Return to Transcripts main page


Fraud Charges Mar Afghan Vote; Colonel Gadhafi Coming to America; Michael Jackson Death Probe

Aired August 24, 2009 - 17:00   ET



Happening now, breaking news -- dramatic details of CIA terror investigations, including mock executions and threats to use an electric drill. The government takes the wraps off a long, secret report and makes sweeping changes in how suspects will be handled.

The president can't please everybody when it comes to health care reform -- should Democrats just go it alone on a government-run plan?

James Carville and Ed Rowlands are standing by.

And after embracing the freed bomber of PanAm Flight 103, Libya's Colonel Gadhafi may pitch a tent in New Jersey near the homes of victims' families.

Wolf Blitzer is off today.

I'm Suzanne Malveaux.


Afghans braved a Taliban bloodbath to cast their ballots. But Afghanistan's election is already being tarnished by charges of corruption. And President Hamid Karzai is being accused by his top rival of jeopardizing Afghanistan's very survival.

CNN's Atia Abawi is in Kabul.

ATIA ABAWI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, all the ballots have not even been counted yet, but accusations of massive fraud are abundant. One candidate, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, accusing the incumbent, Hamid Karzai, of stealing the election and putting the country's future at risk.


ABAWI (voice-over): Intimidation, violence and ballot stuffing -- Afghanistan's elections were marred from the start. And now, allegations of fraud are flying. Presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah alleges that President Hamid Karzai's campaign is blatantly stealing the election in front of the world's eyes and the repercussions will be severe.

DR. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I think the survival of Afghanistan is at stake. And I don't see a future for this country. The level of disappointment of the people has reached to a stage that we cannot reverse it.

ABAWI: Already, hundreds of complaints have poured into the Electoral Complaints Commission, with several dozen labeled as high priority. The ECC, chaired by a Canadian, says it will delay result announcements until they have investigated each complaint.

Dr. Abdullah warns that it's not just democracy that will fail in the eyes of his countrymen if fraud is not addressed, but the international mission in Afghanistan itself will be at stake.

Here, at a pre-election rally, the energy and excitement was overwhelming as thousands showed up in support of Dr. Abdullah. The fear now among officials is that this positive energy will turn into something more violent if the results are seen as illegitimate.

For his part, a spokesman for Karzai's campaign says it has its own concerns, but it is not airing its grievances publicly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are making irresponsible comments. And this is disrespectful to the process. This is disrespectful to the -- to the mechanism which is in place, which is the institution. And this is disrespectful to the votes of the people.

ABAWI: Here, at a store in the capital, Afghans are worried.

"If fraud was involved in the election," Weiss (ph) says, "I don't think the situation in Afghanistan will improve. It will probably get worse than it even is now, because everyone is looking out for their own needs, not the country's."

Dr. Abdullah says that he will do what the people ask him to do.

(on camera): And what if violence breaks out?

What will you do?

ABDULLAH ABDULLAH: I will try to prevent that. I will try to prevent that. But all I can promise, that I'll be with the people.

ABAWI (voice-over): Potentially ominous words if the people choose to take to the streets. Afghan and international diplomats want to prevent such a scenario and are hoping to make a deal. But Abdullah says deals with the Karzai government is what has prevented the country from moving forward.


ABAWI: The Independent Election Commission says that results should be announced on September 17th. But the Electoral Complaints Commission says that no results will be announced until every complaint has been investigated -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Atia. Well, he was an international outcast for sponsoring acts of terror. Now, after rehabilitating his image and repairing his relations with the West, Libya's Colonel Moammar Gadhafi is once again the focus of American anger for embracing a mass killer freed from a British prison.

Let's turn to CNN's foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty -- and, Jill, what with do we know about this story?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Suzanne, until recently, relations between the United States and Libya actually were getting back on track. But the way the Libyan leader handled the return of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya has really derailed that. And now, in less than a month, there's another diplomatic showdown looming.


DOUGHERTY: (voice-over): When Moammar Gadhafi comes to New York next month for the U.N. General Assembly, will he be pitching this Bedouin tent just miles from the families of the Lockerbie bombing victims, on the lawn of a Libyan diplomat's home in New Jersey?

A senior U.S. official calls it "awful." But, as host of the United Nations, the U.S. may be unable to stop it.

