tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 8, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PST
good evening. everyone. tonight, the big chill and the big stand still canceled flights in parts of the country slowing down travel all over the country. we're going to show you who is getting grounded and when things will start moving again. later our serious "gone to pot." the big question is marijuana actually addictive? dr. drew pinsky joins us. a neuroscientist joins us as well. who says that all drugs should be decriminalized. we begin with the freezing temperatures in all 50 states today, even parts of florida and hawaii. it is truly epic.
the chicago lakefront looks more like it did in the ice age in the normally cold winter there. time lapse video, lake michigan freezing over. they had to call in a coast guard cutter to make parts of it safe for navigation. outside minneapolis, a traffic camera captures a pickup truck sliding out of control and off an overpass, check that out, plunging more than 70 feet on to a frozen pond. looking at this, it's a wonder that anyone survived. the driver who was alone in the car did however. across big chunks of the country things ran the game gamut from dangerous to inconvenient. stephanie elam is stuck outside in it. she is in minneapolis tonight where it is slightly warmer than the last time we checked in with her. stephanie, i want to show our viewers who you were doing last night. last night you could throw up a glass of hot water and it would instantly turn into snow. i just find that remarkable. i've never seen that before. it's not that cold tonight, correct? >> reporter: no. and we were actually going to
try to thrill you beyond your greatest dreams, anderson, and do more of it. we went out and bought this big old fertilizer thing so we could do hot boiling water like continuously. it's too hot, though. all things relative it's too warm. it's still cold. but it has to be super cold for that to work. so we've been trying it for the last hour or so and that has warmed up. i can actually bear a couple minutes out here with my ears exposed. that tells you it's a little better. >> how are you guys dealing with this? i know you and your crew can thaw out in the satellite truck in between shots but how are residents in minneapolis -- how are they coping? >> well that's the thing. when you look at some of the shelters, we stopped by a shelter yesterday. they had a record number of people who stayed there. there are some power outages. people also dealing with pipes freezing. if you don't keep those pipes above i think 50 degrees they can freeze and burst. also, many cases of frostbite in
the area. a lot of people, though, still doing what they normally do. i was standing in the same place at 5:00 this morning and a man rode by me on a unicycle on the icy bridge here. i couldn't believe it. i saw another woman walking in ugg boots and no tights, just a miniskirt and just was walking in downtown minneapolis. so, they see things a little bit differently here as the idea of cold. but it's still very serious for people who may be elderly. if you take a look at people who may be needy and also when you take a look at the pets. still a lot of eyes on that. but it is definitely warming up, anderson. >> good news for there. stephanie, again thank you. out all day in that temperature. not an easy thing to do. no matter how much boiling water you've turned into snow over there the last couple of days it can't compare to what nature's been dumping on upstate new york. mout air blowing off the great lakes could turn into as much as 3 feet of misery by tomorrow. pamela brown is outside buffalo, where lake-effect snow and blizzard warnings are actually up. i understand buffalo is under the first blizzard warning since '93.
