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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/12/15

Guests: Chris Murphy

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks. HAYES: You bet. MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. In December 2012, just a few days after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the rather infamous Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, they announced plans that they would protest at a vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Not long after their announcement, a barrage of personal contact information for if Westboro Baptist Church members turned up online. The Twitter account for the Westboro Baptist Church`s leader was hacked. The Westboro Baptist Church`s Web site was taken down off the Internet. It was an all-out cyberattack. And the self proclaimed proud perpetrators of this attack on the Westboro Baptist Church was the hacker group that calls itself Anonymous. In the end, the Westboro folks decided that they would not to show up to protest the vigil for the people who were killed at Sandy Hook. But the Westboro Baptist Church folks have not escaped the wrath of Anonymous since. Anonymous continues to run a fake Facebook account dedicated to the group. It`s called the Official Westboro Baptist Facebook Page Y`all. Church leaders, Marilyn Manson, Anonymous and Captain Crunch. The cover photo reads "God loves cats". This in very small part is what Anonymous does. Anonymous is a loose collective of anonymous vigilante hackers from across the globe, and what they do is retaliate against pretty much anybody they don`t like for any reason and they do it on their own, often crude but usually pretty effective terms. In 2011, during the Arab Spring protests, Anonymous took responsibility for hacking several government Web sites for the Tunisian government. They hacked those Web sites in support of the Arab spring protesters. In the past, Anonymous has successfully shut down big, well-protected corporate Web sites like PayPal and Visa and MasterCard and those sort of hacks are not easy to do. After members of a local Klan group, a local KKK group, threatened protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, a few months ago, Anonymous launched attacks against a Klan affiliated Web site into Twitter accounts affiliated with the Klan, announcing, quote, "To the protesters, do not be afraid, we are here for you and we will protect and serve you. We are the law now." Agree with their cause du jour or not, Anonymous really does just do it their own way. Anonymous now appears to have aligned itself, in support of the victims of the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre in France. On Friday`s show, we reported that Anonymous had posted online this sort of grainy, spooky video threatening that in retaliation for the terrorist attacks in France, Anonymous would basically destroy the online presence, the web presence and social media presence of the terrorist groups responsible for the French attacks. This video posted on video had the guy wearing the Guy Fawkes mask, which was sort of a symbol of Anonymous. Essentially, it shows the guy acting out this monologue even though you can`t see his face moving, because he`s wearing the mask. But he makes these threats against ISIS and al Qaeda and he uses a computerized voice in order to make the threat. That video that they released on Friday, the voice they used in the video was speaking French. It`s a French language video. That was released on Friday. Now, Anonymous has released a new, much slicker version, as you can see, of the same threat. This time the guy wearing the mask is speaking English. The video is much less grainy. It is just as spooky, has higher production values and, in fact, the part where the guy talks is proceeded by a long montage of moving images about the response in France to the terrorist attacks there. That said, by the time you get to the end of the message it is basically the same. Like the earlier video, it ends with a threat against the terrorist groups. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any organizations and enterprises linked to those terrorist attacks should expect a massive reaction from Anonymous. We are dragging you down. We will find you and not leave you any rest. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: After releasing that video, Anonymous then posted online a long list of more than 70 Twitter accounts which they basically invited their members and their followers to target, for alleged links to terrorism. They then also released a shorter list of Web sites with basically the same implied message to their followers. Anonymous always described as a loosely organized collective of hackers from around the world. It seems like part of the way they are mounting this attack on terrorist groups in revenge for the French attacks is that they have posted this list, not just the Twitter accounts but also those Web sites, posting that list and essentially pointing their own members and followers at that list of Web sites so that their own followers and members go after those Web sites and shut them down. Just before we went to air, a bunch of Web sites on that list, not all of them, but a bunch of the Web sites on that list did seem to be down. Either they just time out when you try to go to them or it looks like their servers have just been overwhelmed, which is one of the most simple ways that hackers take down Web sites online. One particular