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THE SITUATION ROOM
ISIS Video Reveals Clues about Killers; Parents of Murdered American Speak Out; Interview with Rep. Peter King; Report: ISIS, Al Qaeda Faction Seek Merger; New Video of Airliner Downing in Ukraine; Top U.S. Spy Details North Korea Mission; North Korean Prison Camp Horrors Revealed
Aired November 17, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Thanks, Jake.
Happening now, terror tape -- after an American is beheaded by the terror group ISIS, the world's intelligence agencies are scrambling to decode the brutal video and to identify the foreign fighters who appear unmasked on the tape. I'll speak with Congressman Peter King about what they're learning.
And shocking shoot-down video -- new images emerge showing the wreckage of a Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine. I'll ask a key American diplomat about the investigation.
And inside North Korea -- new details on the U.S. spy chief's mission to free American prisoners. And a dictator's bodyguard tells how he became a victim of that brutal regime.
Wolf Blitzer is off.
I'm Brianna Keilar.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A brutal and barbaric display by ISIS. The terror group's latest video shows the gruesome beheadings of a number of captives and the severed head of an American, aid worker, Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger. Standing over it, the same black guard killer who this time threatens to, quote, "slaughter your soldiers."
There are some major differences in this new video, though, and some major new clues for the world's intelligence agencies, including a row of unmasked murderers.
Congressman Peter King of the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees is standing by, along with our correspondents, our analysts and newsmakers.
We begin with CNN's senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, this video is different because it's much longer. It's different because it doesn't have Peter Kassig in an orange jumpsuit. It's different because he is apparently -- he doesn't speak to the camera. It's only the brutal aftermath of his beheading. And it's different, as well, because we're beginning to see more elements in this video. We're seeing the execution of a number of people that the ISIS say are members of the Syrian Army and Air Force.
KEILAR: And those differences are key. Behind-the-scenes, no doubt, the U.S. government is taking a very close look at them. The posture that we're seeing the U.S. government take publicly is very strong.
ROBERTSON: It's a robust posture. I mean, look, this is ISIS propaganda. It's 16 minutes and it builds to the point of saying, OK, United States, if you want to come fight us, we're here, we're ready for it, you send your troops. Indeed, they even predict more troops, more than the 1,500 additional troops will be sent.
This is what Secretary of State John Kerry said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: ISIL's leaders assume that the world will be too intimidated to oppose them. Well, let us be clear, we are not intimidated, you are not intimidated, our friends and partners are not intimidated.
ISIL is very, very wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So what we're also hearing here is that the United States is not going to give in. It's going to take on ISIS despite these threats. But intelligence authorities -- this is what we're learning -- they are learning information -- valuable information about who some of these jihadists are. There are a number of them that are on this tape whose identity is not hidden.
KEILAR: Yes. And that's obviously something that the intelligence community is looking at.
Talk a little bit about Peter Kassig. This is someone who went to help people. He used to be in the Army and then he started a non- profit and he was trying to help Syrians.
ROBERTSON: And his family are proud of him for it. They were proud of -- proud of that when they came out to speak today, proud of the fact that he put -- almost put his life to help -- on the line to help other people. They said their hearts were broken and they would be repaired, that they would get better, that he didn't see the darkness in the world, that he saw the light.
And this is -- this was the man. He was a guy who'd been a soldier in Iraq, a Ranger. He had realized that he wanted to help people still in the region, had gone to Lebanon, where Syrian refugees were coming out and needed treatment. He was -- he had medical skills. He was helping them. And he realized, OK, I can do more. I can create a charity. He created a charity. He went into Syria to help on the front lines. You know, even during his captivity, one of the al Qaeda leaders from Al-Nusra that variously fights and then aids ISIS even said this guy helped me while I was in hospital.
This was a man who going, putting his life in danger, ultimately paying the ultimate price, to help other people.
KEILAR: And it struck me that his parents not only are -- they are mourning for him, but they also tried to draw attention to those who are also hurting in Syria.
Nic Robertson, thank you so much.
This latest ISIS murder video is significantly different, as you heard us say, from earlier propaganda displays. And the killers have given investigators new clues to work with.
CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into that -- Brian, what have you found?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, tonight, Western intelligence officials are looking closely at the video, sharing some information with us. There is a lot to go over because
Of all the differences between this and the previous beheading videos.
