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The Mass Humiliation Story; Petraeus Will Testify on Benghazi; Obama to Hold Press Conference Today; Head of Hamas Killed; Rockaway and Queens Still Suffering Post-Sandy; Interview with Senator-Elect James Sanders; Congress Wants Answers from NECC; Senators Give Press Conference on Benghazi; Petraeus Scandal Brings Up Privacy Issues
Aired November 14, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Hello, everyone, I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It's 11:00 on the East Coast. It's 8:00 a.m. on the West Coast.
Petraeus, Benghazi, Pelosi, questions, investigations, big decisions, three huge stories of the hour and we start with one that is a half dozen stories or more all tangled up in one.
I speak, of course, of what we called formerly called the Petraeus affair. Those were simpler times, weren't they, earlier this week?
Today, it is not just the Petraeus affair. It's the Petraeus, the Broadwell, the Allen, the Kelley, the mass humiliation story. We're in between bombshells, literally. They just keep dropping, but the details do keep coming.
For instance, the Florida socialite seen here around whom everything seems to revolve. That's Jill Kelley. Not only is she a volunteer liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, she is apparently an honorary consul of South Korea.
The key word here is "honorary" because it's not a real office, but it does help to explain one of the newer developments in this story -- a phone call to 911 made just over this weekend when Mrs. Kelley spotted some uninvited guests apparently from the media staking out on her property.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JILL KELLEY, TAMPA SOCIALITE (via telephone): You know, I don't know if by any chance -- because I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property.
I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved, as well, but now they -- because that's against the law to cross my property since this now, like, you know -- it's inviolable.
(END AUDIO CLIP) BANFIELD: I don't really know about the inviolable thing because, for the record, trespassing is trespassing, period, whether it is a diplomat's yard or your yard or my yard. And, again, she's not a diplomat by any stretch.
On a much, much more important level, though, a public show of confidence today from the SecDef, secretary of defense, in the general who is overseeing the Afghan war.
Now, the SecDef, Leon Panetta, says that the fact that he ordered a Pentagon investigation into this man and the potentially improper e- mails between General John Allen and that woman we just showed you, Jill Kelley, the SecDef says it means only that. It is just an investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: No one should leap to any conclusions. No one should leap to any conclusions here.
General Allen is doing an excellent job at ISAF in leading those forces. He certainly has my continued confidence to lead our forces and to continue the fight.
But his nomination has been put on hold as a prudent measure until we determine what the facts are and we will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: The nomination that Secretary Panetta's referring to is for General Allen to become the supreme allied commander of NATO. That is huge. A Senate hearing had been planned for this week.
But we're also hearing more from Paula Broadwell, the protege turned biographer turned mistress of David Petraeus, and Petraeus, of course, was General John Allen's predecessor in Afghanistan.
I know this is confusing, but he retired from the military to take up the directorship of the CIA, which catapulted this whole story to the top of the list. He quit last Friday when his affair with Ms. Broadwell was exposed through anonymous e-mails that Broadwell sent to -- remember that woman at the beginning of the show, Jill Kelley?
She sent the e-mails to Jill Kelley and among the most pressing and still unanswered questions is whether Ms. Broadwell got her hands on some secret military information that she sure as heck was not entitled to see and that's why the FBI did this.
Late at night, FBI agents raided Ms. Broadwell's North Carolina home on Monday. It's why a 16-month-old panel discussion that might never have seen the light of day at the Aspen Institute all of the sudden now becomes very interesting. Some added significance, shall we saw? Because Ms. Broadwell talked about being in General Petraeus' inner circle in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAULA BROADWELL, PETRAEUS' BIOGRAPHER: And I was embedded with General Petraeus in Afghanistan and it was a little confusing for some of the folks there because I'm also a military reservist with a top- secret FBI clearance and then some, so a lot of my former peers didn't know how to treat me. Was I Major Broadwell or was I journalist Broadwell?
I had to follow very clear lines of nondisclosure and signed nondisclosure agreements like my colleagues.
