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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  May 6, 2011 3:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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t.j., thank you. hello, i'm brooke baldwin and i want to start the hour with a fact that everyone knows right now that osama bin laden may be dead, but here is what is new. there are new fears and new evidence that terror groups are planning terror attacks against america. new developments and we have them for you. this hour, president obama is meeting several members of the elite s.e.a.l. team six who raided bin laden's compound sunday. also, the president will be speaking to 2200 troops just back from afghanistan to ft. campbell, kentucky, and we will take you live for that. and also, al qaeda has confirmed that bin laden is dead, and now they are warning that the blood will be a curse on the united states while calling for the pakistanis to rise up and revolt. also, a huge round-up in pakistan, and dozens of people arrested for ties to bin laden's compound there in abottabad. reports that bin laden had some, we will call them unusual,
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highly, highly secretive neighbors, the cia were there and watching and listening and living in a safehouse nearby that compound. and take a look with me, because this is amateur video we have. now, we cannot independently confirm this, but our affiliate in turkey reports that these are fires and a possible explosion inside bin laden's compound the night american commandos took him down. also, we now know that bin laden wasn't just symbolic figurehead for al qaeda sitting around inpside of the compound. not at all. we are learning that he was actively working and tactically working with al qaeda to plan upcoming terror plots. we will go over the al qaeda wish list and tell you about the plan behind america's newest and latest terror threat. given all of that here, which ai want to begin with the al qaeda's confirmation that osama
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bin laden is dead and their statements. the statement posted online and translated says that bin laden did not die in vain. look at this with me. it vows that his blood, quote, will be a curse that will change the americans and their agents, a curse that will pursue them inside and outside of their country. julia khiyam has spent years studying terrorism and a member inside of the homeland security administration, and i want to begin with this confirmation of al qaeda of bin laden's death, and how significant is that, and will it quell any of the doubters out there? >> well, it may not quell all of the doubters, but i think it is significant, because first, it shows that al qaeda is organized enough to plan a message to get it out there, and secondly, that they intended or planned out a succession for the death of bin laden, and they tell the world, we anticipated the world, but we are still around and organized, so to give the succession plan
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and to strategically say to the world and the inheritance, we are relevant, and for americans to be afraid. it is an important document and i hope it gives the obama administration some space to quell the rumors and the debate about releasing the photo, because now that al qaeda has admitted that osama bin laden is dead, you don't need better evidence than that. >> and julia, you said there is a succession plan, but is there really a succession plan? because we were talking behind the scenes if we may see a power struggle between perhaps al zawahiri, and anwar awlaki, and what may we see next? >> well, it is too early to see the power struggle going on with al qaeda, and obviously, the intelligence will leads us to the second-tier leadership. at this stage, the document though that is important is that they got a message out, and that what they needed to do. terrorist organizations have little capability to show they
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exist except for statements like this or successful terrorist attacks which they allude to in the document, itself. >> you mentioned the statement, and i want to show one more piece of the statement for people who are just learning about it. it seemed to paint bin laden's death a cowardly act, and called it disgrace and betrayal, and what do you make of that and then we will move on? >> well, it is clear that the document is trying to get the pakistanis riled up about the u.s. coming in there without pakistani support and also because of the death of bin laden. so in many ways the document is addressed not just to adherence of al qaeda, be tow the pakistanis, because al qaeda likes chaos. that is what they benefit from. they benefit from leadership that they cannot manage their own government, and they benefit from outrage. those are the two things that this document is clearly playing with, and then this final thing, of course, is alluding to potential attacks against us. >> and we know that bin laden was there. their quintessential leader and
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one nugget that imka oucame outt he was not a figurehead, and he was involved in future plots and tactically, et cetera, and al qaeda says that he did not build an organization that will vanish or fade away with his departure, and with him gone, all of the partner groups did not pledge of allegiance to al qaeda, but to bin laden, himself, so with his death, what does this do to al qaeda? >> well, a couple of things. the documents like you said, they are interesting, because they show his historic operational interest and tactics. it has been ongoing for osama bin laden's life, and i remember in the 1990s with the african embassy bombings, there was testimony in that case that had osama bin laden saying no, i want the van here and not here to blow up the u.s. embassy in kenya. he was very, very tactical, and this is consistent with that. i think that also, i mean, as you allude to that, you know, part of what al qaeda is trying to do is to just sort of
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engender enough outrage that there is going to be whether it is the adherence to osama bin laden or it is people who were 10 years old on september 11th they will go out to do things randomly and not planned by al qaeda simply to show al qaeda's relevancy, because that is what al qaeda needs right now, all right, with the death of bin laden, they need to know whether it is the initial adherence to osama bin laden or the people he bred who have never met him, and never fought in afghanistan with him, and they want to show, that sort of the war is still wages. >> interesting that you say that they like chaos, and i do want to talk about what is next. julia khyman, thank you. if the you ride the train, you may have noticed extra security today, because bin laden was doing more than simply hiding out in the compound in pakistan. he was plotting attacks. the al qaeda terrorism wish lists, and there is the computers and the thumb drives taken by the commandos after they raided his compound sunday
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night, and the potential terror alerts already, and you are looking at one at the trains. jeanne meserve with us. i know you have new information on the al qaeda plans and tell me how far along was the plan and what did it involve? >> well, first, discussing the rail plot specifically, we are told that the information about this came from a hand-written document and the u.s. official says that there is reason to believe that the information from the writings of osama bin laden, himself. as to how far along this was, officials say no indication that anything was imminent or anything had been put into motion, but something that was aspirational and what it involved as we told you had to do with putting objects on tracks causing derailments, and it mentioned doing it on bridges and over valleys presumably to maximize the casualty, and as for the timing, it purportedly was to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this september, brooke.
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>> and specific, jeanne, as far as cities? >> well, i am told there are no specific cities or areas that were mentioned in the rail intelligence specifically, but generally speaking, they said that al qaeda had an interest of hitting the big cities in the united states, and specifically new york, chicago, los angeles and washington, brooke. >> and in terms of the higher security, what is being done with the news coming out? >> well, it is up to the individual rails, and what the homeland security department has done is to put out a statement, and tsa with a bulletin to give them the basics. many of the rail systems had ramped up security, and they did it last weekend when they learned that the death of osama bin laden's death broke because they know that the rail systems are vulnerable and big and wide opens so many of them had increased the precautions,
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brooke, even before this po on the -- this potential plot was made public. >> and what else is eking out as part of al qaeda's wish list? >> well, no other potential plots they have uncover and have not come up with anything along those lines, but i have been told by a u.s. official however that they have found videotapes at those compound, and those are aggressively analyze and we hope to bring you more information on that later. >> okay. jeanne meserve, thank you for the update there. we are not leaving the story, because we are getting so many details today from pakistan, and including the information on the cia super secret safehouse just outside of bin laden's compound, and we are learning that bin laden's secret is spilling more secrets of her own, and plus this. >> this rain event that we have had in this last two weeks is 600% more than are staying on t
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osama bin laden had highly unusual and highly secretive neighbors in his compound in pakistan, namely the cia. the "washington post" were reporting that cia agents were spying on him at a safehouse and they took photographs of him through a mirrored glass and eavesdropped on the conversations and they even had
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a nickname for that tall man that they kept watching taking regular walks who they would be able to see the top of his head over the compound walls, and they had a nickname for him, and he was called the pacer, but they could not confirm that man was in fact osama bin laden. now, that cia team hid their presence from everyone there including pakistan's intelligence service. right now, pakistani intelligence agents are rounding up dozens of people with ties to the bin laden compound and cnn senior international correspondent nic robertson life with us from abottabad, pakistan, and in terms of the arrests, nic, are these people arrested because of being suspected to help bin laden hide? >> well, that is what the government is the trying to figure out there. anybody who sold meats or milk to the bin ladens in the compound to maybe people who had a more nefarious connections to them, and the government is saying that anyone who was going in and out of the compound that they have known to come about, they are picking them up and holding them for questioning.
