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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Senate Investigates Destruction of CIA Interrogation Tapes; Romney Attacks Huckabee in New Ad
Aired December 11, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
The president of the United States says this country does not torture. He has said it again and again. And now a retired CIA interrogator says, we did. And the CIA destroyed the evidence.
Today, Congress began investigating. And, tonight, so are we. We will actually show you what no one in the White House, the Justice Department, or the CIA even wants to talk about, waterboarding, drowning without dying. In a moment, you will see the reality of it, not the spin.
Also tonight, Republicans attack, targeting each other on illegal immigration. But, beyond the name-calling, beyond the hype, the truth is, these candidates' positions aren't really any different. So, what is going on is pure politics. Lou Dobbs joins us for immigration up close tonight.
And, just coming to light, new details of the Colorado church gunman. Matthew Murray was posting messages online what he was preparing to do just hours before pulling the trigger. "I'm coming for everyone," he wrote, "and I will shoot to kill."
First, the new revelations about waterboarding and reports the CIA destroyed videotapes of Americans interrogating al Qaeda terror suspects. They did it after denying the existence of any such tapes to at least one federal court and possibly to the 9/11 Commission as well.
We are going to show you what waterboarding actually looks like in a moment. But, first, the questions: Was there a cover-up? Who ordered the tapes destroyed? And who tried to stop it? And did Democratic lawmakers know and keep quiet about it?
Today, the CIA's top man was called before a secret session of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Details of what little is known from CNN's Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Behind closed doors, the CIA's director, General Michael Hayden, was grilled on Capitol Hill for the first time about those destroyed videotapes.
GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, CIA DIRECTOR: I'm very delighted to come on down and lay out the facts as we know them, and we will be very happy to let the facts take us where they will.
HENRY: But a new fact emerged that may explain why the CIA did not want the public to see those tapes. A former CIA officer revealing the agency did use waterboarding, which simulates drowning, on Abu Zubaydah, an al Qaeda suspect shown wounded after his capture in this photo obtained by ABC News.
JOHN KIRIAKOU, FORMER CIA OFFICER: With Abu Zubaydah, they worked very well. And we were able to corroborate the information that he provided after the waterboarding. And it turned out to be accurate.
HENRY: John Kiriakou believes the tactic provided intelligence that prevented terror attacks in America, but he now feels the tactic did amount to torture.
KIRIAKOU: I struggled with it morally. And -- and I -- it is easy to say. And it may even be a little bit hypocritical, but it -- but it was an important -- waterboarding was an important technique. But I -- I personally didn't want to do it. I -- I didn't think it was right in the long run.
HENRY: Different from how President Bush presented it last year, when he publicly confirmed al Qaeda captives were in CIA custody and subjected to alternative interrogation techniques.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be absolutely clear with our people and the world. The United States does not torture.
HENRY: At the White House Tuesday, spokeswoman Dana Perino stuck to that line.
DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: All interrogations have been done within the legal framework that was set out after September 11, and they are measures that have been tough and limited, they are safe, and they have been very effective in helping prevent terrorist attacks on this country.
HENRY: Even when confronted with the contradiction from the former CIA officer.
QUESTION: You're saying waterboard is legal?
PERINO: I'm saying that I'm not commenting on any specific technique. I'm not commenting on that gentleman's characteristics of any possible technique.
HENRY (on camera): This first of many congressional hearings lasted only 90 minutes, because General Hayden was not in charge of the CIA when the tapes were made or destroyed. But he emerged vowing to send up more CIA officials who were involved to answer tough questions, not just about the destruction of the tapes, but what was on .
Ed Henry, CNN, the White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Well, Ed Henry's reporting only scratches the surface.
Reports are, the CIA's directors of clandestine operations at the time ordered the tapes destroyed, and John Kiriakou, who says he has no reason to believe that anyone higher up gave the order. But the entire subject was an obsession for the White House and the Justice Department. Harriet Miers -- You remember her, the former White House counsel? -- says that she was told and recommended the tapes be preserved.
But the question is, does that ring true? A lot of questions tonight.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin is working the story, "Keeping Them Honest." He joins us now.
Jeffrey, what is going on here? Where is the accountability?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, it is so astonishing.
I mean, here we are, six years after 9/11, five years into the war on terror. The administration has never said whether we waterboard and has never said whether waterboarding amounts to torture. I mean, you know, these basic issues have not been addressed.
And, you know, yes, we get these from individuals like Kiriakou, the -- the CIA agent, but the administration, as official policy, has never answered the question.
COOPER: It violates the Geneva Conventions. When the Japanese did it after -- in one instance, at least, in World War II, we called it torture. When the Khmer Rouge did -- I mean, you go to Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and they have pictures of the Khmer Rouge doing it. We called it brutality. We called it waterboarding.
How is it that we are still arguing over whether or not this is torture?
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, this is -- it sure seems that way to me that this is torture.
But the administration has never officially said that waterboarding amounts to torture. When Michael Mukasey was up for conformation as -- as general attorney just a couple of weeks ago, he went to very elaborate lengths not to answer that question. He almost lost his confirmation over that.
