tv The Situation Room CNN August 6, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT
but, it's also true that depression is usually a lifelong struggle. it's not anything you get cured of in most cases. >> and something that needs to be monitored, obviously. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> and i'll see you again tomorrow. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starts right now. wolf? >> thank you very much. happening now, we're learning more about the gunman in the sikh temple shooting rampage, and we're piecing together the horrible details of the slaughter in suburban, wisconsin. also new clues emerging about mitt romney's potential vice presidential pick. what the republican convention schedule tells us about who may be on the short list. and after traveling hundreds of millions of miles, nasa's rover makes an extraordinary landing on mars, ready to search for the building blocks of life. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
the shooter who brought death and horror to a sikh temple in wisconsin was a u.s. army veteran discharged more than a decade ago for misconduct. authorities say the gunman may have had ties to white supremacists, and neighbors say he played in a far right wing punk band. we're learning more about how the shocking rampage left six victims and the gunman dead. brian todd is joining us from oak creek, wisconsin, right outside milwaukee. brian, what's the very latest? >> reporter: wolf, we have important new information. we have names of those who played pivotal rolls in the event and new details on the shooter's past at the temple. >> she can't escape it.
an indelible moment of horror. she says she was among the first to see the shooter as he started his ram pain at the sikh temple of wisconsin. she says she was parking her car when she saw the suspect. now identified as wade michael page, approach the lead priest near the entrance. >> did he say anything to the priest? >> no, no. he was quiet. i didn't see, you know like nothing. he took two steps in front of the children. he was going this way. i thought maybe they were talking. they did not talk. >> the priest fell and was dead. the police chief says they got the call at 10:20 a.m. local time. the first officer to arrive, now identified as lieutenant brian murphy was right in the shooter's path. >> how many times was he shot, and was it close range? >> it was very close range.
he was standing down in a crouched position. and the individual walked up on him around the vehicle. and engaged him very closely. inches to a feet, and fired at him. he shot between eight and nine times. >> other officers responded, gave commands to the shooter. he ignored them, chief john edwards said, and was taken down with a police rifle. when officers tried to tend to their wounded colleague. >> he waved them off. he had been shot nine times. one very serious in the neck area, and he waved them off and told them to go into the temple to assist those in there. >> the wounded officer was carried off. a rescue operation began for the other victims. officials now say they're looking for this man who showed up after the shooting. they call him a person of interest. >> he's an individual who showed up at the scene after the shooting and was just on and and someone mentioning him to another officer. seeing him look suspicious. and so we're looking to question
him. >> officials stress they believe the gunman acted alone and just wanted to talk to this other man. she needs help from her husband to reflect. >> what are your feelings just looking back on this and what you saw? it's really bad. i kon sleep. i couldn't sleep. it's a nightmare. >> as witnesses and victims deal with all this, our sources and police are giving us a mosaic of the suspect. they say wade michael page discharged from the army 14 years ago after a pattern of misconduct, may have been a white supremacist. they are still trying to put together what may have been the motive for inflicting this carnage. >> did wade michael paige have a criminal record? any prior convictions?
>> we are told, wolf, he had some kind of record. as far as convictions, officials are not going there yet. they're not giving details on his contact with law enforcement. he was known to law enforcement. did have contact with law enforcement at some point. the police chief here told me law enforcement officials in this area had not had contact with him. they will really not give much more detail than that. we're led to believe he encountered law enforcement at some poi in another region of the country. >> brian todd is on the scene for us. let's check back with you. let's get more on the record of the background of the gunman who served in the u.s. military more than a decade ago and left under a cloud. chris lawrence has been looking into this part of the story for us. all right, chris. anything stand out in his military record? >> there are a couple of things, wolf, that i think the viewers will find interesting. especially as you get beyond the basics. that he got into the army around 1992 and served for about six and a half years. he was a psychological
operations specialist. now that has some very classified, secretive overtones and aspects to it. but we believe that he was involved with was the basic stuff. you know, dropping leaflets in foreign countries. getting the u.s. message across. he was demoted from sergeant down to specialist and eventually given a general discharge under honorable condition. t a dishonorable discharge. like the military coming to you and saying, this isn't working out for you or us. no agreement to warrant a dishonorable discharge, wolf. >> was he ever deployed to combat? i know he served before 9/11. >> no. we checked into that as well. he served on three bases across the united states, including ft.
bragg. got some basic medals. they're the ki of medals, that, you know, you show up, you do your job and receive the medals. nothing out of the ordinary. one of the men who went to school with him and served with him at ft. bragg said he did have a drinking issue. that's what got him busted down in rank and eventually led to him leaving the army. this man also says he would talk about the racial holy war and things like that. from being in the navy, people say a lot of inappropriate things, a lot of sexist things. one person said, look, especially back in the mid 90s, someone just saying this but never acting on it no overt problems with it, it's not something that's going to rise to a level where you're going to see real problems.
>> chris lawrence, thank you. president obama spoke out about the wisconsin shooting rampage today, noting it's the late nest a series of violent tragedies to strike the nation. listen to this. >> first of all, we're still awaiting the outcome of a full investigation. yesterday i had the chance to speak to both the governor and the mayor as well as leaders of the sikh community. all of us are heartbroken by what's happened. myself and michelle, but also the country as a whole. i think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible tragic events are happening with too much regularity. we need examine additional ways
to reduce violence. as i've already said. we're going to bring together law enforcement, community leaders, elected officials at every level to see how we can make continued progress. >> certainly one of the world's most popular religions. but many americans are very unfamiliar with the tightly knit community in the united states. let's bring in the coed tor of cnn's very popular blog. tell us a little bit about the sikh case. what's going on with this religion? about 700,000 sikhs in the united states. 25 million worldwide. >> that's right, wolf. that makes it the fifth most popular religion in the world. they believe in one god. real important stressors in the faith are on equality and service. some of the key tenants are meditation on god, service of
work and serving the community. the women in the temple were getting ready for a big community meal, which is a big part of the faith. >> and anyone with come and get a delicious meal in the process. >> as long as you're dressed moderately and ready to eej a vegetarian meal, you're more than welcome to come. there's stress that their temples are going to be open on sunday. they want everyone to participate in their service and community meals with them. >> since 9/11 there have been a lot of attacks against the sikh community and their temples across the country. what's going on? >> a lot of that comes from public displays of faith. men and women let their hair grow long. they never cut it. the men, in particular, wrap their hair in turbins.
so when people went out trying to commit a hate crime against muslims, we found sikhs were the ones attacked in the united states. many muslim men here in the united states don't wear them. it's not fashionable. for sikhs it's not about fashion, it's about faith. >> how are reactions worldwide? >> we're hearing a huge outpouring. look on this weekend, this sunday, a lot of faith communities are opening the doors saying come in, share the meal with us, learn about us. and they're a big part of the american fabric here. >> we've seen intensified security in place like new york. dan simon was reporting earlier. down on the bay, at silicon valley, they're not locking the doors at the temple. it's a big part of who they are. they're open to everyone.
>> seek others -- what is the correct way of pronouncing the religion? in india it's one way. in europe it's another way. >> the word comes from india. in the united states they told me they prefer "sick." sikh works as well. >> coming up later, i'll speak with the mayor of the community that lost these individuals. he'll be joining us live. we'll get the latest on what's going on. also, other news we're following, including a list of republican convention speakers is growing, and it may offer us new clues as to who is and who isn't on mitt romney's short list of potential running mates. and stunning details of how mass gunmen slaughtered egyptian troops and then set their sights on israel. we're going live to jerusalem. and a perfect landing on mars by
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all right, we're just getting this in from a spokesperson from the fbi in washington, d.c. he says the so-called special person, the person of interest discussed earlier in the day by law enforcement out in wisconsin, was sought for questioning. they have -- that person has been located, interviewed and cleared, keyword, cleared. so that person of interest no longer a person of interest. we're getting more information on all of this. i just wanted to update you on the so-called person of interest. that person has been questioned,
located and cleared as a result. no more person of interest, and much more on this coming up later, including our live interview with the mayor of oak creek, wisconsin. jack cafferty is here right now. he has the cafferty file. jack? >> the shootings that killed six at a sikh temple in washington come just over two weeks after the massacre in aurora, colorado, in a movie theater. and once again it's sure to revive the debate over gun control. it seems every time something like this happens, there's a great human cry for stricter gun laws that goes up, and then it dies down just as quickly. coincidentally before yesterday's violence a group of mayors released an ad that demanded president obama and mitt romney give us a plan when it comes to gun control. that won't happen. the ad features three survivors for the 2011 tucson, arizona, shootings that killed six and wounted 13, including former congressman gabriel give fords. the issue of guns is a political
hot potato that no political politician, democrat or republican wants to go near, especially in an election year. and there's a reason. a lot of americans like things just the way they are. in the aftermath of last month's colorado shootings, background checks for people wanting to buy guns spiked more than 40% in that state. and the pew research poll taken a week after the colorado shootings found very little change in americans' attitude toward gun control. other recent major deadly shootings including the one in tucson last year and virginia tech in 2007 had little affect on gun law control. two-thirds of those polled say the shootings like the one in colorado or at the sikh temple are isolated acts of troubled individuals. only one-fourth say shootings reflect broader problems in american society. so here's the question. what is it going to take for gun control laws in the country to change. go to cnn.com/cafferty file and post a comment on my blog.
