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Brennan Defends CIA After Torture Report; Interview with Michael Mukasey; Congress Scrambles to Prevent Midnight Shutdown; Former CIA Director on Torture Report; Garner's Daughter Stages Die-In Where Father Died; Famed Model is Newest Cosby Accuser; Report: ISIS Wants $1 Million for Foley Remains

Aired December 11, 2014 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, America's top spy in an historic press conference from CIA headquarters defending his agency's honor.

And Eric Garner's daughter staging a die-in while the New York Police Department decided the fate of the officer at the center of the chokehold case. Will he keep his job?

And a famed supermodel, the newest accuser to come against Bill Cosby.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, firing back.

CIA director John Brennan speaking out today in a staunch defense of his agency in the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report. Brennan insisted that Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided, in his words, useful intelligence. But he also said that the CIA was unprepared to conduct an interrogation program. He called the action of some agents unauthorized.

He said some of the actions were abhorrent and he admitted that the CIA sometimes exceeded its legal authority during interrogations.

Brennan spoke to the nation and the world in an unprecedented live address from CIA headquarters and he began by recalling the horrible moments of 9/11 where planes flew into buildings and America changed forever.

Brennan recounted the moment that each plane struck in New York and the Pentagon and finally the plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And then he spoke of the heroism of his now embattled CIA agents.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: The men and women in our counterterrorism center stayed at their posts despite the danger. They worked through that day and that night and the following days, and the following nights, to piece together the clues as to what plans were underway to carry out yet more attacks. (END VIDEO CLIP)

OUTFRONT Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT tonight at the Pentagon.

Barbara, those were the strongest words that we've heard from the CIA director on this torture report, and frankly, I felt in some ways even stronger than the printed rebuttal that they had released.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well. I think that's right, Erin. Good evening. This time John Brennan wanted to speak publicly for the agency, for the people who work for the CIA, and he wanted to make a couple of very clear points.

One of which was yes, they got valuable intelligence from people who underwent enhanced interrogation, but he would not make the connection that enhanced interrogation necessarily caused them to offer up that intelligence. No cause and effect necessarily, unknowable. But this was a press conference full of news.


STARR (voice-over): In a 45-minute long press conference, CIA director John Brennan never used the word torture to describe interrogation practices.

BRENNAN: As I said, in some instances I consider them abhorrent and I will leave to others how they might want to label those activities.

STARR: In an extraordinary move, Brennan spoke to reports, defending his agency, reminding everyone of the difficult challenges after 9/11.

BRENNAN: In our pain, we pledged to come together as one and to do what we could to prevent Osama bin Laden and his killing machine from ever carrying out another attack.

STARR: It led to so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques against CIA detainees -- waterboarding, being put in stress positions, deprived of sleeps, chained to walls. Brennan admitted mistakes were made by some but never admitted the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Program was a mistake overall.

BRENNAN: I cannot say with certainty whether or not individuals acted with complete honesty. When I look at what went on at the time, there are clearly the questions about why certain techniques were used.

STARR: And in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, did enhanced interrogation actually result in intelligence critical to finding him.

BRENNAN: I am not going to attribute that to the use of the EITs, just going to state as a matter of fact the information that they provided was used.

STARR: As Brennan spoke at CIA headquarters, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein tweetstorm, "CIA helps keep our nation safe, strong. Torture does not." Brennan said there is no proof enhanced interrogation was the reason detainees offered up useful intelligence.

BRENNAN: The cause and effect relationship between the use of EITs and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is in my view unknowable.

STARR: Feinstein on Twitter, "CIA says unknowable if we could have gotten the intel other ways. Studies shows, it is knowable. CIA had info before torture."


STARR: Now Brennan says that he does believe coercive interrogation can lead to a detainee, a prisoner giving false information because sometimes they will just say anything to make it stop -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Barbara.

And now our justice correspondent Evan Perez, he's actually in the room for the press conference.

Evan, I heard you asked him some questions. You know, this seemed unprecedented. You know, we look at our screens, and our viewer may notice, you have a little, you know, a locator, we call. Where something is. Right now it says Washington where you are. It said Langley, Virginia.

Has this ever happened before at CIA headquarters?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: You know what, it really -- they were searching today at the CIA, to see if this had ever happen before. They couldn't find any instance where a CIA director had a press conference that was beamed live for the world from Langley, Virginia, from the headquarters.

