tv The War Room Current May 1, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
>> michael: coming up tonight, a significant update in the boston bombing case. will the new developments have political ramifications? honestly at this point what doesn't? i'm michael shure, you folks are in "the war room." [♪ theme music ♪] >> michael: today marks the second anniversary of osama bin laden's death. but his violent legacy lives on as evidenced by the bombings in boston. and today police made more arrests in that case. three 19-year-old men thought to be college friends of dzhokher
tsarnaev. two are from kazakhstan. the third is a u.s. citizen. photos of him have not yet been released. the three recognized the tsarnaev's image and one texted tsarnaev to ask if it was him. dzhokher add lol. yes, that's what he responded. he added come to my room and take whatever you want. so they did. and here is what they found. they told investigators that at that point they new he was behind the bombings so they decided to help him out by getting rid of the evidence.
they grabbed his backpack and lab top and decided to throw it all into the garbage. investigators found the backpack and fireworks. two days later they arrested the two men for visa violations. the citizen later conferenced to being in the room, but said he didn't understand what the other two were saying because they were speaking russian. he was in court today charged with lie topic investigators and he now faces a maximum sentence of eight years and a $250,000 fine prosecutors said. his lawyer said only that he has not been charged with helping tsarnaev. >> my client is not charged with helping the suspect in any way
whatsoever before or after and he had no knowledge of the incidents and as to the actual charge of misrepresentation about what the other two individuals did or did not do, we'll look forward to litigating that in court. >> michael: as for the other two men, they were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. they rooifed in court today in leg shackles and handcuffs. they face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, which is surprisingly less than the american. they claim their clients did not know that tsarnaev was a suspect. >> the government allegations as far as that he saw a photo and recognized him immediately we dispute, and we'll be looking forward to proving our case in court. they are very sorry for what happened here in boston and he
did not have anything to do with this. [ reporter chatter ] >> we are not saying that. he told the fbi about that. he did not know that those items were involved in a bombing or any interest any a bombing or any evidenceal value. >> michael: joining me to talk about this is david a pacman who joins us from springfield, massachusetts. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> michael: what do we know about the charges and how serious are the charges themselveses? >> i spoke to two attorneys today, and the con seen sus since the charges happened after the bombing, that they are not nearly as serious as they would be if they were directly involved in a number of felonies
possibly, then they could be charged with the results of the bombing itself. so as serious as they are, and some debate of whether the book is being thrown at them because of the importance of this particular case, not as serious as if it had been before in the planning stages. >> michael: tell me this how will the case against the u.s. citizen be different than the ones against the kazakhstan students? >> i did ask one of the two people i spoke with about that. it may not be different at all. and this is a subject of a lot of the debate even before the tsarnaev brothers were identified as suspects, the question of if and when they are are -- captured how will that go forward. >> michael: and were you able find fought there is any
indication if they knew about the tsarnaev brother's plans before the bombing itself? >> i have not found out either way. we don't know for sure that that wasn't the case, but no evidence that it was right now. >> michael: it's same to say they will probably be wrangled into testifying against tsarnaev, and that's probably where they are in custody now. >> depending on what specific conversations did or didn't happen at some point along the time where they were assisted maybe that was discussed, maybe it wasn't, and it will be interesting to see how that goes forward. >> michael: david today there was report out in "the daily mail" that the saudi government as well as the russian alerted
them to tsarnaev. is that true? >> a number of reports we got is once there's information put out that ends up not being accurate. we understand how that happens in natural us in reporting, but it feeds and allows for all sorts of different conspiracy here thatries and then allows for evidence and i use that term loosely, by conspiracy theorists. so it may be true. it may not. the saudi government is denying it. and i'm worried about how this is going to be used. >> michael: both sources placed anonymously, and of course you have the saudi embassy in washington denying the case to begin with. i think this case will be
remembered from start to finish as one that relied on social media and erroneous reports. how does that change the way that stories like this will be reported going forward do you think? >> hopefully it will change it drastically, after we found out about individuals including a 17-year-old being ostracized in his neighborhood because he had a red circle drawn around him on the internet hopefully that will change how that is handled going forward. >> michael: today's senator john mccain said this incident could impact immigration reform, and when you hear about these kids let's listen to what the senator had to say about that. >> maybe it's part of overall immigration reform. we should look at the process of who is allowed into this country, under what circumstances, what is their situation and background
particularly from countries that have histories where there has been significant influence of radical islamic extremism. >> michael: david what do you think of that? are republicans going to use this is a reason to detail immigration reform? >> they are. but this is an interesting discussion. how long after someone has come to the u.s. and committed a crime can you still say that the fact that they came from somewhere else is really the factor that made them commit that crime. i came here from argentina when i was 6 years old, at what point does the fact that i came to this country become the one factor that we point to in figuring out why a crime was committed?
