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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 30, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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as we go further, deeper into the tunnel, it seems to just get smaller and smaller and hotter. the labor must have been intensive and incredibly claustrophic. the tunnel was unfinished and the military has no idea where the exit was targeted. a total of 17 people were arrested that day and the warehouse was shut down. does the president really think this system was working fine before the boston terrorist attacks? i'm jake tapper and this is "the lead." the national lead. the fbi turned up nothing on tamerlan tsarnaev in 2011 despite talking to him directly. president obama today defended the feds and suggested critics have political motives. his life was the last claimed in a rampage of terror in boston, but now the family of slain m.i.t. police officer sean collier is sitting down with "the lead" for an exclusive talk
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about the depth of their loss. and the buried lead. a promise unkept. president obama returning to one of his earliest failures in office and vowing today a new push to close the prison in guantanamo bay. boston a city still recovering from the terrorist attacks from one week ago. the kind of evidence that could drive this investigation to a new level. within the last hour cnn has learned investigators found at least one fingerprint on bomb fragments according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. we're told no matches have yet been made. meanwhile president obama today defending the fbi's handling of the investigation before and after the attacks. we're going to get deeper into that. the president is also backing a review ordered by director of
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national intelligence james clapper to see which agencies dropped the attacks. >> protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve and enhance our ability to detect a potential attack. and we won't know that until that review is completed. so i want to begin with cnn national security analyst julia kayyem a former official with homeland security and boston globe columnist. the president pretty strongly defended the fbi against criticisms not just from partisans that there were some mistakes. do you think he has to dial that back in the coming weeks? >> he might have to and i should say he should not be speaking about this case anymore. it is an ongoing investigation. that's why i think it is so important the dni is now leading a review. we don't know yet either whether the fbi should have reviewed it
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more or whether their protocols are too weak given the kind of threat we have now. it is very likely the fbi follow protocols but those aren't going to catch the kind of threat we now face. the president probably shouldn't be talking about this anymore. it was right to send it over to the dni. let them do a review. james clapper long-term intelligence guy, support from both sides of the hill, let's not make this political because as you see it's becoming political now. there are questions for the fbi. some people may know the answers. but we've seen this investigation going in all sorts of directions and i think we all look forward to the final review to see sort of how did those pieces put together and as importantly what changes should be made to the protocols or omissions done by the fbi? >> ambassador thomas macnamara who used to be in charge of the information sharing job, the guy in charge of making sure all the agencies were working together, he was on the show yesterday. he said the fbi is still not sharing enough information. he expressed concerns about the fact the fbi and the cia were both contacted by the successor
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organizations, kgb, fsb, and no red flags went off. >> one of the concerns is why didn't the state and locals know? part of the joint terrorism task force structure is the assumption because we live here, bostonians live here we ought to know even if the information isn't enough to make the fbi or the cia worry. right? the second issue or question has to be answered, why aren't these pings whether from the cia or dhs, requiring a new review? it may very well be that there are so many of them or that the russians were not giving us more information, which i think is a key point right now. so that's why you want to review taken out of the white house and taken out of sort of white house spokes people and putting it in with someone who is not known as a partisan clapper who is just overseeing the intelligence agencies. i think that is going to be important. >> and the president's remarks about the russians, talking about a cold war mentality and praising them for their cooperation after not their cooperation before. thank you so much. as we mentioned in today's
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press conference president obama defended even applauded the work of his agencies in the boston terrorist investigation. >> based on what i've seen so far, the fbi performed its duti duties, department of homeland security did what it was supposed to be doing. but this is hard stuff. >> hard stuff indeed. was boston an example of a working system of national security? joining me right now is republican congressman jason chafts of utah a member of the homeland security committee. thanks for joining me. let me get your reaction to what the president said today. did the fbi and department of homeland security perform their duti duties? >> we're all cheering them on that they're doing their job now. two things bothered me. as soon as the bombing happened
