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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Search for Missing Plane; Interview with Ken Feinberg; Interview with Governor Inslee
Aired March 30, 2014 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: More planes, more ships, no leads. Today, the sea is so big and the time is so short.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean, while we are throwing everything we have at it, the task goes on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Hundreds of objects identified by satellite and plane, but not a single piece of debris tied to Malaysia Flight 370. A three-week search using fuzzy satellite pictures, fishing nets, and everything in between finds no answers, breeding new questions.
How involved is the U.S.? Do intelligence services know more than they're saying? And are these images the best the world can do? The chair of the Senate intelligence panel, Dianne Feinstein, joins was her take on the plane and the U.S.-Russian stare-down over Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now I'm not sure whether I could bring her home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Suppose nothing is ever found. What next for aviation and for the families of those aboard the missing jet? Our experts look at the what-ifs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rain and the wind and the weather is basically working against us.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: Two small towns grapple with disaster and devastating loss. Governor Jay Inslee joins us for an update on the mudslides in rural Washington.
This is STATE OF THE UNION.
I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. The search for that missing jetliner has ended for the day. An Australian military official says aircraft sighted four orange objects about six-and-a-half feet long in the search. But they can't be verified or discounted as being from the missing plane until they are recovered by a ship.
There is about a week left before the batteries could run out on the pinger designed to help locate the plane's black boxes. The Australian ship Ocean Shield leaves for the search area Monday. The ship is carrying the U.S. Navy's high-tech black box detector and a special underwater vehicle.
Earlier on STATE OF THE UNION, I spoke with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein about the vagueness of satellite imagery that had been produced so far and whether the U.S. might have better leads.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), CHAIRWOMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I think it depends on the satellite and the resolution that's provided by the satellite and how sophisticated the satellite is. I'm not going to go into what we have or what we don't have, but I think what I just said suffices.
CROWLEY: Can we assume that the U.S. does know more or can see more than we're seeing as relates to this plane?
FEINSTEIN: Not necessarily. I would answer that that way. I don't know whether more sophisticated satellites could be turned on to this area. I just don't know.
CROWLEY: Or turned over time, because it has been three weeks, whether they could do that.
FEINSTEIN: Yes, right. I don't know.
CROWLEY: Yes, and so what I'm gathering from that is that you have not seen anything. And I asked this of the White House National Security Council. And, you know, you have not seen anything that is more definitive than the sorts of things that we're seeing in public?
FEINSTEIN: No, have not.
CROWLEY: Have not. And have no more broader information of what happened to this plane or what might have happened?
FEINSTEIN: No, and you have to understand that American intelligence doesn't gear itself to be ready for plane crashes. That is not its job. Our job is terrorism, and missile defense, and that kind of thing.
CROWLEY: I also spoke earlier with U.S. Navy Commander William Marks about today's search effort.
CMDR. WILLIAM MARKS, U.S. NAVY: They do -- as they do every day, see some form of debris on the water but typically that's trash or seaweed. They even see dolphins splashing around. Nothing from today's search. So, no conclusive debris from a wreckage.
And what's important to realize is all the satellite imagery is helpful, but really that is not enough to get us concrete evidence of debris where our oceanographers can then do a reverse plot, reverse engineer the currents and the winds to come up with a starting point, and that's really what we need.
So what we're looking for between the U.S. Navy and any of the ships or aircraft out here is a conclusive piece of debris which would allow our oceanographers to work backwards, find this starting point, because without a starting point we really can't put our towed pinger locator in the right position, and it's far too big of an area right now.
CROWLEY: The search for Flight 370 resumes Monday. Joining me now, Chad Sweet, CEO of the Chertoff Group; Ken Christensen, an expert in satellite technology, he's the president of Integrative Aviation Solutions, his long resume includes time working with NASA and the Department of Homeland Security; and Arnold Carr, president of American Underwater Search & Survey.
Gentlemen, thank you all for joining us. Chad, let me begin with you. Why, first of all, does it take four days for the Chinese to say, oh, we've spotted this, you know, in this place? And why are the pictures so bad?
CHAD SWEET, CEO, CHERTOFF GROUP: Well, you have to remember that this is a large area and they were probably digesting all of that data. The second is they have over the last three years almost doubled the number of satellites they have. And our own Defense Department is estimating they'll launch another hundred by 2015.