Gadhafi hugged and kissed the terminally ill bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, after he flew home from a Scottish jail to a hero's welcome. Gadhafi made a point of thanking his so-called friend, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the royal family, for helping free Megrahi. And his son and heir apparent claims whenever any British interests were involved, including oil and gas deals, the bomber was on the table.

But the British government calls the idea that London and Libya would barter a business deal to release al-Megrahi.

PETER MANDELSON, BRITISH BUSINESS SECRETARY: Completely wrong. It's completely implausible and actually quite offensive.

DOUGHERTY: That's enough for the State Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will take what the British government has said about this as the -- as the final word on it.

DOUGHERTY: But the allegations, one U.S. senator says, are just too strong.


SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: I hope that our friends in Britain will convene an independent investigation of this action by the Scottish justice minister to release a mass murder.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DOUGHERTY: U.S. anger is growing. In a letter to the Scottish justice minister, the head of the FBI says: "The decision to free al- Megrahi makes a mockery of the rule of law and gives comfort to terrorists around the world."


DOUGHERTY: The State Department says that its criticism of the Scottish decision will not have an effect on that special relationship between the United States and Great Britain. But it has warned the Libyan government that if it continues to, as they say, lionize the bomber publicly, that it will have a profoundly negative effect on that relationship -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Jill.

Jack Cafferty is in New York with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack, what are you following?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: You know, call me a cynic, but I -- I just find it very hard to believe that I -- that Scottish justice minister, all by himself, decided to exercise compassion and turn this guy loose without a lot of people signing off on the dotted line long before the announcement was ever made.

MALVEAUX: So a lot of questions, yes.

CAFFERTY: Well, yes. I mean I don't -- we're not being told the truth here.

More bad news about the war in Afghanistan. Military commanders say they don't have enough troops, they warn the Taliban's getting stronger -- even gaining the upper hand in several parts of the country. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen says, "It's serious and it's deteriorating."

Case in point -- last week's election, which was only the second in Afghanistan's history. The ballots are still being counted. We already know voter turnout was low amid threats of violence. There are reports of voters' fingers being cut off. More than 200 complaints filed with the Election Commission. One of the candidates is alleging outright election fraud.

History slows a long failed list of foreign incursions into Afghanistan. So the U.S. may be taking a spot we behind the Greeks, the British, the Russians -- who have all come before us and left defeated.

For now, the Obama administration is waiting for a new report on the situation, due out in two weeks from the top commander in the region. Regardless of what that report says, troop levels the end of this year are on track to be double the number there at the end of last year. In March, President Obama ordered an additional 17,000 troops in the country, but all indications are it's not nearly enough.

Meanwhile, public support here at home for this war that is now eight years old is hardly increasing.

So here's the question: Is it time to declare the war in Afghanistan a lost cause and get the hell out?

Go to, where you can post a comment on my blog -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: I have a feeling you're going to be getting a lot of responses out of that one, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Well, we'll see.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you.

Threatening to kill the children of a top terror suspect -- it is one of the details of CIA interrogation techniques revealed in a long secret report. Frances Townsend and Jeffrey Toobin are standing by on what the government plans to do about it.

And new developments in the Michael Jackson case -- lethal levels of anesthetic in his blood.

Plus, one of today's top pop stars today juggles fame with Type 1 diabetes. Nick Jonas tells us how he manages his condition.


MALVEAUX: Breaking news, as the wraps comes off a long secret report on CIA terror interrogations. We are learning that suspects were threatened with mock executions and an electric drill and that interrogators threatened to kill the children of the 9/11 mastermind.

The Obama administration is now making sweeping changes in how suspects will be handled.

Joining me now, CNN national security contributor, Fran Townsend. She was homeland security adviser in the Bush administration.

And, also, Jeffrey Toobin will be joining us, as well, our CNN legal analyst.

I want to start off first, the news that Attorney General Eric Holder now appointing a prosecutor to look into these interrogation techniques.

Good idea, bad idea?

Is this the Bush administration now being held accountable for some of those harsh methods?

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Suzanne, I'd start by saying nobody -- nobody on either administration, I suspect -- would have supported going beyond what was legally authorized by the Office of Legal Counsel and the Justice Department. That said, while this report is new publicly, it's not new. This is a 2004 report. It was briefed to Congress, to the committee at the time. It was briefed up on Capitol Hill. It was briefed to the full committee in 2006. This is not new. Career prosecutors have gone through the details of the report and determined prior to this that it wasn't appropriate for prosecution.

