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tv   The Flag  CNN  September 11, 2013 10:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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any other people, and it is not true. >> i know her ex, lance armstrong. >> well, the rest i can't put into a book until everybody is dead. >> that is all for us tonight, "ac360" later. starts right now. >> good evening, everyone, a very busy night on syria, a diplomatic maneuvering, the political doubts about russia, and the shaky problems about the civil war. john mccain joins us, so does the man who led the u.n. weapons inspection team in iraq. later, george zimmerman's strange confrontation with his wife, shellie zimmerman. and christie story, murdered at age four, his mother, condemned to die on death row.
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now, after more than two decades, she is free. is the killer going free because of bad police work all of those years ago? we begin now on the proposed deals with russia and syria could be nothing more than a bid by those countries to buy time, and growing doubts on whether they should neutralize the chemical weapons stock pile at all. this happens on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. president obama marking the occasion at the white house, 9/11, you remember, the anthrax letters, small pox fears, and mass destruction, just like the war that wprevious war. and serious doubts about the wisdom and judgments of the commander-in-chief. there were echos of that as secretary of state john kerry departs for talks with his russian counterpart, each discussing the stock piling of the weapons.
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and what would be the option if syria doesn't live up to the deal. and there are the mechanics of possibly destroying tens of thousands of tons of mustard and sarin gas, in fact, nobody really knows exactly the amount that there is. and questions about vladimir putin but also president obama after his speech last night. >> he cannot speak to the nation as a commander-in-chief. he cannot speak to the world as a commander in chief. he just cannot do it. and i don't know what it is. >> republican senator corker there, questioning the president's ability as president, basically, also complaining that he is not making the case that america's credibility is on the line. we'll hear from his colleague, john mccain shortly. but first, jim acosta is on the line, what is the latest from the proposal from russia? >> reporter: well, first of all, the white house won't get into a back and forth with senator corker.
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but as you see, with the ceremonial duties with the commander in chief, he was honoring the victims of the september 11th attacks. he was helping the chronically ill, bagging lunches. and the president is not setting a time line on when syria has to give up the chemical weapons, something that was asked today. they're not giving a time line. but you really got the sense, anderson, that the white house is setting expectations for this russian proposal. they were saying at the press briefing earlier today that russia is assad's best friend, that the russians have not been very cooperative in recent years. and this was all sort of punctuated by white house press secretary jay carney, when he said this was on the line. >> russia is assad's and syria's closest ally. russia has played the role of blocking the efforts right now
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to hold assad accountable. and the proposition they put forward to deal with assad's chemical weapons presents a real opportunity if it were to be successful. >> now, it is interesting to point out, anderson, at the end of the news conference, jay carney called on a russian reporter who said now, wait a minute, this whole russian proposal came from these constructive conversations that were going on between the president and the president of russia, putin, and he said you have a point there. >> secretary kerry heading to meet his counterpart, how optimistic are they that they will hash out a deal, since both sides are so far apart? >> reporter: well, they're cautiously optimistic, at the same time you hear that, from the white house you hear at the state department, the spokesperson said at this briefing earlier this afternoon with reporters that what
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secretary kerry is doing over there in geneva is testing the seriousness as she put it, of the russian proposal. so really they're at that point in the game right now looking at what is going to be on paper right now, let alone at what is coming down the road during this briefing. jen sake said they're going into this meeting with the russian foreign minister with their eyes wide open. so a measure of optimism, anderson, but also a whole lot of caution, they're just not sure it with it work out and they're setting their expectations. >> all right, thank you. in the senate, they dropped the use of force resolution. at the same time the white house rejected proposals that precludes military action up front. senator mccain, vladimir putin said the threat of force has to be off the table for there to be any deal to get done. does that make any sense to you? >> it makes no sense, it could indicate we'll have a lot of
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difficulties with this russian-sponsored resolution. and so no, it makes no sense whatsoever. >> you know, there are a lot of people out there who believe that the united states is essentially being played. the obama administration, the u.s. is being played by russia, by syria. to them, you say what? >> i'm very concerned and very skeptical. i'm concerned that john kerry has to fly to geneva to meet with him about a resolution that is going through the u.n. security council. why isn't lavrov coming to new york while they shape this agreement? i know they said with some interest that bashar al-assad's aircraft began their bombing operations and killing operations which they had been stood down while the threat of the united states launching an attack was prevalent. and so i am very skeptical. and i hope that i'm wrong.
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>> i talked to david kaye, former chief weapons inspector in iraq last night. i'm going to talk to him again tonight. he said this has never been done before. this has never been done in the middle of a civil war, if it takes 500 to a thousand inspectors, there are not that many qualified inspectors ready to go. so what kind of a time table do you actually see for some sort of tally of the sites and securing of the sites. i'm not even talking about the destruction of the actual weapons. >> the resolution could take a couple of days. all the problems that you just outlined in that of david kay are very important. the syrian government knows where these weapons are. so we would ask them to show the national monitors where they are. we would then take charge of those and a lot of them are in areas that are not totally contested. would it be a complicated and difficult exercise? yes, indeed.
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but as opposed to allowing those chemical weapons to be continued to be used, as we know bashar al-assad has done a number of times in the past, just not to the degree that this latest atrocity was. then i think we have the lesser of two evils. >> logistically would there be a sort of international security force on the ground to protect the inspectors? >> i don't think it would have to be robust. i do think that -- i know the free syrian army would not inter fe fere with those activities because of the threat against them. now, with al-qaeda, i would freely admit there are more of them falling in every single day. then i think it is very complicated. and we would have to look at perhaps an international force. we might have to look at some things.
