tv This Week With Christiane Amanpour ABC August 8, 2010 10:30am-11:30am EDT
good morning. i'm christiane amanpour. at the top of the news this week. ending the war in iraq. >> tens of thousands of our troops in iraq are coming home. >> as america stands down, is iraq ready to stand up? this morning from baghdad, genere odierno, a "this week" exclusive. then, hidden wound. why is the military so unprepared to deal with the emotional scars. >> the only thing i thought was, this is over. >> this morning, an exclusive
interview with general peter chiarelli. then -- >> we're losing everything we have. >> jobs, immigration, gay marriage. all the week's politics on our "roundtable" with jillian tesz, george packer of the new yorker, and former bush white house official, michael gertsen. and the "sunday funnies." >> less than half of american workers hold on to a job for four years or more. bad news for president obama. this week end mark mace jor milestone in the seven-year war in iraq. u.s. forces have now handed over control of all combat duties to iraqi forces. by the end of this month, all
u.s. combat forces will be out. a transitional force of about 50,000 troops will remain. earlier in the week, president obama spelled out their mission. >> they'll support and train iraqi forces. and protecting our civilian and military efforts. but make no mistake, our commitment in iraq is changing. from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats. >> five months after elections, iraqky offici k iraqi officials have not yet formed a government. today, two car bombs went off west of baghdad. yoin joining me this morning from baghdad, the xhader of u.s.
forces in iraq, genere odierno. i want to start by asking you about the handover. you have handed over all combat operations to iraqi forces. are they ready to stand up once you draw down? >> we been working on this for a listening time. for the last 20 months, we've been slowly and deliberately handed over more and more to them. they have stepped up. they continue to do brood scope operations. we continue to help them. that will continue to happen after 1 september, our assistance. >> let me ask you about the violence. this woke end alone in basra, a big explosion that caused dozens of death. what is it? is it a terrorist attack? >> i think it was. we're still sorting through that. my guess sit was some sort of an
improvised explosive device. as i step back since being here since 2006 and 2007, i see a broad change. there are still groups out there conducting terrorist attacks against the people of iraq. they're do it to stop the political way forward, stop the political process. stop democracy. to cause the government of iraq not to continue it's progress. that's what we're seeing play out on the ground now. >> it seems that the political parties in iraq with not moving forward with the democracy. five months or more after the election, there's still no government. how much does that worry you? what kind of vacuum is they creating? >> we've seen during this time, the governmental formation time frame, the iraqi security forces
have acted neutral. they continue to operate across the broad spectrum. i have found them to be very professional. no degradation. they continue to operate. even in the time of governmental formation. >> how concerned are you? at what point will you be concerned if there is no government? do you think that's provides space for insurgents to reorgani reorganize? as many suggest? >> i would tell you, we can't overreact to incidents. there will be incidents that occur here. there's a level of violence and terrorism that is going to occur. i would tell you, over the last six to seven months, the success we have had against al qaeda in iraq specifically, in
decapitated the leadership has affected them. the operations they conduct now are different from six to eight months ago. that's due to a lot of the work of the iraqi security forces working with us to conduct the operations. i think they can handle it. i think the pot tom line for us here now is it's not about the number of people on the ground. it's about how we continue to sustain stability. you have to do that through continued development, economically, continued development diplomatically. as well as the continuing improvement of the security forces. we have a plan to continue to do that after 1 september. >> you to think that the effort on military drawdown and the engamts you have had with the
ir iraqis may have not been matched on the diplomatic and political front? >> again they come at different times. i think what we now have is -- it's about -- not only about our commitment. it's about the iraqis having the ability to move forward. they're starting to move forward economically. they've signed oil contracts that are just beginning to be executed. the political process is slow because of the delay in the formation of the government. we have legitimate and credible elections. the results were very close. now it's made it difficult to form the government. all the sides are talking. they're working through the formation of the government. i think they understand the importance of getting a government formed so they can continue to get assistance if the united states in developing