As a result of that, consistent with the internal process, that report was returned to CIA. The individuals involved were disciplined and some -- one was fired.

And so this isn't new. There isn't -- it's actually very dangerous to reopen this just because there's a new attorney general and a new administration.

MALVEAUX: But what is new is obviously that the attorney general says he's going to appoint this prosecutor to take a look, to see if these were inappropriate or illegal -- that that is -- do you think that that's appropriate, to take a look backwards and say, are we going to hold them accountable and take a look at some of these techniques, which maybe some people believe are not appropriate and potentially illegal?

TOWNSEND: You know, Suzanne, there's been a look by career prosecutors before now. This isn't new. The -- career prosecutors went through this report to make just that very determination. And what's dangerous about this now is to go back because there's been a change of administrations -- and let's remember what the environment was at the time when these techniques were applied. This is -- this is really dangerous. It sends a wrong message to people in the CIA now that they can't rely on the legal guidance they were given at a very dangerous time in our nation's history when we asked them to do a tough job.

MALVEAUX: I want to bring in our own Jeffrey Toobin, obviously, for the legal analysis of all of this.

Does Fran Townsend -- does she make a point here, that this isn't necessarily new?

Is there anything that shows or proves or needs to be investigated that -- that people who were following Bush policy should somehow be held to a different standard now?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the -- what's new is the Office of Professional Responsibility report, which Attorney General Holder looked at and said we need to assign a prosecutor.

I think Fran would agree that if people were tortured, if people were murdered, if they went beyond the very broad limits that the Bush administration set, they should be prosecuted -- period. That's what Americans do.

Now, I don't know if that took place. But legal advice or no, you can't break the law. And if someone broke the law, I think they should be prosecuted.

MALVEAUX: What we're seeing in this report here are things like threatening to kill a child of a -- an alleged terrorist or potentially rape the wife of an alleged terrorist.

Is there anything that -- that we haven't heard before, Fran, in your experience at the Bush administration?

Did people know that that was the kind of thing -- these kinds of threats -- that were going on?

TOWNSEND: There's no question, the reason that they were reported to the CIA inspector general was because they went beyond authorized legal -- Bush authorized administration policies. And that's why they were appropriately reported and investigated. That's why career prosecutors have already looked at this and they made the determination that there wasn't a need for a prosecution.

That doesn't mean they're not distasteful. It doesn't mean that we don't -- we want to discourage it. And, in fact, those people have been administratively disciplined or fired.

And that's -- Jeffrey is right, we do want action taken. But that doesn't necessarily mean what we need is a prosecutor to go back. We need these people focused on the threats of today, not what happened years ago.

MALVEAUX: Jeff, you were a federal prosecutor, do you agree?

TOOBIN: Well, I don't really agree because I -- I think prosecuting people who committed crimes -- if, in fact, they did -- does not damage our ability to prose -- to conduct intelligence operations in the future. It, in fact, may help us coordinate with other governments who we've been very damaged with by our recent -- our recent behavior.

So, you know, I think, a thorough, fair investigation by career prosecutors, not political people, internal Department of Justice prosecutors like this guy who's in charge, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing at all.

MALVEAUX: All right. Jeffrey Toobin, we're going to leave it there.

Fran Townsend, thank you so much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Well, his health has been kept a state secret since he fell ill and ceded power, but the first pictures of Fidel Castro in more than a year suggest that he may be on the mend.

And breaking news on the death of Michael Jackson. Lethal levels of a powerful anesthetic -- we are learning just what was in his blood when he died.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: Betty Nguyen is monitoring the stories that are coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- and, Betty, what are you looking at?

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Suzanne, I want you to take a look at these pictures, because they are pretty remarkable -- out of Detroit. A fire that's taking place there right now. Look at this black smoke billowing up into the air. You can see the flames. At the bottom right hand corner, the live bug right there is covering it up, but you can see the water being poured onto this building. Explosions, in fact, have been coming from this building. This is the Diversified Chemical Technologies building on Detroit's west side. This massive fire has been burning for quite some time now. And just to give you an idea why it's burning in just such a large fire, this company makes products and chemicals that serve the automotive, the food and beverage, packaging and electrical industry. So there's a lot to burn within that building. And they are trying very hard to put this fire out. We're going to continue to watch that for you.

