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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Obama Defends Health Care Reform Law; "My Plan Was Canceled"; "Candy Bowl" Of Overtime Costs Taxpayers Millions; Injured TSA Officer Speaks for First Time; "Candy Bowl" of Overtime?; Michelle Knight Speaking Out on TV; NFL Player Accused of Threatening Teammate
Aired November 4, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, what is the white House worried about now when it comes to Obama care? We have a shocking memo just uncovered by CNN.
Then for the first time, a whistleblower shows his face "OUTFRONT." He's calling out the Department of Homeland Security tonight.
And Michelle Knight describes in detail how she was held captive by an Ohio man for a decade in abominable conditions.
Let's go "OUTFRONT."
A good Monday evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, an Obamacare bombshell, a stage four cancer survivor says the president's signature legislation cost her, her health care. She is our exclusive guest tonight. But just moments ago the president again defended his reforms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Insurers in the marketplace can no longer use your medical history to charge you more. If you've got a pre-existing condition, they've got to take you. Folks who have been sick have finally the same chance to buy quality, affordable health care as everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Yet, as first reported on CNN today, Obama administration officials actually expressed concern. Just last week, in a private war room meeting that consumers would be disappointed by sticker shock and a limited choices once they were finally able to get on the Obamacare web site.
Now here's the op-ed, and the headline here is, you also can't keep your doctor, what everybody is talking about today is this. It's a bombshell op-ed in the "Wall Street Journal" written by a stage four cancer survivor who says Obamacare is ending her medical care.
The left and the right are banging this op-ed around like a pinata. It goes to the core of the entire debate in America. Edie Littlefield Sundby who wrote this is our exclusive guest tonight, but first we begin with our Tom Foreman OUTFRONT with her story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the battle over health care reform, Edie Littlefield Sundby has a story to be reckoned with. In 2007, she received terrible news as described in a series of inspirational online videos.
EDIE LITTLEFIELD SUNDBY, WROTE OP-ED "YOU ALSO CAN'T KEEP YOUR DOCTOR": I was filled with cancer, not just a little but a lot and the prognosis was very serious.
FOREMAN: She was told she had only three months to live and treatment would be all but useless.
SUNDBY: And so I knew what I was up against.
FOREMAN: But through an aggressive regimen of top flight treatment, she says more than a million dollars were paid for by United Health Care, she is living on, or at least she has been. Now in a new "Wall Street Journal" op-ed, Sundby writes my plan was canceled. And under Obamacare, she says she can no longer access the health facilities and doctors she's relied on. Adding now I worry how long I'll live.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thousands of people are signing up and saving money as we speak.
FOREMAN: Not surprisingly, the column has drawn sharp attacks from some Obamacare defenders when insists that Sundby has lost coverage, she should do better to blame big business than big government. United announced it was pulling out of the individual insurance market in California months ago and adds it was not because of Obamacare rather the company had only about 8,000 patients under such plans, and had seen no growth on that front in years.
What's more, some analysts believed the insurance industry on the whole has long tried to get away from the sickest, most costly patients and Obamacare actually makes it possible for those patients with pre-existing conditions to be insured even if they are dropped.
Still on the idea that Sundby cannot keep the specific care she has relied upon, she appears to be on firm ground. Under United Healthcare, she had ready access to cancer specialist at both Stanford and the University of California at San Diego. And now she'll have to choose between one or the other. It is not clear that any option available under Obamacare will allow her to keep the doctors that she has counted on in both of those places -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom, thank you. And Edie Littlefield Sundby joins me now. Edie, I know you're in remission and we're really happy to hear that. I know that's miraculous thing given what you've endured. You know, you write about in this op-ed how you're losing coverage from an insurer that I'm quoting you never once questioned a treatment or a procedure recommended by your medical team to the cost of about $1.2 million.
And you say that to get the equivalent coverage that you have you'd have to go outside the Obamacare exchanges and pay 40 percent to 50 percent more. Just on a practical level, could you even afford that?
SUNDBY: You know, the thing is, is that I'm in the same position that almost, I think there's 10 million of us here in California that have the individual, in the country, that have these individual policies. And so who can afford 40 percent or 50 percent more? And that's low balling it. Some of the policies are 100 percent more. And not only it's more expensive, but you get far less.
