Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Candidate's Nazi Controversy; Targeting Islam; Miner Rescue Mission; Grand Jury Investigates Arizona Sheriff; Jet Ski Mystery on Falcon Lake
Aired October 11, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, everyone for watching.
Tonight: Should a man dressed up as a Nazi S.S. officer be elected to Congress? He says he was just a World War II re-enactor and wanted to help people learn about the war. His critics say his brand of history idealizes racist murderers and glosses over their crimes.
We're going to talk live with the would-be congressman, "Keeping Them Honest".
Also tonight, we'll take you live to Chile, where 33 miners could soon be getting their first look at daylight in more than two months. We have the late details on the rescue operation under way.
And later tonight, murder on "Pirate Lake" -- a woman's husband missing, shot dead, she says by Mexican bandits right in front of her. Not everyone believed her story. Then, today, new developments, but also a possible setback. Tiffany Hartley joins us tonight in "Crime & Punishment".
We begin, though, tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a candidate for Congress who used to dress up like a Nazi. He was a World War II re-enactor on the German side, not just playing a mere Army grunt, but pretending to be a member of Adolf Hitler's elite killing machine, the S.S.
This is Rich Iott, Tea Party favorite, Republican candidate for Ohio's 9th Congressional District. He's the one in the middle in the uniform, the uniform of the 5th S.S. Panzer Division called the Vikings. He took part in these re-enactments under his own name with his son and he also created a German alter ego named Reinhardt Pferdmann (ph). He did it from at least 2003 until three years ago.
Now, he says he started doing it to bond with his son and points out that he took part in Civil War re-enactments -- that's a photo there -- and other World War I and World War II re-enactments dressed as an American soldier.
He says dressing as a Nazi and taking part in re-enactment was, in large part, to help educate people about the war. We are going to talk to Mr. Iott in just a moment.
But, first, we want to focus on that he idea that this was really just about educating people, because, as you'll see, Mr. Iott's group of Nazi re-enactors on their Web site seem to have left out a lot of history, including the Holocaust.
First, I want to show you a recruitment video from Mr. Iott's group.
So, that's sort of what they look like while they're marching around. And what's interesting, though, is their Web site description of what the Fifth S.S. Panzer Division, the Vikings, were all about.
They emphasize that the Vikings were focused on fighting against the Soviets on the Eastern Front during World War II and included volunteers from occupied countries. The Web site says -- quote -- "Nazi Germany had no problem in recruiting the multitudes of volunteers willing to lay down their lives to ensure a new and free Europe, free of the threat of Communism. National Socialism was seen by many in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other Eastern European and Balkan countries as the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life, despite the true underlying totalitarian and quite twisted in most cases nature of the movement."
It goes on: "Regardless, thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. No matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front- line soldiers of the Waffen-S.S. -- in particular the foreign volunteers -- gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free."
So, the Web site emphasizes that they were fighting against Communism, defending Holland, Denmark and Norway. But let's remember they were fighting for the Nazi conquest of Eastern Europe and Russia.
As military historian Rob Citino put it in "The Atlantic" -- quote -- "The entire German war effort in the East was a racial crusade to rid the world of 'subhumans'. Slavs were going to be enslaved in numbers of tens of millions. And, of course, the multimillion Jewish population was going to be exterminated altogether. That's what these folks were doing in the East."
He goes on to say, "It sends a shiver up my spine to think that people want to dress up and play S.S. on the weekend."
Now, for some reason, you won't find any of that information on the Nazi re-enactors' Web site. According to historians, the 5th Panzer Division was also involved in war crimes and atrocities, including the death marches and massacres of Jews in the spring of 1945.
In March of that year, German authorities say a former member of that unit and accomplices rounded up dozens of Jewish slave laborers, forced them to kneel in a mass grave and shot them dead. This was the better tomorrow, the new Europe they were supposedly fighting for.
Nowhere on the Viking Web site is the word Jew, Jewish, gypsies or homosexual, all considered subhuman by Nazis, even mentioned. As for the notion that these volunteers from Holland, Denmark, and Norway were idealists, let's remember their countries had been invaded by Nazis, were occupied by Nazis. There were resistance fighters who died opposing the Nazis in those countries.
But these so-called idealists that Mr. Iott was dressing up as, they were volunteering for their invaders. They were what a lot of people would call collaborators, volunteering to take up arms in Hitler's crusade.
Over the weekend, GOP Minority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, repudiated Mr. Iott's hobby and said he would -- quote -- "not support an individual who would do something like that."
Rich Iott joins us now.
Mr. Iott, thanks very much for being with us.
