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Obama Secretly Reaches Out to Iran; Key Terror Bomb-Maker Believed Killed by U.S.; Spaceship Pilot Survives Disaster from 50,000 Feet; SEAL Who Claims He Killed bin Laden Under Attack

Aired November 7, 2014 - 19:30   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, the United States now working with Iran. CNN has learned that President Obama sent a letter to the ayatollah about ISIS. The details on this major development next.

Plus the Navy SEAL who claims he took out Osama bin Laden, speaking out for the first time. We new details on what happened that night.

And the man arrested for kidnapping a woman on a Philadelphia street, how a used car salesman and GPS brought him down.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. CNN just learning President Obama sent a secret letter to the ayatollah, Iran's supreme leader. The White House kept the letter which the president sent in October a secret until tonight. The letter says the United States and Iran have a, quote, "shared interest" in beating ISIS.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest today wouldn't even acknowledge existence of the letter saying only that ISIS came up in conversation during nuclear negotiations with Iran.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have also discussed on the side lines of those talks on just a couple of occasions the ongoing campaign that is being conducted against ISIL by the United States.


BURNETT: CNN national -- chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT tonight.

Jim, I mean, this is -- this is a huge, huge thing to have happened. They're still not talking about the letter directly, the secret letter, but you are now learning that it is not just a letter.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. I'm told that the U.S. has opened communication channels with Iran, this is via the Iraqis regarding military action against ISIS. This I'm told by a senior U.S. military official and a senior Western diplomat. These channels do not include to be clear coordinating military action against ISIS targets, these sources said, but are seen as necessary to what the military calls de-conflict U.S. and Iran in military operations.

These channels are informal, I'm told, and conducted on a case-by-case basis via the Iraqi military. That are sign of increased communication with Iran, including that letter.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): The communications have become necessary, says a U.S. military official, because the U.S. and Iran are now operating in the same spaces against a common enemy, ISIS. As a result, quote, "Accommodations must be made indirectly," this official said. This includes airspace management so that U.S. and Iranian aircraft do not conflict while carrying out military operations in the same airspace.

The U.S. is also reaching out to Iran via the White House. President Obama addressing a letter to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last month saying that the U.S. and Iran have shared interests in fighting ISIS, but that prospects for cooperation hinged on resolving the nuclear issue.

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Obviously we understand that they have concerns about the threat of ISIL, which they have expressed as well, but I would not look at it as a path to a different type of coordination.

SCIUTTO: On working with Iran, Republican leaders are skeptical.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't trust the Iranians. I don't think we need to bring them into this. And I would hope that the negotiations that are under way are serious negotiations. But I have my doubts.

SCIUTTO: The new outreach to Iran comes as the U.S. takes military action not just against ISIS is but the al Qaeda-tied Khorasan Group. Bomb-maker David Drugeon was central to the Khorasan Group's plans to attack the U.S. His skill concealing explosives inside small personal electronics such as cell phones, with the intention of smuggling them on to U.S. commercial aircraft, helped spark U.S. airstrikes against the group's hideouts in Syria, including a series of strikes Thursday which appeared to have killed him.

U.S. intelligence officials still consider the threat imminent and in its final stages.


SCIUTTO: The U.S. and the West have been cracking down hard on foreign fighters attempting to make their way to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. Interpol now telling the A.P. that to get around those increased controls, those fighters may be taking cruise ships to Turkey and then crossing the border into Iraq. This, Erin, is another sign of how these groups adapt to the many

measures taken to try to stop them from fuelling ISIS with more foreign fighters. The latest estimate something in the order of a thousand per month making their way to that conflict.

BURNETT: A thousand per month. And as we were talking recently with Bob Baer, nothing like this has ever been seen before in modern history.

Joining me now is our military analyst Col. Peter Mansoor and Bob Baer, former CIA operative.

All right. Great to have both of you with us. I want to talk about Iran because this is -- huge would be an understatement for this development, but I want to start first with the bomb-maker that we just -- that Jim was just reporting on.

Obviously we have heard, Bob, a lot about this bomb maker, how this individual was incredibly adept at creating bombs that could go on passenger aircraft and evade detection in airports.

Who did they kill? Do you know?

ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, he was just one of the bomb makers. He wasn't the key one. Asiri, who lives -- he's a Saudi who lives in Yemen, has mastered this technology, but there are others, some of them are Palestinians working with al Qaeda, and truly this technology is scary.

