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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  September 22, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" is provided the washington navy yard shootings. more questions than answers. man get a clearance for a security contractor?
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>> obama and the great government shutdown debate. >> i will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund obamacare. >> we cannot let the government shutdown. we cannot be, cause's or general custer. tells fox news that we did not use any chemical weapons. a former house majority leader speaks. >> he was overwhelmed. he was gratified. >> a little after 8:00 a.m. monday morning, aaron alexis, a civilian contractor working on a
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computer project entered building 197 of the washington navy yard with a valid pass. he was carrying a bag in which he held a shotgun, which he had purchased legally in virginia. he walked into the bathroom on the fourth floor, walked out, and began shooting. before police could take him out, he killed 12 people. he has been four years in the navy reserve and had a pattern of insubordination, absence of leave, and two days in jail after a bar fight. nevertheless, the navy gave him an honorable discharge and was given security clearance to work on a half-dozen military bases, despite having been involved in shooting incidents in fort worth, texas, and seattle, walks and 10. just last month he told police that he had heard voices. he had complained of insomnia. as defense secretary chuck hagel says, there are obvious red
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flags there, but nobody saw them. >> why they did not get picked up, why they were not incorporated into the process, those are all legitimate questions that we will be dealing with. we just heard senator dick durbin ask how someone with aaron alexis'background could end up with a secret clearance. do you have an answer to that? >> know, there are too many contractors. this is a function of nine/11. we have created this universe of contractors. there is a deeper thing here. as we live anywhere in the permissive society where people have rights. they have a lot of rights. they are lawyered up. thes hard to put them in hospital, hard-to-find them, do anything to them. this is mostly a good name, years of protecting individual rights, but the ugly consequence are these freakish actions where
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somebody who should have been incarcerated or put in the hospital had the freedom taken away long time ago, was allowed to roam free. >> i cover the supreme court and i read and have for decades all of these cases involving usually people, who when they are relatively young in their late teens, early 20s, at the latest early 30s, are clearly psychotic in some way. nobody seems to you either have the will, or if their parents have the will, they cannot eat to send -- seem to get them help . we are a big country. we do not have laws that adequately deal with this. we do not have facilities that adequately deal with this. it has real consequences for the people who are the victims and the person who perpetrated this is also a victim in his own way. militarye the biggest
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in the world, we should not feel helpless here. >> we can also look at the way in which we go about doing things. people talk about him having secret clearance. a background investigation. what background investigation? , and oncked records that basis, they gave him clearance. the fact of the matter is, this individual may have had run-ins with the law, but how many convictions did he have? convictions is what shows up on the records. not arrests, not run-ins with the law, shooting a bullet through the floor. ofurning to this business getting people over to a private company. we are putting national security on the basis of a profit and loss state and that is a problem we have to look into. guy with a dramatic history of hallucinations, paranoid ideas, and dick durbin is an example of what everyone
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in this town is saying. how could a guy who is mentally ill get a gun, clearance, how could he get into the navy yard? all important questions but secondary. the real question is, here is a guy who is mentally ill. how could he not have been treated? how could he not have been cared for? the answer is exactly as evan and nina said. this is an excess of concern for civil liberties to the point that we let these people die with their rights on, and sometimes tragically, rarely but tragically, take a dozen innocents with them. this happened in tucson with jerod loeffler. i think his mother said that he was clearly psychotic. she could not do anything or was told we cannot do anything to pick him up to treat him or incarcerate him. until he does something. so you have to kill until you
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are treated. that is the tragedy at the root of this. >> this is my swiss army knife. i cannot walk into a government building with this. how did this guy get a shotgun onto the navy yard, a major military facility? that is, he had a past that allowed him in. >> don't they have metal detectors? >> we cannot limit the inquiry two things we have just talked about. consider the absurdity of this. a few days ago he goes into a gun shop in virginia across the bridge and he wants to buy a pistol. allow youw will not to sell a handgun because you are out of state, but we can sell you a shotgun. so he has a shotgun. happy days. isn't that absurd? nots i understand, you do
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need a secret security clearance to have access to the naval base. there are 16,000 people to go in there every day. that is why they do not have metal detectors. they have not figured out how they could clear that many people. anhow does the navy give honorable discharge to a guy with his record of insubordination, absence of leave, so or? >> i thought bar fights were a service of metal. >> we do not want to be too punitive in the society. we are a forgiving and permissive society. there are good reasons for that. that is progress in a lot of ways, but it produces these tragic one offs. >> that is not permissiveness. you see that in other agencies as well. get rid of our problem. >> that is where i wanted to go. >> that is what happened with the guy who shot -- major hasan.
