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Attorney: Congrats! It's A Boy!; NSA Leaker May Make Move; Governor Perry Signs Abortion Law; Taliban Send Letter To Malala; Major League Cancer Survivor

Aired July 18, 2013 - 14:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And I hear you. I'm getting the tweets. Trust me, we're going to talk about the legality about this in a minute because a lot of you are mentioning the "i" word, incest. But to you first. Are attorneys seeing this as a trend for gay couples who do live in states where same-sex marriage isn't recognized?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a great question. It's not for everyone and won't work in every state. The attorney who worked on this case says she's had other calls from same-sex couples who want to do the same thing in her state of Pennsylvania, but in this case it only worked because one partner no longer had living parents.

BALDWIN: So how did this whole thing start for this couple?

GANIM: It's interesting. They saw this happening like you mentioned to other same-sex couples where one would die and the other one was left almost with nothing after paying this tax. They simply thought, you know, we don't want this to happen to us. They're getting up there in age. They were trying to look for a way around it.

BALDWIN: Let me continue the conversation, Sara Ganim, thank you so much.

On to those legal questions, I promise. Legal expert here, Attorney Danny Cevallos is joining me. Because Danny, first question, can gay couples in those states that do not recognize same-sex marriage like Pennsylvania in this case? You know, can they use adoption as an option?

DANNY CEVALLOS, ATTORNEY: Well, adoption of an adult is nothing new in the legal system. Adults have been adopting -- adults have been adopts each other for a long time and male and female adoptions as adults have gone on for a while for exactly this reason. So the fact that now we're seeing same-sex couples doing it is really nothing that drastically new. The question is, is that what state are you living in?

Because the states have a very patchwork approach to this issue, most state statutes are as broad as saying -- many, I should say, are as broad as saying any adult may adopt another. However, some courts have taken it upon themselves to apply public policy reasons for denying adult adoptions when involving same-sex partners or even heterosexual partners. And these grounds, New York, for example, has used public policy to deny these adoptions even though there's no specific bar in the statute itself so the state of the law, whether heterosexual or same sex, is absolutely a patchwork quilt at this time.

BALDWIN: So then what about incest? I mean, could -- could the parent, you know, who is adopting the other be arrested?

CEVALLOS: Great question, but you have to look at the history of incest. As much as we all instantly sort of abhor the concept, we have to look at the public policy that makes it illegal. At least half of the public policy for making insist, illegal, of course is the family relationship. But there's an additional reason.

That is the safety, the biological safety, the genetic safety of offspring. If you read -- that's not my idea. If you read the codes of Pennsylvania, for example, it has that language in it at least in the notes. So the issue is, in some states, the adopted child does not bear the same biological relationship for purposes of incest.

In Pennsylvania, however, the adoption of a child for purposes of incest makes them the biological child. As abhorrent as it is for us to think of it, the actual adoptive child does not have a biological relationship and is in terms of biology a stranger to that parent. However, in many states such as Pennsylvania, it's still illegal. Once you adopt that becomes your biological child for the purpose of incest.

BALDWIN: Wow. Danny Cevallos, thank you. I know you're watching. I would love to know what you think of this story. Send me a tweet @brookebcnn.

Coming up next, accused NSA leaker Edward Snowden held up and holed up in a Moscow airport. Soon he could be leaving. Coming up next, I'm going to talk with President Obama's former director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair. Does he think the program Snowden exposed should have been kept under wraps? Don't miss this. Back in 2 minutes.


BALDWIN: NSA leaker Edward Snowden may be on the verge of making a move, a very small move. His attorney says Snowden will likely leave the transit area of Moscow's airport in the next couple of days while Russia considers his application for temporary asylum. Meantime, there is a former Republican senator who is reportedly thanking Snowden and saying America has done a great wrong. He is former New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey. He sent Snowden an e-mail, which the U.K.'s "Guardian" newspapers published.

Let me read part of it. Quote, "I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States constitution. Well, right now in aspen, Colorado, some of the most powerful and influential security experts are gathering to talk counterterrorism and national security. That includes former U.S. director of national intelligence under President Obama, Dennis Blair. Mr. Blair, welcome. Let me begin with --


BALDWIN: Let me begin with Edward Snowden. Because if he stays in Russia, as we've all heard he claims to have more secrets to potentially leak, how will President Obama's relationship with Vladimir Putin change?

BLAIR: I think that so far the -- what President Putin has said has been pretty sensible. That he does not approve of the -- those who, you know, violate their -- publicly violate their security clearances and so I don't know. But President Putin so far has seemed to not be trying to use this issue in order to -- in order to do something anti- American.

so far that is what he said. We'll see if he changes his mind. Meantime, speaking of some of these leaks, on Capitol Hill yesterday things got testy. There were lawmakers who were grilling intelligence officials on the NSA's surveillance programs. Listen to this.


REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: Think a program of this magnitude, gathering information involving a large number of people involved with telephone companies and so on, could be indefinitely kept secret from the American people?


GOODLATTE: I understand.


BALDWIN: There's laughter. But Mr. Blair, I want to pose the same question to you. Do you think that the government really thought that this massive collection of phone records could be, to use his word, indefinitely kept secret from the American people?

BLAIR: Well, I think you need to go a little bit further back, Brooke, as to what -- what does the job that the intelligence community has been given. That is to try to detect threats to Americans of the kind that we saw at 9/11 and we see many other examples of. And try to identity those foreigners or misguided Americans who -- who want to kill a lot of people, cause a lot of -- cause a lot of damage.

That's got to be done within the constraints of our democratic tradition, which means it's got to be done under a law that is passed by the congress, supervised by -- by courts, and that's basically what the intelligence community has been -- has been doing. So I would --

BALDWIN: Does that include monitoring americans?

BLAIR: When a court -- when we can convince a judge that there is probable cause that an American poses a threat, is about to commit a crime that would hurt a lot of people, then intelligence community can monitor that person's overseas activities and within the United States, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies can also get permission to observe that person closely, including monitoring their communications, and those are the principles under which we operate, which are no different from the principles that law enforcement and intelligence agencies use for all of their other missions.

BALDWIN: You know, we heard from President Obama a number of weeks ago. He was mentioning this when this whole story broke. He said that, you know, listen. It is a good thing to have a debate about our own personal privacy. If you stand by how this could be a good thing in terms of monitoring, I presume, capturing, you know, terrorists, if, in fact, we need to take these steps and go to the court and get the necessary warrants. But had it not been for Edward Snowden, would we even be having this debate?

BLAIR: I think we would have been eventually. I've long been an advocate of talking --

BALDWIN: How would we -- forgive me for interrupting. How would we have this debate if Americans had no idea this was going on?

BLAIR: Well, the -- I think the way you do it is with the leadership of the elected representative both in the executive and in the congressional branches. And we should be talking about it and I would take a -- I would say that we should -- we the administration that I was a part of a few years ago and members of Congress should be talking about the principles of -- of what we are doing.

Now, you have to draw a line at specific operational details which can give assistance to enemies and the threats. But I think you can talk about things like collecting the information that is available on the business records of companies. So that if you have a suspicious phone number, you can find out who else that number has been talking to. And I think we should talk publicly about those things.

I want to pivot as the former director of National Intelligence. I have to ask about drones. We know, we all know the name Anwar Al- Awlaki, an American terrorist. As you know, the drone strike that killed him also killed civilians, also killed his 16-year-old son. Today if you flipped open "The New York Times" in the op-ed section, this boy's grandfather, Nasur Al-Awlaki, penned this.

He writes in part, nearly two years later I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdul Rahman was killed. My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must be answer for its actions and be held accountable. Mr. Blair, how should the administration explain these civilian deaths? I know it's known as collateral damage. How should the administration explain that by drones?

BLAIR: I think you have to place collateral damage in context, Brooke, with other -- other types of weapons that have been used. Number one, I think you have to be very clear that there's a huge difference between this and between the indiscriminate and purposeful killing of as many innocent people as you can, which is what the groups that are threatening us do.

For instance, Anwar Awlaki himself was the one who gave a bomb to a young Nigerian named Abdulmutallab, told him get on American airplane with as many people on it as you can. As soon as you are over American air space, pull this trigger and bring the plane down and kill as many of them as possible. So this is --

BALDWIN: I'm not arguing whether it's right or wrong that we took out this terrorist, Anwar Al Awlaki. I'm simply asking about the innocent lives like the 16-year-old. How does the administration explain that to America, to his grandfather?

BLAIR: I think you explain to him that we tried every way we can to minimize damages. They are unavoidable in this kind of a situation. And it's -- it's tragic that your grandson was killed because obviously he had nothing to do with -- nothing to do with the acts that his father committed. But the strike against Anwar Awlaki was justified and it's unfortunate that he had his son with him at that time.

BALDWIN: I appreciate your time so much, sir, former national intelligence director under President Obama, Dennis Blair. Thank you.

BLAIR: You're welcome.

BALDWIN: Coming up, Emmy nominations revealed today. We are already learning a big winner, not an actor, not an actress, find out what made broadcast history today after this break.