We played around with it in the '80s. We in fact reproduced these bombs at a CIA base and you can get them through any airport security including today. You can hide the explosives in plastic and with plastic detonators and on and on and on, if you know how to use them, planes are vulnerable. So taking out one of these bomb makers is very important but there are other ones out there.

BURNETT: Right. And Colonel, I guess that's the big question, what he said, there's other ones out there. Does the United States know even how many or who?

COL. PETER MANSOOR (RET.), FORMER EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS: Well, this is obviously a national priority for the Central Intelligence Agency to figure out who are these bomb makers because they are the most direct threat to the United States. They try to implant these bombs on airplanes, they try to mail them to us.


MANSOOR: And so taking out that capability is a high payoff operation for us.

BURNETT: And Bob, to the colonel's point, that attempt to mail one of those bombs did -- was tried and failed. But you talk about this, how sophisticated this is, how terrifying it is, how come they haven't done it yet? BAER: That's a good question, and I keep on asking intelligence

officers why haven't they hit? You know, they have a motivation. And the Middle East is getting worse, why isn't somebody take revenge? Why don't they send somebody with a French passport that doesn't need a visa and even attack somebody with a car here. And they cannot explain it. And I've asked the question over, and they said -- all they say it's inevitable, but we can't tell you when.

BURNETT: Which is terrifying because again we're talking here about passenger planes.

Colonel Mansoor, I want to ask you about the huge development tonight. The president of the United States, on the night when we're hearing these sorts of things about these -- the bombs on planes, is doing -- trying to make a deal with Iran, right. OK. It was just about a year ago, September 27th, 2013, that call happened. Remember Hassan Rouhani was on his plane going back, the president called him, we all saw it. Everyone smiling.

They hadn't spoken directly, the president of Iran and the United States since 1979. It's been now over a year. So after that call, the U.S. pulled back sanctions that were working. I was in Tehran, they were hurting. They pulled a lot of them back. They said let's do a nuclear deal.

It's is a year later. There is no deal. There has not been access granted to a lot of key sites, but the sanctions have been pulled back. That sounds crazy to some people.

MANSOOR: I think we there is something to be said that we have relaxed the pressure right when the sanctions were having the impact we wanted to -- them to have and that we probably shouldn't have relaxed them until they came to an agreement on the deal. Now there is a deadline, November 24th. And I think this letter that the president sent to the supreme leader was directed at getting a deal done by that date. It really didn't have anything to do with ISIS, it was more about getting a deal.

BURNETT: And Bob Baer, is there going to be a deal here? I mean, what would be -- the problem is, if the stick kind of was taken away, how do you get the deal now?

BAER: Well, the Iranians, I think, are going to be reluctant to make a deal we want at this point because we need them so badly in Syria and Iraq. I mean, we cannot defeat ISIS without the coordination, even implicit or indirect to the Iraqi government without the Iranians. The Iranians have enormous influence there both in the military and we're trying to moderate the Shia militias and we're doing that indirectly through Iran.

So, I mean, if this -- if this diplomacy all fails on the 24th, I think it's going to be unfortunate because the fact is whether we like it or not, we have to -- we have to work with Iran and Iraq.

BURNETT: And Colonel, here's the other thing, though. The president is saying that United States and Iran and the secret letter shared the interest when it comes to ISIS but it kind of ends there. I mean, there's the Bashar al-Assad, we want him gone, they don't.

MANSOOR: Well, there's Bashar al-Assad who they are arming. And that's a big sticking point with the group's that are trying to fight ISIS in Syria.


MANSOOR: And more importantly we need the Iraqi government to reach out to the Sunni community in Iraq and Iran could easily veto any outreach by the prime minister of Iraq to his Sunni constituents. And so this is, again, an area where we really need Iran to play ball. But they have no incentive to do so right now.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you. Troubling conversation.

OUTFRONT next, we now know the identity of the Navy SEAL who said he was the one that filed the kill shot on Osama bin Laden. He is breaking rank, he is breaking his silence. A man he spoke to OUTFRONT.

Plus the co-pilot from the Virgin Atlantic crash. Here's the stats. He fell from 50,000 feet. The temperature was 70 degrees below zero. He survived. And we're going to show you how.

And new details on how police found the woman seen here just before she disappeared in a car with her abductor. We now know tonight, you'll hear from the police chief, how they found him.


