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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  June 1, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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>> ed lavandera, thank you so much for your insight. i want you to stand by. we're getting close to the top of the hour. we're going to reskpet get and back to you. hello once again, i'm dana bash in for fredericka whitfield. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. sergeant bowe bergdahl's parents just spoke to the media in boise, idaho, a day after he was released by militants in afghanistan. and his mother had this message for her son. >> i imagine you are more patient and compassionate than ever. you are free. freedom is yours. i will see you soon, my beloved son. i love you, bowe. >> now, sergeant bergdahl arrived in germany today at the landstuhl medical center. there is no word on his condition, but defense secretary chuck hagel said today the
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rescue operation essentially saved bergdahl's life. u.s. special forces recovered him yesterday in a swap negotiated by the government of qatar in exchange five guantanamo bay detainees were released. now, the whole state of idaho is celebrating, but no city is happier than sergeant bergdahl's hometown of hailey, idaho. and nick valencia is on his way to his hometown right now. nick, you're on the phone with us. you've talked to a close family friend who is there waiting for him to come home. what have you heard? >> reporter: dana, we actually just got to hailey right now, and we're driving down main street. and every tree along main street has a yellow ribbon or balloons to commemorate their hometown hero, bowe bergdahl, who was just released from captivity after nearly five years. we're looking at signs right now that say "bowe is free at last" with a picture of the army sergeant.
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it is an emotional day here, especially for those who have committed themselves to keeping this story in the media. there was a group called bring bowe back. stephanie o'neill is one of co-. i spoke to her by phone today. she described to me the mood here and the overwhelming joy and elation that the community felt when they heard the news that bergdahl had been released from captivity. in 2009, they began to put up these yellow ribbons and balloons to show support. they said stephanie o'neill did tell me, though, that these last years have been quite difficult for those who were maintaining hope. some lost hope at some moments along the last almost five years. they said, though, that it was bowe and janney bergdahl, the parents of bowe bergdahl, that really had this unwavered hope and belief that their son would one day come back. i want to share with you a story
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that stephanie o'neill told me about the bible that bowe left behind with his father before being deployed overseas to combat. he said that he left a bible with his father. and when there was news that bowe had been taken captive by the taliban, bowe's father opened up that bible, and it was bo bookmarked on a page of psalm 12:5. that psalm, it reads, in part, i will set him free, set him in the safety for which he longs. and that is part of a plaque. there's plants that were -- trees that were planted, dana, for every year that bowe was in captivity. and it's really sort of a special place for those here in this community. it's a place where people go to pray and have gone in the past to pray for bowe's safe return. and that plaque of the psalm 12:5 when the father opened up that bible and first opened up that bible that bowe left behind, it was revealed to psalm
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12:5, and there's a plaque there where those trees are planted to sort of commemorate that sentiment of one day bowe would return safely back to hailey, idaho. it's a day that this community of about 7,000 or 8,000 people, small town, about three hours outside of boise, idaho, it's a day that so many here have waited for, and just judging by the signs that we see in every window in main street, it's a very, very happy day for those here in hailey, idaho. dana? >> i'm sure it is, nick. what a way to describe coming into main street in that small town there, and look forward to your reports as you begin to talk to people face to face. thank you so much, nick. and the hospital in germany where sergeant bergdahl is being treated is the largest american hospital outside the united states. it's known for treating serious war injuries from the iraq and afghanistan wars. our senior international correspondent nic robertson is outside the hospital with more. >> reporter: sergeant bergdahl
