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tv   Ronan Farrow Daily  MSNBC  September 2, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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have an itchy trigger finger right now. >> it is 1:00 p.m. on the east coast. 10:00 a.m. on the west. an i'm krystal ball filling in for ronan farrow. first, brand new information in the war on terror. a u.s. drone strike may have killed the leader of al shabab. godane is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world and the attack happened yesterday in somalia. u.s. drones unleashed hellfire missiles on two vehicles. godane is suspected master mind of the horrific mall attack last september in kenya. 67 people were killed in that attack and more than 100 were wounded. we will have more on this story including a live report from the pentagon in minutes. and, nato is weighing whether to develop a force that could readily deploy in eastern europe. nato leaders and president obama will meet in wales this week.
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they're expected to endorse the most aggressive response yet to rush why's invasion of ukraine establishing a rapid response force of 4,000 troops to deploy quickly to europe countries. >> and that needs to be very important, that's a very important point, that strengthening nato is not going to directly help the ukrainian cause. >> ukrainian president pore schenn coe will attend the summit to discuss way that is nato can help ukraine. an american misation doctor tested positive for the ebola virus. the doctor was treating patients in monrovia and not treating ebola patients. he is said to be doing well and to be in good spirits. meanwhile, the head of the cdc
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is raising the alarm about the ebola outbreak in west africa. more than 1,500 people died in the outbreak so far and new numbers suggest up to 20,000 may contract ebola in six months. the director of the cdc just returned from west africa and says the outbreak is completely out of control. >> the situation is bad and looks like it's going to get worse quickly. there is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down but that window is closing and we need to act now. >> today president obama released a videotaped statement for the people of west africa. >> on behalf of the american people, i want you to know that our prayers are with those of you who have lost loved ones in this terrible outbreak. along with partners around the world, the united states is working with your governments to help stop this disease. >> the first human trials of a new vaccine begin this week.
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moments ago, a federal jury began deliberations in the corruption trial of former virginia governor mcdonnell and wife. they're accused of accepting over $165,000 in gifts and loans from the ceo of a dietary supplement company, johnny williams allegedly in exchange for promoting his product. it was the couple's marital drama that took center stage at the trial. back to the developing news following this hour, the u.s. military trying to determine whether it killed a top global terrorist. godane. the leader of al s when shabab. >> u.s. military conducted an operation in somalia yesterday against the al shabab network.
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we'll provide some additional information as appropriate. >> u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s went after godane a year ago. the raid was unsuccessful. joining me from the pentagon is nbc's jim miklaszewski. jim, do we know how long this military operation had been in the works for? >> reporter: u.s. military and intelligence officials have been pursuing godane for sometime. probably close to two years. but they stepped up the efforts after that deadly attack on the mall there in nairobi, kenya. for which godane is accused of only ordering but putting together. 67 people died there. you get a sense that they've been tracking godane sometime and they saw the target of opportunity over the weekend when there was a meeting of al shabab leaders south of mogadishu and at least one u.s.
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predator drone unleashed missiles at a small convoy obliterating both vehicles and it's believed that godane was inside one of those vehicles and was most likely killed. in fact, u.s. officials here believe that there's a high probability that he was killed an enthere's a little bit of frustration because they don't have any physical forensics evidence yet and there's no chatter on the terrorist networks. either -- either confirming that he had been killed and held up as a martyr or denying that he had been killed and americans missed their opportunity. so for now, u.s. officials are not confirming that godane himself has been killed. >> all right. jim miklaszewski, thank you so much as always. so that mission against al shabab is a military success and comes when the president could use one, facing foreign policy challenges on several fronts. he begins his week overseas in estonia and trying to calm
