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Talks on How to End War in Syria; Last British Guantanamo Detainee Back Home After 14 Years. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 30, 2015 - 16:00   ET




JONATHAN MANN, HOST: Tonight, a unified call for peace.


MANN: But there`s still significant distance between the Russian and U.S. positions on how to end the war in Syria. Even as the diplomats in Vienna

talked about a cease fire some U.S. military forces are preparing for a sustained presence inside Syria for the first time.

Then the last British prisoner at Guantanamo Bay is back home after 14 years in U.S. custody. I`ll speak Shaker Aamer`s attorney about his ordeal.

And later we take to you a remote region in Norway that`s been the front line of climate change. See the waterway that used to be a frozen snow

mobile path.


MANN: Hello, I`m Jonathan Mann, live from CNN Center, and this is The World Right Now.


MANN: Thanks for joining us. Even as the U.S. prepares to deploy ground troops to Syria, it`s working to negotiate a peace plan along with more

than a dozen other cups.


MANN: Talks in Vienna ended today with a joint statement calling for the U.N. to mediate peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition.

But diplomats could not find common ground on the role of Bashar al Assad. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said this about disagreement with his

counterparts from Russia and Iran.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Sergey Lavrov, and Foreign Minister Zarif and I and others agree to disagree. The United States` position is

there is no way that President Assad can unite and govern Syria.


MANN: Let`s bring in Frederick Pleitgen now live from Vienna. Frederick what did the diplomats agree to? What did the people of Syria get out of

this exercise?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think for the very first time at least that`s what the participants here were

saying. They believe that there is a sense of urgency for the very first time in a very long time.


PLEITGEN: And they say there are many issues that all the countries that were involved here did agree on. And certainly that is reflected by in the

Communique that was put out here by all the parties afterwards.

One of the things they said is that all sides agree that ISIS must be fought and ISIS must be defeated. They agree that Syria needs to remain a

unified and secular state. They agree that the Syrian government institutions need to be preserved.

Now it was interesting because the United Nations envoy for Syria, Stefan de Mistura, he was also asked tasked with trying to get together some sort

of political reconciliation process that would first of all try and bring about a nationwide ceasefire, which is something that has been tried in the

past and which has failed. But also a political process at the end of which they hope to have elections in Syria.


PLEITGEN: Now that`s something Jonathan that to many people will sound almost out of question because of course the country is at war in large

parts of it and is governed or ruled or occupied by ISIS in many other parts of the country. And I actually was able to put that question to

Stefan de Mistura, who joined me here a little earlier. And here`s what he had to say.


STEFAN DE MISTURA, UNITED NATIONS ENVOY: Elections can take place only at the later stage. But they need to be seen, being ready for it. The first

thing will be the meeting between the opposition and the government in order to come up with a form of governance which is actually all-inclusive.

That one can propose a new constitution. And a new constitution can prepare for the election. All that in a rather short time.

PLEITGEN: There was of course a big point of disagreement, and all sides talked about it. It`s the future of the Syrian President. How can you

narrow it down. How can you get either side to budge on that.

DE MISTURA: First of all, by not talking to much, and openly and discussing that issue, which is clearly an issue of contention.


PLEITGEN: But of course that issue was discussed here at these meetings. And of course as that sound byte from Secretary Kerry earlier stated it is

something that the sides agreed to disagree on, Jonathan.


PLEITGEN: And the main issue is that the Russians and the Iranians are saying they`re not against a transitional process in Syria, they`re not

against some sort of unity government coming together at the end of that, but they believe President Assad needs to play some sort of role in that

process and needs to be able to stand for election.

They keep saying those words, the Syrian people need to decide. Well the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many other countries say that Assad should

have no place in a future Syria and they believe that national reconciliation is only possible if Assad steps away quickly, Jonathan.


MANN: Fred Pleitgen, live in Vienna, thanks very much.

Now to another major development today`s announcement that the U.S. will have a sustained troop presence in Syria for the first time since the war

there began.


