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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Navy: Pings Not From MH370 Black Boxes; Google's Driverless Car; Interview with Rep. Aderholt
Aired May 28, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, major breaking news out of Malaysia, a huge setback this the search for Flight 370. One of the centerpieces of this whole investigation a false lead.
Plus, inside the mind of a child killer, an OUTFRONT exclusive investigation.
And the first lady gets in a food fight with the GOP. Republicans aren't holding anything back. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, it's not the plane. A massive setback in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The U.S. Navy says the underwater pings are not from the plane's black boxes. The entire search for nearly two months has focused on hunting where those pings were heard. It's a stunning setback. And Rene Marsh broke the news. And Rene, wow, is really all I can say right now.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: I pretty much said the same thing today, Erin. I said wow when we learned this information, because it all boils down to this. For seven and a half weeks, we've been searching for something that simply was not there. The U.S. Navy is on camera and talking to CNN tonight. We are told the black boxes were not in the search zone, and most likely neither is the plane.
MARSH (voice-over): It was the most promising lead, and now we know it's false. New information the U.S. Navy has concluded these four underwater signals were not from the missing plane's black boxes.
(on camera): From the U.S. Navy's standpoint, these sounds were most likely not from the black boxes.
MICHAEL DEAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR SALVAGE AND DIVING, U.S. NAVY: Yes, I'd have to say at this point, based on all of the imagery data we've collected and looked at. If that black box were nearby, we would have picked it up.
MARSH: When detected in April, the pings boosted confidence the plane would be found.
ANGUS HOUSTON, AUSTRALIAN CHIEF SEARCH COORDINATOR: The full signals previously acquired taken together constitute the most promising lead. MARSH: But now the Navy says the sounds could have been from the search ship itself or other electronics.
DEAN: We may very well have been in the wrong place. But at the end of 30 days, there was nothing else to listen for.
MARSH: After searching 329 square miles of ocean floor, the Bluefin 21's mission is over. The search continues in August when private companies take over. Meantime, a new potential lead. CNN has learned a sound that could have been the plane crashing was detected by underwater microphones.
MARK PRIOR, COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY ORGANIZATION: Our analysis is designed to detect nuclear events and earthquakes. And my understanding is yes, they're looking specifically - with a view to finding if there is any evidence from impact from the Malaysian aircraft.
MARSH: The United Nations Nuclear Test Ban Organization has a network of 11 hydrophone stations that pick up many sounds, even ice breaking thousands of miles away in Antarctica. But could it hear a plane hitting the water?
PRIOR: It's possible. But the circumstances that would allow it would have to be very particular.
MARSH: Well, this is a long shot because the data from the signal detected appears to be inconsistent with other data about the position of the plane. Nevertheless, scientists continue to analyze it because this just goes to show they are trying to follow up on every possible lead to find something, find some sort of wreckage. And they tell us that they're hoping to share their findings in the near future -- Erin.
BURNETT: Rene, thank you. Now joining me Richard Quest, Jeff Wise and Mary Schiavo. It's been 83 days. These were the linchpin of much of the search the past two months. They've been looking because of these pings. This is a big development.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It is, but you are excluding an area now. It is devastating that it's not there. But the important thing of course is they've discovered it's not there or that the pings are wrong after the event. Am I making sense here? It doesn't really matter now that we know they weren't the right pings because they've already searched the area. Yes, it was a waste of time to search it, but now we know they weren't the pings, we can refocus and start to look at exactly where the search might perhaps move forward, which is back to the arcs.
BURNETT: Back to the arcs based on the Inmarsat data.
BURNETT: Jeff Wise, let me ask you because you've been very skeptical. Not just to the Inmarsat data conclusions, but of the pings themselves.
JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Right.
BURNETT: Everyone wants to find this plane, but your concerns have been justified now.
WISE: Right. I mean, basically, all along, I've been saying what a lot of other people have been saying as well. It's simply that the pings did not match what we expected to hear from the black boxes. The frequencies were wrong and the distribution on the sea floor of the pings was incompatible with what we would expect the find from the black boxes.
And what really the only reason I think that any of us gave credence or the credence that we did to these pings was that the authorities were staking their credibility on their association with MH370. So really, it became an acid test for the credibility of the authorities. They said in very strong language that we would soon find the plane.