Meanwhile, speaking of fires, weary firefighters in Greece say a big break in the wind gave them an edge on wildfires bearing down on Athens and its ancient Greek landmarks. Now, for four days, they have been battling massive blazes all around the city. Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. Scores of homes were damaged or destroyed. Almost 60 square miles are scorched. This is Greece's worst outbreak of fires since 2007.

And you've got to take a look at these pictures. Cuba's Fidel Castro appears to be in much better health. This video, as well as a photo of the former president, surfaced yesterday, revealing a thinner looking man than in past pictures. Now, state-run Cubavision said the video was taken on Saturday, when Castro met with Venezuelan law students. It is the first video that we've seen of Castro in over a year. He underwent abdominal surgery back in 2006, as you recall, Suzanne. But from those videos, he looks like he's in better shape.

MALVEAUX: Yes, he looks a lot better.

OK. Thank you, Betty.

Well, on the run after the horrific murder of his wife -- a reality show star turns up dead in a Canadian motel. We've got the latest on this shocking mystery.

Plus, how does a top pop star handle fame and his Type 1 Diabetes?

Nick Jonas talks to us about his medical condition.


MALVEAUX: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, protests at Whole Foods -- what did the head of the supermarket chain say about health care to upset some customers.

And is the threatened boycott actually working?

NASA fuels the Space Shuttle Discovery for an early morning flight to the International Space Station. We'll have the details on the latest space mission.

And stocks pull back after pushing the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq to new 2009 highs. The Dow added just 3 points today. Investors are apparently waiting on some major economic reports due out later this week.

Wolf Blitzer is off.

I'm Suzanne Malveaux.


Breaking news in the Michael Jackson case -- a search warrant and affidavit unsealed today contain details on exactly what drugs were in the star's blood before he died. And we have word in from the Associated Press that the coroner will rule Michael Jackson's death a homicide.

Let's go to our Randi Kaye, who's in Los Angeles -- and, Randi, we had talked about that before, the possibility of a homicide.

What do we know now about the details?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Suzanne, as -- as you know, that all this time there has been a lot of talk from authorities looking for evidence as they executed these search warrants at Dr. Murray's clinics in both Houston and Las Vegas. They were looking for evidence related to manslaughter.

Well, now the Associated Press is quoting a single law enforcement official, who says that the L.A. County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide.

We want you to know that we have called both the Los Angeles Police Department. They said that that information is not coming from them. We also called the L.A. County coroner's office and they gave us a no comment. So right now, it's just coming from a single law enforcement official, according to the Associated Press, that the death has been ruled a homicide. We haven't confirmed that with the LAPD or the coroner's office yet.

But I can tell you that in this affidavit for the search warrant that was filed in Houston and made public now, that we've gotten our hands on, it does say, according to the authorities who have filed this affidavit, that they believe they have found echd (ph) of the crime of manslaughter at this address in Harris County, Texas, which is the address for Dr. Conrad Murray's clinic in Houston. MALVEAUX: And Randi, tell us what new information are you learning about the time line here and the night of his death or before?

KAYE: Well, we know that Dr. Conrad Murray was in the house. We don't know where he was exactly, but we know that he was in the house when Michael Jackson suffered cardiac arrest on June 25th.

According to this search warrant and the affidavit, we have a little bit more information about the time line. Dr. Murray, according to this, stated that he left Michael Jackson's side to go to the restroom and relieve himself. This is after he told authorities he gave Michael Jackson 25 milligrams of Propofol, this very powerful sedative that's really reserved for hospital use.

He said he went to the restroom to relieve himself. After approximately 10 minutes -- we know that you're supposed to monitor your patient when you -- when they're on Propofol. Murray stated he was out of the room for about two minutes maximum, according to this document.

Upon his return, he says he noticed that Jackson was no longer breathing. And then that is when Dr. Murray says he began CPR.

He also said this was not the first time that Michael Jackson had used Propofol, that he referred to it as his milk, that he was very familiar with it and it has a very milky appearance.

MALVEAUX: Randi, thank you so much for the very latest and the update there on Michael Jackson's death.

A murder case has police in Texas baffled.

Who killed a well-known doctor in his own home and why?

