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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  February 19, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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twitter@jaketapper and also on my facebook page. that is it for "the lead." i now turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer who is right next door in a place we like to call "the situation room." happening now, breaking news taking on isis. we are learning about a operation to recapture an important city from the terrorists. what role will u.s. forces play in this critical new offensive? isis leader revealed. we have new details about the self-proclaimed caliph of the so-called islamic state. his surprising former career. did the u.s. miss clues that he would turn into a terror mastermind? killer cold americans in the grip of life-threatening weather. temperatures as much as 45 degrees below normal from the canadian border down to the gulf of mexico. which major u.s. cities bracing
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for the worst? and super cut? north korean's kim jong-un makes a dramatic change sporting a new look that caught the world by surprise. is it more about power than style? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we are following the breaking news. a major new offensive against isis now in the works. we are learning the u.s.-led coalition is getting ready to launch a major operation to seize iraq's second largest city, mosul, from terrorist control. this offensive will move beyond air strikes. we are told it will include ground troops taking on isis militants. we are covering all the angles of the breaking news with our guests, including senate armed services committee member joe manchin and our cnn correspondents. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr begins our coverage. what are you hearing from your sources about this new offensive against isis positions in mosul? >> reporter: wolf we have just had a briefing from a u.s. military official who revealed
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some extraordinary detail about what is incoming in the next couple of months to try and retake iraq's second largest city. this official telling reporters the offensive to take mosul now scheduled for april or may, if everybody is ready to go. that's pretty specific information. it will include 20,000 to 25,000 iraqi ground forces including peshmerga forces that will try and cut off any isis escape routes north and west of the city. the big question of course what role if any will u.s. troops play on the ground still to be decided is whether u.s. a small number of u.s. troops will assist in targeting, helping those iraqi forces target. it's not at all clear that recommendation will be made to the president, it's not clear if they would have to go on the ground near the city or stay in some headquarters. all of this to be decided. but the person who may be watching all of this the most
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closely, abu bakr al baghdadi the leader of isis who by the way was last seen in mosul. he was an office worker who might not get a second glance when this picture was taken after u.s. forces in iraq captured him as a suspected insurgent. today, he is perhaps the world's most wanted terrorist. he is abu bakr al baghdadi not seen since this video last year in mosul. the leader of isis the group responsible for brutal killings across iraq syria and now libya. the slaughter of u.s. hostages and a jordanian air force pilot. one u.s. official tells cnn he is quote, a psychopath. the u.s. may only now be beginning to understand him. >> he wasn't an insurgent in the initial phases of the u.s.
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occupation. he became one. >> reporter: he was born ibrahim al badri in fallujah according to his u.s. detention record obtained by cnn. captured in february 2004 and held in southern iraq. it's believed he became increasingly radicalized there before being released in december of that year. did the u.s. miss the clues that al baghdadi would turn into the mastermind of isis? >> a lot of people were processed and run through the u.s.-run prisons who for all intents and purposes did not seem to pose a credible threat. and then of course, they became masters of terror. >> reporter: the u.s. intelligence community's personality profile of al baghdadi suggests he is headstrong a religious zealot with an apocolyptic end of days vision but also a savvy leader who broke with al qaeda to
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become his own man. a u.s. intelligence official tells cnn al baghdadibaghdadi's religious dreengscredentials, experience as a senior leader and network propelled him to isis' top spot in 2010. as he now hides from u.s. air strikes, al baghdadi may be running a risk. >> the mystery surrounding abu bakr al baghdadi is both his greatest strength and greatest weakness. strength because it's allowed isis to create a myth around him, able to project him as this religious leader with serious islamic credentials but weakness as well for al baghdadi because there is so little known about him that there's very little for his supporters around the world to get excited about. >> reporter: for now, u.s. intelligence says al baghdadi relies on trusted lieutenants and allows local commanders to make decisions. now, this personality profile says baghdadi has probably been married a couple of times, has
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children but it likens him to a mob boss using brutality and terror to get what he wants. wolf? >> barbara, good reporting. thanks very much. let's bring in our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. jim, retaking mosul certainly would be very difficult. this is a city as you well know of nearly two million people. it would almost certainly require house-to-house battles. >> no question. this would be unlike anything that's been seen since the start of the coalition campaign against isis. to date any military operations of course by coalition forces connected from the air, on the ground what little we have seen with kurdish forces iraqi forces have been in smaller towns like baghdadi as well as areas around erbil, the kurdish areas in the north. but no city this size mosul, the second largest city in iraq. urbanized, tall buildings. i have been there a number of times. it's estimated 1,000 to 2,000 isis fighters in there and perhaps with this in mind the idea of an upcoming
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coalition-led iraqi ground force invasion coming forward, this is what isis released today. they released a training video showing the training that their forces are under way, inside mosul perhaps to repel an attack just like this one in addition to seeing folks like this out in the field, you saw other isis fighters rappeling from buildings, giving you an idea of the kind of training these fighters undertake. >> isis also continues to expand across the region right now. show our viewers what's going on. >> that's right. first of all, it's expanding inside the country. another video released today by isis again, this is a propaganda video, but showing their recruiting. this is a new graduating class, as it were of isis fighters again in anbar province. look at how young some of them are. they look to be just teenagers. it shows that even with this campaign going on the enormous pressure they are under, the thousands of isis fighters that are being killed they are still able to attract fighters in
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numbers. combination of money that they pay them just their success in the field but also we are told many of them taken under duress under threat saying either you join us or we will kill you. also we are seeing their footprint expand to libya. this is not a light footprint, just a handful of fighters coming over to the isis side. in central libya today, a convoy, 70 vehicles long going through the town. lasted ten minutes, eyewitnesses told us. this is a major isis presence now outside of iraq and syria. this is in libya and of course we talked before about how you are seeing them in places such as yemen and even taliban fighters in pakistan and afghanistan rebranding themselves as isis. this is becoming rieja regional problem. >> jim sciutto, thank you. president obama meanwhile is calling on muslim countries to step up their role in this war against terror while emphasizing the west is not at war with islam. let's go to our senior white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, tell us the latest what
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the president is saying. >> reporter: president obama tried to isolate some of the root causes for the rise of isis and he called on muslim and arab nations to do more to counter what he dubbed terrorist lies. with isis posting yet another propaganda video online filled with young faces bent on destruction, president obama urged leaders from the islamic world to develop an effective countermessage and fast. >> the notion that the west is at war with islam is an ugly lie. and all of us regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it. >> reporter: at a summit on preventing violent extremism, the president said the u.s.-led coalition would continue pounding isis with air strikes but argued that arab and muslim nations must fight income inequality -- >> that feeds instability and disorder and makes those communities ripe for extremist
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recruitment. >> reporter: -- to the lack of democratic freedom. >> when peaceful democratic change is impossible it feeds into the terrorist propaganda that violence is the only answer available. >> reporter: but critics of the president's message point out some of those countries in need of change also happen to be the monarchies and oil-rich states in the president's coalition. >> it's only a hop, skip and jump to u.s. allies and in that case to be very clear, houston we have a problem. there is no one in this region that is immune from the notion that the way to get at isis is to fundamentally transform these authoritarian regimes. >> reporter: jordan's foreign minister acknowledged the region must do more. >> it is all about education, education, education. opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. >> reporter: the president also blamed the rise of isis on syria's president bashar al assad for waging a bloody civil war against his own people and on iraq for failing to be more inclusive of sunni muslims who flock to isis.
