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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Israeli Prime Minister Warns U.S. Against Deal with Iran; ISIS Leadership Targeted in Airstrikes; Sen. Rand Paul Declares War Against ISIS Illegal; Gun Sales Spike in Ferguson; Family Faces Pot Charges in Weed-Friendly State; Mechanical Problems Delayed Mission to Free U.S. Hostages
Aired November 10, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Next, breaking news. The prime minister of Israel warning the United States against a nuclear deal with Iran as the ayatollah tweets about eliminating Israel.
Plus, new details about the top secret operation to bringing back American prisoners from North Korea. Mechanical errors at the 11th hour changed the whole plan.
And conservative commentator Ben Stein says the problem with race in America is a, quote, "pathetic defeating black self-underclass." That story tonight.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news.
Israel's prime minister sending a dire warning to the United States after Iran's supreme leader called for Israel to be, quote, "annihilated." And Ayatollah Khomeini tweeted a detailed Q&A on why and how Israel should be eliminated.
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, fired back saying Iran's, quote, "terrorist regime must not be allowed to get a nuclear bomb."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I call on the P-5 Plus One countries. Don't rush into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This as Secretary of State John Kerry heads home after two days of talks about Iran's nuclear program with the country's foreign minister. The clock is ticking. The deadline of the biggest deal of a generation is just days away.
Global affairs correspondent Elise Labott begins our coverage OUTFRONT tonight. And, Elise, when you hear what came out from Iran today from the
supreme leader, you hear the prime minister of Israel. The question is, will the U.S. do this deal?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, Erin, it's true. Secretary of State Kerry just wrapped up 10 hours of talks with the Iranian foreign minister. U.S. officials say the negotiations have been very tough. But they say there's still time for progress but as you note the signs from Iran on whether a nuclear deal could lead to better ties between the U.S. and Iran are not encouraging.
LABOTT (voice-over): With the deadline just two weeks away, Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Amman to kick nuclear negotiations into overdrive with Iran's foreign minister. Back home, Vice President Joe Biden speaking to Jewish leaders, laid out the U.S. red line.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: In the Bidenest (ph) way, we will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. Period. Period. Period. And I would not put my 42-year reputation on the line were I not certain when I say it. We mean it.
LABOTT: In between tweets on Iran's nuclear diplomacy, the country's supreme leader took aim at Israel, tweeting, quote, "This barbaric wolf-like and infanticide regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated."
Vitriolic comments about Israel by Iran's leaders are nothing new but coming on the heels of news President Obama sent a letter to the supreme leader -- his fourth since taking office -- it dashes administration hopes a nuclear deal could pave the way for greater cooperation against ISIS and ending Syria's civil war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The supreme leader has been in power since 1989. He has expressed his hostility and vitriol towards the United States, towards Israel. And he's made it fairly clear that he's not interested in a (INAUDIBLE) with the United States. But if you're President Obama you're also not interested in conflict with Iran.
LABOTT: Since speaking by phone with newly elected President Rouhani last year, President Obama has sought a nuclear pack with Iran. World powers reached an interim deal with Iran a year ago. A modest easing of sanctions in exchange for some temporary caps on Iran's nuclear program. But 12 months of diplomatic brinksmanship has failed so far to produce a comprehensive accord.
In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, President Obama wasn't exactly optimistic.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The question now is, are we going to be able to close this final gap so that they can reenter the international committee. There is still a big gap. We may not be able to get there.
LABOTT: And now as the November 24th deadline approaches, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, warned Iran has not come clean on the military dimension of its program, posing new questions about whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.
LABOTT: And, Erin, the IAEA very concerned Iran will not give its inspectors access to military sites like Parchin where nuclear activity is believed to be taking place. Diplomats and U.S. officials say the goal is a final deal by November 24th. But if no deal is reached, they could agree on another interim deal, codifying the progress that has been made while continuing to negotiate the remaining and most substantial issues. How much enrichment capacity Iran could maintain and the pace of lifting those sanctions -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Elise Labott. Thank you very much.
Of course the director-general of the IAEA also said it was possible that Iran had continued nuclear weapons research and development as these talks have been going on. We're going to have more on that in a moment.
But Reza Sayah is in Tehran tonight.
Reza, these nuclear talks obviously as we're saying, they've been under a way for nearly a year. Another round over tonight. What's the sentiment where you are about a deal?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it's clear that Iranians want a deal to happen. The government wants a deal if it is a fair one. And the people want a deal as well.
