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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Sources: John Kerry Expected To Head To Iraq; Senator Reid Calls Out Iraq "War Architect"; Dick Cheney Doubles Down On Iraq
Aired June 19, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, President Obama announces American forces are going back to Iraq. The president says they're advisers, but is it mission creep?
Plus breaking news, dozens may have been exposed to deadly live anthrax. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is our guest. An OUTFRONT investigation, a police department tonight under investigation for this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground now! Get on the ground!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, more American troops headed to Iraq as we are getting late word tonight that Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to travel to the country soon. President Obama today promising that troops wouldn't be combat troops saying military advisers will be heading to Iraq to combat the terrorist group, ISIS, that is gaining ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're prepared to send a small number of additional American military advisers, up to 300, to assess how we can best train, advice and support Iraqi security forces going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Some though are now asking, is this mission creep? In Iraq today the country's security forces are conducting air strikes of their own targeting militants who took control of Tal Afar, one of five major cities that have been completely or partially overtaken by ISIS. The Iraqi army says 50 rebels were killed in those strikes.
Meanwhile, mourners laid to rest 31 relatives killed when ISIS militants attacked three villages burning homes, women and elderly among the dead. The battle between militants and Iraqi forces is raging at the country's biggest oil refinery, which was attacked yesterday by ISIS. You can see the smoke. This image is a satellite image.
So you're looking down from space and you can see how dark and thick that smoke is from this height. Police say ISIS now controls 60 percent of that crucial refinery. So how involved will the United States get? The entire world needs the answer to that question. Jim Acosta begins our report tonight from the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After pulling the U.S. Out of Iraq, President Obama is putting the nation back in. With a modest mission to send up to 300 military advisers to assess the ISIS threat. But this time the president insisted will be different.
(on camera): Are you concerned about the potential for mission creep?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think we always have to guard against mission creep. So let me repeat what I've said in the past. American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.
ACOSTA (voice-over): To help Iraq combat ISIS militants, senior administration official said the plan is for several small teams of advisers, about a dozen each, to form joint operation centers with Iraqi forces. Discreet and targeted air strikes are still possible, officials say, after surveillance flights gather more intelligence. All in an effort, the president said to prevent Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is in our national security interests not to see an all-out civil war inside of Iraq.
ACOSTA: It's a nightmare scenario the president's critics say he should have seen coming when he authorized a complete withdrawal from Iraq in late 2011. A campaign promise Mr. Obama kept despite the risks.
(on camera): You wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision in 2011?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind, that wasn't a decision made by me. That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.
ACOSTA: The president maintained U.S. forces would not have had legal protection from Iraqi courts had they stayed.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Iraqi government and Prime Minister Maliki declined to provide us that immunity.
ACOSTA: Mr. Obama blamed the violence in part on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's failure to unite his country, but stopped short of calling for Maliki to step down.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It's not up our job to choose Iraq's leaders.
ACOSTA: The president is not only in a jam in Iraq, but he is trying to avoid another quagmire while containing a crisis that's spreading across borders and could lead to oil disruptions. Consider the political pressures back home with Republicans complaining he's too soft.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: And here we are a year and a half later, you look at this presidency and you can't help but get the sense that the wheels are coming off.
ACOSTA: And Democrats worried where the mission goes next.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: If the president is proposing a long-term commitment of military advisers or a more robust presence than simply 300 assets on the ground, then I think he's got to come to Congress for authorization.
ACOSTA: Unlike what happened between the U.S. and Iraq back in 2011, this time around senior administration officials say these advisers who are being deployed will have legal protections while they are on the ground. Meanwhile, senior administration officials are also saying they are not ruling out air strikes on targets outside of Iraq. That includes neighboring Syria. At this point as one official put it, they're not restricting action to just inside Iraq -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you very much, Jim Acosta. Obviously that is an additional very significant headline, that you're now not just talking about Iraq, but you're talking about another country, Syria. Joining me now Retired U.S. Army General Doug MacGregor. He was a tank commander during a major battle of the 1991 U.S. invasion of Iraq and CNN military analyst Retired Army Major General Jim "Spider" Marks.
