Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Tiger Woods on Indefinite Break from Golf; Inside a Drug Tunnel; Inside a Deadly City
Aired December 11, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, you could call it a fall from grace, but it is so much more than that, just a fall for Tiger Woods. The best known, best paid, most admired athlete on the face of the planet says good-bye to the sport he dominated and admits to betraying his storybook bride.
Also tonight, a new look beneath the border: new developments in the fight to keep illegal drugs from Mexico out of the U.S. We'll show you things you didn't see in that drug traffickers tunnel last night. It's a "360 Exclusive." The tunnel goes from Tijuana into the U.S. 900 feet long and 90 feet deep. A lot you didn't see last night.
We'll also take you to a Mexican border town where thousands have died in drug-related violence and where the violence threatens to come into America.
But "First Up", the breaking news: the bombshell announcement from the biggest sports celebrity in the world, Tiger Woods. No doubt about it, pulling out of golf, he says, indefinitely. In other words, not doing just about the only thing critics said he could do to take attention away from his alleged serial adultery, that is get out there and play a good round.
No, instead just two weeks and change after the SUV wreck, the first purported mistress surfaced and the voice mail came out, Tiger is out issuing the following statement on his Web site.
It reads in part, "I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children." It goes on to say, "after much soul searching, I've decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."
A short time ago, both the PGA and Nike issued statements saying they are standing behind Tiger. Joining us now, "USA Today" sports columnist, Christine Brennan; public relations consultant, Howard Bragman; CNN analyst Roland Martin; and Stephen A. Smith, sports columnist with "The Philadelphia Inquirer."
Christine, what does this mean for the world of golf?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Well, for the world of golf, it's a shock and it's going to hurt them financially. It's a terrible day because they've already had trouble in this economy. A few tournaments don't have title sponsors. One of them is the San Diego tournament, Anderson, that was going to be where Tiger came back at the end of January.
So jobs will be lost. There will be people who are really hurting. Golf TV ratings will plummet. Without Tiger golf is just a niche sport and nothing more than that.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, when he was out at the -- what was it -- Masters or the PGA Tour last year, ratings were down, like, 50 percent.
BRENNAN: They were, yes.
He had that leg injury, knee injury and he was gone for the second half of the season and came back in '09. And oh, yes, golf went dark, basically.
So it's a huge issue, obviously, for a human being, but for the game of golf, if we look at that little subset, it's a very, very big deal.
COOPER: Stephen, did it surprise you that he made this decision at this point?
STEPHEN A. SMITH, SPORTS COLUMNIST, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: I was a little bit surprised simply because when you say indefinitely, I'm assuming that's going to be for quite a long time, probably six months or something like that. And I just -- I'm of the mindset that you know what? You might need to take a little bit time off, just a couple weeks or so.
But after that you need to get as far away from your wife as possible because after what all of these allegations that have come out, the things that have been said about him, the things that are being reported about him, I mean, you have one of the alleged mistresses saying that while his wife was pregnant, she was actually in their home. He brought her to their home.
This is not somebody -- you don't necessarily want to spend too much time around -- you want to give her some time to heal without having to look at you. So I'm quite surprised that he's made this decision to be away from the game of golf because to me, it's the only reprieve that he's going to get for that time, because it will come from nowhere else.
COOPER: Howard, does it make sense from a PR standpoint to do what he's doing?
HOWARD BRAGMAN, PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTANT: It makes no sense. But, you know, I expected him to do something stupid because every decision he's made has made no sense.
COOPER: Why doesn't this make sense?
BRAGMAN: Because what he wants to do is make the story go away. And now it's the lead story in every newscast. Not just in the U.S. but in the world. It's one of those situations that raises more questions than answers. And instead of stopping the story, it's perpetuating the story, Anderson.
And it's just a horrible PR strategy. It may -- you know, I want to say, it may be a good life strategy, it may save his marriage and for that it's good. I think there were more elegant ways to handle it.
COOPER: But Howard, it's interesting, because I mean, for instance this brought -- we had not done this story since the initial crash because, frankly, there was...
COOPER: ... you know, he hadn't broken any laws. It was just a bunch of, you know...
COOPER: ... young women coming forward. And we just didn't cover it. But now we're covering it because Tiger Woods has made this announcement. He's taken himself out of the world of golf. But what could he have done, Howard?
BRAGMAN: Well, I mean, you can look back at the beginning and there needed to be some sort of statement and not just on his web site. But maybe a phone call into a TV show where he said, "Listen, I made some mistakes. I'm going to heal. I'm going to focus on my family." The fact that we've never heard his voice, even, I understand with injuries in his face, we're not going to see him.
