tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 10, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
smer kconish in for chris matthews. let me start with benghazi. do republicans have a smoking gun? no, do they have enough to keep the story alive? yes. today we learned the state department asked for and received changes made to the administration's talking points after the attack. that doesn't mean that hillary clinton or president obama orchestrated a conspiracy to cover up some sort of malfeasance, but it does give republicans fuel to keep this story alive and they are. throw in lindsey graham's call for mrs. clinton to testify before congress, and a new anti-hillary ad by karl rove, and you've got a growing political story. david corn is washington bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine and msnbc political analyst. danielle pletka is vice president of the american enterprise institute. we now know that the talking points used by susan rice were changed 12 times in a 24-hour period and the white house and site state department were more involved in the process than previously revealed. the first draft of the talking points included a specific
reference to, quote, islamic extremists with ties to al qaeda participating in the attack. that was eventually scrubbed. also, there was this paragraph as abc reported today. "the agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al qaeda in benghazi and eastern libya. these noted that since april, there have been at least five other attacks against foreign interests in benghazi by unidentified assail lenants including june attack against the british ambassador's convoy. we can't rule out the individuals has previously surveilled the u.s. facilities also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks." in an e-mail according to abc, state department spokesperson victor victoria nuland took issue because it, quote, be used by members of congress to beat up the state department for not paying attention to warnings. why bould would we want to feed that, either? the entire paragraph was
eventually scrub. all the news today made for a testy white house press briefing with press secretary jay carney clearly playing defense on the talking points. >> jay, you told us that the only changes that were made by stylistic. is it a stylistic change to take out all references to previous terror threats in benghazi? >> well, i appreciate the question, again, and i think that what i was referring to was the talking points that the cia drafted and sent around to which one change was made. and i accept that stylistic may not precisely describe the change of one word to another. >> this was not a change of one word to another. these underwent extensive changes after they were written by the c aria. >> there was an interagency process which is always the case. a lot . >> that was jonathan carl asking that question. he's one who broke this story for abc. danielle, let me begin with you. when you look at the editing of the talking points, is this the way it looks when you're
watching sausage being made, or is this evidence of some form of cover-up. >> well, i think it's a little bit of both, honestly. clearly, in any executive branch discussion, you're going to have different agencies fighting with each other. protect their interests and t f turf. the issue here is, what was the white house looking for in taking out all references to terrorism? that's the part that really concerns me because it goes along with what was later said about this not being terrorism, suggesting that, in fact, it was all about a youtube video. >> but what would be the upside? what would be the upside for the white house in trying to keep a limitation on terrorism? in other words, i'm of a mindset that says eight weeks out from an election, it might not, politically speaking, it might not be a bad thing if it is a case of terror because we have a tendency to rally around the chief executive. >> that's a little bit -- that's a little bit machiavellians even for me, but i think you asked exactly the right question. now think about this from the republicans' perspective.
