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Fort Hood Shooting Spree; Two NATO Soldiers Missing in Afghanistan; Fort Hood Shooting Spree; Major Hasan Still Alive; Ian's Law; Unemployment Rate at Double Digits

Aired November 06, 2009 - 08:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to AMERICAN MORNING for this Friday, November 6th. It's 8:00 here in New York. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks for joining us this morning.

We're following the breaking news today from Fort Hood, Texas, the largest U.S. military post in the world, and the scene of a massacre yesterday. In the last 15 minutes, officials at the base, at the post, confirmed 13 people are now dead after yesterday's shooting rampage. Twelve of the victims, soldiers; one, a civilian. The alleged gunman is Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan and a better picture of him is emerging this morning.

CHETRY: That's right. This is surveillance video that you'll see only on CNN. It's from a nearby convenience store hours before the shooting spree, about 6:00 in the morning yesterday. The store owner says that you're looking at the gunman in traditional Muslim clothing, apparently starting his day like it was any other.

Earlier, I spoke to Lieutenant General Robert Cone. He's the commanding officer at Fort Hood, who talked a little bit about the female officer, the civilian police officer, a first responder, who was responsible for taking the gunman down.


CHETRY: As we understand, there was a female civilian police officer who actually exchanged gunfire. What do we know about how she may have helped the situation, 13 people killed, obviously, a tragedy. But there are some who witnessed what went down and said it could have been way worse.

LT. GEN. ROBERT CONE, COMMANDER, FORT HOOD: Yes. Officer Munley is a trained active first responder and just happened, very fortunately, to be very close to the incident scene. Her and her partner responded very quickly. And in this relatively short response time, we think it was sometime around three minutes, is what's been reported to me, just happened to encounter the gunman, and she -- in an exchange of gunfire -- she was wounded, but wounded the shooter four times.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHETRY: That's right. Again, at that press conference that they held about 30 minutes ago, we also got the news that Major Hasan is on a ventilator and that she is in stable condition. She was shot as well, but she's in stable condition at the hospital.

ROBERTS: Yes. I mean, can you imagine being wounded like that and still having the courage and the faculty to be able to act like that.

CHETRY: It's amazing.

ROBERTS: So, she's being hailed as a hero this morning. No question about that.

David Mattingly is outside of Fort Hood in Texas this morning. He's got some the very latest developments for us, in addition to what we heard in the press conference.

Good morning, David.


We heard that this entire shooting rampage, the shooting lasted only about 10 minutes. And it ended when Major Hasan himself was shot four times by that police officer. He's now in the hospital. He's on a ventilator.

The questions still are swirling about why he would turn so violent.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): This exclusive video appears to show the suspected shooter just hours before he allegedly opened fire on a room full of U.S. soldiers. The store owner identified Major Nidal Hasan as a regular at this convenience store. And the 39-year-old psychiatrist appears to be calm, even smiling as he buys his morning coffee.

Just seven hours later, the Army says he made his way here to the family readiness center, and armed with two handguns, including a semi-automatic, shot and killed 13 people, wounded 30, and plunged the world's largest military post into chaos.

The Army has said little more about the man or his motives.

CONE: That's why we've asked for assistance from federal agencies to make sure that we have this investigation right.

MATTINGLY: But we've learned that Hasan might have been known to authorities for sometime. Six months ago, federal law enforcement officials reportedly came across an Internet postings signed with Hasan's name discussing suicide bombings and other threats. We've also learned that Hasan was apparently unhappy about his upcoming deployment to Iraq, telling a cousin he was mortified by the idea. Military records reveal a career that span more than a decade. Born in Virginia of Jordanian decent, Hasan graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a degree in biochemistry. He received his first deployment to the Army that same year. Six years later, he began work at the Walter Reed Medical Center, pursuing a career in psychiatry, and counseling scores of soldiers with post traumatic stress. Hasan received at least three medals during this time and neighbors near Walter Reed remembered him as easy going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seemed to calm and, you know, he was never upset with anything.

MATTINGLY: But there are also reports that Hasan received a bad performance review at Walter Reed and was forced to undergo counseling and increased supervision. His family has also said he was harassed by other soldiers for being Muslim -- a frustration that they say caused him to rethink his career in the military.


MATTINGLY: We're learning more details about that shooting as it happened inside the readiness center. This is where so many soldiers gather to take care of their last-minute business before being shipped out. We find out that the Army personnel were not armed inside that building. It wasn't until the civilian police officer who was assigned here on the post arrived at the scene, exchanged gunfire with the shooter, and then ended that incident herself -- John.

ROBERTS: Yes, Kimberly Munley is her name and she's been hailed as a hero this morning and can certainly see why.