We've been coming here for the past year frequently during these negotiations. And I haven't come across a single Iranian who has told me they don't want a deal to happen. They all want it. And that's because this is a very young, educated, sophisticated population that has been through a difficult time over the past several years.
Difficult, crippling economic sanctions, political and economic isolation, years of being demonized by the international media, and they're tired of it. Remember, if you're young Iranians, 20 something, 30 something, with an Iranian passport, it is very difficult to travel freely around the world. You can't use a credit card. You can't use the banking system.
They want all that to end and they believe a key step is to reach an agreement with the P-5 Plus One to end these sanctions. But a couple of things. This is a population that wants its rights. They believe they have a right to have a peaceful nuclear program and they're also very skeptical population.
They've seen a lot of broken promises. Many here don't trust their own government and they don't trust Washington either. Many Iranians believe this nuclear program is an excuse by Washington to keep the geopolitical balance of power that currently exists, that favors U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia. So some complicated issues here. And that's why it's going to be a
fascinating two weeks leading up to the 24th -- November 24th deadline.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Reza Sayah, as we said, live in Tehran tonight.
And now joining me, the State Department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Good to have you with us, Jen, as always.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Great to be here.
BURNETT: So let me ask you, Secretary Kerry left Amman after two days of talks with his Iranian counterpart. Was there progress?
PSAKI: Well, Erin, this is a pivotal time as you know. We're two weeks away from the deadline. The secretary was there meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif, meeting with EU High Representative Ashton, because we're at a pivotal time. But these talks are continuing at the political director level, at the technical experts level.
That's where a lot of the hard work, a lot of the slogging away is going to be done. They'll be reconvening as well next week. So this was part of the process. But we didn't expect it to be a major breakthrough. We expected it to be a point in the process.
BURNETT: All right. So let me ask you about this tweet. A couple of them. But first a tweet, an account that's widely believed to be the official account of the supreme leaders.
It said, "Why should and how can Israel be eliminated?" Ayatollah Khomeini's answer to nine questions and those questions include, "Why should the Zionist regime be eliminated and what is the proper way of eliminating Israel?"
Today the prime minister of Israel responded. I want to play that for you quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: He is publicly calling for the annihilation of Israel as he is negotiating a nuclear deal with the P-5 Plus One countries. There is no moderation in Iraq. It is unrepentant, unreformed, and I call on the P-5 Plus One countries, don't rush into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: How does the United States support a deal with a country whose supreme leader talks about eliminating any country, never mind America's biggest ally?
PSAKI: Well, Erin, first, there's no question that those tweets link to an account associated with the supreme leader are reprehensible, they're disgusting, and certainly we condemn that. But let's remember what's at stake here. And that's preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. That's in Israel's interest. I believe the prime minister referenced that. That's in the United States' interests, that's in the global community's interests.
What's the alternative? If we are not going to continue to pursue a diplomatic path and try to achieve a comprehensive deal in the next 13 days?
BURNETT: So let me ask you then about one of the most basic elements to a deal. It would seem to be unfettered access, meaning any time when you want, without announcing themselves would be weapons inspectors coming to Iran's nuclear sites. Their military sited. In the past year as these have been going on, Iran has denied inspector's access to some of those sites including as we all know, the most significant, Parchin, their major military site, their jewel. The United States has believed atomic weapons development did happen there at some time.
Will the U.S. consider a deal that does not allow unfettered access to any site at any time in Iran?
PSAKI: Well, Erin, there's no question that you can't have deal that's workable without stringent and verifiable monitoring mechanisms. As you know, there are a couple of different paths that Iran would have or has to a nuclear weapon. Our goal is to cut all of those up. Obviously monitoring mechanisms is a key part of that. But this is a very technical negotiation, a very technical deal. So I'm just not going to get ahead of what the final product is going to be.
BURNETT: All right. So let me show one other tweet to our viewers again from that account that's believed to be from Iran's supreme leader. This one's titled, "Iran's Red Lines in the Nuclear Talks." And the red lines are shaped -- I want to make sure everyone can see this -- to create the shape of a nuclear atom. And one of them says that there will be no deal as long as Americans continue their enmity and their hostile remarks about Iran.
You know, I pointed out, you know, when you're in Iran, you notice their money, their most common bill is also the nuclear atom. But it does raise the question of how you do business with somebody like that.
