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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  December 11, 2014 8:00am-8:33am PST

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martha: today we have the little christmas party for "america's newsroom." our awesome "america's newsroom" crew. i for one am looking forward to it. bill: "america's newsroom" exclusive tiff yaw. see you on "outnumbered" in about an hour jon: the director of the cia, john brennan, set to speak out on that scathing report by senate democrats blasting cia interrogation program in wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. welcome on this thursday, i'm jon scott. shannon: and i'm shannon bream. brennan's remarks come as many current and former cia officers are voicing concerns that they could face investigations or even prosecutions for their involvement in the program. brennan also faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding public trust in our intelligence agencies. jon: let's check in with doug mckelway live at
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white house with the latest on this broiling controversy. doug? >> reporter: as shannon said, it is rare for a cia director to hold a news conference at the cia headquarters. it may be a intense partisan warfare that erupted over the tuesday's senate release of the senate intelligence committee on enhanced interrogation. they maintain it was hatchet job. that it took quotes out of context. failed to interview officers directly involved in the interrogation. it made false accusations that president bush was kept in the dark about the techniques and jeopardized lives of many americans. former vice president dick cheney in his interview with bret baier last night reminded americans of the intense pressure to come up with intelligence in those post-9/11 days. >> that khalid shaikh mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, who killed 3,000 americans taken down the world trade center, hit the pentagon, would have taken
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down the white house or the capitol building if in fact if it hand intbeen for the passengers on united 93. he is in our possession. we know he is the architect and what are we supposed to do, kiss him on both cheeks, please, please, tell us what you know? >> reporter: senator feinstein acknowledged some of those risks but said that the united states needed to bare its soul over these processes. and meanwhile the obama administration is standing by two bush era endorsers of the program, fbi director james comey and cia director john brennan who have risen to higher ranks in the obama administration. >> so you don't see any contradiction between them endorsing the policies that the president is attacking and they now serve in two most sensitive -- >> what i can tell you the president of the united states has complete confidence in the professionalism of these individuals and has got complete confidence these two individuals who serve an important leadership positions on this national security team are following the law and doing everything that is necessary to protect the american people and
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the president is pleased with their service. >> reporter: a few democrats and the united nations calling for war crimes prosecutions of the architects of the enhanced interrogation program. that news conference at cia headquarters set for 1:30 this afternoon. john, shannon, back to you. jon: we'll watch that very closely. doug mckelway at the white house. doug, thank you. >> right now lawmakers on capitol hill are coming down to the wire as the house prepares to vote for a spending bill before midnight deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown. at issue, several last-minute provisions tucked into that bill covering everything from a roll back of part of the dodd-frank financial overhaul to campaign finance changes that will benefit big-money donors. both are major problems for democrats. meantime, a lot of conservative republicans very upset that the bill doesn't do more to punish the white house or to block it on its executive action on immigration. former howard dean campaign manager, joe trippi and ed
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rollins former campaign manager for reagan-bush '84. both fox news contributors. >> good morning. shannon: ed, we know that republicans in order to get the bill passed in the house need votes from the democrats because there will be defections of conservative republicans who don't like the way this bill is playing out. i just got an update. this comes from the office of congresswoman maxine waters out of california she had had meeting with up number of democrats this morning, she is confident that they're so upset about a number of provisions that they will block the bill, that is her guess that it won't make it through the house. >> i've known maxine forever, back when i was chief of staff of california assembly. she is pretty good vote counter. it will be very close vote at end of the day. both sides do not want to shut the government down. that is the overarching driving force. i think there are a lot of things in this bill both side have to swallow a little hard and important to get something done and i think they will get it done. shannon: joe, a lot of conservatives out there are
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asking why republicans moving the way they are for this particular bill, providing a lot of funding deep into 2015 for a lot of priorities blocked. they feel like they came off a tuning in the midterms and want to know why gop leadership is not pushing harder against the administration and democrats? so how have the democrats pulled this off? >> first of all i agree with ed. both sides desperately do not want to shut the government down. i think they're going to be enough votes on both sides to pull out a very close vote. i think there is also the argument for some of those republicans, some of those conservatives, that next year, when they, when they have the senate and a larger majority in the house, may be a better time to take on the president on some of these issues. but that given where we are today and given this budget process, first of all, this is the first time in a long time where it actually has been a real bill and not a continuing resolution. i think members are going to
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find enough in here that they like, even though to paraphrase nancy pelosi, you may have to pass this thing to find out what's in it because there are all of sudden many things in this that are upsetting both side but i think they will come to the right, to enough votes to pass it. shannon: i mean, ed, is this the way we do business now on capitol hill? getting these bills to the cliff as they are so often are and jamming them full of unrelated things and coming down to the wire, either vote for this or the government shuts down? >> unfortunately i've been around the town 40 years, often comes down to christmas break or last day of congress. i hope in the new order of republican control of both house and senate you get back to the budget process. pass appropriations bills on times and won't come down to the chaos, stuff one line in, one line there, nobody knows what is in there except the staff people that put it in. not the way to govern. very important to get it done so we don't shut the government down. shannon: i want to turn on to another topic.