So for me this isn't really about whether these pings are real, but how much faith do we have in the credibility of the authorities. Because the only reason that we believe that the plane is in the south at this point is because the authorities have staked their credibility again on that.
QUEST: No, they haven't staked their credibility on that.
QUEST: I'll take issue on that.
QUEST: That turns it into a slinging match if you like between the authorities and everybody else. They have not staked their credibility on it. They staked the fact that they believe it to be true, which is not the same thing as we are credible and you are not, so to speak. They basically said in the extremity of the moment.
QUEST: That we believe this to be true. Now, what we have learned today is that it's not true with the pings. And yes, weeks were wasted by looking in that area.
BURNETT: Fifty days were wasted.
QUEST: But they have nothing else to go on. Let's not be too clever after the event here. They had nothing else to go on.
BURNETT: Although based in part on the Inmarsat data and the pings started to add up and add up. And as a result, they didn't look anywhere else. They haven't been looking in other locations because of this. Hold on one second. Mary, I know you thought these were the pings, along with a lot of people, most people. What about the frequency was never right. The standard for the plane so-called black box 37.5 kilohertz. The frequencies were all lower than that. They picked some of these up for hours and hours and hours. What else would they have been?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, you know, now the Navy is explaining it might have been some frequencies from the ship, from the towed pinger locator itself. I'm still skeptical about trackers on marine life. But they're saying from the very equipment itself could have caused these pings. And many of us were asking all along is someone checking what happens to a pinger underwater for 30 days.
We have now had three months. They could have checked it twice. Does a 37.7 kilohertz pinger degrade under water pressure to 33.3? And now apparently we'll never know that because these weren't the pingers anyway. But that would have been a very important question to answer, particularly now that they say it's universally accepted, interesting term by the Navy, universally accepted by the search teams that these were not it.
BURNETT: Richard, how do you go from publicly saying we're basically sure these are it and we're looking here to we are now universally accepting these are not it. What if it is it?
QUEST: Because they're doing it in extremis. They're doing it urgently. They're doing it with a deadline of 30 days that is about to expire there is a tight schedule.
WISE: Does that mean you're also skeptical about the conclusion about the Inmarsat that it's in the south? Because that was also made in extremis.
QUEST: No, because once they have done that work, they then sent it out to other people to check it. That work has been checked by other organizations using the raw data.
BURNETT: But why would it take them 50 days after the death of what would be a plane black box signal to say it's not? By the way, the guy who made those pingers has been on the show. We called him tonight. He said look, they haven't called me yet from the U.S. Navy so he hasn't commented yet. He had listened and said they sound like his pinger.
QUEST: What I'm urging is that -- with the exception of your good self and you know, you were the one who is the skeptic and the cynic. I'll give you that. What I'm urging everybody else is don't just sit there now and beat up on the fact. When they're down in the ocean, they've got nowhere else to search, they're following the only leads they've got.
You've got Angus Houston saying very stable, distinctive, not of natural origin. The Australian Defense Forces Center believed it's a description of the flight data recorder. They're doing the best they could with what they had at the time.
BURNETT: So where it is then? Is everything now on the table? Inmarsat has now put out its data, but not its calculations. WISE: Right.
WISE: I would like Richard and everyone else in the world to get their head around the fact that we have no reason to think that the plane went south except for the say so of Inmarsat and the search authorities. And if we can't trust them to be right about the acoustic pingers, I don't think we should have excessive amounts of faith. Listen, they just recently released what they said was the raw data. That raw data was missing. The key crucial --
BURNETT: The calculations.
WISE: -- the analysis, the algorithm, et cetera.
BURNETT: Mary, quickly before we go, is everything on the table now in terms of where to look?
SCHIAVO: Well, no, everything is not on the table. But what is important is this is how often air crash investigations go. There have been so many crashes I've been involved in investigating, and you pull out and go over it. We don't even have the wreckage yet. But you pull out and go over the wreckage time and time again. You throw out theories and investigate them.
The most important thing is not to get fixated on the first theory. It's one of the mistakes of investigation and now they're going move on to that. They're going to use the Inmarsat data, because that's all they have and that's the most realistic way to look at it. They need to look for other clues and follow those up. I think they'll still follow Inmarsat because there is nothing else.
BURNETT: All right, thanks to all.