their capacity across the economic and diplomatic spectrum. >> do you think the government will be form by september 1st? when you're mend meant to be withdrawing? >> our numbers is not linked to to governmental formation progress. i do think they'll make progress by the first of september? i think so. our numbers are not linked to that formation of the government. our numbers are linked to the capacity of the iraqi security forces being able to sustain stability. e remind everybody. we'll have 50,000 troops on the ground post 1 september. that's a significant froens continue to assist is iraqi security forces. >> what are you noticed in terms
of interference, fpotentially? are you alarmed that any countries may take advantage of what is a bit of a political vacuum right now? >> iraq is important in the middle east. by population, the location, the influence it's had in the middle east for a long time. neighbors countries have an interest inside of iraq. i will tell you that i think ir iraqis themselves are nationalistic in nature. a strong iraq will defend pits from interference from outside countries. as we build a strong iraq and continue to build a strong system, that will make itless likely of others from the outside being able to
interspheinterfere. we have a significant presence here. we'll not allow undue maligned influence on the iraqi government. we are trying to provide them the space and time to continue to do that. we'll still have a significant civilian presence post 1 september. we'll have 50,000 troops on the ground. all the other nations need to respect the sovereignty. >> what gives you the most concern right now. you're speaking with great confidence about the iraqi forces you have been able to stand up. i think it's 25,000 iraqi forces post the surge. what gives you the most concern? >> it's not the security
profile. i believe there will be people that attempt to take advantage of the opportunity of the attention being brought upon the august 31st date. there will be groups that try the take advantage and show weakness. try to create some sort of lack of confidence of the people in the process as we move forward. that's probably my first concern. i believe we can overcome that concern. the second is that the iraqis have to understand the importance of forms the government. doing it as quickly as possible. and getting themselves ready to leap forward to make progress on the economic front. and the diplomatic front. they have to set themselves up for that. it's important for the iraqis to understand the importance of moving forward quickly. i think we're starting to see that. >> final question. do you think u.s. diplomats have done enough to push the
political parties together? >> i think it's a fine line here. we want to have the iraqis form their own government. we try to facilitate that process. i think that we, behind the scenes, have tried to facilitate that process without being directive. i think we have done a fair job of that. i think as time goes on, we'll try to facilitate it harder to get them to move forward a bit quicker. >> thank you so much, general odier odierno. thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. good to be with you today. now to the hild wounds of war. a new report says lack of support for soldiers is having devastating consequences. for the past two years, the suicide rate for soldiers surpassed that of civilians.
239 soldiers took their own lives last year. it's having an impact on army readiness and families across the country. thanksgiving, to 05, it should have been a happy time. specialist timothy bowman was home from the war. he had spent a year fighting in some of the most dangerous parts of baghdad. when he came back, he was a changed man. >> he had developed what we refer to as the thousand-yard stai stare. never lost that. >> a lot of drinking, gambling, relationship issues. >> reporter: specialist bowman never made to it thanksgiving dinner at his grandmother's house. he had taken his own life. >> when i made an attempt on my own life as part of my
depression, i had to come to grips with the same thing my son suffered from. a different type of traumatic experience. miniwas not a year long in iraq of many people dying, mine was watching my son die in front of my own eyes. >> reporter: the bowman family took up to make peep aware of what was going on. >> we must do way with the stigma of a mental issue. >> reporter: post traumatic stress disorder also leads to high-risk behavior. at troop carson, troops were part of a disturbing trend. >> one unit with particularly hard deployment in iraq has a murder right 100 times the national average. >> reporter: journalist david
phillips wrote about the battalion that calls itself the lethal warriors. >> one of the big things is that the army is prescribing massive amounts of prescription drugs. particularly psych troepic drugs. >> reporter: kenny was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. >> i us having a meltdown. i couldn't take it. i tried to go to mental health. and they put me on all kinds of meds, too. i was still going out on missions. they had me on ambien, lexapro, all kinds of stuff. >> reporter: he quickly found trouble when he came home. he is now serving ten years in prison for accessory to murder. >> i decided to do some things i shouldn't have been doing.
