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Wisconsin Recall Effort Fails; Jerry Sandusky's Trial

Aired June 6, 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" with an investigation into why autistic kids and kids with severe behavioral problems are being shocked with electrodes at a school right here in America.

Now, we have been looking into this school for years. It's the only place in America and probably the world that we know about that actually uses electrically to shock students. Now the U.N. point person on torture, yes, torture, is pressing for an investigation.

The school is in Massachusetts. It's called the Judge Rotenberg Center. And they claim that electric shocks and other forms of what they call aversive therapies are the only way to control some students who are a danger to themselves or to others. Recently, outrage over the school exploded when the public for the first time saw video of a student being repeatedly shocked.

His name is Andre McCollins. And the video shows Andre being shocked some 31 times over the course of seven hours. I want to warn you it is difficult to watch. This was in 2002, when McCollins was 18. He's no longer at the center. His family research settled a lawsuit against JRC. The video was part of the trial.

Now, those images also caught the attention of the U.N. special rapporteur, Juan Mendez. Over the weekend, he told the British paper "The Guardian" -- quote -- "the use of electricity on anyone's body raises the question of whether this is therapeutic or whether it inflicts pain and suffering tantamount to torture in violation of international law."

Mendez is looking for answers from the U.S. Department of justice, which launched an investigation against this center some two years ago. When we asked the Justice Department for an update on the investigation, they told us it's ongoing and they wouldn't comment.

The school says that no one else will take their students and that the electric shocks are better than huge amounts of prescription drugs. Now, to be sure, the school has many supporters, parents who swear their kids are alive because of these shocks.

But the National Council on Disabilities and many other critics say the electric shocks that JRC uses are contrary to federal policy and at odds with mental health research. What's more, an investigation by New York State officials found that students were being shocked for a wide range of behaviors that weren't by any measure aggressive, destructive or dangerous, for instance, nagging, swearing and -- quote -- "failing to maintain a neat appearance." They were shocked for not being neat enough.

Recently, a former teacher's aide at the school told us pretty much the same thing.


GREG MILLER, FORMER TEACHER'S AIDE: A kid drinks out of a paper cup and finishes his water, and then tears the paper cup. You have to shock the student for tearing that paper cup, the same as if they tore something off the wall. It's not necessary. It's being abused. This is torture.


COOPER: Now, remember, these are autistic kids in some cases who can't even communicate, can't express what they're feeling.

The Justice Department isn't the only federal agency looking into this center right now. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, withdrew its clearance of the device that the school uses to shock the students. It's called a GED. It looks like this.

The device the FDA originally cleared was much less powerful than the one that the school has also now begun to use. They basically created a souped-up version to give some students even stronger shocks. So, even though the FDA pulled their clearance, the school still uses it.

The FDA says they been investigating the whole thing. But if they are, it's taken them almost two years to take any action.

Tom Foreman has been digging on that. He joins me now.

What did the FDA actually tell you, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the FDA has been very closed-mouthed about this. They say the same thing really that you heard from the Justice Department.

This is an ongoing investigation. They say they're not standing by letting horrible things happen, but they just can't talk about this case. They told us at one point that they would consider coming on to talk to us on camera about at least the general principles involved here.

We even went up to their campus there on the north side of D.C. to see if they wanted to come out and talk then. We have exchanged notes with them and everything else, but ultimately they backed off from even that. And they simply will not come on and talk about even the general principle of whether or not this is good or bad, even though they admit they are the ones who have to approve these devices -- Anderson.

COOPER: What reason do they give for not giving an interview?

FOREMAN: Well, just that notion that it has to be a private matter, that this is something that's ongoing. They sort of give a little bit of a wink and a nod to the notion of, we are definitely on this, we are definitely moving forward. We just can't tell you about it right now.

But as you note, it's really been quite a number of months since the last sign of any action on this. So, that begs the question when, if at any time, will they take action.

COOPER: It's been almost over two years. Is there any sense of a timetable

FOREMAN: No, none at all at this point, just the sense that they're moving forward with it. They did say at one point you have to give a company time to make the changes that we request. That's a quote there, which would suggest that they're in some process of saying you must change this now. Change it.

The argument being that these people at the center actually manufacture this device, so for them to make all the changes and get them properly cleared, as the official language is, might take a period of time, but there's no sense of time how much we're talking about, whether that will be six more months or six more years.

COOPER: Yes. And the school is standing by publicly their use. And they're the only ones that we can find in the country, if not in the world, that actually shocks students like this. Tom, thanks.

FOREMAN: Thanks very much, Anderson.

COOPER: One of the most vocal critics of the Judge Rotenberg Center is Massachusetts Senator Brian Joyce.

