tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 21, 2011 8:00am-10:00am PDT
that my competitors didn't get to when they didn't read the plan. number one, how to we deal with the poor? those that are at or below the poverty level. we had this provision in there and still raised the amount of money. if you're at or below the poverty level, it isn't 9-9-9. it's 9-0-9. say amen, y' all. 9-0-9. in other words if you are at or below the poverty level based upon family size because it's a different number for each one, you don't pay that middle nine tax on your income. this is how we help the poor. another way we help the poor, we get this economy going so we can let people find jobs. for economically distressed city, detroit as an unemployment rate over 20% and there are other cities just like that. and it's getting worse.
so the opportunity zones will allow cities like detroit to qualify for additional exemptions relative to the first nine. right now in the first nine you can deduct purchases if you're a business. you can deduct capital expenditures and net exports. but for those cities that qualify as opportunity zones, you will also be able to deduct a certain amount of your payroll expenses. so you will be insented to put people to work. the other thing about the opportunity zone, is that it just doesn't apply to certain kinds of businesses located in the zone, all businesses would qualify for those kinds of extra exemptions. one of things i believe in is
empowering cities to help themselves, empowering workers and individuals to help themselves. this is not an entitlement program. so the cities will have to step up and remove some of the barriers that are within their city limits. so that if the cities do what they can do to help themselves, we will have the 9-9-9 legislation so structured that they will get additional benefits and so it starts with the national opportunity zone, that if you're at or below poverty, your plan is 9-0-9. some people will say, if you're at poverty, then you're not concerned about that first nine anyway. that's not true. i know a lot of business people that are barely making it, barely making it and so yes, they will get zero for the middle 9 and yes, they will get
special deductions if they are in an opportunity zone. so all of the critics who want to say that this plan is not this and not that, i invite them to take a look at an article that was published just a couple of days ago by one of the most renowned economists on the planet. he worked with president reagan during the reagan administration. he is currently head of his own company, i'm talking about dr. art latford, currently head of lat fehr center and co-author of stephen moore on return to prosperity and wrote an article published in the wall street journal that refuted all of the false claims made against 9-9-9 the other night during the debate. before i tell you what he concluded with his own analysis,
it never felt so good being shot at. never felt so good being shot at. because as alvita king said, they didn't think of it first and they don't have a credible plan. to the accusation that a new sales tax could be raised in the future, not the laffer response, so could any other tax. what makes that one any different? to the accusation that it is not revenue neutral, dr. laffer concludes, i believe his plan, herman cain, will be status revenue neutral and the boost it would give to the economic growth it would bring in even more revenue than expected.
and to the accusation that this will not generate economic growth, dr. laffer puts out, output will soar as will jobs. tax receive news will also increase enormously. not because tax rates have increased but because marginal tax rates will decrease under the 9-9-9 plan. bottom line, folks, 9-9-9 means jobs, jobs, jobs. let's renew the economy of this nation. this is the greatest country in the world. and we have people that are apologizing for america's greatness. as your president, i will never
apologize for the greatness of america because of the spirit of america that built this great country. ronald reagan, one of our greatest presidents, used to describe this nation as that shining city on a hill. but in the last several years, that shining city on a hill has slid down to the side of the hill because of the struggling economy because this administration is weakening our military. because of foggy foreign policy around the world and because of a severe deficiency of leadership, i believe that the american people are saying loud and clear, that they want to move this shining city on the hill back to the top of the hill where it belongs. and i believe that we can do
that in november of 2012. [ applause ] there are two things that some people having figured out yet. some are still trying to answer the question, why is herman cain doing so well in the polls? he doesn't have the greatest amount of money. a lot of people didn't even know who he was. i can tell you what's happening that they don't get yet. number one, the voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media. you are the people and you are listening. [ applause ] secondly, message is more powerful than money. america is hungry for solutions and not more rhetoric. that's what they are paying attention to. not only our 9-9-9, jobs, jobs,
jobs plan but also our approach to many of the other crises we face. and we have the culmination of crises but the good news we can fix things. american dream has been hijacked. but we can take it back. i know that because i have lived my american dreams and then some. and so have many of you. and ever since my first grandchild was born in 1999, and i looked into that little face for the very first time and the thought that went through my head, which had to be coming from god almighty, with a do i do to make this a better nation and better world. this journey has unfolded for the last 12 years and i am convinced that the spirit of america is going to renew america. i am convinced that the american people are ready for a problem
solver in the white house and not another politician. ronald reagan, who i refer to again, describes this thing we call freedom as something very fragile, very delicate and if we allow it to get away from us, we might not be able to get it back. >> herman cain is speaking to a group in detroit. he's defending his 9-9-9 jobs program. his tax plan that's 9% business tax, 9% individual tax and 9% national sales tax. been getting a lot of criticism from it that it's an unrealistic plan and we heard from president obama saying they don't think it's unrealistic and will make taxes go up, mostly for the middle class those below or at the poverty line. let's bring in paul steinhouser, it was interesting because he
says it's a 9-0-9 plan, the zero being if you're at or below the poverty line, you won't pay the income taxes. what do you make of that change? does it make sense to you? >> you're absolutely right. he came under a lot of attack including in the debate in vegas, one of the reasons was just that. for middle class americans and lower class americans, they would pay more under his plan. he said at that time after the debate. he told reporters asking him he would have more details later this week and here it is, this 9-09, it is a new part of his plan. it means no income tax whatsoever for those at or below the poverty line, poverty level. i guess he was responding to the critics of his plan. he also introduced these opportunity zones and gave us a head's up last night he would be doing that which are kind of supposed to spur growth because they would include zero capital gains tax and immediate expensing of business equipment
and no payroll taxes. kind of like entitlement zones. there he is respondsing to the critiques of the 9-9-9 plan. it was 9-9-9 that helped hem go from an afterthought in the polls to be being a front run we are mitt romney. it is now coming under a lot of scrutiny suzanne. >> we'll run it by the economists as well to see what they think about this 9-0-9 aspect of the plan. thank you, paul. live from studio 7, i'm suzanne malveaux, we want to get you up to speed for friday, october 21st. we begin with new video out of misrata. it is very disturbing to see some of it. it shows moammar gadhafi's body in a big cooler here. this is libya's new leaders say the dna test confirming that this is gadhafi. they say he is being buried today according to islamic custom. they want gadhafi's death
investigated. this video as well, quite graphic that we see here, this is scenes posted on the internet showing gadhafi bloody but alive after a fire fight. the libyan government says the dictator was killed by cross fire during a gun battle, some however say gadhafi's head wounds raise the possibility that he was executed point blank. nato ambassadors are meeting in brus sells and officials are expected to announce that nato will end military action in libya. the libyan people free and celebrating gadhafi's death, one official says nature toe has fulfilled its mandate to protect libya's civilians, we have more coming up with chris lawrence. >> all 47 republicans in the senate stood together and blocked the jobs package. it would have given local governments money to hire teachers and firefighters and republicans called it a bailout. they didn't like the sur tax