PSAKI: This is the way we see it, Erin.
PSAKI: This has never been about trust. We still have some major issues with Iran, even if there is a deal, when there is a deal. And that's what -- we're certainly hopeful of. We're concerned about their human rights record. They're holding American citizens. We're concerned about their state sponsorship of terrorism.
This has never been about trust. It's never been about an opening in a relationship. This is about their nuclear aspirations and preventing them from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And that's what our focus is on. BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. Jen Psaki, we
PSAKI: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: I think the key words here, she's explaining that it's not about trust.
Well, OUTFRONT next, it's been days since the barrage of airstrikes targeted ISIS's top leader. So why is his fate still unknown?
Plus conservative pundit Ben Stein had made some incredibly controversial comments tonight. The U.S.' problem he says is a, quote, "pathetic self-defeating black underclass."
And more cities and states are loosening their laws on pot. The feds aren't backing down. One American family is caught in the middle. Does their punishment fit the crime?
An OUTFRONT investigation.
BURNETT: Dead or alive, the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may be dead tonight. A senior U.S. official says an airstrike was conducted after 10 vehicles which were believed to carry ISIS leadership, they came and saw them as a target.
Now Iraqi intelligence had word that al-Baghdadi would be in that convoy. Iraqi forces then conducted the strike this weekend.
But how is it possible that days later, neither American or Iraqi intelligence know if Baghdadi is dead or alive?
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Confusion about the fate of the elusive leader of ISIS. Iraqi TV broadcast a statement --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi --
STARR: -- that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of ISIS, was wounded in an Iraqi airstrike on Saturday at the town of al-Qaim on the border with Syria. A senior U.S. official tells CNN, the Iraqis did have intelligence that he was in that border town.
U.S. officials now believe it's less likely Baghdadi was wounded or killed 250 miles away in Mosul where coalition war planes hit a convoy of 10 ISIS armed trucks. Rumors surfaced soon after that that Baghdadi was there.
The U.S. said the strike targeted a meeting of ISIS leaders but the outcome was unclear. Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal questioned what good it would
BURNETT: A strategy of trying to get al-Baghdadi from ISIS right now, that is not -- that's not going to stop ISIS.
GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL (RET.), U.S. ARMY: No. I think it is something that causes ISIS problems but it's not cutting the head off the snake and specking the snake to die.
STARR: The U.S. is now scouring phone intercepts, records from locals on the ground. Anything for intelligence confirming Baghdadi may have been killed or wounded. Even if the coalition wounded or killed him, the war against ISIS still is far from over.
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It will morph. And new leaders will emerge. In fact, you know, bear in mind that ISIS leadership originated from Saddam's military. These are very conventionally trained, very professional leaders.
STARR: President Obama says his decision to send 1500 more troops to Iraq to train Iraqi forces is about getting them on the offense against ISIS.
OBAMA: Now what we need is ground troops, Iraqi ground troops, that can start pushing them back.
STARR: But even some of the president's own Democrats, skeptical the Iraqi government is up to the essential challenge of winning back Sunnis who have turned to ISIS out of distrust with Baghdad.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: These 1500 troops are ultimately just going to be a temporary band-aid if there isn't a fully inclusive government inside Baghdad.
STARR: Fifty U.S. troops have now landed in Anbar Province west of Baghdad. They will work to set up operations so more U.S. advisers can go in and begin to train Iraqi forces to get back out into the field. Back on to the offense against ISIS. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are likely to be asked about all of this when they appear before Congress on Thursday -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Barbara Starr.
Well, is the president's war against ISIS illegal? I mean, you're talking about doubling the troops and what's going to happen then, Well, Senator Rand Paul says it is illegal. The Kentucky congressman is eyeing a presidential run and he wrote an op-ed in the "Daily Beast" today and it said, quote, "This war is now illegal. It must be declared and made valid or it must be ended. Congress has a duty to act."
OUTFRONT tonight, Elise Jordan who is advising Senator Paul on foreign issues and Lanny Davis, the former White House special counsel in the Clinton administration.
Great to have both of you.
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you.
BURNETT: Elise, since you advised Senator Paul on this, why do you believe the president of the United States is breaking the law?
ELISE JORDAN, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO SEN. RAND PAUL: Because he -- under the War Powers Act which is what the legal rationale that they're giving, he has 60 days to make his case to Congress and then 30 days to cease operations if he hasn't made his case.