He's tried repeatedly to shut down the center. Recently, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that he sponsored banning the use of electric shocks on students. Its fate though in the House in Massachusetts is unclear.

Now, according to Senator Joyce, the Rotenberg Center has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on lawyers, and lobbyists, and powerful friends in the state capital. He also told us that the center has brought students to testify at a past hearing that state lawmakers held, and that the students, some of them were actually wearing their electric shock devices while they testified.

Joyce contends that that testimony could have been coerced by the fear of being shocked. Now, we asked the Judge Rotenberg Center about those claims.

In a statement, they told us, and I quote: "Senator Joyce is once again making false statements when faced with compelling evidence of the efficacy of aversive procedures. The army of people descending on the Massachusetts Statehouse that he refers to are not 'lobbyists and lawyers.' They are dozens of parents of JRC students who visit the Statehouse to inform the legislators about how aversive therapy saved their child's life when no other treatment would work."

"Similarly," the statement went on, "Senator Joyce is making false statements about the current and former JRC students who courageously testified at hearings conducted by the Massachusetts legislature about their life of pain, anguish and hopelessness caused by their untreatable behavior disorder, and how the JRC treatment program and aversives saved their life."

Senator Brian Joyce joins me now, along with Dr. Louis Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Senator Joyce, so the center is saying you're making false statements. They're basically saying you're lying about the students who testified and about the large number of lobbyists and lawyers who you say are involved in keeping this center open. Your response.

BRIAN JOYCE (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE SENATOR: Well, every single statement that I have made is documented and sourced.

The statement that you just read actually came from not the center itself, but a very high-priced public relations firm. The money they spend on lawyers and lobbyists is actually public information. They spent over $2 million in lobbyists and lawyers last year, over a million dollars in lobbying, over $15 million in lawyers in the past 10 years.

You know, what other school for disabled children is spending tens of millions of dollars on lawyers and lobbyists and public relations specialists to defend what is really the indefensible, barbaric treatment of innocent, disabled children?

COOPER: Dr. Kraus, it's always interesting to me when you ask anybody for a statement and they don't really respond directly to some of the direct questions.

What they didn't respond to in that statement was whether or not their students were wearing electric shock devices while testifying. When you hear the allegations that some of them were wearing actually these electric devices, does that seem appropriate to you?

DR. LOUIS KRAUS, RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: I can't fathom the concept of having electrical devices on kids. They already know what the impact is of these electrical devices.

They have already apparently been used on these particular kids. Why would they have the electrical devices on them? If it was so effective, you would think they wouldn't need them. The concept of having them on them almost seems like a tortuous process for these kids, that it's just really unfathomable.

COOPER: Senator Joyce, the center makes a lot of money. When I first began like into this, I didn't realize how much money they're -- they're making about $52 million every year, by one account that I read.

Is that taxpayers who are paying for these kids to be shocked?

JOYCE: It is. It's taxpayer money, an awful lot of taxpayer money from the state of New York and several other states.

Going back to the statement with respect to wearing the painful electronic device, 2006, the Board of Regents of the state of New York in their report gave evidence of students actually wearing these electric, painful devices while they were being showered and bathed, reports of burning flesh in the hallway, you know, the smell of burning flesh, of having to have so-called GED holidays, GED being the device, that there was so much burning of the skin, that they had to stop it for a while, while the skin healed.

COOPER: Dr. Kraus, the fact that the U.N., that the U.N. point person on torture is now pressing for an investigation, do you describe this as torture? That's not a word that we have used. Is that something -- a word you would use?

KRAUS: Well, if you look, in 1990, the U.N. passed the Convention on the Rights of Children. And Article 19 on there talks about tortuous, hurtful, painful behavior to children, for us essentially violating an Eighth Amendment right of the child.

There's a reason why schools don't use corporal punishment. It's against the law. It's child abuse.

COOPER: Doctor, I'm no expert certainly, and I'm sympathetic to the parents that I have talked to who support this center and say, look, my child would be dead if it wasn't for this center. My child had behavior that was so hurtful to themselves that they might have taken their own life, banging their head against the wall until they died.

And the school keeps coming back and saying, look, this therapy has saved the lives of children when no other treatment would work. So, what do you say to these parents who say, well, look, this may be unusual, this may be the only place that does this, but, you know, shocking these kids seems to work in some cases?

KRAUS: You know, there could be isolated examples of many different types of treatment appearing to work. The problem is not having peer-reviewed research really limits any validity to this.

People fall out of airplanes and survive on the rarest of occasions. That doesn't make it safe. This is something that there's a reason why there aren't other programs using this type of aversive treatment.