Web site, though, Ansar al-Haqq, that appears to have been singled out for special treatment by Anonymous. That Web site didn`t just get a denial of service attack today. They got all of their would-be viewers redirected to a very cute, super fast little search engine called duck, duck, go. So, you try to go to Ansar al-Haqq and instead you get to duck, duck, go, which is nice. Ansar al-Haqq has been described as being an online hub specifically for French Islamic extremists. So, that may be why they received this special hacking attention today from Anonymous, and that hack appears to have stayed up all day. So, there`s a little bit of vigilante justice operating around this story now, for all that implies. But this hack, right, this Anonymous attack on terrorist groups and their operations online, this is territory where ISIS and al Qaeda and these other groups that they are targeting are pretty well-versed, right? This isn`t a one-sided fight. It was a real strange story that happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the Christmas break. It happened on Christmas Eve, first reported on Christmas Day. It seemed like a complete outlier, almost a funny story at the time it happened, but suddenly today, that story became more relevant and less funny. Something that happened on Christmas Eve to the website of the "Albuquerque News Journal" newspaper. The Web site got hacked by somebody who was apparently an ISIS sympathizer and claimed to represent the ISIS terrorist group. Why did they attack the "Albuquerque News Journal"? No idea, no explanation. That was sort of part of what was funny about it. Why that paper among all of the papers in the world? That attack was on Christmas Eve. They hijacked an article on "The Albuquerque News Journal" Web site and replaced the existing article with this one. "Christmas will never be merry any longer" -- which is ridiculous. And they posted stuff like this, you`ll see no mercy infidels. We are already here, we are in your PCs in each house and each office. With Allah`s permission, we begin with Albuquerque." No offense to Albuquerque, but why would anyone begin with Albuquerque? It`s going alphabetically, like skip Akron, which is weird. It seems like such an outlier, right? Such a weird story when that happened on Christmas Eve. But then, last week, round two, it happened again. It was the same imagery as you can see, some of the same language. I love you ISIS, cyber caliphate, all of that same stuff. Same stuff that was used in the attack on Christmas Eve, but the attack last Tuesday -- I should say they also changed the banners, as I said, to say, cyber caliphate, showed this guy wearing the scarf over his head and "I love ISIS". So, that all looks the same, the same imagery from the two attacks. Same language appeared in the second round of hacking last week on Tuesday. And again on Tuesday, when we got round two, again, it was the "Albuquerque News Journal" that got attacked, still nobody understands why. But when we got round two, we also saw a random TV station in Salisbury, Maryland, get attacked. WBOC TV, which is the CBS affiliate in Salisbury, Maryland. When they got -- the group posted this sort of weird message on Christmas Eve, right? In the second attack a last week, they posted a very similar message -- not referencing Christmas this time but a New Year`s message. "Infidels, New Year will make you suffer." That was posted on the WBOC TV station Twitter account last week. That same message was posted on the Web site of the "Albuquerque News Journal" last week. I should mention, though, that even though the attackers managed to get their "I love ISIS" guy and their cyber caliphate message and the picture of the guy in the scarf, right, they managed to get that up there again and take over the Twitter accounts and everything, the way they had the first time around -- when they tried to post this article on the "Albuquerque News Journal" Web site, look, they couldn`t defeat the pay wall. So, they`re able to do all of this stuff to the online presence of this newspaper, but if you want to read the article they posted called "Infidels, New Year will make you suffer," you had to click through the consumer questionnaire on the newspaper pay wall in order to read that article. Even international jihadist hacking has its technical limits and the technical limit is they can`t get around the pay wall. It`s weird, right? In some ways it is funny, funny strange as in an Albuquerque newspaper and a Salisbury, Maryland, TV station -- why did they get picked? What`s that about? It`s also laugh-out-loud funny in terms of them not be being able to defeat the pay wall and the stupid messages that they post, Christmas will never be merry? Come on. I love ISIS. It`s stupid stuff. There`s something just sort of juvenile and blowhardy about that kind of threatening that stuff that gets posted when hacks like this occur. It`s worrying and it`s weird, but it`s also just inane. The Albuquerque newspaper and that TV station in Maryland, they still have no idea why they were targeted. But now we know they appear to have been the warm-up for the big event, because the big event happened today. At about 12:30 Eastern Time this afternoon, the Twitter account for CentCom was taken over by the same dumb "I love ISIS" picture with the guy in the scarf, the same cyber caliphate banner that had previously been used against that TV station and that newspaper in New Mexico. For 40 minutes, whoever who hijacked the CentCom Twitter