CNN's T.J. Holmes is working that story for us -- T.J. Tell us what the latest is.

What do you know?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the latest is that baffled is still the operative word here. But police believe they have at least -- or maybe up to, I should say, five people on the loose they consider armed and dangerous who they say shot and killed this 56- year-old doctor with his wife and infant child nearby.


HOLMES (voice-over): To family, community, and colleagues, it's a big mystery. The fatal shooting of a prominent physician by a group of home intruders in the middle of the day. Police say four or five men were at Dr. Mario Gonzalez's 30 acre ranch outside Houston when the pulmonary specialist arrived there before noon Saturday with his wife and 2-year-old son. Gonzalez was shot to death and a ranch hand was wounded. His wife and child managed to hide. She called 911. When police arrived, the suspects were just leaving. PAUL FAIRCLOTH, AUSTIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Responding officers arrived in the area, and there were three vehicles that were leaving the location. One of the vehicles opened gunfire on the responding officer. That officer was not hit, nor was his patrol car.

HOLMES: Police later found a pickup that matched the Detroit Red Wings of one of those vehicles. The owner was questioned, then released. Gonzalez was head of the critical care unit at Methodist Hospital in Houston and considered a leader in pulmonary medicine. His family is struggling to understand why anyone would want to hurt a man who dedicated his life to healing others.

JUAN MAURICIO GONZALEZ, DOCTOR'S SON: He didn't want to harm anybody, so why did anybody harm him? The man had nothing to do with anybody. He was a peaceful man. He was a wise man. He just was here to make people better and nothing else.


HOLMES: And, again, the employee, the ranch hand who was also shot, last word he was in critical condition in the hospital, also, Suzanne, a $25,000 reward now offered for any information leading to arrest in the case. We'll follow it.

MALVEAUX: Thank you very much, T.J.

The president can't please everybody when it comes to health care reform. Should Democrats just go it alone on a government-run plan? James Carville and Ed Rollins are standing by.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: We are following breaking news out of the justice department. A report just released details on tough interrogation techniques used on detainees in a war on terror. According to a report, detainees were led to believe they would be killed or their relatives would be killed if they didn't answer interrogators' questions. The attorney general announced today that a career prosecutor will open an investigation. Joining me now, CNN contributor, Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican strategist Ed Rollins.

I want to start off with obviously, your reaction to this. I spoke with a former homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend, on this matter, and she says there's nothing new here to discover, that people had been punished, that they had been accountable for their actions, that this is not necessary. James?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, the first thing is this is terrible politics for the Obama administration and Democrats. The country -- having said that, people go out and give speeches about we're a nation of laws and somebody in the justice department actually believes that and they believe they're warranted to open a preliminary investigation by way of Republican career prosecutors. So, I know the politics of this, a lot of people wish it would go away, be, as long as people believe speeches of being a nation of laws you run into this danger.


ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We are a nation of law, and I think obviously if they violated the laws they should be punished. The problem here is this is not George Bush's CIA. This is the Americans' CIA and it's now under President Obama. We still have two wars going on. I think if there were mistakes made shortly after 9/11 we need to get them behind us and move forward. I think at the end of the day most of the stuff was authorized by much higher up both in justice and maybe the White House. And to go down and take interrogators and punish them I think will create a morale problem in the CIA at a time we need them to be on alert and moving forward. We went through this in the Carter administration. I think at this point in time, unless there's some really unbelievable violation we don't know about, let's move forward.

MALVEAUX: James, one of the things the White House says, too, they released this statement earlier today saying the president has said repeatedly he wants to look forward, not back, and agrees with the attorney general that those who acted in good faith within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Are they in a pickle, in a box, because there are going to be investigations?

CARVILLE: A little bit, a little bit, and the truth is that the public doesn't want this, Ed is exactly right. The CIA, not a badge of morality for the CIA. Having said that, somebody somewhere or more than one person believes that the laws of the United States were broken. And, look, if it were up to me, I would say I kind of agree with the former CIA general counsel who said you know, we ought to punish these people and move on. Somebody in there believes these speeches, and they're pretty -- they seem to be fairly adamant about pursuing it. Politically, I think it's not very wise. Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, according to reports that I read today, was very, very upset about this. And, look, but somebody, again, we don't know all the facts and a preliminary investigation, they seem to be bound and determined to proceed with this.