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we had officials saying this was an isolated case, one person involved. we didn't know that. i think the starting point should be, it might be part of a bigger, broader plot. i do think we have to go back and review what happened. we have to look at the immigration status, the fact of how the russians shared this information. we've got to look at all of this. i think you have to have a starting point. when you have three people dead, over 200 people injured, people have lost limbs that we have one of the biggest terrorist attacks on the homeland, your starting point is hey everybody did their job and did great. that's not your starting point. your starting point is this is unacceptable. we will not stand for it. we will get to the bottom of it, and we will not rest until we figure it out. that's your starting point. >> of course it could be that's his starting point behind closed doors and in front of the -- the international stage he want a different message. i take your point. you serve on the house homeland security committee. what isatest you're hearing on wther the two acted alone? we have female dna found on one
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pressure cooker. we're cautioned that doesn't necessarily mean anything. authorities are looking into a connection with a canadian boxer who became a militant killed by russian forces last year. what are you hearing in your briefings? >> well look. it stretches the imagination to think these two kids simply went online, watched a couple videos and put together some very sophisticated bombs. to the degree they did, the way they executed it, again, i think that leads us to believe there were others involved, that somehow these two kids went awry, and they got trained. they got information. they were radicalized. and that's what the officials are diving deep into now. i recognize for just over two weeks out we have to let them do their job. it is going to take weeks, perhaps months. we're cheering them on. the starting point should be intolerance that this thing happened. >> congressman, you argue the boston terrorist attacks are an example of how we need a better
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immigration system but weren't the gaps here more intelligence issues especially what russia told the fbi and the cia and whether or not the fbi, not whether the fbi should have kept tabs on tamerlan? how does this have to do with immigration? >> i think it really has to go back to homeland security. one of the things we have to look closely at with the immigration debate and everything going on is asylum. you have people who claimed asylum. they worry they're going to be prosecuted. taking welfare and other types of public assistance because they can't afford anything. yet they're able to get airline tickets to go back to the region. while they may not have gone back to the very specific place i think we need a timeline and details as to the family members, how they came over here, how they were able to stay over here. how did they afford to go over there into an area they said they were going to be killed or persecuted if they went back to? that doesn't quite add up. when the russians then add some intelligence, you have a domestic dispute, all of these things should have been shared
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at the local effort and that is the last point, jake. did the feds -- did they share that information with the counterterrorism folks there in boston who are very competent but if they don't get the information, then they're not able to act and that is one of the big worries in this specific case. >> finally, congressman, i know you've been very involved in the benghazi investigation. there are reports that some in the state department are being prevented from testifying on benghazi. the president today said he was not aware of the reports and would look into it. i want to play what a spokesman for the state department said on the matter yesterday. >> we think we've done an independent investigation, it's been transparent, thorough, credible deerks tailed and we've shared those findings with the u.s. congress. >> and tho should be enough? >> that should be enough. >> i know you don't think it's enough but do you concretely know of whistle blowers that are not being allowed to speak to the house investigators? >> what they need is to have good attorneys and good
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representation. the problem at the moment is these whistle blowers are unable to necessarily get the legal representation they need because these people need a certain degree of security clearance. what is absolutely clear through this is the administration has not been transparent. we have four dead americans, injured people. there's nobody that's been brought to justice. the state department, the white house, they have not shared this information for congress. chairman issa said we'd have hearings and it is going to expose a lot of this that the administration says this is done. it is not done. there is a lot more to it. >> just yes or no. do you concretely know of specific whistle blowers? do you know of them? >> yes. >> you do. okay. thank you, congressman. appreciate your time. >> thank you. as we've been doing every day we want to take a moment to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks here in boston. 8-year-old martin richard, the boy whose sweet smile is now frozen in time.
