tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 18, 2011 3:00am-4:30am PST
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good sunday morning to you all. give you a look at stories making headlines. first and foremost, it is over. the last convoy of u.s. troops has left iraq. this happened just a matter of hours ago while many of you were sleeping. but the country is waking up today knowing that the war in iraq is over and u.s. troops are out of iraq. also this morning, take a look. a runaway cart prowling through
a number of people. this was after a football game in texas. you see the effort going on there to try to stop this runaway cart. they finally did. questions this morning about why it was going on its own in the first place. also, many of you need to be prepping for a major winter storm that's expected to drop up to 15 inches of snow. our reynolds wolf is all over this. he'll be along in a moment. it started as shock and awe nearly nine years ago. it's ended with sand and dust on a desert highway headed into kuwait. the last convoy of u.s. troops has left iraq. watch. [ horn ]
>> a much different scene from the shock and awe that we saw of nine years ago almost. the pictures from overnight, cover of darkness going through the middle of the desert. about 500 u.s. service members from ft. hood, texas, traveling. about 110 military vehicles made a five-hour nighttime trip from camp adder into kuwait. the route was cleared of any roadside bombs by the first elements of the convoy. navy, air force, and marine aircraft covered the pull-out from above. at the border crossing, cnn caught up with one of the commanders in this convoy. listen to him. >> feeling of elation. it really is. to see what we've accomplished in the last 8 1/2 years, and then to be part of the last movement out of iraq. it's -- hard to put words to it right now. >> combat operations in iraq
officially ended for the u.s. august 31. it was a couple of days ago that we saw the ceremony that officially ended the mission. it was a matter of hours ago that the last u.s. troops, the last convoy pulled out of iraq. this is an historic drawdown and the largest we have seen since the war in vietnam. i want to turn to cnn's michael holmes who was with s. marin-- u.s. marines when they drove into kuwait in 2003. michael holmes was there again and watched the last u.s. convoy arrive at the iraq/kuwait border crossing. i know a much different mood today from all those years ago. a lot of ways, has it really hit the young men and women what they have been a part of and the history they have made? >> reporter: absolutely. yeah. you're right, t.j. went through that same crossing with the marines back in 2003. headed for baghdad. a lot of the guys who you saw
cross the border in the early hours of this morning into kuwait weren't here when the war began. most of them, according to the generals here. it was a fascinating night to see this happen. it started at around 3:00 in the morning. it was one convoy, but it was broken into four sections. what the military calls serials. the last came through at 7:30 a.m. there were toots, cheers, hugs at the midway point and the camp virginia here. this is where all the guys came in, 500 or so. they will be here for a few days, get everything squared away before heading stateside. i have a surprise. one of the guys who came down through camp adder is sergeant robert nicholson joins us to chat about it. you rotated through adder. i came in yesterday. part of the last convoy.
you're here, you got in yesterday. how did it all feel for you? >> felt really good. i was glad to have this be over. a lot of friends that i know didn't make it home. closing down everything, honoring them. >> reporter: you spent the last part this deployment in the green zone. you -- this was your second deployment. you spent a lot of time outside the war, as well. you feel like you achieved a lot there? >> yes, sir. we mainly sat on the side of the road and looked for security convoys headed out and made sure no one would plant roadside bombs, nothing like that. make sure no one had a security problem. >> reporter: that's a dangerous job. were you worried yourself throughout the deployment? >> not really. i really worried. i'm confident in the training they gave us. we know what we're looking for, have a lot of experience in our leadership. we're confident and everything.
so we were pretty good. >> michigan's home for you. how does it feel? will your family knows you're coming. what are you expecting? >> feels good. i know my mom's relieved. so, dad, an elder brother was one of the first units in iraq. now i'm one of the last units out of iraq. family is very proud, and they're happy i'm coming home finally. >> it was nine years. you weren't in the army when it started? >> no, i was in ninth grade when the war started. >> reporter: oh, boy, that makes you feel old, doesn't it, t.j.? sergeant robert nicoson with the 82nd air burton. you hear -- airborne. you hear the stoirks aries, and makes us feel good. >> i know a lot of stories like that, it's come full circle for you to be there at the beginning and amazing to say being there at the end. we'll check with mike holmes there. thank you very much, buddy.
six minutes past the hour. we'll give you staggering numbers that made up the war. when the war of at its peak in 2006, some 239,000 u.s. service members were in iraq. more than 500 bases. the war cost more than $800 billion. more than 4,500 american service members died in the war. 30,000 more wounded. in all, 1.5 million americans served in iraq. the number of iraqi deaths according to iraqi body count, more than 150,000. questions remain about the future of iraq. also a lot of americans still asking -- was it worth it, in cost of the lives and money. we're finally by former brigadier general mark kimmett, worked under george w. bush. always good to talk to you. let me get your reaction from an emotional and personal standpoint to see this over and
to see that last convoy of u.s. troops roll out of there. >> it's really not over. we still have an enduring commitment to iraq. our presence is going to be there for years and years. it was very interesting to see the last u.s. military convoy depart from iraq, but i think that's simply a milestone. and it is certainly not the end of our involvement or should be our end of our commitment to iraq. >> certainly i think a lot of people agree with that. many in the minds of a lot of americans who have come to be, a lot of families, defined -- even that young man that michael holmes was talking to, he was in the ninth grade when this first started. many families have been changed and lives defined by this war. i mean, do you get the sense and maybe we're making a mistake sometimes by americans thinking when they do see that last convoy roll out that, you know, we're done with that. >> well, i certainly hope not.
again, it is good to see the troops getting home for a well-deserved break. there are other contingencies around the world that we'll be focused upon. but as i said earlier, if we make the mistake of just believing that not only is this the end of a chapter but it's the end of the book, we're going to be involved in iraq for many, many years. it's in a central spot in the middle east. i don't think we have seen the last of iraq. certainly the large diplomatic presence that will remain behind focused on the day-to-day activities will recognize that iraq remains instrumental and key to our national security and our foreign policy. >> there's no doubt that the u.s. was able to accomplish some of its goals going in. one of those goals, of course, to remove saddam hussein. but what else on that checklist would you say was accomplished, and what would you say maybe was not accomplished in the past almost nine years?