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but you could also look at a negotiated departure of bashar al-assad, his people, to say we'll secure these areas where the weapons are stored, as well. >> for you, though, bottom line, moving forward in the next hours and days, you're saying there is no way the u.s. should take the threat of military force off the table? >> i don't see how you can and have credibility. if someone can explain to me how that is possible, i would like to hear that discussion. but with the weapon -- the weapons have to go out first. but again, i would not ignore the free syrian army, because as long as this conflict goes on, the more killing is going on. and you're the last person i have to tell what the effects in the refugee camps are, the 100,000 killed. the million children who are refugees and the destabilization around the countries, including
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iraq, which is quickly going into chaos. >> thank you, senator john mccain. under scoring, he said it is unlikely to change the dynamics on the ground. the killing goes on. the air forces today hit a hospital in northern syria killing 11, wounding dozens more. that won't change, what worries the senator and others is russia, they have aided them for generations, whether it is syria, an all-around thorn in america's side. >> and when president putin came back into power, i think we saw more rhetoric on the russian side that was anti-american. >> we are extremely disappointed that the russian government would take this step. >> i have encouraged mr. putin to think forward as opposed to backwards. >> we had a lot of fish to fry, if you will, with the russian sno. >> obviously, this is disputed by president putin.
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>> if putin chooses to ignore it again, that is his choice. >> on syria, i said listen, i don't expect us to agree. >> because of the guaranteed russian obstructionism. >> blocked by the russians, and it has been resisted by russia. >> quite a recent history, the question is, what if anything is different now? the obama administration seems to think that something has changed. joining me now, the center for middle east policy and also chief political analyst, gloria borger. he says he doesn't see how you could have credibility by the consequences of agreeing there will not be military force. do you agree with that? >> i do, except i think we have basically unilaterally disarmed. the vote that the president was looking at in the house at the last count was 25 votes in favor, of the 217 that he needed. and so i think it is very clear
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that we're not going to get the kind of authorization of force that he needs to have, a credible threat. so that leaves him with two choices. one is just to play this out. to string it along, to make it look like there is more there than there really is. and the other is to do what senator mccain said, to think about the conflict more broadly as a whole, not just about chemical weapons and develop a strategy on the ground that strengthens a free syrian army, and strengthens, not necessarily a unilateral american force, but globally. >> gloria, if it possible -- if the deal doesn't work out several weeks from now, then the president can go back with strengthened hands and get approval? >> it is hard to see how his hand would strengthened in this.
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look, what they have to be thinking at the white house is yes, this could fall apart. because okay, if the russians are saying you have to take the threat of force off the table. that is kind of nonnegotiatable from our point. so what is their plan b? it could be, anderson, to decide having made the moral case to the public, having tried to go to congress that he could actually go without congress. that raises all sorts of political questions for him. or, he could decide, for example, to just have a vote in the senate where perhaps he might have a little bit more support. and then not have a vote in the house. i mean, there is precedent for this with bill clinton and the nato and kosovo, he had approval from the senate and went. >> what about this, that president obama could decide follow alone. even though he tossed it over to congress, they said all along that the president had authority to go alone.
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>> those options make sense to me as theoretical options, but i just can't see the president doing that. just all along on syria, he has shown a deep, deep reluctance to get involved and use force. as he said in his interview, i came to end wars. he said i brought a decade of war to an end. i think he sees this as part of his legacy, and he would have to go through a massive padigm to do that. >> but he has made the case this would be limited. as secretary kerry said it would be unbelievably small. if he sticks with what he said this originally would be, how this whole process has played out over the last two weeks, the president seemed willing not to go to congress. then seemed to have a change of heart and went to congress. so why wouldn't he then decide after this plays out that he has
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played out this string, and he might just decide to do what he originally seemed to be intending to do. >> well, also mike, and gloria, there is a logistical time table in the terms of readiness on the part of the u.s. we have to talk about. they tell us the high readiness level has to be as assessed in the next couple of weeks, the u.s. can't maintain the readiness level for that length of time. the destroyers need to be switched out. this official asked how long can you stay in a three-point stance. what about that, mike? >> look, it is quite possible -- when really faced with it, if the russians are not forthcoming and he has a political embarrassment in the end, he will look after his best interests. he may have a change of heart. but i was struck in the last two weeks. we had kerry come out and channel his inner churchhill,
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and president obama played hamlet, we saw that several times, churchhill, hamlet. >> you know, the time is key, as jim acosta said, the time table, it is key. we heard senator graham say today that people want to see impatience on the part of john kerry and they want to see something within the next couple of weeks as far as the u.n. is concerned. >> yeah, and a lot of that is going to be worked out between kerry and his counterpart starting tomorrow. gloria, let us know what you think next. coming up next, what happens, if weapons inspectors actually hit the ground, how would it work or not work, especially when history shows them ducking sniper fire. later, an angry confrontation outside of george zimmerman's house. his wife called the police tonight. she goes before the cameras, what she did and did not say about the incident. this is for you.
