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Continued Violence in Syria; No Grand Jury in Trayvon Martin Case

Aired April 9, 2012 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And we begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest." In just a few hours, we're going to know for sure whether Syria's dictatorship can keep the promise it made to pull troops and tanks out of towns and cities, to take snipers off rooftops, in short, to stop killing its own people and reducing their homes, like this little girl's grandfather's house, to rubble.

"Who did this?" the man in the tape asks. "Bashar," she says, as she stands on what it looks like the remains of -- of a living room judging by the sofa cushions on the floor. Now the girl, we don't know her name, about 2.5, 3 years old, is obviously too young to understand what is happening, but she knows enough to say the name. She's been told who's responsible. Bashar al-Assad.

Two weeks ago after ordering and overseeing a yearlong campaign of repression followed by outright carnage, he promised the U.N. to stop. The formal deadline tomorrow morning.

Now back when he agreed to that U.N. troop pullout proposal on March 27, he toured the streets of Homs. We're showing you two videos side by side, one of his photo-op that day, the dictator. The other, the bombardment that was going on in the hours before he arrived in Homs and after he left, and almost every day since then.

That day when the dictator of Syria was smiling for the cameras, 57 people died, say activists. Today in Homs and across Syria tanks rolled, shells exploded, snipers fired, and at least 145 people died, according to the opposition. In other words, the slaughter goes on.

More than 700 have been killed since Assad announced a cease-fire on April 2. Nearly 1100 since he agreed to that U.N. proposal just two weeks ago. This is video claiming to show victims of a mass execution in Homs. According to the opposition one neighborhood there has seen eight straight days of heavy bombardment.

Now parts of the city still, after all this time, being blown to pieces, burned to the ground. In some neighborhoods, the opposition says troops have been looting, randomly killing civilians on the streets, even blowing up an ambulance.

Now as always we can't independently verify the video because independent journalists are kept out of the country and sometimes killed if they are managed to sneak in.

Today, though, there's yet more reason to believe that what you see is real and not what the regime says. A new report from Human Rights Watch titled "In Cold Blood," the money quote -- quote -- "Syrian security forces have summarily executed scores and possibly hundreds of civilians and opposition fighters during their intensified offensive on cities and towns since December 2011."

The report is based on interviews with more than 30 eyewitnesses. There's video which we're not showing of government troops claiming a human trophy, mounting a man's body on the front of their tank. And by now you've seen the mangled bodies of tortured kids and people shoved into car trunks. This video months old now. All the rest.

Again, the regime has spent month after month denying it all. they have promised to stop. So far it hasn't and doubts are growing that it will. The U.N. Secretary General's Office says the regime is actually been ramping up violence in advance of the deadline. Over the weekend the regime unilaterally demanded new concessions from opposition forces.

Tonight on "JOHN KING, USA" John asked America's U.N. ambassador the tough question.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: let me ask you, answer the critics who say the United Nations and Kofi Annan have been played, that the death toll has gone up by more than 1,000 since he was appointed special envoy, that Assad has simply used this diplomacy as cover to kill more people.

SUSAN RICE, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, I don't think it is a question of the United Nations or Annan being played.

I think both in the Security Council and in the secretariat and Annan himself have been very clear-eyed about the Syrian government, its motives and its behavior to date. The question is whether there is still the opportunity, however slim, for there to be a diplomatic resolution to this over-year-long conflict.


COOPER: Joining us now, CIA -- former CIA officer, Robert Baer, currently his's intelligence columnist. Also, Princeton University's Anne-Marie Slaughter. Until recently she was head of Policy Planning at the State Department -- State Department.

Bob, do you think the U.N. has been played?

ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: I think Bashar al-Assad has bought time. He knows what he's doing. His intention is the same as it's always been. And that's destroy the opposition. He intends to wipe them out. He's not going to negotiate. He doesn't care what the U.N. wants. Yes, U.S. have been played. COOPER: Anne-Marie, I mean, is there any reason for anyone in the world, the U. N. , the Arab League, Kofi Anna, whoever, to believe what Bashar al-Assad says about doing a cease-fire?

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Anderson, I agree with Bob. I don't think he's going to stop. I don't think there's any reason any of us should expect him to stop tomorrow. He has broken one promise after another and he will say whatever it takes to give him more chance to keep killing.

COOPER: Bob, you say Kofi Anna can be in Damascus every other day and it won't make any difference.

BAER: Not at all. I mean, this regime, we have to go back and look what they're fighting for. They're fighting for their survival. I talked to someone in the regime not long ago and he said about -- they figure about 30 percent of the people support Bashar al-Assad. Not because of him but they're afraid of what the opposition is going to do. And he told me they will hold on until the bitter end until one side is completely won.

