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Government Shutdown; Kenya Attack

Aired September 24, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey. Welcome to "AC360 Later."

A lot to talk about tonight, the possible government shutdown, the Kenya terror attacks, BlackBerry's blues.

But we begin with breaking news tonight. President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new public face, giving his debut U.N. speech and then sitting down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour and speaking into the camera to Americans in English. All this comes on the heels of a charm offensive that many have found head-spinning and some in the West consider suspect.

Christiane Amanpour is at the table tonight, also chief national correspondent John King, CNN contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who is currently a fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics, but I'm not holding that against her, and in our fifth chair tonight, former presidential candidate and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. He's also founder of Democracy for America.

Good to have you all here.

I want to play first, before I go to you, Christiane, something the president said actually in English to viewers. Let's watch.


HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): I would like to say to American people, I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans.


COOPER: You have interviewed a lot of Iranian presidents over the years. What did you make of him?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, he's a new reformist president just like Khatami was back in 1997.

He was elected twice, huge majorities. And parliament went reformist and legislative elections went reformist. Basically people of Iran having spoken that they wanted change. They did it again this past election. The difference between Khatami and Rouhani is that Khatami didn't have a mandate from the supreme leader. There wasn't a consensus to fulfill the promises that he made.

COOPER: The supreme leader is the real power in Iran.

AMANPOUR: Yes, he's the real power, but there is sort of a consensus, even though it's a top-heavy authoritarian regime.

And now this president does. He has been given the authority and I asked him specifically point blank. He said, yes, I have been given the authority to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue, plus to negotiate with the United States, maybe not me and President Obama right now, but my people, my foreign minister. And today President Obama named Secretary of State Kerry. They will head the negotiations and that's a huge step forward.

COOPER: Let me play what he said on the nuclear issue here.


AMANPOUR: In broad, what is it that you're willing to do to inspire confidence? I know I have asked you this already, but I don't hear you saying -- maybe I don't understand, but clearly what people want is full transparency. Is Iran, yes or no, willing to give that level of confidence that there is no doubt that what you say you're doing you're actually doing?

ROUHANI (through translator): Over 40 countries have enrichment capacities. And many of them have ongoing enrichment operations. What is the difference between Iran and those countries? Now there are countries that have not even accepted the NPT or even agreed to work with the IAEA that Iran has accepted and is committed to the NPT.

Iran has accepted and committed itself to the safeguards agreement. All of its activities are under the supervision of the IAEA.


COOPER: Governor Dean, do you believe this is more than a charm offensive?


HOWARD DEAN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's hard to tell. We should talk to them.

But this is a guy who was involved in killing 30,000 people 25 years ago, 30,000 political prisoners. Iran and Maliki in lockstep last week or last month murdered 52 unarmed Iranian unarmed Iranian dissidents. There are 3,100 of them still in prison, essentially in a prison camp.


DEAN: Talking about the MEK in Iraq.

These guys have had a pretty grisly past. I think you always talk. No reason not to. But I -- at this point I think Christiane's question was the right question and I don't think he answered it. AMANPOUR: Well, he didn't in that one. And you're right and it was hard because we talked about a lot of issues. I pushed him on 20 percent enrichment, on the Fordow suspect plan everybody is worried about near Qom, on the Iraq heavy water plant which is also really important, because many people believe that is the actual real problem, that that could be used to extract plutonium, find another route to a potential weapon, and that's the thing apparently that worries the Israelis, the West, the others, because that would be a point of no return.

He said to me that that might be something they would be willing to put on the table because it's not started up yet. So I just think that's interesting.

DEAN: Let's look for a second at why they're in doing this. Their economy is in a shambles and it's because of Obama's sanctions.

COOPER: The sanctions.

DEAN: It's the first time sanctions have ever really worked.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Actually because of the sanction bill that was passed by Senator Menendez and Kirk being a bipartisan effort against the White House wanting it. I think it's those sanctions that have been instrumental.

DEAN: Obama has really put the screws on these guys more so than any other American president and it's working.

And for whatever -- this is not meant to give somebody credit or somebody not credit. The point I'm trying to make is for the first time since -- in 30 years we have Iran back on its heels.


DEAN: And we have got to make the deal if they're going to make it.

But I'm not sure.

AMANPOUR: I think that is really interesting, because honestly we have been through this now for 35 years, right? To me it seems particularly in light of the deal, let's say it works out, between the U.S., Russia and Syria to disarm chemical weapons, if that can happen to a regime that the U.S. has said Assad must go, to a really heinous regime killing people left and right for the last two-and-a-half years...

DEAN: Which Iran supports.

