Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

Police Raid Pakistani Hotel Where American Men Stayed Before Being Arrested; White House Slams Wall Street; Mixed Messages on the Recession

Aired December 14, 2009 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAFFERTY: There's another component, too, which is the underground economy -- people who are not reported in the official statistics. And when you add in all those things, the underemployed and the underground economy, some suggest the real unemployment rate in this country could be as high as 17 percent.

BLITZER: And they believe there is a recession.

CAFFERTY: Oh, yes.

BLITZER: I don't think there's any doubt about that.

CAFFERTY: Right.

BLITZER: All right, Jack. Thank you.

To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, police raid a Pakistani hotel where five American men stayed before being arrested.

Did they leave behind any clues about what investigators say was a plot to commit terrorist acts?

Also, hundreds of billions of dollars spent and thousands of American lives lost in Iraq. Now the U.S. is the big loser in a fierce fight to gain access to the country's lucrative oil fields.

Plus, new video of Tiger Woods talking about the importance of his family only days before his life imploded in a scandal now costing him some of his biggest sponsors.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It's a terror case as baffling as it is disturbing -- five young American men now under arrest in Pakistan, where officials say they traveled with the intent to commit terrorist acts. Today, police raided a hotel room in Karachi, where three of them stayed. They left behind luggage, a mobile phone, among other items. But investigators say -- and I'm quoting now -- "we didn't get much."

But we are learning new information about how the suspects allegedly communicated with militants almost undetected.

CNN's Brian Todd has been digging deeper -- Brian -- what are you finding out?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Pakistani police say they communicated waited with each other by typing out texts on an e-mail account, but never actually sending them and that they drew the attention of one militant with online postings. The postings, according to the Pakistanis, were made by one young man who, just months earlier, was known for more his athletic prowess at a high school in the D.C. suburbs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Ahmed Abdullah Minni, known as an accomplished wrestler at West Potomac High School outside Washington. And, according to an interrogation report by Pakistani police, it was Minni's interest in online YouTube videos of attacks against U.S. forces -- videos like this one -- that drew attention to a militant named Saifullah. The report says that person contacted Minni after Minni repeatedly praised the attacks.

It also says Minni and his four friends from Northern Virginia, now being held in Pakistan, communicated with each other on an e-mail account without fear of interception by the FBI. The report says they set up an account they could all access, would leave messages only in the draft section, but never send them, then delete the messages after reading them.

IRA WINKLER, FORMER NSA ANALYST: So the text is what's coming across, whether or not it's in the form of a sent message, a received message or a draft message.

TODD: Former NSA analyst Ira Winkler says authorities could at least see the text was being created on an account and see who was using that account in the U.S. and overseas.

(on camera): And I read this and then I delete it and then I save out.

If I've got no prior history, if I've got no criminal record and the FBI would have no reason to know that I'm doing anything, isn't that undetectable by the FBI?

WINKLER: Yes and no. What's happened is if you delete this message, they still -- they were still able to see the data was sent to you to be -- to be displayed on your monitor. So the data was still sent to you.

TODD (voice-over): Winkler says some deleted messages might have vanished, but some might have been kept in a backup system by the service provider.

The five young men are now in legal limbo, for the moment, blocked by Pakistani courts from being deported or handed over to U.S. authorities. Back home, the leader of their mosque says family and friends simply want to turn back the clock.

ESSAM TALLAWI, ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF NORTH AMERICA: I still imagine -- I still, you know, in my mind I see them just walking into the mosque and praying with us. And I want -- I want them to come back and pray with us and for things to go back to normal.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

TODD: The attorney representing the families of the five did not want to go on camera with us, but told us today she's also waiting to see when or if they'll be sent back to the United States and what, if any, charges they may face. With some frustration, she told us she does not have those answers yet, Wolf.

BLITZER: What more, Brian, do we know about this order to keep them in Pakistan?

TODD: It was a court order filed in response to a petition from a former Pakistani intelligence official who now runs a human rights organization in Pakistan. We don't know exactly why he filed that petition, but under Pakistani law, just about anybody can file a petition with the court. And that court has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, where the government has to respond to that particular petition. So maybe by Thursday, we may know whether they're going to come back to the United States or not.

But this is kind of driving the family families and their attorney a little bit crazy at this point.

BLITZER: It's a very sophisticated operation they had to keep it secret.

TODD: That's right.

