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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Obama: American Forces Will Not Have A Combat Mission; Missing Girl at UVA Where is Roger Goodell?; Awaiting First Results of Scotland's Vote
Aired September 18, 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: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the president is arming Syrian rebels. The Senate has voted. We are standing by. The president will be speaking live momentarily.
New surveillance video in tonight of a UVA student mysteriously disappeared. Three other young women have gone missing in the same area. Is there a serial killer on the loose?
Polls just closing in Scotland. Is the U.K. over just part of the history books? Let's go OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. We have breaking news. You see the president getting ready to speak about arming Syrian rebels. Here is the president.
(LIVE COVERAGE OF SPEECH BEGINS)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF TH EUNITED STATES: Good evening. Today the United States continues to build a broad international coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
As part of the air campaign, France will join in strikes against ISIL in Iraq. And as one of our oldest and closest allies, France is a strong partner in our efforts against terrorism, and we are pleased that French and American service members will once again work together on our shared security and our shared values.
More broadly, more than 40 countries, including Arab nations have now offered assistance as part of this coalition. This includes support for Iraqi forces, strengthening the Iraqi government, providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi civilians, and doing their part in the fight against ISIL.
Here at home, I'm pleased that Congress, a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans, in both the House and the Senate, have now voted to support a key element of our strategy: a plan to train and equip the opposition in Syria so they can help push back these terrorists.
As I said last week, I believe that we're strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together, and I want to thank leaders in Congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this urgent issue, in keeping with the bipartisanship that is the hallmark of American foreign policy at its best. These Syrian opposition forces are fighting both the brutality of ISIL
terrorists and the tyranny of the Assad regime. We had ramped up our assistance, including military assistance, to the Syrian opposition. With this new effort, we'll provide training and equipment to help them grow stronger and take on ISIL terrorists inside Syria.
This program will be hosted outside of Syria in partnership with Arab countries, and it will be matched by our increasing support for Iraqi government and Kurdish forces in Iraq.
This is in keeping with a principal of our strategy: The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. Their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground.
As I told our troops yesterday, we can join with allies and partners to destroy ISIL without American troops fighting another ground war in the Middle East.
The strong bipartisan support in Congress for the new training effort shows the world that Americans are united in confronting the threat from ISIL, which has slaughtered so many innocent civilians.
With their barbaric murder of two Americans, these terrorists thought they could frighten us or intimidate us or cause us to shrink from the world, but today they are learning the same hard lesson of petty tyrants and terrorists who've gone before: As Americans we do not give into fear. And when you harm our citizens, when you threaten the United States, when you threaten our allies, it doesn't divide us; it unites us. We pull together. We stand together to defend this country that we love and to make sure justice is done, as well as to join with those who seek a better future of dignity and opportunity for all people. Today our strikes against these terrorists continue. We're taking out their terrorists. We're destroying their vehicles, and equipment and stockpiles. And we salute our dedicated pilots and crews carrying out these missions with great courage and skill. As commander-in-chief I could not be more proud of their service.
As I told some of our troops yesterday, the American people are united in our support for them and for their families.
And as we go forward as one nation, I would ask all Americans to keep our forces and their families in their thoughts and prayers.
Thanks very much.
(LIVE COVERAGE OF SPEECH ENDS)
BURNETT: That was the president of the United States, of course, coming out to address the nation after the Senate voted to arm and train Syrian rebels. That means that will happen. That has passed U.S. Congress and the president will go ahead with that.
He also referred to the coalition of 40 countries and reiterated yet again that this will not involve American combat troops on the ground. Joining me now is our own Dana Bash. She was covering this vote, this crucial vote in the Senate on Capitol Hill.
Our Jim Sciutto with the breaking news on a change in strategy from ISIS along with former Iraq coalition spokesman, Dan Seenor, and host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE" and Democratic strategist, Stephanie Cutter.
Great to have all of you with us. Dana, was there any question on this vote. The president made a point of saying Democrats and Republicans -- can you hear me, Dana?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I can.