President Obama hasn't gone to Congress yet. He hasn't asked for congressional authority and it is time for that to happen. It's way overdue quite frankly.
BURNETT: And your count is 90 days since those airstrikes began in August.
JORDAN: Yes, which would -- it would have been August 8th, I think, to be precise.
BURNETT: All right. So that's your logic.
Lanny, what do you say to this?
DAVIS: Well, remarkably, Miss Jordan ignores what the senator actually wrote. He said even without the War Powers Act, meaning even if the 90 days hadn't expired, there is no constitutional authority for the president to act unless we are under attack at that time, meaning, that if we know ahead of time that we're about to be attacked by a terrorist attack like 9/11, according to Senator Paul, the president may not act.
And I don't think he is going to stand by those words that I just read to you. Unless we're under attack at that time, the president cannot act preemptively to stop a terrorist attack. He can't mean that.
BURNETT: So, Elise -- what about this issue of preemptive action? Because the president has said that ISIS is a threat to the homeland.
JORDAN: It's not even imminent -- he has not been able to say it's an imminent threat. Immediate. Now. Which is what he -- why can't he go to Congress and make his case? President Bush did. He did in 2001 for Afghanistan, then in 2003 for Iraq. And you have seen what we're getting out of this -- out of President Obama's failure to go to Congress is really poor policy.
We're getting ad hoc driven strategy or lack of a strategy completely as President Obama himself admitted. We really need the public debate. And I think it would strengthen our strategy for attacking ISIS.
BURNETT: I guess, Lanny, what I'm curious about is some people look at this and they'll say, OK, the law is the law. And you can always say that something is imminent. I mean, it's a slippery slope, right? I mean, you know, you can say well, he says it's imminent and he's going to go after ISIS. You can say something else is imminent. I mean, in a world where the lone wolf is the great threat, does that present itself as a real risk to the American military?
DAVIS: Well, sure. But notice how Miss Jordan inserted the word imminent into Senator Paul's sentence. There is no imminent. He said unconstitutional unless we're under attack. No imminent. Under attack at that time. So no preemption. That's the words the senator -- Miss Jordan is probably unable to walk that back until she talks to the senator.
I do agree with her that the president should go to Congress and get authorization. But it is interesting in the years that Senator Paul has been in Congress since ISIS began its attack, he's never introduced a resolution of authorization himself, even though he says in the op-ed that he agrees that ISIS should be gone after.
So, Miss Jordan, why hasn't he introduced the authorization resolution himself?
JORDAN: Well, he's trying -- he's trying to get President Obama to agree to go before -- to go before Congress.
DAVIS: Why has not he introduced the resolution?
JORDAN: He's working today by introducing the public debate.
DAVIS: Simple question.
JORDAN: No --
DAVIS: Why hasn't he introduced the resolution? Answer my question.
JORDAN: I can't speak for Senator Paul.
DAVIS: You can't. You're exactly right. And I don't blame you.
BURNETT: But here's the question, Elise. The president said, he went to Congress and wanted to conduct airstrikes in Syria a year ago. Right? He went and he said, I'm going to ask for your vote. And then they never voted. Right? They sat around and they never voted.
So when you look at his position now, he says the nation's security is at risk, I don't want to risk that again. Right? It was -- it was humiliating and he said there was red line and then he couldn't enforce it.
JORDAN: Well, I think right now he, though, would have the significant amount of support so the political calculation would actually be in his favor. And I just don't see frankly what he has to lose.
BURNETT: So you're saying you think they vote --
JORDAN: Yes. I think overall, it would vote -- they would vote yes.
DAVIS: So we agree on that, Erin. And I agree, Miss Jordan, I completely agree with you that the president should do that. He said he will.
DAVIS: But I just point out to you that Senator Paul has the ability to introduce that resolution. He says in his op-ed piece that we should go after ISIS. He has not done so and then he says something irresponsible --
BURNETT: Lanny --
DAVIS -- that the president may only act after an attack. Not before.
JORDAN: How is that -- yes, interesting. I just -- I don't think that we are seeing -- maybe you have access to some classified intel that, you know, I don't, which I don't think you do, quite frankly, because I think you're really pushing the boundaries of the legality here.
DAVIS: I'm reading your -- I'm reading the senator's own words. And you're not able to defend them and I don't blame you. But I do agree that he ought to go to Congress and get authorization for this current ISIS attack.
