tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN February 9, 2012 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
trust. >> britney, we're glag you're okay. police arrested this man, thomas woods on an attempted kidnapping charge. it turns out he's on parole. woods denies he was in the store, but of course the videotape will show it all. he's under arrest, he did it and britney is okay. i'm don lemon. thank you for watching. "the situation room" begin right now with wolf blitzer. take it away, wolf. verbal war fare against mitt romney and the man who slapped him with three humiliating defeats, rick santorum. the latest skirmish is especially fierce today. we're going to talk about that rivalry with another candidate, ron paul. he's standing by to join us live. i'll also ask why he's skipping a imagine conservative summit under way right now here in washington. plus the contraception
correspondent jim acosta is following it for us. >> reporter: it sounded like he was referring to mitt romney as mr. burns, the villain from "the simpsons" who once said release the hounds. that's because in the race for the alpha dog, the fangs are out. rick santorum doesn't need anybody to tell him who let the dogs out. >> i think it's interesting you're asking that question about governor romney and his attack dogs.connect 1200
>> i stand for conservative prim pes, i'll fight alongside you for all the things we believe it in, and one of the things we believe is we cannot allow the next president of the united states to retreat in the face of evil extremism. >> wolf, he received a great reception there four years ago, because don't forget, even though he was getting out of the race, he was the conservative candidate, because they didn't like john mccain. >> he was the conservative alternative to john mccain. i remember it. >> now he's got to prove -- >> let me read from "wall street journal," the criticism of romney. now his political team's instinct will dig into the oppo research and savage mr. santorum. this may get him 51% of the delegates, but he would be a weaker nominee for it. pretty strong words. but i think it's a fair point.
as you and i have been talking, first of all, you lose sent voters over that. you've got to attack rick santorum and newt gingrich, if you will, because he had no choice but to win arizona and michigan. so he has been to differentiate himself. i've been talking to a lot of strategists, and they're always eager to give their advice to mitt romney. what they're saying is he needs to start filling out that story line, change the narrative. not just say i'm the business guy, but say, you know what? i need to fix washington, we need to fix it. here's how i would do it. that way they say he might be be able to tap into the anger of the tea party, for example, by being anti-washington, not just being an outsider, and he can take on more of a pop you list appeal that way. we've heard him talking about his fare, fix, but they say he
needs to change the story line a bit. >> gloria, thank you very much. i want you to stick around and listen to the interview with congressman ron paul. congressman, as usual, thanks very much for coming in, but quick question. why aren't you at the conservative political action conference under way here in washington? the other three republican candidates will be addressing the group tomorrow. >> well, we made the decision a couple months ago not to do it. it was a matter of resources. you know, we have a lot of young people involved in our campaign. we asked a lot of them, and they're doing a lot of hard work, they do the phone calling and the door knocking, and all these things, and they're scattered by. we decided we wouldn't put the effort -- people don't come there automatically, and our supporters, we've asked them to do other jobs, so we had decided that a couple months ago not to come to cpac. >> how do you explain the recent
success of rick santorum, certainly at the expense of mitt romney? >> i think it's the frustration with the republican base i think there's a few republicans that might not even vote republican, and we have a lot of those that come to our rallies from the democratic party. but i think it's a lack of enthusiasm for any of the other three. it's been around for a bit, but there's a bit of irony, though, for santorum to be the one that's criticizing mitt romney as sort of being liberal. when we do the analysis and look at his voting record, he's not a moderate. he has voted for a lot of big government things. so from my viewpoint, it's a big ironic that this sharp criticism and arguments and debates going back and forth, i don't know, maybe the people are getting tired of it, maybe they're tired
of the rpg dickering among themselves when they realize their positions are essentially the same. and of course, we're not on the top. we see ourselves growing in enthusiasm and our numbers keep growing, so hopefully the message will resonate and more will join us. i think that will be the case. >> i way i see it, from your perspective, correct me if you think i'm wrong, you have your positions very well known to a lot of supporters and other folks, but you look at the other three republican candidates, you don't see a lot of difference among these other three, do you? >> no, i don't. that, of course, falls to benefit to us, because in many ways i'm running against the status quo, individuals that support the positions that existed, they don't question anything in foreign policy or anything in monetary policy. they've got big spenders.