And, you know, it was a very surreal scene because you had several rows of CIA employees, people who their entire job is secret and they don't show themselves to the public, lined up in front of us in the press. And to the director's right you had the rows -- 111 stars for the CIA employees who have been killed in the line of duty. The memorial wall at the CIA. So it was a show of strength for the CIA and it was definitely something that was meant to reassure employees there.

BURNETT: You know, to that point of reassuring employees, I mean, you know, just hearing it, he sort of -- sometimes he seemed to say, well, here I am defending the CIA and here I am saying what they did was abhorrent. And he tried to sort of have it both ways quite a few times in his defense.

What is the response? Do agency employees think that he went far enough to defend them?

PEREZ: I think -- I think they do. I think they -- there's been a lot of grumbling in the last few months that they thought Brennan wasn't doing enough to protect the agency and to try to stop this report from coming out. Now that it's out, it's sort of like ripping the band-aid. I think they feel that Brennan was -- Brennan was over there to defend what they were doing.

He reminded everyone about 9/11 and the fact that CIA employees were the first on the ground after 9/11, 15 days after and a CIA employee was one of the first American -- was the first American actually killed when the war started, Erin.

And so one of the things that also Brennan was trying to do was -- you saw the tweets there from Dianne Feinstein, and he was also trying to de-escalate this war frankly between the agency and the Senate Democrats because frankly he needs them going forward.

BURNETT: Yes. Interesting. Of course she was tweeting out, you know, when she heard something she liked, tweeting that, as if it was all he was saying.

PEREZ: Right.

BURNETT: I was watching that war go down during the whole thing.

Thank you so much, Evan.

Michael Mukasey served as attorney general under President George W. Bush through the end of his presidency. Mr. Mukasey opened an investigation into the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes of detainees and that investigation later expanded under Attorney General Holder into a larger probe of the interrogation program and whether individuals should be charged with the crime of torture.

Good to have you with me. I appreciate your taking the time.


BURNETT: All right. You just heard John Brennan said the CIA engaged in some practices he personally viewed as abhorrent. That's the word he used. Abhorrent. Do you think any of the practices were abhorrent?

MUKASEY: That's not the standard. I mean, it's a great question, but that's not the standard. We have laws in this country and the law that was operative at the time torture statute. And the torture statute says you can't, under color of law, cause -- intentionally cause somebody severe physical or mental pain or suffering. Severe physical suffering or pain isn't defined, severe mental pain or suffering --

BURNETT: So it gave them a lot of wiggle courtroom.


MUKASEY: Now it's defined in durational terms. It has to last beyond what's trangent (ph). What the CIA did, did not violate that statute.

BURNETT: All right. So you're -- I understand your point. You're going to make a legal point here. But one of the central points here, whether you want to call these methods abhorrent, acceptable, whatever you want to say with your point of view, is whether they worked? Right? Did they work? Did they get information that saved American lives? That is the crucial question at the heart of this and here's how John Brennan answered that today.


BRENNAN: I have already stated that our reviews indicate that the detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. But let me be clear, we have not concluded that it was the use of EITs within that program that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees subjected to them.


BURNETT: EITs are what they call Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.


BURNETT: All right. So he's saying --

MUKASEY: It's harsh interrogation techniques.

BURNETT: Right. That would be a better term for them.

MUKASEY: My point.

BURNETT: But the point is, he said, the cause and effect is not clear. He can't say that the techniques led to the gathering of the information. That's the point he made.


BURNETT: You have said those methods work specifically you once wrote, I'll quote you, "Waterboarding broke Khalid Sheikh Mohammed like a dam." And that it helped find bin Laden. But does it seem John Brennan isn't sure?

MUKASEY: Largely because of the way that the techniques were applied. In a sense he is precise but he is dead wrong. The way the techniques are applied is if somebody becomes uncooperative, the question stops. They don't question him when he is being uncooperative. They take him out, apply whatever techniques they're going to apply, and wait until he becomes submissive. Then the guy who's doing that leaves and the interrogation resumes.

Now if he changes afterward, I guess you can't say that it was the techniques or a particular technique that did it. But if Abu Zubayda is resisting, before being exposed to these techniques and afterwards he provides information that leads to the arrest of -- that leads to the identity of --

BURNETT: So you're saying that that is a direct link.

MUKASEY: Yes, of course. It's -- BURNETT: That the CIA director could have said that. He didn't need

to take this I'm not sure of the cause and effect line that he took today.

MUKASEY: Correct. Because it wasn't happening at the same time. That's the only reason he's not sure and he's trying to walk a tight rope and I think it's unwise.

