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Don Lemon Tonight

Missouri Officer Put on Leave After Rant; The ISIS Threat; Interview with Missouri Police Officials; What Threat Does ISIS Pose?; School of Peace Strives to Repair Damage in Ferguson; Little League Players Make Big Impact

Aired August 22, 2014 - 22:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And we are live on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, where it's just about two weeks since the death of Michael Brown. His funeral is set for Monday on what will be a crucial weekend here.

Stunning news to tell you about. An officer on Ferguson crowd control, an officer I had a run-in with earlier this week has been relieved of duty. That comes after a video surfaced of him ranting against the president, the Supreme Court, women, and gays.

It's strong stuff, and now another officer has been suspended for other comments. We are going to have more on that in just a moment.

Plus, as people here in Ferguson demand justice, the White House may be one step closer tonight to taking action to get justice for murdered American journalist James Foley. U.S. officials tell us there are talks inside the military about increasing airstrikes in Iraq and possibly beginning limited airstrikes inside Syria against specific ISIS targets. We will get into all of that tonight.

But let's begin with the very latest from here in Ferguson.

I first encountered Officer Dan Page, a veteran Saint Louis County police officer, earlier this week during a live broadcast. He tried to push us away from our location, along with a group of protesters. Days after that happened, I received a video that was much more disturbing, roughly an hour-long rant by the officer speaking to a group called Oath Keepers. It's a rant that got him suspended.

CNN's Nick Valencia joins me now with more.

Good evening, Nick.


These comments were made by one officer while he was off duty and out of uniform. But it's these comments that could potentially make things much more difficult for law enforcement operating in Ferguson. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA (voice-over): Front and center, a Saint Louis County police officer on camera making controversial comments about women, gays and, among others, President Barack Obama.

SGT. MAJ. DAN PAGE, SAINT LOUIS COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Now, this here is Kenya. I had my own airplane. I had me a Learjet. I said, I'm going to go find where that illegal alien who has claimed to be my president, my undocumented president lives at.

So, I flew to Africa right there. And I went to our undocumented president's home. He was born in Kenya.

VALENCIA: Seemingly nothing out of bounds for Officer Dan Page during a speech at an Oath Keepers meeting believed to be recorded earlier this year.

PAGE: Did anybody read the "USA Today" of this little homosexual sodomite here? Incidentally, there are four sodomites on the Supreme Court. Has anybody read this? Former Justice Stevens wants to change the Constitution. And he lists the six things in here that have to go.

Number one, the Second Amendment. Why would he pick that one out? Because he's an idiot. In the military right now, you have open sodomy, people holding hands, swapping spit together. Sick. It's pitiful.

You have got women trying to be -- by the way -- and I deeply resent this -- we have had our first female Green Beret. First, they had to redo the qualifications. We have had our first Marine infantry officer come out. Of course, they had to redo the qualifications. What's wrong here?

We have our first female Ranger here. What happened here? Something is wrong. This here is the foundation for this. You can't separate them. I don't know what them black-robed perverts don't understand down there, but they need me to talk to them. I will square them away for you. Take me about a minute.

VALENCIA: Page, a 35-year veteran of the force, has been put on administrative leave for his wide-ranging and inflammatory comments.

PAGE: Do you know how the Muslims take care of you? They cut your head off. Obama is allowing hundreds of thousands of them to come in every week.

VALENCIA: Oath Keepers calls itself a nonpartisan group of police, military and first-responders, founded by a Yale Law grad in 2009. They say they are defenders of the Constitution. In a statement, the group said: "Dan Page is not a member of Oath Keepers of Saint Louis/Saint Charles. He was our guest speaker on one occasion."

PAGE: I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I'm also a killer. I have killed a lot. And if I need to, I will kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want

to be killed, don't show up in front of me. It's that simple.


VALENCIA: And, tonight, we're learning about a second local police officer also in trouble for comments he made, this time on social media.

Let me read two posts from Michael (sic) Pappert with the Glendale Police Department here in Missouri. He says in his first post: "These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night." That comment got at least three likes.

In his second post, he goes on to say: "I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community."

Now, in response to this, Don, the police chief of Glendale, Missouri, he released this comment, reading to you in part, it said: "It should be noted that the alleged posts and comments made by officer Matthew Pappert are absolutely not the views and/or opinions of the Glendale Police Department or the city of Glendale, Missouri."

It goes on to say: "This matter is being taken very seriously and a very thorough internal investigation will be conducted to determine when the posts were made. Police officer Matthew Pappert was immediately suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation."

