tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 8, 2014 7:00am-11:01am PST
raids. according oto a statement from london metropolitan police they were arrested on suspicion on thursday night of on suspicion of the islamic terrorist offenses. >> most in london. one outside in high wickham. all between 19 and 27. and a special firearm was used in the arrests. that's unusual because police don't always carry firearms. in this case they felt there was enough cause oto zo do. and one of the suspects was arrested apparently on the street. they are being held in suspicion of planning a the terror attack. with e don't know the details but what we know there are a number of high profile events coming over the weekend.
including remembrance sunday, to remember those falling in world war i and ii. and that is an event attended by the royal family. but no details whether those arrests are in connection with those events at this time. >> any idea that the queen still plans to attend those events? >> we asked the palace about that. and they said they are not going to comment on any security matters. that is up to the police. but the queen will continue to go ahead with her plans to attend remembrance sunday and visit the senate memorial the next day. so there is no change in plans by the royal family. they are going to go ahead with all of those memorial events. >> thank you very much. meanwhile president obama is doubling the troops on the ground in iraq now. planning to send up to 1500 more troops to help train and advise
iraqi and kurdish forces. it is expected that some are going to be in anbar province. and live from turkey, what are you hearing on the ground there in response to this new campaign? >> reporter: well, look, this came as a result of a direct request by the iraqi government based on the recommendation of the secretary hagel and a number of other top military commanders. one thing is clear. and that is the need for additional u.s. advisers is evident if there is going to be any sort of hope that isis's defeat is going to come about. but also key in all this is an ongoing effort by this new iraqi
government. again sheia let government. anbar approved is predominantly sunni. one of the areas where isis is able to find at the very at least friendly territory. bringing those sunni tribes on board is vital. especially considering how much mistrust there already is. the shear use of the military might may perhaps at some point bring about a temporary defeat of isis but it is not going to completely eradicate the terrorist organization unless there is this other effort to try to again as i was saying bring the sunnis into the fold to create more permanent solution. >> you talked about anbar which we know has been really violent and dangerous. and that the basises are going
to be outside baghdad and urbilb how secure is the bases. >> reporter: that's question. how far forward are the troops based and if even that are at anbar, they would potentially be susceptible to attack bis car bombs, suicide bms abombs and direct fire. and they are advisory and don't have a combat role per se that doesn't mean they won't be out on the ground with brigade commanders. so they will be finding themselves in significantly more danger than the troops current ly stationed there. at the end day this is a war zone. >> good point. thank you so much. good to see you this morning. ever since the first couple
hundred u.s. military advisers headed to iraq in june president obama insisted that the role will not be a combat one. >> the notion that the united states should be putting boots on the ground i think would be a profound mistake. these american forces will not have a combat mission. we will not get dragged into another war in iraq. >> the american forces that get deployed to iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. >> i will not commit our troops to fighting a war in iraq or syria. >> colonel. good to see you again. do you think that the u.s. troops in iraq's hot zone could get involved directly in combat? even though we've heard the president say numerous times they won't or that won't happen but we all know fighting can break up almost anywhere. so is there a threat to them? >> there is always an threat any
you are in an area people are shooting. just like the president said we are not sending battalions and brigades to start closing and destroying the enemy. our job for our soldiers, lot of special operations soldiers, is to get in find a shared reality and foundational logic, especially in anbar that we lost after we pulled out and really get the iraqis moving. if you look at the intelligence, and i was just co-out outthe th a couple months ago. we're starting to get move in anbar. they have folks out there doing reconnaissance. so yes they will be out there and yes it will be dangerous but they will not be in direct combat. >> the impact of troops on the grount ground whether they are not involved in combat is to
support the iraqis in training. what happened of jobs do you think they will do besides just helping train? >> well like you said. you have got the trainers like we talked about. and the trainers will move out to probably the brigade sized elements of iraqis to work through individual and collectionive task training with the battalions and companies. and juist like we did in iraq i start to bring these operations intelligence fusion centers and bring the other forces in. because all the stuff is intelligence driven. it will help the iraqis and operational tempo with the intelligence and operations to get our folks out there. so the folks that are more forward with the iraqis will really be there really helping command and control and giving kchd to the iraqis. >> we know other allies are helping with the air strikes. would we expect other allies would help with sending in troops on the ground?
>> we know in erbil we have germans and italians doing training. the jordanians have folks on the ground. they have a great special operation force that are doing some training, advising and assisting with these folks. so yes. and, you know, if you listen to general austin the other day who i think we really have to pay attention to. the military aspect from towers other coalition is not the main effort. the main effort is the political aspect, the military might from the coalition is a supporting effort to the political realms that we to get the iraqi politicians to do. >> thank you for joining us. >> thanks martin. have a good day. israeli/palestinian tensions flaring again in jerusalem as the fight for a holy site is raging. and more than 40 injured in violent clashes with israeli
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at a special site for tv viewers; go to ziprecruiter.com/offer5. u.s. citizens kennett bay and matthew todd miller have been freed from detention by north korea. >> huge news coming off jeffrey foles release a couple weeks ago. evan perez joining us live with the latest. evan has been such a campaign. whether do you know. >> reporter: the director of national intelligence just announced announced a little while ago he was bringing these two americans home. we don't know the circumstances of the release and how long this has been in the works but we know they are on their way homes and big and happy news for the families of these two americans.
>> we also heard right that there is another nation involved that was helping to negotiate and facilitate? >> reporter: we're not sure how exactly this all came down. we know americans have been working with the neighbors there, including china and south koreans to get anything -- you know, any assistance they can get. and as you know, you know, this has always been something of a trick for the north koreans. because, you know, they demand all kind of things before they can try to make any concessions to the u.s. i'm sure we're going to hear a little more from this. i've got some calls to get the back story of what has happened. >> stay with us. elise, we talked to you lot when jeffrey foal was released a couple of weeks ago. what do you make of the latest news is that these two are are
on their by a home. >> caller: i think it's very significant christy. listen, this obviously comes amid a period of a lot of activity among north korean leader kim jong-il. there's been a lot of diplomatic activity because of the recent human rights reporter that just came out. the regime feels a lot of criticism has come from the u.s. but this is -- this would be a whole international community really talking about north korea's human rights record and what they are really afraid of
is, you know, opening up to the world and the future of the regime. and this could be a threat to the regime. so i this i this is very interesting. kennett bae, korean american missionary sentenced to 15 years hard labor in 2015. working 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. his family was so worried about him. matthew todd miller basically tore up his visa at the north american border and said he was going to seek asylum. they knew they needed to get these people out not only fair families and themselves and kennett bae was in pour health but also because they felt this was an impediment to reel having a dialogue with north korea. north korea was using them as the chip. i think the fact of the head of the director of national
intelligence traveling to north korea to get it. i think obviously the north koreans wanted someone senior to come there and it's very significant. >> why debate thidn't they let three weeks ago? >> matthew todd miller. i can't really say. kennett bae was really the kind of card thermive they were hoy holding. and north korea wanted to get as much out of this as they can. three weeks ago they said come get him out. and the americans followed the directions. and we'll be talking to sources and getting more details. but this has been in the works for a little bit. the united states is very mum about what happened with jeffrey
foul. why? because they said look we have two others and want to preserve the ability to get them out. so there have obviously been some quite conversations going on and the north koreans really wanted to get a lot of bang for that you are buck. and releasing all three didn't do that for them. >> we want to welcome our viewers not just in the united states but around the world right now. kennett bae and matthew todd miller t two americans who have been held in north korea are being released on their way home we once. gordon, your thoughts on why now do you think this is happening. >> reporter: i think because north korea is in the middle of the charm offensive. very serious disruptions in his relationship with its only sponsor which is beijing and the
relationship between the two countries are really very much in a black hole. so basically the north koreans have been reaching tout russian, the south korean, the japanese and now us. and this is a sign that north korea wants to continue the outreach. i'm not saying north korea's fundamental policies have change. i don't think they have. but the tactics have certainly done 180 degrees turn. and this is stunning. >> there has been question of course about the president, kim jong- jong-un, his health and where this plays in political. does it give us any insight? >> it does and it doesn't. most people have assumed that kim jong-un is political stable. and when you have a stunning change in diplomacy, it can mean one of two things. it could mean he feels so political confident that he can do something which would be
unthinkable otherwise. or it could mean that new people are actually in charge of north korea and that they are the ones who have executed this policy turn. i don't know which it is. but i tend to think that kim jong-un is not stable. recently in the last couple weeks we've heard of ten more executions of followers of his uncle, which indicates that the purges are continuing. and when you have continuing purges it means that a regime is unstable. i think right now we very well may have a new group of people running north korea. they will still use kim as the front because the regime derives legitimacy from him. but i think this says something has really changed. >> will ripley. he is there in the region. and will, i know that you spoke with jeffrey foel. i believe you spoke be kennett bae and math you todd miller. i apologize we just lost him.
and they talked about how much they really wanted to come. >> it was the first we'd really seen them in some time. and especially for their families it had to be reassuring. elise are you still there? >> yes. >> what was the first heads up we got this was all happening? is there anyway we would have known ahead of time? airplanes landing. it must have been what, a u.s. aircraft that lands there. >> that was what happens what happened last time. a the u.s. plane that a source of our in north korea saw on the tarmac. a u.s. military plane. and they called us and we called our sources and we were able to find out jeffrey was being take home. the first clue we got was a few minutes ago when the director of national intelligence office pout put out a statement saying they are on their way home. which is really amazing and the state department put out a
statement saying we are grateful for the director of national intelligence clapper who engaged in discussions with the authorities about the release of the two citizens that. to me is extraordinary. there hasn't been a kind of high level discussion wean the united states and north korea in years. the state department has an envoy with a channel to north kor korea. there have not been direct talks in years. but the fact that head of u.s. intelligence james clapper talking with the thonorth korea about the release means the north koreans really wanted some kind of dialogue. and it's pretty stunning. >> it seems to be coming out of nowhere, doesn't it. will ripley is on the phone with us. will, resume you are hearing this news, tell us your thoughts after you spoke to these men and kwla what you think they are probably going through at this moment? i don't think anybody saw this
coming. we know that kennett bae had been working hard labor and was sentenced to 15 years. there fs no sign they were going to let him go. >> reporter: there wasn't. and after speaking with bae and miller and,ky tell you that the sense of hope really was fading among all three men. when we met and talked. >> matthew miller said to me he knew his trial and sentencing was eminent and his interview might be his final chance before being sentenced. he said that. it was trialed and sentences and kennett bae had will ever been serving time. and all the men had a feeling this could be their future. that they would be stuck in the prison system working hard labor. but what they would going for them is the fact that the north korean government was keen for one to give cnn access to these
three men because they wanted to send a message and essentially open up a dialogue with the u.s. government. and that is what we're now seeing happening christy. >> we want to bring in bill richardson too whose joining us on the telephone. and he's had the distinct opportunity, to i guess build close relationship, if you can say that with north korea. what do you think of the news of these releases? and why did it come as such a surprise? >> caller: well the news is good. these two men has been in their a long time. particularly kennett bae. close to two years. it is a signal from the north koreans to the united states that maybe their hard line tactic, their rhetoric has not produced had results they want. so they want to open the dialogue. plus they have been accused of the united nationsin human righ violations. and the issue here is going to be did they release these two
without conditions? i suspect there are very few conditions. perhaps an aircraft to bring them home. the way they did with jeffrey folk, the other young man released a couple of weeks ago. but this is good news. i think this separates human rights, humanitarian releases from the bigger issues that divide us with north korea. which is the nuclear weapons they have, we want to stop using them. less missiles, less hostility. get along with south korea. this is good news. terrific for the familiels and we should rejoice in that. >> i asked this earlier and i ask you. what does this say about the leadership and struggle of leadership there? >> caller: well, clearly a decision like this to release these americans is made at the top. it is made my kim jong-un. so the new leader who we know very little.
so i think he may be changing tactics. maybe he's moderating. maybe he's moving toward wanting a dialogue with his neighbor, with the united states. so it is a good sign. because in the past there was silence from the north koreans. they have held kaeennett bae fo two years. so it shows perhaps he is back in control, calling the shots. being influenced by the moderates. i think people wish there is going to be a regime change. i think he was sick. he had a bad foot, gout. and he's still in control. so this is a good sign. because decisions like this are made at the highest level. he obviously made it. and if it was without any conditions, as it appears to be, he's signaling to the u.s., hey maybe we should start talking and that is good. >> all right. ambassador richardson, thank you
so much. just to reset here so everybody knows what's happening. if you are just joining us, thank you for joining us in the u.s. and around the world. kaent bae and matthew todd miller, two americans held in north korea. stunning news this morning. out of nowhere they are coming home. as bill richardson there said we don't know if there are any conditions attached to this release. but we know they are on their way now just a couple of weeks after jeffrey foal was also released. aaron mcpike is at the white house. aaron what do you know about how this all happened and any involvment by the president? >> well we have not heard from the white house yet this morning. but we did just get in a statement from the state department. and it says the welfare abroad is a department's highest priority and the department has
long called on north korea to release these individuals on humanitarian grounds. you may remember in august 2013, the state department tried o send robert king to negotiate this release on humanitarian grounds. and three days after that, north korea rescinded the invitation. that's why the state department is so involved in this as well. in the statement we're grateful to national intelligence clapper who engaged in discussion with north korean authorities about the release of two citizens. he goes on to thank sweden for helping negotiate this and assisting the u.s. in these efforts. and then the statement ends. the department of state reiterates our strong recommendation against all travel by u.s. citizens to north korea. so obviously still a message there. stay out. >> all right. well that's interesting. hearing that message obviously meant to reinforce anyone you
are not supposed to go there. the u.s. does not have a direct relations with north korea. which is why you might have another nation help negotiate. >> it's certainly a surprise to people we're not hearing anything official at this point. it's almost 12 at night here. but i think this is going to take a lot of people in south korea by surprise. if it does appear that this was unconditional it certainly doesn't fit with what analysts were expecting. look at the fairly recent past. these kind of prisoners released. these american citizens taken into detention. it's often taken a very high profile personality. former presidents, bill clinton, jimmy carter to try to negotiate
for the release. but this time it hasn't happened it doesn't appear. the director of national intelligence has been involved according to the u.s. but it's certainly not a former president. and this is what north korea would like to be able to play domestically, to show the power of their leader. to show they are able to get this kind of caliber of person from the united states to come and negotiate for the release. so certainly i think many people will be surprised. not just that matthewed to miller was released, but that kennett bae was released. he been in custody two year. all the experts i was talking too would say it would be very tricky to negotiate his release. they believed it would take some time. so the fact that the two have been released in tandem i think will take a lot of people by surprise.
