CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Explosion Rocks Norway's Capital; Florida DMV Selling Personal Information; New Book Details Freud's Fascination With Cocaine

Aired July 22, 2011 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR A massive explosion ripped through Norway's capital today. "Reuter's" report at least seven people were killed. The blast shattered government buildings in Oslo, leaving streets littered with glass and debris. No one has claimed responsibility so far.

And in another development, a person dressed as a policeman opened fire at a youth camp. There are reports of many wounded and at least one person arrested.

Tim Lister who knows this area very well is here with us in studio to talk a little bit more about it. So seven killed, Tim, two seriously wounded -- what does this look like to you in terms of the sophistication of these explosions?

TIM LISTER, CNN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: It's a sophisticated effort. There's no doubt about it. In fact, this is the largest explosion of this sort since 2005, London, the subway bombings. And before that, it was Madrid.

So, six years has really been fairly peaceful in Europe. There have been plots that have been uncovered, some of them quite dangerous plots. But this is the first time that we've seen devastation of this magnitude on the streets of Europe.

And it looks like a scene out of Baghdad or Beirut. It's a massive blast that must have been planned well ahead of time. This is not a lone wolf operation.

KAYE: So, if it's sophisticated, does that mean it could be terrorism?

LISTER: I think the betting is on terrorism. We don't know for sure, yet. But you've only got to look at the sort of blast that occurred. You've only got to look at the target -- prime minister's office, the headquarters of the major newspaper group next door.

Why would that be relevant? Because the Norwegian newspapers republished the cartoons of Prophet Mohammad that caused such offense in the Muslim world. When that happened, the Norwegian telecoms offices in Pakistan were attacked and ransacked. The Norwegian embassy in Damascus was attacked. That is an issue that still rankles amongst Islamist militants the world over.

So, that fact that Norwegian newspapers did that makes them a target.

KAYE: How much damage do you think these bombs were capable of doing? I mean, what's your best guess on that? We're not even sure where they were if they were car bombs or where they were.

LISTER: We're not sure. I was speaking to a Norwegian close to the scene of the blast. And he wasn't sure if it came from inside or outside the building. But he said the shock wave was immense. And that suggests it was a high amount of commercial explosives involved because the shock wave, if it traveled to where he was, would have to have been detonated by a really substantial bomber.

I was doing this down in a field where they do -- DHS does this, and we were a long way from where they detonated the PETN, but you heard the way it hits you really hard. And then in a confined space like that, in the city center where it reverberates off buildings and the shrapnel is carried. It's devastating.

KAYE: And why do you think Norway?

LISTER: Norway, for several reasons. One I mentioned the cartoons.

You would have thought Norway, a small country at the top of the world, 5 million people, why? Well, they've been active in Afghanistan. They had a deployment there for several years. They're active in the Libyan air campaign, the cartoon issue.

But also, what we're finding in Scandinavia is that groups themselves are coming together from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, different ethnicities, very often gathering and meeting in mosques, and they are adjacent -- they're local to Norway, Sweden, Denmark. They know where the targets are.

And just last week, there was a man who lived in Norway, who's head of Ansar al-Islam, a very radical Sunni group from northern Iraq who was prosecuted because he'd threatened Norwegian ministers because he was going to be deported. He said, you deport me and I get killed in Iraq, the same will happen to Norwegian ministers.

So, they do have this fringe in Scandinavian countries of Islamist militants. And they're only just getting grips with that.

KAYE: When I have questions about terrorism here, I often come to you and ask you, you know, who these people are, what's going on here? In terms of who might be behind this, who do you think?

LISTER: It could be a whole range of groups. But the point is that al Qaeda is not so much an organization now. It's more a spirit for these people. It's a mobilizing factor.

When they're gathering in cells, they don't necessarily have big structures that are transnational. But what we are seeing is that some of these people, especially in Scandinavia over the last five years, have gone to Somalia. They've gone to Pakistan. They've gone to Afghanistan. They linked up with various jihadist groups, some of them have been trained in bomb making, and sabotaging, assassinations, and they've come back.

And if there's one thing that worries authorities across Europe now, from Germany, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, it's those people who are residents of Europe, who have gone overseas and have come back -- trained and ready to give their lives or to sow mayhem.