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. hey, welcome back, while the world's top diplomats debate the question on the syrian chemical weapons, there are others scrambling to figure out how to make it happen. as a point of reference, russia has agreed to destroy their chemical weapons in years past, that is ten years ago. and a dictator has already made life difficult for outsider sniffing around his chemical
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program. more by nic robertson. >> reporter: the first time they discussed the chemical weapons, it didn't go well. they were forced to end their mission a month later, citing deteriorating conditions. but the call for independent inspectors grew louder after numerous allegations of chemical atta attacks. just last month, a team of u.n. weapons inspectors was in damascus when a large-scale chemical weapons attack occurred. the inspectors wanted to visit the site but were confined to their hotel by the assad regime for five days. >> i personally called the foreign minister of syria and said if as you say, your nation has nothing to hide then let the united nations in immediately and give the inspectors the unfettered access. >> reporter: finally, the team was given the permission to
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inspect the scene. but as the convoy passed through the buffer zone of government and rebel-controlled areas, it came under attack. unidentified snipers shot at the convoy, multiple times, hitting the vehicle but causing no injuries. and the team continued on. >> when the u.n. inspectors finally gained access, that access as we now know was restricted and controlled. >> reporter: restricted and controlled, a familiar pattern in syria for inspectors trying to operate in the middle of a volatile war. nic robertson, cnn, beirut, lebanon. >> well, would anything be different this time? former chief u.n. weapons inspector in iraq, david kay, he currently served on the board, also cia officer, bob baird, when we spoke last night you said it may take between 500 and a thousand inspectors just to
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inspect and secure the stock piles. you have now revised that estimate. what number are you thinking? >> well, there is a number of us who carried out inspections and talked throughout the day. i think the argument becomes much stronger for close to 2,000 inspectors. now obviously, there are things we don't know. we don't know the size of their inventory, exactly where they're located, how they're divided among them. and we don't know if we'll be faced with, there looks like, there is something that is not here. the first thing the inspectors want to do is see the production records of their chemical weapons productions. so you know what they were supposed to have produced, and the chemical weapons inspections. that takes a lot of manpower. >> that may be a dumb question, but how many capable inspectors are there in the world right now? >> nowhere close though that
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number, of certified chemical weapons inspectors. the fact of the matter, most of them are in the military, and in the u.s. military. >> and so there is big question as to whether the syrian army and the russians would allow the american inspectors on the ground? >> i think it is highly unlikely, i am not sure the u.s. would want inspectors on the ground. that really is boots on the ground. >> bob, what do you think of the whole likelihood that the assad regime would actually give up their chemical weapons? >> i think it is close to zero, anderson. bashar al-assad has told his inner circle that his chemical weapons are the last line of defensive the civil war should go very badly. he would use these things. he has made it very clear in the inner circle. and now we're asking him to give this stuff up with essentially nothing in return. i think you're absolutely right. he is buying time, hoping the
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goes away. they can go on with this offensive, which they have started the last couple of days. in any case, the syrian regime has never opened that country up with anything. it has never cooperated with the u.n., the international inspectors have never been there. it doesn't have a close relationship with the leadership -- >> bob i think back to a year ago, when anan was there, they made a cease fire deal, and they quickly broke apart. they continued their attack on the city of homs. how reliable is our intelligence on where the chemical weapons are and how much they have? you know, i have heard questions all over the map. >> you know, our estimate is very good, the sarin, it is very sophisticated. reached a high level, but we were never able to monitor the
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actual quantity produced. so if they produced records now we would have for way to verify they were correct. >> and david, that is what we really have to rely on, the syrian regime's own accounting? >> well, not really. the interesting things about records production, it is very hard to fake all the internal connecti connections. there is input and productions, and all the immediate productionings. if you have get the numbers, you can detect that. it is easier to lie about other things, once you admit you have it, it gets very much more difficult to lie. >> and david, in terms -- i heard you use that term, secures the sites. what exactly does that mean? we're not talking about destroying the weapons, securing the sites, is that active
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monitoring? how do you secure the site? >> look, you're in a war zone, there are 27 personnel inspectors who are not trained to secure sites. i mean, they know technology. they can bring seals, cameras, all of that. but look, you have to -- if you assemble these weapons, you get them in several places, maybe five places. you have to provide protection, and that really is military-style protection. if see no way around that problem. >> and bob, you have worked in the region. you helped other soviet republics try to clean up their chemical weapons stock piles, and that process took years, right? >> it was a nightmare. i supervised looking at the old soviet stuff, same set of weapons, anthrax, chemical weapons, we couldn't even keep track of the bombs in kazakhstan, we saw the silos, but they couldn't even explain the stuff on site -- >> and that was them wanting to
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cooperate? >> 100%, they would fly us out, they would look at the stuff, the state department had complete control over it, the cia, and they just could not produce the records. we don't know what happened to it. the facilities were wide open. we never got a good estimate of what was had and what was lost. >> interesting, for more you can go to we'll talk to david kay more on "ac360" later at 10:00 tonight. the remarkable sight of george zimmerman cuffed in the street after the alleged confrontation with his wife. now his wife's attorney is speaking out. the story that apparently just won't go away. also, tonight, diana nyad strikes back at critics who question her swim from cuba to florida. is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. with 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
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an . welcome back, an attorney for shellie zimmerman, says that shellie does not want to talk about the situation anymore. he made that with her standing by his side. earlier today, the police in lake mary, florida, said right now no charges will be filed in the alleged confrontation between the couple. shellie called the authorities, regarding an alleged gun with her husband. she claims she recorded the incident on an ipad but that george smashed it. police say it could take weeks or month to recover the video, if at all. more on the story from victor blackwell. >> new dash cam video shows george zimmerman and another man being ordered out of this truck at gunpoint monday by lake mary,
