tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC June 11, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
miles away from washington. an nbc investigation finds there are nearly 5 million americans who hold secret clearances. of those, 1.4 million hold top-secret clearance, and one-third of those clearances are held by outside contractors. the "wall street journal" reports that america relies on spies for hire and notes the number of private intelligence contractors has ballooned from 140 to 6,000 in the five years since 9/11. government contracting is big business and highly lucrative. in the series "top secret america," dana priest and william arkin write about the contractor class. nearly 1-% of booz allen hamilton's business is with the federal government, making it a profit making nonunionized version of the federal workforce. having millions of contracted employees with high-level intelligence access poses
inherent risks. former nsa counterintelligence officer john schindler says computer systems administrators, like snowden, can be among the riskiest. he told "the new york times" they can be a critical security gap because they see everything. if a smart systems administrator went rogue, you'd be in trouble. and indeed we seem to be. joining me today, retired u.s. army captain and author of "the other westmore, this westmore," an msnbc contributor jared bernstein, anchor of the bbc world news america, catty kay and editor in chief of "the atlantic," james bennett. joining us from washington, d.c., u.s. national security editor for "the guardian" news, spencer ackerman. spencer, let's talk first about the massive security complex here and the sort of inevitability of this to some degree. you look at the thousands of people, almost millions of people who have top-secret clearance, and are we really to
be surprised that someone somewhere decided to break the chain of command and go rogue? >> this is one of the great paradoxes of the explosion of the national security state since 9/11. in order to keep it operative from logistics, to supply, to support functions, to even some of the most important technologies associated with maintaining surveillance, the government relies on this army of private companies. and so the more you have people supporting the growth of this state, the more people you have who are read into these programs that are supposed to be kept secret. the greater the dangers and greater the challenges are that this kind of information will eventually be compromised. >> and the greater the amount of data and type of data. we look at -- there is a lot of talk -- not to get incredibly detailed here but i think it is worth going into -- the patriot act section 215 allows the fbi to collect business records and other -- i can't believe this is
actually written down -- tangible things that includes books, records, papers, documents and other items. this was an issue of some concern during the bush administration to the degree that john ashcroft went out there in 2003 and said the number of times we've used section 215 is zero. however, the obama administration has had a distinctly different position. in 2009, there were 21 applications to use section 215 and in 2012 there were 212. that represents a 900% increase. not only, spencer, do you have these hundreds of thousands of people with security clearance, they are combing through massive troves of data. >> alex, the problem is even greater than you just elucidated. according to several senators on the intelligence commit, chiefly ron widen and mark uall, the way the government interprets that allows for even broader surveillance than the plain text of the public law that you just
read out. it's interesting to wonder from a legal perspective how a government program to take telephony meta data from verizon could be tangible to a investigation. it really raises questions. as the brookings institution recently wrote, about anything at all under that interpretation is excluded as a tangible record relevant to an investigation. this is why some senators today are putting forward a new bill to force the fisa court that oversees all of these laws in secret to disclose exactly what the government's official interpretations of these laws actually is so members of congress know what they're voting on. >> james, when we talk about the architecture in place to make sure there are no abuses, it just seems like the architecture might be made of rubber, perhaps. as spencer outlines, it's so
incredibly broad, so fungible that to sort of be reliant on the firmness of the law would almost seem to be an excuse at this point, especially if you look at the fisa court which has rejected 11 of more are than 33,900 surveillance requests in its 33-year history. >> it seems endlessly elastic. but it also seems in some ways incredibly fragile. when so many people have access to this information. we see this guy can bring the whole -- not bring the system down, but at least rip it open and bring it out into the open. one of my questions is why hasn't this happened before. >> yeah. that is a good question. given the magnitude, the number of people that are involved in just systems administration work at like mid level computer guys, a la edward snowden, it sort of is shocking that there haven't been more leaks. >> yeah. i brought that up to some sources of mine for a piece that i wrote yesterday. they were surprised, too. they were wondering whether you
don't have more people like snowden coming forward and whether, unless some kind of action is taken to further restrict access for these giant programs that more will occur. we should also add that it isn't just contractors. there are lots of people employed by the government in these agencies who might similarly be tempted if they feel that democracy is being undermined by these surveillance programs and by the inability to congress to perform oversight on them. >> jared, as we talk about the role of contractors and those in the government in all of this, i find it fairly shocking that we have reports that these folks who were contracted out to do government work are making celebrity money and in some cases mid level employees and non-government organizations are making more than government agency heads. that seems to be an incentive that does not square. >> it is a really interesting point. the politicians keep saying -- i think this is totally hypocritical -- this is the
