tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 12, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
of the union" with candy crowley every sunday at 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern. this weekend the white house chief of staff will join candy. we'll tune in for that. that's it for me. i'll be back at 5:00 eastern on "the situation room." "newsroom" with randi kaye starts now. hello, everyone. i'm randi kaye in for brooke baldwin. when you thought the threat of isis couldn't get bigger, a shocking revelation from the cia that we have severely underestimated the number of people willing to fight under the black flag of isis. the initial estimate was as many as 10,000 but now the u.s. believes isis can actually call on a fighting force of between 20,000 and 31,500. these new numbers coming as secretary of state john kerry continues his swing through the middle east trying to sell the president's plan. so far ten arab nations signed
onto join the fight against isis vowing to do their share but what that means in terms of warfare contributions is still unclear. one thing is clear though. kerry is not selling as a war. instead, he's calling it a "very significant counterterrorism operation." or you could just call it a war. semantics aside, today he announced a man who will head up this new anti-isis coalition. for more on that, jim sciutto, chief national security correspondent. general john allen is tasked with this role of cobbling together this coalition for forces to tackle isis. what should we know about him? >> he was commander of all international forces in afghanistan. he also commanded forces in iraq. so here's a general four-star marine general retired until now who had significant commands both in iraq and afghanistan where he learned a great deal about dealing in environments like this and partnering with local forces, et cetera.
the thing is the challenges he will face in syria and today's iraq are greater. one, he's not going to have a significant american ground force. he's going to have to rely on local partners, local fighting forces to this point as you know have not performed particularly well whether we're talking about the syrian rebels or the iraqi security forces and the situation in syria today, this is the bloodiest civil war going on in the world right now so as challenging as the circumstances were in iraq and afghanistan at their worst points, syria's even worse and into that environment the u.s. is throwing itself now. he's had very significant difficult commands before but this will be arguably an even more difficult one. >> talk me through some of these numbers. we were talking about how many fighters there really are. the cia told you about the numbers including the revelation about the number of westerners including americans who are believed to be fighting with isis and these other rebel and
extremist groups. what should we know about this and how alarmed should we be about it? >> this is what the cia told me about what happened here and how the number grew. this is a product of isis' success as it's swooped across syria and into iraq earlier this year, those battlefield successes turned into recruiting successes and those numbers have gone up for a number of reasons. one, you have defections from other rebel groups in syria and elsewhere. they come to the guys who are winning. you also have as isis has taken over more territory, they recruited more local forces and fighters, some of them forcibly frankly. this is not all a volunteer force. but also as their international profile has grown, they are even more of a magnet for foreign fighters. you get to that point because the cia estimates there are 15,000 foreign fighters in syria. that's not just for isis but many of them have been drawn to isis and as we've discussed many times before, there are hundreds of europeans in isis and a dozen
americans at least possibly more. >> and they pay these guys, right? that's an attraction too. >> they do. they pay. they also give them a cause. when you talk to folks drawn to this fight, even the americans, when you look at their stories, this is a cause that despite the incredible brutality we've seen in beheading videos for instance, it draws angry, young men from europe, from america, from the region to join this fight. there was a moment in the press conference a short time ago with the pentagon spokeswoman that just got at the difficulty of this fight that the u.s. is now embarking on. the cia now estimates 20,000 to 31,500 fighters. admiral john kirby got into details of the training and equipping moderate syrian rebels. the number they are talking about now taking place over months is 5,000. now, you have other forces fighting against isis, iraqi
forces, kurdish but when you think of that number, that's a small number compared to what you have -- the problem you have with isis now and it shows it will take a lot of work and time and it will take a lot of u.s. airpower. >> jim sciutto, thank you very much. appreciate your reporting. you just heard jim talk about foreign fighters including those from western countries who are swelling the ranks of isis fighters. just what kind of person joins a group hell bent on bloodshed to form a state in the name of religion? my guest says there are three general types of people who become isis fighters. we have the contributing editor for new republic magazine. let's look at the three type of fighters. let's start with psych yoopathp. are they more likely to be foreigners? where do they come from? >> they are more likely to be foreigners. the smallest group but also really the most graphic and lurid and once we've seen in
