tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 1, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
when they were voting on legislation that affected us, would have to look us in the eye and know that they were voting against tony and frank. and i tried to put a face on good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in" nsa leaker edward snowden leaves the moscow airport behind and enters russia with temporary asylum. what does it mean for his future? and for the already tense, fraught relationship between the united states and russia?
also tonight, you probably know who this tony bennett is, but there's another tony bennett who should be way more famous than he already is. thanks to an outrageous story of apparent corruption that you need to know about. plus, mitch mcconnell has long lived by the old adage, slow and steady wins the race, but news out of kentucky should make the republican senate leader, too slow and very, very unsteady. we begin tonight with a story that i honestly and frankly did not think would be topping our broadcast. today ariel castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts including rape and kidnapping of three women, two of whom he abducted as teenagers and one of whom gave birth to his daughter during captivity. this may have been a routine procedure for a massively heinous serious of attacks until ariel castro spoke. i couldn't really believe my ears. this wasn't just a monster trying to explain and justify himself. this was a teachable moment, raw
expression of the most virulent kind. every stalker, abuser who passes through the criminal justice system or missed by the criminal justice system. a warning, some of this may be difficult to listen to. >> i'm 100% wrong. you're trying to say i'm a violent person. i'm not a violent person. most of the sex that went on in the house, probably all of it, was consensual. these allegations about being forceful, that is totally wrong because there were times that they would even ask me for sex, many times. trying to make me look a monster. i'm not a monster. i'm a normal person. i am just sick. i have an addiction, just like an alcoholic has an addiction. alcoholics cannot control their addiction. that's why i couldn't control my
addiction, your honor. my daughter, every day for me after she was born. she'd probably say, my dad is the best dad in the world. that's how i tried to raise her those six years. finally i would like to apologize to the victims. to amanda berry and gina dejesus and michelle knight. i am truly sorry for what happened. so, again, thank you, everyone. thank you. please find it in your hearts to forgive me. >> castro even addressed the issue of his now deceased ex-wife. on three occasions police had investigated allegations of physical abuse, and here in particular, castro sounds like
so many other millions of men who blame the woman they terrorize. >> this happened because i couldn't get her to quiet down. the situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands on me, and that's how i reacted, by putting my hands on her. >> today's sentencing hearing thankfully gave the survivors a chance to speak. amanda berry and gina dejesus spoke through family members. michelle knight made her own statement to the court. >> ariel castro, i remember the times you came home talking about what everybody else did wrong and acted like you didn't do the same thing. you took 11 years of my life away, and i have got it back. i spent 11 years in hell. now your hell is just beginning. i will overcome all this that happened. you will face hell for eternity. >> joining me now, goldie taylor.
and cindy southworth. goldie, you've written very powerfully about having been a survivor of domestic abuse. i just wonder when you watched this today, what was going through your mind? >> you know what, it felt like an issue of domestic violence really on steroids. the depth of his depravity, the depth of his disconnection with the women's humanity. his disconnection with the cultural norms, the things that all of us know are really right and wrong. you know, it just felt like he believed that he was collecting women that he could keep in total control and people that i think he thought he was doing something good for them is what i heard from him today. that's what you hear from nearly every abuser. they feel like they're doing something good for them, that they need this kind of parental care. >> that, cindy, that was the
thing i think was so striking was watching this with our jaws open in the office of someone who really didn't think they had done anything wrong, and i know as a reporter, i have interviewed abusers who sounded like that. how surprising was that to you as someone who works in the world of domestic violence? and how familiar was it to you? >> chris, first, i just have to thank you for using the word misogyny. that's exactly what this is. i wasn't surprised at all. my mouth did fall open, because it is rare to hear an abuser say how entitled they feel in such a public setting. this is typically what they do behind closed doors. when he said he kept them in there without them being able to leave, talk about minimizing. he kidnapped them, held them captive for 11 years and tortured them. that's not letting them leave. >> this is something he really wanted to litigate and as a reporter i've encountered this but also encountered this, talking to folks who are survivors of sexual assault,
particularly. the abuser or rapist genuinely does not realize after it happened that they forced themselves, committed rape. they're unaware of the violation because they're disconnected from the humanity and subjectivity of the person they were abusing. if he wanted to convince the court this sex was consensual, though he pled to it not being so, and all of us understand it could not be. >> sure. the most telling thing about this was he allowed these women to keep diaries, chris. if you go through those diaries, you find a day-by-day account of the very horrific things that they endured. just to take a read of those things, i wonder if ariel castro reads those diaries with the same eye that investigators would. that these women were really taking to these writings and crying out for help. that they did not want to submit themselves in this way. he took them at the point in their lives where they were learning to be intimate.