i don't know. >> michael: i would not have had you on this show if i would have known you were an argentinian, are you kidding me? i kid. the tsarnaev brothers were here on asylum and, you know, the -- exactly what you say they are picking on people and it's such a wrong-headed way. let's talk about what this event could mean for all of us going forward. 61% of americans are primarily concerned about the government enacting new an advertise terrorism policies that infringe on their civil liberty policies. this will play out differently than it did after 9/11 after we see those numbers? >> this is fascinating because we have seen two different pretexts or stories being told to get political will to do different things.
one is the use of this global war on terror to get citizens to accept military action surveillance all kinds of thing. and then we are getting backlash from that. so i think that there's an element of backfire here in some sense, and i think that -- if we actually look at that poll there is an element of push-pulling in it where there are very specific questions drawn up to push people into answering a certain way. i don't know exactly how valuable some of the information in that poll is but it is interesting that people seem to now be rejecting that initial idea of exactly how dangerous is the world? and people saying i understand that these type of incidents happen, but overall statistically i'm pretty safe and i don't want to give up freedoms or privacy to have
that. >> michael: that's absolutely right. david pacman, thanks always for coming on and being smart. coming up let's call jair what it is a mess. and then speaking of messes ted cruz might be the worst senator ever. but could he aspire to be the worst presidential candidate ever. and mark zuckerberg is managing to turn his support for an immigration bill into something like a rube goldberg machine. we're starting to unlike him. we'll be right back. bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
>> if you believe in state's rights but still support the drug war you must be high. >> "viewpoint" digs deep into the issues of the day. >> do you think that there is any chance we'll see this president even say the words "carbon tax"? >> with an open mind... >> has the time finally come for real immigration reform? >> ...and a distinctly satirical point of view. >> but you mentioned "great leadership" so i want to talk about donald rumsfeld. >> (laughter). >> watch the show. >> only on current tv. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything.
♪ >> michael: in the past week we have seen how flexible president obama's red line in syria can be, kind of like a twizler. the white house has stepped back from an immediate course of action. the president said he needed more time to make his case. >> obama: i have to make sure i have the facts. and if we end up rushing to judgment without hard effective evidence, then we can find ourselves in the position where we can't mobilize the international community to support what we do. >> michael: getting more hard evidence night not be such a bad
idea. anybody remember the phantom weapons of mass destruction george w. bush used to justify invading iraq? well joining me is who served as senior advisor to ambassador richard holbrooke, the special representative to afghanistan and pakistan. he is currently dean of the school of advanced international studies at johns hopkins university and is the author of the new book "the dispensable nation: american foreign policy in retreat". i even have a copy right here. welcome into "the war room," vali nasr. it does seem like a spectacularly good read given your experience. let's talk about syria, because that's what is at hand right now. the president has taken a long time to decide what to do here. how do you think he's handling it so far? and it is more about politics or the policy? >> it's really about defending view that he doesn't want to get
engaged in the middle east he wants to reduce the importance in the middle east and focus on china. and if he were to focus on syria, he would be reversing his own policy. he has established that we are only going to get militarily involved or not involved at all. there's a lot we can do in between in terms of humanitarian assistance, and none of these have been discussed. >> michael:s and that's what is curious, and it makes me think in afghanistan -- theodore roosevelt had this talk softly and carry a big stick policy. it makes me wonder if this white house has ever talked about diplomasy before talking about arms. what do you think? >> you are absolutely correct. the president has embraced
president bush's policy lock, stock and barrel. so when we get involved we get involved with our generals leading the way, and really don't focus on talking specialsly enemies. and on syria, it's not possible to have a credible stand tall carry a big stick policy when you look at the fact that we're showing such resistance to involvement in syria, and they think we're badder bigger more costly than syria, and if you are not going to do that surely you are not going to touch us. >> michael: how much does a red line that doesn't really seem to exist -- how much damage does that do internationally. the united states was complaining that russia and china at the security counsel