MALVEAUX: Ed, is there any appetite from the American people to get in into all this?

ROLLINS: I don't think so. Equally important, James and I have both lived through special prosecutor, and they get to go anywhere they want to go and get to stay as long as they want. It caused this presidency great trouble and when I worked for Reagan great trouble and Fay Thai found very little. I would hope this prosecutor has very strict guidelines and doesn't get to run amok for the next two years or four years or what have you.

MALVEAUX: Go ahead, James.

CARVILLE: I actually sort of agree with most things that Ed said, and politically, I wish this thing would go away. But, again, some -- you know, there are some prosecutors -- I mean, you saw Jeffrey Toobin on the network, they take great offense if they think a law has been broken.

MALVEAUX: Let's turn to health care reform. I think there's going to be a little less agreement on that. The new republic editorial saying the last two decades Democrats have tried a variety of health care reforms, some big, some small, but Republicans attack every single measure with the same charge. It's socialized medicine. It is not -- it is not a party out to criticize and modify health care reform. This is a party out to kill health care reform. Democrats have a choice. They can act on their own or they can act not at all. Ed, is this -- is this wise advice? What are you telling the Democrats who seem to be at this point leaning to go to --

ROLLINS: The Republicans are not in this game. I think they should be. I think there's many things that we could modify many the health care and we could certainly do insurance reform, there's a whole variety of things, we could knock down the barriers of different insurance companies going across state lines, which would make a much better system. Republicans are not going to play the game, whether it's socialized medicine or new entitlement or what have you. I think the president has a very important responsibility here, and it's Democrats fighting Democrats, progressive Democrats versus blue-collar -- or whatever you call them, blue-dog Democrats. He has enough votes. He may have to modify it somewhat, but he needs to get a bill. He needs to get something done, otherwise he's going to have a long, hard battle here.

MALVEAUX: James, what do the Republicans need to do to make sure the Democrats don't leave them out?

CARVILLE: Well, this is terrible. I agree with the new republic and Ed Rollins, and I don't always agree with the new republic.

MALVEAUX: This is no fun.

CARVILLE: It's a myth or a vote and I have to give a single vote. You have Grassley out there saying the Democrats are trying to kill people so, that's not going to happen. And if they want to get something done, there's a memo going around now about all the times the Republicans used 50 votes. But it is a myth, it is a myth that this administration ever thought that they would ever get any Republican support for this. Now, maybe they were, you know, very smart. Some people have suggested that they had to go through this to show it, but there's been 180 Republican amendments. No Republicans will vote for this. Let's wake up and all these people who wanted bipartisan -- and, you know, we're going to transcend this or that, we're not transcending anything in this country. There are so many --

MALVEAUX: Real quick here, real quick.

ROLLINS: There are so many ideologies. The president has to understand.

MALVEAUX: Ed Rollins and James Carville, thank you so much for joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM.

A pop star considers politics when he's a lot older. NICK JONAS, JONAS BROTHERS BAND: I would like to be president. My whole thing, maybe 2040.

MALVEAUX: Nick Jonas tells us why his interest in politics is linked to his type one diabetes.

Plus, double dipping. How some government workers get ahead by drawing a pension while getting a paycheck.



MALVEAUX: On the run after the horrific murder of his wife a week ago, a reality show star turns up dead in a Canadian motel after a mystery woman drops him off. We go to CNN's Dan Simon for more on this very disturbing case. Dan, what do we know?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Suzanne. We can tell you that the only suspect named in this case hung himself in that Canadian motel. Ryan Jenkins allegedly killed his wife earlier this month, put her body in a suitcase, then put the suitcase in a dumpster.


SIMON (voice-over): The search for Jasmine Fiore's suspected killer ended in a motel room in British Columbia.

SGT. DUNCAN POUND, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE: Federal border. We confirm a deceased person that was found in a motel in Hope, British Columbia, is, in fact, Ryan Jenkins. At this time, the investigation into the circumstances of his death is continuing, but preliminary evidence suggests that he took his own life.

SIMON: Jenkins was a reality show contestant on VH1, a show that has 17 wealthy men competing for a woman's love. Jenkins was also a real estate developer, investor, and all-around party boy, say people who knew him. He reportedly met Fiore right after the taping and married her a few weeks later. Fiore's body was discovered nearly ten days ago. It was so mutilated when found in a trash bin behind an apartment complex outside L.A., say police, that it had to be identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants. Authorities quickly charged her husband with murder, prompting an international manhunt. One of Fiore's ex-boyfriends blasted the murder suspect.