We haven't heard his voice. We doubt the sincerity. I think he could have gone away. I think he could have gone on a trip. I think he could have gone into potentially rehab for a couple of different issues. I think he could have taken some time. But this is almost surrealistic in the way it's playing out, Anderson.
And, again, it's just going to raise so many questions. There's no place in the world he can go to get away from this. He is one of the most famous athletes in the world, perhaps bigger in other countries than he is in the U.S.
COOPER: And as far as we know...
BRAGMAN: ... it's going to be a big story.
COOPER: ... he hasn't left his house. Roland...
ROLAND S. MARTIN, CNN ANALYST: Anderson, here's a deal that -- you're dealing with a different kind of person. First of all, this is the most traumatic situation that he has experienced, period. The only thing that came close, frankly, was when he made some comments in "Esquire" magazine that, frankly, people said, hey, he was a young guy. He made some off-color comments. So you have that.
Second of all, this is not like a guy playing basketball or football. This is a singular sport. He has to have absolute focus on the course. There is no way in the world, the kind of focus he needs, he can have because Tiger normally gets ready to begin the season in about a week or two and so with all of this drama off the course, you're not going to see that.
The other thing is he has to deal with what's happening in the personal life because in order for you to move forward, you can't go to the next step. And so he must take these steps. The last point I think is very important. We have a history of athletes moving beyond things happening off, out of the sport and still succeeding.
Muhammad Ali, major adulterer. Michael Jordan; we know about his history with other women. But they are still considered the greatest in their sports because of what they accomplished on the court, on the field.
And so I think Tiger Woods will be the same way, but if Tiger came back and didn't deal with this and he was missing cuts, it would be even more of scrutiny as opposed if he came back, took the time and then went on the course.
SMITH: Well, I certainly don't disagree with what anybody's saying. But I think the important point to point out is how Tiger Woods mishandled this. He was very duplicitous in his actions. The fact is, he went about the business of trying to disguise this, trying to lie, trying to hoodwink the people.
MARTIN: That's what cheaters do.
SMITH: I understand that. I understand -- you're right, Roland, you're absolutely right. But the bottom line is, he got caught doing it. He got caught doing it. And at the end of the day, well, he could have come out and say here's how he should have handled their review. If you really want to know how I feel.
He should have came out from day one and said I got into an incident with my wife. It involved no physical confrontation on my part. After that, it's none of your business. I'm a married man. This is my relationship. Speculate away. But this is what it is.
And instead, what he did was, he tried to live up to that image that he had projected about everybody regardless of how disingenuous it came across and Americans can't stand hypocrisy.
We are all about second chances in the United States of America. But there has to be something that comes along with the program that says, "You know what? I am a bit contrite in this particular situation. I messed up and that's it." He tried to hoodwink everybody and got caught, period.
MARTIN: This is the first day he actually committed to it.
COOPER: We've got to take a break, Roland. But you'll jump in right after the break. Everybody stick around. We're going to talk about this into the next break.
The blog is buzzing as well. Join the live chat at AC360.com.
Up next, the time line of Tiger's fall. Barely two weeks since the driveway wreck, the damage seeming to grow with each new day. We'll kind of give you a time line of how it happened. To get to Howard's point of how it was maybe mishandled.
Later, new images from inside that massive tunnel built to smuggle drugs here into America. We showed you some of it last night. There's a lot more you didn't see. We also have late word of yet another tunnel discovered within the last couple hours. We'll talk about that ahead.
COOPER: And the breaking news tonight, Tiger Woods pulling out of golf in his words, "indefinitely". Not sure exactly what that means. The brand known as Tiger, on hold at best and perhaps in serious permanent jeopardy.
It's now been two weeks since he wrecked that Cadillac, 14 days and reports of anywhere from eight to 13 women named in connection with Tiger including at least two porn stars.
Late tonight, Gloria Allred, the lawyer for New York party planner, Rachel Uchitel who claims to be just friends with Tiger issued the following statement, "Rachel will not be appearing in 'Playboy'." Mark your calendars.
All the other pieces of an epic crash and burn are solidly in place, though, as Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It wasn't exactly sudden death, but Tiger Woods seems to have lost this round. His troubles began the day after Thanksgiving with a mysterious one-car crash at 2:30 in the morning. Just feet from his own driveway, he hit a tree and a fire hydrant. His wife used a golf club to free him from his badly-mangled SUV. A neighbor called 911.
OPERATOR: Ok. Are you able to tell if he's breathing?
CALLER: No, I can't tell you right now.
OPERATOR: Ok. All right, we do have help on the way. What color is his car, too?
CALLER: It's a black Escalade.