OUTFRONT next, a CNN exclusive, we're going to hear from the gun store employee who sold Elliot Rodger one of his weapons.
Plus, a special OUTFRONT investigation into child killers. Can they be rehabilitated?
And the all new driverless car from Google, would you be willing to ride in a vehicle with no steering wheel and no brakes, especially if you have really long legs like Richard Quest?
BURNETT: Breaking news in the killing rampage that left six people dead in Santa Barbara, California. Tonight for the first time, we are hearing from the man who sold 22-year-old Elliot Rodger a gun leading up to the shooting. Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT. She has the exclusive. Kyung, so you have had a chance to talk to him. What does he remember about that sale?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is one of the three guns sold. And this one store did sell one of the handguns. The manager of the store telling CNN that he remembers this transaction. It happened back in February. He remembers the man who would become the Isla Vista gunman.
He says that there was nothing unusual about him, nothing particularly remarkable. They did talk about Isla Vista. He says that he cleared the ten-day waiting period. And when asked whether or not the gun store felt responsible in any way, because this weapon was used in a crime, here is what he told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN WHITE, MANAGER, SHOOTER'S PURCHASE: It happens from time to time. But what about the guy that sold him the knives or the swords that he used, or what about the guy that sold him the car he was then driving around, hit people. I mean, do they feel bad? Or do they know he was going to do something bad with it?
I mean, we sell tools or items. I mean, it's no different than the guy that sold him the knife that he used.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: The manager says we often talk about guns, the regulation of guns, that that's an easier topic to talk about. But there are other more complicated issues at stake here -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Kyung. Thank you very much.
Pretty incredible there what he had to say.
So, I guess the question is what motives someone like Elliot Rodger to kill? I mean, he is one of troubled young people who commit heinous crimes. But some say kids who kill can be rehabilitated.
Jean Casarez has an OUTFRONT investigation into the mind of killer teens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was very easy going.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Goofy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And goofy, yes.
JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION (voice-over): Beth Brodie (ph) was only 15 when she was murdered, beaten to death with a baseball bat. Her 16-year-old killer was a boy allegedly upset that Brodie wouldn't go out with him.
Richard Baldwin was tried as an adult for first-degree murder and given the only penalty possible under Massachusetts law, life in prison with no chance of ever getting out.
For Brodie's family, the sentence meant healing could finally begin.
DAWN SANTINO, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I knew that he was going to pay for the crime. And that made me feel better.
CASAREZ: Now almost 20 years later, a shocking reversal.
SANTINO: It's a slap in the face. We feel betrayed, betrayed by the justice system.
CASAREZ: On Christmas eve 2013, Massachusetts's highest court ruled that putting juveniles in prison without the chance of parole violates their constitutional rights. At the heart of the issue is the science of brain development.
ROBERT KINSCHERFF, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Neurologically, the adolescent's brain is continuing to develop. Starting at about age 18, even serious violence in serial offenders begin to decrease. So that by the time they're in between the mid-20s and late 20s, most of them are no longer engaging in crime at all.
CASAREZ: To the Massachusetts court, it came down to one question. If the character of a juvenile killer isn't fully formed, how can a sentencing judge determine if he or she can be rehabilitated?
To the court, that is the decision of the parole board. At hearings that begin when someone has served only 15 years in prison.
Among hundreds of cases, this ruling could affect is the high profile killing of high school teacher Colleen Ritzer, allegedly raped and murdered by 14-year-old student Philip Chism. Chism will now be eligible for parole, even if convicted of first-degree murder.
And more than 60 already convicted murderers in Massachusetts now suddenly have a shot at freedom. For some prosecutors, that is hard to swallow.
JONATHAN BLODGETT, ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We understand the human development of the brain. But there are just some crimes so heinous and so abhorrent that you have to take a different tact.
CASAREZ: Jonathan Blodgett is the head of the commonwealth district attorney association.
BLODGETT: This is a converted conference room. It's now the war room.
CASAREZ: The war room?
BLODGETT: To handle the appeals.
CASAREZ: His office is now scrambling to prepare for unexpected parole hearings in 11 cases, some decades old.
BLODGETT: These are the worst of the worst of the worst. The court on that date and that decision redefined justice for 11 victims.
CASAREZ: One of those victims is Beth Brodie.
SANTINO: We have to be the voice for Beth, because she does not have it, because he took it away. I mean we have to fight for her.
