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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 12, 2013 3:00am-4:00am EST

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politics worked" has gotten great reviews in "the washington journal and "the "washington post." it's a great gift for "hardball" fans. it will remind the reader how good politics still can be. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. "60 minutes" had all weekend to prepare for its big apology and clarification, and most importantly, explanation of how it put a dodgy eyewitness on the air with a now discredited story about the attacks on americans in benghazi, libya. but when viewers tuned in last night, they did get an apology, but that was about it. the legendary cbs news show, "60 minutes," is in damage control mode in a way it hasn't been in
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almost a decade. >> tonight, you'll hear for the first time from a security officer who witnessed the attack. >> on october 27th, it broadcast a report on benghazi, using a so-called eyewitness, suggesting the u.s. government could have sent backup to the besieged u.s. mission in benghazi, libya, during the attack that killed four americans last year. >> one guy saw me. he just shouted. i couldn't believe that he had seen me because it was so dark. he started walking towards me. >> and as he was coming closer? >> as i got closer, just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face. >> and no one saw you do it? >> no. >> or heard it? >> no, there was too much noise. >> but the security contractor who was the star eyewitness had already told the fbi he was not there on the night of the attack, and that differing account for "60 minutes" to finally admit its error. >> nobody likes to admit that
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they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong. >> of course, we all remember the last time cbs news made a blunder this big, the bush national guard story broadcast by "60 minutes 2" and dan rather, september 8th, 2004. >> did then lieutenant bush fulfill all of his military commitments? and just how did he land that coveted slot in the guard in the first place? tonight, we have new documents and new information in the president's military service and the first ever interview with the man who says he pulled the strings to get young george w. bush into the texas air national guard. >> the story revolved around documents that purported to discredit george w. bush's performance while he was in the national guard, but certain documents could not be authenticated, and "60 minutes 2" ultimately had to admit its mistake." >> i made a mistake, we made a mistake, and i'm sorry for it. >> that time around, cbs news embarked on a mission to do everything possible to prove to
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the public it was worthy of their trust. >> having acknowledged that its own standards were violated, cbs news named an independent panel to investigate what went wrong. former republican attorney general dick thornburgh and retired chief of the "associated press," louis bacardi. >> and on january 5th, 2005, the panel commissioned by cbs released its finding, highly critical of the news organization. >> a major shake-up at cbs. >> the panel found the report on "60 minutes 2" to be full of errors. >> taking the heat, the producer whose reputation was considered so solid, the panel found few questioned her reporting. she was fired. three superiors were asked to resign. >> as for dan rather, he stepped down as anchor of "the cbs evening news" in march of the same year, in a move widely believed to have been hastened by the controversy. >> to my fellow journalists in places where reporting the truth
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means risking all and to each of you, courage. >> given the obvious similarities with this benghazi story, many were expecting a similar level of self-examination and explanation. instead, we got this. >> we realize we had been misled and it was a mistake to include him in our report. for that, we are very sorry. the most important thing to every person at "60 minutes" is the truth, and the truth is, we made a mistake. >> 85 seconds of the broadcast devoted to their mistake. there are still a lot of questions about how this happened, most importantly, how lara logan, in a year of working on the story, never apparently discovered the discrepancy in the security contractor's account, and why cbs news doesn't think we deserve an answer to how that happened. joining me now is david brock,
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founder of media matters for america. his newly released e-book is called "the benghazi hoax." david, what was your reaction to the apology that they issued on "60 minutes" on sunday night? >> well, you know, about ten days ago now, i asked for a retraction of the story but also an independent review, and i felt more strongly about that over the next week because of how they reacted. they stonewalled, they covered up during that period when they knew there was a problem. lara logan attacked her critics as partisans, as if liberal organizations can't have the facts, when we did and they didn't. so, last night, i mean, i thought the broadcast was called "60 minutes," not "60 seconds," and these are folks who rightly demand accountability of others. i think they should practice what they preach. and so, it was not nearly satisfying. now, my own view on this is this is now "60 minutes'" and cbs's problem, it's a problem for their brand and they're going to make the decision they're going to make. mission accomplished as far as i'm concerned is that the story