On your group's Web site, it states very clearly that no one in the group at all subscribes to the beliefs of the Nazis. And no one, so far as I have heard, has made that accusation against you. And I know a lot of people have probably made fun of you for doing re- enactments, but I just want to point out we are not in any way.
Many Americans, hundreds of thousands, take part in re- enactments. I'm a historian -- buff. I totally get it.
But my questions are really just about why this group that you were a part of seems to have kind of a sanitized version of this S.S. group?
RICH IOTT (R), OHIO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Well, certainly, what you see on the Web site is -- that's not the story that one is communicating to the public about the war. That's a -- that's a -- recruitment site for people that are interested in it.
COOPER: But -- but why would you do that on a Web site if you want to give -- I mean, if you want to educate people, isn't the Web site the place to educate people?
IOTT: No. The whole purpose -- the whole purpose of a historical re-enacting is to educate people one-on-one. And that is done by going out and participating in -- in -- in re-enactments, doing displays, optimal set-up displays at air shows or events like that, with Americans and Brits and Poles and Germans. And it's an opportunity for the public to come in and talk one-on-one. And --
COOPER: But if you're trying to recruit people -- sorry to -- if you're trying to recruit people into this group, which is the point of this Web site and this video, and you -- you make the effort to give a whole history of -- of this group, this S.S. Panzer group, I mean, you would think you would give an accurate history, and it's clearly not.
IOTT: No, that's -- that's -- that's not it at all. What we're talking about is -- is just, you know, the highlights of it. Remember, this -- this Web site is not designed to educate people. This is designed to -- to -- for people who are history buffs and may have some interest in getting into -- into --
COOPER: But don't you want to tell people what they're going to be dressing up as? I mean, isn't that fair to -- if you're trying to recruit people into this group of Nazi re-enactors, and I understand you -- you just are trying to appeal in kind of a broad way, but don't you want to be accurate and tell those people what they're dressing up as?
I mean, did you -- did you -- were you aware of the -- the atrocities that -- this particular group that you were dressing up, were you aware of the atrocities they have been accused of?
IOTT: You know, what happened in -- in Germany during the Second World War is absolutely one of the -- the low points in human history. In fact, as you mentioned, on the Web site, it talks about what happened and that we don't support that. We don't support the political or the ideological motives of that time.
We're talking strictly about the history. And it's important for us to remember that history.
COOPER: But were you aware of the history, of the atrocities that this -- in particular, this group? I mean, it wasn't like you were dressing up as just a German grunt who was fighting for, you know, Germany. These were collaborators from Holland and other places who were volunteering for the Nazis while their own countries were occupied.
Were you aware of that when you joined up?
IOTT: Right. I don't -- well, yes. It says right there that the members of the Vikings came from many different countries. And -- and that --
COOPER: But weren't they collaborators?
IOTT: And that's accurate.
I -- I don't know if you would call them collaborators. They were -- they were volunteers. They wanted to fight what they saw as a bigger -- as a bigger -- a bigger threat to them than -- than -- than Germany.
COOPER: But, I mean, in their own countries, there were people were fighting in resistance movements and dying. They were taking Jews out of home and sending them off to concentration camps in some of these countries. And they chose to leave their own country and join the Nazis, who had invaded their countries. I mean, we would call that a collaborator -- a collaborator.
IOTT: You may. But they -- they were doing what --
COOPER: Do you not call it -- you don't think they were collaborators?
IOTT: I don't know that I would put that label on them. They were doing what they thought was right for their country.
And they were going out and fighting what they thought was -- was a bigger -- you know, a bigger evil.
COOPER: But you do know that -- you do know that an Austrian historian named Eleonore Lappin has written about six -- 80 Jews who -- who were shot by members of this Viking division and military police back in -- in 1945.
She also writes about 18 prisoners who were executed by members of this division between April 7 and 11 of 1945. And just last year, a 90-year-old German guy was identified, a guy named Adolf Storms, as a member of the Viking unit. He was arrested and charged with the murders of 58 Jews who had been forced into labor in Austria.
I mean, why would you dress up as -- as this particular unit? It just seems odd.
IOTT: This particular -- this particular unit was one that was -- was never charged with -- with war crimes.
COOPER: Wait a minute. But -- but you know -- are you saying they didn't commit war crimes? I mean, I'm aware they were never charged, but this man has been just charged and --
COOPER: -- their war crimes are pretty well documented.
IOTT: No, I'm saying -- no, I'm saying that the war on the Eastern Front was extremely brutal on both sides. There are -- nobody -- nobody was lily-white. That's for sure. There were horrible things that happened on both sides.
IOTT: But wait a minute. But weren't the Nazis planning for, you know, mass executions of -- and enslavement of Slavs and -- and of Jews in -- I mean, you make -- on the Web site, it makes it sound like, oh, they were just fighting the Communism, they were fighting the Soviets. There was a lot more going on than that. I mean, it was for Nazi domination of Eastern Europe.
