tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 22, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EST
it was simply a political move to get back at an organization that one in five women have been to in america. >> as i said about this, congressman smith knows someone who's had this procedure. he may not know he knows someone, but he does. it is too common. cecile richards, president of planned parent hood. thanks for joining us. have the last word online at msnbc.com, also follow us on facebook and follow me at lawrence on twitter. that's happy last word. "the rachel maddow show" is up next. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, lawrence. thank you very much. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. we begin with the connection between two stories we never, ever in a million years thought we would be connecting. the first story is what's going on in wisconsin, where 68,000 people turned out to protest over the weekend at the state capitol, and thousands more gathered today. day seven of the remarkable protests. that's story number one. story number two is fair warning, a story about which we tend to get agrieved blog
comments and voice mails from my mom when we show these pictures. but there is no other way to explain the story without showing these pictures. oh, yeah. ladies and gentlemen, the few, the proud, the whack enhut. a private security company our tax dollars have paid to guard the u.s. embassy in kabul. still there, getting paid. 17 months after these pictures of them at work surfaced. these pictures, which as you can see show american defense contractors simulating sex, posing semi nude, wearing coconut bra seers, shooting things out their hind quarters. they worked for a subsidiary of whack enhut while doing this. they were drinking vodka from places you had no idea should or could be drank from. what went on in kabul with the guys' pants off, what the governor of wisconsin is doing now, he has tried before.
the governor of wisconsin who has thrown his state into chaos by trying to strip union rights from people that work in the state has tried this before with disastrous results, and with wackenhut. this is the milwaukee county courthouse. as you can see, it is a pretty building. when scott walker was in charge in milwaukee, he decided to fire the security guards that worked at the courthouse and two other buildings. they were public employees, represented by a union, and scott walker just fired them. now, the county board was opposed to that. they rejected his plan. then after he was blocked by the county board, mr. walker just unilaterally insisted he could do it anyway. he just seized the power to do it, claiming he had the right because there was a budget emergency. so all of those union security guards got fired, and scott walker replaced them with the butt vodka company guys. replaced them with wackenhut. with a private company.
the company based in the uk, and uses nonunion security guards. mr. walker fired all the union guards, replaced them with private nonunion guards. this is like the dress rehearsal for what scott walker is doing at the state level right now, and it may offer a little bit of foreshadowing as to how this is all going to work out. an arbitrator in wisconsin ruled last month that the so-called budget emergency scott walker used to justify hiring the butt vodka company guys by decree, doing it unilaterally, that justification was ginned up. quote, the county did not have a true budget crisis at the time, according to the decision from the arbitrator. it is true the county was facing budget shortfall, but according to the arbitrator, not big enough to justify his hair on fire it's an emergency, i can do what i want actions. also, firing all the union guards didn't save the money mr.
walker said it was going to save. since scott walker hired the coconut bra vodka guys, the county since had to revise down, way down, how much money that would save. turns out they overguessed by more than $330,000. but wait, there's more. >> an arbitrator just ruled walker overstepped his authority, and now the county must give those guards their jobs back and provide back pay. >> scott walker's last big cost-saving bust the union stunt could ultimately end up costing his former employer, milwaukee county, close to a half million after all is said and done. and you may be shocked to learn, turns out the coconut bras ear people from the company didn't do that great a job for the people of wisconsin, once scott walker gave them those used to be public, used to be union jobs. the man installed as the security chief for the locations
where the union guards were fired was a man with a criminal record, that included jail time. that's who they picked for their security chief! so the last time scott walker did something like this, it is desperation to get rid of union employees, he overestimated how much money it would save, and allowed for a foreign based butt vodka drinking person in charge of city hall. woo hoo, that's wisconsin's new governor. that's where he comes from. the play book here is clear. the priority is to get rid of the unions, to break them up. the pretext to do that is financial, but it is clear that it is just a pretext. the unions at the center of this fight offered to the governor, they said they would essentially give him all the financial concessions he said he wanted. but he said no to that. he doesn't want the financial concessions. he wants to strip them of their union rights or he wants nothing. finances are just a pretext.
