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THE SITUATION ROOM

GOP Candidate Herman Cain: African-Americans 'Brainwashed' To Reject Conservative Candidates; Parents Beaten for Son's Protest Song; Iran Warships Off U.S. Coast; Fighting the Underwater Threat; Facebook's Political Networking; "In My Mind Something Clicked"; Lip Lies

Aired October 1, 2011 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOE JOHNS, HOST, THE SITUATION ROOM: It's being called a decisive blow to the al Qaeda terror network. The recruiter, known as the bin Laden of the Internet, killed in an airstrike in Yemen. This hour, the U.S. military's role in taking down the American-born cleric, Anwar al Awlaki. And the al Qaeda threat now.

Plus, Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain, says many African-American voters have been brainwashed. Stand by for an interview with Cain about racial politics in the 2012 campaign.

And Iranian warships, like these, could soon be within firing distance of the United States. This hour, is Tehran's new deployment plan a dangerous threat to America or just saber-rattling?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Joe Johns. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Another of the world's most wanted terrorists is dead and President Obama is calling it a significant milestone in the war against Al Qaeda. There is no question that Anwar Al-Awlaki was a dangerous threat as the public face of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a terrorist recruiter. But there are questions about the United States' role in targeting and killing an American citizen. Our Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Star has more on the air strike that killed Al- Awlaki in Yemen-Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, this is important because this man posed a direct threat to the United States, had inspired and by all accounts ordered attacks against the U.S.

Now this apparently is the result of a two-year effort between the U.S. intelligence community and the Yemenis to go after him, to find him, target him and take him out. Very controversial as he is an American-born citizen, killed for his activities in another country. By all accounts, it was a drone strike that killed Al-Awlaki. He was traveling in a convoy east of the capital of Sana'a, in Yemen. There were at least three other persons in that convoy with him. They are believed also to have been killed. This is something that the U.S. long wanted. This is a target that they were making a great effort to go after inside, Yemen even as that country remains in a good deal of political, social, and economic unrest, Joe. JOHNS: Barbara, if we know how much was Yemen actually involved in this strike? And if we don't know that, typically what would be the role of another country?

STARR: Well, look, after the U.S. went into Pakistan to get bin Laden without telling the Pakistani government, this becomes a very sensitive issue. The Yemenis are talking about it. They were the first out to say publicly that Al-Awlaki had been killed. The U.S. is making it clear as well as the Yemenis, it was in the words of one source a joint intelligence sharing operation.

So there is a great effort at this point to say that the Yemenis were involved. But let's be very clear. This is a highly sophisticated effort. It involves some of the U.S.' s most sophisticated drone technology and missile technology to be able to target an individual, follow them as they go down a road in a convoy; and be able to quickly call in that lethal firepower to get them before they move out of range. Pretty problematic, one can only suspect for the Yemenis to on their own carry out such a difficult operation, Joe.

JOHNS: Quickly, Al-Awlaki was an American. Do we know, on our own reporting, if he was on the kill or capture list?

STARR: Look, his is one of the most sensitive issues in Washington for many years now. By all accounts, as they say, sources have indicated that there was an order to kill or capture Al-Awlaki. This is something that has been discussed very -- in a very round about fashion. It does appear that there was some type of order to kill him, or capture him. But, you know, I think you will see that many human rights groups are going to raise the question of the legality of such an order and such an action, Joe.

JOHNS: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks so much for that.

Now let's bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson.

Nic, in terms of operations, what does this mean for Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula?

NIC ROBERTSON, SR. INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: It certainly means psychological blow. Al-Awlaki was hugely influential in recruitment, if you will, his sort of DVD sales, thousands upon thousands, his online sort of speeches, also very popular, will mean it will be harder for Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula to get the same levels of money flowing to them, the funds that they need to continue with their operations. So it will hurt them in that way.

