tv Politics Nation MSNBC December 9, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
reject and veto those bills. he can use the pens that americans are across the united states are sending him to veto those bills and use that same pen to reject keystone xl altogether. we don't have to live in a society where they dictate where our policies are going. >> jane, good to have you with us tonight. appreciate your time. that's "the ed show." "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed, and thanks to you for tuning in. we start tonight with breaking news, the truth about torture. democrats on the senate intelligence committee released their bombshell report on the cia today with stunning details about the worst abuses from the bush war on terror. horrific acts done in our name. at least three prisoners were subjected to waterboarding. and one case described as a series of near drownings.
others underwent forced rectal feedings, sleep deprivation, one for more than seven days. in one case, interrogators threatened a prisoner with a gun and a buzzing power drill. there were instances of slamming detainees into walls, keeping one in a coffin-sized box. making a sexual threat with a broomstick, and in one case, a partially nude detainee was chained to a concrete floor, died from suspected hypothermia. the report also reveals 119 prisoners were held in the program. more than the cia officials ever admitted publicly. and a quote, at least 26 detainees were wrongfully held. it's a horrifying account. but today, more debate our key question. did the program work?
did these techniques stop terror attacks? today, senators of both parties said no. >> coercive interrogation techniques did not produce the vital, otherwise unavailable intelligence the cia has claimed. >> i know from personal experience, that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good in intelligence. and what the advocates of harsh and cruel interrogation methods have never established, is that we couldn't have gathered as good or more reliable intelligence from using humane methods. >> but today cia directors for president bush wrote for the "wall street journal" insisting these interrogations saved lives. it's just what president bush said when he first acknowledged the program's existence back in 2006. >> i can say that questioning
the detainees in this program has given us information that has saved innocent lives by helping us stop new attacks. here in the united states and across the world. this program has been and remains one of the most vital tools in our war against the terrorists. >> so, did it work? and could it happen again? the program only stopped because president obama signed an executive action ending it in 2009. a future president could overturn that decision. and once again, allow torture, done in this country's name. joining me now is alberto mara, who served as the navy's top lawyer during the bush administration and fought for years inside that administration
to stop the use of torture. he's now a senior fellow at the harvard kennedy school. thank you for being here. >> you're welcome. >> you and others inside the administration at that time were opposed to these methods. what did people say to you when you tried to stop it? >> well, you're right about that. every military lawyer i've ever spoken with, including those i've worked with in the pentagon, at 9/11, and after 9/11, and every three or four-star admiral general i've ever spoken to, including combatant commanders and service chiefs have felt that the use of torture was not only unamerican and illegal, but damaging to the u.s. effort in the war on terror, a strategic mistake, and damaging to our country. >> so then why was it permitted, if all of these people at all of these different levels had that view, who overruled that? how was it allowed to continue? >> i think once we committed the
torture, then we were locked into the narrative that the torture was legal, was necessary, and was effective. and also, we couldn't admit that it was torture until this report came out, really. it has not been the widespread admission or acknowledgement or the level of brutality we admitted was torture. that's significant because people who authorized or implemented the program also sought to shield themselves from accountability for having committed what is a crime then and it is a crime today. i think the activity took place and then the narrative was established and then for credibility had to continue, and mistakes could not be admitted. >> shielded themselves from committing a crime. the senate report talks a lot about secrecy, about the program. it mentioned that internal cia e-mail from 2003 that said the
white house is extremely concerned secretary powell would blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what's going on. keeping something secret from the secretary of state, does that seem plausible to you? >> no. and this is one of most troubling aspects of the senate's report. not only does it show that the cia sought to avoid congressional oversight systematically, but also avoided discipline. so it's not only the secretary of state, but apparently, at least according to the report, the cia failed to accurately report its activities of the program to the president, in the white house, to the department of defendant, to the defense department and to the secretary of state. these are both troubling issues that demand correction. >> i want to push you on that, because you state another fact that's really startling. i want to underscore that.
