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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Newark Airport's Security Breach; Children Trained to Kill; White House Security Breach Scandal; What's Next: Innovation
Aired January 5, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, he calls it a failure. But what's the price of failure? Why have the people who the system that let a bomber onto an airliner have been allowed to keep their job? Who, if anyone, is being held accountable? That and some late- breaking news in another airport scare.
And then, there were three. A third White House party crasher now comes to light. It sounds funny, right? But not when you learn how they got in. And you're going to do that tonight.
And later from crashers to scooters, we'll talk with Dean Kamen, a remarkable inventor. He created the Segway and a whole lot more about what's coming next. The next decade, what the future holds and why the future is at stake if we don't get America's kids interested in science.
First up tonight, though, breaking news: new evidence the system set up to keep us all safe when we fly, routinely breaks down; this on a day that President Obama addresses the Christmas bombing attempt. The new evidence tonight that we've learned about centers on that scare at Newark Airport over the weekend.
Now, you've seen the video by now. An entire terminal shut down after somebody went around a screening check point. That video is bad enough. But it gets worse. Everything was brought to a halt. Tonight we're learning that the security cameras that might have identified the culprit who still hasn't been identified, the security cameras were not recording.
Now, remember, this is one of the airports that the 9/11 hijackers left from. Randi Kaye, has tonight's breaking news -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, here's what we know right now. A TSA spokesperson telling CNN that the cameras installed in the area of Newark airport where the security breach occurred Sunday night were not recording.
Now, these are TSA funded cameras installed by the port authority. They are expected to record security breaches and any trouble at these security checkpoints. But in this case, at this airport, an airport where the 9/11 hijackers passed through years ago, those critical cameras were not working and not recording.
COOPER: And we know that the guy, the person who breached security was a male. What else do we know? I mean, he wasn't -- he wasn't actually --caught.
KAYE: No. And now I guess really we're learning why he hasn't been caught. We were all scratching our heads for days trying to figure out why this person was never caught and questioned. And it turns out the malfunctioning cameras gave the guy a head start, time to get out of the airport.
The man had essentially walked into the terminal where passengers walk out at about 5:00 p.m. Sunday evening. Again, it's pretty hard to catch him and ask him some questions and maybe do a background check on this guy without any video of him.
The TSA had to resort in the end to asking Continental Airlines for help. The airline which has a hub at Newark also has cameras in that terminal C and were able in the end to provide recorded security tape. But that certainly didn't make up for the major delay in response time because of those faulty TSA cameras.
COOPER: And I mean -- and at this point do we know how long these cameras had not been recording?
KAYE: We have been trying to get to the bottom of that, Anderson. The TSA of course tonight, not confirming how many cameras were down or how long they hadn't been recording but our affiliate WABC TV in New York City is reporting they were down for about a week which means they had been down since December 27th.
Now if you're doing the math here with me, that means that these cameras hadn't been able to record and hadn't been fixed even in the days following the attempted Christmas day bombing in Detroit and the heightened security measures.
COOPER: So what's the TSA doing about it?
KAYE: TSA telling us tonight that after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the breach, the TSA has volunteered to check the surveillance cameras every day to make sure they're working. But the question really is, Anderson, is the TSA planning to do this at every airport around the country or just Newark Airport. I mean we don't know?
COOPER: Also I mean, if at the Newark Airport where the 9/11 hijackers -- where some of them left from, if it's not working there, who knows in some of these other airports?
KAYE: Right. It's time to check the other cameras.
COOPER: All right, Randi "Keeping them Honest" tonight.
On now to President Obama's first real assessment of the attempted murder of nearly 300 people on Christmas day. After meeting with his top security officials, he spoke late today about how a young Nigerian man already on a terrorist watch list, already essentially turned in by his own father carrying a one-way ticket paid for in cash still managed to board a U.S. airliner carrying a bomb.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The U.S. government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas Day attack. But our intelligence community failed to connect those dots which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list.
In other words, this was not a failure to collect intelligence; it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had. The information was there. Agencies and analysts who needed it had access to it and our professionals were trained to look for it and to bring it all together.
Now, I will accept that intelligence by its nature is imperfect. But it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed or fully leveraged. That's not acceptable. And I will not tolerate it.
Time and again we've learned that quickly piecing together information and taking swift action is critical to staying one step ahead of a nimble adversary. And so we have to do better and we will do better. And we have to do it quickly. American lives are on the line.
So I made it clear today to my team. I want our initial reviews completed this week. I want specific recommendations for corrective actions to fix what went wrong. I want those reforms implemented immediately so that this doesn't happen again and so we can prevent future attacks.
And I know that every member of my team that I met with today understands the urgency of getting this right and I appreciate that each of them took responsibility for the shortfalls within their own agencies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, what's interesting is just like in the Bush administration, in the wake of hurricane Katrina if you remember, you have a lot of administration officials saying today, look, this is not the time to point fingers. This isn't about laying blame. We've heard that over and over.
