The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/22/14
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Craig, that was an amazing show tonight.
Well done, man. That was great. Congratulations.
MELVIN: Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks to you as well.
Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Thanks for being with
us on a Friday night.
We`re starting tonight with what`s turning out to be a global manhunt.
In the British press, the man who was seen this week on video murdering
American journalist Jim Foley – the is militant who speaks to the camera
throughout that video in what sounds like a distinct London accent, and
then he ultimately kills Mr. Foley on tape. The same man then threatens to
kill another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, who`s also being held in
captivity by the same group.
That man is now the subject of a murder inquiry and international
manhunt by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, and British
counterterrorism forces and the British equivalent of the FBI which is an
agency called MI5.
There`s an international manhunt for the man who killed Jim Foley on
camera this week. In the British press, though, they have named the guy
who did it, at least they kind of named him. In the British press, they`re
calling him “jihadi John”, or in the less tabloid press, they`re just
calling him John.
And there are conflicting reports whether or not the man actually
called himself John in front of the foreign hostages who he and other ISIS
militants have been holding captive in Syria. There are conflicting
reports as to whether his name really is John and calls himself that or
whether the hostages started calling him John as a nickname.
BBC Radio was first to report a claim that the European and American
Western hostages held by ISIS gave nicknames to their three ISIS captors
who had distinct British accents. As a sort of shorthand for the fact that
the guy sounded British, the hostages reportedly gave them British
nicknames. Specifically, they nicknamed them John, Paul, and Ringo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB WATSON, BBC RADIO 4 WORLD AFFAIRS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: In the
darkest of black humor, former hostages of Islamic State apparently called
their captors John, Paul, and Ringo after the Beatles, a reference to their
nationality and English accents. Sources have now confirmed to the BBC
that Islamic State has been using three British jihadists to guard its
prized foreign prisoners.
The FBI is leading an international manhunt for those responsible for
the beheading, as the victim was an American. But here, the intelligence
forces and the police are also working to identify any British citizens
involved in the journalist`s murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That report from BBC Radio 4. There have been a number of
hostages released, apparently from this same cell of terrorists that was
holding Jim Foley. They`re all Europeans or Turks. They`ve been able to
get out apparently because ransom was paid to ISIS in order to get them
We now know those former hostages were debriefed by U.S. intelligence
after they got released as part of U.S. planning for that special
operations raid last month that made an attempt inside Syria to go free the
Based in part on information from those hostages who had been
released, that special operations raid took place at an oil refinery near
Raqqa inside Syria. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel now says the raid
went as planned in every way except for the fact that the hostages were not
there when they expected them to be. He told reporters yesterday afternoon
that he believed the hostages had been at the site that was raided by Delta
Force and other U.S. commandos but the hostages had been moved some time
before the raid.
Now, of course, there are questions about whether a similar raid might
be tried again and how good U.S. and European intelligence is about this
militant group and where they might be holding hostages.
There are some signs, some encouraging signs as far as I`m concerned,
that the group has been a little sloppy. The citizen investigative
journalist group that`s called Bellingcat, I have no idea who they are, but
today, they posted online what appears to be their own independent research
trying to locate an ISIS militant training camp in Mosul inside Iraq.
Last month apparently, ISIS posted a bunch of propaganda photos
showing one of their training camps they said was in the Mosul area, and
these are clearly bragging photos. They want to show off how many young
men they`re training, just how young some of these kids are that are
apparently turning up at ISIS training camps. They want to show off their
weapons and how disciplined they are, how apparently well-funded they are
wearing a bunch of snazzy matching uniforms and all the rest of it.
But if you look closely, apparently these folks at Bellingcat have
been looking closely and they`ve noticed that ISIS has been sloppy enough
in posting the photos to have left a lot of identifying infrastructure in
the background of these photos.
So, these pictures, you see the arrows on the pictures? They`re
pointing out what appear to be things like bridges and other big hard to
move, hard to disguise, distinctive architecture in the background of a
bunch of different photos taken from a bunch of different angles and posted
online by ISIS. By using those photos and using online photography and map
databases like Flash Earth and Panoramio, this journalism group thinks
they`ve identified basically the exact spot along the Tigress River in
Mosul where it appears ISIS has built this camp and where they`ve posted
all these pictures from.
And it`s absolutely possible that maybe this citizen journalism effort
is wrong. Maybe this little tract of farmland that now appears to have
lots of new construction on it is not exactly where is has this training
camp full of fighters in Mosul.