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arrived here at the landstuhl medical center about 25 hours after he was handed over by his taliban captors to u.s. special forces. he was able to walk onto the helicopter. he spent only a small amount of time at the big bagram military base inside afghanistan before being transferred here. the staff here say they are sympathetic to everything that he's been through, that they are sensitive to it, that they will work at a pace of reintegration for him that is suitable for him. what is unclear is how long he will stay here. doctors have been given essentially by u.s. secretary of defense, chuck hagel, as much time as they need. he has said that they should be allowed to do the tests, to talk to sergeant bergdahl to figure out his mental and his physical condition. they should be given time to do that. the priority, they say, is to make sure that he is well, that he is in good health and also reunite him with his family. the doctors here have a lot of experience of treating war wounded. more than 70,000 people have
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been through this facility according to defense officials from the wars in iraq and afghanistan, u.s. service men and women and their allies have all passed through this hospital. sergeant bergdahl's case, a different one. he has been locked up with the enemy, with the taliban, for five years. no one can really be sure of the toll that's taken on him, what he's been put through. was he potentially threatened with death on many occasions? what are the psychological stresses? what are the psychological strains? indications are perhaps he is having trouble speaking english. the doctors here say they're going to make their assessment, be sympathetic to his condition, allow him to do it at a pace that he wants to do. how long he'll be here, really that just isn't clear yet. nic robertson, cnn, landstuhl medical facility, germany. now, the circumstances of bowe bergdahl's release are being criticized by some as a break in u.s. policy of not
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negotiating with terrorists. but national security adviser susan rice told our candy crowley on cnn's state of the union that it does maintain aother important policy, leave no soldier behind. >> it's very important for folks to understand, if we got into a situation where we said, you know, because of who has captured an american soldier on the battlefield, we will leave that person behind. we would be in a whole new era for the safety of our personnel and for the nature of our commitment to our men and women in uniform. so because it was the taliban that had him did not mean that we had any less of an obligation to bring him back. >> our ed lavandera is back with us, as he saw the bergdahls speak just in the last hour. ed, we all watched the emotion, the understandable emotion of both of sergeant bergdahl's parents. let's listen to part of that press conference. >> we're talking like this because we haven't talked to bowe yet.
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we haven't called him on the phone. although you all know we have the capability to do that with satellite technology. there's reason for that, and that's because bowe has been gone so long, that it's going to be very difficult to come back. it's like a diver going deep on a dive and has to stage back up through recompression to get the nitrogen bubbles out of his system. if he comes up too fast, it could kill him. we're pretty resilient, danny pointed out. bowe is still very resilient. he's passed through all the checkpoints with flying colors. but this is very well organized. >> and ed, look, as a mother of a son, i can't even imagine having the restraint to not pick up the phone and call your son after not being able to do it
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for five years and finally being able to do so. but, you know, again, knowing his parents the way you do, it speaks to their stoicism and their strength. >> reporter: and the self-discipline to trust in what is going on around them. remember, this is a family that gave very few interviews during the course of bowe bergdahl's captivity, many ups and downs especially in the last few years as talks with the taliban had gone good days -- it started, there were signs and they were feeling hopeful, and all of a sudden the talks would fall apart. that roller-coaster ride happened repeatedly over the last few years. but they remained steadfast in the way they wanted to handle this. and that was a deliberate choice and one that they stuck with through the end. so it also speaks to their discipline in many ways as well. >> sure does. ed lavandera doing yeoman's work out there knows this family like
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no one else at our network. and we look forward to your reports as this continues and as they finally do get to lay eyes on their son. thank you so much, ed. and coming up, just when you look at this, what's it like? we'll talk to a "new york times" reporter who was taken by the taliban, held in afghanistan for nearly a year. but first, a new york woman experienced firsthand what people go through when a family member is in the hospital for heart problems. this week's "cnn's hero" co-founded a group, harboring hearts, that provides a haven where family members can stay while loved ones are in new york for treatment. >> my whole life. i can't do what most people can do. i can't go on sleepovers. i can't play football. >> brandon was 5 weeks old when he got his heart transplant.