CASAREZ: Jean Casarez, CNN, Salem, Massachusetts.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, Dr. Jim Fallon. He talks -- explains the brain of murders.
And Dr. Fallon, you know, you just heard in Jean Casarez's piece, these killers described as the worst of the worst of the worst. And now, the justice system is saying well, if you committed this crime as a teenager, maybe you changed. Maybe your brain changes. Maybe you wouldn't could it again. So maybe you can go free. Does that make sense?
DR. JAMES FALLON, NEUROSCIENTIST, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: Well, it's partially true, Erin. But it depends on the kind of murder it is. I don't know of any psychopath, psychopathic murder who has been rehabilitated in their teens or as adults.
Some people with personality disorders like borderline personality disorders and ones that are related to lack of empathy, these are pretty hard wired into the brain. And so even though we hear about plasticity and retraining, I don't know of any cases where that's true.
So, some people do in fact grow out of things, if you will. But not these people. Not psychopaths and people with personality disorders who are violent.
BURNETT: Not people who are committing some of these, you know, these crimes that are so horrific, you don't even want to talk about them. I mean, that case recently in Massachusetts of a brutal and violent rape of a teacher and then murder. I mean, that is a -- and these kids, every time they do it, you hear about how they were an honorable student or so nice or so sweet. I mean, that isn't a definition of the psychopath that you could have those two things going on at the same time, right?
FALLON: Right. I mean, one sounds like he was and one sounded like he wasn't. But we like to think as a culture that we can always bring somebody back. We cannot end this happens not to be the case, unfortunately. So it really case by case some people can be and you can look at it. But in many cases it can't. So this omnibus sort of ruling seems quite irresponsible to me.
BURNETT: Interesting to use the word irresponsible.
Now, I know that you know you have said there are three things that determine whether someone is a psychopath and someone can commit some of these horrible kinds of crimes. Brian pattern, genetic makeup and childhood experience. Two of the three are nature, not nurture. People are born this way?
FALLON: Well, people are born with a certain genetic makeup. And many are born with a certain propensity, a sort of brain pattern, a circuit that has low empathy. And it tends toward aggression. But by itself, that isn't enough to create a criminal, a killer. So we say that the genes load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger.
But in some people, many people, the bullets, the genes that they inherit are not dangerous. They're blanks. And so, about maybe 20 percent of people who have this high risk genetic composition, their early abuse can really trigger thin into a psychopathic pattern.
BURNETT: Dr. Fallon, thank you.
And still OUTFRONT, a first look at Google's driverless car. No pedals, no steering wheel. We are not making this up. It is not safe thing. It is out there on the road.
And Michelle Obama taking on a GOP, a congressman working to dismantle her school initiative for healthy food comes OUTFRONT tonight.
BURNETT: No steering wheel, no pedals, no worries. It's the latest version of the self-driving car. This is a real car. Hey, look, it's probably bigger than a smart car. Don't laugh. And you might be drive one. It's from Google. It's tiny. It fits two people, though. Electric, now that means the people have to rely on the vehicle's sensors to get around safely. I mean, look at it, I get nervous. All right, all there is a stop button.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: There is two buttons there is a go, there is a stop. There is no brakes. There is no steering wheel. It goes at a maximum speed of 25 miles an hour.
BURNETT: You're telling me I'm supposed to trust Google which already seems to run the world to not kill me in my car?
QUEST: It has already driven all the test fleets 700,000 miles. And it has only had minor bumps when other cars have bumped into it. Apparently, when it turns, when it overtakes and when it change lanes, it does it rather aggressively. But as a motor vehicle, get used to this. This is the future.
BURNETT: And you have driven one. Well, I'm sorry. You sat in one of these.
QUEST: I did one in Berlin where there is another project that is under way of a driverless car, nowhere near as advanced. It had a steering wheel. And it's a really terrifying -- it's a bowel-churning experience.
BURNETT: A bowl-churning? QUEST: A bowel-churning experience to sit in a car with somebody in their hands off and you are going through one of Europe's capitals in Berlin, and the car is changing lanes on its own, it's anticipating traffic. And you're thinking I've got to have faith in this vehicle.
BURNETT: The use of bowel-churning makes me very terrified.
QUEST: But it's going to half. It's going to happen.
