tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 30, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
getting some help there on the house floor. last night alan grayson made a pretty interesting comment. i've gotten a lot of e-mail on this today. there are a lot of lefties across the country who are saying it's about time somebody on the house floor stood up. do you agree with what he said? >> alan is always to the point, makes a lot of sense. i'm not surprised at all he did hit the nail on the head. >> he hit the nail on the head. i think he was trying to point out the republicans have nothing on the table. quickly, with the situation in the senate, might not have a public option, how much pressure is this going to be putting on you folks in the house to get this thing done? >> it's going to put a lot of pressure but we are up to it. the fact is we have well enough people to pass a public option. in fact, we don't have enough people to pass the bill unless it contains a public option. i feel very confident that that's what we're going to see. >> a more serious note, congressman, brett favre and the
vikings, next monday night against the packers. >> sweet revenge. >> good to see you. keith ellison, minnesota congressman with us. i asked you how are you feeling about the future of the public option? more confident, less confident, about the same? 53% of you say more confident. 23% of you say less confident. also 24% of you say, about the same. bottom line? 77% of us are feeling real good about heading in the right direction for change in this country. stay focused. stay motivated. continue to get after it. that's "the ed show." chris matthews and "hardball" starts right now on the place for politics, msnbc. see you tomorrow night. council of war. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. leading off tonight, in the war room.
president obama's top commander in afghanistan has said if we don't send more troops there we risk failure. today the president held his first big strategy session to weigh that request. what the ultimate goal of our afghanistan policy should be. the key people from the military, diplomatic and political corners of this administration were in the room including vice president biden, secretary of state hillary clinton, defense secretary robert gates, cia director panetta and chief of staff rahm emanuel. the most important questions they have to answer is how many troops can we send there, how long are they willing to stay there and what can they get done? republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia and democratic senator bob casey of pennsylvania will be here to give their answers to those big questions. republicans want revenge. they're demanding democratic congressman alan grayson of florida apologize to house minority leader john boehner for making these remarks on tuesday night. >> if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this.
die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. >> wow. republicans are trying to frame congressman grayson as the democratic counterpart to republican joe wilson who, as you remember, said to the president in joint session, "you lie." was grayson any more out of line than several republicans who have said democrats want to implement death panels? also, dick cheney is drawing fire from a group of retired generals and admirals who says he's scare mongering about the hazards of closing guantanamo and relocating those prisoners to american prisons. two top retired military leaders will be here to talk about their view of the former vice president. today, a new arizona law goes into effect that will allow people to carry concealed guns into bars. are guns and booze a smart mix? finally, secretary of state hillary clinton got her shot at being president today. of the u.n. security council. she's not letting anyone forget
how much she likes that title. more on that in the "hardball sideshow." let's start with the president in afghanistan. pat buchanan, msnbc political analyst. "newsweek's" howard fineman. let me go to you, pat. this is a big question. how many troops do we want to put in afghanistan? over 100,000? how long do we want to keep them there? what will be better if we stay there five years, say? will it be any better for us if we stay five or leave now? chris, that's the question barack obama is asking general mcchrystal even today. if i give you the 45,000 troops, how long will it take for them to pacify the country and get a government that can stand up and army that can stand up and control the country? i think those are hard questions to answer in the positive in the short term, chris. from what i'm hearing from chuck todd and others, it seems as though the president is tilting toward more an anti-al qaeda strategy. in other words, holding off on the troops, the add-on troops to basically control the cities and
protect the population and basically go in for a policy of going after al qaeda. >> let me go to howard on the same questions. how many troops, how long, and what will they get done before they leave? because eventually one fact is real. we eventually will come home and the afghanistanies will run their country. the afghans will. so what do we get done if we send a lot more troops over there? >> chris, the interesting thing is that question isn't just being debated behind closed doors at the white house by military people. it's being debated by people with a lot of political experience, like vice president joe biden, like former senator hillary rodham clinton. by rahm emanuel, the chief of staff and former member of the house. they're looking at it politically, too, in terms of what they can explain and sell to increasingly rested democrats on the hill having doubts about it. to me, the most fascinating character could be hillary rodham clinton, outflanked in the democratic primaries by barack obama insisting the key
war was afghanistan and not iraq. now she's sitting in the room while barack obama confronts the consequences of the way he ran the campaign. >> we'll be right back. with you and pat. pat, hold on there. i'll get back to you later on in the program. let's bring in democratic senator bob casey of pennsylvania, member of the foreign relations committee. senator casey, are those the right questions? how many troops can we send over to afghanistan? more than the 68,000? if so, how long do we keep them there and what can they actually get done if they stay there a significant amount of time? >> well, chris, i think that there are a whole series of questions. those that you mentioned, but many more. we have to get this right on so many levels. militarily and also the nonmilitary questions. troops and all the questions tied up with that are part of this. we have to get this right. i think one thing that's very clear from what we learned in iraq, we have to get the strategy right before we talk about resources. getting the strategy right not going to be a couple of days. i think the president should take all the time he needs to
