tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 19, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
opposed to the values that isis is trying to defeat us with. up in new york tonight to h the get on the show. u.s. congressman seth moulton of massachusetts. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from paris. i'm chris hayes. the man who authorities say was the coordinator of the attacks that killed 129 people in paris is dead. abdelhamid abaaoud, who many believed was in syria, was identified today by the french prosecutor as one of the two dead bodies from the saint-denis raid two nights ago. the belgian national had reportedly gone to syria last year to fight with isis. according to the french interior minister. and at some later point returned to europe. authorities have now identified the female suicide bomber in the saint-denis raid as hasna ate boul tchen. police have arrested seven
people. seven known attackers dead. and the eight suspects linked to that attack, salah abdeslam remains at large. the dailymail.com has security video from inside one of the cafes that the terrorists hit. it shows customers run for cover the moment a gunman begins firing. today's parliament's lower house in france voted overwhelmingly to approve a three-month extension of the national state of emergency, which includes increased capacity to block websites and social media sites they say encourage terrorism. also the power to immediately place people under house arrest if they are considered by the state a sufficient risk. also provisions not yet activated to ensure control of the press and radio. as the french political system processes the attacks and france takes a notably hard line on security back home in the u.s. the combination of the attacks and the gop campaign has ratcheted up the rhetoric to new levels. the candidate who's been the most vocal in his fear-based rhetoric, donald trump, seems to have benefited the most. trump is now up by 19 points
over his nearest rival ben carson in a national tracking poll. widening his lead by four points since a week ago. trump leads in the two latest new hampshire polls. the candidate today was asked by a reporter a variety of ideas, from closing mosques to special i.d. cards for muslims, which trump would not rule out. we're going to have to -- we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. we're going to have to look at mosques. we're going to have to look very, very carefully." less than two hours ago when asked several questions about a data base to track muslims trump said he would implement that. meanwhile, presidential candidate ben carson today compared refugees to dogs. >> for instance, if there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you're probably going to put your children out of the way. it doesn't mean that you hate all dogs by any stretch of the
imagination. by the same token we have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs-r quite frankly. who are the people who want to come in here and hurt us and want to destroy us. it's foolish for us to accept people if we cannot have the appropriate type of screening. >> joining me now, colonel lawrence wilkerson, former chief of staff for the state department under general colin powell. a distinguished professor of government and public policy at the college of william and mary. colonel, your reaction to the kind of rhetoric that we're hearing from the gop field. trump talking about, well, not ruling out data bases or special i.d. cards as comparison to rabid dogs, talking about only letting christian refugees in. what's your response to all that? >> it doesn't surprise me, chris, especially coming from the more or less right-wing
palaver of the republican party and the people who are speaking to that wing. but it does disturb me. it's very dangerous talk. it's the kind of talk that surrounded the internment of the japanese, who were loyal to a fault to this country at the beginning of our participation in world war ii. we put them in concentration camps essentially. it's the kind of talk that's extremely dangerous. it's the kind of talk that plays right into the hands of people like al baghdadi and zra heri and al qaeda and al-nusra and so forth. because that's what they want us to do. they want us to overreact. they want us to -- in a sense they wnt us to bring about our own society. >> colonel, george w. bush made a real effort in the days after 9/11 to make sure that the rhetoric around what he called the war on terror did not target muslims. there was him saying the word crusades and a tremendous backlash to that. and after that a real kind of
rhetorical emphasis placed on not using terms like radical islam, which are terms the republican party has seemed very eager to use. what's changed? >> we stayed away from terminology like that because of people like dr. rice and colin powell and even the president himself, who realized that that kind of language exacerbated the situation, it didn't help it at all. i think what's changed is we have -- and i'm sad to say this because it's a low moment in our republic as far as i'm concerned. we have this circus. and that's what it is. a circus called the republican campaign for the presidency in 2016. we have entertainers. we have neurosurgeons. we have former governors. we have people pretending to be joe mccarthy. we have all sorts of characters in this. and they're trying to outdo each
other with outlandish rhetoric. frankly, it's funny to watch in a sense but it's also pathetic, and when it takes on these kind of proportions in response to something like what we've seen in ankara, what we've seen in beirut, what we saw today in nigeria. how many people know today that 49 people died in suicide bomb attacks in nigeria in towns called kano and yaho. these are things that we don't need to be exacerbating in the world. and this kind of rhetoric does just that. >> jeb bush yesterday gave an address at the citadel, and he talked about his vision for essentially a third war in iraq and in syria, and he said this to the citadel audience. i'd like you to take a listen. >> some of you in this room will serve on the front lines of that fight against isis and against radical islamic terrorism. you will sign up for an uncertain fate on foreign fields of battle because your country