The truth is unless officials actually do take responsibility and accept blame nothing is really going to change. And the President said today that officials took responsibility but so far, no one has stepped down, no one has been fired.
So who is involved in this? Well, let's take a look. Let's name some names.
There's Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, the massive agency created after the 9/11 attack. She's come under fire for saying the system worked in this case, though only after the bombing attempt. There's Leon Panetta, CIA chief; his agency debriefed the bomber's father. The question is what happened to that intelligence after those briefings?
Michael Leiter, the head of the National Counter Terrorism Center also set up in the wake of 9/11 specifically to make sure agencies share intelligence.
His boss Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, specifically responsible for coordinating the intelligence community for connecting dots.
John Brennan, the President's Homeland Security Adviser, a veteran of Democratic and Republican administrations, nonpartisan reputation, a pro.
There's a question mark where the head of the TSA should be. Senator -- Senate Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina holding up confirmation of the nominee.
Errol Southers (ph) from months, his stated concern is that Southers supported TSA employees joining a labor union.
And finally there's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the state department issues visas. The bomber's not only had one but that visa was never revoked when his name landed on the watch list.
Again, no one stepped down. No one has been fired. And what we keep hearing from government officials is this is not the time to point fingers.
Joining me now for the "Raw Politics", senior political analyst, David Gergen, who has worked for Democratic and Republican presidents; political contributor and Democratic strategist Paul Begala; and Ron Christie, a former domestic policy adviser to President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
David, President Obama, taking a different tone today in the speech. What did you think about it?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Barack Obama was smoldering today.
GERGEN: Smoldering, he is usually very calm, collected and today he was clearly angry, frustrated. I would like to invite Paul Begala when he has an opportunity to talk about the president's own responsibility here whether his name should be on that board that you just showed.
But I thought, Anderson, that he made it very clear that his, where he's placing most of the blame based on what he's been hearing so far is not upon the CIA. It collected the information well. And not upon the Homeland Security in terms of screening but he puts the blame as far as we can tell upon the way the intelligence that was collected -- those red flags -- was then not coordinated. The dots were not connected.
And that goes to this new organization, the National Counter Terrorism Center, NCTC as it is called. And Michael Leiter is the one that some insiders are now suggesting may be the fall guy before this is all over. He is the guy who runs NCTC. We'll have to wait and see.
COOPER: And Paul, what did you think? I mean, should the president have come back from his vacation? President Bush got hammered when he was on vacation and something happened and didn't come back. Should President Obama have come back? I mean, it's one thing to be smoldering today but this thing happened on Christmas day.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, you know, Churchill once said that the Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing after they've exhausted every other alternative. And I think the President gave a great statement today. I do have some quibbles with it when I get to in just a minute.
Come back I don't know, I do think I have to say just as a guy who used to work on these sorts of optics, that when you give a statement about national security, sir, take the golf shirt on and put a tie on. They have ties in Hawaii. I've been there. Put one on. And you have to -- that's when you're the commander-in-chief wherever you are, so he maybe comeback but I would have sent him out earlier frankly or advised him to go out earlier.
But even more than that today, I thought he gave a very good speech which should have been four or five days ago but that's not that important. What I would have advised him to do today was to add that sentence. He said our intelligence community failed to connect the dots. The next sentence should have been, which JFK said after the Bay of Pigs when the intelligence community failed him. He said but I am the responsible officer of this government.
When Kennedy did that, by the way, his approval rating, the Gallup poll went up to 86 percent and his negative rating went down to 5. Moreover, if the president had done that, it would have bolstered those intelligence operatives and officials.
We've got people in intelligence in this country and around the world who are risking their lives for us and they're pretty demoralized right now.
And I'm for finger pointing. I am. But I'm also for a leader who lifts them up and says look, "You men and women are risking your lives for us and I'm going to back you up. Even when you stumble I'm going to have your back."
COOPER: Ron, what do you -- your take on the President's speech?
RON CHRISTIE, FORMER DOMESTIC POLICY ADVISOR TO BUSH/CHENEY: Well, I think it was a week too late, Anderson. I think that he hit many of the right chords and many of the right themes that I think the American people were expecting to hear from their President. It was justifiably outraged. I think that outrage should have been expressed not only on Christmas day but the President, if he didn't come home early from his trip to Hawaii, he should have convened a similar meeting to what he had earlier today out in Hawaii.
The White House can travel anywhere around the world. The White House has the ability to bring in people via teleconference.
But I think the American people were looking for more than a muted response from the President. The President seemed almost if not disinterested -- I'm not suggesting that he was -- but he was very, very muted in his response and only after the outcry came both in the media and from people on both sides of the political spectrum that his teams swing into action.
And I agree with what Paul just said. I think the President should have ultimately taken responsibility and said regardless of the failures in the government, the buck stops with me. I am your commander-in-chief. I take responsibility...
CHRISTIE: ... for not safeguarding the American people.
