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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  February 7, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST

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did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes. oh, so that means that we won't be stuck up here, for hours, with nothing to do.
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oh i get it, you wanna pass the time, huh. (holds up phone) fruit ninja!!! emergency roadside assistance. just a click away with the geico mobile app. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. tolling our agenda today, game of drones. develops right now, nominee for cia director john brennan going on the hot seat in a matter of hours as the white house makes an about face on its controversial drone program and the targeting of americans overseas. the obama administration now breaking years of secrecy and handing over a confidential 16-page memo that justifies the targeting killing of u.s. citizens abroad suspected of being terrorists. this decision to release the document came hours before brennan was to face a serious grilling by lawmakers outraged over the program. the biggest critic, democratic senator ron wyden who says the
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president has been stonewalling congress for years and suggested blocking brennan's nomination. president obama called wyden specifically last night. >> clearly, the president's call to senator wyden so unusual and trying to ward off what could be a calamitous hearing today. >> what standard will barack obama be held to after the pictures of the little children who were killed by his cone drone attacks are placed before the jury in the hague? >> i was encouraged last night when the president called and he said as part of this effort, he is going to try to drive a more extensive discussion about these issues. every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that, as one person said, that is too much to ask. >> so right now the senate armed services committee is holding a
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hearing on the response to the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. leon panetta testifying and likely to face tough questions. he started off by defending the military's response to crises around the world. >> the united states military, as i have said, is not, and, frankly, should not be a 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world. >> so let's bring in our power panel. good morning to former democrat congressman and admiral joe see stack. perry bacon a political editor for the grio. susan dell pores yo, republican strategist and msnbc contributor. good morning to you all. perry, i want to start with you in regard to senator wyden and the phone call he received last night from president obama. he appeared this morning on the "today" show talking about what he's looking for today. take a listen. >> i'm committed to making sure
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that we get all the facts. the president called last night, early this morning i'm going to go in and read the opinion. >> how odd is it that the president reached out to wyden specifically? >> this is very unusual, almost unprecedented for the president to call an individual senator before a nominee is going for a hearing. there was a briefing i have at here today, too. you can tell the white house is shifting from a view that they are just doing the right thing to a view in which they're trying to bring in more members of congress and the public and trying to really explain the drone program. they're also becoming more and more aware that it's not just president obama using drones, but they're setting a precedent for the future. i think you will hear in the hearing today they think they're setting the right precedent. >> admiral sestak, i want to show everyone the temperature on drone strikes. support for drone attacks against terror suspects
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overseas. the approval through the roof, 83%. we look at drone attacks against americans suspected of terrorist activity. again it's through the roof here, approval at 79% . does the white house have a lot to answer for when it comes to what type of program they've been running and the fact there have not been checks and balances in place for the last several years in regard to what some would say is an overused program? >> well, i think the white house is correct in its drone usage, even against a u.s. citizen who has decided to turn his or her arms against us. as a matter of fact u.s. law permits the united states to take action and even kill that citizen. the issue here is that the rules of war a little different in terrorism because sometimes when you're planning something that will happen in a week or two and you have a fleeting moment to get that individual, then the question is do you still have the right to take him?