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but he neglected to mention his own policies as part of the problem. his quick military pull-out from iraq in 2011 or his reluctance to arm syrian rebels. the president did pay tribute to the heroic actions of muslims in france who tried to stop the terrorists in their attacks in paris last month as a lesson for the rest of the world. >> we are all in the same boat. >> reporter: senior administration officials say don't expect any more big announcements or new programs to come out of this summit. the white house had hoped the summit would be about a more inclusive message to the islamic world. the question though is whether any u.s. allies or enemies like isis were really paying attention. >> jim acosta at the white house, thanks very much. let's dig deeper on all of this. joining us democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia. he is a member of the senate armed services committee. senator, thanks very much for joining us. let's get right to the questions. you heard barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent, saying the u.s. is getting a better picture of this isis leader abu
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bakr al baghdadi. how he operates. here's the question. so far, 2,000 u.s. and coalition air strikes, more than $1 billion spent. this guy is still walking around some place. why hasn't the u.s. and its partners been able to take him out? >> i don't know whether our intel has not been able to infiltrate or not been able to get the proper intel in or just basically not being involved. but the bottom line is putting more ground troops is not what i have subscribed to not what i would recommend. i think we were told by king abdullah that that wouldn't be something they needed. they just need our support to get the weapons to them to make sure we can accelerate that that they weren't held up with red tape so they could do the fighting. it's time for all of that region of the world to do the fighting. they need to get their people engaged. they have well-trained people whether it be in jordan or turkey or saudi arabia. they've got potential for ground troops to go do their job. they could help us with this intel we need to. they blend in a lot better than
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american soldiers will blend in i assure you. >> you heard also barbara starr report that the u.s.-led coalition is planning a major new ground offensive to try to go into mosul, the second largest city in iraq a city of nearly two million people mostly iraqi ground troops obviously peshmerga kurdish fighters will go in there, what can you tell us about this new offensive that's supposed to begin as early as april? >> well we know the peshmergas are tremendous fighters. they are willing to fight and die for what they believe in and their country and protecting their people. the iraqis are yet to be tested i guess to see if they really stay in the fight and fight to the end in order to take back their own country, if you will. and they are needing prodding from us but basically, they have to do the aggression on the ground. we are giving them the technical and tactical support they need
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and from the air and all of that. the training we retrained them i don't know how many times. we rearmed them i don't know how many times. it's time for them to show they can do the job. >> six months ago when these isis militants came into mosul, you know what the iraqi army did. they were in charge of that city. they simply abandoned their positions, left their armor, left their tanks, left all of their weapons, and they ran away as quickly as they possibly could. isis took over that city. here's the question on this part of the story. do you have greater confidence that they are ready now to go in a house-to-house battle against these isis troops that control mosul? >> i have confidence in the troops that we have there, the american troops there, to make that evaluation. how we missed this evaluation i want a report being on the armed services committee, who missed the evaluation on our first pull-out of iraq knowing that with malaki that the sunnis were not going to engage.
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we should have known that. with the shiites as he was building and putting his friends in places that basically isolated the sunnis, we should have known we were in a very volatile situation that this could happen. who misjudged that? who didn't take or heed that information is what we should know, not to repeat that. who can give us information that basically these people are ready to do the job? are they expecting americans to pick up and do it for them? you were talking about the underlying problems. how many of these people over there are really true believers, these terrorists these islamic terrorists, fanatics radicals, bar how many are true believers, how many are fighting for a paycheck. the root cause would be how can we build an economy? how can the arab nations build an economy to give people a paycheck for other than trying to kill each other. >> one quick question. did president obama at the end of 2011 make a major blunder by
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pulling all u.s. troops out of iraq? >> who was giving him the information. i don't know that. i would like to find out who basically made that recommendation. if they made a recommendation on their evaluation of the troops' stability, that the sunnis were prepared and would fight, and there wasn't animosity between the shiites and sunnis we should expect this to happen. that i haven't had that information. we need to find that information before we have this next surge, if you will and seeing if the iraqis can handle this themselves or they will depend on us to move in and have to do the work for them. i would like to know that before this april comes. i will assure you of that. >> there were advisors saying don't do it keep u.s. troops there. but he is, after all, the commander in chief. he wanted those troops out of there, especially because the al maliki government wouldn't give the american troops immunity from prosecution. as a result he said get out of iraq. stand by senator. we have a lot more to discuss. there is other news coming into
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we're following the breaking news a u.s. military official telling cnn a major operation to retake iraq's second largest city from isis could begin as soon as april. up to 25,000 iraqi and kurdish ground forces trained by the united states will try to oust isis militants from mosul. that's a city of nearly two million people. we are back with democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia a member of the senate armed services committee. senator, let me ask you about president obama's remarks today at this white house summit on countering violent extremism. you heard the president say
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yesterday and today that the u.s. is not at war with islam, that this is a war with a perversion of islam. the president refusing to call it radical islam or islamic radicals. he's staying away from that phrase. do you agree with the president? >> you know, i don't. i mean it's pretty simple in the language we speak in west virginia. it is what it is. the bottom line is we have muslim population throughout west virginia. they are beautiful people. we get along great, all of us. interdenominational, they all work together. but that being said there are radicals in all groups. when you have a radical person who hides behind a religion whether it be protestant or islamic, it is what it is. so to say that you have radicals that are islamic hiding behind their religion then you would hope that all these wonderful people in that religion that
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believe in that religion would rise up against that and help us rid these horrible people the bar baric actions they are taking against humankind. i don't see we are instigating anything or causing any other division. it is what it is. these people claim to be islamists, under the islamic religion taking it to the extreme, doing these absolutely horrific barbaric actions and deeds against human beings. it's something we can't comprehend and it's something that the good muslim people of this country and around the world shouldn't tolerate. we are hoping they will rise up against it. >> let me ask you about some comments that the former new york city mayor rudy giuliani made about president obama supposedly not loving america. let me read to you what giuliani said. he said i do not believe, i know this is a horrible thing to say, but i do not believe that the president loves america. he doesn't love you, and he doesn't love me. he wasn't brought up the way you
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were brought up and i was brought up through love of this country. i want you to react to what giuliani said. >> well the one thing i agree with with former mayor giuliani that he was right, he shouldn't have said it. it was a horrible thing to say. you know what we can agree to disagree but we should be respectful. the president is our president, whether you agree or not, whether you are democrat or republican liberal, conservative we should all pull together. this is a horrible fight we're in. these crazy islamic terrorists barbaric as they may be we have to fight and make sure we protect the homeland. you can't divide the homeland and protect it at the same time. so someone of his stature, i would hope that he would have a better control of himself than to say something such as that. >> would you like him to apologize to the president of the united states? >> i just think that basically you know what everybody gets so sensitive on these. we are in a tough profession here. the political profession today,
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it's a contact sport, wolf. we understand that. so i don't think he -- he should apologize to the people he got all stirred up. he should say i shouldn't have said it i misspoke i'm sorry. but we've got to get together here and pull together. the president has a way of approaching things. sometimes i agree, sometimes i disagree. but i'm always going to be respectful of the president, no matter who that person may be. i would hope that the former prosecutor u.s. attorney, former mayor, would do the same. >> senator, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> senator joe manchin of west virginia. we have much more coming up on the new isis threat. also coming up nearly 200 million people in the united states facing very dangerous potentially record-breaking cold. later, a new outbreak of a treatment resistant super bug that health experts are now calling a nightmare bacteria. dr. sanjay gupta is standing by to tell us what's going on.