social media and beheading videos and there's a good reason for that. they speak english and in many cases they don't have any military background at all. what are they good for? they're good for propaganda and for scaring us. >> do they care about religion at all? >> some of them do. some of the ones who we see in these lurid videos do have a religious turn in their recent history but the second group is the one that is most intense and it's really just for -- those are top leaders of isis. >> this is the true believers? >> yes. the true believers is the name for that group. it's also quite small compared to the largest group which is the final one and that's the sunni pragmatists. >> stick with true believers for a second. what should we know about the true believers? >> the true believers are going to this cause because they see isis as the fulfillment of prophecy and the right interpretation of islamic law
and their religion. they'll come from overseas and also from within syria and iraq if they believe that the leader of isis is in fact the only rightful leader of muslims. >> and what about the other sunni pragmatists who you mentioned there. how important are they to isis and can be lured to join the fight against isis? >> i think many can. we talk a lot about westerners who have joined isis, the rank and file of isis consists of disaffected sunnis from iraq and syria who in many cases don't have any work. they have no cause to join except for isis and when they do that, they get paid even if it's just $100 or $200 per month. that's more than they have otherwise and they are fully aware that the sunni areas of western iraq are disaffected and politically shut out from the government of baghdad. so this group if they can be lured back to baghdad with at
this point it would have to be a really sweet promise and a great deal for them, but if they can be lured back to baghdad they can be peeled off isis and the psychopaths and true believers. >> all right. graham wood, thank you for the bre breakdown. just ahead, the mother of one of the americans beheaded by isis is livid with the obama administration saying they didn't do enough to save her son but the comment about ransom is raising eyebrows today and a bombshell in the ray rice saga questioning whether the commissioner is telling the truth. and women seen wearing ray rice jerseys at the ravens game last night showing their support. what does this say about our society? the one and only montel williams fired up about this. that's next. turn the trips you have to take, into one you'll never forget.
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now to ray rice fallout. roger goodell's version of events is sacked by unnamed sources contradicting what the commissioner knew before handing down the two-game suspension for rice hitting his wife. listen to what goodell told cbs and sports reporters on wednesday. >> when we met with ray rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened. >> what was ambiguous about her laying unconscious on the floor being dragged out by her feet? >> nothing ambiguous about that. that was the result we saw. we did not know what led up to that. we did not know the details of that. we asked for that on several occasions. the description of what happened was not consistent with what the
videotape was. when you see that, that was clear. and that's why we took the action we did. was completely unacceptable, graphic and violent and something we felt we needed to take an immediate reaction to. >> espn cites four sources who say ray rice flat out told goodell he hit her in the face and knocked her unconscious. ray didn't lie to the commissioner. he told the full truth to goodell. a second source told espn he told the truth. this is a public lynching of ray. joining me now, former talk show host montel williams to talk more about this. nice to see you. >> good to see you too. >> you say the ray rice controversy reflects a larger problem in society. >> i'm a person that believed my whole live that we try to figure out why things happen and then you come up with a solution. right now we're wallowing down in what happened. there's a reason this happened. you look at this generation
which over the last ten years generationally under the age of 30 younger people seem to jump right to physical violence or physical something to solve their problems and they have only been taught this. let's remember about ten years ago this society applauds a young lady who the only reason why snooki is popular is because a guy punched her in the face and knocked her to the floor. had she for the been punched, she wouldn't be a household product or name. since then what have we done? we start reporting her and showing her drunken stoopers and we're not even discussing the alcohol that's part of this issue. i'm not trying to take away from ray rice. i'm not trying to take away from the fanfare of having one thing to keep pointing to. let's get to how we solve this problem. >> instead of just talking about it. i hear you. >> look at every "housewives" show other than maybe beverly hills, all of them promote the show based on violence among
women. women spit in other women's faces. women who punch other women. we as a society applaud this and we wonder why this happens. >> let me ask you a question about women. not only were there black buock ratings at the game last night but there were women walking around wearing his ray rice's jersey. what do you make of that? >> i'm not trying to speak politically or offend anybody when i say this. there have been reports supposedly in the baltimore area from psychiatrists and psychologists who worked with this family over taime and clai this is a singular incident. i'm not going to argue. i'm going to say there are people in that city who supported this young man all along that though he's done something wrong, he's not the face of domestic violence in america. remember, there are other people in the league who are under charges and have been under charges for domestic violence. is goodell going to ban them all
for life because they made a mistake the first time around? we're going to make ray rice the image of domestic violence? that's wrong. >> i know you are very passionate about this. i also want to ask you about another story that cnn has covered extensively. it's this u.s. marine jailed in mexico now since march 31st just for our viewers i want to share a bit about him. we're talking about sergeant. mexican authorities arrested him for weapons possessions. "the l.a. times" is reporting that his lawyers had an eight-hour hearing with a judge and optimistic a ruling could happen that could free him. you are passionate about this story. you have been working ining on marine's behalf. >> this has been going on since april 1st. this young man suffers from mental illness. this offends because it is
