tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 22, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
don't bring -- it's always going to suffer. >> horror movies have moved on since 1982. this movie is still mired in 1982. people won't care that much. >> i didn't see "pitch perfect 2." but i saw "pitch perfect 2" on a plane. what a good movie. >> thanks for joining us. have a great weekend. that is "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts now with steve kornacki at the helm. good evening. rachel is off tonight, this afternoon. this is what every political journalist in america was doing. they were looking at this screen, the screen you're looking at right there on the state department's official website. and they were waiting and they were waiting some more because they posted the first batch of hillary clinton's e-mails. every single member of the political press went there at
the same time and the website had a little trouble loading. so they had to wait for a long time. but eventually there they were. 296 e-mails, 850 pages. all the e-mails that had been handed over to the congressional committee investigating the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi libya. and everyone dug in to see what they could find. and if anyone was hoping to find some explosive new piece of information, well on that front, they were probably disappointed. but that is not to say that there was nothing interesting in these e-mails. we see for instance some of the e-mail traffic that took place the night of the benghazi attack. this after secretary clinton was informed of the death of the u.s. ambassador, chris stephens and others. secretary conferred about whether to -- about his death. quote, we recovered both bodies overnight. there are the e-mails from long time clinton confidentant sydney
blumenthal. the night after the attack he wrote clinton saying the attacks grew out of an angry protest over an internet video. but the following day, after he sent that e-mail blumenthal e-mailed that, in fact the attack had been premeditated and only used the protests for cover. this is an analysis that has since come to be accepted as closer to the truth. then there are other redactions. some of them are puzzling. for instance here is a portion of a public speech gave in september 2012. as you can see, that entire speech has been redacted. now, you can pop over to the senator's website. you can actually see her delivering the speech through their website. but the redaction is getting the most attention today is this one. it was made today by the fbi which decided that these five lines containing they say, 23 words are now to be considered classified. because all of this e-mail
traffic is from hillary clinton's private e-mail on her private e-mail server that has set off some alarm bells for some people. at a campaign event today, andrea mitchell got something that is a rare opportunity these days. she got a chance to ask hillary clinton a question. >> i'm aware that the fbi has asked that a portion of one e-mail be held back. that happens in the process of freedom of information act responses. but that doesn't change the fact that all of the information in the e-mails was handled appropriately. >> but it was a private server though. do you have some concern that it was on a private server, though? >> no. >> hillary clinton saying she is not concerned.. but should she be? we're going to talk about the politics of all this in just a moment. but first, joining us now is "new york times" reporter michael schmidt whose paper obtained and reviewed some of these documents before they were
released today. let me start with what you see is the headline this looks like it's going to be the first of a series of rolling releases of clinton e-mails by the state department. what, to you, is the big headline that we've learned from all of this? >> as you pointed out, the benghazi e-mail two days after sid blumenthal is giving his intelligent account to the secretary of state is significant because it contradicts what the white house was saying at the time. the white house was saying it wasn't a preplanned attack and such. at the end of the day, i'm not sure where that's going to go. she also had what is called sensitive and unclassified information on the account. this included the whereabouts of stephens in 2011 when the security in eastern benghazi and benghazi in eastern libya was deteriorated. she had some other very sensitive stuff of conversations the president was having with foreign leaders. so indeed there was not
classified stuff. there was a little bit, i guess as we learned today from the fbi, that there was. but there was stuff that was important. and if anyone if any foreign government or anyone was on that server, they would have seen it. >> let me ask you about this. i'm having trouble understanding what the sort of standard is here, what the procedure is for redactions. we gave you -- there's that puzzling case here of the speech that's suddenly redacted, a speech you can go look at right now if you want to. buts there's this whole issue of sydney blumenthal. so in your reporting, you had sydney blumenthal's name on them. in these releases today from the state department sydney blumenthal's name redacted. we saw your reporting and said that must be sydney blumenthal. the but the state department said no we consider that redacted. >> the funny thing is what you can do the ones that we have that aren't redacted you can kind of line them up. there's the stuff like the head of the national counterterrorism center was e-mailing with cheryl mills, one of hillary clinton's
