tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 20, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT
business out there. >> i know how to play. i just don't know how to play well. joe johns, good to see you as always. to our viewers, thank you for allow manage tow hang out as brooke baldwin takes some much deserved time off. now it's final for wolf blitzer in "the situation room." president netanyahu annerful in rejecting his parameters for peace talk. also, dominique strauss-kahn faces problems with the conditions of his bail. we'll have the very latest on the sexual assault suspect he's in or out of jail and the raid on the compound triggering a new terror alert.
this hour, concerns that there are potential targets at risk by cutting homeland security funds. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." we begin with deadly new clashes today in syria as security forces try to break up anti-government protests in a number of cities. human rights activists say that at least 34 people were killed. they say to end the crackdown or get out of the way. here is arwa damon. >> reporter: wolf, when we see the images coming out of syria, the path that the regime continues to take seems pretty
clear. they are aiming to clear. a voice yells off camera. this is video said to be from the city of hopes, which has seen many protests in recent weeks. it was posted to youtube. cnn cannot verify its authenticity or when it was shot. but one opposition activist told cnn on friday that the security forces fired straight in crowds of demonstrators and the syrian human rights information link reported a mounting death poll throughout the day. a similar scene where men wearing what appeared to be syrian security force uniforms are seen firing. once again, they became the rallying point for protests throughout the country. some called for the toppling of the regime. others chanted that they would prefer death over humiliation. the government insists that protests are being organized by terrorists and outside forces
and has declployed the army to several cities. after several hundred deaths, these people know that it can be fatal to take to the streets yet continue to do so, to demand freedom and change only to be met with lethal force. the u.s. this week slapped financial sanctions on president bashar al assad and on thursday, president obama issued this warning to syria. >> president assad now has a choice. he can lead that transition or get out of the way. the syrian government must stop shooting protesters. >> reporter: it seems that the president has already made his choice, to do neither. the u.s. effectively has very little leverage when it comes to syria that still enjoys a fairly powerful position. that is, in part, because of it
the strategic alliance with iran or destabilize its border with israel. in fact, the regime has already issued threats that bringing it down would severely impact security in the region. wolf? >> arwa damon, thank you. they faced the camera and each other for 15 rather uncomfortable minutes. these fierce allies openly at odds oifr the terms for trying to restart middle east peace talks. president netanyahu warning that the president that peace built on illusions will fail. let's bring in brianna keilar. brianna? >> they met for 90 minutes, longer than we thought they would. signs that it is very productive, they say. maybe a little bit. because if netanyahu went to the white house furious, he came out of the meeting at least a little
more so. but for two leaders thatville had frosty relations at times, this is another tough spot. israeli prime minister net taanu was about to leave for the u.s. and mutually agreed swats. >> reporter: today at the white house, as he did yesterday, he panned the proposal. >> it's indefensible because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground. demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. >> reporter: but if yesterday was the war of words, the white house hoped today was time to kiss and make up. >> obviously there are some differences between us and the precise formulation and language and that's going to happen
between friends. >> we have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries. >> reporter: but for all of the niceties, netanyahu drew a line in the sand. he said israel will not house palestinian refugees or negotiate with the palestinian government supported by hamas. >> it's not going to happen. everybody knows that it's not going to happen. and i think it's time to tell the palestinians forthrightly that it's not going to happen. >> reporter: despite words that the u.s. and israel will remain tough allies. robert is with the council on foreign relations. >> there is a great deal of mutual affection there. they have met a number of times and nonetheless they have not succeeded in establishing a close bond, a working relationship and there is not a
great deal of new trust, it seems. >> after the meeting, jay carney said the president made clear that the pre 1967 border patrol. >> brianna keilar, thank you very much. let's do reading between the lines of that appearance by the president and the prime minister in the oval officer. gloria borger is here. i was struck by the body language during that photo opportunity. it did not seem very good. >> sort of frigid, would you say? >> yes. >> look, these two men don't share a very warm relationship. this meeting today took place after the prime minister issued what amounted to a reprimand, right, of the president of the united states yesterday. and then today in this photo
open, he started listing all of his nonnegotiable demands. i think from the white house point of view, they consider that netanyahu has always been kind of intransgident and from netanyahu's point of view, the white house has blind sided them again on the settlement issue and where they talked about going back to the 1967 boundaries as a starting point. so not a warm relationship. by the way, wolf, i don't think that netanyahu pays a political price. >> there is an important constituency that wants to make sure that the u.s. andize see relationship is strong and israel is dependent on the united states for billions of dollars every year and strategically in that part of the world, it's important to know that the united states is there to help. he does pay a certain price if
there's a rupture in the u.s. israeli relationship. but these are close allies and it's intriguing to me that even before the president delivered the speech, the obama administration notified the izzy government on the sensitive issues what he was going to say. >> as you would expect, these things go through diplomatic challenges and before the speech giving netanyahu what amounts to a heads up. but it was a tense phone conversation we're told and that netanyahu clearly did not like what you heard and that was why you saw his statement released before he got on an airplane to come on over here. the question, of course, is what did the white house then do? hill clinton has to notify the president of the united states that israel is upset about this but it seems to me that if you
look at the language, the language in the speech was not changed. the white house press secretary said that it did not delay the speech, that the president was putting his finishing touches on it and you have to assume that the secretary of state and president were talking about israel. >> he was supposed to speak at 11:40 a.m. and didn't speak until 12:15. it was 35 minutes delayed. the secretary of state heard what the president said in that phone conversation, reported it to the president and the president said he's not changing the language and mutually agreed swaps as is and then obviously that irritated the president. >> the question is, did netanyahu's irritation come as a surprise to the white house? i would think it would. >> right. this important note, the israeli ambassador to the united states will be a guest tonight in the arena 8:00 p.m. right here on cnn.