debate we've been wanting to have. no, it isn't. but we're having it. part of this is precisely what you just landed on, alex. the fact that we are dependent on so much outside contractors is one thing from the perspective of security as we've been discussing it, but it actually turned out to be really pretty wasteful. assumption is always going to be if a private person does it, it is more efficient than if a government employee does it. we are looking at a guy who's paid $200,000, to say nothing about his skill but i'm quite certain that you could have done that function within the government for a whole lot less. i suspect that one of the outcomes of this is going to be a lot more insources. >> booz allen hamilton this morning said he was paid $120,000. >> servant's wages! but much more than anybody in the government would make. >> if we're going to outsource our security issues, whether to security companies who are doing our body work an protection as
from the wars there or outsource intelligence, you leave yourselves it seems more vulnerable to the possibility of some kind of mess-up which is exactly what we've just seen. i think james is exactly right. it is astonishing that this hasn't happened before. >> you're absolutely right. this whole issue just compounds what's happened on a larger basis, outsourcing of intelligence, outsourcing of security, et cetera. it also really highlights a fundamental lack of mistrust that's now starting to permeate its way between what people trust their government to be able to have access to, what in the government trusts individual citizens versus agencies. it brings up a much larger conversation about transparency. >> i agree, but i think one thing that's conspicuous to me is the lack of trust that i believe our leaders are portraying toward are us. i know they don't welcome this debate but this is the time in my humble opinion to actually bring the facts forward and to talk about them with the
american people to get either some buy-in or at least start to rebill trust that i think has been abused. >> and james, i would say there is a bigger question here which is, do we want a surveillance operation, a counterintelligence infrastructure that is this massive? is there a cost benefit here that we should be looking at? $2 billion on the utah data center which is where this information is housed. 5 million americans with secret clearance. 50,000 intelligence reports publish each year. you look at this and you think, this is inexorable. how does anyone begin to unwind this massive organization that we have created in and around "keeping us safe" from an unseen enemy. >> with obviously a very powerful self-perpetuating dynamic of its own that's only abetted by the scrutiny that's been brought to bear. there's clearly been some appetite in congress for a while to have a conversation about this approach to security. the public remains -- at least
the initial polling suggests the public remains broadly supportive of this, but that doesn't mean people don't want to have the depay the. >> in a sense, there is an even broader debate in there about the whole war on trough. is it time, 12 years after the attacks of 9/11, to look at what the war on terror is costing us both financially and i think national security has become the third rail of american politics. you can never scale it back again. in terms of our freedoms. and somebody needs to sit there and do the cost benefit analysis on this. that's a really hard conversation to have because the moment you raise the specter of the possibility of any kind of terrorist attack and not keeping america safe there are esquestis of patriotism. but someone does need to see, is this an effective use of our money. >> it is true when you say it's become the third rail. we are having a conversation about block granting food stamps. talking about medicare, social security, medicaid, reforming those earned benefit programs. yet if you say anything on cutting back on the sort of
military industrial complex in and around surveillance and counterterrorism operations, it is a third rail. spencer, a lot of this information is coming to us through "the guardian." we are now seeing there is an international either outcry or outrage about america and what we're doing here and specifically because prism is supposed to be monitoring foreign correspondence, not really domestic correspondence, although domestic correspondence may get cause in the dragnet, if you will. how has the conversation in europe -- how have they managed to have this before any of these systems were in place? they haven't put anything similar as far as we know in place in their governments. why do you think it is more possible to have this conversation and this debate preemptively compared to the united states? >> well, if you mean what are the differences in attitudes about the relationship between government security apparatuses and the public in europe, it is just a much, much different dynamic there. at the same time in places like
europe, have you way more security and surveillance cameras out in public spaces than perhaps you do in other american cities. so it is not quite that binary. at the same time, what we are starting to see now is outrage developing from outside of the country about why it might possibly be acceptable in the united states to spotting such a broad open-ended way on foreign citizens of even allied countries, but the u.s. might not accept that for its own citizens. we seem to be to some degree a civil libertarian poll in this debate. you've now seen on the guardian the chinese dissident artist. i might write why the u.s. is starting to become china. >> oh! we have to leave it there. "the guardian's" spencer ackerman, thanks for joining us. after the break, for some, the lesson of edward snowden's nsa revelations is trust no one. for others, it is watch out for
the i.t. guy. we'll compare and contrast insurrectionists and institutionalists when "now" returns. [ panting ] we're headed the same way, right? yeah. ♪ [ panting ] uh... after you. ♪ [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] it's all in how you get there. the srx, from cadillac. awarded best interior design of any luxury brand. lease this 2013 cadillac srx for around $399 per month, with premium care maintenance included.
