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THE SITUATION ROOM
Pakistan: We Don't Have Skeletons; Bin Laden Raid Sparks Nuclear Fears; Flooding Threat Rushes South; Fears of Atrocities Inside Syria; Several Missing Reporters in Libya; Aid to Pakistan in Wake of Osama bin Laden's Death
Aired May 10, 2011 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Brooke, thanks very much.
Happening now, the risk of a terror attack or nuclear crisis now that Osama bin Laden is dead. This hour, new information about what U.S. law enforcement agencies are looking for.
We'll also hear from the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein.
Plus, water rising more than four stories high in some places -- the cresting Mississippi River leaves its mark on Memphis. Now the flood danger is rolling toward disaster-weary New Orleans.
And what the U.S. Congress is doing to make sure your Smartphone doesn't leave you vulnerable by tracking your every move without your OK.
I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting today from Munich, Germany. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A new bulletin about who is most likely to launch attacks on the United States after the death of Osama bin Laden. It warns that loners who share the al Qaeda leader's ideology are the greatest short-term threat to the United States.
The advisory was issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to state and local law enforcement agencies. U.S. officials hope to get new leads to terror figures or plots by questioning Osama bin Laden's wives. Pakistan now promises it will make that happen.
CNN's Reza Sayah spoke with Pakistan's interior minister in Islamabad -- Reza.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, how is it possible that Osama bin Laden managed to hide out here in Pakistan for all these years?
Who is to blame?
And did he have any help here?
These are some of the questions we put to Pakistan's interior minister.
REHMAN MALIK, PAKISTANI INTERIOR MINISTER: Honestly speaking, we did not know.
Had we known, do you think he would be living there?
SAYAH: I'd like to know how you didn't know. This was a man living in a fortress. And you have intelligence agents swarming all over the country.
How did they not know?
MALIK: 9/11 happened in New York. With all of the maximum and the best available intelligence tools, the American authorities could not make out 9/11's culprits. And they were still taking training in the institutions there.
So sometimes the intelligence failure is there.
MALIK: Who is to blame for this intelligence failure?
Is it partly you?
After all, you are responsible for the internal security of this country.
MALIK: Meaning the minister of interior?
Yes. I will not say total failure. I will say part failure. And it happens in the history of the intelligence. Sometimes they are successful.
SAYAH: In your investigation, have you found any evidence that bin Laden had a support network here in Pakistan?
MALIK: There is no such thing at all. You will not in -- I have no doubt in the mind of (INAUDIBLE).
SAYAH: So you categorically deny --
MALIK: Categorically deny --
SAYAH: -- that he had a support network here?
MALIK: No. No support network from the official sources.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SAYAH: Interior Minister Rehman Malik also confirmed that the U.S. will have access to question the three widows of Osama bin Laden found in his compound. This move by Pakistan will certainly help build some much needed confidence for this troubled partnership.
But certainly, a lot of questions remain about where this relationship is headed -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Reza Sayah, thanks very much.
Reza is in Islamabad. Pakistani officials aren't backing away from their charge that the United States violated the country's sovereignty when it raided bin Laden's compound. Now some people are asking this question -- what if?
What if Navy SEALs had been after Pakistan's nuclear secrets instead of bin Laden?
Brian Todd is looking closely into this part of the story.
What are you discovering -- Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies are under fire for not knowing about the U.S. raid beforehand. And that's provoking concerns among the public and media there that those services cannot protect the country's most valuable security assets.
TODD: (voice-over): The speed and efficiency of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden reignites fears in Pakistan over the country's nuclear weapons. A senior Pakistani security official tells CNN the media there is roiling with speculation, asking whether U.S. forces could just as easily capture or compromise Pakistan's nuclear facilities?
The official says it's gotten to the point where Pakistan's top general, Ashfaq Kayani, felt compelled to say publicly that Pakistan's strategic assets are well protected.
Georgetown professor, Christine Fair, was in Pakistan during and after the bin Laden raid.
(on camera): How much concern is there inside Pakistan, in the government and the populace, that the U.S. could come in and actually take control of their nuclear weapons facilities?
PROF. CHRISTINE FAIR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: That concern is real. I mean it exists amongst Pakistanis. It exists in the military and the intelligence agencies.