BURNETT: So this issue again on whether this word is abhorrent or whatever it might be, this issue of whether it's something that the United States should have done, in 2008 you went before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and you and Ted Kennedy had a conversation about waterboarding and here's a very brief clip of that.


SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Would waterboarding be torture if it was done to you?

MUKASEY: I would feel that it was.


BURNETT: All right. So that's an honest answer. At that time you said you would have felt it was torture. But you also think it successfully resulted in information that saved American lives in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

MUKASEY: Right. And I also -- I also --

BURNETT: So was it right for the U.S. to torture people?

MUKASEY: It was not right for the U.S. to torture people because torture -- torture is illegal.

BURNETT: OK, but now --

MUKASEY: But it was not --

BURNETT: But now you're making a legal point and I get that.

MUKASEY: Correct. That's the only --

BURNETT: But what you just said there to Ted Kennedy was how you really felt which is, OK, legally it wasn't torture but you said I would have felt it was torture.

MUKASEY: Yes. But I did that basically to stop a line of questioning that wasn't going to go anyplace. I gave him an answer that essentially he wanted to hear. It was not an answer that's really --

BURNETT: But is it what you really felt?

MUKASEY: It was what I really felt, but my feelings are not what controls. The law is what controls. BURNETT: So let me ask you, though, because you once told our Evan

Perez, actually who was at the time with the "Wall Street Journal" now he was just reporting as you heard here for us.


BURNETT: You said torture is a crime. So this is at the heart of it. Right? So torture is a crime.

MUKASEY: Correct.

BURNETT: Glad you point out.

MUKASEY: And we don't -- we didn't commit any crimes.

BURNETT: OK. Because the legal point you're making.

MUKASEY: Correct.

BURNETT: But if torture is a crime and you told Ted Kennedy and you said at least you believed it in your heart, putting law aside, that waterboarding is torture, should the people who said that waterboarding was legal, the lawyers who made those laws, that don't go along with what you think is right in your heart, should they be held responsible?

MUKASEY: I didn't say that it was -- that it was torture as to everybody. I said I might feel that it was torture as to me. If it caused severe pain and if it caused long-term suffering. I don't know whether it would or not because I've never been waterboarded.

BURNETT: But you felt it would have been torture. I mean, for me that's good enough --

MUKASEY: I felt that --

BURNETT: -- to say if you were attorney general at the time, you wouldn't have been comfortable with it.

MUKASEY: I allow for the possibility -- what, would I be comfortable being waterboarded? No. Probably not.

BURNETT: Would you have -- would you have OK'd it for the United States to do it and said that's OK?

MUKASEY: Absolutely.

BURNETT: You would have?

MUKASEY: Absolutely.

BURNETT: Even though you felt it's torture for yourself?

MUKASEY: Absolutely.

BURNETT: And why? MUKASEY: Because objectively it isn't. It doesn't cause severe pain.

And it doesn't cause long-term suffering. And whatever I might feel was going to happen to me, if it didn't happen, then it's not torture.

BURNETT: So I still don't totally understand the logic, though.


BURNETT: Because if you're saying that you feel it was torture, then --

MUKASEY: I didn't say I felt it was torture.


BURNETT: You said you thought it was torture if it happened to you. I'm sorry. Just to be clear.

MUKASEY: I allowed for the possibility. That's all I did. And --

BURNETT: But you would have done it, just to be clear.

MUKASEY: Correct.

BURNETT: You would have approved it, you would have said it was OK.

MUKASEY: Correct. Correct.

BURNETT: And you don't think anyone should be held responsible who made the decisions to say it was OK?

MUKASEY: Responsible? Yes. Criminally liable, no.

BURNETT: So not a crime. It is not a crime.

MUKASEY: Correct.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Michael Mukasey. I really appreciate you're taking your time.

And OUTFRONT next, a battle with the former CIA director over one of the most controversial revelations in the Senate torture report.

Plus, will the officer at the center of the chokehold case lose his job with the NYPD?

And the breaking news, we are hours away from, oh, wow, a possible government shutdown. Do we even have enough money to fix the Capitol? It's a pretty sad shot.

We are live on Capitol Hill, next.


BURNETT: Breaking news, a government shutdown could be just hours away. At this moment, lawmakers scrambling to pass a trillion-dollar spending measure to keep Washington running and have us a -- you know. That shot is terrible. Come on, we can do better than this, American. -- that have a constant scaffolding on our capitol.

