Return to Transcripts main page


NSA Leaker Revealed; Why Did Leaker Flee To Hong Kong?; George Zimmerman Trial Begins; Supreme Court In Session; Temporary Assignment; Heat Sizzle In Game Two Of NBA Finals; Protester Interrupts French Open; Diamondbacks Draft Paralyzed Player; Honeymoon Not Over; Bo Knows Charity; Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference

Aired June 10, 2013 - 07:30   ET



EDWARD SNOWDEN, SOURCE OF NSA REVELATIONS: You recognize that some of these things are actually abuses, and when you talk to people about them in a place like this, where this is the normal state of business, people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from them. But over time, that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up, and you feel compelled to talk about it.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Now, you know, Snowden has his point of view on all of this, but he says the program was collecting intelligence on Americans. President Obama, top administration officials, say they are not collecting intelligence on Americans though they do collect some data about records of phone logs and that sort of thing. Snowden goes on to talk about the one thing that does concern him about his future.


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


STARR: Something is going to change for him. He may be seeking asylum. The Chinese may want to talk to him. The U.S. Justice Department, of course, has opened a full blown criminal investigation. The National Security Agency that runs all of these programs issued a statement about this last night saying, "The NSA has consistently reported, including to Congress, that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case."

You might ask yourself, why that is so important. That right there, that bureaucratic language is the NSA's defense that it is not spying on Americans. That is crucial they say and they say they have notified all these programs to Congress and that these programs are well understood by those with security clearances to know about them -- John. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Barbara, what's the sense at the Pentagon about what's been lost here in terms of security? How concerned is the Pentagon that key secrets are out there, and who are they most concerned might have them in their hands?

STARR: Well, the issue really, the bottom line here is do terrorists now have a better understanding of how the U.S. government keeps track of them, their cell phone calls, their chat room, their e-mail traffic, all of that? You know, I think most terrorists, if they have a brain in their head, know not to use their cell phones, know that the U.S. government tracks them.

But the level of certainty that the government may now have about where people are located and that gives them that ability to target them, that's not the big concern of, simply that the terrorists now know too much -- John.

BERMAN: The other striking thing about this, Barbara, is a 29-year- old guy who didn't graduate college who works for a contracting firm in front of the computer terminal. It's pretty shocking to a lot of people that he had this kind of information. How careful is the government about giving out security clearance and do they have to re- assess that?

STARR: Well, I think this is now huge. He only had this job for three months. He was not an intelligence expert, by all accounts. As you say, a computer specialist so he had no business going into these areas. If he was there to maintain computer systems, he had no business downloading material that he had no reason to know about. This has happened before.

This happened in the Bradley Manning case. It was all supposed to have much tighter controls. A lot of questions now being asked, why didn't anyone notice? What exactly were Booz Allen's controls over their systems and their programmers and their specialists? Why didn't nobody notice that this guy was downloading the kind of material he did?

BERMAN: Booz Allen hired for their expertise in secrecy. There's going to be a lot of questions about that. Barbara Starr, thank you so much.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Exactly right, John. Right now it's not entirely clear even where Snowden is. A hotel in Hong Kong says someone using his name checked out today. Why flee there? Anna Coren is following that angle for us. She joins us live in Hong Kong this morning. Hi there.

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine. I think it's a good question, one that everyone wants answered. Why would Edward Snowden get on a plane from Hawaii, travel 14 hours to Hong Kong, halfway around the world, to leak this highly sensitive information? There are really two schools of thought as to why he chose this. Perhaps he got it wrong.

Perhaps this was a big mistake because Hong Kong and the United States has a very healthy relationship. They do have an extradition treaty, but others believe perhaps there was no mistake to this, that in actual fact he chose Hong Kong because of its proximity to China. You have to remember that Hong Kong, of course, is part of China, but it does function due to its own autonomy.

It does come under the two systems policy. Perhaps China obviously would love the information that he has. He has a treasure trove of information, and China would definitely be very interested in speaking to him -- Christine.

ROMANS: Tell us more about the extradition treaty the U.S. has with Hong Kong.

COREN: Yes, as I mentioned, a healthy extradition treaty between Hong Kong and the United States, but there are exceptions, the exceptions being if it's a political crime or if he was to be returned to the United States and face cruel and human degrading treatment or punishment, and perhaps this is what he could argue.

If he did argue this then Hong Kong would not be able to go ahead with the extradition treaty. That is what I'm hearing from the immigration lawyers that we have spoken to this afternoon, but certainly if Hong Kong was to grant this tradition treaty, China can step in. They can veto that.

So perhaps that is what he's hoping for, that China will intervene -- excuse the ship, I'm in Victoria Harbor. But certainly it's something that's of huge concern, of huge interest here in Hong Kong as to why he chose this city to leak this highly sensitive information -- Christine.

ROMANS: It's a beautiful shot behind you and just proof that indeed you are there live for us this morning in Hong Kong, where you can hear the ship behind you. Thanks, Anna Coren.

