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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
President Obama Meets With Mexican President Calderon; CIA Torture Tactics Revealed
Aired April 16, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news from across the border: President Obama in Mexico City right now on its first official trip to Latin America, his top priority, the drug violence, the war next door pushing our neighbor to the brink, the danger also driving deeper here into the U.S. -- the president pledging that the U.S. has to do more to keep American guns and cash out of the hands of drug cartels.
Here's some of what he said just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have the greatest admiration and courage for President Calderon and his entire cabinet, his rank-and-file police officers and soldiers, as they take on these cartels.
I commend Mexico for the successes that have already been achieved. But I will not pretend that this is Mexico's responsibility alone. The -- a demand for these drugs in the United States is what is helping to keep these cartels in business.
This war is being waged with guns purchased not here, but in the United States. More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border.
So, we have responsibilities as well. We have to do our part. We have to crack down on drug use in our cities and towns. We have to stem the southbound flow of guns and cash. And we are absolutely committed to working in a partnership with Mexico to make sure that we are dealing with this scourge on both sides of the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was President Obama just a short time ago.
Suzanne Malveaux is traveling with the president. She joins us now from Mexico City with the "Raw Politics."
Suzanne, the president saying the U.S. will take aggressive action to help Mexico stop the drug cartels. What did he actually pledge, though?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is a very big problem, and the -- the United States realizes it. Before he even touched ground here, there was a shoot-out that happened, 16 people killed. That's what Mexican officials are saying. Only five U.S. presidents have even been to Mexico City in the last 100 years, so Barack Obama, obviously, underscoring the very important nature of this, the dangerous situation here, Anderson.
We are told that this is a national security threat. He's done a lot of talking, tough talk, about North Korea, about Afghanistan. This is right in our own backyard.
So, what did the president offer? He came here saying, look, I recognize this is a problem that we both share, millions of dollars out of war funding now going to border security, a border czar. He's talking about three Black Hawk helicopters, all of this money, resources that he's throwing at the border, obviously, Anderson, a very dangerous situation.
White House officials acknowledge that. It's one of the main reasons why they're saying, look, we appreciate what Calderon is doing, because they need him. They essentially need him to be very active in this drug war -- Anderson.
COOPER: I have been down there. Mexican officials say they want a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban here in the U.S.
What -- what's Mr. Obama's position on that?
MALVEAUX: Well, you know, his hands are really tied at this point. He promised during the campaign that this is something that he wanted to do, to reinstate the assault weapons ban.
It's not something that he's actually able to. Calderon says: We need this to happen. We have seen weapons increase, we have seen violence increase since this thing expired.
What we heard from Obama today was, look, the Democrats, Congress, they don't have an appetite for this.
So, he offered instead to kind of encourage the Senate to ratify some sort of old treaty, a regional treaty, really a gesture, Anderson. It's not going to do that much in the -- in the short-term or very much in the long-term. He would really have to push Congress to move on this, because, otherwise, it really is going to be a big difference, a big difference in approach in how to deal with this problem.
Obviously, his hands are tied at this point.
COOPER: A lot of politics involved in this.
Suzanne Malveaux, thanks.
There's a fascinating story right now at AC360.com about the "Narco Saint." It's deity drug-traffickers in Mexico turn to for help. It's really fascinating. Check it out right now. We have more breaking news tonight, though, about what has been happening in secret prisons and interrogation rooms run by the U.S. over the last several years.
Late today, the White House took the extraordinary step of releasing what some have called the torture memos, documents that spelled out, line by line, CIA interrogation techniques used on terror suspects during the Bush administration.
At the same time, another very controversial move -- President Obama says the CIA operatives who carried out those interrogations will not face prosecution.
More on that in a moment, but, first, the methods used -- they include water-boarding, something called walling, even using stinging insects.
Tom Foreman has more.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the war on terror raged in the years following 9/11, the new documents paint a graphic picture of what was happening to some suspected terrorists in American hands, suspects like Abu Zubaydah, identified by the CIA as a top al Qaeda operative.
In memos to the spy agency, the Justice Department approved shackling so-called high-value suspects, forcing them to stand, and keeping them from sleeping for up to 11 days, making them assume stress positions, such as standing with only their hands touching a distant wall, or kneeling while being forced to bend sharply backward, locking them in a tiny, cramped space for up to two hours at a time.
For Zubaydah, one memo even OKed throwing in an insect of which he was to be believed deathly afraid, though that step was not taken, and simulated drowning through the process known as water-boarding.
(on camera): The memos make it plain that only some detainees faced these extreme measures. And, even then, some techniques were not taken to the approved limit. Furthermore, the Justice Department repeatedly warned that physical injury was forbidden, as well as anything that produced prolonged psychological stress or lasting effects.
(voice-over): The memos stress that thousands of American soldiers have endured these techniques in training, and that they do not constitute torture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This government does not torture people.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FOREMAN: Still, the list goes on -- also approved, slapping suspects in the face or stomach to startle and humiliate, dousing prisoners repeatedly with water, and forced nudity in front of both male and female interrogators, especially if that's taboo in the prisoner's culture.
