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CNN NEWSROOM

Hagel Comes Under Fire At Hearing; Death Of Chicago Teen Rocks City; Boy Still Hostage In Alabama; Suspected Gunman Believed Dead; Why Americans Overdose on Painkillers

Aired January 31, 2013 - 13:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Suzanne Malveaux. President Obama's nominee for defense secretary facing tough questions now on Capitol Hill. The Senate Arms Services Committee is now holding a confirmation hearing for former Senator Chuck Hagel. Well, critics say he's too soft on Iran, too cool toward Israel. Is testimony Hagel addressed another criticism? His opposition to the troop surge in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: As to the comment I made about the most dangerous foreign policy decision since Vietnam was about not just the surge but the overall war of choice going into Iraq. That particular decision that was made on the surge but more to the point our war in Iraq, I think was the most fundamentally bad, dangerous decision since Vietnam. Aside from the costs that occurred in this country to blood and treasure, aside what that did to take our focus off of Afghanistan which, in fact, was the original and real focus of the national threat to this country, Iraq was not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So, one member of the committee has already said that Hagel is the wrong person to be the defense secretary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), RANKING MEMBER, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Though I respect Senator Hagel, his record to date demonstrates that he would be a staunch advocate for the continuation of the misguided policies of the president's first term, retreating from America's unique global leadership role and shrinking the military would not make America safer. On the contrary, it would embolden in our enemies, endanger our allies and provide opportunity for nations that do not share our interests to fill a global leadership vacuum we leave behind. It is for these reasons that I believe that he is the wrong person to lead the Pentagon at this perilous and consequential time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So far, only one Republican senator has endorsed Hagel, that is Senator Thad Cochrane of Mississippi.

Well, a teenager who was gunned down in Chicago is becoming the new face of the gun battle and the control over the guns as well. Hadiya Pendleton's family members are telling CNN that they support using her death to help shape this debate to make a point here. It was just a week ago Monday that the 15-year-old and some of her high school classmates were performing at the president's inauguration. Well then, Tuesday of this week, she was shot to death just blocks away from the Obama's home in Chicago. She was the 42nd person killed in that city this month alone. Our Ted Rowlands, he's joining us from Chicago. Ted, that is an unbelievable figure. These are children. These are teenagers. It's hard to even wrap your head around that kind of -- that number when you think that those kids are being killed in that city at that rate. I mean, what is going on?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, to be clear, it is 42nd -- this is the 42nd murder of the year, not murder of a child this year. But over the years, there have been dozens of children -- innocent children that have been killed in the crossfire in the ongoing violence problem here in the city of Chicago. Right now, as we speak, there is a news conference going on in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel, the mayor here, and Gary McCarthy, the superintendent of the police, have just announced they're going to 200 officers from desk positions, put them onto the street. It's part of a several pronged plan that they are trying to implement here. What they also want is the public's help. They want religious leaders to help. They want principals and schools to help and parents to help and they're hoping that the death of Hadiya Pendleton will motivate people to take this seriously because her death has been felt not only here in Chicago but across the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HADIYA, PENDLETON: I'm Hadiya. (INAUDIBLE.)

ROWLANDS: She was one of those kids that always seemed to have a smile on her face which you can see in this YouTube video. That's how friends are describing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the latest innocent victim of gun violence in the city of Chicago. Hadiya had just returned from the inauguration in Washington where she performed with her high school majorette team. Jada Aitkin (ph) is the girl who was next to Hadiya in this team photo.

JADA AITKIN: It was a good trip. I got there and she had -- she was real happy on the trip. She was a nice person. She smiled all the time. She never frowned. She was never mad. She was never sad.

ROWLANDS: On Tuesday afternoon, Hadiya had finished a final exam and was with a group of friends avoiding rain under this park shelter. Witnesses say a gunman came out from behind this fence and started shooting. The park where she was killed is one mile from President Obama's home in Chicago.

The president and first lady's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton. All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family. And as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country. But we -- but if we can save even one child's life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to this scourge of gun violence. ROWLANDS: Illinois Senator Dick Durbin also brought up Hadiya murder during a gun hearing on Capitol Hill talking about her trip to Washington.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: It was the highlight of her young 15- year-old life. Yesterday in a rainstorm after school, she raced to a shelter. A gunman came in and shot her dead. Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she's gone.

ROWLANDS: It's been a deadly start to 2013 in Chicago. Hadiya is the 42nd murder victim already this year. Five Hundred and six people were killed here in 2012.