David Mattingly for this morning outside of Fort Hood -- David, thanks so much.

CHETRY: There are still a lot of questions this morning about security and signals that may have been missed before the massacre at Fort Hood. A lot of people are wondering how this could happen at the middle of the day at the world's biggest military post.

Our Barbara Starr has spent a lot of time at Fort Hood a few months ago.

And, Barbara, what can you tell us about the Army post and also the status of the investigation right now?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kiran, the investigation certainly now going full bore. The Army Criminal Investigative Division, the FBI, federal law enforcement officials -- all looking at this. Dozens of agents -- we are told -- on the scene at Fort Hood.

Perhaps, we should explain to people, on U.S. military bases, the people who are authorized to be on base essentially have a base sticker in their window or a base pass, active duty military civilians. And it is most likely that Major Hasan had one of those, and passed through the morning checkpoint with little trouble, if there was no reason to suspect there was any problem. These things are fairly routine.

Let me just add in a couple of new details we have from the Army in just the last couple of minutes that helps explain how the Army is responding to this event. It's the entire Army family, really, a victim of this terrible tragedy. The Army tells us they have 13 chaplains working through last night to notify families of the victims around the country. They do this very often, of course, tragically, for the war, and it's an interesting detail.

Usually, family notification stops somewhere around 10:00 at night and they wait until the next morning, we are told. This time, chaplains around the country are working through the night to bring this very tragic word to families. Seven more Army chaplains on their way to Fort Hood. They already have 35 there.

It tells you the level of effort -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Absolutely. You know, and a lot of the people returning to Fort Hood have just recently come back from fighting combat, shooting at or being shot at in Iraq or Afghanistan.

You know, and I asked this question to General Honore this morning, that these people will then quickly go back into retraining and possibly within a year are redeployed yet again. How realistic is it that we can keep up that pace as we fight wars on two fronts overseas where the same people or many of the same people are being asked to sacrifice again and again in very stressful situations?

STARR: Absolutely. And, of course, this question is very separate from the law enforcement look at this crime. So, separately from all of that, that's where the challenge for the Army and these tens of thousands of troops at Fort Hood. You see everything down there from young soldiers, 18, 19 years old, away from home for the first time, going on their first deployment to the war zone, to the grizzled veterans who may have done those three, four, even five tours of duty in the war zone.

Fort Hood has had problems with suicides, combat stress. And it's ironic, but, you know, it's a base that has put so much effort into the mental health programs to try and help the troops and help their families. The troops certainly thought they were home, they were safe yesterday, and now, dealing with this terrible tragedy -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon -- thank you.

Also in just a few minutes, we're going to be joined by Dr. Heidi Kraft, a former Navy psychiatrist who now treats soldiers who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

ROBERTS: Well, turning to another breaking story: NATO officials confirming to CNN that two coalition soldiers went missing in western Afghanistan during a routine re-supply mission.

Our Chris Lawrence is just back from several days embedded with forces on the ground in Kandahar. He joins us live from our bureau in Kabul.

What do we know this morning, Chris?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, you mentioned the most important part, that this was just a routine mission that these two service members have not been seen in two days. Also, the police chief in that region tells us that they went missing somewhere in the area of what's called the Murgab River.

Now, the coalition officials would not confirm their nationality while the search is underway. But Captain Jane Campbell is telling us that there's an extensive search and rescue operation being conducted right now using both coalition and Afghan security forces.

Just to give you some context as to where all this is taking place, the Badghis province is in the northwestern part of Afghanistan. Intelligence estimates put about 200 Taliban fighters there in 2007. A year later, that estimate had risen to as high as about 2,000.

This was also the area where over the summer, the Afghan government came to a cease-fire agreement with the Taliban ahead of the election with the government agreeing not to go after the Taliban; the Taliban agreeing to allow those election candidates to set up campaign offices and to campaign in that area.

Now, that is the area where two service members have not been seen in two days -- John.

ROBERTS: Chris Lawrence, with the very latest on that breaking story from Kabul this morning -- Chris, thanks.

CHETRY: And so, again, we're going to be speaking to somebody by the name of Dr. Heidi Kraft on how you treat post-traumatic stress and depression among soldiers, and how difficult it is to treat soldiers who are telling these heartbreaking stories and these stories of horror and not have it affect you even though you are a mental health professional.

It's 11 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. It's 13 minutes after the hour.

A picture is beginning to emerge of the alleged Fort Hood shooter. Major Nidal Malik Hasan was an Army psychiatrist trained to help soldiers work through their problems, and the challenges of everyday life, to the extraordinary stress on individuals in an active duty facing war time.