or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> thanks, jack. we'll have more on this story coming up later, including a live interview with the mayor of oak creek. he'll join us with the latest on what's going on in oak creek, wisconsin. other news we're following, including political news. mitt romney is spending a quiet day in new hampshire. we've seen him do a little grocery shopping. we're also getting a clearer picture of who may be on his list for running mate. who is speaking at the republican convention. plus, ohio governor john kaskich. also including john mccain, condoleezza rice, nikki haley and susana martinez. can we presume the people we just mention rd not on romney's short list, or is that going too
far? >> it's going a bit too far. but the people inside the campaign say it's a safe bet. the financial decision will be made by governor romney himself. he's at his home in new hampshire. we're told mostly down time. but several senior staff members are up there this afternoon. most top campaign insiders say they haven't heard the choice from the governor yet. he told gloria borger, i don't have anything for you on that. they expect he has posted the final decision and they believe none of the people you just mentioned will be that choice. who do they say it will be? most of the information we're getting from senior advisers are piecing together pieces of information as well. they say, here's the short list as they see it. they say the former minnesota governor, tim pawlenty, someone governor romney is comfortable with, someone who is a candidate in the republican field, he is on the list. the ohio senator is on the list as well. he served in the house before
the senate and was a trade respective and budget director. he is also on the list. and you're hearing increasingly pushes from the outside but also being considered from the inside, the wisconsin congressman, the house budget committee chairman, paul ryan. that's the shortest of the short list, if you will, wolf. we talked to people close to the process. the florida senator marco rubio still comes up from time to time. we'll hear this from governor romney himself over the next several days. most people think it will come from that pennsylvania len awle ryan list. >> the two other names people keep talking about, bobby jindal, the louisiana governor, he's supposedly on the short list also. also the senator from south dakota supposedly on the short list. are they on the real short list, or not so sht? >> it depends who you talk to inside. there's no question they were on a list at some point.
governor romney is talking mostly to beth meyers. she's the head of the process. people inside say those two know everything. other people pick up pieces of information through the vetting process. they're not willing to rule anybody out. even the people we say have begun speaking roles. they seem to think it's largely a pawlenty, portman, ryan contest. inside the campaign they tend to list them in that order. there are some disagreements. we have to wait and see. >> yeah. we know the conservative magazine, they basically endorsed marco rubio and paul ryan. we'll see how influential they are. they had an important role four years ago in helping select sarah palin. they endorsed her at that point. we'll see if they have that clout this time around. my own guess, john, is it could
come as early as a week from today, after the olympics are all done. my own suspicion is it will be next week at some poin. obviously that's just a guess. what are you hearing? >> it's a good guess, and it's a well informed guess in the sense they make a few key points. the olympics are getting very good ratings. why would governor romney do it now? number two, he hasn't made a final decision. he wants to go through it more himself. one of his most trusted advisers happens to be his wife. she's at the olympics. she won't be back until thursday. she would like a couple days rest after the trip. because they'll have the couple's portrait. most people believe next monday, a week from today at the earliest. they say governor romney could surprise us. but inside the campaign we talk to folks with you. they say look for monday through thursday in that period next week as the most likely window. we'll be ready any day that do it. wall street is off to a good start this week. we'll have the numbers behind
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cubs after a pair of olympians. the "washington post" reports the female club is named after carmelita jeter. and the male cub will be called justin. after he took the bronze in the men's 100 meter. and aren't the pubs absolutely adorable? i can't get over the pictures. they look so sweet and very appropriate, considering they are the world's fastest land animals. >> love that. love the pictures. love the zoo to begin with. always have. lisa, thank you. >> mitt romney is beating president obama in the race for campaign cash. big time. the new polls show the president is over 60% in a pair of vital swing states. there's plenty to discuss in today's strategy session. also, new trouble unfolding right now in sinai. both egypt and israel are deeply concerned. om here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life.
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$101 million precisely. the president raised $75 million. third month in a row romney has raised a lot more than the obama campaign. when you add the numbers, these are the super pacs. the pro romney and pro obama super pacs. the pro-republican super pacs. look how much they raised. if you add up the numbers. that's $114 million. the pro-obama campaign has raised so far only $17.3 million. how much of a deficit is this going to leave the obama campaign, jamal. if they get outspentd in cash, at the end of this campaign, it's going to put them in a bad spot when it comes time to communicate with the voters. the one good spot in a
presidential race, media like this, cnn, all the television networks. all the newspapers, they'll have a much bigger impact than campaign advertisement. democrats have got to raise more money. >> they certainly do if they're going to compete. three months to go exactly, mary ann. look at the new ad that the obama campaign just went out going after mitt romney on the issue of women. listen to this. >> this is not the 1950s. contraception is so important to women. it's about a woman being able to make decisions. i don't remember anyone as extreme as romney. >> cut off funding to planned parenthood. >> i don't think mitt romney can understand the mindset of someone who has to go to plan parenthood. >> we're going to get rid of that. >> i think romney would definitely drag us back. >> maybe that's why in these two battleground states in florida and ohio, romney is not doing well among likely women voters in florida.
44% for romney. in ohio, 58 for obama. 37% for romney. how much of a problem is this for romney campaign and women. . >> those polls are outliers, of course. >> why are those two, cbs news and "new york times" polls outl outliers? >> because the sample size over white democrats. it douz not conform with other polls. they just don't comport with any other polls. the public or private. but women are conrned about the same thing men are concerned about. only an extremist would think that mitt romney is an extreme his. that campaign ad is a lie. mitt romney does not support
banning contraception. never did. women support the romney decision to repeal the obama regulation that forces the institutions to violate the articles of their faith. this is the obama spending problem. they're all going to have plenty of money to do their campaign. but they're wasting money. they're wasting it on ads like that that they've been running for months now. >> we do know that three of the three major prime time speakerses at the republican convention have already been announced. women, susanna martinez, the governor of new mexico. nikki haley, the governor of south carolina and the former secretary of state, condoleezza rice. there will be very featured women speaking at that convention. >> >> wolf, they have to do something. they're trying to find a way to appeal to women. mitt romney had a chance to stand up for women, but rush limbaugh attacked her many mons
ago and he didn't stand up and say calling the woman a bad name, he didn't defend that. that spoke a lot to women. and the reality, the democrats can do better with women in the election day. he lost three points in 2004. but he was able to win. john mccain lost women by 13 points in 2008 and he lost. they have to close the gap if they want to win. >> how are they going to do that, mary? if you were going to give the romney campaign advice for going after women voters, what should they do? >> the worst thing they can do is insulting women by saying the priority is birth control. women don't think there's a birth control government in the country. they think there's a government control problem. each household has a saying under the obama economy. it's upwards of $40,000 for every household. they understand today's debt is
tomorrow's taxes. they understand their kids are not going to have as bright a future as they had. that's what women care about. it's insulting to think they sit around the kitchen table talking about their reproductive rights. they do no >> the one issue here is, women just like men want to trust the candidate that they're going to vote for. they're going to look out for them when the going gets tough. with mitt romney, he has shown he's not willing to stand up for the radical parts of the party. >> the next president of the united states over the next four years will probably have at least one, maybe two supreme court nominations. roe versus wade, for example. romney says he doesn't want somebody. not just women voters, but men voters will have to consider as well. guys, thanks very much for joining us. oklahoma firefighters are getting at least part of what they've been hoping.
let's get back to lisa monitoring other top stories in "the situation room." what else is going on, lisa? >> hi, wolf. it's so hot and dry across the state. the winds have died down. that gives crews better control of 18 wildfires. 68,000 acres have burned. and tropical storm ernesto is getting stronger and may be a hurricane by tonight. these storms were taken when the storm passed over the i land on thursday. they will make handfall wednesday morning as a category one hurricane. and thunderstorms brought tragedy to the nascar race at the poconos raceway in pennsylvania. a lightning strike in the parking lot killed one fan and injured nine others. the race itself lasted only 245 of the scheduled 500 miles. wolf? >> thanks, lisa. bold and bloody attack on the
border. mass gunmen slaughtered egyptian troops and set their sights on israel. we're going to jerusalem for a report. and a sikh shooting rampage. a survivor what it was like coming up in the 6:00 p.m. eastern hour. ning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
jack's back with the cafferty file. >> question this hour, wolf is what will it take for the gun control laws in this country to change? benny writes there you go again, along with the second amendment. chicago, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation is the murder capital of the united states. gangs, med men and other criminals don't obey the laws and will always manage to get
guns, and since the police can't be everywhere all the time, it's up to us citizens to protect ourselves from these murders. linda writes, wrong question. the correct question may be more achievable is how can we teach men, particularly white men over the age of 40, to deal with failure? one psychologist pointed out many mass murders are inept at dealing with failure in their lives. robert writes it won't change psychopathic behavior. we have speeding laws, people still speed. we're always trying to find something or someone else to blame instead of the perpetrator of the crime. the cities with the toughest gun control laws have the high egs violent crime rates. the old saying is true, if you make guns illegal, only the bad guys will have them. d.p. writes it starts with the
nra. guns are big business, and so that's where the money and the power is coming from. the nra won't say it publicly but nra and the gun dealers have vested in this escalation. peter writes one thing that will change the laws is when, not if, a couple politician grand kids' get killed. i hope it never happens, but that's what it will take. michael writes it will take courage. if you want to read more on the subject, go to cnn.com/caffertyfile or post on "the situation room's" facebook page. i wouldn't hold my breath. >> not before the election to be sure. egyptian authorities are vowing a crackdown on jihadists. mass gunmen slaughtered egyptian troops. they then seized two military vehicles and headed to israel and a deadly encounter with israeli forces. diana joins us from jerusalem with this report.
