tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 29, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT
are on at the white house, but that somebody's home. that's "hardball." thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. big headlines out of kentucky, and a tough editorial today from one of the state's biggest newspapers show that the marquise u.s. senate race in the country may turn into the answer to a deceptively simple question, what do you call obamacare? >> tonight, the hunt for the number one republican in the senate really begins. >> a showdown to the midterms, including the huge battle that's going to play out in kentucky. >> they have made it official this week, it's going to be mitch mcconnell versus allison lurnd grimes. >> it's the biggest senate race in the country. the man who's perhaps the biggest single opponent of the president and his signature achievement is up for re-election.
>> i'll do everything i can to repeal and replace obamacare. >> you would think that unrelenting opposition to obamacare would be a big benefit for mitch mcconnell, considering the law continues to be unpopular in kentucky. there's just one problem for mcconnell. it's called kynect. it's the name of obamacare in kentucky. it refers to the state's online health insurance exchange and the medicaid expansion. it was created by the state of kentucky for the people of kentucky and the people like them. >> and if you want to know the real impact this law is having, talk to governor steve bashir of kentucky. >> this is working. >> more than 413,000 residents have signed up for kynect coverage, causing the unemployed rate in the state to plummet some 43%.
and while recent polling shows kentuckyians don't so much care for obamacare, they seem to really like kynect. >> i think it's going to be a really good thing. >> so what is mitch mcconnell to do? what does he tell the hundreds of thousands of kentuckyians who have gotten care under kynect? well, he tells them he wants to repeal obamacare, but, you know, keep kynect. >> should kynect be dismantled? >> hmm, take away health care coverage for nearly half a million kentuckyians or hand the microphone over to rand paul. >> should kynect be dismantled? >> i think that's unconnected to my comments about the overall question here. >> with six months until election day, mitch mcconnell is going to have to figure out a better answer. an awful lot of kentuckyians already believe kynect is a success.
and sooner or later, voters are going to start to realize you can't have kynect without obamacare. joining me now, congressman john yarmouth, democrat from kentucky. and congressman, as a one-time philosophy major, i can't believe i'm watching an election literally turn on what you call the thing. the thing is there, the thing is working, and it is going to come down to, what string of letters are in people's mind when they think about the thing their neighbor has. that is what the election is going to come down to. >> it's absolutely, almost comicical. and mitch has the boxed himself into a corner, where he has to answer whether by repealing the affordable care act, which is what he's said now for the last couple of years, he's willing to take insurance away from 413,000 people. and he can't resolve that dilemma. so, i mean, it was so funny to see him try to hand the microphone off to rand paul.
but he's been in this -- again, in this box now for some time. and you know, the problem is, what this indicates is, two things. one is, mitch mcconnell is totally out of touch with the impact of the affordable care act on the people he represents. and secondly, he never read the bill, which he voted against. >> yeah, i think that's a key point here. just to lay this clearly, it is a preposterous contention, factually, in the basics of the policy mechanisms at play here, that you could quote, repeal obamacare root and branch, and keep kynect. the whole thing would collapse in on itself. >> exactly. you could structurally keep kynect, but there would be no insurance companies that would participate in it. we have a co-op in which 70% of the people who have enrolled in private plans, that would disappear, because that's exclusively because of the affordable care act. and 300,000 people or so who enrolled in expanded medicaid --
>> that's all gone, yes. and my -- i mean, what do you -- your sense of the political culture in the state, i think, is important here, because this really seems to be a test for the kentucky media. which is, does the kentucky media just tell voters the plain truth about this? you've got this in the lexington herald leader today, kynect is the affordable care act, is obamacare, even if kentuckyians are confused about which is which. how can the average people be expected to understand if the senate's republican leader still hasn't figured it out or at least is pretending there's no connection. that's a toughly worded editorial, but it strikes me that the big test before the kentuckyian median in this election is do they tell their readers the honest truth, these two things are the same. >> it's a very serious problem. and i think what the media have begun to realize is that what i've been saying now for a couple years, is that mitch mcconnell has been deliberately
deceiving the people that he represents about the impact of this law, the benefits of it to him, and exactly how it works. and this is really kind of unmasking "the wizard of oz." he really doesn't have much to go with behind the curtain. i hope the media stays on him, but i know allison lurndgren grimes will pound him with this. i will continue to do that. this is not just a political issue. these are the health prospects of half a million or more kentucky residents. these are the people i represent and care deeply about. >> and the people that mitch mcconnell represents, and he talks about them in his adds, how much he cares about them too. congressman john yarmouth, thank you so much. >> his democratic opponent, kentucky secretary of state,
allison lundergen grimes is facing the same challenge from the other side. she's campaigning in the same very same state, where voters don't rike obamacare, but they do like knect. they could tell everybody that kynect is obamacare. the associated press prorting that lundergen grimes twice refused to vote whether she would have voted for obamacare's signature health care law. joining me now, josh mcintosh. this is lame. defend it. >> i think at a certain point, the would you have if in certain instances aren't helpful. some bills as an outsider, easy yeses, some are easy nos. some like the ones where you agree with the goal but have serious concerns, you might want to see what you could have done had you been a part of the body, which you weren't.