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: She is what is best in our city. A child going to school who takes a final exam, who had just been to the inaugural. We have a responsibility to see a stop to this. And all of us are responsible.

ROWLANDS: At King College Prep High School, students sent the day with parents and grief counselors talking about Hadiya and her wonderful smile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's too much. Every other day, you're hearing shootings and killings. And now what's happening is more parents are burying their children. And it needs to stop.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROWLANDS: And, Suzanne, the problem here is so complex. Yes, there are too many guns on the streets of Chicago. But one of the other issues, and this is being addressed in the news conference that's ongoing now is that they have trouble convicting anybody on these murders. Hadiya was killed with several witnesses in the area. Nobody has come up with a good description of the suspect. Police say they are having trouble in this case just as they have in other cases. People are so fearful of getting retribution, they will not provide details to police. They are not getting the convictions of the murders. They are running wild on the streets of Chicago.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I mean, and this has been an ongoing problem. You and I have talked a lot about this last year because of the violence on the street and so many young people who were killed last year. I wonder if there is going to be any kind of new ideas, I mean, that the mayor says he'll put more people on the streets. If there is more community building or something that has to take place within that city because it is just tragic. Ted, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

We are also following a bizarre ongoing hostage situation. This is in southern Alabama. This is a five-year-old boy who was taken from a school bus by a man who shot the bus driver dead, killed him. Now, police think the two of them are underground in this makeshift bunker. George Howell, he is in Midland City, Alabama now. And, George, we have been following this story for the last two days now. Do they have a sense of how this little boy is? Are they able to monitor him and this man who has taken him hostage? GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, we were supposed to get a 1:00 p.m. update from investigators but that did not happen which gives us every indication that it's the same information that we got early on that investigators have been able to make contact with Jim Dykes. The negotiations continue and, at this point, they believe that young five-year-old boy has not been physically harmed -- is physically unharmed at this point.

Also, they were also able to get him medications. He suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. So, they were able to get him medications. And another point that they made that they were able to get him crayons and coloring books, these two things that the child specifically asked for. But, again, these investigators are very, very tight-lipped about their operation, about their actions here on this hill behind me. But as we get these updates -- you know, the best news that we've gotten is that, at this point, the child is still physically unharmed.

MALVEAUX: What do we know about this man who is holding him?

HOWELL: You know, when you talk to neighbors, and I spoke to several neighbors just right along the street, right along the area near his home, they describe him as a very reclusive man. They describe him as paranoid, also a person who worried a great deal about alien abductions. And we also learned, Suzanne, that he has a criminal background. We know that he was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm back in the 1990s in Florida. But that case was administratively dismissed. And he was also arrested back in 2001 for possession of marijuana, under 20 grams. So, this is not the first time. And, in fact, he was supposed to be in court, Suzanne, just the other -- just yesterday to face a menacing charge for allegedly firing his pistol at a neighbor. So, you know, this is not the first time that he's had a run-in with the law.

MALVEAUX: And, George, why does this guy have a bunker in the first place? Is this something that people were aware of?

HOWELL: Right. You know, we -- I spoke to Jimmy Davis. Jimmy Davis is one of the neighbors who, as I mentioned a minute ago, says that Mr. Dikes fired a pistol at a him. But Davis has been near that bunker, has seen it, and he described it as, you know, 15 feet by 15 feet wide, 10 feet deep. So, -- 10 to 12 feet deep. And he said that ever since Dykes moved into the property, some two years ago, he's been digging on that property every other day. So, this seems to be something that has been in production for some time. Still unclear exactly why he built it but, at this point, you know, investigators are just doing everything they can to get him out of it.

MALVEAUX: And, George, finally, there is a good guy in this story. And that is the bus driver who saved the lives of all those other kids who were on the bus when that guy came in and said he wanted some children. What do we know about the bus driver who was killed?

HOWELL: Right, Charles Polland. You know, when you talk to people here, they describe him as a bus driver who did everything he could to protect the kids that he took care of each day. He's not a person, people say, who wanted, you know, a lot of recognition for what he did but took his job seriously. And on that day, when you talk to people, you get the story that he kicked the bus back into reverse to try to knock Mr. Dykes off balance. But, again, you know, that didn't -- it didn't quite happen that way. In fact, he lost his life trying to protect those kids. So, in this community, Mr. Polland is certainly revered as a hero. And just the other day, there was a prayer vigil for him just, you know, because of what he did. People definitely took recognition.