AMANPOUR: Right. But if they can do that to Syria, then surely they can reach a deal with Iran, which as you would probably agree is 1,000 times more important geostrategically, politically, regionally, more important to the United States.

(CROSSTALK) JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And yet you have to do this essentially at the same time. Not maybe -- the Syria thing is already beginning in its early steps, but you're talking months and years if it goes forward of verification, inspections, finding the weapons, destroying the weapons in Syria.

So then if you're having progress with Iran at the same time, which is why I think everybody stepped back today. There was a bit a caution on both sides. There was thought there would be a handshake. I think the Iranians were saying they weren't ready for it. The administration to that answer there with President Rouhani talking about we have cooperated with the IAEA. The IAEA would have a different story. I'm not saying that they have been fully transparent. They have been transparent in phases trying to get an easing.

That's the question now. Will they do something to get an easing of sanctions and then stop again and be intransigent?

COOPER: Let me just bring in former Secretary of the Defense Paul Wolfowitz. He's now a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Secretary Wolfowitz, good to have you on. What do you think of what Rouhani said to Christiane, what he said at the U.N. today? Should the U.S. negotiate?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think we're making far too much of his word and the words aren't terribly reassuring.

He basically in the clip you played said we're not going to suspend uranium enrichment, which is the core issue on the nuclear issue. But let's remember instead of focusing so much on sweet words about Iranians love Americans or whatever they actually do, and, by the way, this regime is not entitled to speak for the Iranian people. It murders them on a large scale and regularly.

But they have also killed Americans in Iraq. They plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. The man who was charged by not -- by the Bush administration, but by Eric Holder's Justice Department, of attempting that crime was just sentenced to 25 years in prison.

And Secretary of State Clinton said this was organized out of Tehran and the two men who organized it are designated by the secretary of the treasury. We have a lot of issues with Iran. And instead of rushing after smiles and nice words, we should be pursuing that whole agenda and not as we did with Syria get trapped on a single piece of it.

Assad may or may not give up his chemical weapons, but he's not giving up the tanks and helicopters and missiles that are slaughtering many, many more Syrians than the chemical weapons. We need to keep a broad agenda. We need to be tough about it. And we need to hold them accountable for what they do not and just what they say. AMANPOUR: But Mr. Wolfowitz, Secretary Wolfowitz, what would you suggest then is the best way forward? Because you're right. They have already announced that they're not going to give up what they call their rights under the NPT, and that is the right to enrichment.

But on the other hand, nor has the coercive method actually worked. Yes, it has hurt economically and the sanctions most definitely have hurt. But it hasn't caused them to stop this program. So what do you think is the course for the United States? The U.S. doesn't want to go to war again, does it?

WOLFOWITZ: I don't think we do. But I think the course needs to be a long, broad, patient one. Sanctions may or may not work, but sanctions are hurting the regime. They are isolating Iran.

I think they're in some political trouble at home. Not deep political trouble, but some political trouble. Instead of taking off all that pressure and saying, oh, well, now you're ready to -- they aren't even ready to talk to us. We go chasing after handshake with Rouhani and he says he's not ready for it?

AMANPOUR: I specifically asked him whether he's authorized to talk, and that is whether the Iranian government is authorized to talk on these issues and he said yes. I think that is actually quite important, because...


WOLFOWITZ: But apparently he's not authorized to shake hands with the president of the United States, which is fine with me.


AMANPOUR: Maybe not.

NAVARRO: So when he says -- when the Iranians say that it's too complicated to shake President Obama's hand...


COOPER: The Iranians said -- Rouhani said to you today that he basically didn't have time.


AMANPOUR: Of course they could have done it if they wanted to do it.

NAVARRO: The part that came out in the press all day today that they had said it's too complicated is not an Iranian quote?

AMANPOUR: I know the Americans said that. In Iran, there was a very right-wing newspaper, hard-line paper who said you shouldn't do it. But certainly American officials were...

(CROSSTALK) DEAN: Really complicated internal political fight going on. And this is what gives me pause. The Revolutionary Guard is really what runs the economy in Iran.

And they are really a tool of the Ayatollah Khamenei, who's very conservative. It's very hard to figure out exactly what's going on. My own reading of this is that this is about economic distress and that's all it's about. They're looking for a way to get up off the floor without giving much up. This same game has been going on for a long time. I don't mean 35 years. It's been going on for 3,500 years in this part of the world.

COOPER: Howard Dean, are you on the same side as Paul Wolfowitz on this?

DEAN: I don't know.

COOPER: It certainly looks kill this. It sounds like it.

KING: That Howard Dean and Paul Wolfowitz share at least broad bush the deep, profound skepticism tells you a lot about..


COOPER: Go ahead, Secretary.