COOPER: It is interesting, Senator Joyce, because if somebody proposed, you know, strapping electric devices to prisoners to keep them in line in prisons and shocking them, you know, as often as necessary to control their behavior, there would be a lot of people standing up and saying, well, look, that's -- you can't do that to people. And yet this is allowed. How is it that this has continued to go on? Because you have been pushing legislation over and over again over the years to ban this practice.

JOYCE: Somehow, in 49 other states and, indeed, on every other nation on Earth, we're able to treat disabled children increasingly with positive behavior treatment.

The statement you read earlier suggested I had not visited the center -- certainly, I have visited the center -- suggested I have not spoken with parents. I have spoken with dozens of parents and I have spoken with dozens of former employees often who are fearful of speaking with me.

But I was with one former parent on Saturday, Cheryl McCollins, whose son Andre was the poor boy shown who was in the video recently in court, tortured for over seven hours while tied to a board with a helmet on. And I think his violation was not taking his jacket off in a timely manner. And I think it turned out it might not even have been his jacket.

It's important to note sometimes these children are not even verbal, can't even communicate. Cheryl McCollins, that mother, said she never, ever, ever would have allowed this to happen to her son had she known, had the center shown her when she dropped her on off are what they do to these poor children.

COOPER: And she settled out of court with the center, but continues to speak out now to try to close it down. We have had her on the program as well.

Senator Brian Joyce, appreciate you being on.

Dr. Louis Kraus, thank you.

KRAUS: Thank you.

JOYCE: Thank you.

COOPER: A mix of "Raw Politics" and raw emotion tonight: Wisconsin voters decided to keep Republican Scott Walker. He survived Tuesday's recall vote that was sparked by Walker's move last year to cut union rights and benefits in the midst of a state budget crisis.

Now, the outcome of the vote didn't sit well with supporters of his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, who lost. A Barrett volunteer -- or actually one person actually slapped the Democratic candidate for conceding before she felt all the votes were in.


COOPER: A lot of discussion today over what happened in Wisconsin last night and what it may mean, if anything, for the presidential race.

Wisconsin voters, as you know, decided to keep the Republican governor, Scott Walker. He survived Tuesday's recall that was sparked by Walker's move last year to cut union rights and benefits in the midst of a state budget crisis.

Now, the outcome of the vote didn't sit well with supporters of his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, who lost.

Meet Mike, a Barrett volunteer who was clearly very upset.


MIKE, BARRETT VOLUNTEER: Every single one of you out there in the nation if you're watching, democracy died tonight.

QUESTION: You're very emotional.

MIKE: I'm very emotional because we all had a lot invested in this. This was it. If we didn't win tonight, the end of the USA as we know it just happened. This is it.

We just got outspent $34 million to $4 million. And we don't have any other resource left but the people you see here behind me. And if the people you see here behind me can't get it done tonight, it's done. Democracy is dead.


COOPER: Well, Mike wasn't the only Barrett supporter certainly fired up. Watch this.

Mr. Barrett just after his concession speech last night, an unidentified woman slaps him across the face. That's life in the big city, Barrett told reporters today.

Now, the Milwaukee mayor says the woman thought he had conceded defeat with Wisconsin voters still at the polls. Barrett didn't make it to the podium until after 10:00 p.m., after voting ended, a slap and even tears.

A lot of raw emotion and "Raw Politics."

Now let's talk about some of the money.

For more insight, let's talk with chief national correspondent, John King.

John, there's been a lot of analysis today about what happened in Wisconsin and its significance, if anything, on the presidential race coming in five months. First, let's talk about the money, a huge amount of money spent, a lot of it from out of the state.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And a lot of people now asking, Anderson, was it a fair fight, was it an even fight?

Well, even, no. Fair? We will leave that up to you. The role of big money and outside money is now the big flash point in the debate over the significance of the recall election. And the numbers, as you note, are staggering, more than $66 million spent heading into just the final days. So, you can be certain that final number will be above $70 million, perhaps approach $80 million.

Of the $66 million in spending already reported, about half of the money came from outside Wisconsin. Now, Republican groups had a bit of an edge in that spending. About 54 percent of the outside money went to helping Governor Walker fight the recall effort.

What is more staggering though is if you look at the candidate vs. candidate spending, meaning Governor Walker vs. his Democratic challenger, Tom Barrett. Look at these numbers. Walker spent more than $30 million to $4 million for Barrett. That's a more than 7-1 spending advantage. And look at that. More than 60 percent of Governor Walker's contributions came from outside the state. Just 25 percent of Mayor Barrett's money came from outside of Wisconsin.

It's also interesting to note, Anderson, a lot of that money was spent on voter turnout and ground operations. That is a lesson likely to shape the big super PAC and other spending decisions late in the presidential race now.

