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Mammogram Advice Hearing; Afghanistan Troop Surge; Donations Down in Tough Economy
Aired December 2, 2009 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: It's 2:00 p.m. Eastern right now, just reaching the top of the hour.
The top U.S. commander moving forward in Afghanistan, he's got the plan, he's getting the boots and he's feeling confident about success. General Stanley McChrystal is saying, Today we move forward in a new way, the general giving extraordinary access to his speech in Kandahar. More of the speech in just a few minutes.
And health care reform, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag says it won't take months or years for the country to have an efficient health care system but decades, and that's assuming the system gets an overhaul this year in Congress.
And a statement from Tiger Woods: on his website he admits to transgressions that, quote, "let his family down." He didn't say what those transgressions were.
Their advice ignited a firestorm of confusion in doctors' offices across the country, turning everything that women had learned about breast cancer screenings upside down. Now the task force is in the hot seat. Lawmakers are questioning why they recommended that most women under 50 don't need routine mammograms. Many people want to know if they're trying to cut costs at the expense of lives.
Our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has been watching the hearing.
Anything stand out to you up to this point?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What really stood out was the fire that this preventive services task force got. If you remember, this was the task force about two weeks ago that said that women in their 40s do not need regular mammograms after women in their 40s had been told to do that for quite some time.
One of the people who this task force heard from is a breast cancer survivor herself. Congresswoman Sue Myrick gave the task force an earful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. SUE MYRICK (R), NORTH CAROLINA: To me, it's sending the wrong message to women. It's saying you don't have to be vigilant, you don't have to take care of yourself, you don't have to do preventive care. And we all know that earlier detection means longer survivals. I mean, that's a no-brainer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: And what the congresswoman said has been echoed by many breast cancer survivors in the weeks since the task force put forth their new guidelines.
PHILLIPS: All right. So, is the task force actually backing down on the recommendations?
COHEN: They're not. They are really devoted to this. I mean, I have spoken to members of the task force, and they truly believe that women in their 40s do not need regular mammograms.
They're thinking is, look -- take a look at this. For every 1,000 women who you screen who are in their 40s, you'll detect two cancers, but you're also going to get 98 percent false positives. And when you get a false positive, that woman has -- you don't know that it's false, of course -- that woman has to have biopsies and other tests, and she's angsted (ph) out. I mean, it's a very worrisome thing, plus you've exposed her to radiation from the mammogram.
So the task force truly feels that mammograms, at this age, on a regular basis, are not worth it.
Here's what one member of the task force had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The task force wants only that screening mammograms be done with full knowledge of these potential harms, the frequency of these harms, and what is to be gained by being screened earlier compared with a later age.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: So, the message that the task force has been trying to get out is that there is a downside to having mammograms. You might be alerted to a cancer that isn't really a cancer. You then have to follow up on that, plus the anxiety, the radiation. There is sort of two sides here, is what they're trying to say.
PHILLIPS: All right. Bring us all the latest details. Appreciate it.
Our other top story.
The president's speech is behind him. Now the really tough part is ahead of him -- selling the surge to the American people and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. It's being played out right now on the Hill, with some administration higher-ups explaining and defending the troop surge plan. CNN's Brianna Keilar has been following that for us.
So, who's talking and what are they saying, Brianna?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kyra, as well as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, they spoke before a Senate panel this morning. And right now they are in their opening statements before a House panel.
A very busy day for them on Capitol Hill. They're answering questions not only about that increase of troops by 30,000 in Afghanistan, but the thing that is really capturing a lot of the questions and the interest from both Democrats and Republicans is the drawdown date.
In about 18 months, July, 2011, that is when President Obama said troops would begin to start coming home from Afghanistan. It's prompted many back-and-forths, including this one between Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The question is, have we locked ourselves into leaving, Secretary Clinton, in July, 2011?
