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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 9, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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tonight. >> for all of us here at nbc 10, thanks for watching. >> news continues now with "nightly news". on our broadcast tonight, secrets and lies. the blockbuster report on torture blows the lid off some gruesome cia tactics post 9/11, far more brute an than we knew, but did they make us any safer r tonight president bush's cia director tells us it wasn't torture. a chilling moment of crisis caught on video as police officers confront an armed attacker inside a house of worship. flood threat. two big storm systems at both ends of our country. one of them being called a once in a decade occurrence. and frightening crash. an nfl star quarterback involved in a terrible rollover on the road. we'll have the latest on his condition. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news
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world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. a scathing report issued today details what the cia did to terrorism suspects in the name of 9/11 and in the war on terrorism. it describes the brutal treatment of prisoners in secret locations using torture tactics while hiding the truth from the american people, members of congress and at times the bush administration, all of it while this nation was at war with hundreds of thousands of troops in the fight. and it goes a long way toward answering the question -- were we made any safer, are we any safer today because of what went on in prison cells in the dark when no one was watching? we begin our coverage here tonight with our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. andrea, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. it is a devastating report for the cia which strongly objects to the conclusions, but now they are there for all of america and the world to read.
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for years the cia has claimed that the harsh intear gags now seen as torture helped capture nine 11 mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed, take down osama bin laden and disrupt terror plots at the lie brarer tower in los angeles and elsewhere around the world. today the senate intelligence committee said none of that was true. >> not a single case holds up. >> reporter: a slam echoed by a republican, john mccain. >> it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11. >> reporter: mccain, the only member of the senate who was himself tortured as a p.o.w. in vietnam. >> i know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. >> reporter: after almost six years, 6.3 million documents, a 6,000-page report, costing $40 million, committee democrats accuse the cia of covering up the brutality of the interrogations, misleading congress, the public, even the white house. when did president bush first
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learn the gruesome details? the report says not until 2006, four years after the cia started torturing detainees in secret prisons. >> questioning the detainees in this program has given us information that has saved innocent lives. >> reporter: that's now in dispute. the report details a catalog of horrors. dungeons where one detainee stripped naked died of hypothermia, another bin laden lieutenant abu zubaydah was waterboarded for 2 1/2 weeks 24/7 until he passed out. interrogators had to call in medics to revive him. 9/11 plotter khalid sheikh mohammed was waterboarded, nearly drowned 183 times, slammed against walls until, the report says, he started making up stories, a fake nuclear suitcase bomb and a claim that al qaeda was recruiting african-american muslims in montana. ab do you al nashiri was blindfolded threatened with a
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gun near his head and a power drill and given forced enemas. these were hidden from colon powell. >> there are cia records stating that colon powell wasn colin po about the system because, and i quote, powell would blow his stack. >> reporter: it could inspire more terrorism. >> it could be used to incite unrest and even attacks against our service members, other personnel overseas and our international partners. >> reporter: so does cia director john brennan, acknowledging some mistakes but insisting the interrogations did help thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. tonight the president spoke to telemundo's jose diaz-balart. >> some of the tactics that were written about in the senate intelligence report were brutal and, as i've said before, constituted torture in my mind,
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and that's not who we are. >> reporter: one of a stunning revelations tonight, the report says two psychologists, contractors, who designed the interrogation techniques, had no experience with al qaeda, no language skills. they made $80 million before this program was cut off. brian. >> andrea mitchell starting us off in our d.c. newsroom tonight, thanks. a short time ago here today we spoke with retired general michael hayden, accused in today's report of providing misleading information in the past. he ran the nsa and was cia director starting during the bush era from '06 to '09. we talked to him about this torture report. he disagrees with the definition, for starters. says what was carried out was not torture. we then talked about overall and global impact. how are we better than our enemies morally in light of what we all read about today? >> well, let me give you a startling statement, brian, and look, everyone knows these things were very tough. i got involved in this very late
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in the program. i endorsed their use going forward in a very minimized form. so these decisions aren't taken lightly by anyone, believe me. let me give you an odd calculus here, brian. as bad as some people think cia behavior was with regard to these 100 or so detainees, if everyone on the planet used cia behavior as the model, the overall treatment of detainees on earth would actually improve. >> should that be the standard, however? >> well, brian, the standard was what is lawful, effective and appropriate in a time of great extremists of the united states with 3,000 fellow citizens who have been murdered. >> what if you, god forbid, members of your family, had to undergo some of the treatments we are reading about in this