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. we'll have much more ahead on today's developments in the war on isis but for about half of the united states right now, very important story to share with you. just outside your front door freezing extremely dangerous blast of bitterly cold air covers 30 states tonight. low temperature records could be shattered throughout the eastern half of the u.s. our meteorologist jennifer gray is at the cnn severe weather center with more. it's bitter cold out there, as you know. >> it is very cold. we are seeing some of the coldest air we have seen in
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decades. where is it coming from? believe it or not, siberia. this is called the siberian express. it starts in siberia, heads straight over the poles and just invades the country. like you said about half of the country under very very cold temperatures well below normal. some areas, 40 and 50 degrees below normal. the siberian air mass is gripping the eastern united states, wreaking havoc. and disrupting lives from chicago to the deep south. 185 million people are feeling the deep freeze. 30 states have wind chill warnings and advisories posted through friday. major cities are recording historic lows including chicago, cincinnati and louisville. single digit lows as far south as alabama and georgia, even florida is under a freeze warning and some crops there are in peril.
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farmers are watering their fields to serve as a protective layer. tennessee remains in a state of emergency. the weather-related death toll is highest there, including people who have died from hypothermia. advice from doctors across the country? >> kind of having a plan before you go outside will help anyone who is kind of exposed to this cold air. >> reporter: in massachusetts, it took a front loader a boat and emergency crews to rescue these two dogs and their owner. further south, residents of tangier and smith islands in the chesapeake bay trapped by the surrounding ice. >> she needed formula. she didn't have enough formula. she was just born a week and a half ago and didn't have enough. >> reporter: with the sustained frigid temps come incredible scenes like this. niagara falls frozen. with schools closed many children are making the best of it. and the ice fishing is good. >> got a 20 pound lake trout, biggest i ever caught. >> reporter: but most?
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>> you can only stay out here for a few minutes before your face starts to freeze. >> reporter: they're ready for spring. >> it's bad. it's bad. i don't know what else to say. i hope it breaks soon. >> yeah spring is just about four weeks away. that is going to be a happy day for a lot of people. we did shatter records across a bunch of the east this morning. of course in kentucky we could see temperatures go even lower before midnight so that means the records could be even more dramatic. current wind chill out there right now feels like one degree in d.c. three in new york, five in boston 12 below zero in detroit. that will be your actual morning low tomorrow. d.c. your morning low around four. charleston, 20. atlanta at 16. so we could break more records as we go through tomorrow morning. in kentucky tennessee, florida, as far south as key west breaking records and of course a broken record here we are looking at another winter storm.
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this could impact a lot of areas that were impacted earlier in the week that ice that brought down trees and power lines around western tennessee, that does include nashville, you could get hit with another round of ice. keep in mind a lot of people in these areas with temperatures in the single digits and teens woke up without power this morning. so more ice on the way as early as tomorrow. it will linger into saturday. push up the east coast by saturday night, looks like new york's going to be mainly rain. boston is right on that wintry mix line. could see a little bit of snow but a wintry mix as well. so we are worried about extra weight of course on top of those snow-covered roofs. wolf this is far from over. it's going to be a big mess as we head into the next two days. >> how cold did you say it is in nashville, tennessee? >> yeah. this morning, they woke up in the single digits. temperatures are going to dip back down again, could be even colder tomorrow morning. >> wow. cold all over the place. thanks very much jennifer. we will stay in touch with you. coming up dr. sanjay gupta
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joins us with what all of us need to know about the latest outbreak of a new super bug that experts are calling a nightmare bacteria. and something is very different about the north korean leader kim jong-un. take a look at this picture. experts say his new haircut is actually meant to send a message.
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more than 100 people may have been exposed to anwhat
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experts at the cdc are calling a nightmare bacteria. it spread at a prestigious medical center right here in the united states. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, how deadly is this bacteria? >> this is a pretty bad one. they used this term super bugs and what they are really saying is this is an incredibly tough bacteria to treat because it is so resistant to antibiotics. in fact this particular bacteria is resistant to a class of antibiotics so these are a particular class of bugs now that sometimes make these things that can fight off antibiotics, they have really evolved to be able to protect themselves against many of the treatments. so that's what makes them so difficult, so difficult to treat. >> officials say that maybe 100 patients maybe even more may have been exposed. is this super bug contagious? >> it does not appear to be contagious.
