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Hearing on NSA Leaks; Taksim Square Protests Continue; Protest Movement Takes Root in Brazil; Afghan Forces Take Over Security; Monsoon in India

Aired June 18, 2013 - 12:30   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us again.

We're keeping our eye, of course, on U.S. intelligence officials still testifying on Capitol Hill about the NSA surveillance program.

Now just moments ago the FBI deputy director, Sean Joyce, talked about Edward Snowden, you know, the guy that leaked the program and started all of this. Have a listen.


SEAN JOYCE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FBI: I -- really I can comment very little other than to say it's an ongoing criminal investigation. I can tell you is we've all seen these are egregious leaks, egregious.

It has affected -- we are revealing in front of you today methods and techniques. I have told you, the examples I gave you, how important they have been.

The first core al Qaeda plot to attack the United States, post-9/11, we used one of these programs. Another plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, we used these programs. And now here we are talking about this in front of the whole world.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: I want to bring in our national security analyst, Peter Bergen, back into the conversation.

And, first of all, Peter, you've written an op-ed and you've said that sometimes this looks like this could be a fishing expedition when you just cast a wide net and they're collecting the phone records, or the Internets, overseas.

From what you've heard today from the testimony, does it sound like there is really some abuse there, or does it sound like this is a tailored program and these programs were important for disrupting the kinds of plots they've revealed today?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Certainly from what we heard today, it seems like there have been -- you know, there are a lot of safeguards in place. As Deputy Director of the FBI Sean Joyce, the plot to divert the attack on the subway by an al Qaeda cell in 2009 was a significant one.

You know, that said, I think the administration has set themselves up for a little bit of a fall with this hearing because, when General Alexander talked about this last week in congressional testimony on Wednesday, he said that there were dozens of attacks foiled and a lot more information would be forthcoming.

But we haven't really heard that today. We have heard new information about one plot. And, by the way, this plot to attack the New York City Stock Exchange, I think the word "nascent" was used. Nascent can cover, you know, quite a lot of territory.

It's interesting. If you look at the core documents in that case, there's nothing to do. They don't mention the New York Stock Exchange really at all. And it was much more about a plot to send money to al Qaeda which is, of course, you know, a big problem.

But I'm not sure the administration is going to, you know, really tamp down the kind of political firestorm that has accumulated around their program with what we've heard today.

If it was a lot more revelation of plots that were really serious that had been stopped in the United States, maybe so, but I think the debate is going to continue.

HOLMES: Did we hear, Peter, enough -- I don't know -- specifics about what it is the surveillance program did to stop a plot, or whether the surveillance program was part of general law enforcement that did good?

BERGEN: Yeah, well, I'm sure the administration is going to kind of -- will say that they don't want to get too much into the actual technicalities.

But the fact is, is that the plots that really happened in the United States have overwhelmingly been to do with typical police activity, suspicious -- you know, for instance, the public calling in a tip; a family member calling in a tip; community, family, community members calling in a tip; an informant being inserted into a plot; an undercover officer.

These kind of conventional police techniques have been almost all the plots in the United States have been stopped in the post-9/11 era.

MALVEAUX: And, Peter, finally, out of the 50 or so examples they say that they have at least in their report that they're going to allow members of Congress to see in a kind of a classified setting, what do you want to know?

BERGEN: Well, I don't think we're going to find out, unfortunately, Suzanne. And I'm not naturally a huge skeptic, but when the government says, just trust us, there are 50 other things that we can't tell you about, you've got to ask yourself, you know, OK, is there something -- you know, is -- are these problems a little less problematic than they are perhaps positing?

And my guess is many of these plots are terrorist plots that were overseas, or you know, they've mentioned 20 countries. That's not the United States. This program has been basically sold to the American public as protecting Americans, and of course, we do want to help our allies, but that's -- it's not quite the same thing as the way it's been packaged so far.

MALVEAUX: All right. Still a lot of unanswered questions. Thank you very much, Peter. Appreciate it.

And, you know, he's right. I mean, it's classified. It's not something that we're all going to be talking about the next day. Members of Congress, they're going to be getting that information and we may never know.

HOLMES: Yeah. Exactly. Is it for a reason, or is there a public right to know? We don't know is the answer to that.

You know, we've reported a lot in the last few weeks, the last few months about Iraq, death there a daily event. And suicide bombers striking again there.

This time, 31 worshippers killed, 57 wounded at a Shiite mosque. This is in the capital, Baghdad.

MALVEAUX: Police say that the twin suicide attacks happened during noon prayers.

Now sectarian violence has been on the rise now for months. Sunnis dominated the country under Saddam Hussein's rule. Well, they have felt marginalized from the mainly Shiite government that took power after the U.S. invaded 10 years ago.

HOLMES: Hundreds of people dying every month in Iraq. Hundreds. Amazing.

MALVEAUX: And protesters in Turkey have a powerful new symbol now. He's been dubbed "Standing Man."