So, it seems obvious to you that it's torture. It seems obvious to me that it's torture. It is obvious to John McCain that it's torture. And he knows from torture. But the administration has never said that waterboarding is torture. COOPER: Just factually, it seems like you can have a debate over whether or not this is valid, whether or not it should be used. And those are all fair debates. And people can disagree.
But a disagreement over whether or not, you know, faking someone's drowning and making feel like they're drowning for information is torture or not seems an odd debate to be having at this point.
On the flip side of this, though, authorities say that, after 35 seconds of undergoing waterboarding, this guy, this thug, Abu Zubaydah, revealed information which saved lives.
TOOBIN: Well, that is the thing about torture. I think sometimes people don't acknowledge enough that, apparently, torture works sometimes.
COOPER: Well, again, this is only information we are hearing from authorities, who have a vested interest in saying that it work.
COOPER: So, who knows what really happened.
TOOBIN: Who knows.
And the other question is aren't there other alternatives that could get that information?
COOPER: John McCain will say that you will give any information and you will just splurge out any kind of information you can. Some of it may be true. Some of it may not.
TOOBIN: And interrogators I have spoken to say, you get better information and better cooperation through interrogation techniques that are not torture.
COOPER: So, what is the likelihood now that someone might be brought up on charges?
TOOBIN: I -- I think the obstruction of justice issue in connection with the destruction of these tapes is a very serious one, because it seems clear that the CIA knew, years earlier, years before this destruction took place, that the 9/11 Commission had asked for these tapes, that the -- the lawyers in the Moussaoui case had asked for these tapes.
And they had first denied that they existed, and, second, destroyed them. I mean, Harriet Miers' advice is the advice that any lawyer would have given in these circumstances, which is, look, if you are concerned about security, you're concerned about the disclosure of these tapes, you go to a judge and say, look, people could die if these tapes get released.
And any judge is going to say, of course I'm not going to order the disclosure. But to -- to do it on your own, without any authorization for a judge, for documents that have been requested or subpoenaed, I mean, that does seem like a pretty clear case of obstruction of justice. So, we are going to have to see what the CIA's explanation is.
COOPER: All right, Jeffrey Toobin, thanks very much.
We have -- we have been talking about this in the abstract, but, in just a minute, you will hear from somebody who has actually had himself waterboarded and videotaped it. You will see for yourself what he went through. That's next.
Also tonight, these stories:
COOPER (voice-over): E-mails taking you inside a killer's mind, messages from the Colorado church gunman the day of the shooting. Did the Ted Haggard scandal lead him to kill?
Also, the battle on the border in Iowa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not the Iowa I moved to, but it's the Iowa we have today and the Iowa we are going to have to have in the future.
COOPER: One in five here Mexican, people divided on what to do.
And these guys?
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hello.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi there. How are you, sir?
COOPER: They are attacking each other.
Lou Dobbs weighs in -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Digging deeper now on waterboarding.
President Bush won't even utter the word. Neither will Dana Perino, his press secretary, nor his attorney general. Retired CIA officer and interrogator John Kiriakou and plenty of others call it torture.
He is out there talking about waterboarding, maybe even a little torn up about it. But he says it is something Americans ought to decide for themselves on.
So does our next guest. He's a reporter who went and had himself waterboarded on camera. Take a look.
He joins me now. He is a former Navy SEAL and is what his network, Current TV, calls a vanguard journalist.
Kaj, good to have you on the program.
Explain what is happening to you in that video. I mean, what -- what actually is waterboarding?
KAJ LARSEN, JOURNALIST, CURRENT TV: So, waterboarding is an interrogation technique where they strap you to a board with your head below your feet, and they stuff a rag in your mouth, and then they force water into your mouth. It induces the sensation of drowning.
COOPER: And is the water going down your throat? I mean, when you say it induces the sensation of drowning, how?
Well, it is hard to describe, because some water is trickling down your throat, but the rag prevents some of it. But your body has this natural reaction where your throat closes up. And it is difficult to describe, but I guess it kind of feels like you are shackled to the bottom of a pool, and you can't get any breaths of air, and you begin to panic as the water keeps going down your throat.
COOPER: But, I mean, you know you are not drowning, but it feels like you are?
Rationally, in your mind, you know it is a controlled environment, but that doesn't prevent your body from -- from screaming out in terror. And it is not a rational experience. I have had this done to me twice, one time when I was in the service. And, both times, it felt like I was going to die, even though I knew they weren't trying to kill me.
COOPER: And I am told your legs are supposed to be elevated, usually, up; is that correct? Why is that?
LARSEN: Yes. I think that actually is a safety precaution to prevent too much water from going down your throat.
COOPER: And how long -- I mean, the former CIA officer who has been talking about waterboarding Abu Zubaydah said that he lasted about 30 to 35 seconds. How long did you last under these conditions?
LARSEN: Well, the one you see in the video, I went for 24 minutes.
But you have to understand that my goal, as much as I tried to make this as transparent a process as possible, as realistic as I tried to make it -- that is why I had the whole thing posted unedited on our Web site, Current.com and everything -- as hard as I tried to make it realistic, I could never simulate the fear, or the cold, or the sleep deprivation that would be happening if it was a real interrogation.
