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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 26, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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tonight. that is "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow starts now. >> thank you. >> thank you for staying with us the next hour. there is a lot going on in the news tonight, even if you're only talking about the news tonight from texas. there is a lot to get to. we're going to start tonight right here, in san diego, california, in the fancy rancho santa fe neighborhood in san diego, california, where in march, 1997, the local sheriff's office got a tip something was very wrong inside one specific mansion in ran to the, santa fe.
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inside that mansion, they found 39 cult members all i'dtically and tucked away neatly in beds, a mass suicide. their cult was called the heaven's gate. as best anybody could figure, they killed themselves because they thought doing so would somehow convey them to an alien spacecraft they wanted to be on they believed was trailing behind a particular comet, absolutely bizarre and tragic, 39 people killed in that cult mass suicide. the people who indeed that rancho santa fe mansion were all members of the cult. at least this cult in its mass suicide did not try to take anybody else out with them. that was not the case in jonestown. it was a cult founded in the midwest and grew hugely in the san francisco bay area and eventually moved to south america in 1976. the jonestown cult is remembered
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for its mass suicide in gi anna two years later, 1978, 900 people dead. but not every jonestown cult member who died made a decision to die. it was not all suicide. including the cold-blooded murder of a u.s. congressman and nbc news reporter and nbc news cameraman and photographer for the san francisco examiner and member of the group trying to defect back to the u.s., those people were all shot to death on the airstrip in guyana, while they were trying to leave to get the story out. five people killed, nine other people shot and injured including now congresswoman jackie sphere of california. even the cults we think of as suicide cults do not always want to kill themselves. they often want to take somebody else with them when they go. in 1995, it was the apocalyptic sudan death cult that was not foretelling the ends of the world, working on the end of the world themselves worked on
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things like trying to develop a massed spraying system for the boh lin toxin so they could spray it over large numbers of people maybe from moving vehicles. they worked with cholera and anthrax. when their compound was eventually raided in japan, they managed to get themselves not only explosives and toxins but a russian 17 military helicopter. who knows what their larger plans were. what they did do was this. >> through the night, anti-chemical warfare troops searched subway stations for more nerve gas containers but found none. searched for clues who would have done this, terrorized a subway system that carries 7.5 million people a day, twice that of new york. seven people are dead including a worker who tried to remove a suspicious container and died instantly, more than a dozen critically injured, over 3400
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treated and some choking for air. some were blinded. >> it got dark all around and i couldn't see. >> i saw something on the train wrapped in plastic. >> reporter: investigators found six containers wrapped in plastic and doctors said the poison was serin, a nerve agent that cripples the nervous system. a drop can kill almost instantly. >> in the end, that serin attack the japanese death cult/terrorist group released on the subway in march 1995, in the end that serin attack killed 13 people and sent thousands of people to the hospital. law enforcement realized at the time that same group had also been responsible for a previously unsolved gas attack on another japanese site a year earlier, three hours west of tokoyo. that one killed fewer people but it was the same basic idea. the serin they used in both instances was homemade, the second batch stronger than the first batch.
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it was only because the group had not rigged better means of dispersing the poison they were not able to kill hundreds more people. serin was invented by german scientist in the late 1930s. they were trying to build a stronger pesticide at the time and came up with this nerve agent. anybody waiting for me to mispronounce something spectacular in this show, this is the proper name. i'm sure that's not how you say it. serin is a chemical that does not occur naturally in the world. you have to make it in a lab considered one of the most toxic substances on earth, 500 times more deadly than cyanide, and the deadlessness was not missed who turned it over for a weapon in world war ii although the nazis -- it fires over and over again and has lots of effects on the body, none of them good.