COOPER: I want to have more from David and Paul and you, from Ron, as well. Stay with us we've got to take a quick break.
And we have a lot more to talk about including Sarah Palin weighing in. We'll tell you what she said.
You can join the debate as well, log on to the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Also ahead tonight, remember all that the talk about closing down schools in Pakistan that train kids in jihad? We'll those schools are still open. We're going to take you inside a school that aims to turn kids into suicide bombers.
And later, the Salahis weren't alone. How a third person crashed that White House state dinner and why his experience highlights some of the same shortcomings that allowed this Christmas bomber onto the airline.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Well, the system has failed in a potentially disastrous way. That's how President Obama put it today. He is directing his Homeland Security Adviser to fix the terrorist watch list problem. He ordered tighter airport screening. He has promised to unveil more in the coming days. He is not, however, demanding resignations, at least not yet.
Back with me now is David Gergen, Paul Begala and Ron Christie. We're also joined as well in the airport security angle by Stephen Flynn, president of the Center for National Policy and author of the "Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation."
Stephen, President Obama today said he has added steps to prove security. It sounds like a lot of good stuff. But is it just feel- good measures? I mean, does this actually make a security difference?
STEPHEN FLYNN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR NATIONAL POLICY: Some of it frankly is more on the feel-good side of things. You know, there are limits to obviously what can be done to secure aircraft. We've seen obviously a lot of big gaps here. But the most important gap was that we had, I would call a smoking gun. That is the father of the terrorist came aboard -- came and gave us a critical piece of information. And the system didn't deal with that information. After that, everything we're doing is basically trying to catch with a bit of a filter what goes on here.
Another very important piece, of course, was that passengers were very important in this as well obviously, because one of the, the fact that the passengers were intercepting the bomb maker at the end, that was also important.
Clearly one of the issues we needed to do is take a deep breath. This is hard. And our government to some extent is failing itself and failing all of us, because it's overselling what these tools can do. They've got to be -- do a better job at informing us about what the limits are of these issues, what the threats are and engaging all of us.
FLYNN: So essentially coming a little more clean and then we don't get into so much of the blame gaming afterwards.
COOPER: David, Sarah Palin posted a statement on Facebook today, basically blasting the President for putting the Christmas bomber in the court system. I want to read part of it, she said, "Giving foreign-born, foreign-trained terrorists the right to remain silent does nothing to keep Americans safe from terrorist threats, it only gives our enemies access to courtrooms, where they can publicly grandstand." Do you buy that, David?
GERGEN: I don't fully buy that, no, Anderson, I don't. CNN has been airing the views of former FBI leaders today who've said the interrogation of this fellow has already produced some fairly some good intelligence. And we've had cases in the past that, Reid, the shoe bomber who went to a civilian court and we got information from him. So I think it's over blown.
I just want to go back to what Stephen said about taking a deep breath. At the end of the day, all human systems in a very complex world are going to have failures and we ought to appreciate that. That it's going to happen. We've got a lot of good people working on the front lines, as Paul Begala has underscored.
And yes, we had a failure here. But there is a silver lining. And that is, I think this failure didn't result in any deaths and it was a huge wake-up call within the Obama administration on the intelligence side.
Danny Blair, the President's intelligence adviser has issued a statement today saying, we got the President's message. I think you're going to see far more urgency now and far more seriousness and focus in the White House and then the administration on these kinds of threats.
So I think we need to understand what went wrong. We need to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps a couple of heads should roll.
But at the end of the day, we should also be thankful. Nobody got killed here. And we may be safer as a result of the fact that this is going to be a serious wake-up call.
COOPER: Paul, is it fair for Sarah Palin to be blasting the President on this? I mean, under the Bush administration, Richard Reid was put into the court system.
BEGALA: As was Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged -- not the alleged - have convicted 20th terrorist on 9/11. Of course, it's not fair. But it's -- as a Democrat, put my partisan hat on, it's great. You know?
There are thoughtful and responsible and expert critics in the Republican Party on national security. Earlier Larry King had John Negroponte on who had served President Bush but have also been in many other administrations, Tom Ridge, the former Homeland Security Secretary, General Powell, of course, maybe the most respected man in America.
These voices then get drowned out by Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and I just have to say this as a political operative, there is nothing the White House wants more than to see Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, discredited people, attacking them, because that rallies normal people to their side.
If the Republicans were wise, they would have more of their thoughtful critics out there like those others that I named.
COOPER: But Ron, you actually say it is wrong for this guy to be put into the court system.
CHRISTIE: It is wrong, Anderson, and I'll tell you. Zacarias Moussaoui when he was brought up in trial here in Alexandria, Virginia, made a spectacle of the American court system and he derailed the American system of justice.
I think the President of the United States has a solemn responsibility to obtain credible information to prevent future attacks. Giving this young man the rights of the American civil justice system denies us the opportunity to treat him as an enemy combatant. The Supreme Court have held the legality of military tribunals where they don't have to read people their right, where they don't have to give them due process rights.