were voting against force in syria, and here we are. >> the moved the red line yesterday, he said not only do we have to be convinced, but the international community has to be convinced, and that means no action. and this time is different from iraq. because in iraq we were trying to use the intelligence to get the international community to act. now the international community wants us to act, and we are using the intelligence not to react. >> michael: when it comes to foreign policy when we elected barack obama, were we reelecting george w. bush? >> no, and when i joined the administration, my assumption was he knows more about the war than any living president. he has lived in the president. he was immediately awarded the
nobel peace prize, but he turned around and literally decided that domestically it is very difficult to move away from the republican position so on iran afghanistan, and the whole drone policy, it's really that same idea that we engage this region with the war on terror. >> michael: you served as senior advisor to richard holbrooke, you worked under secretary clinton in the white house. in this book here you talk about a, quote, berlin wall that existed between the state department and the white house. tell me a little bit about that and we have this perception that they worked together. is that not so? >> on a personal level they do. she did her best to assert her foreign policy internationally. but the white house is structured in a way to protect the president from particular kinds of decision making.
ultimately the state department has been calling for action on syria. we know that the secretary of state and the head cia got together and came up with a plan about a year ago to arm the rebels but generally, there's a structural way in which the white house is trying to thwart key decision making on mourn policy and focus on domestic policy. >> michael: and your book talks about a turf war as well. there is one part where you leave a meeting, and the secretary wanted a folder as full as robert gate's. tell us what happened there. >> secretary clinton fully well knew that the state department had been demoralized and beaten down. so she had to lift its standing globally so that the rest of the world would take the state department seriously, and make
sure the voice of the state department was heard loud and clear, and she knew in a conversation like the war in afghanistan, the military is going to dominate. and she was the loan civilian in that room, and she made a key decision that her arguments are going to be no less persuasive and that she is going to make sure that the state department's position is established in the policy-making discussion. >> michael: and she came to the conclusion that coming in with maps and folders like the defense department did, would be a way of getting the attention of the people in the room as opposed to literature and writings. >> maps and folders, does not have the quality of filibuster. but secondly also people assume the heavy lifting is being done where you have more paper generated. >> michael: right. >> and therefore you have to at
least make shire that nobody discounts you for not having the idea, the knowledge, the policy and the work. >> michael: and who was reading this? >> actually [ inaudible ] used to say the president reads everything. but many other people don't read anything, and that's why the colorful maps and charts become so dominant. because people just look at what they can -- >> michael: at every level, when we're four years old we want pictures in the books, and when we're secretary of state it's that way as well. in the middle east are they trying to become a different force? >> they are very drawn to the middle east. they need the energy and the market. and particularly the belt around the western border is critical to their internal stability. in syria they are toeing the
line that the russians laid down which they want to establish a policy that a country cannot intervene in civil war, and they have been stunned by how publicly the administration has shamed them on syria. and it will require high diplomacy by the white house. >> michael: thank you. the book is called "the dispensable nation: american foreign policy in retreat." only a republican can test the patience of job and then quote him out of context. yeah they are knuckle heads all right. but they are our little knuckleheads. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >> michael: texas republican senator ted cruz has only been in the national spotlight for a couple of months but the freshman senator is reportedly already considering a bid for the 2016 republican presidential
nomination. cruz and his family didn't plan on having these presidential conversations so early in his first term yet his rapid ascent have stoke their interests. someone like cruz an upper conservative tea party is just exactly what the gop base keeps saying the party needs. imagine this primary debate stage. senator cruz's birthplace could be an issue, though. and you know how riled up those tea partiers get about birth certificates. he was not born in the united states, and that is not up for debate. he was born in alberta, canada, to an american mother, so technically making him eligible to run for president.
