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CNN NEWSROOM

NSA Under Fire Worldwide; Penn State Settles With Sandusky Victims

Aired October 28, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty miles? Does that surprise you, they didn't get that far?

Well, they have been on the run for a while, but they didn't really have any clothes. They were wearing orange jumpsuits.

LARRY LEVINE, FORMER FEDERAL INMATE: Maybe they stole the clothes from, I don't know, a clothesline or something. But I think this escape was an escape of opportunity.

I don't think it was really planned. The jail is only 2 years old, so it's a brand-new jail. And they went up through a roof hatch, and the jail knew that there was a possible escape element, and they were in the process of welding these hatches shut.

And it's funny. I think that's how the inmates figured out that they'd be able to escape, is because they knew that the jailers were welding these shut. They didn't know ahead of time that the element of escape even existed. I don't think it was planned at all.

BALDWIN: So you think they just somehow caught word that one particular hatch had yet to be welded? And, I mean, they walked out of the prison. They walked out of there. And I'm just wondering, because they did find their orange jumpsuits eventually, do you think they would have had help or do you think, to your point, they would have just stolen clothes?

LEVINE: I think they stole clothes and, as I said, an escape of opportunity. And they really would have had no way of knowing. I mean, these were mixed races, and this sell they were in, it wasn't like a two-man cell. It was a dormitory-type cell, and they had free access to the shower.

The sheriff himself didn't even find out until, what, 2:30 in the morning that these guys took off.

BALDWIN: That's right.

LEVINE: So probably after the 10:00 count, probably after lights out. They knew the guards' schedule. They knew about when the guards were going to come by and count them again. That's when they made their mistake.

I just think it was random thing. BALDWIN: Here you have two guys who are still on the run. Two of their buddies have been caught, which tells me I'm wondering if all four stayed together or not. What do you do? Take me inside the mind-set of the two that are still on the run. Where do you go? What do you do?

LEVINE: Well, you know that you're being sought after. So the first thing you're going to do, yes, you're going to dump the clothes. There's a huge manhunt on for them right now.

So the area is flooded with law enforcement. Your area of opportunity to escape is like really within the first hour. You want to get as far away from there as possible. And unless they have taken somebody hostage, maybe they're hiding out somewhere, and they have no money or resources, I mean, the sky is the limit.

By now, somebody's gotten ahold of somebody, and probably friends, family members, or something. Maybe somebody is covering for them, but these guys were just thrown together in a pod. You said, you know, their friends or something have been captured. When you hit a jail cell, you're really not there that long in a jail because you're going through the court process.

I don't think these guys knew each other ahead of time really, maybe a couple weeks.

BALDWIN: They knew each other long enough, I suppose, to hatch some sort of plan, maybe last-minute, just to get out of the jail, right?

LEVINE: Well, remember, this is Oklahoma. There's a lot of racial segregation in the jail. And from what I can see from these inmates' photos, these are mixed races.

And the mixed races don't necessarily hang out together. Maybe one person said, you know what? They're welding these hatches closed. I think there's an issue. Maybe we can get out of there, and the other ones joined along in the scam. I don't think all of them came up with this on their own.

BALDWIN: Two down, two to go. Larry Levine, thank you so much.

Add Spain now to the list of U.S. allies angry at Washington's eavesdropping. Today, the Spanish government summoned the U.S. ambassador to ask him about reports that the NSA collected 60 million Spanish phone calls in a single 30-day period.

A Spanish government spokesperson is quoted as saying today that's not what friends do to friends. And to Germany, look at the papers here. Sunday's headlines screamed about U.S. surveillance of their chancellor there, Angela Merkel. Today, Washington is denying one German report that the president actually knew Merkel's phone was tapped.

And White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. is just keeping up with new technologies that help keep Americans safe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If we're going to keep our citizens and our allies safe, we have to continue to stay ahead of these changes. That's what our intelligence community has been doing extraordinarily well. These capabilities are part of the reason we have been able to foil numerous terrorist plots and adapt to a post- 9/11 security environment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Want to take the story straight to our chief Washington correspondent, host of "THE LEAD," Jake Tapper.

Jake, you talked to Dick Cheney. We know Cheney was at the center of setting up this post-9/11 spying apparatus. What did he tell you about this?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was obviously not eager to talk in detail about these programs.

And if you look at the documents that Edward Snowden leaked to various media outlets, it indicates that the surveillance program, some of them started as far back as 2002. But I did ask Vice President Cheney about it, because, obviously, it was the story of day. If you listen to his comments behind his refusal to talk about it, he does provide some, at least in his mind, justification.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: All this news that the U.S. conducted surveillance on our own allies, some of the documents posted by or leaked by Edward Snowden to the media indicate that these programs started in 2002.