Pakistan understands that's its biggest card to play, right?
That's its preeminent source of defense against the Indians, who are conventionally bigger.
TODD: (voice-over): Nuclear weapons, she says, are the Pakistani's biggest security asset and they've always been sensitive about threats. U.S. officials have never even hinted at a desire to take over Pakistan's nuclear facilities and that senior Pakistani official says Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently reassured Pakistani officers of that. But the bin Laden raid has also fueled fears in Pakistan of the terrorist threat to the nuclear weapons. Experts say Pakistan's got about 100 nuclear warheads. Where they're kept is a closely guarded secret.
What's not secret?
The uranium processing facility at Dera Ghazi Khan, which experts say has come under attack in the past by militants; the Khushab reactors, where they make plutonium for weapons; the New Labs plant, where they separate that presidential nomination; and the Kahuta facility, where they make nuclear weapons.
I asked nuclear weapons expert, David Albright, about an eye- opening concern from the bin Laden operation.
(on camera): Bin Laden was found in Abbottabad, right about here, not too far from some of these nuclear facilities.
What's the main security concern?
DAVID ALBRIGHT, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: Well, one, that Bin Laden was active right in the heart of Pakistan. And there's a -- a lot of worry that he was trying to recruit insiders in these nuclear sites, maybe getting help to steal the -- the nuclear exclusive material, maybe get help on weapons design.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TODD: Albright says even after bin Laden's death, there's concern that if he had designs on penetrating Pakistan's nuclear facilities, he wouldn't have been acting alone. Albright says U.S. officials are likely scouring the seized documents and computer chips from that raid to see if bin Laden might have been cultivating a network of nuclear insiders in Pakistan -- Wolf.
BLITZER: That's a pretty frightening thought, Brian.
Do experts say there are any -- any circumstances in which U.S. forces might try to take over Pakistan's nuclear facilities?
TODD: David Albright says it would have to be a complete collapse of Pakistan's government and the threat of imminent chaos for that to even come close to happening. Now, that's something neither side discusses in public. But the reason these questions, Wolf, are being asked right now is because the bin Laden operation has clearly, clearly shaken the confidence of the Pakistani public in its military and intelligence services to a degree that Christine Fair says we haven't seen since about the 1970s.
BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting for us.
Brian, thanks very much.
We're going to have much more on this story coming up this hour, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She's been briefed thoroughly on what's going on.
But let's check in with Jack right now.
He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you can tell that there is an election coming up. President Obama went to El Paso, Texas to deliver a speech on immigration reform. He talked about the economic benefits of immigration overhaul, about increasing the number of border guards from the days of the Bush administration.
Of course, he stopped short of talking about specific immigration legislation.
Because of the federal government's refusal to secure this nation's borders, many states have taken it upon themselves to pass their own laws.
Arizona passed a controversial immigration law last year. It requires police officers to investigate the immigration status of any person they stop who they think might be an illegal immigrant. The law also makes it a crime to not carry immigration paperwork while in Arizona.
You know, just like you're required to carry a driver's license when you drive a car.
The U.S. Department of Justice sued to block the Arizona law and won. A three judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found Arizona's law unconstitutional. But Governor Jan Brewer said yesterday that Arizona will now appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court is already set to rule on another case involving an Arizona immigration law in the coming weeks. This law dissolves businesses that repeatedly knowingly hire illegal aliens. If it wins the case, Arizona is going to need some help enforcing the new law on its own, which is why it's asking for public donations to fund its legal defense of the law and to construct a fence between Arizona and Mexico.
And it's getting them -- so far, a lot of them. The state says the response has been very positive. The people of Arizona are tired of waiting for Washington to enforce the federal immigration laws that are already on the books.
The question is this, should Arizona be allowed to enforce its own immigration law?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jack.
Thanks very much.
Flooding fears are certainly rising in Louisiana right now, now that the Mississippi River is cresting upstream and carrying a deluge of high water south. Stand by for a live report on the damage in Memphis. We're going there.
And is the Syrian government brutally wiping out the opposition, while the U.S., indeed, so much of the world, focuses on the death of Osama bin Laden?