a republican challenger to president obama is defending its ties to the democrat. we're taking a closer look at the reception. jon huntsman is now receiving in new hampshire. and a shirtless congressman, a political scandal and now a surprisingly close race to replace him. ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. with heart-related chest pain or a heart attack known as acs, you may not want to face the fact
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the presidential field begins to take shape and jon huntsman is not a group, at least not yet. his biggest obstacle is to the democrat that he might run against. he's joining us live. what's the latest up there, jim? jon huntsman sounded like a diplomat at some of his first few events up in this state and there were very few, if any, jabs at aimed at the man that he
would like to replace, a man who also happens to be his ex boss. >> i'm delighted to be here. >> reporter: taking his first steps in new hampshire, he originally had more members of his family, staff, and media swirling around him than supporters. so it was no surprise that at his first event as a potential candidate, he tried to turn down the temperature. >> we are the quintessential margin of error potential candidate. >> still, this mormon showed off his conservative side, saying that he would look at entitlement reform to bring down the debt. >> it's $14 trillion with an explanation mark. >> reporter: he told one crowd that he would not have invaded libya despite the motivating
criteria. >> reporter: as for conservative issues, he told cnn that he's ready to defend his record. >> do you think you will be able to overcome the concerns? >> everyone who has been elected into political office has a history. some elected, some won't. >> reporter: one thing they don't like is the u.s. ambassador to china, something his ex boss won't soon forget. >> i'm sure that him having w k worked so well. >> reporter: he says he would do it again, stressing he was answering a call to serve. an answer that some republicans would be willing to accept. >> he was working for the president of the united states. >> reporter: he sounded more diplomatic than dogmatic and doesn't take swipes at the president. huntsman cautioned he's not into labels. >> we've got to get beyond this tag mentality where everybody is described as being this, that,
and the other. i think it's artificial, superficial, and i think it's misleading in politics. >> reporter: with some in the gop shopping around for a fresh face, voters in this first of the nation primary state are taking a hard look at huntsman, even if they are not ready to buy in just yet. >> do you think you can beat president obama? >>. >> how can you say that? >> reporter: now, huntsman's top political advisor told me that he thinks the way to beat president obama is to go bigger, not smaller. that is a sign that as huntsman gets into this race and he will have that decision in june, this campaign will be not be about issues and delivering a commencement address at south -- southern new hampshire university tomorrow. also happens to be the spot where his former boss, president obama, delivered a commencement
address four years ago. wolf? >> i guess it's a good thing to deliver a commencement address in new hampshire can't hurt, as we say. thank you very much, jim acosta reporting. please join us on monday night, june 13th, as the republican hopefuls square off on all of the issues only here on cnn. jon huntsman will be a guest on john king usa tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern. homemade levees holding back the floodwaters to the mississippi river. we're going to show you the length that some people are going to try to save their homes. what is the most disturbing piece of information recovered from bin laden's compound in pakistan. i'll ask the chairman of the house intelligence committee mike rogers. he's here in "the situation room." when you come to new york from a place like detroit, no one expects you to influence the world of fashion. but when you grew up surrounded by rock 'n' roll and heavy industry, you just might make a name for yourself.
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this just coming into "the situation room." the former international monetary fund chief dominique strauss-kahn is now out of a new york city jail. just a little while ago a judge approved a new bail agreement for strauss-kahn awaiting on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid. he will be moved to a temporary location in lower manhattan. plans for him to stay in a plush apparent here is how his lawyer explained the change of plans. listen to this. >> the reason that he had to move is because members of the press attempted to invade his private residence and interfered with his family's privacy and i'm asking you, please respect this family's privacy. i know you have to do your job. report the news.
but it's not as important as respecting the rights of mrs. sinclair, mr. strauss-kahn, and their family to privacy and to have some time together. >> we're also told by the way that the judge accepted the $1 million in cash. strauss-kahn got paid for his bail along with a $5 million insurance bond. strauss-kahn is certainly used to the good life. ivan takes us to where he lived. >> reporter: this is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in paris. a century's old planned square in the heart of the city where the french author victor hugo once lived and also where dominique strauss-kahn maintained a residence right here in number 13. this expensive neighborhood couldn't offer more of a stark contrast to the bronx apartment
building where the alleged victim of the assault in that new york hotel lives. dominique strauss-kahn came under criticism in the past. he was photographed getting into an expensive porsche here once leading some to criticize him calling him a cavier socialist. the owners of the boutiques and galleries are very camera shy. some of them tell cnn that they would periodically see strauss-kahn and his wife getting in and out of show officered vehicles and they would always say, hi, how do you do? a judge released strauss-kahn on $1 million in bail. he will now live in a new york represented apartment under near constant surveillance wearing an electronic tracking device. it's likely to be many long months before he ever sees him home here in paris ever again.
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the taliban say an attack on vehicles in pakistan is retaliation for the killing of osama bin laden. one person was killed in that attack and # 1 others wounded. there was no reports that any of them were americans. also in pakistan, a suspected u.s. drone strike killed four suspected militants. there's been a surge in drone strikes since the killing of bin laden. earlier i spoke to the chairman
of the house intelligence committee and republican congressman mike rogers. >> let's talk about u.s.-pakistani relations right now. the cooperation or lack of cooperation between the u.s. and pakistani intelligence, is it getting better three weeks after bin laden is dead or getting worse? >> well, still lots of challenges. and i think to some degree the embarrassment is in the bravado has not allowed us to move forward. the station chief there, bad form, they knew it. they did on purpose. >> that's the second time they've done it? >> they held it not that long ago. u.s. diplomat for 42 days who had all of the rights of immunity. they are fair weather friends at best. we're going to have to work through it. i know there are lots of calls
in congress and we should cut the funding and be angry at the pakistanis. nobody is angry at them like i am. but at the same time, they help us with logic sticks with the war in afghanistan and take thousands of casualties and have helped us arrest al qaeda operatives to one degree or another and taliban operatives in the settled areas of pakistan. so it's a real mixed bag. i would walk very slow down the path to cut them off. >> i want to get more on that in a moment. what's the scariest thing that you've learned from that so-called treasurer trove of documents, information take fren bin laden's come snoupound? >> well, i think the good news, if there is good news in that information, there is no smoking gun there that says that this is going to happen, this horrible event well under way, can't stop it. >> have they finished reviewing everything? >> no. and some of it is coded, some of it is dari and arabic and
there's a whole series of things that they would have to get through to be able to interpret all of information. but from what we've seen t. clearly shows that he was conducting operational management of al qaeda where he could. he was given guidance where there were disagreements among factions. that was different than what analysts believed. >> he was just working on a computer, sending out thumb drives and instructions and deeply involved in this al qaeda operation? >> absolutely. the one thing that struck me so far is that how focused he was on telling the al qaeda elements around the world, remember, target america first. >> here's what surprised me. he had no security. he had really no serious weapons there. why? >> a higher profile would have been a lot more attention. think about it. he had a family around him that invited other family members'
children into play. they didn't see osama bin laden, didn't see his family, didn't see his wife. but they tried to make it as normal as they could, having a high-security compound in the middle of abbottabad. >> is the u.s. with or without the help of pakistan any closer to getting al alaki in yemen, running this al qaeda in the arabian peninsula? i know that the u.s. tried to kill him with a drone strike a couple weeks ago, almost got him. >> can't talk about the specific details, but when you look at his trek threat and why it's a unique threat, he has complete understanding of american culture. >> he was born in new mexico? >> born in new mexico, lived in virginia for a period of time, in the south for a period of time. he understands america and has used that to his advantage to try to recruit people who have those blue american passports. >> so is the u.s. any closer?
