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CNN NEWSROOM

Knives on Planes?; Iran Targets U.S. Drone; New Pope on the Job; Details on the Detained Man Suspected in Benghazi Attack

Aired March 14, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Blades on board, any moment, the head of the TSA in the hot seat. Will John Pistole defend his decision?

Fury in Brooklyn, crowds rising up against police after a teenager is shot and killed.

Plus, a party at a crossroads -- as Republicans gather in Maryland, the real observation, who isn't there?

And:

TONI ENCLADE, MOTHER OF MISSING WOMAN: I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back.

BALDWIN: No phone call, no warning, no sign of a missing teacher in New Orleans. I will speak live with Terrilynn Monette's family begging for her return.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: And we begin, top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin live in New York here on this Thursday beginning with knives on planes, no problem, or no way?

Any minute now as we're watching here, TSA Chief John Pistole will defend his controversial rule change before a House committee. It's the House Homeland Security Committee. Expect to see political pushback to this new plan, to TSA's plans on allowing these small knives on planes.

Remember, along with some of these knives, and they have to be under basically two-and-a-half inches, you have pool cues, and golf clubs, and hockey sticks, and novelty bats. That's all OK now. Is it OK, though? Outrage here, it is growing. You have Delta, American, U.S. Airways opposing these upcoming changes.

Flight attendants, they are furious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARA NELSON, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS INTERNATIONAL: We live in a post-9/11 era where our planes are fuller than ever. We're seeing more and more conflict on board, and the reality is that the TSA was created because there was a loss of American life, because that happened here on U.S. soil.

And so introducing a scenario where we can be putting millions of passengers at risk with these knives on board is not a good idea. No knives, very simple, some knives, not simple. For those of us on the front line of aviation, this doesn't make any sense at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Have to be totally transparent with you because we wanted to get the other side, took us awhile to find someone who agrees with this TSA rule change, but we found him.

Northwest Airlines former security U.S. Douglas Laird joins me from Reno, Nevada.

Mr. Laird, welcome. Off the top here, why do you think allowing these smaller knives, some of the sports equipment on planes is a good thing?

DOUGLAS LAIRD, FORMER NORTHWEST AIRLINES SECURITY DIRECTOR: Well, following 9/11, there was a decision made to ban knives because they were used to carry out that terrible event.

The rest of the world, the rest of the world's airlines, through their Transportation Departments did not follow the same guidelines as the United States. I think we need to leave the politics out of this.

The point of the matter is, what we're concerned about is catastrophic loss of an aircraft. In all my days at Northwest, I never recall anybody having incident with a knife, a pool cue, or a golf club on an airline. What we're really trying to do is keep IEDs, improvised explosive devices, off airlines.

BALDWIN: I'm glad you bring that up, because to the whole question of why, it's because they want screeners to focus less on some of these smaller knives, more on possible explosives.

Just help me to understand, though, how that works, because if you're a screener, right, and you're screening and you're taking that time for screening one thing, why not just screen for the other all at the same time?

LAIRD: Well, I think if you look at the threat of a small blade, it's not worth the time looking for a small-bladed knife. The truth of the matter is, there are any number of weapons if you think about it that you could smuggle aboard an aircraft that the TSA would never find that would have a sharp edge as sharp as a razor.

And what about somebody that knows martial arts? Again, I think with a reinforced cockpit door, the real issue is the TSA needs to spend more time at the screening checkpoint looking for the components, these are the very small part, that would make up an improvised explosive device.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: If you're a screening and you're looking for those very small points in let's say a given explosive device, does that then take extra time that could be used to that vs. looking for a knife?

LAIRD: Sure.

And we have to give the TSA screeners the ability to find what they are looking for, and we need to improve the technology at screening checkpoints so they get a better picture of what they are looking for.

BALDWIN: OK, I just want to be crystal clear on that. I'm no screener expert, just trying to understand. Doug Laird, thank you so much.

LAIRD: Sure.

BALDWIN: Again, we're watching for Mr. Pistole to testify and we will bring that to you.

Meantime, CNN has just learned Iran has targeted a U.S. Predator drone as it flew over the Persian Gulf in international airspace. That incident earlier this week saw Iranian military aircraft shadow the drone until it left the area.

Let's go to the Pentagon to our correspondent there, Barbara Starr.

Barbara, what more do you know about what happened, was this a case of intimidation?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello, Brooke. It is a case of confrontation, perhaps, in the eyes of the United States.