BURNETT: Sorry. I heard something strange in my ear for a second. Go ahead. How easy was it to get this vote through for him?
BASH: Well, it was very easy because of the strategy that he employed. What you just saw within the last hour is an overwhelming vote of 78-22. But I have to describe what it is to help explain.
It was to keep the government running. That was the overall piece of legislation in the past. Inside that, Erin, was this authority that the president asked for to arm and train the Syrian rebels.
It is not an accident that this was all wrapped up together. The president wanted it. He was on the phone, two members of Congress all week long urging them to support his plan with regard to ISIS.
But also procedurally to do this together because he wanted it on a must-pass bill, which is to fund the government especially before members of Congress leave to go campaign full time, which actually just happened moments ago as well.
So that is why it happened in the Senate. In the House yesterday, it was a little bit different because the parties were very, very split on the question.
BURNETT: Yes, they were on that vote was, but of course now this has fully passed. This is going to happen, Stephanie Cutter. So now what is at stake for the president?
This is a president who has now chosen to arm Syrian rebels. There were many who pushed for this, including Dan Cenor, who is sitting next to me and everyone has acknowledge arming Syrian rebels means that some weapons will get into the arms of people who want to kill Americans.
STEPHANIE CUTTER, CNN CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, I think part of what the president was doing tonight is continuing to make the case about why this is necessary and that it will be tightly controlled.
I think he is going to continue making that case. And he has to execute this plan and make sure that he is reducing the threat to the United States and ultimately eliminating it.
BURNETT: So Jim, as he's going ahead with the plan, you have reporting that ISIS is reacting and is now changing its strategy, in what way? How significant is this news?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I'm told by more than one U.S. military official, in response to the air campaign so far, that ISIS is changing the way it communicates and moves and conceals itself in response to U.S. strikes so far inside Iraq. This is something that was expected.
In effect, they are running because they don't want to get hit so hard. Now this raises a concern or intensifies a concern that some have had as the strategy has been refined and debated that ISIS in particular would flee to the cities where there are much target.
And you are concerned about civilian casualties, but I'm told as well by Pentagon officials that they are confident they have intelligence now on both sides of the border, in Iraq and Syria, to strike back at ISIS hard when the president decides to carry that campaign into Syria.
BURNETT: So Dan, when you hear that and hear what Jim is reporting, does this then support the president, bolster him again right now to the nation, saying I will not put U.S. combat troops on the ground.
DAN SENOR, FORMER IRAQ COALITION SPOKESMAN: What Kim said was important, because a lot of this is population dense areas. It is hard to conduct those operations from the air without doing serious damage to large numbers of civilians, the civilian communities.
I saw this in Iraq when I was there in 2003-2004. From 2003 to 2006, we had manned an unmanned air operations being conducted. It didn't work. Without the intelligence from the ground that was provided by our forces.
Without the small unit cohesion that you can get in the Iraqi Army forces, without helping to protect our allies on the ground, the Iraqi allies on the ground from retribution with our forces, it is hard to not avoid large numbers of civilian casualties.
BURNETT: And Stephanie, let me ask you about this because the president again, just moments ago, right, addresses the nation and said there will be no combat troops on the ground. Vice President Biden was asked this question in Iowa yesterday and said something very different. Let me play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice President, do you agree with General Dempsey about using ground troops if necessary if the mission fails?
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- (inaudible) that was needed (inaudible). I determine that based on --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can determine that based on?
BIDEN: (Inaudible) how the effort go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now that sounds reasonable, Stephanie. They will determine that, but the president said there is no determination. There is no basis on how the effort goes. I will not do it. What is the problem here? They are saying different things.
CUTTER: Well, I think the vice president was putting the general's comments in context and that is what -- that is what General Dempsey's role is, to say based on our current information these are our recommendations. But the president is the commander-in-chief and he makes the decisions. And he's made the determination that the -- our troops will not be used in a combat role in this effort.