KAYE: And one last question for you -- how will they go about trying to find out who did this? How will they piece the evidence together? What will they be looking for right now on the scene?

LISTER: One thing we know is that the intelligence agencies in Norway and Sweden and Denmark have been on the highest state of alert for the last nine months. They've been looking at these terrorist chatter. Now, they're going to pour much more resources into that -- who's involved, which mosques may have been basis for militancy, for example.

But in the immediate hours, they will want to find as much forensic evidence from the bomb, its packaging, maybe a vehicle identification number, CCTV from the area, all of that will come into place straight away. The most important thing they get is the signature of the bomb or what was -- what it was in, what was carrying it, was it a vehicle?

KAYE: Right.

LISTER: Was it dumped in a garbage can, for example, and left there. Doesn't look like it from the amount of damage --

KAYE: Many marks might lead them to who did it.

LISTER: Exactly. Right.

KAYE: OK. Tim Lister, thank you. Glad we had you here today to talk about that with us, give us that information.

And now for much more on the situation in Oslo, we're joined on the phone by Jon Larsen. He's with the Norwegian Red Cross.

Jon, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you let us know how the situation there is at this hour?

JON LARSEN, NORWEGIAN RED CROSS (via telephone): Well, first of all, this has been an extremely terrible day for everyone in Oslo and everyone in Norway. It's the first time we are experiencing anything like this in our nation.

The situation is a bit calmer now in the city center. And the official rescue team has done what looks like is a very good job in bringing injured to hospitals.

KAYE: How many injured, Jon? We're understanding from the Oslo police that seven have been killed, two seriously wounded. Do you have any other information on the injuries for us?

LARSEN: I don't have an accurate number of injuries. But what I can say is that we are now mobilizing to respond to many people in shock and in fear. And we'll continue throughout the night and the weekend to open Red Cross branches and houses for people to -- and offer them psychological support and friendship.

KAYE: What about the hospitals there? Do they have enough beds right now for the number of people who were injured?

LARSEN: The Norwegian Red Cross offered first aid rescue teams and ambulances and also support and hospitals. But so far, the official rescue teams and the leaders have not requested those supports. So as far as we know, they are coping with the situation

KAYE: And, Jon, we've been looking at some of the pictures of those who are injured. These are very, very serious injuries. What have you -- what do you understand in terms of how serious the injuries are? And do you have everything that you need in order to treat these folks?

LARSEN: Well, the hospitals are well-equipped, and people got first aid very quickly. So even they were very close to the explosions, I can only expect that they got the finest treatment.

KAYE: And do you have any information on what types of injuries? I would imagine some of this was shrapnel. What are they suffering from?

LARSEN: Well, reports is most injuries from pieces of glass and head injuries.

KAYE: All right. The Red Cross' Jon Larsen. We appreciate your time, Jon, and best of luck to you there in that situation.

Checking now some other top stories that we're following.

The Senate today rejected a house Republican bill to require Congress to slash spending and pass a balance budget amendment. The Senate voted 51 to 46 against the measure, which was expected. The move did nothing to resolve the issue of how to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a federal debt ceiling.

A short while before the vote, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that he and President Obama had still not reached an agreement on resolving the debt crisis. The administration says the government is in danger of defaulting after August 2nd unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

James Murdoch's testimony on Britain's phone-hacking scandal is being challenged. He could face a police investigation. A member of parliament is calling for a police investigation into whether Murdoch was involved in an effort to cover up the scandal. This after the Murdoch and his father, Rupert Murdoch, testified to a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

James Murdoch said he wasn't aware of an e-mail suggesting the hacking involved more than just one rogue reporter at a now defunct "News of the World" tabloid. But two former executive of the paper say they told him that the scandal was more widespread and that his testimony was mistaken.

Murdoch says he stands by his statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration faces a partial shutdown unless Congress extends stopgap funding by midnight. If it happens, it shouldn't affect your travel plans. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says air traffic controllers would remain on the job and that air safety won't and about 4,000 FAA workers would be furloughed. Also about $2.5 billion in airport construction projects would grind to a halt.