Good to have both of you with us and we appreciate it. Spider, let me start with you. President Obama said today as he said repeatedly this has become one of these -- I'm going to say it every single time to make sure people hear me, we're not returning to combat in Iraq. They keep talking about no combat, no boots on the ground. When you hear about 300 American military personnel, it sounds like boots on the ground. What's the difference?
MAJOR GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RETIRED): Well, it's a distinction without a difference. What you have with the special -- these are probably Special Forces advisers that are appropriately manned to get to different levels, different echelons within the ISF, the Iraqi Security Forces to provide additional and primary function of intelligence targeting so that they can have better targets to go after.
We have access, those forces will have access to the complete array of the U.S. intelligence apparatus and they could bring that down to that level to assist the Iraqis. What we don't have is the additional fighting power and fire power that we could provide, but the president has ruled that out. So there is a difference here.
But clearly these Americans that are on the ground will be at some degree of risk. We have to acknowledge that. But the primary function is to provide an advisory role at the Iraqi joint chiefs level and then down probably to the division maybe the brigade level to ensure engagements are going appropriately and they can coalesce combat power appropriately.
BURNETT: Spider explaining this in detail, but is this something that Americans -- these people lives, they're going to be at risk, right? Then would be the risk if something went wrong he'd need to put in more people?
COL. DOUG MACGREGOR (RETIRED), U.S. ARMY: Well, they'll be at risk. The notion of adding more, I think, is unlikely. This strikes me as a largely meaningless gesture. It was probably presented to the president as the least bad option of bad options. I think the president was told that he has to be seen doing something. I disagree. I don't think he has to do anything and I don't think he should do anything. But I think that's the basis for this particular option.
BURNETT: And let me just give the president's rationale though as to why he thinks that the United States needs to do something. He made the case today. Let me play it for you, Colonel. Here he is.
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PRESIDENT OBAMA: We have an interest in making sure that we don't have a safe haven that continues to grow for ISIL and other extremist Jihadist groups who could use that as a base of operations for planning and targeting ourselves our personnel overseas and eventually the homeland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you think about that case, Colonel, that these Jihadist groups could use this as a plan of attack against the United States?
MACGREGOR: Well, let me push back against the notion that these people present any threat to us. You're talking about a few thousand semi-illiterate Islamist thugs riding around in pickup trucks with machine guns. These guys won't build any intercontinental ballistic missiles. They're unsophisticated. They're preoccupied with decapitating Shiites and trying to establish an Islamist state in vast open stretches of empty, irrelevant desert. I don't subscribe to that view at all.
BURNETT: They do have an annual report where they brag about how many people they've assassinated. A pretty well produced one. I know that doesn't mean or counter everything that you said. But they are organized and sophisticated in terms of media presentation in some ways.
MACGREGOR: Perhaps. I think if you want to secure the United States, you secure our borders, you get control of immigration. You don't invade somebody else's country and then cultivate millions of enemies, which is essentially what we've done in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
BURNETT: Spider, what's your response?
MARKS: Well, Erin, let me respond to Doug. And Doug, it's great to see you again. The issue in my mind is the broader notion of a failed state in Iraq. I don't disagree with Doug on several of his points. But if past is prologue, we've seen illiterate thugs that have caused damage to the United States before and clearly the United States has to be leaning forward in terms of its intelligence collection in order to see that threat possibly coming again.
And we can't allow that to occur any more than it is right now in Iraq. So the notion of Maliki in exile someplace, if it were to occur, possibly Tehran, really puts us on a path that has far greater challenges. So I think at this point, the notion of pushing back against ISIS is a logical and a measured step that has to take place. And what we're seeing right now, Erin, is certainly intelligence collection and building before we can begin to strike.
BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you. The conversation being had in homes around the country tonight.
OUTFRONT next, legacy on the line. This is the legacy for this president. Will his presidency be judged by what happens in Iraq now?
Plus, breaking news with dozens of Americans exposed possibly to deadly anthrax. Dr. Sanjay Gupta with a live report OUTFRONT. And a glimpse into the future. Just how high will buildings and toilets be?