BLITZER: In other words, if I -- if you had an e-mail account...

TODD: Right...

BLITZER: ...and I knew your password...

TODD: That's right.

BLITZER: ...you could save information on draft form, never send it. I could log in, know your password...

TODD: Right.

BLITZER: I could read all the draft messages in there. And -- and we could communicate without it ever going out.

TODD: That's right. You read them, you delete them and there's no trace of it. However, Ira Winkler says, in some cases -- on some Internet service providers, they sometimes provide backups. Now, the authorities may be able to go in retroactively and see some of that, but a lot of it also may vanish.

BLITZER: It's pretty sophisticated stuff.

TODD: It was. Simple, but sophisticated.

BLITZER: Thanks, Brian.

Appreciate it.

A 17 year sentence for a Georgia

man convicted of conspiring to support terrorism. Ehsanul Sadequee was accused of contacting suspected terrorists online and videotaping Washington landmarks for them. The 23-year-old is an American citizen of Bangladeshi descent. And before his sentencing, he delivered a rambling 50 minute sermon on Islam before being cut off by an angry judge. Sadequee was charged and convicted, along with a 25-year-old friend, a former Georgia Tech student, who has just been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

There's growing concern in the U.S. government about climate change. Next year, the Pentagon will perform a defense review mandated by Congress every four years. And for the first time, it will include the potential security threats posed by global warming.

And the CIA now has a center for the study of climate change.

Thursday, President Obama leads for Copenhagen and the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, now in its second week. He's likely to be greeted by scenes like this, with environmental activists protesting daily, demanding bolder action. But the talks themselves, right now, they're bogged down, as industrialized nations and developing countries fight over cutting emissions and how to pay for it.

Today, the former vice president, Al Gore, was at the conference presenting reports on melting ice, which he warns has likely tipped into a negative balance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's almost like blood spilling out of a body along the east coast of Greenland there. And so it's gone in -- in less than 30 years -- from this to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Gore helped dramatically raise world awareness of global warming with his 2006 documentary entitled, "An Inconvenient Truth".

Let's get back to Jack for The Cafferty File -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Our -- our mayor, Mike Bloomberg here in New York City, is taking a little heat. He's flying off to the Copenhagen global warming summit in a private jet.

BLITZER: He -- he can afford it.

CAFFERTY: Well, he can afford it, yes. But the -- you know, the environmentalists are giving him a thumbs down.

When it comes to Iran's nuclear program, here's some troubling news. The country keeps thumbing its nose at the rest of the world. We knew that. "The Times of London" is reporting now it's gotten its hands on secret documents that show that Iran is, in fact, working on testing a key final part for a nuclear bomb.

The notes describe a four year plan to test the component that actually triggers a nuclear explosion. It's believed these documents are from 2007. That would be four years after Iran was thought to have ended its weapons program.

Tehran has repeatedly said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But with these new documents, experts insist that there's no possible use for what the Iranians are doing here except a nuclear bomb.

The latest revelation will likely increase pressure for tougher U.N. sanctions.

Yes, that's worked pretty well.

Iran has already ignored three sets of sanctions that were meant to curb its uranium enrichment program.

President Obama has given Iran under until the end of this year to prove that their nuclear intentions are peaceful. That would be two weeks.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of students filled the streets of Iran for two days last week -- the biggest antigovernment protests in months, since that disputed election. Many protesters shouted slogans against the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Ahmadinejad. They chanted "Death to the Dictator!"

The United States insists it will not sit by and ignore the protests in Iran, with one top diplomat saying the Iranian people deserve decent treatment from their government.

Also today, Iran says it will try those three American hikers jailed since crossing the Iraqi border last summer. Iran has accused the Americans of spying. The U.S. says they were just tourists. Some are worried that Iran will use these hikers as bargaining chips in nuclear talks.

So here is the question -- is now the time to take aggressive action against Iran?

Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog.

Secret documents showing work on a nuclear trigger -- that ought to keep some people up at night.

BLITZER: Yes. Remember, General Jones, the president's national security adviser, told us last week the clock is ticking. They have until the end of this month to make up their minds, otherwise those tougher sanctions are going to be advanced.

CAFFERTY: So how good are sanctions?

I don't know if they do any good. It seems all they do is hurt the -- the citizenry of the country. Their government goes right along doing their uranium enrichment.

BLITZER: Yes. It's a tough one.