But joining us now to talk more about this is Dr. Heidi Kraft. She is a former Navy psychologist. She got up early for us on the west coast.

And, Dr. Kraft, we sure appreciate that.

You know, we've had incidents in the past where service members have attacked their colleagues -- you know, everybody remembers what happened in Kuwait, just prior to the Iraq war, that fragging incident in the 101st Airborne. But are you surprised that this was a stateside doctor who had never been deployed before, somebody who had the care of returning veterans entrusted to him?

DR. HEIDI KRAFT, FORMER NAVY PSYCHOLOGIST: Of course. The event is completely horrific, both as a health care provider, as a person who wore our uniform -- I think all of us who have ever worn the uniform and still do are reeling and will feel this loss.

ROBERTS: You know, so much of the focus when dealing with traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury as well is focused on veterans who are returning from the battlefield. But is this an indication that maybe the people who are treating those returning veterans also need to be monitored as well? Apparently, according to his aunt, Noel Hasan, when he was working at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he was very troubled by some of the things that he saw there.

KRAFT: We know that despite whether a provider has deployed or not, the stress of caring for trauma takes its toll. This is something that mental health providers are trained to do. And those of us that work for the military or in the military, whether we wear uniforms or we don't, certainly are subject to the compassion fatigue and secondary traumatization that can occur from taking care of some of these very, very difficult situation. It's difficult to listen to these stories. It takes its toll.

ROBERTS: Oh, yes. I mean, I'm certain it does. He was talking about burn victims, you know, we've seen so many of them come back from the battlefield as well. His aunt described someone having their face literally melted off and how affected he was by that. He also seemed to be -- I don't want to say a conscientious objective, but perhaps for a while, that he was very upset about the U.S. military presence in Muslim countries.

KRAFT: That I can't comment on. I haven't heard any specific details on that.

ROBERTS: In terms of monitoring, you know, I talked to Tom Fuentes, former FBI about this just a few moments ago, that there's a picture emerging, a puzzle that's beginning to come together of this fellow that potentially, there were warnings signs out there, and something might have been coming down the pike. Is it possible to look at someone and say, hey, this person might be trouble, or as Tom Fuentes said, it is easy to fly under the radar? You know, you had this traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder initiative that has been launched there in the military, but is it designed to find nascent problems that might just be sort of existing under the surface, particularly among service personnel who are based stateside?

KRAFT: Well, I think that the key here is that people have to admit what they're going through, if they're experiencing symptoms. Either from combat trauma or from an injury like a traumatic brain injury, if they're going to be having any of those symptoms, they still need to be able to admit that they're suffering to someone who asks. And this is now looking exactly at the stigma that all of the military services have been fighting for many years. The stigma of actually admitting that there might be a problem, that a person might be suffering or might be struggling with various parts of this. If that person doesn't admit it, it's pretty difficult, I think, for screening programs to pick that up. There needs to be some admission on the person's part as well.

ROBERTS: You know, in -- our David Mattingly was saying that there's a real sense of betrayal on the post there at Fort Hood about what happened yesterday and that a military commander whom I know is heavily involved in PTSD research and very heavily involved in the issue. And his daughter said to him yesterday, or said to her mother at the very least, that daddy is trying to encourage these people to go see psychiatrists. Who is going to do that now? Do you think there's a bit of a breach of trust that may fall out of this?

KRAFT: Oh, of course. How could it not be? I think that we definitely put our trust in our healthcare providers, as well as in each other, our comrades in uniform. And, so betrayal is probably a really good way to describe it. I think that a lot of people probably trusted this man with their mental health. And with things that were very personal to them. So, of course, the word betrayal is a pretty good one. I hope that it won't affect the real gains that have been made in reducing some of the stigma of seeking mental health treatments.

ROBERTS: So as a person, Dr. Kraft, that used to deal with these issues, what would you say to service personnel who may be looking at all of this with a skeptical eye this morning?

KRAFT: Keep the faith. This is a single incident, a real tragedy and one that is horrific to all of us, but the vast majority of people who are entrusted -- who you have entrusted with your care care very much and still want to be able to be there. I think keeping the faith in those that care for you is probably pretty important.

ROBERTS: Dr. Heidi Kraft, great to catch up with you this morning again. Thanks for getting up early for us. We really appreciate it.

KRAFT: It's my pleasure.


CHETRY: Well, still ahead, we are going to be talking to Dr. Thomas Grieger. He was a military forensic psychiatrist who was a training director at Walter Reed where Major Hasan was an intern. He knows Major Hasan, and is going to talk to us a little bit more about this man. 19 minutes past the hour.


