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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 6, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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>> i don't want to put a bad name to riverton city because this is an awesome city. >> i'm brooke baldwin. thanks so much for being with me. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. in the moon tieantime, let's go jake tapper. "the lead" starts right now. >> they killed our ambassador and three americans. and no one has been charged for the terrorist attack at benghazi until now. breaking news in our world lead ash huge development in a major terrorism investigation. it's a story only cnn has and you'll see it here first on "the lead" in just moments. the national lead. he's given psychiatrists a worse name than hannibal lechter. nidal hasan. why and how should he be able to
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force his victims to relive it all. >> and president obama will propose phasing out mortgage giants fannie and freddie but they back half the mortgages in this country so what does it mean for the value of your home? >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. we begin our world lead with this breaking news on a major terrorism investigation. for nearly a year, the family of those killed at the diplomatic post in benghazi have been waiting for answers. >> here's what she told him. >> the investigative team did
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not even try to contact him, he says. now there is major news about this suspect in the benghazi attacks. i want to welcome cnn's new justice reporter, evan perez, to "the lead." what you have learned? >> the first criminal charges have been filed, we've been told, in new york under seal. ackman is the person being charged and the investigation is continuing and they're still working on perhaps bringing charges against other individuals but this is a major individual in the case. >> and who is he? >> he is a leader of one of the many militias that the government is dependent upon to help manage libya because the government doesn't fully control every part of their territory.
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>> president obama promised that justice would be served, this is almost a year ago that these attacks occurred. what has been the holdup and why do we not have him if this criminal complaint has been filed under seal? >> libya is not necessarily like any other country right now. they're still struggling to try to get control of their cities. so it is one of the biggest issues the fbi had trouble getting security. but they say that they have gone in there and interviewed hundreds of witnesses, they have sent dozens of fbi agents from new york and washington over there and they say they're making progress. >> and the next step is to get the libyan government involved to try to arrest him.
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>> that's right. >> evan perez, excellent work. we appreciate it. let's bring in adam schiff. i know can you not comment on a sealed document, a sealed criminal charge, but what is your response to the news cnn just broke in general terms? are you under the impression that the investigation is proceeding rapidly and that the libyan government is being cooperative? what can you tell us? >> well, wouldn't describe it as rapidly. we've had multiple briefings on the intelligence committee about the progress of the investigation. it's been frustrating for many of us that it hasn't moved faster but it is a very difficult working environment for our agents. their security is of paramount concern. gathering evidence in libya, you might imagine, very difficult, finding, interviewing witnesses, extremely difficult. i was a prosecutor for six years and i can only imagine the challenge of trying to put together a case against any of those responsible. but they are making progress and
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the investigation is a joint intelligence and law enforcement investigation is moving forward. we have identified many of the parties involved. we're still trying to identify what the command and control structure would be. a lot of missing pieces still but we are finally making progress. >> we'll have much more on benghazi later in the hour with erin burnett, who will be previewing her hour-long special on what happened in benghazi. congressman, let's turn to the worldwide terror alert. what we, the public, know is that communication between al zawahiri, the head of al qaeda and the head of al qaeda in yemen was intercepted and that intercept gave order to attack. and a terrorist team is supposedly in place. but that's pretty much all we know. is there much more than that to what you have been briefed upon? >> well, i can't confirm what
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you just reported, but i can tell you that, yes, we have a lot of information that we've been briefed on that goes into quite specific detail. the threat is very real, there's a lot of corroboration and multiple sources in terms of the intelligence, we have a fairly high degree of confidence that there is an active plot afoot that's of grave danger to our personnel and for that reason i think members on both sides of the aisle view the steps taken by the administration in closing these embassies as very prudent steps. i can tell you having been to senah, this is a very hostile, dangerous area for our personnel. plainly the bad guys are following our reporting on this and will adjust their timing perhaps or their targets. but there is not going to be a day any time soon where we're going to see the threat significantly mitigated in
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yemen. it may be in other locations and may not be necessary for all of those locations to be closed for very long. we will have a continuing threat and they have one of the mow pro living and dangerous bomb makers in yemen and that's a great threat to us in the homeland as well. >> i think a lot of people were probably surprised by this worldwide threat because of what president obama said from the campaign trail last year. he talked about al qaeda being on the run, on their heels. do you think the amount -- the degree to which the u.s. had vanquished al qaeda was overstated by the president and his campaign last year? >> i don't think so. what the president has said is that the core of al qaeda, the central leadership that we saw in pakistan and afghanistan has been pretty well decimated. it's true. probably two-thirds or more of those central leaders have been taken off the battlefield
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permanently. but he has pointed out the franchises have grown and proliferated. we need to put this in perspective. even though we have shut down a lot off you are embassies, their capability of mounting the kind of attack we had on 9/11 is very remote. it's very unlikely they can mount that kind of sophisticated overseas attack. yes, our facilities are vulnerable but they're vunable to, as we saw in benghazi to very conventional weapons. this is something we'll have to deal with quite indefinitely, the threat to our aircraft. this has been a threat for decades. not by al qaeda always but by a variety of terrorists over time. i think the affiliates can still harm us but it's not the same threat as it was on 9/11.