This is a country, America, that is at war right now and treating this issue as a legal matter is a terrible mistake. Particularly when this terrorist individual in question has already indicated that there are other people who are seeking to come to the United States to carry out terrorist acts. We need to treat this as a matter of war not as a matter of law.
BEGALA: But Ron did you give that speech when Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney were prosecuting Richard Reid and Mr. Zacarias Moussaoui? You were in the White House. Did you resign in protest?
CHRISTIE: Well, I was and Paul, the difference here, the difference here of course, is that Richard Reid was on an airplane. We did not have the same system in place after 9/11 that we do here now.
Why, after we know that there is credible information that seems to indicate that there are people who want to launch attacks in a very short term, should we not take every step possible and necessary to obtain that information, rather than saying, well, let's give him his Miranda Rights and let him clam up and let his lawyer do the negotiating.
Don't forget that John Brennan said that the administration is seeking a plea deal. We don't need to have a plea deal on a plea arrangement with terrorists. We need to seek the information that they have so that President Obama can keep this country safe.
FLYNN: And I think one of the key issues Ron is raising the notion of war on terror. Let's talk specifically about what terrorists are trying to do. The goal of our adversaries engaging in terror is to get us to overreact. The goal is to basically get a big bang for their buck.
And so when basically we show that we're not a very resilient society we are brittle society that politically we essentially unravel when these things happened. We get into these kinds of fits.
This is not good. This is rather what motivates terrorism to take place on our soil. So one of the important ingredients that this reminded us this event, is that a good defense is important. Having defensive measures of key systems like area traffic system.
Well, we have a long ways to go. We have poor security systems. We have issues with chemical refineries and power grids. And what I'm worry about, is what they called the morning after problem. If there is an attack or attempted attacks like this on those systems and it looks like we haven't done much and frankly in many these areas, we have not done much, then the public understandably gets outraged.
We're saying we're at war but we're not taking basic preventative measures to safeguards things that are critical. We're not sharing information with the American people and engaging them. That's the important I think message are going forward. This is a war we would all have to be a part of.
COOPER: I want to thank you all for your time. Stephen Flynn, Ron Christie, Paul Begala and David Gergen. Up next, little kids being made into suicide bombers. We found a school where the lesson plan starts with radical Islam and the aim is to graduate young suicide bombers. This is a story you'll only see on CNN, real reporting.
Also how a third person crashed the White House dinner. This is -- you have to see this to believe it. We've talked about what it says about bureaucracy still not sharing information and still not taking responsibility.
COOPER: Tonight we know even more about the Jordanian double agent who killed seven CIA officers at the U.S. base in Afghanistan. We've learned his name, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was also a doctor known for his extremist views and recruited by Jordanian officials as a counter terrorism intelligence source.
The Jordanian official told us authorities arrested al-Balawi more than a year ago for quote, "Suspicious information related to him" and then released him due to lack of evidence. Now, Jordanian and U.S. intelligence agencies apparently thought this guy had been rehabilitated from his extremist views. Obviously they were dead wrong.
You know, one of the things that the 9/11 Commission identified as a problem was these religious schools in Pakistan which are free for poor kids and which essentially train them to become killers. There was a lot of talk you may remember years ago about eliminating the schools. But as you're about to see, they're very much still there.
Arwa Damon looks at a place used to --used to train kids to become suicide bombers.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The images could not be more disturbing: children being trained by the Pakistani Taliban on military exercises. And even more chilling, carrying out executions.
How does this happen? How are children brainwashed into taking up the fight for the Taliban?
We find some clues just a 15-minute drive from a Pakistani military base in South Waziristan. A volatile area that until recently was a stronghold of the Taliban.
(on camera): After three days of fierce fighting, the Pakistani military took over this compound. They say that they knew that it was a training facility of sorts for suicide bombers. They suspected that maybe children were involved. What they didn't know or realize was the level of indoctrination.
(voice-over): The military says it learned that the Taliban used this compound to brainwash boys as young as 12 years old, perhaps as many as 300 of them.
(on camera): The children were told that images like this is what awaited them in heaven. Here for example we're told is a river that symbolizes milk and honey, on its banks, virgins and heavenly creatures.
This picture shows a home similar to those in this area but set against a lush back drop. Written across it, long live the Taliban of the mountains.
ZAHID HUSSAIN, TALIBAN EXPERT: But I've never seen this kind of elaborate painting about the so-called heaven.
DAMON (voice-over): Zahid Hussain, an expert on the Taliban has talked with many children who've been in such training centers. He says these images would easily captivate boys in this part of Pakistan. They grow up in abject poverty, surrounded by this harsh landscape with no exposure to the outside world. And they are easily manipulated.
HUSSAIN: They tell them look actually this is a waste; life is a waste here and if you do a good thing then you will directly to go heaven, immediately go to heaven.