we get why the president didn't want to admit this was a case of terrorism, because, in fact, the entire part of his re-election on national security was, i killed osama bin laden, al qaeda is on its heels. they didn't want to admit it was an act of terrorism. but there's a bigger problem here, and that is that despite the fact that they knew that it was an act of terrorism, they kept pressing back. they kept trying to go back to this other story. i think, honestly speaking, that's one of the reasons why people are so perplexed. they keep trying to cover up what actually happened. it makes people think something worse happened. >> david, i want to ask you -- david, let me ask you about victoria nuland. she took further issue with the talking points several hours later. she wrote "these don't resolve all thimy issues or those of my build build iing leadership." >> she meant the leadership of
the state department. a couple points. you said earlier, was this politics, was it scandal? it's kind of in between. jay carney did get caught not giving the full story about the process that led of these revisions when he spoke about this a couple months ago. david petraeus, the former cia director, has told while the cia took out the references to the al qaeda-linked group that were in the early versions of the talking points. that's what explained it, danielle. you may not agree or accept, but that wasn't a white house revision. the major revision came from the state department, not from the white house. and it had to do with their -- what happened before the attack. not whether you call this terrorism or not. i think in a lot of ways the conservative theory of the case here has been almost disproven by these revisions. >> david, let me ask you this question, because you would know these -- david, you would know these facts better than i, perhaps. to an outsider, to a layperson, to hear there were 12 revisions to the talking points, that sounds ominous. in the normal -- in the normal
course of events, how often is something like this edited, revised? >> i mean, if you look at some of the revisions, if you go through them, and i salute jonathan for putting this online. you can see in some of these revisions, some forms, one or two words were taken out that had no real substantive meaning. but it's not unusual for an interagency thing that involves multiple agencies to bounce around again and again and again and again and before it's all resolved. that's not unusual at all. >> hang on. hang on a second david. hang on just one second. >> the process here? >> the e-mails that were released by "the weekly standard" of david petraeus' reaction to this were not, oh, this was fine with me, i wanted it to be taken out. he was very surprised these were taken out. so that's number one. number two, you're totally right. lots of revisions happen. that's very normal. the issue is what was the intent here with the revisions and why did the white house feel the need to lie about it? why did they feel the need to
keep lying about it? why did they feel the need to keep saying that this was about something that it wasn't about? i think that everybody who looks at this objectively can understand that the white house gave every appearance of having something to hide. and that's a big part of the problem here. >> danielle, allow me to respond to that if i might. i want to show everybody something. the idea that there was a vast cover-up involved was shut down by ambassador thomas pickering. he co-authored the most extensive independent investigation of the ben gausgh attacks. here's what he told andrea mitchell this week. >> i believe, in fact, the accountability review board did its work well. i think that the notion of, quote, a cover-up, has all the elements of pulitzer prize fiction attached to it. >> i play this because, danielle, that's an individual who looked at the facts and come to the conclusion there was not a lie nor a cover-up in this case. >> what's the cover-up? >> let danielle respond to that. >> you asked me a question.
thanks. okay. i've known tom pickering for almost 20 years. tom was the author of that. he is an esteemed diplomat and a former foreign service officer. the bottom line is, they did not talk to gregory hicks, the det deputy chief of mission in baghdad. they didn't talk to the chief security officer. they were doing a job for the state department. he's very loyal to them. i appreciate that. i would also add that tom pickering turned down an invitation from the house of representatives to defend the administrative review board. instead he went on and talked to a much more sympathetic person, andrea mitchell. nice for nbc but not good for the country. >> listen, not appearing before darrell issa's committee when he's made all sorts of outlandish charges about this i don't think is, you know, gets to the credibility of tom pickering. but the big issue here is, what is the cover-up? what -- you know, if you look -- the review board, you know, found wrongdoing in the part of the state department, and some
of the people have been punished. some people have then resigned. that's been resolved. if you look at -- if you make the conservative charge is that the president is covering up some malfeasance or something, but if you look at the revisions, you don't see that the white house being involved in covering these things up. it's victoria nuland who actually is not a political appointee, but a career foreign servi serviceperson who worked for the national security council during the bush years. >> hey, david, when you see jay carney at 4:00 p.m. on a friday holding a briefing, having already had a background briefing, that tells you this thing is very high on the attention scale of the white house. i think -- >> indeed. >> -- unlike any time in the whole era post-september 11th, meaning this september 11th that we're talking about. >> yeah, jay carney has got caught saying something that wasn't completely true. >> that's called a lie, david. >> we in washington -- everything you say that's not true may not be a lie, but if you want to accept that premise, i'll happily accuse you of lying
when you get things wrong. >> okay. i'll let you try that out on your kids. >> nevertheless, you know, in this city, if something is wrong, we have a scale of zero to ten. and so you have lindsey graham out there saying this is watergate. you have darrell issa making all sorts of ludicrous charges. if jay carney and the white house didn't tell the complete truth, that is something that deserves reporting and conversation, but it doesn't make it a major league scandal yet. >> i watched jay carney handle this this afternoon and, frankly, he didn't back off from his prior assertion. on the issue of how far this might lead, according to critics of the white house, as you were just referencing. earlier this week mike huckabee predicted the president would not fill out his term due to benghazi. today on a radio program senator james inhofe -- >> are you two guys enjoying your conversation? >> start discussing the "i" word, impeachment. listen to this. >> of all the great cover-ups in history, we're talking about the pentagon papers, the iran/contra, watergate, and all
the rest of them. this, i said back on november 28th on fox, is going to go down as the most serious, most egregious cover-up in american history. people may be starting to use the "i" word before too long. >> oh, okay. the "i" word meaning impeachment? >> yeah. >> danielle, is that farfetched to you? >> yes. i think that what he said was silly, but i also think that by trotting out all of these strawmen, you're failing to address the central problem here which is "a" the ft. of the united states went out when he knew there was a terrorist attack. and he said that it was all about a demonstration and a youtube video. the ambassador to the u.n. did the same thing. so did hillary clinton. i'm less excited about the talking points and much more excited about why they felt the need to lie for five days to the american people. if that doesn't merit an investigation, i don't know what does. >> i can't let it past that you used lie word. lie assumes malice aforethought.
