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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  June 18, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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allegedly stopped terrorist attacks. i'm craig melvin. new revelations by intelligence officials come as president obama declares, he is no dick cheney. since the programs were leaked to the press, the president said the government is not reading your e-mail or listening to your phone calls. he also pushed back against comparisons to his predecessor's controversial policies and equally controversial right hand man. >> some people say obama was this raving liberal before, now he's dick cheney. dick cheney sometimes says yeah, he took it all lock, stock and barrel. my concern has always been not that we shouldn't do intelligence gathering to prevent terrorism but rather, are we setting up a system of checks and balances. >> here with me now, nbc news national investigative correspondent, michael isikoff. michael, we have been listening
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to this hearing for a while now. releasing four out of more than 50 terror plot they say have been foiled since 9/11. talk to me a little bit about the four plot. >> right. and i should say, craig, we've gotten some details but far from a complete account. but ones cited here by fbi deputy director shawn joyce were the zazi plot which has been talked about before. that's the guy in colorado who travelled to new york for a plot to blow up the new york subway system. another plot that they've mentioned for the first time today linked to these programs about somebody in communication with the terrorist in yemen who had a plan to blow up the new york stock exchange. a third instance, this is the guy, david hedley, a player in the mumbai terrorist attacks
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back in 2008. and also, was engaged in a plot to blow up the danish newspaper that published the cartoons that were perceived as anti-islamic and mocking the prophet mohammed. and the fourth one that they provided no details about at all, saying there was an ongoing investigation that had been closed by the fbi and then the nsa used some of the information in its data base to alert the fbi and the investigation was reopened. so there you have it. and not a lot of details, i should say, on some of these, particularly the zazi plot. there's been some push back from people who have followed the case closely, saying that initial tip off about zazi coming -- being in communication with the terrorists in pakistan actually came from british intelligence through an
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operation they had ongoing growing out of the london subway plot. so some dispute about precisely what role this nsa surveillance did play. and i should note that general alexander in his testimony was a bit caution in the way he described the nsa surveillance program's role. he said the programs have contributed to the thwarting of the plot. did not make the claim they were solely responsible for thwarting plot. >> correlation, not causation. >> right. until you really dig into the weeds, it becomes very difficult to decide exactly what role the programs played in thwarting the plots. i should point out something that is important here. the businessic nsa surveillance program w program, targeting contacts
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overseas, when they come into contact with someone in the united states, conducting surveillance of those communications, has not really been controversial. the people who have -- it's been sort of publicly acknowledged for quite sometime. it's been debated. that's not what triggered this whole controversy. what really did it was the existence of this holy separate program to use the provision of the patriot act, business record provision known as 215 to collect massively all of the data on phone calls made inside the united states by americans and this massive collection of a data base storing millions and millions of americans' phone calls, under using the provision of the patriot act. that is what really disturbed a lot of people and the testimony
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so far has not explained how that program was instrumental in thwarting these terrorist plots. >> michael isikoff watching these hearings with us. mike, stand by. i want to come back to you later. >> sure. >> i want to bring in senator bernie sanders. senator, i assume you have been watching the hearings this morning. did you learn anything you did not know, and if so, what. >> i agree with what mr. michael isikoff said. the question is, what kind of nation do we want to be as we fight terrorism. do we feel comfortable with every single telephone call made in the united states by you, by me, by everybody else, being filed by the united states government. now what the administration and
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nsa say is not to worry, we have all types of controls on here. nobody will get into it. well, maybe. maybe not. unfortunately we have seen mr. snowden come into it furthermore and who will be president. do you want the situation where someone has the potential to go in a file, to a secretary of state's phone calls an say, you know, we know you have been calling this woman. are you having an affair. and the potential for blackmail. do you really want the united states government to have to know that when you're calling your lawyer, when you call your psychiatrist. are we comfortable with the government having that much information. i think most americans are not. not to mention getting into web sites we visit. what the answer? the answer is pretty simple, it seems to me. to make sure that section 215 of the patriot act says when the intelligence agencies or fbi
