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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  March 26, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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and flew the plane into the mountain. >> i think that the victims probably only realized what was going on really at the last minute. in the data we can listen to you can only hear cries right at the end, right before the point of impact? >> revelations that have stunned representatives at lufthansa today. >> we are speechless at lufthansa and germanwings, i can only repeat what i said in the last days we are shock and concerned in our worst nightmare we could not have imagined that such a tragedy took place within our company. >> and crises on multiple frints war in yemen and saudi arabia leads bombing raids on iran backed rebels. u.s. air strikes in iraq for first u.s. joined militias striking isis in tikrit.
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charged with dessertion we'll talk about this with leon panetta. good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we have major developments in what is now a criminal investigation not an accident. germanwings flight 9525 was deliberately flown into the mountain by the co-pilot who locked the door and refused to let the pilot back in identified as a german sit zen, the co-pilot pressed a button to send the plane into a deliberate
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descent, all determined from listening from the cockpit void recorder. no medical emergency, leading investigators to rule out that or any oxygen failure. horrified passengers are heard screaming moments before impact. we have all angles of this story covered. joining me now is keir simmons, from the staging area in southern france. tom costello is in our washington newsroom and retired airline pilot and msnbc aviation analyst john cox stands by as well. first to you keir the families have arrived and come from barcelona and dusseldorf embarkation and destination of this doomed flight. tell us what you know the latest from the investigation as well. >> reporter: well, andrea i just was down the road here watching those families arrive at what i guess you could describe as the closest place they can get to to the crash
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site because it is so difficult to reach apart from in the helicopters that you can hear flying overhead. really gets you to stand and see people on these buses that are being bussed around see faces of these families who a week ago had no idea this was going to happen to them. that their relatives were going to go through this. now they are being taken around can't even get to the place where their loved ones loved ones final resting place. it's just absolutely well it takes your breath away. i have to tell you, the place where the plane went down is in this mountain range behind me. you can see it in the distance but it is really really difficult to get to and the sense of shock here as we learn today that the co-pilot they believe from examining this black box locked himself in the cockpit and then deliberately maneuvered the plane to crash
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into this mountain that they could hear him breathing so they believed he was alive right up until the final seconds when the plane crashed and the picture con injures up to know there were screams in the final moments that people realized what was happening, it is horrific. the ceo of lufthansa, the airline that owns this smaller airline, germanwings, described himself as speechless and said never in his worst nightmares would he imagine something like this would happen. >> katy tur joins us by phone. she is on her way i believe to the co-pilot's hometown his house. what do we know about andreas lubitz only 630 flight hours, less than would be required for an american pilot to actually get into that cockpit. >> yes, we don't really know that much about him. we do know had a private pilot's
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license as well. he did go through lufthansa flight school. they said it is the most rigorous flight school in the world and they go through exhaustive testing before they give a pilot's license at dlr in germany, basically equivalent to america's nasa and call them very rigorous tests they go through everything to do with flying and just oral tests as well as writing tests and then also psychological tests. they say they are rigorous psychological tests. we don't know the questions go into them or what sort of things they evaluate them on as of this moment, but that's when they get the pilots license, if they pass those tests, they are free to go. every six months they get re-evaluated on medical and ability to fly and ability to know all of the controls within that cockpit. they do not get re-evaluated on their mental status on their
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psychological status. that is the sort of thing you wonder, are they going to be able to do this in the future? are they going to be able to every six months test pilots here at lufthansa and anything other airline? are they going to be able to do this with these pilots much in the same way they retest motor schools and medical status? that's the question going forward. andreas, 28 years, we do know he took a brief sab bat cal from flight school in 2009. when i asked the germanwings ceo why -- whether or not that was an unusual thing for a student to do? he said no they often have students take seb bat cals for personal reasons, a number of reasons and they come back and have to take another test to get back into flight school. once they pass that he did pass that -- we were not told why
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exactly he took that sabbatical per german law they can talk about medical reasons to do this. and can't even conform andreas was the co-pilot. because it is done in france they wouldn't confirm the name. i did ask the lufthansa ceo whether or not they were going to reconsider their safety procedures after this. right now unlike american airlines they don't have the -- the rule in place that a flight attendant has to sit in the come pit whenever one of the co-pilots leaves. will you reconsider doing that in the future? they said no. i went back to the germanwings ceo just now and asked him why would you not consider having somebody else in the cockpit, even for a medical emergency or something like what happened. they wouldn't have that because if somebody had nef air yus intentions, they would be able to likely overpower the person