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is now shown to the public to be completely wrong, and i think the longer-term effect is to reverse the dynamic under which the mainstream media is sometimes a conduit of the lies that republicans are feeding them. more skepticism. and you know, in my book, we talk a lot about fox, but the truth is, cbs's coverage of benghazi has been troubling, aside from this, for a year. >> so, what is the parallel here? i keep thinking about the clintons and whitewater. >> sure. >> i think about something that is identified as a scandal, and then the reasons for it being a scandal keep changing or keep being reverse engineered around the conclusion it's a scandal. >> yes. >> and benghazi, we've gone through seven or eight iterations of what the scandal is. obviously, it's a horrible, horrible tragedy that happened, an outrageous, awful thing that happened. four americans are killed. >> right. >> but as for what the malfeasance is or what the cover-up is, that has changed now seven or eight times, about the intelligence, about whether it was a protest. >> right. >> do you see -- i guess my
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question to you, as someone who's close to the world of the clintons and has covered sort of attacks on the clintons for years, do you see this as kind of a whitewater 2.0? >> sure. i think benghazi is whitewater. so, in writing this book, one of the things that i felt was a sense of deja vu all over again. you know, i was very involved in covering the clinton scandals and then uncovering them and exposing the right-wing conspiracy. and you had right-wing lawyers coaching so-called whistle-blowing witnesses. >> feeding them to media. >> that's right. and then they testify and then they don't testify to what the lawyers are telling the press. so, there's a lot of aspect to this, just phony stuff, you know, the smoking gun darrell issa produced a cable showing that secretary clinton lied under oath when she said she had no knowledge of the relates for security, and it ends up that the "washington post" shows that the cable was auto-penned and she had no knowledge of it, so sure. >> steven reiner is former producer for "60 minutes" and cbs, now professor of journalism
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at stony brook university. you were there during the rathergate phenomenon, the national guard story that became such a huge story. were you expecting more on sunday night? >> i was expecting more in the way of clarification and more in the way of transparency. i don't see a tremendous number of parallels between the rather story several years ago and this story. this is in a way much more straightforward, in my estimation. >> right. >> and it is -- >> the rather story was really a mystery. it was like, who the heck made these documents and how did they get out there? >> but one of the things about the rather story that wasn't a mystery was who the guiding force was behind the rather story, and that was the producer, mary mapes, who brought the story to "60 minutes 2" and really was the driving force. in this particular case, don't know who the driving force behind the story was, who really wanted to get this on the air. was it the correspondent? was it the executive producer?
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was it the booking department? was it simon & shuster particularly, so that's why accountability becomes murkier. >> here's where the parallel i think is between the rather story, the national guard story we talked about at the top of the program. it's that, were the shoe on the other foot, this would be a huge story, right? if this were some liberal, you know, pet liberal issue that was then debunked by a witness who had essentially lied or appears to have lied, or at least told the fbi something else, i remember in the midst of that storm, that was like the biggest story out there. and the ability of the right-wing echo machine to turn it into the biggest story in the world -- and again, it was in the midst of a campaign, you know, you're talking about the president's service record. obviously, these are intense things, but i still think that what we're seeing in some ways in the fall of this is the asymmetry of the pressure on the right and the left around issues like this. >> yeah, i think that's absolutely right. so, not only -- so, the "times"
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speculated this morning that one of the issues here was the right was much louder in the rather case. he was kind of a pinata for the right. the network was scared of the right. i think economically, they were scared of a right-wing boycott of the show. so, what's different here is, you know, it's little old media matters and journalism professors who are -- >> okay, let's not whip out the smallest violin in the world. it's also the white house and the state department. >> sure. >> and some of the most powerful people in the world, right? >> sure, but the republican party was out there attacking dan rather. i don't see the democratic party doing that, right? >> i want to play this clip from lara logan that's now getting a lot of play. and let me just say, i have no opinions one way or the other about lara logan's body of work and don't feel i'm here to go after lara logan. i simply don't know. i know this story and some of her other work. this is a speech she gave to the better government association in chicago last year. take a listen. >> there is a big song and dance about whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest,
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and you just want to scream, for god sake, are you kidding me? the last time we were attacked like this was the "uss cole," which was a preclude to the 1998 embassy bombings, which was a prelude to 9/11. and you're sending in fbi to investigate. i hope to god that you're sending in your best clandestine warriors who are going to exact revenge and let the world know that the united states will not be attacked on its own soil. >> now, here's my issue with this, and i'd love to get as a journalism professor and former "60 minutes" producer your response. i have no issue with lara logan having strong feelings about what happened in benghazi. i have strong feelings about everything i cover every night, but everyone knows what they are when they come here and look into this television set and i talk to them. they know where i'm coming from. and say whatever you want about the sentiment "i hope to god you're sending in your best clandestine warriors who will exact revenge and let the know the united states will not be attacked on its own soil." whatever you want to say about that sentiment, that is not unbiased, right? >> that is not --
