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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  October 25, 2013 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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those issues, we'll be looking at it from the angle of politics and finance and entertainment and how all of those worlds collide in sports, in the sports that we love. we're looking forward to having everyone. come on over tonight, 10:30 eastern and pacific. >> i'll be watching. thank you so much. best of luck. do not miss the debut tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern on cnn. that is it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, close allies are already upset over reports the u.s. has been monitoring their phone calls but more leaks about u.s. spying may soon make them a lot angrier. also, a stunning new warning. iran could be just a month away from having enough material for a nuclear weapon. and a new move to decriminalize marijuana in a major american city. you won't believe where. i'm wolf blitzer. you are're in "the situation ro"
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america's allies are furious right now over reports of widespread u.s. spying on world leaders. some have called in their american ambassadors and germany's chancellor personally called president obama this week to ask if her phone was tapped. with america's friends already complaining of shattered trust, more leaks about u.s. intelligence activity may be on the way. let's begin our coverage this hour with our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto. he's in new york following all these developments. >> reporter: good morning, wolf. several developments today. on the positive side, germany saying they are going to send a delegation to the u.s. to discuss these revelations and work out ground rules going forward for what's acceptable and what's not in terms of surveillance like this. but more worries to come as you referenced. reports today first in "washington post" of the possibility of other edward snowden sourced documents revealing other intelligence cooperations with countries that are not publicly allied with the u.s. this happening as the white house acknowledging that it has
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had overreach in nsa surveillance. today, the administration in damage control. the president's homeland security advisor lisa monaco writing in "usa today" that the white house will review nsa surveillance to make sure we are collecting information because we need it and not just because we can. u.s. officials confirm some damage has already been done. >> it's created significant challenges in our relationships with some of our partners. >> reporter: what the white house still will not confirm, however, is if the nsa did, in the past, monitor the calls of world leaders, including german chancellor angela merkel. >> august i can tell you is the president told the chancellor the u.s. is not monitoring and will not monitor communications of the chancellor. >> reporter: that answer not yet satisfying for european allies, who in brussels today warned the surveillance could jeopardize their crucial cooperation with the u.s. on intelligence gathering. >> we have an ongoing dialogue
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with the americans regarding both the past, what's been done, but it should also and most importantly deal with the present and the future. >> but obviously words will not be sufficient to change this. >> reporter: more shoes may soon drop. the u.s. is now reportedly warning other countries not publicly allied with the u.s. that documents taken by edward snowden detail their secret intel cooperation with the u.s. in operations targeting china, russia and iran. >> i think outing these countries would then put their relations with iran in jeopardy and also could make them open to some form of iranian intelligence or other retaliation. >> for some of these countries it can be particularly damaging were it to become public that they're cooperating with the u.s. so the possibility of those revelations, particularly dangerous. just after the wickileaks cables were released, there was a real
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possibility of u.s. diplomats talking to other diplomats abroad. there was a worry what they said would be made public some day. this potentially even more damaging because we are talking about very secret information here, not just diplomatic cables but top secret information, intelligence gathering, a real danger for american intelligence activities abroad. >> when you have u.s. ambassadors in allied countries, nato allies, being summoned in by the foreign minister for formal complaints about these reports, certainly that makes john kerry, the secretary of state, his job as difficult as it already is, even more difficult. >> reporter: no question. we had one more u.s. ambassador summoned today, that in spain, which gives us another idea of what one of those 35 countries we were talking about yesterday the u.s. was spying on their world leaders, you can surmise that one of those was spain as well. >> it's one thing to have a u.s. ambassador summoned in in a country not so friendly but when spain and other nato allies do it, that's a huge deal. stand by for a moment. i want you to come into this
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next conversation. allies spying on allies. so does everybody do it? should they be doing it? john negroponte is joining us, a top state department official and the country's first director of national intelligence. ambassador, thanks very much for coming in. marco rubio, the senator from florida, was blunt today on "new day" our morning show. listen to what he said. >> if you are a u.s. government official traveling abroad, you are aware that anything you have on your cell phone, on your ipad, could be monitored by foreign intelligence agencies, including that of your own allies. so i think a lot of what you're seeing from the european leaders is for the domestic consumption of their own public, but at the end of the day, everyone knew there was gambling going on in casablanca. >> is that business as usual, friendly countries spying on other friendly countries? >> there's an element of truth to it. it's true that countries spy on each other, including friendly countries. i've been spied upon myself. >> by friendly countries. >> i have.
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it's kind of standard operating procedure. >> when you were the director of national intelligence, let's say you went to paris, you went to rome, you went to madrid, did you have a cell phone that was -- included all your personal information? >> even as a diplomat, people were surveilling me. as director of national intelligence, i was capable of taking a lot of precautions. >> you just assumed that even friendly countries wanted to know what was going on. >> the basic assumption is that the adversarial countries who are capable of spying and eavesdropping globally just as we are were engaged in that or might be engaged in that kind of activity, so you take precautions with respect to your telephone, with respect to your computer. some countries, you don't even bring your computer. let me make another point, because there's no question that this is causing what mr. snowden has done is causing very serious diplomatic problems. in fact, i think the diplomatic problem is more severe than the intelligence problem.