But maybe it is, and the fact that is has left enough clues online to
potentially leave behind that kind of trail in their online presence –
well, that shows a level of sort of cockiness and sloppiness. It shows a
level of how convinced they are of their own invincibility. That has to be
heartening to people who are trying to hunt them down. And people are
trying to hunt them down.
The U.S. government announced today that U.S. military has completed
93 separate airstrikes against ISIS targets, most of them in and around
Mosul, specifically in and around the biggest dam in Iraq, which is just
outside Mosul. The U.S. military says there have been more than 1,000
aerial sorties over Iraq in this mission to target ISIS. Most of them are
surveillance flights, but nearly 100 of them have been airstrikes thus far,
and that`s just since August 8th, nearly 100 airstrikes.
The family of Jim Foley, his parents last night apparently okayed the
release of this e-mail which they received from the ISIS militants who were
holding their son before they killed him this week. It`s an all-caps
misspelled, inane, threatening letter in which the group promises they`re
going to kill Jim Foley.
But in that letter, ISIS also complained about these U.S. airstrikes
against the group. ISIS calls the airstrikes cowardly. “Now, you return
to bomb the Muslims of Iraq once again, this time resorting to aerial
attacks. All the while, cowardly shying away from a face-to-face
More than anything, ISIS wants the United States to invade Iraq again.
And I suppose their greatest dream would be if the U.S. invaded Iraq and
Syria. They want ground war with U.S. troops on their own territory.
In the aftermath of Jim Foley`s execution and that execution video
being posted online on Tuesday of this week, and the threats to another
American journalist, Steven Sotloff in that same video, the reaction
globally has taken off in sort of two parallel tracks.
One of them is the clues that is has inadvertently provided as to who
they are, and where they are, and how they be got at, up and including
expert accent analysis of the voice of Foley`s killer from the video.
All right. So, one track is a manhunt. One track is a murder
The other track is about the larger scale, wholesale strategy to
defeat this group. And in the last 24 hours, on three separate occasions,
that second track about how to defeat ISIS as a group, that has led to
three escalating instances over the course of 24 hours in which American
officials have basically threatened that we are about to have an American
war in Syria.
The first mention happened yesterday morning in a radio interview when
deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told NPR that the United
States is not ruling out additional action against is beyond the airstrikes
against them in Iraq already. Mr. Rhodes said specifically that we would
not restrict ourselves by geographic boundaries.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, NPR)
BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: We don`t rule anything
out when it comes to the protection of Americans and the disruption of
terrorist plotting against the United States. So, we would not restrict
ourselves by geographic boundaries when it comes to the core mission of
U.S. foreign policy which is the protection of our people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: “Would not restrict ourselves by geographic boundaries when
it comes to protecting our people.” That was yesterday morning.
Then, yesterday, late afternoon, at the Pentagon, a joint briefing by
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and chairman of the joint chiefs, General
Chuck Hagel spoke about it a bit more obliquely. He basically just
said we`re keeping our options open when reporters were asking him about
whether or not the U.S. is about to start bombing Syria. He said we`re
keeping our options open, we`re not ruling anything out.
General Dempsey for his part, he was more blunt. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: General, do you believe that ISIS can be defeated or
destroyed without addressing the cross-border threat from Syria? And is it
possible to contain them?
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Yes, the
answer is they can be contained. Not in perpetuity. This is an
organization that has an apocalyptic “end of days” strategic vision which
will eventually have to be defeated.
To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of
their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will
have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying, in military terms,
ISIS cannot be defeated unless they`re taken on both in Iraq and in Syria.
General Dempsey then went on to say that airstrikes, alone, couldn`t
do that. It would have to be a whole of the government approach and he
went on to say that that sort of strategy against ISIS would happen when we
have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS
He said he`s not predicting airstrikes will occur in Syria, at least
not by the United States of America, but he did say fighting them in Syria
is what it would take to beat them.
In case that was not putting us on notice bluntly enough, the White
House put Ben Rhodes out again today to do the White House briefing and he
made it very, very, very clear that U.S. military action over the border
inside Syria is now under active consideration by our government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RHODES: We certainly agree that any strategy to deal with the ISIL
organization has to deal with both sides of the border, Iraq and Syria. We
are going to do what is necessary to protect Americans. And so, if we see
plotting against Americans, we see a threat to the United States emanating
from anywhere, we stand ready to take action against that threat.