MALVEAUX: Sure. And, George, please let us know if there is any update on how that little boy is doing and --

HOWELL: Right.

MALVEAUX: And whether or not he is OK. Thank you, George, we appreciate it.

The shooting, of course, comes as the country is looking at ways to curb gun violence. Well, tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Anderson Cooper, he is looking at both sides of the debate. That is 8:00 Eastern tonight. It's right here on CNN. You're not going to want to miss that.

Police in Arizona say that they have found the body of a man matching the description of a suspected gunman who has now been on the loose. Well, that suspect was 70-year-old Arthur Douglas Harman. Police believe that Harman opened fire inside a Phoenix office building yesterday shooting three people. One of those victims died. The officers appear to have found his body in a nearby city of Mesa. The apparent cause of death we are told is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

And coming up, the man who says he was behind that hoax that broke Manti Te'o's heart. Well, he is now speaking out. He tells Dr. Phil, he is in love with Te'o. And here is what we're also working on this hour.

(voice-over): Senator Robert Menendez is in line to become the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he's facing accusations that he took luxurious trips to the Dominican Republic on a campaign donor's dime. His critics say he also used the trips to party with prostitutes. Menendez says none of it is true but the FBI was spotted at the offices of that donor.

And the FDA is making it harder for you to get painkillers, because more than 16,000 people die from overdoses of those drugs each year in the United States, more than heroin and cocaine combined. We'll talk with Dr. Drew.

Then Newtown remembers. How the community was hoping the tragic school shooting will help change gun laws.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Together, we can turn this into the event that turned the tide that empowered us as individuals, a society and the world to choose love. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: We'll hear from one of the victim's parents. This is CNN NEWSROOM and it's happening now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Want to bring you some sad news here. This is the news of 25-year-old snowmobiler Caleb Moore, who has died. You might recall he attempted a back-flip with his snowmobile. This was at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. It happened last week. He could not complete that move and -- to land the maneuver. And the skis dug into the slope, bring that -- his snowmobile, this is a 450-pound snowmobile -- crashing down on him and crashing down on his chest and his head.

The family has now released a statement here on his death saying, "this morning Caleb Moore passed away. He will be truly missed and never forgotten. The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for all the prayers and support they have received from all the fans, friends, and family around the world that Caleb has inspired."

We want to wish his family our condolences as well.

Manti Te'o, you might remember, he's the Notre Dame star linebacker who said he was duped into an online relationship with a fake girlfriend. Well, now the man who says he was behind this all, the mastermind of the hoax, he is speaking out in an interview with Dr. Phil. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo said that he was, quote, deeply in love with Te'o.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL SHOW": We have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he say that? Does he say I fell in love with him?

MCGRAW: I asked him straight up, was this a romantic relationship with you? And he says, yes. I said, are you then therefore gay? He said, well, when you put it that way, yes. And then he caught himself and said, I am confused.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Dr. Phil's two-part interview airing today and tomorrow.

And Newtown remembers. How the community is hoping the tragic school shooting there is going to help change gun laws. We're going to hear from one of the victim's parents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And changes need to happen with bans on those sort of weapons. Military-style, high capacity clips and magazines.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Did you know that more than 16,000 Americans died from overdosing on painkillers? That was back in 2010. That's the most recent year that data is actually available. There are no other drugs that are responsible for as many deaths. Not heroin, not cocaine, nothing. Last week, an FDA panel called for new restrictions on painkillers. They want these products containing hydrocodone to be reclassified as a stronger controlled substance. That means doctors would be able to prescribe fewer pills at one time. One of the most popular drugs that uses hydrocodone is Vicodin, the most widely prescribed medication in the country. Joining us, Dr. Drew and -- of our sister network HLN.

Dr. Drew, good to see you.

Obviously this is one of your --

DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": A pleasure.

MALVEAUX: Your areas of expertise, addiction. And --

PINSKY: Yes.

MALVEAUX: Why has this grown to be such an incredible problem in our country?

PINSKY: You know, it is a terribly complicated problem. I'm going to try to break it down for you as best I can. Having me in here speaking about this is like bringing on a cardiologist and say, tell us about the heart. It's very complicated. I'll just say that we have overdone a great medication. You know, opiodes are things that take away pain and suffering for short term, acute pain. Unfortunately, we've used them so liberally that I challenge any of you to look in your medicine cabinet and see if you don't have an opiod, whether it's from hydrocodone, Vicodin, codine, something left over from a procedure, orthopedic, dental, something.