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pretty quickly, it paralyzes the muscles that make breathing possible. exposure to enough serin, it does not take much, can lead to fatal suffocation within minutes. serin, does not occur in nature, has to be made by man, it makes a terrifying weapon. human skin absorbs serin so it can kill on contact. in liquid form it is clear and odorless, mixes well with water and makes it a potent poison that can be added to food or water or anything else and also used in chemical warheads, a cluster munition. serin is not the most stable compound in the world. the process of putting it on a missile or rocket or cluster munitions can mean relatively complicated weapon design. lots of countries have serin or have had it at some point. the united states and russia used to mass produce serin in the cold war. the war between iran and iraq
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waged through the 1980s, they used serin in combat against the iranians and famously used serin and mustard gas both in world war i, saddam used serin and mustard gas in 1988 against his own iraqi people. he bombed the civilian iraq kurdish population. he bombed them with serin and mustard gas. the death toll from that attack was estimated in the thousands. serin is technically illegal now. an international chemical weapons convention banned it in 1983. not every country in the world signedton that convention. angola, north korea, egypt, the new country of south sudan, somalia and syria have not touched the weapons convention that banned it. that last country, syria, is thought to have the largest stocks of serin in the whole world. syria started making chemical
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weapons in ernest in the 1970s and really stepped it up in then 1980s, a strategic decision made by the assad government. for whatever reason now the assad government has huge stockpiles of chemical weapons. in the bloody civil war raging for two years in syria there are frequent allegations the syrian government is using its chemical weapons against the rebels, against its own civilians. the syrian government itself alleged chemical weapons were used by the rebels, not by them but the other side. either way, it should be noted the use of chemical weapons is much easier to allege than to prove. i mean that in the technical sense. it is hard to allege chemical weapons were used. this is not the situation in iraq the debate is whether or not this particular guy has chemical weapons. in syria it's clear they do. we know they have stockpiles of chemical weapons. the question is whether or not
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they have been used. it's not that easy to tell, especially far away. tear gas and other riot gases, the chemicals can cause the same superficial effects especially in concentrated doses. chemical contamination on the battlefield or besieged areas where traditional weapons were being used, it can be hard to distinguish from the effects of chemical weapons. the way you really tell if you want to be sure chemical weapons have been used or not is by taking physical samples. competitions for human rights was one of the first groups in the world to prove saddam really had used serin and mustard gas against the kurds. they were not able to conclusively prove it until four years after the attack, four years after the fact they were finally able to collect soil samples that showed trace evidence serin breaks down to over time.
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today, i say all that because today, knowing that much about serin, knowing how serin is used, knowing how you can tell if it has been used, knowing that much about serin today suddenly became really important for all of us for understanding what it means for us as a country our defense secretary today said this very carefully worded thing. >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in syria, specifically the chemical agent serin. as i have said, the intelligence community has been assessing information for some time on this issue. the decision to reach this conclusion was made within the past 24 hours. >> some degree of varying confidence. what does that mean? if we're saying this country, syria, has used chemical weapons
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in this war, our president, president obama has said that would be a red line. that would be a game changer in terms offing the going about the united states potentially getting involved somehow in that war over there we have thus far stayed out of. when you say it has been assessed with some degree of varying confidence that they've crossed that red line, what the heck does that mean? does that mean some u.s. intelligence agencies think serin got used and some don't? how do we know? what are we basing this on. forgive me for splitting the hairs, if the split is between america going to war again and not going to war again, this hair needs splitting. the letter the white house sent to congress today does add this important detail. the assessment is based on part on physiological samples. that would imply they have physically tested something to come to this conclusion, not relying on diagnosing it from afar by sight or allegations,
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they test something. there was a follow-up call with report others to explain what this means. the white house would not elaborate at all what these physiolocal samples showed or definitive or results were. there's some reporting maybe it was blood samples of people gassed by serin, smuggled out of syria and tested by u.s. inlets and reporting from the "new york times" quoting syrian rebels saying americans, the cia specifically were asking the syrian rebels to go collect samples. that's the reporting. we don't know. u.s. officials not explaining it yet. we have the qualified assertion but really don't have any proof. if there were proof, president obama has said repeatedly that would cross a red line in terms of the possibility of u.s. intervention. another war in this middle east right next door to iraq.
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with war and peace on the line, with potentially american war and peace on the line, the white house response is they want u.s. inspectors allowed access to the sites where they say chemical weapons were used to test properly and test the soil and victims to determine conclusively whether it did happen and not the same old allegations we've been hearing for month from people who want us to go to war from syria. the line from the white house is let the u.n. inspectors in to determine the truth. sound familiar to you? at home a senator john mccain reacted to this news, it's on tremendous him this is already a slam-dunk case, wmd's were used, let's arm the rebels and start shooting down syrian planes. he shade the in tell is good enough for him already. i assure you we are not reenacting a script for old times sake to celebrate the opening of the george w. bush presidential library today. this is new news breaking today.