BURNETT: Breaking news, the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden has revealed his identity to the "Washington Post." Who is this man and did he actually take down bin Laden.

Here's what we are learning tonight about him and his account.


BURNETT (voice-over): The former Navy SEAL's name, Robert O'Neill. O'Neill was a career SEAL and at 38 years old is now a motivational speaker.

ROBERT O'NEILL, FORMER U.S. NAVY SEAL: I was a Navy SEAL for almost 17 years.

BURNETT: Here's O'Neill's version of what happened in the early hours of May 2nd, 2011. With no moon, under the cover of darkness, Navy SEALs entered bin Laden's house, relying on night vision goggles and instinct.

Let me show you an animation of what O'Neill, speaking for the first time with his real name about that night, says happened. O'Neill told the "Washington Post" he fired the kill shot, saying bin Laden had his hand on a woman's shoulders, pushing her ahead of him. O'Neill says his bullet hit bin Laden in the forehead, splitting his skull. But other SEALs, without revealing their names, tell a different story

about what happened in the compound in Abbottabad. Let's show you their version. They tell our Peter Bergen that another SEAL fired the shot to bin Laden's head, which you see in this animation coming from the area of the stairs that led to the floor where bin Laden was looking out the door of his bedroom.

These SEAL Team Six members tell Bergen that the SEAL who took that first shot at bin Laden won't ever speak publicly. And they say two other SEALs shot him before he finally died.


BURNETT: Two very different versions about a moment in world history that will never be forgotten.

Joining me now is former Navy SEAL John McGuire and Joby Warrick, the reporter from the "Washington Post" who broke the story about O'Neill and interviewed him.

So, Joby, let me start with you. You spoke to him. What did he say about this hugely contentious issue? Because a lot of SEALs are really angry, and I know John is going to talk about that. They're angry about why he came out and said here's my name and here's my version.

Why did he do it?

JOBY WARRICK, WASHINGTON POST: It was a very complicated decision for him for a number of reasons. First of all there is the safety issue, he is worried about not only himself but his family and people that they care about. And there's also just this thing within that group of soldiers and SEALs, they don't talk about what they do.

I think for him it was important to control a story that he felt was coming out any way. There is a number of people that knew the story, including many in the military community, members of Congress, a number of people in the media. And so he just felt that if this is going to come out anyway, I want to control how it comes out. I've got a story that I'm proud of. I'm proud of what I did and I just want to tell it my own way.

BURNETT: So John is a SEAL. O'Neill's wanting to go public obviously is controversial and as you could see the other SEALs that are saying, well, first of all, he didn't fire the kill shot, that's not how it happened. They're not sharing their names but they're now sharing their version.

What is the oath that you took as a SEAL about secrecy?

JOHN MCGUIRE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, you know, it's whether a ranger or a SEAL or Special Forces or any of the men and women who do these special missions, we don't talk about the missions. And then to take nothing away from these men, I cannot be more -- I cannot respect them any more than I do. We can't talk about what we do. The first problem that starts with

the White House in that we should not know that Navy SEALs are the ones that took him out. And that is the first problem. And then the next problem is, they should not know how we do it. They just know that we took care of Osama bin Laden and the Americans are safer.

BURNETT: And I guess in a sense it sort of dangled in front of them the possibility of fame and fortune, which, you know, you can't totally discount that, Joby, because, you know, you look at defense secretaries writing books and making a lot of money, suddenly coming out with their versions and these guys are just supposed to sit there and be heroes and not say anything.

How concerned is Robert O'Neill about his safety? When you think about it, we know his name, we know what he looks like, we know his age, we know where he lives, and he is the man who says he killed Osama bin Laden.

WARRICK: Yes, I think that was a big downside as he was thinking about this because, yes, he is a public figure anyway because he speaks as a motivational speaker around the country, and he has, you know, frequent appearances and people know about these in advance. So it is a difficult thing.

He's thought about this. I think he feels that he's safe. He feels that his country's security and his personal sense of, you know, self- awareness and looking after himself will take care of him. But I do feel like that he wants to set the record straight and feels like there is a piece of history that he was a part of it and just wants to describe it.

And just one other thing from -- you know, the narrative that's emerged, it's a little complicated, and none of us were there so we don't know. But that -- you know, he lays out a pretty compelling story that I have confirmed with other SEALs who were there who say that it was a confusing night but it was Robert O'Neill who rolled into room first and made that shot that took -- Osama bin Laden down.

