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THE SITUATION ROOM

"GMA" Host Reveals Rare Disease Linked To Cancer; Commerce Secretary Cited for Hit and Run; National Security Leaks; Secret Life of the CIA; Tracking Unpredictable Wildfire; Divorce Turtle Style

Aired June 11, 2012 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now: grave new warnings that Syria may be planning another new massacre, as horrific as the recent slaughter in Houla.

Plus new evacuations from a very aggressive and unpredictable wildfire that doubled in size in a matter of hours.

And "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts reveals she's fighting another potentially life threatening disease linked to her battle against breast cancer. I'll ask Dr. Sanjay Gupta if she can beat this.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BLITZER: Senior U.S. officials now say at this very minute the Syrian government may be planning another brutal massacre of its own people. The Obama administration says it's deeply alarmed about new moves by the Bashar al-Assad regime in several cities, including reports of tanks at the edge of al-Hafa and escalated shelling in the rebel stronghold of Homs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

BLITZER (voice-over): Online images believed to be from Homs appeared to show more than a dozen explosions an hour in that besieged city. The State Department says President Bashar al-Assad is getting more desperate and his forces are using a horrific new tactic, firing at random from helicopters on civilians and rebels.

Let's bring in our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty. She's working the story.

Jill, if the U.S. knows another massacre may be in the works in Syria, what is the administration doing about it?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, essentially, Wolf, what they are doing about it is bringing it to light. That's the first thing, talking about it. They say that they share the concern, grave concern by Kofi Annan and the U.N. They are also warning President Assad not to do it. They're warning the troops that might be used to do this, also that they shouldn't do it because after all, remember Bosnia. And essentially they're not taking any military action. That's the big question. Would they actually do something on a military side?

Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says no, that it wouldn't help to save lives. In fact, they would argue that it would just turn into a proxy war. So we're back to what they've been doing, which is pressure, pressure, pressure and trying to peel away people who support the regime.

BLITZER: Maybe increasing the sanctions as well. Jill, thanks very much.

There are fewer and fewer places Syrians can hide from the carnage spreading across their country. We have compelling new video from inside Syria, the fighting that's pushing into the capital, Damascus. Here's CNN's Ivan Watson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVAN WATSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): This is a Syrian rebel ambush, a roadside bomb hitting a convoy of buses carrying Syrian troops. The rebel's camera catches soldiers running for cover in the suburb of Douma, just a few miles from Damascus.

The sound of fierce fighting echoing across Damascus at night has shattered the security bubble in the capital. Syria experts say the battle for the Syria's two largest cities has begun.

PETER HARLING, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: We've seen events pick up on the ground with more and more crashes occurring in areas of the country which the regime claimed to control, in particular, the largest city, Aleppo, the country's economic capital, if you will.

And the administrative capital, Damascus, in both places we've seen not just more armed clashes than ever in the past, but also a revival of the protest movement in its peaceful dimension.

WATSON (voice-over): A secretly filmed activist video shows the historic Hamadia (ph) bazaar in the heart of Damascus shuttered. A strike staged by shopkeepers two weeks ago in protest against a massacre of civilians in the village of Houla, allegedly by pro- government militia.

HARLING: This is really a very strong signal suggesting that the historical alliance between the regime and the business establishment of the capital is at least partially broken.

WATSON (voice-over): The strikes spread to neighborhoods in Aleppo, prompting government troops to lash out and force merchants to reopen their shops.

HARLING: What we see is a regime whose narrative boiled down to us or chaos. But increasingly what we see is then and chaos. The regime has been incapable of imposing law and order.

WATSON (voice-over): More than a year of violence compounded by economic sanctions is taking its toll on ordinary Syrians. Prices of basic commodities and fuel have skyrocketed. Activist journalists sent us this video of a woman, complaining that she could only afford to feed her children rotting onions and stale bread, warmed over a wood fire, because she can't afford to buy cooking fuel.

The Syrian regime is still far from defeated. It still has fervent supporters and vastly better weapons than the rebels. But with its soldiers now using the main sports stadium in Damascus as a staging ground, the image of a government in control has started to crack -- Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The Syrian government has restricted access to the country, making it very, very difficult for international journalists to report on the crackdown.