dppt deputies. his name is redacted in one of the e-mails. why would the name of a public official have to be redacted? why, as you were pointing out on the speeches would that have to be redacted? it doesn't make any sense. and the state department not only didn't do a good job of rolling these things out, it was difficult to access them on the website. but they didn't really explain all of these things either. they just kind of dumped them. >> so now you said just a minute ago, some of the information in these e-mails that hillary clinton is sending from her private server were at the time she sent them considered sensitive, but not classified. but if you listen to a lot of republicans today, they are saying that the big screaming headline from all of this is that hillary clinton was passing on classified information through her private e-mail server. can you explain exactly why they would say that? and is that true? >> well i'm not -- i'm not sure about the passing on. what she was doing, she was taking these intelligence
reports from sydney blumenthal things that he was developing on his own, things that he had a direct pipeline to the secretary of state. she was sending them on to her close foreign policy adviser and saying get this around. and on that benghazi account of what happened she sent it to him and said get this around asap. on one occasion she even wanted information passed on to the white house about blumenthal was sending her about a possible way mitt romney and the republicans could attack obama. that's kind of funny because what the obama white house didn't want they didn't want blumenthal at the state department but in the end, he was passing on advice to them. >> it's an sxloes explosive charge, if it's true this idea that there is classified information contained in these meals from her private server. it's only if i'm understanding this right, it's only after the fact being deemed classified. >> correct. it was just in the past 24 hours that the fbi made this information classified. what i was told is that for some
reason, it wasn't made classified back in 2012. it really should have been. the person i spoke to said. but it wasn't. but as the fbi got a chance to take a look at these e-mails again to make sure there was nothing on there that was sensitive or classified, they saw this they realized it should have been classified. they classified it and then they had it redacted. >> michael schmidt from the "new york times," he appreciate you taking the time tonight. thank you. so we've been talking about the substance of hillary clinton's e-mails, what was released today, what was in them what isn't, why it's in there. but what about they also these e-mails and how they're being used, how they're being used politically. these are things that can be very, very different especially in the court of public opinion. we mentioned this just a minute ago, that one e-mail in which five lines were classified today by the fbi, and this headline sounds very troubling, at least at first glance.
clinton got now classified benghazi info on private e-mail. but that one word there, that word "now" is key because that information was not classified when hillary clinton as secretary of state received it. but it is very easy to drop in that tiny word which is just what house speaker john boehner did today, blasting out this image on twitter, quote, she had classified info about benghazi on her private e-mail. snooert cornan also sweeting about it saying quote, what's clear is that hillary clinton consistently played fast and loose with the rules in the interest of her own political gain. every new revelation is a constant reminder that hillary clinton can't be trusted. even beyond the specific accusation around chas phied information, conservatives and republicans are clearly champing at the bit to use these e-mails in some politically assailant
wait. marie hart took some time to note the visitors. just to remind people we have consistently engaged with and been responsive to the select committee since the select committee's formation less than a year ago, the department has provided seven breathings. witnesses at each of the committee's three hearings 21 witness interviews since february and reside over 45,000 pages of documents to the committee, as well. now that the -- is filled out, including with two fox reporters, i'm happening to start the briefing. >> and sure enough later in the day, there was fox news with its story slamming hillary clinton. internal e-mails show clinton got internal e-mail on planned benghazi hit. so conservatives are excited about this e-mail. but is there political hay to be made from them? joining us now from the north
end of the -- i'm just curious, when we look at these statements coming out from john boehner, from john corbin i wonder who is their audience for this? is this playing to their base to sort of get their base riled up stoked up a bit? do they believe there's an opening with undecided voters with swing voters to even undermine hillary clinton among democrats? who are they looking at and saying, this is going to matter to them? >> i think it's a combination of those two things steve. i think first of all, benghazi as an issue with the republican base, it lights them up. that's why you hear republicans talking about this so much so often. you listen to lindsey graham talking about benghazi it really hits home with them. but i also think particularly that statement from ryan's previous hits on the overall idea that the clintons play fast and loose with the rules is what he said in a way that's not -- you know they hold