We`ve made very clear time and again that if you come after Americans,
we`re going to come after you wherever you are. And that`s what`s going to
guide our planning the days to come.
REPORTER: Has the president signed off on air strikes against ISIL in
RHODES: Well, again, I don`t want to get ahead of decisions. The
president hasn`t, you know, been presented with specific military options
outside of those that are carrying out current missions in Iraq, but we
would certainly look at what is necessary in the long term to make sure
we`re protecting Americans.
REPORTER: So, you are – it`s fair to stay you`re actively
considering airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria?
RHODES: Well, again, you heard the president say we`ll be relentless
against ISIL and we will do what`s necessary to protect Americans and see
that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of Jim
Foley. So, we`re actively considering what`s going to be necessary to deal
with that threat and we`re not going to be restricted by borders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We`re not going to be restricted by borders.
So, happy Friday. Apparently, now it`s on the table, war inside
Syria. Not war with Syria, but maybe some kind of war in Syria against
ISIS, against this militant group that the U.S. is already bombing on the
other side of the border in Iraq.
That is now on the table, according to three sort of increasingly
aggressive statements from the White House and the Pentagon over the past
But if the U.S. is now actively considering bombing inside Syria, who
all is weighing in on that decision? Can the White House just make that
decision on their own? Have they already made that decision? Is Congress
going to weigh in on this decision? Is this about to be a new war?
The question of whether or not this is a new war was asked
specifically at the Pentagon and it got a response from Defense Secretary
Chuck Hagel and from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Martin Dempsey,
yesterday. That did not inspire confidence as to whether or not we are
thinking constitutionally clearly on that subject of a potential new war
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: I know the president and you all talk about right now, it`s
Iraq`s responsibility to take control of their own country.
REPORTER: But isn`t the U.S. already at war with ISIS?
DEMPSEY: Are you looking at me?
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: You`re the general.
DEMPSEY: Do I look like a guy that would answer that question in
front of the – the declaration of war is a policy decision, not a military
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Let the record show that the answer was, are you looking at
me? And the defense secretary said, just off camera there, but what he
said was, you heard it right, he said, “Well, you are the general.”
Generals are not supposed to make decisions about whether or not we
are going to war or whether we are at war. That`s supposed to be – us,
right? That`s supposed to be a policy decision made in our democracy by
our elected representatives in Washington. That`s a policy decision that
the military then carries out, after politicians decide it.
With more U.S. hostages being held by this ISIS militant group, with
the U.S. already bombing Iraq multiple times a day, going after this
militant group, with the U.S. officially advising that there`s no way to
beat that militant group without also bombing them in Syria since that
group does not recognize the border between Iraq and Syria, here`s the
question. Do we recognize the border between Iraq and Syria? Are we about
to go to war in Syria?
And if so, who`s deciding that? When`s the debate?
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California, senior
Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman Schiff, thank you very much for being with us. I
appreciate your time tonight.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: You bet.
MADDOW: So, that was a rambling rundown of a lot of different things
going on. I have to ask you in your position on the intelligence committee
if the way that I am explaining things is wrong in any way, if I`m
explaining things in a way that you understand them to be under
consideration by the U.S. government right now?
SCHIFF: I think you`re explaining them very well. I think the
administration is looking at a range of possible options both in Iraq, in
Syria. They`re asking the military, OK, what are the different scenarios
here? What can we do? What would the effect be?
But I have to say, Rachel, I think the administration is going to
conclude that military strikes, airstrikes in Syria don`t make sense at
this point. I don`t think Ben Rhodes wants to rule them out indefinitely,
and certainly if there was an effort, we had a good opportunity to rescue
some of those other journalists or there was an imminent plot, they`re not
going to want to say never.
But we don`t have the same capabilities on the ground in Syria that we
do in Iraq. We don`t have our intelligence people on the ground in Syria.
We don`t have a government we can work with in Syria. We don`t have a
capable fighting force like the Kurds in Syria.
And as I think General Dempsey pointed out, limited air strikes,
alone, aren`t going to have much effect unless they`re done in conjunction
with boots on the ground and as part of a well-coordinated effort.
MADDOW: In terms of what the U.S. is doing in Syria, and making those
– well, we know that the U.S. has taken action in Syria in terms of its
special operations raid that was disclosed this week by the White House.
They said they wouldn`t have planned on disclosing it, but they had to.