IOTT: But the Web site is not the educational tool. The Web site is -- the Web site is really there for people who are interested in the organization or want to learn more about it.
It's not the end-all to be-all. One of the things that -- that we do with new members is we do talk about the whole history of the war and what went on. Like I said, that's absolutely one of the darkest periods in history.
COOPER: On the Web site, it says they're -- you called them valiant men. Do you believe that these men, who in some cases took part in these crimes, were valiant men?
IOTT: I think that they thought they were fighting for their homeland.
COOPER: Well, I'm sure -- I'm sure Nazis in the concentration camps thought they were doing a good thing, too. But that doesn't make it so. I mean, do you think these were valiant men?
IOTT: I don't -- I don't think we can sit -- we can sit here and judge that today. That -- we weren't there at the time they made those decisions. Were there bad people? Oh, absolutely. And were there atrocities committed? Absolutely there were.
But if we don't -- there's people who want to deny that the Holocaust ever happened in this country and around the world. If -- if we don't -- if we don't keep that -- that story alive and tell the truth --
COOPER: Listen, I agree with you, but your Web site doesn't mention the Holocaust. I mean, that Web site of your group doesn't mention the Holocaust. It doesn't mention it anywhere on the Web site. For -- and you're -- you're dress up -- dressing up as S.S. officers. The S.S. ran the concentration camps, I know not this particular group --
IOTT: Well --
COOPER: But it just seems -- I get re-enactment. I just don't get dressing up as an S.S. officer. IOTT: Well it's -- and there are -- there are no S.S. officers in there, well, just -- just as a matter of clarification. They are all enlisted personnel.
But -- no it's part of -- it's part of the teaching process. We talk about all -- all of this. Again, the Web site is not something for -- for general public consumption, where we're trying to get a message across to the general public about the whole picture of the war.
COOPER: And to voters in your district --
IOTT: This is really designed --
COOPER: -- to Jewish voters in your district, you're running for Congress right now, and they look at "The Atlantic," and they look at this picture of you, and -- and -- and you know you won't -- you -- you -- you won't say that they were not valiant men. You -- you don't say that they are collaborators.
Why should somebody vote for you if -- if -- why -- should they judge you based on this?
IOTT: You know, like I said, this was something I -- this was something I have done for -- for years. Started back in college doing Civil War, World War II, First World War, done -- done both sides as a -- done probably more events as -- as an American than anything else.
And this is just another way to communicate that story and keep alive the history of World War II and to educate people. We go into schools and do programs to talk about it. As I mentioned, we do public displays.
I haven't been involved for -- for several years now. I'm just too busy.
COOPER: And I know you said that your son had lost interest, and that -- that was a big reason for you getting into it in the first place.
I appreciate you coming on and talking about it.
COOPER: And I know a lot of people just slapped those photos on Web sites and didn't point out that you did take part in other re- enactments as well. And we wanted to make sure to do that tonight to let our viewers make up their own minds.
Rich Iott, I appreciate your time. IOTT: Right. You did a nice job with that.
COOPER: Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
IOTT: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: All right.
Let us know what you think. Join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Is this fair? Is that a fair criticism of the congressman -- or the -- the man who would like to be congressman? Let us know what you think.
Up next: Sharron Angle's claim that two towns in this country are in danger of succumbing to Islamic law. See what the mayor of one of those towns has to say about it. And wait until you see what we found out about the other town. We're "Keeping Them Honest".
And later: he's known as America's tough sheriff, could also be in trouble with the law. Investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: So welcome back.
You know, I say it a lot on this program, but it bears repeating. Who you vote for is between you, your conscience, and the voting machine. We don't take political sides on 360. We really try not to. We don't want to be a liberal newscast or conservative newscast. We just want facts.
And we only try to take aim at politicians, Republicans and Democrats who say things that can't be supported with hard -- hard facts, especially when they don't seem interested in taking tough questions about it.
So, recently, Sharron Angle, the Republican senatorial nominee from Nevada, warned of Islamic law being imposed on Americans. In fact, she indicated it was already happening. Now, there's no video of what she said, just an audio recording. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: We're talking about a militant terrorist situation, which it's -- I believe isn't a widespread thing. But it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it.
My thoughts are these. First of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil and under Constitutional law, not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States. It seems to me that there -- there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our states -- in our United States.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Ok, wow, Islamic law being forced on Americans in Frankford, Texas, and Dearborn, Michigan; that sounds serious.