regarding ptsd. this is mental illness. it's treatable but it has to be treated. the circumstances by which he wound up in mexico with weapons in his car are related to his ptsd. the u.s. government told us he was that way. we should leave no soldier behind. this is a compassionate diplomatic issue. he may have broken the law but since mexico is not equipped to treat his level of ptsd, we should bring him back home. >> do you think not enough is being done? >> secretary of state is trying to do things. i think what's happening is everyone is pushed into a corner because we're upset with mexico letting children across the border, stop. let's just talk about compassion. let me tell you why i'm involved in this. jill, andrew's mom, she had written a prayer for my daughter
every day. my daughter is suffering from cancer for the last five months. nobody knows that. she has a son in prison. she's been reaching out to me so i reached out to her to try to help her. we both have children in trouble. okay. if we stop -- i know there's a lot going on in the world. we're going to go rockets red glare in syria. we're going to go to war against isis. i got it. i get it. stop and have compassion. a mentally ill soldier who is the reason why we sit here because that young man did two tours in afghanistan for us in the last year. can't we get him out? a little compassion. >> i hope we can. i hope your daughter is well as well. >> it's not about me. it's about him. >> i know. i appreciate that. thank you. next, the olympian known as the blade runner is guilty of homicide in the death of his girlfriend but right now he is a free man. hear what's next for oscar
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pistorius is guilty of the less are charge and he was convicted of firing his gun inside a restaurant but escaped two other weapons related charges. his family expressed both relief and remorse after the verdict. >> like this, there's no victory in this. we as a family remain deeply affected by the devastating tragedy event and it won't bring reeva back but our hearts go out for her family and friends. >> pistorius is out on bail until his sentencing next month. he's living with his uncle after selling his house to pay for legal fees. the victim's family was in the courtroom but did not address
the media. we go to pretora to more. >> he'll be back for a sentencing hearing and that will be about character witnesses and more evidence put forward for the judge. it could take a week. she'll retire again and come up with a verdict on sentence. now, the important thing about sentence is that there isn't a minimum or maximum. she has pure discretion on whether to give him community service or years in jail. there really isn't any way to call how she's going to rule on this. >> and is there any -- you said there's no minimum or maximum but is there anything that has set a precedent that we could look at in the past? >> reporter: that's the whole
basis of the legal system is these cases are built on previous precedence. when we talk to our legal analyst, it's important to note that another recent case where somebody was given a verdict of culpable homicide, the man was a taxi driver. he killed ten children because he was driving negligently over a railroad track and was hit by a train. he got a verdict of culpable homicide and eight years in prison. if you weigh that up compared to oscar pistorius' conviction, you can think well, maybe -- you can't judge it but that's the kind of convictions you get for culpable homicide for the killing of ten children you get eight years so where oscar pistorius fits into that is not for our journalist to suck our thumbs about what he's going to get. that's what's important about this. south africa is talking about this in great detail and there's
a very important issue here is that the judge has to weigh up every single factor of this case in relation to his case. and his disability is going to come into that. >> absolutely. no doubt. thank you very much. be sure to tune into a cnn special spotlight on this case. the twists, the turns, 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. just ahead as john kerry struggles to build a strong coalition against isis, hear why some arab nations most at risk refuse to do the heavy lifting. plus, james foley's mother is angry with president obama and says she was told not to raise money for a ransom or she would be prosecuted. we'll speak with the administration and get its response next. [ male announcer ] this is the cat that drank the milk... [ meows ] ...and let in the dog that woke the man who drove to the control room [ woman ] driverless mode engaged. find parking space. [ woman ] parking space found. [ male announcer ] ...that secured the data that directed the turbines
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the grieving mother of beheaded american journalist james foley is appalled by how the u.s. government handled the incident. her family was threatened with prosecution if they tried to pay ransom money. last month, isis posted a gruesome video showing james foley being executed by a man dressed in black. >> i really feel that our
country let jim down. >> in what way? >> well, anderson, we met wonderful people within our government. good people who cared. who wanted to help. but the reality of the bureaucracy and really was such that we were not helped. we really weren't. >> you didn't feel like they were there for you? >> not at all. yet i don't want to blame people. that's not going to help. >> did you feel that your family, that jim was a priority for the government? >> no, we really didn't. >> you saw that in what? in the resources that they have you interact with? the people they had you interact? how did you get that sense?