A U.S. intelligence official tells me one similarity, they believe this man in the latest release is the same person shown in previous execution videos.
Now, we have to warn you, some viewers might find some images in this story disturbing.
TODD (voice-over): The video, like the others before it, is grotesque and disturbing. The beheading by ISIS of American Peter Kassig is presided over by a militant we've come to know as Jihadi John.
JIHADI JOHN: This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country.
TODD: But there are strong differences between this video and those depicting the killings of Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British citizens Alan Henning and David Haines. This time, no orange jump suit, no buildup to the killing.
AKI PERITZ, FORMER CIA OFFICER: They unfortunately show the head of the victim, but they don't have him give a speech. They don't actually show his execution. And they don't let you know that there's this -- another hostage to be murdered.
TODD: But a U.S. intelligence official tells CNN they believe ISIS does have additional hostages.
So why is this video different?
Aki Peritz, who analyzed every beheading video during the Iraq War for the CIA, says the depictions of Kassig suggest this video might have been hastily put together.
PERITZ: Things, chances are, went wrong with this execution. Maybe the victim couldn't actually give a good speech, therefore they couldn't use it. Maybe they accidentally killed him during the production process and they didn't want to show it. The victim could have resisted prior to actually shooting this and they might have murdered him then.
TODD: The video has a horrific feature not seen before. ISIS shows the man intelligence sources believe is Jihadi John and others, in detail too graphic to show here, beheading more than a dozen men. The militants claim they're Syrian pilots. It's the first time Jihadi John is seen apparently killing someone.
HARAS RAFIQ, THE QUILLIAM FOUNDATION: It was also a sign of desperation, because ISIL really are suffering. They've -- they're a bit like an animal sort of caged into a corner where they've got no response to the airstrikes. The airstrikes and the coalition-led effort is really hurting them.
TODD: After the beheadings, the faces of the killers are brazenly shown.
Analysts say there's a message there, too.
RAFIQ: They were trying to show that this was almost the United Nations of jihadis. This was jihadis that were carrying out these beheadings from different places around the world.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TODD: And in the portion of the video depicting Peter Kassig's death, another point of difference. Unlike in previous beheading videos, they don't seem to try to hide where they are. They show distinct buildings down here. They show roads, farmlands, other things, fields. And they label the place Dabiq. You see it right here. That's a town in Syria, very symbolic, where the Ottoman Empire won a historic battle, opening the region up to Muslim conquest -- Brianna, they made no attempt to hide the location where they're doing this, unlike in previous videos.
KEILAR: What do we know, Brian, about other hostages that ISIS is believed to be holding?
TODD: We know there are at least two, John Cantlie, a British journalist whose appeared in a number of ISIS propaganda videos, and they're believed to be holding a 26-year-old female American aid worker. Those are the two we know for sure.
KEILAR: All right, Brian Todd, thank you so much.
The parents of murdered American, Peter Kassig, have just spoken out. Let's go live now to CNN's Alexandra Field.
She is in Indianapolis with us to tell us about what they said -- Alexandra.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Ed and Paula Kassig showing such grace, such courage, such composure, as they came out. They had written some prepared remarks.
They spoke for just a minute or two, but they talked about their heartbreak over the loss of their son, Abdul-Rahman, also known as Peter.
They talked about their grief. They said they would need some privacy, some time to cry, some time to mourn, and eventually to forgive.
But they also talked about what they think their son's legacy will be.
Listen to what his mother said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA KASSIG, MOTHER OF PETER KASSIG: Peter's life is evidence that he has been right all along -- one person makes a difference.
Our hearts are battered, but they will mend. The world is broken, but it will be healed in the end and good will prevail as the one God of many names will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: The Kassigs spoke here at United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. This is the church that Peter Kassig grew up in. We know that he converted to Islam during his captivity. His parents say the conversion actually started a couple of months before he was taken hostage. They say that some time in the near future, they'll have a joint Christian and Muslim memorial ceremony right here in Indianapolis -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Alexandra Field for us in Indianapolis.
And joining me now, a key member of the House Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York.
Congressman, thanks for being with us.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: And I know you know what's in this video. If you haven't seen it in its entity, it's horrific. It does, though, have differences from some of these other videos.
What about it struck you?
KING: Well, the fact that they are, first of all, they're revealing their faces, they're able to identi -- be identified and also the fact that they are giving a geographical indicator of where they are. Now, my understanding is the French have already identified, you know, one of the terrorists in the video. And I think they've made a serious mistake in doing this, the -- ISIS has.