DAMON: He says it's a complete distortion of Islam but one that the children fervently believe.
In a phone call with CNN, the Taliban denied this compound was under their control but it acknowledged it's training children from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Middle East to be suicide bombers.
Parents send their children to this center for the free food and religious education. But the military says the Taliban had other plans for them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These terrorist keep the children in their frontline and mostly the casualties were of children and they were attacking their force.
DAMON: Dozens were killed in this marketplace after a teenager blew himself up in October. Although there are no statistics on how many suicide attacks are carried out by teens, the government realizes, it's a growing problem. Zahid Hussain agrees.
HUSSAIN: Almost 90 percent of the suicide bombers, if we look at their profile, they are between ages of 12 to 18.
DAMON: Innocent children turned into cold-blooded killers, fooled by fantastic images of paradise.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Nawaz Kot, Pakistan.
COOPER: Wow, it's just hard to imagine. Still ahead, a mysterious and fatal air crash. A Lear jet goes down within sight of the runway but the question is why?
Plus, what killed the heiress Casey Johnson? Was diabetes a factor in some ways? The latest coming up.
COOPER: Still ahead tonight on 360: surveillance video of a bus. The bus driver is drunk and a girl pleading with her to stop the chaos; 37 kids on that bus. The driver now sentenced. We'll tell you about it.
But first let's catch up on some other stories we're covering. Randi Kaye has tonight's "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a deadly plane crash in a Chicago suburb. A pilot and co-pilot died when their small cargo jet crashed into a forest preserve just a mile short of Chicago's executive airport and ended up in a river. The crew never reported an emergency.
A "360 Follow" now on the mysterious death of Casey Johnson; the 30-year-old heiress to the Johnson & Johnson empire was found dead in her Los Angeles home on Monday. The L.A. County coroner's office has performed an autopsy; turns out it is inconclusive. Toxicology tests have been ordered. Examiners are also considering Casey Johnson's medical history and her diabetes.
And in Toledo, Ohio, a woman punched through a McDonald's drive through window because chicken McNuggets were not available. Police say 24-year-old Melodi Dushane (ph) was treated for injuries then jailed.
COOPER: She likes those McNuggets.
KAYE: Oh, yes. Got to have those McNuggets. She has pleaded not guilty to vandalism charges.
And Anderson that reminds me of a story we had last March when a Florida woman made an emergency 911 call from a McDonald's.
COOPER: I remember that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just ordered some food and the manager took my money and they won't give me my money back. They're trying to make me get something off the menu that I don't want.
I ordered chicken nuggets and they don't have chicken nuggets. I told them to refund -- just give my money back and she told me I have to pick something else off the menu.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KAYE: What is in those chicken McNuggets?
COOPER: I mean, they're like magic McNuggets.
KAYE: They sure are.
COOPER: They make people crazy.
Well, that woman, by the way, was issued a misdemeanor citation for misusing the 911 system to get those chicken McNuggets.
COOPER: Yes. Who knew? I mean Big Macs, I can see the excitement over that but...
KAYE: Chicken McNuggets, I don't know.
COOPER: I don't know.
All right. Time now for our "Beat 360" winners: our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to come up with a caption better than the one we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog everyday.
Tonight's photo: Kim Kardashian and Chloe Kardashian in Los Angeles at a game between the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Our staff winner tonight is Steve; his caption, "OMG. Jack Gray is following us on Twitter."
Just for the record Jack Gray does not follow them on Twitter. He will be very upset
KAYE: They might be following him, actually.
COOPER: No. I don't think they're following him on Twitter. I don't think they would get it; a little slow on the uptake.
KAYE: There you go.
COOPER: Viewer winner is Laura; her caption, "Purses on our laps, $4,000; diamond rings on our fingers, $85,000; being famous and rich without doing anything, priceless."
Laura that is really good.
KAYE: Oh yes.
COOPER: Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
KAYE: Send her some chicken McNuggets.
COOPER: Very good. All right.
Up next, the latest on our breaking news: a major security breach at Newark Airport. Plus new details about the third White House party crasher. How a D.C. party promoter apparently got into President Obama's first state dinner without an invitation. And why hasn't anyone been fired or resigned because of it? Why isn't anyone standing up and taking responsibility?
We're going to ask the "Washington Post's" Sally Quinn and former Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend.
And later, I don't think this is what Dean Kamen had in mind when he invented the Segway. We'll talk to him about his next big invention and his vision for the future. Coming up.
COOPER: Updating our breaking news: cameras that should have picked up the security breach in Newark Airport over the weekend were broken. In other words, we may never know who walked past the check point into the gate area through the outdoors Sunday evening.
Our affiliate WABC in New York is reporting that TSA funded cameras had been down since the 27th of December. So in other words, they hadn't even been fixed even after the Christmas bombing attempt. And this is the airport that some of the 9/11 hijackers left from.
More intrigue tonight about the gate crashing of President Obama's first White House state dinner; the one for the Indian Prime Minister last November. We all remember, the Salahis strutting into the high-security White House party without an invitation.