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, Senator Graham, I do not believe we have locked ourselves into leaving, but what we have done -- and I think it was an appropriate position for the president to take -- is to signal very clearly to all audiences that the United States is not interested in occupying Afghanistan, we are not interested in running their country, building their nation. We are trying to give them the space and time to be able to build up sufficient forces to defend themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton there saying that she doesn't think that the Obama administration has locked itself in for that leave date, but certainly, Kyra, Democrats would like to hear her say that certainly they have, because they want to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, they want to hang their hat on that July 2011 date. But on the other hand, Republicans, we heard a lot of them, including Senator Graham, saying they fear this is an arbitrary drawdown date, that if the conditions on the ground are not such a way that U.S. troops should be leaving, that it should be re-evaluated.
But the bottom line that we've heard from senior administration officials is that date is hard, it's just that the pace of withdrawing those troops could change. But you can just see between Secretary Clinton and Secretary gates, they are really walking a tightrope between Democrats and Republicans on this.
PHILLIPS: Brianna, thanks.
Thirty thousand more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but if you think that will be enough to turn the tide against the Taliban, think again. This is a war with more than one front. It's a war of safe havens for the enemy, a war where regional powers are playing their own special role, often to the disadvantage of the U.S. and its allies.
Here to explain to you our Magic Wall are CNN's John King and Michael Ware.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The war in Afghanistan is not going to be ultimately won or lost in Afghanistan. There's a lot of other pieces. Key to that is Pakistan, these sanctuaries, these safe havens.
Now, let's remember...
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just want to show one view, interrupt you for one second. The safe havens including...
WARE: Osama bin Laden.
KING: ... we believe, Osama bin Laden.
WARE: Most likely, people say he's here in this region.
But let's not forget, there's two Talibans. There's an Afghan Taliban and there's a Pakistani Taliban.
The Pakistani military right now is fighting the Pakistani Taliban; right? But that's not the only sanctuary. All of this, all of it is Taliban sanctuary. Indeed, down here, in the Pakistani city of Quetta, it's known by American intelligence, by Ambassador Holbrooke, as the home of the Taliban Shura. So all of that is Taliban and anti-American militant safe haven, not just the highlighted area.
KING: I want to do one other point. I want to show one other thing to illustrate two points.
Number one, the president talked about the past, and the under- resourcing, and he talked about mistakes that were made. He said the al Qaeda leadership was allowed to escape.
This, of course, is Tora Bora, where they believe back in the early days, Osama bin Laden escaped into Pakistan. Instructive not only to talk about past mistakes, but also, Michael, the terrain. This is not Iraq, this is not flat desert.
WARE: Absolutely not. Now, I mean, a very key lesson was learned in this battle in 2001. There, American Special Forces relied on Afghan militia to do most of the fighting. Well, Osama paid them more than we did, so he just slipped through the back door, which you can see, you know, there's a myriad of back doors.
So, in the next big battle in similar terrain in March, 2002, operate in (INAUDIBLE) that was American-led and fought. That was the first lesson.
The second lesson, look at this, mate. Look at this.
This border region, this is the end of the Himalayas. These valleys swallow infantry divisions whole. How on earth do you ever expect anyone, let alone the Afghans, even the American military, to seal that? It's just not going to happen.
KING: Well, then on that point, as we make this go away, let's come back to where we are in terms of the troops today.
The president said he can send in 30,000 more, he hopes to get several thousand more from the NATO allies. And he makes the case to the American people tonight, you may be opposed to this, but more now is the solution to getting out sooner. Three years, he says, you can have the Afghans up into training and begin to transition to hand back them all of these difficult areas.
Based on the past experience, training the Afghans, keeping them in the security forces once they join up, what are the challenges?
WARE: Well, first, like you say, you've got to put together as quickly as possible an Afghan fighting force that, whether it's held together by sticky tape or string like the Iraqi security forces, can at least be effective to some degree. At least that gives you something, but it's not enough.
I mean, Kandahar, Helmand, do you know how many Afghan troops are down there? Virtually none. They're just token presence.