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guantanamo bay detainees. so the question is just how does one survive captivity and live to tell about it? alexandra field is with us live from new york. and alexandra, you've spoken with a reporter who faced the same fate. >> right. so few of us can understand what it is that sergeant bergdahl has been through and what it is he's going through right now. but i did speak to a journalist who used to be with "the new york times." he himself was taken by the taliban. he talked to me about what he did to survive day after day and how he really felt when he learned that he was finally coming home. >> reporter: sergeant bowe bergdahl somehow made it through nearly five years of captivity. now there are questions about what the soldier saw. >> psychologically, there will be a long debrief. they're going to want intelligence, who held him. i don't think he's going to know that much. i was kept with very young guards most of the time and didn't meet senior commanders that often. >> reporter: a former "new york times" journalist was held captive by the taliban for seven
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months, taken from afghanistan in 2008 and then held in tribal regions of pakistan until he managed to escape. can you give us any sort of glimpse into any part of what he might be feeling right now? >> he doesn't believe it's real. he's probably afraid to believe it's real. >> reporter: how long did that last for you? >> through the first several days, went on for weeks. it's just a natural thing. and a lot of people say oh, my gosh, it's going to be so difficult for him to return. this is the most wonderful day in his life. >> reporter: over the years he says bergdahl likely found specific ways to manage and cope. that's what he did during his own captivity. >> he somehow, you know, created these daily routines that kept him sane and gave him hope. i prayed a lot. i'm sure he did as well. >> reporter: the families of those missing abroad learned to hold to hope, too. american above levinson disappeared from kish island, iran, seven years ago. >> i'm not in very good health. >> reporter: last year his family publicly acknowledged that the former fbi agent had had been working for the cia despite u.s. officials having
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denied he was working for the government when he disappeared. news of bergdahl's release has renewed the family's optimism. >> we're ecstatic because this is a momentous occasion. at the same time, we're also encouraged because it looks like the obama administration is taking the right steps and doing what is necessary to bring people who have served our country home. my father has served our country for almost three decades. and i think that whatever needs to be done to bring him home should be done. >> reporter: dav levinson remains worried about his father's health. no one has heard from levinson since his family received this video in 2010. >> i am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine. >> reporter: declining health is one reason why u.s. officials say they moved swiftly to secure bergdahl's freedom when they got the opportunity. the sergeant hasn't been seen in photos since his release. >> i mean, this is going to affect him, but i'm just -- people should realize that just -- he's so thrilled to be home right now. it's so much better to be home than to still be going through this.
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and it's hard to explain. i just had the same question asked me all the time. was it hard to come home? it was wonderful to come home. >> david says he has been in touch with the bergdahls since they learned about his son's relief. he described their emotion with the word "relief." we saw it on their faces during the press conference. as for sergeant bergdahl himself, we know very little about his condition right now. but rhode says whatever kind of recovery work that lies ahead, the fact that he was able to survive the last five years in captivity is truly the only testament this man's strength that we really need. dana? >> no question about that. and your story really does underscore that, of course, it is men and women in uniform who are in danger of being held captive, but it's also our fellow journalists as well in these war-torn areas. so thank you so much for that report, alexandra. and coming up, a tragic update from mt. rainier. six climbers were last heard from several days ago when they reported bad weather moving in. what if a photo were more than a memory?