So, that is as real as I could make it, but it still doesn't compare to what is actually happening in these interrogations.
COOPER: Right. And, obviously, someone who is actually being interrogated does not know the end result, does not know what is going to happen to them, whereas you knew you could call it off.
How -- I mean, your producer called it off after 24 minutes; is that correct?
LARSEN: That -- that is correct.
COOPER: I mean, from what you saw, is waterboarding torture? Is this even a debate?
LARSEN: I don't -- I think it is dangerous to blur that line between course of interrogation and torture. I think, ultimately, that makes us less safe in the world, not more safe.
COOPER: Why did you put yourself through this again? I mean, you were boarded, as you said, in your time in the service. Why do it again?
Well, I mean, as you see with this current controversy, this issue has lacked transparency. And you have to remember, I had this done to me on camera a year ago. And that was when most Americans had no idea what waterboarding was.
And the lack of transparency continues today, with the CIA destroying evidence of this. So, for me, it was a public service, to allow the American public to judge for themselves what kind of techniques we should be conducting, what kind of techniques we should be using in prosecuting the war on terror.
COOPER: It's interesting, because, I mean, you have probably been to the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia. I have been there a couple times.
You know, they have a picture of the Khmer Rouge -- Khmer Rouge doing this. We called it torture back then. In the experiences that you have been through -- and you have been through a lot as a Navy SEAL and -- and as a reporter traveling around the world to some pretty dangerous areas -- how does this compare, in terms of pain you have experienced, or fear?
LARSEN: Well -- well, it is extraordinary in terms of pain and fear.
There's -- you can't describe what it's like to think you're going to die. And you're right. I was at the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia. And, when I saw the pictures of the Khmer Rouge waterboarding prisoners, it was a shock to my conscience.
And, when I went through waterboarding, I was -- I -- I felt fearful for my life. It accounts to a mock execution, which is why this technique is illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
COOPER: So, this -- this video is what, at currenttv.com? Or is that the Web site?
LARSEN: At Current.com, and you can click on "Getting Waterboarded" to see it.
COOPER: OK. And you have a special on tomorrow night?
LARSEN: I do. I am doing a half-hour special on American gun culture.
COOPER: OK. That's on Current TV?
LARSEN: That's correct.
COOPER: All right, Kaj, good to talk to you. Appreciate you -- you letting us use the video. Thanks, Kaj.
LARSEN: Thank you.
COOPER: We would like to hear from you about what you think of waterboarding. Check out my blog. Weigh in by going to CNN.com/360 and clicking on the link to our blog.
Turning now to new developments and some breaking news on the Colorado shootings. We learned today that the gunman committed suicide after he was shot several times by a security guard.
Also new tonight, the gunman's trail of hatred posted online. We have learned that Matthew Murray spoke out against Ted Haggard, the disgraced founder of New Life Church, on a Web posting for months leading up to the attacks. New Life Church was Murray's second target. We will have more on the Haggard connection in a moment, but, first, the other chilling words this guy posted online.
COOPER (voice-over): After the first rampage, but before the last, Matthew Murray posted his final message on the Internet.
Under the screen name nghtmrchld26, the 24-year-old wrote: "I'm coming for everyone. And I will shoot to kill' -- the words almost identical to those of Eric Harris, whose slaughter at Columbine High School took place 13 miles from Murray's home.
In his posting, Murray continues the rant. "Feel no remorse, no sense of shame," he wrote. "I don't care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can, especially Christians, who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."
Turning their anger on a single group is common for killers like Murray, says forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie.
KRIS MOHANDIE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: They talk about their violent impulses or they have such hatred and hostility, that it is a short, inferential jump to presume that they might go there with their angry impulses.
COOPER: And Murray did, targeting the missionary center he once worked at and the mega-church affiliated with it. He even titled Sunday's ramblings, "You Christians brought this on yourselves."
When he was done with his Web warning, Murray went to the New Life Church, Ted Haggard's former church, and, armed with an assault rifle, killed two more people, before being shot by a security guard, and then taking his own life.
We have seen it before, at Columbine and Virginia Tech, and just last week in Omaha: young men destroying other lives and their own. Some experts would be surprised if they didn't commit suicide.
MOHANDIE: Most people who are going to perpetrate an act of mass murder are not planning on escaping afterwards. They nearly always contemplate that they will either die by their own hands or in a shoot-out with law enforcement at the end of it. These are people who have lost the regard for their own life, as well as the lives of other people.
COOPER: Then there's always the question of warning signs and if it could have been prevented.
MOHANDIE: In many of these cases, at least two-thirds, there is the opportunity to recognize the chronic anger, maybe even some homicidal or suicidal statements, or such profound hopelessness, despair, or obvious mental issues, that intervention at a level of care that is required should have been initiated.
COOPER: A lot of hate in that young man.
More details on the Colorado shooter after the break, including a possible explanation of why he targeted that church. Was it because of his railings online against the church's disgraced founder, Ted Haggard?