And you kids see that. They see how casually we use these medications and they are dangerous and profoundly addictive. Twenty-five hundred 15 to 17-year-olds will try these medications today in an abusive fashion. And if somebody has a history of addiction, trauma, which are very common combinations there days, they are prone to get on these things and have trouble getting off and trigger the disease of addiction. So not only do we have a problem where it's liberally used, it's casually managed, but we have a world in which physicians aren't necessarily trained to identify when somebody is getting into trouble and what to do when they do.

A simple question you should ask yourself, have I ever been addicted to anything? Do I have a family history of alcoholism or addiction? And if I do, I should never be on these medications more than a few days, certainly not more than two weeks. And unfortunately, as physicians, again, we're very hurried. We don't have a lot of time to figure these things out. We were giving historically 60 tabs, 60 tabs, 60 tabs every time a patient came in.

MALVEAUX: Yes, sure.

PINSKY: And it works.

MALVEAUX: Yes.

PINSKY: It's wonderful. The first thing you learn as a physician is, how to take pain away. It's rewarding for the doctors, but it has this other problem, this trigger.

MALVEAUX: So how do you know though -- how do you know if you're addicted though?

PINSKY: How do you know?

MALVEAUX: How do you know if you're addicted? I mean, you're taking these pills. You might be recovering from an operation or a procedure or, you know, anything. How do you know that you've crossed the line and you have to have this stuff and you're not just, you know, taking it in a casual way?

PINSKY: Well, there's no casual -- Suzanne, do we need to talk, you and I, after the show here? There's no casual use of these medications. That's all I'm saying.

And if you're taking them appropriately, even for two weeks or more, you should be asking yourself, have I gotten into something here? Inadvertently. There's no -- there's no sinister intent here on the part of the doctor or the patient. It's just you had a knee procedure and now you're a month in and still taking the stuff? There's a problem.

And by the way, if you then graduate into chronic pain or even past the acute pain, there's actually no biological, reproducible, systematic evidence that opiodes are good for chronic pain and yet we prescribe them hand over fist. It's very complicated. Limiting the amount we can give will begin the process of improving what we've got going here.

But I'll tell you what, the problem that I see is today, when my patients with addiction die of addiction, and I'll tell you almost without exception, maybe one in the last three years, this has not been true. When they die of addiction, they die a pill death. I just urge you to direct your attention to the news. All the celebrities that die of addiction. They're not dying of heroin and cocaine and alcohol. They're dying of pills. And we have to address this problem.

MALVEAUX: So if you think that there's somebody who's addicted, what should you do? How do you intervene in a way that you get people to wake up and listen?

PINSKY: Right. A couple things. Two is, do not tiptoe around. Do not walk on eggshells. That's the silliest thing in the world. And if you trigger righteous indignation from somebody with addiction, because you tell them you care about them and you think there's a problem, really just giggle back. I mean, come on now, that's ridiculous. Give righteous indignation because I love you, I'm trying to help you. Then, once you get past that, talk to the physician who may be prescribing these things. And, by the way, if there's no one prescribing, find for yourself a referral. Someone who knows how to treat the addictive process. Do not be bashful about this. Get right to it. Get to an expert fast. Do not go alone. And, by the way, there's 12-step meetings on every corner, both for the addict and for the family. Avail yourself for that. It's free and it has a magically positive impact on this disease.

MALVEAUX: All right, Dr. Drew, thank you so much. Appreciate.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

MALVEAUX: You can, of course, watch Dr. Drew week nights on our sister network, HLN.

And this is not a job description that you actually see every day. Marijuana consultant. That is right. The Washington State Liquor Control Board has started the bidding process now for officially sanctioned marijuana consultants. Our affiliate KING saying the state is looking for people to give advice in areas such a marijuana cultivation, retail sales, transportation, security and quality control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES EVANS, STRATEGY CONSULTANT: I never thought that I would sit in the legal profession, in my home state, and watch us debate how to roll out a marijuana initiative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or a joint.

EVANS: Or a joint. Or a joint.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: This past fall, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The families of Newtown shooting victims, they are now hoping that the school shooting there is going to help change some of these gun laws. We're going to hear from one of the victim's parents, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)