August 5th, 2009
07:43 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Home sweet home

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/05/nkorea.journalists/art.family.afp.gi.jpg caption="The families of Euna Lee, left, and Laura Ling greet them Wednesday in California."]

Suvro Banerji
AC360° Intern

American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are finally back home with their families after nearly five months of imprisonment in North Korea. Tonight, we will show you the emotional family reunion, the tears of joy and then Laura Ling in her own words talking briefly to the reporters.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration continues to call former President Bill Clinton’s dramatic 20-hour long trip a private humanitarian effort. Tom Foreman will have more on Clinton’s role in this release and what impact this could potentially have on U.S. foreign policy in future. CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen and Peter Brookes, a former defense department official and currently a senior fellow on National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation will join us live to talk more about this issue.

Also tonight, we have new details on that killing spree at a health club south of Pittsburgh we reported on last night. The police now reveal a possible motive. The insight coming from an online diary, as well as notes they found at the scene and at his home.

Plus, the drug cartels in Mexico have kidnapped and killed thousands of people. There are dozens of cartels, but one clearly stands out – Los Zetas. The group is accused of murdering a Mexican police commander, his wife and four children. Surprisingly, many of their leaders were once military commandoes. Michael Ware will join us live from across the border to give more details on this ruthless drug cartel.

And, our week-long series on the Manson murders continues tonight as Ted Rowlands talks to people who believe Charles Manson and his followers are guilty of more crimes. We will also bring you Erica’s interview with Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson. The big question: Were there more killings?

All these stories and much more tonight on 360° at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: 360° Radar • Lisa Ling • Mexico • North Korea • The Buzz
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Carole

    I am somewhat familiar with some South Koreans (I was kidnapped in a cab in Seoul and managed to jump out before the game progresses) and
    if their style of tourist reception is one fractiion of that practiced in the northern country, any sane person, journalist or not; white or Chinese or American Korean or Chinese Korean; California University Adventurist etc;
    would make the first rule of their travels to make sure they stay as far as possible from restricted International areas.
    I have some serious doubts that this ordeal of the Oriental reporters (sent
    by an ex President of the U.S. to creep into North Korea) was a result of any feelings of pride by the N Korean Leaders because Bil Clinton makes a charming and classy visitor but because they now have a great deal of pride in making chumps of just about
    all American citizens and especially the government.

    The whole story is almost too good to be true for the North Koreans...the timing....the publicity....loss of American journalistic rights in foreign countries to the point that Michael Jackson and the Governor of California and Ted Turner had to come up with the Michael Jackson soap opera to keep tv sets on.
    I wonder how American the two Chinese journalists åre and what country were they really pressed to document?
    Like Obama needed another plate handed down to him by another ex president! What deal does he make to get the CA grads back?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  2. Tarsha in NC

    When the release of two American citizens becomes a political debate and attempt to cause an even greater dissention and fear fueling factor machine in the fabric and makeup of our ridiculously bipartisan government – you realze how crazy we are.

    When "the politicians" elected by "the people" begin to decide that some of us are not important or worthy enough to be assisted – then we cease to be a government – "for the poeple".

    All Americans should fight hard against the "fear machine" that has been such a tremendous driving force in the destiny of this country. If this was staged or not – my God – have we become so mechanical that we fail to see the humanitarian worth. The only thing that seperates us from the creepy crawly things are our sensibilities and compassion. We are also seperated by our ignorance and inability to show compassion on occasions. I commend everyone who was a part of this homecoming.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  3. Malcolm Scoon

    The recent return of the two American women from North Korean is today a cause for celebration. However, it seems that we are now operating under a type of 'Capture Diplomacy'. First, some American or Americans around the world does something stupid to get him or herself captured by a country with which we are at odds. Then we expend significant political capital (sending our agenda backwards) and provide untold concessions in order to win his or her release.

    Are these (mostly) wayward journalists being secretly paid off by their capturing countries in order that the latter get their way with the U.S. Government? Or do former heavyweights like former VP Gore know that if his employees get in trouble around the world he can always call on a favor – bringing to bear the full brunt of the American diplomatic effort to save his people.