And an attack of a different kind in Iowa, the first attack ad on the GOP side. The target was Mike Huckabee, who says he is flattered. Tonight, we cut through the hype and the politics. And, frankly, that is what that is all about. We talk with Lou Dobbs up close on immigration -- tonight on 360.
COOPER: Well, before the break, we told you about some of the online messages written by the Colorado gunman who shot four people to death on Sunday. Today, we learned he killed himself after being shot by a security guard multiple times. And, even now, new details about Matthew Murray's Internet posts continue to emerge. So does his family's apparent connection to his final crime scene, the New Life Church.
A source has told CNN, the suspect's family contributed money to the ministry over several years. The church, one of the largest in the country, was founded by the Reverend Ted Haggard. He left the ministry in disgrace after it was revealed Haggard bought drugs from a male prostitute.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, in some of this Web postings, the suspect even made reference to Haggard, saying he was his mother's favorite pastor, and ridiculed him for his hypocrisy.
Haggard was once one of the most powerful religious figures in the nation, until his life and hidden life was suddenly revealed.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 2005)
PASTOR TED HAGGARD, NEW LIFE CHURCH: I'm talking about that secret part of your heart that other people don't know about. I'm talking about the thoughts that go through your mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): That was the Reverend Ted Haggard preaching in August 2005, a sermon that now seems like a crystal ball.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUGUST 2005)
HAGGARD: All right. Everybody ready to study the Bible, yes or no?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: At the time, Haggard was a spiritual superstar, the leader of a 14,000-member church he built from nothing, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a man of God who had the ear of the White House, but wasn't afraid to talk about sex on the record.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, (r)MD-BO¯HBO)
HAGGARD: You know, all the surveys say that evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on.
HAGGARD: No way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. HAGGARD: There is a lot of love in this place. And you don't think these babies just come out of nowhere, do you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Haggard and his wife, Gayle, have five children, but his image as a family man was about to shatter.
HAGGARD: I have never had a gay relationship with anybody. And I -- I am steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife.
COOPER: His fall from grace began when a former male prostitute claimed he'd had a sexual relationship with Haggard for three years. Haggard, a vocal critic of gay rights, denied the allegation.
HAGGARD: I have never said that I'm perfect, but I haven't had sex with a man in Denver. And I have been faithful to my wife.
COOPER: But Haggard's accuser, Mike Jones, who had failed part of a lie-detector test, kept talking.
MIKE JONES, HAGGARD'S ACCUSER: You know, look at the position he's in. What I think is unfortunate is, the more denial that he gives, the messier it looks.
COOPER: Finally, Haggard did admit to contacting Jones for a massage and to buying crystal meth from him. He claims, though, he never took it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did you call him about?
HAGGARD: I called him to buy some meth. But I threw it away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who were you buying the meth for?
HAGGARD: No one. I was buying it for me, but I never used it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you ever used meth before?
HAGGARD: No, I have not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So...
HAGGARD: And I did not ever use it with him.
COOPER: No criminal charges were filed against Haggard or against Jones. However, days later, the church fired Haggard. He apologized in a letter read to the congregation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark, that I have been warring against it all of my adult life."
COOPER: Ted Haggard isn't the first man of God to fall from grace and disappoint his faithful. After being fired from the New Life Church, Haggard really hasn't been heard from since. His family has relocated to Arizona and he is said to be undergoing Christian counseling. Both he and his wife are also studying online for counseling degrees.
COOPER: Ted Haggard, a counselor.
A lot more on this story to come, we expect.
Across the middle of the country tonight, an icy mess.
Gary Tuchman joins us with that and more in a 360 bulletin -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello to you.
Six kids are wounded, two of them badly, tonight after two or more gunmen opened fire on them as they got off their school bus in Las Vegas. The shooters got away. Two nearby schools were briefly locked down. The city's gang unit is investigating, but no clear signs yet that gangs were in fact involved.
The death toll now 24 from the icy storm system glazing parts of Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas, tree branches and power lines downed, hundreds of thousands of people still without power. In fact, Oklahoma is dealing with its bigger power outage in state history.
In Toledo, Ohio, a bizarre story, a pregnant attorney who is also a former city council member admits she was not kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to Georgia, where she was found on Saturday. Karyn McConnell Hancock was missing for four days last week. Her husband says she had a meltdown and has suffered from psychological problems for years.
And, in Los Angeles, "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek is hospitalized tonight, after a minor heart attack. On the game show's Web site, it says Trebek is resting comfortably and will be back in the studio next month for scheduled tapings. So, that's good news.
And I want to say, for those of our viewers who don't know this, a few years back, Anderson shared a stage with Alex Trebek, when Anderson won "Celebrity Jeopardy."
Now, Anderson is a modest guy, but I want to say this. This is a very nice irony, that he won, and he donated the $50,000 winnings to the American Heart Association.
COOPER: Yes. I -- you know, I -- not only did I win. I swept the floor. I...
COOPER: It was Maria Bartiromo and Kweisi Mfume. And I crushed them both. (CROSSTALK)
TUCHMAN: OK, you are not that mod -- you are not that modest.