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florida, police. >> get him back out there. >> reporter: police suspected zimmerman was armed after receiving this frantic call from his unconstitutionestranged wif zimmerman. >> he is in his car, and has his hands on his gun, saying step closer, he is just threatening all of us with a firearm. and he is going to shoot us. >> police say they didn't find a gun. >> get on your knees. cross your feet! >> reporter: according to police, there was a confrontation at the home the zimmermans once owned, a home owned by shellie's father. >> he took the ipad out of my hands and smashed it and cut it. >> reporter: this was dean after the alleged attack, which police say was not caught on camera. police say that zimmerman was using the smashed ipad to record the video of what was being taken in the home. in this footage george zimmerman volunteered to officers, you can
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see george smashed the ipad. now, that ipad is at the center of the investigation. >> you got george zimmerman saying he was struck with the ipad. and then you have shellie saying there was some physical contact with george. the ipad is important because we want to see what is on that ipad. that would have been running while this was going on. >> reporter: everyone was questioned and released. no charges were filed. >> we should point out that shellie zimmerman said there was a gun. police didn't find the gun, they did not actually search the vehicle that george zimmerman had because they didn't have a search warrant. and on this program, i talked to mark o'mara, george zimmerman's attorney, who said in fact he had a gun. and in benghazi, libya, a bomb exploded on the first anniversary of the attack at the u.s. consulate that killed four americans. state tv reports that the bomb blew up outside a government building, nobody was injured or
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killed. and a former marine in prison says that charges are false. he was forced to make a televised confession. he says that iran is only holding him as a pawn to secure the release of two iranians on related charges. and diana nyad says she swam to florida from cuba on her own with no assistance. nyad is a guest tonight on "piers morgan tonight," coming up right after "ac360." and retired general david petraeus heckled by students at the university of new york. he is teaching an honors class this fall. one student calls him a war criminal, possibly for his role leading u.s. troops in iraq. yeah, i would say he had a rough day there. >> i couldn't believe that video
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to be honest. i mean, the students -- i was kind of stunned by this. i don't know -- >> he keeps his game face on. >> i feel bad for him, walking around there, calling him a war criminal stuff. he is just trying to teach some class, i don't know. >> and the other guy showing his belly for some strange reason. >> there is a guy showing his belly, they're threatening to follow him all the time. >> yeah, he needs to put it away a. >> yeah, charming, isha, thanks. and crime and punishment, his mother was sentenced to death for his death. also tonight, just eight days away from saying i do, she allegedly pushed her new husband to his death. she was back in court tonight. we'll tell you what happened. ♪
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and savings -- all the things humans need to make our world a little less imperfect. call... and ask about all the ways you could save. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? crime and punishment, an arizona woman is waiting for her sentencing to death, the crime she was convicted of, one of the most heinous on the books, the murder of her own child. but just months ago, they threw out her conviction, prosecutors are waiting to prepare their case, but this time may have to go to trial without their key
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witness. >> reporter: it was december, 1999, all little christopher milke wanted to do was see santa claus, but that didn't happen, he was taken to the desert and shot execution style. he was just four. within hours, investigators identified two suspects, james stires and roger scott. during the interrogation, scott cracked and then led investigators to the boy's body. but why did they do it? the story began to unfold when the phoenix investigator said the boy's mother had also been involved. so he quickly zeroed in on deborah milk'. >> he, based on the bit of evidence he had, said she did it. >> he arrested milke, a 25-year-old insurance clerk, and within 25 minutes she confessed she had arranged for the
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killing. the alleged motive? a $25,000 insurance payout. based on the witness, zaldake was the state's star witness. >> she decided that it would be best for christopher milki to die. >> milki shot back. >> i looked at him and said if i didn't want my son, then i would have given him to my family or someone else in my family. >> still, the jury believed the detective, in 1990, milki was convicted and sentenced to die. but that was just the beginning of the strange case, for more than 20 years, her case has gotten the attention of many, with the questions of investigators, saying would she have her own son killed for $25,000, and if so why did the
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two men she hired to do the job refuse to testify against her? milki has always maintained her innocence and never gave up on appe appeals. she insists she never confessed. and one investigator interviewed deborah a couple of hours after the detective did. >> i said did you tell the police you had anything to do with the death of your son? she glared at me, her eyes got really big, that is crazy, who told you i had something to do with the death of my son. >> this is probably my favorite. >> reporter: but her ex-husband, christopher's father, disagrees. >> do you believe she killed your son? oh, i know she did. >> reporter: and that is where things stood until march of this year, as deborah milki sat on death row, where they stood
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until a turn of standstunning e panel decided she could get a new trial. in a federal appeals, alex kuzinski tossed out her confession, saying it had been illegally obtained, adding it probably never occurred. court documents show that he didn't record the investigation or his interrogation of deborah milki. there were no other officers present, nobody was watching through a two-way mirror, and there were no cameras or microphones to record it. and there is more, he never asked her to put the confession in writing, and even skipped the most basic step of having her sign a miranda waiver. >> reporter: the federal appeals court judges didn't say milki is innocent, but other than her confession, there is no solid evidence linking her to the crime. judge kuzinski said protectsecu failed to reveal what they knew
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about the disciplinary action and lying. they cited eight cases where the convictions were set aside, because saldati had either lied under oath or lied. in one case, he let a driver go because of a faulty tail light, for sex, and then lied about it. this would have cast doubt on the credibility and may have influenced the verdict. >> it is still a fact she was convicted of the murder of her 4-year-old son. >> reporter: on friday, september 6th, 25 years after she was sentenced to death row, deborah milki walked out of prison a free woman for now. she was finally able to hug her mother for the first time in more than 29 years, 49, milki is preparing for another trial. but this time around, things could be different.
