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Three Dead In Courthouse Shooting; First Lady's Special State Of Union Guests; Hero Navy SEAL Sniper Laid To Rest; New Medal Of Honor Recipient Speaks; LAPD Re-Opens Dorner's Case

Aired February 11, 2013 - 14:30   ET



SERGEANT PAUL SHAVACK, DELAWARE STATE POLICE: -- has their security perimeter set up.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Local and federal authorities including agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to the courthouse. It was evacuated. The police actually had to do a floor by floor search, a big deal there, a 12-story building, just to make sure there was only one gunman there -- Brooke, back to you.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Johns, thank you.

Just a short time ago, we learned that first lady Michelle Obama will bring the parents of a teenager killed in Chicago to her husband's "State of the Union Address" tomorrow night. The teen is Hadiya Pendleton, shot and killed, just a week after performing in Washington during the president's inauguration week. Michelle Obama, along with Valerie Jarrett attended Hadiya's funeral over the weekend.

And an American hero is being mourned today. Take a look with me, live pictures, the memorial service for Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Thousands are expected inside the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, today. Kyle was the deadliest sniper in American military history. He wrote a best-selling book telling his story. He recently spoke about his life after the military.


CHRIS KYLE: It is tough. You go from being military to civilian and, you know, we let our job identify who we are. And it is horrible, and you're doing it for the greater good and all of a sudden, you don't have an identity.


BALDWIN: Kyle was shot to death, allegedly, by another Iraq war veteran nine days ago. After a 200-mile funeral procession, Kyle will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin tomorrow.

The massive manhunt widens for that alleged cop killer who says he wants revenge for being fired. Now the Los Angeles Police Department announcing they will take another look as to why Christopher Dorner was let go in the first place.

Plus, can we say vacation from hell, broken toilets, fist fights over food? When will stranded cruise passengers in the Gulf of Mexico see land?


BALDWIN: I want to take you live to Washington as we are now going to dip in and see the most recent recipient of the Medal of Honor, former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, speaking here just for a moment. Let's listen.

STAFF SERGEANT CLINT ROMESHA, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: I'm grateful, that some of the heroes of Combat Outpost Keating are here today with us. And anyone will tell you, we were not going to be beat that day. I want them to know how proud I am of them.

They trusted in me, a non-commissioned officer, to be their leader and I thank them so much for that loyalty. I accept this tremendous honor on behalf of all soldiers, who have served with me that day.

This award is for the eight soldiers that didn't make it and for the rest of the team that fought valiantly and magnificently that day. I will forever be humbled by the bravery, the commitment to service, and their loyalty to one another. Serving our nation in uniform is a privilege, especially during times of war.

Like my grandfather, my father, and my brothers, I am proud to have the opportunity to serve with some of the finest soldiers today. Not only during our mission in Afghanistan, but on all my deployments and tours during my 11 years in the army.

Our military service is strengthened thanks to the tremendous support provided by our military families and the American public. The strength of my wife and my family during my service is a key factor in my morale and my will to fight. My loving wife has been a constant source of strength and inspiration. Thank you, Tammy. You are my rock and, thank you.

BALDWIN: Just stepping in front of the microphones for a couple of minutes. Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, 20 minutes after receiving the Medal of Honor from the president of the United States here basically saying this award is for those eight men who didn't make it during that fierce battle in 2009 in Afghanistan for which he's awarded this medal. He is a soldier, he is a husband, he is a father, and we thank him and the men and women for their service. Back after this.


BALDWIN: As the hunt for an alleged L.A. cop killer widens, the reward money for his capture now in the seven figures, the largest the Los Angeles authorities say they had ever offered. A million dollars is now on the table for information leading to the arrest of this man, Christopher Dorner.

He is accused of killing three people and targeting 50 L.A. police officers and their families. Police this morning told reporters they have 600 clues they're looking into, plus Los Angeles police are reopening the case that led to Dorner's termination from the force.

He accused his training officer of kicking a mentally ill man. This is during a 2007 arrest, but a disciplinary panel ruled against him and Dorner lost his job for filing a false report. The police chief explained why he is reinvestigating Dorner's claim.


CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE: I'm not doing this to appease him. I'm doing this so that the community has faith in what the police department does. And I'm going to -- I'm going to make a rigorous inspection to either validate or refute his claims and we'll make that inspection public.


BALDWIN: Now, look at this. Here he is. CNN has obtained this exclusive video of a man who looks like Dorner, dropping items into this dumpster. This is San Diego, goes back and forth, back and forth. Workers at a business near the container in National City, California, say they found a magazine full of bullets, a military belt and a helmet in the dumpster.

Tonight, "AC 360" takes you inside the mind of Christopher Dorner, tonight, 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

No pension, no medical insurance, this is the new reality according to one of the Navy SEALs involved in the Osama Bin Laden raid. He is speaking out for the very first time about his nightmares and providing for his family. My panel weighs in on this next.


