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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Missing Connecticut Teen Found Alive; Barack Obama Warns of 'Quiet Riots' in America
Aired June 6, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Here are some of the stories we're bringing out in the open.
Tonight: breaking news in a disturbing pair of cases involving missing girls. One of those girls is dead tonight. But the other just turned up alive, after nearly a year.
And a troubling warning from presidential candidate Barack Obama is also out in the open tonight. What are the quiet riots he's talking about? And are major outbreaks of violence simmering just below the surface all over our country?
And have you seen these pictures, absolutely frightening, pictures taken from the Vatican? Are his security people doing enough to keep the pope safe?
Out in the open first tonight: two missing teenagers and two very different outcomes.
Today, police searching some woods in a Kansas City suburb found the body of a young woman they believe is 18-year-old Kelsey Smith. She disappeared four days ago, apparently kidnapped from a department store parking lot. And police now believe fuzzy surveillance tape shows Smith being forced into a car in that parking lot after she shopped.
And they are still trying to track down a man caught on security video leaving the store moments after Smith.
Now on to the other case I just mentioned, the dramatic rescue of a 15-year-old girl who had been missing for nearly a year. Just hours ago, police served a search warrant on a house in West Hartford, Connecticut, where they discovered the teenager in a hidden room under a staircase. Three people are under arrest tonight.
Let's get the very latest from Jason Carroll -- Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Paula, the announcement of that third arrest coming just a few moments ago.
This is a case that is still developing -- Bloomfield Police Department telling us that Kimberly Cray (ph) has also been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Danielle Cramer, that 15-year- old girl who was discovered earlier today. Paula, this is a case that detectives say really surprised them. They really expected a different outcome. And this is the place where it all came down, this house right behind me that you see here.
This is the place where, this morning, investigators went to the house of Adam Gault. This is where he lived with his common-law -- common-law wife, Ann Murphy. Now, they came here to serve a search warrant. They wanted to get a DNA sample from Gault, because he was a suspect in the disappearance of Danielle Cramer, a suspect a year ago when she disappeared, when she was 14 years old.
While in the house, they found a small hidden room beneath a stairwell. There was a dresser blocking the entrance to the room. Inside, they found Cramer. It did not appear as if she had been living in the room, but was hidden there for a short period of time. Detectives say she was pale.
What was interesting, Paula, was to listen to them when they talked about what her demeanor was like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN JEFFREY BLATTER, BLOOMFIELD, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: To judge how she is right now, under these circumstances, would be unfair. She's 14 years old, under the influence of a 40- year-old. And I'm not sure we can confidently say that all of her current beliefs are really representative of her as a 14-year-old not involved in these circumstances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Cramer will undergo a physical and psychological evaluation.
As for Gault and Murphy, they face numerous charges, Paula, including unlawful restraint and reckless endangerment -- Paula.
ZAHN: You touched a little bit on what authorities were saying about her -- what her relationship was with these suspects. What else did they tell you?
CARROLL: Well, they are holding some information back, Paula. But they basically said a number of things.
They said that Murphy was some sort of a business associate with Cramer's family. That's how she may have known him. They said that Murphy had sort of a sordid past. He had a history of having inappropriate with young girls.
Cramer, for her part, according to police, also has somewhat of a history. They said she was a troubled teenager, that she had a history of drugs and a history of running away, and he had somehow honed in on that and lured her into some sort of a relationship in some way of getting her to come with him -- Paula.
ZAHN: Jason Carroll, thanks so much for the update. We move on now to the presidential race, two parties, 18 candidates and two debates in just three days. So, what's out in the open after all of that?
Well, as chief national correspondent John King reports, the differences between the candidates and the parties are becoming a little clearer.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, eight Democrats, then 10 Republicans, two New Hampshire debates, and two very different approaches.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, you're going to end this war when you elect a Democratic president.
KING: Most striking is the Iraq divide. All of the Democrats favor reducing troop levels immediately. All of the leading Republicans call that a recipe for disaster.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States. The problem the Democrats make is, they're in denial.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is wrong and hard and tough. But I think we can succeed.
KING: The Democrats are more in tune with overall public opinion on Iraq, but the primaries come first.
ANDREW SMITH, POLLING DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Republicans in New Hampshire, the voters, are still behind Bush and they're still behind support for the war.
KING: The big immigration proposal before Congress is another dividing line.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what it allows is people who have come here illegally to stay here for the rest of their lives.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think most Americans will support that if they have some sense that the border is also being secured.
KING: Senator John McCain is the immigration exception. He sides with the Democrats in favoring a compromise he concedes is far from perfect.
MCCAIN: It's our job to do the hard things.
KING: More differences on pocketbook issues.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm thrilled that the universal health care is back on the national agenda.
JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would pay for it by getting rid of Bush's tax cuts for people who make over $200,000 a year.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Number one, my plan is mandatory.
KING: To Republicans, all that adds up to higher taxes and bigger government.
