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Clinton Talks Benghazi at Contentious Hearing; Understanding Instability in Libya; Amazon Tribe Threatened with Extinction; Imagine a World. Aired 11-11:30p ET

Aired October 22, 2015 - 23:00   ET




FRED PLEITGEN, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: White House hopeful Hillary Clinton is grilled over the 2012 Benghazi attacks in Libya, which

killed four Americans. Why some are calling it a political witch hunt.

Also ahead, three years on, Libya remains in a state of chaos.

Is there any hope for this failed state?

And later in the show, one of the world's most famous stage actors, Mark Rylance, tells me why he has joined the battle to save one of the last

remaining uncontacted tribes on Earth.


MARK RYLANCE, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: . nature's not an unlimited resource. At some point you're going to run out.

Where do we stop?

Do we stop when we've made everything extinct?


PLEITGEN: Good evening and welcome to the program, I'm Frederik Pleitgen, in for Christiane all of this week.

Now to the fact-finding mission or political theater: months into her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton faced down Republican congressional

adversaries today over the 2012 deaths of four Americans in Benghazi in Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I took responsibility and, as part of that, before I left office, I launched reforms to better protect

our people in the field and help reduce the chance of another tragedy happening in the future.


PLEITGEN: Now you would be forgiven for thinking this story might have been done and dusted by now. This is the eighth, yes, the eighth

congressional committee to investigate the attacks. And independent investigations set up by the State Department said security at the Benghazi

consulate was, quote, "grossly inadequate" but Clinton was not personally to blame.

Republicans on the committee insist it is a genuine fact-finding mission.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), CHAIRMAN: Madam Secretary, I understand that there are people, frankly, in both parties who have suggested that this

investigation is about you. Let me assure you, it is not.


PLEITGEN: But to Democrats, it has become nothing more than a witch hunt, designed to bring down their front-runner for the office of the president.

And they have what some might consider to be fairly solid evidence, in the words of the Republican House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee.

What are her numbers today?

Her numbers are dropping.


Because she is untrustable (sic).


PLEITGEN: Manu Raju is our senior political reporter and he's been in the room, watching the hearings all day. And he joins me now live from


And, Manu, what do we make of this?

Is this shaping up to be a genuine fact-finding mission or more political theater?

There was that shouting match shortly before they went to break.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there really was; really, each side has its own imperative coming into this hearing.

Republicans have been trying to make the case that Hillary Clinton was an architect of this policy in Libya.

They also tried to say that while there were calls by the ambassador who was killed in those 2012 attacks, Chris Stevens called for more security

and concerns about what was happening in Libya and even had talked about possibly leaving Libya, but those were not listened to by the Clinton State


Those were those warnings were ignored and instead they were listening to other things and other information that was provided by friends like Sidney

Blumenthal, who was a long-time friend, which is the source of that blowup there at the end of the first round of questioning.

On the other side, Democrats had been methodically trying to undermine this investigation, almost every single question is designed to show that what

they believe is an effort to bring down Hillary Clinton politically.

And that was what happened right before lunch, when Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, tried to actually create a vote in the

committee to force a release of a transcript involving one of Hillary Clinton's friends, Sidney Blumenthal, who was a source of a sharp line of

questioning by one of the Republican lawmakers.

And it really showcases how each side is approaching this. And now, Hillary Clinton, what she is trying to do is avoid getting into a really

testy back-and-forth with the committee; she is --


RAJU: -- trying to show -- be composed and have a more temperate -- not try to get into the angry arguments like she has done in previous

testimonies and she is letting the Democrats do that work for her.

Now the question is going to be whether or not she has been answering things forthrightly. There was an interesting exchange between a

congressman, Jim Jordan of Ohio, who talked about how Hillary Clinton may have said something different after the 2012 attacks, when she was saying

publicly that the video was at least -- caused part of this demonstration that led to the killings of those four Americans at the Benghazi compound.

There was that e-mail released today by Jim Jordan of Ohio, the Republican, who said that actually Hillary Clinton was saying privately that she

believed that it was caused -- that it was a terrorist attack at the time. So they were trying to make the case that she was saying something

differently privately than she's saying publicly.

So we'll see how this plays out later today. This is a long line of questioning. There are probably several more hours to go. And things can

certainly change here, particularly given how high profile of a hearing it is today on Capitol Hill, guys.

PLEITGEN: Also obviously Hillary Clinton has to be on point during this, as you said, very, very long hearings.

How has she handled it so far?

It seemed there was only one real instance where she seemed to be getting in trouble, when they put that chart on how many security incidents there

had been and how many times additional security had been asked for.

RAJU: Yes, that's been one of her issues. I would say that the two main issues that have been difficult for her, one is whether or not they

effectively responded to concerns over security.

