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Mitt Romney Fires Landscapers Over Immigration Concerns; President Bush Under Fire Over Iran

Aired December 4, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news.
He slammed Rudy Giuliani for harboring illegal aliens as mayor of New York. Rudy then slammed him for employing them at his home. Now an investigation reveals that Mitt Romney is still employing illegals at his home outside Boston. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also, a new report on Iran's nuclear program is once again raising the question, what did the president know and when did President Bush know it? Was he selling Iran as a nuclear threat when he already knew or should have known that the CIA and 15 other intelligence agencies were ready to say that it wasn't?

And later in the hour, states of emergency. A monster storm leaves at least five dead, two states under water. We will have late details and where the storm is now heading.

Plus, inside a bizarre cult. They preach pedophilia and turned that young man into a suicidal killer bent on revenge. The strange story in the hour ahead.

But we begin, as we always do, "Keeping Them Honest." Tonight, campaign '08's Republican version of campaign '92 Bill Clinton bimbo eruptions. Call them illegal immigrant outbreaks. There's a new one tonight, and Mitt Romney is on the hot seat.

At least week's YouTube debate, he threw the first stone at Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of making New York into a sanctuary for illegals. Giuliani returned fire. Take a look.


COOPER: Governor Romney, was New York a sanctuary city?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely. It called itself a sanctuary city. And as a matter of fact, when the welfare reform act that President Clinton brought forward said that they were going to end the sanctuary policy of New York City, the mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status.

GIULIANI: It's unfortunate, but Mitt generally criticizes people in a situation in which he's had far the worse record.

For example, in his case, there were six sanctuary cities. He did nothing about them. There was even a sanctuary mansion. At his own home, illegal immigrants were being employed... (APPLAUSE)

GIULIANI: So I would say he had sanctuary mansion, not just sanctuary city.


COOPER: Well, tonight, that mansion is back in the headlines.

CNN's John King has details. He is on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, "Keeping Them Honest."

John, what is the story?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a highly embarrassing disclosure tonight, and actions taken by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a candidate who, as you know, has made tough talk against illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign for the Republican nomination.

The governor forced to acknowledge today that illegal immigrants were still working for a landscaping company that worked on his home in the Boston suburb of Belmont a year after Governor Romney had promised he had taken care of this issue.

This all coming to light because of a "Boston Globe" report that noted, among things, at least two illegal immigrants were working at the Romney home the morning after that YouTube debate exchange you just played with Mayor Giuliani.

Now, once confronted by this evidence by "The Boston Globe" today, Governor Romney says he quickly took action.

In a letter to the landscaping action, he said this: "Given your company's disregard for the clear instructions provided on this issue last year, I am forced to terminate my contract with your company, effective immediately. My family will no longer utilize your services and all scheduled visits are canceled as of today."

Then, in a campaign statement, Governor Romney went on to say this: "The company's failure to comply with the law is disappointing and inexcusable, and I believe it is important I take this action."

Now, his campaign is saying, with this action today, they believe they have acted decisively and put this behind them. But, Anderson, even some of the governor's own advisers and other campaign consultants not involved in the presidential race I talked to tonight say, this is an unpredictable one.

Why? Because immigration is the defining issue in the Republican race, number one when voters in Iowa are asked, what is your issue, number two when voters, Republicans here in New Hampshire, are asked, what are the issues?

As we have been talking for some time, quicksand -- illegal immigration is the quicksand of American politics. And you might say tonight, Anderson, the governor has stepped in it.

COOPER: And stepped in it big-time.

But let's bring in CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. She is on the campaign trail in Des Moines, Iowa.

Candy, how big of a blow, and a lasting blow, is this for Romney's campaign?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm not sure we can now predict sort of how lasting it's going to be.

But, listen, this fits into a narrative. Politics is about issues, but it's also about symbols. What is the narrative that critics are trying to draw around Mitt Romney? It is that he flip- flops. It's that he says one thing and does something else, that he says one thing and then says something else.

So, now, along comes this issue, as John said, which is very big. The Republicans have been trying to out-tough each other on this, Mitt Romney trying to be the toughest of all. Then it comes along that, of course, he has had these illegal immigrants working for a landscaping company that he employed.

So, you can expect to hear this. It is trouble for him because it is symbolic and goes again to that storyline that critics are trying to write around Mitt Romney.

COOPER: John, has Rudy Giuliani said anything about this tonight?


All the Giuliani campaign tonight will say, Anderson, is that they believe Governor Romney's statement speaks for itself. And Giuliani aides will tell you privately they are following what they believe is a classic role in politics. When your candidate -- when a rival candidacy is in trouble, and it is trouble of his own making, don't add fuel to the fire. Just see how long it burns.


COOPER: Gosh. Man, politics.

Candy, what about other opponents? Are they reacting?