among the most expensive benefit package, the state pays for any union employees, are the ones for the unions that supported mr. walker when he ran for governor. also happen to be the only ones exempted from his union stripping plan. if this was really about money, those would be the first ones on the chopping block, but it is not all about money. finances are just a pretext. in the midst of the supposed budget deficit emergency that makes necessary this dramatic anti-union bill, the governor supported adding about $140 million to the state's deficit, when he passed a bunch of tax cuts without paying for them. finances are just a pretext. when governor chris christie of new jersey announces he needs to do the same because of his budget crisis, he is expected to announce it tomorrow, and when john kasich of ohio moves to do it in his state because of budget crisis, it will be a pretext in those cases, too. republicans understand that the business interests that support them have always wanted to get rid of unions, as it has always been and as it will always be. but more directly, republicans understand sources of democratic political power, and they
understand sources of democratic political power well enough to be focused across the country on how they cannady stroi those institutions. corporations support republicans. they made donations 93% republican. but the people who cash paychecks instead of sign them, the people that work for companies instead of own the companies, actual humans instead of con glom rats, labor unions, those groups tend to support democratic causes. here again, at the top ten big money contributors in last year's elections, seven of the top ten are right wing. the only three that are not are unions. republicans understand enough about the sources of democratic political power to want to destroy the institutions that make it possible for democrats to compete in elections. the question is whether or not democrats understand the sources of their political power well enough to defend those institutions against republican
attacks. republicans i'd logically speaking like to talk smack about the government. government is the problem. >> government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. >> government is the problem. that's always the great awkwardness at the heart of republicans campaigning for political office. if you don't like government so much, if you think that government is the problem, why do you want to be in charge of it? but there are two things that republicans really like about having government power. one is the opportunity to take things government does and give them to private companies that do it instead. hello you there in the coconut bra. the other thing they have passion for using public policy to attack and dismantle institutions that support democrats electorally. in case it wasn't crystal clear enough that's what's going on in wisconsin, that that's what explains why 70,000 are in the streets of madison this weekend, in case it wasn't clear enough,
when the republicans in wisconsin announced today what they're going to do while the democrats are gone and out of state, denying the senate the quorum needed to vote on the union busting thing, guess what the republicans are going to do while the democrats are away? guess what they are going to do next? a bill to make it harder to register to vote in wisconsin. you know, weirdly, we used this last week as an example of the kinds of issues that republicans do this on. as an example, the way they use public policy for partisan ends, to benefit their own party and hurt democrats, registering new voters has long been a great source of democratic electoral strength. why is that? because young voters and people that haven't voted before do tend to vote democratic. so if republicans can make it hard to register to vote, they can take away one of the ways that democrats win in elections. if you make it harder to register to vote, you make it harder for democrats to win elections. republicans understand what institutions help democrats win elections and they are using public policy to dismantle those things, for partisan purposes.
so while they are waiting to destroy the unions in say wisconsin, in the meantime, while they are waiting to do that, they will use their time to destroy voter registration drives. republicans understand democrats well enough to know what to attack in order to weaken democrats. the question now is do democrats understand their own institutions and their own strengths well enough to know that they ought to be defending them. wa ready last week. -last month. -last year. -my ready is so ready... -so ready... your ready didn't even start gettin' ready. always ready. -my ready... -ate your ready for breakfast. -your ready... -has got nothing on my ready... -ready for... -him. -her. -it. -that. -you. -my ready... -my ready... -my ready... -my ready... -my ready... is gonna kick your ready's butt. [ male announcer ] there's ready and then there's gillette ready. introducing the gillette young guns. class of 2011. you ready?
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>> tammy baldwin has left the relatively docile confines of the beltway for the protests in wisconsin. she will join us from there next. also, extraordinary news breaking in libya. it has been a confusing day of dramatic but often conflicting reports. there are almost no western news assets able to get into libya and report what's going on there. what we can confirm in terms of
reporting tonight is incredible. also, the "the rachel maddow show" is in part in kansas for the latest in the legal battle about the abortion movement there. and we are following news from new seale and, where an earthquake had significant damage hours ago. we will report on that this hour. it is a crazy busy night.