Photojournalist Robert King was able to get inside Syria. He spent more than two months with rebel forces. I spoke to him about his experiences and the disturbing video he was able to shoot while he was there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: What do you make of these reports that we're now getting today that gunfire shelling is even being heard in Damascus, the capital?

ROBERT KING, PHOTOJOURNALIST: I think Assad is losing his grip on power and he's getting more desperate and people are finally beginning to stand up for themselves, and demand an end to the slaughter.

BLITZER: Do you see a split emerging among some of his supporters, the Alawites?

KING: I have heard, you know, rumors. I was never able to visit an Alawite village. But I hear from many FSA early in the trip that they didn't have a problem with the Alawi. But as my trip progressed, their opinions towards the Alawi regressed. I think the line has been crossed. I don't think there will be much room for forgiveness or reconciliation.

BLITZER: So these massacres seem to be escalating. We're showing our viewers some video of a man who was obviously injured very severely. We also have your latest video, showing a bandaged, injured man; it's nighttime in Syria. You were getting ready to leave Syria. What was it like there?

KING: When we were leaving, it was very heavy shelling during that time. Rockets were falling nearby the hospital. It was a bit of a scramble. They had to move the wounded into neighboring homes because there was so many that they just didn't have the space in the field hospital to treat all the wounded that day. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Some other big stories we're following here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the U.S. Commerce Secretary is now under investigation for a possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two car accidents in California over the weekend.

The Commerce Department says John Bryson suffered a seizure. Police say he was found unconscious behind the wheel after the accidents, and there's no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved. The White House is blaming health-related issues.

And a House panel will hold a hearing next week to decide if the attorney general, Eric Holder, should be held in contempt. Republicans say Holder failed to respond to a subpoena for documents on the botched gun smuggling sting operation known as Fast and Furious.

If the House Oversight Committee votes to hold Holder in contempt, the full House will then have to approve the measure. The Justice Department calls the move unfortunate and unwarranted.

Robin Roberts is promising she'll beat the latest threat to her health. Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta is standing by to tell us how and if the "Good Morning America" host can survive. We'll have the latest on what's going on.

And we're also learning some surprising things about President Obama's second term agenda if -- and it's a big if -- if he's reelected.

And a former spy fears Iran is getting dangerous information from national security leaks here in the United States.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File." Jack?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, more depressing news here. Increasingly young Americans can no longer afford to get sick. A new report shows millions of young adults are skipping necessary medical care because of rising health care costs. The survey was put out by Commonwealth Fund.

It shows 41 percent of those between 19 and 29 years old fail to get medical care because it's too expensive. And when it comes to uninsured adults, that number jumps all the way up to 60 percent.

A lot of implications to this, none of them good. Young adults aren't filling prescriptions. They're not getting recommended tests or treatments. They're avoiding doctor visits and they're not seeking specialist care they might need.

Doctors say that young adults often stop listening to medical advice once they're told how much the treatment is going to cost. And those who actually do decide to get medical care wind up with loads of debt. Thirty-six percent of young adults have problems paying off their medical bills or pay the bills off over time. Some young people say they've used up all their savings to pay doctor bills. Others have taken on credit card debt or have been unable to pay off their student loans.

And still others say they put off education or career plans because of medical money issues or they say they haven't been able to pay for things like food or rent. Experts say growing medical debt is in part due to the tremendous cost shift to patients because of high deductibles, high co-payments and the high cost of insurance overall.

The Commonwealth Fund says that President Obama's health care law has helped more young adults get insurance because they can stay on their parents' plans until the age of 26. But if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare -- and we'll know the answer to that pretty soon here -- young Americans might face even more medical problems.

Here's the question this hour: young people are foregoing medical care because of the cost. What does that mean for the future? Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. Or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page. Wolf?

BLITZER: That's a real problem, jack. Thank you.

We're also getting a fascinating new look at what President Obama's second term may look like if he gets himself reelected, and that's still a big if, as all of us know.

We're joined now by our newest CNN contributor, Ryan Lizza. He's the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" magazine. He's written an excellent in-depth article on the president's agenda if he wins four more years in the White House.

Great reporting, Ryan.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: What would be the two most important items on the president's agenda in a second term?