CROWLEY: Well, as a matter of fact, there are some people not following that rule of politics.

Todd Harris, who is spokesman for Fred Thompson said this: "First, Mitt Romney was for illegal immigrants working on his lawn, and then he was against it, then for it, and now I guess he's against it again. Sounds a lot like his position on amnesty."

So, you know, again, they can have some fun with this on the other campaigns. This is something that will come up. It brings up, again, the flip-flopping, as you can see. And it goes to a larger problem here, they think, about Mitt Romney.

COOPER: And it couldn't happen probably at a worse time for Mitt Romney, with this big speech on Thursday he plans to make about his faith, which, of course, we will be covering.

Candy, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

John, as well, on the campaign for us tonight.

Now we turn to Iran, nukes, and what exactly did President Bush know when he was selling Iran as a threat, unparalleled to the region and even the world. A new national intelligence estimate, which speaks for the entire American intelligence community, concludes that Iran stopped working on nuclear weapons four years ago.

President Bush's national security adviser says the president was, at the very least, aware four months ago that his intelligence agencies were reassessing the Iranian threat. Yet, for those same four months, Mr. Bush beat the drums of war and maintained Iran was actively working on nukes.

Take a look.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is up to Iran to prove to the world that they are a stabilizing force, as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon.

This is a leader who has made very provocative statements. And we have made it clear, however, in spite of that, that we are willing to sit down with him, so long as he suspends his program, his nuclear weapons program.


COOPER: That last comment was from the 3rd of October.

On the 17th, as you will hear in a moment, Mr. Bush warned of World War III if no one stopped Iran's pursuit of the bomb, a pursuit the new intelligence report says had been abandoned back in 2003.

So, the question tonight, what did the president know about that report and when did he know it? And what is actually in the report itself?

CNN's Tom Foreman has the "Raw Politics."


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here we go again. That's what White House critics have said for months as the president has railed at Iran over nukes. Even in the face of this new report, he still says:

BUSH: Iran was dangerous. Iran is dangerous.

FOREMAN: All that talk has spurred speculation about a possible military strike on Iran. After all, it does sound familiar.

BUSH: I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. And I have got good evidence to believe that. He has weapons of mass destruction, and he has used weapons of mass destruction.

FOREMAN: The "Raw Politics" read: Today's report does show apparent contradictions in what the president knew and what he said.

For example, the president has long implied that Iran is not responding enough to international pressure, even though the report says that is just what shut down Iran's nuke program in 2003.

(on camera): He also kept pushing his anti-Iran talk even when he knew the intelligence community was reevaluating Iran's nuclear threat.

(voice-over): Listen to him in October, saying Iran had to be dealt with.

BUSH: I told people that, if you are interested in avoiding World War III...

FOREMAN: He says he heard the details of the new report only last week, but, nonetheless, all of that talk may be costly now.

ROBIN WRIGHT, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Because this is just the moment that the Bush administration has been pushing for a new resolution against Iran at the United Nations. And it has been desperately trying to rally Chinese and Russian support for more punitive sanctions against Tehran. And it has already been difficult. And this may make it impossible.

FOREMAN: The report is making it easier for Iranian officials to accuse President Bush of lying about what they call their peaceful nuclear program, but they're not telling the whole story either.

DAVID ALBRIGHT, PRESIDENT, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: What Iran's done is -- is picked up one part of the report.

FOREMAN: David Albright is with for the Institute for Science and International Security.

ALBRIGHT: Well, it is actually saying that it may not be possible to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

FOREMAN: In other words, the report says Iran remains a real threat, if not the imminent threat that we have heard about in all the "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.


COOPER: Well, up next, hear the president explain what he knew and when. We will talk about it with former presidential adviser David Gergen, Christiane Amanpour, and Middle East scholar Reza Aslan.

And, later, the bizarre and mysterious death of this man, a wealthy hedge fund manager. He was a regular on CNBC talking about money, but now many in Florida are talking about this very twisted case -- details ahead.


COOPER: Digging deeper now into the new report on Iran's nuclear program, what President Bush knew about it and when.

Before the break, you heard the president sounding the warning call about Iran, even though he was told four months ago that the intelligence community was reassessing the threat.

Here is Mr. Bush's explanation at a press conference today.


BUSH: I was made aware of the NIE last week.

In August, I think it was John -- Mike McConnell came in and said, "We have some new information." He didn't tell me what the information was. He did tell me it was going to take a while to analyze.

Why would you take time to analyze new information?

One, you want to make sure it's not disinformation. You want to make sure the piece of intelligence you have is real.

And secondly, they want to make sure they understand the intelligence they gathered. If they think it's real, then what does it mean?

And it wasn't until last week that I was briefed on the NIE that is now public.


COOPER: This is the same administration, of course, accused of stovepiping raw intelligence in the buildup to the war in Iraq.

