tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
because arms depot used by ukrainian army caught fire. that's what that looks like. when your arms depot catches fire. fire is never good but in place storing thousands of tons of artillery shells is really not good. they moved 20,000 people out of the way for obvious reasons and that kept exploding and burning for days. as it burned, it just kept blowing off artillery shells every direction. that happened in march. when the fire stopped and got back into town found pieces of missiles, artillery shells and tank rounds all over the town. ukrainian government said the fire didn't start by accident. that's nearby where russian and russian-supported troops have been pushing at the border. where the fighting has been. authorities of ukrainians say they think it blew up because somebody flew a drone over the depot and dropped
incendiary device into it, set off the fire and rounds going. that's how that days-long set of explosions. started. that was in in march. earlier this month it happened again in city right on the front lines of that russian land grab in ukraine. in eastern ukraine, the donetsk region. again this was a arms depot. authorities say it was also arson, sabotage, somebody set it on fire. today it's happened again. look at the footage from this one, reuters, the camera is well back from the ammunition depot. you can see the individual spiraling, zigzagging flashes of light. extrude up tracer fire or drunk fireflies. see them going off one by one. something is going on there.
but ultimately get what is a massive blast because this is a depot. there it goes. reportedly holds about 20,000 -- 200,000 tons of ammunition. so rocket artillery, tank shells, missiles. this started going off last night. various explosions went off all day long today. including these gigantic mushroom clouds you saw. ukrainian authorities say this too may have been started by sabotage, a drone flown over the ammunition depot and dropped something into it to set it off. about 30,000 people evacuated from immediate area where this happened today in ukraine. unnerving that this has happened a third time. i'm sure very upsetting for the ukrainian army to be losing ammunition this way but this is
particularly unnerving. for ukrainians because this happened really far from the fighting or the front lines and fighting. basic map of ukraine. fighting is eastern part. kiev is the capital city. where this happened this is southwest of kiev. this is way out of the way in the heartland of ukraine way out of the way. but ukrainian government is saying today that russian were able to get them even there. russia seized a big part of ukraine. they ceased seized crimea in 2014. fighting in other parts of eastern ukraine ever since. "daily beast" has good reminder how russia fights using information warfare alongside military tactics like blowing up depots and invading neighboring territory. as facebook is struggling to answer questions in this country how its platform was used in
the russian attack in our election last year by russians and why not been more helpful in figuring this out. "daily beast" reports that facebook has been in this space before with the russians. at the same time that russian in 2014 russian information war fair troops were invading crimea, operators were using surprisingly effective technique on facebook to clear ukrainian voices off social media so they wouldn't have competition for the media space. while it was invading that neighboring country. what these russian operatives would do is find ukrainian activists, arguing in favor of ukraine in the conflict and go to online facebook posts be those people and click report on those posts. whatever that person's argument was, whatever the picture or thing was that person was
sharing, these russian operators would swarm it and report it over and over again to facebook as porn. or they'd report it as inappropriate nudity or something you can flag to facebook as reason a post should be taken down. online equivalent of swatting. where you call in the s.w.a.t. team, call the police about neighbor, say a terrible crime is being committed and nothing is going on and police respond and neighbor has to deal with annoying, expensive and potentially dangerous police response. its one thing as nuisance, a one-off effort to harass as prank but systematic as a state-sponsored tactic of warfare, you get good at it and do it in bulk. in the case of the russia/ukraine stuff in 2013, 2014, 2015, it meant they were blowing the whistle hundreds of
times, thousands of times for each post and activist and it worked. it became such a point of concern that president of ukraine raised the issue with facebook. asked facebook to please consider creating office in ukraine to deal with this special problem that russian operatives were taking ukrainian voices off social media. facebook laughed that off. from ukraine and their president. but "daily beast" interviewed the activists who were shut up by facebook because russian operatives targeted them to be shut up. around the time that russian troops were literally invading ukraine and taking over the country, facebook was helping russian government shut down opposition voices from the country they were invading. one of the activities said i posted a picture of my city with a picture of a rainbow over it
and the picture said everything will be okay. that's what he posted. russian operatives swarmed that and reported it over and over and over again as porn. and that activist was blocked from facebook for a month while russia invaded his country. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg put out a new statement tonight. expressing regret for having made dismissive comments about the power of online misinformation and potentially shaping the outcome of the presidential election last year. but the more we learn about what russia did in our election last year, clear it becomes that russian intelligence and military don't see facebook and information warfare as a side show or lark, not experimental thing they're dabbling in for fun or to harass people, it's really central to their real war efforts and overall geopolitical strategy on this planet.