Although, he is -- or has played a role in recruitment, recruited the underpants bomber, tried to bring down that airliner over Detroit Christmas 2009, he is not somebody that has sort of been at the forefront of the bomb building and so many other exploits of Al Qaeda, in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. So it will have an impact. But it's unlikely dent their operations in the long term, Joe.

JOHNS: You say he recruited the underwear bomber. But the question is now about the man who created that bomb, the bomb maker, if you will. How dangerous is he? And how important to U.S. and other authorities?

ROBERTSON: Ibrahim al-Asiri, the bomb maker who made the underpants bomb in 2009, who made using the similar powerful explosives in 2010, the printer bombs, is still on the loose. And Al Qaeda now has operational control, effectively, over three provinces in the country. And this gives Asiri, the bombmaker, a greater ability and space to make his bombs. He's makes very sophisticated weapons.

So he poses, perhaps, the more real operational bomb making challenge to the United States. He is the man behind the two last principle attacks against the United States. So a lot of concern has to lie now with either capturing or killing him in the same way that -- in the same way that Al-Awlaki has been killed. Al-Awlaki is a big get, but Yemen is a very big problem. There is a lot more to it than just Al- Awlaki.

JOHNS: How much of a sense do we have between the relationship now between Al Qaeda central, if you will, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula?

ROBERTSON: They sing from the same sheet, if you will. They are against the United States, against Europe. Al Awlaki, himself, said he didn't need a religious ruling to attack Americans. It was fine just going-in fact, it was a duty to attack Americans. So they have the same core ideology in that way.

But what Yemen potentially gives Al Qaeda is a failing state, which is what Yemen is becoming in the same way that Somalia is, in the same way that Al Qaeda used the failed state of Afghanistan to set up training camps. Al Qaeda potentially and no one is saying that they are doing this in a major way at the moment, but it gives them the potential to set up training camps in Yemen, where they can train more bomb makers, and more people who can go out and perpetrate attacks in the West.

So this is, I think this is where the sort of Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula perhaps begins to sort of step up to the plate for Al Qaeda, if you will. Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Al Qaeda in Somalia or Al Qaeda in North Africa, Yemen is becoming a failing state. And that gives Al Qaeda a lot of potential and scope to exploit that.

JOHNS: So if Yemen really was involved in all of this, it would seem that Yemen was actually taking a move to save itself, if you will, or at least the man who rules the country.

ROBERTSON: Oh, absolutely. The President Saleh has just come back after three months recoup rating from an assassination attempt. Three months he spent in Saudi Arabia. It's interesting that within a few days of arriving back Al-Awlaki has been targeted, intelligence leading to his targeting, and his killing has come into the domain of the United States and the people who are flying the drone aircraft.

And there's no doubt that the President Saleh looks to the United States to try and support him and his 30-year rule. There are so many demands for him to step down from students, from tribesmen, and from opposition politicians, part of the army and major part has defected and trying to bring him down. And what President Saleh wants, through support to try to crack down on Al Qaeda, is to win support of the United States -- is to win the support of the United States to back his regime at the moment, a regime that is pretty much on its knees.

As he pulls troops back to the capital to secure the capital, that gives Al Qaeda a freer hand in the south of the country-which they've been exploiting. President Saleh is in a desperate situation and very much needs the United States' support. So helping target Al-Awlaki is a very simple and direct way for him to try to get that kind of support. No indication he will. But it's what he would try to do.

JOHNS: Thanks so much for that, Nic Robertson.

Now listen to what President Obama had to take about Anwar Al-Awlaki's death and its impact on the Al Qaeda terror network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The death of Al-Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Furthermore, the success is a tribute to our intelligence community and to the efforts of Yemen and its security forces who's have worked closely with the United States over the course of several years.

Al-Awlaki and his organization have been directly responsible for the deaths of many Yemeni citizens. His hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and people of all faiths. He has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous though weakened terrorist organization. And going forward, we will remain vigilant against any threats to the United States, or our allies and partners. But make no mistake this is further proof that Al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: President Obama's problem at home with African-American voters, what's behind the growing frustration?