it all came tumbling down like a house of cards. i got locked up. i have been ear ever since. >> reporter: for the military and policy makers, psychological injuries raise profound questions. >> i think we're all struggling with the reality that psychiatric casualties are a significant part of this world. what does that mean? about the size of the force, the number of people we should have available to serve? >> reporter: and for the bowman's the answers mean everything. >> we're going to make sure that tim's life means something. he's not going to die for nothing. >> and the military is look for answers too. general peter chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the army, commissioned the report. he said you can't expect to fight for this long, nearly a decade, with this size force, without suffering this kind of
stress. i spoke to him earlier. thank you for joining us on "this week." >> great to be here. >> one of the most extraordinary lines, simply stated, we're often more dangerous to ourselves than the enemy. that's pretty stark. >> well, we have an army for almost a decade going very, very hard. with the operational tempo, having the soldiers deployed for 12 months, home for 12 to 16 months, and then back for another 12-15 month deployment. >> it's too much. >> we have seen an increase of high-risk behavior. >> what do you mean by that? >> the abuse of alcohol, drugs. getting in trouble with the law. >> sit just people predisposed to high-risk behavior or sit the pressures of the multiple deployments?
>> we have good data to show that deployment plays a role. but at the same time there are all kinds of stressors in people's lives. >> what did you notice about the suicide rate among the soldiers and those coming back? >> some of the things in suicides, 60% take place with soldiers in the first term of enlistment. >> 60%? >> 60%. >> most of them are happening back home? >> two-thirds at home, about one-third in theater. >> let me put up a statement. there are instances where a leader's lack of soldier accountability resulted in suicide vick tims being found until they had been dead for three or four weeks. in an organization that prides its on never leaving a soldier behind this speaks to the
leadership breakdown in a garrison which appears to be worsening as the retirements erode. that's serious language. >> it is. >> how does this happen? i mean, why aren't people looking at these young men? you've mentioned they're under extraordinary stress because of redeployment in a much shorter period of time than is general called for. you know they're at risk? >> commanders are ready to get soldiers in the fight. a soldier has been downrange with you. a fantastic job in his last appointment. you are faced with putting him into a drug and alcohol program or turning to the command and
say, he's a good solder. let's -- >> repeat on fenders? >> he comes back with a more serious issue can w alcohol. no one knows about the fist. we have this problem. >> ask i ask you. i want to stop you when you say high-risk behavior. there are parents who have told us it's not about high-risk pave yor. their children were fine until they went to the front over and over again. one mother said she's offended about how the suicide victims are being characterized. her son didn't leave home reckless. do you think all these people are predisposed to high-risk behavior? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. what our soldiers seeing downrange every day, human
beings should not see. we have soldiers that come back. i like to call ate chemical injury that takes place because of the way their body reacts to some kind of event. >> and yet, you know, i know. that there still is an enormous stigma. let me put up something the president said this week. >> to anyone who is struggling, don't suffer in silence. it's not a sign of weakness to reach out for support. it's a sign of strength. your country needs you. we are here for you. we are here to hem you stand tall. don't give up. >> so president obama speaking to veterans earlier this week. who is here? how many behavioral experts do you have? how many people do you need? how many do you actually have? >> i don't know if we know how many we need? we have a force that is stressed
after almost a decade of war. we're looking for new ways to give behavioral health. virtual. we literally bring up the net work, the internet, of doctors who can, in fact, provide a good, good look at the soldiers when they return. >> i've heard you have short fall of hundreds of people that can provide this kind of help. >> we do have a shortage. if you want to get at stigma, start at the brigade commander. so every soldier sees his leader going through the same checks that the soldier will go through. >> i want to have you listen to a young soldier on the battlefield. listen to this clip for a moment. >> can't get a better high. it's like crack, you know. sky dive, kayak, bunge rks jump. >> are you going back to the
civilian world? >> i have no idea. >> there it is. >> that's the kind of individual, that individual needs that help that we have to convince to get that help. we have to get leader ship. to be attuned to those kind of reactions. >> what can leadership say to young soldiers, young service men and women that find themselves at the fronted a have that reaction, that there's though bigger high. we cannot cope with civilian life once we come back? >> leaders need to lead. look for those signs. know they're soldiers. that pfc chiarelli has changed. >> it's not just suicides. it's crime, rape, adings, dependence. for instance, one of the statements in the report -- as we continue to wage war on several fronts, data would