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have reasonable suspicion, if they believe somebody is involved in terrorist ai activity, we want them be able to go after that guy any way they can. but you can't have a blanket system in which every single phone call in america is in the government file. >> you think, senator, this will lead to a much closer look at the patriot act, making changes? >> well, you know, the president said he wants a debate on that issue. we should make reforms for the patriot act. i think we should move in that direction. >> senator, if you could, stand by with me for just a few minutes. we want to listen in to a little bit more of the hearing. but i want to get your take on it as well. so stay with me as we listen in. >> just the phone number pops back up. >> just the phone number. >> what comes back if you
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queerry the data base and again another information would indicate when the call occurred and the duration would be. >> i want to be clear, there are no names or addresses. >> there are not. >> why less than 300 queerries. >> there might be some number greater than that of actual queerryis against the data bait. the court determined there is a very narrow purpose for this use. it can't be to prosecute and greater understanding after simply domestic plot. it cannot be used to do anything other than terrorism, so there must be very well defined, describable, written determinations that this is a suspicion of a connect between a foreign plot and domestic nexus. if it doesn't meet the
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standard -- >> are those reported to the court? >> they are all reported to the debt of justice, reviewed to the department of justice, number of those reported to the court. >> is there a court approved process in order to make that queerry? >> the court specifically approves the process to which they were made and the department of justice provide a rich oversight auditing of that capability. >> great, thank you. general alexander, on the private companies servers as defined under these two companies programs. >> we are not. >> does the nsa have the ability to listen to american fon phone calls or read their e-mails under the two programs. >> no. >> does the nsa flip a switch, by some analyst, to listen to
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phone calls or read e-mails. >> no. >> so the technology does not exist for any individual or group of individuals at the ns to flip a switch to listen to american phone calls or read air that e-mails. >> that is correct. for. >> mr. swrois, if you could help us under that. there's been some public discussion that gosh there's just not a lot of value in which you might get from a program like this that has this many levels of oversight. can you talk about how that might work into an investigation to help you prevent a terrorist attack in the united states? >> sure. investigating terrorism is not an exact science. it is like the mosaic. we try to take the pieces and bring them together to form a picture. there are many different pieces of intelligence. we have as set. we have physical surveillance. we have electronic surveillance through legal process. phone record through additional
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legal process. financial records. also these programs that we're talking about here today. they are all valuable pieces to bring that mosaic together and figure out how these individual are plotting to attack the united states here or whether it is u.s. interest overseas. so every dot is general alexander mentioned, we hear the cliche frequently after 9/11 about connecting the dot. i can tell you as a team and with the committee and american public, we come together to put all these dots together, to form that picture, to allow us to disrupt these activity. >> thank you. >> bernie sanders has been standing by as well. senator, let me bring you back in. we just heard a response sort of to what we were just talking about. apparently according to deputy attorney general, the technology does not exist that allow he the
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nsa to flip a switch and listen in on phone conversations. or read e-mails as well. does that response suffice for you senator sand sners. >> let me say this. what you heard is that quote unquote only thing they are doing is -- is compiling phone numbers but not names. i maeean, between you and me, i doesn't take a genius to figure out, once they have your phone number, they can figure out your name. we have all of these safe card. don't worry. talk about the safe card. talk to the people in fukushima about all of the safe card they have in there. bad things can happen. i'm sure these guys are honorable people, i'm sure they are obeying the law.
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but he have you that much information stored and someone not honorable, batd things can happen. do we need to have a list of every file, a file of every phone call made by every american? i think not. >> independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. >> folks we will continue to watch this hearing and we will also bring in our agenda panel on the other side of the break. come back. from capital one... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please? thank you. that's three new paper shredders. [ boris ] put 'em on my spark card. [ garth ] boris' small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase every day. great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. read back the chicken's testimony, please. "buk, buk, bukka!" [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one and earn unlimited rewards. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase every day. told you i'd get half. what's in your wallet?