    I have a cure for this problem. When the next journalist (tourist or soldier) stupidly allows themselves to be captured, maybe we should leave them there. 'Capture Diplomacy' is neither beneficial nor sustainable for the United States.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  4. amber

    ok this is a very good thing that has happened when you look at the big picture. the people who were being held hostage are back where they need to be, safe and sound with their families. this situation could have gone very worse. other countries already dont like america as it is and we already have our own problems and the people of this nation arent helping anything. nobody is fully happy about how things went in the end but please for once think about how tough it was and still is for obama. he has more guts then most when its comes to the things that he has on his plate. he got this one out of the way because it envolved actual people being held against their will. and im proud of him and clinton, which is more then i can say for some of the inconsiderate people of america.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  5. Rosy

    Susan and others, I agree with David G. as well. It is sad when the other political party cannot even give this administration credit for doing the descent human thing for two of or citizens being held by an ill dictator leader in a hostile land.
    We know they did promise the NK anything; the NK want to appear relevant in their country with their citizens and the world — so, President Clinton went, sat down with this old man for 3 hours, let him take some pictures, and got the girls and left. He did a great job and the Obama Team did a great job of vetting this situation for it legitimacy and handling it with such care and safety of everyone involved. I think it was a beautiful thing an it is a sign that our enemies NOW want to engage with us.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  6. Carole McArthur

    Kudos to all involved,,incluiding the North Korean Government. If this is a humanitarian effort as we so proclaim, why could we not say "Thank you" and show some appreciation for a change.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  7. sparks2182

    hey it is great they are back and safe but y does a young mother put her self on the north koereomn border in first place y make the us tax payer pay for their foolish acts
    but hey just a question

    August 5, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  8. john dube

    It is great to see their return but for most of us who know how our gov't works the real truth is it DOESN"T !! If not for the request for Clinton this may not have occurred ! This may be the most memorable incident of the Clintons than anything they ever did in office !!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  9. Humayra.M

    I'm so happy they are home...I'm wondering,like many others how exactly B.clinton was able to travel to N.korea unannounced,take pictures with a man who promised to WIPE US OFF THE MAP,and bring the journalist safely back home...Will he go to Iran also? What did n.korean get?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  10. Geoffrey- Washington, DC

    As someone in the field working in a potentially dangerous environment, such as Laura Ling, Euna Lee, and Michael Ware do reporters really accept the fact that they may be kidnapped, detained, arrested, etc.? Albeit great that Laura and Euna got back to the States today, I feel like they can't believe that this happened to them. Is this not a calculated risk that you take as a journalist even if you think that you did nothing wrong? I personally like to get off the beaten track and when I do I assume that I am taking a risk and that something may happen even if I am not trying to do something illegal. By all account, the border between China and North Korea is primaily a river so it should be extremely clear where you can and cannot go. So what really happened, did the journalists cross into North Korea or did the North Korean border patrol/military cross into China? It has to be one or the other right?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  11. Kenny

    Former President Bill Clinton undertook a humanitarian mission that could have gone very wrong even though the groundwork had been done many weeks prior to the trip. The unpredictable North Koreans could well have declined to release the two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. However, the prestige and respect that a popular world figure like Bill Clinton commands definitely contributed to the wise decision of Kim Jong-il to release the two young women who were innocent of any wrong and who were being used as pawns in a childish game by the North Korean government.

    We all know that North Korea is run by an unpredictable loon who seeks respect and assistance from the United States and wants only to negotiate with us directly on the vital issues. By having weapons systems that present a real threat, he believes that his backward nation deserves recognition from the world community. In reality, he is correct that by having nukes, North Korea is recognized as a serious threat. But, sanctions and isolation as a policy position to counter this potential menace serve only to harm the North Korean people while doing little to change the distrust that exists between our two governments.