anti-union bill ahead. and the resulting protests in indianapolis looked frankly a lot like what the protest in madison looks like this time last week before they grew to something approaching 70,000 people over the weekend. republicans think they've got a good thing going with the union stripping thing they're trying to do across the country. democrats may be starting to realize they have a good thing going by sticking up for themselves against it. joining us now, live from madison, wisconsin, congresswoman tammy baldwin whose district includes madison and the surrounding area. representative baldwin, thanks for being there in the cold and making time for us. really appreciate it. >> well, thank you for covering this important story. we are really glad. great crowd here. >> i can tell that you are among friends! absolutely. >> we are. solidarity is breaking out, democracy is breaking out, it is wonderful. >> what do you see as the stakes here? why have you been at the state capitol this weekend and today? >> well, you know, wisconsin has
a proud decades-long tradition of supporting workers rights, supporting civil rights, being a leader and first in this country, and in the first six weeks of scott walker's governorship, he is proposing to erase all of that six decades of progress, and we've drawn a line in the sand, it is about workers rights. it is not about balancing the budget, it is about fundamental human rights and people want to be heard. you have seen democracy break out all over. people want a voice in this debate. they don't want this bill rammed through. >> the republican strategy seems to be to not budge an inch, not negotiate, to wait it out. do you have confidence being out there, talking with your constituents that the protesters will have the stamina to keep the pressure on if it goes on awhile? >> i've been talking to protesters on and on, and people have resolve. people have really committed themselves to this battle,
because they recognize that this is now something that the whole nation, in fact the whole world is watching, and people -- my colleagues all last week kept coming up to me saying look, you have to succeed in wisconsin, because if you don't, my state will be next. they have the resolve. [ crowd cheering ] >> if the public sector unions are broken by republicans in wisconsin, do you think there is a national effect of that? i understand that people think the next state is next, but do you think there is a partisan motivation, it is republicans pushing these things in so many states, and it is democrats that are pushing back. >> it is absolutely about union busting and politics, and i think if we don't succeed here in wisconsin, there is trouble that's going to happen elsewhere. and as you just noted, this effort is combined with the voter id law, and perhaps our same day registration on election day might be put in
jeopardy also. this is about politics, but we have drawn a line in the sand in wisconsin. we are going to keep on going. democracy is breaking out! >> congresswoman tammy baldwin, democrat of wisconsin whose district includes madison, i can tell you're going to have a very good night among your constituents. thank you for your time, ma'am, appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> happy people there. i should mention that this week, the law enforcement agencies that keep everybody safe at the state capitol put out a statement saturday, there were 68,000 people there, thanking the demonstrators, saying there were no arrests and no serious incidents. they say you conducted yourselves with great decorum and civility and if the eyes of the nation were upon us, you
have shown how to be. a thank you letter from law enforcement. in the mid east, they are not having a politics fight. in the middle east, they are fighting over who controls the country. things took an ugly turn, a dramatic turn and a really, really weird turn in libya, where it looks like the government may be toppling. that's up next. kind of cloud came a wholw
five and a half weeks after tunesia ousted its dictator of 23 years, ten days after egypt ousted its dictator of 30 years, the country in between the two other countries, libya appears to be on the verge of following suit. because of a ban on any kind of independent reporting, there are almost no international journalists to witness it. we are looking at youtube foot and and relying on opinions reports of thousands in the capitol of tripoli and around the country. protesters have taken over several significant towns, including libya's second largest city. they have also seized two of the state run satellite news channels. witnesses say response to this by moammar gadhafi, the dictator of over 40 years, was to order the air force to attack parts of the capitol city. his son denies they targeted protesters, saying the aircraft were bombing weapons depots. his son delivered a rambling 40-minute speech after midnight,
blaming the bbc, and drug addicts, for the current unrest. as for the whereabouts of his father, rumors he fled to venezuela were being spread by the british foreign minister today. those rumors were denied by hugo chavez's government. late tonight, gadhafi himself put out one of the weirdest statements i have seen by any leader in any country in any circumstance. have you seen this? libyan tv said gadhafi would make a statement. everybody was expecting a speech like his son gave the night before, maybe something defiant, but oddly lit and prerecorded like the mubarak statements before he was forced out. but that would not be weird enough for colonel gadhafi. when he finally did go on tv at approximately 2 a.m. local time, the entire thing lasted 20 seconds. it was very strange. it involved a truck, a hat, and a big white umbrella. ready? this is it.
