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tv   In the Arena  CNN  June 9, 2011 5:00pm-5:59pm PDT

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support things they used to and i only need to talk to one person about her care. support. john mccain doesn't support the immigration bill that he was the we're more than 78,000 people co-sponsor of. looking out for 70 million americans. the climate has become so polarized and partisan and that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. dysfunctional, frankly, that you wonder yourself does anybody worry that the american people will say aren't you guys meant to be doing our business? aren't you meant to be solving problems? all we hear is no, no, no. >> excellent questions, as always. fareed zakaria, thanks. >> pleasure. >> we'll see you tomorrow live from manchester, new hampshire. "in the arena" starts right n now." good evening, i'm eliot to london starts with arthritis pain... spitzer. welcome to the program. tonight in syria, the arab and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day. spring is turning darker by the or...choose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. hour. another child has apparently been tortured and murdered by government troops. enjoy the flight. and awful as it is, this boy was a friend of 13-year-old ham sa al katib.
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his death has been seen as a turning point in syria, the moment when the uprisings in syria triggered national and international outrage. this newest victim, i caution you this is terribly tragic video and we're not even showing you all of it. tamir disappeared on the same we could've gone a more traditional route... day hamza did. the friends were apparently ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable. together. as you can see, he was brutally ♪ murdered. meanwhile, we obtained fresh evidence of just how cruel the army is. this video was smuggled out. it shows military thugs brutalizing a protester they detained. we're seeking to get more information on this event. i want to make one thing clear. the united states is now involved in two military actions in the region. in libya and yemen. but syria is a country where the u.s. has done very little to intervene. so where do we draw the line? it appears tonight that there is simply not any clear answers to that question. i'll have more on all this in just a moment, but first a look at the other stories we'll be
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drilling down on tonight. did anthony weiner break the law? a prominent law professor says it's possible. never mind if the congressman is forced to resign, can he wind up in jail. and wikileaks. a rare glimpse inside an operation that spills other people's secrets, but guards its own until now. just how reckless is julian assange. and then a new breed on capitol hill. we talk to a keen observer who says we've never seen anything like these new lawmakers. but first, fresh outrage in tonight they're heading for syria over the murder of another the hills. boy, this time a 15-year-old. a mass exodus from the presidential campaign of former house speaker newt gingrich as he was a friend of 13-year-old key staffers suddenly resign, including the campaign manager, hamza al katib. press secretary and top you remember the video of the strategists. for more on this, let's go to tortured body brought children into the streets of syria and our political panel, cnn tonight more protesters are taking to the streets as rage contributor cornell belcher and grows against assad and his patricia murray. welcome to you both. so let me get this straight. brutal regime. newt gingrich in the middle of a
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arwa damon filed a report, but presidential campaign goes on a we must warn you some of the video is very disturbing. cruise to the greek isles and somehow when he gets back, his >> reporter: my son, it's my staff is all gone. is this the way you run a presidential campaign? son, a woman wails. >> it was not in the middle of a this scar here, i swear it's my presidential campaign, it's at the beginning of a presidential son. i stitched the cut on him when campaign. he was little. it is even worse and it is just his name was tamir and he was as tone deaf as you can get. after coming off the tiffany's just 15 years old. problems that he had. his body is carried inside to be >> refer to that. washed. buying too much jewelry. >> he's buying too much jewelry. a voice curses the president. he has a half million dollar there is a visible gunshot wound line of revolving credit, that all of us get. below the teenager's knee. no big deal. let's leave the wife out of it. a voice says look at the marks he needs to take the blame for of torture as the camera moves this. so then he goes on a luxury to show his discolored and seemingly bruised face. an activist told cnn of marks on cruise to the greek isles. the boy's body and said one you're just saying you want to be president and now showing how completely disconnected you are. bullet wound beneath the knee these campaign workers knew he shouldn't have killed him. wasn't a serious candidate. cnn cannot independently verify >> was there some deeper tension the authenticity of this video. in the campaign that led to their mass exodus, because this is clearly no way to run a children led his funeral procession, carrying a banner campaign. >> look, to a person when you reading "the martyr tamid talk early on when newt
