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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Typhoon Haiyan Survivors Getting Desperate; Obama Gives Veterans Day Speech; Incognito Speaks Out on Bullying Allegation.
Aired November 11, 2013 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And just to keep you updated, we're watching with our live eye on Arlington National Cemetery. That's the secretary of Veterans Affairs, Colonel Shinseki, who is making some brief comments just in advance of the president, who is about to speak. We're going to continue to watch and bring you those live comments in just a moment.
But back to this very breaking situation in the Philippines. It is getting desperate for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. The areas that have been demolished are getting help from better places in that country. And iReporter sent us a photo of emergency vehicles in one city in the Philippines getting ready to deploy to the worst-hit towns.
Krista Lu Stout has more on the aid that's come in from the city from the capital city of Manila.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is midnight here in the Philippines. But there are no more aid flights this time of night because there is no power to light up the runways. But U.S. Marines are on the ground and they are out to change that. Earlier, they arrived in hard-hit Tacloban City. They are there with C-130 planes with aid in a bid to make the airport operational on a 24-hour basis. The Philippines have sent in Special Forces on the ground to deliver aid as well as a bid to restore law and order there.
The situation on ground is very desperate. We're close to four days since the storm made landfall and the survivors are increasingly frustrated and angry. They're telling us that what we're going through in the aftermath of the super typhoon is worst than hell. Doctors telling CNN that they can't go on because they lack much needed supplies. Aid is trickling in but only just barely.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Manila.
BANFIELD: And our thank you to Kristie Lu Stout.
If you would like to help the super typhoon survivors, you can do that. You can go to impactyourworld.com. You'll find an array of different services that CNN has put together for you. We highly encourage you to do your part if you can and help out those in such desperate straits.
Today, back to the live event that's unfolding right now at Arlington National Cemetery and back inside live at the amphitheater. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, whether you call it Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Veterans Day, this happens every day this year at this time to commemorate the ending of World War II, the War to End All Wars.
The secretary of Veteran Affairs, the Honorable Eric Shinseki, is at the microphone in advance of the president, who is about to make remarks to those in attendance.
I wanted to give you a statistic, in case you were wondering. I found this pretty surprising. The number of living veterans among us here in the United States today, can you guess? 21 million. If that's surprising to you, this might come as even more surprising. The number of World War II vets among us who are living today, 245 million-plus. That's pretty incredible.
Let's listen in to the secretary as he makes his remarks.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
GEN. ERIC SHINSEKI, VETERAN AFFAIRS SECRETARY: -- backlogged by over 211,000 planes in the last 230 days, reduced veterans' homelessness, enrolled our one millionth veteran into the new post-9/11 G.I. Bill Education Program. Veterans couldn't ask for a stronger advocate than our president.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's my personal and professional honor, to present to you our commander in chief, the president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning, everyone.
Thank you, Secretary, for your lifetime of service to our nation and for being a tireless advocate on behalf of America's veterans, including your fellow Vietnam veterans; to Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, Secretaries Hagel and Perez, Admiral Winofel (ph), Major General Buchanan, but most of all to our outstanding veterans service organizations, our men and women in uniform, and to the proud veterans and family members joining us in this sacred place.
Michelle and I are honored to be with you today again.
To the Gold Star families, the brothers and sisters in arms who have walked the paths of these hallowed grounds and the cemeteries around the world, we join you as you remember your loved ones who wore America's uniform. And here at Arlington in Section 60, we've ensured that you can continue to bring the small mementos to your loved ones to the final resting place of these American heroes, those who fought for our freedom and stood century for our security. On this hillside of solemn remembrance and in veterans' halls and proud parades across America, we join as one people to honor a debt we can never fully repay.
In the life of our nation, across every generation, there are those who stand apart. They step up, they raise their hands, they take that oath, they put on the uniform and they put their lives on the line. They do this so that the rest of us might live in a country and a world that is safer, freer, and more just. This is the gift they've given us. This is the debt that we owe them. They fought on the green at Lexington so that we could make independent the country that they imagined. They fought on the fields of Gettysburg so we could make whole a nation torn asunder. They thought on the beaches of Europe and across Pacific islands. And from their sacrifice, we emerged the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
This year, as we mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the fight in Korea, we pay special tribute to all those who served in the Korean War.
From the jungles of Vietnam to Desert Storm to the mountains of the Balkans, they have answered America's call. And since America was attacked on that clear September morning, millions more have assumed that mantle, defining one of the greatest generations of military service this country has ever produced. On tour after tour after tour, in Iraq and Afghanistan. This generation, the 9/11 generation has met every mission we have asked of them. And today, we can say, because of their service, the core of al Qaeda is on the path of defeat, our nation is more secure, and our homeland is safer.