KAYE: Tiger seemed to hope silence would make the story go away. It didn't work. Days later, he released a statement apologizing for, quote, "transgressions." In very carefully worded comments on his Web site that never mentioned the word "affair". That statement was released the same day this cover story in "US Weekly" magazine hit newsstands.
In it, Las Vegas cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs alleged a nearly three-year affair with the golfer. She told the magazine they met in a nightclub when Woods tapped her on the shoulder and that he recently left her a voice mail warning her that his wife may be calling. TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: Hey, it's Tiger. I need to you do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you.
KAYE: It didn't end there. More women came forward. Cocktail waitresses, a lingerie model, even former porn stars, all alleging to have had a relationship with Tiger Woods. But the golfer stayed silent until tonight when he admitted his, quote, "infidelities" in a statement.
(on camera): Earlier this year Woods hit the billion-dollar mark, earning an unprecedented amount of money in his career including endorsements, appearances and business relationships with companies like Nike which pays him an estimated $20 million a year to add his name to their line of golf gear.
"Sports Illustrated" reported Woods earned $105 million from sponsorship deals in 2008, his last full season, more than double any other athlete in the world.
Through it all, Woods' major sponsors have stood by him. Nike released a statement saying, quote, "Nike supports Tiger and his family. Our relationship remains unchanged." Gatorade offered its support in a statement, too. "Tiger and his family have our support as they work through this private matter."
But commercials featuring Tiger Woods disappeared from primetime TV. The last one that aired was a Gillette ad on November 29th. On late- night TV, his personal pain became a parody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earlier today I had an unfortunate incident with my golf clubs. I was putting them away in the closet and one of them dropped on top of me.
KAYE: It may all have become too much. What else would drive the world's greatest golfer away from the game and the glory he's enjoyed for so many years?
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: We are back now with our panel: Christine Brennan, Howard Bragman, Roland Martin and Stephen A. Smith.
Christine, in terms of his public image, I mean, I haven't really followed him over the years. Has he portrayed himself as a family man? I mean, I always thought he kind of kept his family life and private life very private. He had that boat named "Privacy". But, I mean, was that part of his brand? Marketing himself as kind of a family man?
BRENNAN: Well, it certainly was since he became a family man. The pictures of his daughter, then his little son now nine months old, Anderson, he put all those on the Web site. He wanted to create this image which we now know is really a charade, an illusion. So he did a lot of using the media, using Web sites, using the Internet. The very things that have turned on him now were the things that Tiger Woods, maybe more than any other athlete or even cultural icon on earth was using and using to his advantage.
It's kind of ironic that now, of course, this would be what would be turning on him because he knew exactly what he was doing. He was portraying that image. And the family man image, of course, happened since he got married and had kids.
COOPER: And Stephen, you had seen a commercial recently or something where he was saying that.
SMITH: Exactly. And that's exactly what I'm talking about. When you hear Roland and others allude to whether it's a Michael Jordan or anybody else, you didn't see them with their kids. You didn't see them advertising themselves as family men even though they had families or whatever.
It's one thing to be egregious in your behavior and to really recognize and to look inside yourself or look in the mirror and say, you know what? I can't help it. I know I'm not acting right, but I just can't help it.
It's another thing entirely to look at the masses and say well, I'm going to disguise that about myself. I want to market and portray myself for being this particular kind of human being. When you get busted, America's going to stand up and say, caught you. You look like trash. You probably are trash right now. And that's what they're saying to Tiger Woods which is why you see all of these questions about whether or not he's going to get dropped even though I think that's not going to last long anyway.
MARTIN: All these guys have, Stephen.
SMITH: I agree.
MARTIN: Stephen, I've covered many of these athletes. And we've done stories, go to their homes, talk about their family life and something -- a lot of these guys turn out to be cheaters. That is a reality.
SMITH: Not to this magnitude.
MARTIN: Look, that's a reality. But here's the deal here. This is the biggest guy. Imagine this going down with Muhammad Ali, with there being tabloid press during that time. Imagine to having this level of tabloid press, the TMZs of the world, Michael Jordan at his highest and you've got the same kind of deal. And so that's what you're finding here.
At the end of the day, Tiger Woods recognizes he has to confront himself, deal with his issues, but also, he has to move on. He can't just say, I'm going to go out and play golf. Everything is going to be great. And so we can play -- but we also play into this game as well of portraying athletes as being these family folks as well. Because... SMITH: But Roland...
MARTIN: Wait, wait. No, many folks in the media know about the personal transgressions of athletes, but we don't want to say that. We go along with the game as well.