and the cause of freedom are calling you. >> colonel wilkerson, what is your reaction to watching a bush up there telling america's servicemen and women that they're going to be on the front lines fighting in the middle east again? >> frankly, i can't believe that a bush would say anything about another war in southwest asia because that's clearly what he's talking about. but my passion really gets up when i think about it isn't going to be those people who are putting their boots on the ground in syria, should it come to that, it's not going to be the bushes, it's not going to be the trumps. it's not going to be the rubios. it's not going to be the clintons. it's not going to be any of those people. it's going to be the poor kids from west virginia, pennsylvania, maine, oklahoma. that's who it's going to be. >> colonel lawrence wilkerson, it's always a pleasure. thank you, sir. >> thanks, chris. enjoy paris. >> meanwhile there, were new
raids across brussels today. a spokesperson for the belgian prosecutor said thursday afternoon that police had taken seven people in for questioning, mostly friends and relatives of one of the paris suicide bombers. also today the belgian prime minister said the country would implement additional anti-terrorism measures. joining me now from brussels, msnbc foreign correspondent amon molhedin. what is the latest on the manhunt across europe for abdeslam salah who does remain at large? >> reporter: it is still very much an active manhunt, an international manhunt to be precise, and there is a lot of stepped up activity here across brussels. today as you mentioned there was two sets of raids, a total of nine searches and raids across districts of brussels. the first six raids happened overnight in the early hours of the morning, targeted one of the attackers who was involved in blowing himself up at the stade de france on last friday night. now, that raid actually, believe it or not, was scheduled to take place -- or those raids were
scheduled to take place, part of the investigation into bilal hadfi, several months ago. this is something that's been in the works. and it was only accelerated after last friday's attacks. and certainly a lot of folks are going to have questions as to whether or not there was a lack of moving quickly, if you will, by belgian security forces that could have prevented this individual from participating. another set of raids, three raids took place this afternoon. those raids were specifically launched in the wake of the attack that happened on wednesday. perhaps british -- perhaps rather belgian intelligence was given some type of tipoff about these individuals. nine people have been taken into custody. they're being interrogated. no charges have been filed against them. but as you mentioned, these are close associates or people who may have been involved and that is why they're being questioned. but also today the belgian prime minister put forth a proposal to parliament really asking for a whole new set of measures to gift government an upper hand in trying to deal with the terrorism that has become a major cause of concern.
among these measures, doubling the security budget, increasing security and intelligence personnel. they want to add about 520 security personnel across the country and they want to set up checkpoints and tougher police control points along the border between belgium and france. this measure is expected to pass. it has been in the works for some time. really since "charlie hebdo," back in january, when there was a loose connection to belgium and now it has emerged that three of these attackers have close ties to this country. one has belgian citizenship. you can imagine this has now become a major policy issue for this current government of belgium. chris. >> ayman, i want to make sure i understand one of the first things you said. one of the raids today which was conducted at an apartment that was associated i guess with one of the people who blew themselves up outside stade de france, you're saying authorities knew about that person and had scheduled a raid before the attacks and just did it today?
>> that is correct. the belgian prosecutor's office put out a statement saying that there was an open investigation into bilal hadfi. he is one of the individuals who blew himself up. that investigation has been ongoing for some time, ever since the authorities here have learned that he traveled to syria. so as we understand it, there was an ongoing investigation into his associates, into his network here in belgium that was opened now, as we understand it, for months. it was only after the attack -- and again, according to the belgian prosecutor, that these raids and these searches were accelerated and that's why they took place today. the three remaining raids and searches that took place later on this afternoon, that was based on information that only emerged since friday's attack. the total raids and searches that took place today can be categorized into those different groupings. one based on an individual that was known to authorities given the fact he had traveled to syria. an open investigation that had been in the works for some time but the raids and searches only
took place today, chris. >> all right. ayman molhedyn, thank you very much. still to come, the republican-controlled house passes a bill some democrats say is a product of anti-refugee hysteria. and after the mayor of roanoke, virginia cites japanese internment camps in relation to refugee policy, representative mike honda, himself placed in an internment camp as a nine-month-old boy, speaks out. he'll join me ahead. now i get if from my foot pain. my lower back pain. find a machine at drscholls.com theand to help you accelerate,. we've created a new company...