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i believe that we do, but the problem is that the white house has not been transparent in this. and when you are not transparent, particularly where congress has a constitutional duty to raise and organize armies, to declare war, then i think you do harm to what is necessary for the defense of america. so i believe that the white house should have earlier than this actually exposed the criteria and, second, i think there needs to be a post-ex facto review of strikes to make sure nothing abusive and nothing is being steered wrongly as we continue on these strikes to defend -- >> again to the checks and balances. susan, i want to talk to you. there's a political whiplash going on because people you wouldn't expect to have the president's back on this do. senator lindsey graham coming out saying that he's totally supportive of this, the fact that if american citizens are going to be turned into al qaeda operatives, this is the right course. also john bolten saying it is entirely sensible that they
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should go ahead and have access to this type of program. is it surprising that republicans, especially vocal ones like a lindsey graham, john bolten, would support the president? >> it's not surprising at all. smft they ran a campaign in 2008 or as late as 2009 criticizing the bush white house and a lot of the tactics that were used. the president learned unless you were sitting in that chair, you don't know what goes along with that territory. what's interesting is the backlash he is not getting so much on the left. there are some groups out there criticizing him for it, but they're largely silent, and it does make you wonder what would happen if this happened under a republican administration. >> well, we're certainly going to find out what the -- john brennan has to say, the tough questions that are going to be coming obviously. this is going to be the most public, probably the most telling expose of the drone program, and brennan being considered the architect of it. i want owe to shift gears and
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show what "time" magazine is doing to the star of marco rubio. they are hurling it pretty high. talking about him being the republican savior. there's no question mark behind savior, i'll point that out. perry, do you think this is exactly what marco rubio wants, especially given he has been deemed with the response, the republican response, for the state of the union? so a lot of people have been put up to the plate on that and not hit a home run. so this is a lot of pressure on marco rubio. >> this is a lot of pressure. if you're marco rubio, it might be the cover of "time" magazine might be too much too soon. on the other hand, he's merging as a leader of the republican party, and not just in terms of being latino but also in terms of real issues. he's the person behind this push for the republican party to move to the leften immigration reform and get a deal on that. you see right now he's the one who is going out and trying to tell the rush limbaughs and sean hannitys, we have to change our view on immigration. he's kind of the leader of the more established republicans
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trying to move the tea party people to the middle, and he's really become a big voice for that part of the party, with i is a really important movement right now. >> which is exactly the problem when you want to seek higher office. you cannot be the leader of the party. i think they're not doing him any favors. >> he's 41 years ode. you think this is too much too soon. >> it's that he has a job to do and he should be leading and he should -- i'm sorry, he should be governing and he does risk getting attacked from the far right if he does too much to work with the establishment in washington, which is exactly the image that republicans should have. so being a good representation or a model for republicans doesn't mean you should take on leading the party and trying to fix all the problems within it, especially if you're looking at maybe becoming the president. >> he doesn't have the cover of "time" but he does have a lot of headlines. we're talking about now the new jersey governor chris christie, who has been pretty vocal about an issue that he brought to light himself, his own weight. take a listen to how he's responding to a former white house doctor critique his
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fitness. >> if she wants to get on a plane and come here to new jersey and ask me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history, i'll have a conversation with her about that. until that time, she should shut up. >> admiral, i want to ask you, the temperament of chris christie as a politician to be thrown onto a world stage. do you think he's got that under control? >> you know, i have seen governor christie and i don't know him, speak up very well and forcefully for his constituents like in hurricane sandy. in this case, that white house staffer is a retired navy admiral, and i think she spoke up in support of him. i think that kind of response was, quite frankly, and some of his responses would make me feel uncomfortable as a citizen, but that doesn't preclude him from being a very viable presidential candidate, but in a sense i think to some degree that as this goes forward, whether it's senator rubio or the governor, americans love more of an even temper approach to issues. get upset about hurricane sand,
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yu don't make it personal at all. >> when it comes down to it, susan, did the governor invite this in basically and with all due compassion to the governor who obviously battles a weight problem, but by going on lettererman, fitting into an ill-fitting chair and eating a doughnut in a modern day henry 8 rt , did he open himself up to this. >> if you run for president, with ronald reagan it was his age. when dick cheney was put on as av p, it was his health. this can be a true issue. is governor christie's health an issue. he's going to be careful how far he pushes the envelope. >> it's one thing to talk about but you can't have a glass jaw when you invite it. thanks so much. still ahead, with he have this hour the president leaving the white house.
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coming up just minutes from now heading to virginia to pow wow with house democrats. congressman charlie rangel will talk to me about the state of the union and the president's sweeping second term agenda. plus, bracing for impact. watches and warnings for a big chunk of the eastern seaboard. the latest projections of what could be a historic weekend whopper of a snowstorm. and our question of the day for you is about governor chris christie and his ra tort. do you think weight matters when it comes to praez ideesidential politics? . [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8. let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much you think. except it's 2% every year. does that make a difference? search "cost of financial advisors" ouch. over time it really adds up. then go to e-trade and find out how much our advice costs.
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spoiler alert: it's low. really? yes, really. e-trade offers investment advice and guidance from dedicated, professional financial consultants. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. that's how our system works. e-trade. less for us. more for you. you is about governor chris [ male announcer ] house rule number 53.