>>translator: i want to have some rest. because i was talking to the young man at green square, i went to stay the night with them, then it started raining. i want to show them i am in tripoli, not in venezuela. don't believe those dogs in the media. >> and then it went to black. what's with the hat? i don't know. the umbrella and also the truck? yeah. no idea. even if gadhafi is still in libya in his hat and in his truck with his umbrella, that didn't stop his regime from starting to apparently fracture today. egypt's army reporting on its border, border guards started to abandon their posts. how did the egyptian army make that statement today? naturally, they put it on their facebook page. it is the new egypt. there were reports that a group of high ranking military officers called on libya's army to take power there.
effectively, the military should side with the protesters and against gadhafi. two libyan air force colonels flew jets to malta and asks for political asylum. the ak bars dors to many countries quit today, and libyan delegation to united nations seas is committeding genocide against his own people. as for the american response, secretary of state clinton released a strong statement saying the u.s. strongly condemns the violence in libya. now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. joining us now, my friend and host of "hardball," chris matthews. thanks for your time tonight. >> you are so glad, you caught the weird. i was thinking three men in history identified with the umbrella. louie fill eep, from france. chamberlain at munich, and now moammar gadhafi.
three umbrella men. >> to have the hat and the umbrella and the truck all together, it is clear it was raining, but this goes down in all time as strangest. what do you think the u.s. is going to do about what's going on in libya? >> i don't know. i think he had his 40 years. even with nixon in '69. the sell by date is apparent. we thought gadhafi was going to be a success. i think the people saw that coming. i think we saw the same in egypt. once it is clear that the aging of the current president is not going to bring change but continuation, that's when they seem to strike, the people in the streets. they say oh, my god, if we don't strike now, we have another
error coming of the same. >> -- era coming of the same. >> they said they are confident egypt hand ted. the president said he is happy how they dealt with it in every step. do you feel we learned anything important about foreign policy in this administration, about how hillary clinton and barack obama work as a team? >> i was thinking back as far as i could possibly remember. i think we're always right to back nationalism. nationalism in the end, pride of a country in the country is almost always something you better be behind. we were with it in eastern and central europe in the '80s, not with it in asia, when we fought in the wars in asia. but we see it here. and liberalization. take the same policy you take at home. go for expansion of freedom, if you can, and you usually can. and always go with nationalism and expansion of freedom, and you'll probably end up being on the right side. go with repression and you lose. even if late, you're better off. get with it as fast as you can. best thing we did was in the caaa sanctions foray part i'd. we were with mandela when he came.
starting in algeria. we can be on the right side of history, even though we are another country. nationalism and liberalization, go with them when you can. >> chris, your new documentary about bill clinton premiers tonight at 10:00 after the show. do you think there's a solid line connecting the bill clinton approach to foreign policy and barack obama approach? are there important differences the way the two presidents approach this. >> the people with it, the popular. when you see tonight, one thing that will grab you i believe knowing you, the scene when kevin spacey describes this when bill clinton, the word gets out that he is coming, former president from a western country, people come by tens of thousands and start whispering, peace maker. i think we can be with the good
guys. we can be there. bill clinton is a more traditional politician than barack obama. barack obama, his heart was with the people. i could see it from the beginning. bill clinton is with the popular movement generally because he is a good politician. where barack's heart leads him. hillary is more conservative israeli policy. hillary got a little off base, the president didn't like that. too many signals we were with mubarak sticking around, too nice at the end. it wasn't personal, it was bad politics. i think barack's heart is with the people and they know it. i think it is a good place to be. >> chris matthews, whose "hardball" documentary, president of the world, the bill clinton phenomenon premiers tonight. we are all very excited. thanks, chris. >> thank you. why part of this show has decamped to kansas, and why the rest of it may be on its way coming up next.