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report? can you personalize it in that way? >> i can, brian, and clearly, look, brian, we're people who like you and all your viewers, we have a soul and a conscience, too. we knew as bad as these people were, we were doing this to fellow human beings. so don't ever forget that. you asked me about my family members. i actually think, brian, that my concern or any outrage, if that were ever done to any of my family members, would be somewhat muted if my family members had just killed 3,000 of my citizens. >> you are four square in defense of everything, all of the physical activities described as torture contained in today's document, support them then, support them now and would do them again? >> hey, brian, this isn't a response here about defending torture. i'm here talking to you about defending history. what we really could have used
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is a really nonpolitical look at the cia program. the one that was launched when this report first got under way. this report was supposed to have conducted interviews, hearings and give recommendations. it doesn't have any of those. i was in government for ten years after 9/11, and let me tell you a phrase i never heard from anybody in any position of authority. whatever you guys do about this terrorism, please, please, don't overreact. never heard it, brian. >> part of our interview today with retired general michael hayden, former head of the nsa and cia. as we switch our attention to the other stories we're covering tonight, that includes two major storm systems affecting millions of americans at both ends of this country. to the east, torrential rain bringing heavy flooding and some areas already hard hit are about to get more. snow to the west. a storm with potentially
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hurricane-force winds bearing down. nbc's ron mott is in gloucester, mass, for us tonight. ron, good evening. >> brian, good evening to you. the snow coming with this system should stay well inland. now here on the coast we're getting heavy rain, strong winds that you can probably see or hear and possible flooding. from the mid-atlantic to the tip of maine, messy conditions to weather today, tonight and into tomorrow for millions of americans. >> getting a little worried as to whether i was going to get through it or not. >> reporter: slick roads, flooded streets, strong winds pushing 60 miles per hour, heavy rain and snow expected as temperatures dip overnight. >> this nor'easter is making a mess out there. roads are flooded in new jersey, new york and beyond. >> reporter: along the new jersey coast, angry surf, washed-out roadways, last-minute sandbagging. >> what causes the flooding here is the river water tops the bulkheads and our system's out of use then. >> reporter: traffic turned
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treacherous all along the storm zone. at least one person killed in this chain reaction crash in upstate new york. around new york city, the wind whipped drivers and pedestrians alike. and on the massachusetts coast, for those depending on the ocean for a living, nor'easters often mean lost pay. >> a little too rough, a little too dangerous. we give the fish the day off and the fish give us the day off. >> reporter: elsewhere fog in dallas grounded nearly 150 flights adding to travel woes which could expand as snow begins to fall in the northeast. >> the snowy side of the eastern storm comes tonight and tomorrow, then our focus shifts out west where we could see a significant dent in the northern california drought. >> reporter: now, the reason we're not talking about a lot of snow here on the coast of new england is because the wind's coming right off the ocean, brian, bringing warmer air and that's the silver lining around here tonight. >> ron mott in gloucester with our coverage tonight, ron, thanks. quarterback cam newton of the carolina panthers is in the
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hospital tonight undergoing tests, being treated for pain. he's believed to have twin fractures in his lower back following a two-car accident in the shadow of the panthers home stadium. he has internal injuries, none life threatening. he rolled the his truck. heisman trophy winner and number one draft choice from 2011 already holds many records including most passing yards and running touchdowns for a rookie quarterback. tony romo of the cowboys has been dealing with a similar back injury though his was suffer on the field. back in washington, republicans call in a key architect of the affordable care act. president obama says he was just, quote, some adviser who was never part of the staff. either way, it is unlikely that most americans have heard the name jonathan gruber until a few weeks ago when a video emerged of him insulting their intelligence. and today he went before
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congress to face some tough question. our report tonight from nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: rarely do witnesses hauled before congress make things worse. how did you not mean what you were saying? but today m.i.t. economics professor and white house obama care policy adviser jonathan gruber appeared to do just that during a four-hour public shaming. >> are you stupid? >> were all of your prior statements a lie? or were they just glib. >> so you're a professional at m.i.t. and you're worried about not looking smart enough? >> yes. >> reporter: gruber was under fire for saying at conferences that american voters are stupid and were misled in order to get the health care law passed. >> lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. >> because americans are too stupid to understand this. >> reporter: today he apologized, calling himself arrogant. >> i behaved badly and i'll have to live with that. it was inexcusable that i tried to appear smarter by insults
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others. >> reporter: they also blasted gruber for giving a gift to conservative critics. >> man, you did a great job. you wrapped it up with a bow. >> reporter: gruber provoked new outrage when he refused to fully answer questions about money he made consulting on obama care. >> the american taxpayer would like to know how much they paid you to deceive them and then got made fun of by the very dollars that they paid you to make fun of them. they'd like to know that. so how much were you paid? >> as i said, the committee can take that up with my counsel. >> reporter: lawmakers suggested gruber was paid more than $2 million. why won't you tell taxpayers how much dr. gruber was paid? seems like a simple request, sir. after words got him into trouble, tonight gruber is done talking. kelly o'donnell, nbc news, the capit capitol. still ahead for us tonight, an intense standoff caught on video. police make a dramatic takedown face-to-face with a knife-wielding attacker. also, see if your least favorite is on the list.
