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Hillary Clinton Prepares to Depart State Department; Women in Combat; Credit Card Swipe Fees are Coming; Looking Back at Hillary's Impact; Inside "Argo"

Aired January 26, 2013 - 07:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell, thanks for starting your morning with us.

KAYE: We start with Lance Armstrong this morning, and his response to a warning from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. It is a big fat no.

BLACKWELL: USADA's chief says Armstrong has until February 6th to testify about his drug use. Then and only then will they even consider changing his lifetime ban. He also said to "60 Minutes" about Armstrong's assertions that he didn't really think he was cheating.


TRAVIS TYGART, CEO, U.S. ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: It's amazing. I mean, this guy you could go to almost any kindergarten in this country or, frankly, around the world and find kids playing tag or four square and ask them what cheating is. And every one of them will tell you it's breaking the rules of the game. No real athlete has to look up the definition of cheating. And it's offensive to clean athletes who are out there working hard to play by the rules.


KAYE: Armstrong's attorney says his client has scheduling conflicts that will keep him from testifying in time. But he also says they don't think Armstrong should testify before the U.S. agency anyway. They think the International Doping Agency is the one with the real authority.

BLACKWELL: And online hacking group Anonymous has declared war on the U.S. government after hacking the Federal Sentencing Commission's Web site overnight. In a video they posted on that site along with a letter addressed to citizens of the world, Anonymous is threatening chaos if the government doesn't meet their demands, which includes limiting the power of the federal prosecutors to go after and, quote, "Destroy the lives of hacktivists" they apprehend.

Well, the group says this month's suicide of Web activist Aaron Swartz triggered the latest attack. Swartz was facing federal computer fraud charges and could have faced 35 years in prison. KAYE: Hillary Clinton is wrapping up her time at the State Department. This week, she testified before two congressional committees about Benghazi. Next week will be her last as secretary of state.

She and her boss talked with "60 Minutes" about her time on the job.


STEVE KROFT, CBS NEWS: Why did you want to do this together? A joint interview?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, the main thing is, I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had. It has been a great collaboration over the last four years.

I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit.

But, I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she's played during the course of my administration. And a lot of the successes we've had internationally have been because of her hard work.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: A few years ago, it would have been seen as improbable because we have that very long, hard primary campaign. But, you know, I've gone around the world on behalf of the president and our country.

And one of the things I say to people because I think it helps them understand, I say, look, in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections, sometimes you lose elections, and I worked very hard, but I lost. And then President Obama asked me to be secretary of state. And I said yes. And why did he ask me? And why did I say yes? Because we both love our country.


KAYE: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is the nominee to replace Clinton. His confirmation could come as soon as Tuesday.

BLACKWELL: There's a new push in several states to change the way we count votes in presidential elections. The states in green are now considering using electoral votes tied to individual congressional districts. Right now, they just use popular vote to decide the state.

Virginia is one of those states where the Republican-led legislature pushed ahead with election plans. But now, Governor Bob McDonnell says he won't support it. Two other Virginia legislators who originally supported the plan are also saying they won't pass it.

KAYE: Republicans are trying to figure out how best to win back voters after losing the presidential election. They're holding a winter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal -- well, he didn't hold back. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We've got to stop being the stupid party. And I'm serious. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. It's time for us to articulate our plans and our visions for America in real terms.

It's no secret we had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we had enough of that.


KAYE: Some expect Jindal to be a presidential contender coming up in 2016.

BLACKWELL: Across the Midwest and into the Northeast, forecasters predict bitterly cold, potentially deadly conditions this weekend. Several inches of snow fell yesterday on parts of the Upper Midwest in the Ohio Valley. Look at these people. Just standing and sliding on the ice.

Now, the arctic air has a grip on the East Coast. Is this supposed to be fun or just dangerous?

KAYE: Yes, it's fun.

BLACKWELL: It's always cool until someone hits their head.

KAYE: Mom always said don't play ball in the house.

BLACKWELL: It's true.

Oh, look, this guy is smart. He just starts (INAUDIBLE).

And some superstorm Sandy victims, they're not having fun. They still have no heat.