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they say they will let them go if they were nothing but the milk salesman or the meat salesman, but they want to figure out if they were al qaeda sympathizers or supporting bin laden or members of al qaeda, and who are these people with the connections, and that is what they are trying to do, brooke. >> and also, nic, there was an anti-american protest in abottabad, and i read they were shotting, go, america, your show is over. what do they want? >> well, they want america to leave pakistan. that was what they were calling for. they said that bin laden never lived in the compound, that the united states troops just came in here to terrorize innocent women and children who were living there, and what this is a political organization that is trying to rally people against its own government, but i have to say that it was a small rally. it was incredibly peaceful, and it didn't drum up any kind of local support. really didn't draw in crowds off of the streets. and it was certainly not angry.
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and some of the anti-american signs were recycled from previous protests. so it wasn't fiery by any stretch of the imagination, brooke. >> okay. so fairly quiet. and what about the news today that the u.s. apparently carried out the first drone strike in pakistan since bin laden's death, and do we know who the target was, nic? >> we don't, and of course, a big question here is was that strike based on information they got from bin laden's compound and we may never know the answer to that, but it was an area north of waziristan on the border near pakistan, and on to border of afghanistan and an area that is a place where there have been al qaeda, taliban training camps, and this area has a lot of jihadist activity, and it is the site of many different targetings in the past. 12 people killed according to two pakistani sources, but we don't know who they are, and often in these cases we don't
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find out who they were, brooke. >> nic, i have to get this into you, also, what we are learning and a little bit more that you reported yesterday bin laden's wife who had been interrogated said she and bin laden had been in the compound for five years and what about the reports they had only stayed in two rooms for a duration of time? >> it is sounds incredible that the way life would have been led in that compound as we understand that you had the main building and that he had the larger compound to the right. as we looked into that larger compound, you could see the area where the women would have done the laundry and the cooking, because in the bin laden-type society women and are really segregated from the men, but there were four families living in there, and there were four separate electricity bills and bin laden and his wife and son in one area, and the two couriers, and the courier and his family and the brother of the courier and his family, and so four separate parts, so it is conceivable that for a lot of
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the time she really did just live in two rooms trying to keep their profile really low, and hard to imagine what that would do to somebody, brooke. >> two rooms. potentially for several years. amazing new details we are getting nic robertson and thank you live from abottabad. and you see these pictures it was not just the navy s.e.a.l.s who went into the compound, there was one brave canine who went in. and this -- >> the entire time she was going to to hospital, was she awake and alert? >> well, alert, we are saying alert and responsetive to pain. >> and the rush to save gaby gifford's life. dr. sanjay gupta talks to the men who scrambled to keep her alive the day she was shot in the head. their amazing story is coming up. ♪
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now that al qaeda's leader is gone, speculation is growing about who may with taking his place. some say that the logical choice is bin laden's long-time deputy ayman al zawahiri. he and bin laden founded al qaeda in 1978. he is believed to be the strategic mastermind of the group, but he may not be the top candidate. terror experts say h lacks the draw that bin laden apparently had, and he is not regard as an ins py inspiring figure.
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they say that speculation is that al zawahiri would take over, but it is not certain, because we were told to wolf blitz er t blitzer that al zawahiri is on their radar. >> any information that we will find ayman al zawahisa wazawahi? >> i do believe we are hot on the track. >> in pakistan? >> i do believe -- another contender is anwar awlaki who was born in the u.s. and he is seen as a key player in the arabian peninsula al qae qaeda. . and now in the raid on the compound, there was also one dog. the dog's identify like these navy s.e.a.l.s not being released, but the hero canine was well trained -- and listen to this -- reportedly special gear including body armor and
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infrared cameras and even an ear bug to hear remote commands. how about that. now, checking in live pictures and packed house and ft. campbell, kentucky with 2,200 different troops there that president obama will be speaking in front of this hour. he is also meeting with dozens of navy s.e.a.l.s and s.e.a.l. team six, those guys involved with getting obama and raiding his compound in abottabad, pakistan, and we will bring you the president in front of all of these members of the 101st airborne, and he is meeting with the night stalkers the 164th regiment stationed there as well. now this -- >> we see no shortage of manpower or material. we have extra fuel arrangements already in place. >> the mississippi river is still rising, and the water is spilling in. now memphis residents bracing for the possible flood of the
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century, and we are on the ground next and plus some of the casinos that help some of the economy after hurricane katrina are risked being swallowed by the flood waters. we will talk about what is being done to save them. and we are getting news now about an emergency landing. more on that next. and i went online to find a way. ♪ chantix -- it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. while you're taking the medication, for the first week, you can go ahead and smoke. [ male announcer ] prescription chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. [ mike ] when i was taking the chantix, it reduced the urge to smoke. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these symptoms or behaviors, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression
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got some news new into cnn. here is what we know. american airlines flight headed
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from miami to san francisco was forced to make an emergency landing in las vegas earlier today. according to an airport spokesperson, the airplane was diverted precautionarily after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. we are making phone calls and as soon as i get information, i will pass it along to you. and concern is rising as the flooding continues on the mississippi river. today the coast guard announced it is closing parts of the river to commercial traffic, and it could remain closed for at least a week, but obviously, this, this flooding has huge economic impacts here on the farmers, manufacturers who rely on the mississippi river each and everyday to get the goods to the market. also, today, more people are told they have to leave, they must evacuate. i want you to listen to what the head of the mississippi river commission has to say. >> there is a report from the national weather service, that this rain event we have had in the last two weeks is s is is 6
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than normal. >> and in memphis, tennessee, they are filling sandbags to try to hold back the rising level and the water level is expected to reach 48 feet next week, and folks, that is 13 feet above flood stage. and david mattingly is in memphis where the people are obviously closely watching the river rise. >> reporter: city parks already flooded and water creeping closer to the houses by the day. the people in memphis, watching the rising mississippi and wonder. >> how high will the water get? you know. who is most at risk? which land sits lower? >> reporter: the mississippi river floods of 2011 are expected to break records to the north of memphis this weekend, and then continue setting high water marks as far south as baton rouge. the river is expected to crest in memphis at 48 feet, the highest it has been in generations. >> memphis has not seen that
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much water since the disaster trodisasterous floods when i am told that the water came all of the way here which is four blocks from the river banks. but since, there are big changes to keep the river back, and a system of flood walls and gates and levees developed since the 1950s should keep the city dry, but it is a system that has never been hit with this much water. >> they have never been tested, but all of the subject matter experts are telling us that we can have a high confidence level. >> reporter: the army corps of engineers blowing levees to divert flood water into missouri farmland slow slow the flood levels, and officials are using the time in memphis to use the time to prepare. a call out for sandbags for government buildings and hospitals, but the hope is that they won't be needed. >> david mattingly, thank you in memphis there. and the water is so high in
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the mississippi river that many casinos are forced to close. look at harrah's casino, and this is tunica, mississippi, where everyday the floodwaters are creeping up, and up and up. it timely had to close this week and other casinos following suit as well. at one point, a s.w.a.t. team armed with a machine gun came to help security guards to help remove millions of dollars of cash. i want to bring in valerie morris who is with caesar entertainment, the owner of some of the mississippi casinos, and with all of the money in house and the jobs depending on the casino business there, and valerie, this may not have been a light decision for you. >> no, actually it has been very difficult for tunica county, because it is $87 million of gross gaming revenue in the moh of may that is lost, and for local and state governments it is close to $10 million in taxes. so it was definitely a difficult decision to make, but the safety
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and the security of the employees and the guests is of what is utmost important and that is why the decision had to be made. >> how high is the river around your casino? >> it is at 41 feet right now, and we have three casinos. >> three casinos, and as you are watching the river rise and rise and rise and put in perspective for us, and you ha talked aboute dollar amount already, but this is big business in the town, and if the casinos were to flood, what happens? >> well, actually, it is just lost revenue, but what i can say is that ceasars entertainment has decided to pay the employees both tipped and toked, so we are not affected, but from a gross gaming view, it is a loss to the state and the community. we are trying to mitigate the damage that we can so we can be open as soon as possible. >> what about the security
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issue, and the millions of the dollars inside of the casinos and you said you have three. what about the effort to get the money out of there safely? >> it is standard procedure and we do drops all of the time when the casinos are open based on the moving money, but it is a matter that all of the money needed to be removed from harrah's and the horseshoe and the tunica properties, and so when we are ready to reopen, we will have the dollars safe and secure. >> and what is next? i know you are in memphis right now, but you say that you and the employees that you are still paying as you watch the water levels rise, is there anything that you can do? >> all we can do is to mitigate as much as possible. we had over 200 employees the day before yesterday sandbagging all of the casinos at roadhouse
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and horseshoe, and we are having the employees out volunteering and working with the disaster relief programs that are possibly out there, and so all we can do is to wait for old man river to tell us what is going to happen, and do the best we can with what we are given. >> old man river, go down. valerie morris, thank you very much. live for me in memphis. they are known as the s.e.a.l. team six, and the navy's elite of the elite, and one of the groups who carried off the nation's most secret commando missions. have you wondered what it would take to be one of these guys? i will speak to a former commander of navy s.e.a.l. team six. and also, we are awaiting president obama in ft. campbell, kentucky, and we have learned that he is speaking with some of of the members of the elite s.e.a.l. team six, and of course, we won't see who they are, but the president does, and we will see him speaking in front of 220 troops there, and
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members of the -- what did say? 2,200 troops there and members of the 101st airborne there in ft. campbell, kentucky, and we will bring you there live as soon as we see the president. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible.