Think all that information the DMV has on you is private? Well, some states may be selling it. More in two minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SANTALLA, TALLAHASSEE RESIDENT: Honestly pretty shocking. It's not something I think the government should be doing or the DMV. It's definitely a violation of privacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: That was Sean Santalla, Florida resident, reacting to news that his DMV is selling his personal information to companies that are willing to pay the price. In fact, last year, they filled Floridians' private data to the tune of $63 million.

Ann Howard, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles joins me now by phone from Tallahassee.

Ann, thank you very much for coming on the show.

We want to get to the bottom of this. What information is the DMV selling?

ANN HOWARD, SPOKESPERSON, FLORIDA DMV (via telephone): There's actually no blanket answer. But I want to start out by saying this is an opportunity to educate the public of Florida and, actually, I guess, nationwide because every state does adhere to the driver privacy protection act in some way, shape, or form. So, it really depends on what exemptions you meet and what it is you plan to do with the information.

The Department of Highway, Safety and Motor Vehicles does take it seriously and we protect those information. But there are public record laws that in turn protect the public.

KAYE: So, getting back to my question, what information are you selling?

HOWARD: Well, it depends. What are you asking for? If you are an insurance company and somebody has asked you be their insurance carrier, that insurance company is going to get your name, your address, your birth date, and your driving record.

KAYE: And why?

HOWARD: If you are looking for employment as let's say a bus driver, of course, again, it would be a very similar request.

If you are a motor company, you make cars and you have to do a recall, then you're asking for everyone who owns that particular vehicle and their addresses so you can contact them to let them know there's been a recall on their vehicle.

So, it depends on what it is you plan on doing with the information. And it has to be used for a reason. If you want to solicit business for your restaurant or your department stores -- no, you cannot have the information then. It cannot be used to solicit for business.

KAYE: But you're selling to the government agencies, auto manufacturers, insurance agencies -- why do they have a right to our information?

HOWARD: Per the Driver Privacy Protection Act which is federal and the also the state of Florida adheres to it.

KAYE: What's the benefit there, though?

HOWARD: They have a right to help protect you and help make you whole depending on what it is they need.

KAYE: How does that protect someone? I'm just curious. Selling to them, how is that a safety issue?

HOWARD: If you have someone who has applied to be a bus driver and that person has three DUIs and you look further into the record those DUIs happened in the afternoon, do you want that person driving your child? Of course not. That comes down to a safety issue.

If you have somebody who has multiple DUIs all over the country and has tried to move to try to hide that record, it is going to catch up to them. Again, you don't want that person driving on the road with you. They'll be denied the right to a driver's license.

KAYE: What about opting out? I mean is there any information, is that possible at all when you get your driver's license or anything like that to opt out of the state of Florida selling your address and your name and your other information?

HOWARD: Depending on who you are, there are some professions that do have the opportunity to opt out. When they decide to do that, the department does let them know what it is they may be doing, which is taking themselves out of any notification of a vehicle recall or things like that. We do let them know how it could be to their detriment to opt out.

KAYE: And any plans in terms of protecting security? I mean, might there be a security breach with getting this information out there?

HOWARD: The Department of Highway, Safety and Motor Vehicles does take the protection of this information seriously. You never have your Social Security number given out to any company for any reason. You do not have your driver's license number given out. It would depend, again, as to what exemption the requester meets as to what information they would get.

KAYE: All right. Ann Howard explaining to us why the state of Florida is selling personal information -- well, again --

HOWARD: It's not so much that we're selling as much as these companies are -- are requesting. They're entitled to it.

KAYE: Yes, they're entitled to it, but the DMV has profited, what $63 million --

HOWARD: The other option is to profit. We could give it for free, we just don't. We've decided for the state of Florida it would behoove us to charge 1 cent per record.

KAYE: OK. All right. Ann Howard, I think you set the record straight here. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

In Indonesia, women are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or pregnancy-related complications. Up next, we'll meet someone doing something about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: What would you do if a doctor delivered your baby and then kept your child from you until you paid your hospital bill? Sound crazy? Well, in Indonesia, this happens all the time.

But this week's CNN hero has come up with a solution. She's an Arizona native who moved to Indonesia to offer free birthing services to poor women.