COOPER: Yes, I actually have "Jeopardy Champion" printed on my business cards, even though it was the dumbed-down sort of celebrity version of "Jeopardy."
COOPER: Anyway, Gary, thanks. Stay right there, Gary.
Coming up: Church bandits strike during the holidays. Bah humbug. You're not going to believe what these folks took. What were they thinking?
Plus, immigration showdown -- Mitt Romney launches a new ad attacking Mike Huckabee's record on illegal immigration, no doubt the first of many attack ads. It is all just political games. Lou Dobbs joins us ahead to talk about their real records on immigration, which, frankly, really aren't all that different.
Plus "Raw Politics" and your pocketbook -- the Fed lowers interest rates again today. The Dow dives. But how do the candidates stack up against each other when it comes to the economy?
The facts, not the political hype -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: We are back. It's Gary. It's time for "What Were They Thinking?" Look closely at what some thieves were doing outside of a church. You're not going to believe this.
They're actually stealing parts of a nativity scene. They're running off with the mother Mary and a sheep. I bet they'll be on Santa's naughty list.
Here's the sad reality. This is actually the second time in two years this church in Glastonbury, Connecticut, that someone has stolen parts of the church's nativity scene. Last time the baby Jesus was taken. A surveillance camera was installed.
Cops are hoping this video will help them track down these scrooges. Unbelievable.
TUCHMAN: I don't know how low you can go. But that is pretty low. And now that's our segue for part two of "Criminal Candid Camera." Another wild robbery, this one caught on tape in North Carolina. Check this out.
See that man walking past a cop and a woman? Investigators say he's Anthony Williams. Watch as he gets in the woman's Honda and drives off. The cop tried to stop him with no luck. But Williams was arrested overnight in Virginia.
More and more, with all the cameras out there, Anderson, you do something stupid you're likely to be seen by the nation.
COOPER: That is very true, Gary. Thanks. We'll check in with you shortly.
Let's check in with Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson. Tomorrow we bring you the most news in the morning, including the ice storms slamming several states in the Midwest. Eighteen people killed, many of them on treacherous roads.
While the best advice is to stay off of icy roads, what do you do if you find yourself trapped on one? We're going to get some lessons from ice driving school.
"AMERICAN MORNING" begins at 6 a.m. Eastern.
Anderson, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. Just ahead -- my tie is a little crooked, isn't it? There we go.
Republican attack ads, we cut through the politics and look at the facts, how immigration is playing out in Iowa as Mitt Romney goes after Mike Huckabee. We look past the hype with Lou Dobbs when 360 continues.
COOPER: Up close tonight, illegal immigration in the heartland and the presidential campaign. That, of course, is Mike Huckabee stumping today in Council Bluffs.
And when it comes to immigration, places in Iowa might just as well be Texas border towns. The issue is a big one for Republican caucus-goers. Governor Huckabee today bagged the endorsement of the Minutemen group, which opposes illegal immigration. And Mitt Romney launched his first attack ad at Huckabee on immigration.
Now, before we show you part of the ad, it's worth pointing out, this is pure politics and spin. The truth is, these two guys have virtually identical positions when it comes to what to do about illegal immigration. We're going to talk to Lou Dobbs about that.
But right now, let's turn to CNN's John King in Des Moines.
John, Mitt Romney spent a ton of money in Iowa. He's slipping behind Mike Huckabee. So he launches this ad, which attacks Huckabee on some past immigration issues. I don't want to play the whole thing, because frankly, I think folks are sick of this kind of stuff. Let's just watch an excerpt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The difference, Mitt Romney stood up and vetoed in-state tuition for illegal aliens, opposed driver's licenses for illegals. Mike Huckabee supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, does anyone really believe that there's a huge difference in Mike Huckabee's position from Mitt Romney's on illegal immigration?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, going forward, Anderson, they do have largely similar positions, although there is a difference in what they emphasize.
Mitt Romney likes to say the way to get rid of the illegal immigrants in this country is to have a strong or a very strict employer verification system. Governor Huckabee last week released a nine-point plan that emphasizes border security. It is probably the most detailed plan among the Republicans.
But what Governor Romney is hitting here is something that tests off the chart with conservative voters, and that is preferential treatment or the use of any taxpayer money to help illegal immigrants. Governor Huckabee did support that as governor of Arkansas. He concedes that point. And that is what Governor Romney is trying to hit on.
COOPER: And Romney has been attacked by Giuliani over having what Giuliani called a sanctuary mansion, employing, you know, through this contractor, illegal immigrants. This is all just politics. I mean, it's manipulation. It's focusing us, the media and voters on minute parts of an issue to try to avoid talking about the larger issues, on which they're really the same, as you said, going forward. Does this really work?
KING: Well, that is great question. That's why we have elections. But make no mistake about it. Illegal immigration is the No. 1 issue among Republicans in the state of Iowa.
That thing you mentioned about the sanctuary mansion is certainly embarrassing to Governor Romney. Twice within a year, his landscaping company had illegal immigrants working at his house. But does it work against Governor Huckabee?