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it is safe to say that the plans to bring down osama bin laden were among the country's most closely guarded secrets. and a group assigned to the mission is an elite navy stetea
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but outside of the movies we don't hear much about them. ryan is a former navy s.e.a.l. team six commander joining me from whitefish, montana, where he is a state senator. so great to have you on with us. >> thank you, and good to be here. >> we are hearing about the elite of the leelite, and are w talking about all guys and no women? >> well, under law that is correct. there are a lot of support roams that are female who play a important role in the mission. >> and i just wanted to make sure if i keep referring to them as guys, i was not offending any of the ladies. >> there was 10% of the force at that group. >> okay. so 3,000, you know, faceless heroes even the white house and
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the department of defense don't really publicly acknowledge their existence, so do you know any of the guys who are part of this mission, and this operation sunday? >> well, i'm sure i do. it is a small community, and everyone knows everyone else. you know, also, it just to be a s.e.a.l., itself, is a long process. it takes 3 1/2 years before an individual says he wants to be a navy s.e.a.l., before he is placed in harm's way, and you have other deployments and talking about a long road, and the attrition is high. >> let's talk about the attrition, because i read that 3,000 students are accepted at first and then whittleded down, and whittled down and whittled down some more and i know you go through the hell week, and the underwater demlatiolition train and tell us about it. >> well, it is about two-hour
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cumulative sleep in that time and you stay wet and cold and sandy, and you the privilege of a number of instructors always with you. it is hard. i played college football and i have to tell you that s.e.a.l. training is harder than double-days. >> i have read that you have described the personality of these guys on s.e.a.l. team six as cocky and arrogant. why do you say 245? >> well, i would say confident and cocky, because among s.e.a.l.s, i think that we are fairly arrogant, but you are talking about the guys who have dedicated their entire life to being the very best. there is a sense of confidence that's hard to describe, but when you are the world's best, you are confident, and i think that a lot of the mission set demands that you are confident, and you know you can do it, and you are trained to do it. you have superb leadership and the right equipment, and i think
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also that you understand the consequences of failing. >> well, they did not fail sunday, because they had mock compounds set up on the coast, and the team didn't know that bin laden was the target until late in the mission, and how do you train for these kinds of mission in abottabad? >> well, these guys are war-hardened veterans, and we have been at this for ten years and they have been involved in hundreds of operations of seizing compounds and albeit never the number one target, but a number of operations that have led to the dismantling of the al qaeda organization throughout different countries, and so that the sequence is roughly the same. you try to find as much intelligence as you can, and it is a teamwork effort for every s.e.a.l. on the ground, there was no doubt hundreds of supporting cast that supported it through the intelligence collection to someone brought the field in and someone fueled
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the helicopters up, and a lot of the players don't get the notoriety, but they do their job everyday and they do it well. >> they won't get the notoriety either, and thankless, and i'm dying of curiosity of this and then i will let you go, let's say that the particular guy who pulled the trigger and killed bin laden and goes to his wife, and will he ever be able to share with his wife that he did it? >> this is is a question that has been asked and it is new. we have never really had this situation with technology as driving so quicklyp. frankly i was surprised at first that s.e.a.l. team six was mentioned by senior and confirmed by senior officials. after that, everyone is curious about s.e.a.l. team six, but the man who pulled the trigger, there is a chain of command to the president, and i hope he remains faceless, but time will
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tell who that individual comes out. >> time will tell. it is fascinating. it is impressive. montana state senator ryan zinke, thank you for coming on. and coming up next, we will speak to the paramedics who took care of congresswoman giffords after that shooting in arizona. and we have a never before seen look of those critical hours as crews raced to save her life. and wait until you hear why they had to wait before helping her. and also, 2,0 troops there waiting on the president at ft. campbell, kentucky. we should see the president there in a few minutes. e moy ♪ ♪ounow i ve it too soy ♪ndbrinity y ♪
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wounded arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords is moving along and her husband, the commander of the space shuttle david kelmark kelly wen eat last night. she says she will return to florida when the launch, and the space shuttle "endeavour" is
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rescheduled in florida. we are learning about the details immediately after the congresswoman was shot in tucson in january. the paramedics who took her to the hospital were rookies, but obviously, they helped to save her life. they spoke with our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta about the critical ambulance ride, and this is all part of the cnn special we are calling "dr. sanjay gupta reports, saving gaby giffords" and that premiers this weekend here on cnn, but sanjay has a preview. >> well, it is amazing the paramedics and the job they had to do and the chaos unfolding, and they also had a 13-minute ambulance ride. it was critical. this is how they described it to me. >> reporter: amazing as it might be for someone to be shot point blank in the head, gaby giffords was giving the medics a glimmer of hope, and they needed her to
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hang on a few more minutes to get to the hospital. were you trying to inform her of what is going on or keeping her abreast? >> well, that is something we try to do no matter to let the patient know, and we will stick you with an i.v. and getting red d reddy to do a blood pressure or whatever, so it is not a shock to them. >> for the entire time to the hospital, was she a wake? >> well, as far as alert, she was responsive to painb or verbal. she would flinch if we pinched her and she would squeeze our hands if we asked her, and her eyes were shut so we could not assess that level of responsi responsiveness, but we could see her wincing in pain, and i don't know if anybody told her that she had been shot, and i don't know if she knew the circumstances she was involved in. >> one thing i want to point out when they first arrived at the scene they could not go immediately in, because there
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was concern of a second shooter and just how safe was it? we follow the paramedics along as they talk about it for the first time, and talk about the doctors and the rehab staff and team in houston who are charged with sort of making gaby giffords whole again. it is all part of the documentary and fascinating insights into exclusive conversations, and i hope you get a chance to watch it. back to you. >> we will talk to sanjay next hour about that. i want to go to ft. campbell, kentucky where perhaps the president is running ahead of schedule. dan lothian is traveling with the president to kentucky, and we know, dan, that in a couple of minutes the president will address some 2,200 troops there, and do know yet what the president will say? >> well, it is a chance for to a president to thank them for the service, and unlike what some people said mission accomplished here, but it is a thanks for a job well done. as the white house has said, a
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key part of it has been won, there is a ongoing war against terrorism, and this is not a time from the administration's standpoint to let-up. that is what we will hear from the president today and a chance to say thank you to members of the 101st airborne. before coming over here, the president right after he landed went to meet with the special forces, the navy s.e.a.l.s who took part in the hunting down of and killing osama bin laden. in fact, we are told by the white house official that he met with those who were directly involved with that operation. we don't know any of the details of what took place, and we are told that there is a read-out that will take place later today, but what is interesting is that the guys, obviously, the names and the identities are classified and the president peeled off from the traveling press and went and met with them. we are told that it was part thank you and also a chance for the president to get an informal d-brief from them about what took place in the field, brooke.