president bush signed a memo approving enhanced interrogation in 2002, but the senate report states, cia records indicate that the first cia briefing for the president on the cia's enhanced interrogation techniques occurred on april 8, 2006. cia records state that when the president was briefed, he expressed discomfort with the image of a detainee chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on himself. he wasn't fully briefed for four years. were they trying to keep the president unaware of what was happening? how is it possible for him to authorize something and not even ask for a briefing for four years? >> this is not clear. obviously those allegations raise the prospect that the president may not have been fully aware of the nature of the
program or was not fully informed as to its nature. and also the president relied on the memorandum advice and interpretation by his advisers, including secretaries and the cia director. but of course what the senate report also indicates is that all these briefings may have been undercut, or flawed, because the individuals reporting to the president did not themselves have an accurate understanding of what the program entailed. >> all right, albert mora, we're going to have to leave it there, but obviously there's a lot more questions on this and we'll be watching and following up with a lot on this particular issue. very, very dark day in america. alberto mora, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. joining me now is nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. thank you for being here, richard. >> my pleasure. how are you? >> good. richard, did the cia go rogue,
or was there more to it? >> well, i think in one element, i think the country went rogue after 9/11. not just the cia. you saw military abuses. you saw intelligence abuses. you saw overreach for surveillance systems that we're still seeing right now. and there were elements in the cia that were desperate, that acted, i think, inappropriately, stupidly. they contracted out, spending millions of dollars to inexperienced people and ran a torture program. that was a -- >> they ran a torture program? >> absolutely. >> that went on for years and with support from very high levels of government. >> there's a real debate on whether these techniques got useful intelligence. give me your take on that? >> probably not as useful as has been described. it's hard to know, however, unless you were in the room and reading the raw data.
intelligence say fis a funny th. you have to take a small piece of information and put it with another piece. and maybe this one shred of evidence you've got helps connect all the other pieces. so it's very hard from the outside to say, the information that was given to an analyst wasn't useful, when the analyst may have thought it was useful. and the cia has been pushing back hard on this point. i think this is the one thing that's most difficult to know from either side. >> but the report detailed a lot of inconsistencies between then cia director michael hayden, and what he testified before the senate intelligence committee in 2007 and what they learned in their investigation. director hayden said interrogators were carefully chosen and screened. the report found some had issues of workplace anger management, and one admitted to a sexual assault. director hayden said punches and
kicks are not authorized. the report mentioned when one prisoner was punched several times. and hayden said the waterboarding was only allowed five days out of 30 days. the report found instances where a prisoner was waterboarded on nine separate days over a two-week period. can we really know if the senate was misled or not. >> the senate said that it wasn't in this report anyway, wasn't given a full picture, that things were sanitized, that there was an attempt by the cia to tone it down. but i've spoken to people who were involved in the old administration, also involved in the cia, there was a lot of talk back and forth. these briefings, the intelligence being gathered, was being sent to the white house. it was being delivered to the president. this program went on for years and years.
>> it was given to the president? >> information was passed on to hadley, given to condoleezza, who then briefed the president. so this was not something that happened in a vacuum for a couple of days. coming back now and having a moment to say, this is what's happened, we should never let this happen again, and we should air it in order to try to prevent it from happening again is one thing. pretending that they didn't know anything about it at the time is quite another. >> when you hear of isis now waterboarding, i mean, it's very egregious to a lot of us, that maybe isis and others are doing things that our government did that we didn't really have a clear understanding of. >> on purpose. doing it on purpose, in order to say, we're doing to you what you did to us. every time they execute a hostage, they dress him in an
orange suit to refer to guantanamo bay. >> so the orange suit related to guantanamo. the waterboarding that we did is a direct message and now we're finding to some degree it's true that the united states did? >> that's not just my analysis. they say that openly, that we are doing to you what you did to us. >> richard engel, thank you for your time tonight. >> my pleasure. ahead, more on our top story, and a blistering response to bush-era enhanced interrogation techniques. plus, are elizabeth warren and joe biden ready to run for president? both are talking about it. and president obama delivers on the colbert report. >> you've been taking a lot of shots at my job. i decided i'm going to go ahead and take a shot at yours. [ cheers and applause ] >> and he took more than one
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>> the cia torture during the bush years, here's a sample of the calm, level-headed coverage we've come to expect. >> the united states of america is awesome. we are awesome. but we've had this discussion. we've closed the book on this and stop doing it. the reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are. this administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we're not awesome. >> that sound bite is just totally awesome. and here's another one.
here's the big breaking news that was so important fox just had to tear itself away from the torture story. >> we'll cover the news as it happens. we'll move on now. a food fight is happening on capitol hill. a political one. the possible changes to the first lady's lunch rules that would give schools a break. could this be the beginning of the end for the first lady's program? >> carrots, broccoli? why talk about torture when you can talk about the first lady and celery? we'll have more on the news from the torture report, including claims that torture led to bin laden. next. because i make the best chicken noodle soup. for every way you make chicken noodle soup, make it delicious with swanson®. you owned your car for four you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together.