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detained alive, martyred after announced, the republicans i knew said discipline, management skills. it was going to be a real problem for him and that could be the implosion. clearly what you see is he has a torture." he was from a southern village, discipline problem. this is not the way you start the same village to hamza. off a presidential campaign running for the leadership. it's really embarrassing. once upon a time this guy was his horribly mutilated body the third most powerful man in the country. caused outrage. it is kind of embarrassing. he was detained at the same time >> it also strikes me one thing and at the same demonstration as when you're running for the hamza according to an activist. presidency, when stability, when residents from outlying structure, constantcy and villages marched at the end of judgment are the core of what you project to the public. april to break the military when you're a legislator you can siege on the city. be forgiven a little bit but not eyewitnesses at the time describe how security forces the presidency. who wins out of this chaos? indiscriminately opened fire on >> i think that is assuming that them. dozens were killed and wounded. newt gingrich had any real countless others, including support in the republican party. i don't even buy into the fact children, detained. like hamza, tamid was later that he was a real candidate to begin with. i think that these people on the staff knew that. delivered to his parents a these are real serious political lifeless corpse. two of many syrian children operatives who were looking caught in the cross-hairs of a around at the field, knew their guy was not raising money, knew regime grimly determined to hold he wasn't going to be able to
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on to power. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. pay them and these are not the kinds of operatives that stick with a losing campaign. >> absolutely heartbreaking >> i think the only thing for video, those stories just break newt early on was there was no one's heart. strong front runner so why not arwa has done amazing reporting throw your hat in the ring. on the tragedies inside syria. >> let me play devil's advocate meanwhile the brutal crackdown is causing many for a moment. i agree he was never going to residents to fully for their win the race but did he not have lives. crowds are amassing in northern a role intellectually. syria along the border with newt gingrich has a brain that turkey to escape the regime. sparks, that fires. he's always spitting out ideas. ivan watson joined us from there some of them are crazy, but a short time ago. nonetheless he is there. the intellectual ferment he so tell us what is going on on the border there between turkey brings to things can be helpful for a party. now has that been lost? and syria? >> well, you know, i haven't apparently refugees are streaming across by the thousands. even heard a good idea out of what has triggered this and what is the turkish response? newt gingrich in a little while. >> neither have i, but these are >> reporter: these are desperate people, eliot. ideas. i can say that about most of the they are for the most part women republican candidates. >> i think it does. and children. so far according to turkish it certainly frees up some time official figures, a bit more on the debate stage but he hasn't dropped out. than 2,400. i think he will stay in because most of those have come in the i think this is a campaign about last 36 hours streaming across newt gingrich being in front of the border. they have abandoned their homes. cameras and being taken some of them have been living seriously. >> but he did give us one of our for days and nights out in the best sound bites for the democrats is this right wing
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countryside along the turkish social engineering, referring to border and the ones that we've the paul ryan medicare plan was been able to talk to all tell a gift for democrats. >> just a week or two weeks ago similar stories. he went right after paul ryan and the whole medicare reform they are frightened that the syrian government will target package that paul ryan had put them. in front of the house of many of them from a border town, representatives, passed, virtually every republican voting for it. seeing bloody fighting that the newt gingrich skewered it so i think that was a real talking syrian government claims resulted in the deaths of 120 point against newt within the republican party. syrian security forces. the refugees were telling us but who does win. of the other candidates out there, who do you see as the there was actually fighting leading candidate that has between soldiers and police. stature. some of those soldiers refusing >> you don't even have a leading to open fire on civilians. candidate. all you have to do is talk to there have been a lot of wounded some of the statesmen and they're like i don't know, i people that have come across as don't see anybody i'm excited well. scores of them being treated at about. i think this opens up a door for some of the other candidates who local hospitals here in turkey. have not gotten in. somebody like rick perry. we've been seeing ambulances two of these guys are former rick perry aides. ferrying them across. this opens up the door for him the turks so far have been to walk in and just proves more putting up these refugees and and more that this field has not had its star come in. >> rick perry, the governor of the grounds of an abandoned texas, who was touting his tobacco factory, putting them in balanced budget only to say, tents provided by the red whoops, we've got a $25 billion crescent and they are afraid deficit on a budget only twice that more will be on the way. that size?