BALDWIN: The man who says he killed Osama Bin Laden also says he can't pay his bills, can't afford health care, and doesn't want to carry a gun ever again. In this "Esquire" magazine cover article appears online today, for the very first time, the SEAL Team Six member dubbed the shooter reveals these new compelling details about the may 2011 raid in which he says he killed the leader of al Qaeda as well as the personal battles he faces in post military life.

There is a lot to go through with my panel today. Let me welcome you all, Lauren Ashburn, editor-in-chief of the "Daily Download," Jacque Reid, radio and TV personality, Andrew Kaczynski, reporter, Jawn Murray, entertainment journalist and pop culture expert, and we also have Barbara Starr, our Pentagon correspondent to get through this with us as well. I just want to read this because this is a pretty stunning 27- page article. I read every word. This is the part where the shooter describes pulling the trigger and killing Bin Laden.

Let me quote, "In that second, I shot him two times in the forehead, the second time as he's going down, he crumbled on to the floor in front of his bed and I hit him in the head, same place. He was dead, not moving. His tongue was out.

I watched him take his last breaths and I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought, is this the best thing I've ever done or the worst thing I've ever done? This is real and that's him, holy bleep."

Let me just open this up to all of you. How many of you wanted to know the nitty-gritty details of this raid in Pakistan?

LAUREN ASHBURN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "DAILY DOWNLOAD": I definitely did. No question about it.


ASHBURN: Because the moment in history that would be recorded by seeing that and hearing it and everybody was here celebrating it and you want to know exactly what happened, and Phil Bronstein needs a medal or a prize, I guess, for this.

He really did a great job. The ex-editor of "The San Francisco Chronicle" and the former husband of Sharon Stone, and he has just captured this moment and his source is incredible, calling him the shooter I think is great because he didn't bring up his name.

BALDWIN: He doesn't want his name out there. Says he doesn't want money, doesn't want to write a book, and doesn't want to appear in a movie. Jacque, do you agree with Lauren?

JACQUE REID, RADIO AND TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Well, I want to know, but my concern is do we need to know and does it put future missions like this, maybe not on this level, in jeopardy when you give away such details of what happened before that mission, what happened during it, and even what happened after. I just wonder about the security of our soldiers who participated in missions like this moving forward, if it is such a smart thing just to give out the details.

BALDWIN: Let me read one more quote. I thought this was interesting. I don't know how many of you saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and this woman who basically found the CIA agent found this home in Abbudabad, Pakistan. They said he brought the body back to Jalabad base to show McCraven and the CIA.

Quote, "While they were checking the body, I brought the agency woman over, I still had all my stuff on, we looked down and I asked is that your guy. She was crying. That's when I took my magazine out of my gun and gave it to her as a souvenir, 27 bullets left in it.

Quote, "I hope you have room in your backpack for this. That was the last time I saw her." But Barbara Starr, here is my question because I wanted to bring you in because the thrust of the piece is here's what he says he did and how he shot and killed most wanted terrorist in the world.

But, really, it is, OK, so now what? What does he do? Can't say to future employers, I'm the guy who took down Bin Laden, give me a job. This really -- it poses a problem for him.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, when you're asking do we want to know, look, you know, what do we think in this country? That we are asking of our troops when they go out there and do this kind of work, whether it's Bin Laden or just some compound raid in Afghanistan that nobody ever hears about.

This is the trauma of battle that these guys are coming back, struggling, getting out of the military. They do have combat stress. They have unemployment. They're looking for work. If you leave the military before 20 years, you don't get a pension, you don't get retirement. That is well known, well understood.

So, I mean, it sounds so cold hearted, but this is what it is all about. Perhaps what this man is doing in this article by giving Phil Bronstein some of these very personal thoughts is he's making the country confront what it asks of young troops over those -- this last decade of war.

BALDWIN: I want to talk unemployment with veterans with you, Andrew, in just a minute. But finally, Barbara, how do we know for sure this is the man who pulled the trigger?

STARR: Well, you know, Phil Bronstein is a respected journalist. There have been others out there on the team who have talked. The book "No Easy Day" caused a huge kerfuffle and it is worth noting that there is now a lot of competing versions about who killed Bin Laden in that upper floor of that compound.

You know, who exactly of three or four guys pulled the trigger that were the final bullets for Bin Laden's life. I think at the end of the day, probably doesn't make much of a difference, he's dead.

Andrew, we know this -- they call him the shooter, he left the military, left the SEALs four years shy of his pension, 20 years, so, you know, I read his pension, had he stayed all 20, would have been half his base pay, $2,197, which is equivalent to a member of the Navy choir.

Big picture, what needs to change in terms of money, employment, even just PTSD issues for our men and women coming home?

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, REPORTER, BUZZFEED: Well, I think it highlights a pretty good point that, you know, we don't have necessarily the support system for a lot of our veterans when they come home. One in ten veterans are -- lack health insurance. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it equals out to about 1.3 million Americans.

BALDWIN: Why though? Why?

KACZYNSKI: It's just we don't have that support system there. I mean, 27 percent have post traumatic stress disorder. And, I mean, I was someone who -- I interned in a congressional office when I was in college in a district office where they deal with lots of veterans affairs issues.