SERON: The question here though is how does he know that now? The reality is -- I think what General Dempsey was saying, these are the missions we have and the objectives we need to achieve and those in the Pentagon, both in uniform or not, it is hard to execute this mission and meet the president's objectives if he's ruled out ground troops.
Not to say that we'll definitely need ground troops. That's not what Dempsey was as but how could you project to the administration and to the world that there is no chance there will be ground troops. It strikes a lot of people like it is a pretty irresponsible thing to say. It boxes him in.
BURNETT: Stephanie, you know this president personally, will he keep his mind open and go back and change his mind and say to the American people that I changed my mind.
CUTTER: I think he is determined to make this a successful mission. Look, I'm not in on the decisions, I don't know what he's looking at. But he's made the decision right now that ground combat troops are not need.
I think there is a larger cob text here. The Americans don't want to send combat boots and we've been -- troops and we've been in a protracted war before. And we can't win this war against ISIS or anybody else by putting our troops on the ground.
SERON: It is a strawman argument to say that because Iraq was a mess for as long as it was, and we had so much of a force presence there, that is the only alternative to no ground forces.
The truth is there are many military, from the Brookings Institute and in and out of uniform, said there is a modest deployment one could make, not unlike the surge in Afghanistan, is nothing like the presence we had in Iraq from 2003 until 2011. It's not either or.
BURNETT: Jim, go ahead.
SCIUTTO: I was going to say there has also been some fudging of the definition of combat frankly in the administration's statement so far. They are saying they will not be sent into a combat mission so, yes, they will not be kicking down doors or setting up firing positions. But multiple they have brought up other roles including General Dempsey, but also Josh Earnest from the White House podium which are combat. If you are a forward ground controller, you may not be a fighter, but you are in combat and you're facing combat-like danger.
If you are an advisor, you may not take up fighting positions there, but you are in danger of combat and that raises a risk that frankly the administration has not been very clear about.
BURNETT: But, Jim, I want to ask you one question here about the British hostage now under duress, obviously making a statement, saying that the United States and the United Kingdom have left him, have let him go. We're not going to play that because it was made under duress, but that is what he said. What more can you tell us about this hostage?
SCIUTTO: Erin, this was a very unusual video so different from the ones we saw with Steven Sotloff and James Foley but eerie in its own way. So John Kentley is a British photojournalist captured around the same time that Jim Foley was captured.
He is shown again in one of those orange suits speaking as a spokesperson for ISIS and basically giving the ISIS creed there, granting as he's doing it. I'm under duress, I don't know if I'm going to live or die but he still makes the argument in effect.
Saying, for instance, don't let your countries drag you back, in his words, to the abyss of another war in the Islamic state. So you have ISIS using one of these prisoners in a different way. Not to terrorize, but to get its message across in a very eerie and disturbing way.
BURNETT: All right, thanks to all.
OUTFRONT next, the air war in ISIS in Syria could begin any day. What will those airstrikes look like? Barbara Starr has a special report coming up.
Plus $25 billion is how much America spent on training Iraqi forces. When ISIS came many of them fled. So will the training that just passed Congress mean anything?
Plus polls in Scotland just closed? Yes or no, for independence? The first results are moments away on this program.
A new surveillance video catches a UVA student running through the street on the night she disappeared. She is the fourth young woman in that area to go missing. Are they connected to a serial killer?
BURNETT: Breaking news, President Obama speaking just moments ago, thanking lawmakers for approving his request to arm and train Syrian rebels. He again said the United States does not and will not have a combat mission. No American combat boots on the ground. There are, of course, already 1,700 U.S. troops in Iraq. The U.S. military has finalized the list of ISIS targets within Syria and now is ready to start air strikes. This is a whole new game.
Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. And Barbara, what more can you tell us? Because this has been a painstaking process and one I believe the president is going to be involved in at a very, very minute level.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Erin. Well, President Obama has been briefed on the Syria target list and if he gives final approval -- if he does, bombing could begin within days.