    Maybe, in some small way, we have taken the first step towards a diplomatic solution to the North Korean problem by allowing Bill Clinton to confront their leaders on a humanitarian, non-governmental mission to gain the release of these American women.
    One can hope that a better policy position will come out of this success story and our State Department will foresake its unworkable, stringent insistence that six party talks are the only avenue of dialogue available. We must not allow the photo ops and propaganda gains that the North Koreans believe they were able to achieve via the taking of two American journalists who had to be rescued by a respected former President of the United States to overwhelm our good judgment that a better diplomatic way is available. Let's take it and see what happens. It, certainly, can't be worse than what we have failed to achieve these past 16 years dealing with North Korea.

    August 5, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  12. Cmadden

    Just a huge angering point. Respect the president. I get so frustrated when I hear our ELECTED president being called Mr. Obama instead of President. We respect Bill Clinton enough to call him president and the ex Bush but yet we call Obama Instead of President Obama as he deserves?

    August 5, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  13. Jim

    Great day for Euna Lee and Laura Ling!
    Bad day for CNN...run the health care ad!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  14. RoseProphecy

    This is wonderful and it tells about the Dialogue Ability of Former President Clinton and we are very happy they are home!
    Who will bring the Iranian hostages home? It makes me feel right in time for bringing Global Agreement for Nuclear Free World these countries act out to have bargaining power! I believe it is time that the Global Community realizes is dealing with sociopaths who will do anything to mainupulate and rule the world in not so humane ways and that we must focus on Universal Laws and Leadership Standards and instead of making the people pay for their ignorance, this time getting them off the power chair into the retirement chair!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  15. H. Lloyd

    Why do some people continue to fail to see that HAUTINESS WOULD HAVE BEEN MTHE WRONG APPROACH to freeing the Korean captives? It is no shame to apologize for a genuine mistake: you are not weak for apologizing. Diplomacy is absoluty the best approach.

    Many thanks to Past President Clinton, President Obama, Mrs. Clinton and Past Vice President Gore.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  16. Eleanora B. Feucht

    Inasmuch as Kim Jong Il specifically requested that Pre. Bill Clinton go to Korea to bring the 2 young ladies home, It did cross my mind that Kim might have had an ulterior motive. I feard that his intentions might be to also keep Clinton as a hostage. If that thought also crossed Clinton's mind, he was not only a humanitarian but an extremely brave hero.
    Thank God that it turned out as well as it did. The entire country – including the Obamas owe this brave an charismatic man a debt of grtaitude that can never be repaid. GOD BLESS YOU BILL CLINTON
    in all your wonderful endeavors.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  17. Kelley Mantorville, Mn.

    Thank you Bill Clinton

    August 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  18. Gail in SC

    I will say again, why are you having this second 100 days. It is a sham! An excuse for the talking heads to get together and tell us what to think!
    Why don't you wait until he has been in office for 4 years. That's more realistic. I don't remember and assessment of President Bush at 200 days. oh yeah right he was on vacation in Crawford for the month of August. The scrutiny of this President is extraordinary.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  19. Gail in SC

    These thing are staged and we all know it.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  20. Danny

    Outstanding piece of work from President Clinton and obviously Obama administration. This is clearly a photo op, but important. A very respectable approach, sending The former president this gaining a highly visible figure working to free American citizens without compromising our stance with a rougue element. Again this is why we as a nation voted for Obama and supported Clinton all those years..... They get it!!! And they get things done!!!! Bully for them. I'm done with discussing crazies with guns. Just get rid of all guns and these things won't happen. To the losers who say the "bad" guys still have guns? Lookup gun deaths in the UK,( guns outlawed there 'cept military), the past ten years,
    then ours the past year.... My sympathies to those victims and their families.
    Don't know what to do about Mexico but I see similarities between 2009 for them and roaring 20's for us in their assault on law enforcement. How did we put it down? Mexican leaders study the history of such times from our culture and others then do what needs to de done. God bless your nation as well...