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welcome back. we've been keeping a close ou on the hearing taking place on capitol hill. you're looking at general devon si appearing alongside of leon
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panetta as they are giving their remarks about what happened in benghazi. and the loss of four americans there. including our ambassador. senator john mccain was just asking questions of general dempsey as well as of leon panetta and specifically asking them about drones. drones being a truly hot topic today in this hearing and the one later this afternoon with john brennan and the gentlemen there talking about the drone that showed up for the benghazi attack about an hour later after they got first reports of something taking place. leon panetta saying drones are not like a 911 system. joining me now is senator -- is democratic senator from connecticut richard blumenthal who was in that hearing. he stepped out to talk with us. he's a member of the foreign -- excuse me, the judiciary committee. we appreciate you taking time to come out and speak to us about this especially given the fact that there are two big hearings. leon panetta giving his remarks on benghazi. do you think hagel's
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confirmation will go ahead more swiftly that leon panetta has been there to testify? >> one of the requests made by a number of republicans was for a hearing on benghazi. there's a legitimate and urgent concern about protecting our state department personnel, public servants abroad. i recently returned from a trip with senators mccain and graham and others, bipartisan trip, and we saw very directly the potential threats to our state department and other personnel. so i think there is an effort and it's articulated and reflected in today's hearing that this kind of review precede the confirmation of senator hagel. i believe he will be confirmed. that vote will probably be next week in the senate armed services committee where i serve, and i think that there has been little shifting of democratic support and obviously a statement by senator mccain
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that he would not filibuster it. so i think the chances are very high he will be confirmed. >> one thing that's been pointed to me is general dempsey will acknowledge that the u.s. military diverted a drone to benghazi within minutes of learning of the attack on the consulate building in benghazi. it took an hour to get on the scene, some type of drone that would give surveillance to the situation there. the other big topic when it comes to drones being used for military strikes and john brennan will be pressed on that this afternoon for his hearings to become the next cia director. now this memo has been released. i don't believe that you have seen it yet, but this white page memo talking about how the administration feels they are legally emboldened to be able to do this. it was released after some pressing necessapres pressing in the press briefing. >> why are you dancing around the question of whether or not we kill civilians? why can't the government admit civilians --
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>> i don't think that i'm dancing around it. i didn't dispute it. >> not necessarily disputing -- >> what i can't do -- >> civilians have been killed, right? >> i don't disagree with that. >> the memo that's been released gives credence to the administration to justify the use of drones in targeted strike killings. let's get on record, have you seen this memo, and if not, when do you want to see it? as i understand it the president told senator wyden it will be made available. >> it will be made available. i haven't reviewed it. i'm looking forward to doing so because there are some very profoundly important issues as to what process is involved in decisions made by the president of the united states or those accountable to him as to how american lethal force is used potentially against terrorists. they may be civilians. they're not in uniform. to protect this country against the enormously urgent threat
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from abroad posed by terrorists, and obviously we're dealing with the use of drones in pakistan, yemen, around the world, where we can identify very specific targets, support the use of drones with evidence that they are involved in terrorist activities, threatening the united states. there will be, i hope, a set of standards in that memo for decisions made by the president. obviously, those decisions are made without a court and without a prosecutor. the president in effect acts as judge and jury, and i'll want to see how that process is implemented theoretically and practically. >> are you a supporter of using drone strikes to do military action? >> drones certainly have an appropriate and very significant role in some circumstances. but there need to be standards, a process that involves proper
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review at the very highest levels by the president of the united states or individuals, officials designated by him, and that's why this memo is important, because it sets the ground rules, and the implementation process for those rules that give americans the assurance that we are acting with the ethics and morality that america has come to expect of the united states, and we expect of ourselves. >> senator, we're going to let you get back into the hearing that's taking place right now with leon panetta and general dempsey. thanks for stepping out for us. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> absolutely. so it could be a record-breaking blockbuster or just a great white tease. coming up niext, we bring you te latest on that. a massive winter storm on the northeast. also on deck, judd jab. ashley judd firing back at the pre-emptive strike on her potential candidacy for congress. why are conservatives to afraid
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welcome back. following doling news coming into us from los angeles. the police department is on an intense manhunt for this man, 33-year-old christopher dorner, a former police officer. police say that dorner got into a shootout with lapd officers late last night, killing one, injuring two others. the lapd made this statement about the fatal shooting which began while the officers were pursuing a separate incident. >> nothing was said. the distance -- the officers were maintaining a safe distance away from the suspect's vehicle and it was immediate. the officers had no chance to respond or talk or anything. extremely intense, extremely volatile situation. the suspect is armed and is dangerous and shows a propensity to shoot when confronted. >> police believe that dorner is the same person responsible for killing that couple on monday that you see on your screen.
