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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Peddling Pedophilia; White House Oil Drilling Cover-Up?
Aired November 10, 2010 - 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: And thanks very much for watching.
Incredible? You're right. Tonight, why in the world is Amazon.com selling a guidebook for pedophiles? The book tells pedophiles what they can get away with, what kind of touching and fondling of kids is legal. It even advises them when they don't have to use condoms with children.
The book is disgusting, no doubt about it. So, how come Amazon is standing behind it, profiting from it? We're "Keeping Them Honest." And Dr. Phil joins us as well.
Also tonight, keeping the White House honest. Someone in the White House edited a government report, making it look like scientific experts backed this summer's ban on deepwater drilling. But they didn't. So, was it intentional manipulation, or, as a new Interior Department investigation alleges, just a mistake? James Carville and Congressman Steve Scalise joins us.
And Elizabeth Smart's nine months in hell, that's how she now describes her ordeal, kidnapped when she was only 14 years old. Today, she wrapped up three days of grueling testimony against the man accused of adopting her. John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" helped crack the case, tracked down Elizabeth. He has talked to her about her testimony today, joins us in tonight's "Crime & Punishment."
We begin, though, tonight, as always, "Keeping Them Honest," with a story that may stun you. Amazon.com, the biggest online retailer in the world, is selling a guide for pedophiles. Right now on their Web site, they are selling an e-book on -- for Kindle, in essence profiting from pedophilia.
Now, at first, I thought maybe they just don't know about this, maybe it somehow snuck on the site, but all they have to do is read the title of the book. It's a self-published e-book entitled "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover's Code of Conduct." The author's name is by Phillip Greaves. And he admits he has feelings for children, though he insists he's never acted on them. That's him.
His e-book went on sale with Amazon.com October 28. Now, again, Amazon cannot claim they don't know about this book, because here's how Mr. Greaves describes his book on Amazon itself.
"This is my attempt," he says, "to make pedophile's situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that they're doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps lighter sentences, should they ever be caught." He spelled "lighter" wrong.
One of the pieces of advice that he gives pedophiles in this book is that -- is that, if they are disease-free, they don't have to use condoms. Let's remember now, he's talking about using condoms with children. He even tells pedophiles what sort of touching and kissing and fondling of children is legal, how far they can go without getting arrested.
Greaves writes in his e-book -- and I quote -- "Pedophiles, we must remember, care for and befriend their young lovers. They're concerned for the well-being and pleasure of their little friends.'
A number of people have posted comments on Amazon against the book, and now a Facebook page has been created calling for a boycott of Amazon.
Lacye Fly writes on the Facebook page: "This is absolutely horrible. As a mother of a small child, I'm appalled by the fact that Amazon allows something like this on their Web site. Boycott Amazon," she says. "I will not buy a book from them until all trash like this is taken off."
Now, Greaves says he's not advocating anything illegal and is hoping to change the public's perception of pedophiles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP GREAVES, AUTHOR, "THE PEDOPHILE'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND PLEASURE: A CHILD LOVER'S CODE OF CONDUCT": Every time you see them on television, they're either murderers, rapists or kidnappers. And that's just not an accurate presentation of the -- such -- that particular sexuality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he also seems to be pretty happy to court controversy so he can sell more books.
He told ABC -- quote -- "To a certain -- to a certain extent, I wanted that kind of notoriety to affect the book. I want it to affect sales."
We reached out to Amazon for a statement, and they didn't give us one. They did release a statement to the Web site Business Insider. And it reads in part -- quote -- "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does support or promote hatred or criminal acts. However, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
But "Keeping Them Honest" here, again, they didn't respond to us. And, in fact, several major media outlets say they contacted Amazon for a statement, but heard nothing about it. So, if Amazon really stands by this statement that you just heard, why aren't they responding to journalists' calls for comment?
And about that one statement they did issue, Amazon does not support the right of every individual -- they said, "Amazon supports the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
But they don't. They censor books all the time. In fact, they have a blanket ban on porn. Now, if they don't believe in censorship, why ban porn? It's legal. It's popular. It involves consenting adults.
Amazon even has a forum for customers, reportedly, to -- to report any porn that happens to make it on to their site.
In a moment, we will talk will senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, but first Dr. Phil McGraw.
I spoke to him earlier.
COOPER: Dr. Phil, does it make any sense to you at all that Amazon would be selling a guide for pedophiles?
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL": Well, it doesn't make any sense, other than the fact that, I guess, under the First Amendment, people can write whatever they want to write.
But I -- I would think, with a private business, you have the opportunity to make a decision as to what you want to do. And, you know, this is a despicable crime. And for someone to write a book that says, I want to tell you how to do this in a way that, if and when you get caught, you won't get such harsh sentences, I mean, that's offensive to the sensibilities of even the most casual observer.
I mean, come on. This does not even make common sense.
COOPER: And -- and, also, I mean, Amazon, they don't put out porn on their site. They won't sell pornography. So, they do make choices about what books they -- they want to sell.