BURNETT: Both sides in the debate are seizing on your story and this discussion. And those who defend Obamacare are saying that United's decision to pull out of the California individual market didn't have anything to do with Obamacare, right? They're saying something you're well aware of, right? They only had 8,000 policyholders in the state out of 2 million and back in July when United made the decision to pull out of the individual market.
Let me quote what they said. They said our individual business in California has always been relatively small. Over the years, it's become more difficult to administer these plans in a cost-effective way for members. But as you just said, no one else is offering a similar plan for the same price as far as you've been able to find. So are you convinced Obamacare is the reason your policy was cancelled?
SUNDBY: Erin, I'm so glad you brought this up because this is one thing I am aware of that happened today is Dan Cypher sent a tweet that he'd said this was the real reason this cancer patient's policy was canceled and attached this article and someone did give me that copy of that article. Basically it said that competition is driving United Health Care from the market.
However, Erin, it's interesting because I wanted to read this. I wanted to know what the real reason was. And basically, the real reason was, as stated by Dave Jones, the insurance commissioner here in California, he said United Health Care and Aetna, both have pulled out of this market, were at a tax disadvantage? Well, to me, what tax disadvantage. That's political cronyism.
BURNETT: The tax advantage that is reportedly was given to some insurers but not to United Health Care. I mean, certainly that could be part of the problem. But I guess the real question is, when we're talking about whether Obamacare is the problem here, you're saying that you've gone through the entire market, the exchanges with Obama care and the plans available outside of Obama care and you're saying categorically that you can't find the plan that you have now or anything similar for the same cost, period?
SUNDBY: Absolutely. Categorically, I am saying that. I know that for a fact. You know, just like when I was hit with a curve ball called terminal cancer, stage four cancer, I had to be quick. I had to be thorough and I had to act. And so when my policies canceled, I have to be the same. I have to be attentive, pay attention and really, really get down to the nuts and bolts of it to make sure, because I am alive for just a couple of reasons.
I'm alive because I'm really, really lucky, and I'm blessed. And part of that luck and that blessing has been my doctors and my health care policy. And I am alive for a very large extent because I can control who I chose to provide medical coverage and where that medical coverage was coming from. And control is life when you're talking about your health, especially catastrophic disease.
I have to be able to see people in other -- because I have a rare disease, and I have a very vicious disease called gallbladder cancer. And less than 0.8 percent of us are alive in eight years. I'm almost at eight years. I will be in another year. And God willing, I will still be alive, but I will only be alive if I can, when it hits again, when I can respond quickly.
And I don't know where I'm going to need to go. I may need to go back to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I definitely will be at Stanford Cancer Center because they have worked this wonderful miracle with my life. And or I may have to go someplace else. I need a policy that gives me what United Health Care gave me for the last seven years.
BURNETT: Thanks very much to Edie. Now we tried to explore Edie's options ourselves, which required knowing her income, she was uncomfortable providing us with that information.
Still OUTFRONT, allegations of DHS workers wasting taxpayer money on inflated overtime pay. Wait until you hear what they were doing on overtime. For the first time you're going to see one whistle-blower's face, he comes on camera OUTFRONT.
Later, why is the mayor of a major city apologizing if he didn't do anything wrong? The video that could end his career.
And Michelle Knight was held captive for a decade. Today, she described being tied up like a fish.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, it's called the candy bowl of overtime. Lawmakers tonight are calling for an investigation into unearned overtime at the Department of Homeland Security, that unearned overtime costs us, the taxpayer, about $9 million a year. Whistle-blowers say it's common for employees to watch television during their so-called paid overtime. For the first time tonight, one man is speaking on camera OUTFRONT. Chris Lawrence has this OUTFRONT investigation.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: They were supposed to help protect America's border, but some Homeland Security agents can't even be trusted with the nation's wallet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They decided to pickpocket Uncle Sam.
LAWRENCE: Jose Ducos is one of seven employees blowing the whistle on his co-workers at DHS.
JOSE RAPHAEL DUCOS, WHISTLEBLOWER: I knew it was my duty to report the fraud.