KAYE: Yes. Even the Tennessee Valley and the Carolinas are actually on ice, freezing rain caused more than 200 wrecks around Charlotte and 100 flights were canceled. We're joined this morning by meteorologist Alexandra Steele.

So, Alexandra, tell us what is in store for the next few days.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. A few things happening. One, in terms of the temperatures, we've kind of hit bottom. So, we are going to warm up about 20 degrees, I'll show you where.

The second thing, we do have another ice storm developing in the Midwest. And I'll show you that and kind of play it out for you. A big picture, the snow and ice from yesterday is done, Chicago finally picking up their inch.

We are seeing a few lake effect snow showers coming off of Lake Michigan, but kind of negligible. Maybe an inch or so.

Washington, D.C., you're waking up looking out Connecticut Avenue and Georgetown and some snow showers. That should be done by 9:00 this morning, as well.

So, here's the big picture. The next ice storm is developing for Chicago. We do have a winter storm watch for Chicago, supposed to be beginning tomorrow morning through Monday morning.

And let me play it out for you. OK. Here's Denver, a little piece of this energy that's the snow falling in the Rockies is going to break off.

And watch what happens as we head toward Sunday, we're going to watch about noon, 1:00 tomorrow morning, this little energy area with ice. That pink delineating where the ice is begins to move in. And then, Sunday night, you can see about 9:00, it's ice for Chicago. And why it's ice is not snow is the air at the ground is below freezing, but the air at a higher altitude is above freezing. So it's kind of coming down not as snow, but as liquid, and then freezing on the ground and that's where we're seeing once again.

And then watch, from Sunday into Monday, the this with ice and snow moves into the Northeast. So, we'll get that.

But then we'll kind of move through that. In terms of the temperatures, look at Chicago, 44 on Monday, only in the 20s today. The access of that warming moves eastward. So, on Tuesday, Cleveland in the 50s, Louisville at 70, they were just ensconced in ice.

And then on Wednesday, Raleigh, Richmond, in the 70s. So, the access of the warmth pushes eastward and we pick up about 20, 25 degrees. By midweek next week, we're all a lot warmer.

KAYE: We'll take what we can.

BLACKWELL: As soon as we can.

STEELE: Right.

KAYE: Exactly. Thank you.


KAYE: Legendary actor Burt Reynolds is in intensive care this morning in a Florida hospital. The 76-year-old is being treated for the flu. A representative says the star of "Gun Smoke" and "Deliverance" was suffering from dehydration. He is expected to be moved to a regular room very soon. Hope he does well.

We've got much more ahead this hour.

BLACKWELL: Here's what's coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KAYE (voice-over): You know her like this. But have you ever seen her like this? How Hillary Clinton went from Yale student to Washington titan.

Going shopping this weekend? You might want to pay cash. Why it could get more expensive to use your credit card.

It's a movie winning acclaim, racking up nomination. But now being invoked by the secretary of state. I'll talk with the writer of "Argo."




LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. The fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission.


KAYE: As one of his final acts as defense secretary, Leon Panetta announced a watershed change in policy. Once banned, women will now be allowed to fight on the front lines in battle. The announcement opens up 237,000 positions that were previously closed to women despite the fact that many were unofficially functioning in those roles already.

Joining me now to talk about this is Zoe Bedell. She is a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve and of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit to allow women to fight on the front line.

Zoe, good morning to you.


KAYE: Are you pleased with this decision? I mean, even though potentially not all of the positions are going to be open to women, some could remain closed.

BEDELL: Absolutely. This is a positive step forward. And we definitely want to see how this steps up. What the service chiefs submit to remain closed. But this is a huge step in the right direction and we're glad that it's happened.

KAYE: One of the things that has gotten a lot of attention ever since this announcement and even well before this, but sexual assault, certainly a concern for female troops. Not just by enemy troops, we know that, but even among their own ranks.

I want to share some numbers with our viewers this morning. Numbers coming from the Department of Defense shows that more than 3,000 reported sexual assaults occurred in 2011. Secretary Panetta said that number was probably closer to 19,000.

So, what is your take on this? Does adding more women into stressful situations concern you at all? I mean, is there enough protection?

BEDELL: No, sexual assault is definitely an issue in the military. It's both for men and women, and something they need to take seriously. But the response to that is not to take away women's equality within an organization and deny them rights or make them more second class citizens.