>> well, i think most of us have happy to see at that iraqis have a secular democracy at this point in time. whether they can hold on to that one can only hope. it is good to see a functioning democracy. you'll notice that iraq has not been affected over the past months by the arab spring, but the representational democracy is one by which the people can express concern and needs. >> you talked about the dip gnattic presence the -- diplomatic presence the u.s. will continue to have. as far as military presence, we understand that several members of the military troops will be in kuwait for a certain period of time. do you anticipate they'll be there for quite sometime or even how long in anticipation of trouble popping up in iraq? >> we've had a security presence and a military presence in kuwait for years and years. i understand that the pentagon plans to leave up to a brigade inside kuwait for training, rotation, for assisting in the
security cooperation with other countries. i think that's a sound decision. that's a volatile part of the world. that's a part of the world that's key to our foreign policy objectives. it makes sense to keep a unit there indefinitely in my view, to handle not only the situation in iraq but the entire region. >> general kimmet is going to join us again in a bit before the hour is up. we're going to go through really a lot of the extraordinary video that a lot of people may have missed overnight. certainly symbolism there. as you say, you want to remind people the american mission, if you will, the american commitment there is not over. so general kimmett, we'll see you again in a few minutes. all right. also to our viewers coming up, we'll get more on what america's iraq veterans face when they come back home. one of the things they face, maybe some financial trouble. we're talking to a financial planner about some of the things returning service members may be dealing with, including buying a home and trying to get resettled in the community.
and what are your thoughts this morning? many of you waking up and seeing some of this video for the first time. may have missed it overnight. the last u.s. convoy of troops rolling out of iraq last night. send us your comment, be part of the conversation on twitter. already have that up. as always here with me at the desk, already talking to some of you this morning. you know our facebook page, and you know where to find us on the blog. what are your thoughts now that that last convoy has rolled out? we're 12 minutes past the hour. a week from christmas. lots of people wondering if they'll be having a white christmas. some getting some snow already. milwaukee in particular, relative light dusting over southeastern wisconsin yesterday. nothing compared to what folks in the southwest are going to see soon. our reynolds wolf keeping an eye on things there. people often want a white christmas. but they don't want it to get ridiculous. this is going to be
redonkulous. remember the strong santa ana winds? that's going to be moving across arizona, new mexico, moving into texas and the oklahoma panhandle. that could result in possibly up to a foot of snowfall for parts of the lone star state and back to parts of oklahoma. we're going to let you know how long it's going to last and where the wintry blast will be headed next. that's moments away. >> thank you. we'll see you in a moment. at 13 minutes past the hour, a possible momentum shift in iowa. mitt romney has picked up a couple of pretty big endorsements over the past few days. this all comes now with just two weeks to go until the first votes are cast in the republican presidential race. we'll tell you who in iowa has got romney's back now. stay with us. r, r, things can get out of control pretty quickly. so i like control in the rest of my life... especially my finances. that's why i have slate, with blueprint. i can make a plan to pay off big stuff faster... or avoid interest on everyday things. that saves me money. with slate from chase, i'm always in control.
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♪ more than you could ever know make my wish come true ♪ ♪ all i want for christmas is >> i'm with the 581st company in kuwait. i'd like to wish my family in huntsville, alabama, happy holidays and merry christmas, y'all. many of them will be home for christmas. that is one of the big stories today, if not the biggest, after almost nine years in iraq. the final u.s. convoy of u.s.
troops pulled out of iraq just a matter of hours ago. happened in the middle of the night there last night. many of you were sleeping and may have missed that. we'll be talking about that plenty this morning. at a quarter past the hour, the senate put in work yesterday. put its stamp of approval on two big bills. one not quite done yet. the nearly $1 trillion spending bill is done. that's the one that's set up and approved. then there's the payroll tax holiday extension. that's the one that lets you keep some of that money in your paycheck starting january 1. the senate passed a two-month extension. the house still has to weigh in on that bill. the payroll tax bill. president obama praised the move but said it falls a bit short of what he wanted. >> very pleased to see the work that the senate has done. while this agreement is for two months, it is my expectation -- in fact, it would be inexcusable for congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut
for the rest of the year. it should be a formality, and hopefully it's done with as little drama as possible when they get back in january. >> now the house is expected to vote on the payroll tax later this week. again, if they pass it, we'll be right pack here in two months doing -- right back here in two months doing the same thing all over again. only extended it for two months. turn to presidential politics now. mitt romney seems to be picking up momentum as the iowa caucuses get closer and closer. he picked up an endorsement from a former presidential nominee, veteran senator bob dole, the gop pick in 1996 before losing to bill clinton. romney also got the blessing of the influential "des moines register" newspaper, the largest in the state of iowa. they called him the most qualified candidate competing in the caucuses. check out what they seat about some of the -- what they said about some of the others. "newt gingrich newt gingrich is an undisciplined partisan who
would alienate, not unite. he relies on mean-spirited attacks as house speaker. and ron paul's libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos and isolationism." we have more from our reporter in iowa, in des moines. shannon, put this in perspective, how big an endorsement is this? >> reporter: good morning. it's bragging rights, right? the biggest, the largest newspaper in iowa, right? everybody wanted this endorsement. virtually all went and met with the editorial board of the newspaper except jon huntsman. he's been spending most of his time in new hampshire. it could help with the undecideds. the race is close. the polls fluctuating up and down. one day newt is up, one day mit, one day paul is up. on the other hand, this is an establishment pick. right? "the des moines register" has picked others before, and in
this unconventional year, a lot of tea party activists or other activists are saying we don't want the establishment picked. maybe this doesn't help mitt romney that much. on the other hand, the des moines track record for picking, for endorsing people isn't that good. they've only picked three people who have gone on to actually win the caucuses, only endorse three people who have gone on to win the gop nomination, and only one person, t.j., that "the des moines register" endorsed before the caucuses that won the white house. and that's george w. bush. and it's interesting how the one paper that did endorse mitt romney, "the des moines register," he hasn't spent much time in iowa. in new hampshire where he spent mostly all of his time, "the new hampshire union leader," the most influential paper up there, didn't pick him. it picked newt gingrich. interesting there. >> shannon travis in des moines.