>> the remnants of two vehicles burned after israeli defense forces respond to a brazen courage on the soil. just across the border, egyptians mourn at least 16 soldiers shot dead by mass gunmen. it's not yet clear who it was that attacked this army check point and then common deloaded filled with explosives and drove across the israeli border. but egypt's president promised swift retribution. >> translator: this incident will not pass lightly. the armed forces will assume complete control over the area of sinai to secure them, and those who carried out the attack will pay a high price. >> the israeli defense forces say they had intelligence of a possible attack. and that's why israeli air power was on hand to strike and kill the five gunmen who made it through to israeli territory.
>> we can assume the goal of this terroristic event was to abduct israelis or infiltrate into the community and maybe kill israelis. >> since the uprising last year, there have been numerous acts of sabotage on the pipeline that transports gas from egypt to israel. thus several attacks on israeli troops. israeli officials are increasingly concerned that al qaeda and other extremists are moving into egypt's rested sinai peninsula and that the new egyptian government isn't doing enough to stop them. >> translator: in my opinion the risk of a heavier attack was prevented. and this is important for a successful operation in the battle that occurred there. perhaps it will be a proper
wake-up call to the egyptians. >> wolf, we're now hearing both from the israeli and the egyptian side that some of the masked gunmen involved in the attack did come from gaza. hamas has now shut off the tunnels between gaza and egypt. it also closed the crossing. it doesn't want to disrupt a peace agreement between the two. >> it's a very seasonsitive timn sinai themselves. and several hundred u.s. military have been in psi new york -- sinai as well. diana, thanks very much. reporting for us from jerusalem. nasa's newest mars rover keep sending back pictures.
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td ameritrade. proud sponsor of the 2012 u.s. olympic team. i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. here's a picture that's out of this world. it was taken last night among the mars orbiter just afs it was descending. john za real la report >> john za zarrella reports. >> wolf, curiosity has landed. the most sophisticated piece of equipment is on the ground awaiting orders from a jubilant team.
they could do nothing but wait for the signal to reach them from 154 million miles away. then suddenly euphoria. an eruption of emotions. [ cheering ] the your kosty rover, the centerpiece of this $2.5 billion mission was alive on the surface. it had survived the ride through the atmosphere. an incredible image taken from an orbiting spacecraft shows curiosity's parachute during the decent. >> all the things that kept me and the rest of the team awake for years. we don't have to dream about it. we don't have to think about it anymore. so it's a great thrill and a great relief for all of us. one of the six wheels sitting on the surface, a blurry image taken through a dust cover.
the second a tantalizing slice of the landing site. in new york's time square people watched and cheered as the landing drama unfolded. here the landing team soaked by success. curiosity had threaded the needle right on target between a mountain inside the crater and the crater wall. >> and if anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of u.s. leadership in space, well, there's a one-ton automobile sized piece of american ingenuity, and t sitting on the surface of mars right now. >> the science team chose this spot because they believe in the
planet's ancient history, water may have flowed here, and it may have been a time when perhaps some sort of life existed here and might still. curiosity does to the have the ability to detect life, but it will hunt down the signatures, the building blocks of life. water, carbon and gas. >> it's a question that you can't help to ask yourself. was there life there? did it ever evolve? of course you hope it was there. then it's down to answering the age-old question. was mars hospitable enough for life to have taken hold? wolf? >>. and you're in "the situation room." happening now. a new sign the syrian regime may be closer to collapse. the country's prime minister defect flees the country and denounces the government as terrorists. also, new developments at the shooting at a sikh temple in washington that left six
worshipers dead. we'll get the latest from the town's mayor. he'll join us this hour. and new details about the alleged gunman's ties to white supremacists. we now know he was no stranger to those who tracked hate groups. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're learning new details about the shooting rampage and the gunman that killed six people before he was shot and killed by police. there's new information about ties to a white supremacist. he started a military career that was tied to misconduct.
mayor scaffidi is on the phone with us. condolences, mayor to everyone that was killed and their friends. first, do you have any new clues as to who the shooter was? wade michael page? what his possible motives could have been? >> i know this morning people identified a couple motives. as this point i b don't have more on that. >> the other thing is the police say they were looking at a person of interest. this person has located, interviewed and cleared. is that your information as well? >> that is correct. someone identified him pretty shortly after the press conference when he was confirmed to be the suspect. >> so what do you think is going on here? were there indications that the sikh temple in the community was a target for a hate attack, if in fact, that's what occurred? >> there was no prior history of
anything. they have a clean record in the city. they've been a great community member, and it's really shocking that something like this has happened at the temple. >> this individual, the suspect, wade michael page, how long has he been in your community as far as the information you have gathered? >> from my understanding, he is not from oak creek. he lived for a short time in a surrounding city a few miles from here. but he had not been there long. >> do you know anything about the white supremacist rock group that he was associated with? anything along those lines? >> that will be discussed at the press conference.
he may have been affiliated with some of these groups. >> the whole notion of what's going on in the community, your community, must be in a state of shock right now because all of the sudden it comes out of the blue. as far as the alleged weapon in this case. do we know if sure if he owned it legally? >> i believe it was purchased legally. he did not have anything preventing him from gbuying a gun. >> have you stepped up in your community at all? or do you think this was, you know, a single isolated incident? >> we're always security conscious. we have 23 places of worship in our city, representing a lot of different faiths. it's something we have to be sengstive to. that's part of the reason we have it in our city. we have a terrific police fort.
and yesterday, we look out for our residents and our people in services we will start to move forward. >> we know atlantis two of the victims shot are in critical condition right now. >> i have not received an update. i know they are in critical condition. i was at the hospital last night. was not able to see any of the patients. some of them were going into surgeries. there hasn't been a medical update, but there may be one this evening or tomorrow morning. >> mayor, please give our best wishes to everyone in oak creek. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll have much more on the story coming up later this hour, including possible ties to white supremacist groups.
i'll talk to a man who infiltrated neonazi organization on behalf of the fbi. other news we're following, as civil war rages in syria, there's another high rprofile defection. he is denouncing the killing of president bashar al-assad. barbara starr is working the story from jordan. barbara, what do we know about the former prime minister whereabouts? >> reporter: well, very little, wolf. the man has defected from the regime. but where is he? here in aman all day there have been swirling rumors he was in jordan, coming to jordan. so everybody was on watch looking for him. he never publicly materialized. the jordanian government put out a statement saying he was not
here. not yet. there was other rumors he may be headed to the persian gulf. all of this is swirling around. nothing is terribly sorted out yet. it's a bit of a mystery right now. we have seen other high profile defections. this is very dangerous. until they get out, family members get out. we've and this before. and it's what everybody will be watching for in the coming days. what is the significance of this defection? is this now fundamentally a crack in the assad regime? the u.s. certainly hopes so, wol wolf. >> and the whole issue of family members, we know if somebody does affect a person of some status, they really retaliate and go after surviving family members back in damascus or other communities in syria. this is always something that weighs heavily on the minds of
those who might break with bashar al-assad. do we know if his family got out together with him, or are they stuck back in syria? >> reporter: i have to tell you, wolf, we don't know the exact answers to any of this tonight. a lot of rumors swirling around, and certainly you can draw conclusions that the uncertainty means people are watching and wait i waiting to see who surfaces, how many came out, did they all come out with family members? the point you just made is we're seeing that when we talk to syrian refugees here who come from small towns and villages. just regular people who want to get out of the war zone. they're very concerned about the relatives left behind. many of them don't want to be on tv because they worry the relatives back in syria will, in
fact, be the subject of that retaliation by the regime. it's very violent and brutal. >> we've seen that time after time. if that person has relatives back in syria, the regime goes after them in rather brutal ways. barbara star is on the scene for us in aman, jordan. meanwhile, fighting is raging in the largest city in syria. senior international correspondent ben wedeman is on the ground for us in alepo. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well what we've seen in the last 10 to 15 majorities is a helicopter fire i ing. and what we have seen since we arrived 11 hours ago is a steady
bombardment, whether from jets that we've seen dropping bombs on heavily populated areas that are controlled by the syrian army or tanks firing into the areas. no many of the civilians have fled the parts of the city that is controlled by the army. particularly in these areas where most of the civilians lead. today he came under sniper fire. mostly adults. some teenagers. i spoke to one man in his 70s with a briefcase and a jar of jams and sugar. he said he was leaving out of the area. he could not take the constant fighting going on there.
