Return to Transcripts main page


Senate to Release Report on Controversial CIA Interrogation Techniques; Interview with Senator Angus King; Mom Demands Justice in Cleveland Shooting

Aired December 9, 2014 - 08:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Torture on display, in just hours, the U.S. Senate will release a report about torture used by the CIA after 9/11. It is expected to provoke attacks against Americans around the world. We have what's inside the report surrounding the debate around its release.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And more pro athletes showing their support in demanding justice, why these two deaths resonate with so many Americans.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Heartbreak in Maryland, investigators looking into what caused a private jet to crash into a home killing a mother and her two young boys inside and all three people board this morning the search for answers.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning, welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, December 9th, just after 8:00 in the east. Anxious hours for Americans overseas because the U.S. is preparing to release a Senate report on post-9/11 CIA interrogation tactics just three hours from now, and we fear it could have big implications.

CAMEROTA: That report is expected to enflame extremists. U.S. military and diplomatic posts abroad on heightened alert this morning. Attacks against Americans are widely expected as GOP attacks against the president ramp up over his decision to release the report now. So our coverage on this developing story begins with Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. What are they saying at the Pentagon, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Here at the Pentagon they are certainly hoping there will be no violent retaliation, but U.S. marines around the world are on station prepared if that should come. The question now of course is what happens when the world reads this report?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STARR: This morning thousands of U.S. military personnel on heightened alert, anticipating the release of a report by the Senate intelligence committee on top secret interrogation tactics and torture of CIA detainees.

REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and death.

STARR: The marines are positioned in key areas, ready to respond to potential violent reactions directed at U.S. embassies and military bases around the globe.

Believed to be included in the report, details of waterboarding and other interrogation tactics in the years after 9/11. The CIA believes the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding provided key information that very vented other terror attacks and led to the capture of Usama bin Laden, but the report questions the effectiveness of those procedures. Critics of the $50 million report question the timing of its release.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: When would be a good time to release this report? And it's difficult to imagine one, particularly because of the painful details that will be included. But again, the president believes that it is important for us to be as transparent as we possibly can be about what exactly transpired so we can just be clear to the American public and to people around the world that something like this should not happen again.

STARR: Former vice president Dick Cheney dismissed the Senate report, saying that the CIA's interrogation methods were, quote, "absolutely, totally justified." Cheney, who hasn't read the report, strongly defended CIA leaders, arguing the program itself was worth it, adding "As far as I'm concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized." That sentiment was echoed by former President Bush.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: These are patriots. And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base.


STARR: Now, many former and currently still serving CIA officials will tell you they did everything legally. They did what the White House asked them to do. One of the questions this report may raise, however, is whether the CIA told the White House everything they were doing. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: All right, Barbara, thank you so much for explaining all of that.

Let's bring in Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine. He's on the Senate select committee of intelligence that is releasing this report. Good morning, Senator King.

SEN. ANGUS KING, (I) MAINE: Good morning, Alisyn, how are you?

CAMEROTA: I'm doing well. Why do you want to release this to report?

KING: Well, I think there are two important reasons. And by the way, none of us are ignoring the risks. This is not an easy decision. But the reasons are, number one, we need to tell people in the world this is who we are and who we are not, that this was a mistake, that it happened, and that it won't happen again.

And that leads to the second reason, the chorus of people over the last 48 hours, including the former vice president, who you just quoted, saying it worked, it was effective, we would do it again, raises the question of, could it happen again and should it happen again? We did things, Alisyn, that we tried Japanese soldiers for war crimes for after World War II. This is not America. This is not who we are, and it's diminished, what was done has diminished our stature and enflamed Islam terrorists around the world.

And so this -- it's important to take this step to say who we are and that we're not going to be doing this again. And you know, one of the heart of the report is that these techniques did not produce actionable intelligence. The interrogation of the people across the world in various places did give us intelligence. The question is, does torture work? There are really two. Did we torture people? Yes. Did it work? No.

And I sat for a week every night and read 480 pages, 2,000 footnotes, and that's really the heart of the report, and that's why it's so important to get out because of just what you're hearing, all people saying, oh, yes, it worked, it saved lives. The evidence of that is unclear, or the evidence is that it didn't work, and the CIA, who used to say it certainly gave us actionable intelligence today says, well, it's unknowable, we never really assessed the program.