we'll be checking in again throughout the morning. thank you very much. close to 20 minutes past the hour now. and the last u.s. military convoy is out of iraq. arrived in kuwait overnight. flags and banners rolled up, now put away. what did america's war veterans face -- what do america's war veterans face in this difficult economy back home? we're chatting with someone who can give help. a certified financial planner who has experience working with veterans. stay with us. ♪ yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol. [ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i? [ male announcer ] want great taste and whole grain oats that can help lower cholesterol? honey nut cheerios. with less chronic low back pain. imagine living your life with less chronic osteoarthritis pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a non-narcotic treatment that's fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain.
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♪ have yourself a merry little christmas make the yuletide gay ♪ hi, this is lieutenant commander emily franklin from the combined joint task force in the horn of africa. happy holidays to my friends and family back home. my parents, gail and neil franklin, and my brother, kyle. happy holidays, everyone, and have a great new year. ♪ the last u.s. military convoy has left iraq. the trucks crossed into kuwait while many of you were sleeping, ending the nearly nine-year mission in iraq. the last troops are from ft. hood in texas. they'll be home in a few days, ending their deployment a bit early. the convoy had more than 100 vehicles in all rumbling across southern iraq for the last time. a military vet -- the
military vets who have returned home often face a lot of issues, problems. among them, sometimes paying their bills. joined by june walburt, certified financial planner with usaa financial planning services and colonel in the army relative. thank you very much for being here. we think about so much of the emotional scars of war. what are some of the top financial issues they run into as soon as they get back? is it just plain and simply finding a job? >> hi, t.j. you know, one of the things that i've realized about the military is that they simply are a cross section of the american society. they have a lot of the same problems. sometimes consumer debt, sometimes it just boils down to finding a job. a lot of these iraq veterans who just rolled into kuwait, and i'm sure are excited about, it will be staying in the service and many will be getting out. for those getting out of the service, they really face an uphill battle in finding a great
job and launching that second career. so they really need to be prepared. they need to prepare a resume that will resonate with the civilian employer. they need to translate all of that military experience into into something easily understood by an employer and, t.j., because they may not have ever interviewed for a civilian job before, they need take an interviewing skills class which is going to boost their chances for getting that great job. >> june, that's a great point you make on the resume. is it sometimes they don't have the training, and to no fault of their own. a lot of them, since 18, have had a military career. is it the challenge of getting them the right training to get an employer to understand, yes, i was in the military, but i had this skill, this skill, this skill, and it will translate to this, this, and this for you, the employer? or do we need to do a better job of also training the employer to understand what some of these military members offer? >> yes and yes, t.j.
absolutely. you know, there is a software program on military.com called the militaryskillstranslator. i was shooting down enemy airplanes. that's not going to resonate with many employers because we just don't need that. but the management skill, the logistics management, the personnel management that i did while i was in the military certainly can benefit any employer. and so we need our employers to also understand what these military folks bring to the table. there are very few, 18, 20, 22, 24-year-olds that have as much management experience as our veterans do. >> are there enough programs out there to give them -- >> yeah, and -- >> i'm sorry. talking about financial programs. i know when they do need help. suppose they do get into trouble, there enough programs out there, specifically aimed at helping these veterans? >> you know, these veterans ought to reach out to veterans
service officers for help to find any kind of counseling that they might need, as well as to take advantage of any kind of financial breaks they have coming to them. these guys and gals are volunteers in many cases, but they're also paid staffers whose job it is is to make sure that they -- these veterans get help filling out paperwork, as well as find every financial break they deserve. like when it comes to a veteran buying a home, maybe they've pinpoint reed where that second career is going to leave them and they want to live the american dream. these vsos through american legion, vfw, and v.a. centers and installations can help them find out if they get a break on property taxes as an example, or maybe they'll get a lower interest rate than they could out on the general market. i say, t.j., a dollar save sudden a dollar earned. and vsos can help these veterans find the financial breaks and financial counseling that they may need. >> all right.