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>> that is a strong point of view on what happened and what the response should be, and what bothers me is the projection of neutrality that is necessary for "60 minutes" to exist when this is the background context. >> well, this is precisely the point that bill keller and again greenwald were bouncing back and forth when they did their dialogue in the "times." >> bill keller, formally with "the new york times." >> but obviously, this statement of lara's, and this is going to become more and pore apparent, raises the stakes even more for the importance of cbs to be transparent about just how the vetting process was done. i mean, this is ultimately a failure of good journalism. it's an abrogation of the verification process. it was not followed. >> you have one source, you're resting the most explosive things on that one source -- >> exactly. >> you've got to make sure -- >> and we have a very, very high-stakes story that is red meat to the right. everybody knows it. you are under more of an obligation, particularly in this
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day in age, to be transparent and to really do a better job reporting the story. it was also interesting to hear that, you know, sort of -- there's a bit of an arrogance at cbs by saying, well, it wasn't until we found out that the fbi report was different that we're going to report it. "the new york times" beat cbs on the reporting. >> this is the key reporting. this is the key reporting mistake, that in a year of reporting this story, you're cbs news, you can call, you can find out that he talked to the fbi and what they told him. you're cbs news, you can find that out. >> one more point. i don't think anybody venerates "60 minutes" more than jeff faher does -- >> he's the head of "60 minutes" -- >> and chairman of cbs news. and notwithstanding how he's choosing to manage this in front of the public. i have no doubt that he is going to take this very seriously internally. >> i don't think this is the last we've heard of it. david brock from media matters,
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thank you very much. >> video obtained by filipino broadcaster shows the moments of impact. a wall of water 20 feet high by some accounts crashing into tacloban, leaving the city of 220,000 in ruins. >> the philippines has been on the front lines confronting climate change because they are literally on the front lines. more on the devastation there and what it means for their efforts ahead. [ male announcer ] pepcid® presents: the burns family dinner.
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hi. i'm chris hayes from prime time's "all in with chris hayes" that airs weekdays here on msnbc. my show is an hour long, but the day is much longer, so let me let you in on a little secret. when you follow @allinwithchris on twitter, you'll find out what we're paying attention to early in the day, you'll find out who our guests are and what the show's about. and for those of you watching now, we'll toss in helpify articles to read every night for the shows so you're prepared and
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up to speed. and you'll get this all for the good price of free-99. for all this, it's one easy payment of five seconds of your time. type in and check out
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tacloban city. survivors call it ground zero. the old coast road, a route through the rubble for mile after mile. entire neighborhoods washed away.
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tens of thousands of families lived around busy marketplaces and back streets. now, parents scavenge for food. there's no power, no phone signal, no internet, no other way to send a message. >> that was a report from our british broadcasting partner, itn news, describing the dire situation in one city in the philippines. the world has just witnessed one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. that is until the next one strikes. the people of the philippines are sifting through the wreckage that typhoon haiyan left in its wake. the devastation is staggering, and you have to be fully realized. u.n. estimates over 6,000 people displaced, many without food, water or medicine. the cost of this storm could top $14 billion. and as for the human toll, more than 10,000 are feared dead. many of the dead are believed to be in tacloban, the city we heard about earlier. tacloban was once a vibrant port of over 200,000 residents, now
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completely leveled, its streets littered with bodies. the u.s. militaries's assisting with relief efforts, but aid groups describe being completely overwhelmed by the need. when haiyan came ashore, it arrived with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour and a 20-foot storm surge. in hurricane rankings, this was a category 5. the size of the storm put into perspective by the red cross places the typhoon over a map of the entire continental united states. it's a reminder of how vulnerable anyone living near water is, particularly island nations like the philippines, and no one knows that better than those countries themselves, who are quickly becoming the most powerful, proactive and progressive voices in confronting climate change. in fact, just today, at the u.n. climate talks in warsaw, poland, the delegate from the philippines sanio offered up words to the world. >> the devastation is staggering.