MANN: President Obama deploying dozens of special forces to help in the fight against ISIS. As Jim Acosta reports the White House insists they will

not though have a combat role.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It`s an escalation in the war on ISIS. The White House announced roughly 50 special operations forces

will be deployed to northern Syria as part of what`s being described as an intensifying strategy, including targeted raids against ISIS positions in

Iraq and Syria. And a new push to retake the crucial city of Ramadi. But east to the President stress it`s a cautious move.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat


ACOSTA: White House officials maintain this won`t be a repeat of the war on Iraq in 2003. But more like the raid U.S. forces joined last week to rescue

Iraqi hostages and the administration is not ruling out future deployments.

ACOSTA: So it`s possible there could be further deployments?

EARNEST: Well, Jim, I don`t want to try to predict the future here.

ACOSTA: But the White House denies there is a Presidential flip-flop on ISIS despite repeated promises from Mr. Obama that U.S. ground forces won`t

be engaged in combat against the terror group.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: American boots on the ground in Syria would not only be good for America but also would be good for

Syria. I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. With respect to the

situation on the ground in Syria, we will not be placing U.S. ground troops to try to control the areas that are part of the conflict inside of Syria.

ACOSTA: Press Secretary Josh Earnest insists that was when the President was talking about using boots on the ground to topple Syrian leader Bashar

al Assad.

It would be great if we could have a moment of clarity and you could acknowledge that yes this mission is changing, it is not what it was said

it was going to be at the onset of this. I mean I just think to say that it`s clear.

EARNEST: To say that Jim, would only confuse the situation.

ACOSTA: Contrast that with how the pentagon describes the situation in Iraq where U.S. forces are already in an advise and assist role.

COL. STEVE WARREN, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Of course it`s combat. You know our aviators are conducting combat air patrols, I mean it`s the name of the

mission, combat air patrol. So of course it`s combat.

ACOSTA: Lawmakers from both parties are asking questions. New House speaker, Paul Ryan said in a statement this commitment of U.S. forces must

come with a coherent strategy to defeat ISIL. Otherwise we are likely to see the same results in the region.

GOP Presidential candidates like Senator Lindsay Graham aren`t being that diplomatic.

LINDSEY GRAHAM, SENATOR: This is a half-assed strategy at best.


MANN: That was Senior Whitehouse correspondent Jim Acosta reporting. Let`s bring in Clarissa Ward for more, she just returned from the frontlines in

Northern Syria, and joins us now from London.

First you were embedded with Kurdish fighters so you would know best. Is this the kind of help -- are a few dozen American advisors the kind of help

they were hoping for?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I think it`s important for our viewers to know, Jonathan that the U.S. has already been quite

actively helping this coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters in the north of Syria.


WARD: Primarily through air support which allowed Kurdish forces to take the city of Kobani back from ISIS. But also through other means. Just a few

weeks ago we saw the U.S. drop about 50 tons of ammunition to this coalition on the ground.

Now when we spent time on the front lines, what we saw in terms of the real need was equipment. The men we were spending time with often fighting in

their sandals or their sneakers. They were exhausted after months of clashes with ISIS. Lightly armed. Poorly equipped. Most of them carrying

just, you know, old rusty AK-47s. And it`s clear that if the purpose of this whole push is to try to get this new coalition to take the fight to

ISIS on ISIS` turf in its stronghold of Raqqa that there will need to be a significant uptick in the level of weaponry we are talking about here.

One commander told me we would need heavier weapons, we would need armor piercing weapons. Let`s not forget Jonathan that ISIS has some very help

weapons, most of them American weapons that they confiscated from the Iraqis.

So it remains to be seen exactly what the role of these U.S. advisors will be. Perhaps it will be more of trying to create a coherent structure, some

kind of a joint operations room whereby these various Syrian, Arab, and Kurdish groups can work together and sort of funnel their information

through the U.S. as well.

MANN: But if this isn`t the kind of help they really want, why do you think this is the help they are getting?

WARD: Well, that`s a million dollar question, Jonathan. And I guess you`d have to ask people in the White House and the Pentagon to give you the real

reason. But, certainly, let`s be clear. Arming or facilitating in any way Kurdish fighters on the ground is a little bit of a tough spot for the U.S.



WARD: And that`s because the YPG, which is the primary group of Kurdish fighters on the ground in Syria worked very closely with the PKK, which is

its Turkish counterpart. And the PKK Jonathan is considered to be a terrorist organization. And so this makes it a very difficult -- a very

difficult thing to navigate in terms of Turkey, which is obviously a key U.S. Ally.