Mr. Bush is saying now he was told about the existence of new intelligence, but he didn't ask for the details, even though they had to do with what he was calling a threat to the region and the world. Does that make any sense?

Let's ask David Gergen, who has been inside the Oval Office when intelligence like this comes in. He knows how presidents, Democratic and Republican, make decisions. He joins me now, along with CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, and Middle East scholar Reza Aslan.

David, does the president's explanation make sense to you?


And the whole thing is inexplicable. That is why this is so -- so head-turning. We -- head-snapping -- we know, Anderson, from a lot of reporting, that the president was given indications by the intel community back in August, September, that they had fresh intelligence that suggested perhaps Iran had stopped.

And I can just guarantee you, when they write one of these NIEs, as it is called, it takes a while to do that. They get a consensus among 16 agencies. That means, at the highest levels of this government, there has been an understanding that they were moving toward that consensus for some time.

And, so, it's -- so, for the president to go out, as he did in mid-October, only six weeks ago, and talk about World War III, for the vice president to go out, it is inexplicable. It -- it sounds like saber-rattling of the worst sort. And it added to the fears over oil prices. I mean, this world economy has been -- has been fearful we were in a rush to war in Iran.

COOPER: And given what happened with the run-up to the war in Iraq, it is remarkable the administration would find itself in this position.

Reza, a lot of neoconservatives are skeptical of this new NIE, key -- of the key judgments in it. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said this earlier on CNN.



JOHN BOLTON, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: I think there's a very real risk here that the intelligence community is like generals fighting the last war. They got Iraq wrong and they're overcompensating by understating the potential threat from Iran.


COOPER: First of all, it -- it wasn't the generals, as I recall, who got Iraq wrong. It seems to me it was their civilian overseers in this administration. But say the NIE is not accurate.

Is it possible that the NIE is underestimating the threat?

GERGEN: It's...




ASLAN: Well, I would say probably not. I mean, the reason that I say that is because it seems to me that, in some way, the NIE and the -- and the intelligence community has learned a lesson from Iraq. This -- this report seems to be far less concocted through -- through the pressure from the administration.

It seems as though there was a much more rigorous attempt made to -- to not overhype the -- the intelligence and to be very, very careful about the language that it -- was used.

I will say, however, that I think John Bolton would probably find fault with almost anything when it comes to either Iran or North Korea.

COOPER: Christiane, weeks ago, Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, said there was no evidence that Iran was building a nuke. Today, China said, now things have changed. How does this report impact U.S. efforts to build a consensus around the world against Iran?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends what the way forward is right now.

Clearly, there are many in the allied community, including in Europe, who believe the pressure should be kept on, because, despite the NIE assessment, Iran is still seeking to enrich uranium for its civilian nuclear program, it says. But many believe it should still be watched and indeed still be 100 percent transparent about its activities.

But I think the real issue is that this NIE assessment has -- is a huge story. What it has done is debunked the notion that immediate and potentially military action needs to be taken to stop any kind of Iran nuclear program.

And, therefore, that gives time to figure out how to deal with it diplomatically. So, will the United States and its allies decide that the way to deal with it is to keep only the pressure on Iran, or will the United States and its allies decide to try to figure out a new way of dealing and engaging with Iran?

President Bush seemed to say in his press conference that it was all really bad in Iran since Ahmadinejad became elected president. And it is true Ahmadinejad's very bellicose public rhetoric has put Iran on a very, very bad footing with the international security.

However, it's disingenuous to suggest that the administration thought that things were potentially more constructive under Khatami, because the administration, this Bush administration, rebuffed overtures for putting all issues on the table by the reformist government in Iran under Mohammad Khatami, and, indeed, called that government part of the axis of evil.

So, now there is a choice in going forward. How will they take it? COOPER: David, former CIA officer Bob Baer said -- and I quote -- "The real story behind this NIE is that the Bush administration has finally concluded, Iran is a bridge too far."

Do you see it as that? Is the -- by the president releasing it, does it show some sort of change of heart or course?

GERGEN: No, I don't think so.

Anderson, it is important to remember that this -- this report was ordered up by the Congress in 2006. I think they were under a lot of pressure. It was going to come out when it went to the Congress. And one has to wonder, if the Congress had not demanded it, whether we would even know today that Iran was -- had halted.

I do think it has left the -- the intelligence community battered again, because, here once again, some of its earlier intelligence has been found to have been faulty. After all, just in 2005, they expressed high confidence that -- that Iran was working to build -- to build a nuclear weapon.

And now they have come back and said, they have high confidence that was wrong. So, you don't -- you don't know what to believe. I think one of the things that leads -- that is going to lead the international community to think this most recent report is probably the right one is, it is in alignment with the Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, which -- and ElBaradei, who have been saying, basically, that we don't think they are on a rush to build nuclear weapons, and calm down here.