Jack, don't go away.

President Obama takes Wall Street bankers to task.

But will his tough talk get them to start lending again?

Details of his tongue-lashing and what the banks are saying in defense.

Plus, two of the president's top economic advisers apparently at odds over the state of the economy.

Is the recession over or not?

Plus, a U.S. Supreme Court case that could impact anyone who sends e-mails or text messages while on the job.

Does your boss have a right to snoop?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The president is taking the nation's banks to task for not doing enough to help struggling Americans. He summoned a dozens to the White House earlier today, telling them taxpayers bailed them out, now it's their turn to help the economy get back on its feet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So my main message in today's meeting was very simple -- that America's banks received extraordinary assistance from American taxpayers to rebuild their industry and now that they're back on their feet, we expect an inordinate and an extraordinary commitment from them to help rebuild our economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Our national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin, has more on today's talks -- Jessica, what specifically does the president want these banks to do?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we decided to have a little fun with this story. So in the pantheon of great American villains, there is The Joker, Darth Vader, Dr. Evil and, these days, some folks seem ready to add to that list, the titans of Wall Street, America's bankers.

Thirteen of the nation's top bankers met with the president today -- here are just a few.

And we asked regular folks out there on the streets what they think of these guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give back the money and stop making $200 million a year. That's our money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's ludicrous for them to be like, oh, well, you can't, you know, change the way we operate because, you know, we don't want you to. I mean there would be -- there has to be some kind of repercussions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to really like them, but I don't. I think that the consumer always gets the short end of the stick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YELLIN: All right. So there's a lot of outrage there. Here's the source of that outrage by the numbers. Since last year, U.S. taxpayers laid out more than $450 billion in bailout bucks through a variety of programs to various banks. In that time, banks have slashed lending to businesses by about 15 percent, but bankers are paying themselves handsomely. CNNmoney estimates Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase alone will hand out $29.7 billion -- with a B -- billion dollars in bonuses to themselves, some in stocks, some in cash, this year.

Now, in truth, these numbers are hardly news to anyone. We've been reporting this for a while. But here's the number that's really been rankling the White House -- $36,953,503.

What is that?

It's the amount of money commercial banks have spent lobbying so far this year. And the key issue they're lobbying against -- financial reform -- reform to regulate Wall Street, to protect consumers. You get the idea.

Goldman Sachs has spent more than $2 million on lobbying; Morgan Stanley, more than $3 million; Citibank, which only today announced that it plans to pay back its bailout money, has already spent more than $4.5 million on lobbying -- Wolf, the White House is very displeased with this.

BLITZER: So what -- what do they -- what's their defense, Jessica? YELLIN: Well, Wolf, on lending, the banks say even in this tough economy, they have approved new loans. According to the American Bankers Association, the 21 largest banks that got bailout funds have given out $2.2 trillion in loans since they got that money. Some banks today pledged to give more. They point out the demand for loans is down and banks are trying to be more careful about who they loan to these days.

And then on lobbying, well, the bankers told the president, look, they support financial reform and they insist their lobbyists are just trying to help shape reform, not kill it -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jessica.

Thanks very much for that.

Jessica Yellin working that story. We have more, though, coming up. Some of the president's top economic advisers themselves appear to be at odds over whether the country is still in recession.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "MEET THE PRESS," COURTESY NBC)

CHRISTINA ROMER, CHAIR, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Well, I think the president has always said, and what I firmly believe, you're not recovered until all those people that want to work are back to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, in your mind, this recession is not over?

ROMER: Of course not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "STATE OF THE UNION")

LAWRENCE SUMMERS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Our experience is that these things take -- they take significant time. First, GDP increases. We've seen that start to happen. Then firms ask the workers who are already with them to work more hours. That's starting to happen. Then net job creation starts to happen. We were losing 700,000 jobs a month when President Obama took office. Last month, we lost 11,000. So we're getting there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in our chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi.

Ali is with the CNN Express in South Carolina right now.

These mixed messages -- one economic adviser saying the recession is over, the other economic adviser saying it's not over.

What are folks out there saying -- Ali? ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, if -- when I ask people, they seem to be mixed, as well.

Some people were asking me, you tell me, is the recession over?

It is not, however, if they're not prompted to have that discussion -- it's not the discussion that's taking place where we are in -- in South Carolina. It wasn't the discussion taking place last night in North Carolina.