june walbert, this was an important conversation to have and information to get out. yes, there's a celebratory mood among families and the country to see the last convoy come out. a lot of challenges they're facing, and want to help the best we can when they get home. thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. we're about 27 minutes past the hour now. and a white christmas, a lot of people might get it. not this white. we're talking about almost 15 inches of snow in some places. reynolds wolf joining us after the break. ♪ it's easy to see what subaru owners care about. that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru
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at the bottom of the hour on this cnn sunday morning. take a look at your screen here. kind of a strange scene at cowboys stadium last night. you see that -- yes, that's a runaway cart. nobody was driving it. one of the guys who got hit is actually holding on for dear life, trying to steer. you see finally somebody was able to track it down and stop
it. there it is again. this was at cowboys stadium after the class 5a division texas state championship footballgag game. coaches were hanging out in the field talking. and the cart takes off. apparently, reynolds, it got a full head of steam, if you will. it came from the other end zone. so it was coming at them for quite sometime, gained some steam. nobody really has the answer as to why it took off and got going like it did. two people had to go to the hospital. we don't quite know their conditions. but man, you see him, he was trying to steer it there before he finally said, i'm out of here. he bailed on the thing. somebody finally got it stopped. >> gosh, that cart moves like jerome bettes, seriously. the way it runs around people. frightening. >> they couldn't brace themselves. they were standing there, didn't see it coming at all. >> who would expect a golf cart to run by itself and run over you? we all have rough mornings, you wake up and feel like you've been run over. this is a scary, serious
situation. nerve likes a white christmas -- everybody likes a white christmas to an extent. to an extent. >> the vision we saw of the cart running out of control. something is building out of the desert southwest into the plain, it could bring up to a foot of snowfall for texas and to oklahoma. >> what time frame we talking about? >> look like it might get started tonight. the kicker is going to be into monday and tuesday. so yeah, kind of rough. we normally don't see this kind of heavy snowfall in parts of texas and parts of oklahoma this early in the year. they get snow in both places, yes. of this magnitude and this quickly? not so much. if you look at the shot, the radar image over parts of the desert southwest including california and back into arizona, you see mostly rainfall. when you get into the higher elevations the snow powers down. the satellite view is more innocent looking. beautiful clouds. something else you can detect is a center of circulation south of los angeles and san diego. this is going to drift east. as it does so, it's going to pull in moisture, not only from the gulf of california and the
pacific but also eventually coming from the gulf of mexico. that combination of that moist air moving north right behind the area of low pressure, cold air moving south, you're going to have the overrunning moisture. that's where the snow is really going to begin to stack up. question is, how much snow are we talking it? the latest computer models indicate that we might see from 12 to even 18 inches of snowfall for parts of texas right up near parts of where you have i-40, the junction to i-25. the wind that we're expecting and with the heavy snowfall, winds approaching 45 miles per hour, some possibly surpassing that, you'll have whiteout conditions. you won't see at all as you're driving. it will be difficult for a lot of people. that's for a good part of monday morning, monday afternoon. finally the system drifts off as we make our way into tuesday. still leaving behind frozen, frozen mess in its wake. then thunderstorms developing along the frontal -- the front of the storm system. that backgroundry moving through parts of, say, arkansas, i-40. a lot stacking up along i-40.
major artery for travelers. southward to houston, you can expect the thunderstorms. looks like it will be about a two-day event. first it's going to be the rain, then the snow piling in. breezy conditions for the northern plains. as we wrap things up, the highs for the day, not monday and tuesday, but today, 54 in denver. 43 in washington. 76 in miami. 32 in new york. 60 in san francisco. denver, 54, denver the site of the big game, 4:00. the patriots and the broncos. >> tebow versus brady. tebow all the way. >> i'm with you. >> thank you. we're at 35 minutes past the hour now. ending the mission in iraq. it's over. that's something popular with the american public. why is nobody really standing up to take credit for it ending? well, of course, it's all about politics. we'll talk about it next. every single day. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes.
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the aftermath of that tropical storm there. military officials now telling us that some 548 people are dead. they still have almost 400 others missing. entire villages were washed away in the floodwaters. and survivors are now without electricity and clean drinking water. also, search and rescue operations underway for a migrant boat that sank off the coast of indonesia. two people confirmed dead. more than 100 missing. almost 90 people have been rescued. officials say 200 were on board that boat when it capsized. a wood boat here. was traveling to the australian territory of christmas island. ♪ it's really over. the last american military convoy to leave iraq crossed into kuwait a matter of hours ago. we have the historic closing moments and the impact of this pull-out.
[ horn ] >> reporter: with that, the last of the u.s. troops officially left iraq. about 500 soldiers and more than 100 military vehicles crossed the border to kuwait. they made the journey from camp adder in iraq under the cover of night. the convoy commander shared his emotions. >> feeling of elation. really does. to see what we've accomplished in the last 8 1/2 years and then to be part of the last movement out of iraq is -- hard to put words to it right now. >> reporter: a former national security adviser for iraq explained what the milestone means for his country. >> i think this is a jubilant moment. and we feel in iraq that we own the country now. we regain our country. we have now our sovereignty and independence completely.
and we -- this is -- the sense of belonging is now sigh high to iraq. >> reporter: wesley clark, supreme commander, agrees, and says the withdrawal may benefit u.s./iraq relations. >> one thing's very important to understand. iraq's future is primarily up to iraq, just as it has been for several years. and as we've seen in other countries that we've left, sometimes friendship develops better if you're not too heavy a present insi presence inside the country. >> reporter: annette sosa reporting. all right. do you remember president bush -- and you remember that "mission accomplished" banner behind him may 1, 2003. we're talking almost eight years ago. there it is. you remember that scene really well. the mission now is officially over. but you don't hear a lot of people out there giving a lot of
"i told you so's," patricia murphy. joining me, a friend of our show, and founder and editor of citizen jane politics. why not? is it simply everybody wants to wait and see what happens? you don't want to say, see, i told you, and take credit and iraq literally blows up? >> i think it's a combination of things. first of all, as you said, nobody really knows how this is going to go. iraq is still so unsettled. there's a big question about the role of iran and iraq in the future. when we're pulling out, there's not a great sense of an enormous victory that's been achieved because people don't even know what victory -- what it was supposed to look like in the first place. there's not exactly a victory to claim. also, it has cost so much in american lives, iraqi lives, american treasure, that people are just ready to sort of get out, let iraq move on. this was also a status of forces agreement that the bush administration agreed to when president bush was still in office. this was a shared decision between democrats and republicans. president obama called it a dumb
war when he was campaigning. so to pulling out of this, you don't want to do a victory lap. you don't want to really do anything except let iraq get on with being iraq. >> it was hard to strike a celebratory tone. you're absolutely right. with so many service members being killed. president obama at least -- i mean, this war will be politicized in some way during the campaign season. >> and is tomorrow has been, yes. >> is the way it's going to be done is that president obama can step up and say "see what i got done"? >> he can say it to supporters and the 75% of americans who want troops to come out of iraq. however, during the republican primary season, we've heard this -- when iraq is invoked, it's used as a way to attack president obama as being a weak leader. they say that this is an example of his weak leadership around the globe in iraq, not staying to finish the fight. so that's when we will hear it. most republicans actually don't want to pull out of iraq. only about 42% do. it's something that the republicans will speak to, to their base, only to attack the president, though. i was actually on capitol hill this week. it was very unusual. there was almost no discussion
of it. no talk, no victory laps. it was just something that people knew was happening and are letting happen. >> you said there wasn't much talk b. they want to talk about it when it was brought up even? kind of moved on? >> i think they wanted to move on. and again, nothing has resonated more, nobody remembers more than the mission accomplished sign. nobody wants to see this is a mission accomplished. we still have forces. there we have the largest american embassy in the world will still be in iraq. we still have a presence there. it's very much in our interests that it succeed. it is not there yet. nobody is going to claim mission accomplished. >> that's the politics of iraq. we still have presidential politics as always to talk about with patricia murphy. we're going to get an extra segment out of patricia this morning. >> great. >> quick break, and we'll talk about mitt romney. can this be a game-changer in iowa? picked up a pretty big endorsement. >> big endorsement. >> we'll be right back.