CAMEROTA: But Senator, you say that it's important to release this report because this is who we are and who we are not. But isn't this report about who we were? The country has already stopped these practices. Barack Obama when he was elected was elected in part because of the public debate and the hue and cry about this. Why are we reopening this old wound that we've already litigated and debated?

KING: Because the only thing standing between us and doing this again is an executive order that Barack Obama issued in 2009. The next president could change it or rescind it or get rid of it.

And we want -- history is important, Alisyn. And we want history to show, a, that this didn't work, and b, that it was really a stain on this country. And John McCain is going to be on the floor of the U.S. Senate talking about whether or not it works, and I would submit there's no one in America who has a more clear-eyed view of that issue than he. And he believes that this is -- that it didn't work, it doesn't work.

And this is something we've got to move beyond, because as I say, you've been interviewing people all morning, and today they're going to say oh, yes, it worked, it saved lives. And if that's the case, then those same people can be back in power or their spiritual descendants and say yes, we have to do this again, it's not so bad. CAMEROTA: Well, as you know, there are lawmakers on the select

committee with you who do not want this report released. Here is a statement from Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio says "The one-sided report that will be released by Democrats on the Senate select committee on intelligence cost U.S. taxpayers over $40 million to produce and its authors never interviewed a single CIA official. This was a partisan effort that divided members of the committee and the committee against the people of the CIA." He makes a few points there, but why not interview some people in the CIA?

KING: He makes a lot of points. Let me start. The release of this report wasn't a Democratic decision. The vote I think was nine or ten to three. It was a bipartisan vote. There were Republicans who voted against it but there were Republicans who also voted to release it. So that's number one.

On the interview question -- the reason the interviews weren't done was that the Justice Department was preparing whether or not to charge people in the CIA, and the committee was forbidden to conduct these interviews. They couldn't do it. However, the committee did have access to 150 interviews done by the CIA's inspector general, plus the transcripts of the many times that CIA officials came and testified before the committee. So there were, in effect, interviews. We just didn't ask the question. But the interviews were there, plus 6 million pages of documents. And it's chilling.

And by the way, the CIA response is going to be released. The report is going to be released. Some Republicans are citing additional views, that's going to be released. There is going to will be a lot of information for people to make their own decisions. But I tell you, when I read the report, and I came into this, I joined the committee after the report was completed, after it had been accepted by the committee --


KING: So my decision was, do I vote to release it? When I sat down and read it, I said the American people deserve to know this and we've got to be sure this doesn't happen again.

CAMEROTA: Senator, if extremists do launch an attack or if they use this as an excuse to launch a previously planned attack and people die, is it still worth it to you?

KING: That's the hardest question. And believe me, I spent some pretty tough days and nights last spring, as did the other members of the committee, thinking about that. They've been launching attacks, you know, for the last 10 years. They've been beheading people, they're going to use anything as an excuse. They may call this, they may use this as an excuse.

But another example is, remember Abu Ghraib. The Senate Armed Services Committee issued a similar report at what happened at Abu Ghraib to point out what we did wrong and to be sure that we didn't do it again. That report came out in the middle of the Iraq war. We 100,000 troops in Iraq, and yet this is who we are as a country. We tell the truth, and if we make a mistake, we admit it and we move on. I've had military interrogators tell me that getting the report out would actually help them because it at least it starts to erase the stain that this has put on our national character.

CAMEROTA: Senator Angus King, we appreciate your perspective this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

KING: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: There's more news. Let's get over to Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, Alisyn, thanks so much. It's 10 minutes past the hour. Breaking overnight, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now in Baghdad. He spoke with CNN's Jim Sciutto about that CIA torture report due out imminently, saying he's told his commanders to have his troops on high alert in case of any backlash. In the meantime a spokesman for the Pentagon says Hagel will visit troops, thank them for their work in the ongoing fight against ISIS.

NTSB investigators are now analyzing data from a small plane's flight recorder. They are hoping to learn what caused a deadly crash. The twin engine plane crashed into a house in suburban Maryland, killing a young mother and her two young sons. Three people on board the plane also died. Officials say other pilots had warned of birds flying near the Montgomery County Airport.

A wild car chase in Wisconsin ends with a car bursting into flames. Check it out. Brown County near Green Bay, deputies were chasing suspects in an armed robbery Friday night when the car skids off the road at a sharp turn. Sparks ignite. The car catches fire. Several suspects were ordered out of the car. One man who was unconscious had to be pulled out of the burning vehicle.