>> paula i wanted to also ask on the subject of how these releases occur and the attitude in south korea. obviously before this news which is good in the u.s., how has been the mood in the south korea. >> we've seen a change in attitude because there has been just several weeks ago a very high profile visit from north korean delegation to seoul. we saw effectively the number two three and four come to the country to sew the closing ceremony of the asian games, which is very significant. almost unprecedented but of course many south koreans have lived through this cyclical relationship before where relationships thawed and deals done and then relationships broken and dea -- deals broken and relationships
bad once again. so there has been this united nations commission of inquiry which has accused north korea and pyongyang and effectively the leadership of crimes against humanity. this had rattled pyongyang. we've seen a concerted effort around the world by north korean officials. and this is consumed to be the case with jeffrey foul. i there will be a certain amount of suspicion from south korean officials but they will welcome the fact these two are released. of course there are south koreans being held as well. and they will certainly be pushing for them to be released. >> good point. >> if you are just joining us and thank you to our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. just this stunning news at this hour that really came out of nowhere. there was no leadup to it. there was no indication that this was happening. but kennett bae and matthew todd
miller, two of the americaning detained in north korea are on their way home. we are being told remember that kennett bae has been held for the last two years. he was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. and then of course we have a matthew todd miller. who that is a little more of a myste mystery. he was said he tore up his visa, he was seeking asylum. he's been held seven months but both men are now on their way home to be reunited with their families. but there are a lot of people wondering, a, why now. and i have to wonder what does north korea want out of this. >> you don't you don't do something like this without wanting? ing in return. and all right what is that? >> but for the families it is excellent news. it will be interesting to see where does this plane go next. and then when will we syntheses people reunited. >> evan perez is was.
evan has been there any indication as the protocols of this release? where they will go? how long it will take. >> the government is being tight lipped right now. i've been checking as to when we might expect do see them. i suspect the news slipped out a little before the u.s. government was raeld to tell it. all we know the director of national intelligence jim clapper is the one who went and got these two americans and is now bringing them home. i suspect we'll hear a little more when they arrive here back in the states. and as elise pointed out, his involvement is something of a surprise. certainly the north koreans are very suspicious of the u.s. and intelligence and military here. so it is going to be very interesting to see why clapper was the one that was chosen to do this negotiation with the north koreans. and why he had to go there and get these two americans to bring them back to their families.
>> usually in the past, you know, we've seen people -- very prominent people like former president bill clinton who would be one who would travel and make the release. >> right. >> so the director of national intelligence. why -- and i know you asked that. but what is this person's role? and why would e p he have a roll then of going to north korea? >> interesting. north koreans are always very suspicious not only of the u.s. military but also the intelligence agencies here. and clapper oversees everything in the intelligence apparatus of the united states. everything from the cia and nsa. so the choice of him being the person in the role to negotiate this as the statement from the state department just said is quite an interesting one. again, because usually the north koreans are very standoffish and suspicious about those types of people, high level people in the u.s. government, in the current government. often as you pointed out martin,
they want to deal with former people, very prominent people like bill richardson who has been able to build a rapport with certain people in the regime. >> and it just nas fascinates you that you sort of in this man who goes to north korea. did he get off the plane? did he actually go and meet with someone? or does he just stand at the bottom of the stairs and greet these americans? i find it all fascinating. >> here in the u.s. he's been the face of defending the u.s.a. and defending the cia from substantial doubti i scandals going on here in this country. so it's interesting he is the one they chose and perhaps he was the one they wanted to see. and it always goals to the mystery of north korea. there is so much that happens
there that, you know, we're left reading tea leaves and, you know, to try to determine what exactly their intent was and what they were looking for. and also, you know, what the big question we're asking is obviously what we might have -- the u.s. government might have ofrd offered for the return in for these two americans. >> sounds like the po plot of a movie almost. >> brian todd has done extensive work on this and brian i really want to just first of all get your thoughts on this, what we keep calling this morning but it is, a stunning release of these two americans. there's been such a campaign to get them home. i don't think anybody saw this coming. >> christy they really didn't see it coming as far as the two of them being released together. there was speculation that possibly kennett ae. there w -- bae. there was a lot of pressure to get him out.
his sister has told us several times about his failing health. it's very surprising both have been released together, but bae especially. the north korean, every analyst we spoke so said the north koreans don't do not want an american dying in their custody. and kennett bae had been in failing health. diabetes, blood pressure, problems with his back. and the labor condition wshs really getting to him. and as far as his condition the north koreans felt they might have been in some trouble there. because they are concerned about possible pending sanctions against them and i think they really realized if they had held him much longer and his health deteriorated that those sanctions certainly might have been put into effect. i'm surprised that matthew todd miller was released alongside him. but again as we've been hearing the north koreans have made
overtures indicating they want a little more openness to south korea, to the west. so while the timing of this is surprising in the fact that they are being released together is surprising i'm not all that surprised at least that kennett bae had gotten out. >> we were just speaking about how rarely do you release somebody without wanting something in return. we know there were overtures that they want to open the dialogue. is there any other reason that you can see or suspect that this would happen? >> i think a lot of that may play out in the coming weeks christy. because a lot of the time we hear several days or weeks after an event occurred what really happened regarding the north koreans. they are so opaque and a closed society that you don't get transparency about the machinations about these things work. at least not immediately.
i think what well probably hear later is more detail probably from south korean intelligence about why it happened, how and why. but as we said they really do seem to want more openness to the west. maybe a loosening of the economic sanctions. they need china's help in a lot of these things. way tonight to open up dialogue regarding the nuclearization program, the weaponization program all that and it seems this is probably going to help a great deal with that. >> certainly helps in the pr department. i would say. brian todd thank you. cnn's will ripley as we mentioned has been talking in the past or did talk to those held in north korea. it was an exclusive interview and worth revisiting now. >> mr. bae. will ripley -- >> this is a moment we never expected. during a cnn trip to north korea. officials take us to a secret location for a surprise interview with kennett bae, the
american missionary whose serving 15 years hard labor for what north korea calls a christian plot to understood mine the government. >> tell me about the conditions at the labor camp. >> condition in labor camp is i'm working eight hours a day, six days a week. and working agricultural work to other hard labor that is required to do every day. >> do you think you're being treated humanely. >> yes. >> and your message to your family? >> well i'm sure they are very worried about my health at this time. and even though right now last month and a half my health been -- it's been failing. so right now that -- what i can say to my family and friends is to continue to pray for me and also ask them to, you know, continue in effort in getting me
released here. >> bae has been in north korea for almost two years. two other americans were arrested separately in april. >> we were pulled off our regular schedule and brought here to a building where we were told we had precisely five minutes with each of the detaine detainees. they are held in separate rooms and no contact with each other. american matthew miller admitted he tore up his visa and wanted to seek asylum here. >> what is the message you want to put out. >> that my situation is very urgent. that very soon i'm going to trial and i would directly be sent to prison. i think this interview is my final chance to push the american government into helping me. >> i'd like -- >> jeffrey foul a father from ohio confessed to leaving a the bible behind during the tourist trip.
considered a covert act by the north korean government and arrested. >> what is your message. >> i'll come home as soon as i can. my family is the biggest thing on my mind right now. there are six of us in our household. a and. >> three americans held in north korea, waiting and hoping that someday they will go home. will ripley, cnn, pyongyang. >> and again retopping the news, which is of course that all three now are released. the last two americans were released in a surprise move this
morning. >> paul has been watching this and he has some interesting an fr angles from a legal perspective. what is the first thing you thought about. >> i always when you look into the north korean system. the u.s. gets into these problems because they don't have a recognizable legal system. and usually when we get americans abroad there is an ambassador or legal way to bourqwork things out. of course that doesn't happen in north korea. and trying to compare them to what happens in american courtrooms it is really bizarre. kennett bae, he was a christian missionary and the charge essentially that he was engaged in something the north koreans called operation jericho, which was going to be a christian overthrow of the north korean government.
now, how bizarre does that sound? the evidence consisted primarily of speeches he made -- or i should say sermons he gave in south korean and american churches. and with respect to mr. miller who the second individual whose released, even more bizarre. he tore up his passport or visa when he was coming through and they said it was a guise for him to become spy, once again to try to overthrow the north korean government. so you are dealing with charges are that utterly bizarre. and, you know, how does the united states deal with this? very very difficult. >> paul, we appreciate it so much. but again if you are just joining us these two american, kaent bae, matthew todd miller. huge campaigns, particularly for kennett bae over the past two years. to get him home. and he is not in the best of
north korea, this according to the u.s. government. >> cnn's evan perez is joining us with the latest. as well as gordon chang. gordon, you first. >>. we heard earlier why now? there are so many questions how and why this was facilitated but why now? and the policies in north korea have changed, the tactics, maybe not. what do you think that means. >> i think right now there is a charm offensive on part of the north koreans because of the rupture of their relationships with the chinese who are their main sponsors. so now they are reaching out to the united states. but on the question of why now? we got to remember that the united states is involved in these negotiations with iran over its nuclear program. and of course the main thrust of our diplomacy with regard to pyongyang has been the north korean, uranium and plutonium
programs. i don't know if that's coincidental. i don't know how these two developments relate but there have to be some connections because there is no coins coincidences when it comes to north korea. >> how this -- >> well the swedes were involved in all three negotiations. when jeffrey fowle was released the swedes were mentioned. and also the united states has had back door negotiations with the north koreans from time to time. it's been sporadic. but they have been continuing. so there might have been some discussion of these three individuals during those back door channels. >> and the fact that it was the director of national intelligence that went, apparently, on the u.s. aircraft to go pick them up, what dud
that say? to you. >> that says to me there is a couple thf oings going on. one the united states wants to talk about the north koreans about more important issues from our perspective, which are the nuclear program and of course the north's threat to south korea. and these are long-term issues which have got to be solved one way or another. so i think there has been pressure on the obama administration to talk to north korea. and with this gesture on the part of the north, that pressure will increase. >> we want to bring will ripley into the confirmation. he had an extraordinary opportunity to sit down with all three of these men who had been held by north korea. only 5 minutes i think a piece with each of them. but will, we do know that kenneth bae was in ill health. he was not doing well. and as brian todd said north korea certainly would not want him to die under their watch.
because who knows what could happen if that were to -- this if that were to happen. i'm wondering from you, what did kenneth bae look like to you in person. we saw him on the screen. but how did his health seem when you talked with him? >> well christy, before i walk into the room and met kenneth in person for the first time all had to go by were videos and photos i had seen. and when i saw him in person i was shocked how much thinner he looked. how tired. his hair was falling out in chunks. long chunks of the hair and a lot of bald patches. he didn't look well. and in fact he had just been released from the hospital when he met with me in this small room in a hotel and conference center in a place where foreigners are not normally allowed in. and he told us how tired he was. his scheduled was six days a week. 8 hours a day. and these are grueling hours for
him given his failing health. however those are nothing compared to the report wes get from the united nations and other human rights group who speak with these defectors and these labor camps where there is torture and no food. and have to eat rodents. and those weren't the conditions kenneth bae was being held in but his health was fading. and he was very concerned his health would deteriorate further the longer he said. and given that u.s. is trying to say to the world that the allegations of human right abuses are not true it was very important for the government to show us kenneth bae, matthew miller and the jeffrey fowle. they wants us to see that they were treating the americans in a
humane manner despite the hundreds and thousands others not being treated that way. >> will, i want to ask you. we watched and listened to the interviews you did with those three. and i don't know if it's just me. but it seems like they were desperate men. i'm wondering is that the sensation you got when you walked into the room? because let's face it, you are an american face walking in to see them. >> absolutely. without a doubt. you heard fowle say getting more desperate by the day. and the same message by matthew miller and kenneth bae. it was clear to them this was an opportunity. and the north korean government put them in front of these cameras for a reason. because they determined for whatever reason that here was a cnn crew in pyongyang covering a totally different subject.
and then on the last day e we were there. we are rushed to this area. and only seconds before we walked into the room we knew in they were in there. in different rooms. no contact with each other. and it was clear the north korean government had an agenda and wanted to use them as the conduit to get the message out there. more importantly send a message to their government. north korea wanted to sit at the table and work out a deal to secure their release. nobody knew it was going to happen. but here we are today. all three of those americans we met under very difficult circumstances now either with their families or on their way home. >> we appreciate will ripley so much. >> insight there. >> it really is. i find it very interesting.
and it will be interesting to note what these men say about their time in north korea. as the risk of course to hold them. it is also a risk to let them go based on what they might know about north korea and where they have been. stay with us. our breaking coverage continues after a short break. i got this. [thinking] is it that time? the son picks up the check? [thinking] i'm still working. he's retired. i hope he's saving. i hope he saved enough. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. whether you're just starting your 401(k) or you are ready for retirement, we'll help you get there.
it is a busy saturday. we're following two breaking stories at this hour. we just learned two u.s. citizens just released from north korea, kenneth bae and matthew todd miller now heading home. and any minute president obama expected to officially name loretta lynch as his nominee for attorney general. we're keeping an eye on the white house and we'll bring that announcement as soon as it happens. but first that breaking news out of north korea. the last two meamericans held there have just been released. the north korean government had accused both men of committing hostile acts and sentenced them to hard labor. their release comes as the complete surprise to many around the world. but to their families it is certainly a huge relief. let's get you a timeline of kenneth bae's timeline in
custody. december 2012, u.s. announces he an been betand more than a -- detained more than a month. and in january of this year, bae released a statement admitting to a serious crime against north korea. but we know the country has a long history of forcing false confessions. and in february it was announced bae was move from the hospital to a labor camp. will ripley is on the phone. you actually interviewed some of the prisoners in north korea not too long ago. tell us about that experience. >> caller: it was just other two months ago we were inside north korea on a completely unrelated assignment. we requested to speak with the three americans but were told repeatedly that would be impossible. on our last day of shootingwhis.
not told where we were going on who we were speaking with until we got a conference center in a part of the city foreigners are not normally allowed. and that's when we were told. and we could only ask about certain topics that were agreed upon. we were warned if we went out of those toppingics we potentially couldn't not be on our flight out of pyongyang the next day. and that was it. and we met jeffrey fowle and then matthew miller and kenneth bae. and each of them had specific talking points. they all said they were being treated humanely and they missed their families and felt their situation was getting desperate. and most importantly they wanted help from the united states.
they wanted had united states to send a high level envoy to north korea to help secure their release. it appeared the north korean government used the opportunity of having a cnn crew in country to put these men in front of the cameras and send out this message. and now one is already home and miller and bae are healed ded ho be reunited with their families. >> and we learned james clapper was the envoy to help affirm their release. what do you think this move signals as far as north korea's standpoint on everything? is this a positive sign to you that we could see some more overtures? >> i do believe it is a positive sign. i think there are two reasons that the north koreans did this. one, they are catching a lot of
grief on human rights ground within the united nations system. some countries wanting to take them to the international criminal court. and secondarily, they are sending a signal to the united states that we're ready to talk. the issue is were they released with any conditions? i don't think so. but possibly. administration is saying to the north korean, okay we're ready to talk to you also. that is unclear. but it appears that it is a good move by the north koreans to try the restart the relationship, which has been in a real deep freelz. >> and a u.s. official telling our elise that there was no quid pro quo involved. basicallysinuating that the north koreans didn't want anything in american. it's hard to imagine though. what do you think was behind this? why now?