COREN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Coming up, where is Edward Snowden now? We will speak to perhaps the only man who might know, Glenn Greenwald, "The Guardian" reporter who broke this story and interviewed Snowden. Glenn will be joining us live momentarily from Hong Kong. Stay with us.

Meanwhile, jury selection begins in the trial of George Zimmerman charged with the murder and the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the killing ignited a bitter national debate about guns and race. CNN's George Howell in Sanford, Florida this morning -- George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. So starting out, it will take a pool of 500 potential jurors then narrowing that down to six jurors and at least two alternates. The goal in all of this is to find a group of people who haven't been heavily influenced by the intense coverage of this controversial case here in Florida.


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 is there was a confrontation. The 911 calls record someone in the background screaming for help. Then you hear the fatal shot.

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

UNIDENTIFIED OPERATOR: So you think he's yelling help?


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 Cory charged Zimmerman with second degree murder. Defense Attorney Mark O'Mara eventually got a judge to grant Zimmerman a $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 pre-trial hearings, in one case taking the stand himself to speak directly to Martin's family.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: I wanted to say I am 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. 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: So, John, the previous week, there were several pre-trial motions that were heard in the court. The judge hoped to wrap those up last week. That didn't happen. So she held court on Saturday, but still that didn't happen. So they expect to try to wrap up those pre- trial motions today along with the jury selection that starts today -- John.

BERMAN: Jury selection begins today. It will not be easy, as you mentioned. It will be a difficult process trying to identify some impartial jurors in such a high publicity case. What's the process, George?

HOWELL: Well, here's what we know. There's a lot about the process that we don't know, but what we understand, today, there will be 200 potential jurors that come here then on Tuesday 100 potential jurors, Wednesday 100, Thursday 100, so a total of 500 potential jurors here. Here's the thing. Do they fill out the questionnaire today? Do they come back a day later after they do that? That's unclear. So the plan is for this to happen this week, but clearly, John, it could last beyond this week.

BERMAN: It sounds like a complicated operation. George Howell for us in Sanford, Florida. Great to see you, George. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, it is 40 minutes past the hour. Here are your top stories this morning, all eyes on the Supreme Court. Rulings on several big issues could be handed down any time, among them same-sex marriage, the civil defense of marriage act, and affirmative action in higher education. Last week in its first ruling of the current term, the Supreme Court upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples of people who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime.

BERMAN: In just a few hours, the newest senator will be sworn in, Republican Jeffrey Chiesa New Jersey's attorney general, was selected last week by Governor Chris Christie, the late Frank Lautenberg. He will serve in the Senate until a special election could be held this October. Chiesa will not run in that special election, but one person who will run is Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Booker, a Democrat, announced his decision to run on Saturday.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, the Miami Heat sizzling after an opening game stumble. We're going to show you the LeBron James highlight that some are calling one of the greatest -- Berman, is it one of the greatest plays in NBA history?

BERMAN: It is one of the greatest plays I have ever seen. We will show you it all when we come back.


BERMAN: LeBron James and the Miami Heat stuffed, swatted, rejected the Spurs last night to even the NBA finals at one game apiece. Andy Scholes joins us now with more on really what was one of the best plays I've ever seen on the "Bleacher Report." Hi, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Good morning. The series is in San Antonio for the next three games. Last night's game in Miami was virtually a must win for the Heat. This game was close for more than three quarters as LeBron struggled offensively. He had only four points at the half, but he came alive in the third quarter.

Check out this incredible block he had on Thiago Splitter early in the fourth. Amazing, one of the best blocks you're ever going to see in an NBA game. That came during a 33-5 run by the Heat. Miami would go on to win easily in this one, 103-84. They get to win to even the series. LeBron finished with only 17 points, but he was dominant on the defensive end of the floor.


LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: That's just part of my game. When I'm not scoring or I'm not as efficient offensively where I feel like I'm missing some shots, I just figure out ways that I can still help the team even if it's not scoring so much.


SCHOLES: Number two in the line up on Today is the scary moment between yesterday's French Open final between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer. A protester wielding a flare came onto the court. He was immediately escorted away by security. Nadal said he was a little scared at first, but it didn't keep him from dominating the match. He won in straight sets for his eighth French Open title. Nadal has now an amazing 59-1 all the time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We proudly and humbly select redraft number I.D. 9577, Hahn, Cory, center fielder, Arizona State University, hometown Corona, California.


SCHOLES: What a great gesture over the weekend here, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Cory Hahn in the 34th round of the Major League draft. Hahn wore the number 34 at Arizona State. In just his second game, he broke his neck while sliding into second base and was paralyzed from the chest down. After being selected by the Diamondbacks, Hahn tweeted, "I cannot thank the D-Backs enough for what they've done. So humbled and will be forever grateful, so honored to be a Diamondback."

When you drive on the NASCAR circuit, sometimes you have to do things unconventionally, like getting married on a Tuesday and spending your honeymoon in Iowa. That's exactly what Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne did this past week. He and his wife honeymooned in Iowa because that's where Bayne was racing. He made it worth it because he won Sunday's nationwide race.