BURNETT: So you have spoken -- because we were kind of -- we were showing the animations of the two versions that there are other SEALs there that night who say he didn't fire the kill shot, there were two other SEALs that actually were the ones that did so. But you're saying, you've spoken to others, even others on the team who do corroborate what he said, that it was Robert O'Neill.

WARRICK: Yes. Yes. The confusing part is there was a shot fired first by the guy who's the point man in this mission. Somebody who's one step ahead of O'Neill. That shot, as far as O'Neill could see, did not hit bin Laden. They went into the room, bin Laden is still standing. He's got this woman in front of him. He literally rolls to the floor and takes aim and shoots bin Laden in the head and sees the whole to his sight.

It's a pretty compelling story that he tells. Too dramatically different from the other accounts you've heard but I think it's a little more precise and it holds a pretty good weight as you look at it.

BURNETT: John, what do you make of the point that Joby was making when he talked to Robert O'Neill about the fact that, you know, why did the -- why did the White House say these were SEALs? Why did they put that out there and sort of make them famous, but then say, oh, you can't share your story when, as I pointed out, you know, other public figures who were involved in defense and security and national intelligence get to write books and make money?

MCGUIRE: You know, it's one thing to write a book about what you do, as long as it's not endangering lives or what we do. And it's one thing to think you know what Navy SEALs do and it's another thing for a Navy SEAL to go on TV or a newspaper and confirm it.

We have something in the military called operational security and sometimes we say you don't know because you don't need to know. You know, of course all Americans want to hear the adventure and the excitement of this thing to take care of an enemy who killed a lot of Americans. But as much as we want to know what Navy SEALs do, the enemy wants to know even more and that just puts us at risk.

So I think it's a big question, and maybe it's the politics, maybe it was the time of the election, but I think that as Americans just heard that we took care of Osama bin Laden, would have ever been enough.

BURNETT: John, why do you think he did it? Why do you think he came out and said here's my name? I mean, we know he was saying it was revealed on a blog, but why do you think he did it?

MCGUIRE: Well, you know what, we don't do what we do for the money. The men and women who sacrifice every day is amazing. In fact, this young generation of men and women do more in a year than I did as a Navy SEAL for 10 years. We don't do it for the money. We do it because of we love our country and we love the American people and we realize that evil does exist and the only thing for evil to prevail is for good men to sit around and do nothing.

So I'm not sure. Some of the things that he said about the story don't add up. It doesn't sound like the things that a Navy SEAL would say. The only thing I can imagine is, you know, maybe you come back from war and you look healthy, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are healthy.

And we all talk about post-traumatic stress disorder and perhaps that is causing him to think differently. But some of the things he is saying or doing does not sound like what a special operator in the Army, Navy, Air Force or even the Marines would say.

BURNETT: And Joby, to that point, when the SEALs that you've spoken to also on SEAL Team Six, even the ones who corroborate Robert O'Neill's version that he was the one who fired the kill shot, are they angry at him?

WARRICK: They are not angry because, you know, I think John raises a really interesting point because this is a brotherhood and these are people who've gone through some really difficult traumatic experiences that we can't really imagine. And it's not just sort of the psychological wounds that we carry after something like this. It's also physical wounds.

These guys are really banged up and they come home, they are in this world, you know, where nobody really knows what they did. They have struggles sometimes to find jobs or to get the benefits they think they are entitled to. It's a tough environment for these guys and now they're on this position where media pressure was -- you know, before O'Neill came out with the story there's a Bisonette book that came out. And so there is -- there is pressure to try to tell your story and to try to reclaim your life and it's just not easy for these people.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you.

And now less than a week after Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo disintegrated above California's Mojave Desert, technicians are back at work. They're building another SpaceShipTwo. They're already doing it. They want to get back to test flight and they want to do it fast.

It's a really amazing thing considering there are so many unknowns, including exactly what caused the perfect crash as well as the mystery of how one of the two pilots managed to survive a disaster that unraveled at the speed of sound 50,000 feet in the air.

Our Dan Simon found out how he lived.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It may not be clear yet what exactly brought down SpaceShipTwo. What is clear is the surviving pilot miraculously defied the odds. The spacecraft came apart just seconds after it detached from its mothership and fired its engines, traveling faster than the speed of sound at 50,000 feet with the temperature about 70 degrees below zero. Somehow, pilot Peter Siebold managed to escape with just a shoulder injury.