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in the cockpit. there's an axe in every cockpit because just in case these pilots need to get out in the event of a fire or crash landing, the axe would prove to be something that would mean that even if there was another person in the cockpit at the time, they would still be able to fly this plane into a mountain. questions to do with that scenario, whether or not that's actually true but that's what they said. they also reiterated that they are completely confident in the pilots in the planes right now. i said is that something you would have said last week you're completely confident in all of your pilots? he said yes, we didn't foresee this coming. >> you often don't see situations like this coming, that's why this is so surprising. how can you say you're completely confident? we've kpleerly confident and done the testing and this is an isolated event and all of our
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flights are safe and remain safe in the future. >> thanks for that briefing and work you're doing there in interviewing lufthansa officials. we should point out it was tweeted that according to their information, burnout syndrome was the reason for andreas's sabattical. but tom, at that moment the norwegian airline said they are going to change the procedures and match the u.s. requirement there be a third person. and the other thing that came to mind, there were two -- at least two intentional acts that they interpreted from the voice recorder, one was pressing a button to take the plane off of the 38,000 altitude and to send it into the descent and the other was some sort of double locking of the door because the
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lufthansa official said all pilots memorized a code to get into a door. so someone obviously only one person in the cockpit that co-pilot had deadlocked the door. >> essentially, that's right. essentially the co-pilot at the command of the aircraft there inside the cockpit was able to deny entry to the pilot, even though typing the appropriate code denied entry. this was not somebody who was having a medical emergency. this was a blatant attempt to maintain control of the aircraft and prevent the captain from getting in. i suspect, we're going to see other carriers beyond the norwegian airline say we're going to move to the idea that when somebody walks out of the cockpit, you have to have at least one flight attendant come in so you always have to people in the cockpit. i suspect that's going to spread rather quickly.
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at the moment you may see lufthansa stand by principles but the international pressure is building minute by minute following this disaster. we have seen other incidents over the last 15 20 years or so of pilots committing homicide homicide suicide by flying a commercial aircraft to the ground. we saw it with egypt air, although the ntsb believes it was a suicide. we've always seen egyptians take issue with that and silk air, same thing, pilot, ntsb believes purposely put the plane into the ground and ind knees yans don't agree with that. there were one other event in indonesia as well. these events are incredibly rare. to get the point katy was trying to get at the psychological tests we would expect to have happen to pilots if you're going to have that many lives in your hands, they don't test typically beyond training. once you're out of the training
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program and flying you go through a routine medical physical exam every year but no o vert psychological testing beyond what the physician may notice about your overall demeanor. so you wonder whether that might change as well. although we should reinforce, these incidents just are incredibly rare. >> john cox, you know what the cockpit is like. the advantage of having a second person there is that no solo player could double lock the door and stop the other pilot, the pilot -- the captain from getting back in. >> there's that. one of the big issues if there is a medical problem, there's somebody else to get the door open and also it was an added layer in the security for someone to advise you'lly check that the person asking for entry back in was in fact one of the
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pilots. there were several reasons that the u.s. and other places have adopted this multilayer approach. i think, tom costello is correct, this is going to be more widespread in the wake of this unbelievable act on the part of this rogue pilot. so i think that it's going to facilitate a lot of discussion. it's going -- on pilot screening and evaluation and the security procedures on board the aircraft. so i think that discussion is probably going to happen sooner rather than later. >> and john do you believe we should revisit the special security additional security measures that were taken after 9/11 to reinforce that cockpit door? or we really need to think this through in a different way than that. >> i think the security procedures are always evolving and i think in the wake of this rogue pilot's actions, i think
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they are of course going to be reviewed but security procedures like a lot of procedures are constantly evolving. and so the review is probably already started. several it will be part of the investigation with recommendations coming out of it but i think that within the regulatory agencies, the security concerns and what appropriate steps need to be mandated are always going to be reviewed. so i'll like at it as a somewhat natural step of evolution for the security procedures. >> and keir there at the crash site at the scene, rather of the rescue recovery operations i know from your earlier reporting that some of these families did not want to fly from barcelona. they drove, they were bussed to that site where they are now being brought around. are some of them going to ask to fly over the crash site? i know that has taken place in other instances?