I felt like I was almost held to a higher level of accountability because I could lose my clearance, yet I was entrusted with this opportunity to sit in on high-level meetings with General Petraeus, sit in on the SCIF meetings in morning, listen to classified chatter of terrorist talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Oy. Oy, terrorist talk. Just the chatter. I'll just sit in on that. That's kind of a big deal.
So, from all we know, the affair between these two, between the General and Ms. Broadwell, began after this time in Afghanistan, about two months into General Petraeus' tenure at the top of the CIA and it ended, we understand, earlier this year.
Are you still with me? I know this is extraordinary, but this scandal seems to get bigger by the day. The details are fast and furious. They are hard to follow, but here's one thing you can be sure of. The demands for a congressional investigation into the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, are growing louder and they're connected.
Now, this new twist, David Petraeus will testify after all. Despite the fact that he stepped down, he will speak before the lawmakers about these attacks this killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his American colleagues back in September.
The CIA, of course, became involved, directly involved in all of this, when the suspected jihadists attacked U.S. facilities in Benghazi. General Petraeus was scheduled to testify this week.
Now, that, as we know, was derailed by this scandal, but Senator John McCain is one of several Republican lawmakers demanding vociferously more information from the Obama administration on just what the heck happened in Benghazi and around Benghazi.
He's scheduled to give a news conference at the bottom of this hour and we are going to have more on that just as soon as it happens.
It is a lot to digest. Our Dana Bash has been doing the best she can to take in all of the information.
Listen, Dana, this is tricky. So many of these stories are interconnected. There is a lot of reporting, not all of it confirmed, but maybe you can just start with this. How was this matter worked out, ultimately, that General Petraeus will indeed show up on Capitol Hill and testify voluntarily?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it started with the Senate intelligence chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, telling us yesterday that that was her desire, that -- in her words to us, that that's a big stone left unturned if Petraeus doesn't come up here and tell members of Congress what he knew about what went on in Benghazi, so that's where it started.
Then late yesterday, members of the Senate intelligence committee met and they all decided that it was imperative to invite him. Since then, they have talked to him and Dianne Feinstein told our Ted Barrett just a short while ago that he has -- he, Petraeus, has said that he will come talk to the Senate intelligence committee.
When that is going to happen, it is not nailed down yet. Feinstein told us yesterday she was hoping it could happen as soon as Friday, but we still don't know exactly when that's going to be.
But it is important to emphasize that both she and her fellow Republican -- her ranking Republican, I should say -- on the committee, Saxby Chambliss, they both emphasized to us that this is simply and strictly going to be testimony about Benghazi. They are not going to go there on the e-mails and the scandal that led to his resignation on Friday.
However, I'll take you to what's going to happen today and that is the House intelligence committee, at least the top two members, are going to get a briefing from the FBI about what led to their investigation, how the investigation went on because that's another subplot going on here, Ashleigh, and that is members of Congress are very angry, especially those -- what they call the "Big Four," the Republicans and Democrats leading the intelligence committees in the House and Senate, that they weren't notified until after Petraeus has already resigned, so that is going to be a subject of closed-door discussion today. They're going to try and get more information about that.
Now, I'm just going on to what you mentioned about John McCain and back to the big issue at stake about Benghazi and what happened and what the administration did and didn't know. We talked to John McCain last night about his anger and I think it's fair to say anger probably is an understatement.
Listen to what he said about what he wants to know about the administration and what went wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I've said for days, weeks, it's either a cover-up or gross incompetence, one of the two. Can't be anything else, but maybe a combination of both. The president of the United States didn't even tell the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: The President of the United States didn't even tell the truth. Those are some pretty strong words there. We're going to hear more from him, as you said, at the bottom of the hour and certainly expect him and his colleagues, including Senator Lindsey Graham, to talk about the fact that they believe a special or select committee needs to be impaneled to deal with these big questions about what happened in Libya.