So, tonight, two police officers here locally, Don, in and around Ferguson in trouble and on paid administrative leave -- Don.

LEMON: We're going to discuss all of that right now. Nick Valencia, thank you very much.

I want to bring in Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and also Chief Jon Belmar of the Saint Louis County police to react to all of that.

First of all, let's react to the new officer that has been -- you heard the Nick Valencia report on the Facebook page. Do you think the officer should be suspended? What do you make of those actions?

CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Which officer are we speaking of?

LEMON: The officer in Glendale.

JOHNSON: Yes. Those comments were inappropriate. The professional law enforcement doesn't need that, and the community here in Saint Louis doesn't deserve that.

LEMON: Now on to the officer, Chief, that you and I discussed earlier. You said you were embarrassed by it. You apologized for it. He's a veteran of the Saint Louis Police Department and he has been put on administrative leave. You said he's also going to have -- you said a psychiatric evaluation?


And you know what? The bottom line on this is we expect our police officers to hold themselves to a higher standard. He didn't do that here. His topics were wide-ranging, they were offensive, patently offensive to everybody. Frankly, they were bizarre.

And at the end of the day, what disturbed me more than anything else was when he talked about the killing. That's out of bounds in my world. Easy way to say it is, we have to establish certain guidelines on how we do discipline. Had he been a probationary officer, I would have fired him five hours ago.

LEMON: OK. Let's listen to what he said about killing, which was so disturbing to you and just about everyone. Let's take a listen.

BELMAR: Right.


PAGE: I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I'm also a killer. I have killed a lot.

And if I need to, I will kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to be killed, don't show up in front of me. It's that simple. I have no qualms with it. God did not raise me to be a coward.


LEMON: Conceivably, he was probably making these comments about being in the military, but still he is a law enforcement officer and you have a code of conduct that people must abide by.

BELMAR: We not only have a code of conduct, but we have a responsibility given to us to perhaps take another life to save other lives. We take that responsibility serious. That responsibility should not be wrapped in rhetoric. It should not be joked about. It should not be used in a speech to somebody to try to cause yourself, for example, to look better than perhaps you are.

That's really, again, where it crossed the line with me. That's out of bounds.

LEMON: Can you tell us about his record as a police officer?

BELMAR: Thirty-five years, unremarkable, unremarkable, nothing necessarily bad, nothing necessarily good. His name hasn't crossed my desk.

I would say probably in the last 10 years, he's been detached to the military for four of them.

LEMON: You released a statement today apologizing. Is there anything you would like to say to the people of Missouri, and really to the country, about this? BELMAR: Well, bottom line is, I showed up here 28 years ago because

the Saint Louis County Police Department was a professional organization and it is today. But that's perishable.

And if we don't have the trust in the public, they need to understand that that officer doesn't respect the Saint Louis County Police Department.

I feel like I need to apologize not only to anybody who would have been offended by those comments, but apologize to my members of the Saint Louis County Police Department for not understanding this earlier.

LEMON: Why are you asking for other video of possibly other instances like this?

BELMAR: Well, because I want to know how deep the water is. As the police chief, I have a responsibility to know what that is, because I have a responsibility to the public. It's just that simple. We have to have that trust.

LEMON: How can people in the department not know about this officer's views? He's not hiding them. He's saying them in public and on videotape.

BELMAR: Right.

Well, I didn't know about it. I would like to think I know probably as much as anybody else. But at 2:00 this afternoon, this was a bolt out of the blue. This story was so bizarre, it took me a while to even catch up on what they were trying to tell me.

LEMON: Captain, there are going to be people and there are people who are saying this shows you that the police officers in Missouri, in that area, they're bigoted and it's really confirmation to people that this may be the views of many in the police department. Is that accurate?

JOHNSON: I think, like the chief said, this is this individual. I think that, in our world, we know that our world isn't perfect. In any profession that we have, there's going to be good and there's going to be bad.

And when we see the bad, even in our profession, we need to make sure we take quick action. I think the chief showed that. I think the chief in no way condoned that. I think that's what I want the public to see, that when these are bought to our attention, that we will take swift action and it will not be tolerated.

LEMON: Are you concerned about anyone seeking retaliation for this sort of something, not necessarily against the officer? But we saw the violence that happened earlier and we experienced the violence that happened earlier.