Also fighting terror underwater. We get up close with an elite FBI team. Plus, bad lip-reading is putting some bizarre words in Rick Perry's mouth. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM .

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Let's look at two huge issues for President Obama's fight to win a second term, a lack of jobs in the United States, and a lack of enthusiasm among many African-American voters. Let's bring in our White House Correspondent Dan Lothian--Dan. DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Joe, President Obama has always taken a big picture view when it comes to race and his policies, pointing out that his efforts are aimed at helping all Americans not just African-Americans. Well, that has not gone unnoticed. Now as the president courts black voters who were key to his success in 2008, some of them are not as enthusiastic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DARIAN "BIG TIGGER" MORGAN, 95.5 WPGC: 9:00 a.m. on WPGC FM.

LOTHIAN (voice over): On 95.5 FM, one of Washington, D.C.'s top urban radio stations, Darian "Big Tigger" Morgan serves up a blend of music, edgy morning talk, and commercials.

MORGAN: Want a show that is free on WPGC, D.C.'s home for at least eight DJs (ph) in a row.

LOTHIAN: But off mic there is a more serious tone when asked about President Obama.

MORGAN: His level of expectations in the community, however unrealistic, is higher than for him to quote/unquote, "help us". That being said, I still think that lots of people are very, very supportive President Obama.

LOTHIAN: But in a searing opinion piece in "The Washington Post," columnist Courtland Milloy wrote, "It's hard to see how the plight of black people could get any worse, even under a President Cane" referring to the conservative Republican hopeful.

The managing editor of "The Root", a daily online African-American magazine, has heard the exasperations.

JOEL DREYFUSS, MANAGING EDITOR, "THEROOT.COM: There is a segment in the community that feels he could have targeted more efforts toward the African-American community. I don't think politically it's feasible in this country.

LOTHIAN: One big criticism that the president has not addressed the high unemployment rate among blacks, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts at 16.7 percent. Much higher than the national average.

DREYFUSS: For African-Americans, it has been absolutely devastating in the last four or five years. You know, as badly as the majority community, the white community, has been affected, it's been even worse for blacks.

LOTHIAN: Courting his base, the president sat down with a one-on-one interview with BET and also gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, where he acknowledged the economic crisis has taken a toll on an already hard-hit black community.

OBAMA: You have to be a little crazy to have faith during such hard times. LOTHIAN: Representative Maxine Waters was pleased that the president gave recognition to a problem some feel he's ignored.

REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D) CALIFORNIA: And that's extremely important that people understand that the president gets it.

LOTHIAN: But a little air leaked out of that warm feeling when the president seemed to chastise African-American leaders in the same speech.

OBAMA: I respect all of you who march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining.

LOTHIAN: Representative Waters found the comment, quote, "curious" and speculated that Mr. Obama had gone off script. A White House official confirmed it was an ad lib, but insisted it was meant as a rallying cry. While some African-Americans may be frowning at the president, they aren't smiling at the options.

MORGAN: We're going to talk about that whole situation.

LOTHIAN: Which is why Morgan, who voted for Mr. Obama, remains optimistic.

MORGAN: I think that they'll come back out again. It's about engaging them. It's about speaking to them directly or indirectly about what issues affect them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LOTHIAN: The question is will the president be able to generate the kind of enthusiasm that sent a lot of young black voters to the polls for him in 2008 in a tight race some believe that could be a factor, Joe.

JOHNS: Dan Lothian at the White House. Thanks for that, Dan.

More now on race and the presidential campaign with Republican Candidate Herman Cain. He is enjoying a new shot of momentum, after his upset win in the Florida straw poll last weekend. Wolf spoke with the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Herman Cain is joining us from Atlanta.

Mr. Cain, thanks very much for coming in.

HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: You are doing well in the polls right now. But let me specifically ask you about the African-American community. Why is the Republican Party basically poison for so many African-Americans?

CAIN: Because many African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view. I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.

BLITZER: That's a strong word to talk about your fellow African- Americans, brainwashed?

CAIN: For two-thirds of them, Wolf, that is the case. Now the good news is I happen to believe that a third to 50 percent of the black Americans in this country, they are open minded. I meet them every day. They stop me in the airport. And so this whole notion that all black Americans are necessarily going to stay and vote Democrat, vote for Obama, that is simply not true. More and more black Americans are thinking for themselves, and that's a good thing.

BLITZER: You suggested, correct me if I'm wrong, that if you were the Republican nominee, you think a third of African-Americans would vote for you?

CAIN: I do believe a third would vote for me based upon my own anecdotal feedback. Now they won't be voting for me because I'm black. They'll be voting for me because of my policies, and because of what I'm offering to fix this economy. Starting with, as you know, my 999 plan. That's what they're responding to.

BLITZER: Let's talk about some of the issues like health care, for example. Could you support Mitt Romney, who when he was governor of Massachusetts supported a mandate for health care?

CAIN: No, I could not. I do not support a government mandate for health care. I don't support the mandate that's in Obamacare. I wouldn't have supported a mandate that was in Romney care. No. I happen to believe that there are better market-driven, patient- centered solutions out there that were not even considered. That's the approach that I would take in order to first, repeal Obamacare, and then let the market determine and let patients and doctors determine what is best for the patient and the doctor.

BLITZER: So what I hear you saying is, correct me if I'm wrong, once again, if he were the Republican nominee, you wouldn't be able to support him?

CAIN: Well, I wouldn't say that I wouldn't be able to report (sic) him, because he has said that his first order of business would be to repeal Obamacare. If he stuck to that commitment, I could support him. But if in any way he wanted to compromise, and go for a health care mandate, I couldn't support him. But I believe that he is backed off that. And he is saying that he would repeal Obamacare.

BLITZER: If you were to repeal Obamacare, there are right now there are 50 million uninsured people in the United States. They'll get insurance under what you call Obama care. What you would do with those 50 million, if you repealed the health care reform law?

CAIN: First of all, Wolf, they are not going to be without health care. Everybody in this country will get health care. Hospitals cannot turn you away. If we look at the early rollout of Obamacare, more and more people are becoming uninsured. More and more companies are being forced to drop their health care coverage because Obamacare is just that bad.

Look at the fact that over 1300 companies asked for a waiver because when they look at the details of Obamacare, they're better off to either stay with what they have, if they can get a waiver. Or they're going to put everybody on the government program. The plan simply does not work.

BLITZER: Are you with Rick Perry when he says he supports instate tuition for children of illegal immigrants in Texas?

CAIN: No, absolutely not. Because I happen to believe that that puts children of illegals in front of citizens, in front of soldiers. I don't agree with that. We must first secure the border for real. That's the real problem we need to make sure that we solve. Then decide later -- now I do agree that it's a state's issue, it's a state's decision, but I don't believe in putting children of illegals, because of compassion, in front of citizens.

BLITZER: Could you support Rick Perry if he were the nominee?

CAIN: Today I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host of reasons. Him being soft on securing the border is one of the reasons. I feel very strongly about the need to secure the border for real, the need to enforce the laws that are already there, the need to promote the path to citizenship that's already there.

But more importantly, empower the states to enforce the national federal immigration laws, because the federal government didn't do it, can't do it, and they never will do it. So that's where I think he and I have a basic fundamental difference of opinion.

BLITZER: You surprised a lot of people the other day when you won that Florida straw poll. Yet, there is this clamoring, apparently, by a lot of Republicans for Chris Christie to jump into the race right now. Is that insulting to you, and the other Republicans who are in the race?