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baltic leaders as russia's vladimir putin pushes further into ukraine. eastern europe is fearing it's next and then he'll travel to the nato summit in wales days after great britain raised the terror alert level in response to the advance of isis. but the president has indicated that he doesn't see this as a particularly tumultuous time. he told donors in rhode island on friday that the world has always been, quote, messy. joining me from washington is former ambassador bill richardson, to the u.n. and former governor of new mexico. governor, thank you so much for being with me. >> nice to be with you. thank you. >> so i want you to weigh in on this question because it seems like it's been an unbelievably difficult, tumultuous summer and as someone inside the u.n. do you, in fact, see this as a historically tumultuous time? >> well, it is. it is very tumultuous. you have terrorism on many fronts, in nigeria and somalia,
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isis, al qaeda. it's just sprouting everywhere. you have got the arab spring. you have explosions. i think the president is wise to have some caution in finding a way to deal with this terrorism that has so many facets. the first objective i think should be is build a coalition so that we're not going it alone. you do wit the allies, in europe, you do it with middle eastern countries. i mean, the good news about is isis is they have a lot of enemies. iran. hezbollah hezbollah, the middle east powers of saudi arabia, united arab emirates. this is a very, very serious 9/11-type of issue that we as a nation need to confront. >> wow. those are pretty bold words. let's talk a little bit more about isis. as you know the president took a lot of heat last week for saying he department have a strategy
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specifically for dealing with isis in syria. you know, we get hung up on these optics a lot of times and the sort of semantics of what he said and what he meant by it but do you see this as an important misstep? >> well, no. i think he could have been clearer. i would have said we're having a policy review on how to respond. you know? everybody has doubled on the word strategy. but i am pleased that the president is showing some kind of caution. that he's not jumping in. you can't have just a military objective with isis. there has to be a diplomatic objective. you have to have diplomatic initiatives, economic sanctions. all kinds of diplomacy coupled with very targeted, effective air strikes so to say that air strikes going in there and arming a lot of it, entities we don't know enough about, we need
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better intelligence and better assessments. we need more alliances and the president is saying, let's get the act together. let's -- i think this convening of allies this week makes a big difference. >> yeah. personally i find the caution refreshing in comparison to the past and shift to ukraine. nato considering a rapid response force in eastern europe. is nato stepping in here where the u.s. government has been able -- unable to be really effective? >> well, three things have to happen. the u.s. has to lead the effort, the meeting in the baltics. one, i think we need to persuade the french friends to cancel the helicopter sale to russia. two, tighten economic sanctions on russia. what they're doing in ukraine is unspeakable. they violated one of the tenets of world war ii. seizing a territory by force. and then thirdly, i believe we have to be very clear to the baltic states, poland, the
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surrounding countries that the rapid deployment force and an attack on a nato country is an attack on nato itself. so there has to be a response. i think if those three objectives are pushed forward, i think russia may start hesitating. but i've said russia is smarter and in terms of its international image and, unfortunately, it seems that putin doesn't care anymore what the world thinks of him and that really is a big problem. and it's a shame. >> yeah. i don't know if they're smarter but certainly incredibly brazen. obviously a lot going on and wanted your thoughts, governor, while we have you. north korea. they all -- all the detainees asked to negotiate for the freedom. you called a signal. what do you think the next step there is? >> well, the next step has to be some kind of framework that involves the six-party asian
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countries and the u.s. saying to north korea, okay, north korea, we're ready to talk to you, but you have to take steps to denuclearize. you can't scare everybody all over the world but at the same time the good news is for the first time the new leader said, okay, i'm ready to negotiate on these three americans. simply by showing them to the international community, calling in that journalist to interview him and then basically scripting what the poor hostages said, which is, we're being treated prop properly. we're guilty. the north koreans are mast earls at that kind of deception. so, i think it's a good sign that it says, okay, here's our bargaining chips. three americans. let's talk. and i think we can get away with some kind of negotiation where we enter into a dialogue with them but they first i do believe have to take some steps to say
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to the world, okay, we are going to cool down some of this nuclear proliferation. >> indeed. all right. former ambassador, thank you so much. so great to have your take on all this. >> thank you. >> we'll have more on the fight against terror coming up. on the political fallout for president obama, but up next, ferguson, missouri, police were armed this weekend with something besides tanks and teargas. that's ahead. (vo) get ready!