They felt they had to because media outlets were going to report on it,
anyway. We know that there has been some limited action inside Syria
Are you saying that we shouldn`t see that as sort of the camel`s nose
under the tent? That isn`t the start of anything that the U.S. feels like
they`re going to continue doing or that they could continue doing in Syria?
That was a one-off?
SCHIFF: Well, I think you`re right to be concerned that there`s a
great potential for mission creep, but that potential exists on both sides
of that nonexistent border. If you look at what the president set out as
the objectives initially in Iraq just a couple weeks ago, it was protecting
our personnel and avoiding genocide of the Yazidis on that mountaintop.
Well, most of the sorties lately have been around the Mosul dam, and
unless you accept the argument that if the dam broke, it could flood our
embassy 300 miles away, it`s a pretty slender legal read to say that`s to
protect our people in Baghdad.
So, that mission has already expanded, and the risk of it expanding
further when the goals are pretty broadly defined I think is very
One final point, Rachel, and that is, Congress really does need to be
engaged in this just as you say. The authorization to use military force
that are in existence now don`t apply here. They don`t apply in Iraq. And
they certainly don`t apply in Syria.
They don`t apply because ISIL is not part of al Qaeda, and they don`t
apply because the terms of the Iraq authorization are completely in
opposite to the current situation.
If we are going to escalate either part of a broad coalition or on our
own, the Congress needs to be a part of it. The Congress needs to
MADDOW: Why isn`t the congress doing anything on it? Obviously,
Congress is on vacation right now, but that`s easily remedied.
You have said, in the past, that, and you`ve said recently repeatedly
that the Congress needs to weigh in on this, that as you put it, the
slender legal read for what we`re doing right now ought to be addressed,
that we shouldn`t be doing this on sort of constitutional auto pilot.
Is Congress going to step up and what would make them that hasn`t made
them thus far?
SCHIFF: Well, I have to say, I`m skeptical. You know, I think the
vacation may be convenient right now for the administration, may be
convenient for the Congress in the sense that the Congress doesn`t like to
deal with the really tough problems. We haven`t wanted to deal with
Guantanamo, haven`t wanted to deal with what kind of due process we should
provide there. We haven`t wanted to deal with existing antiquated nature
of the authorizations that the administration is already acting under even
before this latest Iraq outbreak.
So, we have a history of abdicating the really tough calls and the
administration knowing how dysfunctional we are isn`t necessarily eager to
drag us in and await our permission.
So, right now, the vacation suits both sides, but the reality is I
think from a constitutional point of view, we in the Congress are really
derelict in what we should be doing and that is having a vigorous
discussion with the administration right now about where they`re headed,
and whether we have the votes in Congress and the support of the American
people behind that effort.
MADDOW: Your lips to God`s ears, sir.
Congressman Adam Schiff of California, senior member of the
Intelligence Committee, thanks for being with us on a Friday night. I
appreciate it, sir.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you.
All right. Much more ahead, including latest from Ferguson, Missouri,
And former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia on the witness stand,
defending himself and only himself.
Lots ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, sometimes the personal lives of politicians are not only
fair game for the news, but they end up being unavoidable, thanks to the
politicians, themselves. Thank you, for example, just elected Senator
Scott Brown, for sharing your daughter`s relationship status to the
audience during your nationally televised senate victory speech. Cringe.
Then, there was the cringiness of watching Eliot Spitzer`s betrayed
wife standing somberly behind the governor during his hooker-driven
resignation as governor of New York. And planet Earth wished it had looked
Right now in Virginia we`re going through another one of those
moments. In a courtroom in Richmond, Virginia, this week the stability of
the marriage between Governor Bob McDonnell and wife, Maureen, is now
headline news – thanks to the governor, himself.
What part of that is our business? None of it. But thanks to the
governor and his planned legal defense, apparently we have to know all of
Stay with us.
MADDOW: To be clear, nothing against golf. I don`t play golf. Golf
courses make me itchy.
But golf is a thing even if you do not play, you`re likely to know
about golf, that it is an expensive thing, right? It`s expensive. Golf is
And in Virginia, one of the places you can play really expensive golf
is at a place called Kinloch. You pay $50,000 a year just to join – you
pay $50,000 just to join Kinloch. But then after you`ve paid your $50,000
to join, you pay another $11,000 every year in annual dues.
Wow. Rich. Rich. And it looks rich there. Even on the scale of
golf. That`s Kinloch. Hold that thought.
This is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testifying in court today.