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eliot. >> i'm just saying that this is >> you know, am i right, ivan, a chance for him to get into the first, it is virtually race. again, newt is not out of it. impossible, since we cannot be present inside syria, the >> he's going to reboot his cam government doesn't let cnn or any other major network into the sglan and rick perry who syrian nation, but it seems to decimated the public education me two things are eminently system in texas. i'm going on the record early on this is bachman. clear here. when i look at romney, i know the brutality of the syrian government continues unabated the washington insiders want and, two, this is a widespread romney to be their candidate, opposition at this point because but the last time i checked, the we are hearing about stories of tea party had a lot to say about who was the candidates and the this sort geographically across the entirety of syria. washington insider establishment am i right about those two did not. conclusions? >> that's right. i mean it's been from the south i think right now bachman's folks are trying to push palin now all the way up to the northern border, and we're seeing the ripple effects of off the stage. >> i don't want to disagree with that with these refugees streaming across the border. you but viewers have got to know you work for president obama. i don't know how united the president obama would love to have michele bachmann has his opposition movement is. what's been remarkable is opponent. >> i don't work for anybody. talking to the activists. you've got young guys risking i do work for "the daily beast." their lives, filming things on but michele bachmann is an cell phone videos, and they'll actually give you the date that electrifying candidate. all you have to do is be in a crowd that she is talking to and they're filming and then they there is like its drops of work really hard to upload this. electricity everywhere she goes.
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a lot of the internet has been that is exciting from the shut off in broad parts of the grassroots activists and completely missing from the country. field. she's the real deal. upload this and try to get it she's not great on history, but out to the rest of the world. and a common message i've been she is great on the stage. >> history, facts, logic, getting both from the refugees economic policy. and from the activists is that >> she's good at math. >> very quickly, 30 seconds we are outnumbered when it comes left. should the president be worried? to the media. the syrian state media is his approval rating is below 50, pumping out one version of sort of that magic line if events. we're trying to get our story you're an incumbent. out, but we're hamstrung. >> he should be worried because the internet is being shut down. the unemployment numbers are going the wrong direction. the phone lines are being that's what you should be monitored. worried about. >> this number will change. journalists aren't allowed in. more stress should be on people so they have actually been coming across the border to us having jobs not making ends trying to show videos that they meet. the president has to stick to have filmed and trying to get that. the unemployment numbers will their word out to the outside change, this is just a bump in world. the road. they're saying they want >> the unemployment numbers may democracy, they want freedom of go up, his numbers may go down. speech and they want to do away all right. with this government in time is out, we'll have you damascus. >> ivan watson, thank you so back. thanks for being here. up next, so far anthony much for that fascinating report. a new dimension entirely to the weiner has refused to resign, but does he have something else brutality of the assad regime in to worry about, like an arrest syria. thank you so much. warrant? i'll ask a well-respected law now we move to libya where professor if an indictment is opposition forces claim or even possible. perhaps just hope that president stay with us. as a manager, my team counts on me to stay focused. gadhafi's days are numbered.
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the united states and other countries are pledging more money to help the anti-gadhafi forces who say they are virtually broke. sara sidner is in libya and joins us with the latest. thanks for joining us. sara, let me ask you this question, is there any evidence, hard evidence on the ground that gadhafi is close to either resigning, going into exile, that his son, saif is talking to either the united states or so i take one a day men's 50+ advantage. anybody else about the terms of declaring defeat? it's the only complete multivitamin because that is certainly the with ginkgo to support memory and concentration. sensibility we got listening to secretary of state hillary clinton today. plus it supports heart health. [ bat cracks ] that's a hit. >> reporter: yeah, it's very one a day men's. hard to tell on the ground here in misrata because communications are very difficult here. what we can tell you is that when it comes to what's happening on the front lines, and there are three front lines surrounding this city, we are now hearing from commanders that they have gotten new evidence that gadhafi forces are hurting, that they don't have the kind of
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weapons that they used to have, they don't have as many weapons and seem to be demoralized. they said that they have in the past week had at least one high-ranking military official come over to their side. they have captured three people any questions? no. you know... who they say were women. ♪ we're not magicians they say that gadhafi has gotten ♪ we can't read your mind ♪ so desperate he's sending women ♪ read your mind ♪ we need your questions to the front lines. ♪ each and every kind they captured them, talked to them and released them. ♪ every kind ♪ will this react with my other medicine? ♪ they also say that over the course of time they have had 15 ♪ hey, what are all these tests even for? ♪ people who were fighting for the gadhafi side come over and start fighting for the rebel side. ♪ questions are the answer so they really say they're seeing a demoralization of the ♪ yeah fighters on the gadhafi side who are on the front lines. ♪ oh they're seeing less and less ammunition coming from that side over to the rebel side. so certainly there is something going on when it comes to the power of gadhafi's army in this area, and that certainly says something. there is a lot of buzz about whether or not moammar gadhafi is going to make an exit any time soon. we did hear from him this week.