get the strategy right and then to have a discussion about resources. but the congress has a role to play here, and we have to have a much better debate than we had with regard to the war in iraq. >> what do you think, senator, of the argument, the historic argument that the british went in there and they were thrown out, killed to the last man, the soviets were thrown out with brutality. they hated the soviets. we're in there now. why do we think we can change afghanistan? is that a good argument, you can't change a country that is afghanistan and we're us? >> chris, i think you make a good point. i think we have to, in addition to assessing what's happening now and questions of resources and strategy, you do have to look at the history that we know about. the graveyard of empires. the book that was written. all of that. i tell you, when i was in afghanistan for two days in august and one day in pakistan, general mcchrystal in his briefing to us in addition to assessing the threats, talked specifically about the history. he has studied the history of what the russians did well and didn't do so effectively.
he studied that history. i think he has incorporated that in some of his recommendations. i think the president is cognizant of that as well. >> isn't there a tissue rejection that sets in where people in a country, third world or fourth-world country like afghanistan, the longer you're there, the more you rot in their eyes. you become hated, don't you? >> well, there's no question one of the difficulties in coming up with the right strategy, but also communicating very effectively with the american people, is this strategy is different than almost anything we've ever done. counterinsurgency by definition is unlike what we did in world war ii, unlike what we did in vietnam, other wars. it's going to be difficult to articulate that, but i think we have to give the president the time he needs to work with general mcchrystal as well as all of the talented people around him on his foreign policy and national security team to be able to come up with strategies where a lot of it is going to be nonmilitary, engaging the people, developing trust so they
can govern themselves, so they can provide their own security with the afghan army and police and also so they can deliver the kind of services to people that maybe the taliban is promising they can deliver. there's no question about it that there's a dimension here wholly apart from the military strategy. it's political, it's engagement with people on the ground and it's developing trust and that's not easy to do. >> could you defend a loss of a service person over there? i'm sure we've lost them. in pennsylvania. lost them all over the state. can you defend when you look into the eyes of a parent or a spouse, someone killed in afghanistan right now, is actually making this country safer? can you make that case right now? >> i think we can, chris. it's very difficult. we've lost more than 35 pennsylvanians. we have into the several hundreds now that are wounded. just from pennsylvania. i do believe that the stakes here are higher than the stakes that we faced in iraq because of the threat to our own security.
in that region. meaning the possible threat, not just what's happening in afghanistan, but what's happening in pakistan, to make sure that that country is stable enough so that the -- any extremist group, whether it's a taliban group in afghanistan or pakistan or whether it's even al qaeda, that they never get control of nuclear weapons, that they're never able to set up sanctuary in either place. the direct threat to our national security is very evident there. as difficult as is it to make the case of war to any parent, any loved one, any family member, i think we can make this case credible. that doesn't mean we have the strategy set forth right now. >> do you believe the pakistani government is the enemy of the taliban in afghanistan? not the taliban in afghanistan -- in pakistan. do you believe we're on the same side? we and the pakistani government in opposing the taliban in afghanistan? do you believe that? >> i do. chris, from working on this in
the foreign relations committee, i also chair the subcommittee that has both countries under it. also talking to people in pakistan and following this, i just spoke to president zardari the other day. it's very clear that this is a different approach now and candidly a much better approach from our vantage point that the pakistani government has taken with the pakistani army. the general is very serious about this. taking the fight already to the swat valley and also getting to waziristan. i think they understand the threat now or at least reacting to the threat in a much more substantial way than they were a year ago. despite the bad news we keep hearing about afghanistan, i think there's good news to report there. in pakistan, i think the effort is much more focused and effective to take the fight to the taliban in pakistan. i think our intelligence sharing is much better. i think you're seeing the results of that. we have to continually monitor what's happening in pakistan. this aid package, the carey
lugar bill is very important to develop the kind of trust that our two governments probably have let break down over time. >> thank you very much, senator robert casey of pennsylvania. back to howard fineman and pat buchanan. pat, there's a real issue here about america. we're a country, too. do the american people have it in us to spend five years trying to build a modern centralized government in afghanistan with people loving us, with supporting us, with feeding them, building schools, building highways, building la treens. is that our business? nation building in afghanistan? >> you're asking, do the american people have the patience and perseverance and will to put hundreds of thousands of troops into afghanistan for five years? the answer to that question, chris, is no. just because you asked the right question at the beginning, look, the question for barack obama ought to ask general mcchrystal is this. general, if i give you the 45,000 troops, can you do the job you're talking about, protecting the populations, getting control of the cities, fighting al qaeda and all these things.