ROBERT HASMAN, FIORE'S EX-BOYFRIEND: Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to jasmine is unspeakable. It's just not right. And I appreciate your help.

SIMON: But the suspect's mother told the associated press that she doesn't believe her son was involved in the murder and that she wants to clear his name. Court records show that Jenkins had been charged recently with domestic violence for allegedly hitting Fiore in the arm. Jenkins also faced an assault charge in his hometown of Calgary, sentenced to 15 months in 2007 for an unspecified act.


SIMON: Well, authorities in Canada say they have identified and are investigating a woman who may have helped Jenkins elude authorities. Nay know who that person is, but they're not saying her name. Meanwhile, Jenkins had participated in a second vh1 reality show called "I love money." We are told by the network that that show has also been canceled -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Dan. Horrific story.

The shuttle Discovery is scheduled to blast off overnight for a supply run to the international space station. Among the equipment, a treadmill named after a television comedian. Let's go live to CNN's John Zarrella at the Kennedy Space Center. John, is the weather going to cooperate?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Suzanne. Looks pretty good right now. Shouldn't be any problems at 1:36 a.m. Eastern Time when "Discovery" lifts off on that 13-day mission to bring supplies and equipment to the international space station. As you mentioned, there is a piece of new equipment that's going up, and it is a treadmill and it is named after Stephen Colbert, the Comedy Central comedian. It's called the Colbert. What happened was NASA ran a naming contest for one of its big nodes that's going up. Well NASA decided to name that Tranquility, but Colbert's, all his write-in votes that he is got, he won the contest. NASA said we'll name this treadmill after you, so they named it the Colbert. It's going up, $4.8 million price tag to keep the astronauts fit. Stephen Colbert issued a statement a few days ago, and he said and I'm quoting here, I'm so proud my treadmill will be going into help trim down those famously fat astronauts. Lay off the Tang, chubby, he said, quote, end quote. Of course, NASA in its way has an acronym for Colbert and it is Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill. That's the acronym. When you go to the gym next time, ask if you can use that Colbert thing to work out on -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: I understand you have learned something about one of the astronauts?

ZARRELLA: Yes. You know, this is really one of those feel-good stories. Jose Hernandez is going up, his first flight. He's a mission specialist. And his family were Mexican-American farm workers in California. He didn't learn to speak the English language until he was 12 years old. He worked in the fields with his family, but his mother and father placed great emphasis on education and that's why he's here today.


JOSE HERNANDEZ, ASTRONAUT: My dad would load up the kids and my mom in the car and we would make the two-day trek up to California, and once we were in California, we would basically start working in the fields, obviously when it was the school year, my parents put lots of emphasis on education so we went to school, but Saturday and Sunday, we worked in the fields alongside with my parents.


ZARELLA: So now he's going to actually be twittering in English and Spanish, the first time any NASA astronaut has done that, and his parents are going to be here at the space center to watch lift-off.

MALVEAUX: Good for him. We'll be following his tweets. Thank you very much.

ZARRELLA: Great story.

MALVEAUX: Maybe he will hit the treadmill as well. Thanks.

Time now to check back in with Jack Cafferty -- Jack?

CAFFERTY: My question is how do you stay on the treadmill in zero gravity? Why wouldn't you just float off the thing into the other side of the room somewhere?

MALVEAUX: Maybe they strap you in or something.

CAFFERTY: Strap you in?

MALVEAUX: I don't know.

CAFFERTY: OK. Do you tweet, Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: I do. I do. I have been tweeting during this show here.

CAFFERTY: Sorry I asked. My question this hour: Is it time to declare the war in Afghanistan a lost cause and get out? Military types say it's not going well and eventually, we may need considerably more troops than we have.

Harold in Alaska: "Not until the opium poppy fields have been sprayed with persistent defoliants; besides poisoning our youth, the drug trade is the primary source of finance for the Taliban in spite of Islamic law against it."