GIULIANI: What the Democrats suggested on this stage two nights ago was socialized medicine.
KING: Not one of the Republicans raised his hand when asked if gay Americans should be allowed to serve openly in the military. The leading Democrats have a different view.
CLINTON: Barry Goldwater once said, you don't have to be straight to shoot straight. And I think he was right.
KING: The Democrats were much more personal in taking issue with each other, to the point that the front-runner tried to change the focus.
CLINTON: This is George Bush's war. He is responsible for this war. He started the war. He mismanaged the war. He escalated the war. And he refuses to end the war.
KING: Two nights later, Senator McCain took issue with that, along the way hoping to show Republicans he's up to debating Senator Clinton, if it comes to that.
MCCAIN: What Senator Clinton doesn't understand, that presidents don't lose wars; political parties don't lose wars. Nations lose wars.
ZAHN: So, John, the front-runners have pretty similar views on the most contentious of issues. So, what is the strategy for any of them to break out between now and the time of the primaries?
KING: Part of it to accentuate any of the differences you think might help you. And you saw that in the Republican debate, where Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani criticized Senator McCain's view on immigration. They think that will help them with grassroots conservatives.
Other strategies as well is to stress maybe your electability. Senator McCain tried to take the fight to Senator Clinton. That's a clear signal to Republicans that, if I am up against her next fall, I will not back down. I will take the fight directly to her.
Rudy Giuliani, at one point, said, if you want to reach out to moderates and independents who have left the Republican Party, nominate me.
So, they try to find a way to make themselves a little bit different, because you're right. With the exception of immigration, and abortion in Mayor Giuliani's case, they are pretty much alike on the big issues.
ZAHN: You and I are absolute political junkies, so we can't get enough of these debates. But, when it comes to voters about a year- and-a-half from now, what impact will these debates really have had?
KING: Right. That's an interesting question.
You know, there are 11 or 12 more debates scheduled this year, another 11 or 12 on the books for next January. Not all of those will happen. The organizers will not be able to get the candidates there, and many of those will fall through. But you could have a case of, make it go away by the end of this year.
But the candidates learn from the debates. A good candidate is like a good athlete. They study the transcripts. They study the tapes. They learn from their mistakes in the debate. And they try to have a better performance next time.
And any candidate who has been through a tough nominating battle will tell you they hated it at the moment. They did not like the pounding they were taking in the primary, whether it's a Democrat or Republican, but it made them a better candidate. Ask Bill Clinton that question, ask George W. Bush that question, and they will say, they were miserable at the time, but they learned a lot from being in the bruising primary debates.
ZAHN: John King, thanks so much.
KING: Thank you.
ZAHN: Appreciate it.
And, right now, it's time to turn this over to an "Out in the Open" panel, Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, political consultant Niger Innis, who is also the national spokesman for CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, and Republican political strategist Amy Holmes.
Glad to have you all back together again.
NIGER INNIS, NATIONAL SPOKESMAN, THE CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Thank you.
AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.
JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
ZAHN: I wanted to start off tonight by focusing a little on all of the Bush bashing that took place last night, a lot of party operatives quite surprised.
Let's listen to what Governor Tommy Thompson and Representative Tom Tancredo had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT SPRADLING, WMUR ANCHOR: How would you use George W. Bush in your administration?
TOMMY THOMPSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I certainly would not send him to the United Nations.
REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I got a call from Karl Rove, who told me that, because of my criticism of the president, I should never darken the doorstep of the White House. I would have to tell George Bush exactly the same thing Karl Rove told me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: So, Amy, you were watching this all play out in New Hampshire.
ZAHN: What was the reaction there?
HOLMES: Well, I can tell you, Paula, in the green room, when Tancredo made those remarks about George Bush, a hush fell over. And people looked at each other, like, wow, that was personal.
But, when it comes to Tommy Thompson and Tom Tancredo, look, they have nothing to lose, because their campaigns have nowhere to go. I thought Tommy Thompson, it was a little shabby. It's a little ungracious to be saying such things, that he should go -- that the president should go on a teen tour, if Tommy was president.
This is the guy that gave Thompson his job as secretary of health and human services for four years. So, I was a little bit surprised by that. But we knew going in that the Republican candidates were going to, you know, try to create some distance between themselves and the president, because the war in Iraq is unpopular with the general viewer.
But, with the Republican Party primary, the front-runners are going to need to be careful, because there is a still lot of affection and respect for this president among Republican voters.
ZAHN: That may be true, but, when you look at a lot of bunch of congressional races and Senate races around the country, a lot of them truly are -- those candidates are running away from the president.
Does that strategy, at the end of the day, make sense to you?
INNIS: Well, I think that's a little overblown.
It certainly doesn't -- Amy is right. I mean, Tancredo and Thompson were throwing a Hail Mary pass, hoping to connect, trying to bust out of that -- not second tier -- third tier that they're in. So, there's a little bit of a desperation.
ZAHN: But let's talk about the other Republicans...