Meet Robin Lim.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN LIM, ACTIVIST: The moment that a woman falls pregnant in Indonesia, she is 300 times more likely to die in the next 12 months than if she was not pregnant.

If you have money you can get excellent medical services, but the poorest people don't always get the services they need.

In the hospital here, you cannot take your baby home until you pay the bill. Sometimes the mothers wait outside all day waiting to get in to feed their baby and to change their baby's diaper.

My name is Robin Lim. I'm a midwife.

Most people call me Ibu Robin because Ibu means mother. I've learned about the dangers of motherhood when my own sister, she died as a complication of her third pregnancy. I was just really crushed.

I came to Bali to reinvent my life.

Hi, baby, hi.

I started the clinic run by Indonesian midwives. We offer prenatal care, birth services.

No matter how poor they are, no matter their race or religion, we teach new graduating classes of midwives how to do a more natural, gentle birth.

The women can stay as long as they want.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Robin helps poor people. She cares about me very much, like my own mother. I'm extremely grateful.

LIM: Each baby, each adult deserves a clean, healthy, loving environment. Those are a human right.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: And remember, every one of this year's CNN heroes are chosen from people you tell us about. To nominate someone you know who is making a big difference in your community, go to CNNHeroes.com.

Updating our top stories now:

A massive explosion ripped through Norway's capital today. Police say seven people were killed, two others badly hurt. The blast shattered government buildings in Oslo leaving streets littered with glass and debris. You can see it there. No one has claimed responsibility.

In another development, a person dressed as a policeman opened fire at a youth camp. There are reports of many wounded and at least one person arrested. Police say they have good reason to believe that there is a link between the attack and the explosion in Oslo.

Much of the east coast is in the cross hairs today of a stifling heat wave. The National Weather Service issued extreme heat warnings for large sections of the mid-Atlantic. The heat index could reach 115 degrees in some areas. The hot temperatures are expected to continue through the weekend. The heat is blamed for at least two dozen deaths.

Are you ready for some football? Well, it could happen. NFL owners have approved a 10-year labor and revenue-sharing deal with the players. The players are set to consider terms of the deal later today. An approval would end the nearly four-month-long lockout.

We are following fast-moving developments in Norway, site of what appears to be a random act of terror. CNN analyst Paul Cruickshank joins me from London when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Back now to our top story.

A deadly explosion followed by a shooting rampage in Norway. Seven people are dead in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

No word casualties from the Labor Party youth camp where someone in a police uniform pulled out a gun and started firing.

Officials do expect the two attacks are linked.

I want to bring in one of our go-to experts on terrorism. Paul Cruickshank joins me now from the CNN bureau in London.

Paul, I think the first thing many of us thought when this news broke is Norway? Why Norway?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, there's a track record of al Qaeda threatening Norway. Zawahiri in 2003 issued a threat against Norway, asked the jihadists around the world to attack the country. It's a country which has a troop presence in Afghanistan. It's a member of NATO as well.

And in last year, one of the newspapers there republished controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

So, lots of reasons why a group like al Qaeda -- of course, we don't know which group was responsible that may want to target Norway, Randi.

KAYE: Can you tell just from the pictures that we're seeing on television, the reports that we're getting in from the scene in terms of how explosive these bombs were. Are there any signs or does anything speak to you in terms of who might be behind this? I mean, might it be al Qaeda?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, this is a devastating attack. It looks a lot like the African embassy bombings in '98 in terms of the amount of damage to this building. It's a coordinated attack. And we've seen in the past with coordinated attacks and huge explosive attacks that al Qaeda has indeed been responsible for these sorts of attacks over the years. The operatives would have to train in camps to get that sort of level of bomb-making expertise.

But it's early stages in the investigation. They'll be finding out much more if, indeed, someone is under arrest at this point. There may be a claim to responsibility as well, Randi -- early stages in this investigation.

KAYE: There are reports that the two attacks, the bombings in Oslo and then the shooting at this youth camp are linked. Do you believe that they're linked?

CRUICKSHANK: I think you've got to assume that they are linked, that this was an attack not only on Norwegian civilians, but against the very top leadership of the country, the prime minister's office. Also, it was believed that some very -- senior Norwegian politicians were expected to be at this youth camp meeting.

