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President Obama's War Doctrine; American Terrorists in Pakistan?
Aired December 10, 2009 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered.
Did President Obama just lay out his own war doctrine?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some will kill, and some will be killed.
BROWN: He accepts the Nobel Peace Prize after sending 30,000 more troops into combat.
B. OBAMA: I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy.
BROWN: He makes his case for when war is the right thing.
B. OBAMA: A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies.
BROWN: Plus, new details on the Americans in Pakistan. Alleged wannabe terrorists, were they plotting to kill U.S. soldiers? What makes someone want to declare holy war on their own nation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A few go on and pay their own way into Pakistan or Afghanistan and then come back with a mission.
BROWN: Can we deprogram hate?
And our special investigation on global warming, why going green is taking on new meaning, hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests groups ready for a fight. Is all that cash corrupting the battle to clean up the planet?
And tonight's intriguing person, Franklin Graham. His legendary father, evangelist Billy Graham, has prayed with presidents. I will ask him about the man now residing in the White House.
ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.
BROWN: Welcome, everybody.
We get started tonight, as always, with the "Mash-Up." We are watching it all, so you don't have to.
Take a look, our top story tonight, pomp and controversy in Oslo, Norway, as President Obama accepts a prize some say he does not deserve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, careful to show humility.
B. OBAMA: I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In an elaborate ceremony before an adoring audience, the president said he sees no conflict in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize just days after ordering 30,000 troops so war.
CHARLES GIBSON, HOST, "WORLD NEWS": In accepting the award, he became the fourth American president to be so honored.
Tonight, thousands paid tribute to the president and the first lady with a torchlight procession.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Not very much criticism from conservatives in America for the speech. In fact, both Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin praised the president's speech. However, the hawkish tone is getting mixed reaction from European media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Tonight, many are calling the president's speech a blueprint for an Obama doctrine. In just a bit, we're going to bring you more of the president in his own words. Also, Christiane Amanpour, David Gergen, and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin are going to join me for analysis.
And turning now to Pakistan and new details tonight about those five Americans being held on suspicions of plotting terrorism. CNN's Arwa Damon has been following the story on the ground. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the room where Wednesday they arrested five men who had vanished from their homes in the U.S. at the end of last month. They found maps highlighting known terror hideouts and an e-mail account the men used to contact their militant handlers. Behind these doors is where the six are being held, interrogated by both Pakistani officials and according to the Pakistanis by the FBI.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were there for jihad. They could have done anything.
DAMON: We meet the mother of one of the men. She says she came to Pakistan two months ago to look for a wife for her son. Then he disappeared from their home. Ms. Farooq doesn't believe her son could be involved in a terror plot.
Now she says her family is caught in the middle of this complex Pakistani-U.S. web.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are making a story, because both countries are fighting each other and they are involving other families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: A whole lot more on this story later tonight, including new information about efforts to radicalize young Muslims here at home.
Moving on to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers grilled Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on the Wall Street bailout. They demanded to know why the government hasn't toughened up on too-big-too-fail institutions like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and AIG.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After a huge infusion of taxpayer cash, AIG turned around and paid out billions of dollars to both Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, 100 cents on the dollar. The head of the watchdog panel said Geithner had to explain why he didn't ask Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch to take a haircut, to take a little less money given the circumstances.
TIMOTHY GEITHNER, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I don't understand why this is so complicated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it is complicated, Mr. Secretary.
GEITHNER: No. But it has come down to the nature of choices. It's you either prevent default, because default would be cataclysmic, or you don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goldman, like many Wall Street firms, is feeling the heat, because the recovery on Wall Street does not mirror Main Street, where unemployment is still in double digits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bowing to a storm of criticism, Goldman Sachs, which has set aside more than $16 billion for bonus pay, said today it will not pay cash bonuses to its top 30 executives. Instead, it will award them stock that can't be sold for five years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: In the year since the federal bank bailout, Goldman has seen its profits go through the roof.
Moving on to a softer sort of inquisition, new video just out from Oprah Winfrey's Christmas special at the White House. Queen Oprah got exclusive access to the first couple and asked some probing questions like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": Is there a greater pressure to give a good gift when you're the president, or can you get away with a lesser gift if you're the president?
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Sorry, busy.
M. OBAMA: What are you going to get me? You should feel pressure.
B. OBAMA: I have been giving some good gifts. You get some nice stuff. Here's the general rule. I give nicer stuff than I get.