ZAHN: ... who have made it very clear that they obviously don't agree with the president on this war. And they're reading the polls.
ROGINSKY: I watched this debate, and I thought I was watching some Bizarro World Republican debate.
The big elephant in the room, the reason that the American people have turned on this president -- yes, immigration for the Republicans, to some extent, yes, fiscal irresponsibility for the Republican base -- but, primarily, it's because of the war in Iraq. And, yet, every single one of these front-runners, every single one, said that they would not have done anything differently.
And you have this humongous elephant in the room, and, yet, everybody is bashing the president, but not bashing his views.
INNIS: Actually, Julie, I actually disagree with you completely.
I think, if you compare this Republican debate vs. the Democratic debate a few days ago, in the Republican debate, you saw several potential commanders in chief during a time -- a country during a time of war.
When you saw the Democratic debate, you saw Hillary Clinton and six dwarfs. I mean, none of those folks gave the American people any kind of confidence that they could step into the Oval Office and deal with al Qaeda, deal with a global war on terror. And I thought particularly Rudy Giuliani was extraordinary.
HOLMES: Paula, let me add something over...
HOLMES: I'm here in D.C., so I can't break in, in person.
ZAHN: Let's let Julie jump in here, and I will come back to you, Amy.
HOLMES: All right.
ROGINSKY: I cannot disagree with you more. First of all, John Edwards, who has been a senator, Barack Obama...
INNIS: The bumper sticker? The war on terror is a bumper sticker?
ROGINSKY: ... who I think has been very -- listen -- well, thank you for the endorsement...
INNIS: Come on.
ROGINSKY: Thank you for the endorsement of Hillary Clinton, first of all.
But I will say to you that...
INNIS: Well, she did well.
ROGINSKY: ... these Republicans are living in a deluded universe, along with probably 12 to 15 percent of the American public.
The vast majority, 85 percent, no longer believe in this war. They can keep talking about the fact that they would have done nothing differently, except maybe run the campaign -- run the war differently...
ROGINSKY: Amy, let me just finish this.
But they have never said that we -- it was a mistake to go into Iraq. And, at that point, they are completely disengaged from the majority of the American people...
ZAHN: All right.
ROGINSKY: ... including their own Republican Party.
ZAHN: Amy, let's look at the latest American death toll in Iraq. And I don't think anyone ever imagined these numbers would ever go this high when we got into the war.
Did any candidate, Democratic or Republican, stand out with their view on what to do to end this war?
HOLMES: I -- that's where I wanted to jump in.
The great irony of this is that the Democrats keep insisting that the president, this administration has no political plan, that Iraq can only be solved politically, when the only thing they're offering is military: withdrawal.
And, last night, you saw the reverse. Where they're accusing Republicans of only wanting a military solution, you saw Republican candidates talking about a political plan to bring this to a political conclusion, 18 states dividing oil revenues, a federalist system, going to Baghdad, diplomacy with -- with Iraqi leaders.
So, in fact, you saw this great irony that it's Republicans that are putting forward a political solution.
ZAHN: Quick final thought, Niger.
INNIS: They came up with a solution. It's called the French solution: We surrender. We surrender in the war on terror.
ROGINSKY: No, no, no.
ROGINSKY: The Republicans came up with a solution, the Joe Biden solution. Let's partition this, you know?
Guess who came up with that years ago? Joe Biden. So, I'm glad the Republicans...
INNIS: Rudy Giuliani did a brilliant job putting this war within real context. Iraq is just a theater. It is not an isolated war in a vacuum.
INNIS: Did a brilliant job.
ROGINSKY: Rudy Giuliani says that our going into Iraq was absolutely the right decision. That's where Rudy Giuliani loses the vast majority of the American people.
ZAHN: OK, team, I have got to move this along.
ZAHN: Amy Holmes, thanks.
Hey, take care of that voice of yours.
HOLMES: Lots of tea and hot -- hot water and lemon.
ZAHN: Well, you hid your sickness well.
HOLMES: Thanks. ZAHN: The rest of you stay right here.
INNIS: Thank you.
ROGINSKY: ... better, Amy.
ZAHN: We want you to work your voices in the next segment.
ZAHN: We have got a lot more to talk about with you tonight.
Because of the Republican debate, you might have missed a new controversy involving Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Have you heard his warning about quiet riots?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: These quiet riots that take place every day, they happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Is major violence really a threat in our cities, or is this just a scare tactic to win votes, particularly from black voters? We are bringing this controversy out in the open before it gets even bigger.
A little bit later on: Why are so many suspected terrorists coming from the Caribbean? That's a scary one.
And the traveling TB patient calls into Congress with an absolutely incredible story. We will share it with you when we come back.
ZAHN: Tonight, conservative blogs are buzzing with outrage at Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. It's because the senator said yesterday that there are quiet riots all over the country waiting to burst out in the opening. Have you ever heard him say that before?
Well, before we discuss whether this is a serious warning or just shameless fear-mongering to win votes, I want to take a minute to let you hear exactly what he's talking about.