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>> reporter: we have had some indications that some of them would like that to happen. it's not clear whether it will happen. officials have suggested that they would be prepared to think about it. without going into too much detail, andre i can't, the effect of this horrific crash on the debris you can imagine what it's like there and maybe for many relatives it's just not something you want to see. it must be a very very difficult decision for every one of them to try to make. we all know that feeling of wanting to see for yourself and wanting to be able to get close to someone you loved. and the truth is, andre ya they aren't going to have a body to take home and that will be another psychological battle they are going to face in the
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months ahead. for them the pain of this is just beginning andrea. >> we're watching pictures of families now arriving at the scene. we'll have a lot more about the crash coming up but first the nuclear talks with iran are at a critical juncture. can they reach a deal. now that the pentagon charged bowe bergdahl with desert ion, you're watching andre i can't mitchell reports only on msnbc. tylenol was ok, but it was 6 pills a day. but aleve is just 2 pills all day. and now, i'm back! aleve.
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as we continue to cover the breaking news we have major developments on news here at home and abroad.
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in yemen, people are digging out through the rubble after saudi air strikes overnight against shiite rebels who toppled the government. in switzerland secretary kerry and iran's foreign minister are trying to hammer out a nuclear disagreement against a sunday night deadline. and bowe bergdahl has been charged with desertion, the administration traded him for five taliban prisoners last may and claimed last year he served with honor and distinction. joining me now is former secretary of defense and cia director leon panetta, author of "worthy fights", thank you very much secretary. good to see you again. well. >> nice to see you, andrea. >> i wanted to start with bowe bergdahl, the administration traileded him for five high value prisoners under house
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arrest and arrest. was that a mistake given clear evidence at the time that he had deserted? >> the whole effort here was aimed at a united states soldier who was in enemy hands. and nobody knew for sure at that point whether it was a deserter he'll face trial on that issue. the bigger question has always been the number of taliban terrorists who were returned in exchange for him and whether or not they were secured enough to make sure that they would not return to the battle field. i think that was the main area of concern. i think ultimately we make a commitment that nobody should be left behind. so i think the principle effort to try to get some way to get that individual back was a worthy effort. >> do you think that -- do we have any leverage now to try to
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get them to keep them under house arrest? that's a very loose term. i've seen the area where they are being held and it is quite luxurious luxurious. >> that was always my concern, going back to when i was secretary and there was discussion about this was the question of whether or not these individuals would be secured enough to make sure they don't return to the battlefield. i think there ought to be a lot of pressure brought on the quaut arryes to make sure they maintain security of these individuals. the danger here is that obviously they could bring their expertise back to the battlefield and that could jeopardize not only u.s. soldiers but others as well. >> and turning to yemen, here the president described yemen as a success story recently. now we've had to withdraw our special forces who were helping
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us target drone strikes against al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and others. there's a vacuum and ice is is moving into the vacuum now. and now they are leading a coalition against iran backed shiite rebels. what kind of success story is this? >> you know the reality is that the united states is i think taking the right steps now, we've got the right pieces in place to go after isis. i think it is very important for the united states now to take a more leading role with regards to providing support for iraqis and going after tikrit. not only to try to push isis back, but also to try to reduce the influence of iran in that region of the world. that's the same issue with regards to the houthis in yemen, which is another failed state. obviously a setback for our
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counter terrorism operations. but the fact that the saudis are going in and conducting bombing operations is again, i think, a worthy effort to try to not only check the houthis, but to reduce the influence of iran in yemen as well. this -- this is the concern, that iran is continuing to try to exert its influence from sanaa to damascus, to beirut to damascus. that is an effort that has to be checked in order to provide stability or better stability in that region of the world. >> and through iraq as well of course so at the same time secretary kerry is trying to negotiate a nuclear deal that arguably if successful will elevate iran remove sanctions eventually and give iran a lot more economic clout. >> well the challenge there is