ROBERTS: We're back with the Most News in the Morning. And we continue to follow the latest developments out of Fort Hood, Texas. Less than an hour ago, officials at the post confirm that 13 people are now dead after yesterday's shooting rampage, the deadliest shooting ever at a military installation in the United States. 12 of the victims are soldiers, one is civilian. The alleged gunman is Army Major Nadal Malik Hasan. You are looking at surveillance video taken from a nearby convenience store in the town of Kalim. We are the only network that has this video. The owner says that this is the accused gunman hours before the shooting at about 6:30 in the morning, buying coffee and hash browns like he does most days.

CHETRY: Well Army officials also say that Major Nadal Hasan was hospitalized this morning, that he's on a ventilator, and that he was shot four times by one of the first responders, a civilian police officer named Kimberly Munley. She is being hailed a hero this morning. She was also wounded. The alleged gunman is an army psychiatrist whose job at Fort Hood was to counsel soldiers returning from the war with posttraumatic stress. Joining us now on the phone is Dr. Thomas Grieger, he is a military forensic psychiatrist who knew Hasan when he was an intern at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Thanks for being with us this morning, Dr. Grieger.


CHETRY: You say that you knew Hasan and he had some, quote, "difficulties." Can you elaborate?

GRIEGER: Well, first we have to accept that Major Hasan is going to be facing some serious criminal charges for these behaviors, and he does have some rights to privacy. I'll say that it's not uncommon during internships that interns require periods of extra supervision and he responded to the supervision that he received.

CHETRY: A longtime Walter Reed colleague who referred patients to psychiatrists said that coworkers avoided sending service members to Hasan because of his unusual manner and solitary work habits. Is that a usual thing that perhaps people would be leery to recommend to send people that needed treatment to certain psychiatrists?

GRIEGER: Well, I don't know about the details of that. Again, it's been about five years since I've worked with him. During that period of time, we were receiving large amounts of data on soldiers and I was -- I left the training position to analyze and publish the data on folks coming back from the war. So it's been five years since I had any direct professional contact with him. But certainly, what you're saying would be quite unusual.

CHETRY: It would be unusual. All right. Well, you know, also, the base commander at Fort Hood, and this is information that we're just learning about today, the base commander said that soldiers who witnessed the shooting reported that Hasan shouted "Allah akhbar" which is Arabic for God is great, before opening fire. Did you ever talk to him, or did he ever make it known his religious beliefs, or did anyone get an impression that perhaps he was radicalized in some way? GRIEGER: I think, you know, clearly, we knew that he was Muslim, but I wouldn't say that any of his behaviors suggested that he had been radicalized at the time I was working with him, as a supervisor. Again, I can't speak to what's happening in the last five years.

CHETRY: Right. I understand. I understand. Just, you know, I think that our viewers are trying to get a little bit more of a picture today if perhaps whether or not there were warning signs and according to our research, there were some. His aunt said that he was unhappy, he wanted out of the military. His cousin in an interview said he was distressed about a pending deployment to Iraq, that he was against U.S. military presence there. And also that he told this convenience store owner, this is from one of our own producers, that he had a problem with potentially fighting fellow Muslims. Some family members were also saying that he was requesting a discharge.

So, when you take all these in sum, I mean, are there -- I guess, I guess, are there ways for the military to figure out whether or not somebody is in support of the mission, whether there's something going on that they may need to take a second look at when it comes to whether or not somebody would be successful and actually, you know, do a good job deployed?

GRIEGER: Well, certainly, if he had conveyed those thoughts to his superiors, I would have expected he should have also been advised to apply for conscientious objector status to preclude his deployment, at least to those particular wars. Clearly, that would be a matter that I would think should have been considered. And perhaps it was. I'm certainly not privy to that information.

CHETRY: And if you're a military psychiatrist and you're treating people with PTSD, do you guys have to go through your own mental background checks, your own, you know, assessments of whether or not everything's okay with you guys, mentally?

GRIEGER: Well, the matter of treating soldiers with either, you know, severe combat injuries or PTSD has been debated as whether there is such a thing as vicarious post traumatic symptomatology. You know, clearly he had made it through the military medical school and he had managed to meet all the graduation requirements for his psychiatry residency program. I would think if there was anything significant, that should have been become evident at some point during the training process. And again, I've been removed from that process during the last five years of his training. But what we look at physicians specifically at Walter Reed and found that even treating the horrific wounds that come back and the soldiers with PTSD the actual symptoms of post traumatic stress in positions is very low, all things considered. And perhaps that's due to the nature of the training, perhaps that's due to preselection for that sort of work.

CHETRY: Right. Right.

GRIEGER: Clearly, physicians who had actually personally been in combat, there were higher rates of PTSD symptoms, but the sort of secondary exposure did not seem to convey a risk, at least in the studies that we did. And that also held true on the deployed healthcare workers.