lie assumes someone knows what they're saying is deliberately untrue. i listened to you. just permit me a final word. i don't think the record -- >> not much. >> -- speaks to that fact. it may never speak to that fact. we've both been heard. i do thank you. danielle pletka, david corn. coming up, republicans are eager to rough up hillary. some are happily discussing impeachment. we're going to look at whether there's real political fallout here. also the mhorror of the cleveland kidnappings. how will the girls recover? we'll talk about their chances which turns out is better than you might have expected. the latest in our series "the unkindest cut." how sequester cuts are hurting victims of domestic violence both in and out of the military. finally, democrat, republicans and the beatles. which party prefers john? and which favors paul? that and more of the red and blue musical divide on the sideshow. this is "hardball." the place for politics. you'll find reviews
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new jersey governor chris christie defended himself against his critics on the right who say he's not conservative enough. take a look at what he told nbc's brian williams. . >> i'll worry about the presidency if and when i ever decide to run for it. but if you're saying to me, how do i feel as a republican? i'm a damn good republican and a good conservative republican who believes in things that i believe in, but that does not mean that i would ever put party before my state or party before my country. >> brian's interview with governor christie airs tonight on "rock center." we'll be right back. the wright brothers became the first in flight. [ goodall ] i think the most amazing thing is how like us these chimpanzees are. [ laughing ] [ woman ] can you hear me? and you hear your voice? oh, it's exciting! [ man ] touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ hi. [ baby fussing ]
welcome back to "hardball." fair or not, benghazi fever has resulted in a serious political headache for the administration while claims on the far right that this controversy will cost obama his job are a bit far flung, there are very real and potential perilous side effects to this issue. the main gop target has been and
will continue to be hillary clinton, but even if she's vindicated as having done nothing wrong, has the political damage already been done? let's bring in our strategists ed rendell was governor of pennsylvania and is now an msnbc political analyst. john feehery is a republican strategist. governor, i want to begin with you. a personal question about her because you know her so well. is secretary clinton the type who looks at this emerging controversy and relishes the opportunity to confront it? or does the possibility, the prospect exist that she says, you know, this is a reminder to me of the underbelly of politics. who the hell needs it? i'm staying out in 2016. >> well, little bit of both. but i don't think this controversy would be a factor in her decision whether to run or not. and i think she probably would relish getting another chance to answer the critics here. remember, when she had that fall, the right said she faked the fall to avoid testifying in front of congress. >> right. >> she came back and testified again in front of congress, and as i recall, she handed most of
those republican male senators their hats. so i don't think she's worried about the controversy. she can take on controversy. she's been doing it all her career. but i will say, if i could, michael, on this, people are forgetting, if this was such a concerted cover-up, why did the president when he went and talked to the rose garden two days after this incident use the word, terrorist attack? remember, that word came out during one of the debates with governor romney. he used the word, terrorist attack. the president didn't make any bones about the fact it was a terrorist attack. >> well, in the immediate aftermath of boston, this same semantic issue, john feehery, was raised. i had callers to my radio program saying, ah-ha, he doesn't want to acknowledge that boston is a case of terrorism. how do you see that issue? >> well, how i see this whole issue unfolding with hillary clinton and whether she runs, i think we don't know how this is going to play out quite yet. i think there's still some rope to be tied. the other thing that's
interesting to me is, does there at some point the white house decide that they've got to throw hillary clinton under the bus and kind of protect itself? we don't know how this is all going to play out. i do know that as she left secretary of state's office, everyone was kind of giving her this great big sendoff. this kind of reminds people there was controversy at the end. that's going to come up during the campaign. there are plenty of democrats who want to be president and would be happy to throw hillary clinton under the bus and take over that job. so this is not an easy road for her. >> well, karl rove wasted no time. his group, american cross roads, has a new web ad out today. it focused entirely on secretary clinton. take a look at this. >> a 22 year diplomatic veteran intimidated for daring to blow the whistle. all under hillary clinton's watch. how could this happen? why did she blame a video? and was she part of a cover-up? >> was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided
they'd go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> the difference is a cover-up and four american lives that deserve the truth. >> governor rendell, there are some controversies that are readily understood. watergate. we all get that. we don't want our homes broken into. there are other controversies that i think are too confusing. whitewater fell into that category in my view. where does benghazi fall in that spectrum, if you buy into it? >> well, first of all, i think karl rove has lost his mind. we saw a little bit of him losing his mind on election night when he wanted to call for a recount in ohio. and for him to put out an ad attacking a potential candidate who may never run three years from now, karl, get a life, take up tennis or do something. that's number one. number two, hillary clinton's stint as secretary of state, she'll be like a pitcher who had 20 wins and 2 losses during her stint as secretary of state. you know, if this is a blot on
her record, her record was almost perfect in the eyes of the american people, and this won't have any long-lasting effect. i guarantee you three years from now if hillary clinton is a candidate, less than 5% of the american people will remember this. look, this is all about spin. it's not about cover-up. it's about spin. if there was a cover-up, let me repeat, the president of the united states, whose administration is supposedly orchestrating this cover-up, wouldn't have admitted it was a terrorist attack. he wouldn't have used those words. >> john, let me ask you as a republican strategist, i maintain benghazi, heretofore, referring to the 2012 election, never resonated beyond the very conservative hardcore on the right. it became a buzzword associated with all evil things that they wanted to believe about this president. what is the prospect that benghazi moving forward as a political issue has more resonance in the middle? >> you know, michael, i was with you, and i didn't think that this was going to be that big of a controversy. i kind of sloughed it off. and i've been pretty surprised
by seeing really respected journalists like jonathan carl and ron forney really go after this. they think there's something there and they're going to continue to pursue it. now, i understand what governor rendell is saying, that 20-2. if your last game is a loss in the world series and you get shelved, that's a problem. i do think that for hillary clinton, she could get thrown under the bus by the obama white house. we'll see how that plays out. do i think this is a much easier thing, much easier scandal for people to understand than whitewater because you had those four deaths and there's a lot of explaining as to why the embassy did not get enough security to protect itself. >> well, i've been asking -- governor, i'll let you respond to this. because i've been aski ining al to what end is there a cover-up? peggy noonan in the "wall street journal" today put it together better than others up until now. here's what she wrote. "the inconvenient truth about benghazi, the genesis of the scandal, it looks to me like
this. the obama white house sees every event as a political event. it could not tolerate the idea that the armed assault on the benghazi consulate was a premeditated act of islamist terrorism. that would carry a whole world of unhappy political implications and demand certain actions, and the american presidential election was only eight weeks away. they wanted this problem to go away, or at least to bleed the meaning from it." governor, why is that not a convincing way to analyze benghazi? >> no, i think that's right. i think the obama white house wanted to spin this in the least damaging way possible. but i think you made a very good point when you said, look, let's look at what happened that led to the deaths of the american people. i think this spin post-incident, the american people aren't going to give two hoots about it. they're going to think it's the usual political parties pointing the finger at each other playing the blame game. i do think it's a legitimate inquiry to why the system broke down, why the warning signals that were sent weren't responded to. hillary clinton had nothing to
