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White House: Bergdahl Should Not Be Tried in Court of Public Opinion; The Latest on Bergdahl's Condition, Captivity, Return to U.S.; Stephen Colbert Gets Serious on D-Day; Another American Detained in North Korea; L.A. Using New Technology to Fight Crime

Aired June 6, 2014 - 13:30   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting from Washington.

The White House says Bowe Bergdahl should not be tried in the court of public opinion. In an exclusive interview with our Jim Acosta, the national security adviser to the president, Susan Rice, says people should wait until the facts are in before judging.


SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think what we need to care most about is his health and wellbeing and recovery. They'll be an opportunity, and the military has committed to review the circumstances of his capture. If there is a consequence that results from that, that will be delivered.

But in the meantime, let's remember, this is a young man who volunteered to serve his country. He was taken as a prisoner of war. He suffered in captivity. He's now trying to begin the process of recovery. Let's let that happen, and then let's know the facts, including his side of the story, and then we can make a judgment.


BLITZER: We're also learning more about Bergdahl's time in captivity.

Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is following that part of the story.

Barbara, what do we know about Bergdahl's attempts to escape during those five years?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, U.S. officials are being very closed mouth about it because they do, as Susan Rice points out, want to talk to Bergdahl, they say, and get the facts. There's been a lot of reporting out there. Sources are telling me, at the moment, what they have is some information, some intelligence indicating that Bergdahl did try and escape his captors at least once, perhaps multiple times. The information is very sketchy right now in terms of any public release of it. They want to talk to him. They want to find out exactly what happened. Clearly, if he did escape, the Taliban recaptured him.

BLITZER: We're also learning a bit more about his treatment since he was freed last week. Our own Christiane Amanpour asked one of the top NATO commanders in Europe about this. Listen to this.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How is he? Can you tell us, he's being debriefed, what is his state mind, what is he saying to you?

GEN. PHILIP BREEDLOVE, NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, EUROPE: I wouldn't say he's being debriefed yet. What we're concentrating on right now is his health. He's been in a tough place for a long time. Landstuhl medical center is the perfect place for this. It is the best place in the world to do that.

AMANPOUR: Can you tell me about his health?

BREEDLOVE: I don't think that's really appropriate. That's something between him and his doctors and his family right now.


BLITZER: What else are we learning, Barbara, especially about when he might be returning to the United States? I know they're getting ready, facilities at San Antonio, at a military hospital there.

STARR: Right. Let me say what General Breedlove just said squares with everything we're hearing. No formal questions, no interrogation, no debriefing yet. All of the work being done with Bergdahl now is to restore his physical health and help him deal with the psychological trauma of being held by the Taliban for five years. As soon as he has that psychological bet, a bit more settled, we're told, they're still working on that, that is why he is at Landstuhl, then they will clear him and transfer him to San Antonio, Brook Army Medical Center down there. That is a place where the military, especially the Army, specialize in what they call "phase three," repatriation of captives back to the United States. It's expected -- you know, nothing is set in stone, but expected at that point he will likely be reunited with his parents. At this point, everything we're being told is he has not spoken to them yet. Nobody's stopping him from speaking to them, but it's going to have to be on Bowe Bergdahl's timetable, as he feels comfortable, and as part of his reintegration back into the United States.

BLITZER: All right, Barbara, thanks for the update.

Barbara Starr's at the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, another American detained in North Korea, a tourist. We're going to tell you what he's accused of doing. That's coming up.

Coming up next, Stephen Colbert turning very serious. His uncle survived D-Day but not the war. Our own Jake Tapper has an emotional interview with Stephen Colbert, a very serious interview. That's coming up next.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN, the world's network.

BLITZER: On "This Day in History," 70 years ago, we remember the 150,000 U.S., British and Canadian forces who stormed the beaches of Normandy on what's known as D-Day. The invasion in France paved the way for full European liberation from Nazi Germany less than one year later. Some 2,500 young American soldiers lost their lives that day. The Normandy invasion was known by the code name Operation Overlord. The huge undertaking was months in the planning and the training with no assurance at all of success. Thousands of men died as they waded ashore into withering Nazi gunfire. Today, President Obama remembered their enormous sacrifice by laying a wreath for the dead. The success of the invasion was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. The president stopped to shake hands, say thank you to some of the 1,000 surviving veterans of D-Day who attended today's ceremony.