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it's complicating our relationships. but there's also an opportunity and here's the opportunity. we have arrangements with four other countries, australia, new zealand, canada and the uk, it's called the 5is where we don't eavesdrop on each other at all. i think the time has come for us to sit back, take a serious look at the kind of intelligence activities we're conducting vis a vis allied countries, and see if we don't want to come to the same kind of arrangements, for example, with our nato allies as we have with those. >> historically, those five countries, very, very close. the other nato allies including france were italy or spain, they were never on that list because the u.s. did not completely trust them. >> but they are strong enough allies that we were willing to lay down our lives for those people if the soviet union had attacked them, we would have attacked the soviet union back. i think when you think of the big threats out there,
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terrorism, weapons proliferation and so forth, why do we want to collect against friendly foreign countries? it's a question of priorities. >> does angela merkel, the chancellor of germany, have a right to be as upset as she is? >> well, certainly she has a right to be upset. she's decided to be upset. now we have to react to that. germany is the strongest country in western europe and one of our best allies. we have a lot at stake in our cooperation with germany. >> here's what lisa monaco wrote in "usa today" . she's assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. the u.s. government is not operating unrestrained. we are not listening to every phone call or reading every e-mail. far from it. there are legal limits to what the nsa can and cannot do. i assume you agree with that. >> yes. >> all right. here's what edward snowden issued a statement from moscow to the aclu. no telephone in america makes a call without leaving a record with the nsa. today, no internet transaction
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enters or leaves america without passing through the nsa's hands. our representatives in congress tell us this is not surveillance. they're wrong. that's edward snowden, former nsa contractor. >> okay. so this is the distinction between metadata and content. i suspect the meta data we have extensively, we hold volumes of that but that doesn't necessarily mean we have intruded into the content. but i think that's somewhat separate issue from the question of our relationship with our allies which i think can be made better by the kind of discussion that i think is going to inevitably result from this uproar and the second thing i think we need to do is when the decision is made or when we're interested in collecting on a foreign leader, let's say a non-allied foreign leader, i think somebody at a very high level has to give it a good political scrub. >> the president of the united states? >> the president or the secretary of state.
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in any event, somebody at a high responsible political level, to determine whether the risk of revelation of that collection activity may outweigh any potential benefit from such collection. i think that's a critical issue. >> would the u.s. be upset, let's say, if they found out that germany was trying to eavesdrop on joe biden's cell phone conversations? >> well, if you look at past practice, you know, over the past years, i don't know about germany but there are other -- >> just giving that as an example. >> there are other countries that have engaged in that kind of activity. i have been to countries in western europe where i know that i was spied upon. >> how did you know? >> well, i found out later, as a matter of fact. >> because you were the director of national intelligence? >> no, this was much earlier. >> when you were -- >> when i was working actually as the deputy national security advisor. >> to the president. >> yeah. >> so -- were you stunned? were you -- how did you react? >> not really, no. >> i assume forever that allies spy on each other. that's just part of the business
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even though they say oh, i'm shocked, shocked. i just assume they do it. >> but when you think about it, there's enough other bad stuff going on out there and when you're trying to create a hierarchy of collection priorities, why on earth do you really need to know through eavesdropping techniques what angela merkel is saying or thinking. the president himself said it very well. he said when i want to know what angela merkel thinks, i'll give her a phone call. >> i guess one of the issues between the u.s. spying on other countries and other countries spying, the u.s. capability is so much more advanced. >> that's right. it's a little bit like one of these huge fishing trawlers that just indiscriminately drags up everything at the bottom of the ocean as it pulls much. >> this is my final question. the scheme of things, how much damage do you believe edward snowden has done to the united states compared to others who have taken classified information -- >> i think he's done more than heretofor. i think it's far worse, for example, than the pentagon
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papers and as you yourself have said, there's still a number of revelations yet to come, maybe many more. so that i think we need to brace ourselves for that. then we have to think -- >> that was a major blunder at the nsa that allowed him to gather and collect and take all this kind of information. has anybody been fired for that? >> i don't know the answer to that question. but it's symptomatic of faulty internal controls. you can't give somebody a key to the whole store who has this kind of administrative function. >> thanks for coming in. >> thank you. >> what a story that is. up next, a new warning that iran may need only a month to make enough material for a nuclear bomb. is it time to step up sanctions, step up negotiations, perhaps? i will talk with an american scientist behind this latest report. and what happened in the final moments before a massachusetts high school teacher was murdered? we have new details. [ paper rustles, outdoor sounds ]
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a stunning new warning saying iran may need as little as one month to produce enough weapons grade uranium for a nuclear bomb. that does not mean iran could have a bomb in that time span,
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but it's certainly a chilling assessment coming as the united states and other powers talk directly with iran right now about its nuclear program. joining us once again, our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto and david albright, a former iraq weapons inspector who now heads the institute for science and international security here in washington. that institute has just released that warning. one month. that's pretty ominous. tell us how you came up with that conclusion. >> well, for several years we have been trying to estimate how quickly iran could make weapon grade uranium if it decided to do so. and the time frames have been coming down. their inventories, and capabilities have been growing. so our most recent estimate is that they could do it as quickly as one, one and a half months. >> in other words, they just need a screwdriver and get it ready and they could do that, and then say they did it in one or one and a half months, how long would it take to actually build a bomb? >> that could take several months more. they would need to make the components and then it could
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take even longer if they wanted a deliverable nuclear weapon. the problem is that if they have this amount of weapon grade uranium sufficient for a bomb, what do you do next. one of the benefits that we have now is that if iran was caught during this and the inspectors would likely catch them before they finished, they -- iran would risk being bombed and therefore, in a sense it serves to deter iran from even trying. but as their time shrinks further and further, it may reach a point where the inspectors can no longer detect it. when people say there's an urgency to get these negotiations going and settled, that's right. >> one month. that's pretty ominous. jim sciutto, you have been working your sources on this. what are u.s. officials telling you? >> reporter: well, the u.s., the administration's position continues to be very different. the president on the record earlier this month saying the administration still believes iran more than a year away from being able to produce a nuclear weapon, and they say, they