>> as an american i was embarrassed and appalled. you know, i think our efforts to get jim freed were an annoyance. >> an annoyance to the government? >> yes. jim would have been saddened. jim believed until the end that his country would come to their aid. >> did you know that what happened to him? >> to be honest, that part was frightening. we tended to know everything before the fbi or anyone else. >> how so? >> because we did everything we could. i went to europe several times to interview the european freed hostages just so i could find out how jim was, what's going on, where are they? what are chances of this or that? it was a frightening thing.
and the fbi was -- everyone was kind and supportive but the fbi used us for information. >> they came to you for information about his location? >> absolutely. yes. >> it's amazing to me that you flew overseas to interview hostages. >> as a mother i was frantic. anderson, jim was an incredible human being. he was very courageous and he had a heart. anyone who knew jim loved him. jim had an ability to be present. to listen. unlike so many in our world. jim had many gifts, anderson. i did all i could. i was unable to do enough. >> what did you learn from the hostages who had been with him and had been released? >> that he continued to have compassion and goodness to the very end. that he continued to believe
that our country would find a way to free them. he passionately believed in america. and our goodness and he was valuable as a citizen. and i also found out that prayers of people from all over the world gave him an incredible courage. >> he felt that? >> without a doubt, anderson. >> i understand that he actually got a letter to you through one of the other hostages. >> he did. >> that's an extraordinary thing. it wasn't a physical letter. thehostage memorized the letter. i have an exert. dreams of family and friends take me away. happiness fills my heart. >> jim knew, anderson, that he was privileged. privileged in a very ordinary american sense.
he was very loved. he grew up in a community of love, crazy family. he was oldest of five children. lots of crazy wonderful memory. he was privileged. he was privileged. as many of us americans are. >> foley's parents launched a legacy foundation to honor their son. it's raising money for families of american hostages and journalists covering conflict zones. you can visit their website at jamesfol jamesfoleyfund.org and you can see more of anderson's report at 8:00 eastern on cnn. cnn's interview with foley's mother is getting strong reaction. susan rice responded to her claims. watch this. >> what i and others in the u.s. government worked very hard with diane foley and her family to try to be supportive, to try to provide what information we could and of course as you know the president ordered a very
daring and very well executed rescue operation on the only occasion we had what we thought was fresh and we hoped actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of jim foley and the other hostages. unfortunately they were no longer there. >> james foley was 40 years old when he was brutally executed last month. his mother once wrote that foley gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the syrian people. coming up next, ten arab nations pledged support to the u.s. in the fight against isis. what is each country willing to do and how will it help? we'll explain. an nba team's general manager under fire for comments about a player in a private meeting but it was recorded and guess what? that recording was leaked. yes, it was. we'll play it for you and we'll talk about the backlash as well. m the basics, you know. i got this. [thinking] is it that time? the son picks up the check?