I don't quite get why they would want to sell this book.
MCGRAW: Well, I don't either, because they're not imposing a consistent standard.
As you say, they won't sell porn. And their defense is, well, we sell a lot of other despicable books. We sell books about people that deny the Holocaust. We sell books of -- of people that take way- other-than-the-mainstream position on things.
But, look, what we're talking about here, Anderson, is our children. And, as you know, I have done a number of shows with pedophiles over the years. I have been to the prison where these people are held, the prison hospitals. I have had candid conversations with them.
And they will tell you themselves that the urges don't go away. They will tell you that -- that they're likely to re-offend. And the statistics say that as many as 30 percent to 40 percent of these people that are caught are caught re-offending.
So, that -- this tells you, if this book is written, it's -- it's going to empower these people to say, OK, here's something that's telling me how to do this and get away with it.
COOPER: Right. It -- it's also -- I mean, he -- it -- the author, from the description on the Amazon site -- and, again, I -- I haven't read the book, nor do I, frankly, want to -- but the -- the author seems to be saying that this is a guide both for the children involved with -- with an older person, as well as the older person, to sort of establish rules of behavior, which just -- I mean, the -- the whole idea of it is -- is really sickening.
MCGRAW: Look, it's either a crime or it's not. It is a crime against humanity. It is a moral crime. It is a legal crime.
And what I understand them saying -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- is that he's saying: I want to establish rules of conduct for you fellow pedophiles, so you don't do things that are too egregious to these children that you're victimizing. And, that way, when you get caught, then maybe you won't get in so much trouble.
So, I guess, in the delusional mind of this author, it's like, there is an OK way to commit this crime and violate these innocent children, or a less egregious way to do it. I mean, are -- come on. Are you kidding me?
When you put your hand on a child in that way, that's wrong. There's no way to make that right.
COOPER: And Amazon, look, will say, look, this is -- we don't want to be involved in censorship, even though they -- they don't put on porn, which you could say is censorship.
I mean, they have a point that they don't -- you know, you don't want necessarily a company to be in the business of deciding what books are OK for people to read and what books are not OK for people to read. But this one seems to -- to cross a line.
MCGRAW: Well, it does seem to cross a line.
I mean, you know, even under the First Amendment, you know, the -- the idea is that you -- you cannot write and say things that incite people to do bad things and to break the law.
And my thought is that, if a pedophile saw this book, got ahold of it, read it and said, oh, OK, there are some standards here. I'm following the rules. This gives me an excuse. This makes it OK for me to get back into this kind of interaction. Is that inciting someone to break the law or commit a crime? I think there's an argument to be made for that.
Now, I don't know this author. I don't know if he's a pedophile. I don't know what his position on this is. But this is a bizarre, bizarre book. And I can tell you, if I owned a bookstore, it would not be in my window.
COOPER: Dr. Phil, appreciate it.
COOPER: During the interview, when I talked to Dr. Phil a short time ago, I hadn't read the book. I actually have subsequently read the book, so now I want to talk about it with Jeffrey Toobin.
Amazon released a statement, as we said, to a Web site, Business Insider, saying -- quote -- "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."
Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us now.
So, I mean, look, you -- you read parts of the book. I have read it. I mean, it's basically kind of a glorified pamphlet, really.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right.
COOPER: It is clearly disgusting. I mean, it's -- it's advising pedophiles: You don't have to use a condom if you and the child are disease-free. It -- it involves -- it advises them about what sort of touching and fondling, even kissing, is legal for pedophiles to do with -- with a child and not.
Is it -- is it illegal, though?
TOOBIN: I -- I don't think..
COOPER: Is this book illegal?
TOOBIN: ... there is a court in America that would find this book illegal.
Look, remember, child pornography is illegal. And the Justice Department is very aggressive in -- in prosecuting people who use photographs, videos of actual children being abused.
COOPER: And there's none of that in this...
TOOBIN: But this book is all text.
TOOBIN: It's -- and it is essentially a work of advocacy. And -- and there's a lot of fiction in it, you know, a story...
TOOBIN: ... being told in it.
That is clearly protected by the First Amendment. I -- I don't think there is any -- any -- you know, there's an argument that some -- some works of advocacy are incitement, but courts have been very, very narrow in -- in interpreting that as a crime.
But I -- I think this one is well safe on the First Amendment and under the protection of the First Amendment.
COOPER: The other question, I guess, though, is, I mean, does this company have to sell? I mean, they're saying, look, we don't want to do censorship.
But they censor porn.
TOOBIN: That's right.
I mean, this -- look, this...
COOPER: I mean, the standard -- the standard does not seem to be evenly applied.
TOOBIN: No. Amazon is not being consistent here.
There are many legal product -- pornography, as we know, is a multibillion-dollar business. It's legal. It's all over the Internet and in many other places. They choose not to sell it. That's Amazon's right. But...
COOPER: And, clearly...