joining me now to discuss the run for presidency is the host of "bill press show," bill press, current's own. welcome back in "the war room," bill. >> yes, i was born right here in the usa, in willington, delaware. >> michael: but you can't run with joe biden because you are from the same state. what are the optics of a tea party favorite running for president when he just barely squeaks in as an american? >> there is a saying around washington that every united states senator every
morning looks into the mirror and sees the next president of the united states, in some cases he or she may have a point. with ted cruz this is so divorce from reality, it's laugh out loud funny. this guy is the most -- i think he has a better chance of being elected pope and he's not even catholic. he is the most unpopular senator in the united states senate among democrats and republicans, because he has only been there four months right? but he treats everybody like dirt. he called his fellow republicans a bunch of squishes. he dare suggest that dianne feinstein didn't know her way around the constitution. he has been told to cool his jets and stop being such a jerk. so as a democrat i say bring it on. as a republican i say, boy, if i
want to lose go ted go. >> michael: yeah, and to think he is unpopular within his own caucus also is something that we shouldn't forget about. he has been so brazen in the way he has taken on republicans and democrats. and he hasn't been there for more than three or four months either and i don't believe that david vitter actually looks in the mirror and thinks he is going to be the next president but i'll take that up with you for another time. when you look on the about ted page on his website, there is no mention of canada. why do you think that is? >> first of all the tea partiers will definitely give him a pass. he could have been born on the moon, and he acts like it, and they would give him a pass. but when are the republicans going to learn?
didn't they learn from christine o'donnell, or sharon engel or richard mourdock, these tea party candidates who they love and even karl rove has complained about this that they nominate, and they can't win. >> michael: yeah the way they continue to shoot themselves in the foot, i don't understand. that brings me to pat toomey who said quote . . . you know, it's -- that's -- really goes to what you were just talking about. i mean they -- they see something that is a good piece of legislation. they know probably in their heart and minds and politically it is right, yet they just don't want with to be with the president. are we too naive to expect the mcconnell doctrine to subside?
>> what do you expect when mitch mcconnell started out day one of the obama administration saying the number one goal of the republicans in the senate was to prevent president obama from getting a second term. this is just the latest issue on the stand the republicans have taken depends on the stand that the president has taken. look at the individual mandate, the heritage foundation a conservative republican philosophy if you will embraced by mitt romney in massachusetts, when president obama put it in the health care reform suddenly they are against it. but for them to use this doctrine on this issue on gun safety, and those 20 little angels killed up in newtown, connecticut and for them to not listen to those familiar list or do what the american people so badly support -- or so strongly support i should say right, just
to make a political statement against president obama is really disgusting. >> michael: i couldn't agree with you more. also he is not running for president again. he is done and he won. let me talk about an ad war is brewing in montana. check out this from the progressive change campaign committee. >> 79% of montana voted support background checks so why did senator max baucus vote against us? senator baucus now that you are retiring, please put montana first. >> michael: very interesting post retirement ad. the nra put out this full page ad. your freedom is under attack but senator max baucus is fighting back. call senator baucus and thank him for being montana first. do you think he will change his gun vote now that he has
announced his reenvironment? >> i must say i do not think so michael. first, i think the progressive change campaign committee has done tremendous work in a lot of races. i don't understand this -- the money spent here in montana. i don't understand max baucus's vote. i regret it and deplore it and i think he is wrong. but because he is no longer up for reelection, he would be free to change his vote. i would argue because he is not up for reelection he doesn't have to answer to any political pressure at all, plus he has $5 million in the bank. he doesn't need anything from the nra anymore. so i'm afraid the money and time spent on trying to change this vote a waste of time. >> michael: i agree. it's very curious. i have never seen this happen
before. and baucus had to have known he was about to retire when he made the vote the first time. >> sure. i would go after some of the other democrats and some of the republicans that -- particularly those like kelly ayotte lisa murkowski, jeff flake in arizona, who admit they have sunk in the polls like a rock since they voted against background checks so i think there's potential there. i think there's potential before 2014 to get another vote and to get background checks passed. >> michael: thanks so much bill as always for coming into "the war room." up next, it's all quite simple. boston is endangering immigration reform, but mark zuckerberg is fighting for it. but the way in which he is fighting on it is ticking off progressives, who on second thought, thinks the immigration reform bill does more for gays.
