Return to Transcripts main page

American Morning

Gates and Clinton Discuss Obama's Afghanistan Strategy; Letterman Apologized to Wife and Female Staffers; General David Petraeus Treated for Early Stage Prostate Cancer; Anti-War Groups Target Obama on Afghanistan strategy; Leno Reveals John's Secret; Full Disclosure Required; Violence at Work; Freemasons in Congress; H1N1: Fact or Fiction; Scanning Your Poker Face

Aired October 06, 2009 - 06:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome. Coming up on a minute before 6:00 here in New York on this Tuesday, October 6th.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Do we get paid more for going on our own? Do we?

CHETRY: I hope so. We'll stay on a minute later if that's the case.

ROBERTS: How much is a minute of your life for? Really.

CHETRY: Thanks for being with us today. I'm Kiran Chetry.

ROBERTS: Good morning to you, I'm John Roberts. Here are the big stories that we'll be covering for you this morning in the next 15 minutes.

President Obama under growing pressure as he weighs America's next move in Afghanistan. This morning hear the advice that the president is really getting from his inner circle. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a rare joint interview with our Christiane Amanpour. You'll only see it here on CNN.

CHETRY: David Letterman taking aim at himself as he returned to the stage for the first time since revealing that he had sex with female staffers. It was part comedy but also part crisis management.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": It's fall here in New York City and I spent the whole weekend raking my hate mail. And it's cold, too. It's, I mean, chilly outside my house, chilly inside my house. I got into the car this morning and the navigation lady wasn't speaking to me.


CHETRY: Letterman also had a message for his wife and the women on his staff. Alina Cho is going to be joining us with all the details. ROBERTS: And America's top military commander in the Middle East treated for early stage prostate cancer. General David Petraeus has undergone successful radiation treatment. We'll have the unfolding details about his condition just ahead.

CHETRY: First, though, this morning, the fight for Afghanistan and the potential tipping point in a need for a plan more urgent than ever. Today for the first time in weeks, the president will bring in congressional leaders of both parties to talk strategy. One side wants more troops. The other side wants to scale back.

And in a rare joint interview, we're hearing from two of the president's most important advisers, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. They spoke exclusively to our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour about the war in Afghanistan, and Christiane joins us live from Washington today.

And, Christiane, what were the big takeaways from the conversation with the two cabinet leaders?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, clearly they were not going to discuss the details of the strategy and the assessment that's going on in the White House. But what they did say and certainly what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said when pressed was that the Taliban does have the momentum right now in Afghanistan. This because, he said, several years in which the U.S. and U.S. allies did not have enough troops in Afghanistan. And two, the question there seems to be a debate in Washington as to whether al Qaeda could actually come back if the Taliban falls. This is what Secretary Gates had to say about that.


ROBERT GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There's no question in my mind that if the Taliban took large -- took control of significant portions of Afghanistan that that would be added space for al Qaeda to strengthen itself and more recruitment, more fund-raising. But what's more important than that in my view is the message that it sends that empowers al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda in many respects is an ideology. And the motion that they have come back from this defeat, come back from 2002 to challenge not only the United States but NATO, 42 nations and so on, is a hugely empowering message should they be successful.


AMANPOUR: Both Secretaries Clinton and Gates said that even though an assessment -- a reassessment is going on right now, none of the actual imperatives that were laid out by President Obama in March with his big Afghanistan-Pakistan speech have changed, in that al Qaeda is still dangerous, the mission is still to protect and empower the Afghan civilians, to put up the Afghan security forces and to bring a measure of economic hope and good governance to Afghanistan. So they said none of that has changed and they said that they are not in this for the short haul particularly to reassure allies such as Pakistan that they're not about to cut and run.

ROBERTS: Christiane, Iran also a big topic of conversation last night. What did the secretaries have to say about the way forward between the United States and Tehran?

AMANPOUR: Well, they were quite cautious but somewhat optimistic on that. Interestingly, we asked what exactly had been achieved in Geneva.

Secretary of State Clinton said that what have been achieved was the agreement to inspect the Qom facility which had been previously undisclosed. The agreement in principle to ship out low-enriched uranium for further enrichment and then bringing back to Iran.

When pressed on that because there seems to be some potential difference of opinion between Iran and the U.S. on whether they'll actually going to send out that low enriched uranium Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates would have to see, but also drawing some kind of measure of hope that there will be more talks but again saying we just have to wait and see how it unfolds and take our -- take our next moves from there.

CHETRY: Well, it certainly is a fascinating interview. A lot of access and really a lot of interesting perspective from two of the biggest decision makers.

Christiane, thanks for joining us getting up early with us this morning. And as we know, Christiane's interview is going to be making headlines certainly.

And you can catch all of it on a special edition of "AMANPOUR." It's going to be airing at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, noon Pacific, right here on CNN.

ROBERTS: More late-night drama from David Letterman. Letterman publicly apologized to his wife and staff in his first show back after an extortion plot forced him to reveal last week that he had sex with female staff members. Letterman says he is committed to repairing his marriage and acknowledged that that will be a difficult task.

Alina Cho following developments for us now. And quite a mea culpa last night.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He continued that mea culpa. Good morning, guys.

