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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY

Update on San Francisco Airliner Crash; Discussion of Egypt Situation and US Reaction

Aired July 7, 2013 - 12:00   ET

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


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Candy Crowley. This is "State of the Union." You are looking at live pictures of what is left of Asiana Flight 214. It crashed yesterday at the San Francisco International Airport. We are awaiting a news conference at San Francisco International, and we'll bring it to you live, when it happens.

Meanwhile, the flight data recorders have arrived at the NTSB lab in D.C. and investigators have started downloading the material. NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman told CNN they will be reviewing data and interviewing the pilots in the days to come. The death toll in that crash stands at two, 182 injured. We'll continue to follow the story and bring you live news conferences as they happen.

And half a world away, the growing turmoil in Egypt, a country long considered a key to Middle East stability, and now a country divided in the wake of the military ouster of its democratically elected Islamic government. We are expecting and are seeing more demonstrations, and perhaps clashes between supporters of former President Morsi and those who support a more secular government.

First, to our top story, the crash of Asiana flight 214 at San Francisco International. Eye witnesses say the plane was coming in dangerously low, and clipped the sea wall at the end of the runway, shearing off its tail, and skidding to a stop and catching on fire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like we were about to land. The nose of the plane, as you know, goes up a little bit. And then it went and (INAUDIBLE), start hitting, hitting hard. And then we felt like we were going up again, so that's why I said, I felt like we were going to -- the guys were able to pull one of those, almost missed landing and go back up. And it didn't happen. We just crushed back. So, as I say, if we flipped, none of us would be here to talk about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: An official investigation of what happened will take months, if not years. We want to go to CNN's Miguel Marquez, who was at San Francisco International Airport. Miguel, what's the latest you've got? MIQUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that officials are currently meeting and we expect a press conference based on that meeting, just not too far from where I'm standing right now. And that should happen, we hope, fairly soon. We also know that there are several things that we're looking at.

Look, this plane came in obviously in the wrong glide path when it hit, and why did that happen? A couple of things that we do know about. The instrument landing system here at -- on that runway and at SFO was out of commission at the time, due to construction. It had been out for some time. Other planes that landed, there were backup systems, but was, was there confusion?

Was there something that this pilot thought was going on that wasn't, that caused him to come in at that speed? Also, the engines. The CEO of Asiana Airlines says that as far as he knows, there was no problem with the engines. He also says there was no word or no warning that went out to passengers on that plane.

But we know that that left engine seems to have disappeared essentially. That it's no -- the right engine ended up next to the fuselage, which caused the fire on the fuselage eventually, but the left engine, we don't know where it went, we don't know if it exploded, if it fell off shortly before that impact could have happened, almost simultaneous to it.

So passengers may not have noticed, but all of those are huge questions that we are now looking at. And I'm sure investigators want to keep as open a mind as possible right now and consider everything. Candy?

CROWLEY: Miguel, there are lots of entities investigating this crash, and I'm sure some sort of protocol is to who's leading it. My guess is the NTSB. But who else do you have there, that is also working at what happened, and then will happen next?

MARQUEZ: Yeah, we do know that law enforcement, federal law enforcement, spoke to the pilots of Asiana 214 last night. NTSB expects to talk to them as well. We don't know what exactly they were speaking to them about. It is typical that blood, alcohol and drug testing would be done in this sort of situation for any sort of crash of this sort.

We also know that a team from Seoul is coming in to take part in this investigation, so that will have to be folded into this investigation. Obviously, the airport local authorities who want to be kept up with what's going on here, could bring some expertise to this as well. Just a number of people.

Those flight data recorders now back in Washington and we understand that they are getting a pretty good dump of information out of them, as they were undamaged from this crash. Candy?

CROWLEY: We understand as well that Boeing has at least offered to help. Obviously, they built the plane and so are interested in whatever went on. And let me ask you also, as we're awaiting this news conference by at least the NTSB, and perhaps some others joining them.

Are -- if you were flying into or out of San Francisco today, are your chances fairly good it's going to happen, or what's the, what's the regular flight pattern looking like?

MARQUEZ: It appears pretty good. The airport has come back to life, as we've been watching it throughout the morning here. There are few cancelled flights. It would behoove you to check your flights coming in and out of San Francisco, but it looks like things are getting back on track.