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for years the bush administration insisted that so-called enhanced interrogation techniques helped get key information from prisoners to win the war on terror. but today's torture report paints a very different picture. >> we took 20 examples that the cia itself claimed to show the success of these interrogations. in each case, the cia claimed that critical and unique information came from one or more detainees in its custody after they were subjected to the cia's coercive techniques. and that information led to specific counterterrorism success. our staff reviewed every one of the 20 cases, and not a single case holds up. >> not a single case holds up.
but even today, some supporters insist that torture was necessary. joining me now is mark fallon, a former interrogator at guantanamo bay. he's written a piece this week called "dick cheney was lying about torture." and counterterrorism expert leif corey. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rev. >> thank you. >> mark, you were privy to information from some detainees who were tortured. was there ever any sign at all that valuable information came from enhanced interrogation techniques? >> i'm unaware of any vol id information that was a derivative product of torture or any of the abusive techniques. what i think you have to understand is, there was no basis for going down that road. the people who created this program were not interrogators.
they did not utilize the subject matter expertise of personnel who had been interrogating al qaeda suspects for years. and they went down a road and it was a disaster. >> president bush, i'm referring to, three of his cia directors wrote today, saying these techniques led to bin laden. address this to you, leif. they wrote, there's no doubt that information provided by the totality of detainees in cia custody was essential to bringing bin laden to justice. the cia never would have focused on the individual who turned out to be bin laden's personal courier without the detention and interrogation program. but senator john mccain said on the senate floor today that enhanced interrogation did nothing in the search for bin
laden. listen to this. >> the most important thing we got in the search for bin laden, came from using conventional interrogation methods. i think it's an insult to the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert we can't win this war without such methods, yes, we can, and we will. >> now, these are two very different accounts. is there any evidence at all that the use of torture led to the capture of osama bin laden? >> i don't believe so. there's actually no hard evidence to indicate that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques led directly to the killing of osama bin laden, which took place almost a decade after 9/11. so if the enhanced interrogation techniques worked in the first place, it wouldn't have taken us a decade to get to osama bin laden. that's on the one hand --
>> did we find out about the courier from using the advanced interrogation? >> there is no knowledge to this was the case. and there are a number of other cases where the cia indicated that interrogation of zubaydah had led to capture or killing of suspected terrorists or foiling of future plots. there's no hard evidence to the best of my knowledge. >> let me go back to you, mark. the report details how cia personnel reacted after witnessing a prisoner being interrogated with these enhanced techniques. on august 8, 2002, cia personnel reported, today's first session had a profound effect on all staff members present. it seems the collective opinion that we should not go much further. several on the team profoundly affected. some to the point of tears and choking up. one day later, they reported, two perhaps three personnel are
likely to elect transfer away from the detention site if the decision is made to continue with the enhanced interrogation techniques. mark, how could these observations from people who were there be ignored? >> well, it's part of what was basically a cover-up here. i mean, what you had here is, you had personnel within the cia who have contested what happened. i know people who were there, i know how disgusted some of these people are. so right now is a time to illuminate the darkness on what we did, and let's start honoring the real patriots who stood up to this stuff, the people who actually were disgusted by it and were forced to do it, but this is a time in our history now where we have to move forward. so we have to take a look at what we did, we have to be accountable for it, and the people who ordered this need to be accountable. then we need to move on so we never, ever go down this road
again. it's made us less safe. >> leith, you know, another shocking revelation in this report is that the cia out-sourced the detention and interrogation of prisoners to two psychologists. the report says, quote, the cia outsourced virtually all aspects of the program. the value of the cia's base contract with the company was in excess of $180 million. the contractors received $81 million prior to the contract's termination. how surprising is it that the government entrusted to this massive project and budget to two psychologists? >> well, we know that since 9/11, or post 9/11 engagement in that part of the world, we contracted a whole bunch of contractors to do a lot of so-called, dirty jobs. this is one of them. >> outsourcing?
