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Egypt Embassy Was Warned About Riots; Protesters Breach Embassy in Tunisia; Fresh Protests Rage in Cairo; Peacekeepers Attacked in Sinai; U.S. Restaurants Burned in Lebanon; Planned Attack?; Remembering the Four who Died; Campaign Embraces

Aired September 14, 2012 - 17:00   ET



Happening now, the U.S. embassies under siege, other symbols of America ransacked and burned, international peacekeepers attacked. The violence spreading to a dozen countries across the Muslim world. We're covering it as only CNN can.

Fresh debate over whether the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned or not.

More than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, are U.S. intelligence agencies still unable to get on the same page?

And the bodies of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed in Libya are returned home. We're learning more about those who gave their lives for our country.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


Anti-American anger is boiling over today across the Middle East and beyond. Outraged by the anti-Muslim film made in the United States, crowds took to the streets in numerous countries.

Aware that protests were planned for Friday, the Muslim holy day, the United States boosted security at all -- every single one of its diplomatic posts. But that didn't stop a mob from storming the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. That's the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

They burned cars, took down the United States flag and raised their own banner.

On the phone joining us right now from Tunis is reporter Zaid Hersi.

Zaid, tell us what happened at the United States Embassy in Tunis.

ZAID HERSI: Well, they started in a very normal way, with, basically, some serious warnings following what happened in Libya. And everybody knew and we saw some organizing on Facebook about -- about, also, protests that were supposed to be peaceful, that is basically will be heading to the U.S. Embassy.

Right after Friday pray, things got a bit more complicated. Thousands of people headed to the U.S. Embassy that -- in Tunis. They bypassed the roadblocks set up by the Tunisian security forces and they just closed into the embassy. The U.S. -- the Tunisian security forces tried to handle the situation. At some point, they used sticks and then they used teargas. And then the mob became more and more violent, threatening and using -- throwing rocks and trying to climb the embassy walls.

After intense use of teargas, even the -- the use of live ammunition, shot in the air mostly, we could see that the mob succeeded in climbing the walls of the embassy and go into the garden and pretty much destroying. A lot of property damage at the U.S. Embassy. We counted 68 cars and two vehicles, plus a -- a bunch of recreational buildings that were fire -- that were -- they were burned. And we could also see a lot of windows smashed. And -- and -- and the crowd actually managed to occupy the grounds around the main building of the embassy, although they did not manage to get in there.

BLITZER: And this is the birthplace of the Arab Spring, in Tunis.

Zaid, we're going to get back to you.

I know the American school there was -- was basically attacked, as well, today.

But I want to go to Cairo right now.

Ben Wedeman is joining us -- Ben, it looks like the -- there's an intensive fight going on in Tahrir Square. That's where you are right now. Teargas, we see shots being fired.

What's the latest?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, we're closer to the American embassy, sort of between the American embassy and Tahrir Square.

What I'm seeing right below me now is there's yet another standoff between the security forces, who have been fighting -- firing a lot of teargas, and the demonstrators, who are closer to the American embassy.

This morning, the security forces erected a concrete barrier on the main road leading to the embassy. But that really just dispersed the protesters around. They're trying to outflank the security forces to get to the embassy. As yet, they have not succeeded, however -- Wolf.

BLITZER: But the Egyptian the military, the police forces, I assume there are huge numbers there dealing with these demonstrators.

Is that right?

WEDEMAN: Well, unlike previous incidents, the army has not been involved. It is merely the police and riot police. There appear to be quite a lot. Most of them seem to be around the embassy itself, not directly involved or engaged in these clashes. And they seem to be using less force than we've seen in the past.

These demonstrations have been going on pretty much around the clock since Tuesday evening, when that initial demonstration resulted in the breaching of the American embassy. But until now, nobody has actually been killed. Several hundred have been wounded, most of them basically from inhalation of this fairly intense teargas -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, we're hearing the shots being fired right now, I assume the teargas canisters -- Ben, tell me about the disconnect -- we spoke about this before -- between what the Egyptian authorities, the Egyptian government is saying in English to the outside world and what they're saying in Arabic to their own people. And we know you're fluent in Arabic.

WEDEMAN: Well, it's not so much the Egyptian government as The Muslim Brotherhood, of course, of which Mohammed Morsi, the president, is a member. We've seen, for instance, in the "New York Times," the -- "The New York Times" published a letter from Fareta Shatar (ph), who's the number two in The Muslim Brotherhood, which expressed regret over the killing of the American ambassador in Libya, calling for an investigation into the breaching of the American embassy here in Cairo.