The response is to treat them as full equals and to say, no, we're not going to tolerate this behavior. It's not acceptable, these are members of our organization and we don't treat people that way.

And once the military really embraces that attitude, that's when you'll start seeing some of these numbers come down, I think.

KAYE: I want to bring in someone else here, Elaine Donnelly. She's the president of the Center of Military Readiness.

Elaine, good morning. We have said that --


KAYE: -- lives could be lost unnecessarily because of this announcement. Explain that.

DONNELLY: Well, because we're talking about the infantry battalions, armor, artillery units that attack the enemy, Special Operations Forces.

Although women like Zoe have been serving with courage, we honor and respect them for their service in harm's way, we're talking now about the tip of the spear battalions. In that environment, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive or to help fellow soldiers survive. And there's 30 years of studies to back that up.

As far as the issue of sexual assaults are concerned -- wow, that's a huge problem and it's getting worse. But you don't make it better by transferring all of the issues that involve sexual assault into those infantry battalions.

In fact, when General Dempsey suggested just the opposite, maybe this is the answer. No, General, that'll only make it worse and there's no reason to do that.

And I'm also concerned about what about the enlisted women they don't want this? What about men who can't speak out about this?

General Dempsey also said if the standard's too high, then we'll question why is the standard so high?

KAYE: But --

DONNELLY: That means that gradually, incrementally, standards will be lowered. They will be equal, but lowered and we won't have the same tough training for the infantry that we have now.

KAYE: So let me get back to your first initial comment there. Are you saying that women are not as qualified as men?

DONNELLY: I didn't say qualified. They can serve and they are. In the positions where they are in support roles, where their talents are used best. But in the infantry, physical standards do matter, physical capabilities. And 30 years of studies have backed this up.

But I'm a little curious. We know that when the Marines open the infantry officer course asked for volunteers, they asked for 90, they only got two, one woman lasted not even a full day and the other a few more days after that.

So, if the test didn't work out and we respect them for trying, where is the results of the rest of the tests? The Marines have not been forthcoming on this. The Department of Defense really doesn't allow the --

KAYE: Let me --

DONNELLY: -- members of the Joint Chiefs to be fully candid about what's going on.

KAYE: Let me jump in here because you mentioned Zoe and she's still with us.

And, Zoe, why don't you tell us what is your reaction to what Elaine is saying?

BEDELL: Well, there's a couple of things in there. First, in regards to the Marines test, two people does not represent the entire Marine Corps. And, fact, these women were asked to go to a grueling three- month school where when they came out of it, they still weren't infantry officers. So, they were taking the risk without any of the reward and all of the downside.

So, I don't think you can generalize about all women everywhere from that situation.

And in regards to the physical standards, that's absolutely an issue. We absolutely are not asking for quotas for women, we're not asking for a set number of women. We don't want the standards lowered. We just want the women to have a chance to compete to meet those standards and equal opportunity.

And some women absolutely won't be able to do it --

DONNELLY: Actually --

BEDELL: -- just like some men can't do it. And so, we just want women to have a chance to try.

Again, regarding the sexual assaults, you know, pulling women out of society because there's danger to them is outmoded thinking. We haven't been able to do that for years. And, frankly, that's approach they've taken in Iran or Saudi Arabia. I don't think that's where we want to go in America.

KAYE: Elaine?

DONNELLY: The Defense Department has called for quotas. They call them diversity metrics, and promotions will be denied to male officers if they don't support diversity metrics.

So, regardless of your intent, Zoe, or what is being said today, this is how it's going to play out. To have what is called a critical mass, or what General Dempsey described as significant --

KAYE: How --

DONNELLY: This is not about individual rights, this is about group rights, it's about pushing the diversity agenda and using our military to promote a social agenda and put lives at greater risk.

KAYE: Let me ask you, Elaine, about these comments by John McCain, certainly a war hero. He thinks allowing women to partake in this way is a great idea. He says they should be recognized for their service for the military.

I mean, how is it -- I mean, this is a man who speaks from a wealth of experience. So what do you say to that?

DONNELLY: Right. Well, I agree with the last part. Women are promoted at rates equal to or faster than men. And it's been that way for decades.