Turkey feels very strongly no way, no how, we don`t want these guys heavily armed and on our border. We view the PKK as our primary domestic threat. So

essentially the U.S. in a little bit of a tight spot trying here trying to walk a diplomatic tightrope in terms of pursuing the strategy that it sees

as being the most effective in terms of defeating ISIS in Syria, while maintaining that very crucial, not just diplomatic relationship but also

military relationship. Remember most of those U.S. (Saudis) are coming Incerlik military base - airbase in Turkey

MANN: A lot of different interests overlapping and conflicting. Clarissa Ward, thanks very much.

And we`ll hear more from Clarissa later this hour. She spoke to an American who is already on the ground in Syria fighting ISIS. A fascinating report

coming up in about 20 minutes.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called today`s meeting in Vienna the best chance to chart a course out of hell. Horrific new scenes out of Syria

are a reminder of just how hellish life there has become.

Nick Paton Walsh has details of an attack on a market near Damascus. We warn you once again, the images are disturbing.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what Syrians were doing rather than being invited to peace talks.

Friday morning a market in Rebel Hill, Douma, dozens killed shopping for the second time in as many months. Nearly 20 strikes in the past two days

activists said some adding two missiles targeted the local hospital Thursday, closing it.

Imagine dealing with this without a hospital. Leave him. He`s dead, one man shouts. Visible obvious medical help arriving here, but still, the shelling

continues. Douma is being exterminated, he shouts. Where is the world?

There in Vienna, America saying they`re hopeful Saudi Arabia and Iran swapping barbs, Russia sticking by the regime who probably fired these

missiles. But no Syrians there at all. Regime, or rebel, invited to that five-star hotel.

Nobody here had a voice in Vienna. Not just Douma gets hit. This was Aleppo`s southern countryside a few days ago. Also being pummeled by a

regime newly fierce with Russian backing.

These images filmed by activists come at a cost. Jamal al Ahmed, the father of four, aged 34, died moments after filming these pictures. His voice most

likely also not heard in Vienna.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Southern Turkey.


MANN: Still to come tonight.


MANN: He spent 13 years behind bars at Guantanamo Bay. We have the story of the last British prisoner at Gitmo, and how he finally became a free man.

First, after the break.






MANN: Welcome back. The last British prisoner at Guantanamo Bay is back home. Shaker Aamer arrived outside London today ending a prolonged campaign

for his release that even involved the British Prime Minister.

CNN`s Erin McLaughlin has his story.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On board a private jet the man once known as detainee 239 arrives on home soil. British resident,

Shaker Aamer spent 14 years in U.S. custody. He was never tried for any crimes, he was never charged. No evidence was ever presented against him.

Only allegations, accusations he once led a military unit in Afghanistan for Bin Laden. Allegations he designed.

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH, LAWYER FOR SHAKER AAMER: Shaker is the victim here. He`s not the person who is the bad guy. The people who tortured him are the

ones who need to be questioned.

MCLAUGHLIN: The U.S. has denied allegations of torture at Guantanamo. Though he`d been cleared for release twice Aamer is the last of the British

residents and nationals to leave the detention center.

He`s just arrived at this airport outside of London. Now that he is back on home soil, his lawyer says that his priorities are two fold; to see a

doctor for much needed medical treatment, and to be reunited with his family and to see his son for the first time, the son that was born the day

he arrived at Guantanamo Bay.

For years thousands have campaigned for his release. There have been protests and petitions, even a music video which featured Aamed`s voice.

AAMED: Please, we are tired. Either you leave us to die in peace or either tell the world the truth.

MCLAUGHLIN: After he arrived in the U.K. Aamer released a statement thanking everyone who fought for his release and for justice. Saying "the

reality may be that we cannot establish peace but we can establish justice. If there is anything that will bring this world to peace it is to remove


Attorney Clive Stafford Smith says Aamer is the second client to be released from Guantanamo in the past 24 hours.

SMITH: I think President Obama finally and near six years after his promise is trying very hard to close the place.

MCLAUGHLIN: So far this year 17 detainees have been transferred out of the controversial facility. According to human rights organization, Reprieve.