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a really good question. not something that spreads through the air or spreads easily by any means. the way they seem to have contracted these infections is through a procedure known as an ercp a type of scope procedure designed to specifically look at the pancreas and the gallbladder to some extent. they believe these scopes were used that, they had been cleaned the way that they were supposed to be cleaned, but that that cleansing process didn't do the trick and these bacteria as a result were able to infect other patients. that's the working theory right now. doesn't appear there was a protocol breach but that's what they're looking at right now. i think it's 179 patients that are going to be tested. >> apparently these scopes correct me if i'm wrong, may not be possible to disinfect, is that right? >> that is the information that's just coming out. in fact the fda just released a safety memo specifically about these scopes. what it appears to be is the scope itself has a little mechanism that allows part of
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the scope to move back and forth, an elevator mechanism. it's that mechanism that they worry the bacteria could sort of be trapping underneath that but even when the scope is sterilized that particular area of the scope wasn't getting cleaned adequately. the fda put out a potential fix for that problem. but you may be right, this may be a situation where those scopes cannot be used more than once for some reason or they will have to create a disposable scope of some sort to use instead. >> the real danger correct me if i'm wrong, is in hospitals, right? >> the real danger is in hospitals and even more than that during these specific procedures. again, these ercp procedures. people who hear the word scope and think i have had an upper scope because i was worried about reflux disease, this is not that. or people who have this colon cancer screenings it's not that kind of scope either. this is a fairly specialized scope that usually is looking at the gallbladder or pancreas. >> let's talk about cholesterol. there are new u.s. dietary guidelines showing that a lot of what we assumed was the case as far as cholesterol may not
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necessarily be the case. update this important information for our viewers. >> yeah. i want to make sure i contextualize this. people will hear this and think it's a free pass to do whatever they want to do. let me show you the dietary guidelines to give you an idea of what this entails. these are the scientific bases for the guidelines. they come out every five years, 572 pages n 572 pages, in there they talk about the fact that cholesterol in and of itself will not be considered a nutrient concerned for overconsumption. that grabbed everyone's attention. we don't have to worry about cholesterol anymore. what they are really saying is if you look at cholesterol in the body the vast majority of it is produced by our bodies. 85% is produced within the body. only about 15% of our cholesterol is from what we consume. that's the point they are really making. the consumption part of it doesn't add to the cholesterol as much as our own bodies do. not to say if you have a high cholesterol it shouldn't possibly still be treated
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depending on what the number is but that the eating of it probably doesn't contribute to the overall number as much as they thought in the past. >> that's good to know. good important information for all of us. sanjay thanks very much. dr. sanjay gupta reporting. coming up north korea's leader changes his looks and experts say it's a calculated move to send a threatening new message. it's happening. today, more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir® an injectable insulin that can give you blood sugar control for up to 24 hours. and levemir® helps lower your a1c. levemir® comes in flextouch® the only prefilled insulin pen with no push-button extension. levemir® lasts 42 days without refrigeration. that's 50% longer than lantus® which lasts 28 days. today i'm asking about levemir® flextouch®. levemir® is a long-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes and is not recommended to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.
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the north korean leader kim jong-un has changed his look and experts say his new haircut is meant to send a very definite message. cnn's brian todd is here in "the situation room" with more on what's going on. brian? >> wolf at first look it appears like this is just a
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32-year-old experimenting with his hairstyle but analysts say kim jong-un is being very calculated in this new look and it's not so benign. tonight we have new details on how this look is part of a broader effort by the dangerous north korean leader to project his power. a bold transformation from last year's stylish flop cut to an extreme flattop. kim jong-un presides over a large political meeting in north korea brandishing a new hairstyle that's getting a lot of attention. analysts say this is a calculated look. >> kim jong-un wants to project the image of his grandfather. kim il song was viewed and is viewed by the people of north korea as a great revolutionary. he gave them independence. he fought against the colonials, he fought against japan, he fought against the united states in the korean war and south korea. >> reporter: kim has recently been racheting up his projection of power. his message to his people that he will take on america.
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ready to fight. recently, he reportedly conducted the first test of a new ballistic missile intended to be launched from a submarine. it's an ominous maneuver. analysts say when north korea figures out how to outfit them they can move undetected. >> they may be able to launch surprise strikes against american forces in japan or south korea, sneak up on our bases in hawaii or if they make it to american ports, launch nuclear missiles against american targets. >> reporter: the pentagon won't comment on the latest missile test. a new leavevel of concern. the sony hack, a massive cyberattack, thought to have been ordered by pyong yang.
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he is expending a program of sending north korean workers abroad. they toil in factories, logging camps, build statues for dictators and are forced to send all of their money to kim and his cronies. >> dispatching north korean workers overseas is meant to earn the regime the hard currency it needs to stay in power. and to help pay those who tan tan the kim regime in power. >> reporter: analysts say they need the hard kerr rensy now more because the economy is bankrupt. his regime relies more and more on the smuggling of heroin fake viagra and weapons to bring in cash. the proceeds are thought to go straight into the pockets of kim and his aides. >> let's get more now from gordon chang.
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the new hair cut what's going on here? what's your analysis? >> there's a couple things going on here. his grandfather had this hair cut. but it was not as exaggerated as kim jong-un's. there's something else at work. there's some powerful figures who are so isolated so divorced from reality they become weird. this is like michael jackson. the difference is if you told something to michael that he didn't like he would fire you. if you say something to kim that he doesn't like he executes you. which is what happened to that four-star general who went missing in november. >> is it a matter of him trying to project his grandfather's image to the people of north korea? >> yes. and clearly, this is something that he had some surgery done at the time that he became north korea's supreme leader. first of all, he looks like his grandfather. but there were some enhancements that did make him look more like him.
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the idea was that you have a young guy. he has a problem in terms of legitimacy. you connect him with the grandfather who is still revered in many parts of north korea. >> you say he has had facial surgery? is that what you are suggesting? >> they did some nips and tucks. but they didn't really have to do that because he has a facial structure which is very similar to his grandfather. looks more like his grandfather than his father did. this is really interesting. but, you know what they want to do was to actually enhance it. that's why you see this haircut, which is going along the road again, to making him look like kim il-sung. >> what about list father? he doesn't want to look like his father. he wants to look like miss grandfather. >> right. you know people have been saying his eyebrows which have been cut back are like his father's. that's true. i don't know if that's an attempt to link himself to his father who is not held in the same regard in any north korean circle like his grandfather.
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i think that's just kim jong-un being weird with his eyebrows. >> what's the bottom line as far as u.s. analysts are concerned from this new look? does it really mean much? is it something designed for domestic opinion in north korea? >> well you know i think it's primarily domestic opinion. it says to us that this guy really is very much on his own. which means that he could really be dangerous on his external behavior. i'm not so sure he's in touch with reality on certain things which means that he can actually miscalculate american intentions and american resolve. then he could start to use some of his weapons especially if he becomes desperate. >> thanks for joining us. we will stay on top of this story, especially if he gets ready to leave the country for the first time as leader of north korea and goes to moscow for that meeting in a few months. thanks very much for joining us. coming up, isis rapidly expanding beyond iraq and syria. a closer look at the terrorist's
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. happening now, attacking isis. the terrorists release new video from inside mosul. a major new ground offensive. al qaeda secrets. evidence seized at the raise that killed bin laden is public. revealing surprising new information about the terror group's tactics.
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police respond. new reaction from ferguson missouri to the possibility of a federal lawsuit against the police force after michael brown's death and rioting. doubling down. the former new york city mayor is standing by his stunning suggestion that president obama does not love america. wait until you hear what he is telling cnn. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." the breaking news tonight, a dangerous ground offensive in the works against isis to free the largest city in the grip of the terror group. that would be mosul in northern iraq. we are getting new information from inside the u.s. military about the size the scope and the timing of the operation and the role american forces might play. stand by for all the breaking developments in the war against isis. the homeland security secretary, jeh johnson, he is here.