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developing news. fireworks on the hill. nsa director general keith alexander. testifying on the house committee. we continue to monitor this hearing. theed toward of political wired, editor in chief of think
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progress, good to see both of pup. >> good to be here. nice to see you. >> we were just taking in the grown room before the show started, and we were talking a little bit about what we have learned over the course of the past hour or so and when we have not learned. there seems to be a great deal that we still don't know about these two surveillance programs. >> that right. details are still very sketchy. but the politics of this situation are really extraordinary. late last week we add poll from pew research that came out that said democrat that opposed them during the bush administration now support them and those who did support them now oppose them. you have senator bernie sanders and rand paul agreeing that the programs went too far and you have president obama and former vice president dick cheney defending the program. so i think the hearings will at
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least begin to allow americans to sort out what they feel about them. but we need more information and the information really is very sketchy still. >> jed, what do poll members like that say about not just the popularity of the programs but what does it say about our politics as well? >> well, i think clearly people are being moved bipartisanship here. we had similar programs during the boush administration and they were a lot less popular among democrat and more popular among the programs today. what is the important thing to keep in mind as we look at this hearing is that we've got a number of people coming up who, as the senator was saying in your last segment, are honorable people probably using this really to combat terrorism. but the problem is, there's really no effective oversight of these programs. you have surveillance court, which is set up, operates in secret, and there is no one on the opposing side.
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it is just the government presenting their case. it would be as if you had a criminal case and just the police and prosecutors making their case and the defense wouldn't get a side. it is not a fair fight. they don't reject virtually any request. >> judd, stand by for just a second. we want it listen more here. this is shawn join being questioned. shawn join deputy director of the fbi. let's listen in and talk more on the other side. >> after the/11 that the fbi conducted. we conducted that investigation and did not find any connection to terrorist activity. several years later, under the 215 business record provision the nsa provided us a telephone number only in san diego that had indirect contact with an extremist outside the united states. we serve legal process to identify who is the subscriber to this telephone number.
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we identified that individual. we were able to, under further investigation and electronic surveillance we applied significantly with the fisa court, we were able to identify co-conspirators and disrupt this activity. >> repeat for me again what they were plotting to do. >> he was providing financial support to an overseas terrorist group that was a designated terrorist group by the united states. >> but there was some connection to suicide bombings that they were talking about, correct? >> not in the example that i'm citing right here. >> oh, i'm sorry. the grup in somalia to which he was financing, that's what they do do in somalia, correct? >> that is correct. as you know, as part of our classified hearings regarding the american presence in that
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area of the world. >> okay. thank you, chairman. >> if i could, congressman, just hit a couple key point. it is over 50 cases. reason i'm not giving a specific number is we want the rest of the commune it to actually beat those up and make sure that we have them exactly right. if someone says, not this one. actually what we are finding out is there are more. they said, you missed three or four more. so we will have those on the packet. i believe those numbers are things that we can make public. that you can use and we can use. we will give you numbers that apply it europe as well as those that had a nexus in the united states. the issue on terms of releasing more on the specific overseas cases is that our -- it is our concern that in some of those, now going into further details of exactly what we did and how we did it, may prevent us from
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disrupting a if you tour plot. so that is something that is work in progress. our intent is to get that to the committee tomorrow. both intel for the senate and house. >> great, thank you. >> mr. thompson. thank you all very much for being here for your testimony, service to our country. before going to hearing, does or has the fisa court after rejected a case that's been brought before. >> i believe the answer to that is yes, but i would defer that to deputy attorney general. >> it has happened. it is not often, but it has happened. >> thank you. mr. cole, what kind of record comprised the data collected under the business records provision. >> there's a couple of different kinds. the short hand required under the statute is the kind you get with the grand jury subpoena. these are grand jury records that already exist.