>> well i think what ease behind it is that the new leader, kim jong-un, has realized that his policy the last year of trying to isolate the u.s., harsh rhetoric. conflicts with the south korean, that that doesn't seem to be working. that the good news is that he made this decision. no decision like this is made without the top leader. and that he's made now two decisions. the first is the release a month ago of miller. and now these two new releases. that it is without conditions, basically. the first condition on the first prisoner was an airplane that would get him out. and this one appears to be without conditions. although it is interesting that a director clapper and the intelligence agencies of the u.s. have had some kind of role. think they are bringing back the two americans to the u.s.
so maybe a new channel has been opened up with the north koreans other than the diplomatic state department and that's good because but don't know enough about this new leader and regime. but this is a good sign and these families have suffered enough. especially kenneth bae's family. he's been there two years. and that's good news. and also because we were able to get that american out of the prison in baja, tahmooressi. so a good week for human rights releases of americans. >> and especially for kenneth bae who we know just from talking to his family and what we've learned there that he is in poor health. so you can imagine how relieved his family is. i want to ask you bill. we mentioned you've been over to north korea and you have helped negotiate. walk us through what is it like inside that country? and what do you think ha had to happen negotiate these americans
release. >> they don't think like we do. they don't say quid pro quo. they are convinced they are right of position. and it a e a cult of personality. so everything that is hazard to go through their dear leader. the maximum leader. so this time in the past they have wanted in high level envoys, a splash, a former president to get a prisoner out. they have changed their tactics now. this is the new style of the new leader. and be it's interesting. the good news will be if we can sit down with the north koreans and get them to reduce their nuclear weapons, their missiles. they are going to put up a big price for that. food, humanitarian assistance, energy assistance. but you know when you go in there, you don't know where they are coming from because it all emanates from their dear leader. and they are convinced of the totality and goodness of their position. so it is not like a normal diplomatic negotiation. you are in there in the dark.
and although i've had some success with them, there have been some instances where you don't know where they are coming from. and you sit there and wait. and they frustrate you. but eventually -- this is good news and possibly this took a long time by deserves credit. the administration deserves credit to get this done. >> absolutely. thank you bill. i want to turn now to aaron mcpike joining me live from the white house. aaron, as we know james clapper, the chief intelligence officer in the u.s., was the envoy sent to help with the release of these americans. can you tell us anymore about that? and why he was the one selected to go over. >> we don't know why it was him just yet. we doe know he was scheduled for a speech in new york on wednesday that was canceled due to scheduling conflicts. obviously now we know why. the twitter traffic as soon as this initial statement came out,
lots of questions arose did he himself actually go into north korea. and we now know yes he did. he also know the obama administration notified american allies in the region that clapper was going specifically for the lease for no other purposes and also pamela, we know that the administration talked to congressional leader, members of congress telling them that clapper was going over for this purpose. but this is a big deal that congressional leaders were notified. they are not always notified of some of these missions ahead of time but in this case they were pam will. >> and i know there were a lot of questions raised when clapper canceled event in new york. and now we have a better understanding why that is. thank you aaron mcpike at the white house. i want to turn to elise and some new reporting at this hour. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well we understand this kind of came out of the
blue, a few sources close to the operation told me blalsically the north koreans called up the administration. what channel that took place in i don't know. but basically said send a cabinet level official and come get bae and miller. and the administration spoke and decided that james clapper would be the one to go. obviously he's someone in the national security architecture but not necessarily the sect a y secretary of state that would be someone that would be negotiating. i'm told that clapper went there. he was prepared to listen to the north korean, what they had to say on the nuclear issue or anything else. but he did not do any type of negotiating. there was no quid pro quo. when asked whether this is going to have any opening with the north korean regime, these officials say look, we're very glad that that the north koreans
took this step and let them go. but there are a lot of other things they need to do if they want a better relationship with the international community. including the nuclear issue, human rights report just came out detailing horrible abuses by the regime and calling for their referral to the international criminal court. but you did hear secretary kerry after jeffrey fowle was released saying north koreans would be taking an extraordinary step if they want a better relationship with the world to let these gentlemen go. so now we go back to basically scare one before there were no americans held there and that is the issue that international community has with north korea. and that is their nuclear program for the most part. >> and north korea has been a charm at least lately. thaw elise for your insight.
>> this is a regime is that's violent one week and next week will make a diplomatic gesture like this, the reerelease of fo now the remaining two americans. it is a mercurial regime and strained relationship. and you can't underestimate the american's top spy traveling to north korea to take take these men home. in weird alchemy of the north korean politics, while there is
no quid pro quo, the arrival of american spy chief there gives the regime a feeling of power, of respect, a feeling of being on a par with the u.s. that's a get for them to have the top mesh go there. and this is a regime all about its pron s propaganda and pub profile and how they sell that at home. and i can imagine they will treat this as home as the propaganda victory. >> and as with i kn we know ken bae has had poor health. how do you think that plald into his release today? >> it's hard to say with this government. they will make a release like this and you don't know that in a month's time there may be another american taken in. this has been going on for years. americans will be captured there under different circumstances. held for some time and they will be released.
but as much of a moment of celebration this is. and it is is trulily remarkable that in a man of a couple weeks you have all three americans released. we can't count out another american taken under false pretenses in a few weeks. it's the way the regime works. and often times, whether they need more economic relief from china. i've been watching this country for 20 years it. s such a strange place to watch. and when you think it turns for the better oftentimes it turns for the negative afterwards. >> unpredictable. thank you so much. and we're continuing to follow both breaking stories. more on the two americans just released from north korea. and we are also just moments away from president obama's announcement on the attorney general's nominee. stay with us. for retirement. but when we start worrying about tomorrow,
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their release comes as kplacomp surprise to many around the world. to their families certainly a huge release. event perez joins us from washington, d.c. i think we probably both shared the same reaction when we received this nudes ews release the director of national intelligence that the two americans were coming home. how much of a surprise was this? >> it was a grecomplete surpris. the negotiations were oing gonna the past few months and they picked up pace more recently i'm told. this past wednesday jim clapper was supposed to be at an event in new york at the council on foreign relations and canceled at the last minute. and i'm told one reason he canceled was the details of this trip were being finalized. and then he led this delegation that went to pyongyang. and was basically just there to pick up these two americans. i'm told that the administration made clear there was not going
to be any quid pro quo for the release of these two americans. but clapper was there to have some discussions with north koreans if they wanted to have them. he was willing to listen on various issues including the nuclear program. as you know this is a point of contention between the north yeens and the u.s. so now he's on his way back with these two americans and i'm sure it's been an excruciating wait for the two families to have their loved ones back. >> evan perez. thank you. now i want to turn to will ripley who actually interviewed these american prisoners in north korea. will i'm curious what your perspective is now and then. do you think they allowed you in order to set the stage for their release. >> it was as we look now, pamela. the fact these two men are now on their way home just two months after we spoekd to them. it shows the north korean
government was ready to play ball. and work out a deal. you think about the case of jeffrey fowle where they requested that an american plane a government plane fly to pyongyang to take jeffrey fowle home. and now we sea that scenario play out again in the last few hours. and it goes to show. we had no warning. a separate shoot, two hours from pyongyang. put in a van and sent to talk to these men. ky guarantee you these men in pyongyang had no warning they were going to be released. it is the time of thing you see over and over again with north kor korea. things happen all of a sud sudden. so it just goes show this is how this government operates. there may be a lot of discussions happening behind the scenes that we are not aware of. things can happen kbquickly. north korea highly unpredicta e
unpredictable. >> i'm curious to know what it was like talking to bae in particular. he was in poor health we know according to reports. and some are saying that they released him because they don't want an miles per hour -- an american dying on their watch. >> it was startling to see him in person after pictures of him on television. he'd last lost a considerable amount of weight. his hair was falling out. he had just been released from the hospital when we talked with him. and he spoke about his deteriorating health and spoke about the fact eight hours day working agricultural work at the labor camp, six days a a week was taking a toll on and there was fear it would continue. matthew miller was afraid that was his fate as well. and all three men, in addition to pleading with the u.s. government to help secure their
release, each made a point to convey they were being treated humanely. it seemed as if it was very important for the government to show these americans were not being held in the kind of conditions in nations have accused them of holding their prisoners. north korea wanted send a message and viewed this as an opportunity to send that kind of message to the world. >> and to think how surprised we all were to find out this news, imagine how the families felt? do you know when they will be home and reunited with their families by chance? >> well if the case of jeffrey fowle is any indication it will probably happy pretty quickly. he was debriefed for a short period of time and when to pyongyang to guam before flying home. so while we don't know the exact
itinerary, we can imagine there will be some discussions with the government. certainly in the case of the bae. given that he has been held in north korea the longest of any of the mesh americans. you are talking about two years. and i'm sure there are many people who are curious what kind of insights he was able to glean from that experience. but number one, i think the priority for these men and for the u.s. government is to get them back home safely to their families. >> and as we know they are on their way back home right now. we'll stay on top of the story. i'm curious, will, because you have a unique perspective not many can offer because you have actually been inside the country, inside of north korea. you have dealt with officials there. bring us inside. what is it like interacting with them? what do you think it was like dealing with them release of these americans? give us your perspective? >> certainly. there are many things about north korea that make it a place unique in the world. >> from the moment we stepped
off our plane intoing onto the runway. it almost looked like we were stepping back in time. a time north korea was getting a lot of assistance from rush so these are are soviet style buildings decaying in many cases. the city is trying to do upkeep. we saw workers on the runway. through the the city many roads were in disrepair. the city goes black at night because there is no electricity. and all the people you interact with there repeatedly talk about their allegiance to the leader and the family which rules with an iron fist. it is a mentally exhausting place to be. you can every truly relax there. you always wonder is someone watching or and listening. >> thank you. i want to go straight to aaron mcpike and more on the attorney general nominee. >> loretta lynch who has been twice been a u.s. attorney in
new york. confirmed twice by the senate both in 2000 and again in 2010. this is a hastily arranged press conference. it was supposed to be a little earlier. i it's now been delayed to the bottom of the hour. as you know president obama is leaving for asia tonight. but they wanted to get this nomination out there quickly. we have heard from several republican senator who have said they are willing to give lynch a thorough and fair vetting but want to do it after the new government convenes in february. we can tell you that she doesn't have ties to president obama. she is not a controversial pick. like some of his other choices could have been. including don brilly, the solicitor general or thomas perez who is also in the president's cabinet. but the white house in choosing her thinks he is move quickly
think the process. but again republicans want to wait for another couple months. >> already confirmed twice. been the u.s. attorney two different times in the brooklyn office. i'm curious was a yesterday cnn was first to announce. and then ernest came ost announ hasn't maid a decision yet. >> good morning. as president i rely on my cabinet every day to make sure we are not just getting the job done but making progress for the american people. and in a country that is built on the rule of law, there are few offices more important than that of attorney general. the attorney general is the people's lawyer. as our nation's chief law enforcement officer, the person in this position is responsible for enforcing our federal laws,
including protecting our civil rights. working with the remarkable men and women of the justice department, the attorney general oversee it is vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism, vote rights, public corruption, white collar crime, judicial remediation and policy reviews. as i said back in september when he decided to step down, i am enormously grateful to eric holder for his outstanding service in this position. he is one of the longest serving attorney generals in american history. and one of our finest. eric brought to this job a belief that justice isn't just an abstract theory but a living, breathing principle. it is about how laws interact with the daily lives of our people, whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families,
whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcome in our own country. whether the words that the founders set to paper, 238 years ago, apply to every one of us in our time. so thanks to eric, our nation is safer and freer and more americans regardless of race or religion or gender or creed, or sexual orientation or disability receive fair and equal treatment under the law. iprouder of eric. and i couldn't be prouder that today i can announce somebody who shares that fears commitment to equal justice under the law as my nominee for the next attorney general, u.s. attorney loretta lynch. [ applause ]
i also want to thank the chair of the congressional chair committee for being here on a saturday to show support. it is pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than loretta. throughout her 30 year career he has distinguished herself as tough, as fair. an independent lawyer who has twice headed one of the most prominent u.s. attorney's offices in the country. she has spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor, aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud, cyber crime, all while visigorously defendin civil rights. a graduate ra harvard he rose as the assistant u.s. attorney in new york.
chief of the long island office, chief assistant u.s. attorney and u.s. attorney. successfully prosecuted had terrorist who plot to bomb the federal reserve bank and the new york city subway. she has boldly gone after public corruption and bringing charges against public officials in both parties. she's helped secure billions in settlements from the biggest bank s accuse to have had broad. and one of her proudest chees e achievements. loretta might be the only lawyer in america who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorist and still having the reputation for being a charming people person. and that's probably because loretta doesn't look to make head lines. she looks to make a difference. she not about splash.
he is about suns nsubstance. i would not be more confident in who are and ore key priorities. she has consistently proven her leadership and earned the trust and respect of those she serves. since 2010 she's been a member of the committee of the u.s. attorneys across the nation who advise the attorney general on matters of policy. and she has served as chair of that committee since 2013. it's no wonder the senate unanimously confirmed her to be the head of the u.s. attorney's office in two separation situations. once under president clinton and once under my administration. it's my hope the senate will confirm her without delay. she's born in greens borouborog carolina. the year before black students
sat down at a whites only lunch counter helping to spark a movement to change the course of this country. and daughter of a school librarian and baptist minister which meant that she knew when to be quiet. a little intimidating, being the daughter of a librarian and a minister. but loretta road on her father's shoulders to his church where students would meet. and --. i know that if he we were here today he would be just as proud as her as i'm sure her husband steven is. i want to thank steven, loretta's stepson ryan, stepdaughter kia and her other family members who came here today. we appreciate you guys agreeing to share her with the american people a little bit longer.