And so they have capabilities that they may be wishing to mask, and so they may have taken time to dumb down the imagery to prevent revealing their full capabilities.
CROWLEY: And would the same hold true for any country that there's technology here that you don't want folks in that region or anywhere else knowing you that you have?
SWEET: That's true, but only a handful of actors such as the United States. And if you think about right now they're trying to track vast areas of ocean. Our satellites that have this, what's called, electro-optical capability can look at the surface of the water. We have some sensors that can go below the water to a degree, but they're only going to pass over that area about 10 minutes twice a day.
And so you really are betting on hoping that you've got coverage. Most of our capabilities are going to be focused on North Korea, Russia, China, and you can imagine right now with what's going on in the Ukraine, the competition for these resources right now, if you're president, you have got to weigh, do I focus on tanks on the Korean -- the Ukrainian border, or do I really divert assets in this region?
CROWLEY: Ken Christensen, next to you, because I know this is also your field of expertise with the satellites. Can you -- I'm told that a lot of the bad pictures, if you will, are because of the angle of the satellite, that as you get out of sort of the periphery of where it's pointing you get blurrier and blurrier pictures.
I always thought you could turn these things. And how long does that take and, you know, could it have been done in the past three weeks?
KEN CHRISTENSEN, PRESIDENT, INTEGRATIVE AVIATION SOLUTIONS: Candy, that's an excellent question. And with satellite, the point of origin is over here and the picture is over here. Then you have this angle. So on some -- dependent on the resolution, of course, but you can stretch these photos from satellite imagery.
So they are going to look -- they could look longer than they actually are. You don't know until you get to the very lower resolution, half meter resolution or less, that real details on these items. And to date I have not seen anything of the debris field or the proposed debris field that had that kind of detail on it.
CROWLEY: And let me just ask you while I have you, I have so many people saying, wait a second, we can read a license plate from these satellites, something is wrong here. Are we expecting too much?
CHRISTENSEN: Sometimes, yes, you're expecting too much because in the Indian Ocean, where that is, it's just vast amount of space. And satellites have to be moved or pointed to objective areas to get that detailed imagery. And this might not be an area that the -- some of the satellite -- the owners of these satellites want it pointed at.
So that could be...
CHRISTENSEN: Go ahead.
CROWLEY: Mr. Carr, I just wanted to bring you into this. With the equipment that is available right now that are submersible, that can go under water and maybe help find wreckage, it is my understanding, because of the short amount -- or the short distances that sonar equipment actually is useful, but that you really shouldn't -- you can't put these submersibles into the water right now since we don't know or even have an idea where the fuselage might be.
ARNOLD CARR, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN UNDERWATER SEARCH & SURVEY: That's quite correct. The problem you have is the vast area and the low distance that, like the pinger, can be seen. Even towed equipment, low to the water from the air, or even especially in the water has that problem.
If you think of the pinger, think the one-mile limitation of the pinger when it's active, and think vertically that you are really at about one mile or more depth.
CROWLEY: So -- and when they talk about these underwater vehicles, what are their limitations and what are their strengths? This is also not something you can just plop in there and go looking.
CARR: Well, you can use a tethered remote vehicle from a vessel, but -- or a towed vehicle, but really when you're getting into the advent of winter in that area, what you really need is something like the AUV, the autonomous underwater vehicle, like the long 12-foot tubes that you do see and have seen. And they can be launched, work independently regardless of the sea state. The biggest problem with them, though, is the recovery, that if you get a too vile sea state it's very difficult to recover.
CROWLEY: Right. And in terms of depths and what - let's say we get a debris field or someplace we have a pretty good idea that the attack sonar equipment might be able to pick something up. How able is that piece of equipment to pick up precisely a black box or a part of a wing, especially when, as I understand it, you know, at the bottom of this ocean is a lot of, you know, mountains and rolling -- you know, there's a lot at the bottom of this ocean. So how specific can that sonar get?
