense of being able to get up each day and go to bed each night
distanced from the power of the state.
And so we came to the case -- we come to the case of Edward Snowden. Three
quarters of the American people now believe that the NSA surveillance
system he exposed intrude on our privacy rights.
Rarely do we get this kind of verdict on political matters. But we`ve got
one here. As patriotic as we are, as loyal to the republic, we don`t like
it penetrating into that inner life we lead, that inner light where we can
think, feel, speak to others of our most intimate views on life, love,
politics -- all the way from the affairs of the heart to the grandest
affairs of the nation.
So it doesn`t surprise me that we`ve got mixed views of Edward Snowden now
about to begin a year living in Russia.
The important point to me is not what Putin thinks of what this guy did,
but what we Americans think of what he told us our government is doing.
The latest verdict is that, by Adlai Stevenson`s definition of things, the
government has gotten a little too much into our space.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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