ElBaradei is one of the winners out of this, as is, unfortunately, Vladimir Putin. That's very unfortunate.

COOPER: Yes, David, we have got to leave it there.

David Gergen, Christiane Amanpour, Reza Aslan, appreciate your expertise.

The question that remains of course unanswered at this point also is, how does this play out on the campaign trail? Hillary Clinton supporting the resolution condemning Iraq's Revolutionary Guard, other Democratic candidates not, this, no doubt, will be brought up on the campaign trail, certainly among the Democrats.

Straight ahead tonight: entire towns in Washington and Oregon under water or buried in mud. Thousands have been evacuated so far. And get ready. It is heading east. We have got Chad Myers tracking late developments with a storm of misery.

We will have that and these stories:


COOPER (voice-over): Death in paradise.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) FILOMENA TOBIAS, WIFE OF SETH TOBIAS: He's not breathing. I told you that! Please send somebody. Please.


COOPER: A wealthy hedge fund manager floating face down in the pool. Now the mystery deepens. Was it murder? Was his wife involved? And what about an exotic dancer named Tiger?

Also tonight: how this man snapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my weapon of choice.

COOPER: And his twisted upbringing in a cult that preyed on kids -- stalking, murder, suicide. But this strange and twisted story isn't over yet -- the latest, only on 360.



COOPER: In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, you are going to hear a very strange story about a very wealthy man whom you might recognize from daytime television.

His named Seth Tobias. And he appeared frequently on CNBC talking about money and high finance. That's him. He is now dead. He was found floating in his pool in Florida.

Now, depending on whom you believe, he was either the victim of his own excess or the victim of murder. We will let you be the judge.

CNN's John Zarrella reports.


SETH TOBIAS, HEDGE FUND MANAGER: Sell 10,000 Wal-Mart at 44.25.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Seth Tobias had it all, but there was one thing his money could not buy.


911 DISPATCHER: I need you to see if he is breathing or not.

FILOMENA TOBIAS, WIFE OF SETH TOBIAS: He's not breathing! I told you that. Please send somebody. Please.


ZARRELLA: A Wall Street wunderkind, at just 44, Tobias was running his own hedge fund.

He also became a frequent financial analyst on TV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) S. TOBIAS: But the market has actually had a very big decline.


ZARRELLA: Off camera, Tobias was living it up, buying this lavish estate near tony West Palm Beach. A couple of years ago, Tobias married a woman named Filomena. In no time, the couple became a fixture in Florida's society world.

(on camera): But, according to "The New York Times," the couple also did something else together. They enjoyed going to a local gay club.

And it was at Cupids where, according to "The Times," Tobias allegedly developed a liking for a mysterious man who called himself Tiger, a gay dancer with tiger-like tattoos covering his body.

(voice-over): Over time, Tobias' relationship with his wife turned sour. He filed for divorce in 2006. But they were still living together last September when Filomena says she came home and found him floating face down in the pool.

She says she then dragged him out before making this 911 call:


F. TOBIAS: He's answering me. Please, ma'am, just send me somebody.

911 DISPATCHER: Ma'am, where is he?

F. TOBIAS: He's outside of the pool. Please, just send me somebody.

911 DISPATCHER: I have help on the way. What is your name?

F. TOBIAS: I am his wife, Filomena.

911 DISPATCHER: I need you to see if he is breathing or not.

FILOMENA TOBIAS, WIFE OF SETH TOBIAS: He's not breathing! I told you that. Please send somebody. Please. I don't know what's wrong with him.


ZARRELLA: Police responded and found his body. By Filomena refused to let police in the house, according to "The New York Times" and local news reports. Court TV's Jami Floyd says, that is perfectly legal.

JAMI FLOYD, COURT TV ANCHOR: Jurors are going to say, look, if you have got nothing to hide, you let police in.

But defense attorneys -- and I'm one of those -- we are very cynical. We don't trust the police. And we know that, as a matter of constitutional law, you do not have to talk to the police, and you do not have to grant them access to your property.

ZARRELLA: How did he die? Police are still waiting for the answer.

SERGEANT SCOTT PASCARELLA, JUPITER, FLORIDA, POLICE DEPARTMENT: As of today, our case status has not changed. It's still a death investigation and awaiting toxicology results from the medical examiner's office.

ZARRELLA: But Tobias' brothers, in legal documents filed in litigation over Tobias' $25 million estate, say Filomena drugged Tobias, then lured him into the pool with a promise of sex with Tiger.

Filomena denies the allegations. Her lawyer tells CNN, there is no validity to these claims and the facts will bear that out.

No criminal charges have been filed. Police say it is still an open investigation. And Mrs. Tobias' attorneys told CNN there would be no comment during the ongoing litigation over the estate.

This mystery is only deepening. Documents from an unrelated case show, Mrs. Tobias paid more than $9,000 to have the pool drained and resurfaced just days after her husband's death.