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they are he's going to have all this stuff at the utah data center, that's baloney. from my perspective that's just ludicrous. >> the nsa specifically targets the communications of everyone. it ingests them by default. it collects them in its system and it filters them and analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them. >> in the new paperback edition of "twilight of the elites," chris hayes divides our nation's thought leaders into two camps -- insur krekzists and institutionalists. institutionalists live in a fear of society without a central repository for authority. one that could lapse into mob rule at any time. he names david brooks of "the new york times" as an institutionalists, as well as the entire u.s. senate as well as jpmorgan chief executive jamie dimon. david brooks addresses the nsa surveillance leaks writesing, for society to function well there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures.
by deciding to unilaterally leak secret nsa documents, snowden has betrayed all of these things. snowden, the 29-year-old former nsa analyst, clearly falls in the insurrectionist camp alongside the likes of paul krugman, glenn beck and the man hayes describes as the ultimate insurrectionist, julien assange. "the only way to hold our present elite accountable is to force them to forfeit their authority. which camp you fall into depends on how well you think our institutions are holding up. jeffrey toobin wrote, he wasn't blowing the whistle on anything illegal. he wrote on something that failed to meet his own standards of propriety. in making this argument, he seems to be accepting the legality of a system in which the government can surveil its citizens, from a court that's made its decisions in secret and
in favor of the government, almost without exception. there are others who might disagree with that assessment. joining the panel, the host of msnbc's all-in, chris hayes, "twilight of the elites," which is out now in paperback. thank to you are joining us, my friend. >> thank you! it was a great intro. nailed it. >> i will ask you, given this kind of argument we're having over whistle-blower versus leaker, do you think whistle blowers are institutionalists insofar as they are ameliorate the system is. >> i think the most dangerous thing for authority are people that were institutionalists and became radicalized. a lot of whistle blowers are that. thomas drake who was an nsa whistle blower was as straight an arrow you could get. he served in the armed forces, worked for the nsa, he tried to go through the proper chain of command. ultimately he went to a reporter and the government turned on him he became incredibly radicalized because he got a glimpse of the
bankruptcy of the system of authority that he had spent his entire adult life trusting in. i think that radicalizing experience is something that a lot of americans have gone through over the past failed decade. as we have seen institution after institution collapse, many people have had a veried are callizing moment or series of moments where they all of a sudden like seeing through the matrix. these systems of authority which had kind after default claim on your trust with, obviously these people in charge know what they're doing. when you realize these people in charge don't know what they're doing or are acting with malice, incompetence or corruption? that kind this kind of scales falling from the eyes effect that can turn people into vehement insurrectionists. that's what we've seen in a lot of the cases. >> i thought jeef jeffrey toobi point was interesting. not saying i agree with it. but it is a fact -- correct me if i'm wrong -- the american public by dint of their representatives have created this institution and given it the permission to do as toobin
seems to be arguing, all of the things that it did. >> i would say two things. one is, right, that's sort of true although it is not ultimately true for this reason. the question here is does this data collection violate the constitution, the fourth amendment. that's never actually been finally litigated by the supreme court. >> in large part because they haven't been able to. >> because they haven't been able to because the government invokes state secrets. so we have a process for dealing with ultimate questions of constitutionality in our system and that's the supreme court ultimate rules on it, as they did with obama care. the entire national security state constructed post 9/11 has been tlosloweded behind secrecy people's opinions are divide as to whether you trust authority. >> one thing we're not paying attention to is that the intelligence industrial complex