these were children that he took. i want to tell you something else. just like someone who does this in the course of a marriage or another intimate relationship, he chose women who he thought were the most vulnerable. he chose people who he thought society would not miss. he chose people who he thought were disconnected, that he could keep inside of this house and no one would look for them. he was wrong about that. he was also wrong about something else about these women. their will to fight. >> yeah. >> cindy, the fact this was trying, at another point he was saying, look, i was a musician, he was around. this gets to the two facedness of the real evil that happens in domestic violence and behind closed doors. people that have relationships with co-workers and friends and family and people have no idea
that in their intimate lives, with the women in their lives when they're capable of. >> i agree completely. i think this is such an extreme case, but it is so common that domestic violence abusers, stalkers, perpetrators of sexual violence, they can be charming and swath and fabulous co-workers, friends and relatives and believe it's their inherent god-given right to control their partners day in, day out, what they wear, who they talk to, what they do. he targeted women. it doesn't matter how vulnerable you are. i've seen women who have ph.d.s and medical degrees and you name it. it's because the partner believes it's their right to control them all the time. and this is such a bizarre case. i mean, his point about consensual sex, there is no way to mix 90 pounds of chains and captivity for 11 years and consensual sex. those are completely preposterous. >> i want to play the one moment when there was a tiny, slight pin prick of empathy in me as i watched this awful statement was him talking about himself, saying that he had been a victim of sexual abuse, himself. take a listen.
>> i've stated before that i was a victim of sex acts when i was a child. this led me into -- these people are trying to paint me as a monster and i'm not a monster. i'm sick. >> it seemed like a weird way the most honest thing that he said, but also this weird kind of distancing approach to medicalize so that he did not have to take moral responsibility, goldie, and yet there was some part of me that when i considered, i flashed before my brain, a child being abused that there was this opening up of empathy. maybe this bizarre hope that there's actually some possibility of redemption in the long life that he's going to spend behind bars. >> sure. i know there's a man out there who stabbed me in my back, chris, but i know today, and i knew even then he had been
abused as a child. hurt people hurt other people. if you poll the men and women in our penal system today, those people will over-report that they were victims of violence. victims of violence against their person, by they parents, by other -- their parents' intimate partners. this thing plays itself out generationally. i'm certain ariel castro was being very honest when he said he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. that does not absolve him of the criminality of this. >> when you think of one in three girls, one in six boys will be a victim of child sexual abuse before they're 18. one in three women, or one in six men, are not perpetrating crimes against people every day. so the majority of victims are resilient and strong and fabulous and live wonderful lives and don't hurt anyone. so he made intentional choices to do these horrific acts, and while i feel bad for the small child he was, there's no excuse.
>> i agree. that was why it was amazing to see michelle knight stand in that courtroom and deliver that statement and to think about the unbelievable resilience of the human spirit and what it is able to live through and conquer and redeem. msnbc contributor goldie taylor, and cindy southworth of the national network to end domestic violence. really a pleasure. thank you. >> thank you, chris. >> thank you. you know if you want to fudge a grade on a report card, any school kid can tell you a "c" turns into a "b" so easily. a top education commissioner allegedly changed a "c" into an "a" and his sloppy overreach is exposing the corruption of wealthy donors in the education reform industry. that's next. on angie's list before i do any projects on my home. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list for bringing us together. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. [ beeping ]
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coming up, the story of how a big shot republican education reform guru allegedly changed a poor performing school's grade to help out a big donor. and later, a representative from human rights watch and a former nsa analyst debate what edward snowden's latest move means. stay with us. oh this is lame,
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tony bennett made big news today. not the 86-year-old singer. but tony bennett the education, missioner of florida. well, actually, make that former education commissioner. >> i made a decision today in light of the malicious, unfounded reports out of indiana, that it was not fair to governor scott in his pursuit, in his very hard work, in making florida the greatest state in the country, but most of all, it's not fair to the children of florida that i continue as commissioner. >> yep, it's all for the kids.
