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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/03/13

Guests: P.J. Crowley

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you very much. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. When something is written by a U.S. government official and it is a classified document, sometimes that document is assigned kind of a freshness date. The same way that, you know, you buy a yogurt or you buy some beef jerky that has a label on it, that says the date at which those foods will expire. Sometimes secret documents have a date which they expire, on which at least they become un-secret. Like this one, a 20-year freshness date. This was a document that was sent on September 23rd, 2008. And it is a classified document. But 20 years after it was sent, it`s scheduled to be a declassified document or at least it will then become eligible for declassification. It`s got a 20-year freshness date on it. That means for this document in particular, we the public can expect to have to wait until 2028 to be allowed to read this cable unless we`ve got a security clearance. That was the plan, and then, Bradley Manning happened. This is one of the cables that Bradley Manning took and gave to WikiLeaks and then WikiLeaks published. So, we got to read 18 years ahead of schedule this document, this U.S. government assessment of Egypt. It wasn`t scheduled to be declassified until 2028, but it`s in the public domain now. Before the giant street protests, two and a half years ago, against the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. The U.S. government in this cable that was published by WikiLeaks, they assessed what role the Egyptian military would play when it came time for Mubarak to go. At the time, the operating assumption in the U.S. government was that Mubarak would try to install his son as his successor. Would the military go along with that plan? The general assumption by the U.S. government was yes. The military would go along with it. We agree with the analysis that senior military officers would support Mubarak`s son if Mubarak resigned and installed the son in the presidency. But they said, in a messier succession scenario, it becomes more difficult to predict the military`s actions. So, if Mubarak installs his son to take over, the U.S. government assessed a few days ago, that the military would be OK with that, they`d be OK with the son. So, that`s what would happen in Egypt, right? In a messier scenario, though, the U.S. government`s assessment was, who knows? Well, "who knows" is where we are right now. On a day important enough in world history that your daytime television viewing on NBC today had to be stopped, dropped and rolled into an NBC breaking news special report. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you`re going to be my boyfriend, have you to appreciate everything about me, my fake lashes, my extensions and you have to be cool with. UNIDENTIFEID MALE: No, no, no. Who told you that? ANNOUNCER: This is an NBC News special report. Here`s Brian Williams. BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, good day from New York, and we`re about to go to Cairo, and that is because over just the past few minutes, it is now apparent Egypt appears to be in the throes of a change of management. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Special report today. You know, two and a half years ago, the scenes in Tahrir Square of the protesters who were toppling the government then, those scenes looked very similar to the scenes of the protesters in Tahrir Square who are toppling their government right now. This year, for whatever reason, there are more green lasers in the square now, lighting up the square from time to time, but you are forgiven if you are otherwise, besides the laser pointers, seeing the similarities between the two sides of your screen here. But although we look back at the revolution of 2011 and say that Hosni Mubarak was pushed out of power, was deposed as a dictator by those throngs of Egyptians in Tahrir Square and in the streets, it was not just those throngs of Egyptians and Tahrir Square and in the streets who threw him out. Two and a half years ago, it was the military. It was the military who basically stayed out of the fight on the streets between Mubarak and the protesters back then. They stayed out of the fight until at the end, it was the military that stepped decisively to settle the issue by putting themselves in charge and throwing Mubarak out. We do not think of that military coup back then in 2011 as a military coup, but the military did take over. And they didn`t just take over for a hot second. They were in charge for a year and a half. From the moment they deposed Mubarak, until elections were held to pick a new president. Those elections were held a year ago this week. A year ago this week, the new presidency, the first post-Mubarak presidency was assumed by the Muslim Brotherhood and by their candidate, Mohamed Morsi. And after exactly one year in office as president, unhappiness with his rule as president of Egypt brought people back into the streets and back into Tahrir Square to demand that he`d be deposed just like Mubarak was. And just like two and a half years ago, the military stayed mostly out of the fight in the streets until they didn`t, until they decided to weigh- in against the president and on the side of the protesters who were protesting against him. After issuing an ultimatum for the president to find a political solution or face the military doing that for him, the president`s time in office expired today. He (INAUDIBLE) ultimatum, and by orders of the military he was deposed. Once again the protests have forced the overthrow of the Egyptian government. But once again, it