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acknowledge when they say that that they're more conservative, for instance, than israeli intelligence is. but as david knows better than me, it's an inexact science. u.s. intelligence surprised by pakistan, for instance, and then they overestimated iraq's progress towards a nuclear weapon before the u.s. invasion. so certainly an inexact science but the administration has come back to that point when challenged many times on this, much different from one month. >> you want to respond to that? >> yeah. i think we're calculating and estimating the amount of time to make weapon grade uranium. they are often saying when could they have an actual operational nuclear weapon and those two estimates are different. so i think it could take, i don't know if it's a year but it could take several months to have a nuclear explosive device once you have weapon grade uranium but i think our estimates are based in understanding the iranian centrifuge program, the basic
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engineering and physics of producing this and i think the administration isn't actually that far off from us on actually the time to produce the weapons grade uranium. >> i have heard for awhile now that the u.s. assessment may be a year, the israeli assessment may be six months. but when i heard your assessment, maybe a month, month and a half or so, that sounded a lot more ominous. you're talking about having the capability, the nuclear weapons capability, but not necessarily having a bomb. >> not having finished. but the problem is that if, if the policy to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon rests fundamentally on the ability to stop iran from making weapon grade uranium before they get enough, then what do you do if they have enough? >> you confident these talks between the u.s. and others and iran are going to produce the desired result? >> i'm hopeful. i think it's going to be very tough and iran is determined to have a nuclear program that includes a lot of centrifuges, far more than the u.s. can live with.
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i think it will be very tough to get an agreement where iran does not maintain its capabilities to build nuclear weapons. >> thanks very much. >> thank you. >> jim, thanks to you as well. the new obama care trouble shooters comes up with a target date for fixing the website mess. can he keep that promise? we will update you on the people you saw here 24 hours ago struggling with the website in "the situation room." we're learning more also about what happened in those final moments before a beloved high school teacher was murdered. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd.
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the obama care website may be a mess right now but there's a new forecast for getting it fixed. the administration's new trouble shooter for the site says it should be running smoothly for most people by the end of november. cnn's athena jones is over at the white house monitoring this story for us. what happened today? >> reporter: hi, wolf. today, we got the big answer we've been waiting for during all of this commotion about the site not working so well. we learned that by the end of november, the vast majority of
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folks who are trying to log on and sign up for health insurance should be able to access most all elements of the site. that's according to jeff zients, the person the president put in charge of this massive effort to fix we also learned from zients today that they're putting qssi in charge of this effort to fix everything. qssi is one of the contractors involved in setting up the site. they are now going to be put in charge of the general contractor. basically essentially taking over from the government, from the centers for medicare and medicaid services. cms has been managing this site and some would say not very well. hhs secretary sebelius has been on tour for the last couple of days promoting obama care. she was in texas today, that's the home state of one of the big opponents of obama care, as you know, senator ted cruz. she talked about why some of the problems we've seen with the website and also took a dig at republicans. let's take a listen. >> in an ideal world, it would
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have been a lot more testing. we did not have the luxury of that with a law that said it's go time on october 1st and frankly, a political atmosphere where the majority party at least in the house was determined to stop this any way they possibly could, including shutting down the united states government. >> reporter: now, the secretary is going to be testifying before congress about all of this next week, and if you're wondering where the president is, he's in new york tonight. he'll be kicking off a month-long fund-raising swing as the party gears up for 2014. wolf, i don't have to tell you that some of those democrats who have been supporting and defending obama care are facing tough re-election fights. they want to see this website fixed all together as soon as possible. >> everybody does. they want to see it fixed. thanks very much. so is the promise to get the obama care website fixed by the end of november too little, too late? let's discuss with our chief
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political analyst, gloria borger, our chief national correspondent, john king and our chief political correspondent, candy crowley, the anchor of cnn's "state of the union." ten, not nine, ten democratic senators, some of whom are very close to the president, they wrote a letter to sebelius today saying, among other things, as long as these substantial technology glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. our constituents are frustrated. allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll. how much pressure does this put on the obama administration to delay full implementation, the penalty phase of the individual mandate, for example? >> let me give you another number. of those ten, seven are up for re-election. a handful of them have very tough re-election fights in red states. so that's important and that's important to the white house. they want to keep control of the
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senate. these people are saying look, we were with you on the affordable care act but if it's not working, you need to extend enrollment because we have to be able to go home to our constituents who were skeptical about this plan in the first place or still don't like it, and say you know what, we're working on it to make it work for you. >> basically, what i hear, let me know what you think, john, it's not a matter of if but now when, when the obama administration announces they are going to delay various parts of this because of these problems. >> you have the pressure on the administration. the administration can make the decision to get out front or it can watch as mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, goes to each of those democrats and says the next time we're in this budget battle, whether it's raising the debt ceiling in three months or whether it's trying to come up with the big budget bargain they're negotiating, next time i have a bill on the floor and we propose an amendment to delay it, will you be with me if you have to vote on it. the administration can get out front or deal with the politics. when you get to ten, mitch mcconnell can do the math in the senate. that gives him great leverage. >> here's why they are so
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reluctant and that is delay is, to them, not working. they don't want -- i mean, you hear them, this is a computer glitch or a big computer glitch but they don't want it to be an epic fail. they think every step they take toward okay, let's delay this or let's do that, undermines the people who they need to have get on and sign up. so they don't like that. i think they'll have to do it. i think we'll come up with another word for delay. extend. >> but you know, the hhs secretary sebelius today made the point look, you know, if you were to do this whatever we call it, it has ramifications for insurers, for example, that any extension has consequences and we have to sort of work through that. and i think that's a legitimate point. >> she's out selling obama care, kathleen sebelius.