MALVEAUX: Take a look at this.

HOLMES: Have a look at that.

This is a new way of protesting, isn't it? A Turkish man who stood silent and motionless in Istanbul's Taksim Square for more than five hours last night, just looking up at the man who founded modern Turkey -- or a poster of him, Kemal Ataturk, his peaceful protest prompting hundreds of people to then join in.

MALVEAUX: And then the police eventually moved in to arrest people who were taking part in that silent protest.

Officers in the past have used tear gas, water cannons to break up these demonstrations against the government in the square in recent weeks.

We don't know if the gentlemen there, known as the "Standing Man," is in custody, but he's identified as a choreographer. His name is Erdem Gunduz.

HOLMES: Yeah. That was a very powerful protest. Arwa Damon was telling us about it earlier.

Well, what started a demonstration over a nine-cent bus fair increased now turning into a huge protest movement in Brazil.

MALVEAUX: And the protests, they are spreading. It's not just about this bus ride anymore, though, and how much it costs.

As many as 200,000 people actually hitting the streets of more than eight cities. This was yesterday.

They say that the government is ripping off folks here, particularly the poor, while spending a great of money on big events like the World Cup and Olympics.

Shasta Darlington, she's in Sao Paolo. And tell us, first of all, what is the main concern among these protesters?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, what we heard when we went to the protest last night was really just a laundry list of grievances.

As you said, it started out as a complaint over this hike in bus fares, but it's really much bigger than the bus fare. It's snowballed into this huge protest against the feeling that Brazilians are spending so much in high taxes and getting so little in return.

They're complaining about the cost of living, about the lack of government accountability, and, of course, about this money going for big events.

This was also in some senses a reaction to police crackdowns earlier last week to other protests. And people were really outraged that police were throwing tear gas, shooting rubber bullets into what appeared to be peaceful demonstrations.

So even more people joined in last night. We saw around 200,000 people around the country in these protests, a lot of them right here in Sao Paolo.

Like I said, here it was mostly peaceful. But we did see violence in Rio de Janeiro with protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at the national assembly. In Brasilia, they climbed onto the roof of congress.

But really what they are demanding is that the government listen to them, Suzanne.

HOLMES: And, Shasta, you know, you've got the Confederation Cup there. You've got the World Cup coming. You've got the Olympics coming. And, once again, the eyes of the world are turning to Brazil for all the wrong reasons.

What is the government saying and is this a protest movement that has some momentum now?

DARLINGTON: Well, Michael, we actually just heard from President Dilma Rousseff and, obviously, taking a look at how many people are participating in this, she's trying to get them on her side and her speech was very much for Brazil.

It wasn't for the world. She didn't talk about the World Cup. She said this is a democracy. And so the fact that so many people are out there getting their voices heard is a sign of the energy and strength of this democracy.

She prays for the peaceful protesters. She said the isolated acts of violence should and will be condemned. But she that this was really a sign of a stronger democracy, people demanding things like better education and better health.

And she says the reason they are doing that is because the country has improved so much in recent years there are more people in the middle class and in a position to demand a higher standard of living.

Now, of course, what we've heard from the sports minister is a bit different. He says we will not have any marches on the World Cup, period, Michael.

HOLMES: Shasta Darlington, thanks so much. Appreciate that, there in Sao Paolo.

MALVEAUX: And coming up, NATO handing over security duties to Afghan forces. What does this mean for the thousands of U.S. troops who are still stationed there?

We're going to take you live to Kabul, up next.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back. Want to get back to the news.

The U.S. planning to hold talks now with the Taliban, confirmation coming just today. This is after Afghan forces formally took over security responsibilities for their own country.

HOLMES: Yeah, NATO's handover of security seen, obviously, as an important step in ending the longest and costliest war in U.S. history.

For Afghans, of course, it's just the most recent war.

Reza Sayah, joining us from the Afghan capital, Kabul. Reza, these talks with the Taliban, something many Americans might find a bit surprising. There've been unofficial contacts before.

What does this say about what the U.S. position is, and the Taliban, for that matter. REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't think there's any doubt. The Taliban's position is that they're winning this war. And I'm sure the White House, NATO, they have their own position.

And when you have conflicting accounts like that, it's probably the best indication that, so far, there is no clear-cut winner and the outcome will probably surface years down the road.

But certainly, today, the Taliban sounding very confident in their first press conference in a long time at their new office in Qatar. This is the office they plan to use to hold peace talks with both Afghan officials and U.S. officials.

The Taliban today outlining what their goals are. Essentially, they said they to want to restore relations with the world. They want a peaceful solution to the Afghan conflict, an end to the occupation. And this is something Washington wanted to hear. The Taliban saying they will not allow anyone to use their soil to launch attacks against any other country. Of course, the Afghan war started after Washington accused al Qaeda of using Afghanistan to launch the 9/11 attacks.

Very quickly, Afghan officials and U.S. officials both say they recognize this office. In the coming days they say they're going to hold talks in Doha (ph). U.S. officials say they're cautiously optimistic.