We decided, you know, to check. "Keeping Them Honest", it turns out she doesn't have her facts straight. Take a look. This is Frankford, Texas. That's all that left of it, a church and a graveyard. The city of Dallas actually annexed it in 1975.
As for Dearborn, well, it's one of America's oldest and largest Arab communities, but it's still completely under Constitutional legal jurisdiction.
The mayor, who is not Muslim, is pretty angry at Sharron Angle and has written her a letter, saying in part -- and I quote -- "Muslims have been practicing their faith in our community for almost 90 years without incident or conflict. To suggest that they have taken over ignores the fact that Dearborn hosts seven mosques and 60 Christian churches."
Now, we invited Sharron Angle on to defend herself. She chose not to.
I spoke to Dearborn's Mayor, John O'Reilly, earlier tonight.
COOPER: Is there Sharia law in Dearborn, Michigan?
JOHN O'REILLY, MAYOR OF DEARBORN, MICHIGAN: No. There's no Sharia law in Dearborn, Michigan. There's all -- in fact, there's hardly any Sharia law in the Middle East. Only about three countries actually still carry that out.
COOPER: Has there been an effort of -- by anyone in Dearborn to -- to get Sharia law instituted?
O'REILLY: Oh, no, no, no. It isn't even talked about in Dearborn.
This is an invention of some people who have, as their goal, I mean they -- they believe that the Muslim faith is -- is -- is a false faith, it's -- it's dishonest, and they really believe at the heart of it, by their own avocation, that if Muslims won't convert, they should be removed from America.
COOPER: What percentage of the population in Dearborn is -- is Muslim?
O'REILLY: Well, we don't have an exact number. In the last census, 30 percent of the population was Arab-American. But -- but that means that -- and many people don't realize this, but there are other faiths represented in the Middle East.
And particularly in our area, the Chaldean, which would be people who were formerly in Iraq, and the Lebanese Christians, which migrated here in the middle of the last century in large numbers when Syria was occupying Lebanon, they -- they make up a pretty substantial number. But the majority will be Muslim.
COOPER: You know, you -- if you do go online, though, there's a number of incidences, a lot of -- a number of videos which really are attributed to -- kind of to one group that has been, I guess, appearing at an Arab-American festival in Dearborn, I guess, over the last two years.
This year --
COOPER: -- there were four of them, four Christian missionaries, they were arrested while trying to, they say, share their faith at the Arab festival in your city. I want to show you a clip that's gotten, I think, some nearly two million hits on YouTube.
COOPER: I'm sure you've seen it.
COOPER: It's the same festival in 2009.
COOPER: It's the same Christian group --
COOPER: -- had issues with security. And the security does seem kind of overbearing.
COOPER: I just want to show the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take the camera from you. I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good security guard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, hey, you can't touch my camera. This is America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cannot touch my camera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, what happened there?
COOPER: Do you believe this group was being fairly treated?
O'REILLY: Well --
COOPER: Because if you look at this on the Internet it says --
COOPER: -- look, it kind of basically, Sharia law here in the United States.
It's heavily edited. This group has their own agenda. But I want to stress, first of all, that this is not a city-sponsored event. This is an event put on by the American-Arab Chamber of Commerce and ACCESS, which is a social services group. It's their event. It's facilitated by the city because it's in our town.
But you have to understand, they suggest that Christians aren't allowed at the festival and quite the contrary is true. Christians are active participants in this event, including proselytizing to Muslims about Christ.
So, that goes on at this festival every year and has been going on. And, of course, if you watch the one -- the selections and the edited versions that are shown on the YouTube, you would never know that there is in fact active proselytizing going on.
COOPER: I know you were planning to send a letter to Ms. Angle inviting her to your city. Have you sent the letter? Have you heard from her at all?
O'REILLY: Yes. Yes, I -- well, I haven't heard from her yet, because I mailed it today. I had to -- you know, I composed it and mailed it today.
But it invites her. And it does explain. I wanted to give her some background, so she would be better informed. And I -- I would like her to take it up, but I know she's a little distracted right now. She has a lot on her plate.
But I still would like to have her come out and really see for herself what our community is like, because it's very diverse. It's -- it's really a microcosm of American society.
COOPER: All right, Mayor O'Reilly, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
O'REILLY: Oh, my pleasure.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight: Could you spend even a single second in a capsule like this one? It's -- that's how 33 miners are going to be pulled to safety. We're going to show you how it works and the extraordinary steps being taken to make the voyage a safe one. We're going to tell you how quickly they may be able to start getting them out.
And later, Tiffany Hartley joins us on the investigation into her husband's disappearance -- new developments to tell you about and conflicting reports right now that Mexican authorities have a pair of suspects. It's being called the murder on "Pirate Lake" -- details ahead.