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he was defiant, saying absolutely i will die before i leave. but there does seem to be some rumblings that there could be some movement. that certainly would be cause for great celebrations from the rebel side and certainly in this city, you would see massive celebrations here and of course in the stronghold benghazi. eliot. >> you know, sara, the interesting thing is that listening to secretary of state clinton today and the other voices from france and england and our allies in this effort, the nato allies and others, the conversation was very explicitly about planning for post-gadhafi. they are taking it as an assumption, a given that gadhafi is on the way out. and yet in terms of simply the military battle fronts, as you say, there's some evidence that gadhafi's troops are not as -- they're demoralized, but the battle lines themselves have not yet moved dramatically. am i correct about that? >> reporter: yeah. i mean that is a correct assumption, especiaially here. but we do know that the troops here from the rebel side have
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been able to continue pushing a bit forward. they even said today they made don't murder someone who's it into the eastern front of a already committing suicide. city that has been under siege those harsh words come from for a very long time. senator dick durbin via woodrow they were able to push all the way in but then backed up a bit saying, look, the residents have wilson. durbin is the number two to be ready for this to happen, democrat in the senate and he's but they do have more power. talking about congressman they feel like they have had anthony weiner. more power now than the last few congressman weiner says he has no plans to resign and he can weeks. >> all right, sara, thank you point to a new poll released for that report, reporting from this evening to make his case. 56% of voters in weiner's misra misrata. congressional district say he now to yemen where the u.s. should not resign from congress. has launched new drone strikes but his political destiny aside, believed to have killed at least one top al qaeda commander. does congressman weiner have the attacks have been largely some legal problems ahead of halted while protesters took to the streets and yemen plunged him? one prominent legal scholar closer to civil war. thinks he certainly should be concerned. now with president saleh joining me now is jonathan recovering from injuries in turley, a constitutional law professor at george washington saudi arabia, there are new fears al qaeda will step into the power vacuum. university, also a criminal defense attorney, a practitioner i just spoke with the african who knows the courtroom and principles. jonathan, welcome. bureau chief for the "washington >> thank you. >> so you are a criminal defense post" who's actually in sanaa, attorney, well regarded. if anthony weiner walked in as a the capital of yemen.
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client, how would you assess his thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure, eliot. potential exposure. >> i think it's unlikely he'll >> so i gather in the melee and face a criminal charge on these facts, but we don't have a lot the chaos gripping yemen right of the facts. he already did a very clever now, one nation that is not hesitating to step in to flex thing in avoiding the area where most politicians are indicted in this city and that is not its missiuscles is the united calling for a federal investigation. states. the united states is increasing if he had done that, he would the drone attacks against al have had to speak with federal investigators. qaeda in the arabian peninsula. if you lie to federal am i reading this properly? investigators, you violate 18 >> you're seeing al qaeda in the usc 2001. arabian peninsula, the yemen it's usually how you respond to branch, really taking an these scandals that prove the undoing of these guys. >> so you're saying something aggressive stance. critically important here. if you lie to the fbi, any they're actually taking over areas in yemen itself, in the federal agent, law enforcement agent, you're violating federal law, go to jail for five years, southern province which is a key it's a felony. strong hold of al qaeda there. he lied to the media, so he has >> it seems to me that one of had heaven and hell descend upon the arguments that we have heard him from the media but it's not with regularity for the united a criminal act. >> no. you're allowed to lie to the states support of president media and you're allowed to lie saleh is that he had given his permission to basically let the to your spouse. in terms of the criminal code, united states run military it's not good. operations against al qaeda in but there are problems that you also have to worry about. the arabian peninsula, but if and that is we have this latest
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the opposition forces as well picture that was sent around, say we will let you run those which is quite graphic. same operations even if it would constitute what the president saleh is gone, then supreme court defined as obscene does the united states care as under miller versus california. much if in fact president saleh that would be the second area of stays in saudi arabia and never returns to yemen? concern. in that case the supreme court said that the lewd depiction of >> reporter: that is a very important consideration and the genitalia is in fact obscene and opposition here has stressed is less protection under the constitution. that to the united states, that >> and so our viewers can if they were to come into power, understand, therefore, distribution of that picture in any new regime after electronically across state lines or to somebody even who president saleh, they would consented to it could be deemed illegal? >> it could. certainly be willing to be as but it's not as common. usually what you see in terms of aggressive against al qaeda as president saleh has been and prosecutions are cases involving children. either they're a depiction or they would be a partner with the you're exposing children to these pictures. but we do have some cases where united states in stopping and people have been charged. preventing al qaeda from targeting the united states and we have the south carolina other parts of the west. candidate who was charged for >> having received this assurance from some of the opposition forces in yemen, is exposing to pictures in a the united states reconsidering computer room. >> some people say bad, heinous, what had been pretty firm and use whatever adjective you want,