And you know, that has been an ongoing source of criticism. They showed a bunch of e-mails that she did. She responded to e-mails on other topics

but not necessarily on Social Security requests, coming from Libya.

And she said, well, I didn't really do much in terms of e-mail communication. Republicans have been trying to undermine her argument


Now her temperament has been very calm but at the same time Republicans are trying to pick away at some of her arguments and show some contradictory


So we'll see how big of an impact this has. But it's very clear, going in, that Hillary Clinton does not want to get into an angry argument with the

committee but she is pushing back when she believes Republicans are overreaching.

PLEITGEN: Our senior political correspondent, Manu Raju there in Washington, D.C., thank you very, very much.

And four years after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, there is still no end in sight to the chaos in Libya.

To discuss the state of affairs in the country, I'm now joined by Christopher Dickey. He's "The Daily Beast's" world news editor and he's

written extensively about the developments in Libya and indeed in the entire Middle East.


PLEITGEN: Christopher Dickey, thank you very much for joining us for joining us today.


PLEITGEN: What do you make of these hearings so far from what you have been seeing?

DICKEY: Look, Fred, you and I are foreign correspondents. You watch something like this and the first thing that comes to your mind is this is

so inside the Beltway. This is so much a Washington affair; this is not about what happened on the ground in Libya, what happened then or what is

happening now. It has to do with fine points and personalities.

Sidney Blumenthal?

Who has ever heard of him outside of Washington, D.C.?

These are the kinds of things that they're discussing in the Congress right now, with Hillary Clinton. And I think the people overseas and

particularly the people in Libya, if they're watching it at all, they must be thinking, they really are crazy in Washington.

PLEITGEN: Well, you've written extensively about this.

To what extent do you think that perhaps the security situation in Libya, which, at that time, many people saw was deteriorating, was underestimated,

especially in Benghazi, where things were getting very bad?

DICKEY: Well, look, Fred, I mean one of the things that nobody seems to have said in these hearings is that the decision to go into Benghazi that

day and to stay the night there was made by Chris Stevens, the ambassador.

In fact, the former deputy head of the CIA, in his book, which was quoted today, said he would loved to have known what the conversation was between

Chris Stevens and the regional security officer when he said he was going to do this.

So maybe Chris Stevens was asking for a lot of extra security over the previous weeks and months; yes, he certainly was. But he didn't have to go

to Libya that day. He didn't have to stay there that night. So those were his decisions. Now I'm not blaming the victim here but it was not a

necessary trip.

And the idea that they should have had much more staffing there at that compound, which was not even a consulate, in order to protect anybody who

might show up anytime, is a kind of a strange notion.

PLEITGEN: Of course, before that incident, as we've said and even more since that incident, Libya has just been descending further into chaos.

What is the state of the country today --


PLEITGEN: -- when they can't even seem to come up with any sort of unity government and can it actually be considered a country at this point?

DICKEY: Well, it is about as failed as a state can get, short of being Somalia. It has two competing governments; one, which is not

internationally recognized which is in what used to be the national capital.

The other that's essentially holed up in a hotel in Tobruk near the Egyptian border, which is, in fact, the internationally recognized


The U.N. has worked for months and months, years now, to try and bring these two governments together. It announced a few days ago that it

thought it had accomplished that.

And now both sides have rejected the deal. So in fact, there is no government. There are militias all over the place that are essentially

criminal organizations, a lot of them, some of which are running the massive flow of refugees across the Mediterranean into Italy. So it's an

unmitigated disaster.

PLEITGEN: It seems like the world community agrees on the fact that far too little is being done to try and alleviate or at least improve somewhat

the situation in Libya.

What do you think could be done and would need to be done to get -- first of all, jumpstart the process and then to try to bring this process to an


DICKEY: Well, it's hard to imagine what can be done beyond what the U.N. has been trying to do because anything else would require some use of


Now, that is not going to happen. Nobody is going to put any boots on the ground in Libya. You have got a naval deployment by the European Union off

the coast of Libya but they're not going to go into any Libyan territorial waters and the only purpose is to try and stop refugees from drowning as

they try to get to Italy.

So in fact you have a total failure of will and of leadership on the part of the Europeans and also on the part of the Americans to get more deeply

involved in a situation that is truly, truly problematic.

For a while, you had the United Arab Emirates, of all people, and the Egyptians staging bombing raids and trying to get involved but that was

very short-lived and completely unsuccessful.

So it's hard to know where it will go, except deeper into chaos.

PLEITGEN: Quite a grim outlook. Thank you very much, Christopher Dickey, it was a pleasure speaking to you.


PLEITGEN: Well, as Hillary Clinton faces down her Republican interrogators, the drama is set to continue.

But when we come back, drama of a different kind. Titan of theater Mark Rylance uses the spotlight to protect an indigenous tribe, whose only wish

is to be left alone. That is next.