other parts of the city control by the army. we saw one on main street where there was fighting around on bicycles. but all the while we hear the steady shots of incoming artilleries and tank rounds. and wolf, people are terrify ie. the government is prepared to crush the uprising that's been going on here now here in alepo, for several weeks. it's very tense among the civilian population. they're very much traumatized by the constant bombardment, wolf. >> ben, what's the reaction there to the latest deflection by the prime minister? do they think it's only a matter of time before the regime
blasts? >> certainly people were encouraged by the news that the prime minister had reportedly defected, but they had much more immediate concerns. the fighters are confident that in terms of ammunition, they're severely outdone by the government forces. they feel they control as much as 50% of the city. i'm not sure that's totally accurate. and given they don't have anything like the firepower of the government, big government forces have decided to come in. wolf? >> ben wedeman, be careful over there. ben wedeman is in alepo, syria, for us. we'll check back with you. we're also getting new information in "the situation room" about the ex-girlfriend of the suspect in that sikh temple shooting in wisconsin. she's now helping investigators.
we'll have more on this hour's top story coming um. and after two mass shootings in a matter of weeks, the white house is facing sharp criticism from gun control advocates. plus the head of the republican national committee calls the senate majority leader, and i'm quoting him now, a dirty liar. as the fight over mitt romney's taxes gets uglier. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and the most dreaded fees of all, hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, you won't pay fees on top of fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no monthly account service fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no hidden fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and we rebate every atm fee. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck tdd# 1-800-345-2550 because when it comes to talking, there is no fee.
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all night. every night? any way you want it. that's the way i need it. we just had ourselves a little journey moment there. yep. [ man ] saw 'em in '83 in fresno. place was crawling with chicks. i got to go. ♪ any way you want it ♪ that's the way you need it ♪ any way you want it ♪ let's get to jack cafferty. he's got the cafferty file. jack? >> wolf, congress has taken a five-week vacation. they work so hard. the fact is, congress has accomplished next to nothing. but they think they deserve a five-week break. the average worker only gets eight paid days off for a whole year. these clowns think they deserve yet another vacation. it's disgraceful. meanwhile the country's problems are serious and many and growing. runaway debt, nearing 16 trillion dlarz. they've done nothing about the
automatic spending cuts, including hundreds of millions in defense cuts set to tick in next year. the tax cuts are set to expire this year. it is call the fiscal cliff for a reason. unaddressed these changes will be painful and dramatic. congress has done nothing. they're on vacation. they've also failed to address the issues of food stamps and farm subsidies as american farmers grapple with the world court drought in decades. and still on the table, must-passed spending bills to keep the government running, a cyber security bill and a postal bill as the u.s. postal service faces default. congress on vacation. this is one of the least productive congresses in recent history. you can thank a toxic hyp hyper partisan atmosphere and politicking. it's unlikely anything will be
addressed until after the election is over. we won't get anything better if we keep voting the same people into office over and over and over. on november 6th, think o outcumbent. here's the question. why would congress take a five-week vacation with all the problems facing the country? >> you know, jack, many of them have to go on fact finding missions to europe or south america. these are important trips they will be doing, the citizens work on. you understand what's going on. >> and who pays for the trip? >> it's a very important trip. >> i got your fact finding right here. thank you, jack cafferty. thanks very much. congress may be on vacation. but the political firestorm ignited by the majority leader
over mitt romney's taxes is still very much alive. today republican outrage is stretching far beyond harry reid. let's bring in senior congressional correspondent dana bash. she's here in "the situation room" watching the story. it's pretty amazing, the language being hurled back and forth. >> it's really amazing. we reported last week in "the situation room" that harry reid's goal in making these unsubstantiated claims is to keep romney's tax returns in the headlines. and republicans i talked to today who were involved in strategy admitted they're in a catch-22. the republicans also feel like they can't let reid's questionable claims go unanswered. it's getting increasingly hostile and personal. >> i think he's lying about his stateme statement. >> republicans trying to turn the tables on harry reid for accusing mitt romney of not paying his taxes for ten years with no proof.
i'm not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn't filed a sing page of tax papers himself. >> reid refused to reveal his source. >> >> this whole issue is not about me. mitt romney is the first presidential candidate since his dad ran. this whole controversial would end quickly if he would release his tax returns like everybody else has done. >> he says he knows who the source is but won't tell. i know who this person is, and if i thought the person was not credible, i would say something to senator reid. i would try to shut it down. this person is credible, he told cnn. the democratic leader in the house is spanning the blame, too, telling the huffington post, harry reid made a statement that's true. and republicans are now hitting democrats where it could hurt the president's credibility.
accusing obama's campaign of orchestrating reid's controversial political attack a spokesman said he first accused romney of not making his taxes on tuesday, hours after he visited with the m democrats. hours after meeting with axlerod, reid comes out and makes baseless accusations. in an e-mail, axelrod called that completely false. instead of pointing fingers in every direction, they can put the matter to rest by simply observing the standards george romney and a generation of candidates have set by releasing the returns, axlerod told cnn. >> the word is out he hasn't paid any taxes for years. >> democrats said reid himself initiated the attack on romney. the sources also admit the obama campaign is not asking reid to stop.
now this is an important election about big issues. primarily relentless unemployment and frustration with the oba administration about the sluggish economy. democrats readily admit that's why reid went after romney on his tax returns, to change the subject. and as long as romney refuses to release the tax returns, democrats have a subject to change to. and one footnote. "the huffington post" put up on their website some proof that the accusations isn't true. that he was not the source because he was not on the hill before harry reid talked to the huffington post. that happened days before. >> if harry reid quotes an investor at bain capital, how would he know what the income rate is every year? >> i have asked that question so many times, wolf, of reid's top aids. the answer is, we're not going to tell you, but it's a source who has the ability to know, is
a credible source, and has the wherewithall to have the information. >> and we know romney now said he paid a lot of taxes over all the years and no year he didn't pay any taxes. that's what romney says on the record. and mccain campaign people from 2008 when romney was being vetted as a vice presidential running mate, they say he paid taxes as well. >> mccain himself told ted barrett that he saw 20 plus years of romney's tax returns and didn't see in problems. the democrats respond if he can give john mccain his tax returns when he was being vetted to be the vice presidential running mate, why not release it to the public? >> that's another story. the sikh temple shooter suspected ties to a white supremacy movement, fuelling concerns about the dangers of extremist groups in the united states. ahead, i'll speak with someone who infiltrated some of the groups for the fbi. stay with us. [ ross ] in the taihang mountains of china,
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lisa sylvester is monitoring top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on? >> attorneys for jared loughner are now expected to enter a guilty plea at tomorrow's court hearing if the federal judge determines he's competent to stand trial. six people were killed in the january 2011 attack and 13 were injured. among them then arizona congressman gabriel gifford. and spoiler alert. cyprus has made history at the summer games in london, winning the first olympic medal ever. the country took silver in a
sailing competition today. and southwest airlines is doing damage control after a promotional glitch that repeatedly charged customers' credit cards. they were expected to get a special half off deal. instead they got duplicate itineraries or duplicate charges. they say they are working around the clock to reverse the transactions. wolf? >> thank you, lisa. meanwhile, new information is coming out now about the personal life of the suspect in that wisconsin temple shooting. we're learning that investigators have just questioned his ex-girlfriend. also, we're digging deeper into the alleged ties to hate groups. we'll talk to an expert who infiltrated neo nzi claim that cloud is in the network, so it can deliver all the power of the network itself.
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they're trying to piece together the life of a man who terrorized the community. >> the reading of the sikh holy book was nearly over when the shooting started. >> i thought i heard shots. can you confirm that? >> people inside the temple ran to hide. calls poured into 911. >> i need an ambulance. i do not see a shooter anywhere. >> the gunman basically came into the porking lot and shot people who were standing out in front, entered the temple, and opened fire. >> community members say the temple president was shot trying to tackle the gunman. a priest and six worshipers among the six dead. witnesses say the gunman went to the kitchen and may have turned up the gas before exiting. >> the gunman ran into the kitchen and tried to blow it up.
