tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 28, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT
exchange student. wolf blitzer is off today, i'm jik acosta, you're in "the situation room." president obama today paid tribute to america's war dead, laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns, he then spoke at the vietnam veteran's memorial on the 50th anniversary of their bloody conflict. and milt romney led a tribute at the veteran's memorial center in san diego. it was a somber break from the election campaign, but politics has a way of seeping into one of the most somber occasions, dan lothian is standing by, but first let's go to cnn's dana bash. and a slight political undertone to the ceremonies there in san diego. they were putting wreaths out at
these ceremonies, but at the same time both men gave some speeches that might have had some politics mixed in there as well. >> from mitt romney, the lines that you're so familiar with, following him around, the ones really directly following the president. but you didn't have to read too much between the lines to hear his campaign pitch. >> reporter: a solemn moment in san diego, marking memorial day. ♪ >> reporter: a traditional tribute to fallen troops. >> we dedicate ourselves to strength and to preserving the freedom for which they gave their lives and walked in harm's way. >> event organizers tell cnn they instructed mitt romney not to make political statements. he didn't attack the president, but did offer a not so subtle contrast, at a time of defense cuts, he wants a strong military. >> we choose that course in america not so that we just win
wars, but is we can prevent wars because a strong america is the best deterrent to war that's ever been invented. >> for a republican challenger there is no such thing as a politics free zone. just look at who the former governor with no military or foreign policy experience chose to join him. his old rival and war hero, john mccain. clearly here to bolster romne s romney's -- >> i'm especially honored to be on the same stage with a great friend, a great man, a great governor and a man who i believe is fully qualified to be commander in chief, government governor mitt romney. this administration has a fleckless foreign policy which
abandoned american leadership. >> reporter: after news broke of the horrific massacre in syria, romney echoed obama's criticism. the united states should work with partners to organize and arm sere syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. despite the commander in chief-like imagery here, polls suggest that romney has a long way to go in that department. 52% of americans say obama can better handle the job of commander in chief, with only 36% for romney. but then again campaign 2012 is not about foreign policy, it's all about the economy, and there the two men are virtually tied. one thing candidates all have in common, protesters at their events, but only romney has someone willing to say this. >> jerk. >> as for romney he mostly told stories about the men he called heroes, including john mccain
but also threw some red meat to the largely military crowd. >> we'll get back to the day after memorial day, dana bash, thank you. even as the president pays tribute to america's fallen, a new world crises will spa -- dan loathe yang, what can you tell us? >> reporter: the president today did spend much of his time during his remarks to talk about the sacrifice of the men and women of the armed services have given to this country over the years, he also talked about the pledge to support those veterans here on the home front and their family members as well. but the president also touched on some themes that we have heard out there on the campaign trail, when he was touting his foreign policy record.
but there are still a lot of hot spots out there, global hot spots that seem to be pushing diplomacy to the limit. >> honoring fallen war heroes, president obama laid a breathe at to the tomb of the unknown soldier, marking the 50th anniversary of the vietnam war. and met at the white house with gold star families who lost loved ones in combat a solemn day even as the president used the opportunity to- >> we are winding county the war in afghanistan and our troochs will continue to come home. >> but serious global challenges remain, raising the prospect of further military actions, north korea in rocket tests, iran and nuclear ambitions, see ya with human rights violations and unwilling to go. >> i think that my preference of course, always as the senior
military leader would be that the international community could find ways of increasing the pressure on assad to do the right thing and step aside. >> reporter: there's mounting pressure on syria after the massacre of dozens of children in hula. russia and china who -- criticized the violence but stopped short of criticizing the government. the former u.n. secretary general flew to damascus in a last-ditch effort to sell the plan. the window for a diplomatic solution is narrowing, but now experts caution a military operation in syria could have broader consequences. >> unlike libya, there is more of a risk of escalation, of instability spills out across borders and more difficult for u.s. and allied aircrews to get after and destroy syrian air
defenses. >> in other words the obama administration looks for that diplomatic solution, they're focused on the possible model of yemen, according to white house aides where you have some sort of negotiated settlement, a leader steps down peacefully, and we need to begin that democratic process. russia could be a big factor in an option like this, but aides point out that every country is different, but nonetheless, they see this as a possible peaceful solution. >> that's a pretty optimistic scenario if that could possibly work out. but what are they saying about the white house when some of this criticism comes in with john mccain and others out there criticizing the president on syria. >> reporter: they certainly believe that the president's policy here is solid. not going after john mccain but focusing on syria and assad calling the violence we have seen there horrific. a national security council
spokesperson said, quote, these acts serve as a vile testament to an illegitimate regime. >> dan lothian live at the white house. this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first significant american deployment in vietnam and the start of a bloody traumatic decade for the united states. president obama went to the vietnam veterans' memorial today in an effort to honor that war's veterans. >> one of the most painful chapters in our history was vietnam. most particularly, how we treated our troops who served there. you are often blamed for a war you didn't start and you should have been kmecommended for serv your country with valor, you're sometimes blamed for the misdeeds of a few.
