August 4th, 2009
07:43 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Americans Freed, Coming Home

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/04/nkorea.clinton/art.clinton.il.afp.gi.jpg caption="Former President Clinton meets Tuesday with North Korea leader Kim Jong Il."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Forget about 12 years of hard labor. American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are heading home tonight aboard a private plane with former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton helped win their release from North Korea. Just what was his role? We'll have that for you.

Also tonight, a Boston police officer claims his civil rights have been violated after being suspended for using a racial slur to describe black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Officer Justin Barrett claims he's the victim. He says comments by the mayor and police commissioner have damaged his reputation. Do you agree? You'll hear Officer Barrett's side of the story.

And, the Mason murders 40 years later. Tonight we continue our week-long report on one of the shocking crimes of the 20th century. You may recall Charles Manson and his so-called family killed seven people. We'll look at the killers then and now. Should they be freed?

Join us for these stories, plus the shot of the day and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. joe

    While this is wonderful news – wasn't this Hillary's job?

    August 5, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  2. Reb Clark

    Were these ladies prisoners or hostages? If they knew that they would be released if Clinton was sent to Korea, then it sounds like they were hostages. But, if they were in fact prisoners, then will America send big-name former politicians to get everyone else's American relatives out of foreign prisons? Probably not! Humph!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  3. Dolores, Austin Texas

    I am just thrilled that these two women were released, god bless you President Clinton you are awesome. Have a great day Anderson.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  4. arsmith

    So I wonder is Mr. Clinton going to get many more Americans who are in foreign prisons freed. In this case from the facts that are out there it seems that these women were actually guilty of the crimes they were charged with, they were close enough to be arrested by the North Korean authorities. I am still trying to understand this, I value my freedom, but they and others believe since they are connected politically and through Hollywood they had high profile people come to there rescue. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    August 5, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  5. becky jake San Clemente, CA

    I love that former Pres. Clinton brought home Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea; but what about the three hikers caught in Iran? Since the hikers unfortunately may not be in the employ of high power politicians, they most likely will have to pay the price of their so-called transgressions.

    August 5, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  6. Princess Ayelotan

    President Clinton will and always be respected anywhere in the world even after his death. He is a remarkable figure, deep to the core and of immeasurable value. As far as US government is concern, he’s remain the big man even after his term.

    There is no doubt that NK will not accept to release those journalists, which is why he is the one sent.

    Tell me, who else is fit for this kind of duty?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:21 am |
  7. passion4word

    President Clinton will and always be respected anywhere in the world even after his death. He is a remarkable figure, deep to the core and of immeasurable value. As far as US government is concern, he's remain the big man even after his term.

    There is no doubt that NK will not accept to release those journalists, which is why he is the one sent.

    Tell me, who else is fit for this kind of duty?

    August 5, 2009 at 5:11 am |
  8. Larry

    I would like to say good job to the Obama Administration, State Dept. , Sec. Clinton, Bill Clinton and all who worked behind the scene to get these two young women home to their families. You see? Good things can happen when you talk to people. Sometimes they're not the most likeable people in the world, but I believe talking can make a difference. I'm sure we all can agree that nothings worse than having something to say and no one will listen to you. Sometimes these people get your attention in others ways, most of the time not in a good way. Just think? If someone could have talked to the Va. Tech. and Columbine shooters before they did what they did maybe things could have been different and those people would still be alive today. Not to mention someone like N. Koreas' leader, who may one day have the capability to kill millions. Who knows, this little gesture could have save millions of lives down the road.

    August 5, 2009 at 3:19 am |
  9. Lynn

    Thank you Mr. Clinton for bringing two American women home to their families. I'm so happy for their families, can't wait till morning to see them reunited with their families.

    August 5, 2009 at 2:35 am |
  10. Clark

    1. Too bad our State Department didn't have anybody to act as our "ambassador" to go on this mission ... we had nobody to go except a "private citizen". Seems to me that this is another example of Secretary Clinton being marginalized ....
    2. I would probably win the bet if I bet that ex President Clinton did very little except act as a figure head for this mission. I bet the real "heavy lifting" was done prior to his trip and that the decision to release them was already made before he even stepped onto the private jet. I wonder what that private jet's carbon foot print is?
    3. It would seem that ex President Clinton and others are trying to rehabilitate his image and smooth over all of his less than polished legacy ... both political and "private".

    August 5, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  11. DaniSu

    Great stuff Bill! Wow it is so good to see something good happen in the news for a change! Now can someone please, please free Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma: there's no time like the present!!!

    Melbourne, Australia

    August 5, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  12. Amanta

    Free at last! What a great moment! This should serve as a lesson to all journalists to stop risking their lives (and putting their families through heartache) just for the sake of a story....why on earth would you "wander" around the N. Korean border?

    August 5, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  13. Ari

    I cannot Understand why Americans do this.

    They know there's a Lion in the cage and still venture too close to it. When they get bitten or dragged in, they get the whole country and their Leader to " Wastefully spend their Political Bargaining Chips " to Rescue Them.

    How many times have we seen this ? What do we do with Unruly Kids who behave like this ?
    Isn't this a topic in Psychology 101 in the US ?
    And from my Understanding, these "Kids" are Graduates and Grad Students.

    I wonder What your President had to use as a Bargaining Chip to get the 2 "Girls" out....we will find out soon.
    Next, 3 "Boys" in Iran. If they were mature enough, they would know Never to get too close to a Lion's cage.
    1 "Big Kid" in Myanmar.