TOOBIN: ... their stated...
COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead.
TOOBIN: Well, but their stated position is that anything protected by the First Amendment, we sell.
And, clearly, that's not the case.
COOPER: And they're saying they're not -- I mean, they're not selling porn, I suppose, because they don't want to offend a fair -- a large number of their customers. You would think, if they were applying that standard, selling a book, a guide to pedophilia, is going to offend the vast majority of their customers.
TOOBIN: Well, I think that's true.
And -- and, you know, you have to be a little sympathetic to Amazon, because, you know, as you pointed out in your interview with Dr. Phil, you don't want them reading every book and deciding what's acceptable to their -- to their readership or not. The problem is, when you get something like this one, which is so obviously offensive, which is so obviously without redeeming social...
COOPER: Look, it's not like this is a novel that has some questionable elements in it or some controversial elements.
TOOBIN: It's not "Lolita," yes.
COOPER: Right. I mean, this is a -- the headline -- all you need to do is see the headline of this book, and you kind of get the gist.
And -- and it is true that there also is really objectionable political advocacy for sale on Amazon. You can buy "Mein Kampf" on -- on Amazon. And I think we all agree that it's probably important that "Mein Kampf," as a historical document, be available.
But the problem is, they don't have a blanket policy. If they had a blanket policy that says, we will sell porn, we will sell everything, then maybe they should sell this book.
But they don't have that policy. They have a policy where they make judgments about what they sell and what they don't want to sell. And that's appropriate, as a business.
COOPER: And just as they have a right to sell what they want, customers have a right to shop where they want.
TOOBIN: And that's the real risk for Amazon here. This is not a law enforcement issue. Nobody is going to prosecute Amazon.
But they have a commercial problem. They have a business problem, because people are angry. There's -- as you have pointed out, there's already starting to be talk about a boycott. Some people are -- they have got a Facebook page. This is a business problem for Amazon. And it's a real one, but -- and they have got to deal with it.
And, frankly, the First Amendment doesn't have much to do with it.
COOPER: You know, when I first saw this, I thought, this is absurd. Maybe this was just a mistake on their part, they didn't understand.
But when you actually go to the Web site, you see the description. They knew -- they clearly have read it. They approved that it was on their site. And they are profiting. I mean, they -- they get a share of the -- the profits from this -- from this book.
TOOBIN: That's how they -- that's how they -- they -- that's how Amazon makes money. And it's a great business. Again, if -- they have every right not to sell it. They have every right not to sell porn. But there are -- there are business consequences to their decisions of what they decide to sell and not sell.
COOPER: I can't believe that they haven't even, in a public statement, said, we're going to take the meager profits that we make from this pathetic pamphlet and put it -- you know, send it to groups that work with kids or something.
TOOBIN: My sense is, there are people at Amazon who are rethinking this policy as we speak.
COOPER: Well, but -- but this thing has been on for -- for days now, and a lot of news organizations have contacted them.
COOPER: Wow. We will see.
TOOBIN: We will see.
TOOBIN: We will see. I don't know.
COOPER: See if Jeff Bezos is listening.
Jeff, stick around.
Let us know what you think at home. You can join the live chat right now under way at AC360.com.
Up next: keeping the White House honest. Someone in the White House edited a government report on oil drilling safety, made it look like scientific experts approved the summer's ban on deepwater drilling, but that was wrong. So, was it a simple mistake or intentional? We're going to let you decide.
Plus, breaking news on the military's don't ask , don't tell policy, big breaking news -- "The Washington Post" just now reporting that a Pentagon study group has reached a conclusion on how risky it would be to lift the ban on gays serving in the military. The answer, well, it may surprise you -- details in a moment.
COOPER: We have got breaking news on the Pentagon's controversial don't ask, don't tell policy.
"The Washington Post" is now reporting tonight that a Pentagon study group has determined that lifting the ban will not adversely affect troop morale or the nation's current war efforts. The study reportedly concludes that lifting the ban will result in only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts. The article quotes two people familiar with the draft of the study group's report ,which is due to the president on December 1. The study group surveyed 400,000 active-duty and reserve personnel over the summer. More than 70 percent of respondents said that getting rid of the policy would have a -- quote -- "positive, mixed or nonexistent effect on the military," according to "The Post."
President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen have called for an end of the policy, but a lot of folks in Congress want to keep it, including senators like John McCain.
This news will only intensify the debate.
Let's get to the "Raw Politics."
Joining me again is Jeff Toobin, also here, Paul Begala, CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist, and Erick Erickson, CNN contributor and editor in chief of RedState.com.
Paul, what do you make of this?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a remarkable leak, first off. I think we can guess that it came from the Pentagon, which, as you mentioned, the secretary of defense supports lifting the ban on gays and lesbians...
COOPER: The commandant of the Marine Corps has come out saying he does not support it while this -- while the wars are under way.
BEGALA: That's right.