>> he's under a lot of pressure, i will say that. >> and legally the u.s. can kill him, from your perspective. he's an american citizen. would it be okay to kill him just as it was okay to kill bin laden? >> he announced his citizenship and has declared war on the united states, his own words. i think we're in the full right of the united states to bring him to justice just the way we brought him. >> what about the number two al qaeda leader, the egyptian who has been in hiding, we believe, in pakistan? any closer to finding him? >> you know, what happens when something like this -- we know this through the history of how al qaeda will respond when we get other senior leaders or logisticians or finance people. they change their security protocols. he was an inspirational leader and operational leader. >> bin laden? >> bin laden. and when that happened, they are going to change. the last note that he was
writing, if it had his name and address on it or not. >> do you think the pakistanis, or at least elements of the pakistani military service know where he is? >> well, i would guess that somebody has information that is valuable to us to find mr. zawahari. >> that would go a long way in improving that relationship. >> it would be a -- i think it would be a big healer in our relationship and, again, i hope that we take this opportunity to say, yep, it was embarrassing. it was bad. now this is the time to step up. more transparency, more access, share more information, let's move forward and use this as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship, not weaken it. >> the al qaeda organization named another egyptian, like their interim leader. what do we know about this guy?
>> well, all of the folks that they have talked about and this particular gentlemen ja is one of them, have some inspirational qualities. they have been talking and preaching the message, if you will. they have operational experience, completely trusted. we're not convinced yet that they have solidified on any particular person that is going to assume that role. and we also would not be -- i would be at least suspect that anyone early on knowing that they are going to go through these changes and are they trying to divert people's attention or not. the good news is, the intelligence services has been going after a slew of targets all over the world at the same time. so the whole apparatus was not going after osama bin laden. we're close on some, not so close on others. this is an ongoing process. >> congressman rogers, good luck in all of the work that you're doing. >> thanks for having me. a new glitch in space after the crew of the shuttle "endeavor."
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snoo. a new law in texas requires the woman to view an embryo or fetus before getting an abortion. >> wolf, that law will require women to undergo a sonogram before the procedure and they have to mention the size and physical characteristic and the presence of a heartbeat. now, there are some exceptions to the requirement, including in the cases of rape or incest, that law takes effect september
1st. two members of the crew of the space shuttle "endeavor" cut short a spacewalk because of a carbon monoxide monitor but most of the work was done. and the largest offshore facility in the world will be bigger than four football fields and set more than 100 miles off australia. it will have the ability to turn the gases into liquid to ship to cities hundreds and miles away. in new york state, a special election in the 26 congressional district now sceeen as a campai theme. a republican congressman stepped down after his compromising craigslist exchange was revealed to the world. our congressional correspondent
indica kate is here. this is the suburbs of buffalo. what is going snon. >> you are big there. let's say that. but this race is very close and it's very interesting even with a congressman resigning amid a shirtless scandal. congressman mike lee resigned in february after a shrtless photo he e-mailed to he a woman, not his wife, appeared on the internet. it's offering democrats a shot they haven't had in upstate new york in years. >> why is this race so competitive? why is it so close? >> because we got the right message. >> reporter: and that message, kathy, is hitting hard. slamming the house republican plan to cut spending by dramatically changing medicare and trying to tie her republican
opponent to it. >> why do you think medicare has taken such a front and center role in this campaign? and there is an idea that i'm trying to end medicare and there's nothing further from the truth. >> reporter: the fact that a democrat is even competitive in this race is surprising. republicans have long had an edge here. this went to the republican candidate in the last three president initials and electses and the last time this area elected a democrat to this seat was more than four decades ago. look no further than the candidates final debate and see the race has turned into an early test of the national political playbook for 2012. democrats attacking the gop medicare proposal and author and democrats running from the big
challenges. >> isn't that such the career politician thing to do? kick the can down the road. >> if you look at the debate last night, it may lead one to wonder, are you running against paul ryan or are you running against jane wor win at this point? >> jane corwin has embraced it. she's been asked again and again and continues to support it. >> corwin doesn't disagree. >> medicare is certainly a very important issue to our seniors and that's why i'm working so hard to support a plan that is going to protect medicare for seniors and ensure that the program is around for future generations. >> reporter: a big factor making this a dead heat, jack davis who says that he represents the tee party tea party across lines and a sign of how stakes the are, close to $2 million so far, and
national leaders flying in to show their support. >> i think she's a great candidate. >> regardless of the outcome t. will be significant as it previews the battle lines ahead that we'll see in the next round of congressional races next year. very close race and everyone is watching and the election is tuesday. >> this tuesday. $2 million and good for the local economy. they could use some of that economic stimulus. >> that's just from the outside groups. a couple of the candidates have put a lot of their own money in as well. >> i hope you have chicken wings. >> i had buffalo wings and they were delicious. >> good. amazing efforts to save homes near the mississippi river. we'll take you there. and behind the scenes at hillary clinton's crisis center. stand by. our premium litters now work harder to help neutralize odors in multiple cat homes. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home.
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check out the most amazing scenes that we've seen along the mississippi river. homes are islands martin savidge is there. >> reporter: this is a perfect example of what you can do with a lot of determination and heavy earth moving equipment and a little bit of time and advanced warning. take a look at this.
we are in yazoo county and we're on the heart family farm. they have been here for almost 200 years. that is why it was so important for them to defend the land. this is where the water swats it help right now it is not. it is a field that would normally have a thousand acres of cotton in it. it does. but it's under water right now. the house in the distance, that is their son's home, todd hart. you can see the roof line peaking above the levee that they created there and that is also working to hold the water back. it's quite dramatic when you see that from the air. we are standing here on the big island and it was constructed, 2200 feet that goes around three acres, sort of a soft sided square, maybe. and it ranges in height from about eight feet to maybe 11
feet and this is what is keeping the floodwatersing from the yazoo at bay. it has been doing that since tuesday. on monday t. would have been bone dry and on tuesday you got a ton of water. and take a step up here. erma heart. why did you go to all of this trouble? >> well, martin, like i said, we have been here a long time and i had to do all that i could to save it. i bailiff all of the glory to god. it's all in his hands, whether this levee holds or not. >> when you were building this, two weeks it took, there was no water here. did people think that you were crazy? >> i would say that some thought i was crazy. we've lived here for a long time
and don't take these predictions on the river carelessly. we know when they say it's coming to vickburg, mississippi, we a took it serious and started building this levee. >> reporter: a lot of people are wondering this same thing, how much martin, my son said a whil ago -- an arm and a leg. i really don't know yet. i'm just going to have to leave you with that because it is -- i don't know what it is going to cost. >> reporter: the bill actually hasn't come in. but -- i would say it is worth it so far. >> it is. >> reporter: thank you. thank you so much. right now they say that the floodwaters likely to be hanging around this neck of the woods for some time. maybe into the middle of june which means for the hart family there won't be a lot to do except enjoy their new lake house home. wolf? >> what a story. i wish all those folks the best of luck. china is developing a weapon that could do serious damage to u.s. navy carriers.
