Anderson Cooper | BIO
Anderson Cooper: Senator McCain, many conservatives have blasted President Obama over the past two days at the U.N. Former U.N. Ambassador Bolton said of the president's message it was "extremely naive." Do you agree?
Senator McCain: Well I would like to hear the President mention that American blood and treasure was expended on behalf of Muslims and Operation Desert Storm, the same thing was in Kosovo, in Bosnia, and we have made sacrifices that we also hope will be recognized by the Arab world in particular and the entire world.
Anderson Cooper: Lets talk about Afghanistan. You support sending more troops. This counterinsurgency strategy, "Clear, Hold, and Build" clearly requires more troops. Anyone who goes there, we that ourselves two weeks ago on the ground in Helmand province with the Marines. Do we have the right strategy? In effect, there are a lot of people who say we are nation-building in Afghanistan with military personnel instead of civilians and on behalf of a government riddled with corruption.
Senator McCain: Well that's a big question, Anderson, and I'll try and make my answer short but I think what we are in engaged in is a counter-insurgency not counter-terrorism operational plan and once we make the areas secure then the people are able to make progress economically, politically, and every other way. But unless we do what we did in the surge in Iraq which is "Clear, Hold, and Secure" areas then it is very difficult to defeat an insurgency.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/04/mccain/art.mccain.speech.cnn.jpg caption="Former Presidential candidate and Senator John McCain."]
Anderson Cooper: But in terms of the shear number of troops that that would require...in Helmand alone, the Taliban have just moved into other areas where we don't have enough forces to go into to clear and hold and secure and or build.
Senator McCain: Well it is going to be difficult and it will require a significant injection of troops I hope in keeping with General McChrystal's assessment. But there's also an advantage we have here which is people don't want the Taliban back so if we offer them an alternative of a safe and secure environment I think it can be successful. It's going to be long and hard and tough just like the surge in Iraq was, but I have confidence in our leadership, in General McChrystal and General Petraeus, and in their strategy.
Two alleged terror plots uncovered on U.S. soil. Two arrests. We have the breaking developments. Plus, a Census worker found dead. Was it suicide or murder? We're following these stories tonight and much more.
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Randi Kaye | Bio
Good old-fashioned police work and a self-proclaimed digital detective may be why the prime suspect in April’s Craigslist crime spree may be behind bars. Twenty-three-year-old Philip Markoff, a second year medical student at Boston University, is charged with murder, attempted robbery, kidnapping, robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.
Markoff was arrested while driving in his car with his fiancé. The engagement has since been cancelled. The arrest took place April 20, six days after the murder of Julissa Brisman, who had advertised as a masseuse on the popular online classifieds website, Craigslist. Authorities say Markoff targeted women like Brisman and set a trap for them in Boston hotel rooms.
CNN has obtained the email communication police say took place between Markoff and Brisman the day before her murder. In the emails, Markoff allegedly used the name “Andy” and Brisman went by “Morgan.”
The first email was allegedly sent by Markoff at 4:37p.m. on April 13. It reads, “"I Myself am visiting Boston and looking for a 10pm or later appointment tonight or tomorrow…” A later email said, “I can still make it tonight but .. tomorrow at ten would be better for me.. thanks, Andy.” Brisman's employer wrote "Andy" back on her behalf, saying “I could do it tomorrow night or we can do 10:30 or 11 tonight…” She signed it, “Kisses, Morgan.” Then, another allegedly from the killer at 7:30pm that same night: “Hey Morgan, 10pm tomorrow is best for me. Thank you, Andy.”
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/24/terror.indictment/art.zazi.gi.jpg caption= "Najibullah Zazi, 24, has been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the U.S."]
We're following three separate terror investigations tonight. Three different alleged plots here on U.S. soil.
First, new charges have been filed against Najibullah Zazi. He's the Afghan-born Colorado resident who was arrested last week on charges he lied to federal investigators. Now he's accused of plotting to set off "weapons of mass destruction." Tonight we'll tell you what a Beauty Supply Warehouse in Aurora, Colorado has to do with the case.