LIZZA: Well, it's a good question. And obviously it's somewhat speculative because the president, what he wants to do is really the unfinished business of the first term. And a lot of what he does, if he gets reelected, which isn't looking so good this week, right, will depend on the circumstances he faces after the election, right?

I think what makes this year unusual is we know that whether Romney or Obama wins, they are going to face first, right after Election Day, this fiscal cliff, which some people call Taxmaggedon, when the Bush tax cuts expire, when a number of very severe Pentagon and discretionary budget cuts go into effect automatically.

So that's going to the be first issue no matter what, right? So he's going to have to deal with what do you do with the Bush tax cuts, do you get a deal on comprehensive tax reform? And can you go back to, if Boehner is still in power and Mitch McConnell is the minority leader in the Senate, can you go back to that grand bargain that they tried to put together in 2011?

So some version of, you know, Simpson-Bowles or the grand bargain that was talked about last year will undoubtedly be the first thing that the two parties do no matter who is elected.

BLITZER: Yes. He's going to have to deal with that, obviously starting right after the election, if he's elected, or if Romney is elected. But if Obama is reelected, you also say he's going to make a major push on the environment, also immigration reform.

LIZZA: I think this is a choice for the president. If you look at the unfinished business, the stuff he started laying out in 2007 and 2008, but was not able to accomplish in the last few years, I think the two biggest things are, one, something substantial on climate change, and then, two, a comprehensive immigration reform.

And if you think through the politics of those two things, I think it's very unlikely -- and I couldn't get almost anyone at the White House to tell me it was likely -- that he would push hard on climate change.

The economy, if it's still soft, will prevent the politics from that issue from changing. And so I think it's much more likely, Wolf, that if he manages to win that they -- and he manages to get through this fiscal cliff -- two big ifs -- that the first big domestic reform would be something on immigration.

And the White House argues this, that is despite this bad economy this president manages to get reelected, a big reason for that will be nonwhite voters, and specifically Hispanics. And the lesson that some Republicans could take from that is that they need to moderate, at least on that one issue, immigration.

Now many people, and many observers say, no way, that's not going to happen. But that, at least, is what the White House was telling me on immigration and how the politics of that issue could change after the election if Obama wins.

BLITZER: This month, before the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court has to rule whether or not the health care reform law is in fact constitutional, the mandates requiring people to purchase health insurance.

If the Supreme Court rules 5-4, let's say, that it's unconstitutional, what does the president do in a second term if he's reelected? Does he start from scratch on health care reform?

LIZZA: Well, if they just take away the mandate but they leave the rest of the law intact, that's not a terrible problem to solve. It would mean they have two choices. They could replace the mandate with another policy.

And there are some options out there; there are some smart wonks who have some ideas about how you could do that. If you leave them, if you don't want to do that because it's too hard to get through Congress, then what you would have to do is you'd have to get something through Congress that would take away some of the other insurance market reforms that are part of the health care bill.

Because if you don't take those reforms away, the rest of the bill is going to send insurance costs through the roof, you know, highly inflationary.

So Obama has this choice. Do you patch up the mandate with a new policy that might be just as controversial as the mandate? Or do you just scrap all the additional parts of the law that the mandate effected?

Now they might not have to make that choice because the Supreme Court could just throw the whole law out, or the Supreme Court could decide to get rid of the mandate and the insurance market reforms.

BLITZER: We'll know in the next two or three weeks what the Supreme Court does. Let me recommend this article in the new issue of "The New Yorker," "The Second Term: What Would Obama Do If Reelected?" The author, Ryan Lizza, Ryan, thanks very much for coming in.

LIZZA: Thanks, Wolf, appreciate it.

BLITZER: A popular pastor arrested after his teenage daughter goes to police. We're going to tell you the accusations against him and why he says he should have never been arrested.

And why was the British prime minister David Cameron's 8-year-old all alone at this pub?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: -- today one of Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial, Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Lisa, what's going on?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there was graphic testimony today from the first of Jerry Sandusky's alleged sex abuse victims.

Now 28, the man, known only as Victim Four, told the court that Sandusky tried to force the then-14-year-old to have oral sex dozens of times while showering on Penn State's campus. He said, too, that Sandusky wrote him a letter saying, quote, "Love never ends."

Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

In suburban Atlanta, megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar is facing family violence charges. They stem from his Friday arrest for allegedly choking and punching his 15-year-old daughter.

Dollar told thousands of parishioners attending services at his World Changers Church yesterday that they argued, but that he did not do it. Dollar blamed the devil for the controversy and said all is well in the Dollar household. And a high-level family mishap involving Britain's prime minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, they left their daughter behind at a pub about a mile from their country residence. Apparently, each thought that the other had the 8-year-old when they left in separate cars.

Their daughter, Nancy, was giving pub staff a hand when her dad came back to fetch her about 15 minutes later. A bartender said the incident actually happened a couple months ago.

And don't try this at home. A man in China's Chungking City apparently decided to try a few stunts while driving on city streets over the weekend at about -- oh, my gosh, look at him there -- at about 25 miles an hour.

He climbed onto the open door and window frame, steering the car with only his right hand. A driver behind him shot this video that you see right there. He says the daredevil barely missed him and other drivers on the road. No word on whether he was pulled over if he simply sped away. No idea why somebody would try that. None whatsoever, Wolf.

BLITZER: He's nuts. That's what it is, basically. Thanks, Lisa.

She fought and she beat cancer. Now "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts is battling a rare blood disorder. Can she survive a second potentially life-threatening disease? Our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta will help us better understand what she's facing.

And wildfires are raging along dry land, as fast as 40 feet every second. We're going to show you who is at risk.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Popular morning TV star enjoying new heights in her career suddenly faces a devastating diagnosis. "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts told the world today that she's suffering from a rare blood disorder. It's even more gut-wrenching because Roberts thought her worst health nightmares were behind her.

Our Mary Snow is in New York. She has more on what's going on and what Robin Roberts is facing. Mary?

BLITZER: Well, Wolf, you know, Robin Roberts just sent out a tweet. She wrote, "Just got home from first treatment. All went well. My family and I are comforted by your prayers, love and support. See you in the morning at GMA."

Now Robin Roberts does face a bone marrow transplant. It will take months to prepare for it. The disorder she has was once known as pre- leukemia. But doctors say that's no longer the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW (voice-over): Five years after battling breast cancer and beating it, ABC's Robin Roberts has a new fight. She made the surprising announcement this morning on live TV.

ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC HOST: Sometimes treatment for cancer can lead to other serious medical issues, and that's what I'm facing right now. It is something that is called MDS. It is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.

SNOW (voice-over): From myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, it's estimated there are up to 15,000 newly diagnosed cases each year in the U.S.

To get a better understanding of MDS, we turned to Dr. Gayle Roboz of New York's Presbyterian Wilde Cornell Medical Center. She explains cells in the bone marrow grow abnormally and problems can arise with red and white blood cells and platelets.

DR. GAIL ROBOZ, N.Y. PRESBYTERIAN/WILDE CORNELL MEDICAL CENTER: If you have too few white cells, you might be prone to infections. If you have too few red cells, you might feel short of breath or tired or your usual amount of exercise you can't do anymore.

Platelets, if they run low, can predispose to bruising or to bleeding, and some patients will notice that they get bruises, even though they don't remember having an injury.

SNOW (voice-over): Dr. Roboz says while most MDS cases involve older patients, people can also develop MDS after cancer treatment, usually within three to seven years. Roberts says she got her diagnosis the same day that "Good Morning America" finally beat the "Today Show" for the first time in 16 years. In May, Roberts was undergoing an unpleasant bone marrow test when she learned she would be interviewing President Obama the next day, an interview that went onto make history when he declared his support for same-sex marriage. Roberts is going public now because she is starting chemotherapy treatments in advance of a bone marrow transplant. The good news is she has a bone marrow match.

ROBERTS: My big sister is a virtually perfect match for me. She's there with Diane and Ann Sweeney (ph), and she is going to be my donor. She's going to be my donor.

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERTS: I know. Yes. Thank you, Jesus (ph) and doctors tell me that it's going to be a tremendous help in me beating this.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (on camera): How serious is this?