M. OBAMA: No way.
B. OBAMA: Absolutely.
M. OBAMA: I gave you good gifts last year.
B. OBAMA: Oh, come on, please.
B. OBAMA: It's like Mother's Day and Father's Day.
M. OBAMA: We're talking about Christmas. Don't become distracted.
B. OBAMA: But that principle applies generally.
WINFREY: So, you're a good gift-giver?
B. OBAMA: Where did you get this nice little...
M. OBAMA: This was a gift.
WINFREY: Was this anniversary?
M. OBAMA: Anniversary.
WINFREY: Anniversary. Nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Oprah was also given a full tour of the White House Christmas decorations and got to spend some quality time with first dog, Bo.
And speaking of holiday traditions, ABC's Barbara Walters revealed her 10 most fascinating people last tonight. Here's the one- minute version, her best questions, their best answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Just who is Lady Gaga?
Kate Gosselin is?
You were too lewd to be in the show. What effect is this going to have on your career?
There are people who feel that you have exploited these children. How do you answer this?
Have you had sex with women?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my goodness.
WALTERS: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On an island somewhere smoking my first joint.
WALTERS: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
M. OBAMA: It's usually food-based and really bad TV.
GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": Are you going to ask me the tree question?
WALTERS: No, I'm not. No, I'm not.
BECK: Because I got an answer. Weeping willow. Weeping willow!
WALTERS: Do you think you were his soul mate?
JENNY SANFORD, WIFE OF SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR MARK SANFORD: Well, clearly not.
WALTERS: Can we talk about your arms?
M. OBAMA: My arms?
WALTERS: Your arms.
M. OBAMA: Why, certainly.
WALTERS: I'm so glad you wore a sleeveless dress.
M. OBAMA: Of course.
WALTERS: What do you dislike most about your appearance?
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Oh, shoot, there's plenty of things. I mean, I'm 45 years old. I have had five children. Don't make me go into details.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Ten fascinating people, but no tears, for a change, nobody breaking down on camera.
And that does bring us to the "Punchline," courtesy of Conan O'Brien, who calls out Dick Cheney as a bit of a hater.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": I'm a little worried about Cheney. I think his anger at the president is starting to affect his mind. I really do. Take a look at this interview.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": You said that the president is looking far more radical than you expected. How radical do you view him now? How radical do you view his opinions?
RICHARD B. CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I saw him when he got elected as one of the most evil men in history.
HANNITY: That's a pretty strong statement. What did you mean by that?
CHENEY: I think he's demonstrated pretty conclusively now that he's one of the plotters in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Conan O'Brien, everybody. And that is the "Mash-Up."
Our intriguing person tonight, the Reverend Franklin Graham, you're going to hear his controversial comments on Islam and what he calls the most dangerous place in the world.
And President Obama collects his Peace Prize today. The president defends war as he calls for peace. We're going to break it all down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Furthermore, America -- in fact, no nation -- can insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: When President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today, he spent a good deal of time explaining his views on war, a subject impossible to avoid just days after he had ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. He clearly tried to define what he thinks is the time and the place for conflict. And we're going to analyze his message a little bit later.
But, first, we want you to hear from the president in his own words tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. OBAMA: I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated.
B. OBAMA: In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight.
But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander in chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.
Still, we are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.
I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people, for make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms.
And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend.
(APPLAUSE) B. OBAMA: And we honor -- we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it's easy, but when it is hard.
Somewhere today, in the here and now, in the world as it is, a soldier sees he's outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protester awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's dreams.
Let us live by their example.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: President Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
We're going to break down the delicate balancing act he has today and how he compares to other wartime commanders in chief when we come back.
BROWN: President Obama is walking a fine line, accepting the Nobel Prize for Peace while expanding the war in Afghanistan, which has already claimed the lives of nearly 900 U.S. troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. OBAMA: I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, let's bring in our chief international correspondent and host of "AMANPOUR," Christiane Amanpour. Also with me, our senior political analyst David Gergen, and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin joining us as well today.
Welcome to everybody.
David, let me start with you.
By my count, the president had at least four different audiences he was talking to, obviously, the audience there, but his critics, Americans here at home, and people overseas as well.
How do you think he did overall?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Extremely well.