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a judge could soon decide if her alleged confession is inadmissible in court. and detective saldati may ask for immunity. >> they don't have him to testify, if they don't have a confession. this case could be dismissed. >> which means she could be getting used to life on the outside. and coming up, a new bride accused of pushing her husband off a cliff after they were married for over a week. she was in court. and more on the attack, what airport officials have to say coming up. mine was earned in djibouti, africa. 2004.
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of killing her husband by pushing him over a cliff in glacier national park. the two had been married just over a week, and graham's version what happened changed several times. kyung lah joins me now, so you were in the court, what happened. >> reporter: well, it is a detention hearing, but they want her to stay in jail. prosecutors say she has no criminal record. >> and allegedly she changed her story several times, what are you learning about that? how significant is that? >> reporter: yeah, quite a web of lies from what we hear. police say they heard four different story, gelling with what they heard, they say the woman is emotionless, according to these friends, and they also say during the wedding she was quite odd, listen to this.
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>> during the wedding when they were exchanging vows, jordan was looking down and was not looking at cody when she was exchanging vows. to me, that is odd. you know, you're up there with the love of your life, you're usually lost in each other's eyes. you know, sharing your vows with this person. so they know you mean it. and she couldn't even look at him. it -- it was odd. >> i guess you could interpret that a whole bunch of different ways. what are you hearing from the husband's family. >> reporter: well the husband's family says cody was an only child. his mother is quite distraught. we spoke to the uncle. he said what he saw from this young bride just married eight days ago, she was texting at her new husband's funeral as eulogies were given, listen to what he said. >> she seemed very distant,
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stone cold, didn't shed a tear. didn't even use a piece of tissue, she was on her phone, completely detached, like she wasn't even there, she would rather be somewhere else. >> i mean, is there any actual evidence she did this? >> reporter: there is quite a bit of evidence. we heard more of it today. a fake e-mail account that prosecutors say was used as cover-up. we have heard about text messages that were exchanged where she expressed regret about getting married. so prosecutors are still investigating and putting together the evidence but they feel they have a strong case. which is why, anderson, they want her to stay behind bars. >> all right, kyung lah, thank you for the reporting. and the man who posted the video on line admitting he killed a man driving drunk. he will plead guilty at later
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date, he faces a maximum eight and a half years in prison. and officials at boston's international airport acknowledge they made a mistake by scheduling a training drill today, the 12th anniversary of the september 11th attacks. during the drill, fire crews were on the tarmac, and smoke was visible. and releasing a time last video, they are showing the construction of one world trade center. incredible to see. >> isha, thank you, incredible to see, we remember those who lost their lives. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief!
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those two blue beams of light rising from the sky in lower manhattan came on at dusk and will shine until dawn, 12 years later, we will never
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forge forget. >> our hearts still ache for the future's snatched away. the lives that might have been. >> and my father. an amazing father. keep watching over us. and we love you. >> let us offer up this time of silence, of prayer, and meditation. >> even more than memorials of stone and water, your lives are the greatest tribute to those that we lost. for their legacy shines on in you. >> my brother, who became a
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grandfather for the first time this year. and she is just like you. she lights up every room she is in. >> from tragedy has sprung hope. >> my grandfather, carlos sugerra, who i never had the opportunity to meet, i hope you're proud of me and christian, i love you. >> above all, let us all have the courage like the survivors and families here today, to carry on no matter how dark the night or how difficult the day. >> you may be gone, but you are truly not forgotten. >> not forgotten now, nor shall they ever be. our new program, "ac360" later is up next.
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interesting and i think it's important for americans to hear it. that's what the rest of the world feels a lot of time. whether americans take for granted that because we are an exceptional country we can do things other countries cannot
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do. at at some point the other countries are going to say why? what gave you the right to do all this stuff. so in that sense i think the op ed is kind of refreshing in the sense it reminds us of what the rest of the world sees when they see america. even though america is do doing it for good reasons and with good intentions, i think there is a -- putin represents this quite perfectly. there is a sense of who do you think you are? >> he says my working and personal relationship with president obama is marked by growing trust. i appreciate this. i carefully studied his address on tuesday. i would rather disagree with the statement he made on american exceptionalism, stating that the united states policy is what makes us exceptional. it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional whatever the motivation. >> he's said who do you think you are, putin. he has these really poisonous relations. it hasn't always been like that. remember good old boris yeltsin? he was a russian president the
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u.s. could work with. they did in bosnia and kosovo and elsewhere. >> i thought the interesting slip in this op ed was his identification with stalin. he didn't see the great breach between the soviet union on democratic russia that yeltsin did. he referred to our, us, russia, including united with the united states against hitler against stalin. so he this the soviet union is part of his country's tradition. >> his old kgb background, isn't it? >> i put a lot of stock in the putin p.r. machine which is a lot of what this is. i think there is an important point he makes about whether or not it would be illegal to do this without a u.n. resolution. basic will i what this move would be would be the u.s. taking an action for a violation of a treaty to which the country who offended is not even signator, u.n. has yet to authorize any military activity.