But when you go to their Web site, the Arabic Web site, it's a much different tone. Initially, they were, in fact, praising the protesters who had breached the American embassy. Today, I was at a demonstration that seemed to be organized by The Muslim Brotherhood. And that's where you see sort of the rank and file members and supporters of the Brotherhood. And the rhetoric was hardly conciliatory. They were saying that the United States, for instance, is the patron of terrorism. They were condemning Israel and the United States as basically one entity. And they were also saying "Obama, Obama, there are still one million Osamas." Of course, Osama bin Laden.

So there's a huge gap between what you see in English, what you hear in English, and, in fact, what they are saying among themselves, which is a much harder line, and one that isn't really much different from what you hear among these protesters in the street below me.

BLITZER: And those shots that we're hearing, is that teargas?

Is that -- are those shots being fired in the air?

What's going on?

WEDEMAN: Yes, that -- that's basically teargas. Unlike previous incidents, there hasn't been a lot of use of rubber bullets. And there's, as far as I can tell, no use of live ammunition. It's basically teargas. The streets are strewn with hundreds of canisters...


WEDEMAN: -- excuse me -- that have been fired throughout the day -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Ben Wedeman's got a tough job.

We'll stay in very close touch with you.

Thank you, Ben.

Thanks very much.

Meanwhile, in Egypt's Northern Sinai, extremists armed with automatic weapons attacked a base housing international peacekeeping troops, including United States soldiers. They burned trucks and a watchtower. At least four troops were wounded. We don't know the nationality of those troops.

But let's go to our Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence -- Chris, the U.S. has, what, about 700, 750 soldiers in Sinai. They've been there since 1981. They're supposed to monitor the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. But all of a sudden, they, too, now are under attack.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And it really presents a problem because this force is not configured as a strike force. As you said, they are there to monitor, by land, sea and air, that border between Israel and Egypt, act as sort of a buffer between the two nations and diffuse any situations or bring them to -- to the attention of the two governments before things get out of hand.

But what we have learned is that since the -- the overthrow of the Hosni Ba -- Mubarak regime, Egypt as a -- Egypt, as a nation, has been so concentrated on getting a hold of Cairo and figuring out its government, it's largely left the Sinai to its own devices, so to speak.

And there has been a rising spike of Islamic militants setting up camp there along the border, trying to launch attacks into Israel. And so a lot of these troops, again, hundreds of U.S. peacekeepers part of that plan, have been sort of caught in the middle. And, again, this force is really not configured as a strike force -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, I've been very worried about them over the past several weeks, since the violence in Sinai escalated.

Is there any effort now -- is the U.S. military, the Pentagon, planning on either evacuating, withdrawing these -- these observers as they're -- they are called, or beefing up their security?

LAWRENCE: Perhaps beefing up would be more likely, Wolf. I haven't heard any talk from the folks I've spoken to here at the Pentagon about withdrawing troops. Again, this border is so important to the security of the region. And, in fact, the one of the Colombian generals who is in charge of security there has said that the force there really understands that their mission is vitally important.

Today, obviously, the base being breached, a watchtower being burned to the ground, shows the rising security picture there is -- is in deep trouble. But, again, you've got to keep in mind, that border between Egypt and Israel has all sorts of ramifications around the Middle East.

BLITZER: Yes. That peace treaty was signed in 1979. And it's been quiet until recently. And, obviously, we want to keep it quiet. One of the reasons it's been quiet is because of that international peacekeeping presence there, that multinational force and observers, as it's called.

All right, Chris, let us know if you hear anything else.

We'll stay in close touch with you, as well.

Elsewhere in the region, in Lebanon, a different symbol of America was targeted. In the northern city of Tripoli, hundreds of protesters attacked and burned a pair of U.S.-based fast food restaurants. At least one person was killed in the clash.

CNN's Mohammad Jamjoom is joining us now from Beirut -- what's going on in Lebanon, Mohammed?


Well, Wolf, Lebanese internal security forces tell us order has now been restored in Tripoli. But it was a far more violent scene this afternoon, when there were about 300 angry demonstrators marching through the streets of Tripoli. They were yelling anti-American sentiments, calling for the removal of the American ambassador to Lebanon.