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we're going to follow this story from los angeles, bring you more as it develops. to other news, back here on the east coast, you know a storm is going to be a bad one when airlines offer ticket changes before the snow starts falling. the northeast now bracing for it, whether it's one foot of snow, two feet, or a full-on blizzard. forecasts seem to agree some kind of major storm is imminent. world of white expected to pound new england states the hardest for most regions in the bull's-eye show will begin falling tonight and continue on and off until late saturday. some show the potential for historic snowfall. stay locked into msnbc and we'll bring you updates as we get more accuracy. >> you'd like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short. i go back to the oval office and i start watching the cable news networks, and it's like we didn't pray. >> there was president obama taking a little jab at the media at the national prayer breakfast this morning.
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any moment from now he will head to northern virginia where he's expected to speak to house democrats in a little over an hour. the president is expected at that point to give a preview of sorts to next week's state of the union address. new york congressman charlie rangel is in studio with me now to talk more about that. i know we got you and you're on your way to virginia to meet with the president. let's talk about the fact that the president has been kind of rallying the troops, so to speak, going the other day to annapolis to meet with senate democrats, now meeting with house democrats. what are you hoping you'll be able to offer the president that he can include in the state of the union that you may not hear from today's preview. >> the fact that we're reaching out. i think the president has reached a point and certainly a lot of our democrats have, that the republicans are not going to take into consideration that president obama won the re-election. because they're still bringing the same optical, whether we talk about sequestration or the debt ceiling. they are still doing that. the president was successful when he went to the american people, not just rallying
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democrats, but rallying the people who say let's get on with it, let's try to balance the budget, and the difficulty we have here now is the republicans are just talking about cutting programs, and they have targeted social security, medicaid, and medicare, and the president is saying we have to reform these systems, but we still need more revenue, and this is a worry that they just refuse to discuss. i don't see how you can ignore revenues if you talk about a budget. >> sir, if you will, we look at the time clock ahead of us, we have the state of the union coming up next week, but it's the sequester at the end of the month, the beginning of march, that everybody is worried about and what those cuts will mean in terms of defense spending and what it will mean to low-income families in this country. just a short time ago leon panetta was asked directly about the sequester in his hearing. i want to play it for everybody. >> we've implemented a freeze on hiring, implemented a freeze on temporary hires.
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we're probably going to impact about 46,000 jobs. we are impacting about 46,000 jobs just by doing that. we're cutting back on maintenance. we're cutting back on other areas in order to try to find what we can. >> sir, house speaker john boehner has said he's not for the sequester but something needs to be done about spending, and revenue is not really on the table from their side of things. do you think it's going to come down to the wire as we've been watching the 113th go through the 112th congress has been kind of dragging the american people up to the cliff of these deadlines. are we going to go through that again? >> this is too important for party politics. the american people have to call their member of congress but not allow boehner or any other republican leadership to say that we're not going to have revenue on the table if we're talking about a budget. it will be devastating if america shows the world that we can't control our own budget without having automatic $1.2
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trillion cut. it's unheard of what this will do in terms of lost services and lost jobs, and it's going to have a negative impact on our recovery. it's not a republican/democratic issue. it's a question really of national security. >> the sequester is just one of the issues that's floating around in washington, d.c., policywise. but there are people looking at the president's cabinet in the second term and asking about the diversity or lack thereof. james clyburn, minority whip, might be up for a job in the transportation secretary job. what do you think about his chances of getting that post, and do you think it's a good pick? >> i think it would be. jim clyburn has made it abundantly clear that his career in government is going to be with the house of representatives where he served as an outstanding leader, but just because his name was there doesn't mean that we shouldn't have a folder on diversity where the president would in the have to look at one or two people in
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order to do it. i was very hard on mitt romney because he said he had a folder with women he had to go to. well, after four years you would assume that we're in a better position than the republicans were. >> congressman clyburn has not said, you know, that he wants this, the congressional black caucus is pushing his name out there. are there other people that you think that should be considered for cabinet post. as you say, you'd like to see a deeper bench being built. >> yes. >> for these roles. >> well, no, i don't think this is a matter of we politicians selecting who the president should have. it's at the end of the day and you look at the team that's out there it should look like america. and that's all we're talking about. and the qualifications should exceed anything else to get someone that can produce and make america proud. but i'd like to believe that if you take a look at the number of women that overwhelmingly the majority of participants