BURNETT: Barack Obama announcing 300 military advisers are close to heading to Iraq, but emphasizing that American forces won't be returning to combat. Obviously, as we were talking about, is that a distinction without a difference. But the question is politically what does this mean for the president?
Joining me now two people who are front and center in knowing this answer, journalist, Carl Bernstein and William Kristol, editor of the "Weekly Standard." Great to have both of you with us. Carl, you're sitting here next to me, but this is a fine line he's walking where he's trying to do something about it, put in nearly 300 people, say it's not boots on the ground, avoid mission creep, but yet leave the door open to air strikes in Syria this is tough.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is tough but he's being prudent and not reckless like the Bush administration was to take us into a war that's been one of the unmitigated disasters of American history that has cost us treasure, lives and actually helped cede the area to terrorism. It's made Iran the victor in the Iraqi war.
That's where we are now because of what the Bush administration did. Now we're dealing with the consequences in a prudent way, I think, from -- I like what the generals just said, the general and the colonel. They both made great sense, both of them. BURNETT: Interesting what Carl's saying. You supported the invasion in 2003. And you know, Senator Harry Reid, you're probably aware of this, tweeted a picture of you, Paul Wolfowitz, former Vice President Dick Cheney with the line, quote, "The only thing I want to hear from Iraq war architects is an apology." What's your response?
WILLIAM KRISTOL, EDITOR, "WEEKLY STANDARD": Well, Harry Reid's not going to get an insincere apology from me. I'm not a politician. I'm not apologizing for something that I think was not wrong. The war to remove Saddam was the right thing and necessary thing to do. We can debate, Carl can go on how terrible it was, I can debate what Harry Reid said before the surge it wouldn't work in 2007.
We can go over the failure to leave a force there the failure to get involved in Syria, which I think is the real disaster, but I would like to say in my defense and other people that have tried to right things the last few days. Let's look at the situation on the ground and not re-litigate the past and what do we now do?
This is a real crisis. If ISIS dominates a huge chunk of Iraq and Syria and establishes a terrorist state there, that's a crisis for the United States. If Iran extends its borders in effect west into Iraq, that is a crisis. Let's have a serious discussion about what to do.
I give the president credit for at least now I think he's been slow and late unfortunately and continues I think foolishly to say no combat no combat, no combat as if he can guarantee that, but at least he is now acknowledging that it's a serious problem that requires U.S. involvement to deal with. Can't just say we ended the war, we're out of there, forget about it.
BURNETT: I love the whole conversation of re-litigating the original war because love having that conversation.
KRISTOL: Erin, I'm happy to have it. My final point on this. Invite Harry Reid to come on the show and let's debate 2003. He voted for the war, but let's debate whether it's right or wrong. I'll sit here with you and Harry Reid and have a half-hour long debate. But for him to tweet out the only thing I want to hear from them is an apology. Is that a serious way to conduct yourself?
BERNSTEIN: Apologies would be in order for the neo conservatives who banged the war drums and so disastrously, Bill.
BERNSTEIN: I don't think it's hogwash. You're right about one thing. We need the talk about what's happening now. I used the word "prudent" and you, Bill, said the president is taking a good look at this thing. We've got a terrible situation. And now it seems to me that he is looking at those alternatives that offer the least risk to us in terms of a commitment of huge numbers of troops.
And at the same time setting up the possibility of Special Forces actions, of air strikes, all kinds of ways to deal with what is a real terrorist threat. As well as a geo political problem that has resulted from the disastrous war in Iraq.
BURNETT: So Dick Cheney obviously central to the original war here is not letting up. Carl, after the op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" yesterday, which we talked about on this show. He went on Fox News and said it would be irresponsible not to act in Iraq. You just heard the president making the case for why the terrorists in Iraq could threaten America. But Dick Cheney says the president does not recognize there's a war on terror and here's what he said on Fox.
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DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Barack Obama has stated repeatedly that the terrorist threat's gone we got Bin Laden. That's clearly not the case. That's not the truth. And in fact we have a situation tonight where terrorism is potentially in charge of a larger part of the Middle East than ever before in our history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is the president not taking this threat seriously enough?