STARR (voice-over): The classified list of ISIS targets the Pentagon wants to bomb in Syria is complete. The military is ready.
CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: General Dempsey and I have both approved and spent considerable time reviewing and adapting the Centcom plan.
STARR: But first President Obama must give his final approval. On his order, U.S. war planes and pilots will fly over dangerous territory, facing ISIS, Syrian regime forces, anti-aircraft systems and other al Qaeda sympathizers.
Targeting swung into high gear after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week signed a classified order calling for a detailed Syrian bombing plan. But target planning was already underway.
It began with a massive intelligence surveillance and recognizance effort. U.S. military drones flying over Syria now have precise radar and video data on ISIS' locations.
The intelligence community has intercepted cell phone calls and intelligence ISIS videos and social media. The targets, ISIS commanders, weapons and camps.
HAGEL: Centcom's plan includes targeted actions against ISIL safe havens in Syria including its command and control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure.
STARR: If ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is found, the U.S. will go after him, officials tell CNN. But even that is still not enough.
LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It is not just the target you will go after. You will not send a bomb against one guy. You are hopefully going to want to affect the entire organization by that strike.
STARR: The target list includes what type of aircrafts and bomb will be used to attack each site. And the risk to U.S. pilots from ISIS or Syrian air defences, and the likelihood that civilians could be killed.
HERTLING: It isn't just as simple as dropping a bomb on a place you think the bad guys are because I would suggest to you many of them are already intermingled in that society.
STARR: The final step, the decision to strike. President Obama will not approve each and every target, but he still needs to sign off on the overall plan.
STARR: I am told that that is what will happen. The overall plan is what the president will look at. He will not get involved in approving target by target. One big caveat, however, if they do find the leader of ISIS and if they do find some of those high-value targets, the president may get involved in looking at those -- Erin.
BURNETT: Barbara, thank you.
OUTFRONT tonight, State Department spokesperson, Jen Psake. Jen, thanks for being with us. Good to have you. Your boss, John Kerry, Secretary John Kerry, has been trying to build a coalition to fight the terrorist group, ISIS.
Of course, technically none of the countries have agreed to put troops on the ground at this point. Are you confident that will change?
JEN PSAKI, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: First of all, military assistance takes many forms, it includes giving weapons, it includes training and equipping. There are definitely countries that have agreed to do airstrikes.
We are not going to announce that on their behalf, but we're going to have all of the assistance that we need in order to be successful. But this is also much more than a military coalition and campaign. There are many components of it that will be needed in order for it to be successful.
BURNETT: Now part of the plan in terms of the actual fighting against ISIS I know is to rely on Iraqi forces in part to fight ISIS. The issue with this, of course as you well know, the U.S. spent about $25 billion to train and equip Iraq forces all the way through September of 2012.
But many of them just ran when ISIS attacked. So is training going to work? Now we are hearing about training of Syrian rebels, training of Iraqi forces, $25 billion and this is what happened?
PSAKI: Well, look, I don't think nobody would have predicted what would have happened a couple of months ago when ISIL had the kind of impact and power they had in turning back the Iraqi security forces.
Obviously there is more work that needs to be done moving forward with the security forces. It is not just the United States. Other countries will play a role in the effort and we've taken our own steps to push back on ISIL within the country as well.
There is also steps that the government is taking. They just formed a government last week. They are implementing a national plan and part of that is putting in place a National Guard that will take a different approach to pushing back from the local level, the threat that ISIL and other terrorist organizations pose.
BURNETT: On this issue of who will fight, the president has been categorical that there will not be U.S. combat troops on the ground, and there have been many experts who have raised questions about that.
Even General Martin Dempsey. Vice President Joe Biden now is on the list, suggesting U.S. boots on the ground is a possibility. I wanted to play for you his exact words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Vice President, do you agree with General Dempsey's assessment about using ground troops if necessary and the mission fails?
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: (Inaudible) -- determine that based on how the effort goes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Determine that based on how the effort goes. That wasn't a categorical refusal to consider ground troops.