This is one of his best speeches. It's a memorable speech. We will be reading this speech months and years from now, because it's a personal -- it was a personal testament of Barack Obama, as he grapples with these extraordinarily difficult issues in a very philosophical way.
We can talk about this issue of just war, but I think just as it was -- look at the transcendent quality of this. I think it was a statement of Barack Obama to everyone: This is what I believe. This is how I will try to deal with the issues of war and peace. And I thought, in that, we found the essence of what he believes. And that is what a Nobel lecture is intended to do.
BROWN: And, Christiane, I mean, David mentioned this. He talked at length about just war, but you were struck by what he didn't say in terms of the war in Afghanistan.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, I was struck by the just war. And, as David was saying, as we saw, he devoted so much of his time to justifying the action in Afghanistan.
And here he was laying out the rationale in terms of a just war, not just in terms of self-defense, but in terms of doing what is right. And I would have actually perhaps liked to have seen more on the atrocity and the appalling nature of the Taliban, what was at stake for the people of Afghanistan, because I think all of that really serves to focus people's minds on why this war is being fought and that security for the United States comes with stability in Afghanistan.
BROWN: And, Doris, I know that you said the speech was striking to you in its similarity to the speech that he gave just a couple of weeks ago at West Point, when he was sending more troops off to war.
And what did it say to you about how he thinks about war and peace?
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, the most interesting thing to me, really, was it showed the transition between a candidate and a man who now has the responsibility of the president, because, as a candidate, people wondered whether he was naive, whether he talked about engagement in too soaring of a language, whether he was really not prepared to be president.
And here, what you saw him say was, as head of state, even though this whole nonviolent tradition made him what he was, that he had responsibilities as head of state, was a very muscular speech, and a certain irony to go to a Peace Prize and talk about the necessity of war.
And I think it answered some of those critics who worried about whether or not he was able to command as commander in chief from a very clear, realistic point of view, but keeping that idealism at the same time there.
BROWN: David, Doris mentioned his critics. And the president himself acknowledged I know what many people had been thinking, that he hasn't accomplished enough to be worthy of this award.
How do you think he handled that in the speech? And will that appease his critics on that front?
GERGEN: I thought he handled it just right. And that was, he dealt with it up front, he got it out of the way, and then he moved on to the larger issues of the speech.
I think it was a prelude. It was not a -- it was almost a grace note in some ways. But I -- you know, many of his critics are on the right. And they loved the muscularity of the speech.
But let me offer, Doris, a friendly amendment. And that -- I'm wondering about whether this also represents his transition from citizen Obama to President Obama. And that is, as a citizen, all his life, he has believed that he walks in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., but, as president, he walks in the footsteps of, say, Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt, who both felt compelled to fight wars.
GOODWIN: I think you're right, David. I think that really was the transition we were seeing here.
I mean, also, you know, as a candidate beforehand, he could feel able to apologize for America, when we rightfully should be apologizing for our mistakes. But, again, in this speech, he had a patriotic vision about what America has done. Its legacy, its blood, its soldiers, its treasures have been creating an architecture of peace for the last 50 years.
So, there is that sense of pride that comes in and knowing that he represents our country, at the same time as he acknowledges where we were wrong. And those were the applause lines there, when he said we have to abide by the same rules of conduct that we ask others to be governed by.
BROWN: And you were struck by that, Christiane. Talk to me a little bit about what he talked -- what he said about human rights. You were letting very closely to that part.
AMANPOUR: Well, I think, as we have mentioned, his first applause line came when he talked about the way his administration was restoring American values at home, in the United States and abroad, especially when he talked about closing down Guantanamo Bay.
And I think he devoted quite a lot of his speech to respecting human rights and being on the right side of human rights around the world, because he has come under criticism, especially recently, for being perhaps too pragmatic, at the expense of human rights.
But what he's struggling with, obviously, is how to really be on the side of those who are desperate for their human rights to be upheld. And I thought it was really interesting when he listed the people of Burma, the people of Zimbabwe, the people of Iran who are marching on the street.
And certainly people in Iran are saying, we want to hear more of that from the president of the United States. BROWN: And, finally, Doris, let me ask to just put this in a bit more of a historical perspective, as you look at previous presidents who have gotten the Peace Prize, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter. How does he fit in, in terms of history?