ZAHN (voice-over): Barack Obama was trying to make a point to a conference of ministers in Virginia. And, so, he took them back to Los Angeles in 1992 and days of bloody rioting that killed more than 50 people and injured thousands. It started when a jury acquitted police officers in a brutal assault case in which the victim was a black motorist named Rodney King. But Obama says the unrest was growing long before that.
OBAMA: Those riots didn't erupt overnight. There had been a quiet riot building up in Los Angeles and across this country for years.
ZAHN: And Obama told the ministers, these quiet riots are still happening today all over the country, fueled by poverty, hopelessness and despair.
OBAMA: That despair quietly simmers and makes it impossible to build strong communities and neighborhoods. And then one afternoon a jury says, "Not guilty," or a hurricane hits New Orleans, and that despair is revealed for the world to see.
ZAHN: Now, nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Obama insists, our country still ignores communities that are impoverished and without hope.
OBAMA: Nothing really changes, except the news coverage quiets down, and Anderson Cooper is on to something else. And the quiet riot keeps on.
ZAHN: Conservative blogs like NewsBusters.org said Obama should blame black communities themselves, that he avoided holding those in question responsible for their own plight.
Obama promised that if, he is elected president, he will spend more money on education and anti-poverty programs. But he says, the job isn't the government's alone.
OBAMA: We approach it in two ways, by taking mutual responsibility for each other as a society, but also asking more individual responsibility to strengthen our families.
ZAHN: In the end, will that call for individual responsibility resonate in the black community because it's coming from a black presidential candidate?
ZAHN: So, are quiet riots a real fear or just scare politics?
That's the question for my "Out in the Open" panel tonight. Niger Innis is back. He is the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and a political consultant. Also with us this time around, CNN contributor Roland Martin. And we have gotten Amy Holmes a couple more bags of tea and some lemon and some honey, and she is back.
HOLMES: Thank you. ZAHN: So, up until this point, Barack Obama has rarely talked about the issue of the problems in the inner city in such a pointed way. What kind of risk is he taking?
INNIS: Oh, he's taking a big risk. But I will tell you, it's sad.
I mean, look, I read the story in the -- the AP story, and it wasn't quite as bad. After I read the speech, I realized it wasn't quite as bad as the AP has put it. But, nevertheless, he does make that comparison.
And what is tragic is that part of the hopelessness Barack Obama talks about exists because you have a legion of black leaders and leaders that happen to be black that preach the gospel of hopelessness, as opposed to the gospel of solution.
He is not Al Sharpton. He is not Jesse Jackson. He is a United States senator that has subpoena power. If there are government contractors that are not doing the job in New Orleans, he should be calling in the Congress. If there are government officials within the Bush administration that are not doing their job, he should be holding them accountable.
ZAHN: Yes, but he is clearly talking about institutional racism, which you cannot deny doesn't exist.
INNIS: Well, I will put it to you this way. If there is a black Democratic mayor recently reelected in New Orleans that isn't doing the job, then it's kind of hard for him to sit back and just point the finger and lay blame, as opposed to taking the bull by the horns, if you will, and say, I'm going to be president of the United States, and this is what I have done.
ZAHN: Roland Martin, is he guilty of promoting the chronic victimization of blacks in their own communities?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, he is not.
I mean, first of all, I actually read the speech. AP got it wrong. Paula, I have run three newspapers. And, trust me, had my reporters screwed the story up that bad, I likely would have suspended that person or fired them.
He did not say, oh, there are going to be riots like Los Angeles. When he says quiet riots, meaning people are angry and they do not the conditions of their community. But he has given a number of speeches where he has held African-Americans accountable. That has actually taken place.
And, so, what he is talking about is rampant poverty. You have "The New York Times" doing multiple stories about some inner cities in America where you have 50, 60 percent African men unemployed. It is a chronic condition.
Now, is he saying government can solve the entire problem? Absolutely not. He did, indeed, call on individuals to assume responsibility. So, I don't care what conservative bloggers have to say. I live and I -- I see every day what he is talking about.
ZAHN: All right.
MARTIN: And he's absolutely on the money.
You may not care what conservative bloggers have to say, but what they said today was pretty darn powerful.
Amy, let me put up on the screen something that renowned conservative Dinesh D'Souza had to say.
MARTIN: Oh, like he actually knows.
ZAHN: He said -- quote -- "Instead of giving us the usual pabulum about quiet riots, Obama should be calling African Americans, and, indeed, all Americans, to study harder, work harder, and achieve something great for themselves and for their country."
Should he have a stronger message about self-responsibility?
HOLMES: Well, I think, as Roland was saying, he has conveyed that message.
But, you know, I have to disagree with Roland, that, as a presidential candidate, somebody who is going to be sitting in the Oval Office as president of all of us, potentially -- that's his -- that's his goal and his ambition -- that he has to be careful about using the language of violent protest.