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it could be a contract. could be something like that. in this instance that we're talking about, for this program, these are telephone records and it is just like your telephone bill. it will show a number called, the date the number was called, how long the call occurred, a number that called back to you. those all it is. not even identifying who the people are that involved. >> have you previously collected -- >> again, we have been listening in to some of the hearing here. we heard from sean joyce. tegan and judd have been listening in. judd, let me bring you back in here. seems as though some of the questioning, follow-up questioning as well and even the tone it a certain extent in the hearing room, that some is designed at least in part to be
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a direct response to some of the things that we found over the past woke or so with regard to under snowden. >> yeah. i mean, i think what they are trying to do is say, request look, this is a useful program. we are disrupting terrorists plots. i think it was interesting when you get into the details of the exactly what it is, they're not incredibly forthcoming. i think there is probably reasons for that. but i don't -- i think in certain respect this misses the issue. i don't think anyone ever doubted it is useful to have a data base of every phone call that every american makes. that's a useful thing if you were trying to out terrorist. the question is, a, is there a more limited way we can accomplish this or accomplish this with more trarns parncy and oversight. because up until recently, it was totally secret. so i think that this is probably going to be an effective tool for them politically. but i think then when you look
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back and look at the civil liberties issued involved, they remain and i think they will continue to be a debate in congress about whether any adjustments need to be made to respond to this. >> teagan, how far will this hearing go and perhaps other hearings in the future, how far will that go to help quiet the critics of the programs. >> depend on how much information we get out of hearings. i think judd is right. in terms of questioning what is happening. if everyone american hypothetically were tagged with a gps device and we tracked their location all times, there is no doubt you could thwart terrorist attempt. other bad activity. that type of thing. the issue here i think is that sure there is this huge collection of phone record, but attached to those phone records is all sort of metadata about locations and where the phone calls were made. that the type of data that most americans don't realize is attached to their phone numbers. attached to their cell phone.
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and the fact that government has that in a big data base i think will begin to concern a lot of people. >> our agenda panel on this tuesday, a big thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> here is a quick look at other top stories making news right now. former mob hit man is back in court pointing the finger at james bulger. bulger's friend turned foe said he was his partner on multiple killings. bulger is pleading not guilty. looking for the remains of another reputed mobster, jimmy ho hoffa. agent are working on the tip of a captain. and the george zimmerman murder trial, a judge paused it hear testimony last night about a controversial piece of evidence. judge nelson will decide if voice expert who heard a 9/11 call from the night trayvon martin was shot should be
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allowed to testify at trial. and white house officials say u.s. and afghan representatives will resume talks with the taliban after years in a standoff. the officials say the taliban must break ties with al qaeda and also say that united states is considering a prisoner exchange with the taliban as well to gain the release of an army sergeant. meanwhile, u.s.-led forces have officially handed over the reigns in afghanistan. president karzai made the announcement earlier but just miles away, become detonated killing three civilians. more than a hundred thousand demonstrators in brazil are protesting pour transportation, health services, and education. those massive protests started with a bus hike in brazil and sparked several clashes with police as well. still ahead, later today, the house will take up a sweeping and controversial abortion bill by republican
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franks but he will not lead the charge. coming up, i'll talk to the woman who will. congressman marcia blackburn is standing by. that lead to today's big question. will the 20-week abortion ban. will that bill cost the gop with women? weigh in on twitter or facebook. [ stewart ] we've never cooked anything like this before.
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risk. right now, almost a dozen states have laws in effect or pending that ban abortion at 20 weeks or less. joining me now, marcia blackburn of tennessee. she is not the bill's sponsor but will manage the debate on the floor. congresswoman, good to see you. dicharacterize the bill correctly? >> yes. i think you got some of the language, the bill text in. and yes, we will can have it on the floor this afternoon. >> you are leading this debate in place of your colleague, trent franks, who of course spoke to a great deal of outrage after making comments on rape and pregnancy last week. i do want it remind our viewers wh he said. >> the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low. but when you make that exception, there is usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. >> do you agree that number of rapes from pregnancy a when?