florida governor rick scott's education honcho resigned. it could have big implications for florida schools and the national push for corporate-backed school reform. before he was recruited in january, tony bennett was the school's chief in indiana. he made a name for himself in the hoosier state and nationally by vowing to hold schools accountable. he did so through implementing a signature piece of reform. an "a" through "f" grading system, each school got a letter grade just like students did. that mission came into question when a charter school founded by a gop mega donor was set to receive a poor grade. christel house academy in indianapolis, owned by christel dehaan. miss dehaan donated nearly $3 million to republican candidates since 1998 and includes the $130,000 she gave to tony
bennett, himself. bennett consistently cited christel house. the "associated press" obtained e-mails send around by bennett and his staff showing a feverish scramble to fix christel house's impending poor grade. "they need to understand anything less than an "a" for christel house compromises our accountability work." bennett wrote in an e-mail. it was then revealed tony bennett's own signature grading system was going to award christel house academy a "c." e-mails show bennett and others examining ways to change the grading formula, with bennett writing, "if you can't tell, i'm a little more than miffed about this. i hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not
excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies i've told over the past six months." the staff wrestled with -- and changing it just for christel house. christel dehaan said no one from her school made requests that would affect the school's grade. "this wasn't just to give christel house an "a" but to make sure the system was right, that the system was face valid." he told the "ap." people voted bennett out of office last november before the scandal became public. bennett headed to florida to implement similar reforms to the state's education system. today florida governor rick scott accepted bennett's resignation, yet is standing by his man. >> i talked to tony bennett last night. he let me know he's going to resign.
it was his decision to resign. he did a great job. >> joining me at the table is pbs education correspondent, president of learning matters, a non-profit production company focused on education. here's what i find so interesting. let's say there was no bad faith here. let's say this wasn't a pay-for-play quid quo pro and the grading system came back and gave a "c" to a school that bennett knew was a really good school, okay? that is still an absolute condemnation of the system he's put in place. that is precisely what critics of many of these kinds of systems, that the metrics imposed don't capture the value of the schools. >> you know, what was also interesting is he -- there are some other schools that were a lot like christel house but were traditional public schools which asked for the same kind of consideration and didn't get it. so there's an ego, because he had told everyone it was an "a" and there's his own ideology ruling. this is a guy who billed himself
as mr. accountability. >> i love that. here he is talking about -- i want to play this tape of him talking. accountability is, of course, the watch word of all of the sort of school reform movement we've seen over the last 10, 20 years. here he is talking about it in 2011. >> indiana set up a system where on one rail of the track you have a more competitive education environment. more charters. the nation's most expansive voucher program. more accountability on voucher receiving schools and charter schools. then on the other rail of the track, we said let's help our public schools compete with the other rail. so we relieve collective bargaining restraints. we improved teacher quality by focusing evaluations on student growth and performance. so they can compete and they can meet the state's very rigorous accountability standards. >> very rigorous accountability standards, except for the school
of a major donor. >> right, that he's made a commitment to. it's almost like he said i know a good school when i see it and, therefore, the system has to change -- >> but the grand irony of that is every teacher i've ever talked to who hates accountability standards says i know what good teaching is and they don't always match the numbers that are coming back. he's doing precisely what the folks on the other side of this debate are saying time and time again. >> it's ego. it's ideology. and there's a little bit of hypocrisy. >> here's the question to you. people are going to say, let's say this was some kind of quid quo pro and he's saying it isn't. the donor is saying she had nothing to do with it. one bad apple. this doesn't taint all the work of folks that are doing the kind of accountability work that bennett was doing in indiana,
that this was just an outlier. >> there's this obsession with grading schools with test scores. we don't trust teachers anymore and that's going to cause us big trouble. the -- we ought to give a shout-out here, though, you mentioned the reporting by the "ap." tom lobianco dug up all the information and scott elliot, the "indianapolis star" has followed the thing. what's intriguing also is this actually is a pretty good school. it's not a lousy school. >> christel house. >> yeah. it is a pretty good school. christel house is known for reaching out to help kids stay in school. this system doesn't count that. all they count is this very narrow thing. >> isn't it also the case you're going to have a situation where the more that you move the funding for public education outside of the public education system, and into charter schools which are funded through all
different kinds of ways and there's fund-raising and here in new york city a lot of hedge funders giving a lot of money to different schools. you're going to start to bump up against precisely these kinds of issues. >> everybody bumps up against this accountability thing because we're so obsessed with high test scores that it's narrowed the curriculum. that's a real risk, whether it's in charter schools or traditional public schools. i think you see it more, you see a separation. it's the -- it's the privatization. it's the -- there's them and there's me which we see all across this divided nation which is going to cause a lot of trouble. a strong public education system, i think, is essential to the fabric. >> tony bennett described it as two rails, right? increasingly those rails are moving apart. the question is can the actual civic character of america continue to move along that? as they move apart? john merrow of pbs. thank you very much. >> thank you. mitch mcconnell is having a lot of fun coming up with things to rhyme with his democratic opponent's name. he might want to stop doing that
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i'm alison lundergan grimes and with your help i'll be the next united states senator from kentucky. >> for senate minority leader mitch mcconnell the dream of becoming the majority leader was interrupted today by a new poll by public policy polling that has him down a point to alison lundergan grimes, kentucky democrat challenging mcconnell in next year's election. in april the same polling found mitch mcconnell continues to rank as the most unpopular senator in the country. in other words, it ain't easy being mitch mcconnell right now.