today in new york the presidential candidate with the most foreign policy experience of anyone running on either side laid out her strategy for defeating isis. speaking at the council on foreign relations former secretary of state hillary clinton outlined her plan for combating jihadism, expanded ground troops in the middle east. clinton urged a new phase in the fight against isis including more special operations forces and a broader air assault.
clinton also used her speech to respond to the growing backlash against syrian refugees. >> america's open, free, tolerant society is described by some as a vulnerability in the struggle against terrorism, but i actually believe it's one of our strengths. it reduces the appeal of radicalism and en457hances the richness and resilience of our communities. this is not a time for scoring political points. >> there were a lot of political points being put on the board today. the ongoing political frenzy over refugees is next. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
of president obama's veto threat the republican-led house of representatives passed legislation that would establish new barriers to entry for refugees fleeing the horror of war and violence in syria and iraq. the bill passed overwhelmingly. 289-137. and despite white house officials lobbying democrats to oppose the measure 40 democrats sided with the vast moijt of republicans in supporting the bill giving it the 2/3 needed to possibly override a presidential veto. the two dissenting republicans, steve king and walter jones, felt the bill didn't go far enough. >> if our law enforcement and intelligence community cannot verify that each and every person coming here is not a security threat, then they shouldn't be allowed in. right now the government can't certify these standards. so this plan pauses the program. >> opponents of the bill consider it's the product of anti-refugee hysteria, pointing out the u.s. already has in place a stringent vetting
process for refugees lasting between 18 and 24 months. >> of course we want to keep terrorists out of our country. but let's not punish the victims of isis for the sins of isis. >> the senate is expected to take up the legislation after its thanksgiving recess. harry reid today vowed the democrats would keep the bill from getting to the president. the republicans smelled blood. as democrats blocked the billion a urban house gop aide told the hill "we'll crucify them." also in the senate gop presidential candidates ted cruz and rand paul tried and failed to pass anti-refugee bills of their own. cruz, who just last year supported allowing syrian refugees into the u.s., tried to introduce a bill to bar all refugees from iraq and syria, which included an exception for groups that are identified victims of genocide including christians. cruz also took the opportunity to try to score some political points. >> the president refuses to say the words "radical islamist terrorist." hillary clinton refuses to say the words "radical islamic
terrorism." but not only do they refuse to say the words, but they are supporting a policy of bringing tens of thousands of syrian muslim refugees into this country, knowing full well that we cannot vet them to determine who is coming here to wage jihad. >> rand paul, meanwhile, pushed legislation to ban new refugees from 34 countries or territories from getting any taxpayer benefits. he explained his thinking in a floor speech yesterday. >> my amendment says this -- that we're not going to bring them here and put them on government assistance. when the poem beneath the statue of liberty says "give me your tired, give me your poor," it didn't say come to our country and we'll put you on welfare. >> joining me now independent senator angus king of maine, member of the senate select committee on intelligence, the senate armed services committee. senator, there's a lot to pick through here. i guess first of all, is there any evidence that the refugees are coming to "wage jihad," as
senator ted cruz said? >> no. but i think we have to start, chris, by acknowledging people are rattled particularly by what they saw in paris over the weekend. i'm getting lots of calls in maine about syrian refugees. but as i got back to town i started to dig into it and found out that since 2011 just over 2,000 syrian refugees have come into this country but they've been through a process that lasts 18 months to two years. if a terrorist wants to come to the united states going as a refugee would be about the hardest way to get in here. the problem is, chris, and i don't know if you talked about it earlier this evening, but the real issue i'm concerned about is the visa waiver program whereby people from 38 countries around the world including most of those in western europe can come to this country with no visa, no check, no vetting whatsoever. it takes 24 months for a syrian
refugee and 24 hours to come from belgium or france or germany into this country under the visa waiver program. and guess how many people used -- how many entries there were under the visa waiver program last year. 20 million. so we're talking about passing a bill, about 2,000 people in the last three years. and i think the real threat is under the visa waiver program. that's where i think we should be directing our attention. >> we should note here, and this gets at something i think key here. as everyone identified involved in the attack has been a european national, they've had european citizenship whether in belgium or in france. those two countries qualifying for the visa waiver program, they could fly into jfk. why do you think that so much emphasis has been placed on refugees as opposed to, say, western european nationals? >> well, i think part of it was that the way the story unfolded over the weekend one of the guys