when the honorable service of the many should have been praised, you came home and sometimes were den greigrated w you should have been celebrated. it was a national shame. a disgrace, that should have never happened. that's why here today, we resolve that it will not happen again. and so a central part of this 50th anniversary will be to tell your story as it should have been told all along. it's another chance to set the record straight. that's one more way we keep perfecting our union, setting
the record straight and it starts today. because history will honor your service, your names will join a story of service that stretches back two centuries. let us tell the story of a generation of service members, every color, every creed, rich, poor, officer and enlisted who served with just as much patriotism and honor as any before you. >> and it's hard to imagine, but it bears repeating, 58,290 americans were killed in the vietnam war. a shocking new escalation in syria will give you a closer look at the massacre that left 100 people dead in one town, at least half of them children, two americans arrested in tokyo, as authorities investigate the choking death of an exchange student. and can you imagine being at this outdoor wedding when
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lennox. innovation never felt so good. imagine being at this outdoor wedding when tropical storm beryl slammed into jacksonville, florida. since then torrential rain and powerful winds have left thousands in the dark in florida and georgia and forced the cancellation of some memorial day ceremonies, dangerous surf conditions are expected up the southeast coast, but beryl is no longer a tropical storm, thank goodness. meteorologist jacqui jeras is at the cnn weather center. it's a little early for all of this, isn't it? >> and to have two storms, if we get one more developed by june 1, that would be a report. so it is a little early in the game to see something like that. thankfully beryl wasn't any
stronger, but still, the timing just terrible for those holiday travelers out there. the storm has weakened to a tropical depression. and the worst of the rainfall at this time is kind of sandwiched in the big bend area here, to the south of i-10 and to the west of i-75. louisville was reporting four inches of rain just in the past 24 hours. the big concern, not really the winds here, but we're worried about the flooding, and that is going to continue over the next couple of days, we have also seen some strong thunderstorms along the i-5 corridor. here are a couple of the rainfall totals we have seen so far. the highest we could find was palm coast, florida, but if we put additional rain on top of that, it does become a big concern.
another couple of days to go, rip current inings -- dls disagreement over what caused a massive explosion today. >> kenya's prime minister is blaming terrorists for the last that injured at least 28 people at a shopping center in downtown nairobi and sources at a hospital say the injuries are not consistent with a grenade or bomb blast. in egypt, a representative of the country's old guard will face off against a
representative of the muslim brotherhood. the head of egypt's election commission says the muslim brotherhood candidate seen there on the left was the top vote getter in the first round of elections last night. >> festivities were highlighted by a fire works show, also concerts, dance performances and a beat parade. the bridge opened to vehicles on may 28, 1937. about four years after construction began. what a beautiful sight. truly an american icon. >> absolutely. happy birthday, golden gate bridge. two americans are caught up in an international murder mystery unfolding in japan. we will tell you what happened and wait until you see the video of an 81-year-old sky diver. that's right, 81 years old who
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two more than americans -- >> reporter: an unfolding international murder mystery here in tokyo. a young irish exchange student who just celebrated her 21st birthday found unconscious and unresponsive at this tokyo district hotel. she later died. tokyo metropolitan police say 21-year-old nicola furlong was killed by neck compression or
strangulation. police say the two irish women and two more than men arrived here at the hotel around 1:00 a.m. by taxi, three hours later, a hotel guest complained of a loud noise coming from a room. when hotel worker got to that room, police said she was not breathing. a 19-year-old american man, was the only other person in the room. the furlong family spokesman a priest tells cnn by telephone that this loss in incomprehensib incomprehensible. >> this is the most devastating thing that has happened in this area. the parish in which nicola belongs, there's only 300 or 400 in total. so all these 300 or 400 families would know each other quite
well. when anything happens, it has a huge impact, a young person especially, everybody knows and everybody is in some way involved or concerned. >> police arrested the two american men, they're being transferred in these cars from the police station to an undisclosed location. the t jam neither men have been directly charged in fur long's murder, rather they are being held for fondling furlong's friends in the back of a taxi. meanwhile police are trying to investigated who might have killed furlong. >> some republicans are now saying they don't know who mitt romney is, how much of a problem is that? and what about president obama's vision for a second term? we'll talk about that in today's strategy session.
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first president bush once called it the vision thing, can this election's candidates stop their -- hillary rosen and will cane, and hillary, this story on politico caught our eye today and this question has come up out on the campaign trail, and that is what is mitt romney's vision should he become president of the united states and this piece in politico mentions what the president of the conservative for growth has to say, let's put this onscreen, i don't know what he'll do on anything, says chicola, and
that's the concern that people have always had is that you don't know what mitt romney is going to do. i guess this is serving up a memorial day softball. is that too surprising at this point? we are coming out of the primary proce process, isn't there enough time to lay out a vision? >> i think mitt romney's strategy has been to complain about president obama, but one of the things that candidates have to do is actually articulate what they're for, he managed to get through the entire primary without having to do that, all he had to do was stand up straight and spend a lot of money because it was such a clown show in so many ways, now he's running against someone with a lot of vision and some order of record, so a lot of people are going to demand this from mitt romney and i think
that once people know what he has planned, he's going to reveal dodd frank, he's going to repeal all the good parts of health care refortunately, not just the parts that are controversial, he's going to cut education spending and investment and child care and medicare and all of those things like come out with it, mitt, that's what the american people want to know. >> i did talk to a romney advisor today, who said, now wait a minute, he did put out a 59 point economic plan last fall. and by the way, where is president obama's vision? because the president has. really laid out what he'll do in a second term. >> my humble opinion, you missed a little right there. there's a reason you can list all those things and paint them in a negative light, it's because mitt romney has put out some agenda items, some bold
ones i might add. a 21% tax break, putting a federal constitutional cap on spending. these are pretty big. does that qualify as having a vision? it seems like vision as we're e defining it is like offering something more exciting like hope and change. withes. >> he has laid out a vision, so his vision for america is something that's quite unpleasant. and you're right, maybe that's something that i don't like, but really, i don't think he spends any time talking about it. his 59 point plan, jim, really
