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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 06/29/12

Guests: Amna Nawaz

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST, "THE ED SHOW": That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. It`s the weekend. (LAUGHTER) SCHULTZ: For one person on the screen, anyway. RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I was going to say, the weekend for you. SCHULTZ: That`s right. MADDOW: I got one hour to the weekend, Ed. I`ll see you there. SCHULTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Have a good one. MADDOW: You, too. Thanks to you at home for starting your weekend in one hour at least as well. What a week this has been, right? I mean, this is supposed to be the dog days of summer. Heading into the Fourth of July, nobody paying attention to politics, Washington sort of beside the point. Yes, right! Not this week. Congress was even in session today. They passed this big highway bill that nobody thought they`d be able to pass. As part of that, they passed the student loans thing so everybody with student loans will not see their rates double as of next week. They brought that down to the wire but they finally did it. President Obama today was in Colorado where the state is suffering through the worst wildfires in its history. Wildfires that have killed two people already and that are threatening built-up population centers like Colorado Springs. The Supreme Court ruling yesterday, of course, on health reform has Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, frankly, still vibrating at a high pitch, still reacting to the enormity of the ruling and figuring out what the implications are going to be in policy. And, of course, in politics, in the midst of the political pandemonium after the epic decision yesterday morning, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress for the first time in American history. And nobody noticed. One Republican congressman went on FOX this morning and proverbially jumped up and down, trying to get more attention to this thing that didn`t get much attention. He said on FOX today that congressional Republicans might very well try to have the attorney general arrested. Arrested. Really? These are supposedly the dog days, other than being hot, though, these are not the dog days. We`re in top gear, and in politics, that means really the campaigns ought to be hitting on all cylinders. I mean, think about the big picture for the presidential campaign. There are very few unknowns left. Obviously, we know who the candidates are, what the main issues are going to be. The other shoe has now dropped in terms of what health care is going to mean for the campaign. Yes, there`s the vice presidential pick for Mr. Romney. Other than that, the candidates know what they need to be. By now, they ought to know what they`re doing. They have been doing it for a while. They should have worked out the kinks. Can you tell where I`m going with this? Kinks remain. There seems to be one particularly kinky part of the Mitt Romney for president campaign they can`t fix. They keep doing it over and over and over again wrong. They keep blowing it. I think they should stop doing this. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining the Obama`s failed foreign policy conference call. Your host for today, Amanda Henneberg will now begin. AMANDA HENNEBERG, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Hey, guys. It`s Amanda from the campaign. Thanks so much for getting on the call. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Romney campaign does these conference calls all the time. The candle in the wind music one there was one of their conference calls in April, the Obama`s failed foreign policy conference call. They called that specifically to rebut an allegation from Vice President Biden that Mitt Romney`s foreign policy was going to be just like the George W. Bush`s foreign policy, and you can tell that because all the Romney foreign policy advisers are former Bush advisors. That was the allegation. And the Romney campaign called this "candle in the wind" music-themed conference call to rebut that allegation, rebut the allegation that all their foreign policy advisers are Bush guys, and two of the three speakers they booked for that call to make that case, that they`re not full of George W. Bush foreign policy advisers, two of those three guys are George W. Bush foreign policy advisers. They`re bad at this. They`re bad at doing this conference call political strategy thing. A week later, the RNC held another one of things, specifically to go after President Obama on high unemployment in the United States. Hey, Obama, how come there are no jobs in the United States? That particular conference call, they routed it through a conference call center in the Philippines. The all time great one of these, though, was probably in April. The Romney campaign held a conference call specifically on women in the economy. This is when they were pushing back on the whole war on women thing. And their push-back, you remember, was -- well, Obama has horrible policies on women and the economy. They picked out a specific target that really gave them something specific to shoot at. I mean, the first policy Obama signed into law was on women in the economy. It was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act about women and what they get paid in the workforce. The Romney campaign calls a conference call to attack President Obama on those policies. When they get asked about that policy on the conference call, they called to discuss that policy, here was their response. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Sam Stein with "Huffington Post". Please go ahead. SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, does Governor Romney support the Lilly Ledbetter Act? ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Sam, we`ll get back to you on that. MADDOW: The pregnant pause heard around the world. The day after that, trying to do damage control, the Romney campaign held another conference call, specifically to make clear that Romney totally supports fair pay for women. Do not be confused here. Do not be misled by Democratic spin or some unfortunate gaffe at a conference call. Of course, Mitt Romney supports fair pay for women. The people who the Romney campaign lined up to make that case for him were two members of Congress who voted against the Fair Pay Act for women. They`re bad at this. You know, they don`t have to use this tactic. Why do they keep using it when it`s like their Achilles heel? It`s like their curse. Do you remember the one back in May when they lined up a Florida congressman to stump for Romney on a conference calls, specifically on Florida issues? Apparently not realizing that particular Florida congressman had been under investigation by the FBI, the IRS, the Miami- Dade Police Department public corruption unit, the Miami-Dade state attorney`s office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement -- and people in Florida tended to know that about him. And for the last minute before the call, all of a sudden, that troubled Florida congressman was unavailable to join that call due to what they said were scheduling reasons or something. You would think they would just stop doing this particular thing. But they`re still doing them. A couple weeks ago when President Obama announced his big change in immigration policy -- the big problem for the Romney campaign on that was they would not say whether Mr. Romney agreed with that policy or not. Yes, yes, we know you hate everything President Obama does, but do you hate this particular thing the president has done? Do you hate that policy? What is your policy on the subject? Now, the whole point of the Romney campaign at this point is to never get specific on policy. And so, they desperately wanted to avoid being subject to any reporter`s questions on that. At that time, when immigration policy was all anyone wanted to talk about and they didn`t have a policy they wanted to talk about. So, a couple days after President Obama made his immigration announcement, the Romney folks called a conference call and they futilely tried to insist that nobody would be allowed to ask them questions about immigration policy. "Romney aides repeatedly urged reporters to restrict their questions to economic topics. After reporters did not oblige, the Romney campaign cut off the call." Yes, who could have seen that coming? I don`t know why they don`t recognize this as a problem they have. I mean, they may be able to do a lot of other things, but they cannot do this. I, for example, cannot say the word procurement. I also have trouble with the word sixth. I can say a lot of other words, but I can`t say those two words without slowing down and trying really hard. And so I have learned to talk about even the concepts of things being between the fifth thing and seventh thing and a particular policy about buying things without ever making myself say the words procurement or sixth. If you know you`re bad at something, stop doing it, stop doing these conference calls. They`re not stopping doing these conference calls. The Republicans did another one of them today on the health care reform ruling. Want to guess how it went? (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: There`s only one candidate, Governor Romney, who is committed that he will repeal the Obamney -- the Obamacare tax increase. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: The Obamney, Obamney care. This is a pro-Mitt Romney conference call where Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana reminded everybody on a phone line paid for by the Republicans that Obamacare and Romneycare can be conveniently combined into the Tim Pawlenty trademarked epithet Obamneycare. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIM PAWLENTY (R), FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Remember? That`s sort of how Tim Pawlenty got out of the presidential race this year, he had coined this thing Obamneycare saying that what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts is pretty much exactly what President Obama had introduced for national health reform policy. That happened to be true. Having coined Obamneycare on the campaign, Mr. Pawlently declined to repeat that slur to Mr. Romney`s face at a debate, thus leaving him open to the wuss allegation that he had tried so hard to counteract with a lot to talk about hockey fights. But the Obamneycare epithet which was used by Bobby Jindal accidentally on a pro-Romney conference call, and which was used by Tim Pawlenty while he was still in the presidential race, that was a powerful slur, a powerful idea against Mr. Romney in the Republican primaries when candidates could really count on the base super hating the idea. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Pick any other Republican in the country, he is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Politically speaking, on health reform, which is what Mr. Santorum says he was talking about there, Rick Santorum is right. The Massachusetts plan that Mitt Romney put in place is exactly the same as what President Obama did at the national level on every substantive element, and that has been the big political complication for Republicans this year in nominating Mr. Romney in the first place. But now, it is a particular mess for the Republicans because after the Supreme Court ruling yesterday, the Romney side, the Republican side, is saying they`re now going to double down on making this year`s presidential race all about how awful health reform is -- the health reform that`s exactly the same as what Mitt Romney did. The whole basic plan that everybody or at least almost everybody gets health insurance, it`s the same thing between the two plans. Romneycare is already in effect in Massachusetts, nearly 100 percent of Massachusetts kids are insured