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>> i think that what you know is that representative franks has apologized for his comments and the bill has been amended which does allow the exception of rape and incest of the mother and that was the appropriate step to take. >> but the bill only allow he the exception for rape when it is reported. only allow he the exception for incest when it is reported, is that correct? >> there is a reporting requirement in the text of the bill. and the hope is that that will help with getting some of the perpetrators out of the population that are committing these crimes against women and against moinor females. we certainly would hope we could rid our society of these perpetrators. >> do you know how many cases of
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rape and incest go reported in this country every year? >> i know that any rape and any incest is a horrible and horrific crime. and while what we want to do and the purpose of the legislation today, craig, is to make certain that those who are carrying out crimes against women and against these unborn babies are dealt with. you know, it is so interesting to see what has transpired after the public became aware of the situation in philadelphia -- >> i do want to talk about it. but the rape figure, 54%, according to the current information, 54% of rapes are not reported in america every year. doesn't this requirement in the bill that rape or incest must be
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reported, doesn't that put the law between the patient and the doctor? >> we have a very narrowly drafted bill. it deals specifically with late term abortions. my hope is that we can show tremendous compassion to anyone who has been a victim of rape. a victim of incest. and that we can rid our society of the perpetrators who carry out crimes. many times repeatedly, on their victims. >> congresswoman, how do you fight rapist with an abortion bill? >> what we are seeking to do is fight the kermit goz nells and stop late term abortion, which is killing babies and harming women. 80% of the women, according to a
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usa gallup poll agree. that 60% of all second trimester abortions should be stopped. that when a baby feels pain, that you should not -- >> congresswoman -- >> -- carry out that abortion. >> -- again, i have a copy of the bill here. >> sure. >> 1797. in the bill you make medical assertions here. an according to the medical association, that the suggestion this at 20 weeks a fetus can feel pain, fetal pain is limited but perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. that's from the ama. >> we are talking about the beginning of the 20th week, the sixth month. we are talking about babies that could survive. many times -- and i don't know if you have ever spent time in a neonatal precare unit.
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>> a great deal of time, actually. >> and you know how the toiny little preemies and how they respond to the pricks and prods and pain that goes into their care. and into the great hopes of their apparent who are desperately hoping that these survive. the fabulous fetal surgeries, a remarkable scientific advancement, what do they do? they provide an anesthesia for the fetuses so they will not feel the pain. because they know that they are experiencing that pain. >> again, i don't want to get bogged down -- >> -- what we are saying is science is on our side on this. public opinion is on our side on this. >> i think people would agree that science is on your side and
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public opinion is on your side. but something you brought up, the trial of the abortion doctor just sentenced it life in prison for killing babies. we know those cases are rare. coupled with the recent state restrictions chipping away at the number of weeks, how concerned are you that measures like this will lead, at some point, to a great deal of unsafe abortions, back room abortions, back alley abortions. how concerned are you about that. >> what we are concerned about is that as states have started their investigations and there are states over last three years that moved forward with investigationses, the stories coming forward are horrific whether it is texas or goz nell or new mexico or west virginia. whether it is the state of virginia. whether it is delaware with two
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pro choice nurses that come forward and said we quit an abortion clinic because we didn't want it lose our medical l license. so what we had seen, and the energy and commerce committee have been in our investigation on this, craig, for about two and a half years. and looking a the what is transpiring that is endanger og the health and safety of women and babies, the american people are wanting us to do something about this. >> congresswoman, i would hate to interrupt you. but if i didn't, i probably couldn't get questions in. in all seriousness, no concern at all, that as you continue to pile on restrictions, you make it far more difficult and as a result you have women going -- you and i both know that women are going to find wileys to get abo
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abortions. they did before roe v wade. >> we are incredibly concerned about the well-being, safety, the health of these women. the life of women. and these babies. that is why we are doing this. the trial of kermit gosnell, the information that has subsequently come from other state, public opinion said something needs to be done about this. so you know, craig, this is one of those issues where science is on our side and public opinion is on our side. >> you said that. one more question. >> we are taking a step to do something about it. >> one more question. not all republicans are on board with this. congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania told the new york times quote, i think it is a stupid idea to bring this up. the economy is on everybody's mind. we are seeing staggering jobs numberes. confidence in the institution of government is eroding. why are republicans still going down this road right now,
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congresswoman? even though bewe both know that there this has in chance of ever passing. >> it is so interesting. people say, maybe the senate should dictate everything that gets done in washington, d.c. if we did that, the senate, my goodness, we couldn't get them to ps pass a budget for five years. this is something that american people have said, you need to do something about this. women have said, you need to do something about late term abortions. there's a tremendous amount of public support for taking an action, for putting a ban on late term abortions. >> congresswoman, is this purely pandering? >> no, it is not pandering at all. it is saving the life of women and of babies pandering? absolutely not. i can't believe you would say something like that. >> congresswoman -- >> my goodness!