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>> so we will get a readout from that, and many, many people wanting to know what he said to the thankless heroes there who descended on the compound in abottabad. i want to go to wolf blitzer in washington. wolf, what a week it has been starting with sunday night, you were live on television when the world longhorned that bin laden had been killed and then yesterday it was when the president was at ground zero and the president at the pentagon, and then fittingly today the president thanking the troops at ft. campbell, kentucky, and why do you think it is fitting for him to be there today? >> well, it sends a powerful message that the commander in chief is deeply appreciative the of the sacrifices. most of the men and women are young and work hard and sacrifice enormously and away from their homes for long periods of time, and in the case of the navy s.e.a.l. in the case of this navy s.e.a.l. team six they literally
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are risking their lives and you saw what they were able to do in pakistan in killing bin laden. so the president wants to express -- i want to let all our viewers know what's happening. i think i heard an announcement asking these guys to sit down. we know the vice president is there. he'll be introducing the deputy commanding general of the 101st jeffrey colt and mr. colt will then be bringing out the president. i have to sneak a quick break in. we'll be right back with more, live pictures, fort campbell, kentucky, stay with us. [ male announcer ] nature is unique... pure... and also delicious.
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doug: one, two... ♪ (singing) i got my motorcycle ♪ ♪ and my rv now i gotmore money. ♪ vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. live pictures once again, fort campbell, kentucky. we're standing by for president obama's address for 2,000 plus troops based out of fort campbell. it should happen here in a matter of minutes. of course, it's the president so the schedule could be running early, could be running late. also the president as we just
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learned from white house correspondent who was traveling with the president today he did meet with several of those navy s.e.a.l.s as they are called the elite of the elite s.e.a.l. team six, spending a fair amount of time with them and we should be getting a read out on that meeting. we'll get dan back up later as soon as we get that information. we'll take you back as soon as we see the vice president. earlier today president obama visited indianapolis and spoke with employees at a transmission plant for hybrid vehicles. the president laid out his plan for energy independence and combatting those rising gas prices. the president insists the economy is on an upswing. >> we just went through one of the worst recessions in our history. worst in our lifetimes. the worst since the great depression. but this economic momentum
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that's taken place here is taking place all across the country. today we founded out we added another 268,000 private-sector jobs in april. >> i want to bring in alison cossack. help me out with these jobless numbers today. first we know the unemployment rate jumped just a tad up to 9.0, but we heard the president say adding 268,000 private-sector jobs. good news or bad news? >> reporter: you know if this report was good it would be a strong report. everybody was hoping to see something. one report doesn't spell a recovery in the job sector. it shows employers are adding jobs. it just needs to continue. then if you look at the finer details in this jobs report there are really positive things. wages are up. every major sector added jobs except for the government. you mentioned that 9%
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unemployment rate. that's not such a bad thing. it's because more people are entering the workforce to look for jobs so even though the unemployment rate rose it's really because people are getting back into the saddle, sending out their resumes, looking for jobs and that means they are being count in that number. >> and then alison kosik we have to talk gas prices. eventually they will hit the average of $4. where does it sit right now? >> reporter: okay. so we fell back just a little bit, less than a penny but don't get your hopes up that gas prices have reached their peak. they probably haven't. consumers have actually said enough is enough. demand for gas tell 2% last week so, you and i, people all around us are pulling back on filling up because these prices are getting too high. but as you know much of our gas prices depends on what the price of oil is. oil prices have taken a nose
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dave this week but those prices have to stay down until we see it at the pump. that usually takes one to two weeks before we see any kind of sort of transition to the gas pump. that's if oil prices stay at their low level now. >> we'll take any break we can get. thank you very much. and we're standing by for president obama and his address to the troops there in fort campbell kentucky. he could be speaking and i matters minutes. we'll bring that to you live. also he has met with members directly involved in that operation that went down on bin laden's compound in abbottabad, pakistan. met with a number of them directly. that's all we know. it was a closed door meeting. we should get some details as we'll get a read out later today. stay with us. got to take a quick break. more live pictures after this. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity,
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president. dan, just if we can, reset -- i mean the president's big mission and message in terms of tlk at fort campbell is telling these guys and girls thank you? >> reporter: first what you're hearing behind me they are trij to get the crowd excite preponderance of the evidence someone came out a while ago and said in the past when relatives are here for a welcome home ceremony this place has a lot more excitement and a lot more noise. so they weren't happy with the intensity. they are trying to get this crowd revved up. from the white house's perspective this is not a chance to gloat, not a chance for the president to spike the football but a chance for the president to talk about a mission that's still ongoing. yes, capturing, rather killing osama bin laden was a big part of that but the war again terrorism continues and that's a message we'll hear from the president. >> also, dan, we may be waiting
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for the president but he's been on the ground in fort campbell for an hour or so and been meeting with some of the members from s.e.a.l. team six, the mission that was carried out in abbottabad. >> reporter: he went to an undisclosed location here. typically when the president moves around you have a small group of reporters that move with him. in this particular case no cameras allowed in the section of the base where the president was going so they peeled off. the president went there to have this meeting and as we pointed out earlier, the president did meet directly with those who were involved directly with the killing of osama bin laden, but also others who were part of the special operations forces, that team that was there, that took part in the operation. we do not know yet what was discussed there but we were told earlier by an administration official that the president would be thanking them for their mission, for the successful
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mission and also getting us somewhat informal debrief from them. we're told later on today we should get more details on what was discussed. >> we were talking yesterday and you were standing in front of the white house at the time. we were talking about the admiral who commanded this whole mission. he was the one relation the information to leon panetta who was then relaying the information the president in terms of what was happening minute by minute. is he there today in fort campbell? >> reporter: we presume he's here. we've not seen him as of yet. there are 2300 or so people inside this room. you know what they are all wearing those uniforms and look alike. we'll find out and i few minute. we said earlier the president was running a little bit ahead of schedule. it's been pushed back anywhere 10 to 15 minutes before the president comes out here. the message from the president will be to focus on the on going
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war on terrorism, a mission is job well done but not finished. >> indeed you're correct, 100,000 troops still fighting that war in afghanistan. we'll check become with you when you hear from the president and vice president as well. the more we learn about sunday night's operation the more we're wondering who are these navy s.e.a.l.s. let's bring in barbara starr. these guys operate in complete secrecy. we know so little about what they do, who they are. this time -- i was talking to a former s.e.a.l. team six member who is surprised we know as much as we do right now. what your learning? >> reporter: what you're talking about it's the most extraordinary thing that i see members of the u.s. military reflecting on this week. this perhaps is the most noncovert covert operation out there in decades. s.e.a.l. team six, delta force, all the covert units that make up what the admiral is in charge of which is the joint specials
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operations command, it's so important to understand that these are the most covert, elite counterterrorism assault assassination kill units, kill teams against knowledgeses, al qaeda, taliban that the u.s. military has. most of their work never acknowledged. their membership never acknowledged. very little membership publicly available about the units they are and even where they are located around the world. it is extraordinary to see this profile this week. even to see the admiral's name out in public. these were the guys that a few years back killed zarkawi and people were flabbergasted when president bush mentioned the general's name and his men in association with that event. here we are throwing tad mir