But the most important person here is the person at the top of the chain of command, the commander in chief, who, frankly, has been far too timid on this issue. I mean, there are a lot of military experts who work for him who think our military is stronger if we include gays and lesbians, because they're serving honorably and ably.
He could stop this tomorrow. He says that we have to have legislation for what he calls a durable solution. Well, he's right, but he's the commander in chief. He can issue a stop-loss order. He can order his military to stop discharging his troops who are gays and lesbians. And he should do that today.
COOPER: Erick, what happens now? I mean, obviously, there's a lot of opposition by Republicans, who are going to be coming into Congress in January.
ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
COOPER: Is this thing dead in the water?
ERICKSON: Well, I'm not sure. And I would like to see the report. It's interesting. "The Washington Post" had a curious paragraph in the, where the person who said they're leaking the report is leaking it before the people who are opposed to it can -- can basically get their spin out.
So, what exactly is the 70 percent in favor of or mixed? Is it 15 percent positive, 35 percent mixed, and 35 percent no opinion? In which case it would be a 50/50 for and against, which means it's divided. I would like to see the actual report. I'm just very curious about what that paragraph was supposed to mean in the report.
COOPER: Assuming, though, that it is as they are -- are saying it, you know, that then -- and they conclude, this report concludes...
COOPER: ... that it's not going to have a major impact, what kind of an impact do you think that is going to have on the Congress?
ERICKSON: You know, it -- it's going to be very hard, I think, for the Republicans. If you have an overwhelming majority of active- duty soldiers in the field saying they don't have a problem with it, it's going to be very, very difficult for Republicans to stand in the way.
You will have some arguments there. And they may be able to block it. But I would still like to see what the report actually says, as opposed to what the initial spin is.
COOPER: Right, obviously. And you're right. The -- the two people quoted said they wanted to get basically their spin out before the opponents of it...
COOPER: ... were able to spin it in a way that they felt was not the -- the accurate way.
Jeff, I mean, there is this lame-duck session of Congress. The House has already passed this measure. The Senate has not. What could happen?
TOOBIN: Well, and there's also the lawsuit in California...
TOOBIN: ... filed by the Log Cabin Republicans. So there are 50 moving parts here. You don't -- you don't know which is going to get resolved first.
I think don't ask, don't tell is not -- I think the president's going to lose in the Senate. I think the Senate is, you know, loaded for bear against him after the -- after the midterm elections. The Republican Party is a more conservative institution today than it was two weeks ago, before the election. All these moderate Republican senators, to the extent any still exist, are afraid of primaries from inside their own party. So, I -- I just don't see any way he's going to get the Republican votes he needs.
ERICKSON: Well, it...
TOOBIN: And -- and I think -- I think that's it. Now, whether the courts force his hand, I -- I doubt. I don't see how this ruling survives. I think the United States Supreme Court is a conservative institution. It is deferential to the military.
They're not going to order the military to -- to admit gays and lesbians. I think this has to be done through the Senate, and I don't think it's going to be done.
ERICKSON: Well, to -- to add to Jeff's point there, you have -- you have got Jim Webb from Virginia. You now have Joe Manchin from West Virginia. You have some very conservative Senate Democrats there as well, none of whom are very happy with the White House right now, all of whom are very pro-military.
And if they read the report, and -- and they think that the spin is otherwise, based on the polling of the military, then you are going to have a very hard time for the Democrats on this.
COOPER: Paul, assuming that the president doesn't suddenly, you know...
BEGALA: Exercise his constitutional authority...
BEGALA: ... and put his principles into action?
COOPER: Do you think anyone in the Senate would do it? I mean, this lame-duck session, is that a possibility?
BEGALA: Yes, I do. I think it -- I think it's going to come up. I think this gives ammunition to those who want equality in the military, particularly Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, who was just reelected by 6 percent in a terrible year for Democrats.
He has strongly supported equality in the military. He controls the Senate's agenda. He can put it on the agenda. And I think he will. I do think that this gives -- it's kind of hard to say now, when the top uniform military officer, Admiral Mullen, is for equality in the military, when the top civilian at the Pentagon, Bob Gates, who is a Republican, by the way, and a career national security expert, wants equality in the military, and the commander in chief himself does, and now, if this survey is correct, the rank-and-file troops do, it's kind of hard to say somehow this is going -- is going to hurt the military. TOOBIN: I mean, I really do disagree with you, Paul, about this idea that President Obama can simply decide. I mean, don't ask, don't tell is a law. It is not...
BEGALA: Right, but he can -- he can issue a stop-loss order.
TOOBIN: Well, he -- he can work around the edges and -- and limit the impact of don't -- don't ask, don't tell.
COOPER: Bottom line...
BEGALA: And he can enforce -- he can enforce the court ruling, instead of appealing it.
COOPER: Bottom line, though, you think it's dead in the water?
TOOBIN: I think don't ask, don't tell will survive past the -- into the next year. I do.
COOPER: Paul, you still think there's a possibility?