is a lucrative business and a lot of these guys support the people who in congress who are supposed to be overseeing checks an balances. dianne feinstein's 2012 re-election campaign was heavily subsidized by intelligence and defense contractors. ers that courtesy of open secrets. that's keeping this massive operation in place. >> not to mention the resolving door of people leaving the government -- >> james clapper was a booz allen executive. >> chris, some of these whistle blowers do thing of themselves i think as ultimately still serving the institutions that they're criticizing. actually they believe -- and i think with merit -- that in the end their actions could help and hopefully in this case that will be the effect. >> that seems to be the case more of snowden than julian assange. they seem to have separate characters. something that's interesting, if you listen to the interview
snowden gave, it sounds like he spoke about his concerns before he went to "the guardian" which may be that the institution is not working because that ought to have raised red flags, you would think, amongst his bosses. several times he mentioned when i talked about this i was rebuffed which i think is fascinating. i don't know whether he raised it and tried to change it, but why didn't they pick it up? >> i talked with a whistle-blower around the warrantless wiretapping of 2005, you asked him, you went through the proper channels, what do you think of this dude that blew town and has this crazy story? he said i understand why he he did that. i tried to go to the proper channels, i went to the ig, i went to congress and i was stonewalled everywhere. it is not like we have proper procedures. i think this is true particularly for people in the intelligence community. if you're in the state department and want to blow the real story -- there is a place
four. if you want to blow the whistle on the irs targeting people, there is going to be place for you. if you work behind the veil of the federal government, that's a whole separate issue. >> that's the third rail. i will read your writing to you -- >> my favorite thing. please do. >> the degree to which we ameliorate the system or rethink it will be based on public opinion and how much outcry there is, yet outsourcing the decision to the public is probably not the best way to go. you write, "because we cannot investigate and verify the millions of bits of knowledge that float through our lives, we outsource the vast majority of screening it all to others. choose nearly any important issue and you will find smart, well credentialed and energetic advocates arguing for mutually exclusive positions. in this way the voter is asked to referee a series of contests for which he or she has absolutely no independent expertise. that's why political parties are
such a useful part of liberal democracy. they take on much of this informational burden. then you look at the pew polling. among democrats and republicans in 2006, is the nsa surveillance program acceptable, democrats in 2006 said it was unaccept -- 37% said it was acceptable. in 2013 with the democratic president, 64%. it almost reverses for democrats who in 2006 found it 75 -- 75% found it acceptable. now that number has dropped to 52%. >> that's a perfect example of the way in which this kind of informational role is played by parties and also the dangers of it. the difference is in 2006 it was warrantless. it was outside the purview of the law. now it's been brought into. i don't think that really accounts for the change. what accounts for the change is people don't have information to operate on. we don't know that much about this massive secret thing. that's why it is called secret. so they take cues from people they trust. i trust the democratic party or i trust barack obama and they seem on-board. if they are on-board with it, i
am on-board with it. there is a tendency among some commentators to ridicule voters for thinking that way but that's pretty logical to navigate public life. >> you're saying people who are politically partisan are institutionalized. >> particularly when they have watched the transition of power from being on the outside to being on the inside. that's one of the fascinating stories here. it was easier for democrats to be much more skeptical of the national security state when they were not returning it. all of a sudden one of their own are running it -- >> of course. now there is mutual buy-in. >> it seems to me that there is a dimension here and it relates to this mutual buy. when the leaders come forth and say here are the plots that have been foiled by this information, is that not a powerful uniter that somehow gets -- goes above the parts divide you were just talking about? >> yes. but again, when a leaders comes forward and says the zazi plot.