That discussion is more about jobs, it's about lending to individuals and lending to small businesses, and it's about taxes, about health care. People are not having sort of what comes across as a bit of an academic discussion about technically whether the recession is over or it's not.

That said, it's a little perplexing that the White House wouldn't be on the same page about this. Most economists do believe that this recession is over. But, of course, a recession isn't over until the organization that is charged with saying so does. And usually that's a rearview mirror look.

So the chances are this recession is over. But at this point in America, it looks like a jobless recovery at the moment. And that's of greater concern than the technicality of whether we're in a recession or not.

BLITZER: Yes. As Jack Cafferty said, for a lot of these people who are unemployed or underemployed, the country is clearly in recession.

VELSHI: Right.

BLITZER: What are folks out there doing to deal with this tough economy, because you're speaking to a lot of them as you go across the country?

VELSHI: Yes. Yes. And particularly, as you know, we've done a number of these trips, Wolf. And we're a year into a holiday season that was very, very rough a year ago. We're talking to people about how this holiday season is different and what they're thinking.

A lot of creativity out there. I met a woman last night who had worked at the North Carolina Zoo for 25 years, lost her job and is now retraining to be a teacher and thinks that it's a -- it's a fantastic experience.

We're meeting people here in Cheraw, South Carolina -- we met a drugstore owner who's having a tough time, but they're actually expanding their business. They're focusing and deciding what works and trying to grow their business. So people are getting much more creative. They're past the resignation and the blame. They're -- they're trying to figure out how they're going to make 2010 a lot different for them. And I'm -- I'm getting a real sense of that as we -- as we begin this trip -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Ali, you're in what town?

Pronounce the name of the city that you are in right now.

VELSHI: Cheraw, South Carolina. It is the birthplace of Dizzy Gillespie.

BLITZER: Wow! All right. Good to know.

VELSHI: Yes.

BLITZER: Ali is in Cheraw, South Carolina.

VELSHI: Yes.

BLITZER: It looks like it's on the border between South Carolina and North Carolina. A nice place, I am sure.

VELSHI: Yes. Just below the -- just before the -- below the state line.

BLITZER: All right, Ali.

We'll be checking in with you tomorrow, as well.

Thank you.

Tiger Woods is losing some of his biggest sponsors.

Can his brand recover from the scandal over his infidelity?

Plus, details of a strike that could create Christmas chaos for tens of thousands of holiday travelers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Jessica Yellin is monitoring some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- Jessica, what's going on?

YELLIN: Wolf, holiday plans for tens of thousands of travelers could be thrown into chaos. The union for British Airways' cabin crews announced today they will strike over Christmas and New Year's. The union says they'll walk out next Tuesday and won't go back to work until January 2nd. More than 90 percent of workers voted for that action. The union and B of A are locked in a bitter dispute over jobs, pay and working conditions. But the airline says it's trying to return to profitability.

Well, a NASA spacecraft blasted off from California this morning on a month long mission to map the skies. It's expected to catalog millions of distant galaxies, hidden asteroids, comets and other celestial objects. The wide field infrared survey explorer, nicknamed WISE, is designed to spot anything that emits heat.

Well, France today returned stolen artifacts to Egypt, ending a feud over ownership. French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy handed over the five fragments of a 3,000-year-old wall painting to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The relics came from a tomb near Luxor and are believed to have been stolen in the 1980s. France said The Louvre acted in good faith when it purchased them.

And conservationists at the UN's climate talks say urgent action is needed to save Pacific coral reefs and the marine life they support. Experts say climate change is causing alarming acidification and rising sea temperatures. And they say more than 120 million people are at risk of losing their livelihoods because of a lack of fish on tropical coral reefs.

A raging debate there -- Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right. Stand by. We're going to get back to you, as well.

Lucrative Iraqi oil deals going to everyone but -- get this -- everyone but American firms.

Why is the U.S. losing out in Iraq right now?

What is going on?

Afghanistan surge -- the first wave of troops deploys.

How do they feel about facing down the Taliban?

And does your boss have the right to snoop on your work e-mails?

It's a case that's going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, Senator Joe Lieberman could become a big problem for Senate Democrats who thought they were on the verge of a comprehensive health care compromise.

Why is the Independent senator from Connecticut threatening to join Republicans in opposing a bill?

President Obama is due at the United Nations climate talks later this week.