loretta spent her life fighting for fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. i can think of no better public servant to be our next attorney general. let me introduce to you ms. loretta lynch. [ applause ] thank you everyone. and thank you first of all mr. president for that kind introduction. and most importantly thank you for your faith in asking know succeed a attorney general whom i admire the lead the department that i love. no one gets to that place, this
room this podium, this moment by themselves. i also must thank attorney general eric holder for your support and friendship over the years as well asly leading by example and always, always pushing this department to live up to its name. and i want to thank chairman leahy, senior officials of the department of the justice and members of the cabinet for being here today. to my colleagues in the u.s. attorney community and throughout the department on who i lean every day. and thank you all of you for your support both now and all the work we have ahead. and to my beloved office, the eastern district of new york, my professional home. you have twice now given me the privilege of being able to serve you and to focus on nothing, nothing but the protection of the people. it has been a joy. it has been an honor. and i will carry you with me wherever i go. and of course to my wonderful
family. several only whom are here with me today. all of whom are always with me in love and support. most especially my parents who could not be here today but are watching, whose ever thought and sacrifice has always been for their children. they have supported me in all of my endeavors as i strive to live up the to their example of service. the department of justice is the only cabinet department named for an ideal. and this is actually appropriate. because our worth is boast aspirational and grounded in gritty reality. it is both e nobling and both profoundly challenging. today i stand before you so thrilled and frankly so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this group of wonderful people who work all day and well into the night to make that ideal a manifest reality. all as part of their steadfast
protection of citizen os thf country. mr. president thank you geb again for the faith you placed in me. i pledge you and the american people if i have the honor of being confirmed i will wake up was the p every morning with the protection of the american people my first thought. and i think again mr. president and mr. attorney general and all of you for being here. [ applause ] >> [inaudible]. >> well i think it is a wonderful day for them and their families and obviously we are very grateful for their safe return. and i appreciate the director
doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission. there we heard from president obama, introducing his new attorney general nominee, loretta lynch. the u.s. attorney in brooklyn at the eastern district there in new york. he said that this is someone that is pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than loretta. the first african american female attorney general that is nominated. and also the first u.s. attorney to make the leap to attorney general in nearly two centuries. pretty incredible for loretta lynch. i'm bringing in jeffrey tuba now to discuss this a little more. jeffrey this is a woman who's essentially stayed under the radar. done tremendous work.
very low profile. why do you think she rose to the top and able to beat out the others the president was considering for this job? >> well, you know, i have to start with a bit of a bias here and just confess at the outset. that loretta lynch and i were new prosecutors together in january of 1990 with offices down the hall from each other. in the u.s. attorney's office when we were both junior prosecutors. so i have watched her as a colleague and as a journalist for almost 25 years. and it is true. she is not a well known figure. even in new york city. much less in the country. but she has done this very demanding job as u.s. attorney which supervises law enforcement, federal law enforcement for brooklyn, queens and long island, for two terms. and she's done a very good job. she has done a very wide range of cases from organized crime cases to terrorism to civil
rights. certainly lots of gang and narcotics cases. and she has a very good reputation within the law enforcement community. but very little known outside that world. and that is good in that she has very few enemies. but it is perhaps less good because i think people know less about where she stands on the policy issues that an attorney general has to deal with. >> and let's talk about that with sonny. sonny i was speaking on the phone last night who knows her very well. he was saying she's dignified. thoughtful. listens to all sides. you always walk away feeling heard. but he did say something that could work against them is the fact she is not a washington insider and the fact there is a huge learning curve. do you think that could help or hurt her in this role?
>> i think it will help quite frankly. and in the interest of full disclosure. i've had the privilege of meeting her several times. and also actually interviewing with her. and i will tell you my impression, especially during the interview of someone who is already a federal prosecutor. thinking about moving offices. she spared no detail. did not treat me in any insider way. she asked tough questions. he w she was probing. she was gracious. so i think that someone like that who doesn't do anyone any favors and is just a fair person and a person can a good temperament i think doesn't need to be a washington insider. i think that is someone who will be well served by not being a washington insider. she is a career prosecutor. she is a prosecutor's
prosecutor. she is gracious. she is from the south. from greensboro, north carolina and has just incredible experience across board and the issues that an attorney general would have to deal with like terrorism, and organized crime and financial crime. she's a child of the civil rights movement. so i think when president obama said it is pretty hard to be more qualified than loretta lynch, that is just absolutely true. it is really a masterful nomination. and the fact that she was unanimously confirmed by the senate twice says to me that this really should be a nomination that sales through the senate at this point. >> and we're still waiting to find out if she will be going through the nomination process, through the current senate or the new senate with the republican majority still waiting to find out about that. i want to bring in my colleague who also covers the justice department and who first broke the story yesterday.
we first learned from evan perez she would be the nominee. and now as we hear the president announcing it. evan i'm curious to hear from you. she is going to serve presumably through the end of the president's term a couple of years. what kind of challenges do you think she will face. especially considering she's parachuting into to big issues, including the ferguson case potentially. >> that's a one of the fist things that will probably be on her desk pamela. the attorney general is probably going to stick around until february is perhaps when we're looking at the vote. at least that is the hope they can get a vote for her by february and loretta lynch will be faced with this investigation, which is still ongoing on how to reform the ferguson police department and also whether to bring any civil rights charges down there. and that is going to be something that she already has some experience. as you mentioned before she was involved in overseeing the case
against the new york city police officers who were charged with brutalize i brutalizing -- back in the 90s. so she has some experience in that. the big question will be what republicans will be seeking to try to get, you know, for this nomination. whether or not they will demand, you know, they have all kind of battles with the president over documents in unrelated cases. for example the irs investigation. and whether or not they will demand more on that stuff as part of in exchange to try to get this nominee threw very quickly. >> and i'm curious evan because we know holder is leaving behind a legacy of dealing with civil rights issues, being smart on crime. going after banks. how do you think the priorities could shift in the justice department with loretta lynch at the helm? >> i think one reason they picked her is because they wanted to make sure there was some continuity on some of the priorities, pam. i think the attorney general, these things are very close to
his heart. he is very close with the president. and i think one of the things that he was advising the president is to try to figure a way to make sure there was some continuation of those priorities. loretta lynch comes from a place where, you know, she's also going to be very much focused on reforming sentencing laws. and also on these questions of, you know, reducing the prison population and so on. but at the same time i think she'll also want to set up her own legacy and her own priorities. and so it is going to be interesting to see where she chooses to make that. she comes with a lot of experience in doing financial fraud cases. also public corruption. so we'll see what she chooses is going to be her priority. i'm sure she wants to be her own person at the same time. and as you have just mentioned she's very understated and also insists on being called loretta because, you know, she just trying to be like an average person. but she is a very impressive lady. very popular inside the
department even if not well known around the country. >> and she is a charming people person. really unassuming, low profile. and i've heard so many positive things about her eevan. i'm curious if you have seen or heard hi drawbacks against her? >> that is going to be a tough one for the republican majority that takes over in january. they are going to want to dig into her background obviously. she was just confirmed in 2010 on a voice vote. so there was no controversy at all over her nomination. they do want to spend some time they say looking into her background to make sure there is nothing they find objectionable. but they also pam as you know want to make sure eric holder gets out of there. he's not their favorite person here in washington. so there is a little incentive to get the current attorney general out of office and get this new person in.
>> i have to ask this, evan. so you broke the news yesterday this is going to be the president's nominee. we heard ernst come out and all of a sunday toddden the preside out and gets this news conference. >> i got a few annoyed emails over the period of yesterday. and i was told the plan was to do this after the asia trip in a week. but obviously once we broke the story and once everybody else, all the other reporters were pushing the white house to just, you know, come out with it, the decision was made they were going to rush loretta down here to do this event. also the other thing that made it complicated, the attorney general eric holder was on his way back in the a european trip so they scrambled to put this ceremony together. they were a little annoyed because they want to do this not on a saturday but perhaps on a
day when there would be more attention to it. >> way to go evan. >> great reporting there. we appreciate it. we're going to of course continue following the story. stay with us evan and all the others who have helped us talk about loretta lynch. we're following the story. breaking news out of north korea as well. stay with us. we'll be right back. great rates and safety working in harmony. open an optimizer plus account from synchrony bank. service. security. savings. synchrony bank engage with us.
we want to stay with that breaking news now. president obama's nominee for attorney general loretta lynch. sarah ghana joins us live in brooklyn, where loretta lynch is a u.s. attorney. sarah, when the announcement was made today and even yesterday when cnn broke this story, i think a lot of people were surprised to hear about loretta lynch. they had never heard of her
before. what can you tell us about her? >> reporter: yeah, pamela, i can tell you that that's absolutely true. her friends and colleagues here say that she was quietly building a very solid reputation in washington. she wasn't really that well known in new york, in the state of new york. you know, she's in brooklyn, in the eastern district of the state, and most of the well-known cases in the state are navigant. the u.s. attorney general there, but she's been a prosecutor here for more than three decades. but she has southern roots. she was born and raised in greensboro, north carolina, and went to harvard and harvard law school. and then actually served two terms here as u.s. attorney general, both under president clinton and under president obama, really rose through the ranks in one of the busiest offices in the united states. u.s. attorney general office of the united states. her colleagues here in the state
say that that's really admirable. that she quietly rose through the ranks. they say there's no one better here in the state of new york to take over this job, succeeding attorney general eric holder. you know, some of the more interesting points to look for, she has prosecuted a lot of narcotics cases here in new york. we know that the previous, eric holder, had backed off some of the lower-level narcotics cases and pamela, just so our viewers know, i actually have lost you, so i'm not sure if you can still hear me. >> okay. we do hear you. we're going to come back to you. >> let me know when you want me to wrap up. but i want to touch on the fact that she has a civil rights background, which come in handy, as you noted earlier, with future cases that are coming up in ferguson, missouri. other civil rights cases across the country that we've been talking about a lot in the media
right now. and also, you know, friends and colleagues say that her strong advisory on a number of topics, you heard president obama talk about some of the other cases that she prosecuted that will come in handy in this post, very high-profile post, succeeding someone who was a very close friend of president obama. pam? >> sarah ghana, on the ground there in brooklyn. thank you so much for that. we're following more breaking news right after this. but first, veterans day is just a few days away from now, and the nation is preparing to honor the men and women who serve our country. in today's american journey, an act of valor in the middle of a deadly shooting at a u.s. military base. poppy harlow has the story. >> how are you feeling today? >> i'm feeling a lot better than i was a few months ago. >> reporter: a few months ago, patrick miller and his wife, ashley, were living in texas after being assigned to ft. hood, following two previous deployments to iraq. but on wednesday, april 2nd, his
life instantly changed. >> sitting in the office and all of a sudden, you just hear bang, bang, bang, six, seven gunshots and right away, you know what that is, but you can't believe it. >> also hard to believe, because just a few years earlier, ft. hood experienced one of the worst military base shootings in history, leaving 13 dead. on this day, what patrick heard was an army specialist on a shooting spree. never one to run away from trouble, patrick ran towards it. >> after the gunshots, i just immediately got up and started yelling, telling everyone to get down, you know, hide, lock the doors. and i went out in the hallway, just kind of peeked out in the hallway, and there was this specialist walking down the hall towards me. i looked at him, and i was like, what are you doing? i was like, get out of the hallway. >> you didn't think that was the shooter? >> didn't know. because when you see somebody in the same uniform as you, with the same american flag on their right shoulder, my thought is,
you know, protect them. >> you tried to protect the man that would then shoot you? >> correct. yeah. how ironic? but -- so he started running towards me, and this is all within a three or four-second span. and as he was running, i remember vividly thinking, okay, he's going to come into my office, he wants to come in my office for protection. and he literally ran right up closer than you and i are, and shot me point-blank with a .45 in the stomach. >> patrick was shot just 2 in inches below his heart. >> after he shot me, he's trying to reload, so i pushed him as hard as i could, shut the door, locked it, and then i just grabbed my phone, started calling 911 with one hand, putting pressure on it with the other. >> as you're shot, you're trying to save all these people? and calling 911? >> yes, ma'am. adrenaline is a heck of a thing. like i said, because honestly, and ashley doesn't like hearing this, but i didn't know how long i was going to live. >> you thought you might die?
>> i did. i absolutely did. >> reporter: patrick knew his chances of survival diminished each moment he waited for help to come to him. so instead, he went to it by climbing out of his office window. when was that moment when you first got to see each other after this? >> he had just gotten back from surgery, he was intubated, he had an open wound. >> reporter: he underwent two surgeries in the next 24 hours and recently had a third. but through it all, he never lost his will to fight. >> people call you a hero. how does that make you feel? >> i've said this before, but in my eyes and i've always felt this, that the true heroes are the ones who never made it here. sergeant first class daniel ferguson, carlos za zany, and timothy owens who all perished on april 2nd are heroes in my eyes. >> what has this taught you? >> appreciate every day, every
minute of every day, and everything and everyone. and that sounds so cliche, but it's so true. just don't sweat the small stuff and live your life to the fullest and do everything you can to make a difference. >> reporter: poppy harlow, cnn, reporting. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase. like 50,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months after i opened my account. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores. with ink plus i can choose how to redeem my points. travel, gift cards, even cash back. and my rewards points won't expire. so you can make owning a business even more rewarding. ink from chase. so you can. i have $40,ney do you have in your pocket right now? $21. could something that small make
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go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 30 of the web's leading job boards with a single click; then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. you put up one post and the next day you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. [ female announcer ] over 100,000 businesses have already used zip recruiter and now you can use zip recruiter for free at a special site for tv viewers; go to ziprecruiter.com/offer5. and we begin with two breaking stories. two americans, kenneth bay, and matthew todd miller released from a north korean prison and on their way home as we speak. this just before president obama leaves for china. and the president just officially named loretta lynch as his nominee for attorney general. we've got team coverage of both stories starting right now. but first, that breaking news out of north korea. the last two americans held in the country have just been
released. kenneth bay, and matthew todd miller are now headed back home to the u.s. the north korean government had accused both men of committing hostile acts and sentenced them to hard labor. the release today comes as a complete surprise to many around the world. but to their families, of course, this is a huge relief and welcome news. jeffrey foul a joining us now on the phone. he was just released from north korea last month, reunited with his family in ohio. jeffrey, i cannot wait to hear what your reaction and your perspective is with the release of the last two americans, considering you were just released from north korea. what do you think their reaction was, jeffrey, when they learned the news that they were coming home? >> i'm sure they're very happy and happy to be reunited with their families. >> what do you think they were feeling, jeffrey? i mean, what goes through your mind when you've gone through so much, being held prisoner in north korea, and then all of a sudden you're told you're coming
home? >> well, i can't speak for either one of them, but i'm sure they're elated at the prospects of being reunited, coming home, getting back to things american here. just happiness. i'm sure there's a lot of emotions going through their mind, like what happened to me three weeks ago. >> when y'all were held prisoner, did you interact much? did you have a relationship with them at all? >> with the other two americans? >> yes. >> i was given very little information. i never saw them. i didn't have any kind of contact with them whatsoever. >> despite that, i'm curious if you felt any sort of guilt or remorse when you found out you were released, you were coming home, and they were staying behind in north korea. what did that feel like for you? >> yeah, i was -- >> did you wonder why? >> -- very sad. yeah, i didn't realize i was getting released about a half hour before we took off. it was like hit like a ton of
bricks. >> and were you wondering, why me? why are they letting me go and not them? >> very much so. on the ride to the airport, i didn't know anything about their status, and i was hoping that they'd be on the plane as well. but i got there and they said i was the only one coming home. i was upset by that. i was happy, but also upset that they weren't coming with me. i was the last one detained, kenneth bea or matthew miller should have been released before i was, but i'm glad to hear they're on their way home now. >> i can imagine that you were going through just a roller coaster of emotions during that time. if you would, sort of paint a picture for us what it was like being held prisoner in north korea. what the conditions were like, how hard it was, just walk us through that, if you would. >> well, i was never actually a prisoner. technically, i was a detainee. i never saw a prison or a jail while i was there. only two locations, one was a high-rise hotel on the south end, and the other was -- that
was 3 1/2 weeks. and after that for the duration of my detention was at a hospitality center, like a guesthouse type of facility. a small place with eight or ten suites in it. and i never saw guards. the people i interacted with were the tour guides of the korean tour agencies, that take foreigners around the country. i never saw guns or jail bars or anything like that, guard towers. i was just in a, like a hotel suite type of room at both locations. >> hmm. >> i had an interpreter that was assigned to me, so once my interactions with the koreans was through, that interpreter, at least 99% of my communications was through him. >> one of the big questions when you're released like this, is what the reintegration process is like, coming home, adjusting to life back in america. what has it been like for you? >> well, for me, it's been relatively simple.