is the military who has grabbed the reigns and taken over. They say that again they will only hold power until new democratic elections can be held and then the military says it will step down. But does this just keep happening? Does this just keep happening now, lather, rinse, repeat, right? Should we reasonably expect that a country emerging fractiously into democracy after decades of dictatorship might need a couple of tries at getting the whole democratic government`s thing right? Or should we see this as a military coup, more than we saw it that way the last time, when technically the same thing happened, but we in the West viewed it as a popular uprising and not as some junta grabbing power. As the world watches, Egypt again topples its own rulers. As the world watches, and prays they get the responsive and responsible government its people deserve, what happens next here? Is the military the force for stability that the U.S. government wrote about in that WikiLeaks cable, the force for stability that for years the U.S. has perceived the military to be in Egypt. And regardless, how can our country, how can any country now try to support the earnest and determined people of the most populous country in the Middle East, who once again have just thrown everything up in the air? Joining us now live from revolutionary Cairo is NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. Ayman, it is great to have you here. Thank you so much for staying up into the middle of the night with us. Within the last hour, we have learned that Egypt`s former president, Mohamed Morsi, and most of his presidential team, they`ve been placed under house arrest. Do we have any expectations of what happens to him now? AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: We don`t. Not yet, the military has not made clear what it plans on doing, whether or not he will be released at least in the coming hours or days. He`s not been charged with anything despite the fact that a lot of the protesters here say that there are sufficient reasons to actually try him or to put him on trial for some of the ways he has managed the country over the past year. They say he has committed crimes and as a result, he should be put on trial. The military has not made any indication that his temporary house arrest -- I say temporary because that is at least the indication we`re getting, is for any other reason than for his own personal security, and that he`s not being released right now, just because of the security situation and the overall climate here in the country. But from the prospective of the Muslim Brotherhood, senior officials I`ve been speaking to, this was a military coup. They are describing the president now as being under house arrest in the custody of the Egyptian military? MADDOW: Ayman, in terms of the Muslim Brotherhood and the supporters of president Morsi who were certainly outnumbered in the streets but we saw them in the streets over the past days and weeks, what are their plans. They`re calling this a coup. Are they planning to resist in an ongoing way that suggests further violence in Egypt? MOHYELDIN: Well, right now, the tone that is coming out of the Muslim Brotherhood is certainly one that is somber, albeit defiant. They say they still have legitimacy on their side. They`re not looking at this as a personal defeat in their own struggle, but rather a sad day for Egypt. Now, they haven`t discussed what they plan on doing in the coming days or in the future. There are comments that have come out of the senior leadership of the organization, that have absolutely rejected violence, saying that any attempts to try to portray that the Muslim Brotherhood was going to resort to violence was simply propaganda, trying to distort all of the good deeds that the Muslim Brotherhood has done in the course of the past year. So, the organization right now is trying to strike that tone. The key question is going to be, what does the tone that is coming out of the new leadership of the country suggest in terms of what role the Muslim Brotherhood will play in the future. Now, the military when they made their announcement a few days ago, the road map they`re going to chart for this country will involve all of Egypt`s political organizations, the key point to keep in mind is that despite the overwhelming joy people are celebrating, the Muslim Brotherhood is still a fabric or part of the fabric of Egyptian society. They still have a tremendous amount of grassroots support, and certainly they will have a seat at the table going forward. Right now, though, they have not been very vocal about what that role will be, and neither have we heard from the new incoming president. MADDOW: Ayman, looking at the scenes in Tahrir Square behind you right now, and just seeing the celebration, it is hard not to feel the echoes of what happened there in 2011 when Mubarak was deposed and the military played a very similar role saying they would take temporary control to dissolve the constitution, they would only hold power until new elections could be held. That is the process that led to this new round of it happening all over again, jus a year into Morsi`s term. Is there some sense that the military and the protesters will try to approach this process differently? What do they think they did wrong that brought everybody back into the streets just a year after Morsi took power? MOHYELDIN: Well, that`s a great question, there`s a few key differences. One, the leadership of the military itself is different this time around. The senior officer corps that runs the Egyptian military was different than that. That was appointed by President Mubarak. They served under President Mubarak, but they weren`t in the same type of leadership positions. That`s one. Two, you have to keep in