Today was the third straight day he took the stand in his own defense and
his public corruption trial in Richmond, Virginia. There are no
photographs, there`s no videotape we can show you of Bob McDonnell on the
stand, because this is federal court in Richmond and there aren`t any
But we do have these sketches and we do have up to the minute updates
filed by reporters who doggedly covered this trial from day one. “The
Washington Post” live blog of the Bob McDonnell trial is so good that I`ve
been neglecting my current spy novel and instead have been reading the live
blog in bed at night before I try and fail to go to sleep.
And public corruption charges and public corruption trials, they are
inherently interesting things if you`re interested in politics and civics
and the justice system. But this public corruption trial, it`s like all
that and a bag of chips because this one isn`t just a public corruption
trial. In this one, the defense being mounted by the Bob McDonnell side is
bizarre, and salacious, and it is salacious on purpose.
Prosecutors say that Bob McDonnell basically sold his office. That he
sold access to Virginia state government. That he took action in numerous
ways on numerous occasion on behalf of a rich businessman and his Virginia
company in exchange basically for bribes, for lots of money, and for luxury
gifts from that businessman.
And the defense strategy against that has just been amazing to watch.
The Bob McDonnell defense is basically, to argue, three things. First one,
number one thing they`re arguing is that Maureen McDonnell, the governor`s
wife, she`s the one who took all the bribes.
But she`s not a public official. First lady of Virginia isn`t really
a job. She`s technically just a private citizen. And so, therefore, as a
private citizen, the bribes she accepted by definition, they`re not bribes.
So, that`s part one of their defense.
Part two, the defense is arguing that it can`t be the case that she
accepted bribes in exchange for official acts by her husband, the governor,
because they had a terrible marriage. And he didn`t like her very much.
They never spoke. They hated each other. She was terrible. He
couldn`t talk to her. So, naturally, they couldn`t conspire to provide
this businessman anything of value from the governor`s office in exchange
for all this money and all these gifts that the businessman gave to the
And this is the part of the defense that`s turned the McDonnell trial
into a really lurid spectacle. As Governor Bob McDonnell blames everything
on his wife, talks about how crazy she is, talks about what a terrible
marriage they had, and the whole time it`s making himself out to be both an
innocent bystander and really her victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Heather, let me tell you, I got to say, none
of us expected the governor to be choked up on the witness stand. One of
his lawyers started out with the first question, Governor, is it going to
be easy or hard to talk about your marriage? And after, Heather, a 15-
second pause, the governor says nothing, looks down, looks back up and
says, it`s going to be hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard about a love letter that purports to show
a rift between the two and even more incredibly this morning, the two are
not living together any longer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McDonnell says by the late `90s they began to have
arguments privately and more often. McDonnell said he became physically
and emotionally unavailable as he ran and was elected for attorney general
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By Labor Day 2011, he wondered, quote, “Maybe this
is the end,” telling jurors that after a weekend of uncontrollable anger by
Maureen McDonnell, he penned a letter opining, quote, “I want to be in
love, not watch movies about it.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is sitting there with her attorney, they have
to be collaborating with this as she is described as kind of out there,
getting all these gifts and all these things he doesn`t know about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the assumption, that Mrs. McDonnell knows
that what Bob McDonnell is saying about her is coming, that she anticipates
it. She`s very stoic in the courtroom. She`s not showing a lot of
emotion, Bill. She`s almost – it`s almost as if she expects to hear what
her husband is about to say about her.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: These personal details that the former governor of Virginia
has been divulging in court, they are none of our business, right? This is
their marriage. These are their personal marital difficulties. It`s just
not our business.
But their two legal teams have chosen to make their defense to
corruption charges all of their personal business. And there is a problem
here, aside from just good taste and decency, because even if you do
believe that after 38 years of marriage, this husband and wife didn`t speak
to one another, and she was just cray-cray and therefore these two couldn`t
have conspired to play ping-pong together let alone accept gifts for their
family, that Bob McDonnell would, in effect, pay for with official acts as
Virginia governor – even if you believe the first two parts of the
defense, there is still the problem for Bob McDonnell that not everything
on the bribe list went to Maureen, or went to the rest of the family. A
lot of it really did just go to him, directly.
I mean, there`s the matter of the white Ferrari, which the businessman
loaned to the governor for free, in which the governor drove on at least
two occasions we`ve now learned. These are not pictures of Maureen in the
driver`s seat, right? That`s Bob.
On the stand this week, Bob McDonnell explained he didn`t even really
want to drive the Ferrari. His explanation for accepting that bribe was,
quote, “my kids kind of egged me on.” OK.