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she was in phoenix yesterday. i'll play a clip of what she said responding to those who want her to be fired. >> the majority of people calling for me to resign i would say are people who i don't work for, and who do not want this program to work in the first place. my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that. >> because the critics are saying she works for the american people. she doesn't just work for the president of the united states. >> she does, but she needs to be careful because her own credibility's at stake here. as a former governor she knows what it's like to implement programs. she doesn't work for the congress but congress does have a legitimate oversight role, whether a republican controlled house or democrat controlled senate. this is their job to oversee the administration, to make sure laws are being properly implemented. what she said in the earlier bite, that you know, we're trying to get this up and running, we were rushed, they had almost three years, and the other party's trying to defund it.
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even in the government shutdown, none of the money for obama care was affected. so that statement just doesn't fly. the republican critics will only increase the volume if she's giving answers that don't match the facts. >> here's what she has going for her. that is even as a candidate, it wasn't that barack obama wouldn't throw someone under the bus. it was that he wouldn't do it when someone else was trying to force his hand. so until you get ten senators or -- who privately or publicly go you know what, it's really time someone is held responsible for this, i don't see at this moment when he's under pressure, particularly from the opposite party to do something, he tends to go -- >> when he's under pressure from his own party, that's different. >> you know what, a little bit of contrition in this situation would go a long way. what we haven't heard is you know what, we're embarrassed by this, i'm really sorry this occurred, not from the contractors, not from kathleen sebelius. you don't have to fall on your sword and say we're incompetent,
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because that's clearly not what they would say, but a little bit of contrition would be we really apologize to the millions of people out there who are trying to get on. >> let's switch gears to another political story we're watching. the former secretary of state hillary clinton. she's out there very visible the last few days, three major speeches, the university of buffalo, colgate university, center for american progress here in washington. let me play a little clip of her. >> politicians choose scorched earth over common ground, families have felt the consequences. we are careening from crisis to crisis instead of having a plan, bringing people to that plan, focusing on common sense solutions and being relentless in driving toward them. >> candy, she getting ready for something? >> the high road is so much easier when you're outside the beltway. listen, the minute that she
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definitively convinces people without having to say so herself that she's running for president, her poll numbers go down. yes, i think she's more correctly keeping her options open. i'm still in that camp that she's not completely sure. i'm going to hang on to that. but i think she's not completely sure but she's sure enough that she might that she's out there making these speeches. >> i love the professional outsiderism. this occurs in a nanosecond and in fact, people who are inside washington like ted cruz are professional outsiders. ronald reagan was also. this sort of looking at washington from afar, having been gone for like ten minutes, looking at washington from afar and saying oh, my god, look at how they can't get along, isn't this terrible -- >> she sounds like a grownup but look at our polling. people hate the congress. the president is under 50%. she sounds like an adult. why can't we sit down and work this out and stop screaming at each other. when she announces she's in a completely different environment but right now, that's what she
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should sound like. >> i always say i believe she will run for the democratic presidential nomination unless, unless she's not healthy. she had a blood clot in her head not that long ago. she's completely recovered and is strong and healthy. i believe she will run for president of the united states. that's just me. guys, thanks very much. candy, a big show coming up sunday morning, right? >> i do. talking a little about the nsa and tapping the phone calls of our allies with mike rogers, house chair. we're also going to kind of get beyond the reboot and say how is this going to change your relationship with the family doctor. will anybody ever hang their shingle out again. >> zeke emanuel will join you as well, the brother of rahm. when we come back, we have dramatic new details coming into "the situation room" of those final moments before a beloved math teacher was murdered allegedly by her own student. plus, is another american
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the family of a student who allegedly murdered his teacher speaking out now for the first time about his past. you will find out what his uncle is telling us, stay with us.