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the test that the president himself has said is really what we're after here which is to stop iran from the ability to gain a nuclear weapon. that's going to be the test of this negotiation, whatever agreement is arrived at. the test is going to be have we stopped them from the ability to develop a nuclear weapon if they make the decision to go forward with that. and so we have to look at all of the elements of the agreement. we don't know all of those pieces now but obviously from my point of view the test is going to be, do we have the ability, the transparency and accessibility to make sure that iran cannot use whatever facilities, nuclear facilities they are going to maintain cannot use those in order to develop enriched fuel. that ultimately is going to be the real test. can we really ensure that we have stopped them from developing a nuclear weapon? >> there are reports from the negotiations that in fact iran
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is now insisting on not having a written deal. they want it to be more ambiguous until the final technical details are worked out in june probably to deal with their own political problems, selling this to their hard liners and keep centrifuges working at the underground facility. can we guarantee that the requirements you just laid out of inspections and not being able to see kreltly create a bomb are going to be met? >> well you know one thing i've learned both at the cia and secretary of defense is that the iranians can't be trusted. it's for that reason that we have to make sure that we've taken strong steps to be able to make sure that they are not trying to do something in secret. so, my concern obviously is that
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the more they maintain of their nuclear infrastructure in terms of centrifuges, the more they are allowed to maintain this hidden facility in which they were trying to do enriched fuel the more temporary the agreement is those are issues that obviously raise concerns. i think i'm willing to let them continue these negotiations. i think it's important to do. i think it obviously is worth the effort. but i think the real test is going to be -- and the whole world will be looking at it the test will be have we truly made sure that iran can be stopped from developing a nuclear weapon. and to do that in my book demands transparency and demands accessibility so that we have a firm inspection regime that will guarantee they cannot do this. >> finally, do you think the administration's hard line against netanyahu because of the
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things he said before the election and a lot of tough questions have been asked of him, do you think it's gone too far and it's in the u.s. interest to try to repair this relationship as best they can? you've had the white house chief of staff saying 50 years of occupation is enough or too much. calling it occupation calling the west best palestinian areas occupation. has not been used before. you're a former chief of staff as well. >> we're dealing with an awful lot of dangerous threats around the world, and particularly in the middle east between isis and the failure of all of these nation states the growth of terrorism in that region. the concerns about stability. we're dealing with an awful lots of threat there. i think it's important to do two key things number one, i think
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we ought to develop some kind of military security architecture, some kind of overall architecture to deal with all of these threats that includes our allies in the region. and it's important to do that rather than doing these things crisis by crisis. the other i think is to repair the relationship with israel. i know there have been personality differences, there's been a lot of concerns about the behavior of the prime minister. i understand all of that. frankly, the relationship with israel is extremely important, both from an intelligence point of view and military point of view and diplomatic point of view. it's very important to maintain that strong relationship particularly when we're dealing with all of these threats in that region. so i would urge the president and prime minister to do everything possible to try to repair that relationship. it is too important to our security interests in that part of the world. >> leon panetta, from the
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panetta institute out there, thank you very much. author of "worthy fights." >> the u.s. launches air strikes against isis around tikrit. you're watching msnbc. [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, we know in the cyber world, threats are always evolving. at first we were protecting networks. then, we were protecting the transfer of data. and today it's evolved to infrastructure... ♪ ♪ and military missions. we're constantly innovating to advance the front line in the cyber battle, wherever it takes us. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. ♪ edith piaf "no regrets" ♪ plays throughout ♪ ♪ ♪