the point is, alison as really specific ideas about what she would do to it if she got into the senate today and mitch mcconnell is literally lying to kentuckyians about what his position would do to them. >> that is true. but it strikes me there's a kind of voter education process that's going to have to happen over the next five months for this campaign to be successful. and that is a voter education process that puts these two words next to each other. obamacare is kynect. and if she's slippery about whether she supports obamacare, that's a very hard thing for her to pull off. >> look, i think she's running on a multidimensional platform, which she is very clearly communicating to kentucky voters, who are looking for somebody on their side and understand their day-to-day lives. it is not up to her to get the two names to merge. and i love the way the kentucky media have been portraying this. i think they're doing an excellent job about treating their readers and audience as grown-ups who deserves the right information. i think kentuckyians will learn more about this going forward and we'll hear a lot of slippery stuff from mitch mcconnell.
>> so you're saying or i'm reading we've seen michelle nun do the same thing in georgia. what was that face? >> no, we see the media. >> what i'm hearing from you, this was not some sort of early campaign stumble about whether you're going to answer that counterfactual, this is a strategic decision that basically says, that's a pointless question, let's talk about what obamacare is or how it should be now. >> that's what it looks like to me. i think voters want people to talk about their daily lives. the relitigation of a fight people are incredibly sick of hearing about, that's not a solid campaign strategy. >> yeah, so then the question becomes, how much of this election does end up turning on obamacare? the reason that i find this, i find kentucky a fascinating state, it's an amazing place, it's got a tremendous tradition, it's got a great political tradition, a great political culture. you've got the first time that a senate minority leader might
lose in an election with the opposition party in the white house, in the history of the republic. and the question to me is, compounding this, like, how much do you think this is going to be an obamacare election? >> well, what else do they have to run on? i mean, whenever you talk about what republicans are running on, the answer is obamacare. if that's not working for them, i don't know where they go. so it might turn on that issue more than even that issue warrants, although i would say taking away health insurance from a sixth of the electorate in kentucky is enough to be an issue that an election turns on. but if you take it away from them, i don't know what kind of platform they're left with. like, what are they proposing? >> and in the six years since mitch mcconnell last faced the voters of kentucky, the thing he used to deliver to voters, which was a lot of pork, frankly, like a lot of, hey, folks, i got this for you and aren't you happy about it, he can't do anymore because of what he's done with earmarks, et cetera. it's very interesting what he can run on in this new environment. jess mcintosh thanks.
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a judge who ended walker probe attended finance by junkets financed by koch, bradley, and other conservative foundations. a analyst by the center for media and democracy shows the that judge rudolph randa attended seminars put on by george mason university in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012, according to publicly available financial disclosure forms. the george mason university seminars are bankrolled by a long list of foundations like the charles g. koch foundation, the linde and harry bradley foundation, and the searle freedom trust, in addition to u.s. corporations like ge, and dow capital. that judge who attended those meetings is a reliable conservative of the branch, gained some notoriety for striking down a law, a ruling reversed by the seventh circuit. he recently issued a pretty remarkable and scathing opinion
that ordered a preliminary injunction of the wisconsin investigation of the governor's friends of scott walker campaign and conservative groups. the investigation was into the possibility of illegal coordination between the campaign and those groups. and judge randall's injunction was made on the grounds that the investigation itself violated the first amendment rights of all those organizations and the campaign in wisconsin club for growth. amazingly, judge randall also ordered prosecutors to, and i'm quoting, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual organization and permanently destroy all copies of information, other materials obtained through investigation. that, that is not something you hear from a federal judge every day. you are hereby ordered to destroy evidence. indeed, three-judge panel of the seventh circuit u.s. court of appeals in chicago stayed judge randall's preliminary injunction, saying he had overstepped his authority. the appeals court ruling also said randa cannot order
prosecutors to destroy evidence they have collected in the five-county probe. of course, judge randa's frequenting of conservative conferences is one of the many ways right wing money attempts to influence senators. and there's a case to be made, this kind of ideological lobbying has been the koch brothers and others' greatest success story today. joining me now is nick confessory, who is on the money and politics beat a way others are. this is not lake, the reason you ruled for judge walker is because you got some free breakfast in a hotel room. the point is that we focus so much now on, americans for prosperity and the koch brothers in the post citizens united, spending money directly on candidates, there's this entire iceberg beneath the water that they've been building for decades to influence all kinds of americans.