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politically and the number of mi jorts that we have, at the end of the day we want to see a picture that portrays what america the beautiful looks like, and so far there's some missing slots in that picture. >> sir, we're going to let you go. you're headed off to virginia but we thank you for making time for us and coming in. it's great to see you. new york congressman charlie rangel. thanks again. just to pass this along "time" is calling him the republican savior? have you seen the cover? victoria defrancesco soto will join me next on that. and the drone debate. where is the outrage and the outrage from you, the american public? and is the u.s. setting a dangerous example around the globe? msnbc's chris hayes is going to join me after this break on that topic. we're back in a moment. she was a picky eater. well now i'm her dietitian and last year, she wasn't eating so well. so i recommended boost complete nutritional drink to help her get the nutrition she was missing. and now she drinks it every day.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ it's being labeled as rock star rubio. he will give the response to the
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president agencies state of the union address. hitting newsstands tomorrow, that cover. mr. rubio gracing the cover of "time" magazine with the caption "the republican savior." joining me is fellow at the university of texas, victoria defrancesco soto. great to see you. senator rubio has certainly been lauded prior to this as being someone key to bringing latinos over to the republican side. what's your opinion about the fact that he's on "time" magazine, he's got the republican savior title, no question mark. is it too much too soon? >> well, there's no doubt that the republican leadership is making a push toward hispanics and they want marco to deliver. i'm think being the response to the state of the union. i find it interesting they're using him. he's going to be doing the response in english and spanish but there has to be more than style. what is the substance going to be? because if not latinos will be left asking where is the beef? >> so rubio once called the
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pathway to citizenship, quote, a code for amnesty. there's a great reversal of that now. aides saying part of his response will talk about immigration. is there going to be a kind of unveiling of hypocrisy going on with that? >> well, i think that he is going to be able to connect with latinos, and also with nonlatinos who support immigration reform, but latinos care about a lot of other issues beyond that one issue of immigration. they care about education for their kids. they care about health care. they care about the economy. so, again, we come back to that issue of just putting out a person of color isn't going to do it for you. case in point, bobby jindal. so he has a very tall order in front of him, marco rubio. >> but he's got a long career ahead of him if he plays his cards right certainly. he's only 41 years old. a name we'll be talking about a long time to come. victoria, thanks so much. nice to see you. >> thanks, thomas. we've been talking about it all hour. john brennan, the man that the president wants to lead the cia
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going before the senate intelligence committee this afternoon. this comes hours after the white house directed the department of justice to allow select members of congress to see the classified documents which outline the administration's legal justifications for drone strikes against u.s. citizens. ultimately, it's part of the president's nif tiinitiative to his white house more transparent as he previously promised jon stewart he would do. >> one of the things we have to do is put a legal architecture in place and we need congressional help to do that to make sure that not only am i reined in but any president is reined in in terms of some of the decisions. >> we don't mind you knowing about the [ bleep ] we do once we don't do it anymore. we're happy to share irrelevant information with the public. we told you we were going to be transparent. he just didn't tell you it was going to be about the last guy's secrets. >> chris hayes has been covering the drone story for longer than
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almost anyone else. now we have the release of the white page memo. john brennan's testimony today probably going to be the most telling, the most public we've seen of this so far. what do you make of the timing of all of this and the lack of checks and balances that have been in place? >> the time something fascinating. it seems clear to me it was obviously timed to precede john brennan's testimony and to highlight this issue because in many ways john brennan in all the reporting we have about what's been happening in the white house is the architect of the -- what is known as the kill list. and i think it's important to note here, it's not just drones, right? we have lots of different ways we have been killing targets. special forces going in, cruise missiles, drones are just one component. john brennan is the architect of that and we have never had a real accountability moment in which the administration has been forced to articulate why they think they have this
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authority, what the extent of the program is. all of this has been shrouded in secrecy. they have fought for secrecy in the courts. they haven't released any memos. they refused to release this famous doj memo. this is the first time in four years that this is coming to light in any kind of way. >> yesterday mike rogers, who is the head of the house intelligence committee, joined our colleague andrea mitchell on her show to talk about how he was able to lay out the argument for the killing of americans overseas by drones as well as other means. here is how he explained it. >> the legal basis for this goes back many, many years when u.s. citizens would go and fight for foreign nations that were engaging in combat with the united states. so what they were say something once you have made that choice, you no longer get the protections that you would. if you've joined the enemy overseas, you've joined the enemy overseas. >> given we have this ongoing war on terror which is basically a ghost figure. we don't have a country, we