This incident earlier this week passed with no shooting on either side. The Iranian aircraft followed the U.S. drone around for a while and then everybody parted company, but what it underscores, the U.S. says, is that the U.S. military will defend its aircraft in international airspace, that according to a senior Pentagon official.

This is not the first time that they have confronted this. The Iranians have launched their aircraft before, in fact, late last year, actually fired at a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf. And the concern is that this could spiral out of control, that the Iranians could feel they could go after these unmanned drones, the U.S. sending the very clear message it will defend them. Nobody wants to see it escalate into hostilities, obviously.

A couple of incidents over the last many months, this one the latest. And it comes, of course, as there's growing concern about Iran's nuclear program, Iran's involvement in Syria, Iranian meddling that the U.S. sees throughout the region. So, it's just another sort of mark on the wall, if you will, about the heightened tensions -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Barbara Starr, thank you. I want to move on to more breaking news here as we now are learning at CNN that a suspect is now in custody in connection, possibly, to the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Susan Candiotti talking to her sources has some information.

Who is this guy?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's name is Faraj al- Shibli, Brooke, and authorities we're learning have detained this man in -- as a suspect in connection with the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi,two sources are telling me and CNN analyst Paul Cruickshank.

Now, both sources identify the suspect, as we said, as Faraj al- Shibli. One source briefed on the arrest says he was detained in the past couple of days. He had recently returned from a trip to Pakistan, according to one source. It's not known whether he's been charged in connection with the case, which, as we know, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Shibli -- al-Shibli is 46 years old. He comes from a town about 50 miles from Benghazi. He was a member of a militant group called the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. In 2004, the Libyan government reported al-Shibli to the United Nations on its most wanted list and listed an Interpol red alert seeking his arrest. We also know that back in 1998, he was also wanted by the Libyan government in connection with the murder of a German intelligence official and his wife.

This is someone who's been on the radar, certainly, for a long time. We know that the FBI is not giving us any comment about this suspect, who is in custody at this time, and we know of, again, no charges that he may be facing at this time.

BALDWIN: OK, Susan, thank you. Appreciate it.

Newly elected Pope Francis began his first day as the leader of the Catholic Church by celebrating mass with the cardinals who elected him. But what's making news today is exactly how he got to that mass, after stopping by his hotel to pick up his own luggage, mind you, and pay the bill himself. He refused a private car. He hopped on the bus with the other cardinals.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan sat down with CNN's Chris Cuomo earlier today and shared his thoughts on Pope Francis, a man being described as the church's most humble pontiff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK: The Catholic Church is ever-ancient, ever new. It's a beautiful blend. You know, sometimes we look to our church as a grandmother, sometimes we look to her as a young bride. So, there's got to be that combination of things immutable and things that are timely. He will do it well. All we can do is look at his track record, OK? An amazingly simple and sincere, transparent man. A man who deeply loves the poor. A man who's theologically well-grounded in the timeless doctrine of the church, OK, and a man who knows how to govern.

Now, we're going to be able to see those kind of things. I think there may be a touch of simplicity, sincerity, openness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And our senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann is in Rome for us.

Jim, it was right around this time yesterday we were waiting for the big reveal on the balcony there at St. Peter's Basilica. In the last 24 hours, tell me just what has the response been like?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think fantastic, Brooke. There's been a lot of very positive comments on the streets of Rome.

The newspapers were selling out this morning, newspapers, particularly the Vatican newspaper, selling out because of the headlines that announced his papacy, and I think, you know, it's indicative of this new pope that it's been -- he's the kind of person that loves himself to sort of the common feeling amongst people. They say that they like the approachability of this new pope.

They believe that he's going to be setting a different tone. One of the things that the people here are going to be looking forward to, I think, is the next public event, which is going to be the pope's angelus on Sunday, in which he will come out of the papal apartment windows. Those papal apartments are now no longer sealed. They are unsealed this evening, but they are not going to be lived in.