>> you could really argue that charles koch's original passion in politics was the war of ideas. >> right. >> and in a recent story i did, i found a speech he wrote where he said, the most important thing we should do as businessmen is not get involved in politics, it backfires. we should create a cadre of well-funded proponents of the free market of capitalism, in the researching institutes, in the lobbying industry, and over the years since over the last 40 years, they have poured tens of millions of dollars into those efforts very effectively. >> and they've been particularly focused, and particularly successful, in the kind of libertarian right-wing legal circle. there's this entire set of institutions that have grown up, there are koch-endowed chairs at law schools. the whole george mason center where there's a lot of focus on sort of deregulation and free markets and stuff like that. they've been really successful in moving the center of legal opinion.
>> well, look, you can't lobby a judge. >> right. >> but you can wine and dine them. you can take them to a seminar. you can educate them, teach them new ideas about anti-trust and regulation, and that's what they do. if you look at his decision, by the way, in that wisconsin case, what's fascinating about it is not the substance, because you can argue that the prosecutions were pushing the envelope a little bit on their theory of the coordination in that case with scott walker. what was striking about it was the tone, where he celebrates and says, if they can find a way to evade these campaign laws, great. fantastic. >> so this investigation, basically, is, look at the recall election, as far as we know, from previous reports, in which they are, you know, prosecutors think it may be the case they violated wisconsin campaign finance law by essentially coordinating illegally. >> yes. >> that's what's being looked into it too. and he says, the plaintiffs have found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws. stop for a second. normally, any legal authority using the word "circumvent" about law is saying you're doing the wrong thing.
>> in fact, circumvention appears over and over again in the penal code, the criminal code, as something you should not do. >> right, exactly, you don't say, hey, mom and dad, i'm going to go out and circumvent some laws today. then he goes on to say, that circumvention should not and cannot be condemned or restricted. instead, it should be recognized as promoting political speech and activity that is engrained in our culture. so you have this wonderful full circleness. you have money pouring into the political and ideological system that has produced, helped to aid and facilitate a supreme court and legal structure, that says money is speech. >> right. >> and then you have this judge here who's ruling that it is so. >> we are in the middle of a four-decade or more battle against campaign regulation, against the idea that the money in politics, you know, should be, somehow, capped or shifted. it's been going on, and they've been successful almost from the watergate era on, and slowly whittling back these things.
and they've created an entire academy of lawyers, who believe very strongly in it. and have been very effective in getting those ideas advanced throughout the court system. it's astonishing, in a lot of ways. >> the walker propose has sort of been dogging him for a while. there's reporting today, a person close to the investigation of wisconsin governor scott walker's campaign and other conservative groups said wednesday, walker's attorney is talking with a lead investigator about a possible settlement that would end the probe. that would probably be good news for him campaign wise, to get this out of the way. >> i think so. look, it's one of the main issues that the democratic opponent is using against him. it hangs over him. you know, if he can put this behind him, then everything else that happened was the old probe, the last probe, not his problem. >> right. >> but if this continues and drags on, it only hurts him, but if the investigation went on, it drags in all the national players in a conservative political spending, all of them. >> and that's part of the reason there's been such freakout about this. and randa says in the opinion, you've got subpoenas going all over the country, you've got to reign this in. >> who wants those documents destroyed because of what's in
started keeping two sets of books. one set, they passed on to national headquarters, which showed them meeting more or less the deadlines and the other set of books with, the actual ones, that showed the reality. they were missing the deadlines. there had been no independent corroboration of the charge until now. today the v.a. inspector general issued a preliminary report finding the allegations of that whistle-blower so far are correct, writing that the hospital's data in a statistical sample showed, quote, veterans waited on average 24 days for their first primary care appointment and only 43% waited more than 14 dats. that was the data that was passed to headquarters. the ig's review, quote, showed they waited on average 115 days for their first primary care appointment with approximately 84 president waiting more than 14 days. the inspector general and other are investigating at least 42 v.a. medical facilities around the country, and i would not be surprised if they find similar results.