>> i just like you saying the zazi plot. >> the first words we hear out of several members of congress and i believe clapper as well was this prism system foiled the zazi plot. it turns out us and the british police had actually raided apartments where we had found e-mails on the computers in just good old-fashioned police work that had helped stopped the plot. the question is when someone comes before you from offici officialdom and say this helped foil the plot, do you trust that person, if barack obama says it and you are a democrat, you're more inclined to believe it. >> we don't know how the british police found that house, found that computer. brits for all the outrage in europe are heavily buying in to this system. we've just been piggybacking off the americans. >> i don't know if it is a democrat or republican thing, when katty kay says something about the british government, i tend to believe her.
>> there is a commercial existence -- >> being trained all the time. >> trained all the time to give. up information about ourselves. >> and we do it happily. >> look at this robust conversation. don't you want to know more and hear more about it? you can! you can buy a copy of the book -- do we have the full screen? "twilight of the elites." the paperback edition is out now. do not forget to tune in to watch "all in" each and every night right here at 8:00 p.m. on a channel called msnbc. chris hayes, thank you, as always, my friend. >> that was fun. violence between protesters and police escalates in turkey. we'll get a live report from nbc's richard engel in istanbul -- that's next. [ female announcer ] made just a little sweeter...
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turkish authorities clashed with protesters today in istanbul's square. demonstrators were throwing molotov cocktails. protests began when the government announced plans to raise a large public part and build a shopping mall setting off anti-government protests nearly two weeks ago. returning now to nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel who is live in istanbul with the latest. it looks like there is smoke in the background there. 4. >> there is a very large demonstration here. clashes for the moment have stopped but there are probably maybe 20, even 30,000 people in this square which is quite an accomplishment because police have been blocking roads. the government today, to try an prevent this demonstration. stopped all public
transportation in this area. that means ferries, subways, but the people still came on foot, they came in taxis. now there are simply too many people here for the police to disperse without causing massive bloodshed. this is no long ber about some park. the park you see behind me behind this enormous cloud of black smoke which is actually some of the barricades protesters are burning to try and keep the police away. that very small park was the one that was supposed to be bulldozed. but now after so many clashes and there have been several days of clashes, this of course being the worst of it that we saw beginning this morning, you are seeing two visions of turkey starting to emerge. the protesters here are against prime minister erdowan. they want more after secular democracy. this country has been a secular society, that's that's rare in the islamic world, for the last 90 years or so, and they accuse prime minister erdowan of trying
to impose an islamic agenda, by limiting women's rights, limiting abortion rights, limit being the sales of alcohol most recently. they say that this is a change in turkish society that erdowan wants, that the people here in the square certainly don't want. erdowan, however, is very confident. he is still popular not ear, but broadly in this country he remains a democratically elected prime minister. he's been in power for the last ten years and he's overseen a period of rapid economic growth. today the prime minister spoke. his comments were carried on turkish television and he called the demonstrators marginal saboteurs and traders. >> a dramatic, dramatic scene in istanbul. nbc news, richard engel live in istanbul. take care, richard. after the break, as the senate prepares for its first full vote on immigration, some prominent republicans are expressing optimism. like marco rubio just moments ago. >> even if we didn't have a
single illegal immigrant in the u.s., we need to do immigration reform because we must modernize our legal immigration system and it must reflect the 21st century. >> while there are reasons to be bullish, there is always ted cruz. we'll consult the immigration ouiji board next on "now." when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover, and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i've been with bp for 24 years. i was part of the team that helped deliver on our commitments to the gulf - and i can tell you, safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge safety equipment and technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all our drilling activity, twenty-four-seven.