BERNSTEIN: Of course, he's taking it seriously. Also what Cheney said there, he really gave an accusation about the president and how he was endangering the United States. What Cheney really said is what the psychiatrists I think call projection about accusing Obama of doing exactly what Cheney and Bush did, to take us into a disastrous war, put us at risk throughout the world, invite terrorism. That's exactly what happened. And now we're dealing with the consequences and dealing with it seriously.
BURNETT: Bill, I mean, here's the question. You can go back and say whose fault is it. One thing that Dick Cheney said is true, which is terrorism seems to be a bigger part of the Middle East than before. But the question is who is to blame for the rise of all this, the bush administration for going into the Iraq war in first place, is it the Obama administration? I know your point of view on this, but the person who started it, this started under the Bush administration.
KRISTOL: I started before the Bush administration since 9/11 was plotted before the Bush administration. We can go back to the revolution. I don't think it's a wise debate to have at this time. Carl was right when he said it's a serious matter. Carl's own statement implied the limitation or with what the president said. He said we may have to use special operators, air strikes, I think that's right. Imprudent for the president to rule out so unequivocally putting U.S. forces into combat. If there's a genocide going on and 300 American special advisers standing 50 miles away --
BURNETT: Genocide hasn't mattered in Syria.
KRISTOL: Well, I think that was a mistake there, too.
KRISTOL: If we were to see a slaughter, if we were to see real genocide perhaps the president might find a way to bring the world together to act against genocide. We're not talking about that, bill. I think the president has been very prudent here with a terrible situation. And he deserves the support of neo conservatives at this point.
BURNETT: All right, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it. Let us know your thoughts whether you fall on the side of Carl or Bill. Drawing comparisons to the war in Vietnam. Tonight's CNN's original series "The Sixties" looks at how Vietnam began and what it took to end it, perfectly timed tonight here at 9:00 on CNN.
And still to come accusations of excessive force against a police department. The video that is setting off a federal investigation.
Has President Obama changed his mind since he said this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENTO OBAMA: Mr. Prime Minister, as we end this war and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America.
BURNETT: The White House is losing faith in the one person key to solving Iraq's crisis, Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki. The longtime opponent of Saddam Hussein once had the support of both Presidents Bush and Obama. Maliki now out of favor. Tom Foreman's OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the turmoil in Iraq, Washington is talking about military help, but Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki better not count on political reinforcements, instead President Obama has a clear message for Maliki and his allies.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right now is a moment where the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance. And the test for all of them is going to be whether they can overcome the mistrust, the deep sectarian divisions.
FOREMAN: Roll back to 2011 and listen to the difference.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America.
FOREMAN: So what went wrong? Maliki arose after the fall of Saddam Hussein as a quiet hero, a leader of the Shiite resistance to Saddam's Sunni rule who had lived more than 20 years in exile to escape a death sentence. He became prime minister in 2006 amid high hopes.
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: He's the right guy for Iraq and we're going to help him.
FOREMAN: Maliki punished those associated with Saddam while suggesting he would be fair to regular Iraqis, Shias, Sunnis and Kurds alike.
(on camera): But a troubling pattern emerged as the years passed. Top jobs went to fellow Shias and fear of terrorism became a pretexts to crack down on Sunni dissidents often with brutal force.
(voice-over): Opponents have been rounded up sometimes killed. Iraq analysts say that's the primary reason many Sunnis are assisting the ISIS insurgents now. It's a way of striking back.
MICHAEL CROWLEY, CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, "TIME": Maliki has been a huge disappointment. We really were hoping that the Iraqi political system could produce a leader that could bring the country together. That's the key to ending the violence. Instead a lot of Iraqi Sunnis look at Maliki as essentially a Shiite Saddam who is oppressing them.
FOREMAN: It is all problematic for the legacies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama because each stood by Maliki in better times and now may well wish they'd stood further apart. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: Still to come, breaking news of deadly anthrax exposure. As many as 75 people could be affected.
Plus the truth about terrorism. How extremists are using social media and one of America's major allies to raise big bucks.
And a guy takes his girlfriend on a romantic drive on a racetrack. Jeanne Moos is coming up.