The American Civil Liberties Union says, all this is torture. And just as it fought for the release of these papers, the group now wants something more.
AMRIT SINGH, ATTORNEY, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: Torture is illegal. It is immoral, and it is essential that individuals who conducted torture be held accountable.
FOREMAN: Not likely, the Obama administration says, but the president is making it just as clear that such interrogation techniques are now forbidden.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: When news of the memos were declassified, it was met with a dire warning from CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said the Obama administration's decision endangers the country and tells the world the U.S. cannot keep a secret.
Let's dig deeper. Joining us now, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and senior political analyst David Gergen.
Jeffrey, what do you think of these memos?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I have to say, these are some of the most shocking legal documents I have ever seen.
TOOBIN: To see the United States government, an assistant attorney general, say that water-boarding was not torture, a position that is totally without legal support, even in the same memo pointing out -- or same collection of memos -- that countries that do engage in these kind of tactics, like Indonesia, we call it torture, but they say, oh, but that's just diplomatic.
I mean, this was shocking and appalling stuff.
COOPER: David Gergen?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it was wrong.
And it's -- it's -- I think it's good these memos have come out. People need to wrestle with realities. I also think that we need to join as a country and -- and condemn this kind of practice.
I also think that, before we go way overboard, that we ought to remember what people were going through. This is the first administration in history that had people who had to run for their lives from the White House in order to escape attacks.
This is an administration that, when they got these daily reports, I think there was a natural -- about -- about the terror threats around the world, there was -- people became almost -- almost obsessed with the danger of new terrorism in the United States, and somehow it would happen on their watch, unless they took effective action.
So, I think it's abhorrent, but I also think it's more understandable than some of the critics are saying.
COOPER: It does get to the point, though, that this is something which was mandated from the top, that all that talk about this just being a few rogue people, as was said over the years, that seems now not to be the case, certainly as is clear. And we're going to talk about that.
What do you think about these -- these methods? Let us know what you think. Join the live chat happening now at AC360.com. Also, Erica Hill's live Webcasts during the breaks, check it out tonight.
Next on 360, we will have more on what -- on the conversation with David and Jeffrey.
Also, just how many people have actually been killed in U.S. custody? How many of those deaths were actually homicides? You might be surprised by the answer. We will have it for you and more from our panel coming up.
Also tonight, a first for Sarah Palin -- she is speaking out tonight far from Alaska, where she's facing a backlash from her own party. This is a live picture. We will bring you some of her comments, her story, and her message to conservatives, coming up.
Later, recruiting American drug-runners -- that's right, American -- how Mexican cartels are using American teens to ship their supplies over the border.
And, later, a heartbreaking farewell -- thousands attending the memorial today for 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. At the same time, we're learning new details about the Sunday school teacher accused of killing her.
And then something to make you smile before bed -- Susan Boyle, you know her story. You have heard her voice.
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COOPER: Tonight, you will see a whole new side of the singing sensation. She's invited us into her Scottish home. And that's just for starters. Wait until she actually sings for you.
It's next on 360.
COOPER: Well, we have seen the pictures from Abu Ghraib, of course, and we have heard the stories of brutality and abuse.
And, while we can't confirm numbers, an AP report says at least 100 detainees held by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have died in American custody. Most reportedly died violently. A quarter of those deaths were investigated as a result of possible abuse by U.S. personnel. That report was from 2005. We don't have numbers after that.
And, as we told you before the break, the Justice Department released the memos detailing interrogation techniques endorsed by the Bush administration from the very top.
CIA operatives, though, who carried out those techniques will not face prosecution. In a statement released today, President Obama said -- quote -- "This is a time for reflection, not retribution. Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past."
Joining me again, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and senior political analyst David Gergen.
Jeff, you know, you say you were outraged by these memos. There are a lot of people, though, listening who say, well, look, if this stopped, you know, a terror attack from happening, if this worked, then maybe it's OK.
TOOBIN: Well, A, there's no evidence that it stopped another terrorist attack. But, B, torture...
COOPER: Other than Dick Cheney saying so.
TOOBIN: Dick Cheney saying so, but there has been no other evidence that's come out to that effect.
But torture is something that civilized countries don't do, period, end of story. John McCain said it. Barack Obama said it. And -- and the idea that we were water-boarding people at the same time we were condemning other countries for engaging in torture, I think, is something that is totally indefensible and will be a black mark on this country for decades to come.
COOPER: It is interesting. If you go to Tuol Sleng Khmer Rouge prison and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, they have a painting of -- of the water-boarding device. You can actually see their water-boarding device. It's a technique they used.
These stress positions are something that the Gestapo used, the Nazis used. GERGEN: Water-boarding is flat-out torture. We just ought to accept that. And it's something the United States should not do. The president of the United States told us we were not engaging in torture. We were.
COOPER: So, was he lying?
GERGEN: Not in his -- it's an interesting question about what is lying. And that is...
COOPER: When you start to have to ask the question what is lying...
GERGEN: I mean, if, in his own mind, he thought it was not torture, and he said, we're not torturing, was he really lying or not?
GERGEN: You know, from -- I think we were torturing.