was a 59 points of complaint about president obama. not much specifics. and i think that the more he talks about what he's going to do, the more people will reject him. >> let's ask about president obama's vision, because in the last several weeks, he's come out with attack after attack after attack on mitt romney. he's been sort of dealing with the three bs. bain, bullying and, you know, billionaires. and he's been sort of on the receiving end on a lot of the attacks in the obama campaign. where is president obama's vision of things. >> it's memorial day, so in honor of truth of the american way, i'm going to let you have some of this because i think the president's fallen a little bit short in sharing the -- we saw his memorial day speech, he actually has a lot of great
things to talk about, he still has dreams for this country. but they have gotten a little lost in this back and forth fighting that the campaigns are doing and i think that it's going to be his challenge over the next couple of months to talk about sort of the big picture of back in the aspirational tones and aspirational messages that people really want to hear from your leaders. >> let me ask you about this event that is happening next week in las vegas. donald trump is going to be at a fund-raiser with mitt romney in las vegas, and a lot of people are questioning the wisdom of that, after all, the donald has questioned the president's origin and he's even made some comments to that effect in recent days r you comfortable with donald trump hosting and being at a fund-raiser with mitt romney there in las vegas? >> no, no, just flat out no. >> does that seem like trouble
to you. >> it's easy when the battle is often between george will and donald trump, george will saying he doesn't seem the value in aligning himself with rdonald trump. i do think that candidateses aren't responsible for all the views of their surrogates. i'm talking about just politics in generation. >> hillary, george hill referred to donald trump as an ignore ram mis. >> of course george will is right, i think as a practical matter, mitt romney is afraid to push donald trump aside and tez
almost too much about rim romney. and who cares about donald trump it's not him who we are electing. >> thanks for joining us today and i hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. a town in syria, unknown to most of the outside world until a shocking slaughter, 100 people killed, about half of them children, will it change the direction of the conflict? and the way to fight, two army reservi reservists from the pentagon. there are a lot of warning lights and sounds vying for your attention.
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more burials in the syrian town of hula. we must warn you we're about to show you some images of those dead children and these images are disturbing and not all children. showing a few images is appropriate and necessary to convey the extent of this crime against humanity. here >> reporter: in hula, moore burials, more than 100 dead. so many, so many in one day. and such grief and such rage.
49 of the victims pose no threat to anybody, least of all the regime in damascus, they were children, not yet 10 years old. >> narrator: my got, i washed the dead bodies of nine children, one of them not less than five years old. it was a baby, he had a pacifier in his mouth. what was his guilt? why was he killed? >> we absolutely deny that the government armed forces had any responsibility in committing such massacre and we strongly condemn the terrorist massacre. >> the united kingdom's foreign minister said the world had heard that line from sere y'all
and it's backers before. >> it's to try to get out of the responsibility for the scale of death and destruction. >> in hula, more amateur video attesting to that death of destruction. here the bodies of more than a score of women and children, stuffed into a small room. and these pictures are the ones we have warned you about. pictures agonizing to watch. children's bodies mangled and bloodied, some with skulls torn open. u.n. authorities arrived on sunday to find a mass grave. they issued yet another call for calm and reason. >> the first thing is to stop the violence to get on to tend to the wounded and to those who lost their lives. >> and as outrage continues to mount around the world, the finger pointing goes on in a massacre hard to comprehend it's
call -- >> we hear a lot of talk from the international community, but not much real action, and you can see in those images there, there's some kind of need for some action on the national stage, what is it going to take? is the world basically powerless right now to do anything but watch it hatit happened. . >> there's a statement by the u.n. security council. barring that all we have been hearing since then is much of
the same rhetoric, kofi annan arriving in damascus calling for an investigation into what was taking place. again, there is no real way forward that is actually going to allow that to take place. russia continues to not necessarily back the assaad regime, but is not calling for the president to step down. it is hoping for some sort of internal way forward, but that is not going to happen. there's been so much bloodshed, the conflict is just so polarized that at this stage it most certainly seems that syria is barreling down this course of an all-out war. >> you have reported, t extensively for -- >> they are incredibly demoralized, they are disgusted
with the international community at the lack of real action, they are appalled. the comments coming out of russia where effectively the russian foreign minister was also laying the blame on the opposition for the violence saying that it takes two to tango, but what's happening in syria looks more like a disco. those words are quite simply shocking to those out there day in and day out who are losing their lives. but all that being said, there's still this fundamental te determination is that they're not going to give up. they're willing to fight until the very end. they're willing to give up everything to see this regime fall. just days before americans gather to honor their war dead, two army reserves launched a lawsuit against the pentagon from excluding women from combat roles. chris lawrence is looking into this right to fight issue.
chris, as we remember the fallen on this memorial day, it bears repeating that women are fighting and dying for this country as well. >> by the hundreds in the last ten years. this case takes an interesting tack, because they're not going through the military, they're taking their case to the freshman court. they're saying that the pentagon violated their civil rights because they're being exculoide from positions. >> reporter: women have been killed and taken captive. but they're still banned from combat jobs like infa try. >> it stigmatizes female service as not as important an male service. >> reporter: a mother of three with nearly 30 years in the army, but coming out of west point, she couldn't get the army's elite combat training,
like ranger school. >> so we're excluded from branchs that allow career progression to the highest ranks. >> reporter: only 3% of marine corps generals are women and only 4% of the army's. the pentagon is reviewing combat restrictions and recently opened about 14,000 jobs to women. but officials are wary of going too far too fast. >> but need time, experience and careful review and to be sure we do so in a way that maximizes the safety and privacy of all service members. >> reporter: online some are criticizing the women's lawsuit. quote, i don't see how two women made to it the senior levels of leadership with their careered hampered because they are women. what were they held back from in and in farrah province afghanistan, marine patrols were slowed down to facilitate the engagement team that was
assigned to them because they couldn't keep up. another argument is that women just aren't as physically strong as men, that a woman couldn't drag a 200-pound soldier off a battlefield. >> there's certainly small men that could. handle the same -- >> reporter: as a colonel, herring knows that her chance to -- >> more importantly for me is that it opens up opportunities for women broadly. >> and we're going to find out what happens next pretty soon. the government has about 60 days to respond, most likely it will argue this case has no merit and ask the judge to throw out us. but this lawsuit really is the first of its kind. so we're going to have to keep an eye on it to see where it
goes. an 81-year-old sky diver ships out of harness in midair. we will show you the dramatic video next. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there.