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>> coming up, he could personally be cross-examining the very people he tried to kill. the trial of the fort hood shooter began today. >> and, no, it's not education or health care reform, it's a prague band that your father listens to when he mows the lawn. stay with us. the great outdoors... ...and a great deal. thanks to dad. nope
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. it's time for the national lead. here's a direct quote, the evidence will clearly show that i am the shooter, unquote. that's from nidal hasan giving his own opening statement as his trial for the fort hood shooting spree gets under way. since he's defending himself, he could end up cross-examining the very people he's accused of
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trying to kill. hasan is a psychiatrist. he walked into the waiting room of an army base and just started firing. for many, it was too late to react. >> very quick reloader on that weapon. he was very swift, very tactical with what he was doing. >> he'd squeeze off one round and it came through my shoulder and it actually hit my bone right here. >> attacking another soldier, it's just ridiculous. i don't understand it. >> it did not stop until a civilian police officer arrived on the scene and shot hasan, suffering three gunshot herself. hasan is now in a wheelchair. hasan freely admits carrying out the rampage but he was not
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allowed to enter a guilty plea under military law because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. the fbi has released e-mails between hasan and anwar awlaki. even with that out there, the pentagon is not officially calling this a terror attack, preferring the term "workplace violence," which makes a serious difference in family benefits. sergeant ray was credited for saving the lives of six soldiers and three civilians. thank you so much for being here, thank you for your heroics that day. can you walk us through what you went through that day when you first saw major hasan.
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>> well, at the point that i saw major hasan, or the shooter at this point, i had got i don't know -- gotten a woman out of the building i was in and we were hiding behind a car. someone yelled at me to look out because he was coming around the corner of the building. i actually had civilian clothes on that day. i instinctually swept my shirt back to grab my pistol only to find i left my pistol at home. as a result of that, i had to make a quick decision to decide to run to the back side of the parking lot where there was coverage. we ran across the parking lot only to be engaged by the shooter. at a point about halfway between the middle of the parking lot and the rear of the parking lot. just to be engaged, shot at on a military installation is
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obviously something you don't go to work to experience but it certainly was a shock. and the thing that was devastating the most for me is that, you know, i had a very clean shot on the individual but was unable to take it. >> and you think, sir, you think the army missed warning signs that could have possibly prevented this attack? >> well, absolutely. all the preliminary information, even up to two, three weeks out from the shooting itself nearly four years ago, we -- i mean, there were so many signs, o.e.r. is a report that officers are given for their evaluations were totally missed. he was subpar, calling out for such things as jihad and that he was a soldier of allah and things of that nature and yet what happened is the problem was transferred from the northeastern united states down here to texas and unfortunately on november 5, 2009, that was
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the day that over 40 people encountered that mistake being sent down here to us instead of getting rid of the threat to begin with. >> let's talk about the shooting being classified as workplace violence because i know that's an issue that bothers a lot of survivors of the attack. it of course seems bizarre on its face that the pentagon would not label this an act of terrorism, but the way it's been explained to me from the pentagon is if they were to call it an act of terrorism and award purple hearts and so son, they would be handing hasan a way to claim there's no way he could get a fair trial because the pentagon would already have claimed it was a terrorist act. doesn't that make some sense. >> well, it does make a little sense but at the end of the day it doesn't remove the fact that the shooter has said over and over and over again his intent