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unilateral support for president but apparently consensual, and saleh? are we modulating our position we're jumping to a factual at all and beginning to reach conclusion here. but really the people with whom out more aggressively to the he was having these conversations appear by and opposition, do you think? large to have been willing >> reporter: certainly the u.s. is speaking with all sides. participants. does that change and frame the you know, they have for months legal context? >> it certainly does. not only because it's consensual now, they have been trying to because they're adults. have sort of a gradual, peaceful those two things are very important. what is very interesting is the transfer of power. article in the "new york times" they have actively backed this where one of women who have been proposal by the gulf cooperation mentioned in the scandal say that she really didn't engage in council, which is basically yemen's neighbors led by saudi this type of sex texting, that arabia, who basically made a it came as a surprise. she was talking about political proposal in which saleh, issues and suddenly she received president saleh would hand over a photo. the famous underwear photo that power -- officially hand over we've seen. power to the vice president and if he sent the more lewd photo step down and the vice president would then create a transitional to women without their consent, unity government, which would without their solicitation, then run the country until elections can be held. i think it would be a serious -- it could be a serious problem. and this, many believe, is the i think that the odds are that because of the two elements you identified, that he won't be best chance for a peaceful criminally charged. but there is enough here for an transfer of power. >> thank you so much for that investigation. report. >> reporter: my pleasure. and also we have to remember it's not just federal, states
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an amazing arc of chaos prosecute obscenity issues. sweeping across north africa and >> let's move this to the other the middle east. when we return, newt gingrich venue where he is certainly got off to a shaky start today. going to face an investigation, the congressional ethics it got worse. a presidential campaign that committee. is that tactically a good or a can't get out of its own way. bad thing? later in the show, a preview in other words, let me posit why of the wikileaks documentary it might be good. airing on cnn this weekend. does it forestall criminal tell us about it. >> well, coming up we're going prosecutors who might say let congress deal with it and the to be discussing the impending only remedies would be expulsion legal crisis facing julian from congress or more likely a assange and, no, it's not in sweden, it's a lot closer to home. of course i'll show you a clip censure of some sort. from my newest documentary. >> many of us have been critics of congressional ethics rules for many years as being rather >> thanks, kaj. that story and more and anthony toothless. if this follows history he'll be weiner's legal woes when we come more likely to be cleared than back. to be convicted. but there is a problem with this specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... rule. there's a rule that says you and my hands were full. can't conduct yourself that would bring dishonor, discredit, disrespect upon the institution. that's a rule so generally worded that it could be used for mischief. the fact is this was a private act. where he crossed the line was in all of these layers of lying
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that he did, sometimes from capitol hill. it's still primarily a private act. and admittedly it gets closer. the problem many of us have is if you start to prosecute people for this type of conduct, is that going to allow congress to go after unpopular lifestyles and other individuals? >> and i think the other question members of the ethics commission will ask themselves is if this is now how we define behavior sufficient to expel somebody or sanction them, how many other members of this body in their private lives will have participated in something that we really don't want to expose to the sanction. >> that's right. i think if it hadn't been for the lying, this should have been viewed as an entirely private matter between him and his spouse and constituents. it's only the layers of lies, particularly the lie that suggested someone committed a criminal act by hacking. >> professor, thank you for your insights on this matter. up next, julian assange is
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notorious for dumping state secrets. it turns out he has some secrets of his own. kaj larsen with an inside look at wicky leaks when we come back. r of what i couldn't do. ♪ the accident could have been my excuse to quit. i made it my reason to go even harder. ♪ [ male announcer ] helping people achieve without limits. at the hartford it's what we do... and why we're the founding partner of the u.s. paralympic team. show your support at facebook.com/thehartford.