What can he do at Copenhagen?

We'll ask Senator Lindsey Graham. He's a Republican who broke ranks with some other Republicans to support action on climate change.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Critics of the Iraq War long maintained oil was the driving force behind the U.S. invasion. But the U.S. is actually one of the biggest losers in the latest battle over rights to tap Iraq's lucrative oil fields.

Who won?

Get this -- the Russians, the Europeans and the Chinese.

Our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, is joining us now with more on this story.

I would assume the U.S. has a right to be pretty angry, given the trillion -- maybe a trillion dollars the U.S. taxpayers have spent in Iraq and the thousands of American lives lost.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, and when you look at the contracts, you have Russia's LUKOIL along with Norwegian's Statoil gaining a huge contract. Chinese got contracts. Even Angola got a contract. Now, it's not as if the Americans were completely exed out, because Exxon and Occidental as a consortium did get in contracts. This shows business is business, and we're free from outside influences. In fact today, Wolf, I asked Secretary Clinton about this and she's putting the best face on it. She says what we think is important is that foreign investment is back in Iraq. If it came out the other way, if Americans got all the contracts, it would be very hard to defend against that idea that the United States went into Iraq because of oil.

BLITZER: It does come at a time, at an awkward moment for the Obama administration. Just the other day Defense Secretary Robert Gates went to Iraq, risking his life still to go there. He had a scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki he says I don't have time to see you so he went back to his little area, had dinner with other folks. That was pretty shocking.

DOUGHERTY: Pretty notable. They did reschedule it for the next day. But look at his situation, al Maliki is in a very bad domestic situation. They've had this spate of terrorist attacks. He's under the gun, in fact that meeting he went back to was on that subject, and the other part is the elections are coming up March 7th. He has to look as if he's not under the numb of the Americans.

BLITZER: Still, when you think about it, it's -- I guess it's pretty shocking given the huge American investment of treasure and blood that was made in Iraq.

DOUGHERTY: That's really a legitimate point, but I was talking to some experts today. What they say is regardless of who got the contracts, it's important that the oil industry in Iraq revive. They need money to pay their bills. Look at their budget, it's primarily due to oil money. So regardless of how it works out, it's good for Iraq, ultimately good for the world that that oil get back on track.

BLITZER: All right. We'll see what happens, but I suspect there are a lot of folks who are deeply disappointed. Jill, thanks very much.

While many of us are planning on being home for the holidays, hundreds of marines are heading into danger. They're the first wave of troops to deploy to Afghanistan as part of President Obama's surge strategy. Our Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence spoke to some of those marines at Camp Lejeune. Chris?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The surge into Afghanistan has officially started and we saw some of the last preparations before this first wave of troops deploys out of Camp Lejeune.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: For all the talk of getting troops out of the Afghanistan they can't wait to get in. We heard the excitement in their voices, but listen to what else they said.

2ND LT. JOHN AUER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: This will be my first deployment.

LAWRENCE: Lt. John Auer one of many Marines who have never set foot in country or faced a Taliban fighter.

AUER: I think I wouldn't be a human if I wasn't worried, obviously this is my first combat, but the Taliban is an experienced group of fighters and I'm not taking that for granted.

LAWRENCE: Last week at Camp Lejeune, the chairman of the joint chiefs asked a roomful of marines about to deploy to Afghanistan --

ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: How many have gone before?

LAWRENCE: He got intense stares but barely any hands went up. Later, I asked him about the lack of Afghanistan experience.

MULLEN: We're obviously not in an ideal situation with respect to that, I understand that, but I have a huge amount of confidence in our marine corps.

LAWRENCE: A lot of the sergeants have done several combat tours in Iraq. They've been busy answering questions from younger, inexperienced marines.

STAFF SGT. JOSHUA KELLY, U.S. MARINE CORPS: Especially on your first deployment it's more of anxiousness. It's fear of the unknown because you don't know really what to expect.

LAWRENCE: Besides their combat training, marines in the 2nd light armored regiment have been getting briefed on Afghan customs and learning the Pashtun language.

SGT. JASON BENDETT, U.S. MARINE CORPS: By no means am I a professional. Whenever you're with business personnel it becomes a lot easier to do so. Really, really excited about seeing how that culture training plays out whenever we actually get there.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LAWRENCE: They're likely headed to Helmand province to help the marines already there, and Admiral Mullen says in certain areas even marines without a lot of experience have been able to get up to speed quickly and contribute. Wolf?