But surely he knows better. He talked about Navy SEALs. This is not a "G.I. Jane" movie with Demi Moore. There is no way that you could integrate that type of community and say that it would improve that community. No, it would just complicate matters.

When you complicate matters in close combat, attacking the enemy, that's when lives are put at greater risk than they need to be. It's not fair to the women. It's not fair to the men.

KAYE: All right.

DONNELLY: This is not just a gift to women for Valentine's Day.

KAYE: Let me give Zoe the last word here.

BEDELL: Regarding the promotion matter, I think women have been treated very equally. You're not seeing for quotas for women at the top because they're not doing a very good job of filling them if they are.

So I think even women serving in wider roles, that promotion will still be -- the military is ultimately a meritocratic society. And that's what they're aiming for, and the people who are the best will rise to the top. That wasn't happening under the old policy.

Regarding the unit cohesion, you know, those are some of the same arguments they made when they integrated racially when they repealed "don't ask, don't tell". And frankly even when they opened other units to women. So when women were suddenly allowed to fly in combat aircraft. And those arguments have always proven to be bunk with all the past situations. Maybe they're not perfectly analogous.

But I think if we just keep ignoring the evidence and the fact that women are already serving on the ground --

KAYE: Right.

BEDELL: -- we're doing just an injustice to the women who are serving and who have served and who will continue to serve well.

KAYE: Zoe Bedell, Elaine Donnelly -- thank you, both, for talking about this, this morning. Appreciate your time.

DONNELLY: Thank you.

BEDELL: Thanks for having us.

BLACKWELL: Are you doing your grocery shopping tomorrow? Maybe just running errands? Well, if you plan on paying with your credit card, you might want to do that shopping today before a new credit card fee kicks in. We'll tell you why.


BLACKWELL: Some very scary moments from people onboard this Turkish plane. Look at this. See the sparks. The passengers saw the sparks and felt the plane shake. This was not just turbulence. It was lightning hitting the jet.

Can you imagine looking out the window and seeing that?

Then the plane's engine caught fire. And one passenger, we know, took the video during the terrifying moments in the sky over Turkey. Fortunately, the pilot managed to land the plane safely.

KAYE: Just because no one can fly the Dreamliner doesn't mean Boeing is going to stop building it. The company is still building the plane at its facilities in Washington and North Carolina at a rate of five planes a month. Analysts say a full production shutdown until the end of government's probe would be just too costly.

The Dreamliner's currently grounded because of an FAA investigation into electrical fires.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is doing more than hitting the "like" button for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Zuckerberg will actually host a fundraiser for Christie's re-election bid. It's set for February 13th at the billionaire's California home. A Facebook spokeswoman said Zuckerberg and his wife are big fans of the Republican governor's efforts to encourage kids to remain in school.

BLACKWELL: All right. Starting tomorrow, it might cost you a little bit more each time you check out with your credit card, as much as 3 percent more. KAYE: That's right. It's, I guess, part of a settlement between the credit card companies and the merchants. I mean, usually when you buy something and use a credit card, the merchant is the one who pays the fee to the credit card company, and that could be 3 percent of your total bill.

But now, merchants have the option of charging you that fee instead of paying it themselves.

BLACKWELL: It won't be in every state. But chances are it will be in your state. Look at this map. The states here in blue, they prevent the surcharge -- do I have that right? It's every state but chances it won't be here. Only 10 states have laws that prevent this kind of surcharge.

KAYE: But we don't want you to get too worried just yet. I mean, some analysts think the largest retailers like Target or maybe Costco, they won't actually participate in this. But, because that's because a price increase, we'd go against their cheaper than the competition appeal.

BLACKWELL: And I thought about this, everything you buy, that extra 3 percent, I've been trying to rack up miles on my credit card then just pay it off. Now I'm going to rack up fees.

KAYE: Apparently, this is only MasterCard and Visa. And American Express is out of this. They won't allow it.


KAYE: If the store or merchant wants to still us or take American Express, they won't put these extra charges on you for MasterCard and Visa, as well. So --


KAYE: -- we'll see what happens with that.


KAYE: But keep an eye out, Sunday, there's supposed to be a notice in the front window there of the shop. So we'll see. Keep your eye open.