had a passport and they said he may have been a syrian refugee that came through greece, we're not even sure of that. but i think that sort of caught hold and then it just -- it just became a firestorm. but you know, going after the refugees instead of the visa waiver program is like us attacking brazil after pearl harbor. it's a vigorous response, but it's the wrong target. >> what is your reaction to watching the rhetoric that is being employed by some of your colleagues in the senate? talking about, you know, these people who are fleeing what is by all accounts one of the most awful places in the world, punishing and violent as people "wanting to wage jihad or people seeking welfare." what's your response to that kind of language? >> i think it's disappointing. and the fact is if you want to radicalize people, leave them in a refugee camp somewhere. that's where the radicalization will take place. i do think it's sensible that if people are coming here from
middle eastern countries that have been involved in this kind of conflict, that come under the influence of this radical ideology it makes sense to really be careful about it. but you know, i think the idea in fact of those 2,000 people i mentioned, something like 3/4 are women, children and the elderly. i think we've got to try to stick to the facts here. it's disappointing to see this kind of who can be more anti-refugee, you know. a lot of the same people, last year it was kids coming across the border from mexico and before that it was some other group, and 100 years ago it was catholics. you know, that's the kind of thing that we've got to worry about. >> all right. senator angus king, great thanks. joining me now, representative ted liu, democrat of california, who voted against that house refugee bill today.
and representative liu, my understanding is you actually had some firsthand experience with middle eastern refugees fleeing war back in the early '90s during the first iraq war and kurds who were being taken as refugees by the u.s. what was your experience with that? >> well, thank you, chris. and let me first say my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the horrific attacks in paris. but we do have a robust vetting process in the united states for refugees. i was in operation pacific haven when i was active duty with the air force in guam. we extracted thousands of kurds from northern iraq because saddam hussein was going to slaughter them. we took them to guam, and we had a very robust vetting process. most of them were muslim. most of them came to the united states. and our vetting process has only gotten better. it's 18 to 24 months before a syrian refugee enters the united states. and any terrorists we're going to catch through that vetting process. >> what do you say to someone who says, look, maybe it's good and maybe it isn't good but i
don't trust the federal government and frankly, you know, it's a tough world out there, we can't solve everyone's problems, all we can do is keep ourselves secure and minimize our risks? >> well, i think congress needs to focus on how we can prevent an attack in the united states such as that in paris. that's why i voted no on the house republican bill today, because it's the wrong solution to the wrong problem. there's not been a single act of terrorism committed by a refugee on american soil. and as you noted, chris, the paris attacks were perpetrated by french and belgian nationals. so under the republican logic we ought to be banning travel from french and belgian citizens to the united states. if you think that idea is ridiculous, then so is scapegoating syrian orphans, widows, and senior citizens fleeing a war-torn country. and the facts show that of the syrian refugees that have come to the united states, half are children, a quarter senior citizens, many are women, they
are the victims of isis, they are not isis. >> is it striking you, congressman, that the house is able to get this bill together on the floor and voted in such a short period of time, 16 months into the bombing campaign against isis there is as yet no authorization for use of military force from the congress. >> the paris attacks i think delivered an emotional response for many people but we in congress have to be rational. and the problem with this bill is it also directs our intelligence agencies to focus on the wrong problem. you have a director of national intelligence, the fbi director and the secretary of homeland security who under this bill would have to personally certify each and every file. so last year over 14,000 syrian and iraqi refugees came to the united states. if they just spent half an hour on each file, that would be essentially 7,000 hours, 300 days a year. they could not do their jobs. they'd just be reviewing whether
syrian orphans should be coming to the united states. that is an inappropriate use of resources, and it makes us less safe. >> that's an excellent point. i've not heard that yet. congressman ted lieu, thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up, a man's message to -- a man who lost his wife in friday's attacks and his incredible first-person address to isis. it's one of the most moving tributes you'll ever see. we'll bring that to you next. and he would have wanted you to have it. it meant a lot to him... yes, ge makes powerful machines. but i'll be writing the code that will allow those machines to share information with each other. i'll be changing the way the world works. (interrupting) you can't pick it up, can you? go ahead. he can't lift the hammer. it's okay though! you're going to change the world.