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was to destroy as many people as he could, and through contacts of terrorist organizations and individuals across the seas that it was indeed a terrorist attack. we can play semantics and the bottom line is it is terrorism. i don't think it would inhibit him from getting a fair trial. he's already pled guilty or wanting to plead guilty to the charges that have been attached to him. and the fact is that he can't. so i think there's some oversight and things that need to be looked at because it's victims like myself and others, we deserve answers and we deserve closure to this event. we've had national stories where individuals have been killed and that's, you know, resolved within a year, year and a half. so here we are struggling nearly almost four years coming on
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really it will be but a year and it will be five years and we're just barely starting this process. so the victims deserve answers and they deserve compensation and other things like that from the government. >> circumstance havesir, i have before i do, you talked about closure. if he is found quickly, do you think he deserves the death penalty? do you want him to face that ultimate punishment? >> absolutely. a lot of people will say the death penalty doesn't do anything to deter crime and there's certainly statistics that support that, but the bottom line is that the death penalty is reserved for those who do the most heinous of crimes and they need to pay for their crimes if they do what this individual did by killing 13 men and women. so i think that punishment should be reserved for him. >> all right. retired u.s. army sergeant howard ray, thank you so much for your time and thank you for your service, sir.
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>> thank you. >> coming up, the new battlefield of politics is social media and now. >> and who literally threw up with an empty chair at the republican convention. stay with us. the best thing to? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. time for the buried lead, stories we think should get more attention. let's say opponents of the immigration reform bill on facebook aren't going to like this news very much. last night 29-year-old tech
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titan and facebook ceo mark zuckerberg waded into the political and launched himself into the immigration battle. erin pike is here with more. what's this all about? >> reporter: well, he's a ba zil nair but still just in his 20s. it's the first time mark zuckerberg is making a big push to advocate for a political issue. now the pressure is on because everybody is watching to see just how effective he can be. >> please give a warm welcome to mark zuckerberg. >> this 29-year-old multi-billionaire has made his mark in silicon valley. >> this is amazing to see so many people from so many different parts of our community. >> but is the founder of facebook nut face of politics? in san francisco he called for comprehensive immigration reform in opening remarks at the premiere of "documented," a film by his journalist friend jose
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vargas, an undocumented immigrant. >> i think at that point we realized we were living in two different worlds. >> people always talk about two different parts of the issues. as if they're two completely separate issues. but anyone who knows a dreamer knows they're not. >> reporter: after mentoring students who wondered whether they could go to college in america because of their immigration status, zuckerberg decided to get involved. >> i went home and talked to friend who is run tech companies and we decided to try to do our best in helping out and creating this organization that would hopefully push to get comprehensive immigration reform done. >> reporter: the result was forward.us, a political organization that has in a few short months run $5 million in tv advertising, mobilized grass roots support in a number of states and retained washington lobbying firms on both sides of
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the aisle to push its cause. senate aides say the group's efforts were instrumental in getting the bill passed in the upper chamber but a real test will come this fall when legislation is up for debate. >> there's no way legislation will pass in the house now. clearly there are a number of republicans in the house who would like to pass a bill, grab the support of zuckerberg and others, pass the border security stuff, get those things enacted and take the pressure off a come pensive bill. >> reporter: while this is zuckerberg's first attempt at political advocacy, he's started to make some moves as a political player, hosting a town meeting for president obama and a fund-raiser for new jersey governor chris christie. he says he also plans to raise cash for senate contender cory