BLACKWELL: A sheriff takes out a controversial radio spot to warn people to arm themselves. Now, some public officials are saying his message is irresponsible.


KAYE: Mortgage rates tick up this week, but they still remain at record lows. Have a look here.


KAYE: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for starting your morning with us.

Five stories we think you should know about this morning. Number one, the hacker group Anonymous has declared war on the U.S. government. It took over the Web site of the United States Sentencing Commission this morning and posted this video.

The message demands reforms of the justice system. Hackers threatened chaos if the government doesn't meet their demands. The message says the suicide death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz prompted the threat. He was facing federal computer fraud charges and 35 years in jail.

KAYE: Number two, some live pictures for you this morning here. Thousands of people expected to march on the National Mall in Washington later this morning to support tighter gun control measures -- lawmakers, pastors, even some celebrities will be joined by victims of mass shootings, including residents from Newtown, Connecticut. They want Congress to enforce a ban on military-style assault weapons and require universal background checks.

BLACKWELL: Number three now, and this is pretty controversial. The Milwaukee County sheriff here you see took out a radio ad that warns people to arm themselves. Listen to Sheriff David Clark Jr.


SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE, JR., MILWAUKEE COUNTY, WISCONSIN: With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back, but are you prepared?

Consider taking a certified safety course and handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.


BLACKWELL: Well, county officials say they're not aware of any police layoffs or furloughs. They also say that the ad sounds like it's encouraging vigilante justice and they say it's irresponsible to suggest 911 is not adequate. Sheriff Clarke has not commented.

KAYE: The next "Star Wars" movie will be directed by J.J. Abrams. You may know him as the creator of "Lost" or "Fringe." Last night, Disney announced Abrams will direct "Star Wars Episode VII". Aren't you excited about this one?

This will be the first "Star Wars" film since Disney bought Lucas Films. Abrams says it is an absolute honor.

BLACKWELL: Number five, President Obama and Hillary Clinton are parting ways. Secretary Clinton is leaving her job at the State Department next week. Well, the two sat down for an interview with "60 Minutes", an exit interview of sorts. Clinton talked about how she felt it was her duty to take the job, while the president just wanted to highlight her selfless service. KAYE: The line of talk around Hillary Clinton is centered around what is next. She says she just wants some down time, that she's ready to leave Washington behind.

But as we have all come to know, don't ever count Hillary out.


KAYE (voice-over): This is not the first time Hillary Clinton seemed to say good-bye --

HILLARY CLINTON: I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure.

KAYE: -- when you just knew she'd be back to say hello. She launched herself back in the days of the nerdy circular glasses as the woman who could take tradition and crack it like a nut. She and Bill Clinton met and fell in love at Yale. Then in 1974, she moved to Arkansas to teach making partner at the Rose Law Firm five years later. She kept working after her husband was elected governor of Arkansas. She would become the first first lady to do so.

HILLARY CLINTON: I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.

KAYE: Then came Washington.

HILLARY CLINTON: This health security card will represent a right of every citizen. And it will give each of us the security of knowing we will be taken care of when we need help.

KAYE: Her health care initiative came crashing down in 1994. Her high visibility came at a cost.

But the super woman learned to steel herself in the face of repeated controversy. There was the unexplained suicide of White House counsel Vince Foster, and questions about the Clintons' Whitewater land deal. But the questions did not end there.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

KAYE (on camera): The affair and the House vote after that to impeach her husband threatened to derail team Clinton. But Hillary was nothing if not resilient. She ran for Congress and was elected senator from New York with 56 percent of the vote.

(voice-over): She became the first, first lady to enter Congress. And in 2007, another first.

HILLARY CLINTON: When people tell me, well, you know, I don't think a woman can be elected president. I said, well, I don't believe that, but we're going to find out.

KAYE: She became Hillary, like Shakira or Cher, it showed independence, it was a hard-fought campaign against Barack Obama. But Hillary never backed down.

HILLARY CLINTON: Shame on you, Barack Obama.

KAYE: Even when campaigning got ugly. Not long after that, Clinton welled up at the New Hampshire diner and ran away with the primary. Another victory. But in the end, she conceded, wrapping up her historic presidential bid.

HILLARY CLINTON: Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time.