CHETRY: I understand. Well, we are going to have to leave it there, but I want to thank you for joining us this morning, Dr. Thomas Grieger. Thanks for your time.

ROBERTS: It was 27 years ago that unemployment last broke through to double digit levels, 1981-'82 recession. Could that happen again? We're just moments away from getting the latest employment numbers and they're not expected to be good. Our Christine Romans is minding all that. She will join us in just a couple of minutes. Twenty-eight minutes now after the hour.


ROBERTS: Crossing the half hour now. Thanks for joining us on the Most News in the Morning.

The Labor Department releasing its monthly employment report just moments ago. The nation's unemployment rate is at what percentage? Let's go to Christine Romans. She's got that for us. Hey, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We just got this number in the last 15 seconds. The unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. It is worse than economists have been expecting, 10.2 percent. We have hit double digits on the unemployment rate now, and this is the highest since the early 1980s.

The numbers of jobs lost, 190,000 jobs lost in the month. That is a little worse than we had thought as well, 190,000 jobs lost. The street had been looking for maybe 175,000 jobs lost.

Let me tell you, though, at 190,000 jobs lost, that still is a slowing pace of jobs lost for the year, and it is still, by my count, the least number of jobs lost in about a year, a little more than a year.

So you can look at these numbers and say the numbers of jobs that we are losing, shedding every month, is getting smaller and smaller, but that unemployment rate is worrying, John.

Kiran and John, when you have 10.2 percent unemployment in a modern economy, that tells you that there are a lot of people out there with good skills, a good education who are hard workers who are ready to go, but the economy is not giving them the opportunity.

So I'm going to continue to go through these numbers for you, but bottom line here, the job losses continue to slow month by month by month by month, but that's not stopping the unemployment rate. The unemployment rates is at 10.2 percent.

ROBERTS: Christine Romans with the breaking news for us this morning.

Joining us now to break it all down is William Cohan, contributor to the and Bloomberg News, and Diane Brady, senior editor of "BusinessWeek." Thanks for being with us. What are you thinking about this? Unemployment said to be a lagging indicator, as we're coming out of a recession, so?

WILLIAM COHAN, CONTRIBUTOR, THEDAILYBEAST.COM: It's the old, the slowing rate of decline is what they pin the optimism on, but I don't see anything optimistic about these numbers. This is a large percentage of unemployment. It's very, very tough when you're losing or you're job or fearing for losing your job and it seems to be accelerating in terms of the concern that people have about that.

This is not a good sign.

CHETRY: And Diane, one of the things that people say is the 10.2 percent is -- the real unemployment, underemployment, people that have simply left the job force is much higher than that.

DIANE BRADY, SENIOR EDITOR, "BUSINESSWEEK": It is. It's closer to around 18 percent.

One of the things you're seeing with the productivity numbers is people are actually trying to do more in fewer hours. So Americans are being worked harder.

And then when you look at who's being rehired, they're usually being rehired as contractors, contingent workers. So a lot of job security that Americans have been used to is just going to go away as we get out of the recession.

ROBERTS: So Bill, put this in context of the GDP numbers that we saw in the third quarter, up 3.5 percent. Something is bubbling along there. The GDP is going like this, or GDP is going like this while the unemployment continues to go like this.

But is this kind of, like, could it be likened to turning around a supertanker, that it takes a while for it to slow down, and then you've got to turn it and maybe the unemployment numbers will take a while to catch up?

COHAN: My favorite metaphor at this moment is the Dickensian, the tale of two cities. On the one hand you've got San Pietro, a restaurant here in New York, busier than ever, and Olive Garden empty. So you've got people feeling like what are they going to do about their jobs, and you hear about productivity increasing.

But in fact it's the dichotomy between Wall Street and Main Street that is still a huge problem in this country.

And the point before, the very important point is that jobs are being lost, and they may not be able to be -- you know, people may not be able to come back to the workforce in those same kind of jobs they had before and they have to think about retraining themselves and where they can be the most valuable to the economy. That's a tough problem for people that are out of work.

CHETRY: And Diane, Pete Morici alluded to this in one of his opinions, he's an economist out of the University of Maryland. He said that not only should we not be losing jobs, and with the GDP going up, consumer spending rising a little bit, retail sales rising a little bit, we shouldn't be shedding jobs. We should actually be adding them.

So saying it's good we're slowing the pace of shedding jobs indicates we have a larger problem. Some say that larger part is that small businesses can't hire, they can't get money, credit can't be freed up. Wasn't part of the bank bailout supposed to force these banks to lend again?

BRADY: One of the issues that Timothy Geithner actually came out and said, the banks are not lending as much as they should be given the money that they've received.