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we're now learning more about those final moments before a beloved high school teacher was murdered allegedly by a student when he was asked to stay after class. don lemon is joining us from danvers, massachusetts outside of boston. so what are we hearing now from the suspect's family? >> reporter: you know that uncle is obviously shocked and the uncle, you know, sort of alluded
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to the possibility, everyone is looking for a reason here, but he sort of alluded to the possibility that recent family tensions may have led this young man to do this. as well as sources close to the investigation, they say they are looking at that as well. the students are back at danvers high school. >> i'm just trying to return to some sense of normalcy. >> reporter: the school's flag at half staff and pink ribbons on the trees reminders that things are still far from normal. >> i don't know why someone would do this to someone so nice. >> reporter: still more questions than answers as to what made 14-year-old philip chism allegedly kill his math teacher, colleen ritzer, with a box cutter tuesday and dump her body in the woods behind the school's athletic field. he then went to this theater to see "blue jasmine." chism's uncle in tennessee among those who can't understand why. >> this is the furthest thing from reality for me to believe that philip could, you know, get entangled in something like this. >> reporter: his uncle told cnn
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that chism's parents are separated. chism's father, a former military man, is now living in florida. the question is, could trouble at home be one of the reasons behind his alleged attack? >> an investigation is a broad and painstaking effort. any and all information that's pertinent and relevant to proving our case is taken into consideration. >> reporter: would something like that be relevant? >> it could be. >> reporter: freshman student cambria sat near chism in ritzer's math class. she said he was a good student but something was different about his behavior on tuesday. >> he was a little bit more quiet than usual. like he had his earbuds on, he was drawing, he wasn't doing math, he wasn't paying attention. >> reporter: she says ritzer asked chism to stay after class to help him with what he missed, telling cnn's pam brown that she walked by the classroom after school and saw the two of them together.
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>> what did you see in the classroom at 3:15? >> i saw miss ritzer standing at her desk computer smiling at me, then i saw philip slouching in his chair staring at me when i walked by. >> reporter: just 15 minutes later, according to sources close to the investigation, colleen ritzer was brutally killed in the school's second floor bathroom. >> if i walked by there 15 minutes later, what could have happened? if i witnessed that, like what could i have done. >> reporter: here's what sources close to the investigation are telling us. they are telling us that there is nothing in his past, in this young man's past, that would lead them to believe that he was capable of doing this, or would lead them to believe that he would even do this. he didn't have bad grades and they are also saying that that whole theory about him having some sort of crush on her, they don't believe that that's a possibility as well. they are saying to us that it is a blind alley, wolf. but we have also learned, too,
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that her wake will be held on sunday and her funeral will be held on monday, both in andover. >> what a sad story. don lemon on the scene for us, thanks for that report. here's a look at some of the other stories we're monitoring right now in "the situation room." demolition is under way at the sandy hook elementary school almost one year since one of the worst school shootings in this country's history. the process is expected to be completed by the time of the december 14th anniversary. 20 children, six adults were killed in that massacre. the transportation department is fining united airlines $1.1 million for lengthy tarmac delays at chicago o'hare international airport last year. that's the largest fine assessed since the rule limiting long tarmac delays first took effect in 2010. united says it's committed to complying with the regulations and continues to improve its procedures. the heavy metal band
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metallica plans to play a concert at antarctica, part of a december promotional stunt sponsored by coca cola where fans can enter a contest for a chance to attend. no word on whether the band will play its classic hit, "trapped under ice." just ahead, the mystery on the high seas. after two americans are taken by pirates, conflicting accounts of where they and their ship may be. and a move to make marijuana almost legal in a major american city you might not believe the name of that city. you have to see the new baby photos from britain's royal family. oil gushing out of pipe sfx: birds chirping.
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to get your complimentary q&a book, with information from experts on your condition. he was a matted messiley in a small cage. ng day. so that was our first task, was getting him to wellness. without angie's list, i don't know if we could have found all the services we needed for our riley. from contractors and doctors to dog sitters and landscapers, you can find it all on angie's list. we found riley at the shelter, and found everything he needed at angie's list. join today at getting some new family photos of the royal baby, prince george, from his christening. you'll see them when we come back.
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another american city on the verge of decriminalizing marijuana. guess what? this time right here in the nation's capital. let's bring in our regulation correspondent renee marsh. >> marijuana, as you know, still illegal under federal law, and a criminal offense in d.c., but council members in the nation's capital are pushing for leniency, for people caught with it. right now possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in the district means six months in jail and a $1,000 penalty but if tommy wells and marion berry have it their way, punishment would be reduced to a $25 to $100 time with no jail time. mayor vincent gray supports the proposal. decriminalizing the drug in the federal government's backyard, well, i spoke with one of the councilmen who is proposing just that. take a listen.
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so that means, i have marijuana, i'm steps away from the capitol, and if i'm caught with marijuana, my punishment could be the equivalent of a parking ticket or a traffic ticket? >> that's right. what we've found, in d.c. in particular is an issue of social justice. it's really an issue of social justice, where 9 on% of the arrests in washington, d.c. are african-americans for criminal possession of marijuana, when we're a city only about 48%, 49% african-american. the over-criminalization of african-american youth is so much due to criminalization. that just does not make sense. >> the council is expected to vote on the proposal by the end of next month. councilman wells says he has support from most of his council
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members, but a 10-year-old testified before the council pleading with them not to decriminalize marijuana, saying it is very popular in his neighborhood. he didn't want to be subjected to the smell of weed in his apartment building. that's what he thought would be the end result if they do indeed follow through with this proposal. >> we'll see what happens in the nation's capital, how the federal government may respond. >> not only that, it creates a tricky situation. we have lots of federal land here, so you cross the street, you may get that $25 tickets, but if you do the same thing across the street on federal property, it would be a different story. >> renee, thanks for that report. snide jeeria says it's searching for a u.s. flagship stormed by pirates, who kidnapped the captain. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr joins us. you've been working the story.