CARR: You really need to tow the sonar down near the bottom up off the bottom. And a rugged bottom like you mentioned makes it so much more difficult. The AUVs, the independent vehicles that they would launch, can run for maybe a half a day or a little bit more, and when properly programmed really cover the bottom. What you're doing here would be like take the white mountains. You're looking for a quarter in the white mountains, a small coin, that's the level of difficulty.
CROWLEY: Wow. Every time we talk about, you know, what might be the next phase it sounds more difficult than the current phase we're in. Chad, to you, are you as seemingly convinced as much of the U.S. intelligence community is that this does not have aspects that would lead you to believe terrorism was involved, that it was either an equipment failure or a deliberate act by someone in the cockpit?
SWEET: Actually, no. I think if you look at it on balance, the community is split and the scenario still does have probability of having a terrorist beginning but an accident ending, i.e., something like we saw on United 93 where you start off as a terrorist plot, there's just too many pieces of evidence that point towards intentional event, i.e., the diversion of the airplane precisely at the sea between air traffic control in Vietnam and Malaysia, the transponders being disabled and the ACARS system. So, what I would ask you, if you look at the flight path, it actually cuts not only exactly at that moment, but it's precisely along the border between Thailand and Malaysia itself.
SWEET: And then you'll notice the two paths that have been analyzed now, one is at four knots, one is at 4.50, the four-knot path is the preferred path right now, but it does turn and go back toward Australia. And I would just note there that there are a number of U.S. bases and other facilities in northern Australia that could be a potential target for terrorism.
CROWLEY: Gotcha. And, Ken, my last question to you, and that is let's pretend that we never learn anything more than we know right now. Does aviation change in any way?
CHRISTIANSEN: I think it will. If you look at just the vast number of assets that are out there now, searching for the aircraft and the time, you know, we did not have the data that we needed to look for survivors if there were survivors, and this, in fact, is in the Indian Ocean. So I think this instance is going to be a catalyst for improvements in aviation. For instance, the cockpit voice recorder, instead of doing two hours of recording, I think it's with the new flash memory, I think you are going to have the ability to do 13, 15 hours of recording and that's going to probably be the new standard. As far as the flight data recorder, the flight data that's on there is good, but how does that flight data and the cockpit voice recorder, how do they both communicate autonomous from the aircraft? And I think what we're going to see is the GPS transmitter that just takes GPS information - you know, away from the cockpit and actually transmits it, and so you will have a GPS location. Had we had that on this incident we would have been able to go directly to the crash site.
CHRISTIANSEN: And looked for survivors. So, I think that's going to be the change in the future.
CROWLEY: Ken Christiansen with Integrative Aviation Solutions, thank you so much. Arnold Carr, American Underwater Search and Survey, thank you. And, of course, Chad Sweet, to you, CEO and co- founder of the Chertoff Group. Thanks all.
SWEET: Thank you, Candy.
CROWLEY: When we return, will the mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 impact the way we fly in the future?
And later, more of my interview with Senator Dianne Feinstein, including her thoughts on the U.S./Russia relationship and what she makes of Russian troops amassing on the Ukrainian border.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CROWLEY: Dozens of angry relatives of Chinese passengers aboard Flight 370 are now in Kuala Lumpur demanding answers from Malaysian officials. In a fiery news conference, they carried (INAUDIBLE) begging officials to give them, quote, "truth, evidence, and an apology for sending mixed messages of hope and despair." We want to go to CNN's Paula Hancocks.
Paula, are the families acting alone out of their own frustration? Is this an organized -- have they organized? What's going on here?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Candy, we're going into the fourth week now. This is certainly becoming more organized. We saw the families on Sunday morning local time. They are at one of the local hotels now meeting with Chinese embassy staff and officials to try and coordinate the effort and figure out how they can get more information. It was an impassioned press conference, though, that we heard afterwards. Imagine more than three weeks that they are physically and mentally exhausted. And they had to physically come down to Kuala Lumpur from Beijing because they simply thought they weren't getting enough information. It's questionable whether they'll get any more information now being here on the ground, even the relatives that I've spoken to who have been here all along say that they don't believe that they're getting all the information. They say sometimes they're watching televised press conferences and then afterwards they're called by the airline or by authorities and given the same information. So, there's a huge amount of frustration. I mean one of these banners read "Hand over the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back." So that it's a tremendous amount of bitterness, but of course, if the information isn't there from the Malaysian authorities, then they can't give it to the families whether they're in Beijing or Kuala Lumpur.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. And almost since day one there has been a look at - an intensive look at the pilot. Is there anything new about that investigation?