Let's go back to those L.A. riots. Who were hurt most by them? The African-American community. They didn't go to Beverly Hills to burn down the shops. They were destroying the African-American community.
MARTIN: Amy, he said...
HOLMES: Roland, hold on. Let me finish.
My parents in Seattle went to Obama's rally last week. My parents are white. They said to -- they went to that rally. There were people of all ages, all colors, all backgrounds who are electrified by Obama, because his whole selling point is healing the racial divide, being a uniter, being a person who transcends that, and brings us together to solve these problems...
HOLMES: ... in a positive way, not using language.
If you remember, Pat Buchanan, in 1992, talking about culture wars and people with pitchforks, was roundly criticized by using that aggressive language.
ZAHN: Is this, Roland -- talk about the politics of this.
You know, the latest polls show Hillary Clinton drawing a larger percentage of the black vote than Barack Obama. Is this all about a strategy to increase his support among blacks?
MARTIN: Well, first, one of the reasons Hillary Clinton has a much larger lead among African-Americans, because she has been on the stage more.
ZAHN: Of course.
MARTIN: African-American -- African-Americans have an affection for Bill Clinton.
ZAHN: But isn't there part of you that thinks Barack Obama is doing this to grab some votes?
MARTIN: No. No. What it is, is, he is speaking to those issues to that particular audience.
And let me make this point, and, Amy, which you probably didn't understand. He said in the actual speech that the violence that was committed after the riots was absolutely wrong. And what he also said is, guys who are coming out of prison, they should be educated. We should pull them back in our society.
And, so, what we have to understand is, we have candidates. We need to force them to say, how are you going to deal with it? He painted a picture that was very clear and vivid. That should be our focus, not as to, well, are we going to actually see riots?
No, he has solutions. And that's what more candidates should be about in this campaign.
INNIS: If he has those solutions, he has got to be a bit more aggressive at presenting those solutions, not only -- not only as a candidate, Roland...
MARTIN: Niger, did you even read the speech?
INNIS: ... not only a candidate, but as a senator that sits on the Health, Welfare, Education Committee, that sits on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. These are two direct institutions that could do something about what is not happening in Louisiana.
(CROSSTALK) MARTIN: And how -- and how long have the Democrats been in control of the Senate? For, what, five months, Niger. Come on now.
HOLMES: And how long was Bill Clinton president?
INNIS: Well, how long is it going to take him to call...
INNIS: ... somebody for a subpoena?
HOLMES: The problem continues. And we can both address it as Republicans and Democrats, with setting that type of quiet riot language aside.
ZAHN: All right, Amy Holmes, Niger Innis, Roland Martin, thank you.
INNIS: Thank you.
ZAHN: You need to send some tea and honey to Amy.
INNIS: I will do that.
ZAHN: I want to move on to the latest terror plot that is out in the open tonight, because it is raising a really disturbing question. Are we overlooking a breeding ground for terrorism that is right off our shores? Why are so many new terror suspects from the Caribbean?
And did the guy with drug-resistant TB really have the all-clear to travel? Wait until you hear what he had to say to members of Congress today when he called in.
ZAHN: Tonight, four men in custody in the alleged plot to blow up JFK Airport in New York.
A man from Guyana, Abdel Nur, turned himself in yesterday in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Investigators say he tried to get help with the plot from the leader of a radical Muslim group there.
Nur and two other suspects have a bail hearing set for Monday and the fourth suspect is being held in New York.
What we're bringing out in the open tonight is the Caribbean connection and the question many people are asking - are the islands a recruiting ground for anti-American radical Islamists? Justice correspondent Kelli Arena joins me now with the latest on that. So how much of an emerging threat is this, Kelli?
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well you know Paula, it certainly has potential. It's an area that the intelligence community has been keeping an eye on for a long time. There are Islamic extremist groups in the region. They have Jamaat al Muslimeen, now that's the group he defends in the JFK plot allegedly tried to hook up with and it's a group that's pushing for a Muslim state.
Terror experts say that leaders of that group have connections to operatives in places like Libya and Sudan. Officials also say that al Qaeda has had a presence there. Adnan el Shukrijumah, who used to live in Florida and is one of the most wanted terrorists grew up in that area. Officials say that he has visited Trinidad since the September 11th attacks and they say that they believe he met with suspected militants there, so there is a certain population, Paula, in the region that is threatening.
ZAHN: And particularly as relates to this JFK plot, but what about other terror plots?
ARENA: Well the men in the JFK plot were from Guyana and Trinidad. There was also the so-called Miami 7, if you remember. Those were the men allegedly targeting the Sears Tower and some other buildings. Most of those whether men were of Haitian dissent. There is the crew that carried out the London bombings. One of them was Jamaican. There's also the shoe bomber, Richard Reid. His father was Jamaican.