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ral's name around in the public. he's very uncomfortable in the public spotlight. he and his men are looking fast to go back into the shadows. >> it's a name we've learn in the past couple of days. we know the president met with some of the members of s.e.a.l. team six but by no means, by no way means they are based there, live there, it's just sort of geographically for the president. >> reporter: a place for them to come to meet the president. the headquarters is in fort bragg. the s.e.a.l.s live in virginia, oceana, little creek, down in that region of southern virginia along the water as you expect. let me throw something in here. as we see the 101st i want to share this is kind of a moment that tickles me because i traveled with the 101st in afghanistan late last year for
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some period of time. these guys, you know, we're talking about bin laden. but these guys from 0101st air borne, the screening they've had. they had a very tough tour duty that they are wrapping up. they are coming home. and they have had a really tough time out there. they have suffered many, many wounded. they have suffered an awful lot of fallen. they have been on the receiving end. some very tough fighting against the taliban and al qaeda in eastern afghanistan and in the remote mountain regions along the pakistan border. there's a lot of families right now looking forward to getting their loved ones back home. >> they are looking forward to see their husbands, wives, sons and daughters and i have to imagine you covering the pentagon day in and day out, the pentagon must feel this mounting pressure to get these guys out and start quickly in july? >> i think that's a question that people are sort of looking at right now is they see general
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petraeus getting ready to make that july recommendation to draw down troops. it will be a political decision, of course, by the president what to do, what the source ahead for the military. general petraeus will be making a recommendation on how he feels it's best to carry out militarily what the president wants to do. make no mistake everybody is looking at this now and saying okay do we need to reset? do we need to rethink again or do you keep at it in afghanistan, still for several years to come? current strategy is to be there through at least 2014. >> i have to get one more question into you as we look at these live pictures out of fort campbell. barbara starr, you have traveled with the 101th to afghanistan but let's give a soar to the special ops aviation operation. >> reporter: these are thing night stalkers. let's face it. these are cool guys. and normally you would not see
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much in public about what they do. except for the fact they had to leave that helicopter behind in pakistan this week. we've all seen the pictures of the wreckage. my colleague, chris lawrence reporting very specifically this wreckage, this was a special helicopter they used, a modified black hawk that had stealth capability. this helicopter was never supposed to be seen by the world. this was supposed to be something they would fly in on and fly out on and no one would ever know it existed. but, course with that wreckage of the helicopter in that pakistani compound, they had to leave it behind when it basically hit a wall. they tried to torch it so the classified technology would not fall into the wrong hand but they couldn't really torch the whole thing. there's a lot of rumor, chatter whatever you want to call it that some of that technology, a lot of concern it could fall into chinese hands now, a lot of
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rumor out there that the pakistanis may be so angry that they may be sending that technology to china and asking the chinese to figure out how do it. i want to tell you we've not confirmed that but even in the pentagon that's the question that's being asked. the night stalkers are a pretty tidy lot. they don't leave anything behind unless they are forced to. >> quick moving sunday night for obvious reasons. barbara starr, fascinating details. thank you so much. you know, as we continue to watch these live pictures out of fort campbell, kentucky i want to bring you up to speed on some new developments on the raid sunday night. al qaeda confirms osama bin laden is dead and vows to continue and retaliate against the united states. al qaeda's statement posted online translated by cnn says bin laden did not die in vein. listen to this. al qaeda says bin laden's blood quote will be a curse that will chase the americans and their agents, a curse that will pursue them inside and outside of their
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country. all those computers, the thumb drives, the papers that were taken out of this compound sunday night in abbottabad they are beginning to reveal some new details, some plans from al qaeda. have already resulted and i terror alert for trains across the united states. so what does that mean for americans? here is homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. >> reporter: we're told that the information about this came from a handwritten document and a u.s. official says there's reason to believe that this information came from the writings of osama bin laden himself as to how far along this was, officials say there's no indication that anything was imminent, that anything had been put innotion. this was something that was aspirational, what it involved as we told you had to do with putting objects on tracks causing derailments. it mentioned doing it on bridges and over valleys to maximize casualties. as for time, it purportedly was to coincide with the 10th
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anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this september. >> do you have specifics as far as cities at all? >> reporter: i'm told there were no specific cities or rail systems mentioned in the rail intelligence specifically, but generally speaking, that the materials do indicate that al qaeda still had an interest in hitting the big cities in the united states specifically new york, chicago, washington and los angeles. >> what is being zmoen we mentioned higher security? what is being done because of this news coming out? >> reporter: it's up to the individual rail systems. what the department much homeland security has done is put out this information, the tsa has issued a bulletin giving them the basics. many of these rail systems had already ramped up security. they did it last weekend when news of osama bin laden's death broke because terrorists have repeatedly targeted rail systems. they know they are vulnerable. they are big. they are wide-open. so many of them had already
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increased their passion even before this information about this potential plot. >> we're also learning this afternoon that videotapes from bin laden's compound the night it was raided, one u.s. official tells us those tapes are being aggressively analyzed. senator dick durbin is here with us in atlanta. he's assistant majority leader, the democratic whip, and he's also on the foreign relations committee and was a member of the presidential debt commission. sir, it's a pleasure to have you in atlanta. i want to begin with the big news this week. tell us, sunday night, 9:00 p.m., yore home in springfield and you get a phone call. >> did from vice president biden. what in the world is going on. he said i want to give you a heads up we captured and killed osama bin laden. i said you're kidding me. he said no. the president will make an announcement and i few minutes. it was an amazing thing. i stayed up for it. a lot of americans did.
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it was an amazing thing to catch the most high profile terrorist on earth. something we've been trying to do for ten years. >> you used the words captured and killed. captured tells me he was in custody, in terms of the details that you know, did we execute him? >> i can tell you under the circumstances when you consider this man killed 3,000 americans in cold blood and beasted later on how many others he was going to kill, you have to understand when our soldiers were on the scene they were expecting the worse. if there were truly osama bin laden they didn't know what they would run into. weapons and bombs and dark of the night and let me tell you if we're going to err, we'll err on the side of our soldiers. >> so even though some of your more liberal colleagues started to express concern if he had been executed that that is very worrisome for them. if that had been the case -- >> i don't see it that way. this is the heat of war. he was a war criminal. and had been responsible for the
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deaths of so many innocent people. he was ruthless and we knew he would kill if given a chance. our soldiers did the right thing. >> we found out yesterday that bin laden and his wife, his youngest wife had been living in this particular compound in abbottabad for some five years. so obviously a lot of questions about what pakistan knew, right? not just the government by isi. their intelligence arm. do you think there was any complicit? >> i don't know that? if the most wanted person on the face of the earth were living six blocks away from west point academy, military academy it would raise a question of whether the united states would know or should have known he was there. the same is true in pakistan. this man we knew were guilty of killing not only americans but pakistanis and muslims all over the world. the fact that he was there for such a long period of time undetected, a lot of questions have been raised.