LAWRENCE: The whistle-blowers say workers are abusing overtime, charging two hours a day for unearned work. It was happening every day, all years long. It added up to managers making an extra 34 grand and just 27 employees in on D.C. put in for nearly $700,000.
DUCOS: They feel entitled to this payment like a perk.
LAWRENCE: This special pot of overtime is meant for urgent work, like agents going after an undocumented immigrant on the border. But the abusers earned their OT by watching sports, catching up on Netflix and commuting to work. Ducos claims he couldn't tell his bosses, because well, they were in on it too.
DUCOS: Supervisors were benefitting themselves from the uncontrollable overtime.
LAWRENCE: Carolyn Lerner is from the Office of Special Counsel, which investigated the claims. Her office produced a report that's been sent to the White House.
CAROLYN LERNER, OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL: It's definitely disturbing.
LAWRENCE: The cheating is so pervasive employers called the overtime pot the "candy bowl."
(On camera): Managers were putting this phony overtime into the recruiting pitch. I mean, they weren't even trying to hide it.
LERNER: It's suggested that it's become entrenched.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): This isn't just a few bad apples. DHS employees are accused of abusing overtime from the D.C. headquarters to border stations in Texas and California.
(On camera): How many millions of dollars do you think taxpayers have lost in all this?
LERNER: The estimate that agency wide is tens of millions of dollars annually. And this has been going on for a while. So it's potentially quite a serious waste.
LAWRENCE: Yes, it's a problem and one that DHS says look, we get it. DHS folks says, look, we, take seriously the responsibility to ensure proper use of taxpayer funds. Misuse of these funds is not tolerated. It is part of our ongoing commitment to reducing waste and abuse. Acting Secretary Beers has requested a comprehensive department-wide review.
The problem is they requested a similar sort of review about five years ago when a couple offices up in Washington state got busted for similar overtime abuse. That's probably why some on Capitol Hill today are saying, look, that's good, but it's not going to be enough. Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for a full congressional hearing and investigation -- Erin.
BURNETT: To make sure it really stops. All right. Chris Lawrence, thank you very much. Tens of millions of dollars. It starts to really add up.
Our third story OUTFRONT tonight is the unimaginable abuse suffered by Michelle Knight. In her first television appearance, the Cleveland kidnapping survivor opens up about the hell that she, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, endured at the hands of Ariel Castro during their nearly 10 years in captivity.
Here's what she told Dr. Phil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, "DR. PHIL SHOW": He gets you in this room. What did he tie you up with?
MICHELLE KNIGHT, CLEVELAND KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: One of those orange extension cords. I was tied up like a fish, an ornament on the wall. That's the only way I could describe it. I was hanging like this. My feet, and I was tied by my neck and my arms with the extension cord going like that.
MCGRAW: Oh, my god. So he tied your hands and feet and also around your neck? And hung you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Scott Taylor is an investigative reporter from Cleveland's WOIO. He's OUTFRONT.
And I know, Scott, you know, you've been on top of this story since the beginning. And now, you know, until now, we haven't heard much about the specifics, the abuse these women suffered. I mean, just even hearing that it's incomprehensible.
What have you been learning about the conditions these girls endured?
SCOTT TAYLOR, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, WOIO: Well, Erin, really the first time I heard that, it was extremely disturbing. It's some of the details that we started to learn when they first got out of the house that all three girls were brought in the house, one at a time, 2002, 2003, 2004. They were attacked right away by Ariel Castro. He continued to beat them throughout the years. And the first couple of years they actually had them down in the basement and eventually moved them up.
And I think that's what we're going to hear with Dr. Phil in his interview. Also that Michelle, I believe, shares where he actually grabbed Ariel Castro, grabbed her at that Family Dollar Store that we talked about before on Clark Avenue here in Cleveland. He said in his letter in 2004 that he just bumped into her and took her and got her into the house. But we now know that he offered a small puppy to Michelle Knight's little boy. And remember, Michelle and a little boy were separated when he was only two. And that's the reason why she went into that house to begin with.
BURNETT: Now, Scott, after Michelle was rescued, she was being cared for I know for a while by the family of Gina DeJesus, who was also in the house with her. Why is she speaking out alone now? I mean, do you know, is there a falling out with the other two women? Because obviously Gina and Amanda are now writing a book together without Michelle.