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ask you about upcoming news conference in next hour with cia director john brennan. we assume he will respond to the senate intelligence's committee report for the allegations. world leaders calling for accountability and in some cases of prosecution and cia and other top officials and joe, the administration had to know those conversations were going to be sparked by this report. >> yeah. i think that is one of the reasons when barack obama became president, almost from the get-go said that he, he wasn't going to, you know, come in and punish people on this wasn't going to pursue it. and i think actually what this tells me is that just shows actually how the president has actually lost a little bit of his grip on his own party and on, and on the senate. with the postelection because, you know, now that we don't have the senate, democrats don't have the senate, and they don't, he is not going to be i believe a to do a whole lot for them, they
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will go through with things like this. by the way, this was a bipartisan report. the vote to release this was 11-3. as many republicans voted to release it as voted against releasing it. yet, john mccain and others. so i think -- shannon: what we're seeing so far is democrats version of the report. there is a minority version that the republicans agree with. they didn't sign off on the overall report we've seen so far. >> the bottom line, the torture stopped as it should and certainly was debate whether we should have had torture. our constitution outlaws it. they wasn't ahead said it was legal. no longer in existence and should no longer be in existence but i think this report has done a long-term damage to the agency very important to us in war on terrorism, that is the cia. brennan has to stand up there, unprecedented for a c independednt a director to hold a press conference. i don't think it will basically benefit us. now we all know the gory details. we knew a lost facts before.
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it is not a pretty picture. we shouldn't do it again as john mccain said. only man in the senate cast tortured said it doesn't work. to a certain extent we're now seeing but don't underestimate the damage done to our friend and allies and countered by our enemies. shannon: a number of folks previously part of the administration, bush 43 saying it did work and got them actionable intelligence. they obviously take issue with the way this is being played out. joe, i want to ask you, reaction worldaway, we have suggestions from the u.n. and others there were possible crimes committed here. afghanistan's president saying he is astounded by some of what he has seen. russia, going public and saying this is proves that america is a horrible human rights violator. how do you feel about us taking criticism from someone like russian leaders? >> well, i mean, look the administration said one, that they're not, the justice department isn't going to prosecute here and also they're not going to, they will site
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anybody who tries to -- fight anybody who tries to go back and charge americans or those responsible for any of this. but, for some of these countries to do this, this is what is going to happen. unfortunately the american people need to know and we're in an age now where if you tell the american people, everybody is going to find out. and that is just the way it is but you've got, i think, this is real important for us, for this country to have a debate moving forward what are we or are we not about and is this acceptable or not? shannon: all right. well, just as we wrap up getting back to our beginning topic about this omnibus bill that has to be passed to keep the government funded. we talked about how representative maxine waters is confident now or growing in confidence that democrats won't get on board and it will be defeated. we got a note from senior capitol hill producer he is hearing from high-ranking democrats, increasingly looks like the funding bill is in trouble. we understand the gop has
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short-term backup plan. we'll see if they launch it. always good to see you joe and ed. >> good to be with you. jon: we'll continue to watch that. also new information on the mission to defeat isis as we get an update on our military strategy from retired general john allen, special presidential onvoy for the global coalition to counter that terror group. national security correspondent jennifer griffin live at the pentagon now with that. jennifer? >> reporter: jon, six months ago today mosul fell and the u.s. turned its attention to isis. here is how retired general john allen spear heeding state department's strategy describes isis. >> sometimes people become desensitized to how horrendous this organization truly is and what it has done to the people that it has conquered and what is it is prepared to do to the other people that it is prepared to conquer. >> reporter: it has been three months since the president stated in a prime time address that the major part of the strategy to defeat isis would be
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to vet train and key quip moderate syrian forces on the ground. state department admitted that vetting process has yet to begin. the u.s. government halted arms shipments to the so-called free syrian army because some u.s. weapons are falling into the hands of isis and al qaeda. >> you can't tell me politically whether we have armed, vetted, armed and trained anybody yet and sent them back to syria to fight isis? you can't give that answer? >> i think i did answer it, the answer is no. it was designed, designed to be a long term program. >> wait a minute. i'm asking the questions. you give the answer. >> reporter: us air strikes may be damaging moderate rebels more than they are halting isis critics say. new article published by janes defense that the us air strikes and assad are consol dieting power. they are stopping targeting each other. isis is targeting the very
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moderate groups the u.s. hopes to train and equip. out of nine hundred operations, assad targeted isis 6% of the time. syria is letting warplanes deal with isis while it targets the moderate syrian opposition that the u.s. hopes it will serve as its ground troops. jon: what a mess. jennifer griffin at pentagon. thank you. shannon: a massive storm hammering the west leaving thousands without power. from california to the washington coast people are racing to save their homes teetering on the brink. a young woman burned alive on the side of a road. will her last words help police find her killer? we want to hear from you. should the house strip out a spending bill provision that would provide more bank bailouts? our live chat is up and running. visit click on on "america's asking" d join the conversation.