Dr. Robert Schoene is an expert in high altitude medicine.

DR. ROBERT SCHOENE, HIGH ALTITUDE MEDICINE EXPERT: Why didn't he pass out? And if he did for a minute or two, did he then regain his facilities and be able to save himself -- ejecting him into his chutes?

SIMON: Questions that will likely be posed by the NTSB which is investigating the crash. 39-year-old co-pilot Mike Alsbury did not survive. His body found in the wreckage which spanned more than 30 miles. It's still unclear how Siebold escaped, but according to the "Washington Post," Siebold's co-workers describe his escape like something out of a movie script saying Siebold found himself flying through the air while still attached to his ejection seat.

When he spotted the chase plane, he managed to give the pilot inside a thumbs up and then unbuckled himself at about 17,000 feet, deploying his parachute. ART THOMPSON, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, RED BULL STRATOS: For you to be

exposed at 50,000 feet for any duration of time, it is a very severe condition because it's a really hostile environment.

SIMON: Art Thompson was the technical project director for Red Bull Stratos.


SIMON: The amazing feat of engineering that allowed skydiver Felix Baumgartner to jump from the edge of space. Thompson knows the dangers as well as anyone and finds it surprising that Virgin Galactic pilots don't wear pressurized suits.

THOMPSON: At least for the flight test portions of the flights because you run the risk of something like this happening.

SIMON (on camera): What do you think enabled him to survive?

THOMPSON: He came down to a lower altitude very quickly, is really what probably saved his life.


SIMON: Of course, Siebold was up even higher than that and at a minimum experts would expect most people to lose consciousness. We don't know if he had a blackout or not, but doctors say he was also at risk for developing a brain hemorrhage making his survival all the more remarkable. In fact, he's already been released from the hospital -- Erin.

BURNETT: It is remarkable.

Dan, thank you so much. I think so many people said how was that possible. Mystifies what you think humanity is capable of doing.

Well, OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the White House official tells CNN the clock is ticking on Congress, act by New Year's Day, or hey, guys, executive actions, bring them on.

Plus the man charged with abducting a woman on a Philadelphia street. Tonight police say he may have kidnapped and almost killed a Virginia teen, dousing her in fuel and bleach just days earlier. We have the head of police to give us the very latest tonight. That breaking news is next.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden is at the center of new attacks from his former comrades. Other SEALs are now disputing O'Neill's version of events that he was the one who shot the kill shot, the fatal kill shot of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He says he shot him three times in the raid on bin Laden's compound.

Here's the thing, no matter who's person is true, a code of secrecy has been shattered. But what version is the truth.

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A darkened house in 2011 and SEAL Team 6 swoops down to get Osama bin Laden.

It was all captured in the hit movie "Zero Dark Thirty".

But now, a former member of that secretive elite unit is adding a tantalizing detail.

ROBERT O'NEILL, FORMER NAVY SEAL: He smacked me on the soldier and said, "Bad guys, bad guys."

FOREMAN: Robert O'Neill tells "The Washington Post" he was just behind, the point man, when bin Laden appeared in an upstairs bedroom doorway. O'Neill says the point man fired and missed, bin Laden retreated, and O'Neill dove into the room to see bin Laden just behind a young woman. "In that second, I shot him two times in the forehead, bap, bap. The second time as he is going down, he crumpled to the floor in front of his bed, and I hit him again."

It is similar to a version captured in the book "No Easy Day" by Matt Bissonette, another member of that SEAL Team. But the author makes it clear, his story and O'Neill's are not the same.

MATT BISSONETTE, NO EASY DAY: Two different people telling two different stories and for two different reasons.

FOREMAN: In Bissonette's version, the point man hit bin Laden first, mortally wounding him, then two other SEALs rushed in to shot the terrorist leader as he lay on the ground, finishing him off.

Officials and Specials Operations sources have confirmed that O'Neill was on that raid and was in the room. So, is it possible no one knows who fired the fatal shot?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, the fact that there's two different accounts to this story isn't hugely surprising. Everybody has different memories, especially when it's a fast-moving event.