Well, there`s also the matter of the Rolex bought for the governor by
the businessman. On the stand this week, Bob McDonnell`s explanation for
that was that he didn`t even realize it was from the businessman. He said
on the stand this week, quote, “The packing that I got said, from Santa.”
OK, Governor, how about the all expenses paid trip to the lake
vacation home? The lake house, the boat, the Ferrari, all paid for by this
businessman. Didn`t you accept that, Mr. Governor?
Bob McDonnell said on the stand this week he didn`t really see that as
something someone else was paying for. He didn`t really see it as an
event. “I didn`t see an event,” he said, “I saw time with family” – in
someone else`s house, in someone else`s boat, in someone else`s Ferrari.
You mean somebody had to pay for that?
The most amazing claims, though, at least to me, are the ones about
golfing. So, the strategy is to blame all the gift taking on his wife,
right? To say she`s crazy, to say she took all this stuff. Bob McDonnell
didn`t even know about most of the stuff she took. He`s just an innocent
bystander, didn`t have any part in it.
But Bob McDonnell`s wife, you know what, she doesn`t golf as far as we
can tell. She wasn`t there at the multiple golf outings at the $50,000
plus $11,000 a year golf resort that Bob McDonnell kept going to time and
time again oftentimes with his sons, never paying for anything, never
reporting any of it as a gift. All of it paid for by this businessman.
The golf gifts to Bob McDonnell and his sons included multiple rounds
of golf at this very expensive course, clothes from the pro shop, a bag for
golf clubs. another bag for golf clubs. Golf clubs, themselves. Food and
drink and caddies and all the rest of it.
Individual outings to the golf club sometimes cost more than $1,000 a
pop, which the governor never paid a dime for and never reported as a gift.
On the stand this week, here`s how “The Washington Post” live blog
explains the Bob McDonnell defense on the golf issue. Bob McDonnell was
fuzzy about whether he had personally gone into the pro shop to buy items.
Quote, “I know my sons might have gone in,” he said. “Somehow we did end
up with some shirts. I know we had a couple of things to eat.” You know,
like, nuts and grubs and stuff that we foraged from under some oak trees.
Somebody had to pay for all that stuff? Somehow we ended up with some
The defense in the Bob McDonnell trial is salacious. Incidentally, in
my opinion, I think it`s unbelievably insulting to the man`s poor wife.
The defense even managed to slip into the governor`s testimony this
week that the governor is now living with his priest because he can`t bear
to live with his wife anymore. Naturally, I should mention also that the
priest right now is also blogging about the trial.
The McDonnell defense is lurid. It would be rejected as too much
melodrama and too mean to the lady by any self-respecting telenovela. But
it is what they are trying to do to get him off the hook. They`re hoping
that it is tabloid enough that it will distract us from this guy – the one
in the Rolex that he got from Santa.
The defense continues. Governor McDonnell takes the stand again on
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: This is a scaredy cat. Literally, it is a cat who is afraid.
And in this case, the cat is afraid of its own shadow. That`s what the cat
is pawing at there. As sometimes happens when we are afraid of something,
this cat that is afraid of its shadow might actually be mad at it, too, as
a result of its fear.
And that may be an object lesson for us as a country, as we head into
what is about to be a really intense and emotional national news event.
And that story is coming up.
MADDOW: It`s now been 13 days since the fatal shooting of an unarmed
teenager named Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
These are live pictures from the streets of Ferguson tonight. Like
last night, things appear to be calm on the streets of Ferguson. In terms
of developments in this case, local police have now released two separate
incident reports about the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police
The reports, themselves, I have to tell you, now that they`ve finally
been released, are not exactly long on detail. This is the report from the
St. Louis County Police department. It`s just a little bit more than a
page on this report.
You can see Michael Brown`s name. You can see that he was an adult.
He was 18. You can also see that the incident happened on Saturday
afternoon and you can see that the officer in question in the shooting is
In the section titled “Occurrence Details”, this is all we get. You
can see the address of the crime there, address of the shooting there.
That`s about it. Those are all the details.
Right now, a grand jury is being presented with the evidence in this
shooting. That grand jury will ultimately make the decision about whether
or not a crime was committed in this shooting of Mike Brown, and whether or
not to indict Officer Wilson for shooting him.
The county prosecutor`s office says that no further details of the
shooting will be released while that grand jury is reviewing this case.