COOPER: And Anne-Marie, I mean, is there still a time for resolving this diplomatically?

SLAUGHTER: Well, I think actually the U.S. government and other allies have been right to give it every possible chance for diplomatic resolution. But I do think that time is at an end. I think Kofi Annan did what he could do. He got people on board.

But it's going to be clear that that's not going to solve things. And at this point either we're going to have to say we more or less accept the situation we have now where Assad is going to just keep killing or we not only keep tightening economic sanctions, other sanctions, but we start moving toward real -- a real possibility of military action.

COOPER: And, Bob, what would that look like, military action? I mean, we're not talking about U.S. boots on the ground certainly. John McCain has talked about international air strikes. There's also, I guess, arming opposition. What do you see as options?

BAER: Well, I think first of all it's key what Anne-Marie was saying is that we're moving to a worse situation as we speak. Unless there's some sort of a miracle that occurs tonight or tomorrow, we're going to see this violence spread.

We're going to see it spread more into Lebanon. There was a killing there today in Lebanon. There's been killings in Turkey. A shooting across the border. And once this thing starts to spread beyond Syria's borders, I think it's fairly inevitable we're going to have to use air assets to destroy his armor and take his air assets out of -- out of the air.

COOPER: Anne-Marie, you agree with that?

SLAUGHTER: I do. We're in agreement tonight. But I think there was a shooting across the border into Turkey today. The Syrian army was chasing Free Syrian Army rebels and shot into Turkey. Killed a Turkish policeman. This is going to spread into Turkey, into Lebanon, possibly even into Jordan. And I don't think we're going to have a choice. I think we're going to -- there's going to have to be a military move I still think in conjunction with safe zones that will effectively stop this now or have it spread into a regional conflict.

COOPER: So what would that -- I mean, what would that look like, Anne-Marie? In terms of -- you say air strikes to stop armor and movement of Syrian forces. Would there then also have to be arming of opposition forces?

SLAUGHTER: Well, arming of opposition forces is going on now. There are the Qataris, the Saudis have acknowledged that's what they're doing. The United States is now providing communications and intelligence equipment to allow the Free Syrian Army at least to track the moves of the Syrian army. But I think what would have to happen is not a Libya-style intervention, but actually the declaration of a safe zone at least on the Turkish border.

The Turks have been talking about doing this for six months. And then what you do is create basically a no fly zone, a no drive zone enforced by air support both from the region and probably from NATO.

COOPER: And, Bob, you at one point talked about a kill zone as well.


BAER: Well, yes, that's a little bit -- you know -- look. Sending tanks to kill your own people --

SLAUGHTER: That's not what he meant.

BAER: Yes. Exactly. Is going to -- is just going to make the situation worse. And early on, I realized politically we couldn't do it.

But keeping those tanks out of the city is very important, because Bashar al-Assad intends to, as I said, destroy these people and destroy these cities. It's just like his father in Hama in 1982. And it's made the situation worse. And I think we're coming close to having to do something about it.

COOPER: Anne-Marie Slaughter, appreciate your time tonight, Bob Baer as well. Thank you.

Let us know what you think up there. We're on Facebook, Google+. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting about this tonight as well.

Major developments in the Trayvon Martin case. A big decision about how to conduct the investigation. And for the first time the shooter, George Zimmerman, he's speaking out. For the first time, we are hearing directly from him. You may be surprised what he's asking for. You may not be. We'll tell you what that is in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.

So two big developments tonight in the Trayvon Martin case. First, Florida's special prosecutor Angela Corey announced she's going to be conducting investigations to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin without the services of a grand jury which was scheduled to convene tomorrow. And under state law, she can bring charges without a grand jury.

We're going to talk to our legal analyst about what this means, why no grand jury, in just a moment.

Second big development. The shooter George Zimmerman is speaking out. He's set up a Web site called On it is a statement, and I quote, "On Sunday February 26, I was involved in a life-altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately my entire life."

He goes on to say, "This Web site's sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries."

Zimmerman also includes a PayPal link for donations and he says he cannot vouch for other Web sites claiming, he says, to be raising money on his behalf.

Let's talk about this now to react to that and today's decision to forego a grand jury, we're joined by the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump.

Mr. Crump, thanks for being with us. You made it clear you didn't really want this case to go to the grand jury, saying before that a grand jury is -- quote -- "bad." What do you -- what did you mean by that? And what do you make of the decision not to have the grand jury now?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, Anderson, we've always believed that convening a grand jury was passing the buck. We thought from day one as we've always believed there was enough evidence there to simply arrest George Zimmerman. We were not asking that he be convicted, but a simple arrest. And over the last 42 days as evidence has unfolded, we think there's a plethora of evidence to simply affect probable cause to arrest George Zimmerman.