i was table to get my job back -- i was terminated back in september, but the city i work for has reinstated me, fortunately. i'm grateful for that. so things have fallen back into place pretty well for me. kenneth bea has been gone two years now and it might be a little bit more difficult for him. and he was living in china before his ordeal. so i'm not sure what his reentry procedure or matthew miller's, for that matter, is going to be like. >> what advice would you give them, jeffrey? >> well, back a couple of weeks ago, tell him to keep his faith. that's what got me through my ordeal of six months. have faith in god and faith that i would actually come back home and that has come true for all three of us. we're all going to be back home, which is great. great news. >> and what was that like for you when you stepped foot on american soil after being over there? what was that feeling like? >> it was fantastic.
my family was there waiting for me on the tarmac at wright pat air force base. and it was great being reunited with them after a long separation. >> and we're watching video of that right now, really, just incredible. what is your take on why they may have been released now? i mean, obviously, they weren't released when you were, and then several weeks later, north korea decided to release the last two americans. why do you think that is? >> i don't know. i can't say. i don't have connections to the high levels of government either here in the united states and can only speculate, but it's just speculation. wonder why this particular order, why me first and matthew later. i don't know. don't have any concrete information. >> you had mentioned you didn't have a lot of interaction if any. >> zero. >> do you plan meeting them now that they're come back to the
u.s.? and if so, what would you say to them in person? >> well, if they would -- i'm willing if they would like that. it's up to them. what i would say, i would have to wait until i meet them to find out what i would say, i guess. >> yeah. but you said the advice you'd give is keep the faith. >> yes. that's what got me through my six months there. >> did you ever think you might not be released? >> given the track record of detainees there, i felt i would be released eventually. it was just a matter of when. kenneth bea's sentence of 15 years was in my mind. that happened before i left. i knew that he'd got 15 years, so there was that possibility that i could be there for years. >> what was it like, because cnn interviewed you and it was a surprise for us to be given access to interview you and the others. at that moment, did you think,
this is my opportunity. this might be sort of setting the stage for my release? what was going through your mind when cnn interviewed you? >> yeah, that was an opportunity to get my story out. let the world know. when i first got detained, i had no idea who knew what about the situation. that was probably the worse part of my detention, was the black question marks on my horizon. >> and if you would, jeffrey, for those viewers who haven't been keeping up with your story, set the backstory for us, how you ended up being detained in north korea. what happened? >> well, i had brought a bible with the intention of leaving it behind. that's part of my statement that was released was accurate. i was in a nightclub up in the north part of the country and left a bible, a korean english
bible in the nightclub that we were visiting at that time on may 4th. and it was quickly found out the next day i was confronted with it and admitted to it. and i had two days left on tour, and at the end of the tour, they took me into custody at the airport. >> well, jeffrey fowle, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. it's incredible to hear what you had to go through and helps us learn a little bit more, gives us a window into what kenneth bea and miller might be going through as they are on their way home right thousand. and for some more insight and information, i want to turn to global affairs correspondent, elise labott. she's been speaking to u.s. officials about this today, working the phones, and you're finding out some new information, elise. >> that's right, pam. basically what's been happening over the last few months is that the the u.s. and north korea have been having discussions about the possible release of these americans, but they never knew at any point whether this
would actually take place, when it would happen, how it would happen. and this is very similar to what happened with jeffrey fowle. basically within these discussions, the u.s. was called and said, listen, the north koreans said, listen, bring a military plane, pick up jeffrey fowle, and then they brought him home. now, we understand that something very similar happened in the case of kenneth bea and matthew todd miller. the discussions were ongoing, they didn't know when these men would be released, but at some point last week, the north korean or early this week, the north koreans called and said, send a cabinet-level official to pick kenneth bea and matthew todd miller up, and u.s. officials tell me they didn't know when the president decided to send dni intelligence director james clapper to north korea. that they would actually be bringing kenneth bea and matthew todd miller home. dna clapper did travel to north korea. we're told this was not a
negotiation. he was prepared to listen to what the north koreans had to say, but there was no quid pro quo, no negotiations, and now we know that kenneth bea and matthew todd miller are on their way home, pam. >> what do you think, elise, the significance is behind sending james clapper, the chief intelligence officer in the u.s., because the president could have chosen any number of envoys to go over. why james clapper? >> well, they asked for a cabinet-level official. and certainly the north koreans are looking to get something here. so i don't think the administration would consider sending secretary of state john kerry, for instance, because that's the nation's top diplomat. and that would suggest some kind of diplomacy, some type of negotiations going on. but i think they still wanted to send someone that the north koreans would accept. we're told they did run the name of james clapper by the north koreans and they did not object. so i think they wanted to send someone within the international, national security apparatus. and also james clapper is known as someone tough that, you know,
obviously, the north koreans would feel that they were getting something out of this. that's why he was chosen. we're told that he was sent as a presidential envoy by president obama, and he went there and had talks with the north koreans and now bringing the two americans home. >> very, very exciting for those families. especially, you do wonder, elise, because they released jeffrey fowle several weeks ago and now they're releasing these two americans. what do you think is behind this? i mean, why didn't they just release them all at once? >> i think, pam, it has to do with this recent united nations human rights report. a very damning report about north korea's human rights record, demonstrating widespread abuses against the north korean people. we're talking about torture, starvation, execution, horrible crimes, and the north koreans have been knowing that this report is coming out. so we've been talking about in recent weeks how the north koreans have been on a charm offensives around the world,
fanning out diplomats across the globe, trying to reach out, trying to put kind of kind her, gentler face on the leader, kim jong-un, all in an effort to kind of blunt this report. so we thought at the time that the release of jeffrey fowle had to do with this charm offensive to kind of blunt this pending human rights report. now that the human rights report has come out and actually to the international criminal court, you continue to see this charm offensive by the regime. and i, personally, think that the release of kenneth bay and matthew today miller as well as mr. fowle had to do with that. >> and perhaps this could be a step in the right direction as far as improving relations with south korea. or do you think that's wishful thinking? >> well, as the north koreans has been reaching out across the world, they've also been trying to reach out to the south koreans. and that's come in fits and starts. you've seen the north koreans have talks with the south koreans, you've had them cancel
talks, there have been some provocative actions on both sides. i think the south koreans are definitely looking for better relations, but the new south korean president, she's pretty stu tough. and she's definitely not someone who's just going to give north koreans whatever they want without making sure that south korean security is protected. as far as better relations with the united states, i don't know if that's, you know, in the offing right now. officials tell me, listen, we're very glad that all of our americans are home safely, but at the same time, we have a lot of other concerns, particularly about north korean's nuclear program, also about its human rights record, and north korea has to take steps on that, and that is certainly what's going to improve relations with the united states. but you did hear john kerry, secretary of state, when jeffrey fowle was released, and calling for the release of matthew miller and kenneth bea say, if the north koreans are serious about this outreach around the world, perhaps they could make this gesture and release those two americans. so, i mean, that's certainly, i
think what north korea is trying to do, is present itself as a very reasonable regime that you can do business with. >> and as we know, these two americans are on their way home to be reunited with their families as we speak. elise labott, thank you so much. coming up, former attorney general alberto gonzalez joins us next to weigh in on the other big breaking news story about the nominated attorney general. that's next. stay with us. not to be focusing, again, on my moderate my goal was to finally get in shape. to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. so i finally made a decision to talk to my dermatologist about humira. humira works inside my body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to my symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance on humira. and the majority of people were clear or
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and cried out for help. from the surprised designers. who came to the rescue with a brilliant fix male designer: i love it narrator: which created thousands of new customers for the tennis shoes that got torture tested by teenagers. the internet of everything is changing manufacturing. is your network ready? today, i stand before you, so thrilled and frankly so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this group of wonderful people, who work all day and well into the night to make that ideal a manifest reality. all as part of their steadfast protection of the citizens of this country. mr. president, thank you again for the faith that you have placed in me. i pledge today to you and to the
american people that if i have the honor of being confirmed by the senate, i will wake up every morning with the protection of the american people my first thought. >> you heard loretta lynch, president obama's nominee for attorney general. she's currently the u.s. attorney in brooklyn at the office there. she has been twice confirmed by the senate to be the u.s. attorney there. the hope by the obama administration is that she will be confirmed a third time to take on the role of attorney general. loretta lynch saying that if she is confirmed, that her first thought every morning when she wakes up will be the protection of the american people. and a man who knows a thing or two about being the attorney general is alberto gonzalez. he was george w. bush's ag and is teaching law at el month university where he serves as the dean of the law school. mr. gonzalez, thank you so much for coming on the show to talk to us. i think a lot of people are curious to learn a little bit more about what the process is like. what is loretta lynch about to
go through? >> something that she hasn't experienced before. let me first begin by congratulating miss lynch on the nomination. obviously, it's a great day for her and her family and a day of great pride for the african-american community. i've listened to some of the commentary about the fact that she's been confirmed twice and perhaps this would be a relatively easy confirmation. i think what most people fail to understand is that for many u.s. attorneys, u.s. marshals, if the home state senator supports you, oftentimes you get through a fairly easy confirmation hearing, with maybe one or two questions, and then you may get confirmed on a voice vote on the senate floor. it's going to be very, very, very different with respect to a cabinet secretary nomination and obviously with respect to the attorney general, who is involved in the most controversial decisions. so she's going to go through a vetting that she has not experienced before. and i suspect that republicans are really going to, really going to dig deep in terms of her background and they're going to ask her some very tough
questions, questions involving, for example, the scope of presidential power. what is the scope of inherent power in the area of foreign policy and national security. they're going to want to know, you know, how much discretion does a president have with respect to the execution of laws? so these are some very tough questions and i think legitimate questions to ask for the position of attorney general. >> and it's been widely talked about that she was one of the few people president obama was considering that was not in his inner circle. how do you think that could actually help her with the confirmation process? >> there will be some members of the senate who prefer not to have someone that is viewed as being personally close to the president. i was viewed as personally close to the president. as a result of that, many of the democrats did not support my nomination. general holder was viewed as close to president obama and that created tension with respect to republican senators and members of congress. so it's going to cut both ways, as far as i'm concerned. personally, i think if you have a relationship with the president, it's much easier to
tell the president no when you have that kind of relationship. it's much easier to be successful in interagency battles with other cabinet secretaries. there's a benefit to having a relationship with the president, but there's a lot a december limit, particularly with respect to the issues relating to confirmation. >> but she does bring with her a wealth of experience. the fact that she has around the two years to take on this role, presumably, does that help her, hurt her? what kind of an impact do you think she can have in two years? >> well, a lot will depend on outside events, that we can't anticipate. obviously, the president has law enforcement priorities. and as the attorney general, your job is to make sure those are carried out. every new attorney general will have their own priorities as well, so long as they're consistent with the president's priorities. so she'll have to hit the ground running and she'll be -- she'll have a senior team in place. and so the department of justice will not miss a beat. there are 105,000 people who work at the department. so i think people should rest assured that even though we may have a relatively new
inexperienced attorney general, the work of the people will carry on. >> it's really interesting to note, too, that this is the first time in nearly two centuries that a u.s. attorney is making the leap to attorney general, which i think is surprising. give us the view of what she's going to take on. i can only imagine how exciting it must be, but also overwhelming if it is confirmed to take on the role of attorney general. >> if she is the right person, the job will not be overwhelming. it will be exciting. it will be serious. it's a very serious responsibility. but, again, it's not a job you take on by yourself. you're surrounded by an experienced leadership team, and there are, as i said, there are over 100,000 people that are there to go to work every day, many of them, obviously, a number of them are career people, and they go to work every day, every night, on behalf of the american people. and so, if she's smart, she'll rely upon their good advice and exercise her own good judgment. so if she's the right person, she can go the job. >> what do you make of the
timing behind her nomination? >> well, obviously, general holder is not viewed as being -- he's not very popular with certain republicans. perhaps the view is, we try to get, the president would like to get a new attorney general in place. whether or not that's going to be possible for the new congress, i sort of have my doubts. i suspect that her nomination will go up and her confirmation hearing and the floor vote will be conducted by the new senate. but it remains to be seen. >> we know that eric holder was laser focused on voting rights, civil rights, being smart on crime. do you think president obama's hope is that loretta lynch will sort of carry the torch with those issues and priorities? >> well, she'll carry the torch, as the president says, that's my priority. so i suspect that that priority of the president will continue and, therefore, the work in the civil rights division, will focus on the civil rights division will continue as well. but let me just say that, you know, we have the civil rights division that's in place, and their primary focus is the protection of civil rights,
protection of voting rights, and whether or not president obama, president bush, i mean, that is the work of that division, that work will continue. whatever the primary focus is of this new next attorney general. >> and of course a big civil rights case she'll be parachuting into is what's going on in ferguson. how challenging do you think that will be? >> well, of course, it will depend -- the legal challenge may be relatively easy. there may be a political challenge, a public relations challenge, depending on the decision the department makes, and obviously, again, if she's smart, she's going to rely upon the folks that have been there, the folks that understand the case best, and hopefully, that will get the outcome that justice demands. >> alberto gonzalez, really interesting to hear your perspective. thank you so much for coming on and talking with us. >> thanks for having me. >> and more on the breaking news out of north korea. next, we talk to one woman who knows firsthand what it's like to be inside a north korean prison. right after this break. yeah, dinner sounds good. i could come by your place.