as russia was literally seizing territory from neighboring country in last few years, one of the only modern industrialized nations in generation to have invaded a neighboring country and taken over part of its territory, russia simultaneously took to the information space to shut down activists from that country. nave they've also been all over the globe promoting secession moments and breakaway independence movements in all sorts of countries. in other words, they've been looking to get bigger busy making sure everybody else gets smaller. they're literally taking over neighboring country's territory to make russia a larger country while promoting in online space movements to break apart competitors and rivals in global space. we saw that this week in iraq russia one of the only other nations on earth that
supported the kurdish referendum where the kurds voted to break off iraq and become own nation. u.s. government very opposed to that. and has in fact been fighting for a decade or more in iraq to keep it together as single nation and government. russia is all for blowing it apart. supported that referendum as it donald trump's campaign manager paul manafort. whose latest consulting job since being warned by prosecutors he's about to be indicted, advising about the breakup iraq referendum. which happened this weekment there will be another referendum going to be another in spain, catalan region is voting if they want to break off from spain. russia is supporting that one too. what is the russian interest in catalonia? i don't know but it is part of a theme.
and we've talked about this on the show in the past. russia for years in this country has actively promoted the secession of texas, the quirky texas secessionist movement to the point of inviting texas secessionists to russia. paying their way to help them promote the independent republic of texasstan or whatever. in the immediate wake of president trump's victory in the election, new flurry of enthusiasm in efforts to have california secede from the united states. until one of the best funded, slickest california secession outfits last year turned out to have its headquarters in russia. literal, government-funded free office in moscow. and leader of the movement, who was applying to get it on the ballot in california and everything,
was living in siberia while running that movement. russia also famously supported secession within the european union. they were a major supporter of the u.k. independence party which went to the brexit vote. to break the uniteding dom out of the eu. russia was a and massive financial supporter of the national front in france which among other things promised to break france out of the european union along the same lines as brexit. if you follow them individually looks complicated, russia volved in one way or another. in all these different country eelections all over the world sometimes seem left wing or right wing or just strangely interested. but there they are in the u.k., france, spain, middle east and united states and disparate places. looks complicated as individual
stories but step back and simple as can be. russia is busy making itself as big as possible, including taking over parts of neighboring countries while simultaneously supporting movements all over the globe to make other places divided as small as possible. we're getting big, why don't you fight amongst yourselves while don't you all split into million pieces like we have. i have reason to believe that russia doesn't watch this tv show. so experiment. let's create a fake secessionist movement in the united states, create it. for any reason, just because they'd love -- on the theory i they'll support any movement like that in of the west for any reason. really want the west to break apart in small of pieces as can be. there is at kernel of the
movements legit organic interest in those places of maybe breaking off even if tongue in cheek. but russia will take that and build from it, fund it, give you free offices. hook you up. staff it from moscow. let's make up new one and see if we get russian support. first idea was movement called nohio. see if they bite on that. then somebody else on the staff came up with no, tennesseeya. maybe like a southern one. and indiana becoming outdiana. or illannoyed. we're out of here. tried on a few different ideas. we've now come down to four finalists. you can vote online or at twitter. vote for which fake secession movement we should create online to see if it attracts russian support. the choices, a, new independent republic of manhattanistan.
in manhattan or b, new independent region arizone. next is c, connecticut. let's the best possible bumper sticker. the one that might be familiar with them and option d. new mexit. the theory, if you build it, they will come. any inkling of anybody wanting to break off any part of the united states, anything that exists in the west from anything that constitutes existing international order where russia isn't a superpower. any centrifugal force to pull something apart will attract russian trolls like flies to brexit. so we'll see. i'm excited about this. man oe blog.com
alongside russian efforts to promote outright secession, as we learn more about what russia in election last year online and on facebook. you can see the same concerted russian effort under way. not to completely break the country apart as geopolitical unit but break our population apart. get american people at each other's throats. cnn reports tonight that among the facebook ads bought last year by russia not only referenced black lives matter movement but specifically targeted black lives matter related russian advertising to audiences in ferguson, missouri, and baltimore, maryland. they were taking places in united states riven by anger and violence and conflict about the police treatment of african-americans and into that came the russians to fuel it and kindle it. trying to make the most of it. and they knew enough about the subtleties of the issues here to target those ads to location where they might do the most harm.