112 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay. Stafford Smith says many of those have been okayed to go home. It`s just not clear when.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Biggin Hill.


MANN: And in just about 30 minutes I`ll speak to the lawyer for Shaker Aamer about his ordeal and what will happen next.

To Iran now where authorities have arrested another American citizen. His name is Siamak Namazi and he`s a Dubai based businessman with U.S. and

Iranian citizenship.


MANN: The details of his alleged crime are unclear. Namazi is the first detained in Iran since the nuclear deal was signed in July. One of five

Americans now being held in the Islamic Republic.


MANN: This is The World Right Now. Still ahead; debate discontent.


MANN: We`ll tell you why some Republican Presidential candidates are seeing red and fighting back against the media. Stay with us.






MANN: Welcome back. To the race for the White House now. And an outcry that may affect upcoming Presidential candidates` debates.


MANN: The Republican National Committee says it is suspending its links with the NBC Network the channel that`s supposed to host the debate in

February. But its sister station CNBC came under fire after a debate Wednesday a number of the candidates complaining about what they considered

aggressive or inappropriate questioning.

Despite the criticism 14 million people did tune in to watch the CNBC debate. Let`s bring in CNN`s Brian Stelter from New York.


MANN: What do you make of this?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is - well actually you know you mentioned the ratings, 14 million. And ultimately that`s the best

example of the leverage that we have -- we are seeing the candidates use when it comes to this fight.


STELTER: 14 million viewers is so much higher than a previous debate on CNBC. In fact up until this year normally primary debates in the United

States would draw 2 or 3 or 4 million viewers.

But thanks to Donald Trump and thanks to the enhanced interest in this primary season across the board, 10 to 20 million viewers are watching the

debates. And the candidates feel they have more power as a result. So they are arguing for more comfortable forums for their events. Perhaps they

don`t want to be asked very tough questions or perhaps they don`t want to see -- sense that there`s a negative tone from the questioners. There were

a lot of accusations about liberal media bias during the CNBC debate. And there was also a sense that the moderators lost control.

So we see I think here are the candidates trying to exert more power, more influence to make sure the debates happen on their own terms.

MANN: Let me ask you though; did they have a point? Was there any bias in the way that debate was conducted, or to follow their larger point about

the kind of coverage they get in the media?

STELTER: I think if you were to read a transcript of the debate and then compare it to the Fox debate or the CNN debate this fall, you wouldn`t see

a giant difference in the questions that were asked. But the tone of the questions was different in some questions. And the pettiness of some of the

questions stood out.

You know the candidates were expecting a debate about the economy, financial policy, and there ended up being a lot of questions about

personal disputes between the candidates and about non-economic issues.


STELTER: Now, that is something that was a - that was a real issue, a real source of resentment for the candidates. And also it comes down to this,

some of these candidates don`t want to be up there for many hours listening to their nine rivals speak. So they resent the short time limits for

answers and things like that.

It`s really hard to moderate a debate with ten people on that stage. But the reviews for the moderators have been basically unanimously negative.


STELTER: In fact, CNBC has basically gone quiet not even defending itself. But the big development here that NBC may not be able to host a debate

because of CNBC`s problems is interesting. It`s very - it`s a significant move by the Republican party. And we can show you what the NBC news

division is saying about that.


STELTER: They say they are disappointed but that they are going to work with the Republican party in order to resolve this dispute. They also

mentioned Telemundo there and that`s important Jonathan because Telemundo is a big Spanish language broadcaster in the U.S. that NBC owns.


STELTER: So what NBC is saying there is if the Republican party wants to reach Hispanics as it knows it needs to do in order to win more of the

Hispanics vote, then you better work with us on a debate in February. Essentially this is a back and forth that`s going to continue and we`ll see

if NBC ends up getting that debate.

MANN: Brian Stelter, thanks very much.

STELTER: Thanks.

MANN: And one quick word, join us for a political man starting every week. Next Friday is our debut, a program you won`t want to miss. The best and

worst moments in American politics. The best and worst in one of the strangest cultural expeditions the world has ever seen, a U.S. Presidential


Well from U.S. politics now to a French politicians son facing some serious trouble in Las Vegas.