mind the driving force behind these demands have been the revolutionary youth. Their demand for freedom has not changed. They have endured decades of authoritarian rule. Decades of military rules, two years of the military interim government, and now, a short lived Islamist government. The only thing they yearn for is a genuine shot at freedom. That is why they went back to the streets and, certainly, that is the message that the military learned the first time around, that they can try to manipulate the politics of the country. They learned the hard way that these people behind me will not simply be silenced by the gimmicks of a democracy, by the sham of a democracy, by the sham of the democracy. They want legitimate reforms. That`s one of the things that the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi failed to deliver in his first year in office. And you can see the people behind me had very little tolerance for anything more than a year. They`ve been patient, they gave him a year. They feel his time was running out on bringing genuine democratic reforms to this country. That`s why they`re back into the street. I think the underlying message that you learn from speaking to people in Tahrir is that from now on, future Egyptian leaders, whether it`d be the military, whether I`d be the Islamists, whether it`d be a secular liberal, they will have to pay more attention to the streets to Tahrir Square, and they simply cannot ignore it, you ignore it at your own peril is the lesson that comes out of the revolutionary youth movements that we`ve been speaking to that organized that these protests that have toppled two of the most powerful institutions in Egyptian history, the Islamists and the military. MADDOW: NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin live in Cairo at after 3:00 in the morning local time. I would say get some sleep, but given where you are, I know that`s impossible, man. Please do stay safe. Thank you for being with us, Ayman. MOHYELDIN: Thank you. MADDOW: Just a remarkable. Just a remarkable scene in Tahrir. That was live shots that we`re showing you in terms of what`s happening in Tahrir right now. I should tell you that President Obama put out a statement tonight saying he was deeply concerned that the military removed president Morsi. President Obama calling on the army to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian leadership as soon as possible. Again, this is the same process that the military went through two and a half years ago when they were in this same position. They did turn over authority to a democratically elected government in the form of Mohamed Morsi who is now gone after just one year. It`s just a remarkable turn of events, the most populous nation in the Middle East and the most strategically important country in some ways in the entire region. Just amazing news. All right. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: With no notice, no warning, no heads up last night, Republicans in North Carolina took a totally unrelated bill about the applicability of foreign law in U.S. courts and they stuck on to it -- a Republican wish list of abortion laws. That was last night, and when I say this thing came out of nowhere, I mean out of nowhere. The Democrats in the legislature were caught completely off guard. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got a state full of people out there that don`t even know we`re down here doing this. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Last night, it is true. Most people in the state of North Carolina had no idea that Republicans in their legislature westbound passing new regulations that are expected to shut down 35 of the 36 clinics in the state that provide abortions. The whole thing was unannounced. The Democrats and the prochoice side had no one there to argue against it when it came up. But the Republicans had apparently warned the anti-abortion side, which had all their lobbyists on hand forewarned and ready to make their case. So, what happened last night in North Carolina was a surprise attack. By this morning, though, it was no longer a surprise. When word got out, about what the Republicans were doing in North Carolina, the same ways it went down in Texas, a sort of bat signal went out across the Tar Heels State, people showed up at the state capitol today by the hundreds. Just a few hours notice, people gathered outside the capitol, they waited in line to watch the legislative debate themselves, people grabbed friends, they made signs, they mobilized overnight. The gallery that overlooks the floor of the Senate was filled to capacity, it was standing room only, you had to wait in a long line to get in. Outside, this ingenious bunch figured out a way to stream the proceedings live on an iPhone and attached a speaker to the iPhone so people who could not get inside to hear the debate live could listen in via the stream. This woman was reportedly kicked out of the legislature f bringing in a sign when she got in, you can see it there folded up under her left arm. This woman was also arrested by state police, she was charged with violating the rules of the legislative building. She spoke to two witnesses today who said that she was chanting, and that is why police grabbed her. But otherwise, she was not causing that much of a disturbance. If you are experiencing a case of deja news here, you can be forgiven. This Republican ambush on abortion rights and the response that happened in North Carolina last night and this morning, if it is reminding you of something, something that maybe rhymes with schmexas or schmohio, North Carolina Democrats agree. This is all the same thing happening in all these states, all at once right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STATE SEN. MARTIN NESBITT (R), NORTH CAROLINA: We`re going to win this debate and feel really good about yourself because you -- all you big grown up gray haired men have beat three women. I want to see what you do with about 10,000 of them. That crowd`s going to descend on you when you get back down here is going to know it. STATE SEN. MIKE WOODARD (D), NORTH CAROLINA: It`s clear to me our colleague from Texas, Senator Wendy Davis, has gotten under some people`s skin. You couldn`t let Rick Perry get ahead of you with his follow-up actions. And you couldn`t let John Kasich and his Ohio bill get ahead of you. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich already signed his omnibus abortion ban into law this week. For Rick Perry`s bill in Texas, that fight in Texas is still going on. They held a committee hearing last night, and into the early morning hours of this morning. More than 1,100 people signed up to testify on that abortion ban before that committee, but Republicans only let less than 100 of those 1,100 people speak. They accepted no amendments or discussion from any Democrats. They cut off the testimony after less than 100 people leaving more than 1,000 people who signed up, unable to talk. They called the vote. They rammed it through after midnight, party line vote. The full state assembly is expected to vote on this Texas bill next week and it will go to the Texas Senate, which is Democrats were able to bottle it up last night. The Democrats in the Senate keep saying that they may have tricks up their sleeve, maybe stop it again this time. Filibustering senator, Wendy Davis, last night on this show, saying that the Texas Senate Democrats will not tip their hand publicly about their strategy. If you just go on the numbers in the state assembly and the state senate. It looks like Texas Republicans should be able to pass their abortion ban and send it to Rick Perry to sign it, just in time for his expected announcement that he is running for president. In North Carolina, though, the ultimate fate of the surprise abortion bill that was unveiled there last night with no warning, the fate of that bill is less certain. In North Carolina, Republicans have a majority of both houses in the legislature, and they easily advance these new regulations today in the face of all these protesters. But in North Carolina, there`s the little matter of governor. The governor is a Republican, and he is an anti-abortion Republican. But last year when he was running to become governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, the candidate, pledged that he would not sign any new restrictions on abortion in his state. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAURA LESLIE, WRAL: I you`re elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign? Let`s start with you, Mr. McCrory. GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: None. LESLIE: All right. (LAUGHTER) LESLIE: Can`t really (INAUDIBLE) -- (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: None. None. That was very clear. That is what the man who is now governor said in the fall. He said, he would sign no new restrictions on abortion right on North Carolina. Will he keep that promise? Will he buck his own party in order to keep that promise? If the new Republican North Carolina abortion ban passes the legislature which would shut 35 of 36 clinics in the state, will Pat McCrory veto it? Today, he put out a statement criticizing not the legislation itself, but the way the Republicans in the legislature have done it. He criticized the surprise attack way they brought it up. North Carolina Republicans could in theory vote on their new abortion restrictions as early as Friday, the day after tomorrow, July 5th, when most people are enjoying their long Independence Day weekend and not paying attention to politics. They really could do it that way, by reconvening the Friday after the Fourth of July. At this point, that would be shocking, but it would not be a surprise. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One more thing about the situation in North Carolina. We`ve been covering all week, at least as we found out about it, all night we`ve been covering the surprise last minute sneak attack on abortion rights in North Carolina. But there`s something else going on in the state there right now too. These are the 40 counties in North Carolina that are covered by the Voting Rights Act, or that were cover by the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act is struck down by the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court last week. Now that the Justice Department could not function as a governor in the state, stopping the state from implementing racist voting laws, North Carolina Republicans are announcing they`re going ahead with a radical restructuring of the election laws in their state. The Voting Rights Act had stopped Republicans from going ahead with voter ID before. So, now, they`re going ahead with that. But even beyond voter ID, which they say they want to prevent voter fraud, beyond even that, they also say now that they`re planning to end same day voter registration in North Carolina. And they`re planning to end early voting in the state of North Carolina. And they`re planning to end Sunday voting in the state of North Carolina. What does voting on Sunday have to do with voter fraud? Exactly nothing, but getting rid of it and getting rid of same day registration and requiring IDs that nobody`s ever had to show before in the state, and that tens of thousands of registered voters do not have, that is going to make voting a heck of a lot harder in North Carolina. But the Republicans in the state are going for it now, they`re going for the abortion sneak attack last night, and they are going for this radical restructuring of the state`s election laws, because they can. Because the Supreme Court just killed what was stopping them from doing it before. North Carolina right now is like conservatives gone wild. You want to know why people keep getting arrested there every Monday? The whole Moral Monday thing? Yes, North Carolina right now is off the hook. Watch this space. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: OK, listen to this, this is a cockpit recording from a flight somewhere over Austria last night. You`ll hear an Austrian air traffic controller talking to a Bolivian pilot. But I promise that even with that excellent mix of nationalities, you will still be able to understand what they are saying to each other. Check it out. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Foxtrot Alpha Bravo 001, good evening. Information Whiskey (INAUDIBLE) Runway 1-6. PILOT: Information Whiskey (INAUDIBLE). Runway 1-6, Foxtrot Alpha Bravo 001. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Do you need any assistance? Foxtrot Bravo 001, do you need any assistance from landing? PILOT: Not at this moment. We need to land because we are not -- we cannot get a correct indication of the fuel indication. So, as a precaution, we need to land. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: For an English-speaking audience, it`s a useful thing that English is the international language of aviation. That comes in handy, when this is audio of Dutch plane enthusiastic of an Austrian air traffic controller speaking to a Bolivian pilot. A Dutchman, an Austrian and Bolivian, but everybody is speaking English. Neat for us. The Foxtrot Alpha Bravo 001 that you heard requesting to clearance to land on that tape, Foxtrot Alpha Bravo 1, FAB1, see that written on the engine there, FAB1, that`s the official state aircraft of the president of the Bolivia, Evo Morales. His airplane was at the center of what was quite literally an international incident last night. "The Associated Press" story today, it was bylined in Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands, which is an island chain that`s part of Spain, that`s off the west coast of Morocco. But at the end of the article, they list all the other locations and all the other reporters who contributed to the story, and beyond Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, it`s also Paris, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Geneva, Brussels, and Lisbon and the Canary Islands, off Morocco by way of Spain, all for one story. And that`s not even mentioning the part of the story that are about Russia and Hong Kong and the United States, and, of course, Bolivia, the country for whom FAB1 is their presidential plane. At this moment, Bolivia`s president is finally about to cross back into Bolivian airspace, after this marathon journey that saw his plane diverted and grounded and then searched by officials in Austria. It started last night when the Bolivian president got on his plane to leave Russia, a number of world leaders from oil producing countries were in Russia this week for high level meetings with Putin. But when President Morales departed Moscow last night to go home, there was apparently some suspicion that he was trying to take back with him back to Bolivia, Edward Snowden, the alleged NSA leaker. Mr. Snowden has reportedly been hiding out in a Moscow airport for over a week now. And rumors started spreading last night that Bolivia had decided to take him in. Bolivia is one of the 20 or so countries from which Mr. Snowden has reportedly sought asylum. But because of those suspicions that Bolivia might take him, that they might put him on the presidential plane and take him to South America, while the Bolivian president`s plane was midflight heading back to South America, the plane was abruptly denied access to airspace over Italy and France and Portugal. Sorry. We think you might have Mr. Snowden onboard, so find another route. After circling for three hours, Bolivia`s president was ultimately forced to land in Austria, basically because he had nowhere else to go, and there were concerns he was going to run out of fuel. Here`s a picture of Bolivian President Evo Morales stranded at the airport in Vienna after essentially half of Western Europe told him not to bother trying to use their airspace. The Bolivian president was grounded in Austria for 13 hours. I think these are some of his pilots grabbing a little shut eye as the entire Bolivian government scrambled to try to figure out what the Sam heck was going on. After half a day on the ground, after announcing to the world that he had nothing to do with Edward Snowden and Snowden was not on the plane, Bolivia`s president was finally able to take off early this morning. And as I mentioned, he`s just now about to return back home to his native Bolivia. Bolivia as you might expect is really mad. I mean, think about it, whether you love President Obama or hate President Obama, imagine how it would feel to you to learn that some other countries had treated our president this way. The Bolivian government has summoned the ambassadors from Spain and Portugal and France and Italy, summoned them to a meeting to demand explanations for why they shut down their airspace last night. Bolivian officials are alleging that while their president`s plane was grounded in Vienna, the search that Austrian officials conducted of that plane looking for Edward Snowden was an illegal search. And according to Bolivia`s president, it wasn`t just the Austrians who searched his airplane. Listen to this from "The Associated Press." "While the Bolivian presidential plane sat in predawn darkness on a tarmac in Vienna, a surreal scene played out when Spain`s ambassador to Austria visited the airport to meet with Morales. The Spanish ambassador asked him if they could board the Bolivian presidential plane together. Morales said, quote, `He asked me to go out -- excuse me -- he asked me to go have a coffee inside the plane to see the plane.