They're down to two runways. We've met a lot of people here throughout the airport tonight that have spent the night in Los Angeles, and they were flown up here and now they're trying to get back on track and get on their flights to wherever their final destination is, Candy.

CROWLEY: Yeah, that kind of stuff usually takes a couple of days. Miguel, hang with me. I know we'll come back...

MARQUEZ: Yes.

CROWLEY: ...to you as we await that news conference from the NTSB and what they are willing to tell us so far. I want to bring Rene Marsh. Rene's been following this investigation. The latest with you, Rene?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For all that update from the NTSB. We know that at least about an hour ago, I was told that they were in their first operational meeting, so we're essentially waiting for that to wrap up before we get a briefing from them. But what's happening here in Washington, D.C., they're working over there in San Francisco, but they're working pretty hard over here in Washington, D.C. as well.

Right now, we know that they are downloading data from the those flight recorders, and I'm told that they're expecting a preliminary readout of the information found on those recorders by this afternoon. So we'll start to get a small picture of what was going on, at least by this afternoon, we do know that.

So we know that that is happening at the lab right now, and again, there are two. You just saw that photo there, two flight recorders. One of them is called the data flight recorder and the other is the cockpit voice recorder. They both have data on totally different things.

One of them has the type of data that would allow them to know the position of the plane, how fast the plane was going, how -- what was the altitude of the plane. The other recorder will give them a little bit more color. What was going on at the time? Were the pilots saying anything to each other? Did they seem alarmed at the time?

They'll be reading between the lines as far as the conversations that may have been picked up on this recorder. Any warning signals that may have gone on at the time, Candy.

CROWLEY: Rene, thanks so much. Stand by as we await this news conference out in San Francisco with the National Transportation Safety Board. That's actually in the airport. We expect other officials perhaps to be there as well.

Right now, we're going to take a quick break. We'll be watching this for you while we take a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Welcome back to CNN's live coverage of the crash of that 777 in San Francisco yesterday. On your left of your screen, that is what is left of the plane, courtesy KRON. That's a live picture. Also a live picture on your right, that's KPIX. We are awaiting a news conference from officials, hopefully to shed some light on what we know so far about what happened, what we know perhaps even about the condition of those passengers that did survive.

And all but two did survive, some of them, more than 100 even, walked away. CNN's Richard Quest reported earlier that the plane was coming in at too steep an altitude and too slow and that those factors, as well as the angle of the plane, may have contributed to the crash of 214. Earlier, I spoke with NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman about their investigation and what they know so far.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Thank you so much for joining us. I know that you will look at everything, but I also know that when investigators get on the scene, some things catch their attention. What has caught your attention?

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB: Well, you know, when we went out there last night and took a look at the aircraft, I will tell you -- you can see the devastation from the outside of the aircraft, the burn- through, the damage to the external fuselage. But what you can't see is the damage internally, and that is really striking.

And so, I think when we look at this accident, we're very thankful that we didn't have more fatalities and serious injuries, and we had so many survivors. It's really very, very good news as far as the survivable accident, which many accidents are.

CROWLEY: And was it miraculous or was it the result of something that so many did survive?

HERSMAN: You know, I would say much of this is the result of the hard work of the aviation community taking accidents, taking lessons learned and plowing them back in, whether it's the design of the aircraft or training of crew members, and even passengers. And we can't stress this enough: many accidents are survivable.

So that knowing where those exits are and listening to the flight crew in an emergency situation, very important. CROWLEY: And let me ask you -- I hope you heard our Richard Quest, who reported that the flight data that he's seen shows a plane that is coming in too steep, the angle of it, and too slowly for that runway. What does that tell you?

HERSMAN: Well, you know, we're going to have to corroborate a lot of information. Their radar data, the ATC information, and the flight data recorder parameters, and also interview the pilots, which we hope to do in the coming days. It's really important to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, to not just understand what happened, but understand why it happened, so we can prevent accidents like this from occurring in the future.

CROWLEY: Sure, I can understand that it would be less important that he -- for the pilot may have been coming in at too steep an angle and at too slow a pace. And you need to know why that is so?