CAIN: It's not insulting as much as it is a disservice to the American people. Chris Christie has said for a long time that he wasn't interested in running for president. Unfortunately, Wolf, the media is trying to create a story by sucking Chris Christie into this race just like they tried to create a story of sucking Rick Perry into the race. Now he had to make his own decision. And I respect that.

But the fact that they continue to ignore those people that have already declared, focus on the people that already declared-and I believe that that will do a better service to the American people if they get an opportunity to find out more about what we are about. That result in Florida last weekend, where I won that straw poll, it sent two very distinct messages, Wolf.

Number one, the voice of the people is more powerful than the voice of the media, with all due respect. Secondly, it says that the American people are going to make that decision and it also says that this movement, that we call the citizens movement, is more powerful than we thought. Message is more important than money. I believe that that's what's happening when you look at the results like those that happened in Florida.

BLITZER: Herman Cain, good to have you in THE SITUATION ROOM. Good luck.

CAIN: Thanks a lot, Wolf. My pleasure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: And this note, beginning Monday THE SITUATION ROOM moves up an hour. Be sure to join us from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern on weekdays. Don't worry, international viewers, for you, the time stays the same.

A Syrian-American performs a protest song here in Washington. And in retaliation, his parents are brutally beaten back home, the amazing story ahead.

Plus, bizarre new details about the man blamed for that killer anthrax case revealed nearly a decade later.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: A poll taken in Syria shows eight out of 10 want Al Assad's regime to go. And more than seven out of 10 want reforms. The survey was done with the help of an American group. Even when Syrians openly expressed their views in the United States, the regime can react with horrific brutality back home. CNN's Gena Somra has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GENA SOMRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 38-year-old musician Malek Jandali says the message of his song, "Watani Anna", Arabic for "My Homeland Is Me" is simple.

MALEK JANDALI, PIANIST, COMPOSER: What does it say? I am my homeland, and my homeland is me. My love is fire in my heart for you. When am I going to see you free?

SOMRA: But just days after he played the song at this July 23rd anti- Assad protest rally in Washington, the reaction in his homeland, he says, was swift and brutal.

DR. MAMOUN JANDALI, MALEK'S FATHER: You can see the blood of my wife. She is on the floor, on the carpet, my wife.

SOMRA: Malek's father, a 72-year-old surgeon, says these images taken just moments after he and his wife were beaten at their home in Syria, showed just how far that government is willing to go to silence dissent. Even if the voices being raised are thousands of miles away.

MAMOUN JANDALI: As came back from work, evening, from my hospital, came two men inside and closed the door. And start hitting me, handcuffed me back. Put tape on my mouth and nose. Push me upstairs, where my wife-

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- on my mouth and nose. Pushed me upstairs where my wife -- they came up and start hitting her, mostly on her face in front of me. And they said to us, this is a lesson to you to know how to behave your son who is demonstrating and making fun of us.

GENA SOMRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN was unable to independently confirm the attack in homes and the government would not respond to our questions. But in the past, it is blamed arm gangs for attacks on civilians. When Malek learned what happened to his parents, he says he was saddened but not surprised.

MALEK JANDALI, PIANIST AND COMPOSER: It is a regime that is possible of doing any crime, any atrocities to terrorize people and to terrorize them.

SOMRA: As he sits in his son's home in the United States nearly two months after the attack, the doctor's wounds may have healed, but not the pain.

DR. MAMOUN JANDALI, MALEK'S FATHER: I was very, very, very shocked. And the most what hurts was to watch -- to watch my wife being hitting and I can't do anything.