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what is 9 latest? >> reporter: wolf, murky still. no word on the fate of the americans who were kidnapped. as for the ship, murky statements out of the nigeria. some say they don't know where the ship is, from the government spokesman. some suggesting it may be in an eastern port. u.s. officials telling us they have good reason to believe the ship is in port, but will not say where. security concerns, of course, still about the crew in nigeria. the key issue, of course, is not the location of the ship, but the location of the two americans that have been taken captive, wolf. >> will the u.s. consider a rescue operation? >> reporter: this is very delicate business, of course. there's no real word about this. it would be tough to talk about publicly. in past cases, of course, insurance companies, the owners of the ships that have been involved in pirate attacks have sought -- come to private agreements, if you will, paying
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ransom by all accounts. no public word about whether that is going on in this case, and still u.s. government officials say there is no official role for the u.s. to play, no role for the obama administration. but wolf, i have to tell you, all of this is being kept very quiet. wolf? i want barbara starr, appreciate it very much. coming up, you saw people attempting to sign up for obama care without much success yesterday. have they made any progress 24 hours later? wee have an update on what is going on. in our next hour, previously sealed documents released today. our own tom foreman and jeffrey toobin, they covered it extensively back in the late '90s. they're here in "the situation room." we're going to break down the new information that was just released. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time.
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in our next hour, recently released documents on the jon be nay ramsey case. we'll break down the new information when we come back. [ horn honks ]
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hazami was able to purchase insurance. so as far as the other two have not been able to get the insurance. we spoke to the white house today for a response to our segment. they point out that thousands of people across the country have already enrolled in obama care and have done so successfully. the number of application so far, they say 700,000. not clear how many have purchased insurance of those 700,000, but the white house says it believes most people will buy insurance closer to the deadline. where only 1233% of the eventual enrollment. happening now, hillary clinton on stage this hour, and on a whirl went speaking tour. is it proof she's warming up for another presidential campaign. a former spy they've gets on a train and forgets to be
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stealthy. secret documents released. who killed the 6-year-old beauty convene jonbenet ramsey. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now hillary clinton is throwing owl new fuel out there on will she run speculation. the former secretary of state is giving her third speech this week raising her profile higher than in quite a while. her supporters are hanging on every word, listening for clues. and you can bet her would-be opponents are listening closely as well. cnn's erin mcpike is in "the situation room." she's been listening to a lot of the speeches, speculation. >> of course she's also said that she wants to stay active and contribute her ideas to the national debate.
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so you can expect this kind of hype and speculation will keep going for at least the next year. >> hello, buffalo. >> reporter: with three speeches in three days, it's starting to look and feel like another campaign for hillary clinton. >> to make the case over and over and over again. >> is she getting her campaign war chest ready? well, liberal billionaire george soros is jumping on the draft hilly bandwagon. she's be a cochair of the pac's finances. a big get for a presidential candidate who could be tested by the liberal left. on thursday she delivered policy prescriptions and a woveny liberal gathering. >> if there is going to be anybody who can even give her a tough time, it would be somebody coming from more of a fringe of the party -- kind of a tangent, either a generational argument or pop you list argument. >> reporter: on wednesday, a
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heckler over her black mark. democrats and republicans align say it could be her biggest weakness. >> he has a vision for the commonwealth. last weekend she was stumping for one of her best friends, terry mcauliffe. it may seem like a lot for a whom who wanted down time, but she had to scrap plans for a series of high-profile policy, when the debate over syria dominated news. >> i'm not as interested in what the candidate looks like, as what the candidate stands for, and what the candidate -- really believes needs to be the agenda for america's future. >> reporter: does she need to
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work with clinton fatigue? >> maybe she -- but she has, i think engaged more politically than most people expected this year. >> now, wolf, we always like to try to find out if these speeches are paid or unpaid to see what kind of tea leaves we can read. i understand from clinton's spokesman she didn't receive any awards for these speeches, but we do know at least from the university of buffalo, she did get some kind of compensation, about you that apparently will go to the clinton foundation for some charities. >> erin mcpike watching hillary clinton. i suspect we'll all by watching hillary clinton, as we've been doing for many, many years. the man who ones ran america's secret surveillance program, has gotten a taste of what it's like to be the target of an eavesdropper. michael hayden's conversation wound up being tweeted around the world. brian todd spoke with the eavesdr eavesdropper. tell our viewers what happened. >> wolf, as you mentioned, the
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ironier, the man who led the eavesdropping program, getting the tables turned on him. now it's the political dish of the day. tom matsy said he was is the sitting on the extra infrom d.c. to new york, listening for an hour and 20 minutes to a man speaking brashly on his cell phone. >> i didn't like what he was doing. >> it wasn't just any passenger. it was michael hayden, speaking to reporters, giving his take on the nsa spying scandal, insisting, matsy says, he be referred to as a former senior administration official. that's what matsy, a former progressive activist started live tweeting what he overheard. quote, hayden was, blacking about rendition, and giving reporters disparaging quotes about administration. remember, just remember as former senior admiy, aren't you throwing him under the bus with
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that one? i want i thought it was the wrong thing to do for an officials of his stature, to not take accountability for them. >> they weren't in the quiet car, and mattzie claims he wasn't trying to muffle the session signature. he says hayden was, quote, the loud guy on the plane. in a statement to cnn, hayden, a contributor said i didn't criticize the president. i said these are difficult issues. i said i had political guidance that limited the things that i did as director of nsi. mattzie admits his bias. hayden was appointed by george w. bush, but also served in the obama administration. you'll be accused of partisan mudslinging. >> if some people are saying i'm doing partisan mudslinging, i think they would need to