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i struggle to find words even for the images that we see on the news coverage, and i struggle to find words to describe how i feel about the losses. after this hour, i agonize waiting for word of the fate of my very own relatives. >> sano was met with a standing ovation from those gathered, and he pledged to fast until a meaningful outcome is in sight and is hopeful that something will get done. >> we can fix this. we can stop this madness right now, right here in the middle of this football field and stop moving the goal posts. >> joining me now is columbia university climate scientist bradley horton, consultant for the new series "years of living dangerously," which i am a correspondent for. and esperanza garcia, former consultant to the philippines climate oversight committee. she was born and raised in the
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philippines. esperanza, what are you hearing from folks back in the philippines? >> thank you, chris, for having me here. it's a war zone, my uncle told me. he's a congressman in the region. when he had visited the northern part of sabu, where i had grown up, parents having their children being sucked away from their arms, dead bodies everywhere, and the survivors just don't have enough food, water or medicine and have been going without it for days on end. typhoon haiyan, as you had mentioned, is the most powerful hurricane in recorded history. the death toll is rising. the power lines are down. communications have been cut. and the damage is yet unknown, but what we do know is that it has gotten stronger, these typhoons that we have, due to warm ocean weathers. we are excreting pollution that is equivalent to 40,000 hiroshima bombs every 24 hours.
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that's 19 million tons of global warming pollution every day, and this accumulated climate change pollution that is caused by anthroprogenic of human activities traps the heat, traps the extra energy in the atmosphere, and due to this, there's been broad scientific consensus that these typhoons now are increasing in strength because of this increase. now, philippines is the third most vulnerable country -- >> i just want to stop you right there and talk to bradley about exactly what she said. i mean, when we have, obviously, the focus right now is getting people the relief they need and the help they need and dealing with the horrible aftermath of something like this. the basic science of storms and their intensity, it's very hard to know what the cause of a given storm is, and the philippines have been through many storms, but the broader outlook of the peril that places
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like the philippines are in in the future is very clear. >> absolutely, and that's a vulnerability that's going to go up through time. it comes from a few components. increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, 40% more carbon dioxide than we had at the start of the industrial revolution, adding heat to the atmosphere, adding heat to the oceans. that causes the oceans to expand, which gives us more coastal flooding due to sea level rise, but there's also this element, too, that as those upper oceans warm, that's more fuel for a hurricane. that's your source of energy. >> that's the heat that's driving the thing. >> that's exactly right. now, there are other things that influence typhoons as well. it's not as clear how some of the other components are going to change, but bottom line, upper ocean temperatures, the initial fuel for storms. as those ocean temperatures rise, as we expect them to with climate change, that gives you the potential for stronger storms. and when we see these really large storms, just adding a little bit to those winds dramatically increases the devastation. >> for people watching and thinking to themselves, well, i
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don't live -- well, i don't think anybody's that unsentimental, i don't live in the islands, i don't care -- the mass of human beings live near the ocean. this cannot be stressed enough. >> and it's rising. that's the other element. so, there's this climate change piece of greater storms, sea level rise in the future. we also see more people moving to some of these vulnerable areas. in the philippines, population growth rates of close to 2%. more people moving to some of these mega cities like manila and other coastal areas. as you extract more groundwater with these large populations, you're actually seeing in a lot of these deltas the land sinking as well, so it's a double whammy. not only sea level rise due to increasing greenhouse gases, but development patterns that drop the surface. >> esperanza, i'm curious. i know that island nations as a kind of coalition have been very powerful, prophetic voices in the national, international debate about how to address carbon pollution. is there a domestic political awareness in the philippines of the threat it poses to what is
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the 13th most populous country in the world? >> we're not only the 13th most populous country in the world, but we're also the 3rd most vulnerable country by study of the u.n. to be impacted by climate change. we're impacted by these typhoons on an average of 20 a year. this is the 24th one that has hit us. and so, this is a normal occurrence. when i was working in the philippines senate, i was lobbying for the climate change law and the renewal energy law that was built in the philippines. the philippines is a country with 40% renewable energy, and yet, we're only contributing very little to the greenhouse gases. as you know, it's only -- i think it's around 2%. and the u.s. and china are contributing around 50% of the global warming, and yet, we're really impacted the most, and we don't have the climate finance to adapt to all this catastrophe. we're losing 5% of our economy every year due to these storms.