"daily beast" reports in a stunning story that facebook group called united muslims of america, went online during the elections last year, that organization actually took over the dormant name of legit old organization in california that wasn't active anymore. the group that was operating on facebook last year in the election was run by russian operatives. the site has been traced back to the russian government. remember last year leading up to the election donald trump was insisting, even on close questioning, that hillary clinton invented isis? that she created isis? at least one of the online originators of that claim was this russian government operated facebook page united muslims of america that said hillary clinton created, funded and armed al qaeda and isis. site also claimed that john
mccain created isis. needless to say neither created isis. but russian government was impersonating u.s. muslims on facebook last year claiming that was true and happily echoed and insisted upon by the presidential candidate for the republican party. politico.com also reports that russian funded facebook ads supported division among voters on the left. at least one of the ads they ran on facebook last year said choose peace and vote for jill stein. trust me it's not wasted vote. grow a spine, vote jill stein. that was bought and paid for by the russian government. not to say that jill stein wanted that it, solicited it or knew about it but russia wanted votes for her.
so alongside paid ads promoting donald trump and criticizing hillary clinton, russia was running ads saying you wouldn't waste your vote if you voted for jill stein. #hint, yes you will. it will be very interesting to see if we ever learn where those ads were targeted and if they ended up targeting would-be democratic or liberal voters in some of the states where jill stein votes absolutely did outrun the vote margin between hillary clinton and donald trump. other ads promoted votes for bernie sanders, reportedly right before the election, long after bernie sanders had left the race and endorsed clinton and said people should vote for her. russian operators saying still vote for bernie, wouldn't be wasted vote. we're starting to see clear lie how they operate.
what they're trying to do. russia supports division in the countries and geopolitical entities they see as their rivals. russia seeks to divide or silence when they can political movements and leaders that oppose them. russia also seems to just like far right populist movements that bring out most antidemocratic and ugly tendencies in western countries. by turning native populations specifically against immigrants, refugees, muslims. in germany, angela merkel reelected but first time in post-world war ii era, a far right anti-immigrant, right party will be represented in the german parliament. this far right movement, called afd, about 13% of the vote. will be represented in parliament and their interests
in the election were promoted by russian state-run media and bots and trump campaign veterans. a group called harris media, hired by the trump campaign in the paul manafort era ran digital operations in germany for far right anti-muslim, anti-immigrant group that did so well in the elections. thanks in no small part to additional boost from russia. we're learning more every day about what russia did in our election. as we get more detail about that, it's becoming easier to see how investigators may be able to determine whether or not the russian operatives working to influence the election had american confederates helping them do their work. executives from twitter are set to speak tomorrow morning in washington. facebook has started reportedly to hand over information about what russian operatives bought what ads targeting which people during our election. and as facebook in particular
gets dragged kicking and screaming into disclosing how well russia used their platform not just to silence dissidents, shut down ukrainian activities but how were used to manipulate, divide and misinform americans to a specific and illegal political end. spookiest part of all of this, russia's action in that information space, very clearly bled out into the real world. they did not just change what we saw or in some case what's we thought and thought about, didn't just presumably start fights and change votes, they also changed real lives in the real world in our country in sometimes violent ways. one of the most unsettling incidents of that just reported out by "new york times." caitlin dickerson, she joins us next.
this coming sunday, going to be in the "new york times" sunday magazine. how fake news turned a small town upside down. height of the 2016 election, exaggerated reports of juvenile sex crime brought a maelstrom to twin falls, idaho. jang joining us now caitlin dickerson. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> tell me specifically what you found in twin falls. before reading your story, i heard anger ginned up against yogurt and other things. what did you find?
