Return to Transcripts main page


Tom Clancy Dead; Government Shutdown; Health Care Rollout Glitches; Understanding Opting Out; Second Biker Arrested in Road Incident; Interview with Terry Katz

Aired October 2, 2013 - 11:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Welcome to LEGAL VIEW. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It is Wednesday, October 2nd.

And we begin this hour with the death of a literary powerhouse. Tom Clancy passed away last night in Baltimore, the city where he was born 66 years ago.

We really don't know much more than that, but the whole world knows Clancy's work. He was a master of the blockbuster novels starting with "The Hunt for Red October" back in 1984.

If you didn't read his books, and really it is your loss if you didn't, you have more than likely seen or heard of the movies that were based on his books.

And Nischelle Turner joins me now live with more on this.

Am I the only one who was so surprised when this news just crossed, moments ago?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: No. I think a lot of people are surprised, a lot of people still in shock.

We started getting word of this last night, Ashleigh. We worked through the night to confirm it, and now we have confirmed that he passed away yesterday at 66 years of age.

You were talking about his work, though, and talking about that he's an iconic figure in the literary world. And he crossed over to Hollywood as well.

He wrote 28 novels, 17 of them were "New York Times" Bestsellers. That's almost unheard of.

You talked about his first book, "The Hunt for Red October." That was published in 1984. President Reagan really legitimized his work, and that's what made that book become a bestseller because he complimented the work.

And he went on to write (inaudible) films like "Clear and Present Danger," "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games."

And when they crossed over to the Hollywood world and became blockbusters, we had Harrison Ford playing Jack Ryan. That kind of, you know, made Harrison Ford this larger-than-life figure. Also, Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan. Ben Affleck played Jack Ryan.

In 2003, he started -- he wrote a book called "The Teeth of the Tiger," and that was when he introduced Jack Ryan, Jr., as the next big intelligence agent in Washington.

And he has a book that is going to come out December 3, so he does have an unpublished novel that's going to come out called "Command Authority." So we will see more of his work in just a couple of months.

And it's shocking.

BANFIELD: I interviewed him I want to say about 10 years ago. And I remember being dumbstruck by the level of access that man had.

He had classified information. He had top-level military that would gladly open their doors to him.

And that might be why he was so intriguing. He just seemed to have his finger on the pulse of how things really happened.

TURNER: And think about this. He was a former insurance agent, and he started writing books that were so meticulous and such great political thrillers.

And one of -- he did an interview. I think it was with and he said the really spooky thing is a lot of the stuff that I wrote about and thought I was making up has now come true.

And so he -- it was almost like he had this uncanny foreshadowing ability, just such a great writer.

Also, he loved baseball and at one point he was part owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Now they list him as part of their front office, so I'm not really sure where that stood at yet, but yes, he definitely will be missed, and this is a big shock to the world.

BANFIELD: Tom Clancy, dead at 66.


BANFIELD: I mean, that's -- in these years, that's young.

TURNER: It is.

BANFIELD: That is very young.

TURNER: It is.

BANFIELD: And especially when it's such a surprise.

Keep us posted -

TURNER: Absolutely. BANFIELD: -- if you find out anything more about how this happened --


BANFIELD: -- how his family is reacting.

Nischelle Turner, thank you for that.

I want to move on to the people who brought you almost 36 hours of largely unfunded government.

They are fighting over funding a little bit more today, but not all of the government funding, just a little bit of it.

Representatives and senators are back on the job this hour, but that's quite unlike say about 800,000 of their fellow federal employees.

They've got three separate spending bills up for votes in the House. One of the bills would re-up funds for Veterans Affairs, another bill would reopen national parks, and yet a third bill would fund Washington itself, that federal district of Washington. The garbage is set to really be piling up there if nobody will actually go to work.

The White House and the Senate, though, they're not biting on this. And don't even think about asking Nancy Pelosi what she thinks.


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: They took hostages, and now they're releasing one hostage at a time.


BANFIELD: Of course, that's not exactly how the Speaker of the House sees it.

In an op-ed for "USA Today," John Boehner writes, and I quote, "The president isn't telling the whole story when it comes to the government shutdown.