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all seven people on board a private jet were killed in a fiery crash in boston last night. among the dead, louis katz, the new co-owner of "the philadelphia inquirer" and "the philadelphia daily news" and officials say the plane
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apparently caught fire and crashed. photos appearing on social media purporting to be the crash site show flames and smoke. and starting today, same-sex couples in illinois can legally marry. illinois is now the 16th state to recognize gay marriage. the governor signed the bill into law in november, but it takes effect now. several county clerks offices will open today to issue licenses. and in the pacific northwest, a tragic ending for six climbers on an expedition to mt. rainier in washington state. hanna kim from our affiliate has the story. >> reporter: this is the treacherous terrain of mt. rainier where six climbers are believed to be buried. you can see a chinook helicopter hovering in this picture. this afternoon, aerial crews spotted climbing and camping equipment littered over a debris field but no bodies. rescuers say the climbers fell 3,000 feet. >> basically, this search has come to a very tragic end. it's not viable that anybody
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would survive. >> reporter: on monday, four climbers and two experienced guides with alpine ascents international took off for a five-day climb of liberty ridge. >> it is one of the most dangerous areas in the park. >> reporter: it's covered in snow, ice and jagged rocks. the steepness is up to 50 degrees. alpine ascent's website says climbers have to carry 50-plus pounds of equipment, climbing for up to eight hours a day. on wednesday evening, the guides checked in by satellite phones saying they were okay, but weather was coming in. the group expected back friday was never heard from again. employees at alpine ascents are reeling from the loss. >> we're all devastated. i mean, watching, you know, climbers take a fall, get injured, get killed. i mean, it's always a reminder of, you know, how difficult the sport can be. >> reporter: up until today, helicopter crews were getting beacon signals from the climbers. this was a jblm crew training earlier this week for just this kind of emergency. >> it's important that we look for the cues of shifting weather
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patterns while we're on the mountain. the weather changes very rapidly on mt. rainier. >> reporter: they analyze the dangers, sending crews down when possible, but in this case rescuers say it's too dangerous for ground crews. >> hanna kim from our affiliate kcpq in washington, thank you. and it's the news they've waited for for nearly five years. their son, sergeant bowe bergdahl, has been released by his taliban captors. and just minutes ago, his parents delivered a message to their son. their moving words up next. ♪
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just a short time ago, the parents of sergeant bowe bergdahl, the last american soldier held captive from the war in iraq and afghanistan, spoke to reporters in boise, idaho. they were overwhelmed with emotion as they spoke, saying
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they love their son, and they would not leave him behind. >> thank you so much. please forgive me if i do end up reading this. i'm going to try not to, but i probably will. today i'm going to address my son. i love you, bowe. i'm so very proud of you. and, of course, all of your very large family would also like me to tell you that they love you also. and are also very proud of you. we've been working very, very hard for your release these last five years along with the whole of our government, even other governments, and most especially, of course, qatar. never losing hope in you or for you. right now so many people are in place to assist you in all the aspects of your recovery to full health. trust them. it's okay and give yourself all of the time you need to recover
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and decompress. there is no hurry. you have your life ahead of you. we continue in our minute-by-minute prayers for you as you go through this healing process, and we praise god for your freedom. i think you may be very surprised at the number of people who have gathered you into their hearts, at home in the valley, here all over idaho, across the country, and around the world. you have very amazing support system among all of these people. i'm so looking forward to seeing your face after these last 5 1/2 years. long, long years. and to give you a great big bear hug and holding you in my arms again, never wanting to let you go. our family, your family, is strong in faith and hope. you are from a strong tribe. you are even stronger now. five years is a seemingly endless long time, but you've
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made it. i imagine you are more patient and compassionate than ever. you are free. freedom is yours. i will see you soon, my beloved son. i love you, bowe. >> i'd like to start in the back row and just go name by name by name of all of the people who have supported us from the beginning of this. and then we can go across the country and then across the world, and that would be appropriate. so unfortunately, we don't have the time or the music will start playing and we have to leave. we're talking like this because we haven't talked to bowe yet. we haven't called him on the phone. although you all know we have the capability to do that with
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satellite technology. there's reason for that, and that's because bowe has been gone so long that it's going to be very difficult to come back. it's like a diver going deep on a dive and has to stage back up through recompression to get the nitrogen bubbles out of his system. if he comes up too fast, it could kill him. now, we're pretty resilient, jani pointed out, bowe is still very resilient. he's passed through all the checkpoints with flying colors. but this is very well organized. as you can see by the gentleman on the end of the row there, doc poppin, he's our psychologist. he is one of the men running this recovery and reintegration. and we've known doc for how long? four, five -- the first year,
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the first summer, i think. so going all the way back there, we've had hthis kind of support behind us. and we're proud of that. we were always content with that, and it's so big and includes so many people that there's no way we can thank them all. so if we did, we would miss people, and then we'd feel guilty, and we don't want to do that. so bowe, let me say to you, let me start over again now that i've explained the context of this. bowe, i love you. i'm your father. i've written to you over and over. [ speaking foreign language ] can you speak english still? i would write him. but now i hope that when you
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hear this and when you're ready to hear this and when you see this, i hope your english is coming back, and i want you to know that i love you. i'm proud of you. i'm so proud of your character. i'm so proud of your patience and your perseverance. i'm so proud of your cultural abilities to adapt. your language skills. your desire and your action to serve this country in a very difficult, long war. but most of all, i'm proud of how much you wanted to help the afghan people and what you were willing to do to go to that length. i'll say it again. i am so proud of how far you were willing to go to help the afghan people.