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>> your colleague, carl levin this morning said high levels being the intelligence service, high levels knew it. he doesn't have proof. we don't have proof. but if therefore comes a time where there's proof do you think that that would be reason enough to yank funding from pakistan? >> we need pakistan and their cooperation but we don't want to waste our money. if they will help us catch terrorists and bring peace to afghanistan we need their engagement. but if this is a matter of sending money and they are not engaged, then let's not send money. we shouldn't write off the pakistanis. far better for the world and for united states if we're working with them. >> what would you need to see in front of you in order to say yes we have to stop funding? >> i have to see absolute complicity. the former president, musharraf, i heard an interview with him he said i want to know how this happened because it happened while i was there. if it were known i don't think
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it reached the highest levels of his government if he's telling the truth. >> how does beyond national psyche, how does the death of bin laden affect our war on terror and specifically afghanistan? >> well, it has a dramatic impact. we think there are about 100 active al qaeda members left in afghanistan, and now the head of their organization is gone. and i might add that because the hard work of our intelligence community and military many other levels of leadership is gone as well. al qaeda is being hollowed out. we can't take it for granted they are gone but it's a much different organization than when they attacked us ten years ago. i hope we can reach the point and soon where our troops come home from afghanistan. >> do you say come july get out and get out quickly? >> i think the president's promise is one that should be kept. start bring troops home. the afghans at some point have to stand up for their own nation and future. we can't police the world. we can't be responsible for bringing afghanistan into the 21st century.
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we have to do our part to bring them stability and they've build on it. >> even if some of your colleagues on capitol hill say afghanistan is too fragile, we haven't finished the mission, will there ever be a sense of mission accomplished in afghanistan? >> this is the longest war in the history of the united states. it costs us in the range of $10 to $12 billion a month and morley we're losing american lives. there comes a point when we come home. there are other dangerous nations on earth. if the united states is setting out to go to every one we can't recruit enough. >> we've been waiting for the president. i want to remind our viewers these are live pictures out of fort campbell, kentucky. we're awaiting the president there. quickly, if i can tell you on-the-spot, i know the president is there and speak about afghanistan, a lot of these members of the 101st air borne are there. he's saying thank you.
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what message do you have to these guys? >> how proud we are of what they've done for us. the fact that over and over again we say thank you. when you have a member in your family in the military as do i in afghanistan, when you have friends who have been there, you understand the sacrifice. each and every person is making, serving our military and equally important the sacrifice the family makes. the anxiety they feel while they are being activated. the concern they have. shipping off packages and letters trying to keep in touch with them. that just shows you the sacrifice they make voluntarily for this country and then giving a mission of such global importance jean executing it flawlessly as far as i'm concerned with the cooperation of the intelligence community shows when the united states says if you come after us we're coming after you and we kept our word. >> senator durbin will you stick around? i have more. >> will. >> more four. we have to get a quick -- actually i hear dan is standing by.
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>> how about the chicago bulls here in atlanta. this is the big game. >> i know playoff, playoff. i was getting tweeted by somebody from nba tv. we may talk about basketball. but, if i may let me get to fort campbell because we just got a read out to what the president will be saying? >> reporter: as we talked earlier we were expecting to get more details from those meetings that the president had right after landing here before coming over to this location. now a white house official saying quote president obama and vice president biden had several meetings at fort campbell to thank our troops. first this official pointed out the president and vice president met with some of the special operations forces that conducted the successful operation against osama bin laden. the president was briefed on the operation by members of the units who carried it out. the president and vice president then met with a full assault force that carried out the
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operation. the president awarded the units involved, presidential unit citation the highest such honor that can be given to a unit in recognition of their service and achievement. the official added that the president and vice president met with the aviation regiment and fifth special forces group to thank them for their service. the president was able to speak and offer his admiration and gratitude for service members and to specially greet them. this crowd is getting very antsy leading up to the event. there was a lot of celebration happening here. there was a band over to my right playing a lot of old school tunes, make people dancing. now they are getting a little antsy. someone came out and put the president's speech up on the podium. we thought that might mean a two-minute warning. it's been several minutes since then. waiting for the president who is well behind schedule. >> the waiting game.
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waiting game continues. we'll chat with you in a moment. i still have senator durbin sitting next to me. we'll talk on the other side of the break and hopefully see president obama in a matter of minutes. stay right there. backed by the highest possible ratings for financial strength. new york life. the company you keep. . >> here we go. vice president joe biden live in fort campbell, kentucky. let's listen. >> it's good to be back with you all. i tell you what, i want to thank general colt for accompanying me up here. i get the honor of introducing the general. i was back here on february 11th
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to welcome home members of the combat team, 155 of you got off the plane in the middle of the night. anything more exciting watching you get off is watching your families getting off. it's an honor to be back here. so many of you just got jeep home in the past few weeks so welcome home. i know from experience that your families want more than anything to spend time with you and so every time i show up at a welcome home ceremony i'm worried about getting in the way. i remember my son came home from iraq after a year. there's all these ceremonies. i kept saying stop i want to see my kid. so, anyway, i get it. so let me just say how much gratitude the president and i have and all americans do have four all. you guys have been in the fight from the beginning and the risk you've taken, the incredible sacrifices you've made, the comrades you lost, the losses you've personally endured.
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you've been in some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. i have a helicopter go down all i have is a bullet proof vest and i'm out of breath climbing up 40 feet. you guys are up there with 60, 80 pound packs and you guys are amazing. i'm in awe of the job you do. in awe of the job you do. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] as i said back in february i want to thank you families. you know, they made sacrifices as well. those intangible sacrifices. those missed births and missed birth days and missed graduation and missed funerals. just being missed. just not having you home. a famous poet by john milton, they also serve who only stand and wait.
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your family serve as well and the rest of america owes your families a debt of gratitude as well. so all the families that are listed -- [ cheers and applause ] i want to say their service is as real as yours and appreciated. to the soldiers here you are the most capable warriors. let me say this without any fear of contradiction. you're the most capable warriors in the history of the world. there has never, never, never, never been a fighting force as capable as you are. it's my job today, my honor to talk a little bit about the man that i get work with every day. we just got to spend time with the assaulters who got bin laden. [ cheers and applause ]
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by the way, i shouldn't say this, i'm going to tell you anyway, the president will get mad i'm taking so long. today was quote grandfather's day so i went by early this morning before i came out here to my granddaughter's little spring play, and after it's all over she said pop come back to my classroom with me. i said i can't. she said you going some place in air force two? i said we're going to fort campbell. we're going to see the guys who not bin laden. absolute true story. she said pop, my pop's going out the see the whales. not the s.e.a.l.s, the whales because if they are that good they are go to be big. you guys are the gorillas. look, i've watched -- i've been around a while. i've watched presidents make some difficult decisions.