not only is he unliked, but a poll shows him trailing a democratic challenger in a state in which mitt romney won comfortably. but it gets worse. because before mcconnell could even get to facing lundergan grimes in the general election, he has to fend off a primary challenger on his right. matt bevin, a small businessowner you've probably never heard of, but that doesn't matter because that didn't stop a marketing consultant named christine o'donnell from going after and upsetting representative mike castle in delaware's republican senate primary in 2010 nor did it stop a lawyer, joe miller, going after and upsetting senator lisa murkowski in alaska's republican primary that same year. conservative groups are already attacking mcconnell for not siding with them in their efforts to defund the affordable care act, despite what they call his carefully scripted anti-obama care speeches. >> take senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. on the issue of obama care, he
says -- >> this law is a disaster and i want you to know we're not backing down from this fight. >> but when he has the chance to defund obama care, some say he is chickening out. senator mcconnell, conservatives don't need a chicken when it comes to obama care. leaders lead. but if you fund it, you own it. >> looks like to keep from being embarrassed in a primary, mitch mcconnell will be forced as hard to the right as possible. and if he goes far enough, he opens up space for alison lundergan grimes to run as the fresh voice and common sense centrist that kentuckians need. joining me now, howard fineman, nbc news political analyst and editorial director of the "huffington post" media group. once a reporter in the great state of kentucky. i know why i don't like mitch mcconnell. of course i'm not his target audience. why is he so unpopular in kentucky? >> well, it's really kind of amazing. he was elected -- he's been elected five times, and yet his popularity numbers are horrible.
even if you grant the fact these are democratic polls that are coming out, there's another one out today by mark mellman who is doing polling for alison grimes that shows grimes up by two points, surging two a two-point lead, but the more important number is at least according to mark mellman who's a very good pollster, mitch mcconnell has a 58% disapproval rating among all -- >> ouch. >> -- kentucky voters. even if you want to, chris, eliminate a few points for, you know, house lean, as they say, still, there's no doubt mitch mcconnell is a very unpopular incumbent, and the reasons are, number one, he's been in washington forever. and that gets to you eventually, especially these days in a time when people have an absolutely sulfurous attitude toward washington and everything about it. number two, mcconnell has tried to have it both ways. some of the time he's talked about how he's brought projects and money and funding back to kentucky. in recent years, he's been sort of putting up his hands and shouting no at every project. he's kind of caught between the two.