themselves to a different standard than they would hold other americans. and i think that particular idea is the one that could ultimately undermine hillary clinton over the course of the next year and a half as she campaigns for president. you know, i think that they have this fine line to walk because, at a certain point, it does turn off independents would say, you know what? you're just beating up on hillary clinton because that's what you like to do. but i think there is this -- you know people remember the late '90s when they weren't really sure what they were getting with the clintons and i think there is some resistance to going ba to that. and if republicans can sell it that way, it might hurt her. >> that's interesting that you say that. on the literal issue of e-mails, this whole e-mail story, this was a poll from a few months ago, i think this is from march saying 17% of people, a very small number say they were following this closely. there was an ap poll that said 20% were paying close attention. not a lot of people people close
attention. on the other hand, there was a poll from last month that asked the question, do you think hillary clinton is honest and trustworthy? look at that. 54% saying no. casey, i wonder how you interpret that number. obviously, on the surface, that is a bad number for any politician. i guess sort to have clinton crowd would say, look that number was just as high for bill clinton and he got re-elected in 1996. >> well, that is the question. can you be considered untrustworthy and still be somebody who people want to see in the white house? and i think, steve, we also have to take a step back and remember that while i do think, as we were discussing that that is a risk tease built into this for her. it's those numbers drive far enough up it becomes a defining character issue. it certainly could hurt her. but she still has to come up against an opponent who is capable of beating her. and i think we're a long way from this republican field showing the kind of strength that regardless at this point of how high that untrustworthy number goes you can take her on
legitimately. you pay as close attention to this as i do and we're seeing a lot of scrambling around and all of these candidates struggling to become essentially big enough to stand up to her. and i think they're going to have to prove that before that polling gets to be the main question. >> i wonder how her campaign is thinking about this too. the issue of the e-mails, for instance, the issue of the e-mails, the issue of dealing with this benghazi committee in the house, but also the issue of dealing with the press, the fact that she did take time today, five, ten minutes, i think. but for her, let's face it that's a lot of time in these last few months. to take questions from the press up there in new hampshire, that's a significant departure of what she's been doing. do we read anything boo that about her campaign looking at the approach to the media any differently or do they go back to sort of silence for the next month now? >> it is certainly a significant increase in the number of questions we heard hillary clinton take since she did announce that she was running. look, i think they clearly have made some major adjustments in their strategy from 2008. you just look at the kinds of
people they've hired, many of who have good relationships with the press. you look at how they handled the rollout of that schweitzer book. they had that detailed response. i think you're getting an adjusted response as to whether or not she takes questions. it was becoming very quickly a talking point on the republican side. and it was something that they were all using to define themselves in opposition to her. and most notably, jeb bush who is telling donors this behind closed doors that him taking questions from the press being accessible to voters is a contrast with hillary that people ultimately will see. and i think it plays into that wider naif nair of of this idea that they are keeping secrets. i don't know that this is necessarily about the media. oftentimes reporters like to make things about reporters. i think it might also be about her opponents.
as you point out, it's definitely a shift. >> i'll make a prediction. you'll still be hearing that line from republicans tomorrow and a week from mow or a month from now. anyway casey hunt on the north lawn of the white house thank you for taking the time with us. appreciate it. >> thanks steve. and much more ahead tonight, including a 2012 republican front-runner crying foul over the fox news plan to limit the number of candidates who get to debate. and report from ireland has voters there decide whether that country should become the first in the world to vote to legalize gay marriage. stay with us. we also want clever thinking in a tight spot. anyone offer hands-free in and out park assist? lincoln mkc. bra-vo. it's the final days of the lincoln luxury uncovered event. lease mkc for $329 a month. and for a limited time competitive owners and lessees get one-thousand dollars bonus cash.
we have quite a bit still ahead tonight. there is a new development in the fight for the 2016 republican presidential nomination, a development that could have a big impact on who gets to debate and who becomes the nominee. also today, some pretty stunning images out of california in the wake of that disastrous oil spill out there. plus, a lot of people flew to
ireland today and not because it's tourist season. we've got a report from dublin in just a minute and new questions for the guy who may soon be leading u.s. armed forces all around the world. lots to get to tonight. be right back. this is good, mom. "good"? (chuckles) it's delicious! and this new kibble blend is so healthy. thank you. no, nancy, thank you. kibbles 'n bits. because every bit matters. the technology changes the design evolves the engineering advances. but the passion to drive a mercedes-benz is something that is common... to every generation of enthusiast. the 2015 dream machines, from mercedes-benz.