how many are you going to need for exactly how long to do it? chris, a majority of the american people already think -- oppose the war. a majority don't want the troops going in. we have a short timeframe here. if i looked at it, i would say, quite frankly, i don't think we have it within us in terms of the value of what we're going to get for it, the possibility of us winning it and what it's going to cost over that time to really do it. barack obama has got to say, do we start a new strategy now, or do we do it in a year when this one doesn't work? >> okay. thank you, pat. thanks very much, howard, as well. let's go to republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia. member of the armed services and intelligence committee. senator chambliss, this reminds me of 1968 when they said, we can't win that war in vietnam with a half million soldiers, i need 250,000 more. that said to me, we can't win it. this guy is talking more numbers when he's really talking the mission is not working. do you believe with 40,000 more
troops we can achieve the mission of nation building in afghanistan? >> well, i'm not sure that 40,000 is the right number, chris. i think whatever general mcchrystal says he needs is what the number ought to be. it may be more troops now. could be more later. could be less later. i don't know. here's what i do know. we had an experience in iraq where we had a very dysfunctional government because we had a lot of violence going on. when we increase the numbers of troops in iraq and had a change in strategy with the surge, we started restoring peace in the whole community of iraq. once we restored peace all around that country then we were able to move forward with having success. we saw stability in the government all of a sudden. we saw the people of iraq getting on board with us. right now in afghanistan, we have the same scenario. the theater is different, the contrasts are different. still, we've got to have sufficient troops under general mcchrystal's control to establish peace in that country.
if we don't do that, then we'll never achieve success. >> do you believe, same question i asked before. do you believe the pakistan government, zardari's government, is really on our side against the taliban in afghanistan? they're against to their own taliban to some extent. are they really on our side? because historically that government has supported the taliban in afghanistan. >> well, i mean, obviously you've hit kind of the heart of this thing, chris, because you can't de-couple pakistan from afghanistan. we have got to have a commitment from the packs to provide us assistance if we're going to prevail. otherwise you're going to continue to have these folks go back and forth across the boarder. i'm not sure the answer to your question is in the affirmative. we haven't seen the right kind of signs coming out of the packs but we do know they're giving us some permission to carry out some military operations that have been very beneficial and
hopefully we'll be able to continue to have some sort of cooperative spirit with them that will allow us to get a more favorable reaction from the pack government as well as from the pakistani people. >> what do you think of the government in kabul? i mean, that election's a little bit murky, to put it lightly. lots of talks of what we used to call in this country in our big cities, irregularities, meaning cheating. do you think there was enough cheating by karzai to steal that election? >> i'm not sure whether he stole it or what, but you and i have been through enough elections to know when you have 100% of a vote and a significant vote going to one candidate and all other candidates get zero, something's askew there. >> what about losing a georgia boy or georgia young woman gets killed down there? are they getting killed for the government that may be crooked? >> well, there's no question. what there's an awful lot of corruption in the karzai
government. that's one of the ultimate issues that's going to have to be resolved. we're going to have to rid that government of corruption, and that's not going to be easy. we're not even going to be able to do that until we establish peace and have some success in that realm. here's what bothers me about delaying this decision, too, chris. that is, we do have georgians that are dying over there. i don't like that. i don't like it under the best of scenarios. here the president has had this report from general mcchrystal for 30 days now, as of today, and we still don't have a decision that's been made by the administration on what we're going to do. we've got to move forward and we've got to be able to protect those folks. i don't think we're giving them the best protection right now that we can. >> thank you very much senator saxby chambliss of georgia. coming up, a democratic congressman says the republican health care plan is simply, well, don't get sick. if you do get sick, die quickly. that's what he said. he's not taking it back. republicans are crying foul,
welcome back to "hardball." democratic congressman alan facen of florida said this about the republican health care plan. let's listen. >> if you get sick in america, this is what the republicans want you to do. if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this. die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die