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question, first, whether or not i'm saying anything that's untrue, but all of my comments that i made on twitter and subsequently are accurate. >> once? hayden's office apparently noticed matzzie, matsy tweeted the jig is up. they had a pleasant conversation and posed for a picture. he says at that point hayden offered to do an interview with him, but he told hayden he was not a journalist. wolf? what specifically did hayden say that supposedly disparaged the obama administration. >> because he said he, hayden, had told the president early on that the president's own blackberry could be vulnerable to that, so what do they think the u.s. was doing to other leaders. that's among the topics he said he heard hayden discuss. >> should have been on the quiet car. all right. brian, thanks very much. coming up, murder mystery
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the air force academy now says it's decided to make the words "so help me god" optional. it's billed as a move to allow auld cadets and airmen to be true to their beliefs about religion or their lack of belief. more news in "the situation room." waffle bars... fancy robes... seems every hotel has something to love... so join the loyalty program that lets you earn free nights in any of them. plus, for a limited time, members
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everybody in the country seemed on the edge of their seeds. for you they released just a few pages that give us a tiny hint of what they were thinks. >> the new adopts only add to the mystery of what happened to 6-year-old jonbenet ramsey, found dead in her home the day after christmas. the grand jury said both of the girl's parents did unlawfully, knowingly recklessly and feloniously permit a child to be placed in the situation which posed a threat of injury, which resulted in the death of jonbenet. furthermore the documents accuse each parent of helping someone suspected of the crime to avoid arrest. whether that means they helped each other or another is unclear. the ramseys insisted -- >> there is a killer on the loose. if i were a resident of boulder,
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i would tell mea friends to keep -- -- keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there. >> reporter: although at first the murder looked like a botched kidnapping, the ramseys were suspected. the daughter was struck on the head and strangled with a thin piece of cord. a ransom note found inside the house contained little known details of the family's finances and history and state investigators said they thought it was in patsy's handwriting. tension between investigators and the family rose rapidly. john ramsey would sect -- >> why did they think it was you? >> because the police always go after the parents. we understood that. >> reporter: but prosecutors would no-go after them, evening
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though the grand jury parent wanted to. >> we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges. >> reporter: five years ago authorities took the unusual step of clearing john and patsy ramsey, even though she had already died of cancer and he had moved away. john ramsey's attorneys opposed release, saying it's a partial release, they're all out there, and give us a chance to rebut it. but in the end, these papers really changed nothing, because there's still no clear answer to the question -- who killed jonbenet ramsey? >> stand by, i want to bring jeffrey toobin into the -- like tom, you covered this as well in the late 1990s, spent a lot of time in colorado. first of all, why did they relegality them? >> there's a colorado law that says actions of the grand jury,
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not necessarily -- but actual absences, the grand jury's take should be made public. that's why we got this very partial release of the pages of the grand jury that is that the grand jury had been voted, but no indied is official, and we now know that alex hunter refused to sign it on the ground that there was not enough evidence. i think history that is vindicated his decision. >> there are a whole bunch more pages. why only four, jeffrey? i want because those are the only pages that actually indicate the access taken by the grand jury. the rest of it are more the deliberations, and as i understand it, it is still up in the air whether those will ever be released to the public. >> the suggestion from the grand jury, tom, is there was some
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other person who may have been involved, that the ramseys were either covering up foror assisting. that's the implication. >> yes, that is one way to read them. but you can also read it to say this was a second layer of implication, that they were saying if you're john ramsey, we think you helped cover up for patsy. if you're patsy ramsey, we think you helped cover up for john ramsey, but it's unclear. >> the documents that were released today, did that change anything? >> not a thing. not a thing. in a way it's sort of unfair to the ramseys. you can see why they wanted this kept secret. here we see the grand jury wanted to indict them, but it's important to remember this grand jury did not have the dna evidence in front of it, the technology had not been per
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effected yet. that technology allowed the later district attorney in 2008 to clear them. so this grant that wanted to act didn't have all the evidence that is now available. now it's just as big a mystery as ever -- who did this if. >> that dna evidence insisted, whoever did the murder, they did an autopsy, they said she was sexually assaulted. whoever did the murder was not related, was not a blood relative, because the dna was so different. is that right? >> correct. that's right, though possibly sexually assaulted. that was never established with certainty. remember a few years ago there was that lunatic john mark karr who confessed to being involved. he just turned out to be a crazy person, but this remains the possibility that there could be a cold hit. there could be someone arrested
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somewhere whose dna matches the dna found at the scene. so it remains an open case, but one that could still be solved. >> tom, i know you want to weigh in. >> tell me if i'm wrong. here's the other part that's tricky. even though they had the dna exonerated the family, this was one of the issues all along. the question was, until you have a suspect, until you know where that dna came from, it doesn't necessarily prove that somebody else committed the murder, either. that still doesn't answer the question, was there really someone else? i want i think it almost answers that question. remember, the d.a. in 2008 went out of the way to say, you know, this isn't simply that we are leave the question open. we are exonerating the ramseys. i think as much as we in the news media went after them, and
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look, they were obvious suspects from day one, i think the status quo, the current version of the evident is they did not do it. i think that's really what we have to stick with at this point. as for who did -- >> meanwhile, the killer is still on the loose. thank you very much. just ahead, a legendary nfl quarterback explaining why he was afraid for the first time in years. and traveling with lebron james, our own rachel nichols, she is here to talk about that, her new program "unguarded." it debuts tonight, right here on cnn. helicopters buzzing, and truck engine humming. sfx: birds chirping sfx: birds chirping thnot at the rings.looking. i can feel them looking at my thick, flaky red skin.