So, a very ambitious attack by whoever carried it out, Randi.

KAYE: What would officials have known if anything? Would they have been monitoring chatter? Might there have been a warning that something like this was coming?

CRUICKSHANK: They would have been doing all these things. And, indeed, in recent months there's been increased terrorist threat chatter in Norway, I understand. And investigations of a group of militants in the country who were possibly linked to al Qaeda in Pakistan, unclear whether that has any relation to this attack today. But that is the background in the threat environment, Randi.

KAYE: Paul Cruickshank , your expertise invaluable to us. Thank you very much.

A major development concerning the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- we'll tell you more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: A massive explosion ripped through Norway's capital today. At least seven people were killed. The blast shattered government buildings in Oslo leaving streets littered with glass and debris. No one claiming responsibility just yet.

In another development, a person dressed as a policeman opened fire at a youth camp. There are reports of many wounded and at least one person arrested. Police say they have good reason that there's a link between the attack and the explosion in Oslo.

Listen to what the president just said about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wanted to personally extend my condolences to the people of Norway. And it's a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring. And that we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: President Obama reacting just moments ago to the bombings in Oslo, Norway.

A major development related to the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy according to the U.S. official, the Pentagon is set to certify that the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian service members. The Pentagon could announce the certification today fulfilling a key requirement to end "don't ask, don't tell". However, there is still a 60-day waiting period after certification before the repeal is fully implemented.

Two men suspected of beating San Francisco giants' fan Brian Stowe into a coma on opening day at Dodger's Stadium, have been arrested according to "The Los Angeles Times."

"The Times" says, the man previously arrested in the attack Giovanni Ramirez has been cleared. Ramirez was arrested on May 22nd, but the LAPD had a hard time connecting him to the beating. Police are not commenting publicly now on the case.

More on the death and chaos in Norway. Massive explosives shattered buildings in the capital of Oslo. And a gunman opened fire at a youth camp. We'll have the very latest in a live report right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Breaking news we are following this hour: A massive explosion shattered government buildings in Norway's capital today. Police say at least seven people were killed in Oslo. And in what police say may be a related attack, a person dressed as a policeman opened fire at a youth camp outside Oslo. There are reports of many injuries.

Nima Elbagir joins us now from London with more.

Nima, can you bring us up to date?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at present, Randi, our understanding is that although rescue workers have been able to access Utoya Island where that second incident was going on with the shooter, that police now believe that there is reason -- strong reason they say, to believe there are explosives on the island. They say they are treating both crime scenes as an ongoing incident.

They've asked Oslo residents to stay indoors. To stay away from the city center, not just this evening, but throughout the weekend. They are asking people not to use their mobile phones, to free them up for emergency services. And they say the most important thing is to stay away from gatherings, Randi.

KAYE: So if I'm understanding you correctly, Nima, it sounds like the situation may not be over?

ELBAGIR: Well, that is their concern. That after the explosion, and it was a huge explosion, we spoke to eyewitnesses as far away as 6 kilometers who heard it. The emergency servicers who came into the area, into the center of Oslo only to discover there was a second incident going on, on Utoya Island, about half an hour away from Oslo City Center, the site of that first explosion. So now it seems they're trying very hard to ensure that they have all bases covered. And they say as far as they're concerned, the safest place for people in Oslo to be this evening is inside their homes, Randi.

KAYE: Can you walk us through the damage? How much damage is there in the center of Oslo right now? ELBAGIR: Well, you have to understand that this was right at the center of power. This is the center of government. Not only did you have the prime minister's office, you had the oil ministry, you had the offices of one of the largest newspapers in Norway based there. And the fact that a car was able to pull up -- if indeed it was a car bomb, the fact that an attacker was able to get this close - says a lot about Norwegian society and the way that they have dealt with the terror threats that they have faced in the past. They really believe that to batten down, to increase their security is giving in, in some way.

Of course this evening, questions are being asked about that. But the damage is pretty extensive. The blast shattered windows, not just in the buildings immediately next to the blast but for several blocks around it. Many residents even outside the city said they thought it was the begin of a thunderstorm, Randi.

KAYE: And how coordinated do your sources think this actually was? How sophisticated?