actually on millionaires that cover the bill's $35 billion price tag either. >> russian rocket hauled two european satellites into space today. the satellites will be part of a group of satellites that make up europe's global positioning system. it's going to be a commercial rival to the american gps system. new biography of steve jobs says the apple chairman came to regret his decision to put off cancer surgery for nine months. during that time jobs treated a pancreatic tumor with ak puncture, herbal remedies and other alternative medicines. >> i think he kind of felt if you ignore something and don't want something to exist, you can have magical thinking and it had worked for him in the past. he regretted some of the decisions he made and certainly i think he felt he should have been operated on sooner. >> jobs had the dna in his tumor
sequenced at a cost of $100,000 and that allowed doctors to tailer drugs to his specific cancer. jobs died earlier this month. secretary of state hillary clinton is in islamabad today pressuring pakistan's leaders to crack down on the haqqani network, the spy agency is helping militants launch attacks in afghanistan. that accusation has deepened the chill in america's partnership with pakistan. thailand's leaders are telling people who live in bangkok to move to higher ground. the cities plans to help flood gates to divert high waters to the sea. that means eastern parts are certain to flood. this maneuver could spare major parts of the capital from high water. more jubilation in libya today over the death of moammar gadhafi but once the celebrations end the country is facing a pretty tough road ahead. the national transitional
council has to chart a new course for libya. that's not going to be easy. analysts say the leaders have to respond quickly to people's basic needs, we're talking about providing water, power, repairing, even rebuilding the infrastructure. the new government is also going to have to overcome differences including tribal tensions and regional tensions and the question of how you incorporate former gadhafi supporters into a new libya. the leadership will need to secure all of the weapons circulating around the country to make sure they don't ends up in the hangs of criminals as well as gangs. for now, libya is celebrating and ben farmer joining us on the phone from sirte, that is gadhafi's once his hometown. ben, describe for us what it's like to be there? >> reporter:wi it's full of rebs still celebrating but quieter than yesterday. still happy fire and celebratory fire in the air, machine guns and odd rockets and rocket-propelled grenade but
kind of a relaxed scene to it. people are driving around, taking photographs of the bombed buildings and the bombed streets, which have seen so much blood shed in the past two weeks. there's a lot of rebels who are starting to make their way home. these aren't professional soldiers, these are engineers or students and they fought now for eight months, some of them. after the success of yesterday, they started to pack up and make their way back to their families. >> ben, there's been a lot of curiosity around gadhafi and particularly the way he was killed and now his body. we're looking at more pictures now of people who are just lining up to get a glimpse and get a chance to see his body. we're taking a look. those are the pictures there. we saw the pictures earlier. it looked like it was a supermarket refrigeration unit where he was brought forward and people were standing around, milling around. do we know anything more about
what will happen with gadhafi's body? >> reporter: all we know is that the national transitional council has said that he will be buried according to islamic ritual. but we believe he will be buried secretly in misrata. i think that they are attempting to prevent creating an event which could be a focus for any gadhafi loyalists still around. and also they don't want to create a scene which could become a focus for pilgrimage in the future. >> ben farmer, thank you very much. here's a rundown of stories we're covering. first, how exactly did gadhafi die? we're going to look at conflicting accounts. and nato spend months launching air strikes in libya. now that gadhafi is gone, what is next? why people from other
countries are buying up so many houses here. we'll show you where the most foreign investment is taking place. later, michael jackson's doctor watches as an anesthesiologist expert does a show and tell during the trial. no problem. you want to save money on rv insurance? no problem. you want to save money on motorcycle insurance? no problem. you want to find a place to park all these things? fuggedaboud it. this is new york. hey little guy, wake up! aw, come off it mate! geico. saving people money on more than just car insurance.
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monitoring this group of gadhafi loyalists isolated in one area of the city of sirte. about 8:30 in the morning, the drone noticed this convoy made a break for it, driving very, very fast, talking about 75 cars and nato officials tell us a lot of these vehicles were very heavily armed. they scrambled the drone and also a french fighter jet, took out one of those vehicles. that disbursed the convoy. some of the people got out and ran away on foot. 20 vehicles kept speeding out of the city. and then the jet reengaged with them and took out about another ten of those vehicles. we know from officials that gadhafi and some of his fighters were sort of cornered or found by the rebels in that drainage pipe. but that's where the story sort ofdy verges. there was some sort of shootout between gadhafi forces and the rebels there.
as we look at some of this very graphic video, the story starts to split. the ntc and rebels say that gadhafi was killed in sort of cross fire between his forces and the rebels fighting him. but the video clearly shows a bloody wounded gadhafi being man handleded and dragged across the roof of a car but still very much alive. exactly how and when gadhafi was killed still up in the air. chris, did nato realize who they actually had when they were going after that convoy? did they realize gadhafi was in the convoy or was it kind of a lucky shot there? >> well, nato officials say they knew that this these were gadhafi loyalists and they had been keeping an eye on them for some time. they did not know gadhafi himself was in that convoy. the strike that took out the vehicle is not believed to have hit gadhafi's vehicle. but again, it was enough to
disburse the convoy and send some people running away on foot. >> sure. there's still questions remain whether or not the circumstances around his death, whether or not somebody actually shot him or got caught in cross fire, is that right? >> we don't know. again, the official way he died from what we were getting from the ntc and from some of the libyan officials is that he was killed in a cross fire, when his men started firing at back and forth with some of the rebels. but our own eyes, you look at the images and video shows that he was still very much alive, if not -- he was definitely wounded, you could see blood on him. but he was still very much alive at the point of which he was captured. >> and just moving ahead, do we know when the nato mission will end or that something still being worked out behind the scenes. >> still being worked on but it
could end here in next few hours. many of the nato ambassadors started about little less than an hour ago, it's expected to last another hour or so. at that point they could decide how and when to end the military mission in libya. a big part of that going forward will be what will be nato's role. how much assistance will they give sort of the new libyan government with securing its borders or training forces to sort of rebuild libya's army. >> sure, chris, give us any details and any information as it comes out in the next hour and we'll bring it to folks to find out how quickly the mission will end in libya. the nato mission. thanks, chris. talk about a unique plan to jump start the housing market, two senators have a new proposal to give foreigners visas if they buy a house here in the united states. details next.
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name to sun life valley. do we still get to go skiing? sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial. the u.s. economy owes a big thank you to thousands who don't live this this country. foreign buyers are snapping up homes and condos in record numbers and it's boosting the weak housing market. alison kosik is with us from the new york stock exchange. how much money are we talking? >> if you talk percentage wise, foreigners make up 8% of the u.s. home sales, talking dollars and cents, big money, $80 billion a year put into u.s.