BANFIELD: So, what happened in Libya is critical to so many Americans. They want the answers to the questions about Benghazi. And many other Americans, I'm not sure if it's 50-50 or what the measure is, but there are many Americans who want the answers to how the head of the CIA could be involved in an illicit affair that resulted in the FBI raiding his mistress' house and taking away hard drives and also CNN's confirmation that there may been actual classified information about the comings and goings of General Petraeus, not publicly known.
I mean, that's critical stuff. How does this kind of information get out to a mistress? And will -- you just said that they're not going to talk about that. I don't know if that's the devil's bargain and why he'd actually come voluntarily to the Hill, but will there be other hearings to get to the bottom of this trash?
BASH: No question about it. The Senate intelligence committee, the House intelligence committee, they've made clear that they are going doing an investigation of why they didn't know of what happened with this long, very secretive FBI investigation of General Petraeus and everything that you just mentioned that came out of it.
As I mentioned at the beginning, even today, there will be the first of what we expect to be many meetings. It's going to be closed door, private, but many meetings with the House intelligence leaders, likely the Senate intelligence leaders and a representative from the FBI to try to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in this investigation.
Because, again, there is a lot of anger here that they were left in the dark and people saying that it broke the law because there is a law back to 1947 that explicitly says that it is part of Congress' oversight function to know when things like this that have the potential to hurt national security are going on.
BANFIELD: And that's the question, things like this, how that can be qualified on whether what happened actually factors in and qualifies for that kind of information.
Dana Bash, thank you. Excellent work.
It's been eight months since President Obama held an official news conference, by the way. That was back in March. You think back to March. That was when Rick Santorum looked to have an edge over Mitt Romney in the primaries. That was also before the president had even begun campaigning.
So, that's a long time and it's safe to say that a lot has changed since then, but it's also safe to say that a lot hasn't changed since then. As the president begins his second term, the balance of power in Congress, same old, same old and his approval rating? We've got a poll that was just taken before the election day, and it shows that his approval rating sits at 51 percent, exactly where it was back in March.
In just over two hours, President Obama is going to address the nation from the East Room and our Brianna Keilar joins us from the White House. She's keeping track on what we can expect.
I don't know what the president has on his agenda, whether there is an agenda for what he's going to say, Brianna, whether we're going to hear about Petraeus, Allen, Benghazi, all of the above, none of the above. What is it?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I would say all of the above and, really, it's sort of what is on the agenda of the reporters who will be asking questions.
You said it's been more than eight months since a full-length press conference. The president did have an abbreviated one in June at the G20 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He had another abbreviated one here at the White House, just a few reporters getting to ask a question in August.
But there are a lot of reporters champing at the bit, ready to ask him questions. You know that he's going to be asked about the fiscal cliff. What we'll expect is that he'll reiterate his support for increasing taxes on the wealthy.
But just how wealthy? That may be the question. Yesterday, Jay Carney hinted that that may go up from the $250,000 that the president has demanded. Maybe he'll say something about that. We don't know.
He's definitely, as you know, Ashleigh, going to be asked about this generals' scandal. He'll be asked about Benghazi because this is the first press conference that he will have held since that September 11th attack in Egypt that left an ambassador and three other Americans dead.
And he'll likely be asked about cabinet appointments, as well as a number of other things. There's going to be a lot of questions today. A lot of things to ask him about.
BANFIELD: He's got a lot of newspapers he needs to read, too, because these developments, at least just pertaining to one of those checklist items we put up are fast and furious about the general.
All right, Brianna, stay on it, will you, because we're going to come to you live for that news conference?
And we want to make sure that you watch our special coverage of the president's news conference. Wolf Blitzer's going to lead our coverage which gets underway at 1:00 this afternoon.
BANFIELD: And our breaking news comes from the Middle East at this hour. The head of the military wing of Hamas was killed today, assassinated in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.
Hamas says this man, Ahmed al-Jabari, was in a car when it was hit by an Israeli missile. A passenger in the car was also killed along with Jabari.
The Israeli defense forces say that he was directly responsible for carrying out terror attacks against Israel for years.
The attack came actually after the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned this week of pending retaliation for the increased rocket attacks that were coming out of Gaza.