BEGALA: I think, one way or the other, it's gone over time. It may not be before New Year's, but it cannot sustain. It's just -- you can't -- discrimination doesn't last forever in America. It doesn't.
COOPER: Erick, want to put you on the spot.
TOOBIN: When people who are elected who support it...
ERICKSON: You know, I think, long term in this country, we're headed towards more open tolerance in the military of gays in the military, but I don't think it's going to come any time soon. And I certainly don't think now it's going to happen.
COOPER: Erick, appreciate you being on, Paul Begala as well, Jeffrey Toobin. Thanks very much.
Up next: keeping the White House honest. A staffer edited a government report, making it seem that scientific experts supported this summer's moratorium on deepwater drilling. They didn't. They weren't even weighing in on it. You can decide if it was a mistake or intentional.
Also ahead, "Crime & Punishment": Elizabeth Smart taking the stand one last time today. We have new details on what she calls her nine months in hell. I spoke to the man who helped crack the case, who -- who talked to Elizabeth today, John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted." He joins me -- coming up.
COOPER: Another "Keeping Them Honest" report now. This time, the subject is the White House. And the question is, did they intentionally manipulate or edit a report to make it appear like their moratorium on deepwater drilling this summer had widespread scientific support?
And we know for sure the report in question was altered, edited. What's not clear is exactly who did it in the administration and why, what their intent was, their motivation, whether it was just an innocent mistake or an attempt to influence public opinion falsely.
The results of an investigation by the Interior Department's own inspector general were posted online today. We are going to talk to James Carville and a Louisiana -- Louisiana congressman about the results in a moment.
But, first, I just want to explain what the allegations center on. This is the report that was issued today. And at issue is -- is another report from May 27 that -- that was put together at President Obama's request. It's a report on oil and gas drilling safety. And it was done in the wake of the BP oil spill.
Now, after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April, killing 11 men, they investigated, and they wanted to try to find out how to prevent this from happening again. Fifteen experts were tapped by the Interior Department to review the safety recommendations in the report.
And they did review the safety recommendations. Then, in the middle of the night, just hours before this report was released, the staff of White House energy adviser Carol Browner made misleading tweets that the executive summary, the -- the published summary said.
"First, the secretary recommends a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled." It went on to say, "The secretary further recommends an immediate halt to drilling operations on the 33 permitted wells."
Then, right under that sentence was inserted from somewhere else in the document another sentence. And the sentence said -- quote -- "The recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering. Those experts, who volunteered their time and expertise, are identified in Appendix 1. The Department also consulted with a wide range of experts from government, academia and industry."
So by moving that line up to right underneath those other paragraphs about the moratorium, someone reading the report would have thought that the experts agreed with the six-month drilling moratorium, that they'd signed off on it, but they hadn't.
Today the inspector general said that the White House edit of the original Department of Interior draft, executive summary, led to the implication that the moratorium recommendations had been peer reviewed by the experts. "Keeping Them Honest," it hadn't been peer reviewed.
Just days after that May 27 report, eight of the 15 experts publicly blasted the Department of Interior for using their names. They faxed a letter to several members of the congressional delegation from Louisiana. They reached out to the Department of Interior.
Then on June 3 the Interior Department apologized in writing to the experts, saying in part, "We did not mean to imply that you also agreed with the decision to impose a moratorium on all new deepwater drilling. We acknowledge that you were not asked to review or comment on the proposed moratorium."
The interior secretary, Ken Salazar, also talked with the scientists and engineers, apologizing, telling them it was an editing mistake.
And in the inspector general's report, the experts said they accepted Mr. Salazar's explanation.
We reached out to the White House to see how they explained all this, and they tell us, quote, following the review that included interviews, the peer review experts, the inspector general found no intentional misrepresentation of their views.
The inspector general further found that, to the extent that there was any misunderstanding of their position, the Interior acted quickly to correct it: "The decision to implement a six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was correctly based on the need for adequate spill response, well containment and safety measures, and we stand behind that decision."
But we really still don't know if President Obama was led to believe that these experts had approved of the drilling moratorium. And we have no way of knowing what the motivation was for making that edit. Was it just an innocent mistake? And that's entirely possible.
It's also possible that whoever made the edit wanted people to believe that scientists had backed the moratorium.
Now, this isn't the first time the White House has been accused of over selling their position on the oil spill, changing the facts for their benefit. Remember, back in August, White House energy advisor Carol Browner was discussing a government report on the spill and claimed that the majority of the oil was gone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL BROWNER, WHITE HOUSE ENERGY ADVISOR: We launched the largest response in the history of our country. We had nearly 7,000 vessels, more than 40,000 people working to clean this up, to capture it, to skim it, to burn it. And that's why the vast majority of the oil is gone.
In terms of what's left, it will continue to weather in the ocean. If it comes ashore, obviously it can be cleaned up, the tar balls, the sheens. But certainly we are seeing far less oil than we were seeing, and I think that is a testament to the response that the government launched.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So she's saying there that a vast majority of the oil is gone, but that's not what the government report actually said back then. It said it could -- that it could still be in the Gulf.