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don't have people in uniform that we can lay a face to, isn't there a point there? when we have to look at the expanded version of what treason means overseas now to go and align yourself with a terrorist organization. don't we have a right to stop them? >> well, i think the problem with that argument is that it takes for granted that the determination that the administration made in secret that this person has joined the enemy, that he's an operational leader. that's the term in the memo. the question is who makes that determination and are they accurate, right? the problem with all of these determinations being made internally by a single figure in secrecy is that there's no check on their accuracy. and it's the unilateral ability to designate someone out of the purview of the constitution that's troubling. if someone -- if you can confirm that someone has explicitly taken up arms against the united states government, yes, i think there's ways in which you can understand they fall in some different legal regime. the question of how long are we in the war on terror and is this legal architecture going to
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guide american foreign policy in perpetuity because there will always, i guarantee you, thomas, somewhere in the world be someone somewhere who is plotting to do something terrible to the united states, always. that is going to be absolutely the case. and if that is all it takes for us to be in a state of war, we will be in a state of war forever. >> isn't that the new ghormal of what we've evolved to in a country where we have been in a perpetual state of war for a dozen years now? >> yes, but i don't think it should be. i don't think the mere presence of somebody plotting to do something terrible to the united states should be the bar that triggers us being in a state of war. you know, england got hit, spain got hit by terrorist associated with al qaeda. that doesn't mean spain is in a permanent state of war. it doesn't mean england is in a permanent state of war. there are nations that have been targeted by truly genuinely mallef lent forces and it doesn't mean they reorder their thinking, their strategy, their legal architecture to be in permanent state of war.
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i think we can be at peace and still defend ourselves. >> they just allowed the senate intelligence committee to review this list and had more eyeballs on a list, would you be okay with that? >> i'm not sure. it goes much bigger than that. the justifications are still part of the problem. >> chris hayes, great to see you. you can always catch up with clas hayes on weekends on msnbc. every saturday and sunday mornings. tamron hall will have live coverage of the hearing on news nation. when mo cowan is sworn in, the u.s. will have two simultaneously serving black senators for the first time in history. is it a sign of how far we have come or how far we have to go. our question of the day for su about chris christie's smackdown on the doctor who criticized his weight. does weight matter in presidential politics?
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just minutes away from history making event. williams "mo" cowan will be sworn in as the next democratic senator representing the state of massachusetts. he will join republican senator tim scott of south carolina marking the first time in history that two african-americans will serve simultaneously in the senate. so it's 2013 and you have to ask, why is this the case? why did congress get to this point through appointment? with me to sound off is joy reid. it makes you scratch your head when we show a stunning set of pictures display how far we haven't come if we can show where the country is in electing black senators. before tim scott was appointed last month, there were just six in u.s. history. now we have newark mayor corey blocker who is planning to run in new jersey. is it possible in an age of the
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re-election of president barack obama that we don't have more african-american senators and mo cowan is just a placeholder. he doesn't want to throw his head in the rang. >> governor of massachusetts who has been seen as a potential senate candidate but doesn't want to run, he appointed him for a temporary position. there will be a special election in june. if you look at the history of african-americans in the senate, it is pretty stunning in the entire history of the country, you have two from mississippi right after reconstruction. you had three of them from illinois, barack obama, who up until now was the last elected black senator. and, of course, the guy who temporarily replaced him when president obama was elected. we just haven't had a lot of african-americans in the bull pen to run statewide in a lot of these races. ed brooke, he was elected 35 years ago. 35 years ago. so there's a long gap. >> there is a long gap. when we look at new jersey though and cory booker taking on, you know, lautenberg, primariying him from the left,
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do you think that's going to be the case? >> well, you know, there's some other issues with the other senator from new jersey, bob menendez. it's really unclear. but the lautenberg people have dug in their heels. it doesn't seem lautenberg wants to step ahead. the problem goes keeper than whether or not cory booker should primary this senator. you don't have a lot of african-americans who have statewide electoral experience. most black elected officials are congress people who represent mostly black districts. so you have to really go to republicans like tim scott who are, frankly, used to crossing over and being elected by mostly white constituencies. >> progressives are going to say on the front end of things, you know, what governor of massachusetts did, a good thing. putting in a placeholder. behind closed doors they will say why didn't you put in somebody that's going to get some traction and take some heat? >> ed markey is already set up to run.