He would still have his day in court. He can argue whatever legal claims he wants. But an arrest -- the parents are only asking for simple justice. Nothing more, nothing less, Anderson. If that was your child or anybody child in this world, they would want the person who killed their unarmed teenager to be arrested.

COOPER: When we talked a couple of weeks ago, I think it was, maybe two weeks ago now, you said you were -- you didn't have confidence that he would be arrested. Are you -- are you confident now he will be arrested? Or -- what's your read on this now?

CRUMP: Well, I felt if it would have went to a grand jury, that caused us a lot of concern. Anderson, we as the lead attorney for the family and all our legal team, we're extensions of our clients in a lot of ways. They have a lot of faith. And they're trying to have patience. And they are wanting to believe in the system that it's going to do right by them.


CRUMP: And so they are wanting to believe that an arrest is going to be made. In talking with the special prosecutor, they say they're doing a thorough job of the investigation. And we're believing them. Sybrina and Tracy, they are trying to believe, or follow their heart in the system.

COOPER: Right. As I said, we heard from George Zimmerman for the first time today on this Web site that we verified is an official Web site of George Zimmerman. He's basically asking for donations saying he's going to -- quote -- "Ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment." There's an American flag in the background.

How do you respond -- what are your thoughts on the Web site and what he has to say on it?

CRUMP: Well, I say this, Anderson. If the situation was reversed, Trayvon Martin would have been arrested day one, hour one. George Zimmerman has been free for 42 days and I think very simply put, we believe he should have been arrested and put into jail. And then if he bonded out, he could do whatever he wanted to do.

But this situation with this Web site now and everything is a luxury that Trayvon Martin doesn't have and we believe he never would have had. And it's one of those things that his parents want George Zimmerman to have his day in court. They are good people. And they want everything to be fair. But in being fair, they think that George Zimmerman, the killer of their son, should be arrested just as if it was reversed, Mr. Cooper.

COOPER: Two sources told WFTB today that they think George Zimmerman will be arrested this week. Have you been given any indication to back that up?

CRUMP: Well, Miss Corey has said that her and her staff are doing a thorough investigation. And we look at her not impounding the grand jury as a positive thing. Because that means she either feels she's going to have enough evidence gathered from her investigation to effect -- to wait probable cause to arrest the killer of this unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin.

COOPER: Right.

CRUMP: Who if you -- it's just the whole world is saying Trayvon was unarmed. Zimmerman was the person who pursued him from all objective evidence. Don't take my word for it. It's what you see in that video and what you hear on those 911 tapes. And the phone log records of his girlfriend.

It connects the dots, Anderson. There's more than enough evidence to just arrest him.

COOPER: Mr. Crump, I appreciate your time. Benjamin Crump, thank you.

Want to bring in our legal team now tonight. Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, why would a prosecutor decide not go forward with the grand jury?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This is the normal way cases proceed in Florida. There are two ways you can go. You can go -- basically the prosecutor deciding to bring charges. That's the way it works most of the time in Florida. Or you can go to a grand jury which is used only for especially complex cases.

I think the prosecutor deserves a lot of credit. In these high- profile cases the prosecutors always get in trouble when they try to do something special. This is the routine way to go. This puts all the pressure on her. She doesn't have to -- she can't pass the buck to a grand jury. It's all on her. But this is the responsible decision she made.

COOPER: Mark, Mark, how much does public pressure play in a case like this? I mean, does it have -- what kind of effect does it have on a prosecutor?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it always has an effect on a prosecutor and I couldn't agree more with Mr. Crump and with Jeff in two ways. Part of this decision to not go to a grand jury, normally when you go to a grand jury, anything the prosecutor asks for, they get.

I think in this case this would be the one exception where you have seen, I think, the split in public opinion and generally the people who sit in a grand jury are more conservative and less of color. I think there was always the possibility that if she went to a grand jury, they would have returned no bill which is like lightning striking.

And here I think Jeff's right. She's taken responsibility for it. And ultimately I think this increases the odds dramatically that Zimmerman is going to get arrested.

COOPER: Jeff -- I'm sorry. You think it is increasing the odds that he's going to get arrested?


I think that when she says we're not going to go to the grand jury which is the usual thing. Normally in Florida just like here in California, in the state court system, they rarely use the grand jury. I think that going to the grand jury in this case could have been a real problem. You could have had a grand jury that would have rejected and returned a no bill. I think here this is -- this is a pretty good sign of also combined with the statement that's attributed to her, that an arrest is imminent.