feed used it to post taunting messages like this to U.S. soldiers. And also pictures and links of what it said was classified information. As it turns out, what looked to be Pentagon military plans for China and North Korea turned out to be not that. For example, the map that was posted of potential North Korean nuclear facilities turns out to have been lifted from the Web site of the Federation for American Scientists. That`s where they got that from, not some classified Pentagon database somewhere. Other information that got posted included this list of retired general officers from the United States Army, including a lot of very well- known retired generals. And it`s worrying to see a group like this posting personal information about retired generals from the U.S. Army. But that`s also not classified information that they somehow prized out of the Pentagon`s protected servers. It turns out that stuff has been publicly available if you know where to look for it. Over the course of the 40 minutes before the Pentagon was able to get the Twitter account shut down, the account posted, we think, about ten tweets and they posted lots and lots of files which they said were classified military material, but they weren`t. They also uploaded two ISIS propaganda videos to the CentCom YouTube page. By 1:10 this afternoon, the Pentagon appeared to be back in control of its social media accounts. Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman said nothing damaging to national security was posted by the group when they got their accounts hijacked. Colonel Warren told reporters that, quote, "there is no evidence that any DOD system, computer or network has in any way been compromised." In the Pentagon`s view, he said, quote, "This is little more than a cyber prank. It`s an annoyance but that`s all it is." Quote, "In no way compromises our operations. This isn`t our Web site. This is just our account." And he is right about that, right? This is Twitter that was hacked and YouTube that was hacked. This wasn`t the Pentagon`s central servers. Still it is discomforting to see the U.S. military to lose control of its YouTube page and its Twitter account, right? It`s still discomforting. So, the Pentagon spent the afternoon trying to convince people that the social media account they suffered wasn`t a big deal, nothing really dangerous even if it was really spooky. At the same time today, New York City officials were trying to convince the public that something else that happened in social media actually is a very big deal and could potentially have really bad real world consequences. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN MILLER, NYPD COUNTER-TERRORISM: You may have noted that a couple of notices went out department-wide involving officer safety, but also intelligence relating to a communication that went out late Saturday on an ISIS Twitter account. This was a message from the ISIS spokesman Shaykh Adnani who reiterated language that was posted in a threat in late September that said civilians, but also police officers, intelligence officers and soldiers were all targets, legitimate targets, according to ISIL. And they were asking their followers wherever they were with to carry out those threats with whatever means they had available. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: So, the video that the deputy police commissioner there is discussing is a video that was first released in September by ISIS. It showed the leader of the group calling on ISIS sympathizers around the world to attack police and security targets in their home countries. What happened in New York today is that police drew a link between the uploading of that video last September, that ISIS video calling for attacks at home, they drew a link between that video being released in September and a number of attacks being carried out against police and security forces in the weeks following that video`s release. They specifically cited the hatchet attack on four New York City police officers in October, also the twin fatal attacks against soldiers in Canada a little while after that, as well as a few other incidents. They`re not saying that those incidents are necessarily directly connected to ISIS having called for attacks on police and soldiers in the West, but they do say that they are worried there is a connection. And now, this weekend, somebody reposted the ISIS video from September but added footage from the killings in France. So, police now say given that, given the resurfacing of this video and the addition of the stuff from France, police now say they are on alert, they want law enforcement agencies and the public to be on alert, that this renewed call from ISIS for low-level attacks in the West, it could be seen as a call to action, and countries around the world for that group`s sympathizers. There is one other ISIS propaganda video that raised concerns of a different kind today. It was this one, which was uploaded over the weekend via Twitter. This video appears to show one of the assailants from last week`s attacks in France, a man who killed a policewoman before attacking a kosher market in Paris, it shows him pledging support to ISIS and explaining why he did. We should say that NBC News has not verified when, where or under what circumstances this video is taken. But in the video, the assailant -- he spouts propaganda while sitting under an ISIS flag that he seems to have printed out from online using a home printer, we blurred that out. He describes his attack as