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joining us now is a senior fellow for non proliferation studies and chair of nuclear and biological and chemical weapons of the economic forum. when newsbreaks like this today, the person you want to ask about it is the person who wrote "germ gambits," iraq and beyond. that would be dr. smithson. thank you for being here. >> a pleasure. >> i am no expert in this field and you are. would you tell me if i screwed up anything materially in that explanation about serin? >> no catastrophic mistakes. i can pick a few nits but let's not. >> thank you. deploying and using a chemical weapon against a civilian population or army, that's a specific thing, a specific crime. lots of other things can look like that from afar without actually being that. how do you tell if the use of chemical weapons has actually happened?
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>> this is one of the things this team hopefully will be able to do. the investigators for the secretary general ban ki-moon. they have a series of technical steps they will go through. among them are taking a variety of different types of samples. one of the tale tale marks is if a munition was actually used to deliver a chemical warfare agent. so they'd be looking for fragments of munitions, testing vegetation, they'll be looking for biomedical samples from humans, food and water sampled, clothing and general environmental samples from the
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soil. >> none of that is going to happen until the u.n. inspectors can get in and do that. there's been reporting there may be efforts to get samples out of syria, two outside analysts that may have been the source of the assessment from the u.s. intelligence community, we don't know for sure. in that case you can't necessarily identify the providence of some of these chromatograph mass spectrometer and there are very particular chemical signatures for chemicals out there and their degradation by-products, how they were able to identify serin being used four years after the fact. in this case, the problem, which is cited in the letter to senator levin is chain of custody. now, that's something that your viewers will be familiar with from all the law enforcement shows like "csi" and the like. this is a procedure, a use of procedures law enforcement used
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to make sure that a jury has confidence that the evidence that was collected has been properly collected, sealed so that it can't be tampered with, and every single step from the crime scene to the laboratory, somebody is certifying the possession of that to be in law enforcement hands. so you can't be accused of spiking the sample, so to speak. >> i see. >> in this case, it's possible maybe they could train some of the syrian opposition to take these samples and put video cameras in their hands to document this process to the satisfaction of the international community, if the syrian government continues to balk at letting the inspectors in. >> why are chemical weapons and biological weapons as well, chemical weapons in this case treated so differently from different weapons in terms of international law and the kind of international red line president obama has rhetorically
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drawn in this case, why is there such a hard distinction made between types of weapons? >> chemical weapons are the lowest on the ladder of weapons of mass destruction. they were used widely during world war i, generally considered a battlefield weapon that can tactically change the course of a battle. weapons like biological weapons and nuclear are considered strategic and can change the course of the war. in this case, the civilians and any opposition fighters or troops in this area of combat not equipped with protective gear are particularly vulnerable. that's one of the reasons why the military generally does not like to use these types of weapons. >> dr. amy schmittson, senior fellow, very good to hear your expertise. thank you. >> pleasure to be with you. >> lots more ahead, including the very first ever mention on this show of the poop cruise.
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i assure you we are not bringing up the poop cruise in a chemical weapons context, a whole different thing. [ female announcer ] are you sensitive to dairy? then you'll love lactose-free lactaid® it's 100% real milk that's easy to digest so you can fully enjoy the dairy you love. lactaid®. for 25 years, easy to digest. easy to love. for those nights when it's more than a bad dream, be ready. for the times you need
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coming up, the gala opening celebration of the george w. bush presidential library. who feels like celebrating? come on. who? come on, any? come on, you guys. come on.
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america will keep its word to the men and women who have given us so much. even as we americans may at
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times disagree on matters of foreign policy, we share a profound respect and reference to nen and women of our military and their families and we are united in our determination to comfort the families of the fallen and to care for those who wear the uniform of the united states. >> president obama speaking today at the dedication of the george w. bush presidential library in dallas, texas. president obama spoke at the bush library at around 10:40 a.m. central time this morning. just about 25 minutes before he spoke, this was the news that crossed the wires. u.s. defense secretary hagel says u.s. intelligence confirms to some degree of varying confidence that syria has used chemical weapons on a small scale.