ROBOZ: This is a very serious diagnosis and I think that one to be taken with a big lump in the throat. I think that it is curable. So there are patients who are definitely cured with this diagnosis. But the treatment is very difficult and it's not a guarantee.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SNOW: Robin Roberts is determined to beat this, and she says her doctors have told her she's younger and fitter than most people fighting this disease, and that she will be cured. And she has got many people in her corner. Among the outpouring of supporters today, first lady Michelle Obama tweeted "Barack and I have you in our prayers. We believe in you and thank you for bringing awareness and hope to others" and Wolf, we wish her the very best.

BLITZER: We certainly do. She's a wonderful, wonderful lady. We wish her only the best and we're confident she can beat this. Let's go in depth a little bit more though with our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent. Sanjay walk us through first of all what her treatment will be like.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well you know it's interesting, Wolf. Mary sort of alluded to this, but the bone marrow itself there are defective cells that are coming out of Robin Roberts' bone marrow. That's what this disease is and so the first treatment is, I think what Robin was talking about in that tweet, getting chemotherapy again and getting a form of chemotherapy to sort of drevth (ph) the defective cells that are being produced by the bone marrow.

Once those defective cells are eradicated or removed as a result of this therapy, then she will be eligible for the bone marrow transplant. That could still be some time away. When the bone marrow transplant is done, you're essentially putting healthy cells back into the bone marrow with the hopes that the bone marrow will now start to produce healthy red blood cells, healthy white blood cells and healthy platelets, so it's a long process and again you know you have to go through chemotherapy, typically something for cancer, you have to get that first in preparation for the bone marrow.

BLITZER: So when you say a long process, this could take months. Is that right?

GUPTA: It could. Yes, you know you have to first give this chemotherapy type medication and then you've got to see if it's working. So it can vary from person to person in terms of length, but right, it is a lengthy process, Wolf.

BLITZER: And during this lengthy process, is she going to be healthy enough to be on television? Will she be in a hospital during these many months? What do we expect?

GUPTA: Typically not. Now as you might guess, you sort of piecing this together in your mind when you're giving chemotherapy in the hopes of destroying some of the defective cells, you may also destroy some of the good cells, so if she had too many of red blood cells that are affected, she will probably tire more easily. White blood cells if they are affected, she'll get the infections again, as you just heard, so there may be periods of time where she's you know not able to work or more likely to be in the hospital to protect against infections. But overall, you know, people can continue to have their normal activities.

BLITZER: How common is this, Sanjay, that someone who goes through treatment, in her case for breast cancer, winds up a few years later getting this complication as a result of that treatment? GUPTA: It's not common, Wolf, and that's an important message. First of all, MDS or myelodysplastic (ph) Syndrome as a whole is not common and there are probably a lot of people who may be watching who have undergone chemotherapy themselves and wondering will I get this as well? The answer is no, not likely. It's still relatively rare. But it is a known side effect or complication or consequence, if you will, Wolf, of getting chemo for something else.

BLITZER: Let me switch gears and pick your brain right now. The Commerce Secretary John Bryson (ph), he was allegedly in two hit and run accidents. Apparently the Commerce Department says he had a seizure, first time in his life he had a seizure. He's in his late 60's. What do you speculate? What could happen? A seizure could case someone to drive into another car, then pick up, drive away again, a few minutes later smash into another car?

GUPTA: It's possible, Wolf and let me just make two points. People think seizures and the general thinking is that people think of a grand mal seizure where you have you know violent jerking of your limbs. That's not always the case. You can have partial seizures where someone may be more confused, but if you didn't know that person, you may think that they're you know still coherent.

So there are different types of seizure. What I will say though Wolf and this is as, you know, my area of expertise is that a new onset seizure in someone who has never had a seizure as an adult is something -- you know something that doctors certainly have to be very serious about. You know more serious than even (ph) children. Children can have seizures you know because of a high fever, for example, or an infection. In an adult, you have to make sure the patient doesn't have something else going on in their brain. A tumor, for example, could they have just had a stroke?

Could there be an infection in the brain? Could there be an abnormality in lab values? This is an important sort of set of investigations that need to take place. So (INAUDIBLE) done know. In 20 to 30 percent of the time you never find out why. This patient has a seizure and they have one again and you're never sure what exactly happened. But there's got to be some extensive testing in his case, Wolf.