COOPER: Jeff, I have been reading some comments on Twitter about this case tonight after I tweeted some stuff. And people are saying look, it's outrageous that George Zimmerman would be asking for money. And that this is the first we've heard from him. Anybody who's involved in a legal battle like this is going to be counseled, do not be make public statements, do not be giving interviews.

TOOBIN: Right. I mean, I can't say I blame him for putting up this Web site. Especially since there are people allegedly raising money in his name which his a completely phony operation. Now he writes is -- you know, is very bland, he's not making any statements really one way or another that can be used against him.

I mean, obviously, it's -- there's something a little distasteful. I mean, we all know he caused the death of Trayvon Martin. You know, whether it was a crime or not is obviously what we're talking about. But, you know, he is incurring enormous legal fees and I --


COOPER: Not going to be able to work.

TOOBIN: Yes. So I don't --

COOPER: Who's going to hire him and --


COOPER: Right. Mark, if a client you were defending came to you and said they wanted to start a Web site like this, what would you tell them to do?

GERAGOS: I would said talk to my tech guy, let's get it up immediately. I have done it. I have done it on multiple occasions. You know, far be it for anybody -- I think it's -- there's an irony here. People always say let's let the free market work. If he can't afford to pay lawyers, and the lawyers don't want to do it pro bono, they're going to have a public defender.

I have got a client right now who's got a Web site up. And you know, frankly it saves the taxpayers money. And I don't see that there's anything wrong with it. You know, Scooter Libby who had tremendous resources at his disposal used a Web site as well. COOPER: Mark, I admire your strain for not mentioning your client's Web site.

TOOBIN: I thought the same thing. Boy.

GERAGOS: I was going to say -- I was going to say it but I thought it would be a shameless plug. (LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Well, that's tremendous restrain on your part. It's fascinating.

So, Mark, you think -- you think an arrest is likely -- Jeff --

TOOBIN: I actually would not draw that conclusion. I mean, I think this doesn't make it more or less likely. I think this is just the normal course. You know, this prosecutor has access to evidence that we don't have. She --


COOPER: We should point out for the record there's a lot we do not know.

TOOBIN: Exactly. I mean, you know, the key evidence in this case is what happened after he called 911 and when the shots were fired. We don't know if there are eyewitnesses to that. She has access to knocking on every door. Forensic reports. And we don't know that. And I just don't feel comfortable making a prediction in the absence of having all that important evidence.

COOPER: Yes. Admirable.

GERAGOS: See, I don't have any --

COOPER: Yes, Mark?

GERAGOS: I don't have any problem making that prediction. And the reason for it is that if they wanted to reject this case, the easy thing to do and actually frankly the passing-the-buck thing to do is to go in front of a grand jury and you know what your grand jury is going to go and you just kind of lay it off on them and let them reject it.

TOOBIN: There's no --

GERAGOS: I think to some degree it's easier this way to not have to be exposed to that.

TOOBIN: There's no question that grand juries have been used by that way by prosecutors in the past as a way of -- sort of disposing of cases. But I'm not -- I don't know that's happening in here.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, thank you. Mark Geragos, always good to have you on.

Political battles heating up tonight over which party is more in touch with Americans' economic pain. Meantime, the Gingrich campaign is signaling for the first time publicly that it really sees the writing on the wall. We're going to talk "Raw Politics."

James Carville joins us ahead in just a moment.


COOPER: In "Raw Politics" this week, it is all about which presidential candidate truly feels your pain. President Obama's team is rolling out an ambitious plan to cut loopholes and effectively raise taxes on the richest Americans and they say opponents of the idea including Republican Mitt Romney are out-of-touch with ordinary voters.

The Romney campaign says it's Obama is out of touch. According to White House's efforts to address Friday's jobs report. In response to senior White House adviser David Plouffe's claim that the overall trajectory the economy is heading in the right direction, the Romney camp released this statement today -- quote -- "After Friday's disappointing jobs report, the White House is trying to spin the nearly 23 million Americans struggling to find work as a good thing."

Now, Democrats in turn are again accusing Republicans of playing politics with the economic recovery.


REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: We've got a ways to go. We need to keep pushing. But what's really bothersome to me, Candy, is that it almost seems like my Republicans colleagues in Congress and Mitt Romney are rooting for economic failure.


COOPER: So both sides trying to paint the others out of touch or indifferent to ordinary Americans' plain. Earlier I talked about it all with Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican strategist Rich Galen.