"The fact is that Washington Democrats have slammed the door on reopening government by refusing to engage in bipartisan talks."

Boehner's piece is headlined "Obama Owns the Shutdown." That was more than likely inspired by the president's repeated references to the "Republican shutdown."

And there we are. That's about it, sadly.

CNN's Brianna Keilar joins me to reiterate, that's about it, unless in the last few moments, Ms. Keilar on the north lawn of the White House, you have more information that the rest of us don't know about some kind of movement to get to an end game.

Do you? BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I have nothing to report, Ashleigh. I can keep my answer to that quick. The stalemate continues with, at this point, no end in sight.

BANFIELD: So why then the constant rejection of these piecemeal fundings?

I ask that only because we had one right away that went ahead and continued funding active military.

Now that there are other piecemeal bits coming through, why are the Democrats intransigent about that?

KEILAR: I think in a way -- I think because how -- the idea of not funding active duty military is just unpalatable to both sides, even more unpalatable than some of these other still-popular issues.

The reason, Ashleigh, the Democrats aren't agreeing to this and that the White House has issued a veto threat on this is because they give up leverage by doing it. If they allow Republicans to pick the very popular provisions like the national parks, like the city of Washington, D.C., and Veterans Affairs, which I would argue is an even trickier one, then they don't have the leverage for the things that are tougher to get by Republicans, and so that is sort of why they're rejecting this piecemeal approach.

It comes down to a really fundamental ideological difference between House Republicans, who would like to limit the size of government and could do so by funding these certain pieces of the government, and Democrats who want to see some of these other programs be funded.

And also Republicans, Ashleigh, would really like to keep out of operation the parts of the government that are responsible for ObamaCare.

So that also is why the White House and Senate Democrats aren't agreeing to this.

BANFIELD: All right, well, keep your year ear to the door, and let me know not only if there is any kind of scheduling plan, but also if there's a plan to meet with Harry Reid, which might signify that there needs to be a blink on the horizon, at least within the Democratic ranks.

Brianna Keilar, live for us at the White House, thank you.

You've heard those furloughed government workers, roughly one-fourth of the federal workforce, described as "nonessential."

So-called essential workers stay on the job, shutdown or no shutdown. This is pretty a tough line to draw.

But you should know this. There is a lot more than money or politics at stake. The National Institutes of Health says that a half dozen new clinical trials were supposed to get scheduled to start this week, and instead those trials are on hold. That matters. Week in and week out about 200 patients enroll in new research at the NIH Center in Bethesda, Maryland, seeking life-saving treatments and cures.

About 15 percent of patients are little ones, children. Five percent of those children are children who are suffering from cancer. That's about 10 young cancer patients, each and every week, who now may have nowhere else to turn.

So I want to turn to our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

I first saw that headline, I thought it had to be a mistake. How on Earth, Elizabeth, could anyone turn away roughly a dozen children from a life-saving trial? Is that really what they're doing, saying, go home?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, no. I mean, these children are getting care. They're getting care at whatever place they were getting care at before.

But these are children whose parents wanted to enroll them in a clinical trial to get an experimental treatment. And this number of -- this small number of -- relatively small number of children are being told, no, you can't.

You can get the care you have been get all this time, but you can't get this new experimental treatment that we're working on. So those children were, indeed, told you can't enroll in this new trial.

So I don't want to make it sound like these children with cancer aren't getting treatment. That's not the case. They're just not getting to enroll in this new -- in the new clinical trials.

BANFIELD: But that's got to be so disheartening --

COHEN: Oh, sure.

BANFIELD: -- if you're the family of these kids, thinking that this might just be the magic bullet, the panacea, and then it's just all shut down.

Let me move on to all the other medical research that could be affected as well, because we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, in potential cures for thousands, if not millions of people, aren't we?

COHEN: The way it's been explained to me is the NIH gives out money to universities and hospitals across the country. And they give it out on something like, say, a quarterly basis.

So they already have a lot of money to work with, or they have money to work with. So it's not as if scientists across the country have to put down their microscopes and their test tubes and sort of go home and twiddle their thumbs.