KAYE: But her persistence and passion convinced the man she tried to beat to cast her on the world stage.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In her, you will have a secretary of state who has my full confidence.

KAYE: The former first lady and senator from New York would become Madam Secretary in 2009. Yet now, a million air miles and 112 countries later, she finds herself entangled in one final controversy.

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm in charge of the State Department, 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts.

KAYE: Testifying about who knew what when, in light of the attack on the compound in Benghazi.

But if history is any guide, Hillary Clinton may emerge unscathed once again and reinvent herself.


KAYE: As you saw, Hillary Clinton came under fire at those Benghazi hearings, but she gave as good as she got. A day later, she was back on Capitol Hill to introduce her expected successor Senator John Kerry. Once he's confirmed, she is out.

So is a run in 2016 on the horizon? She has said no. But she could always change her mind. We'll talk more about her testimony and her future in our 10:00 hour this morning.

BLACKWELL: Did you notice something different about Hillary Clinton this week? Those glasses. Well, it's not a fashion statement. Those thick black glasses are actually being worn on doctors' orders.

Remember last month she fell and suffered a concussion so her doctors told her to leave the contacts at home for the time being.

OK. I love this group. The folks at Bad Lip Reading, that Web site. They're at it again. They've taken on "Twilight" and the NFL, we've seen those. Now, turning their attention to the inauguration and you might say they're putting their own spin on what the president and the chief justice said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Repeat after me. I'm proud to say yo mama took a Cosby sweater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm proud to say yo mama took a Cosby sweater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elvis Presley had sex appeal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elvis Presley had sex --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll do the spaceman boogie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll do the spaceman boogie.


BLACKWELL: I love this Web site. I love it. They -- over the primary season, they did something with Herman Cain, as well. If you listen to the Herman Cain video, it is hilarious. I think I've watched it maybe 20 times.

KAYE: That does sound pretty funny.

So do you want the real story behind "Argo"? About the 1979 Iran hostage crisis? Well, I'm going one-on-one with the screenwriter. We'll talk about the film's accuracy to, yes, the Oscars.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your middle name? What's your middle name? What's your middle name?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot him. He's an American spy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, they're going to try to break you. They're trying to get you agitated. You have to know your resume back to front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You really believe your little story is going to make a difference?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think my story's the only thing between you and a gun to your head.


KAYE: Have you seen Warner Brothers' "Argo" yet? They have done more than add a couple of Golden Globes to their resume this awards season. The movie film about the rescue of U.S. diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis, even got referenced in this week's Benghazi hearings when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about embassy security. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The Marine security guards, as you know, are very -- very much a presence on more than 150 of our posts. And in order to give them the facilities and support they need, they need a Marine house. They need to be very close to the embassy because -- if you saw the recent movie "Argo," you saw the Marines in there destroying the classified material when the mob was outside in Tehran.


KAYE: And we're thrilled to have the "Argo" screenwriter Chris Terrio with us this morning.

Good Morning, Chris.


KAYE: Pretty great month for you. Congratulations on the success of the film. But I want to ask you very quickly first. Were you surprised to hear your film mentioned in those controversial Benghazi hearings about terrorism and security this week?

TERRIO: I was surprised. We didn't, you know, we know that President Obama had referred to the film earlier sort of lightly, but we didn't know that the secretary had seen the film. So when we -- you know, we wished we'd heard the name of the film under happier circumstances than those hearings. But, yes, we were surprised and flattered that she invoked the film.

KAYE: Well, it's not just moviegoers that have noticed your film. The world is taking notice. Iran has announced that "Argo" is a fabrication and the government is sponsoring now their own version of those events.

What do you make of that?

TERRIO: Well, I think it's an interesting development. I think Ben and I both feel that the film must have hit a nerve in some way with the Iranian regime if they feel compelled to respond to it.

It's -- it's a -- some of the same cast of characters that were behind the 444 days are the same people who are behind the Iranian regime now. In a way, it's not surprising they would feel compelled to just sort of contradict some of the story that we told. But it will be interesting to see what they do.

There are a lot of -- there are a lot of great Iranian directors. I mean, you know, some of the directors who inspire me most are Iranian. So, Iranian filmmakers are great. It's when government propaganda agencies are sponsoring films that I get worried.