And about 40 or so of those demonstrators broke away. Many of them were armed. They found a -- a KFC and Hardee's restaurant, a symbol of America there in -- in Tripoli. They stormed those restaurants, set fire to them.

Internal security forces arrived at the scene. They started shooting at the armed demonstrators. As a result, one of those demonstrators was killed. Many people were injured.

This is a very worrying development, but it's not particularly surprising, because in Tripoli, you have a large part of that population that is ultraconservative Sunni Muslim. And so we were wondering if this sort of anger that's been directed at America because of this film the past few days would show up in -- in Lebanon. And this would be the natural place where it would show up, if it were to happen. Today, it happened.

Now the concerns are will it happen again tomorrow?

We'll be following those developments these next several hours -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I know you will, Mohammed.

And amid all the turmoil that's going on right now in the -- in Lebanon, in particular, Pope Benedict XVI is there. I assume -- I assume there's intense security for him there.

We're looking at pictures of his arrival.

JAMJOOM: Wolf, you couldn't have found a more striking juxtaposition of what's going on here today in Lebanon. The pope arrived earlier today in Beirut. He's being welcomed with open arms by members of the Muslim community, the Christian community here in Lebanon. He says he has come as a messenger of peace at a particularly precarious time.

Many people had wondered if this visit would go ahead, considering the tensions in the region, especially the brutal civil war that's going on in neighboring Syria.

But the pope was committed to this trip. He showed up today. Security has definitely been beeped -- beefed up by the Lebanese. He will travel to different cities over the course of the next three days. He says he wants to stress unity not just amongst Christians here, but also wants to stress the importance of the peace between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mohammad Jamjoom, thanks very much for that report.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are warning that the Middle East violence could -- could hit the United States. And there's some unexpected fallout from that warning. Stand by.

And was the attack that killed four Americans in Libya planned in advance?

It depends on which official you ask.


BLITZER: An ambassador is killed, U.S. embassies under siege as protests spread across the Muslim world. Should U.S. intelligence have seen all of this coming or maybe they did have a hint the trouble was looming?

Joining us now is CNN's intelligence correspondent, Suzanne Kelly, who's working this story for us. Suzanne, you have some new information on what U.S. intelligence may have known in advance of what's going on? What are you learning?

SUZANNE KELLY, CNN INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. What they did know -- we know that some 48 hours before the attack in Benghazi, an intelligence cable was sent to the embassy in Cairo warning that the film was out there, this anti-Muslim film that you've seen, was out there on the internet, that it was circulating and that they'd seen an increase in the traffic that was visiting this. So, they'd actually sent the warning to Cairo.

That was then shared with the region. But there was no specific threat that tied what happened to this film. There was nothing that they could see coming that indicated that there would be an attack like the one we saw in Benghazi that came out of the protest, Wolf.

BLITZER: But the suggestion being maybe this warning should have resulted automatically in a beefing up of security. Is that the implication that you're getting?

KELLY: Well, I think it's very fair to say that when you see something like this and you realize how these -- the images of the Prophet Muhammad and how it's been used have gone around the world before, it's safe to say that that would be your instinct. However, that wasn't really such a high priority at the time when this cable was sent.

They were aware of it. I think they were probably in the process of still assessing what they needed to do with it. And also, you know, the language that's come out about whether or not this was planned is another interesting thing to look at.

BLITZER: But we're getting conflicting information. Some U.S. officials are suggesting it was a planned operation, the operation in Benghazi at the U.S. consulate there. Others are saying no evidence of that. What are you hearing?

KELLY: Right. I'm hearing everything all over the place. And I thought kind of in the days after the attack that as more intelligence came in, that might kind of be tapped down a little bit and we'd see everybody falling into one story with what had happened. That hasn't been the case. Take a listen to just what happened today.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You know, we have no information to suggest that it was a pre-planned attack.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: This was a calculated act of terror on the part of a small group of jihadists.

REP. DUTCH RUPPERSERBERGER, (d) Maryland: In the beginning, we feel that it was spontaneous, the protest, because it went on for two or three hours, which is very relevant, because if it was something that was planned, then they could have come and attacked right away.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN, (I) CONNECTICUT: They were a well-planned and professional terrorist act against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.


KELLY: So, here's what I think happened, Wolf. You've got a lot of opinion, a lot of speculation. If you look at the fact that they knew that there were well-equipped groups already in the area, they knew that they had al Qaeda sympathies and then we knew this film was being circulated, those are the things that have led people to believe that they may have planned this attack.