You know at the time, Letterman said he was done talking about it. That was last Thursday. But last night on his show, Letterman said, well, it seems like people want to talk about it some more. So that's exactly what he did.

He apologized to his wife, his staff and above all he made jokes about his favorite target. Himself. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHO (voice-over): He's become the butt of the late-night laughs over the past few days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was reported that the blackmailer Joe Halderman was threatening to reveal embarrassing details of Letterman's personal life. For example, after sex, he would always say stay tuned for Craig Ferguson.

CHO: If you can't beat him, well...

LETTERMAN: Did your weekend just fly by? I'll be honest with you, folks, right now I would give anything to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

CHO: Fans at Monday night's taping said Letterman handled the situation like a pro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very intimate. Very energized. It was a lot of fun, and I think people really generally support him.

CHO: It did get serious for a few minutes when Letterman, a very private person, again used his very public forum speaking directly to his staff and then his wife, Regina Lasko.

LETTERMAN: She has been horribly hurt by my behavior. And when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it. And at that point there is only two things that can happen. Either you're going to make some progress and get it fixed or you're going to fall short and perhaps not get it fixed.

CHO: Letterman also stressed those sexual relationships are over.

LETTERMAN: I would just like to set the records straight. No, I'm not having sex with these women. Those episodes are in the past.

CHO: Meanwhile, the 27-year CBS veteran accused of demanding $2 million from Letterman to keep quiet about his sexual past is firing back. Joe Halderman's lawyer says Letterman is a master at manipulation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wanted to get out ahead of the story and that's what he did.


CHO: Halderman has pleaded not guilty to attempted grand larceny. He's been suspended from his job at CBS News and if convicted he could face up to 15 years in prison. Now for his part, Letterman acknowledged last night, ladies and gentlemen, this is only phase one of the scandal. Phase two, next week I go on Oprah and sob.

ROBERTS: You know, the way that he is handling this is almost brilliant in terms of the strategy.

CHO: It is. And even his staff members maintain, you know, this is a good man who made mistakes but he's handling it like a pro. I mean, this is what you call comic relief.

He also joked, you know, I could be the first talk show host ever impeached which brings up a big question. What's his future at CBS? He has a contract that runs through 2010. He makes between $70 million to $100 million for CBS each year. So this is not a small thing. They'll be looking at it very, very closely.

CHETRY: Yes. And the other interesting thing is he has to balance, as he said, his wife horribly hurt yet at the same time he's making comedy out of it. So it's -- it's a balancing act.

CHO: It's a delicate balancing act.

ROBERTS: And Halderman's attorney keeps insisting that he's not guilty, that, you know, his side of the story is certainly been different but he hasn't really told his side of the story.

CHO: That's right. He says all of that will come out in the courtroom.

ROBERTS: We'll see. Alina, thanks so much.

CHETRY: Also new this morning at eight minutes after the hour, we're following a developing story that broke overnight. CNN confirming that General David Petraeus is being treated or has been treated for early stage prostate cancer.

Now, according to his office, the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East was diagnosed with the prostate cancer back in February. General Petraeus then underwent two months of radiation treatment. His spokesman says that the general decided not to make the information public until now because he and his family considered the situation a private health matter and that his work schedule was not affected. President Obama and several other administration officials were aware of the general's condition.

ROBERTS: North Korea is reportedly in the final stage of restoring its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon. A South Korean news agency cites intelligence sources saying it's close to going back online. Back in April, Kim Jong-il promised to restart the country's nuclear program after the United Nations condemned its long-range rocket launch. The report comes amid signs Pyongyang is opening -- is open at least to returning to Six-party disarmament talks that wants direct negotiations with the United States first.

CHETRY: And a big night for the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in his first game against the Green Bay Packers, the team he led for 16 seasons.

Favre threw three touchdown passes in a 30-23 win. Then he set yet another record in the process becoming the only quarterback to beat all 32 NFL teams. Favre's Vikings -- it sounds so weird -- Favre's Vikings undefeated 4-0. He just -- he's in purple but he looks like he should still be in, you know, white and yellow with the big cheese hat on.

ROBERTS: But here's the thing for everybody who's so critical of him retiring and unretiring then retiring again and no unretiring, I mean, he's doing great. 4-0.

CHETRY: He showed it.

ROBERTS: You can't argue with that, can you?

CHETRY: Right.


This is a big week for the Obama administration as it tries to forge a new way forward in Afghanistan amid growing sentiment against the war. Protests expected outside the White House this week. We'll run it all down for you coming up.

Ten minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: We're coming up now at 13 minutes after the hour. We're back with the Most News in the Morning.

War strategy in Afghanistan will be up for discussion today when President Obama meets with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House. And while the president is being pressured to come up with a plan, tension is building outside the White House where anti-war protesters that once supported President Obama are now having second thoughts the whole thing.

Jim Acosta is live for us in Washington. And, Jim, no question that sentiment is rapidly turning against the war in Afghanistan and unless some progress is made and made soon, I mean, the sentiment of the American people could go dramatically in the other direction.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. If he's going own Afghanistan, he has to own the protests at home as well. And anti-war Democratic voters made Barack Obama their candidate in large part based on his position on Iraq. Now those same voters are coming to grips with what President Obama may be about to do in Afghanistan.