patricia murphy back again talking presidential politics. and mitt romney, can we call this momentum he's picking up heading into the iowa caucuss? picking up big endorsements. one was in in north carolina, bob dole a big name. now the largest paper in iowa. >> we can call it three good days in a row for mitt romney. >> okay. momentum. >> any candidate's going to take that. we see him gaining momentum. we also see newt gingrich starting to lose momentum. so interesting. once he became the front-runner, he has been absolutely battered by attacks in iowa. he's being outspent 8- on tv. his campaign -- 8-1 on tv.
his campaign does not have the money to respond to the attack ads. romney is being built up a bit. it's changing the momentum going into the holidays. >> all newt gingrich, the type of attacks -- most people aren't in iowa and seeing what they're being bombarded with, frankly. what things are they going after newt gingrich on, the same things we saw on the debates a few nights ago? >> the one you can narrow it down to is hypocrisy. newt gingrich says he's for things that hee not for. says that he is an outsider when he, in fact, is a washington lobbyist. so on a host of issues and really his lifestyle, they're saying he is giving you the picture of who he wants you to think he is, and then there's who he really is. he is getting absolutely hammered every single day. if you're in iowa, you're seeing ads about newt gingrich is a hypocrite. when he's not able to respond, that's hard for him to change people's minds or not let it seep in a bit. >> perspective on the endorsement from "the des moines
ridgester." he hasn't spent that much time there. he spend time in new hampshire and the paper did not endorse him. perspective of what the endorsement means. >> "the des moines register" is known as less of a conservative editorial board. it's not too much of a surprise. these guys will take any endorsement they can get. the most important piece is they said he has wisdom, sobriety, and judgment. as in newt gingrich does not have any of those things. they actually called him a partisan and said that he would do nothing but divide the country. they took shots at newt gingrich. they built up mitt romney. i don't think it's really going change the game, but it's another good day for mitt romney. >> we can stop talking, almost time to start voting. >> almost time. good to see you. >> always good to see you. a quarter off the top of the hour. coming up in 15 minutes, we'll be going back live to des moines for more on that endorsement. why the paper chose romney over newt gingrich and a couple of others. meanwhile, the story today -- the war in iraq is over. we've left behind hundreds of bases. what happens to all that empty space? we'll give you one example of a
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♪ forty years ago, he wasn't worried about retirement. he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement solutions for our military, veterans and their families. from investments... to life insurance... to health care options. learn more with our free usaa retirement guide. call 877-242-usaa. ten minutes off the top of the hour. "morning passport." we're leaving space behind. what happens to the space and stuff? >> exactly. you know there were around 505 military bases. of those, at least half will become iraqi military bazses.
some have been auctioned off or will be auctioned off. we want to talk about camp booker, named after the famous fire marshal who went in to rescue people in nerve and then died. so -- in 9/11 and then died. they called it around camp booker, around three million square miles. the size of disney world. a particular construction company bought it on auction and have turned it into a hotel. between $100 and $200 you can stay there. you've seen the plans now for the logistics center. what they want to do is create a hotel, a logistics center and container storage areas for the oil industry. they want to contain and create a mini city out this former military base. >> who is the company? >> kufan, an iraqi construction company. they've got huge plans to take this place -- think about the infrastructure that the americans have left in terms of electricity and water.
they say they provide it right now. these are the plans going forward. so it really doesn't look like this right now, according to "the new york times" article, it's looking desolate at this point. you can stay there, and at least you know it's going to be secure. and this particular base is situated near the oil reserves. so with the oil boom about to happen or supposedly about to happen, a lot of oil executives will be staying at this hotel. >> that's fascinating. wonder if all those will follow the lead. infrastructure already there. some work you don't even have to do already. nadia, thank you. that's our "morning passport." i know we'll have another in just a bit. we're talking about the iraq war. it is over now, truly over, really? the border crossing from iraq to kuwait closed behind the last u.s. military convoy out of the country. what this means to iraq. we are talking about it this morning. a historic moment overnight. nth. spark card from capital one. spark cash gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. it's hard for my crew to keep up with 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. 2% cash back.