i mean, none of them when they had a chance to really show fiscal conservatism, they didn't do it. they don't offer any cuts, so there is a difference, but i think that's -- that is what's raising the frustration level with many republicans, and i -- i would have to work hard to present my case for limited government and different monetary system and looking at entitlements and actual cuts. you know i propose and i'm very sincere about it that i would cut a trillion out of the budget. i think government is too big and if you want it smaller, you have to cut the spending. >> speak about the monetary policy, i know you want to go back to the gold standard. walk us through how that would work out, play out. right now the international economy is basically based on the u.s. dollar. if you went to the gold standard, how do you change that? walk us through the process. >> well, not easily. you couldn't do it with waving a
wand, you can't do it in a day. you can't get rid of the fed in a day, but you have to have gradualism. when we went back to the gold standard after civil war, it was like 17 jeers later with a three-year transition period. all i want to do is legalize competition with this -- the world is going to come crashing down financially when they continues. i just want people to opt out and be able to preserve their wealth by using another currency. and the system even by those who are very much in charge on international finance knows this is coming. they're talking about a new currency, but they're talking about another paper currency run by the united nations. that, of course, would be an anathema to those of us who believe we have a right to -- >> you say the system is about to come crashing down. you look at the last three years. since president obama took office, if you look at the dow jones, the wall street numbers,
they have really gone up a lot from under 7,000, 6500, 6800, approaching 13,000. why are these numbers so good right now? >> well, because the fed has created so much money. the inflation is an increase in supply of money. we never know it's at, but they will channel it, so channeled to the financial markets, and the banks got the money for free, where the people who produce jobs, they don't even -- it's much safer for the banks to borrow at 0 percent, and they get out of trouble. there's stocks like that, but there's no real growth, irregardless of what the employment statistics shows. in the past ten years there's really been no growth. we've a 30 million nick in population, but no significant increase in jobs. this country is in much of worse shape. the unemployment rate is 11%. that's why the people feel worse
than the government tells us we're supposed to feel. i think the american people know that. that's why there's still a lot of concern about the economy. >> where do you stand, congressman, on the debate that's under way, the fight that's under way between the white house and the catholic church on contraception as far as religious-based hospitals, charities, universities, that would be required to provide contraception. you're a doctor among other things. where do you stand on this fight that's going on, not only as a position but as a libertarian? >> well, the position -- i just don't like mandates and telling people what to do. we get into trouble when you use taxpayer funding to do things you shouldn't be doing. when the taxpayers get involved, you say how can you be fair to everybody? well, you can't be, so the government shouldn't be funding it, but certainly if the funding is going to occur, you don't tell churches what they should do. so i don't like the mandates at
all, and i think obama has dug a hole for himself here, because he's trampling on religious conviction, but the political and economic and constitutional approach of government being involved in doing things like this is really where it starts. then you say, we have a government program, how can you sanitize everybody's wants and wills and what they want to do and protect everybody? it's absolutely impossible. this is why the voluntary -- you have voluntary churches or whatever, you can do what you want, the government doesn't have a say just to protect voluntary choices rather than the government dictating to people what they should or shouldn't do about birth control. >> i want to be precise on this and then i'll let you go. a woman works at georgetown university hospital, a catholic-based university hospital. you're not necessarily catholic, even if you are catholic, you want access, your health insurance to get birth control pills. should your health insurance
company be required to provide you that kind of access? >> no. then it's not insurance. once there's a government involvement, but if insurance were voluntary issue for individuals rather than the way we deliver it with tax benefits to large corporations, and your medical benefits go with the corporation become very complex. in a true free market, you pick the company that would provide you with the services that you said. it would be like picking out which life insurance policy you want, or picking out what kind of house policy you want, or what kind of car policy you said. it would be individualized. when they put a mandate on, say you must do this or that, it's no longer insurance. they're not measuring their risk at all. the customer is not making and choice and the businessman is not making a choice. it's the fault of compulsion by
government-run programs that will northweinevitably will lea these fights. >> will you win on start? >> i think we have a chance. every time i've been you have there, the support has been wonderful. i'm so pleased they're receptive to the ideas of liberty, and i'm cautiously optimistic about saturday. >> we'll be covering it with a special "the situation room," 6:00 p.m. eastern starting our cover saturday night. congressman paul, as usual, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. "the cafferty file" is up next. then more on the contraception controversy dogging president obama. this top aide, including the vice president joe biden warn him of the political risk beforehand? and the slaughter in syria. what hacked e-mails allegedly reveal about the government's efforts to manipulate the world news media. plus a politics blaming women for a rise in rape cases. wait until you see he's caught doing.
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jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> as a serious brutal crackdown intensifies, it seems increasingly likely there will be some kind of military action. calling to protect the syrian population. one opposition group reports that more than 130 civilians were killed today, most of them in the city of homs. there are reports of bomb explosion, wounded people bleeding to death in the streets because they can't get medical help, and snipers picking off civilians running for cover. doctors inside syria says government forces are targeting hospitals, medical staffs and patients. meanwhile, the pentagon and u.s. central central command have begun reviewing military options. one senior officials calls it a scoping exercise, to see what's possible giving our other military commitments in the
region. it's not unusual for the pentagon to do this. it's so they have the options ready if the president wants them at some point. they're likely conversation everything from humanitarian relief to support of opposition groups inside syria. one source says outright strikes are unnecessary. one option is a safe haven. others like john mccain says the u.s. should consider all options. the state department says while they never take anything off the table they don't think sending more arms into syria is the answer. it's believe that any action would be riskier and more complicated than the libyan mission and a lot of people don't think the united states should have gotten involved in that. here's the question -- should the united states be involved? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog, or go to
our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> jack, thank you. are the conservative activists gathering here in washington worried that president obama will be tough to beat in eric erickson has the inside track. he and donna brazile are standing by. and shockeying details about syria. we now know what advisers to bashar al assad were telling him to say as the crackdown escalated.
women. the issue is certainly dogging president obama and sparking fierce partisan debate. our white house correspondent dan lothian is joins us. what are you picking up there? >> again this is one of the thor issues not going away. at the white house discussions continue behind the scenes, and according to a sort familiar with the catholic community, the administration has spoken with at least one group. we heard from senator john kerry, a democrat noises calling for a compromise. he believes there can be a balance between providing the health care that people need and also respecting religious beliefs. what is clear here is opposition to the ruling does not break along party lines. it's a controversial decision that keeping dogging the president. >> are there any thoughts to share before you leave? >> after days of heavy pressure from catholic groups and republicans on the trail and on capitol hill -- >> government should be telling institutions what to do, and