Now it turns out that Carlos Allen -- and this is believed to be him looking over his shoulder there -- walking with his back toward the camera. He's another gate crasher. He got in with the Indian delegation. And it turns out he has a connection with Mrs. Salahi.
They both mingled at a party last June in Washington, photographed together. The image is from a set of photos on Allen's Hush Galleria (ph) Web site. Allen told CNN that he just met Mrs. Salahi the night this photo was taken and that he doesn't actually know her.
And Allen's lawyer told the "Washington Post" the two never spoke to each other about the state dinner, and that they did not meet in the White House. But on Allen's Facebook page, he says he's a fan of Mrs. Salahi, and he does have his arm around her there in that photo. More important, though, the breach of security to let meant three gate crashers into the White House.
Joining us now, "Washington Post" columnist Sally Quinn and CNN national security contributor Frances Townsend, a former president -- under President Bush, a homeland security adviser.
Fran, the Salahis, the first two White House crashers, they looked bad enough and now a third. How -- how could this happen?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it -- Anderson, it is baffling, but I will tell you, this is actually a very different fact set than the Salahis.
The Salahis themselves entered the compound. This is an individual who figured out, for however he did, where the Indian delegation was staying. He -- those people, the delegation is under the control of the State Department Office of Protocol who then takes the delegation as a whole to the Secret Service where they're screened.
Apparently, this guy inserted himself in that State Department protocol delegation before they were screened by Secret Service. Once he got screened, he got put in with the rest of them and got escorted, by the way, to the White House, where he was able to enter.
It doesn't make the breach any less devastating, but it is different than the way they -- that the Salahis did it.
I will tell you, I understand that Director Sullivan ordered, in the spring before all this happened, a large-scale complete review of presidential security. That's ongoing. And obviously, the Salahis, this, all have been added into that mix.
TOWNSEND: But he's asked others, Anderson, others from the outside from prior administrations when he completes the review to take a look at it and to make suggestions if he needs to strengthen it.
COOPER: Sally, you write in your column, and I quote, "One of the first lessons any administrations needs to learn is that somebody has to take the hit for whatever goes wrong." I mean, nobody has really stood up and taken responsibility or resigned or been fired for this.
SALLY QUINN, "WASHINGTON POST" COLUMNIST: I think that the -- what happened at the White House was as big a security breach as the Christmas-Day bomber situation because the White House should be the most secure place in the entire world. And the president could well have been assassinated if one of these three people had had explosives in his or her underwear.
So the idea that three people separately could come, walk right into the White House with no identification at all and no screening and just march right in there, I think, is...
COOPER: Who do you think should be held responsible?
QUINN: Well, I think in the case of the White House situation, I think the social secretary Desiree Rogers and the head of the Secret Service, Sullivan. Both should be held responsible. And I think that they both should resign, because I think that...
COOPER: That's Desiree right there.
QUINN: It's much clearer, this, I mean, than the bombing situation because there are so many intelligence agency involved in that. I mean, you've got -- you've got the CIA and then you've got the director of national intelligence, who was supposed to be the one to sort of collate all of this information. Then you've got the terrorism crowd and homeland security and the FBI. So it's really hard not to do finger-pointing on that situation.
But in the White House situation, there was not a single person from the social secretary's office sitting outside at a table with a list, checking off the names. That is just unheard of.
COOPER: Well, at least the head of the Secret Service went to, you know, testify before Congress. The social secretary, the White House, you know, decided not to send her because they thought it would be inappropriate and has really, I guess, said nothing publicly about it.
Fran, what do you think needs to be done with security procedures to make sure this thing doesn't happen again?
TOWNSEND: Well, Anderson, let's be clear.
Mark Sullivan didn't just go up to Congress. He went up and took the hit for the administration on this. He said Secret Service made a mistake and that he was committed to strengthening the Secret Service and improving their procedures. And he's set about doing that.
They've reviewed their protocols with the State Department. They're reviewing their physical security procedures. I'm not sure I know what gets gained by firing Mark Sullivan, the head of the Secret Service when what we really need is -- he's an experienced career officer of the Secret Service. What we need him is to lead this review and to tell us how we can do it better.
I should say to you, when I was at the White House, Anderson, Mark Sullivan came to me. It was Mark Sullivan's idea to monitor open source material, looking for hate speech. And it was because of that that we put Secret Service protection on then Senator Obama earlier than any other candidate.
He also, Mark Sullivan, led the Secret Service through the inauguration, the conventions. I mean, this is a man with a real esteemed record of protection. And so I think before we go about firing him, we ought to give him a chance to fix the problem.
COOPER: Sally, you've, you know, observed Washington for a long time. It seems to me people used to kind of resign honorably because mistakes were made. Is that just gone that whole idea?
QUINN: Well, that is a larger point, is that the President of the United States needs to be protected. And everybody, and I'm not -- I'm talking about from a publicity point of view now. And a perception point of view. Not physically, as well.