SMITH: But Roland, that's true, but at the same time, Tiger Woods, you already made $1 billion, if you're not worried about money, it's not that difficult for him to do. The fact is it's a difficult thing because he's not thinking about the billion he's got. He's thinking about the hundreds of millions of more dollars that he can make and that's really a priority right now, too. You can't deny that.
MARTIN: I don't know of any cheater who wants to get busted. I mean, that's why they cheat. And so Bill Clinton lied about it.
SMITH: I agree.
MARTIN: And so look, everybody tries to -- all these guys try to get out of it. But you know, you rarely have a guy say, oh, yes. I cheated. It's all good. What do you want to say about it?
COOPER: Should anybody be surprised, Christine that -- or Howard, that a major athlete who's on the road a lot of times is having affairs? I mean, isn't it -- are we holding up these people to a different standard? I mean, they're doing what pretty much half of America, if you look at the divorce rate in this country.
MARTIN: Including journalists.
SMITH: That's true.
COOPER: Go ahead, Howard?
BRAGMAN: Anderson, nobody would be surprised. Professional athletes have lots of time on the road and clearly a lot of opportunity.
But what's changed and I think Roland alluded to it and it's not just the tabloid world we live in, it's this transparent world where everybody's texting and they save their texts, where everybody's got a camera on their phone. And we live in very different times.
And as a guy who has to really talk to celebrities all the time about their image, I tell them that there's very rarely do you have truly private moments in this world we live in anymore. And you have to understand that so much of what you do that once was private is now public...
COOPER: I mean, it's amazing...
BRAGMAN: ... and it holds us to a different standard.
COOPER: Stephen, it's amazing. Given the kinds of women he is alleged to have been hanging out with...
COOPER: ... that this didn't get out sooner. I mean, it wasn't until this first woman sold her story, I guess, to "US Weekly" that I mean, if it's true that he's having a relationship with a porn star, it's amazing that the porn star kept quiet this long.
SMITH: The joke is, is that evidently, you know, there were rumors that Tiger Woods is a relatively cheap guy. He's tight with his money. And evidently if there's any truth to that joke, that would explain everything because the fact is, is that if you've got one mistress, alleged mistress that's being paid allegedly by the tabloids and then the others are sitting there and looking for a payday, if this guy's got $1 billion evidently he wasn't taking care of them well enough.
But the reality is that when you look at a situation, and getting back to what Roland was alluding to, the fact is this. It is one thing entirely when you're sitting there and you're married and all of that stuff and you're trying to conduct yourself right. It is far more -- it is far more difficult for a guy to run away from stuff that is thrown at him on a silver platter.
These are celebrities. You've got women. I've covered sports for 16 years now. I don't care, you could pick an arena, a stadium, a sport, it doesn't matter. There are women waiting everywhere for these guys. When they've just got to point a finger and look at them and get these girls. And I'm not talking just groupies, like you just think of some young girl or whatever, it's doctors, it's lawyers, it's nurses, it's accountants, it's all types.
BRAGMAN: That's right.
MARTIN: Corporate executives.
SMITH: And they give -- corporate executives, yes, Roland. And these guys get it thrown at them. And even though we should resist it, it is very, very difficult for all of us to do as men. And men don't want to be honest about it, but damn it, I'm going to be honest about it. It's hard. It's hard.
MARTIN: And let's be clear, Tiger's wrong for cheating.
SMITH: And he is wrong.
MARTIN: And the women who are cheating with him, they're wrong, too...
SMITH: That's right.
MARTIN: ... because they were sleeping with a married man. Both are wrong.
COOPER: We've got to take a break. We're going to have more with our panel in just a moment. Also up next, how Tiger Woods became Tiger Woods; his remarkable career from the very beginning.
And later, Michael Ware's chilling day and night on the streets of murder city right over the Texas/Mexico border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's only 9:00. We're now going and joining this police patrol. Since the killings this afternoon that we saw, there's already been another homicide, bringing today's total to 13.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tiger Woods dropped a pair of bombshells tonight admitting he was unfaithful to his wife and pulling out of professional golf "indefinitely" in his words. The rest of the statement on the Web site was pretty consistent with what you might call Tiger as usual. He asked for privacy.
Back with our panel: Christine Brennan, Howard Bragman and Roland Martin.
So Christine, in terms of the sponsors, there is, you know, a number of sponsors said they're sticking with him. Another -- a couple others have not really said what they're going to do. I know you contacted a couple of them. They didn't really respond to you.
It's interesting, you go to the airport, I was just in the airport today. Tiger Woods is all over the airport in those Accenture ads. Where do you think this goes from here? I mean, what do you think "indefinitely" means for Tiger Woods?
