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NSA Leaker Revealed; More on the Santa Monica Shooting; Apple Fans & Investors Watch and Wait; George Zimmerman Trials Begins

Aired June 10, 2013 - 09:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Happening now in the NEWSROOM. Holed up in Hong Kong.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: Even if you're not doing anything wrong.

COSTELLO: 29-year-old high school dropout Edward Snowden speaking out from a secret location.

SNOWDEN: I sitting at my desk had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president.

COSTELLO: This morning the man who leaked the top secret government spying program front and center. What could he be charged with? Will he be extradited? And why are some Chinese happy he's there?

Also , in court --

ZIMMERMAN: Something's wrong with him. Yes, he's coming to check me out.

COSTELLO: George Zimmerman gets a jury. The question: murder or self-defense? In a case that divided the nation, we're live in Sanford as jury selection gets underway right now.

Plus -- Brockovich busted.

JULIA ROBERTS, ACTRESS: Would you mind if I investigate this a little further?

COSTELLO: The famous activist arrested in Vegas over the weekend. We'll tell you what happened.

And heated up. The Miami Heat take game two. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO (on-camera): Good morning, I'm Carol Costello, thank you for being with me.

Mild mannered and soft spoken, this man rocked the U.S. government and maybe your trust in the government. Edward Snowden says his computer work for the intelligence community exposed a dirty and horrifying secret: When you pick up the phone or log on to the Internet, the government is listening and is watching.

And somewhere, here in Hong Kong ,Snowden is hiding from his own country. He says he came forward knowing the risk because he says Americans are losing their freedoms without even knowing it. Here's part of his interview with a British newspaper, "The Guardian."


SNOWDEN: Because even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded, and the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it's getting to the point you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever made, every friend you've ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.


COSTELLO: CNN has deployed its correspondents around the world. Anna Coren is Hong Kong, Miguel Marquez is in Hawaii, Brianna Keilar at the White House, and Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. Let's begin with you, Barbara.


SNOWDEN: When you're in positions of privileged access -

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is 29- year-old Edward Snowden, the high school dropout who worked his way into the most secretive computers of the U.S. intelligence community as a defense contractor and then blew open those secrets by leaking unprecedented details of top secret government surveillance programs. Now he risks never living in America as a free man again.

SNOWDEN: I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have.

STARR: Snowden didn't leak that, but in an interview with the British newspaper "The Guardian," Snowden reveals himself as the source of several documents leaked to journalist Glenn Greenwald, outlining a massive effort by the National Security Agency to track cell phone calls and monitor e-mail and internet traffic of virtually everyone.

SNOWDEN: I sitting in my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.

STARR: Snowden said he just wanted Americans to know what the government was doing.

SNOWDEN: Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded. STARR: And he wanted to be up front that he was behind the leaks.

SNOWDEN: I'm just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watches what's happening, and goes, this is something that's not our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong.

STARR: "The Guardian" says during the interview Snowden watched CNN's Wolf Blitzer ask a panel who the leaker was.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Do you have any idea who's leaking this information?

STARR: Snowden, who's watching, did not react. Snowden fled to Hong Kong three weeks ago after copying a last set of documents and telling his boss he needed to go away for medical care. Before all this, Snowden says he had a comfortable life working for the NSA in Hawaii with a $200,000 salary and a girlfriend.

He told "The Guardian" he never got a high school diploma, attending community college, but not completing his computer studies. He joined the Army in 2003, but was discharged after breaking both legs in an accident. He says he worked as a security guard for the NSA and then moved to the CIA in a computer security job.

In 2009 he left the CIA, eventually joining the contractor Booz Allen in Hawaii. He began to see top secret documents on the extent of NSA surveillance including details that the government also had data on Americans. President Obama insists his administration is not spying on U.S. citizens, only looking for information from terrorists.

For now Snowden believes Hong Kong's climate of free speech will protect him, but there's no guarantee he won't be arrested, taken to mainland China, or sent back to the U.S. It appears to be a risk he's willing to take.

GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN: You're living in Hawaii in paradise and making a ton of money. What would it take to make you leave everything behind?

SNOWDEN: The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.


STARR (on-camera): Well, now, what is it U.S. intelligence community do about all of this? They will now look at every computer log-on to every document he printed out, what he had access to, and try to determine how much damage he may have caused to national security.

Carol, I have to tell you, one thing, one claim he made is already being questioned. He says he has access to every -- the list of every undercover operative. Sources I talk to say that is very unlikely. Carol?

COSTELLO: Let's hope so. Barbara Starr reporting live from the Pentagon.