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secretary of state john kerry is in turkey today pressing for more regional support to take out islamic militants in iraq and syria. ten arab nations have already pledged to do their share but countries like turkey have not been as cooperative refusing use of their air bases to launch attacks against isis. how willing and how invested is this coalition really?
let's take a look with the managing editor of "quartz." let's look at isis control. this is the area where most of isis is. >> northern iraq and northeastern syria. that's darker lines show what we think are areas that isis controls but really effectively this enormous area here is out of bounds for most known isis forces and that's a sizable country. that's bigger than jordan and we're talking about 7 million to 10 million people living in these areas that are controlled by isis. >> we see on the map turkey and jordan, saudi arabia. what do we need to do to get these countries to fully commit? >> arab states are willing to do something. not a lot but something. they're willing to give this international coalition their blessing if you like but they are saying they don't want their planes in the air. they don't their boots on the ground. saudi arabia which has an enormous border with iraq and therefore there's potential for
isis fighters to bleed into saudi arabia, they have offered some training facilities for syrian rebels but that's not going to be enough. for this operation to be credible, it's going to need to have much greater arab buy in by the arab people and people in the street and particularly by the arab states. >> let's talk about some of the states in particular here. let's start with saudi arabia, qatar and united emirates. >> they are ruled by royal families. they're not sure they have a mandate. they are always uncertain about what the people feel. they are never 100% certain. they wore wif they get involved it will be unpopular with their own people. previously they were involved in a war in iraq for instance if you remember in 1991. these are countries and others that came along in the
international coalition to get rid of saddam hussein popular with leaders and not popular in the street and they worry about that. >> how committed are they at this point? >> you can gauge the commitment from how close they are to the actual isis zone. saudi arabia is closest. therefore their level is commitment is highest. qatar is well removed. united emirates farther removed so their interest is lower as a result. all of them worry that they have citizens who have gone and joined isis so some of their citizens are actually terrorists themselves. >> what about turkey? >> again, very, very long border. both iraq and syria but turkey has a real serious problem. more than 40 to 50 turkish diplomats are now held hostage by isis and the last thing turkey wants to see is what we've seen with james foley and steve sotloff is videos of their diplomats -- >> that's their hesitation.
>> that's part of their hesitation. one other part of hesitation that all armies are worried about. they have never been tested in battle. not recently. none of their rulers can be 100% certain their armies will hold up. u.s. has far greater combat experience in this part of the world than armies in this part of the world. >> is turkey offering anything? >> they are offering behind the scenes intelligence help and logistical help. you can use bases to do rescue missions but not combat missions. that doesn't make a lot of sense. the challenge for john kerry and the obama administration is to lean on turkey more and get a bigger commitment. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> any time. >> interesting discussion. all right. coming up next, women coming out to support ray rice. the player who knocked out his then fiance. hear why. plus, did sarah palin and her family get into a brawl at a party in alaska. there's word of alcohol, fighting and a 50th birthday involved.
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honestly beside the fact of this, he's a role model. i believe that everybody makes mistakes and he deserves a second chance. >> the ravens beat pittsburgh. cnn sports rachel nichols is now with me. what do you make of this? you saw all of those women out there supporting him with pride wearing his number saying they don't think he should have lost his job. >> this underscores why domestic violence is a complicated issue. love and affection is involved in this. you're not involved with the burglar who breaks into your house. it's not that complicated. black and white feelings but it's the reason we see women stay with their abusers. you heard owner of the baltimore ravens all day yesterday and the day before saying i loved him. i didn't want to believe anything bad about him. fans love their teams. it's a lot of same thing. that's why this is a complicated issue. >> it certainly is. your show "unguarded" here on cnn. you're talking to a man a lot of people say this guy should not be weighing in on the ray rice
situation. of course i'm talking about boxer floyd mayweather. what did he tell you? >> it's interesting. floyd mayweather has had multiple, multiple very plublic domestic violence arrests beyond anything we saw with ray rice. he was in jail for two months for assaulting the mother of his three children. awful story. threatened to kill her and the kids and punched the mother of his children in the head. i pressed him on why any of us should be paying $70 a pop for his fight tomorrow night, which is what he's charging. take a listen. why should fans root for you with this kind of history? the incident you went to jail for the mother of your three children showed bruising, a concussion when she went to the hospital. your own kids called the police and gave them a detailed description of the abuse. there's been documentation. >> once again, no pictures.