they certainly should be be oppressing them. >> some democrats are joining the political fray and criticizing the president's decision, including former virginia governor tim kaine, who said he expressed grave concerns to the white house over its policy that requires religious affiliated organization to provide contraception coverage. >> i think they made a bad decision in not allowing a broad enough religious employer exception. >> kaine made the comment with kathy lewis, a public affairs radio show in norfolk, virginia. more pressure on the administration came in this her from house democratic leader john larsing to health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. while he supports the requirement for contraceptive services, he wrote, quote -- i believe that further flexibility needs to be granted to religiously affiliated organization in this instance. white house sources admit aiding
were split on this decision, but that it was along gender lines, and then this was the question of who in the president's inner circle tried to change his mind. >> i will not get into internal deliberations and who was on which side. >> reporter: to be sure the white house does have supporters on this issue. and from democrats pressuring the president not to back down. >> this latest ruling on women's access to family plans and health care has absolutely politicized in what i call an ongoing war against women. >> my colleagues and i stand in solidarity with american women, who have waited decades for equity in contraceptive coverage. >> but now there's bipartisan -- a democrat a republican looking
to repeal this portion of the health care law. they believe the federal government has overreached. they say if the president doesn't reconsider, then congress will act. one other note, wolf, a short time ago after wrapping up the meeting with the italian prime minister here at the white house, the president again was asked to comment. he said oh, come on, guys, certainly appearing frustrated or irritated by the question, but again there's a lot of pressure on this white house and it doesn't seem to be going away. >> is it fair to say -- it was suggested in "new york times" yesterday that a lot of the women who work for the president supported this decision, but some of the catholic men, like perhaps joe biden, the former -- >> reporter: that's right. the white house really has been pushing back. it hasn't been along gender lines here at the white house. yes, clearly there was opposition. there's some aides who thought this was the right decision, others who thought it was not, but here at the white house they're saying that both men and
women were on both sides of this issue. it wasn't according to gender, wolf? >> dan lothian thanks very much. syrian opposition group is reporting as many as 137 deaths at the hands of government forces today. and now we're getting a shocking inside look at how the syrian government is allegedly stemming the crackdown to the outside world. the source, secret e-mails posted by the notorious hacking group anonymous. brian todd, what are you finding out? >> reporter: one person we nose connected to the group says the e-mails appeared to be authentic. if so it decrease like as if bashar al assad's aides have a very high opinion of americans. it's days before a big interview and bashar al assad is being coached, to spin this crackdown, one aide writes, don't talk reform. americans won't care or understand that. the aide advises the syrian president to talk about, quote,
mistakes, blame his own police. american psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear there are, quote mistakes done and now we are, quote, fixing it. here's what asaid said about the crackdown in that early december interview with barbara walters. >> these are individuals and individual mistakes. >> done by the military or done by whom? >> we don't know everything, but some cases done by the police, summer cases done by syrians. >> reporter: that e-mail was apparently from the press attache. hackers like this one cited by "foreign policy" magazine claimed to have downloaded the e-mails. cnn has seen the e-mails. they appeared legitimate, though we cannot independently very fill the authenticity. syria doesn't have a policy to
torture people, sell he can contrast that with the u.s. and mention abu ghraib. referring to asaid as h.e. for "his excellency" it says h.e. was viewed as a hero. americans love these kinds of things and get convinced by it. >> they think the american public is stupid. >> a dissident who says he was one imprisoned and tortured by the regime. >> this is what they told us at the school, americans know nothing about the world, they insulate their people, the worker has no rights in the u.s., and they think the american is easy to fool. >> david kenner of "foreign policy" magazine says the e-mail reflects an amateurish effort to re -- >> honestly i think at this point they think they have lost the western media, they have lost the united states.
>> reporter: he says at this point the syrian government is more interested in winning public opinion and government support in russia and in iran. we called and e-mailed syria's mission to the u.n. to the hacking and the karim such. we have not heard back, wolf. >> it's very surprising, even funny, the passwords that the syrians use for the e-mails. >> it's unbelievable. you look at the list of the passwords many of them have 12345. analysts say for a regime so guarded, they're not very savvy about cybersecurity. >> that's not necessarily a great password. >> no. so are the conservative activists gathering in washington worried that president obama will be tough to beat? eric erickson is here, he's been over at the conference. our "strategy session" is coming up next.
all right's get to our "strategy session." joirning us the democratic strategist donna brazile and eric erickson, the editor in chief of redstate.com. you just came over from the cpac here in washington. what's the mood over there? what can you tell you about these four finalists? who do they love? not so much? >> it's not the energy that other c pacs have had. a lot of people do we want to broker the convention? santorum i think has the crowd. when i was on a panel discussion earlier and raised the point we can't be picking our nominee on electable, because as the economy changes, the crowd roared. they get it. they don't think the leadership in the party gets it. the morning started off with brothering a blowering a convention. he suggested rubio and pat
toomey. the crowd went wild. they're not excited, they gets what's happening. i do need to give kudos though this network xwrasting live, as so many of the other networks. >> soledad o'brien will be there in the morning. you look -- he makes a good point. voter turnout was down compared to four years ago, but i thought it was you, donna. i know you're a strong ardent democrat, the president is by no means a shoo-in. i'm confident -- we all know that it's going to be a tough headwind, but i'm confident because the conservatives right now are restless. they want a chan, somebody who can throw the ball -- throw the ball -- that's a football metaphor, let me make sure. all right i love you for that. but they want to throw the ball.
they want somebody who can help them run the plays, speak their language, know that are values. they're not looking for a moderate, just somebody who is electable, acceptable, but somebody who can fight for them. >> mitt romney, he was a darling of the c pac conference four years ago. he's going to be speaking there tomorrow. what does he need to do tomorrow to win this crowd over? by all accounts he's poised to get that nomination. he needs to show the crowd he's willing to fight. >> hasn't he been doing that? >> no, they say his tax plan is weak, he's refused to come out aggressively. but i'm willing to deal with the national debt. he's been defined by santorum and ging rich together as someone happen managing the
country into decline. he need to prove the country he doesn't want to manage into decline. >> i just wrote on the blog post that democrats still believe according to mitt romney, they're gearing up. >> the reason why he's on the ballot, he has a terrific organizati organization, but as we witnessed the other night, that didn't really matter. they want someone to possess the vision and the passion to arouse the base, and mitt romney based on what i've seen and i've seen a couple of his events, he has a long way to go. >> santorum has a lot of momentum lately, seems to be doing rather well. >> i've talked to people close to the campaigns today, and don't be surprised if we do start seeing them divide up the fuel to get to 1144. they're in game right now. not necessarily to clinch the numbers. on. >> john king will be -- >> i like turtlenecks.
