tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 27, 2012 1:00am-1:59am PDT
and for the first time ever, a private spacecraft has linked up with the international space station. astronauts are removing some 1,000 pounds of supplies over the next few days. the space capsule, called the dragon, was made by a california company called spacex. i'm in for don lemon tonight. wait till you see what we're working on, cnn saturday night, where most shows dare not to go. an army general speaks out about military suicide. is it tough love or has the military turned its back on vets? wanted, unimplement busting. >> the time has come for a president who will lead. >> deficit drop kicking. >> we will finish what we started. >> seeker of truth and justice. must look good in spandex or a tie.
and fired for being too hot? >> she was working in a show room for women's lingerie where they sold thongs. >> hear from the woman being called a distraction. all right, we're so glad you're with us. this is a holiday weekend, of course, memorial day. so it's so much more than the unofficial start of summer. it's a time we take to remember america's military men and women who aren't with us anymore, those who died while serving our country. i've invited kim here, a military spouse and a mom in a military family. you're about to find out why i invited her. kim, welcome tonight. >> thanks for having us. >> and our focus tonight is a delicate one. the rising number of men and women in uniform who commit suicide. last year, 278 people just in the army, active duty, national guard and reserves killed themselves, way up from a few
years ago. a few months ago, this man you're about to see, general dana petard, he's now a two-star general, the commander of one of the army's biggest bases in texas, he posted these words on a blog after a rash of suicides on his base. "i've now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act." he went on to say, soldiers who commit suicide leave their families, buddies and units to literally clean up their mess. there is nothing noble about suicide. kim, i told you she's here because of her military family connection. kim's husband, a marine corps officer, committed suicide in 2005. kim, i guess before we get on to the details of what happened with your husband, i want to get your reaction to what the general said. he has retracted his comments, but those comments are out there.
what is your reaction? >> yeah, i mean, i was really sad to hear the comment. you know, it's too bad, because if you know about mental health and people who are considering suicide, they are -- the last thing they're thinking about is dumping their baggage. they feel like they're no longer valuable to their unit or families. they feel like they have nothing left to give and that everyone would believe better off without them. it's a mental health issue and injury issue, not an issue of selfishness or dropping their pack or leave their problems for other people. >> tell me about your husband, john. it's been seven years since he killed himself so tragically. what happened? >> well, you know, it was a combination of trauma and loss and untreated depression. and in the military so often, our men and women are asked to live very stressful lives with little sleep. they're separated from their support system, they get exposed
to a lot of trauma in their lives. and going to seek help is often not seen as a strong thing to do, but maybe something that is weak or something that you should avoid. but in my husband's case, when he started to really suffer, he was afraid to ask for help for fear of how that would change the way people viewed him. >> that's right. there's that stigma that we hear so much about. i want to play some tape of vice president biden. he was at an event yesterday in washington. you were there. he made some pretty powerful comments. let's watch. >> that black hole you feel in your chest like you're being sucked back into it, looking at your kids or most of you have kids here, umm, and it was the first time in my career, in my life i realized someone could go out and i probably shouldn't say this with the press here, but
it's more important -- you're more important. for the first time in my life i understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts. but because they had been to the top of the mountain and they just knew in their heart they would never get there again. that it was never going to be that way again. >> powerful stuff. kim, what was your reaction? you were there in the room. >> i was amazed, because vice president biden was speaking to 2,000 survivors who were gathered for a weekend of support around their grief and for him to speak so candidly about his own loss and thoughts and feelings touched our survivors and made them feel like they were hurt and that people understood their loss. so i was really grateful to the vice president for opening up his heart and letting us know that we weren't alone in our grief and some of our struggles
around grief. >> you know, it's been seven years as i mentioned since your husband killed himself. i'm curious to know from your standpoint whether you think the military has gotten any better in terms of helping people who come back from war zones and who suffer from ptsd and who might be on the edge. have you noticed a difference? >> i've noticed people working really hard to make changes and putting in a lot of programs and doing a lot of different things to try to prevent suicides. and i know that the leaders really care. but we've got to do more. we've got to know that if we're asking our troops to go in harm's way over and over again and to be exposed to all kinds of trauma that people shouldn't have to see as human beings, we have got to expect them to need psychological care, the same way they need physical care. i felt like it needs to be incorporated, that ervel is
expected to have psychological care. >> kim, i think it's important to note that you personally work with families that have lost loved ones and you have something coming up this weekend. >> this weekend, we have about 100 survivors of military suicide at our event. and then in october, we get about 500 survivors of suicide, and a good grief camp for children. so we band together to support one another and provide hints about what happened and try to help the military fill those cracks. >> kim morocco, it always takes courage to talk about someone you lost. thank you for coming on tonight. >> thank you for bringing light to this very important problem this weekend. >> thank you for sharing your story. this topic raises so many tough questions. should the military be held accountable in some of these suicides? and if so, how? and what about the attitude that
welcome back. it's 11 minutes after 10:00 on the east coast. we're focusing this weekend on our veterans this memorial day, their tremendous sacrifice and the hidden injuries so many battle after they return home. recent comments by the commanding general of ft. bliss, texas, calling suicide a selfish act certainly got our attention.