BLITZER: Low lying areas of Louisiana and Mississippi are on alert right now for flooding, as the highest point of the swollen Mississippi River rolls south from Tennessee. The Army Corps of Engineers is predicting its levee system will hold and prevent disaster in populated areas like New Orleans.
The river began cresting overnight in Memphis, where water levels are expected to stay close to a record high for days, possibly even weeks.
CNN's David Mattingly is joining us once again from Memphis with the very latest.
How is it going today -- David?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, what we're seeing right now here in Memphis, the water has -- is cresting here. The water is not going to be intruding any more into these neighborhoods. But this is one of those low lying areas that people knew was going to have a problem. This is one of called Harbortown near downtown Memphis on Mud Island. Typically, these houses here are on the harbor.
But look at what we have over here. They are now, some of them, in the harbor. This record flooding close to a record that was set back in the late 1930s. People now wondering how much longer they're going to have to live with this.
They are not going to be able to see this floodwater get out of here soon enough, because this flood, as slow as it got here, is also going to be slow in getting out of here. What they're saying now is that we're not going to see this water start retreating in any meaningful way until sometime next week.
But as the days go by, the Army Corps of Engineers is now saying we could see this water dropping as much as a foot of -- a foot a day, starting sometime next week.
And as it goes out, the longer it stays here, the longer it's doing damage to the houses that it has encroached into.
So no one here says that they want to see this water stick around any longer than possible. They're anxious to get back into their homes -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Any idea, David, how many homes are already affected in Memphis where you are? MATTINGLY: Well, the way they have described this, that thousands of pieces of property have been touched by this floodwater, hundreds of people have been forced out of their homes. That's the way that they are describing it right now. They had about 400 people were in shelters last night.
But get a good look at this, because all of this water and all of the water that is backed up into the tributaries around Memphis, all of this has to drain out and is now going to head south. Added to the extra water that they ready have down there. This is just a taste of the potential for damage that this flood could bring. And we're going to be seeing high water marks set all the way south of here through Mississippi and Louisiana -- Wolf.
BLITZER: David Mattingly in Memphis, we'll check back with you.
Let's take a closer look now at the epic battle against flooding from another perspective. Jim Acosta is at our data wall for us -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we've seen the up close images of the devastation along the Mississippi River, but one thing we haven't seen is what it looks like from above. And so, we want to show you, courtesy of the folks over at Digital Globe, what it look like from our satellites that are looking at all of this.
And we want to show you first this farm in the community of Dyersburg, Tennessee. This is significant because it just gives you a real startling, dramatic look at what the floodwaters are doing to this part of the country.
You can see the farmhouse there surrounded by some trees, and then if we tap on our satellite image and show you the water coming in, this is what it looks like now. Just completely surrounded by brown Mississippi River, looks like it's in the middle of the ocean.
And then if we zoom out to the surrounding area of Dyersburg, Tennessee, you can see the scope in an even more dramatic situation. There's that tiny farmhouse that we showed you a few moments ago, and then all of that brown Mississippi River water around it. Just a devastating picture there for the folks there in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
And then we want to go back out wide because one thing that we want to show you is another area and that is Butler, Missouri. That's another area that's been affected by it -- so we zoom out wide to the area -- affected by the Mississippi River flooding.
And then go into Butler, Missouri, this is an area that has had its levees breached twice since 2008. This is what it looks like now. There's the Mississippi River over here, lots of green farmland to the east and then if we turn on our satellite image and show you the floodwaters moving in over time, you can see devastating results.
All of this farmland over here that was green just a few moments ago is now covered with brown Mississippi River water. You can see it flowing in there for where one point of Mississippi River just started inundating this farmland. So a very devastating picture there for the folks in Butler, Missouri.
And Let's go out wide to our area and show you one more spot that we want to focus on and that is Cairo, Illinois. Why Cairo, Illinois? Because this area of Cairo, Illinois was already in trouble before the flooding came into this area. This is a city that is already surrounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the east, and then once the flooding started coming in, you can see the results, it's pretty dramatic.
We slide our bar to the right here so we can show you this area almost looks like an island now of Cairo, Illinois. You can see the Mississippi River well over its banks. It spilled into the Ohio River which has also spilled into all this farmland over here.