KAYE: Right. "Argo" certainly claims to be based on a true story rather than the retelling of what exactly took place in '79. Can you give us a sense of what is true and what isn't? What might audiences be surprised to know isn't true? TERRIO: Well, I think that the essence of the whole operation is true. You know, there was this moment in 1979 and 1980 when six people had to get out of Tehran. And just as it proceeds in the film, Tony Mendez, a CIA officer went to Hollywood and took out ads in the trades and created buzz around this fake movie in order to create a cover story to get six people out. All of that is true.

John Chambers played by John Goodman, the make-up artist in Hollywood who won an Oscar for "Planet of the Apes," he was secretly working as a CIA, as a man who is designing prosthetics and disguises for CIA assets all over the world. So that character of a man sitting in a make-up trailer making "Planet of the Apes" masks, who by night is working for the CIA. That's absolutely real.

KAYE: Let me ask you something about "Slate" has asked about this, a criticism. In case you haven't heard it, here it is. "Much of the stuff 'Argo' leaves out is even better than what made it in. For example, the downplaying of the Canadian involvement in the rescue."

I mean, how do you make the choices? First of all, how does that make you feel? Do you pay any attention to that sort of thing? But how do you make the choices in terms of what to leave out and to put in?

TERRIO: Well, you feel that many of your sins are sins of omission. If we told everything that was happening, we'd have a 12-hour miniseries or longer. You know, there are all kinds of Canadian heroes in this, Pat and Ken Taylor, John and Zena Sheardown, who are Canadian diplomats who also helped to hide Americans in the city.

You know, there's no shortage of heroes everywhere you look in this story. So you go through a painful process of trying to figure out what is the most compelling way to economically tell the story in a way that is truthful to the essence of what happened. And also can hold an audience's attention.

KAYE: Let me ask you about Ben Affleck, the star of your film. I guess, in some ways, he was snubbed by the academy, not getting nominated for best director but won the Golden Globe. Do you think this is a political commentary by the Academy? What do you make of it?

TERRIO: I don't think so. I think that the movie got seven nominations and I think that all of us on the team are thrilled that we got seven nominations. I think that the way nominations work out sometimes the math is weird and maybe sometimes the outcome isn't exactly the one you wanted.

But, you know, where Ben is up for an Oscar because he's one of the producers of the film. So he's still in the running to be on the stage for best picture if we were lucky enough to be on the stage. So I think -- you know, I think Ben and I and the whole team, we just are thrilled that people have seen the movie and the Academy has given us some attention.

KAYE: Well, it's a terrific film and so much success.

Chris Terrio, nice to have you on this morning. And good luck this weekend at the SAG Awards tomorrow night.

TERRIO: Thanks, Randi. Thanks for having me.

KAYE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: This week's cold weather has made for some really cool pictures. We've got amateur scientists testing the physics of subfreezing temperatures and wild scenes produced by Mother Nature herself. Got a lot more coming up.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This is a Spiker box. One of these, along with a cockroach, could make you an expert on the brain.

GREG GAGE, NEUROSCIENTIST: We try to make tools simple enough to be used, things people are already familiar with, cell phones or laptops, and then our equipment has one button on it you just turn it on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been enlightened by neuroscience, I've been enlightened like how our brain functions. You've got a better understanding of muscles and brains.

GAGE: We're almost up to 100 high schools. But I'm greedy man. We want that across all of the country, you know? We just don't want just one kid. We want every kid.

GUPTA: Neuroscientist Greg Gage this Sunday on "THE NEXT LIST."


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. Just about 10 minutes before the hour now.

Bitter cold and blizzard conditions delivered a hefty dose of winter to a huge swath of the country this week. They also produced marvelous images, including some from amateur scientists who bundled up, headed outside to do some experiments.

BLACKWELL: Yes, this is the cool part of really bad weather. This is Fargo, North Carolina. A frozen banana was used to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. I would have imagined that the banana would crack at some point, but no.

KAYE: It was that cold.

BLACKWELL: Also try the old trick of throwing a cup of water into the air and watch this, turns into mist.

KAYE: Same guy hung a wet t-shirt outside and waited for it to freeze, which it did. It became pretty stiff. He was knocking on it there. He said it sounded like a drum or something like that.