BLITZER: Chris Lawrence, thanks very much. Chris is over at the pentagon working that story.

Corporate sponsors are beginning to feel the heat some of them fleeing Tiger Woods. His brand is badly tarnished right now but his admitted infidelities. Can he recover and how? We'll hear what Tiger has said just before the scandal broke about his family. That's coming up.

Plus a robbery victim who says the 911 operator put her on hold.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're just getting new video of Tiger Woods talking about his family. It was an interview with Sky TV in New Zealand taped only days before the scandal over his infidelity exploded. Listen to sports broadcaster Murray Dieker ask Woods about his priorities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY DIEKER, SPORTS BROADCASTER: Family first and golf second. Always be like that?

TIGER WOODS: Always.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Always. For more we're joined by sports business analyst Rick Horrow. As we know, Tiger has admitted the infidelity. In that statement late Friday he said I'm deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. They're dropping him, Gillette on Saturday suggested, you know, at least for now near not going to run the ads. Accenture on Sunday says they're completely separating from Tiger Woods right now. They don't want to have anything to do with him at least for now. Nike, though, is his biggest sponsor. What does Nike do?

RICK HORROW, SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Well, remember Wolf the Accenture dropping is fundamentally different than other ones, because they actually said they don't see him as a fit representative anymore. At least with Gillette, it was respecting the privacy of his hiatus so maybe going through the motions. Nike, as we said, has 800 million reasons to stick with Tiger, because that brand is tied to Tiger. There was no Nike golf before Tiger a few years ago. Now it's at $800 million in annual sales. So if they disengage, it will be tough to do.

BLITZER: What about some of the other sponsors? What do they do? HORROW: They wait for public opinion. They wait to see how people listen to the characterization on this show and others, remember this is the perfect storm. This was the most recognizable guy in the world. Now he is recognizable, but for other reasons, so EA and Upper Deck and some of those other companies may wait and see, but you thought Accenture might wait and see. They didn't wait, they didn't see.

BLITZER: What about damage control? How does he get over there? What does he need to do? Some are saying, you know what? Make a statement on camera. That will be the beginning of your comeback.

HORROW: Wolf, you know what's interesting? I'm in Little Rock. I was working with the Stevens people today. Just as an example, the first 20 minutes of the meeting, all everybody wanted to talk about is Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. And frankly the statement that he made two weeks ago he talked about transgressions, now infidelity, genuinely sorry, needs to make amends, family may be first. I don't know if he meant if before, but he might mean it now. We are a forgiving nation. If you put it in the context of other kinds of illnesses let's say, if you admit rock bottom and continuing to improve, bottom line, if he wins, then things go away. He has five majors to win to beat Jack's record. Now it's not so certain, Wolf.

BLITZER: The stakes for so many in the PGA, including the TV networks that broadcast that are enormous. When he plays, the ratings are unbelievable. When he's not playing, they lose 50%, 60% of the viewers.

HORROW: Let me go even further than that. That is correct, but last year remember we knew he was going to come back after eight, nine months because the knee surgery was going to repair. Now is the hiatus a small h or is it a large h? If it's a couple years, that television issue comes into account, prize monies tripled since he came on tour. As important, you know why golfers are excited about him? 7,000 percent increase in PGS millionaires, Wolf, since he stepped on the tour so yes he's going to be missed.

BLITZER: So a lot of companies and individuals have a great deal at stake in one of the greatest athletes ever, at least dropping out of sports for the time being.

HORROW: Absolutely. Here's the other one, there's $10 million, 100 charities for the kids, at $5,000 a pop. The real victim here may be the Tiger Woods Foundation and the kids that chooses to help.

BLITZER: Rick, we'll continue this discussion. Thanks very much for coming in.

HORROW: I'll see you again. I know we will.

BLITZER: Appreciate it.

A police officer sues for invasion of privacy. Should his bosses have been snooping on his personal messages? The case is heading all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Is it time to take aggressive action against Iran? Jack Cafferty answers your e-mails when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Let's get right to Jack Cafferty for "the Cafferty file." Jack?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question this hour, Wolf, is now the time to take aggressive action against Iran? London Times reporting that they are working on a nuclear trigger in Iran. That's for the purposes of setting off a nuclear explosion.