BURNETT: But it's going the happen. And then when there is some kind of a cyber incident they can hack into your car and crash it.
QUEST: Why do you have to be so downer on this? This is the future. This will allow mobility. This will improve speeds on the interstate. This will reduce crashes probably in the long run. Ultimately, this will give people -- this will open up vistas, whether it's Google, whether it's BMW, whoever it is.
BURNETT: They probably can enforce following distance. So the traffic would move more financially. Because now people go really, really fast and have to stop for 20 minutes. And they go really, really -- right. And if everybody just went one speed, we'd get there faster. I would imagine you can manage traffic flow.
QUEST: Absolutely. Having seen this in operation, having understood the logistics behind it, having seen the theory behind it, it is terrifying, because you do put your faith into the machine.
BURNETT: I remember testing a car that simply had a -- I think it was within of the new Volvos. And we tested it at the New York stock exchange. And it was supposed to when it sensed something, stop. But it had a brake. And I could not physically, not hit the brake.
QUEST: Do you think you have control issues?
BURNETT: You know what? I think you might be on to something there, Richard. You might be on to something.
Thank you very much to Richard Quest. He said he tried it. Maybe I should do. All right.
Well, President Obama has delivered a major foreign policy address today. But if he is so proud of what he has accomplished, why does he sound so defensive?
And the first lady got into a major food fight with Republicans.
BURNETT: Today, President Obama delivered what was billed as a major foreign policy speech. But he sounded a lot more like a man majorly on the defense.
Jim Acosta has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: At the West Point Military Academy, it was a 45-minute lecture on the Obama doctrine as the president laid out his vision for U.S. leadership in a war weary world.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.
ACOSTA: Taking note of the two wars he's ended, all while killing Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama fired back at accusations he has been too hesitant on the global stage.
Reminding his critics of lessons of going it alone.
OBAMA: Some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences.
ACOSTA: Instead, the president wants more international cooperation. So he is proposing a $5 billion fund to help other nations train and counterterrorism, and more assistance for rebels in Syria's civil war. But he was short on details.
OBAMA: I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators.
ACOSTA: Republicans argue it's the president's Syria policy that is at fault.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: He told the world that they had crossed a red line that the president had set, and then didn't do it, it reverberated throughout the entire world. We are unreliable, and all of our allies and our enemies believe that.
ACOSTA: But the president argued there are tools besides military might, like the sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
OBAMA: Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away.
ACOSTA: Mr. Obama told the West Point graduates they may never be called to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. To a generation that hardly knows what peace looks like, that resonates.
SECOND LT. DON MOI, U.S. ARMY: I think it's sort of a relief. We've been at war for a decade so far.
ACOSTA: The president recalled how he came to West Point five years ago to announce a surge in Afghanistan, and escalation that went on to claim the lives of four cadets who heard the speech.
OBAMA: I believe America's security demanded those deployments. But I am haunted by those deaths.
ACOSTA: And after days of strong hands, the White House maybe ready to authorize the training of Syria's rebels, the administration may not be so sure once again. Aides say that all that the president is prepared to say at this point is that the assistance to those Syrian rebels will continue, and that if the U.S. wants to train those rebels, the administration will have to go through Congress first -- Erin.
BURNETT: And let me -- Jim, you talk about it as a major speech or you used the word lecture, 45 minutes. Was there anything new in this, or was it really just defending decision he has made?
ACOSTA: You know, I really think there was not a whole lot new in this speech. And I know we're not supposed to say that it's the news, right? Give us something new.
But, Erin, draw a line from this speech back to 2002 when a state senator named Barack Obama (AUDIO GAP) speech on the streets of Chicago, and he said, "What I'm opposed to is a dumb war. What I'm opposed to is a rash war," talking about the Iraq war at this time.
He has always been really an anti-war politician. He has always been more dovish than hawkish. That has changed somewhat during his presidency, taking out bin Laden, using drone strikes and that sort of thing. But really, this is a continuation of what aides call his mission statement. And that is to end wars, not start them, Erin.
BURNETT: Interesting. If someone hasn't changed their mind in that long, a sign of strength or intransigence? We'll see.
Thanks very much, Jim Acosta.
Joining me now, Paul Begala.