FOREMAN: The dispute has caused an uproar in military circles where some see capitalizing on such operations with fame, book and movies like SEAL Team Six as hypocritical, a smear on the idea of service to country.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: I won't speak to the specifics on this, some of these things, are, as you know, still being investigated, but it does violate a code of ethics that this community holds dear and 99 percent of them live by that code.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FOREMAN: Given the sensitivity of the subject matter and the confusion of the night and the mission and the moment, it is fully possible we'll never really know who pulled the trigger that launched the bullet that killed Osama bin Laden, not specifically. But as many military analysts suggested today, he's dead. Does it really matter, Erin?

BURNETT: It is interesting. And to so many, the answer to that question is still yes.

All right. Tom Foreman, thank you.

And I want to bring in Valerie Plame, former CIA covert officer and author of "Burned".

Now, Valerie, obviously, when we see that, let's make sure everyone remembers your story. You didn't want your name public. Your identity was leaked. But this is different for Mr. O'Neill. He put his name out there. He is going to be the subject of a documentary that's airing next week. His name was included.

What do you make of him going public with the story?

VALERIE PLAME, FORMER CIA COVERT OFFICER: Thank you for having me on, Erin. It's a pleasure. It's baffling honestly.

I know when my identity was betrayed by senior officials in the Bush administration, I was terribly concerned about the security repercussions to me, to my family. There is a lot of deranged people out there, not to mention terrorists, that would take great pride in killing a member of the U.S. intelligence community or certainly a Navy SEAL.

So, I don't understand the calculations that Robert O'Neill made in his own mind. Surely, there is financial gain to be had, if you were known publicly as such a hero. And on the other hand, at what cost, truly to himself and his family?

BURNETT: And let me ask you about that. So you do believe that he is now a target?

PLAME: Without question. Of course he is. And he did that himself.

I understand that his career is legendary. He's done amazing things. I'm not a Navy SEAL, but I know that there is a certain code of silence. So, it doesn't really follow why he put his name so publicly out there.

Again, as you noted, in my case, I never wanted to be a public person. I was very happy to do my job as a covert operations officer.

He has left the service. So, I don't know. He is going to have to pay a lot of money for sure for security.

BURNETT: And he's not, to your point, obviously this mission is a historic mission. I mean, this something that is going down in history. And maybe that is part of the reason that some who are on that mission feel this need to be publicly recognized for it, because O'Neill is the second Navy SEAL on SEAL Team 6 to come forward, talking about what happened that night, giving his version. And as you just heard, obviously, their versions of who actually killed Osama bin Laden don't match up.

Does revealing this information threaten future missions? Does this threaten national security or not, do you think?

PLAME: Well, for sure the fact that they've put this out there, it is historic and there is insatiable appetite to understand what happened and how it went down. And in fact, of course, Leon Panetta, head of the CIA, when this happened, went into somewhat explicit detail in his book. He also OK'd the filmmakers of "Zero Dark Thirty", the story of going after bin Laden.

So, there is that question of a double standard. On one hand, if you are a senior administration official and you put out a book, whether it's George Tennant or whether it's Panetta or Robert Gates, it seems that the repercussions for doing so are much less than those -- you know further down the ranks.

BURNETT: Well, they get to -- they're making a lot of money and they're not called traitors.


BURNETT: Or -- you know, people have been leveling -- and by the way, not just American citizens, people within the Navy SEAL community have been angry at two of their own for speaking.

PLAME: Indeed. It seems that both of them have come under a great deal of criticism from the former colleagues because there is this understood, informal code of silence of what they do. They really are the silent warriors that the United States relies upon to do such amazing, tricky, complicated, dangerous operations. They are truly putting their lives on the line. So, it's -- how this is unfolding is a little unusual.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Valerie Plame, we appreciate your time tonight.

PLAME: Thank you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, the man seen in this video kidnapping a woman on a Philadelphia street tonight in a Virginia jail cell. We have the latest developments and some unbelievable footage for you.

Plus, Lisa Ling on cowboys and cowgirls who are roping calves and, well, you'll see who they are because they're not what you expect.


BURNETT: New developments tonight in the case of a Philadelphia woman whose abduction was caught on camera. The suspect, Delvin Barnes, is now on suicide watch at a Virginia jail. He is facing charges in a different kidnapping case as well, one where he could have used bleach and acid and almost burned a woman to death. The surveillance video from Sunday night allegedly shows Barnes grabbing Carlesha Freeland- Gaither, leading her away to a car.

This video may have saved her life, because in it are the clues that led police to Barnes. Surveillance videos like this one have actually become some of the best tools police have to catch criminals.