PSAKI: Well, I think the president of the United States spoke to this yesterday and made very clear that that is not on the table. I want to be clear, too, what General Dempsey said yesterday was that he hasn't made that recommendation to the president. Of course, any advisor to the president has the prerogative to give
advice when they see fit, but he hasn't given that advice. We haven't needed that at this point in time and that certainly is not at all our focus. So it is not at all something that is on the table.
BURNETT: Yesterday, John Kerry, your boss, was asked how many American hostages were right now in Iraq and Syria and here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: Do you know how many American hostages you believe are being held by ISIS or militant groups right now?
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Somewhere of about three or four.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That is a larger number, Jen, of course, than we've heard. We heard one or two. Are you confident in the intelligence on the ground that it is three or four?
PSAKI: We certainly are. We typically don't talk about these numbers or get into too many specifics and I think he was trying to be cognizant of that because our focus is on the safety and the security of these individuals who are being held. And what we want to do is get them home and the more we talk about it, the harder that becomes.
BURNETT: All right, Jen Psake, understood. Thank you.
PSAKI: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, the mysterious disappearance of a UVA student. Could this be connected to four other women who are gone?
And two more NFL runningbacks cut over domestic violence charges. Why has Roger Goodell been silent?
BURNETT: A desperate search underway near the University of Virginia today after an 18-year-old student vanished early Saturday morning. There is new surveillance video tonight that is showing a bit of a clue about what might have happened to Hannah Brown.
Hannah is not the first young woman to vanish without a trace near the University of Virginia.
And now, there are questions about whether a serial killer is responsible.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New surveillance video of Hannah Graham, the missing University of Virginia student only deepening the mystery in this college town, adding anguish and a $15,000 reward to help solve the case.
CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE: Pick up the phone and tell us something.
JOHNS: It was Friday night, authorities said, the second year student had been drinking and appeared to be disoriented. Security cameras on the street picked her up walking, pausing, walking again and even running at one point, apparently with no one chasing her. Police did locate one man seen on video following Graham.
LONGO: Said he saw her and he became concerned about her safety, that is what attracted his attention to her. He began to follow her when she met up with another man who he described as an African-American male. Now, we don't know about that person is whether that person was also a Good Samaritan.
JOHNS: Authorities said Hannah Graham was last seen on video Saturday morning. Since, pictures are plenty, no trace of the student.
MARY LOOSE DEVINEY, VICE PRESIDENT, TUEL JEWLERS: We are very emotional, hoping that somebody from this video would help them find this young lady.
JOHNS: Around 1:00, police said, she texted a friend saying she was lost. The FBI is assisting as authorities try to learn where the last text originated. This part of Virginia known as the Route 29 corridor has had its share of disappearances and homicides involving young women. Since 2009, at least four, all between 17 and 20 years old, have vanished.
One of them, the still unsolved abduction and murder of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. She disappeared after attending a rock concert on the UVA campus in October 2009. Months later, her body was found on a Virginia farm along Route 29.
A possible link between Graham and Harrington, the t-shirt Harrington was wearing the night she disappeared was found not far from where Hannah Graham disappeared.
LONGO: You know, heart and mind will take you there. From the investigative standpoint, I need substantive fact. And I think it's too soon to draw that nexus.
JOHNS: Authorities have released a sketch of a possible suspect in Harrington's murder. His DNA was found on the Virginia tech student and linked to a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City, Virginia. Still, authorities are unable to say if any of the cases are connected at this time.
For OUTFRONT, Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT tonight, Gil Harrington. You just heard Joe mentioned her daughter, Morgan, 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who was last seen at a concert in University of Virginia in October of 2009.
Gil, it's hard to ask you to watch something like. This it must make your anguish fresh after these years and what have you endured. How hard is it when you hear the stories, when you hear the similarities, you have been fighting for the past several years to bring more attention to the risk of what you see could be one person doing this?