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we're following that breaking news out of north korea. at this hour, the last two americans held in the country have been released. kenneth bea and matthew todd miller are now heading back home to the u.s. the north korean government had accused both men of committing hostile acts and sentenced them to hard labor. i'm joined now on the phone by una lee. she's a journalist who was held in a north korean prison. you might remember her story, because she was with lisa ling's history when she was detained in north korea. una, thank you so much for joining us. first off, if you would, tell us in a nutshell what your experience was like in north korea and then being released. >> thanks for having me, pamela. first, i just want to say, congrats to the family for their endless efforts to bring kenneth bea and matthew miller and i'm so happy for them. you know, they waited so long,
patiently, for so long, and this is a great moment. being detained in north korea, i'm sure everybody who's detained is going through a difficult time, but being isolated in a foreign country was very difficult. no communication with family members or outside of the world was very difficult. it made it even more hard. >> and how long were you held in north korea for? >> i was detained in north korea for 140 days. >> and what was that like, una, when you received the news that you were being freed and able to reunite with your family? did you see it coming or was it a complete surprise? >> it was a complete surprise. i didn't even know that i was meeting president clinton until the moment. and i didn't even know that i
was being released until the last moment. and even after i was released, everything was so surreal. you know, i was detained in north korea for so many days, and the next moment, i was on a plane. and i could not believe anything, until i touched the u.s. soil. >> can you imagine, that's what kenneth bea and matthew miller are going through right now. it's probably still sinking in that they're coming home. you said you didn't even know that you'd be meeting bill clinton. did you even know he was there trying to secure your release? >> i was -- a few hours before i met with president clinton, i was informed that someone pretty high envoy came and visited the north korea. but we didn't know. i didn't even know who he was. and the north korean officials, they didn't even want to let us know who he was. >> yeah, you wonder how much
kenneth bea and matthew miller knew about james clapper, the head of dni, who traveled there to help secure their release. what kind of advice would you give them? i can imagine having to reintegrate back home after being isolated, held prisoner. it could be challenging. what advice would you give them. >> you know, of course they will need lots and lots of family time, for sure. but, you know, what they really needed is time that people surrounding him or people like us can continually give them positive attention, until they are fully recovered from the isolation. >> what was that like? because we're all anxiously awaiting for them to step foot on american soil. in fact, we've heard from their family. today they said that they're just overjoyed. there has been a lot of crying today. they're all reconnecting over the phone about this great news.
what was it like for you when you did step foot on u.s. soil? you did see your family. what was going through your mind? what were those feelings and emotions like? >> i remember, i remember coming home and the first thing that i did was cleaning house. you know, removing all the absence of my 140 days. i wanted to just come back to just normal life, immediately. but, of course, you know, you can get, you can imagine that that doesn't happen. but that's, i'm sure that's what they want to probably have. just come back to just regular, mundane days that, you know, that i think they know how we take a lot for granted from our life, from this experience. >> yeah, you can imagine that they're just craving normalcy and some of the creature comforts that we all take for
grants. una lee, journalist who was held in north korea in prison, thank you so much for talking with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> and euna wrote a book about her experiences, called "the world is bigger now." you should check it out. and now joining me is joel whitt, who negotiated with north korea. take us behind the scenes. how do you think this release came about? >> well, of course it's very murky, but i think one of the reasons why james clapper went to pick up the two americans was because whatever talks were taking place took place between the united states and north korea in secret intelligence channels. and of course james clapper is the head of the u.s. intelligence community. so i think that was a key part of the discussion. and of course, there are other channels too, more regular diplomatic channels as well. >> what kind of signal do you think north korea is trying to send with the release of the
last two americans in their custody? >> well, you know, i think most analysts jump to the conclusion that this is a desperate cry for help by north korea. that they are seeking better relations with the united states. that may be one part of it, but it is not a desperate cry for help. there are a number of reasons why north korea may have released the two americans now. first, they made their point. these people were put in jail for a certain amount of time, and now they can be released. secondly, they may be communicating to china, who is north korea's main ally, that pyongyang is trying to be reasonable, but the united states is not. and third, it may have something to do, although i think peripher peripherally, with the north korean concern about the possibility of u.n. general assembly human rights resolution, condemning north
korea. >> yeah, it's rare that north korea does anything that's not highly calculated. we have been reporting that north korea has been on the charm offensive and that also, its leader, kim jong-un, has had some mysterious health issues, that his political ranking might be shifting. how much do you think all of that played in a role with these americans' release? >> well, you know, i don't know the answer, except to say that i think there's no doubt in the minds of anyone who follows north korea closely that kim jong-un is in charge. there's no doubt about that. secondly, whether they're engaged in a charm offensive, and the connotation of that is that they're not really serious about trying to improve relations with other countries, whether it's just a charm offensive or whether there is something serious beneath the surface there, we don't really know at this point. and we will not know until we engage the north koreans in
serious conversations about our future relationship. >> and as one of our correspondents, jim sciutto said, north koreans can be so unpredictable that even though they've now released all the americans in their custody, that means that there won't be another one taken prisoner tomorrow. it's just, it's unknown sort of what to read from all of this. is that right? >> well, you know, i don't agree with that. that's kind of the standard wisdom. i don't see them as unpredictable. in fact, i think north korean behavior is quite predictable. and secondly, there have been many tourists going to north korea over the past few months, and none of them have been taken hostage. so i think we need to understand that at least from the north korean perspective, and i'm not excusing what they do, these americans violated their laws and they prosecuted them. so it's not a question of
trumping up charges, i don't think. i think from their perspective, these people have violated their laws and there are hundreds of other tourists who haven't, who have been going to north korea in the meantime. >> and that is, like you said, their perspective. it will be interesting to hear what these newly released americans have to say about that. thank you so much for coming on and talking with us. >> thank you very much. we'll be right back. but first, the list of the top ten cnn heroes is out and it's leading up to the all-star tribute with anderson cooper on december 7th. meet cnn here roe arthur blue. >> music is my earliest memory. i never decided to be a professional musician. it's just what i've always done. it feels great to play music. but it's also a mechanism for healing. >> we were on just a normal morning patrol walking down the
road. i'd never been hit by an ied before. it felt like i got hit by a wrecking ball. i sat up. my legs were completely gone. what happens if you don't quite get killed and you don't quite survive, you're somewhere in the middle? i was a shell of a man. who i was was gone. >> let's take it right before the melody comes in. >> our organization helps wounded warriors play music and recover their lives. >> we match the injured troops with professional musicians who come visit at walter reed medical center and work with them on music projects, learning music, writing, and performing. >> we're going to try to incorporate more medal. >> i'm not a music therapist, i'm a musician, but by injecting music into this space, we can inject life.
>> something survived that horrible injury in afghanistan. and that was my ability to play the guitar. >> arthur and his program changed my outlook on what is possible. >> music has no stigma. the folks who work with, when they do music, there's nothing injured about the way they do it. it's just good music.
the department of justice is the only cabinet department named for an ideal. and this is actually appropriate. because our work is both aspirational and grounded in gritty reality. it's both ennobling and it's both profoundly challenging. >> you heard right there, that was president obama's pick for attorney general loretta lynch. she just spoke in the last hour and i'm joined now by evan perez, who broke this story yesterday. evan is my colleague covering the justice department. and evan, i'm curious to know what you're learning, what the reaction has been to loretta lynch being selected by president obama.
>> well, you know, the big reaction we're obviously waiting for is from the republican side, because they are the ones that are going to have to confirm her, you know, when they take the majority at the beginning of the year. i'm told that the president doesn't want to, you know, annoy them by trying to do this in the lame duck session before december. so one of the things they're doing, they're going to start digging into her background. day don't really know much about her, despite the fact they confirmed her in 2010 for the current job she has in brooklyb. and one of the things they're going to look at is trying to figure out where she stands on some of these big questions that we've been discussing, including, you know, the presidential power, the president is talking about doing some executive action on immigration. so you're going to hear questions to her about where she stands on the issue o f what th president can do without congress and without getting the two benches of government together. so i think maybe that's one of
the first things you're going to hear, is questions about that. >> evan, i know just from covering the justice department with you, there have been rumors in recent days that she was the leading prospect. i'm curious what your thoughts are on how much the midterm election, perhaps factored in to president obama's selection here, considering she is the least controversial, seen as the least controversial, given the fact that she's sort of an outsider, she's not intricately tied to the president or whether you think the mid-term results factor in at all with this election. >> you know, it's interesting, pamela, because this is a job that's supposed to be nonpartisan, obviously, but it can't help but be part of the political situation. and i know that the midterms and the fact that the president was preparing for the fact that his party was going to do very badly in the election did factor into this. you know, there were some people that he was considering that probably would have had a harder time with the republican congress if the democrats would
have kept it, probably would have had an easier time. but this pick is definitely a signal that they were preparing for someone, for the fact that they were going to have to deal with republicans, in a position of power, and having to put someone like this, you know, who doesn't really arouse any of the partisan arguments, was part of the plan here. >> what do you think the challenges are that she faces heading into -- assuming she is confirmed and assuming she does take on the position of attorney general, what do you think the challenges are taking over the helm, following eric holder? and given what's going on right now? >> right, well, you know, given the fact that the president has two years, you know, this is a time in which presidents try to wrap up what they're trying to do with their legacy. and there's a couple of big items that the president still has on his table. which includes closing guantanamo, which is something that he promised on the second day in office. and the attorney general's office is going to be part of the picture, part of the
discussion of how the president tries to bring that forward, especially in light, now, he has to deal with a republican senate, republican congress that are very much opposed to that question. and so she's going to play a key role into perhaps doing that. now, you and i have talked a lot about ferguson, missouri, and the civil rights question that's hanging in the balance there. this is also something that's probably going to be at the top of her list when she walks in the door. so, you know, she's got a very full plate, even before she even walks in there. >> certainly some heavy and controversial issues await her. thank you so much, evan perez. we appreciate it. >> good to see you. >> good to see you as well. see you back in d.c. soon. and we're also following breaking news out of north korea. the last two americans held in the country have been released. kenneth bea and matthew todd miller are now heading back home to the u.s. the north korean government had accused both men of committing hostile acts and sentenced them to hard labor. our will ripley joins me now
live from tokyo. will, you have a unique perspective, because you actually interviewed both of these men in north korea. tell us about that. >> well, it was a surprise in the sense that we had requested the interviews when we were there for a completely different reason in pyongyang, covering a sports tournament of all things. we were told by the government that it would be impossible to speak to these guys. but then out of the blue, our request was granted at the very last minute. we were driven to a secret location. we had just a few moments' notice before we walked in and spoke with these three detained americans. at that time, a little over two months ago, pamela, we didn't know what would happen. we knew that the north korean government wanted these men to send a message to their families and most importantly to the united states government, to send an envoy to secure their release. we saw fowle released several weeks ago. his case was a bit less complicated then miller and bea, because he had not yet been convicted and sentenced. he was still technically being held in a hotel and so it seems as if kim jong-un was a i
believe to grant his pardon fairly quickly. of course, between now and then, this united nations report recommending that kim jong-un and the nation's leaders but the on trial for alleged human rights transgressions. and there might be other details to work out since those two men were technically prisoners serving sentences inside north korea. if we hear from the dkrp, it's likely that the announcement will be set that kim jong-un granted them a pardon, allowing them to go home to their families, which is happening right now. >> and you hit on a key point, will, what's different between these two americans and jeffrey fowle, who was released a few weeks ago, they were sentenced and were being held prisoner. when you did the interview with them, unexpectedly, when you were in north korea, did you get the sense then that they were perhaps setting the stage for their release? >> reporter: we certainly knew they were setting the stage to give these men an opportunity to
speak to the world and to the united states' government, using the fact that there was a cnn crew in country. north korea have an agenda. they wanted to send a message. and these men hit several key talking points. that they were being treated humanely. that was a big one. it seemed very important for the north korean government to convey, teneps light of all of e human rights allegations swirling around. and they asked repeatedly for the united states government to intervene. it seemed that pyongyang wanted a direct line with washington to talk about this, perhaps other issues as well. you heard from the united states government saying this is a separate issue and there were other things that need to happen for north korea to improve its relationship with the u.s. and the rest of the world. >> i really want to hear your perspective, will, because we were just speaking with a foreign affairs analyst who actually said, he does not think that north korea is unpredictable. what is your view, given the fact that you've interacted with them firsthand? >> reporter: when you look at
historically and see this type of pattern repeating, this charm offensive followed by perhaps a hostile action, i mean, just remember, earlier this year, there was a large number of projectiles being launched from north korea out into the ocean, which is certainly a threatening gesture to neighbors. there have been fears that toot nuclear test may be imminent. we haven't seen that, but we did just get the report that north korea has outfitted this very old soviet submarine with the capability to launch a ballistic missile, potentially. and so, in that sense, it is predictable. what's unpredictable, pamela, is the timing. that jeffrey fowle had 30 minutes notice and these men probably had very little notice as well that they were going home. >> and you had very little notice as well. really great to hear your perspective, will ripley. thank you for coming on. and back to our other big story. a nominee for a new attorney general. i talk to our legal guys up next about the importance of that nomination. stay with us. down.
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president obama just announced last hour his pick for attorney general. loretta lynch, the u.s. attorney general for the eastern district of new york. let's bring in our legal guys. avery friedman law professor in cleveland, and richard herman, a new york criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us now from las vegas. so great to have you both with us. i can't wait to hear what your take on president obama's nominee is. and i want to start with you, avery, given your background in civil rights. i think the big question with loretta lynch, potentially taking over the helm at the justice department is how she's going to handle the case in ferguson. the big case on whether darren wilson, the officer, violated michael brown's civil rights. what do you think, what kinds of challenges do you think await her in that? >> well, pamela, there'll be no
difference in what we've seen coming from eric holder. the fact is that four days after the election, the president makes this nomination the least controversial, the least unexpected nomination. she's wonderfully credentialed. she is noncontroversial. and look, the president, pamela, gets nothing without the advice and consent of the senate. and we're going to have a brand-new senate. so the way i see this thing, on the civil rights issue, on ferguson, there will be no difference and i think, unless she screws up at the confirmation hearing, you have a brand-new attorney general in loretta lynch. >> richard, i want to go to you, and loretta lynch, she's a career prosecutor, she has been confirmed twice by the senate to become the u.s. attorney general in the eastern district of new york. she's seen as low profile, more workhorse than show horse. very different from the other u.s. attorney in new york in the southern district, in the fact that, you know, he's been on the cover of magazines, but she has
really kept her profile pretty low. how do you think this could work in her favor, as far as being confirmed? the fact that she is sort of a washington outsider? >> exactly. i think it's going to work to h her benefit. there's not a lot of damage out there that people can drum up. she was two-time approved. approved by a voice vote only in 2010. as avery said, she's wonderfully credentialed. she followses in the foot steps of honorable michael mukasey out of new york. an historic nomination by the president. i think the senate will pass her swiftly and it will be good if it happens in january, because with respect to ferguson, i do not believe there's going to be an indictment in that case against him. and there is no viable means to bring a civil rights case, so she's going to address that. that will be a challenge for her. but as the previous reporter told you in your conversation with him, her biggest challenge will be with the lame duck presidency and president obama trying to skirt, get close to
the border on his powers, what he can do, what he can't do with the approval of senate and congress or without their approval. i think that's going to be her test as an attorney general. but, again, she's from the eastern district of new york, she covers brooklyn and long island. her cases have been predominantly organized crime with financial fraud and some terrorism cases. we have found her, from my office, i've had many cases with the eastern district that she is fair and consistent and that's what you're looking for. >> and wehle see what the senate judiciary committee does. that will be the first vote, pamela welcome and ultimately it goes to the entire senate. >> i was talking to someone on the phone who actually worked with her and he said, sort of going along with what you said, richard, she's someone that you feel like she's listening to your and your voice is being heard. and that's certainly we want to take over the role of attorney general. richard and avery, thank you so much for coming on with us this hour for all of our legal news. we appreciate it. >> thank you. and we have much more just
ahead in the newsroom and it all starts right now. hello. i'm pamela brown in for fredricka whitfield. and we begin this hour with breaking news. americans kenneth bea and matthew todd miller just released by the north korean government. they're on their way home right now and president obama as well has officially named loretta lynch as his nominee for attorney general. first, global affairs correspondent elise labott is in washington along with cnn's eric mcpike. erin, to you first. we've heard from the president this morning about their release. tell me what you're learning. >> reporter: pamela, we did hear from a little bit from the president as he was leaving that nominating ceremony for loretta lynch. he was asked about the release. here's what he said. >> i think it's a wonderful day for them and their families and
obviously very grateful for their safe return and appreciate doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission. >> reporter: now, obviously, you would expect that the president would be brought in to approve something that's this high stakes. we did just learn, though, that he was, of course, briefed on and that he did approve sending clapper there to carry out this mission. we also learned that the administration did as well brief members of congress as this mission was going on, pamela. >> for more on this, let's bring in global affairs correspondent, elise labott. elise, do we know if there were any conditions surrounding these americans' release? >> our understanding is no, pam. basically, the u.s. and north korea have been having some talks for some time, about the possible release of the americans. and a few weeks ago, when we reported on american jeffrey fowle being released, those
discussions were ongoing and the north koreans called and said, okay, send a military plane, come pick him up. we understand it was very similar to what happened here. that discussions were continuing to happen and then all of a sudden, they started to progress on the operational side. and the north koreans asked for a cabinet level official. the president decided it should be james clapper, the director of national intelligence, and that's how it happened. that's how he went. but we're told there were no conditions, there was no quid pro quo, if you will, and this was not a negotiation. james clapper was prepared to go there and listen to what the north koreans had to say. but definitely not a negotiation and officials tell me that they didn't even know when mr. clapper went over to north korea, that for sure, he would be bringing kenneth bea and matthew todd miller home. >> erin mcpike, elise labott, thank you so much. and earlier this year, will ripley, one of our correspondents talked to bea and miller while they were being held in north korea in this exclusive interview.