HERSMAN: Sure, and you know what? Stabilized approaches have long been a concern, a safety concern for the aviation community. We see a lot of runway crashes, either landing short, or landing long, runway overruns, runway excursions, a very significant threat in the aviation environment. We want to understand what was going on with this crew and this airplane, so we can learn from it.

CROWLEY: On this plane and on many planes, are there not redundant systems that would have flashed -- if everything were working well, it would have flashed and said, too steep, too slow? It -- wouldn't there have been, wouldn't that have been in place?

HERSMAN: Well, you know there are a lot of systems to help support the pilots as they come into airports, especially busy commercial airports like this one at San Francisco. There has already been a discussion about that glide slope being out of service, but there are number of other tools available to the pilots, some less sophisticated like the lights, the precision approach lights that they were talking about, that show you if you're too high or too low coming in.

But also some things that are more technologically advanced, like things on this airplane that can give you GPS information.

CROWLEY: So something, if the plane were working correctly, would have told him that the path was too steep and too slow, if indeed that's the case?

HERSMAN: Well, then a lot of this is not necessarily about the plane telling them. It's also about the pilot's recognition of the circumstances and what's going on. And so for them to be able to assess what's happening and make the right inputs, to make sure they're in a safe situation. That's what we expect from pilots. We want to understand what happened in this situation.

CROWLEY: Will you be talking to the pilots today?

HERSMAN: We hope to interview the pilots in the coming days. Of course, you know, after an event like this, our first concern is for people's health and well being. We have talked to law enforcement officials who spoke to the pilots last night, and we hope to interview them soon.

CROWLEY: OK. NTSB Chairman, we thank you so much, Deborah Hersman, hope to be back to you throughout the week.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: Once again, we are awaiting a news conference. That's San Francisco Airport, most of the people you see milling around the podium are actually members of the media checking their equipment, but as soon as there is a news conference, we will take you to it. Right now, we're going to take a quick break, and on the other side, we're going to talk to a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, Peter Goelz.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: CNN's continuing coverage. What you're looking at there is a podium, clearly with microphones on it. It is inside the San Francisco Airport. I am told we are awaiting for officials to come and hopefully shed some new light on what happened yesterday when that 777 made a crash landing, miraculously, everybody believes.

Most people survived. Tragically two young teenagers from China did die. Joining me now, Peter Goelz, he's the former NTSB manager and director, one of them anyway. Can I start with the data recorders?

PETER GOELZ, FORMER NTSB DIRECTOR: Yeah.

CROWLEY: And how long does that process take? Who's looking at it, and is that something by the end of the day they'll go, "Right here."

GOELZ: Well, they will. It will be, it will be a fairly quick process and they have a secure lab at the NTSB in which they both listen to the voice recorder, which is very well protected, and they will download the data from the flight recorder. And the combination of the two shouldn't take them more than six or eight hours to get a good picture of what was going on.

The data recorder is digital. It covers every aspect of flight, of the airplane's performance. The voice recorder also digital, except what the crew was talking about, where they on top of the situation?

CROWLEY: So if there is something that went wrong in the equipment, in some way, shape or form, that will immediately show up in the data part of the recording?

GOELZ: Absolutely. If the plane was coming in too low or too fast, at the wrong angle of attack, it will be easily identified from the data recorder.

CROWLEY: So it seems to me that by the end of the day you'll have the -- they, at National Transportation Safety Board, will have a fairly good idea of what happened, that there may be other components that led to it. At most of these investigations, I said earlier that tend to be, come up with multi, multi reasons why something happened. It's generally, you know, one event and then another.

But they should have a pretty good idea at the end of the day, and yet, it sometimes, it takes years to get these reports.

GOELZ: Oh, it does. I mean, they'll have a picture of what happened, but they won't know why it happened, and what contributed to it. For instance in the accident at Heathrow a couple of years ago, where the engines spooled back and the plane crashed short of the runway, they knew that that happened, but they had no idea what caused those engines to perform in that way.

I mean, it could be a similar case here. They may see what happened, but they're going to say, "Now, why did that happen? You know, what caused this to take place?" They may also see human factors at play. You know, were the pilots on top of the game? Did they do their checklist? Was the right pilot calling out the altitude correctly? That will come out.