So just to give you a sense, Wolf, of what this is going to be like for the folks in these communities up and down the Mississippi River, you can see from above just how long it's going to take for all of these communities to get back to normal -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jim Acosta, thanks very, very much.
They are the people who help make bin Laden' secret world possible. Just ahead, we're getting new details about the men, the women, and the children who called his compound home.
Plus, his family calls it a nightmare that becomes a harder and harder situation each day. Just ahead, the desperate struggle to find an American journalist missing in Libya for more than a month.
BLITZER: Much more on the aftermath of bin Laden's death coming up in just a few moments. We're getting new information here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
But first, Alicia Sylvester is monitoring some of the top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What else is going on, Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf.
Well, officials say a new emergency alert system for cell phone users in New York and Washington will be implemented by the end of the year. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just advanced the Personal Localized Alerting Network, also known as PLAN, which sends text-like alerts in the event of disaster or a terrorist attack. The system could be expanded around the country by April 2012.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will reportedly by detained at least another two weeks and prosecutors further investigate his toppled government. A Justice official says Mubarak and his two sons are being held in connection with the deaths of hundreds of protestors in the February uprising that threw him from power. Several former government ministers have already been sentenced to prison.
And Japan's prime minister says he is going to be giving up his salary of more than $20,000 a month until the country's nuclear crisis ends. This as about a hundred residents who had been evacuated from the area around the crippled Daiichi plant suited up in protective gear to briefly return and gather belongings. The March earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Lisa, thanks very much. We'll get back to you shortly as well.
New details are coming in into THE SITUATION ROOM about the backup plan. Yes, there was a backup plan if the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound had gone terribly wrong. We're going to update you on what we know.
And President Obama visits the border and takes up immigration once again. Why he's doing it now and what he hopes to get.
BLITZER: Just a little more than a week after the monumental capture of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is sounding a lot like Candidate Obama. He's reigniting the call for comprehensive immigration reform while poking some fun at Republicans in the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goalposts on us one more time. You know, they said we needed to triple the border patrol. Well, now they are going to say we need to quadruple the border patrol or they'll want a higher fence, maybe they will need a moat, maybe they want alligators in the moat. They will never be satisfied.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's talk about this in our "Strategy Session." Right now joining us our CNN political contributor Roland Martin and Republican strategist Ed Rollins.
Roland, two questions. Why is the president doing this now? And why in Texas.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, keep in mind, you have heard Latino Hispanics say for quite some time that this country much confront the issue of immigration.
And so you saw an attempt made in 2009, a feeble attempt, if you will, by the White House but also Congress to address it. The president knows it has to be discussed. The Republicans also know it as well.
Why go to Texas? First of all, you're right there on the border with El Paso. This issue confronts Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, so it extends beyond just west Texas.
BLITZER: Is there any realistic chance, Ed, that comprehensive immigration reform is going to pass the House and the Senate and then be signed into law by the president any time soon?
ED ROLLINS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Not in this term. Obviously, the last two presidents with Democrat majorities would have supported signing an immigration bill and you couldn't -- Democrats couldn't bring it to the desk. So I don't think today because of the president's rhetoric is going to make a lot of Democrats and certainly no Republicans want to sign a comprehensive bill at this time.
MARTIN: Wolf, one thing. It is possible that the DREAM Act may come back on the table. That's a possibility, but I don't they the whole immigration reform bill.
ROLLINS: The DREAM Act would allow children of illegal immigrants, illegal immigrant themselves who have made it through high school and are in college to get an education in the United States. That's what the DREAM Act is all about.
I was curious, go ahead --
ROLLINS: There are some Republicans that would be supportive of that and I think, to a certain extent, an awful lot of Americans would. I think the key thing, Republicans want to make sure that border is secure and before you tackle anything else. And I just don't think it's going to happen in the timeframe that we're in today in this term.
BLITZER: Yes. Remember when President Bush pass comprehensive immigration reform, he had Teddy Kennedy, he had John McCain, and they still couldn't do it at that time. So it's going to be obviously very difficult now.
You're from Texas, Roland. Why wasn't the governor, Rick Perry, on hand to welcome the president of the United States when he showed up in his state today?