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we've cast the entire discussion as a violation by syria of international norms. this to me could set a new precedent and a new international norm where a country who has not been attacked is not in imminent threat of being attacked, could move and make a military action on another country because they feel like no matter how horrific the thing that they have done is -- >> two problems with that, charles. one is we've said it umpteen times, weapons of mass destruction are banned under international law. actually there is a 1925 convention. i know a long time ago the geneva protocol syria did sign up to. it was after americans, french, british soldiers were gassed by the germans in world war i. i think getting back to the putin editorial, though, the op ed, what is completely nuts about him is that he has this perfectly rational debate about why we shouldn't do military, why we should do diplomacy. that's his view. that's much of the world's view, frankly. then he goes on to say that
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while none of us doubt that cream cal weapons are being used, there is every reason to believe it was not used by the syrian army but by opposition forces to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patriots. then he goes on to say the reports the militants are preparing for another attack, this time a chemical attack against israel. there's no reason to think that. the foreign policy magazine or web site online is suggesting, according to a western diplomat who they're quoting, that the u.n. investigative team is about to give its report and its evidence points to the only people who could have used this was the government. they will not put that in their report because it's not part of their mandate. human rights watch, which has rightly said that crimes are being committed by both sides, puts the crime of chemical warfare at the foot of the assad regime. this is the stuff that makes people not take him seriously. >> but the core point is that use of force in the world at large should only be sanctioned
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in self-defense or by u.n. security council action. now look, that's the international system. and yet listening to you and this debate in america is as if that doesn't exist. we have an obvious right to do whatever we want. >> that's not a rule russia has used. putin has not used that in chechnya. operated at will where they wanted to. funded covert wars all over the place. >> it's not about the number of bodies. we had 100,000 bodies before the series of chemical attacks even started to stack up. it's not about the number of bodies, just about the munitions used. that's the basis of our moving at this particular time. >> and also remember iraq where we didn't get final u.n. permission and we launched a war, and with disastrous, disastrous consequences. and he's playing that card. he's reminding the world of that card. >> i want to bring in somebody very skeptical on this russian deal. former bush administration national official currently senior fellow at the brookings
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institution for middle east policy. christiane was quoting him last night. what do you think of putin's op ed in the time and arming of the rebels by the cia in the "washington post"? >> i think putin's gotten inside obama's head. i think this is an incredibly clever device. some of it is just russian propaganda. a lot of it is putin reflecting back to obama, obama's own world view and his own self-conception. you can feel this as obama was moving close to making the decision to use force, you could see the pain on his face. he was having to put together a coalition of the willing. he was having to work outside the u.n. he was having to make another war in the middle east. he was having to be george bush. which is everything he doesn't want to be. and putin is writing this letter to him now and saying, do you really want to be george bush? do you really want to say that america is exceptional, something that you've said wasn't true in the past?
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>> no, that's not true, by the way. that's not true. >> that is true. come on. >> he has always said the united states was an exceptional nation. >> not true. >> what i find remarkable about this is finally putin is saying something that the republican right in this country fuse to ever accept. >> andrew, obama was famously asked during the 2008 election if he thought america was an exceptional country. and he said yes, i think that americans think it's exceptional just like the british people think that britain is ex sensual and greek people think that greece is exceptional. >> he said on many other occasions -- that's true. but in many other occasions and his speech last night quite clearly thinking of america as an exceptional country, journey towards justice to be a completely exceptional case. it was a republican smear that he department believe in this country's special role in the world. putin has now debunked that fear. >> i would just say that the
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values that are expressed in this op ed are very much the values of liberal well-educated americans, the exact milleiuu that obama comes from. there's a lot in there. what he's challenging him to do is say, barack obama, do you really not believe all this stuff in do you really want to go against international law? it's very hard for barack obama to read this and say, you know what, putin is wrong. >> can i just say on the exceptional thing, because i always go back to obviously decades of immigrants who have come to this country. i mean, people like myself, like yourself of course, people who come to be educated, people who come to work here. why do we come here? because it's an exceptional country. why do we believe the principles, the morals, the everything that america stands for? because so many countries in the world simply do not. and why do we believe that there is a world order? because for many, many decades,