But I have to say, the larger point here, Anderson, I thought what President Obama did today, I thought he was right to put the memos out. I thought it was right to put them out. It was also very important they decided not to prosecute people in the CIA.
GERGEN: Because, if you're operating in a government, and your superiors say something is legal, then you should be able to rely on that, and not have somebody come in to you after the fact and say, no, no, no, no, we're not going to -- we're going to make that -- now we're going to declare that illegal, after the fact.
You know, it's the same kind of thing people in the business community are facing now if they get into this TARP program, if they buy these toxic assets. Is the Congress going to change the rules on them, you know, six months from now, reason some of them don't want to participate.
TOOBIN: I agree with you...
GERGEN: I don't think people should be put in a position where they're found in the government, as public servants, to say, we're going to hang you, even though your superiors told you it was OK.
COOPER: What about the superiors?
COOPER: Should they -- should there be some sort of truth and reconciliation committee -- commission -- as some have called...
TOOBIN: You know, there's a new name that -- that a lot of people don't know. A lot of people know Alberto Gonzales signed a torture memo, John Yoo signed a torture memo.
But the principal author of the most outrageous document today was a guy named Jay Bybee, who, in 2003, very shortly after this memo was published, became a federal judge. He's now on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. He will be there for life.
COOPER: That's him right there.
He, frankly, got away with this before anybody knew he was involved. And it's really shocking that this guy is on the court.
COOPER: So, he -- was confirmed to be a judge. No one asked him about this?
TOOBIN: Well, no one knew. These memos had not come out.
TOOBIN: I can't think -- I don't think you can blame Congress at that point.
GERGEN: Why not? Why can't you blame the -- where was the -- where was the Judiciary Committee? They -- they -- they confirmed him.
TOOBIN: Well, they -- because they didn't have access to those documents yet.
GERGEN: But they knew he was there in the Justice Department at a very controversial time.
TOOBIN: Well, they knew -- they did. But, I mean, the -- the Bush administration kept those documents secret for a long time.
COOPER: David, do you think there should be some sort of, you know, further investigation into this, or do you think this is something...
GERGEN: I think, Anderson, we need to know the facts, but we don't need a witch-hunt.
I don't think that that's appropriate for the people who are working in the agency. I also don't think it's something that Barack Obama needs in his presidency right now. I think this is a time -- and we have seen this out of Nelson Mandela and out of Vaclav Havel in their own countries. There are times when you really need to move to healing and move on.
COOPER: There are other countries, though, which have made motions about charging... TOOBIN: Spain has these -- has an active investigation of Alberto Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee. I don't -- I don't think that's going to go anywhere. And, frankly, I'm not sure that's the best way to resolve this either.
But I'm -- sort of agree with David that these prosecutions are not a good idea, although I think it's a closer question. But further investigation is entirely appropriate. Every time we have had a major...
COOPER: Should we be able to answer the question, did this work? I mean, it seems like that -- I mean, that's a core question...
GERGEN: I think we should.
COOPER: ... that -- that we don't know the answer to. We only have Dick Cheney saying, yes, it did work.
There's no other evidence to -- to say that it did work. Should that be investigated to find out, did this actually -- what actually -- how was this actually used?
TOOBIN: I think so, but I don't think that's an -- that will tell us whether it was worthwhile.
If torture worked, I don't care -- I don't think most of us care whether it worked or not. I think it's something that civilized countries don't do. And if it got a -- somewhat -- some information, it wasn't worth it. When you consider our national standing, our international standing...
COOPER: It certainly makes it harder the next time a U.S. personnel is kidnapped overseas or held overseas to then complain.
GERGEN: And that's why people like John McCain, on the Republican side, were so opposed to this sort of thing, because they had been there. They knew what it was like.
We do need to know more about this, but we don't need witch- hunts.
COOPER: The conversation continues on our blog right now at AC360.
Thanks very much, David, and -- and, Jeff, as well.
Next on the program: the return of Sarah Palin, speaking to a sellout crowd right now in America's heartland. She's had a rocky road lately. That's a live picture. Is all that about to change? We will have some of her comments from tonight ahead. Also, new details on the Sunday school teacher charged with murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and why the case against the alleged sexual predator is extremely rare.
And, later, three shots, three kills -- the Navy SEALs who brought down the pirates, an incredible operation, tonight, we will introduce you to the man who trained those SEALs and what exactly he taught them.
And the middle-aged singer who has stunned millions with her voice -- here comes Susan Boyle. And, tonight, she's giving an intimate performance for you.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Well, Senator John McCain may ignore her these days, but Palin remains as popular as ever, and now she's stepping back into the spotlight, tonight, right now, far from her home state.
Governor Palin is in Indiana right now. There she is speaking live at a Right to Life dinner. They are the first public comments she's given outside of Alaska all year.
But, as you will see, the troubles and the controversy continue to follow her.
Candy Crowley is there, has more on the return of Sarah Palin -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.
About 3,000 people here showed up to hear Sarah Palin. She has talked about everything, about giving birth to her Down syndrome child, about the campaign trail, about how she feels about the federal stimulus.
But, in fact, this audience doesn't seem to much care what she's talking about. They're just happy she's here.