thanks god christine pelosi is smarter than me and can guide us through all of that. >> "viewpoint" digs deep into the issues of the day. >> has the time finally come for real immigration reform? >> with a distinctly satirical point of view. if you believe in state's rights but still believe in the drug war you must be high. >> only on current tv.
what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? ♪ >> michael: on the political front workers spent the day marching on the streets of los angeles and also on streets across the word. today is known as international labor day. many of today's american rallies called for immigration reform. in general workers marching is a worry for republicans and ceos. but there's a reason, according to the economic policy institute, the ratio of ceo composition to the average worker has ballooned from 20 to
1 in 1950 to 231 to 1 in 2011. ceos are no stranger to politics or controversy. mark zuckerberg's forward u.s. legislation is causing angst on the left. theed a from the americans for conservative direction features plenty of tough talk from lindsey graham. >> the president says i'm for all of the above when it comes to energy. well those are words coming out of his mouth. they don't come from his heart. no keystone pipeline, no drilling in the gulf. >> michael: that keystone reference got kradel action to run this ad . . . the only thing that got pulled was the
anti-zuckerberg ad. it's a fairly convenient way to avoid criticism. here to connect these dots is christine pelosi. she chairs the california democratic party women's caucus. welcome back, as always inside "the war room," christine. >> thank you. >> michael: so from the anti-labor laws in michigan to scott walker's recall things have not gone really well for labor, with the exception of the obama reelection. what can labor do to rebound? >> they have spent year building labor solidarity coalitions. you will remember even 10, 15 years ago, there was a big play by the ceos to pit workers against each other. you still see that now in the extreme house republicans who are saying why would you want an immigrant to get a job over a u.s. worker.
and labor's response is know there should be more jobs and we should be lifting up good-paying jobs and pensions for all. >> michael: the democratic party is always looked at a collection of coalitions sometimes at odds with one another. how -- you know, how does this affect the process of electing democrats, of helping unions when you have business interests that are democrats, labor unions, moderates, how do you work around that? >> if you are a responsible national political party, you need a responsible national coalition. so if you want to be a party of the money, not the many you don't have to represent the coalition. but if you want to look like america, you have to look like and live like america. and that's a problem. >> michael: when you think of the coalitions, i mean you think
of business and immigration reform and what they are trying to push through the house right now, but that has marco rubio worried, senator from florida. he is looking at what the house republicans are considering doing, and he is a little worried about it. here is marco rubio on the mike gallagher radio show. >> the bill probably can't pass the house, because people are very suspicious about the willingness of the government to enforce the laws given our experience with immigration in the past. >> michael: knowing that you have marco rubio saying things like that, how can you get this past? >> we go one by one by one. you have individual people telling their stories as they did today on may day. there is a group that has a great documentary on the dreamers and the story of those
that have come here and made a life for themselves. you do it by making sure the economic benefits of immigration are very strong, and we're not going to let phobia or boston being an excuse. >> michael: it's almost as if they seize upon things that give them pause when they wanted to have a reason to have pause in the first place. how do you fight that? >> ak wording to the pew study that came out today, 58% of americans believe that boston should not effect the immigration reform. so -- also comprehensive immigration reform always involved fixing the legal structure. >> michael: yeah we just showed