There are men and women like the soldier, soon to be veteran, I met a few months ago, Jakari Hogan. Jakari deployed to Iraq twice and survived not one but two -- excuse me, three separate IED explosions. And when she was well enough, she deployed again, this time, to Afghanistan where she was often the only woman in our forward operating bases. She proudly wears the Combat Action Badge. And today, she's committed to helping other wounded veterans from the trials of war. Helping the troops, she says, is what I'm all about.
My fellow Americans, that's what we should be all about. Our work is more urgent than ever because this chapter of war is coming to an end. Soon, one of the first Marines to arrive in Afghanistan 12 years ago, Brigadier General Daniel Yu (ph) will lead his Camp Pendleton Marines as they become one of the last major groups of Marines to deploy in this war. And over the coming months, more of our troops will come home. This winter, our troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to 34,000. And this time next year, the transition to Afghan-led security will be nearly complete. The longest war in American history will end.
OBAMA: As is true after every conflict, there's a risk that the devoted service of our veterans could fade from the forefront of our minds, that we might turn to other things. But part of the reason we're here today is to pledge that we will never forget the profound sacrifices that are made in our name. Today reminds us of our sacred obligations. For even though this time of war is coming to a close, our time of service to our newest veterans has only just begun. Think about it. Our troops wear the uniform for a time, yet they wear another proud title, the title of veteran, for decades, for the rest of their lives. As a nation, we make sure we have the best led, best trained, best equipped military in the world. We have to devote just as much energy and passion to making sure we have the best cared for, best treated and best respected veterans in the world.
OBAMA: So when we talk about fulfilling our promises to our veterans, we don't just mean for a few years. We mean now, tomorrow and forever. And not just for generations past, but for this generation of veterans and all who will follow. And that's why, as commander-in- chief, I'm going to keep making sure we're providing unprecedented support to our veterans. Even as we make --
OBAMA: Even as we make difficult fiscal choices as a nation, we're going to keep making vital investments in our veterans. We're going to keep improving veteran's health care, including mental health care so you can stay strong. We're making sure that veterans not covered by the V.A. can secure quality affordable health insurance. We're going to keep reducing the claims backlog. We've slashed it by one- third since March and we're going to keep at it so you can get the benefits that you have earned and that you need when you need them.
OBAMA: We're going to keep helping our newest veterans and their families pursue their education under the post 9/11 G.I. Bill. We are going to keep demanding that the rights and dignity of every veteran are upheld, including by pushing for the disabilities treaties so that our disabled veterans enjoy the same opportunities to travel and work and study around the world has as everybody else.
OBAMA: And with the help of Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden and joining forces, we're going to keep fighting to give every veteran who has fought for America the chance to pursue the American dream, a fair shot at the jobs and opportunity you need to help us rebuild and grow here at home. Because you're bringing home the skills and the work ethic and leadership necessary to start companies and serve your communities and take care of your fellow veterans. That's our promise to you and all who have served, to be there and support you when you come home, every step of the way. And as a nation, we will strive to be worthy of the sacrifices that you've made. That's what we owe all of our veterans.
That's what we owe veterans like Richard Overton, who served in the Army in World War II. He was there at --
OBAMA: Now, everybody, I want you to know a little something about Mr. Overton here. He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima where he said, I only got out of there by the grace of god. When the war ended, Richard headed home to Texas to a nation bitterly divided by race and his service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect that he deserved at home. But this veteran held his head high. He carried on and lived his life with honor and dignity. He built his wife a house with his own two hands. He went back to work in the furniture business. In time, he served as a courier in the Texas state capitol where he worked for four governors and made more friends than most us do in a lifetime. Today, Richard still lives in the house that he built all those years ago, racks his own lawn, and every Sunday he hops in his 1971 Ford truck and drives one of the nice ladies in his neighborhood to church. So --
OBAMA: This is the life of one American veteran living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free. And earlier this year, the great folks at Honor Flight Austin brought Richard to Washington, D.C., for the first time. And he and his fellow veterans paid their respects at the World War II Memorial. And then they visited the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. And as Richard sat in a wheelchair beneath that great marble statute, he wept. And the crowd who gathered around him wept, too. Richard Overton, this American veteran, is 107 years old.
OBAMA: And we are honored that he is here with us today.
So let's ask Richard to stand again, because he can stand.
OBAMA: And this is how we'll be judged, not just by how well we care for our troops in battle but how we treat them when they come home and by the America we build together, by what we do with the security and peace that they have helped grant us, by the progress that allows citizens from Richard Overton to Hogan to play their part in the American story.