do with that. she never saw the cables and i think that's pretty well established. but we've got to put in place, we've got to find out what went wrong and how we fix it going forward. now, they've taken some steps, but i'm not sure those are enough steps. that's the real problem. the four americans who lost their lives didn't lose their lives because this was characterized one way or the other after it occurred. let's get real about that. >> well, and john, we still don't have answers. we still don't have justice in terms of avenging those four american deaths. i think that's the biggest issue of all. >> sure. >> well, there's a lot of issues here. i think that focusing on those poor four souls, folks who got killed in benghazi is important. i think we need to get to the bottom of this. i'm, like i said, surprised by how this thing kind of rose up again and there are very respected journalists that are digging into it. i don't think this story is over. >> governor, thank you. john feehery, thank you as usual. up next, we found something on which democrats and republicans actually agree. justin bieber. it seems most people don't like
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while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] ha! >> new jersey governor chris christie just revealed he had secret lap band surgery in february. apparently he's tired of people making fun of his weight. but really, who would do that? chris christie's approval rating has gone up 12 points. usually the only time he picks up a dozen is when he goes to krispy kreme. he said, i'll think about pancakes. he said, i'll collapse that bridge when i get to it. talk about his initiative, let's sit on tweeter. he tweeted out, really, jimmy fallon, another joke in the monologue? you guys need more material. and i go, you know what needs more material?
your suits. back to "hardball." this is the sideshow. first, joe biden spoke to a group of first responders in washington, d.c., last night, and thanked them for coming to his aid in several past emergencies in more ways than one. >> in 2004, that summer, i was down here doing a sunday program and lightning struck my home and destroyed a significant portion of it. and you got my wife out. in addition to my wife, you got my second best love out of the house, my '67 kor vcorvette. so thank you, all. and so i owe you. when i say i owe you, i mean i owe you. >> the vice president really does have strong feelings about his corvette. in a 2011 interview with "car and driver magazine" he said, "i still have my 1967 goodwood green corvette. the secret service won't let me drive it. i'm not allowed to drive anything. it's the one thing i hate about this job." next, try to make the connection between politics and
cicadas. you know those really loud creepy looking insects that reemerge enmass 17 years or so? well, this is set to be one of those years here on the east coast and our friends at "mother jones" found the insects have actually made a mark in politics over the years. in june of 1987, president reagan name dropped them in a radio address against government spending. "like the cicadas, the big spenders are hatching out again and threatening to overrun congress." in the same address, reagan asked people to support his own budget and, "make the cicadas in congress go back under ground." sometimes they just get in the way. on memorial day of 1902, teddy roosevelt gave a speech about america's role in foreign affairs at the arlington national cemetery. a biography written years later had this to say about it. "invisible choirs of 17-year cicadas buzzed in counterpoint to roosevelt's voice." for a more recent example, take this anti-kerry rnc ad from the 2004 presidential race.
>> every 17 years, cicadas emerge. morph out of their shell and changed their appearance. like a cicada, senator kerry would like to shed his senate career and morph into a fiscal conservative, a centrist democrat opposed to taxes, strong on defense, but he leaves his record behind. >> as for how the current administration is prepping for the oncominining swarm of cicad. "the obama administration currently has no plan to suppress the cicada invasion." finally, what do our tastes in music say about our political views? some results from ppp. for favorite music genre, democrats like classical music while the top pick for republicans, country. now to the favorite member of the beatles. democrats chose john lennon over paul mccartney 39%-36%. it was the opposite for republicans, but by a wider
margin. 49% for mccartney. 15% for lennon. as for which singer people would want to see as president, both parties were in favor of justin timberlake taking on the white house. bad news for one pop star, though. justin bieber. with 54% unfavorability in the poll, bieber came out as the only pop star to be viewed unfavorably by the majority of democrats, republicans, and independents. up next, the last of the three women kidnapped in cleveland is released from the hospital. tonight, we look at the chances they can recover and lead normal lives. experts say the outlook may be better than you might think. you're watching "hardball." the place for politics. [ male announcer ] progress isn't about where you've been.