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: Thank you so much.
CROWLEY (voice-over): She came.
PALIN: Thank you, Indiana.
CROWLEY: She spoke.
PALIN: It is great to be in Indiana, the crossroads of America. CROWLEY: She rocked the house.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWLEY: Officials at the Vanderburgh County. Indiana, Right to Life Banquet didn't think there was much chance Sarah Palin would accept their invitation to the group's biggest fund-raiser. But she did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We immediately sold out before, actually, it was released to the public.
CROWLEY: It was little more than a cameo appearance, but the anti-abortion movement is a core constituency in the Republican Party, and the speech was Governor Palin's first this year in the lower 48.
It does have people talking about her 2012 intentions.
PALIN: Why states enticed with federal dollars that have strings attached to them may, at the end of the day, realize that those dollars can actually be bad for our states. This isn't free money, folks. Our nation is $11 trillion in debt. This is borrowed money. We're borrowing from China.
CROWLEY: Personally and professionally, it's been a rough road for the governor since the Republican ticket was defeated in November.
Her relationship with Levi Johnston, the father of Palin's grandson, has been the stuff of soap operas. Her dealings with state lawmakers are not much better. Just before her Indiana appearance, they rejected Palin's nominee for attorney general.
And, as the legislature wraps up its session this week, Democrats and some Republicans complained the Indiana trip shows the governor is more interested in her national ambitions than state business.
The national scene has not been entirely hospitable to Palin, sometimes from surprising places. Senator John McCain, who, after all, tapped Palin at his number two, was asked by "The Tonight Show"'s Jay Leno about people who could lead the Republican Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Huntsman, Romney...
JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Right.
MCCAIN: ... the -- Charlie Crist.
There's a lot of governors out there who...
MCCAIN: ... are young and dynamic. And there's -- Mitt Romney did a great job. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Perhaps McCain intentionally left out his former running mate. Perhaps he simply forgot, but even that is telling -- 2012 is political light years away.
It is not likely anyone, including Sarah Palin, has decided whether to run for president. But she has set up a political action committee. She did take the trek from Alaska to Indiana for a pretty well-covered mini-show. At the very least, she's interested in laying down a marker.
COOPER: Candy, it's interesting. The -- the abortion issue didn't really play a major role in this past election. What's the status of the -- of the movement right now?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, it's interesting, because, in talking to people around here, and before, actually, we came out to Indiana, what we're finding is that these groups are saying they are seeing an uptick in volunteers.
They are seeing an uptick in the money that they're bringing in. And they say: Listen, we're no longer playing offense, as we were with George Bush. We're now playing defense.
And they point to President Obama's lifting of the federal ban on stem cell research. They point to the fact that he has freed up dollars that go overseas to clinics that either counsel or, in practice, offer abortions. So, there are a couple of things that they look at that have made, they say, a lot of people very unhappy.
So, they are now reporting, at least in the anti-abortion movement, that their numbers are going up, and, in some places, by a fair amount.
COOPER: All right. Candy Crowley, appreciate it.
Thanks very much, Candy, live tonight.
Next, coming up: President Obama in Mexico tonight. We talked about that. But we have a startling story to tell you about: American teens working for Mexican drug cartels, crossing the border with drugs strapped to her bodies and making thousands of dollars doing it. You're going to meet one former smuggler tonight.
And how to kill pirates -- Gary Tuchman takes aim with a man who trains Navy SEAL snipers. They are the best in the business.
And where did Susan Boyle learn to sing like this?
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COOPER: We will take you inside her house where she grew up and bring you an exclusive performance she just did for CNN.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Today's talk between President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon focused on immigration, trade and border security, including, of course, the drug war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Are we going to eliminate all drug flows? Are we going to eliminate all guns coming over the border? That's not a realistic objective.
What is a realistic objective is to reduce it so significantly, so drastically that it becomes, once again, a localized criminal problem as opposed to a major structural problem that threatens stability in communities along those borders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that's certainly the Mexicans' strategy, but it's a tough battle.
Case in point, this 20-year-old woman guarding an arsenal of heavy firepower, according to reports, the Mexican reports picked her up with a huge cache of weapons, this photo from British newspaper "The Daily Mail," including an anti-aircraft gun capable of firing 800 shots per minute, rifles, and parts for a grenade launcher.
Agents are reporting an increase in the number of teen drug- runners, Americans recruited by the cartels to smuggle cocaine and marijuana into America.
Ed Lavandera caught up with a former teenage smuggler who barely survived "The War Next Door."
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Danny Santos is chasing golden dreams in the boxing ring, a long way from the days of this American kid working for a Mexican drug cartel.
DANNY SANTOS, FORMER TEEN DRUG-SMUGGLER: I just didn't care. I had, like, no -- I guess you would say I had no conscience.
LAVANDERA: Santos is one of thousands of American and Mexican teenagers recruited by the cartels. Santos says that, at age 15, he was introduced to the drug world at a party.
SANTOS: It was a friend had a cousin that knew a guy. And that's where it all started.
LAVANDERA: Santos says, that guy connected him to drug kingpins in Juarez, Mexico. He started as a driver for a mid-level cartel member.