just hearsay and allegations. i signed plea bargain. once again, not true. >> are we really supposed to believe these women are lying including incidents when there were witnesses like your own kids? >> everybody is entitled to their own opinion. when it's all said and done, only god can judge me. >> it's amazing, right, randi? it underscores the idea that sometimes there's an abuser just walking around insisting over and over again that nothing happened even though a woman can have bruises and tell friends he does beat me up and i will challenge the american public out there, floyd mayweather is supposed to make $30 million tonight. just tonight. he'll wake up tomorrow morning $30 million richer after this fight but you have a say in that. if you want to give that man your money, make the decision this evening. tomorrow evening. >> a lot of people will pay for that ticket like they play for games where other players involved in this situation maybe not as violent.
>> i want everybody to think about it this evening and then tomorrow hold onto your wallets. >> good something to think about there. thank you very much. also, rachel will have much more. 10:30 eastern time right here on cnn. getting some news just in here to cnn. the white house suggested the battle against white house is a war. something president obama and his secretary of state have flat out denied you may recall. plus, the fight against isis terrorists. my next guest says there are some chilling similarities between the group's actions right now and the actions of al qaeda just before 9/11. keep it here. keeping a billion customers a year flying, means keeping seven billion transactions flowing. and when weather hits, it's data mayhem. but airlines running hp end-to-end solutions are always calm during a storm.
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the baltimore ravens are not the only caught in a controversy. a new audio released by the atlanta journal constitution is shedding light on racial comments hawks general manager made about a free agent. the recording is a partial transcript between him and the owners. he said he was repeating comments made during background conversations and scouting about different players. listen to this. >> if handled the right way,
he'll be fine. he's a young guy overall but he is a good guy overall but he is also not perfect. he's so the got some african in him. >> adam silver says that the comments aren't a terminatable offense based on what he knows of the circumstances. silver said ferry was looking at a scouting report. do you believe that after hearing that tape? >> before i heard that tape, i thought it was ambiguous. the tape was the smoking gun.
that was the definitive decide g ing factor. i don't believe this was smjust summation report. i believe that he seemed comfortable with these words which natuby nature. it was disconcerting for me as an atlanta resident and a lifetime nba friend. >> when did silver hear this video before or after he said ferry shouldn't be fired? >> that much i do not know. all i know is when agc brought this audio yesterday afternoon, adam silver's comments preimmediate epreceded that. from all fans i talked to, they are outraged. the hawks have always had a problem landing high profile free agents. last year dwight howard born and raised in southwest atlanta never considered the hawks. al jefferson. now it's perception and perception now has a lot of
residual effects that hawks and danny ferry perception supersedes reality. there's racial tones. there's also a story of him back in 2002 in sacramento about allegedly with a racial slur toward former nba player so right now perception supersedes reality. >> you can hear the guys who are also on that call. you can hear their reaction. they were sort of like, whoa, this could end up on tmz, right? >> i did. they were laughing too. so from what i heard there as well, they are no better. the danny ferry comments, when you hear them, that's all i need to hear. from that standpoint, i rendered an unequivocal opinion in the court of public opinion and for danny ferry and atlanta hawks, i would be shocked if danny ferry is the general manager by the end of this weekend of the atlanta hawks. >> we'll see what happens there.
mark james, thank you. appreciate you weighing in. >> thank you. top of the hour now. hello, everyone. i'm randi kaye in for brooke baldwin. breaking news in the fight against isis. for weeks we've been told action against them in iraq and syria would not constitute a war. today that message changed. the white house saying we are in fact at war with isis. joining me now is michelle kosinski, white house correspondent. he said this in response to your question. what exactly did the white house say now? >> reporter: they said it very clearly although it took some questioning there because over the last couple of days we have heard the messaging even saying, no, it is not a war in response to really specific questions. yesterday secretary of state was asked, you know, it sounds like a war. it looks like a war. are we at wa