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THE SITUATION ROOM
Arguments at the Supreme Court for the Obama Health Care Law; Republican Presidential Primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and District of Columbia on Tuesday; Scary Details of Pilot's In-Flight Meltdown; Thousands in Debt by Age 7; Popular Starbucks Drink Colored with Bugs; Under the Influence of "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Aired March 31, 2012 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the SITUATION ROOM, the signature accomplishment of the Obama presidency may be doomed. This hour, the historic arguments at the United States Supreme Court and warnings of a train wreck for the Obama administration.
Plus, Mitt Romney responds to Rick Santorum's charge that he's the worst Republican to run against the president on health care. I spoke with both Republicans presidential candidates about their marathon battle.
And your child or grandchild may be the target of identity theft. It turns out youngsters are at high risk for a crime that could scar their financial record for years to come.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in "the SITUATION ROOM."
It's looking more and more as if the United States Supreme Court will cut the heart out of the health care reform law, that's the part which would require Americans to buy insurance. If that mandate is found unconstitutional, it's an open question whether the rest of the law could survive. The court held three days of historic arguments this week.
CNN's congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan and CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin were both inside for every minute of those oral arguments.
Let's start with Kate. First of all, what was your take?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, you know it's impossible to predict. But after three days, as you mentioned, and more than six hours of oral arguments on the fate of the sweeping health care law, the justices are looking at four issues but, you know, the entire law and the case hinges on one key issue, the mandate, and that looks to be in trouble.
CROWD: We want Obama care.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): High drama outside the Supreme Court. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's what we say to Obamacare.
BOLDUAN: But the real action was inside the courtroom as the justices examined the key question in the historic health care case, is the individual mandate constitutional? The argument did not appear to go well for the Obama administration and its supporters. Even swing vote justice Anthony Kennedy seemed skeptical, signaling the law goes too far.
ANTHONY KENNEDY, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The government is saying that the federal government has a duty to tell the individual citizens that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases. That changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.
BOLDUAN: Though chief justice John Roberts was tough on both sides, giving some hope he might be persuaded with the administration on the mandate question. The probation requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
JOHN ROBERTS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Once we say that there is a market and Congress can require people to participate in it, as some would say, it seems to me we can't say there are limitations on what Congress can do under its commerce power. All bets are off.
BOLDUAN: The more conservative justices also posed multiple hypotheticals, testing the boundaries of the sweeping health care overhaul.
SAMUEL ALITO, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: You can get burial insurance, you can get health insurance. Most people are going to need health care, almost everybody. Everybody is going to be bury of cremate in it at some point.
ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Everybody has to exercise because there's no doubt that lack of exercise causes illness and that causes health care costs to go up. So the federal government says everybody has to join an exercise club.
BOLDUAN: The Obama administration's top lawyer before the high court, Donald Verrilli, did find a sympathetic ear from the four more liberal justices, all indicating Congress acted within its power in crafting the law.
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The people who don't participate in this market are making it much more expensive for the people who do. So it's not your free choice just to do something for yourself. What you do is going to affect others, affect them in a major way.
BOLDUAN: And while the mandate may be in trouble, the justices also looked at what happens to the rest of the law. If this key provision fails, does the rest of the law have to fall or can part of the law survive? The justices appeared a little more divided on that. And our reminder, as you know, Wolf, we're likely to not get their final outcome, their final opinion until June.
BLITZER: At least mid June or the end of June, that's everybody seems to think. So, what happens between now and then?
BOLDUAN: It's really fascinating. Because the justices have almost assuredly we already voted even preliminarily on where the nine justices stand on these four issues. This happens all in private, no press releases, no leaks. It's all done in secret and then they start writing the ever important opinion, which needs to start almost immediately because they have four issues to decide on. And as you can tell, just look at the calendar, it have very little time to finish it up.
BLITZER: And long legal briefs scenario.
BLITZER: Thanks very much. Good work this week.
BOLDUAN: Thanks Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's turn to someone who has been closely watching the Supreme Court for many years now. We are talking about our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, a real authority on the court.