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war rooms top secret
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documents, moles inside enemy ranks. this is not a spy novel, it's a real-life cyber war between the united states and a mostly anonymous enemy. you know that enemy as wikileaks led by julian assange. a cult hero to many, he is on the mission to change the world, but his critics say that by exposing state secrets, he's endangering lives. now a new cnn documentary takes a hard look at the whistle blower, it's called "wiki wars, the mission of julian assange." here is kaj larsen. >> congressman anthony weiner is not the only high-profile figure to be facing some impending legal charges. the u.s. justice department has handled out several subpoenas in a grand jury investigation to wikileaks associates so that signals a potential legal problem here in the united states for julian assange. i've been looking into the subject for months and here's a preview of my longer
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investigation into the wikileaks subject. in october, 2010, wikileaks releases the mother lode. nearly 400,000 secret u.s. documents on the iraq war. >> the start of the iraq war involved very serious lies, which were repeated and amplified. >> reporter: the stories reveal troubling new details about the war. numerous cases of torture and abuse of iraqi prisoners by iraqi police and soldiers, and cases where u.s. troops killed innocent civilians. and the steady leak of u.s. secrets doesn't end there. one month later, wikileaks publishes diplomatic cables. the u.s. government fires back. secretary clinton, who only months before had championed internet freedom, is now on the war path. >> we are taking aggressive steps to hold responsible those who stole this information. >> reporter: so what has been
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the government's counterattack to wikileaks? the cia has established the wikileaks task force, known with the agency as the wtf. and the justice department has subpoenaed the twitter accounts of wikileaks supporters and is rumored to be marshaling an investigation that could lead to the extradition of julian assange to the u.s. amazon.com kicks wikileaks off its website, pay pal bars donations and sweden issues an arrest warrant. on december 7, 2010, assange is put in jail. in an ironic twist, a leak exposes the lurid details of the sexual assault allegations against assange. >> somebody contacted me and said guess what, i've got the
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whole police file into the sexual assaults. are you interested? >> reporter: nick davis, a journalist with the guardian newspaper who worked closely with assange on the afghan war logs was given a copy of the leaked report. >> so what are we going to do? we put it in the paper. >> what was julian's reaction? >> he went berserk. his attitude expressed through his lawyer, while we were writing this piece, was that we should suppress this information because he had been a source for us, for "the guardian" and, therefore, we owed it to him to suppress it. >> reporter: so julian assange, we repeatedly asked him for another interview to clarify both his position and to tell us about the status of his organization, but he denied that request on multiple occasions. and that's an indicator that he's becoming increasingly isolated. >> kaj, no question not only is he increasingly isolated but he only wants to leak what he thinks is worth leaking and what he wants to be leaked. put that issue aside.
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attorney general holder, secretary of state clinton, the entire force of the united states government has come down on julian assange trying to move that he committed a criminal act. the essence i think most people think would be proving that he participated in getting the documents from a government source as opposed to his merely receiving them, in which case he would be more analogous to "the new york times" that received the pentagon papers and then published them. there is any awareness you're aware of that shows his connection to the government leak himself or was he merely a recipient of these documents, do we know yet? >> reporter: that, eliot, is the critical question. obviously the government will try and prove that he solicited these documents from the alleged leaker, bradley manning. if they can in fact prove that, it changes the legal situation significantly for julian assange. if bradley manning testifies, say, that julian assange solicited these materials, that would definitely be a dent in his legal armor. as you indicated, he will try
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and use the protection of the fourth estate and say that he is a publisher like "the new york times," like "the washington post" who merely received this information. increasingly the media is cooling to julian assange, so he's looking like the lone spartan at the battle of thermopoly and the greeks just joined the persians. >> thank you so much for the sneak peek. can't wait to see the full story. that's "wiki wars, the mission of julian assange" this sunday right here on cnn. coming up, battle lines are drawn here in washington. raise the debt ceiling or take our chances and default. i'll talk to a senator who's trying to find a solution before it's too late. and over the years, i've taught my family. we've created so much here together. so when my doctor said that over those years my high cholesterol was contributing
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we love bikes. we love riders. and most of all, we love to ride. perfect hair every time. leading the pack in motorcycle insurance. now, that's progressive. call or click today. there are at least two mega crises facing the u.s. economy right now. one of them is the jobs crisis, with employment growing at an anemic rate. the other is the deficit disaster. a group of five senators, formerly six, have dedicated themselves to solving that second crisis, and senator mark warner is leading the effort. but are we spending too much time worrying about the difficudeficit and not enough time focusing on jobs? that's what i asked senator warner just a short time ago. >> what we've seen in our bullet shot, we've used monetary policy, we've used fiscal stimulus. there's a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines right now.