WOLFOWITZ: Anderson, look, I'm not one for standing on formalities, but there are times when little things send powerful signals.

The United States -- remember, this man is not the president of Iran in the sense that President Obama is the president of the United States. He's a functionary. He's more or less handpicked by Khamenei, who decided who was allowed to run and who wasn't. Yes, he wasn't probably the preferred candidate of the regime, but he was an acceptable candidate. He's a functionary.

The United States should not have been seeking a meeting with him. I'm not even sure we'd have accepted one if he asked for it. But the message that it sends to our supposed friends in Syria who are fighting against his own Revolutionary Guards, who are there supporting Assad, is, oh, the Americans are just desperate for a deal with Iran. It's very discouraging to the people who need encouragement and unfortunately it's very encouraging...


DEAN: I think we should talk. But I don't think we should give an inch until they give one first.

WOLFOWITZ: Let me be clear. I didn't say we shouldn't talk. I think Secretary Kerry should talk. He should talk frankly with Rouhani.


NAVARRO: So we're back to being scared because you two agree on everything.



AMANPOUR: Seriously, Secretary Wolfowitz and Howard Dean, you really do have to come up with an alternative answer, because if you're not going to go to war and if you're not going to go after regime change, which President Obama declared the U.S. was not going after regime change, he said it today at the U.N., and if you want to resolve this by diplomacy, then there has to be negotiation.

And negotiation has to be win-win. It can't be, you bend over.


DEAN: I'm not against negotiation, but I ain't going to give the first step because they have taken everything they can.

COOPER: We have got to take a break. We're totally over time.

Secretary Wolfowitz, I appreciate you being on.

Up next, the panel talks about inching closer to the threatening government shutdown and a lingering fight over funding the government while defunding Obamacare. We will be right back.


COOPER: Senator Ted Cruz, the freshman Republican from Texas, who is a Tea Party favorite, now in the eighth hour of his marathon protest against Obamacare on the Senate floor. It's not a filibuster, just a protest. He's adamant that funding for the program be cut.

He claims it isn't working. Cruz supports the bill passed by the Republican-controlled House, which funds the government but cuts money for Obamacare. I will talk with the panel about that momentarily. Cruz says he's going to stay at the podium until he can't stand up anymore. Does look like he's kind of running out of things to say specifically about Obamacare. Let's listen.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will credit my father. He invented -- this wasn't for the restaurant, but he did it anyway. He invented green eggs and ham.

Some time ago, I tweeted a speech that Ashton Kutcher gave. Now, number one, just as a consumer, I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers. I don't believe there's been a day on this Senate floor that I haven't worn my argument boots. I took the coward's way out, and so went and purchased some black tennis shoes.

And so I am not in my argument boots. I want to take the opportunity to read two bedtime stories to my girls. I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you, thank you, Sam I am. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NAVARRO: We ought to be feeling nostalgic for the time when senators would go up and do a filibuster reading phone books.

COOPER: He did bring back the green eggs and ham sort of to Obamacare.

We're back with Howard Dean, Christiane Amanpour, John King, and Ana Navarro.

So, what is going on there?

KING: That was the world's greatest deliberative body at work.

Look, Senator Cruz is trying to make a point that I think now largely if you understand the Senate rules, this is not a filibuster, because normally you filibuster to block action. Under the rules, there will be a vote tomorrow. If he stands there through noon tomorrow, God bless him, there will still be a vote tomorrow.

He can't block that to decide what to do next about funding the government. This is about him -- I could stop there. He's going to lose. Members of his own party are increasingly -- in Washington are increasingly furious with him.

They view this as counterproductive, not that they don't oppose the president's health care plan. But they think there are other ways to fight it, including winning elections.


COOPER: But he says he's standing on principle, standing for principle.

KING: And he's alienating Republicans in Washington, which is fine with him, because he thinks he's growing his support among a slice of Republicans out in the country. And we will find out in 2014 and if and when Ted Cruz runs in 2016 how big that slice is.

NAVARRO: He's absolutely right. Ted Cruz did not get elected and did not go there obviously to be either Mr. Congeniality or Mr. Collegiality. I think he's achieved those two things. He has increased his national brand tremendously through this and his fund- raising lists and his support and his appeal.

COOPER: You're a Republican, but you're not a big supporter of him.

NAVARRO: I am with the folks like Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, mind you, the other senator from Texas where he's from who said this is not going to happen and we're not going to go along with this tactic.


NAVARRO: I kind of like for Congress to do things that are actually based in reality.

Drama, I like in theater. In my deliberative body, in my legislative body, I like to get some action that can actually be implemented. But that's just me.

DEAN: You and about 250 million people out there who...


NAVARRO: No, not 250 million. It's a lot less than that.