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yes on this referendum. as is the case with any election turnout is key, especially in a country known as being historically conservative. 80% of the population identify themselves as catholic. we can tell you as it turned out does appear to be through the roof. multiple sources telling nbc news more people voted in this referendum than in any other referendum in the last three decades. in fact, this could be the largest turnout in history. in the last few weeks alone, more than 60,000 people have registered to vote. and what is probably most encouraging is one of the groups that seems to be turning out in big numbers is young voters. young voters were noted across the country with queues reaching outside the door at several polling stations during rush hour period. voting is only allowed in ireland so people travel from around the world to make their
voices heard. this week they returned home in droves to cast their ballots in person. like many others these people traveled by boat from the uk. this woman, she returned home to ireland from sweden. not to be outdone, we have another voter from abu dhabi. and this gentleman who came more than 10,000 miles to vote came from australia. on social media, people are tweeting about their return from san francisco, to germany, from thailand, even can ya all to be part of history in a country where just two decades ago, homosexuality was a crime. now we'll wait to see if history has been made. we should know in just a few hours. joining us now, chief correspondent in ireland, he joins us by skype. port thank you for taking some time. it's interesting to watch an election in ireland because it's different in the united states in that as soon as the polls close in the united states we get a wave of exit polls, we
have all sorts of numbers and projections. a little different in ireland. the polls are closed. we still don't know. what's the process? when do we find out? >> yeah. so the polls closed two hours ago in ireland. so we go to bed, we get up and there will be initial indications into the count. i think the key take away tonight is like you pointed out, the turnout was very high. 60%, which will be one of the highest in recent revolutionary dumbs and the key again is the turnout in urban areas, a big turnout among young people. in fact a prominent note no campaigner -- few members of parliament backing a no vote told reuters tonight the high turnout among young voters would tend to favor the yes vote. as it stands there's a pretty good chance ireland will be the first one to lead same-sex
marriage in a referendum. >> so 20 years ago in ireland, homosexuality was considered a crime. now it may be the case where voters are legalizing gay marriage. we talked about how quickly additives have changed on gay marriage. can you talk about that transformation in ireland, a very catholic country, certainly in the united states we look at and we think of it as a culturally conservative country. what's that transformation been like in terms of public opinion there? >> yeah. the change in society in ireland in the last 20 years, like you pointed out, homosexuality was going to criminalize in 1993 we had only voted by referendum to legalize divorce in 1995. one thing that's happened is the catholic church has had previous control over our -- most notably in the last decade or two, quite a number of abuse and stories
and just society has moved along quite quickly. and i think whatever the results tomorrow there's been quite a very mature very engaged -- in this issue which i think would have been xwokt ten years ago. >> and curious, all these people coming from around the world to vote in ireland, how did this work in terms of the rules? who is eligible who does not live in ireland right now to come in and vote? >> so you're eligible if you have only left the country within the last 18 months and you intend to return. and within that cohort it would be a number of young immigrants who left the country to find work. unemployment is still quite high in ireland following the financial crisis. so those people are eligible to vote. some people their names might not have fallen off the register which i think strictly speaking they shouldn't come home to vote, but their names are still there. as you see on social media today, people have come back
from all over the world. it's really taken over on twitter and it may have been an impact tomorrow. >> all right. we will wait and see what the result is how long with the rest of the world. thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. next some of the most beautiful beaches in the world dripping with sludge. and later, america's most profound holiday tradition. stay with us. trying to give them all the feeling of being at the stadium. the microsoft cloud gives us the scalability to communicate exactly the content that people want to see. it will help people connect to their passion of living real madrid. only nexium 24hr gives you nexium level protection for frequent heartburn all day and all night. try nexium 24hr, the #1 prescribed acid-blocking brand, and get all day, all night protection. nexium level protection.