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sometimes the gods of national karma are not subtle. president obama gets handed fuzzy intelligence about a middle eastern dictator suppose wmd's while he's dedicating the president george w. bush library. if this were fiction, it would be rejected as heavy handed and way too obvious. it makes it clear nothing looms larger on a news day like today than the disastrous presidential mistakes of the guy who got his new library today. given the stakes involved and what we have learned from our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient. in the "washington post" reporting this news today, same idea, a senior u.s. defense official said the pentagon did not want to repeat the mistakes of the iraq war. we have seen very bad movies before when intelligence is perceived to have driven policy decisions that in the withhold light of day have been proven wrong. you can seen see it in the reporting on this claim today,
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not just the commentary but the reporting, the "new york times" taking care to not pull another judith miller this time. the "new york times" taking these claims to outside experts today who told them for their main article about this news today it's not a smoking gun. the evidence that has emerged so far is suggestive of chemical attacks but not conclusive. not conclusive. imagine needing something to be conclusive before starting a war about it. how much does the bush administration's experience with gens a decade ago color what's happening right now? color how this administration is using with intelligence right now. let's ask somebody who knows. tommie served as national security spokesman in the obama administration and before that assistant secretary under robert gibbs. i've talked to you many times and never had you on the show. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> you have been close to the national security decision making process in this administration. how much does getting it wrong in iraq, how much does that loom from the previous administration
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over the decisions of the current one? >> i think it's something that looms in every single meeting about intelligence or matters of war and peace. i think that letter makes clear the president doesn't want to go to war over a piece of intelligence by definition isn't black and white and always shades of gray. i worked a lot with the intelligence community and saw a lot of intelligence. you almost never get a piece of intelligence that says x is true. we assess with medium confidence this is true or low confidence or high confidence, these are analytical judgments made by human beings and can be wrong sometimes are. that's not to take anything away from our intelligence community. what they do is compare, the things you get to see when you're in those positions would make your jaw drop. important to keep in mind and that we had 150,000 troops in iraq couldn't prevent a sectarian war and a lot of people think syria has become a sectarian war. >> after this news came out today, the kind of reticence you
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are describing and observing in the administration to not jump to conclusions on this, we saw the opposite from a number of members of congress, mostly republicans but a few democrats now using this to pressure the white house to say, all right, let's intervene in syria right now. is the administration likely to have anticipated that? do they feel like they have political mechanisms in place to resist that kind of pressure? >> i think there's nothing new to hearing comments what senator mccain said. what's important, in-depth reporting like you did tonight, what these options really mean. when we talk about a no-fly zone we should tell the american people the syrians have the fourth best air defense system in the entire planet means we have to hit targets not just on boarders, population centers, civilians killed and likely u.s. service members could be killed or wounded in the process of taking out those air defense systems and with the humanitarian corridor is a
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euphemism, call it what it is, invasion of part of syria, more likely you have to do it in the north near turkey because geographically that makes sense but the population isn't necessarily in the north, and population in damascus innocent being killed. not just that there aren't great options available to the president. there really are no good options and the question of the legal basis something you almost never hear discussed. >> in this case, we have seen the president, white house already coming out saying what they want in terms of a response to these assessments so carefully couched but released today is the u.n. to be involved in trying to substantiate what we are saying now with no degree of confidence whatsoever. do you expect that a sort of multi-lateral approach trying to look for leadership from the u.n. or some other multi-lateral alliance would be the next step if the president decides he's got to move?
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>> they'll make a decision based on the evidence and tee up a series of policy options for the president. i'm sure people are meeting right now trying to do that. we had a very similar chemical weapons scare when i was still in the white house. the most senior people in administration and national security get together. the ic presents them the evidence and they make decisions and offer the president options. the easiest option still very difficult is going to the u.n. and getting international support or american security council resolution. the problem is the russians and chinese have been shameful in their blocking of any meaningful action at the u.n. security council as the russians have continued to sell them arms not to mention the iranians which have pumped in material support, weapons, fighters, they have gone all in to continue propping up the assad regime. there are all these factors internationally making things more difficult. let's be clear. this is a global problem. we all need to put as much pressure on russia and china to take meaningful action.