    August 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  21. Gary

    I am so happy for the two journalists. The negotiation and encounter was handled with outstanding diplomatic skill. The G"no"P and Bush clan are livid because this level of diplomacy exposes the ineptitude and charade of the last 8 years of Republican foreign policy.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  22. Gail in SC

    The "protests" are staged and bought and paid for by people that opposed to reform . I wish that the media would report on the people that are bank rolling these things like the head of Koch Industries that is a well know Republican operative. Also , Dick Armey, former Republican majority leader. Lastly Art Pope, a millionaire that donates generously to the Republican Party. So much so that they named their headquarters after him.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  23. Richard King

    The three hikers who entered Iran were merely foolish. The action of the two journalists who entered North Korea was apparently intentional and criminal. Who put them up to it? And why, having been caught, should they expect the U.S. government to negotiate for their release, at who knows what cost?

    It is time that we rethink whether citizens and taxpayers should be burdened with the costs of "rescuing" skiers, hikers, and journalists who go places where they are not qualified to go. These are not newsmen who legitimately went into harm's way to cover a story; they sought sensationalism and under international law got more than they bargained for. We should not be expected to pay the price.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Melissa Thompson

    It's a wonderful day and we should be thankful that Bill Clinton did go to North Korean, reminding those he was requested by NK , to bring home Laura & Euna home! So stop all the criticize and be thankful these two woman are HOME and with their families tonight..
    I wish as Americans/Human Beings we had more compassion and positive words for one another. Remember we are only here for a short time, so do some good while you’re here!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. Sally

    What message did we just send to Iran who are holding three?

    August 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  26. ronald leder

    if healthcare in the u.s. was better, folks like josh bolton would get the mental health they need to chase the boogeymen from their closets. david is correct, clinton did a good deed for ling, lee and america.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  27. MauriceO

    Very interesting proram...watching from jamaiaca

    August 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Michele

    I am so proud to be an American.
    Thank You Obama, Gore, H. Cliton, and Bill. We can all be so grateful
    for all of thier efforts. Pres. Cliton did not have to get involved. He
    should be comened for his efforts.
    WELCOME home ladies, we are happy to have you back!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  29. Serge Charlebois - Canada


    We can not help but be touched by this reunion of two people freed from a terrorist nation like North Korea....but we can not forget that there remains people who were kidnaped from Japan and South Korea by this nation. All this done to attain their perverse goals.

    Let us not forget less than a month ago they were shooting rockets and threatning war.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  30. Poppy, United Kingdom

    Moral Hazard. ( Ex ante & Ex poste)

    whereby Ex-ante- The US claims they do not negotiate with enemies in cases like this where hostages are taken.

    Ex-poste- Where The US goes against EX-ante and then negotiates with the enemy countries. Plus the US had to negotiate, because the people AND the news media are watching what the government is doing.


    August 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  31. Rhonda

    How the Lin girls came home was nothing short of magical and humanitarian. Bill Clinton made this mission Presidential and heartfelt. He talks with grace, moves with grace and is the epitamy of a gentlemen's agreement with Korea. More of Bill Clinton please helping out our country.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  32. Gail in SC

    There is no evidence whatsoever that we gave North Korea anything and I agree with David Gergen that the criticism is childish and ridiculous. Would the GOP rather that the young women were still in prison in North Korea? Seems that they would.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  33. nancy

    It's the beginning of getting North Korea to join the rest of the world in the 21st Century.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  34. Rhonda

    How can anyone think of the the Lin girls coming home from Korea anything but humanitarian? We, as a country, so need this kind of heroic story; It's about time Bill Clinton came back to show what Presidential humanity is really about.....so happy this is displayed across the world. You are terrific Bill Clinton...you walk with grace, talk with grace, and helped bring two innocent Americans home. I am blown away as an American.......more of Bill Clinton please.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  35. lor henricks

    Olive branches extended are always welcome and a step in a good direction.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  36. joellen schumacher

    Kudos to President Clinton on his wonderful mission to obtain the release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling! President Clinton is one of the most highly-respected Americans in the world. We are quite fortunate to have him so involved in humanitarian efforts through his Global Initiative.

    Our country now again has a leader who is also so respected in the world. President Obama has shown to all, adversaries alike, his willingless to listen and to have others be heard. As Americans, we can feel good about showing respect to all people.