star of a new video that is sweeping the internet and for good reason. she went sky diving for her birthday. but she got more excitement than she bargained for. mary snow, this is a gripping story and she joins us now to tell us about it. mary, i can't believe in the first place that she went sky diving, but i guess she did and she lived to tell the tale. >> have you seen this videotape? >> i wanted to watch this as you aired it so my response could be authentic. >> this videotape of la vern everette sky diving was taken over a year ago. but apparently now one of her sisters post it it on youtube. >> it started off with smiles. >> it's my birthday. >> happy birthday. >> thank you. >> is this something you all wanted to do? >> for years. >> reporter: but things took a
dramatic turn after that and is shrugging off parts of her -- she told station kobr, that wasn't the case that, her bad knees gave out. >> some people look at that video and think she's being forced out of that plane. >> no, i don't look at it that way. he knew how bad i wanted to jump. >> once la vern and an instructor did jump, it was clear something went very wrong. >> the upper harness came off, it slipped down, i didn't know anything, only to hold on, that's all. >> reporter: the parachute opened and she landed safely, but that video has taken off, going viral. >> this is just a second? >> as an outsider, he says it's hard to know exactly what went wrong, but it appears that the harness wasn't secured properly. and he says, while scary, this kind of thing happening is rare.
>> as you exit the airplane, it's in a stable manner, per what we're trained for and the manufacturer recommends and requires, we're stable within five seconds and the chute is out. >> reporter: we contacted the company where la vern did her sky dive. a representative told us that the video is a year old and that no one got hurt and the landing is fine. as for la vern, she said at the time of the dive, she didn't know exactly what happened because her shirt had covered her face. now she's participating in another adventure. >> the faa is now looking into the sky dive and also into the california company behind it since it became aware of the video last week. the faa has proposed $90,000 in -- when asked about those
fines, the company said it had no comment. jim, i don't think we're going to see her sitting around baking cookies any time soon. >> put her in that race car, just make sure she buckles up. a series of alleged terror plots is raising questions about whether the iranian government is involved in a broad assassination campaign. the end of an era for a car, so many love to hate. that's coming up. >> this is actually the second 207 we had to hire, because the first one broke down. so we invented a warning.. you can feel. introducing the all new cadillac xts, available with the patented safety alert seat. when there is danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all new cadillac xts has arrived. and it's bringing the future forward.
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see this car parked next to a maserati. but after four decades, the dilada is halting production. here's the story from moscow. >> reporter: in moscow today, you can't escape the soviet union, the symbols of it's power, it's traditions and it's legacies are everywhere, including on its roads where you'll still find the peak of soviet car building. dilada classic series. this is actually the second dilada 207 we had to hire, because the first one broke down. classics are exploited and they're famous around the world for being cheap, poor quality and inspiring bad jokes.
>> what do you call a lada at the top of a hill? a miracle. what do you call a lada driver who says he has a speeding tickets? a liar. and how do you double the value of a lada? you fill the tank. >> reporter: but for years, the soviet union has been turning out ladas just like the 1962 car they're based on. the they continue to sell largely because the price is as little as $4,000 and drivers had almost no choice. but as the russian market flooded with international brands, sales dropped. so lada is now finally killing off the classic. one highly opinionated british motorist declares this is the worst car in the world. it is certainly a unique driving
experience. despite poor ratings, safety, comfort, quality, speed, the lada classic series continues to enjoy a very special place in the hearts of many russians. lada and it's international partners are now focusing on producing modern affordable cars and they're hoping to maintain a large slice of the russian market. but the classics won't disappear quickly, there are millions of them on russia's roads, like other soviet hangovers, they have shown they can last. you're in "the situation roo room", happening now, new evidence that bomb plots linked to iran may be a part of a bigger, more dangerous shadow war with the united states. this hour, details of reported plans to assassination american officials. plus the pope allegedly betrayed by his own butler in a leak
scandal that's exploding inside the vatican right now. and a sky diver straps from for a record breaking free fall from out ore space. he's talking to us about his leap out of the stratosphere. wolf blitzer is off today, i'm jim acosta, you're in "the situation room." we're now learning that americans were one of the hit list or were on the hit list of iranian backed terrorists plotting attacks on foreign diplomats in other countries. our brian todd is digging deeper on this story. brian, what do you have? >> jim, this latest reporting as
to what we have been digging into the past several months, various plots that's shaping up as a real shadow war between iran and israel. the latest plot is a "washington post" report today, details of this alleged plot to kill americans in the caspian sea nation. the plot involved snipers and -- excuse me snipers with silencer equipped rifles and a car bomb intended to kill employees in the embassy in the capital of baku. the plot vop developed over thet several months. this plot may have been thwarted. the post says that u.s. officials linked this plot to iran. it's not clear who ordered it, whether it came from elements in the government or some of iran's proxies like hezbollah, we tried
to reach iran's officials over the weekend. but the iranian government did tell the post it denies any involvement in the plot. >> this is extraordinary because there is kind of a pattern here? >> that's right, we have referred to this shadow war, iran, israel and you can see just the proximity of all these places, iran, israel and apparently the united states all involved here. we're going to tell you about last fall, thor rannian government was linked to a plat to kill the saudi ambassador to the u.s. iran denied involvement in that plot. then earlier this year, you had plots in new delhi, india, and in bangkok thailand that were linked to the iranians. both of these plots fizzled but the wife of an israeli diplomat was hurt in that india attack.