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he is joining us live along with our team of correspondents and our analysts. first let's go to barbara starr. she has the latest. >> reporter: wolf one of the commandments of u.s. military warfare, never talk about future operations. today, the u.s. military did just that. one official saying they were revealing these details about the upcoming battle for mosul because they want to show the iraqi military commitment to it. here is what is on the table now, wolf. the u.s. saying that the battle to retain mosul, iraq's secretary second largest city will begin in april or may, depending on conditions on the ground. that it will involve more than 25,000. five brigades trained by the united states. additional special forces local forces and peshmerga fighter forces that will take positions north and west of monthssul, to cut
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off any escape route from isis from the city. but i know wolf you are going to ask me the question about will u.s. forces go in on the ground to help the iraqis? no recommendation to president obama yet. no decision made. what is on the table, wolf the isis fighters -- let's be clear. they are building up defenses inside mosul. it's a populated area. if the defenses become very dense, it will be hard for the iraqis on their own to be able to pick out the targets. where is isis? where are the civilians? u.s. troops may have to assist them in helping to pick out those targets. they could be asked to go on the ground. they could stay at headquarters and help with intelligence. if they had to go on the ground that's a recommendation that has to go to the president. that's the critical decision for u.s. troops. it's not yet been made. but we're getting an awful lot of detail about what may be coming in the days and weeks ahead. wolf?
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>> isn't there a risk to all of this information being released by the military barbara? if you tell isis who is now in control of mosul, a city of nearly two million people that the ground troops iraqi ground troops other ground troops are coming in in april, that gives them time to start preparing. >> reporter: well they are building their defenses up in the city. we know that. we know that some civilians for weeks, if not months now, have been fleeing the city trying to get out. the air strikes are trying to soften essentially isis positions around the city. the peshmerga have been trying to cut off some of those supply roult routes. i think our own ben wedeman will tell you, traffic in and out of mosul is still going pretty strong. so it's not isolated yet. and that is what raises the risk. exactly what you are saying people are coming and going, the u.s. may not have perfect visibility about where isis is
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about one to 2,000 fighters in mosul right now. i have to tell you, every reporter that walked out of that briefing was a little surprised at the level of information and detail that was offered. some of it has been said before more broadly, perhaps. but now they are fine tineuning it. they want to show the world the iraqi military's commitment to try and take the fight to mosul. that's what the pentagon is saying. we're reporting what they told us. >> barbara, thanks very much. as the u.s.-led coalition plans to take on isis the terror group's reach is expanding, beyond iraq and syria. let's go to jim sciutto. what's going on? >> reporter: to this point, we talked about very light fledgling footprints for isis outside of their stronghold in iraq and syria. we're seeing more than that right now in libya. look at this today in central libya.
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a convoy 70 vehicles long of isis forces going through that city there. this is becoming a very powerful footprint. as they carry the attacks across the border into egypt, residents there, the government asking where is the international community as isis spreads further? isis under fire from the air. new pentagon video shows an isis fighting position staging area and building destroyed one by one. today, coalition defense ministers are meeting in saudi arabia to discuss the war in the air. this is the battle against isis. egyptian warplanes are bombing isis positions in libya. just days after isis brutally murdered egyptian christians on the libyan coastline. now isis is on the march in libya, a 70-vehicle convoy of the terror group's forces moving into the central coastal town, making a powerful show of force. >> we have done thousands of air
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strikes. we are starting a train and equip program. we believe the military component is a very important component of taking fighters off the battlefield. >> reporter: isis' answer has been a series of new assaults on kurdish areas in northern iraq. and in the western province of anbar. they are making a show of force in mosul. here isis fighters under makeshift military training. an attempt at propaganda as iraqi forces prepare for a springtime assault on the city. even under pressure of the u.s.-led campaign isis recruiting remains strong. here a graduating class of newly trained fighters some appearing barely in their teens. this in iraq's anb ar province. a steam of foreign fighters is fuelling the group as well as recruiting within syria, iraq and new outposts in libya, yemen
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and beyond. the result of a gimoney, ideology and threats. >> there is a standing order to come to the defense of isis and to attack in place those who are attacking isis. >> reporter: i spoke to a senior u.s. official who was at the defense ministers meeting. he said among the coalition partners there's no focus on expanding the military campaign beyond iraq and syria. short of that the government in libya, what remains of it is asking for a u.n. security council ban on arm sales to libya to be lifted. egypt asking for that as well. no movement on that yet. >> jim sciutto, thanks very much. while the focus is on isis the u.s. remains at war against al qaeda at the same time. tonight we're learning more about that terror group's tactics under bin laden's command. it comes from evidence seized during the deadly raid on his
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hideout. joe johns is working the story for us. >> reporter: it's another window on how al qaeda operates. part of the treasurer trove of secret documents the u.s. took possession of after that dramatic raid in the spring of 2011. the newly disclosed documents provide funstunning insight how into al qaeda operates. among the items, prosecutors say the text of an oath members had to take in order to join al qaeda. accepting allegiance on behalf of bin laden. until now, that oath and the other document were closely held government secrets considered so valuable that an fbi special agent was flown into afghanistan before the raid to handle them. >> he was there at the airport when they came back with the
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body and the documents they seized. he began a chain of custody which you need to introduce something in the criminal trial. >> reporter: the documents came to light this week when they were described by prosecutors at the federal trial of this man, a pakistani charged with conspiracy and support to al qaeda. he was representing himself and has denied involvement in terrorist plots. among the other items, prosecutors say the navy s.e.a.l.s. found were e-mails to al qaeda operatives including a letter updating them on operations in the works, a letter discussing plans for terror attacks in new york the u.k. as well as copenhagen which the defendant was allegedly involved in. prosecutors say the e-mails describe how al qaeda used coded electronic messages with female sounding e-mail addresses to communicate about their attacks. the messages spoke of a marriage
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or wedding. prosecutors allege he was really talking about the terror plot when he wrote about choosing a wife or woman to marry. he was allegedly discussing his thoughts about choosing which bomb to use. the same kind of coding prosecutors found in messages that led up to the september 11th attacks in 2001. >> joe johns, thanks very much. president obama issues a new appeal for the muslim world to unite against the terrorists and jekt reject their lies. he spoke for the second day in a row on preventing extremist. it stirred up controversy. let's go to jim acosta. he has the latest. >> reporter: wolf he didn't use the words islamic terrorism or extremist. but president owe be a mraa mra obama calls on nations to do a better john on pushing back on lies from isis and al qaeda. president said the u.s.-led coalition would continue
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pounding with air strikes but argued the islamic nation must take aim. it should be noted, many of the countries where the problems exist are members of the president's lowcoalition gnagainst isis. here is what the president had to say. >> none of us i think, should be immune from criticism in terms of specific policies. but the notion that the west is at war with islam is an ugly lie. all of us regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it. >> reporter: all week critics consider pounced open his refuse refusal to use the term islamic terrorism or variations of the phrase. as soon as he wrapped up his remarks, senator john mccain jumped on twitter saying the notion that radical islam isn't at war with the rest is an ugly