GOODWIN: Well, the interesting thing is, when Roosevelt gave his Peace Prize speech, it was argued, too, that it seemed ironic because he talked about the necessity of war at the beginning and then made the turn for peace, in calling for a League of Peace, arbitration treaties, the Hague Tribunal.
But his, too, was a very muscular speech, even more so. By nature, he was much more bellicose than Obama would ever be. Interestingly, Carter, on the other hand, said -- when he said, war can never be a means of preserving peace, he was much more on the peace side of things, not as realistic, I think, about war. He quoted somebody who said it's almost like war-mongering to say that war can preserve peace., which is the very thing that Obama was willing to say, that sometimes the instruments of war are necessary to preserve peace.
BROWN: Doris Kearns Goodwin for us tonight, along with Christiane Amanpour and David Gergen.
There's breaking news tonight in the case of the man charged with stalking and secretly videotaping ESPN journalist Erin Andrews. And that is coming up in tonight's download when we come back.
BROWN: Big business spending green to keep us from going green, we're going to have more on that coming up.
BROWN: There are five young men from Virginia arrested in Pakistan and accused of plotting terrorist acts. Are they part of a new wave of holy warriors right here in America?
When we come back.
BROWN: Tonight, a proposed compromise in Congress could help break the deadlock over a climate bill. The plan would ease caps on greenhouse gas levels while expanding offshore oil drilling and nuclear power. It's a boost for President Obama who can now head to next week's U.N. climate talks with proof of some progress back home.
And CNN's Tom Foreman is here to break down what exactly is at stake for American countries at these talks. And, Tom, this conference could have huge implications for global energy policy, right?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Campbell. You know, when we talk about doing something about global climate change, we're talking in large part about changing the type of energy we use and how we use it, which means we're talking about changing very big business in very big ways and that's tough.
Look at this. I want you to take a look at this as we settle down here. When we consider this, we speak about casually about oil and natural gas and nuclear power, and solar and wind and hydropower and coal. We talk about all this as a big group, as if they're somehow all playing on the same field. But there's an enormous difference here and I want you to look at this in how we're actually using this.
This is oil. And other things up here, huge use. This is actually where we are right now in time. Huge use of this, natural gas and coal down here. Nuclear, hydropower and all these other renewable fuels and green energy we've been talking about so much, way, way, way down here. So we're looking about a massive shift to business for this group and this group to come more closely together and there's a big effort to control that.
You want to know another way of looking at it. Consider just the amount of oil consumption in the world. We showed you this map. This is the world and we've raised in red all the places that use the most oil. Look at the United States there. Massive amounts here. You go past Alaska, you move over to the rest of the world, there's barely else quite on the same scale as we are. We're using a tremendous amount of that. And that's why there's such a struggle going on right now. We keep talking about this as if it's all about the climate. It's about economics, Campbell, and that's making a big, big difference.
BROWN: And, Tom, we do know from past experience, no company is going to just sort of stand by and watch their business go away. So talk us through how they're responding?
FOREMAN: They're responding the way that big companies do, Campbell. They're doing it by going to war, because that's what they always end up doing.
We fly in here to the capital. I'll show you what we've been dealing with recently here.
The Center for Responsive Politics says from January to September, more than $300 million has been spent by special interest groups trying to influence the nation's energy policies. More than 1,100 companies have activated more than 2,200 lobbyists on all sides of this issue. And the biggest players, that's exactly what you might guess, oil and gas, 121 million. Power companies, $108 million. Mining, 19 million. And other energy, biofuels, solar, other groups like that, wind, power, they're all in there at $40 million.
The simple truth is, Campbell, we will probably see more money spent in lobbying in this sector this year than ever before, and that's a measure of just how much business is at stake even as we talk about all of these environmental concerns.
BROWN: Yes. So depressing. You would think that money might be better spent elsewhere.
Tom Foreman for us tonight. Tom, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
When we come back, what would make five college kids from Virginia head to Pakistan to wage jihad. Is extremism cool? We're going to dig in to what was going on here when we come back.
BROWN: Tonight, we want to know how did five college kids from Virginia end up arrested in Pakistan and accused of plotting terrorist attacks. Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan, a known hotbed of extremist activity. Sargodha, where they were picked up as a center for anti-India militant groups, Pakistani intelligence thinks the men were headed for North Waziristan thought to be an Al Qaeda haven.