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we just simply can't afford -- >> to continue like this. >> the lives that are lost. and we can't afford losing our economy further. these people who have lost their lives and their families and their homes have not only lost everything, but they've lost a livelihood that are providing them with the means to move on, and they don't have it anymore. >> climate scientist bradley horton and esperanza garcia from the philippine youth climate movement, thank you both. republicans have to come up with yet another way to try to kill obama care, which has inspired a new campaign called let todd work! who is todd? oh, i will explain and talk to someone who's trying to fix obama care, next.
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when it comes to the current fight over obama care, there are basically just two camps, the people who want to fix it and the people who want to see it broken permanently. there's just not a lot of middle ground right now, and standing firm in the kill it camp is the chairman of the house oversight committee, republican darrell issa, who last week called on white house chief technology officer to testify about the rocky rollout. but that official, a man by the name of todd park, is a little busy trying to fix, so the white house asked that park's testimony "be scheduled at a time that is less disruptive to his work," and suggested he testify in the first week of december, after the target date for getting the website running smoothly. issa wasn't having it. in a letter on friday, he claimed he had no choice but to
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use a subpoena for mr. park to force him to appear before the committee. that prompted a group of tech experts to push for park to keep trying to fix instead of spending his precious hours preparing for congressional testimony. and the top democrat on the oversight committee, elijah cummings, called on issa to withdrawal the subpoena and issue a public apology. issa does not appear ready to do either of those things. another wing of the kill obama care wing was in florida. you might remember generation opportunity from the creepy uncle sam ads designed to convince people not to sign up for the health care exchanges. the group took that message to the university of miami on saturday, where creepy uncle sam posed with students at a tailgate party before the miami/virginia tech football game. generation opportunity told "the tampa bay times" that they "rolled in with a fleet of hummers, hired a popular student deejay, set up optout corn sets, hired eight brand ambassadors,
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aka, models with bullhorns to help out." brand ambassadors, nice. what you're looking at now are the students at the generation opportunity party, which looks like there's a lot of opportunity going on there, but there is another side to the obama care battle. there are people who are working day and night, seven days a week to make obama care work. and probably the biggest among them is called enroll america. it's a non-profit with ties to the obama administration. it's raised more than $26 million, contacted more than 300,000 people this year, all part of a campaign-style push to get americans signed up for health care through the exchanges, an effort key to getting enough americans on board to make the entire operation work. and amid a report from the "wall street journal" today that less than 50,000 people have successfully signed up for insurance through, it's a mission that has never seemed more vital. joining me now is the president of enroll america, ann filipic. how are you? >> good, thanks for having me
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here. >> how are things going? >> things are actually going great. >> you have to say that. tell me the truth, how are things going. >> here's the thing, obviously, anyone working on this issue is incredibly frustrated by the website, no surprise there. i think what often folks aren't aware of is all the work that's going on beyond that, and the enthusiasm and the interest we're seeing. enroll america was created recognizing that there's really an unprecedented opportunity ahead of us, millions of people who can gain access to quality, affordable health coverage for the first time, and there needs to be an unprecedented effort to give them what they need, so we launched the get covered america campaign, which is really about taking the best practices -- >> i'm going to stop you right there. i want to make clear here what the stakes are, okay? there's a human stake, which is, people need health insurance. they need health care, access to health care and it's crazy, we live in a country in which people go bankrupt and i agree with you on all that. but in this actuarial sense, you need young people in the pool.