MALVEAUX: And, Reza, of course today the security handover happening there in Kabul and it is now surprising, right, that you have international officials or Afghan officials saying, look, the Afghans are ready to take over their own security. Michael and I have both been to Afghanistan and know that there's an incredible amount of skepticism there that they would be prepared to do such a thing. I mean do people really believe that that's - that they're prepared to handle their own security and protect their people?

SAYAH: Suzanne, when you talk to Afghan officials and coalition officials, they say this is an army that has improved, especially the special forces. They've become, some of them, a very effective fighting machine.

However, those same officials say this army has a long way to go. That they're poorly trained and it's going to be a long time before they can effectively defend their country. But ready or not, after today's ceremony when they officially hand it over, the lead security role, they are in the driving seat right now and they will defends their country. They will have U.S. and NATO troops as backup for the 18 months to come, but they're in the driver's seat now.


HOLMES: Reza, thanks so much. Reza Sayah there on the spot in Kabul.

You know, you look back, we're going to be pulling out next year and leaving the Afghans with an army. But, you know, when - you look back when the Soviets pulled out, they left the Afghans with a good army, armor, all that sort of stuff. Took three years and it crumbled. So it's going to be interesting to see.

MALVEAUX: Just three years.


MALVEAUX: And also, I mean, they talk about they need money. They need money and long term support.


MALVEAUX: Lots and lots of money to support that kind of security force there on the ground.

HOLMES: Yes, run an army of 300,000 men on the troop (ph). Exactly.


Coming up, flash floods, buckled roads, entire buildings swept away. Monsoon season now underway in India. Look at those pictures.

HOLMES: Look at that. Uh-huh.

MALVEAUX: More mazing video after a quick break.


HOLMES: To northern India. Torrential rains from a monsoon causing some deadly flash floods and landslides. Quite impressive floods too.

MALVEAUX: You've got check out these pictures. They're really quite unbelievable when you see the destruction there.

HOLMES: Look at that.

MALVEAUX: This is at least 60 people feared dead. Tens of thousands stranded now because of these kinds of pictures, what is happening there. Authorities have now called in military helicopters to essentially pluck people from the areas that have been impacted by that.

HOLMES: Goodness me.

MALVEAUX: And bridge, homes, buildings crashing down. River water levels now also rising.

HOLMES: Yes, Chad Myers is going to join us.

Chad, these pictures are just incredible. Tell us more about the monsoon season. It came early, didn't it?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it happens every year but this year it came early. Pilgrims were still out visiting the religious sites and they are stranded out there because of this flooding. We're also seeing some very heavy rainfall, not just early rainfall as well. Clouds across parts of India right now and that's going to be the case for the next couple of days. This should have taken a couple of weeks more before it got up to New Delhi. Before it got up in toward the Colcada (ph) and up into - because all this water, all of this rain wants to get up here in the mountains and it has to wash itself right back down. Way to early.

Take a look at these pictures because I can stand here and look at a map but really the pictures tell the story. It's just water. It's just rain. It's 60 inches of rainfall in some spots where they should have 20 or 30 inches of rain. So not only early, but, yes, just so much more. You know, monsoons happen every year. It means switch of the wind direction. And the wind direction has shifted, but it's shifted too early causing so many people to get caught off guard, so many farmers now, I mean, they rely on this monsoon. But you don't want it to be when people are out there walking around or visiting these sites. It's going to be another couple of weeks before this finally stops.

HOLMES: Amazing. Chad, thanks so much. I mean just -- that's like half a town falling into the river.

MALVEAUX: Incredible. Just got (ph) all that water.


MALVEAUX: Unbelievable.


MALVEAUX: Still ahead, what performer Enrique Iglesias is doing to impact your world, after the break.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back.

More than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with blood cancer like leukemia each year, but only 30 percent of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant actually can find a matching donor.

HOLMES: A low number, isn't it?


HOLMES: It really is. One performer, though, trying to change that and impact your world.


ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, MUSICIAN: Hi, I'm Enrique Iglesias and we can make an impact on people in need.

Love Hope Strength is our rock and roll cancer organization.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this is just the eligibility. IGLESIAS: They're getting people to register for bone marrow transplant. It's extremely easy. All it takes is one of these and one person. And you just get a swab and that's it. So that's how simple it is. And that's how you can save someone's life.

I think part of the mission on this tour was that we get different ages in our shows and different ethnic backgrounds. I thought a lot of people would sign up.

I think it comes a point and you reach a certain age where you feel responsible. We have a certain level of power and by power I mean you can communicate to your fans, especially nowadays over Twitter, with FaceBook, I feel like I can do something that's positive. It's a good thing.


HOLMES: And on that note, good luck to him, too, by the way.


HOLMES: That will do it for me. I'm going to go. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. We'll see you tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: All right, I'll see you tomorrow as well.

CNN NEWSROOM starts right after the break.