Now, I don't know why they did it. It could have been, one, they are so arrogant and so confident they wanted to show their people that they can get away with this. Or it could be a false sense of bravado, that they are actually suffering and they want to give the false impression that they're stronger than ever.
But in either event, whatever the reason was, it's a mistake, because now, the intelligence agencies can analyze -- they can find out who these people are, know who they are and go back to even, let's say, to where they -- there's -- their country of origin, find out more about them and be able to track back.
So, no, I -- it -- intelligence agencies, working together, will be able to get an extraordinary amount of information from this.
KEILAR: So you think this bravado has made them somewhat vulnerable.
I also wonder, probably when you look at these videos as a series, the -- I think the face that sort stands out, or, really, we don't see his face, is the man who has been dubbed...
KEILAR: -- Jihadi John. This is someone that there are questions about whether he's been identified as someone in Britain. Maybe there's even video uncovered of him from 2011.
Do you know -- do you know if his identity has been definitely revealed?
KING: Again, Brianna, I -- I cant go into exactly what we know and what we don't know. But I would say that he has certainly compromised himself and certainly the British authorities believe they know who he is. I'll leave it at that.
KEILAR: All right, it's thought now that at least two more Westerners are being held by ISIS at this point.
How concerned are you that as the U.S. begins to send more troops in, more U.S. troops, that we're going to see, perhaps, ISIS respond by taking their lives?
KING: Oh, I think we have to assume that ISIS is going to try to take every American life they can. But we can't allow that to deter us, because it's not as if if we stop attacking them, certainly they're going to lay down their arms.
The fact is, they are determined to kill us and destroy us. And we can't allow these terror tactics to stop us.
But if anything, it should be a -- a wake up call to the American people about how deadly and diabolical ISIS is and how -- how we have to use every resource to stop them, and also, I think, it should be a signal to the president that if we're going to do this, we have to do it completely. We can't be always saying what we're not going to do.
We have to do whatever it takes to destroy ISIS.
KEILAR: All right, Congressman King, stick with me.
We're going to talk -- we have a lot more to talk about.
We'll do that right after a quick break.
KING: Thank you.
KEILAR: Our top story, a new ISIS terror tape released to mark the beheading of another American. It contains new clues that has the world intelligence agencies scrambling.
We're back now with Republican Congressman Peter King of New York. He's a key member of both the homeland security and the intelligence committees.
I want to ask you about something that we're seeing, Congressman. And that's this potential merger between the al Nusra Front, which is the al Qaeda offshoot in Syria, and ISIS. And I'm wondering if you're looking at what's going on and seeing that U.S. action in Iraq and Syria, if that is sort of uniting, in a way, two groups that previously didn't really get along.
KING: I have to assume, all of us have to assume that, in the end, these groups are allied. Now, they may have differences. I mean, the difference, basically, between ISIS and al-Nusra and core al Qaeda was that, ISIS in effect, was more violent or more barbaric. But in the end, they all share the same common goal.
And I think we can't allow ourselves to stop taking action against ISIS for fear that somehow al-Nusra is going to join up with them. I mean, the fact is, I always assume that these groups, in the end, one way or the other, do cooperate. I mean, there's been intelligence over the years, whether it's al Shabaab or whether it's al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Nusra. These groups intermingle. They sometimes even have a person fighting for one group one year and another the next. So in their overall goal, they agree. I don't think that should deter us from any action we're going to take.
So no, I think that should deter us at all from any action we're going to take. I think the Obama administration has made a mistake somehow in making these out to be two different theaters, both Iraq and Syria.
ISIS is both Iraq and Syria. It's their caliphate, and it's -- I think it's a mistake to focus on one part of the campaign and not the other. To me, it's a joint effort.
KEILAR: One of the key parts of the administration's plan here to fight ISIS in Syria is to take moderate Syrian rebels and to train them so that they can combat ISIS in Syria.
You support this war. What are you doing to make sure that there's a credible vetting process for these moderate rebels?
KING: Yes, well, that's -- again, the administration, that's really a long process. And that's why I think that -- first of all, it should have been started a long time ago. But what's done is done.
Right now, I think it's -- the vetting is going on. I can't go into all the details. There is vetting. But I don't see how this is going to come to any real fruition until six months to a year from now. And the number's not going to be large.