BLITZER: Well he did spend the night in the hospital. I assume they gave him some tests. They said he had a seizure, but it almost sounded potentially to me, and I don't know much about it, but from what the little I know, like almost a mini stroke, if you will.

GUPTA: It could be, and that's -- comes to mind for me as well, Wolf, in part because as you know he traveled shortly thereafter. Someone who has had a new diagnosis, for example, of a tumor or something they may have been more likely to keep that -- keep him in the hospital. With a mini stroke, certainly you know there's going to be further testing probably and maybe even treatment. But that is certainly a possibility in terms of what could cause a seizure.

BLITZER: And as our viewers should know by now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is himself a neurosurgeon. So when he says this is his area of expertise, he is absolutely right. Sanjay thanks very much.

GUPTA: You got it, Wolf. Thank you.

BLITZER: A former U.S. spy takes us inside the secret life of the CIA and tells us what it's like to give an order to kill. And we're tracking a wildfire that's been spreading very fast and could change course at any moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Details about U.S. cyber attacks kill list, plans for the U.S. drone program. The White House, President Obama, the attorney general, Eric Holder, others continuing to take heat from critics over recent national security leaks. Just how big a hit does national security take from these recent leaks? Who better to ask than someone with decades of time on the inside?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Ambassador Henry Crumpton is joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. He's the author of a brand new book entitled "The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service" -- clandestine service meaning spying, right?

HENRY CRUMPTON, CHAIRMAN & CEO, CRUMPTON GROUP: That's correct, yes.

BLITZER: I just want to be precise. Senator McCain says right now that the recent leaks to "The New York Times", the David Sanger book, for example, in his opinion, the most egregious anyone can remember and really undermining U.S. national security. As someone who has been in the front lines in the intelligence service, is he right?

CRUMPTON: Yes. It's a major issue. It does undermine U.S. security. Secrecy provides us a big advantage and when we can't protect our secrets, it gives the enemy opportunity.

BLITZER: Without violating any more secrets, what is so dangerous about what we've learned? What specific subject causes you this much grief?

CRUMPTON: Well what we don't know in the public is the sources and methods used in these operations. And those sources and those methods, they could be exposed because the hostile intelligence service, with these leaks, that gives them opportunities. That gives them reference points to work and uncover those sources and methods.

BLITZER: So when the cyber warfare, the Stuxnet (ph), for example, virus that was used to try to undermine Iran's nuclear program, apparently a joint U.S.-Israeli clandestine operation. People have known about that, speculated about that for a long time. What is so dangerous about giving more specific information about it?

CRUMPTON: Well because it apparently confirms this and that gives the opposition, the Iranians greater reference to under -- to really to study the problem. And they can redirect resources based on this information. And they're very sophisticated. They're very aggressive. They've been at this for a long time.

BLITZER: The Iranians?

CRUMPTON: Yes and it's -- so it's a big problem for us.

BLITZER: Is that a bigger potential intelligence negative fall or whatever than, for example, that doctor in Pakistan that the CIA used to help find bin Laden?

CRUMPTON: I can't really compare them because I don't know the extent of the damage regarding the Iranian issue. It could be worse for all I know.

BLITZER: Because the CIA doctor as he's been called, he got sentenced to 33 years in prison in Pakistan --

CRUMPTON: Right.

BLITZER: -- for collaborating, helping the CIA. How -- as someone who has been on the front lines in these operations, how does that impact the men and women who are engaged in the clandestine service?

CRUMPTON: It has a profound impact because the core of the espionage business of those relationships with foreign nationals that spy for the CIA and here apparently is an example where a source collaborating with the CIA has been exposed and now sentenced to 33 years.

BLITZER: It undermines morale to a certain degree.

CRUMPTON: Well not necessarily morale because the men and women of the CIA are dedicated. They're focused. I don't see the morale issue, but it's just a question of trust related to the policy masters.

BLITZER: The "kill list" that the president apparently has to sign in order to have a drone go ahead and target for assassination some al Qaeda operative whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan or whatever, is that also something the American public shouldn't know much about.