The Palestinian government, for its part, has issued a statement calling al-Jabari a "great leader," end quote.
Reuters is reporting that Hamas radio immediately after the attack began broadcasting calls for revenge and those are the scenes you can see for yourself.
Our Sara Sidner joins us live now from Jerusalem. Does this have the potential, Sara, of becoming a renewed intifada.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm not sure about a renewed intifada, but certainly the war between these two countries could escalate to a very big degree depending on what happens over the next few hours and maybe the next day or so.
What we do know now is that, so far, six people have been killed, according to Hamas officials in Gaza. There are air strikes that have been going on right now. There's, so far, nine air strikes that have happened and, as you mentioned, the important, big news of the day here is that, Ahmed al-Jabari, the leader of the military wing of Hamas, but also one of the founding members of Hamas, a symbolic member of Hamas, a big name of the Hamas government, has been killed along with his bodyguard, who was in the car that was struck during an air strike and you're seeing the pictures of that scene there in Gaza.
There have been other people killed since these other air strikes happened just after that. That happened around 4:00 p.m., Jerusalem- time.
What we are hearing now from Hamas is that there will be retaliation and I have a quote here. They have said that the occupation, the occupying forces, Israel, i.e., Israel, has opened the gates of hell and they will have to deal with retaliation from Hamas.
So, this sounds like a huge ratcheting up of rockets perhaps coming into this country and, as you know, over the past few days, there have been dozens upon dozens of rockets coming into Israel. Just in a 24- hour period about 100 rockets came over into Israel.
What started all of this actually started on Thursday with the death of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot. Witnesses in Gaza said those bullets came from an Israeli military jeep, soldiers in the jeep, though Israel's been investigating and they do not believe that they are responsible for the death of that child. But that prompted militant groups inside of Gaza to use an anti-tank missile that hit a jeep, injuring four soldiers and from there Israel responded and, since then, it has been back-and-forth with lots of rockets coming over from Gaza and a response in air strikes from Israel.
BANFIELD: Just after 6:00 at night where you are, as well, it could prove to be a very long night for the people who live in Israel. Sara Sidner, live in Jerusalem, reporting for us, thank you.
BANFIELD: It was just over two weeks ago that millions emerged from their homes to witness in the light of day what Superstorm Sandy had brought to our shores, what it had done to their neighbors and how it had quite simply wrecked their lives.
And, yet, today, the light of day is just about the only light that some New Yorkers who live in Far Rockaway and Queens have because, if you can believe it, they still don't have power, 16 days and counting.
While the Long Island Power Authority says that 99 percent of customers do have their power back, that's just not so for the 206 homes, including families like this. They have been forced to endure freezing temperatures over the weekend, no heat, no light, no electricity for cooking.
New York's State Senator-Elect James Sanders, Jr., joins me now and he represents the Far Rockaway and also is a city council member, outgoing city council member for that district, as well, so he knows the district well.
Sir, thanks for being with us. It's a very simple question I have for you. Why are these people the last of the last and when is relief coming?
JAMES SANDERS, JR., NEW YORK STATE SENATOR-ELECT: I would argue that it's a question of race and class. I would argue that it's a question of the antiquated ability of LIPA to deal with its residents.
We have been so mistreated by LIPA. I myself have no lights, no power and a cold shower is not a pleasant thing, but, even more important, it's messing with the health of the people out here.
And I keep hearing that relief is coming, but it's gobbledygook to me.
BANFIELD: So, LIPA is the Long Island Power Authority and you're saying this could be a question of race and economics and that kind of disparity, but at the same time, the COO of that power company has stepped down.
There are huge criticisms that company's just a mess, that it's a horribly organized company, not so much that this is about race or disparity in income levels.
Where do you fall in that? You've made a very strong statement off the top of your interview, but don't you see that this could also just be a pathetic response from a pathetic company?
SANDERS: I see a combination of many different things and I had called for the resignation of the COO for some time, but I will alert people. Just because you change the captain of the Titanic doesn't mean that you're not on an iceberg. We have hit and it's going to take more.