I mean, if you're working in a private university, you probably have something that you could be doing even if you are NIH funded.

The issue here really is for the NIH Clinical Trial Center in Bethesda, Maryland, which does some of the most important research out there, really trailblazing kind of work.

And those folks are really at a disadvantage. The shutdown definitely has affected them.

And, Ashleigh, I thought this was particularly terrible. I was talking to a doctor who works at a private university, and his team works with CDC and NIH researchers. And they call them on a daily basis to ask questions and share information.

And these workers have been furloughed, so they can't call them at work and then they found out they can't call them at home. They can't just call them at home and ask them a question. They're not allowed to talk because they've been furloughed.

So this research at this private university has been slowed down considerably because they can't even talk to their colleagues.

BANFIELD: Now that's just silly. They're just not allowed to even call them, even if they're willing to --

COHEN: They can call them.

BANFIELD: -- do the work for free from home.

COHEN: They can call them, but if they answer, they're not supposed to -- I guess, they are supposed to hang up. But they're not supposed to talk about work because they have been furloughed.

BANFIELD: That's just terrific.

All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you for that.

Day two of the shutdown, any compromise on the horizon anywhere, hello? Anybody?

Coming up later, two congressmen involved in the budget and the shutdown, Representatives Bill Pascrell and Scott Garrett are going to join me in about 30 minutes, live from the nation's capital, and they will be standing together. At least we're forcing them to meet on TV.

And up next, day two of healthcare enrollment under ObamaCare, better known as open enrollment season.

Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is traveling the country and talking to people, people just like you, about the new law.

You have questions. He's got a lot of answers. He's going to join us next to discuss the possibility of what happens to you if you just opt out, not interested, no thanks. What does that mean to you?

Later on, it's the video that's really astounding so many people, a motorcycle gang surrounding a vehicle on a New York highway.

One biker is in a coma. Others are arrested. What were they doing? What would you have done were you in the car when the bikers besieged you, your baby in the back?


BANFIELD: So if you've been planning to look into ObamaCare and sign up and you're having problems doing that online you're not alone.

In fact, the White House says 4.7 million unique visitors went to the Web site in just the first 24 hours.

There have also been more than 133 phone calls that came into the government about this and more than 104,000 Web chats were requested.

But they don't have the one number that we really want to know, and that's the bottom one, the enrollees, the number of people who actually decided to take the plunge and actually signed up yesterday.

Because you just know some people were kicking the tires, right? They may plan nothing. They were just curious.

In fact, if you're one of those people who decided, I'm not going to buy this insurance. I have nothing -- I have no interest. I don't like it. I don't want it. I'm not going to do it.

Do you know what it means for you? Because it does mean something. It means you're going to pay a penalty. It's actually like a tax.

So these are some of the raw numbers, averaged. It's about $95 per person in 2014 Depending on what you make really because it can go right up to a family maximum of $285, or 1 percent of the entire family's income, whichever on e is greater. It's not chump change.

That's just for the first year, too. After that it goes up again. The penalties will get strong. Our chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is live from Lexington, Kentucky. My guess is a lot of people have been asking about that. My guess is they say it's complex, I don't get it, I never wanted it, I'm not interested, what will happen to me. It's serious. The penalties aren't simple.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The penalties are not simple. You gave a good overview of what they are. Most of what we are hearing being on the ground in these places is much more about what you were first talking about which is, look, I am interested in this. A lot of people have never had health careinsurance before. They don't know how an exchange works, never had an open enrollment period. They don't have a doctor. This is brand new to them. They are bewildered by the process and the fact it was so much trouble with the glitches yesterday, that didn't help things.

There is a lot of questions. How will it work? How much is it going to cost me ? People who do have healthcare insurance are asking is the quality of my insurance going to suffer? Is anything going to change? These are big questions. Keep in mind, in 48 years there hasn't been healthcare reform that's been as sweeping as this across the whole country. So it's a big deal going on now.

BANFIELD: What about the kinds of questions that have come from people where they say, I'm worried this new policy, if you listen to the critics means I will lose the health care I have now that I actually like. Is that myth, reality? what are you telling them?