iran has been targets as well in all of this, and in feindia whe these attacks originated. we asked if we could look for iran to retaliate on their hits to their nuclear program. >> we have a couple of factors to look at here, first a history of aggressiveness by the iranians in the '80s and '90s and attacks against american soldiers in iraq. then you look at what's happened recently, an explosion at one of their nuclear facilities and asa sasas assassinations of their on nuclear scientists. >> the now well known attacks, u.s. and israeli officials have never really spoken publicly about those incidents.
>> brian todd, thank you. now let's talk more about this with cnn national security contributor fran townsend. fran, thank you for joining us. i wanted to ask you about this, because there are a lot of dots being connected here. i guess we don't know for sure whether or not these reports are connected to what some intelligence experts refer to as this shadow war that is going on over iran's nuclear program. but how significant is the -- i guess this revelation, do you think? is it something that the united states should be taking very seriously right now? >> well, absolutely. and this shouldn't be unexpected. this is sort of the kishnd of shadow war they're engaged in, they use proxies like hezbollah, to launch attacks whether it's thailand, georgia, india, all of which we have seen, their one off type attacks, in thailand,
in indichbndiindia, we have see such as c-4. we have understood that those kinds of attacks are retaliation for what they perceive to be attacks against western nuclear skin cycientis scientists. we have also seen iran extending their reach into their area. the iranian military group is present in syrian and advising the syrian government. this is what they do. iran does not want a full on frontal military attack, armies on armies because they're going to lose that to a western power as strong as the united states. so they prefer these sort of shadow or proxy wars that we see going on mow. >> there are reports out today that iran is providing military support to the assad government in syria.
the question is on the part of the iranian government. >> iran has provided not only advise, military advice and training, but they provided arms, and we know that through the u.s. and western intelligence communities. so no question they provided arms, no question they provided support. i think it is a step further to say if in fact we know that they have provided on the ground military support and actually actively engaged in the fighting against syrian civilians, that's a new step, that's actually a step beyond what we have seen before. and it would be an outrage against the syrian people that the assaad regime would permit a foreign military power to engage in the assassination of its own citizens.
not surprising, but i think this is a new breach if you will. >> and, fran, we heard the president today in his remembrances here in washington talk about how the united states should not get into another war unless it's absolutely necessary, but yet there are members of congress on the republican side urging the president, urging the white house to get more active when it comes to the situation in syria. but aren't we sort of dealing with a post iraq war world when it comes to iran's influence in that region? and it's just a very difficult problem to solve, it seems. >> i think you're exactly right, it is a very difficult problem to solve. but i think we have to remind our viewer s that it's not an either or situation. there are things we can do to -- to protect civilians that we're not -- when you see this sort of massacre of hula and the continuing ongoing sort of
attacks against civilians, the american people and the international community are saying, we can do more than we're doing, short of putting in u.s. 2r507s atroops and don't w moral obligation to do that? >> fran townsend, thank you so much, we appreciate it. it may cost you more to get through airport security, stand by to hear about another fee to fly that is in the works, if you can believe that. plus one conservative pun difficult calls donald trump an ignoramus. and did the pope's butler really do it? we'll talk about that scandal and betrayal inside the vatican. [ pilot ] flying teaches me to prepare for turbulence.
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end to the regime of president assaad, the massacre of 108 people in the town of hrk ula. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was asked today if the united states should be considering military action. >> i think as you know, my job is to provide the commander in chief with options and i think the military option should be considered and i think that -- but, my preference of course, always as the senior military leader, is that the international community could find ways of increasing the pressure on assad, to do the right thing and step aside. but first we have to provide military options. >> a short while ago, i asked a leading mitt romney supporter, congressman darrell issa about u.s. policy in syria. let me ask you about what chairman dempsey had to say. you just heard that, he talked about the possibility that all
military options would be on the table, in dealing with that situation there. is there an appetite in congress right now for another military action in that part of the world? whether it be unilateralor in some kind of cooperative effort with nato? is there an appetite for that? >> jim, i think there's always a belief by congress that we have an obligation to stop innocent people from being slaughtered as they are in syria, and particularly when you have these countries, israel, jordan, lebanon, turkey and iraq bordering syria, this is an important area to make sure that human rights are respected. and we have to take a role, probably with nato to ensure that these people are protected as we try to figure out whether or not a new leader is also in the works. >> is there anything more than the obama administration could be doing right now? mitt romney put out a statement over the weekend criticizing president obama about what is
happening in syria right now. is there any more than a romney administration could do? >> i certainly think a romney administration would quickly gather our nato allies in turkey, and say this is in your backyard, this is an area in which we will help, provide technical leadership, but the help on the ground to stabilize the situation and protect the innocents that are being slaughtered, will have to come o out -- >> one of the reasons why wanted to talk to you is because you are one of the wealthiest members of congress, it's been reported that your own personal wealth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 million,
mitt romney, obviously is one of the wealthiest men to run for the white house. and there's been this whole line of attack coming from the obama re-election campaign in recent weeks on his private business record. and i'm just curious what you think about mitt romney's response to all that? do you think it is an effective response? do you think he could be more effective in talking about his own experience. obviously companies were closed during his watch at bain capital, obviously companies were saved. >> you're going to have some casualties, but that's exactly what we need in washington and why i'm so delighted to support governor romney is that he understands that our government has gotten too big, there are agencies that need to be reformed, closed combined, something the president has talked about but haslemnn't don.