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america has policed a world order that we actually want to live in now, i know there have been problems since iraq and with the iraq war. but we want to live in a world that is safe for democracy. we want to live in a world that is safe for human rights. we want to live in a world where journalists and others can speak freely and not get imprisoned. >> the point putin makes -- i don't want to take him that seriously but there is a serious point here. when american exceptionalism means we get to do things we wouldn't let anybody else do, like torture prisoners, then you've gotten an american exceptionalism defeating itself. >> you are right about that. you are absolutely right about that. that is why this is such an incredible moment. i know we're talking about syria, but you're right. and president obama, let's face it, came to office not just as the anti-war president or the president who wouldn't start wars but would end wars but also the president to restore
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america's credibility and its moral standing in the world. and when he came into office, that is what happened. there was a massive outpouring of refavorability for the united states and popularity for the united states with his election. so i do think that is very, very important to consider. and i also believe that what you say, andrew, in terms of you shouldn't just be throwing military weight and might around the world. it's true because look what we did see in the iraq of 2003. but there is precedent for humanitarian intervention. you know, the united states and nobody stepped in in world war ii. in fact, they turned refugees away and people got slaughtered. you know? they didn't step in in rwanda and 1 million people were slaughtered. in three months. we witnessed that. >> were we supposed to stop that? >> yes, we could have done. >> do you believe that if this effort fails this, russian-syrian effort fails, do
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you think president obama is in a better position to get to rally support for military action? or do you think with the passage of time, the passage of weeks he's in a worst position? >> no, i think he's in a much worse position. because if you just think about it in terms of domestic politics, his own party is very angry with him right now. i don't know if you saw in foreign carl levin came out and expressed extreme frustration. he asked his party -- he put them on the spot asking them to either vote for him and against their own constituents or to take the side of constituents against the president. they felt in a horrible position. they don't want to be put in that position again. and he's zigged and zagged so much here that we've lott allies. nobody wants to hold the line with him anymore. everybody's kind of going their own way now. >> i'm sorry. that's just completely bonkers. the u.n. security council including russia and china we've now added to the chorus of countries that have admitted that syria has chemical weapons and are committed to a process to find them and destroy them. to add russia and china is a huge deal. >> i don't call russia and china allies of the united states and the op ed you have in front of you from putin says assad didn't
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use the weapons, the rebels did. the difference between our view of syria and our interests in syria and putin's interests and view of syria is enormous. you can't ignore that. >> but on the question of chemical weapons it's quite clear that we can have an agreement. in fact, we seem to have an agreement. unless you're denying that. are you denying that russia has said it wants to -- >> i'm noticing that the white house put out a report now, or drew attention to a report that we are now arming the rebels. something that putin is very much against. we have very different interests in this conflict. we don't have the same interests as the russians. >> the united states last night said he didn't want to enter the syrian civil war. was he lying? >> he is involved in it already. we're giving arms. he doesn't want to but we are involving -- we're a party to it. >> senator mccain says that obama told him in the white house that they wanted to be more involved, that they wanted to arm the rebels or have greater connection with the rebels.
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>> that's not my impression from what the white house has said about its position. and it's not what the president said last night. >> but it is what mccain and others -- >> said they were told in the oval office. >> do you believe john mccain? >> here is i think a danger. and we can talk endlessly because it's really vital this situation of who is the opposition. we're smearing all of them as being crazy islamic murderers, extremists. but so does the west now. that narrative has taken hold. whereas there is a moderate opposition. and the fact that the united states and the west have not backed them has simply allowed them to be overtaken by those who have got money and weapons from elsewhere. that we don't like. >> we've got to take a quick break. our conversation is going to continue the mike, i appreciate your perspective. just ahead the man who spent years inspecting iraq's chemical weapons. last night said it would take about 500 to 1,000 inspectors. he has almost doubled that today. a former islamist joining us in
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quick update on the word reported in the "washington post" the cia has begun sending weapons to the rebels in syria. we just got reaction from the natural security council spokeswoman she declines comment except to say quote we aren't able to provide inventory or timelines for every type of assistance we provide for the syrian opposition. interpret that as you will. >> what's interesting is they didn't comment on something they promised to do. >> in our fifth chair tonight,
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author of "radical my journey out of islamist extremism." he has unique insights into the world of this religion. great to have you in the fifth chair. >> thank you. >> first of all, there's so much debate about the makeup of the rebel movement in syria. how do you see it? what is the size of the extremists? how powerful are they compared to the moderates? >> it's incredibly diverse. in terms of numbers, the fsa have the more numbers. but by all accounts the most effective fighting force at the moment on the ground is jabat, the al qaeda ail life. as christiane mentioned earlier they are increasing in strength as each day goes by that we aren't providing any form of meaningingful assistance to the free syrian army. >> where are these extremists coming from?