Kyung Lah has the story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The startling surveillance video in Philadelphia, helped bring Carlesha Freeland-Gaither home, just the latest in a growing number of cases where the crime is caught on tape. A bold smash-and-grab robbery in a Los Angeles jewelry store where you can plainly see the suspects on the surveillance video.

In Bel-Air, a home surveillance system caught these two women sitting on the front porch of a home, one of them took a selfie shortly before three men broke in. Police say all five are part of a burglary crew who had no idea they were being recorded.

From the hit-and-run of a pedestrian in the crosswalk, to the car thieves breaking in and driving off, video has radically changed how police crack cases.

Detective Ryan Moreno shows us the LAPD's latest robbery on video. Three men pinned down a 61-year-old woman and cut her $65,000 Rolex right off her wrist.

(on camera): As a detective, what is it like for you to have a piece of video like this?

DET. RYAN MORENO, LAPD: Oh, it is huge. Aside from being there, it is the next best thing. I would say almost 90 percent of our robbery cases that we work, we rely on video.

LAH: Ninety percent.

MORENO: I would say so.

LAH (voice-over): Detective Moreno now has a car, the suspects. And less than 24 hours after they published this video, the calls are already coming in.

(on camera): How much has video changed law enforcement today?

MORENO: I'd probably say tremendously. I mean, I haven't seen in the last eight, 10 years, video systems have upgraded.

LAH: Revolutionizing how police, police.

In the stabbing of this victim, William Jennings after LAPD released a surveillance video, the suspect turned himself in.

Las Vegas police were able to piece together a shootout at a Walmart with these cop killers, thanks to the store's video.

Electronic eyes in the sky don't always help police. In this Dallas officer-involved shooting, the eventually unjustified shooting of a mentally disabled man led to the officer's firing and sometimes, the shoplifting in a store, not always a bad guy, but a bad dog.


LAH: So cameras like this, the surveillance cameras, such a common site, they are fixed to virtually every single building you walk by. So, are there potential privacy concerns? When we called the ACLU, and they said, look, when it comes to solving the crime, absolutely not. But when it comes to whether the data, Erin, is stored or if it sold, that's where they become concerned -- Erin.

BURNETT: Of course, we are all have fears about that. Kyung Lah, thank you.

OUTFRONT next, an American tourist imprisoned overseas, arrested during a drug bust but was she framed. It's an incredible story.

Plus, it's the sport known of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, but now, Lisa Ling on a whole new modern rodeo circuit.


BURNETT: And now let's check in Anderson. He's coming up in a few moments.

What do you have --


We got a 360 exclusive on the program. You'll hear from the Navy SEAL who claims that he took the fatal shot that brought down Osama bin Laden. His name is Robert O'Neill. Ahead, his final thoughts as the mission was under way, a mission he thought would get him killed or alive, but sitting in a Pakistani prison. Plus, I'm joined by a former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam. I'll ask him why anyone is filling the details of the operation.

Also tonight, an interview with an alleged killer. The McStay (ph) family mysteriously disappeared nearly four years ago. "360's" Randi Kaye sat down with the close family friend a year ago while investigating their deaths. Tonight, that family friend is under arrest for murder.

Those stories, tonight's "Ridiculist", and a whole lot more at the top of the hour -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, we'll see you in just a few moments.

And now, a dream trip turned nightmare. Stacey Addison is an Oregon veterinarian. She quit her job to travel the world. She was in a remote country of East Timor. A shared cab with a man led to a drug bust that landed her in jail and it could be a year before she's out. Susan Candiotti has the story.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Veterinarian Stacey Addison has a passion for travel and wildlife, from Machu Picchu, to Costa Rica, to the Galapagos Island in Antarctica, volunteering to treat animals along the way.

Winding up in prison was not on her itinerary.

STACEY ADDISON, VETERINARIAN: I'm suspect of a crime I didn't commit. It's just a very surreal experience.

CANDIOTTI: The Oregon vet quit her job, even sold her house to travel the world, her mom tells me, setting out last year.

BERNADETTE KERO, MOTHER OF AMERICAN IN TIMOR-LESTE PRISON: Just having a wonderful time. It was her dream.

CANDIOTTI: But in Timor-Leste in Southeast Asia, that dream takes a nightmarish turn.