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29-year-old krystle campbell was cheering on a friend at the marathon. 23-year-old lingzi lu a boston university graduate student from china. and 27-year-old sean collier the m.i.t. police officer allegedly gunned down by the suspects in the desperate hours after they were identified. we're also remembering today the wounded. 20 victims of the terrorist attacks in boston are still in the hospital out of the 264 who were initially injured. one of them is jared cloury. he and his friends heard the first blast in boston and were trying to jump the barricade into the street to get to safety when the second explosion went off right at their feet. >> i stopped for just a second to tell the young lady here, jackie, who is my friend's girlfriend, jackie, get your butt in the street and, boom. and i just remember feeling engulfed like -- and i got thrown out into the street and just like the movies all of the
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sound got taken away and, you something inside me said, get up, jarrod, get up. you're okay. get up. so i stood up and i was pretty lucid and i remember trying to count my fingers and feel my feet and i'm standing and thinking about these kind of things that i've learned about over the years and i look at my hand and it was too much to look at so i tuck it in and i feel my legs. i look down and i didn't want to look at those anymore. >> he suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds. he says three of his friends lost limbs in the attack but are lucky to be alive. still ahead, he died in the line of duty. now the family of officer sean collier is speaking out about the son and the brother they lost. >> of course my first reaction was i don't want my brother to
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be a leero. i want my brother here. >> later, she's got a new book out and a powerful public relations campaign pushing her innocence but not everyone is convinced that amanda knox is telling the whole truth about how her roommate died. how her roommate died. that and more after this break. [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪ ...to our city streets... ♪ ...to skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds." yikes! then go to e-trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds, and not one of them has our name on it. we're in the business of finding the right investments for you.
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a truism printed atop m.i.t.'s obituary of campus police officer sean collier and one that america would come to know in the days following his murder, 12 days ago. >> there's two seans that were mourning. there's this symbol of what happened that people feel so connected to and they've been so great to us as his family reaching out and wanting to provide support and honor him, and that has been wonderful. then at the same time you realize this is my little brother that we're talking about and it's a whole other feeling. >> when they first started saying sean was a hero, you know, of course my first reaction was i don't want my brother to be a hero. i want my brother here. >> collier's brothers and sisters sat down with us at their parents' home in wilmington, massachusetts earlier today to remember their brother. >> when we talk about how much he always wanted to be a police officer, i mean that's all he ever wanted to do and when he
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was younger and his brother andrew and he used to, you know, get in each other's hair, andy would run for it and sean would run right after him literally making siren noises with his voice. and he'd be yelling, you're breaking the law. you're breaking the law. you know, or we'd pass someone pulled over on the side of the road and he'd sing the theme to "cops." >> why was it important to him to become a police officer? what was it about? >> ever since i can remember, being the oldest, i was six years older than hill, it was ingrained in him right and wrong. there was no in between. either you did the right thing or the wrong thing and if you did the wrong thing you needed to be punished. >> my mom told the story where he had taken a handful of pennies from rob's room. he was maybe 6 years old and he was convinced they were coming to get him. ♪ >> reporter: sean collier loved the brotherhood of law enforcement. >> order. >> reporter: which was on full
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display at his memorial service last week. >> sean would have loved that if he could have seen it. helicopter fly over, tens of thousands of police officers from literally all over the world. i mean, ireland, canada, all over the united states. it was a shame sean couldn't have seen it because it was everything he loved. >> reporter: officer travis dixon was sean collier's roommate. he and collier graduated from the police academy together. their friend and fellow graduate transit officer dick donahue, seen here with collier, was also wounded the night of the shootout with the tsarnaev brothers. >> dick donahue, who graduated the police academy with me and sean, called my phone and was like, there was a shooting at m.i.t. it was sean. it's really bad. you need to go to the hospital. i knew right then that it wasn't good. and i went to the hospital, saw sean, and he had passed away. and then about an hour later, there was other officers there and we hear officer down over the radio and we get a phone call and they say it's dick