BURNETT: Breaking news: as many as 75 people may be infected with anthrax bacteria. Reuters reporting that the FBI is now involved in investigating the incident. The scare happened at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta after scientists moved the deadly samples from one lab to another.
Our chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT.
Sanjay, this is pretty shocking that this could happen at the CDC, sort of the premier location in the world for this.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, this is what they're designed to do, to be able to handle these dangerous pathogens. You know, quite simply, Erin, it looks like someone or a group of people messed up here. It does not appear to be intentional. This appears to be an accident.
And simply put, they were trying to take these anthrax bacteria and move it from a high bio safety lab to a lower, less protected bio safety lab. What was supposed to happen is they were supposed to inactivate the bacteria first, and then wait 48 hours to make sure they, in fact, were inactivated and then move it.
Neither one of those steps happened. The inactivation process didn't work well. They did not wait the 48 hours. And what happened, Erin, you got a bunch of this live bacteria in a lab that just wasn't designed to handle it. And that's the concern.
BURNETT: I mean, that's incredible. So, what are the symptoms? And if the workers were exposed to the anthrax, then what?
GUPTA: Well, there are three types of exposures. The most severe form is what's known as inhalational or you breathe it in. And you know, they can start off looking like flu-like symptoms, but it can get pretty bad quickly. These spores that get deep into the lungs. You get shortness of breath, you start to have poor blood flow to the rest of your body and can lead to the problems with your ability to think properly. Eventually, you get a body-wide infection.
Look, this is deadly stuff, Erin. The last time people really talked about this seriously was back in 2001. But you remember we talked about untreated anthrax exposure like this could be 80 percent to 90 percent lethal.
BURNETT: That's incredible and terrifying that it could happen there. Sanjay, thank you so much.
GUPTA: You got it.
BURNETT: Dr. Sanjay Gupta there.
Well, ISIS and other extremist Islamic groups are successfully raising money for weapons, for food, for operations and they're raising it from people and countries that are close American allies. Countries like Qatar. According to the U.S. treasury, I'll quote them, "Qatar has become such a permissive terrorist financing environment that several major Qatar-based fund-raisers act as local representatives for larger terrorist fund-raising networks.
Last night, we showed you the result of our investigation into terror fundraising in a country that was a key player in negotiating the deal with the Taliban to free Bowe Bergdahl. You can watch the piece on our blog, CNN.com/Outfront.
Now, one of the things we discovered in our reporting was how important social media is to terror fund-raising. Twitter, Facebook and the Facebook owned messaging site WhatsApp are crucial tools. Those companies, of course, are American.
Here's a brief clip from our piece.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLI)
BURNETT (voice-over): Saad bin saad al-Kaabi (ph) is a fundraiser are for the Madad al-Assam (ph) campaign in Doha. His current profile on Facebook's WhatsApp, a social media platform, requests donations equal to US$1,500 to prepare a fighter by arming, feeding and treating him.
We called al-Kaabi (ph) when we were in Doha. He wouldn't meet with us, but he denied the poster solicited money for weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): He mentions, there was no mention of weapons.
BURNETT (on camera): It's on there right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): He says he has no knowledge of it.
BURNETT (voice-over): And when we asked why he used a picture of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 in a tweet, he replied the picture is everywhere over the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): He says that photo is all over the Internet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Seth Jones is associate director of International Security in Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation.
Seth, good to see you.
Al-Kaabi, the man we were talking about there told us he's not raising money right now but, of course, his solicitation for weapons is on his WhatsApp profile as I speak right now. We showed our viewers yet another solicitation that appeared from a cleric on Twitter asking for money for jihad. How common is this?
SETH JONES, RAND CORPORATION: Well, it is fairly common, Erin. We've seen a number of states including Jordan, Turkey, other Gulf states, not just Qatar, providing assistance to rebel organizations. In Syria historically, we've seen Pakistan do it to rebel groups.
So, it's a common practice to do. But it obviously is concerning in places like Syria right now, with groups like ISIS.