retaliation for airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Worryingly through, this video also includes footage of the man`s death. The video includes at the very beginning and the very end, screen grabs and video from the moment at which police shot and killed that man as he left through the front door of the kosher market at the end of the hostage scene. The reason that`s worrying is because the inclusion of that footage video showing his death clearly means that he didn`t upload the video himself, right? The video was completed by somebody else other than him after his death in order for it to be posted this weekend after he was killed. Who did that? Who added the death footage to that video and posted it? How did they have access to that video that he made before he was killed? Were they working with him all along? And there remains this important question of whether or not this is an ongoing plot, right? French police said they are looking for six additional suspects who are linked to the perpetrators of last week`s attacks, including one who they say has been seen since the attacks driving the car that was registered to Amedy Coulibaly`s widow who is at large, who`s still being treated as a suspect in these attacks. She apparently left France and traveled to Syria via Spain and Turkey but her car, apparently, is still back in France and is now being driven by somebody who French police are trying to track down. On it goes. NBC`s Richard Engel joins us live next from Paris. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel joins us live from Paris in just a moment. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Take a look at this surveillance video that surfaced today. This reportedly shows the fourth suspected accomplice behind the attacks in Paris last week, Hayat Boumeddiene. You could see here on the right side of the screen, in the white head scarf. She is inside the airport in Istanbul, in Turkey. The man she is traveling with has been identified by French officials. You can see them at the airport`s passport control desk with they get their passports stamped and then they go along their way. This surveillance video was taken on January 2nd. So, this was before the attacks in Paris. On that day on January 2nd, Hayat Boumeddiene flew from Madrid, Spain, to Istanbul. Once she arrived in Istanbul, she is believed to have stayed in a hotel on the eastern side of that city, in the middle class neighborhood. After two days in Istanbul, she`s thought to have left and flown to the southeastern Turkish city of Urfa. You may have heard the name of that city, it may sound familiar to you, because Urfa is now pretty famous worldwide as basically a good way to get in to Syria. Urfa is right at Turkey`s border with Syria. Intelligence officials monitoring Hayat Boumeddiene`s whereabouts say they followed her phone signals from Istanbul to that border city of Urfa until last Thursday, until a day after the attack on the "Charlie Hebdo" offices in Paris. Turkish officials say they believe she then crossed in to Syria that day, into Syria, into chaos of the Syrian civil war. That day, she is believed to have crossed into Syria. That was the day after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. It was also the day that her common law husband Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman on the outskirts of Paris and then the next day, he attacked that kosher market in Paris, killing four hostages before he himself was killed in a shootout with French authorities. Amedy Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attack are all dead now, all killed by police but she is at large. BBC reports today that officials placed her last known phone call as coming this Saturday from an ISIS-controlled town inside of Syria not far from the Turkish board border. French police today say that as many as six people overall who are linked to the terrorist attacks are still at large and they still sought by authorities, including one man reportedly seen driving her car after she left it behind in France to make her way to Spain and then to Turkey and then in to the ISIS stronghold of war-torn Syria. Joining us now from Paris is NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel. Richard, thanks very much for being with us in the middle of the night. What do we know about the investigation? French police saying they are looking for as many as six suspects now. RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, those -- that information is coming from leaks. There are two reports that say French police are looking for as many as six different suspects and that one of those suspects was seen driving her Mini Cooper around Paris somewhere. But when we contacted the official spokesperson for the French prosecutor`s office here in Paris, they won`t comment at all. France is treating this very much like an ongoing investigation. They clearly are looking for people. Over the last 24 hours, France has deployed 10,000 troops and police officers nationwide, about half of them in front of Jewish schools, the 700 Jewish schools that are in this country. France is worried that this is an ongoing plot, that there are more suspects. That`s why it has done the biggest deployment of forces since World War II. MADDOW: Wow. Richard, in terms of those troops and police being deployed, as you say specifically the bulk to guard Jewish schools, Jewish facilities, do we have any reason to believe that they have specificity in their fears about this