quickly if you get sick. >> well, republicans demanded an apology for that. today the republican, tom price, of georgia drafted a resolution of disapproval of what you just heard, just like democrats did for joe wilson who didn't move forward with it. they didn't move forward with that resolution today. just today on the floor, congressman grayson said this. i don't think this was actually an apology. let's listen. >> i'm not going to recount everything i said. i will point out immediately after that speech, several republicans asked me to apologize. well, i would like to apologize. i would like to apologize to the dead. here's why. according to this study, health insurance and mortality in u.s. adults which was published two weeks ago, 44,78 the 9 americans die every year because they have no health insurance. so i call upon the democratic members of the house, i call upon the republican members of the house, i call upon all of us
to do our jobs for the sake of america, for the sake of those dying people and their families. i apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in america. >> that's what you call chutzpa. joining me now, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz of florida. u.s. congressman dan lungren of california. did i get the word right? i think it is chutzpa. that guy was asked to apologize. he came out and said, so's your old man. i have a bigger challenge to make. you're killing people by the millions. >> your thoughts. >> if you know alan grayson, chutzpa is absolutely what he has. he has a real dry sense of humor. he's been on this show before. i think both his comments yesterday and today, somewhat tongue in cheek, maybe a little more teeth than tongue. at the end of the day he was making the larger point the republicans had years to make health care reform a priority. they never did. have no plan. it's been more than 100 days since roy blunt, my colleague in
the congress, one of their leaders on -- point men on health care reform, said they would have a plan. they still don't have one. yet, every year, 45,000 americans die because they don't have health insurance. that's the larger point that congressman grayson was trying to make. he may have unartfully made it, but it was certainly important to stress that we need to get the republicans to come to the table, work with us, sit down. and make health care reform a priority instead of continuing to be the party of no. >> take your time, congressman lungren. you have a lot to bite off of right now. what the congresswoman just said, what grayson just said in his, well, doubling down you might say, his attack on your party. is this like what happened with joe wilson? the republican joe wilson. who said to the president joint session out loud, "you lie." is what congressman grayson said about the killing fields of the republican health care plan, is that the same misdemeanor or felony? >> i appreciate very much having
me on. i must say i thought i was going to be on with a congresswoman. i didn't know i was going to be on with a senator who manages to filibuster and not answer the question. the fact of the matter is he said something he shouldn't have said on the floor. he should apologize just as my friend joe wilson said something he shouldn't have said on the floor then he immediately apologized. calling the white house. talking with rahm e emanuel. >> he didn't apologize on the floor. >> let's just go and do that sort of thing. the other thing is this, we keep hearing this nonsense that only the democrats have the wisdom that could possibly deal with health care. we have multiple proposals out there for a long period of time. there are at least 32 separate amendments offered in committee by republicans. every one of them voted down by the democrats. the fact of the matter is the american people are rejecting their overall proposal. the american people by large numbers are saying, why not sit down at the table, republicans and democrats, and work incrementally on those specific
areas that are problems? rather than tossing overboard our entire system and moving toward the government takeover of health care. >> let's take a look. >> that's what we're really talking about. >> let's take a look at three republicans. republican congressman ginny brown-waite of florida on health care. let's listen to her. the tenor of this debate has gone south negatively. >> last week democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to america's seniors, drop dead. >> here's republican congressman paul brown of florida. >> this program government option is touted as being this panacea, savior of allowing people to have quality health care at an affordable price is going to kill people. >> here's republican congresswoman virginia foxx on health care. >> republicans have a better
solution. it won't put the government in charge of people's health care. it will make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all americans and that insures affordable access for all americans and is pro life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government. >> congresswoman, three republicans in a row used language that sounds to be like grayson's language about the other side trying to kill people. i don't see the distinction. you first. then congressman lungren. >> it is always fun to debate my good friend, dan lungren. we came from a judiciary committee meeting together. i'm glad to see dan is really arguing the larger points as opposed to tit for tat over the speech thing here. >> see, i want to argue the smaller -- >> you want to do that. >> i want to get you both in the gutter and start throwing mud at each other. is there anything that's out of line? the old rules of the house, when i worked for you people up there in the old days was you didn't get personal. you didn't accuse the other