BRENNAN: Well, indefinitely, that's a great question. I wrote in my column six months to a year is what he should do, I thought that yesterday. And I know that sounds like a lot, but now it seems, Anderson, that Tiger has, you know, just a beautiful window, this statement into what Tiger and his team are thinking.
For him to do this, this is so extraordinary to leave golf and to focus on his family, which I think is a good idea. It shows us how devastated he is, how remarkable this is.
As far as the ads and the sponsors, it could well be that some of the sponsors were saying the only way we can stick with him is if he does something extraordinary and addresses this as best as Tiger, the control freak, can. He doesn't want to show his emotion. So again, on his Web site.
But I would think the Accenture ads, the At&T, I'm going to guess what those things are going away in a very short order to make sure that -- I think Tiger, we're going to have a Tiger-less time here for at least several months. COOPER: And Howard, in terms of public relations, I mean, does he - anytime, I mean, he's been hiding in his house, basically. And I don't know if it's until his -- whatever bruises he has on his face, if he has any, are repaired or whatever. But at some point, I guess he's got to talk, right?
BRAGMAN: Yes, but you really got to clean up your family first. You've got to take care of your wife and your kids. You've got to make sure that's settled. You've got to deal with your sponsors. But the time will come Anderson, that he's got to have the interview, that big catharsis interview before he goes out again just to relieve some of the pressure, the Oprah, the Larry King, the Anderson Cooper interview.
COOPER: Yes, right.
BRAGMAN: He's got to do that interview.
COOPER: But, I mean, if he leaves his house now or any time in the next couple weeks, he's going to be inundated by people following him around and asking him questions.
BRAGMAN: Oh, absolutely. And even there was some talk of him going on a yacht. It's going to be like, "Where's Waldo?" He is a child of the world. The price on the head for a picture of Tiger Woods has got to be close to $1 million now. If you got a picture of Tiger with wounds, it would be well over seven figures now.
Think of, you know, you will rent helicopters, airplanes, speedboats; anything you can do to get that shot. He is a marked man, Anderson.
MARTIN: If he goes out, Anderson, remember Chris Brown. Remember he went out and was seen jet skiing, smiling, things along those lines. He was vilified left and right. And so every move that he makes, frankly, is going to have to be orchestrated because he has to give the right signal.
The second thing also in terms of what you're dealing with the sponsors, remember, there's a short-term issue and a long-term issue.
Kobe Bryant was on trial for rape. Right now Kobe Bryant has the number one selling jersey in the NBA. And some of those same sponsors he had that left, they also came back.
And so when you repair your image, it comes back over time. If Tiger gets himself together right now, comes back, returns to winning, winning majors, breaks Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, all of a sudden they say he's the greatest golfer in history just like Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer in history and Michael Jordan was the greatest NBA player in history.
COOPER: Howard, do you think it's true that the only thing this country likes more than tearing down somebody who's succeeded is building back somebody up who's fallen? BRAGMAN: Absolutely but we have to believe them, Anderson. A lot of time has to pass, a lot of sincerity. We have to believe they've done the internal work.
And a lot of it, you know, when he does that interview, assuming he does do that interview, we're going to be talking about, we're going to be judging, how did he do? Do we find it credible? Do we find it sincere? And we think we're pretty good at reading people.
So yes, he has to do an awful good job, but we will forgive him. He's not a politician. He didn't violate the public trust.
MARTIN: Didn't break laws.
BRAGMAN: He didn't break laws and a lot of what he says about this being private is true, but there's a bit of naivety because of his public-ness.
COOPER: He's also -- apparently what he's done is what a lot of people have done in this country if again, if you look at divorce rates in this country.
We've got to leave it there, Howard Bragman, Roland Martin, Christine Brennan. I appreciate it. It was a good discussion. Thank you.
We've been talking a lot about Tiger Woods, the remarkable place he's earned as perhaps the greatest athlete of our time and certainly the best known and best paid.
Erica Hill now takes a look back at Tiger Woods and how his story began.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tiger Woods: the biggest sports star on the planet; the greatest golfer of his time. His talent obvious from a very early age.
That is Tiger Woods just 2 years old on "The Mike Douglas Show." Born in California in 1975 to an African-American father and Thai mother, he was a prodigy and there would be no stopping him.
At 15, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He won it again the next year. In 1996 at age 20, after attending Stanford University, he turned pro. Tiger was the PGA Rookie of the Year.
And then in 1997, more records. At the age of 21, winning the Masters Tournament by 12 strokes, becoming the first African-American to win in Masters history. And it was just the beginning.
Since then, Tiger has won 93 tournaments. He has the most victories among active players. Titles alone have earned him nearly $100 million.