Today, our message to all of those who have ever worn the uniform of this nation is this: We will stand by your side, whether you're seven- days out or, like Richard, 70 years out because here in America, we take care of our own. We honor the sacrifices that have been made in our name for this nation that we love. And we commit ourselves to standing by these veterans and their families for as long as we're blessed to walk this earth. God bless you all, God bless our veterans, God bless our men and women in uniform, and God bless these United States of America. Thank you.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and join the United States Air Force band in singing "God Bless America."
(END LIVE FEED)
BANFIELD: Miami Dolphins guard, Richie Incognito, is speaking out for the first time about allegations he bullied his teammate, Jonathan Martin. The latest revelation? Incognito says Martin e-mailed a threatening text message about his own family as an apparent joke. Here's what he told "FOX Sports."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS GUARD: A week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone: "I will murder your whole F'ing family." Now, did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: By the way, Incognito goes on to say Martin's tests and the ones he sent Martin were not racist but were part of everyday language from the locker room.
Joining me now with their expert take on this case, because you know what, it could end up as a case, CNN legal analysts, Paul Callan and Danny Cevallos.
Paul, now that there's a guy on tape saying, I'm sorry, does that change the game at all in any legal way?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, I think it changes the game completely. This is so ridiculous. When you look at the context of what goes on in professional football locker rooms, this is just typical behavior, and it's gotten blown up because it's publicized. A famous philosophy, Thomas Hobbs, once said, "Life is nasty, broodish and short in an uncivilized society." And what's more uncivilized than professional football?
BANFIELD: Than professional football.
Danny, one of things I was surprised at, when I heard the interview the first time, and this threat that Incognito said he received, I was astounded. I couldn't imagine actually typing the words, "I'm going to kill your whole family," until I realized he didn't type those words. He sent a meme, a photograph. Take a look at it again. This is a photograph of a smiling woman with her dog and the embedded joke, which is text that's on the photograph itself, is "I will murder your whole family." Does that make any difference? Again, when it comes down to whether there's a harassment case or something actionable, does that make any difference?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It makes a huge difference.
Paul, I don't know what happened to everybody? Did nobody grow up in a neighborhood? Was nobody on a sports team ever? Clearly, we need to go back to joke writing 101. The reason that meme was funny was because the people on it, the dog and the woman, are so happy. It's ironic. It's ridiculous. Even if Martin wanted to bring a lawsuit, he would have to prove outrageous behavior, extreme behavior to prove emotional distress.
Look, this appears to have been between consenting adults. The Supreme Court said consenting adults can sodomize each other. It stands to reason that at least consenting adults should be able to joke about sodomizing and hurting each other if it's clearly a joke.
BANFIELD: Is there a difference though --
CALLAN: Maybe the dog's got a cause of action here. I don't think anybody else does. He looks like a nice dog.
BANFIELD: Do you have to be in that moment though? Because one person can assess a circumstance and think it's all fun and games and the other one could be devastated. What does a jury say?
CALLAN: First of all, no prosecutor would take a case like this. If it involved children, if it involved a stalker, if the context clearly showed criminality, yes. But something coming out of a locker room relationship between a rookie and a seasoned player, no prosecutor would seriously look at this.
BANFIELD: I still think there's missing pieces here. I smell a rat. There's got to something.
BANFIELD: That's the journalist in me.
CALLAN: -- the difference between male and female humor. Male humor is cruel and biting.
CALLAN: And my wife is constantly saying, "Grow up." Why do you say something like that?
BANFIELD: I like the humor you two bring to the program. I wish we had more time. We've been very busy with Armistice Day, Veterans Day. By the way, it commemorates the end of World War I. I misspoke. I also call my children by the wrong names all the time, as well.
But I will call you by your right names. Paul Callan and Danny Cevallos, thank you very much.
CEVALLOS: Thank you.
BANFIELD: Nice to have you both.
And thank you all for watching. It's been great to have you with us.
My colleague, Suzanne Malveaux, along with Michael Holmes will take over the reins right now with "AROUND THE WORLD."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really, really like bad, worse than hell, worse than hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The desperate calls for help after one of the strongest storms in history wipes with away entire towns.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: As many as 10,000 people are feared dead. Survivors now desperately searching through the wreckage looking for their loved ones.
MALVEAUX: Plus, the danger continues. Another storm is heading to the Philippines. How it will impact the recovery ahead.
Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company. We'd like to welcome our viewers both here in the United States and around the world.
MALVEAUX: It is so disturbing. Decomposing bodies, they're literally everywhere. Destruction stretching across towns and villages on island after island.