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i think the best thing we can do is butt this debt and deficit problem at least on the downward spiral and that's why we've taken the simpson-bowles approach in building a bipartisan consensus to put that out and say that will at least break the curve. >> so rather than another stimulus, rather than an infrastructure bank or some sort of demand size government spending driven resuscitation of the economy, you think dealing with the deficit is the best way to deal with the jobs crisis. >> i think there are things we can do around the edges, like an infrastructure bank. i've got a bipartisan bill that's very important. i think that we -- but the idea that there's going to be the political appetite for another massive fiscal stimulus, i don't think it's there. so let's get that private capital off the sidelines. the best way to do that is put our country's balance sheet back in order. >> there's no political appetite for another stimulus right now, did it work? do you think when you looked back at where the economy was and where it would have been without it, did the stimulus do what the president and you voted for? >> i think history will treat
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bush with the t.a.r.p. and obama with the stimulus as necessary evils. maybe not 100% effective, but we would have been in much, much worse shape but for both of those. >> now let's go to the issue of the deficit which has been the focal part of so much of your group. the word is and i think the number you gave is $4.7 trillion over a ten-year period that you would try to cut from our long-term deficit projections. is that what you're shooting for? >> depending on the baseline, 4.5, 4.6, somewhere in that region. the question is, and i think there's an immediate sense of urgency. every day that we fail to act, we add $4 billion to the national debt. as a matter of fact, as we go back to that issue too where some of my colleagues who don't think dealing with the debt ceiling is important, if we have an interest rate spike, every point that the interest rate goes up, we add $1.3 trillion to our debt. >> you mentioned the bipartisan effort led by bowles-simpson, that is the basis of your recommendation from the gang of six. >> let's go ahead and cut
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spending. let's reform our tax code where we'll bring rates down but eliminate some of the exemptions so we can generate revenues. at about a three to one ratio of cuts and interest rate savings to new revenues. >> now, there was and is a revenue component to bowles-simpson and what people are predicting will come out of it, the group that you are leading right now. will the republicans who are not members of your group in the house of representatives and other republicans in the senate go for a revenue increase of any form, shape or size? >> eliot, what we're basically saying, what bowles-simpson says is let's take the reagan approach in '86. the reagan approach that had bipartisan support and said lower rates and get rid of exemptions and it generated more revenue. so i think that if they're following in the footsteps of ronald reagan, i think they'll be hard to oppose it. >> you're talking over a trillion dollars in increases coupled with lower rates. >> we're talking about a trillion dollars of revenue generated by lowering rates but also cutting back on exemptions. >> the exemptions, loopholes.
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so the hard part here is the details. which of the loopholes can you tell us you believe we should close to generate that additional revenue? >> i think you've seen an outline from the bowles-simpson report on areas where a lot of the money is. around mortgage deductions, charitable deductions, health care exclusions. we're not suggesting they'll be completely eliminated, we're saying you've got to cut them back. in doing so, you've got to start paying for some of those costs which right now are absorbed. >> you've put on the table just now some things that are extraordinarily popular. when people start hearing with you're tampering with the way they deduct the interest on their mortgage, their hands go up and say, wait a minute, we need that. >> what we're saying is you've got to look at the close to $1.2 trillion of tax exemptions that we spend each year. and if we're going to find a way to lower rates, and remember 70% of americans don't itemize, don't take advantage of any of these deductions, so they will actually see actual lower taxes
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by what we're proposing. but if we can cut back on some of those exemptions, that's the only way i think in this political climate that you can actually raise revenues. you can't do this on one side of the balance sheet alone. you've got to cut back spending but also increase revenues. >> this certainly is the modulated perspective of bowles-simpson but the republican leadership has refused to go along with anything that raises revenue of any sort. do you think this will be a viable plan when you cross to the other side? >> i don't see how you get there. give congressman ryan enormous credit for putting forward a plan. not only does it completely change medicare, but he takes spending on education, infrastructure, energy, research and development and cuts it by about two-thirds. no 21st century can compete without an infrastructure network or educated population. he does that because he leaves revenues and leaves defense off the table. they have all got to be part of the mix. there's got to be some level of shared sacrifice to this. >> we'll see how it plays out. a lot of people were disappointed 2008 when you
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dropped out of the presidential race. 2016 is not that far off. are you going to think about it? >> all i'm focused on right now -- there may not be a 2016 unless we can get this under control. >> let's turn to edie hill. you're looking at the new guys in town here on capitol hill. >> that's right. we'll find out why they are so different from all the freshmen legislators we've seen in the past. that's coming up. >> all right. look forward to it. thanks so much. when you come tk 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. ♪ that's what a blue-collar attitude can do in a white-collar world.