TAYLOR: Well, I think they were all on board at first to make some type of deal for a movie, a book, an interview. I think Amanda Berry was the reluctant one. She finally came on board. But she said, Erin, for quite some time she really didn't want to talk about it because of her young daughter. She didn't want to affect her young daughter.
I think Michelle broke away from the two just because she's really independent. She's the one who's been the face of this story.
BURNETT: A fair point.
TAYLOR: And to begin with, when they first got out of the house, I think she was actually was out in public. And we just didn't recognize her. Remember, we didn't see all three girls until months later in that video. And then when I walked into that sentencing trial for Ariel Castro I still didn't recognize Michelle because she is a very tiny woman. So I understand that she was able to walk out around in public for quite some time before the other two girls were confident enough to go out.
And I also know that she was being housed outside of Cleveland at somebody's home. And she -- I believe she's still there. So she wasn't really in Cleveland where the media could pounce on her like the -- like the other two young ladies.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Scott, thank you very much. We appreciate your taking the time.
And still OUTFRONT, news just in on the latest on the shooting at Los Angeles airport. Did police miss stopping this attack by just minutes?
And next, how does a man, 6'5" and 300 pounds, get bullied into leaving his job? We're going to tell you about some truly horrible voicemails next.
And only three musical acts have accorded the number one record on the British Charts in seven straight years. Elvis and the Beatles are the other two. OK. So those are the two. Can you name the third? I'm not giving you a hint.
BURNETT: Our fourth story OUTFRONT, bullying could cost an NFL player his $13 million job. You heard me right. So tonight the Miami Dolphins are deciding the future of their guard Richie Incognito who's already been suspended after reports that he taunted teammate Jonathan Martin with threatening and racially charged messages and voicemails.
But the punishment may not add up, at least according to one of Incognito's former teammates Ricky Williams. Here's what he told Jake Tapper today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICKY WILLIAMS, FORMER MIAMI DOLPHINS RUNNING BACK: There's certain traditions, like when rookies come in, especially if they're high draft pick, that, you know, they'll take their position group or the offense or the defense out to dinner and foot the bill. That's more of a rite of passage, and I wouldn't consider that hazing.
The NFL isn't for everyone. And there are certain people -- and I was one of the people, you know, I had these ideas and expectations about what the NFL would be. And then once I got there, I saw that it -- it wasn't what I thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now John Zarrella is OUTFRONT with a special report.
And, John, what did the messages say because when you hear this, someone could be fired $13 million job because of threatening voicemails to an NFL player? What could possibly have been in those voicemails and text messages?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is what was in that, Erin. According to ESPN and NFL.com, this is the text of the voice messages left for Jonathan Martin.
I'm quoting here. "Hey, what's up, you half blank piece of blank. I saw you on Twitter. You have been training 10 weeks. I'll blank in your blank mouth. I'm going to slap your real mother across the face. Blank you. You're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
Now this is all coming out a week after Jonathan Martin suddenly left Dolphins' camp last Monday and has been gone ever since -- Erin.
BURNETT: Now, John, I mean, you know, I hear that. It's almost impossible to imagine. Then you wonder, is this some sort of the way they all interact? I mean, it's hard to understand it. It would be unprecedented for an NFL player to actually get fired cut for bullying. So are the Dolphins actually going to do it?
ZARRELLA: Well, right now Incognito is on the reserve suspended list. And at this news conference today, Joe Philbin, the head coach, said he wouldn't really address the futures of either of the players. But Philbin did say he would not tolerate anything like this going on in the workplace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE PHILBIN, MIAMI DOLPHINS HEAD COACH: If the review shows that this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Now I talked to several players after that press conference in the Dolphins' locker room. And all of them said to me, look, we feel like this locker room has a very good environment. And in fact, one of the players went so far as to say he loved Richie Incognito. And he said that was Richie just being Richie probably and would like Richie to be back on the team.
So right now the Dolphins preparing for a game a week from Sunday -- Monday, against Tampa Bay. That's their focus, they say, and most of them, though, saying they would welcome both players back to the team.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much, John Zarrella.