The second case on our radar is out of Illinois where a man is behind bars tonight accused of trying to use a truck bomb to destroy a federal courthouse in Springfield. He reportedly idolized John Walker Lindh, the American captured fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The third case is in Texas where another alleged bomber is accused of trying to blow up a 60-story Dallas office tower. The suspect is a Jordanian citizen, who authorities say entered the U.S. illegally. Investigators say he attempted to execute his plot today, but it failed. We'll give you the details.
We're also looking into the mysteries death of a Census worker who was found tied to a tree in Kentucky. The Associated Press is reporting the word "Fed" was written on his chest. Was it suicide or murder?
Plus, an Arizona couple shares how their family was nearly destroyed by photos of their children. AJ and Lisa Demaree took what they thought were innocent, normal snapshots of their daughters at bathtime. But to a Walmart employee who processed the prints they were child porn. The worker notified authorities who labeled the photos child erotica and sex exploitation. That's when the Demaree's nightmare began. We want to point out they've been cleared of any wrongdoing. But wait to you hear what they went through to clear their name.
Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/23/obama.un/art.obama.un.wed.afp.gi.jpg caption="President Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday."]
President Obama, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, announced the next phase in America's efforts to finally end the decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict and remove one of the greatest destabilizing elements to America's national security interests from the Middle East playing field.
Like health care reform, this is a daunting task, and in order for the president to be the last one confronting this, Congress and Americans of all stripes should be supporting him.
The president made it clear that the United States wants permanent status negotiations to begin without preconditions based on the parameters from past negotiations: security for Israel and Palestine, refugees, borders and Jerusalem. The president added that the United States seeks peace agreements on all fronts, including with Syria and Lebanon.
New York Times
You go on vacation to San Diego and take more than 100 photos of your three daughters, ages 5, 4 and 18 months. You also take seven or eight shots of your girls playing together at bathtime. Then you return home to Peoria, Ariz., bring your memory stick into Walmart for processing, and lose custody of your children because an employee finds the photos, decides they are pornographic, and alerts the police.
That is what happened to Lisa and Anthony Demaree last year. Accused of sexual abuse, they were not allow to see their girls for several days, and did not regain custody for a month while the state conducted an investigation, their lawyer told Arizona Republic reporter Dustin Gardiner.
No charges were brought against the couple by the state, and the case was dismissed. But during the course of the investigation, representatives of the Attorney General’s office interviewed the couple’s friends, family members and co-workers, the lawsuit claims, telling them that the Demarees had “sexually abused” their children by taking pornographic photos of them.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/23/general.assembly.ahmadinejad/art.ahmadinejad.un.tv.jpg caption="Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the 64th United Nations General Assembly Wednesday."]
Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear from Reza Aslan on AC360° at 10p.m. ET.
The Daily Beast
Iran’s presumptive president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heads to New York today to once again address the United Nations General Assembly. And once again, he has prefaced his address to the world body with yet another jibe at Holocaust history.
Last Friday, during Iran’s annual Jerusalem Day festivities—an occasion for Iranians to show solidarity with Palestinians—Ahmadinejad told an assembled crowd at the University of Tehran that “the pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie ... a lie which relies on an unreliable claim.”
“The occupation of Palestine has nothing to do with the Holocaust,” Ahmadinejad continued. “The very existence of this regime is an insult to the dignity of the people, but it won't last long. The Israeli regime’s days are numbered and it is on its way to collapse. This regime is dying. Fighting it is a national and religious duty. The West has launched the myth of the Holocaust but it’s a lie.”
Right on cue, the U.S. media went into hysterics—“Ahmadinejad Denies Holocaust… Again!” was the headline at The Daily Beast—just as Ahmadinejad hoped they would.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez looks up during the 64th General Assembly at the United Nations in New York September 24, 2009.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
UPDATE BEAT 360º WINNERS
"Thank goodness they're showing Jerry Springer on the overhead monitors while Gadhafi is STILL speaking."
Paul, Castro Valley, CA
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