How do they prevent leaks? It is going to be between now and that's a mid until the end of June. There are people that are going to want to know what's going on but there are rarely, if ever, any leaks from the U.S. Supreme Court. How do they do that?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You start with so few people knowing the answer. You know, Washington is a big city full of a lot of federal employees, but that room, the conference room where they meet on Fridays to cast their initial votes, only the nine justices are in that room. No clerks, no secretaries, nobody else. They then go back to their chambers. They don't have big staffs. They have four law clerks apiece and there are two or three secretaries in the office. That's it.
Everybody's sworn to secrecy and as far as I'm aware during this critical period between oral argument and the announcement of the decisions, I have never heard of a decision leaking.
BLITZER: Good point. Now, let's go through some of the legal issues they have to consider. The first issue, whether or not to even take up this matter. I assume you agree with almost everyone else that's a done deal.
TOOBIN: That was Monday's argument and there was really very little disagreement among the justices. They seemed very committed to the idea that this law needs to be evaluated by the Supreme Court now. That's not a tough one.
BLITZER: The much more difficult one is the constitutionality of what's called the individual mandate requiring people to buy health insurance. Where do you expect the nine justices to come out on that?
TOOBIN: Well, you know Wolf, one of the privileges of being a journalist is you sometimes really feel like you're watch being history unfold before your eyes. And on Tuesday morning at 10:00 when the four conservative justices who speak got up and started pounding Donald Verrilli with questions, you know, confounding all of our expectations that they would sort of let this case pass through, you could see so much changing so quickly.
The core of the argument against the individual mandate is that this requirement of individuals to buy a commercial product is somehow different from what our usual obligations are on citizens. To make that affirmative step is something different.
Now, that argument seems to have appeal for at least the four conservative justices and presumably justice Clarence Thomas, who didn't speak, but is more conservative than the others. There really did seem to be five votes to strike done the individual mandate.
BLITZER: If they strike it down that, individual mandate, the third issue they have to reach agreement on is whether or not everything else goes down or whether some key provisions of the law can remain in effect.
TOOBIN: You know, in some respects Wednesday's argument, which was about that issue of so called severability, how much of the law to strike down. It was even more shocking to me than Tuesday. Because there was a serious case made, certainly by Justice Scalia, at times by Justice Kennedy, somewhat by Justice Alito that you have to throw out the whole 2,000 plus pages of the law, even though they everyone concedes that much of it is clearly constitutional. The idea that they would do that is something, frankly that was outside the realm of possibility, as I understood it, you know, going into these arguments but it's certainly a live possibility. It doesn't seem as clear cut, as likely as striking down the individual mandate but it is on the table striking down this whole law.
BLITZER: You know, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, after you told all of our viewers on Tuesday, it looked like a train wreck for the Obama administration. He came back and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I wouldn't bet on this but I'll bet I've been in court a lot more than Jeffrey Toobin. And I've had arguments, federal circuit, Supreme Court and hundreds of times in court before trial courts and the questions you get from the judges doesn't mean that's what's going to wind up with the opinion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: There's a lot of times these justices, they play devil's advocate, if you will. They don't necessarily agree but they want to ask tough questions.
TOOBIN: It does happen and I certainly defer to the experience of my fellow legal analyst Harry Reid. But, you know, this court devil's advocate is not a lot of what they do. It could be. I mean, this is not a guarantee and I certainly offer that caveat, but in my experience when you have justices in big cases pounding people with questions from a clear ideological perspective, that is not an academic exercise. That is usually, not always, but usually a good indication for how they stand on the case.
BLITZER: Jeff Toobin, thanks for your excellent work this week. We'll be watching. No one will watch it more closely than you.
TOOBIN: That's for sure.
BLITZER: Appreciate it.
TOOBIN: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: So, how will this historic health care showdown play in the presidential race? Just three days to go until the next Republican primaries.
Also, scary new details on that in-flight meltdown by a JetBlue pilot. We'll talk to one of the passengers who saw it all go down.
Plus, identity thieves targeting children. What you can do right now to protect your kids.
BLITZER: Newt Gingrich is downsizing his campaign. Ron Paul is basically treading water. So, that leaves the Republican race between two front-runners, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. There's no love lost between the two men. I spoke to Romney about that this week. Watch this.