ACOSTA (voice-over): This was no tea party.


ACOSTA: The swarms of noisy protesters outside the White House were giving President Obama an earful on the war in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does that look very different from the Bush regime?

ACOSTA: Are you disappointed?


ACOSTA: Protesters Blaine Young (ph) and his wife were once enthusiastic Obama voters who flew all the way from Denver for the inauguration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he escalates the war, I'll be deeply disappointed.

ACOSTA: For years, anti-war demonstrators would pull these moves on the previous man in the Oval Office. Once cheered for his opposition to the war in Iraq, Mr. Obama is finding his own catch phrases turn against him with signs saying, "yes, we can get out of Afghanistan."

MADEA BENJAMIN, CODE PINK: We had great hopes and we feel that those hopes have been dashed.

ACOSTA: But anti-war movement veteran Madea Benjamin concedes then-candidate Obama's position on Afghanistan was clear.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Make no mistake, we're confronting an urgent crisis in Afghanistan and we have to act. That's why I sent at least two or three additional brigades to Afghanistan.

ACOSTA: But didn't he talk about it as being the good war during the campaign?

BENJAMIN: You know, some of us thought maybe - maybe that's what he felt he had to do to get himself elected, but we thought he was a level-headed level-headed person.

ACOSTA: These days they're pinning their hopes on sympathetic senators.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: I would not commit to more combat troops at this time. There's a lot of other things that need to be done to show resolve. What we need a surge of is Afghan troops.

CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTI-WAR PROTESTER: We will actively and courageously protest against wars.

ACOSTA: Now Cindy Sheehan, the controversial mother of a fallen soldier who made a name for herself camping out in front of President Bush's home in Crawford, Texas, is, on Mr. Obama's doorstep.

What is the president supposed to do? I mean, bring...

SHEEHAN: He's supposed to...

ACOSTA: ... the troops home, end that war?

SHEEHAN: He's supposed to - that's what we demanded when Bush was president. That's what we're demanding now Obama's president.

ACOSTA: The White House response? No way.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't think we have the option to leave. I think that's - that's quite clear.


ACOSTA: And before it was all over, Cindy Sheehan and 60 other protesters were arrested. Those anti-war demonstrators, before all of that happened, were well aware of the debate going on inside the White House right now over what to do in Afghanistan, which is why many of them this morning are praising Vice President Biden, who has suggested a smaller American footprint in Afghanistan - John.

ROBERTS: No question, there's a lot of heat and a lot of passion on both sides of this issue. Jim Acosta for us this morning. Jim, thanks so much.

And, you know, so the president's got this - he's in this really difficult position, that - you know, can you pull out of Afghanistan and not have it go back into the hands of the Taliban and then become a haven for al Qaeda? General McChrystal has said that that could happen. And then of course you get Secretary Gates and Jim Jones, the National Security Adviser saying, well McChrystal ought to keep his counsel private...

CHETRY: Right....

ROBERTS: ... until we make this decision.

CHETRY: I mean, yes, even within the walls of the administration, there are very different opinions about what the best way forward is, and, you know, no one knows the answer. If it was an easy decision, they would have made it already.

ROBERTS: And when - when you look at history, there really is no guide because every outside power that has tried to bring stability and peace to Afghanistan - I mean, in varying different forms, and the Soviet form wasn't particularly good - has failed to do it...

CHETRY: Right.

ROBERTS: ... and has had to eventually leave, so, you know, where do you go from here?

CHETRY: Exactly. Well, we're going to talk more about that throughout the morning, and also, the Fed passing some new rules for bloggers and also for celebrities that promote products. They're saying they have to provide full disclosure or pay up. Christine Romans is "Minding Your Business." She's going to join us with details.

It's 17 minutes past the hour

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: Twenty minutes after the hour. Of course, we here on AMERICAN MORNING have on occasion been a favorite target of "The Daily Show." Jon Stewart likes to make fun of us. Well, we kicked it up a notch. Yesterday, the new "Jay Leno Show" had some fun with us.

CHETRY: Great. Apparently, we really deserved it. Let's check this one out.


JAY LENO, NBC HOST, "THE JAY LENO SHOW": Well, I saw something odd on CNN's "American Morning" news show with John Roberts. John - you know, I like John Roberts. I think he must have some kind of foot fetish or something. He kept talking about his co-anchor's shoes. Take a look at what I'm talking about.

ROBERTS: Now that nobody's seeing your feet, you're perfect (ph).

LENO: Now look...

ROBERTS: Really - let's take a shot of her feet. All that (INAUDIBLE).

LENO: Now, Liz - Liz, can we see his feet? Look at his feet. Look. You know what I'm saying? That's weird.


ROBERTS: Now, don't you want to know where I got those shoes from?

CHETRY: I love them. I have a couple ideas. The funny thing is, those were not my legs.


CHETRY: Nope. And those were not his - I mean, those were not his legs, obviously, but they weren't my legs either.