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the calendar says that today is june 1st. that means it's the beginning of the atlantic hurricane season. it's predicted to be a quieter than normal year. that's the good news. but our chad myers sat down with the head of the national
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hurricane center who explains it only takes one bad named storm to make it a bad year. ♪ >> we are going to prepare this year like we would any year because there have been plenty of examples in the past of overall below-average years having significant hurricane impact. >> you know, i went through all of these storms, charley, frances, jean, ivan. and after those storms it was easy to talk to people about hurricanes. everybody wanted to know everything that we knew. but now we've had a couple of low seasons, other than sandy. how do we get this complacency out of the public? >> it's really amazing human nature, isn't it, that we latch on to whatever we can find to convince ourselves we don't have a hurricane problem. i've talked to people who have lived in a particular spot for decades without a hurricane impact and think they don't have a problem.
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and i've talked to people impacted last year or the year before who figure they had their turn, and now they're good for a while. and none of that can tell you what will happen this year. and especially if you're new to hurricane-prone areas or haven't thought about it for a while, i can't tell you if you're going to be impacted this year or not. i can't tell you that you're not. i can't give you that assurance. the seasonal forecast el nino, none of that stuff gives you any information to tell you you're not vulnerable this year. and you are. winds, water or both could impact you this year, and it's not just a coastal problem. inland areas in eastern u.s. have this problem as well. so i'm going to prepare. we at the hurricane center are going to prepare this year like we would for any year in case we are impacted. i encourage folks to do the same. >> there's something else people need to know this year is a new zone. they may be living in a new zone. how do they find out about those evacuation zones? >> local officials put together the evacuation zones for each local area around the country, and those evacuation zones are
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based on the assessment of the storm surge risk to those areas done here at the national hurricane center and given to those emergency managers to paint the potential scenarios and what the risk is. but the emergency managers at the local level have put together evacuation zones. and i would encourage people to seek out their local emergency management agency and find out today if they live in an evacuation zone. and if you do, figure out today where you're going to go and how you're going to get there if you're ever told to evacuate. and if you don't live in one of these zones, be the inland destination for someone who does. >> i don't want to bring up bad memories, but last year this time we were talking sequester, government shutdown, layoffs. what's it like this year? >> we have a lot more budget certainty in the federal government this year than we did a year ago. and so we feel very confident that we are completely ready to go to carry out our mission this year. all of the forecast models, all the aircraft data, we're so fortunate in this part of the
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world where we have the only basins, the atlantic gulf caribbean and eastern central pacific that we have routine aircraft reconnaissance to issue the best possible forecasts and warnings, get those off to a good start. >> you know, i grew up in nebraska. and they said get in the southwest corner of the house and open up the windows. we don't do either of those now. when i grew up, we said tape the windows. it will stop them from breaking. we don't want that to happen anymore. stay away from the windows. what are the three things that you want people to know about this hurricane season and how to stay safe? >> you want to find out if you have all of the right kinds of insurance. do you have flood insurance that is not covered by conventional homeowners policies? do you have all the supplies you're going to need which, by the way, does not need to include tape for the windows. go tapeless. tape is going to waste your time, waste your money, and it will just make the pieces that break, if debris hits your window, just that much larger. so supplies are important to get ahead of time. and then finally, do some home improvements. there are some relatively