on this day when we're talking about taking $50 million out of our military. there's got to be a way to take money out of gsa and other agencies that are throeing fancy parties and make it available for the essential services that the american people want. it's not nice, it's not easy to lay people off, but it's the right thing to do if you've got a bloated government. that's what governor romney promises to do. >> what do you make of some of the comments he's made out on the campaign trail? and obviously the democrats are linked them together as sort of a highlight reel, where governor romney has said i like to be able to fire people, obviously that quote lifted out of a larger context, corporations are people too. the democrats are trying to weave his sound bites together to create in larger narrative about mitt romney. how do you think he's handled
some of these arguments, does he go back and say i shouldn't have said that here or there. how does he come across? >> we're always going have things taken out of context and when they're taken in context, they always mean something differently. jack kennedy, john kennedy, when he was campaigning used to pull out this telegraph from his father saying, stop, i don't want to pay for a landslide. we have had wealthy people who have served our country in the past. i think that in fact -- not at all, the american people want successful people, people who know how to create wealth. remember, america's greatness is based on creating wealthlike the rest of the world has never known, and then making sure it's shared throughout a middle class and even the underprivileged. that's what makes america
special, anyone can go from the middle class or even poorer and ultimately end up like mitt romney, a successful person running for president and giving back. >> lert's have a little fun -- another wealthy individual named donald trump. over the weekend he sort of got into a war of words with george will who's also a noted conservative. i want to throw up on screen the two things that were said by both of these individuals over the weekend. donald trump calling george will the most ignoramus of all time. and george will had to say, he said this on abc's this week program. he called donald trump a
bloviating ignoramus, who's right? >> i think that governor romney is itting his own course. it's a course very different than donald trump would set and very different than george will would set. whether you're a pundit or simply a self-promoter, you have an opportunity to input to governor romney. but what you see is, governor romney has run this primary his own game. he's talked about who he is and believing in america. and ultimately his -- changing america from what it was to something none of us would recognize. and that's really why this is the romney time and i think we all appreciate in campaigns, people supporting us. but donald trump and george will will be signing on to governor romney, not the other way around. >> that's all the time we have, chairman darrell issa, joining us in sunny southern california.
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plane. the errors of the debris come from an affiliate cv-24 in canada. here's what we know from air canada, they have said that an aircraft, flight 001 that was flying from toronto from tokyo and japan. a boeing 777, took off at 10:00 p.m., carrying 218 passengers and 10 crewmembers. after the takeoff, there was an engine shut down. they turned around, they came back, they radioed for an emergency landing. that's a pretty standard way to handle this. the flight landed safely, and taxied to the gate. the passengers are fine, no injuries. but there are reports that no debris came from this flight. you see the pictures, you see the busted windshield there, we have another if we can pick that up, appears to be some chunks of
something that may have come from this plane. we don't know yet, but these are pictures that we're getting from our affiliate in toronto. officials want to jack up the cost of airline tickets. not again, please. more coming up. warning.. you can feel. introducing the all new cadillac xts, available with the patented safety alert seat. when there is danger you might not see,
one of the people closest to benedict xvi, his own butler is charged with leaking secret documents. today the butler is promising to cooperate with investigators in the search for other suspects. our senior international correspondent matthew chase has more on this case and other reasons why the vatican is under some criticism right now? >> sex abuse, corruption, even a murder mystery. mention the vatican these days and it's hard to escape the whiff of scandal. the past few weeks in rome have been particularly damaging. in st. peters square, protesters chant the name of emanuel la who disappeared in 1983 and never found. investigators have opened
this -- despite lack of evidence, rumors of a church conspiracy, just won't go away. >> the fact that so many italians remain profoundly convinced that there is still a cover-up going on, i think is an index of the -- persuading the outside world of its willingness to come clean. >> and that trust gap may be widening, with yet another scandal, this time involving embarrassing secret documents. the pope's own sister has been accused of leaking the documents, including private letters from the pope. casting light on how the vati n vatican -- the vatican bank already under investigation for money laundering fueling perceptions of the vatican in
crisis. a an we don't expect any rapid change, the vat tan, it's said, thinks not in months or years, but in centuries. >> pope benedict hasn't said anything publicly about the allegations against his butler, but the vatican observerings say this is weighing on him and the catholic church. to talk about all this vatican intrigue is a correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily beast. you can see her standing in front of the beautiful st. peter's basilica now. this is a lot like a dan brown novel, it sounds like that kind of mystery that is unraveling there in italy? i was just curious, how do we know? how do vatican authorities know that this butler did do it?
>> well, according to to the vatican authorities wefgs caught red handed with documents in his apartment. he is one of just a few nonclerical members who live in vatican city, he has an apartment that he shares with his wife and three children inside the sacred walls of the holy sea. he's under vatican jurisdiction. they have their own police department, their own criminal justice system. they can conduct their own interrogation. obviously with their version of a search warrant went into his house and found documents and they say they found a machine that would allow him to photograph these documents. >> from what i have read, the pope apparently was crushed by what is by all appearances a betrayal inside his inner circle. and so i guess i'm just curious, you know, to a lot of people who may be wondering, could this be part of a larger conspiracy, do we know whether or not that's even possible at this point?