Now we spoke with our terrorism analyst Peter Bergen about it. He points out that all of those men emigrated to other countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: The problem is that Caribbean immigrants come to western countries like the United States or Britain may adopt this al Qaeda ideology. Not in large numbers, but in sufficient numbers that it's been a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: Now as to what's taking place inside those countries, counterterrorism experts say the islands are used as a base to raise money, to recruit members or to plan operations.
ZAHN: So what do they do to stop all that?
ARENA: Well you know Paula, experts say that it is very easy to get from here from the Caribbean to the United States, even easier than it is to get here from Mexico and that that easy access needs to be somewhat restricted. But you know, that is not likely because tourism basically props up those economies and there isn't incentive so far to make it anymore difficult for people to get in or out of there, Paula.
ZAHN: You wonder ultimately how tourism is affected by all this. Do officials tell you anything about that, Kelli? It's pretty scary stuff.
ARENA: It has not been discussed at all. It's scary, but not scary enough to keep the tourists out of the Caribbean, that's for sure.
ZAHN: All right, Kelli Arena thanks so much, appreciate it.
A lot of people worried about the government's preparation for bioterrorism, especially after the handling of that attorney with drug-resistant TB. Well, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW SPEAKER, TRAVELED WITH TB: I was repeatedly told that I was not contagious, not that I was hardly contagious, but I was not contagious, that I was not a threat to anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: So who's the real troublemaker here? The guy with TB or the people who are supposed to keep the rest of us safe? We'll try to get to the bottom of it next.
ZAHN: There are some serious holes in the nation's defense against disease and bioterrorism. Out in the open tonight, they happen to be the focus today of a Senate hearing into the globe- trotting TB traveler.
You probably remember Andrew Speaker, the Atlanta lawyer infected with a drug-resistant strain of TB. He was allowed to go on his honeymoon in Europe, even though officials knew he had the disease.
Well Speaker by telephone today because he's still in isolation while being treated at a Denver hospital. So do we have any solid answers tonight on why he wasn't stopped? Let's find out more now from homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve. Always good to have you on, Jeanne.
So how does Mr. Speaker defend himself?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well when asked why he traveled, he responds pretty straightforwardly that he was repeatedly told by health officials that he was not contagious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER: I looked to the people who I believe I should trust to tell me whether or not I'm a threat to those around me and they told me I wasn't. No one ever told me I was a threat to my wife or my daughter. And if they had have, obviously if I got to that meeting and they said you have NDRTB, either my father in law would have said you better be careful and stay away from my daughter and my granddaughter because you could get them sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MESERVE: Health officials contradicted Speaker. They told the committee that Speaker had been told repeatedly that he should not travel. But that they did not have the authority to stop him. By the way, Speaker denied that he ran off and hid from authorities, saying that's a complete fallacy, it's a lie - Paula?
ZAHN: So, make sense of this for us tonight. A lot of contradictions here, Jeanne.
MESERVE: Yes and a lot of questions in the other hearing on the House side about that customs and border officer who let him back into the country. There was no effort to shield that officer today. Top homeland security officials said we messed up, it's inexcusable and it's a result of human error. They said the officer simply ignored clear instructions to stop Speaker, isolate him and contact public health authorities.
ZAHN: Let's come back to the two different stories that are being told. He's saying that no one stopped him from traveling. Health officials saying something else. What do your sources tell you about who's telling the truth here?
MESERVE: Well I have to tell you Paula, I have been looking principally at the border side of this issue and what they're saying about his reentering the country. That's sort of my little area of expertise here.
And on that side, I can tell you we learned a little bit more about the officer. He has 18 years experience. His gun has been taken away. He is on administrative leave. Meanwhile procedures have been changed at the border, a front-line officer will no longer be able to unilaterally override a security alert. A supervisor is going to have to sign off on it.
ZAHN: And I believe - I thought we were going to hear from one of the officials. But we will save that for another time. Jeanne Meserve, thank you so much, appreciate it.
It looks like the TB guy is just part of what we need to worry about. Out in the open next, how slow work by the airlines delayed the search for people who flew with it.
And a little bit later on, did the pope security detail really mess up? Wait until you see what happens when a man was able to get within four or five feet of the pope. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: TB scare out in the open again tonight. Atlanta lawyer Andrew Speaker, infected with a drug resistant form of TB testified before Congress today, as you just heard from Jeanne Meserve.
The question is how was he allowed to take two trans-Atlantic plane fights even though officials new knew he had a drug resistant strain of TB?
And here is one of the most shocking aspects of the story. Even after the CDC figured out where Speaker was and what flights he had taken, it took the airlines five days to turn over the passenger list. Five days wasted that could have been used to track down passengers who may have been exposed. The CDC's emergency operations center is where that crucial detective work is done and medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is there now with tonight's "Vital Signs."
I've got to tell you, this can't give any American, including myself, any confidence about how this system is working. What if it had been a very, very serious problem like smallpox? Why five days to hand over these lists?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, public health experts are outraged about this, Paula. And when I asked the airlines why does it take so long to hand over these passenger manifests, and they said it's not that easy to do. They said it's quite difficult. In fact, I talked to someone who represents the Air Transport Association. They're the trade group for airlines. And this is what she said to me. When I said to her, when I go to check in for a flight they have my name in the computer, they have all of the other passenger names in the computer. Why can't you just hand over that list immediately?