The House had planned to vote on a measure this afternoon, but the deal is now at risk and at this the White House is getting involved.

Our chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill.

Dana, I know obviously I'm joking about the direct link between scaffolding and funding.


BURNETT: Yes. Can they avoid the shutdown?

BASH: They can and even the most conservative Republican and the most liberal Democrat tonight, they're telling us that they will avoid a shutdown and we are just hours away. The government officially runs out of money at midnight tonight. So if they can't come to an agreement on what they hope, at least the negotiators hope, which is a big bipartisan bill to fund the government through next year they'll at least do a stop-gap to make sure there's no shutdown.

But what is going on here tonight is really bizarre, I have to tell you, Erin. We saw the White House chief of staff come in to have about an hour-long meeting with fellow Democrats, trying to convince them -- we're not talking about Republicans, but fellow Democrats -- to go along with this bill that the White House supports.

Now for so many years now, since Republicans have been in charge, it's been really partisan. Now you have strange bedfellows. You have conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats agreeing with one another that what is in this big bill is -- there are too many surprises, too many giveaways, for example, something you're very familiar with, Wall Street reform, one of the aspects of this would roll back some of those reforms.

Also there's a part of this bill that lifts the caps on campaign finance which allows wealthy donors to give like $1.5 million every two years. So those are the kinds of things that are infuriating Democrats on the left. Some Republicans are worried about other things. So that's what it's putting this in peril and even right we're just hours away we don't know how this is going to end.

If the House Republican leadership -- they're going to even try to put this on the floor, see if it passes or not, we're just not sure. They're scrambling to find that as we speak.

BURNETT: I can't believe that we are actually at this moment again. Honestly I didn't -- for once, and I am really negative about Washington. I didn't think it was going to happen.

All right, Dana Bash, thank you very much. We're going to keep an eye on that story. BASH: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: The president is making calls at this hour. As Dana gets more information whether those were successful in this countdown. We're going to bring that to you.

All right. Well, the former director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, is named several times in the Senate torture report and he has been out everywhere vehemently defending the agency, and he actually was also defending the use of one of the more controversial techniques that has been -- we found out about in recent days. It's called rectal rehydration.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, THE LEAD: Such as the rectal rehydration.



HAYDEN: All right. That was a medical procedure. That was done because of detainee health. But the people responsible there for the health of the detainees saw that they were becoming dehydrated. They had limited options in which to go do this. If it was intravenous with needles which would be dangerous with a non-cooperative detainee. If it was through the nasal passage --

TAPPER: Pureeing hummus and pine nuts and --

HAYDEN: Jake, I'm not a doctor and neither are you. What I am told is, this is one of the ways that the body is rehydrated. These were medical procedures.


BURNETT: Joining me now our national security analyst and former CIA operative, Bob Baer, and Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University.

All right. Let me start with you, Bob. Sources who are part of the CIA program today, I was talking to a few people, they said look, that feeding, rectal feeding was they said more efficient than other things. You couldn't put a needle, as General Hayden was explaining, in someone's arm if they are resisting.

And this one source told me that the detainee who was actually named in the report actually ripped out his tube that was going through his hose, that was feeding him, that he didn't want to be fed, so a doctor said well, the only way to do it is rectal feeding. So you need to do it.

All right. That's the explanation that they're giving. Was it OK?

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No, it's not OK. You have to look at all in context. This is pure torture. I mean, rectal feeding, waterboarding, wall slamming, leaving people out over night to die of hypothermia. It was just -- it fits a pattern of abuse and I think that's the way it's going to be interpreted.

BURNETT: You know -- I mean, it's just an interesting -- interesting, Jonathan, to think that -- you know, you have Bob Baer from the CIA saying this, that this is possible.

What do you -- what do you think about this? I just talked to Michael Mukasey. Right. Obviously he was the attorney general under George W. Bush. And you heard him.


BURNETT: We didn't commit any crimes. He thought waterboarding, in his own personal sense, would have been torture but he said it wasn't torture because it wasn't legally.

TURLEY: Well, Michael Mukasey and I have spent time together and I like him personally but I was profoundly saddened to hear his interview. Certainly the man that was left to die on that concrete floor had, I would assume, lasting problems since he died. I don't know what report the two of us have read but it appears to be two different reports. There is no question that waterboarding is a crime. It's a war crime.

We have prosecuted Americans for it. We have prosecuted foreigners for it. The whole world understands it's a crime. To have a former attorney general sitting there and debating whether it is a crime is utter worldly. And I don't know how we got to this point. I mean, it's not just what is in this report that is so disturbing, what's disturbing is to hear its aftermath, to hear people talking about well, maybe it was effective.