it snows up there all the time, though, doesn't it? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, anderson. this is the fourth blizzard warning here in buffalo in the past four decades. it's surprising when you consider how used buffalo residents are dealing with this winter weather. and that's a big reason why there have only been four blizzard warnings here. there's a certain threshold that has to be met here in buffalo for to it make the cut to be considered a blizzard warning. normally there's a combination of factors. the gusting winds and the snow, the heavy snow in order for a storm to be considered a blizzard. and other cities it's much easier to meet that threshold. buffalo it's very different because of how used to this weather they are. that just tells you how serious and how dangerous this blizzard is here right now. >> yeah, i mean, up to 3 feet of snow possibly outside buffalo. what kind of precautions are people taking at this point? >> reporter: there are several precautions. i mean, this is a ghost town. people are hunkering down. we're not seeing any cars on the road. the businesses are closed. in fact, the sabres hockey game was canceled tonight which a big
deal. it hasn't been canceled here in buffalo in 13 years. also at least five major thoroughfares have been shut down partially. and officials have told us they've had to rescue stranded drievgs at least 50 stranded drivers on one of those thoroughfares. and officials have actually been using snow mobiles to help rescue. so passengers. because it's simply too dangerous to drive their own vehicles here on the roads. there's actually also been flood warnings because of broken water mains due to how cold it is. so we're really dealing with the trifecta of the biting cold, ferocious winds, and of course the snow. >> it's just unbelievable. pamela brown, appreciate it. thanks very much. get warm in case you're trying to make a getaway be prepared to wait. the vast airline network that lets you get almost anywhere from almost anywhere is great until there's a hitch in one major city. then another and another. more on that from rosa flores. >> may i have your attention please? >> reporter: airline ticket counter lines stretch for hours. >> i don't know if anyone actually knows where any of the lines go. like or what they're for. >> reporter: more than 10,000
canceled flights in the last three days have turned airports across the country into temporary makeshift hotels. travelers resting on cots or on the floor, anything to pass the time until takeoff. more than 4500 flights were canceled monday, and more than 3,000 flights have been canceled today, according to flightaware.com. >> we're supposed to be in the bahamas on saturday. they want us to now land there on wednesday. >> reporter: adding to the travel issues, a move by jetblue to cancel more than 500 flights monday and tuesday at four major northeast airports. the company blamed new federal pilot rest rules and a weekend of bad winter weather. this afternoon, jetblue said they were back on schedule. however, they still have thousands of displaced customers. >> they're telling me i have to leave here on the 10th. like i have no family here. the money i came with on vacation i spent it all.
what am i supposed to do here from the 6th until the 10th? >> reporter: in the midwest, heavy snow and ice drifting onto railways brought three separate trains to a halt monday afternoon with more than 500 passengers onboard. >> the train encountered heavy snow and drifting in a trench-like area on the bnsf railway. and even with all that mass and 8,000 horsepower, we couldn't simply plow through it. >> reporter: passengers said they never lost heat and amtrak provided passengers an extra meal. but the extended delay was hard on some. >> we originally got stuck at 3:00 p.m. yesterday. we didn't get rescued until 5:00 a.m. when they towed us into princeton, illinois, and then we bussed two hours into the city. >> i can't feel my butt because it's just not there anymore. just sitting for literally 26 hours is awful. >> a lot of of miserable people. rosa flores joins us from new york's laguardia airport. so i understand things are
improving for travelers at laguardia, but it's still pretty bad elsewhere? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. anytime you have the words "cots" and "airport" in a sentence it's going to be bad. think of all those jetblue passengers that are stuck around the country, and you know that they're not having a good day. now, for all of the travelers who are watching us from the airport, and a lot of them do, think about this. i checked the misery map at flightaware.com. and the most miserable place when it comes to air travel is o'hare international airport in chicago. so, anderson, i'm counting my blessings that i'm at laguardia tonight. >> i feel for all those people waiting for flights. rosa, appreciate it. now the man who gets to geek out on this stuff from the comfort of the weather sent in atlanta, chad myers joins us now. what's the latest chad on this? >> reporter: it's still cold. but stephanie, right now, stephanie elam in minneapolis feels 40 degrees warmer than she felt yesterday. so that's good. i mean, that's something great about this. there are a couple of things you can do to make your life a little bit better, make your car run a little bit better, home run a little bit better or keep
yourself a little bit warmer. one of the biggest things you ever want to do is to keep the washer fluid in your car full. because when a spray ahead of you gets on your windshield you're going to have to get it off. if you use regular washer fluid it's going to freeze on that windshield and you won't see a thing. look for the little number that says minus 20 degrees. because that will help you out. that will keep you safe and wash away some of that ice. you can't even buy that stuff in georgia. it's illegal. you have to go up to the northeast in order to get that stuff. 16 degrees below zero right now in green bay, 10 below in chicago and 23 degrees below zero now as we work our way into detroit, into buffalo. there will be more snow in buffalo. i saw pamela brown. wasn't snowing a lot. but there still will be probably another foot there across parts of upstate new york. and it is still coming down in many, many spots. watertown will probably pick up no kidding 5 feet of snow. our pamela brown right there, right in that little band of snow just in the south town of buffalo. it was 53 yesterday in atlanta. it was 79 in tampa.