CRUMPTON: On the process of how that is determined, my personal view is that we should know more about it, the public, because it's about the changing nature of warfare. And this is just one example. And how do you make these decisions that have a direct impact on the lives of people all around the world? So I certainly am against the leaks, when you go to the sources and the methods, but this is a bigger question that needs some discussion.

BLITZER: You were involved in the initial stages of using drones for assassinations, right?

CRUMPTON: Well, we don't use the term assassination, but --

BLITZER: What term do you use?

CRUMPTON: Targeted killing.

BLITZER: What's the difference? What's the difference?

CRUMPTON: Because I think there is a fundamental difference when you're talking about what you do on the battlefield. Now you may discuss how do you define a battlefield? Assassination is usually not on the battlefield and that's a fundamental difference, I believe.

BLITZER: Did you ever have any moral qualms about this when you were running these kinds of operations?

CRUMPTON: No, my only qualm is when we couldn't find the al Qaeda leadership sooner and engage with them with greater deadly force earlier.

BLITZER: Because you had bin Laden years ago, long before 9/11, but there was a delay and he survived.

CRUMPTON: Yes. We had an opportunity in the late summer of 2000. We identified bin Laden, his location through human sources. We flew a predator drone over that compound and we had bin Laden.

BLITZER: Who do you blame for the failure?

CRUMPTON: Well, it's several different entities, but I think first and foremost, it's a failure to understand that we were at war with al Qaeda. And therefore, we had restricted resources, restricted authorities before 9/11. And that was both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

BLITZER: The book is entitled "The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from the Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service". Henry Crumpton is the author. Thanks very much for coming in.

CRUMPTON: Thank you, Wolf. Good luck.

BLITZER: Good luck to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Northern Colorado is burning and homes are under threat right now. Wildfire has gone from two to 40,000 acres in just a couple of days, any relief in sight? We'll ask our meteorologist, Chad Myers.

And no amount of couples counseling seems to be helping. Two giant turtles call it quits after -- get this -- 115 years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Sprawling wildfire in northern Colorado is growing exponentially and now spans almost 40,000 acres. It was first measured at two acres early Saturday. Windy conditions certainly aren't helping. The high part (ph) fire is far from contained. Our meteorologist and severe weather expert Chad Myers is joining us. Is it fair to say this fire is out of control, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hundred percent out of control, got zero percent containment. When they say they have 80 percent or 100 percent done, now we'll know at least they're on their way, but right now at zero percent. That means they have no fire lines. They have nothing stopped. The fire is going in all directions. Now you have to understand that number, 36,000, 37,000 acres, somewhere in there, that's 60 square miles, now most of it up in national forest. I understand that. But there are now 100 buildings, structures.

They don't say houses, outbuildings, garages, 100 structures now destroyed most up there toward the Risk Valley (ph) just to the northwest of Fort Collins (ph), Colorado. It is a mess here. This is now with the winds at 30 miles per hour today, better than yesterday where the winds were gusting to almost 50 miles per hour, so some relief. You asked will there be relief? Yes. Will there be rain? Absolutely not. Will there be some relief from the wind dying off? Yes. At least they can fight the fire with a wind of five or 10 miles per hour. You can't even fight a fire when the winds are blowing 40 or 50 -- Wolf.

BLITZER: So it's going to get worse before it's under control. Is that what I'm hearing?

MYERS: I don't think there's any question that it gets worse. Yes. It gets bigger. Will they be able to contain it to just wild land and not to homes at this point, yes good stuff today. They were able to get at least a little bit of control around some of the properties. But there's Fort Collins (ph). Here's I-25 and then the fire to the west of Fort Collins (ph). This is I-N-C-I Web, INCIWeb.org. You can go online to that website. I'll put it on my Twitter feed and you'll be able to see every single wildfire that's going on in the country right now.

BLITZER: Chad, thanks very much for that report. Chad Myers reporting for us. Jack Cafferty is coming back right now with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour, Wolf, is young people are foregoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?

Lisa in Connecticut writes "as someone who just got an appalling bill for $25,000 for an approximately one hour procedure to break up a kidney stone, I can see how people forego treatment because of cost."

Bob in Ohio writes "the young are caught in the same dilemma as the old. The old choose between food, pills and utilities. I'm guessing the young are juggling a student loan, a mortgage and raising children. The cost of health care pays for utilities and food for a month."