as i've said on this program, it seems to me the crucial question to answer here is whether these v.a. hospitals have the resources and capacity they need to process people in a timely fashion. if they do, well, then, lots of people should be fired. if they don't, well, then, that strikes me as the much bigger scandal.
♪ >> long before maya angelou wrote her first book, she had already been a dancer and a calypso sirpg. she once said that, quote, music was my refuge. i could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. in the last few decades of her life, potato, author, activist maya angelou achieved that very rare american celebrity status, as a sort of counselor to all. a figure of broad inspiration and an influential person to just about anyone who was anyone. angelou gave the inaugural poem at bill clinton's swearing in in 1993. >> here on the path of this new day, you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister's eyes and into your brother's face, your country, and say simply, very simply, with hope, good morning.
>> a couple of years later, she read a momentum at the million man march. and just a few years ago, president obama gave her the highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. but these were just the final few chapters in a life that contained a thousand lives. angelou grew up with her grandmother in the jim crow south in a town called stance, arkansas. during a brief time staying with her mother, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. angelou recounted the incident in an interview with the paris review. "i was raped when i was very young. i told my brother the name of the person who had done it. within a few days, the man was killed. in my child's mind, 7 1/2 years old, i thought my voice had killed him, so i stopped talking for five years." angelou eventually found her voice, writing about cruelty or kindness or generosity, a single mother who never went to college, angelou would earn dozens of honorary degrees. she later moved to ghana where she worked as an administer at the university of ghana. and she eventually moved back to the united states to help malcolm x create a foundation. his proposal included taking the
plight of the african-americans to the united nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. the idea was so stimulating, i persuaded myself i should return to the states. david chappelle imagines the anger she must have felt after her friends were assassinated. angelou explains why it's okay to be anger. >> if you're not angry, you're either a stone or you're too sick to be angry. you should be angry. >> but what do you -- >> never mind you, there's a difference. you must not be bitter. >> that's a hard -- >> let me show you why. bitterness is like cancer. it eats upon the host.
it doesn't do anything to the object of its displeasure. so you said anger, yes. you write it, you paint it, you dance it, you march it, you vote it. you do everything about it. you talk it. never stop talking it. >> maya angelou was an icon whose influence was so far reaching, the president's own sister, maya, was knowned after her, as is one of eric holder's daughters. she is mourned around the world today. joining me now, michael eric dyson, msnbc political analyst and georgetown university professor. why was she as influential as she was? >> well, you've really hit upon at the touchstone of her, i think, immense popularity was the fact that she didn't deny the real emotions that occupied her breast. she was a woman who embraced the full length and depth and breadth of what it meant to be human, and what it meant to be a woman, at a time when it wasn't popular for women to be as vocal and articulate as she was. you can see a woman of high intelligence and poetry but a woman who got in the trenches and worked with ordinary people.