i'm courtney reagan with your cnbc market wrap. for a third straight week all three major indexes posted gains. dow climbing 35 points today. the s&p up 7. the nasdaq gaining 27 points. the fed is broadening its oversight now keeping an eye on more than just banks. ben bernanke said earlier the so-called shadow banking system is under the lens along with asset markets. and gap was a big winner for the s&p 500 thanks to a surge in sal sales at its old navy chain. that's it from cnbc. we're first in business worldwide. for now, back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." just a few days after the discovery of three women in ariel castro's cleveland home, the final victim, michelle night, released from the
hospital. preliminary dna tests confirm castro fathered the now 6 -year-old daughter of amanda berry. how do the victims pick up their lives of a decade in captivity? can the long road ahead offer encouragement and hope of a new life? dr. john winer, adult and child psychologist. welcome, doctor. what might therapy consist of for these three women? >> what these women are going to need is intensive psychotherapy. looking at the traumas they experienced. they're going to be able to slowly in their own time talk about the experience in a nice, safe, comfortable environment where they're able to go through each of the experiences they had. there's a specific type of therapy that's been shown to be specifically helpful for people who have undergone traumas. it's a therapy called emdr, called eye movement desensetization reprocessing. this is a type of therapy that's been shown to help people who have experienced traumatic
experiences. >> having been held captive for a decade, what are the prospects they could make a recovery that would allow hem to re-enter society? >> you know, i think if you're looking at re-entering society and defining that as being able to have fulfilling relationships, being able to trust people, being able to maybe go on and get married, i think there are is a decent chance of that happening. however, i think it's really likely that these women are going to struggle for a prolonged period of time. you know, there have been reports that amanda berry is in good spirits and she said she's feeling well. i think that's a fleeting phenomena right now. i think she's doing okay right now because of the new freedom that she's facing. the likelihood she's going to experience nightmares, flashbacks, feeling unsafe, being hypervigilant, constantly worried about her safety around her. there's a great deal of likelihood she's going to deal with that for a prolonged period of time. you know, fortunately, these are really rare experiences for people to have. and because they're so rare, we don't have many studies to really guide us in giving us an
idea to how well these women will actually do. you know, we have the idea of people who come back from combat and about 15% to 20% of people who go to combat come back and develop post traumatic stress disorder. there was a study done in italy that was conducted in twhou and looked at on average people who are kidnapped for about 100 days. obviously much less than ten years. what that study found was even two years out, 46% of those kidnapping victims were still experiencing symptoms of ptsd. so we're talking two to three times as many as those that develop ptsd from wartime. so clearly this is a very, very traumtic experience. it's going to impact them. >> dr. weiner, presumably the way they were able to survive is relying on one another. the sisterhood of sorts of these victims. these three women. might they need each other going forward? if you were to treat them, would you perhaps recommend treating them collectively? >> actually you make a great
comment there. and actually that is something that i think would be a good idea. i think it's going to depend upon the women. of course, you're going to want to know, did they all experience similar things? did some of them -- were they separated? maybe did michelle knight -- because apparently she had five miscarriages. so, and amanda berry was able to eventually carry on and have one of the babies. it's possible for certain situations, it may not be appropriate for them to be in the same room talking about what happened to them. but by in large, i think you make a good point which is they are a family and it's possible that they could make up some sort of a family therapy. but i think the therapy is going to involve both them individually, them as a group, and, of course, it's very hard to get reintroduced in society and back into your nuclear family, your real biological family. so they're going to need family therapy. again, for people coming home from war, one of the hardest things for them to do is re-integrate into society, re-integrate into their family of origin. >> what, sir, would be the
approach with regard to the 6-year-old child? published accounts say the child was introduced as the girlfriend's daughter when the presumed evildoer would take the child out into society. i can only imagine the confusion that the 6-year-old must be facing and, perhaps, would have good feelings toward ariel castro. so what would be the approach with regard to the child? >> well, you know, with regard to the child, i think it's really difficult because the child experienced the first several years of their lives in such a horrific experience and in a horrific atmosphere. we know the first few years of life are so critical in shaping somebody's sense of safety, their sense of attachment to people. their ability to recognize their needs can be taken care of. i think we don't know the specifics yet of what this little girl experienced in the house, but i think it's safe to assume that it was a very, very abnormal first six years of her life she experienced. >> no doubt. >> so those are critical times that often are extremely, extremely difficult to
counteract. so this girl is going to need a long therapy and i think it's going to take her particularly a long time to get over this, longer than the women. >> thank you, josh weiner. we appreciate your expertise. >> thank you. up next, congress' spending cuts are hurting the victims of domestic violence both in and out of the military. it's the latest in our series "the unkindest cut." this is "hardball." the place for politics.