Even Governor Huckabee, even though he called that Romney ad desperate today, again, he says he did support and would support taxpayer benefits for the children of illegal immigrants. And he says he realizes that position could well hurt him with conservatives here in Iowa and across the country, but he believes it's the right thing to do. COOPER: Well, it's the first, I guess, of these kind of ads. And no doubt, we're going to see an awful lot of them in the year ahead.
In Iowa, immigration is certainly a big issue among Republican caucus-goers, as I said. And in a lot of towns where Mexican workers have become a common sight, it's an even bigger issue.
Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Marshalltown, Iowa, is more than 1,100 miles away from the Mexican border, but that hasn't stopped the anger and anxiety that accompany Mexican immigration from stirring things up in Mayor Gene Beach's city.
MAYOR GENE BEACH, MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA: It's not the Iowa I moved to. But it's the Iowa we have today and the Iowa we're going to have to have in the future.
TUCHMAN: In the nation's first presidential caucus state, long considered one of the whitest and least Latino states in the nation, life is rapidly changing.
(on camera) At the beginning of the last decade, 1990, roughly how many Mexicans do you think lived here?
BEACH: Probably none.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But now more than one out of every five residents in this city of 26,000 is from Mexico. Some here legally, an unknown and probably large number illegally.
They are all here to fill a continuing void of mostly unskilled jobs.
Beatriz Ordas is on of those here illegally. She works at a Mexican-owned clothing store and says she's been trying to get legal papers for the ten years she has been here.
BEATRIZ ORDAS, IMMIGRANT (through translator): With the immigration crackdown, less and less people come in here. We're scared of being deported.
TUCHMAN: Because that's what has happened in Marshalltown. The largest employer of Mexicans is this pork processing plant. Twice in the last year, immigration authorities have busted illegal immigrants, arresting more than 100 and sending some back to Mexico.
Immigrant Ricardo Alvez works there.
RICARDO ALVEZ, IMMIGRANT: I grabbed the ham and put it on the machine and literally take off the skin from the ham. TUCHMAN: He says he finally got his green card last year and is in Iowa to stay.
ALVEZ: There's not much violence like in Mexico.
TUCHMAN: Jorge Hernandez was arrested at another plant nearby and charged with being illegal. He is battling not to be sent back to Mexico.
JORGE HERNANDEZ, IMMIGRANT (through translator): In this country, everyone came here from somewhere else. This is the land of the free. I am a North American. Why should I be told that I can't be here?
This is America.
TUCHMAN: The mayor says because so many Iowans have left the state, he wants and needs legal Mexican workers.
(on camera) If all the Mexican immigrants were sent back, all the illegals, do you think you would be short of workers here?
BEACH: We're short workers now.
TUCHMAN: But as the presidential candidates crisscross Iowa with the illegal immigration issue looming larger and larger, there are many in Marshalltown who want more aggressive efforts to send undocumented Mexicans back.
STEVEN GIBBONS, RESIDENT: It's been so stressful, you know, with all the Hispanics around here because they, you know, a lot of them don't speak the language and it just gets really frustrating.
TUCHMAN (on camera): The culture, the climate, even the cuisine. Iowa feels nothing like Mexico. But as the politicians continue to talk, there are no signs that Mexicans will stop coming to places like this, where there are plenty of jobs for the asking.
(voice-over) And plenty of anxiety as the immigration debate heats up in this most unlikely of states.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Marshalltown, Iowa.
COOPER: Well, we wondered after Gary's report how Iowa's illegal immigration population actually compares with other states. Here's the raw data.
The Pew Hispanic Center says as many as 85,000 live in Iowa. California has the most with roughly 2.5 million illegal immigrants. Texas is second with more than 1.4 million. Next is Florida with at least 800,000 illegal immigrants.
Our 360 up close look at the politics of immigration continues in a moment when Lou Dobbs joins us and weighs in. Also, a massive mudslide leaves a trail of destruction. We'll tell you where and why.
And a rock 'n' roll super group reunites for one show for charity, drawing rave reviews. The Led Zeppelin jam session, our "Shot of the Day" when 360 continues rocking on.
COOPER: Up close tonight, we continue our look at how the immigration issue touches people and places where you wouldn't even expect to find illegal immigrants.
The fact is that people across the country say this matter, and the issue, as you saw, has turned explosive for Republicans. I talked about it with Lou Dobbs, host of CNN's "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT."
COOPER: We just had Gary Tuchman's report, highlighting the anger and anxiety a lot of Iowans are feeling over immigration. You now have Mitt Romney attacking Mike Huckabee on the issue. I think you referred to this as Kabuki Theater before. This is all just spin and hype.
LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": It is absolutely spin and hype. And there is very little sincerity to be detected. George Bernard Shaw said only the stupid can afford sincerity, but one would like to see it from time to time amongst our elected officials and those seeking the highest office.
But this is -- this is pure politics. And neither man has much to brag about on the issue of illegal immigration or border security.
COOPER: And what they're calling for -- they're basically identical in what they say they want in terms of border security and the rest of it. It just seems like this is the old political game of throwing mud at each other.