is an ongoing attack that they believe Jewish schools are next on the list? Or are they surmising it is a likely target, if there is a target? ENGEL: I don`t really know but I think it is a fair assumption, especially when you look at the past history in testimony that Cherif gave himself. One of the younger brother who was involved in the "Charlie Hebdo" attack. When he himself spoke to judges and prosecutors when he was arrested in 2005, he said that his initial goal was to attack Jewish targets in France. Then you saw Coulibaly attack the kosher market, which he had scouted out the week before. An employee at the kosher market said they noticed him there, and noticed that he wasn`t one of the usual customers at the kosher market here in Paris, and didn`t think much of it and then thought a lot more of it when he showed up with his assault rifle and started taking hostages. So, it`s unclear if they have specific information to indicate Jewish targets but given the past behavior of this cell, that seems like a fair assumption. MADDOW: Richard, the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks happened on Wednesday, follow-on attacks happened on Thursday and beyond. That is when Hayat Boumeddiene was named as a suspect in the attack. She was named on Thursday. Should we be surprised that she was able to cross an international border two days after that when she reportedly crossed over from Turkey in to Syria? I know you have reported from Urfa. We had you on the show reporting live from Urfa, reporting from that place essentially as a portal into Syria. Should it not be surprising she was able to cross that border? ENGEL: There have been so many intelligence failures. It is obviously always easier to look back in retrospect, but there are many intelligence mistakes in all this. First, all of these suspects, the three dead militants who, by the way, I`m not sure we should call them suspects anymore. They have confessed to being involved in their telephone calls or video messages. All of these individuals were well known to authorities. Yet, they were either ignored or they were under appreciated. That`s one issue. And then, two, this is what happened with Hayat Boumeddiene, according to Turkish officials. We don`t know exactly when she left France. We don`t know exactly when she arrived in Spain, but on the 2nd which is significantly before the attacks began, she arrived on the Asian side -- there`s two international airports in Istanbul. She arrived at the Asian side airport on a Pegasus Airlines flight, a small airline, a Turkish airline. After that, she stayed for a couple of days in Istanbul, and then made her way down to Urfa. All of this stage, and all of this time, nothing had happened there was no reason for the Turkish authorities to particularly be following her, except that she had previous run-ins with French authorities. She had been questioned -- there are reports that she was questioned for involvement with extremists here in France. The Turks started to follow her. The Turks started to follow here. We`re told not at the request of France, just they thought there was something suspicious. They were tracking her phone, they`re keeping tabs on her, not physically keeping tabs on her because in the end, on the 8th, she crosses in to Syria, into a town called Tal Abyad, which is very well known ISIS stronghold. It is absolute no man`s land, and they lost her because they lost her cell phone signal. So, they didn`t have it seems a body on her, they had a somewhat casual trace on her cell phone. Then, after the French authorities put out their BOLO, put their APB, releasing her picture, putting it out to the public, at that stage the Turks got in contact with the French and said, you know, we have been following this woman who`s disappeared. This might be the woman you are looking for. So, why didn`t the Turks communicate this information that they lost track of someone who crossed into Syria earlier to the French? Should they have contacted the Spanish because she was coming from Madrid? There are many people who go in to Turkey and there`s a real problem with Turkey right now with so many foreign fighters, or so many extremists, or so many people who go in to Turkey and then just disappear. It`s unclear that the Turks really knew where she was until she failed actually on the 9th to catch her return flight to Madrid. It was on the 9th when that BOLO went out and it was on the 9th she missed her flight and they lost her tracking data the day before. So, something fell through the cracks here. And when you look back and I think when this will be investigated by the Turks, by the French, by a variety of authorities, they are going to see that even after a decade after 9/11 or over a decade after 9/11 which was supposed to be a time when all of the dots were going to be connected, they were not connected. MADDOW: NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel live for us in Paris -- Richard, thank you very much. Really appreciate it. It`s good to see you, my friend. All right. We`ve got much more ahead, including some unexpected military news and some unexpectedly constructive normal news from Washington, of all places. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, the streets are filled with millions of people. The plan is to march. But when there are millions of people in the street, inevitably, there were be a lot of also not marching. And at one point, somebody who has an apartment in the center of Paris, an apartment overlooking the route of the march, that person decided to entertain the many, many, many people stuck under his or her window. This person later posted the video of what happened to Reddit. You know, I heard the news about how huge the rally was in Paris this weekend. I had read the reports of what it was like on the ground. But until I saw this, this guy turning around his own stereo speakers to play John Lennon`s "Imagine" not just in his apartment but out the window to the crowd below so they could hear it, until I saw his video of the crowd hearing him do that, I did not really understand how big it was or anything what it was like. (VIDEO CLIP PLAYS) MADDOW: It gives you an idea of the mood in Paris yesterday. At what French officials describe as the largest demonstration in modern French history. After 12 people were killed at the offices of the satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo" last week, the surviving staff announced that they would make their production deadline, that their staff being decimated in that massacre, they would publish "Charlie Hebdo" on schedule this week. Usual print for "Charlie Hebdo" is about 60,000 copies. Last week, they announced that the newspaper they plan to put out this week will have a print run not of 60,000, but of 1 million copies. But then after millions of people turned out in France this weekend to protest the "Charlie Hebdo" killings and the other terrorist attacks last week, they have now announced that the print run will be 3 million copies. And it will be printed in 16 languages, instead of just French. Our Ronan Farrow is in Paris today. He interviewed longtime "Charlie Hebdo" contributor, Caroline Fourest, about what it`s like to work making the next edition of the magazine in these conditions now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAROLINE FOUREST, CHARLIE HEBDO CONTRIBUTOR: The survivors are very, very under shock for sure. The day was difficult for them to work, to just focus. They are very few now but because they know that our dead colleagues wanted to draw and make laugh about those crazy stupid guys who can kill for a cartoon, they started again to work. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Caroline Fourest also talked to Ronan today about the cover of the new edition of "Charlie Hebdo," which was released tonight ahead of its scheduled publication date on Wednesday. The cover is a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad shedding a tear, beneath the words "all is forgiven". He is also holding a sign "Je Suis Charlie". And the reason I am describing it to you in of me showing it to you is because we operate under NBC News rules, and NBC News will not allow us to show it to you. Caroline Fourest from "Charlie Hebdo" addressed that concern head on today when she spoke with Ronan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FOUREST: We had some other cartoons, more "Charlie Hebdo," like this one I knew because we are in America you are probably going to blur it, which is just crazy. RONAN FARROW, MSNBC`S "RONAN FARROW DAILY" HOST: Let`s talk about that. It is a debate going on in newsrooms around the world. It is true, many stations including NBC News, have decided they will not show some of those covers that are most offensive, particularly the depictions of Prophet Muhammad. What`s your response to that? FOUREST: I think it is the saddest news in all of this, credibility (ph) and moving mobilization around "Charlie Hebdo." (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now live from Paris is Ronan Farrow, host of "RONAN FARROW DAILY" here on MSNBC. Ronan, thanks for staying up into the middle of the night to be with us. I really appreciate it. FARROW: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: So, we heard just a bit of -- FARROW: So, obviously -- MADDOW: Sorry, go ahead, Ronan. Go ahead. FARROW: The feeling here is exactly what you were talking about, Rachel, all of the people in the streets echoing exactly what those remaining staffers talked about, what the former staffers talked about. So, it`s apropos that you`re using that sound. It`s what we heard all through that rally here. MADDOW: In terms of that specific discussion that you had with Caroline for us -- I mean, from those who work at that magazine, for people who work in the industry, for people who are part of the response in France, is it a source of anger that news outlets still see it contrary to standards, that particularly American news organizations essentially are labeling it offensive and won`t show it. FARROW: The biggest surprise, Rachel, is that people aren`t aware of that here. People were taken aback, even people within the community, even those who are part of this very tightly-knit family of former editors at "Charlie Hebdo". You heard the response from Caroline Fourest, she was actually taken aback when I described that debate. We had a longer conversation about it as well. And she said, as you just heard that, it was one of the saddest things. That`s something I heard echoed indeed by the widow of the chief editor, Charb, something of an icon here, his poster being held up throughout all of those massive crowds. She was utterly shocked that countries were undertaking these standards and blurring out images, as we`ve seen in England, or declining to show some of the supposedly most offensive ones, as our own network standards mandate. And she joined that chorus in seeing that`s one of the saddest parts. I think it`s summed up best by Caroline`s