However, a lot of that is their opinion. The intelligence community continues to insist that there was no actionable intelligence. So, that means, actually, they didn't have anything that they knew was coming that they could act on. That doesn't necessarily mean that this group didn't get together and say, you know, here's an opportunity. Let's take it. Is that a plan? Then that was planned. BLITZER: They've got to do a review, a complete review by recommendation, get a commission, not necessarily as huge as the 9/11 commission, but get some outside experts, let them review all the evidence and learn lessons from this. Not to recriminate, not to blame people necessarily, but to make sure it doesn't happen.

KELLY: Keep it from happening again, exactly.

BLITZER: There's lessons to be learned. Thanks very much --

KELLY: Exactly right.

BLITZER: -- Suzanne Kelly for that report.

So, could the anti-American violence sweeping across the Muslim world right now spell trouble not only around the world but even here in the United States? There's a new bulletin that has come out from federal authorities. Our crime and justice correspondent, Joe Johns, is here. He's working this part of the story. I read that bulletin. Tell our viewers what they're saying.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is the could it happen in the United States question. A lot of people we've talked to said there's obviously a different dynamic at work here than in parts of the Mideast mainly because people in the U.S. tend to believe government doesn't control content of videos and film like the anti-Islamic program that's being blamed for the protests.

But we've still got this ominous sounding warning from the feds suggesting trouble here isn't out of the question. And tonight, we're parsing what that really means.


JOHNS (voice-over): As protests spread in the Middle East and beyond, this joint intelligence bulletin from homeland security and the FBI basically describes worst case scenarios here at home. The memo reads, the risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention.

Additionally, we judge that violent extremist groups in the United States could exploit anger over the film to advance their recruitment efforts. Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American Islamic Relations is concerns that the bulletin could be potentially use to treat Muslims unfairly even though the language of the memo is measured.

IBRAHIM HOOPER, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Obviously, you could take that away from a bulletin like this if you had the stereotype of Muslims being prone to violence, that kind of thing. And, we're seeing those kinds of stereotypes reinforced.

JOHNS: Hooper acknowledges that the report is not intended to target Muslims, which former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes, agrees with.

(on-camera) And they're not necessarily doing this, say, to annoy Muslims. They're doing --

TOM FUENTES, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Actually, if you read that warning, it actually warns Muslims as well.

JOHNS: but even Fuentes questions the usefulness of such bulletin.

FUENTES: It's strictly a CYA cover your backside. In case something happens, somewhere, somehow, you know, they have the next commission of why weren't we warned, they can say well, we warned you.

JOHNS: He says they don't usually contain what is called actionable intelligence, specifics about an upcoming crime or a plot.

FUENTES: There's no real actionable intelligence that they know of. So, if the authorities, if the FBI was aware of a specific attack at a specific facility by a specific group, they'd get them. They'd stop it.


JOHNS: We should say this type of advisory is not intended to go public. It's meant for state and local law enforcement, but often finds its way into the hands of the news media, us. An FBI official told CNN we routinely provide information about ongoing incidents to partners for situational awareness. So, they just want them to know what could happen, Wolf.

BLITZER: Covering their bases to a certain degree. Want to make sure people are alert to the potential for problems.

JOHNS: Because you never know.

BLITZER: Obviously. Thanks very much.

So, why did a warning go out to U.S. diplomats in Egypt but not to U.S. diplomats in Libya? Our national security contributor, Fran Townsend, is standing by. She'll join us next.


BLITZER: All right. These are live pictures you're seeing from Cairo right now. Police are clashing with protesters. Molotov cocktails, we understand, have been thrown. Teargas being used by the police. Rubber bullets as well. This is a very, very tense situation. It's now approaching 11:30 p.m. on the streets of Cairo right now.

Remember, this is only, what, 300 yards or so from the United States embassy in Cairo. It's a very, very tense situation.

I want to talk about what's going on with our national security contributor, Fran Townsend. She was homeland security adviser to President Bush. She serves on both the CIA and homeland security external advisory boards.

Fran, thanks very much for coming in. How concerned is the intelligence community right now about what's going on? FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Wolf, I think earlier in the day, we saw worldwide anti-sort of U.S. protests, but they were reasonably peaceful. I mean, look, there are exceptions to this. We've seen the exceptions in Tunisia. And this has gotten increasingly violent in Egypt as the night wears on.