COOPER: Well, in Chile, freedom could come very soon for 33 miners trapped more than 2,000 feet underground. Officials say the first of the men could be pulled to safety in the next 24 hours or so.
As you know, they have survived in grueling conditions for more than nine weeks now. On Saturday, weeks ahead of schedule, rescuers drilled through to the roughly 600-square-foot shelter where the men have been living.
The massive drill blasted through rock to create an escape tunnel just over two feet wide. Overnight, crews tested the rescue capsule that's going to raise the men one at a time to the surface. They lowered it to within just feet of the miners. Officials say it all went perfectly well. The miners have reportedly begun a special liquid diet to prepare to get ready to fit into that pod-like vehicle.
Today, researchers -- rescuers finished encasing the upper part of the tunnel in steel just to strengthen it.
Gary Tuchman is in Chile, he joins us now with the -- the latest.
Gary, what -- what's the latest going on?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, if all goes well, this will be the 68th and final night that all these miners will be trapped together under the ground in that lighted area behind me.
So, there's a very festive area, a very festive atmosphere here in this area today. We are in the middle of the desert about 500 miles north of the capital of Santiago. And normally, there's no one who lives anywhere near this area. The miners have come here for generations.
But since this happened, this has become a small, unusual city, it's a city that has no comfort. It's a city that has very little sanitation. But right now it's a very happy place.
TUCHMAN (on camera): These are the tents where the family members of the miners are living, in many cases, for weeks. This is Camp Esperanza, in English that means "Camp Hope". And this is a great place for them to be, because it's expected that right down the road here is where their loved ones will be coming up shortly.
I want to give you a look at the vantage point. They'll be walking down this path when the operation begins. You could see that sign that says "Padre" (ph) right there, stop. Officers are guarding the area right now but behind those cranes. That's where the 33 miners are underground right now.
This area, Camp Hope, has literally become a circus. There are actually clowns here entertaining. It's so rare that we get a cover story that have potentially, in this case most assuredly, we hope, a happy ending. But it has become quite a rambunctious place.
I'll give you an idea of how we made the best with the limited facilities we have in an area that generally had absolutely nothing except a mine. We're literally doing our live reports on top of rocks that have been set up. That gives you an idea of what we're dealing with here. This is a very Spartan area. And the hour drive from the airport to get to this mine, there's absolutely nothing. No businesses whatsoever. No gas stations, no restaurants no hotels.
Now there are at least 2,000 people are here including about 1,500 members of the news media. It's really quite a remarkable scene. This has been going on so long that literally, a little red schoolhouse has been constructed for the children of the miners who have been here for many weeks. They're playing soccer right now in front of the little red schoolhouse.
Here is a sign, many celebrations of miners' wives. This one says, "God is in all places at the same time. Your family loves you, Corqueza Mario Gomez (ph)," one of the 33 miners underground.
Right across the way, another type of celebration has been built. These are flags; 33 flags in front and 32 from Chile, one from Bolivia. That's where the miners are from.
The mood is one of excitement. Everyone is so upbeat. These family members and all the others here hope they are as excited and happy a couple of days from now.
COOPER: Gary, how confident are they, they're actually they're actually going to be able to start pulling people out by tomorrow night?
TUCHMAN: Unless something unexpected happens, Anderson, they do expect this process to begin at about 11 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow night. They say it could also begin earlier and that's what they're hoping to do. But ultimately, it will take a while, like 20 to 30 minutes for each man to come up individually, it has to be done individually. So this will go into Thursday or Friday. But the images, the video, the pictures should be amazing.
COOPER: Yes. Gary, appreciate it. Thanks. It's all happening a lot faster than a lot of folks had thought. That's great news, Gary.
We're following several other important stories tonight. Isha Sesay is back. She joins us with a "360 Bulletin."
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks Anderson.
American forces in Afghanistan may have killed this British aid worker by throwing a grenade while trying to free her from her captors. That's what British Prime Minister David Cameron said about the death of Linda Norgrove. Cameron also said General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will launch an investigation into the failed rescue operation.
In Hungary, the chief executive of the aluminum company involved in last week's deadly toxic sludge spill has been arrested. He's accused of public endangerment and harming the environment.
And Anderson, the Secret Service says a man who threw a book at President Obama on Sunday at that rally in Philadelphia, meant no harm. Instead, they say he's an over exuberant author who wanted the president to simply read his book.
Now, I'm no expert in these matters, although you're not going to hear me say that too often, but you got to be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic to throw a book at the president.
SESAY: I'm just saying.
COOPER: A couple sandwiches short. Did you say aluminum?
SESAY: That is how they say it around home.
COOPER: The kids over here say aluminum.