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assaults is being allege to have committed a sexual assault, this weekend, obviously there's a failing in training and understanding of what sexual assault it. and how corrosive and damaging it is to good order and discipline. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was new york senator kirsten gillibrand expressing her exasperation that the person in charge of responding to sexual assaults for the air force was charged with sexual battery, himself. this week a pentagon report shined a harsh light on the problem of sexual assault in the military. it said that in 2012, an estimated 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted. up about 35% from a year before. and the across the board spending cuts known as sequester will hurt the very programs designed to help these sexual assault victims. in a series called "the unkindest cut" we've been looking at how these sequester cuts hurt real people and real programs. today, we look at cuts to programs for sexual assault
victims in both the military and civilian worlds. in the military, army secretary john mchugh and army chief of staff general ray odierno told in a written statement, sequestration and associated civilian furloughs are likely to degrade aspects of our s.h.a.r.p. program. which hinders our ability to provide resolution for victims. joining me, the "washington post's" nia malik a henderson. this is what cuts look like. there's always somebody at the end of the line you often don't think about when the conversation is abstract. >> that's right. and you saw last month that ray odierno, he testified that they initially wanted to hire about 850 additional workers. to oversee some of these problems and to close the gap there where you have so many incidents and very few people actually reporting. but, again, with these cuts, the
pentagon is facing about $8 billion in cuts and they're very steep cuts, right? they happen from now until september. so it's not just the money that they're talking about. they're talking about pulling this money out very quickly. you imagine that programs like this, not only the military level, but also at the civilian level, will be hurt. >> congresswoman jackie spear is joining us now. i'm thrilled to have you, congresswoman. i think many in the country, i'm so glad chris is doing this, because i think many in the country think we threw a sequestration and nobody came. in other words, we heard the cry but really has there been any impact? we've just exhibited how there, indeed, will be a serious impact. >> well, indeed. in fact, my colleagues on the republican side spent a couple of hearings that i was on on government reform, there was nothing wrong. and two weeks later we were passing the faa sequestration fix. so, yes, they're real cuts. and, you know, losing the majority in the house has had real consequences. and it's important for americans
that think that, you know, our values should include providing services to victims of domestic violence. many shelters will close now. many people won't access domestic domestic violence services because of these cuts. i mean, it goes to every single program in the federal government. >> and the cuts, the sequestration cuts are taking a toll on programs from sexual assault victims in the civilian world, too, to murphy of "mother jones" magazines of cuts around this program m for example, in louisiana, a group of 11 nurses who made house calls to collect evidence from rape victims, considered closing for good, the kentucky domestic violence association cutting a coordinator and asking another to go part time if funding is not restored by the next year t. may be forced to close shelters.