MANN: And nothing political about that. Today the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius attended those Syria crisis talks in Vienna though he might

have been a bit distracted, his son Thomas Fabius faces a U.S. Arrest warrant. Authorities say he allegedly passed $3.5 million of bad checks to

Las Vegas casinos in just one night.


MANN: This is The World Right Now. Ahead;


MANN: A U.S. army veteran in Syria. Why one man decided to risk his skin to help fight ISIS. A CNN exclusive first, right after the break.

And we travel to the arctic where the effects of global warming are changing the landscape. All that and more when The World Right Now Returns.






MANN: International diplomats have agreed on a new peace effort for Syria though they couldn`t find common ground on whether Bashar al Assad should

give up power.


MANN: Representatives from the U.S., Iran, Russia, and other countries met in Vienna Friday. They`re urging the U.N. to mediate peace talks between

Syria`s regime and opposition.


MANN: The last British prisoner at Guantanamo Bay is back home.


MANN: Shaker Aamer, arrived outside London today released by the U.S. after 13 years in custody at the prison. The U.S. accused the Saudi national of

aiding Osama Bin Laden though he was never charged or convicted.


MANN: An Iranian American businessman.


MANN: Siamak Namazi was detained while visiting relatives in Tehran. It is still not clear what his alleged crime is. Namazi is now the 5th U.S.

citizen detained or unaccounted for in the Islamic republic.



MANN: With news surfacing that the U.S. will send special operations troops to Syria we want to tell about a U.S. army veteran who is already there. He

returned to the battlefield to join Kurdish forces in the fight against ISIS. In this CNN exclusive he spoke to senior correspondent Clarissa Ward

about why he is willing to risk his life on the front line.


WARD: Randy Roberts has spent much of the last seven months on the front lines. The former U.S. army specialist who deployed twice to Iraq was

studying graphic design in the U.S. when he decided to join the fight against ISIS.

RANDY ROBERTS, AMERICAN VOLUNTEER: Yes, I felt like I could, given my past military experience and that I had been to this region before, that I could

contribute, and I could actually help the cause.

WARD: How did you get guidance as to how to get here, who to link up with?

ROBERTS: Well, Google.

WARD: Google?

ROBERTS: It`s the - it`s

WARD: Google, that`s how you planned your trip to come and fight ISIS?

ROBERTS: Believe it or not, yes. I just - I simply looked up westerners who had come over here before me.

WARD: Roberts is one of more than 100 westerners who have come to Syria and Iraq to fight with Kurdish forces. The internet is full of slickly produced

YPG propaganda videos featuring American volunteers. There`s even a website selling is hunting kits and offering packing lists on what the bring. At a

small training camp in northern Syria, we watched some new recruits, among them, two Americans. Most did not want to show their faces. Unlike Roberts,

few had any military experience.

ROBERTS: You also meet a lot of people who think this is going to be you know, a gaming experience, Call of Duty. They think because they understand

how to pull the trigger on controller they know how to do it in real life.

Always elbows in and tight to your body.

WARD: Roberts believes the most valuable gift he can offer Kurdish fighters and his fellow volunteers is training.

ROBERTS: So when you need to reload, you take a knee behind cover, mag out, up, stock in here. Mag out.

WARD: While some Kurdish fighters welcome western volunteers as a morale boost, others have dismissed their presence as a nuisance. Do you think you

have helped.

ROBERTS: I believe yes I have.

WARD: But some people would say this isn`t your war, this isn`t your business.

ROBETS: It`s better to stand up and do something if you think you can help than it is to sit back and watch, because, hey, you know it`s on the other

side of the world, not my problem.

WARD: Certainly, the risks are real. One American, Keith Brumfield died fighting alongside Kurdish fighters this past summer in Syria. And Roberts

has seen for himself how tenacious an enemy ISIS can be.

ROBERTS: Outside of the mines they place all in the fields there to keep us from advancing on these villages. They -- they also have little waddies in

trenches that they hide in. So then they pop up and machine gun fire.

WARD: Has it ever crossed your mine that you could get killed?

ROBERTS: Yes. Yes.

WARD: And that`s a price you`d be willing to pay.


ROBERTS: Yes if I got to the end of my life and I didn`t - and I hadn`t come -- and I looked back on this and I had chose not come out, then it

would have bothered me. Like it would have bothered me the rest of my life.