KING: But skepticism about the health care program is growing. Opposition to the health care program is significant. As it is implemented, and I will ask the governor this because he's a doctor and a chief executive of the state -- as it is implemented, even if in 10 years people look back and say it was near perfect, as it's implemented, there are going to be hiccups, there are going to be problems.

The bureaucracy will make mistakes. People will be hassled just because they have to change this or that. The Republicans view that as their great organizing opportunity for 2014. Now they think Ted Cruz is making this about potentially shutting down the government, which will hurt the Republican brand at a time they wish that they just -- not that they like it, but let it be implemented, let there be delays, let there be problems and we will benefit.


DEAN: No, I wasn't a supporter because I thought that there's a lot of things about this program that I don't think are going to work all that well.

COOPER: Are you saying that as a doctor, or as a governor?

DEAN: No, as a -- both.

But I'm actually a bigger fan today of Obamacare than I was when it was passed. Here's what happened. What the Congress voted to do was to have a universal health care system in the private sector. This is in the private sector.

And whatever you think about the private vs. the public sector, not many people would disagree with the idea that the private sector is much more innovative and flexible than the public sector. There are some things in this bill which I don't think anybody who wrote the bill or voted for it like, for example, the ACO and like the fact that this is going to break the employer health insurance link.

They're going to revolutionize health care. It's going to be done by the private sector. I actually disagree with John. I think this is going to be -- or with the Republicans' position, as you said. I think this is going to be an enormous plus for Democrats, because, yes, there are going to be hiccups and kinks. By June, a year from now or roughly, a little less than a year from now, I think there are got to be a lot of people paying a lot less money for health insurance who never had health -- and -- or people who never had health insurance before and there will be a lot of small businesses that used to give health insurance before and don't anymore and they're all going to be really happy.


COOPER: They may be paying less. Are they going to a lot less choices?

DEAN: No, they will more choices, because right now if you get health insurance through your employer, the employer makes the choice for you.

COOPER: The choices of doctors...


DEAN: Ironically, remember, this bill was written by the Heritage Institute, by the Heritage Foundation, right? And Romney put it into effect in Massachusetts.


NAVARRO: Well, I'm not sure it's exactly the same bill.

DEAN: It's not exactly the same bill, but the principles are the same. The consumers go online in Massachusetts and they choose a series of plans for themselves. It's an extraordinary thing, this bill. It really is.

COOPER: Is there not a method to tinker with it? Is there not a method to...

NAVARRO: It's called compromise. It's a word that doesn't exist in Washington right now.

Even though to his credit, Senator Rand Paul has been mentioning a need for compromise to come up with some sort of solution here. But, listen, today we saw President Clinton and President Obama together at the CGI, at Clinton Global Initiative. And you know that when this White House starts bringing out Bill Clinton, the secretary of explaining stuff that Barack Obama is incapable of...

COOPER: He's the secretary of explaining stuff?


NAVARRO: Can we curse on this program? It's 10:00.

COOPER: I don't know. You can do whatever you want.

NAVARRO: It's because there is no understanding. The enrollment date is in a few days and there's no understanding of what this bill is. There's no understanding.

DEAN: Among the public.

NAVARRO: Among the public.

DEAN: That's true.

NAVARRO: The Democrats have done a terrible job explaining this.


DEAN: And Republicans have done a great job explaining their version of it. That's true. That's absolutely true.

NAVARRO: Listen, if an alien landed on planet Earth today and turned on the news in the United States of America, on one station you had President Obama and President Clinton explaining just how great Obamacare was, and on another channel you had Ted Cruz and Rand Paul explaining just how bad it was.

It's enough to make anybody think you're hearing voices in your head.

DEAN: But the payoff -- I argue the payoff is when it actually happens.

And it is going to happen. The big key I think to watch here is the 33-state exchange. All those states that refused to participate, there's going to be one big federal exchange. Whether that works right or not will be the key to this whole thing.

NAVARRO: Do you think there should be an exception for the congressional staff and for congressmen?

DEAN: No, of course I don't think so. I think they should be -- for a long time I thought they ought to get rid of all that stuff and put everybody else -- I don't think public employees should be exempted from Social Security. It's a big mistake for a lot of reasons. And it's actually going to hurt the public employees.

NAVARRO: And what would you say to the employees, for example, of SeaWorld, of Home Depot, of all these companies that we read about every day that are losing options and that are losing jobs because of this?

DEAN: That's not exactly how it's going.

What they're doing is they're preparing essentially to break the link between employment and health insurance. But once those folks -- I have actually looked at some businesses, low-income, and Home Depot and those places don't pay much. They are going to put their now part-time employees into the market. Eventually, they will put them in the market and be happy to pay the 2,000 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than paying 10.