Hours ago, somebody going by the name of Edward Snowden checked out of a swanky Hong Kong hotel. That's according to a Hong Kong staffer. This is the hotel. It's called The Mira. Rooms here go for roughly $350 a night and now Snowden is nowhere to be found.

CNN's Anna Coren is in Hong Kong. Does this mean Snowden is in hiding or we just don't know where he is at the moment?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Carol, he is definitely in hiding somewhere here in Hong Kong. That's something that was established by one of our producers around noon local time when they asked the hotel staff whether there was an Edward Snowden, and they say he checked out at noon but had been staying there for the past three weeks.

But why Hong Kong? Why travel 14 hours, halfway around the world, to leak these highly sensitive information here? Well, from the analysts, Carol, that we have spoken to, they say it is China. That is the key factor here. Of course, he is in possession of a treasure trove of highly sensitive information. So some think, no doubt, the Chinese would like to get their hands on.

Now, let's have a listen to what the journalists from "The Guradian" Ewen MacAskill had to say. He interviewed Edward Snowden a few days ago.


EWEN MACASKILL, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE GUARDIAN: He's stuck in his hotel every day; he never goes out. I think he's only been out about three times since May 20th and that was only briefly. So, from morning to night, he's in his hotel room. Eats his meals in the hotel bedroom. So it's very confining.

And he's on the Internet, you know, he's able to keep in touch with events that way. He has the TV on. He watches CNN, Wolf Blitzer. And it's funny, I was in the room with him and he was watching Wolf Blitzer and Blitzer was asking the panel, "Who do you think the leaker is?" And he was sitting in the bed watching it. To be fair, there was no chuckle, no smile. He watched it deadly serious.


COREN: Certainly interesting that he's been watching CNN, monitoring how this has all unfolded. Obviously, CNN has extended the invitation to speak to Edward Snowden. We are yet to hear back from him.

But Carol, it's worth noting that Hong Kong and the United States does have an extradition treaty. However, China can step in and veto this. If China thinks that Edward Snowden has information that it considers highly valuable, which no doubt he does, they could step in, stop the extradition from happening, in exchange for asylum or perhaps his freedom. Carol?

COSTELLO: Fascinating. Has Snowden had any contact at all with his family? We knew he had a girlfriend and family members still in Hawaii.

COREN: Yes, living in Hawaii with his girlfriend, earning $200,000 a year. He left all this. He left his life, really, for -- to take this risk, this enormous risk. This is a man who could potentially end up back in the United States in prison.

From what we understand, Carol, from the interviews that we got from "The Guardian," he hasn't had any contact with his family. But let's have another listen to what Ewen MacAskill had had to say about what is going to happen from here on in.


MACASKILL: His main focus was to get this out. He has no real Plan B. He knows that he can't go back. And the terrible thing is he's worried about his family, whether they'll be victimized. He's basically cut off from his family. If he keeps in touch with them, then he's scared that they will be penalized for that.

He's in a strange no man's land of Hong Kong. You know, it's partly Chinese sovereignty, but yet it enjoys a lot of freedom of some legal status. So, who knows what will happen if the U.S. asks for extradition.


COREN: Now Carol, Snowden said he wasn't seeking media attention, that he didn't want to become the story. But I can certainly assure you that everyone here in Hong Kong, if not around the world, the media is looking for Edward Snowden, as well as authorities.

COSTELLO: He has indeed become the story. Anna Coren reporting live from Hong Kong this morning.

This intelligence leak has exploded across Washington with some lawmakers saying national security may have been compromised. The chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter King, considers Snowden a defector and he scoffed at Snowden's boasts that he was entrusted with so much power that he says he could have spied on anyone, including the president.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It's not true. And so much of what he said is untrue. Again, this person is dangerous in the country. I think he had -- I think the real question is to why he left the CIA. The fact that he is in China right now, or in Hong Kong, which is sub- state of China, and he knows where our intelligence assets are, or our intelligence agents are, around the world. And the fact that he has allowed our enemy to know what our sources and methods are is extremely, extremely dangerous. I believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I consider him right now to be a defector.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: At the bottom of the hour, we'll take you live to the White House as the administration scrambles to take some kind of action. Can the president recover from this latest blow? And what will happen to Snowden? We'll talk about all of that just ahead.

This morning, we're also learning more about two of the victims gunned down in Friday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Marcela Franco and her father, Carlos, were leaving Santa Monica's College when the shooter, John Zawahiri, fired into their car, killing both of them. Family members held a news conference and talked about Carlos' last call to his wife.