ELBAGIR: Well, we're hearing reports that have yet to be confirmed by the police, but the understanding is that the second attacker, the shooter on the island, turned up dressed as a police officer and actually spoke about the incident, about the explosion in downtown Oslo. So it does seem like this was part of the plan. To present himself to the young people on that ruling party summer camp on the island, as someone who had been sent by the authorities to protect them. And that's yet to be confirmed by the police.

But it does seem like those two attacks were so close together in time; and bearing in mind the reports that the prime minister, the current prime minister, was due to speak there tomorrow, and that the former prime minister has been speaking there today. It does feel like a targeted, sophisticated, coordinated attack at the very heart of government, Randi.

KAYE: Yeah, and whoever did this, certainly seems as if they were trying to make a statement.

Nima Elbagir, thank you for the update. Appreciate it.

And joining us now on the phone from Oslo is Christian Aglen. He witnessed today's explosion.

Christian, where were you? And what did you see when the blast occurred?

CHRISTIAN AGLEN, OSLO RESIDENT (via telephone): Sure. Well, first of all, I didn't see the actual explosion. I was working in the building right next to the government building that was primarily hit.

You know, I was sitting there working in front of the computer. And suddenly the whole building starts shaking. And it felt like several seconds. And my immediate response was, my goodness, an earthquake? But, you know, Oslo, you usually don't get earthquakes in this city in Norway in general. And after a little bit of time, it stopped, I realized this was an explosion. I looked outside my window, the portion of my window was intact. And the building, the surrounding buildings were shattered, glass was everywhere. We, me and my colleagues, evacuated the building. And then I saw the immediate aftermath of the blast. Glass everywhere, one lady was laying on the street bleeding. And just a moment of shock really.

KAYE: We're looking at some of your video. It's hard to believe you had the peace of mind to walk outside and take pictures and video in a case like this. What was the scene on the street? Was it pure panic? Chaos?

AGLEN: There wasn't really chaos. People were more shocked. And, you know, at the same time, they were helping each other. That one lady that was hurt, people were gathering next to her and helping her out. People seemed relatively calm, but also confused and scared at the same time.

KAYE: Were you able to see emergency workers and rescue crews and any idea how quickly they were able to get to the scene here?

AGLEN: Sure.

Well, immediately after, there was nothing there because it was a few minutes after. But they came very fast. I would applaud the authorities and police and ambulance services for arriving at the scene very quickly. Within a relatively short time they closed down the entire area, in fact, several blocks. And those few blocks basically ended up being downtown Oslo. It was all, you know, blocked off. All the stores closed. Really Oslo shut down after this event.

KAYE: Well, Christian with at least seven dead and two seriously wounded, consider yourself very lucky. We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. Thank you.

AGLEN: No problem. Any time.

It was a miracle drug in the 1880s used for everything from asthma to headaches and stomach aches. Any guesses? I'll have a strange history lesson for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Today's "Big Breakdown" is a mind-blowing history lesson about a one-time wonder drug. It was widely sold as a cure-all written up in medical journals and popularized by some of the greatest minds in medical history, Sigmund Freud for one. Believe it or not, I'm talking about cocaine. The highly addictive glam drug of the 1980s. It was actually the miracle drugs of the 1880s.

Chief Medical Correspondent Doctor Sanjay Gupta is here with the fascinating details.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Randi. The story is told in a new book called "An Anatomy of an Addiction." It is by Doctor Howard Markel who is a medical historian.

What he did was dug through the evidence and found that two of the two giants of modern medicine were practically derailed by cocaine when it was first produced in the 19th century. One was Doctor William Halsted, who practically invented modern surgery, and the other was Sigmund Freud.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: 1884, Vienna, a struggling young doctor, Sigmund Freud wrote to his fiance Martha about a new interest, cocaine.

NARRATOR: If you are forward, you shall see who is the stronger -- a gentle little girl who doesn't eat enough or a big wild man who has cocaine in his body. In my last severe depression, I took coca again and a small dose lifted me to the height in a wonderful fashion.

GUPTA: Cocaine comes from leaves of the coca plant. But by the 1880s, big companies, what we call big pharma, were distilling the raw leaf into a new drug.