I've got to show you this great tradition that goes on in Canada, a 20-year holiday tradition at Calgary, hockey games, spectators showering ice with teddy bears and other stuffed animals when the Calgary Hit Men scored their first goal against the Moose Jaw Warriors. That's a real city in Canada, Moose Jay, Canada. The Hit Men tweeted they received more than 25,000 stuffed animals. Thousands of them will be given to children in need. It's a really cool thing and I think they set records every year outdoing themselves.

CUOMO: It was 25,000?

PEREIRA: Yes, it's really great.

CAMEROTA: That's fantastic. I went to a hockey game when the team got a goal, everybody got a free pizza. I also liked that tradition.

PEREIRA: You liked getting the pizza more than giving.



PEREIRA: No judgment. CUOMO: She did kind of get you on that one.


CUOMO: All right, so there's a nor'easter getting ready to slam the northeast and that ain't funny. There is going to be a lot of snow and rain. Let's get to meteorologist Chad Myers with the latest. Chad, what have you got?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: This town is in tatters up there, I'll tell you what. New York rain coming down, almost three inches already on the ground, street flooding in some spots.

Now to the west, Poconos, Adirondacks, that's where the snow will be. They're only going to get rain in New York City. That's why there are flood watches and flood warnings. There will be some coastal warnings as well, some coastal flooding along Long Island Sound as the wind blows that water in, a lot like Sandy did, just not to the extent of sandy. There will be a three-foot surge, not a 12-foot surge. But if you're in the low-lying area you may want to watch out for that.

One to three inches of rainfall, three inches already on the ground in some spots, but about a foot of snow to get into the higher elevations. It's the wind today that will wreck things, going to wreck the airports. We're already seeing wind gusts of 40 miles per hour. New York City two to three-hour delays right now and maybe higher. We already saw about 45 flights canceled out of Newark because that's the visibility from our camera in New York City.

Something else going on for the next seven days, a major event for California and the northwest. This could put a big dent in at least the northern California's drought but also significant flooding out there as well. Talk to you tomorrow, guys.

CAMEROTA: All right, thanks so much, Chad.

Well, the mom of a young Ohio boy shot by police officers is speaking out now. She wants the officer convicted and wants to know why her daughter was hauled off in handcuffs after that shooting.

CUOMO: Plus, the ongoing protest to not indict two officers in Ferguson and in New York City. We know the perceived problem, but are there any solutions? We have rapper Q-Tip joining a panel designed to find a way forward. Weigh in.


CAMEROTA: Stunning accusations from the mother of a 12-year-old boy shot to death by police in Cleveland. Samaria Rice is demanding a conviction for the officer who shot her son Tamir. She also says her daughter ended up handcuffed in the back of the police car and she almost joined her.

CNN's Martin Savidge is live at the CNN Center with more.

What do we know, Martin? MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.

Yes, this is a tragic story coming out of Cleveland and the family has filed already a lawsuit against the Cleveland Police Department. They cite not only the wrongful shooting death of their son, but they also say that in the moments after the shooting, Cleveland police didn't even offer basic first aid.


SAMARIA RICE, TAMIR RICE'S MOTHER: To answer your question, I'm actually looked for a conviction.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The mother of a 12-year-old shot by Cleveland police says as her son lay dying she tried to get to him, only to be stopped by police.

RICE: As I was trying to get through to my son, the police told me to calm down or they will put me in the back of the police car. And so, of course, I calmed down.

SAVIDGE: Rice says police already handcuffed and detained a 14-year- old daughter who also tried to reach her wounded brother. Police declined to comment on the family's allegations.

How police acted after last month's shooting, the family says only compounded their pain and suffering over the loss of their son who was shot carrying a toy gun in a public park just yards from his home.

CALLER: The guy keeps pulling it in and out, it's probably fake. But you know what? It's scaring the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of people.

SAVIDGE: But the fake part appears to have been left out of police communications to responding officers. The gun was plastic. Rice was black. The officer who shot him is white.

And in light of grand jury decisions not to indict officers in Missouri and New York, the families' new attorney, Ben Crump, says there are concerns here.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR THE PARENTS OF TAMIR RICE: The family is very distrustful of whether local authorities will indict a police officer, even though it is very clear, very transparent that several things were done inappropriately.