And Randi Kaye has been digging into this, and she's joining us now to give us the very latest on what we think may have been going on. What do we know?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some new developments today, Campbell. The FBI today confirming the five missing men from Virginia are indeed the five men who were arrested in Pakistan this week.
Pakistani authorities told us that yesterday and said they were convinced the men were planning to take part in terrorist attacks. Also, a police chief in Pakistan telling CNN that at the house they raided where these men were picked up, they found maps highlighting known terror hideouts and an e-mail account menus to contact militant groups.
We should also point out the number of those arrested is now six, that includes the five men missing from Virginia and one of their fathers. The men are now behind bars in Pakistan. They haven't been charged with anything, but we know they've been interrogated by Pakistani officials and they've met with the FBI and U.S. embassy security officials as well.
BROWN: And what do we know about what they were doing there in the first place?
KAYE: Well, U.S. officials are still gathering information, still trying to figure all of this out, actually. But they really want to know how these men made their way to Pakistan and why.
The wife and mother of two of the men arrested, Sabera Farooq (ph), spoke with CNN's Arwa Damon in Pakistan today. She told CNN that she and her husband had traveled to Pakistan to arrange a marriage for her son, Umar (ph), and then her husband -- actually her son surprised her by arriving in Pakistan with his four friends.
She said her son is a business student who told her he was going to a conference near home with friends, and then she didn't hear from him for days. She feared he might have been kidnapped. But we also know that the five men told the Pakistani embassy that they needed visas to attend the marriage ceremony of a friend and sight see. But again, their actual intent has not yet been confirmed. Also, Pakistani police say their preliminary investigation shows the men came to Pakistan to wage jihad and try to link up with the militant Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is believed to be responsible for the capture and killing in 2002 of "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl.
Police in Pakistan say the men initially made contact with the militant group back in August through YouTube. After that police say a Yahoo account was set up so the men could communicate with the militants.
And here's something really interesting. Authorities in Pakistan say the men communicated by reading and deleting drafts of e-mails, instead of actually sending the real e-mails and leaving a trail or risking detection.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing all five families in this case issued a statement to CNN tonight saying, quote, "The families have been cooperating very closely with the FBI since they discovered that the young men were missing. They are extremely worried about the safety of their sons and do not believe that they could have been involved in the kind of activities currently being reported by the Pakistani officials."
BROWN: All right, Randi Kaye. Randi, thanks so much.
So what makes someone want to declare holy war on their own country? And what kind of young men might be at risk of turning into a would-be terrorist? Earlier, I talked to Paul Cruickshank. He's an Al Qaeda expert from the NYU Center on Law and Security. Take a listen.
BROWN: Paul, as we just heard, Pakistani authorities told "The Wall Street Journal" that the five men being held first made contact with two terrorist organizations back in August and this was by e- mail. How easy is it for somebody sitting at their home in Virginia or anywhere else for that matter in the United States to contact a terrorist group?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, NYU CENTER ON LAW AND SECURITY: Well, it's not entirely straightforward, but some of these terrorist groups in Pakistan do, for example, have charity wings with Web sites that may have been a possibility of finding some sort of e-mail address to get in contact with. They may have been on online forums and found an address that way. I guess we just don't really know too much at the moment about how exactly they contacted these groups.
BROWN: And, again, Pakistani authorities say that these men intended to train, to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan? Explain what that means, what the process is if that's ultimately their goal.
CRUICKSHANK: Well, we've seen a number of cases, Campbell, in recent years of Americans going over there to Pakistan, with a view to going and fighting in Afghanistan. In September 2007, Brian Vinas, a Catholic convert from Long Island, went over to Pakistan and trained with Al Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan. He trained with C-3, C-4 plastic explosives, learned how to make suicide belts. They were grooming him to become a fighter in Afghanistan and he actually participated in some attacks on U.S. forward-operating bases near the Afghan-Pakistani border.
So that's the sort of pathway that some of these recruits take. We've seen a number of people also coming from Europe, going over to Pakistan, getting the sort of training they'll need to go and fight in Afghanistan, Campbell.
BROWN: And when we hear about these plots, Paul, are they predominantly hatched from just young people who are meeting up with one anther, rather than this more coordinated effort from Al Qaeda.
CRUICKSHANK: I think we've got both two things on the course right now. I mean, recently, in September, we had a major arrest here in the U.S., a cell around Najibullah Zazi perhaps plotting to attack Grand Central Station. They're basically connected with Al Qaeda and Pakistan and got training on some mission orders.