SANTOS: People feel they -- they can trust you, right? So, then you move on up to something bigger.
LAVANDERA: Something bigger was becoming a cross-border drug- smuggler, or a mule. The pay? Four thousand dollars for one run.
(on camera): And you weren't scared about driving these drugs across the border? You could just make yourself do it?
I mean, I was -- I was -- I can't say I wasn't nervous. But you just can't show it. I mean, you still know you're driving. You still know what you're doing, an American citizen, and all that, right? But you have just got to forget about the fact that you have something illegal in the car.
LAVANDERA: That started a four-year smuggling career. Santos is 21 now. He says in all he's pocketed about $50,000, making about 20 runs, right through customs checkpoints.
(on camera) Here in El Paso, some 35,000 cars a day cross into the United States. And it's here where drug smugglers are counting on teenagers to blend into this scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been getting people with drugs under.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Customs and border protection officials say in recent months, they've seen a rise in the number of teenage drug smugglers, girls and boys alike, many from well-to-do families. Mostly American kids with drug bundles, usually marijuana, strapped to their bodies.
When we watched this girl wearing a bulky sweatshirt on a warm day in El Paso, hands shaking, it raised intense questions from the customs agent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was nervous. She was shaking.
LAVANDERA: There were no drugs, but El Paso port director Bill Molaski worries the cartels are refocusing on recruiting kids.
BILL MOLASKI, U.S. CUSTOMS: So wherever they believe that they could be successful or they find a weak point in our -- in our defense of the homeland here, they're going to attempt to exploit that.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, EL PASO COUNTY ATTORNEY: I think the cartel is always looking for ways...
LAVANDERA: The El Paso County attorney Jose Rodriguez prosecutes juvenile smugglers. He says teenagers don't understand the danger. RODRIGUEZ: When you're a kid here who lost a load and who had some of his toes chopped off.
LAVANDERA: Danny Santos is lucky. He got out. He says he was only arrested once with little jail time. He spent away most of the $50,000 he made. But others are ready to take his place.
SANTOS: Let's just say they catch them all tomorrow, you know. Tomorrow there's going to be 30 new ones.
LAVANDERA: For many teens along the border, fighting off the temptation never ends.
COOPER: Let's talk about recruitment of these Americans. And the cartels go to some pretty extraordinary lengths to attract them.
LAVANDERA: Well, they sure do. First of all, there's a couple things. They recruit the Mexican kids and American kids. They're looking for Mexican kids that have the border-crossing cards that let them go back and forth.
They recruit American kids, believe it or not, in many high schools. But one of the most bizarre things we discovered in all of this, that in the last few years, the Mexican consulate officials in the U.S. have noticed newspaper ads in Mexican newspapers advertising a very kind of subtle advertisement for a good job offering, good salaries and benefits. We're looking for both boys and girls. And then it gives you a cell phone number, or a phone number to call. You call that number, leave a message.
And according to Mexican officials, they set up a meeting point in a public place. And they go out there, and they kind of feel you out and see if you're capable of doing this kind of work.
COOPER: Unbelievable. Ed, appreciate it, thanks.
Join the live chat happening now at AC360.com. Also, check out Erica Hill's live Web cast during our breaks tonight.
Coming up, the tragic death of Sandra Cantu. This woman, Melissa Huckaby, charged with her rape and murder. We have new details tonight about her. We'll talk to experts about why this case is as rare as it is shocking.
That was actually a scene from a memorial service earlier. That was not a shot of Huckaby.
Plus, a hero's homecoming. The crew of the Maersk Alabama opening up about their ordeal.
And take a look at these women. They're not twins. They are mother and daughter. Can you guess which is which and why they look so exactly alike? The mother spent an awful lot of money to make that happen. We'll explain, in tonight's "Shot." (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Busy night tonight. More breaking news, this time out of Kenya. Great news where the captain of the Maersk Alabama has just boarded a plane that will bring him home to the U.S.
We have some new video in of Captain Richard Phillips taken just a short time ago. You can see him getting on the plane there. He's in the hat there. It's sort of a silhouetted shot. But getting cleared to go onto the airplane that is bringing him home.
As we all know, Phillips and his crew were hijacked by Somali pirates. Phillips gave himself over to these pirates, saved his sailors. A daring and incredible mission, Navy SEALs trained their rifles on the pirates, shot three of them dead simultaneously, three shots, rescuing Phillips. He's, as we said, on his way home. You see him right there.
His crew landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland early this morning. They were reunited with their families and are waiting for their captain to return. It's going to be quite some homecoming.
One member of the crew recounted their ordeal tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE." Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": What kept you going?
JOHN CRONAN, ENGINEER, MAERSK ALABAMA: The courage that I observed in my shipmates. My love of my family, my home and my country and my desire to return home safely to those that I love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: For five long days pirates pointed AK-47s at Captain Richard Phillips, threatening to kill him until the pirates themselves were taken out, shot, killed by U.S. Navy SEAL snipers. It was precision marksmanship.