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>> the president is not going to sign it, the senate won't take it up so clearly this is a aesh measure that is symbolic, is it not? >> you know, it would be terrible if we sat on our hand, knowing what we learned through kermit gosnell's trial. even his own attorney says 24 weeks is a bad determiner. the law needs to be moved back to 16 or 17 weeks. we're not moving this back as far as kermit gosnell's attorney said it should be moved back. we are taking a very reasonable step because the american people have spoken out and said they wanted something done. the u.s. house of representatives is the people's house. there are so many debate that are up to us to start the discussion. we will do that today. and thank you for your attention to the issue. for. >> thank you for your time as well. congresswoman. >> absolutely, any time. >> we do appreciate your time. coming up, after the break,
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we will get the other side of this. we should note here, soon joining the msnbc family, she covered this bill extensively. i will get her reaction to my conversation there with congresswoman blackburn. ♪ [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines
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we have a very narrowly drafted bill. it deals specifically with late term abortions. my hope is that we have though tremendous compassion to anyone who has been a victim of rape. a victim of incest. and that we can rid our society of these perpetrators -- >> that is congresswoman martha blackburn, moment ago talking about the house bill that would ban almost all abortions at 20 weeks and earlier. joining me now, reporter for salon.com, soon to be report he for msnbc.com. congratulations tore this. >> thank you. >> we should note that she is also a visiting fellow at yale
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law school's program for the study of reproductive justice. with you are in the shadows watching the interview there. this seems to be, onity face, the most aggressive bill yet to put restrictions on abortion across the country. why now? >> well, as you mentioned, there is a base they have to pander to. they are hoping to capitalize on the kermit gosnell bill. he was convicted of murdering live infant that are post viability. this is the 1.5 percent of abortions that take place after 20 weeks that are usually in very straight circumstances, whether medically indicated, very young people who didn't know they were pregnant. with all due respect to representative blackburn, if you want to have fewer later abortions, she has voted and stood in the way of every measure that would potentially lower the absolute number of later abortions. whether it is voting twice to defund planned parenthood.