Why spy on an ally?

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jake, if there were such a program, it would be classified and I couldn't talk about it. It would be totally inappropriate, and I haven't been in the loop Now, obviously for more than four years. So it's just one of those subjects I couldn't discuss.

TAPPER: Without getting specific, on a theoretical basis, what is the interest of the United States in conducting surveillance on a country or a leader who is a clear ally of the United States?

CHENEY: I've -- I've got to go with the answer I've given you.

Let me -- let me say this. We do have a fantastic intelligence capability worldwide against all kinds of -- of potential issues and concerns. We are vulnerable, as was shown on 9/11, and you never know what you're going to need when you need it.

And the fact is, we do collect a lot of intelligence, without speaking about any particular target or group of targets. That intelligence capability is enormously important to the United States, to our conduct of foreign policy to the defense matters to economic matters. And I'm a strong supporter of it.

TAPPER: Do you think the Snowden leaks have hurt America's ability to defend itself?

CHENEY: I do. I think he's a traitor. I think -- I hope we can catch him at some point, and that he receives the justice he deserves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So, Brooke, there you have it.

And if you go underneath what the vice president said behind his reluctance to talk about specific programs, he did say we are vulnerable, as shown on 9/11. You never know what you're going to need when you need it and that these programs allow the U.S. to conduct foreign policy as well as finding out information for defense matters and economic matters.

That's basically the same defense that we hear from current members of the administration when it comes to these surveillance programs. You never know what you're going to need. The nation is vulnerable. This allows us to do our foreign policy -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: I appreciate your attempts to ask the question a couple different ways to get an answer out of the vice president.

Let me ask you this. I know much more of this interview will be on "THE LEAD." Give me something else. We heard about his heart from Sanjay recently. What else did you get out of the former vice president?

TAPPER: Well, I did ask him a few heart-related questions that would not come from a medical doctor, like Mr. Gupta, such as, how many times have you cheated death? That was one.

But we also talked about Liz Cheney, his daughter, running for Senate in Wyoming. She's challenging an incumbent Republican senator. What is the reason for her candidacy, as opposed to Senator Mike Enzi? And then we also talked about deficits. He's been very critical of the Obama administration when it comes to deficits and the national debt.

But I pointed out that deficits went up when -- and the national debt -- when President Bush and Vice President Cheney were in office, and a lot people say the national debt is the size it is today because of many items from the Bush/Cheney years, such as the Bush/Cheney tax cuts, the Medicare prescription drug benefit and Iraq and Afghanistan, those wars not being -- quote, unquote -- "paid for." I did ask him about that as well.

BALDWIN: We will look for the interview. Jake Tapper, thank you very much.

TAPPER: Thanks, Brooke.

BALDWIN: The interview with former the vice president -- appreciate it -- at the top of the hour on "THE LEAD." Coming up next here, a major announcement from Penn State University today. The school has agreed to settlements with the 26 victims of the former football coach, the assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. Coming up next, what we know about the agreement and how much the school will be paying.

Plus, dangerous pirates, crews on supertankers, and Britney Spears? Oh, yes, you heard me right. You will not believe how all three are indeed connected.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Students at Nevada's Sparks Middle School went back to class today. This is the first time back on campus sense last week's deadly shooting.

A 12-year-old student at Sparks Middle shot and killed a math teacher there, Michael Landsberry, who was also a veteran. Landsberry had done two tours of duty in Afghanistan as a member of the Nevada National Guard. In addition to that death, two students were wounded and ultimately the shooter took his own life.

It was a sexual molestation scandal that absolutely brought down this college football powerhouse, its legendary head coach, and tainted the reputation of a venerable state university. Now a multimillion- settlement has been reached with child molestation victims of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

University officials announced the agreement just this afternoon. Here's the deal. The school will pay out nearly $60 million in total. The terms include a release of all claims against Penn State and other parties and are subject to confidentiality agreements.

So, we go back to CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos.

Danny, here's what I want to know. How -- I don't know if this is a judge -- how you come up with putting a dollar amount on this for each and every one of these 26 victims?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, negotiations have been going on for some time.

And I imagine on that the plaintiffs' side, they made some very high demands, but they have been pretty private. We don't know where different parties were or why they took a certain amount of time, and Penn State has specifically chosen to not announce deals as they're reached, but rather announce them all at once.

It's hard to tell when and how and where negotiations went and how and when they were reached. But the dollar amount -- when it gets to dollar amount like these, obviously, there's a certain amount of intangible pain and suffering, what we call non-economic type damages.