i don't have a vest. >> i know you have a sleeveless vest. >> yeah, right. >> and certainly not your average street vendor. he's been called a hero, now hoping to be called congressman. that's coming up. a new study is giving a glimmer of hope to always hypers patients, how electric shock may help them keep their memories. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life,
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no one job lends itself to politics. some politicians are lawyers to be sure. many come from the business world, a few are even athletes, but as far as we know, there are no street vendors holding elected office. mary snow is joining us from new york. there's more to this man than just being a street vendor, isn't it? >> reporter: a lot more, wolf. you may remember hearing about dwayne jackson in the wake of the attempted bombing in times square nearly two years ago. he even got a call from the president. he wants to take his street smarts to washington. >> welcome to times square. >> reporter: mean dwayne jackson. he's the vendor in times square who alerted police to a car bomb
in may of 2010. it belonged to the man serving life in prison for the foiled attempt. jackson won honoring for his action, but now wants to make a name for himself in politics. >> in 2010, this car was filled with explosives parked in back of me, and certainly had it going on. >> and two years later, i decided to run for the congress of the united states. >> how did that attempted car bombing here in times square change your life? >> well, you know, certainly when i walked up to the vehicle, i didn't know the contents. when i looked back at it, how can i make a difference? that difference started that night. >> reporter: why the inspiration may have been sparked then, partisan politics driving him now. the former city planner says he knows a thing or two about people being in the cross roads
of the world. >> just being joe citizen. i hate to knock lawyers, and i hope to certainly work with some of them. >> reporter: jackson plans to run in a democratic prime roughly 40 miles north of new york city, the 19th district where he lives. he hopes to challenge the congresswoman. the committee pointed out jackson wasn't the only vendor to call police. for his part, jackson is drawing on the aftermath of that may night. >> the phone call from the president was very humbling. the governor came by here, but about four days after the incident, dolly parton came by here in a black suv, and dolly said to me, darling, thank you so much for what you did, god bless you, and i love you.
it is instances like that that i draw upon to know that dwayne jackson, you're on the right track. >> reporter: needless to say a big dolly parton fan, but he believes he's on the right track and also expects to be far behind on the money category, but vows to make up for a lack of cash with an unconventional campaign. >> wouldn't be surprised if an unconventional campaign can get the job done. thanks very much, mary, for that story. an existing treatment for other conditions could help people with always hypers disease. we have details of new research. and caught on tape watching porn while in session.
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that is already home to older reactors. they're expected to provide enough power for a million homes. sending jolts of electricity to the brain may help improve memory. researchers hope to alzheimer's patients one day. a new study help to monitor seizures when the part of their brain responsible for memory was stimulated. they performed better than others on memory-related paths. at the bizarre intersection, some fans of madonna are begging israel's leaders to hold off any attack on iran, at least until the end of may. a new facebook group called don't start a war with iran until after madonna's show. that's a popular nickname for benjamin netanyahu. the red hole chile peppers, and
others have postponed concerts during previous conflicts. i think it's safe to say, wolf that the madonna concert will not be a make factor in the deliberations. >> probably not among the cabinet, but i'm sure it will be a fine factor monday fans. a politician blames a rise in rape cases due to what women wear, but wait until you see what he was caught doing. and how syrians are risking their lives to make sure the world knows what's happening inside their country. ♪ [ door creaking ] [ dog whimpers ] ♪ ♪ get up offa that thing ♪ and dance till you feel better ♪ ♪ get up offa that thing ♪ and dance till you -- sing it now ♪ [ dog barks ] [ deep beetle exhaust, dog barks ] ♪ you feel good [ male announcer ] back. and better than ever. the all-new beetle.
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at meineke i have options... like oil changes starting at $19.95. my money. my choice. my meineke. three politicians in india are stepping down after a camera caught them watching what appears to be porn during a house session. we have the story from the indian capital of new delhi. >> reporter: these two men say they were doing the people's work during this legislative session, but critics say that's not what they're doing on camera. the minister are accused of watching videos of a sex act. several stations were taping,
when they noticed this cell phone. in one shot the camera zooms into the cell phone. it appears to show several people involved in a sex act. the video from local news channel was broadcast across the country, and caused such an uproar, leaders were forced to adjourn the subsequent state legislation meeting. the two are shown looking at the phone, minister for women and child develop resigned along with the minister of port who allegedly provided the cell phone. we told our government and our party we don't want to be seen as karims, but we're happy to resign. one outrage heightened, because one of the minute terses involved is the minister of women and child well fair, who recently blamed the case on
women wearing provocative clothing. when confronted with the incident, the minister for cooperation said he was not watching pornography, but instead watch ago woman being raped by four people as part of an investigation into the ill effects of rave parties. he is accepting their resignation. all three says their names will be cleared, but for now they are stepping down. sara sidner, cnn, new delhi. if there's military action in syria at some point, and a lot of people think there might be, should the united states be involved claudia writes our economy itself is in a life or death situation, as much as we all hate to see what's unfolding. if we continue fighting wars for other countries, we won't be able to fight the war for in our own country. no boots on the ground, no bloodshed.
ron in arkansas says we can't afford to be involved for several reasons. one, we're broke, two the middle east is a quagmire. we'll always be the invaders, the infidels, the baby killers and there will be innocent death either from air attacks or ground assault. jeff writes for humanitarian purposes yes, the united states should be involved, but if it's military support and military on the ground, it's time for the arab league and arab countries to do the dirty work. the u.s. can provide logistical support for them. ben in boston writes -- russia and china would probably support a cease-fire monitored and enforced on all sides by an international force. i would try a nonmilitary strategy like this first. i think we ought to stand down from further military involvement. susan writes, why not? the perfect prelude to iran waiting in the wings a few months from now, alas sometimes i think we should give up on everything else and become one gigantic military for hire state.
as much trouble as there is in the world, we would be operating in the black in no time. if up to read more, go to my blog, or through our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? all right, jack. thank you. we're told others are simply waiting for their turn to die. this hour, a new clack that the bashar al assad is getting help. plus just when you may have thought this election year couldn't get any stranger, stand by. check out the attack on stephen colbe colbert. we have an exclusive report on an outer space mystery. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos, all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
right now the syrian army is tightening the noose on the besieged city of homs. opposition forces under attack for a fifth straight day. the shells is relentless, the fear is constant. the bodies are piling up. activists say 137 people were killed by government troops today alone, including ten more children. young syrians are taking to the streets of protest, fearing this day will be their last. an activist known as danny has been posting videos documenting the fear and the carnage. >> look at these children. now you see what the assay
regime is killing children. what is the u.n. going to do about this? what is the u.n. going to do about this? nothing. they're going to sit and discussion and see if they want to do this peacefully. after what they did to these children? they've been hammering us from 6:00 a.m. they don't even know who they are. this is only one area in homs. look at the children [ speaking foreign language ] >> this is syria. syrians are risking their lives to make sure the world nose what is happening.