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jon: now for some crime stories we're watching. police searching through
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surveillance video looking for a person who set a teenager and her car on fire in mississippi. rescuers found 19-year-old jessica chambers burning alive on the side of the road. she later died. authorities hope her last words whispered to first-responders will help catch her killer. a jury has the case of a connecticut woman accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband. we told you about it on "happening now." prosecutors call the case, cut and dry because she was caught on tape ordering the hit. her lawyers insist tiffany stephens is a vulnerable drug addicted woman. new surveillance video apparently shows missing college student shane montgomery. he was last seen 2:00 a.m. thanksgiving morning leaving a philadelphia bar. video shows him watching toward a canal before he disappeared. shannon: from the fox extreme weather center "the pineapple express" slamming northern california right now with wind, rain and snow.
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tens of thousands in the san francisco bay area are without power. to the north, on the washington coast the ground is giving way literally beneath some homes. at least one house has slipped off of a cliff. many others we're told are now in danger. claudia cowan is live in pacifica, california, with more. hello, claudia. >> reporter: hi, shannon. the first major storm to hit northern california in six years is just drenching with this pounding rain and near hurricane force wind. perhaps you can see the rains slamming against the pacifica pier. it is popular with tourists and will be closed today for good reason. we could see waves as high as 27 feet along some parts of the coast, santa cruz to monterey. along with wind gusts from 50 to 6 miles per hour, along with eight inches of rain coming down in this area in the space of a day, 24 hours or so. since the storm moved into northern california overnight someplaces have seen a one or
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two inches fall per hour. that is a lot and the national weather service has issued all the relevant warns, flash floods, high surf, you name it. crews spent last days clearing storm drains and trimming branches near power lines and sandbagging low-lying businesses. trees have been uprooted and at last report 77,000 customers were without power. sinkholes, mudslides, rockslides are all very real concerns today. authorities are telling folks to have radios, flashlights, extra batteries on hand to avoid driving if they can. the roads are nasty especially up in the mountains where blizzard and whiteout conditions are expected to last through the night. 200 flights canceled already at san francisco international airport. that will have a ripple effect as the day goes on. first time in years schools in the bay area are closed. we need the rain after three years of dry conditions. this storm will not end the drought. water experts say we need eight
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to 12 more big storms like this one to get back to normal. that is how low the state's reservoirs are. however, shannon, experts say this storm will boost drinking water supply and sierra snow back so critical to meet the state's water needs. ski resorts as you imagine are rejoicing. expected to get several feet of new snow just in time for the weekend. back to you. shannon: you have definitely of the most dramatic live shot location. stay safe out there. thanks for the report. jon: some new recalls related to the takata airbag problem with more big automakers now taking action. we have the lowdown. plus a former american prisoner of war at the infamous hanoi hilton weighs in on the senate democratic intel report. does he think the cia's enhanced interrogation program constitutes torture? he will join us live with his thoughts next. i'm an idaho potato farmer
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shannon: just in, some big-name automakers issuing recalls related to the takata airbag problems the japanese company is under fire for airbag inflators that can explode reportedly shooting out metal and plastic the at least five deaths and dozens of injuries linked to the problem. toyota already took action last month. now we're hearing that honda, nissan, mitsubishi are following suit, recalling millions of vehicles worldwide. for a full list of which models are involved, we have all you need to know at, click on "happening now." jon: new fallout from the senate intel report on the cia as our allies condemn the enhanced interrogation program and the united nations even calls for prosecution of those involved. but was the program really torture? or a necessary tool in the
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aftermath of the 9/11 attacks? my next guest was a former prisoner ever war at the infamous hand i snow hilton. -- hanoi hilton. the retired air force colonel spent six years at the facility. a medal of honor recipient. one of only 79 living today. good to be with you today. >> thank you, jon, nice to be here. jon: you have read what everyone is coming to refer to as the torture report. i'm just curious as to your thoughts. was the cia conducting torture? >> in my view they were not. i know there is both sides to this but, very briefly, jon, in my experience with as i speak with some personal view like others have that were there. there was, they did not use enhanced interrogation in vietnam. if they asked a question, they just started torturing you. the point, there is window of