Carla in Phoenix, "It doesn't matter what the street's shouting about in Iran or what the U.N. says. The leaders have a ton of oil money to keep them fat and warm. They aren't concerned about a tax rebellion or what anyone thinks, least of all American opinion. They know our military is tied up in two wars, and the Europeans are all talk. They know we're not in a position to really do anything and they're rubbing our faces in it."

Jim writes, "Try stronger sanctions, hope for the moderation or overthrow of the Iranian regime, but prepare for military action."

Dennis says, "Action against Iran for what? We have three wayward travelers who have crossed illegally into their country. Iran is threatened on all borders. We have them surrounded with troops in Iraq and troops in Afghanistan. No wonder they want nuclear."

Theodore writes, "Yes. It's long past time to take action against Iran. But will the U.S.? Not very likely or to make myself quite clear, fat chance. The task will fall to Israel. Israel is the only country with the guts to execute the tough calls."

Chandler says, "The idea of taking aggressive action against Iran is utter nonsense and the faster everybody admits that the better. Can't anyone out there read a map? Iran can stop the tanker traffic through the Straight of Hormuz by throwing rocks. They don't even have to actually throw rocks, just threaten to throw rocks. The insurance companies will stop the tankers. If you think the economy should treat now, try cutting out a quarter of the world's oil supply."

John says, "So what do you want to do Jack? Send in troops? Old guys like you and me will have to sign up as that's all we have left. Let's try diplomacy, sanctions, etc. for as long as possible and then let President Obama come up with another alternative. He's smarter than us, anyway."

And Russ writes, "Kind of sounds like it Jack. What's the word from Tel Aviv?"

You want to read more on this, you can find it at my blog, CNN.com/Caffertyfile. Check it out.

BLITZER: A lot of people do, every single day, Jack, as they should. Thank you.

Jessica Yellin is monitoring some other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.

Jessica, what do you have?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This one is an unsettling story. The victim of this Atlanta armed robbery claims 911 put her on hold while the robbery was ongoing. When one of the gunmen slipped and fell, as you can see from this video. He's falling off the counter. She ran out and called her colleagues for help. She and others say at least three calls were put on hold by 911 operators. In response, Atlanta police say they received an overflow of calls and four hang-ups. However, they said police were on the scene within two minutes of the first call they received about it.

Well, all of us probably have stayed at a bad hotel, but one luxury hotel is having such a bad problem, guests are leaving by the hundreds. 300 guests have left the Epic Hotel in Miami, because one died, two others became since. Since October, the hotel was plagued with a waterborne illness known as Legionnaires ' disease. An investigation points to a hotel installed water filter that's helped cause bacterial growth. Now, that's what I would call a bad trip.

BLITZER: I guess they'll have to reduce their rates to get some folks to try them again. They have a lot of damage control work to do. All right. Jessica, thanks very much.

Can you expect to have any privacy at all when you use a work device to send texts or e-mails? The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on that issue, specifically how it applies to government employees. The high court will review a California ruling that sided with police officers who said their department improperly snooped on their text messages. Let's go to our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who knows a great deal about the Supreme Court. Explain what's at stake here, Jeff.

JEFF TOOBIN, SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Okay. This is a peculiar case. The police department in Ontario, near Los Angeles, gave pagers to their police officers, and the formal policy was, like every business or government policy, was, look, if we give you a pager or a cell phone, we have access to it, but there was an informal policy where the supervisor said, look, you can use it occasionally for personal purposes. What the court said was in light of the informal policy, the private e-mails that were sent -- the private text messages sent over this pager were something the government employer couldn't look at. This was an unusual case in that the employee, not the employer, won.

BLITZER: What are the implications for us who work in the private sector and no doubt you have sent some personal e-mails from your CNN device that you have received.

TOOBIN: You know, I think everybody recognizes that the smart thing to do is if the government gives you a blackberry, a pager, a cell phone, any kind of electronic device, an e-mail address, you should only use it for business purposes. Now, if you have ever met such a person who has only used it for business purposes, that's one more person than I have met who's done it. The court's decision in the ninth circuit basically is an attempt to try to catch up to the way people really live their lives which is to say that people always use business devices for personal purposes. But frankly, I think the Supreme Court is going to go the other way and say, look, if the employer gives it to you, you're taking your chances. All of us do.

BLITZER: Probably a good idea to have a business e-mail and a personal e-mail to do personal stuff.