In an interview with "60 Minutes", he talked about his extraordinary career. TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: I love to play golf. And that's my arena. And you can characterize it and describe it however you want. But I have a love and a passion for getting that ball in the hole and beating those guys.
HILL: In 2004, he married Elin Nordegren, a Swedish model and former nanny, telling "60 Minutes" she brought joy and balance to his life.
WOODS: Partner, a best friend. Elin's been incredible for me.
HILL: Then in 2006, tragedy. Tiger's father and mentor, Earl Woods, succumbed to cancer. Tiger mourned and then resumed playing.
In 2007, the couple had their first child, a daughter. And then a son was born earlier this year. Woods told "60 Minutes" family was his biggest priority.
WOODS: Family always comes first. Always has been in my life and always will.
HILL: But that was before the scandal; before the confessions of transgressions and infidelities, before his world fell apart.
Now the most famous golfer in history is stepping away from the sport he loves. The sport he led and changed, a very public fall from grace for a man who won so much and who now could lose everything.
COOPER: It is sad to see what's happened.
Ahead, a good news/bad news week for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford; he dodged impeachment but not divorce. The latest twist in his saga.
Plus more of what we found inside that massive drug tunnel discovered in southern California. We showed you some of it last night. I want to show you what you didn't see. Officials say the secret passageway is the most sophisticated drug tunnel they've ever seen. We'll show you why ahead.
COOPER: Ahead on 360, Michael Ware on the front lines of the drug war in Juarez, Mexico. His report ahead but first, Erica Hill has the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, A U.S. counterterrorism official tells CNN there are strong indications a senior al Qaeda planner was killed in a missile strike this week by an unmanned drone in Pakistan. The official says Abdirizaq Abdi Saleh is the man believed dead. He's known as Saleh al-Somali.
The source said he was part of al Qaeda's core leadership and engaged in plotting throughout the world. House lawmakers today passing the most sweeping set of changes to the banking regulatory system since the New Deal; the bill imposes more oversight and stronger capital cushions for the largest banks and Wall Street firms. And it also calls for the regulation of some derivatives and creates a new consumer financial protection agency.
And the pilot who pulled off the miracle on the Hudson, hoping to turn his pilot's cap into a little cash for two public schools in California. Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is auctioning off the autographed cap on eBay -- you see it there. Now, he wasn't wearing it when he landed the jetliner safely in the Hudson, but the listing said he did log many air miles in it. The current bid to be 5,600 bucks.
COOPER: Well, it's for a good cause.
COOPER: Still ahead tonight, new pictures from inside the newly discovered drug tunnel in southern California. We had exclusive access; we shot a lot of the video last night. We're going to show you more of what you didn't see.
And later, will Sarah Palin and Al Gore actually face off in a formal debate over global warming? Is she up for it? Is he? We'll tell you the latest.
COOPER: Welcome back.
Tonight, a new look at how Mexican drug cartels feed America's drug habit. They do it in part using tunnels like the one we got exclusive access to in southern California last night.
Now, in a moment we're going to show you some new and astonishing pictures from that incredibly sophisticated piece of work. It's 900 feet long, more than two years in the making.
First, though, late word of yet another tunnel; this one originating in Mexicali, Mexico, just south of the California city of Calexico; details still coming in on that one, so we don't know much more.
And just a few hours ago after the crew and I got off the flight in San Diego, we learned about a major drug bust, 28 people in custody in New Jersey and Ohio. Apparently postal inspectors first alerted to the problem back in February of 2008 when they discovered a 60-pound shipment of marijuana and subsequent pot parcels, some of them weighing up to 150 pounds apiece.
Now, they originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco then mailed to McAllen, Texas to Lindenwold, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. Also starting off in Mexico though unclear precisely where, carloads of methamphetamine which, like the pot, traveled through McAllen then were driven to Columbus, Ohio, and finally on to Hammonton, New Jersey, which is about halfway between Philly and Atlantic City.
As for how it came across the border in the first place, there are a lot of ways including some of these remarkably sophisticated tunnels.
Now, we obtained exclusive access to one of them last night on the San Diego/Tijuana border. The entrance you see right there is just regular warehouse on the Mexican side, almost directly across from the Otay Mesa which busiest border crossing in the country.
The tunnel entrance is disguised as a bathroom. That floor drops away. It's on a hydraulic lift. They even filled that nonworking toilet with water to fool anyone who might come in. The entire floor sits on a hydraulic lift. It sinks. You can see the gap between the linoleum and the wall right there.
But that's not all we saw or showed you last night. There was more as you'll see right now. Take a look.