And I also just want to give everybody a very brief update on the condition of the Houston head coach, Gary Kubiak. A statement from a Texan says he's going to be in the hospital for at least the next day. The 52-year-old fell to his knees, as you can see there. Watch that happen just as they were going off during the game. I believe it was during half-time.
Obviously an emergency situation there. The team did not elaborate what might be wrong with him. But he had dizziness and light -- wad light-headed, did not, though, suffer a heart attack.
Well, OUTFRONT next, did the police miss stopping the alleged Los Angeles shooter by just minutes? And do his writings indicate a growing domestic terror threat but is much bigger?
And then the Toronto mayor accused of smoking crack which some say was caught on tape. Says he's sorry? Sort of?
And later "Iron Man" is real about to suit up for the United States Military. We have an amazing report.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
Chants of "death to America" in Iran. Today, thousands taking to the streets, swarming the former American embassy in Tehran, in one of the biggest shows of defiance against new President Hassan Rouhani's overtures to the United States over Iran's nuclear programs.
Again, these pictures, as you can see, are from today. This comes on the 34th anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the embassy. Now, protesters burned American flags, held up anti-American posters, defacing President Obama and the Statue of Liberty.
Well, a mea culpa from Rob Ford, the embattled Toronto mayor who's been accused of smoking crack. But the whole thing allegedly caught on tape.
On a radio show today, Ford apologized for making mistakes, admitted to doing a lot of stupid things. And as for the actual crack smoking on that video?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: I want the Police Chief Bill Blair to release this video for every single person in the city to see. That is the right thing to do, and, Chief, I'm asking you to release this video now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So standing by his side of things, the Toronto police tell OUTFRONT they are not releasing the video because it is evidence in a current court case.
Well, our fifth story OUTFRONT -- our breaking news at this half hour -- just moments, one of the injured TSA officers in the Los Angeles International Airport shooting spoke out for the first time, talking about his encounter with the gunman after helping an elderly man to a safe area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY GRIGSBY, TSA SHOOTING VICTIM: I turned around and there was a gunman who shot me twice. I was shot in the foot. After I was shot, I got to the area where the planes were at. And people were coming towards me and asking me, you know, were you shot, what's going on. I was like, and I (INAUDIBLE) -- all I could think about was, you know, helping them, you know, I may be injured right now, but the concern is really to take care of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That comes on the heels of new information that police visited the alleged gunman's apartment the day of the shooting. They got a tip. But it turns out they missed him. And the chance to save a live by just minutes.
Stephanie Elam is OUTFRONT.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not long before the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, Paul Ciancia sent his family in New Jersey rambling and alarming text messages, some suggesting that he would commit suicide. The family alerted authorities who then asked LADP to do a welfare check. They responded within six minutes of getting that call, but it was still too late.
CMDR. ANDREW SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Remember, this was after the incident occurred, and it's dozens of miles away from where LAX is. It's probably 40 miles from LAX to this house. So, our officers didn't make the connection at all. No one had made the connection at that point.
ELAM: But Ciancia was already gone. His roommate gave him a ride to the airport.
CNN's Miguel Marquez spoke exclusively to a woman who knows Ciancia and his roommates.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the moment that they're seeing this on the TV, their third roommate comes back and says I just dropped Paul at LAX. He had to go home. And they just knew. I think that you just dropped off Paul to a shooting.
ELAM: Police say Cianci reportedly entered LAX's terminal 3 armed with an assault rifle and five magazines of ammunition. The FBI says they recovered a handwritten note on Ciancia that made it clear he was out to kill TSA officers. Authorities say he shot TSA officer Geraldo Hernandez at point blank range.
Investigators say then Cianci went up an escalator. But after apparently spotting Hernandez still moving on the floor, he doubled back to shoot him again, killing Hernandez.
SCOTT GREENE, WITNESSED SHOOTING: There was a pause. So I looked down the escalator, and I saw the gunman. He had his gun trained on the guy on the wall there, and he shot him twice.
ELAM: In the end, two more TSA officers and a traveler were hit. LAX police shot Ciancia several times in the face and neck. He's alive but remains unresponsive.
The woman who knows Ciancia and his roommates also said he was socially awkward and that he had expressed strong feelings about the U.S. government.