BURNETT: Well, we'll see when he does. And I'm curious. Because we've had Democrats and Republicans on this show for very different reasons who say that they don't want any war at all and I guess you're right. Maybe they would have to vote yes but they clearly don't want to.
Now to China where President Obama kicked off his trip to Asia today, decked out in matching purple silk jackets and black pants -- I mean, this is interesting. They actually coordinated their outfits.
President Obama and Chinese president, Xi Jinping, looked like they were ready for a night on the town. China pulled out all the stops for the international summit. World leaders came to Beijing along the lit road which was lined with elaborately costumed dancers. The pomp and circumstance did not end there.
This is pretty amazing just to watch what they're able to pull off. The communist government put on choreographed performances and a fireworks show that rivaled the Fourth of July.
The president will be at the economic summit until Wednesday. I do not yet have word on whether there will be any more coordinating attire.
OUTFRONT next. As Ferguson brace for more protests, conservative commentator Ben Stein weighs in. He said the problem with race in America is a, quote, "self-defeating black underclass." That's next.
Plus new details about what delayed the top secret mission to bring back Americans from North Korea.
BURNETT: Tonight the city of Ferguson bracing for a grand jury decision on the fate of Officer Darren Wilson. The decision is expected any day and it comes three months after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.
That shooting setting off riots across the nation and tonight people in Ferguson are preparing for something much worse by arming themselves.
Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT. She's in Ferguson.
And, Sara, they're buying guns?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are, according to a lot of people including the mayor and gun shops who are telling us that sales are up about 50 percent. And when we asked why, they said it has to do with Ferguson. That the residents here are very concerned, the business owners here are very concerned about what might happen when the grand jury comes back with its decision on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson.
Let me let you listen to what a gun shop owner told us the number of clients coming in has doubled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN STEPHENSON, METRO SHOOTING RANGE: The bottom line is there's a lot of people that are scared. And not necessarily -- I don't like to use the word scared. I'd say very concerned. But there are -- there is an element that is -- they're fearing what's going to transpire next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: But the protesters say, to be fair, over these past 90 days, this is actually the 90th day of protests that have gone on every single day since August 9th. And for the most part they have been peaceful. The protesters have really begun policing themselves and telling everyone who wants to be vile that they're not a part of this movement that has started here.
However, of course, there is still concern and we're noticing that concern play out on the front of businesses who are boarding up across the city, worried that they might be targets.
BURNETT: All right. So, Sara, I know you have new details. I mean, the future of the Ferguson police department is core here, and whether the Justice Department is going to take it over.
SIDNER: It is. And there's been a lot of talk about that. The protesters are demanding the chief step down still and they would like to see the department taken over.
There was talk that a lot of people heard about from the Department of Justice, saying perhaps the Department of Justice would force that to happen. But we had a candid conversation with the mayor who talked to us about this issue and said that for the issues that are being brought up to him, he thinks that the police department can make the changes necessary and that it will not be taken over.
Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: I don't expect that. I've been doing research on consent decrees across the country. From my experience with my two interviews with the department of justice, the entrance and the exit interviews, I honestly don't see anything that they've mentioned that we couldn't, you know, fix.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: As for now, there is simply a waiting game, waiting to hear that announcement from the grand jury. Until then, things are going to be really uneasy. And there are people worried that the violence will be worse this time around -- Erin.
BURNETT: Sara, thank you very much.
And now, I want to bring in our legal analyst Paul Callan, and Michael Brown's family attorney, Anthony Gray.
Anthony, this case has sparked protests, has sparked a passionate discussion in this country. I want to play something that just happened moments ago. This is stunning. Whatever you think, this is stunning. I want our behaviors to hear it. The commentator Ben Stein talked today to a channel called NewsMaxTV. He was asked about Ferguson and I want to play his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN STEIN, COMMENTATOR: The real problem with race in America is a very, very beaten down, pathetic, self-defeating black underclass that is just can't seem to get its way going in the way that blacks were able to before the scourge of drugs and the scourge of gangs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What is your response to that, Anthony?
ANTHONY GRAY, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: I think that his remark is shallow. I think it's ill informed.
He misses some very critical pieces to the race issue in this country. It goes way deeper than what he just described. It completely ignores a longstanding history of racial challenges that this country has faced over the decades. You cannot boil it down and make it that simplistic. So, I think it was kind of irresponsible statement in my opinion.