I'm glad that the governor is saying that he wants to have a comprehensive view of LIPA and what, why is the authority, this power authority, so weak when it comes to providing for the needs of the people.
BANFIELD: So, let me ask you this, now that you're a newly-elected state senator and you're about to be sworn in as such, the captain of your new ship is Governor Cuomo and he ultimately is responsible for what's happened with this power company. It's a public company.
So, what are you going to do with regard to Governor Cuomo? What are you going to say to him? What kind of pressure are you going to put on him for what's been going on in this community?
SANDERS: Well, the governor has started right, at least, by pointing a powerful commission using some laws that he has at his disposal. And, so, he's starting right, but I want to serve on the senate committee that has oversight over LIPA. I want to serve on such a committee. If I can, I will chair such a committee.
I want to make sure that this doesn't happen again and the governor is ultimately accountable to the people of New York. And they are the best ones who will judge his efforts.
So far, he's doing some of the right things, appointing the right commission and with we will see as time goes on.
But I will see when they put some light on in my community. I will see when we start making sure that the women and children and the elders of our community have power and have heat. And, until then, we're going to keep fighting this thing.
BANFIELD: Yes, I hope that's soon.
SANDERS: You and I both.
BANFIELD: Yeah, well, thank you for doing this today. I do appreciate. You made some strong statements, so we do invite LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority, to come on the program at any time to respond to these claims that this is about race and that this is about economic disparity. We do invite them.
And I do thank you for your time and good luck, State Senator-Elect. I hope you get your power soon.
By the way, if you want to help those people affected by Superstorm Sandy, you can go to Impact Your World at CNN.com/impact.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: 32 people dead, 438 sick and one company at the center of it all. A Massachusetts pharmacy that is suspected of distributing tainted injections that resulted in a deadly meningitis outbreak and now, Congress wants some answers from the head of that company, the New England Compounding Center. They are about to really get a drilling from the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations and by the way, that company is not the only one on the hot seat. The FDA commissioner and the state health officials from Massachusetts are also going to be having to answer questions.
I want to break from this story for just a moment because live on the Hill, Senator McCain, along with Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, are giving a news conference over Benghazi.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: Over September 11th, 2012, we will be introducing this afternoon a resolution that would establish such a select committee and we will urge the Senate leadership to act on it as soon as possible.
While we await the findings and recommendations of the administration's internal review, it's essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment. There is no credibility amongst most of us considering the administration and the numerous controversies and contradictions that have been involved in their handling of this issue. It's essential for the Congress to conduct its own independent assessment. Several different committees of jurisdiction in both the House and Senate are called in briefings, planning hearings and reviews portions of this case.
We believe that the complexity and gravity of this matter warrant the establishment of a temporary select committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved which cut across multiple executive agencies and legislative committees. The select committee is needed to answer because more than two months after the Benghazi attack, there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why was the security so inadequate despite two previous attacks on that facility in April and June of this year, an assassination attempt on the British ambassador in Benghazi around the same time? Did the president's national security staff make him aware of these attacks and if they did, why didn't he take the lead, which is, is president's responsibility to ensure our consulate in Benghazi was better fortified and our people better protected?
What actions if any were taken to respond to a classified cable that was allegedly sent from our embassy in Libya back to the State Department on August 16th, stating there were numerous armed groups in Benghazi that posed a threat to the security of the consulate in Benghazi and that that consulate could not survive a sustained attack like the one that eventually occurred a month later at the hands of one of these militia groups?
What action if any did secretary Clinton take in response to these repeated warnings from her people on the ground, including ambassador Stevens in his final official message before his death? Why were questions turned down by officials in the State Department? On the anniversary of the worst terror attack in American history and after multiple attacks on Benghazi, why were U.S. Armed forces in the region not ready and positioned to respond rapidly to what was a relatively foreseeable emergency?