CROWLEY: Some of the information that we're hearing from passengers is interesting to me and I'm wondering, have they corralled those, the passengers? I mean, obviously, some are in the hospital, but do they take their addresses? It seems to me that they could probably add something or does the data and the how the wreckage is strewn, is it mostly scientific evidence rather than those first-hand reports?

GOELZ: It is, it is mostly scientific evidence. I mean, they do take witness interviews. We did. But this is such a shocking event that oftentimes, witness recollections become distorted by the news that they hear, and you can't separate the two in your mind. Certainly, they'll want to talk to the flight crew of the United plane that watched the Asiana plane land.

And they'll talk to some, to many of the passengers and say, "What did you hear? What happened? What did you see?" The passengers will be looked at, particularly carefully, on the evacuation of the plane, the survivability. It's extraordinary that 305 people walked away from this, or got out of this alive, and it's a testament to the flight crew, the cabin crew and the design of the aircraft.

CROWLEY: And certainly, there are regulations, you know, since these giant planes came into being, that say in fact, you've got to be able to evacuate in 90 seconds...

GOELZ: That's right.

CROWLEY: ...even if some of those slides are blocked off.

GOELZ: Even if 50% of your slides are blocked, your flight attendant crews, your cabin crews have to be able to get the people off in 90 seconds. And from what I've read and heard, this flight crew...

CROWLEY: Pretty close.

GOELZ: ...did a great job.

CROWLEY: Yeah. Another reason you should listen to flight attendants when you get on, no matter how many times you hear that message about, look, look and find out where the exits are. Let me ask you if you think it's at all peculiar -- I was sort of struck when the Chairman said, "Well, we'll get to the pilots in a couple of days."

I would think the NTSB plane would land, and they would say, "If the pilot's awake, I want to talk to him."

GOELZ: Generally, you want to get to the pilots as soon as possible. But in an international investigation, it's somewhat of a more sensitive issue. And we do have the flight voice recorder, so we know what they're going to say. I mean, there may be of course, because they may be injured, they may be in shock, and there may be some international issues.

The Koreans are observers to this investigation. You might show them some deference at the beginning.

CROWLEY: And is there due -- and we don't know if the pilots are injured. They quite easily could be...

GOELZ: Right.

CROWLEY: ...and there were several pilots on board. So what I hear you saying is that they are not as important -- again, this is a scientific search. It's not a trial where you bring in witnesses. It's a, wait a minute, here's what we see right here.

GOELZ: Here's what the facts show. Here's what the physical evidence show. Here's what the data shows. Now, you want to talk to the flight crew, because you want to make sure that a), they weren't fatigued. B), they were doing what they were supposed to do in the sequence that they were trained to do it. And if for some reason they weren't, they'll want find out why.

CROWLEY: And it's difficult, is it not, when it's an international -- I mean, this is -- if not, as I -- I don't believe this is a U.S. pilot, perhaps it is, but it doesn't sound like it. And so that, if there were some malfeasance, and we don't know, this may have been a total plane malfunction. We have no idea, but if it were a pilot thing, that brings in a whole other level of difficulty.

GOELZ: Well, it does. I mean, these investigations with multi- countries involved are governed by a treaty, and you follow the procedures...

CROWLEY: Right.

GOELZ: ...you follow the protocols and you try to show deference to other countries.

CROWLEY: Sure. Lots, lots of sensitivities, both personal and...

GOELZ: That's right.

CROWLEY: ...diplomatic. Thank you very much, Peter Goelz, former Managing Director of the NTSB and an aviation expert. We appreciate it today.

GOELZ: Thank you, Candy.

CROWLEY: When we return, more on the investigation about what caused Flight 214 to crash and on the other side of the globe, Egyptians flood the streets in protest as the military issues a strong warning against violence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Welcome back to our coverage of that crash of a 777 yesterday in San Francisco. That is what's left, courtesy KRON. That is a live shot of the carcass, really, of that plane that crash- landed. Two teenagers from China were killed in that crash. Everyone else got out alive. There are some in critical condition, we are told, in the hospital. But, nonetheless, just, at least, part of a miracle.