And it's hard to put a number on that. The other thing that's difficult to put a number on is that Penn State happens to be what we call deep pockets. They're an institution that can pay. You can imagine in many other scenarios where this kind of abuse happens that any responsible party simply does not have the funds to pay.

So, it's really no surprise that it's a pretty high-dollar amount. Unfortunately, for Penn State, it is perceived as an entity with deep pockets.

BALDWIN: So with their deep pockets and paying out some $2 million per victim, then what does this mean for the university?

CEVALLOS: Well, the important thing to know about the -- the funds will not come from tuition or donations or state funds.

They're going to use different funds, different revenues based on interest from loans made to certain departments, but I think that's the important thing for Penn State to assure the members of its constituency, its students, that that's where the funds are coming from.

But Penn State, many would say, has already begun moving forward and moving forward quickly. Their football program alone should be evidence of that. They have already returned to national prominence.

BALDWIN: And then there's Jerry Sandusky. He has been locked away for a long, long time. He's doing 30 to 60 years behind bars. He recently lost his bid for a new trial. Do you think this huge settlement, would this potentially stop him from ever trying again?

CEVALLOS: No, he will take his direct appeal, and I don't think the settlement will affect him. I can't imagine that he's concerned on any level about the civil side of the case. His primary concern was his motion for a new trial, and now it will be his direct appeal, and then whatever other appeal options he has after that, a habeas petition or PCRA, as we call it in Pennsylvania.

Those -- he will be focused, I imagine, on his own efforts to release himself or obtain a new trial.

BALDWIN: Danny Cevallos, thank you.

And now Timothy Tutterrow, that is the name of the fair operator criminally charged in this freak accident on a thrill ride at the North Carolina State Fair. But, really, the question is, was it an accident at all? We now have the video. Here he is in stripes, Tutterrow appearing in court. This is just moments ago. He's charged with multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting severe injury.

His attorney has asked for reduced bail, to no avail. Tutterrow will remain behind bars on $225,000 until his next court date. That is November 18. Sheriff's deputies say this man tampered with the safety devices on the ride he was working. It's called the Vortex. In total, five people were hurt.

Coming up next, how are crews on supertankers off of Africa's coast protecting themselves from pirates? Two words. Britney Spears. What? We will explain next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Want to strike against Somali pirates? Well, hit them up with a little bit of this.

(MUSIC)

BALDWIN: Sorry if this gets stuck in your head the rest of the day. And, no, this is not the wrong clip. Apparently, of the many labels you can give to the music of Britney Spears, pirate repellent is one of them.

It is all explained in this fascinating article in "TIME" magazine, TIME.com.

So, joining me now, "TIME" senior editor Dan Macsai.

Dan, I read it. I didn't believe it at first. Read it again, reached out to some folks. And, yes, Tell me how does this work, please?

DAN MACSAI, "TIME": We -- it was hard for us to believe, too.

But yes, some U.K. merchant ships that have to travel off the coast of Somalia have started blasting Britney Spears music to ward off potential pirates. It's usually used as a second line of defense after a written -- or after a verbal warning, but it is a real tactic and some of the most effective pirate repellents, according to one of the officers, is "Baby One More" time and "Oops, I Did It Again."

BALDWIN: Listen, a lot of people have different opinions on Britney Spears.

MACSAI: Yes.

BALDWIN: I'm a journalist asking this. I'm trying to ask this with a straight face, but why Britney Spears' music to deter pirates?

MACSAI: So, a couple of reasons. It's not that Britney Spears' music is so bad that it repels pirates, but,one -- and this was from the officer in the article. She is emblematic of Western culture, and Somali pirates really don't like Western culture, but the second is a broader one. That's that blasting loud noises at pirates or potential pirates ruins the element of surprise.

BALDWIN: And so this is effective for these British ships, and potentially American ships with their loudspeakers? I don't know what the Americans are playing, but this is effective?

MACSAI: Yes.

Well, I can't speak to the specific effectiveness of Britney Spears, as much as I would like to, but basically noise cannons, as they have been known, or blasting loud decibels at pirates have been effective in the past, especially for these merchant boats that can't travel with huge navy fleets to defend themselves. BALDWIN: Britney Spears, who da thunk.

Dan Macsai, thank you very much, TIME.com. Read the article for yourself.

And you might know her from "Dancing with the Stars." Julianne Hough is also a country singer, she's an actress, but she has people talking for all the wrong reasons today. The costume she wore to a Halloween party has a lot of people crying foul. We will show it to you next, get your perspective. You be the judge here.

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