DOBBS: It's throwing mud. And the analysts, the strategists suggest to us that this is likely to stick even in Iowa, which is very independent-minded, as you know, a very independent state of voters.
The reality is that illegal immigration has been on the minds of Americans and border security for a number of years. Only now are the candidates awakening to the fact it may one of the issues that determines the outcome of these caucuses in Iowa and the primaries along the way, beginning with New Hampshire.
COOPER: You now have Jim Gilchrist, the Minutemen endorsing Mike Huckabee. Does that make a difference?
DOBBS: Not to me. It may well be persuasive to others who are -- you know, it may make a difference to some who, you know, get thrilled that Oprah endorses Obama. I think only at the margin does that kind of thing help. COOPER: You also now have Rudy Giuliani, sort of been sitting back and watching all this. He's obviously got some issues of his own. Romney has been very aggressive in calling him, you know, the mayor of a sanctuary city.
COOPER: Does that hurt Giuliani? Does that stick?
DOBBS: I don't think so, frankly. I don't think it sticks on Huckabee or Romney, for that matter.
COOPER: People are smarter than all this?
DOBBS: Absolutely. The old saying none of us is as smart as all of us. That's what makes this democracy work, even with this tortured process we call a primary season, beginning with these Iowa caucuses.
I do think that people -- the people's will will be expressed, at least on the left and the right, in the Democratic and Republican primaries. The middle will be left out of this discussion, and then the vote in all likelihood. But most people have their minds made up, irrespective of what the polls say right now.
COOPER: Do you think immigration is an issue people will be going to the polls on?
DOBBS: Absolutely. And I think that they're going to -- these candidates will have to come to terms with it. I don't think that there will be the ability for the Democratic Party, for example, Anderson, for those candidates.
They're in very deep trouble on this issue, because each one of them has called for comprehensive immigration reform or sponsored the DREAM Act, giving illegal aliens superior rights to American citizens. They're going to have a lot of explaining to do to the American people.
COOPER: Lou Dobbs, appreciate your time. Thanks, Lou.
DOBBS: Good to be with you.
COOPER: The issue is certainly not going away. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 Eastern, the Republican candidates debate, followed by the Democrats on Thursday, also at 2 right here on CNN. Hope you watch that.
You'll want to stick around if you're worried the economy is hitting the skids and you think the politicians in Washington don't have a clue. Take a look.
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COOPER (voice-over): Home prices down, gas prices up, mortgage rates through the roof. What are the candidates going to do about it if you elect them president? Anything? "Raw Politics" read on your economy, next on 360.
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COOPER: In the White House race, if the candidates want to win, they better find a way to deal with the economy and fast.
In a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, 29 percent of those surveyed said it was the most important issue in their vote for president. The war came second, followed by health care, immigration and terrorism.
So where is the economy heading? Most Americans paint a pretty gloomy forecast. More than half of those polled believe we're already in a recession. Twenty-six percent say it's likely next year. So that's the big picture.
But in the details we see some major differences on what exactly should be done about it. Those differences are between the people, the parties and definitely the candidates.
CNN's Tom Foreman has the new information in tonight's "Raw Politics."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, how you see the economy right now may have as much to do with your political views as your pocketbook, and that is making for some very tricky "Raw Politics."
(voice-over) All the candidates are talking economics.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we can create at least five million new good jobs.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it would help our economy...
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to create a more sustainable, more innovative economy.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (D-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are in the midst of an information technology revolution.
FOREMAN: Voters, however, disagree about the state of the economy. Are we in a recession? Seventy percent of Democrats say yes, but only 56 percent of independents and 38 percent of Republicans think so.
Even on specific issues they split. In our latest poll, half the voters think people caught in the mortgage crash should be helped. But the other half says no.
(on camera) So how will the parties grapple with these shifting and sometimes contradictory views on problems so complex that maybe no president can easily fix them?
The "Raw" read, they will do what they always do. They will blame each other.
(voice-over) A.B. Stoddard writes for "The Hill," and she knows what the Dems will say.
A.B. STODDARD, "THE HILL": You saw ballooning trade deficit, a decline in the dollar, almost doubling of the budget deficit and a mortgage crisis. And they're going to ask the voters, do you want more of this?
FOREMAN: And the Republicans?
STODDARD: They're going to promise that the Democrats will raise their taxes, and the Democrats are going to.
FOREMAN: For now, give it to Mike Huckabee. He's making economic worries about fuel price worries work for him, asking supporters on his Web site for gas money to keep his campaign bus rolling -- Anderson.
COOPER: Gas money. We'll see what he gets.
Tomorrow on 360, high-ranking Alaskan officials caught on tape taking cash from a high-ranking oil executive. We're talking about thousands of secret recordings, done by the FBI. But that's not all. Here's Joe Johns.
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JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But in fact, the corruption was an open secret so brazen that, when a reporter labeled a group of politicians and oilmen the Corrupt Bastards Club, the conspirators actually went so far as to make baseball caps with a CBC logo.
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COOPER: Unbelievable. These guys were proud of it. How investigators say it all went down, tomorrow on 360.
Up next, "The Shot of the Day." Led Zeppelin rocks again. Woo! We have some idea on who can jam right along with them.