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top of the hour, i want to bring back in retired army general mark kimmett talking about the historic pull-out, the last u.s. convoy leaving iraq a matter of hours ago. general, i'll let you do a play by play and narrate some of this video that some of our viewers may have missed from overnight. this first one showing this convoy driving through this border gate, heading into kuwait. i mean, energy, when you look at this, i was ask you about some of your emotions. talk about the danger in this trip they made overnight. >> well, it is certainly the case that the roads inside of iraq may have improvised explosive devices along them. so it's clear that they had a security patrol ahead of that convoy, and then on top of the convoy, they probably had aircraft support, as well. my personal emotions is -- include, first of all, i hope
that americans never forget those soldiers that we lost inside of iraq. and as important, those 20,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines that were wounded. some of them very grievously who will be carrying those wounds for the rest of their life in the form of missing limbs, changed lives. and as we close this chapter in iraq, we can't close the chapter on those soldiers. >> and as we continue to show some of this video from overnight, this was sunset at camp adder, where these -- about 500 u.s. service members left last night. i mean, look at that shot. they were preparing. and what does it say to us, general kimmett, of moving forward, that this was necessary? that still you come in with shock and awe and have to leave sand dust and secrecy in a lot of ways. is that telling about what -- the situation we're leaving behinds? >> i disputes that. i don't think we are walking out or leaving behind in secrecy. this is just normal security procedures. we're leaving behind thousands
of americans inside the u.s. embassy. there will be a presence inside of iraq. it just won't be for years to come. i'm concerned that our mission is left undone in terms of training the iraqi security forces. i hope that the 160 americans that are working inside the office of the military cooperation can help that. but any suggestion that we're somehow sneaking out of iraq, i think, is unfair characterization happening here. >> we thank you for taking the time on a morning when people are waking up knowing u.s. soldiers are out of iraq. a good reminder that you gave viewers that the mission in a lot of ways -- maybe the official military mission, but still the u.s. involvement won't be done there in iraq for quite some time. general, we appreciate your time. >> thank you. we've been asking our viewers about your thoughts about the end this war. one viewer saying, thank god the
troops finally get to spend christmas with their families. this was great news to wake up to. god bless our troops! more of that feedback later. stay with us. [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. [ pneumatic wrench buzzing ] [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds.
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good sunday morning to you all. a look at stories making headlines while you were sleeping. it's over -- the last u.s. convoy pulled out of iraq. made its way into kuwait. a historic moment that ends a nearly nine-year war with the last u.s. convoy of troops made its way out of iraq last night. we'll show you more of that video and what you may have missed last night while you were sleeping, this happened. also, take a look at what happened this dallas. a runaway cart literally bowls over people like bowling pins. this was on a football field, as you can see. this runaway cart was finally stopped with those unsuspected folks standing in the middle of a football field. also, something happening this morning as a lot of you all need to be getting ready. there is a major winter storm in the works that could drop up to a foot, maybe even more, of snow
on some of you. reynolds wolf, we'll be checking in with him in a moment. ♪ it started as shock and awe nearly nine years ago. it ended just hours ago on a desert highway headed into kuwait. the last convoy of u.s. troops has left iraq, crossing into kuwait. [ horn ] >> there were about 500 service members from ft. hood, texas, traveling in about 110 military vehicles. they made a five-hour, nighttime trip from camp adder into kuwait. the route cleared of roadside bombs by the first elements of the convoy. navy, air force, marine aircraft covering them from above at the border crossing. we caught up with one of the commanders. >> feeling of elation, it really
does. to see what we've accomplished in the last 8 1/2 years and then to be part of the last movement out of iraq, it's -- hard to put words to it right now. >> combat operations ended in iraq in august -- it was august 31. the historic drawdown the largest since the war in vietnam. cnn's michael holmes was with the u.s. marines when they drove into iraq from kuwait back in spring of 2003. michael holmes really has come full circle now. he watched as the last u.s. military convoy arrived at the iraq/kuwait border crossing. take a look. >> reporter: it was indeed a historic moment just after dawn, around 7:30 a.m. u.s. soldiers leaving iraq. the same way they went in -- across the kuwaiti border nine years ago. after 4,500 deaths, more than 30,000 u.s. troops wounded and $1 trillion in costs, the war was over for these troops and,
in fact, all u.s. troops. there is not one left in iraq outside of u.s. embassy and its compounds. of course the cost to iraqis even greater. well over 100,000 deaths in iraq, and hundreds of thousands of iraqis wounded by this conflict. of course, what happens now in iraq, what sort of iraq did the americans leave behind? well, there's a fractious political setup at the moment. the foundations of the political system are shallow. but the sectarian divisions run deep. a lot of people are worried about what happens next. iraq is a country technically not at war anymore, but it is a long way from being at peace. about four minutes past the hour now. we'll turn back to some politics here in this country. and work being done by the senate yesterday. senate put its stamp of approval on two big bills. one of them not quite done yet. first up, the nearly $1 trillion spending bill. that one's done. then there's the payroll tax holiday extension, the one that
will let you keep more of your paycheck come january 1. the senate passed a two-month extension. the house still needs to weigh in on that one. president obama praised the move by the senate, but he said it still falls short of exactly what he wanted. >> i'm very pleased to see the work that the senate has done. while this agreement is for too ii months, it is -- for two months, it is my expectation. in fact, it would be inexcusable for congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year. it should be a formality. and hopefully it's done with as little drama as possible when they get back in january. >> the house is expected to vote on the payroll tax later this week. but even if they pass it, again, like you heard, this is a two-month extension. that means in two months they can have this fight all over again. we'll turn back to presidential politics now. mitt romney may be picking up a little momentum as the iowa caucuses get closer and closer.