And she said, "Well when you think about how many flights there are every day, it would be impossible to simply spit out a list of passengers. These are very large and complex databases."
Now when I kept saying, it's got to be in your computer, can't you just hand it over right away? She gave me the same answer over and over again. Now I should say that the Air Transport Association does not represent Air France. Of course, that's the carrier that Andrew Speaker took when he flew trans-Atlantically. We called Air France, and they said we are doing everything we can to cooperate with the CDC - Paula?
ZAHN: All right, now the CDC is telling you tonight that they've been able to make contact with 93 percent of the passengers on these flights. From where you are tonight, how did that ultimately work?
ARENA: Well, that's another thing that public health folks are really, really upset about. When Air France handed over the manifest, it was the passengers name and their seat number. And that was it, there was no contact number, there was no address, there wasn't even a state.
So imagine you get John Smith, seat 14C. How do you find them? And that's where this room that I'm in right now comes into play right here at the CDC.
As you can see, this is a very high-tech place. Behind me, they have a big map of all the flights that Speaker took. They have even a seating chart of his Air France flight. There is a big red dot that shows exactly where Speaker was sitting. But even with all of this high-tech equipment, guess how they found people? They dialed 411, just like you or I would, Paula.
ZAHN: You've got to be kidding!
COHEN: Or they Googled peoples names. I'm not kidding. They Googled peoples names. It took hours and hours sometimes just to find one person. Sometimes they made 20 or 30 phone calls before they found the right person.
ZAHN: That's absolutely ridiculous. So I guess what we all want to know tonight is what are they going to change in the future particularly if we really were to face a bioterrorism threat where five days would be a critical amount of time and thousands, if not millions of people could be exposed to something bad?
COHEN: Right, and in a situation like that, Paula, every minute counts. And I said to the CDC, what are you doing about this? And they said look, for years, we have begged for legislation that would force airlines to hand over these manifests within 24 hours. They haven't gotten what they wanted, airlines say it would be overburdensome.
ZAHN: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for shooting straight with us tonight, appreciate it.
Larry King will have a lot more on the TB scare coming up at the top of the hour with the man at the center of it all, Andrew Speaker. So Larry, do you want to share one of the questions you're going to ask of him? Like what I want to understand are some of these contradictions that Jeanne Meserve has just reported about his saying one thing and the health officials saying something completely different.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: There is a great deal of confusion in this case. Obviously, either somebody is not telling the truth or we're stretching what we know.
Now when we have this tape, and we're going to play parts of the tape tonight that Andrew's father did while he was with the Fulton County officials. Now we don't have the whole tape. They didn't give us the whole tape, they gave us parts of the tape.
One of the parts you'll hear is them telling him that it's OK to fly. And so he says, he takes that and runs the next day and goes off. What boggles me, and I'll be talking to him about this, if you had tuberculosis, god forbid, would you fly?
ZAHN: No, I wouldn't. And I also want to know why his father happened to tape record that particular conversation? What was it that he was expecting to hear? I don't know if you and I would - we don't walk around with tape recorders.
KING: If I had tuberculosis, contagious or not, I'm not going to Rome and to Greece. I'm going stay home because I want to be close to medical facilities that I'm accustomed to, the doctors that take care of me. So the contagious part aside, then when we add that, then we deal with the public health. Now I'm sure Andrew wasn't out to endanger the public.
ZAHN: No, of course not. I don't think anybody believed that, but I think there is, as you said, so much confusion about what he was told about traveling.
KING: Also Paula, I don't know about you, didn't you think TB was gone?
ZAHN: Unfortunately, no, because I've had friends recently that have had some scares with positive skin tests and all exposure to unpasteurized milk and all of this other stuff.
KING: I don't know anyone who's had it.
ZAHN: They don't have it, but when you get a positive skin test, it certainly reminds us of decades ago when it really was a real scare. Well, we'll be watching you, Larry. You'll be making some news.
KING: I'll be here.
ZAHN: OK, have a good show.
Something really frightening happened in the Vatican today or outside the Vatican. A guy jumped the barrier and tried to climb onto the Pope mobile. I don't know if you've seen this video yet. Check this out, where the heck were the pope's security team? This guy got within four feet of the pope.
ZAHN: A lot of terrified people in Rome today, a frightening breach of security out in the open tonight at the Vatican. Earlier today, someone jumped a barricade at St. Peter's Square and tried to force his way into the pope's car. If you think back to the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul, it's almost unbelievable. You can guess it's close to the pope. Alessio Vinci has the very latest tonight on how it happened and what we know about the suspect.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): It was over in less than 15 seconds and it appeared that Pope Benedict XVI didn't even notice someone tried to climb onto his open deck popemobile. The vehicle didn't accelerate and the general audience tradition went ahead without changes. But how could someone so potentially dangerous come so close to hurting the pope?