MARTIN: I talked to the governor's office. They said that the White House did extend an invitation for him to be on the tarmac there in El Paso. They said they couldn't do it.
They also said that they were happy to be on the tarmac to greet the president in Austin, but the White House declined. I called the White House. They have not responded to that particular part.
And the governor also wanted the president to take a tour with him of the wildfire problems there. Of course, he's been trying to get more federal aid. The White House says they have given lots of federal aid, but the governor says he wants a federal disaster declaration that has not come thus far. And so you have some issues there, but clearly I think the governor of a state, Republican or Democrat, should always greet the president. So, if it didn't happen in El Paso, it should have happened in Austin.
ROLLINS: It usually does. And having run --
BLITZER: What do you think, Ed?
ROLLINS: I run the intergovernmental shop when I was in the White House, the political shop. There was always an extension to any governor or any mayor, and usually they come out. I assume Governor Perry did have something else on his agenda that he couldn't make it.
BLITZER: Do you think he is seriously thinking of running for the Republican presidential nomination, Ed?
ROLLINS: I think any Republican who is a governor looks at polls and sees there nobody is significantly ahead -- you always have advisers around you who tell you this may be the time. I don't think he ends up, but he certainly is a strong governor and certainly could do as well as anybody else that's in there today.
MARTIN: Wolf, I'm very surprised that he has not given more serious thought to running for president. A large state, a strong red state. The Republicans control every statewide office in the state.
He could also raise money. And also, look, he's had the good look. It's worked well for him in Texas. But I think a lot of the rhetoric he's used over the last year has not done well for him on a national basis. And so don't be surprised that he's given consideration for a VP slot, not the top slot.
ROLLINS: Roland, you think his good looks only work in Texas.
MARTIN: No, no, no. They work elsewhere.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Let's talk about another former governor, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and the whole issue of health care.
When he was governor of Massachusetts, Romneycare it was called, universal health care in Massachusetts. You're hearing some praise from the president, some other Democrats praising Romney.
How hurt is he by the praise coming from Democrats for universal health care, including a mandate in Massachusetts in his bid for the Republican nomination?
ROLLINS: He is hurt on two fronts. One is Republicans obviously are against the president's plan, and the president repeatedly has said he built this plan around Romneycare.
Secondly, there's a "Wall Street Journal" opinion piece today that talks in terms of how less than half the physicians in the state, basically the primary care, are basically available, and that people have to wait in excess of 40 days to see a doctor, whether it's an internist or anything else. It's not working, and I think to a certain extent, Romney has to address that, and address it pretty quick.
MARTIN: Wolf, many folks consider Mitt Romney to be the strongest GOP candidate going into the primary season. This is a huge, huge issue.
Democrats are excited that he is going to be the guy. They want to attach it to him. But he is going to try to shift this conversation to more about the economy, more about him being a businessman, compared to the president.
That's the discussion he wants, but clearly health care is not popular with the GOP base. And so he is going to have to do a lot of work to get over this issue. Last time it was the Mormon issue with the base. This time it's health care.
ROLLINS: And he can't run away from it. I don't think he can change the --
BLITZER: All right, guys. Thanks very much.
ROLLINS: Thank you.
MARTIN: Thank, Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll soon find out. We've invited Governor Romney to come on this show several times. We hope he will be on fairly soon.
Appreciate it, guys, very, very much.
New charges of brutal, brutal violence by Syria. Just getting new information. Apparently, the Syrian regime is going after demonstrators in a very, very brutal way. The government now claiming that the worst though is over. But is it?
And an American journalist captured by Libyan forces more than a month ago. His brother tells us what he knows about the captivity, how he's being treated.
Stand by. Lisa Sylvester has our report.
BLITZER: Syrian officials now claim they have the upper hand after weeks of cracking down on anti-government protesters. The state-run news agency says more than 2,600 people it calls rioters have been released. A lot of concern though about mass arrests and alleged atrocities in Syria right now.
Our foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is joining us now from the State Department. Jill, a "New York Times" reporter was briefly allowed into the country, Anthony Shadid. But Western journalists are basically being kept out of the country.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It's basically shut down, and that's one of the main problems.