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>> tommie vietor, former white house spokesman in the obama administration. i want to bring in steve clemmons, editor at large for a magazine and my friend, full disclosure. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> talking about the crucial parts of the administration outside the white house, we heard this first from defense secretary chuck hagel and secretary of state john kerry, do the defense department and state department operate with the same kind of framing in mind about not jumping to conclusions when it comes to intelligence tommie was just describing at the white house? do they think about these things differently than the white house does? >> i think they have different missions. by nature, it's a good thing not every element of the national security breaks is on the same investigator. john kerry has been worried how to organize the diplomatic echo system around syria, working with russia and others to try to
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pull the russians into some more compliant mood. he's, i think, very concerned that you could see a dissentigration inside the syrian state that was a lot like iraq when you had the severe bathfication and disillusion of the army there and you had utter chaos follow. kerry's been worried about that and trying to put those pieces. chemical weapons moves syria from being a humanitarian issue into the realist camp. as you pointed out, chemical weapons are clearly on everyone's concern of u.s. national interests. what do you do? in that case the pentagon focused on those elements have to begin and have been for some time laying out scenarios how they might respond and either using allies and partners or various interventions inside syria, what they would do to secure those chemical weapons and keep them from falling in other hands. the white house, as tommie vietor said play this role of integrator.
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it's not unusual for state and d & b to be in different tracks, i think it's good they are. >> while this whole thing has been going on, wave seen a lot of allegations before today. this is a big thing to have the intelligence community saying in this mele mouth way, yeah, sort of we're on board with this as well. when we were previously getting leaks less substantiated it didn't prove anything about chemical weapons but proved that people inside the administration were trying to force the president into going to war in syria. are there enclaves in this administration pushing for it? >> you hit something a taboo subject hard to discuss. you asked what are the motives certain players in this discussion have had? they want to see an intervention and thus they want to organize evidence to try to trigger the behavior from the u.s.
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government they want to see, an intervention with what they see as the fsa and they often present it as a more organized and sinthy sized and warm and friendly operation than it really is. i think that's critical. when i talk to people in the pentagon today and in the white house, the chain of custody issues are critical. you could have any number of scenarios. i'm not saying these scenarios are the ones i believe. let's take lindsey graham's favorite movie reported, "seven days in may" made many years ago we have to be wear military demagoguery. in that movie you had parts of the military operating against the white house. what if you had something similar inside syria and have rogue elements inside syria and had rogue elements like senator mccain and others looking for triggers to trigger what they want, all involvement of the u.s. military. i think we need to be very very careful. even the foreign governments
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that have come out j france, england, israel, others, none of them with the exception of one general in israel, not even the israeli government in full have made the fully robust comment about the chemical weapons. our media has already jumped on and decided this is a done deal but it is not even a done deal for the governments that have said probably there is something going on but they don't know how, choir who is in control. >> neither israel or england or france produced physical evidence this happened and physical evidence the only way to prove it. we have assertions there is some physical evidence but no detail about that at all. i am reserving judgment with a capital r or capital j with exclamation point. steve, editor, thank you so much. >> thanks. i never thought i would mention on this show the cruise ship and power outage and broken toilets a couple months ago but the poop crews has new news val today thanks to another big
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story in today's news. the poop crews is suddenly important kind of. that's coming up.
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this is not cnn so i have never talked about this on tv before. how about that poop cruise? also known as the carnival triumph, stuck with thousands of people on board and no working toilets. i will not go on and on but perhaps you heard of one passenger's pending lawsuit against carnival cruises will suffice, quote plaintiff was forced to wade through human feces to stand in food lines only to receive rations of spoiled food and people using their bodies to spell the world help for the purposes of news helicopters. a little hard to make out.