And just 12 days later, after that report came out, a group of independent scientists said, well, actually, as much as 79 percent of the oil may remain in the Gulf of Mexico. Seventy-nine percent.
So is the White House answering all the questions they need to about this edited report? I talked about it earlier with Democratic strategist and New Orleans resident James Carville and Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise.
COOPER: Congressman, you were among the people who initially asked for this investigation. The Obama administration is basically saying this was an example of sloppy editing in the middle of the night, that neither the White House nor anyone at the Interior Department meant to actually mislead the American people about the moratorium and these scientists support for it. Do you buy that?
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, no, and in fact the inspector general's report confirms that the decision to impose this drilling moratorium was based on manipulated data by the administration.
And so if they're going to say, well, it was either incompetence or manipulation, neither of those are acceptable answers for a decision that has caused over 12,000 people to lose their jobs in this industry.
COOPER: Where do you see that it says manipulation?
CARVILLE: Well, ultimately, they did change the report. The inspector general's report doesn't even get into the details of whether or not Secretary Salazar manipulated it himself when he presented the report to the president, because they didn't include that report that was given to the president. So either they manipulated it or it has just been incompetence, but either of those are unacceptable.
COOPER: James, do you think it was just a mistake or do you think there's more to it?
CARVILLE: I don't know. And I read the article in Politico, and I'm a little bit confused, but I take these things seriously. You know, the I.G. report in 2007 about the corruption in the Minerals Management Service. And they didn't pay any attention to it, and I think that's a big result of what happened in the Gulf of Mexico.
So I'm not one that should -- thinks we should take these things lightly. Whether it was manipulated, probably is a strong word to use right now. But there certainly is some sort of conflict as to what they had. And maybe it was hastily done. I don't know. But I didn't ever like the moratorium from the get go, and I'm the believer in sound science. And it should be used very, very carefully.
COOPER: So you're using that word "manipulation." I just want to ask you about that. Because basically what happened, it seems, is the sentence which said that, you know, the scientists had approved of all the things in this report, it was moved to be right after the sentence that talked about that there should be a moratorium and it seemed to anybody who was reading it, it was implying that these scientists had agreed that there should be a moratorium when, in fact, it was basically just saying that scientists agreed with other facts in the thing, nothing about the moratorium.
Are you saying that you believe it was intentionally put there? Is that what you think is the manipulation?
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: Well, that's at the heart of the question. Because when the 30-day report came out by the president's scientific experts, the report's final conclusion led people to believe that it was the scientists themselves who recommended the moratorium.
And it was the scientists who came out later that day and said, "Wait a minute. We don't recommend the moratorium. In fact, we think it reduces safety in the Gulf. And don't attribute the moratorium to us because we disagree with it." And it wasn't until then that the administration backed off.
But if the scientists wouldn't have come out and said that this wasn't their conclusion in the first place, would the administration have come clean and, in fact, that's one of the big questions we have.
COOPER: But now the scientists -- a number of scientists, apparently, who have been interviewed in the wake of all this, have said that they don't believe that that was intentional, that Salazar apologized to them, made a public statement. Salazar has met with a number of them individually, and that they are convinced that it was not intentional.
SCALISE: Well, and I appreciate that they're going to take the administration at their word, but it's not our job to take the administration at their word when there are real documents that are out there that they haven't released yet.
There was a memorandum that went from Secretary Salazar to the president when he was trying to get the president to conclude that there should be a moratorium. Now, did that recommendation from the secretary include or attribute this request for a moratorium to the scientists? Or was it just something that they made based on a political calculation? We don't know that yet.
COOPER: And, James -- and James, we may never know that because of executive privilege.
CARVILLE: We may not, you know, I think they're going to probably invoke the Cheney doctrine here. But you know, again, I think questions are fair to ask here. I mean, it was a decision that had severe impact on the people in my state. And I think the Congress is right to ask questions.
Whether or not this needs to rise to the level of some humongous investigation or not, I think, is an open question at this juncture, and you've got to be very cautious about that. But it's certainly very fair to ask questions of this. This is a very big policy decision, and the basis it was made is legitimate.
COOPER: Congressman, do you want to see hearings on this?
SCALISE: Well, I want to see is the administration come clean. Because Anderson, the administration has acknowledged over 12,000 people have lost their jobs due to this moratorium. And if the moratorium's decision was based either on a competence or manipulation, regardless, that's not acceptable to those families who now don't have the opportunities that they once had. Because they don't want a BP check or unemployment check. They want a paycheck, and clearly, the data was manipulated that led to that decision.
COOPER: James Carville, Congressman Scalise, appreciate it. Thank you.
SCALISE: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Still ahead, "Crime & Punishment." Elizabeth Smart on the stand for a third day, testifying. This is the final day of her testimony, in what she calls her nine months in hell and her captor, who she says is an unholy hypocrite. We have some of the testimony today and reaction from the host of "America's Most Wanted," John Walsh, who spoke to Elizabeth today.