GIL HARRINGTON, DAUGHTER DISAPPEARED NEAR SAME AREA AS UVA STUDENT: It takes you -- it is kind of like PTSD. It takes you right back the rabbit hole of anguish and anxiety and pain when our daughter was lost. You know, we've really worked tremendously hard over the last five years to try and save the next girl, to make sure there would be no more missing young women from that area, because we know just how difficult it is as a family to experience that anguish.
BURNETT: And you heard, Gil, going through some of these similarities with your daughter's disappearance and even when he talks about where her t-shirt was found is the same place where this girl has disappeared. Do you think they could be linked?
HARRINGTON: You know, I think it is not beyond the realm of possibilities at all, to me. And again, my forensic training is negligible, but they are young women, same age, same town, same part of town.
You know, predators and just like when I go to the mall, I park in the same place every time because that is where I know I will find my car. Predators are also creatures of habit and we just hope that one such has not taken Hannah and that is why we want to reach out to the community to try and find her.
We're still hoping for Hannah for a good outcome, but every hour that goes by, that possibility diminishes and we really -- we solicit information and tips from anybody who has seen anything. Please help us find Hannah.
BURNETT: Now there have been -- you talk about your daughter of course and also Hannah. There have been at least four young women now who have disappeared near the University of Virginia campus, along that Route 29 Corridor that we were just talking about.
BURNETT: Long stretches of rural areas, that is used to get to Virginia tech as well. Why do you think this road is so significant?
HARRINGTON: You know, I really don't know if it is a cluster phenomenon that just is kind of a coincidence or if it is actually a pattern of a predator. Even if you take part of them out as non- pertinent to one predator, if it is just a cluster phenomenon of crime, that is still a problem that needs to be fixed. If it's one man, a predator in that area, we need to find him.
BURNETT: And do you feel that you have gotten all of the help that authorities have done what they need to do when it comes to your daughter, do you feel that they are looking at this possibility? The possibility that these are related cases, that this is a cluster, that this is a cereal -- a serial killer.
HARRINGTON: I think people have been trying to be creative and come up with a solution. Our community, our state is outraged. No place wants to be the area or the location where young women are being stolen from us.
And we haven't come up with the right response yet. Perhaps not strong enough of a response, but we're still working on that. We are going to come up with great search effort and really solicit information from the community. That's what we are trying to do. And I see a quantum change even in the response to Hannah's disappearance, since Morgan was taken. You know, the community, the law enforcement, we all are getting more efficient at responding. But I hope we get a better result.
BURNETT: Well, Gil, thank you very much.
HARRINGTON: You are most welcome. Thank you for helping us find Hannah.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much.
As we said, the mother of Morgan Harrington.
And OUTFRONT next, it's been nine days since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken publicly as more and more players are shut down for domestic violence. When will he speak up? And breaking news: the polls are closed in Scotland. We are getting
turnout of a couple of regions here in Scotland. Scots are voting on a possible break from the U.K. This is a huge story.
BURNETT: Tonight, where is Roger Goodell? That is what many are wondering as the criticism grows over the handling of domestic assault cases. It's been nine days since the NFL commissioner spoke to CBS News about the Ray Rice incident.
And since then, endorsement deals have been pulled. At least five players benched and yet, Goodell has remained silent, even as we've learned of new and disturbing abuse due to NFL players.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT with money and power.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, playing defense and under fire. Week three of the regular season and the talk -- not running and passing, but domestic violence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just makes me disappointed. It doesn't make me more -- it just doesn't make me want to watch it.
MARQUEZ: With at least seven NFL players now facing allegations or cases of domestic abuse, fans like Danielle want to see concrete to the Sunday, Monday, and now Thursday American sporting ritual.
(on camera): Does the NFL need to step up and speak with a solid single voice now about domestic violence?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, absolutely. They represent these people. They're the face of the sport. And these players also represent the sport. So, it's absolutely necessary for the NFL to (INAUDIBLE)
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The latest player charged, Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer, arrested at the team's training facility. One allegation, he head-butted his wife, breaking her nose after she bit his lip trying to ward off an unwanted sexual advance. A second, he threw a shoe at his son, only 17 months old.