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so you can see it here at home and i think we have a video feed of what it captures so we're here on that camera. i have still got that live camera footage going showing the perspective. anthony is there shooting us live. you get a full picture of what's
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going on at the time. >> that was our call to action two weeks ago to have police officers wear body cameras in the wake of michael brown's fatal police shooting in ferguson, missouri. the police are armed and recording. this picture shows the cams mounted on the chests of police officers. two private security firms donated about 50 cameras amid an uproar over ferguson police tactics. the cameras were first used this weekend at the protest you're seeing. joining me now to discuss the development is john gaskin. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> clearly this is an issue galvanizing people across the country. there was a white house petition calling for a mike brown law to require all police to wear cameras with more than 153,000 signatures and now ferguson is one of at least 1,200 u.s. law enforcement agencies with body
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cameras. so talk to us about what this development means for the people there in ferguson. >> well, first of all, i think it's a major victory for people, local elected officials on the ground and organizations we have been working with because since this whole thing occurred, we put out a list of demands that were sent out to the public requesting some things that we wanted to see immediately change. and some things that we wanted to see take place with the local police departments and one of the top things on that list of demands were that police departments are required for their officers to wear body cameras. and i think that this is a major step in the right direction. now, had the cameras been worn in the time of which mike brown was shot and killed, you know, what would have happened there? we're not sure. we do know it's a step in the right direction for transparency of law enforcement on the ground for sure. >> indeed. to your point, there's a lot of evidence that police body
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cameras are effective in california. they reported a 60% drop in use of force by officers and an 88% drop in citizen complaints against officers after just a year of using body cameras. so are you hopeful you'll be able to see that kind of success dup plicated in ferguson? >> as you read the statistics, they don't lie. across the breadth and width of this nation for the police departments that are wearing those types of cameras. we know we'll see a change. and we know that the way that these officers are acting and the way in which they conduct themselves will certainly be different because you have a camera that is basically tracking all of your action throughout the duration of your day so i'm quite sure that if anyone had a camera on there they would fact a little bit of a different we and certainly act in a way that's in step with the policy of the police department. and so we know we're going to
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see some changes. >> indeed, yeah. as a note, we did reach out to the ferguson police department for a comment. police chief tom jackson has been quoted saying the officers are enjoying them so that's also encouraging. is there a privacy concern here where an age of people concerned about nsa overreaches, violations of their civil liberties in terms of being watched all the time? have you heard from any citizens concerned about -- about having all of their interactions video recorded all the time? >> well, we haven't heard that but what we have heard from the general public here in ferguson is that people like this idea. when things get to the way that they have been taken, that's when you have to take some extreme actions in some cases, especially with this. because there's obviously a reason why people are asking for police departments across the country to wear the cameras. and so, i think this will be a major step in the right
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direction and helpful for people. it will restore some level of confidence and some level of trust from the citizens in ferguson for their police force because right now that level of trust is at an all-time low as i'm sure you have seen and heard. >> that's encouraging news. john gaskin, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you for having me. and we have some breaking news. there are reports that isis has released a video showing the execution of u.s. journalist steven sotloff. nbc is working to confirm that information. that information is coming from site intelligence group. white house press secretary josh earnest was just asked about the reports moments ago. >> something that the administration has obviously been watching carefully since the threat of his life was made a few weeks ago.
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our thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with mr. sotloff and his family and those that worked with him. the united states, as you know, as dead katded significant time and resources to trying and rescue mr. sotloff. we -- i'm not in a position to confirm the authenticity of that video or the reports at this point, obviously, since i just walked out here. if there's a video released, it is something to be analyzed carefully by the u.s. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity. >> steven sotloff's life was threatened in the video that showed the beheading of foley and his mom asked the head of isis to spare her son's life. breaking news reports is that isis killed steven sotloff. we'll be right back.
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once again, we have breaking news reports that isis has released a video showing the execution of u.s. journalist steven sotloff. nbc is currently working to confirm this information. that information is coming from site intelligence group. sotloff's life was threatened in the video that showed the beheading of james foley. last week sotloff's mother released a video asking the leader of isis to spare her spon's life. breaking news reports that they skilled journalist steven sotloff. we'll hear from our own ayman mohedian.
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steven sotloff. nbc is working to confirm that information. the video released by the site intelligence group. sotloff's life was threatened in the video that showed the beheading of james foley and last week sotloff's mother released a video asking the head of isis to spare her son's life. >> as a mother, i ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over. i ask you to use your authority to spare his life and to follow the example set by the prophet mohammed who protected people of the book. >> and joining me now on set is nbc news foreign correspondent ayman mohedine. thank you for being with me. >> thank you. >> more potentially horrific news out of the middle east if true that the isis murdered journalist sotloff. if the report is true, you know, how do you think this would change u.s. strategy?