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he was here at walter reed. he was clearly beyond weird. there were people asking if he was going to be a terrorist long before this happened. he was passed along because who wants to be accused of being prejudiced against a muslim? you get it in schools where kids are promoted, should not be, but why do you want to run into a problem? here, the guy was a problem. it could have been an element of compassion. you do not want to give him a dishonorable discharge, because that rex has life. i will pass them on, somebody else deals with it. >> targeting obamacare, again. >> i cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it cannot get 100% of it once. >> we have a lot of divergent
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opinions in the caucus. the key to any leadership job is to listen. >> there is house speaker boehner responding to the suggestion that his tale is being wagged by the conservatives in his caucus who would rather shut down the government then see the affordable care act kick in next month. why not shut down to get what you want? >> this is the, causey crew. i have been saying this for three months. who is rational in this on the republican side knows this is insane. if you are going to shut down the government, you have to pick an issue in which an enormous national consensus is with you, 80%. then the other guy looks unreasonable. but on this issue, it is about , but even of them, only half of them want to defund. though this is a quarter of a population.
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i understand it is a principle, and i respect that, but you can have a principle and still have a mind. the mind says it will not going -- it will not work on this. the unions are up in arms about obamacare. why not let it take effect and owve the natural constituencies rather than doing it with this kind of extraordinary act, which is a block that you cannot really deliver on. >> senator ted cruz says he would do everything necessary, possible topel -- defund obamacare. that includes a filibuster and anything else. >> he also says he is probably not going to succeed. you are a parent and you get sick of your kids and you say, go play in heavy traffic. heave a feeling this is what is doing. he is saying to those people, go play in traffic for a week and
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then the grunts will come in and save your life. >> there is a messianic fervor to this. i do not understand witchcraft and what they are doing. >--ear in this case is that will the president hold firm to this? will he veto any bill that comes to him that keeps obamacare? will he hold firm on the debt ceiling? if so, he prevails. if he waffles or engages in any kind of negotiations with the crazies, he will lose. >> the president has been on the back of the curve with syria, but this looks like will help him. >> absolutely. obama is a lucky guy in a way.
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he has been rescued by russians, republicans, now even the iranian seem to be on his side. the real point here is the threat of closing the government makes him look good and then the debt, but raising the ceiling is like carbon monoxide. it is actually more serious. it could put the country back into recession. >> you heard obama say this is unprecedented in american history that any party would attach stuff on the debt ceiling . post" looked at that and gave it the ultimate in pinocchio's. it started with ted kennedy, , 19 73, attaching a campaign finance reform to the debt ceiling. the post says there were 25
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germanees of non- amendments attached and obama has the chutzpah to say never in the history of the species has this ever occurred. is, theifference condition now, if you do not do these things, if you do not do what we want, we will not raise the debt ceiling. in 1973.the hill it was always understood that at the end of the day, you would do something with the date -- debt ceiling. politically there was cover. days of debate. the demand was campaign finance reform. in 1982, 1400 amendments. it took five weeks to debate. >> the understanding was at the end of the day the debt ceiling would be raised. in this case, the crazies are saying, let's let the whole house come down. >> all you need is a bunch of
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democrats in the house that support the non-shutdown of the government and it does not happen. it is not as if -- the small numbers of the ones in control. >> for more on the history of this, google debt ceiling. a word on chemical weapons and what to do about syria. >> the environmental, chemical, and medical samples that the investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface to surface rockets used in this attack contain the nerve agent sarin. >> u.n. secretary of state kerry. then he moved says the most significant use of chemical weapons against civilian since saddam hussein use them in 1988. fox news had a long interview with president assad of syria this week which would leave the casual listener to conclude that
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aside and the interviewers were talking about two different countries. chemical weapons? we did not use any chemical weapons. the story is unrealistic. however, he says he is fully committed to rid his country of the chemical weapons he said he never used. like to see him on the couch with charles krauthammer and he could explain this to us better. is he delusional or just an abject liar? you the way, he is not to be believed. >> he is also an md himself. >> he is an eye doctor but he cannot see. week,his column this david points out that russian cooperation in ridding syria with chemical weapons has been a goal of u.s. policy for t beauvue road years. finally working thanks to the promise of military force. the u.n. is on board.