I think small business is in a state of fear. And I think the reality is that right now most businesses right now continue to cut costs because they see a lot of insecurity going forward.

So I think the real issue is that Americans are not going back into the types of jobs they had before. The GDP numbers are misleading somewhat because investments in workers and some of the intangible stuff basically is not being done, so we're sacrificing innovation. And over the long-term, I think, people are very nervous.

ROBERTS: So I guess, Bill, the question many people are asking this morning is, wow, how long do we have to live in fear? How long until things really start to turn around? And what about this idea of a second stimulus purely to create jobs?

COHAN: I think the administration may have to come to terms with that very shortly. And I know there has been a lot of talk about it. The question is can we afford that as a country versus can we afford not to do it?

We have huge budget deficits. We have a huge $12 trillion that the Fed and the Treasury has pumped into the economy already. You know, this is not an easy problem. It's intractable.

I think one of the theories going is that you fix Wall Street first and the money begins to trickle down to the rest of the economy. The capital markets are functioning much better than --

ROBERTS: Yes, Goldman Sachs is pretty fixed, as is J.P. Morgan.

COHAN: Goldman and J.P. Morgan are doing well. Let's see if that trickles down. That is a tough theory -- you know, when people are losing their jobs, that's a tough theory to base an economic model on.

ROBERTS: So how long?

COHAN: I would say a year, easily, before things begin to turn around.

ROBERTS: Another year? CHETRY: And J.P. Morgan, I mean, Goldman Sachs, that's not a -- that's considered a commercial bank, technically, now, right? But they don't have to lend. They're not lending to consumers, are they?

BRADY: No, they don't. And a lot of what's happening is a lot more deal making, a lot more risk taking.

And I think one of the things that people are angry about is there's been such a light touch on Wall Street. We're not seeing the kind of clampdown people might have expected.

So Wall Street is back to health, but Main Street, obviously, is not. And I agree, I think it will take quite some time before we see anything resembling what we had a few years ago.

ROBERTS: Not great news this morning. Diane Brady, Bill Cohan, always great to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

Coming up in the next couple a minutes here on the Most News in the Morning, former FBI agent Tom Fuentes will be talking to us about the investigation at Ft. Hood. What's interesting about this is, though it happened on a military facility and may be prosecuted under the uniform code of military justice, the FBI will be the lead investigators here.

So we'll talk to Tom about what lies ahead in terms of the investigation of Major Hasan. Stay with us. It's 37 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: We're back with the Most News in the Morning.

And we are following the breaking news out of Ft. Hood, Texas, this morning, where police, SWAT team, and FBI agents are searching Major Nidal Malik Hasan's apartment, the alleged gunmen in the worst mass shooting in an American military post.

Earlier on "AMERICAN MORNING," I asked former assistant director with the FBI Thomas Fuentes what the next step in the investigation will be.


THOMAS FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Right now, the early focus will be to obtain his telephone records, examine his computer records, his e-mail traffic, try and determine who he might have been in contact, either-or visited, his credit card records, his financial records.

Trying to put together a complete picture of his behavior, his contacts, who he's been in communication, interviews of coworkers, family members, neighbors, obviously the convenience store owner, anybody who had contact with him, especially recent contact that may have indicated that he intended to do this attack. So there'll be many aspects of the investigation going on, and it will take time. Just getting the telephone and computer records will take some time.

ROBERTS: There's a lot of information on this fellow that's beginning to percolate up, and a puzzle is coming together very quickly. Should someone have somewhere along the line taken those pieces, put them together, and said there's a potential problem here, or is it very easy for someone like this to fly below the radar?

FUENTES: It is very easy to fly below the radar. You have thousands of people in military service, thousands trying to be recruited every day. And in this case, you have somebody who's already been in the service for many years and is a high-ranking officer.

So the idea is lurking inside of his mind as to what intent he had or at what point he may commit acts like this would be very difficult to determine.

ROBERTS: So in terms of investigating this, it obviously will be investigated as a homicide, but you're saying it will also be investigated as a potential act of terrorism?

FUENTES: Well, certainly, there's a potential there. We want to know, is he alone? Did he have other people involved in the conspiracy? Could this be part of -- and this, obviously, was the biggest concern yesterday. You had military bases locked down all over the world, not just in the U.S.

ROBERTS: Is it, Tom, because it was an attack on a military base? Is it because of his religion? What prompts that investigation, because there are so many homicides that take place in this country day after day after day that are not investigated as an act of terrorism?

FUENTES: No, it would not be based on his religion. It would be based on the fact that somebody attacking fellow soldiers was motivated to do that.