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129 people lost their lives in last week's deadly attack in paris. one of those people was helene muyal leiris, a 35-year-old wife and mother who was murdered in the assault on the bataclan theater. on monday her husband antoine took to facebook to address his wife's death. he read that post for the bbc in a video that has now been watched over 40 million times. >> on friday night you stole away the life of an exceptional being. the love of my life, the mother of my son. but you will not have my hatred. i do not know who you are, and i don't want to know. you are dead souls.
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in the states right now in which a group of refugees fleeing violence has faced fear and discrimination from the american public and american leaders is one that we've sadly seen before. as the intercept points out the anti-syrian muslim refugee rhetoric we've seen today mirrors calls to reject jewish refugees during the nazi era. when refugees were derided as communists or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution, part of a global jewish capitalist conspiracy to take control of the u.s., and nazis in disguise. and as we see with syrian refugees today, many rejected jewish refugees simply because they weren't christian. that is not the only historical parallel now being drawn. yesterday as we've discussed on the show, the democratic mayor of roanoke, virginia david bowers explained his opposition to allowing syrian refugees in his city by pointing approvingly to the internment of japanese americans following the pearl harbor attacks when anti-japanese hysteria broke out among the american public. >> it was that hysteria in the months following december 7th
that led to the forced evacuation of 120,000 japanese-americans and their parents from the west coast. they were ordered from their homes, sent first to assembly centers and then on to ten camps away from the coast on desolate federal lands far from military installations. 120,000 people put behind barbed wire simply because of the color of their skin and a hysteria that grew from ignorance, fear, and racism. >> actor george takei spent four years in the internment camps and he released a blistering response to the roanoke mayor's statement. "there never was any proven incident of espionage or sabotage from the suspected enemies then, just as there has been no act of terrorism from any of the 1,854 syrian refugees the u.s. has already accepted. we were judged based on who we looked like, and that is about as un-american as it gets." joining me now, democratic representative mike honda of california, who was sent to an internment camp when he was nine months old and lived there from
1942 to 1945. and representative jerry nadler, a democrat of new york. congressman honda, let me begin with you. what was your response when you saw this statement that was put out by the mayor of roanoke? >> well, i was very, very saddened by what he had said. and the things that he said was very inaccurate. first of all, he called the japanese-americans japanese foreign nationals. and we were actually u.s.-born citizens. 120,000 of us, 2/3 of us were natural-born citizens. and the rest of us could not become naturalized citizens because federal law prohibited that. so it was either a comment that was out of ignorance and just needed more information or he's just not well informed. >> congressman nadler, there's been a lot of discussion about how the u.s. reacted to the possibility of accepting jewish refugees, particularly around
'38 and '39. you know, there's generally this rule of thumb, it's called godwin's law, that you shouldn't be invoking the nazis to make arguments in present day. is this a fair parallel to draw at this point in time? >> well, i think it is a fair parallel to draw. it has nothing to do with the nazis. it has to do with the reaction of americans to refugees, in that case from the nazis, in this case from isis. and the hysteria was splirm. these were people in desperate, desperate need, and people wanted to reject them on the grounds that maybe they were in this case terrorists, in that case communists or whatever. in 1940 president roosevelt proposed a bill to admit 20,000 jewish children who might otherwise perish in the -- in europe over quota. it was rejected by the congress after a congressman from mississippi got up on the floor of the house and said there may