HANCOCKS: We've been asking about this all along. And for days there has been no fresh information coming from the Malaysian authority. These questions are always back to the way whether or not it is because they simply don't have fresh information to give us. We know that the hard drive of that flight simulator from the pilot is in FBI hands. We've heard from U.S. officials saying that there's no smoking gun at this point, there's nothing jumping out of this, but from the Malaysian point of view, they still haven't released the cargo manifest, although they say there is nothing abnormal within that. And that it's only in compliance. They also haven't released yet this transcript of the conversation between air flight controllers and the pilot and the co-pilot of the missing flight. And they said at one point that will be released in due time. That we are still waiting for as well. Candy?
CROWLEY: Paula Hancocks, thanks so much for keeping us up on all of that. I am joined now by retired United Airlines captain Roy Liggett who wrapped up his long career flying with 777s and Don Phillips known for decades as the dean of aviation reporters, is formerly with "The Washington Post" and "The International Herald Tribune." Thanks for joining us again. I appreciate it.
Let me start with the families just because it's so easy to identify with these folks and how horrible this situation is. And no matter what Malaysia has done wrong or right in the investigation, is it pretty clear that they have mishandled the families?
DON PHILLIPS: I don't think mishandled is a way to put it. They have done some really poor things mainly because they don't have much experience in this. The United States has a lot of great experience in this. And the National Transportation Safety Board, one section of it, which is separate from the investigators, does know a lot about this. They know for one thing, for the first four years or so after a crash, nothing is going to satisfy these people. Nothing. It's just the way it is. And so what you have is people who are trained to give as much information as possible out. They're asked questions. They'll say we go right now and find out what we can. There's no guarantee that the people will listen to what they bring back, but it will tone them down, and that's not happening here.
CROWLEY: Right. In fact, they're running after the world whirl (ph), which is even almost worse.
PHILLIPS: It's terrible. It's terrible.
CROWLEY: Roy, let me move you to that 777 since you've had experience flying it. From what you're seeing now, from what we know, is there something -- some upgrade to the 777 that you would say, you know what, they really need in this plane is x, y, or z?
ROY LIGGETT: Sure. And I don't think it's particularly the 777. I think what we're going to learn out of this and we learn a lot of lessons, we do out of every one of these instances. But I think what we are going to learn is that the old days of trying to locate the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder using the current methods just doesn't work. We were lucky on the Air France 447 incident. It took us only five days to find that one. Obviously, this is not going nearly as well, and so I think there will be some new and more innovative things that will come out of it. Examples could be upstreaming or downstreaming the data off the flight data recorder so that it's not actually totally contained within the aircraft wreckage, but would be at an outside source, makes it more readily available. I think we need to do a little bit better job of tracking aircraft, particularly aircraft that flies over vast areas of ocean and South America, Africa, places like that.
LIGGETT: Right. Much lesser (INAUDIBLE) populate.
And let me ask you, Don, if you were right now writing this story, what would your lead be?
PHILLIPS: The lead right now today, it would be basically that we still don't know a lot, but these are the possibilities, these are the things that could have happened. However, we don't know any of this. Run through a few things, and I don't think it would be on the front page of my paper every day.
CROWLEY: The mystery of it is I think what sort of intrigues everybody. You know, it's like - Do we know today? Do we know? It's like turning a page and not getting to the end.
PHILLIPS: And people need to know that you're not going to know for a while. So far, nothing has been found, absolutely nothing.
CROWLEY: And let me, as a final question to both of you, in the last minute that I have, knowing what you know now or what you've known all along about flying, just personally speaking, are there countries in the world or airlines in the world, any places that you would not go simply because you think flying there or to there is not safe?
LIGGETT: Well, I'll start off. There are more challenging areas. South America is a challenging area. The African continent is probably the most challenging area, just due to a lack of facilities. I would not go there for that reason. But I ...
CROWLEY: It is (INAUDIBLE) Be careful.
CROWLEY: And you're nodding agreement.