Gary Tuchman learned from a sniper trainer how it's done.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man was in charge of training hundreds of elite U.S. Navy SEAL snipers for years. The identities of the snipers who killed the three pirates in the Indian Ocean are purposely not revealed. But...
(on camera) If the three snipers in the Indian Ocean trained between 2003 and 2006, they would have come across you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Brandon Webb now runs a private company called Win Zero (ph), which focused on state-of-the-art law enforcement training, specifically sniper skills. He takes us into the mountains east of San Diego.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea is to shift your hip over.
TUCHMAN: Webb gives me an M-4 sniper rifle, a miniature version of the three-month course that a small and very talented percentage of Navy SEALs get to take. We're 100 yards from the target, somewhat farther than the vessels were from each other in the Indian Ocean drama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll have to adjust your eyes back and forth so you can pick up a clear shot in the scope. Do you have the target?
TUCHMAN (on camera): Yes, I see a rock right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So you'll have to shift around to find your target.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): I find the kill target in the scope, lining it up in the scope's crosshairs. When The Shot is ready, I'm taught to say, "We're hot."
(on camera) Here we go. We're hot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
TUCHMAN: Did I hit it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You're about, what, 4 or 5 o'clock of center. You're a hit. That was a solid hit.
There you go. You're hot. Hit. Make sure that fire's all the way engaged with your thumb fully up. There you go.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Even though I'm hitting the target, it's hardly a stressful situation. I wonder what it would be like if I was dealing with someone's life.
And the question on everyone's mind, how do you line up a target when you're rolling on ocean waves?
(on camera) If we're on water, what would I be doing differently?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really critical that you get a stable shooting position.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): You take your eye away from the scope for a split second, you can miss the kill.
(on camera) Got it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Was this expert in any way surprised by the snipers' success off the Somalian coast?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say I definitely expect it -- expected it.
TUCHMAN: SEALs don't suffer from a lack of confidence.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Diego County, California.
COOPER: How cool are Navy SEALs? Go to AC360.com to see a drill of how crews protect against a pirate attack and what they do if they are attacked. That's on the Web site right now.
Up next, new details about the Sunday school teacher accused of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Why the case against the accused sexual predator is extremely rare.
And will New York become the next state to allow same-sex marriages? The governor is asking for it. We'll have an update on that.
And Susan Boyle, the YouTube singing sensation, gives a performance just for you. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Thousands of mourners filled a high school gym in Northern California today to remember an 8-year-old girl, Sandra Cantu.
Organizers of the service in the town of Tracy called it a celebration of life to help ease the pain the community has suffered since Sandra disappeared on March 27. Ten days later, her body was found stuffed in a suitcase at the bottom of a pond.
And then Sandra's neighbor, who's a Sunday school teacher, was arrested. Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Huckaby -- that's her name. She faces murder, kidnapping and rape charges. She's one of the few women ever to be accused of such a horrible crime.
Joining us now is In Session anchor Lisa Bloom and Pat Brown, a criminal profiler.
Pat, how unusual is this case from a criminal profiling perspective?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I can honestly say, I have never come across one like this, ever. We -- I know of women who helped their boyfriends or husbands steal girls and rape them for their husband's pleasure. But never just alone. That's just the strangest thing I've heard of.
COOPER: Lisa, to build a defense, I mean, how do they go about building a defense for this woman?
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, IN SESSION: I think we're looking at an insanity defense or diminished capacity defense. We know that she was ordered by a court recently to get some mental-health counseling, and apparently, she failed to do that. That was in connection, though, with just a petty theft charge. I mean, nobody could have imagined that this would result.
And of course, she's presumed innocent; she's only charged at this point. But if she did it, it certainly seems to most of us there's a serious mental health issue going on.
COOPER: Pat, this woman was a Sunday school teacher. Do you agree with that, by the way?
BROWN: No, I don't, actually. Because if we're looking back at Melissa Huckaby's history, we're starting to see little glimmers of psychopathy here and there and everywhere.
She does seem to have a problem of pathological lying, making up stories, making strange accusations. She loves a lot of attention, apparently.
This is psychopathic. This is not psychotic. She knew what she was doing. She covered up the crime. She played along with things until she thought everybody was closing in on her. Then she started her stories up.
I've seen no evidence of psychoticness [SIC]. This is just a psychopath, a very strange one who did something we didn't expect. But still, psychopaths do lots of creepy things.
BLOOM: I'm not saying she's going to prevail, by the way. I'm just saying this is where I expect the defense is going to go. And look, the fact that she put the body in a suitcase...
BLOOM: ... allegedly, right, indicates consciousness of guilt. The fact that she allegedly intended to commit suicide right after she was caught. But also tends to indicate she knew that what she did was wrong.
COOPER: Pat, I mean, the headline, on the face of this, you know, this woman's a Sunday school teacher, described by some as a loving mother. Do people snap? How do you...
COOPER: What happened?
BROWN: Nobody can snap. This woman is 28 years old. You don't go through life and everything's going just dandy, and you're just happy and everything's fine. Then one day you say, "Gee, I think I'll go rape my daughter's friend." I mean, no, we don't do things like that.
This has been there all along, but the family, friends, people who have met her, have probably minimized all those bizarre behaviors.