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lie. using the president's words. white house hoped to make great strides in communicating an inclusive message to the islamic world. it's this message that had to do battle with the debate over semantics, a a debate the president wanted to have and members of the administration want this debate. >> jim acosta at the white house, thanks very much. we're monitoring the breaking news details about a spring offensive against isis in mosul. let's talk about u.s. strategy, the threats to the u.s. homeland. joining us here the homeland security secretary, jeh johnson. mr. secretary, welcome back. >> thanks for inviting me. >> thanks for coming in. why are americans going over there, joining isis and presumably coming back here to the united states and potentially getting ready to launch terror attacks? >> that's a good question. first of all, there's no one profile of the kind of person who picks up and goes to a place
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like syria to take up the fight there. what we do know is that groups like isil aqap have come a long way in a short period of time in their ability to reach into homeland, into community through the internet, through effective use of social media. so we're seeing more and more through propaganda on the internet the ability of the terrorist organizations to reach into our communities and recruit people. that's something that we're addressing very aggressively right now. that was part of the reason we had the summit today and the summit yesterday. >> i understand there are -- u.s. government estimate maybe 100 americans back here in the united states who have actually gone over there and gotten training from isil? >> well there are a number that we're tracking very carefully who by their attempted to go to syria and have been arrested. those who have gone for different reasons. some who have come back. law enforcement does an
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excellent job of tracking the individuals. there's obviously an unknown factor there. but we have systems in place to track these individuals as they come and go. it's difficult to pick up so-called broken travel. >> what is that? >> where you fly to country a and then you go to country b on the ground say, and we don't know that fact. so working with our allies we need to do a better job of tracking when somebody goes from country a to country b. >> if somebody flies from the united states to munich or vienna and then winds up by train in turkey -- >> in syria. >> and could cross the border into syria, comes back in a could be voe convoluted way. we did interview the fbi's counterterrorism assistant. he suggested the u.s. does not necessarily have surveillance or control of all of these individuals who might have come back here from training over
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there. what can you tell us about that. >> like i said there's always an unknown factor. but i think we have between homeland security the fbi about the department of justice and our intelligence community systems in place to track these individuals either through travel information or through our intelligence collection efforts. and so i have reasonable confidence that we're tracking these people. do i have complete confidence? i can't say that. but i have reasonable confidence that we're tracking these people. and we're improving our methods for doing so all the time. an important part of that is working with our allies our counterterrorism partners like the discussion we had today on greater information sharing about who is traveling between and among our countries given where we are in the terrorist threat we think that's critical. >> your fear is there could be isis cells, sleeper cells in the united states? >> my concern is that isil makes
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effective use of the internet to recruit and inspire people. there's also obviously a very heavy foreign fighter component to groups like isil. you can see it in the videos you were showing. we're working with our allies to track these individuals here at home customs border protection and other dhs do a good job of tracking these people. we need to do more. >> we have a lot more to discuss. i want you to stand by if you can, mr. secretary. we will talk a quick break. more with the secretary of homeland security right after this. you can't predict the market. but at t. rowe price we've helped guide our clients through good times and bad. our experienced investment professionals are one reason over 85% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper averages. so in a variety of markets we can help you feel confident. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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an offensive to liberate mosul starting in april. we will get back to that shortly. clarify one thing for us. the paris terror attacks, the two attacks, the guys who operated were affiliated with isis and aqap. are these two groups isis and aqap now aligning and working together? >> well i don't know if it's simple to say yes or no. it's a more complicated world definitely. the terrorist threat is more decentralized, more diffuse. i'm not surprised that one of those actors in paris would claim an affiliation with isis while another with aqap. it's a more complicated world. but paris also reflects the fact that we're seeing more and more smaller-scale attacks by people who were largely independent actors because they were there and they came back or they have been self-radicalized through watching things on the internet
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and they are inclined to turn toward violence. paris reflects the new phase we're in now in the global terrorist threat. >> that's what keeps you up as at night as far as the threat in the united states? >> i have a number of things that keep me up including the global terrorist threat. >> here is another thing that might be keeping you up. in eight days the department of homeland security hard to believe, will not have any money unless congress appropriates funds. there are a bunch of republicans out there saying they are not going to vote for it unless you do away with the president's immigration reforms that he unilaterally enacted through his executive order, even though a texas judge said he can't do that it's all in advance. >> it's eight calendar days. what does keep me up at night is only four working days for congress. congress is in recess this week. we're on a continuing resolution right now, which expires as you point out next friday. there are huge drawbacks to
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being on a continuing resolution. so simply kicking the can down the road which i'm afraid they might do for another couple of weeks or days still hampers homeland security because there are new initiatives that we need to spend for for border security for the secret service, for grants and so forth that we cannot fund as long as we're on a continuing resolution. i think your coverage throughout reflects the fact that in these challenging times, the american public needs a fully funded department of homeland security. i'm up on the hill talking to democrats and republicans. as long as they will listen to me. about the importance of funding homeland security for the nation. >> everybody agrees on that. you have to fund homeland security. you have critically important agencies in the department of homeland security. if congress came back in the coming days before the end of february just passed a continuing resolution to keep you operating, funded through the end of september, is that good enough? >> no it's not. there are huge drawbacks to
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being on a continuing resolution. >> at least you don't run out of money. >> yes. but, wolf being on a continuing resolution is like driving across country on five gallons of gas at a time. you don't know when the next gas station is. the department of homeland security which is responsible for the homeland security and the public safety of this nation, should not have to operate that way. the president has made plain he will veto a bill that comes to his desk that de-funds our efforts to reform our immigration system. so it's time for the house and senate in my view to stop doing this and sit down and work this out so we get a fully funded department of homeland security. >> since the president's actions are in abeyance or suspended for the time being as the courts determine what can he do how is that impacted your efforts to get new funding for the department of homeland security? in your conversations with the republicans, what are they saying to you? >> we will see how that plays out when they come back next
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week? we disagree with that decision of the texas judge. >> that's the law now. the federal judge in texas has ruled the president was wrong. he can't do that. it's going to go to a court of appeals. wind up in the supreme court. that will take time. the question is, in the interim, will that give the republicans, if you will an out and say, you know what what we were trying to prevent isn't going to happen any how. >> any message to democrats and republicans, house and senate is consistent. we need a fully funded department of homeland security unburdened by efforts to de-fund or efforts to fix the immigration system. that's what we need. that's what the public needs for the sake of public safety. >> one final question only because i know you worked for rudy jewel aknee. i do not believe the president loves america.