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pretty well, i might add, on subject of imgratmigration refo. this afternoon it faces the first big test when a vote is expected to occur by the end of the month. coupled with the ongoing partisan debate over the path to citizenship, it would appear the toughest tests are yet to come. this morning in a speech at the white house the president renewed his call for reform. >> congress needs to act. and that moment is now. this week the senate will consider a common sense bipartisan bill that is the best chance we've had in years to fix our broken immigration system. it will build on what we've done and continue to strengthen our borders. if you're actually serious an sincere about fixing a broken system, this is the vehicle to do it and now is the time to get
it done. >> president obama, who has largely stayed out of the legislative process, is clearly trying to build momentum, but not everyone is on board. yesterday texas senator ted cruz criticized the president for playing politics with immigration reform. yes, that would be ted cruz criticizing someone else for playing politics on immigration reform. cruz said, "the biggest obstacle to passing common sense immigration reform is president barack obama. the path the white house is going down is designed for this bill to fail. it is designed for it to sail through the senate and then crash in the house to let the president go and campaign in 2014 on this issue." never mind how and when ted cruz may choose to campaign on immigration reform. prospects for success appear to be improving in the lower chamber. yesterday politico reported that house speaker john boehner has been working on a path forward. this morning on "good morning america," boehner called immigration a top legislative priority an sounded distinctly
bullish. >> what's the most important thing you'll get done this year? >> i think immigration reform is probably at the top of that list. >> signed into law? >> i think by the end of the year we could have a bill. >> one that passes the house, passes the senate, signed by the president? >> yeah. no question. >> wes, yeah. no question. it is very rare -- well, i could say boehner has sort given promises, promises. right? now a caveat to this is he has also said he has real concerns about the senate bill. he's ambiguous about a path to citizenship and he's not sure whether he would let the bill come to a vote in the house without a majority in there. there are hurdles, but certainly that would be a sign of optimism that john boehner said as it priority, we're going to get it done. >> it is a sign of optimism. last week this bill was done. last week there was nothing happening on this bill. this is something to be a bit
hopeful for. the truth is even if people look at the general background, general basis of this bill there's still the political angle that is constantly getting factored in to this, how exactly marco rubio gets received by both the right and left on this is a big deal. ted cruz trying to angle his way in being almost the anti-marco rubio in this conversation. even if we somehow get over the practical policy hurdles we still then have the political hurdles. >> i've said the phrase kabuki theater like a thousand times. i should drop through a hole in the floor i've said it so many times. but there is so much of that going on. cornyn has an amendment. is exs, blumenthal, leahy, they all have amendments to the bill that could change the substance in the bill. but more than anything seem to be like the hope that collectively everybody will agree behind the scenes very quietly that they want to get it done. >> i think is absolutely right.
there has been so much posturing around this bill for so long. it look like it was dead last week but the underlying political dynamic has been the same all the way along. there is a lot of pressure within the republican party to get a deal here. they want a deal here in a way they haven't in some of the past negotiations with either the democrats or the white house. >> i think there are two political developments i am picking up here that are extr e extremely relevant. when you hear john boehner talk the way he was, it suggests maybe paul ryan is more on-board than he was in the past. that's sort of about the conservative establishment in the house being more open to this bill than they might have been in the past few weeks. secondly i don't see how this bill passes without breaking the rule that says we, the majority, will not let a vote come to the floor unless a majority can carry it. don't see how this bill passes in the house without a bunch of help from democrats. if boehner meant that about the
hastert rule, that's
an awfully high rule. >> he sounded very confident. maybe having kelly ayotte on board is made him think we have enough of the republican establishment and enough of the conservative republicans that we can get -- we were talking about insurrectionists, by pass the insurrectionists and save the institution of the republican party. >> the kelly ayotte endorsement was interesting. a senate democratic aide was quoted in the huffington post saying marco rubio has apparently been holding people back from declaring support for the bill, while at the same time saying the bill niece changes to garner support. this says he told senator ayotte's office to hold back.