    This is a great day.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  37. Sabrina In Monrovia

    Just the look on their faces is enough to prove it was worth it.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  38. Susan

    I agree with David Gergen.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  39. gs_legend

    President Clinton almost got it right in Korea.
    He should have traded ex-Ambassor John Bolton to North Korea for the release of the two journalists. Ambassodor Bolton would be right at home with fellow idiots among the Kim Il Jung family.

    Wonderful that they are home anyway!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  40. Susan

    A photo op? Seriously? LOL. A photo op is GWBush on an aircraft carrier falsely declaring the war in Iraq over.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. Elise

    George W Bush would never have been able to accomplish this.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  42. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    Greetings to All! : ) : ) : ) !!! Laura and Euna are free!!Nice to cry from hearing GREAT news for a change!

    August 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  43. farah

    Can we put all this effort and money towards something better than wasting it on these two journalists...they look very good, well fed and all ...lets put our energy on the hungry women and children of Africa,
    as far as the chemical company Dow, please stop making all those horrible chemicals and spend money on research for better products.
    please focus on important issues than these 2 journalists who want to became famous and spend the taxpayers money.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  44. Lynn

    It is sad Cindy that you can't just see that Pres Obama, Pres Clinton, Secretary Cliton and VP Gore as well as others just came together to do what was right. I saw no big egos, just a job well done and two gratetful families.

    It is sad and pathetic that Americans can no longer do anything without it being met by hate, rancour and criticism from the other side and the constant rehash and overanalysis from the media and all the socalled experts.

    August 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  45. gretchen

    Hello,I am so happy for laura ling and euna lee and their families.
    It is so gerat that we have a former president who would go to free two women from the wrath of north korea. Former president Bill Clinton acted with so much thoughtfulness.This is what happens when you have an administration who thinks things out and acts accordingly without playing cowboy.This is such a moving tribute to what happens when you talk things out rather than always shooting off your mouth or shooting off bullets.CUDOS AMERICA!!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  46. Robert Weber

    Mister Obama sounds like a child, a very bad mannered child, (I usually call them brats.). With every thing that he proposes it's I want what I want when I want it, and I don't care how much it costs, or where the money is coming from, or who it hurts.

    Oh and by the way, didn't anyone ever teach Obama that it's bad manners and very very rude to point? When ever he opens his mouth there is his finger waving in everybodys face.

    August 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  47. truthislove45

    Praise God these two were freed! I just pray they aren't used as political pawns too push useless, godless agendas. Jesus Christ the true star is the way of TRUE change! Obama is the way of chump change!

    August 5, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  48. Cindy

    This deal to bring Ling and Lee home was done LONG before Bill Clinton came on the scene in N. Korea. I don't know why everyone's making such a big deal of him. I guess this is Obama's payback for the way he treated Bill during the elections. Bill was just the face used for the photo op and that is it.

    Sodini was obviously a very trouble man by looking at his online diary. I can't believe no one noticed him acting weird at all. He couldn't have been that much of a loner. Doesn't he have a family? Why didn't they see anything and try to help him?

    Can't wait to see Mic Ware tonight. He's the only reason I'll be tuning in to 360!


    August 5, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  49. Isabel, Brazil

    Evening Suvro!

    Very emotional to see Laura and Euna reunited with their families. I’m so happy that Laura and Euna are finally home.

    About the man who killed 5 people and then killed himself yesterday, It is very sad that the Despair and lack of perspective causes the action in such a person.
    I am wondering what failed? A friendly word, the response, the demonstration of love.

    Many interesting subjects today, huh!
    See you later! Bye!

    August 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    Looking forward to the show tonight and watching the homecoming again – I think I could watch it many times and never get tired of it. While the Obama White House stresses that it was a private humanitarian gesture, Bill Clinton came through for the two women specifically and America in general. I hope this effort on Bill Clinton's behalf will help people who do not care for him see that he does have positive things to offer the country even now.

    The Manson segments are quite good – looking forward to another one tonight. I remember when these happened and how scary it was to even read about them. As a very young girl in the 60s I thought the world had gone crazy and this was one more crazy terrible thing that happened. I'm glad the 60s are over.

    August 5, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
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