In Vienna, Dr. Freud was fascinated. In 1884, he wrote the first major description, 70 pages, "Uber Coca," about cocaine.

DR. HOWARD MARKEL, AUTHOR, "AN ANATOMY OF ADDICTION": It was the miracle drug. If you had a stomach ache, you were nervous, if you were lethargic, need energy, if you had tuberculosis, asthma, all sorts of things -- it was going to cure what you had.

GUPTA: Meanwhile, by the mid 1890s, he was flirting with disaster as he wrote in an 1895 letter.

NARRATOR: I need a lot of cocaine.

MARKEL: He probably finally stopped using after he and a friend of his used cocaine on a patient and nearly killed her.

GUPTA: By then, other doctors worried, too.

MARKEL: Too many people were taking too much cocaine and then they were -- these patients were presenting basically as addicts who needed the stuff, they couldn't live without it. And that's when doctors began to say, huh, we better rethink this.

GUPTA: Today we know addiction is at least in part a physical disease.

We understand more.

MARKEL: I would hope that more people are skeptical of grandiose claims of new drugs, new pharmaceutical agents. But we all in our heart of hearts want a magic bullet that will cure what ails us.

GUPTA: Reporter: a magic bullet, the hope that keeps miracle drugs in business. Time and time again.

(on camera): Now, cocaine caused Freud some severe medical problems, including an uneven heartbeat, terrible nasal blockages. But Dr. Markel says Freud probably wasn't truly an addict. He eventually kicked the habit.

It is interesting, though, in 1970s or the '80s, a lot of people argued that cocaine was safe, not addictive -- obviously, that was so wrong. Fascinating to go back and see those same mistakes were made almost exactly a century before by even the greatest physicians.

Randi, back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Thank you, Sanjay.

And be sure to join Sanjay for this story and all the big medical news this weekend on "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D.," Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

When "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, will military same-sex couples be entitled to equal benefits? Don't bet on it. Our Stream Team will tackle that subject right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: If and when "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, same-sex couples in the military still face some hurdles. They will not get equal health, housing, or education benefits that are available to heterosexual couples.

Why? The U.S. military is bound by federal law. No federally recognized unions, no federal bennies.

So, the question is: does the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" really make a difference?

R. Clarke Cooper is the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, and Tommy Sears is the executive director of the Center for Military Readiness. They're both on the team today.

Clarke, I'd like to start with you. Would you consider a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" to be a success in its current state where there are not equal benefits for military same-sex couples?

R. CLARKE COOPER, LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS: Well, Randi, it's a step, it's a step in the right direction. We're closer to open service now than we were a year ago. Granted, we're not there yet. The president and the sec-def will be certifying, but it still has a 60-day period before Congress.

So, again, it's a step. Open service is not yet in place. And that's also a word of caution to those who think it is.

But it's going in the right direction. And you're right, there is a gap that will be realized with open service and that services and benefits to dependents and to spouses will not be available because of the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA precludes or excludes access to those benefits.

KAYE: Right.

Tommy, do you expect that same-sex military couples will eventually get equal benefits?

TOMMY SEARS, CENTER FOR MILITARY READINESS: Well, if we are to go by the assurances that were given to Congress by secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, they will not. However, I think you know and your viewers probably know that this administration has decided that it will no longer defend DOMA and considers it unconstitutional, which, you know, that is a legal question. Certainly, I think there are plenty of reasons to be on the opposite side of that question that it is constitutional.

But I think Clarke's answer to your question sort of indicates what we'll be looking forward to -- and that is probably hefty, ample litigation on the part of now openly homosexual service members challenging the statute on the basis of the recognition of their status as a sexual minority to, in fact, claim these benefits and just as unfortunately Clarke's group has many in court challenging the statute itself contrary to the party that he purports to represent as executive director of Log Cabin Republicans.

KAYE: Clarke, I want to ask you because, you know, obviously, the law is the law. The federal law prohibits the military, of course, from going any further and giving the same benefits to same- sex couples, same-sex partners. But there are some who look at this and say, well, we're only really half way there.

Can you understand why some say, well, wait, they can go and die for their country but still can't get equal benefits? They're not going to get survivor benefits? They may not even get housing? They may even be forced to live two different bases unlike heterosexual couples?