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donahue and he's been shot. actually, at the time dick was hit in the femoral artery and was dead in three minutes and was dead about 40 to 45 minutes. i thought i just lost two of my best friends, two academy friends. then dick, they brought him back to life. he's talking and it looks like dick is going to make a full recovery. >> for collier's family the future is about making a living memorial to their brother's legacy including his community service work including a local homeless shelter. >> sean was very humble and didn't feel that was something he needed to talk about. he'd say he was working when he was really going to volunteer. >> as a family trying to incorporate ourselves into sean's life in different ways so that we can keep the things he found important going. he may not be here but he is not going anywhere. that's been really nice. >> he was going to start this year at -- >> he told us easter he was going for his final interview
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and then that week he got the job and was going to start. >> reporter: did he want to do that? >> that was his dream. >> to be a police officer and finally there was an opening. >> yes. >> we all followed our dreams here ande all know that feeling when we finally get the job offer we've been waiting on. it is a comfort to know he was going and he knew he was going. >> reporter: sean collier was so close to fulfilling his dream of becoming a police officer for the city of summerville, massachusetts. his family says he was supposed to be sworn in on june 3rd. now we know that even though he's gone the dream continues and lives on. the city of somerville will posthumously award collier his badge. up next, you knew he was in trouble when the republican southern congressman compared himself to bill clinton. the house race in south carolina heats up as former governor mark sanford draws fresh fire for his hike down the appalachian trail.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper live in boston at boston's copley square. on the politics lead, she went there. that's what a moderator mumbled when south carolina congressional candidate elizabeth cobert busch called
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out her opponent former governor mark sanford for his infamous trip to argentina to visit his then mistress while in office. it happened during a feisty debate last night which included sanford comparing himself to none other than bill clinton. >> when we talk about fiscal spending and we talk about protecting the taxpayers, it doesn't mean you take that money we saved and leave the country for a personal purpose. >> do you think that president clinton should be condemned for the rest of his life based on a mistake that he made in his life? you don't go through the experience i had back in 2009 without a greater level of humility. >> sanford did not just get hammered about his debate -- his affair at the debate. it's also the subject of a new campaign ad released by a democratic super pac. >> i used to be for mark sanford but not anymore. he skipped town to be with his mistress on father's day. sanford even asked his wife for permission to have the affair
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and wasted our taxpayer dollars on himself. >> sanford has been hammering his opponent for having liberal values that are out of touch with the south carolina district. there's another race going on here in massachusetts though you wouldn't necessarily know it because so much focus has been on the boston terrorist attacks. today a primary election is being held to pick democratic and republican candidates to run against each other for john kerry's former senate seat. he stepped down earlier this year when he took the job as secretary of state. virginia's governor is getting heat over a wedding gift to his daughter. "the washington post" reports that the fbi is probing ties between republican bob mcdonnell a possible 2016 presidential contender and a top donor who picked up the $15,000 catering tab for his daughter's wedding. the feds reportedly want to know whether mcdonnell or his office
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helped out the company in return. the governor's former chef who is facing felony embezzlement charges is allegedly the whistle blower in the investigation. mcdonnell is denying this affected any government decisions whatsoever. up next, their job is to defend an accused terrorist. we'll meet dzhokhar tsarnaev's legal team. and we'll look at the case they have to make to keep their client from getting the death penalty. it could all rest on what he's willing to tell investigators. humans. even when we cross our "ts" and dot our "i's", we still run into problems. that's why liberty mutual insurance offers accident forgiveness with our auto policies. if you qualify, your rates won't go up due to your first accident. because making mistakes is only human, and so are we. we also offer new car replacement, so if you total your new car, we'll give you the money for a new one. call liberty mutual insurance at...