>> outsourcing to contractors to do this kind of dirty job. so the question is, what kind of oversight was done over these contracted individuals? and what kind of action was taken to either eliminate, you know, the use of bad interrogation techniques, or even just make the interrogation itself much more easier, less costly, much more effective? we don't know. >> mark and laith, thank you both for your time this evening pch. still ahead, republicans are back to their old tricks, playing hide and seek with the facts on health care. also president obama takes over late night and makes a big push for his agenda. all that, plus british royalty meeting american royalty in brooklyn. stay with us. ups is a global company, but most of our employees
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today was darrell issa's last hoorah. he's on his way out, but you won't believe what he did today for an encore. also, breaking news from president obama. his brand new comments about today's big report on torture. during the bush years. stay with us. during the bush y. stay with us. during the bush years. stay with us. she inspires you.
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we'll have given 50 million dollars over seven years. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. >> did you catch the game of hide and seek on the hill today? republicans hid from the facts. instead, seeking a distraction. former white house advisers jonathan gruber has become a punching bag on the right for calling voters stupid and bragging about the health care law's lack of transparency. was it a terrible thing to say? yes! and he apologized today. but the reality is, the law is
working. the rate of uninsured and dropping. the growth of cost is slowing, and americans like the new coverage. so did any of this get into the gop dog and pony show today? >> night before last, i was at the kennedy center honors where they honored tom hanks. famously forrest gump. the ultimate in successful stupid man. are you stupid? >> i don't think so, no. >> does m.i.t. employ stupid people? >> not to my knowledge. >> okay. so you're a smart man who said some, as the ranking member said, some really stupid things, and you said the same, is that correct? >> the comments i made were really inexcusable. >> what about gop congressman tim wildberg, what's he hiding? >> americans now know that
government transparency, under this administration simply means, what you see is not what you get? >> surely congressman trey gowdy would tell the whole picture, right? >> do you see a trend developing here, professor gruber? >> i don't understand the question. >> it's a lot of stupid quotes you've made. that's the trend. >> this is a trend. republicans are great at hide and seek. the reality is, the law is working and it's driving them crazy. and that's what they don't want to say. joining me now is congressman jim mcdermott, democrat of washington. thanks for being here, congressman. >> good to be here, rev. >> what did you think of that game of hide and seek today? >> well, it's more of the same game. they've been doing it for -- ever since the bill passed. they've been trying to discredit it. tear it apart. tear it down, repeal it.
whatever you want to do. they're trying to do it as long as they get rid of health care for the american people. and rev, it ain't working. in fact, the bill is working. 26% reduction in the uninsured in this country. now, that's a fact. all this other stuff is careless remarks people make in situations. but the real facts are, it's working, and the american people know it. and the republicans are absolutely apa plektic trying to find some way to do the president in, but they can't do t because it's a good idea. >> i want to follow up on them being ap plektic, because today politico reports republicans in the senate want to launch another big attack on the health law. quote, behind closed doors, republicans are plotting one last tilt at the affordable care act. is the fact that the law is
working, is that what's driving republicans crazy? >> sure. that was their fear from the very beginning, that what the president was putting together would work for the american people and then the people would say, gee, the democrats have delivered what we really need. security when we get sick. so they're trying some way to tear it apart, and they're hoping against hope. what they're going to try and do is use the same mechanism that we used to put it together to tear it apart. but there are already some things in there that they can't touch. things like, if you can get insurance with a preexisting condition. that's gone. you cannot lose your insurance once you have it, because you have a preexisting condition. so they are fighting a losing battle, but you got to give it to them. they are stubborn if not very thoughtful. >> they are that. but let me show you, they're really not getting away with it with the public because in a new poll, 55% say republicans are
acting out of an antagonism toward obama. just 34% say republicans are acting out of a deep belief in their vision. is there any question about what's driving the gop agenda, congressman? >> there hasn't been from the very start. it's just taken people a long time to realize how much they were going to push this issue. no one in this country believes that people shouldn't be secure when they get sick, that they know they'll be taken care of, that they won't be bankrupted by an injury. that question is not the question here. the question has always been whether the president will get credit for doing it. that's why they called it obamacare. because they wanted to call it obamacare and then destroy it and say he wasn't much of a president anyway. >> you know the other big fight now, the impact of the president's action on immigration. today the president spoke about it on telemundo with jose
diaz-balart. listen to this. >> all we needed was a vote in the house. i gave speaker boehner a year and a half to try to get that passed. i think personally he wanted to do it. he couldn't get his caucus to go along. and at that point, we had essentially exhausted the possibilities in this congress of getting something done. >> are republicans going to block action on a range of issues, starting with government funding, congressman? >> i think it's going to happen right from this point on until the 2016 election. they are going to try and drive his numbers down so that people will say he's a failure. we had the best job numbers last month that you could have. we've gone up 330,000 people. the wage growth was .4%, the biggest it's been in months, in years. yet they continue to talk about what a failure he is. that's the whole point, to make him a failure, so that in the
2016 election, they say, we've had a failed presidency, now we got to elect a republican. that's what this is all about. >> congressman, thank you for your time tonight. >> you're welcome. coming up, president obama just responded to the torture report. we'll have his comments. plus, are joe biden and elizabeth warren thinking about running for president? and the court side royal summit everyone's talking about is all ahead in "conversation nation," next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ah, push it. ♪ ♪ push it. ♪ p...push it real good! ♪ ♪ ow! ♪ oooh baby baby...baby baby. if you're salt-n-pepa, you tell people to push it. ♪ push it real good. it's what you do.