COOPER: When authorities discovered this tunnel and they raided it, there were still more than a dozen people actually down here working and they arrested those people. But you really get a sense that people were working and living here around the clock.
Here's some socks that have been left to hang out to dry. There's a lot of water in the ground when you dig a tunnel. A lot of water seeps in, so people get very wet. There's an area of platform where people are sleeping. There's a blanket. There's toilet paper. There's even a pair of boots, it looks like, that have been left out here to try to dry off.
They moved a refrigerator down here so there was food. Here's a hot plate with residue of food there as well.
What's really interesting I found is that they had a statue here. This is a statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.
So this first chamber in the tunnel is about ten feet below ground, but there's another hole in the floor with another ladder going down, about another 15 or 20 feet. And this is where the tunnel gets really interesting.
This is the most sophisticated tunnel they've ever discovered. It's certainly the most sophisticated one I've ever seen. There's light bulbs in it so there's an electrical system. Actually, this is an air vent you can see. There's actually cool air circulating in here, so fresh air circulating which is important the deeper you go.
There's even a phone system. The phones still work. That way, people inside the tunnel could communicate with anyone up above. But what's really remarkable here is what I'm about to show you.
This is the motor works for an elevator. It's a primitive elevator, there's no doubt about it, but they brought this down here. This is the elevator itself. It's basically a large cart on wheels. We're going to take you down and show you what happens then.
Only about two people can fit in the tunnel at once. It's a slow operation to actually bring people down here. They don't think this tunnel was used to ferry illegal immigrants into the country. It's too great a risk when you're putting the amount of money they put into this tunnel, you don't want to have large numbers of people moving through because those people could get arrested and could give up the information. It's most likely this tunnel was being built just for drugs.
When you get to the bottom, you climb out. There's a lot of sandbags here that we're going to have to crawl through. What's amazing here, we're now 90 feet deep. The lights still work down here. And the phones are even this deep underground.
All right. We have probably already crossed into the United States. As I showed you up at the top outside the warehouse, it's a very short distance from this warehouse to the border, so we're probably already now into the United States.
This part of the tunnel, again, you have to kind of crouch down. It looks like this is all really loose dirt. And we haven't seen much loose dirt. So I'm just kind of assuming that they were in the process of carting some of this dirt out because it's really the only area so far in the tunnel that we've seen that has this kind of loose earth.
But look at this huge pile of it. So you get a sense of the amount, just the sheer volume of earth that they had to, you know, cart away, put into those either plastic bags, put into burlap sacks or put into wheelbarrows, bring it back up to the surface, get into trucks and get it away so no one would notice what was going on here.
Let's see what happens. This is interesting. It's A little nightstick, a little glow stick that somebody has put in the ground. I guess they hadn't gotten maybe at one point the electrical system in here yet, so they were using glow sticks to kind of illuminate. But it keeps on going.
Authorities have figured out where on the U.S. side the tunnel is. They've actually now punched a hole through on the U.S. side. But the tricky thing about these tunnels is, unless there's human intelligence giving up the location, U.S. authorities have no way to locate these tunnels.
You would think by now there would be high-tech equipment that could just look at the ground and sort of ground-penetrating radar and discover tunnels, but apparently it's not that easy. Technology is being developed, but it's not there yet.
This tunnel was discovered because somebody told U.S. authorities. Then U.S. Authorities told Mexican authorities, and they raided this. But unless you have that human intelligence, there's not really any form of technology right now that can discover these tunnels being built.
COOPER: A look at inside the tunnel.
Coming up next: the violence on the Mexican side of the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This patrol has just received a call that something's happened. They're now moving at high speeds through these narrow streets to get to the scene as quick as they can. We have no idea what we're about to find.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And what they found was more bloodshed. Michael ware, on the front lines of the war next door with a raw look at what authorities are up against.
And take a look at this. This woman is being called a hero for stopping teens from beating up a police officer. What you don't know about this woman, well, is going to shock you.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Back with an exclusive look at a sophisticated tunnel underneath the San Diego/Tijuana border. A Mexican drug cartel built it. They don't know which one yet.
They and other cartels responsible for dozens of freshly dug graves as well all across Mexico every single day; dozens of murder victims. Michael Ware saw that firsthand in a single bloody day in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
But first, we want to warn you, his report has some very graphic images.
WARE (voice-over): On this day we're in Juarez to see the horrors for ourselves. It's just before dusk as I approach a fresh crime scene.
(on camera): In Juarez, 1,600 people died from drug-related violence last year. This year, the total's already well over 2,000 and today's total is already at 12.
(voice-over): The man in that car was hit by cartel gunmen, riddled with eight bullets. His passenger tried to flee, but only made it that far. This was yet another afternoon of killing in Juarez, with a night of murder yet to follow.