COOPER: James, the Obama and Romney campaigns basically admit they're making the same argument about each other. That they -- they're out of touch. That the other is out of touch and they don't feel the pain of ordinary Americans. Does this kind of argument still resonate with voters?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think it does. And also I'm not sure -- I think Obama could be -- would seem a little aloof. But I think that's Romney's biggest problem. And I'm not sure why Romney wants to bring this issue front and center because he's not had a good primary when it comes to, like, connecting with ordinary people. But the truth of the matter is neither one of these guys are like a Clinton about "I feel your pain" kind of politician. It's not...

COOPER: Rich, it's going to boil down, though, to independents and how they interpret this argument, though, right?

RICH GALEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. And I think that, you know, the Obama people are pretty smart. I mean, they -- my guess is they are planning a campaign for -- in an economy where this is as good as it gets. Either it's going to be worse or no bitter -- not much bitterness because if it's a lot bitter then their problems sort of go away.

So they're planning for a campaign that really does turn on, to use a Clintonian or a -- yes, a Clintonian phrase, I feel your pain, which as James says neither one of these guys is very good at, I don't think either one believes.

COOPER: James, can the Obama campaign keep this from being a referendum on Obama?

CARVILLE: Well, I mean, first of all, they're just not going to -- they're not going to say, do you like this economy or not, because we know the answer to that. Do you want to go back to the economy we had before? And that Romney is doubling down and trickle down. That Romney wants to get more taxes to wealthy people, who didn't want to get out of Iraq, you know, he favors cutting programs that favor the middle class, sure. Who wouldn't want that sort of comparison?

COOPER: Rich, I want to play something that your former boss, Newt Gingrich had to say yesterday.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have to be realistic. Given the size of the organization, given the number of primaries he's won, he is far and away the most likely Republican nominee. If he does get to 1,144 delegates, I will support him. I will do everything I can this fall to help him defeat Obama.


COOPER: It's a very different Newt Gingrich than the one who vowed to fight all the way to Tampa, isn't it?


Two things happened in the past week. One, Newt lost to Ron Paul in all three elections last Tuesday night, No. 1.

No. 2, he is now in fourth place in the public polling behind Ron Paul.

And thirdly, I thought about this overnight. You know, his health think tank went out of business last week. And I'm not saying he...

COOPER: Declared bankruptcy.

GALEN: Yes. And I think -- I really think that that affected Newt. Because he had a lot in that; he worked very hard for that. And I'm not saying he thinks it's his fault, but to a great degree, if he had still been there, that would still be going.

So I think all these things sort of weigh on him, and he's sort of said, "OK, enough already. I'm going to be a Romney guy and let's get on with it."

COOPER: So James, could this be a sign that the post-primary healing process in the Republican Party may not be as difficult to pull off as Democrats had hoped it would be, or expected it?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think that everybody -- most Democrats thought that they would, you know, repair their relations with Gingrich and Santorum. And I don't think they have much to do with Ron Paul. But there are large constituents within the Republican Party that are still unenthusiastic about Mitt Romney.

I don't think that -- that Speaker Gingrich or Santorum or Paul will be able to bring him on without some real action on the part of -- on the part of Romney. He's got his work cut out for him by the time he leaves campus.

And by the way, I really agree with Rich. I mean, Newt has put a lot on the line; he's lost a lot in doing this. But, you know, it's something he always wanted to do. And I guess in the end he went out and did it. But it's great personal and financial cost to him to do it.

COOPER: But James, doesn't he also gain a lot? I mean, just in terms of future speaking fees, I imagine he is much more valuable now on the speaker circuit where he makes a lot of money.

CARVILLE: You know, I'm on that circuit myself. And I think he was doing pretty well before. And again, he was -- I think he was making money from some of his other organizations. And he's probably lost a lot of it going into debt. I think he's $4.5 million into personal debt. He would have to speak for a long time to make up with this cost, I suspect.

GALEN: Yes, he -- he said he was making $65,000 a speech, which is a hundred times what I make.

COOPER: Rich, we'll see what we can do about that.

GALEN: Please.

COOPER: Rich Galen, thank you.

James Carville, thanks.

CARVILLE: Thank you. You bet.

COOPER: Well, sad news: legendary journalist, as you know, Mike Wallace, who's known for tough questions, competitive drive, who inspired generations of younger journalists, passed away this weekend. Just ahead, we're going to look back at his life, his legacy. And we're going to talk to Lesley Stahl, my colleague from "60 Minutes," about her memories of Mike Wallace.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: The world of journalism lost one of its greatest investigative reporters this weekend. Mike Wallace died Saturday night, just a month shy of his 94th birthday.