You know who controls those regions? If it's not the Taliban, it's the local district chief, it's the local tribal chief. They're the people America needs to reach out to, either until the army is built, or even after. You're not going to be able to do anything without local partners.
KING: And as the president discussed the challenge tonight in Afghanistan, in Pakistan as well, you make the case that something was missing.
WARE: Yes. OK, we heard Pakistan mentioned. That was a key word, but it was such a brief passing mention. It was mere rhetoric that we have heard before from previous administrations.
The true story of this Afghan war is that Saudi Arabia is playing a hand in here, Iran is playing a hand in here. India has enormous concern in Pakistan because Pakistan and India are rivals. They are using Afghanistan as yet another battlefield.
So, where was any kind of consideration from the president about the regional approach, this broad chest game that needs to be played to get Americans home from there?
PHILLIPS: And to learn more about the war in Afghanistan, check out CNN.com/Afghanistan.
All right, fess up. Are you a Scrooge or a Bob Cratchit? Well, we hope the latter. But there are pitfalls in lending a helping hand and giving money this time of year, so we've got some tips you don't want to miss.
PHILLIPS: A radiant first lady thanking White House volunteers who are helping to bring a little cheer to the needy this holiday season. Michelle Obama also announced that White House employee will take part in the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots drive.
And we extend our thanks to all of them.
'Tis the season for charitable giving, but a lot of people are struggling in this tough economy, and that means they have less to give.
CNN Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis says that there's still ways that you can help.
So, Gerri, with charities hurting, how can you make sure that the charity that you're giving to is able to do everything that it promises?
GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Well, that's the right question.
You know, income at these charities will decline nine percent this year, even for the best charities. So you want to make sure you're giving your money to a place that's going to use that money wisely use it wisely, will be around next year. To get that kind of info, you really have to ask the charity itself tough questions.
First off, ask how donations are going. Are they laying off staff? You have to ask if they're tapping into an emergency fund right now just to keep operations going or if they're looking to borrow money.
You have to be straightforward and ask how the recession has impacted their business. You'll get much more information that way than even trolling online, where there's lots of financial info. The problem with that is that it's about a year or two old, so you're not up to date. So, if you really want to know, interview the folks at the charity.
PHILLIPS: So, any red flags that a charity is on life support?
WILLIS: Well, if they're not going to talk to you about their financial position, that is a red flag. If the charity seems more concerned about its survival than it does about the people or the cause it's supposed to support, that's another big red flag. A good charity will focus on a business plan for tough times.
Another way to check under the hood of these charities is to go to guidestar.com. On this site, you'll be able to see how much they're paying their executive director or how much they spent on overhead, so you'll know their track record when it comes to spending money -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: What if you really don't have the money to give to a charity, but you want to do something?
WILLIS: Well, you can always donate your time, if you don't have money to donate to the charity this year. You can identify a charity that interests you.
You can go to volunteermatch.org -- that's Web site -- volunteermatch.org for opportunities in your area. Donating stuff is also a good way to help out. Go to charitynavigator.com to find a charity where you can drop off your gently-used items -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Thanks for the tips, Gerri.
WILLIS: My pleasure.
PHILLIPS: Well, a taste of his own medicine, perhaps. The Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at former President Bush now knows what it feels like.
PHILLIPS: Top stories now.
Not guilty pleas from all six suspects in the October gang rape of a California high school student outside her homecoming dance. Three of them are juveniles, but they're all being tried as adults.
Police say as many as 20 people stood by and watched that attack and never offered to help the victim.
Remember when President Bush almost got nailed with a couple of shoes in Baghdad? Well, now the Iraqi shoe thrower gets the same treatment.
He had a shoe thrown at him at a Paris news conference, and it barely missed him, apparently. Right now there's no word on the motivation for the latest shoe toss.
And a lot of Americans don't like the idea of sending more troops to Afghanistan. And President Obama is getting an earful for his troop surge plan. This protest in New York ahead of the president's speech.