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day in court he'll be defended by some of the best lawyers in the business. only two weeks after he and his brother allegedly set off the bombs that took three lives and severely maimed so many others, the court has appointed the defense team with rosters that read like a worst of the worst list. meet miriam conrad one of the country's best respected public defenders. a graduate of harvard law school conrad has defended notorious clients for more than two decades. this isn't even her first terrorism case. she assisted in the defense of richard reid the so-called shoe bomber who tried to blow up a passenger train in 2001 with explosives packed in his sneakers. reid was sentenced to life in prison. she also recently defended a muslim american radicalized by online videos who plotted to fly remote controlled model airplanes packed with explosives into the pentagon and u.s. capitol. he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. >> miriam is really committed to the cases that have no chance of
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winning just as committed as she is to the cases that thee could possibly win. she is really hard working and cares a whole lot about her clients and really a determined, tenacious lawyer. >> tamera burke had an attorney who also defended richard reid and worked with conrad in the boston public defender office. >> miriam is extremely well regarded by judges in boston as well as by the attorneys in the u.s. attorney's office, the prosecutors. she has an excellent reputation and combined with her own intellect and natural talents she's a very effective attorney. >> she will have her work cut out for her. dzhokhar tsarnaev is charged with detonating a weapon of mass destruction. if convicted he could face the death penalty. for that reason prominent
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defense attorney judy clark also has joined the team. death penalty cases are her specialty. clark has defended the unabomber ted kaczynski, eric rude ol responsible for the atlanta olympics bombing and most recently jared loughner who went on a shooting rampage in tucson, arizona killing six people and severely wounding congresswoman gabby giffords. all of them escaped the death penalty getting life sentences instead. >> the primary goal that miriam is going to have is saving her client's life. and the first step toward doing that is making a connection with the client, establishing rapport so that he trusts her so that she can get the information that she needs from him and so that ultimately he respects and listens to her legal advice. >> in high profile cases like
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this the public often delivers a guilty verdict before the trial even starts, but for dzhokhar tsarnaev's lawyers, he is a 19-year-old who is facing the potential end of his life. joining us now cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin. jeffrey, thanks for joining us. the government wants dzhokhar to keep talking. can the defense team use that to avoid the death penalty? >> there are two larger strategies the defense will want to follow here. one is as you suggest trying to figure out what the prosecution wants, what the government wants so you can negotiate a way out of the death penalty. what can you give? that's one general area. the other area is they have to investigate their client's life meticulously and completely. they have to be able to tell a story about their client, about why he was led so wrong. so if this ever goes to a jury, the jury will be able to say, you know what? no death penalty for this guy.
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>> judy clark has defended notorious criminals and avoided the death penalty for them before. does this tell us anything about how the defense team is approaching the case? is this now a priority, a top priority just keeping him alive? >> jake, i cannot tell you what a legend judy clark is in the united states legal system. this woman is widely regarded as a miracle worker. you listed three of the cases. the unabomber, eric rudolph from the atlanta olympics. there's also zacarias moussaoui from 9/11. there's also susan smith the woman who killed her children in south carolina. the worst of the worst and none of them got the death penalty. this is what judy clark does. there's no one in the country better at it, and i think the combination of knowing how to negotiate with the government, plus knowing how to research your client's life, that's how it worked for her so far. she does have her work cut out for her. >> dzhokhar's lawyers are
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spending more and more time with him. we know or we believe he is not talking with investigators anymore. what kind of conversations do you believe they are having with his defense attorneys? >> well, i think, you know, one of the issues we have here is we are operating on cable news time. we think this is all going to be resolved very quickly. one of the things that a lawyer like judy clark does is slow everything down. i think they might not be talking to him at all. they might be saying, you go get healthy. that's your job right now. then we'll talk to you later. time is the ally of the defense. the country is mobilized. it's angry right now. this is exactly not the time the defense wants to be negotiating about anything. slow things down. then they'll talk to him about his life, get his full life story, not just this crime, and then worry about negotiating or trying the case. >> all right. jeffrey toobin, thank you so much. coming up, it's his most famous broken promise from the
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2008 campaign. president obama's failure to close guantanamo bay prison because he did not have any help from congress. but now with 100 inmates there on a hunger strike, president obama said, he wants to try again. and later, he could hear his foot steps through the ceiling. i'll talk to the guy who lived in the apartment below tamerlan tsarnaev. girl vo: i'm pretty conservative. very logical thinker. (laughs) i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for.