First, Gary Tuchman joins us again with the "360 Bulletin" -- Gary.
TUCHMAN: Anderson, hello.
A giant mudslide has blocked a highway to the Oregon coast, not far from Portland. Check this out. Mud trees and other debris covering five acres. At least four homes were damaged or destroyed. No injuries reported. The region was hit hard by last week's storms.
On Wall Street, stocks sink after the Fed lowers interest rates for the third time in three months but not low enough for some. The Dow falling 294 points to close at 13,432. The NASDAQ losing 66, the S&P also posting double-digit losses.
Algiers, Algeria, two deadly car bombs within 10 minutes of each other. One tore off the side of U.N. headquarters in the African country.
The death toll is unclear. It ranges from 26 to 76, depending on whether you ask the government, hospital sources or the U.N.
And at the White House today, press secretary Dana Perino talked about her admission over the weekend on an NPR game show that she didn't know what the Cuban missile crisis was. We told you about it last night. And it seems Dana heard about our report.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the president teach you about the Cuban missile crisis at all?
DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No. It was a humorous show, and I was exaggerating. So while you're hosting your late-night shows. Anderson Cooper thought it was funny. He was making fun of me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: A shout-out to you, Anderson. She apparently was watching.
COOPER: We weren't making fun of her, I don't think. I was -- I believe I expressed surprise that she didn't know what the Cuban missile crisis was. She says she was exaggerating.
TUCHMAN: We have a good time on this show, because the writers are on strike. The comedy shows aren't on. We have to have a little fun.
COOPER: Exactly. And you know, I'm sure she knew what the Cuban missile crisis was. She said on the show it had something to do with that Bay of Pigs, I think. Something like that.
TUCHMAN: Well, that was a couple of years later, the Cuban missile crisis.
COOPER: Well, you know, why split hairs. Are you trying to get me in trouble here with the White House? I know. That's fine. Go ahead. Gary, thanks.
I know you're a big fan of the Led Zeppelin. So stick around for "The Shot." That's right, I said the Led Zeppelin.
Later, some chilling stuff. Internet rantings of the Colorado killer. The warning signs were there before he took the lives of four people and himself. How were they missed and why? We'll look into that.
Also, the president says we don't torture. So why did the CIA destroy videotapes that reportedly show what they called harsh techniques, harsh interrogation techniques? Congress wants answers. So do we. And we'll show you what waterboarding really looks like. That's ahead on 360.
COOPER: Time now for "The Shot of the Day." Gary, rock on, man. Here's the Led Zeppelin reunion.
Last night in London, the '70s band got together for a benefit concert. Playing drums for John Bonham, who died in 1980, fittingly, his son Jason. It was a sold-out crowd, 20,000 fans witnessing one of the most eagerly-awaited jam sessions of the decade.
And you know what, Gary? I heard that back in the day you were a big Zeppelin fan. That true?
TUCHMAN: No question. I'll ramble on. And that's my philosophy of life.
COOPER: Led Zeppelin is your philosophy of life.
Well, because we asked your wife for some photos of you from back in the day. And that's one of them, apparently. That's actually you. You look like you could have jammed with Zeppelin back then.
Here's another photo. There you go. You had quite the long hair there.
TUCHMAN: I will tell you, I cannot believe my wife gave those up. This is a total surprise. I'm telling my viewers right now. And I will have to talk to her when I get home. But those are authentic photos, yes.
You know what? My hair was even longer at some points of my -- my rock 'n' roll career.
COOPER: You followed around the Dead, no doubt. Or Zeppelin.
You know, and I just had a thought. You know, we were thinking about the White House spokesperson, you know, maybe exaggerating what she didn't know about the Cuban missile crisis on a game show over the weekend on NPR.
As a, you know, former "Jeopardy" champion, and you know, just as a former "Jeopardy" champion, I was also -- I wasn't going to show this right away. I was also on "To Tell the Truth." This is me on "To Tell the Truth." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes, I was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you still afraid of some bears?
COOPER: No. Not really.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are all bears safe, No. 2?
COOPER: Some are safe. And some aren't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I was pretending to be Wally, the world's youngest bear trader, on the old "To Tell the Truth." But as a -- as a winner of "To Tell the Truth" -- because I got two votes, from Kitty Carlisle Hart and Nipsey Russell -- and a winner on the dumbed-down celebrity version of "Jeopardy," I think I can go mano-a-mano, if you will, with the White House spokesperson on -- on a little quiz, on some history quiz.
What do you think? Do you think that will happen?
TUCHMAN: It would be a great thing for our viewers to see. I hope that can.
I do want to say one thing to our viewers. They may not think that was really you, Anderson, on "To Tell the Truth." That really genuinely was you.
TUCHMAN: And "To Tell the Truth" is one of the great game shows of all time. You were one of the imposters, right?
COOPER: I was one of the imposters. I was Wally Norton, pretending to be Wally Norton. And as I said, I got two votes. Wally Norton (ph), the real one, didn't even get -- he got one vote. They gave a sympathy vote to the other kid because he was so lame.
All right. We'll be right back.
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