All right, Paul. So, here is the question. You heard Jim saying, look, he is justifying. He is rationalizing decisions he's made. Was he too much on the defensive today?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, no. What he was is he is finding a middle ground. You know, that's always difficult in America where we're so polarized. He has critics on the interventionist right.
Senator McCain has been speaking out aggressively on this thing, saying it's a bad idea to pull out of Afghanistan, even though it's been 13 years and nearly 2,200 Americans killed in combat there. Too soon.
And then you have others who say, well, wait a minute, why you leaving almost 10,000 troops there at a cost of $20 billion a year. Now, I think instead of hawk-dove, the dichotomy that Jim drew, I would say, to quote Obama, smart versus dumb.
You know, he is calling for a lighter footprint. Not invade, conquer and occupy huge countries for decades the way we did under Bush. Donald Rumsfeld once said, if we have to invade 17 countries, that's fine with me.
That's not the Obama doctrine. President Obama is saying we should have burden sharing, not go it alone. We should use smart power like drones that are frankly more lethal for our enemies and less lethal for our troops.
He is trying to walk a middle ground and it's a very difficult thing to do in this country.
BURNETT: Well, it's difficult because, of course, then, when you leave Iraq, you end up with a country in complete turmoil, while al Qaeda is running rampant. Or you don't get involved in Syria, because the American public doesn't really want you to. And al Qaeda also gets a foothold there.
This is a difficult situation to be in, to make this decision. Maybe fewer troops is $20 billion that doesn't actually buy you anything.
BEGALA: Maybe. But the theory behind this is with that you can train up the Afghans so they can stand up on their own.
But the key question with al Qaeda, and al Qaeda, it seems to be resurgent in Iraq, which they would not be if we had not invaded in the first place, the question becomes what becomes the best way? And again, the choice is invade, conquer, occupy. That has been a disaster for America.
We are half trillion already into Afghanistan. Do you know there is still -- I saw this story in "The Wall Street Journal" there is one still one person receiving benefit checks from the civil war, the civil war, 150 years later.
So, we're going to be paying for Iraq and Afghanistan for a century. And so, I think his way is cheaper. It's less lethal for our troops and more effective in combating terrorism.
BURNETT: One thing that determines a president's legacy is foreign policy, right? Whether Americans happen to care passionately about it during his presidency or not, it does determine legacy.
When you look at the way Americans see this president right now, it's grim. Only 38 percent approve his foreign policy. Two years ago that was 51 percent. Fifty-two percent of them don't trust him as commander-in-chief. That was 38 percent back in 2011.
That's a pretty tough thing to hear. They don't trust him as commander-in-chief.
BEGALA: Well, very tough. You know what politicians always say when they're up in the polls, they say, well, the American people approve what I'm doing. They must be right. When they're down in the polls, they say, well, I'm standing up against public opinion. I must be right. So, it's sort of like you justify either way.
I would say this -- the president believes in playing a long game. I know that. I think when they write the history of this guy. In the first paragraph, it will be that he ended two wars.
And I think that's a very big thing. It's a very good thing. As somebody, I've had several of my students at Georgetown serve in those wars. And I'm glad, frankly that he is standing up and say 13 years is enough --
BURNETT: What is going to happen after that, Paul, I mean, in terms of a legacy, right? If you look at Iraq, if it does continue to be in the chaos that it is where you have al Qaeda running rampant. But yes, you ended a war. But what's there is horrific. It's worse than when you left it.
So, how is that success?
BEGALA: It's chaotic because we dumped the cart over and we could not put the eggs back together again. I think a whole lot of Americans right now are much more interested in nation building here at home than the failed exercises in nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BURNETT: And, Paul, before you go, since you worked with the administration and past ones, Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, in an interview with Brian Williams airing today said he was an undercover spy for the CIA. Do you buy it?
BEGALA: You know, I watched that interview. I don't have any insider knowledge, I'm happy to tell you. But he did seem a little grandiose to me, actually. And perhaps he was. If so, that makes the betrayal even the greater, doesn't it?
I mean, if we were a hero, he would come home and face the music, make his case in a free country, unlike Russia, and defend himself in the court of law as well as the court of public opinion. So, I guess I'm not as sympathetic to Mr. Snowden as others.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Paul Begala.
And still to come, Michelle Obama's beef with Republicans. A congressman working against the first lady's signature achievement is going to come OUTFRONT to face the fire next.