it's now 49 in tampa and half that in atlanta. >> wow. chad, appreciate it. thanks very much for the update. let us know what you think. follow me on twitter @andersoncooper using #ac360. why dennis rodman was in north korea and why he flipped out and basically went into a rant. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. i want to show you what led up to that outburst. her brother is being held captive in north korea. basically dennis rodman indicated he had done something actually wrong to deserve being held in north korea. it was a bizarre rant. we'll show you more of it and talk to her about her brother and the latest on him. and later, president obama's former defense secretary, robert gates, throws his former boss under the bus. what gates wrote about president obama's management style and more in a new book. we'll tell you tonight.
welcome back. north korea may be a nuclear power. but today it was former nba star dennis rodman having a meltdown. he's in pyongyang leading a dozen players in his latest attempt at basketball diplomacy between the west and the dick indicator he calls his friend kim jong-un. kim jong-un, you'll recall, recently had his uncle killed. kim jong-un has been holding an american kenneth bae for more than a year. he also has more than an estimated 100,000 people in concentration camps in that country. the meltdown came this morning when new day's chris cuomo asked him about mr. bae's treatment. >> you do have a relationship with this man. you've said it many times. we've seen it demonstrated for for whatever reason. >> yes, yes. >> are you going to take an opportunity if you get it to speak up for the family of
kenneth bae and to say, let us know why this man is being held? that this is wrong. that he is sick. if you can help, dennis, will you take the opportunity? >> i know -- watch this. the one thing about politics, kenneth bae, one thing -- no, i got it, i got it. if you understand what kenneth bae did. do you understand what he did? >> what did he do? you tell me. >> to his country. >> what did he do? >> no, no, no. you tell me. you tell me. why is he held captive? >> they haven't released any charges. >> why? >> they haven't released the reasons. >> i would love to speak on this. >> go ahead. >> you know, you got ten guys here, ten guys here that left their families, left their damn families to help this country in a sports venture.
that ten guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that? >> we do. and we appreciate that. and we wish them well with a cultural exchange. >> no, i don't give a [ mute ] what the hell you think. i'm saying to you, look at these guys here. look at them. >> but dennis, don't put it on them. don't use them as an excuse for the behavior that you're pushing on yourself. >> they came here. they came here. >> you just basically were saying that kenneth bae did something wrong. we don't know what the charges are. don't use these guys as a shield for you, dennis. >> listen, listen, listen, listen to me -- >> they ain't no shield. let me do this. really? really? i want to tell you one thing. people around the world, i'm going to do one thing. you know the guy behind the mike right now. we are the guys here doing one thing. we are to go back to america and
take the abuse. do you have to take the abuse that we're going to take? so let me know [ mute ] but guess what. one day, one day this door is going to open. >> the white house today refused to dignify rodman's remarks with a comment. terry chung joins us now on 360. she is kenneth bae's sister. terry, you heard this really incoherent rant of dennis rodman's comments about your brother. what did you think seeing that? >> we were shocked and just outraged. we couldn't believe our ears. you know, he was in a position to do some good and to help advocate for kenneth. he refused to do so. but then instead, he had accusations against kenneth. he clearly doesn't know anything about kenneth, about his case. and so we were appalled by that. >> he obviously, first of all he seemed to imply that kenneth had done something wrong.
and then when actually challenged to say what he believes your brother had done, he deflected and changed the topic. because, clearly, he has no idea himself. i get the sense he hasn't done any research at all about north korea, certainly about your brother's case, about all the more than 100,000 people estimated to be held in concentration camps in north korea. it seems like this guy doesn't really know anything about the country that he claims to be going to to help open things up. >> i think that was abundantly clear. this isn't some game. this is about a person's life. you know, father of three, a son and a brother and a husband. and here he sits. and dennis rodman, he's not a diplomat. he said so himself. and he's definitely not in a position to pass judgment on kenneth bae. >> and was in a position if speaking one-on-one to the man who runs this country who holds the future of your brother in
his hands, to use his position of alleged friendship to say, look, just do something solid, release this man. there's no reason to hold him. i know you recently got a phone call from kenneth. what did he say? how was he? >> he said he was hanging in there, but it was very difficult. you know, this was the second christmas we have spent without kenneth. his children were with us. his absence was so keenly felt. it was great to hear his voice. we hadn't heard his voice since may. and it was the first time his children have spoken to him. so it was very emotional and difficult. >> and he's still in the hospital? >> yes. he's still being held in the hospital in pyongyang. you know, he's alone and ailing in the dprk by himself. he's an american citizen. and it's really heart-breaking that somebody who was in a position to help a fellow american refused to do so. and then continued to do some more harm than good. >> there is a chance at this point that rodman or any of
these other players, if they did meet with the leader of north korea, they might be able to at least now kind of make up for some of the ridiculous comments that he made and try to do something on your brother's behalf. what would you -- if any of them happen to be watching this broadcast and this show is seen there, what would you want to say to any of the members of this team who are there about speaking out on your brother's behalf? >> i would say that kenneth is a father of three, an american citizen who is there legally working to provide for his family as a tour operator. he had no ill intentions, never. he has definitely not tried to overthrow the government. so we would ask that americans need to speak up and to remember kenneth bae. if you're in any kind of position to advocate for him, please do so. and to plead with the north korean leaders to release this american who's been held for 14 months. and he's the only one that has served time in the labor camp until his health failed.