I think U.S. officials from people I've been talking to expected them all to look like this. And so, there was a little bit of relief at least by this afternoon that the violence seemed to be limited to just a couple of places.

BLITZER: Although, it seems to be escalating in Cairo --


BLITZER: -- as we speak right now. Here's a question. The U.S. embassy in Cairo got a cable from the intelligence community about 48 hours before the protests saying beef up security because of this film, this anti-Muslim film. And they sent a memo saying get ready, maybe there could be some violence.

So, here's the question, why wasn't a similar warning sent to the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the ambassador, the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed?

TOWNSEND: OK. Well, first, we believe that the reason it was sent to the embassy in Cairo was because although this movie had been on YouTube and on the internet, an Egyptian TV station actually aired part of it and brought attention to it. And so, they were starting the intelligence community presumably was starting to see attention in Egypt drawn to this offensive film.

And so, it's understandable that they sent it to Egypt. The intelligence community wouldn't have known about the Ambassador Chris Stevens travel from Tripoli to Benghazi and wouldn't have -- didn't have the same reason to think that trouble would have erupted at that consulate.

Now, they may have later decided to distribute it more widely throughout the Muslim world. But at the moment when they sent that, their attention was drawn to Egypt because of the --

BLITZER: Yes. You know, the fact is those Egyptian television stations are widely seen not only in Egypt but around the Arab world.

TOWNSEND: Absolutely.

BLITZER: They've got a big audience outside of Egypt as well.


BLITZER: And this is one of those solifists (ph), those extreme Muslim stations that was doing it whipping up the fervor, if you will. Senator John McCain who is a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as you well know, he's firm in insisting this was a pre-planned coordinated attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. What are you hearing?

TOWNSEND: You know, Wolf, this is one of these typical in Washington where I think everybody may be a little bit right. I've heard by -- in talking to folks here in Washington and by the way Libyans because I was just in Libya on a business trip for my company, McGanders and Forbes (ph), that there was a protest, it was in response to the film. That was spontaneous. But when you look at the amount of time that goes by and knowing that there was this extremist, very well-armed group in the area, it may very well be that they were looking for an opportunity to plan an attack. And when they saw this protest erupt, they saw the opportunity they needed to infiltrate that and take control of it and execute an attack. I have not heard anybody say that the group who, this Anwar al-Sharia (ph), had any idea the ambassador was in there. It may have been that a fortuitous event from -- and tragic for the ambassador and for the United States, but fortuitous for the group that he happened to have been there.

BLITZER: For the terrorists. What do we know about the way those two Navy SEALs who died were killed?

TOWNSEND: You know Secretary Clinton when she issued her formal statement talked about the security role they play and Wolf, I think most Americans don't fully appreciate many ex-military provide security services to the State Department so they can actually be in very dangerous places and try to turn them around, work with the locals. That's the case of these two Navy -- these two former Navy SEALs. And you know what we ought to be asking is and to educate our viewers is what is the role they played. What was the role they played that day? We heard Glen Doherty's (ph) sister say he was an American hero. And I suspect when we learn the details of his actions that day in addition to the broader mission these guys play, I think we'd all regard them as American heroes.

BLITZER: Yes, I think they were all heroes. By the way, Senators Lieberman and Collins, the chairman and a ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee have just issued a statement. They've written a letter to the State Department inspector general asking for a full investigation on what happened. And they've got a whole bunch of specific very detailed questions that they want answered. I think that's a good idea.


BLITZER: Thanks very much.

We're learning more also about the man behind that video that sparked those protests. That's coming up in our next hour.


BLITZER: Two major public universities in the United States were the targets of bomb threats today. Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM. What happened?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. Well both campuses have now been given the all-clear. The University of Texas at Austin canceled classes and evacuated campus buildings this morning because of the threat. Another bomb threat was reported at North Dakota State University. Federal authorities and bomb squads swept both campuses and they found no danger.

Guatemala's most active volcano is winding down from its latest eruption. As many as 35,000 people were evacuated yesterday after the volcano started spewing ash and smoke for miles. Authorities say the volume of ash has gone down today, but they're asking residents to still stay on heightened alert. This was the strongest volcanic eruption this year.

And a new scandal is exposing British royalty. A French magazine has published pictures of Kate Middleton topless. The magazine says they were taken while she and Prince William were on vacation at a private house in France. The Palace says the Duchess of Cambridge is -- obviously she's upset. Palace lawyers are now threatening to sue. Prince William and Kate are on a goodwill tour through Asia. And talk about it, I think clearly an invasion of privacy. She's on vacation. They're using these long lenses --


SYLVESTER: It's a private home. So we'll see what happens --

BLITZER: It's paparazzi. That's what they do.