>> it continues the deadly artillery assault, and claimed the lives according to syrian activists of more than 100 people in a single day. among the scores and hundreds of people who have been wounded in the course of these days of rockets and mortar attacks were activists who attracted, weeks ago when he confronted international observers and said they were not doing enough to come to the rescue of these beleaguered civilians. he also had harsh words for bashar al assad. the syrian regime is becoming
increasingly isolated. the lib yang government announced it had given syrian diplomat 72 hours to leave tripoli. meanwhile, a report has been unconfirmed that the diplomats were attacked in tripoli on wednesday. syrian diplomats have also been ordered under other gulf arab countries over the course of the last week. meanwhile, the united states secretary-general has continued his harsh words of criticism for the syrian government. he says he has communicated with the secretary-general of theñ arab league to possibly send in another group of arab observers to syria, perhaps joined with u.n. personnel. but activists say they do not want more openers, they need the basic medical goods and supplies to treat the scores of wounded people, one doctor telling us he doesn't even have antibiotics to
treat the more than 100 wounded patients he received thursday morning alone. ivan watson, cnn, istanbul. >> and there's no reason to believe bashar al assad is getting outside help to brutally destroy his opponents, that help apparently coming from an ominous place, iran. brian todd has been looking into this part of the story for us. >> this could be a very disturbing sign of just how far the syrian regime is willing to go to crush the uprising vgts we have reports that iran has sent one of the its most accomplished and ruthless commanders to dx#cus@5al"á:ñ work some of thi lethal tactics. a crackdown that's brutal, relentless and possibly part of a frightening collaboration. the commander the iran's no torious qods force has been recently in syria. one report in a newspaper says he's even been inside the war room of bashar al assad. helping assad direct his forces.
the qods force, the secretive army, its leader a shadowy ominous figure. concern among u.s. officials, he's been sighted more than once and for taking part in terrorist plots. have erbilly officials say suleimani oversaw the officers in the alleged plot to assassinate the ambassador to the u.s. and it's said that his imprint is on well-known -- >> we have the attack in the towers, we have the attack, lots on surveillance of u.s. officials and diplomatic installation. >> analysts say he's been called the sharp point the iranian
speer, a rising star since the wear in the '80s. he is such a powerful figure now, experts say he reports directly to iran's supreme leader, not to president amman jawed. in the syrian conflict -- >> what could he bring to the syrians they don't already have? >> we know, folks, iran provided syria with the technical capability to follow facebook and social media, to be able to see where the next protest was going to be. we suspect and are concerned about qods force providing training, and in fact the weapons to advanced snipers, stuff like that. >> reporter: it was the qods force that played a key role in the green revolution inside iran. why would iran send such a key figure to syria? >> the loss of a strategic ally like syria would be a critical blow. >> analysts say that's because
syria is a key pipeline for weapons, supplies and trainers, and for similar aid to another group the u.s. considers a terrorist organization, hamas. we called for -- we didn't hear back. >> we know from u.s. officials they believe that the same qods force that apparently is now in syria understoob some attacks against americans in iraq. >> that's right. all those ied attacks in iraq that killed so many americans, u.s. officials have said the iraqi militants who did that got the opponents, they got the expertise, the know-how, how to make the weapons and where to plant them from iran, and analysts say the qods force is very well known for its expertise in that field. >> very important for bashar air ass -- al assad. thank you, brian.
joining us is rick stengel. you have some remarkable photos documenting casualties in syria. i want you to tell us how you managed toss these photos. this man is holds his brother in a house that's used as a hospital how did you get this access? >> italian photographer who was working for us in syria, he smuggled himself into the country, wolf. it's very difficult to get in there, as you know sometimes we don't know how folks do that, and they take great risks. this is in a private home in the southern area of homs that they're using as a hospital. because the hospital itself is taken over by government forces, and the streets are filled with snipers and rebels, and it's very difficult to get out.
so he's in the basement of this house. >> i want one of these amazing photos, these are mourners at a funeral of a 31-year-old who was shot dead by the syrian army, by a sniper there, and you can see the anguish, the pain, and multiply this many fold, rick. >> yes, this pictures was taken a little while ago, but as you say, wolf, the country is in disparate straits. you know. the people who support the free arm are risking themselves as well. i assume even going out for a funeral is taking great risks. >> there's a bunch of folks crowded in a shelter, bombardment shelling going on, you can see the fear in these faces. >> this is where alessio himself has been, down in the basement. they're shelling going on all day. .
>> look at this next picture, a member of what we call the free syrian army looking at the regular syrian army. you know, the debate under way, rick, among journalists. do we call this a civil war yet? i don't know what "time's" position is yet -- >> we exactly in the occurrence issue, in the story that precedes the picture, basically it is a civil war. the free syrian army, which is a murky force, it's ex-military people, civilians, we don't know exactly who they are, but what's going on in other cities around syria is in effect a civil war. certainly that is what's going on. >> it really is a sad picture. so many of these are going on. this is a mother and her son --
her husband was shot dead by the syrian army while out on the country side in syria. you can just see the mourning that's going on. the little boys i'm sure do not understand what's really going on. >> yes. what we're seeing, wolf, of course is the continuation of the arab spring, but what we're seeing in syria is a government force, using an iron fist to clamp down on the protests. we haven't really seen that anywhere else successfully, or anybody who has pursued it with the relentlessness as the asaid regi regime. >> i assume the photographer is out safe and sound. >> he's gone to another house further out. we hope he's safe. he's taking great risks himself. >> an amazing series of photos in the new issue of "time." thanks very much, rick stengel. you can see more of these remarkable photos from syria in "time" our sister publication. thank you for that, rick. opening up thousands of jobs
to women could put them closer to the front lines. we have a report, but new relief for homeowners hardest hit by the mortgage mess. a new landmark settlement with the nation's largest bank. >> no excuse for doing nothing to help more families avoid foreclosure. that's not who we are. a new deal though could it really help ease the crisis? we're reading all the fine print. ed the yummy cereal? yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol. [ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste and whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios. that can help lower cholesterol?
jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." jack? >> mitt romney has been running for president for six year and still can't seal the deal. after losing to john mccain in 2008, he immediately became the presumptive nominee this time around. problem is nobody told the rank and file. republican voters have spent the last year holding triouts to fill the anyone but romney slot.
compared to romney, santorum has little money or organization, but conservative voters like him. for many, the bottom line is romney just hasn't been able to connect. he's seen as out of touch, too scripted, even aloof. think about the infamous $10,000 bet he tried to make, or his recent comment that he's not worried about the nation's very poor. furthermore, it's not clear what his message, as written today on "the daily beast" he lacks an animating idea that would bring voters for their feet. with lack of enthusiasm among republicans, there are signs that he's not going to fare so well against president obama. entree, the online betting site with an unusually uncanny high
accuracy puts president obama's chances of winning in november at 60%. romney's odds are only 32%. so here's the question. what advice would you give mitt romney? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog, or help us set a new "the situation room" record for the facebook page by posting a comment there. we're apparently, i'm told, going to get a new record for the sit room on facebook today. so i guess that's good. maybe a raise or something. >> kudos. >> something, flowers, something. >> congratulation. a major pentagon announcement could put more women one step closer to the front lines. the defense department is opening up 14,000 new jobs, but for many female service members, it's not nearly enough. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has the details.
barbara? >> well, wolf today, we are seeing a small step forward from the pentagon, but military women will be very quick to remind you they have been in combat for years. >> arm sergeant kendyl williams was part of the airborne division. >> i went to dom bat foot patrols with the infantry in baghdad, translating between them. >> technically as a woman, kala williams was not allowed to be on a combat mission. for nearly 20 years military policy has restricted women's exposure to combat by barring them from small combat units right at the front, but now in an acknowledgement, the front line no longer exists is the pentagon informed congress it will open 14,000 new combat-related jobs to women. >> i wonder what took them so
long. >> in 2003 shoshana johnson found herself taken prisoner in iraq. she was an army cook, not supposed to be in combat. >> the restrictions are silly at this point. no matter what job you have in the military, when you're in a war zone, there's always a danger of you being injured, you being killed or captured. >> kala says it's not enough. >> we still have a significant number of actual combat positions that are close closed to women, which continues to by regulation enshrine women's positions in thex5ñ(
women. 280,000 of the 2.3 million that have deployed since 9/11 are women. but the price they have paid is significant. 144 women have lost their lives, 865 wounded. so even as women still go on patrol, fly and work on helicopters and deal with local afghans, they will not be able to work in frontline combat support jobs such as tank or artillery mechanics. >> and, wolf, some of the toughest, most demanding jobs in the military still will be closed to women for the foreseeable future. topping that list special operations forces. >> thanks for reporting this information, important information for our viewers. thanks very much for that. it's no joke -- well, it's sort of a joke and you'll find out why nancy pelosi says stephen colbert must be stopped. we've all heard glowing
phrase of steve jobs. wail until you hear what's in a secret fbi file that has just been released. glue this is a lab. really what happens here is we have interns that take things that we think might be in the magazine, and they try to re-create them. they take the author's recipe in a sense and test it. we're like a test kitchen.
fwerl and state officials say billions of dollars is help is on the way. president obama says the new settlement with big banks will begin to turn the page of an era of recklessness from him. what are you finding out, jessica? >> wolf, it took a year to get this deal done, because many states felt an earlier verse let the banks off the hooks to easily. but some feel they get more clarity, and homeowners get -- after a year of intense negotiations, a deal. >> we have reached a landmark settlement with the nation's largest banks that will speed relief to some of the most abusive practices of the mortgage industries. >> reporter: janet is fighting a
mortgage nightmare. >> we're in the process of foreclosure due to the robo-signing. the problem is they don't know who actually owns the loan. >> reporter: she's concerned this isn't enough. >> i don't think so. i don't understand how it can help when we're so far upsidedown, which most people are. >> reporter: but hers is the type of case the settlement is designed to help, if only the banks can untangle the paperwork to find her. here's how the deal is designed. the nation's five largest lenders agreed to back a fund worth $26 billion. it will be used to refinance some borrowers at a lower rate, reduce the principal balance for other homeowners the most under water, provide state government money homeowners direct aid, and give $2,000 to victims of bag robo-signing foreclosures. >> we're getting partial relief. it's by no means a full set.
nothing is going to make up for all the misconduct that was done. >> new york attorney general eric snyderman runs the administration's new task force to investigate mortgage fraud. he insists this isn't the end of the story. >> we are moving toward holding the banks accountable, establishing the liability for those who did -- and towards obtaining more relief. >> for frustrated homeowners, the clock is ticking. wolf, some things for homeowners to keep in mind, you can't apply for the relief offered by this deal, the banks actually have to find you in these instances, and then bigger picture, the next question is, will any of these major bad actors who helped call this nightmare to begin with really be prosecuted. >> good question. we'll continue to follow this story. millions are anxious to know the answers. thanks very much for that. president obama has now freed ten states from the requirement of the no child left
behind education reform law. the white house now says the states are being rewarded for agreeing to raise standards and improve accountable while supporters of the law say it's helped close an achievement gap, opponents argued that it simply turned classrooms into test preparations centers where the kids really aren't learning. in this high stages election year the political -- the house speaker is going after a new opponent with her tongue in cheek commercial. it's not necessarily newt gingrich. it's the funny man stephen colbert. look at this. >> stephen colbert used to be my friend. i even signed his cast when he hurt his hand, but since the day he started his super pac, taking secret money from special interests, he's been out of control. evening use his super pac to attack my friend newt gingrich. if that weren't enough, i hear he doesn't even like kittens.