(on camera): It's only 9:00. We're now going and joining this police patrol. Since the killings this afternoon that we saw, there's already been another homicide bringing today's total to 13. (voice-over): Every night, joint patrols like this one between local and federal police and Mexican soldiers crisscross the city, trying desperately to stem the flow of blood.
(on camera): This patrol has just received a call that something's happened. They're now moving at high speeds through these narrow streets to get to the scene as quick as they can. We have no idea what we're about to find.
Turns out it was a report of a robbery and two men then escaped on foot. The police who are with us are still looking for them. But in a town like this, you never know what a call may lead you to.
(voice-over): By now it's close to 10:00 p.m., and the reports of violence are streaming in over the police radio.
(on camera): The men with us say sometimes the cartels put in false calls to drag them to other parts of the city while they go and do their business where they really operate.
(voice-over): But before the night is over, there is even more carnage to come; all this in our one afternoon and evening visit to this deadly city.
(on camera): This time, it's almost too much to bear. It's just after 11:00 and where you see those policemen gathered at that door, there's just been four more slayings, this time, all women.
The early reports are that a gunman walked in that door and executed all of them, one of them a 12-year-old girl, another one 14. And in a gut-wrenching irony: all of this done with the American border crossing just here, 80 yards away.
There can be no more pertinent reminder of the Mexican blood that's being spilt in this war for the right to supply America's demand for illicit drugs.
COOPER: Michael ware joins us now.
The Mexican military has now flooded into these towns; it's been, you know, I think some 45,000 Mexican soldiers all across the country. Unless drug consumption in the U.S. gets reduced, can anything be done, as long as there's a demand?
WARE: Absolutely not. That's the thing about this war. This war rages from the U.S. soil all the way down to Colombia. In Colombia the product is created. It's trans-shipped through Central America. The banking is done in Panama. It's distributed through Mexico. All of which is driven by America's demand for the drugs.
Until that changes, the profit incentive is so huge that there's nothing to stop them.
COOPER: What the Mexicans are trying to do, the military, the government is hoping to do is to at least break down these large cartels into smaller groups so that it's more of a law enforcement issue and not a threat to national security. They think it's a threat to national security.
WARE: And it is a threat to national security. I mean, some of the building blocks of power, political and certainly on the street within Mexico, belong to the cartels. I mean, it's hard for politicians to run seriously for office without some kind of cartel backing.
COOPER: Coming up next, he said he was hiking and then he was apologizing. Now Governor Sanford's affair is ending in divorce. The latest details ahead.
And an unlikely hero stops some teens from beating up a police officer. The story doesn't stop there; more on this brave woman coming up.
COOPER: All right. Let's get caught up with some of the stories. Erica Hill has the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife has filed for divorce. Sanford says he blames his own moral failures for the failure of his marriage. The move comes just one day after the governor said he wanted to reconcile with the first lady and two days after state lawmakers voted not to impeach Sanford for using a state plane to visit his Argentine mistress.
Doesn't look like there will debate between Sarah Palin and Al Gore over climate change anytime soon; Palin today seeming to back away from the idea when asked about it. She told conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham she'll get clobbered if it was a traditional debate because, quote, "they don't want to listen to the facts."
In Brownsville, Texas a woman 9 months pregnant comes to the rescue of a police officer who was being attacked by a group of teenagers. Angela Gutierrez jumped out of here car to help. She said it was a gut reaction. Four teens, by the way, were arrested.
Kind of the reverse of what you normally expect to happened. You'd think it's the cop helping the pregnant lady.
COOPER: Wow. You're pregnant. Would you jump in like that?
HILL: I'd try to. But I don't know that I could move that well at 9 months pregnant based on last time around. But you know, who knows?
COOPER: All right. For tonight's shot Erica, meet the newest YouTube sensation. She's 75 and a superstar. That's awesome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(75-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DANCING)
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Oh.
HILL: That's just the beginning for grandma.
COOPER: Her name is Patty Jones. And for that mucho caliente number she won Spain's version of "Britain's Got Talent" -- I guess it's "Spain's Got Talent". Jones, who is from Britain, says she began dancing about five years ago. Her partner, a local instructor named Nico is 40 years younger. They collected $15,000 for the performance and sets the bar high for the 360 holiday party.
HILL: It does. I don't know if there's going to dancing. I hear there's going to be karaoke...
HILL: So maybe it's more of a competition with Susan Boyle.
COOPER: I hate karaoke.
HILL: That's why we're doing it.
COOPER: Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend. I'll see you Monday.
"LARRY KING" starts now.