GUPTA: Let me give you examples of what they are talking about. The facts matter here, but take a company like U.P.S, for example. A big employer. They have one of the big distribution centers here in Kentucky. They recently made an announcement saying, look, we have about 33,000 spouses of our employees that are currently covered under our health care plans. We have done our analysis and figure that 15,000, about half of them can actually get their health care coverage through their own employers as opposed to through U.P.S., so we'll drop those spouses and ask them to get their healthcare coverage through their own employers.

That's a significant impact. It changes the way a lot of people are going to look at things. Those people will get their healthcare just in a different place. There are other situations where if someone is working fewer than 30 hours a week, the companies don't have to provide them healthcare insurance, those part-time employees. You find people working 32, 33 hours a week who are now getting dropped to 29 hours a week. That's an impact as well.

This is how some of the companies have chosen to approach this. Delta, a company based in Atlanta basically says, look, we have done our projections. The impact of the Affordable Care Act on our company is about $100 million a year. Costs $14 million extra, for example, to cover the kids who can stay on their parents' plan until age 26. Throwing you the information is there is a lot of calculation going on now. Big companies in particular deciding how to conduct things in the months and years to come.

BANFIELD: All right. Thank you for that. Sanjay will be doing this for some time, taking questions on CNN EXPRESS. He has a special edition of "SANJAY GUPTA, MD," this weekend. Tune in Saturday at 4:30 eastern and Sunday night at 7:30 eastern. All great information at a time when this week is all about health care.

Just ahead, a Sunday afternoon drive is anything but calm. Two people have been arrested, another in the hospital.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm devastated. All his ribs are fractured.


BANFIELD: The mother of a biker run over by an SUV says her son is paralyzed, but is he part of the problem here? We'll dig into the story, dig into the video and ask where were the police? What would you have done if you were in a predicament where you feared for your life?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: You have probably seen some video that's been playing heavily on CNN's rotation. It is a bike accident, a road incident, an aggression on the road incident. Let me give you context. A young family out driving, 2-year-old in the back, accidentally bumps into a motorcycle. Then finds themselves surrounded by the rest of the motorcycle friends and things start to get ugly.

They try to escape and that causes damage. Now there is a person in the hospital seriously injured. Two people have been arrested. Now it's a question of whether the actual driver of the SUV should be arrested himself. It's an unbelievable story with unbelievable video. It was all taped.

Susan Candiotti has the story.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This biker is now under arrest for several charges, including reckless endangerment after allegedly causing an SUV to hit him, and set off a violence chain of events ending in a frightening attack.

The helmeted man seen on the right pounding on that SUV has now turned himself into police. When the video cuts off, police say the driver is pulled out and assaulted, but he's not the only victim of the dramatic ordeal that played out on New York City's west side highway.

Watch what happens earlier when the SUV was still trying to get away from bikers. Edwin Mieses was trapped underneath the SUV.

YOLANDA SANTIAGO, EDWIN MIESES' MOTHER: All his ribs, fractured. His lungs are so badly bruised. He's still on the ventilator.

CANDIOTTI: Mieses seen here in a Facebook page dedicated to him. He is now in critical condition.

DAYANA MIESES, INJURED BIKER'S WIFE: My husband got off his bike to help the guy. Whatever he did, he got scared. He peeled off and paralyzed my husband on the way.

CANDIOTTI: The driver of the SUV has not been charged, but NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly isn't ruling it out.

RAY KELLY, COMMISSIONER, NYPD: Depends on whether or not your vehicle is being attacked, whether or not you think you are being attacked, whether or not your wife and child are in the car. You have to look at the totality of the circumstances. That's what we are doing.


BANFIELD: And Susan Candiotti joins me live now. A lot of people are looking at bits and pieces of the video without the entire context of how the incident played out. They are trying to ascribe blame, either on the driver or the motorcycle gang Is it easy?