And when they do that, the employees are going to make their own choices and they're get a taxpayer-funded subsidy to keep their prices down. This bill is -- look, I didn't like this bill. I thought it was overly complicated, really hard to explain. I was in favor of at least a public option where people could choose the program that everybody already understood, which was Medicare.

I didn't get my way. The truth is, I looked under the hood of this bill in two years. There's a lot in here that I think the creators didn't even know about that's eventually going to be used by the private sector first to transfer our system from an illness system to a wellness system, which is an incredible thing to do, like getting rid of feature service medicine, which I think the private sector will do, and second to break the link between employment and health insurance, which could eventually actually lead to a single payer, which is really going to drive people crazy.

But it will only do it if that's what the public wants.

COOPER: Everybody, stick around. A lot more to talk about. We have got breaking news when we come back out of Kenya tonight. One of the shopping mall attackers has been identified. Some details ahead. We will be right back.


COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.

There's breaking news tonight in the Nairobi terror attack. I misspoke before the commercial break. I said one of the attackers had been identified. That's not the case. A senior Kenyan officials told CNN that one of the hopping mall attackers appeared to be a woman and that she was killed early on in the siege.

Now, the official said her ethnicity could not yet be determined from the photograph evidence. It's still not entirely clear if the four-day siege is actually finally over. Kenya's president says it is. There have been conflicting reports, though.

Back at the table, Howard Dean, Christiane Amanpour, John King, and Ana Navarro.

But I want to start with CNN's Nima Elbagir in Nairobi who's been covering this story from the beginning.

What's the latest? Is this siege over?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it would seem that the active hostage-taking part of the siege is over, Anderson.

But there's still a lot of questions that remain about where the other attackers have gone. Initially, we were told there were between 10 to 15 armed men in there holding these hostages. We have had five accounted for, including one of whom appears to be the woman that you were talking about that senior Kenyan officials have been seeing -- circulating photographs of her.

But there have been big questions about where these attackers are, are they still at large. And if they're dead, it's going to take a long while to figure that out, because they're still sifting through the rubble after the collapse of three floors of this shopping center, Anderson.

COOPER: The Caucasian woman you're speaking about is a British woman. She's been dubbed the White Widow. She's the wife of one of the London bombers. But again, it's not clear if, in fact, it is her involved in this attack. You said that 11 people are suspects, five alleged terrorists have been killed. The suspects, though, are not from that mall, correct?

ELBAGIR: No, no, absolutely not. The suspects were detained attempting to leave the international airport here in Nairobi, which gives you a sense -- I think it starts to give us a sense of how international this network is.

It would imply that they have been flown in for this and that they have the kind of documentation that would allow them to easily travel to safe harbors. The presumption again from intelligence sources we've been speaking to is that some of these safe harbors might be in the U.S. or Europe.

But again, this is all very preliminary evidence, very preliminary speculation from the intelligence sources, Anderson.

AMANPOUR: Nima, it's Christiane. Last night the big news was the foreign minister, Amina Mohamed, who had said that two or three of the attackers were Americans. Was there any further confirmation of that? The president spoke publicly today. Has there been any confirmation of that?

ELBAGIR: Well, President Kenyatta did touch on that. He said that they had strong intelligence that showed evidence that two or three of them were American, and one of them is a British woman.

But it just sounds like the crime scene in there is -- it sounds pretty horrific, actually. They said that they can't even begin to speculate on the nationalities of these people until they get the forensic inspectors in, which suggests perhaps that they're dead and suggests the bodies aren't in a recognizable state so they can be identified from photographs.

Forensic experts are on their way. They've called on help from Israel, the U.S. and the U.K. And they're hoping to begin to answer those questions as soon as they can. Because they realize that time is not on their side in trying to dismantle this network.

COOPER: We've also been told yesterday that some of these -- the terrorists had used hostages and were still holding hostages as of yesterday. Basically as human shields, literally hiding behind them in some cases. We now know that three floors, according to authorities, of this mall have collapsed. Do we know what happened to those hostages who were being held?

ELBAGIR: No. Unfortunately not, Anderson. And you can imagine the effect that's having on the families here, waiting to go find out what's happened to the people that are still missing.

President Kenyatta rather pointedly didn't touch on that. I think that was really the main reason a lot of people were tuning in. You know, we'd been getting a sense for a while this was drawing to a close. But for most of Kenyans gathering around, watching his address, that was what they were looking for and they didn't find it, Anderson.

We were hearing throughout this that hostages were being used as human shields. We were even hearing some information from intelligence sources they could have been booby-trapped. But just the preliminary reports about the state of that crime scene, it does lead you to suspect that -- that towards the end it just -- it just sounds horrifying, Anderson.