TOOBIN: It is. But if you have one device it's hard to separate it out. The smart thing to do is separate business and personal, but I can only speak for myself and I'm not perfect at that or anything else.

BLITZER: Me, too. All right, Jeff. Thank you.

Women and the trauma of war. Female veterans may be more vulnerable than men to post traumatic stress syndrome. Why they may not be getting the help they need.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: America's women at war -- they're supposed to be in noncombat roles but many are coming back said to face a war within. CNN's Campbell Brown has been looking at the issue and tells us about a young soldier and mom who tried to take her own life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JUNE MOSS, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED): We were part of the first wave in.

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: When Staff Sergeant June Moss was deployed in 2003 to Iraq she had already served a stint in Kosovo in 1999. She thought she knew what she was in for, but she had no idea.

MOSS: Kosovo was nothing like Iraq at all. People were dying on the spot.

BROWN: Moss worked as a mechanic and a driver navigating dangerous terrain. She never knew what to expect and she was scared every day.

MOSS: Decapitations. You saw the charred bodies from the explosions and from seeing all the debris. You didn't know when you drove through a crowd whether there was a suicide bomber or not. You didn't know if somebody would throw something your way.

BROWN: After five months of that Moss says she returned home to her family.

MOSS: Within a few months of being home I noticed, hey, something's odd.

BROWN: Moss said she was crying all the time and always felt anxious.

MOSS: I was never sleeping. I was constantly checking the locks, making sure we were secured.

BROWN: Her daughter Brianna saw the change.

BRIANNA MOSS, DAUGHTER: She had nightmares about people taking us away or her and war or guns shooting.

BROWN: June distanced herself from family and friends.

MOSS: Most of the time I would stay in the house, stay secluded, isolated. Wouldn't go shopping, wouldn't visit. It was times I didn't want to get out of bed.

BROWN: With life spiraling out of control, she attempted suicide by cutting her wrist.

MOSS: I remember the ambulance came and my kids asked me, mommy, why did you do that. The only thing I could say at the time was I had a bad day.

BROWN: She knew then she needed help. Nearly 20% of all servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, or its symptoms according to Dr. Natara Garovoy. She works at a first of its kind center for women's mental health at the V.A. in northern California. She says returning female soldiers like June Moss are particularly vulnerable.

DR. NATARA GAROVOY, V.A. PALO ALTO HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: Any time they have been exposed to something life threatening for themselves or someone elsewhere they felt helpless, experienced horror that could lead to PTSD.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Campbell Brown joins us now. More on this sensitive issue and her special tonight, "Band of Sisters." Women technically may be serving in what they call noncombat roles but they are very vulnerable to post traumatic shock syndrome.

BROWN: That's right Wolf and it's the term "noncombat" that can be very misleading because women in Iraq and Afghanistan are very much in the middle action right. They serve as gunners, drivers, military police, you name it. They are by no means sheltered from the horrors and trauma of war. So the women we spoke to told us when they came home they often felt invisible, that people weren't ready to acknowledge the extent of their service or what they had really been through. That can make the transition back to civilian life really hard. In fact, there are studies that show women are actually more vulnerable to PTSD than men in many cases.

BLITZER: How is the pentagon responding to all of this?

BROWN: Well, we're seeing more programs from the pentagon that are a specifically aimed at the needs of returning women like as you saw in the piece the separate clinics where women can go to talk about experiences without men around. They faced unique stresses in war. Sometimes they are the only woman in their unit. It can be very isolating and very different from what men go through. Then, of course, also women -- returning women find themselves stepping back into the role of primary caregiver for families and dealing with that presents a challenge all its own. So the military is having to adapt to meet the needs of these new women vets. We'll have more on this and talk more about it tonight at 8:00 eastern, Wolf.

BLITZER: Excellent idea. A lot more coming up at 8:00 eastern tonight. Campbell Brown's special investigation entitled "Band of Sisters." It uncovers answers that could surprise you. We'll be watching Campbell Brown at 8:00 p.m. eastern.

President Obama puts the squeeze on Wall Street backers to loosen up on lending. What more can he do?

Plus, Democrats are furious that the one-time vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman is threatening to pursue the party's latest hopes for health care reform.

And now that that scandal cost Tiger Woods a major endorsement, our other corporate sponsors more or less likely to cut and run?