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he doesn't love you. he doesn't love me. he wasn't brought up the way you were brought up. i was brought up through love of this country. that's outrageous when you think about it that he's saying the president of the united states doesn't love america. you know rudy. you worked for him. what was your reaction? >> you are correct, rudy hired me to be an assistant u.s. attorney 26 years ago. i was with him last 9/11 in new york city. we made rounds together at fire stations police stations. i have to say to the former mayor, that is not a helpful comment, particularly in these times when we're facing so many challenges right now. so i just don't regard it as a helpful comment about the president of the united states. >> he is not backing away from it. he is almost doubling down. >> i do not regard it as a helpful comment. >> thanks very much for joining us. i know you are disappointed in the mayor -- former mayor of new
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york. thanks for joining us. just ahead, our terror experts on the see kres revealed from inside bin laden's hideout. what struck them about the documents. the ferguson, missouri police department responding to a story we broke right here in "the situation room" about a possible federal lawsuit against the police force in the aftermath of the riots. (vo) for eight straight years, purina pro plan has been the nutrition of choice that has fueled each westminster best in show winner. and this year, with her strong athletic build her fluid gait and her confidence in the ring the beagle by the name of miss p became the ninth. (judge) the best in show is the beagle! (vo) congrats, miss p, on winning the 139th westminster best in show. we're proud you're continuing the purina pro plan tradition. purina pro plan. nutrition that performs. daughter: do you and mom still have money with that broker? dad: yeah, 20 something years now. thinking about what you want to do with your money?
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breaking news tonight. a major offensive to retake mosul from isis control. the u.s. will train up to 25,000 iraqi and kurdish forces for an operation that could begin as early as april. let's get more with our cnn national security analyst peter berg en philip mudd fran townsend. fran, you heard barbara starr's report. the coalition wim launch this offensive to try to retake mosul, including a lot of iraqi kurdish ground troops american troops in an advisory capacity. is it accurate to say that there would be no u.s. combat troops on the ground if that operation were to begin? >> wolf i think the administration and the pentagon are going to try to make the distinction between those who actually go forward in tactical units in the fight and those who stay behind the line and advice.
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barbara made the point about how unusual it is the u.s. military doesn't signal before a battle that it's going to go into. i think it's a little irresponsible that we're announcing that we are going to prepare kurdish and iraqi forces to go in six or eight weeks before they are going in. really you are telling the enemy we're coming. the mean will set traps and will have time to plan against us. so look regardless of whether or not we're going in i don't think it's smart to signal your intention. >> you agree, phil? >> i'm not sure i would agree with that. my point would be simple. we have a relatively small terror organization that over the past eight months has transformed itself into an insurgent group that owns a vast majority of territory in western and northwestern iraq. obviously in syria. for a long time now, isis has known we're coming after them in mosul. to say we're training people for an operation they know is coming after them to my mind is not a
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big surprise. the most interesting aspect of this, wolf, is pretty straightforward. can a terror group transition itself to be an organization that holds territory in the face of vast conventional superiority that the iraqi army with the americans behind them will bring? this will be a fascinating battle. i don't think the element of surprise has been with us. i don't think this is a big shock. >> peter, let me get you to weigh in on bin laden. we're getting documents that were taken from his compound there saying that he was encouraging his couriers as women. >> he was in a part of the world where all the women are covered, completely covered. it's an ideal disguise. it doesn't allow you to search women. to me it's not surprising. it makes sense.
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that's what i would do if i was a bin laden courier. >> did you know that bin laden's cou couriers were encouraged to dress up like women? >> we knew about this. in fact i remember one operation where we took down a senior operator who was dressed in women's clothing for the reason peter mentioned. you don't surveil somebody you don't question somebody who is in women's clothing. i do think there's a broader issue here that we're going to learn from all this information, the documents that are being revealed. that's what i witnessed at the agency and bureau is that al qaeda in pakistan the core organization that was responsible for 9/11 was a learning organization. in the age of the internet they learned how to evade surveillance. they read media. they read court documents when we were prosecuting al qaeda members to figure how the those members were picked up. i have been surprised a lot. but one surprise hasn't been these guys figuring out ways to
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evade surveillance. we saw this often. >> good information. stand by. we will continue to monitor the breaking news. just ahead, is rudy adding insult to injury after he suggested the president of the united states does not love his country? we will tell you what the former new york city mayor is now saying. what does it mean to have an unlimited mileage warranty on a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz? what does it mean to drive as far as you want... for up to three years... and be covered? it means your odometer... is there to record... the memories. during the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event now through march 2nd, you'll get complimentary pre-paid maintenance and receive your first two month's payments on us. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer.
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new tonight, the ferguson, missouri police department tells cnn it's trying to ing tocomply with the us.s. justice department. it's a story we broke here. six months after the death of michael brown, sources telling cnn, the justice department is preparing a lawsuit alleging a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics by police officers in ferguson. the sources say the suit will be filed if the ferguson police force doesn't agree to make changes on its own. the justice department also expected to announce that it won't -- won't charge darren wilson the former police officer who shot and killed michael brown. let's bring in the st. louis alderman antonio french don lemon, tom fuentes and jeffrey toobin. jeffrey, legally, explain what it means for the ferguson police department to be complying with
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the justice department? cot justice department still sue? what's going on? >> certainly, the threat of a lawsuit is what's hanging over this whole situation. clearly, the justice department believes that there are certain policies in place in ferguson that are racially discriminatory. we don't know all the details, because the suit hasn't been filed. but there's been a lot of investigation. and in these situations which happen with some regularity cincinnati new orleans have all been sued for these sorts of issues. is the training racially discriminatory? are there policies about whom to arrest and when that are discriminatory? are any of the people at the top -- should they be removed? all of these issues are up for debate and possibly settlement in advance of a lawsuit. but if the justice department isn't satisfied with the changes that ferguson is prepared to make they will sue and get a
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judge to force it or a settlement down the road. >> are you satisfied that the ferguson police department is trying to comply with all of this? >> no i'm not at all. i think that ferguson itself is just a small piece of a larger puzzle and that even if the federal government was able to get ferguson to change that there are at least a dozen municipalities around ferguson that engage in the same kind of conduct. so i would really want the department of justice to expand their investigation and really try to right the situation that exists in st. louis county. >> as you know tom, there's a lot of tension going on in ferguson and as alderman french said in other areas. what steps need to be taken to mend the relations between the community and law enforcement sglt. >> the police department has to say, here is what we are told we
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need to do and here is how we're going to do it and be more public. right now we don't know details of exactly what the department of justice inquiry found and what's in their recommendations that they are telling the police department to do or be sued. we need to hear from the police department not just that they're going to comply but what is it they're complying with. >> don, you spent a lot of time reporting from ferguson. you interviewed key officials there. what's your reaction to what needs to happen right now? >> i can tell you very simply. i will give you five ways that they can do it. one, that they need to admit they have a problem. the police department needs to admit it has a problem with dealing with minorities and with the disconnect within the community. number two, both sides need to sit down and listen. they don't have to meet on the 50 yard line. they can meet on the 40 30 20. on whatever side. on the police side or the protesters or citizens side. you have to meet and sit down listen more than talking. the next thing they need to do
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is community policing. if they don't live in the community, they need to move there so they have some connection. number four the metropolitan area needs to follow suit. it's not just ferguson missouri. five transparency. simple as that. >> you believe, alderman french, any of this will make much of a difference at this stage? >> well i think if there are concessions made by ferguson at the behest of the federal government that's a step in the right direction. it's the first step in a long journey. as i said there are many municipalities around ferguson that engage in similar behavior. what we need is a large-scale change in order to remedy the situation. i hope that the light that has been shed on the situation will lead to that change. this is the first step. >> all right. guys thanks very much. a note don will be back later
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tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern for cnn tonight. stick around and see that. just ahead, are republicans willing to reject giuliani and his charge that the president doesn't love the united states of america? reaction as the controversy is exploding.