    Pity your President has to be constantly placed in this situation by the very People he's supposed to protect, bring peace and harmony to.
    And "You Kids" need to grow up and let him do his Job Better without giving him these Added Problems.
    You are constantly placing him at a loosing end.
    He's not even going to send these "Kids" to Juve.
    Be Kind to Him.

    Or they need to create a new Law that would allow Americans caught like these, to get back to the U.S and Finish their sentence, unless its been Truly proven that they are innocent.
    Maybe that would Stop American from doing what they are doing to make their Country loose face.

    From a Non-American point of view.

    August 5, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  14. Ron

    For the second time in a few months there has been a shooting in my home town with multiple deaths. The inevitable gun debate will start again and the gun owners will scream about there rights to own a gun. What about the rights of all the people in that LA Fitness gym tonight. What about their right to go work out in peace. Something concrete needs to be done to prevent this madness from happening again. 6 people dead and all they want to do was go to aerobics class.

    August 5, 2009 at 12:48 am |
  15. William in Georgia

    While I applaud the release of the two journalist, any intelligent person has to wonder what else of the United States that Bill Clinton has given or promised away in order to gain their release.

    The case of Officer Barrett is just one more example of how white people do not have the Freedom of Speech in this country. Black people (and many others) openly use racial slurs towards white people every day and are never questioned. Just look at what Kanye West did on the awards program when he treasonously trashed President Bush. Where is the ACLU when you need them. Oh, I forgot, the ACLU is not for white people, only against them!!

    August 5, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  16. Marlowe

    I am so sorry, but Fox News is not really running the story about the journalist who were freed. What is up with that network.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  17. Donna

    Officer Barrett and his lawyer are both idiots. All the damage he claims that is being done to him is his on doing.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  18. Wendy C.

    That is lovely that these two journalist are coming home....but my question is what about the other journalist that are in captivity around the world that NOBODY talks about. Is Bill going to save them too? Or aren't their families famous enough to take notice? Just curious.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  19. Casey Ouano-Adams

    I am very happy to hear about the release of the Laura Ling and Euna Lee, and feel so proud and share my congratulations to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, former Pres Bill Clinton, and Pres Obama, former VP Al Gore and all the tireless professionals who handled this conflict with exceptional Tact. " Hillary Rocks "

    August 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Lish

    Glad to hear the American journalists were rescued by Bill Clinton. However, I hope this is a lesson to other journalists out to do their job and get their "story", be careful where you go. The United States should be focusing on other things than resucing people who make irresponsible decisions in the name of journalism.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  21. Charles,from Austin tx

    I think Former President bill clinton is an amazing diplomat
    if not the best for the U.S!
    im glad that laura ling and Euna lee
    are coming back home and not having to do 12years of hard labor!
    North korea was just using these poor girls so they could launch does missiles then release them and hope for a pardon from the U.S for the realize of these poor girls!
    i give the family of these girls good wishes
    and a hug from my part and im happy there back !

    August 4, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  22. Adam

    I think that some Americans need to remember that they do not have the same rights outside the US as they do inside the US. Countries like North Korea and Iran do not play so use common sense and stay away from them. The US government should give these people a bill for all the expenses resulting from trying to free them.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  23. Nichole Deweese

    Good evening everyone,I listened to your story regarding van houten of the manson murders.I think it's absolutely ridiculous that someone would be actually making a plea for her.She should rot in jail or face the death penality.Just like everyone else that commits these crimes.She is not special,by far.She was fully aware of her actions,and should be punished forever.Thank you

    August 4, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  24. John J. Norman

    I was taken hostage by the government of Saddam Hussein on August 2, of 1990, working for a U.S. consulting corporation. The State Department did nothing to procure the release of hundreds of hostages being held at that time and we were left to our own devices. I escaped through my own resouces 5 days later on a horrifying trip across two deserts. I find it appaling that such resources, including an ex-President, Vice President, Secretary of State and foriegn diplomats, were poured into freeing two journalists who were unquestionably in an area of the world they didn't belong to begin with.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  25. Miller Tabuac, Philippines

    Im happy for the journalist, no matter what, thanks to bill clinton.

    Sent on a phone using T9space.com

    August 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  26. Ken

    Officer Barrett should re-visit his training manual. His bigoted e-mail was no accident and reflects the omnipotent attitude of some police.

    Barrett, man up to what you did.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  27. Maggi Harris

    We here in Sacramento congratulate Lisa Ling and salute President Clinton on the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee. We continue to hold you all in our prayers.

    August 4, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  28. Robin J

    Yeah President Clinton...You are the man. Thank you.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  29. Ashleigh

    I am so happy to hear that Laura and Euna are coming home!! Bill Clinton did an amazing job getting these woman back to there families. I cant even imagine what that last 5 months have been for them. Thank you Bill Clinton, You Rock!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  30. Kelli

    I knew we meant business when I heard that we were sending in the big guns to get the girls!! God Bless America......

    August 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  31. Marsha Coleman

    The only person who would write such language is definitely a racist. So, let him have his hearing and then fire him.

    August 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  32. DonLallier

    What can I say- I have always thought that Bill Clinton was a class act.
    I have never seen a diplomate as good as he is and was.

    The President should appoint him as a special envoy .

    Don Lallier

    August 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  33. Annie Kate

    Show should be great – I liked the Manson part last night and am looking forward to the one tonight. Plus the coverage on the North Korea releasing the two girls and Bill Clinton's participation should lead to a lively news program.

    August 4, 2009 at 9:53 pm |