tv Way Too Early With Willie Geist MSNBC September 13, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EDT
this morning. good morning, i'm willie geist, the assault comes one day after four americans were killed at the consulate in libya and a mob of demonstrators stormed the embassy in cairo. as we speak, the u.s. is moving two warships into position near libya and dispatched an elite group of 50 marines to help guard the embassy in tripoli. the obama administration is trying to determine if the deadly attack against the compound in benghazi that killed four was a planned terror strike or a spontaneous backlash from an anti islamic video posted on youtube. while the investigation remains in the very early stages, details are emerging about what happened tuesday night in benghazi that left four americans dead, including 52-year-old ambassador chris stevens, widely reported as one of the most successful envoys in the region. according to first reports from administration officials, the american consulate came under small arms fire around 10:00 p.m. local time. a short time after that the outside walls of the lightly guarded compound were breached.
gunmen began attacking the main building and setting it on fire. at this point three people remained inside the consulate, ambassador stevens, another staff member named sean smith. amid the chaos and heavy smoke, ambassador stevens was missing for 12 hours before his body was located wednesday night at a benghazi hospital, apparently transported there by libyan police. according to the associated press a doctor who tried to revive stevens says the ambassador died of smoke asphyxiation. the other staff member, sean smith died of smoke inhalation. his body was pulled from the consulate. there are indications that two separate attacks took place that night. around midnight, officials say a separate group of gunmen opened fire on a group who escaped to a nearby safe house. two more americans were killed in that attack. more than four hours after the initial attack around 2:00 a.m. local time, libyan security
forces regained control of the situation, but obviously it was too late. meanwhile today, back in cairo, hundreds of protesters clashed with security forces outside the u.s. embassy where 24 hours earlier, demonstrators scaled the walls and destroyed the american flag, all this in protest to the provacative video posted online that demonstrators say insult the prophet muhammad. egypt's president delivered an address saying it was wrong for demonstrators to attack. he was voicing support for peaceful protest. a live report from richard engel in cairo. first we're joined by the president of the council of foreign relations, richard haass. thanks for waking up early this morning. let's start in yemen. we don't know the extent of the attack at this point. we do know it was just a few days ago the number two leader in al qaeda was killed inside yemen. we've been using heavy drone strikes inside that country to go after militants. what's your reaction as you hear
this news this morning? >> what we're seeing in yemen is a sign that the middle east, that used to be run by strong states, auth thorn taryn leaders often friendly to united states, now cripplized by weak states where the governments are unable or unwilling to do what they're meant to do, one of which is to protect foreign missions. you gangs, terrorists, weak police and military forces. so this is a pattern that we could see going on. we don't know if this was triggered by the movie, by 9/11 or if they had something like this in the works. >> president obama said yesterday egypt is not an enemy nor an ally. what's that mean? >> it's welcome to the 21st century. whether it's china, russia, egypt, most of these countries don't squarely fit -- on tuesday they may work with some issue and be responsible, and on thursday work against us and be totally irresponsible.
increasingly we have relationships that are hard to categorize. >> a lot of people asking the question over the last 24 hours or so where was the security at places like the consulate in benghazi. as a man who spent a lot of time in these places around the world, what would the security look like at a suchlt s. consulate in benghazi? >> quite modest. even where we have embassies, you might have a marine guard regiment, maybe a dozen, 15 marine guards. their mission is not to provide protection. if thousands of people attack an embassy, a dozen well armed marine guards can't provide much in the way of protection. it's up to the host government. they've got to do it. when host governments in places like yemen, years ago in places like pakistan say when a fire took place in an american embassy and took the fire force hours to get there, when they're unwilling to be responsible we're extraordinarily vulnerable. >> finally, we've heard to many great things about chris stevens over the last day or so. tell us a little bit about the man you knew. >> actually i didn't know chris.
let me say a larger point. people make fun about american diplomats, bris and shab pli. chris stevens, i've heard wonderful things about. this is dangerous duty. particularly now, increasingly your life is not on the embassy circuit. you have to get out in the field in these countries which are like the wild west. people like chris stevens are regularly putting their lives at risk. >> richard haass, we'll see you in a few minutes on "morning joe." we turn to cairo. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is there on the phone with the latest. what can you tell us this morning? >> reporter: there's been another attack as you've been discussing in wrem men as an angry mob tried to climb the fence, was throwing stones at the u.s. embassy in sanaa. they set tires on fire. they were raising posters again denouncing that formerly obscure
internet movie, if you can describe it as that, that it was insulting to the prophet muhammad. it has moved to yet another country. yesterday there were small demonstrations in front of tunisia, other ones in the gaza strip. it hasn't been a massive international movement, but wherever there is weak security like in benghazi, like in yemen, we're seeing some radicals take advantage of that and using this opportunity to attack the embassy. >> richard, with regards to libya, some have said now that this was a coordinated planned attack, for at least the people who carried out the attack, not so much the protesters was in the works for days, perhaps weeks and had nothing to do with the online video we've been talking about for the last day. can you tell us anything more about the motivation about the attack that killed four americans in benghazi? >> reporter: i can't tell you anything about the motivation. that's hard to determine. it's hard to know how much preplanning went into it.