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anything at planned parenthood, you have house republicans to thank for trying to make that go away. friday's vote is part of a jawinger naut by those in washington. they have convinced themselves that the american people sent themselves to washington to make abortion harder to get. to grow the government to the point it can insist n its own chosen outcome to your pregnancy, thus relieving you of the burden of that decision, thus relieving you of that freedom. aside from voting to cut funding for planned parenthood, republicans are also trying to eliminate coverage for abortions from health insurance policies. they would do it by raising taxes. raising taxes on any policy that covers abortion. net effect of which would be to likely cause all insurance companies to just stop covering it. who, after all, is going to choose the raise your tax rate insurance plan specifically to cover something no one ever thinks they're going to need.
house republicans also want to let hospitals and medical providers refuse to perform abortion related services or even refuse to refer women to places that will, even when the life of the mother is at risk. i recognize you might die because of it, but i am so anti-abortion that i refuse to help you stay alive. it is a difficult position for a movement that wants you to call them pro-life, but house republicans have decided to interpret last elections as a mandate from the american people to push for multiple extreme across the board national abortion restrictions, so they are going for it. in 2008, 35 years after roe versus wade, 87% of counties lacked an abortion provider. 87% of counties, no prior. abortion is a constitutionally protected measure that has been made functionally unavailable in all but 13% of american counties. in part, that's because people opposed to abortion rights have decided to target doctors that provide them. attacking and threatening and harassing doctors so intensely over the years that a doctor's choice to provide abortions is
something that takes not just time and training, but a significant measure of personal bravery as well. legally, constitutionally, american women have the right. functionally, the intimidation tactics of the anti-abortion movement made it all but impossible to exercise that right. in many parts of the country, rather than act to protect the availability of this procedure against the movement that targeted it, house republicans have decided to pylon, to use public policy in washington to make it less available. on the front lines, too, american institutions that in other circumstances would be expected and called on to protect victims of harassment and intimidation, those institutions have been turned by conservative politicians into instruments of just further harassment and further intimidation of those people that are already victims. the kind of thing you expect in a place where the government is called the regime, not here at home, not here in the american haert land. in 1980, a doctor in wichita
relocated his practice, staff and patients to a temporary makeshift clinic. he did it because his actual clinic where he saw patients had been bombed. the only way he saw fit to continue, the only safe way to see patients in the immediate aftermath of this attack was to go underground. five years after dr. george tiller's clinic was bombed and he went underground, thousands of anti-abortion activists from all over the country converged on his practice in wichita. spent the summer of 1991 physically blockading entrance to his office, keeping them from seeing the doctor by sheer force of volume. two years after that, shelly shannon who had been at the summer of protests walked up to his car in the parking lot of his clinic and shot him. shelly shannon did not succeed in killing dr. tiller. she shot him in both arms. he returned to work the next day. the man that would ultimately kill dr. tiller 16 years later, the man that went on to shoot
him at point blank range in his church, this man, scott roeder, would first pay more than two dozen visits to shelly shannon while she was in prison. scott roeder told them it was at this time he grew close to the woman that tried to kill dr. tiller that he began to think of killing the doctor himself. in march of 2009, it was dr. tiller who was the one on trial. he faced 19 misdemeanor criminal charges, alleging he had an improper relationship, improper financial relationship with a doctor that provided the second opinions required by law on late term abortions. scott roeder attended that trial several times. after deliberating after less than an hour, the jury returned with not guilty verdicts on all 19 counts, scott roeder was devastated. he said that outcome, his acquittal on the 19 misdemeanor charges in spring of 2009, he has said that was part of what pushed him to murder the doctor two years later.
>> did you decide it was incumbent upon you to do something? >> there was nothing being done, and the legal process had been exhausted. and these babies were dying every day. so i felt that i needed to act and quickly for those children. >> dr. tiller and his attorneys at the time were confident that he had acted properly, that they would get a good, fair trial. they had never been all that worried about those charges, those 19 misdemeanor charges, but the anti-abortion movement had seen it as their best chance yet at getting dr. tiller shut down. in kansas, you can convene a criminal grand jury by getting enough signatures on a petition, something the anti-abortion group operation rescue did twice. neither of those grand juries ended up charging him with anything. they tried to get at him through the legal system, but nothing seemds to stick, until they got the 19 misdemeanors, the charges that actually got dr. tiller into the courtroom. how can you get from no real
results from citizen petition grand juries, turning up nothing on this doctor, to 19 criminal misdemeanor charges that actually forced him into court? it was a long and winding journey, but it all started when you got this guy elected, state's attorney general. >> another example in kansas is george tiller. >> i want to first tell you who does not endorse attorney general phill kline? abortionist dr. george tiller does not endorse phill kline. >> when phill kline took office in 2003 as state attorney general in kansas, he set in motion a plan to use his power as attorney general to target dr. tiller. today he stands accused by the disciplinary board in kansas, the state bar, of ethics violations. they are accused of misleading officials to get information from state agencies, and to get
medical records from dr. tiller. he is also accused of lying about what he and his staff were doing with the medical records. according to the complaint against mr. kline, what they were doing was comparing medical records subpoenaed from dr. tiller's office, redacted records without patient names, comparing those to records subpoenaed from a nearby hotel where his patients often stayed. they compared two sets of records in order to unredact them, in order to learn names of patients. as alleged in the complaint, quote, the document created as a result of this effort lists 221 potential adult patient names, 221 addresses, street city and state, and 221 adult patient telephone numbers. do you need to see a doctor? have you considered the possibility that the state attorney general will use the power of his office to subpoena your records if you see a doctor they don't like. your name, address, phone number, diagnoses are gone through in some state government office somewhere?