housing. that number has actually been growing. you know why? because foreigners are more competent in u.s. real estate than americans are. the national association of realtors says that they went ahead and looked at half of foreign buyers who said the reason they bought is because they think that u.s. real estate is safer and more profitable. >> wow. a lot of people don't believe that here. where in the country are they attracting most of these international folks? >> well, it's the areas you would guess, the big foreclosure areas like florida, arizona, the big attraction there is the lower prices and no matter how the economy is going they are the favorites of hawaii and new york. >> alison, it will give visas to some foreign buyers. how does that work? >> this is an interesting and creative way to try to kind of rev up the housing industry. it's a bipartisan bill looking
to bring in more foreign investsers. it would offer a three-year residential visa if they spend a half million dollars to buy houses in the u.s. it is endorsed by chuck schumer and mike lee and senator schumer was on "out front" and talked about the economic advantages of this legislation. >> the number one goal is to help the housing market, which is the biggest anchor an our economy. the number two goal is to get the economy going. they'll spend a great deal of money here and have to live here 180 days minimum and they'll pay taxes here. so it will be a net increase in revenues and it will help get the economy going. >> so this is all about bringing money into our economy and supporting home prices and just really reviving the struggling housing mark which these days, suzanne, can't seem to catch a break. suzanne? >> alison, thanks, have a great weekend. >> you too. >> all year we've been introducing you to every day
people who are changing the world. we call them cnn heroes, millions of children in africa are left orphaned by aides. amy stokes help connect teenagers with caring adults all around the world on the internet. she joins us from johannesburg south africa. congratulations on already the amazing work you do as one of our top ten cnn heroes, we're very excited and proud of you. tell us about your organization, infinite family and what it's like for these kids and mentors. >> sure, it's nice to speak with you. yes, i just left the kids about an hour ago. the children are incredibly excited to share their worlds their days and their communities and do it with mentors through infinite family around the world. we set them up with in computer
labs and they log on and turn on the computer and boom, they are looking at their mentor once a week and have a deep and profound relationship. they work on homework. they solve problems together and they laugh and have a very good time. >> what do they think of being named, the organization being named as cnn top ten hero? >> they are he is static. they are incredibly proud of the work they are doing and what they are doing to invest in theirselves and get ready for their future. and they are very happy to share what's special about themselves and their communities and their countries and it's a very exciting process for them. they are thrilled to have the world know about what they are doing. >> and what do these kids need the most? how can people help? >> well, people can help in several ways. we are very excited to have this
light shine upon the work that we're doing. and we really do want to invite everyone to get involved to join the family, to help us give every child a mentor, to help us make sure that every child's village includes the world, to help them learn everything they need to know to grow up to be healthy and happy adults. >> amy, congratulations and good luck to you. we thank you for the work you have already done and congratulations on being a top cnn cnn hero. >> thank you. >> go to cnn heroes.com on your local vice to vote for the cnn hero would inspires you the most. all ten will be honored live at cnn heroes, an all-star tribute hosted by anderson cooper on sunday, december 11th. moammar gadhafi always said he was willing to die before stepping down from power. he got his wish.
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we want to show you live pictures from sirte, libya. dan rivers is on the ground there and these are live pictures from his vehicle. he is driving -- this is two miles from where gadhafi was found. you can just -- if you take a look, it is unbelievable the streets are desserted. you can see these buildings kind of blown out. a lot of this evidence of the aftermath of this fighting that has been taking place inside of libya for the last six months or so. and the damage that has been done as some of these areas, some of these towns completely abandoned and not able for folks to even live in some of these homes and areas.
the aftermath and the evidence of really a war-torn country that has seen tremendous change over the last couple of months and comes right after gadhafi was killed. so this is our own dan rivers from his vantage point inside the vehicle. live pictures on the ground. just a couple of miles where gadhafi was found. you can see this desolate area of the country. he's pointing forward and moving the car forward to try to get a better view, better vantage point, a beautiful sunset there. folks who have left the area, this is a place where people are going to have to remake their lives and figure out what kind of society they are going to have. and whether or not it will be a democratic one. they have a lot of problems. they have a lot of challenges in terms of providing electricity, providing water, providing jobs.
and how this country will move forward in a time of peace after months after conflict. and the end of the dictator moammar gadhafi. here's what's ahead on the rundown. next, libya after moammar gadhafi. we'll take you live to tripoli. >> how might the dictators death affect uprisings in syria? and a young woman sold for drugs as a baby, is reunited now with two sisters she didn't even know she had. what does gadhafi's down fall mean for the upriser in syria. let's bring in arwa damon. there are a lot of different scenarios playing out in the arab spring. we saw in egypt hosni mu baraba
step down and then gadhafi killed. what do we expect when we look at syria and its leader bashar assad. is he willing to stay in power until somebody takes him out? what is taking place in syria? he must be looking at the situation and thinking i have no good alternatives here. >> reporter: that is the assumption, one can only imagine what is possibly going through president bashar assad and his family and his supporters minds as they were watching that video. but one also has to realize this is a regime that pretty much believes it is winning. it realizes its own situation is starkly different than that in libya and in the other countries where we have seen these dictators fall. the pillars that are propping up the regime are intact when it comes to the business class and security forces and let's look at the international community. it's divided overse ed over syr.
despite the fact the death of gadhafi must send a message that no one is immune, at this point in time the regime seems fairly confident in its position. >> how are syrians reacting to gadhafi's demise? >> well, the opposition is full-on in support of it. we've seen them taking to the streets demonstrating and chanting and celebration, congratulations the libyans and sending out a warning that president assad was going to be next. what's interesting on syrian state television, for example, there has been no mention and i've been watching for hours, of what is happening in libya or on the online website of the syrian arab news agency. it seems the government is avoiding that issue deliberately all together. >> arwa, very quickly, we know
nato played a direct role in the air strikes in taking out the libya, the forces that were loyal to gadhafi and ultimately gadhafi himself. do we expect international intervention? is there any discussion or consideration of that in syria? >> reporter: well the opposition is reluctantly beginning to ask for it realizing after eight months of trying to peacefully bring down the regime they are quite simply not getting anywhere. you have to look at the factor that allowed for nato intervention, in calling for nato to intervene. the international was united. within libya you had a huge part of the country, benghazi controlled by the opposition so you had a clear front line. these dynamics don't exist in syria. >> arwa, thanks for putting it in perspective. how much do you think you know about republican candidate herman cain? hear from his friends and
[ boy ] hey, i thought these were electric? uh, it is, yeah, it's a chevy volt. so what are you doing at a gas station? well it still takes gas to go farther. but you're not getting gas. true. not this time. uh, don't have to gas up very often. so you have to go to the bathroom? no. yes you do. thought these were electric? yes, it's a uh, a chevy volt. so what are you doing at a gas station? i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing.
our cnn in depth focuses on presidential candidate herman cain, did you know he attended college in atlanta where he still lives? george howell talked to some of cain's friends and neighbors. >> reporter: if you didn't know herman cain before his run for president, you probably know him now, the former ceo of godfather's pizza, now gop front run erp. >> my point is this. >> reporter: known for being a straight talker like this comment about protesters on wall street. >> if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself. >> let me say this, i know herman cain was born and where i was raised and it wasn't in public housing. >> reporter: many of cain's political views are to the contrary of his friend and fellow church member beezly, a supporter of the worldwide occupy movement who believes more should be done to help the
poor, despite their differences. >> might very well get my vote. >> reporter: beezly says he's keeping an open mind. cain has taken issue with the notion that running as a conservative will cost him african-american voters. >> many african-americans have been brain washed into not being open-minded and not even considering a conservative point of view. >> reporter: it's a question even in his own atlanta church, church leaders never returned our calls seeking comment about their long-term member, a nearby atlanta church doesn't mind speaking out. >> they see him as one carrying the banner for a party has not been particularly favorable to the african-american community. >> herman may be able to take not a large slice of the african-american vote, no republican is going to do that, i don't care who that is. but perhaps a sizable amount. >> reporter: poll sister and friend matt towery believes he
could take a percentage of the vote along with the tea party. he believes the businessman turned radio talk show host became confident after surviving colon cancer. >> and got into the presidential race and kept continuing to have the positive attitude. >> reporter: experts at cain's alma mater are watching his rise closely. >> i think the majority of the african-american community will examine policies. >> reporter: they respect his accomplishments and now they are waiting to see if the differences are resonate in the hometown will make a difference on the national stage. up next, an amazing and heartbreaking family reunion in georgia, a young woman sold as a baby by her mother meets two sisters she never knew she had. ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪
how are you doing? >> two sisters in georgia meet the baby sister years ago as a complicated family reunion. they were children when their sister was brought home from the hospital and then disappeared. >> where's the baby? it made us think. we don't know. >> they have been looking for me for a lifetime and i never knew that i was lost in the first place. >> so i thought that she was so much better off and when i found out she wasn't, it really hurt. >> sierra learned when she was 15 that she was sold by her mother for drugs. her mother died in prison while
serving time for murder. tiara hired a private detective and quickly found two sisters she didn't even know she had. all three have forgiven their mother. an amazing story. he's the prosecution's star witness in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. even demonstrating how he believes dr. conrad murray caused michael jackson's death. but today the defense goes after him and they're changing tactics in a big way. we're going to tell you how coming up next. but first, we profile ordinary folks who have come extraordinary obstacles. in today's "human factor," dr. sanjay gupta introduces us to a young man who with sheer will and the support of his family overcame obesity. he lost more than half his body weight and is now on a mission to help others. >> reporter: at 18, he was
already ian accomplished author. last year he wrote a book called "cutting myself in half," about his battle with childhood obesity. he was always a chubby kid. in grade skeel was constantly teased and picked on. >> people just put me down for no real reason other than the fact that i have a weight issue. >> reporter: as a teen, a walk to the mailbox left his short of breath. light-headed. he already had high blood pressure. one day he stepped on a scale and got what he said says was the shock of his life. >> 297 pounds and i'm 14 years ode and i'm alone in this room and i'm like, oh, my goodness, i'm not even an adult and i weigh nearly 300 pound. >> reporter: frightened, he immediately stopped eating junk food and he began to count his calories. he started exercising at home, taking long walks. an avid video gamer, he made up
a game to track how much he was eating and how much he was exercising. four months later unhappy with his progress, he started going to the ymca to work out. eventually the weight started coming off. >> the gym membership was really what made everything just click together and i was getting the half of what i needed to do. >> reporter: and the pay-off was big. in 18 months, taylor shed 150 pounds. today taylor is a freshman at washington college in maryland. he's healthy, he's fit. but it was a long, hard-fought battle. one that he now shares with kids while speaking at schools about obesity. >> my goal is to help other kids get their weight under control. everyone deserves to be amazingly amazing and i really think that if you believe in yourself with the key part is to believe in yourself.