BLITZER: Your opponent, Rick Santorum, he is really going after you big time. Over the weekend he said this. Listen to this clip.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why would we put someone up who is uniquely, pick any other country in the country, he is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama. Why would Wisconsin want to vote for someone like that?
BLITZER: I want to give you a chance to respond to Santorum.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to worry too much about what Rick is saying these days. I know that when you fall further and further behind, you get a little more animated.
But the truth of the matter is that I have been able to connect with the American people. As you go across this country, you're seeing more and more enthusiasm for my candidacy and the recognition on the part of the American people that we have to replace President Obama.
And one big difference between the two of us, is that if I'm elected president, I will repeal Obamacare and I'll stop it in its tracks on day one. I believe it's unconstitutional. I believe the court will find it unconstitutional.
And one more thing I'll tell you about it, we can't afford trillions of dollars of new federal spending. It's a power grab by the federal government, it violate the tenth amendment, it violates the economic principles of economic freedom in this country. It's wrong. It needs to be repealed.
BLITZER: Why is it OK for states to have health insurance mandates but not the federal government?
ROMNEY: Well, first of all, it's a matter of constitutional direction. States have the power to provide mandates if they wish to do so, the federal government does not. But, number two, we're talking about trillions of dollars of federal spending and we can't afford more federal spending.
In the case of my state, there was no new tax that was required. In the case of the Obama care, he's put in place $500 billion in new taxes, $500 billion of Medicare cuts. And then he course is planning on stepping in and telling people what kind of insurance they have to have.
Ultimately, I believe he's going to be telling people what kind of treatment they can receive. It's a bad piece of legislation. The American people know it. That's why we're going to repeal it.
BLITZER: David Plouffe, the president's senior adviser was on television yesterday and he said you flatly, that you, Mitt Romney, in his words, you're the godfather of the president's health care plan. You want to respond to David Plouffe?
ROMNEY: Well, I think we said that he's the Rumpelstiltskin of the campaign. He's trying to turn straw into gold. But it's not going to work for them. I'm going to make it very clear that as someone who knows a lot about health care and who cares about the American people having health insurance that the way they went about it with their 2,700 page bill and trillions of dollars in new spending is absolutely wrong. The wrong course is for the federal government to take over health care from the states, from the physicians and from the people of America.
BLITZER: Rick Santorum isn't limiting his tough attacks to Mitt Romney. He's also going after President Obama. I spoke with Santorum this week about his campaign strategy.
BLITZER: Let's talk about the president of the United States. You used some pretty harsh rhetoric in going after him. I'll play a little clip of something you've said repeatedly. Listen to this.
SANTORUM: I'm asking each and every one of you to act over the next 24 hours as if your freedom is at stake, because it is.
BLITZER: Your freedom is at stake, that makes it sound as if there's going to be a totalitarian regime here. Our freedom is going to be taken away from us.
SANTORUM: Yes. As I just talked about, our freedom is going to be at stake because you now have the government telling that you will buy what the government says you to buy. Whether it - whether it's what you want or not, whether it's how much you want to pay or not.
A private citizen on the condition of living in America is going to be forced to do something that never before governor has imposed upon. And as we've seen with these regulations, even if it violates your deeply held religious convictions, the federal government is going to force to you do something that violates your tenets and teachings of your faith. That is first amendment freedoms, economic freedoms, religious freedoms being taken away by a government who believes they know better how to run your lives.
BLITZER: You, also, have a brand new Web ad that paints an apocalyptic image of what could happen if President Obama is re- elected. I'll play a little clip from that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: Imagine a small American town two years from now if Obama is re-elected. Small businesses are struggling and families are worried about their jobs and their future.
BLITZER: Just to be fair to the president of the United States, when he took office, the country was near a recession, a great recession, losing 700,000 jobs a month. Now, over the past few months gaining 200,000 jobs a month. The stock market was around 7,000, something like that. Now it's over 13,000. It doesn't look like -- and the economic indicators are moving in the right direction as opposed to the wrong direction.
SANTORUM: Well, first off, this has been the most anemic recovery in the history of our country.
BLITZER: But it's been a recovery.