Not very many people live up to the accolade "legendary," but like Wallace certainly did. He set the bar for generations of us. In a moment I'll talk to Mike's "60 Minutes" colleague Lesley Stahl. But first a look back at some of his remarkable career.


MIKE WALLACE, FORMER REPORTER, "60 MINUTES": We are doing a profile...

COOPER (voice-over): He was known for his tough questions.

WALLACE: I'm not sitting in judgment. I'm simply asking a question.

COOPER: A feared interviewer described, even by friends and colleagues, as relentless, driven, and competitive beyond belief.

WALLACE: You haven't answered the question, Mr. President.

COOPER: His aggressive interview style made Mike Wallace one of the most well-known and respected journalists of our time.

Born Myron Wallace on May 9, 1918 in Brookline, Massachusetts, he later traded the name Myron for Mike. After graduating from college in 1939, Wallace began his career in radio in Michigan before landing a series of television jobs in Chicago.

WALLACE: Ladies and gentlemen, let us meet Professor Ludwig von Integrity.

COOPER: Wallace found success in New York City with an interview show called "Might Beat."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Mike Wallace interview.

COOPER: Which then went national as "The Mike Wallace Interview" on ABC.

WALLACE: I think that you will agree that a good many people hated your husband. They even hated you.

COOPER: Wallace, who had also explored acting, hosted a game show, and appeared in commercials, decided to devote his career to journalism after the death of his son in 1962. A way to honor his son's memory.

He was hired by CBS News in 1963 as a correspondent. Five years later, CBS launched "60 Minutes" with Mike Wallace as one of its primary correspondents.

WALLACE: There's been talk in recent years of style and charisma. Have you given no thought to this aspect of campaigning and of leading?

COOPER: During the Watergate scandal, Wallace won recognition for his interrogation of White House staffers, including this interview with Nixon's right-hand man, John Erlinger.

WALLACE: Perjury. Plans to audit tax returns. Bogus opinion polls. Plans to firebomb a building. Conspiracy to obstruct justice. All of this by the law and order administration of Richard Nixon.

JOHN ERLINGER, FORMER NIXON AIDE: Is there a question in there somewhere?

COOPER: Audiences began to tune in to "60 Minutes" to watch Wallace's interviews. Before long, he became a household name. During the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, Wallace confronted the Ayatollah Khomeini.

WALLACE: A devoutly religious man. A Muslim. Says what you are doing now is quote, "a disgrace to Islam." And he calls you imam -- forgive me, his words not mine -- a lunatic.

COOPER: Khomeini answered by correctly predicting Sadat's assassination.

Wallace also pioneered the so-called ambush interview, presenting unsuspecting interviewees with evidence of their wrong doing.

WALLACE: Now if selling phony university degrees was a hazardous occupation, hanging one on your office wall when "60 Minutes" walked in could be downright embarrassing.

You're not a medical doctor?


COOPER: Wallace's style was sometimes unpopular with viewers. Fans protested this emotional interview with Barbra Streisand in 1991.

WALLACE: You know what your mother told me about her relationship with you.


WALLACE: She says you haven't got time to be close to anyone. Quote...

STREISAND: She said to anyone or did she say to her?

WALLACE: To anyone. That's your own mom.

And even now, Mom's judgment stings.

STREISAND: You like this. That 40 million people have to see me, like, do this.

COOPER: But Mike Wallace never backed down. WALLACE: There was no talk about steroids.

COOPER: He continued on with "60 Minutes" for some 40 years, until his last broadcast in 2008.

He always wanted to be known as a tough reporter who was also fair. He also always wanted to get the story first. This is what he told "The New York Times" in 2006.

WALLACE: I had probably not necessarily undeserved reputation of being a prick, of stealing stories from my colleagues. I mean, it's just competition. Competition. Get the story. Get it first.



COOPER: First of all, when you -- when you heard the news that Mike had passed, what went through your mind?

LESLEY STAHL, REPORTER, "60 MINUTES": I thought, you know, I've known he's been sick. I've known that this was going to happen, and I was still shocked. And now, that was yesterday. So I've thought about almost nothing since. And I've been smiling. Because I've been remembering Mike. And I really liked him. He brought me to "60 Minutes."

COOPER: He brought you there?

STAHL: He brought me there. Himself. And he went to bat for me.

COOPER: That's quite a vote of confidence.

STAHL: I know, someone had to bring me there. That's another story. He brought me there. And then he kind of mentored me. Sort of.