be 20,000 cute kids now but in 15 years there will be 20,000 damn kikes. and that was his direct quote, and it defeated the bill. the exact same hysteria. >> congressman honda, it seems like the rhetoric in the house and on the campaign trail has gotten really, really ugly, if i can say that. >> sure. >> are you having conversations with your colleagues over there about are you sure you want to say what you're saying, do you recognize how history might judge some of the things that are being said in the people's house right now? >> no, i haven't had a lot of conversations with those who've been saying that, but there's been a lot of talk among our own colleagues of the same mind. today we have 14 asian-americans in congress where in 1942 there was zero. so we're talking amongst ourselves about how we're going to approach this situation. and i think that we have colleagues like jerry nadler who
understands the situation. and you know, jerry is very, very correct that in 1939 this country rejected 900 jews who were coming here as refugees. we turned them away. that is just as today we're trying to turn away syrian refugees from this country. this is not what america's about. this is not what our character's about. and also our constitution is also one that we have to be cognizant of. the fact that 120,000 japanese were put into camps was a breach of the constitutional protection. and that created a lot of discord in the japanese-american community just within ourselves because there were some of us who wanted to prove that we're 100% americans by responding to the draft and there was those who said i will respond to the draft if you release my parents from an unconstitutional
incarceration. and then if you do that, i will respond to the draft. and so even to this day we have discussions among our own communities about what happened to us, by the government in 1942. we really have to be vigilant about what it is that we're all about. and the constitution's our basic anchor. >> congressman nadler. >> we have a history in this country in times of war and in times of crisis of reacting in panic. the japanese incarceration was one panic. we usually end up apologizing about 30 years later. congress formally passed an apology and compensation in 1938 for the japanese internment. 40 years later. we had the sedition acts. we rejected refugees. we passed the act in 1924 designed to cut off jewish and greek and italian and eastern european immigration. the almanac of american politics wrote that if a racist
xenophobic congress had not passed that act in 1924, maybe 2 million of the 6 million jews who were murdered by the nazis would have been in the united states instead. so we have a history, and we should learn from that history. right now we should look where the threat is. you know, seven of the eight culprits in paris were french and belgian nationals who can come to this country without even a visa. the danger is from people like that or people here who are radicalized, not refugees. refugees are fleeing the people that we're against. they're fleeing the tyrants and the murderers. then we should help. we vet them. we make sure nobody is dangerous among them. the danger is people who can come here without any vetting. >> i think jerry's right. you pointed out that acts of terrorism precipitates this fear against people that we're not familiar with. pearl harbor precipitated the incarceration of japanese-americans. just as the bombing in paris
had -- has precipitated in this country a response, a negative response against syrian refugees in this country. and i think that that's got to stop. our system's working in terms of vetting the syrians that are here. they've been here -- since 2011 we've been receiving the syrian refugees, and not one has performed any acts of terrorism. >> representative mike honda and representative jerry nadler, thanks to you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> congressman nadler just spoke about panic. i want to read this quote before we move ahead. truman said, "when we have these fits of hysteria, we are like the person who has a fit of nerves in public, when he recovers he is very much ashamed and so are we as a nation when sanity returns." harry trum nn his diary writing about the red scare. still ahead how the suggestions of data base and surveillance is similar to the political rhetoric we heard after september 11th and a reminder
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racist. >> people can have honest disagreements about immigration or about anything else. that's called democracy. but people should not be using the political process to inject racism into the debate. [ cheers and applause ] and if donald trump and others who refer to latinos as -- people from mexico as criminals and rapists, if they want to open that door, our job is to shut that door and shut it tight. [ cheers and applause ] >> coming up, barney frank on the virulent rhetoric on immigrants we've been hearing from the right. that's next. small steps. at axa, we'll help you take the next steps, with more confidence. for advice, retirement and insurance, talk to axa today.