In other stories -- we obviously will continue to cover that one and bring you news when we get it. Nut throughout Egypt today, more demonstrations are expected. Supporters of deposed Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi want him back in power. Those opposed to him plan to show up to, quote, "finalize the great victory."

President Obama spoke again Saturday with his National Security Council. The White House issued a statement saying "The United States has not aligned with and does not support any particular Egyptian political party or group. The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed."

The U.S. has not been particularly close to the Morsi government, but in an interview just an hour or so before Morsi was ousted, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, told me "U.S. and Egyptian military-to-military contacts are the strongest they have been in a decade."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Well, I feel confident that we have a close enough relationship that they listen. You know, at the end of the day, it's their country and they will find their way, but there will be consequences if it -- if it is badly handled. I mean, there's laws that -- that bind us on how we deal with these kinds of situations.

CROWLEY: And you mean the U.S., how the U.S. deals? DEMPSEY: Yeah, yeah.

CROWLEY: For instance?

DEMPSEY: Well, for instance, if this were to be seen as a coup, then it would limit our ability to have the kind of relationship we think we need with the Egyptian armed forces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Joining me around the table are some of the world's best experts on Egypt and the Middle East, Ned Walker, a former U.S. ambassador to Egypt for President Bill Clinton; John Negroponte -- he was the first-ever director of national intelligence, serving under George W. Bush; General Jim Jones -- he was President Obama's first national security adviser; and Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland and author of the book "The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East."

So I'd just like to talk about when is a coup not a coup, for a second here. Because it seems to me it divides along two lines.

One, if we say it's a coup, that will show that we're abiding by U.S. law, and we shouldn't be backing what pretty much looks like a coup.

The other rule of thought is let's find a way around this because it gives us leverage with the military to ease up, to back off the Muslim Brotherhood, to maybe let Morsi go.

Where do you fall?

SHIBLEY TELHAMI, UNIV. OF MARYLAND: Well, first of all, I don't think it's a black-and-white issue, for the following reason. Of course, it has elements of all. There was a public, you know, outcry, huge public demonstrations. You can say this is a corrective revolution.

There were also members of the old regime -- you can call this a counter-revolution. And certainly the military decided -- you know, made the final decision.

But in 2010 and 2011, in Tunisia and Egypt, the military also played a major role. And we still call it a revolution. So the question really depends, A, on the extent to which there is public support; B, on the aims of the takeover; and, C, the consequences.

And therefore I think the verdict is still out, and General Dempsey is right. I think it's just this is a moment to see what transpires. If the military in fact takes control, then it's a coup. If, in fact, there is a transition into democracy, then it's not.

CROWLEY: You know, the military-to-military context actually proved very valuable during the first revolution. It also strikes me, though, that we're now seeing reports that -- through the military, through diplomatic channels -- the U.S. said to the military -- Egyptian military -- don't do this; don't get in the way of these demonstrations. And they went ahead. So one has to wonder how valuable those contacts are.

GEN. JIM JONES (RET.), FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I think they're very valuable. I've been very much a believer that having good relations from the military-to-military standpoint is absolutely critical to our policy, and I continue to believe that.

Having said that, you know, the relationship in the early years of the Obama administration with then-President Mubarak was also very cautionary, to say, look, if you don't do some things that need to be done in your country, at some point bad things are going to happen, and sure enough, several months later, they did.

And -- and President Mubarak just chose not to listen. I think, for his own reasons, he probably thought he knew better. But I'm quite sure that, behind the scenes, the administration has worked very hard to convince the military that we -- you make changes through elections, and we would far prefer this, but we're not going to just, you know, stand by and let President Morsi take the country over the falls, given the fact that he's alienated the military; he's crippled the judiciary and -- and over-control of the media.

CROWLEY: But, diplomatically, to bring you home here, this seems like a bit of a failure of diplomacy. And what -- what has happened here is, when you read Egyptian papers or talk to Egyptians on the street, they're really mad at the U.S. because they think the U.S. really helped put Morsi in power. If you read the columns here and the editorials here, they're really mad at the U.S. for not doing enough.

So it's one or the other. Was there adequate handling, if you will, of Morsi, if he could even be handled? What was the failure here?

JOHN NEGROPONTE, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, I think it's inherent in the Egyptian political situation, the fact of the way they took power. This has been a polarized country for a long time. The Muslim Brotherhood took over. They weren't inclusive enough. That...