UNIDNETIFIED FEMALE: All the NSA findings that came out, you know, to hear that he was very upset about it and he also thought that TSA abused their power.
ELAM: As for Paul Ciancia, his family expressed sorry for his actions.
JOHN JORDAN, ATTORNEY FOR CIANCIA FAMILY: Paul is our son and brother. We will continue to love him and care for him. We will support him during the difficult times ahead. While we do not mean to minimize the grief and distress experienced by many other families, we hope that the public will understand that this is a very difficult time for our family, too.
ELAM: And in light of the shooting, Erin, a union that represents the TSA officers is now calling for another group of TSA officers who are armed and able to arrest travelers. They were saying that they would need extra training. But they're saying, in light of all the kinds of people that these people encounter in their jobs that they need that extra security -- Erin. BURNETT: Stephanie, thank you very much.
And, of course, everyone, let us know what you think. Should the TSA -- should they have more security, have the right to have guns? Would that solve any of this?
And our sixth story OUTFRONT is the LAX shooter's motive for murder. We are learning more about the alleged gunman, Paul Ciancia and why he may have been targeting TSA officers specifically. So, according to the latest that we have from the FBI, investigators found a note from Ciancia that made it clear he wanted to kill TSA officers. And, quote, "Instill fear into their traitorous minds."
Now, Ciancia said he acted alone, but the question is, was he part of an anti-government group that is rising in popularity across the United States? As in, could this happen again?
OUTFRONT tonight, Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Michael Medved, a conservative syndicated radio show host.
Great to have both of you with us.
Mark, you spend your entire life tracking these sort of things. You say, according to Cianci's writings, he appears to be aligned with the conspiracy minded, anti-government patriot movement, very important word there, "patriot", which believes about the federal, that the federal government wants to destroy American freedoms, force United States into a socialistic world government, impose martial law, and take away non-law enforcement weapons."
Are you convinced that Ciancia was part of this movement?
MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: No, I think "convinced" would be a little strong. We learned over the weekend that there were some other references in his one page, handwritten note. He talked about the new world order. He talked about fiat currency and he talked about the Federal Reserve.
In the world of the patriot groups or what we used to call the militia groups, those things all relate to a single conspiracy theory. The idea that American freedom -- well, really that there's a plot on the part of the government to create a one-world government, a socialistic, totalitarian regime to be called the new world order. Many people in the patriot world trace that conspiracy, that alleged conspiracy to the formation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and the subsequent abolition of gold-backed money, in other words, the adoption of fiat money mean paper money that is not backed by gold.
So, we don't have any evidence that Ciancia was a part of the group. We have nothing like that. We don't know where he may have been in the years leading up to now. It's simply that kind of language in the note that he left. He also, we learned, had some very personal attacks on Janet Napolitano, the former DHS secretary.
BURNETT: Right. And I want to ask about that. But, Michael, first, let me ask you. When people watching who aren't following these radical groups hear words like the Federal Reserve and gold, whether U.S. currency should be backed by gold, they tend to think of more mainstream groups, perhaps Tea Partiers, libertarians whose also often use those terms as well.
Now, what does that make --
MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW HOST: Right. I --
BURNETT: So respond to that has to whether those more mainstream but still a little bit on the, right wing groups are in a sense encouraging these more radicals.
MEDVED: Right, I think it's completely unfair. And one of the things -- Mark has been a guest on my radio show, and we've debated this at the time. I don't think it's fair to conflate the so-called militia groups with groups that describe themselves as patriots.
Patriot is not a bad word. There's a very mainstream group that has millions of members called the Tea Party Patriots, that has nothing to do with -- we have no evidence at all that Paul Ciancia was in any way involved with them. They have never encouraged violence. And I think that's the important thing here.
The important thing is to draw a line between people who are fringe groups who believe for instance that everything bad that happens in America is part of a massive conspiracy, including September 11th was an inside job and people were obsessed about the Kennedy assassination, but not everyone who was interested in those kinds of theories is somebody who is likely to engage in this sort of violence.
And I think what you find here is the key element is mental illness. This is a guy who was clearly mentally ill, and that's what we need to pay attention to.