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the risk pool doesn't work unless you get them in, and enroll america, using some of the campaign techniques that the obama campaign used to refine to find their potential voters, you guys are now using that to go out and find those people. >> yeah, the get covered america campaign is really taking a lot of the best practices from whether it's past enrollment efforts or electoral campaigns or private sector marketing campaigns, really, and it's a combination of really that commitment to an on-the-ground presence, being in communities, meeting people where they actually are, where they're going for information, and also using some of those high-tech tools that, for example, the obama campaign used to identify who's likely to be uninsured, what's the message most likely to resonate with them, and how do we track it as we go to make sure we get people the information they need to enroll. >> okay. are you hitting your metrics? >> we are. we are. >> how is that possible? how is it possible? no, seriously, how is it possible that you're hitting your metrics when the website has not been working, when all of the coverage essentially has
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been negative for six weeks? how is it possible you're hitting your metrics? >> i think you have to understand that the process for a consumer to enroll in coverage is much more than just going to a website, and especially when you look at who these consumers are. they're uninsured, they're often not the people actually that are going to and frustrated. >> interesting. >> many people aren't even aware this opportunity is available to them. our metrics are about how many one-on-one conversations are we having, how many volunteers have gotten involved? and i'm a field organizer. i worked on the obama campaign and a lot of efforts like this, and for something like this, what you need to look at is the trajectory that you're on. so, for example, in january, i joined the team, we had a staff of eight people. we now have over 200 people, but what's more important than the staff are the number of volunteers. so, over 260 organizations across the country have gotten involved, over 10,000 volunteers have joined the effort, over half of them since october 1st, since that, you know, the website issues began. >> right. but like any campaign, right,
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you construct a funnel, and the funnel is, you know, you capture data and you get volunteers and then you go and find people and you get down to the voters, right? and the metric you're judged by at the end is the voters, in this case, enrollees. and so, the question going forward is, that last metric can't happen for enroll america unless the thing is fixed, which is the big outstanding question. anne filipic from enroll america, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you so much, chris. >> coming up, i'll talk to a panel of veterans about what it's like to be back home.
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our moms met for lunch, four unarmed moms, peacefully gathering and exercising their right to assemble, and they all of a sudden looked out the windows, and 40 armed people showed up, pulling long guns out of the backs of their trucks. >> that was shannon watts, the founder of gun reform group moms demand action for gun sense in america. tomorrow night on "all in," a special report on the incident sharon watts was just describing.
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what's happening in this photo and what these armed demonstratored are saying about the episode and what it means that four women are meeting to talk about gun safety in arlington, texas, in the first place. that's tomorrow night. my mantra? family first. but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive, i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron. the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18
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or men with prostate or breast cancer. women especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and increase in psa. ask your doctor about axiron.
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today marks the 13th veterans day we've observed since entering the longest war in american history, the war in afghanistan. roughly 50,000 u.s. troops still
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in that country, which next year will be at a cost of more than $2 million per soldier. according to a report from the center for strategic and budgetary assessments. and 2.5 million vets served in iraq or afghanistan since 9/11. but unlike previous engagements like world war ii or vietnam during the era of the draft, today we're talking about a very small population that serves in the military. during world war ii, approximately 9% served in the forces. vietnam, less than that, and in 2011, less than 1%. according to the heritage foundation, they're coming from texas, oklahoma, arkansas and louisiana, from a particular slice of american life, almost 80% of american military members have less than a bachelors degree. the media focuses on issues like the inexcusable backlog from the department of veterans affairs, highlighted by harry reid today, to the ongoing trauma related to ptsd to the close to 1 million
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veterans who will have food taken out of their mouth due to the federal cut to the food stamps program, but what tends to get lost in those stories is the subjective psychological challenge of reintegrating into civilian life after the experience of war, an experience that most of society does not share. i've talked to veterans who are glad to be home from war next to their wives and husbands, back to spending time with their kids, but who nonetheless miss the war and have a difficult time trying to figure out why. army veteran chris marvin writes, "this veterans day on behalf of my fellow afghanistan and iraq veterans, i say to the country, there's no need to thank us. take a minute to talk to us, ask about where we serve, learn about what we did in the military and learn about our lives." and joining me is black hawk helicopter pilot, managing editor at got your six. chris, i like the piece you wrote in the "washington post." why did you write it? >> for a long time after i came back from afghanistan, people would say thank you for your service.