then you can make it happen. >> taylor says he's determined to keep the weight off. he no longer has high blood pressure. he still counts calories, exercises five days a week and is happy to be just another student on campus. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. starting my progresso soup for lunch plan, huh. nope, just having some tender chicken and some tasty noodles. let's see...south western vegetables...60 calories. ya' know those jeans look nice. they do? yup. so you were checking me out? yup. [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. i just signed the whole family up for unlimited mobile to mobile minutes. you're kidding. no. where's that money coming from, steve? did it even cross your mind to ask your wife before signing us up for something so expensive? my mother was right; i should have married john clarke. they were free. i got them when i signed us up for unlimited messaging.
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propofol, an anesthetic that likely killed jackson. dr. steven schafer testified for a second full day yesterday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of dr. conrad murray telling jurors murray and murray alone is responsible for "every drop of propofol in jackson's room." >> when dr. murray agreed to treat insomnia with propofol, he put dr. murray first, not michael jackson. this is the fundamental violation -- the patient comes first. that did not happen here. >> he's not done yet. dr. schafer is going to be back on the stand today for cross examination. set to get under way later this afternoon. criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor holly hughes is here with us. the aanesthesiologist, how significant was that? how damaging was that testimony? >> this is incredibly damaging because it goes directly to the heart of the matter, the
administering of propofol, was it done safely and was that administering below the standard of care. this is the prosecution's entire case. very effective witness. >> what can we expect from the cross examination? >> very interesting point for our viewers. up until now we have seen defense attorney flanagan crossing all of the medical experts. there was a little loud going on in the hall yesterday, little loud talking between lead defense attorney chernoff and his own anesthesiologist. suddenly we get the announcement that ed chernoff to going to step in and do the cross of dr. steven schafer which is really unusual because flanagan is considered to be the propofol expert out of all the attorneys on that team. so we have to wonder what's coming. you better believe chernoff is going to have some real fireworks. he wouldn't have stepped in an taken over if he wasn't really prepared to go hard after dr. steven schafer. >> so is that good or bad for the doctor here? >> well, for the doctor, he's a professional, he knows what he's doing, he's going to be just fine.
interestingly enough, a lot of the points that a good defense attorney will be able to make on cross they can't do with this fellow because dr. schafer has already said i'm not getting paid. i'm doing this because i think it is the right thing to do. i don't want patients to be scared of propofol. i don't want other doctors to get a bad rap who use it when they are using it responsibly. >> what grade would you give the prosecution? how have they performed so far? >> i think they've hit all of their marks. you can't give 100% in a criminal prosecution but i would say 95%. when they wrap it in and close, they'll hit their 100% mark. >> what's the biggest challenge? the biggest challenge for the defense will be to get their experts to come out with what they need and say this is not below the standard of care. prosecution will have to come back on rebuttal. biggest challenge both of them will face, taking all of this medical testimony that's been going on for the past three, four weeks, wrapping it up into a closing argument that is absolutely understandable for this jury, breaking it down, each side has to make their
points, say they met their burden and this is why. defense has to say they didn't and this is why. >> all right, holly hughes, thanks. we'll be watching. have a good weekend. top of the hour, i'm suzanne malveaux. want to get you up to speed. we begin with new video from misratah, libya. we want to warn you, this is quite disturbing, quite frankly. it shows moammar gadhafi's body in a big cooler. libya's new leaders say dna tests confirm that it is gadhafi. they say he is being burr lid today according to islamic law. the united nations human rights office and amnesty international want the former dictator's death investigated. they say that gadhafi's head wounds suggest that he could have been executed. nato is meeting on libya now in its headquarters in brussels. we'll hear from there any moment.
nato enforced a no-fly zone over libya to protect gadhafi's fighters. a woman who lost her daughter on the downed pan am flight 103 says that goodty's death gave her the best day of her life since december 21st, 1988. 270 people died that day when a bomb brought down that plane over lockerbie, scotland. a man whose brother was on the board sums up his feelings. >> i was thrilled. didn't expect to have that reaction. i've been dreaming about this more than 20 years but it was always the sense that you don't want to be vengeful saying i want my brother's murderer killed, but in a way you do. >> libya accept responsibility for the bombing back in 2003. some families feel gadhafi personally ordered the attacks, but that was never proven. two days of violent protests
and one death didn't stop greece's parliament. lawmakers approved a plan to cut about 30,000 jobs and further cut paychecks an pensions for government workers. the european union demanded these new belt tightening measures before it would give greece more bail-out money. flooding in thailand's capital bangkok is about to get a lot worse. officials plan to open floodgates to allow high water to flow towards the sea. that will put much of the eastern part of bangkok under water but keep larger parts of the city relatively dry. we were thigh-high in water earlier today. people were desperately trying to save any possessions they could from the ground floor. some people were evacuating and trying to take all of their possessions on any boat that they could find, any plastic tub, any sire foam even, anything that would actually
float. >> this year's harsh monsoon season has caused flooding across an unusually large area of thailand. a russian rocket hauls two european satellites into space today. the pair will eventually be part of a constellation of six to eight satellites that make up your global positioning system. it is going to be a future rival for the american gps system. wells fargo says, whoops, sorry. some customers opened their september bank statements to find other people's statements mixed in with their own. wells fargo blames a faulty printer. it is offering affected customers free identity theft protection for a year. that error happened with statements mailed to south carolina and florida addresses and reports say that more than 4,000 customers were involved in florida alone. the bank did not confirm that
number. more jubilation in libya today over the death of moammar gadhafi. but once the celebrations end, this country faces a tough road ahead. the national transitional council has to chart a new course for libya and it will not be easy. analysts say that the leaders have to respond quickly to the people's basic needs. we're talking about providing water, power, repairing building libya's infrastructure. and the new government will have to overcome differences as well. we're talking about tribal and regional tensions. there's also the question of how to incorporate former gadhafi supporters into a new libya. and the leadership is going to need to secure all the weapons that are still circulating around the country to make sure they don't end up in the hands of criminals as welling a gangs. but for now, libya celebrates. last hour talked by phone with journalist ben farmer who was in sirte about the scene there today. >> reporter: it's clear rebels are still celebrating but it is
quieter than yesterday. there is still happy fire, still celebratory fire in the air, machine guns and the odd rockets and rocked-propelled grenades but also there is a kind of relaxed sightseeing feel to it, people are driving around taking photographs of the bombed buildings and the bombed streets which have seen so much bloodshed in the past two weeks. there's also a lot of rebels who are starting to make their way home. these aren't professional soldiers. these are teachers, engineers, students and they fought now for eight months, some of them. and after the success of yesterday they've started to pack up and make their way back to their families. >> ben, there's been a lot of curiosity around gadhafi and particularly the way he was killed and now his body. we are looking at more pictures now of people who were just lining up to get a glimpse, to get a chance to see his body. we're taking a look, those are the pictures there.