i'm joined by dr. miles, psychologist. terry, welcome. and randy kravitz. randy, i have to ask you, a lot of people were asking at what point should the military be held responsible for some of these suicides? is there a legal basis for this? >> it's a good question. there's a two-part answer. there's a legal aspect and moral aspect. legally, i think it would be very, very difficult for a family of a service member who commits suicide to actually sue the military. and the reason is, there's this thing called the farris doctrine. it basically says when a service member is injured as part of his service, he cannot sue the military. the military has immunity. last year, a case came out where
the family of a service member who committed suicide tried to sue the military. the court said no way. >> but you say they have a moral obligation. >> that's the other side of it. and that's a trickier question. as a former j.a.g. officer, i can tell you when you join the military, you know that there's the possibility there are going to be certain stressors, certain dangers that you're going to face that most people in the civilian world aren't going to face. so as sad as it is for me to say, to the extent a suicide is the result of the normal stressors of military life or even the horrors of battle -- or the battlefield, i don't know if we can hold the military accountable for that. >> terry, i want to ask you this. a lot of people have been asking the question, is the military doing enough to help these people, veterans returning from war who might have ptsd, who are depressed, they turn to alcohol
and maybe turn to a gun? >> well, i think we all need to do more and i agree with the comment that's been made thus far. however, i think the military needs to be doing more. we as civilians need to do more. i work in the private sector as well as cross over into the military sector. i've taken upon myself with colleagues to say we need to step up and do more. i call this the dark secret. no one wants to talk about it. >> terry, do more, but what? >> we have to diagnose and treat quicker and more accurately. and we're not doing that. what has to change is what we're doing here tonight. we have to keep talking about this issue over and over again, because the stigma, until some of that goes away psychologically in our culture that it's not good to admit that you have ptsd, the problem is not going to go away, because we hit brick walls. >> you look at these comments from this general saying suicide is a selfish act.