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welcome back. i'm jake tapper coming to you live from copley square in boston, massachusetts. our buried lead today is the subject the president has not
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been asked about in a white house news conference since september, 2010, closing gitmo, a promise president obama made in his first presidential campaign and has failed to keep. is the president ready for round two? >> i'm going to go back at this. i've asked my team to review everything that's currently being done in guantanamo, everything that we can do administratively, and i'm going to re-engage with congress to try to make the case that this is not something that's in the best interests of the american people. >> and what are we hearing about guantanamo? hunger strikes, accusations of torture, just what's happening to the 166 prisoners still there? well, now we're getting an inside look thanks to one prisoner who has been there since 2002. his memoirs have been declassified by the u.s. government and today were printed by slate.com. i'm joined now by our politics and foreign affairs editor william dobson. thanks so much for joining us.
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i want to read part of what he wrote in his memoirs when he first arrived in gitmo. quote, i considered the arrival to cuba a blessing. i wrongly believed that the worst was over and cared less about the time it would take the americans to figure out i'm not the guy they are looking for. i trusted the american justice system too much. walk us through what has happened to him. >> right. in 2001 shortly after 9/11 at the request of the u.s. government, who asked that they pick him up for questioning, he was detained and questioned for about two weeks when at that point he was put on a rendition flight to jordan. in jordan he was interrogated for close to eight months and he was -- he was interrogated there under some of the harshest
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conditions. he was tortured. the jordanians said they did not believe this was a person who had any responsibility for past terrorist plots. the u.s. government wasn't satisfied with that response and so he was then sent to bagram air base in afghanistan, held for two weeks, and then ultimately moved to guantanamo on august 5th, 2002, where he has remained ever since. >> where does his case stand now? >> well, in 2010, you know, he has been pursuing the u.s. -- going through the u.s. justice system to try to win his release. in 2010 a u.s. district court granted him his habeas petition and ordered the u.s. government to release him. basically saying you have no evidence to tie him to any charges. and so since that time, the obama administration had appealed that decision and he is now waiting for his next
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rehearing probably sometime later this year. >> and there are approximately a hundred of the 166 prisoners in guantanamo bay participating in a hunger strike. do you happen to know if he is involved in the strike? >> we don't believe he is. in part, it probably wouldnt make sense for him to with someone who has an active case in the u.s. court system and he is probably waiting to pursue that avenue. what we have in guantanamo right now is 166 prisoners. i believe it's about 83 of which who have been cleared for release. 93 are participating in this hunger strike. the people participating in the hunger strike, many of those cleared for release but who have lost all hope they'll ever be let go. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, imagine seeing the fbi photos of the terror suspects and realizing one of them is your upstairs neighbor.
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>> took me at least a day to actually know what happened and that i lived under them. >> later she says the media portrayed her as a devil but i'll talk to an expert who thinks amanda knox is not telling the whole story. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better. visit your eyecare professional today to ask about our newest lenses, transitions vantage and transitions xtractive lenses. experience life well lit. ask which transitions adaptive lens is best for you.
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boston is strong. welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper here in boston at copley square. we here at "the lead" have been covering every angle of this story trying our best to keep the spotlight on the victims and their recovery. in trying to figure out what
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exactly happens we need to learn more about the suspects. i spoke earlier with al amonth who lived in the apartment right below tamerlan tsarnaev, and he told me about an intense conversation he had with tamerlan in a pizza shop just a few weeks before the attacks. >> he said the bible is a cheap copy of the koran. he said the american government used it as an excuse to invade different countries. he mentioned that the american government wanted to colonize africa and the middle east and he mentioned that multiple wars -- most casualties in iraq and afghanistan were innocent bystanders gunned down by the american people. he said they justify, the government justifies invading all these countries with the koran kind of retaliated by asking him what about all these radicals that, you know, these suicide bombers that kill themselves, kill innocent people, and say it's for allah?