CROWLEY: Right. Well, they took over because they won an election, though, right? I mean...

NEGROPONTE: Well, but then they didn't behave in an inclusive way. That point's been made by a number of your speakers this morning. And I think they were then unable to manage the ensuing situation.

As to whether this is a coup or not, I think a lot of that just has to do with our own legislation and the fact that, if you do judge it to be a coup, there is no waiver provision that permits you to not apply the sanctions.

I think that's legislation that perhaps ought to be reconsidered and modified by our Congress because it basically dictates foreign policy to our administration. But I think the military in Egypt are probably the single most cohesive institution in that country now, and I don't think this is the moment to -- to go about alienating them.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: They've got a lot of guns and weapons, which is another reason you don't want to mess with them, right?

NEGROPONTE: Well, but we've got to work with them. I think we have to work with them.

CROWLEY: Pretend that you are still ambassador to Egypt. What's that conversation like that you're having right now with either the newly installed-by-the-military president, who was a member of the judiciary, or with the military?

What -- what kind of conversation is the U.S. having right now?

NED WALKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO EGYPT: Well, the U.S. should be -- and I believe it is -- advising that this is a time to move as quickly as possible into a transition situation. Let's not get hung up on words like "coup" and "counter-coup" and so on. Let's think about the future and what is the best thing for Egypt and what is the best thing for the United States and our relationship.

To do that, we have to maintain a strong relationship with the people that are in charge, and right now the military is in charge. They are gradually adding political voices to that component. And that's where we want to put our emphasis.

CROWLEY: So when you all look, as a whole, at what's going on in Egypt now -- not that we have an exact handle on it, but we know that the military basically is calling the shots at the moment and delivering some -- so what -- what is the most worrisome thing for the U.S.? What's our stake here?

I talk to people and they say, well, what -- do we care? I mean, I get it that democracy for us is better than not, but what's our stake -- meaning what is the U.S. stake?

TELHAMI: Well, first of all, Candy, I mean, let's remember that it's not all about the U.S., or for that matter the U.S. isn't really in the best position to influence things in Egypt. So we make it all about Washington the minute things happen in -- in Egypt, and they're not. But, yes, there are things that are priorities.

For example, if you have civil war in Egypt and Egypt becomes a very unstable, failed state, that is extremely dangerous for everything that the U.S. is doing in the region.

The U.S. has to, you know, avoid that.

Second, if the U.S. becomes -- if Egypt becomes a dictatorship, this is something that I think the American people will not accept and I think the Egyptian people will not accept.

So there are things on these extremes where the U.S. has only a certain margin. And with the military, the U.S. does have some sway, did, by the way, in the 2011 revolution. The U.S. did weigh in with the military when the decision was to announce Morsi as the winner. And there was some hesitation by the military. There were people who were fearing that they will not announce Morsi as the winner. I think, in this case, there's no question the U.S. has some sway in the political process leading to a different system.

CROWLEY: Unless someone is desperate to chime in or disagrees with that, I wanted to move you to another subject because we have diplomacy in military and academia represented here.

And that is Edward Snowden. And one of the things that General Dempsey said to me was that he thought that the biggest problem was the revelation to allies that we were spying on them.

What sort of damage has Edward Snowden done? And is there any way for the U.S. to get at him at this point?

WALKER: Candy, let me -- it's not the revelation that we were spying on our allies.

CROWLEY: Because they must have known that.

WALKER: All our allies knew that.

CROWLEY: Thank you very much. OK.

WALKER: It was the public revelation and is the public reaction to that in those countries that is the problem for those countries.

CROWLEY: Their public...

WALKER: Their public, yeah.

CROWLEY: Their public didn't know that -- I just thought everybody knew that governments spied on other governments, friends or foe.

NEGROPONTE: Well, I think the offense is obviously egregious. I think he's revealed an awful lot of information, just like WikiLeaks did. Perhaps this is an opportune moment for us to really sit down with our allies and have discussion about what the rules of the road are with respect to spying and so forth.

We have, with Canada and Great Britain and Australia, we don't -- we have an understanding with them that we will not spy against them. Maybe we ought to extend that to our allies as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Israel.