m m marco hrubio, do you
think the outrage from ted cruz helps him, having someone else who is sort of an extremist play the foil for this? >> in this theory that what ted cruz says is so out there that nobody wants to be seen in public with the guy -- >> it's sort of like the pressure valve is getting its release -- >> it is an interesting question how much ted cruz's rather hysterical opposition would actually hurt the passage of this bill as opposed to help it. all things being equal, i'm sure marco rubio would rather not have it in his way. >> there's also rand paul who's been a weirdly instrumental player in terms of he is the self-proclaimed bridge between the moderates and more establish many republicans in the wings. he has not been as confrontational perhaps as ted cruz. >> no, but he has a lot of followers. a lot of people behind pip him. that's a parade with some troops hyped him. >> there are but if you look at the previous immigration reform
debate, the real story is how much the republican party is on yord and united. certainly the republican leadership, how much they realize this is something they have to do and what they are trying to work out now -- >> the leadership is on board. the base isn't there. >> if the base is the people -- >> the conservative base of the party. >> i will also say that like even if the reform bill is passed, wes, i do not think the problems for the republican party among young people, women and minorities are over by any stretch of the imagination. this is certainly a move in the direction of progress but to think that 2014 is going toob completely different landscape -- or 2016. this is a long-term prospect for him. >> it is a very long-term prospect but i think that the fact that this bill is getting such energy right now and the fact that you have so many republicans who are saying we really want to get this done. when you look at the political climate of all the other issues being debated, discussed, irs, benghazi, nsa, wiretaps, it is no surprise the republicans don't want to come off looking
as obstructionists when it comes -- >> that's right. they might actually get something done. john boehner, it's on you. when we get back, the obama administration throws down its paddle in the game of legal ping-pong over plan b. that's an intense meta more. we'll discuss the impacts on reproductive rights just ahead. tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen,
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yesterday after months of resistance, the obama administration made the decision to stop trying to block over the counter availability of the morning-after pill, also known as plan b. just two months ago, a federal court put pressure on the white house to expand access to plan b to women and girls of all ages. something the administration refused to do despite scientific evidence concluding the pill is safe. the ruling issued by reagan appointee judge edward korman called the administration's policy on plan b politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent. but now that the justice department has decided to comply with that ruling, women and girls of all ages will soon have access to plan b at drugstores without a prescription or an i.d. planned parenthood see seal richards called the decision, "a huge break-through for access to
birth control and an historic moment for women's health and equity. katty, as a mom, as a lady -- though this argument and this dialogue should not be restricted just to women butly ask you first, what do you think of this decision? >> i think the more we can do to reduce teen pregnancies in the country, the better off we are. the more contraception there is available, we know that plan b, if it is taken within 72 hours, it works as a form of contraception. it actually prevents conception and we also that there are incredibly high rates of child abuse of children who are born to teen mothers. america has the highest rate of child abuse in america, in the world. a child dies every four hours from abuse or neglect in this country and there is a direct correlation between those numb berps and teen pregnancies. more we can do to prevent teen pregnancies, the better. >> i'm surprised the president had the stance he had.
one of the folks in the administration told "the washington post" the president has very much going at this, some of his initial resistance was because he was thinking of his own daughters. >> it is hard because it is very personal and you want to be able to encourage conversation and dialogue but you also understand that's not going to be everyone's circumstance. so in the same way when in our democracy we can separate church and state we have to be able to understand what is our personal will an personal want in terms of our relationship with our children but at the same time what is going to be legal and fair for all of our children. >> i agree. i like to think that my daughters will come and talk to me about these kinds of issues, but, a, they might not, and b, there, unfortunately, there are a lot of situations where kids actually risk a lot if they try to do this. i think this is a good decision in that regard. >> i don't think this gets james bennett talking about this -- >> we have two little boys who
are hopefully watching at home so this will give us all something to talk about tonight. >> teen friendly web extras on our website. that's all for us. thank you to wes, jared, katty and james. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern. until then, follow us on twitter @nowwithalex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. stormy evening... there were two things i could tell: she needed a good meal and a good family. so we gave her what our other cats love, purina cat chow complete. it's the best because it has something for all of our cats! and after a couple of weeks she was healthy, happy, and definitely part of the family. we're so lucky that lucy picked us. [ female announcer ] purina cat chow complete. always there for you.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports," secrets and lies. the latest charges of scandal are at the state department. >> i'm not going to talk about specific cases, but you can say broadly that the notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in a case -- in any case is preposterous. >> the department denies charges of a cover-up from a whistle-blower. but an explicit investigation memo suggests that trouble at foggy bottom could include at least one