You know, Wolf, over the past week the world's focus has been on Osama bin Laden. But in Syria, that vicious crackdown continues, almost out of site. And the State Department today told us that that crackdown is being extended systematically to other parts of the country where they haven't even had any violence, in a clear effort, they said, to crush this movement.
DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Syrian troops have been firing on protesters with live ammunition. The dramatic video shot earlier this month and uploaded to YouTube, one of the only ways information now is getting out. Since the Syrian government shut down cell and satellite phones, CNN cannot independently verify the incident.
Human rights groups say the army is using tanks against civilians. Corpses of demonstrators killed by troops pile up, they say, families reportedly prevented from burying them. One activist, most of whose family has been in prison in Syria, tells CNN --
MOHAMMAD AL-ABDALLAH, SYRIAN POLITICAL ACTIVIST: We're talking about the government has no lines and has no respect for any kind of humanitarian rights.
DOUGHERTY: Meanwhile, the city where the protests first broke out, Daraa, is cut off. Human rights groups say security forces are using schools and soccer stadiums as prisons to hold hundreds of people rounded up in house-to-house raids. A U.N. humanitarian team that had permission to visit Daraa was stopped by Syria with no explanation.
The government claims it has almost destroyed the protest movement, but the U.S. State Department says the repression is simply stirring up new violence and strengthening the protesters' resolve.
WISSAM TARIF, SYRIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: People are angry. I haven't talked so far with anyone inside Syria who feels afraid, but they do feel angry and frustrated.
DOUGHERTY: Could Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be cracking down even more brutally while the world's attention is riveted on the killing of Osama bin Laden? The State Department says nothing Assad is doing is under the radar. In fact, he's being shockingly above board about it.
And one expert on Syria who's met Assad says the president will use any means to ride out this uprising.
JON ALTERMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Bashar al-Assad started doing this long before there was any news about Osama bin Laden. I think he's been carrying out the same strategies since the death of Osama bin Laden.
DOUGHERTY: Yes. And Wolf, they are predicting that there could be even more violence, if you can believe that.
And right now I understand that the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations is speaking. They have been saying that they -- that this is a bunch of thugs, extremists, et cetera.
We'll have to see exactly what he says, but the fear, Wolf, is that this violence could be even more serious because, as Alterman and other Syria watchers say, for Bashar al-Assad, it's a life-or-death struggle, and really for him crucial to hang onto power -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I wonder when some of these Syrian diplomats start breaking with the Syrian government, just as we saw Libyan diplomats break with the Libyan government of Moammar Gadhafi. We'll see when that starts happening.
Jill, thanks very much.
Meanwhile, in Libya, fierce new NATO strikes right now are rocking the capital of Tripoli -- at least a while ago -- despite some new allegations that the military mission against Gadhafi has morphed into a deadly stalemate.
Meanwhile, there are new reports just coming out of hundreds of refugees fleeing the city. NATO released these photos taken before one boat capsized. More than 50 people are feared dead.
Near Brega, not that long ago, hundreds of civilians, some of them journalists, are getting caught in very deadly clashes escalating between rebels and Gadhafi loyalists.
Our Lisa Sylvester has the story of several missing reporters -- Lisa.
SYLVESTER: Wolf, four journalists, including two Americans, Clare Gillis and James Foley, were captured in Brega more than a month ago. Their families believe they are now being held in Tripoli, but they really have very little information.
I sat down with Michael Foley, the brother of James Foley.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): Explosions all around. James Foley, on the front line between Gadhafi forces and the Libyan rebels.
JAMES FOLEY, JOURNALIST HELD BY LIBYAN CAPTORS: There does seem to be a strong sense that they won't give up the fight, and that there are in this city of a million people --
SYLVESTER: A journalist working for the online news organization "GlobalPost."
FOLEY: This is Jim Foley, reporting from downtown Benghazi, Center Square, "GlobalPost."
SYLVESTER: Foley, an American freelance reporter; Clare Gillis, who reports for "USA Today" and "The Atlantic"; and two foreign journalists were taken by forces loyal to Gadhafi more than a month ago and have not been released.
(on camera): So today is officially what, day 35?
MICHAEL FOLEY, JAMES FOLEY'S BROTHER: It's going on day 35 now.