here she working with malcolm x., the secular branch of his two-pronged approach to transformation of black america after he left the nation of islam. and they were intending to take the united states of america to the united nations and hold it accountable for its genocide dal impulses towards franklin people around the world, but especially in america. she also worked with martin luther king jr. byron ruston got her to become the northern coordinate for voter registration and the like because they were deeply invested in the transformation of black america. this is a woman who was able to deal with kings and queens, and yet not lose her common sense. >> in reviewing her remarkable career, and i remember in high school reading, "i know why the caged bird sings," and the book affecting me profoundly. this is an incredible book. if you have not read it, it would be a great time to pick it up, library or order it online or at your local bookstore, going back to her life, it is amazing how seamlessly she wove
together the life of an intellectual, an artist, and a political activist. she was all those things at different points in her life. >> that's exactly right, and saw no essential contradiction in any of them. she was an artist that wrote, she was friends with james baldwin and tony morrison, and many of the other elite intellectuals and artists of our time. she struck compact with other elite intellectuals, to confront bigotry of whatever face and form it took. she was a devout, if you will, supporter of marriage equality. and she didn't believe in bigotry in any form. and she resisted it. and she also, as an artist, inspired so many others. tupac shakur named one of his songs, "still i rise" a of the great poem, "still i rise," that nelson mandela read at his own inauguration. she was an incredibly eclectic woman who brought them all together. >> the "still i rise" poem, that
poem to me can't capture something essential about what was so remarkable about her spirit and her work, was the combination of, she is angry in that poem, and she is letting her oppressors have it. and all those things together, i think, part of what made her such a compelling figure. >> that's a great point. she was graceful in the midst of the gritty situation she confronted and the distinction she made to dave chappelle must be borne. the difference between anger, which compels you to go forward and articulate a vision which there transform the world, and bitterness which makes you stew in your juices and she says it eats the host but doesn't address the person or the problem that is ever be one. so i think that kind of balance was beautiful. because people all over the world, people of every ethnicity and race adored her and loved her.
she said, i speak to the black experience, but about the human condition. and i think that's what made her so powerful and so transcendent. >> she really is missed. her last tweet in may 23rd, "listen to yourself and in that quietude, you might hear the voice of god." michael eric dyson, thank you. >> thank you, sir. coming up, allegations that a prestigious liberal arts institution built a new campus for itself using what some are frankly describing as slave labor. that story is next.
"cosmopolitan" reflection of a globalizing society, despite its country where criticizing the government is a crime. and for its first ever commencement ceremony, it attracted no less than bill clinton to speak to the graduating class. yet the entire thing, the whole gleaming spectacle appears to be built on the absolute ugliest foundations. last week, "new york times" reported that some of the roughly 6,000 immigrant workers who built its new campus were charged a year's wages to land the job, denied access to their travel documents, and arrested, beaten, and deported for going on strike. a violation of nyu's statement of labor values written 2009. and when you apologize to the workers who were not treated with the standards we set and when president john sexton placed the blame in part on contractors who weren't under the university's control, even though the general contractor had helped oversee construction is run by a trustee of nyu's board pop to understand how this happened, you have to understand the strange social pyramid that exists in abu dhabi, where the
per capita income is more than $100,000, where the royal family can finance an entire nyu campus and contribute at least $50 million to the university, in exchange for the prestige the campus brings. while citizens of abu dobby live in relative luxury, low-paid immigrant workers who make up the majority of the population can find themselves trapped in squalid conditions with no passport and no way out. joining me now is molly crabapple. she just returned from abu dhabi, and dorian warren. molly, great to have you here. what did you see there? >> it's a pleasure to be here. so not just abu dhabi, but all of the gulf is built on endentured servitude. i spoke to dozens of workers in abu dhabi, some of them at nyu. they were paid around $200 to $300 a month. every single one of them paid a recruitment fee, and not a single one was allowed to keep their passports.
>> this is key, this detail, the thing that sends chills up my spine, not allowed to keep their passports. if you find yourself in a situation where you're abroad and someone takes your passport, you panic, because you have now essentially had handcuffs slapped on you, and that is the standard thing for these. >> they have a system which means every single worker is sponsored by their company. they sign two-year contracts. the company kind of owns them during those two years. and they -- >> they have no status independent of their employment. >> they have no status independent of their employment. they can run away, but if they do, they become a sort of rightless un-person and can be slapped with exit fines if they leave. so these workers are utterly powerless. i interviewed workers who lived in squalid tenements, infested with roaches, where maybe 12 men were in one incredibly, incredibly hot room, and these guys just told me that they were making less than $300 a month, in one of the richest cities in the world. >> in one of the richest societies in the world. it's not like there is no money, right?
it's not like there's no money in abu dhabi or no money at nyu to ensure that these folks were paid something less horrific than what it sounds like they were being paid. >> it's absolutely true. when i asked these men if nyu had ever offered to pay their debt, they laughed and laugh and said, no one will ever pay our debt. >> this brings up a broader questions about this expansion happening. you've got universities, you've got duke in china, northwestern is in qatar, nyu is in abu dhabi. the global 1% loves american universities, right? and american universities figured out, we don't have to wait for them to send their kids to us, we can go to them, right? it's a brilliant value proposition, but you start to get into pretty complicated moral terrain, as we're seeing here. >> nothing makes me happier to work at that other institution uptown right now than this story. look, this is the trend among rich elite universities. and we have to remember, universities are institutions of higher learning. they are also employers.