Dwyer now deactivated by the Cardinals, faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage, and not allowing someone to call 911.
Growing controversy and concern, NFL chief Roger Goodell silent for more than a week now, embroiled in his own controversy over Ray Rice. What he knew about the case and when did he know it? What happened in the Atlantic City elevator in February between Rice and his then- fiancee Janay Palmer?
An NFL spokesman told ESPN, Goodell has been working every day and much of the night in the office this week on these issues. Advertisers increasingly paying attention. Anheuser-Busch spending
$50 million a year with NFL, said it is not happy with the league's handling of the situation. PepsiCo spends an estimated $100 million a year on the NFL. Its female president called the NFL players behavior "repugnant" and concerned about the NFL's acknowledged mishandling of these issues. But she threw her support behind commissioner Roger Goodell.
And Verizon, which has a billion dollar deal with the league called domestic violence a scourge and a plaque, but only offered to work with the partners at NFL to be a voice for change.
The big question, can Roger Goodell be that voice?
BURNETT: And that is a big question, Miguel. So what is next for Roger Goodell?
MARQUEZ: He has a decision to make. Is he going to arbitrate the Ray Rice case or let somebody else do it? Everybody assumes somebody else will do it. And he has to name that person and then within days he will be in the hot seat taking testimony from Roger Goodell.
BURNETT: Wow, and Roger Goodell, I mean, in terms of staying or going, it sounds like he wants to say but is there any chance he addressed this nationally in a major way.
MARQUEZ: Yes, certainly, he wants to stay. The owners are behind him and the advertisers are sort of -- some of them are saying we're fully behind him and others are questioning just a bit, but there is that ringing concern. Unless he can handle this and put it to bed once and for all, it's going to remain.
BURNETT: All right. Miguel, thank you.
And OUTFRONT next, breaking news, polls have closed in Scotland, a record turnout. I just got from one council, that's what they call it a state, 89 percent will be yes.
BURNETT: Breaking news, the polls in Scotland have just closed. The big question: will Scotland be independent from the United Kingdom? Until today, a recent poll showed a statistical tie. This is a big story around the world. It will resonate around the world and it could determine the power of Britain.
Max Foster is in Edinburgh, Scotland, watching the story.
Max, this is -- I just was saying, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. The polls have just closed in Scotland, but this is so significant around the world and the turnout shows -- I mean, I've never seen turnout like you are seeing right now?
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is really incredible. We've had a few of the local counts officially coming out with the official results. That's the first thing that they come out with and then they'll come out with the proper results shortly. But eight out of ten voters, nine out of ten voters in these districts, coming out.
Incredible figures, record-breaking figures for Scotland so far. So, it really does show that the public is fully-engaged in this. This is two years of debate, Erin, reaching a climax. They had their votes today. And in just a few hours time, we will find out whether or not Scots have decided to go for independence. We don't get exit polls on this sort of referendum. People have not invested in that this time.
But there was a small survey carried out, not by CNN but by YouGov, which suggested that the no-campaign, the anti-independence campaign, is slightly ahead.
BURNETT: I mean, that would be, what happens then, Max, no matter which way it goes. You have a country that is going to be 50/50 divided. I'm sorry, then, of course, it would be a broader country, but Scotland would be 50/50 divided. What then?
FOSTER: I know, so it really shows this -- emergence of nationalism in Scotland which has to be addressed. So, if it is a yes vote, then this will become a country that has to deal with that. There are a lot of complications. But it's a full support. I mean, it's democracy in action. It's a proper decision, because of huge turnout.
The alternative is a no-vote. But even then, David Cameron and the other political leaders in London have said that they will pass increased powers to Scotland because it's clearly some sort of mandate. So, already, we've seen some kind of federal system emerging in the U.K. There's no doubt, England, Welsh, will ask for the same power. So, it's been a big change already even before we get the results. But obviously, if it is a yes, that's a bigger change than it would be if it was a no.