SESAY: Say it with me, aluminium.
COOPER: Aluminium. I like it.
SESAY: See, it rolls off the tongue.
COOPER: Where were you? Welcome back.
SESAY: Thank you. I was in Nigeria for two weeks. It was a rip-roaring trip with lots of excitement, but it's good to be back with you.
COOPER: Well, I'm very happy you're back. Thanks very much. We'll have a little bit more from you later on tonight.
Still ahead, "Keeping Them Honest," the Arizona sheriff popular for being tough on crime, Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- you all know who he is -- well, he's now under investigation for allegedly abusing his own power. Wait until you hear who he is accused of targeting in Iran.
And later a new development in the case of David Hartley: the strange story of the missing Texas man. His wife says Mexican gunmen shot him in the head while they were both jet skiing. I'll talk to the wife, Tiffany Hartley, ahead.
COOPER: Well, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio certainly has a reputation for being tough on crime. We've reported on him a lot over the last few years. He's equally hard on illegal immigrants and DUIs. Beyond throwing the book at them, he likes to send a public message. Arpaio has forced jail inmates in Maricopa County to wear pink underwear, black and pink uniforms, while working on chain gangs.
Arpaio's "My Way or the Highway" style is obviously popular in Arizona. He's never lost an election. But now the sheriff himself is the subject of a grand jury investigation, accused of abusing his power repeatedly and without shame.
"Keeping Them Honest," here's Drew Griffin of our Special Investigations Unit.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don Stapley is the head of the Maricopa County board of supervisors. Three years ago in 2007, he began asking questions about money being used by the Sheriff Joe Arpaio specifically money being used to send sheriff's deputies to a resort in Honduras. And then out of the blue, he was under criminal investigation by the sheriff.
(on camera): You tell me anybody who gets in this guy's way --
DON STAPLEY, MARICOPA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Anybody who ruled against him, anybody who disagreed with anything he had to say became a criminal target and were criminally investigated.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): A year later, Mary Rose Wilcox, also a county board supervisor, was the lone voice against funding the sheriff's popular illegal immigration raids. Then she, too, was under a criminal investigation by the sheriff.
(on camera): He's tried to put you in prison.
MARY ROSE WILKENS, MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERVISOR: He indicted me on 44 felony counts. I was devastated.
GRIFFIN: I know this is the west, but this sounds like the old Wild West, where the sheriff is the supreme law.
WILKENS: He has forgotten that the United States Constitution and we're ruled by if rule of law which he has just thrown out the window.
GRIFFIN: And when the county's budget director, Sandy Wilson, tried to enforce countywide budget cuts on the sheriff's department, she too, had sheriff's investigators knocking on her door.
SANDY WILSON, INVESTIGATED BY SHERIFF: Who would have believed the way they would go about stopping us from doing our job would have been to go against individuals within my office, myself included, the county manager, criminally.
GRIFFIN: Many here say behind the scenes the beloved tough sheriff, Joe Arpaio, opens investigations, sends out his deputies against politicians, judges, mayors, even civil servants -- anyone who gets in his way.
The sheriff's office says the investigations are all legitimate, that investigators had probable cause and the duty to investigate.
Others call it intimidation and abuse of power. Here's why. Don Stapley actually faced two sheriff's department investigations, 118 counts in all. He was handcuffed, put in jail. It was a painful ordeal. But all of it, all of it was dismissed. His defense cost him personally more than $1.5 million.
When Mary Rose Wilcox got into court, every charge against her, all 44, thrown out and grand jury records released this year show an investigation launched against county director Sandy Wilson ended because the grand jury said there was no case.
Paul Charlton is a former U.S. attorney for Arizona. He's now in private practice and represents Don Stapley.
(on camera): If I believe it to be true, the abuse of authority is when you mess with my budget, when you mess with my issues, I'm going to look into your past. There might be no evidence of a crime that occurred, but I'm going to bring charges against you anyway?
PAUL CHARLTON, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR ARIZONA: That's exactly right. And I take it a step further. If you're a judge who is sitting on a case that I have and you rule against me, that very ruling can be evidence of a crime and you will be charged. And that's exactly what happened to one of our city criminal judges here.
And that is also true. A sitting judge who ruled against Sheriff Arpaio in multiple cases was then investigated by the sheriff for bribery. Once again, the case was thrown out. No evidence.
(on camera): But now, the investigations have turned on the sheriff himself. A federal probe begun two years ago has now moved to a grand jury here, investigating whether this toughest sheriff in America has been abusing his power.
(voice-over): Confirmed by some who had been called to testify, the investigation focuses on the sheriff, his chief deputy, and a former county attorney and whether they use their powers to attack political opponents.