SAVIDGE: The tragedy is all captured on security cam video at the park. It shows the 12-year-old by himself on a snowy day playing with and pointing the gun. Then, a police car speeds up within feet of Rice, and within seconds two officers jump out and the closest to Rice opens fire, hitting him at least once. He died the following day.

Many are shocked at how quickly it all happens. Critics say it's another case of police acting too aggressively, too fast, resulting in a tragedy all too familiar.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAVIDGE: The father of the police officer who shot the 12-year-old has spoken out saying his son, the police officer, did not have any idea that the boy was just 12 years old, nor did he know that the gun he was holding was a toy -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Martin, thank you very much for the reporting.

Obviously, this is adding to the ongoing dialogue we're having, of course, we know about the Michael Brown and Eric Garner shootings and the anger and outrage they sparked and hopefully a national conversation but the question is, where do we go from here? We're going to discuss this ahead. Please, join us.


PEREIRA: All right. Here we go with the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, U.S. military bases and diplomatic posts are on high alert ahead of the CIA torture report. The fear is that report could anger terrorists and lead to attacks on Americans.

Thousands of protesters shutting down part of I-80 in Berkeley, California, venting their frustration with the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. Protesters also gathering in Brooklyn, players inside Barclays Center sporting "I can't breathe" t-shirts.

Secretary of State John Kerry testifying today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the use of military force against ISIS. He is also expected to address today's release of the Bush-era interrogation torture report.

Jonathan Gruber, the man who helped draft Obamacare, will face a hostile House panel this morning. He is facing serious backlash for saying the bill backers relied on the, quote, "stupidity of the American voters."

Duchess Kate, meet Queen Beyonce. Prince William and Kate Middleton meet Beyonce and Jay-Z at the Cavs-Nets game Monday night. The royals will now visit the 9/11 Memorial today and attend a charity event for their alma mater before returning home.

We do update those five things to know. Check out for the very latest -- Chris.

CUOMO: Mick, did you do the bucket challenge?

PEREIRA: Sure did.

CUOMO: Did you? I didn't do it, because --

PEREIRA: You doubt me?

CUOMO: No, no, I never doubt you. You're the best. I'm trying to remember if I saw it. I didn't do it because a spend a lot of time on my hair and then I have to wet it. PEREIRA: OK, John Travolta.

CUOMO: But there's one young man whose challenge stood up so much, it actually helped raise millions of dollars. This week's "Impact Your World" tells you why. Take a look.


CUOMO (voice-over): Anthony Carbajal got silly to draw attention to ALS, then he got serious.

ANTHONY CARBAJAL, ALS PATIENT: ALS runs in my family. My grandmother had it, my mother was diagnosed when I was in high school, and I was diagnosed at 26 years old. ALS is so scary, you have no idea.

CUOMO: The average person survives only two to five years after being diagnosed.

CARBAJAL: An ALS diagnosis is really a death sentence. All of my muscles will even eventually atrophy away, so I can't use them anymore. The later stages of the disease, the person is trapped in their own body. So, you can still hear, feel and think clearly and see, but you can't speak or move or breathe on your own.

CUOMO: Carbajal hopes his progression will be as slow as his moms. Amazingly, she's lived with ALS for 13 years, but the disease has already taken away his wedding photography career.

CARBAJAL: Right now, my hands are starting to atrophy away. They're getting weak. I having trouble starting my car, buttoning my shirt.

ALS does not discriminate. It's typically understood as an old disease, but I'm trying to change that perspective.

CUOMO: After Carbajal shared his ice bucket video, the charity he supports ALS Therapy Development Institute received about $4 million in donations.

Now, more patients like Carbajal can take part in a study to identify potential treatments.

CARBAJAL: Talking about this disease is so, so hard, but so necessary, because it's empowering other people to share their stories as well.


CUOMO: All right.

CAMEROTA: That's such a cruel, cruel disease.

CUOMO: It is, it is, and any effort you can make to draw awareness and get money there, it's a great thing to do.

So, obviously, we know you want to figure out how to help. So, you go to CAMEROTA: OK. Well, protests continue in the wake of the Eric Garner

and Michael Brown grand jury decisions, and now, some NBA superstars showing solidarity.

CUOMO: All right. So, we're seeing that this isn't going away, OK? So, what we've done is we put together a group of provocative thinkers. They say they get what is good and bad about the protests. And more importantly, they feel we have to start talking where we go from here.

This is about all of us, so please, listen and weigh in. It's ahead.