we saw those pictures, it looked like it was a supermarket refrigeration unit where he was brought forward and people who were just standing around, milling around. do we know anything more about what will happen with gadhafi's body? >> reporter: all we know is that the national transitional council has said that he will be buried according to islamic ritual. but we believe he will be buried secretly in misratah. i think they are attempting to prevent creating an event which could be a focus for any gadhafi loyalists that are still around, and also there -- they don't want to create a scene or grave which could become a focus for pilgrimage in the future. here's a rundown of some of the stories we are covering over the next hour. first, how will libya's transition government make real
lasting changes for the people? i'll talk live with libya's new ambassador to the united states. and he was kidnapped and brutalized by gadhafi forces. hear what the "new york times" beirut bureau chief thinks about the death of moammar gadhafi. find out what the largest study ever done on cell phone use and cancer has found. also, what do you get when you have an open mike? a street in pakistan and people talking about america. >> i really like america and its he always been a dream -- my dream to go to america. >> i love your people, but i'm sorry to tell you that your government is run by the rascals. and later scientists discover a new planet being formed. we've got the pictures. with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart new ways to sweeten. same great taste. new splenda® essentials™. i just signed the whole family up
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a group of journalists covering the fighting in libya found out what it was like to be held captive under moammar gadhafi's regime. they were kidnapped in libya in march. they were released into the custody of turkish diplomats six days after they were captured. one of those journalists is the beirut bureau chief for "the new york times" and he joins us now via skype from beirut. first of all, thank you for being here with us. your gut feelings, your reaction to moammar gadhafi's death? >> well, i think it is another milestone on this long path that's ending in arab world. i went to tripoli after it fell. i was struck by a sign familiar to me, it was the same sign i had seen when we were released from captivity in libya. back then the sign had read "42 years of permanent joy," referring to the 42-year reign of moammar gadhafi.
when i went back to tripoli after the capital fell, i saw the same sign. i'm not sure if it was the same sign, it was the same slogan and someone had scrawled out, 42 years, they wrote in red "the first year of permanent joy." his death first and foremost marks the end of an era. it is clear his kind of utterly arbitrary rule is no longer going to be acceptable. >> anthony, were you there in the early days about a month after the uprising began. did you ever think that this day would come? >> you know, you figure it might come. it was so clear in the conversations you had with people especially in those newly liberated towns in the east that he could never reexert his power, his authority over the country. i think the question back then was how long would it take. and it did take months. we're seeing a new stage of these arab revolts and these arab revelations, the uprisings that took just weeks in egypt and tunisia have dragged out far
longer in places like libya. they could take even longer in places like yemen, syria, bahrain. people there even talk about years at this point. >> sure. and you experienced -- it was a harrowing experience being kidnapped in libya. clearly it must have been a frightening ordeal. what was that like? did you think you would make it out alive? >> it was a frightening ordeal, no question. i think we probably feared for our lives only on that first day. i think from then on it was kind after window on what utter and arbitrary power represent. oftentimes how bizarre colonel gadhafi's world was. i remember going into a safehouse in tripoli and there was nothing to read in the house except for five volumes of shakespeare that had been translated into english. i remember back then colonel gadhafi had at times claimed shakespeare was of arab origin. >> anthony, you've done a lot of
reporting from the region -- i'm losing you. can you hear me? >> i can hear you, yes. >> okay. i just wanted to follow here, you've done a lot of reporting in the region here. what do you think is next for libya and this new government? what do you think is going to be the greatest challenge for folks there? >> well, i think the challenges are immense. the national transitional council had said we have to weight until the fighting in sirte ends. we have to wait until colonel gadhafi is captured or killed before we take on the real challenges. well, the day of those challenges has arrived and everything from dealing with foreign influence that comes from nato's intervention, dealing with reconciling disparate clans and regions, dealing with how to divide the vast resources of libya. are formidable challenges for any country, especially a country like libya that has very little of a government left. >> anthony, thank you very much for your perspective. as always, we're glad you're safe. we appreciate it.
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we've got some breaking news. want to go to our own chris lawrence at the pentagon regarding withdrawing u.s. troops out of iraq. chris, what is the news? what do we know now? >> reporter: yeah, suzanne. a u.s. official is now confirming to cnn, to us, that all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of the year. the u.s. troop presence there will be down to virtually zero. there will be about 150, 160 that will be there basically
just to facilitate the sale of weapons to iraq as the years go by and also the u.s. marines who always guard the u.s. embassies. but again, a very negligible force, a force that's present in a lot of countries around the world. but we are hearing now that u.s. troop presence, for most part, will be virtually zero by the end of the year. my colleague dan lothian at the white house reported just a little while ago that president barack obama had a secure video conference call with iraqi prime minister nuri al maliki just about 45 minutes ago and i want to refer back to just a few days ago. my colleague barbara starr talking to a separate official, a defense official in this case, who told her that negotiations between the iraqis and the americans over extending the u.s. troop presence broke down, in part, over the issue of immunity. and barbara's reporting indicated that the u.s. forces
obviously wanted to keep and really mandated that the forces would keep their immunity in the iraqis could not agree to that. why is immunity so important? because if you look even at the iraqi constitution, it starts with the line, "no law will conflict with islam." it is a very simple line, but in practice, it means -- it raises a number of questions, from the mundane -- what if an american muslim soldier converts to christianity? what if an american soldier criticizes islam in the course of his work over there? all of this could mean that they could fall under iraqi law and be tried in iraqi courts, something that obviously the u.s. government is just not willing to agree to. >> chris, we are just getting some information now that the president is going to be making a statement about this matter about the withdrawing u.s. troops out of iraq and what you had reported there about the fact that all of them you are
saying will be pulled out by the end of the year. but help our viewers understand if you will the importance of this. we know the president had this conference call with al maliki who -- and these negotiations that took place. why was it so important that these u.s. troops that were going to be there had this kind of immunity and that this deal broke down? >> well, it sort of -- just to be fair, it is sort of anti-climactic when you look at the fact that the u.s. and iraq had this status of forces agreement that really mandated that u.s. troops be out by the end of the year. but there was so much discussion that went on over the past year, from both sides, about extending that. so the law on the books was clear that the u.s. would be out by the end of the year. that's been the case for some time, for several years now. but there have been a lot of discussion that the iraqis would like to have a smaller, maybe
numbers were toss around in the 3,000 to 5,000 number range of american troops who would stay on as trainers, as advisors, perhaps even a quick reaction force if need be. but again, this issue of immunity became very, very important. again, i refer back to some of barbara's reporting. it just being an issue that the two sides could not seem to reconcile on the iraqi side. they had to have parliament approve this. they just were not able to get a consensus over allowing us troops to stay with that immunity. for them it could be a sense of national pride, of sovereignty for the nation. on the u.s. side, to allow american troops to operate in a hostile war zone without that immunity, opening them up to
iraqi prosecution and iraqi courts, i mean again i mentioned some of the mundane cases. but if you go back at some of the egregious crimes that a small number of u.s. troops have perpetrated while in iraq, i think back to 2006 when we had i believe it was five u.s. troops who were charged with the rape and murder of a teenage girl after killing her family. you know, one of those troops was convicted in a civilian court here in the u.s. the rest went through the court-martial proceedings. but again, without immunity they may have faced prosecution under iraqi law, under iraqi punishment, under iraqi courts. >> great explanation. thank you very much, chris. stay with us, if you will. want to bring in anthony shadid, put that hat on if you will. i covered president bush. one of the things that was key
was protecting u.s. troops from lawsuits and from some sort of iraqi law that they would get into some kind of trouble, that they didn't have the ultimate protection. it sounds to me like they were not able, under the obama administration, to come up with some sort of agreement. what do you make of the news? >> well, i think it's hard for you to see an iraqi politician that would agree to that kind of demand, to be honest. for some years the idea of iraqi sovereignty was trampled under the idea of an american occupation. presence of so many u.s. troops on the ground there. i think at this point at least there is an idea of the government they are trying to assert some kind of independence. any politician that will go out on a limb and say they would grant immunity, a very sensitive issue in iraq, would be at least politically for an iraqi politician disastrous. >> is chris still with us? chris, i want to ask you a question here. do you suppose -- i'm sorry. we've lost chris there. i understand that wolf blitzer is joining us out of washington.