FLOYD: Whatever happened here, Seth Tobias was living fast and furious with all that money, and it didn't save him. He is 44 years old, and he can't take it with him.


COOPER: John, when are investigators going to get this toxicology report?

ZARRELLA: Anderson, the medical examiner has had the case now for a couple of months. So, the police, in the next -- could be within the next few days, should have the toxicology back.

That will give them some of the answers they need. And we will -- we will all know whether there is anything more to this than just a very tragic death.

COOPER: Yes, tragic, indeed.

John, appreciate the reporting.

Up next, the Pineapple Express, it sounds like something Steve McGarrett should be investigating. But, in fact, it is a deadly weather pattern that pummelled the Pacific Northwest, raising water levels up to 25 feet in 48 hours, thousands evacuated, tens of thousands without power. How long will the storm last? And where is it headed next?

That is what we will find out -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: That's just a taste of what the Pacific Northwest is dealing with tonight. Back-to-back storms have left major fallout in their wake, including at least five deaths. Thousands are without power, and flooding has shut down major highways and roadways. The governors of Oregon and Washington have declared states of emergency.

CNN's Chad Myers joins me now from the weather center.

Chad, where -- what are we looking at?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right now, the storm has broken off, Anderson. It's just turned into an Alberta clipper, making snow for Chicago and Milwaukee.

I'm going to back you up a couple of days, when the winds were blowing 100 miles per hour. And then what you alluded to, this pineapple express, or this pineapple connection came into play.

Now what is it? Well, Hawaii has pineapples. And when you get a flow that comes from the tropical Pacific, like Hawaii, and it blows on up either into Washington, Oregon -- it can go to British Columbia or it can go into California -- we call this connection the pineapple express. A pineapple connection getting -- bringing all that tropical moisture in the air and dumping it on the land.

This connection was into Washington and Oregon the past couple of days. And what you're seeing here, this is the Chehalis River in Chehalis, Washington.

And this connection will change; it's changing right now. The moisture and the rain is pretty much done for Washington and Oregon. But by Friday, this connection will work its way a little bit farther to the south and be into California, with another big round of rain for California.

They had that round of rain, well, a couple of days ago, making the mudslides. That was like a Friday night. And there will be another round of rain this coming Friday night.

The good news is this water that you see here -- this is Centralia; this is Chehalis, actually, right there at the airport. They did get most of those planes to high ground.

This guy right here, we didn't know the story here, but he's actually going to the Wal-Mart. There's a bunch of people standing right there in the Wal-Mart waiting for him to come here. They loaded a bunch of stuff into his boat, and they got it out of there. I don't know what they were loading or unloading, but they sure have a mess there in central Washington, Oregon.

And then into the mountains, Anderson, they had three feet of snow. That's great if you can ski in it, if you can get there, if you didn't get struck trying to get out there.

COOPER: Those pictures are unbelievable. Chad, thanks.

MYERS: They really are.

COOPER: Moving on, indictments in the Sean Taylor murder case. Erica Hill has that and more in a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.


ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, a grand jury has indicted four men in the shooting death of NFL star Sean Taylor. Three appeared in court today by video conference. All were denied bail.

The fourth defendant, who is a juvenile, is expected in court tomorrow.

In England a jailed teacher is back home. Gillian Gibbons is arriving in London after serving more than a week behind bars in Sudan for allowing her students to name the class teddy bear Mohamed. Her crime, according to the Sudanese, insulting Islam.

Gibbons says she went to Sudan for an adventure and got more than she bargained for.

And the mastery of memory. Well, turns out it's the chimpanzee. Japanese researchers said 5-year-old chimps did better than college students when it came to short-term memory tests like remembering numbers on a TV screen when the numbers were shown for just a fifth of a second. The chimps got 80 percent right. Compare that with just 40 percent for the humans.

But don't worry here. Researchers did find the older the chimp the worse they did on the test. In fact, older chimps actually scored worse than their human counterpart.


HILL: There's a little hope. We win as we get old.

COOPER: Score one for the humans.

HILL: How about that?

COOPER: You know, this is not news to me. I paid chimps all throughout college to take my tests for me.

HILL: That explains the grades.

COOPER: That's right.

HILL: So it's all a sham, Anderson Cooper, is that what you're saying.

COOPER: Basically. You're going to have to talk to my attorney, who is, by the way, a chimp.

Speaking of memory, here's something I doubt you will ever forget. A bizarre way to learn English. We saw this video on Andrew Sullivan's Web site. He got it from YouTube. We want to know "What Were They Thinking?" And perhaps...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.


HILL: What?

COOPER: Oh, yes.

HILL: What are they selling? Beans?

COOPER: It's -- yes. I don't know, with that kind of problem, I'm not sure why they're smiling and making all those moves.