NEGROPONTE: And Israel.

CROWLEY: And Israel? Well, again, I always assume -- is it a problem -- I mean, obviously I think the military wants as much information as it can possibly get. But -- but do you see any problem with the fact that Snowden is so, kind of, visibly invisible? We believe we know where he is. He's sitting in the middle of the Russian airport in, kind of, neutral territory, and we can't get to him. And there is the suggestion by critics that it just makes the U.S. look weak. Here is this guy who stole all this stuff and now he's sitting there and no one will deliver him to us.

JONES: Well, there is no magic here. I mean, we -- it's interesting that he went to China, then to -- then to Russia as his first two choices. Frankly, if he was a man of honor, he would have, you know, stayed here and, you know, used the system that we have to take care of -- to listen to whistleblowers and, you know, face the music to be faced.

So he obviously is not a man of great courage. But...

CROWLEY: But there's no way to get him, right?

I mean, in the end?

JONES: But, you know, at the end of the day, it's going to have to be somebody who is willing to abide by international protocols and treaties and wants to help the United States and turn him over, which is -- which is going to be a long-lasting proposition in, I think. We'll wait and see where he winds up.

TELHAMI: I'm not sure, really, there is any kind of feeling around the U.S. can't get him. I mean, that's hardly an issue. I think everybody's focused on the consequences of the leaks.

And -- and while I agree with Ambassador Walker that, obviously, it's the public who obviously first, you know, is exposed to this, really there were some things that I think many governments didn't know the extent of. And I think some of the -- some of these...

CROWLEY: Phone calls at G-8 meetings and things might have, sort of, surprised...

TELHAMI: Yes, and we've seen the reactions of some government officials. So it's really broader, and it's hard to assess. I think the damage is huge. It's probably going to take years to assess. And I think it's not -- it's not really about Snowden, per se.

JONES: It's going to take some internal look at how we hire people and how these people have access to these...

CROWLEY: I've got to stop it there. Thank you so much.

General Jim Jones, Shibley Telhami, John Negroponte, Ned Walker, thank you all so much for being here.

When we come back, the latest on what happened in those last seconds of Flight 214.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage. The Asiana Air Flight 214 crashed in San Francisco. That is what is left of the plane. It broke apart, lost its tail. A fire started. It is -- looks completely horrific, was completely horrific. But all -- all but two survived this.

That is a live picture from our affiliate KRON of that plane sitting on the runway where it last fell. So we want to also bring in, now, our Miguel Marquez.

Miguel, we've been waiting for a news conference for some time. What's the latest on that?

MARQUEZ: Yeah, now it's going to happen later in the afternoon, and we expect NTSB -- the NTSB chairman to talk to reporters this afternoon. They are clearly getting their ducks in a row. We know that an investigative team from Seoul is arriving here, may have already arrived here. Certainly, representatives from Boeing have said that they will assist, as well. Asiana Airline has also said that it will do whatever it can for this investigation, everybody wanting to get on board, a lot of local officials also involved here.

The airport thought that there was going to be a press conference a little earlier today, but that is now later this afternoon, and we will bring that to you live, obviously.

A lot of things that they are looking at -- you know, the ILS, or instrument landing system, for that particular runway was out. It was not operational. It had not been operational for some time due to construction here at the airport. It's not clear if that played a role in what happened yesterday.

The engine is also a big issue -- or the engines are also a big issue, always, in these investigations, the chairman of Asiana Airlines saying that the -- that he knew of no engine problems. But that left engine, sort of, disappeared. We don't know where it went. So all those questions we'll be looking at, Candy.

CROWLEY: And Miguel, when we look at the totality of the information that we have now, I was talking to an expert earlier who said that it is true that by the end of the day, the investigators may know what happened but not why it happened.

MARQUEZ: Exactly. The flight data recorders we do know were taken back to D.C. overnight. They're in good shape. There was some soot on them. They are getting all of that information out of them, though, as we speak. There is also an operational meeting going on here. They may be able to get some of that information to folks here on the ground so they have a better understanding of what was into on on that plane.