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i think we have seen the public reacting to the beheading of james foley, comfortable with the idea of action abroad to counter the isis threat. do you see this potential video and potential execution as furthering that trend? >> i think so. i think you will hear a lot of people in this country say that we have to take the clothes off and we have to be more aggressive in dealing with isis. i think you're going to hear some criticism, perhaps against president obama for some of the comments he made last week with the whole we don't have a strategy yet. i think you're going to hear the echo chamber louder. i think people want to see action now that two americans have been beheaded if, again, this is confirmed to be true, two americans beheaded in very gruesome manner and if there's a video put out publicly for propaganda purposes, that's going to anger a lot of americans, particularly after the mother of steven sotloff made that public appeal and
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seems to be completely ignored by isis. >> i mean, do you think that -- what do you make of isis strategy in this regard? i mean, obviously, they're brazen and incredibly sophisticated in terms of their media strategy. so do they see the beheading of jim foley, do they see that as having worked and been successful for them in a way? >> obviously, not. i mean, they look at it is i don't think that the beheadings are happening part of a strategy to really shape american foreign policy. i think what they're trying to do is extract and exact punishment from the u.s. for its actions so i don't think anyone within isis is thinking, well, we have the american hostages as bargaining chips. we'll try to change american course inside iraq and syria but want america to pay a heavy price for the involvement in the countries, particularly against isis. last week when the video of his mother came out, people were questioning whether it makes a difference.
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isis is not an organization appealing to humanity. they beheaded americans and hundreds and killed thousands inside iraq and syria over the course of last several years and before that. this is a brutal, barbaric organization. it is not going to be apeopled to on a human level but only on a strategic, perhaps military and political level. >> that's becoming clear and increasingly clear. thank you for your insights. and it has been as i was just saying an incredibly tough summer for the world and for president obama. again, we are seeing reports of a potential video showing the execution by isis of journalist steven sotloff. so just discuss further the political implications here, i want to bring in karen finney and robert tranum. thank you both so much for being with me. >> hey, krystal.
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>> good afternoon. >> the president facing criticism, karen, he is not doing enough. >> why. >> the comments last week that there's no strategy to deal with isis in particular in syria have really put him on the defense in a lot of ways. does this latest potential unconfirmed information, again, does it change the game once again? >> you know, obviously, if it is true it is a horrible, barbaric information and our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends. let's hope it isn't true. i know it's unconfirmed at this point and adds pressure, frankly, to a meeting, a nato meeting facing a great deal of pressure and one of the most important and consequential nato meetings of a long time because, you know, this -- i mean, this sort of adds to the fierce urgency of now recognizing as you were just talking about isis is a fearless organization. they're very willing to play
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this, you know, to do horrible, barbaric acts and we have now potentially seen two american journalists and goes far beyond that in terms of really horrible things that they have done and willing to do. so, i think it adds pressure to the president to some degree. at the same time, i think the bigger context particularly with the nato meeting is i think it adds -- lends pressure to all of the leaders to come out with a unified plan and sort of everybody on the same page about how we move forward. >> robert, if this video turns out to be true and steven sotloff is murdered by isis, does the president have to respond to this directly? >> i think so. let me agree with karen a million percent. let me just say that this is -- this is the lowest of the low. i mean, these are despicable murderers. they're tantamount to the ge
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stap to and for the president, how do you deal with someone that's not rational, that will go to the lowest of the low to make their point? and so, it's very vague, nuanced and so it's a complex problem when you have a borderline semination state here that is acting in this brutal fashion because it is not like there's a leader that the president and nato folks negotiate with. you wouldn't in the first place and nuanced and complicated and it's sick and disgusting. >> yeah. and karen, a lot of the rhetoric from the white house to deal with this unprecedented threat and what we are expecting to hear out of the nato summit is that the u.s. doesn't want to go it alone. >> yeah. >> i mean that makes a lot of sense, right? we need a global coalition. isis is a global threat. we should have as many coalition allies as possible to be able to attack the threat. >> absolutely. i mean, as much as we have also heard criticism some like to see
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the president taking more action, what would you want him to do? and, you know, remember in 2008, this country made a very distinct choice away and moving towards actually removing american forces out of iraq, out of afghanistan so that's kind of a political context in which the president is trying to suss out the right options and remember that this is a very complicated region of the world where the alliances and seen over a last couple of years shifting constantly. that makes it all the more critical of a coalition an alliance with the european partners and other partners in the region as much as possible and, again, i don't think americans would, you know, go for real troops on the ground in any kind of, you know, ground war in that area. >> robert, i want your response to the way this republicans have responded to what's been a pretty cautious approach thus far to isis. let's listen to congressman mike rogers on fox news sunday over the weekend.