AMANPOUR: What can you tell us more about how they got in there, so many people so obviously heavily armed because they could hold off the security forces for two, three, four days, that they had rented perhaps a store inside the mall and over a period of time had stocked it up with weapons? Is there any more detail on that?

ELBAGIR: I think that's the most worrying part of this, Christiane. It sounds like not only were they able to storm through past the security, past the defenses at the West Gate Shopping Center, just to describe it for you a little bit.

You drive in. It's a large concrete building. And then there's a walled compound around that building. So you have to drive through basically two or three layers of security and then go through a metal detector check to even get in. So the fact they were able to drive through all of that.

And while a number of them were storming through downstairs, another number of them had gone up. So effectively when the first attack happened, it was almost like they had reinforcements. Because the security officers were overwhelmed not only by the initial attackers but then by these separate waves of attackers who were coming down and joining the initial attack down. We understand it was near a Barclay's Bank on the first floor.

This just sounds so incredibly well-organized and well-executed. And I think that's what's just been so worrying about this whole thing, Christiane.

COOPER: It's interesting, Christiane. Because last night on the program we had Peter Bergen. And he was saying he thought -- our terrorism analyst. And he was saying he thought this was a sign of the weakness of al-Shabaab, that it's -- this is the only kind of operation they can really do. They can't do a highly technical operation like a 9/11 style.

But it also does show you the strength of these al Qaeda-inspired groups in Africa.


COOPER: Whether it's in Nigeria, Boca Larama (ph).

AMANPOUR: And soft targets, soft targets, soft targets. They can't do the kind of thing, at the moment for sure, that we saw on 9/11. But soft targets. And we discussed this.

I was talking to the French president today, who as you know, led a successful attempt to, with French forces -- to get rid of the Islamic al-Qaeda franchise there in the Magreb, which had taken over in Mali and paved the way for democratic elections. But he said by no means is this over. We just have to keep being vigilant and keep pushing them back.

And the truth is in Somalia -- and Nima knows this better than anybody, because I remember she was -- she was the one who reported first on al-Shabaab for us -- they had been pushed out to the most extent and pushed out of most of what they controlled there, but they're regrouping elsewhere to do this kind of attack.

NAVARRO: This attack, the Boston Marathon attack is a reminder that even unsophisticated, disorganized planning can wreak such havoc.

AMANPOUR: I agree. Very sophisticated organizing.

DEAN: I agree, Christiane. It is very sophisticated.

AMANPOUR: Just outlines.

DEAN: It is sophisticated, but it's not -- it's the softest of soft targets. Because not only is it a shopping mall, it's a shopping mall in Africa.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, it is a lot harder to get into the United States. These guys would have had a really much rougher time than they would getting into Kenya or Mali or even northern Nigeria.

So there's a lot of work to be done against -- this kind of stuff is going to be with us for a long time. And we're going to have to not only get our own security better, we're going to have to help other countries. Because this would not -- likely this would not have happened in the United States.

NAVARRO: I don't know a single mall in the United States where you go through -- Nima just described going through three security checkpoints as they have to drive in.

DEAN: They can't get into the country.

COOPER: But you could have...

DEAN: Not like that. The brothers in Boston were individual, made their own bomb based on the Internet. That's going to be much harder.

But these guys couldn't have done this here because they couldn't have gotten into the country. Certainly couldn't have rented a store and brought arms in.

COOPER: But you do have dozens of people, Americans who have joined al-Shabaab over the years, have committed suicide attacks. And obviously, there is a concern about radicalization of elements here in the United States.

DEAN: There is except that all those people are on an NSA list someplace. And when they go in and out of the country, even though they're American citizens, believe me, they get taken in a back room and strip-searched.


NAVARRO: I'm not feeling like there's anything that...

KING: ... out of the country, they're tracking them. And trust me, they're talking to their families.

COOPER: Nima, appreciate the reporting. It's great to see you, as always.

Up next, could it be that the end is nigh for the once-ubiquitous BlackBerry? Actually, this is a -- we have two people at the table who still use BlackBerries. Tweet me your thoughts, most likely from your iPhone. We'll be right back.

You use a BlackBerry, too? Wow, all right. Wow.


COOPER: Welcome back. Could it be the death of BlackBerry? The once-ubiquitous BlackBerry has been in steady decline. Just a few days ago the company announced a billion-dollar loss for last quarter and layoffs in the thousands.

Now there's word of a deal for BlackBerry to become a private company, with a Canadian insurance company hoping to buy it for $9 a share.

Back with the panel. Also joining us is CNN's Richard Quest.