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vulnerability of truth from experience i know if pain gets worse and worse you go from geneva convention, name, rank, serial number, date of birth and they push the pain so high you will begin telling highs. yeah they will nuke you tomorrow, you think you will say whatever you can. get to the point where you pass out. i've been in there. as you're coming back and pain starts decreasing as they're backing off a little bit, there is a point, jon, i feared about while this is happening in those days, that i would have told the truth with the fear of, if i don't tell something truthful they will increase the pain back again all the way to blackout. i was coincidentally last night in jacksonville, florida, three of us, 18 years of prison time, we all agreed there is that window. they were not sophisticated. i think if it was sophisticated interrogation and enhanced interrogation and we can talk about what is or what isn't torture, but waterboarding is
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not. there is truth to be had. no question in my mind we gained valuable information from those interrogations. jon: i know you are a friend and admire earlier of senator john mccain who also spent some time at the hanoi hilton. he is calling this torture. i want to play this for you. >> okay. >> knows from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. i know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. i know they will say whatever they think their tort tore us want them to -- torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering. jon: but again it comes down to the kinds of things these men were subjected to. sleep deprivation, that kind of thing. what do you think about what senator mccain has to say? >> john made a quick statement, he said more bad than good.
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that is probably true. if you get good actionable intelligence out of that enhanced intear division or like torture, i have great respect for john. he and i lived together. he is a tough guy. in america he has a right to be wrong on cowell of these things. john is a good man. he did at mitt he got some good intelligence out of that. i'm so, brief strongly, people write rules on torture, there has to be rules, seriouses mental, physical, permanent, bordering on death, we need some definition. around i believe what they did do not raise the bar to that definition of torture. jon: so submitting abu zubaydah, subjecting him to waterboarding, that in your view is not torture? >> it was not. in my view and, you know, i give, somebody else an example one time, what would i do? say i'm dropping my granddaughters off at school and i see a guy run away from the
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school and able to capture him and find out he put a bomb in the school and will go off in 30 minutes. if there is water board there, am i going to hesitate a second? absolutely not. i think anybody, most liberal person i know say i will do what i have to do save my granddaughter, if i have a brick on the hand and spread-eagle i will drop the brick on his tis tickles. i will do what i can. people define torture, easy to be in plush senate office or button-downed college folks out of ivy league or never been in combat or tortured in prison, whatever, very different situation when you're there. when you're there, jon. jon: yeah. and how much of this is second-guessing? i mean we remember the entire nation was reeling in the days after 9/11 and we all thought another terror attack was imminent. and we wanted to stop it. >> yeah. and there is, yes. and we did think it was imminent
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and the, put yourself in those shoes. again it is easy to sit back do you many years later and have your biased reporting, don't talk to people who did the interrogations but, in a perfect world we wouldn't have to do this but world is not perfect. we're by far the best nation. we treat our prisoners the best of anybody. we shouldn't make, go overboard on what we do but this enhanced interrogation area, i think is right thing to have and people who did this, under the rules of department of justice and now some of those same department of justice rules, folks are saying, well, that was wrong. we may have to prosecute you. what an idiotic thing to say to people who did their very best and, it put as fear in people who are in this business. we're just going totally the wrong direction, jon. sorry to mumble on there, even the russians are saying our people need to be prosecuted,
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the russians who appear to have a hand shooting down a jet liner full of civilians during the summer, saying that our people should be prosecuted in international criminal courts. he has written it all done in a book. surviving hell, it is called. colonel, thank you. >> thank you, jon for having me on. appreciate it. shannon: wall street making a comeback after a downer of a week. today brought good news on the jobs and holiday shopping fronts. check it out there, up 200 points. new information on a blockbuster "rolling stone" article that sent an entire college campus into an uproar. what some students mentioned in the story about an alleged gang rape are now saying what they really know about that night.
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