PLEITGEN: Welcome back to the program.

Deep in the Brazilian Amazon lives one of the last remaining uncontacted tribes on Earth, the Kawahiva Indians. But their entire existence is being

threatened by the fast, ever-changing world around them.

Mining, deforestation and disease are closing in quickly. The situation is so critical that the organization Survival International is warning they

could soon be wiped out unless Brazil's government does more to protect them.

Multi-award winning British actor Mark Rylance is lending his voice to the campaign to save the Kawahiva.


RYLANCE (voice-over): These are the last of the Kawahiva, one of the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. If their land --


RYLANCE (voice-over): -- is not protected, they will disappear forever.


PLEITGEN: That was the voice of Mark Rylance, considered to be one of the greatest living actors of our time. On stage, he has performed in more

than 50 productions of Shakespeare and his latest film the "Bridge of Spies," about a KGB agent, has just opened in U.S. cinemas, directed by

Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR, "JAMES B. DONOVAN": How did we do in there? Not too good. Apparently you're not an American citizen.


"DONOVAN": And according to your boss, you're not a Soviet citizen, either.

"ABEL": Well, the boss isn't always right. But he is always the boss.


PLEITGEN: Mark Rylance joined me in the studio to talk about the film and highlight the suffering of the Kawahiva people.


PLEITGEN: Mark Rylance, thank you for joining the program.

RYLANCE: Thanks.

PLEITGEN: Tell me about the Kawahiva people.

Why have you taken up their cause?

Who are they?

Why are they threatened?

And what is the biggest threat?

RYLANCE: I'm here to represent Survivor International, who've taken up their cause. We've taken up their cause.

The Kawahiva are a very small tribe of people who live in the Mato Grosso part of Brazil. It's a very violent part of Brazil with a lot of natural

resources that --


PLEITGEN: -- a lot of illegal logging as well, doesn't it?

RYLANCE: It does. And it's illegal in that the Brazilians have wonderfully put into their constitution protection for indigenous tribal

people or that their lands should be mapped out and identified.

And that's been done for the Kawahiva people. But it's not been ratified by the minister of justice. So what we're asking people to do is to write

to the minister of justice and implore him to sign that bit of paper that's on his desk.

PLEITGEN: There's been very little contact with them. There was some video that was filmed in 2011.

What do we know about their lifestyle, how they survive, how they eat, how they live?

RYLANCE: My understanding is that we know that they're hunter-gatherers. We know from them, other tribes in this area, that when a -- when a tribe

is protected, as the Amanaye people have been protected, through a campaign -- partly through a campaign like this very one, these campaigns do work.

We know then that the wildlife and the trees and the whole nature down there, that we all depend on for our oxygen, it survives in this conserved

much better than when we take it over.

PLEITGEN: Now one of the things that some governments say but that especially the industry will say this case, mostly the ranching industry,

the logging industry, is that it's great to want to protect Amanaye, Kawahiva is left, maybe 40-50, we don't really know.

But on the other hand, a country like Brazil also needs to develop economically. And there always is that back-and-forth between economic

development and the protection of nature.

RYLANCE: Well, exactly. But nature's not an unlimited resource. At some point you're going to run out.

Where do we stop?

Do we stop when we've made everything extinct?

Or do we stop and start to take measure now and find other ways of living on this planet within our means?

These things have not turned out well in the past for us. We've lost too many rich resources and rich cultural examples or cultural varieties of

human beings and plants and animals. And it's time to stop.

There are many, many more things that are much more important, I think, than just jobs and the economy.

I think that's the foundation of a building but not at all --


PLEITGEN: But at the same time, it seems to be that it has to be activists; grassroots activists, that keep having to remind governments and

companies of this, that the people might want something different than the easy way out, than shredding a forest in order to make furniture --

RYLANCE: Well, we have a system at the moment that's based on the unreasonable premise of constant growth.

That is the nature of corporate -- of the corporate structure. It's against the law for them not to try and make more profits and grow.

So it's always going to be people outside saying, wait a minute, that's it. You can't grow anymore into this area. That's your area.

Now it's a deeper change that needs to take place --


PLEITGEN: -- another cause that you've taken up as well, of being against, obviously, the Trans-Atlantic Trade initiative.

Why do you think that it's bad for most people?

Because on the forefront, again, people are saying -- or politicians are saying, you know, it'll make things more efficient. It'll spur economic


RYLANCE: Well, the first thing is, why is it all being done secretly?

If something is good for you then people do it out in the open and they show it to you because they're proud of it and they think you'll buy into


This is clearly they're concerned about this. But this one clause in there that allows a government to -- allows the business world to sue a

democratically elected nation and the taxpayers if the nation changes its mind.

It's completely tyrannical.