`" Won`t you please join me in the cargo hold for a moment, Mr. President? That`s where I like to drink my coffee. Couldn`t we? Mr. Snowden, are you here? Yes. It`s unclear what prompted all these European countries to take the action they did last night. Whether, in fact, they were urged to do what they did by the United States. But the blowback has been swift. The Organization of American States of which the United States is a member is now demanding answers from all of the European countries involved here, expressing outrage. Some of those European countries for their part are trying to backtrack on the whole thing. France, for example, is now saying, oh, no, no, no. We totally would have let you fly into our airspace. It was just a big misunderstanding. And the footnote, of course, to all of this -- the things that remain true in the wake of this huge international upset is this: the whereabouts of Edward Snowden remain unclear. Oh, right, we still have no idea where Edward Snowden is. Maybe he`s still at the Moscow airport? Countries sometimes throw their weight around alone. Countries sometimes throw their weight around with friends, with the allies that they have earned and accrued overtime, allies that they have convinced to trust them. Sometimes if you really need to you ask your friends to do even sort of outrageous things as favors for you. Sometimes you have to ask your friends to go out on a limb for you. When you ask somebody to go out on a limb for you, it better be for a good reason, right? At least it ought to be for something that you know you will get because your friends went out on that limb for you. In this case, if the United States was in fact involved here, this diplomatic international fiasco appears to have been for thing. They still don`t have the guy. What exactly is going on here? Joining us now is P.J. Crowley. He`s a former assistant the secretary and spokesman at the State Department. He`s a fellow at George Washington University now. Mr. Crowley, P.J., thank you very much for being with us tonight. P.J. CROWLEY, FORMER ASST. SECRETARY, STATE DEPARTMENT: Hello, Rachel. MADDOW: What do you think happened when this Bolivian plane was diverted over European airspace? What do you think happened here? CROWLEY: I think some countries didn`t want to become Vladimir Putin. Obviously, he`s the current possessor of Edward Snowden, he`s been trying to give Snowden away, he can`t find anybody to take him. And friends of the United States said we can`t take a chance he may be on that airplane and then we`ll have to figure out how to navigate between the United States government that clearly wants him back and sympathetic publics in Europe that appreciate what Snowden has done in terms of revealing levels of espionage that were a surprise to Europe and obviously touching on sensitive issues of privacy in Europe. MADDOW: Does it seem clear to you that other countries would have acted this way out of an expectation that it was what the United States wants rather than the U.S. overtly going to these countries and saying, close your airspace? CROWLEY: Well, I think there are two separate issues here. I think countries understand that the United States wants Snowden back and before a jury of his peers. On the other hand, if you`re suggests that the United States in essence took over European airspace last night to hassle a president of a country, Bolivia, I`m skeptical that that`s exactly what happened. MADDOW: I don`t think anybody`s trying to hassle Morales, I think he ends up being a by stander here. It was sort of a remarkable -- the countries who did this went to a remarkable extent to do what they did. I mean, it is one thing to deny access to your airspace for any sort of private plane. Any sort of commercial plane, any sort of civilian aircraft. But for a head of state, is this kind of big deal? CROWLEY: Well, sure, I think will is a professional courtesy, if you will. It is a very unusual circumstance. I can`t remember something similar happening in my recent memory. MADDOW: When President Obama went out of his way last week to essentially downplay the importance of Mr. Snowden, he said, I`m not going to scramble jets to go get some 29-year-old hacker -- this was not scrambling jets, but this, as you note, was a really big deal. Diplomatically, in terms of the overall message from the United States government about its priorities in trying to apprehend this guy -- is there a mixed message problem here between what happened last night and what the president has said? CROWLEY: Well, I think we have to be careful. I mean, the implication is that the United States was an actor in what happened last night in Europe. There`s no indication to me that was the case. If you look at the international sphere right now, the State Department is not a very big place. You`re watching what`s happening in Egypt. You`re watching what`s happening in Syria. You`ve got lots of international balls in the air. You know, the future of Edward Snowden and the flight path of Evo Morales` airplane don`t rise above the level of other international challenges. So, I don`t think that the United States was a direct player last night. Clearly, the United States has communicated to countries directly and indirectly, this is important to us. I think for that reason these countries didn`t want to get into the middle of challenges that China has already faced by having Snowden in Hong Kong and Putin continues to face by having Snowden for an indefinite period sitting in one of his airports. MADDOW: If you are right and the U.S. was not directly involved