JOHNSON: I think what I want everybody to see, we have had three of these incidents in two days, and quick action has been taken. One of the officers is from Glendale Police Department, who is not

even a part of this incident. And their department took quick action. We seen that quick action is being taken when these are brought to the attention of the right heads of the departments. We're taking charge of that and we did the same thing here and we will continue to do that.

LEMON: Are you investigating any other officers or incidents?

JOHNSON: No, we're not.


Are you?


BELMAR: No, we're not either. Frankly, it's been remarkable the success we have had here with restraint. That's why I'm so disappointing when I learn of stories like this. It's just heartbreaking.

LEMON: Did you speak to Dan Page?

BELMAR: I did not. My senior staff did and they reported back to me.

LEMON: Do you think he will continue with the department?

BELMAR: I can't say. But as this investigation continues, it's going to be my goal to make sure we get to the truth. If we have the opportunity to take appropriate punitive action, we will.

LEMON: It appears that everything is calm here tonight. The crowds are significantly smaller. Fingers crossed.

JOHNSON: Fingers are crossed. I'm confident in this community. The community has spoken tonight for peace.

LEMON: Yes. And it looks very peaceful now.

Thank you very much, Captain. Thank you, Chief. I appreciate you getting back to me and for you being so transparent about this. Thank you. Thanks to both of you.


LEMON: Let's talk about this now.

Joining me now is Lecia Brooks. She is the director of outreach for the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has got information on the group officer Dan Page was speaking to. It's called Oath Keepers. And also those reports that the KKK is trying to get involved here in Ferguson.

Thank you for joining me, Lecia.

Who are the Oath Keepers, and are the comments that this police officer made at that Oath Keepers meeting in line with their theories? Can you hear me? Apparently -- OK, apparently, she can't hear me. We will speak with her right after the break.

Don't go anywhere. We're back with much more of our live news, our breaking news coverage here from Ferguson, Missouri.

Also coming up a little bit, he is an Emmy-winning talk show host and activist. Tonight, he is calling for peace in Ferguson. Montel Williams will join me.

Also, the White House' warning to ISIS: If you come after Americans, we're going to come after you. How bad is the threat from ISIS, and what price will this country pay to get justice for James Foley?


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. We're live here in Ferguson on this Friday night.

And one man who has been closely monitoring developments in this community over the last two weeks is a familiar face to most Americans. That's Montel Williams. He's an activist and an Emmy Award-winning talk show host. He joins me now live.

Montel, good to see you. It's good have you on.


LEMON: You have a 20-year-old son.


LEMON: Can you imagine the pain that Michael Brown's family must be going through right now?

WILLIAMS: I can't even imagine for a second the pain that they are going through.

And my prayers go out to them, as do they go out to even, you know -- and I'm going to say it in the same breath -- Jim Foley's family, because we're talking about all of this at the same time. And so I think we have to put a lot of this in perspective.

But, yes, in fact, my prayers go out to his family. From my son's perspective, though, Don, I have to tell you that it's kind of a different situation.

LEMON: It is.

But the question is, the -- raising -- parents raising black sons in this environment, the talk that you have to have with black sons -- as I'm talking with you, I'm wondering if we have opened a Pandora's box when it comes to what's going on in this country, that it's something that must be dealt with now.

WILLIAMS: Well, but, you know, here's what I'm afraid of, Don, is we have opened a Pandora's box, but just like we opened it up with the O.J. Simpson trial. We open it up, we open it up, we open it up. After the incident goes down and, like, tonight, there's no riots in the street, no canisters. And so other news outlets don't think that's newsworthy because there's peace.

When this goes away, people stop talking about it and therefore it just continues to fester and fester and fester. When it comes to my son, my son is 20 years old. He's 6'1'', and he's a big guy. He's a biracial young man. And he just grew a beard.

My discussions with my son right now have been about, my friend, I'm telling you, you look a little bit Middle Eastern and you have got to be worried. For the first time in his life, traveling about three or four weeks ago, coming over to New York to see me, he got stopped and searched in each leg of his flight because he has got a beard.

That's something else that he has to contend with, not just being an African-American male in this country.

LEMON: But what is that talk like? Did you have the talk, you know, the talk that we talk about with your son, about how to act if he is stopped? You said he was stopped twice coming and going on his flights. Do you tell him how he should conduct himself, how you want him to conduct himself?

WILLIAMS: See, Don, this has been for me and my son and my four children, it has been a lifetime discussion. It's not something that's happened in the last three, four, five years. This has been a lifetime discussion.