now, 98 percent of the overall population in the state is insured, and that`s what national health reform would try to do too if it gets implemented. The whole idea of the mandate where you have to get health insurance and if you don`t, you pay a fee or a tax or whatever you want to call it, that`s exactly the same in Massachusetts as it would be at the federal level. Here`s Mitt Romney`s op-ed from 2009 saying, yes, you have to pay a tax if you choose not to buy health insurance in Massachusetts. It`s exactly the same thing that just got upheld by the Supreme Court yesterday for the whole country. Everything that they want to say is evil and tyrannical about Obamacare is the exact same brand of supposed evil tyranny in Romneycare or the exact same brand of good idea, if you want to look at it that way. Having Mitt Romney run for president against health reform is nuts. That`s what they say they`re going to do now, but that would be like having Barack Obama run for president by being against killing Osama bin Laden or against ending the war in Iraq. You did it. You`re going to run against it? This whole renewed freak-out on the right, saying they`re going to make the whole election against health reform with Mitt Romney as their standard bearer is bizarre, but don`t take it from me. Who I am? Just a liberal on TV. Perhaps you`d take it from the architect of the Mitt Romney plan in Mississippi who President Obama hired to come to Washington and write the same plan for the country. In November, he got asked how that Republican and bipartisan plan in Massachusetts that he worked on ended up being such a boogieman for the Republicans now in running against Obama. Here`s his response. It`s priceless. Quote, "This is, to my mind, the most blatantly obvious case of politics trumping policy I have ever seen in my life. Because this is an idea that four or five years ago, Republicans were touting. A guy from the Heritage Foundation spoke at the bill signing in Massachusetts about how good this bill was." The guy who wrote both plans for Obama and Romney, this is him here, he said that Romney`s attempt to distinguish between Obama`s bill and his own is disingenuous. The direct quote from him is this, "The problem is there is no way to say that because they`re the same f-ing bill," except he didn`t say f-ing. "He can`t have his cake and eat it, too. Basically, you know, it`s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he`s just lying." How do you base your whole campaign for president on being against something that you did? It would be like John McCain saying he was against his own immigration plan. Oh, wait. In any case, the perfect distillation of this problem for the Republicans is in the trouble that the surrogates for the Romney campaign are having talking about this. You have Bobby Jindal talking about Obamney today on the conference call. You also got Marco Rubio. Did you hear how Marco Rubio he tried to explain the difference between Obamacare and Romneycare? This is perfection. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: He supported it at a state level which means if you didn`t like it in Massachusetts, you could move to another state. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: You could move. See, that`s why you should vote for Mitt Romney. That`s what he did for Massachusetts when he turned Massachusetts into a socialist health state, you could escape that. You could escape the state borders. They`re unarmed. You could leave and drive to another state, whereas, Obama, there`s no getting away unless you go to another country. That`s the best case Mitt Romney`s likely vice presidential nominee can make for the difference between what they`re running against and who they are. Yes, my guy did this horrible thing to his state, but the residents of the state could flee the state if they wanted to. That`s not illegal. Vote for the guy who did that to his state. You can get away. Joining now is Melissa Harris-Perry, host of her own show here on MSNBC on weekends. Melissa, thank you for being here. MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: OK. So that`s -- first of all, that`s my governor. (LAUGHTER) HARRIS-PERRY: So, I just completely love that Bobby Jindal did that. MADDOW: Obamneycare. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, Obamneycare. It is really is perhaps the most bizarre thing of the past three days. MADDOW: We have seen from the very beginning Republicans running against Mitt Romney saying he`s the worst guy to pick because we want to make health reform a central and horrible thing against which we want to run. And Romney has exactly the same baggage. That was the case they were making forever against him. Is it of renewed importance now with the Supreme Court ruling and in particular, with Republicans trying to attack on policy grounds, this idea that it`s a horrible tax? HARRIS-PERRY: Well, so here`s what I think is happening. Because I don`t think that the entire party is this confused about what a debate between President Obama and Governor Romney will be on a health care issue. I think the reason that they`re scheduling this repeal vote on July 11th and that week is look, it is dog days of summer, nothing else is going on, Fourth of July will be over -- freedom, fireworks. And they`ll say, OK, we have done our repeal vote. There`s nothing we can do now that we have done our reveal vote. We have to wait for Governor Romney to be the president of the United States. I think they`ll backpedal off. I think they`ll do this. They need to show their massive resistance. All of these Republican governors are going to stand in the school house door. They`re going to basically claim nullification. We`re not going to try to set up our exchanges as the law demands we do, and they`re just going to let it ride. I actually don`t think this is going to be the center piece of the Romney campaign. It cannot be. MADDOW: In terms of the Romney campaign strategy right