COOPER: But they're the Zuiikin gals of "Zuiikin English," a Japanese TV show where viewers learn how to speak English.

HILL: And do aerobics at the same time?

COOPER: Exactly. Not sure why they don't stick to the basics, like "Hello, how are you?" But apparently, "I have a bad case of diarrhea" is an important thing to know.

Let's check that out once again. Let's see what they're up to now?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea. I have a bad case of diarrhea.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: Look. It's the same thing.

COOPER: They go on and on like that.

HILL: What is tomorrow's show, "I'm going to vomit?"

You know, that does remind me of another one of our favorite Japanese TV moments around here. One of your personal favorites, I believe, Seamanship. Yes.




HILL: You know, if you put together the diarrhea moves and the seamanship moves, you'd have quite a routine there.

COOPER: Yes. It's -- yes, it's quite something. There you go. And I'm not sure what the "P-Low the Skillful Abbot" is at the top, the little graphic there. But it's all -- it's all very strange.

HILL: Lord only knows.

COOPER: "What Were They Thinking?"

HILL: Some poor tourist is going to come up to you on the street, by the way, and say, "I have a bad case of diarrhea." And you'll just laugh.

COOPER: And I will break out the aerobics moves.

Erica, thanks.


COOPER: I don't think that's the last we've seen of that video.

Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING." Bet they don't have...



Wake up to the most news in the morning, including a rumor that just won't die in the race for president. E-mails are being forwarded around about Barack Obama being a Muslim, even though he says he's a Christian.

CNN investigated rumors about Obama being schooled at a madrasah. Those turned out to be untrue. Tomorrow, how the Obama campaign is working to make sure that a rumor doesn't ruin his chances in the race.

"AMERICAN MORNING" starts at 6 a.m. Eastern. Anderson, back to you.


COOPER: Up next, a story that is only now coming to light about a sect you simply would not believe could exist.


COOPER (voice-over): How this man snapped. His twisted upbringing in a cult that preyed on kids. He killed his nanny, tried to kill his mother, killed himself, and the story isn't over. Only on 360.



COOPER: Quick programming note. Tomorrow on 360, a crime that's getting attention on both coasts, not just because it illustrates a flaw in the criminal justice system, but because it is now a part of the campaigns of two Republican presidential front-runners.


COOPER (voice-over): This is the scene of a brutal crime, two newlyweds shot and killed in their home near Tacoma, Washington. The suspect, a convicted murderer who fled Massachusetts after a judge released him on parole, only to end up here, 3,000 miles away.

ED TROYER, SPOKESMAN, PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We had no clue. Not a clue at all, not until the incident occurred. Everything that we found out about him we found out after the homicide, when he got on the radar screen.

COOPER: Everyone is trying to figure out how this happened, especially now. That's because it's been shoved into presidential politics, and Mitt Romney is on the defensive.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mitt Romney had a very poor record of dealing with crime.

COOPER: David Mattingly on true crime and punishment and presidential politics. Tomorrow night on 360.


COOPER: Now cults in America, they prey on the young, the old, anyone, really. Tonight, we're going to take you inside one. It's a haunting up-close journey, and it will stay with you.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're watching a man unravel. RICKY RODRIGUEZ, CULT MEMBER: I'm just loading some of my mags here. I hope you guys don't mind if I do that while I talk.

KAYE: Ricky Rodriguez had belonged to a sect that called itself The Family International. He made this chilling tape two years ago.

RODRIGUEZ: This is my weapon of choice, the K-bar knife.

KAYE: Just days after this taping, two people will die. Ricky is planning to murder his own mother.

RODRIGUEZ: She's going to pay dearly, one way or another.

KAYE: His mother, Karen Zerby, had become leader of the sect in 1994 after its founder, David Berg, died.

The group, shown here in this documentary, called "The Love Prophet," was once called the Children of God. It sprang up in the 1960s communal free love era.

Berg was a charismatic, self-proclaimed prophet. Former cult members tell us both Berg and Ricky's mom, who Berg called his queen, encouraged adult/child sex. In fact, they wrote about it.

A manifesto they called "The Story of Davidito" was the foundation of their perverted beliefs, according to many former members, Berg's how-to guide for raising sexual children. The Family International now says all "questionable publications were officially renounced and expunged between the late 1980s and early 1990s."

These photos show Ricky's nanny, even his mother, were his sexual teachers.

DON LATTIN, AUTHOR, "JESUS FREAKS": It was an experiment in this strange kind of twisted child-rearing philosophy of David Berg.

KAYE: Don Lattin's just-released book "Jesus Freaks" talks of Berg's cult.

LATTIN: He wanted his child to embrace sexuality, to be a sexual being as an infant growing up.

KAYE: This woman, Davida Kelley, grew up with Ricky in the cult.

(on camera) What was David Berg like?