SANTORUM: Well, but, it's anemic and rates and growth that are not sustainable to increasing jobs. This president has exploded, exploded the credit card, $5 trillion added to the national debt. That's going to come a cropper at some point for the American people and we know it. We'll either do it by having huge amounts of debt payments we're going to have to pay which of course, will further balloon the deficit or huge tax increases. They are going to put in effect, you see his energy policy is driving up the cost of energy which of course, will slow down the economy --
BLITZER: But in terms of the right track, wrong track, the country was clearly on the wrong track in 2008.
SANTORUM: Three and a half years, Wolf, and we're still talking about a pathetic economy.
BLITZER: But a lot of workers, auto workers, auto suppliers, they have jobs now because of the some of the steps he took.
SANTORUM: There maybe one or two places where the president can point to. But, the fact of the matter is, for almost four years, this president has governed an economy that is suffering and struggling and blowing holes through our deficit.
BLITZER: Major endorsements, meanwhile, in the Republican race for the White House but will they help Mitt Romney seal the deal in the coming days?
Also, Starbucks' secret ingredient. You may not want to know what's in one rather popular drink. Stay with us here in the SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: The Republican presidential candidates are gearing up for the next big primary showdown this coming Tuesday. Certainly health care on their radar, new endorsements in the mix as well.
Let's bring in our chief political analyst Gloria Borger and our senior political analyst Ron Brownstein of the "National Journal."
Gloria, assuming - assuming that a collapse as the mandates at least at the Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional, politically how does that play out looking into November?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's very hard to say at this point, Wolf, because there's lots of ways the courts could rule. I mean, you could you say the mandates are unconstitutional. You could keep other parts of the law which people like, for example, requiring that insurance companies keep your pre-existing conditions covered. And that would be a very different political impact than in you threw the whole thing out.
I mean, to me, the Democrats could then rally their base. It would be a blow to Barack Obama, no doubt about it, huge embarrassment. Democrats could rally their base. And by the way, then, Republicans would be forced to come up with a plan for health insurance, which they haven't done.
RONALD BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I completely agree. I think if they do throw out the mandate, it would have the effect of probably rallying both parties' bases. Democrats would rally around the idea of --
BLITZER: James Carville says it would be great for the Democrats.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think it would probably rally the base of both sides. You'd have five Republican appointed justices outvoting four democratically appointed justices to overturn the biggest domestic accomplishment of a Democratic congress and president since 1966, biggest overturning probably of a domestic laws since the agricultural adjustment administration under Roosevelt in 1936. So, the immediate political impact I think would be somewhat offset. Each side would rally. The long-term impact I think would be greatest on the court, itself, a 5-4 party line vote on something of this magnitude following a party line voting congress in the other direction, I think really would erode the sense this they are anything other than combatants in this broader political war.
BORGER: And our poll this week showed, when we asked the American public whether we thought the court would make a political decision, half of the people said yes and that's not good for the court. It's not good for any institution.
I mean, I would argue that health care reform should have been passed with a bipartisan majority. It was passed along party line, the court looks ideological, the Congress looks ideological, the president looks ideological. It's not good for any of the institutions.
BLITZER: Let's look ahead to Tuesday. Three contests in the Republican race for the White House, Wisconsin, Maryland, District of Columbia. This new poll, NBC Marist Poll in Wisconsin likely Republican primary voters 40 percent for Romney, 33 percent Santorum, 11 percent for Paul, eight percent for Gingrich.
All of us assume Romney will win in Maryland and in D.C. Wisconsin is what most people are looking at.
BROWNSTEIN: And Wisconsin, because if is the kind of case that will test the real reach or limits of Santorum's campaign. On the one hand 60 percent of the voters in 2008 in Wisconsin did not have college degrees, 80 percent earned $100,000 or less are voters where Romney has struggled before. But only 38 percent of them are evangelicals. And that has been the core of Santorum's support.
We did analysis this week at "National Journal" with (INAUDIBLE) help us here and you look at it and Santorum's support is almost exclusively confined to evangelicals who are very conservative. Even the non-evangelical voters are very conservative he has struggled with. And Wisconsin is the kind of place, I think that if he can't win, shows he's overly dependent on this one narrow slice of the Republican coalition.
BLITZER: And Romney's getting a whole bunch of endorsements, Gloria.