PHILLIPS: I'm in agreement. However, I will point out that there are lists that list the world's countries, not always airlines, one, two, three. I would not fly on a two or a three ever.
PHILLIPS: Number one, which is most countries, that's fine.
CROWLEY: OK. Thank you so much again. Don Phillips, Roy Liggett, we appreciate your time.
LIGGETT: Thank you.
CROWLEY: Malaysia Airlines is offering families a $5,000 initial payment for every missing passenger. When we return, calculating the cost of a life with victims compensation expert Ken Feinberg.
CROWLEY: Joining me now, Attorney Ken Feinberg. He worked on compensation disbursements for 9/11 victims, the BP oil spill and the Boston Marathon among others. Ken, thanks. I would say it is nice to see you but we're always talking about something really awful. Let me start with this scenario. They never find the plane, what happens?
KENNETH FEINBERG, VICTIM COMPENSATION EXPERT: Montreal Convention, in place or international treaty Malaysian airlines will very likely pay a presumptive amount of about 150 to about $175,000 per passenger, to the families of the passengers. The families will have an opportunity under that treaty to try and seek additional compensation from the airline and the airline only, if they can show lost income, pain and suffering, all the traditional tort concepts. But it is pretty straightforward under that treaty.
CROWLEY: And yet we're seeing all of this activity, if you will, from lawyers who are seeking information. And again under the scenario that nothing is found that points to what happened. It basically then really becomes a contractual, we say we get you from point a to point b, and we didn't therefore. Here is money and nobody else can file -- well anybody can file suit at any time but you don't see a basis for it.
FEINBERG: That is right, never underestimate the creativity of the American legal profession. But it is hard for me to see a Malaysian airline flying from Malaysia to China, almost all of the passengers, foreigners, not domestic U.S. citizens. Hard for me to see how there is any real likelihood absent finding the plane, that this case could ever end up in U.S. courts.
CROWLEY: And let's say that they go a couple of years or whatever and they do the payouts. And then we find -- and the data boxes and there is something wrong with the engine or something that can be traced to Boeing. Then, could one sue again?
FEINBERG: Sure, if the statute of limitations has not run. And if you find the plane. And if you -- in finding the plane you can discover or investigate a mechanical failure. I mean there are all of these unknown scenarios. But I think unlike some of these programs after 9/11, you mentioned or the oil spill in the Gulf there is no real fund here or a special compensation fund. This is rather straightforward and conventional under existing law.
CROWLEY: And could -- there is one U.S. passenger, adult passenger on board the plane. That, too, has to happen in -- any compensation at this point has to happen in either Malaysia or in China if there is no cause found, if they don't find the plane?
FEINBERG: I think that is right. Even if it is an American citizen, first under the treaty, is the American citizen living here or domiciled in China or Malaysia, point number one. Point number two even if the American citizen passenger were domiciled here in Pittsburgh or Washington, or Washington, D.C., the federal courts I think would immediately say, I think, the venue for this whole litigation really is Malaysia or maybe China. But certainly not a federal court sitting in Washington, D.C.
CROWLEY: And U.S. courts have been pretty -- juries have been pretty generous in global terms to folks who have lost loved ones. Could we expect that the Malaysian courts might not be as -- what is the word --
FEINBERG: Generous? I think that is right.
FEINBERG: I think that's -- there are no courts quite as generous as the courts here in the United States. But getting a litigation to remain in the United States in a fact pattern that you have described involving Malaysian airline, I mean, really highly unlikely, no matter how creative lawyers might be.
CROWLEY: As you said they can be quite creative, and you're one of them. So let's just (INAUDIBLE). Ken Feinberg, thank you. It's always good to see you.
FEINBERG: Glad to be here. Thank you, Candy.
CROWLEY: When we return, Vladimir Putin calls President Obama to talk Ukraine as Russian troops continue to stay along the Ukrainian border. A possible break in the U.S.-Russian stalemate? That's next.