(on camera): We thought with allegations like those made against this outspoken sheriff, we'd be hearing from the sheriff himself. But instead when we got to the sheriff's department, we were brought into a room, met by the sheriff's PR person, a budget director, and an interim deputy chief who tried to answer for a sheriff who was a no- show.
I just don't understand why suddenly Joe Arpaio has sent out you three people, basically, to -- I mean, this is nervous -- to face this kind of media scrutiny and these kind of questions. I mean, he's the toughest sheriff in America. Right?
LISA ALLEN, MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: He is the toughest sheriff and he's a good sheriff. And I know that if he could be here, he would be here. But when you've got legal counsel advising you not to speak because you're a potential witness in a number of these investigations he has to default to what his attorneys say.
The problem is, none of these people the sheriff sent to talk to us say they had anything to do with the political investigations the sheriff is accused of conducting.
Jerry Sheridan is the interim chief deputy.
(on camera): Jerry, did he abuse his power? Did he send out underlings to check on these? Were you involved in those decisions?
JERRY SHERIDAN, INTERIM CHIEF DEPUTY: Absolutely no. Absolutely no.
GRIFFIN: Were you involved in those decisions?
SHERIDAN: No, I was not.
GRIFFIN: So do you know what kind of --
SHERIDAN: I've been here for 32 years. And I know the inner workings of the office. The sheriff was not involved in any of those mischievous things that he's been accused of.
COOPER: But in the case of county supervisor Don Stapley, the sheriff is not done. Even though all 118 counts against Stapley were thrown out, Sheriff Arpaio is appealing.
STAPLEY: It's unbelievable. It's the kind of thing, you wouldn't think could even happen in the United States of America in the 21st century.
COOPER: The grand jury now investigating the sheriff, could report its findings any day; whether this sheriff, acclaimed for being tough, went too far.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Phoenix.
COOPER: Serious charges and we'll continue to follow.
Up next, the mysterious case of David Hartley. What happened to him? Where is he? His wife says he was killed while jet skiing on a lake along the Mexican border. His body has not been found. The question is, are Mexican police pursuing any suspects?
Tonight, there's conflicting information. I'll talk to Tiffany Hartley and find out if she feels that being so public about the case -- she's done a lot of TV interviews -- whether she feels that actually pressured Mexico into taking action.
Plus, Oprah's school for girls in South Africa, a verdict in the trial of a former matron of the school accused of abuse. Find out why Oprah Winfrey is not happy about it tonight.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, conflicting information from Mexican authorities on the search for possible suspects in the disappearance of David Hartley. One official told CNN today that police are searching for two brothers who are well known in northern Mexico. But later, a different official contradicted him and said there are no suspects in the case.
About ten days ago, Hartley and his wife, Tiffany, went jet skiing on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexican border. Tiffany Hartley says that while on the Mexican side of the lake, they were attacked by gunmen who killed her husband. So far his body hasn't been found.
A short time ago, I spoke with Tiffany Hartley.
COOPER: So Tiffany, how are you holding up?
TIFFANY HARTLEY, WIFE OF DAVID HARTLEY: It's been hard, the last few days, definitely, since everything has kind of been up and down; we hear one story, we hear another. Just trying to figure out what's going to happen when I leave, if I'm going to leave. It's been very emotional, obviously, and very frustrating. It's not easy.
COOPER: You actually went back to the lake. What was that like?
HARTLEY: Emotional. It was hard because I just replayed the whole entire day from the time I left my house to the time that we got there, to the time that we -- I came home. That whole day was just a remembrance of what happened.
And I wanted to honor David and leave flowers for him, especially his favorite color. But still, it didn't -- it brought some peace but at the same time it didn't bring closure because I don't have him. He's not here with me.
COOPER: Do you feel like Mexican authorities are actively searching for his body?
HARTLEY: We've been getting word that they are, that they've been on the ground. They've been in the water, that they are looking to have some divers.
I was under the impression that was supposed to happen today. But we still haven't gotten word if that's official or not, if they did do that or not.
And with us not being in Zapata or being on, you know, Falcon Lake we can't really tell, you know. And we don't know what they're doing; we're just kind of trusting what we keep hearing.
COOPER: Do you think you going on television has kind of forced the issue for officials, has made them do stuff maybe they wouldn't have done before?
HARTLEY: I do. I think us stepping up forward, you know, and going to the media has really started to push the Mexican authorities saying -- we need to get this done. We need to get this over with and find him, you know. Whatever they're doing, I think it really has stepped-up the process otherwise I don't think that this would be anywhere farther than we were after day one.
COOPER: Could you identify anybody? If they did apprehend somebody could you recognize the faces of your alleged attackers?