it's time to wake up and smell the falafel. something isn't going right in this open immigration policy. we are importing terrorism. >> i'm waiting for this president to call eric holder out of retirement to lead a new movement, jihadi lives matter. >> widows and orphans i remember are the ones after 9/11 and i don't want to create a new generation of those. >> nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or
anything, but you understand it. a lot of people understand it. we're going to have no choice. >> who in their right mind would want to bring over tens of thousands of syrian refugees when we cannot determine, the administration cannot determine who is and who isn't a terrorist? >> as we've been chronicling over the past several days the rhetoric surrounding syrian refugees, islam, and muslims in general has been ratcheting up at home since at tacks in paris last week. several republican presidential candidates have suggested a religious test for syrian refugees. and gop front-runners today wouldn't rule out i.d. cards for muslims in the u.s., special i.d. cards. the mood in the country as many people have been noting in terms of the political discussion, the media coverage, is strikingly similar to the years after 9/11. the years that gave us a war on terror and brought us into the iraq war. joining me now, former congressman, cnbc contributor barney frank, who voted against the resolution authorizing military force against iraq in 2002. congressman frank, the reason i wanted to talk to you is because i am struck by the fact that i
have not heard the american sort of political rhetoric sounding like this in 13 years. how does it strike you? >> oh, it's much worse than it was back then, chris. there is a degree of racism and viciousness. give george bush credit. you and i were not his supporters. but he, right after 9/11, said this is not all muslims. he spoke out in defense of mosques. this is far worse. look, it's part and parcel of the general deterioration in the rhetoric in general but particularly in the republican party. the republicans made a decision, sadly, when barack obama got elected that they were going to go to demonization. and they've succeeded i think far beyond what some of the more reasonable ones wanted to see. but this is worse. as a matter of fact, i would cite the experience of the past 13 years as a rev taigs of this. this argument that the american
government is somehow incapable, that we as a people coming together rin capable of protecting ourselves is totally contradicted by the evidence. in the 14-plus years now since 9/11 we have not had these incidents. we have not had these mass killings. we've had lone wolf crazy americans who've done that. some of them have been islamists. more of them have been white americans who have randomly shot and killed other people as in charleston and out in oregon. but we have not had this organization of terrorism. we have some capacity to protect ourselves. what you have here is a kind of hysteria that's born of somehow -- i don't understand what it is that drives these people so to denigrate our country. people on the conservative side used to be proud of america and pro american. they're now describing a country that has lost all capacity to protect itself, which is inaccurate. and by the way, i'll tell you one other analogy to this, which fortunately got headed off, that
occurred to me. it was the hysteria after ebola. when you had republicans demanding that the president shut off all immigration from africa. when you had chris christie you who just had on talking about quarantining people. in fact, barack obama oversaw a very rational response to ebola that helped put an end to the disease in parts of africa. only one american died, and that's an american who brought it there. there is this fact we have to address. there's a racism here. in all of the incidences we have, ebola even more, the jews in germany 80 years ago, the japanese americans, the syrians today, it's an otherness. it is apparently a view on the part of many americans not that we need to worry more about american lives and the lives of others. that's a natural factor. the chilling thing about this equation is these are people who say any one american life sin finance-itly more valuable than thousands, tens of thousands of others.
there's no balance at all. any harm that might come to other people, people who have that otherness, who aren't like us, no matter how much damage will be done to people, the overwhelming majority of whom everybody agrees are innocent, that's irrelevant if it's going to put even one american slightly at risk. that is a wholly immoral calculation. >> barney frank, thank you so much for joining me. my final thoughts from paris next.
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the local islamic community has outgrown this building, and it's proposing to build a mosque nearby on property they own, but at last night's presentation things turned ugly fast. >> right now when we're looking at this, this is evil. i'll do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen. >> we don't want it. >> because you're terrorists. every one of you are terrorists. i don't care what you say. you can say whatever you want. every muslim is a terrorist. >> republicans' favorite line about terrorism and their critique of barack obama and hillary clinton particularly is that you need to use the right words, that words matter and they're not using the right ones. well, i agree, words matter. and the rhetoric that we're seeing from some people right now is creating the conditions for scenes like that in spotsylvania, virginia where a man trying to help build a mosque to expand is being screamed at and called a terrorist. words do matter, and the people that are fomenting that right
now are going to be looked at very unkindly in the future. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. and thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us this hour. i am surprised to say that we're actually leading tonight with some breaking political news. i did not expect to be leading with political news tonight. but something has just happened in politics that we've got exclusively and that is potentially a very big deal. here's what's happened. today the leading republican candidate for president, donald trump, gave an interview to yahoo! politics, which yahoo! wrote up as follows. "yahoo! news asked mr. trump whether his push for increased surveillance of american muslims could include warrantless searches. he suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures. yahoo news asked mr. trump whether this level of tracking of american muslims might require registering muslims in a