CROWLEY: Earlier I spoke with the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein about the crisis in Ukraine. I asked her why she thought Russian troops are massed along the Ukrainian border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA, CHAIR OF THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There is no question that there are 40,000- plus troops that they are staged in various areas. That to people who watch this, it looks like an invasion force. Putin has said it is an exercise. So that leaves a big question mark. I think what gives me a sense that we may be able to solve this situation is the fact that Putin did call our president and suggestions were made and there will be a meeting this week between the foreign minister, Lavrov, of Russia, and our Secretary of State Kerry, and there may well be the ability to solve this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: I'm joined now by the former director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and David Ignatius, a "Washington Post" columnist. Thank you so much, both of you, for being here. Let's start out with that meeting, which if my clock is right might be taking place. Even as we (INAUDIBLE) you've been doing some talking to folks about what's on the table here, because it seemed to me before it was all about, listen, Putin, you need to talk to the government in Kiev.
DAVID IGNATIUS, "WASHINGTON POST": That remains part of it, Candy, talking today to a senior State Department official about the meeting tonight in Paris. I heard -- the basic core principles that form the agenda for Secretary Kerry, and I'll just briefly run through them, first the idea that there must be de-escalation of this crisis. And I think that speaks to the Russian troops 40,000 to 50,000 mass just across from eastern Ukraine. Those troops have to back off and that's a key signal. Second, disarmament of irregular forces inside Ukraine. The Russians have repeatedly talked about the irregulars who were harassing Russian speakers. We think that's mostly nonsense, but that's an issue that would be addressed. Third, the need for international monitors immediately to deploy widely in the Ukraine that obviously would have a stabilizing effect. And then direct dialogue between Russia and the Ukrainian government in Kiev about constitutional reforms, which is a kind of code for a more federal Ukraine where the different regions would have a little bit more autonomy and also the elections that are scheduled for May 25th. I think the key here is the U.S. wants to open a pathway for discussions between Moscow and Kiev and once that can happen then you're really on the way to some stabilization.
CROWLEY: You know, John, along that same - along those same lines you have talked about it's not just about punishing Russia or getting Russia move back. It's about what can we do to strengthen Ukraine and what is that - I mean I know it's - you know, we've seen some movement in Congress. The president has done some things. But what do they need that we are now not giving over the West?
JOHN NEGROPONTE, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: Absolutely. First, let me say, I think in this diplomatic scenario we are talking about, it's absolutely critical that the first step be that the Russians pull back from the border. To me that is the sine qua non. As far as helping Ukraine is concerned, I think last week was kind of a banner week for the president in Europe, I think the visits to Brussels and elsewhere were a great success. The Europeans and the Americans and the IMF, between us we've agreed to provide a total of $27 billion worth of economic assistance to the Ukraine, which is not trivial. The president also reaffirmed Article 5 for the NATO member countries. The only gap I see in what was discussed so far is the issue of whether or not to provide some lethal military assistance to the Ukraine.
NEGROPONTE: To the Ukraine. And I think that can be done in a responsible way, a way that's not provocative, nor involving the presence of NATO forces inside of Ukraine itself.
CROWLEY: Right, because aren't we talking about Russia going, wait a second, you are arming them precisely to kind of, you know, not intimidate because I don't think the Ukrainian, you know, army can intimidate the Russian army, but that's a very dicey proposition for the U.S., perhaps not as much for the West, but certainly for the U.S., that's pretty dicey.
IGNATIUS: I think Russia would see certain versions of arming Ukraine as a direct military threat against its interests, so it would take it very seriously. Somehow the trek here is to find a solution, in which Ukraine looks both west toward Europe, toward the European Union, and looks east toward Russia and its historical ties with Russia. So it doesn't fundamentally threaten Russia. That's what I know Kerry and Lavrov will be trying to talk about tonight. Ukrainian membership in the European Union, which people were out there for months in the cold demanding is something they want. But there is no current Ukrainian plan for membership in NATO, and that's -- John makes a good point about arming Ukraine, but it wouldn't be a little bit dangerous to begin to go down that road by providing them lethal assistance, which they would be seen as a proxy for NATO?
NEGROPONTE: Well, it raises a kind of a really interesting intention. It goes to the Russian intentions, first of all. What is their intent - what was their intent in going into Crimea? Was it just to take Crimea, was it to show that it's capable of going into Ukraine, other parts of Ukraine if it wishes to? And obviously the assessment is mixed. We're not entirely sure yet. We aren't quite certain. So then the question becomes, the diplomatic question becomes can you with assurances of support and economic assistance alone, deter Russia from being tempted to attack the rest of Ukraine? And to my way of thinking, not thinking of ways of strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities would be under the present circumstances at least taking a risk.