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>> coming from the region. we currently have in syria the most amounts of foreign fighters who are european born and raised muslims in any other conflict. so more than afghanistan, more than bosnia, they are all currently flooding to syria from britain alone there's 200, from across the european constant there's roughly 800 who have left their own countries of birth and origin, their own societies and have gone abroad to risk their own lives. in many of those cases they've joined the al qaeda affiliate and they're learning how to kill, how to fight, how to make bombs. of course one day they'll return to their home countries. >> this is obviously a weird question. but is this something you would have done back when you were an extremist? back when you held these beliefs? >> so i didn't belong to a jihadist group to a revolutionary group that attempted to overthrow governments by military coups. i traveled to egypt, to pakistan. >> quite a sentence by the way. quite casually. ways going to stop you right there and be like we need to
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talk about that a little bit more. okay. >> yes. so the distinction being, of course, a military coup wouldn't target civilians. >> people who don't know about you, you were arrested and imprisoned in egypt. it's really when you were in custody in egypt that you began to change your mind. >> this is a crucial point. it comes back to this point of humanitarianism. i was radicalized because of what i witnessed in bosnia with the massacre. my belief at the time that nobody was there to help and intervene on behalf of the muslims in bosnia. my exit from the radical group they joined was when amnesty international adopted me as a prisoner of conscience in egypt. and on principle began campaigning for my release despite knowing that i believed them to be my enemy. and i've written in my book where the heart leads mind can follow. it was amnesty's humanitarian
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intervention on a microlevel for me that led to my journey now i'm somebody who whereas before i was fighting democracy i'm now standing for parliament in the u.k. for the 2015 general elections. if we can replicate that experience that happened to me on a microlevel, on a macro level say for example in syria, we can go sway to stemming the flow of fighters that are joining jabat. >> you go out and talk to people who held the same ideals that you held and tried to kind of hold it up to logic. >> when i left the group, i basically decided to challenge the former ideology, to challenge what i now call the islamist ideology. i go to countries like pakistan, go speak to the students on the ground. i visited the city where molala yusef was shot and we had a big debate challenging the taliban attempting to generate alternative discourse around this whole agenda. >> may i ask you? what has happeneded to your face in that period? >> it's very possible around in
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fact the majority of of muslims in this world are muslims that have no track whatsoever not with terrorism but the version of islam i refer to as militantism. to impose any given interpretation of the religion over society. most muslims in the world, the vast majority of them, are of the faith variety rather than the ideological variety. >> but in most muslim societies, the notion of separation between religion and politics is really not understood or even accepted let alone embraced, right? >> i wouldn't put it that simply. i think that that's of sort of modern times. that's the way in which it's been going because the most dominant voice, those who are shouting the loudest are those who adopt this ideology of islamism. if you look at the history very briefly, islam is being unique in that sense that it's never had a clergy. it's only with modern islamism, the iranian revolution was unique that it reintroduced the idea of a politicized clergy that were ruling in god's name. before khomeini the shiite
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muslims believed that no man had the right to rule in god's name until the messiah returned. so modern day islamism is attempting to bring about the very thing it despises which is western catholicism before the reformation. i refer to it as the bastard child of colonialism. frankly that's what it is. >> how do you try to convince people about the syrian opposition? because it is quite heart-breaking. we've discussed this many times. we reported it 2 1/2 years ago. the first people who came out on the streets in syria were kids scrawled slogans on the wall against assad, mimicking what happened in tunisia and egypt. they were tortured to death, bodies returned to their families. this is what started the original sort of uprising in syria. and all of a sudden, it has
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devolved into this sort of terrible situation where every single member of the opposition as i said earlier is being speared as a jihad terrorist extremist. >> i think christiane -- >> it's true. it is not true. this is why people say that intervening in syria would not be in the u.s. interests. >> obama an and kerry constantly -- >> now when they want to do military action. >> one second. they constantly say there is a vetted moderate opposition. and i think that people do understand that there's more than one kind of opposition. they don't know what we just heard here, what the size is, what the intensity of those different types of opposition are. and i think that two of the things that give americans real pause are, that the punish and leave in place policy here, we don't want assad to fall now but eventually. we're not sure that if he falls now what happens to the chemical
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stockpiles, and if the more vociferous fighters get in control of those or the more moderate ones. the second thing that people are not really clear about, is this like smacking the hornet's nest? do you by bombing agitate something that either has repercussions here at home in terms of terrorist attacks or at our embassies abroad. i think both of those questions are real questions people have. >> especially when we have a baathist dictated in sectarian divided country. we couldn't stop 100,000 people killing each other and had troops. the idea we could stop it from afar seems bizarre. also in a revolutionary situation when these institutions and government structures have collapsed, what matters is not who has the most numbers but who has the most zeal and the most determination. we've known that in every revolutionary situation. >> so there are three reasons that people are concerned about when it comes to syria. one is the chemical weapons. two the foreign fighters who are joining the groups on the ground
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and three is the dangers of a regional war. the problem is that this is one of those typical wicked problems or a crisis scenario where all three of these reasons apply if we do something and they apply if we don't do something. what do i mean by that? well, the threat of a regional war is already unfolding before our eyes and we haven't even intervened. in iraq last month, 800 people in one month were killed by bombs. civilians. >> we see how successful the surge was. >> but that was an invitation. i've always opposed the iraq war, by the way, but i think syria is different. >> you were in favor of military action in syria. >> i wrote an op ed that with certain conditions two things need to happen. one, we need to disable our sensibility to launch jets against its own people as we did to gadhafi and somehow make sure those chemical weapons are disabled. the technical tis of how to do that with the chemical weapons is a matter of discussion. but those two things are vital. those three worries that people have about the risk of a regional war, foreign fighters
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joining extremist groups, those three reasons i mentioned are happening whether we intervene or not. >> what's the greater threat, though? we keep hearing that the greater threat is doing nothing. that is the administration's line, that if you do nothing the threat to america is much greater and the threat to the syrian people and that the chemical weapons will -- the risk of them escalating the usage of those weapons is almost aassured. >> and that the moderate forces there will become weaker and weaker and extremist movements stronger. >> i think by intervening we're boosting the side extremist groups aren't fighting on one side of this conflict. hezbollah has come from a foreign country as a foreign intervention to join on the side of assad. by doing so, they defeated the opposition fighters in the battle of hosai. by doing so they sparked an irreversible trend toward sectarian which led to countries --
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>> this has been going on in the middle east and reviving in the middle east for quite some time, long before the syrian conflict. look at iraq. we were told there was sectarianism there. shoe sure enough you remove -- how do you control the chemical weapons without assad? >> that's a good question. you can try to answer that in just a moment. we'll pick up the conversation after a quit break. [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more.
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