nia-malika, do you see any of that taking place when the subject is sexual assault? >> so far, no. you had yesterday a group of legislators talked about this program of sexual assault, particularly in the military. i think the problem that the sequester has always had in terms of gaining a lot of tra s traction, it hasn't had the widespread impact that it has and you see faa and flights being delayed, people can see that. you can see the flights being delayed but a lot of these other programs, sexual assault programs, people getting their meals as part of meals on wheels, that's not what people don't see. when it's taken away, there's not a big raucous or a strong lobbying right on the hill for victims of sexual assault. what you have here, a lot of praise of violence against women's act was passed by the house and the senate and passed by the white house.
but again, you're going to have $20 million in cuts. you'll see a lot of these programs having closed their doors and we'll have to see over these next weeks as they try to restore some of these cuts, whether or not these programs are included. >> congresswoman spier, what is the likelihood that something is done about sequestration, i'm thinking of housing, dow at 15,000, i'm thinking of a number of indicators that the whole economy is finally getting back on track and the debt and deficit are being impacted favorably. might that now make it more difficult to undo some of the sequestration cuts? >> i think it's going to make it more difficult. the revenues coming in in april were higher than expected, the movement to which we would get to the debt limit seems to be slowing. we'll still get there but we're going to have to raise the debt limit again. but it has had -- there are some parts of it that have been very appropriate in terms of seeing the cost of government go down.
but here's the problem. when you're a senior on meals on wheels, when you're a victim of domestic violence, you don't have a voice and that's the problem. and for those of us that care deeply about those kinds of programs, people in need, we're going to have to really stand firm moving forward. no more fixes relative to sequestration unless we fix some of those programs that have people that just don't have the voice. >> congresswoman, i only have a minute left with both of you. but i said at the outset when i was chatting with nia-malika, that there's been no impact, it's the y2k of budget cuts, this whole business of sequestration. take the final 30 seconds and say what you would like to say to those people. >> i would say to those people, they are not living in the real world. these are programs that are needed. we have expectations that people aren't going to be on the street, who are recently victims of domestic violence. 70,000 people, mostly women,
won't be able to access shelters because of this sequestration. so it's really going to harm people. >> thank you both for being here. happy mother's day as well. thank you, congresswoman jackie speier and nia-malika henderson. tweet us at unkindestcut and facebook.com/hardball. when we return, why we could all stand to be a little more nosy. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. the first in. [ goodall ] i think the most amazing thing is how like us these chimpanzees are. [ laughing ] [ woman ] can you hear me? and you hear your voice? oh, it's exciting! [ man ] touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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let me finish tonight with this. all week we've been hearing horrific details from the cleveland kidnapping case. one person keeps coming to my mind. gladys kravitz. do you remember her? the nosy neighbor who lived next to the stevens in the late 1960s "bewitched"? she was often paying too much attention. what was told the police and when, i'm wondering, where was mrs. kravitz. my hunch is that it's a current era of going alone. i can picture the block from where i was raised about 20 feet
separated us and the wrigleys were on the other side. the mcfarlands were across the street, the stopples down the street, the kentops, they all lived behind us. as a kid, i knew all of them. i knew who was in their house, i knew what their fathers did for a living. today i know that our sons don't have that kind of awareness of our neighbors and frankly nor do my wife and i. i'm not blaming the cleveland neighbors. i'm just making an observation. we've become much more insular, caught up in our electronics, but less connected to our surroundings. many had relatives living with them. they kept an additional eye on them. in cleveland, the neighbors say they called the police several times, the records don't support that. when the dust settles, it might be that the police blew it, they were called and did nothing. or, 20/20 hindsight, the
neighbors missed all of the signs. mrs. kravitz, she would have known. that's all for now. "politicsnation" and al sharpton starts right now. tonight's lead, the mind of a monster. ariel castro is behind bars in complete isolation and on suicide watch. former relatives of castro's ex-girlfriend, the mother of his children, paint a nightmarish portrait of castro in interviews with "the associated press," describing him as, quote, a monster, who abused his wife and kept his kids locked inside their own home. castro's mother is sick about it. >> i have a sick son who has done something very serious. i ask for forgiveness from the mothers, i ask that the girls forgive me for the pain they sued