and this is a very common tactic of employers in this country, and around the world. in a world of supply change, where a company hires a contractor to perform work, they are something called legal distance. so the primary employer tries to put legal distance between them and the contractor, knowing that there are a range of labor violations happening. this is common. this is common -- >> we saw, of course, the disaster in bangladesh, when the building collapsed, the initial from the companies that were getting their stuff from there, said, this is all an intermediary. we had no idea, of course. >> and nyu can raise its hand and say, it's not our responsibility. we have this code of conduct for workers' rights. but it adheres to the local laws, which, by the way, there is not a union or -- >> that's the question, molly, for you. is there any plausible story whereby nyu, which has some experts lying around they can consult, it is a university, can go into this just thinking, that this system and all of its depravations was not going to be part of how this campus got
built. >> no, it's utterly implausible. when the faculty or when the administration tries to deny this, they are living in a marie antoinette bubble. the labor conditions in the gulf are well known. all anyone from nyu had to do was just go to a camp and ask someone, how much money are you making, which is what i did. and also, it's important to note that abu dhabi and the ua are a kingdoms of fear. these are countries where dissent is absolutely illegal. where dissent might be the sort of minor act of courage it is so criticize the government. it might be to form a union. there is -- >> or to go on strike. >> to go on strike! >> when i read that part of the story, can you imagine going on strike in the teeth of that kind of thing? i mean, it is terrifying to go on strike in america, right? where there's national labor relations act and it's a, you know. to go on strike under those conditions. >> and what's so important, also, to remember is that these men who are working in abu dhabi had families at home.
abu dhabi -- or the united arab elm rats provide over $20 billion a year back home. so these workers, if they get deported, it's not just that they're out of a job, it's their entire family. >> where are they from? >> bangladesh, pakistan, india, nepal. >> do you think that -- i guess the question is, does this mean this whole project should be scotched? is the answer here, stop building universities in singapore and abu dhabi, or is the answer use your influence to make sure that labor standards or speech standards, in the case of yale and singapore, where there's no political activity loud on campus, that you were able to negotiate the terms of that and oversee that being the case? >> whether it's walmart, the gap, or nyu, they have control over their supply chain. they can say, these are minimum standards. we're going to have a system of independent inspectors, and there will be consequences if you violate these standards. now, look, the university is built. and here's the center of contradiction. the university, one of the persons of the university is to
promote democratic values. >> yes, right. >> well, how is that going to occur in a non-democratic regime, in a non-democratic country. so the campus is built. the question is for the workers that will work there now -- >> right, right. and this is an ongoing question, right? it's not like the workers build the place and go off. >> no, exactly. the guggenheim is being built, a branch of the british museum. there are tons and tons of workers there working 14 hours a day in brutal heat and living ten guys to a room in isolated labor camps that look like pyongyang. >> there is another huge amount of construction happening right next door in qatar and what's happening right now in the nyu is peanuts compared to that story. we'll talk about that in a second, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> the situation in nyu's campus in abu dhabi, peanuts involving the site of the 2012 world cup. that story with espn's jeremy schaap is next.
world cup is just two weeks away, but in soccer mad brazil where the world cup is being held this year, the mood is often one of frustration, not celebration. protesters have taken to the streets to make the case the $11 billion being spent for the world cup should have been gone to build schools and hospitals, not soccer stadiums. in the streets, graffiti illustrates the argument that kids need food instead of football. the situation in brazil looks almost benign compared to the disaster now unfolding in the tiny nation of qatar, the site of the 2022 world cup.
an outstanding report by espn's e 60 tells the story. >> reporter: what qatar doesn't have is enough laborers, so it imports hundreds of thousands from the poorest places on earth. >> qatar is a slave state in the 21st century. you sign a contract, you're really optimistic you can send money home for your family. you arrive in qatar, the contract is more often than not torn up in front of you and they pay you what they choose to. >> reporter: risking arrest, we went to the camps without permission to film to speak to the workers. >> do you feel that you have rights here? that if you want to go home, you can go home at any time? >> conservatively, from the figures of just two countries, india and nepal, more than 4,000 workers will die before a bowl is kicked off in 2022.