suggest we're becoming more dependent on pharmaceuticals to sustain the force. the force is becoming increasingly dependent on legal and illegal drug. >> that's a concern. we had soldiers last week with prigs of three weeks or more or anti-depress sapts or anti-anxiety medicine. we know that the drugs we're talking about are cleared by the ce centcom doctors to take into range. >> the big picture. you've got this human dra map you mentioned already that they're being redeployed at much
shorter intervals than many suggest are correct. some are say thagt for a year in combat, you have to have three years in garrison at home base. are you able to do that? >> that's our goal. we're not able to do that yet. the first step for us is getting one year deployed, 24 months at home. we would like to get 1 to 3. nine months deployed, 27 months back home or 12 months deployed, 36 months back home. when that happens, many of the things we have seen will, in fact, ameliorate themselves. >> how will you have the appropriate cares? >> you need that time at home. a portion of the 106,000 on pain medication, it has nothing to do with a behavior health issue. they're soldiers on two, three,
four deployments, hucking a ruk sack that may waig 70 to 80 pounds at 8,000 feet. they have a knee injury or leg injury that is painful. probably should stay home and get operated on. but they to back for the second deployment and they're on pain medication. we have soldiers that suck it up all the time and hide from their leaders when they're hurt. >> for their country. >> that's right. they feel the need to be with their buddies. we have to get through that issue. we try to break down stigmas. get soldiers to understand that these hidden wounds of war are things they have to seek help for. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> you can find more on army stress and where to find help on our website. stay with us.
when we come back, we turn to politics. another disappointing jobs report. immigration, can the constitution really be changed to limit citizen ship. and a victory for gay marriage. all that on the "roundtable." we have george packer from the new yorker and michael gerson. former speech writer for president bush.
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bi birthright citizen ship is a mistake. >> this is the kind of thing that irritates americans quite a lot. >> political pandering on the immigration issue has reached an historical level. >> i don't think the founders understood that the 14th amendment would create a circumstances that people would fly in and have a child. >> the debate over the 14th amendment. one of the topics we'll discussion this morning on our "roundtable," with jillian te terks. michael gerson, george packer and john harris. george will is on vacation. i want to start with iraq. we heard from general old year noi. we know that the drawdown.
president obama makes speech today -- rather this week, afrming the drawndown. do you think everybody is taking credit but not giving credit where credit is due? >> i didn't find it to be a generous search. it was agreed to, this move, in 2008. barack obama voted against funding for the troops. a pose the surge. i think that that's probably -- he's attempted to take credit for something he opposed. >> is surge, let's face it, has worked up until now. it's had a huge, huge impact on stability if iraq. do you think that it would have been even politically exspeed dwroent praise the surge. the future of iraq is this president's future? >> probably, the more cynical thing to do would have been to
lavish credit on president bush. one of the central parts of obama's brand was that he was a bridge builder and could drain politic politics. he would have cut off the conservative krcritique. that may have been too much to swallow. >> let me put up this sound. >> i'm very optimistic about iraq. think it's going to be one of the great achievements of this administration. >> yeah, it's a bit much. i mean, no one was for the surge. the surge had the support of a tiny group of people in washington. basically the white house and its close allies and the people in the military. it stabilized iraq. let's not forget there was the
sunii awakening. the standdown of the shiite militias. let's not exaggerate what kind of rake we're going to be leaving. we spent $10 billion on the country's electrical system. there are now five hours a day of electricity. it's still pretty intolerable for ordinary iraqi is. >> i imagine that questions about the civilian cost will keep mounting. >> our combat troops are leav g leaving. the united states approach has been pretty hands-off. if a government doesn't form
after ramadan, i think it will be thought about does the kits need to use more leverage. not convey that we're cutting and running. as we turn to the economy, a huge, huge issue for the american people and, of course, people around the world, let's put thup statistic that came out this week. a loss of 131,000 jobs. though private sector jobs rose by 71,000. the unemployment rate remains much the same at 9.5%. and there are 14.6 million americans looking for work. what's to say beyond throwing up one's hands? what can be done? >> they're shocking numbers. it illustrates that the president, right now, is at an important juncture point. we have had some growth if the last year. much of it drew to government
aid, government spending, or an inventory rebuild. companies and shops ran down the stocks late in 2008, rebuilt them. that is kind of finished. can the economy keep growing if the government doesn't keep pumping in money? >> the secretary of the treasury, tim geithner, went out earlier this week to talk about the economy, pumping it up. he penned an op-ed for "the new york times." the title said welcome to the recove recovery. >> he definitely did not write the headline. the people in the treasury saw that as almost a malicious move. the substance of the op-ed was nuance, saying a lot of people