Other antiwar protests are taking place today in a number of major cities across the country. We're tracking them.
The Afghan plan now official for the president. Now the general takes it forward. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, talking to American and Afghan forces about how everything changes right now. He actually gave CNN rare access to his session today in Kandahar.
Let's go ahead and listen in to a little bit of his talk, and then we'll go to CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, who was there in the room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES AFGHANISTAN: If you think about where we are now, even though it's eight years, this is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. I think it's the end of the beginning, and I think everything changes right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the day President Obama announced a new strategy for Afghanistan and the influx of some 30,000 additional troops, the commanding general of ISAF, of NATO forces here in Afghanistan, is touring the country to sell that new strategy to America and its NATO partners. One thing that Stanley McChrystal said today at a briefing here in Kandahar, he says that the majority of the new soldiers will be based right down here in the southern part of the country. He believes those troops are going to make a difference very fast.
Here's what he had to say.
MCCHRYSTAL: I believe that by next summer, the uplift of new forces will make a difference on the ground significantly. I believe that by this time next year, we'll see a level of progress that will convince us that we can clearly articulate the progress and predict the effectiveness of our operations.
PLEITGEN: Now, McChrystal, by no means, painted a rosy picture of the situation here in Afghanistan, saying that in the past two years, violence in this country has risen by some 300 percent. However, he also said that in the course of the past eight years, while not everything has been going right, he feels that the U.S. Army and also its allies have learned a lot about anti-insurgent tactics and also how to employ them.
He says he believes the situation will move forward very quickly. He believes the U.S. and its allies will be able to take the fight to the Taliban and provide a security umbrella for the main task that he defined, which is building up the Afghan security forces and governance in this country to try and give the people of this country security and also a perspective for the future.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
(END VIDEOTAPE) PHILLIPS: Thirty thousand troops shipping out, but what about the troops coming home? Our next guest thinks the president's big plan misses the even bigger picture.
PHILLIPS: All right. We've talked about the troops and we've talked about the cost. We've talked about taking out the Taliban. But what about the battle facing the vets coming home?
We're looking at 30,000 potential new cases of PTSD, brain injuries and other battle scars. That's on top of a military already dealing with record suicide rates, not to mention all the screw-ups at VA hospitals.
Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, also watched the speech last night, and says the president left out one very important word.
Paul, what was that word?
PAUL RIECKHOFF, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: "Veterans," Kyra. There was really no mention about a comprehensive, complete war plan that would include the backend costs, which are going to be really devoted toward veterans' care. So, we have heard a lot about beans (ph) and bullets and bombs, but we've got to hear about the specifics regarding psychologists, surgeons, hospital beds.
How are we going to devote resources to the Department of Defense and, specifically, to the VA to take care of not only those 30,000 troops that are deploying, but also their families that have really been shouldering a tremendous burden over the last couple of years?
PHILLIPS: And you even came forward and said after hearing that speech, never once hearing the word "veteran" in that speech, that we're headed for a "decades-long national embarrassment."
What do you mean by that?
RIECKHOFF: Well, we've got to finally turn the corner on Vietnam. And what we saw after Walter Reed was a failure to plan. And there's the old saying that failing to plan is planning to fail.
The backend resources weren't in place when we invaded Iraq, and we don't want to see the same sorts of mistakes going forward. We don't want to see increased drug and alcohol abuse and marital abuse and incarceration. That's what we saw after Vietnam because we didn't really focus on a comprehensive plan.
The president has an opportunity to do that now, and to also reshape the way the country thinks about war. They've got to include a comprehensive packages, the families, all of these other different bits of pieces that come along for the ride when troops go to war. PHILLIPS: You know we cover so many of the vet issues on this program and just looking at some numbers today, the army reporting 211 suicides just this year. That in the past five years, those numbers continued to rise, that the army is short 800 mental health professionals. And now the marines reporting 42 suicides this year.