Why did senior administration officials seek to blame the spontaneous demonstration for the attack in Benghazi when it was later acknowledged that no protests even occurred in Benghazi and that the station chief in Tripoli was apparently reporting back in the first 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack? Why did President Obama insist that he label the events in Benghazi as an act of terrorism on September 12th, then emphasize that in his second debate with governor Romney and we now know that in an interview with 60 minutes on the same day, he explicitly refused to characterize the attack this way and then spent nearly two weeks putting the emphasis on a spontaneous protest including his address to the united nations on September 25th?
Why did our ambassador to the united nations in interviews five days after the attack also try to blame on the hateful video when it was clear from the earliest hours of the attack that it was a sophisticated offensive, that no protest ever occurred outside of our consulate in Benghazi and if ambassador rice was relying on intelligence assessments, why were those so dramatically at odds with the earliest reports from our people on the ground?
And perhaps most importantly, why does the administration still appear to have no policy to deal with the fact that al-Qaeda and affiliated groups that have established sanctuaries in eastern Libya, a government eager for our assistance?
This is perhaps the most troubling question. The pattern of violent activity in Libya is well documented by our intelligence community for months leading up to the attacks of September 11th, 2012. The threat reporting was extensive and yet, the administration seems to have gone a little to support our many Libyan friends and partners who did not overthrow Gadhafi only to see al-Qaeda affiliating terrorists and militias take over large parts of their country.
The American people deserve answers, the answers to these and other questions related to the Benghazi attack and Congress has a unique role to play in getting to the truth of this matter as well as compiling the lessons of this tragedy so it's not repeated. Ambassador Chris Stevens was doing everything we want our diploma diplomats doing. He was getting outside the wire to advance America's interests and values in our increasingly dangerous world. While we want to encourage that kind of diplomacy, we want our fellow citizens who engage in this important work to know that their government is taking every reasonable step for their safety. For the families of those four brave Americans who sacrificed their lives, they and the American people deserve answers. The only way they're going to get them in a believable fashion is through the establishment of a select committee.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If we don't appoint a select committee, we're going to make a huge mistake as a body. General Petraeus has now indicated he will testify before the intelligence committee that's likely to be in a classified setting, I don't know. But I do know this. That we're likely to call Leon Panetta and General Hamm and others in the armed services committee and I believe that the foreign relations committee would want to hear from secretary Clinton and all those who are responsible for consulate security.
The problem is that these committees will not be able to hear what the other groups are saying. I'd like to ask General Petraeus some questions and I'm sure there are people on the Intel Committee that would like to hear what the Department of Defense would like to say about their handling of the attack and why were there so many requests for additional security denied and the August 15th cable back to Washington where Chris Stevens is telling Secretary Clinton, we've identified 10 al-Qaeda militia groups in Benghazi. Two of the 10 we suspect were involved in the attack and close to the final paragraph, if there is a coordinated attack against the consulate, we cannot defend it. So four Americans are dead. First ambassador is killed. I think this is a symptom of a greater problem in the Mideast, quite frankly.
For those reasons, it's important that the Congress pick a process that is rational, logical and will get to the truth the best we're able to discern what the truth is. Conspiracy theories are running rampant. How many of you are getting calls about have you heard that? Have you heard that? A segmented stove pipe investigation where you have three different committees going off in three different direction, not comparing notes and doing this in an organized fashion is going to lead to failure, it's not going to result in the quality product we need to dispel unfounded conspiracy theories, accusations and will not lead to the product what I think is a national security debacle long in the making. Should have been avoided.
That is why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to put aside any partisanship and find a way forward. Dianne Feinstein has been terrific. She cannot know what the armed services committee may find out and it's important we all know about what's going on here. I think if there was ever a time in recent history for the Congress to follow models we've used in the past, it is Benghazi. Watergate investigation benefited from a joint select committee. Iran contra benefited from a select committee. I think finding the truth about Benghazi is only possible if you combine the resources of these three committees and do it in a professional manner and if we go down this segmented stove pipe road, we're going fail the American people and not have really any hope of getting the truth out.