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they all had to make difficult decisions. sitting in every meeting getting ready planning for this mission, this assault for the mission to get bin laden i saw something extraordinary. i saw a president who was told the odds. the odds are not much more than 50-50. i alone and all the rest of his national security team, secretary of defense, state, everyone else and we sat around there and he asked us our advice and we told him. finally he looked at all of us and i got faith in these guys. he walked off on his own without anybody giving him any guarantees at all and he decided, because he believed in not only the s.e.a.l.s but believes in all you. he has absolute total faith in all of you and he made that determination and it, you know, it was an amazing thing to watch. but it was because he had absolute confidence that you were there. so, he decided when he got in
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office because of the fight you all were in from the beginning, that the number one priority the office get osama bin laden and he knew the risks, he knew there were significant risks and more importantly special operations risks for the people who were ricking their lives. he didn't hesitate. bob gates said something interesting. it was one of the gutsiest decision i've ever seen made. this will go down in history what happened. this will go down in history. here to introduce your commander in chief, the guy that i'm proud to serve with is one of the country's leading warriors himself, deputy commanding general of the 10th air borne division, general jeffrey colt. ladies and gentlemen, again colt. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, sir. i can only try to tell you today just how proud of you that this
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division and this local community are, but more importantly today you're going to get to hear from the commander in chief just how appreciative he is of all of your service and your sacrifices. please join me in this great privilege of welcoming the president of the united states, barack obama. [ cheers and applause ] ♪
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>> hello fort campbell. 101st air borne division air assault, hello! general colt, thank you for that great introduction. it was great because it was brief. [ laughter ] more importantly, thank you for the extraordinary leadership that you've shown here at one of the largest army bases in america. [ cheers and applause ] and let me just say, i make a lot of decisions, one of the earliest and best decisions i made was choosing one of the finest vice presidents in our history, joe biden right here. [ applause ] chaplain miller thank you for the beautiful invocation. i want to thank general colt for welcoming me here today along with your great command sergeant
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major wayne st. louis. where is he? [ applause ] the quartet and 101st division band. [ applause ] all these troopers behind me, you look great. [ applause ] you notice they kind of hesitated. we got a lot of folks in the house. we got military police and medical personnel. we've got the green berets, the fifth special forces group. a few air force here. oh. well we thought we did. there we go. okay. come on. and, of course, the legendary screaming eagles.
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and although they are not in the audience i want to acknowledge the 160th special operations aviation regiment, the night stalkers for their extraordinary service. [ cheers and applause ] now, i've got to say some of you certainly look a little familiar. because last december when we were in bagra i was out there to thank you for your service, especially during the holidays and we had a great rally, a great big crowd and it seemed like everybody there was from 101st. since there we've had quite a few homecomings. destiny. strike.
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and some of the division headquarters, the gladiators. on behalf of a grateful nation, welcome home. [ applause ] of course, our thoughts and prayers are with general campbell, command sergeant schroeder and all the screaming eagles and troops that are still risking their lives in theater. and i'm so pleased that ann campbell and marla schroeder and some of the inspiring military spouses are here. where are they at? right over there.
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we're grateful to you. god bless you. there they are. thank you so much. this happens to be military spouse appreciation day. we honor your service as well. [ applause ] now i didn't come here to make a really long speech. i know you're hot in here. it is hot. what i really want to do is come down, shake some hands. i came here for a simple reason to say thank you. on behalf of america. this has been a historic week in the life of our nation. [ applause ] thanks to the incredible skill and courage of countless individuals, intelligence, military, over many years, the
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terrorist leader that struck our nation on 9/11 will never threaten america again. [ cheers and applause ] yesterday i traveled to new york city. and along with some of the 9/11 families laid a wreath at ground zero in memory of their loved ones. i met with the first responders, the firefighters, the police officers, the port authority officers who lost some of their own when they rushed into those burning towers. i promised that our nation will never forget those we lost that dark september day. and today here at fort campbell, i had the privilege of meeting the extraordinary special ops, folks who honored that promise. it was a chance for me to say on behalf of all americans and
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people around the world, job well done. [ applause ] job well done. they are america's quiet professionals. the success demand secrecy, but i'll say this. like all of you, they could have chosen a life of ease. but like you, they volunteered. they chose to serve in a time of war. knowing they could be sent into harm's way. they trained for years, they are battle hardened. they practiced tirelessly for this mission and when i gave the order they were ready. now in recent days the whole world has learned just how ready they were. these americans deserve credit
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for one of the greatest intelligence and military operations in our nation's history. but so does every person who wears america's uniform. the finest military the world has ever known. that includes all of you. men and women of the 101st. [ applause ] you've been on the front lines of this fight for nearly ten years. you were there in those early days, driving the taliban from power, pushing al qaeda out of its safe havens. over time as the insurgency grew you went back for in some case as second time, a third time, a fourth time. when the decision was made to go into iraq you were there too. making the longest air assault in history.
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defeating a vicious insurgency. ultimately giving iraqis a chance to secure their democracy. and you've been at the forefront of our new strategy in afghanistan. you know sending you, more of you into harm's way was the toughest decision that i've made as commander in chief. i don't make it lightly. every time i visit walter reed, every time i visit bethesda, i'm reminded of the wages of war. i made that decision because i know that this mission was vital to the security of the nation that we all love. and i know it hasn't been easy four and it certainly hasn't been easy for your families. is in 9/11, no base has deployed more often and few bases have sacrificed more than you. we see it in our heroic wounded
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warriors. fighting every day to recover and who deserve the absolute respect of the world. [ applause ] we see it in the mental and emotional toll that's been taken. in some cases some good people, good soldiers have taken their own lives. so, we're going to keep saying to anybody who is hurting out there, don't give up, you're not alone. your country needs you. we're here for you. to keep you strong. and most of all, we see the price of this war and the 125 soldiers from fort campbell who was made the ultimate sacrifice during this deployment to afghanistan. and every memorial ceremony, every eagle remembrance is a solemn reminder of the heavy burdens of war, but also the
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values of loyalty and duty and honor that define your lives. so here's what each of you must know. because of your service, because of your sacrifices, we're making progress in afghanistan. and some of the toughest parts of the country general campbell and the 101st are taking insurgents and their leaders off the battlefield and helping afghans reclaim their communities. across afghanistan we've broken the taliban's momentum. in key regions we've seized the momentum pushing them out of their strongholds. we're building the capacity of afghans, partnering with communities and police and security forces which are growing stronger. and most of all we're making progress in our major goal, our central goal in pakistan and afghanistan and that is disrupting and dismantling and we'll ultimately defeat al
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qaeda. we'll cut off their head. [ applause ] even before this week's operation we put al qaeda's leadership under more pressure than at any time since 9/11. on both sides of the border. so the bottom line is this, our strategy is working and there's no greater evidence of that and justice is finally being delivered to osama bin laden. [ cheers and applause ] but i don't want to fool you. this continues to be a very tough fight. you know that. but because of this progress we're moving into a new phase. in the coming months we'll start transferring responsibility for security to afghan forces. starting this summer we'll begin reducing american forces.