BLITZER: Thanks very much.

So did the United States have early warning that terrorists were plotting a deadly attack in Libya? CNN's Candy Crowley asked the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, about that. Her answer straight ahead.


BLITZER: There's deep suspicion that the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was not spontaneous but was planned in advance. Our chief political correspondent and "STATE OF THE UNION" anchor Candy Crowley is joining us right now. Candy, you had a chance to speak with the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, what did she say?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Count her in that column of those who believe very strongly that this was a planned attack which used these protests as a cover. Take a listen.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: You have a well-planned terrorist -- what looks like, now, we don't know, we have to get more information. But it looks like while we have the natural protests that people have over one thing or another, hijacking that enthusiasm a well-planned probably terrorist plot. But we have to find that out. CROWLEY: At the moment this looked as though there were protests that came from sort of an Internet fueled look at this movie trailer thing. But inside that that movement was used by people who were planning a terrorist plot against the ambassador to Libya.

PELOSI: I agree with that. I agree with that.

CROWLEY: And that's -- I mean --

PELOSI: Or against American interest, whether the ambassador was there or not.

CROWLEY: And did we have early warning of that?

PELOSI: I don't know that. And I don't think we did.

CROWLEY: You do believe it was a terrorist plot using unrest on the street?

PELOSI: Well, we have to find out the facts, but that is what it appears to be.


CROWLEY: Wolf, she is one of those that's been privy to some of the information that the U.S. has, but what she says is that they obviously need more. I asked her about security around the embassy particularly in Cairo, obviously. This was a different situation in Benghazi. But I asked her if she thought for 9/11 that the embassies were -- throughout the Middle East, were protected enough and she said of course.

BLITZER: Because these -- both -- all of these attacks originated on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.


BLITZER: You'd think given the history they would beef up security majorly on that -- specifically on that day.

CROWLEY: She didn't answer that directly. Right, because the question is specifically on that day did they think about that. She would just say that of course there was now enough security.

BLITZER: You got into some other subjects with her as well including politics. What did she say about the prospect that the Democrats could win enough seats so that she no longer would be the Minority Leader, but the speaker.

CROWLEY: Well she says first of all this isn't about me and of course she'd have to run for speaker, but she's very bullish. Now this is against all the conventional wisdom right now that certainly Democrats will make gains in the House, but will not take back majority status. She is very bullish that in fact they will and I will tell you just as a tease because that's what we do in this business that she also gave me the exact date on which she became convinced that Democrats are going to take back the majority.

BLITZER: You mean I have to stay up Sunday morning 9:00 a.m. watch the interview and I'll get the answer to that question?

CROWLEY: Yes, indeed.

BLITZER: "STATE OF THE UNION" just be sure, to our viewers, 9:00 a.m. every Sunday morning Candy is there. The full interview with the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi among many others. We always watch Candy. Thanks very much.

Tyrone Woods became a U.S. Navy SEAL after his mother suggested he join the military. A father to two teenage boys, he became a new dad once again just a few months ago. On Tuesday he was killed in Libya along with Ambassador Chris Stevens and two other Americans. We're taking a closer look at their lives and their legacy. That's coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: President Obama's vowing to bring to justice the killers of the United States Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya. One of those killed was former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. Lisa Sylvester has more on him and his colleagues who gave their lives for our country -- Lisa.

SYLVESTER: Wolf. Well, Tyrone Woods, he is the final victim to be identified. The 41-year-old is a father of three who spent two decades as a Navy SEAL and like the other victims, there was a driving force within him to serve his country.



SYLVESTER (voice-over): We talk about the best and the brightest, and they really were.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values.

SYLVESTER: Forty-one-year-old Tyrone Woods grew up in Oregon. His friends called him Rone. He was a father to two teenage boys, Tyrone Jr. and Hunter. Three months ago he became a new dad again to a baby boy named Ky (ph). Woods was a former SEAL who died helping to protect the ambassador and others. Cheryl Croft Bennett now prepares to do what no mother should ever have to do, receive the remains of her child.

CHERYL CROFT BENNETT, TYRONE WOODS' MOTHER: I'm sure he went down fighting. I'm sure he did. I just hope his -- I hope his last moments weren't painful.