SOMRA: Far from silencing a song of protest, the attack against the composer's parents may have instead made it a rallying cry for the Syrian opposition. Gena Somra, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: A direct threat to the U.S. East Coast from one of the country's most powerful adversaries, Iran. Plus, combating terror hundreds of feet underwater. You're about to meet members of an elite new FBI team.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Armed Iranian ships just a dozen miles off the coast. That's the potential situation the U.S. is facing as Iran threatens to flex its military muscle. CNN's Brian Todd has more.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joe, up until now, Iran's challenges to the U.S. have been mostly confined to the Persian Gulf region. But now the Islamic regime wants to take that gamemanship right to America's doorstep. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): From one of America's most powerful enemies, a direct threat to the East Coast. Iran's top Navy commander says his country will move naval ships into the Atlantic, quote, "with a powerful presence close to the American Marine borders."

The Iranian admiral says his nation would only be reciprocating American military patrols in the Persian Gulf just miles from Iran's shores. He didn't say when, how many, or what kind of vessels Iran would send. The sabre-rattling gets a quick brush-off from U.S. officials.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We don't take the statements seriously and given that they do not reflect at all Iran's naval capabilities.

TODD: It may be a matter of distance and resources.

(on camera): Any Iranian battle group would have to travel 9,500 miles to get close to America's East Coast. Experts say that would be difficult. Iran's Navy doesn't have many friendly ports where it can refuel and do maintenance and communications are a challenge.

(voice-over): But this is no laughingstock Navy. I t's recently patrolled in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. Experts say it's got three-kilo class submarines and ships capable of launching missiles with the names Nor and Naser.

(on camera): They can get as close to 12 miles from the east coast in international waters. But let's say an Iranian ship is between 12 and 50 miles out, could one of those Nor missiles or Naser missiles hit U.S. mainland?

ERIC WERTHEIM, U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE: Well, this is a picture of an Iranian launching that Nor missile. It has a 75-mile range, but it's not really fitted to the larger ships that would make the travel over here. So if it were fitted, then, yes, theoretically it can engage a land target, but another ship up to 75 miles.

TODD (voice-over): Eric Wertheim says the missiles wouldn't be quite as accurate if they tried to hit land targets. Analysts believe it was a missile supplied by Iran, fired by the terrorist group Hezbollah, which damaged an Israeli ship in 2006, killing some Israeli sailors.

I asked expert Alex Vatanka why Iran would want to project power they may not have so far away from their borders.

ALEX VATANKA, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: The reasons are again all based on being able to justify their own grip on power in Tehran, to justify the abilities of defense expenditure in that country when people really have other important things to worry about.

(END VIDEOTAPE) TODD: Things like economic problems brought on by international sanctions. Vatanka and other analysts say this sabre-rattling may be enough for Iran's leaders right now, just give off that distraction and that they may never actually follow-through on this threat because of all the logistical challenges. Joe --

JOHNS: The most visible U.S. effort to fight terror focuses on air travel. We see a lot of it every time we fly. But there's a growing emphasis on terror underwater. CNN's John Zarrella has more.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joe, the FBI has had dive teams for quite a while, but they've always been referred to as agents first and divers second. Now they have a full time dive team. It's so new that many within the ranks of FBI itself don't know they exist.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZARRELLA: The diver needs help getting in the water is tricky. The state of the art equipment including stainless steel diving helmets are heavy. The diver is FBI, specially trained.

JAMES TULLBANE, TECHNICAL DIVE TEAM: Our team is being certified down to 300 feet where we can safely conduct evidence recovery operations and then chemical, biological and radiological nuclear type diving as well.

ZARRELLA: That's the primary mission of the 10-member team, to recover evidence in water environments too polluted or contaminated for anyone else. Called the "Technical Dive Team", it was formed a year ago in response to the threat of terrorists using water as a means of attack.

TULLBANE: And you look at various international instances that's have occurred where it is attacks on American civilians or its attack on American interest, where water has been involved that we've determined that we really do need to expand our capabilities.

ZARRELLA: Side scan sewn arm maps the bottom identifying targets of interest. The water is murky. Visibility is low. The sonar operator's job, guide the divers to the targets. The operator is learning too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step right, five feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five steps.

ZARRELLA: So far the team has one mission under its belt.

