Up | January 27, 2013
>>> good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes . four shootings and a stabbing left seven people dead yesterday in chicago. a city that led the nation in murders last year.
>>> and president obama in an interview with the relaunched new republic said about the dangers of head injuries in football, that if he had a son he would, quote, think long angd hard before i let him play. right now i am joined by the director of the new internationalism project, horace campbell, professor of african politics at syracuse university , irshad manji , author, and an independent africa policy analyst and researcher and former executive director of the washington, d.c., based group africa , action. outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton and before the senate foreign affairs committee wednesday less than a month after being hospitalized with a blood clot to testify about the attack at benghazi . it killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans . senator marco rubio of florida was one of the three that asked sensible questions about lapses in security at the consulate.
>> were you ever asked to participate in any sort of internal or interagency meeting before this attack with regard to the deteriorating security situation in libya ?
>> with specific security requests, they didn't come to me, i had no knowledge of them.
>> for the most part, though, republicans seemed to obsess over the comments of the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice over double talk, alleged coverup and whether rice purposely underplayed the terrorist connection and underscored protests to an anti-muslim film.
>> we were told there were protests and an assault sprang out of that and that was not the fact and the american people could have known that within days and they didn't know that.
>> with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead americans . was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd they'd go kill some americans . what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.
>> hillary clinton was a strong advocate for the u.s. military intervention that helped remove moammar gadhafi in 2011 and it will probably be seen as one of the defining moments of her tenure. the question now is whether our enter sflengs libya has produced the unintended consequence of powering j powering jihadists and how to manage that in what is now a heavily armed region in the world. in algeria people seized control of a gas refinery and in mali , a land-locked country that borders algeria , french forces have intervened. clinton warned the u.s. cannot permit mali to become a safe haven but the problem for policy makers is a regional one.
>> the arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. instability in mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in algeria .
>> i also want to bring in robin wright , a joint fellow at the u.s. institute of peace . robin, just jump in any time. the first place i want to start is there's an economist, very provocative economist cover this week with a clutched gun saying afriganistan. the idea being north africa will be the new afghanistan. i want to start with the libya moment because it seems like that's kind of a counter factual fork in the road . the question is how much of this is the result of the nato intervention . as someone who's studied this region and i have to say i was reading your congressional testimony about north africa yesterday, it's incredibly prophetic, you've gone before congress many times, how much do you see the intervention in libya as a moment that pushed us toward these effects we're now seeing?
>> i think it did push us entirely. the question for me was, was it intended, was it ignored? because i think where i differ with some people, we have to remember what happened before the intervention. we have to remember that they requested intervention. we have to remember that gadhafi was threatening to hand down all the people in the streets. we also have to remember that at that time the revolution had started in tunisia and it had jumped to egypt and so it seemed to me that if you have a choice between not allowing people to be mowed down in the streets, you do that. now the link i see with other places is once you intervene, probably the intervention is always easy, it is the aftermath.
>> that's what we learned.
>> and i think the question that i haven't had a satisfactory answer to is how is it that with all the worries over the weapons from gadhafi 's arsenal flowing out, no one saw all these fighters, at least officially, we didn't see the fighters, we didn't know who they were and they went all the way into mali . when mali shares no border with libya .
>> let's walk through the causal connection. there's a few things here. there's a lot of arms that flowed out in the aftermath, right?
>> so those arms have sort of gone out into north africa . that's part of the problem. there's a cadre of fighters that colonel gadhafi had hired as mercenaries and when gadhafi was being routed they fled out to the north of mali so those are the two causal links.
>> i want to ask you, robin, does the state department -- does hillary clinton and the obama administration view the libya intervention as a success? how much did they view that intervention as what precipitated the set of effects afterwards?
>> militarily the intervention by nato in libya was clearly judged widely as a success. it forced gadhafi out of power and it changed a state that had been among the most draconian in its practices at all levels into something that opened up hope for six and a half million people. the problem is the united states has never been very good, whether it's in afghanistan, iraq, in creating an alternative and the bol line is the united states basically walked away when it came to how do you create a new state, how do you facilitate the diverse forces, whether it's the tribal elements, more than 300 militias that had formed during that brief eight-month involvement, how do you stem the flow of weaponry and create an alternative. if you saw charlie wilson 's war, at the very ending of the movie when he says i raised all this money, billions of dollars for arms to the opposition to fight off the soviets but i couldn't raise a couple of million dollars for education. it's the same kind of problem. we're not good at figuring out what alternatives are and as a result libya destabilized and a lot of the arms that went into libya , a lot of the forces that were militarized flowed not just into mali and algeria but across a huge chunk of northwest africa . as a result you see a huge destabilization that's affect in turn little tunisia in between algeria and libya , it has affected egypt. there is a whole section of africa that is very vulnerable to jihadist extremists.
>> you know, i think that's what important here is that while it may have been unintended that this would empower a wide range of militarized forces, it's not only, quote, jihadists but a lot of people with a lot of guns. but it was not unanticipated. it was talked about widely. it was anticipated that it would happen more inside libya rather than over libya 's borders, through algeria into mali but it was certainly anticipated this was exactly what was going to go on. by the time of the intervention, we should not forget inside libya , libya was an ally of the united states . now, it wasn't a great ally, we didn't maybe, quote, like it but it was an ally. gadhafi had given up his nuclear weapons , had given up everything that had made him a supposedly resistance hero in parts of the world and he was now allied with the u.s., with italy, with france, with you'europe. so this notion that we had to intervention, there were threats, no doubt about it, against his population. but the idea that there was going to be an attack that was both inevitable and imminent in benghazi simply was not the case.
>> well, i think it's contested intensely now.
>> and i think one of the reasons i think it's important to kind of -- it may seem weird, why are we relitigating libyan intervention.
>> because of the impact.
>> and because of the first time around it never got litigated, right? and what happened -- and what's weird about the whole benghazi issue to me, this is kienlds nd of weird, it's a way of talking about the libyan intervention now after the fact because we have these deaths and this tragedy and this cascade of effects pause we never talked about it the first time.
>> but we're not talking about it now either, chris.
>> in a very remote and oblique way.
>> we're only talking about the consulate issue and chris stevens , not the policy in libya that led to that.
>> i don't want to take anybody away too long from libya and north africa , that's the focus of today's -- this morning's panel, but i think all of what has been said this morning so far really helps explain, at least in part, why the u.s. government is so reticent to help syrians.
>> yes, right.
>> because, as was pointed out during kerry 's confirmation hearing for secretary of state this past week, you know, when john mccain said are we or are we not the friends of the syrian people ? it was senator kerry who pointed out that, you know, this is a country not unlike many in the region that has so many dimensions to it, not the least of which is what happens, you know, once the various sectarian factions, sunni, shia, drews, et cetera , how do they play out? what happens with the kurds? where are the arms going? where is the money going? and in a way -- sorry, just to finish up the point. in a way this is the obliqueness phyllis is talking about. nobody is going to say look at what has happened with libya . they're not going to say that, obviously. but this is part of the lesson learning mission that soon-to-be secretary kerry is on and needs to be on in order to figure out how do we not be part of the problem anymore.
>> that's absolutely right. it's libya we did intervene and syria we are intervening in the sense of we're sending money and helping other people send weapons so it's not like we're sitting by. but in terms of what happened at libya , that has been the lesson learned to the extent we can. my sense is that your feelings about the libyan intervention are different than these and i want to get your sense of what the effects are after we