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>> the president wants to tell you what he won't did and hard time putting the coalition together to talk about what they will do. you won't aid isis out of iraq and syria. it's going to take more than that. >> so we have certainly heard a lot of criticism about the president's approach thus far. have we heard what republicans think that we should actually do with regards to the isis threat? >> no. we haven't. let's be honest about this. there are no good options here and the little bit of options that the leaders and president and coalition leaders have is very, very few and reaction is a military strike and the problem is that this is a very nuanced organization that's constantly moving. you don't know where they are and like swatting at flies here because if in fact you decimate an isis camp, they might come back stronger. the problem i have with the president, this is a slight problem or criticism is going into the white house briefing room and saying that we don't have a strategy. and the problem with that is
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saying that, you kind of show your hand and embolden the terrorists throughout and put them much more on the offense than the defense. the reality is it seems like we don't have a strategy but to say that and say it in a clear way from the podium emboldens them even more. >> karen, you're a former dnc communications expert, if the reports are true and steven sotloff has, in fact, be executed by isis, does the president need to come out and make a statement? >> absolutely. he absolutely does. i think he needs to -- i agree with robert. i did not love that phrasing that we don't have a strategy. >> indeed. >> but then josh earnest came out and outlined what the parameters of what we're looking at and i think the president could use the opportunity to make it clear to the american people there is a strategy being prepared. right? that these kinds -- these horrible acts are not happening in a vacuum. we are going to take action. here's the action we're already taking. here's what we're doing and
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meeting with nato leaders, here's what we're going to be working on to try to move forward in addition to obviously reassuring the american people and obviously speaking to sotloff's family if, again, as you point out, this is true. >> karen finney and robert, i appreciate you both. thank you so much. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> we are following reports that isis has executed american journalist steven sotloff. the video of his purported murder released by the site intel group, the last known photo of mr. sotloff. this picture from the same video that showed the execution of james foley. we'll be right back with more ahead. nnouncer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ susan ] my promotion allowed me to start investing for my retirement. transamerica made it easy. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. transform tomorrow. transamerica. relish...the sweet pleasure of delivered straight to your face in accomodation paradise.
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last week sotloff's mother released a video asking the head of isis to spare her son's life but, again, breaking news reports that isis has killed u.s. journalist steven sotloff. we have evan coleman joining us on the phone. evan, if true, if this video actually shows the execution by isis of steven sotloff, how does that change the game? >> well, unfortunately, it's not just the execution of mr. sotloff. as awful as that is. the video also apparently threatens now to execute or the group threatened to execute a british national, as well, named in the video. it's important to emphasize the video is not officially been released yet. there's been an announcement by isis suggesting they'll release it and a few copies leaked out but indeed it appears to be legitimate and does appear to come from isis's official media
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wing. unfortunately, you know, in some ways this is predictable. i think people understood this was coming and tragic nonetheless. >> all right. evan kohlmann, thank you so much. there's a state department briefing in progress. jen psaki is making a statement. let's listen. >> jen, what's the best information regarding sotloff? was he alive as of last week? what was your last information? >> i just don't have any additional information to provide. understand the interest. go ahead. >> you said you've seen reports. does the u.s. government actually have the video in its possession or just siting media reports? >> video has been out there through many media outlets. that's what i'm referring to. >> so the process of authentication is begun? >> this is by our intelligence community. i don't know if it's officially
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started but in any case that would be happening. >> when were you made aware of this? before the group put it out or do you know if the intel community was aware of it before then? >> i am not sure there's more to say, matt. i'm happy to see if there's more to take on it. go ahead, james. >> i'll defer. >> does the obama administration consider this an act of war? >> we certainly -- i'm not going to put new labels on it, james. i would say we certainly consider this act, this reported act, the act of the killing of james foley as a horrific, terrorist act. that we certainly have -- has helped -- not helped to, i should say, been one of the motivating factors in the effort to undergo the creation of international coalition to address this threat. >> so now we have on the books
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two american journalists beheaded by this group. is there any doubt on your part or the part of this administration that, in fact, the united states is at war with isis? >> well, i think i want to very careful here just to that we have not confirmed through the proper processes, i just need to restate that as a u.s. -- speaking on behalf of the u.s. government. i know that wasn't your intention. i'm not going to again put new labels on it. i think it is cleared we are concerned about the threat of isil to western interests, to interests in the region. that's why the secretary, the president, secretary hagel, are all going to be working every contact they have to continue to build a coalition to address this threat. >> will this event make any difference in our planning vis-a-vis air strikes against isis? >> there's a range of factors taken into account as you know including the interests of the united states and i'm not going to read out further what the
