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School Shooting in Nevada; Dick Cheney's Fears

Aired October 21, 2013 - 15:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A mom goes on national TV saying her daughter would never, ever bully. But now new video uncovers the mom's secret.


BALDWIN: Hour two with me. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN.

We begin with horrific breaking news out of Sparks, Nevada, another deadly school shooting I have to tell you about. We now know two people were killed today, a teacher and a student. A 13-year-old student telling members of the media that a kid somewhere between 13, 14 years of age, wearing a school uniform, fired a shot at a teacher outside, as the class stood somewhere near this basketball court.

This boy saying his teacher saw the student with a gun and ran to tell him to put the weapon down, and that was when this student began firing into the teacher's chest.

We heard from members of law enforcement not too long ago in this press conference confirming that the shooter appears to be a student.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two of the injured students have -- one has gone through surgery and is out at this time. The other individual is doing well. The one deceased is a staff member of the school, of Sparks Middle School. The other deceased individual at this point in time appears to be a student/suspect in this case.


BALDWIN: So right there, you heard the chief of district police calling the shooter a student/suspect. One ear-witness describing what he heard from the school when all of this happened.



QUESTION: What did you hear? Like, can you just tell me, describe it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just pops, just like you hear it from a distance, gunshot.

QUESTION: Where were they coming from, do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounded like from the back of the school.


BALDWIN: Once again, the condition of the two other students who were hurt in the shooting still critical. We will keep you updated with any developments on their conditions, the motive, and we're efforting someone from this Sparks Middle School to come in to talk to me here live on CNN this hour. Stay tuned for that.

We also played the president. Hope you saw it here live on CNN, President Obama saying despite all the problems, Obamacare is helping Americans find health insurance at a reasonable cost.

As for those Web site failures that have hampered potential sign-ups, the president said there is no excuse for that. What he didn't say is when he will have it fixed.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the Web site isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed.



OBAMA: And, in the meantime, you can bypass the Web site and apply by phone or in person.


BALDWIN: That was the president speaking at a ceremony in the Rose Garden late this morning.

He also said he's launched this tech surge to fix the Web site problems. Should tell you that Kathleen Sebelius, she was in attendance. There she was in the purple at the ceremony today, as the president's health secretary, we have been reporting she is facing calls to resign over these failures connected to the program's launch.

So let's talk about this.

Joining me from Orlando is David Gewirtz, a government columnist for the tech news Web site ZDNet, and from New York, we have CNN's Laurie Segall.

So, David, let me just start with you.

Can you just put this in perspective for me? Do we have any idea how much computing power is behind this Web site? What can we compare it to? DAVID GEWIRTZ, GOVERNMENT COLUMNIST, ZDNET: Well, I think if you're talking about millions of users, which you know, what we're going to be looking at is something on the order of 150 million users eventually. You're certainly talking about a Web site that's smaller in scope than the billion users that Facebook handles.

It's a big Web site with a lot of data and it's certainly complex, but it's also certainly not the biggest Web site or back-end infrastructure that we have seen. It may be the biggest that the government has seen.

BALDWIN: OK. OK. I know once again, the question everyone wants answered, when will it be fixed? We don't know that yet.

Laurie Segall, we heard from Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson, today touting improve improvements. He said it looks different, said there is a tech calculator for credits, there's easier navigation. What I want to know is, what's with the log-in? Because I know people are having issues just logging into this thing.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, the bottom line is people are still having issues logging in.

And President Obama, he said that there were issues, but he didn't get into the specifics of what exactly those issues were. I will say the one thing he said was that the number of people visiting aggravated underlying problems. And so we really didn't get an idea of what those underlying problems were.

Now, I can tell you what they're doing. They're bolstering servers, they're adding servers right now. They're also replacing a lot of virtual technology with actual hardware, because, as he said, a lot of people are signing on to this Web site, are trying to get on. I think he said something like 20 million people have visited.

BALDWIN: Right, a lot of people. We know now that the president said, there's this tech surge happening. He talks about, David, all these -- the creme de la creme, the top tech companies are volunteering to help with some of the issues that are perplexing this Web site.

Do you happen to know which companies are trying to the rescue? And my follow-up to that would be, why weren't they helping in the first place?

GEWIRTZ: Well, this is a government-bid project, so CGI won the bid, and, you know, they're the primary contractor for the bulk of this activity.

So that's really the issue. You know, you look at companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft and all of them have deep experience building very, very complex, very highly skilled Web sites, and certainly could participate in a solution. But we're looking at patching together a solution on an already launched and somewhat shaky platform.

BALDWIN: Does it make it more difficult?

GEWIRTZ: So, it could be problematic. Oh, it makes it much more difficult.

BALDWIN: OK, David Gewirtz and Laurie Segall, we will follow your reporting as we continue watching how this thing works or not.