i was having a conversation with friends and families about another case involving mary kennedy, a mother of four who committed suicide. and one person said to me, you know, i think it's a really selfish act. here she was, she's the mother of four, leaving her four children behind. you know, isn't that part of the problem, that this is still a common opinion? >> it is. but you're talking about the action after the decision has been made. the whole issue with post traumatic stress disorder is that there's emotional trauma and every trauma needs an exit wound, and if it's not exiting, it stays in our emotional status to the point that it affects our decisions that it then becomes suicide. we must treat that and take care of it the way we know we can professionally to help them treat the causation of this problem, not just the symptoms of this problem. >> i would imagine that part of
the problem too is that you can see physical wounds but you can't see the mental wounds. randy, we were talking about this before we went on the air tonight. i think part of the problem too, and don't you agree, is that not enough is being done to help assimilate these veterans back into society? so they're coming home, this is a bad economy, they can't find a job, they're having trouble living with their wives and their children again. and they're getting really depressed. i mean, isn't that part of the problem, that there aren't enough programs in place to help them feel a part of society? >> i absolutely agree with you. that is part of the problem. that goes back to the moral issue, the question of whether the military is morally responsible for the well-being of our service members. i think they are. to the extent that the military can do something to help these service members and they don't, and they are morally responsible when a suicide occurs. >> when you're looking at suicides going up, not down,
this is a real problem that the military needs to address. randy kravitz, thank you very much for joining us, with dr. terry liles. we want to bring you something else. we want to make sure that you're connected to cnn beyond the television set, if you're out enjoying this holiday weekend. go to cnn.com/tv. up next, wanted, unemployment busting. >> the time has come for a president to lead. >> deficit drop kicking. >> we will finish what we started. >> seeker of truth and justice. must look good in spandex or a tie. look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings
distress, namely the economy. so can the president come to the rescue? watch. ♪ ♪ he's barack obama, he's come to save the day ♪ >> but in an election year, could the economy be the president's kryptonite? don lemon has more. >> reporter: calling all super heroes. the u.s. economy is in trouble and this means i guess only the nerdy ones need apply. speaking of nerds, dean obdalla and anna navara. so here's what the real political analysts, not that you guys aren't.
they're saying if you win the economy, you win the white house. dean, you wrote about this on cnn.com. you said not long ago, you thought that president barack obama would come to the rescue, but you're not sure right now. so be straight with me. let's go. don't give me my kryptonite. >> when obama got elected, i thought he was a superhero. he's now a mere mortal. i think he knows that. >> we want to get to other subjects, anna, because i want to talk about romney now. what kind of super hero or avenger do you think president obama is, dean? >> i don't think he is a super hero. that's the problem. >> so romney swooped in this week as captain jobs. so let's look at his super power. >> i can tell you over a period of four years, by virtue of the
policies we put in place, we got the unemployment down to 6%, perhaps lower. >> a lot of people say romney's cape is all hype, there's no muscle behind it. it's all talk, anna. >> well, you know, i agree with dean. i think part of obama's problems is the expectations he created. he came in as a historical figure -- >> anna, i'm going to do the same thing i did with dean. let's talk about romney. >> i don't think romney is a super hero. romney is a businessman. he's a mere mortal who is trying to give it straight and getting some business proposals. i think mitt romney is not creating the expectations that barack obama created four years ago. he's offering proposals, he's offering his business experience. that's what he's bringing to the table. and i do think -- i do think that one of the things that
needs to change in washington is the bipartisanship. part of the problem we're having with this economy is that you've got two very polarized sides who are not working well together and it's either their way or the highway and that's leading to not very much getting done. >> you make a very good point. because as i -- when i go around the country and talk to people from broadcasting here on cnn or just every day, to hear it on television and to read it in the paper and hear it on the radio, you think that people are only very far left and very far right. most people are in the middle and they don't care that much about democrat and republican. they just want the economy to work and they want bipartisanship, so you make a very good point. there's a big middle ground out there that is not really being explored. i don't think their voices are being heard. >> we're losing moderate republicans and we're losing moderate democrats in congress.
so the people that are getting elected are certainly more polarized and it's become a more difficult environment. i think that obama could have done a lot more to make the environment more conducive to bipartisanship. i've heard complaints from democrats and republicans on the hill, leadership saying they just don't get calls from the white house. they don't get calls from obama. he doesn't have the tact, the touch that let's say a ronald reagan had, who was having drinks with tip o'neill every week. >> and the white house is sort of out of reach, as you said, but there was a criticism from the bush administration when it came to the press. there's always something about communication that the bush administration didn't communicate that much with the press and did their own thing. all right. so we've seen president obama given the super hero treatment. next, candidate mitt romney gets his from the mouths of babes.