But of the $66 million that we have been able to track so far, a little more than $20 million was spent on TV ads. Nearly two-thirds of the ad spending supported Republican Walker. You see that there. And about half of the TV money was spent in the final five weeks.

And, again, in that period, you see lopsided spending in favor of Governor Walker. A big question now though is whether that late spending made any difference; 86 percent of voters who took part in the exit polls say they decided before May, so $12 million spent in the final few weeks to influence the hearts and minds, Anderson, of about 13 percent of the recall voters.

COOPER: Well, let's -- I want to bring in CNN political contributor and Republican consultant Alex Castellanos, also Democratic strategist Bill Burton, a former deputy press secretary in the Obama White House. And he's also a senior strategist for Priorities USA -- excuse me -- Priorities USA Action, which is a pro- Obama super PAC.

Bill, let's look at money, first of all. Do you think it really did have a big impact? A lot of Democrats are saying it did. But you look at some of these exit polls. People made up their minds long before the election. And a lot of people just didn't like the idea of a recall unless it was for gross misconduct.

BILL BURTON, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: I think there's no doubt that the money made a big difference for that small group of voters that John King identified as the people who decided late.

I think going into this, everyone knew that there was going to be a very small universe of voters who actually were persuadable going into Election Day. And when you have got that kind of gross spending differential between the Democrats and Republicans, it's going to make a difference. Democrats had an amazing ground game. But what we saw here was that that was not enough to overcome all of that money that poured into the state and poured into the Republican side for Scott Walker.

COOPER: Alex, is that the way you see it, that this was just the Democrats were overspent?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let's look at Meg Whitman man in California.

All the money in the world won't win an election when it's not the product that people want to buy. I think we ought to remember that Apple Computer makes a lot of money not because they make a lot of money, but because they're popular. They're doing something people like.

And I think the people in Wisconsin decided, you know what, we'd rather have some fiscal responsibility and an economy that doesn't go bankrupt. So -- and, besides that, it's not that much money really, $80 million to I think deal President Obama a setback here at the beginning of his presidential campaign. Having him as president is costing us trillions. This is a deal.

COOPER: John, let's look at what the exit polls show us though in terms of what was on voters' minds. From my reading is that just a lot of them did not like the idea of recalling a governor in the middle of a term for something that wasn't misconduct.

KING: I think that is a huge part of the dynamic here, stopping the game in midstream and saying let's start it over with somebody new.

A lot of people said, no, we elected this guy, and let's let him finish his term. And we will figure it out at the end. That is certainly part of it. You also, if you looked, Anderson, the voters were evenly divided on the fundamental question that started it all, restricting collective bargaining rights and other actions against the unions that they found to be punitive.

So, you had an evenly divided electorate there. There's the polarized electorate you had. Then you add in concerns about the recall. What is interesting to me, and I think a troubling lesson for Democrats, is that a fair amount, about a third of union households supported Governor Walker. If this was about union rights at the beginning, those union workers decided to support him at the end.

So, as everyone goes through the lessons here, they will go through the money lessons. Was it well spent? Is there a way to better spend it? If you look at Alex's point about policy and about the demographics, there are some very important lessons and warning signs for Democrats.

COOPER: Alex, Bill was saying the Democratic ground game was good. They were just overspent. Do you think the ground game was good?

CASTELLANOS: I think the ground game was good, but this was a test of President Obama's philosophy for the coming November election.

President Obama has lost the middle. He doesn't think he can get it back. The Democratic brand under President Obama has become spending.


COOPER: But wait a minute. Alex, a lot of folks who voted even for Walker are Obama supporters and said that they would vote for Obama.

CASTELLANOS: Yes, but you will notice Obama didn't go into Wisconsin. He didn't polarize this race around him. He wisely I think stayed out of it.

The problem is the Obama philosophy for reelection is we have lost the middle. What we're going to do is intensify our base, union support. We are going to get our base out with such intensity that it will compensate for losing the middle.

That's what was tested in Wisconsin. It didn't work. I think it does auger some problems for the Obama campaign.

COOPER: Bill...

BURTON: I think that that's remarkably overstated, actually, Anderson.

While I agree that this -- while maybe message definitely counts, and there are factors that also make a huge difference, like who the candidates are, and how that all plays, to say that this is a big setback for the Obama campaign I think is a little silly, especially when you consider that one out of every 10 voters in the entire election was somebody who voted for Walker and for President Obama.

And I didn't see Mitt Romney spending a lot of time in the state either. The fact is this was about a pretty parochial set of issues and not about the larger campaign.

COOPER: John King...

BURTON: A state where President Obama is going to win this fall, I don't think that's really in question, except for the most hard-core partisans who are trying to make a case where there isn't one.