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inexpensive things you can do to your home to make it safer from the next hurricane. supplies and insurance and home improvements are the other three things in addition to evacuation that i would be thinking about headed into this season. >> chad myers, thank you. and next, our coverage of sergeant bowe bergdahl's release continues. the white house is taking a lot of heat from critics who say the u.s. negotiated with terrorists. we'll talk to cnn's chief political correspondent and anchor of "state of the union," candy crowley is next. but first, we want you to meet a golfing champion whose success is giving others a better life. cnn's chris cuomo has today's "impact your world" report. >> thank you. >> you're welcome, sweetie. >> reporter: for these kids, blessings come in the form of apples, corn, even tuna. >> that's a nice smile you have there. >> reporter: thanks to blessings in a backpack, elementary students on the federally funded school meal program can take home a bag of food for the weekend. >> it helps me because sometimes we don't have enough money to buy food. >> we can't expect children to
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turn up on monday morning at school and expect them to learn and be in a good state for learning when they simply haven't had enough food, unfortunately, over the weekend. >> reporter: kate rose and her golf pro husband, justin, helped feed 1600 kids in five orlando area schools. the champ raises money through his birdies for blessings campaign. >> how we doing? >> good. >> every birdie i make, i give $100 which is the amount to feed a child for the school year. one of my sponsors, zurich, match me bird for for birdie. that gives me a lot of incentive to be out there on the golf course, working hard to improve my game. >> reporter: another incentive is believing that blessings in a backpack is feeding the future of america. like 6-year-old tatiana. >> i like to be a healthy singer, a dancer. i'd like to be an artist. i'd like to be everything when i grow up.
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♪ (train horn)
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vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. honestly, the off-season isn't i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film and drawing up plays. it's got onenote, so i can stay on top of my to-do list, which has been absolutely absurd since the big game. with skype, it's just really easy to stay in touch with the kids i work with. alright, russell you are good to go! alright, fellas. alright, russ. back to work!
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there's no disagreement that the release of sergeant bowe bergdahl is cause for
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celebration here in the u.s., especially in the hometown of hailey, idaho, where residents have been praying for his release for nearly five years. but how bergdahl was released has sparked a big debate. some critics say the obama administration negotiated with terrorists when it agreed to swap bergdahl for five detainees at the prison at guantanamo bay. candy crowley is anchor of "state of the union." candy, you spoke with national security adviser susan rice today. it was a fascinating interview, especially when it comes to the concept of negotiating with terrorists. talk a little about her response to that. >> choosing her words extremely carefully, it does not -- you don't have to go far to realize that that's exactly what the u.s. did. bergdahl was held by the haqqani network out of pakistan, affiliated with the taliban. these are taliban leaders who were released into custody to
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qatar. so obviously, even though there was a middle man, that's exactly what happened. it's not how the administration wants us to be seen. take a listen. >> but the point is, he was being held by the taliban. we had the opportunity to bring him back. he's back safely in the hands of the united states, and that's a great thing. >> yes. and i don't think anyone argues, i think the question now is, and you point to the kinds of warfare we're having now that no longer can it be said that the u.s. doesn't negotiate with terrorists. >> i wouldn't put it that way, candy. i wouldn't say that at all. >> how would you put it? >> when we are in battles with terrorists and terrorists take an american prisoner, that prisoner still is a u.s. serviceman or woman. we still have a sacred obligation to bring that person back. we did so, and that's to be celebrated. >> and candy, is the white house in a catch-22 here? they're damned if they do, they're damned if they don't? because if they stick to the concept and the theory of don't
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negotiate with terrorists, then they're faced with being blamed legitimately so, perhaps, for leaving a soldier behind. >> they absolutely are. and in a different time and in a different place, the argument about negotiating with terrorists was stronger. but when you look at the world we're in today, where we're not at war with a specific nation, we are at war with, you know, terrorists, although obviously the administration doesn't call that anymore, but the warfare that exists is about groups of terrorists. so in the end, you negotiate with who has your service men. but this is not something that the obama administration -- they don't want it to be looked at this way because then the question is does this open the door for other hostage taking of service men or americans or diplomats, whatever it happens to be in order to get, you know, fellow terrorists released from guantanamo bay or elsewhere. >> it's a good question. the other question is, you know, right now there is a pretty hot debate.