KEILAR: We still...
KING: And so I think we're relying on that. That's why I think we have -- we can't be taking U.S. ground troops out of the play. And also, we have to be doing more, I believe, to get Arab countries involved with us.
KEILAR: So you're saying, Congressman, that the vetting has started? Because what we have heard most recently from the Pentagon spokesman was that it had not started and that, when it did, it was going to take several months, really, a few months more and then eight to nine months of training after that. So you're saying that it is under way?
KING: Well, I don't want to be going into detail. But there has been a process which has been ongoing. And I'll just leave it at that. But the fact is we're not talking about large numbers, and we're talking about something which is going to take a considerable period of time. And I don't see any way there's going to be an effective indigenous fighting force at least well into next year. By then, it could be too late.
So that's why I believe there has to be more of U.S. involvement and we have to be doing more to get troops from the region or soldiers from the region in the battle. And they're not going to do it unless they are convinced that President Obama is determined to stay throughout.
KEILAR: I want to see what you think about something that 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has said. He said that it's possible the Saudis helped give these 9/11 pilots flight lessons. Did that happen?
KING: I'm not aware of it. But there certainly, as we know, has been some Saudi government involvement, which has been investigated over the years. And, you know, there's the whole question of what was in the 9/11 report. It didn't address pilots. But I think whether or not there are some elements in the Saudi government, that I really can't say. But certainly, the record of the Saudi government leading up to 9/11 or certainly people within the government or within Saudi society raises very serious questions. KEILAR: There was something else that I think raised a lot of
eyebrows recently, and that was the State Department e-mail. It was down today. And there are questions about whether it was perhaps hacked. Did that happen? Do you know? How concerning is this? We've seen several reports that it has happened.
KING: Well, again, without going into that particular one, the fact is the question of hacking, this is really a new front in -- I think every war we're going to be involved in, hacking and cybersecurity, these are major, major elements. These are weapons of war now. And we have to realize that. It's important that we as a country take stronger measures to stop it.
KEILAR: You can't tell us if this was a case of hacking at the State Department?
KING: I'm not going to go into that. No.
KEILAR: All right. Congressman Peter King, really appreciate you talking with us.
KING; Brianna, thank you.
KEILAR: Thank you for joining us.
Now, coming up, dramatic new video of the downing of Malaysia Flight 17 over Ukraine. Why is it just now surfacing?
Plus, inside North Korea, the top American spy speaks out about his secret mission, and a former prisoner reveals the horrors of the country's notorious camps.
KEILAR: Stunned villagers watched flames and thick black smoke in dramatic new video showing the burning of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Four months after the jet was shot down over Ukraine, debris is finally being collected from the crash scene as fighting rages between government forces and pro-Russian rebels.
CNN's Phil Black is on the ground in eastern Ukraine. And Phil, this is a very close-up video of the crash. It shows a lot of detail that we haven't previously seen.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, it shows those crucial minutes just after MH-17 broke up in the skies over eastern Ukraine and large pieces of debris struck the earth.
What that video in particular shows was the largest of the sections, the fuselage, the center section, the wings, the engine, the rear undercarriage, and black smoke there and fire being fueled by the fuel the aircraft was carrying. It was a huge inferno.
And having stood at the location just where those pictures were taken, it -- you get every sense that that was an enormous fireball in those seconds and minutes after that impact. It's also crucial to the investigation, as you touched on, Dutch investigators have been there collecting wreckage for the first time now. Four months after the accident, finally they're being collected just before the winter snow comes. They're going to be shipped back to the Netherlands as those investigators piece together, literally recreate sections of the aircraft to try and determine exactly what brought it down.
KEILAR: Phil, it's been months. Why are we just seeing this video now?
BLACK: It's really not clear where it is coming from at this time. I think that perhaps because those investigators are on the ground, that crash site is now attracting media interest once again. The video has shown up on a Russian tabloid online news service.
It is possible that now, because of this renewed attention, that some journalists have met people at that village neighboring that crash site that hadn't been spoken to before. It's been placed online, and now giving this really dramatic insight into what it was like there on the ground in those moments after the crash.
KEILAR: Give us a sense, Phil, of how bad the fighting there is on the ground in Ukraine and, really, what Vladimir Putin's next move might be.