COOPER: John, what do the exit polls show? Let's try to talk facts as much as we can. Alex is saying Obama lost the middle.

KING: The Democrats lost some of the middle. Obama was not on the ballot last night. The Democrats lost some of the middle last night.

Look, there are warning signs here for President Obama. There are demographic trends, Anderson, that started before the Wisconsin recall and that are in evidence in the Wisconsin recall. Downscale white voters in the Rust Belt, they used to be reliable Democratic voters. They are moving more and more to the Republicans.

Older voters used to be reliably Democratic voters. They are moving more and more to the Republicans. The president's advantage -- and this didn't play out so much in Wisconsin -- is Latino voters, African-American voters, college-educated women. Those are his voters.

So, we will see how this plays out in Wisconsin. Now, I would still say Wisconsin leans Obama. Why? Because he did win that exit poll last night. That doesn't mean last night was not proof that he is going to have to work a lot harder than maybe he thought he was going to have to work two or three weeks ago.

COOPER: All right, John, appreciate it. Alex and Bill, thanks very much.

BURTON: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, former President Bill Clinton was the big-name Democrat to campaign in Wisconsin.

Tomorrow in "THE SITUATION ROOM," you are going to find out what he thinks about the recall vote and its impact on the election coming up. That's at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

I want to get you up to date on the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. The judge has officially seated the jury today. And we're going to have more in a moment on the reports of the letters Sandusky allegedly wrote to some of the victims. We will tell you what we know and what the defense is saying about them live from the courthouse next.


COOPER: "Up Close" tonight: the death of the number-two man in al Qaeda, killed by a CIA drone strike in Pakistan. I'm joined by Henry Crumpton, the man who spent more than 20 years in one of the most secretive corners of the U.S. intelligence community, led the CIA in the assault on al Qaeda in the days and months and years after 9/11. That's next.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight: The jury is now seated in the Jerry Sandusky trial. It took both sides just two days to select the seven women, five men and four alternates from a pool of hundreds of potential jurors.

It's now their job to decide whether the former Penn State assistant football coach is guilty of a string of child sex abuse charges.

About half the jurors who have made the cut have some sort of ties to the university. The jurors' have got a big job ahead, obviously. The judge said the trial will likely last about three weeks. And it's all set to begin on Monday. Jurors are going to need to listen to some pretty tough testimony from dozens of witnesses. The prosecutors are expected to call one of Sandusky's accusers as their first witness and ask him about alleged love letters he received from the former coach.

Jason Carroll is live at the courthouse in Belafonte [SIC], Pennsylvania.

So Jason, what do we know about these letters? They've been described as love letters. What does the defense say?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the defense is going to have an interesting perspective on this. You know, I spoke to a source before the gag order was put into place, specifically asking about these letters.

And the defense, I'm told, is going to argue that these are not love letters, Anderson, that these are letters of encouragement that Jerry Sandusky wrote to students, wrote to football players over the years, also wrote to those who participated in Second Mile, that charity that he founded for young men who are in trouble.

And the source also tells me that what Jerry basically will do and did over the past was give gifts of encouragement to encourage these young men to get good grades, to go to school.

And if you remember, back in November I actually spoke to Joe Amendola -- That is Jerry Sandusky's defense attorney -- about this very same subject. And I want you to hear what he had to say back then about these gifts and letters.


JOE AMENDOLA, ATTORNEY FOR JERRY SANDUSKY: What we're saying is Jerry cared about a lot of kids, and there are hundreds of other kids that Jerry took to events and to whom he provided gifts. What we're saying is that was Jerry.


CARROLL: And what obviously we're going to have to hear from, Anderson, is the jury itself. The jury will have to make, obviously, the determination in terms of whether or not they believe and how they would interpret these letters that will eventually be introduced into evidence.

COOPER: Jason, some of the alleged victims wanted to testify without being identified. The judge ruled that that wouldn't happen. Why?

CARROLL: Well, you know, from Judge -- Judge Cleveland's point of view, he basically felt he wanted this process to be as open and transparent as possible and didn't feel he could do that with these accusers concealing their identity.

Obviously, this is a major disappointment to prosecution, some of those in the prosecution, and to some of the attorneys who are privately representing these accusers.

I spoke to an attorney who's representing the accuser identified in the grand jury report as accuser No. 5, and you have to remember that some of these accusers are coming forward reluctantly. They've buried a lot of this pain, according to what he's saying. It's embarrassing to have to talk about a lot of these things. This is just part of the reason why they wanted their identities concealed.

That will not happen. The judge did say that he had hoped the media, at least, would protect and conceal the identity of these accusers.

COOPER: And how -- how does Sandusky seem in all this? I mean, what's his appearance like?