>> a man with a gun in the parking lot. >> one of the first police officers to arrive was ambushed. >> the 22-year veteran was ambushed, shot multiple times. >> the officer was shot eight to nine times at very close range with a handgun. >> the shooters then taking aim at another officer who returned fire. >> we have one officer shot. >> the officer engaged the individual, and the individual is deceased. >> s.w.a.t. teams erged, carefully surrounding the building, not knowing if more victims were inside. police recovered a single handgun, belonging to the lone suspect. the wounded were taken to a local trauma center. relatives and friends, many who were on the way to pray waited for word. authorities searched the gunman's home not far from the
temple, looking for evidence. looking for a motive. leaving a community wondering wh why. wolf? >> deborah fa feyerick reportin for us. let's dig deeper into the background of the alleged gunman. drew griffin is joining us. drew, the suspect was certainly no stranger to the various organizations out there that track hate groups, white se premsy grouprem supremacy groups in the united states, was he? >> not at all, wolf. he was almost a celebrity in the white hate music scene. and that's when the various groups began tracking him. 12 years ago is when he turned up on the poverty law center's
radar screen take a sten to what the director describes as the kind of scene this guy has been in over the last dozen years or so. this is an incredibly violent scene. it's really a subculture of very extreme violence. you know, he existed in a world of skin head concerts, in which people are routinely beat up. sometimes killed. often merely for looking at someone's girlfriend the wrong way. we have no record, wolf, that the suspect has any kind of violent past. we know he had a dui offense back in colorado and criminal mischief back in texas. but the music scene is very important because that's where they recruit youth. they try to get them to come to
the concert, like punk rock concert with the hate-filled message. it's a recruiting tool for the movement. >> and have you heard any of the lyrics, any of the words supposedly sung at the concerts by these supremacy punk groups? because this is all new to me. i didn't know they were out there. >> you know, the lyrics are based on their view of the world. they're trying to purify the white race. they're obsessed that it's getting liquidated by jews, blacks, muslims. difficult things you would think that hate-filled groups would write about. i tried to listen to this guy's band music, and it's so mumbled and loud i can't make out the lyrics. i can't find lyrics printed. this is what the suspect said in
an interview in 2010 about the lyrics. he says the topics vary from logical issues, religion, and how the value -- his big album was called self destruct. their offensive. they're violent, and they preach a white supremist, movement. most of them are frustrated, wolf, because the movement doesn't go anywhere. it's just a small group of people with a very loud message of hate. >> all right, drew, thanks very much. how dangerous are the groups? could we see more attacks like the one in wisconsin? lt the fir, the first trade route to the west,
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go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. investors are looking into tied between white supremist groups. he wrote a powerful book about his experience called "undercover nazi: the fbi infiltration of extremist groups many america." david, thank you very much for joining us. when you heard about this over the past 24 hours having penetrated various white extremist groups, what went through your mind when you heard about this case in wisconsin? >> honestly, wolf, i just thought the same things i always think. it's unfortunate that this
happens, but i know for a fact because myself and my partner worked undercover infiltrating these types of groups, i know they're out there. i try not to alarm the public too much, but it's something that needs to be taken ahold of now because more and more we see this coming out that this is happening more often and more often. he said this and we'll play it for you. listen to what he said. >> he existed in a world of skin head concerts in which people are routinely beat up, sometimes killed, often times for merely looking at someone's girlfriend the wrong way. >> is that what you saw inside the group? >> that's absolutely true. some of that and more.
they have the mind set of a pit bull. in one moment they're like a mother pit bull looking her puppies and then they're off the wall doing something crazy. but they love it. they thrive on this, and most of them really feel that it's the government pushing them towards this. >> i didn't know that that there were these neo nazi punk rock groups out there designed to sort of bring in outsiders, get them involved, and get involved in these extremist groups. how important is the music part of all of this? >> the music, as you've heard from some other professionals. the music is a very creative tool and a very important tool for bringing in the youth. they bring in the kids on the outskirts of society that feel rejected by society. they're not loved at home. so they fall in with these groups, and they start to feel like they're friends. they feel like they love them. then they get the younger kids to do their bidding. they brainwash them into
believing that hate is the way to go and following them is the only way to go, and that there are other races of people that are against the white people. and they have to fight for that. they call it the racial holy war. and they take this stuff serious. i've seen it. i've been in the belly of the beast. and i know how bad these guys want to cause problems to american society. because they believe that the america that they grew up in is dead, and it's not coming back. and the most violent ones will carry out acts of domestic terrorism and violence here now and in the future. >> are there warning signs out there that someone can go from being an extremist, if you will, free speech to the extreme as opposed to someone actually going out and starting to shoot people? >> well, from what i know, from experience and fact is that these people, they all have, like the lone dog, you're not going to infiltrate a lone dog, a person that operates by themselves and don't talk a lot
with other people and don't share their plans. there are other groups that share their plans with three or four people, and there are signs to look out for. i know it's hard to track people because of the privacy acts and the rights that we have, but they do a lot of -- they do a lot more internet research. they do do acts of surveillance. i guarantee it this time mr. page did did surveillance on his soft target before they attacked him. they want to know the layout. they do a lot of google research, maps, google satellite or google earth is a great tool that these people use. they use the weapons law creatively to get through and get the type of weapons that they need. but ultimately, the ones who go out and actually do the act and cross the lines are ones that feel like their backs are against the wall and they have no other recourse except to go out and push their extreme beliefs on people and kill people when they deem necessary. and unfortunately that's what
happened here. and there are steps that can be taken, like psychological tests for persons who want to become gun owners a stuff like that. especially ones with a past history, like in the military, we hear this guy may have had a history. that should have been checked out. as you know, we can't go pointing fingers at this point. >> and is it your aassumption that this individual may have acted alone or was part of a broader conspiracy? >> that's hard to say, but just from what i've seen and what i heard i believe he's a lone wolf. usually if there's more than one person involved, then at that point, you're most likely going to have an operative like myself or a criminal informant infiltrate your group, and they're going to prevent this from happening. so many times it goes unheard of in the media, but so many times things like this get nipped in the bud, and people go to prison for conspiracy because persons
like myself, trained professionals and others are able to infiltrate these people because we get paid to go into the groups, no matter what types of groups they are, ant anti-government militias, white power groups, spanish hate groups or whatever. the more people you involve in the plan, the more chance you are going to have an operative or, you know, an infiltrater or informant in there. >> thanks very much for joining us. david infiltrated the extremist groups on behalf of the fbi and wrote a book about it entitled "undercover nazi." thank you very much. >> thank you, wolf. the everyone has goals.
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angry calls for gun control getting loud are in the wake of what's now the second deadly shooting massacre in less than three weeks here in the united states. the pressure is certainly on president obama to respond. cnn's white house correspondent dan lothian reports. >> faced with another tragic act of violence, this time in wisconsin, president obama is under pressure to do something. >> i think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible tragic events are happening with too much regularity. for us not to do some soul searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence. >> but he's delivered similar remarks before. most recently at the national urban league convention in new orleans in the wake of the colorado massacre. >> we should leave no stone
unturned and recognize that we have no greater mission as a country than keeping our young people safe. >> reporter: stopping gun violence has been an elusive target but mayor michael bloomberg a loud voice on the issue says there's been a deafening silence from the president and his challenger mitt romney on gun control. >> the two presidential candidates cannot continue avoiding an issue that is one of the most serious threats we face as a nation and for our security. >> reporter: pressed repeatedly on the president's plans, jay carney blamed congress for not doing enough to keep some weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them and repeated the president would support any new ban on assault weapons while safeguarding second amendment rights to keep and bear arms. >> the question is not one of a specific high profile incident alone, and the unfortunate reality is that while these
terrible incidents get a lot of headlines, there is violence in america every day. >> reporter: but bloomberg and the group mayors against illegal guns are calling for details, not only from the president but mitt romney. >> our leaders gave us a moment of silence then. >> but they haven't given us a plan. >> reporter: the group released this new tv ad featuring survivors of the tucson shootings. >> we demand a plan. >> because 4,000 americans will be murd48,000 americans will be murdered during the next president's ad. >> have you seen this ad? >> i haven't. >> as the white house, congress and other politicians debate the issue, some argue the public's attention is focused in the wrong direction. >> my own view is, let's get tough on criminals, have tough penalties for the illegal use of weaponry or any other illegal or activity that's an assayment against another person. >> reporter: now, the president said today that he wants to bring together a group of law enforcement officials, community
and faith leaders, as well as elected officials to try and figure out how progress can be made on this issue of gun violence, but unclear whether this is something that will happen in the next few weeks or months. wolf? >> dan lothian, thank you. and this note in our new 6:00 p.m. eastern hour, terror at a sikh temple. survivors of the massacre recount the horror of the attack. ♪
laura writes because we as americans let them, by voting them back in over and over and over again. susan in ohio, maybe they just need a break from that gruesome three-day workweek. the pressures of the job and all that. what a joke they are. but the polls show that not many of us are laughing. kevin in california because they're back meeting with their constituents and updating them on all the things that congress has accomplished. yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. debbie on facebook, we need to fire them. who else gets to go on vacation with work left incomplete? the rest of us would be fired on the spot. >> david in missouri says because the congress cos care less about the american people. it's all about me, and using the hard-working people's money to fund the good old boy system in waste monday human imagination. how do you think a person making $160,000 a year becomes a multi millionaire times ten. >> ron says they haven't worried about the country for 3 1/2 years. >> bob writes it's got to be
exhausting work naming post offices session after session with no end in sight. if you want to read more about this, go to cnn.blog/cafferty file or through our post on the situation's room's facebook page. wolf, it's almost 6:00. you're on again. >> happening now, survivors of the sikh temple shooting and victims' relatives describe the terror and the bravery when the bullets started flying. new information about the dead gunman. and whether this attack may have been misguided revenge for 9/11. and clues about mitt romney's running mate in a new list of republican convention speakers. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> once again a gunman's bullets have peers americans' sense of security this time striking inside a house of worship. we now know the names of the six people killed at a sikh temple in wisconsin yesterday morning
and know more about the gunman who died at the scene, a u.s. army veteran who may have had ties to white supremacist organizations. brian todd joins us from oak creek, wisconsin. you've been talking to a witness as well as tols officials. what are you hearing? >> wolf, we've got a lot of important new information this hour. we've got names of some of the people who played pivotal roles in this event and new details about the shooter's path at the temple. narinda can't escape it, a moment of horror. she was among the first to see the shooter as he started his rampage at the temple at wisconsin. she says she was parking her car when she saw the suspect now identified as wade michael page approach the lead priest near the entrance. >> did he say anything to the priest? >> no, no, priest, he's quiet. i didn't see the you know, like
nothing. and he just two steps in front of the shooter. he's going this way and i thought maybe they are talking but they did not talk. he just start shooting. >> the priest fell and was dead. page went inside officials say and kept shooting. the police chief says they got the initial call at 10:25g a.m. local time. the first officer to arrive now identified as lieutenant brian murphy, was right in the shooter's path. >> how many times was he shot and was it at close range? >> it was very close range. he was tending to someone down in a crouched person and the individual walked up on him around a vehicle and engaged him very closely. inches to feet, and fired at him. he was shot between eight and nine times. >> other officers then responded, gave commands to the shooter. he ignored them chief john edwards says and was taken down with a police rifle. when officers then tried to tend to their wounded colleague -- >> he waved them off.