Greg in Washington writes "quite frankly, tough bounce for these young spoiled youth. They seem to have plenty of money to go on vacation, to party and to ask their parents and grandparents to foot the bill while they go to college so they can just get off their duffs and be responsible. I don't care about their future until they begin to care and plan appropriately themselves." Oliver in Texas says "Congress better start thinking about how to help the poor in this country. These young people are going to have serious medical problems down the road through no fault of their own."

Judi in Virginia Beach writes "I'll tell you what it means, Jack. It means they'll be staying home with mom and dad even longer. I have a 26-year-old and a 29-year-old, both have college degrees living at home because they can't get a job and they can't afford to live on their own. They're working at low wage jobs, waiting tables, et cetera and can only afford their car payments and student loan payments. My husband's retired and we still have kids at home. This is not the American dream any of us dreamed about."

And Boomer writes from Missouri "a co-worker of mine nearly died of pneumonia because he didn't want to pay the deductible to go to the doctor." If you want to read more about this go to the blog CNN.com/CaffertyFile or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It's going to be very, very important over the next few weeks. This month the Supreme Court is going to decide whether the president's health care reform law is in fact constitutional. And if they say it isn't constitutional, a lot of experts think it will be a 5-4 decision against the president of the United States. Who knows what's going to happen next? They start from scratch I think.

CAFFERTY: We should get that decision sometime this month, right?

BLITZER: Right, it's going to be just before the -- they go into recess, the Supreme Court --

CAFFERTY: Yes, that's big --

BLITZER: -- July, August and September, so they need some time to recuperate from these major decisions they're to make that are going to affect all of us for the next 30 or 40 years.

CAFFERTY: There you go.

BLITZER: Yes. All right, Jack, thanks very much. It appears that after 115 years the thrill is gone. Look at this. Two giant tortoises decide they're no longer happy together.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Here's a look at this hour's "Hotshots". In India, officers march during a parade celebrating the police academy. In Afghanistan, children walk past a U.S. Marine. In Yemen, a baby girl receives her polio vaccine during a three-day nationwide vaccination program. And in London, a 41-gun salute is fired in honor of Prince Philip's 91st birthday. Happy birthday. "Hotshots", pictures coming in from around the world.

They've had couples counseling. They've had sex therapy all to no avail. In Austria right now, a pair of giant tortoises who have been together for more than a century have grown apart and they need their space. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You would need a neck rub too if your 115-year marriage just broke up. No more happy anniversaries --

(MUSIC)

MOOS: -- for Bibi (ph) and Poldi (ph). These two giant tortoises at a zoo in Austria are both said to be 115 years old and they were brought up together. But it was love on the rocks after Bibi (ph), the female took a chunk out of her mate's shell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They just go at each other. At first it was only the female who attacked the male and bit him. But now you get the feeling they can't stand the sight of each other.

MOOS: They don't even want to be in the same enclosure. Zookeepers don't understand what went wrong after 115 years of togetherness. People posting online have plenty of theories. "Every time she wanted to talk about the relationship, he retreated into his shell." "My guess is she caught him making eyes at the 90-year-old bimbo in the enclosure next door." "He gave the wrong answer when she asked, does my bum look big in this shell?"

(on camera): What makes this breakup even more ironic is the song made famous by a certain singing group.

(voice-over): Who could forget "The Turtles"?

(MUSIC/SINGING)

MOOS: Now it's happy apart for these tortoises. Talk about irreconcilable differences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There's always the danger that they will bite each other so hard that one of them will bleed to death.

MOOS: On the bright side, 115 years sure beats Kim Kardashian's 72 days of matrimony. We haven't been this distraught about a breakup since Pedro and Buddy, the so-called gay penguins at the Toronto Zoo were separated by keepers and put into a breeding program. Bibi (ph) and Poldi (ph) are taking marriage counseling of sorts.

(on camera): Zookeepers are trying to inject a little fun back in the relationship by getting them to play games together.

(voice-over): Imagine at 115, single again, looking for a hot tomato.

(MUSIC/SINGING)

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

(MUSIC/SINGING) MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: That's it for me. Thanks for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next on CNN.