colbert must be stopped. i'm nancy pelosi, and i support this ad, because americans deserve a better tomorrow today. join me in stopping -- >> all right. you saw that -- we didn't finish up the tape unfortunately, but it was funny. let's bring in two of our betts reporters. pelosi, by the way, certainly trying to draw attention to the democratic bill aimed at forcing super pacs to open up more information about their donors. jim acosta and dana bash is here as well. dana, you've covered nanny pelosi for a long time. it's a different side of her we're seeing. >> big time. that's what makes it so funny. you normally don't see her doing something like this. as you want, firmly tongue in cheek. but also was a way for them to get attention, as you said, for what they're trying to do. i'm told it was not so, so easy to get her to do it, but i guess
they're happy now. what they're trying to do today is reintroduce what they call the disclose act. they can't do anything about the money flooding into politics on either side. what they can do, they say, is force people to have greater transparency. what this bill would do is do things like force corporations who are behind these outside groups to say -- tell their shareholders exactly what they're doing, what they're spending money on. also the top financial contributors, the top five of them, though have to be disclosed. those are some of the things that the democrats are pushing. they don't run the house anymore, so it will be a heavy lift to get this on the floor of the house, but senate democrats who did run things say they'll try as well. >> the fight between romney and santorum is heating up particularly after the three sta
state. >> it's funny he it's been about tearing down opponents without any vision for what he wants to do for this condition. >> serially tearing down opponents. >> now he's beginning to feel -- >>i reminding me what newt gingrich said a few weeks ago about the attacks from the romney campaign. remember, he was calling romney dishonest over the last couple weeks. and it sounds like these attacks are starting to get under rick santorum's skin, but one think he has going is a lot of conservative states coming up. ly listened to a conference call head by the romney campaign featuring surgas for mitt romney. guess what?
the surrogates didn't go after him. they even acknowledged that he might do well in oklahoma. >> this whole issue with some of the criticism, from ron paul, that he was a big earmarks kind of guy. you were with rick santorum the other nigh, and you've been looking into his report. what did you find out? >> they actually started going after him, and then kind of dropped it when he fell low in the polls. it's hard to say exactly how much he got when he was in congress, because it was before members of congress were required to disclose. >> the people who looked at this say that's possible that that is true. to be clear -- that was arlen specter, his colleague, but he
issued press release after press release, in congress touting the bacon he was bringing home. he was a proud earmarker. >> one thing the romney campaign pointed out is rick santorum said there are good earmarks and bad earmarks. the romney campaign is saying which is it? which are the santorum actually defended an earmark for the osprey, which is one of moss helicopter/plane hybrids, it's had many crashes and caused many deaths so times it's not always good to go out and defend some of these earmarks. >> a good earmark is something that comes to my state, a bad earmark is something that goes to another state. thanks very much. tucked be a major breakthrough for alzheimer's patients. the research study, an unbelievable video. yes, a school bus and flames are shooting out. it happened on the way home from school. the story is coming up. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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a potential breakthrough. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's being on, lisa? >> this is good news, the wildly available cancer drug is showing effects on reversing the effects of alzheimer's. researchers say they were shocked and amazed that the mice improved within hours. they showed signs of being able to remember things and then were more social. clinical trials of humans are in the works. they hope to have results within the next year. big black smoke billowing from roaring flames, usually not part of a child's ride home from school. but take a look at this picture here. a school bus in north carolina completely engulfed in flames. the internet affiliate wsoc reports that the but driver got all the children out better
smoke filled the bus. officials say electrical wiring in the dashboard caused that fire. fortunately no injuries. actor will ferrell is known for popping up in random places. last night he 'nounced the starten lineups between the bulls and the hornets, and took some comedic liberty. take a listen. >> at forward number 5, he still lives with his mother, carlos boozer. at center, number 13, he's a scorpio and a horrible dancer, what keep noah. and number 11, he once ate 20 hot dogs in an hour, ronnie brewer. his favorite movie is "the notebook." derek rose. >> they were having some fun. farrell also cracked jokes on the hornets starting five, but we thought the bulls' introwas a
little funnier, with you you can go to cnn.com if you want to watch the entirety. >> i love that. whenever i go to a washington wizards, i see john wall doing the dougie when it comes out. it's great. you have to get in there and do the introductions sometime, wolf. maybe we could get a plug for you. >> one of these days. not worthy yet. one of these days. doctors are finding a serious problem and astronauts when they return from deep space. >> i would say this is our top priority at the moment in terms of establishing counter-measures for longer duration spice flight. >> so what are they worried about upcoming missions. our own john zarrella has details. and we'll have the riveting details inside the file that the fbi kept on steve jobs. i like yoplait. it is yoplait. but you said it was greek. mmhmm.