the numbers from the pugh poll that you referenced. 58% of the public see it as a separate issue, come faired to 36% of americans that see the bombings as an important factor. but despite this public support, are you worried, honest is christine pelosi worried that this may derail these immigration talks? >> every day i wake up and worry for my country. when it comes to immigration reform, this was the number one issue on the minds of latino voters, asian american voters and many young voters that's why immigrants and communities of colors voted so far for president obama and the democrats, so i think this needs to get done, but this is something that goes beyond partisanship, and i think we can go into those house districts and say we are a nation of immigrants, you have a constituency of immigrants, and they want you to get this done,
and i'm very hopeful we can get something done. >> michael: you have my vote just like that. >> thank you. it's a start. >> michael: always great thanks for being in "the war room." up next, our own brett ehrlich is looking for a republican he can take out to the wood shed on a daily basis and today the search their road. >> coming up ted cruz wants to be president of the united states, and other atrocities. don't go away. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >> i know this stuff, and i love it. (vo) followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. bill press and stephanie miller. >> what a way to start the day. ♪ >> michael: it's been an eventful week for mark sanford. really, what week hasn't been eventful for mark sanford. he stumbled through a racous debate with elizabeth colbert-busch. even so the endorsements trickled in. but one endorsement he could
have done without is from larry flint. here is the opening paragraph . . . well said mr. flint. and only in "the war room" can you flip from larry flynt to pope francis. the pope addressed the horrific building collapse that killed moyer than 400 people last week in bangladesh. some of the workers were being paid just $50 a month. he said quote . . .
>> michael: given the massive income disparity here in the united states, we could not agree more with pope francis. and speak of equality, colorado issued its first civil union licenses at midnight last night in denver. here is mayor michael hancock officiating one of the ceremonies. >> wishing them a wonderful life together. >> we do! >> all right. i love that. >> thank you. >> jeremy may i have the rings. >> michael: congratulates of course to all of those happy couples. who would have thought 10 years ago that colorado would be a trail blazer for civil rights. and finally a quick update last night, ed mark i can and republican gabrielle gomez will face off for john kerry's old seat. gomez is a former navy seal and
we'll be keeping a close eye on this race. before we are done we have to get to brett ehrlich, who is also done, but done with our favorite republican. so just calm down brett is talking now. ♪ >> life is a game. and sometimes you wish you have a coach in that game so they can take the idiots who are playing badly, sit them down on the bench next to you and say you are done. first up mitch mcconnell you are done up loading photos of the united states. you up loaded this photo. you are trying to make him the wine guy and you the beer guy? nice try mr. blackberry belt clip and lady legs. i know you are trying to chemolike you wear the pants. but look at them. they are more like capries. mitch mcconnell you are done. up next jeff flake.
you are done being so down on yourself, you said ever since you voted against the man chin toomey gun bill your approval ratings have been somewhat just below pond scum. first don't be so hard on pond scum, and second, you could be this guy. >> this gan lost his life savings on a carnival game like this one. >> poor guy. at least the banana has dread locks. and finally tea party pooper ted cruz. you were born in canada. i almost lost it when i read in the national review that your defense is you, quote, consider yourself a natural born citizen. i consider myself a member of marine five, but that doesn't
stop me from getting arrested every time i come close to putting my arm around adam levine. ted cruz you are done! and i'm done talk now. push-up routine go. ♪ >> michael: really good brett. someone is always in our "war room" here. check us out online at current.com/thewarroom. that's also where you can link up to our twitter and facebook page. thank for joining us here in "the war room." tonight stay tuned to cenk uygur and "the young turks" have a great night, folks. ♪ going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets
[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> cenk: welcome to the "the young turks." mayday, mayday! oh i gist wanted to yell that it's may day. we will do a story about that in in, the strikes in the world. it we have the most amazing stat for you. what percentage of the last 30 some odd years went to the top 1%? you won't believe the number but it's true, and it's coming up in the program. all those votes against the