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booker. >> we're here on the stage representing forward.us because we believe it's really important for the future of our country and for to us do what's right. [ applause ] >> reporter: zuckerberg also plans to get involved in comprehensive education reform with a focus on math and science and also into sicientific research funding but he's got a long time ahead of him. >> indeed. thank you so much. with all those billions, the question is what if mark zuckerberg were to take the plunge and run for office? what would his campaign slogan be? that's our hash tag you're it today. hit us up at "the lead" cnn. usual the hash tag zuck slogan. >> this former president just had a major health scare. and president obama is speaking
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welcome back to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. what would happen if freddie mack and fannie mae were no longer? and the pop culture lead, is there a band both the right and the left want to see in the hall of fame? yes. is there a better way political strategists could be spending their time? yes. what band are we talking about? yes. welcome back to "the lead." it's time for the money lead. if the president gets his lead,
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it will be so long fannie, good buy freddie. president obama just walked off the stage. he outlined his plan to shutter fannie and freddie. >> for too long these companies were allowed to make huge profits knowing if their bets went bad, taxpayers would be holding the bag. it was heads we win, tails you lose. it was wrong. >> the idea is to use part of the strategy to insulate taxpayers from another housing meltdown, if there were to be another one. so what would this be? rona, i'm going to start with you. the first thing people are asking themselves is what does
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this mean to me? what does this mean for my mortgage? >> well, it depends what legislation comes out of congress. right now the federal government and state governments together implicitly or explicitly back 80% of these mortgages. the idea of slowing moving these away from the underpinning of the federal government is smart idea. that's been the problem. throughout the recovery, banks haven't been making loans to real people. so far the recovery has been investors led, by people who have cash on hand, people who need a 30-year mortgage have had a tough time getting one. what the president wants to do is ensure whatever legislation is passed gets the government out of the housing market while still making enough provisions that people can get those 30-year mortgages that they need. >> jim, do you think that these
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steps for getting the government out of the housing market not entirely but to a large degree will help insulate taxpayers, help protect us? >> this is a big question. it leaves a lot of liable for the government if there's an enormous housing crash like the last time. the government would ensure, like the fdic with bank deposits, it would ensure that your mortgage would be okay. but the idea, the hope is that that won't happen and that the cost of the insurance will cover any future liabilities. >> rana, let's talk about the timing of this. do you think the president's making this move too soon? >> well, i think that he's within a few months of where he should have been. i probably would have liked to have seen another two, three months of strong housing data. the last couple months have shown we are starting to get a little more credit flowing into the system. but one thing we should remember, we have this idea in this country that you need a
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housing recovery in order to get a healthy economy. actually you, need a healthy economy, you are need people to have jobs in order to get mortgages. the underlying recovery has to keep continuing for unemployment to come down and wages to go up, which will help improve people's balance sheets. >> for a first-time home buyer out there, what do as this mean? >> well, the first thing is it's a bit harder to get a mortgage if you a first time buyer with not great credit. the idea here might be that the opening up of the private market with maybe a little less to get their first loan. the other thing they should be watching, potential first time home buyers, is interest rates, which have gone up a bit recently and will probably go up again because of some federal reserve decisions coming down the pike. >> all right, thank you so much. appreciate it.
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now it's time for our politics lead. mitt romney is back in the political spotlight, attending a new hampshire reception to raise money for the gop, a rare, rare public appears for the runnerup.