person of being evil. say anything you want about policy. go ahead, i'm sorry. >> that's okay. one thing i can tell you is that it is absolutely -- there is absolutely no comparison between alan grayson's speech and his comments that were, you know, in the normal course of debate on the house floor than to joe wilson's inappropriate conduct that was a violation of the decorum of the house when he shouted "you lie" to the president of the united states during a joint address to the nation. putting that aside, though, the larger point alan was making is that the republicans have simply been nowhere on the issue of health care reform except to be critical, except to offer nothing constructive to the debate. what we need to do is have them -- dan, i'll meet you anywhere, any time. i'd love to sit down to talk to you about the common grounds on health care reform and stop arguing about the word choices we use. we need to turn the volume down. >> congressman, i love the idea
to -- how would you -- i want you to decide -- >> respond a little bit about this idea. >> if you want to respond, i have a better idea. tell me what a deal would be both sides would agree to possibly. is there a deal in your mind's eye that both sides could get 51% for, 65% for? >> i think you would find the majority of the congress, the house and senate, saying set aside this idea of public option and work on the very specifics that are necessary out there. number one. number two, sit down and talk about how many are the hard-core uninsured in this country. why are they that way? let us work to do something on that. i would hope we could get agreement that we could allow people to purchase policies across state lines which would allow a multiplicity of plans that would be available. i would hope we could talk about health associations. i hope that we could talk about exchanges that actually mean something where we could get agreement so you could have greater opportunity for people, particularly those employed by small and medium-sized businesses. those are proposals out there in detail by republicans for a long period of time.
every single one of them has been rejected. even though offered or attempted to be offered. >> we have to go. i thank you congresswoman. debbie wasserman-schultz. thank you, congressman dan lungren. we could do this all hour. we're not going to do it. up next, hillary clinton finally gets to have the title, president. apparently she says, again, she likes that title. that in the "sideshow." now yourard comes with a way to plan for what matters to you. introducing blueprint. blueprint is free and only for chase customers. it lets you choose what purchases you want to pay and those you split... interest...with full pay. you decide how to pay over time. if having a plan matters. chase what matters. eate your own blueprint at chase.com/blueprint. announcer: trying to be good to your heart? so is campbell's healthy request soup.
back to "hardball." time for "the sideshow." first up, old dreams die hard. what hillary clinton said when she got to preside over the united nations security council earlier today. >> thank you so much. i resume now my function as president of the council. i kind of like being a president. so i -- this may go on a little longer than anticipated. >> i've got to give to hillary clinton. she's done the job as secretary of state and has been loyal. time for tonight's "big number." a lot of big stories in the news today. i was surprised to see this headline on the front page of "the new york times" today. quote, in new jersey, would-be
boss is big-boss fan. would-be boss is new jersey candidate for governor, chris christie, apparently a bruce springsteen fan. a big one. how many springsteen concerts? this is unbelievable. has christie attended? this is something. 120. is this guy all right? guess what? christie is planning to attend the concert tonight at united stadium for bruce springsteen. new jersey's could be next governor chris christie earns the title of springsteen fanatic showing up at an unbelievable 120 concerts. tonight's "big number." dick cheney under attack from a group of retired military brass who's saying he's scare mongering about the dangers of closing guantanamo. we're going to talk to a general and to an admiral about cheney's fear mongering as they're claiming. access to favorite courses chef's meal with pommes frites perhaps a night at the theater with extra special seats
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here's what's happening. indonesian officials fear thousands are trapped in collapsed buildings after a strong earthquake rocks those islands. the 7.6 quake triggered landslides, fires, collapse of a shopping mall and two hospitals. death toll from tuesday's massive quick near the samoa islands continues to climb. all nonessential personnel evacuated from vandenburgh air force base in california because of a large brush fire near the base's main gate. business news, general motors will shut down its saturn units after buyout talks with penske motors fell through. bank of america ceo ken lewis announced today he plans to step down at the end of the year. dollar logged its best quarter in years. major indices turning in back to back gains for the first time since 2007. now, let's go back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." a group of retired generals and admirals rallying behind president obama's push to close the terrorist detention facility at guantanamo bay. they say dick cheney, the former vice president and his daughter, liz cheney, are using fear in this fight. here's cheney last may speaking to the neoconservative american enterprise institute. let's listen. >> the administration has found that it's easy to receive applause in europe for closing guantanamo, but it's tricky to come up with an alternative that will serve the interest of justice and america's national security. keep in mind that these are hardened terrorists picked up overseas since 9/11. the ones that were considered low risk were released a long time ago. among these, it turns out many were treated too leniently because they cut a straight path back to their prior line of work and have conducted murderous attacks in the middle east.