so we would urgently ask for help to advocate for his behalf of amnesty. >> the only way that this guy rodman can at all begin to even kind of make up for the ridiculous things he said is to at least try to do something on your brother's behalf, if nothing else. so, terri, i hope this helps. appreciate you being with us. we continue to think and be very concerned about the condition of your brother. and we'll continue to follow it. thank you very much, terri. >> thank you for having me. >> for more on the story of course and others you can go to cnn.com. up next, a scathing critique of president obama from someone who was in his cabinet, a man who really seemed to have a public face of silence over the time he served for president obama. bomb shells now from former defense secretary robert gates's new memoir ahead. also later tonight, is marijuana physically addictive? does it lead to doing other harder drugs? depends on really who you ask. we're going to hear from different sides coming up. female announcer: get beautyrest, posturepedic,
in raw politics tonight, really a fascinating tale of suspicion and distrust from inside president obama's own cabinet. that's just one part of former defense secretary's robert gates's new memoir in which he writes about president obama's flagging enthusiasm for his own afghanistan war strategy. in the book, memoirs, gates writes that in 2011 the president expressed frustration over his afghan policy. according to gates, that included doubts about both general david petraeus and harmid karzai. gates worked under president obama for two years. the book is coming out as the president is still commander in chief. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto joins me now. this is really scathing criticism that's been quoted so
far coming out of this book, particularly from a guy whose public face was one of always sort of calm, sort of trying to kind of bridge the partisan divide. i want to read what gates says about president obama and the war in afghanistan. he says "as i sat there i thought, the president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand karzai, doesn't believe it his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his. for him it's all about getting out." is this unprecedented where you have a current commander in chief being criticized by his -- the guy who just left office, his defense secretary? >> reporter: absolutely. very close adviser of a sitting president. and even goes further on afghanistan policy leveling what is really the worst charge you could level against a commander in chief, and that is, that he sent those troops into afghanistan knowing that strategy was going to fail. that strategy was going to fail. his words, gates that he was skeptical if not outright convinced the strategy would fail. that's a very strong thing to say about a president putting those lives in danger.
of course, many soldiers lost their lives there. we've already heard pushback from inside the pentagon, a senior military official telling barbara starr there's dismay in the pentagon at some of these criticism, saying, listen, if gates felt this strongly, felt that the leadership was deficient that he would have had an obligation to resign over it rather than make these charges after he left the position. >> there's scathing criticism of a lot of people. hillary clinton. he recounts a conversation in which hillary clinton was telling obama she opposed the surge in iraq for political reasons, a primary challenge back during the runup to the election. and obama seemed to kind of talk about the politics of opposing the surge as well. scathing criticism of biden, incredibly scathing criticism of congress and what it's like to testify in front of congress. did the 2016 presidential race just get more complicated by this? >> reporter: i think absolutely. because he's levelled two very serious charges at two of the leading candidates, biden and hillary clinton. in many ways he's harshest on biden.
he said, in his words that biden hasn't gotten a single national security decision right in the last four decades. that's an aggressive thing to say in a book. in particular with secretary of state clinton that's a particularly harsh charge to level, she was against the surge because she was running against obama in the primary. already we're seeing republican leaders latch onto that comment. you can be sure it will come up if hillary decides to run in 2016. so, he certainly -- this quiet man, as you say, loyal servant, has injected himself very much into the political race. >> and quiet and yet in the book he talks ant basically that a lot of the time though he seemed publicly to be quiet and sort of calm, he was actually seething. i mean, that it was that bad. he was seething with what he was seeing behind the scenes. it looks like it's going to be a fascinating read. jim sciutto, appreciate your reporting. just ahead, will legal pot sales lead to a surge in marijuana addiction.