You know, in light of all these, you know, horrible numbers, and brutal care for our vets, what concerns you the most when you see that 30,000 more troops are going to be headed over to Afghanistan?
RIECKHOFF: Well I think I'm concerned about the fact that there are tons of resources in this country that really haven't been tapped. There was a huge opportunity to talk last night about a shared sacrifice, an opportunity for the President to focus the American people on getting involved, no matter how they feel about this war. And when you talk about the shortage of mental health care workers, you talk about the backlog at the VA, our veteran's services organizations, that's where people can help.
So we want to encourage people to focus on those organizations because they're really going to bare the grunt on a lot of the - the cost of this war. And there's another piece that's critical here to, Congress has got to get their act in order. Last night while the President gave his speech, the VA health care budget is 62 days late. So it's kind of ironic that the President stands up about all these things yet Congress isn't putting their money on where their mouth is when it comes to supporting veterans.
PHILLIPS: You got to have the cash there to help all these men and women. You know what are you doing right now to prepare for all of this? You know, you've heard the speech, you know where we're going now, you know about all the problems that exist, your organization has made such an impact already. How are you preparing for all this?
RIECKHOFF: Well, we're really ramping up our resources, we're trying to provide more mental health resources for our veterans, more job opportunities. Better ways to navigate the GI bill and other benefits that have been improved significantly in the last couple of years. We're hiring new people. We're trying to find ways to get deeper into communities, especially in rural areas. But we need the American public's help and for veterans who are listening or watching, they should go to our website, go to iava.org join our supportive community because we're going to need you to help yourselves and help your families, but also to help each other. We've got to show veterans that we have got to show veterans that we have got their back not only now, but when the focus isn't as sharp.
PHILLIPS: Once again iava.org all right Rieckhoff. You're always a terrific voice for the Vets. I really appreciate your time today.
RIECKHOFF: Thank you ma'am my pleasure.
PHILLIPS: You bet. Donated Christmas trees will spruce up military bases nationwide thanks to the annual Trees For Troops Program. If you're picking up a pine this weekend, keep your eyes open for participating farms, garden centers, and tree laws because if you buy it, they'll help ship it to a military family. Pretty cool way to play Santa to some very deserving folks. And if you want to help out we have linked to the trees for troops website on our blog, that's cnn.com/Kyra. I sure hope you participate.
It almost took an army to get this giant in place. The 76-foot Norway Spruce at Rockefeller center will be front and center tonight. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony set for 7:00 Eastern. It will pretty up that whole plaza for the new year. All right, I know we normally don't do the "What The? "the head scratcher stories until about 2:50 this hour. But because this is a season of giving. We'll I'm giving you a little bonus What The. Date line Marietta, West Virginia, good will employees noticed a donor has left a lovely, maybe antique cooler there. A lovely maybe antique cooler with about $1,500 worth of marijuana stuffed inside. Marijuana's kind of antique too. Police think it's about a year old.
Tiger Woods opening up little bit on his website hinting about what might have turned last week's crashed into an ongoing controversy. The impact going forward beyond the fire hydrant and the tree.
Here's CNN's Susan Candiotti.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One day after the Florida highway patrol closed its books on that minor traffic accident the crash that Tiger Woods has in the fire hydrant in his drive way? Well the case may be closed but the controversy isn't quite over just yet.
Today, a magazine called "Us Weekly" published a story of a woman who alleges she had an affair with Tiger Woods over at least a two-year period of time and the magazine published a voicemail that the woman claims came from Tiger Woods. In this voicemail message from a male, he asks the woman to remove her name from her voicemail message. He says do a huge favor for me.
Now CNN has not verified the validity of this voicemail message and we did try to contact Tiger Woods' agent but he instead referred us to his website and on it Tiger Woods makes quite an interesting statement. It reads in part, quote, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all my heart, but for me the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family should haven't to mean public confessions."