CROWLEY: John Negroponte, David Ignatius, I have to end it there. I hope you'll come back. I appreciate it.
A painstaking search effort continues in Washington state one week after deadly landslides. Governor Jay Inslee joins us next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All units, please joins us in a moment of silence for the honor of victims lost in the (INAUDIBLE) landslide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Washingtonians gathering for a moment of silence to mark a week since devastating mudslides claimed 18 lives and left another 30 missing. Heavy rains have slowed the efforts of rescue workers who are already wading through chest-high mud in the search for victims. Joining me now from Arlington, Washington, is Governor Jay Inslee.
Governor, thank you for joining us. Let me ask you first because of the continued rains and the weather conditions, what is your biggest worry right now about the crews that are there and about any other spots in that area which look to be dangerous?
GOV. JAY INSLEE, WASHINGTON: Well, I think that our crews are in fairly good shape. You know, they're just working the extreme conditions. They're in really can't be overstated when you talk to rescue workers. It's about as tough as it gets. It can take, you know, five minutes to go 50 feet. I think they're in relatively good shape. You know, I just think what we're all concerned about is that we're all hoping for a miracle and people are doing everything humanly possible looking for that miracle, but there're just going to be tons of grief in the Stillaguamish Valley and that's unfortunately the situation we're going to be in. But I'll also tell you that the acts of inspiration I've seen in this week are pretty compelling, too. And I've talked to some of the people in Darrington and also in Arlington that want to tell the country they really appreciate the compassion the nation is showing for this community and also want them to know that these people are showing some courage and resolution and they're hanging together too. This is a place that's pretty tough.
CROWLEY: It looks pretty tough. And I know you have seen it both from the air and on the ground on site. When you look at the task that these rescue workers have, I know you want a miracle, but at the moment it would take that, I imagine, to find anyone alive in what is in some places I'm told six feet of mud.
INSLEE: Well, this is going up to 70 feet of mud over some of the sites where the houses were located. And the thing that when you're on the ground, the pictures just can't convey the force of this landslide because it's interesting, when I flew over, you see the delineation of the landslide, and there's literally nothing standing -- there's zero standing in that area, even a foot or two of this mud can take down anything in its path, including the sort of blast zone that went in front of it. So the devastation is complete, but we are going to do everything we can to look for that miracle and care for these families. We now really are -- really want to care for these families. They've got housing needs. They've got needs that we want to embrace and with our arms. And people across the country are. It's pretty astounding that across the nation people have contributed hundreds of thousands of the dollars to the Red Cross, the United Good Neighbors. We really appreciate that. Our state appreciates people across the country this way.
CROWLEY: That's good, and we want to encourage people to do that. I think that's what some people called it tender mercies for something as horrible as this.
INSLEE: It is.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you, finally, will you allow -- should it be allowed for people to rebuild in that area, which is part of the overall question? We've heard some commentary coming out of your state that this was foreseeable, perhaps not the time, but that people knew that at some point something of this magnitude would happen. Is that something you're going to want to investigate, whether there was -- there were warning signals that were missed?
INSLEE: Well, clearly we're going to want to study the geology and what actually happened in this slide. The fact is in our state, as we had the glaciers that carved a very, very beautiful state, including carving Puget Sound, but as they receded they left behind literally hundreds if not thousands of very poorly consolidated soils of sand and silt on top of clay levers -- layers that are susceptible to landslides, and we have hundreds of landslides almost every year in our state. So we are going to look to see if there are lessons from this particular incident to look at issues of land use and the like. But those are going to have to wait for another day. We really are focused on these families and caring for them and this rescue and recovery effort.
INSLEE: And that's what we are going to focus on today. CROWLEY: Governor Jay Inslee, we just are thinking about you. We wish you and the state luck and, of course, extend our sympathies to the families of those missing and dead. Thank you again.
INSLEE: Thanks to the nation. We appreciate it.
CROWLEY: Thank you. And thanks for watching "State of the Union." I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Fredricka Whitfield picks up our coverage right now from Atlanta.