We've also seen a lot of other cases where there have been no operational ties to organized terrorist groups that people have tried to take their own self-initiative. It's not at the moment clear where this case in Pakistan falls.
BROWN: And, Paul, I do know that you've been in touch with an organization whose sole purpose is to try to de-radicalize young Muslims, to prevent them from becoming terrorists. How are they going about this?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, you know, it's so important these efforts, you know, given the fact that authorities say there's a growing tide of radicalization in the United States. How do they go about these efforts?
Well, first, they try to disengage these young radicalized Muslims away from thinking about going to fight jihad, to get them to concentrate on other issues in their lives. Maybe they just got married or they got a new baby. They also try and channel their energies into other ways. They say well, if you really want to help Muslims, help them here in the United States. Help them, you know, help go and feed homeless Muslims or something like that.
They also try and really train them in the proper Islam, the true Islam, which is an Islam which abhors violence. They try and persuade them that Al Qaeda's terrorism is not appropriate jihad. It's not Islamically (ph) legitimate, Campbell.
BROWN: All right, Paul Cruickshank for us tonight. Appreciate your perspective. Thanks, Paul.
BROWN: And "LARRY KING LIVE" starts in just a few moments. Larry, what do you have for us? LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Campbell, we know money makes the world go round. And Suze Orman is here to answer your financial questions. How can you save during the holiday season without being a scrooge?
And then the king meets the queen. Latifah, that is. She'll also share what she says is one of the greatest stories never told. It's all ahead on "LARRY KING LIVE," Ms. Campbell.
BROWN: Larry, thank you very much. We'll see you.
Tonight's intriguing person, Franklin Graham. He is the son of the legendary Billy Graham. He is here tonight to talk about President Obama, Sarah Palin, war, religion and what he's doing to help more than eight million children in need and how you can help. That's when we come back.
BROWN: When the Nobel Committee selected President Obama for the Peace Prize he received today, they highlighted his efforts to bring the world together. But as the president himself acknowledged, its religious differences that often continue to divide us. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God. The cruelties of the crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no holy war can ever be a just war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Earlier today, I spoke with one of the world's most influential evangelists and he is tonight's intriguing person, the Reverend Franklin Graham. I asked him about the president's comments.
BROWN: You have a son who is serving in Afghanistan?
FRANKLIN GRAHAM, PRESIDENT, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: Yes.
BROWN: He's on his fourth deployment?
GRAHAM: Fourth deployment.
BROWN: So in the context of that, in your personal experience with this war, tell me what you thought of the president's speech today.
GRAHAM: Well, first of all, I support the president and his decision to send an additional 30,000 troops. I felt sorry for the president in some ways accepting the Nobel Peace Prize but having to defend the war in Afghanistan which I believe is the right decision. So I certainly support it, the president in his decision and what he had to say today in his speech. So I was very, very proud of him.
BROWN: Do you see the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq for that matter, do you see these as religious wars in any way?
GRAHAM: We in this country do not look at it that way. They do, however, Al Qaeda, and the people that support them, the Taliban. It is a religious war with them. And they see all Americans, they see this is a Christian nation. And it is a religious war for them, but, of course, not for us. We don't see it that way.
BROWN: You got a lot of flak after 9/11 because you said that Islam in your view was an evil and a wicked religion. You heard the opposite from President Obama today...
BROWN: ... in his speech.
What did you think of that in particular?
GRAHAM: Well, first of all --
BROWN: Was that a mistake for him to say that?
GRAHAM: Well, the president is the president and he has to be the president of all people, of the whole nation. And we have many Muslims that live in this country. But true Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries.
BROWN: And that's true Islam to you? Because what the president said today was Islam is a great religion.
GRAHAM: You have to look, first of all, I agreed with the president on what he had to say as far as our nation at war. But as it relates to Islam, if you want to study Islam, look at Saudi Arabia. Is this a country of tolerance? Is this a --
BROWN: But can that just be one interpretation or no?
GRAHAM: Well, the whole nation is not an interpretation, but if you want to look at Afghanistan, you want to look at Iraq, what they're doing to each other is just brutal.
But, listen, Islam, I love the people of Islam. And I work in Muslim countries all over the world. But when you see countries that where they live under Sharia law, Islamic law, where that is the law of the land, Campbell, trust me girl, you don't want to live there.