in making this happen, the U.S. wasn`t an actor, I think they would have said already, we weren`t an actor, we didn`t do this. But instead, they`ve been just dodging the question all day long. And I think they`re very thankful for the coincidence (ph) of this and the huge Egypt news and hopes that people won`t press any further. But I just find this story unbelievable. Do days like this make you wish you were back there? Or make you glad you`re not. CROWLEY: Well, not at all. (INAUDIBLE) a little bit be careful, obviously in hassling Evo Morales who prides himself as being an anti- American antagonist, there`s a risk here of a boomerang here, that Morales is irritated enough, he might just say, hey, I`ll accept an asylum request. MADDOW: Right. CROWLEY: And that boomerangs based on what the United States wants, which is it wants Snowden back. He`s an intelligence asset. He`s a valuable individual. And the United States wants him back within its own borders. So, that`s why I`m highly skeptical the United States was directly involved in what happened yesterday. MADDOW: P.J. Crowley, former assistant secretary and spokesman at the State Department and a fellow at George Washington University -- I disagree with you on this, P.J. But we`ll find out when we finally know, but thanks for talking to us about it tonight. I really appreciate. CROWLEY: Fine, Rachel. I`ll owe you a dollar if I`m wrong. MADDOW: All right. Good, excellent. I think that`s illegal, but good. I`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is a particularly interesting time in the courts right now. Tons of the interesting stuff going on. But most of it we don`t get to experience in real time or on tape, because mostly cameras aren`t allowed in the courtroom. So, like with the huge Supreme Court cases in the last few weeks, we have audio, but we have no video. We have no still pictures either, we just have the awesome sketches of courtroom sketch artists, who I hope will not lose their jobs, even if people who want cameras at the Supreme Court eventually get their way. It`s the same deal with the amazing, ongoing, riveting trial of the Boston mobster "Whitey" Bulger. In the Whitey Bulger trial, there are also no cameras in the courtroom. No video. No stills. But we do get sketches, but sometimes we get audio. This is part of a "Whitey" Bulger jailhouse conversation about the Triple O`s, his famous South Boston liquor store. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) WHITEY BULGER: I picked up a shotgun and aim it at them, the guy looked up -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See you later. BULGER: I put one in the chamber like, and he looked up and I`m aiming and he says to the other guy, "A bag of peanuts please." (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: Trials in criminal courts and civil courts are public events. Anybody can go in and watch it in person if there`s room for you. Most people don`t try to do that, let alone travel across the country to do that. But when trials can be nationally televised, people really do watch. I mean, the Menendez brothers trial, the O.J. Simpson Simpson trial with Johnnie Cochran and Marcia Clark, the Casey Anthony trial, just a couple of months ago, the Jodi Arias trial, and now, there`s the George Zimmerman trial being televised on national TV. George Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman claims that he shot the 17-year-old Mr. Martin in self-defense. When the story first broke, much of the debate centered around Florida`s "Stand Your Ground" law and the intersection of race and suspicion and fear with that law. Now that the trial is being televised, though, there`s just as much focus on the drama much of it all. And it has had a huge it has a huge TV audience riveted everyday of the trial. Today, the prosecution side called the 33rd witness to the stand, a former professor of criminal justice who had taught the defendant, George Zimmerman back in 2011. The professor, though, is in Colorado, and the trial is in Florida. And although you would think that Colorado to Florida should not be an insurmountable distance to travel to be a witness in the murder trial, for some reason, the court decided to allow this professor to testify remotely. They had him testify by Skype. They even swore him in over Skype. But watch what happened when he started to testify. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD MANTEI, PROSECUTOR: And, Professor Pleasants, the course that you teach, is that sort of an in-classroom course or is it a different type? GORDON PLEASANTS, WITNESS: No, this is a course (INAUDIBLE) we teach it online, and requires activities by the student that`s based on the coursework in the book. MANTEI: I`m sorry. Would you go ahead and repeat that, starting from the beginning? PLEASANTS: Yes, the (INAUDIBLE) -- is it coming across? MANTEI: Go ahead. PLEASANTS: OK. Could you repeat the question? MANTEI: Thank you. No other questions, your honor. JUDGE DEBRA NELSON: OK. Cross? Is that his phone? MANTEI: It`s someone calling the destination, your honor. (INAUDIBLE) just hit decline call. (INAUDIBLE) MANTEI: That is all right. PLEASANTS: Hold on, I -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is now a really good chance that it would be enjoyed (INAUDIBLE) just so you know. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: These are not his friends calling during the trial. I mean, maybe the first time it was the friend of his, calling to ask about lunch plans, but the second, third, tenth time. What`s happening here is a byproduct of the fact that it is on TV. And the prosecution and the court were too computer illiterate to know they were broadcasting to a live television audience, all the information they needed to call in on Skype themselves and interrupt this part of the trial. When they put the witness on screen, on Skype, they also showed his and their own Skype names, which are kind of the same as Skype phone numbers. So any number of people watching the trial decided to call in to those Skype names during the testimony, so it was whack-a-mole with the mouse, decline, decline, decline. So as the trial has everybody riveted, as it unfolded on live TV today, the prosecution gave the whole real time audience a chance to screw the trial up. In case you`re wondering why the Supreme Court is a little shy about putting themselves on live TV, right? That said, I have to say, this whole thing could have been avoided with the help of a tech savvy intern, like our intern Jonathan who you can see here calling his mom on Skype. Special note to the prosecution here, you see you go to the settings part. You click the button that says do not disturb and then people can`t jump in on your Skyping with mom. Or your Skyping witness statement with the nationally televised murder trial. Do not disturb, do not show this message again. In courtroom drama and in life, the lesson is almost always the same for those of us who are aging into technological obsolescence. If you`re not going to bother to read the manual yourself, don`t fake it. Ask anyone under age 20 and they will fix it for you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This is the Washington, D.C. beltway, 64-mile stretch of interstate highway that encircles the city. It loops all the way around it. And the beltway is more than just a matter of geography. It is a state of mind, inside that circumference of pink-striped Macadam, being inside that circumference lends itself to Beltway common wisdom which derives from the prejudice that only D.C. matters, and that most of what matters in D.C. is personality. Power is not a structural thing, it`s personal. Wins and losses in politics accrue the individual politicians that way that, I dot know, magazines accrue to movie stars or something. So, in the Beltway, the way of looking at it, President Obama alone failed to pass gun legislation this spring, all by himself, he did it. Technically, it was the Senate that defeated background checks, even though 90 percent of the American public and the president support them. But in Beltway land, never mind the 46 senators who blocked that bill. It was all President Obama`s fault. Put it on him. That`s how the Beltway thinks. In Colorado, this week, two new gun control laws went into effect: a ban on high-capacity ammo clips, and expanded background checks. In order to be ready for the expanded background checks they`re going to have to perform, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation added a dozen staff members to their background check unit. That happened this week. Also, Delaware -- Delaware approving its own set of new gun reform laws in the early hours of Monday morning. The new Delaware laws include that state as well, expanding background checks. On the six-month anniversary of Sandy Hook, Mayors Against Illegal Guns launched a nationwide bus tour that started in Newtown. Victims of gun violence and their families are now still traveling state by s to read the names of Americans who have died from gun violence since December. When the bus pulled up outside the state house in Concord, New Hampshire, last month, this is how they were greeted. The name the gun rights hecklers were chanting over and over again is "Ayotte, Ayotte," Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire who voted against background checks in April. New Hampshire resident John Canton (ph) attended that rally as both the survivor of gun violence and as a grieving father. He was shot while trying to protect his daughter from her estranged husband. The estranged husband shot both of them. Mr. Canton survived being shot, but his daughter did not. And this is what happened when John Cantor tried to speak outside the new Hampshire statehouse. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The names delivered are the names of young people. Please have a little respect. (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of this propaganda. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Propaganda! (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to leave -- here are the names. They are the names of those who have been killed by a gun in the six months since Newtown. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The pro-gun hecklers would not even let the guy with the daughter killed by gun violence speak. It got so intense that one of the protesters ended up getting zapped with a taser and arrested. But even with all that, John Canton kept going, as did the rest of the families who have joined him there to speak about gun violence and to try to get state legislators to do something about it, even if Congress won`t. Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly also launched their own state tour this week. She used to be right-handed, but at one of their first stops on their tour at a gun range in Nevada, Gabby Giffords fired a gun with her left hand. Somebody who learns to shoot a gun with their non-dominant hand after a life-threatening brain injury is not somebody who`s looking to take your guns away. But she is also somebody who doesn`t gives up easily in the face of a few setbacks. Don`t believe the Beltway. Don`t believe the Beltway on this or on anything else, but particularly on this. The fight for gun reform in this country is not over yet. It is still being waged doggedly state by state by state by a lot of very brave people. And in some places they are winning. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." Have a great night. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END