wolf, the fact that you had president obama and you had nuri al maliki on this conference call earlier in the morning trying to negotiate, and now this announcement that's going to be coming from the president later today, what do you make of that power play between these two leaders? >> well, it was clear to everyone who was watching this very closely that the u.s. really wanted to maintain a military presence in iraq. the obama administration was thinking maybe 3,000 u.s. troops, maybe 5,000 u.s. troops. the troops -- the status of forces agreement as you know, suzanne, does end at the end of this year so they were negotiating a new agreement precisely to keep a few thousand american troops there, mostly as trainers, as advisors, helpers for the iraqi military which still needs a lot of help. but the government of nuri al maliki didn't want any u.s. troops. certainly not with the status that they used to have in the past. and it does represent a significant setback. even earlier today, the ranking member of the senate armed
services committee, john mccain was was on television saying that this is going to basically embolden the iranians. this is what the iranians, iraq's next-door neighbor, wanted, the complete removal of u.s. military forces from iraq. and it's only going to strengthen strategically iran's hand in the region. that's what the critics will say. and nuri al maliki has been cozying up dramatically in recent months and indeed in recent years to the iranians under the i guess the sense that iraq's going to have to live with iran forever an the u.s. is going to be pulling out sooner rather than later. so as a result, it is going to cost some heartburn, i'm sure. for a lot of people. it is going to cause some significant concern that the government of nuri al maliki is going to move away from the u.s. and towards the iranians and that iran could pick up an important strategic advantage in that part of the world. already we've seen, suzanne, as you know, the government of nuri al maliki defending the iranians, the president of syria, bashar al assad, and
that's caused a lot of concern here in washington as well. all in all, eight years after the u.s. sent about 150,000 troops into iraq to liberate iraq from saddam hussein after what? $1 trillion? thousands of american troops lost and maybe tens of thousands of iraqis, if not more than 100,000, it puts up in the air a lot of questions about what the long-term impact of this u.s. operation in iraq's going to be. i assume the president is going to address some of these questions when he goes into the white house briefing room. think it is coming up in about 20 minutes or so. >> we know he's going to be making a statement about this, wolf. two questions come to mind, chris, that i want to toss to you. first of all, do you think that this represents a threat, national security threat, the fact that you're going to have u.s. troops pulling out ahead of time than expected or desired by the administration? and secondly, how do we suppose this is going to look? how is this going to unfold? >> well, to your first question,
i mean there's obviously some concern. i was embedded with a group of american troops. it was actually a joint unit, an american-iraqi unit, that was positioned right on the eastern border of iraq, almost -- they could look across and basically see iran. and i remember about a year-and-a-half ago talking to some of them and just you could hear them talk about the fact that there were a lot of tribal loyalties that crosses the border. they talked about how difficult it was to sort of keep iran out. they said a lot of these families have been going across this border for hundreds and hundreds of years and it's very hard to tell them this is one country and this is another. he also, one of the young captains made a good point to me. he said iran doesn't have to operate under the same constraints we do. they're not operating under a status of forces agreement like we are to be out by a certain time. so he said, yeah, there's a
tremendous amount of iranian influence there, especially on the border and you have to wonder about how much that can be curtailed without a u.s. presence there. as to your question about how it will work, it's already working. just yesterday they closed down the u.s. division north, the military did, up in northern iraq. it leaves the u.s. military on i believe about 18 bases in iraq. they're down to about 39,000 troops. we reported last weekend that a one brigade that was supposed to be one of the very last to pull out of iraq was actually coming home early and some of the family members told us then that the reason they were giving for why the troops were coming home early was because the u.s. and iraq had not been able to reach an agreement. so the move is already on. i mean we've seen massive convoys, 400 trucks, 14,000
pieces out at a time where there's just been a massive exodus of material out of the country. >> all right, chris lawrence, thank you very much for filling us in on the breaking news, as well as wolf blitzer and anthony shadid, we thank you very much for all of you participating. we'll have more on this breaking news story. but the bottom line here, u.s. troops pulling out of iraq by the end of the year. more after the break.
we're following the breaking news story. the headline here virtually all u.s. troops are going to be out of iraq by the end of the year. that is the current status of forces agreement with iraq dictates. they -- the change here is that the united states and iraq was unable to come up with an agreement regarding immunity for u.s. troops that would have stayed in iraq beyond 2011. there are larger implications as well this calls into question
the national concerns of the united states, whether or not they pull out too quickly out of iraq and also the influence of neighboring iran. this is something iran had hoped for. i want to bring in our wolf blitzer out of washington to talk about the political picture here, the big picture, in that region. because this is not something that the obama administration wanted to pull out all of those u.s. troops as quickly as is going to be necessary as the iraqis are dictating. >> right. the defense secretary leon panetta made it clear in recent weeks he was hoping 3,000, maybe 5,000 u.s. troops could remain in iraq to train iraqi forces, maintain a military presence there. remember the united states still maintains a military presence in south korea, in japan, in germany. they were hoping that the u.s. would have a military presence in iraq for years to come but the government of nuri al maliki, the prime minister of iraq, has made it clear that u.s. troops would not have, as you point out, that same immunity that they currently
have had other these past eight, almost nine years in iraq and that was a non-starter as far as the u.s. is concerned. we're told the president made one last-ditch effort in a video conference with nuri al maliki in baghdad. apparently that has failed and now the president is about to go into the white house briefing room in about 15 minutes or so, maybe less, and tell a you will of us what's going on. the agreement with the iraqis was always that all u.s. troops would be out by the end of this year but the hope was that some, a few thousand, could remain under some new terms to be negotiated but those negotiations have now failed. john king is here, gloria borger is here. we're getting ready to hear the president, john. this is for some seen as a setback for the obama administration. but for others this is what the president said he would do, get u.s. troops out and they're coming home. >> he did want that residual force. why? not so much for the situation inside iraq but to send a
message to iran, to have a u.s. presence in the region at a time when, to be honest, this administration an even at the end of the bush administration, they were concern that prime minister maliki is too cozy with iran, too cozy with syria, that he's not been a u.s. ally. so that is the concern and main purpose for residual troops is to send a message to iran that the united states has a semi-permanent presence here. that having been said, this will probably help the president at home politically in the sense that his own liberal base didn't want to go into iraq to begin with and wanted to yet out yesterday, or the year before. so in that sense in this political environment at home this is likely to help the president. we will hear from some conservatives that this is a setback. hard to blame the president in the sense that they could not negotiate an agreement to give u.s. troops immunity but you will hear some conservatives say this is dangerous. >> john mccain and lindsey graham, joe lieberman, will say this represents a significant setback. i think there will also be a
sense, those iraqis who are very pro-american will feel like let down right now because the pro-iranian group in iraq presumably will have the upper hand right now without -- there will be a significant u.s. diplomatic presence in there, a lot of civilian contractors, but you know what? no u.s. military forces and a lot of iraqis who love the united states and are grateful to the united states will feel that they've been undermined. >> right. but when maliki tells military officials that he doesn't have the votes to provide this kind of immunity for american troops, it is a huge problem for the united states. i'm sure that's what the president will be saying. but also in terms of the republicans here, you mentioned joe lieberman, john mccain, lindsey graham, how many more can you go beyond that? because when you look at the republican presidential field and you look at the sort of isolationist tendencies there, they will, some of them, applaud this. >> ron paul will be thrilled. >> maybe mitt romney will not.