And the determination of the motivation is the critical factor here. Was he influenced by other people directly or indirectly by Web sites, or is it a case of a single person having a mental breakdown and causing this kind of violence?

So that approach of terrorism would be made in any case just to be absolutely safe.

And again, the FBI is going to err on the side of caution in terms of the extensiveness of the investigation and making sure that there are no other connections to other individuals who may have already planned to do this at other military bases or government installations.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Yes. And a reminder that Ft. Dixon, New Jersey, was the target of an alleged terrorism plot, and there have been so many others that have been uncovered by the FBI and other agencies as well over the last few years.

CHETRY: And that was the help of a really eagle-eyed clerk, remember -- I believe it was at a bookstore or perhaps a camera store, that said, hey, something doesn't seem right here and they wanted to make some copies of a DVD.

But, yes, everybody vigilant, and especially on military bases, the vigilance is so high. And so still a lot of questions about what went wrong here. We'll continue to follow that story.

Meanwhile, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, it is Friday, after all, and Rob Marciano will be keeping track of your weekend travel forecast for you.

It's 43 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

It's 46 minutes past the hour.

We're getting ready for the weekend of course and our Rob Marciano is getting ready to tell us what could be potential trouble spots in the travel forecast this Friday. Hello, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, guys. Yes, a little wind up across the northeast. We'll get to that in just a sec.

I want to talk about Ida which was a hurricane yesterday, hitting Nicaragua and Honduras. Right now the center of it is right along the border and about to reemerge in the northwestern Caribbean. Winds right now are about 35 miles an hour, but that's because mostly it's been over land.

Here's the forecast for Ida. And this is where things get a little bit interesting. Forecast to get back to tropical storm status. Some of our computer models actually take it to hurricane status. But more importantly, it does bring it into the Gulf of Mexico as we get towards the beginning of next week.

So anybody from the southern tip of Florida all the way to the Texas coastline certainly wants to keep an eye out on this. We are still in hurricane season and to have a hurricane make landfall in the U.S. is not completely out of the question. It has happened in years past.

All right, around the rest of the country, we've got a pretty good storm across the Pacific Northwest; if you're heading there, definitely windy and wet. Warm conditions across the central part of the country and the wind across the northeast right now will subside later on today. But there definitely will be some travel delays at the major metropolitan airports in New York and Boston, especially, with the winds that will be cranking up.

And the heat building across the nation's midsection; temperatures in the lower 70s today across Denver. You may remember, a week ago, they had over a foot of snow there in the Mile-High City; so big changes during the month of November. It can be a fun month, weather wise.

Guys, have a great weekend.

ROBERTS: It's never, never dull when you get to the Rocky Mountains. That's for sure.

Rob, thanks so much.

MARCIANO: You got it.

CHETRY: Have a good weekend Rob. You too.

All right, well, still ahead, Ian's law. This is the result of one man who did his best to fight back when his insurance company wanted to drop him, saying he was, quote, "one of the dogs."

Our Jim Acosta with an "AM Follow-up."

Forty-eight minutes past the hour.



MARY J. BILGE, CNN HEROES: Hi. I'm Mary J. Blige and I had the honor of performing at the first CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute recognizing everyday people who changed the world.

As president of (INAUDIBLE) I'm dedicating myself to help women to reach their full potential in life. Now more than ever the world needs heroes and I am thrilled to help CNN introduce one of this year's top ten honorees.

ROY FOSTER, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: How can I turn my back and walk away and leave you right here?


FOSTER: I can't. Because I know you wouldn't turn your back and leave me.

Nationwide, veterans are neglected, homeless, unacceptable.

What branch of service?


FOSTER: Army. So was I. We are still brothers in arms so no man left behind.

My name is Roy Foster and my mission is to help and empower homeless veterans.

If you're going to work for sobriety, you got to change. Stand- on House provides service for veterans only, a safe, clean, place to live, all the meals and to have services. The camaraderie, it is that internal glue.

Tell him one of his brother in arms came out looking for him and let him know, yes, we will be back.

They are the best and they deserve the best. What I do, I love. I love it.



CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

Here's what we're watching for you this Friday.

President Obama has delayed a trip to Capitol Hill today. He's going to be speaking to lawmakers about health care, but he's going to be doing that tomorrow instead. This afternoon, the president will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the first time since taking office.

ROBERTS: Two more of the 11 victims found in Anthony Sowell's home have been identified. Telacia Fortson's (ph) family says she was last seen in June. Tishana Culver (ph) was never reported missing. Sowell is being held without bond. A Cleveland city council member has called for an investigation into whether authorities missed signs of foul play at the convicted sex offender's house over the years.