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so desperately trying to avoid flying blind in the next gen railings of space travel now that the vision of some of the astronauts may actually be in jeopardy. cnn's john zarrella joins us with this exclusive report. john? >> reporter: yeah, wolf, this could be a game changer for nasa, and not in a good way. we had an opportunity to sit in exclusively on an eye exam glifg to a nasa astronaut. with changes to his vision, not for the good. astronaut mike barrett undergoes an eye exam. no big deal, right? >> i would say this is a top
priority in establishing counter-measures. this has all of our attention. >> you see barrett is one of the ten astronauts who have returned from long space station missions with changes to their eyesight, sometimes permanent and not at all good. the cause -- a mystery. >> we're seeing structural changes to the retina, wrinkles or folds to these areas. >> reporter: and as this image shows, the back of mike's eye has flattened out. >> again, the car for the far-sighted shifts appearing to be the globe flattening. >> reporter: sometimes they correct themselves, but not barrett's. >> i'm dependent on -- >> doctors say it's only occurred in male astronauts. it's a possible pressure inside the cranium. doctors don't know if the problem may worsen or even lead
to blindness on longer flights. over the next five years, signalsa is spending about $18 billion for a new big rocket. if the problem isn't involved, human mars missions could be in trouble. the alternative? get them there a lot fast er. >> i'm hopeful that we'll have improve propulsion, and then a lot of these problems would go away. >> reporter: doctors are intensely working the problem, undergoing exams and using special glasses called super focus, but so far there haven't been any e-opening breakthroughs. now, you would think the russians have had so much experience on these long duration flights with their mir space station and now the international space station would be reporting similar
things. nasa is work with them, but right now the russians have not told them of any such instances. one of the most fascinating is how it appears the physiology of women keeps them, for whatever reason being susceptible to this eye issue. that's another thing that's got them scratching their heads at the johnson space center. >> they'll be working overtime to resolve this mystery, i'm sure. thank you very much, john zarrella. jack cafferty is up next with your e-mails. and the fbi profile on the late steve jobs. ahead the little known details we're learning. a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪ oooh, my turn. ♪ she was in paris, but we talked for hours... everyone else buzzed about the band. there's a wireless mind inside all of us.
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there's a background check. it includes interviews with steve jobs's former coworkers, his friends, even some of his neighbors. some of these in here, there are a lot of compliments. this particular individual saying that steve jobs is impressive and outstanding and that he could see no reason not to recommend him for this white house appointment. but there was also some criticism included in this report. another individual characterized mr. jobs as a deceptive individual who's not completely forthright and honest. he stated that mr. jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals. now, there are details in this report, some that we have heard about before, including the fact that steve jobs had a daughter born out of wedlock and that he originally did not offer the child or her mother much support. but that did change later on as the child got older. also another detail, more details about his drug use. there was approximately a period from 1970 to 1974 when he was
experimenting with marijuana and lsd. some other details about him is the fact that he actually had a grade point average about 2.65 on a scale of 4.0. that's his high school grade point average. another detail that i had not heard about before was that he was actually the target of a bomb threat. this goes back to 1985. there was someone who called the apple offices and threatened -- they said that they had planted four devices and that they would detonate these devices unless this individual was paid $1 million. some of the details, that there was a san francisco hilton hotel. there was a table there. this individual said that he would place a note with further instructions underneath the table. the fbi was called in. they checked out the table. they checked out steve jobs's home. there was never a note found and there were never any bombs. so the threat was essentially a hoax is what it was. interesting details about this. the reason why we've been able to get a glimpse about all this information is that steve jobs
himself actually signed a waiver allowing the fbi to do this check. but when the special agent in charge asked to interview steve jobs back in 1991, he told the agent "i can't talk to you for another three weeks. and i can't even spare an hour to talk to you." in the end, wolf, steve jobs did not get that position on the export council. wolf? >> probably lucky he didn't get it. let's go to jack cafferty for the cafferty file. could have changed his whole life, jack. >> instead he changed ours. >> that's right. >> the question this hour is what advice would you give mitt romney? peggy writes "for the love of all that's holly change your stump speech. i want to hear a speech that inspires me. i don't necessarily want to hear the candidate sing america the beautiful. i love this country, too, but this ain't american i com. there's an old saying that goes, i don't care how much you know until i know how much you care. i know you care about people. find a way to show it. demonstrate your caring. bill in ohio says mr. romney
should bet $10,000 on president obama. judy on facebook, go home. just pick a state and stay there. ed in maryland, short of giving away all his millions to the poor i think he's done after that not concerned about the very poor comment he made. reid in florida writes "i'd tell mitt to get specific on his economic ideas. just declaring obama's performance is bad and then saying we need someone who knows how to get this economy moving again is not enough. the question it what would you do differently? we want details. marcia on facebook "none, why should i care? i've been laid off three times in the last year and a half. i think i'm part of the poor. mitt isn't concerned for me and i don't give a damn about him. cy in virginia writes "mitt, buy yourself a pair of shorts, a tropical billowy shirt and go visit your money in the cayman islands. this is not the year that a majority of americans want a wealthy venture capitalist to
take over the reins of our government. if women rejected me the way voters rejected you i would join a monastery. you'll find more on my blog site, cnn.com/cafferty file or on the situation room on the facebook page. >> he have good stuff, jack, thanks for that. apple iphone is now inspiring horror flicks. jeanne moos is next. ♪ he was a 21st century global nomad ♪ ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had
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>> reporter: and the most blood thirsty of them all is apple's virtual personal assistant. >> there's an app for that. >> reporter: siri. are you capable of murder? >> no comment. >> reporter: siri has spawned a spate of mini horror movies on youtube like siri tried to kill me. >> continue driving straight. >> straight? >> reporter: and psychoseries. psychoseries creeps around the house firing an ak-47 and dropping grenades. the creator of the 4 1/2 minute movie gets blown away by siri early on. >> why does this phone know my name? >> reporter: siri didn't blow a hole in the budget. >> my budget was zero dollars. >> reporter: budding filmmaker andrew mcmurray asked his brother to star in the mini movie shot in seven hours.
>> i thought it would be scary if a piece of technology would turn on you. >> i overheard you saying something about selling me? i'm afraid i cannot let that happen. >> reporter: siri, i'd like you to meet hal. he's 44 years older than you but i think you're going to like him. >> if you insist. >> open the pod doors, hal. >> i'm sorry, dave. i'm afraid i can't do that. >> reporter: back in 19678, "2001 a space odyssey" starred a murderous computer. >> i know that you and frank were planning to disconnect me. i'm afraid that's something i cannot allow to happen. >> reporter: four decades later we've shrunk the technology and our monsters are now mobile. >> reporter: siri, do you have blood on your keyboard? >> this blood bank looks pretty close to you. >> reporter: there's only one thing that can stop her from running amuck. >>