>> joining me now is the host of espn e60, who traveled to qatar for that report. fantastic bit of reporting. it's really eye opening. okay, you've got to world cup coming. they've got to build lots of facilities. 90% of the labor is this migrant labor and it seems like we are seeing something truly horrific unfold before our eyes. >> well, the numbers are terrifying. if we go by the current estimates, we're talking about 4,000 plus laborers dying with before the first ball is kicked at the world cup, as sharon burro told us. we're talking about hundreds every year from bangladesh, nepal, pakistan, india, sri lanka, dying in the heat, dying because of the hazardous conditions. it's a human rights fiasco. >> we have a situation where people are building where it's 120 -- just so we're clear. there's a timeline, a lot has to get built, you've got a migrant labor workforce with no rights and 120 degrees daytime temperatures.
>> yeah, there are rules in place, about the temperature when laborers are allowed to be working on these sites, rules about how many days a week they can work. we know that these rules are often flouted, however. and you have coffins coming home every day, more than a worker per day on average is dieing in this tiny, tiny country. we're talking about 280,000 citizens, 1.4 million foreign workers. and that's -- those are the construction laborers. there are a lot of domestic workers as well from south asia. >> just say that again. one coffin coming home every day. >> there is more than one laborerer from south asia dying every day in qatar. >> okay. how can this go on? i mean, this is going to -- fifa, like nyu, this is a the same system, like endentured servitude. they had to know exactly what they were walking into. >> well, they had to know exactly what they were walking into. i was in doha.
i went to this museum they've set up already which is kind of a testament to their building this world cup and i watched their bid presentation video. it was particularly produced, they spent millions on it. it went a long ways, well, some other factors to convincing the fifa committee to award the 2020 world cup to qatar. nowhere in this video is there any mention made of who is going to -- >> right, it's all these glorious computer renderings, and you think to yourself, that looks great. >> no mention is made, and to the best of my knowledge, no one ever asks the question. qataris don't really work. they don't have to work. >> you're saying the citizens. >> the citizens. it is the richest country in the world measured by gdp per capita. the per capita income is $106,000 per year. the government gives qatari citizens quite a bit of money if they don't have any other source of income. that's what we're talking about here.
the contrast. there are lots of places in the world, chris, where conditions are terrible for these kinds of laborers. we're talking about a country that can afford to do better. >> we're also talking about one of the premiere international sporting events that brings the entire world together, that brings all eyes on to a place. and this is happening under everyone's noses. >> it's the biggest event in the world. >> yes, that's right. >> the biggest event in the world. more people watch it than any other event, more people pay attention to it than any other event, more people get excited about it. the host nation should, in sol way represent the humanitarian ideals that fifa says it espouses. the first principle listed in its charter is that it will promote the game in accordance with its humanitarian values. obviously, here, something has gone terribly awry. >> so the 2022 is a long ways away. i've already heard some kind of noise around the edges of fifa regretting this decision. forget the humanitarian, you'll have people playing football in
the desert heat. >> and the guy who runs fifa says on second thought, maybe this wasn't the greatest idea ever. but not because of the migrant laborers who are dying like flies, but because of the weather problems. so we'll probably end up moving the tournament to the winter time, which presents all kinds of issues for the leagues, but that's obviously a minor point. >> so you think, at this point, this thing is set to go. the question comes -- >> anything can happen. eight years is plenty of time. they awarded two games simultaneously, two tournaments, i should say, russia in 2018, qatar in 2022. nobody needs more than eight years to put together this tournament. it doesn't mean it's moving, because fifa is accountable to no one. >> right. although there is, there will be sponsor dollars and big corporations, and there is a sense in which whether you want to be associated with this.
the more reporting like the excellent reporting you have done and thank you for that, jeremy schaap, thanks for that. that is all in for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. thanks, man. thanks for joining us this hour. in 2005, a "washington post" reporter named dana priest broke this story about how the u.s. government, specifically the cia, was helping conduct the bush administration's war on terror by holding and interrogating prisoners at secret facilities around the world. secret facilities called black sites. at the time back in 2005, those revelations from "the washington post" were pretty astonishing. we knew about guantanamo, we knew about places like abu ghraib. but on top of all of that, it turns out the american government had secret prisons all around the world where we held anonymous prisoners, totally off the books. we didn't admit to anybody that we were there, let alone that they were there. we interrogated those prisoners using methods that nobody knew anything about.