And Attorney General Eric Holder, he got an earful today for his hands-off approach to states that challenge federal marijuana prohibition. This came from a chief of police who was introducing Holder at a conference in Washington.


CRAIG STICKLER, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE: This decision by the U.S. Department of Justice in our view will open the floodgates for those who want to legalize marijuana throughout the country, those who have the resources to place initiatives and referendums on state ballots, and those who continue to profit from the sale of this unlawful drug.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you, Chief Stickler, for those almost kind words.


HOLDER: I guess we're going to go for marriage counseling.


BALDWIN: Almost kind. Holder, we should tell you, was there to talk about something else entirely. He encouraged those chiefs, though, to adopt the new tactic, having officers confront armed gunmen, rather than stand their ground until SWAT teams arrive.

Coming up, the former vice president revealing a shocking fear. Dick Cheney said he was worried about being assassinated and terrorists would use his own pacemaker to kill him. But is that theory even possible? CNN investigates that coming up next.

Also, a mother's actions exposed, this woman here now facing charges after police find a video they're calling disturbing. What is on the video that has so many people outraged? We will show it to you next.


BALDWIN: Former Vice President Cheney is speaking out about his health and the serious health problems he battled while in office. Did you know he suffered his first heart attack at age 37? Four more followed that, along with so many procedures, high-tech fixes.

So now with than entirely new heart, the former vice president is opening up about his health odyssey in this new book And in this "60 Minutes" interview with our own chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Cheney insisted his health did not affect his performance while at the White House. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You were instrumental in many big decisions for our country -


GUPTA: Including going into Afghanistan and Iraq.

CHENEY: And terrorist surveillance program and enhanced interrogation

GUPTA: Terrorist surveillance programs.

CHENEY: Did a lot of...


GUPTA: Wiretapping, enhancement interrogation. You'd had four heart attacks, three catheterizations at this point.

CHENEY: Uh-huh.

GUPTA: A defibrillator, bypass surgery.

CHENEY: Right.

GUPTA: Did you worry about your physical health impacting your judgment, your cognition?


GUPTA: Not at all?


GUPTA: Were you the best that you could be?

CHENEY: Well, I was as good as I could be, given the fact that I was 60-some years old at that point and a heart patient.

GUPTA (voice-over): Cheney didn't want to acknowledge numerous studies that show a significant connection between severe heart disease and memory loss, depression, a decline in decision-making abilities, and impaired cognition, or that he could be one of the many patients vulnerable these side effects.

GUPTA (on camera): Did they talk at all about potential side effects, again, because of limited blood flow to the brain on cognition, on judgment?


GUPTA: Was that something that you had heard about in any way? Not -- you didn't know about it? You weren't worried about it?

CHENEY: No. GUPTA: Both -- you didn't know -- no one...

CHENEY: No, I wasn't worried about it.

GUPTA: No one -- did anyone counsel you at all on that?

CHENEY: Not that I recall.

GUPTA: What about even things like depression?


GUPTA (voice-over): And that's all he wanted to say about that. But what Dick Cheney was eager to talk about was his transplant, detailed in his new book, "Heart."

CHENEY: When you emerge from that gift of life itself, there's this tremendous feeling of emotion, but it's very positive. I think my first words when I came out from under the anesthetic and they said it had worked great was "hot damn," literally.


GUPTA: And, Brooke, I want to point something out as well. You know, his doctors said he didn't know of anybody in his own practice that had had a heart attack 35 years ago and was still alive today.

Just goes to show you how significant Vice President Cheney's heart disease was. And when I asked the vice president about it, he said, look, part of the reason he thinks he's alive today is because any small symptom, he would immediately go to the doctor and get it checked out.

In fact, he made a sort of quip about the fact that if he were in the middle of a televised vice presidential debate and started to develop symptoms, Brooke, he would have left the lectern and gone to the hospital, so perhaps an important message in there as well -- Brooke, back to you.

BALDWIN: Well, Sanjay Gupta, thank you. I might have cornered Sanjay earlier today. He was telling me all these other tidbits about this interview. You can actually watch the full interview on "A.C. 360" tomorrow, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, here on CNN.

And, you know, there was something else that Dick Cheney revealed to Sanjay. It was the fact that Cheney's concern during his time in office, someone, terrorists, perhaps, might try to hack into his implanted heart pacemaker. His fear mimics the plotline for all you "Homeland" fans. Roll it.




BALDWIN: Sound farfetched? Actually, it's not.

Brian Todd reported on this exact issue just a couple of months ago.


BALDWIN: And, Brian, you're telling me it is in the realm of possibility for hackers to take over someone's wireless medical device?

TODD: Well, there's some debate about that, Brooke, whether you can actually take over the implanted defibrillator that Dick Cheney has or that the fictional vice president in "Homeland" had.