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this was a nightmare without the wall to wall tabloid tv coverage. it was just a real low point for the cruise industry in particular. whoever is going to book a cruise again after the poop cruise? if you work in the cruise industry, you might be worried about the impact of the whole poop cruise on your business? no. an executive of msc was quoted right after the poop cruise thing saying the industry was pretty confident nobody was ever going to remember this. the ceo reminded reuters actually the cruise industry had a disastrous year in 2012 as well including the costa concordia nightmare when the cruise ship ran aground and killed 32 people. that was 2012. the ceo told reuters people forgot about even that fatal incident in 2012 right away so it stands to reason he said even if 2013 is the year of the poop
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cruise by next year, 2014, people will have forgotten all about it. it's amazing how 2012 has been forgotten. we have seen already the new wave season, 2013, the first comers are coming back again. in other words, poop cruise, smoop cruise, people forget, doesn't matter. the same thing from another crisis management interviewed after the poop cruise debacle, americans have short memories. americans have short memories. that's idea number one from the business world. here's idea number two. this was the president of the united states on may 1st, 2003, ten years ago next week, president george w. bush putting on a fake flight suit complete with the ejection harness and did a fake fighter pilot landing from an s 3 viking jet. the uss abraham lincoln was carrying soldiers return home after an 11 month deployment. before they got to go home, they got lined up to watch as
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president bush stripped off his flight suit, put on his suit and stood in front of a banner that said mission accomplished and gave a speech that said the iraq war was over and wasn't just over, it was awesome. >> my fellow americans, major combat operations in iraq have ended and the battle of iraq, the united states and our allies have prevailed. >> that was day 43 of the iraq war that would go onto last 8 1/2 more years. idea number one, the poop cruise idea is americans have short memories, idea number two is we are fast approaching the 10 year anniversary of the mission accomplished speech on may 1st, next week is the 10 year anniversary. these are two seemingly related ideas that offer the best help we have for the public onslaught where you have noticed the past 24 hours a very familiar face on your tv.
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like this one that featured either the most impressive segue ever or really strange edit. >> some argue and i think karl rove has said this, if there had been no weapons of mass destruction probably the decision would never have been made? >> hard to tell. >> what does painting bring you? >> relaxation and a whole new way of looking at the world. >> cool with the war? yeah, whatever. painting? so relaxing. cbs got one of these interviews and fox news got two and aired them on the same night. the one on the left is dana perino interviewing president bush. she works at fox news and used to have a different job. she was president bush's press secretary. her getting the interview is kind of all in the family. the event that was supposed to warrant this was the stately
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ceremony dedicating the prub 02:0prub -- president bush presidential library. the heads of state and former presidents were all there and president bush talked about his friendship with dick cheney and talked about other stuff, too. >> my deepest conviction, the guiding principle of the administration, is that the united states of america must drive to expand the reach of freedom. when future generations come to this library and study this administration, they're going to find out that we stayed true to our convictions. >> if that alone, mr. bush's cadence and doctrine and style, if that alone is not enough to stir memories how it went for all those years, take note today was just the private opening, the first day the general public can visit the george w. bush
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library is next week. the first day the general public can go with specifically be may 1st, 2013, ten years to the day after this happened on may 1st, 2003, they are opening the george w. bush presidential library 10 years after the mission accomplished speech either an inside joke for this is some kind of crisis management business school test of the poop school thesis americans really do have shockingly short memories.
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the honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the united states. whatever challenges come before us, i will always believe our nation's best days lie ahead. god bless. >> former president george w. bush at the end of his 13-minute speech in texas today, dedicating his presidential library. joining us now is wayne slater, senior political writing for the dallas morning news, coauthor of the seminal bush administration bush's brain. thanks so much for being here. >> great to be with you, rachel, as always. >> when i saw that clip, i had read before that president bush teared up at the end of his speech.