he had been shot nine times, one of them very serious in the neck area and he waved them off and told them to go into the temple to assist those in there. >> the wounded officer was carried off, a rescue operation began for the other victims. officials stress they believe for now that page acted alone. nerinda needs help from her husband to reflect. >> what are your feelings looking back on this and what you saw? >> i couldn't sleep that night. it's really bad. i take two tablets but i couldn't sleep. >> now, as witnesses and victims deal with all this, police and our sources are giving us a kind of a mosaic of the suspect. they say that wade michael page who was discharged from the army 14 years ago after a pattern of misconduct may have been a white supreme just, but at the moment
they're still trying to piece together a firm motive in the immediate days and weeks before the shooting, a firm motive for why he inflicted such carnage. >> were there some warning signs in this man's past that something was potential along these lines? >> there seemed to be, wolf. in a lotering about this man that cnn has done today and yesterday, there is a fabric of this man's life that you can put together where there may have been warning signs when you see them all together. taken individually, they don't really add up. i mean, we're told he did front kind of a white supremacist type rock band at one time, that he gravitated toward the white supremacist movement, that he kind of drifted after his days in the army and had problems and that he had some problems in the army with drinking and things like that. taken together, you kind of see some of these patterns. but individually, probably very hard to put together. >> brian todd on the scene for
us in wisconsin. the six people killed in the shooting are range in age from 39 to 84. a member of the sic community read the names of the victims earlier today. >> subegh singh, ran jit singh, satwant kaleka, 62 years old, male. parkash singh, 49 years old, parmjit kaur, 41 years old, female. subegh something, 4 years old, male. >> four other people were wounded in the shooting, three remain hospitalized in critical condition, including the injured police officer brian murphy. one survivor tells of being trapped for hours not knowing if she or other family members would make it out alive.
her father-in-law did not. cnn's poppy harlow is in oak creek, wisconsin, she's joining us now. what a sad story all around. tell us what you've seen. >> just a harrowing story coming out from all of the victims here and their families in oak creek, wisconsin, wolf. imagine being in your place of worship, what the sikhs here tell me they feel is the safest place on earth and then hearing incessant shooting, being trapped in a pantry for hours. that is the reality of many of the women that were at that much sikh temple. also the eldest victim, subegh singh, 84 years old. his faith we're told was unwavering. he spent every single day at this temple. and he lost his life there. his family spent the day with us. >> hours of horror in the most sacred of places. >> the shooting, large shooting, shooting, shooting, no stop.
>> his wife and his father subegh singh were inside their house of worship when the shooting began. >> what was going through your mind? >> scared. really scared. trying to get there, but not able to get there. >> reporter: you felt helpless? >> yes. >> his wife trapped inside the pantry for more than two hours. hiding from the suspected shooter. >> i have 16 people inside pantry, small pant tritt. >> were there children in there? >> yeah two, children. >> how terrifying of a moment was that for you? >> i so scared. oh, my god. too much my body so shaking. >> your mother is held hostage basically. your grandfather, you don't know where he is. what was it like for you? tear phiing?
shocking? because you know, you've moved to the suburbs for a safer life. you would never think this would ever happen to your family. >> throughout the ordeal, sandeep had one message for her mother. >> i was like just text me. turn it on silent. >> i say don't worry, come in here. she called text messaging me. mom, are you okay? mom, i love you. are you okay? >> i kept on texting her and i -- about my grandpa. we didn't know his whereabouts at all. >> her grandfather subegh spent every single date. >> he educates them about our religion. >> he's a very nice person. friendly. and very strong person. >> two and a half hours after the shooting began, she was able to escape. as she walked out, she saw her father-in-law lying on the floor
shot in the head. >> over here, all bleeding. he's gone. >> my grandfather was brave. i wouldn't see him running away anyways. >> tragedy beyond belief for their family. but above all, their belief. >> under one god, we are all same. we came from one god. we all same. >> she said god, i believe in you. so protect us. >> their belief is getting them through this, and their belief will bring them back. >> their sole purpose was to drive us away, it wouldn't work. >> reporter: and wolf, i can tell you that sandeep, the grabbed daughter of the man killed told me what her grandfather would have wanted is for peopletomy become educated about sikhism, to understand the religion. i also want to share with you what she told me. that is, when they found her grandfather's body lying on the floor, their place of worship, he was facing towards where they
bow their head and where they pray. he was not facing towards the door. she thinks that means he was not trying to leave. she believes that he was trying to stop the shooter, that he was trying to be a hero and not run away. wolf? >> all right, poppy. thanks very much. the dead gunman's family released a statement just a little while ago to the "the milwaukee journal sentinel." it says as the family of wade page, we are devastated by the horrific events that occurred sunday in oak creek, wisconsin. while there can be no words of comfort that will make sense of what happened that day, please be aware that our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families. the statement goes on, we have been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with the investigation in any way we can. that statement from the suspect's family. we're going to talk about the sikh community, misconceptions about it, the rise of hate crimes since 9/11. stand by for our panel. that's coming up at the bottom
of the hour. kate is with us for some of the other top stories happening. there are 700,000 sikhs in the united states. 25 million worwide. this is a major religion. >> it's a major religion. it's amazing we're talking about another shooting two weeks after what we witnessed in colorado. it's absolutely so tragic. but some other headlines we are watching right now, the highest profile defection yet from the regime ofsyrian president bashar al assad. syrian prime minister riad hijab has left the country. there are conflicting reports about his whereabouts. syrian state television says he was dismissed from his job after officials learned had he left syria. also, egypt's president today promised to crack down on extremists responsible for an attack that killed 15 egyptian.soldiers. the attackers seized two armor vehicles and headed into israeli territory. one of the vehicles explode the at the border and the other was attacked by israel's air force. also authorities are on the scene i believe we are looking
at live pictures right now from our affiliate wcnc, the scene of a huge freight derailment in north carolina. just look at those pictures. officials say there are approximately 100 cars on the train, but they aren't sure yet how many have derailed. homes are being evacuated as a precaution. no injuries reported so far. even though it's still hot and dry across oklahoma today, the winds have died down. that will give fire crews a chance to get control over wildfires across the state. at least 121 structures have burn. >> we've lost everything. we have our lives which is the most important. clothes, dishes, we have nothing evident. >> authorities are trying to identify a badly burned body found inside one home. in cleveland county. and finally, the wife of congressman jesse jackson junior is revealing more about his
mental health saying he collapsed from, quote unquote, debilitating depression two months ago. sandy jackson told the "chicago sun-times" she just visited her husband at the mayo clinic and found he's still very depressed but showing progress and she says experts are still trying to determine if his recent weight loss surgery helped trigger the depression. it was such a mystery around his abrupt departure from capitol hill. >> over the years, he seemed very vibrant, all of a sudden he goes into this depression. >> we're going to have more on the sikh temple shooting throughout the hour, including a live report from wisconsin. stand by for that. we may now have a better sense of who mitt romney isn't choosing as his running mate. stand by for that, as well. remarkable new pictures coming into the situation room from mars after a nasa rover makes a jaw-dropping landing. male spirit present.trong
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republican national convention in tampa. anticipation building for mitt romney's advice presidential announcements. now pundits have more than just tea leaves to read as they speculate about his choice. let's bring in lisa sylvester. a whole new list of convention speakers now out and getting a lot of scrutiny. >> that's right, wolf. this convention speakers list is very useful. it tells us who is not likely to be romney's running mate. that if they're already being penciled into time slots during the convention, chances are they're not on the vp short list. who is at the top of the list? that remains a guarded secret and romney is not giving any clues. in las vegas, mitt romney refused to play the guessing game. >> i will absolutely decide and announce my running mate before the third day of the republican convention in august. but other than that, i have nothing for you. >> but that's not far off to some of us that means, any day
now, mr. romney. it's the last missing puzzle piece of this political season. the name of his running mate. the rnc's just announced list of convention headline speakers is a good clue as to who will likely not be the vp pick. among them, south carolina governor nikki haley, former secretary of state, condoleezza rice, florida will governor rick scott and former arkansas governor mike huckabee. but that is only fueling speculation for the folks who remain. >> the romney campaign is going to first look at who can be the best president in case something happens to the capped. that's the number one role of the vice president. after that, it's geographical concerns, who can be bring some oomph from a swing state if that's important. also, who is going to be a good balance, a good visor, good confidante and can represent as well as bring a piece of the republican base along with them. >> four names swirling at the top of the poll are senators rob portman of ohioen an marco rubio of florida, wisconsin congressman paul ryan and former
minnesota governor tim pawlenty. as we inch closer to the republican convention, does romney go for the safe bet, someone like pawlenty or portman or ryan or rubio whose selection could make a bigger splash among conservative voters but less appeal to independents. >> while there may be people around him saying we need this person because they're more electable, first and foremost, what mitt romney is doing it looking at who could be president. >> mitt romney is kicking off his bus tour this saturday in virginia. he'll travel to north carolina, florida and ohio and sources confirm to cnn that florida senator marco rubio, and rob portman will be joining mr. romney in their respective states. >> i'm getting next week. we'll probably get the answer. >> we'll find out soon enough. >> let's wait till the olympics are over. let's go back to kate.