are hurting but the economy is debting bet person the administration feels there is a psychic element to recovery. people do not have confidence. many in the business sector believe obama is hostile to them. their tying to change that perception. ? we're entering a period in which growth is slow and unemployment is high. the real question is public policy. there's a big debate in congress and think this the upcoming election as to the role of government. a lot of democrats are joining republicans saying, we've done what we can. >> democrats are at an ideological dead end. the reality is, this week erks when biden addressed the issues, he said the stimulus should have been larger. pelosi is calling back the
congress to spend more. that's precisely what independents are concerned about. at the time and spending. their economic answer is at odds are the political future here. >> the problem in a way, social contract in america. the american dream is starting to fragment. for years, america's provided itself on an unemployment rate lower than europe. but it didn't have a social safety net like europe. now it doesn't have a safety net, but the unemployment rate is approaches european levels. that's a problem. what is the american dream? >> what about ing nenuity? america has been losing the competitive edge. where are the new ideas in
generating a new economy that will generate jobs? >> the stimulus bill was supposed to fund a million new projects. maybe we're not seeing the results. we have become so used to instant analysis and instant results. we'll see that in a few years, spend willing have an effect. right now, there's a sense of stagnation. it's looet toll the party in power. >> what's fascinating is that so much of america in the last few decades has been on growing the pie. not to worry about how to divide it up. if you keep growing the pie, then you don't have to worry about social equity. if the pie is stagnant, how do you divide that pie snup. >> what is this going to do for the upcoming elections? >> i think the larger sort of
anemic state of the economy makes the traditional things that political reporters worry about -- almost makes them all irrelevant. an unemployment rate nearly 10% is the dom napt fact. there dopt seem to be good policy recommend disout there. the obama administration seems at loose ends. it makes the other questions almoster relevant. >> and poisonous as well. a culture of hate, finger-pointing, scape-goating. thait that could fuel the way. >> the administration wants to use the word choice. a choice between what we're doing and what the previous administration did. how will that play out?
a lot of the issues started in the previous administration? >> think some of that is true. the decisions made by current job creators about whether to invest in plants and equipment are decisions made about current events, not about two years ago. right now, entrepreneurs see endless deficits and likely much higher taxes. a hostile environment for investment in america. that has to be turned around. you cannot create jobs without about a 4% growth rate. that's twice what we have now. politicians have to step forward. >> it's been a some what one-vided argument. the republican party is simple and clear in it message about what they don't want. the obama administration had been almost reluctant to say what they do want. they don't like to argue
philosophically. unlike reagan. that's left them exposed to the ideological arguments of the other side without being able to tell the country these are the reasons that these things were essential to kreekting the failed philosophy of the failed administration. they don't like to talk that way. it's left them exposed. let's move to the debate over 14th amendment. we saw clips from various political leaders talking about potentially having hearings on changing the constitution. michael, you have written about this. and i think you were shocked this is coming out of the republicans right now. >> not just the republicans. you have lindsey graham, a voice of humanity and reform. and john mccain, who has changed
his views in a tough primary. the biggest defenders are turning for political reasons. that shows how powerful it is within the party. think that's bad in the long term. i think it's terrible politics. not in this election, but appealing to the largest grows voter group in america. >> what was the 14th amendment. it was to protect the children of african-american slaves who were born here snmplgt it made them citizens, gave them equal rights. it's foundational. it's the most important konks constitutional amendment cow
could argue. for the party that has become captive to a mooumt that wants to go back to a minimal reading of the constitution and for government to do very little else, it's strange they would be tinkering. >> and its undercuts republican's own message. arizona needed to act. there's a problem. the federal government wasn't acting. it would take years for a constitutional amendment to get passed. >> what are the facts? >> it's a quick fix sound bit in the culture of hate. >> let's show pictures. there's a european connection. there has been protests in france. and president sarkozy has come out with some rather terrifying ideas about sending back foreign
born citizens if they're convicted of any crimes. about putting all sorts of anti-muslim cultural crimes that he would use as basis of sending them back. >> you only have to go back to the gate depression. people start putting up barriers and pointing fingers. there's a risk that that's the era we're entering. >> the authors of the 14th amendment wanted to take the difficult issue outside of the political realm. they wanted an objective standard, birth, rather than a subjective standard. >> in fairness, one argument you could make. immigration reform is not going to happen unless this is at a boil.