ROBERTS: It was fake. But it has brought us around to I think what could be sort of a daily feature here on AMERICAN MORNING, and that is what's under the desk?

CHETRY: For example...

ROBERTS: We had shoes the other day. What's under the desk today? Can we have a look?

CHETRY: Let's - let's check. Ah-hah!

ROMANS: I know.

ROBERTS: It's Christine Romans wearing jeans.

CHETRY: Christine Romans got on some jeans today. ROMANS: I'm wearing jeans.

CHETRY: I laugh because, you know, it's 6:00 in the morning. It's hard to be fully dressed. John manages it. For...

ROMANS: Well! Kiran!

CHETRY: What I'm saying is, the earrings come on maybe at 6:20. Christine changes to a skirt at around 7:05.

ROMANS: That's true, actually.

CHETRY: It's early.

ROMANS: Somewhere in the 7:00 hour.

CHETRY: You're the only one that manages to do it all and be put together at 5:59.

ROBERTS: So there you are - so, you know, we're - we're adding features daily to AMERICAN MORNING. We've got "Roman's Numeral" that a lot of people are following. Now we'll have "What's under the Desk."

CHETRY: A look under the desk. But meanwhile - OK, so, yes, we know you have on jeans. How about the new rules...


CHETRY: This is very interesting because there was a big debate over the bloggers. Can they stay anonymous? Can you write things about people...

ROMANS: You've got millions of bloggers who are out there, creating buzz and word of mouth about products and things and trends and big companies sometimes try to, you know, jump onto that bandwagon. And now the FTC is coming down and saying if you're a blogger that takes some of the free stuff, you can't do that. You have to disclose that you've taken, you know, a free computer or financial stuff - you have to disclose gifts and payments for the reviews you give. Apparently 45 percent of these bloggers are pretty routinely reviewing products.

And here's another interesting thing that the FTC came up with. You know how you can see those weight loss ads where there's like the kind of a pudgy guy and then it says, you know, six months later he's this big, buff, you know...

CHETRY: Right. But then it says in small letters, "Results not typical."

ROMANS: Yes. They can't do that anymore. They can't hide behind that little "Results not typical" anymore. Now that's something that was sort of a safe harbor for advertisers for years, and the FTC is saying - the Federal Trade Commission - saying, nope, they're not going to be able to do that anymore. The fines are up to $11,000.

So now you're having this big blurring of - of advertising and editorial, and everything's online and there's all this stuff, and the FTC is trying to make sure that consumers aren't tricked into thinking that something is - is sort of news or a legitimate review when in fact somebody is taking stuff for it. So, you know, we can't...

CHETRY: So what do they have to do instead with the ads, or the person bulking up?

ROMANS: They cannot say "Results not typical." And if it's not a typical result, then they can't use that ad anymore. They have to - they have to show things - make more - I mean, I don't know anybody who really looks at some of those ads and thinks that that pudgy guy really turned into that, you know, rock hard body, but, I don't know. Some people do.

ROBERTS: Truth in advertising - a novel concept, isn't it?

ROMANS: Truth in advertising.

ROBERTS: All right. So we already had our feature, "What's Under the Desk". What about the "Roman's Numeral"?

ROMANS: OK. The "Roman's Numeral" is 29 - oh, sorry, 27.9.

CHETRY: You should know your "Roman's Numeral" when you're Romans.

ROMANS: Twenty-seven point million. That's the number. And this really surprised me.

CHETRY: How much money is made in online purchases per month?

ROMANS: It's in the billions, I would bet. It's the number of internet users who have a blog. Can you imagine? Twenty-seven - almost 28 million people are blogging? It's true. And...

ROBERTS: How do you break through the noise?

ROMANS: And almost half of those are accepting gifts or payments for reviews.

ROBERTS: Incredible.

ROMANS: Interesting, right?

ROBERTS: Unbelievable.

CHETRY: It is interesting.

ROMANS: So, you know, don't believe everything you - you hear - or me.

ROBERTS: Christine Romans, "Minding Your Business" this morning.

CHETRY: No, everything you hear (ph), you can believe.

ROBERTS: Christine Romans, "Minding Your Business" this morning. And we should point out that while those were not Kiran's legs, those were my feet.

CHETRY: Can I borrow your shoes?

ROBERTS: Do you like the way they line up like that? It's great.

So, the Bernie Madoff scandal takes another turn. We find out that the SCC dropped the ball in the whole investigation. So who were those folks that dropped the ball? Our Allan Chernoff with our latest installment on the ongoing saga of Bernie Madoff, coming up. Twenty- five 25 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. And now, another chapter in the ongoing tale of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Felonious." Even by Wall Street standards, what Bernie Madoff pulled off was huge, until it came crashing down. At its core, the $50 billion pyramid scheme was pretty simple.

So who are the people from the Securities and Exchange Commission who missed the warning signals and hunches and dropped the ball? Where are they now?

Our Allan Chernoff has been investigating. Anyone suffering any repercussions thus far?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Barely anyone has suffered repercussions, as you can believe and...

ROBERTS: There's actually some slings and arrows coming their way, though.

CHERNOFF: Oh boy, you better believe it. Well, some of those directly involved in examining Bernie Madoff are still at the SEC, where the job is to protect investors, while others have moved on to much more lucrative work.