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"the new york times" is reporting china will provide 50 fighter generals to pakistan. as prime minister advice iing beijing. also in china right now, high-level north korea delegation according to some reports north korean leader kim jong-il may be leading it. we are watching this story for you. meanwhile, china is pushing a developed new high-tech weapons. what if, what if these weapons are developed as part of a growing arm's race between the u.s. and china? let's bring in our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence. she work thing part of the story for us. >> 20 years ago a lot of people would be surprised if you told them today our primary war would be against these terrorists. not against a nation. it is a job to look ahead 20, 30 years from now to see what the next conflict could be.
some of the brightest minds in the u.s. and china are already doing this for a conflict that may never happen. technology could push u.s. navy fighter jets farther back from the battlefield. a is developing a missile with enough distance and accuracy to hit a moving carrier. in order important the american ship to launch planes against china, it would have to sail in range to the df-21-d missile. >> this is not an easy thing to do with mobile platform. but the chinese are putting together the satellites, other ground base ed sensors. >> reporter: he studied china's military for the u.s. government. >> neither side wants to take on the other. each side has to be wore bead that possibility. >> reporter: military relations between the u.s. and china have been rocky. on wednesday, china's top military officers said there is still a gaping hole between us. a flight deck is full of armed
fueled aircraft. hit it with a missile and that might not sink the carrier but it can certainly cripple its mission. >> i know that -- there's a great deal of interest in the carriers vis-a-vis the -- the -- the df-21. that's -- that's the big question. and the -- and how that carrier now becomes vulnerable. >> reporter: america's answer is a version of the unmanned vehicle that can launch and land at sea. the u-class would fly farther and longer than a fighter pilot. prototype took its first test flight in february. >> we remain committed to getting a squadron aboard an aircraft carrier by 2018. >> reporter: the u.s. has been flying land based drones for years. but the bad guys in afghanistan don't fly jets. same with the tribal areas of pakistan. off of china you are not going to automatically enjoy that kind
of supremesy. >> reporter: there are questions how much damage any drone could do against actual air defense. >> how well would a drone do if it was being intercepted by enemy fighter airplanes? how well would it do if it had to fight its way through enemy surface-to-air missiles? >> that's hard to answer. especially at this point. we are talking about experimental drones that have barely been tested to fight experimental chinese weapon that hasn't been tested at all. wolf? >> chris lawrence at the pentagon. thank you. you may not know that the state department has its own version of the situation room. it is now half a century old like the white house situation room. jill dougherty got an exclusive look at the secretive spot inside the headquarters of the u.s. diplomacy. >> testing. >> got it. >> reporter: the operation center, state department's 24/7 nerve center. >> they wake up, secretary
clinton. >> they would wake up anyone they needed to wake up essentially. that is -- their job. >> merrill's voice mail. >> tracking hotspots around the globe and how to get american citizens out of them. director bitters says she's never seen it so busy. >> we had a task force on egypt, then that went down and we had a week and task force on libya. then we had japan. then before japan went down we had libya again. had two going at the same time. >> reporter: 60 staff coordinate all communications for the state department around the world. giving secretary of state hillary clinton sometimes minute by minute updates. putting her in touch with anyone anywhere. >> one evening i wanted to speak with an ambassador who was visiting washington. so -- of course i asked ops to find him for me. >> reporter: quickly patched her through. >> only later i learned that the
ambassador did not have his cell phone with him. >> reporter: his staff told ops he was out to dinner but didn't know where. >> ops called the ambassador's hotel and learned that the concierge recommended three restaurants but they didn't know which one he chose. >> reporter: ops called them all, e-mailed a picture of the ambassador and asked them to scan the dining rooms until they found him. >> that's persevernce. >> reporter: the center was created 50 years ago reportedly when president john kennedy couldn't reach anyone at the state department during a cuban missile crisis. back then, it used cables like this one from 1979. embassy tehran was taken by demonstrators at 1:00 a.m. today. madeleine albright says she will never forget one call from ops. >> i was in italy. they found me and they said the embassies have just been blown up. i said, what are you talking about? >> reporter: ops helped save one of those u.s. pilots shot down over libya this past march when
a libyan man who once received an education grant from the state department found him. >> what did he do? he called ops. and what did ops do? well, ops called the defense department. and said by the way, we have your pilot. why don't you come pick him up? >> reporter: jill dougherty, cnn the state department. to our viewers, you are in "the situation room." president obama gets a blunt lecture from israel's prime minister after calling for israel to roll back to boundaries to what looks like they -- boundaries they looked like before the 1967 war with adjustments. former head of the international monetary fund released from jail. he faces home detention under tight security ahead of his next court appearance for sex crime charges. nationwide warning that al qaeda is interested in attacking u.s. oil and natural gas targets. it comes as some cities in the
united states learn they will soon learn -- lose their anti-terrorism funding from the federal government. breaking news. political headlines all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." let's begin now in no uncertain terms israel's prime minister let president obama know exactly what he thinks of the call for israel to make huge territorial concessions to the palestinians. the president had urged israel to negotiate a peace field based largely on the boundaries that existed before the 1967 arab israeli war. in a white house meeting that appeared awkward and tense, the prime minister netanyahu netted gave his answer and added that as of now, israel may not have a partner for negotiations. listen to this. >> while israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the
1967 lines because the -- these lines are indefensible. because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have -- taken place over the last 44 years. remember that -- before 1967 israel was all of nine miles wide. half the width of the washington beltway. israel cannot negotiated with a palestinian government backed by hamas. it is a terrorist organization. fired thousands of rockets on our cities and children. >> closer look at what the prime minister is talking about. we are hearing a lot about the 1967 lines. tom foreman is here with a closer explanation. what are they talking about? >> you know this better than anybody else here. this was 1967, before 1967. what it looked like in israel. in that year, the six-day war
broke out. what happens, tremendous amount of pressure. egypt down here, jordan, syria up here. lot of pressure grew because there was a sense that a war was about to break out. what happened at the beginning of that war, as you well know, israel struck out very quickly with excellent air attacks on egypt and then on into jordan. over into syria up here and the result was a sweeping victory. it was almost unbelievable what happened. look at the result. this was -- israel before the six-day war and at the end of the war, this was their territory. they had increased the size of their country threefold. very short period of time. they took the peninsula, west bank, golan heights up here. massive, massive change. of course -- >> in six day. >> that's right. unbelievable victory for the israelis back then. a huge shock wave through the arab world. by 1979, a deal was done and so at that point you look at what we have today.