BURNETT: That is an incredible change. It is just -- for people -- this is changing the map for the U.K.
Well, thank you so much, Max Foster, who is there waiting for those results as they come out through the night.
So, far we have four councils again as I call them reporting for turnouts of 87 percent to 89 percent of voters.
Well, the fifth person in the world now has a lot more time on his hands, Larry Ellison. He founded software company Oracle. And he is stepping down from his role as CEO. Now, he's going to stay on as executive chairman. So, well, you know, he's going to be paid a hell of a lot of money.
And tonight's numbers, $51 billion. That's his net worth according to "Forbes". Outside of the office, Ellison is known for his support of yacht racing. You have to be a billionaire to support that. Oracle Team USA won the America's Cup last year. Ellison will be replaced by two co-presidents to run Oracle. All right. OUTFRONT next, mobster White Bulger, he shared the 10 most
wanted lists with Osama bin Laden, but was he also working for the FBI?
BURNETT: James "Whitey" Bulger was once one of America's most notorious criminals, also ran a Boston Irish mob for decades. He was accused of being an NBI informant. After spending 16 years on the run, Bulger was found guilty of 11 murders, extortion and money laundering. His story is chronicled in a new documentary on CNN tonight called "Whitey: The United States of America Versus James J. Bulger".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors describe James Whitey Bulger as the center of mayhem and murder in Boston for 30 years, the boss of Boston's notorious Winter Hill gang, a man so dangerous that he joined Osama bin Laden at the top of the FBI's most wanted list.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the gang that ran amok.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have people who are being extorted, who talked to having shotgun barrel stuck in their mouths, of machine guns pointed at their groin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Body bag shown them before Bulger shakes them down, it was absolute terror.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back then in the '70s and '80s, people were missing every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joining me now is the film's director, Joe Berlinger.
I mean, it sort of puts him on the most wanted list, Osama bin Laden. That is how much they wanted to find him.
JOE BERLINGER, FILM DIRECTOR: Or not find him as the film explores.
BURNETT: Really? Or not find him, that perhaps --
BERLINGER: It took a long time. He was kind of hiding in plain sight in Santa Monica. So, that's the big question. You know, at what point did they seriously start looking for him?
BURNETT: That's interesting, especially when you have this whole question, of was he working with them or not, were people looking the other way? I mean, what was -- what did you learn from this?
BERLINGER: Well, you know, well, initially I went into conventional wisdom that Bulger was an informant and he was tipped off by a bad FBI guy, and he went on the lam. And he was a valuable informant for the FBI. But while covering this film, I was presented with some evidence to suggest that, you know, there might be some deeper corruption that enabled Whitey to operate.
I don't know what the truth is, but the victims' families deserve some answers. He was left on the street For 25 years.
BURNETT: I do know people have a fascination with it. I mean, they say Jack Nicholson from "The Departed", that character was sort of based on Whitey Bulger, Johnny Depp is going to him. What is it about Whitey Bulger?
BERLINGER: You know, it is irresistible in many ways. Here's a guy was on top of Boston's criminal empire for 25 years, not even so much as stopped for a traffic ticket. He is then tipped off by the FBI and he goes on the lam and he basically gets away with murder and gets away with a life of crime. An 83-year-old man being brought back to Boston to stand trial for a lifetime of crimes, I mean, you know, he has basically gotten away with murder. He got sentenced to two life sentences when you're 84. And that sentence comes down, which is how old he was when that sentence happens, you know? I think he had the last laugh.
BURNETT: It sure sounds like it. I can't wait to see it. Thank you so much.
BERLINGER: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: And don't miss "Whitey: United States of America Versus James J. Bulger", tonight on CNN at 9:00 Eastern.
Thanks so much for watching, as we're waiting the closing of those polls in Scotland, such a crucial story for the world. Two weeks ago, nobody thought it would be.
"ANDERSON COOPER 360" will continue to cover that story right now.