SYLVESTER (voice-over): Michael Foley is James Foley's younger brother.
M. FOLEY: It's a nightmare. Each day it becomes harder with the lack of information.
We know he's in Tripoli. We believe he's in a detention center. We really don't know much more beyond that. It's speculation.
SYLVESTER: James was allowed to make one five-minute phone call to their mother. That was on April 23rd.
M. FOLEY: He said he was being treated very well, he was being fed, didn't have much room to move around, as you can imagine. But he seemed well. And more to the point, I mean, his voice sounded strong, which really a mother can gauge. So that was the most telling piece.
SYLVESTER: The family hasn't heard anything since. Rallies have been held to free Foley and the other journalists, but in the meantime, bombing has intensified in Libya.
The Turkish Embassy, which had been negotiating for the release of the four journalists, evacuated its embassy in Tripoli. Key, because when four "New York Times" journalists were captured earlier in Libya, and the worst feared, it was the Turkish Embassy that oversaw their release. The State Department is working behind the scenes but is limited on what it can do, so the family remains in limbo.
M. FOLEY: Our biggest fear is that it becomes yesterday's story, back-page story. You know, Day 30 X, and people forget about it.
SYLVESTER (on camera): If you had a message for the people who are holding Jim, what would that message be?
M. FOLEY: The message is pretty simple. It's Jim meant no harm to the Libyan people. He is an unbiased, objective journalist, and we ask for to you release him. We love Jim and we miss him.
His family misses him. We want him home.
(END VIDEOTAPE) SYLVESTER: The family is also working with independent groups, including Human Rights Watch and the International Red Cross, trying to get a letter to James Foley. But his brother Michael says the situation on the ground is really unique because no one on the outside has access to the journalists right now -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's hope all of these journalists are out as quickly as possible. Our heart goes out to all the families.
Lisa, thank you for doing that report.
Is it time for the United States to cut off aid to Pakistan in the wake of bin Laden's death? The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, says that might be a consideration.
My interview with Senator Feinstein, that's ahead.
Plus, what if something went horribly wrong during that dangerous U.S. raid on bin Laden's compound? We're learning new details of a secret backup plan. We'll share the details with you.
BLITZER: More than a week after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, members of the United States Congress are grappling with some very tough questions about national security and the future of America's wars, especially in Afghanistan.
Joining us now is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. She's joining us from Capitol Hill.
Senator, thanks very much for coming in.
I want to get to the U.S./Pakistani relationship in a moment, but we're just learning that the CIA is going to let members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee come to Langley, Virginia, CIA headquarters, and take a look at that photo of a dead Osama bin Laden.
Have you seen that picture yet?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), CHAIRWOMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: No, I have not. But since you've already heard it, that is correct.
BLITZER: Is that something you're going to want to take up, that offer, and go out and take a look at the pictures? Is that something you want to see?
FEINSTEIN: I actually haven't thought much about it, but I likely will.
BLITZER: Because we know that Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he went out and saw the picture, he described it to us. It's very gruesome. But I just was curious if you're even interested in seeing it. But let's talk about the U.S.-Pakistani relationship right now. A few specific questions.
Do you believe elements of the Pakistani government knew bin Laden was hiding in that compound in Abbottabad?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think there's no strong, direct evidence. I do think there is some past intelligence. I also do think that here's the leader, the leading terrorist in the world, in a community, Abbottabad, for five to six years. And everybody knows what it takes to operate a compound of that size with repairs, with servicing, with food in and out. That no one asked questions, that no one knew, that's very hard to believe.
But I think more importantly, there has to be a level of trust between allies. And that's what worries me the most, and that is the declining of a level of trust.
We have a number of pursuits in common -- certainly nonproliferation terrorism. And it's with terrorism where we have got the problem.
It has to be remembered that Pakistan is sheltering the Taliban in Quetta. There's a safe harbor. It has to be remembered that Pakistan won't let us go after the Haqqani in north Waziristan when they are attacking our troops in Afghanistan.
It has to be remembered that the Taliban, since 1994, has supported the Afghani -- or the Pakistanis have supported the Afghani Taliban for all these years. And Lashkar-e-Taiba, they will not extradite the two main culprits in the Mumbai bombing.