CHERNOFF (voice-over): The SEC failure to find the Bernard Madoff fraud is a black eye that just won't heal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How the heck did this happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Massive, complete, total bureaucrat incompetence.

CHERNOFF: Yet while the commission gets skewered, most have staffers who investigated Madoff and his supervisors have suffered few consequences. Many are enjoying successful careers. Richard Walker led the SEC's New York office when it missed its first good chance to catch Madoff in the early '90s. Today walker is General Counsel of Deutsche Bank. Among those cited in the SEC Inspector General's report on the failure is one of Walker's former examiners. Demetrios (ph) Vasilakis. He now works for New York hedge fund Atticus Capital as Chief Compliance Officer.

The former SEC official who met with Madoff whistle-blower, Harry Markopolos, but failed to act, grant ward (ph), is now Senior Counsel with MetLife. Markopolos told Congress he was shocked by ward's financial illiteracy.

HARRY MARKOPOLOS, SENIOR COUNSEL, METLIFE: If you pay peanuts, then you shouldn't wonder why you end up with monkeys.

CHERNOFF: Then there's the former SEC investigator who married Bernard Madoff's niece. Eric Swanson is now General Counsel of top- rating firm, DAX Exchange. SEC Inspector General David Kotz found Swanson's romantic relationship did not affect the investigations, but his actions created the appearance of a potential conflict of interest, one of many failings the Inspector General uncovered.

DAVID KOTZ, SEC INSPECTOR GENERAL: The SEC never conducted a competent and thorough examination or investigation of Madoff for operating a Ponzi scheme.

CHERNOFF: And the SEC director who OK'd the closing of a Madoff investigation last year. Mark Stonefeld (ph), is now a partner with law firm Gibson, Dawn and Crutcher. Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the SEC during some of the failed Madoff investigations is with the private equity investment firm Carlisle Group.

ARTHUR LEVITT, FORMER SEC CHAIRMAN: It never occurred to me or anyone on my staff that Madoff was anything except a market maker.

CHERNOFF: At least six SEC staffers who were directly involved in examining Madoff's books at his office remain at the commission, including Simona Suh.


CHERNOFF: Her supervisor's evaluation: "Simona's ability to understand and analyze the complex issue of the Madoff examination is particularly impressive."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many have been fired because of this gross incompetence?

DAVID SEC INSPECTOR GENERAL: Well, I don't believe anybody has been fired.


CHERNOFF: Aside from Arthur Levitt, former and current SEC regulators declined comment for the story. Only two high profile SEC officials resigned after the Madoff scandal broke. Lori Richards, the former head of the office of compliance, inspections and examinations, and the former SEC enforcement chief, Linda Thompson. Both were grilled before Congress in January. Ms. Thompson has landed nicely. She's now a partner at law firm, Davis Polk and work well.

ROBERTS: What about these other folks? Do we expect anything will happen to them?

CHERNOFF: No, not at all. No. Business goes on. And the SEC, we should say, is certainly still at it. They're trying to do their job. They found allegedly dozens of Ponzi schemes since the Madoff scandal. But they literally are just little peanuts, I mean, compared to the elephant of the scandal, the Madoff scandal.

ROBERTS: Well, it's good view to bring them to our attention this morning.

Allan Chernoff, thanks so much.


ROBERTS: Half past the hour now. And checking our top stories. Today, the Obama administration will unveil plans to reform the government's immigration detention system. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is proposing that illegal immigrants awaiting deportation be confined according to the danger in flight risk that they posed. Under the plan, former hotels and nursing homes would be converted and used to hold immigrants who are not criminals or considered violent.

CHETRY: Well, the days of dirt-cheap airfares may be over. The Web site Travelocity found that ticket prices appear to be stabilizing. Discounts are no longer as deep as they were over the summer. One reason for the rise, airlines are now flying fewer and smaller planes, and they say they have to charge more to makeup for empty seats.

ROBERTS: And talk about a natural high. A new study out of Spain says the Mediterranean may actually prevent depression due to what researchers are calling a synergistic combination of good fats from olive oil and nuts, antioxidants from fruits and even B vitamins from my favorite part of the diet, a glass of red wine. The diet is already thought to protect against heart disease and cancer.

It just keeps getting better and better.

CHETRY: It does.

All right. In just a few hours, the Yale lab technician arrested in the murder of grand student Annie Le is due back in court. Police say that Raymond Clark strangled Le, then tried to hide her body behind a wall in a research lab. This chilling death attributed to, quote, "workplace violence."

This morning as part of our special series "When Co-workers Kill," we're looking at what you can do to protect yourself.

And joining us now is Dr. Jeff Gardere. A clinical psychologist who's taught seminars on workplace violence.

And, you know, we heard about this, and we think, wow, an isolated case. 500 deaths in 2008 attributed to workplace violence, but also 2 million Americans are victims of some sort of violence, not murdered, thank goodness, but some sort of violence against them in the workplace. That seems like a large number.