The pope is going to have them renovated and have his own things moved in before he lives in them. But, in any case, he will appear at the papal apartment windows on Sunday and greet the crowds, and then, of course, the big inaugural mass and that's on Tuesday. That's when heads of state and heads of religions around the world are going to be here to officially start the pope's reign -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK. Some renovations for the pope's new home from a man who lived in a simple apartment in Argentina with a stove to stay warm. Jim Bittermann, in Rome, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

Coming up:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

T. ENCLADE: Please bring Terrilynn home, please. That's all I want. I want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: A desperate and emotional plea for the return of Terrilynn Monette, a teacher who disappeared in New Orleans nearly two weeks ago. Her sister will join me live on what she's hearing next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A grieving mother says she firmly believes someone is holding her missing daughter. She is pleading for her return. You may have heard about this. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

T. ENCLADE: It's very hard. I can't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back. So, please, if you're listening and you're watching this, please bring Terrilynn home, please. That's all I want. I want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Absolutely heart-wrenching.

Terrilynn Monette, a teacher, was last seen 12 days ago, right around 4:00 in the morning, according to police, outside of a bar in New Orleans. She had been out that night, apparently celebrating her recent nomination as district-wide teacher of the year. Monette and her car both are missing.

You see it here. This is a black Honda Accord. Take a good long look, 2012. Just yesterday, the Houston-based group called EquuSearch joined the hunt for Monette. They are the ones who ride horseback. They have been looking here in these bayous and ponds nearby searching.

And on the phone with me right now from Irvine, California, is Terrilynn Monette's sister, Kandice Enclade.

And, Kandice, welcome.

And before we even get into what your mother talked about, of course, our thoughts are with you and your family. I know you have a 3-week- old at home. Terrilynn is the godmother. I assume she has yet to meet her. Is that right?

KANDICE ENCLADE, SISTER OF MISSING WOMAN: No, she hasn't. She was actually going to be coming down for Easter to meet her godchild. It's just really, really, really heartbreaking that this has happened.

BALDWIN: Let me bring your mother back in, because she described what she thinks may have happened, and not happened, to your sister. Here she was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

T. ENCLADE: I honestly think someone has taken her against her will. That's what I truly believe. There's no way she would have slept in her car, first of all. I find that very odd. Terrilynn doesn't sleep in her car. Terrilynn is not comfortable unless she's at home in her own bed. There's no way she would have got in her car and went to sleep. And I truly believe someone has her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So, Kandice, just for clarity's sake, your mom was making reference to what Terrilynn's friends told police, that just before she went missing, she said she wanted to get some sleep in her car because she had simply had too much to drink. Whatever the case, we know she's vanished. Your mother thinks someone has her. Is that what you think as well?

K. ENCLADE: Yes, yes. I honestly believe the same thing.

Terrilynn is the type of person, she has to shower before bed. She doesn't like to be other at other people's house and stay the night. I'm her own sister and she barely stays the night at my house. So, I mean, to both of us, we feel like she had to be taken, because she wouldn't sleep in her car. She wouldn't. With the fact that the bar was 10 minutes away from her, she wouldn't have slept in her car.

BALDWIN: So, you say she wouldn't have slept in her car. We mentioned that EquuSearch joined the hunt for her. We will show more pictures of them. They are searching a waterway yesterday.

Are you concerned at all that your sister might have tried to drive home, maybe she ran off the road, maybe into a body of water? Is that a possibility in your head?

K. ENCLADE: I mean, right now, you can't rule anything out. You know, until we find the car, that's the main focus is to find the car and we will probably get some answers. I mean...

BALDWIN: When was the last time you talked to her?

K. ENCLADE: The last time I talked with Terrilynn was Friday evening, 6:30 California time. And she was in good spirits. She was happy. Like every -- you know, every media or newspaper, they are saying, you know, she got nominated as teacher of the year. She was very proud of that accomplishment, only being there for a year-and-a-half.

BALDWIN: Right. If, you know -- forgive me, go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

K. ENCLADE: No, it's just -- I'm sorry. I'm trying to keep my composure. I'm just really saddened and just upset at the fact that we can't find her car, you know, because if we found her car, that will give us more clue and maybe, you know, even some type of hope in finding her.

BALDWIN: You believe, your mother believes that someone has her. What would you, if that person was listening right now, what would you tell that person?

K. ENCLADE: I just want my sister back, you know.

To me it's not even about anything else right now. We just want her back. We just want her in our arms and back safe. That's it. If you can please just hear our cries, Terrilynn means so much to everyone. As you can see, all of the community came out to support us. You know, even other law enforcements have been trying to reach out to help us.

We just want her back. That's it.

BALDWIN: And you want your 3-week-old to have her godmother and to meet her.

Kandice Enclade, we're thinking about you.