BLITZER: So is it time to cut off U.S. assistance, U.S. aid to Pakistan?
FEINSTEIN: It's certainly time to do an evaluation. It's certainly time to have our people talk with their people. It's certainly time to see if the level of trust and cooperation can be improved.
If it can be, I would sure give it another try. If it can't be, you know, spending billions of dollars for people that aren't going to help us in the fight against terror is not something that I think this country should do.
BLITZER: A lot of people are concerned about the security of that Pakistani nuclear arsenal, maybe 100 nuclear warheads. How concerned should we be, especially if the U.S./Pakistani relationship deteriorates and if U.S. aid were to end?
FEINSTEIN: Well, obviously, Pakistan is a nuclear power. They have a number of weapons.
We are told that they are well under control by the military, that they are closely overseen. And I hope that's true. I think we should be concerned, because I am concerned that the Taliban doesn't stop with Afghanistan, that they go on to Pakistan. And that would be very hard.
I'm concerned as to why the Pakistani ISI has to walk both sides of the street. If we're the ally, walk our side of the street. Help us defeat these terrorists who kill thousands of innocent men, women and children.
BLITZER: There is a report out there, ABC News reporting, Senator Feinstein, that Pakistani security sources say bin Laden's son is now missing. Apparently the son who was at that compound.
Have you heard about anything along those lines? What can you share with us?
FEINSTEIN: No, I've heard nothing along those lines. We just had a report a few minutes ago from the deputy CIA director and that was not mentioned. I can tell you that.
BLITZER: What about the decision apparently by the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, to release the name -- this is now the second time -- of the CIA station chief in Islamabad? What does that say to you?
FEINSTEIN: Well, it says to me that we're going to stick our finger in your eye and hurt one of your people. And that's essential what they did. And that doesn't show trust or faith.
I think the ISI probably has a major black mark. To let the number one terrorist in the world live in your country, in a community surrounded by military for five years and not know it, says something about the competency level of the ISI as well.
BLITZER: Senator Feinstein, thanks very much for coming in. We'd like to have you back.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you.
BLITZER: It was Osama bin Laden's hideout, but it was also a home. We're getting some exclusive new photos from inside the compound. I think you're going to want to see it. We're also getting details on who shared the al Qaeda leader's secret world.
And the possible fallout if the U.S. takes aim at another terrorist on its most wanted list.
BLITZER: Let's get right back to Jack for "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is: Should Arizona be allowed to enforce its own immigration law? Not surprisingly, we got quite a bit of e-mail from people in Arizona.
Gerry writes from Ashfork, Arizona, "You bet. Arizona should be permitted to enforce its state-enacted immigration laws. The federal government has been derelict in enforcing existing laws and failed miserably to control our southern border. The last time there was any real U.S. control over the southern border was during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations."
Kathie writes, "Since Washington doesn't have the guts to enforce the laws already on the books, absolutely. Arizona should enforce the federal law that they essentially made into a state law. I for one am sick of the catering to illegal aliens who rape our education and health care systems and then stick us with the bill."
Paul says, "Here's another case where the Constitution becomes suddenly inconvenient. Opening the door on this could lead to an endless stream of constitutional challenges and all kinds of jurisdictions from any governor looking to make a name for himself. It has the potential to paralyze the federal government, waste a whole lot of court time and taxpayer dollars."
"No thank you to that. Play the hand you're dealt."
Dave in Illinois writes, "Definitely, as long as the federal government keeps burying its head in the sand over immigration reform. Part of the reason California is broke is due to the taxation that the illegals have on our health care system and social services. They're taking our tax dollars, giving them to help people who have broken the law and do not belong here."
Joyce writes from Marshall, Texas, "No. Its real intent is to generate income for its prisons. If you want greater chaos, try enforcing 50 different laws."
And Rose writes from Glendale, Arizona, "Yes, Arizona should be allowed to enforce our immigration laws. The federal government has not done the job."
"To really know what's going on here, one needs to read our local papers or watch our local newscasts. The illegals feel they have the same rights as American-born citizens and expect to be taken care of. Frankly, I'm tired of paying for their needs."
If you want to read more on this, go to the blog, CNN.com/caffertyfile -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jack. Thanks very much.