BLITZER: As you know, former president George H.W. Bush, now Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush a week ago, the former governor of Florida. It looks like the Republicans want this thing over.
BORGER: You think? Yes, they do want it over with. And that's why you see the establishment Republicans now coming out of the woodwork saying, all right, it time for this to be over. The question is whether these things matter at this point anymore and I don't think they do. I really don't think they do. BROWNSTEIN: Especially given who is voting for Santorum. I men, the core of his constituency or the voters, are least receptive to the endorsements.
BLITZER: They'll be receptive to a Paul Ryan, to a Marco Rubio.
BROWNSTEIN: Potentially. But as I said, I mean, he's so dependent now on evangelical Christian voters who are the most suspicious of Romney. He's got a very tough stretch as you point out. Not only Maryland, you see, but April 24th it's bad. But if he can survive till May, the calendar could allow him to win a much more states.
BORGER: The endorsement Mitt Romney would need would be evangelical Christian leaders. If those folks came out, family research council, all those people, if they came out and said OK, we're getting behind Mitt Romney that, would matter more than George H.W. Bush.
BLITZER: They'll do that when he's the last man standing.
BORGER: Maybe not, though. He's a Mormon.
BLITZER: I suspect they will.
BROWNSTEIN: One thing Romney has, if he can beat Santorum in Pennsylvania in April 24th, maybe he can make it impossible for him to go on until May when the calendar, otherwise it was back in Santorum's favor.
BORGER: I think Wisconsin is important. If Santorum can't win there, but then Pennsylvania --
BLITZER: They may not love Romney but they hate President Obama. I think that's fair to say.
BROWNSTEIN: That's right.
BLITZER: You guys, thanks very much.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
BLITZER: A JetBlue pilot loses it. How passengers stopped this terrifying meltdown.
Plus, identity theft and your kids. How criminals put children thousands of dollars in debt.
And it's a popular Starbucks drink but you may not necessary find it as tasty once you know what's inside.
BLITZER: A JetBlue pilot now faces federal charges of interfering with a flight crew after a scary in-flight meltdown this week.
The complaint goes into detail about Captain Clayton Osbon's behavior that forced Flight 191 to make an emergency landing. It says Osbon sprinted back to the forward galley and the flight attendants gave chase.
The flight attendants had already notified certain passengers they may need their help. The first officer announced over the PA system an order to restrain Osbon.
Several passengers jumped in to help and brought Osbon down in the forward galley. One of Osbon's neighbors in Georgia said he's shocked by what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELTON STAFFORD, PILOT'S NEIGHBOR: Obviously something has clicked or something. You know, he is a straight-headed guy, very level headed and very professional. So I know he loves his job. We talk about it a little bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Several Flight 191 passengers are speaking out, including Tony Antolino.
BLITZER: Tony, thanks very much for coming in. First of all, where were you sitting when all the commotion started?
TONY ANTOLINO, JETBLUE FLIGHT 191 PASSENGER: Thanks for having me, Wolf. I was in row 10 when the commotion started.
BLITZER: You were in an aisle, middle or window?
ANTOLINO: I was in the aisle seat, 10D actually. Before the actual commotion started, there was probably about 15 or 20 minutes of activity leading up to that point.
And it all started with some erratic behavior with the distressed captain immediately as he exited the cockpit for the first time. He was clearly agitated, acting a little bit weird, drinking lots of water. He seemed like he had a lot of cotton mouth, that type of thing.
He was very anxious. So I kind of thought that was a little bit odd. But I think the real turning point where things went from a little peculiar or odd to, you know, confirming that there was a problem was when one of the flight attendants had gone a few rows behind me to talk to an off-duty JetBlue pilot.
And then when I saw the distressed captain go into the bathroom, they kind of rushed him into the cockpit and secured the cockpit door. At that point, I kind of was sure something was definitely wrong with what we came to know to be the captain.
BLITZER: All right, so he emerges from the lavatory of the pilot, who is in distress obviously. Pick up the story then. What happens? He tries to get back into the cockpit but he can't. ANTOLINO: He comes out of the rest room after the co-pilot -- the off-duty pilot was back in the cockpit. He actually then went to the rear of the aircraft. I had gotten up from my seat and went into the men's room.