And CNN's celebration of the '60s officially begins tomorrow. But Jeanne Moos has an exclusive on TV jingles tonight.
BURNETT: I want to check with Anderson with a look at what is coming up at the top of the hour.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Erin.
Yes, we have breaking news tonight on the program. Word late this evening that the U.S. Navy now believes the pings thought to be the underwater signals from Flight 370's black boxes are not from the missing plane. No black boxes at all. The question now is what's next in the investigation. Our panel has that.
There is other breaking news. Live hearings going on right now. Three top V.A. officials answering questions on Capitol Hill. Questions our Drew Griffin has been asking from the beginning. Why aren't our vets getting the care they need? We'll speak with him than.
Also, my interview with Bob Weiss and his son Cooper. Veronika was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of California-Santa Barbara. They honor her memory tonight, her dad and her brother.
Those stories tonight and the "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Anderson. Looking forward to seeing you in just a couple of minutes.
Michelle Obama slamming the GOP. A rare instance of the first lady getting involved in a political fight, striking back at House Republicans who want to let schools opt out of the nutrition standards that the first lady fought for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: We're now seeing efforts in Congress to roll back these new standards. And undo the hard work that all of you, all of us have done on behalf of our kids. And, you know, this is unacceptable. Parents have a right to expect their kids will get decent food in our schools. And we all have a right to expect that our hard earned taxpayer dollars won't be spent on junk food for our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joining me now, Republican Congressman Robert Aderholt. He is backing the bill that would let cash-strapped schools opt out of the nutrition regulations.
Congressman, you just heard the first lady there. Look, the standards that she fought for were put in place to specifically reduce sodium and increase things that pretty much we all can agree are pretty good, right -- whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Why would you let anyone opt out of that?
REP. ROBERT ADERHOLT (R), ALABAMA: Well, a couple of things. First of all, it's really not opt out. They're granted a one-year waiver. And it's only for the schools that are finding it hard to meet.
What is happening as more students are not eating the food, the participation is going down. And the students that are eating it are throwing the food away. And you're seeing just a tremendous amount of waste.
A lot of schools operator on a very tight budget. They're having trouble meeting -- financially trying to meet the standards that are required by them by this act and by the USDA as they are telling the schools what they have to do.
This is saying if you're having a problem, that you can ask for a waiver and the USDA can grant you a waiver.
BURNETT: What about, though, and I'm curious. You talk about waste being an issue. The kids are throwing it away. The food, and that that adds up.
But, you know, I'm a new parent. I would say look, a lot of these kids, first of all, aren't getting great nutrition at home. Wouldn't the answer be to say, well, hey, guys, you can't leave the lunchroom until you have eaten your broccoli. You can't throw it away.
ADERHOLT: Well, the problem with these rules are so onerous, they really go beyond racing (ph). I was reading an article a couple of weeks ago where a school in Illinois decided to completely get out of the program because a bald egg does not meet the standards that are coming out of USDA. And anything over 12 ounces of skim milk has too much fat in it for these standards.
So we're not talking about, you know, feeding hamburgers and hot dogs and pizza every day to the kids. The nutritional workers in these lunch rooms, they want to provide healthy foods for their kids. They're wanting to do the right thing. And it's not like they're trying to make the kids obese.
They're just -- and I'm hearing this from the people who work in the lunchroom.
BURNETT: You know, it's an interesting point, but I mean, again, those who are fighting against the standards include the school nutrition association, you know, which sounds like a good moniker, right? But obviously gets funded by a lot of companies that supply food to the schools, including the company that makes M&M's and Twix, Domino's Pizza, company called Swan Food that makes pizza ice cream and bread sticks.
I mean, you know, the way it was before --
ADERHOLT: Well, I can tell you --
BURNETT: I mean, it would seem to me that any standards are better than that kind of -- for lack of a better word, crap.
ADERHOLT: The people who work in the lecture room won't create healthy foods for their kids. Again, do you think a hard boiled egg is too much for a kid to eat? Or over 12 ounces of skim milk, is that a standard that you're saying is too much?
BURNETT: I see your point, I mean --
ADERHOLT: Really, if you look at the standards we're not talking about feeding M&M's, and hamburgers everyday, we're talking about just trying basically it is very little catsup, very little salt, the food is not tasty anymore. The kids are not eating it. They're going to McDonald's. They go into -- they're bringing foods that are not half as healthy as the normal lunch program and it's killing the program.