>> reporter: this is a moment we never expected during a cnn trip to north korea, officials take us to a secret location for a surprise interview with kenneth bea, the american missionary who is serving 15 years hard labor for what north korean calls a christian plot to undermine the government. >> can you tell me about the conditions at the labor camp? >> condition in labor camp is i'm working eight hours a day, six days a work iing a cultural work and other type of work. >> do you think you're being treated humanely? >> yes. >> and your message to your family? >> i'm sure they're very worried about my health at this time. and even though right now, last month and a half, my heart been, it's been failing.
so right now, all i can say to my family and my friends, is to continue to pray for me and also ask them to continue an effort on getting my released here. >> reporter: bea has been in north korea for almost two years. two other americans were arrested separately in april. we were pulled off our regular schedule and brought here to a building in pyongyang where we were told we had precisely five minutes in each of the detainees. they're held in separate rooms and have no contact with each other. american matthew miller admitted to tearing up his visa and seeking asylum in north korea. now he wants out. >> what's the bottom line about your situation here and your message, that you want to put out? >> that my situation is very urgent, and that very soon i'm going to trial and i would directly be sent to prison. i think this interview is my final chance to push the
american government into helping me. >> i want to thank you guys for being here. jeffrey fowle confessed to leaving a bible behind during a tourist trip, considered a covert act by the north korean government. he was arrested on his daughter's birthday. >> and your message to your family? >> my message is i'll come home as soon as i can. my family is the biggest thing on my mind right now. i've got the wife and three elementary school kids that depend on me for support and my mother-in-law is staying with us too, so there's six of us in our household and while i'm gone. >> reporter: right now fowle is in a hotel, but that could quickly change if he's found guilty later this month. >> i'm good for the time being, but i need to let people know that i'm getting desperate. i'm getting desperate for help. >> reporter: each man says they're getting humane treatment. they're pleading for the united states to send a special envoy to secure their release. three americans held in north korea, waiting and hoping that
some day, they'll go home. will ripley, cnn, pyongyang. >> and we're finding out they are coming home. let's bring in will ripley now for more on his reaction to the americans he interviewed while they were being held in captivity in north korea. will? >> reporter: yeah, pamela, those interviewed happened with very, very short notice. and we heard jeffrey fowle saying he had just 30 minutes' notice before he found out he was going home. we had a matter of seconds between the time that we were told -- i should say, a matter of minutes between the time we were told we would be speaking with the three detained americans and we were walking into that room, those three different rooms in that hotel and conference center to talk to them. it just goes to show that things can change very quickly. but it was clear to us at that time that north korea was using these men to send a message to the united states government. that they wanted a special, you know, a cabinet level envoy or some sort of big name to come to pyongyang and work to secure their release. we saw jeffrey fowle as first to
be released. he was the only one of the three that had not been sentenced and had not been convicted of his crime. and now we're seeing bea and miller on their way home right now. >> and we know that their families are anxiously awaiting their arrivals. in fact, kenneth bea's family, we spoke to earlier, and they say they have just been crying with joy today. will ripley, thank you so much. we'll stay on top of this story. in fact, up next, we talk to former ambassador to south korea, chris hill, about the two americans who are now on their way back to the states. huh, fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know words really can hurt you? what...? jesse don't go! jesse...no! i'm sorry daisy, but i'm a loner. and a loner gotta be alone. heee yawww! geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. jesse?
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first of all, to release the two remaining americans is substantial. as you recall, a few weeks ago, they released mr. fowle, but there didn't seem to be any strings attached there. in this case, they seem to have had a discussion with a very senior american official, general clapper. the problem has been, and the problem has been throughout the obama administration, that north korea has essentially walked away from commitments they previously made over their nuclear programs and the obama administration has been very understandably reluctant to deal with the north koreans until they make those commitments again. so let's see what's happening, but this is obviously a significant move. >> yeah, i think the big question on everyone's mind is why did they do this? our elise labott has been speaking to u.s. officials with firsthand knowledge. they tell her that there were no conditions surrounding this. why do you think they did this? it's hard to believe that north korea just did it out of the
goodness of their hearts. >> well, goodness of their heart, we can pretty much rule out. why they did it, though, can be a kind of difficult thing to figure out. it might be, it might be that they realized that their relationship with china has not gone well and they want some kind of external relationships and they've always been intrigued by the idea of talking to the united states. so that may be it. it may be a kind of internal propaganda issue, so that the kim jong-un can show that he is capable of managing some of these foreign policy issues. it could be as simple as that. or it could signify a desire to get back into the nuclear talks. but again, kim jong-un has not shown any sign that he's interested in living up to what his father agreed to, which was to do away with their nuclear programs. >> and i do think that raises a good question, because out of this, perhaps, it brings about
hope that the u.s. and other countries could work with north korea on their nuclear program and perhaps improve relations with south korea. do you see that happening, or is that wishful thinking? >> well, i think it is certainly within the range of possibilities. but it has been very tough. i mean, there was a six-party process put together. china was in the lead. we made some progress, but ultimately the north koreans backed out of it. so the question is whether the north koreans see fit to start up that process again. after all, i think it would be difficult for the obama administration to do. i mean, that is to make concessions at this point to country that continues to go back on its word. nonetheless, the american election cycle basically allows for two years of working. so they may be trying to work something here, but it's really kind of early to tell. what is clear, though, is getting these two americans out is an important gesture and it's particularly relieving to the
families of these two americans. and i hope that in the future, americans will look very carefully at the state department warnings about making visits to north korea. >> right. and it will be interesting to hear these americans' side of the story. because so far, you know, we really heard north korea's side of why they were arrested and convicted, but there's still a lot to learn. christopher hill, former u.s. ambassador to south korea, thank you so much for coming on and talking with us. and we are following several big stories out of washington, including the announcement that president obama is sending 1,500 additional american troops to iraq. cnn global affairs analyst kimberly dozier joins us next. stay with us. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality
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after getting a request from the iraqi government and his defense secretary, president obama has authorized more troops to iraq. the president has repeatedly said he will not put american troops back in combat in iraq. the pentagon insists the next deployment of up to 1,500 troops will play non-combat roles. kimberly dozier, our global affairs analyst, joins us now from our washington bureau to discuss. kimberly, the administration is saying they're going to be in non-combat roles, but no doubt about it, they're still going to be in a war zone. they still are in harm's way, right? >> reporter: you're absolutely right.
about 600 of the extra 1,500 would be advisers alongside iraqi forces. now, we don't know how far forward they would be. they would probably be back at the headquarters level, but still, iraqi forces are a target, their commanders are targets, and these guys are going to be there with them. the other 800 or so are going to be training. the training part is also dangerous, because think about the training that's been going on in afghanistan. you've got insider attacks, the people that you're teaching could be the threat. so that's why obama is saying he won't do this unless congress signs off. >> and help us understand this, because we've been through this before, we're training iraqi forces and then we saw them flee, drop their weapons and run from isis. why do we think this time around, training the iraqi forces will make a difference? >> well, every u.s. commander you speak to who is working with the iraqi forces said, we left
them not quite fully trained when we departed. that they could have used another year or two years to do things like high-level strategy, better logistics, the kind of things that aren't very elegant, aren't very sexy, but they keep an army running. the iraqi forces didn't really have a lot of that. also, their counterterrorism brigade is good, but it's not well supported by the rest of the military. so, all of these different things are things that the u.s. could go in and professionalize. the other thing that's going on is that when you've got u.s. forces working side by side, even in an advising and training role, they're developing relationships, reestablishing relationships with iraqi military, so that the next time it looks like they're under pressure, perhaps they won't buckle and run. >> and we also should make clear, they're training the kurdish forces as well. do you think, kimberly, that this is all a good idea? should the president have asked for more troops up front,
perhaps instead of clinging to the politics about no more boots on the ground? what do you think about the strategy thus far? >> reporter: the very smart part of the strategy that the white house has done here is to say that they will not go forward with this deployment, unless congress signs off on the money needed for it. that means that the president is pulling congress into this process so that they also bear the responsibility for what is becoming mission creep, putting more boots on the ground in iraq. so they won't be able to say president obama alone brought u.s. troops back to the war in iraq. this was a decision of a now mostly republican congress, together with the white house. >> yeah, mission creep. you hit the nail on the head. the administration saying that this is not mission creep, that this is what is necessary to get the job done in iraq. kimberly dozier, thank you so much. >> thanks. and more on our two breaking stories, including a look about what people are saying about the
release of the two americans from north korea on social media. we'll be right back. so,as my personal financial psychic, i'm sure you know what this meeting is about. yes, a raise. i'm letting you go. i knew that. you see, this is my amerivest managed... balances. no. portfolio. and if doesn't perform well for two consecutive gold. quarters. quarters...yup. then amerivest gives me back their advisory... stocks. fees. fees. fees for those quarters. yeah. so, i'm confident i'm in good hands. for all the confidence you need. td ameritrade. you got this.
add brand new belongings from nationwide and we'll replace stolen or destroyed items with brand-new versions. join the nation ♪ nationwide is on your side welcome back. i'm pamela brown and we are following two big breaking stories at this hour. p president obama officially named loretta lynch as his nominee for attorney general. and two americans head home after being released from a north korean prison.
just a short time ago, cnn prurz steve forest spoke with kenneth bea's sister. she told him that his family spent the morning reconnecting with family and friends over the phone and they've been doing a lot of crying with joy over the good news. many other also reacting in similar ways, especially on social media. cnn's nick valencia joins me now with that. nick, tell us, who all's reacting to this online? >> lots of elected officials as well as government agencies. let's get to a couple of them here. let's start with the state department. they weighed in a couple of hours, very quickly after news became official. the state department saying they welcome the release of u.s. citizens kenneth bea and matthew todd miller from the dprk. charlie rangel, a congressman from the state of new york, also weighed in, actually, a few days ago, charlie rangel called for their release in a statement he released from his office. he's saying, very pleased that the north koreans did the right thing in releasing kenneth bea. he links to that statement i referenced from a few days ago.
senator patty murray from the state of washington where kenneth bea calls home, saying, i'm thrilled kenneth bea is finally coming home. his amazing family has kept pressure on for two years and has never lost faith. she sign pd wit patty murray. that's how you know it's officially from her. moving on to david reichert, another congressman from the eighth congressional district in washington state, saying all of washington celebrates the release of kenneth bae from north korea. and ted cruz, the senator from the state of texas, he's weighed in as well a short time ago. excellent news, he says, two americans imprisoned by north korea, kenneth bae and matthew miller are on their way back to the united states. in fact, kenneth bae released almost two years to the day that he was officially taken captive in north korea. lots of good news. many more people weighing in. we'll get to those tweets and updates in the next hour. >> and the situation growing increasingly dire for kenneth bae, considering he was in poor
health. and earlier today, i spoke with another man previously imprisoned in north korea. jeffrey fowle spent five months behind bars before being released last month. i asked him to give us an idea what this moment is like for the freed prisoners and their families. >> i'm sure they're very happy and happy to be reunited with their families. >> mm-hmm. what do you think they were feeling, jeffrey? i mean, what goes through your mind when you've gone through so much, being held prisoner in north korea, and all of a sudden, you're told you're coming home. >> well, i can't speak for either one of them, but i'm sure they're elated at the prospects of being reunited and coming home, getting back to things american here. just happiness. i'm sure there are a lot of emotions going through their minds, like happened with me three weeks ago. >> when y'all were held prisoner, did you interact much? did you have a relationship with them at all? >> with the other two americans? >> yes. >> i was given very little information. i never saw them or was had any
kind of contact with them whatsoever. >> despite that, i'm curious if you felt any sort of guilt or remorse when you found out you were released, you were coming home, and they were staying behind in north korea. what did that feel like for you? >> yeah, i was -- >> did you wonder why? >> yes, i was very sad. i didn't realize i was getting released until a half an hour before we took off. it was like, you know, hit like a ton of bricks. >> and were you wondering, why me? why are they letting me go and not them? >> yes, very much so. on the ride to the airport, i didn't know anything about their status, and i was hoping that they'd be on the plane as well. but i got there and they said i was the only one coming home. i was upset by that. i was happy, but also upset that they weren't coming with me. i was the last one detained. kenneth bae or matthew miller should have been released before i was. but i'm glad to hear that they're on their way home now. >> i can imagine that you were going through just a roller coaster of emotions during that
time. if you would, bring us all in and sort of paint a picture for us, what it was like being held prisoner in north korea. what the conditions were like, how hard it was. just walk us through that, if you would. >> well, i was never actually a prisoner. technically, i was a detainee. i never saw a prisoner jail while i was there. i spent only -- i had only two locations where i was held, one was a high-rise hotel on the south end, and i was actually, that was 3 1/2 weeks, and after that, for the duration of my detention, was at a hospitality center, like a guesthouse type of facility. a small place with 8 or 10 suites in it. and that was it. i never saw any guards. the people i interacted with were the tour guides. the tour guides or the korean tour agencies, that take foreigners around the country. so i never saw guns or jail bars or anything like that, guard towers. that was like a hotel suite type of room, at both locations.