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to other drugs, 47% said yes, that's down from 1972. marijuana has been called a gateway drug by those who oppose legalizing it. it's hotly debated by experts. what about the issue of addiction. is it addictive? gary tuchman reports. >> reporter: denver native brian doyle used to dread being without marijuana. if he didn't smoke a joint, he wouldn't be able to fall asleep. if he didn't smoke a joint, he would have no appetite. was it more important than food to you? >> yes. >> reporter: was it more important than most things? >> yes. >> reporter: weed took over the 27-year-old's life. he had often heard it was no big deal, that it wasn't even addictive. but -- >> were you addicted to marijuana? >> yes. >> reporter: the national institute on drug abuse says about 1 out of 11 pot users become addicted. brian doyle decided he needed help and got clean after treatment at the cedar center at the university of colorado hospital. the executive director of this rehabilitation facility says the
potency of today's pot makes the problem worse. >> the concentration of thc in marijuana today is 30%, 40%, in a typical smoke marijuana, versus 3%, 4%, thc concentration of the '60s and '70s. >> reporter: other drugs including alcohol and nicotine have higher addiction rates. but there is serious concern among those in the substance abuse field that colorado's new marijuana law will substantially increase the number of marijuana addicts. >> i think we'll see more people using it on a consistent basis. >> reporter: but addiction isn't the only concern. 22-year-old stella blessing is also a successful graduate. she was addicted to crack, meth and heroin. but she preceded that with what the therapists here say are the typical gateway drugs of alcohol and marijuana. >> how often did you use marijuana? >> the first time i smoked marijuana i was 14. and i used it constantly throughout my other addictions.
>> reporter: stella, brian and others who succeeded at this treatment center, go to regularly scheduled support meetings with program counselor. >> i mean, do i want to be in recovery, or do i want to smoke marijuana? >> reporter: we asked if they could meet before the next group session to learn more about their past and present struggles. >> life was still really unmanageable, even with just weed. it seemed no big deal but i was taking bong hits driving down the highwa and things were really crazy. >> reporter: brian talked about temptations to smoke again. >> i was speaking with someone earlier, and they asked are you ever concerned about a major life event occurring that just all of a sudden you feel like you have no control, and that's the first thing you do. and i said you know, absolutely. that's always going to be a concern of mine being a recovering addict. >> reporter: mail kamichaela
sullivan talked about the values of being around others that smoke. >> going out and smelling weed, i think it's something each individual has to learn to deal with in their own way. >> reporter: interestingly the former addicts in this group aren't as concerned as their therapists are about the impact of the new marijuana law in their state. they say when they were determined to get high, getting access to weed was never a problem. >> when i was in my active addiction, whether a substance was legal or not had little to do with my decision making of whether i was going to take that. >> reporter: now that recreational marijuana smoking is legal here, most feel the new law will encourage new users. drug abuse therapists fear it. marijuana store owners hope for it. gary tuchman, cnn, denver. >> all right. a lot to talk about on this. joining me is dr. drew pinsky and carl hart author of "high price" and society professor of psychologi psychology at the columbia university. doctor, you bring folks into the lab and test them. when people talk about this as a gateway drug do you buy that at all? >> we have to understand what
gateway means. if people are saying the majority of people who use cocaine and use heroin have used marijuana that's absolutely right. but the vast majority of the people who use marijuana don't go on to those other drugs. >> so you're saying it's not that the pot necessarily leads to these things, it's just that he's that's what they were first able to get their hands on. >> a gateway drug is tobacco and alcohol. those are gateway drugs. i'm really disturbed by the whole idea that whether or not something is addictive is a criteria for it being illegal. that whole logic is very flawed to me. if that's the case for sure alcohol has to be illegal, tobacco has to be illegal. pills have to be illegal. ambien. >> but it's very easy to demonize marijuana. it has been for so long. i think the studies are changing because more people have done it. and started to see what it's like in their mind. >> it's a demoralizing attitude people have about the human relationship. >> when people ask you is it addictive it is? do you believe it is addictive? >> i've been struggling with my patients for it for 25 years.