BURNETT: Irresponsible and yet no doubt there will be many who will agree with it. And when you look at what you're looking at, which is a grand jury giving to come down, does that concern you?
GRAY: It does. What it does is it deepens the divide if you asked me in the racial relationships that are already strained and receiving heavy tension. It doesn't help to bring about any healing. That is what this region, that is what our country, what this community needs right now. And not statements that are divisive, and that have a way of inflaming the racial tensions that already exist.
BURNETT: It is divisive, Paul. It is, though, something that Ben Stein, conservative commentator, there will be many who will agree and say, you know what, thank God finally said what I think. There will be people who say that.
What he said, though, you know, as you just heard Anthony said, he believes shallow, ill-informed, irresponsible.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, he said it to, but to say it a pathetic black underclass is way over the top. And I think -- you know, I wouldn't paint conservatives all with the brush of that statement.
I think that responsible people look at crime statistics and will say that we have situations like Ferguson and we have more encounters between police and African-Americans because crimes statistics are higher in African-American neighborhoods and so, there are more police encounters. Now, there may be a factor of racism that factors into that.
BURNETT: Why are the police going after black communities as opposed to other communities?
CALLAN: Well, I don't know that's the case. I mean, I think there's a strong argument that they're just going where the crime is. If it was happening in white neighborhoods, they'd be in white neighborhoods. But because they're there, they're going to have encounters with respectable middle class black citizens and they're going to mistreat them. And so, I think that's where the racism develops.
BURNETT: And, Anthony, the problem is there are -- there are those in the African-American community who will hear what Ben Stein said and said, you know what, that's what people think of us and it creates even more of a divide.
GRAY: Yes, it does. It's not a feel good statement. It demeans. It's an insulting remark. And when people are insulted and they feel offended by statements, it creates more combativeness between the parties or the individuals. And it just, like I said before, it deepens the divide. It doesn't hope to heal and I think we can universally agree on that. BURNETT: So, there was a tweet that also came out, this is from a
teacher in Texas, was suspended officials saying most likely going to be fired after this tweet regarding Ferguson. And it is, who the blank made you blank crackers think I give a squat blank about your opinions, about my opinion regarding Ferguson. Kill yourselves.
Paul, the question I have when I see this hateful kind of thing, how is violence going to be avoided when this grand jury comes down with a decision if it is not the decision of go ahead and charge?
CALLAN: Well, I don't know, because one of the things that I think is the most disturbing, is you've had 98 days of demonstrations in Ferguson and essentially, we don't know what the decision is. So, you know, we're using a procedure that has been in place since really, the Founding Fathers put grand juries in the U.S. Constitution.
So, there's nothing to protest until a decision is made, whether it's a correct decision or an incorrect decision. You know, there is nothing to protest at this point.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you as we await that grand jury decision coming. As we said, it could be coming by the end of the week.
OUTFRONT, a family in Washington could face a minimum of 10 years in prison for growing pot in a state where it is legal. Does that punishment fit the crime?
Plus, an elaborate mission to bring American prisoners home from North Korea. It was delayed not once but twice because of mechanical issues -- mechanical issues in American intelligence. That story is next.
BURNETT: The price of pot. Does the punishment fit the crime? New York City is the latest to loosen its laws on weed. The mayor announcing that low level marijuana possession will no longer result an arrest. It's just a ticket now. But across the country, states and cities are also doing the same.
But the federal government, the opposite. Tonight in Washington state, where recreational and medicinal pot are legal, five people are facing federal drug charges for growing medical marijuana.
David Mattingly is OUTFRONT.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Quietly tucked away in the Northern Rockies, the drug war takes an unexpected term.
(on camera): This is exactly the same route federal agents took when they came this way.
(voice-over): Up this hillside, hidden from view, agents found an operation with guns, money and more. It happened at the end of this dirt road at this simple looking house with this very surprised couple.
(on camera): When I think about drug traffickers, you're not exactly what comes to mind for me.
RHONDA FIRESTACK-HARVEY, FACING FEDERAL MARIJUANA CHARGES: You think of drug cartel in Mexico. That's what I think of. You know what I'm saying? I mean, that's how bad it sounds. It's just terrifying to be categorized as that.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Larry and Rhonda Harvey, along with their son, daughter in law and a family friend, are known as the Kettle Falls Five, arrested for growing their own medical marijuana in a state where it's legal.