SEN. KELLY AYOTTE, (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: When four brave Americans are murdered as a result of a terrorist attack, there is nothing more American or more important responsibility than members of Congress have to get to the bottom of it and frankly right now, where we are, we have more questions than answers and the answers that we have gotten because it has been given in a disjointed fashion from the administration, the answers we have raised more questions. They've been inconsistent with each other and at times, they've provided misimpressions and misstatements to the American people about the nature of the attack that occurred that resulted in the death of our four brave Americans. And so, if anything fries out for the establishment of a select committee, we are going to continue on this path of all of you and the American people receiving disjointed information if we do not establish this select committee. Because three important committees of this body have very clear jurisdiction over this. Certainly, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If you look at the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, all of the questions that Senator McCain outlined before, after and during, they intersect in some way and those three committees and if we don't bring this investigation together, the American people are going to still continue to ask these very important questions.
(END LIVE FEED)
BANFIELD: Senator Kelly Ayotte, along with two other leading members of the Senate Armed Services Committee giving a news conference. And also, Senator John McCain, of Arizona, suggesting that there is a need for a congressional committee at this point to investigate the Benghazi affair. In fact, a temporary select committee is what Senator McCain was suggesting needs to be convened to answer some of the questions, not the least of which he suggested that security was so inadequate at the console. It was like a consulate. More of a mission in Benghazi. Wasn't an official consulate. But specifically, he referenced the e-mail of August 15th in which there was this effort to get more security to suggest this mission cannot sustain any kind of, cannot defend itself against any sustained attack and yet, there was no additional security that was sent. So that is clearly a call to members of Congress that this is what this committee wants, asking for a bipartisan committee.
You can keep watching this news conference on CNN.com/live.
Back after this.
BANFIELD: We're going to skip from one spot on Capitol Hill to another, where there are some hearings going on. What you're seeing is the Oversight Committee on investigations and the topic today is how on earth that company, New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts, was able to distribute hundreds of tainted doses of medication that allegedly led to the deaths of so many people. 32 people died and 438 became doses. The question is not only for the head of that company, but also for the FDA commissioner and state health officials in Massachusetts who presumably should have been overseeing this, so the questions again from the House subcommittee.
Our Sanjay Gupta joins us now live to talk about that.
I think that the question a lot of people want to know is what is this subcommittee going to be able to uncover? Maybe more importantly, make sure that it doesn't happen again?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Two very important questions. I think with regard to the first thing, really tracing the steps of how just a frank contamination, a massive contamination like this occurred. We know for example that the company itself, NECC, knew back in injury of this contamination and these doses were still shipped out. Obviously, a huge problem. There's lead investigators. The FDA, the commissioner is going to testify as well and also, family members of patients who were affected by this.
I dare to tread into this territory as Congress just tries to begin to get the answers and into this investigation. But my thought is that the state officials in Massachusetts are also looking at this because with 32 people dead and as you just said, knowledge of these bad batches of medication going out, you know, some people would say there's grounds for manslaughter charges here.
GUPTA: This is one of the initial hearings, obviously, but I have heard that tossed around as well. The how it happened will be something to come out of this, what the regulatory authority, sort of the second part of your question, is really interesting, actually, because, you know, we've been looking into this as well a little bit. We find that one lead investigator is saying that the FDA ignored warnings about this facility back to 1999. And back in 2002, this exact same medication that's causing this fungal meningitis outbreak was also found to be contaminated that time, 10 years ago. The FDA did find evidence of this contamination 10 years ago, but they said, look, this is under the jurisdiction of the state, the state should take responsibility for it. We traced that and the state said, look, we asked for some corrective actions, but the facility was never shut down at that time.
BANFIELD: I have to leave it there, but keep an eye on it, if you will, and let us know what they come up with, if they come up with anything at all.
Sanjay Gupta reporting live for us.
And that's not the end of Mr. Gupta's work. Dr. Gupta will be busy as well. Quick programming note for you. He has a special, that's terrific, called "Deadly Dose." This is an investigation into prescription drug overdoses. A little different than what we were just talking about, but extraordinarily important. It airs this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. It's Sanjay Gupta reporting and it's terrific, right here on CNN.