SYLVESTER: Woods was also a registered nurse and a certified paramedic. In the words of Secretary Clinton, he had the hands of a healer as well as the arm of a warrior. Like Woods, Glen Doherty was a former SEAL who loved adventures. He recently worked on an NBC reality show about hunting terrorists called "The Wanted". His friends called him Bub. Miles from home Woods and Doherty died along with Ambassador Chris Stevens and State Department 10-year-veteran Sean Smith. This is Chris Stevens' stepbrother.

DAVID COMMANDAY, AMBASSADOR'S STEPBROTHER: It's tragic. It's so deeply saddening. It also makes us aware though of the kind of role that people like Chris and over the years are playing unsung, but the critical role that they play.

SYLVESTER: That includes computer expert Sean Smith who was online when the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began.

BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They loved this country, and they chose to serve it and served it well. They had a mission and they believed in it. They knew the danger and they accepted it. They didn't simply embrace the American ideal. They lived it.


SYLVESTER: All four died while on duty for their country, on Patriot Day, 9/11/2012.


SYLVESTER: And the bodies of the four victims will be taken next to Dover, Delaware for full autopsies. Afterwards the families will then receive their remains and then can move forward with funeral and burial arrangements -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Our deepest, deepest condolences to their families and friends. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Here is a look at this hour's "Hotshots". In Myanmar, people use their legs to help propel them through the water. In North -- in New York, South Korean rapper and international sensation Psy performs. In Guatemala, the volcano Deflago (ph) erupts as people are evacuated because of ash and smoke. And over at the White House, President Obama greets Olympic athletes during a ceremony to honor the U.S. 2012 Olympic and Paralympics teams -- "Hotshots" pictures coming in from around the world.

Remember Mitt and Ann Romney's embrace at the Republican National Convention? How about President Obama's bear hug with -- bear hugs with Bill Clinton and a pizzeria owner. We're in the throes of the campaign season when political displays of affection could sway critical votes. Let's go to CNN's John Berman in New York. He's got more -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, so the conventions are behind us and the candidates are back out on the campaign trail. And one thing you might notice is that this campaign has become pretty physical, like touchy physical, and we were wondering why. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): So what are the rules when it comes to hugging and kissing and squeezing, PDA, public displays of affection. For normal people Sam in "Casablanca" says --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must remember this. A kiss is just a kiss --

BERMAN: But in campaign season a kiss is never just a kiss. A hug never just a hug, and whatever this is never just whatever that was. Yes in campaign season PDA means something completely different, political display of affection, and we have seen a lot of it lately.


BERMAN: It was the kiss between Mitt and Ann Romney after her convention address in Tampa. It ranked somewhere south of the make- out session between Al Gore and Tipper in 2000, but north of the double Royal and all too British pecks between Will and Kate.


BERMAN: About as hot as the Obama kiss cam makeup smooch. There was a hug between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, a sturdy manly embrace.



BERMAN: But nothing like the powerful pizza passion from Scott Van Douser (ph) that lifted the president off his feet. All of these moments are nice and endearing, but also completely political. The Romney kiss, after the Ann Romney speech, helps humanize the sometimes robotic Mitt Romney. Democrats hope the man hug between presidents 42 and 44 will keep voters from 86'ing the administration.


BERMAN: And the potus (ph) power lift, the Obama camp probably hopes it will lend some blue-collar appeal to his campaign.


BERMAN: Not all political affection ends well, just ask former Republican Charlie Crist. A hug in 2009 with President Obama helped end his career as a Republican.

CHARLIE CRIST, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Well that hug caused me more grief from my party than you can ever imagine.

BERMAN: So what are the rules for political displays of affection? "Glamour" magazine lists some regular PDA regulations. Not in front of kids, not where people are eating, but completely acceptable in a club or a taxi. These don't really seem to apply to politics we hope. About the only rule for political affection, remember, there are cameras and it will last forever. And that Sam in "Casablanca" -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A kiss is just a kiss --

BERMAN: -- he was wrong.



BERMAN: You know in terms of physical politics, you might remember all the State of the Union addresses when members of Congress rush to hug or kiss or shake the hand of the president as he walks down the aisle. They want their picture taken with the president. At the same time, there are plenty of member of Congress who don't want a sitting president to come campaign for them because they don't want the picture of the two of them together hugging, shaking hands, even standing side by side. So physical politics, it counts -- Wolf.

BLITZER: John Berman, thank you.