You'll love this. Here's a story. He calls me into his office one day. He says, "The real secret, Lesley, is asking the really tough question that the public thinks you'll never ask. But when you ask it, you can't be embarrassed. You can't be timid. You just have to ask it with total ease as if it's the most natural thing to do. If you're embarrassed about it, the audience will feel it." And he said, "You need to work on this."

COOPER: Oh, really?


COOPER: He was one of the first people who really greeted me when I started at "60 Minutes," too. And I remember he called me "kid." And it was so thrilling that he would even acknowledge me and talk to me.

And later I did some stuff for an organization he was working with to raise money for folks with depression and suicide awareness and stuff. But he also had this other side of being intensely competitive. And -- right, I never really saw that because I kind of knew him toward -- in the latter years.

STAHL: You saw it on television.

COOPER: I saw it on television, certainly.

STAHL: He was who he was.

COOPER: The folks, though, who work at "60 Minutes," Steve Kroft and Morley Safer, were on the "CBS Morning Show" today with -- with Charlie Rose. And I want to play some of what they said and have you speak.

MORLEY SAFER, "60 MINUTES": We were neighbors for 37 years -- 38 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meaning his office was next to your office.

SAFER: Next door. And Steve is now in that office. And there were a couple of years in there which we didn't talk to each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You and Mike did not speak?

SAFER: We communicated through other people.


SAFER: Well, Mike -- how do I put this? Mike would steal stories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would he steal stories?

STEVE KROFT, REPORTER, "60 MINUTES": Absolutely. And I always thought that the worst thing -- worse thing than losing the story to Mike was actually getting a story from Mike on the rare occasion that it happened. Because the retribution would last for six years.

COOPER: Was it really -- would he really steal stories?

STAHL: He stole one from me.

COOPER: Really?

STAHL: Yes, Barbra Streisand.

COOPER: He stole the Barbra Streisand interview?

STAHL: He did. And unlike Morley, I always thought if I stopped talking to him, he wouldn't even know that I wasn't talking to him.

COOPER: How did he steal a story? I mean, he would hear that you might be working on it?

STAHL: Yes. He -- I was telling someone in the recording studio, and he was there. He was waiting to get in to do his recording. And he ran off. And then the next thing I knew, she had agreed to do it with him. I guess he called her.


STAHL: That'll teach her.

COOPER: Well, it's interesting. When I got to "60," I was surprised. Because even when you print out a document, a lot of times, A.P. will go over to get it and make sure no one else sees it. Is that a -- kind of...

STAHL: No, it was just Mike.

COOPER: That was just -- really, it was just Mike?

STAHL: But you know, we're telling that story. I loved him. I totally loved him. And I was -- I laughed. I laughed after about two weeks.

COOPER: Right. But he and Don Hewitt used to have fights. There used to be fights at "60 Minutes," like screaming matches, didn't there?

STAHL: Yes. They didn't talk at each other. They yelled at each other. But only occasionally did it get so bad that they really weren't talking with each over. You began to worry about the future of the show.

That happened over the tobacco story. Mostly they were just yelling over the content of the piece, and they cared. It was -- it really was a measure of the commitment they both had to getting it right. There's still a lot of fighting that goes on at "60 Minutes" over the content.

COOPER: That's what makes it such a great program.

STAHL: I loved it. It was high energy. It was commitment. It was integrity. It was all of those things.

COOPER: He was public about his battles with depression in the wake of the Westmoreland trial. And even a suicide attempt he talked about publicly. He worked, along with Mary Wallace, to raise money and raise awareness. And I did a number of interviews with him on the subject.

Was that something you saw? Was that something that was -- you were aware of in the work place?

STAHL: Well, I wasn't aware of him being depressed in the work place. He was too much of an outgoing guy's guy. I never really sensed that myself.

But when he went public with his depression, it was early. It was before anyone else of his level ever did that. And it was part of the man's fearlessness and courage. I mean, everything he did demonstrated fearlessness.

And that was huge in how many people he helped by going public and saying, if the toughest guy in America has this disease, which people thought was a sign of weakness, had all different kinds of stigmas. If he could have it, then I'm OK admitting I have it. It was an enormous thing for him to have done publicly.

COOPER: Do -- one of the other things that Morley Safer said today on the CBS show was that Mike -- that, despite all his fearlessness, Mike was unsure himself in some ways. Maybe as a residue of having done entertainment stuff years before.

STAHL: I have to say I never saw that.

COOPER: You never saw that?

STAHL: No. Not for a second. I did see -- I did see a boyishness or almost like a teenage boy quality in him that would pop out.

COOPER: His smile that would break out -- I watched old interviews of his, was just amazing.

STAHL: Amazing.