When my son was born, he recognized the fact that I talked to him as a child and made sure he understood that he had to respect authority figures, no matter what, so my son wouldn't put himself in a position where he would up end in an altercation with a police officer.

He right now at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he's going to school and he's getting a degree. We have had different discussions his entire life, and I think there are some things that as we talk about this as an issue, it's bigger than just that I have a conversation with my African-American son about being afraid of police officers.

I have had a conversation with him since he was born about getting an education, about carrying himself the right way, about saying, yes, sir, no, sir, yes, ma'am, no, ma'am, thank you. You know what I mean? So, there's a different discussion there.

So, right now, did I worry about him putting himself in a position where a police officer will stop him if it's just for the color of his skin? He knows that he would then step back and take a position that would be in an effort to just kind of defuse the situation.

LEMON: Yes. It's called -- it's good old-fashioned values. As a Southerner, I was raised like that, yes, sir, yes, ma'am.

But it appears in this day and age that, listen, no one is saying that there aren't instances, even if your son does everything right, Montel.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely, Don.


LEMON: And you know that. Even if we do everything right, you can still be put in a position where you are challenged in a way or where you may be seen as the aggressor in this country.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. No ifs, ands or buts, Don. And I'm not living in a fantasy world.

But what I'm trying to maybe see maybe we could start a discussion tonight, and maybe you can convince a couple people to try to start the discussion, that no matter what we do right now, every single night from now until the time the decision comes out from either the grand jury or from the governor or from, you know, Eric Holder himself, if somebody does -- no matter what we do, it's not going to make a difference until this goes to trial, if there is a trial.

Right now, we have to figure out what we're going to do when we pick up the pieces to all of this. And, remember, today, you're talking about it yourself in this one hour of news. You have covered and you are going to cover China, a provocation with aircraft. You're going to cover Ukraine. You're going to cover Gaza Strip.

You're going to cover Syria. You're going to cover ISIL. You're going to cover all these potential areas where these same young men and women -- and remember, 17 percent of our military is African- American. About 22 percent of our military is made up of minorities. They are going to be out there getting ready to put their lives on the line to protect this democracy while Ferguson is still going on, because, remember, we have hawks trying to figure out a way to put troops on the ground.

So, in this big discussion, there's a big discussion that has to be held that nobody is willing to talk about. You know what I'm saying?

LEMON: You mentioned the attorney general, Eric Holder. Yes, I know what you're saying. You mentioned Eric Holder. He visited Ferguson this week. Is your opinion that this was -- I want to clarify your statement -- that this was just symbolic, or did he visit here, you think, to help calm things down?

WILLIAMS: Oh, no, I think he definitely came to calm things down. I don't think it was symbolic.

What I'm trying to say to you is no matter what we does right now, we're going to have to wait for a grand jury to make a decision as to whether or not they're going to indict. If they don't do it, the governor could convince the prosecutor to do so.

But no matter what you and I talk about this evening or tomorrow or the next day, we still have to wait for that decision to be made. And while we're waiting for that, there are a group of people overseas who don't care whether or not you're a black American, a Hispanic American, a white American. Don't matter what color you are.

There are plotting right now to do something. And what better time than while we are deflected on our own hate that we're trying to say is better than their hate, what better time to strike out against America?

Listen, this is a big discussion, Don. I'm so happy that you have given me a minute to broach it and bring it up. And I don't mean to throw a monkey wrench in the middle of all the discussions, but ISIL is not going to wait for Ferguson to get a decision from a grand jury.

The president won't wait for the grand jury to make a decision as to whether or not we end up having to put troops on the ground to protect this democracy. I'm just saying that we have got to have a bigger conversation about how do we get past this quicker so that American lives, more of them, aren't in danger.

LEMON: Let's talk about here -- about something that you -- you enlisted in the U.S. Marines when you were about Michael Brown's age.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

LEMON: Do you wish there were more options for young men living in communities like Ferguson? I find -- here's what I find.

I find that people come into this community or maybe even the police officers and they think that these are bad kids, bad guys. But when you start talking to them and getting to know them, they're not bad guys. They're no different than anyone anywhere else. They just happen to be men of color born in poor circumstances, many of them.

WILLIAMS: Don, do you remember -- I don't know if you know anything about where I really started out at -- but back from 1988 to 1991, I spoke at about 900 to 1,000 high schools across this country, most of them in inner-city schools, spoke to kids about staying in school, staying away from drugs, getting an education and trying to reach for something better.