CHETRY: Well, Wall Street is braced for an early sell-off this morning perhaps due to the government's dismal October jobs report. The DOW was opening above 10,000 for the first time in weeks.

Yesterday, investors got worried that first-time jobless claims actually declined last week, a sign that the economy may have already hit bottom, but then again, this morning the unemployment numbers for the month at 10.2 percent.

ROBERTS: Yes and then jobless claims, up over what expectations were. So we'll see what it does this morning.

CHETRY: All right. Well, meantime, an "AM Follow-Up" for you. Last month we introduced you to a man named Ian Pearl. He suffers from muscular dystrophy and was on the verge of losing his medical insurances. The insurance provider was trying to drop him.

When his story appeared on "American Morning," the company did an about-face. Well now, New York state lawmakers are drafting a bill in his honor. Ian's Law is designed to prevent insures from dropping high cost policies.

Our Jim Acosta has been following the story and he joins us now with a very, very, uplifting follow-up.


CHETRY: Right.

ACOSTA: Yes, every once in a while, you get to do one of these stories about somebody who's making a difference and Ian Pearl is one of those stories.

And Ian Pearl has news for the insurance companies. What he has started in the state of New York, he hopes to take across the country.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Been here a long time?


ACOSTA (on camera): Ian Pearl fought his insurance company and won. And now he's taking on the nation's health care system.

I. PEARL: I've been confined to a wheelchair since I was 6 years old, but that never stopped me.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Last month, the 37-year-old with muscular dystrophy was just weeks away from losing his health insurance. His insurance company, Guardian, had canceled his plan as part of a sweeping move to drop a slew of high-cost policies.

Guardian acknowledged one of its employees sent this e-mail that referred to Ian's policy "One of the dogs the company could get rid of to save money."

I. PEARL: Disabled people are not dogs.

ACOSTA: One day after our interview aired, the company reversed its decision, apologized and restored Ian's policy. But the story didn't end there.

ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK STATE SENATE: We're here today to send a very simple message. Everyone has to play by the rules.

ACOSTA: Now, New York state lawmakers want to pass what they call Ian's Law, legislation aimed at preventing insurers from dropping entire groups of policies in the hopes of driving off high-cost customers.

SCHNEIDERMAN: I'm confident that with New York leading the way, we'll pass these laws all over the country.

I. PEARL: I found out the name's Ian Law, it was when you announced it on CNN and I couldn't believe it then. It was breathtaking.

ACOSTA: Because of Ian's condition, he couldn't make it to the news conference, so we talked to him by video conference.

(on camera): What is this law going to mean to you?

I. PEARL: What this law is going to mean to me is that no one, including me, will never have to fight an illness and fight an insurance company at the same time.

ACOSTA: Ian's mother hopes the law will protect the disabled and their families from crushing health care costs. Without their insurance, the Pearl family would have paid more than $1 million a year out of pocket to continue Ian's round-the-clock nursing care.

SUSAN PEARL, IAN PEARL'S MOTHER: Ian's life has been a series of miracles. We're hoping that Ian's Law will be the next one.

I. PEARL: This law is necessary. So the insurance industry at large might not have as much integrity as the people who are sick.


ACOSTA: Now, Ian's insurance company, Guardian, did release a statement saying it agrees with the spirit of Ian's Law. And as for the family, they're not stopping with the state of New York. They want to see Ian's Law voted on in statehouses nationwide.

And John and Kiran, what's interesting about this is the Pearl family worries that National Health Care Reform won't get passed, so they say that this is very important. That statehouses take this up in different places, because it's this whole issue of pre-existing conditions, companies cherry-picking and dropping customers who get sick.

And they say this will help prevent that in the future.

CHETRY: Very interesting, because out of all the disagreement, that's one thing that all sides seem to agree on, that the pre- existing conditions...

ROBERTS: Exactly, yes.

CHETRY: ... is a big problem.

ROBERTS: And what's terrific too...

ACOSTA: Yes, absolutely.

ROBERTS: ... is that as all these discussions and debate are going on in Capitol Hill and across the country, got some action at least for one person. There are so many others out there that are still in so much trouble, but at least...

ACOSTA: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: ... somebody got helped out.

ACOSTA: Yes, it's a good feeling. It's good to see that somebody can make something happen like that.

ROBERTS: It's good to have you Jim.

ACOSTA: Yes thank you.

CHETRY: It's good to see you too, thanks.

ACOSTA: I appreciate it.

ROBERTS: That's going to wrap it up for us. Thanks so much for joining us on this AMERICAN MORNING and have yourself a wonderful weekend.

We'll see you back here again on Monday.

CHETRY: In the meantime, the news continues now. Here's "CNN NEWSROOM" with Heidi Collins. Good morning, Heidi.