For example, the family has said we didn't see anything wrong with her. Wait a minute. This girl already committed two crimes. So how can you say there's nothing wrong with her? There's something amiss. And they're just, you know, tending to look the other way, I think, and not really paying attention to it.
COOPER: I mean, will the judge pay attention to the Sunday school teacher, all of that sort of stuff?
BROWN: Well, absolutely. And look, insanity defenses are very hard to prevail. And less than 1 percent of defendants prevail when they assert an insanity defense. But I don't know what else she's got. They do seem to have some pretty strong evidence. It's her suitcase that the body was found in. I assume that she made some kind of a confession to the police. They're not looking for any other suspects.
This is the last known adult seen with this little girl before she disappeared. So the evidence is really very strong against her.
COOPER: Just -- just horrific. Lisa, appreciate it. Lisa Bloom.
Pat Brown, as well, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
COOPER: A lot more to cover here on the program. There's another strange twist to this case. Look at this video. Melissa Huckaby, she shares the same name as the woman accused of killing Sandra Cantu. She's also 28 years old and a Sunday school teacher. They live just 14 miles apart.
Now, this Melissa is the victim of mistaken identity. She's received hate mail -- can you imagine this -- even death threats, forcing her friends to bring guns to church to better protect her. This woman has nothing to do with this case.
Let's get caught up on some of the other headlines tonight. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, a 360 follow. Afghan officials say they will change the controversial law that critics charge legalizes marital rape. President Hamid Karzai saying he's now instructed lawmakers to remove that provision from a law he recently signed.
The governor of New York is introducing a bill to allow same-sex marriage in his state. If the legislation passes, New York would be the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Earlier this week, we told you about 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker. His mother says he committed suicide after relentless bullying by other students who (UNINTELLIGIBLE) him and called him gay.
Tomorrow, thousands of students across America will participate in a day of silence, the movement to draw attention to anti-gay harassment in schools. Tune into AC 360 again tomorrow night. We will have complete coverage of the day's events.
Foreclosures skyrocketing in the first quarter of this year to their highest levels on record, up 24 percent in just a year.
And Hulk Hogan says his current divorce battle has actually helped him better understand O.J. Simpson. In an interview with "Rolling Stone," a bitter Hogan says he, quote, "could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody's throat."
That statement, obviously, not sitting very well with the woman who is in the process of becoming his ex-wife.
HILL: Yes. On a lighter note...
HILL: Very important note, too.
HILL: Ashton Kutcher is gaining on us. And frankly, even the bosses here are not happy about it. What does this mean? This means that we need everybody at home to go to Twitter.com. I know you love the tweets, Anderson.
COOPER: I tweet, I Twitter. I do that.
HILL: And sign up to follow CNNbrk. That's the CNN breaking news feed. This is the one that is in direct competition with Ashton Kutcher. We need to hit one million followers before he does. That is your challenge if you choose to accept it.
COOPER: And what happens if we do?
HILL: We win.
COOPER: And it goes...
HILL: It's called bragging rights.
COOPER: It's for charity, though.
HILL: It is, actually. Now it has turned into what he says, that if he wins, he'll donate 10,000 mosquito nets for World Malaria Day. CNN is going to match the donation.
But still, it would be nice to donate, and I think that the top brass, if you know what I'm saying, will let keep my job.
COOPER: So what do you do right now? What do people do? They go to Twitter what? Twitter.com?
HILL: If you haven't already signed up, very easy to do. Basically, you need your e-mail, name, and that's it.
COOPER: And sign up for what?
HILL: Sign up. You can sign up for a Twitter account and then you sign up to follow CNNbrk.
COOPER: There you go.
HILL: CNN breaking news.
COOPER: All right. You've done your job, Erica.
HILL: Thank you.
COOPER: If you have a comment on a story we're covering tonight, join the live chat happening now at AC360.com. That's where you can also check out Erica Hill's live Web cast in the break.
Up next, the singing sensation. This will put a smile on your face before you go to bed. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC: "I Dreamed a Dream")
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Susan Boyle making headlines around the world. Tonight what her life is like in Scotland now, and she sings just for you.
Also, look at this photo. These people are not twins. They are mom and daughter. But can you guess which is which? And how much money did Mom spend to look like daughter? You're going to be surprised. Maybe annoyed or shocked, I'm not sure. But we'll have it for you. We'll be right back.
COOPER: All right. You've heard her audition. You've seen the clip on YouTube, on the YouTube which the kids say they love the YouTube. And tonight Susan Boyle will sing directly to you.
The unassuming lovable Scottish woman invited our cameras into her home. She told us a lot about her life, her dreams, her hero. She also has a song for us.
Up close tonight, here's Atika Shubert.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were laughing at her before she found her place and her stage. For a few moments, it felt like everyone was in on a cruel joke. Even the talent judges were rolling their eyes at this unlikely contestant, Susan Boyle, a 47-year-old spinster.
(MUSIC: "I Dreamed a Dream")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody was laughing, and I had a tear in my eye. And my whole hair stood up, and I was just, oh, amazing. Amazing.