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whether voting against insurance coverage af borgs, which often women have abortions later because they can't pay. her compassion for women ib cluds limiting choices and telling them exactly what they should be doing with their bodies. >> you have wrote in part yesterday quote republicans think they are winning the abortion wars now. what exactly did you mean by that? >> i think they are -- they are hoping that by focussing on the rare later abortions, which are less popular with the american public, very, very difficult cases, as i mentioned, that they can refocus this argument the way they did in the the 90. this is not grounded in science. american college of on ste tigss, british equivalent, american medical association, says it all has nothing do with science p. however, they are hoping to crow ate their own reality, own set
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of science, stig me advertise women who get abortions. unfortunately, they can't stop talking about rape. >> wish we had more time. but you will be in the building so we will have you back very frequently. thank you so much. now today's big question. will the 20-week abortion ban, will that bill cost the gop with women? you can weigh in on twitter. you can also weigh in on facebook as well. @thomasroberts, one word. ♪
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i guess, in his television interview the other night that the new york subway bomber could not have been -- or would not have been caught without p.r.i.s.m. >> yes, that is accurate. without the 702 tool, we would not have identified that najibu zazi. >> lawmakers are hearing from
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the head of the nsa, representatives from the fbi and justice department as well. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff has also been monitoring these hearings very closely. mike, in addition to that exchange that we just saw there, we also heard them talk about some of the mistakes that had been made under these programs. what kinds of mistakes did they note? >> well, what they talked about are typographical errors, putting in the wrong phone number into the database that leads to what was described as inadvertent collection of innocent americans' content and phone numbers. querying the database to get more information than they were entitled to because of these errors. they acknowledge that these errors have taken place. they've acknowledged that they've reported them to the proper court. but because they were inadvertent errors, nobody's been disciplined for that.
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that was one of the line of questionings -- has anybody been disciplined or sanctioned for improper collection from this vast nsa database and the answer was, no discipline, but yes, mistakes have been made. i suspect people are going to want to hear more about the nature of those mistakes, how many have been made, and what happened to the data after. they did say that when they discovered these errors, the data is destroyed. >> one thing i found interesting early on in the hearing -- i forget which person said this -- but this idea that the technology does not exist that would allow the nsa to flip a switch and listen to people's phone calls or flip a switch and all of a sudden start reading e-mails as well. >> well, clearly, technology does exist to allow them to listen in on phone calls, and to read e-mails. that's what the program's all about. i think what they were trying to respond to was edward snowden's comments that he sitting at his
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desk as an nsa contractor could do that on his own. and snowden tried to explain that a little bit in his web chat. i'm not sure he was quite able to. in fact, if you read closely, the answer he gave in that web chat in "the guardian" sounds a bit that he may have been exaggerating what he could do on his own. >> really quickly, we're running out of time -- you mentioned the web chat. if this guy's out there conducting web chats, how active is this man hunt for him? >> i think it is pretty active but remember, the first thing that has to happen is the justice department has to bring charges against him, criminal charges. we can't -- they can't ask for his extradition from hong kong until he is formally charged, and then there is a legal process that would undergo. so manhunt may not actually be the right word at this moment for what's going on within the justice department. >> nbc's michael isikoff, always
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appreciate your insight, sir. thanks for joining us today. that wraps things up for me. thomas will be back tomorrow, 11:00 eastern. "now" with alex wagner is on the other side of this break. every day we're working to be an even better company - and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. [ male announcer ] yep, there's 8 layers of whole grain fiber in those mini-wheats® biscuits... to help keep you full... ♪ 45 bushels of wheat on the farm. 45 bushels of wheat! ♪ ...all morning long. there's a big breakfast... [ mini ] yeehaw! ...in those fun little biscuits.
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it's tuesday, june 18th and this is "now." this morning in an effort to push back against so-called misinformation contained in leaks by edward snowden, nsa chief keith alexander appeared before the house intelligence committee. he was joined by officials from the fbi, dni and doj, all of whom sought to defend the nation's surveillance program. >> in recent years, these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the u.s. and our allies from
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terrorist threats across the globe, to include helping prevent the terrorist -- potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11. >> the officials made public details on four terrorist plots, two of them for the first time. plots that had had apparently been foiled using intelligence gathered by the nsa. >> known extremist in yemen. this individual was in contact with an individual in the united states named khalid uizani. he and other individuals who we identified through a fisa that the fbi applied for were able to detect a nascent plotting to bomb the new york stock exchange. uiz had hani had been providing information to this plot. the fbi disrupted and arrested these individuals. >> citing specific evidence of thwarted terrorist's tax seems to be the administration's main defense in mak t

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