first he picked up an endorsement from a former republican presidential nominee. veteran senator bob dole. dole of the gop's pick back in 1996 before losing to clinton. romney got the blessing of the influential "des moines register." calling him the most efst influential. they said, "newt gingrich is an undisciplined partisan who would alienate, not unite, if he reverts to a to mean spirited attacks on display as house speaker. " and "ron paul's libertarian ideology would be a negative." what does this mean, "the des moines register" comment? >> reporter: it's bragging rights. who wouldn't want to be called a strong, rock solid, reliable leader like "the des moines register" said about mitt romney? they praised his government
experience, private sector experience. also in this race in iowa, it's tight. you've seen the polls fluctuating up and down, sometimes mitt romney is ahead. sometimes newt gingrich ahead. sometimes ron paul is making a strong showing. so it could tip the scales for a number of either undecided voters or people who are, you know, leaning one way but could be easily swayed. on the other hand, this is basically an establishment pick. i mean, "the des moines register" is picking mitt romney. they picked other establishment picks in the past, t.j. and in this year, this unconventional year with a lot of tea party activists, conservative activists and whatnot say we don't want an establishment pick, this might not bode that well for the governor. on the other hand, the track record for the people that "the des moines register" has endorsed, hasn't been that good. only three people have gone on to win the iowa caucus. only three people have gone on to get the gop nomination. only one person, george w. bush in 2000, won the white house after being endorsed by "the des moines register."
you know, if t -- it's an influential pick, largest paper in iowa. but it doesn't necessarily spell success, t.j. >> shannon travis from des moines. thank you as always. we're coming up on eight minutes past the hour. we've been talking a lot about iraq. and we'll ton do so this morning. historic moment after the last u.s. military convoy pulled out of iraq overnight. happened while you were sleeping. many of you. we'll look back at some of the memorable images from this nearly nine-year war in iraq, including the night of shock and awe. [ mom ] scooter? your father loves
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eskimos ♪ i'm sergeant dunklin kellery deployed to southwest asia. i'd like to wish my family in montgomery, alabama, a merry christmas and happy new year. miss you guys, i'll be home soon. take care. ♪ about 12 minutes past the hour now. so many people looking forward -- so many families looking forward to their loved ones coming home from iraq. a lot of people reflecting, as well, as we look pack on what this war has meant over the past almost nine years now. a lot of memorable moments and memorable images from the war in iraq. this first one here is one you'll remember. this was night one, shock and awe over baghdad. this was as the war was first beginning. we were first getting these image in march of 2003. in particular, march 20, 2003, is when this was first happening. the beginning of the war in
iraq. also another image we can show you. this certainly became a part of this war. really a lot of civilians getting caught in the middle of the war. children playing around a burned out vehicle there, the middle of the street. by one count, one group called the iraq body count, they say 150,000 iraqis were killed in the fighting over the past almost nine years. another image many of you will iraq, the former dictator, saddam hussein. this was him getting a medical examination. u.s. military giving him this examination an he was captured in december of 2003. you'll remember then in december of 2006 he was hanged after a trial in iraq. one last image we can show. do we have that up, guys? we do not have it. i won't tell you about it if we can't show it to you. some of the manls images -- i'm
we have this now. this was a defining moment. we blurred some of this out. it was a point for a lot of americans. these were the charred bodies of u.s. contractors. this drove home the severity of -- and not that people didn't know, you know, just some of the ills of war, but this was a moment for a lot of people to stop and reflect and the brutality of this. these were u.s. contractors that were hanging from a bridge over the euphrates river. this was in fallujah. but that was just another of the images you that could see defined the war in iraq. a lot of people happy to be closing the chapter on another war here. smld say closing the chapter -- some would say closing the chapter. some would say closing the book. we'll show how a world war ii veteran reach s reaching out it his former enemies, trying to close a chapter in his life, as well, next. stay with us. he'd yet to hear of mutual funds, iras, or annuities. back then, he had something more important to do.
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about 17 minutes past the hour. testimony is set to resume in the pretrial hearing of arm private bradley manning, accused of leaking documents that ended up on the wikileaks web site. yesterday mann's attorney brought up the point that his client may have suffered from gender identity disorder, and that he had an alter ego named brianna. manning was walking out of court yesterday. manning faces 22 count of violating military code including the most serious of the charges, aiding the enemy. we turn cross country. a world war ii flag, a light, and a world anniversary. in new york city, around 50 protesters were arrested for attempting to occupy a vacant lot near a church.
occupy wall street organizers saturday had called on protesters to reoccupy, coinciding with the movement's three-month anniversary. the church had warned demonstrators that their space was off limit. the protesters were charged with trespassing. in tennessee, a world war ii vet is looking to close a chapter on the war. charlotte coker is returning -- carl coker is returning the flag he took off a dead japanese soldier 66 years ago. he picked it it up during fighting in guam. he wants to give it to one of the families whose name is written on the flag. >> i don't need it anymore. but i have a yearning to give that flag to these people. we used to be enemies. not anymore. >> japanese officials now have the flag and say they'll try to find the family it belongs to. in montgomery, alabama, one major neighborhood christmas display is a little darker this year. this still looks like a big display, but there used to be twice as many lights.
the family used to string up 70,000 lights, but the homeowners association told him to tone it down this year. the group complained it was causing too much traffic with people wanting to see the lights like this little girl. >> i wrote a letter and told him that i miss his lights and that i hope he can do it next year. >> as a final dig to the homeowner's association, they added several large grinches to the display. too much, reynolds? too much? >> a little bit. >> a little much? >> the heart's in the right place. >> did you put a few things up at the house? >> a few things. nothing that nuts. >> compared to your other neighbors? >> probably -- it's okay, enough to ring in the season but nothing that causes a flow of people in the neighborhood to stop by. homeowners association hasn't called yet. >> you been to the mall lately? this leads to the next story. are you one of those guys who
hates shopping? you sit on the bench with the bags? >> you know me too well. >> really? >> you're the opposite? >> kind of because i don't go to shop. i like to go see the people. a good time. i was there yesterday. >> i'm glad you enjoyed yourself. >> i had a great time. a lot of guys don't necessarily have a great time at the mall. there's a mall in canada that's come up with a solution. check out lucy lopez. ♪ >> reporter: as if loud music and beautiful women on a runway weren't enough, feast your eyes on this -- plush leather recliners in front of huge flat screen tvs. it's every man's dream. a place he can call his own, work out, play games, and snack on manwiches. >> this is so different. i've never been to anything like this before. >> reporter: a whole new take on gentlemen's club. one where kevin chisolm can work on his swing. you'll never guess where it's located.