an estimated 14% of those released previously are believed to be back in the business of jihad. i think the president will find upon reflection that to bring the worst of the worst terrorists inside the united states would be cause for great danger and regret in the years to come. >> one of cheney's biggest allies in this debate, none other than his daughter, liz. here she is debating salon's joan walsh on cnn last june. let's listen. >> it may be the case it's easy to sit in manhattan or wherever you're sitting, joan, and say these people don't want to harm us and we shouldn't detain them. you know, we're at war. s the laws of war very clearly states that while you're at war you can detain enemy combatants to prevent them from returning to the battlefield. 75% of the american people don't think our government should be bringing terrorists to the homeland. and they're right. >> with us now, two experienced military voices urging president obama to close quan taun moe. retired army lieutenant general, harry soyster, former director
of the defense intelligence agency. retired navy admiral, john hutson is a former judge advocate general. general, i want you first to talk about this. the difference between putting the troops, or rather putting the bad guys, the terrorists, alleged in some cases, clearly guilty in other cases, in guantanamo out there in cuba or putting them in some maximum security prison in the united states. what's the difference? >> we have them in guantanamo, of course, today, and guantanamo is a symbol of everything we've done in the past in terms of our abuse of prisoners, et cetera, and remains a symbol which we need to remove. we need to remove that symbol as soon as possible because, in fact, the quicker we do that, the more secure this country will be. >> because? why does the symbol hurt us in terms of our security? how does it work? >> it's an excellent recruiting poster and has been used, in fact, in the name guantanamo by osama bin laden, himself, and
it's used as a great recruiting tool for our enemies. it also has driven a wedge between our allies in -- with the same view that it should be closed and they don't like the symbol either. >> admiral hutson, the cheneys, or rather the cheney and the cheney, they pronounce their names differently, have been out there scaring the country, making the point if you bring these terrorists into the united states proper, into our territory, put them in a maximum security prison, that they will threaten the folk. what do you think of that charge? >> you're right. i think it's just foolishness, chris. you know, we're here -- this group of admirals and generals in order to try to debunk the politics and the strategy of fear and rely on a strategy of strength. we can bring these people to the united states, put them in prisons in the united states, prisons from which nobody has ever, in the history of america,
escaped, and we will be perfectly safe. this -- one thing that vice president cheney is right about, this is a national security issue. what he's wrong about is the direction in which the national security interests cuts. the national security interests cuts in favor of closing guantanamo. general soyster says taking that iconic image off the table and putting these people in prisons, prosecuting those people that we can prosecute, transferring the others, but get rid of gitmo. >> what do you think, general, is the strategy or the intent of people like cheney who are constantly trying to get people's teeth rattling? constantly trying to get people nervous -- of course, we have to be secure, our country. to have us always nervous, always worried about some terrorist getting out of san quentin or something. what is their strategy, politically? >> well, i think that is the strategy, to show that we have reason to be fearful because of
the fact that as they worked the last eight years they continued to put this country and those who believe in this country, that we have a lot to fear. in fact, we have great faith in the strength of our country and don't think that we need to be fearful, but, in fact, to capitalize on our strength. whether it's that of our courts, our armed forces or whatever, and maintain our highest ideals and we do that by doing the things that we advocate and certainly not by putting the country in a state of apprehension, fear about what may happen. in this case, releasing -- not releasing, but putting prisoners, properly tried, into our prisons inside the united states. >> admiral, why do you think a general, in this case, mcchrystal's report to the president, was leaked? to bob woodward of "the post?"