BURNETT: And his parents, of course, have tried to reach out and tried to get help on that and were refused. So, I mean, that's a fair point. But, Mark, you know, according to your research, the patriot movement has surged since President Obama took office, 149 groups linked to that when he started. More than 1,300 last year.
POTOK: That is true.
BURNETT: Do you think this is rooted in racism against the president?
POTOK: Well, first of all, let me respond something Michael said. I'm not at all alleging that this man is connected to the Tea Party Patriots or any Tea Party group at all. The militia movement commonly does refer to itself as the patriot movement or sometimes the Christian patriot movement.
So I'm merely using the language of much more extreme groups than the Tea Party world. So, I want to be clear about that.
Yes. This attack --
MEDVED: I'm not willing to give up the word patriot to those people.
POTOK: -- the context of very rapidly growing number, so-called patriot groups of militia groups. I mean, the growth has been just astounding. And it really did begin in the fall of 2008, the beginning of 2009, in other words, precisely when our first black president is coming to power.
So I think that one of the big drivers of this movement is not only the person of Obama, black man in the White House, but the demographic change in our country that he represents, the idea that the white majority in this country will be lost in about 30 years.
MEDVED: I think what you're doing is very dangerous and very conspiratorial because one of the things that you're suggesting is, you're talking about this horrible shooting, unforgivable. And we've had a whole series of them. We've had the Washington Navy Yard. We had Newtown. We had Aurora, Colorado. Virtually none of them are politically involved.
And to all of a sudden use the word "patriot" which is a precious and valuable word -- in the Boston bombings, they were celebrating being Patriot's Day. I am not willing to give up the use of the word "patriot" to characterize very, very fringe groups, of which you say there is no evidence is involved here.
And try to tar people with this right after a terrible shooting like this when the clear problem is mental illness I think is irresponsible with all due respect, Mark.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you.
And, please, to all of you, weigh on Twitter.
Up next, the NSA leaker Edward Snowden writes a manifesto and says he has proof that he did nothing wrong, talk about whether someone's a patriot or not. That's the question.
And later, a true American hero -- Iron Man comes to life in the Pentagon right now.
And a shout-out tonight: breaking record. Singer Rihanna has done something no woman has ever done before. She's managed to notch the number 1 single in the U.K. single's chart every year for the past seven years. Her current number one is "The Monster", a collaboration with rapper Eminem. Only two other artists have accomplished that feat, the Beatles and Elvis, which is pretty impressive. So, a shout- out goes to Rihanna for her seven years of success.
BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: NSA leaker, patriot or criminal?
So, Edward Snowden is on the defense, saying calls for reforms to the National Security Agency proved his leaking was justified. In a letter titled, "A Manifesto for the Truth" published in the German magazine, "Ders Spiegel", Snowden says he is not the problem, it's the NSA.
And he writes, quote, "Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime."
OUTFRONT tonight, Bob Baer, CNN national security analyst, and a former CIA operative. And Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst.
OK, great to have you both with us.
Bob, let me start with you.
Snowden says these leaks are justified, fair?
BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No, here is the problem. You can't work for the government and have a security clearance and wake up one day and decide to spill your guts. I mean, you know, if we started down that road, where would it all stop? It would be the end of the espionage, it would be the end of our national security, run in to the military and so forth.
You know, the problem here is that he didn't have a venue to take his complaints to where he'd be listened to. He couldn't take it to the Senate and to the House. They would have been ignored. And it is really the Congress that's the problem for not overseeing the National Security Agency, which is -- it needs reform.
BURNETT: And, Ray, let me ask you this, you hear Bob saying, if this -- you go down this path where does it stop? It could be the end of our security, the end of the military.
I know that you think Snowden did the right thing. You went over there to present him with an award last month. So, obviously, you're on a different side of this. But what about Bob's point? You know, you do this, and you kind of heroize something like this. And what are you doing when you get to the end of the road?
RAY MCGOVERN, FORMER CIA ANALYST: I turn it around, if you don't do something, you're approaching what Snowden called turn-key tyranny. Fifty years ago, when I was a commissioned Army officer in the infantry, I took a solemn oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So did Ed Snowden.
It shouldn't be curiosity that he took that oath seriously. The Fourth Amendment to that Constitution says the right of the people to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures and no, shall not be violated. And no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched or the persons and things to be seized.