BROWN: But is that all Islam means to you because there's certainly many people who, you know, define themselves as Muslim who don't practice in those extremes? GRAHAM: That's right, Campbell, and they would like to get out of Islam. But they cannot because --
BROWN: I don't think that's true. Do you think they all want to be --
GRAHAM: No, no. I said many of them would like to get out, but you cannot change from Islam. If you're a Muslim and you change your religion, you can be killed. Your family can kill you. They can warn you but if you don't come back, they can take your life. And that is the threat that many of these people live under Islam.
I've been working in some countries for 50 years, Campbell. And what they do to where I work in the southern Sudan where they tried to annihilate the Christians in the south, just murdered two million of them. All of this has taken place and all of it was done under the name of Islam. But there are millions of wonderful Muslim people. And I love them. I have friends that are Muslims and I work in those countries. But I don't agree with the teachings of Islam and I find it to be a very violent religion.
BROWN: Let me shift gears and ask you about domestic politics.
Sarah Palin, you recently helped arrange a dinner between your father, the Reverend Billy Graham, and Sarah Palin. How did that go? What did they talk about?
GRAHAM: You know, she's -- Campbell, she's a very nice person. I got to know her in Alaska. I have a home up there and I was there last year in the winter. And there was a food shortage out on the Yukon and I called the governor's office to see if we could help because we have cargo planes in Alaska. When the book tour started taking shape, I realized that she was going to be very close to his home and so she came by to see him.
BROWN: Would you support her if she ran for president?
GRAHAM: Oh, I don't know. She's a nice lady and she's a sharp lady. Campbell, we got a long way to go. I don't think she's going to run.
BROWN: Before I let you go, let me talk to you about something you've been doing for 13 years, is that right?
GRAHAM: Thirteen years, yes.
BROWN: Operation Christmas Child project. Explain to us what it is.
GRAHAM: Campbell, we ask people to take an empty shoebox, fill it with items for a child. This particular box is for a girl, and it's got a doll. It's got thing things for her hair. It's got toys, it's got candy, school supplies.
BROWN: And you take these all over the world. GRAHAM: A hundred and five countries this year, 8.3 million of these boxes have been put together. We ask everybody put your picture in here, put your address in here. I want the kid who gets the box to see who gave it. But more importantly, I ask people to pray. Pray not for the box, but pray for the child who's going to get the box. And we know God will hear the prayer of one righteous person.
Can you imagine eight million people praying to God for eight million children that God just might hear those prayers and do something in a wonderful way for these children? It's called Operation Christmas Child. There's more children out there than we have gifts for.
BROWN: Reverend Franklin Graham, it's very good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.
GRAHAM: Thank you, Campbell.
BROWN: "LARRY KING LIVE" starts in just a few moments. But next, the couple who made headlines when they got past the Secret Service at the White House. Tonight, they have a new claim to fame. The story in our "Political Daily Brief."
BROWN: When a pair of reality show wannabes crashed the White House state dinner last month, they not only made headlines, they gave us a new verb. Erica Hill is here with that and more serious news from Washington in tonight's "Political Daily Briefing."
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's just the gift that keeps on giving. And this is holiday season. Let's do better.
First, though, let's do some more serious stuff, a little about face from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signaling today she may consider a health care bill that does not include a public option. A move that will eliminate a major sticking point.
Now the Senate's latest proposal replaces the public option with new nonprofit plans. It would also make Medicare available to some workers over 55. So dropping that a bit.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds Americans are divided over whether the country would be better off with either Democrats or Republicans in charge. With midterm elections on the horizon, 40 percent of those polled say Democrats should run Congress. But as you see there, 39 percent want Republicans in charge, which really is a tie. Let's be honest.
And finally, as you gear up for the season's holiday parties, make sure you double check the invite unless you plan to "Salahid" a particular dash. That's right.
BROWN: Are you kidding? HILL: No, I'm not. Until now, it was really just the last name of a couple that we all know a little too much about, notorious for crashing the state dinner last month. But now, according to the uber hip urban dictionary.com, it's a verb. "Salahi," "Salahid," just sneak into a soiree uninvited is the meaning. And there you have it.
BROWN: Who knew? It was inevitable.
HILL: It was.
BROWN: Erica Hill -- Erica, thanks. Appreciate it.
That is it for us. Thanks for joining us, everybody.
"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.