(on camera): During a September trip to the Indonesian border to renew a visa, she shares a taxi with a male stranger. Back to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.

Along the way, Addison says the stranger stops to pick up a package at DHL. When he gets back in the taxi, police surround them. The package, authorities say, contains drugs.

KERO: She was terrified. She didn't know absolutely what was going on.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Addison is jailed, held alone for four days. In court, the drug suspect seems to clear her.

KERO: He testified before the judge that he didn't know my daughter.

CANDIOTTI: Addison is freed by a judge, but her passport confiscated. She's able to Skype.

ADDISON: Initially I wasn't, you know, that worried. I knew I didn't have drugs. They searched me. The police searched me. They tested my urine. Everything was negative.

So, I thought, OK, I haven't done anything. It should be OK. But it is not.

CANDIOTTI: October 29th, she goes back to court. They arrest her on the spot. She's draped by police in a pink sarong and put into a car. "They are sending me to prison," she manages to send a text to a friend.

She's being held in this women's prison. Her hair has been cut, a rule for prisoners. Yet Addison is not charged with a crime, being told the investigation could take a year. This week, she turned 41.

KERO: Never in a million years would I have thought she would be spending her birthday today in a prison.

CANDIOTTI: Addison is allowed a lawyer and U.S. consulate visits. Through them, she's exchanged letters with her mom. She writes, "I have a mattress now and I can go outside two hours a day. Signing off, I love you, Stacy."

(on camera): What would you like to tell the government of that country about your daughter?

KERO: That she didn't -- she just wanted to be a tourist.


BURNETT: I mean, Susan, the story is stunning. Does the U.S. State Department believe her? Are they going to be able to help her?

CANDIOTTI: Here's what the State Department is saying. That they hope for a speedy resolution under Timor's law. And today --

BURNETT: Isn't that an oxymoron?

CANDIOTTI: But any case, the State Department today met with an official, the U.S. ambassador, or the ambassador from Timor-Leste and -- but we had to word about what happened during the course of that meeting. I mean, she continues to say, "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'm only a witness to this, I'm not a suspect."

BURNETT: And they believe her. You have spoken to her mother. You believe her.

CANDIOTTI: You know, I just -- just doesn't seem to fit the profile of someone who would have gotten mixed up into something bad.

BURNETT: No, no, it doesn't. She seems to be clean cut and innocent on that. So, how can they hold her without charging her?

CANDIOTTI: That's a good question. When you're traveling overseas, you're subject to the local laws and her own attorney that she hired there says she's -- it is a violation of her human rights to hold her without being charged. But that's the way it is. They're saying they can hold her under the law while they continue to investigate and she has to wait.

BURNETT: Those are their laws.

All right. Susan Candiotti, thank you very much. We're going to continue following that story.

But next, men and women riding broncos and roping steers, living their lives with pride. Lisa Ling on the gay rodeo circuit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: This weekend, Lisa Ling travels to the rodeo. Only this competition bucks stereotypes. I spoke to Lisa about this episode for her series "THIS IS LIFE". Here's a clip.


LISA LING, THIS IS LIFE: How are you feeling, Brianna?


LING: Yes ah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely nervous.

LING: Brianna's come to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to ride a steer for the very first time. She's competing in a rodeo. But this isn't just any rodeo. This is gay rodeo.


BURNETT: What is the gay rodeo?

LING: So, it is kind of funny. People hear that term gay rodeo and say those two words just don't go together. But in actuality, it has been going on for about 30 years.

And I had a really incredible experience visiting my first gay rodeo because I visited this place in New Mexico, where I met these strapping, masculine cowboys who had this really deeply personal story of heart break and heartache. And the gay rodeo became the sanctuary for so many cowboys and cowgirls who grew up in the West or the South and felt so discriminated against. It was a place where they could be their masculine cowboy selves and feel accepted.

And that place still holds as much resonance as it did 30 years ago for these people, because as we all know, why there are so many advancements, there is still a lot of discrimination in the country.

BURNETT: This is, for so many people that will watch this, they probably had no idea it existed.

LING: Yes, have a Kleenex.

BURNETT: Thank you.

By the way, her entire series is amazing. If you missed any of the episodes, you have to rewatch them. Don't miss this latest one. It is Sunday night at 10:00.

And one note before we go, there was a banner on the program that appeared on the bottom of the screen during the report about the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden. It was incorrect and we apologize for the error.

"AC360" begins right now.