the rest of it, east jerusalem, west bank, golan heights, gaza strip, hamas now controls gaza strip over here. east jerusalem, palestinian and israeli controlled and israeli controls golan heights. bring up east jerusalem you can see what part of the problem is. you understand this. you can explain this to more. israeli settlements, palestinian settlements, big changes in terms of where people live now. when the war happened about a million arabs were swept under israeli control who previously had not been under control. this is the problem. >> it is a huge complex issue. it will have to be resolved in negotiations. question the israelis has should the president of the united states have basically said at this point even though everyone understands pre-1967 lines were a deal between israelis and palestinians should the president have said that publicly at this time, given the sensitivity and also the fact that the palestinian authority now has brought hamas into the
equation. >> you have lots and lots of people living out here. are you going to give that land back? if so -- >> this is jerusalem. they did work out a deal involving jerusalem in 2000. final moments of the clinton administration. also in -- 2008, final weeks of the bush administration. although they were close -- close to a deal involving not only getting close to the '67 lines, including east jerusalem as a point capital for the palestinians and for the israelis. obviously it didn't work out. president has been trying for 2 1/2 years now, not working out yet unlikely to work out any time soon. >> that's a challenge. look at that map. there it is today. there it was back in 1967. they talked about that. this is where it is today. how do you get the compromise? >> yeah. not going to be easy. tom, thanks very much. did the president go too far when he asked israel to go back to the '67 lines with adjustments that are mutually acceptable? did he take a step towards jump starting peace negotiations or
did he pull the plug on further peace talks? joining us now is republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina. he is on the armed services committee. senator graham, thanks very much for coming in. it didn't look like there was a -- great rapport there between the president of the united states and the prime minister of israel today when they sat in the oval office. what was your assessment? >> that's why they pay you the big bucks. it was pretty bad. put yourself in the prime minister of israel's shoes. you are coming to meet -- speak to the congress. president bam, i think, has this mindset if i publicly scold israel or i -- push them on cash settlements and borders, i somehow get -- credibility. it doesn't work. it makes our relationship with israel more difficult. and it was overall a good speech. but why in the world you would insist on '67 borders under these conditions i don't know. >> he also had a caveat.
important caveat. >> land swap. >> with mutually agreed swaps. >> here's the problem. when you talk about settlements, everybody in the region will highlight israel's problem of settlements. when you talk about borders and not giving up the right to return, what -- one thing to change the borders. the palestinian people insist on the right to return which is a way of destroying israeli state, look at it from the american point of view. we are providing $200 million in aid to palestinian people. some of that aid has done great things in the west bank. ramallah is a different town. hamas is now in a coalition government with the palestinian authority. why should an american politician give aid to the palestinian coalition government until they publicly say we acknowledge the state of israel as a jewish state, has the right to exist. i'm not going to vote for any more aid to the palestinian people until this new coalition government acknowledges israel has a right to exist as a jewish state. >> do you see any chance hamas will change its attitude and formally acknowledge israel --
>> if they don't we are -- i have never seen it any more screwed up than it is today. why would you negotiate with someone that has as their ultimate goal your demise. they are good agents of peace. hamas is a terrorist organization. for some reason they come back together. our government, we are broke, why would you fund a partial group of people who wanted to destroy your best ally? the only way i see peace coming about is for both sides to acknowledge the other's right to exist. every politician in israel, right, middle, left, acknowledges the palestinian people have a proper legitimate desire to have an independent state where they control their destiny. >> they say they will resume the peace negotiations with israel. if israel freezes its settlement -- >> no. forget about -- we can come up with capitals. we can deal with settlements and pound dry lines.
all of these are details. one thing that you have to get out of the way is that -- agenda of hamas and part of the palestinian people to destroy the state of israel. until that is off the table, everything else makes no sense to me. why would the negotiate borders if the people on the other side of the border have as their ultimate goal to destroy you? so if i am israel, if i'm the american taxpayer, i don't provide any more aid, i don't negotiate until you will tell me to my face as a joint statement of hamas and palestinian authority, you don't want to kill me. >> even if ham says part of his government he speaks important the palestinians and supports two-state solution, israel and palestine living alongside each other. >> what would -- what would the palestinians say if likud said okay, we are agree palestinian people have a right to an independent state but the major party in israel said we don't agree, would you negotiate with the divided government, house divided, palestinian people have
to decide among themselves which way they want to go. if hamas is going to be part of the coalition government, if i were israel, i would not enter into peace negotiations inle hamas changed their charter and acknowledged i have a place on the planet as a jewish state. you are wasting your time. we are wasting our money until that's taken care of. >> introduced legislation to cut off aid to the palestinian? what's going to happen? >> you know -- we are broke. i have to go to south carolina and say here is why i'm giving money to the palestinian people. i think the aid we provided to -- the -- palestinian authority has been well spent. ramallah is a different place. their security forces in the west bank are getting better by the day. hamas has been control over the gaza strip. they have done nothing but shell israel and will not acknowledge the right of the jewish people to exist as a nation and a -- jewish state. so i don't think we need to move any further into the peace process and we don't need to provide any more aid until we get that issue dealt with.
>> what did you think what president obama said yesterday and today on syria? >> good. that's why i like the speech. you know -- assad needs to get with the program or -- or go. the president did a good job of explaining the arab spring. now is the time for a broke nation like the united states to invest in this new election in egypt. every 6,000 years you get a chance at democracy and egypt. when you look at it this is the first time in 6,000 years egypt moved towards democracy. egypt will adopt democratic principles, rule of law, tolerance, role for women. it changes the arab world. to president obama, i will help you provide aid to egypt, tunisia, i will help you keep troops in iraq if that's the best way to secure iraq. i will help stand by you to make sure we get it right in afghanistan. when it comes to israel and the palestinian problem, mr. president, you are doing a lot of damage to the process by singling out individual issues like the settlement and borders.