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dan balz, a veteran political reporter for "the washington post" has just released a book on the 2012 race. boy, does he mean collision. it's got mike tyson, an anecdote about vomit and at least one guy who has had alleged inappropriate relations with women. but it's not the movie "the hangover." it's the story behind america's 2012 presidential campaign that esteemed political reporter dan balz could not have made up if he tried. in his new book "collision 2012," "the washington post" chief correspondent devilves in the plot and twist to be the leader of free world. this is jim mussina, president obama's former campaign manager
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who told balz was to, quote, punch his competitors in the face. but the republicans needed no help beating themselves up. >> was this an affair? >> no, it was not. >> there was no sex? >> no. >> more than a punch, this moment like an earthquake. one that just kept going. >> oops. >> and then there was this moment. >> what do you mean shut up? >> vomit. no, independent not saying anything against clint eastwood's republican convention appearance. i'm telling you the reaction that mitt romney's adviser had to the speech. >> we appreciated clint's support and he's a unique guy and did a unique thing last night. >> balz writes some of the best reviewed speeches were
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worrisome. former president clinton walked out to thunderous applause at approximately 4:30 p.m. backstage throughout the day, president obama had asked repeatedly to see a draft of the comments. the planned 25 minute speech was continually interrupted by applause and the future second-term president grew more anxious. 50 minutes later clinton exited the stage. president clinton always cuts it close on deadline, which can make those coordinated conventions even more nerve racking. but joining me now for the lead read is the author of "collision 2012." dan, thanks for joining us. you interviewed mitt romney for this book in january and i have to say reading what he said about the response to the question of the 47% of the american people as he characterized them, i don't really know if he understands yet why people took offense at
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that comment. there seems to be a bit of denial there. what was your take? >> well, hi ti had the same reaction, jake. he believes he said something different and the literal words obviously are the ones that people remember when he size it's 47% of the country, these are people who won't take control of their own lives. he continues to say i didn't really say that and he went and got his ipad and started to read through some of what he had said and the question that he was asked. he knows it was a damaging moment. he believes it was damaging because there was the perception what he said. he still had trouble processing it was the actual words up. >> also got the sense in your book from both romney and his son tag that throughout the buildup to run, he was looking for reasons no the to run. do you think that lack of fire in the belly in some ways might have contributed to why he lost?
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>> it may be but once he into it, he's a competitive person, a competitive businessman and a competitive running mate. he had two concerns, was he the best person to beat president obama. he mentioned jeb bush, he said if someone like that had gotten into the race, he might not have. the other question he had was whether he was actually a very good fit for a republican party that is more conservative than he is, that's southern based, he's a northerner, that's evangelical, he's mormon. his chief strategist always said to him this could be a tough fight. he had some questions. but as the field developed, jake, the actual field he was going to have to compete against, he thought he was the best of that group to go against the president. >> the book discusses the president's lack of a real second term agenda, it discusses some questions he faced throughout the first term about how strong a leader he was.
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how do you have see those critique from the 2012 campaign playing out now? >> well, we continue to see some of that. the question about what he would do in a second term was one they wanted to address in only the vaguest of ways. he did not have a big new economic program to roll out during the campaign. he wanted to make the fight not about the ideas he had, he wanted to make it about the question of which of these two candidates would be better for the middle class into the future. but it begged the question. it was after labor day they finally put out a document about a second term agenda. but it was -- it was late, it was not that well developed and he didn't talk that much about it except in generalities.
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he's to return to the theme at a time when people are wondering what the administration has in mind for them to really get this economy going. >> dan, you are a 35-year veteran of "the washington post" and obviously yesterday big news, amazon's jess bezos bought "the washington post." what's the feeling inside the newsroom and what's it like for you, who has worked there for so long? >> well, i never thought i would see this day. i always thought the graham family would keep the newspaper. it was a combination of shock and a certain amount of sadness. they were terrific owners. the key to being a great editor is you start with a great owner and that's what the grahams have been. so there's sadness about departure of the grahams and their stewardship of the paper. on the other hand, there's some hopefulness that mr. bezos will be able to chart a future that will keep us on a strong foot
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economically. we're all struggling. many other news organizations are trying to figure out how we become more economically viable, reach more people, generate more revenues. we're hopeful he'll be able to bring some ideas and innovation to what we do. >> thank you so much for your time. i'll see you on the campaign trail, my friend. >> thank you, jake. appreciate it. >> he wait until it hit 100 degrees to go for his morning run in texas. but even a guy as seemingly healthy as george bush could have a heart issue. he received a stent and is expected to be out of the hospital tomorrow.
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>> the u.s. finally seeks justice for benghazi. and the author of the girl with the dragon tattoo died nearly nine years ago but he's still managing to put out a new crime story. coming up. amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. vsp members can save on all authentic transitions lenses, including our new transitions vantage and transitions xtractive lenses. experience life well lit. ask which transitions adaptive lens is best for you.