>> if you were a super hero, who would you be and why? >> that's a 9-year-old asking the question. the possibilities are endless. just look at your screen. which super hero will romney pick? his answer is next. t, sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering just you know walking, sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering d i found myself in the middle of this parade sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering honoring america's troops., sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering which is actually in tquite fitting becauseade sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering geico has been serving e military for over 75 years. aawh no, look, i know this is about the troops and not about me. right, but i don't look like that. who can i write a letter to about this? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
all right, just a moment ago we saw president obama get the super hero treatment. now it's his arch enemy's turn, candidate mitt romney. >> i'm in fourth grade and i thought it would be fun to ask a question that they weren't expecting. >> one, two, three, four, who are you going to vote for? romney, that's who! what's your name? >> ari. can i ask you a question? >> yeah. >> if you or a superhero, who would you be and why? >> if i were a superhero, who would i be and why?
let's see. i kind of grew up with superman. so i would have to be superman. i think it's a leap tall buildings in a single bound. faster than a locomotive. >> most of the candidates did say superman. keeping up with our superhero theme, we asked our guests to switch their super powers. a democrat had to give advice to mitt romney and a republican had to advise the president. >> so i'm going to ask you, anna, to switch sides and say you were advising president obama. honestly think about this. what is his next move? what would you tell him to do to turn this thing around? >> if i were advising president obama in this campaign, i would tell them i think what his advisers are already telling
him, which is we've got to talk about anything but the last three years. we've got to go not forward as a campaign slogan, but rewind and restart. give me a second chance at this. it hasn't gotten better, but it hasn't gotten worse, and i think he also needs to hit on the -- which is exactly what he's doing, on the likability issue, because if obama has to go on the record, there's just metrics he set for himself on cutting the deficit, the unemployment rate that he hasn't met. so he's got to be judged on something else if he wants to win. >> that's good advice. thank you for doing that. dean, i'll ask you, not that you are a political analyst on the left, but you tend to lean left, right? >> i'm a political comedian. i think i'm superior to political analysts. >> you're a legend in your own mind. >> thank you, don. >> if you were advising romney,
what would you tell him? >> drop out of the race, go back to massachusetts, live a good life. if he wants to win, be honest with the american people, stop being the greatest panderer. give specifics. american people, democrat or republicans, independents, want the economy to get working. when he was governor, he was 47th in job creation. so there's a credibility issue problem. >> quick check of the headlines. still no firm confirmation of what happened, but it's a horrific scene of an apparent massacre in syria. 85 people killed, dozens of young children under 10. syrian forces shelled their village, then killed entire
families. second degree murder charges in the case of etan patz. pedro hernandez has been charged with murder and police say he has confessed. but investigators acknowledge there's no physical evidence linking hernandez to the crime and they have no motive. scandal at the vatican. the pope's butler has been charged with leaking documents, now the subject of a best-selling book. and fired for being too hot? >> she was working in a show room for women's lingerie where they sold thongs. >> hear from the woman being called a distraction, live.
busted for being too buxom. sorry, lady, you're just too hot to work here. that's what 29-year-old lauren says happened to her. she claims that her former bosses in new york fired her, telling her she was just too hot for the office. she's fired gloria allred and both of them join me live now from opposite coasts, gloria from l.a., lauren from new york. welcome to both of you. this is going to be a very interesting discussion. lauren, first to you. you were hired at the office of a lingerie wholesaler. before you were hired, you asked about the dress code, right? why did you do that and what were you told? >> that's correct.