thoughts on this. She said the fundamentalists have already won if we self-censor in this way. MADDOW: Ronan, in terms of your interview with Charb`s widow today, I guess -- I guess I just want to ask you what her overall -- I guess, what her overall position is right now? I mean, obviously, she`s lost her beloved, right? She`s lost -- she`s lost her partner in life. But it seems like she`s talking -- she ended up talking to you about some of these other strange things have emerged around their relationship, including his family denying that she was his girlfriend and some other strange things that have emerged since killing. Can you just describe some of that to us? FARROW: Yes, certainly. I think the most surprising twist in what she said was just to remind the world that Charbonnier was actually one of the most avid opponents of anyone who would crack down on religious freedom. He was a great advocate of all faiths, expressing himself, of course, as you`ve discussed on your own program, the publication went off all different faiths. It was satirical about everybody, Rachel. And she reminded people that, you know, he was in a relationship with someone who came from a Muslim family and that they stood for freedom in all of its forms, that there wasn`t in her view, an anti-Muslim sentiment there. Of course, that`s something that her critics, that critics of Charb, that critics of the publication would take issue with. In terms of the spat with her family, the family of Charb, it seems to be a personal sidebar issue. She`s certainly showed us pictures of the two -- of their relationships together, however you want to characterize it. They had been cohabitating much of the time. Her child called him dad. And she showed me home videos of her child doing that. She talked about their whirlwind "Romeo and Juliet" romance, that they were at opposite ends of the political spectrum, and she talked about how their families didn`t always approve of that. In her view, no one could silence her, not politicians she had worked with, not these terrorists, and certainly not family members. She was defiant about it, as she was on so many issues. And, of course, Charbonnier`s legacy is in the face of exactly this kind of terror and this attempt to suppress these images. MADDOW: Ronan Farrow joining us live from Paris -- Ronan, thank you so much, and congratulations on these exclusive interviews today. FARROW: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Ronan`s show, of course, airs weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern here on MSNBC. All right. We still got lots to come tonight, including, as I mentioned, some surprising news from the U.S. military. Please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: When the Twitter account for U.S. CentCom got hacked today, this is what it looked like. The dumb "I love ISIS" picture and their generic cyber caliphate, you`ve been hacked imagery. But this is what the CentCom Twitter feed looked like just before it got hacked. "France to deploy aircraft carrier to fight ISIS. "The U.S. and partner nation forces continued to attack ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria." "Pentagon press secretary says Mosul is going to be the significant step forward in the fight against ISIS." I can`t imagine why ISIS might want to replace all of information with something else. There is significant news to report in the actual U.S. war against ISIS and that story is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Meanwhile, from yesterday into today, the United States military launched 27 separate airstrikes against ISIS targets over a 24- hour period, between 8:00 a.m. yesterday and 8:00 a.m. today, the U.S.-led international coalition that has been bombing ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria say they bombed 27 different sites. And that comes after they say they launched 11 airstrikes against ISIS on Friday and then a dozen more over the weekend. It`s been sort of lost in the sauce in terms of the coverage of the French terror attacks and the Western response to the French terror attacks. But as the perpetrators claim credit for al Qaeda and for ISIS, an international air war continues and seems to be escalating against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. With the world newly focused on the global threat of those groups, will Congress ever pass authorization to fight ISIS? Do we get to debate that war now and how it should be waged? We have been waging that war against ISIS for months now without ever making a formal decision about it in our own country. Is it now a good time to assess whether or not the effort thus far has been successful, particularly given what`s just happened in Paris? Is this a good time to decide whether or not, moving forward, we should somehow change course? Joining us now is Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. He`s a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He`s been calling for a vote in Congress authorizing strikes against ISIS since they begun last summer. Senator Murphy, thanks very much for being with us. SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Sure. MADDOW: Do we know enough about what`s happening now in Iraq and Syria to be able to say that the pace of operations is speeding up, that there is anything more intense about the way that ISIS is being fought there? MURPHY: Well, we certainly know that there is significant military progress on the ground in both Iraq and Syria. You`ve had -- as you`re