PLEITGEN: One of the things that you're also against is Britain becoming involved in the bombing campaign in Syria.

Why is that?

RYLANCE: I'm against all --


RYLANCE: -- war as a solution. And I think, in England, we have such an incredible tradition of language.

We should be an example of diplomacy. We should be an example of people who go in and resolve, help to resolve conflict by talking, which is, in

the end, the only way it gets resolved.

Now --

PLEITGEN: How do you talk to someone like Bashar al-Assad, though?

How do you do something like that?


RYLANCE: -- very, very difficult. But you're not going to bomb them away. You're not going to -- you're not going to destroy people. You're -- any

violent act creates a collateral violent act, in my thinking of it. It's not the way we conduct business. It's not the way we deal with our

families or in our streets.

PLEITGEN: A small nation, but certainly one that has contributed, as you said, a very beautiful language to the world that's very important around

the world. And it's also obviously a very important vehicle for you in your daily work, being in theater and in movies as well.

And you choose your parts very carefully.

What made you want to be in "Bridge of Spies"?

RYLANCE: Oh, I think Steven Spielberg is such a wonderful storyteller and Tom Hanks is a marvelous actor, I wanted to be with them.

And then the story is a very, very good example of -- actually along the lines we're talking about, of someone who is from a community that we don't

necessarily respect that much -- insurance lawyers, salesmen.

PLEITGEN: It seemed to me like it was less about the dialogue and a lot about the looks, the way you look at people, the sort of silent


RYLANCE: The role was very intriguing and it's intriguing to think of the consciousness of a Russian spy at that time.

PLEITGEN: Which was also, at that time -- and this goes back to what we were saying -- someone where many people in the West wouldn't have seen the

human side to it, I mean, I'm -- presumably if someone is a spy, you would be seen as a traitor; people will want to lynch him.

It is something where it's very difficult to portray someone like that as a human being.

RYLANCE: I don't know. I didn't find it -- I mean, obviously, he's a human being and obviously he believes in his -- he believed his system was

right. I think we have to remember when we deal with the Russians that they lost 20 million people.

The Jewish people lost 6 million people, albeit in horrible circumstances. But the Russians lost over three times that many. And if you look at some

of the history of like Belorussia, it -- the extermination is as racist and almost as cruel, I'd say as cruel, as the extermination camps of the poor

Jewish people at that time.

So they are naturally a suspicious and defended people.

We were talking on the "Bridge" -- Tom Hanks and Spielberg and I -- that when Gorbachev said, yes, you can reunite Germany; take down the wall and I

will look the other way, the one request I'm told he made to NATO was, "But please don't take us one step further east in Germany."

And I think within a couple of weeks, NATO was going further east.

Now that's just stupid. That's a big wounded bear, the Russian people, 20 million people lost and an aggression into their land -- America's never

lost that amount of people. We've never lost that amount of people.

PLEITGEN: Yes, it's --


RYLANCE: So it helps to understand a little bit where Mr. Putin's coming from and what the situation is at the moment, I think.

PLEITGEN: Mark Rylance, thank you for joining us.

RYLANCE: Thank you, well --


PLEITGEN: Thank you.


PLEITGEN: It's Mark Rylance there, currently starring in "Farinelli and the King," playing a Spanish monarch desperately seeking comfort through


And, after a break, the Good Samaritans offering up just that on radio. Imagine a world of coffee and kindness. It's one of a small radio station

in Britain as it rallies around someone in need. We tune into it, coming up next.





PLEITGEN: And finally tonight, imagine a world reaching through the radio.

Right here in the U.K., listeners were left stunned when a 95-year-old named Bill called into a local radio station, BBC Solent. He spoke

passionately about how he missed his wife, who had been taken to the hospital after an accident, describing every day without her was a


Well, his searing honesty triggered an incredible response as the show's host invited Bill in for a coffee, arranging for his trip to the studio.

Upon his arrival, Bill was treated as an honorary special guest, getting his promised coffee and a chance to speak on the other end of the radio,

speaking to the many local listeners, who have fallen for him.

Just before we go, a sneak peek at tomorrow's program, my interview with the woman who to many is the physical embodiment of Italy, actress and Bond

woman, Monica Bellucci talks about her latest role in "Spectre" and tells me about staying focused on what's important.


MONICA BELLUCCI, ACTOR: I'm an actress but I have the problem that every woman have, to work and take care of the kids, be a mother, be a woman of

today traveling around.

And at the same time, it is good that, as women, we keep alive our instincts, our passion. And because, in terms when you have a family and

kids, which are so important for us, but sometimes we can lose ourselves.


PLEITGEN: And you can catch my full interview with Monica Bellucci tomorrow.

And that's it for our program tonight. And remember you can always see all our interviews online at and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter, @FPleitgenCNN. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.