CANDIOTTI: It's difficult. We are only seeing bits and pieces of the videotape. What someone decided to post online on Youtube. What happens is this is a big bike run that happens once a year. Police weren't prepared for it last year. This year they said they had a lot of officers watching what happened. A 911 call was made, police tell me, by the SUV driver early on Sunday afternoon to say, hey, bikers are driving erratically. The next thing you know, one gets in font of this SUV driver. He cannot stop, police say, so he hits him.

BANFIELD: An accident.

CANDIOTTI: That's what police are calling it. Police say it's an accident absolutely. He told police that he feared for his life. The bikers surround him. That's when things start to happen. They pound on the vehicle. The tires are slashed. Then the driver told police, I was scared out of my mind and I took off and during that -- that's when he rolls over some other people.

BANFIELD: It's astounding to think it could escalate with a child in the back. Perhaps nobody saw the child in the back seat, but nonetheless, the level of violence this escalated into is nothing short of remarkable.

I want to bring in another guest who may have insight on that. Terry Katz is vice president of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang investigation -- I'm sorry. Investigators Association. Terry, your organization, for those who may not be familiar with it, you are a liaison for a number of different law enforcement groups around the country that look into the biker gang mentality. This isn't necessarily a gang, as I understand it, it's motorcycle club, but given the fact we have this level of violence, this must be on your radar.

TERRY KATZ, INTL. OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANG INVESTIGATOR'S ASSOCIATION: Well, it's your actions, not what you look like. Having seen the video or at least what was posted, you obviously have a traffic collision. Unfortunately, you also have a pack mentality, where you hurt one of us, we want you to stop, and then it escalates and escalates. That's not different than what we see if he was involved with a motorcycle gang, but it is criminal behavior and then it escalates.

BANFIELD: So what is the circumstance at this point when you're looking at that many potential targets of the investigation. You saw there were dozens of bikers in the video. What's the NYPD to do with this? We have video, but clearly the witness accounts of what happened will vary significantly.

KATZ: Well, that's true in any traffic collision. Especially in this case where there are at least associated with each other obviously the traffic collision unit or whoever is investigating it will separate the witnesses, whether they get cooperation or not is up to the witnesses. Often times that's difficult to do. In this case, the video gives you a lead to see at least some of it.

BANFIELD: I want to bring in our HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson. You have been watching the video with us. I need to be clear. We are seeing a lot of bits and pieces of video. Clearly the police will have every bit of video they can get. Is it reliable when trying to mount an investigation?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: It could be. Here's why. What happens is, is that now there is a backlash from the family. They say, look, this person, my husband, is critically injured. I want justice for him. So what the investigators will do is they will evaluate this videotape and as you mentioned speak to several witnesses whose testimony will be conflicting oftentimes. But it will center around whether this driver was justified in doing what he did in leaving the scene. In New York state, we have a statute -- a self- defense statute. It's called justification, and briefly stated, it turns upon the reasonableness of the actor's conduct.

BANFIELD: That's the part right there, Joey, where he was fleeing and took he out people as he was fleeing from the being terrified. His tires were spiked. He was besieged upon after the initial bumping accident. See, the injuries actually happened there. So is is that where police and law enforcement are going to be looking at --

JACKSON: Yes. They will focus on everything. However it culminated into this, and what they will do is evaluate the state of mind. Was he in reasonable fear for his life, number one, and was that fear imminent? Did he feel as though he was going to be under attack? Of course if that's established, then you could see either, A, he faces no charges, or that defense is proper in the event he's charged and brought in front of a jury. That's how it will play out here.

CANDIOTTI: That's how the police commissioner described it. It depends on the circumstances as to whether anyone else is charged.

JACKSON: Absolutely.

BANFIELD: Obviously a lot of information has to funnel into the investigation. Susan Candiotti, Terry Katz and Joey Jackson, thank you. We appreciate that.

A bomb scare forced the evacuation of Jacksonville International Airport and has turned out to be a hoax. Pretty good, too, considering this was a major pain for a lot of people traveling. Police have a suspect in connection with that incident. The threat in Jacksonville.

Coming up next, more than 800,000 federal employees on furlough today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't get paid. I go home and on the good side I get to spend more time with my daughter, and on the flipside I might not get paid.