>> i'm trying to nail you down on a date so we can hold you to it. >> it could be as early as next monday. >> very good. >> week from today. >> i'm going to say tuesday just to be contrarian. it's mississippi church that refused to marry a black couple has something new to say about its decision. and spoiler alert. we have the results of the olympic women's soccer match between the u.s. and canada. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." [ ross ] in the taihang mountains of china, hand-carved on the side of a cliff is the guoliang tunnel. what?! you've got to be kidding me. [ derek ] i've never seen a road like this. there's jagged rock all the way around. this is really gonna test the ats on all levels. [ derek ] this road is the most uneven surface, and it gets very narrow. magnetic ride control is going to be working hard.
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development in another mass shooting case tomorrow. kate is back. she's got more on this. what's going on? >> this goes back to the shooting attempt of gabrielle giffords back in january, 2011. jared lee loughner is expected to plead guilty tomorrow to at least one federal charge related to the tucson pass shootings of january 2011. six people died and 137ere wounded including then congresswoman gabrielle giffords. loughner's attorneys filed court papers today indicating a change in plea. first though, a judge will have to determine he is mentally competent. and also an update on the story we first brought you last week. a mississippi church has apologized now for refusing to allow an african-american couple to marryt its facility. the church released a statement saying the decision to make the couple move the wedding was wrong. the couple isn't buying the apology calling it an insult and misheeding to the public. visitors at one of the most
popular tourist attractions here in washington apparently have been getting ripped off in the parking lot. are parking attendants have pocked more than $400,000. a closed circuit camera showed the attendants unplugging electronic vehicle counters allowing them to steal several thousand dollars a day. sounds impossible. chalk it up one for the women. shannon east been make sports history when he she becomes the first ever female referee for the national football league. it's just a pre-season game but it's a first. you may or may not know the league's regular season referees have been locked out in a labor dispute. the nfl is using replacement referees for now. season after season, i always say where are the female referees. one game, it's one small step. >> good for them. thank you. at the bottom of the hour in
a few minutes, the sikh community is certainly grieving after the shooting rampage at that temple in wisconsin. we'll take a closer look why the sikhs may have been targeted right now and in the past. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues... but that doesn't mean our job is done. we're still committed to seeing this through. [ male announcer ] you work hard. stretch every penny. but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him... mitt romney made twenty million dollars in two thousand ten but paid only fourteen percent in taxes... probably less than you now he has a plan that would give millionaires another tax break... and raises taxes on middle class families
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how he scored a surprise hug with a tennis star after his gold medal win. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in t"the situation room." thmpb just coming into "the situation room." we've just received a new picture of the gunman in the sikh temple massacre. that claims he may have been a white supremacist. the information that we're getting, this is the picture that we're getting from wade's page, his facebook page showing him standing in front of a nazi flag. the photo was taken in february but has since been taken down from facebook. this photo is from the gunman's my space page. it also shows a nazi swastika in the background. these pictures just coming into the situation room". police in wisconsin are trying to police together why page opened fire sunday, killing six people, wounding four others. kate is joining us now with an update on what else is going on.
>> just to bring viewers up to date, authorities believe wade michael page acted alone. he was shot to death by police responding to the sunday morning attack in oak creek. we're told his semiautomatic handgun and ammunition were bought legally. page had training as a psychological warfare specialist. police suspect he had ties to white people who havists. a former camaraderie says page used to talk about a racial holy war. were the shooting comes after a number of violent acts of violence against sics. president obama says americans are "heartbroken by the temple rampage." >> we don't yet note full little what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. if it turns out as some early reports indicate that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who
were attending the temple, i think the american people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes and i think it will be very important for us to reaffirm once again nan country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people. and we lookfter one another. and we respect one another. but as i said, the fbi is working with local officials and they are still investigating what motivated this individual and as we find out more, i suspect that not only the white house but others in congress and at the local level will have more to say. >> let's dig deeper into the shooting, the possible motive, wa it means for the sikh community and for the united states. we're joined by monjit singh,
the chairman of the sikh he legal defense and education fund and joe na bland, a former policy director for the senate foreign rees committee. thanks to both of you for coming in. monjit, this is an awful situation. sikhs have been targeted now repeatedly, including the first murder after 9/11 was an american sikh out in mesa, arizona. we got a list of all these attacks since 9/11. i'll put them up on the screen. tell us, you've studied this closely. what is going on? what's behind all of this? why are sikhs targeted so often in the united states? >> thank you, wolf. i think the primary reason is than common americans who don't know about sikhs look at an image of somebody you know, when he you see photographs of muqtada al sadr or somebody else from afghanistan and you see the turban and the beard and the immediate association is somebody who might be living
down the street or maybe a doctor in this neighborhood and they think it's the same person. it's primarily rooted in ignorance. just associating the physical appearance wherever sikh americans. >> is it that simple, jonah? you've studied this closely as well. >> i have both as and throw policies and policy analyst. it unfortunately is. this is heartbreaking as the president rightly says because this is so often terrorism by mistaken identity. >> so have sikh temples across the country and there are 700,000 american sikhs, have they increased security as a result of what happened in wisconsin? >> they are. i have talked with several local congregations. after 9/11, self of them installed surveillance in the guawara. the faith is very welcoming. we do not discriminate or prevent anybody from any
particular background or racial ethnic background to come into a guawara. so it is very hard for the community to struggle when somebody just walks innen an starts shooting discriminately. >> let's play you another bit of sound from president obama, something else that he said today in talking about how to prevent future attacks like this. listen here. >> i think there are a lot of elements involved in it, and what i want to do is to bring together law enforcement community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials at every level to see how we can make continued progress. >> jonah, do you think there is enough coordination, cooperation, communication kind of top down, federal, state, local, even religious down to the like religious leaders' level to prevent hate crimes like this post 9/11, specifically speaking about hate crimes? it's amazing it still happens. >> it is amazing. as long as there is hate, there will be hate crimes. authorities the federal, local level have gotten a lot better.
there's much better coordination, but there will never be enough coordination to prevent terrible tragedies like this from happening. >> one of the people who was killed in this incident in wisconsin was the president of the temple. and cnn spoke to the nephew. i want to play this little clip. >> okay. >> i usually don't wear this turban, but i wanted after yesterday i really felt the feed to wear it today to educate people that we're not terrorists. we're people who are loving and we care about others and we're humans just like everyone else. these acts of ignorance need to be stopped in some way, shape or form. >> i was really move when i heard that on cnn earlier in the day, this individual, doesn't normally wear a turban. i assume you always wear it. >> i always wear it. >> he decided in solidarity to do so. are you seeing that more and more as a result of what has happened? >> i'm definitely seeing more of that. and i think a lot of people realize that you know, you have
to stand up for what you believe in. and rather than trying to escape from the spotlight, it's better to stand up, let people know and create awareness who you are and what your beliefs are. that's the best form of education. that in the long run is the best way to ensure safety of the sikh community in this zplunt when you talk about education, it's amazing that seems to be kind of the one solution out there is better education about what, who, people are, what their beliefs are. what more should be done? is it simply down to the level of educating people know? what do you think from a policy standpoint? >> i think education is always a great thing. i personally have been educated about sikhism but going to guawara'ses in japan and right here in the united states. i've never been in a guawara in a sikh temple where i have not been welcomed from the depth of people's heart. anyone who sets foot in the sikh temple would feel the same way.