the third fact which is he's an insider and everybody knows it. >> that's what's so fascinating. he's caught -- the "huffington post" did this amazing 10,000-word piece about mitch mcconnell's history in the state. you see a guy, on the ground in kentucky, was good at bringing home the bacon. he was kind of a classic southern insider, i'll get you the pet projects you need, i'll bring back the federal dollars. now he's living in the tea party era where there's become anathema. how seriously are they taking this primary challenge? >> they're taking it seriously. if christine o'donnell can do it in delaware, why not matt bevin in kentucky? matt bevin has a lot of money. he wasn't the tea party favorite, i don't think. some tea party groups are not endorsing him and so on. he has this one group that's backed him with his ad. and you've got the obama care issue percolating. last night, chris, i was at a joint event with what i think of as the three amigos of the tea party in the senate. ted cruz, mike lee and rand paul. and they're all talking about
defunding obama care. defunding obama care. defunding obama care. now, rand paul, who is a true tea party guy, has endorsed mitch mcconnell, but don't forget it was rand paul who originally ran against mitch mcconnell's handpicked guy in the last senate election in kentucky. now, rand paul can protect mitch some, but he can't necessarily protect him all the way. especially because mitch mcconnell has yet to sign on to this drive to bar all funding for obama care. that's a litmus test for the tea party people. >> that's a fascinating dynamic that's going to play out. everyone i've read on the right, people who i respect as sharp analytical thinkers who are still ideologues say this is madness, this won't work, don't do it. everyone seems to agree with that except for cruz, lee and paul. you're right it's going to be really interesting because paul can provide a little cover. how much cover and when paul turns the screws on something
that's an issue, that is the big question to watch as we go forward. howard fineman of the "huffington post." thanks so much. >> thanks. i'm headed down to kentucky for the fancy farm picnic, the 133rd annual, and the first time grimes and mcconnell will be in the same place at the same time. >> that should be fascinating. i'd love to get a report back. enjoy the bourbon. i love bourbon. okay. we'll be right back with #click3. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why the internet needs a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this ...is going to be big. it's time to build a better enterprise. together.
the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was a result of having had chickenpox. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
for more than five weeks the fate of nsa leaker edward snowden hung in the balance as he sought refuge in the transit area of a moscow airport. he finally crossed over to russian soil today, creating a whole new set of questions for america to deal with. we'll debate the consequences coming up. first i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. a virtual choose your own adventure experiment for fast food patrons. fast food workers in seven major
cities have been walking off the job all week striking in protest for higher wages and right to join unions. naturally there's a right wing argument against paying fast food workers a living wage. >> and at $15 an hour, many fast food restaurants are out of business. the business model just does not support those kind of wages. >> today the folks at the daily beast posted a handy mcpoverty calculator using estimates based on research. you can tell the daily beast magic calculator how much you'd be willing to pay for a big mac and it will tell you what the price hike could mean for fast food workers. ♪ i'm loving it >> turns out the path out of poverty for millions of workers earning poverty level wages could be paid with dimes and pen this and cholesterol. the second awesomest thing, begins a new era in cracking cold ones. there are lots of ways of
separating a beer bottle from a beer cap. creative ways. all of them requiring two hands. until now. behold the gropener. >> hi. i'm mark manger and this is my invention, the gropener. the name gropener comes from grab opener. it uses motion and force from the act of grabbing the bottle to achieve the additional result of removing the cap. >> yes, they may need to do a little more work on that name, but the physics of the gropener are sound. the bottle opener hangs on your finger. a magnet centers the device on the bottle cap. snap the bottle cap off the beer as you pick it up. open a beer with one hand as you high five your bros with the other. the world is one hand away from hands-free bottle opening is great news. the bad news, there's a three-week backlog on gropeners on gropener.com. if you're intent to use one hand, grind bottles into your belly homer simpson style. the third awesomest thing, an apparently healthy baby boy was
born on a metro platform today. not just any platform. the platform at l'enfant plaza metro station. french for the child. the twitter verse didn't need that irony to fall in love with metro baby. here are the highlights. thinking of all the money metro baby saved his parents by not being born in the hospital. are we at the point where we can suggest names? let me start. blueline ivy. the commuters were so afraid, so they were already late. our favorite, from the d.c. metro transit police official twitter account, in response to a number of pointed questions, no exit fare required. kids under 4 ride free. find all the links for tonight's #click3 on our website, allinwithchris.com. [ human league plays "i'm only human" ] [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans.