DAVIDA KELLEY, FORMER MEMBER, THE FAMILY INTERNATIONAL: He was a sick (EXPLETIVE DELETED) pedophile. He was just a sick (EXPLETIVE DELETED) pervert. He interpreted, like, the law of love and the Bible and religion into a sick, perverted way, and that meant being able to violate and abuse anyone and everyone.

KAYE (voice-over): Including her, she says, when she was just 5.

KELLEY: You were only required to have actual intimate intercourse with David Berg once you were, like, the mature age of, like, 12.

KAYE: Davida says Ricky was forced to have sex with dozens of adult women, including his own mother.

KELLEY: I actually witnessed Karen Zerby having intercourse with her own son, Rick Rodriguez, at age 11.

KAYE: Berg was apparently so obsessed with sex he used it to grow his group around the world. Former members say Berg sent women out to seduce men to lure them in to accept his gospel of Jesus.

LATTIN: Berg was God's pimp.

KAYE: The Family International refused an interview with CNN, but in a statement acknowledges Berg taught sexual liberty without instituting safeguards for the protection of minors, but it says, that was corrected in 1986, and any infractions are an excommunicable offense.

The group also told us all of Davida's allegations are false and that Karen Zerby never abused her son Ricky.

Ricky would later escape from the group and marry and try to establish a new life.

ELIXCIA MUNUMEL, RICKY RODRIGUEZ' WIDOW: He wanted the memory of his childhood to be gone.

KAYE: But he had been too deeply scarred. He wanted revenge against his mother, which brings us back to his murder plan.

RODRIGUEZ: Maybe fate will smile on me, the God of war, the God of revenge. Maybe they will grant me happy hunting.


COOPER: Coming up next, the final chapter. Ricky Rodriguez turned his rage on the two women who raised him and he says betrayed him. Part two of Randi Kaye's report, up close, right after this.



RODRIGUEZ: This is my weapon of choice, the K-bar knife.

She's going to pay dearly. One way or another.


COOPER: He is a troubled young man named Ricky Rodriguez. By the time he made that video, he was trying to break away from the cult that had raised him and start again. But it ended up in tragedy.

Once again, up close, CNN's Randi Kaye.


KAYE (voice-over): David Berg referred to himself as Moses and was known as the Love Prophet. He encouraged free love and open sex between adults and children.

In some bizarre logic, he concluded the Bible called for raising a sexually enlightened child. Berg anointed this boy, Ricky Rodriguez, as his spiritual successor, but the sex abuse would take its toll on him as a man.

RODRIGUEZ: It's a need for revenge. It's a need for justice. Because I can't go on like this.

KAYE: Within hours of taping this in 2005, Ricky contacted his childhood nanny.

KELLEY: She was one of the many female adults that had intercourse with Rick Rodriguez.

KAYE: This is a picture of the two of them.

RODRIGUEZ: I don't think there's going to be much time to feel anything. Might hurt for a split second.

KAYE: In his first bloody act of revenge, Ricky murdered his nanny. He cut her throat, then left her body in his Arizona apartment. But he was not done. He was still looking for his mother.

KELLEY: He realized that he wasn't going to bring his mother to justice the way he wished he could have brought her to in a court of law.

LATTIN: Most of this abuse went on, like, 20 years ago, so the statute of limitations expired. Most of it happened outside the U.S., so it's very difficult to prosecute.

KAYE: A spokesperson for The Family told us its policy for the protection of minors was adopted in 1986. "We regret that, prior to the adoption of this policy, cases occurred where minors were exposed to sexually inappropriate behavior between 1978 and 1986."

Davida Kelley and others, who were children then, are still haunted.

(on camera) Tell me what's going on up here and in here.

KELLEY: Up here it's like -- up here it's like I'm so not OK. I'm not OK.

KAYE (voice-over): This Web site, set up by people who were children in the cult then says at least 30 of them have committed suicide, though CNN has no way of verifying that.

As for Ricky Rodriguez, he never found his mother, a failure, Ricky's wife says, he couldn't live with.

MUNUMEL: He's like, "Baby, you love me."

And I said, "Yes, I love you. You know I love you more than anything else in the world."

And he said, "Then come and die with me."

KAYE: On a deserted road, Ricky Rodriguez died alone, a single shot to the head four years after he fled the cult.

As for his mother...

KELLEY: She's still the leader of The Family, and she needs to be brought to justice.

KAYE: But first, she must be found. Until then, she'll remain in hiding.


COOPER: I had no idea, Randi, that this group is still out there. In fact, his mother is the leader of it. Are there any charges against her anywhere?

KAYE: Not as of now. All we know is that these crimes happened decades ago. The statute of limitations, as you heard, has run out.

So these people have different aliases. The crimes happened around the world. They've changed their name dozens of times. And this makes it very difficult for the prosecutors and the investigators to go after them.