When I came out of the men's room, he was actually in the back galley. So he then started walking up towards the cockpit and, I don't know, somewhere around maybe halfway or so he just started running towards the cockpit.
As he got to the cockpit door, he tried putting in his access code. The door did not open. When that didn't happen, he started pounding on the door and started yelling "let me in" and that type of thing.
At that point in myself and three other guys I think just impulsively jumped up and grabbed him and started pulling him away from the cockpit door.
While that was happening, he started yelling things like "they us in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, they're going to take us down, we need to throttle down, take the plane down."
Then he suggested that we all say the Lord's Prayer. And I think certainly for me that was all I needed to hear and I think the other guys probably felt the same way because at that point we just wrestled him to the ground and forcibly restrained him.
ANTOLINO: What was going through your mind as you were doing this? You obviously for the next 15, 20 minutes until the plane made that emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, you were holding him down. Was he still talking? What was going on?
ANTOLINO: Well, he kept talking until we had him on the ground. As he was going down, he was yelling "I'm so distraught, I'm so distraught." Clearly, it was just confirming that he was having some kind of mental crisis or a breakdown of sorts.
I don't think there was anything really running through my mind from the time I jumped out of my seats to having my hands on him. I think it was an impulsive response quite honestly.
Once we had him on the ground, then the thinking started kicking in because the restraints broke that the flight crew gave us. Those zip ties were a complete failure. There was a retired NYPD sergeant with us.
So he kind of coached everybody through the situation and just kind of said, look, everybody just hold on to him, keep your hands on him, don't move. Let's stop trying to figure out how we should tie him up, just stay on top of him and wait until we get on the ground.
So that's what everybody did. The captain did stay quiet until we were just about to touched down and then he started kind of making statements about an emergency landing, crash landing, that type of thing. So that's how it played out. BLITZER: Was he strong on the ground? Was he at all fighting you guys or did he just give up once the three or four of you held him down? I know you used your own -- your -- I guess anything had you there to restrain him.
ANTOLINO: Wolf, this guy's a big guy. I mean, he's easily 6'4", 250 pounds, in great shape, rock solid kind of guy. So it was an effort for four guys to take him down. He did not give up at all.
There was one guy in front of me that was trying to get his arm behind him and he kept telling him, look, give me your arm. I'm going to break your arm. And, you know, I don't think he broke his arm, but it probably would have gone to that had he not finally given up and just kind of went flat.
At that point, though, he did just kind of lay there. He was quiet. The four of us holding him remained completely quiet and we got on the ground and the authorities came on, handcuffed him and put him on the stretcher and took him down the stairs to the ambulance.
BLITZER: And everybody on board that plane is grateful to you. A lot of people are grateful to you and the others. Tony, thanks very much for stepping up to the plate and doing what you did. You potentially saved a lot of lives. Appreciate it very much.
ANTOLINO: Thanks, Wolf. You know, it's really the co-pilot who is the hero here for recognizing that there was a crisis early on and getting him out of the cockpit. That should really be noted.
BLITZER: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. And the other pilot who was off duty who went upfront and helped bring that plane down safely under awful, awful circumstances. Tony Antolino joining us. Before I let you go quickly, Tony, what kind of work do you normally do?
ANTOLINO: I'm a chief marketing officer for Ilac Corporation. We're a technology company that does iris identity management. So we were heading out for the security conference.
BLITZER: You never expected that this would happen. But glad you stood up and did what you did. Tony, thanks very much.
ANTOLINO: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: They may be children, but thousands of them are already thousands of dollars in debt. Ahead, why so many are now the targets of identity theft.
Plus an intoxicating rendition of queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." You want to see this, I think.
BLITZER: These days your credit score can be your lifeline, your mortgage, car loan, credit card limits all depend on it, but what if it's ruined before you're even in the fourth grade. Lisa Sylvester is investigating a really frightening trend out there, identity thieves going after children. Explain what's going on here.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Wolf. You know, imagine your child having thousands of dollars of debt listed on his or her credit report.