HARTLEY: No, I don't think I could. I've tried to get an image in my head and in my mind of what they looked like, but I was so focused on the gun I just -- I didn't really focus on them to see, you know, anything of their facial or --
COOPER: How many people were there -- how many boats were there?
HARTLEY: There were three boats that were chasing us and then one boat came up to me and I saw two people in that boat. But there was a third or a fourth person in that boat. I just didn't see them.
COOPER: How close did they get to you at the closest point?
HARTLEY: Our jet ski is about 10 feet long and I was in the back of the jet ski and they were at the front of it, so about 10 feet.
COOPER: And how many guns were there? Was there just one?
HARTLEY: I just saw the one that was pointing at me. I wasn't looking for any other ones.
COOPER: And I know -- I think David's father was quoted as saying he didn't think that the Mexican authorities would find his body. If that is, in fact, the case, what happens? How will you move forward?
HARTLEY: If that is the case, then we will start, you know, fighting for this border to get the border secure. That's kind of been on the back of our minds. After things settle down with David and we get him home --
COOPER: Tiffany Hartley, again I appreciate you talking to us and I wish you strength in the days ahead. Thank you.
HARTLEY: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, tonight, the verdict and Oprah Winfrey's reaction to the verdict in the case of a woman accused of abusing students at her South African girls' school.
Plus, the cigar-smoking guy who stole the spotlight from Tiger Woods in this pretty amazing photograph; have you seen this guy? We'll reveal his identity in tonight's "Shot", coming up.
COOPER: Let's get another update on the news with Isha Sesay with the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, an urgent call for the public's help in Hickory, North Carolina. Police are searching for 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, whose father and stepmother reported her missing on Saturday, but police say there are inconsistencies in the stepmother's statement. And they don't know how long the child's actually been missing.
The former matron at Oprah Winfrey's school for girls in South Africa who was accused of fondling some of the students has been acquitted of the charges. In the statement, Winfrey says she's disappointed in the outcome but proud of the girls who testified.
Peter Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of three economists awarded the Nobel Prize in economics today for their research into how government policy affects unemployment. Interestingly, Diamond was denied a spot on the Federal Reserve board just two months ago by a senator who felt he was too inexperienced.
And this for you tonight, Anderson: TMZ reports that Snooki will sign autographs this weekend as part of the charity fund raising in New Jersey and it will count towards her community service requirement.
SESAY: The "Jersey Shore" star was arrested for drunkenness in July and ordered to complete two days of community service.
COOPER: So she signs autographs for community service? That's her community service? SESAY: That's what the world has come to, Anderson.
SESAY: Yes, I haven't seen the show.
COOPER: That would ruin Snooki, to do some actual work.
SESAY: But you know, this is a show that's generated phrases like "GTL". Do you know that what that means?
COOPER: GTL, is that something to do with grenades?
SESAY: No. No.
COOPER: Well, grenades is their term for -- I wouldn't even go into it.
SESAY: OK, don't. GTL -- gym, tan, laundry.
COOPER: I don't even know what that means.
SESAY: Neither do I. But I mean I stay away from the tanning, though.
COOPER: The problem with that show is you watch one episode and you've seen the whole thing, because it's the same thing week after week after week.
SESAY: Fighting and drinking and falling down?
COOPER: Yes, and vomiting, usually.
Our "Shot" tonight is a photograph -- take a look at this, Isha -- that was published in a British newspaper, "The Mail" on Sunday. You may have seen this. It was all over the Internet.
Tiger Woods was chipping a shot during the Ryder Cup. The ball headed straight for the camera lens. It's pretty cool. The guy on the right side of the photo there, wearing a ginger-colored wig, a phony mustache, and a -- smoking a cigar, he's been dubbed the "the Cigar Guy".
The paper found out -- a lot of people wonder who he was. The paper found out he's a 30-year-old investment banker from London who just loves golf. And his get-up was a tribute to a Spanish golfer who has ginger-colored hair and smokes cigars while on the links. That's the real person.
SESAY: Yes. One Miguel Jimenez, I think is what they say, is his name.
And this dude lives at home with his parents but has been receiving marriage proposals.
COOPER: Based on that photograph? SESAY: Yes, based on that photograph. I'm wondering what it is that attracts these women.
COOPER: I think there's a lot of lonely hearts out there.
SESAY: Is it the mustache? Is it the red hair? What is it that attracts women?
COOPER: It's probably easier to write to him than write to someone in prison so, you know.
SESAY: I'm not actually going to go into the people who write to me from prison. But anyway we're going to leave that --
COOPER: Really? You get a lot of people writing to you from prison?
SESAY: And they send me recipes.
COOPER: All right. To be continued. We'll discuss this later.
Hey that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.