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sports fans, get ready. rachel nichols is next. her new program, by the way, debuts later tonight on cnn. if you have some questions for rachel, this is what you do.
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tweet them to us right now, use the #sitroom. rach rachel, stand by. sfx: oil gushing out of pipe. sfx: birds chirping.
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including love and happiness. benjamin moore. for everything that matters. so there appears to be more urgency over the controversy of the redskins' nickname. let's talk with that of rachel. "unguarded" debuts later tonight, 10:30 eastern only here on cnn. i want to get to the redskins in a mom, but first a clip from the new show tonight. you're talking to lebron james, the nba season, as you know, starts this week. here's the clip. [ chanting ] >> if i toll a 10-year-old lebron james that you would end up going to china more often than a place closer to ohio, like nebraska or kansas? >> he probably would have told
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you i'm not leaving akron. >> reporter: how adventurous are you with trying new food? >> i'm not adventurous at all. i'm not. i've never been, but i do use chopsticks. >> what is something you can tell us that we don't know? >> i use chopsticks. i mean, that's one. ♪ all right. >> got to protect those shrimp, right, wolf? >> unbelievable. tell us about lebron. what did you learn in a nutshell about this mvp? >> well, two things. first of all, the seas of people that greet him everywhere he goes, tens of thousands in the streets. so it really speaks to the universality of sports and
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basketball, and you can have a group of people with nothing in common, with a group of people from lebron is from, in akron, ohio. yet they all love basketball, being in this moment with him. what we also learned from big in these environment, you saw that inside moment with him eating lunch. we had a bunch of those, he is, in some ways, for all of this fanfare, a businessman overseas in china, halfway around the world, missing his kids. he talks about how he messes up the time difference and makes his wife annoyed, because he calls at 2:00 in the morning. not sure exactly what to eat sometimes. that's what we're trying to do on "unguarded" the candid, more unguarded side of some of these athletes, and whether you like sports or not, these are the people that people are fascinated about, and we're going to show you that. >> i can't way to see it. let's talk about the washington redskins. you know the nfl will be meeting with some native-american
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groups, a lot of pressure on dan snyder of the washington redskins to changed name. what do you think? >> well, this meeting was set a while ago in terms of the nfl promising to meet with the oneida nation. now it appears that next wednesday, this meeting will happen. when you spiel with people from the oneida nation, we're going to have the director of the smithsonian american indian museum. we spoke to him earlier in the week as well, saying that all they want to do is be heard. they feel if they get in a room with commissioner goodell, and they state their case, they think their case makes so much sense it will be hard to ignore them. we'll have to see what happens in this meeting after wednesday. another subject, brett favre, the former green bay packer quarterback, 44 years old, now acknowledges that all those hits he took, the
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concussions, he's suffering from some significant memory loss. what do you make of this? >> he says he doesn't remember some of his daughter's soccer games, doesn't remember that her daughter played soccer, so the question is, is this the beginning of something more significant for brett favre, or is this just a bit of a lapse. ? no do you that he got hit in the head a lot of. i was on the sidelines for more of his games than many other people. he had the mentality of hey, slap a bain aid on it and get back out on the field. that's what made hem a great quarterback, so respected. he was willing to play under any conditions. however, what we might be seeing the start of, and we don't know, is that attitude, will it make him had problems later in life? >> so many of these nfl players are suffering right now years after they retired. they're suffering. rachel, we'll be watching your show "unguarded" tonight. every week we're looking forward
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to it. a little sport he at cnn is just what we need. we appreciate it. good luck with the new show. 10:30 p.m. eastern. >> thank you so much. remember, you can always follow us on twitter, tweet me avmt wolfblitzer. thanks for much whatting. have a great weekend. "crossfire" starts right now. tonight on "crossfire", annoying our friends by trying to find our enemies. >> trust needs to be rebuilt. >> everyone spies on everybody. that's just a fact. on the left, stephanie cutter. on the right, s.e.cupp. national security or too much snooping? tonight on "crossfire."