We helped write the treaty that said that the effectiveness of torture is not a defense. It doesn't matter whether you got something out of it. It's considered a war crime.

BURNETT: And, you know, Bob Baer -- OK, Jonathan, I hear what you're saying. And it's a fair point. But then I listened to John Brennan today and the first two minutes when he spoke about those planes flying into buildings, I was in lower Manhattan that day. I watched one of those planes fly into a building. And I tear up thinking about it right now. The fear that this country had at that moment was palpable.

And, Bob, does it in anyway explain what they did? In the context of the time, do you buy that excuse at all?

BAER: You know, Erin, I do buy it because the CIA, the White House, the rest of them were just totally shocked by that attack. And I know what happens at the White House when something like this happens, they go to the CIA and say fix it. And the CIA says well, here's one extreme measure we could take and the vice president and the president say do it, and Condoleezza Rice as well said do it. And I think what Brennan said today is yes, we tried it for five

years, it proved to be ineffective. You know, read between the lines of what he said. He couldn't say it saved lives and we made a mistake and he effectively said we're not going to do it again. And so yes, he did put it in context. He explained how the CIA made the mistake and he said they were ultimately wrong. And that's the way I understood what he said today.

BURNETT: So, Jonathan, should anyone be held accountable? Because that was the question I was asking Michael Mukasey. You know, fine, you can -- there were some CIA agents I know that were reprimanded, lost their jobs at the time, who did some of these things that were unauthorized. But there were plenty of them who did what they were told to do because these things were approved. They were approved by the White House. They were approved by the Department of Justice.

So if you're going to hold someone accountable why are they pointing fingers in this report at the CIA? Why not at those who approved it?

TURLEY: Well, one of the most disturbing -- facts about this report is the absence of any real accountability. If you read this report, it is a tour de force of the criminal code. It has everything in there from torture itself to destruction of evidence, to obstruction of Congress, to lying to Congress and lying to investigators. It is chockfull of clear criminal allegations with substantial support.

And when you finish it, you're left with this crushing realization that not a single person was charged with a single crime. And the most that the CIA would say today is well, you know what, we failed to hold people accountable. These are crimes. These are not just some mishaps. And so the question I think that history will ask is why people were not held accountable.

President Obama, after his first election, went to the CIA and promised CIA officials that no one would be prosecuted and the Justice Department fulfilled that oath.


BURNETT: Right. Holder opted not to --

TURLEY: That's --

BURNETT: He investigated and said there was nothing to prosecute.

TURLEY: Well, they -- the fact is, if you read this report there was a great deal to prosecute. What was clear is that the administration didn't want anyone prosecuted. That is why you're seeing other countries as they are entitled to under our treaty obligations saying that we believe and we are willing to hold people accountable for what is defined clearly as war crimes.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I thank both of you very much for joining us.

And you know, no one will ever know what's going on in the heart of the president, but you wonder if part of him says if he were there, maybe he would have done the same thing.

OUTFRONT next, the officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, under departmental review. Will he be fired? Could he keep his job?

Plus another woman, a famed supermodel, is now accusing Bill Cosby. Her story ahead.


BURNETT: Breaking news, the daughter of Eric Garner staging a die-in protest at the same spot in Staten Island where her father was killed in July 17th. She is calling for action after the grand jury decided not to indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo. And she's not the only one.

Today, more than 100 African-American congressional staffers, including the man you see there, Elijah Cummings, from home state of Maryland, gather on the steps of the Capitol with their hands up to symbolize their frustrations after the deaths of Garner and Michael Brown. A show of support coming at the same time the NYPD is investigating the fate of Officer Pantaleo.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT with more on his future with the force.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video shows multiple police officers arrested unarmed Eric Garner, Officer Daniel Pantaleo with his arm around his neck. Garner would later die from what the medical examiner says was a chokehold. A grand jury didn't indict and now, the New York City Police Department is investigating internally. The big question: will Pantaleo keep his job?

New York City civil rights attorney Randolph McLaughlin has been trying cases for 35 years and says that while historically the law favors officers, Pantaleo should at the very least lose his job.

RANDOLPH MCLAUGHLIN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: We shouldn't be paying for that man to engage in this kind of conduct, especially an individual who feels he did nothing wrong. So, that tells me, I think I did the right thing and I'll do it again.