Now will this end the speculation about exactly what happened the night of that accident and what led up to it? Will fans forgive Tiger Woods whatever happens? And how might this affect his corporate image? Those are all questions that will go on for quite some time to come. We already know that Tiger Woods has said that he would not be making anymore public appearances at any more golf tournaments until at least next year, but I think we can all be sure that he likely will be asked about it the next time he appears in public.
Susan Candiotti, Windermere, Florida.
PHILLIPS: Well you've seen now the infamous spaces and countless photos from the White House state dinner. Now hear what the Vice President says about the couple who allegedly crashed the party and cozied up to him for a snapshot.
PHILLIPS: She's experiencing flash backs, nightmares and some serious second guessing. The California student allegedly gang raped after a homecoming dance says that she knew the six guys charged from around the neighborhood. She even considered one of them a friend. The defendants have just been to court to enter their pleas and we bring you more from our affiliate KTVU.
DARA CASHMAN, SENIOR DEPUTY D.A., CONTRA COSTA COUNTRY: The word that always comes to my mind in this particular case is callous, it's very cold and callous.
All six defendants were charged with raping a 16-year-old high school student which took place in a darkened alley during a homecoming dance. The crime made national headlines because in part because police say many other people who knew with what was happening never intervened or called the police.
CASHMAN: It's also got a cold, callous element to it because of the fact that there were so many people and very little effort if any to help her in any way.
Police arrested one suspect on the night of the crime, others were arrested the following Monday. That list includes 15-year-old Cody Ray Smith who was taken from class at Richmond High. 16-year-old Artie Morales and 17-year-old Marsalis Peter were taken into custody early following Wednesday. All six waved their rights to a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Members part of the supporters came to the hearing. But with very few exceptions, no one talked to the media. One woman we spoke with said she can't believe anybody would be capable of such a crime without the victim playing a role.
SHYAN MASON, GRADUATE, RICHMOND HIGH: As far as the girl, I'm not saying she's a bad person, but I feel that there has to be something that instructed them if they did. I don't know.
Are you blaming her a little bit?
MASON: I'm not blaming anyone. CASHMAN: I'm thinking about situations like looting where your average citizen who would never think of putting a chair through a plate glass window and stealing something, they get in that mob mentality and they do act completely out of character and I'm sure that there was a certain aspect of this here.
PHILLIPS: And as you heard, three of those suspects are adults and the other three have been charged as adults. Five of the six face life sentences if convicted.
Five British sailors detained after their races yacht strayed into Iranian waters are free. Iran held the men for about a week after their disabled yacht was seized by the revolutionary guard. The boat had problems with its propeller which made it difficult to steer.
Here's among the most memorable snap shots taken of the White House crashers. But Vice President Joe Biden said that the Salahis were invited guests so he didn't mind posing with them. Biden says the couple treated him like an old buddy, unclear if they'll face charges.
Atlanta could be the scene as some heated exchanges from the tight mayoral runoff, former State Senator Christine Reid is claiming victory, he leads councilwoman Mary Norwood by 620 votes. But there are 100's of provisional ballots that have not been counted. Norwood says she wants a recount.
The search is on for a new CEO at General Motors after the resignation of the man right there at the steering wheel. CNN money.com/Poppy Harlow in New York. Poppy, this was a bit of a shocker?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shock, the CEO of General Motors, Fred Henderson stepping down after just eight months. The man who's going to take over is Ed Whitaker. Many people know him because he used to run AT&T. Well now he's at the realm of this beiger automaker. This Kyra marks the third CEO believe it or not for again motors in less than one year. A lot of people scratching their heads about why the shake-up, why now at GM? Aren't they just getting on stable ground? Well, yes, Fritz Henderson, you see right there, he got this company through bankruptcy in pretty much record time, but at the same time he had a lot of troubles, the sales of Saturn and Saab, and also GM's European brand Opel all fell through under his leadership. Kyra a lot of people saying that may have played a role in his departure. The company where I should note he had worked for 25 years, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right we'll definitely follow what develops there. GM now that this has happened, Poppy, thanks very much.