BURNETT: But how is this leaking all of this publicly to the whole world and other governments upholding his vow to the Constitution government? MCGOVERN: Well, his vow was to the Constitution, Erin, not to the government. There is a big, big difference. The Fourth Amendment cannot be -- there is no way that NSA's country --
BURNETT: Or to your country, let me put it that way, to your country, how is leaking to other governments upholding a promise to your country?
MCGOVERN: We don't swear an oath to our country, we swear it to the Constitution. It's a written piece of paper. That's what makes our country different.
When you see the Fourth Amendment being violated, being shredded by people like Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers, complicit in this violation, there somebody needs to speak out. And that's what Snowden did.
BURNETT: Bob, what do you say to that?
BAER: Well, I think we need to find out exactly what the NSA agency did. Did it break the law? And right now, there is no clarity.
I mean, you know, the accusation in journalism is they have been running algorithms through journalist records to find their sources. And if that's true, I think that's clearly a violence of the Constitution, and somebody should be held accountable.
You know, we do need clarity on this, just how far it went. And does Congress know? Have they done an independent audit of what the National Security Agency was looking into? No, not so far, and they should.
BURNETT: So do you think -- what about Snowden's leaks, Bob, do you think he has been working with foreign governments, or is that allegation, to your view at this point, also not clear?
BAER: Well, Erin, the promise -- I spent so many years up against the Russians. And in that world, when someone goes to Moscow, they're presumed guilty. Not the other way around, presumed innocent.
So you know, I always look at it from a counterintelligence perspective. And I wish he hadn't gone to Moscow. I wish he would have made his protests on the steps of the Capitol, or the Supreme Court. Or going to China as well, it's the same thing.
It's a perception that he's a defector. There is no evidence that he is a deflector, but I can assure you that the FBI and the CIA are looking at that possibility. But again, there is no evidence.
BURNETT: All right. Well, two very strong views, and, of course, as always, appreciate your feedback to our viewers.
Thanks very much to Bob and Ray.
And up next, what would a real Iron Man suit look like? You think it's just a thing of movies, but we're going to show you that the U.S. military is about to launch that very thing.
BURNETT: Imagine if super heroes could fight in war, armed with the ability to repel bullets and communicate with orbiting drones to locate enemies. Something that's coming out of the movies, and, of course, an Iron Man -- which makes you think it's totally farfetched, right? But the thing is, it's a real idea that could hit the battlefield as early as next year.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORREPONDENT (voice-over): "Iron Man's" powered suit of armor and high tech weapons helped him protect the world. And that is exactly what America's top commando, Admiral William McRaven wants when his men have to kick down the door.
ADMIRAL WILLLIAM MCRAVEN, U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND: You just got to open the door, not knowing what's on the other side. He has to be in a position to be protected as soon as that door comes open.
STARR: McRaven has ordered up tactical assault light operator suit, better known as the "Iron Man" suit. The idea, lightweight armor protection, possibly with battery power flowing through it, to give a soldier an extraordinary ability to move faster and operate longer in battle.
Former Navy SEAL Chris Heben says the suit could make the commandos even better.
CHRIS HEBEN, FORMER NAVY SEAL: It is going to take a super soldier, a SEAL, a green beret, a delta force guy, and push him into another stratospheric level. What people don't realize is all of these technologies exist already. But they exist separately. So they're taking them all and putting them together and adding pretty cool things like liquid armor, that becomes hardened in a millisecond.
STARR: There are plenty of ideas, images from drones or satellites over head, right into the helmet visual display, boots that generate electricity with every step and soldier takes, and flexible toe to toe protection so troops can move closer to the enemy.
HEBEN: If they can work out the bugs and get it to where it is functional. It's going to allow, it's going to take a group of guys who are already extremely high functioning on the battlefield and make them completely unstoppable.
STARR: McRaven wants the first version of an "Iron Man" suit within a year.
For OUTFRONT, Barbara Starr, the Pentagon.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: (INAUDIBLE) soon estimate how much it's going to cost, but according to moneysupermarket.com, Tony Stark's "Iron Man" suit would cost $7 billion.
"AC360" starts now.