Also ahead tonight, did the Pentagon finally solve the mystery of the sky over California? You've all seen the images by now.
COOPER: When you consider when Elizabeth Smart has gone through, what she calls her nine months in hell, it's remarkable how composed she's been on the witness stand in a Salt Lake City courtroom.
Today was her third and final day of grueling testimony in the trial of the man accused of kidnapping her more than eight years ago. Elizabeth Smart is now 23, living in Paris where she's a Mormon missionary. She came home to testify.
In court today, she described her captor as an unholy hypocrite who used religious to justify her kidnapping and assault. John Walsh helped crack the case. He joins us in a moment.
But first Randi Kaye brings us back to the night Smart was kidnapped and the details of a young girl's life that was ripped apart. Here's tonight's "Crime and Punishment" report.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Elizabeth Smart and her family slept, a determined kidnapper entered their home through a kitchen window by cutting the screen. Within minutes police say he was upstairs in the bedroom Elizabeth, then 14, shared with her younger sister. It was June 5, 2002, around 2 a.m.
In court this week, Elizabeth, now 23, testified against the man who she says snatched her. She said he told her, "I have a knife to your neck. Don't make a sound. Get out of bed or I will kill you and your family."
On that awful night, Elizabeth's little sister, Mary Katharine, was just nine at the time. She lay petrified in her bed, pretending to be asleep. At 4 a.m., Mary Katharine woke her parents and told them what happened. Her father, Ed Smart, called 911, triggering a massive search.
ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH: Elizabeth, if you're out there, we're doing everything we possibly can to help you. We love you. We want you to come home safely to us.
KAYE: Turns out Elizabeth's kidnapper had forced her to hike up a long, rugged trail behind their home where he set up camp with his wife, Wanda Barzee. Elizabeth testified that she asked the man if he was going to, quote, "rape and kill her." If so, she asked him to do it, quote, "closer to the trail head so someone could find my remains."
Hundreds of flyers went up. Police offered a $250,000 reward. Elizabeth testified her kidnapper quickly made her his second wife. Her testimony, hard to hear. Elizabeth said she pleaded with her kidnapper. She told the court, "I told him that I was just a little girl and that I hadn't even started my period yet. He yelled out to his wife and asked if that was still OK, and she said it was. And then he continued."
She testified her abductor raped her while her ankle was tied to a pole so she couldn't escape. She was raped, she said, at least once a day.
The big break in the case three months after Elizabeth disappeared. In October 2002, out of nowhere her younger sister told her father she thought she knew who the kidnapper was. His name, she said, was Emanuel. He was a homeless man the family had hired to do work on their house about a year before the kidnapping. The police were skeptical of the little girl's sudden memory.
Frustrated, the Smarts contacted John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted." In February 2003, the program showed composite sketches of the man who called himself Emanuel.
(on camera) Guess who was watching? The sister of the man who called himself Emanuel. She gave pictures to "America's Most Wanted." His real name, she said, was Brian David Mitchell.
What nobody knew was that Elizabeth had recognized her kidnapper within hours of being taken. She knew him as Emanuel, too, the same man her sister had remembered. (voice-over) In March 2003, the trio surfaced in Sandy, Utah, about 25 miles south of Salt Lake City, not far from Elizabeth's home. Police received two 911 calls from witnesses claiming they'd spotted Mitchell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's walking towards town so he's walking north. And he's with two ladies.
KAYE: An officer on the scene questioned the girl with Mitchell. She insisted she was not Elizabeth Smart. But when investigators showed her a missing person poster with her face on it, she teared up and confirmed her identity. It was March 12, 2003. Nine months had passed since she was kidnapped. Nine months of terror.
SMART: When they opened the door and she was there, I just -- I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it. And she was just sitting there, and I just went up and grabbed her and just was so happy.
KAYE: Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee face charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual assault. Mitchell pleaded not guilty.
Last year Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her role. Now a jury must decide if Brian David Mitchell, a drifter the Smarts tried to help, should also go to jail for snatching their daughter more than nine years ago.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Unbelievable what she went through. As Randi mentioned, John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" was instrumental in helping the Smart family crack the case, ultimately cracked down Elizabeth. Mr. Walsh spoke to Elizabeth earlier today, then talked to me this afternoon.
COOPER: We're going to talk about Elizabeth Smart. You've talked to her. How is she doing?
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": She's doing great. I have such admiration for this young woman. I was there the day after she was recovered. It was probably the highlight of 23 years of doing "America's Most Wanted."
Her father and mother never gave up. They believed she was alive, even when police tried to convince them that Richard Ricci, the handyman that died in prison, had probably murdered her, and she was in the desert somewhere.
This girl -- I talked to her today, and I said, "Elizabeth, I've known you since the day after you were recovered. I love and work with your parents. You walked the halls of Congress to get the Adam Walsh Act passed with me -- passed with me and my wife, but I have such huge admiration." You -- this girl has unbelievable courage to recount all these horrible events.