BURNETT: And in terms of the social media use, I mean, it is kind of incredible to just see these sorts of things on social media. People raising money for -- that we were able to find, you know, al Nusra, an al Qaeda-linked group active in Syria, saying, hey, give money to this guy, right there on Twitter.
JONES: Well, according to some data we've put together at RAND, over 95 percent of terrorist groups today use Facebook, use things like Twitter, so this is a huge, huge way for groups to collect information, a huge way for them to finance and get people to provide assistance to recruit members. Social media is where it's at for these groups.
BURNETT: And I want to just let everyone know, we reached out to Facebook about this. They had no comment at this point. But, you know, Qatar specifically is an ally of the United States, there's a major U.S. base in that country. I emphasize the word "major." It's a very important base. It was a key player in the release of Bowe Bergdahl with the Taliban.
The under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at Treasury says Qatar needs to combat this. Experts tell us they are not doing enough.
Why does Qatar allow the terror funding to happen?
JONES: Well, look, I think from a foreign policy perspective, countries like Qatar have an interest in providing assistance to sub- state actors in Syria to fight against the Assad regime. This is part of a broader foreign policy strategy as it is with other Gulf States and neighbors of Syria.
But what has been a problem is in particular when the funding is also going or potentially going to groups like ISIS and even al Nusra Front which are -- al Nusra in particular is an al Qaeda affiliate. This is a very serious implication and they have not really cracked down in a meaningful way on this activity.
BURNETT: You know, I mean, it's amazing how open it is. We talk about social media. These people are not afraid. They're not ashamed. They're not worried about being caught.
I mean, you know, obviously, this isn't the government funding terror, but it's individuals who are doing so openly. So, why is it happening there?
JONES: Well, I think it's happening because they're allowing it to happen. They're not cracking down. There is a culture right now of providing assistance to militant organizations that is in part supported by the state and other states in that region. What there is not a culture to crackdown as much as there should be on individuals giving it to terrorist organizations, particularly ones that are threatening the United States and the West.
BURNETT: All right. Seth Jones, thank you very much. We'll continue to cover this crucial story in the coming days.
Still to come, dozens of people shot and killed by police in Albuquerque over the past four years. Tonight, we're going to show the controversial video that's hard to watch but it's important. It's led to an FBI investigation.
And how big is too big when it comes to a skyscraper? The man behind the world's tallest building give us a look at his even bigger and better plans.
BURNETT: Tonight, an OUTFRONT investigation. An American police department is under fire for responding to threats with bullets. Dozens have been killed by cops in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And now, the Justice Department is getting involved.
One video you're about to see shows why. We're going to warn you it's disturb.
Drew Griffin reports.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): What you're about to see is horrific. This mentally disturbed homeless man illegally camping in the hills above Albuquerque, New Mexico, will soon fall victim to police bullets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm telling you. I am Department of Defense.
GRIFFIN: The justification for the shooting, according to police, those two small camping knives in his hands.
After hours of negotiations and surrounded by heavily armed officers, James Boyd agrees to leave, then suddenly this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.
GRIFFIN: A flash grenade. Boyd turns his back. Police open fire. Three shots. As he gasps for breath. Police sic a dog on his leg. They fire bean bags at his arms, then handcuff him as you hear the 38-year-old man slowly wheezing.
Boyd was slowly dying. The next day in a hospital, James Boyd became the 26th person in the last four years to die after being shot by Albuquerque police. The autopsy revealed he was shot in the back, a homicide.
Boyd's is not the only questionable killing here. Twenty-seven- year-old Christopher Torres, a schizophrenic who lived with his parents was shot and killed in his pajamas in his own backyard when two plainclothes police officers hopped this fence to serve a road rage warrant on him. Officers claimed he was armed and shot him in the back.
(on camera): They encountered Christopher in a side yard. At most he's holding a broom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A broom.
STEPHEN TORRES, CHRISTOPHER TORRES' FATHER: He had a broomstick. But he laid the broomstick down and had no weapons, was backing up from the officers when they attacked him.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Stephen and Renata Torres sued the police department on behalf of their son and won. A judge awarded them a $6 million civil judgment.
(on camera): What happened to the two officers that killed your son?