I'm stunned because at least three people, John King and Christiane Amanpour and Governor Dean, you all use BlackBerries, still. Christiane used two, John King used two. Richard Quest joins us, as well.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before we discuss anything we have to declare conflict of interests. What are you? Are you an iPhone, an Android or a BlackBerry?

KING: I have both. And I can tell you why, although this thing is becoming less. Because it's hard for me to type on the iPhone. So I still use the BlackBerry to type longer messages.

But part of my thing is 9/11 paranoia. I have an AT&T and a Verizon. I used to also have a Sprint. Just because on that day, it was hard to get service.

COOPER: Ana, you use an iPhone.

NAVARRO: It's all about the -- it's all about the manicure. You can type very easily with long nails on the screen.

COOPER: Christiane, you use both, too.

AMANPOUR: I was totally prehistoric. I didn't even enter the smartphone world until about three years ago.


AMANPOUR: Then it was BlackBerry, obviously. And then I got another one.

COOPER: You only use a BlackBerry.


DEAN: I only use BlackBerry. I often write three or four paragraph e-mails, and I can't do it on a touch-screen.

COOPER: But for all the talk of the demise of BlackBerry, the offering was what, $4.7 billion the company was valued at?

QUEST: It's 12.7 billion; it's 2 billion in cash already in the company. The patterns that BlackBerry has on its books are probably worth about 4 billion. So the core question for Fairfax, who is buying, considering what else the stock does (ph), assuming it goes through, what are they going to do with it?

Are they buying it because you love it and you're using it and we might all stay with it as a secure server system, or are they going to break it up into patterns and into bits and cannibalize it?

COOPER: That's a prop. We don't use them.

AMANPOUR: We haven't said -- we haven't said why it is in such trouble. It's because it didn't innovate. It's because you can't Internet on it properly.

COOPER: Right.

COOPER: I will say once you make the switch to iPhone -- I mean, it took me a long time. But I now can't believe that I didn't switch earlier.


QUEST: ... none so righteous as those who have seen the light.

DEAN: I want to see if the Q-10 or the Z-10 works better than...

QUEST: It doesn't. I sent mine back. I sent mine back.

DEAN: That's not encouraging.

NAVARRO: I read an article today that Washington, that the government is one of the big, big clients of BlackBerry. Why is that?


NAVARRO: Apart from the fact that we have a lot of prehistoric animals.

DEAN: It's the encryptions. It has really a great encryption system. It really is. It's better than all the other ones.

QUEST: And that is why, if you look at the statement from Fairfax yesterday, they talk about developing secure servers. My gut feeling -- and what do I know about this from Adam? -- but my gut feeling is this is going to become a niche product in a very high-end environment. We'll leave the Apple iPhone to others.

NAVARRO: My gut feeling is that it's going to become a highly collectible item in 100 years.

COOPER: Like one of those brick phones?

NAVARRO: Right. We're dating ourselves here.

DEAN: I should save this.


KING: I have -- I have one of those brick phones and I have the Radio Shack, one of the fold up word processor. Trash 80 we called them. I need to keep this for a museum? Is that what you're saying?

NAVARRO: John, you may also have a hoarding problem.

QUEST: You've got no idea just how this goes to the core of people who are watching and how they are throwing things at the screen. We haven't mentioned Nokia. We haven't mentioned Android. We haven't mentioned?

COOPER: Is it NOH-key-ah? I always thought it was no-KEY-ah.

QUEST: It's NOH-key-ah. I've been there. It was a rubber plant in Finland.

KING: I get all my older children. One was a Droid, and one was a BlackBerry. And over the summer they both switched to the iPhone, and they love it.

QUEST: The Droid. The Droid.

AMANPOUR: Beyond the commercial or dinosaur or whatever, come on, we wouldn't know what's going on in Syria, chemical weapons.

COOPER: No, it's true. AMANPOUR: With these smart phones. I mean, it is remarkable how they've changed the world, at least not just conveniently for us. But really, eyewitness...

NAVARRO: It changed presidential campaigns. It's changed campaigns.

DEAN: It's also -- it's also moved the Arab Spring along. Regardless of where they are now, none of that would have happened without something like this.

KING: Your campaign was a pioneer in Internet fundraising, and then you just stopped? Is that what happened?

DEAN: My campaign was -- my campaign was -- the business about my campaign being the pioneer was great. That was my campaign, not me. I'm just smart enough to listen to all the 23-year-olds that worked for us.

NAVARRO: Once you've owned the title pioneer you own it for life.

COOPER: We've got to take a break. Richard Quest, thank you for joining us. Thank you very much. Go back on your phone.

