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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  August 22, 2011 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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good morning. i'm willie geist and this is "way too early" on monday, august 22nd. glad you're up and watching. listening live on sirius xm radio. "way too early" or on twitter @williegeist. your cram session for monday august 22nd. right to the late nest libya live at 5:30 a.m. you're at 30 rock in new york city and 11:30 a.m. in tripoli. rebel fighters in tripoli right now taking to the streets in celebration as the 42-year regime of moammar gadhafi appears to be entering its final hours in the long deadlock in the country's six-month-old conflict. fighting has broken out near a
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compound where government tank opened fire after emerging from inside the complex. the libyan rebels top diplomat in london says opposition forces control 95% ever the capital city. rebel leaders say the final assault was part of a coordinated plan hatched by nato, the rebels and anti-gadhafi rebels living in tripoli. combat air patrols over libya will continue until all pro-gadhafi forces surrender. fighters surged into the city sunday with stunningly little resistance from the regime. despite the realities on the ground, libya's government spokesman still struck a defiant tone on the future of this battle. >> we are still very strong and we have still thousands and thousands of fighters who have nowhere to go but to fight. so this will increase and increase and the death toll will increase because people are so scared of the revenge and hatred of the other side if they win.
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each side actually is terrified of the other side. >> meanwhile, the international criminal court confirms saif al islam gadhafi, the once heir apparent of the son, and those close to his inner circle say he tried to escape disguised as a woman but picked up in tripoli. the location of moammar gadhafi himself still unclear at this hour although other top officials including libya's prime minister reportedly now have fled the country and south africa denied an earlier report two of its planes landed at tripoli's airport last night to help gadhafi leave the country. south africa's foreign minister says his nation is not facilitating a gadhafi departure and the libyan leader will not seek or receive asylum in africa. back in the u.s., president obama monitoring the situation while on vacation in martha's
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vineyard, briefed by john brennan. the president later release add statement that read in part, tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. the surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple. moammar gadhafi and his regime need to recognize their rule has come to an end. he needs to relinquish power once and for all. and goes on to say the u.s. will work with its allies to ensure a "peaceful transition to democracy." two of those allies are now weighing in. british prime minister david cameron saying, "gadhafi must go now to avert suffering for his own people." and nicolas sarkozy salutes the courage ever the rebel fighters and of the libyan people rising up. with libya on the verge of historic change what now lies ahead for the country? here to offer perspective, the president and council on foreign relations, richard haass. thanks for being in so early. appreciate it. how did power slip from a man
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who held power for so long and so tightly. just over the last couple of days the rebels made huge sweeps into tripoli. >> these regimes tend to be brittle. a tipping point. they're there, they're there, they're there, and until suddenly at the end, they're brittle and they go. and the rats essentially desert the ship. that's what we've seen. >> we can't avoid the truth, a lot was facilitated by nato. in large part we mean by tunite states of america. what can you tell us about this regime? >> the united states spent over a billion dollars, other members of nato even more than that. the rebels had ground power no terrible well organized but the ability to fight on the ground but they needed the air. that weakened the regime and sent a powerful, psychological signal and also helped tilt the battle and helped bring the battle to a rather sudden collapse when it came. >> the president received a lot of criticism for not acting more decisively, letting nato take
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the lead. what today as we sit here on this monday, where it looks like the regime is all but over, what can we say about the way the president handled it? >> controversial whether it had to happen and what happened over the last six months. willie, this is the end ever the beginning. the tough stuff starts now. think about iraq and other things in history. once you get rid of the king, the one common thread that brought together the opposition. the real question, can they stay together on behalf of what? no national institution. gabrielle giffor moammar al gadhafi ran it. the questions going forward are interestingly enough even larger than the questions looking backward. >> my next question -- you led me to it perfectly. who are these guys exactly? they put aside a lot of tribal differences, ethnic differences, in the name of fighting moammar gadhafi. now gadhafi is out of the way.
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those difference, going to pop up. >> absolutely. we're going to find out. again, rarely is the first aftermath of ousting the king the final aftermath. the in-fighting begins. people don't agree on not what they're against, what it is they favor. we'll find out. these people to some extent worked together, not coalition, more a grab bag. the real question, will they turn on themselves and also just simply have the raw capacity to run this large country of more than 6 million people with more than 1 million refugees, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced. it's hard to exaggerate the task that lies ahead of them. >> we've seen how difficult in egypt that's been. >> absolutely. >> euphoria passes, and tough reality are on the ground. >> and egypt was a real country, powerful national institutions including the army, which did not unravel. here, you have nothing like that. again, whether this ragtag bunch, i don't mean to be disparaging. let's be straight about it. can they do it? i would think probably not on their own.