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>> the press is up on fire about how terrible and weak obama is. actually, he is getting an outcome that is pretty good. it has the russians involved to disarm syria, putting the attacks. our threat of force is a big factor. come on, everybody. it is not pretty watching the way the process works, but the result is not bad. >> you are arguing he is lucky? >> sometimes you make your luck. outcomes,u talk about the only one that matters is are we going to rid him of chemical weapons? the answer is absolutely no. there is not a chance in hell of this happening. it prevents a u.s. attack, yes, it will keep us there indefinitely, it allows a man who a month ago was a war
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criminal who was a pariah to now stand. putin defended him to be the arbiters of the middle east. it was not dismantle his weapons. even putin said we probably will not get them all. qaddafi, who wanted to rid his weapons and allowed inspections, it took him eight years. after he was driven out of office and killed, we discovered a bunker that he had in the vehicle with tons of chemical weapons. do you imagine us on will not retain an arsenal? honestly? not a chance in hell that will happen. this is a farce. the goal that everyone signed onto i administration, assad must go. assad is not going anywhere. fact, he will be locked in because the russians will protect him. >> i think it is a reasonable outcome so far. it is ugly and may not be what
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we would like to see in the long run. i do want to point out, however, that we said we would arm the moderate syrian forces. we have not really done that yet. the suite, al qaeda forces eight their breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a couple of big battles. --we are not capable careful, it will be an al qaeda outpost. >> the russians have an interest in continuing the weapons. if al qaeda gets them, they will make their way to the chechens. russia has a national security interest in containing that. became a means of keeping assad in power. the russians so to zero interest in taking away weapons that assad had. in fact, the russians were the ones that gave them the precursors to all of those chemicals and all of the other bombs and incendiaries. killhas enabled him to 100,000.
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what was the objective of the russians? and to a side in power win the civil war. this is what he has achieved. >> the new president of iran is in the washington post friday morning with a column next to yours in which he promises a kinder, gentler iran. for bombs, only for power. he might be willing to meet with the president. >> he will meet with everyone you want until six months or a year when he ran becomes nuclear, and then there will be no need to talk. the guy announces at the beginning we are not pursuing nukes. so he starts with a gigantic lie. you read it,d if clearly written by a western phd, who knows the language of diplomacy, says foreign affairs is not a zero-sum game. we have to work and cooperation. if that is the case, perhaps
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iran will announce a change in the policy in which it says israel is a cancer in the region, has to be eradicated and its policy is to destroy a member state of the u.n. if politics is not a zero-sum game, perhaps air and onto make a statement that would explain to the israelis that their existence is not in jeopardy as a result of what you ran wants. it is a ruse and fraud to get extra time. >> i do not think charles is buying the new president of iran's argument. the president had a conversation with ann curry, asking about the comment that ahmadinejad made about israel. and endorsetep up
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the position but he did not refute it either. he is dancing around the top issues. charles may be right. at the end of the day, it will be the same iran we have been dealing with. there is also the argument that sanctions are starting to bite. he ran does feel the impact of those sanctions. there is only one way really to do this. that is to play this out and see if they are serious. we are not going to get everything we want from them. we want them to not go forward with their nuclear weapons and to have much more verification, in the words of ronald reagan, trust but verify. getwe are not going to everything we want on israel. everything with hezbollah. this will be a negotiation. either it works or it does not. there is no way to know in advance other than to play it out. >> we can avoid making your and
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the enemy, that would be a good thing. guard is badnary news. they are certainly a threat to israel. aer the long run, they are big middle-class country that is rich and does not really hate america. if we can take small steps towards neutralizing them to make them less our flow, -- >> how do you keep them from getting a bomb? >> i am not entirely confident about this, but you just keep talking to them. stop making you ran the enemy. iran declared itself an enemy of the united states when the mullahs came into power. they are in control. >> they may not be forever. between now and eternity, there is life in between when they are killing people. we have made overtures to your ran, starting with the iran- contra.
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this was the reagan days. >> this is not the same time. >> your assumption that we have to give it a chance and see if iran is serious, it assumes that we have not negotiated at all. >> that was true at the end of the vietnam war. thatis is the same iran is supporting hezbollah and syria. >> at the end of the vietnam war, we negotiated that. every negotiation comes with someone that initially you did not trust. >> tom delay, vindicated. a veryve been doing this long time and this is as gratifying a win on both a personal and professional level as i think i have ever had. case, ass a lyrical a political prosecution is obscene in 30 years. attorneyas tom delay's
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announcing that a jury had tossed out his conviction on money-laundering charges. >> i do not know the case well enough. the prosecutor say they will appeal. for delay, it is a big degree -- victory. the truth is he had adenomas influence in washington. didshered in an era -- they not call him the hammer for nothing. >> this was about funneling money to help republicans take control of the texas house, thereby enabling them to pass congressional redistricting plans to port more republicans in congress. it seems from the presentation that was made to the jury, that he did in fact do those things and was guilty of them. i am not familiar with the opinion from the appeals court so i do not know exactly what they overturned. >> insufficient evidence of criminal activity.
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they are going to appeal. >> in any case, he has avoided three years in prison. >> he deserves a bad place in history for bringing on a temper of recrimination, money, power, vindictiveness, that lives on today. >> i love the standard of justice on the panel. he was innocent but should have been guilty. >> i did not say that. >> his reputation and all of that. justice deferred is justice denied. last word. thank you. see you next week.
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