TV talk show host and comedian, Stephen Colbert, is best known as a very funny comedian with a soft tongue and a biting bit of satire, but ask him about D-Day and you won't hear him cracking too many jokes.

With us is our chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, the host of "The Lead."

You spoke about D-Day and his special connection.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT & HOST, THE LEAD: It's interesting. You were showing some of those old photographs. Some of the ones that viewers might remember the most are the paratroopers from the 104st Airborne parachuting into Normandy right before D-Day.

One of those paratroopers was Stephen Colbert's uncle, Uncle Andrew Edward Tuck III, that he would hear about from his mother, and that he heard about and read about in this volume of dozens of letters that Uncle Eddie wrote home.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & HOST, THE COLBERT REPORT: A lot of these letters start when he's 19. And he's dead by 23. And you see his maturation process in the letters. You see the experience. He starts off as someone who's very proud to be serving his country, wants to get the job done. And by the end of it, he is someone who has seen terrible things, but is actually steel in his conviction that it was the right thing to have done and wants to keep going. Because he lives all the way through the war in Europe, and then wants to go over to Japan but, unfortunately, dies before he gets there.


TAPPER: Uncle Eddie was such a vivid presence in his family growing up because of the stories that his mother, who was Uncle Eddie's sister, would tell Stephen Colbert and his siblings, that he feels -- he says he feels almost like he knows him and he misses him because of that.

And the letters are amazing. They are to the father. They're talking about war and secret operations. To the mother and the sister, they're funny, they're poetic, they're beautiful. They track very closely -- if you're familiar at all with "Band of Brothers," the book and the HBO miniseries, track very closely, because he was in the 101st Airborne. Those guys were Easy Company and he was with Fox Company and they went everywhere together.

BLITZER: Really looking forward at 4:00 p.m. eastern to see the interview. A different side of Stephen Colbert.

TAPPER: Very different.

BLITZER: One we don't often see.

Now, later tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern, you have a special on Bowe Bergdahl. Tell us about that.

TAPPER: That's right. Obviously, this is the story of the week, Bowe Bergdahl and the mystery surrounding Bowe Bergdahl. We'll be exploring that with some people who served with him in his squad, some of the people who knew him from back in Idaho and from other parts of his life, trying to get to who this man was, beyond the political nonsense and the accusations and counteraccusations, free from anything having to do with Washington and President Obama, Republicans. Just Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier. Who was he?

BLITZER: 10:00 p.m. eastern.

TAPPER: 10:00 p.m. eastern tonight

BLITZER: We will watch that.

Jake, thanks very much.

TAPPER: That's 7:00 p.m. pacific.

BLITZER: 8:00 p.m. --

TAPPER: 8:00 p.m. central and 9:00 p.m. mountain.


BLITZER: All right, thanks.

TAPPER: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Coming up, North Korea detains another U.S. citizen, a tourist, but the regime is accusing him of breaking the law.

Plus, would you give up some privacy to have a safer community? We'll see how police in Los Angeles are trying to keep the streets safe.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: North Korea announced today it's detained another American citizen that it says entered the country as a tourist but broke the law. That means a total of three Americans are believed to be held in the secretive Communist country right now.

Brian Todd is covering the story for us.

Brian, what are you learning about this latest American being detained?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, they have had him for almost a month and a half now, which is astounding that we are just finding out about it. His name, Jeffery Edward Fowle, according to the North Korean news agency. He arrived there, according to them, as a tourist on April 29th. They're not giving many details other than that. But the Japanese news agency is reporting that Fowle was part of tour group that was detained in mid May after somebody left a Bible in a hotel room where they were staying. Religious activity like that, the North Koreans are said to be very sensitive of. They have several state-run churches but they forbid independent religious activity, viewing it as a threat to their regime. That could be one reason why Mr. Fowle was detained. The State Department just got finished saying to reporters that they are aware of these reports, that they have no greater priority on getting Americans out of places like North Korea. They are doing things hopefully behind the scenes to win his release.

But this is now three Americans that the North Koreans are holding. There is a gentleman named Miller Matthew Todd -- no relation to me -- but he was detained on April 10 where the North Koreans said he apparently tore up his visa and wanted to seek asylum. We don't know a lot about that case. We do know a lot about the third American, Kenneth Bae, a missionary who has been held in a hard labor camp, sentenced to 15 year there for trying spreading religious messages, which the North Korean's are very sensitive to.