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about two and a half weeks ago. i was in iraq last week and with our ambassador i saw prime minister abadi three times and all of the iraqi leaders. and there's a very strong and almost unanimous desire for the unique capabilities that the united states and international coalition can bring to this fight. we found that isil has done is really made it a fort res, with fighting positions and demand and control facilities and that's the type of thing we can help the iraqis both identify and eliminate. so we worked very closely with the iraqi government and with iraqi commanders through a joint operations center we have in baghdad which we established last june. similar to as we've done in other operations we planned with them and last night we began the air campaign and struck about 17 targets. the actual ground operation into tikrit will begin over the
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coming hours and days. but it's going to be painstaking work, to go house by house, alley by alley. the units taking part in that offensive will be primarily iraqi army federal police and iraqi special forces operating under their chain of command. >> we've seen a very high profile, the iranian irg leader who had in the past been much moer discreet about his involvement and shiite militias outnumber the ground forces we're perhaps not coordinating with iran backed militias but they are fundamental to this operation. >> well, they were saying about two and a half weeks ago that they would be enter to liberate tikrit in a matter of days and that didn't happen. general austin our commander of central command, the overall commander of the operations in iraq and syria spoke before the senate armed services committee
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today and gave a pretty good tactical update on the situation. most of the militia groups are on the east side of the river. if you look at the map, there's a river that the tigress intersects tikrit and the forces entering will be coming from the west. those are mostly iraqi security force units. it's important there's a lot of volunteers that rose up in response from the grand ayatollah when mosul collapsed and dash was approaching baghdad through the east through anbar province. 80,000 to 100,000 volunteers rose up. 80% of them we assess are iraqis who want to defend their country. they are also well organized militias which we've known very well. there are two groups in particular that are very responsive to sulejmanny and those are a problem, they will continue to be a problem and they are a problem recognized by the iraqi government and the
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shia religious leadership. this will be a long term problem that the iraqi government has to deal with. we are of course helping iraqis regenerate their iraqi security forces. we've just begun at the end of last year training iraqi army brigades and trained 6,000 of them now. this is going to take time. we're also working in an bar province and other areas directly with sunni tribes and they are beginning to fight and liberate from dash out there. we're focused on degrading dash and making real progress in that regard. >> i want to point out, it's the arabic for what is also referred to as isis. >> arab colleagues use dash so yes. >> the u.s. forces were helping here bring -- coordinating air strikes. how exposed are u.s. military personnel? >> well we coordinate air strikes as we've done for other
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operations around the country, done about 24 where we advice and assist iraqi units but we're in the headquarters. for this particular operation, our commanders are in the joint operations center in baghdad with iraqi commanders. i spoke with our ambassador this morning and he was there with the iraqi leadership checking in on the overall operation. i've been there two or three times. we have another joint operation center in erbil and u.s. marines in anbar province there with the australians. we have facility south of baghdad with the portuguese we're helping to secure forces. unlike the iraq war of the last decade we are not outside of the wire. we're not in the field with the iraqi security forces. we're training them and advising them and assisting them on base and on secure facilities. nothing is zero risk but that is a procedure we're undertaking and think the operation in
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tikrit, there's been a lot of attention to it it's been similar to other operations. since the request came last week we've worked closely with them at the joint operations center to plan and identify targets which we began to take out but it will be iraqis going and fighting in the streets of tikrit. and the plan importantly, andrea andrea, once the area is clear, it's going to take a lot of time. once the area is cleared, security control will be turned over to local officials. the local officials, local police and those are of course primarily sunnis from the area. prime minister abadi called saudi arabia and said this is the program, we want to help clear our territory. tikrit is important. and then turn control over to local officials and residents of that area. >> thank you so much for the update on this fighting.