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you can't go to school like this, c'mon. don't do it! no! (mom vo) you never know what life's gonna throw at you. if i gotta wear clothes, you gotta wear clothes. (mom vo) that's why i got a subaru. i just pulled up. he did what now? no he's never done that before! oh really? i might have some clothes in the car. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. right now, nsa leaker edward snowden is a free man. of sorts. this morning snowden walked out of the moscow airport transit zone where he spent the last five weeks, after the russian government granted his request for temporary asylum. allowing him to live anywhere in the country for up to one year. it's the moment everybody's been waiting for. undeniable hit to u.s./russian relations and one that has elicited outrage from all corners of the capital. what today's events mean for how
we understand what edward snowden did and what happens next for snowden, now that he's out of reach from the u.s. for up to a year. joining me tonight from rhode island, john schindler, former nsa officer, professor at the u.s. naval war college. and here at the table is dinah pokempner, general counsel for human rights watch. human rights watch said snowden had a legitimate asylum claim. what distinguishes asylum on the one hand to people just being refugees from justice, just fleeing the fact they were accused of a crime, they've been indicted and are going to cut out of the country. what legally distinguishes the two? >> a refugee is someone who has a well-grounded fear of persecution. on the basis of some kind of prohibiting such as political belief or fear of persecution for their political belief. edward snowden revealed massive and serious human rights violations, privacy of millions of people around the world. this was an issue of substantial public interest, and and he did break laws in doing it. the overall context, what he
revealed, the lack of whistleblower protection for people like him in the united states, and the very harsh punishment that these kinds of leakers to the press receive do tend to give him a claim that he would have been persecuted, not just punished. >> persecuted. the difference between persecuted and prosecuted being essentially a context dependent one, from the perspective of human rights watch. russia has their own legal system in which they're going to determine asylum. >> that's correct. the standards on asylum are international. >> i see. >> they derive from a convention. >> john, you feel very strongly that is not the case. i've been following your very spirited tweeting about him. you don't think he is deserving of asylum. in fact, you've called him a traitor, defector and worse. >> yeah.
look, even putin said there are no former intelligence officers. i'm actually a former intelligence officer. despite that. and look, every intelligence service in the world understands that when an intelligence person takes refuge in a country where there's a hostile intelligence service, that person is defector. this is universally understood in the intelligence business which is the world that edward snowden comes from and spent most of his adult life. >> here's my question to you. first of all, universally understood is not evidence. i mean, i understand you're saying this is the thing that people in my world are saying. that's still not publicly accessible evidence for a person like myself. the second question for you is, if he was a defector, if this entire something was him getting secrets to vladimir putin, why the whole rigmarole and "guardian" story and coming forward and publishing these stories and going to hong kong,
he could have gotten on a plane, shown up in moscow, and no one would have been the wiser? >> i don't think edward snowden is the master of his own narrative and has not been, frankly, ever since he went to wikileaks, apparently late last year. i think he's let wikileaks drive much of show i think to his detriment and detriment of the broader cause of legitimate whistle blowing which this has been sacrificed on that altar. i blame wikileaks much more than edward snowden at this point. it's become a much different story than maybe even edward snowden, himself, wanted. >> you hear this a lot from critics of edward snowden who says this is damaging to real whistleblowers. dinah, i want your response to that. >> i don't think so. it's a basic principle that asylum seekers get to choose where they get asylum. that's just true all over the world. it would be great if britain, germany, sweden, norway, iceland would give edward snowden asylum, but there's very little
chance of that because of the, you know, intense u.s. pressure to get him back. and the fact these are u.s. allies. and the fact that some of these governments, in fact, benefit from all the surveillance that he revealed. as far as, you know, the nefarious connection to wikileaks, i don't think there's much we can infer from that. unfortunately, for better or worse, wikileaks is probably the organization in the world with the most experience in dealing with things like nsa pursuit right now. >> john, you've been making this wikileaks connection. it seems to me you're imbuing them with a level of power that doesn't seem to actually match what they've done or where they are. if they were so powerful, assange wouldn't be holed up in an embassy. the organization has essentially falling apart. i need convincing that wikileaks is the powerful force you make it out to be. >> well, julian assange has
gotten himself into quite a situation. it's very clear that wikileaks doesn't have a great deal of money on its own. wikileaks has, in effect, put itself in bed with the russians at this point. they're a point-man for the famous moscow airport process conference by his own admission was israel shamir, well known to be linked to russian intelligence. it is a mistake to view wikileaks as an independent entity at this point. i'm sure they were 2010, but at this point, they are not. this has to be viewed in the context of a larger analysis, if you will, with the russian government and what wikileaks' actually agenda is. they're not functioning on their own at this point. it's not an accident they're in russia. >> the base contention here is the entire thing at this point is being managed by the putin regime, fsb, intelligence services of russia who are making everything -- >> of course. >> -- everything go. do you have worries about that, dinah? human rights watch has strong feelings about what the putin regime is doing in other lanes.
there are liberals saying this is hypocritical for edward snowden to run into vladimir putin's arms when he's had a bad human rights record. as someone in the human rights sphere, how do you respond to that? >> look, there's absolutely no question that freedom of expression and freedom of association are under threat in russia. i bet lots of money edward snowden would have gone somewhere else if he actually had a choice. the fact of the matter is there are very few countries right now that geopolitically can stand up to the united states and not, you know, send this guy back. so i don't think his choice of going to russia is an insane one or especially telling, especially nefarious. i think what we have to recognize is the u.s. government has driven him to russia. >> right. >> not him. >> and the security situation, i think -- you don't think that's true that he's been driven to russia? seems like he has been. looks like he wanted to stay in hong kong.