It was his first win of the year, guys and for Bayne it was the first chance for him to celebrate with his new wife in victory lane. These guys have been together since high school. So do you think she might be a little upset spending her honeymoon on a racetrack? She knew what he was getting into.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, by the way, Andy, from Iowa. She knows just how romantic it can be.

ROMANS: I got married in Iowa. It is very romantic. Best of luck to both of them.

All right, Heisman trophy winner, Bo Jackson captivated America in the 1980s as a two-sport sensation, playing football in the NFL and Major League Baseball. Along with baseball and football, Bo knows charity. When a tornado hit his hometown, he got on his bike to raise money to help those in need.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BO JACKSON, BO BIKES BAMA: Hi. I'm Bo Jackson, and we can make an impact after the storm. This is what one deadly twister left behind in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

I got phone calls from relatives and friends saying it's a bad storm, a big tornado that came through. I sat up and thought about what can I do to give back to my community? I came up with this hair brained idea to ride a bicycle across the state. I decided to make it an annual event to raise money for the tornado victims.

I want to make the rest of the country aware of how severe a tornado can be. When you don't have a place to get out of the way of a tornado, a lot of people get injured, lose their lives hiding in a closet or getting in a bathtub doesn't work when the whole house is getting picked up off the foundation and thrown down the street.

To continue this bike ride and to raise money to build community tornado shelters, I think that's my calling. Join the movement, impact your world. Go to


BERMAN: One of the greatest athletes ever now working for a great cause. Our hats off to Bo Jackson.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, Apple's Developers Conference set to begin in just a few hours.

ROMANS: Some say the tech giant has lost its cool. Can Apple's latest offerings heat up profits? You're watching STARTING POINT.


ROMANS: All right, it may not be the next big thing, but Apple is expected to unveil some new software and services during the Annual Worldwide Developer's Conference, which gets under way in just a few hours in San Francisco. This time last year, they seemed in bitten civil, but now Apple is trying to its grove back.

CNN's Dan Simon following that, he's live in San Francisco. This is the biggest week for tech all year, I would say. I don't know. I think it's a very big week for tech and all about this conference. Hi, there.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Christine, a very big week. You can see some of the Apple die hards behind me. But I have to tell you that it's a very un-Apple-like setting today because in the face of growing competition, there's a real sense that the Apple products might be getting stale. So there is an increasing amount of importance on this event. It's a way for them to show that they can evolve and be the trendsetter we've seen for so many years.


STEVE JOBS: We are calling it iPhone. SIMON (voice-over): When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone, it was years ahead of what anybody else was doing. Six years later, the landscape has dramatically changed.

(on camera): Can they be as dominant as they once were?

BOB O'DONNELL, VICE PRESIDENT, IDC: I'm not sure they can be as dominant as they once were. I don't think anybody can be quite as dominant as Apple once was. I think we see the pie of influence spreading.

SIMON (voice-over): That's why today is so important for the company. To show consumers that Apple is just as important as ever. First off, in the highlight of the event, showing off the latest operating system that powers your idevices some of which have become stale according to tech analyst, Bob O'Donnell.

O'DONNELL: The things they innovated on are now standard and commonplace. The trick is, can they come up with new things or evolve their existing products and ways to completely set them apart.

SIMON: Apple is also expected to introduce a new music streaming service to compete more with Pandora and Spotify. Also expect updated laptops, but a new phone and tablet are not expected until later in the year, products they need to regain steam.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, yours doesn't do that.

SIMON: Samsung has stolen a lot of the buzz with a lot of its commercials. Wall Street hasn't been kind as Apple's growth has slowed. Its stock is trading about a 35 percent lower from its 52- week high. Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently pressed about the company's fortunes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a sense that you may have lost your cool. That somebody else has the cool. That Samsung has the cool. Is Apple in trouble?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Apple in trouble, absolutely not.


SIMON: Well, we should get a better sense of that when things kick off later today. The iPhone is expected to sport a whole new look in terms of its software can bring back some of the sizzle remains to be seen -- Christine.

ROMANS: We'll listen to what Tim Cook has to say later today, thanks, Dan.

BERMAN: STARTING POINT, the leaker steps out of the shadows. Why former CIA employee Edward Snowden says he felt compelled to spill the beans on the NSA's shocking surveillance program.


BERMAN: Our STARTING POINT, the NSA leaker emerges. Just how much access did the NSA have? According to Edward Snowden they could have wiretapped the president, if they wanted to, but why did Snowden open the gates on what maybe one of the biggest leaks in the history of U.S. intelligence.

And in the bizarre case of the actress accused of sending three letters containing the deadly poison ricin to the president, she said she tried to frame her husband, what was her motivation?

ROMANS: Simon Cowell gets egged during a performance of "Britain Got Talent." Now the woman who hurled the egg is explaining herself. Find out why she targeted the famed judge.

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's Monday, June 10. Welcome to STARTING POINT.

Let's begin with the NSA's surveillance leaks and its self-proclaimed source, Edward Snowden. In a riveting interview, the former CIA employee who worked for a defense contractor said he couldn't -- he can't in good conscience allow the U.S. -- U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom, and basic liberties, so he decided to come forward.