I hear from kids across this country right now, thousands, who say, Montel, thank you for coming to my school. Those kids are good kids. But, unfortunately, in Ferguson, you have a high school graduation rate of under 60-70 percent. You have a less than 3 or 6 percent college -- rate of students going to college.

Somebody has to get in. Like you just said, those are good young people. Why don't we have the leaders of today? I did this 20 years ago. Where are the leaders of today going into those schools and telling those young men that there is a different place for them, there's something different?

I went in the military, but, Don, I could have gone directly into college. I passed up a scholarship to join the military because, at the time I did it -- I was my class president. I was a student on the board of education.

LEMON: Right. WILLIAMS: I went to school, man. I could have gone directly to

college. I went in the service because I had a friend of mine who got shot in the Marine Corps. And I was trying to protect America.


WILLIAMS: And then what? I got a degree from the Naval Academy.


LEMON: So, listen, I have to run.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

LEMON: You know how it is. You're a television guy.


LEMON: We have certain time cues that we have to hit.

I have to ask you, though, how are you doing health wise?

WILLIAMS: Hey, I'm doing great.

And I got to say this, Don, please. Thank you for asking me that.

I have got to thank all of your viewers and a lot of other people who have been sending the messages to my daughter Maressa, who has been battling a really tough battle with lymphoma. She cured it. It was cured. It came back. She's right in the middle of this.

And people have been sending her well-wishes from all over the country, white, black, Hispanic and Asian. Don't matter the color. They have been saying, Maressa, get better.

So, America is not as bad as we think. And we got to have some discussions about how to heal this.

LEMON: Right.

We're going to show you that a little bit later on in this broadcast, when we meet the children of Ferguson. It will make you smile and cry at the same time, tears of joy.

WILLIAMS: You want me back for them? You want me back for them?

LEMON: Thank you, Montel.

WILLIAMS: If you want me back for the kids, I'm coming back.

LEMON: We will see. Talk to the producers after I let you go here.


LEMON: Thank you very much, Montel. I appreciate you coming on.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come right back, the growing threat from ISIS. Will the Pentagon expand its military campaign against them? I'm going to talk about it next with a former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush.

We will be right back.


LEMON: Welcome back.

We're live tonight in Ferguson, Missouri, the people in this town demanding justice.

Meanwhile, the president is looking for a way to get justice for James Foley, who was executed by ISIS.

The threat from ISIS has grown so strong that Pentagon officials tell CNN they're considering expanding airstrikes against the terror group, not only in Iraq, but possibly staging them against ISIS targets inside Syria as well.

Joining me now to discuss this is Michael Mukasey, the former attorney general under president George W. Bush.

So Mr. Mukasey, an FBI bulletin was issued today saying at this time, there is no credible ISIS-linked threats against the U.S. But yesterday, Chuck Hagel says the U.S. needs to, quote, "get ready." What's your assessment?

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, my assessment is that this is a group that is intent on doing as much damage as it can, as quickly as it can, which is illustrated, of course, by how quickly it's risen.

They've done something that no other group has done, which is to take and hold territory. By the same token, they want to strike out and lash out at the United States. They made that clear with the murder of James Foley.

So I think that Secretary Hagel was -- was perfectly -- perfectly appropriate in cautioning us about infiltration here, particularly in view of the fact that a lot of these people carry western passports, including possibly U.S. passports, and that our southern border is not as tight as it could be.

LEMON: Why is there such a disconnect between what we are hearing from the Pentagon and what we are hearing from the FBI?

MUKASEY: I'm sorry. I don't really understand the question. You say the difference between what we're hearing from the -- you mean the FBI in terms of...

LEMON: The Pentagon and from the FBI. MUKASEY: Domestic -- yes. The Pentagon takes a larger view. The FBI

is focusing on particular information that they have here. We're not likely to have a warning here before something happens. So I think that when the FBI says they've got no information about anything going on here, that's all that that means. What ISIS is planning is something that I think is beyond their reach.

LEMON: Listen, you know, the president described them as sort of the junior varsity team earlier. It doesn't appear that they're junior varsity or J.V. at all. Why do you think that this was mishandled so badly or that they underestimated just how dangerous ISIS is?

MUKASEY: Well, I think you have to look at this as a group that is different in degree, but not in kind from anything that we've seen before.

What they have done is to do what, in reverse order, what al Qaeda wanted to do. Al Qaeda wanted to inflict terror first, get the United States out of the Middle East, and then create a caliphate.

What these people have done is to declare the caliphate right away, which gives their adherents something concrete to hang on to. And then go on to try to conquer additional territory while inflicting terror simultaneously.

So they've got -- they've got kind of a double mission, and they've been very successful in attracting recruits and in grabbing money.

LEMON: Yes. Mr. Mukasey, I want you to listen to something that Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He warned of a possible attack on American soil. Listen.


SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK), SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: They are really bad terrorists. They're so bad that al Qaeda is afraid of them. They are rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major U.S. city. People can't believe that's happening.


LEMON: Do you believe ISIS is looking to conduct such a large attack?

MUKASEY: You want a one-word answer to that? No, I don't.


MUKASEY: I think that that substantially overstates things. I don't know of anything that supports that, other than their desire to do it, perhaps. But I know of no indication that they actually have access to weapons of mass destruction that would allow them to do that. I think the senator was a little bit over the top with that.

LEMON: Yes. Your insight is really very valuable, and we enjoy having you here on CNN. Thank you very much for coming. We'll see you back soon, OK?

MUKASEY: Great to be here. Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you.

When we come back, which terror group is now the bigger threat? Is it al Qaeda or is it ISIS? We'll get some answers next.


LEMON: Welcome back. Live from Ferguson, Missouri, tonight. Unrest here is not the only item on President Obama's agenda.

Earlier this year, he said of ISIS, "If a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, it doesn't make them Kobe Bryant."

And then just yesterday, the president's own defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, said that the ISIS threat is, quote, "beyond anything we have ever seen."

So just how powerful is ISIS? Joining me now to discuss, Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst; Bob Baer, CNN national security analyst and a former CIA operative. Good evening to both of you. I appreciate you coming on to talk about this.

Bob, you first. Really, the central question is, what's the best way to fight back against ISIS? Because U.S. officials are now telling CNN there are talks about increasing air strikes in Iraq and even the possibility of, quote, tailored air strikes inside Syria, against specific ISIS targets. But officials are stressing no decisions have been made now by the White House.

So do you think that we have to go to Syria?

BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I unfortunately think we do with air strikes. As long as we don't send troops in, you know, decapitate this organization. It is dangerous. It's the first time that an al Qaeda-like organization has actually owned territory and weapons. But what we don't want to do is get in a fight with Sunni Islam. So it has to be very limited, and ultimately, it's got to be the Iraqis and the Syrians who crush this organization.

LEMON: OK. So tailored and limited. Will that be enough, Bob? That's the question.

BAER: I hope so, because I just couldn't conceive of the United States ever sending its military back into Iraq to go into eastern Syria. It would be horribly costly and probably wouldn't work.

So let's keep our fingers crossed these limited air strikes slow this organization down and give the Iraqis and the Syrian forces time to crush them.

LEMON: Julia, I see you're shaking your head in agreement there. But I want to ask you this question. The former deputy director of the CIA fears that ISIS could carry out attacks in the U.S. Let's listen, and we'll discuss.


MICHAEL MORRELL, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: If a ISIS member showed up in a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed -- killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised. Over the long term, I worry that this group could present a 9/11 style threat.


LEMON: Nine-eleven style, Juliette. I mean, what are the short- and long-term threats ISIS presents against the U.S. where he would say "9/11-style"?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN ANALYST: Well, I mean, the honest truth is, is that this is true of any terrorist organization. I think the FBI, the deputy director's statements were sort of completely over the top and not very helpful from the perspective of how do you plan to protect the homeland?

Something is going on here where the generals are talking about expanding, you know, air strikes. There's fears within the homeland. What are we going to do? Every shopping mall could be attacked.

The White House either needs to get the generals in line so that they are on the talking points, which is, there are no immediate plans to -- for anyone to attack the United States, or if this is part of some concerted effort to prepare the American public for expanded attacks or expanded military strikes in Syria, talk to us like we're rational adults.

Some -- the split between what the generals are saying, sort of scaring everyone in the homeland, and what we're hearing about what the plan needs to be, consistent with what Bob was just saying, the split is confusing to the American public. So get the generals in line and stop all this talk about imminent threats and shopping malls.

LEMON: Juliette, I have another question for you, because Governor Rick Perry has indicated that ISIS could be coming to the U.S. through Mexico. Others say that is not likely at this time. I mean, do you think that they're already here?

KAYYEM: I don't know. I mean, look, we have porous southern borders, but -- and we've always known that. But the truth is, is that terrorists, at least sophisticated ones, don't want to do anything illegal before the big attack. So one has to assume that, if they're planning something in the United States, it's going to be as lawful as possible until the moment of attack.

But there is at least no public acknowledgment of any imminent attack, anyone here who is affiliated or aligned with ISIS. And look, any crazy person can say they have allegiances to ISIS and show up at a shopping mall with an AK-47. That is, unfortunately, the truth of the kind of nation we are now.

And we have to just decide our national security policy about what's best for our own security. Not what one individual could potentially do coming through the southern border.

So I hope that we can get a consistent message coming out of the White House and make a decision about what's the best military strikes to disrupt ISIS in the future.

LEMON: Bob, I want to get this question in in the short amount of time that we have left. We don't negotiate with terrorists. We always say that. But President Obama agreed to exchange five Taliban detainees for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The GAO says that was likely illegal.

So why didn't the administration work out a similar deal for the release of James Foley?

BAER; That's a good question. They probably could have. But they judged this organization clearly less reliable, less rational than the Taliban.

The Taliban, after all, is not an international terrorist organization. It has no intention of attacking the United States. It's not claiming a caliphate. It's almost, you know, a moderate compared to the Islamic State. And they're afraid to go down that route, because there's a -- there's a hostage exchange in Syria. And, you know, will that encourage taking more in this situation? It's a hard decision, but they probably made the right one.

LEMON: Bob, Juliette, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

When we come right back, the unrest here in Ferguson has taken its toll, especially among the youngest residents. And I'm going to talk to the children of the embattled community, up next.


LEMON: Welcome back. We're live here in Ferguson tonight, where things are a whole lot calmer than they were just a few days ago. It's been almost two weeks since the death of Michael Brown touched off outrage here in the streets. And all of this has taken its toll on the youngest residents here. But there are dedicated people trying to make things better.

Earlier today, I visited the School of Peace at the public library, a place for hundreds of children to go while schools here are closed. And you'll notice that we have blurred some of the children's faces. That's our policy when their parents aren't with them, and we haven't spoken to their parents first.


LEMON: So what are you guys doing? Are you doing math? What's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Social media is fantastic. Social media. They got on the phone, got on e-mail, got on Twitter, got on Facebook. The kids don't have school. What are we going to do? They end up here.

LEMON: Do you like school here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We get to play and go outside.

LEMON: So you have a regular school. You have -- have you been to the regular school yet?


LEMON: No? So this is your regular school now for a while, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is my school.

LEMON: Are you making friends here?



ANTONIA SMITH, SCHOOL OF PEACE: Teachers had a few little art supplies, a few little crayons. Twelve kids, that's a few. Forty kids, we could manage, and we can put some structure around it like we're having a real school. And then teachers came. And then we said, OK, we need school. So we have pre-K and kindergarten and first grade, all the way up -- we had a full middle school going on with A.P. language arts classes going on, with actual algebra classes going on.

LEMON: That is amazing!

SMITH: It is amazing.

LEMON: See what happens out of something terrible. Something...

SMITH: Something wonderful has happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been here since Tuesday. So my thing is, I want these -- it's not their fault that this is happening, and they should be able to still learn and have fun and still eat and, you know, have a little bit -- little bit of normalcy.

LEMON: Structure?


LEMON: A normal day.


LEMON: Do you agree with that? Yes?

And you do, too? Say "Yay, Mom."


LEMON: Yes, I agree with that, too. I think that's great.

So people from all over the country are sending stuff. They're sending you money. They're sending you supplies or what?

SMITH: Supplies and they brought in supplies. A lot of the food has come from the St. Louis metropolitan area. Someone from Clayton (ph) came in and brought a donation, but they wanted it specifically for the library to buy African-American books for male children. So now that library fund has been increased a little bit.

LEMON: That's amazing.

SMITH: It's amazing. It's more...

LEMON: African-American books for male children.

SMITH: For male children.

How's that? All right. Is this the solution, you think, or at least part of the solution, as to how to help the young black males in this community?

SMITH: Oh, my gosh. There's so many layers to that. In St. Louis, the nation, but St. Louis and the region of St. Louis has to peel back the layers and peel back the onion. It smells. Right? You need to peel it back and really honestly look at ourselves and look at our community and examine how did this happen? This did not just happen.

LEMON: Happen overnight.

SMITH: It didn't happen overnight.

The governor came here yesterday. There was a judge in here yesterday. Captain Johnson came by yesterday. So all of these people to come around and, you know, circle these children to say, "You know what? We adults, sometimes we mess up."

LEMON: But we've got your back.