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but do you think that once he comes home, once there is euphoria about seeing him on u.s. soil, that that could potentially silence that argument, or is it, you know, the fact of the matter is we're in an election year and that everything is political? >> i think yes, to answer your question. it's an election year. i think this fits into a broader argument. and we began to hear part of that today, which is how -- and it's on a different aspect of this. the administration did not, as many in congress felt it had to, consult with anybody in congress about the release of these guantanamo bay detainees. it is now being sort of put in that broad umbrella of this president overreaches all the time to do what he wants. so i think it fits into the political dialogue. and you and i both know that everything fits into the dialogue if it works for one party or the other. it doesn't go away. and you saw how careful everyone was today to say we are so happy he's home, but. >> exactly. it is a fine line, no question about it. candy crowley in washington,
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thank you so much. >> hey, thanks, dana. and this just in. the father of one of the california killing spree victims met today with the father of the suspected killer. richard martinez meade headline with his emotional plea for tougher gun control after his son was killed ed ied in isla last week. he told cnn that met with elliott rodger, that they meet privately with no media president and the details of what they talked about. we'll be right back.
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ugh. heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and are proven to taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm. amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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trwith secure wifie for your business. it also comes with public wifi for your customers. not so with internet from the phone company. i would email the phone company to inquire as to why they have shortchanged these customers. but that would require wifi. switch to comcast business internet and get two wifi networks included. comcast business built for business. washington redskins quarterback robert griffin iii affectionately known as rg3 is a star on the football field. he's also showing he's an even bigger star when he takes off his uniform and cleats. reporter jay corf of wjla has
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the story from centreville, virgin virginia. >> reporter: centerville high school served as the backdrop thursday for a dramatic lacrosse playoff showdown. but the emotion of this night involved a student who cannot take the field but is universally admired for his determination. >> we try to keep jawann into the mainstream in school. >> reporter: 17-year-old jawann, despite being nonverbal due to cerebral palsy, has a large circle of friends. one of them did the kreer extraordinary. >> he had no clue what was going to happen today. >> reporter: to make him feel ordinary. the people hiding behind this banner lured jawann to the game for a remarkable surprise. it reads "i know i'm not as cool as rg3, but will you go to the prom with me?" >> who is that right there? >> reporter: and out popped the washington redskins star quarterback, rg3. jawa jawann's favorite player who came to help his classmate ask her friend the big question. >> do you want to be my prom
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date? >> reporter: jawann who can't say yes or no of course said yes and then was thrilled. >> you've got to say cheese. >> reporter: to take selfie after selfie with one of his heroes. >> you can tell he's filled with life. we make time in our schedule for stuff like this because it's so worth it. >> i'm really excited and i'm really grateful that rg3 came to help jawann. i'm sorry. it just means a lot that people are willing to do this for him because he's such a special person and really deserves it. >> reporter: morgan knows jawann well enough to know a friend trapped in a body that doesn't always work so well just wants to be like everyone else. >> in a time that you see a lot of kids and negative stories about children and then you turn around and you see something like this, it makes you feel good. >> it sure does. what a terrific story. way to go, rg3. and congrats to the students and parents at centerville high school. that's all for me. i'm dana bash. the next hour of "newsroom" begins now with randi kaye in new york.
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you are in the "cnn newsroom." i'm randi kaye in for don lemon. glad you're with us. we begin with the mission that saved an american's life thanks to a quick and highly secretive plan. u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl is safe and out of the five-year grasp of his captors. the u.s. government secured his freedom in exchange for five taliban members detained at guantanamo bay. the five are now in qatar. bergdahl arrived at a medical center in germany today to be checked out medically and go through an integration process. defense secretary chuck hagel said quick action was needed to free bergdahl because his health was deteriorating. just a short time ago, bob and jani bergdahl spoke to the media from their home state of idaho, expressing their love and support for their son. they also said they haven't spoken with him yet. we have reporters covering all angles of the story.