MARGARET QUINONEZ PEREZ, FAMILY SPOKESWOMAN: Carlos leaving the college with Marcela, and he called Leti. We're here representing her mother, Leti. And he called Leti and he said, "I'm running a little late, but I want you to know I still love you."

He doesn't do that. And then we never heard from him again.


COSTELLO: Family members say they want to be remembered as a family full of love and not as victims of that bullet-riddled car that you saw on television. CNN's Tort Dunnan is live in Santa Monica. Tell us more.

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Carol, really that sentiment is being felt here on campus, as well. People I have spoken to this morning say they don't want the gunman to win. So they want to return to some sort of sense of normalcy here today and all of that is going to happen here within the hour when the campus will be back and running.

But let's talk a little bit more about the police investigation and where that stands right now. This is a photograph of the suspected gunman. I want to run through a quick timeline of events from Friday to make sure everyone is up to speed.

Of course, police say that all this started when the suspected gunman killed his brother and father. Then they believe he set the house on fire, carjacked a woman, forced that woman to drive to Santa Monica College. And along the way, police say he was firing off at random, and even firing off at a public bus that was driving by.

Ultimately, he ended up here on the campus of Santa Monica College. Police say that he shot that father and daughter. Ultimately, those two ended up passing away. He also shot a woman at the library. And then police say all this ended when he was shot and killed by an officer here on campus.

But the police investigation continues this morning, Carol. Right now they're still searching for a motive. It's not believed that police will hold any news conferences throughout the day. Of course, though, that could change. COSTELLO: Tory Dunnan reporting live from Santa Monica, California, this morning.

Watching and waiting, that's what Apple fans and investors are doing today. They want to see if the iconic tech company will unveil another groundbreaking gadget or innovation. Apple is kicking off its worldwide developers conference in San Francisco. That will happen in just a few hours.

Alison Kosik is with us now. So, what might Apple unveil today?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ah, yes, let the speculation begin, Carol. Here's what's most likely coming.

First of all, an update to Apple's iOS mobile operating system, a refreshed MacBook line-up, including a new Mac Pro, which hasn't had an update since 2010. Possibly, an update to Apple TV. That could be on the way.

Now, here's the one really making Pandora and Spotify very, very nervous -- a streaming music service. It could be called iRadio. And rumor is that it would be free to users and ultimately supported by ads. It would use what Apple calls its genius program to choose songs based on what's already in your iTunes library. And that means it would require less user input to set up customs stations.

Now, here's the problem with all this, there's no game-changing category, busting product announcement expected. No iWatch, no Apple TV set and not even a new iPhone to do duke it out with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which came out this spring. And, Carol, that's what -- that's what's kind of worrying some investors, what Apple is not going to offer -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So, how's the stock performing?

KOSIK: Well, you know what? I think Apple shares have seen better days. Right now, you're seeing Apple shares in the pre-market up slightly. But you look at how Apple has been performing over this past year, shares are down 17 percent. They're sitting at $114 a share.

Just to give you some perspective. The data iPhone 5 was unveiled. That was just in September, shares were trading at $669. This is going to be interesting to watch when these developers conference gets underway and these announcements are made, we will watch how Apple trades and see how investors think -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Alison Kosik reporting live from New York Stock Exchange.

A bit of sports to end this block. The NBA's defending champs are not giving up their crown without a fight. Last night, the Miami Heat nears a 14-3 run to close out the third quarter and beat the San Antonio spurs in South Beach.

The best of seven series now tied at one game apiece. The NBA finals now head to San Antonio for games three, four and five.

Just ahead in THE NEWSROOM, 15 months after Trayvon Martin was gunned down in a Florida community, the man accused of pulling the trigger is getting his day in court.


COSTELLO: Twenty minutes past the hour.

Right now in Florida, the search is on for 10 people -- six men and women, and four alternates -- to serve on the jury in the George Zimmerman trial. As you know, Zimmerman is accused of killing Trayvon martin last year. Jury selection began just a few minutes ago.

In the courtroom today would be Trayvon Martin's parents and this past weekend Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, told HLN's Jean Casarez what he wants to see in a potential juror.


MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S ATTORNEY: Someone who is fair, somebody who has not made up their minds yet, will be open to the law and the evidence, and most importantly, somebody who is not going to give in to the external pressures that are on this case right now.

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN: You need somebody brave?

O'MARA: Yes, I think I need somebody who is willing to make up their mind after they hear everything and then stick to it and not be worried about any fallout that may happen.


COSTELLO: All right. Let's head to Sanford, Florida and George Howell.

Good morning, George. Tell us more. You're covering the trial.