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he said not all muslims are like that and islam is all about peace and love. >> when did you realize he was one of the suspects? >> actually, i woke up to the police in my back yard and they told me to leave the building and escorted me away and then one of the police officers asked -- showed me a picture of dzhokhar and asked if i knew him. i recognized dzhokhar. i didn't recognize the older brother. >> were you completely stunned by the news? >> yeah. it took me at least a day to actually cope with what happened and that i lived underneath him. couldn't really believe that especially the younger brother was involved. i only met him once but he seemed like a really nice guy. this is only two weeks before everything happened. he was asking about friends, seemed like he was still interested in a social life. just didn't seem like he had anything planned. >> even looking back at that conversation with what you know now, does it seem like he was angry enough to do what he did? >> from what my impression that
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i had then, interaction with him, i wasn't suspicious afterwards. just seemed like he was -- he strongly believed in his religion and had his disagreements with christianity and the american government but didn't seem different than most people. >> she was branded foxy knoxy in the tabloids and was accused of murdering her roommate in a sadistic fashion but now amanda knox is telling her side of the story. but is she leaving anything out? that's coming up.
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i'm jake tapper live in boston. welcome back to "the lead." our world lead, she was an american exchange student in italy. she says she was the victim of a backward legal system. but amanda knox's case was full of complex and conflicting evidence and her team worked very, very hard at pushing one thing -- that she was innocent, taken advantage of by the italians. her new memoir "waiting to be heard" is hitting book stores today and knox is hoping the
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book will once and for all convince readers she had nothing to do with the grisly murder of her british roommate. before her appeal knox spent four years in an italian prison and told abc news she was wrongfully branded a devil. >> i was in the courtroom when they were calling me a devil, i mean, it's one thing to be called certain things in the media and then it's another thing to be sitting in a courtroom fighting for your life while people are calling you a devil. for all intents and purposes, i was a murderer. whether i was or not. >> is she telling the truth about what happened or not? how you answer that question has a lot to do with where you're getting your facts. one person who was following the case from the very beginning is the rome bureau chief for "newsweek" and the daily beast. she is also the author of "angel face, sex, murder, and the inside story of amanda knox" and
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she said knox is not telling the whole story. barbie, thanks so much for joining us. give us a reality check here. what is amanda knox leaving out of the story as she retells her version? >> reporter: well i think in the case of any memoir there is a lot of selective memory and internal editing in what she is saying. you know, she really glossed over the night of the murder for example. she has an alibi that she had together with her former boyfriend. but what she failed to do i thought in the book was really explain to the readers why they didn't have an alibi that was congruent the night they were interrogated. you know, their stories changed several times in the course of the initial interrogations. she chose to just stick with the alibi that they settled on. you know, as someone who followed the case very closely i would like to know how it was that the stories were changing and kind of what was going on in those moments in the initial
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interrogation, how they remembered what they were doing the night of the murder. >> amanda knox and her family have had a very aggressive publicity campaign and the american people have been given this impression that she was an innocent young woman who was the victim of a ravinous and insane italian legal system. what are the american people not necessarily being told or what are they not necessarily understanding about the case? >> well, i think the italian legal system is very, very complicated, very complex. there are three levels of each case has to pass through. there is an automatic appeal. cases are basically heard three different times by three different panels and judges and i think sometimes in the united states we assume it is not like we do it, it must be wrong. i think people misunderstood the italian system is slow. the fact that the trials were twice a week, you know, sometimes six weeks off for various breaks and things like that. i think people thought that must
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mean the italians were inept or incompetent but lots of cases get tried here. lots of serious cases. organized crime cases, serious terrorism cases tried successfully here in italy. i think you can't just write off the system because it is in a different language and the structure is different from ours. >> very briefly, as a journalist have you been disappointed in how the american media has covered this case? >> as an american journalist based here in italy i followed the trial. i went to the hearings. i understood the hearings. i read the documents in italian. i felt there was a lot of information that was lost in translation and i think that really had a lot to do with amanda's very successful public relations firm. and i think that they were very willing to do the translations for the italian media or for the american media excuse me. and in doing so, i think some of the details were left out. when amanda knocks was convicted the first time around people were shocked in the united states. people in italy understood that's probablyt

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