i've treated 10,000 addicts in my career. probably 5%, to 10% of them have marijuana addiction. as you say it's very uncommon. they said 1 out of 11. it's nowhere near that. >> do you agree with that? >> 9%. that's absolutely addictive. that's not saying much. alcohol is addictive, tobacco is addictive. all of these things are potentially addictive. the most important thing is is that the vast majority of people who smoke marijuana, 90%, do not get addicted. the vast majority of people who even use heroin don't get addicted. >> you said the statistic that the person interviewed quoted about the high thc levels, you said that's factually incorrect? >> that's factually incorrect. he said that the average thc concentration in cigarettes is 30%. the average is about 5% to 6%. so that's just hyperbole. that's what we get in this discussion oftentimes is hyperbole. >> do you believe all drugs should be decriminalized? >> yes.
i have it in my book that all drugs should be decriminalized. >> explain why. >> the vast majority of people who use these drugs are not addicted. the vast majority of us who use drugs don't have a problem with drugs. that's one thing. another thing is that the vast amount of money that we're spending on controlling these drugs and the damage that the drug control has caused to these communities, the social injustices, all of these things lead me to say we should decriminalize all drugs. but if you decriminalize, you must also have a corresponding amount of education about how to use these drugs appropriately. i think treatment's okay. we've had a lot of advocates including yourself who advocates vociferously for treatment. but there has been fewer people who advocate for, hey, let's change for the way we regulate these drugs because the vast majority of the people -- >> i don't disagree with that. it helps me when drugs are illegal because i sort of have a sword of damocles to bring down on people to help structure their lives if they keep using. but people that studied prohibition come up with the same conclusion. whatever they're trying
prohibit, whether it's alcohol which we all understand didn't work. cannibis, there's an argument in what you're suggesting. >> when you look at what's happening in colorado, not just medical marijuana but legalization of recreational marijuana. you know, there are parents out there who are concerned this -- more marijuana out there in the hands of people who get it legally, it's going to filter down to kids even though kids can't buy it. >> understand that i have two young kids myself. and i am just like those parents, i'm concerned about marijuana or anything else in terms of my kids. but quite frankly, if you're a parent and your focus is on drugs, you probably already lost the battle. parenting requires you to parent completely when we think about how children engage in sex, how children drive automobiles, all of these things, you have to parent. drugs are not the problem. the problem is lack of parenting and other things. >> do you see that, dr. drew? >> i don't disagree strongly. i mean, absolutely.
with respect to this issue of why does somebody do a drug in the first place, you and i were talk about ecstasy off the air. >> right. >> and there often, a human being reaches for a substance because they're emotionally unregulated. the issue of developing a flexible capacity to regulate your emotional system we don't help people to do. >> that's not true. think about alcohol, when you take a drink of alcohol it's because you aren't emotionally unregulated? >> no. but if i were to take ecstasy because i wanted to be a certain way in a club i had some sort of anxiety or something. >> no, no, but people do these things base they're enjoyable. >> exactly. >> that's why the polls have changed. >> this is part of the education. this is precisely the type of education that we need to understand. that people use drugs because they work for all sorts of things. >> absolutely. mammals, all mammals reach for substances that alter themselves. >> right. and they work temporarily. so most of the folks who have used drugs, they get altered for the time being and then they go back to their normal life and handle their normal responsibilities. this is what we need people to
understand about all of drugs. >> i don't disagree. but again the problem that people get into is when they begin to understand the idea that addictions is something people can't control. they still want to blame people for using substances in the first place, though. if somebody's going to be constantly seeking a way to feel better -- some people use drugs to feel good. some people use drugs to feel better. for people that are using it to feel better are people that are unregulated. that's all i'm saying. >> those are the people we really need to teach. when you're using drugs to feel better, it increases the likelihood that you will get in trouble with drugs. absolutely. >> that's my point. >> interesting discussion. thanks you both. anti-war protesters convinced the fbi was spying on them fought back by stealing secrets. now four decades later, some of the burglars are coming clean. the incredible story. turns out they were right, by the way. incredible story what the fbi was doing and how these burglars got the information.