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this video was shot last night at sea world in san diego, california. the workers in this video are examining and cleaning a baby sea lion covered in crude oil who was rescued this week in the waters off refugio state beach near santa barbara. today, staff members of the international bird rescue group helped clean six pelicans who were drenched in the stuff. officials have been reluctant to give the full number of animal numbers killed by the spill. but the pictures we've seen over the past few days show just how much of an impact tuesday's giant oil spill had on the wildlife off the coast of santa barbara candidate county. cleanup operations continue today along the beach. officials say they upped the number of workers to clean up the spill to around 700. they've been using shovels and plastic bags as well as 7,000 feet of boom to collect 10,000 gallons of oily water mix occur
temperature. officials today reiterating it could take weeks or months even to fully clean up the land around the ruptured pipeline and the beaches. as rachel noted on the show last night, a number of local volunteers have decided they don't want to wait that long and they've decided to take matters into their own hands. despite pleas from authorities to stay away from the toxic oil. but as both the unofficial and official cleanup operations are playing out, the other big thing that's going on is the investigation into how and why this happened in the first place. on that front, today, the california attorney general's office said that they are, quote, working koesly with state and federal partners on an investigation of this conduct to ensure we hold responsible parties accountable. meanwhile, the federal agencies in charge of overseeing the pipeline that caused this spill issued what they call a corrective action to the order of that pipeline. the pipeline told the country
that owns that pipeline that not only does the pipeline need to be drained immediately, they also need to physically send the ruptured section of the people pipe out for testing and conduct what sa called a root analysis of the spill and involve a third party outside to review the ults results of previous pipeline inspections. but as of tonight, it is still a mystery as to what caused the pipeline leak in the first place. local papers have been digging into the safety report of plains all american looking for clues. the "l.a. times" reporting that since 2006 the pipeline company has received 175 safety and maintenance infractions, including pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion and operator error. the company has had to pay over $23 million in property damage over the last nine years. last week the head of the santa barbara county energy division said that he was curious as to why the pipeline leak didn't trigger an automatic shutoff of the pipeline.
the system that is required for pipelines under the county jurisdiction. the reason that automatic shutdown didn't kick is because it didn't exist. the partnership line that ruptured and released an estimated 500,000 gallons of oil on tuesday is the only pipeline not equipped with an automatic shutoff system in santa barbara county. it has to be shut off manually which means someone has to notice something is wrong and shut off the pipeline themselves. the fact that the pipeline didn't have an automatic feature comes as a shock, quote, i just found out, he said. we had no regulatory authority. the story is not going away anytime soon. there will surely be more updates in the days and weeks to come as we learn more. until then, enjoy the view.
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to respond to that? >> no, but i will. i think the destructive vicious negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that. >> that is arguably the most memorable moment from the republican debate leading up to the 2012 election. and ditch natalie the most memorable moment from newt gingrich's presidential campaign. his debate performances in south carolina provided a gigantic bump for him. nbc's mayor's polling show gingrich surging to second behind mitt romney cutting the lead in half and helped to power him to a win in the first in the south south carolina primary.
when you're the front-runner national presidential debates are your chance to lay out your platform and to look presidential. but when you're a lesser known candidate, it's a big deal just to get your face seen by a large number of voters. the wider the field, the more important that exposure becomes. so in a year where the potential candidate spool currently hovering around 20 on the republican side you can understand why that real estate why a place on that debate stage is so important. because in all likelihood we are not going to see a stage with 15 or 20 candidates on it. so how do you decide? fox news this week announced its criteria for debate selection. they're going to use the top ten candidates according to an average of the most recent fox approved public opinion poll. a decision that has caused rick santorum to lash out saying if you're a united states senator and you're a governor if you're a woman who ran a fortune 500 company and you're run ago legitimate campaign for president, then you should have a right to be on stage with
everybody else. the idea that a national poll has any relationship to the viability of a candidate, ask rudy giuliani that ask phil graham that. strong words from rick santorum but he's right. he knows from experience. he was polling in the single digits before he broke through and won the iowa caucuses at the start of last cycle. sure the difference between first in the polls and fifth in the polls may be significant, but the difference between eighth place and 14th place in this current field is minuscule. right now, according to the last five polls at nbc news recognizes sanatorium falls outside of the top ten. he's even behind donald trump. let's take a look at the real politics average as an example. here sanatorium would be tenth at 2.3%. he's 0.1% behind rick perry for ninth place. 0.3% ahead of john kasich, who would be out under this criteria. after kasich it's carly fiorina, governor bobby indal, lindsey graham all tied at 1.3%.