There were some raids on compounds years ago. There were trials. No convictions. But Anderson, that's one of the reasons why Ricky Rodriguez went on his own, seeking justice after his mother.

COOPER: And they call themselves Jesus freaks, right?

KAYE: They do. And that's part of the...

COOPER: What this has to do with Jesus, I can't understand.

KAYE: Well, everything that David Berg and everything that Karen Zerby now does is really in the name of Jesus. They believe that they can get away with all of this because it's in the name of Jesus.

COOPER: Unbelievable that it's still out there. Randi Kaye, appreciate it. Thanks very much, Randi.

The raw data on the cults is eye-opening. There are an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 in the U.S. they say. Each year they recruit an estimated 180,000 new members and up to seven million in America have once belonged to a cult at one time or another in their lives.

Just ahead, something thankfully a lot lighter. If it were up to us, we'd call it extreme fishing, but down south, well, in Arkansas where this video is from, they call it noodling. Yes, noodling. It involves putting your arm down a fish's throat.

Anyway, we'll explain. But first Erica Hill joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.


HILL: Anderson, a federal grand jury has indicted Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu in a 15-count fraud scheme, including 12 counts of mail and wire fraud and various campaign finance law violations.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed today, Hsu persuaded his victims to invest at least $60 million in this scheme and swindled at least $20 million from them.

And speaking of fraud, a young Philadelphia couple charged with identity theft, forgery and a laundry list of other counts, are being called a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Twenty-two-year-old Jocelyn Kirsch and her 25-year-old boyfriend, Edward Anderton, allegedly stole the identities of neighbors in their upscale apartment building and defrauded businesses to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

They used all that money to pay for little jaunts to Paris, London, Hawaii and other exotic spots.

And in Northern England, a man reported missing in 2002 after his shattered canoe was found abandoned is alive and well. John Darwin was 51 at the time. He was presumed dead. But then this weekend he walked into a London police station and told police who he was.

Darwin, though, apparently can't remember anything that has happened since June of 2000. This is a wild story.

COOPER: I can't believe this story. It's so bizarre.

HILL: It is. I feel like there are some more details that...

COOPER: There's got to be more to it. I heard his father saying he'd had a traffic accident when he was a kid and thought he had amnesia. But I mean, just his family. He's got two kids who have grown. And it's crazy. Yes.

HILL: I can't imagine.

COOPER: All right. Time for "The Shot." A friend sent this to us today. We have to admit we've never seen anything like it. Take a look at this dramatic animal video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good fish, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, look at it.


COOPER: These two guys... HILL: Is that a real fish?

COOPER: Yes, it is. They're fishing. As you can see, they're not using rods or reels, even a net. It's a special kind of fishing in Arkansas, where this was shot. They call it noodling. Catfish...

HILL: Noodling?

COOPER: Yes, noodling.

HILL: Not "hooking with a forearm." Just noodling.

COOPER: Noodling. And as you can see, they grow them real big in the waters. And they literally, like, find the fish and then shove their arm down the fish's throat up to the gills.

HILL: And then they fry it up for dinner, or what?

COOPER: And it gets kind of bloody, because the fish bite them.


COOPER: But it's called noodling. Now, this guy is about to pull up another one.

HILL: Let me tell you, though. If I was that fish, I wouldn't mess with that guy.

COOPER: Yes. I want some noodling. I want to go noodling.

HILL: Noodling, how about that? You know, when I heard we were talking about noodling -- no, it doesn't -- I thought we were going to talk about David Mattingly dramatic fish video.

COOPER: Oh, that's right.

HILL: Yes. When they shoot the fish, the jumping fish.

COOPER: That was the flying carp.

HILL: Flying carp. Isn't there -- don't they also -- isn't there -- I think we did a story on a guy who runs a business who actually takes you out on a charter with beer and something else to get the flying carp.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: I remember that story.

COOPER: Wild out there (ph), see where they're all flying around.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: I think they should stick to noodling.

HILL: It may not be a bad idea.

COOPER: If you see some dramatic fish video, fish noodling around or fish shooting up out of the water, take a picture of it. Send us the video: We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

Well, still to come, a wealthy hedge-fund manager found dead in his swimming pool and a bitter estate battle bringing up allegations of a secret love affair.

Plus, what are Iran's nuclear ambitions? A new report downplays an arms program that President Bush said risked starting World War III, and he's refusing the ratchet down the rhetoric. That's next, ahead on 360.


COOPER: He slammed Rudy Giuliani for harboring illegal aliens as mayor of New York. Rudy then slammed him for employing them in his home. Now an investigation reveals that Mitt Romney is still employing illegals at his home outside Boston. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also, a new report on Iran's nuclear program is once again raising the question, what did the president know and when did President Bush know it? Was he selling Iran as a nuclear threat when he already knew, or should have known, that the CIA and 15 other intelligence agencies were ready to say that it wasn't?