BALDWIN: Some of the hottest stories in a flash. Rapid fire. Roll it. CNN has learned the navy and marines will start publishing their version of a sex offender list, but without the names. You see the list here. Instead military websites will be showing the court martial results, acquittals, convictions, rank of a person and charges, part of the crackdown on military sex assaults.

A milestone today in the court martial of Bradley Manning, a military judge refused to throw out two charges against him including the most egregious, most serious aiding the enemy. If manning is found guilty, he could face life in prison. Manning's defense says he wanted to inform the public when he leaked classified documents to Wikileaks.

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial law today banning most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The bill passed the Texas state legislature last week after failing, remember, failed the first time around. It is considered one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis stalled the bill last month with a dramatic 11-hour filibuster.

Netflix making a little history today with 14 Emmy nominations. How about that? The online network's original series "House Of Cards" is nominated for best drama, best actor, and best actress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't. I don't. I don't trust anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then how could you not see this coming?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never thought they were capable.


BALDWIN: About to start watching the series myself, DVD at home. "House of Cards" faces Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones.

Take a look at this video, one of the better executed alley-oops, alley, alley, alley, alley, oops. Seven people touch the ball, a trampoline, a slide ending in that major slam dunk. That is awesome.

Ccoming up next, Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out about the rights of all kids to go to school. Last week she spoke at the United Nations. Today, she is getting a letter from a very surprising group.


BALDWIN: She is the teenage girl who was shot in her head by the Taliban for advocating women's education. Malala Yousafzai, her recovery, perseverance had made her an inspiration to millions of people, but her fame has also caught the attention of the very group who tried to assassinate her. Speaking last week at the United Nations, Malala gave an impassioned plea for worldwide childhood education and condemned any, quote, "extremists afraid of pens and paper."

Those words didn't fall on deaf ears because Adnan Rashid, a senior commander in the Taliban penned a "Dear Malala" letter in response to the speech and clarified to the 16-year-old girl why they wanted to kill her. So this letter was obtained by Channel 4 News. Here's just a portion of what was written in this letter.

When you were attacked, it was shocking to me. I wished it would never have happened. Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover. Taliban believed that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign. The letter closes with this. I advise you to come back home. Adopt Islamic and pushtoon culture. Join any female Islamic madrassa near your home and study and learn the book of Allah from the Taliban.

Malala and her family are currently living in London and are not likely to head home any time soon.

Coming up, the reputed trial. The trial of reputed Boston mobster, I should say, Whitey Bulger, a potential witness in that trial found dead on a road in Massachusetts. We'll take you live to the courthouse. I'll speak live with one of Bulger's former gangsters and a columnist who's been following this thing every single day from "The Boston Globe," next.


BALDWIN: Boston Red Sox pitcher, Jon Lester has had tough games in his career. Those challenges were nothing compared to what he faced as a rookie seven years ago. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the details in this week's "Human Factor."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDEN (voice-over): Jon Lester was a 22-year-old rookie pitcher for the Boston Red Sox when a trip to Fenway Park back in 2006 changed his life.

JON LESTER, BOSTON RED SOX: I got in a car accident here driving to the field.

GUPTA: The accident seemed to make some lingering back pain even worse sending Lester to the hospital where doctors threw him a curve ball.

LESTER: You're sitting there one minute thinking in my case, I just have some back pain just need to get anti-inflammatories, maybe some rest or something like that to you have cancer.

GUPTA: Lester was diagnosed with anti-plastic large cell lymphoma. It's a rare, fast spreading, yet treatable form of blood cancer that affects the lymph nodes. He endured six rounds of chemotherapy and by the end of the year, CT scans showed the cancer was gone. Soon after Lester met with then Red Sox Manager, Terry Francona, eager to get back in the game.

LESTER: He sat me down. We're going to take this as slow as we possibly can. Obviously that's the last thing I want to hear.

GUPTA: In 2007, just a year after his cancer diagnosis, Lester started and won game four of the World Series clinching the championship for the Red Sox. At first, Lester was reluctant to talk about his cancer.

LESTER: At the time, you know, I just wanted to move on. Wanted to be -- wanted to get back to doing what I loved to do and play baseball and not be the cancer patient anymore.

GUPTA: But that changed in 2010.

LESTER: We had just had our first son. I can only imagine what it would be like for him to go through something like this.

GUPTA: So Lester helped launch NVRQT or Never Quit, in collaboration with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

LESTER: I fought and beat cancer. Now it's time to fight for the kids.

GUPTA: Never Quit raises awareness and money for pediatric cancer research. LESTER: Each ball represents a child diagnosed with cancer -- over 125,000 in the last decade. Children's cancer is a monster we all need to bring down.

GUPTA: Having beaten cancer himself, Lester's mission now is to strike out cancer for children. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.