WARD: For Randy Roberts, being here is a moral duty.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, Northern Syria.


MANN: For the most part, Washington has opened its checkbook rather than its arsenal in Syria. How much has the U.S. spent fighting ISIS?


MANN: The Pentagon says it`s spending almost $6 million a day on air strikes and more than $5 million a day for ammunitions and mission support.

That adds up to $10.9 million a day. The strikes have been going on since August of 2014. That brings the total cost of the campaign to almost $5

billion. On top of that, the U.S. has spent some $500 million more to train Syrian rebels though only a handful have actually graduated.


MANN: Let`s talk more about Syria`s war and about the U.S. decision now to send troops as special advisors, with CNN military analyst Col Peter

Mansoor joining us now via Skype from Columbus, Ohio. Thanks so much for being with us.

How much difference do you think a few dozen advisors are going to make?

COL. PETER MANSOOR, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Strategically they won`t make a huge difference but they will help the YPG a great deal in northern Syria

and maybe other rebel groups as well.


MANSOOR: Because they are on the ground there they can help guide in munitions drops to make sure the arms and ammunitions that are being

supplied to those rebels get into the right hands. And they can be on site there to help train and advise those units.

So really, they are a great link to the power of the United States, air campaign overhead, and the supply where withal that can make these units

much more effective in combat.

MANN: But you used an adjective a moment ago that really jumps out at me. And I`m not a military man. When say strategically it won`t make much of a

difference? You mean it won`t alter the course of the war?

MANSOOR: No, we`re only talking 50 commandos or so right now. It`s not enough to turn the tide of battle. It is something, and something is better

than nothing but it`s not the kind of bold move that could spell the end of ISIS in any realistic time frame.

MANN: And to be clear, this help is really as you say only for the fight against ISIS. What impact do you think it`s going to have on the civil war

which has taken so many lives, destroyed Syria, sent millions of people into displacement or refugee camps. What`s it going to do for the war that

was the background that made ISIS thrive?

MANSOOR: Well regrettably, I don`t think it`s going to do anything to end that conflict. The Russian involvements has done more to change the

contours of the civil war than anything we have done. And unfortunately, it`s made it a blood bath that will go on in perpetuity unless diplomats

can pull a rabbit out of their hat in the negotiations that are ongoing.

But the American assistance to groups like the YPG and northern Syria really won`t do anything to push back Bashar al Assad or end the conflict

there near Damascus or any of the other parts of Syria where the civil war is waging.

MANN: Now you alluded to something that I`m curious about which is Russia`s involvement. Russia and Iran have both demonstrated they are willing to

invest enough to change the course of the war. And that very recently. I guess this the last four or six weeks. Is that why the U.S. is doing this

now? The timing seems very particular.

MANSOOR: You know, I think there`s a lot of things that are going on. That`s certainly part of it. Also the Inspector General reports and the

various reports coming out about the sheer infectiveness and incompetence of the training equip effort in Syria. The so-called moderate rebels that

we are trying to arm and equip simply have not materialized.

I think what the United States has decided is let`s back the people on the ground who are actually doing the fighting and that`s the Kurds. So this is

an incremental step, but a first step to enable the YPG to be more effective in their campaign against ISIS.

MANN: I don`t want to character what you are saying but it sounds like the Pentagon has decided or the Obama administration has decided to offer a

tiny measure of help for reasons that don`t really relate to conditions on the battlefield and have more to do with embarrassment in Washington.

MANSOOR: Well, the YPG has made some strides in recent weeks and months against ISIS. So you back the horse that`s winning in this case. Our goal

is to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS according to the Obama administration. And so the YPG is part of the campaign to do that. Again,

this is an incremental step to help them out. But it is directed at the goal the United States is seeking and that is the destruction of ISIS.

MANN: If -- let me just ask you one last question then. If the United States really wanted to do that, how much more would it have to do? What

would be the scale of U.S. help that would be effective with that stated goal in mind?


MANSOOR: You know, I think if you wanted to provide a full-blown train and equip and advisory effort with forward air control teams embedded in Iraqi

and units -- and in rebel units that are fighting ISIS across the span of Syria and Iraq, and all the way down to battalion level you are talking

about 20,000 troops or so and all the support that goes into keeping them sustained.