FLORES: Pantaleo's attorney disagrees, saying in a statement in part, "He indicated he never used a chokehold. He used a takedown technique he was taught in the academy. He said he never exerted any pressure on the windpipe and never intended to injure Mr. Garner."

In other high-profile cases, officers have managed to get by with little or no repercussions. Take the Amadou Diallo case in 1999. Four police officers shot an unarmed black man 41 times, hitting him 19 times. He wouldn't survive. The officers were acquitted of all criminal charges. Three officers opted to leave the force, the fourth returned to the NYPD but worked without a gun for more than a decade.

Then, there is the 2006 Sean Bell case. Bell and two friends were shot by plainclothes detectives outside of Queens nightclub during Bell's bachelor party. Officers fired 50 rounds in a few seconds, killing Bell and wounding his friends.

One officer was fired. Three others were forced to resign with pension.

MCLAUGHLIN: The city in those cases rightfully is saying to itself, we don't need these kind of officers in our service.

FLORES: In Pantaleo's case, he wasn't even indicted, leaving if he will receive any punishment at all.


FLORES: And now, NYPD internal affairs investigators question Pantaleo for about two hours this week. The investigation could take three or four months and at the end of the day, the police commissioner will decide his fate.

Now, we should also add that a federal investigation is also pending and, Erin, none of those details are public yet.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Rosa.

And now, criminal defense attorney Paul Martin, he defended an NYPD detective who was acquitted in the killing of Sean Bell, you just heard Rosa reporting about that. He was an unarmed black man. Along with CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara.

All right. Paul, you've seen the video -- this video of Officer Pantaleo. OK. So, here's the bottom line, the guy was not indicted. Now, yes, there's these other investigations. But at this point, the guy was not indicted. So, they could theoretically pay him, put him on desk leave and he can sit there and twiddle his thumbs but he hasn't been indicted.

PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But that's not a reason why he became a New York City police officer. So, if I was advising him and he wants to be effective, it's not going to happen. But I would advise him to resign. But I'm not so sure he should be fired.

BURNETT: All right. So, you don't think he should be fired but he should resign. So, of his own choice.

OK. Mark, when we spoke yesterday, you said Pantaleo can no longer be an officer of New York. I don't think Paul disagrees with that. I mean, you know, it wouldn't be safe, who would want to work with him, you know, you can go on and on.

And when you look at high-profile cases, though, like the Sean Bell case, most officers get by and get to retire. So, could that be the same for Pantaleo?

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely. A couple of things, he wasn't indicted, but if, in fact, he violated department policy, which he may well have done when Garner was on the floor, then that could be a reason to fire him or let him go. It is a separate decision then whether or not he gets a pension or get some retirement benefits. He hasn't been an officer very long so there is not much he's going to get from NYPD.

But like we talked about yesterday, the reality is he is now become sort of this focus point and he can't risk partners, himself or NYPD's reputation by staying on the force.

BURNETT: Paul, you were -- during Rosa's report she talked about someone who, you know, for 10 years had, quote-unquote, "desk job". That is a kind of thing that causes outrage for some people because what are you doing if you are not carrying a gun and you are an ex- cop. You're being paid to do, what?

MARTIN: You have to remember, I think we are on a dangerous area here. Here is an individual who hasn't been convicted of any crime.


MARTIN: He has not been found guilty in any way. You know, who you point out today, they will point at you tomorrow. If the gentleman has not been convicted, he's entitled to earn a living. And so therefore, let him work.

Now, I don't think he could work as a police officer. I think we do agree about that. But, it's a dangerous area because public opinion is against you that we start firing people? I'm not for that.

BURNETT: It is dangerous. But people do get outraged when these situations end with someone just being paid to essentially do nothing, Mark.

O'MARA: Well, and we have to be sensitive to the reality this is in the public view. This is a situation that is now a national event and if NYPD is insensitive to that, it only adds fuel to the fire of their insensitivities to young black males. So, unfortunately, Pantaleo may be a sacrificial lamb in trying to make a better situation for NYPD.

MARTIN: On that we agree.

BURNETT: The sacrificial lamb.

Mark, what about the point -- you know, you represented Mark Zimmerman. He's in hiding. He can't get a job. Does that make you in anyway feel more sympathetic? I mean, what's the guy like him to ever do at this point?

O'MARA: Well, again, look at Zimmerman, look at Darren Wilson, and now, look at Pantaleo, regardless of their relative guilty or lack of guilt in it, and unfortunately, they are put in the public eye and now they have to move on in a different life track.