BLITZER: We know there are three Americans now in North Korea but there are other Americans being held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network or the Taliban, in Cuba and Iran. Tell us a little bit about some of the other Americans who have been detained for a long time.

TODD: There are quite a few of them, and this is clearly a very sensitive topic now with the release of Bowe Bergdahl. You've got Kaitlyn Coleman (ph) and her husband, Joshua Boil (ph). He is Canadian and she is American. They have been held somewhere in Afghanistan or possibly Pakistan since 2012. They were abducted. Authorities believe they be held by the Taliban. We got some more information from them recently when the families talked about a video that was out of them. They were trying to maybe win some attention for them in the wake of the Bergdahl release. So you have those two people being held.

You've got Allen Gross (ph), a case you know very well. You've interviewed his wife several times. Held in Cuba since 2009. You have got a gentleman named Syad Abadeni (ph), who remains in prison in Iran. There is also a former U.S. Marine I believe who is in prison in Iran. So you've got a lot of Americans being held now. Of course, with the release of Bowe Bergdahl, it begs the question,

are these governments that the U.S. is not friendly with, and are there other entities like the Taliban, who will take advantage of the situation, think they can get something for that American, maybe be willing to take more risk to take an American hostage. This is something that authorities are clearly asking.


TODD: That's right.

BLITZER: -- a U.S. aid worker, who is being held we believe someplace in Pakistan.

TODD: Some place in Pakistan. That's right. He has been held for a few years. So these cases, clearly for the State Department and U.S. Intelligence community, are very sensitive. It's got them wondering what or who could be next.

BLITZER: I know you're going to be working this story for us in "The Situation Room" this afternoon.

TODD: Sure.

BLITZER: Thank you.

BLITZER: We all want a safe place to live, but would you sacrifice some privacy to keep criminals off the streets? Up next, we will see how Los Angeles is using a new technology to protect people.


BLITZER: In Los Angeles, police are using a cutting-edge computer program that's revolutionizing the way we fight crime. But does their big-data program amount to a Big Brother watching you?

Rachel Crane has the story in our series, "The City of Tomorrow."

RACHEL CRANE, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since the early 1990s, crime rates have steadily declined across the country. One possible explanation? Smarter data-driven policing.

(on camera): Here in Los Angeles, the LAPD is embracing new technology and big-data analytics like never before, changing the way we fight crime.

(voice-over): Watch Commander Sergeant Kennedy show us how big-data analyst is changing the force.

SGT. SCOTT KENNEDY, COMMANDER, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is our license plate reader. We have three cameras attached.

CRANE: License plate readers installed on patrol cars have become common place and they automatically scan ever license plate they drive by. KENNEDY: It goes through the Sacramento data base to check the

California vehicle system to see if it's stolen or if there is a want on it for some reason.

That was an alert.

$30,000 warrants. That was on a parked car that we just passed.

CRANE: Over the course of a day, the LAPD can scan tons of thousands of license plates across the city. At the LAPD's Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response Division, those scans are fed into a game- changing data mining system called Palantir, a powerful application that can claim the CIA as an early investor.

CAPT. JOHN ROMERO, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Palantir is a federated search system. It's combines disparate data sets, allows us to access them very quickly. With a single key stroke, you get the effect of 30-person task force.

CRANE: After searching over 100 million data points, Palantir displayed an impress web of information on one burglary suspect. Creating intuitive graphs linking him to cell phone numbers, arrest records, known associates and past addresses. They could even track the suspect's past locations based on previous license plate scans.

ROMERO: If we are searching for him we don't have to search all of L.A. County.

CRANE (on camera): Anybody who is a vehicle owner?

ROMERO: Anybody who is a vehicle owner in a public place and has passed a license plate reader will be in our data set. We cannot just go searching for you or anyone else without a reason because we have a lot of data for people who have done nothing.

CRANE: For those people who have done nothing, the ACLU of Southern California believes the LAPD's license plate readers may be violating civil liberties.

PETER BIBRING, ACLU: A system of license plant readers that is pervasive enough to really track the movement of every car in the city in reasonable detail would effectively substitute for GPS trackers for everybody. The public should be the ones deciding what the proper balance is between their privacy rights and their public safety.

CRANE: The LAPD believes the public wants Palantir on their side.

ROMANO: You want to have the effect of 30 detectives working that burglary or that auto theft. It is hugely important to make those cases solvable.


BLITZER: Good stuff.

That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room." Lots going on today.

In the meantime, NEWSROOM with Brianna Keilar starts that right now.