And a lot of these schools are having problems. And all they're saying is we just are having problems. We're asking for a waiver for 12 months to see if we can try to meet these standards.
That's all we're doing. We're not asking to completely roll back the standards.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman, thank you very much for taking the time, sir.
ADERHOLT: Thank you. It's good to be with you.
BURNETT: And now to an outrageous story out of Pakistan. A woman killed her family says in the name of honor. Twenty-five-year- old Farsana Farvin (ph) was pregnant when she was beaten to death by her own family in the middle of a city. Her crime? She secretly married the man she loved. Among the 20 people who beat her with bricks police say were her brothers, her father and cousin.
These so-called honor killings are common in Pakistan. Last year, women were killed at a rate of more than two a day. Her father, by the way, has said he has no regrets.
Well, one of the great voices of our time has died. Maya Angelou has passed away at her home in North Carolina today. In her 86 years, she really did it all. I mean, it's pretty incredible. You may know her as a novelist, or maybe a poet, but she was both, plus, an actress, a singer, a dancer, a newspaper editor, also, a mother and a civil rights activist.
A high school dropout who at the age of 16 became San Francisco's first female street car driver. She was a professor. She spoke six languages. She had 30 honorary degrees, even though she never went to college.
Angelou was also a recipient of many honors. Among them, the National Book Award, the Medal of Freedom and three Grammys for her spoken word album. She's one of my favorite the thing she wrote was actually a poem, "Life doesn't frighten me", which is a pretty amazing poem. And I had first discovered it and read her books like so many of you did in the high school English courses. But it was that poem that has always stayed with me.
She knew words carried power, so she was always very selective about the ones she chose.
Here she is talking about courage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYA ANGELOU, RENOWNED POET: Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Courage, she most certainly had. Tonight, we remember Maya Angelou, truly phenomenal.
Well, we're going to take a break. Still to come, a look back at some of the greatest TV theme songs in history.
BURNETT: So, great TV theme songs stay with you long after the TV show goes off the air, like decades. Well, 1960s had a lot of tunes that are now considered classics. Tonight, a celebration of the best theme songs by our own Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Come along with us down memory lane. From space to spies.
We'll have you crying uncle, unable to resist walking along to the '60s TV theme music.
You can name that tune, in an instant. Whether you lived through these shows or saw them in reruns -- they need no introduction.
JOHN BURLINGAME, TELEVISION MUSIC HISTORIAN: The thing about '60s TV themes, they're kind of cultural touchstones.
MOOS: John Burlingame should know, as a kid, he sprawled in front of the TV with his tape reporter, he ended up writing a book on the subject.
When it comes to TV songwriting, the '60s -- were a bonanza, escapists' catch tunes, design divert from the Vietnam War and battles over civil rights.
And while "Mad Men", the current hit show about the '60s has such a dark theme -- theme music from the actual '60s was bouncy and light songwriters knew the importance of.
BURLINGAME: Making their point very quickly, without a great hook or melody.
VIC MIZZY, SONGWRITER: Now, here is my idea --
MOOS: The late songwriter Vic Mizzy said that producers smiled the minute they heard his idea.
MIZZY: Overnight, it becomes a smash.
MOOS (on camera): We interrupt our theme songs to bring you something that you youngsters out there may not recognize.
(voice-over): It's the test pattern. Back in the '60s, TV programming stopped late at night and they put this thing up on the screen.
(on camera): Some theme music has legs or should I say a really long fuse?
(voice-over): More than four decades later, the same "Mission Impossible" theme is still going strong.
When it comes to TV theme music -- it's hard to close the door on the '60s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You unlock this door with the key of imagination.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Some of those you have to know no matter what your age is, right? How well do you know the theme songs from the '60s? Go to CNN.com and test your knowledge. They're not all that easy.
And don't miss the premiere of "The Sixties", which is tomorrow night at 9:00, right here on CNN. We're obviously very excited about it, as you can tell.
Thank you, as always so much for joining us. We'll be back here tomorrow night. And in the meantime, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.
COOPER: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us.
We begin tonight with breaking news. Fallout from that sharply critical inspector general's report on problems the V.A. hospital in Phoenix, a document that confirms what this program has been uncovering since last November.