but on the other hand, most republicans are saying this is an issue we cannot afford and you look at american public opinion. we have a recent poll from may how the president is handling this situation in iraq. 54% of americans believe he's handling it just fine, and they all knew about the december 31 withdrawal date. >> as we get ready, suzanne, for the president of the united states, very important historic moment. and it's interesting, it comes the day after we learn that gadhafi has been killed in libya on this day, the president will make the formal announcement that despite u.s. efforts, all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of this year. the u.s. had wanted, as we pointed out, a few thousand, 3,000, maybe 5,000 u.s. troops to remain open-ened, but that's apparently not going to happen unless there is a change of heart on the part of the iraqi government of nuri al maliki. doesn't look like right now but you don't know until the end of
the year. they could still change their mine, if they want. but as our viewers know, the pentagon makes their plans. it is not easy logistically to remove troops sometimes from dangerous areas so that withdrawal is moving full speed ahead. >> just got on background for white house official that came to my e-mail. want to read this to the viewers. says, today the president will announce that we will fulfill our commitment and complete the draw-down of u.s. troops from iraq by the end of the year. this will allow us to say definitively that the iraq war is over, that the partnership between the u.s. and iraq will be a normal one between two sovereign nations. during their conversation, president obama and prime minister maliki strongly agreed that this is the best way forward for both countries. this is coming from a white house official. this is what the president will be saying when he goes to the white house briefing room in less than ten minutes. very significant development here. essentially this white house official saying that the
president will say that definitively that the iraq war is over and that the partnership between the u.s. and iraq will be a normal one between two sovereign nations. i want to go to chris lawrence at the pentagon. chris, what does this mean in terms of the practical movement, movement of the troops, of the resources, equipment on the ground, getting it out of iraq and what that means for bringing our men and women home. >> yes, suzanne. they've got anywhere around 14,000 troops moving at any time to move this material out. i think they moved already 1.5 million pounds of equipment out with about 800,000 to go. i think there is though a danger in equating all american troops out with all americans out. because it does a disservice to the tremendous amount of work that the state department now has to undertake as of january 1st.
the u.s. embassy in iraq is the largest american embassy in the world. there will be that contingent there that will protect the embassy. also the united states is going to keep selling arms to iraq so you will have that 150 or so troops that will be there to facilitate the sale of those arms to iraq. but again, you get back to what the state department now has ahead of it. with no u.s. troops really at all there, they're going to have a staff of maybe 5,000 private security contractors to make sure that they can safely get around the country. not only the huge embassy there in baghdad, but kirkuk, erbil, the state department will have a number of offices around the country. a lot of those security contractors are actually american. they can be ex-military people so you want to make sure that
we're saying all americans troops are going to be out of iraq. americans will still be in iraq. >> that's an important distinction, chris. and also outside of iraq, where are the biggest bases? where will u.s. troops be stationed? what are the important areas so that there is still some sort of presence in the middle east, the eyes are still on iraq and some of the other hotspots in that region? >> obviously, the first one that you would point to would be kuwait. where the u.s. military staged in order to launch the invasion of iraq in 2003. i was speaking with a defense official earlier this week who said, no matter what would happen in terms of this agreement towards the end of the year, he said there would still be possibly a u.s. military presence there in kuwait, that possibly if the issue of immunity could be worked out at a later date, perhaps those
troops could come in on a limited basis to provide support or assistance with particular missions, say training, that that was a possibility that was still out there, that that book hadn't necessarily been closed, depending on how the issue of immunity could be worked out. but, yeah, i think kuwait would be the first place you would look to if the u.s. was going be to sort of keep an eye on the region. >> all right, chris, thank you very much. we're going to have much more on this breaking news right after a quick break. the president will be going to the briefing room in about less than five minutes. we are told to make the announcement that the iraq war is over.
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[ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. we've got breaking news that we are following. president obama to be speaking at the white house briefing room within just minutes to announce the end of the iraq war. a full withdrawal of american troops out of that country. want to bring in wolf blitzer out of washington to talk a little bit more about this, wolf. >> a very dramatic historic moment. march 2003, 150,000 or so u.s. troops went into iraq. most of them deployed from kuwait and they removed saddam
hussein within a matter of only a few days. now eight years, almost nine years later, all u.s. troops will be out by the end of this year. the president getting ready to announce the end of the war as far as the united states is concerned in iraq. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. she's over in the briefing room right now. we expect the president to caulk out, make a statement, not necessarily answer questions. what are you hearing, jessica? >> well, they just came in an removed the president's remarks, it looked like. not sure what that means, if there will be a slight delay here, wolf. we don't know if he's going to take questions or not. we do know that as you have been reporting that the president is going to say that the iraq war is over. we know more than $1 trillion, 4,400 american lives, upwards f ofwards of 100,000 iraqi lives were lost. now the president will tell us this war is over. the question is, mission accomplished?