CARROLL: Well, you know, at one point Jerry Sandusky, by Joe Amendola, was described, I remember, as being a big kid. And I think some would say that we saw a little part of that in court today.

He likes to joke around. At one point during the jury proceeding he basically said, quote, "What did you guys do to deserve me?" He turned around and said that two of the -- to two of the jury pool reporters who were there. Then he said to the two reporters, quote, "How did you guys get stuck with this?"

So a little bit of joking there, but I should point out as he left the courthouse today, when people were shouting out questions to him, he said absolutely nothing. Got in his car with Joe Amendola and drove away.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll will continue to follow this through the course of the trial.

There's a lot more going on tonight. Let's check in with Isha and the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNNI ANCHOR: Anderson, the police conducted major raids in Puerto Rico this morning to arrest dozens of alleged drug traffickers. The DEA is targeting two separate smuggling rings. One allegedly involves corrupt airline employees. The other, a criminal gang accused of sneaking cocaine through airport security to the U.S.

Russia and China speaking out against foreign intervention in Syria, criticizing others on the U.N. Security Council for promoting regime change. Washington has been lobbying Moscow to put pressure on its allies in Bashar al-Assad's government.

CNN obtained this exclusive video of a shoot-out between Syrian military tanks and opposition snipers in the divided city of Homs. Opposition groups report that 71 people were killed across the country today.

The Shuttle Enterprise has made its final voyage by barge up the Hudson River. A crane lifted the decommissioned shuttle onto the deck of its permanent new home, New York's USS Intrepid Museum. And sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury has died. Over seven decades, Bradbury wrote nearly 50 books and hundreds of short stories. He predicted, among other things, the invention of the ATM. Some of his more famous works include "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles," and "Something Wicked This Way Comes." He was 91 -- Anderson.

COOPER: Isha, thanks.

Al Qaeda's No. 2 is dead. What does it mean for the future of the terror group and its threat to the United States? We've got a CIA legend standing by to sort it out.


COOPER: Well, there are few people alive that know more about al Qaeda and the intelligence business than Hank Crumpton. I'll talk to him about the death of the No. 2 man in al Qaeda and where the U.S. stands now on the fight against terror. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Up close tonight, the death of al Qaeda's No. 2 guy Abu Yahya al-Libi. He was killed by a U.S. Drone strike in Pakistan.

Now, the White House says his death strikes a serious blow to the terrorist group. Al-Libi made frequent appearances on jihadist Web sites and was seen as a key motivator in the ideological battle against the West.

Now analysts say the only leader al Qaeda has left, really, is Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took the helm after Osama bin Laden was killed last year.

Joining me now is Henry Crumpton, the former deputy chief of the CIA's counterterrorism center. He also ran the agency's Afghanistan campaign right after 9/11. He's also the author of the new book, "The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service."

Thanks for joining us. Really a pleasure.


COOPER: How big a deal is this? Al-Libi's killing?

CRUMPTON: It's a big deal. He's an important leader. He's not just a No. 2, but really the chief operating officer of al Qaeda, particularly in South Asia. So it's an important strike.

COOPER: The number of drone strikes, I mean, under the Obama administration has gone up hugely, compared to what it was in the previous administration. How effective do you think it is? I mean, obviously there's controversy about civilians' deaths and stuff, but in terms of striking fear into al Qaeda and actually decimating al Qaeda, how effective? CRUMPTON: Very effective. In the last four or five days you've had at least three strikes that we know about in Pakistan, all apparently very effective. It's a very precise weapon. It's imperfect, but overall, it's a very precise, very effective, and driven, importantly, by intelligence. Each time you have a successful strike it's also about a successful intelligence operation.

COOPER: And in terms of what al Qaeda is actually capable of now, the al Qaeda that committed 9/11, I mean al Qaeda central, as some call it, I heard a quote from Peter Bergen -- I want to get it right. He said recently he thought that al Qaeda was pretty much out of business. Do you agree with that?

CRUMPTON: I wouldn't say they're out of business yet. They're severely degraded, crippled, and they may not recover. But if you see the emergence of leaders in al Qaeda, just because you've taken out most of them doesn't mean a new one can come up. And their affiliates around the world. Yemen I'm worried about. Northern Nigeria where you have Boko Haram. Even in northern Mali now, Somalia.

COOPER: Right. In northern Mali there's -- it seems like there's two Islamist groups are kind of battling over exactly the form of Islamist rule that they want to have.

But do any of these -- whether they're satellite groups or just ideological allies of al Qaeda central, I mean, do any of them have the -- we've seen attacks coming out of Yemen. I guess is Yemen, in terms of being able to launch foreign attacks? Is Yemen the -- the ground zero for this?