>> to begin with a real sexual assault case five-year-old girl who was white american and seven-year-old boy who was a refugee but turned into something larger than that in fake news stories that turned out to be untrue and used to prove the point that refugees and muslims were inherently dangerous. it was elevated nationally. at certain point chobani and other officials brought in and turned into conspiracy theory. >> it was real issue. involving a five-year-old and seven-year-old it was represented in false news story as if gang rape of child by adults and had been a -- either racially motivated or inflected assault. >> that it was influenced by religion is the narrative. young girl was gang raped, held
at knife point by syrian refugees even though there are none in the town at all. that it was done by adults even though altercation with seven-year-old and all was proof that isis was in the town and town was under attack. >> how did it manifest in the town. it's one thing if fake stories are circulating about a thing in the united states. how did this manifest in real lives in twin falls? >> people felt it intensely. for a entire smumer. it started to be reported in online blogs then moved to brietbart and info wars and during that time specific elected officials were called out by name. their addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses posted online and barraged for entire summer really intensely with violent and specific threats. so for the people receiving threats they were scared.
police had to patrol their homes. talked about being scared to walk out to cars after work. mayor's wife said she did charlie's angels in her home when doorbell rang, duck under the counter. because she was getting specific threats and people living in town were reading online that town was under assault by dangerous sexual deviants. they were scared too. >> promoted heavily by brietbart, steve bannon talked about this daily for a long time on radio show. dispatched a full-time reporter to go to twin falls to not necessarily report on the story but hype it. >> lee stranahan. steve bannon described him as pit bull and said was going to let him loose on the town. the conceit they said was reveal the true story. they were writing and saying on the radio that local police, prosecutor and local paper
were involved in a cover-up, trying to conceal the crime. when they were trying to say something unfortunate and sad happened but nothing to do with islam or isis or refugee resettlement it's something sad that happened between two kids. >> mr. stranahan is now working for sputnik? >> he now hosts a drive-time radio show for sputnik. yes. >> one of the things we've since learned is this is one of the -- for lack of better term -- fake news stories in the united states that russian operatives latched on to and promoted and appeared try to arrange protests around these stories. this twin falls, real life events to happen. in twin falls and the organizing efforts were traced baaing to russia.
>> first known attempt that russian government made to conjure up political rally on american soil. took place in twin falls in addition to the false details having spread. the protest itself wasn't massively attended. lot of the people upset were in other states or countries. nevertheless it happened and people showed up and protested at behest of russian-linked accounts. >> it's on one level disgusting. on the other hand fascinating story and depth of your reporting on this really helps us understand its import. thanks a lot. we'll be right back.
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a personalized financial strategy can help you get them there. see how access to j.p. morgan investment expertise can help you. chase. make more of what's yours. this time last week, 3.4 million americans were in the grip of this, hurricane maria, made landfall in puerto rico one week ago in early morning hours as category 4 storm. last time storm is it a big in 1930s. now in the aftermath and inarguably things are getting worse and not better with the passage of time. because of what now quite starkly appears to be inept, inadequate and most of all disorganized federal response. you're used to thinking that heart-stopping wait time for a hurricane is while you're waiting for the storm to pass over. for the storm to be gone.
but this time what's killing these americans is waiting for the relief effort to hit its stride. a week in, half the population has no drinking water. week in, 97% of the island has no electricity. week in, many communities not just running low on fuel but on food. part of the reason we know this is a disorganization failure because significant quantities of relief supplies are making it to puerto rico and they're stuck at the port. thousands of containers of supplies are sitting at the port because nobody's organized drivers to truck those supplies out of the port and into needy communities all over the island. that effort is thus far not coordinated with effort to clear the roads so the trucks could get through if they had drivers for them. definitely no shortage of people willing to help in civilians helping each other, which we've seen in incredible measure.
but also in terms of responders trying to do their best, there are responders on scene. a lot of them. doesn't appear to be anybody leading things to get it going in systematic way or in effort large enough to meet the needs of the island one week in. even now a week in, food and water running low and some communities still not having received any aid at all, the organization of the effort appears to be still in its very earliest stages. as mayor of san juan told us last night, that disorganization means that even though there's fuel on the island, dozens of hospitals don't have fuel they need to keep the generators running, so they can't power machines to keep people alive in intensive care units. not just far-flung areas but puerto rico's largest city. patients already died in hospital for lack of fuel because no power to keep life support machines on.