BLACK: Just over the last few minutes, we've continued to hear bombardment. We suspect artery and rocket fire in the near distance behind us, towards Donetsk airport. It has been a site of intense fighting for some months now, despite the fact that a cease-fire was signed back in September. The fighting in very areas has been constant and still very intense despite that cease-fire. Across the board less intense.
But there's a lot of concern now because of the assessments by the Ukrainian government, by NATO, even by European observers on the ground, that there's been an influx of soldiers, weapons, armor, that sort of thing.
The Ukrainian government genuinely fears some sort of large assault or offensive move is being planned by the separatists and these Russian forces. Russia denies it. But if you assume for a moment that those Russian forces are on the ground, there are two possibilities: that Russia is looking to strengthen its hand at any coming peace negotiations or the second possibility, the one Ukrainian government believes, and that is that a military offensive is imminent. The intent of which, the objective of which, no one knows just yet.
KEILAR: Phil Black, thank you so much for that report.
The Malaysia airliner investigation is being carried out with the help of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. And Ambassador Daniel Baer is the U.S. representative to the OSCE. He's joining me now.
Ambassador, thanks for talking with us. We really appreciate it.
DANIEL BAER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO OSCE: Thanks for having me. KEILAR: We just heard Phil report there that the removal of the
wreckage began on Sunday. It's continuing as we speak. What can you tell us about this process? And what are investigators hoping to figure out from getting, really, the wreckage here?
BAER: Well, Brianna, the OSCE was on the ground within 24 hours of the shoot-down of the plane back in July. But as Phil recounted, it's taken months to be able to get safe access for investigators to the site. There are two prongs of effort. One is the recovery of the remains and the belongings of the many loved ones who perished on that flight and the other is the actual investigation. The investigation which has -- the Ukrainian government has invited the Dutch to lead on.
And obviously, the investigation requires to collect as much evidence as possible, as Phil said, before the winter sets in. And that's what's been able to begin in the last couple of days is the collection of evidence. And obviously, that has to be carefully done, and there have to be, you know, security arrangements made so that investigators can do their work as safely as possible.
I know that over the last few days, they've been able to talk to some of the nearby villagers. They've been able to collect some more of the personal effects. And all of this, both prongs of effort, both the collection of evidence for the investigation and the remains and the personal effects, is obviously very important to bringing closure to the families of those 298 people who lost their lives in July.
KEILAR: Why, Ambassador, have we not seen this collection until now? Obviously, there are some very real limitations when it comes to this essentially being in a war zone. But why has it taken four months? And also tell us about up until this point the status of the remains of those who were killed on the flight?
BAER: Well, you're right. I mean, obviously, the major obstacle has been the ongoing conflict fueled by Russia and its proxies in eastern Ukraine. And when the OSCE observers, monitors got there 24 hours after the shoot-down, they were chased away by a drunken horde of pro- Russian separatists.
They were able to negotiate access over the ensuing days to some of the crash site. But the ongoing fighting and the injection of weapons and fighters by Russia has made getting safe access to that crash site incredibly difficult. And it has taken months to get there. Obviously, the -- as Phil recounted, the injection of fighters and heavy weaponry continues...
KEILAR: But what are the insurances that these inspectors are safe as they do this now?
BAER: Well, the OSCE works very tirelessly with the separatists who are in control of the territory. The crash site is in territory that is -- that is in the de facto control of these armed pro-Russian separatists. And the OSCE monitors who are on the ground worked very, very carefully and diligently to talk with them and to negotiate safe passage for the investigators. Obviously, you know, it's still very near to ongoing fighting. The
cease-fire is being violated. And so it's been very difficult for the investigators to get the access they need.
KEILAR: Now they have it, though, it appears right now. So Russian state TV -- I want to ask you about this, Ambassador. They are saying that there are new photos of MH-17 and that these photos show that it was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. Give us your reaction to that claim.
BAER: Well, you know, I think this is another case of Russian lies being exposed. This time by -- they put those photos up. And within not much time, the collective investigative efforts of those in the blogosphere and reacting to those photos have exposed that it was really a sloppy Photoshop job. It's been an embarrassment for Russian's Channel 1. In fact, I saw a parody where someone had Photoshopped on a giant picture of President Putin in the center of the G-20 photo to make it look like he was in the middle of things, rather than on the edge in the family photo from the G-20.
So really, this has been an embarrassment for Russian state-controlled television.