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we're back with "conversation nation." joining me tonight, huffpost live host alana men kosky, the grill's chris witherspoon and msnbc's abby huntsman. thank you all for being here. >> thanks, rev. we start tonight with the lead story, the senate torture report. did we respond to 9/11 appropriately? as we mentioned, it was a blistering report with gruesome details from waterboarding to forced rectal feedings, to threatening abuse with a power drill. so did he get it right? i've long said the bush administration went too far.
moments ago, msnbc and telemundo jose diaz-balart spoke in an exclusive. >> some of the tactics that were written about in the senate intelligence report were brutal. and as i've said before, constituted torture in my mind. that's not who we are. >> abbey, what did we learn today that surprised you? >> i think what gets done without oversight. that we all read this report and it just gives you a huge stomach ache, when you think about some of the things that have happened over the past 10, 12 years. and the responsibility is being put on the cia, but we also have to ask congress, where were they when they could have been asking some of these questions? and president bush, he may not have been told about this, but that's his responsibility as president of the united states. you should know what's going on. you're the one in charge.
john mccain made the strongest point today when he said this is not even about our enemies. this is about us. this is about how we want to be perceived on the world stage. we have to ask ourselves that question. not how are we feeling in the moment. because ten years ago, we didn't feel safe. we wanted the cia to do everything possible to protect us. how are we going to feel ten years from now about what we are doing, and that includes even the drone program. >> and that's true. chris, you don't do a lot of politics, but culturally, the jack bower movies, james bond, have we become insensitive to torture, or do we almost expect this? >> i think certain things america might not want to know. this feels like a bad episode of "homeland," and it makes you question the safety you have in your country. the cia is meant to protect the country, and i don't feel that this institution stands for what i believe they should be
standing for. i question them now, more than ever. >> let me show some more of what the president said. >> i think overall, the men and women at the cia do a really tough job and they do it really well. and that was true then and it's true today. but in the aftermath of 9/11, i think in the midst of a national trauma and uncertainty as to whether these attacks were going to repeat themselves, you know, what's clear is that the cia set up something very fast, without a lot of forethought to what the ramifications might be. that the lines of accountability that needed to be set up weren't always in place. and that some of these techniques that were described were not only wrong, but also counterproductive. >> i think we're being a little too easy on the cia.
yes, you can say that we responded emotionally immediately to what happened on 9/11, but other details that are revealed here in this report are that internally there were people saying, this isn't working. there were people resigning, who were in charge of the interrogation program because they saw it was ineffective, that the training wasn't there, that what we were doing is gruesome and a violation of our own standards as america and standards of international law that we are violating. so i think one of the key points and what's missing today, despite laying it all out there, despite looking at what we did wrong, we aren't holding anyone accountable. nobody who actually took part in the torture, nobody who took part in the torture was interviewed for this report. no names are being named. >> the accountability. >> and how much are we learning if we're not holding anyone to account? >> and now to the politics.