Up next a segment we're calling "What's Your Story?" where we ask our panelists about other stories that caught their eye that maybe missed. A hint tonight: There will be French fries. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back to AC 360 LATER. Time now for "What's Your Story?" Back with Howard Dean, Christiane Amanpour, John King and Ana Navarro. This is when we ask our panelists to choose a story that others might have missed or that they just found interesting today.

I'm actually going to kick it off today. It's not really a news story. I actually -- My dad passed away when I was ten. And recently there's a company called Art on Air, which restores old radio interviews. And I got an e-mail from them -- or they tweeted this out. They restored -- they found an interview that my dad did in 1976. And I, for the first time since I was ten years old, heard my dad's voice last week.

And I'm going to play just a little bit of my dad talking about me in this radio interview from, like, 1976. Listen.


WYATT COOPER, AUTHOR/SCREENWRITER: We talk a great deal about moral and character values, but also they ask me questions like, Anderson my youngest son asks, how much does a stuntman make? Because that's what he would like to be now. He can't make up his mind whether he wants to be a stuntman or a policeman.


COOPER: I chose wisely, because anchors make a lot more than stuntmen or policemen. But I just -- I don't know -- I thought it was...

AMANPOUR: How did it feel?

COOPER: It was really -- it's not how I remember his voice. In my -- I mean, I can't really remember his voice. But he was from the south. And I don't know. It's not how I remember his voice.

But it was stunning to just -- and for all the people out there who have lost a parent, to suddenly hear, yes, it's really fun. You can actually hear the whole interview. And he reads from a book he wrote called "Families," which is all about my family and his family at this -- at Art on Air if you look up online.

So all right. Your story. Ana, what's your story?

NAVARRO: From that powerful emotion to a segue into the fact that I've been on a diet my entire life. More successfully sometimes, less others. And today I read that Burger King has come out with fries that were less fattening, 20 percent less fattening.

COOPER: So we went out and bought them.

NAVARRO: And they're called Satisfry. So try them...


DEAN: They've got a lot of vitamins in it.

COOPER: See, I'm a McDonald's fry guy. So to me nothing is as good as a McDonald's fry.

KING: I thought your doctor said it was OK?

NAVARRO: I've been trying to lose weight.


KING: Trust but verify.

NAVARRO: Listen, they are satisfying, so I will be buying.

COOPER: All right. John King, what is your story?

KING: I'm going to go sports here. And that, you know, a lot of times early on in the Obama administration everything bad that happened they said was George W. Bush's fault. Well, now they have to go to George W. Bush and say thank you.

On the Golf Channel, George W. Bush essentially telling anyone who criticizes President Obama for hitting the links, and a lot of conservatives do. He'll make a big announcement. Then they'll find out he's out golfing right away, and they treat he's not serious. President Bush saying back off. Back off. Telling the Golf Channel it's a pretty stressful job. And if the president can get out there and swing the clubs, relax a little bit, it's a good thing.

COOPER: Are you watching the Golf Channel, by the way? Do you golf?

KING: You know, I used to golf. My dad -- you mentioned losing your dad. My dad died when I was 24. And my dad was a great golfer, and I'm not. But I actually tried to pick it up for that very reason.

COOPER: Oh, really? Interesting.

KING: And then I took a job with this place called CNN, and I covered the White House. And in the 9 1/2 years I covered the White House, I never golfed once.

KING: Do you think it's fair that -- that any president gets knocked for vacations they take?

DEAN: No, I think it's ridiculous. Hardest job in the world, and they don't get that much vacation. And Obama gets criticized, and Clinton did and Bush did, I'm sure. Bush went to the ranch in Crawford. Let him go to the ranch in Crawford.

First of all, there's no such thing as a vacation. They bring every piece of equipment you can possibly think of and you create a White House wherever the president is. So this -- you know, this is the toughest job in the world. Let these guys have a little time off here.

NAVARRO: Well, since you mentioned a sport, I've got to ask you a question. Why are the Boston Red Sox so into the guys from "Duck Dynasty"? I mean, why is everybody wearing the beards? Can you explain this phenomenon?

COOPER: Christiane, are you familiar with "Duck Dynasty"?

AMANPOUR: No, I'm not familiar with any of them...

DEAN: Fish out of water?


NAVARRO: How about "Honey Boo-Boo"?

KING: In spring training, one of the new members of the team decided that that would be their way to come together, a lot of new players on the team. They had a horrible season last year. So they decided they were going to grow facial hair. And most of them have. And some of them do it quite well, and some of them -- but you know what? There's a World Series in our future. I'm going to say that right here. So we're going to hang on.

COOPER: I want to thank everybody on our panel. Governor Dean, thanks for being with us. Good to have you here. That does it for this edition of AC 360 LATER. Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow night at 10. Goodbye.