>> right. i mean, i -- and i'm not necessarily blaming edward snowden for this. i'm not convinced he's the driver of much of his own destiny at this point. there's a question about wikileaks, about russian intelligence. look, i'm disturbed to hear somewhere from hrw which has stood up for human rights around the world saying that going to russia seems to be a rational choice. i disagree with that. >> i don't think he has a lot of other choices right now. if he did, i bet he'd be taking them. >> venezuelans seem to want him. >> the americans stopped the -- the americans stopped morales' plane from leaving european airspace when they thought they were smuggling snowden onboard. >> i can assure you -- sure. i hear you. a russian flag carrier headed to havana would not be stopped by any u.s. government. >> former nsa officer -- >> that's a different order of magnitude. >> john schindler and dinah pokempner. the white house is disappointed in russia for granting snowden asylum. what does this mean for the two powers? that's next. wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so...
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getting asylum in russia. joining me, david, of the "new yorker," david, you've done fantastic reporting out of russia, both before when you were there and for the "new yorker" as well. what is putin's play here? this really is, this is more than a thumb in the eye. this is a middle finger to the u.s. what's the play here? >> look, i'm an editor, a journalist. i have my feelings about transparency and all that's going on in the nsa. let's put that aside and look at russia/american relations. this is very damaging. i have a hard time believing obama will not go to st. petersburg and meet with the g-20 and maybe even putin in the fall. this is really damaging. we have a lot of business with the russians, but the origins of this are obvious. this goes back to the cold war. it goes back to russian sense of humiliation in the wake of the collapse of the soviet union and russia is now led by, let's face it, somebody who deeply
regretted the collapse of the soviet union, deeply hated what happened in the '90s and hates seeing russia morally criticized when pussy riot is put in jail, when -- >> a main activist who was just found guilty. >> the snowden situation allows him to say, look how they treat their people. we're not going to receive any moral lectures from the west. look at them. look how they behave. >> what i find fascinating and we just had john schindler who did counterintelligence and other things at nsa. i've been following his twitter feed and other folks in the intelligence community. the media world at large, everybody has the memory that we're at it with the russkies. oh, right, we remember how to do this. all of this on both sides, right? >> it's real business here. there's syria.
there's arms control. there are all kinds of conflict and pieces of business that fall apart or get worse as a result of a situation like this. so, yes, it's exacerbated and made more entertaining by the personality of and the public image of somebody like putin. and there's also the question of american power and how that's evolved or devolved in recent years. so all that is there and in play. >> one of the other issues that's coming up, not as a diplomatic question, but when you talk about moral censure directed at the russian government which they resent greatly. the russian sports manager saying today, the newly passed legislation against gay propaganda, used to drive out ngos and to go after people, that that will be enforced
during the sochi olympics. he says no one bans a gay athlete from coming to the sochi olympics but if someone goes to the streets and promotes it, he or she will be brought to justice. is this going to become a big problem as we head toward the olympics, do you think? >> look, let's not behave as if gay marriage has existed in the united states for 50 years. >> right.
it's clearly disgusting and it has been for a long time. when i lived in the soviet union, we used to call it in the late '80s and early '90s these issues were not foremost. >> right. >> they became human rights issued in a visible way much later than it did in the united states. and it's -- it's frustrating and humiliating, but probably natural that they're only coming into their conflict stage now. >> david remnik, editor of the "new yorker." thank you for joining us tonight. that is "all in" this evening. the "rachel maddow show" starts now with melissa harris perry sitting in for rachel. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. there's a lot of substantial news in the hour tonight. two years ago about the great state of wisconsin have come home to roost as governor scott walker dips his toe back in the union busting water. there are major updates about the killing of ibragim todashev. and a charter school scandal. and there's fresh news for the race virginia governor. we're going to get to all of it. one event was the central focus of the news world late this