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it's already in place that he's going to be the guy. this is a temporary measure and what could he really realistically get done before june? it's sort of a temporary solve to a much broader problem. >> it's a weird part of our democracy. joy ann reid, great to have you here. >> thank you. coming up next, who is afraid of ashley judd? the actress responding to her starring role in a political attack ad designed by rove. did it scare her off or fire her up to run?
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we asked. you answered. does weight matter in presidential politics? no one should be judged by their weight. judy dean also writing in on facebook saying "yes and particularly since this administration and michelle obama's efforts have focused on healthy lifestyles. mike shafer tweeted "yes. we need a healthy president." we encourage you to keep the comments coming in on twitter or facebook. if hollywood actor ashley judd was waiting for a formal invitation to run for kentucky senate, she sort of just got one.
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or at least she got proof that conservatives are ready to pounce on her. >> and it just clicked, tennessee is home. >> kentucky. >> someone who knows what's good for us. >> obama care has done so much for us right here in tennessee. >> someone who shares our values. >> i -- delightfully radical. >> judd's publicist said that ashley thanks senator mcconnell, karl rove, and their negative allies for all the attention. she considers her future political plans. although, a decision has not been made yet. joining me now is james carol, washington reporter for the louisville courier journal and more on this clearly conservatives see ashley judd as a legitimate threat to mitch mcconnell. what do you hear about the likelihood she could throw her hat in the ring?
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>> it's the number one conversation in kentucky and the political world here in washington. more than who might win the kentucky derby, i guess. we're all just waiting. we saw ashley judd a couple of weeks ago at the kentucky bluegrass ball, and she kind of tantalized us slightly by saying the people of kentucky need a fighter. i've got generations, ten generations, in the kentucky hills, and some of them were fighters, so i was among the skeptics and thought i don't really think she was going to run, but now i'm kind of leaning that maybe she will run. >> with political candidates like that, it's hard to think she won't. kentucky has been solidly red for decades now. james, giving it eight electoral votes to mitt romney back in november. we saw judd stand up at the democratic convention and nominate president obama, but she appeared in campaign ads, she touted obama care. could a majority of kentuckians really back her political policy substances, or do you think that it's just star power that will get her the most attention? >> well, i think that's what
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she's trying to weigh. that's what a lot of democrats in kentucky are trying to weigh. you know, at the moment it's really amazing when you think that this ad from american crossroads came out so early. we're talking about a campaign that's a year away at least before he even starts to come up on the radar. it's worth noting that the american crossroads president is a former campaign manager and former chief of staff to mitch mcconnell, so this was obviously a shot across the bow, a preemptive streak, if you will. some democrats think she would be formidable because she has star power and charisma. she would have access to an enormous amount of money. kentucky, though, is culturally and politically a conservative state. that's on the other side of the ledger. she has -- very first thing she has to do is move to kentucky. she lives in tennessee. >> well, not too far away. she could get back there pretty quickly. it's interesting, mcconnell's camp can look at it either way that they feel confident about their position or that they potentially fear someone like ashley judd. >> the courier journal did a poll very recently that showed that only 17% of the people we
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surveyed said they would vote for mcconnell. 34% would say they would definitely not vote for mcconnell, and 44% were saying they're waiting to see who is going to run against him. >> james carol, washington reporter for the louisville courier journal. thank you. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. i'll see you back here tomorrow 11:00 a.m. eastern time. don't go anywhere, though. "now with alex wagner" is coming up. we could be good prom dates. >> i have been saying we should be prom dates, and i didn't even know you then. >> if there's a valentine's wonk blog thing you could take me. >> i am prepared to take you, thomas. >> have a good show. s. >> after more than 12 years of covert operations the u.s. drone program is coming out of the shadows. is a bit of trnz pirn si behind this or soothing the way for john brennan? the aclu and pulitzer prize winning journalist dave wood joins us to discuss skresy and
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national security. also, party savior or party linguist? marco rubio is ready for his close-up. we will talk to time magazine, the huffington post -- and the nation's katrina vanden hugle. house republicans may, surprise, stand in the way of passage. will eric cantor save the day? that is not a rhetorical question. the president is rallying house democrats at a retreat in virginia. we'll bring you his remarks live when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios big time taste should fit in a little time cup. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer.
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