Darren Wilson will never be a cop again because he just can't. Pantaleo, I feel the same way. And Mr. Zimmerman, for whatever he may have done before February of 2012, he could have never done what he did before then. Harsh realities maybe but this is what happens in the day of instant

media, social media and the fact that these situations are played out in the public eye. We have to be sensitive to the national concerns.

BURNETT: Because while they do play out in the public eye, and I understand your point about guilt or innocence is a slippery point, look, it's a great point. But the reality of it is, it is the public eye, it is court of public opinion and it is public money.

MARTIN: But remember this -- the CNN, when you send out a tweet and all of the social media, it doesn't give the full picture of what transpired. I represented a client who, if you asked me, did nothing wrong in the Sean Bell situation, and he was forced to retire from a job that he loved, that he worked on for 20 years, protecting the black and the white community. And I just thought that was unfair.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you. Appreciate your time.

And I want all of you to weigh in on this one. Perhaps a little bit more morally difficult than it may have seemed at first.

Next, a famed super-model is stepping out accusing Bill Cosby of drugging her. Her shocking charges are ahead.

And ISIS reportedly offering the body of an American hostage for sale, for an asking price of $1 million. Our special report.


BURNETT: Bill Cosby's latest accuser, famed supermodel Beverly Johnson. Johnson is the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of American "Vogue" and has charged that Bill Cosby drugged her and she said she was able to escape from sexual assault one night in his New York apartment.

She writes in an essay for "Vanity Fair" that one night, while doing acting exercises for Cosby, he offered her a drink from his special machine. She said and I quote her, "I knew by the second sip of a drink Cosby had given me that I had been drugged and drugged good."

Legal analysis -- analyst and attorney Lisa bloom is OUTFRONT tonight.

Lisa, Beverly Johnson is known to many Americans. She is iconic. Is the fact that she is coming forward when so many already has, is this something that is a game-changer or not?

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST AND ATTORNEY: Oh, I certainly think it is. Like Janice Dickinson, when somebody that we know, someone that we've seen on television is making these allegations, it's almost like one of our friends is coming forward. At this point, there is over two dozen women who have come forward. Look, Erin, if even half of them are telling the truth, Bill Cosby is a serial sexual predator.

And I think Beverly Johnson's story is a very compelling read in "Vanity Fair". BURNETT: So, what is the things that people who -- wonder if all of

this is true, they actually point at the exact same thing you said. They said, well, if so many women are coming forward with the same story, does that mean they are seeing a story and repeating it as opposed to it happening to them, right? I mean, that's one of the criticisms. Is there anything to that, that makes you just for a second, pause?

BLOOM: Of course, that is always possible. But you have to ask yourself, what is in it for people like Beverly Johnson? What's in it for them is to be subjected all kinds of mean-spirited comments online, being accused of being gold diggers even though she is not asking for any money. Most of them are not asking for my money. Being accused of liars, wanting their 15 minutes of fame.

I mean, over all, this is a negative experience for most of these women and they know that going into it.

BURNETT: So, Johnson writes in her essay in "Vanity Fair" that she wanted to call Bill Cosby to have him come clean, that she thought that he would come clean, and maybe she could just clear this incident out of her mind. She called his house and his wife answered the phone and said he was busy or in bed or something like that. She then said she didn't call back because in the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby.

She said she was afraid at the time of what it would do to her career. She said she had gone to a divorce. She was financially stressed, and he was -- and everybody in the country knows it, he was an incredibly powerful man.

BLOOM: Yes. And how sad is that. Really the story to me is far bigger than Bill Cosby and the couple dozen of women who have accused him. It's a story of how women don't trust our justice system to really protect them against the powerful men. Women after women tells that story, too, of either deciding in her own mind, I can't go through with this against someone as Bill Cosby or having someone in their lives, lawyers and agents, managers telling them, you know what, don't do this, it's going to ruin your career.

So, again, if you were to believe the women, he was allowed to rape again and again and again.

BURNETT: Again and again and again.

All right. Lisa Bloom, thank you.

And next, ISIS latest atrocity. This one is -- I mean, you would think it is hard to say, this is hard to believe after what they've done, but they are reportedly offering to sell the body of one of the Americans they beheaded. We have a special report.

And the ski run that has won this year's most challenging award. Jeanne Moos talks to the man who took this insane plunge and you will see it. Whoa, talk about off feet in cold (ph).