But one of our CNN iReporters in Minnesota cracked an egg in a snow drift and watched while it froze just solid.

BLACKWELL: The weather also has caused trouble for drivers. This truck ended up on its side yesterday after skidding on an icy road in Kentucky. Of course, this is not funny.

In Utah, students -- this is the video we were showing earlier, sliding on frozen pavement. Maybe because I'm not great at roller skating, rollerblading, or ice skiing or skating or anything, this, to me, seems dangerous. For people who are good on, you know --

KAYE: They're going pretty slow. Ooh, now that guy's got it.

BLACKWELL: I could do that.

KAYE: You know where he ended up there. One or the other.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I could do that.

KAYE: All right. Look at this. Water used to fight an extra alarm fire this week at a warehouse in Chicago quickly froze, encasing the vacant building in a block of ice. It was like an ice skating rink after that fire was done.

It was five alarm. And even the firefighters were covered in ice on their gloves and on their helmets. It was really, really hard for them to get that fire out.

BLACKWELL: The city ordered that building to be demolished --

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: -- because it just kept burning.

OK. So, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? I could think of at least that many to go with this shot. We'll tell you what's behind this bizarre fashion shoot.


BLACKWELL: Well, it's not just cold here in the U.S. Overseas they're seeing a series of cold snap as well. Look at this.

It's a chimp at a money and ape sanctuary in Wales, shuffling through the snow in a blue blanket. It really is kind of sad. Oh, came off my head. Bring it in. Kind of chilly.

Beside the blanket, what else are they doing? These chimps are drinking tea to stay warm. We hear that this chimp will not go outside without that blue blanket.

KAYE: He was cute, trying to keep warm there.

Well, from Wales and chilly chimps, to Scotland and stylish ponies, yes, they're dressing them in sweaters or, as they call them, jumpers.

But as our Jeanne Moos reports, it is not because they're cold. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fasten your cardigans, prepare to say, "Aww." These Shetland ponies really know how to fill out a sweater.

(on camera): Now, were these the biggest sweaters you've ever knitted?

DOREEN BROWN, KNITTER (via telephone): Oh, yes, indeed. Yes.

MOOS (voice-over): Their names are Fivla and Vitamin, or as the Scottish say --


MOOS: They are the new poster ponies for Scotland's tourist organization, and instantly the world has gone gaga over them.

TONKINSON: We got a phone call saying, "Would your ponies wear jumpers?" And I said, I don't see why not.

MOOS: The owner sent their measurements to Doreen Brown, known for her Shetland wool knitwear, but pony dimensions are different.

BROWN: You had to work out where his legs came and then, of course, he had a wide neck compared to a human being.

MOOS: So how do you get a cardigan on a pony?

TONKINSON: It was just a case of putting one foot in, put the other foot in, button it up.

MOOS: Most of the buttoning was done lying on the ground, which was only possible because 17-year-old Fivla and Vitamin are so calm.

(on camera): No accidents, right?

TONKINSON: No, no, no.

MOOS (voice-over): Scottish tourism officials wanted to combine their two most famous exports, Shetland ponies and Shetland knitwear. Though in the case of these pony sweaters --

BROWN: They looked absolutely dreadful until they went on the ponies.

MOOS (on camera): Well, that's the case with a lot of clothing, huh?

(voice-over): Now, we've seen a lot of critters wearing sweaters, from penguins to dogs, pigs, even turtles on a blog called "Animals in Sweaters."


MOOS: That's a sweater fit for Hannibal Lecter.

At least Vitamin and Fivla weren't subjected to that. Actually, horses wear covers all the time. I once dressed up in plaid to match a horse, but that was no match for these two dressed by Scottish tourism.

(on camera): And how much did they have to pony up for a sweater fit for a pony?

(voice-over): A little over 200 bucks per horse, a bargain.

Fivla and Vitamin got their sleeves dirty during a shoot, but the sweaters are hand-washable.

(on camera): I don't want to -- you know, I don't want to sound insulting, but the sweaters make them look a little fat, don't you think?

BROWN: Well, they are fat!

MOOS: Who are you calling fat?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Button your lip, lady.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.