as george bush proclaimed at one point. this president ran saying this war would be -- come to an end and so he is going to fulfill that promise. but the question again remains, especially in light of this iranian plot that we had been reporting on not so long ago, where does iran's influence stand in this region. that's a question you raised. no doubt it will be a question that remains high on many people's minds in this city and around this country. as you hear, two-minute warning so the president will be out here very shortly, wolf. we'll hear what he has to say for himself in less than two minutes. wolf? >> all right, jessica. sit down, get ready for the president. go gloria borger is getting some information as well. >> in communicating with an administration official on the iran question that jessica was just speaking about, this official says that -- i'm reading from my blackberry here -- it is our strong sense that iraqi nationalism and resistance to iranian influence remain a powerful force among all iraqi political factions,
and so the case is clearly going to be made that we have seen iran defeated time and again in its attempts to determine outcomes. so what they're clearly saying here is that iraq can stand on its own two feet. >> john king, no doubt the iranians will declare victory with u.s. forces out of their neighbor, the country of iraq. >> absolutely they will declare victory. the senior administration official, one of the reasons nuri al maliki, the iraqi prime minister, cannot go to the parliament an say pass the new status of forces agreement that allows 3,000 or 5,000 americans to stay an give them immunity as they now have, that if -- whether it is a car accident, whether it is an accidental shooting, whether it is anything on the panoply of things that can go wrong. nuri al maliki says he can't get the votes in parliament. why? because the parties in the parliament, religious parties that have good relationships with iran are dominant right now. white house would tell you in a
private conversation they're concerned not just about the parliament but about the president, about maliki's relationships with iran and with syria. they need to put the best public face on this. but you can be certain they are concerned. as we talk about the importance of this today, the big question is, chris lawrence made the point about that big embassy, the largest one in the world -- what will it be like in two years, four years, five years? will there at least and working reelship between the united states and iraq or will it deteriorate because of those cozy ties between ahmadinejad and iran. it is a big question, and a sobering question. as a candidate for president, i pledged to bring the war in iraq to a responsible end for the sake of our national security and the strength of american leadership around the world. after taking office, i announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011. as commander in chief, ensuring
the success of this strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities. last year i announced the end to our combat mission in iraq and today we removed more than 100,000 troops. iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security. a few hours ago i spoke with iraqi prime minister maliki. i re-affirmed that the united states keeps its commitments. he spoke of the determination of the iraqi people to forge their own future. we are in full agreement about how to move forward. so, today i can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. over the next two months, our troops in iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up
their gear and board convoys for the journey home. the last american soldier will cross the border out of iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the american people stand united in our support for our troops. that is how america's military efforts in iraq will end. but even as we mark this important milestone, we're also moving into a new phase in the relationship between the united states and iraq. as of january 1st, and in keeping with our strategic framework agreement with iraq, it will be a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect. in today's conversation, prime minister maliki and i agree that meeting of the higher coordinating committee of the strategic framework agreement will convene in the coming weeks and i invited the prime minister to come to the white house in december as we plan for all of
the important work that we have to do together. this will be a strong and enduring partnership with our diplomats and civilian advisors in the lead, we'll help iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable. we'll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education, that unleash the potential of the iraqi people. we'll partner with an iraq that contributes to regional security and peace just as we insist that other nations respect iraq's sovereignty. as i told prime minister maliki, we will continue discussions on how we might help iraq train and equip its forces. again, just as we offer training and assistance to countries around the world. after all, there will be some difficult days ahead for iraq and the united states will continue to have an interest in an iraq that is stable, secure and self-reliant. just as iraqis have persevered
through war, i am confident that they can build a future worthy of their history as a cradle of civilization. here at home, the coming months will be another season of home comings. across america, our servicemen and women will be re-united with their families. today i can say that our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. this december will be a time to reflect on all that we've been through in this war. i'll join the american people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million americans who have served in iraq. we'll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 american patriots and their iraqi an coalition partners who gave their lives to this effort. and finally, i would note that the end of war in iraq reflects a larger transition. the tide of war is receding. the draw-down in iraq allowed us
to refocus our fight against al qaeda and achieve major victories against its leadership, including osama bin laden. now, as we remove our last troops from iraq, we're beginning to bring our troops home from afghanistan where we've begun a transition to afghan security in leadership. when i took office roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in both these wars, and by the end of this year that number will be cut in half. and make no mistake, it will continue to go down. meanwhile, yesterday marked the definitive end of the gadhafi regime in libya. and there, too, our military played a critical role in shaping a situation on the ground in which the libyan people can build their own future. today nato's working to bring this successful mission to a close. so to sum up, the united states is moving forward to a position
of strength. long war in iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. the transition in afghanistan is moving forward and our troops are finally coming home. as they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world. an as we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them an their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned. this include enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation, creating opportunity in jobs in this country. because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build it our own and america that sees its economic strength restored just as we restored our leadership around the globe. thank you very much. all right, so you heard the
first question, what about iran. the president deciding he wasn't going to answer any questions sew walked out. some of his aides though will be answering some questions and i assume there will be some significant questions about what happens in iraq at the end of this year when all is said and done. jay carney, the white house press secretary is there. i assume he or one of the national security advisors to the president is going to answer some questions right now. because there are a lot of unanswered questions but the president declaring definitively as far as the united states is concerned, by christmas, new year's, the war for the u.s. in iraq is over. john king, gloria borger watched this closely as i did. about six months, the president spoke. made the case that things are moving in the right direction. but as you know, john, there will be critics. >> there will be critics, there will be questions, there will be doubts that this new iraq and the current iraqi leadership will not say good-bye, good riddance to the united states milita military, and then continue to build stronger ties with iran,
syria an others in the region that frankly, the united states has severe issues and problems an troubles with and it is choosing time in the region. president himself gadhafi. we see the changes in egypt. we know it is dramatic realignment in the region and the future of iraq is a question mark. with no u.s. military presence there, will the government have less influence. yes, there will be a big diplomatic presence. but the first word out of his mouth were, as a candidate for president in 2008, so he put the politics in his statement. in his very first statement he captured the pom politics of the moment. tide of war is receding. he mentioned essentially we'd be out of afghanistan soon as well if he gets his way. a very carefully crafted statement by a president who then ended by saying we got a lot of problems here at home. that's what i'm going to worry about. >> jessica yellin is in the briefing room. a briefing is about to begin. before it does, jessica, talk a little bit about the news here the president sort of skipping over the fact that he had wanted
leon panetta, the defense secretary, had wanted the u.s. military had wanted to maintain a presence of about 3,000 or 5,000 troops in iraq. but failed to reach a status of forces agreement. a new one with the iraqi government of prime minister nuri al maliki. the president insisted he spoke with maliki earlier in the day. everything was great but a lot of people who have been following this very closely will suggest not necessarily all that great. >> that's right. he insisted this is what they both wanted and that in fact he and maliki are on the same page on this and maliki was invited here in december. what i heard the president say repeatedly is that essentially this was a promise that he's made good on. you heard him say over and over that he pledged to bring a responsible end to this war, that he promised to draw down troops, but here and in afghanistan, and that he is making good on those pledges. again remember this is the man who ran in 2008 against the war in iraq and is seeing a conclusion to that war. the president also reflected on
the gadhafi -- the end to the gadhafi regime. no doubt we are going to hear these themes in the election that's coming up in 2012. a man who did not run on his national security credentials but very well could use that to bolster a leadership claim going into 2012 that on the national security front at least on foreign policy, that he has had what this a mgs perceives as some sugss, wolf. >> jessica, gore ya borger is here as well. the praez is saying things are moving in the right direction in afghanistan as well. there is still 100,000 troops in afghanistan. as far as afghanistan's concern he's pledged to keep those troops there through the end of 2014. another three years, plus. they're not coming home from afghanistan all that quickly. >> but he was very careful to make the case that we're beginning to withdraw our troops and that number, the numbers will continue to go down. make no mistake about it. what he was talking about it was essentially promises made, promises kept, i agree with john, this was sort of pointing
it out to the american people. by the way, we got osama bin laden, we're beginning to withdraw our troops from afghanistan, what occurred in libya was partly because of us, and now we're moving forward on our foreign policy. he says, "from a position of strength," and after a decade of war, we are focusing on the problems at home which means jobs, jobs, jobs. the only thing he didn't say was pass the jobs bill. >> i hate to say this and they don't like this at the obama white house, but the parallel to george h.w. bush is striking. after the first persian gulf war george h.w. bush had stratospherishic ratings. this president can claim the united states role in the libya crisis. keeping his promise to bring the troops home from iraq. we can debate whether he wanted more. but to his base this is great news. a lot of republicans give him credit on that but the number one iss