(on camera): A lot of the drugs smuggled into the United States are coming in boats not on top of the water, but on submarines below the surface. And the Technical Dive Team's expertise was called into service on just one of those cases.

(voice-over): The surveillance video shows a mini sub in the Caribbean off Honduras. The Coast Guard intercepts. The crew sinks the sub and abandons it. The Technical Dive Team is called in 24 hours and 15 dives later they recover 15 thousand pounds of cocaine, street value $180 million.

Advanced capabilities says former federal prosecutor, Michael Tein, will make it all the more difficult for defendants.

MICHAEL TEIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Once the case is made by the FBI, it's going to be virtually impossible except in maybe 2 percent to 3 percent of cases for the defendant to even have a thin read of a hope of convincing a jury of his innocence.

ZARRELLA: In the case of the sub, the team was successful in the war on drugs. If called upon, they plan to be ready in the war on terror.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZARRELLA: A second drug submarine was ceased on the 17th of September by the Coast Guard. They recovered some cocaine and the crew before the submarine sunk. In this case, the FBI dive team was not called in. Joe --

JOHNS: Facebook is ramping up its political networking. Why are social media companies trying to make a bigger impression these days?

And a decade after anthrax attacks, new information about the sorority obsession that helped crack the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: As the 2012 campaign heats up, one of the most influential internet companies in America is creating a new vehicle to influence elections that would be Facebook. Our Lisa Sylvester is here. So --

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Google has actually had a pact since 2006. Well, Facebook is now getting in on the action. And, you know, for all of its grassroots origins, Facebook is actually a multibillion dollar corporation with a lot at stake in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER (voice-over): Facebook is friending people in high places, the internet company that CEO, Mark Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room has formed a new political action committee to financially back political candidates.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: I think people are surprised because they look at Mark Zuckerburg and say wow, this young kid is -- has so much money and so much influence and now he's going to go to Washington and try to exert himself on the lawmakers.

SYLVESTER: In a statement a Facebook spokesman said, quote, "FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of our innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."

Facebook joins the ranks of other tech companies moving into politics. Google co-hosted a Republican presidential debate last week. LinkedIn held a town hall meeting with President Obama.

At the same time, Congress starting to pay more attention to internet companies. Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt was called to testify before a Senate panel last week on antitrust issues.

Other issues that might invite lobbying by internet firms, intellectual property, patents, taxes, and the biggy for Facebook, privacy.

DAVID KIRKPATRICK, CEO, TECHONOMY MEDIA: They are playing a unique role as a company in terms of all of the privacy and personal data that they control. And there's no question that they are going to be dealing more and more with legal overtours and regulatory challenges that are going to require extensive governmental interaction.

SYLVESTER: Disclosure forms show that Facebook, which had almost no presence in Washington a couple years ago has been ramping up on the political front, hiring big guns like Erskine Bowles, President Clinton's former chief of staff and former Clinton Press Secretary Joel Lockhart.

SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: With Google and with all these tech companies, we're seeing a real spike in activity in their campaign donations and lobbying.

SYLVESTER: Facebook so far has spent more than $550,000 on lobbying this year almost as much as its spent in the past two years combined. Google has spent about six times as much or $3.5 million on lobbying this year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: Last year, Facebook had two lobbyists in Washington, this year it has more than two dozen lobbyists, Joe.

JOHNS: A lot on the line for these companies. Thanks so much, Lisa.

Tracking the suspect in that killer 2001 anthrax case. You'll meet the woman who helped the FBI track him down. Plus, taking the words right out of Rick Perry's mouth.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Nearly a decade since those killer anthrax letters terrorized parts of the United States. We're learning surprising new details about the man authorities say is behind them and the woman who helped track him down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS (voice-over): When the anthrax letters hit in October 2001, Nancy is an up and coming scientist in Seattle, specializing in HIV.