what would be a strategy behind leaking a memo like that? do you think the civilian leadership of our country should be basically taking orders from its military commanders? i wonder, i sense a little -- general macarthur action going on here. i wonder why we're reading mcchrystal's report to the president before it's officially released. how do we know this stuff? >> i'm guessing president obama, commander in chief, general mcchrystal in his capacity have a good understanding of what their respective roles are, and president obama's role as the commander in chief. general mcchrystal will give him advice. president obama will tell him what to do and general mcchrystal will execute that. so i'm not sure that -- why it was leaked, who leaked it, i have no idea. it was unfortunate, but it really doesn't change the relationship of the commander in chief and subordinate general. >> "the huffington post" today reported, a columnist for
news max, the conservative media, a fellow named john perry wrote a column tuesday which later was pulled which in part said the following. imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation, skilled military trained nation builders would replace accountability challenged radical left commissars having bonded with his twin teleprompters the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech making." is this just loony tune stuff, general? we all saw "seven days in may." i wonder if in this country anybody takes seriously the push for the military to grab power? >> having spent a long time in the military i don't remember any discussions about a coup. in fact, i think it's a great strength of this country that our military completely understands the role of our civilian leadership and their
superiority. we have sworn in oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. it's worked pretty well for a long time. we think it's going to continue to work for us very well. >> well said. who couldn't agree with that? if anybody watching disagrees with that, please leave this country. this is a democracy. the military serves the interest of the country. they do not dictate. thank you very much lieutenant general harry soyster and admiral john hutson. guns in bars? guns in town meetings? why is there such a push to allow guns everywhere? it is hatchening. this is not paranoia. [ thunder rumbles ] what is the sign of a good decision? in the world of personal finance, it's massmutual.
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is this connected to the atmosphere of government? that you have to be armed to protect yourself from the federalis? >> a sense that society is decomposing, a sense that the police might not be there to defend you and people want in the last analysis, the ability to defend themselves and their families in the ultimate situation if no one is there. i don't think the idea of people buying guns or concealed carry such as we have in virginia has anything to do with health care or the government of the united states. >> okay, howard, a lot of people want to bring guns into bars, why do they want to transport them by train and why are central census takers being killed, hanged and with the word fed written on them? i see a connection to you.
>> as i make a mental note to stay out of bars in colorado. i took a close look at some of the polling on this. over the last 40, 50 years, there's been a steady decline, really, cutting in half the number of people who favor a ban on handguns, from the late '50s, when it was 50% of the country wanted a ban on handguns, imagine that, down to less than 30% now. while at the same time, there has been especially since vietnam -- in the presidency we won't mention in past presence, a greater distrust of government, a growing distrust of government. those lines crossed about 20 years ago, and i do think there's a relationship there. i think people want a certain sense of personal political security which after all is what the original intent of the second amendment, i think was
about. >> why do people want guns in bars? >> well, the concealed carry, they want it for the same reason. if they want to go out that night, they want to be able to take it into a bar. chris, let me say this, in 1994, i went to los angeles right after the los angeles riots and one of the rworst riots in american history. the majority of those were women. now this testifies to fear. take washington, d.c. where i grew up and where you lived for a while, in the city, here are people utterly without any means of protecting themselves in some of these extraordinarily high crime areas, they go to work, they leave a wife and three kids sitting at home fearing that something terrible is going to happen because people are dealing drugs in the neighborhood. >> i think there's something to that because i'm just looking at this chart from the gallup poll.
there was a precipitous drop in the percentage of people who supported a flat ban on handguns in the early '90s. >> my own view is it's -- to me, i would defend the right of somebody to have a handgun or certainly a shotgun in their own home, especially if they live in a rural area to be able to walk into subways or on trains or in bars, that's just crazy. we'll be back with more of the politics fix, you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. i feel like i have to wind myself up just to get out of bed. then...well... i have to keep winding myself up to deal with the sadness, the loss of interest, the trouble concentrating, the lack of energy. if depression is taking so much out of you, ask your doctor about pristiq®. (announcer) pristiq is a prescription medicine proven to treat depression. pristiq is thought to work by affecting the levels of two chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine. tell your doctor right away if your depression worsens
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we're back with pat buchanan and howard fineman, my two favorites, and i mean this, the toughest question in the world here is afghanistan. it's not about p.r., it's not about the next election, it's about american life and what we can accomplish in the next century in this world, especially in the islamic world far from here. pat, can we nation build in afghanistan? >> i don't believe we can, chris, there's a culture there and a history and a faith and a able to tribalisma we're really unfamily with. i do think this, chris, if we had the choice now, i wouldn't go into afghanistan, but we got to realize what happens if we do turn around and walk out or we don't give mcchrystal what he wants, and this mission fails? it will be a triumph for al qaeda, for