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, the number may be even larger because a lot of people just don't report these things because as with domestic violence, it's not just about the physical abuse or physical altercations, but also emotional altercations. People who have bullies at the workplace. People who abuse others as far as being obsessive about who they may be or jealousy, so this is something that is a major, major problem in this country.

ROBERTS: You know, the perception is that people just snap. That they suddenly one day just can't take it anymore. And maybe these are the highly publicized cases. Somebody who is a disgruntled employee, who was fired, brings a gun back to the workplace, shoots five or ten people or whatever. But in most cases, there is a slow build up, and there were identifiable signs that if you're looking for, you might be able to see.

GARDERE: Oh, sure. Sure.

ROBERTS: What is it that causes people to commit violence against others in the workplace?

GARDERE: Well, one of the things that we know, researchers have looked at the situation, and in 82 percent of the cases, they found out, well, this is something that was building slowly. There were signs that were out there that these people at some point we're going to go off. So they didn't just all of a sudden snap.

CHETRY: Right.

GARDERE: It has been that slow build-up. And what we find is that these people have a lot of anger at the workplace. They often feel that they are being criticized by others. They isolate themselves and don't have relationships with others, and sometimes they have untreated mental health, chemical abuse issues that just don't come to the attention of the employers. So they continue to act out, but people are afraid to talk about it at the workplace.

CHETRY: Right.

GARDERE: They don't want to get someone in trouble, or the company is afraid of liability issues. But instead what they should be doing is empowering individuals at the workplace by having workshops on workplace violence.

CHETRY: Great. And that's the other question, though, in terms of that type of thing. A lot of the advice is trust your gut if it seems like this person is somebody that you're afraid of, or that, you know, you're getting a bad vibe from. Speak up and say something. But how much onus is on the managers and company in general to sort of support people who say, listen, "I'm scared of someone, or I'm very disturbed by what's going on."

GARDERE: Sure. Sure.

CHETRY: I mean, oftentimes, people don't want to look like complainers, and they certainly don't want to risk losing their job in a recession.

GARDERE: Well, what we're finding out in a lot of these companies, only 30 percent of them have workshops on workplace violence. I think what we need to do here is, look, -- it's not just the responsibility of the employers, but also of your fellow employees. People need to get involved.

This is that situation of where it takes a village, where everyone needs to stand up and say we're going to have zero tolerance at the job. And you're right. You have to go with your gut, because at the end of the day, these people do have those signs that I've talked about, and we just really need to get them some help.

It's not that they're monsters. It's that they do have issues that are not addressed and they begin to act out, bleed out emotionally if you will at the workplace.

CHETRY: All right. Well, yes, a lot of signs. And in this situation, of course, obviously the signs were missed. A tragic -- a tragic accident.

GARDERE: And we're going to see more issues, especially with the recession. We know France Telecomm, for example, has had 24 suicides, and part of that reason, again, the economy there, but also the situation where people were not speaking up as far as folks having emotional issues.

CHETRY: Right.

GARDERE: We all have to get involved.

CHETRY: And they've actually tried to make some major changes at that company...

GARDERE: Oh, absolutely.

CHETRY: ... because of the high rate of suicide.

GARDERE: Yes. Yes.

CHETRY: Jeff Gardere, great to talk to you as always.

GARDERE: Always a pleasure.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Jeff.

GARDERE: Glad to see you, both.

CHETRY: And, still ahead, stay with us. At 7:25 Eastern Time, the second installment of our series "When Co-Workers Kill," our Carol Costello will show you how to protect yourself at work.

ROBERTS: So Dan Brown's new book, "The Lost Symbol," it's all about Washington, D.C. and the freemasons and the part they play. And are they holding secrets? And what about the pyramid, and the capstone and the lost word -- can you tell I read the book?

CHETRY: It's number two, right?


But, you know, there are some famous freemasons in American history. People like George Washington, for example. But who are the current freemasons in power under the dome?

We'll find out coming right up.

Thirty-seven minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Twenty minutes before the top of the hour. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

You know, the new bestselling thriller from "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown is set in the nation's capital and it's centered on the world's oldest and largest fraternity. Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" has renewed interest in the Freemasons. And as Elaine Quijano tells us, it's a secret society that's still well represented in the halls of Congress.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, for all the conspiracy theories about Freemasons, this much is true. They can still be found at the highest level of American government.


QUIJANO (voice-over): From the Capitol to the White House, Freemasons throughout history have freely roamed the halls of power in Washington. Nine of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons as were more than a dozen U.S. presidents, including George Washington, who famously laid the cornerstone of the Capitol building clad in his ceremonial Masonic apron.

These days, Masons can still be found in powerful government positions. Masonic historian Arturo Dehoyas --

ARTURO DEHOYAS, MASONIC HISTORIAN: We have a egalitarian ideas. We believe that people should rule themselves, that they should elect their own leaders, that they should be governed by constitutions, have separations of power.

QUIJANO: Senator Chuck Grassley is a Mason. So is Senator Jon Tester. But getting someone to chat about it can sometimes be tricky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing health care. QUIJANO: Senator Mike Enzi didn't break stride while explaining why he's part of the secretive society.

SENATOR MIKE ENZI (R), WYOMING: It's a brotherhood built on constructing good men.