The NTSB saying that will give some more information about the shape of this investigation and where it is going. So we do know that there is more information coming from those recorders and from the NTSB a little later this afternoon -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Thanks so much, Miguel Marquez, very yeoman's work there in the San Francisco airport it looks like behind you. It's getting back to at least semi-normal. Some of those flights leaving and coming in. Thanks so much.

We return, a survivor of the crash speaks out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: That's a picture, actually, from yesterday. Look at your right hand corner of the screen. Those are some of the passengers and crew from Asiana flight 214 yesterday which crash landed at San Francisco, 182 of them taken to the hospital that all but two survived that crash.

That brings me to Sara Sidner, our CNN correspondent who has been outside San Francisco General for some time now.

I know you talked to one of the survivors, Sara.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We did. We -- I just finished talking with one of the passengers, and survivors, her name was Jung Wen (ph). She had a 4-year-old and her sister who was traveling with her. She's from Shanghai, China. And she talked about what it was like inside the plane. She also mentioned that her 4-year-old son did sustain a broken left leg, but she was able to get out of the plane miraculously in a huge hole that she was able to carry her son and some of her bags out of the plane to get to safety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds as though you were very calm throughout this. Were you calm?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Call what? Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you scared at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had no time to scare, actually because I had five family member in hospital. I need time to take care of them.

But yesterday night when I was in dream, yes, of course I was scared. The things was (inaudible), I had no time to think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; What kind of injuries did your baby have, your son?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of injuries did your son have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Broken leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need her to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby.

Oh, OK, just broke his left leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How difficult was to get off the plane? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not very difficult because we sit near the plane tail, which has a walk out, two row, to a big hole in the plane tail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...broken...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's broken, yes. It's a big hole. And the passengers near the plane tail just walk out from this hole.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can describe the kind of passengers in the back of the plane? Was it a group of high school students?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. We had group passengers, Chinese persons, because I here the Shanghainese on the plane. I also see some Korean passengers because I sit near the tail, so I don't see any Europe or USA traveler. I didn't see...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're family is from Shanghai?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we are from Shanghai.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: I have no gather to (inaudible) bags.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When was the last time you realized something was going wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When was the first time you realized something was wrong? Was it when it hit?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Yes, I guess maybe the wheel did not open timely before it landed on the ground, because the plane tail touched the ground directly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you felt that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt that. Yeah, yeah, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did people scream?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did people scream?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody screamed.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: And can you describe what it was like inside the cabin once the plane crashed? Was it dark? Was it smoky? Can you tell us what it was like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, dark and most of ash -- everywhere is ash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see flames, fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flames, yes, after it stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us where you were sitting on the plane, and what it was like just where you were sitting if you noticed it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sitting -- OK, I'm sitting near the plane tail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you able to -- did you grab bags, did you just clutch your child?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just -- so when it stopped, I think, OK, because I -- before I see the news and see the pictures and video before, when I inside the plane and it stopped as I think, OK, it's completed. So I had the time to walk out, because the whole (inaudible) close to my seat. So I take my baby and just take my carry-on baggage, so walk out quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how old is your child?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My child is only four years old. It's a boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's his name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name is Xichi Xin (ph)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: OK. So what you're seeing right now are live pictures of the plane there still on the runway, or near the runway area where it skidded off, slid off, if you will. And some people said spun off of the actual runway. And just to mention, this mother of the a 4- year-old Jung Wang (ph) talked about five members of her family in the hospital. Her son, 4 years old with a broken leg. Amazing story of how she simply walked off the plane through a massive hole in the fuselage. She was able to take her son out that way safely. And she also talked about the fact that they had come here hoping to have a USA vacation, her 4-year-old very excited about seeing the USA. And this is at this point how it's ended, Candy.

CROWLEY: Wow. Well, hopefully, it won't end here. What is - I got chills sitting here listening to her be so calm with that little 4-year-old and walking what I'm assuming is out the hole that it left when the tail fell off. What a story, Sara. Thank you so much for bringing that to us. The rest of you out there, we'll be seeing a lot of Sara this afternoon. Right now, we just want to thank you for watching State of the Union. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. If you missed any part of today's show, you can buy it on iTunes, just search "State of the Union." You stay with CNN for continuing coverage of the flight 214 crash. "NEWSROOM" with Fredricka Whitfield starts now.