So, the judge here really seems to be ready to move forward with this case. Just a few minutes ago, we heard defense attorney Mark O'Mara request a delay of trial. This was filed over the weekend, but just a few minutes ago, the judge denied that request. They are now moving forward to hand out questionnaires to 100 prospective jurors. They're looking for a total of 21 of those jurors to move forward with the jury selection process in this case against George Zimmerman.


HOWELL (voice-over): Was it a case of murder or self-defense? Those are the questions jurors will face in the case against George Zimmerman. February 26th, 2012, the then-neighborhood watch captain called police to report a teenager who he described as suspicious. What's in question is whether Zimmerman pursued after a dispatcher told him not to. The one thing that is clear, there was a confrontation. 911 calls record someone in the background screaming for help. Then, you hear the fatal shot.

CALLER: I don't know why I think they're yelling help, but I don't know.


OPERATOR: So you think he's yelling help?


OPERATOR: All right. What is your --


HOWELL: The victim was 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, his admitted killer, was taken into custody for questioning but then released because investigators accepted his claim that he fired his gun in self defense.

The days that followed left this community in an uproar.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We don't understand why he's not arrested. Investigations can go on forever, and the family worries, I worry, the more time that passes, this is going to be swept under the rug.

HOWELL: State attorney Angela Corey charged Zimmerman with second degree murder. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara eventually got a judge to grant Zimmerman $1 million bond, releasing him to house confinement with a curfew as he awaits trial.

Zimmerman has been in and out of court several times for pretrial hearings. In one case, taking the stand himself to speak directly to Martin's family.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: I wanted to say I'm sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am, and I did not know if he was armed or not.

HOWELL: In the days leading up to trial, prosecutors asked that certain evidence, like these pictures of Trayvon Martin, not be admitted as evidence released. The focus now is on jury selection.


HOWELL: And the challenge, Carol, in finding a jury here. They're looking for six jurors. At least two alternates. Again, they're looking for a group of people who have not been heavily influenced by more than a year of intense coverage of this very controversial case. Overall, we know that they are looking for at least 500 potential jurors. Today, they're talking to 100 of them and you can imagine that process, Carol, will continue through the week. COSTELLO: I can imagine that. George Howell reporting live from Florida this morning.


COSTELLO: For more on the legal proceedings, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan is here.

Hi, Paul.


COSTELLO: So, you sat on both sides of the table. How do you find an unbiased jury in a case this highly publicized?

CALLAN: It's a really tough thing and I got to tell you, it's maybe the most important thing that will happen in the whole case, who gets selected for this jury. But it's been done before. It's been done in the O.J. Simpson case. It was done in the Casey Anthony case, the Scott Peterson case, and a whole line of high-profile cases.

What goes down essentially is you're not going to come up with people who have never heard about the case. I mean, frankly, they would be brain dead if they hadn't. But you're going to come up with people who will say, yes, I've heard things about it on television, but I promise, I'm going to decide this case based on the evidence that I hear in court. And any juror who can say that will be allowed to serve on the jury.

Now, each side will get a number of preemptory challenges. They can knock somebody off for any reason at all. Except, they can't use race as a factor or religion or gender, or religious orientation. Other than that, they can bounce people.

So, we'll see how it turns out. Tough, tough situation.

COSTELLO: Having heard all of that. Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, says he'll ask for a change of venue if it looks like they can't find an impartial jury. So, how likely is that?

CALLAN: I think O'Mara is going to want to say in Seminole County and I'll tell you why. The demographics favor him. This case flips jury selection on its side. Normally, the prosecutor is looking for authoritarian types who have good jobs and who are likely to convict.

And the stereotypical view of most prosecutors are that those tend, more often than not, to be white people who are in high-ranking positions and organizations. The defense on the other hand is looking for people who are suspicious of authority. And they tend to be from minority groups, because they tend to get harassed a bit more by the police, maybe a lot more than people, other people.

So, in this case, though, prosecutors are going to be looking for the minority people on the jury and O'Mara is going to be looking for the prosecutor jurors. And you know what? He's got a better shot at it in Seminole County because the African-American population there is only 11 percent, as compared to 16 percent in the rest of the state. And I think African-American jurors are going to be more likely to favor the prosecution in this case.

COSTELLO: All right. You'll stick with us through this case. I assume it will be a long, long journey.

CALLAN: Absolutely. It's going to be an interesting one. Yes, thank you.

COSTELLO: Paul Callan, thanks so much.

Still ahead in THE NEWSROOM --





COSTELLO: Former cast member of that show, "The Vampire Diaries", now behind bars. The D-list actress accused of sending ricin-laced letters to the president of the United States because she's allegedly wanted exact revenge on her husband? Seriously? The odd case of Shannon Richardson, next.