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president will be looking at but certainly we look at a range of fact factors. >> i want to try to address this one more -- >> go ahead. >> one more way. a lot of americans sit at home and they see americans not combatants but journalists being beheaded by this group overseas and from a sort of common sense point of view, the average american will say to himself, this group is at war with us. why does our president or our secretary of state not recognize that and say, indeed, we are at war with this group and we will destroy them? >> i think first of all, james, our actions speak for our commitment to this. and this president has authorized more than 100 strikes in iraq, as has been confirmed by the department of defense. there are a range of reasons but part of it is to take on the threat of isil. part of the reason we are leading the effort and the united states has done more than
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any country in the world, humanitarian assistance or other military efforts to take on this threat in iraq. so i think any american sitting at home should sit and look at the actions that we're taking. i don't think it's a useful exercise to go back and forth about new terms. what's important is what we're doing about it. and that the president's authorization, what the secretary will be doing over the next couple of weeks is action in that regard. >> but, jen, i thought the president's authorization for air strikes not necessarily to take on the threat for isil except as it relates to the humanitarian situation, the communities and then to protect u.s. military and diplomatic personnel and facilities. you would argue that that goes to also taking on the threat of isil, the broader threat that they pose to americans, also,
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you know, american civilians but brits, but other nationalities? >> well, one, that's only part of what our effort is. but speaking to that particular point, obviously, impacting the capabilities of isil in iraq because of the concern we have about humanitarian issues, whether it's amarli orr erbil ad safetier and security of american citizens, there's an impact on the capabilities when we take those actions. >> okay. fair enough. those are actions being taken in iraq. or what was part of iraq. this, i mean, the original, the foley video and this one, presumably, it looks similar, i think. i was under the impression that people were generally of the opinion that it was filmed in syria. >> well, matt, though i think
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regardless, this is -- isil has not differentiated between geographic boundaries. that's why, obviously, there are a range of options. the president will consider. but we have already taken actions in iraq to actions in iraq to address this threat and to defend united states interests. >> but to date, the administration has only publicly at least confirmed one operation inside syria. and that was the rescue. >> correct. that's correct. >> so the argument that you're taking on the threat of isil with the president's authorization for those two specific things, humanitarian and protection of u.s. personal facilities, would apply only to iraq at the moment. >> correct. >> not to syria. >> that's correct, matt. however, that is only part of our effort. and obviously isil and the threat it poses to the region has a trickle out effect from are iraq, from syria, from other places. but the second piece which is
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also vitally important is our effort to build an international coalition. a number of countries have taken humanitarian steps, accepts on provide military assistance in iraq as a result and we will continue those discussions. >> but again, all within iraq and nothing within syria, which is where this problem began. >> i understand, matt. but i also -- >> a lot of people would suggest that the administration's -- the president's reluctance to do more to oppose the extremists in syria has resulted in this situation. >> in what capacity? >> well, i mean, they became a major fighting force and rolled over the border -- >> when you say this situation, what are you referring to in. >> i'm referring to the widespread criticism in the for policy community or whatever even outside of the community that not enough was done to fight this threat while it was
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relatively contained within syria and that's why it has mushroomed out. >> well, i would disagree with that. and i think there are obviously several components which is why it's a complicated issue. but one is the threat of isil has grown and their strength has grown over the last several months. our assistance has also grown over the course of time to the moderate opposition in syria, but also the iraqi security forces. would he have undergone several efforts to address this threat. so it's not as if our response is new.have undergone several efforts to address this threat. so it's not as if our response is new. their growth has been increasing and has been our assistance and effort to combat it. >> we've been listening to jen psaki briefing responding to questions about a video reportedly that nbc news has not confirmed but reportedly showing the execution of american journalist steven sotloff. that is there the site
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intelligence group and the video allegedly shows isis executing american journalist steven sotloff. again, nbc news has not yet confirmed the veracity or authenticity of that video. i will bring in now our own andrea mitchell, host of course of andrea mitchell reports. andrea, what more do we know about journalist steven sotloff? >> he's 31, a freelancer for foreign policy magazine and other journals. he was described by his mother shirley sotloff last week in a personal video appeal to al-baghda al-baghdadi, an appeal for clemens city, he's not responsible for american foreign policy, he was adventurous as many war correspondents are and he had gone to syria to try to cover what is happening to the syrian people. so if this is you true, it has not been confirmed by american intelligence, it is an enormous true, it has
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not been confirmed by american intelligence, it is an enormous tragedy. the possibility that an american has been killed execution style with the orange jump suit for those that have seen the video, executed with a knife. we don't know if the man who speaks -- the black hooded executioner is the same person who carries this out. a lot we don't know of course. but the american intelligence is working on this. the white house will have announcements later. >> and since the beheading of jim foley, our are war weary nation seems to be thinking more about military interception potentially in will syria and how of course we can combat the isis threat in general. president obama coming under a lot of criticism last week for his comment that we didn't have a strategy to deal with isis specifically in syria. again, if confirmed, this video just ups again the pressure on president obama to take some sort of action, doesn't it?