perhaps that's what lindsey graham is doing. >> take an issue this sensitive and this symbolic and cruise that as way to leverage other political reform. >> something i'm looking for is how many republicans and conservatives like michael are going to stand own this. in the last year and a half, on issued a issue, the more extreme in the parties have dominated. few republican leaders have been willing to distinguish themselves from it because they pay a price. >> you've just wrurn an article about what you call the broken senate. what exactly do you mean? a quote from the article here. i want you to explain. the democratic class of 2008 arrived with president obama, expecting to you shaller in a dynamic new era. instead, they're young senate careers have passed in daily
slog of threatened filibusters a and secret holds. >> the slower moving of the two houses. the famous story was jefferson asked washington why do you need a senate? he said, why did you pour the cup -- pour the coffee from the cup to the saucer? he said, to cool it. i spent weeks in the press gallery and wandering the halls. i approached it as a newcomer. what goes on here? what are the rules? how much time do they spend having lunch together? how much fund-raising? what i learned is, everything happen there is except
deliberation. >> quite a lot of big bills and laws have gone through. >> i think you can argue that the senate did exactly what it was supposed to do. it passed the bill. moderated it in some key ways. i think that some of the other issues like cap and trade and immigration, the reason they're not passing is not because the senate is dysfunctional. it's because we don't have a national consensus on the issues. >> daily life in the senate, a vote upcoming. in order the delay it as close to christmas as possible, the republicans fill bustered a military spending bill. imagine, during two wars, military held up in the senate. thad cochran didn't want to filibuster. he had to cave in because the
leadership told him we need your vote. >> you voted a lot of senators bemoaning glorious yesteryear. senator mitch mcconnell said this -- >> i don't see the same, david, senate, that the new yorker author sees. some of my best friends are democrats. chris dodd, harry reid. i don't think we have a cleej yalt problem. we have a great debate about the future of the country. >> last toward all of you? >> he said that new yorker author as though he was taking out the trash. i mean, it was a great portrait about how sullen, snarling, the senate is. >> sit about a huge debate over the future of the country?
>> it's about the future of the country and whether the government with the machinery in place has the ability to solve the problems? >> like wall street, the political institutions are decadent. it's because of the failure of elites to restrain themselves. >> and we'll continue this discussion in the r"the roundta in the green room. you can find fact check on the website. also on the website, the dramatic images of the floods in pakistan. 1600 people have dpipd more rain continues to fall. the u.s. has rushed in assistance. the disaster is overwhelming them. we'll be right back.
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and and now, "the sunday funnies." >> president obama announced his plan to remove all combat troops from iraq by the end of august. thank you to the men and women serving in iraq. good luck in afghanistan. >> they're popping champagne at bp head quarters. once they popped it, they were unable to control the flow of champagne. >> we're repealing the amendment to send a message to babies. >> it's hard to be tough on babies. let's remember -- >> wait, wait, i'm going stop you right there. he's a sign you shouldn't finish
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