TORRES: They got, what, three, four days paid vacation.
GRIFFIN: Are they still on the force?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Despite $30 million in judgments against the city and an officer-involved shooting rate twice that of Chicago, eight times that of New York, not a single Albuquerque police officer has even been charged let alone convicted of using excessive force in the last 30 years. Not one.
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg cleared the two officers who killed Christopher Torres, just as she has cleared every other police shooting in the city during her last 13 years in office. Her explanation in a news conference -- she can only believe what the police tell her.
(on camera): Do I understand this right? Nobody from this department actually went out and talk to these two officers. You relied on the statements that these officers wrote up after the incident?
KARI BRANDENBURG, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ALBUQUERQUE: So we have to rely on police reports. That's what we have to rely on. We're not an investigative agency.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Gordon Eden is Albuquerque's new police chief. His job is to change the culture here. That came into question just days after he joined the force and sided with the officers in the James Boyd shooting.
GORDON EDEN, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE: I spoke prematurely and I shouldn't have.
GRIFFIN (on camera): There has not been a single prosecution of a police officer, and from what I understand, there might not have been any discipline doled out to a police officer.
EDEN: I can only speak to since I've been here. I can't speak at all to what has happened in the past, but I can assure you that, through the changes that we made in our internal affairs process, we're holding people to a higher degree of accountability.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The truth is chief Eden and the Albuquerque police have no choice. The U.S. Department of Justice is negotiating the final terms of a consent decree that will place the Albuquerque police department under federal supervision.
BURNETT: So, Drew, that video, just here in the studio watching that, everybody's jaws were dropping. I mean, it was horrific. It appears to be so cold-blooded. They negotiated for hours, then he turns his back and they start shooting.
He's clearly mentally ill. The dog being sicced on his leg. I mean, it's horrible. You can hear him dying.
Is there any explanation for why these police would have done that?
GRIFFIN: You know, in our interview with the police chief, I asked him specifically, Erin, tell me what am I missing here. What am I not seeing?
He didn't offer anything other than wait for the investigation to be completed. There are actually two investigations. One by his department, which, quite frankly, many people in Albuquerque simply do not trust. The other, though, is the FBI, which in a statement would only say it wants to ensure a thorough and fair investigation. Both these investigations could take months.
BURNETT: And now, you've got months going on. And of course this happened in the past. Are those officers still working, do they still have jobs?
GRIFFIN: Three main officers were involved in that video portion. There were dozens of other officers there.
GRIFFIN: But of these three, two of them are back on the force. They are on desk duty. A third officer remains on leave. We believe they're all still getting paid.
BURNETT: And so what would happen if there's a federal takeover? What does that mean?
GRIFFIN: That means an actual person from the Department of Justice will basically go in, set up shop inside the police department, presumably next to the police chief and oversee, monitor the entire department and make sure that whatever kind of regulations that justice came up with, that the Albuquerque police are following to a T.
BURNETT: All right. Drew Griffin, thank you. Hard to watch, but important that we did.
Still to come, a guy had race car driver on his bucket list. And he actually got to check it off. So, why is everyone calling him an idiot instead of celebrating his incredible feat? Jeanne Moos has the story.
And we go to the top of the tallest building in the world, complete with a toilet, next to a floor to a ceiling window.
Talk about a room with a view. City of tomorrow is next.
BURNETT: Last week we went to Dubai, to the top of the world's tallest building, it's so high that time actually passes faster at the top. That is true, if you're on the ground floor, you're going to age slower than the people living at the top. You know the rich people on the top are ageing for quickly than the rest of us.
The view, though, is pretty incredible up there. So much so the builder thought you wouldn't want to miss it even when going to the bathroom or using a bidet.
The Burj Khalifa is groundbreaking in so many ways and it is tonight, city of tomorrow.
BURNETT (voice-over): At 2,716 feet, Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure ever build on earth. Towering over the city of Dubai, it has the highest observation desk and highest restaurant in a sky scraper and the owners say, it is the highest swimming pool in the world.
(on camera): Is there room for tall buildings like this that aren't just a landmark or something beautiful to look at but actually function and are efficient and profitable?