The only problem is they may still be in elementary school or even still in diapers. So how does this happen? It's identity theft and it's a growing problem.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): Seven-year-old Ian Umscheid is number 21 on the baseball field. Like many kids, he loves playing baseball, guarding second base.
But unlike other children, Ian has a lengthy credit report, none of it good. Among the charges, $5,400 on a Bank of America credit card, $2,700 owed to Allied Financial Bank and $4,500 to a California jewelry store. Ian is a victim of identity theft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the time this happened, he would have been 6 and they indicated to me that there was six or seven accounts opened, totalling about $15,000 worth of purchases.
SYLVESTER: The problem began after the family's California health insurance company lost a computer hard disc drive. A credit monitoring service caught the suspicious purchases, but not before someone had racked up thousands of dollars in charges. Trying to explain a lost identity to a young child can be difficult.
IAN UMSCHEID, IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM: He said that someone stole the computer and found my name on it and they made like a card and did my name on it.
SYLVESTER (on camera): More than 19,000 children were victims of identity theft last year according to the Federal Trade Commission. Children are often targets because not surprisingly they have no history of debt.
(voice-over): Steven Taporof is an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission.
TREY LOUGHRAN, EQUITAX: Typically the way what is discovered is the child turns 16, 17 and starts to apply for schools or car loans and thieves know that. They know if they get a Social Security number of a youngster, it could be years before parents have any reason to check on the credit of that child.
SYLVESTER: There are steps parents can take.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no reason to carry your child's Social Security around in your wallet, unless you need it for a specific purpose. You should monitor your children's activity online.
SYLVESTER: Even when parents do everything right, sometimes things happen that's out of their control. That was the case with the Umscheids. Simon is a district attorney in California.
SIMON UMSCHEID, IAN'S FATHER: I've been a D.A. for 12 years. I'm a prosecutor every day. I deal with this issue at work every day, but now it's at home. So that does show it can to anybody and we're extremely careful.
SYLVESTER: Tracking and catching identity thieves can be difficult and the harm they cause can haunt a person for years.
SYLVESTER: Equifax now offers a family plan to help parents keep tabs on their children's credit files. The Social Security Administration is making it harder for thieves to guess Social Security numbers. So instead of being based on where and when someone is born, new numbers are now being issued randomly -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And a rule of thumb, if they ask you for your Social Security number, you got to have a really good reason to give it to anyone nowadays.
SYLVESTER: Absolutely because, you know, often times sports teams might ask it or schools and that is the big thing. Guard your child's Social Security number. Don't just willingly hand it out. Make sure there is a good reason, as you mention -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Good point. All right, thanks very much. Good report. Appreciate it. I didn't know all that. Thank you, Lisa.
It may be the kind of jolt you expect when you go to Starbucks. Ahead, there's a controversy, though, over one ingredient in a very popular drink. We're talking about that controversy and it's involving bugs.
Plus Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" as you've probably never heard it before belted out from the back seat of a police car.
BLITZER: Some Starbucks customers may soon be thinking twice about the place they go for their favorite morning fix all because of one ingredient in a rather popular drink. We're talking about bugs.
Let's bring in Brian Todd. He's been investigating the story for us. It's a serious story.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Wolf. Of all things, bugs in a Starbucks drink. Well, these insects are used to color one of their most popular drinks. Nutritionists say don't gag over this, but vegan activists say they've been misled about this drink.
TODD (voice-over): The Grande Starbucks Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino tastes terrific and has a beautiful pink hue courtesy of crushed insects. You heard right. A barista at Starbucks who's vegan recently divulged that the strawberries and cream frappuccino is colored using cochineal extract, the ground up bodies of cochineal insects native to South America.
The barista gave that information to a vegan news site run by Daelyn Fortney who says she's shocked.
DAELYN FORTNEY, THISDISHISVEG.COM: We were told that the any way you want it frappuccinos were made with soy milk, were completely safe for vegans.
TODD: A Starbucks spokesman says the company never claimed the drink was vegan friendly.
(on camera): Nicely textured. Starbucks didn't want to put anyone on camera with us, didn't want us filming anyone in the stores making this frappuccino.
The company spokesman did tell us they started using cochineal extract to move away from some dyes and other artificial ingredients. But the extract is FDA approved and it would never do anything to harm its customers.