QUIJANO: Yet behind these closed doors...

SEN. NICK RAHALL (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I became a Mason in my local lodge in Beckley, West Virginia.

QUIJANO: ...secrets revealed.

RAHALL: This was this 32nd Degree.

QUIJANO: Congressman Nick Rahall, a Mason for almost four decades, decoded Masonry's most prolific symbol.

RAHALL: You may see the compass and the square as symbols of Masonic training. I would live by the square. We are upright individuals.

QUIJANO: The congressman describes Masonry as a fraternity. He says his mentor and fellow Mason, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, nominated him for membership. As a 33rd Degree Mason, the highest level in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Congressman Rahall acknowledges there are a lot of secrets and codes, but he says they're not sinister.

(on camera): So, are you trying to rule the world?

RAHALL: Well, let's say, no. But if we were, would I tell you? No.


QUIJANO: Congressman Rahall says Freemasonry today is more of a social organization and despite the prominent positions of some members is not a forum to discuss power politics - John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: Elaine Quijano...

CHETRY: If you believe that, I have a book to sell you.

ROBERTS: But it's true. All over the dollar, you know, what you saw there was -- you say the unfinished pyramid and the capstone.

You want to see something really great? Let's bring the camera over here to my computer.

All right. Here is Washington, D.C. Here's the Mall. Here's and the Capitol building. Watch what happens when I turn this on its edge like this. Hang on.

CHETRY: Ooops, it's turning into a compass. ROBERTS: A little bit more. Sorry, the computer is a little slow. Lord, here we go. This doesn't usually happen. Much better than this. OK. Look at it. We have Pennsylvania Avenue and Maryland Avenue coming down like this. And then we've got Louisiana and Washington Avenue coming in like this.

Some people say that forms the Masonic compass...


ROBERTS: ... and square right there with the streets there outside of the capital. Look at this -- the compass coming out of the capital and then the square in this way. And I haven't seen it confirmed, but Pierre L'Enfant, who was the guy who designed Washington, may have been a Mason.

CHETRY: See? And then -- and then Elaine said to the congressman, are you trying to rule the world, he goes, let me say no. If I was, I wouldn't tell you. The mystery continues.

All right. Forty-four minutes after the hour. We'll be right back.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. A live look at Washington D.C., home of the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite of the Freemasons. We're at 53 degrees going up to a high of 71 and mostly sunny. You can see the sun coming up there behind the capital building. You know it's so much Kiran fun to talk about the influence of the masons on Washington and the history of the Scott tribe, and it makes for good reading, you know.

CHETRY: It does. I mean, that's why people are fascinated with that full entire series that he's been writing. By the way, how dramatic is that sky this morning in Washington, D.C.? Maybe the masons created it this morning. Who knows?

Anyway, it's time now to fast forward through the stories that you'll be hearing about later today. This afternoon, 2:30 p.m., President Obama will be discussing war strategy in Afghanistan when he meets with top congressional leaders from both parties. The President is also going to be briefing them on where he is on a decision to send in more troops.

At 3:00 p.m. Eastern General David Petraeus is expected to address an army convention in Washington and will be looking to see if the commander will make any comments about his prostate cancer diagnosis. He was diagnosed and treated several months ago.

At 1:30 Eastern time, the centers for disease control and prevention will be holding a news conference in Washington. We are going to be providing an update on the swine flu and also the distribution of the H1N1 vaccine. And John, if you saw the front page of the "USA today" they say now half of the states in the country are reporting these H1N1 cases but still a lot of questions, is this vaccine safe? Should my family get it? Should I give it to my kids?

ROBERTS: And some people are describing getting the swine flu is no big deal and then for others it becomes almost a life threatening situation. So it really is individual to individual.

If you have questions about the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, we have some answers for you. Sanjay Gupta is actually going to be dispelling some of the myths about both the flu, and he knows because he had it and the vaccine so stay tuned for that. Coming up now in 49 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. The first doses of the swine flu vaccine are here and it seems just in time.

CHETRY: Yes. The CDC is reporting now that 27 states have widespread cases and that 99% of flu cases are related to H1N1 right now. Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta had the swine flu. He has been going through your e-mails and tweets to address concerns about the vaccine. So when people right now say the flu, Sanjay, the seasonal flu is not widespread at this point, right?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. But we're certainly seeing some widespread activity of H1N1 again. We had it in the spring and again now in the fall, Kiran.

CHETRY: Interesting because a lot of people have a lot of questions about swine flu H1N1, and we got a comment from twitter that was interesting. This guy writes -- "Urgh! The guy working across from me is coughing like he has H1N1. I'm expecting him to grow a snout at any moment. So Sanjay, can you get the virus from your co- workers coughing on you?

GUPTA: You know, I wish I could say the answer to that question was no but in fact that is how this virus is transmitted. People actually cough or they sneeze and a bunch of the virus particles actually get out into the air. Someone else breathes that in and that's how it can be transmitted one person to the next. A couple of rules of thumb here.