CRUMPTON: It's not one center of gravity geographically when you look at the world, and that makes it a challenge from an intelligence perspective but also from an operational perspective.

Yemen right now poses perhaps more risk more than any other, but it can -- it's very variable. It can be Somalia next week. It can be -- I hope not, but it could be northern Nigeria at some point.

COOPER: How concerned are you about, you know, we saw Somalis from -- kids of Somali immigrants who had grown up in the United States going to Somalia. The first American suicide bomber, I think, in Somalia was an American Somali.

How concerned are you about this happening in the United States from -- from one of these foreign groups?

CRUMPTON: Well, I am concerned, of course. The Fort Hood massacre, where 13 people died in 2009. That was a singleton operative inspired by al Qaeda's theology. But it could happen again, and I think at some point it will.

The number of attempted attacks on New York City alone in the last decade, maybe about ten that have been thwarted or failed.

COOPER: What about Syria? I mean, there's -- we've reported on this a lot. Obviously, the Syrian regime has been claiming al Qaeda involvement in this from 15 months ago when the demonstrations first started. There was no sign of it back then, but now there are indications of jihadists kind of moving in on what was probably a revolution to begin with.

CRUMPTON: Any time you've got political instability in that part of the world, al Qaeda will seek to take advantage of it, like they did in Iraq, like they did in Somalia, like they may be doing in northern Mali. So it's certainly an issue.

And I think that it's not just about nation states and the balance of power. I know there's some serious diplomatic efforts regarding Syria. But more often than not, it's about these non-state actors. It's about the people, and it's about the diffusion of power among these actors.

So it's a very complicated issue in terms of how we deal with it, how we approach it.

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, can a group operating in Yemen or Nigeria, or a group operating in Nigeria, I mean, can they access funds in the way that bin Laden could apparently?

CRUMPTON: Well, it's certainly not ten years ago, where you had a strong flow of cash to al Qaeda central. That's been degraded through a very robust, vigorous international cooperation led by the U.S. Treasury Department. They've done a good job.

So I think the cash has been reduced, but it doesn't take a lot of money to launch some of these attacks.

COOPER: What is -- what concerns you the most? I mean, I don't know if that's too dumb or broad a question. But I mean...

CRUMPTON: It's a good question. Weapons of mass destruction in some form. Al Qaeda has always said this is an objective. It was an obligation.

And we know that in '01 when we uncovered -- we captured and uncovered the anthrax laboratories al Qaeda had near Kandahar. And all it takes is one really smart scientist with one pathogen, and you've got a real problem.

COOPER: We also saw over the last couple of years kind of a -- I don't know if it's really a new tactic, but small groups. We saw them in Mumbai. I think there were a couple of attacks in Afghanistan against the Indian embassy.

Small groups of, you know, half a dozen guys armed with AK-47s and maybe some grenades, able to -- I mean, the guys took over the two hotels in Mumbai, were able to bring that city to a complete stop for several days. And that was only a handful of guys. Do you -- is that a concern? I mean, is that?

CRUMPTON: Sure. It could happen. Now, we know that bin Laden wanted another 9/11. He wanted to hit an iconic target and have great strategic impact. But with new leaders and affiliates, they may, you know, try a Mumbai-style attack here in the U.S. That's entirely possible.

COOPER: Well, I really look forward to reading the book, "The Art of Intelligence." Thank you so much for being with us.

CRUMPTON: You bet. Thanks for having me.

COOPER: A pleasure.

Two weeks after the arrest of the alleged killer of Etan Patz, police searched the house today, his house. We'll explain why. Details ahead.


COOPER: A lot more happening tonight. Let's check in again with Isha and a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, New York City police searching the home of the man who admitted to killing Etan Patz. ABC is reporting they served a search warrant at the home of Pedro Hernandez, looking for evidence in the 1979 murder. This comes as Hernandez's wife warned his confession is unreliable, because he suffers from mental illness.

Lawyers for Private First Class Bradley Manning have asked a military judge to drop ten of the 22 charges against him. Manning is accused of leaking thousands of classified documents that ended up on the Web site WikiLeaks. Manning's lawyers say the charges are too broad and say prosecutors are using them to criminalize speech.

Stocks rallying today, the Dow jumping 287 points, and the S&P rose 30. It's the biggest jump for both so far this year.

And the Japanese government confirming a dock found on an Oregon beach was washed away during the tsunami last march. Officials sent a placard with Japanese writing on it to Japan's consulate in Portland. Radiation tests on the dock came back negative.


SESAY: Which is very good news.

COOPER: Yes. Interesting.

We should also mention today is the anniversary of the landing at D-Day. And our thoughts are with all those who -- who are still alive who were there on those beaches on that day and also their survivors, as well.