(on camera): This is where you were growing everything, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): The field where they grow their pot is smaller than a tennis court. The Harveys say they had it clearly marked with a green cross for medical marijuana.
But federal prosecutors say they were trying to grow too much.
LARRY HARVEY, FACING FEDERAL MARIJUANA CHARGES: We did everything we thought by the book. And I did not -- I would have never done it if I thought we were doing something illegal.
MATTINGLY: They say they were using marijuana with medical approval. In Larry Harvey's case, it was to relieve pain from chronic gout. Federal prosecutors indicted the five anyway on possession, distribution, manufacturing. Even firearm charges when they found guns the Harveys say were for hunting and protection.
(on camera): Looking back on this, did you do something wrong?
LARRY HARVEY: No.
RHONDA HARVEY: No.
LARRY HARVEY: I -- we did not do nothing wrong.
MATTINGLY: Was it possible any one of the five was selling this marijuana to someone else?
RHONDA HARVEY: No.
LARRY HARVEY: No, we never had enough to sell.
RHONDA HARVEY: Yes.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): The charges don't seem to add up when you consider there are a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries less than two hours away in Spokane. This one serves about 2,000 patients, who can buy up to a pound and a half of pot, every three months.
(on camera): What prosecutors argue this case has nothing to do with medical marijuana. And a federal judge agrees.
When the Kettle Falls Five to go trial, they won't be able to use that as a defense. They won't be able to tell a jury why they were growing marijuana or that it is legal under state law.
(voice-over): While they wonder how they're going to defend themselves, advocates the prosecution of the Kettle Falls Five could have a chilling effect on states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana.
(on camera): What is this case about?
KARI BOLTER, AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS: I think it is to send a message to the state of Washington and other states. I think the message is that it is federally illegal. And they don't care if it's one plant or 10 plants or 68 plants, they're going to prosecute.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): U.S. attorneys would not comment on the case. The Harveys aren't sure what to say about it either. Standing on their now overgrown feel, they wonder how their lives became so legally entangled.
LARRY HARVEY: If I didn't laugh, I would cry. It's no joke.
BURNETT: It's funny that they can't defend themselves, they can't tell the jury this is legal in their state. But what could happen to them if they are convicted? Federal drug charges are not insignificant things.
MATTINGLY: Right. There are minimums here. They're looking at a minimum of ten years for what they were doing. And beyond that, this couple isn't very well off. They could lose everything they have.
And Larry Harvey, you saw him. There he is 70 years old, he's in very poor health. He recently got out of the hospital. He has a heart condition.
People very close to him are very concerned that he might have some very bad health problems because of this trial.
BURNETT: So, you're talking about a minimum of ten years. And it could go up to life in prison, theoretically, right?
BURNETT: All right. So, federal law, I don't understand how this happens. States are clearly setting a direct in this country. The federal law is completely at odds. Why would this have happened? Why would the feds have gone ahead?
MATTINGLY: Well, the feds did put out some guideline. And under the guidelines, everything seem to be okay here. We haven't heard what exactly the federal authorities have on this couple and the other three involved. The guidelines are supposed to keep these legal operations from affecting criminal enterprises, gangs, violent drug traffickers.
They say they weren't doing anything like that. They're completely at odds wondering, why are we being prosecuted?
BURNETT: And you asked the question of, is anyone -- of the parents, is anyone else of the son or daughter --
MATTINGLY: Right. That was the one thing to me that seems like it would be, somebody in the group was breaking the trust of the others and selling this marijuana. They say absolutely not.
BURNETT: Absolutely not. All right. David Mattingly, thank you very much.
We're going to continue to follow that story. Very strange to see what the outcome is. For more on the Kettle Falls Five case and whether the punishment fits the crime, please go to CNN.com/opinion.
And OUTFRONT next, America's top spy delivers a letter to gain the release of two American prisoners in North Korea. His plane, though, was delayed. And here's the question. Can we just pray that he didn't bring in any of his own electronic equipment? I can assume he didn't, but anyway.
Plus, what happens when you cross a Teddy Bear with a Shih Tzu? I think I might have included the word, in my read there. You get a Teddy dog apparently in high demand.
BURNETT: Tonight, new details about the top secret mission to secure the release of Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller. They were held captive in North Korea. The two men arrived back in the United States about 48 hours ago.
But we are now learning the mission by America's top spy into North Korea was far from smooth. In fact, it was plagued with technical delays.