time for an amazing story. five burglars are coming out of the shadows to admit their part in an audacious break-in at the fbi headquarters years ago. they stole government secret documents that expose add wide range spying operation targeting u.s. citizens. like snowden they leaked them to the media. now in a new book the burglary by former "washington post" reporter betty metsger, all but three of the former anti-war activists are talking. retroreport.org tells their story. ♪ in the spring of 1970, the war in vietnam was raging.
>> american battle deaths in vietnam now number 40,142. >> and at home, anti-war protesters and law enforcement officers were violently clashing. >> it felt like a nightmare was unfolding. i took what was outrage and horror about what was going on, and i realized that i had to take it somewhere. >> bonnie raines worked at a daycare center in philadelphia. her husband john taught religion at temple university. they were the very picture of a golden couple. >> we had an 8-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. we were family folks who also wanted to keep another track active in our lives, which was political activism. >> that activism attracted the attention of the fbi. its director, the powerful and feared j. edgar hoover, perceived the anti-war movement, which ranged from radical revolutionaries to peaceful protesters, as a threat to national security.
>> at one rally, i had one of my children on my back. and not only did they take my picture but they took her picture. >> protesters like the raines became increasingly convinced the fbi was conducting a covert campaign against them, tapping their phones and infiltrating anti-war groups. >> we knew the fbi was systematically trying to squash dissent. and dissent is the life blood of democracy. >> determined to get proof the fbi was crossing the line, fellow activist and haverford physics professor william davadon hatched a plan. he reached out to the raines and four others. including a student and taxi driver named keith forsythe. >> we agreed to meet some place where we could talk. he says what would you think about the idea of breaking into a fbi office? and i look at him. and i'm like, you're serious, aren't you? i was pretty vehement in my opposition to the war.
and i felt like marching up and down the street with a sign was not cutting it anymore. and it was like, okay. time to kick it up a notch. >> the crew decided to break into a small fbi field office in media, pennsylvania. >> once i got over the shock of thinking that this was the nuttiest thing i'd ever heard in my life, i'm like, this is a great idea. because we're not going to make any allegations. we're going to take their own paperwork, signed by their own people, including j. edgar hoover, and give it to the newspapers. so let's see you argue with that. >> in the raines's third floor attic, the team divvied up responsibilities and assigned tasks. they hung maps to learn about the neighborhood, planned escape routes, and took extensive notes on the comings and goings in the building. >> i signed up for a correspondence course in locksmithing. that's my job, to get us in the door. practice several times a week,
after a month, you get pretty good. >> bonnie was assigned the job of going inside and casing the office. >> i was to call the office and make an appointment as an swarthmore student doing research on opportunities for women in the fbi. so they gave me an appointment. i tried to disguise myself as best i could. and i went to say goodbye. and i acted confused about where the door was. and that gave me a chance then to check out both rooms and know where the file cabinets were. >> bonnie discovered there was no alarm system and no security guards. she also found a second door leading inside. >> when she came back without me we became convinced that, yes, i think we can get this done. >> they had more to lose than anybody else in the group because they had these kids. >> we faced the reality of if we were arrested and on trial we would be in prison for very many years. we had to make some plans for that. >> with a solid understanding of
how they would conduct the break-in, they now needed to figure out when. >> march 8, 1971, frazier and ali were fighting for the championship of the world. and we had the feeling that maybe the cops might be a little bit distracted. >> while the crew waited at a nearby hotel forsyth arrived at the office alone. >> pull up, walk up to the door, and one of the locks is still a cylinder itemlele tumbler lock. and i just about had a heart attack. bottom line is, i could not pick that lock. >> they almost called it off. but that second door that bonnie noticed gave them another chance. >> at that point, you know that you're going to have to wing it. knelt down on the floor, picked the lock in like 20 seconds. there was a dead bolt on the other side. i had a pry bar with me on a short crow bar. i put the bar in there, and yanked that sucker. at one point i heard a noise inside the office. and i'm like, are they in there waiting for me?