it's not mutually exclusive that this was inspired by the movie and was a somewhat commando-style raid. think about it this way. you have militant groups that are operational in libya. you have many different militant cells, al qaeda cells operating there. they may have been planning this attack for a long time and been waiting for the right opportunity to do it when this outrage started in egypt, they could have decided that was the right time to do it and could have also believed that it was the right thing to do, to deveng the prophet muhammad and his image and maybe get a collateral benefit by doing that. so it's hard to know their motivations until they're found and interrogated. this was not a mob like it was in egypt. in egypt you had the classical mob scene of people coming out, almost carrying pitch forks and
burning fires in front of the building. this was a military assault. the military assaults in benghazi aren't just spon stain yously arranged. >> as the investigation goes on in libya, we're working through a story in yemen. richard engel live in cairo. thanks for your reporting. we'll be talking to you throughout the day. to the politics of what's happening overseas, a number of influential republicans are questioning mitt romney's timing after his aggressive effort yesterday to criticize the president on foreign policy during a time of international crisis. 15 minutes before president obama was set to make a statement in the rose garden, romney held a news conference in jacksonville, florida. there he doubled down on his criticism from the night before, attacking the president's handling of the situation overseas. governor romney blasted the administration over a statement released by the u.s. embassy in cairo which condemned religious intolerance. the embassy's statement was released hours before the compound was raided in an effort to ease building tension over that anti islamic video.
mr. romney accused the administration of apologizing for americans principles of free speech. >> the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who breached our embassy in egypt instead of condemning their actions. it's never too early for united states government to condemn attacks on americans and to defend our values. i think it's a terrible course for america to stand in apology for our values. that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response to the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. the president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also from the words that come from his ambassador's, from his administration, from his
embassies, from his statement department. they clearly stent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration. the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> last night in an interview with telemundo, the president responded to mr. romney. >> i have observed that there's a tendency to shoot before you aim, as i pointed out. and that, as president, my obligation is to focus on security for our people, making sure that we gather all the facts, making sure that we're adncing american interests and not having ideological arguments on a day when we are mourning the loss of outstanding folks who have served our country very well. >> governor romney's remarks are drawing criticism from fellow
republicans and conservatives. former reagan speech writer peggy noonan said this yesterday, i don't feel mr. romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours. sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go. former secretary of homeland security tom ridge under george w. bush said, quote, i don't thinkment obama sympathizes with those who attacked us. senators kyle and demint offered support for romney's position. republican senator james inhofe of oklahoma described the foreign policy as appeasement, apology and a failure to lead. still ahead this morning on "way too early," we will pause a bit for acquit hit of sports where the yankees find themselves yo-yoing between seoul position of first place and a tie with the baltimore orioles. highlights from fenway and a walk-off win in the division race. a bizarre car chase that has bank robbers driving a sensible
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save up to $7 on zyrtec® products. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. 5:45 in the morning. as you look at a live picture of the united states capitol. a check on the weather from meteorologist todd santos. >> another beautiful one from d.c. to boston, southeast new england. i did want to at least show you
what's going on through florida. we have the onshore flow that may fire up a few showers and thunderstorms late they are afternoon, especially towards south florida. there is a disturbance across the bahamas, not expecting to see any tropical development over the next couple days, but still a chance for thunderstorms once you get daytime heating in. northeast, a clear beautiful day across the area. cool temperatures in albany, in the 50s. 65 in new york. lots of sunshine again for today. we'll talk more about a chance for showers moving east in time for the start of the weekend. at least now looking good for everything you're doing. chicago and dallas by later this afternoon could see thunderstorms. time for sports now. the tightest play-off race in the majors in the a.l. east where the orioles and yankees are deadlocked at the top of the standings, a couple months after new york had a double digit deficit. ben francisco ties things up with an rbi double. 2-2 into the ninth inning.
pinch runner on second for the rays. evan longoria on the plate. longoria will hit a tapper to third. a tough play for manny my chad dough. he fakes the throw to first. pump fake and catches thompson, gets him. what a great play. terrible base running didn't hurt either. the 20-year-old rookie brought up to the majors. nate mcclouth sends this thing off, a walk-off base hit to right. orioles win 3-2, keep the pressure on the yankees. in boston the yankees playing at fenway. scoreless in the fourth. curtis granderson, solo home run. he had two home runs in the game. now 37 on the season. robin san kano added a two-run homer laettner the inning. yankees up 3-0 in the fourth.