K. ENCLADE: Yes.

BALDWIN: We hope you find the car. We hope you find her safe and sound. Thank you.

K. ENCLADE: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: CPAC has started, CPAC, acronym for Conservative Political Action Conference.

Live pictures here. They are meeting this year in National Harbor, Maryland. Here's an image you may remember. This takes you back a couple of years. This was CPAC 2009, Rush Limbaugh. Remember this speech? He fired them up.

What you get at CPAC, you get a lot of talk about conservative principles, lower taxes, faith to the Constitution, never bending to the winds of change.

Well, guess what? Marco Rubio, you know him, conservative up-and- comer. Just about an hour ago, he talked. He told these folks -- here he is -- and I quote -- "The world has changed." That's what he said. And then he said, we need to stop the bickering, his word here, bickering, about taxes and smaller government.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: So, while we are here bickering in this country and arguing about whether we should spend more than we take in or what government's role should be, there is a nation trying to supplant us as the leading power in the world. And you may say to yourself, why does that matter? Some people would say, let someone else take the lead for awhile. We're tired of solving the world's problems.

And, believe me, I understand. I do. It's frustrating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Gloria Borger, our chief political analyst on the CPAC beat today.

And what's interesting is that Marco Rubio actually devoted half of his speech to China. He said, that is the issue, not smaller government. It's China. Is he trying to change the subject?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's trying to be a presidential candidate. That's the way I see it. I mean, this is a man who understands that during the last campaign, this issue of President Obama not believing in American exceptionalism, that America is bigger and better than everyone else, had a lot of resonance with the base of the Republican Party.

I think he also knows, because he looks at the polls like lots of Republicans, that talking about austerity and deficit cutting isn't enough to get affirmative votes to come into your party, not just with the base, and, you know, that was a problem for Mitt Romney. He discovered that he couldn't just talk about the financial issues, that it wasn't enough to win a presidential election.

And Republicans have to become one thing as they go through this soul- searching and this identity crisis they are going through. They have to become a party that is actually capable of winning a presidential campaign. So, what you're hearing from Marco Rubio today is saying, look at me. I'm not just about the budget. I'm about lots of other things, and I care about America being first in the world.

BALDWIN: And maybe look at me come 2016, as you pointed off the top.

A lot is being made, a lot of headlines over who's there, who's speaking, and also who is not, Chris Christie for one. We have reported this. One of the nation's most popular Republicans perhaps isn't conservative enough for CPAC. But then you have some other Republicans and they are coming out and they're saying to CPAC, guys, you're killing us. Here's Congressman Peter King.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: If you can't accept Chris Christie as a conservative, then you're really just asking for another election loss in 2016 and it makes us look crazy in the eyes of the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Gloria, I know you talk privately to a lot of people, Democrats, a lot of Republicans. Would they agree with Peter King?

BORGER: Yes. A lot of Republicans -- I think CPAC is in danger of making itself almost irrelevant to a certain degree in terms of the future of the Republican Party.

I mean, this is a group that invited Donald Trump to speak this time, but did not invite Chris Christie or Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia, two very prominent and very popular Republicans in their own states.

So, this is clearly the conservative base of the Republican Party saying, we lost that election because we didn't have a great candidate, not because we didn't reach out enough, not because we need to rethink some things, but because our messenger was bad. And this is one part of the Republican Party that you are seeing.

Now, there are lots of other Republicans like Peter King who say, one of the reasons we lost is that we have done little to tell the middle class that we care about them, that we have to reach out on all sorts of levels, and inviting Donald Trump and not inviting Chris Christie, I would argue, is not a formula for success.

BALDWIN: Gloria Borger in Washington, Gloria, thank you very much.

ENCLADE: Sure.

BALDWIN: Want to remind you here, speaking of Washington, landscape changing just a smidge here on CNN. Jake Tapper has a new show. It's called "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER." It starts right after me, so at 4:00 Eastern Monday through Friday. Watch for Jake. And don't worry, Wolf Blitzer is not going anywhere. Lot of you tweeting me about this. He's just moving back an hour. So, Jake Tapper, then you get Wolf.

Coming up next, we have news on everything and everyone, including Twitter explodes with obituaries for a popular Google app.

Also, Michelle Obama strikes a pose for "Vogue."

Accusations of a dirty play, you will see it here.

And scientists have discovered the God particle. We have got all it coming up. It's the power block and it's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)