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brooklyn synagogue. by this point, 49-year-old calvin peters has already allegedly stabbed a young student. 22-year-old levi rosenblatt. the nine-inch knife still in peters' hands. >> he's brandishing a weapon in front of the officer and has already used that. >> reporter: this is a former detective and police academy instructor. >> he's thinking to himself i don't want to get stabbed with this knife he's already used. >> reporter: there's a bit of fear there. >> tremendous amount of fear. >> reporter: officers ordered peter to drop the knife. >> drop the knife. drop the knife. then a single shot. in a statement, the nypd says peters lunged at one of the responding officers, who then discharged his firearm one time, striking the male in the torso. peters later died in the hospital. the victim is listed in stable condition. this incident in stark contrast
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to recent police shootings involving unarmed suspects. the kill of eric garner, the michael brown and tamir rice shootings have all sparked huge protests nationwide. last night in berkeley, california, hundreds of marchers closed down interstate 80 and brought an amtrak train to a full stop. today mayor of new york bill de blasio praised his officers for potentially saving lives. the job our brave men and women perform is often perilous and difficult, and we thank them for their service. as police departments face difficult questions about their tactics, the vivid reminder that there is still a tough and dangerous job to do. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with a cover story revealed. what bob dylan said today about frank sinatra. my name is karen and i have diabetic nerve pain. it's progressive pain. first that feeling of numbness. then hot pins.
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study is out. it ranks the most offensive, most annoying behavior on board an aircraft, and you can say these right along with us and probably guessed most of them. first place belongs to seat kickers, followed by inattentive parents, our friend the aromatic passenger comes in third. audio insensitive is number four. this could be anything from loud cell phone talkers at the gate, loud talkers in general or blaring headphones. and finally the boozer. always an inflight treat. a solid fifth. rounding out the top 20, pungent food lovers, carry-on offenders, arm rest hogs and seat recliners. robert zimmerman is about to take on francis albert. bob dylan has announced he's doing an album of frank sinatra music. he says he's wanted to do it for a long time, but he was never brave enough. this is a tough moment for those
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of us who are fans of both men. sinatra left us with such brilliant recordings and dylan's voice isn't what it used to be even given what it used to be. sooner or later it comes out. ten songs in all. and it drops the first week of february. the biologist james watson was awarded the nobel prize in 1962 for his work in discovering the structure of dna. this past weekend watson's prize medal was auctioned off by christies for $4.1 million. and he's donating the proceeds to three academic institutions. now this man who bought the medal, a billionaire considered the wealthiest man in russia, says he's giving it back to watson. he says it's unacceptable that watson felt the need to sell it in first place. and he adds, he wanted to repay watson for his contributions to scientific research. "time" magazine is nearing its decision on an annual tradition dating back to 1927, naming its person of the year.
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the cover will go to one of these five. vladimir putin, the ferguson protesters, the caregivers who treat ebola patients, massoud barzani the president of iraqi kurdistan or jack mau. when we come back, things get a little awkward when the duke and the duchess meet king james.
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the duke and duchess of came camebridge, will and kate, are capping off their visit to the states with a black tie dinner in new york before boarding a late british airways flight back to london, but it's something that happened last night, specifically when they met a member of the nba royalty that still has everyone buzzing. our report tonight from nbc's kate snow. >> here they come. >> reporter: it was the third quarter of the nets/cavaliers game and no one was watching the court about. >> everybody is focused on william and kate. >> reporter: they looked as surprised as anyone when they popped up on the jumbotron, but not everyone gets to meet jay-z and beyonce courtside or the king of the court, lebron james, who did what americans do, putting his arm around the
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duchess to pose for photos. >> technically are you not supposed to touch a royal? >> well, technically you're not going to high five them and have a massive cuddle fest with them, but you can touch them, you can shake their hand. they're very easy going people. just what you see is what you get. >> reporter: today began on a more somber note. in the pouring rain, the royal couple placed flowers at the 9/11 memorial and quietly tour the museum. this weekend we saw students from city kids rehearsing. and today the duke and duchess gave them a standing ovation. later, prince william took in the view from the empire state building, and tonight a fund-raising gala for their alma mater st. andrew's, where the couple first met. the black tie event, the final stop on their whirlwind tour. a tiny jersey lebron james gave them, the perfect suv nir to take home to pribs george. that's our broadcast on a tuesday night. thank you for being here with
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us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. . brand new couple shocker. kate hudson cancels her wedding. >> is she already moving on with derek hough, now on "extra." "extra." kate hudson's rumored hookup
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with "dancing with the stars" derek hough. "extra" uncovers new includes about the new relationship. >> he's a dream boat. >> was this this sexy late nigh dance the beginning of the end of her engagement? now trending the reality star murder-suicide rocking hollywood today. then sarah palin unfiltered. >> i'm not wired to sit down and shut up. >> in her element going all mama grizzly about her family's headlining making brawl. >> william an kate take new york. >> the prince, the princess, ki royalty, face to face. >> "extra's" royals anchor and editor at large piers morgan has every angle covered. >> why is everybody freaking out about these lebron pics? adam levine and behati prinsloo, he said/she said. >> you're going to win. >> now on "extra." >> duh. >> from universal studios hollywood the entertainment capital of l.a.


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