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quickly these western governments, which are welcoming the news, are going to have to decide what is going to be their role? what is france? what does nato, the european union, the u.n., what does the united states and others, what are we going to be asked to do and even if not asked, what might we need to be prepared to do? >> reports discussions have begun on what exactly will happen next. does it matter where moammar gadhafi is? speculation he fled the country. more recent reports saying he's somewhere holed up inside libya. does it matter at this point? >> in the historical sense, no. the gadhafi era is over. his ability, his capacity is rule is over. a damian law saddam and others. it brings closure. in fact, the gadhafi era is now over. the post-gadhafi era begun. >> amazing.
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richard haass, thanks for being with us. we'll talk to you more on "morning joe" in a little bit. >> thank you. former utah governor jon huntsman coming out swinging against the republican national field yesterday saying opponents have "zero substance." who is this man? his first sunday show interview with the candidate comes after the former ambassador of china took to twitter declaring his belief in evolution and climate change. many interpreting the tweet as a jab at texas governor rick perry controversial remarks. in an interview yez with abc news, huntsman addressed some of perry's comments. >> i think there's a serious problem. the minute that the republican party becomes the party, the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. we lose a hole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. had we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, we take a position that runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said with the national academy of
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sciences, what they've said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, i think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position. >> huntsman also discussed governor perry's about kookizatikoo the federal reserve and its chairman bernanke is committing treason. >> i'm not sure they'll hear the treasonous remark and say that sounds like a presidential candidate. it gets to a broader point, the fact we've had so much hope and hype in politics the last little while. we found ourselves at the extreme ends of the political spectrum and people are crying out for us to get back to some level of sensibility. >> jon huntsman talking tough yesterday. following huntsman interview, the democratic national committee blasted in a critique reading, don't take our word for it. this comes as speculation grows about whether other republicans might jump into the race.
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names floefted, house budget committee paul ryan, new jersey governor chris christie and, yes, former alaska governor sarah palin. christie and ryan deny publicly they're making plans for a campaign while palin had said they will make her index tensions clear by september. on friday palin's political action committee released a web video releasing footage of her at the iowa state fair. in the video palin promises supporters to see you again september 3rd. republican strategist former bush adviser karl rove says the ad looks pre-presidential. >> the schedule she's got next week in iowa, it looks like that of a candidate not a celebrity. her difficulty is, if she doesn't get in shortly after next week, then i think people are going to basically say, she's not in. she won't be in, and if she gets in i'm not going to be for her. you can only tease so many times in the political process and i think she's getting to the end of that. >> whiled president vacations on
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martha's vineyard a preview of the president's upcoming speech on jobs and the economy. that one coming after lab are day saying extending the pay ro role -- pay roll tax cuts. >> saying we can't touch tax cuts for the wealthy, can't touch corporate tax loopholes because that will hinder the economy but we'll allow a $1,000 tax increase on the average american come january. how can that be? the only explanation for it is politics. >> he's not concerned in the upcoming election adding the memory of george w. bush will revive the president and boost turnout for 2012. back to libya, talk to a military man about how exactly the tide turned for the rebels. with the end of the gadhafi reign behind us. and sunday night nfl.
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plaxico burress finds the end zone for the first time since coming back from a 20-month prison sentence. highlights and a check on weather when "way too early" comes right back. coffee doesn't have vitamins... unless you want it to. new splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart new ways to sweeten.
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it is dark outside here in new york city pap check on weather from nbc meteorologist bill karins. hey, bill. >> this week is all about hurricane irene. if you live anywhere from florida all the way through the carolinas, the mid-atlantic even new england, a storm that looks to affect everyone on the east coast as we go throughout this upcoming week into the weekend. right now the storm is just over the top of puerto rico. most of the island lost power as the storm strengthened
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overnight. moving away from puerto rico during the day today and near the dominican republic. it gets more serious, the storm looks to stay mostly over water instead of land. that mean as stronger storm. hurricane center is forecasting a category 2, maybe a category 3 hurricane right along the florida coast. thursday into friday. this will be the first time in three year as threat like this and this one looks to go from south to north, possibly making landfall in florida, maybe georgia, maybe south carolina. if it curls a little more to the right talking maybe even through north carolina. in other words, everyone in the southeast now is a time to make preparations. especially the east coast of florida and wheat talk about evacuations possibly, stuff like that later on this week. the hurricane should be closest to south florida going throughout thursday afternoon and evening and that will be moving northwards up the coast. anywhere from new england through the mid-atlantic, this looks to be a big rain storm. a lot of flooding concerns. a very wet august, around philadelphia, new york city, up