I said, "Elizabeth, you are a role model for female victims all over the world."
COOPER: It's been important for her to testify.
WALSH: She's talked to me about that for years and to her parents. She wanted her day in court. She says, "This criminal justice system has re-victimized me. It's the criminal injustice system. This man is feigning his insanity. He's manipulating the courtroom. He planned how he would kidnap me. He planned how he would keep me at large for eight months. He got caught by police and talked his way out of it. He's not insane; he's a narcissistic pedophile. He needs to be in jail forever."
She wanted that justice. She wants her day in court. And I am praying that this girl gets it.
This man did nothing but exploit. He exploited his stepdaughter before Elizabeth. He's done nothing but hurt young women his whole life. He needs to be in prison for the rest of his life.
And Elizabeth is a role model of someone that has been -- been brutalized, kidnapped as a teenage girl, as a young little girl, and she stands on that witness stand with poise, with dignity, answers those questions. She's in that courtroom. She's not a victim; she's a survivor. She's a role model, and I have so much admiration for her family and for her.
COOPER: I remember talking to her father, you know, over the years and saying that they wanted to give her time to just, you know, let her -- when she returned, to just let her tell her story in her own time to them, if she wanted to and not pressuring her. Clearly, to hear it all coming out on the stand is -- I mean, it's got to be...
WALSH: She didn't -- she's doing it her way, on her time.
I think the media's brutal to victims. The best things the Smarts did, the night that I was asked to come to their house, the day after she was recovered, because we had so much to do with getting her back alive and I said, the Smarts said, "We're going to make sure that she gets therapy. We're putting her in the loving arms and the safety net of this family, and we're going to resist everybody in the media."
I think the public perceives this -- it's not about the get. It's not about Anderson Cooper gets somebody on air. It's not about getting the victim, taking a picture of them. Let them try to heal. They'll tell their story.
I think the smartest thing the Smarts did was to keep Elizabeth away from the media. She's telling her story on her own terms, and she's telling it like the strong, smart young woman she is. She says, "I'm asking for justice."
And it's incredible what this family has done with her and what she's been able to achieve over the years.
But I say to all those people in the media -- I'm prime time, you're a media guy -- it's not about the get. It's not about getting the inside. It's about treating victims with dignity.
COOPER: John Walsh, thank you so much.
WALSH: Thank you for covering these cases. You give victims hope.
COOPER: Coming up next tonight, new details about that cargo bomb found in England a couple weeks ago, bound for the U.S. It could have been much worse than investigators originally thought. We're going to tell you what Scotland Yard now has to say.
And in Springfield, Ohio, the planned demolition of a smoke stack goes very badly wrong. We'll have details. It's tonight's "Shot."
COOPER: Following a number of other stories, Joe Johns joins us again with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it's already Thursday, November 11 in South Korea, and President Obama marked Veteran's Day by visiting U.S. troops at the Army garrison in Yong San. He paid tribute to soldiers who fought on the Korean Peninsula 60 years ago and those who are serving today.
Scotland Yard now believes the cargo bomb discovered at a British airport two weeks ago could have exploded over the eastern seaboard of the U.S. had it not been found. Forensic examination of the device indicates it was set to detonate six hours after it was discovered.
That crippled cruise liner is expected to be towed into port in San Diego sometime tomorrow afternoon. A fire in the engine room aboard Carnival Splendor on Monday caused the ship to lose power, stranding more than 4,000 passengers and the crew off the coast of Mexico. The Navy has air-dropped supplies on the ship.
Big news for General Motors. It earned nearly $2 billion in the third quarter of this year. That's the best quarterly earnings in more than a decade. G.M. is on track to make a profit this year for the first time since 2004.
And more on that mysterious plume in the Southern California sky on Monday night. Today the Pentagon said there's no question it's anything other than the condensation trail from an airplane, and there's no evidence to suggest it was anything else. So end of story, I hope, on that one.
COOPER: I hope so.
Joe, time for tonight's "Shot." I don't know if you've seen this video, Joe. It's from Springfield, Ohio. It's a smoke stack demolition gone way, way wrong. Take a look.
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JOHNS: Oh, no. I never saw this shot of it. Oh, no.
COOPER: A local newspaper reported the screams came from about two dozen onlookers when they realized the smoke stack was falling the wrong way. No one, thankfully, was hurt. Four thousand people lost power for a couple of hours. At least nine traffic lights were knocked down.
JOHNS: You want to laugh at that, but it's -- that's dangerous.
COOPER: Yes. To say the least.
JOHNS: Thousands of people without power. My hat's off to them. That's a tough job.
COOPER: Joe, thanks very much tonight.
Serious stuff at the top of the hour, Amazon selling a guide book for pedophiles on their Web site. Disgusting, but is it illegal? Is it right? "Keeping Them Honest" next.