So it will be much, much more, many, many more than the 3500 that are on the ground right now. You can do it with 3500 if you are willing to sustain

the campaign over many many years but the American people tend not to be that patient.


MANN: Peter Mansoor, U.S. Army retired. Thanks so much for talking with us.

MANSOOR: Thanks.

MANN: You`re watching The World Right Now live tonight from CNN Center. Next, a flight to freedom.


MANN: The last British prisoner at Guantanamo Bay arrives home. We talk live to one of his attorneys.





MANN: Welcome back. As we`ve been telling you, Shaker Aamer is a free man tonight, the last British prisoner freed from Guantanamo Bay.


MANN: He spent 13 years at the U.S. prison camp. His release by the U.S. ends a prolonged struggle for freedom that included an appeal from Prime

Minister David Cameron. Cori Crider, is one of his attorneys. She is also Strategic Direct at Reprieve, a U.K. based human rights group joining us

now from our London studios.


MANN: Thanks so much for being with us. Let me ask you first of all a very basic question, where is Shaker Aamer now? And what kind of shape is he in?

Because there`s been a lot of concern about his health.

CORI CRIDER, SHAKER AAMER LAWYER: My understanding is that Shaker Aamer is finally and at long last getting some of the medical care and the

diagnostics that he needs.


CRIDER: That was what he said to me when I saw him earlier this month in Guantanamo Bay. He said first I want a cup of coffee. Then I want to be

thorough checked out by doctors because he didn`t trust the Guantanamo doctors. They were complicity in his abuse. Then he said of course I want

to see my wife and my kids again.


So Reprieve is elated that Shaker is finally home with his wife and kids. It should have been years ago, but at least it`s happened finally.

MANN: Now you mentioned his abuse. As if being held for 13 or 14 years without charge or trial or conviction. He also says he was tortured. What

did he endure there?

CRIDER: Shaker Aamer suffered at Guantanamo Bay a number of the brutal abuses that a whole bunch of previous clients suffered. So he was subjected

to temperature extremes, beatings, stress positions, sleep deprivations, the whole panoply of it really.


CRIDER: And a lot of times we at Reprieve were concerned that the reasons Shaker wasn`t released wasn`t because of everything he did, but because of

everything that he saw. Not just what American people but also British complicity in it. Especially in the early days in his detention in Bagram

air force base and then in the early days at Guantanamo. He witnessed some terrible stuff, not just done by U.K. forces but U.S. forces, and it was --

basically we`re just delighted that he`s back now.

MANN: You mentioned the reason he wasn`t released earlier, as I understand it, he was cleared for release twice, years ago. Why wasn`t he released

sooner? And why, if you know, was he released now?

CRIDER: Well, that really is the $50,000 question. You say correctly that he was first cleared under the Bush administration. And then under the

Obama administration.

I think that what keeps a man in Guantanamo Bay or is the reason that he is sent home has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with law or

security. And I think it made a difference when the Prime Minister raised his case with the President, Barack Obama. But I think it also mattered

that there were people in the British government from left and right, very left wing parliamentarians, the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbin,

but also people on the right like David Davis, and Andrew Mitchell. Right wing parliamentarians who had had all gone together to Washington, D.C to

meet with senators like John McCain and others to talk about how appalling it is right across the spectrum in the United Kingdom that someone should

be held for nearly 14 years with no charge or trial.

MANN: Is he going to sue the U.S. for his confinement and the abuse he alleges he endured?


MANN: Is he going to sue anyone in the U.K. for complicity or even just to open the files to learn what the U.K. knew about his confinement?

CRIDER: I`m not a U.K. lawyer and so I can`t really comment on the British side of things. But as an American lawyer I can say that I agree with the

retired Supreme Court justice who said this year that really Guantanamo Bay detainees who were held this long with no basis really ought to be


The problem is the law on this point out of the D.C. Court of Appeals isn`t great. And there have been a number of former prisons who have sought

damages in actions, people like Shaker, held for years, cleared and tortured just like Shaker. Those suits have been overwhelmingly


My view, as an American lawyer, is that we as a society are going to have to move on a little bit in our understanding of how wrong it was to hold

these people so long with no charge or trial before those kinds of lawsuits really have a realistic prospect of success.