now, though, do they try to make it a big deal now? I mean, they have introduced like a new hashtag, #fullrepeal. They`re trying to be as militant as possible on it. Mr. Romney gave a rooftop press conference immediately after the health reform ruling, trying to be more militant on the issue than he has before. Are they doing that just to get it out of the way? I mean, don`t you feel the base will have to be revved up about this in the fall? HARRIS-PERRY: You know, every day -- Chris Hayes was saying this earlier today -- every day that they`re not talking about the economy, they`re losing this election, right? This ended up being a very good week for President Obama despite the fact his attorney general was, you know, held in contempt of Congress. Now, that happens because he gets his big win. Every time they talk about it, they remind the world that John Roberts sided with Barack Obama. I mean, basically, it`s like suggesting there is some kind of unholy alliance in which literally the universe aligned for President Obama. And in that sense -- no, I think that ultimately, they`re going to pivot away from this as quickly as they can. They`re going to show the massive resistance, but they`re going to say this is a tax, taxes are bad. We`re against taxes. In fact, let me talk to you about the economy. MADDOW: Right. Let`s move on from this. Other than Barack Obama, the person most responsible for making this happen in Congress is Nancy Pelosi. Your interview tomorrow on your show is your big Nancy Pelosi interview not only am I excited about, but I`m getting anticipatory e-mails from my father. So excited to see it. Do you have a view of how Democrats are viewing the political victory? HARRIS-PERRY: This was a huge moment. It was really exciting -- I took my 10-year-old daughter and she got an opportunity to meet the woman who became the first woman speaker of the House. And, you know, everybody is still in their high-fiving mode, but the real question is this was ultimately not the best political move. President Obama in taking on health care first, right after the stimulus, made a very, very risky decision. Nancy Pelosi said to me that she knew, all of them knew, it was going to go to the Supreme Court. This was not a good political move. This was a generational move. This was the kind of thing that a president, that a leader in Congress, says we have to change the world for American citizens. My favorite sort of self deportation was immediately after the Roberts decision came down, there were conservatives on Twitter saying they were going to leave and go to Canada. MADDOW: Right. To get free from the socialist health care. HARRIS-PERRY: To get free from the socialist health care. Whoops. Right? So, it`s kind of a generational difference. It brings us into modern society with our contemporaries and says, look, we too are going to at least to begin to do the work of providing health care for our citizens. MADDOW: Melissa Harris-Perry, the host of "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY", weekends on MSNBC. The Pelosi interview, much awaited Pelosi interview tomorrow morning at 10:00, right? HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. MADDOW: Very exciting. Thanks for being here. All right. While almost nobody was looking, one great American state was busy trying to roll back a legally protected right of its citizens until the right no longer existed. It`s the sort of thing the feds are supposed to step in and stop. That fight is unfolding this weekend. You have probably not heard about it anywhere else, but we have the details next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Congress finished up today before their big Fourth of July break. I think Republican Senator Rand Paul may have gone home mad. As of this morning, the Senate still had a ton of business to do, extending the flood insurance program, right, that covers more than 5 million properties in flood-prone areas. That was one of the things they needed to do. It`s usually a work-a-day bipartisan bill. But this year, Rand Paul tried to tact anti-abortion legislation onto it. You remember the personhood thing that even Mississippi voters thought was too radical this past year? Rand Paul wanted to attach a version to even that thing that Mississippi said no to, to flood insurance. So, if you want flood insurance, he said that we`re also going to have to declare that every fertilized egg in America is a person. So, a woman becomes two people essentially as soon as she`s on the third base. Personhood bills ban all abortion in all circumstances, and they probably ban the most commonly used forms of birth control in the country as well. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looked at Rand Paul`s personhood amendment to the flood bill and he kind of flipped his lid, he said that`s not going to happen. No freaking way. Actually what Senator Reid said on his soft-spoken way specifically was this -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: I think this is outlandish. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: When he said it was outlandish, what he really meant was no freaking way. Well, today, in an uncharasterically productive flurry of activity, Congress did pass the flood insurance bill and they did not include the Rand Paul personhood thing with it. Harry Reid won on that. But even as Republicans` laser like focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, by which I mean abortion, has mostly gone nowhere at the federal level. In the states, Republicans are on the verge of accomplishing a goal that they have dreamed of since Roe versus Wade. Get this -- barring last-minute intervention from a federal court, Republicans in Mississippi are within hours of banning abortion in that state. By making their state the only state in the country that has no abortion clinic, not one. In April, new Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed a trap law, specifically targeted, specifically onerous regulations for the state`s lone abortion clinic that other kinds of medical clinics in Mississippi do not have to follow. Republicans have proposed these anti-abortion trap laws this session in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia. In most places, they argue the regulations are good for women, and if the new red tape accidently shuts down the abortion providers -- well, oops. Mississippi is different, though. In Mississippi, officials have been flat out admitting what they have been trying to do. They said they were doing this, passing this law specifically to try to shut down the last abortion clinic in the state. They want to end abortion in Mississippi full stop. You cannot get one there. Rights be damned. Governor Phil Bryant said so when he signed the bill into law. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R), MISSISSIPPI: I think it`s historic. It`s a day you see the first step in a movement, I believe, to do what we campaigned of, to say we`re going to try to end abortion in Mississippi. We`re going to continue to try to work to end abortion in Mississippi. And this is an historic day to begin that process. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was the Republican governor of the state. Here`s the Republican lieutenant governor just in case it`s not clear enough. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been seven years since we got good pro-life legislation passed out of the Mississippi legislature. That`s a bill that gives us a great opportunity to do -- to accomplish what our goal needs to be. Our goal needs to be to end all abortions in Mississippi. I believe the admitting privileges bill gives us the best chance to do that. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: After Republicans passed this law, they went home to their constituents and bragged about what they have done, for instance this state legislator. His name is Bubba Carpenter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUBBA CARPENTER, MISSISSIPPI GOP LAWMAKER: We had literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi. The only clinic in the entire state - - three blocks from the capitol sits the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. A bill was drafted. It said, if you would perform an abortion in the state of Mississippi, you must be a certified OB/GYN and you must have admitting privileges to a hospital. Anybody here in the medical field knows how hard it is to get those privileges to a hospital. And, of course, there you have the other side, they`re like, "Well, the poor pitiful women that can`t afford to go out of state are just going to do them at home with a coat hanger. That`s what we`ve heard over and over and over. But hey, you have to have moral values. You have to start somewhere, and that`s what we`ve decided to do. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: You have to have moral values. What we have done might cause women in our state to kill themselves by trying to operate on themselves, but you have to have moral values. The state`s new law to eliminate all abortion services in Mississippi takes effect on Sunday. Tonight, the owner of the state`s only clinic said her doctors tried to get admitting privileges to hospitals just as soon as the governor signed the bill. She said the doctors have applied to five hospitals within 30 miles of the lone clinic in the state. They have not been given those privileges anywhere. And everybody knew they wouldn`t, that`s the whole point of the bill. This week, the last clinic in Mississippi turned to a federal court for help. They asked the court to block this new law. In this country, when constitutionally protected rights are threatened by the action of the state government, we count on the federal government to step in and stop the state from doing that. We have seen that with school integration and voting rights. Here now with this nationally protected right, the answer depends on a court in Jackson, Mississippi, and what happens in the next few days. The clinic`s owner tells us that regardless of what he court decides between now and Monday, if the court decides anything, she will open her business on Monday, if only to answer the phone. But she says she doubts her doctors will be willing to take the risk of breaking the law and going to prison in order to keep providing what is supposed to be the constitutionally protected right to an abortion in this country. And if that happens, the state will have ended something that the nation says no state has a right to end. Watch this this weekend, the law is set to go into effect July 1st if the court does not act. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Yes, it has been a big, exciting, complicated, fast-moving week of big newsy news in American politics. And yes, it`s Friday night. But does it mean things are slowing down yet? No, it does not. Here on this show, still to come, we have an exclusive coming up next that is absolutely stunning. We`ve got tape that has never been seen anywhere about something that everybody knew was going on but nobody has ever seen it before. And the only reason we`ve got the tape is because somebody risked his life to smuggle it out to us. That`s next. It`s exclusive. Sit tight. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So I wrote a book that came out a couple months ago. It`s called "Drift." It`s had pretty good reviews. It was number one on the "New York Times" bestsellers time list for more than a month, which was amazing and weird. It`s been great. It`s getting reviewed in the "Washington Post" this weekend, which I`m all nervous about. But all in all, it`s good, right? The idea of writing a book, even when people disagree with the case that you make, the whole reason I wrote it is so people would at least pay attention to the case I`m making. At least argue about it. And the basic idea of this book that I wrote is that we go to war now in a way that isn`t the way the constitution says we`re supposed to, it`s not the way we have done it in the past. War for us now sort of drifted into the way we have war in our country now in a way that is really that has insulated both from the politics and from civilian life. It doesn`t affect us here at home. It`s slick and painless for us who are not fighting these wars. And in some cases, we do not know we`re at war, in a sense that we are not told by our government that we are doing it. Take for example a nice Friday night news dump from a couple weeks ago, Friday, June 15th. The president sends a letter to Congress, the president has to do this every six months, explaining where our troops are in the world and under what legal authority they`re there. So this latest one said we`re out of Iraq entirely. It says we`re still fighting in Afghanistan, quote, "actively pursuing and engaging remaining al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan." It says we`re still running Guantanamo, which is in Cuba, which is awkward for so many reasons. It says we`ve got those troops in Central Africa going after Joseph Kony and the Lord`s Resistance Army. It says we`ve got military monitors in Kosovo, left over from 1999, and in Egypt left over from 1981, although, boy howdy, Egypt is different now than it was in 1981. But you know what it doesn`t mention anywhere is this place, where we are definitely at war. But we don`t call it that. For nine years, the U.S. has been killing people using remote piloted aircraft in the nuclear arms, fairly unstable, rabidly anti-American nation of Pakistan. President Bush started the policy, but President Obama has tripled down on it. Now, we know we`re doing it. The Obama administration did finally admit to the fact we`re doing this in year nine of the policy, just last month. They admitted to it in a speech by the president`s counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. But here`s the thing about this policy. Nobody ever gets to see that it`s happening. Not just in the normal way that we as civilians don`t get to see the war fighting that U.S. troops do in other countries. In Pakistan, it`s something even more than that. There aren`t embedded reporters riding along somehow with the drone pilots. The tribal areas where this is happening are explicitly off limited to Westerners, including Western reporters. I know from experience how difficult it is to get a visa to cover Pakistan at all, as a Western reporter. But to go to report on the impact of the drone strikes in the places where the drone strikes are, the answer is no. And that`s why this exclusive report we have tonight, which has never been seen anywhere before is so critically important and so fascinating. This is an exclusive, very, very hard to get footage from something almost no outsider has ever seen. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) AMNA NAWAZ, NBC NEWS REPORTER (voice-over): This is what many Pakistanis call evidence of an American war with their country. Rare images from the remote tribal region of North Waziristan showing destruction after a U.S. drone strike. The attack occurred at 3:00 a.m. on March 30th in this market area. One missile pierced the ceiling, more demolished five nearby shops. Four alleged militants were killed in this strike. Their identities were never publicly confirmed. Here in the border with Afghanistan, strikes like this are not uncommon, but the area hardest hit by the drones is also the most difficult for outsiders to visit or report from. SHAHZAD AKBAR, ANTI-DRONE ATTORNEY: The collateral damage is way more than it is even perceived by the people who are doing it. NAWAZ: Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar said he`s discovered while the U.S. drone campaign may yield a few high value hits, far more civilians are being killed in our reporting. Over 300 strikes have been carried out in Afghanistan since 2004, but here`s enormous controversy surrounding the casualty tally. According to Washington and London-based research groups, tracking reports of drone strikes here, as many as 3,000 people have been killed as a result, most of whom are labeled militants under a broad U.S. definition, only a few dozen of which have been identified as militant leaders. AKBAR: The problem is no one cares if nobody is killed. By nobody, I mean a person who is a nobody, a person who is probably just living in the area, has no money, no education, no representation. NAWAZ: So Akbar launched his own campaign, a legal one, to represent local families who suffered civilian casualties in the strikes. He`s now filed lawsuits in Pakistani courts suing former U.S. intelligence officials for carrying out the program and to the government of Pakistan for failing to stop them. (on camera): It`s incredibly difficult to get any kind of evidence from the remote parts of the countries where the drone strikes typically occur, but these, what are believed to be fragments of actual hell fire missiles were smuggled into Islamabad from those tribal area. (voice-over): Akbar says the pieces were collected from drone strike sites and he`s using the serial numbers to confirm their make and manufacturers. But to gain access into the far flung reaches of Pakistan, he partnered with Noor Behram, a journalist and father of six born and raised in North Waziristan. After growing frustrated with the lack of ground reporting from the region, Behram said he committed himself to documenting the devastation. He`s gathered photos and testimonies from dozens of strike sites and has personally witnessed 10 drone attacks in and around his own town of Niramsha (ph) NOOR BEHRAM, JOURNALIST IN NORTH WAZIRISTAN (through translator): There`s al Qaeda, Taliban, and America, they`re fighting each other. The Taliban said you`re killing our soldiers we`ll kill yours. I try not to get involve said in the issues. If there`s even one child killed in the drone strike, it`s a tragedy. NAWAZ: And across Pakistan, anger is growing. At this anti-drone