when i start a new position, i want to know what the policies are and dress code especially. >> so what were you told? >> i was told basically look around and see what other people were wearing in the office. >> all right. so you claim that your bosses asked you to tape down your breasts, saying they're too distracting. they say you were told to put on a robe to cover yourself. what exactly happened? >> that's all correct information. it was a series of events, which led to me being covered up in a bright red bathrobe. i was given the choice of going out to buy a new outfit or wearing the roebl. >> what did you think at the time? >> it was preposterous to me, and i was humiliating because i had people asking me why are you wear thing? i didn't understand why they were targeting me. >> at what point were you fired and how were you told you would be terminated? >> i put on the bathrobe first,
and then i said, you know, let me go outside and buy a new outfit instead of wearing the bathrobe. while i was out buying the outfit, i got a phone call saying i was terminated. i went back there to get answering, so i recorded them saying you're too hot for this office, you're distracting for the men. so i have all that on recording from my phone and pictures, obviously. >> gloria, i want to talk to you. we're looking at some outfits that she did wear at the office. you were there for how many days? >> a week. >> we should make clear that cnn has contacted the company and say told us no comment. gloria, i have to ask you, what are they telling you? >> well, actually, we have not been in touch with them, because we did file a gender and
religious discrimination charge on behalf of lauren, with the united states equal employment opportunity commission. and they will then need to respond to the eeoc, because we've asked the eeoc to open an investigation. but we will be providing the recording that lauren made, which corroborates her claims to the eeoc. and then the company will have an opportunity to respond. >> you've covered a lot of cases in your time. ever seen anything like this? >> well, actually i have. and i think it's wrong and it's really important, because a woman should not be terminated from a job because an employer may think her breasts are too large, that she is too attractive or that men might be concerned that they couldn't resist her. and lauren alleges that she was told that it was a safety issue,
because of the way that she looked that men might not be able to resist her. that's ridiculous. and it's ridiculous that she was told that she needed to tape down her breasts to make them look smaller. women don't need to do that to keep a job and no one should suggest it. >> gloria, later on we'll have a longer discussion about this, but do you think that this would ever happen to a man? is there a double standard here? >> well, i don't think that it's likely that it would happen to a man, that he would be told that he's perhaps too attractive for the job, that women wouldn't be able to resist him. maybe it would happen here and there. but unfortunately i get a lot of complaints from women that that is what is happening. that they're even not getting a job because they're considered
too hot in a sense, or that somehow they're being demoted or not getting a promotion on account of it. and sometimes being fired on account of it. if a man has a problem with the way a woman looks, it's the man's problem and a woman should not be punished. >> lauren, gloria, thank you both for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> i talked about that alleged double standard. we're going to ask a man the same question, next. stay with us. ♪ if loving you is wrong ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it.
attorney gloria allred is back with us and joining us is dean obadallah. gloria, your client says she was fired for being too hot. my question for dean is, and we were talking about this before the break, is there a double standard here, dean? would this have ever happened to a man? >> i was fired three times for being attractive. i will probably never be back on cnn after tonight. i used to be a lawyer, the women there felt a lot of pressure to the to be too flashy because they get taken less seriously if
they're too pretty. good-looking men tend to move up the ladder much quicker. people gravitate to them. so it is unfair. there is a double standard and it's unfortunate. you should be judged on the merits of your work. but attractive men and women do make more money. >> certainly men make more money than women. >> i apologize. >> gloria, i know you're fighting for your client, lauren, and you believe very strongly in her story. but isn't there something to be said for decorum? aren't there unspoken rules that you should dress appropriately in your job? and isn't it possible that she wasn't dressed appropriately for her job? >> well, i do think it is fair for employers to have a reasonable dress code. but lauren contends that she was
told that, in fact, there wasn't a dress code, just look around, see what others are wearing and dress accordingly. some people were wearing athletic attire, some were wearing more business attire. we showed what she wore. it was perfectly appropriate for her job, which was doing data entry and coordinating the shipment of samples. she was sitting off in the corner without much interaction with anyone else. so i do think she was dressed appropriately for that job. if the orthodox jewish male leadership of the company were not comfortable because they think a woman should cover up because of their religious values, they have a right to their beliefs but not a right to impose their beliefs and practices on those employees. it wasn't a synagogue, it was a workplace. and by the way, she is a jewish woman and she didn't believe in having to cover up in a way that may believe they think women
should. >> dean, i'm curious to know what your take is on all of this? >> i think men are weak, to be honest with you. we're weak creatures, easily distracted by attractive women. the one law firm hired middle age less attractive women because they were less distractions. what kind of world do we live in? >> what would you have done if you had an employee who dressed like that? >> i don't think -- i'm not in a position to hire anybody. i'm a comedian at this point. but i met her. i don't think there's anything inappropriate about what she was wearing. if there is a dress code, it should be laid out at the outset. she adhered to what they wanted and then they changed the rules midway. that's unfair to her. so i think, gloria, it's a great case.