A few months after the attack, January 2002, the FBI e-mails the American Society of Microbiology members. FBI profilers believe it is very likely that one or more of you know this individual. NANCY CONNELL, UMDNJ, NEW JERSEY MEDICAL SCHOOL: In my mind, it was as though something clicked.

JOHNS (on camera): Who did you think of?

CONNELL: Bruce Ivans.

JOHNS (voice-over): Bruce Ivans, a scientist at USAMRIID, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland. This is the Pentagon's main lab for studying biological weapons to develop protective vaccines. Ivan is an expert on anthrax. In fact, he is supposedly helping federal agents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In January 2002, Bruce Ivans was in the thick of it.

JOHNS: What the feds do not see is the hidden side of Bruce. E-mails where he says, I am being eaten alive by paranoid delusional thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bruce Ivans has led a double life.

JOHNS: Psychiatrist will later describe Ivans as a secretive, paranoid, resentful and rage-filled man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a guy who had a definite dark side to him that no one else knew about.

CONNELL: I met Bruce in Chapel Hill, North California.

JOHNS: It was the mid-70s, Nancy was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina. Bruce Ivans was there, too. Ivans asked incessantly about the sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. He seemed obsessed.

NANCY HAIGWOOD, SCIENTIST: Every time I talked to him, he would mention it. Finally I said, Bruce, that's enough.

JOHNS: As their careers took shape over the years, Ivans kept in touch. Shortly after the anthrax attack, he e-mails these photos of himself with what he calls the now the infamous strain of anthrax.

HAIGWOOD: He wants his former colleagues to know that he was doing an important work.

JOHNS: One detail stands out.

HAIGWOOD: He said he was working in the containment lab and he wasn't wearing gloves. And that's a bio safety hazard. We just don't ever do that. What that is, to me, a sign. I'm immune.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: For a close look at the 2001 killer anthrax case, stay tuned for my CNN presents "Death by Mail, The Anthrax Letters" tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Jeanne Moos is on the trail of some pranksters taking indecent liberties with presidential candidate Rick Perry words.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you thought presidential candidate Rick Perry rambled a bit at the last debate, you haven't seen nothing yet.

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And then I suspended Marsha off this bridge and took a virgin hipper not rotten --

MOOS: No, Rick Perry is not the victim of a neurological seizure. He's the victim of bad lip reading. A group of jokesters turned Rick Perry's real words -

PERRY: Last week, that leadership failed.

MOOS: -- into this.

PERRY: Ice cream. That is cheap. That's a fact.

MOOS: And this.

PERRY: With the support of my family.

MOOS: Became this.

PERRY: I'm bored by famine.

MOOS: Next thing you know he's saying all sorts of nonsensical things.

PERRY: Eggs, Doritos, cheesecake.

MOOS: Up until now, bad lip reading was known for taking music videos and giving them parity lyrics that match the mouth movements, for instance, Black-Eyed Peas hit was transformed the newest song about poop. But the Rick Perry video is exposing bad lip reading to a whole audience using his official announcement video.

PERRY: I declare to you today as a candidate for president of the United States.

MOOS: Well, now, look what he's declaring.

PERRY: I cannot wait for a medieval cookie, cinnabon, hot yellow Kool-aid and save a pretzel for the --

MOOS: One smart Alec posted, this is the most sense he has ever made. The trick is finding different words that lip read alike. For instance, I love you, olive juice. I love you, olive juice.

I love you, olive juice. The creators of bad lip reading are still being mysteriously mysterious. One of them e-mailed CNN, I'm interested in maintaining the anonymity of BLR for the time being.

The group also took President Obama's words and transformed them, but it's not as funny as Rick Perry's. There's something about that Texas drawl.

PERRY: Hot, yellow Kool-aid and save a pretzel for the gas jets.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: I'm Joe Johns. Join us weekdays in THE SITUATION ROOM at our new time 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern and every Saturday at 6 p.m. More news is next.