i don't think the president quite understands that the israeli people are more uncomfortable than any time i have been going to israel. israeli people and their political leaders really question whether or not this new coalition government could ever deliver and i understand why they question that. >> lindsey graham, senator from south carolina, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. at that meeting with the prime minister president obama was firm in insisting u.s. support for israel will remain. >> obviously there are? differences between us and the precise formulations and language and that's -- going to happen between friends. but what we are -- in complete accord about is that a true peace can only occur if the ultimate resolution allows israel to defend itself against threats. and -- to that israel's security
will remain paramount in u.s. evaluations of any perspective peace deal. >> the former head of the international monetary fund has been released from jail in new york. free on $1 million cash bail. susan candiotti is standing by with new information. possible terror plots targeting oil tankers and drilling rigs. new revelations from the material found in osama bin laden's compound in pakistan. one of the -- candidate obama's strongest supporters now a very, very sharp critic of president obama and making some stinging charges. >> barack obama says he is president of all america and not black america. but to say that often means low priority for poor and working people, even lower priority for poor black and working people. ♪
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dominique strass-kahn won't be awaiting trial on sex assault charges at the luxury apartment he had plan order using for his house detention. let's go to new york and cnn's national correspondent susan candiotti has the latest. what's going on, susan? >> reporter: dominique strass-kahn is free on bail tonight. but it wasn't an easy path out of rikers island jail today. a plan to release him hit a snafu when the place where he was planning to live wouldn't let him stay there. that led to a court hearing this afternoon to discuss the issue. the judge agreed to allow the former imf chief to live in a temporary location for a few days until a more permanent apartment can be arranged. why was than he allowed to stay at the first place? >> the reason that he had to move is because members of the press attempted to invade his private residence and interfered with his family's privacy. >> there certainly has been a lot of media interest in this story. the only clue about where he
will be stay sing it will be near ground zero. prosecutors were concerned about that in today's court hearing but ultimately the judge ruled that he would grant bail. wolf? >> he's out on bail, obviously, right now. but he's not free to simply do whatever he pleases. >> that's right. in fact, he's more restricted than he would have been had his original plan played out. the only reason he's now allowed to leave is for a medical emergency. otherwise he needs to stay put. now once he moves to a permanent location, he can leave only for pre-approved reasons but he needs to give prosecutors six hours notice of his plans. he will be monitored likely with an ankle bracelet and have security outside of his apartment. that's at his own expense estimated at at least $200,000 a month. >> wow. from the very beginning, we have been hearing about the investigation on what happened. that last saturday afternoon at that hotel. what are you learning? what else are you learning?
>> well, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case says following interviews with staff after saturday's alleged incident at the hotel, investigators began piecing together a timeline of what happened. the maid who was allegedly assaulted by strass-kahn wasn't the only one who apparently thought the hotel room was empty before the alleged sex attack occurred. a room service attendant entered the suite a short time before that. that maid arrived. also did not think anyone was in the suite. they attended -- used a pass key to let himself in to retrieve some room service items. and he told police that he left the door ajar. when the maid later showed up she noticed the door was already open. the room service attendant who was still there told the maid to come on in. then he left. in the course of talking with employees at the hotel, police have picked up some other interesting details about strass-kahn's stay. not long after his check-in on friday, may 13, a law
enforcement source with knowledge of the case says that strass-kahn apparently wanted some company. he allegedly phoned the front december frequent his room and asked the receptionist who greeted him if she wanted to join him for a drink. she declined. >> wow. okay. thanks very much for that. susan candiotti reporting from new york. what's next for dominique strass-kahn? i asked cnn's senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. >> the most important thing next is the investigation has to proceed. there is a lot that needs to be looked at here. especially in terms of scientific forensic evidence. was there dna left at the crime scene? is there hair and fiber at that time crime scene? the videos, surveillance videos in that area, what do they show? what about the time cards of when people went in and out of that hotel room? all that has to be looked at and experts from both sides have to have the opportunity to look at the evidence. it could take a long time.
>> will his own attorneys be looking for a speedy trial? rushing to trial? or do they want this to drag on? >> delay, delay, delay. especially in a case like this where passions are high and there is a lot of attention. that's also why this bail decision is so important. because -- if he had been in rikers island for the months prior to trial he would be telling his attorneys i can't stand this. get me to trial. now he will be in a relatively comfortable apartment and -- which will certainly be cramped and -- frustrating to him because he can't live his normal life. but he will be eating normal food and he will be sleeping in a normal bed. he will be able to see people. he will not be pressing his lawyers to go as fast as he would be if he were in rikers island. >> he does have some excellent attorneys. benjamin braffman. >> if you were to ask people in the know in new york city, who is the best trial lawyer in new york city, i think ben braffman
would get more votes than anyone else. it is still true that he's not undefeated. he's not more important than the evidence but will have the best defense that strass-kahn could have found anywhere. >> it is fair to say the new york prosecutors are pretty good as well. >> very good. and -- this case will get a lot of attention. this is the first really big case that cyrus vance jr. has had as the relatively new manhattan district attorney. he knows that his reputation is going to rise and fall at least initially based on this case. so those prosecutors are going to have all the resources they need. >> the son of the former secretary of state, cyrus vance. that the same name. goes to trial. let's say it goes to trial six months from now. year from now, whenever it goes to trial in new york city. can he get a fair trial in new york, jury trial, given all the publicity out there, tabloids in new york, some of whom have already convicted him for all practical purposes, what's the
argument in terms of keeping the trial in new york or moving into another location? >> well, you know, we -- in the news media, i think, we always have this question. everybody is following this owe closely. how can he get a fair trial? when you actually get to jury selection, i think that -- i am always surprised at how much people are not dpolg a big case. i think that will be particularly true in a case like this. if you were to ask most people in manhattan two weeks ago who was dominique strass-kahn, i think you would get 99 out of 100 saying they never heard of him. now it would be less -- more people would have heard of him but i still don't think this is a big obsession here in new york. so i don't think picking a jury in this case will be all that difficult. i don't think this trial is going to be moved. >> all right. we are going to watch it together with you. thanks very much, jeffrey toobin, senior legal analyst. afghanistan after bin laden could be al qaeda leaders death but encourage the taliban to make peace. stand by for that.
day after the president spoke about the arab spring dozens are gunned down brutality in syria. we are going to tell you about the latest bloody friday. stay with us. you are in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. aflac! oh, i've just got major medical... major medical. ...but it helps pay the doctors. pays the doctors, boyyy! [ quack ] oh yeah? what about your family? ♪ we added aflac, so we get cash! it's like our safety net... ♪ to help with the mortgage or whatever we need!
osama bin laden is dead. u.s. troops remain at war in afghanistan. mainly fighting the taliban. will the killing of the al qaeda leader make a difference on the ground? our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has been looking into this for us. what are you finding out, chris? >> wolf, as much optimism as there is out there we got a chance to hear from the military commander who runs the reintegration cell in
afghanistan. he says -- not quite yet. here's why. he says that this talk of reconciliation still sounds too much like surrender to some of the low-level fighters. he says their honor and dignity is the fighting men of their communities and just isn't ready to take it quite yet. he also says that there's still -- they are worried about joining the reconciliation programs publicly because they are worried that the taliban leadership that is based in pakistan still has a reach into an afghanistan to hurt them or their families. so they normally are trying to do this reconciliation silently. ♪ >> reporter: something the taliban could break up with al qaeda. and reconcile with nato and afghan government. >> i think that -- the elimination of bin laden is a potential game changer in afghanistan. >> reporter: defense secretary gates says we will know for sure in the next six months.