middle of the game, red sox lost a key player. dustin pedroia learns his wife is in labor, leaves immediately to be with her. good for him. hope everything went well there. red sox edge closer. mike ave. las goes down for an rbi double. eighth inning now, nightmare situation for yankee fans. jeter grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. pulls up lame on first. he injured an already sore ankle. jeter insists he'll be back tomorrow. cody ross gets, let's call it a generous call. he's ejected. the inning ends. bobby valentine joins him in the clubhouse. players, manager, all told, three of them get tossed for the game. valentine has the record for most ejections in the season with six.
jacoby has a chance tore the hero, right back to soriano. yankees remain tied with the orioles for the first place spot in the a.l. east. they have a day game against the rays this afternoon. yanks and red sox tonight. tigers and white sox facing off in the midst of the a.l. central. fielder crushes a three-run home to right, tigers up five there. they hold on to beat the white sox 8-6. one game separates them. the final head-to-head match-up of the season. phillies hosting the marlins. a late season surge here for the philadelphia squad. tied at one in the seventh. jimmy rollins sends one to the right field seats. two-run home run. the game wayner in for the phillies. they win 3-1. three games out in the wildcard with 19 to play. scary moment in houston, astros-cubs, a weeks after mccarthy required skull surgery after he was hit in the head with a line drive, an astros
pitcher now comes within inches of suffering a similar injury. >> off mickie story. he's hurt. this is a wicked line drive. he's holding the right side of his head. >> right in the face. rookie relief pitcher mickie story goes down after being hit by the line drive. he left the game. luckily he managed to get a piece of the ball with his hand before it hit him in the face. he had swelling, bruising to his jaw as you might expect. incredibly nothing more serious. thank goodness for that. week two of the nfl season begins tonight as the packers host the bears at lambeau field. green bay danger of starting 0-2 if they don't take care of the bears who looked good last week. coming up on "morning joe," the breaking news out of yemen where the u.s. embassy is the latest to come under attack.
we'll have the latest on what's happening on the grounds here in a few minutes. when we come back, we'll huddle around the water cooler to watch the florida pizza shop owner going for the bear hug with president obama trying it on another politician. [ female announcer ] want to spend less and retire with more? then don't get nickle and dimed by high cost investments and annoying account fees. at e-trade, our free easy-to-use online tools and experienced retirement specialists can help you build a personalized plan. and with our no annual fee iras
security blockade around the capital in sanaa, yemen. but didn't breach the wall. no one was killed in the attack. that's the report from the yemeni government. we'll keep you posted on "morning joe." as we told you at the top of this show, details still emerging about the deadly attack at the american consulate in libya that took the lives of four americans, including u.s. ambassador to libya, chris stevens. he was one of the first diplomats sent to benghazi. chris stevens is the sixth u.s. am balances door killed in the line of service. the last to die as a result of violence was adolph dubs, an envoy to afghanistan who was kidnapped and murdered in 1979. a quick break from the real news. we huddle around the water cooler to watch one of the most bizarre high-speed bank robbery chases you will ever see. it began around 10:00 in the morning. four armed men held up a bank of
america fleeing in a stolen black volvo suv, one of the safest vehicles on the road. los angeles county police caught up, an 80-minute 40-mile chase in south los angeles. during the pursuit, two bailed and then were quickly fault. the remaining two decided to get the neighborhood involved, win over the people. win the battle for public opinion by throwing money out the window. first just a few bills tossed. eventually the crooks were throwing handfuls of cash into the streets, making it rain from a v mog vehicle. as the suv sped into the narrow residential neighborhoods of south l.a., the suspects became almost strategic, they waited until crowds gathered on the curbs before throwing a another wad of crash, sending police swerving. in the end, traffic got the best of them as it always will in l.a.
they pulled the men from the car and arrested them. onlookers swarmed the scene with the crowd swelling to hundreds in minutes some locals hailed the robbers as robin hoods. captain mike parker did not agree. he told an nbc affiliate, i can't imagine they did this for the good of the community. good call. you remember the big bear hug president obama received from florida pizza shop owner? that inspired another politician to try to get in on the act. former florida governor charlie crist stopped by the force pierce pizzeria and said, you know what i'm here for. the owner then wrapped him in a bear hug complete with a lift. the one-time republican governor became an independent after losing the senate race to senator marco rubio. he spoke with the dnc last week in support of president obama. the pizzeria owner said the former governor helped his
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