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i didn't know what to say. you say thank you back, which is kind of weird, or you say, oh, it was no problem. >> which is also weird. >> also strange. at some point, a mentor of mine said, just say what your mother taught you to say, which is you're welcome. when someone says thank you, you say you're welcome. when i started saying you're welcome, it made me feel a little bit better about knowing what to say, but i got a strange reaction from people. they were just a little bit surprised that i would be willing to say you're welcome to their thank you for their service. i'm not exactly sure what they expected, but then i was worried about saying you're welcome, right. so, i started to think about what maybe thank you for your service means to americans. >> and what does it mean? >> i think there's a lot of americans who genuinely mean thank you for your service. they're patriotic, they're civically engaged, they're part of an informed electorate and understand what it means to serve and sacrifice. i think there's a generation of veterans that want nothing more than to hear thank you for your service. maybe they were drafted or never
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thanked in the first place. the post-9/11 generation has been an all-volunteer force for the durations of these wars, fought the longest war in the history of our country, and we've been thanked over and over and over again, and we appreciate that, but we want someone to ask us more. >> like what? >> ask us where we went, ask us what we did, ask us how the food was, ask us how the temperature was. i think most importantly for veterans, ask us what's next in our lives. >> right. >> so, our lives as civically engaged individuals, as those predisposed for service, those who volunteered for military service, those lives don't end when we take off our uniforms. so, while we are grateful for every thank you we get, we just need to hear something else after that that says we still want you, we still need you and we think that what you have here in your civilian clothes is just as important, if not more important, than what you did in your uniform. >> and also that you are a
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person, i see you, the person, the individual living, breathing person in front of me who's going to have to get up and go to a job tomorrow and not some type that's in my head that i apply this phrase to. >> and i think that's a larger problem. it's sort of, it's the civilian military divide, right? there's a lot of misunderstandings, misconceptions. as you mentioned in the opening, we talk a lot about some of the detriments, right? those affect a proportionately small group of post-9/11 veterans, and everyone's got an issue. we need to deal with those and work on them, but what about all of those leaders -- >> huge cohort. >> the problem-solvers who are coming home, having been trained by the taxpayer dollar, right? let's recoup that investment. >> i want to talk about that divide and the fact that we have this. and this is just a fact of where folks are coming to that are volunteering for service, in terms of parts of the country, and also the change of what it is to be part of this cohort when you're coming back in 2002 or 2013, what's changed in that period of time. we'll be right back with two more veterans. stay with us. i love that just washed freshness,
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we're back. i'm here with retired u.s. army officer chris martin. joining me is sergeant rebecca hilbrilla and doug herbert. and demos served in the u.s. army in korea as a sergeant. rebecca, you, if i'm not mistaken, you were actually working on a service hotline for folks that had come back from serving. >> correct. i moved up here in 2011 and worked to manage the help line for women veterans who dealt mostly with issues around sexual violence in the military, but we covered kind of the broad spectrum of issues that women veterans in general face when they return. >> and is there, do you think, a -- what is the trajectory in terms of how the kind of institutional landscape has
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changed from, say, 2002 to now for folks that are returning. we have now had almost an entire generation, a cohort of people coming back, and i think in 2002, there was nothing there. of course, there was the vfw and all these organizations forged in earlier times. there's now an entire new kind of institutional landscape. >> there is, but it really kind of still depends on where you are. california, new york, some of your larger metropolitan areas have some really great services available for women veterans, but some of the other places, even places that are heavily populated by women veterans still are lacking a lot of services. for instance, i'm from south carolina originally, and housing for homeless women veterans in the state is still really hard to find as opposed to here in the city. it's still very challenging, especially if you're a woman veteran with children. however, usually if you know the right people, you can get those resources for those individuals. sometimes, again, it can still be tough to do, but it really depends on location a lot of times. >> bob, as someone who came of age in the draft years, how do