Mike in Alexandria: "Having spent three tours in Afghanistan, I can only say that the aftermath of leaving with our tails between our legs will only make things worse. If you read Osama Bin Laden's declaration of war against the U.S. part of what encouraged them was when we left with our tails between our legs from Somalia. If you want to embolden those who wish to kill us no matter what, then sure, why not. After all, most Americans don't have a clue anyway. I'm speaking a different language here, I'm sure. Nothing to see here, folks, go back to your Playstations and reality TV. Semper fi."

Dave in New Hampshire: "Yes, the way the terrorists fight a war is to simply bankrupt their opponents. At least Russia was smart enough to realize this and get the hell out!"

Evan in Phoenix, "We don't have the luxury of simply declaring Afghanistan a lost cause and pulling up stakes. Al Qaeda, the Taliban executed history's deadliest attack on American soil and they continue to perpetrate acts of violence across the globe. If they got control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, it would be a nightmare come to life."

Steve in New Hampshire: "Are you crazy? At this point, it would be a big mistake to walk away. 9/11 occurred because lawless places like Afghanistan exist where terrorists could train openly. We need to stick it out and finish what Bush started. President Obama did the right thing by sending in more troops. The international community needs to contribute a little more as well."

David in Gainesville, Virginia: "Absolutely not. Afghanistan almost completely ignored for years while pursing Bush's folly in Iraq. We have only been trying to regain control of the country for a few months. Give it time for our troops to do their job. This is the war that should have been fought from the beginning."

Check out the blog for your e-mail if you didn't see it here. We got lots of them posted there -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Jack.

Well, he performed for the president's daughters so what did the president say when he came face-to-face with teen superstar, Nick Jonas?

JONAS: I shook hands and he said thank you for being good to my daughters and we took the picture. It was a cool thing.

MALVEAUX: The pop star joins us next to talk about politics and a very personal campaign to raise awareness about juvenile diabetes.

Also, military veterans and the Obama administration at the center of a new controversy in the health care debate. Involving a so-called death book. A CNN special investigation ahead.



MALVEAUX: He is one of the biggest stars in the music industry today, but Nick Jonas struggles with type I diabetes which means checking his blood sugar levels several times a day. Jonas has made it his mission to help others manage the condition. He spoke to us in Washington earlier today and I asked him about being diagnosed with diabetes four years ago.


JONAS: I started to see symptoms of diabetes, didn't know what it was at first, though. Really, really bad attitude, lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time and thirsty all the time, so went to the doctor and found out I was a diabetic. My blood sugar was over 700. Spent the next three days in the hospital and it was an interesting time but got through it and I'm here today.

MALVEAUX: Why are you here? I understand that you are speaking to lawmakers and you want to make sure there's more research for diabetes funding? JONAS: I'm here basically to raise awareness and encourage people to continue to do what they can to raise awareness as well in their own circles and on a broader scale, you know, through TV and press, whatever we can do, but also to encourage them to raise funds to fund research. Obviously we have to better manage our diabetes but we're hoping for a cure one day. That's what the main goal is.

MALVEAUX: You have actually had a chance to meet with the president, to speak with the president since he has become president. What did you talk about? Did you tell him about your concerns about diabetes and what did you two talk about?

JONAS: It was very brief, but we took a picture together with about 100 advocates from a bunch of the states who came and basically showed their support for diabetes, lot of diabetics type I like myself. We shook hands and he said thank you for being good to my daughters and we took the picture. It was a cool thing.

MALVEAUX: Do you follow the health care debate? Have you been watching all the points that have been made back and forth over what kind of plan should go forward?

JONAS: I have been watching a little bit but I choose to stay out of that and keep my opinion on that kind of thing to myself.

MALVEAUX: You're a little bit of a politician there, Nick. I notice you will keep away from some of the hot button issues. I understand that your brothers call you the president. You're the youngest out of them but they call you the president because they say you are the leader. Political future, perhaps, for you?

JONAS: I have always said I would like to be the president. It's kind of my whole thing, maybe 2040.

MALVEAUX: Starting your campaign now?

JONAS: Starting the campaign now.


MALVEAUX: Look out for 2040. To learn more about diabetes, go to

Happening now, breaking news, the Obama administration goes to new lengths to investigate the alleged torture of terrorists during the Bush era. We have new information about alleged abuses. Could it lead to a full-scale prosecution of former officials?

Another breaking story, a new verdict on what killed Michael Jackson. We are chasing a report that his death has been ruled a homicide.

Plus, some wine and cheese liberals are shopping for a new grocery store.