>> we see it in the shopping center. men are sitting on benches, looking at their watches, waiting for their wives to return. >> reporter: the first of its kind, the men's den, is an escape for men who try as they may can't get out of holiday shopping with their women. men like mike. >> she takes too long to look at things. and i get kind of bored. >> reporter: not anymore. for the next ten days, this lounge will be here at pickering town center to keep men occupied. they'll even do their shopping for them and wrap the gift all free of charge. >> relaxing, hang out to watch tv, and -- yeah, it's good. >> reporter: it's even better for his partner who doesn't have to rush anymore. >> i like it. i think it's a great concept. yes. just leave them here while we shop. it's a great idea. >> reporter: and since it's a men's only lounge, all donations will go to prostate cancer canada. >> want to go shopping now? >> no. not really. >> that won't even bring you in?
>> not really. i'm -- i'm one of those guys, i really don't enjoy the shopping thing. my dad was one of those guys who was different. loved going last minute with the huge crowds and tons of people. he loved the experience of it. i'm not the same way. i like the idea of being in there, kicking back on the sofa. watching the tv. that's my speed. >>. we've got a week to go until christmas. a lot of people are going to be traveling this week. >> yeah. >> trying to get to grandma's house one way another, have to drive or fly. any issues coming? >> most of the country's going to be fine. one place will be especially bad and that's going to start within hours. let's hop over here, not take hours but seconds, and show the big area that we have. it looks beautiful on this map. you see the green, you see the blue, you even see some pink and purples. that indicates your watches, warnings, advisories. even a blizzard advisory in effect for parts of texas and the oklahoma panhandle where you have the comdinbination of stro winds. 45 mile-per-hour wind gusts. and snow could get to a foot to 15 inches in parts of the texas panhandle, north of lubbock. it could be brutal with whiteout
conditions. anyone making a drive in that part of the world, it's going to be very tough to deal with. as we show what's going to happen, it's going to be this area of low pressure drifting from the four corners. doesn't look too impressive for the time being. that will be the big weathermaker that's going to really stir up some major issues very quickly. let's rip through this. you got that low that's going to be moving in through parts of the rockies, back into the southern plain. rain, heavy rain through dallas. on the back half, it's going to be mainly snow. we'll talk more about that and a lot of the delays that are inevitable in just a few minutes. t.j., i'm going to do some traveling back to you. i know we've got something to talk about. we're getting ready for a big game on sunday -- it is sunday. talking tebow versus brady. >> yeah. >> tebow all the way. the weekend -- the cowboys at least are -- are getting back on track here from their game. beat tampa. an important game for dallas. this is still america's team. with k we call them that? >> by all means. >> let's go with that. they blew leads in the past two games. back on track in the nfc east. romo looking good, three
touchdowns against tampa. this is a blowout but one that started the weekend this weekend. the nfl weekend. also, there's something that happened in arlington, texas. this was at cowboys stadium -- not the cowboys play, a high school game. but after the game a runaway cart, it took off and had a number of unsuspecting people standing there, having a conversation. it looks like someone -- the way it hit them, you would think it was aiming for them. but apparently it took off on its own from the other end zone and plowed over these folks. somebody finally able to get it under control. after a couple people had to go to the hospital. >> a head coach of one of the teams hit by the vehicle, treateded on the field, then carried into the locker room. we don't think any of the issues are too serious. or the injured -- how can you not be when hit by a runaway golf cart. >> awful to see. and the bowl season underway. how many bowls do we have? >> i think over 500.
>> over 500. the season is underway. you had the new orleans bowl, the san diego state last night. they -- they actually won this game. they -- ryan lindsey, seeing him, the late touchdown. an exciting game. they were playing louisiana, lafayette. the kicker, bret bear? that really his name? >> works for me. >> hit the 50-yard field goal. kicked the goal that won the game. they're just getting started. you know they go through almost the second week of january. some of the bowls here, you had another last night that was the -- the potato bowl? >> the potato bowl. >> the famous idaho potato bowl. >> what's not to love about the famous idaho potato bowl? >> some of the names, this gets out of control here. >> see, i disagree. anything that makes the football season longer -- think about the student athletes. these guys have worked all season long. why not reward them with an extra reward -- practice, not reward, but rewarding the viewer with football. >> you're rewarding them --
great year, now you get to play in the new era pinstripe bowl. i didn't make that up. >> sign me up. i'm there. >> thanks. we'll see reynolds throughout. we'll be right back. everyone have their new blackberry from at&t? it's 4g, so you can do more faster. so, kathryn, post more youtube videos of your baby acting adorable. baby. on it. matt, ignore me and keep updating your fantasy team. huh? jeff, play a game. turbo-boosting now, sir. dennis, check in everywhere you go on foursquare. that's mayor dennis... of the water cooler. you're the best. liz, rock out to pandora. oh, no i'm an only child. and nick, you shouldn't even be here, you can do everything from the golf course. good? good. [ male announcer ] on at&t, blackberry® torch moves at the speed of 4g. ♪ blackberry® torch moves at the speed of 4g. everyone believes in keeping their promises once a year. but we believe in helping people take steps to keep them every single day.
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now the iraq war has ended. the last convoys of u.s. troops coming home. some of the responses you're giving us this morning saying, "i was awake to witness the last convoy leaving iraq. broke out in tears. salute the 1-800- comiones comi the lost ones." another, "wonderful that soldiers can get back to their lives. what was accomplished for the cost of life, time, and money? are we safer?"