>> it's shocking when you think about the security precautions that presumably have to be implemented not only in sikh temples but other houses of worship around the country. obviously, muslim houses of worship, but if these white supremacists they not only hate you, but they hate jews, they hate african-americans, a lot of people out there. >> that's true. that's the unfortunate part. when i think about this incident, i think it has twos really very troubling elements. one is the fact that the gentleman was an army veteran and indiscriminately attacked of sikh men wearing turbans. the second is that attack was at a place of worship, the last thing that anybody in america, you know, kind of thinks is unsafe. and needs some special security or protection. so an attack on a sacred guawara is an attack on all places of worship in this country. we are seeing overwhelming
support with other americans who are calling this an acontroversy tragic attack on people of faith across the country. >> i wanted to get your thoughts even, we should have probably off the top, when we first see -- these are some of the first images we're seeing of the alleged shooter, mr. page, and standing in front of a nazi flag, what is your reaction? i'm sure it's appalling to anyone who sees it, but then when you think of the tragedy that he allegedly brought upon the sikh community, what is your reaction? what do you think when you see those pictures? >> i have been familiar and have been looking at hate groups and supremacist groups. i know they specifically target minorities, people from several diverse ethnic backgrounds. so i'm not surprised. but at the same time, i can tell you, this is something that most viewers may not know, sikhs fought with the allies in world war ii and world war i against the nazis. several sikhs from india died in several theaters of war in world
war ii. you can find graves of sikhs in france and germany and italy. and even because there were so many eek soldiers, they couldn't be sent back to their home. so they were buried. the british victoria cross, which is their highest medal of valor, the largest recipients were sikhs as par of the allied army. so for us, it's more troubling than we're being targeted. but we believe in freedom and in justice. i think as a community, we are standing in solidarity with all those american who's believe in the same concept. >> manjit, good luck to you and all the sikhs, 700,000 around the country. good luck to all of our country. jonah, thanks to you, as well. we'll stay on top of this story. also other news we're following, weeks after bill clinton visited nelson mandella, it's hillary clinton's turn now to meet the former south african president. we'll have details. and we'll also have the first
pictures from mars after that dramatic landing of nasa's rover. stay with us. you're in "the situation room" . in here, opportunities are created and protected. gonna need more wool! demand is instantly recognized and securely acted on across the company. around the world. turning a new trend, into a global phenomenon. it's the at&t network -- securing a world of new opportunities. ♪
kate has a check of what's going on at the white house and beyond. >> first go to the white house if we could. president obama today signed a veterans fairs bill that's notable for its new restrictions on protests at military funerals. listen to this. >> the graves of our veterans are hallowed ground. and obviously, we a defend our constitution and the first amendment and free speech. but we also believe that when men and women die in the service of their country and are laid to rest, it should be done with the utmost honor. >> the new law says protesters must be at least 300 feet from
military funerals from two hours before the services begin until two hours after they end. and secretary of state hillary clinton is in south africa. today she stops at nelson mandela's home village for a private meeting with the former president and also meeting with south africa's current leaders. she is always traveling. and finally, actress and activist marlo thomas was in washington today for a department of education summit on the prevention of bullying. is c-span reports her speech called on schools to enact a zero tolerance policy where students who bully others could be expelled. the issue of bullying is has become a big issue. >> as it should be. >> erin burnett is in oak creek, wisconsin, tonight going out front of the temple massacre. erin, tell us what you're hearing from witnesses. >> reporter: you know, it's been a pretty shocking day.
you can see how traumatized people are. .tight knit community. we went by one of the families of the priest who died. and there were three families all there the entire street covered in cars. all those people were mourning and spending time together today. and they really just to a tee could not believe that religion could cause the sort of a thing. it was more shock and grief rather than anger, at least that we saw today. also spent some time at the hospital where the three victims fighting for their lives right now are in critical care and some stunning things to say from the trauma surgeon about how often this number of people come through the hospital. a pretty shocking thing when we start to think about gun control and murder by gun violence in this country. we'll also speak to a witness who was there and consoling two of the children when their father was killed in front of his and their eyes at the temple. that's coming up at the top of the hour.
back to you. >> we'll look forward to it. thanks very much. in 15 minutes or so. other news we're following from mars, the latest on the new rover curiosity. plus the latest olympic results. this is your pospoiler alert. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. you know what's exciting? graduation. when i look up into my students faces, i see pride. you know, i have done something worthwhile. when i earned my doctorate through university of phoenix, that pride, that was on my face.
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descending toward the martian surface. cnn's john zarrella has more. >> reporter: wolf, curiosity has landed. the most sophisticated rover ever sent to mars is on the ground awaiting orders have a jubilant science team. seven long agonizing minutes, the team could do nothing but wait for the signal to reach them from 154 million miles away. then suddenly euphoria, an eruption of emotions. >> touchdown confirmed! >> reporter: the curiosity rover, the centerpiece of this $2.5 billion mission was alive on the martian surface. it had survived the harrowing seven-minute ride through the martian atmosphere, an incredible image taken from an orbiting spacecraft shows curiosity's parachute duringhe descent. >> all those things that kept me
and the rest of the team awake for years, we don't have to think about it or dream about it anymore. it doesn't have to haunt us everywhere we go. so it's a great thrill and a great relief for all of us. >> reporter: minutes later, the first picture, one of the rover's six wheels sitting on the surface, a blurry image taken through a dust cover to protect the lens during landing. the second, a tantalizing slice of the landing site, a place called the gale crater. in new york's times square, people watched and cheered as the landing drama unfolded. here, the landing team, stoked by the success. cheered and marched across the courtyard. curiosity has threaded the needle right on target, between a mountain inside the crater and the crater wall. >> and if anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of u.s. leadership in
space, well, there's a one-ton automobile-sized piece of american ingenuity -- [ applause ] >> and it's sitting on the surface of mars right now. >> reporter: the science team chose this spot because they believe that in the planet's ancient history, water might have flowed here. and it might have been a time when perhaps some sort of life existed here and might still. curiosity does not have the ability to detect life, but it will hunt down the signatures, the building blocks of life, water, carbon, methane gas. >> it's a question that you can't help to ask yourself. was there life there? did it ever evolve? and that's the emotional part of it. of course you hope it was there. it would be one of the greatest discoveries that we could ever make. >> reporter: then it's down to answering that age-old question -- was mars ever hospitable enough for life to
have taken hold? wolf? >> john zarrella, great reporting for us. 11 years these scientists worked on this project. the last seven minutes could have ended in disaster. >> i know, that reaction was priceless. we'll have to see what the curiosity will bring us now. stand by for results from the olympics before they air on primetime tv. the americans closer to picking up another piece of gold. now count the number of buttons on your tablet. isn't it time the automobile advanced? introducing cue in the all-new cadillac xts. the simplicity of a tablet has come to your car. ♪ the all-new cadillac xts has arrived. and it's bringing the future forward. [ male announcer ] you work hard. stretch every penny.
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the u.s. women made the finals by beating canada 4-3 in a wild game that lasted 123 minutes, three minutes into injury time, at the end of overtime. four alex morgan scored the winning goal. the u.s. will face japan, a team that beat them in the 2011 world cup. also, an off day for america's new gymnastics star, double gold medal winner, gabby douglas finishing last in the uneven bars competition. but she was not daunted. she said, quote, i made a little mistake, but i'm human. she says she's going to be strong in the beam final where she qualified in third place. an american has been thrown out of the olympic judo competition after a failed drug test. he said he inadvertently ate food baked with marijuana in it before he left for the games. he finished seventh in iz judo competition before failing the drug contest. and the boy who scored a
huge hug says the experience was very cool. 11-year-old henry caplan was in the stands when andy murray defeated roger federer. caplan was so overcome by the victory that he rushed down to the royal box area at wimbledon and threw his arms around murray. he talked to cnn's zain verjee about it. >> he said, anything for my fans. >> reporter: that's wonderful. have you always been an andy murray fan? >> no. >> reporter: why are you an andy murray fan this time? >> because he hugged me. >> very, very cool. >> i saw that happen when they were showing it on tv. and i was worpdinndering, does murray know him? >> you don't ask, you don't get. loved watching all this kind of stuff. are you a big watcher of the olympics? >> did it all weekend. >> and i learned you were a volleyball star at one point in your life. >> i played volleyball.