>> you may actually next winter have the potential for reconciliation talks that are actually meaningful in terms of going forward. >> reporter: why the open tim its snm because bin laden swore an oath to taliban leader omar. >> the personal relationship was 15 years old. and it was really, you know, blood brotherhood. it was a blood bond. >> reporter: michael o'hanson said omar does not have that bond with the number two, did zawahiri. >> be able to say, you know, as long as you don't actively support al qaeda, maybe that's good enough. in other words, there is a little more wiggle room for us. >> reporter: but o'hanlon says there is no evidence the taliban have become more moderate. >> people who retire and say let's negotiate as if wishing it so would make it so. >> secretary gates says if the
troops can keep up the pressure on the taliban through the summer into the fall, that combined with bin laden's death could open up room for negotiations by the end of the year. wolf? >> chris lawrence at the pentagon, thank you. let's dig deep other this important question. joining me are -- cnn national security analyst peter gatheringen. and fran town sends. fran serves on the homeland security and cia external advisory boards. peter, with bin laden gone, where does it leave the taliban in afghanistan? >> this is a tremendous opportunity for the taliban to do something they haven't done in the last ten years which is reject bin laden, reject al qaeda and say 9/11 was a bad idea. if we don't hear from that, from the taliban, i think skepticism about reconciliation process is well deserved. i am personally quite skeptical. omar had a lot of opportunities to save it. things we want him to say. and he hasn't. >> the leader of the taliban. isn't he lied something place in pakistan now? he is not in afghanistan. >> right. hiding in pakistan.
that doesn't prevent him from saying i reject bin laden and his works. >> he can still be operational control. >> also he's made it the number of public statements we hear from him routinely. if they don't take this as an opportunity, i think it will be -- you know, very indicative of whether they are coming from. >> as you know there are a lot of folks out there who are desperately hoping the taliban see the light and say you know what, it is all over, let's negotiate a peaceful settlement. >> that's right. we have to remember taliban were there before al qaeda and really was a strong presence. it was al qaeda that went to taliban to make -- forge alliance and taliban remained post bin laden and so they have a lot vested. they were this political renegade for us inside afghanistan. they continue to be so-and-so -- if you want to negotiate with them, they are going to look for it. not that we want to give it to them but will look for some incentive to do that. omar could show leadership. he could -- issue a statement that would -- give direction to the taliban commanders inside afghanistan and yes, he would support such negotiations.
until he does that i think it is unlikely. i, too, am skepty zblal have you heard these murmurings pakistanis in order to make nice to the u.s. might hand over omar? >> it -- they could do themselves as world of good if they would do that. probably the most important in addition to omar is the hakani network. they have been responsible for killing u.s. soldiers and want to do themselves -- on top of my list would frankly be the hakan zbli president went over to the cia, panetta's operation. he was in the laobby. he thanked the cia for helping him not only the war on terror but in getting bin laden. listen to this. >> today every terrorist in the al qaeda network should be watching their back because we are going to review every video, we are going to examine every photo, read every one of those millions of pages. we are going to pursue every lead. we are -- going to go wherever it takes us. we are going to finish the job.
we are going to defeat al qaeda. >> millions of pages. someone said this is like a small library, if you will. that's what you heard, millions of pages? >> you know -- a lot of -- some of this is video material and some is pornography. however, clearly it is a huge amount of information. in way this is interesting because at the same time you got admiral mullen said we should be talking about this operation less. operational details. have you the president saying look, we have all this material. so there is informational information aspect of this useful against al qaeda to get them scared and running. what do they know that -- >> we are going to finish the job. we are going to defeat al qaeda. he made that commitment. let's see what happens next. thanks very much for coming in. in syria today, security forces fired on anti-government protesters. human rights activists report at least 34 people killed during demonstrations across the
country that followed friday prayers on the muslim holy day. syria state media denies security forces were involved and says armed groups are exploiting. exploiting. thousands of people living along the mississippi river could be facing a disaster that lasts for weeks. high water may be around until mid june. live in the flood zone. stand by for this report. former supporter is now heaping huge criticism on president obama. some of it deliberately inflammatory. >> i don't think he has a fear of black men. i think he has a certain distance from free black men who are willing to speak the truth both about america and himself. now that we've discovered beneful playful life. with real, wholesome ingredients like beef, egg, and even oatmeal. extra protein for strong muscles. so you're ready for anything. you think you're getting spoiled. but it's so good for you, too.
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having them flooded out. in the middle of the cornfield, this stretch of it is relatively dry. you come down here and walk a few feet. you are in floodwaters. photojournalist john persons will pan loudoun and show you crops here are already flooded out. they have soy, cotton, corn here. all being wiped out. this in a we are when a lot of farmers around here thought they would catch a break. thought they would have good crops and maybe be able to recover from lean years and actually turn a profit for a lot of them, because of the floodwaters, that's not going to happen now. we have to talk about cresting because that's a key stage right now. near here in vicksburg, mississippi, it crested on thursday but that crest is expected to hold at least until saturday. top levels. now here in natchez, mississippi, water levels are rising and going to get to record levels probably tomorrow. but in vicksburg it is critical. key flood stage right now, record crest, going to hold until tomorrow. as you mentioned, wolf, what we are told now is that the mississippi river is going stay out its banks, won't recede to
within its flood banks until mid june. it is going to be a very slow and painful recovery for the people here, people in vicksburg, mississippi, not far from here. that way. what we are told by authorities in vicksburg is -- that -- their patrolling the streets night and day to make sure abandoned homes and businesses are not looted, broken into because, again, flood waters are going to stay around important several weeks. so it is a very slow and painful process. it is cresting here, natchez further south. that will crest probably tomorrow. record levels, wolf. it is -- you know, no signs of ebbing any time soon. >> we will stay in close touch. thank you. brian todd on the scene for us. likely gop presidential candidate taking heat from conservatives for praising his former boss. the president of the united states. also another boss, secretary of state hillary clinton. we are going to hear from jon huntsman. tensions between the u.s. and israel. spokesman for israel's prime minister will join john king at the top of the hour.
another republican is making the rounds in the key primary state of new hampshire. he gets closer to making a decision on a presidential run. we are talking about jon huntsman who served as president obama's ambassador to china. cnn's john king is joining us now from new hampshire with more. you had a chance to speak with the former governor, former ambassador today. how did that go, jon? >> reporter: wolf, what an interesting republican campaign this is. month ago he called president obama boss. now he is running in the republican party that has the tea party. has the birther movement. yet, listen to this candidate who is not afraid. not only to praise his former boss, barack obama. but also bill and hillary
clinton. >> i have been at this a while. i don't remember any republican running for the nomination who is on record saying the current democratic president has brilliant analysis of world events and honored to work with hillary clinton. you worry about that? how do you get conservative republicans to think i want this guy as my guy? >> occasionally you write thank you notes which for a lot of people is an important tradition. i believe in civility and i believe we ought to have a civil discourse in this country. you are going -- not going to agree with people 100% of the time. when they succeed and do things that are good, you can compliment them on it. i think we immediate to come together more on the issues and really do matter. i believe in civility. i believe in complimenting people when they do a good job. >> reporter: again, he is running for the nomination of america's conservative party. jon huntsman says he does not like labels. he calls himself a pragmatic problem solver. one break he made clear if he were president of the united states he would not have gotten the united states involved in libya in any way at all, wolf.