It's incredible when you think about just the number of people that landed on the beaches that day, the effect it had on the war. And I mean, I keep envisioning that moment when those landing craft -- you know, when the doors went down and you had to run out onto the beach. It was an extraordinary accomplishment.

SESAY: Yes, it really was. Sixty-eight years have gone by. And you know, it was incredible to me that, doing the reading on it, they still don't know how many ally soldiers died that day. But we do know the impact it made on World War II.


SESAY: It's incredible.

COOPER: Yes, and Eisenhower in an order said, "The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory. We will accept nothing less than full victory." And that is what those great young men accomplished, and we remember them tonight.

Tonight's "Shot" now. You know, a lot of times when they shoot commercials, the best scenes are the ones that end up on the cutting room floor. I saw this online today. Pine-Sol company released these outtakes of their spokeswoman surprising unsuspecting cleaners. Take a look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if you're a big cleaner. I mean, do you know Diane?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our Pine-Sol. Our Pine-Sol, baby.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woman right there on the wall.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all right?


SESAY: That is fantastic.





SESAY: These people will never clean again.




COOPER: I love it. Very funny. SESAY: Priceless.

COOPER: Yes. So that's -- that is our "Shot" tonight. Pretty good.

SESAY: I absolutely love that. Absolutely love it.

And let me tell you, Mr. Cooper, I am going to raise you on this. Let me show you these pictures. A Russian base jumper, Valery Rozov, has set a new world jump record. With a leap from the top of Shiving, a mountain in the Indian part of the Himalayas. Check that out.

COOPER: Wow. That is incredible. There was a piece on "60 Minutes" about these people, and -- and it was the most incredible thing. Steve Kroft did it. It was so well shot and so well produced and done. It's amazing what they do.

One of them actually crashed off Capetown recently. And there's amazing video of that online, as well. He luckily survived. But incredible.

SESAY: Thankfully he survived it.

COOPER: Yes, all right. Isha, thanks.

"The RidicuList" is next. The president of the United States gets plenty of requests for clemency. But it's usually for something more serious than what an actress was, well, asking for clemency about, although it is a serious charge. Why is she contacting the president about this, anyway? Details ahead.


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList."

Tonight, we're adding someone named Amanda Bynes. Now, if you don't know who she is, join the club. She apparently used to be on Nickelodeon, then was in the movie "Hair Spray" and some other movies that you've probably never heard of.

Ms. Bynes, which rhymes with fines, as in fines and jail time, was arrested in California this spring for allegedly driving under the influence and side sweeping a police car. That is her mug shot.

Today her attorney entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf in court. Now, we're not making light of the charges against her. It's serious stuff, and according to "People" magazine, she's had a string of driving instances. But the reason why she's on "The RidicuList" is because, like any sensible quasi-celebrity, she's taken to Twitter to defend herself.

Whom did she tweet, you might ask? Whom does she believe should be focusing on her situation? None other than the president of the United States. That's right.

"Hey, Barack Obama," wrote the star of "She's the Man" and "Charlotte's Web 2," "I don't drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don't hit and run. The end."

The end. Much like the end to her acting career.

Didn't I mention that back in 2010, Amanda Bynes tweeted she was retiring from acting. Then she deleted her Twitter account, only to reactivate it a month later to announce she was making a triumphant return to show business.

Now because of that, she's making "RidicuList" history tonight. Allow me to present our very first "RidicuList" spinoff, "Things More Important Than Amanda Bynes' Tweets."

Now, I know what you're thinking. Basically anything is more important than Amanda Bynes' tweets, right? Well, sure. But I just want you to be clear on the bar that we have set.

For example, we learned today Miley Cyrus is getting married to "Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth. Now, on an ordinary day, Ms. Cyrus' engagement would just be the standard celebrity news item, but when compared to an Amanda Bynes tweet, it is basically like Watergate, the moon landing, and the Oscars rolled into one.

How about other Hollywood Twitter users? How do they stack up? Say, for example, Kanye West. True, his tweets might be a big vulgar and random, like "I hate big-ass striped scarves." An actual tweet. But at least he's not treating the president to get him out of a jam.

And by the way, this new guide we've developed is not only focused on actors and musicians, because you know what else is more important than an Amanda Bynes tweet? This squirrel on water skis.

That's Twiggy, and I can watch Twiggy all day. You will never see Twiggy on his iPhone, tweeting a complaint to President Obama.

But you know, far be it for me to judge Ms. Bynes. I wish her the best. And Ms. Bynes, if you want to keep tweeting the president, that is certainly your right. Maybe you could even give him a call. Just be sure to leave your number so he can contact you on "The RidicuList."

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.