So there was this little boy in there. He let it pop out. I never saw any sense of lack of self-confidence in Mike Wallace in anything. I loved the stories he did that weren't with heads of states and crooks and so forth where he would just be smitten with Shirley MacLaine or have a crush on Tina Turner, and let you see it. And he really loved Vladimir Horowitz. And he let you see it.

I thought he just was a guy, and everything was out there: "I am who I am. I'm honest in everything I do."

COOPER: I also think to have the career and the longevity that he had in this business is just extraordinary. At any -- I guess he was working until he was 88.

STAHL: Eighty-eight.

COOPER: Yes. I just think that's extraordinary.

STAHL: When he started "60 Minutes" with Don Hewitt, when the two of them created it for each other, he was 50.

COOPER: Wow. That's amazing.

STAHL: And of course, he'd already had a career in showbiz.

COOPER: Right.

STAHL: He was an actor in radio and commercials. And his son died in Greece. And he turned -- he changed.

COOPER: That was really for him a major turning point. He decided after that -- his son had been doing writing. And I remember him saying that he felt his son might become a reporter. And he wanted to kind of be the reporter that his son would never be.

STAHL: He wanted to become a serious person who made a mark. And he did. And he changed enormously and devoted himself to this.

COOPER: He at the same time was a remarkable performer. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. But I mean, in addition to being a journalist, he knew -- I mean, he would have a pause in a sentence.

STAHL: Oh, yes.

COOPER: And it was -- I don't know, it was so effective.

STAHL: It was brilliant. And I remember Hewitt saying to me, "Watch Mike. Watch Mike."

Ed Bradley had a little bit of that, too, by the way.

COOPER: I think -- I was trying to remember the last time I saw him. And I think it may have been in the halls of "60 Minutes." And I kind of -- that's the way I kind of want to remember him. In the halls of "60 Minutes." Because I think he helped make that broadcast, and that broadcast helped make him.

STAHL: He created it with Don Hewitt. He decided, as we talked about, that it was going to be serious journalism. It was going to make a difference. He created it in his voice. You know, all of his talents represent "60 Minutes."

And then he stayed long enough to make sure we all got it right. And that it would live in his image in a way.


STAHL: And it has.

COOPER: It has. And as a broadcast, it's never been more relevant. I mean, it's as relevant today as it was, you know, back in his heyday.

STAHL: Well, you know, Jeff Fager, who's our new boss for both of us, he worked under Mike Wallace, too, and Don Hewitt. And he, too, knew that he was going to carry it on. He wasn't going to let it fade or soften.

COOPER: Mike's voice is very much still alive in that broadcast, in those halls.

STAHL: Totally. If only we could be as good as he was.

COOPER: Lesley, thank you.

STAHL: Pleasure.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: True indeed. If we could only be as good. Lesley Stahl, thank you.

Mike Wallace, thank you.

Now, to a shocking video that's causing outrage on line. A man beaten, robbed, stripped naked. This getting a video of the case when video of the attack was posted online on YouTube. This happened in Baltimore. Details ahead.


ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Isha Sesay with a "360 News & Business Bulletin."

Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are looking into whether two suspects in the shooting of five African-Americans should be charged with hate crimes. Today, a judge ordered Jake England and Alvin Watts to be held on more than $9 million bond each. They were arrested on murder and other charges in the shootings, which left three people dead and two wounded.

Jury selection has started in Chicago in the murder trial of the man charged with killing three of singer Jennifer Hudson's family members. William Balfour is accused of killing Hudson's mother, brother and nephew. Balfour is the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister.

Police in Baltimore are asking for help identifying the people in a YouTube video showing a tourist being beaten, stripped and robbed on St. Patrick's Day. Police have identified one suspect, but say he is not in custody yet.

Authorities in Virginia Beach, Virginia, have released the frantic 911 calls that came in when a Navy plane crashed into an apartment complex last week.


CALLER: Hello, yes, we just had a jet explode on Birdneck, 900 block of Birdneck. Yes.

CALLER: A Navy plane just went down on 24th Street. It's in the Birdneck Village Apartments.

CALLER: Pilot, he's right here on my patio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pilot is on your patio?

CALLER: Yes, and nobody's here.


SESAY: Well, seven people, including the two-person crew, were injured. Navy officials say there was a major mechanical malfunction during takeoff from a nearby naval air station. And one of the record-breaking Mega Millions lottery winners has come forward to claim the prize in Maryland but has chosen to stay anonymous. Three winning tickets were sold in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois, each worth more than $218 million. The winner in Kansas also chose to remain anonymous.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Hey, that's it for us. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.