>> o i that's that very possible and that's where the direction of the investigation right now, some of the documents that were published in a book that came out last week, called his holiness, secrets of pope benedict. of course the vatican isn't exactly the most transparent organization in the world and it's very hard to get information. we know what they want is to know at any given time, the spokesman for the solely sea is very adamant that no high level cardinals are under investigation. but a lot of people outside the walls of st. peter's circle, even though follow the vat tan closely, that there has to be someone at a higher level. that this butler would not have the motive, he would have no reason to do this. the journalist who published the book last week, has been very,
very adamant about not having paid for any documents, if that's true, money was not a motive. and the pope, according to the spokesman is very, very upset. feels very betrayed. there are only a handful of people that have this much face time with the pope. he's attended by two clerical secretaries who are ordained priests and four nuns who take care of his meals and his apartment. >> our viewers can see onscreen since we have been talking to you, the butler sitting there in the pope mobile with the holy father. i'm just curious, you know, how large a security breach is this? because, you know, this sounds unprecedent, that sensitive internal vatican documents would make their way outside of those walls.
>> you need willing parties and you have this journalist, who had the access to these documents and you had a publisher who's willing to publish it in a book. and he has his own television program here. >> what happens next, we understand that this butler is being held inside the vatican, do they have a jail there? or are they holding him inside the police station that's inside the vatican? >> well, they have what they call secure rooms, they aren't jail cells as we might envision, per se, of course we don't have access to those, they call them secure rooms, he's being held in one of those secure areas, the vatican has his own criminal justice system, they have their own police, but they mostly of deal with petty crimes like pickpocketing in st. peter's square or internal complaints
among staff members. this is a very serious crime that they're going to have to trial. they have one judge with the vatican tribunal and they have lawyers who are able to practice law within the vatican, but there's also a lot of speculation about whether or not if he is sentenced to some long-term jail sentence, he'll have to do his whole season tense outside of the vatican in an italian jail. there's a whole lot of things they have to work out because this is unprecedented. >> i'm looking at some published reports that indicate that the pope is sort of in a weakened condition, he's been in a weakened condition as of late. what is his -- what is the state of his health right now? how is he doing? >> reporter: well, he was on sunday whchb he gave his mass, he was visibly weakened, his voice was -- he wasn't the pope we've come to know, he seemed upset, his demeanor was down,
his whole spirit seemed to be crushed by this. he has in the last six months or so shown signs of his age at 85 years old. he has degenerative joint disease. so he's showing symptoms of a man whose going through the aging process. >> coming to us live from outside the vatican, we appreciate your time. thanks very much. if you're already frustrated with how much it costs to fly, you could soon be paying more to go through airport security. ahead details on a plan to double tsa fees with money out of your wallet. [ male announcer ] this is the land of giants. ♪ home of the brave. ♪ it's where fear goes unwelcomed... ♪ and certain men... find a way to rise above.
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at a time when airlines seem to be adding all sorts of charges from everything from seats to baggage, to snacks, there's another fee in the works. this time it's the transportation security officials who want us to pay more. once again let us bring in our transportation and regulation correspondent lizzie o' leary. is that why they make us do this pose in security so they can get into our wallets? >> they do actually collect a lot of spare change that way, but it's not enough to deal with the kind of budget agencies that the tsa has. the tsa and some members of the senate want you to pay more for their services going through security. >> reporter: take two things that many travelers love to hate, the tsa and ticket fees. now add them together. the agency, backed by democrats in the senate wants to increase
the security fee everyone pays for the ticket. from 250 a flight to $5 per one way ticket. $10 roundtrip. >> $10 is kind of pushing it to a limit. i guess it's only $5 more, but i'm wondering how they fits in, don't they already have a budget? >> reporter: tsa's budget, like washington is set to be cut. and this increasing fee would offset the cost of scanners. the fee hasn't been hiked in ten years. but a powerful lobby is pushing against it. airlines. they don't want the cost shifted on to their customers. >> air security is a national security function and it's something that all of us need to be behind as americans and the government should be picking up the cost of that. >> reporter: many travelers we talked to didn't mind. >> i would say it's like using the toll road. if you use a toll road, you may the toll. >> but they want to know if it's
money well spent. >> does increasing the fee increase the level of security tsa can provide? >> it means that tsa's budget will be a little less likely to get cut just to save money in the overall deficit reduction effort. so in that regard, it's useful. it's also useful if you can tell where the benefits go, for a particular program, then the people who get the benefits generally should pay for it. >> jim, you heard that very carefully crafted language, that is washington speak for we are trying to protect our budget. this is a fight that happens a lot, several members of the senate have voted for this, the house says no way, they say if you want to increase the fee, it's got to come from somewhere
else, they can get it from social programs. >> this would not be the first federal agency to get creative when it comes to raising money. >>or it's accounting. a major man hunt is underway for two murder suspects who just escaped from jail. ahead, the latest on what authorities know about their whereabouts. and a daredevil attempts to break the speed of sound with the longest, highest free fall ever. all the way from the edge of space. better him than me. be right back. comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, 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... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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and the 2012 presidential election, a latino vote is considered more crucial than ever as the hispanic population grows larger. recent polling suggests that president obama has more than a 30 point advantage over mitt romney among registered latino voters nationwide. juan carlos lopez is in texas where the republican presidential primary will be held tomorrow and we expect mitt romney to be put over the top with the number of delegates to clinch the nomination. but where you are is a very important backdrop for this critical issue of the latino vote. >> yes, jim and in the last ten
years, at least a 2010 census shows that texas grew by 4 million new residentses, 55% of those new residentses are hispanic. so texas received four new congressional districts. it went through the federal courts, it went to the supreme court in washington, and people are confused. we spoke with some of them, i guess the interest is to see if people are going to go to vote or not, if they're interested, if they're motivated. the process is clear that it still isn't over. >> i think these people keep changing it to benefit one side or another and they should just keep it one way. >> a nonminority may get elected or even a minority, i think they should do it in a nonpartisan way n a way that's fair. >> i think what's exciting about 2012 is that we really are at the tipping point. so if the vote doesn't come out
this year, it's going to come out in two years. >> reporter: and obviously, jim, redistricting isn't an easy process and it isn't easy in texas so we'll see what happens tomorrow, so a lot of latinos looking for us in this election, and many latinos saying politicl cycle in texas, it is still a long ways away because this is a very solid republican state. >> a lot of democrats early in this process were sort of looking at texas and saying, hey, wait a minute, this could be where the latino vote tips that state over into the blue column, but that might be fools gold for the democrats this time around, juan carlos, thanks so much for joining us. the suspect in involved in the disappearance of etan patz is said to have been reported to police decades ago. mary snow is monitoring that in "the situation room" right now.