rally in Niramsha, hundreds of men gather to listen to the leader of this conservative religious group as he railed against what he called U.S. imperialism and their drone strikes inside Pakistan. There are worries the U.S. campaign to kill terrorists will actually end up creating more. BEHRAM: When people are out there picking up body parts after a drone strike, it would be very easy to convince those people to fight against America. NAWAZ: Behram and Akbar have filed 13 lawsuits so far representing 71 families of civilians killed, and say they`ll continue to fight their battle in the courtroom. Amna Nawaz, NBC News, Islamabad. (END VIDEOTAPE) MADDOW: Joining us tonight for the interview is NBC`s Pakistan bureau chief Amna Nawaz. Amna, it`s great to see you here. Thank you for being here. Congratulations on this. NAWAZ: Thank you. Thanks for having me. MADDOW: It`s remarkable to see the fragments of the missiles and the guy looking at the serial numbers and trying to track them down. Is this the first that we knew that anything like this was happening? NAWAZ: No, of course not. I mean, look, we have known for a while that this was a huge part of this administration`s counterterrorism program. Certainly in Pakistan more so than any other country although it has extended to other countries in recent years. If you just take a look at the number, you see there`s been a sharp uptick in the use of these drone strikes in Pakistan over the last decade or so. And we know that the Obama administration in particular relies heavily on these kinds of strikes inside Pakistan. MADDOW: But is this the first time we knew that Pakistanis were trying to trace the physical evidence of those strikes back to the source of the weaponry for the purposes of getting accountability? NAWAZ: This is certainly one of the only efforts that`s being made of its kind. I mean, this lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, he himself can`t go to the regions that he`s trying to represent people on where they`re from. So, he has to rely, as we saw in the report, on the local journalist from the area. I mean, this area, you mentioned before, it`s basically a no-go zone for any outsiders. Independent investigators, human rights watch workers, foreign media -- you simply cannot travel freely in the area. So these efforts that he`s making, legal efforts, are unique and are the first of their kind. MADDOW: How risky is it for that locally born journalist who you spoke with and is providing the material, how risky is it for him to not just be collecting the footage but ferrying it to outsiders so it ends up on American national TV tonight. NAWAZ: I do want to point out, the footage that we used was not taken from the journalist we profiled in that area. And we`ve worked with a number of journalists across the country at NBC News. You can`t stress it enough. Journalists in Pakistan, local journalists risk their life every day to get to the truth and get the truth out to the rest of the world. Nowhere so is that true in North Waziristan, in the tribal areas, and in TPK (ph) area or the Frontier province as we know it, borders of Afghanistan. So in order to get this one piece of video out, we actually took a couple weeks to move the video from place to place until it was safely in the hands of someone we knew it transmit it back to us. MADDOW: Wow. In terms of the Obama administration making a decision to at least publicly admit we are doing it in Pakistan. Obviously, we have been doing this for years, but it`s been the shell game for the administration doesn`t own up to it. John Brennan has now given a speech saying, yes, we`re doing it. Does that admission convey any hope of further openness in terms of being able to cover it or being able to get getting further information about it? NAWAZ: I don`t know that Mr. Brennan`s recent admission means they`re going to be any more transparent about the program. It remains a classified program, when we approached the CIA for comments about the story, they did decline comment. Look, we know they think this is a program that`s working. We know that the top commanders, al Qaeda, that they`re trying to go after, they have been able to knock it off. Leadership of al Qaeda has basically been disseminated as a result of this program. But they`re playing a bit of a game with this. Privately, anonymously, officials will tout the successes of the program leaked through reports and to sources they trust in the media. But publicly, they will still not own up to the details of much of the program. MADDOW: And finding the other side of the balance, the success versus the risk, finding the risk part of it, finding the downside part of it is almost impossible. You have given us something that is as close to making it possible as I have seen. Congratulations on this. This is an incredible work. NAWAZ: Thank you. Thanks for having me. MADDOW: Amna Nawaz is Pakistan bureau chief for NBC. Just incredible. All right, coming um, some really good news from a totally unexpected place. And we have come up with the perfect way to night cap this week of the ginormous health reform ruling, the huge one for the Obama administration courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court. That`s all ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: In most adult professions, a 27-year-old person is a pretty young person. When I was 27, I was a fresh faced assembly line worker at Acme Horseless Buggy Corporation (ph). It was Roosevelt`s first term, Teddy Roosevelt. I`m old. But in pro-basketball, if you`re 27, you are not young. You are at least middle aged. The NBA had its player draft last night in the great city of Newark, New Jersey. The NBA draft is not as over the top and overproduced as the football draft, but it`s on their way there. They do it in a big arena, in a big crowd, and lots of hopeful players and their families. At least for the ballyhooed first part of the draft when they get all the name brand superstars picked. The first four picks, the most coveted players in the draft this year in order were 19, 18, 19, and 20 years old. Tall as they all are and rich as they are about to be, these guys are very young. Eventually last night, in the second round came the 33rd pick in the draft, after most of the hype had died down and the crowd had thinned out a little bit and the electricity in the arena had just about gone away. But watch this. With the 33rd pick in the 2012 draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected a man named Bernard James, 6`10`` tall, 230 pounds, and 27 years old. The oldest college player drafted by an NBA team in more than 20 years. And the room which had been subdued for awhile at that point realized who had just been picked and they went nuts. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This might be the best moment of the draft. Bernard James as you see his bio blast, is getting a standing ovation here in the Prudential Center. Listen to this from crowd. CROWD: USA, USA, USA! (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Why was the 27-year-old player getting drafted and why was everybody chanting "USA, USA, USA" when Bernard James got picked? One reason. When he was 17 years old, Bernard James enlisted in the United States Air Force. In six years of service, he served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and Qatar. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant. Staff Sergeant James is also a hellacious intramural basketball player. And at an armed forces tournament in 2005, he caught the eye of the head coach of Florida State. After he got out of the service, Bernard James wound up with a scholarship for Florida State for whom he was also a hellacious player. And last night, Bernard James, after three tours of duty in the Air Force, signing up after 9/11, became the oldest college player drafted by an NBA team in decades. The Cleveland team picked him and then traded his rights to the team in Dallas to the Dallas Mavericks for whom it just became a bit harder not a cheer -- as long as they have Bernard James which is awesome. And it`s not even the end of the show. That technically wasn`t the best new thing in the world. There`s more to come. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Happy Friday. A lot of things in the booze world are kind of related to health care. At least they`re related ostensibly to medicine. Here`s a prescription form for medicinal liquor from the Prohibition Era. Yes, booze is banned unless your doctor says you need it as medicine. Same goes for bitters. Sure you`d never drink alcohol, but head down to the pharmacist for herbal to settle your stomach or something. It`s medicine. And so, on the occasion of the historic Supreme Court ruling, upholding health reform this week, something that as a country we`ve been trying to do for a century, on that occasion, we can pick from a litany of drinks named for the spiritual overlap between makes you feel better and makes you feel tipsy. The stumbly, blurry line between cures what ails you and will ail you in the morning. For example, there`s the monkey gland cocktail named after a dubious aphrodisiac idea having to do with monkeys` testicles and you and a doctor, long story. I once made Jimmy Fallon drink one of those. Monkey gland. There`s a Tiki drink called the painkiller. That`s like a pina colada on steroids, a good medical themed drink, the painkiller. The corpse reviver number two which is vaguely health related-ish, bringing somebody back from the dead. Clear! We made that one in the office on the video machine awhile ago, about a year ago. But tonight, our celebratory cocktail moment commemoration of this being the week of the Supreme Court`s big health care reform ruling was an easy one. It`s in honor specifically of this guy -- the guy with his arm in the sling from the ads in Massachusetts that marketed Romneycare to the residents of that state, which frankly Democrats and liberals and the Obama administration really finally need to get to for the country now that federal health reform is safe at least from the courts. In recognition of the need to sell health reform and in honor of this guy from those ads with his arm in the sling, I present to you the gin-sling. Get it? Sling? I know. That`s kind of cheesy. You know, we were going to make a prescription julep, but we`ve already done that, I think. Anyway, so, what we`re using is awesome Death`s Door gin from Wisconsin, which is really, really good gin and it`s from Wisconsin. You do an ounce and a half of gin. You do sweet vermouth. We`ve got very fancy, Italian Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, which is lovely and kind of taste like vanilla, 3/4 ounce of that. Tada! Now we need to do 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, which -- say it with me now -- has to come from a lemon, which is a fruit that grows on a tree. Did we get a new lemon squeezer? This is nice. What happened to our old one? Budget times. All right. Half an ounce of lemon juice and half an ounce of simple syrup, which is just a one to one Mix of sugar and water. You can make it at home. We apparently are rolling in the dough and so now we have a special pitcher of it. Half an ounce of simple syrup, and three dashes of the best thing in the world otherwise known as Angostura bitters. One, two, three. All you do is shake that up with ice -- like you mean it. You really have to shake it. Pour that over ice, in a lovely glass like this. Make sure you spill it on the desk so that the morning Saturday anchors have some stickiness to look forward to. Add a little soda like this. Come up with some sort of fancy garnish, a wedge of lemon. It`s a gin- sling. You have to market health reform if you want to benefit from it politically now. That does it for us tonight. Have a great weekend at the cozy little place you have set up for yourself -- in prison. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END