MANN: You`re using the past tense. They`re still being held. Shaker Aamer is out but that prison camp is still there. Is there any prospect do you

think of the rest of its prisoners being freed this way?

CRIDER: It`s absolutely not over for Reprieve. There are 112 prisoners still there. I think a little over 50 of those cleared for years just like

Shaker Aamer. We`ve still got clients down at the base and I think it`s important that Americans understand. And indeed everybody else around the

world that it isn`t closed and that it remains the number one recruiting sergeant for extremism I think.

Is it going to close in the Obama Presidency? I don`t know. The President hasn`t been willing to spend as much political capital as we thought that

he was going to spend at the beginning of his term when he signed the order to close it within a year,.


CRIDER: There`s a lot more the President could do. We were very encouraged when we saw President Obama veto the NDAA, a statute that was going to

restrict his ability to send people out of Guantanamo. But the reality is there are still dozens and dozens of men in Guantanamo who have been

cleared for years who ought to be released tomorrow not in months or years.

MANN: Cori Crider, Attorney for Shaker Aamer, thanks so much for talking with us.

CRIDER: Thank you.

MANN: He`s out but (Gitmo) is still there.

Coming up.


MANN: it`s just one month until the world gathers in Paris to reach a deal to limit global warming. CNN has travelled to the arctic to see firsthand

how the landscape there is being affected. Come with us.






MANN: Two degrees Celsius, probably the most crucial number when it comes to climate change. Experts say if average global temperatures rise more

than two degrees Celsius we are at risk for global catastrophe.


MANN: More than 140 countries have now submitted plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a major climate conference that opens in Paris late

next month. The assessment from the United Nations, a good step, but not enough.

Scientists say the plans will slow climate change but not to the level needed to stop global temperatures rising more than those two degrees.


MANN: The arctic is considered ground zero for global warming. CNN`s Arwa Damon went to Norway to see the visible impact of the planet`s rising



ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It`s late October in the arctic. Freezing snow and ice covered as one would expect. But so much

just isn`t the way it used to be.

JIM JOHANSSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning.

DAMON: Jim Johansson is a guide here taking visitors on a tour, which includes a glacier. For him, compared to last year, the changes on the

shoreline are obvious. One just needs to look at the size of the rock beneath the icy blue of the glacier.

JOHANSSON: Last year you could hardly see the rock formation over there. You could hardly see that as a gray - a brown line underneath the glacier.

It`s shedding a lot of ice this summer. Since August it`s -- something is happening, for sure.

DAMON: That something is climate change. And this, the arctic is ground zero. Scientists say temperatures here have increased at twice the right

rate than anywhere else on earth in the last several decades.

Normally by March these waters would be frozen over, a layer of ice so thick people would take their snowmobiles from town to outlying areas. But

the last time these waters froze was a decade ago. We are out with (inaudible) a former fisherman turned marine biologist and managing

director of the university center in Svalbard. A good catch.

But this caught species is not supposed to be here. They appeared three years ago. And that, (inaudible) says, is because the temperature of the

water where these cod were just pulled out is four to five degrees warmer than it used to be. And now the cod can swim here.


DAMON: How do you know that temperature rise is because of climate change?

OLE, MARINE BIOLOGIST: We know the temperatures in the Svalbard watershed on the western side of Svalbard are very variable because of the variations

in the northeast Atlantic current and so on.

But now we see an underlying thing being more and more evident that it`s due to a general rise in the sea temperature of the world oceans.

DAMON: Earth`s climate is changing. Scientists still trying to unravel its mystery and determine how it will alter our future.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Svalbard, Norway.


MANN: And finally on a more lighthearted note Australia showing its colors literally ahead of Saturday`s Rugby World Cup final.


MANN: The iconic Sydney Opera House was lit up in the team colors, gold and green, can you make that out? After more than 40 games in the competition

it all comes down to just two teams, Australia and New Zealand. The two great rivals are playing each other in the final for the first time.

New Zealand of course are the defending champs. They`re given a slight edge, but only a slight edge as favorites, it`s too close to call really.

The thing is keep in mind is no one does the Haka quite the way they do.


MANN: This has been the World Right Now. Thanks for joining us. Quest Means Business is next.