>> one of the biggest -- >> i had an interpreter that was assigned to me, so once my intersections with the koreans was through, that interpreter, at least probably 90% of my communications was through him. >> one of the big questions when you're released like this, is what the reintegration process is like, coming home, adjusting to life, back in america. what has it been like for you? >> well, for me, it's been relatively simple. i was able to get my job back, i was terminated back in september, but the city i work for has reinstated me, fortunately. i'm grateful for that. so things have fallen back into place pretty well for me. kenneth bae has been gone two years now and it might be a little bit more difficult for him. and he said living in china before his ordeal. i'm not sure what his reentry procedure or matthew miller's, for that matter, is going to be like. >> yeah. what advice would you give them, jeffrey? >> well, back a couple weeks
ago, i was telling them to keep the faith. that's what got me through my ordeal of six months. faith in god and have faith that i'd eventually come back home. and that has come true for all three of us. we're all going to be back home, which is great, great news. >> and what was that like for you when you stepped foot on american soil after being over there? what was that feeling like? >> it was fantastic. my family was there waiting for me on the tarmac at wright pat air force base. and it was great being reunited with them after a long separation. >> and we're watching video of that right now, really, just incredible. what is your take on why they may have been released now? i mean, obviously, they weren't released when you were, and several weeks later, north korea decided to release the last two americans. why do you think that is? >> i don't know. i can't say. i don't have connections to the
high levels of government, and i can only speculate, but it's just speculation, why now, why this particular order, why me first? ken and matthew later? i don't know. don't have much, any concrete information. >> you had mentioned, you didn't have a lot of interaction with them, if any. do you plan -- >> zero. >> do you plan on perhaps meeting them now that they're coming back to the u.s.? and if so, what would you say to them in person? >> well, if they -- i'm willing if they would like that. it's up to them. >> mm-hmm. >> what i would say, i would have to wait until i meet say, guess. >> yeah, but you say the advice you would give is keep the faith? >> yes, that's what got me through my six months there. >> did you ever think you might not be released? >> given the track record of
detainees, i sort of felt i would be released eventually, it was just a matter of when. kenneth bae sentence of 15 years was in my mind. that happened before i left. i knew that he'd got 15 years. so that -- there was that possibility that i could be there for years. >> what was it like, because cnn interviewed you, and it was a surprise for us to be given access to interview you and the others. at that moment, did you think, this is my opportunity, this might be sort of setting the stage for my release. what was going through your mind when cnn interviewed you? >> yeah, that was just an opportunity to get my story out. let the world know. when i first got detained, i had no idea who knew what, what about the situation. that was probably the worst part of my detention, was the black question marks in my, on my horizon. >> and if you would, jeffrey,
for those viewers who haven't been keeping up with your story, set the backstory for us. how you ended up being detained in north korea. what happened? >> well, i had brought a bible with the intention of leaving behind. that part of my statement that was released is accurate. i was in a nightclub in the north part of the country and left a bible, a korean-english bible in the nightclub that we were visiting at that time, on may 4th. and it was quickly found out, the next day i was confronted with it and admitted to it. and i had two days left on the tour and at the end of the tour, they took me into custody at the airport at pyongyang. >> you just heard jeffrey fowle, who was also detained in north korea. he was released several weeks ago and today we're learning kenneth bae and matthew miller, the two americans being held in
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see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. it's the interview you'll see only on cnn. former navy s.e.a.l. wros, robe o'neil, under attack for telling the world he is the man who shot and killed osama bin laden. not only is he taking heat from the pentagon and possibly the justice department, but there are other accounts about the raid that claim o'neil did not deliver the kill shot. alex quaid, who has been talking to o'neil for more than a year now, and quaid shared part of her interview about his state of mind going into the bin laden raid and his take on some of the criticism aimed at him. >> so how do you feel about 9/11 today? >> i feel good on 9/11. i woke up early, which was 8:00
eastern time. so the first plane hit at 8:50? 8:48? 8:47? and the other was 9:02, 9:03. so i woke up early and started to see them read the names. and even on the helicopter ride in for the bin laden raid, when we knew we were going to die, we didn't do it for us, we did rt fete people that didn't want to die, but chose to, you know. >> did you actually have that going through your head? >> [ bleep ] yeah. >> the three days before -- >> before launching. >> the three days between the time we were given the green light and we launched, we knew we were going to die. maybe not die right away, but end up in a pakistani prison and die soon after that. we talked about that. it was need to, group of guys who knew their time on earth was
up. >> mindfully, you all talked about 9/11 and stuff? >> oh, no, we talked about -- >> the way we put it was the single mom who went to work on a tuesday morning and later, a few minutes later, decided to jump instead of burning to death, and her last gesture of human dignity was straightening out her skirt and then she jumped. you know, that's why we went, for her. and you know, for all the people at cantor fitzgerald, for the scott brady who was on a golf trip and his entire office was lost and his brother was killed. >> was all of this mindfully talked about? >> yeah, we were talking about them. >> well, you have to pump yourself up to go die. >> but it was to get your guys' head in the right place? >> we didn't need it in the right place, but we wanted the rejustification that this is it. and we're going to die, we're going to die when the house blows up, but knowing that
[ bleep ] blew up too. >> meaning? >> going around your [ bleep ] to get your elbow answer is, um, yeah, with 9/11 is very significant. it was the whole reason we're there. >> you sound like a very happy person. >> i was pissed when the esquire article came out. >> why? >> just because that was a time in your life? >> little things from shooting osama bin laden, three weeks later getting passed over for promotion. just getting blackballed for doing something that everyone was so close to doing. and even now, there are guys now saying that i'm full of [ bleep ]. but, you know, hey, you only know what you're told unless you're in the room. and fortunately, for me, there was two people in the room, and one of us is dead, osama bin laden. >> getting back to your role to helping vets and public with closure. it's a cliche term. everyone says closure. >> i don't think that vets need closure, i think that people need closure. i think the people that weren't prepared to fight need closure. and i'll be honest, and you can
quote me on this [ bleep ]. every time i'm not speaking, i need to be careful how i say this, until i'm outed, when i'm not speaking, i never mentioned the bin laden mission, but every time someone says, my brother died at cantor fitzgerald or my mom or whatever, one time i say them, osama bin laden died like a [ bleep ], just so you know. he died afraid. and he knew that we were there to kill him. and that's closure. vets don't need closure. vets need to sack up. every marine that gets out, every ranger that gets out, every army guy that writes a book, they're lauded as heroes. you do it as a s.e.a.l. and you're a [ bleep ] villain. >> well, you guys are -- >> no, we're not. no one's quiet. delta force, you know why, you don't [ bleep ] do anything? sorry that we did everything. >> okay. >> why do they send s.e.a.l. team six. >> i'll call that the inter-service rivalry.
>> why did they send s.e.a.l. team six to get osama bin laden? you know the answer to that one? because they wanted him dead. they captured saddam, great job. in their defense, i would have said, if delta was given the mission, they would have done exactly what we did. we're better, but they're really good. the most important thing i've learned in the last two years is, to me it doesn't matter anymore if i am the shooter. the team got him. it was a successful mission. regardless of the negativity, i don't give a [ bleep ]. we got him. we brought him out and we lived. and i mean, obviously will go down historically, but i don't care if i'm the shooter. and people can think i'm not, so whatever. >> there you heard rob o'neil, the former navy s.e.a.l. who said he shot and killed osama bin laden. and joining us now to discuss this, jonathan gill lam, a former navy s.e.a.l., a former fbi agent, and a former u.s. air marshal. thank you so much, jonathan, for coming on. first, i want to get your perspective on this.
the navy's rear admiral, brian lucy, wrote a letter to all the s.e.a.l.s telling them to basically keep their mouths shut. you think both the s.e.a.l.s, rob o'neil, and the rear admiral just need to be quiet. why is that? >> the nature of what we do as s.e.a.l.s is we work in secret. we do things in secret. and it's not just the s.e.a.l.s, it's all the special forces community. and for this stuff to come out, you know, that video or that audio that you just played is a good example. we might as well give him a superman cape and let him fly around saving everybody. that sounds like a conversation a guy has with a girl he's trying to pick up in a bar. it didn't sound like a guy who's remorseful for the families of 9/11. it didn't sound like someone who went into battle with grief in his heart for the country, but it sounds like a guy who's trying to make a name for himself when he gets out. and let me just say for the
record, admiral woesy is a good leader. what he said was spot-on. but the way he put that letter out there, that's the second letter that's come out from an admiral and neither letter did any good. these types of problems have to be solved within the community. and these two guys come out and they speak out, they bring heat on the community, and an admiral does not pull him back in and stop the problem. it's not doing anything. the only thing i have to reach out to the admiral and show him what the public sees, because i'm in the public's eye now, is by writing a letter. >> do you think that the admiral's letter was aimed more sort of getting the message out to the media than getting the message across to s.e.a.l.s on that note? >> you know, it's a good question. i have no idea, because if it was to go out to the media, it does no good, except making himself look good, like he was trying to actually do something. and i hope that's not the case. if it were to go out to the s.e.a.l.s, there's channels he could have reached externally
and there's definitely, you know, he could have mustered the entire group of s.e.a.l.s that are in the navy and talked to them personally if he wanted to so i just think that the first letter proved that it wasn't any good, and i think the second letter just exacerbated the problem that's going on now with these two guys. and i've said this again and again, it starts a to the top with the vice president and the former secretary of defense, setting the standard, which is, we can talk about classified information all we want, and then you have these two guys who knew each other on that team, they're friends with each other on that team and get out and are both talking like crazy. >> you bring that point out, but some might call you a hypocrite, jonathan, because you're a former navy cis.e.a.l. you're telling them to be quiet, as well as a rear admiral, but here you are on tv talking about it. how do you defend yourself? >> i've never been paid by the media once. i've been on the media for over two years as an expert analysis. and i come on and i give my analysis of a situation that is not mine. so i'm being used as somebody to
inform the public through my expertise. and there needs to be voices in the media that are used as experts from our community. however, you don't see me going out, trying to make $25 million or being angry because i had the $25 million taken away from me, because i gave away classified information. those experts like myself that come from the fbi or law enforcement or the military that are in the media, we take great strides not to give away classified information, but there has to be an expert voice on tv. so, it's apples and oranges, two different things completely. >> going back to rob o'neil, who is, as we heard, he said he shot and killed osama bin laden. there, some reports out dispute that he was actually the one who shot and killed him. but regardless of that, regardless of if he's telling the truth or not, wouldn't coming out and saying, you're the s.e.a.l. who shot osama bin laden make you a target among terrorists? wouldn't that put his own life in danger? >> well, absolutely. i know i was on with peter
bergen the other day and he was scratching his head, trying to figure out why al qaeda would do that. but i don't think necessarily, when he need to be worrying about al qaeda anymore. i think peter's a very, very smart guy. and not going against him, but we have -- it's been proven over just the past three months, where we had a guy kill a kid in new jersey and several others on the west coast, saying he was a jihadist. a guy that, you know, hit some police officers here in new york in the head with a hatchet, saying he was a jihadist. canada, car, you know, the guy took a car and ran over somebody. the next day they have a shoot, all saying they're jihadist. these are the types of individuals that o'neil will forever be looking out for, his family will be looking out for. and i know his father had a quote, saying that, you know, let him come to us. well, his father is not ironman. he can't watch himself 24/7. and this is a problem for him. and it's going to be a problem for the rest of for the rest of his life.
who is loretta lynch? we go live to brooklyn, up next. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ so i can reach ally bank 24/7, but there are24/7branches? it's just i'm a little reluctant to try new things. what's wrong with trying new things? feel that in your muscles? yeah... i do... try a new way to bank, where no branches equals great rates.
welcome back. some breaking news, now. we just received a statement from the family of kenneth bae. he is one of two americans who was released from north korea after being held prisoner there for two years. and here's what the family had to say. the day we've been praying for has finally arrived. early this morning, my family heard news from the u.s. state department that my brother was on a plane from dprk, north korea, with fellow detainee, matthew todd miller. they were bound for america. words cannot adequately express our relief and gratitude that kenneth is finally coming home. we have been waiting for and praying for this day for two years. this ordeal has been excruciating for the family. but we are filled with joy right
now. i am thrilled to imagine hugging my brother soon. he will not have to spend another day at a labor camp. and he can now recover from this imprisonment and look forward to his wife, kids and the rest of his life. our thanksgiving celebration this year will be one we will never forget. we sincerely thank the united states government for all the hard work and dedication to securing my brother's release. as well as the release of matthew todd miller. we are also grateful to the dprk government for allowing them to come home. we must also thank the swedish embassy in pyongyang, for their tireless efforts. we are grateful to everyone who has supported my brother's cause, including reporters and editors who cared enough to see this through. we are thankful for people here in seattle and across the world, who have continued to advocate and pray for kenneth. we believe that god is with people who endure hardship and that he never leaves them. it is with great joy and with
thankfulness to god to see kenneth released. our family could not be sustained without the knowledge that kenneth was in god's care, when it seemed we were helpless to do anything. we ask for space from the reporters and the public, as he tries to adjust his life back home. that is from the family of kenneth bae, one of the americans released. the family have been pleading with the government for years to release him. he was in poor health. and now, they are getting the great news that kenneth bae is on his way home. we'll be right back. ♪ limits are there to be shattered. ♪ barriers are meant to be broken. ♪ lines are drawn to be crossed. ♪ introducing the first ever 467 horsepower rcf coupe from lexus. once driven, there's no going back. ♪
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hello. i'm pamela brown. great to have you with us on what's shaping up to be a very busy saturday. two breaking stories we're following for you this hour. president obama makes it official, nominating u.s. attorney loretta lynch to become the country's next attorney general. we begin this hour with freedom for the last two u.s. citizens detained by north korea. kenneth bae and matthew todd miller are on their way back home. family members are crying with joy. ripley is in tokyo. aaron mcpike at the white house. and alice at our washington bureau. why was it so important for him to be over there to be -- to secure this release? >> a couple of reasons. these talks between the u.s. and north korea have been going on for some time about the release of the americans.
if you remember when the north koreans released american jeffrey fowle. those talks were ongoing. the north koreans called suddenly and said, send a military plane. send to pick him up. it happened similarly again. this time, the north koreans said they wanted to send a cabinet-level official. why james clapper? these talks did involve intelligence officials. there's a quiet channel between the u.s. and north korea. we don't hear that much about it. but it seems to be a more transactional channel where officials can get business done outside of the whole realm of diplomacy and what the larger context of the u.s./north korea relationship. that's why they wouldn't have sent secretary of state john kerry. >> what role did sweden play in all this? >> sweden is what we call the protecting power of the united states. the u.s. and north korea don't
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