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as we transition we'll build long term partnership with the afghan people so that al qaeda can never again threaten america from that country. and as your commander in chief, i'm confident that we're going to succeed in this mission. the reason i'm confident is because in you i see the strength of america's military. and because in recent days we've all seen the resilience of the american spirit. now this week i received a letter from a girl in new jersey after the news that bin laden had been killed. and she explained how she still, that september morning almost ten years ago. she was only 4 years old. her father, glenn, was trapped
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inside the world trade center. and so in those final frantic moments, knowing he might not make it, he called home. and she remembers watching her mom sobbing as she spoke to her husband and then passed the phone to peyton. in the words that were hard to hear but what she's never forgotten, he said to her, i love you peyton and i will always be watching over you. so, yesterday peyton, her mom and her sister, avery, joined me at ground zero and now peyton is 14. these past ten years have been tough for her. in her letter she said ever since my father died i lost a part of me that can never be replaced. she describes a childhood as a little girl struggling to shine through all the darkness in her
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life. but every year more and more peyton is shining through. she's playing a lot of sports including lacrosse and track. doing well in school. mentoring younger students. she's looking hide to high school in the fall. and so yesterday she was with us, strong confident young woman honoring her father's memory, even as she set her sights on the future. for her and for all of us this week has been a reminder of what we're about as a people. it's easy to forget sometimes, especially in times of hardship, times of uncertainty, coming out of the worst recession since the great depression. haven't fully recovered from that. we've made enormous sacrifices in two wars. but the essense of america, the values that have defined us for
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more than 200 years, they don't just endure, they are stronger than ever. we're still the america that does the hard things. that does the great things. we're the nation that always dared to dream. we're the nation that's willing to take risks, revolutionaries breaking free from an empire, pioneers heading west to settle new frontiers, innovators building railways, putting men on the moon. liberating concentration camps. we're the nation that all those years ago sent your division to a high school in arkansas so that nine black students could get an education. that was you. because we believed that all men are created equal. that everyone deserves a chance to realize their god given potential. we're the nation that has faced
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tough times before. tougher times than these. but when our union frayed when, when our harbor was bombed, when our country was attacked on that september day, when disaster strikes like that tornado that just ripped through this region we do not false terrify, we don't turn back, we pick ourselves up and we get on with the hard task of keeping our country strong and safe. see there's nothing we can't do together, 101st, when we remember who we are and that is the united states of america. when we remember that no problem is too hard and no challenge is too great and that is why i'm so confident that with your brave service america's greatest days are still to come. god bless you. god bless the 101st. g god bless the united states of
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america. >> president obama just wrapping up his speech there in fort campbell, kentucky. what a speech it was. i want to bring in senator dick durbin who has been sitting here during this entire time watching this whole speech with me. there the president goes along with vice president. jackets off. rousing round of applause from those troops there. first, senator, just your impressions? >> what a great moment. you know this president, i think, was being as honest as he could be with the american people and these troops. this was the riskiest decision he ever made as president. he put his faith in those men and women in uniform and those like them who were part it. and he came to say thank you, that they didn't let him down. they didn't let america down. it was a great expression of gratitude from the president and the nation. >> in the speech the president said looking at my notes he said we're making progress, we're going defeat al qaeda and when you and i spoke before the president came out, with regard to getting our troops out of
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afghanistan and starting to really draw down come july, would you be willing to take the troops out even if al qaeda isn't fully defeated? >> listen, i think we can put all the members of al qaeda in afghanistan in this room. it's a small number. we can't give up the fact that they are dangerous to us, america and the people in afghanistan but we're closing in on them. we've taken the head off the snake and beating them down. we've still got work to do. and we need to do it with the afghans. they need to step up with us. their military. their police. they've be as focused as we are in keeping afghanistan safe. >> in terms of those opportunities, one opportunity one may say is the fact that bin laden is dead, now we have the opportunity, the united states has the opportunity to reconcile, to negotiate with the taliban. widely known or surmised the head of the reclusive head of the taliban omar mohamed omar is
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in pakistan. perhaps this is one way to get him out in talking to the u.s.. do you agree? is that an opportunity? >> don't think we missed a chance to see if it can work. if in fact we can sit down with the taliban with an agreement that they will honor the government that is in afghanistan, that they will not engaging acts of terrorism, that they will treat women with dignity in their country. if they are prepared to do that then perhaps something can happen. should we try? of course we should. >> if they are not? >> then the battle continues. >> the battle continues. do we have dan lothian standing by, guys? what more, beyond this speech and certainly he's very thankful to all of these troops but in terms of, you know, lights off, we're out, afghanistan, is there such a thing as mission accomplished? >> i don't think any president is going step up and stand under that banner soon. president bush, as i one it, looked back and said that was a mistake.
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he was branded with it for the longest period of time. they spoke too soon. claimed too much. i think presidents are careful now. president bush since then and president obama now not to make these claims. let me just add one other point. there's a group that cannot be shown on camera that deserves equal billing and gratitude and that's the intelligence community. when you read about the ten year effort to find this man and all of the work and all of the danger that they face to bring that day about, to allow our military to step in, that gratitude should go to our intelligence community as well. >> we learned from the vice president two nights ago he said there were a number of members of congress who were in on this ration. were you part of that. >> no. 16. limited number of those on the intelligence committee which i once served on and the leadership and the good news is the vice president said they knew for months and not a word leaked. everyone understood. i talked to senator harry reid about this the gravity and
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importance of this mission. >> no leaks at all. senator durbin thank you so much for sitting here for this historic moment. what a moment to share with you. let's go to wolf blitzer in these final minutes before your show, wolf u-listened to the president speak. what struck you the most? >> well, you know, this is as senator durbin and you realize, this was a very risky move for the president. a risky politically for himself but even more important than that risky for the men he was dispatching into pakistan to go ahead, risk their lives and try to find bin laden and if it would have failed, only imagine the consequences for the president, consequences for the united states. u.s. credibility around the world would have suffered. it would have emboldened terrorists outside of the united states, emboldened the people who hate the united states to take further steps. so they could have undermine
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security, u.s. prestige. so it was a risky move that the president made and he did it and it worked out, obviously, and so he can get some credit for that. but it was by no means a done deal. everything i'm hearing, by the way, it was by no means a done deal when he gave the go order. i'll say this. we'll have more on this in the situation room. it is intensifying the u.s. hunt for other terrorists out there. the u.s. is really speeding up its activities. it's getting new information, in part as a result of that treasure trove of documents and computer disks, hard drives, thumb drives that they picked up at bin laden's compound in abbottabad. they are getting new information. i wouldn't be surprised to see some other successes, dramatic successes in the weeks and months to come based on some of the information that is being picked up right now. >> also perhaps what might pop up on your show with dan lothian, he said there cube read
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out between that closed door meeting with the president and the s.e.a.l.s team six. in your show you may start to get some of that information and that will be certainly stunning to listen too. wolf blitzer, give you a quick break so you can have a couple more minutes to prep for your show. we won't go too far from this story but we do have some new incredible details coming up about congresswoman gabrielle giffords. listen to this. >> the entire time she was going hospital was she alert and awake? >> her eyes were closed. she was responsive to pain. >> dr. gupta joins me live previewing this documentary he's been working on for quite a while. we'll be talking about that coming up next. stay right here. ♪ sometimes i feel like...
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we're covering gaze company -- we're covering arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords. she and her husband went out the dinner at an area houston restaurant. she's in rehab in houston for her brain injury that she suffered back in january and she says she will return to florida, back to cape canaveral, back to kennedy space center when the
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postponed launch of endeavor is rescheduled. one question people ask is how in the world did she survive a bullet to the brain? sanjay? >> it's pretty remarkable. if you consider this one fact that only about 5% to 10% that have twounds the head survive. people might expect that number to be that low. there are several different factors that go into, for example what was working in her favor from the time of the shooting throughout, through right now. let me give you a little bit of a preview of what happened. take a look. >> the bullet was fired from a glock so my automatic handgun. ended to the front left side of the congresswoman's forehead, traveled through her brain and exited out the back. it was a focused wound. the damage was concentrated to one area of the brain. she was exceedingly lucky?
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>> when i saw that trajectory where one hole was and where the other hole was i was like oh, my gosh. >> because it was so far apart? >> yeah. it went through a lot. >> it wasn't a glancing shot. >> it wasn't a glancing shot. >> one of the important things he just said there is that he is describing what's known as a through and through bullet wound injury. the reason that's important is because you have a certain amount of energy from that bullet. you want that energy to be dissipated into space as much as possible versus the skull. so that's one example of something that worked in her favor. >> what about -- you mentioned the gun type. what about the bullet. does it matter? is it size or trajectory? >> yes. there's several things that matter about the bullet, for example, in particular. the exit wound, we know, when it went through and through
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relatively small exit wound. the doctors had a hard time distinguishing twhafs exit room what was the entrance wound. that's important because the bullet is likely not have tumbled inside. or exploding. the bullets tumble inside the brain and can cause more damage inside the brain. or the bullet goes inside the skull and sort of explodes. that can be a real problem. also, you mentioned the trajectory of this bullet. most neurosurgeons will tell you if the bullet crosses the mid-line goes from left to right or right from left whatever the case may be that offers a much worse prognosis. a lot of doctors won't be aggressive in terms of therapy. this stayed on one side of the brain. >> it's a stunning story. you spoke with her doctors and rookie paramedics. we're excited to watch this. you're calling it, it's


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