(on camera): Anybody can walk into St. Peter's Square. As you can see behind me here, there aren't that many people now. But on Wednesday mornings when the pope shows up for his general audience, thousands if not tens of thousands of faithful pilgrims do come here. But before they get here, they have to go through stringent security checks, including metal detectors.
(voice-over): Every movement in the square is monitored by closed-circuit cameras. Plain-clothed policeman are dispersed in the crowd. And barriers like these are supposed to keep the faithful at a safe distance.
(on camera): This simple wooden barrier is all that separates the pope from the crowd of thousands. Now it is about three feet high and take a look at how the men jumped over it and reached the pope's car.
(voice-over): As the pope's vehicle made its way slowly through the crowd, someone appears to have drawn the attention of at least one security guard. Within seconds, a man in a pink shirt pushes past the front row of spectators, jumps on top of the low barrier as the security the officer tries to stop him and uses it as a springboard to launch himself toward the car.
He reaches the back of the popemobile, but he is quickly apprehended by the pontiff's security detail. The 27-year-old German man with a history of mental problems was unarmed, Vatican officials say. He simply wanted to attract attention to himself. And the pope's life, officials say, was never in danger. The brief incident left pilgrims and clerics in St. Peter's Square unfazed.
IVAN AMBROSE, INDIAN BISHOP: You know, any public person who loves people may be in danger. So you cannot always surround it with police or things like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the fact that he's got his own security guards and I think they've learned of lessons from the past in terms of breaches in security and assassination attempts. I think for the most part the pope is pretty safe.
VINCI: Vatican officials downplayed the seriousness of the security breach. But an incident like this inevitable brings back memories of the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II, shot by a gunman who at the time had no trouble smuggling a weapon into St. Peter's Square.
After that, the late pope switched to a bulletproof popemobile for most occasions. Umberto Nanni worked for 10 years as one of John Paul II's bodyguards. He says the pope's security detail, numbering 12 on this day, did what they were supposed to do in quickly apprehending the man. But he says the man should have been stopped even before he could jump over the fence and should never have reached the popemobile.
Someone got destructive, he says, and certainly incidents like this one teaches that when you work in that position, even a split second can make a difference. Alessio Vinci, CNN at the Vatican.
ZAHN: You're based in Rome covering the Vatican. It is amazing just how close this guy got to the pope. Where were the pope security people?
DELIA GALLAGER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: Well what's interesting about the video is you can actually see, because a lot of people wonder, where is the pope security? This is really interesting.
He's got three types of security going on here. One is the Vatican police, these guys in the white. This one you'll recognize the Swiss Guard. They've got the striped outfits on.
These are all of the Vatican's secret place that always accompany the pope along the sides. We'll roll the video now and you can see, kept that in mind, these guys, because they will come back up on the side.
You're going to see the Swiss Guard and you're going to see this Vatican police in a white shirt up here on the right just shortly. And he already recognizes something is going on. He is reaching his hand out here.
Stop the video. We'll just take a look. He is reaching his hand out. This is our guy right here in the shirt. This is the guy that's going to jump in. So he's already recognizing something is not right, which is good.
ZAHN: But you've got something from a different angle which makes this much clearer.
ZAHN: We're going to see him come jump in, OK. He's going to jump right in and you see in the frame, this is the back angle, which I think is instructive, because how did this guy who jumped over two lots of tourists? There are chairs behind here because you know, they're going to sit down and listen to the pope speak.
So he's jumped over two rows of tourists probably from a chair that was probably why the police officer was reaching out in the first place to kind of stop him and then puts his foot on this barricade, which is about waist high, a little bit higher, and manages from that to launch himself into at least the back part.
This is the pope's private secretary sitting right here. You can see he's kind of obscured. He reportedly pushed the guy away. So he at least got to within five feet really of the pope.
ZAHN: Well they are darned lucky he wasn't armed and how did they make that decision?
GALLAGHER: And you see from the video also that they decide -- they have to decide very quickly is this guy a threat or not? Because if he were, you would see the popemobile go speeding off. But it didn't, so they obviously made that quick decision that he wasn't a danger, he was just a kind of overenthusiastic fan. And you see them all jumping on him, but then they very quickly leave him to the Vatican police and they go back to monitor the pope's car because they didn't know what else was coming.
ZAHN: A lot of people are wondering why he wasn't in the popemobile that is closed.
GALLAGHER: That's right, because they have the glass-cased bullet-proof windows. But that they use only when they're traveling, not when at the Vatican. When they're at their home turf, they want the pope to be available to anybody who wants to touch him, to little babies that he may want to kiss. So it's really, they want to keep security at least visibly at a minimum.
ZAHN: Well, this one is a close call to learn from. Delia, thanks.
And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for spending part of your night with us. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow night. We hope you join us then. Until then, have a great night, "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.
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