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important battle underway in tikrit. >> thank you for having me. >> breaking news just in two illinois men, one of them a u.s. national guard soldier have been arrested for allegedly trying to provide material support to isis. arrested at chicago midway international airport wednesday night. he was alleged trying to fly to cairo, a current member of the illinois army national guard and planned the fbi and complaint says to use military training to fight on behalf of isis overseas. edmond's cousin was also arrested. both met with an fbi undercover employee and presented a plan to carried out an armed attack kbens a facility in northern illinois where he had been doing his training. stay with us here for the other big breaking news story. the crash of flight 9525 you're
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as investigators shift focus from a crash to criminal investigation. what do we know about the co-pilot, whom authorities say locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the plane? joining me now is lester holt who covered aviation most of his career. this is not the first time it happened. it is rare but a co-pilot locks the pilot out and pushes a button to cause the plane to descend and double locks that deadlocks that cockpit door. >> we've seen this before and almost every instance it's a case where one pilot is alone in the cockpit. really the bigger question how is that allowed to happen. as we've talked throughout the day in the u.s. there are procedures where when one pilot
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has to leave, the flight attendant will be the second one in there and verify through the little peephole that the person trying to regain entry is in fact one of the member of the flight crew. that apparently was nolts the case with this airplane. i would think after that after what we've just witnessed, that will become standard procedure. why it wasn't it's hard to fathom. pilots have needs like the rest of us and have to get out of the cockpit, a lot of times on american u.s. carriers we'll see the flight attendants will move the drink cart in the way to block anyone from making a run at the cockpit. the whole irony is that these doors, these strengthened doors were meant to protect us. they were a response to the events of 9/11 and here they were used for a nef fair yus purpose. >> we saw already that norwegian airline immediately said they were going to change their procedures. when katy tur was questioning
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the lufthansa officials today, they said they are not going to change it. tom costello says they'll feel a lot of pressure. i've been on the flights also and there are different procedures for short range european domestic economy flights. >> i have been on foreign carriers and recall one trip i won't mention the airline, from the middle east to new york and i remember looking up and the cockpit door was actually open for several minutes, which i was shocked going into new york and it was a lot closer to 9/11 than we are now. this is a case i'm not anyone rushing the cockpit, ultimately in control of the airplane. we're still referring to this as a crash because that's how we see these things. but at the end of the day this was mass murder and the weapon was an aircraft. >> and we also need to consider john cox was talking earlier about this whether we
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reconsider those post 9/11 improvements, the fort fiction of the cockpit door. in this case if there had been a second person in the cockpit, he could not have deadlocked that door. there is a code they all know and can punch in in order to open it up from the outside. >> but even that was put in such a way that the pilot inside can still override that. i guess with good reason because if somebody came up with a code and knew how to get in there and the pilots are looking at each other, someone is trying to get into this door they can override it. when you look that the threat is coming from out of the cockpit door. when you consider the threat is inside the cockpit, everything changes. >> lester holt we look forward to all of your reporting tonight on "nbc nightly news" thanks so much. >> any time. >> more breaking news this hour shocking report just released by the justice department on sexual misconduct at the dea. details coming up. you're selling the mitchmobile!?
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breaking news in washington a shocking new inspector general's report released by the justice department co-takens of details of so-called sex parties that included prostitutes funded by local drug cartels. kristen welker joins us with more. these are the very guys they are supposed to be going after. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. it is a stunning report. a lot of strong reaction from both sides of pennsylvania avenue. but this report looks at behavior from 2009 to 2012. the doj inspector general first started to look into allegations of misconduct and did determine as you point out that some dea agents were holding sex parties in colombia with prostitutes hired by drug cartels. some police officers in colombia
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helped them sweep the behavior under the rug. some supervisors weren't initially forthcoming. it appears that some of those agents were suspended for a period of time not clear if anyone has lost their job. the white house responding that president obama hooz a zero tolerance policy and congressman jason chaffetz who overseas this agency says the allegations set forth in today's report are truly stunning. this is a national security threat. now, of course jason chaffetz is also looking into misconduct at the secret service and going to hold more hearings about the latest allegations of misconduct. >> kristen welker you're going to be busy on your beat. we'll have much more on msnbc after this.
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that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell
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reports. follow the show online and on facebook and on twitter. my colleague thomas roberts joins with what's coming up next on msnbc live. >> at the top of the hour on msnbc live, why would the germanwings co-pilot lock the other pilot out of the cockpit. the biggest reveal the co-pilot crashing the plane on purpose in the french alps the chilling last moments caught on the voice recorder and how is lufthansa defending itself against proper pilot screening and now other airlines are updating cockpit procedures. why is one county in indiana dealing with hiv infections that reached epidemic proportions. so much so there was a public health emergency declared today.
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flight that crashed in the french alps the french have xds the fbi to help in this investigation. and this morning, the prosecutor saying the co-pilot crashed the plane on purpose, after listening to the at last eight minutes of the doomed flight captured by the voice recorder. the pilot pounding on the cockpit door trying to get back in after presumably leaving to go to the restroom. the co-pilot refused and manually sent the plane on the descent driving it into the side of a mountain as passengers were awake and aware. >> the victims probably only realized what was going on at the last minute in the data we can listen to you can only hear cries right at the end right before the point of impact. >> the co-pilot has been identified as 28-year-old german andreas


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