all of them one point from getting into the debate, one point. that difference between being out and being in so inif a tess mall, all they would need is a one-point bump in a couple of fox approved polls and then they would get a seat at the table on that stage. that could lead to a lot of candidates desperately doing whatever they can to get that one-point bounce one. outrageous comment maybe about bombing iran or about saudi arabia or about become being a socialist. anything that could get them some attention. they would draw a lot of criticism on the one hand but also it could get them that 1% pound bounce they need to get on the debate stage. joining us now is robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post." robert, thank you for taking a few minutes with us tonight. let me ask you first about rick santorum's criticism here. depending on which polls you
throw in right now, sanatorium, maybe he would bybe in it or out of it. maybe he would be on that cut line for this crucial debate. is his criticism having any impact? is fox maybe getting cold feet about this criteria at all? >> it's fascinating to watch because the party wanted more control this time around. they wanted to make sure the debate weren't as sprawling of a process. but it may be just that. it could be a mess. sanatorium and other conservative contenders, if they're not going to find a way on to that official stage, look for a lot of these groups to try and invite the candidates to speak elsewhere. there's going to be pressure for top tier contenders to not participate. is it fair for someone who is right on the cuff to be left out? >> it's an interesting clem ma. i feel some sympathy for the organizers, whether it's fox or anybody else trying to put one of these things on. because the logistics of having 15 or 16 candidates on the debate stage and trying to have anything intelligible or coming out of it seems impossible.
so if it seems like there's 10 candidates that seem like the worst possible solution except for all the others. and there should be a lot of pressure on the media organizations who are hosting these debates because everyone is coming up with their own rules. previous the rnc chairman is not really having a firm hand when it comes to setting the terms of the debate. cnn could have two tiers, nbc could do three. no one really knows exactly how it's going unfold. >> so what happens, though if we're -- let's try to play this out. we're getting close to the first fox debate that is going to be in cleveland. a group of seven, eight candidates who are all as we say, the difference between being at 3% or 2% in the polls is the difference between getting in this debate and getting shut out. is that going to put sort of an incentive, a premium on doing something outlandish, something outrageous just to get attention and just to make sure you're on stage? >> it's going to be in a spectacle perhaps unlike anything we've ever seen.
the 2012 experience haunts the republican party. they want to move beyond it. but now, it's not just about getting to that first debate in chief cleveland, it's about sustaining your candidacy by making sure you're on stage. to do that these days you talk to every campaign, you have to find a way to go viral and you have to find a way to have that newt gingrich moment. >> that's the thing, you can see from newt gingrich, the potential. if you can get in the debate if you can have a moment like that you can zip up from 10% in the polls to winning south carolina. you can have that sort of incredible game. but let me ask you this. from the flip side so a name out there, you always say in the media, should we take him seriously, donald trump? i wonder if this criteria has been put forward for being in a debate, you have to file as a candidate, do the necessary work polling at x percent. do you think this could flush trump out, force his hand earlier than he wanted to show it? >> i've spoken with mr. trump several times over the last few weeks and he assures me that he's very close to getting in.
but if trump does formally get in he could self-finance. he says he may have an announcement at trump tower in new york city. if he gets in that makes it very difficult for somebody like jeb bush. some of you have a personality that is more low key and you're up there with ben carson donald trump, carly fiorina, even if you're full of money in your campaign and you're a high profile person you're not going to have the energy and the buzz. >> we'll await what rick santorum has to say partnership imagine he would have an interesting comment on that. robert costa, national political reporter for "the washington post," thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. ahead, how much a $35 million of your tax dollars can buy or in this case how little. please stay with us. be a morning person again, with aleve pm. esurance was born online. which means fewer costs, which saves money. their customer experience is virtually paperless which saves paper, which saves money. they have smart online tools so you only pay
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astonishing stories about we the u.s. taxpayers have built, that we physically created or bought or arranged to be procured for this war that are absolutely unneeded. that are in some cases worst than wasteful. for instance the african training center that melts when it rains. there's a fleet of airplanes we bought for afghanistan for $468 million and ended up shredding into scrap for 6 cents a pound. that's a loss of 99.93% on that investment. and there were the giant incinerators we installed on a u.s. base for $5 million that never incinerated anything because they never worked. so the base torched all its waste in an open air burn pit next to the incense raters. but one of the most expensive of all these was this marine headquarters in helmund
province. it's larger than a football field. it has elaborate state of the artwork spaces for 1500 people. it has a state of the art briefing theater and a military operations center that included stadium-style tiered seating. it cost $36 million to build and it has never, not once been used. look, you can see the plastic wrap is still on the chairs. what sets this boondoggle apart, what was particularly inexplicable about it was that the military said no to building it repeatedly. not one, not two, but three generals on the ground requested that the projects be canceled before construction had even begun. they said, please don't build this. we don't need it. by the time it's finished we'll be drawing down from afghanistan, anyway. in fact, construction didn't even begin until troops were about to start heading home from afghanistan. but even as the base emptied out, construction continued for two years until it was 98%
complete. and furnished. despite all those people saying no. so now it's sitting there vacant and ready for someone else to get presumably some new u.s. taxpayer contract to knock it down. it's never been used. now, on the one hand this is one story among many. on the other hand though there is this remarkable implication of the chain of command in this debacle that seems different about this story and it's made worse by the fact that the military, when they realized the special inspector general was likely to start sniffing around the giant fully furnished multi million dollar headquarters that had never been used the military did its own internal report to determine that everything was fine that there was nothing wrong in this process and that no one did anything wrong. when the special inspector general did indeed start poking around, the legal adviser to the forces in afghanistan encouraged officials to slow roll the request for information. now, how do we know this?