BURNETT: Tonight, ISIS reportedly trying to sell the remains of American James Foley who was beheaded by the terror group in August. So, a source close to ISIS tells the Web site, "BuzzFeed", the militants hand over the American journalist's remains for $1 million. The U.S. is now investigating the claim and Brian Todd is OUTFRONT.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was the first American beheaded by ISIS.


TODD: Four months after the killing of American journalist James Foley, State Department and National Security Council officials tell CNN they are looking into a report that ISIS is trying to negotiate the sale of Foley's body.

MIKE GIGLIO, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, BUZZFEED NEWS: ISIS is trying to sell the body of James Foley for $1 million.

TODD: "BuzzFeed's" Mike Giglio first reported the story. He spoke with three sources who he won't name, middlemen, who he says were in contact with ISIS or its associates. Why does he think his sources are credible?

GIGLIO: I would say each of these sources are people that I've known before to have reputations for being in connection with ISIS.

TODD: Giglio says according to his sources, ISIS and its associates have a specific plan for transporting Foley's bodying.

GIGLIO: They said ISIS was offering to provide DNA sample once it was confirmed the body was Foley's, ISIS would receive $1 million in exchange for it and someone, most likely a middleman associated with ISIS, would deliver the body across the Turkish border.

TODD: CNN cannot independently verify the "BuzzFeed's" account but his brother said, quote, "There's absolutely no truth to it."

We asked Giglio about that.

GIGLIO: The report doesn't the Foley family is aware of it and I was careful to make sure this focuses on ISIS' intentions.

TODD: U.S. intelligence and military officials tell CNN if the report is true, it's another example of what they call ISIS' depravity.

Analysts say the Middle East is full of shady operators trying to arrange deals like this.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: You often find a middleman involved, promising perhaps the Western government or families that they may be able to get access, get a deal done but also, going back to ISIS and saying, well, they also have been in touch with government's family members and sort of playing both sides and trying to make money out of it.


TODD: But Paul Cruickshank says anyone thinking they can make money from such a deal now isn't dealing in reality, especially since there was never any successful negotiation for James Foley while he was still alive -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Brian, thank you.

And next, there are some scary ski trails for those aficionados among you and then there's this. This is the new definition of extreme skiing and we are going to take you down this path, next.


BURNETT: And now, the most incredible ski trail ever.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you're about to see is no mere ski slope. This is a man eating crevice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh, I'm getting nervous.

MOOS: And 31-year-old Cody Townsend is about to descend.

CODY TOWNSEND, PROFESSIONAL SKIER: There's no exit plan. There is no escape.

MOOS: The plunge down this Alaskan crevice lasted about 13 seconds. At its narrowest point, the wall was only 6 feet apart. Check out the helmet cam view, top speed, 65 to 70 miles per hour.

TOWNSEND: You see that you're going really fast. You see that the walls are really close to you.

MOOS: But Cody says he was very Zen.

TOWNSEND: It's almost as if time slows down.


MOOS: Cody's run makes James Bond's exploits on skis almost look wimpy. Child's play compared to this.

(on camera): So a crevice like that must have a terrifying name, right?

TOWNSEND: Yes, it does have nicknames but I would blush if I had to tell you what the nicknames were.

MOOS (voice-over): Cody's run won him "Powder Magazine's" Best Line of 2014 Award.

TOWNSEND: So psyched. MOOS: His fellow skiers gushed.

TOWNSEND: That was the sickest line I've ever seen.

MOOS: The trickiest part was at the end of the narrowest section where there was a slight turn.

TOWNSEND: Possibly the turn of my life to not hit the wall that was in front of you.

MOOS: So, what's he get? Great exposure in a red bull documentary, the kind of fame that leads to even more endorsements, but cash? I used to assume they give you a chunk of money to do that.

TOWNSEND: That would be morally wrong to do that, I think. No, we do it because we love it.

MOOS (on camera): You think that's scary to watch? Imagine Cody's mother, the first time she saw it.

TOWNSEND: She did cry, which I kind of felt bad about.

MOOS (voice-over): Cody didn't celebrate by partying. He contemplated accomplishing a life goal while taking in an Alaskan blood moon.

TOWNSEND: So, I just kind of sat there and basked in it.

MOOS: Better a blood moon than a bloody wreck.

TOWNSEND: Oh my God!

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TOWNSEND: That was the scariest thing I've ever done.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: It's a story like that that makes you realize you're getting old. I mean, at what point do you realize, whoa, I'm impressed?

All right. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch us anytime.

Anderson starts now.