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through southern new england. it looks to be a soggy mess regardless of the strength of the storm. other forecast concern, the heat continues in texas. willie, this is our first real big hurricane threat in three years and this ones looks like it will be affecting millions of people. >> we'll keep an eye on that. bill, thanks so much. the preseason nfl, jets and bengals playing at the meadowlands and plaquxico burre making his jets' debut. mark sanchez will play action. welcome back from prison. a 20-yard catch from burress. second quarter, sanchez reads the blitz, lobs it up to plaxico. making a beautiful catch in the end zone. 26-yard touchdown. one of burress' flee catchthreen the game. two touchdowns, no picks and the new york tabloids could not resist the gun play this morning on the back page of the "new
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york post." hot shot. look what the "daily news did" back way bang. welcome, plaxico. to dallas, trailing in the second quarter. tony romo, scramble. the touchdown. not enough for the cowboys who lose 20-7. in san francisco, did you hear this story? police seeking witnesses to the shooting of two men following the 49ers 17-3 win over the oakland raiders start night. violence broke out between 49ers and raiders' fans in the stands, but then things spilled out into the parking lot. one man remains hospitalized after being shot several times in the stomach. second man treated for a less serious gunshot wound after a separate incident. come on. police have made no arrests but are reportedly looking for a pen of interest in those incidents. turning to baseball now, detroit tigers and the cleecveld
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indians. detroit up a run, indians runners on second and third and one out. a fly ball to center field. watch the play -- oh, jackson. that is a double play to end the game. gets him running from third. jackson, a bullet. lays down a beautiful block and tag. tigers end the game on that double play, and sweep the three-game series. they now lead cleveland in the a.l. central by 4 1/2 games. huge win there. yankees and twins. got to show you this. you don't see it often. curtis granderson with 34 home runs this year. gets number 35, but the ball did not leave the yard. hits one that bounces high off the scoreboard and keeps rolling back towards the infield. granderson keeps rolling around the bases, slides in head-first. that, my friends, an inside the park home run for curtis granderson, his 35th of the year. yankees win 3-0. red sox won. still a half game behind new
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york in the a.l. east. coming up at the top of the hoyer on "morning joe," libyan rebels roll into the capital of tripoli with lightning speed backed by nato air power. so where is moammar gadhafi? and what happens when they find him? we'll talk, top of the hour, with our panel of experts. we'll be right back.
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seems a sellbrationfrom a celebration from inside tripoli. if you want to sound smart today, tell your friends that green square was given its name after the 196 revolution that was led by moammar gadhafi. that's to commemorate his movement. according to reports members of the libyan opposition renamed that area martyrs square, which was its original name. here with more on the military operations that brought the end of the gadhafi regime, nbc military analyst colonel jack jacobs. >> everything happens in the square. green square. >> tahrir square. >> we don't have that here. >> let's hope we don't have any of these scenes in our squares. 7,500 nato sorties flown over
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the last five months or so. we salute the courage of the rebels but have to point to the air power provided by nato and the yimpts probably the independent variable that caused a lot of this. yeah. there were people on the ground trying to train these guys, because their tactics were terrible. no idea how to use weapons. they were shoots themselves and their friends. they had absolutely no training, and they couldn't kwocoordinate their activities. what made the difference, air strikes. every time gadhafi forces popped their heads out, nato would put an air strike out. we were going to put people on the ground to make a difference. the rebelless leswould have toy themselves but with the air strikes. >> some saying it came a lot quicker, but would could we have used air power earlier? >> probably not. unless nato was willing to go
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ahead and bomb areas in which the, to which the gadhafi forces pulled back. it built up areas, lots more collateral damage. weren't of the things that came out of this, in fact, you can have very little collateral damage if you're very careful about how you bomb places, and you don't care how long it takes. there's -- there's very close relationships between whether or not you want it bad and whether or not you're going to get it bad. you want it bad, you get it bad. a lot of collateral damage. the air strikes really mailed the difference in the end. it's not entirely clear the rebel forces, it's really a cohesive force in any case. >> you pointed out something interesting. a lot of these rebels now will loot the weapons held so long by the government. what do they have? >> if they haven't done it already, i'd be absolutely astonished. a wide variety of automatic weapons. cruise sort of weapons. a lot of conventional anti-aircraft weapons, but the
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thing i'm most concerned about are the sa-7 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, and gadhafi has lots and lots of them, and i'd be willing to bet not anybody knows how many of still around in the arsenals, and where have they gone? well, some eventually will find their way into bad guys' hands. men who maybe didn't like gadhafi but also not western europe and the united states. that's a real problem a. concern as they bring down a commercial jet. colonel, we'll talk to you a bit more coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe." still ahead on "way too early," while awake, tweets and e-mails are next, and "morning joe" just moments away. [ man ] behind every business is a "what if."
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time for a couple quick e-mails. rob what do you got? >> a lot of libya stuff. woke up, decided to watch to see if gadhafi got his butt kicked out of power. >> it appears so. not sure that's a tactical description. we'll check. what else? >> willie, refreshed after your wedding this weekend to kim


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