"washington post" reported on the san lorenzo in the mountains outside of san juan, separated from communities by powerful river. that hurricane took out only bridge connecting them to rest of the island. desperation has been mounting, some local people trying to cross very overflowing river on their own, very dangerous. but here's the part of this that is absolutely mind bending. a fema team arrived in san lorenzo to try to help the people stranded there. but turned out they had been dispatched to that isolated community with no food, water or medical supplies to deliver. between having trouble to communicate and find their way around once they got there, fema team took real risks to get there and couldn't help once they got in because of
disorganization. which is a risk to them and waste of effort to the people they weren't able to help once they got there. ap called this a do it yourself affair. spoke to person after person, who said there's been quote, no help. quote, people have to help one another now. it's hard to know for sure what is happening on the ground in a lot of places on puerto rico, so much of the island is cut off. but people are sounding the alarm. warning that if this keeps going like this, if this effort doesn't get organized fast, we could start to see a spike in the death toll. elderly patients in nursing homes with no power, water and ability to prepare food. sick patients in hospitals that still don't have power. this is not a political story except that it's politicians who have to fix it. right? this is about life and death. we're
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was blown off the hillside. there's a roof over here in this ravine. it's down there. when this area was hit by hurricane, there was tremendous amount of flooding. there's a road right over there. it's critical for getting gas and supplies up to the area and it's impassable. much of is collapsed. lot of it was mud slide. that's mud slide. there's one here. all the foliage ripped off the trees. >> that's nbc's gadi schwartz in puerto rico earlier today. this is tape we're now getting in from this rural community. as gadi was saying, it's been largely cut off from the outside world since the storm hit a week ago. residents with zero power and zero running water all week long. residents have been walking miles for gasoline to power generators.
up to seven miles. they've had zero assistance until today, where they saw the very first work to clear the mud slides. joining us by phone is gadi schwartz, been in puerto rico for eight days reporting on the hurricane and its devastation in its wake. gadi we appreciate your time. >> reporter: no problem rachel. >> tell us how you're able to get around and what you make of the progress toward physically accessing interior puerto rico and towns that have had such trouble getting aid. >> reporter: first things first, start and end the day thinking about how much gasoline we have, we have to ration it, and that means waiting in lines and sometimes waiting in hours long lines. really how far we go into the island depends on how much gasoline we have and how much to get back.
that's something all puerto ricans are thinking about, whether go to town or not, stay home, try to go to work or check on loved one. gasoline is first and foremost on our minds. then we go out, security guards are really familiar with puerto rico have been instrumental getting us into areas. today we wanted to go to these cutoff towns and we made our way past the road block. that's when you saw on the video. but striking thing we saw was this crew. earlier describing it as do-it-yourself help that is going on up there. we came across this road crew. they had assembled from all different places. one that seemed to be supervising was a woman, she was there telling the crews what to do.
but i stopped to talk to her, asked her how her house was. she said it was destroyed but she was engineer and this is what she said, had to go out and help her island any way she could and she was going to try to work. and those long lines of gasoline, lot of the people would be walking miles to get gasoline and saying look, we've got to go to work. at some point we got to go to work, need money, need to survive. next four to six months looking very bleak for a lot of these people. >> and scale of the devastation is gut-wrenching. stories about people doing everything they can to help each other and heartening but this scale of devastation, we have to worry about how organized and systemic the effort is get to the relief, roads cleared, aid distributed, people safe, take care of the elderly and infirm. what can you tell us about how
organized the overall response is. >> reporter: this is something difficult because i think it is part of the story. in retrospect, probably should have shot it. it's as important to the story as what is going on on the outside. there's an air conditioned convention center where we've spent a lot of time trying to get briefings and figure out what is going on. for the day we spent there over the weekend, there were hundreds of people walking around in tucked in polo shirts with government insignia and milling around for hours and hours and reporters and some of the people from different organizations were like we're not exactly sure what is going on, what we're doing. we've got this meeting and that. fema is on the third floor, we're supposed to be on the second. it seemed very disorganized and
such a far cry from what was going on outside, especially in the rural areas of puerto rico where if you have gas and car and the willingness to get out, you can find people in need very quickly. but this convention center was filled with a lot of people that are obviously there because they would like to help, but just walking around, shaking people's hands and talking for hours. >> wow. >> reporter: in air conditioned convention center while the rest of puerto rico is under sweltering heat, no one has electricity and people are waiting entire day just to get three gallons of gas. >> wow. that tracks exactly what we heard from the san juan mayor last night. talking about how heartened she is with the people there to hem but frustrated that it's not a relief effort that is working yet. gadi schwartz, nbc's reporter on the ground. thanks. keep us apprised. thank you. >> no problem.