Now, Dick Cheney says he did, however, think of that possibility years before the "Homeland" episode, when Cheney needed to replace his implanted defibrillator. Now, that is a device which can automatically charge and shock your heart if you go into cardiac arrest.

When he needed to replace that, his doctor ordered the manufacturer to disable to the wireless feature on that device out of concern that hackers could possibly signal the device remotely and trigger a heart attack. That was in 2007, when Cheney had his device replaced. Cheney says that he saw that "Homeland" episode years later. And here's what he said to say about.


CHENEY: I was aware of the danger, if you will, that exist, but I found it credible because I knew from the experience we had had in the necessity for adjusting my own device that it was an accurate portrayal of what was possible.


TODD: Possible, maybe, but just how feasible? Maybe not quite clear.

I just spoke to an expert on these devices, Dr. Susan O'Donoghue. She's an electrophysiologist at MedStar Heart Institute in Washington. She's implanted thousands of these defibrillators in patients. She said most if not all of these defibrillators have to have wireless capability to allow data to be retrieved from the device while you're at home, while the patient is at home to make sure it's working properly.

She says that's a one-way communication, at least while you're at home, and that it cannot be programmed remotely, at least from a distance. She says, to program, to change a setting, you have to do right there at the hospital in person. You do that by holding a wand right over the device. The wand is attached to a programming machine in the hospital. She says you cannot program it from more than about 10 feet away.

So, maybe not impossible, Brooke, but she says at least you have got to get close to it to do that. You can't do it from like a mile away or even you have 50 feet away, Brooke. BALDWIN: It's incredible, the science behind some of this stuff, isn't it, Brian Todd?

TODD: Yes.

BALDWIN: Brian, thank you.

TODD: Sure.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, shocking new video of a Jets fan throwing a punch at a woman. My next guest says this is just because our society is increasingly violent. You think? That's coming up.


BALDWIN: It's tough to watch, but, unfortunately, it's not the first time we have seen something like this happen.

A sports fan, in this case, a New York Jets fan, goes after a fan of the other team, a woman who was cheering for New England Patriots during yesterday's game in New York. Come on, man. I mean, it's tough to watch. A woman?

But from everything we have been reporting the last couple years, this may not be so unusual.

Richard Lustberg, let me bring you into the conversation. You're a psychologist. You spent a lot of time studying fan behavior. Someone reminded me today, remember, fan is short for fanatic. But we have seen the fights in the stands. Of course, we saw fans being attacked outside of stadiums, but it seems like this is happening more and more and more. is this alcohol? What is this?

RICHARD LUSTBERG, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it's a combination of things.

I think people have great difficulty holding and containing in emotions that they feel that are intolerable. So we see it all across society. We see it in our road rage. We see it in regular interactions on the streets. And so when you get 72,000 people together, it's much more likely to happen.

So what is it, though? What is happening now in our society for us not to be able to control ourselves?

LUSTBERG: I think...

BALDWIN: That's an interesting thought.

LUSTBERG: Thank you.

I think that it has to do with the fact that people have intense emotions that they're unable to keep inside of themselves. So they need to discharge them immediately. They can't hold them back. So, ultimately, you're seeing these kind of interactions that we see on the streets and in the supermarkets, between people crossing the streets. Those angers and frustrations immediately come out. And, as you suggested, when you have alcohol involved and the heightened stimuli of the game, it only increases the opportunity for that to happen.

BALDWIN: I mean, I can appreciate a good Jets/Pats rivalry, but come on, folks, self-control. Richard Lustberg, thank you very much.

An influential football pioneer died today. Bud Adams Jr. was the founder and owner of the Tennessee Titans franchise. He owned the team for more than 53 years, since its founding as the Houston Oilers. The Titans reached the Super Bowl back in 2000. He also co-founded the American Football League. Adams was 90 years old.

And now to this horror unfolding in Southeastern Australia. Look at this. The pictures tell the story here, soaring temperatures. You have hot winds. They're fanning these brushfires, walls of fire gaining intensity, both north and east of Sydney.

The fear right now, a mega-fire, several uncontained fire fronts threatening to merge all together. Firefighters from the Rural Fire Service in the state of New South Wales battling fire after fire as all of New South Wales is now under this 30-day state of emergency.

And what we're about to show you here, this puts the story in focus, the perspective here of a firefighter. This is something so rarely seen. It's incredible, but it's also terrifying. You heard toward the end some of the coughing there, exhausted after that battle, and then this photo.

This really sums up what these men and women are enduring after more than five days of relentless firefighting. Already, Australia's brushfires have eaten through an area roughly the size of New York City. And things are expected to get a whole lot worse.

Back in Washington today, the president spoke at the White House about the failures of the Obamacare Web site. Congressional hearings this week could take a close look at this entire fiasco. Will someone lose their job? And how does this impact the president politically? We will talk to Wolf Blitzer. He will join me live next.