SHUBERT: It was amazing because she seemed immune to the joke, amazing because she seemed to understand how she looked to them. And confident with her beautiful voice that she would own the room.
SUSAN BOYLE, AUDITIONED FOR "BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT": I just thought, mentally, I'll show them, so I did. I said I'll try and win them over, and it worked. It must have been a miracle (ph), because it worked.
SHUBERT: Because she didn't look the part and because her voice is so beautiful, Susan Boyle is now a star the world over. Millions of hits on YouTube, a Facebook fan site, selling T-shirts. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are fans on Twitter.
BOYLE: Everybody seems to embrace me. Everybody seems to have apparently fallen in love with me.
SHUBERT: Susan lives in the same house she grew up in, in Blackburn, a working-class village in Scotland. She lives alone with her cat and admits she has never had a boyfriend and never been kissed.
Now she can barely get out the door.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was gobsmacked. Everybody was.
SHUBERT: She insists fame won't change her.
BOYLE: Like everyone else. Just your -- just your girl next door. That's what it's like. Exactly what it's like.
It hasn't changed me a bit. I still keep my feet on the ground.
(singing) I dreamed that love would never die
SHUBERT: She won't confirm rumors that a record deal is in the works. But she already has advice for aspiring singers.
BOYLE: Go for it. That's all we can say. Just go for it.
SHUBERT: Boyle is still competing to win Britain's biggest talent show, but she has already won hearts around the world.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Blackburn Village near Scotland.
COOPER: It's a great story. By the way, we're, like, 14,000 away from winning this Twitter thing to get to 1 million. Fourteen thousand, so 14,000 people right now, sign up at Twitter.com and sign up for CNNbrk. We'll win this thing. Things will be donated to charity. It's a good thing. Fourteen thousand people, we could do that in the next five minutes, can't we? Just try it: Twitter.com. Check it out.
If you want to see more of Susan Boyle's exclusive performance for our cameras, also you can check out our Web site, AC360.com.
Fourteen thousand, Erica, it's nothing.
Don't miss Susan live on "AMERICAN MORNING" tomorrow at 7 a.m. Eastern.
So again, 14,000. Yes, we did that.
A lot more coming up for you in this next hour. "The Shot." These women are not twins. They're over 20 years apart. One has had plastic surgery to look like her daughter for a ton of money. Wait till you hear how much money they've spent to do this. Guess who's the mom. Who's the daughter? Who do you think? Left? Right? Left? Right? We'll tell you in just a moment, as long as you sign up for Twitter.com. Fourteen thousand people.
Sarah Palin also back in the spotlight tonight. We'll tell you what she is saying ahead. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Fourteen thousand votes away, by the way, on this Twitter thing. Go to Twitter.com.
HILL: Come on.
COOPER: I want to win this thing now. Now my competitive juices are flowing.
All right. We're back with tonight's "Shot." Erica and I, I believe you're going to show me a picture?
HILL: I am. And it's not of the Twitter.com site. That's going to come later.
First, a side by side. Two women, as you can see.
HILL: Here's what these women are not: they're not sisters; they're not twins. They are an English mother/daughter team. Now, one of them has spent over $15,000 -- all the guys in the studio, by the way, are coming around to the monitors to look at this picture to see which one was trying to bridge a 22-year age gap -- age gap with surgery to look like the other one.
So Anderson, the question for you, "Jeopardy!" champion, which one is the mother, which one is the daughter?
HILL: I know. I was surprised at the answer, I'll tell you that.
COOPER: I don't know.
HILL: Mom is on the left.
COOPER: Mom is on the left? OK.
HILL: Here's the thing. I think Nom looks younger until you look at her hands. That's always the telltale sign.
COOPER: You're brutal.
HILL: It's true. Look, you can stretch the face as much as you want, but the hands tell the tale. Let's be honest.
COOPER: So the mother's on the left.
HILL: The mother's on the left.
COOPER: All right. I didn't know that.
HILL: Interesting, though. We found another interesting pair.
HILL: Someone trying to look like someone else. Not sure how much he had to spend to do it. But look at this. Is Lou -- is Lou Dobbs trying to look a little bit more like Anderson cooper, or is it just me?
COOPER: Yes. Or am I trying to look more like Lou Dobbs? I don't know. Which is Lou Dobbs and which is Anderson Cooper?
HILL: I think your teeth are white enough.
COOPER: Recent "Shots" at AC360.com. And again, we're, like, 14,000 away...
COOPER: ... on this Twitter thing. Ten thousand mosquito nets will be donated.
HILL: For World Malaria Day. And here's the other thing.
COOPER: A million persons sign up.
HILL: When you win, you'll know immediately, because you will have signed up.
COOPER: Right. For the millionth person that signs up will be a guest on "LARRY KING LIVE." I've just been informed that. Twitter.com. Sign up for CNNbrk. B-R-K.
HILL: We'll send you a "Beat 360" T-shirt.
COOPER: All right. At the top of the hour, breaking news on the memos that just came out today, detailing interrogation techniques used on suspects. Tonight, we have the documents that revealed what happened inside those secret prisons and detention centers. We'll be right back.