the group voting on whether to persuade senator elizabeth warren to run for president in 2016. warren's press secretary repeated today that she's not running. but if the vote passes, move on will spend $1 million to deploy staff for early primaries and place ads. ilonea, warren says no, but does $1 million talk? >> i think we've learned that money always talks, especially in our political system. but i think there's a lot of good party pressure too. whether or not people will let elizabeth warren run, because so much has been thrown, at this point, into backing hillary clinton. but i think it's interesting because it shows that there's support out there for an actual liberal and progressive candidate, something hillary clinton is not. she's not going to take on wall street. she's much more hawkish when it comes to foreign policy and the need and the desire for someone who is more progressive is still out there. >> so is there room on the left for progressives? >> we've been talking about 2016
that there will be 16 people on the republicans side. and it's hillary on the democratic side. that's just so boring. i do think in the primary it would be fascinating to have warren run, not just because it's two women, but because it's two different platforms. people love warren because she is fresh, she's a fresh face. and she's authentic. when she shepeaks, she's so passionate. i was watching her on rachel maddow, and i thought, if you're going against her as a republican, that's not a position i would want to be in, because she's speaks about the issue so well and she talks to the people that really matter in this country. >> do you see how the republican on the panel is so passionate about having a democratic primary. you almost convinced me you were being objective. [ laughter ] when we come back, president obama hits the colbert report. and that royal summit in brooklyn. ♪ ♪
remember the original health care.gov website, i think that's where disney got the idea for "frozen." they watch comedy shows. and i just don't see the president going on one of those. they're beneath his dignity. [ laughter and applause ] >> they're young. they don't realize that everyone eventually grows older, at sometimes a faster rate than others. >> chris, why is he so good on comedy shows? >> as you said, he nailed this. he's able to incorporate issues like obamacare, issues he wants to talk about and reach a young audience. millions of folks watch the colbert report and he's able to bring in a whole new base and invigorate them. this is him at his best. >> it is him at his best. the question is, are young
people tuning into him still? because he's talking about a really important issue, which is obamacare. and you need the young people to sign up. so i think that was the strategy going into it. this is when he's at his best. >> no doubt. >> you think, not only is he president, but he's funny. >> is timing everything just there? >> he's funny, he's also human. nice to be able to see someone poke fun at themselves, even if they are the president. this is why he's standing out. and this is why there's a cult of personality surrounding barack obama, especially in the first election, because he has this ability to come out there and win everyone over, be a rock star. >> finally tonight, did you think we'd get out of "conversation nation" without talking about the courtside royal summit? you know i am from brooklyn? last night, will and kate took in a nets game in brooklyn. and during a break in the action, british royalty met brooklyn royalty. it was jay-z and beyonce greeting will and kate court side. they talked for a few minutes
before the game resumed. to be a fly on the court. >> i would love to be there. royals meeting royals. i was checking my fans trying to see fans' photos, the action behind the scenes. there was a really great moment, i think the british have been enamored with pop culture. this is prince william and beyonce and jay-z, it gets no better than that. >> we love this couple. i talked to someone at the game. beyond the game, the moment everyone was waiting for was this moment between beyonce and jay-z and this moment with kate and will. apparently everyone went wild. it looks like kate and will are just as enamored with beyonce and jay-z.
>> can you blame them? the entire world is enamored with american pop culture, american music. >> even sometimes when their careers go down a little here, they are still -- i went as a kid to england with james brown, and you'd have thought it was when he was at number one. >> it's b. and j. >> you have so many stars like adele, amy winehouse, that were influenced by soul music, r&b. you see that when you meet these stars. >> got to go. thank you for your time tonight. we'll be right back with a call to action from president obama.
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finally tonight a call to action in the wake of michael brown and eric garner, president obama speaking out about the need for peaceful protesting, to move the ball forward for change. >> i think as long as they're peaceful, i think they're necessary. when they turn violent, then they're counterproductive.
the old adage, power concedes nothing without a fight. that's true, but what's also true is that a country's conscience sometimes has to be triggered by some inconvenience. >> and the country's conscience has been triggered. last night lebron james wore an "i can't breathe" t-shirt, during the pregame warm-ups. it was a statement protesting what a majority of americans think about a bad decision. >> a new poll shows 57% of the americans say the garner grand jury got it wrong. everyone deserves a fair shot, as we push the conversation forward, we need to do the same with policies. legislative action that will shift things both on the books and in the streets. this saturday, we're having a march in washington with all the families from ferguson, staten island and others, to ask for legislation that would change
things permanently on how we assure a fair shot at justice. we're not presupposing or trying to prejudge what an outcome of a trial is. we just want to make sure there are trials when there should be. congress needs to act and that's why we're going to washington saturday. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. nasty business. let's play "hardball." ♪ ♪ good evening i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight the big debate here, should america torture? a new report from the u.s. senate intelligence committee states this country engaged in harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, threats