That`s why they tell us this incident report has basically no reporting in
it. There`s even less information in the Ferguson Police Department
Incident report that was released after this one.
In the Ferguson report, Michael Brown`s name does not appear at all.
Officer Wilson`s name does not appear, either. In the Ferguson report,
really there is nothing much in this report at all.
According to protocol, the Ferguson Police Department had no legal
obligation to generate an incident report because the investigation was
handed over to the county police department as soon as the incident
In some, that means we`ve got two incident reports now, no information
in either of them, and still a ton of questions that need answering
surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown and a grand jury process and a
Department of Justice process investigating this, both of which are
expected to proceed at a pretty slow pace.
Joining us now is Antonio French. He`s alderman for the city of St.
Alderman French, thank you for being back with us. I appreciate it.
I know you must be tired after this long week.
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: It has been a long week.
MADDOW: Yes. Let me ask your reaction to these incident reports.
The decision by the prosecutor`s office to not release more information
while the grand jury is still in session, it seems like this might be the
end in terms of official information about the shooting of Mike Brown, at
least for a while.
FRENCH: Yes, I think what we`re seeing throughout this whole process
is really missteps on the local authority`s part at how they are releasing
information, when they release information, and how much information they
And that`s unfortunate because besides the tragedy of Mike Brown`s
death, the other thing we really have to fix and people want to see work
done on is restoring faith in the justice system here locally. And they
are not helping the situation.
MADDOW: This is the end of a long two weeks, as you said, a long two
weeks punctuated by some pretty violent clashes, by more than 100 arrests.
I can hear people in the streets behind you now, I can hear that there are
still some people out there, obviously in relative terms things are pretty
How would you describe the community sentiment right now, what people
want and how they`re feeling?
FRENCH: Yes. I mean, people should not interpret these smaller
crowds as in any way a measure of less anger or less frustration. The
highway patrol and local authorities have used some pretty strong means to
break up these crowds. You can`t stand, you can`t protest. Static
protests, they call them, threat of arrest.
And so, less people are out here, but the anger and frustration
MADDOW: What are you anticipating about Mike Brown`s funeral on
Monday? We know it`s going to be held at a venue that can hold a lot of
people. We`re expecting a lot of public attention and also just a big
crowd. What do you think is going to happen, and how important is that
going to be?
FRENCH: Yes. I think you are going to see a lot of people at the
funeral, outside the funeral, after the funeral. I think a lot of people
are going to congregate down here on West Florissant.
You know, the death of this young man touched a lot of people. It`s
an issue that resonates with people not just here in St. Louis, but all
over the country and the world. And I think Monday is going to be another
opportunity for people to show their support for the family and their
desire to see justice, whatever that is, but definitely a trial in this
MADDOW: I have to ask you, Alderman French, I saw you were tweeting
today about voter registration efforts. You have a new role in that regard
Can you tell us what`s happening there in terms of building political
engagement out of this?
FRENCH: Yes, I think our next steps are turn thing moment into
movement. We want to repair the problems that led to the situation in the
first place. And for the people locally in Ferguson, that means getting
the African-American population, which as you know is 67 percent majority,
active and involved in their government so they get a government that
actually reflects their interests and reflects their community.
I think a lot of the problems you saw this week, especially the
escalation of a situation, the militarization of a situation, was the
result of having a government that doesn`t relate or have any empathy or
sympathy or concern really for the local population.
MADDOW: Antonio French, Alderman for the city of St. Louis, talking
about turning this moment into a movement, hope you get some rest this
weekend, Mr. Alderman. Thanks very much for being with us. I appreciate
FRENCH: Thank you.
MADDOW: Coming up next, what, I will admit to being a strange and
somewhat my mystical Friday moment. It involves a cat and a dog and
several toddlers. And I`ll explain in a second.
MADDOW: I`m about to attempt a RACHEL MADDOW SHOW slide show. It`s
been a while since we tried one of these. I hope I can remember how they
First, I know we have to dim the lights, please. Good. Dim the
lights. Yes, there we go.
First slide, please. So, in this picture we have a bicycle, right?
But on the sidewalk, you can see a chalk drawing of the bicycle`s shadow,
its silhouette, traced in chalk at night on the sidewalk.
Next slide, please. Here we have graffiti of a giant beetle chasing a
smaller bug. But right next to that little drama, do you see the fire
hydrant and those bollards? Their shadows have been outlined in chalk on
the sidewalk. I mean, the bugs look like semi-permanent graffiti maybe,
but the chalk shadows, definitely, those are not going to last.