BANFIELD: We began this program talking about, you know, a sexy scandal involving two top generals, two women, and a potential, potential, breach of security, but what this whole story also brings to light is the potential breach of privacy. In a world where most of us put our personal lives in some shape or form on the Internet, what we think is private may not be private by any stretch.
Take a listen to what our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, said earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Why are we looking into the personal emails between individuals when it has nothing to do with their, you know -- with their professional jobs or -- and that's an issue in particular if it involves General Allen, for example, and Jill Kelley, who had no sexual relationship as we've been told, so it's going to be a question that several libertarians are going to be looking into because in the age in which we live, the cyber age in which we live, this is kind of their worst nightmare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Ha, worst nightmare.
Joey Jackson -- that's a cue for Joey Jackson.
Worst nightmare. Gloria Borger makes a great point. This whole mess came to light, the genesis of everything was Jill Kelley not being comfortable with some emails that she was getting from Paula Broadwell. She didn't know it was a Paula Broadwell. It was an anonymous handle she was getting. She mentioned it to a friend of hers who works at the FBI. The FBI all of a sudden is looking into personal emails.
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The law of unintended consequences. Think about that for a minute. It starts out with someone saying what am I getting these harassing emails? Where are they coming from? All of a sudden it leads to all this.
BANFIELD: Let's be careful here.
JACKSON: No way.
BANFIELD: How is this working?
JACKSON: Here's the reality. What happens is there is this protection. We all know about the fourth amendment, right? The right protection. There's some measure of protection, and there's also an electronic protection privacy act. The problem, Ashleigh, is it was enacted in 1986.
BANFIELD: We didn't even carry cell phones with us at that time, so it's outdated. Why is that relevant?
JACKSON: It's relevant because of this. If are you transmitting emails, there's a level of protection. If those emails that are stored on a server and they're there for six months, they're deemed abandoned, and as a result of that, the government without a warrant can now say, look, this person is a subject of an investigation.
BANFIELD: 6-month-old emails are fair game?
JACKSON: They're fair game. They're deemed abandoned under that outdated law. As a result, the government can go to the server and say there's no search warrant no, anything. It needs to be updated.
BANFIELD: This is the same, state to state?
JACKSON: Yes. It's a federal act. It's a federal act. BANFIELD: If you got emails six months old, don't think they're private.
JACKSON: Anything we transmit, anything we send or anything we receive, it's fair game. You know it's out there.
BANFIELD: To a certain extent. Let me just characterize this because, as I understand it, you are a lawyer here, dude. As I understand it, a magistrate of some kind or a judge of some kind would have had to sign off on a subpoena for Jill Kelley to get her FBI guy to get his cyber unit in the office.
JACKSON: Oh, sure.
BANFIELD: In Florida to say, sure, I'll dig up some emails and find out who this sender is. There had to be some --
JACKSON: That's what I was saying initially. I don't want to be an alarmist. Oh, my goodness, the government is invading us, but there is that big brother aspect. The reason that you mentioned, Ashleigh, that there had to be judicial intervention there was because of the recency of the emails, the recency of the allegations. Consent to having it reviewed or a search warrant is obtained so the emails could be looked at, but the lesson to be learned here is clear.
BANFIELD: Keep your nose clean. How about that?
JACKSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well stated.
BANFIELD: Yes, keep your noses clean. Although, I love having you here. You know what, keep your nose dirty. Keeps me in business.
JACKSON: Yes, indeed. Pleasure.
BANFIELD: I want to give an update as well to our viewers because you've been following this story that we have been telling you about Florida. Florida, Florida, Florida! The governor of that state, I've been trying to get him on our program because of those long, long lines on Election Day, and that actually prompted the governor, Rick Scott, of Florida to call for a review of the voting process in his state. Now, we have asked the governor to come on this program day after day to explain what happened in person. He has declined all of our questions so far because of scheduling, but his spokesperson did speak to me today. They are trying to make an interview happen because I got some questions still for the governor of Florida. We're about six days away from the certification of the votes in Florida. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Thank you, though, for watching.
Suzanne Malveaux begins right now with NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL.