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Massacre in Syria; Birther Talk Continues; R.I.P Guitarist Doc Watson; Interview with Senate Candidate and Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra
Aired May 30, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to move along. If we need to come back to you, we will, Lizzie O'Leary for us in Washington on what is happening there at Chicago's O'Hare.
And we roll on, hour two. Welcome back. I'm Brooke Baldwin, top of the hour.
Forget Donald Trump here, tired of talking about him. But for some reason, this whole birther thing, it is getting bigger. This is not going away. There's this former congressman who is currently running for the Senate who believes that the U.S. government should hire three people to vet presidential candidates and their birthplaces.
Yes, I'm talking about a birther office. And in just minutes, we're going to speak live with Republican Pete Hoekstra and challenge him on this nonsense.
But, first, want to talk about Syria, and that massacre of those 49 Syrian children may become the tipping point Syrians desperately need to get the world to enter this country, help end the slaughter. Calls for airstrikes to protect civilians, they are getting louder and louder.
All the while, the violence is getting worse and worse. We can tell you now today, at least 13 people have been killed. This is on top of the massacre on Friday killing 103 last night, this massacre of 13 others. That's when it was found.
Joining me now is former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
And, P.J., welcome back.
P.J. CROWLEY, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Thanks, Brooke.
Let me just begin with this comparison that I have been hearing a little bit more since this slaughter in this town of Houla near Homs. Is this beginning to resemble a Bosnian-like situation where it's not just rebels fighting a government, but something much worse, where you have ethnic group vs. ethnic group fighting for themselves?
CROWLEY: Well, I think there are a couple of things. First, the international community struggled for a couple of years in 1992, '93, '94. It wasn't until the tragedy of Srebrenica that there was a catalyzing effect that brought the international community to the negotiating table at Dayton and then the introduction of U.S. and international forces to implement the peace agreement.
BALDWIN: That was a slaughter of...
CROWLEY: We will have to wait and see whether Houla is that kind of catalyzing moment. It may or may not be.
BALDWIN: That was a slaughter of some -- and the numbers are fuzzy -- somewhere between 7,000, 8,000, possibly 10,000 Bosnian Muslims back in July 1995. Is that what we're waiting for in Syria?
CROWLEY: Well, and you're right. Unfortunately, this is a tragedy that's unfolding a bit more in slow motion.
I think what will be pivotal here is -- if you compare Syria to Libya, there, you had a clear call from the Arab League for intervention. You had a U.N. Security Council resolution and you had nations that were willing to take on the burden of that intervention.
None of those conditions yet exist in the context of Syria. A pivotal country is going to be Russia. Russia has been providing Syria political cover within the U.N. There's been no U.N. resolution, Syria, even -- most importantly, providing economic and military support, which has allowed Bashar al-Assad to hold on as long as he has and to resist as decisively and tragically as he has.
BALDWIN: And that's the just thing. And I'm glad you brought it up. It's Russia. We know that the Russian foreign minister -- let me quote him -- saying that they're categorically against any kind of foreign intervention in Syria.
But I just want to point you to something. And I have brought this up before. I just want to pose it to you. We came up with something pretty shocking to us, this Russian newspaper "Pravda." They're questioning the authenticity of this video from that massacre on Friday where those 49 children were killed, some at close range.
It's using the term photographic manipulation. This article here goes on to say -- and let me just quote them here -- "The only question remains is whether this massacre was committed by Syrian rebels or by the British and American special forces reportedly already inside the country."
Again, comparisons with Milosevic and the Russians ran cover for him in Bosnia after he massacred all those Muslims and now it seems like they're doing the same thing.
CROWLEY: Well, although -- and it's depressing to hear that "Pravda" report, because that makes us believe that he's still in denial and unfortunately this tragedy is going to unfold for some time further.
On the other hand, if you think about Kosovo in 1999, Milosevic wasn't defeated militarily. He was defeated politically. And it was the Russians that played a key role. Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former prime minister, together with Finnish Foreign Minister Ahtisaari sat down with Milosevic and said you have got to go.
And so it's going to be that kind of a conversation with Russia that somehow is motivated enough, maybe even embarrassed enough to say to Assad you have got to go. And then they make a deal with the international community that the regime will not go, but Assad himself will.
BALDWIN: As we talk about Russia, though, it's only fair to turn the tables and ask about the United States, because now you have these three senators, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham. They have all called now, calling again, I should say, for these airstrikes in Syria to protect these innocent civilians.
Why is the president not joining them?
CROWLEY: Well, again, to conduct military operations, you have got to have allies and support in the region surrounding. So, Syria is surrounded by friends of the United States, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq.
At some point in time, again going back to Libya, we had bases in the Mediterranean from which we could conduct a air campaign, close air support and establish a no-fly zone. In order to be able to do that in this context, you need to have access to bases. One of these countries is going to have to pony up those bases. Again, that takes the kind of coordination and building of a consensus to get us where we need to go where decisive action becomes more possible.
BALDWIN: It's just a frustrating part, because you hear these leaders saying that there is no plan B, there is no plan B when we talk about Syria.
P.J. Crowley, I appreciate you, former spokesperson for the State Department. Thank you.
BALDWIN: Let me get to this here, because this would be day eight of jury deliberations in that John Edwards corruption trial. We have just gotten word the jury has handed the judge a note. We're going to go live to Greensboro next.
BALDWIN: All right, want to get you right to Greensboro, North Carolina, because we are hearing here that jury in this John Edwards trial has now passed a not to the judge. What exactly might that signify? Let's go to Joe Johns, who has been watching and waiting here.
What does this mean? Do we have a verdict?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't seem like we have a verdict right now, Brooke.
I have to tell you today there's been a bit of swirl behind the scenes, if you will here in Greensboro, North Carolina. There was an earlier note that came right before lunch hour break for the jurors and then another note probably about half-an-hour, 45 minutes ago from the jurors apparently to the judge, the judge back in chambers with the attorneys conferring with them.
The first note, we believe, had to do with a juror, something relating to a juror. We do not know what. And we have gotten absolutely no information this time. Of course, people watching this trial very closely for the notes.
And let me say another thing about the notes, that we have gotten a number of those coming through here. They have all pretty much asked for evidence up until now. The judge actually sent in all the evidence from the trial, so probably no more questions about evidence.
Now it's something else. It could be any number of things, but as far as we know, no verdict yet, Brooke. They continue to deliberate.
BALDWIN: OK. Here we are, day eight. Joe Johns, thank you so much.
Let get to this here, as the birthers just can't let it go. No matter what evidence is put in front of their faces, they keep questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Folks, it's been more than a year since the president released his long-form birth certificate. We have pulled it up for you right here, in case you didn't remember.
You can also look it up online. It is there for everyone to see. But it's still not good enough for some people. This issue came up just a couple weeks in a meeting of a Michigan Tea Party group.
And Senate candidate and former Congressman Pete Hoekstra has said this to them. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE HOEKSTRA (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I would like to a three-person office in Washington, D.C. so that in any future election, right, that someone would have to walk into that office and prove that they meet the minimum qualifications to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That candidate is Pete Hoekstra. He joins me now on the phone.
Mr. Hoekstra, welcome to you.
Let me just begin with, after four years of the media and conservatives digging for evidence that President Obama wasn't born here and coming up with nothing, we need a federal office to do that?
HOEKSTRA: Well, actually, yes, I think that it is a proposed solution, whether it's an office, whether it's the responsibility of some other organization.
When you're a candidate for office, I fill out hundreds of pages of documents to verify each and every contribution that comes to my campaign. I have to fill out pages and pages that list every asset that I own. And you would think that the United States of America could go through a very simple process that said, hey, I want to run for president and there would just be a person that would say, OK, here are the minimum qualifications. There's an age requirement. There's a birth requirement.
Yes, meet -- show that you meet these requirements and we will move on. Very, very simple. Solve the problem. We will never have this kind of debate or question again and we can talk about the real issues, which are the economy...
BALDWIN: Hang on. Before you talk about the economy...
HOEKSTRA: And this does not have to be that hard.
BALDWIN: Let me just -- so I'm hearing you correctly, whether it's an office, whether it's appointed folks from some other organization, you want positions to make sure that these candidates are born in the USA?
HOEKSTRA: I do not -- what I want is, I want to make sure that candidates who run for the office of the president meet the minimum requirements.
This has nothing to do so about Barack Obama. This has nothing to do about the past. This is all looking forward and saying we have requirements in place. We have requirements in some states where people when they go to vote they have got to show a driver's license. You would think that we could at least make sure that when someone decides to run for office, that we know that they meet the minimum requirements and we will never have this kind of debate again.
Let's talk about the real issues.
BALDWIN: How can you say, though, that this is not about President Obama?
HOEKSTRA: Because that's not my focus. My focus is, I want to make sure this never happens again. Let's talk about the real issues in this campaign.
For someone else, it may be about President Obama and that -- so be it for them. For me, it's not. It's an argument that shouldn't be taking place. It could be fixed very, very quickly and very easily so that people know that the certification has taken place.
HOEKSTRA: ... argument to have today.
BALDWIN: Hang on a second. Let me just play a little bit more. These are more of your comments from that Tea Party meeting. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOEKSTRA: I think, with this president, the book is closed.
The -- it's kind of like -- I hate to say it, but I think the debate is over. We lost that debate and we lost that debate in 2008 when our presidential nominee said, I ain't talking about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: So what opportunity did John McCain miss in 2008? That's what you were talking about. And do you believe that President Obama's birth certificate is real?
HOEKSTRA: Now, what I said is very clear. In 2008, our presidential nominee, the head of our political party, John McCain, decided that this was an issue that he was not going to pursue and moved on and talked about the things that he believed were most important about the campaign.
I don't know if there was an opportunity that was missed or not. And it doesn't matter at this point. We are -- Barack Obama is the president of the United States. He has demonstrated and no one has taken a look at this stuff and discredited it. I'm not talking about Barack Obama. I'm just saying, you know, that this is in -- in the United States of America, this is a debate we should not be having.
BALDWIN: You're a Republican. Why add another layer of bureaucracy to our government? Shouldn't you be opposed to that?
HOEKSTRA: No, because I think that what we're seeing here is I'm all about solutions.
We have seen this debate go on. And, like I said, I fill out reams and reams of paperwork. You would think that Americans after having gone through this process have -- would say, you know what, doing a simple certification is not a difficult thing to do. It is not a big bureaucracy.
HOEKSTRA: It should take about five or 10 minutes for anybody to prove... (CROSSTALK)
BALDWIN: But if you talk about solutions -- if you talk about solutions, does that infer there was a problem? What was the problem to then have this sort of office?
HOEKSTRA: Well, what happened is that you have -- you are still having this debate, this ongoing debate with some people moving this forward.
I'm not participating in that debate. I think that this issue has been settled. And, you know, I just want to make sure that in future elections -- and this is not a top priority for me, OK? This is kind -- it's kind of like, you know, this can take care of itself. This can move forward. And this can be done very easily.
We do it. You know, you certify. We have a background check if you want to buy a gun. If you want to vote, you have to show an I.D. If you want to run for president, you ought to at least be able to demonstrate that you meet the minimum criteria for being president of the United States.
HOEKSTRA: This is not that hard. It's a whole lot easier than a lot of the other paperwork that I have to fill out to run for a federal office.
BALDWIN: I understand, I understand. Let me just -- let me turn the conversation to this, because you made national news when you ran this ad in Michigan against your Senate opponent during the Super Bowl. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Michigan Senator Debbie spend- it-now.
Debbie spent so much American money, you borrow more and more from us. Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good. We take your jobs. Thank you, Debbie spend-it-now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Congressman Hoekstra, critics, they called you a racist for that ad.
Do you realize that critics might use this office, this proposal for this office as further proof?
HOEKSTRA: No, I don't know -- no, I don't know why they would call that and take in that direction. Absolutely not.
There's -- excuse me. You're just taking this into an area where I see absolutely no connection at all. When someone runs for office, they certify. Asking them to certify that they meet the requirements for president, what is -- I'm not even going to use the term. It's an outrageous term and it's an outrageous question that you would ask anything like that.
BALDWIN: It's a term -- sir, it's just a term that some of your critics threw out. And we're looking ahead because you have already been criticized for this exact office. And I'm simply asking the question.
HOEKSTRA: About this proposal that people actually meet the minimum requirements for being the president of the United States of America?
BALDWIN: I'm simply asking the question, sir. And I appreciate it.
Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra, thanks.
This just in -- a high school on lockdown. A shooting kills two people, injures three more. Police now are searching for a gunman.
BALDWIN: All right, getting some news just into us here at CNN.
Let's just take a look at some of these pictures as I explain what's unfolding right now in Seattle. This gunman is now on the run. Police are looking for this individual. There's been a shooting at a cafe, actually two separate shootings, one at a cafe, one nearby. In total here, according to police, three people were killed and there are several injuries as well.
You can see aerial pictures thanks to our affiliate in Seattle as presumably they're searching for right now this gunman.
Again, three dead, several wounded in a cafe and nearby a cafe. We don't know if these two shootings are linked or not. Multiple emergency response vehicles on the scene obviously I'm sure treating some of these victims and trying to track this gunman down. As soon as we get more information here, we will pass it along to you live on CNN.
Today, we have been discussing this awful and gruesome bizarre face-eating attack on this homeless man in Miami. And many are wondering what in the world would possess a naked 31-year-old Rudy Eugene to attack and strip a homeless man of his clothes and then chew off his face, tear out his eyes, apparently growling like an animal as he was doing this?
After, police pull up, pull a gun at him, tell him to stop, and then he goes right back and continues to chew right police -- before police shoot and kill him. Are bath salts to blame here?
Some police agents and psychiatrists believe this is yet another, another case of this. Last hour, we learned this isn't actually the first time Miami police are dealing with this kind of thing. They say a similar incident happened just two days before.
Let me bring in CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here.
So many things to say about this one. But I will just begin with bath salts?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I know.
You hear bath salts and you think, what? People are like snorting bath salts? Nothing to do with bath salts, nothing to do what you would put in your bath.
COHEN: OK. These are manmade chemicals that people can kind of make almost sort of in their garages. These are unfortunately not hard to make.
COHEN: And they're sometimes a series of different chemicals. And these are stimulants and they have sort of an amphetamine-like effect.
And what they often do is these makers will often sort of change up the chemical makeup so it's hard for drug enforcement to track them down.
And they used to be sold legally. These are such new chemicals, that there weren't any laws against them and they were actually sold legally like in gas stations.
BALDWIN: So now as we're hearing about this, and this is something else people are now trying to do to get some sort of high. How many cases? Because when I was talking to our correspondent in Miami, they said these police officers, they have noticed an uptick of people feeling this way, becoming violent because of bath salts.
COHEN: Right. It's night. You look at poison control centers. There was a big increase and now there actually seems to be a bit of a decrease.
And the reason why is because now states have made them illegal. And so they're sort of catching up to these guys. But look at the numbers. In 2010, poison control centers across the country had 304 reports and no deaths. In 2011, that went way up to about 6,200 cases and 42 deaths.
And then this year, there have been only two deaths and about 1,000 cases. So, we hope those numbers continue and we hope that finally law enforcement has caught up with these folks, because what this does is it can make you psychotic.
BALDWIN: Clearly. Chewing someone's face?
COHEN: If he took bath salts, which we don't know, but, yes, chewing someone's face, something like that. You're just -- you're completely -- you're not just high. You're actually psychotic. And that's very different.
For example, you know, a drug might make you high, but it doesn't make you -- psychotic is different. Psychotic is imagining things. Psychotic is...
BALDWIN: Like acid.
COHEN: Yes, similar to acid, exactly. Similar to acid. So this is something very different than just getting a high.
BALDWIN: Wow. Thank you very much.
More here on our developing story out of Chicago, word that this 747 cargo plane has hit another plane. We have been asking some more questions. Got some more from you here from Chicago O'Hare.
BALDWIN: A fender bender, but this one involving two planes.
Let's go back to Lizzie O'Leary in Washington.
And, Lizzie, just remind us, this is a 747 and a regional jet, right, bumping one another at Chicago O'Hare.
LIZZIE O'LEARY, CNN AVIATION AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Brooke.
And what happened here is that an American Eagle regional jet with 18 people on it was coming into the gate at Chicago. And you see that much larger plane. That's a 747, an EVA cargo plane, that was leaving Chicago and heading to Anchorage. And it looks like its wing clipped the tail of that much smaller plane. That's an Embraer 140. It's the kind of commuter jet that you would see for a short hop flight. This plane was coming from Springfield, Missouri, to Chicago.
We don't know exactly what happened, whether this was a miscalculation in terms of where they were or misdirection about who was put putting those two planes in such close proximity.
But, certainly, a 747 even moving at a very slow speed, that's not going to be something you want when you are in the Embraer 140. And you asked me earlier if passengers on board would have felt that. They certainly would have. All of those passengers are now safely off the plane. There were no injuries to anyone on that plane.
But, obviously, you see all of those emergency vehicles responding to it.
COHEN: They were trying to figure out what exactly went wrong here.
BALDWIN: Yes. And it really puts into perspective that massive jet, right, along with those smaller regional planes. You would definitely, as you mentioned before, feel the thud if you're on -- if you're one of those 18 passengers on that smaller plane.
Quickly, in terms of those passengers, they're all A-OK?
O'LEARY: They're all A-OK. They're all off the plane, 18 passengers, three crew members all off the plane at this point now.
BALDWIN: OK. Lizzie O'Leary, thank you.
Bluegrass legend Doc Watson has died. He was known for his talent on the guitar, including techniques like flat picking, finger style. Country superstar Ricky Skaggs joining me next to talk about Doc's legacy.
BALDWIN: OK, got to listen now to a little more Doc Watson. Folks, we have lost a gem.
BALDWIN: Doc Watson passed away overnight in his native North Carolina, he died soon after having colon surgery. He was 89 years of age. And joining me now from Nashville, needs no introduction, Ricky Skaggs.
Ricky Skaggs, it is a pleasure to have you on. Unfortunately, under the circumstances here, welcome. I know certainly you knew Doc Watson. Tell me, you know, what was his gift to American music and musicians such as yourself?
RICKY SKAGGS, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Well, Doc made it look so easy. But it wasn't. But he made it look easy and everybody thought they could do what Doc did.
And so they all tried, at least. But the thing that Doc Watson did I think, his legacy, is he took an acoustic guitar that was for many, many years a rhythm instrument in old-time music, country music, was basically just a rhythm instrument. And he made a lead instrument out of it to play solos. He was playing skittle tunes on the guitar.
And so his, what's called cross picking or flat picking, his style of playing is what inspired people like Clarence White, which inspired people like Tony Rice, which Tony Rice then inspired people like Brian Sutnick (ph), Cody Kilby and hundreds of other great acoustic guitar players today. But it all comes back to Doc and what he did with his style of guitar playing. (Inaudible) made everybody love it.
BALDWIN: We're looking at pictures of his right hand with that pick on his thumb, finger picking. For people who don't play the guitar, my guitar teacher calls them my finger brains in my right hand. But it's really those fingers flying along instead of just strumming along to just sort of further explain your point.
And talk about authentic, I mean, from what I understand, Ricky, his first musical instrument was a banjo his dad actually made with the hide of a dead cat. That was something I didn't know until today. I mean, he really -- he lived it, didn't he? This music?
SKAGGS: He did.
BALDWIN: He did. Can you extrapolate?
SKAGGS: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said listen to this. I'm so sorry, I didn't hear you real well,. Thought we were going to hear more Doc.
No, a lot of people don't know what a great banjo player Doc was, and I don't mean Earl Scruggs-style banjo, with, you know, three fingers. Doc played the old style mountain claw hammer-style banjo, drop thumb style. And he had a -- he had a sound and had a lick that I have never heard before. I've tried to learn it so many times.
I've sat in front of him. I said, Doc, play that lick for me, just play it slow so I can watch what you're doing. And he would do it and I just never was able to get it. But in the last about 10-12 years, you couldn't get Doc to play the claw hammer banjo on stage. He said, "Aw, Son, I don't -- I just don't play the banjo any more. " And I said, "Doc, you play better than anybody, you know."
BALDWIN: And he did this blind. He did this blind. Quickly, did he ever talk to you about his blindness (inaudible)?
SKAGGS: Do you know, Brooke, he wired his own house.
SKAGGS: He wired his own house in Deep Gap, North Carolina. When he built that house for he and RosaLee, his wife, lived in for all these years, he wired his house. And the inspector came out and said it was perfect. And he was totally blind.
BALDWIN: And if a man can wire his own house, that explains his finger brains and flat picking. And, Ricky Skaggs, I am impressed. I am impressed, and I thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate it, sir. Thank you.
SKAGGS: Well, you're welcome. When I heard his passing, I saw a rainbow in the air. So I think the Lord was really ready to see Doc.
BALDWIN: Aww. Ricky, thank you.
Coming up here, a Texas law firm goes broke. A client has ties to Charles Manson and we may be getting some new clues about this convicted serial killer. We're on the case.
BALDWIN: A Texas law firm going belly up may lead to clues to unsolved crimes linked to Charles Manson's cult. Manson, denied parole just last month as he served time for nine murder convictions, one of his followers here -- his name is Charles Watson, a man who reportedly killed under Manson's orders, was defended by Bill Boyd (ph), an attorney in Texas.
Now Boyd's (ph) firm has now going bankrupt, making available all these tapes of conversations between Watson and Boyd (ph) back from 1969. And this bankruptcy judge in Texas just ruled the tapes should go now to Los Angeles police.
(Inaudible). Sunny Hostin is on the case with us as always.
And so, question number one would be these recordings between this client and lawyer, is that not considered privileged information? Why is that OK now to go to police?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's the very question I have because of course, conversations, Brooke, that an attorney has with his or her client are generally considered privileged. But a client can waive that privilege.
So in researching this story, guess what I found? I found the actual signed waiver that he signed, yes, Charles Denton Watson (ph) apparently signed this in September of 1976 and waived his right to these conversations.
And apparently, Brooke, he waived his rights to these conversations and these tapes were sort of his way of paying Boyd (ph) his legal fees of over $40,000 at the time, which is pretty significant at that time.
And the tapes were used by his co-author of his book, which was also published. The book was called "Will You Die for Me? The Man Who Killed for Charles Manson Tells His Own Story."
And so while we don't know a lot about the tapes, no one else has heard them. Certainly the LAPD will have those tapes, my understanding is, in 14 days.
BALDWIN: So if these tapes, though, are something like 43 years old, what can that do to, I don't know, help the case?
HOSTIN: Well, the detectives that are going to be looking at them believe that he may have discussed some unsolved murders. And that's been the rumor for quite some time, that Charles Manson's followers did participate in other murders. And we don't have a lot of information about those murders.
Now 43 years ago is a long time, but look at Etan Patz, the cold case that was just recently solved. So sometimes when you get additional information, even 40, 50 years later, that can help solve crimes. So this is a significant, significant break in this story, Brooke. BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin, "On the Case," Sunny, thank you so much.
Next, what is the proper protocol for welcoming a queen? In Elizabeth -- Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne, she has seen the good, she has seen the bad and the, I can't believe it, but handled it all with such grace and style. We have the pictures and we have Richard Quest joining me live from London.
BALDWIN: This is truly stunning, this story of heroism surfacing out of Afghanistan today. I want to show you a picture here. And on this picture, you're going to see this Marine. There's a Marine on the gurney, has a live rocket-propelled grenade embedded in his leg.
This is a ticking time bomb, basically, in his body here, and anyone willing to give him medical help faces the same risk. This picture was taken last January, but we're just now learning about this incredible story today.
Last hour I spoke with the man, who is on the right side of your screen, one of the brave medics. He's a nurse, naval nurse, brave enough to risk his own life to attend to this wounded Marine. I want you to listen name. His name is Lieutenant Commander James Gennari. He describes what was going through his mind as he approached this ticking time bomb.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JAMES GENNARI, U.S. NAVY NURSE CORPS: When I first came out there to him, he asked me why everybody was away from him. And I said because you have an RPG in your leg. I held his hand and I obviously realized that he was in a lot of danger and I said, I promise you, I will not leave you until that thing is out of your leg.
And then we started to talk a little bit and I gave him some pain medication, waiting for the explosive ordnance disposal guy to come out.
BALDWIN: So just going back to something you said, so this gentleman had no idea he even had a live grenade in his leg? You broke the news to him?
GENNARI: Well, I think he realized it. He was probably in and out of --
GENNARI: -- awareness. I won't say consciousness, but maybe in and out of awareness just because of the shock. But when I told him that, he lifted his head and looked at his leg and muttered a few things not for TV. And then he and I started talking about other things and I gave him some pain medication.
BALDWIN: Before you get him to this position, where we see you and someone else working on him across this gurney, I know that you all were on this MEDEVAC helicopter. I imagine it wasn't the smoothest ride in the world, keeping in mind, this is a live grenade. How long did that flight itself take? And how long did it really feel like?
GENNARI: Well, actually to clarify that, I was not part of the crew to pick him up.
BALDWIN: You were on the grounds afterwards?
GENNARI: Right. He came to our shock trauma platoon, and that's when I met him. But after we took the grenade out, I did fly with him back to a theatre hospital.
BALDWIN: Got it. So I know that the flight itself was 11 minutes and I'm sure it felt, for folks who were on that flight, much longer than that.
Explain to me what you had to do to get this live grenade out of this lance corporal's leg?
GENNARI: Well, there's a pretty common procedure. First, I'm an E.R. ICU nurse. And a fairly common procedure is what's called conscious sedation, where you give just somebody just enough narcotic and another medication called Versed to allow them to maintain their own airway and breathe, but you make them semiconscious.
So I was performing conscious sedation to knock him out, but so he could still breathe on his own and the explosive ordinance technician then had to physically pull this thing out of his leg.
BALDWIN: Now was this easy to pull out? Or is this something you had to, forgive me, are you yanking this out of his leg? I don't know the medical term for that.
GENNARI: It took the EOD tech three pulls. And he pulled it about halfway. And then we had to readjust and, you know, pulled it out, two more tugs.
BALDWIN: So as you're watching him tug two times, three times -- sir, I don't know if you have children. I mean, are you thinking of your life flashing before your eyes? What goes through your mind in those split seconds?
GENNARI: Well, OK, well, the truth of it is, is that I said a prayer and I thanked God for everything that I had and I left it alone. I left whether or not the grenade was going to blow up, I left it to Him and I just worried about keeping the lance corporal's airway open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: How about that? And just a quick little note for you, Marine Lance Corporal Perez is back stateside. He was able to keep his legs and is now undergoing physical therapy.
We are minutes away from "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer, coming up at the top of the hour as always. Wolf joins me now with a preview. And, Wolf, I just -- this is the first time I've seen you since I saw you with that testy exchange with Donald Trump. We were all glued to the TV. Have you talked to him since?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: No. I have not spoken with him, but I'll be happy to speak with him anytime. I've been speaking with him for 20 years-plus. He's been on my show many times. He obviously is a very intelligent guy, a very talented guy.
And this particular issue, I think he's wrong, obviously, on whether or not the State of Hawaii has authenticated the birth certificate, the live birth certificate that they did about a year ago April of 2011 and even earlier the then-Republican governor of Hawaii authenticated it.
Now the Democratic governor has officials in the department there, responsible for birth certificates, says it's the real deal, not a forgery, not a fake or anything like that. So I'm convinced as is Mitt Romney, as is Karl Rove, as are all the other presidential candidates that the President of the United States was, in fact, born in Honolulu.
He's not yet convinced, Donald Trump. I suspect at some point down the road he will be.
BALDWIN: OK. Wolf, who are you talking to today?
BLITZER: I'm talking to Ambassador Susan Rice, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations about Syria. She's got a lot on her plate, obviously, a lot going on. This situation is going from bad to worse.
As you know, the slaughter continues and here's the key question and we'll go in depth on this. Is the United States preparing a military option to end the slaughter once and for all? Is that happening? Is it not happening? Wil the U.S. do there what the U.S. and its NATO allies did in Libya?
Is the U.S. getting ready to do there what it did in Kosovo and Bosnia in the 1990s? Is the U.S. simply going to stay on the sidelines and not do much militarily? I remember going to Rwanda in 1998 with then-President Bill Clinton.
He says the biggest regret of his presidency was that he saw the reports coming in about hundreds of thousands of people being slaughtered in Rwanda and Burundi -- remember when the Hutus and the Tutsis were going after it, and he didn't do anything.
Susan Rice, by the way, lived through that period. She was working for President Clinton then as an assistant secretary of state. She was also on the National Security Council. So these are emotional issues, sensitive issues, but they're also practical issues in Syria, as well. We'll go through some of those options. That's coming up in the 5:00 pm Eastern hour.
BALDWIN: OK, Wolf, we'll see you in a matter of minutes in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thank you so much, sir, for that.
Meantime, a little later on I'm hopping a flight to London because we are very excited as we are looking forward to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. That's 60 years on the throne for Queen Elizabeth. And coming up, we'll talk about some moments, shall we call them awkward, as she came over to visit various presidents here in the United States. We'll go live to London to Richard Quest with that next.
BALDWIN: Having reigned for 60 years, Britain's Queen Elizabeth has pretty much seen it all, including Presidents Truman, early '50s all of the way through to President Obama. Just think about that for a moment, that's 12 presidents. When it comes to us Yanks we seem to have talent for throwing Her Highness for a loop.
Take you back 22 years, the Queen arrives on the tour to Washington, D.C., to this neighborhood, gets this big hug and a "Hey, how are you doing," from the late Alice Frazier. Frazier was later heard to say that the Queen needs a little loving.
Even Michelle Obama didn't exactly get the memo here that says you do not touch the Queen. In Britain, this was commented upon, certainly.
Richard Quest is live for us in London and what does Queen Elizabeth make of -- what does she make of us Yanks? And our warm fuzziness?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: All right. First of all, she has met every -- here's a bit of trivia for you, Brooke. She has met every U.S. president during her reign except one. Right at the end of this discussion with you, we'll reveal which one it is.
QUEST: -- work out which --
BALDWIN: I won't say.
QUEST: Oh! You are no fun to play with.
BALDWIN: Sorry, Richard. Keep going. Keep going (inaudible) trivia.
QUEST: You are right. Yes, Lyndon Johnson was the only president she hasn't met. As for the hugs, a lot was made here, particularly on that one in the early days where the large lady gave her a hug, and the Queen looked a bit startled, but she didn't mind. This is what people need to understand.
When Michelle Obama put her hand around her, the Queen wasn't at all fazed about that. It's just she's just not used to it. I remember very clearly that hug. I covered the story.
BALDWIN: You covered the HUGHES: .
QUEST: (Inaudible) again and again -- yes, I covered the hug. And the palace said, you know, this was just something that the Queen just wasn't used to, but she certainly wasn't offended or worried or -- no, actually, it takes a lot. This is a woman that went through the abdication. She went through the Diana crisis. She saw several of her children divorced and her sister. She ain't worried about a bit of a hug.
BALDWIN: The -- what did she call it? The annus horribilis. How do you -- ?
QUEST: Annus horribilis.
BALDWIN: Horribilis. That's what she called it.
QUEST: That was the year --
BALDWIN: The '90s.
QUEST: That was the year of the divorce and the annus horribilis was when Windsor Castle had burned and she then got a bad throat and she sounded very (inaudible).
BALDWIN: OK. Let me get to another "oh, my" moment, Richard Quest. Let me take you back to 1991. This is Bush I, welcomes the Queen to the White House, invites her to make remarks, but whoops!
Someone in the protocol office set the -- look at this -- sets the podium wrong, so all you see is the stripes on her hat. The microphone's totally covering her face, the folks back at the palace none too plused over this. Not to be outdone, by Bush II, committed a royal slip of the tongue, then made it worse by smirking at Her Highness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
George W. BUSH, FORMER President of the United States: -- with 10 U.S. presidents. You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 -- in 1976.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Seventeen, not so much. I mean, there were suggestions, Richard, of possible tension between the Bushes specifically and the Windsors. Maybe those miscues weren't mistakes. How were those incidents perceived where you are?
QUEST: The first one was the talking hat incident because somebody forgot to pull out the stand for her to sit -- to stand on and the palace were furious about that, because they don't like anything that makes the Queen look stupid. So the talking incident hat was considered to be quite serious. And they were annoyed about it many years ago.
The one you talk about, the second one, you missed the line where George Bush says, "She gave me a look only a mother could," and then he winked at her. Again, the palace don't really mind about that. The Queen is far too old, senior, experienced and seasoned to worry about that sort of thing, and by the way, just one thing for yourself, Brooke. Not Her Highness, please.
BALDWIN: Her Majesty. Her Majesty.
QUEST: Thank you!
BALDWIN: There you go.
QUEST: We won't let you in tomorrow when you get here. We won't let you in if you carry on like that.
BALDWIN: Her Majesty, The Queen Elizabeth II.
Richard Quest, I'll see you in London. Thank you so much (inaudible) excited.
QUEST: Have a safe flight.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Quickly, (inaudible) coming up this weekend, bringing you live coverage starting Sunday at 11 o'clock Eastern. Then we're back on Tuesday as well.
Thanks so much. I'm Brooke Baldwin. I'll see you from London.
Meantime, Wolf Blitzer, "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now.
BLITZER: Safe travels. We'll be watching, Brooke, thank you.