QUINN: But everybody who worked for the President is a hired hand. And everyone has to be a loyalist. And their one job is to make the President look good and to make it appear that he is strong and a good leader and confident.
And what happens when there are these terrible mistakes, and breaches of security, and nothing happens. And Desiree Rogers doesn't even bother to go up to the Senate to testify. You have a situation where it looks like the President is incompetent and that he's weak.
And so what somebody needs to do is to say, "I'm going to take the hit" because that way, it will take the onus off the President of the United States. And it will make him look stronger, and it'll make him look like a better leader not only among our people in the United States, but for people all over the world.
QUINN: Otherwise, it looks like he's lost control of the situation.
TOWNSEND: Anderson, the President did do that. The White House military office had, as you'll recall, because of the flyover of Lower Manhattan. He did resign. And I -- so I agree with Sally, I think that is absolutely true when it comes to sort of political leadership. It is the responsibility of the hired guns to take the hit for the President.
Mark Sullivan, the director of the Secret Service...
TOWNSEND: ... is not a hired gun. And that's the distinction for me.
COOPER: All right. "Washington Post" columnist Sally Quinn, I appreciate you being on; and CNN national security advisor Frances Townsend, always good to have you on. Thanks.
Coming up next, find out what happened today. The school bus driver who was drunk while driving -- we're going to show you the video again -- she was sentenced. Did the judge throw the book at her? Find out.
Plus we've been testing out Segways in honor of our guest. I'm going to try and ride one in a moment. There I was practicing. The man who invented them, Dean Kamen, the amazing inventor, is coming up.
We talk about the future, what's next in technology. How your life is going to be different 10, 20 years from now.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: All right, so welcome back. So why am I riding a Segway? Well, tonight we're launching a new series called "What's Next?" where we talk to leaders about what's next on the horizon. It's sort of a crystal ball for the decade ahead.
Now, we couldn't think, really, of a better person to kick off this project than Dean Kamen -- and me, I'm getting a little cocky on my Segway -- the ground-breaking inventor who brought the world the Segway among a lot of other innovations.
Kamen is also an entrepreneur and a tireless advocate for science and for technology. And like all creative pioneers, he sees possibilities way before the rest of us can even imagine them, like the Segway. We talked earlier about what is on his mind as we begin a new decade.
COOPER: Let's talk about health care. Congress is going to pass some sort of health care reform within the next couple of months, likely. I mean, are they getting it right? Has the debate been the right one?
DEAN KAMEN, INVENTOR OF SEGWAY: Well, I don't think we've had a health care debate. We've had a debate about who should pay. Should it be the insurance company? Should it be, they say, the government, but of course, if the government pays, it's really a question of who should the government pass on the cost to? Should it be individuals? Should it be businesses?
I think there's been a big debate on how we finance our health care. What there needs to be a big revolution about or a forum about is how we deliver the best health care. How we get more efficiency. How we get more effectiveness.
COOPER: So as you hear the current rhetoric that's being thrown around, it's all about paying less, getting more. That's just pandering, according to you.
KAMEN: I -- I think it's safe to say that if more people are going to get more health care, and it's going to be better health care, and it's going to be for, hopefully, a longer productive life, it is unlikely you're going to get all of those things, and that whole package will cost less than it does now. So I think we need, if we want to drive absolute costs down, we need innovation.
COOPER: So when you think about what's coming next in terms of technology, in terms of health care, you look to private industry. You look to people like yourself, to innovators, not to government for solutions?
KAMEN: Well, all you have to do is look at history. And there's a whole lot of great innovations that occurred. And virtually all of them occurred because some innovator, some entrepreneur, some small group of people that had a big idea just wouldn't quit. You know, it wasn't a bureaucracy that brought us -- you know, it was Edison that brought us the light bulb, not the Department of Energy. And it was the Wright brothers that brought us airplanes, not the Federal Aviation Administration.
COOPER: But I mean, as you look to the future, I mean, the U.S. has been the leader in technological innovation over the last 100 years. Do you see that continuing? Or do you think that's really threatened?
KAMEN: I think this country from the day it got started has led the world in technology. It's what allowed this country to go and grow and get strong and become the model for the world.
What I'm a little afraid of is this is the first generation that's growing up, where its kids may not be the most technically capable of being in a real leadership in innovation in the world.
COOPER: I've got what's probably a stupid question but how do you innovate? I mean, you invented the Segway scooter. You've developed this prosthetic arm -- it's called the Luke -- your company, which is just extraordinary. We have some pictures of it I think we can show. It's just -- it's amazing compared to what has come before it. How do you -- how do you do this?
KAMEN: Well, first you collect a lot of really, really smart people. And then you encourage them to have big ideas, and you support a courageous vision. And sometimes it means you're going to fail, and you're going to fail again, and you're going to fail a third time.