And part of -- you get that feeling when you work there, like our veterans really deserve better than this. I would call to voice of veterans concern who called our office and I would be on hold for 45 minutes and these are issues that really need to come to light and there needs to be a better system for these people.

BALDWIN: Jawn, you get the final word. You've been hearing this back and forth. What do you think?

JAWN MURRAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ALWAYSALIST.COM: I'll say this, my mom's ex-husband was a Vietnam vet and it took him years to finally get his full benefits. So we definitely need a better infrastructure for our troops and the least that we can hope with the shooter is that maybe "Esquire" paid him for the article, maybe that will be a drop in the bucket.

BALDWIN: No, I don't think he's getting a dime. I don't think he's getting a dime.

MURRAY: That's sad. That's really sad.

BALDWIN: I highly, highly recommend. I echo what Lauren Ashburn said, this is stellar journalism, cover of "Esquire," 15,000 words, read everyone. I highly recommend it.

Jawn, I'm coming back to you because I hear you're the resident cruiser. Broken toilets, fistfights over foods, that's what passengers are facing right now. But it is not the uncomfortable conditions that have the passengers so upset. Here's what really is ticking them off next.


BALDWIN: More than 4,000 passengers and crew spent last night stranded aboard a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. What happened? A fire happened. A fire in the engine room of this Carnival Triumph left the ship dead in the water yesterday.

So today the Coast Guard arrived to help this drifting ship tow it toward Progresso, Mexico, where Carnival will fly the passengers back to the United States. Here is how one man's wife who is on board the ship is describing this.


BRENT NUTT, WIFE STUCK ON DRIFTING CRUISE SHIP (via telephone): There is no power, having to use the restroom in buckets and bags. Whenever she called me, there was another ship cruise, pulled up beside them. And I'll give them food and up until that point, yesterday, they had not eaten anything at all. And she was able to get cell phone service off the other ship's tower.


BALDWIN: Welcoming back my panel. Some people may be eating lunch, but eating the restroom in buckets and bags. Jawn, I have to begin with you because I hear you've been on a cruise, what, every year for the last nine years. Tell me why people should keep cruising?

MURRAY: Yes, Brooke. Let me tell you, up until 2011, Jacque Reid and I were actually on the same cruise for about nine years. Yes. So it was a huge morning radio show cruise, but the last three years going into it, there was a lot of trepidation because stories like this.

And I think that's why enrolment and participation of passengers coming on to ships began to dwindle because people are afraid to be stuck at sea. There is not a lot you can do out there. We heard the horrific stories about not being able to get food, the bathrooms aren't working, and nobody wants to deal with that.

BALDWIN: You hear from Carnival, Carnival says we never lost power, they say we always had ample food, the sewage system is OK. But then you hear from people who are stuck on this boat and they say, yes, not so much, not at all the case. Carnival is giving them reimbursement of the trip and then some. Andrew, is this good enough? What do you do if you're Carnival?

KACZYNSKI: I don't know what you do if you're Carnival. I think you try to keep the issues out of light as much as you can.

BALDWIN: Keep them off CNN?

KACZYNSKI: Yes, keep them off CNN.

BALDWIN: Too late.

KACZYNSKI: We're talking about it. I looked up before I came on, incidents that I didn't even know about, and a lot of them were with Carnival cruise lines, which makes sense, one of the biggest cruise lines in the world, if not the biggest.

But I was seeing outbreaks of Noroviruses and, you know, lots of ships that have to return to port because of engine failures and incidents in 2012. And I've never been one who would ever want to go on a cruise, I'm scared of water, but it really makes me almost question other people's decision to go on them.

BALDWIN: I know. Could be like raising 562 why not to cruise.

REID: I was going to say, if you're asking what Carnival should do, all the cruise lines collectively should hire Olivia Pope from scandal. I mean, it is a PR nightmare, especially with the Costa Concordia still sitting off the coast of Tuscany, a year later, and then the incident last week with the lifeboat, and the Norovirus. It is incident after incident. This is going to become even worse of a PR nightmare for -- I'm gearing up to go on another cruise and I don't know what to pack.

ASHBURN: One word for all of you people.

BALDWIN: Your one word and then are the make goods good enough?

ASHBURN: "Titanic." come on. Cruise ships sink. They have rough waves. They have all these problems. I've never been on a cruise ship in my life because I'm scared, not because I don't like water and Andrew, do you bathe?


KACZYNSKI: I shower.

BALDIWN: TMI in the middle of the day, guys.

ASHBURN: I thought you were afraid of water. I think the real issue is regulation. I think that the Coast Guard has not implemented proper regulations for cruise ships. There is the cruise vessel security and safety act, but these ships are traveling to different countries.

And I think in addition to all of the problems that we have been talking about, sexual assaults are probably the highest reported crime on cruise ships, and I think there needs to be re-evaluation of those regulations.

BALDWIN: At the same time, we heard of the industry, for every time we're sitting here on CNN talking about something that went awry, there are many, many cruises that are just A-OK and they go, you know, under the radar for that.

Appreciate, it all of you today. Lauren Ashburn, Andrew Kaczynski, Jacque Reid, Jawn Murray, thank you very much.