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>> indeed it does, but the president has said he will not be forced to do something without a plan. and earlier today, general mccaffrey said caution is visible. so this is in contrast to other pressure even other democrats. dianne feinstein and lindsey graham and john mccain on the other side saying he needs to be doing more. the president has to answer what next do we do, what if we were to wipe them out. what is going to happen the on the ground in syria. a lot of questions. and that's why the president has the toughest job making these decisions. >> andrea mitchell, thank you so much for your insights. we still have with us our terrorism analyst, evan coleman, on the phone. evan, obviously we saw that horrible video of jim foley being beheaded. if this latest video is confirmed to exist and to be authentic and showing the execution of steven sotloff, what does isis hope to
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accomplish with this horrific brutal propaganda? >> look, i think we can look back to the most recent example which is what happened back in 2004 when isis' predecessor kidnapped several americans and a british national and they used itest media impact they could. they began murdering people one after the other, one a week. and they managed to draw this out over the space of a month and a half and they really captured the attention of the american public. and i think that's what they're looking to do here, capture the attention of the american public, intimidate the american public and try to create the sense that's city cannot be defeated. it's very much in their interests to try to convince the american public that any attempts to crack down on isis either in iraq or syria will backfire on them. >> all right. evan, thank you so much for your
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time take. and colonel jack jacobs is now joining us, as well. you heard the question about whether this would be considered an act of war. so what military options could actually be used effectively? can we go after isis effectively without going into syria? >> short answer is no. but there is nothing wrong with going after isis in iraq. on the "meet the press" show on sunday, general tony zee suggested it would only take about two break gigades inside to completely heliminate isis. what do you do after hers go they're gone? and you'd have to stay in iraq. so the problem is not whether or not you can make life difficult for isis.
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it's how do you keep that area of the world safe for a long period of time. and i think just using air strikes for example won't do the trick. you need some sort of coordination on the ground. that means inside iraq. means staying there for a long period of time so you can train these people. this syria, you automatically become the ally of bashar al assad. and we've painted ourselves in to a corner about that. >> and president obama heading to europe. to you see potential nato involvement here? >> i do, but they also have to organize themselves and have a strategy. i'm not convinced the united states or nato has strategy that has a long term going using not just military, but others, as well. i think everybody is scrambling and one of the reasons to this meeting is to try to figure out what the strategy ought to be. >> there are no easy answers.
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as much as we've heard criticism, hard to see what a great alter naf it that tnative. >> no, but something that the administration and our allies this europe and by the way the allies in the gulf also should have been thinking about for a long, long time. is this not something that just popped up last thursday. this is something we should have been paying attention to for a long time. and for the effect that we have not and that we've been focusing solely on disengagement, more fool are we. >> colonel, thank you so much for being with us. that wraps it up. i'll see you in one hour on the cycle. continuing coverage continues with joy reid on the reed report oig. site intelligence says it has obtained a video that reportedly showsing beheading of steven sotloff. nbc news has not independently
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confirmed the video, but sotloff was threatened by isis at the end of the previous video. you're looking you now at live pictures from the pentagon where we're expecting new information on the video and the u.s. attack yesterday targeted the leader of al shabaab. joining me now is terrorism analyst evan coleman oig. keeping in mind that nbc news has not yet confirmed this video, the message that isis is sending a second american allegedly killed. >> yeah. and the video is about 2:40 long. again, it has not been officially released but isis announces that it soon plans to release this video under the title of a second message to america. and in this video, the group


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