And also more trouble for Fort Hood, why Dallas Police had to pick up a soldier and what they found in his car.
PHILLIPS: Well, you have probably already heard it this year, the ringing of the bell at the Salvation Army kettle. But now there's a very loud sound, and that's one of protest in L.A. Kids don't get toys unless parents show immigration papers. Same in Houston, but Salvation Army Officials say they are not discriminating, they say they're only asking for ids in a bid to prevent fraud. And at the end of the day, the army says no kids will be turned away. Those without ids will be asked for names and the number of children in the family.
PHILLIPS: Is the major accused of the ft. Hood shooting in his right mind? The military wants to make sure. They're likely to issue an order today for Nidal Hasan to undergo a psychiatric exam. Hasan is charged for killing 13 people for the shooting rampage at the Texas outpost last month. More than two dozen others were wounded in that attack. The mental evaluation will be used to determine if Hasan knew right from wrong and if he is competent to stand trial. We are hearing that legal troubles or emotional woes could be dogging another Fort Hood soldier.
Daniel Motisi was detained by Dallas Police after a call that he allegedly went AWOL. Garry Reeves with our CNN affiliate WFAA explains his story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY REEVES, CNN AFFILIATE (voice over): This is the photo of the soldier in question, from his MySpace page, he's Daniel Motisi and he is 21. Officials say he was headed to Dallas and a sergeant called Dallas Police and asked them to pick him up.
ANDY HARVEY, DALLAS POLICE: I don't know exactly what happened there this morning but we do know there were some statements made by this individual that were of deep concern, possibly very threatening in nature.
REEVES: It took just a matter of minutes for Dallas Police to track him down at a 7-eleven on northwest highway. He did possess what police call a legal weapon.
HARVEY: From my understanding, he had a shotgun in the car, it was unloaded, but I don't know what he was planning to do with that. But we did recover one shotgun and it was placed in under our protective custody for the time being.
REEVES: right now the soldier is being held at Dallas Police headquarters.
HARVEY: There are no local charges being filed against this individual. We are simply holding him for Fort Hood officials.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Well, even though he didn't give them any trouble, police are describing Motisi as emotionally disturbed. No jerks steal candy from a baby, but monsters, monsters steal jewelry from a dead man. This is just an outrage on so many levels. Joaquin Riviera was a pretty popular musician and school counselor in Philly. And this past weekend, he started having symptoms of a heart attack and headed straight to the ER.
Well he checks in, sits down and waits and waits and waits some more. What happens next caught on the security tape. Joaquin stops moving. And three guys next to him move in to action. Not to help him, no. No way. These dudes stole his watch. And I'm telling you, no shame. Well, police have tracked down and arrested one of these low lives. His buddies still at large. Meantime the hospital's investigating how Mr. Rivera sat there unattended for more than an hour.
A showdown over security, it may bog down your airport when the New Year begins and your driver's license is at the center of all of this. We'll explain.
PHILLIPS: Well, you think President Obama's doing enough to get jobless Americans back to work. Some Democrats think he's giving the unemployed the short end of the executive stick and they're making some threats if they don't see some change. CNN national correspondent Jessica Yellin is all over this story. Jessica, go.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra. Go. I'll tell you what's going on, is some members of Congress, Democrats are blaming the leaders in their own party for not doing enough to help the jobless. And they're threatening action if the White House and their own leadership doesn't do more to help get the unemployed back to work. I spoke with Representative Bobby Rush who is not only from Chicago, who has currently in another life beaten President Obama in a local election there and he has said that his team, he's gotten 129 members of Congress together and they're threatening to organize a jobless march on Washington. A march, potentially millions of people who are currently unemployed marching on Washington demanding new policies. I interviewed him earlier and here's what he had to say.