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you know how politics works. everything is a crisis. but at the last second deals get done, everybody goes back to
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business as usual. but the freshman class on capitol hill right now is different. there is a sense that compromise is akin to colluding with the enemy and they want change. stan kolander joins us. >> good to be here. >> they're not sitting there, they're not being quiet, they're telling the leadership what they want. why are they so different? >> first of all, the country has become a lot more partisan. second, these folks were elected in almost a hyperpartisan environment and with a hyperpartisan platform. but it looks as if the times are changing. the ability to communicate with your constituents directly through social media and those types of things, not to mention the rise of the tea party has made these folks do something that we haven't seen in too many freshmen classes. that is not refuse to be quiet but actually challenge the leadership and force them to do
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things they wouldn't have otherwise done. >> and that's really going to be impacting both parties and perhaps the country to an extent with the debt crisis. and the debt ceiling. >> yeah. we're actually already seeing, you know, the freshmen republicans along with some of their other tea party wing of the republican party colleagues, you know, have clearly pushed the republican party to do certain things. right now it's, as you suggested, not compromise. they have redefined compromise as a sin. as a result, you saw the kind of political gamesmanship and the continuing resolution that is the funding bill that almost shut the government down a few months ago. >> but isn't that part of it? don't they do this? big bravado and take it out to the very last second and then cut a deal? aren't they going to do that again? >> well, that's the common wisdom, but i've been telling my clients that just because that's the way it's been done in the past doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen this time. you know, these folks are in a take no prisoners attitude, kind of red meat politics.
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they're saying compromise is collaborating with the enemy. we didn't come here to compromise, we came here to change things. the irony is if they would compromise, they would change the world almost immediately. if they would just take half a loaf, they'd get a lot more than they would otherwise. >> i was surprised when i was taking a look at the ratings and it seems this already has started having an impact on the market and that, by the way, means your pension funneled, your ira. we're seeing that impact already and we're nowhere near close to august 2nd. >> well, and not only would you see it in some of the investments, but interest rates are starting to rise as a result of this debt ceiling situation. some people i spoke to said rates on the ten-year treasury bond are already about 40 basis points higher than they would otherwise be. that means credit cards, student loans, credit cards, mortgages are higher than they would otherwise be under the circumstances. this is starting to have the effect that a lot of people up to now have been denying would
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happen. >> so is this a political calculation? i can see the freshman class saying we are going to take it to the very last and shut down the government if we need to, because people will blame president obama. he's got a lousy approval ratings on the economy right now. i can also see it from the democrat perspective and they say, wait a second, we're ready to make a move and they wouldn't. >> well, and in fact, you know, as bad as the democratic -- excuse me, obama's approval ratings are right now, the republicans in congress are even lower. as is speaker boehner. this is a huge game of political chicken they're playing to see who else is going to get blamed or the other side will get blamed. i'm not so sure that there's a deal that's going to happen at the last minute. >> so if there isn't, does the president have a constitutional card up his sleeve? >> well, that in fact is one of the things that people are starting to talk about. the 14th amendment says the debt of the united states should not be doubted and cannot be repudiated. so there are some people i'm starting to say, legal scholars and others who are starting to look at the possibility that if
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the debt ceiling isn't raised, could the president in fact just instruct the treasury to keep selling bonds, bills and notes so the government can borrow more. my guess is it would start a huge political, even constitutional crisis, perhaps even an impeachment if that happened. >> so he perhaps could do it, but if he did, he'd be taken to task for it. >> it would be a very lincolnesque type thing. president lincoln said that he had to go to war with the south to protect the union. i could see president obama saying something to the equivalent on the debt ceiling. >> well, it is an interesting change in washington and we will continue watching it. stan, thank you very much for helping us understand how that really does impact us even today. well before the debt ceiling comes up to play. all right, that does it for us tonight. eliot, what's tomorrow's show like? >> you know what, thanks, edie, a fascinating conversation. it will be interesting to see if the president does find some constitution aal avenue that gis him more power than people think. tomorrow the new afghan
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ambassador to the united states. i've got some hard questions for him with corruption in that
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