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welcome back to "the lead." the u.s. has finally filed the first charges for the benghazi attacks against ahmed khattalah. finding him and making him answer for the charges is a different story.
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last week a source said since january that some cia operatives have been subjected to frequent polygraph tests to see if anyone is talking to congress. the cia declined our request for an on-camera interview but sent as you statement for the story saying, quote, cia employees are always free to speak to congress if they want and that the cia enabled all officers involved in benghazi the opportunity to meet with congress. now, after our story aired, the cia said they had proof, this letter, sent seven months after the talks to officers on the ground then to, quote, let them know of the committee's interest in hearing firsthand accounts. the letter goes on to say members of congress, quote, wanted to make clear you are under no compulsions to engage in such discussions, your
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participation is voluntary. i want to bring in our own erin burnett, host of cnn's outfront. she has a special "the truth about benghazi" airing tonight. this libyan militia leader, your team found him and interviewed him for the special. what do you make of the fact that there are now criminal charges under seal filed against him? >> it seems there's absolutely no coincidence about that. as we reported, there were dozens of armed militants who stormed that embassy. at this point no one has been brought to justice. jake, there's been one person detained for questioning and that person was released. now we have this news today about ahmad abu khattalah, that's his name, who is now being charged, under seal.
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our arwa damon was in benghazi in may and able to speak with him. he has been public. he has been willing to speak to journalists. he told her yes he was there that night. he said he was directing traffic but he was talking about some of the weapons that were there and the fbi had not spoken to him and now there are these charges. i think the real question, jake, is are they going to really and truly bring people to justice. i had a chance to speak to the family members and up see the personal side of this and the pain and agony that these people have gone through. at the very least they deserve answers. and certainly from what we see going on around the region right now, this country deserves answers. and just saying it don't matter, it's all in the past, we're going to do it differently now. >> erin, what else are we going to learn from your documentary tonight? >> we have a lot in there jake. one of the people you're going to hear from are from one of the key members of the team that briefed ambassador stevens.
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his name is jeff porter. when i asked him why there was not enough manpower, ambassador stevens had requested multiple times to have teams in benghazi, to have more security and there was some money put into new guard gates but that was pretty much it. according to jeff porter, he thinks that the united states simply didn't even understand the scale of the problem. here's a little clip of what you'll hear from him. >> why was manpower so lacking in benghazi? >> what we're essentially talking about is a cia mission in benghazi, whose purpose was to collect information, to collect weapons potentially and they may have deliberately wanted to keep a low security profile. >> so because they didn't understand, they just underestimated the threat? >> that's right. but i think one of the problems in benghazi at the time is that there were so many different violent non-state actors, armed groups, that the u.s. couldn't identify the threat.
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they couldn't distinguish which was a group threatening the united states' interest and which was simply a violent non-state actor pursuing its own agenda. so there was a real deficit of understanding, a real lack of situational awareness. >> and all of this could have been prevented. of course it was part of a broader narrative at the time, that the core of al qaeda has been destroyed so these smaller splinter groups aren't anybody to be truly afraid of. obviously the u.s. learned that case, that that is not the case. >> you can watch "the truth about benghazi" tonight on cnn. [ male announcer ] that's why there's ocuvite to help replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. ocuvite. help protect your eye health. ocuvite.
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saving time by booking an appointment online, even smarter. online scheduling. available now at meineke.com. welcome back to "the lead." in the pop culture lead, democrats have accused of gop of being the party of no. seems like neither party can agree to say yes to anything except maybe yes, the band, being in the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. a group of bipartisan political consultants are using their
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campaign know how to rock up votes. they all claim to be fans of yes and 70s concept. hash tag zuck slogan. that's it for "the lead." i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> he may have been one of the most physically fit occupants of the oval office, but in a major surprise today, the former president george w. bush undergoes heart surgery for a blocked artery. were there warning signs? >> americans evacuated from yemen after deadly drone strikes on al qaeda militants, sparking growing concern about an al qaeda terror attack. i'll speak to the former director of