MOHAMED ALABBAR, EMAAR PROPERTIES: I think they are. I think with technology, people are building smarter.
BURNETT: Smarter and more efficient.
Mohamed Alabbar built the Burj at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. It opened in 2010.
(on camera): Today, it was 110 degrees. How do you keep it cool?
ALABBAR: Well, of course, it's combination of good design, good advanced mechanical, electrical system. Of course, most advance skin on the building, the make up with the curtain wall, the cut of glass we're using, the way it reflects heat. All that is a combination of advanced technologies and monitoring the building every single hour.
BURNETT (voice-over): Using an innovative thermal ice storm rage system, the tower is kept cool with the equivalent of 13,000 tons of ice. The Burj is monitored 24 hours a day in a main control room where they measure power and water use to wind speed and seismic activity. On the windy day, the top of the tower can move up to six feet in either direction and the base is designed to shift in the event of an earthquake.
(on camera): Do you get nervous with an earthquake?
ALABBAR: I used to. Now I trust it so much. Last week, we had quite a good movement.
BURNETT (voice-over): Getting to the observation deck, on 124th floor takes only about 60 seconds in one of the tower's 57 elevators. Its especially design lifts can move up to 12,000 people a day and even act as a power source.
(on camera): They are actually creating power.
ALABBAR: Of course, they create power and the power goes back to the grid to the system that we have, lighting part of the building as well.
BURNETT (voice-over): Alabbar explains how the Burj Khalifa captures water from outside the building itself in Dubai's sweltering humid air.
ALABBAR: We take great pride in the condensation that happens on the skin of the building and gets collected and we use it for our irrigation system and the whole development. The water we collect is equivalent to almost 20 Olympic pool sizes of condensation on the skin and it's very valuable when you live in the desert, of course.
BURNETT: And while it's only been open for four years, he's already thinking of building bigger and better.
ALABBAR: Height is something special for human beings. I think technology improved, we can do much better next time.
BURNETT: He's right. Height is very special for human beings.
Well, a man decided to participate in a car race without permission. So, it -- well, it didn't end so well for him. That means we have Jeanne Moos to tell you the story.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gentlemen, start your engines. Wait a minute, he's no gentleman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god, this is not right.
MOOS: A regular Volkswagen snuck from the pit lane unto the track while an actual race was in progress, even as the female passenger tried to stop the wheel to stop the driver.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jack, no, seriously. Jack, I'm serious.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, don't touch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, Jack, Jack, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) get off now! Jack, get off, it's not funny.
MOOS: It happened at the Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent, England. The VW Beetles were in the mist of a four-hour race called the Fun Cup when this gate crasher hit the track.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God. We're not supposed to be on --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yay!
MOOS: The passenger riding in back shot the stunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the track, boys and girls!
MOOS: Not laughing was the chief executive of the group that owns the track. "I am extremely angry that this idiot acted in such a reckless way. He endangered the lives of the drivers racing, the marshals and his own passengers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jack, if you care about me, stop it, please.
MOOS (on camera): What a sweet heart. He stopped all right, but not until after about another minute or so of terrorizing the girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seriously, get me out of this situation!
MOOS (voice-over): Situation that left the race announcer fumbling.
ANNOUNCER: Why is there a Volkswagen on the track?
MOOS: Actually, it's a VW Polo, a model not sold in the U.S.
The racers reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour while the gate crasher was doing 70 to 80.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll get arrested.
MOOS (on camera): While he did get arrested, he's since been released on bail while the investigation continues.
(voice-over): Kent police aren't releasing the 21-year-old man's name. He told "The Daily Mail," "You only live once and I live every day like it's my last." Officials stopped the race and restarted it half an hour later, minus the interloper, he finally did as his passenger begged.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get off, get off, get off.
MOOS: It takes nerve and not the good kind to sneak on to a racetrack and at the same time get annoyed at a bike going the wrong way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What this kid's up to?
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get me out of this situation!
MOOS: -- New York.
BURNETT: Well, he's probably single now. That being said, I bet most car racers don't carry around air fresheners like that.
Thanks for watching. Anderson's next.