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yesterday cnn was first to report that robert mueller, the special counsel is about to start interviewing white house officials, past and present, as potential witnesses in his russia investigation. cnn had that story first last night and now abc news confirmed it. from various sources, names of six people, current and former white house officials believed to be in line for questioning by
mueller's prosecutors. again, as soon as maybe tomorrow or the next day. those people include sean spicer, and reince priebus, fired from the trump white house and don mcgahn, the white house counsel and deputy no one's heard of and communications director hope hicks and jared kushner's spokesperson of all people. one of the things to figure out is how regular, non-trump people will pay for what undoubtedly are expensive legal fees. in connection with the russia investigation. even not up to the necks in this story, being questioned just as a witness can be a very legally fraught thing. it is a crime to lie to federal investigators even by accident. today, we can report exclusively on an interesting, new poll of public policy polling coming out tomorrow morning in full and reveals public opinion on everything right now from, you know, the health care bill to jimmy kimmel to lots of other
stuff, but before that poll coming out in full tomorrow morning, check out a jib let we got. registered voters who say it's inappropriate for the president to use campaign funds to pay the legal bills? 64%. 64% of americans believe president trump should be paying his own legal bills in the russia case. mr. trump is not paying his own local bills. he is not. of course, those are being paid for by the rnc and by the trump re-election campaign. as are the legal fees of his son. his question of russian legal fees are paid by the president or anybody in that circle, that reporting has led us to a whole new line of questioning and interest about one giant pile of money that is sloshing around inside the white house. that could conceivably be used for that purpose, conceivably used for legal fees for all of the white house personnel and former caught up in this thing to do that with it.
this giant pile of money is called the trump inaugural fund. we believe it is a fund of tens of millions of dollars. and we have very little idea what they'll do with it. on that subject, we have a weird new scoop doing on tomorrow night's show. you will want to see this. all right. we'll be right back. ...there's something you to smay be missing. a key part of your wellness that you may be... ...overlooking. ♪ it's your eyes.
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referendum in northern iraq, a semiautonomous region by the kurds. also significant kurdish populations in iran and syrian and turkey and the idea of a country, that's got the whole region freaking out. all those other countries did military exercises on iraq's border to show how freaked out they were by the referendum. it wasn't close. the yes vote over 92% for independence. so, is iraq going to split up? nothing like that would happen automatically but iraq is definitely up in arms about it. today the parliament asked the prime minister to send iraqi troops to kirkuk to take control of the oil fields up there. i should note that kurdish troops are already there. they gave three days to give up control of the airports in the region or iraq would shut them down.
kurdistan is refusing to negotiate. he said, quote, we'll not compromise on iraq's unity or sovereign ty iraq is strong. some want to weaken it. but they have miscalculated. they have miscalculated. some, however, just calculated, you know, fine. may have just calculated perfectly well that despite the interests of the united states of america on this issue, maybe this referendum might be a way to get paid. paul manafort sometime around the time the fbi raided his house he signed up as a paid con sl taunt to promote this referendum. because he's reportedly told to be indicted in the russia scan dal we are interested in the reports of manafort to be there for the referendum this week. we reached out the the spokesman a few times to fine out where is he? did he go to iraq? the spokesman won't tell us. here's one to grow on. if paul manafort is, in fact, in
iraqi kurdistan, those airports are about to shut down very soon because of the referendum he just defied the u.s. to promote. if iraq follows through on the threats and suspends flights in and out of that region, how does paul manafort get home? >> good evening. might not work out for the perfect hideout. >> trying to avoid arraignment, northern iraq wouldn't be the worst place in the world to hide out but, you know, maybe the kurds hook him -- i don't know. i don't know. i don't know. >> maybe more time to think abou