basically said to myself, there's only one way it find out. i'm going in. >> next, the inside crew walked into an empty office wearing business suits and carrying several suitcases. they cleaned out file cabinets and then made their way downstairs to the getaway car and drove off unnoticed. the group reconvened at a farmhouse an hour's drive away and started unpacking. >> we were like, oh, man, i can't believe this worked. we knew it was going to be some gold in there somewhere. >> we're sorting files. all of a sudden you could hear one of the oh, look at this one. look! >> among the stolen documents was a memo with a mysterious word on it "co-intel pro." that was short for counter intelligence program. the fbi's vast program to spy on undermine and harass anti-war protesters, civil rights leaders and anyone j. edgar hoover considered a threat to national security.
our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin joins me now. so talk more about this co-intel pro. for those who don't know. >> co-intel pro was j. edgar hoover's program to infiltrate the anti-war movement in many respects illegally by harassing people, by injecting criminality where it didn't exist. it wasn't directly part of their effort to harass martin luther king but it was part of the same category of fbi behavior that was just clearly illegal. >> and the statute of limitations has run out, which is why some of these people came forward. >> right. they have no exposure to criminal charges anymore. >> obviously the comparison to edward snowden comes up. you have been opposed to what edward snowden has done. how do you see what these people did? what they found out did it just justify the means? >> well, first of all, it's a great story. retro report and betty metsger, certainly my hat's off to them for tracking it down. i don't think what they did is right. good faith is not a defense to crimes.
these people were well motivated. but a lot of people are well motivated. abortion opponents are well motivated. are they entitled to go into abortion clinics and harass people there? you know, you can't break the law because you think it's in service of a higher cause, i think. and so i don't support what they did. but they did begin to uncover something that was very important. it also is why they're not the only people who uncovered co-intel. carl stern of nbc news, frank church the senator from idaho i mean, they all had an important role, too. >> jeffrey toobin, thanks. fascinating story. >> people should buy the book. >> thanks to our reporter retro reporter who covered that job. "the ridiculist" is next. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
and hot rhymes trebek style, things got really hot on "jeopardy!" with another rap series. >> another train another plane another bottle in the brain. beastie boys rapid in "no sleep till" here. >> first of all, what is brooklyn. that one is pretty straightforward. i have to say i think alex trebek started getting more and more into it as the category went on. >> in nuttin but a g thank this doctor rapid never let me slip 'cause if i slip then i'm slipping. >> who is dr. dre. but more importantly, who is alec trebek all of a sudden. he punched it on g-thang. who says a canadian host cannot keep it real? he's keeping it real. i believe his final answer on the category was highly enjoyable. i'm telling you it was simply off the chain. >> you go ooh and ah when i jump in my car. people treat me like this hall of fame l.a. lakers center. >> who is kareem abdul-jabbar. why was this not a category when
i was on celebrity "jeopardy!"? i'm totally acing this. now it's not every day we get to hear alex trebek bust some rhymes, but i actually think there was a missed opportunity here. you know when they have video clips of people giving the clues to categories sometimes? i can think of just one other person who is maybe a smidgen more street cred than alex trebek who should have been called on in this instance. >> i'm the king of rock. there is none higher. sucker emcee should call me sire. to burn my kingdom you must use fire. i won't stop rocking until i retire. >> yeah! that's what i'm talking about. blitzer. why, oh, why, did run dmc not use him in their king of rock video? >> i'm the king of rock. ♪ call me sire to burn my kingdom you must use fire. i won't stop rockin' until i retire ♪ >> gone too soon. he had almost as much flow as wolf blitzer there. almost. >> keep your eyes on my ka bomb boom boom boom.
you think you can handle this ka dunk adunk dunk? >> missy elliott, work it. i want to arrange a free style battle between alex trebek and wolf blitzer. that's it for us. "early start." a devastating deep freeze moves across the country. historically low temperatures creating catastrophe for people in their homes and people on the roads. is there' leaf in site? indra petersons is tracking it. a shocking new book. the former secretary and the new book that has washington reeling this morning. why he says things were so bad. he almost quit. dennis rodman under fire on the day of his big basketball game in north korea. after giving a bizarre,