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obama white house is hitting back at rudy giuliani saying he said a horrible thing about the president of the united states. he told a private group that
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president obama doesn't love his country. tonight the republican isn't backing down. let's bring our national correspondent. she has all the details. >> this is rhetoric that we're starting to see more often is this highly charged emotion of patriotism patriotism. it's taking center stage. former new york mayor and one time presidential contender, rudy giuliani created a fire storm when he said this about president obama. i know this is a horrible thing to say but i do not believe that the president loves america. he doesn't love you and he doesn't love me. he wasn't brought up the way you and i were brought up. social media lit up. democrats and critics demanded a
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retraction. he attempted to tone down the comments on fox news this morning. >> i'm not questioning his patriotism. what i'm seeing is in his rhetoric i rarely hear him say the things ronald reagan say and bill clinton say about how much he loves america. i do hear him criticize america much more than other presidents. he doubled down off camera saying obama doesn't express a great deal of love at this country. >> he seems embarrassed enough to do damage control this morning. we will agree with it was a horrible thing to say. >> the remarks were featured in front of guests. walker refused to denounce the comments today. >> the mayor can speak for himself.
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i'm not going to comment on what the president think or not. i love america. >> reporter: walker deflections stand in contrast to 2008 when john mccain politely rebuked a voter who suggested obama was an arab. >> no ma'am. he's a decent family man citizen that i happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. he's not. thank you. >> reporter: with the race for 2016 starting the heat up some republicans are already worried the rhetoric has become extreme. >> rudy giuliani is a friend of mine. i like him very much. he's a passionate man, but i think his comments were inappropriate and we should not question president obama's love of country. >> having covered obama in 2008 what strikes me in his comments is when he said obama was not brought up the way you or i was
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brought it it was goes back to when his opponents try to paint him as other. it opened the door for others to use racist remarks against him. >> thank you very much. let's bring in john king. john what could rudy giuliani, a very intelligent, smart guy, what could he have been thinking telling athe people that the president of the united states does not love america? >> i think the fact he reiterated it and added i think he's a patriot but doesn't love america like you and me, he was saying what he thinks what he believes. he has every right to do as a citizen. a lot of people view him as different. he's the man, a lot of democrats and independents loved and respect and it's more complicated by the fact he had a
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republican presidential candidate sitting at the table. if he believes that, he said this is a horrible thing to say. didn't your mother teach you if you have a horrible thing to say don't say it. >> especially in front of a whole lot of people. what do you think? >> i think he thought there were no reporters there and it was going to be off the record. he was truly saying what he believed. what strikes me about this is you go from 2008 to now, this idea of obama as alien, as something other than an america has migrated from the fringes of the republican party into the mainstream. if you have someone like rudy giuliani saying that it's come into the mainstream. i'm more surprised that scott walker who is being talked about now didn't feel necessary to establish himself to separate himself from that wing of the party and come out strongly. >> the way john mccain did when that woman at the town hall said
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he's an arab. >> which is one of the greatest moments of his career. >> he had the decency to say you're wrong. that was another time. we're remembering all those things. when you heard about it what did you think? >> i think to ryan's point about perhaps he thought it was a private moment it's stunning. at this point we know there's no such thing as a private moment for someone, i guess you could say, is a leader in their party whether they're a can understand or not. i think what you can take away from the comments is they are derivative of something a lot of republicans believe and that is many in the gop think that the president sees the world as an internationalist. maybe he doesn't see things from a truly american perspective and it kind of can turn into a slippery slope at times. we heard susan talking about this issue of racism but i haven't talked to a single
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republican who thought it was a good idea that rudy giuliani said this. it may be good at some points for fund raising but not good for the gop brand at all. >> is it realistic for a politician, he's not going to get back into politics rudy giuliani, when he goes on television this morning. could he have said i screwed up. i made macea mistake and didn't mean that. what would have been so bad about saying that? >> nothing. he didn't say that and he's an intelligent man. this is what he believes. this is what he wants to say. it could be two different things but i suspect not. i think this is what he believes. why would he say it in a public setting. he knows he was in the room with a likely presidential candidate who has risen in polls. this will put the burden on scott walker and the other republican presidential debates. rudy giuliani can say whatever he wants. i think it's foolish to question
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the president's policies and rhetoric. those who criticize the president, criticize him on the substance. to say he doesn't love america, poppy cock. scott walker said i'm not going to judge rudy giuliani. he wants to be president of the united states. he'll have to make judgments every single day as president of the united states. >> when he said rudy giuliani that this is a guy who was not raised to love america. remember who raised him. his grandparents. his grandfather served in world world ii. his grandmother worked in a factory to help the u.s. win world war ii and now he's suggesting he wasn't raised that way to love america. >> that's what's so outrageous. there is a debate to have about how one projects american power and errors made in the past.
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he doesn't like obama apologizing for anything or talking about america is anything but a force for good in the world. that's a legitimate debate everyone has but to just personalize it and say he's not america and didn't grow up like you and me whatever that means, it's atrocious. >> has a hillary clinton camp reacted? >> they haven't. we have seen her at times where republicans struggling or talking themselves into a hole. we have seen her step in. she tweeted about that. she hasn't stepped in on this. we see her really just letsing republicans hoist themselves on their own. i think some of this is still playing out just like john said. rudy giuliani could have back peddled on this. if he had, he would have gives scott walker some cover to say
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rudy giuliani has taken back his comments but he hasn't. >> we invited rudy giuliani to join us in the situation. we hope he explain what is he wanted to say. that's it for me. thanks very much. erin burnett outfront starts now. r bug spreading tonight. let's go outfront.
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