>> there you have it. >> thanks, dean. >> it's a love fest. all right, dean and gloria -- >> and if it's a man's problem, maybe put the blinders on the man so he doesn't look sideways at the woman. >> thank you so much for your comments on this. thanks so much. are you ready for a new sport in the olympics? it's like gymnastics but instead of parallel bars, there's just one bar. it's really more of a pole. so can you imagine this as an olympic sport? they're trying. a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can lie on one of those. if you want a soft bed you can lie on one of those." we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. welcome to the sleep number memorial day sale. where you can celebrate our 25-year commitment to a single mission: better sleep for both of you. this is your body there. you can see a little more pressure in the hips.
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in the military, seven taught how to lead, how to follow, how to solve problems. we pride ourselves on being ready and willing to go anywhere. i served in the marine corps, deployed to iraq and afghanistan. when i first saw the earthquake that hit haiti, a lot of the images, it felt like i had seen them before driving through the streets of fallujah or afghanistan. i went on facebook and said i'm going to haiti, who's in? 72 hours after that, we were on our way to port-au-prince. we got to work setting up a
triage clinic. we realized veterans are useful in these types of situations. i'm jake wood and i want to help veterans transition into civil life. it started as a disaster relief organization and we realized we could help the veteran community, as well. we bring them together to be part of a team once again. they are almost recharged. >> when you get out, you have that feeling of, what are you really doing that's important to the world? this has provided a great opportunity to help people in need. >> most of the work we do internationally is emergency medical triage clinics. we've got to chile, pakistan. here at home, we've been to joplin, doing search and rescue, debris clearing. 80% of the volunteers are military veterans. helping other people is part of the healing process. there's no limit to what veterans can do.
we have the ability to help and want to everybody is. it's a win-win situation. >> all right. we want to talk about something else now, women with toned bodies dancing on polls. it could be an olympic sport. we'll get to that later. greg almond is engaged for the seventh time. he's going to marry a 24-year-old and he's 64. he told piers morgan earlier this week, while the seventh time is a charm. >> there she is. hello. you've gone very well. how does she feel about becoming wife seven? >> she's wife number one. this time, i'm really in love.
>> this time he's really in love. dean is back with me. and connor, good evening to both of you. i would hate to be one of his ex-wives. has he finally found love? >> he has a history with drug addiction and he's clean and sober now. so in a way he's explaining those past romances saying i'm sober now. i'm clear headed. but they're both adults. she's only recently one, but whatever makes them happy, good for them. >> so you our cutting him a break. what about dean? >> if i can stand up and give him a standing ovation. are you kidding me? he's 64 marrying a 24-year-old. look, she's happy. she's not a hostage. it's a woman who wants to marry him. when i'm 64, i don't get that.
but when you're a rock star, you get that even at 64. >> you never seen an older woman marrying a younger man, or rarely. we want to talk about the pole dancing. get a load of this. the international pole sports federation, yes, there is one, wants pole dancing to be included in the 2016 olympic games. all right, dean? >> i completely support these young ladies. >> of course you do. >> why should you deprive these young ladies who are lean and worked out a lot? they should add a champagne room, you can meet them. >> connor, i'm thinking you would watch this, connor? >> not that i've ever seen it before, but theoretically i might. i believe they prefer the term "vertical gymnasts." which is a whole website.
in the scheme of olympic sports, there's ice dancing, curling, synchronized dancing. there's a lot of skill involved. >> all right. connor, dean, we thank you very much. how american are you? one way to find out is take this u.s. citizenship test, or better, take conan o'brien's. here's one question. which pie is the most american pie and which is the least american pie. we'll have the answers according to conan, next. while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas...
what is the most american pie? >> apple pie. >> what is the least american pie? >> communism pie. >> all right. there you have it. so we want to talk about this, bad writing, mommy porn and inappropriate read? call it whatever you like. i'm still reading it. it's "50 shades of gray" trilogy and it's become an instant phenomena. 10 million copies in the u.s. in just the past six weeks. dean, connor, a huge hit with women. can't put it down. would you read this or have you read it? >> i'm not reading it.