But again, part of what's happened to our country is it's gotten a little, let's say, older and more mature like people when they get old and mature. You get a little bit more conservative, a little bit more risk averse. And our whole culture has aged that way.
And when you go around the rest of the world now, what I think America ought to be very concerned about is the rest of the world, even the relatively poor countries are focused like a laser beam on getting their kids really smart, giving them a really strong work ethic. Particularly giving them capabilities in science technology and innovating.
There's no stimulus package that this country could possibly put together that will have a better return than stimulating the next generation of kids in this country to be for the 21st century, our Thomas Edison, and our Wilbur and Orville Wright, and the Google boys.
Every kid that's watching your show today knows Britney Spears, Paris Hilton. They all know who's winning the race to the Super Bowl. Who's winning the race to the room temperature super conductor? That will change the way we make and distribute energy.
COOPER: Do you think 20 years from now we're going to be doing things on a daily basis that, A, we cannot even imagine right now and, B, make our lives today seem sort of antiquated? KAMEN: I think most of the kids today in high school, particularly the ones that are getting prepared for the 21st century world, most of the kids in high school that are in the exciting forefront jobs 20 years from today will be in a career that hasn't been described or defined yet...
KAMEN: ... doing things that you don't even have a word for. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as Google. Kids didn't know what Google was. They didn't know what texting was. And now it's part of the infrastructure of everybody's life.
COOPER: Are there three items you can't live without?
KAMEN: You know, do you mean that exist today? Or that I hope will exist soon?
COOPER: Either one.
KAMEN: Well, the one that, sadly, I don't think will come about in my lifetime, the one I've always wanted is a time machine. The only thing that ever really scares me is the fact that life is short and you can't do everything. I work as much as I can, as hard as I can, but you can't do everything. I'd like a time machine. I don't think I'll see that.
COOPER: All right. Dean Kamen, it's an interesting conversation. Thanks for being with us.
KAMEN: You're very welcome.
COOPER: He's a really fascinating guy. You can watch the rest of my interview with Dean Kamen on our Web site at AC360.com. We talked a lot more. It was all a good interview. Check it out.
We also want to give a shout out to Itsi Atkins (ph) and his company, SegwayNYC.com, for letting us borrow these Segways. We've been having a lot of fun with them. He gives tours around New York City where you can ride a Segway.
You can also hear more from Dean Kamen this weekend on the premier episode of "SANJAY GUPTA MD". Watch Sanjay's interview with the pioneering inventor at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Saturday and Sunday. Maybe I'll challenge Sanjay to a Segway race.
Tomorrow on 360, we're going to continue our focus on the future. I'll talk to Isaac Mizrahi about where fashion and design is headed. Our new series, "What's Next?" your crystal ball for the decade ahead.
Up next tonight, why former NBA star Jayson Williams is in trouble with the law again.
And a dramatic video of a frightening ride. Students pleading with a drunk school bus driver to let them off the bus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. You have to turn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The driver was sentenced today. We'll have details ahead later tonight.
COOPER: All right. We're following several other important stories. Randi Kaye has the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, former NBA player Jayson Williams has been charged with drunken driving after crashing his SUV into a tree right here in Manhattan. Police charged Williams at the hospital where he was treated for some minor injuries.
Williams is awaiting retrial on manslaughter charges related to the shooting death of his limo driver back in 2002.
Remember this frantic scene? The former western New York school bus driver has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for drunk driving. Martha Thompson also faces six months of electronic home monitoring and a $1,000 fine.
During the incident last May, several teens on the bus pleaded with Thompson to pull over. The teens then led the younger students off the bus while Thompson yelled at them to stay on board.
Mixed results for U.S. auto makers at the end of 2009. At Ford last month, sales surged 34 percent from a year ago, but GM reported a six percent decline last month, and Chrysler's sales dipped four percent. All three posted double digit losses for the entire year. The only major auto maker with a gain for the year: Hyundai with a nine percent sales jump.
And has Apple's iPhone met its match? Google unveiled the Nexus One today calling it their super phone. Unlike the iPhone, you're not tied to one phone company; you'll actually have a choice. T-mobile is the first provider. Verizon will come on board later. The Nexus One costs $180 with a contract, or $530 unlocked, leaving it open to other carriers.
COOPER: Cool. We'll see how it is to type.
KAYE: Yes. Maybe not that easy.
COOPER: Well, I hope so. I hope it's easy.
Anyway, much more to come including Florida is in a deep freeze. My relatives in Mississippi are very cold. Record cold temperatures are forcing everyone to be creative about staying warm, including chimps at Miami's Metro Zoo. That's tonight's "Shot". Take a look at how they use burlaps to stay warm. That's Samantha, a 40-year-old female preferring to hunker down under her burlap blanket in a sunny spot. The eight year-old Ben tries to use burlap as a scarf there. Apparently, that wasn't doing the trick so he just threw it over his head.
KAYE: Oh, cute.
COOPER: Oh, those darn monkeys.
Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.