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REPRESENTATIVE BOB RUSH, (D) ILLINOIS: We're all together, when you name the fact that we have to put America back to work, us constituents are hurting, it's the number one issue. It's bigger than the health bill, the health issue. In terms of how these members actually feel about it.
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YELLIN: So what does that mean that it's bigger than the health bill? I asked a number of members would you hold up a vote on health care in order to push through a jobs program this year? They said, you know what we're not there yet, but clearly there is such deep frustration that's one of the options that could be considered. In other words they want Democrats to take action to push through new jobs programs now, otherwise they could losing other parts of the president's agenda over this, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right well does this mean a new stimulus?
YELLIN: You know they're careful not to use that word. It would be an effort to stimulate job growth, call it what you will. Two different options, one is to create a new bill in Congress that would send more money into jobs programs, so basically a second stimulus. Another option is to redirect remaining stimulus money, even some of that TARP money into new jobs programs. We've yet to see if the White House would bit on either of those ideas. But as you know, there's a big jobs summit at the White House tomorrow so a lot more of this heat is -- is going to be turned up there. Kyra.
PHILLIPS: We'll track it. Thanks Jessica.
YELLIN: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Keeping America's transportation network safe after 9/11 and making sure that you get to where you are going in one piece. A constant concern for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, today she's talking about some of the challenges as she meets with a senate committee.
Later this week, Napolitano meets with leaders in real estate, pro - sports, and the financial and media industries to talk about protecting the country's critical infrastructure.
If you're flying somewhere at the beginning of the New Year and you plan to use your driver's license to prove who you are, you might just have a problem, you and thousands of other travelers. Here's CNN's homeland security correspondent, Jean Meserve.
JEAN MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Most people show a driver's license to pass security and board an airplane or enter a federal building. But as of January 1, licenses from as many as 36 states may not be accepted. Because those states are not complying with the requirements of real id, a law passed after 9/11 to make licenses more secure.
Real id first and foremost is to make sure that we don't have terrorists coming through and posing an Americans and able to get on aircraft and access chemical refineries and all the other places where terrorists might go to kill Americans.
MESERVE: But the states say it will cost $4 billion to implement real id and 24 states have passed laws or resolutions saying they will not comply. Other states which won an extension on the December 31st real id deadline have to demonstrate they're making progress, but as many as 12 states may not be able to do so, making 36 states in all non compliant.
You're talking a very large portion of the population, you're talking large states, small states, we don't have the specific list of states, it's across the country, it's not geographic, it's not by size, there's a lot of people that could be affected come January 1.
MESERVE: Governors, some members of Congress and even the secretary of homeland security support an alternative called pass id. Supporters say it would be cheaper and easier to implement but critics maintain it doesn't provide enough security. And Congress has yet to pass it.
Some say that unless congress enacts pass id quickly, driver's licenses from those 36 noncompliant states may not be accepted as identification at airports, snarling security lines over the holiday season and beyond. But others doubt events will unfold that way. They predict the secretary of homeland security will intervene and push back real id deadlines. That would avert a travel catastrophe but could post pone a key 9/11 committee recommendation. Jean Meserve, CNN, Washington.
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PHILLIPS: And a quick look at the top stories, Freedom For Five British sailors held in Iran since last week, they have been released and are now in Dubai. They were on a racing yacht when they drifted into Iranian waters.
The White House party crashing couple still defending themselves. The e-mails between the Salahis and the Pentagon aid undermine their claims. The email show that they pressed the aid for tickets, but by they own admission they showed up at the White House gates without an invitation hoping they would be approved for the guest list.
Days after his car accident, an apologize from Tiger Woods in a statement on his website, Woods admitted transgressions that quote "let his family down." Statement on the same day a gossip magazine that report alleging that Woods had an affair. The golfing great did not admit to an affair, but didn't say what his transgressions were.
That does it for us, we'll see you back here tomorrow, 1:00 eastern time, Rick Sanchez picks it up from here.