>> you have a full interview with him coming up at the top of the hour. we will be watching. jon is on the scene for news new hampshire. stand by for his show. less than a month cnn will host new hampshire republican presidential debate on monday, june 13. join us as republican hopefuls gather to size one another up and debate the serious issues. new hampshire republican presidential debate. monday night, june 13, only here on cnn. dozens of u.s. soylites are losing millions of dollars fighting terror. why one former supporter is now an outspoken critic of president obama and accuses him of being, quote, a black puppet of wall street. [ male announcer ] edmunds.com says that lexus holds its value
practical authorities are making a nationwide warning al qaeda is interested in attacking u.s. oil and natural gas targets. at the same time more than 30 cities have found out they will lose federal funding for anti-terrorism programs. let's go to mary snow. she is working the story and has the latest development. >> the department of homeland security says it has no information of any imminent
terrorist threat to the mayor time or energy sectors. along with the fbi it did warn police departments to cross the u.s. about the intelligence that it gathered. comes one day after dozens of cities learned that anti-terror grants are being cut. new threat found in al qaeda intelligence inside of bin laden's compound. the department of homeland security says that the terror organization continues to have interest in targeting oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea. dhs stresses there is no specific or imminent threat. it is unclear if any further planning has been conducted since mid last year. one day after 33 u.s. cities learned they are losing federal anti-terrorism grants. grants used for things like police raining and communication systems. new orleans is on that list. and a city official questions the logic saying that the city is one of the busiest ports to the refining and production of domestic energy. >> very, very hard for us to
understand how they can do this. again, i understand the -- dhs took about a 20% cut. in my view, again, i'm just one person, why not take a 20% cut across the board for all of us and instead of whacking out various cities. >> the department of homeland security says louisiana gets other grants for port security. it said security, and it said money eliminated to cities is the result of congress's $780 million budget cuts, adding, "the highest risk cities in our country continue to face the most significant threats, and consistent with the recommendations from the 9/11 commission the fiscal year 2011 homeland security grants focus the limited resource that's were appropriated to mitigating and responding to these evolving threats. that means new york, washington, d.c., los angeles, and other major cities will keep their grant money. smaller cities like buffalo, right across the border from canada. salt lake city and indianapolis will not. republican congressman peter king, chairman of the homeland
security committee, agrees with the dhs, saying main terror targets need the funds. >> i see all the analyses. i see all the threats. and clearly, that money could not be spread all over the country. otherwise, it serves no purpose. if you give everyone something, you may as well give them nothing. >> reporter: but in new orleans one official says that's not fair. >> immediately i started questioning that, wondering why. how is one city more important than any of the rest of them? >> reporter: now, even though congressman king agreed with the way the anti-terror grants were distributed, he did say he feels that more money, not less, should be spent on homeland security. and he says he's concerned about proposed cuts in next year's budget for funding these kinds of grants. wolf? >> these grants, mary, how are they used? >> reporter: primarily to train first responders. but in the case of new orleans, for example, they get $5.4 million a year in these grants, and the city has used, it says, this money for communication systems after learning after hurricane katrina how crucial it was to have first responders being able to communicate.
it says that's where it puts money for this. >> mary snow in new york for us. thank you, mary. he's a prominent african-american activist, the scholar at princeton university who once strongly backed president obama. but now he's lobbing verbal bombshells at the president of the united states. professor cornel west tells us why.
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let's take a look at today's hot shots. near lebanon's northern border a syrian refugee boy takes humanitarian potatoes for his family. in france at the cannes film festival a journalist use her scarf to shield her laptop screen from the sun. in ireland the queen's helicopter lands near the rock of tachelle as she tours the country. and in britain a surfer rides a wave hoping to qualify for a tournament. hot shots. pictures coming in from around the world. blistering criticism of president obama on issues of race and class, all coming from one prominent african-american activist and scholar who was once one of the president's most vocal supporters.
cnn's lisa sylvester's here. she's got the details. we're talking about professor cornel west of princeton university. what's he saying? >> reporter: well, wolf, you know, as you well know, african-americans overwhelmingly support president obama. there's no question about it. 95% voting for him. but there are some african-americans who believe that president obama hasn't done enough for the poor and working class, and activist cornel west had a stinging critique of the president. january 2008 in south carolina. democratic candidates prepare to debate. princeton university professor cornel west strongly endorsed then senator barack obama. >> i think he's got the vision. he's got the newness. he's got the freshness. >> reporter: fast-forward to this week. west is now strongly criticizing president obama, calling him "a black puppet" and "black mascot of wall street." >> well, when i look at the mass unemployment, mass underemployment, mass incarceration, especially in the black community, but i'm talking about poor and working people across the board, it seems they
have a very low priority. it seems to be an afterthought. that's what i mean when i say one becomes a puppet for corporate pollute o'krats and a mascot for wall street oligarchs. >> west tells truthdig.com, "i think my dear brother barack obama has a certain fear of black men. it's understandable. as a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant african father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin." i asked west what he meant. >> i don't think he has a fear of black men. i think he has a certain distance from free black men who are willing to speak the truth both about america and about himself. >> reporter: west's comments are outright inflammatory. but he admits he has a personal issue with mr. obama. ♪ he says he campaigned for mr. obama but never got a thanks and couldn't get tickets to the inauguration. but west says he doesn't want that to distract from a larger message, that black people are being left behind even under a
black president. the issue is there, says politico's carrie budoff brown. >> that i think scratches at a very real disappointment that exists right now in the liberal base, the base of the democratic party, towards the president, that he is not or has not been the strong progressive that they imagined he would be. >> reporter: president obama, while campaigning on a message of change, has surrounded himself with old washington hands. and the unemployment rate for african-americans is 16%. we asked the white house to comment, but they declined. but obama's supporters say sure, it's easy for outsiders to criticize the president. roland martin says the president isn't a professor or a social activist and he does have multiple constituencies. >> is he black enough? is he christian enough? is he -- you know, what is it? so to me that is a waste of time. but i think what also has to be recognized is that you're dealing with somebody who is a politician, who has a much different role