we know this because the legal adviser e-mailed his clooer colleague saying, quote, i wanted to slow roll these a bit more. whatever it is it has set this situation apart, the special inspector general who has been tenacious and undaunted in tracking this stuff down decide this is the one he's going to lose his mind over. for the first time he is recommending disciplinary action for high ranking officials, including the general who overruled his commanders and build the building anyway. the general who conducted the investigation that determined everything was fine and the legal adviser who interfered with the inspector general's investigation. the pentagon by the way, did not agree with those recommendations and declined to discipline anybody. but even beyond the magnitude of this screw-up that alone, that aggression from the inspector general is getting attention. and that means there two things to watch right now. first, this is getting attention from a senator who you do not want to mess with.
that is claire mckakle. this is what she is to say about these deliberations. this is one of the most outrageous deliberate and wasteful misuses of the taxpayer dollars in afghanistan we've ever seen. when it was clear this building wouldn't be used the army not only built it, anyway but failed to hold any officials accountable after all the facts came to light. so i'll now fully be expecting answers from the army. claire mccaskill is the top ranking democrat on the committee's permanent subinvestigations and she has a history of going after this stuff effectively. keep an eye on that. when claire gets into something, it usually doesn't end well for her adversaries. but the other thing to keep in mind is one of the three officers who the inspector general recommended be disciplined for all this the legal adviser who wanted to slow roll the investigation, that
colonel is the top legal adviser to the man that president obama has just put forward to be the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. and those confirmation hearings for general joseph dunford are expected to start next month. general dunford is the man who ordered that internal investigation that cleared the military of any wrongdoing. though to be clear, the inspector general does not suggest that dunford did anything wrong. so yes, this is another story among many of jaw dropping waste in america's war zones. bit has the potential to become a much larger political story and to trip up the confirmation hearings for the nominee to be the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. watch this 64,000 square foot empty space. then my nutrition heart health mix is for you. it's a wholesome blend of peanuts, pecans and other delicious nuts specially mixed for people with hearts. i said people with hearts. because hearts health is important.
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sits across the potomac river from a our neigh's capital. if you ever get a chance to say, it is worth spending some time there. you can visit president kennedy's grave. you can see the eternal flame there, visit the tomb of the unknown soldier and see the hourly changing of the guard or you can just walk among the many rows of graves. there are 270,000 -- in arlington for trip troops whose final resting place is this place. every year on the thursday before memorial day, a regiment of the old guard, they're called goes out and sets one flag in the ground by each and every one of those markers. it takes a thousand soldiers working four hours to finish that task. they call this job flags in. because of this oshg because of flags in family and friends who visit arlington this weekend for memorial day will find a visible, tangible sign that their loved ones are remembered by their country.
we're all making plans for memorial day it's kind of cool to think of this other planning that's being done on our behalf for the people at the center of the holiday. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back next week. i will see you just a few hours from now on my show "up." now as rachel would say, it's time for you to go to prison. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. msnbc takes you behind the walls of america's most notorious prisons. now, the scenes you've never seen, lockup. if perchbl relationships can get complicated on the outside, they can again ee more complicated behind bars. >> my mom gave me the best advice. everything that has happened in my life she told me that was going to happen. >> have you having