We know that the overwhelming evidence available in the public sphere shows that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile provided by Russia that was shot from separatist-controlled territory on that fateful July afternoon. And, you know, nothing that Russia does to doctor photos will change the reality that everybody can see from the overwhelming evidence that is available.
KEILAR: We hear this tough rhetoric you're using against Russia. We've heard this from President Obama. He's been really talking tough when it comes to Russia. But he also said the U.S. is not considering more sanctions. Shouldn't there be consequences before this gets worse? Isn't this just, then, words being lobbed at Russia?
BAER: Well, I think there's much more than words. There have been a great deal of costs imposed already. Those costs are having an effect. Not only is the ruble taking the hit; not only is economic growth slowing; but we see a brain drain renewed where top talent is leaving Russia; where new investment is not coming in. Capital flight is continuing. So there have been costs imposed.
And you know, this all goes back to the fact that President Putin is making decisions that not only aren't in the interests of the Ukrainian people, in violating Ukraine's territorial integrity and sending his forces and weapons in, but he's also making decisions that aren't in the interests of the Russian people.
And over the long run, we have -- in the last several months, we have continuously worked with European partners to offer President Putin an off-ramp, to offer the path of de-escalation, a constructive approach. He has repeatedly failed to that. But over the long run, it is in Russia's best interests, not only in Ukraine's interests but in Russia's best interests for President Putin and the Kremlin to take the off-ramp, to move towards de-escalation. Because in the long run, Russia and the Russian people need to be part of the international community. And right now, they're extremely isolated.
KEILAR: Really quickly, before I let you go here, will the U.S. give the Ukrainians lethal aid to help them if needed?
BAER: You know, there's been an ongoing discussion with the Ukrainian government about how we can best support them on the ground. It includes not only making sure that we are offering support on allowing them to strengthen their border security, et cetera, but also obviously, the reform process that is under way and Ukraine has had two sets of elections, presidential elections and then recently parliamentary elections.
The Ukrainian people have been very clear with their votes. They have voted strongly for reform for a European direction for their country. And you know, in the long term, the Ukrainian strategy is really hinged on that reform about casting off the corruption of years past, about embracing rule of law and human rights. And we are working very hard to help the new Ukrainian government support that choice, that choice for reform, that choice for a better future for the Ukrainian people.
KEILAR: German chancellor Angela Merkel said this isn't just about the Ukraine. She said this is about Moldova, Georgia; it's about Serbia. Do you see that as Vladimir Putin's endgame?
BAER: Well, I think it is -- she's absolutely right, of course, that this isn't just about Ukraine, and that's where we're seeing this crisis now. But this is a crisis with Russia. This is a Russian crisis, not a Ukrainian crisis. And we've seen that crisis with Russia play out in Georgia, in Moldova in the past.
And what needs to -- you know, the case that needs to be made again is to the Kremlin and to the Russian leaders, to President Putin, that in the long term, Russia's strong future lies in being in partnership with Europe and with the rest of the world, not an antagonistic relationship with them.
And so this is -- this is a crisis that is much bigger than just Ukraine. It is a crisis that implicates the long-term objective that we've had since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is to see a Europe whole, free and at peace. And right now, Russia's actions are extremely disruptive and detrimental to that goal of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. And that includes Russia.
KEILAR: Ambassador Baer, we always appreciate you taking the time to be with us. Thank you.
BAER: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: And next, America's top spy speaking out about his mission to North Korea to bring home two American captives and what he was most nervous about.
Plus, breaking news: a state of emergency declared in Ferguson, Missouri. We'll go there live.
Plus, details of surprise NFL drug inspections.
KEILAR: A secret mission to North Korea by the top U.S. spy. And now national intelligence inspector James Clapper is speaking out about his high-stakes trip to the world's most isolated nation to bring home two American captives. CNN's Tom Foreman is here with details. This is pretty fascinating, and now Clapper is talking.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is, Brianna. This was a nerve-rattling visit to the so-called hermit kingdom for the head of national U.S. intelligence with no certainty that anything good would come out of it.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Clapper's night flight descended into the deep darkness of North Korea where electricity like everything else is in short supply. And on the ground in Pyongyang, the situation was still so murky even America's top spy told CBS's Bob Schieffer he was nervous.
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Yes, I was quite apprehensive because we weren't sure how this was going to play out.
FOREMAN: Clapper's mission? Bring back Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, both held for supposed crimes against the government. In return, he says, the North Korean Minister for State Security clearly hoped for substantially better relations with the U.S.