according to the complaint against mr. kline, his staff also, quote, engaged in an effort to visit employees by staking out the clinic, following visitors and employees and recording automobile license plate numbers. as attorney general, attorney general phill kline tried to use information he got during his george tiller inquisition to file criminal charges against dr. tiller, but the local prosecutor in wichita where he practiced had the charges dismissed. then phill kline lost his re-election bid. all those medical records, they are still around, and the new attorney general used them to file the 19 misdemeanor charges against dr. tiller, that's how they got him into kortd, even none of them stuck. the charges he was acquitted of in march of 2009 so quickly, that trial closely watched by the whole anti-abortion movement, including by scott roeder himself in person, the guy who ultimately killed him. phill kline could be disbarred for the way he targeted dr.
tiller and conducted that inquisition, for the way he used that office to take the side of the people that had been trying to put dr. tiller out of business by any means necessary. today was day one of phill kline's ethics trial in topeka, kansas. "the rachel maddow show" was there. joining us now, our producer, rebekah dryden. thanks very much for being there. i know you hate being on camera. let us know what happened at the hearing today. >> well, the hearing barely got under way today. this was one of what promises to be a lengthy process. mr. kline himself did testify, his testimony started today. it will continue tomorrow. we did get a chance to talk to phill kline on his way into the hearing this morning, as well as a number of the anti-abortion movement members who were here in support of him. >> i would like to ask you how you're thinking about defending yourself, what your plan is? >> with the truth. with the truth.
>> anything more you want to say about that? >> i think it will reveal itself during the hearing, and i'm excited about having the opportunity to share the truth. >> what do you do, worst case scenario, what do you do next? >> i walk out of this room and i still speak the truth. so, i mean, their contemplation is whether it violates any rules. i can't speak for them. i know what i'd do if i was in charge of this hearing. >> mr. kline, do you yourself believe abortion should be made illegal? >> do i myself? yes. another comment about that. i am also anti-murder and put a lot of murderers away, too. i follow the law. >> have you been following the case a long time?
>> no. i just got a call from one of the ladies and i said i want to be here. >> tell me why it is important to you. >> well, phill kline is trying to do the right things for those that are hurting, and i support him for what he stands up for. >> when you say those that are hurting, tell me who you mean? >> well, the way ooichl understanding it, the abortionists don't like what phill is trying to get done. >> what do you think he is trying to get done? >> he is trying to clear the process, finding out to understand items from the past, trying to find out who some of the guilty people are, and the abortionists don't like that. >> we want to make sure these people know there are people watching them and that they're accountable to the public. >> that last person you heard from was cheryl sullenger, senior policy analyst for operation rescue, an anti-abortion group, based in
wichita, kansas. if her name sounds familiar, it was her name and number that was found on a piece of paper on the dashboard of scott roeder's car when he was pulled over and arrested after the murder of george tiller. >> "the rachel maddow show" producer rebekah dryden, thank you for your reporting out there. keep it up. see you soon. >> thanks, rachel. >> we'll be right back with more. [ male announcer ] colorful, original
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abortions are not available in south central kansas right now. the absence of services does now. the absence of services does not appear to be because of lack of demand for the service. there are doctors in the region willing to provide the services to meet that need but reproductive health services in south central kansas are essentially suspended because of violence and intimidation because the doctor who used to provide the service was killed last year because he provided those services. intimidation because the doctor who had stepped forward and indicated a willingness to replace dr. george tiller is already being targeted in many of the same way dr. tiller was before he was assassinated and that has already cost her medical practice its lease. joining us now is someone who tracks antiabortion extremism including the folks threatening
dr. milah means in wichita right now in the wake of dr. tiller's murder. thanks very much for being here. it is nice to have you here. >> thank you for having me. >> can you describe the levels and types of intimidation abortion providers are getting? >> we see everything from a group of extremist tracking women who arrive at the clinic, videotaping, writing down license plates, to calling for large events that gather out of state, antiabortion extremists and have them come in and have large events where mobs are outside of these facilities where they interfere with clinic entrances and exits, blocking traffic, creating noise outside the facility so that the patients feel and hear what's going on outside. to actual stalking where they're following the doctors and the clinic employees to their homes, to their clinics, to their hospitals, to their churches, to the schools where their children go to school, to criminal threats to death threats in the
forms of letters and e-mails, phone calls to actual violence where they're attacked, clinic invasions to bombings, arson and murder. >> the most visible form of intimidation is something that i don't feel very critical of. i feel like i'm on a sort of first amendment elitist. i feel political speech is often a good sign when it is loud and raucous and noisy and confrontational but the issue with the antiabortion movement using that as a tactic is not just the speech part of it but the attempt to intimidate people from using that service. how do you navigate that and consider the two sides of that? >> i think the difference is when you have criminal conduct coupled with expression, i mean, no longer can these extremists
hide behind the skirts of the first amendment. what's happened like with the wanted posters which you have covered extensively and so well, these are road maps and they help show and point out and by using the rhetoric that they use in saying this is where a doctor is, this is a murderer, these people are killing children, showing them where they live, pointing out where their church is, pointing out who they are and drilling this information forward over and over again, plus the stalking, plus the, you know, following them and the threats, that is not protected by the first amendment. also, patients should not be hostages. neither should people be hostages in their homes or when they go to get health care. >> the federal government -- at the federal level there has been some recognition that antiabortion, the antiabortion movement, the extreme end of the
antiabortion movement has conducted themselves in such a way that essentially abortion providers need special protection. this idea of protecting the entrances to clinics so they can provide the service they are open to provide. is that federal protection doing enough? should there be more of a special category in terms of law enforcement for making sure that these providers and patients are safe? >> well, i think that we have some excellent laws available right now. first of all, we would like these individuals especially the extremists to be pursued for criminal stalking, for criminal threats, criminal trespassing. unfortunately for example what happened to dr. means last week which is this ratcheting up of extremist tactics against her, going to her home, lying in wait after dark for her to get home, invading her family care facility, these other activities, there is no local law enforcement, not a single arrest made yet in wichita. but that's why in part federal intervention is necessary and the freedom of access to clinic entrances act is a very strong
and powerful law. it says you cannot by threat of force or force, you know, threaten these -- prevent and inhibit, go after abortion providers. therefore, we wish the federal government would go after these extremists with everything that they have. >> given that the law is there and available. >> exactly. in addition to federal stalking, cyber stalking and other laws at their disposal. by they i mean the department of justice. >> your foundation tracks the stuff we've been reporting on way more than i ever thought we would need to, i have a feeling this will not be the first time or last time we talked to you. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. don't forget chris matthews returns at the top of the hour with his new documentary about the post presidential work and life of bill clinton. it is really good. you should watch it. more rachel maddow show to come before that. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] it can creep up on you. dry skin.
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there is breaking news from new zealand tonight where a shallow 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city of christ church this afternoon. local police report fatalities at several locations. the military is helping with the rescue efforts at this hour. the government has declared a level three emergency, which is the highest level for a regional emergency. all flights in and out of christ church new zealand have been canceled. some of the worst damage is apparently right in the city center. one witness describing it as like a war zone. in the city center we know collapsed buildings crushed two buses and have trapped an unknown number of people. rescue efforts this evening have been complicated by downed phone lines and by flooding caused by ruptured water lines. this damage from the 6.3 magnitude quake comes just five months after the same city was badly damaged by a 7.0 quake. in the meantime in terms of this