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but i didn't know it was quite as dramatic as it was until i saw the clip. having been there, do you have any insight into him becoming so emotional at the end of his speech? what else was going on there? >> yeah, i mean, you know george bush. he's the guy who says i don't want to be psychoanalyzed on the couch, i don't want to be so emotional, i don't want to look this way. and yet you saw a very emotional guy today, and to be honest, this was a moment i think he recognized, it's over. i mean, it's really, really over. the monument has been built. that's the end of a long process. and i think what's very important to him was his mom and dad were there, not only did you have the alumni, the extended bush legacy project network, but you had mom and dad. and frankly, i don't want to say too much about it, but anyone who watched that moment where george bush 41 talked briefly, we all know our parents won't last forever. and i think he was awfully happy they were there on this day. >> when i have found it to be noteworthy and strange and sort
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of surprised it's not bigger news that the date they picked for the public opening of the library is the ten-year anniversary of mission accomplished. it's not even like the random 16th anniversary which nobody would notice. it's ten years. is that an oversight? it seems like impossibly awkward timing. >> i talked to a guy today in the -- couple people in the crowd, one of whom said -- was talking about the accomplishments of the bush administration. iraq was an accomplishment. flat-out. so there are those folks, the bushies, the loyalists, who consider virtually everything he did as a great accomplishment, the history be damned. but on the other hand, i think if, in fact, the folks at the bush library -- putting this thing together had really thought this thing through, they probably wouldn't have wanted this to be the ten-year
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anniversary. if they really thought that that was no big deal, that america's short-term memory would be completely vanished, you know, be ten years later, which is obviously not the case, we could see the banner inside the library. rachel, the banner ain't there. >> was there any substantial mention, other than conversations like you had in the crowd there? were there any substantial mention of iraq? was that word mentioned today from the podium? >> no. amazing. >> not once. amazing. >> the most significant thing to define the bush administration, the iraq war, a decade of war, the word "iraq" was never mentioned. now, the word "wars" were, something about a dictator, and a whole lot of sentences that had the word "freedom" in them. that's the word that bush uses "freedom" as a cloak to cover everything. so "iraq," the most significant thing, was never spoken from the stage. >> astonishing. wayne slater, senior political writer with "dallas morning news" wayne, always great to have you here. thank you so much. >> great to be with you. >> thank you.
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that's -- the word "iraq." not going to be there in the transcript. you can search for it. tomorrow morning president obama is going to do something that is going to make the right go nuts, at least i think it's going to. it's been rescheduled for tomorrow. i'll tell you what that is, next. this is america. we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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and be good for your face? [ female announcer ] now there's new neutrogena® naturals acne cleanser. acne medicine from the wintergreen leaf treats breakouts. no parabens or harsh sulfates. for naturally clear skin. [ female announcer ] neutrogena® naturals. a lot going on in the world right now. one consequence, we have had an intense schedule for the president and the vice president. a lot of high-profile, high-emotion events in the past few days. yesterday, vice president biden was in massachusetts for the funeral of the police officer shot in his patrol car a week ago, allegedly by the suspects in the boston bombing. then this morning, the president attended a rare gathering of all of the nation's living presidents, all five of them in the same place at the same time for the first time since early 2009.
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also there, almost all of the living first ladies. the only one missing was former first lady nancy reagan. the occasion was the dedication of the george w. bush presidential library in dallas. when that was done, though, president obama and first lady michelle obama stayed in texas. they flew by helicopter. they flew in marine 1, south from dallas out toward waco. they circled over the small town called west, where president obama saw the flattened remains of the homes and buildings devastated when the fertilizer plant there exploded last week. president and first lady then continued another 20 minutes to the city of waco, and a memorial service for the 14 victims of that explosion, including 12 first responders represented by flag-draped coffins at the service. they, of course, died trying to protect their neighbors. the president previously had other plans for tonight. the president originally had been announced as the keynote speaker at the big gala for planned parenthood in washington, d.c. the right is prepared to go nuts at the speech tonight but the speech has been postponed until
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tomorrow morning. the political right will still go nuts about that speech, but they'll be able to do it now after a good night's sleep. be able to do it after a good night's sleep. "first look" is up next. good friday morning. a new twist in the boston bombing case. word that the suspects were headed to new york city. their target? times square. the senate moves to help ease those massive travel delays brought on by faa furloughs and the sequester. u.s. intelligence now says syria has used chemical weapons in civil war. will the obama administration intervene? plus ufive living u.s. presidents share a stage. the first round picks of the nfl draft. and "boston" magazine's inspirational tribute. good morning. i'm mara schiavocampo. the boston marathon was just the first

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