(voice-over): As for the customers we spoke with --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still technically all natural. It is still probably organic.
TODD (on camera): Gross you out at all that they use bug extract in this thing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We use bugs in all sorts of things. I'm not terribly surprised or concerned.
TODD (voice-over): After all, bugs have been a staple of nutrition for years on Discovery Channel's "man versus wild."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can just eat it, even raw.
TODD: Starbucks officials also point out products like juices made by other companies have the same insect extract in them. But according to the World Health Organization, there have been instances where cochineal extract is believed to have caused asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
(on camera): Probably wonderful, right? Tastes pretty good?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK.
TODD: It's OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I prefer my own homemade smoothies.
TODD (voice-over): Renowned nutritionist, Katherine Tallmadge also warns of those symptoms, but --
(on camera): If you drink one of these, is it going to do anything to you? Is it bad for you?
KATHERINE TALLMADGE, AUTHOR, "DIET SIMPLE": Nutritionally, it's fine. But any time a restaurant puts an ingredient in a food, it should be disclosed.
TODD (voice-over): Tallmadge says the cups seen by customers should disclose that the strawberry frappuchino has insect extract in it. Right now, only the boxes of liquid mixture used by the baristas behind the counters have those labels.
TODD: An FDA official tell us the law does not require the cups to be labeled because the drink is prepared by Starbucks staff, not sold in any packages bought directly by customers.
In the interest of full disclosure, my wife works at the FDA, but in a separate unrelated division from their office of Food and Additive Safety -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nothing involving this. She's a doctor over there.
TODD: That's right.
BLITZER: What if you have asthma or allergies? Is the FDA still approved that even though potentially there could be some problems?
TODD: That's right. They did approve it and an FDA official tells us this is not an unhealthy additive. He said, look, there are other products out in the market that are on the shelves that cause allergic reactions.
Peanuts, milk, you can't take those things off the market. The question is the labelling. Is Starbucks going to actually label these cups so that customers can at least see what is in the drink they're buying? Starbucks says they're going to look at that.
BLITZER: I suspect eventually they will. That's just my prediction. Thanks, Brian.
Police fired water cannons and tear gas at a mass demonstration. Our "Hotshots" coming up next.
Plus, an intoxicating rendition of Queens "Bohemian Rhapsody." You're going to want to see this.
BLITZER: Here's a look at today's "Hotshots." In India, a Catholic priest blesses a devotee. In London, the major general decides if members of the Household Cavalry are fit for the queen's jubilee ceremony and other events.
In Turkey, police use water cannons against protesters of a new education bill. In the Philippines, high school students celebrate their graduation. Congratulations. "Hotshots," pictures coming in from around the world.
Police dash cams have caught some pretty memorable moments over the years. The one you're about to see, though, might be one of the more amusing moments. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What would we do without police dash cams showing us half-naked speeders, and even a bank robber eating the evidence, the give me the money note. But this Royal Canadian mounted police dash cam recorded something special. A guy in Alberta was pulled over in a pickup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't see that I was intoxicated, but you grabbed me and I have -- it doesn't even matter.
MOOS: Maybe he couldn't speak so well, but he sure managed to sing all of the Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. He sang the lyrics almost flawlessly for six minutes. Even after they arrived at the station house, the Monty let him finish the song. The Monty only admonished him once.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't.
MOOS: A lot of people can't stop singing the Bohemian Rhapsody. Parts of the dash cam solo were frightening. You got to give the guy credit. Even Beyonce messed up the words and she was stone-cold sober at a concert.
Actually, it's "put a gun to his head," not a bullet. Authorities charged Robert Wilkinson with drunk driving. He's an unemployed home brewer.
Wilkinson told the smoking gun that he's the one with the dash cam video go on to YouTube. Our police cruiser crooner did improvise just once at the very end of the song. He did it in a witty way. Instead of singing "nothing really matters" -- he sang -- put on his glasses and awaited his removal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have to cuff me? Physical violence is the least of my priorities.
MOOS: His priority is rhapsodizing like a Bohemian. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: Great song, not necessarily by him, but a great song. That does it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Please be sure to join us every weekday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN and a this time every day on CNN International. The news continues next on CNN.