reporting -- increased activity just over the last 24 hours. But if you look back over the last 30 days, you`ve seen progress on the ground, you`ve seen significant progress in pushing ISIL out of Kobani, you`ve seen Mt. Sinjar come back under control of our allies. You`ve started to see some reports of tribes in western Iraq expelling or beginning to take steps to expel ISIS. So, that`s all good news. What is, frankly, less certain is whether there is the political reform happening on the ground that is actually going to be the end of ISIS. And that`s part of the reason why Congress has to have a debate about this, because we can hear reports of military progress, but unless it`s accompanied by real political reform, economic reform, societal reform on the ground in places like Iraq, then the stalemate, or a little bit of momentum on our side doesn`t actually help us in the long run. That`s why it`s imperative for us to start talking about this in the next several days and weeks. We`re at a pivotal moment I think as military success is building, but we are uncertain of whether there is a component, political success next to it. MADDOW: Do you see a meaningful connection between the military fight against ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria and the international threat posed by ISIS both through propaganda, perhaps through directly organizing foreign attacks and inspiring the kind of fighters we saw strike last week in France? MURPHY: Well, you know, I clearly think that you`re seeing a flow of foreign fighters back and forth into Syria and Iraq that`s presenting real problems and threats to our allies in Europe and potentially here to the United States. But I think it is important just to recognize that the individuals who carried out these attacks in Paris were originally radicalized not by ISIS but in coordination against the United States` invasion and occupation of Iraq. That`s what initially brought them into this fight. And it`s worth repeating that those who would call for another insertion of U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS would be essentially repeating the very mistake that radicalized thousands of Muslims all across country during our 10-year occupation of that country. So, I certainly think ISIS poses a threat to the United States and our allies, but we`re living with a decade-long mistake in Iraq that had radicalized thousands already no matter whether or not is was present in that region. MADDOW: Do you think that there will be a vote in this Congress -- sometime in this Congress about authorizing what we`re doing in Iraq and Syria and, thereby, for the first time really substantively debating it? MURPHY: I don`t know. We took a vote in the Foreign Relations Committee the end of last Congress. We passed a limited authorization that did not allow for a ground troop presence in the fight, attempted to put some geographic restrictions on it. But you don`t see any hustle right now in the new Republican Senate majority to bring an authorization vote for the Congress. I think Senator Corker, who is the new chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee is committed, but it certainly doesn`t like he`s going to spend the first few weeks working towards it. Let`s be clear: to many of us, this is an unauthorized extra- constitutional conflict right now. We`re outside the War Powers Act authorization. I do not believe and many others do not believe that there is legal justification for proceeding without a congressional vote. So, every day that we are not debating this is a day that we are advocating our responsibility as members of Congress. MADDOW: Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Thank you very much for your take on this, sir. Thank you. Appreciate it. MURPHY: Thanks, Rachel. MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUBTITLE: Spotted, last night, in one of America`s most influential cartoons -- HOMER SIMPSON: Can we cuddle for a little while? MARGE SIMPSON: Thank you, Svengali. I knitted us a blanket. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is no longer in Washington. Before he left town, he made sure that one of his final acts as senator would be to block a veterans suicide prevention bill that was all but unanimously supported by every other member of Congress, in both Houses, in both parties. Nobody else had a substantive problem with it at all. But Tom Coburn decided to personally block it, anyway. And so, the Clay Hunt Veterans Suicide Prevention Bill was lost because of one standing in its way while we keep losing 22 veterans a day every day to suicide. But now, Tom Coburn is gone. It`s a new year. And with him out of the way, now, it might happen. The Clay Hunt act was reintroduced last week. And today, it passed the House again unanimously. It`s already passed the House for this Congress. The new chair of the Senate Veterans Committee is Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia. His office tells us tonight that the legislation will be one of the committee`s first priorities in Congress. Now, that`s not saying exactly when he means to get the ball rolling, but with unanimous support in the House and bipartisan support in the Senate, and Tom Coburn gone, it seems like this thing might finally have a chance. I can`t believe it`s taken this long, but it might finally have a chance. We will keep you posted. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL". Good evening, Lawrence. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END