Three to six feet as a general rule so I don't know how far the guy with the snout is sitting across from you, but 3 to 6 feet is a general rule. If you get out of there, you're in a safe breathing zone. Also one thing we are learning about this particular virus, the H1N1, is that it doesn't seem to live very long on surfaces, say touching an ATM machine or door knob or something like that and getting it, you can still get it but it seeming less likely than before.

Also you know, one piece of advice and I took this advice myself, if you are sick, a guy with the snout, you may want to just stay home for a few days. You know, a lot of people don't like to do that. I don't like to do that, but I did stay home from work and stayed at home which was good. ROBERTS: Wait a minute, then you stayed home from work in Afghanistan?

GUPTA: Well, once I got back from Afghanistan I stayed at home for a couple of days.

ROBERTS: Our next question is from Catherine Maryland (ph) - She writes - You're probably be interested in this yourself, Sanjay. Is it possible to get swine flu or regular flu for that matter twice in the same season.

GUPTA: It's a great question and one that I know both personally and professionally. I did do some research on this John as you might imagine. Here's the deal. I probably went through the most difficult vaccination that you can go through by actually getting the infection. You do have some protection after you get the infection.

There's a couple of concerns though and one that we've been talking about almost since the beginning since the spring when we first heard about H1N1 and that is that the virus can mutate. It can start to change. A couple things happen and I wouldn't be protected but also the people who get the vaccine which is designed specifically for this strain of H1N1.

If it mutates, they won't have as much protection either. John and Kiran, there's something you guys may have heard of these things called swine flu parties. People actually somebondy with swine flu giving it to other people at a party. It's a bad idea for lots of different reasons. The one that I just mentioned. And also if a high-risk person gets the virus, it can be much more of a problem than the low-risk person does.


CHETRY: All right. Just quickly before we let you go. When is it going to be widely available? We talked about two states yesterday helped getting the vaccine.

GUPTA: Right. And I think it's probably going to be at the end of the month, maybe in the early November. They're talking about 10 million to 20 million doses a weekend now being offered and made available. We had the flu mists sort of available in the beginning which isn't for everyone as you guys know. But I think probably end of October or early November.

ROBERTS: All right. Sanjay Gupta for us this morning. Sanjay, thanks so much.

You probably heard a facial recognition technology. They were using it at some football games, I think, during the Olympics as well, trying to, you know, pick up potential terrorist from the crowd. There's a new evolution in facial recognition technology. It's almost like will it predict your behavior. It's beginning to be employed in some public areas and some people are calling it an abuse of privacy rights. Our Jeanne Meserve tells us all about it and whether or not you should be concerned about it coming right up. It's coming up on 56 minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most news in the Morning. Three minutes on the top of the hour. So, how good is your poker face? A new security scan backed by some high tech computers can now track your face, your breathing, monitor your eye movement, even your heart rate. It will notice if you fidget. Security experts say that these are tell-tell signs that someone is up to no good. But as our Jeanne Meserve found out, critics are firing back saying that your privacy is at stake and that the science is flawed.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: In this reenactment, a screener poses questions. As the screener evaluates the verbal response, an array of sensors picks up the physical response looking for clues that this individual may intend to do harm.

ROBERT BURNS, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: There's been a large field of research that ties your reaction, your physical reactions, to your mental state and your emotional state. We're looking for those signals that your body gives off naturally.

MESERVE: One sensor maps the face and takes its temperature.

DAVID BONZO, EOIR TECHNOLOGIES: If there's a stress response, the physiological stress response, the temperature of your face is going to change.

MESERVE: Another sensor tracks eye movement, pupil size, and blinking.

FRANK MARCHAK, VERIDICAL RESEARCH AND DESIGN CORP.: If you're trying to conceal information, there's two possible ways that could be displayed. One is if you're stressed or arouse, the other is if you're trying to think hard, you tend to blink less for shorter periods of time.

MESERVE: Researchers are experimenting with two systems monitoring breathing and heartbeat.

JOSH MCKENNA, DIGITAL SIGNAL CORPORATION: If maybe if you were stressed, that heart rate would either increase or decrease depending on what kind of questions you were asked.

MESERVE: Fidgeting might be another indicator using a board from a Wii Fit game, researchers are measuring that too. Data from all the sensors is fed into a computer which indicates whether a traveler needs additional screening.

BURNS: It's looking at the combination of factors so they cross correlate so they corroborate each other. That complete package is what's going to give it to us. It's not one any individual point.

MESERVE: The research has been vetted by privacy experts within the Department of Homeland Security; nonetheless, there are critics. JAY STANLEY, ACLU: Number one, it's an invasion of privacy. Nobody has the right to look at intimate body functions, my breathing, my heart rate from afar.

MESERVE: And some experts are doubtful the system can distinguish between potential terrorists and people stressed for other reasons like a late flight.

PROF. STEPHEN FIENBERG, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: There's not much science here. In fact, there may be no science here. And I'm really worried that we're going to get carried away by the hype and there's just nothing here. The emperor may have no clothes.

MESERVE: Now, the people involved in the research are adamant that the science is sound, but they say they do have more research to do before a decision is made on deploying the system at real world checkpoints where it would complement, not replace human screeners. Kiran back to you.

CHETRY: Jeanne Meserve for us this morning. A very interesting technology to say the least. Thanks so much.