what do you have. >> a relative of pedro hernandez tells cnn back in the 1980s a family member reported to police that hernandez told them he killed a boy in new york and threw the body near a dumpster. apparently nothing ever came of it. hernandez stands accused of choking etan patz to death and disposing of his body in a trash bag. camden police have not yet responded to the relative's claims. authorities in arkansas are warning the public to be on the lookout for two murder suspects on the run after breaking out of jail. police say the men used a hacksaw blade to cut through the metal bars covering their cell window and don't yet know how they managed to scale a 10-foot fence covered in razor wire. los angeles police are investigating battery allegations against pop star justin bieber from a photographer who says he was taking pictures of the singer when the two got into a physical altercation. he was treated at a hospital and released. now according to tmz detectives
want to speak with the star and any potential witnesses. bieber has not publicly addressed the report. a wounded military vet was taking part in a fishing tournament in florida when his prosthetic hand was pulled off as he tried to reel in a fish. >> i have a special prosthetic that's got different devices i can hook onto it, and all of a sudden the hand snapped off the prosthetic device and still hooked to the rod and the rod and the reel and the hand went down the water. >> for us it was funny. that was the biggest thing and he said we're going to be a legend. you're the only guy that lost an arm out here yesterday. >> listen to this. someone else later caught the same fish with a rod and prosthetic hand still attached so he ended up getting his hand back. >> that has to be the catch of the day, i have to say. >> very good. >> very good. mary, thanks so much. we appreciate it. a daredevil attempts the
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wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far. rjts here is a special addition of memorial day hot shots. in arlington, virginia, roses stand between the eowe jima memorial and in washington saluting motorcyclists and in arlington national cemetery a member of the army holds a rifle at the too many of the unknowns and in washington a u.s. veteran places a wreath on the foot of a memorial to nurse that is served in the vietnam war and a special holiday hot spots, pictures from the nation's capitol on this memorial day.
it could be another first in the history of space when a popular daredevil attempts the unimaginable, not from any place on earth but from miles above. >> reporter: jim w nasa ending the shuttle program and the uncertain future of man space flight we may soon long for the days much john glen who tested our bounds of the exploration of the heavens. here at the air and space museum we spoke to someone that may filled void. from the towers in lom pur, how do you top that, by sky diving from the edge of space. >> the moment is almost at hand. are you afraid of dying at this? >> dying is always part of my life because as a b.a.s.e. jumper you always face death and therefore it is important do you your homework. >> later this summer austrian daredevil i will felix barack
obama barred inner will attempt the longest and highest free fall ever from 120,000 feet above sea level, more than 22 miles. if he pulls it off, he will also break the speed of sound and no one has gone outside a plane or spacecraft to fly at more than 690 miles an hour. >> some of the more tense moments will be when he steps out of that capsule and into the stratosphere and at that point the only thing protecting him from certain death will be this helmet and this high pressure space suit. this is similar to ones worn by u2 spy plane pilots but they're about 50,000 feet closer to earth than felix will be. >> there is only one persona live that it fathom this, the man whose record fearless felix will try to break. he jumped from 102,000 feet in 1960. >> i know exactly what he is going through. >> what is it? >> he is going to be awed by being at the altitude and he is also awed with the
responsibility because he has a bunch of people on the groundworking their rear ends off and with the goal to get him down and you don't want to hang around if you don't have to. >> he will be taken to the stratosphere in a capsule pulled by a helium balloon. it is a massive undertaking. as felix, joe and i move around the air and space museum felix says the sight of john dwlen's and yuri gairen's space suit scares him. >> if you compare to my suit, i am not sure i would have done this in the old days with that equipment. >> reporter: how important is hearing his voice requesting to be to you when you are up there? >> it is extremely important. this is what i figured on the last test jump when i was going up sometimes we lost communication for a couple seconds and immediately you can feel how lonely you feel. i wanted to hear the voice because i am so used to this and
every time we have been practicing on the ground and joe was talking to me so i am used to the voice and makes me feel safe. >> reporter: the mission will be tough to top and doesn't look like he will try to. he says after this jump he will chase his long time dream of becoming a helicopter pilot, jim. >> thanks, brian. thanks for joining us. i am jim acosta in "the situation room." the new continues next on cnn. happy memorial day. >> hi, everyone. thanks for joining me tonight. i am brooke baldwin. john king is off. we have a developing story. here is what we know. engine problems forces an air line to her make an emergency landing while folks on the ground say parts of the plane fell off in the air and were hitting their cars and more on that and also growing outrage over the massacre of dozens of women and children and now increasing pressure on president obama to stop the slaughter, stop the killings in syria and even if that means putting u.s. troops in harm's way and a