OK, let`s see the mailbox, same artist. Thank you. This one popped
in Northampton, Massachusetts. Ordinary downtown street, ordinary mailbox.
But surprised shadow drawing that makes you stop and wonder where it came
Next slide. The shopping cart shadows might be my favorite, the
detail involved, right? They found this one in Miami. Different town,
Last slide, please. These shadow drawings can be hard to seen, but
one you`re on to them, you can pick them out, even in the dark, right? The
shadow makes us see an otherwise, overlooked unremarkable thing. And pay
attention to it, and like with they are unremarkable newspaper boxes.
OK, if we can have the lights again, please. It`s a neat trick,
right? We equate seeing with light. If you want to see better you turn on
But shadows, the absence of light, they help us see but in a different
way, and sometimes in an unsettling way. There`s a joke about being afraid
of your shadow, right? But apparently, we as mammals really can be. Cats
can be scared of their shadows. Dogs can be scared of their shadows.
There`s an entire genre on YouTube of toddlers who discovered their
shadows and are outraged by that thing that will not stop following them.
The human artist who made these shadow drawings started this a decade
ago. That`s him working there on the right. His name is Ellis Gallagher.
He signs his work “Ellis G”.
And story of Ellis Gallagher His and this work is that he got mugged
one night years ago. Afterward, he could not shake the memory of the
shadow of his attacker. And so, as an antidote, because he was afraid, he
started drawing shadows of real things, of fire hydrants and bicycles,
cars, and buildings, street signs.
He told, “The New York Times,” this work won`t be around, God knows it
could be gone tomorrow. But until then, in the meantime, this work, this
drawing the shadows, it helps us see more things than we usually see.
This week in St. Louis, Missouri, a group of friends got together and
started doing kind of a distant cousin of the same kind of work. They
started drawing another kind of shadow. They started with a list of 20
names, 20 names of unarmed African-American men who`ve been killed by
police officers both in St. Louis and around the country. They named their
project Chalked Unarmed, #chalkedunarmed.
They asked other people to draw these chalk outlines, chalk shadows
for victims from their towns. Draw them in those towns and send a picture,
#chalkedunarmed. So you can free hand a silhouette of a body or you can
lie down on the pavement and have somebody trace an outline of you as if
the violence happened to you.
This Chalked Unarmed idea started with a man on the sidewalk here,
Derek Laney of St. Louis. He told us today that the idea was to borrow the
classic imagery from TV police shows where officers draw an outline of a
murder victim. Derek Laney told us today, we took a page out of their book
to illustrate what happens when these clashes come about. It results in
the death of black men, even though they are unarmed.
Today, Mr. Laney and his Chalked Unarmed project got an anonymous
donation of new chalk, the big kind of chalk that you need when you`re
drawing on the sidewalk. So, it does look like they`ll keep on drawing
The stories like the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson,
Missouri and the strife and the fury that followed, these stories, they
leave a mark, right? They leave an impression on everybody who is part of
it and all of us who watched this happen over the past two weeks. Stories
like this cast a shadow.
And yes, the sun rises, the next thing happens, the news is not always
going to be about Ferguson, Missouri. But the questions, intentions, and
inequities that was so visibly drawn in Ferguson, they were there before
this crisis happened. They`re still there now. And we could see them
nationally, all of a sudden, because of this bright light on Ferguson and
the killing of that young man and the burning uproar of the community in
But in the absence of that bright light, those things are still there.
And they`re not just there in Ferguson. I mean, judging from around – the
response around the country, you also know those questions and intentions
where you live.
All week in the office this week, we`ve been passing around pictures
from vigils and protests in Atlanta, in Austin, in San Francisco, in Iowa
City, hands up Philadelphia. Hands up in Oklahoma City and Greensboro,
North Carolina, in Houston, and Chicago. All over the country, these
questions, intentions and inequities are everywhere, because they`ve
outlasted our best intentions of fixing them.
As Ferguson prepares for Mike Brown`s funeral on Monday, and Staten
Island marches this weekend for Eric Garner and the grand jury gets ready
for a second day of evidence, and the Department of Justice weighs its
civil rights claims, as time moves on and the angle of the light changes,
are we going to see this as clearly as we have these past two weeks? How
long can we keep seeing this and will it be long enough to start making it
better? Monday is Mike Brown`s funeral in St. Louis.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again on Monday. Have a
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