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you sort of understand the kind of, like, shift between that, those years and the culture we have now, which is the all-volunteer force, and the all-volunteer force that has been employed in active combat for, you know, 13 years? >> it's a big difference. in those years, which was part of the early post world war ii decades, nearly every family knew someone who had served in the military. now that is not the case. most of the time, if you travel the country, if you ask someone, do you know someone who's in the armed forces, they'll say no. so, what we've done -- >> although that depends a lot regionally, right? there are certain regions of the country -- >> no, but i'm talking about collectively, percentagewise in the american population, most people do not know someone who's served in the military. so, what happens is, we've created essentially a warrior class, and it is, as you pointed out, a very small percentage of the population. so, even with these wars they've
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been serving, three, four, five tours in the combat zone, this warrior class comes out of the service. the country is not prepared to reintegrate them into society and not much interested in their problems, to tell you the truth, so we are turning the warrior class into another underclass in this society and i think it's shameful. >> do you think that's true? >> i think the civilian-military divide absolutely exists, and i think there's really two areas of thought on it right now. one is veterans need our pity and they need our charity. and the other is, veterans who volunteer to serve and have, you know, borne the burdens of war are better for it. they are more experienced, they are stronger and they will respond to a challenge, and we need to challenge them. and i think today, if we focus on the ones who are, and we try to change this narrative so that all americans are starting to see that a veteran can come home
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to my neighborhood, my workplace, my church or my school and make it a better place, then we'll start to erode that idea of a segregation of veterans. >> can i suggest a third way of looking at it, right? which is that these are our fellow citizens who we have a deep, abiding, social connection to as we are bound in the same social contract and have taken on the specific duty in service of that social contract, but they're coming back, like we don't have full employment. we should have jobs for people, not just veterans, other people, too, but veterans are part of that contract we have. food stamps and health care, all these things that what ends up happening is on veterans day, we point these elements out, and i think you're right, it ends up being this way of talking about this as a specific problem, as opposed to a broader problem, which is we are bound to each other, right? and that's kind of thing that like voluntary for service exclaims almost louder than anything, and we have a duty to each other that goes above and beyond just our duty to veterans. we have a duty to citizens. >> right. >> i mean, we don't house a
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homeless veteran or give him a meal or a veteran some food because he's a veteran. it's because he's homeless. everybody deserves a home and they're people, right? so, i think it's about looking at the positives they get from military service. >> yet, there are specific issues. >> absolutely. >> specific kinds of isolation. >> after i got back and got out, i basically couch-hopped for two years and was unemployed and did not get a job until i moved up here in 2011. so, and i -- >> what was your feeling during that period of time? >> it's very -- it's very -- your self-esteem takes a huge hit. you kind of like, you know, i had a bachelors degree and i served in the army and i was in the bomb squad, for crying out loud, you know? like, i have all of these skills -- >> you know what your capabilities are. >> yes, i knew exactly what my capabilities are, and i couldn't get a job at mcdonald's. so, that's very challenging to kind of overcome that. and honestly, things were really looking up for me when i was like, hey, i have this job, i can start making forward progress, i can start helping other people. i kind of have a purpose for my life now.
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>> chris, we have an obligation to these veterans. we send them off to fight our wars. when they come back, they need educational services, they need housing and they need employment. and we need to make a special effort to meet their needs, and as a society, we're not doing that. >> do you think that there is something we could be doing that we're not that isn't just, we'll clear up the back log or things like that? obviously, we could have full employment, we could have a robust, growing economy that was just hiring people willy-nilly, which to me is like the thing that cures everything, but is there something? >> most of the things you talk about are either government-based or maybe non-profit organization based, even private sector based, and what you see especially on a day like veterans day is the individual american is left with this, what do i do? what do i do? what do i say? and they end up saying thank you for your service, which is great. i think sometimes it's as simple as having a conversation with a veteran. right? we have this civilian-military divide, we have people that don't understand what it's like


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