Our chief national correspondent Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The lofty mission to bring home Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller suffered a down-to-earth 11th-hour hitch. Not one but two delays due to the mechanical problems with the Air Force jet of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. It was an exasperating setback after weeks of planning and communication.
North Korea approached the U.S. two weeks ago asking for a high level U.S. envoy. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the indication
that there was a possibility of a release of these two hostages and we pursued it.
SCIUTTO: The U.S. responded with General Clapper, the nation's top spy, but not a diplomat who might signal a broader diplomatic negotiation. He carried a letter addressed to the North Korean Kim Jong-un, stating he was traveling as the president's envoy solely to bring the two Americans home.
Clapper, who did not meet with Kim, himself, did not know he'd succeed until he, Bae and Miller were on their way back.
KENNETH BAE, RELEASED BY NORTH KOREA: It's been an amazing two years. I learned a lot. I grew a lot. I lost a lot of weight, in a good way, but I stand against strong because of you.
SCIUTTO: So, why now? For one, North Korea is under enormous pressure, following a damning U.N. report on human rights violations in its prison system, an effort is now under way under the U.S. criminal charge to charge senior North Korean officials, including Kim, himself, with crimes.
More importantly the leaders, including President Obama, are now gathered in China, North Korea's neighbor and sole ally, with the growing consensus that North Korea and its nuclear program must be dealt with firmly.
OBAMA: It's going to take a broader understanding on the parts of North Koreans that all the countries in the region consider this to be our number one security priority, making sure that we do not have a nuclearized Korean Peninsula.
SCIUTTO: Welcoming America's top spy certainly gave North Korean leader's face in a domestic audience, but for the U.S., dispatching the man who oversees the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, many of which keep a very close watch on North Korea, also sends a message. But if North Korea was expecting a reward for the release of these world leaders gathered in Beijing for the APEC summit, that is unlikely, as one U.S. diplomat told me, Erin, it will be a very bad week for Pyongyang. One that gets unity on among world leaders there is that North Korea needs to be dealt with, and that it even goes for China, which typically is North Korea's protector.
BURNETT: Right. I'm just imagining how many decoys cell phones they equipped Clapper with, with how many messages on them to try to you know muddy the waters.
SCIUTTO: That would have been fun to watch.
BURNETT: It would have been real fun to watch, those preparations. One thing we know is he didn't bring his own, right?
SCIUTTO: Yes. BURNETT: Thanks very much to you, Jim Sciutto.
Next, half dog, half Teddy bear, Jeanne Moos -- is that Jeanne? Well, she's next.
BURNETT: Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is it a Teddy bear? Is it a dog? Is it a Teddy dog?
The real name is Munchkin, you may have to watch the video a couple times to physical out what's going on. Here's what she normally looks like. Fans are howling over her transformation into a Teddy Bear.
CHARACTER: OK, all right. So, that's where we draw the line.
MOOS: Munchkin is an 8-pound Shih Tzu owned by a California accountant named Cindy Ruff (ph). It was the Halloween costume Cindy created that catapulted Munchkin to international fame. Oohed and aahed over in various languages, now she's the star of her own Facebook page, where one admirer called her a little creepy, mostly cute.
(on camera): We must ask ourselves a question, was a Teddy Bear sacrificed in the making of this outfit?
(voice-over): You betcha. Cindy posted the 11-second video with instructions on how to make the costume, buy Teddy Bear similar to your dog's coloring and cut off the face.
(on camera): This is not nice.
(voice-over): Cut off the bottom of the back feet, cut open the back.
(on camera): Sorry, guy.
(voice-over): Remove most of the stuffing.
(on camera): Leave the stuffing in the arms.
(voice-over): The dog's head goes here, her feet go through Teddy's back legs.
(on camera): Cindy says it took only 15 minutes the costume that gave Munchkin more than her 15 minutes of fame.
(voice-over): And yes, those are her real eyelashes. Here's the before and after.
Something she looks like an ewok from "Star Wars". One blog went so far as to call this California swinger a cross-dresser.
With millions of views already, munchkin is on the way to fame achieved by Ted the talking Teddy Bear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For some reason, I thought you were going to be taller.
TED THE TEDDY BEAR: I thought you were going to be funnier.
MOOS: There is nothing funny about being a stuffed toy in Munchkin's household.
Run before they yank your stuffing out and you become munchkin road kill.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Is that more cute or more dark? Let us know your thoughts.
Anderson starts now.