CLAPPER: I think they were disappointed, frankly, that I didn't have some breakthrough.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Well, you did bring a letter from President Obama.
CLAPPER: It generally was a pretty short letter which basically identified me as the president's envoy and characterizing their willingness to release our two citizens as a positive gesture.
FOREMAN: So where was leader Kim Jong-Un? Nowhere to be seen. The country's state-run news agency has just released these pictures of Kim visiting a food production plant, possibly in response to fresh accusations from United Nations officials about massive malnutrition and starvation.
Many North Korea watchers say that's a sore point with Kim who thinks human rights issues are used by others as an excuse to pressure his regime.
CLAPPER: There's a certain institutional paranoia. They did bring out the human rights issue at one point. They're willing to the dialogue. Criticizing us for our interventionist approach, our interventionist policies in their internal matters. FOREMAN: Despite all that, Clapper says finally with only 20 minutes
notice, the captive Americans were suddenly produced, pardoned, and on their way home.
FOREMAN: Clapper's trip happened on November 7th. He remains cagey about whether this would lead to any better relations. He seems to suggest maybe with younger North Koreans, it is possible, although he still says North Korea, make no mistake about it, remains a very dangerous place -- Brianna.
KEILAR: It's so interesting that he said, Tom, that the North Koreans expected some breakthrough or something to come from this. What were they expecting?
FOREMAN: Well, you know, one of the working theories with North Korea for a long time that is all these missile tests, the nuclear tests, and everything else, is a way of saying to the world, pay attention to us. Make some deals with us. Invite us to make a deal that will give us a better economy, a better income and maybe we'll knock this off.
But it's never really reached a negotiating stage and they've remained so warlike and so insular. That's a deal many governments feel they just can't strike with them.
KEILAR: But it is fascinating.
KEILAR: Tom Foreman, thank you.
More on North Korea next. An unlikely source revealing the horrors going on inside the country's notorious prison camps.
Plus a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri, the National Guard ordered in ahead of the grand jury report on the Michael Brown shooting.
Plus ISIS beheads on American aid worker. What makes this one different and why it might be so important.
KEILAR: We're learning new details of the horrors taking place inside North Korea's notorious prison camps, and the information comes from an unlikely source. A former bodyguard to the late dictator Kim Jong- Il.
He talked to CNN's Paula Hancocks.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lee Young-guk shows me the scars from his time in North Korea's infamously brutal Yodok political camp. Speaking so often, he says by the time he was released he barely had any teeth left. He's also blind in one eye.
Bodyguard to former leader Kim Jong-Il for 10 years, surrounded by opulence and money. Then after trying to defect, he was imprisoned and tortured for six months before being sent to Yodok. The one man who has truly seen both sides of North Korea and lived to tell the tale.
"When I got to Yodok," he says, "people looked like walking skeletons. They had severe malnutrition, as did I. Plus I had been beaten so much my weight dropped from 94 kilos to 58 kilos in six months."
Watching footage of a labor camp from a North Korean defected group, he says his heart breaks when he thinks back. He talks of scarce food, beatings, weekly executions, prisoners are forced to watch. And the flower garden, a euphemistic term defectors used to describe mass graves.
"Yodok's flower garden has thousands, even tens of thousands of people in it," he says. "Lines and lines of dead bodies. I had to carry them, bodies with fluids still flowing out of them, and bury them where the guards told us."
Lee says he met the current leader Kim Jong-Un when he was a young boy. Now he's in charge. He wants to see him hauled in front of the International Criminal Court, a recommendation from the recent United Nations Commission of Inquiry, which rankled North Korea and its leadership committed crimes against humanity. A copy of this report was sent to Kim Jong-Un himself.
MARZUKI DARUSMAN, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR: He was not able to claim ignorance of these massive violations. And therefore, he is now technically already complicit in these crimes.
HANCOCKS: Pyongyang categorically denies any human rights abuses, which infuriates Lee. He says he only managed to survive the mental and physical torture of Yodok so he could tell the truth about North Korea.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
KEILAR: Coming up, a brutal ISIS video gives the world's intelligence agencies new clues and they're scrambling to identify the killers of an American and other hostages.
And the governor of Missouri declares a state of emergency and activates the National Guard as a looming grand jury decision has Ferguson bracing for violence.