SMITH: "We don't get it right."

LEMON: Right.

SMITH: "But we know that you're the important entity right here. We need to focus on you."

LEMON: Do you know about what's going on, with what's happening?

JEWEL MCBRIDE, STUDENT: The kid got shot.

LEMON: The kid got shot? What do you think of that?

MCBRIDE: That's mean, kind of.


MCBRIDE: I think he should have leaved the kid alone, what he was doing. He should have done nothing but leave the kid alone and see what he was doing. And said, "Mister, what are you doing?" And then he should have walked away.

LEMON: Nobody gets hurt, right?

MCBRIDE: Uh-huh. But now he died. And that's a bad thing.

LEMON: Very bad thing.

MCBRIDE: And the good thing is he -- he's not -- he's a kid, but he's still everything with his father and his mama. That's why he can stay a kid. So he can be with his mama and daddy.

LEMON: He needs to stay alive to be with his mom and daddy.

MCBRIDE: Uh-huh.

LEMON: Do you have -- do you see the protesters and people out on the streets with them? What do you think about that?

MCBRIDE: I think it's people in the way.

LEMON: They're in the way of your car?

MCBRIDE: Uh-huh. When you're trying to drive, they're in the way, trying to -- and people be blowing their horns. It's too much.

LEMON: From the mouths of babes sometimes, huh?

So you understand why they're out there? Why are they out there?

MCBRIDE: Because the -- because the boy got shot.


MCBRIDE: And they're mad about that.


LEMON: They were so adorable. There were, like, three or four of them that said, "I want to go home with you." I wanted to take them home, but I think that would be kidnapping. Right? I couldn't do it.

So this is -- this is from Jewel. I'm going to -- by the way, I'm going to frame these. Jewel is a great artist. I'm going to put these in my office.

And then this one is from Jade. So I'm going to frame those and put them in my office. And this one, I think I'm going to throw in the garbage, because it's mine, and it's not very good. But Jewel and Jade definitely winners. I will hang these in my office and frame them and hang them. Thank you, thank you. I wish I could have taken all of you guys home.

When we come right back, Little League, big impact. A group of 11, 12 and 13-year-old African-American kids who have their communities and the whole country rallying behind them.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. With all eyes on the unrest here in Ferguson for the past two weeks, there is some good news out there to report to you.

A Chicago sports team has a chance to make history tomorrow. These athletes don't make millions of dollars. In fact, they don't make any salary at all, because they're Little Leaguers. But they are making waves on the South Side of Chicago. Andy Schultz has their story.


ANDY SCHULTZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time in 31 years, a team made up entirely of African-American kids made it into the league's world series. These youngsters are from Washington Heights, an area that most consider to be a pretty tough place to grow up, but that hasn't stopped them from pushing forward.

PIERCE JONES, TEAM MEMBER: We play as a team. That's what we like to do. We like to play as a team and get everybody involved. That's what -- that's how we've been winning, and that's how we're going to continue winning.

SCHULTZ: Jackie Robinson West is, of course, named after the man who broke baseball's color barrier, and his widow, Rachel Robinson, says the team has upheld the legacy of her husband.

In a letter to Pierce Jones, one of the team's stars, she wrote, "You give so many of us hope and inspiration."

From the South Side to downtown, watch parties celebrated another win for Jackie Robinson West on Thursday. The amazing run the team is on has given fans young and old something fun and positive to believe in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hear so much about the negativity that goes on. It's just -- it's just refreshing to -- to be out here to support something that's great.

SCOTT CARROLL, CHICAGO WHITE SOX PITCHER: Any time, you know, you see some kids from the inner city, you know, especially Jackie Robinson kids, play so well and accomplish what they have, it kind of brings some light to some areas and show those kids from that area that, hey, this can be done.

SCHULTZ: The number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has dwindled, from around 20 percent in 1986 to only 8 percent this season. The decline is a concern of new MLB commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, who was in attendance at the Little League World Series this week.

ROB MANFRED, MLB COMMISSIONER-ELECT: We want all kinds of kids playing the game more, and that's the kind of approach that Commissioner Selig has actually already started us on, and it's -- you're going to see more of that.

JONES: We try to be humble and try to not let it get to our heads. It's been hard, though. We've been getting stopped a lot.

SCHULTZ: You've been asked for autographs, right?

JONES: Yes. Yes.

SCHULTZ: Kind of odd, isn't it?

JONES: Well, yes.

SCHULTZ: It's pretty cool, though.