COOPER: Right.

KAYE: So, does this feel just a little bit like we're half way there

COOPER: Well, yes. I mean, as a combat veteran, I'm a current serving officer. I'm a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. So, I'm personally affected, not only by "don't ask, don't tell," but also by DOMA. You know -- so, this affects me, a number of service personnel.

I do believe the change agent won't necessarily be the courts. It'll actually be the Department of Defense, because middle managers, captains, majors in the Army and your 03s and 04s are going to go up through the ranks and say this doesn't work. I've got a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who I can't take care of. It will become a morale issue if subordinates can't be provided for. So, you gave the laundry list of things like travel orders, housing, medical care, you name it, that's going to be an issue for the department. I will not be surprised if in the near future the Department of Defense goes to Congress and says fix this. This is a problem for us, this is a personnel issue.

KAYE: Right.

COOPER: Fix this Congress.

KAYE: We just have about 30 seconds left, Tommy. Would you like to respond to that? I mean, do you feel like we're half way there?

SEARS: I certainly hope we're not half way there in the context of giving additional benefits contrary to current law of prohibiting them through DOMA.

However, as I noted the administration plans not to defend it. Secondly, the funding tale of personnel costs as has been quoted by outgoing Secretary of Defense Gates himself is taking up 10 percent of the defense budget. What these additional costs with this new policy are going to impose on the Pentagon, not just in the case of housing, but additional medical costs and so forth, additional benefits along those lines are not going to improve that fiscal situation in the slightest.

KAYE: All right. Tom Sears, Clarke Cooper -- both of you, appreciate your time in talking about this subject. Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you, Randi.

KAYE: Ad it's time now for a CNN political update. CNN senior political editor Mark Preston joining us from Washington.

Hi, Mark. What's crossing on the ticker right now?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: Randi, you know, we're about less than seven months before Republicans will start voting for their nominee for president. We have new CNN/ORC poll numbers.

What these numbers are showing us right now, Randi, is how unsettled the race is.

In fact, let's take a quick look at it right there. The front runner, Mitt Romney, remains on top. He is the choice of only by 16 percent -- the Republicans' choice to a nominee for president.

But look who comes in at number two. Number two is Rick Perry, the governor of Texas who hasn't even announced he's going to run. Now, we fully expect that Rick Perry will make the announcement, perhaps in the month of August, maybe a little bit later. But Rick Perry comes in at number two.

Rudy Giuliani, number three; Sarah Palin, number four; and Michele Bachmann comes in at number five. Now, if you look at those top five, though, Randi, again, it shows how unsettled Republicans are regarding the race for president. Three of those people on the list haven't even announced that they're running for president.

So, there you are, Randi. Seven months out, Republicans don't know who they want.

KAYE: Oh, boy. All right. Well, I'm sure it'll get figured out at some point.

Thank you, Mark.

A simple display of affection and a day at the museum gone bad. You've got to hear today's "XYZ." It's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Time now for my "XYZ."

I hear so much these days about government and officials over- regulating what you can and can't do. You can't drive and text. In some places, you can't walk and text. In New York City, you can't smoke in parks.

So, what's next you might ask? Well, in San Francisco, apparently you can't hold hands in a museum. You certainly can't if you're a lesbian, and you run into the wrong security guard.

Listen to this, at a contemporary Jewish museum, a lesbian couple was in the gallery when they were stopped by a security guard and reportedly told they couldn't hold hands in the museum. That's right, no hand holding.

Isn't that your right? Since when can't you hold hands in public? Did I miss that somewhere?

Well, a small crowd apparently began to gather. That's when "The San Francisco Chronicle" reports the museum guard trying to shoo the couple out the door to avoid an ugly situation. Well, it was too late. After that "oops, not sure what our guard was smoking" moment, the museum spokesman told reporters that museum officials actively support the gay and lesbian community and they've asked that the guard who worked for a private security company be reprimanded.

And here's the kicker, the whole incident took place in the gallery where the feature exhibit is devoted to Gertrude Stein, the famous lesbian and art collector.

CNN NEWSROOM continues with Brooke Baldwin.

Hi there, Brooke.